A Plethora of Happy Coincidences

By: The Common Constitutionalist 

Warren Buffett is President Barack Obama’s BFF.

Warren Buffett receives the Presidential Medal of Coincidence

The Keystone XL Pipeline is the oil pipeline that would carry oil from our friends in Canada down across several of our states to end up in Texas. It was first proposed in 2008.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad in 2009, shortly after Obama was elected.

Buffett’s nickname is the Oracle of Omaha. Omaha is in Nebraska, where resides the headquarters of Berkshire Hathaway; remember that.

Nebraska (with the administrations help) just happens to be the state that put the kybosh on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

As it happens, Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC, which, as previously stated, is owned by Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., handles 75 percent of all the oil currently shipped by rail out of North Dakota.

Oil producers in North Dakota had planned to hook into the XL pipeline.

Strange bedfellows: Always remember a liberal is a liberal first, regardless of whatever else he or she claims to be and will always side with other liberals. So when a spokesman for the Sierra Club admitted “there is no question that transporting oil by rail or truck is much more dangerous than a pipeline,” it should come as no surprise that the eco-fanatics sided with the President to kill the pipeline.

Enter Ben Nelson, the honorable Senator from Nebraska. (I told you to remember this: Obama hearts Buffett. Buffett= Nebraska = Nelson)

"So this is what will kill the Pipeline project"

So when it comes to the Keystone oil pipeline and Buffett’s Burlington Northern, all roads lead to Nebraska.

GBTV uncovered a not so startling connection between Berkshire Hathaway and Senator Ben Nelson, who voted against the Keystone XL and lobbied that it be re-routed to avoid Nebraska, effectively killing the project. Ironically, the Senator’s attempts to thwart the pipeline were done while he himself maintained his state would heartily welcome the jobs created from the Keystone project.

 While Nelson’s position then seems counterintuitive, add to it the fact that he is heavily invested in Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. From 2007 to 2012 Nelson contributed $27,000 to the company itself and according to a recent financial disclosure statement from 2008, he owned between $1.5 and $6 million of the company’s stock – his largest investment in any one company to date. (So by counterintuitive, I meant completely intuitive.)

It doesn’t end there, of course. Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe PAC in turn contributed $5,000 to Senator Nelson’s Nebraska Leadership PAC and Berkshire Hathaway employees have reportedly long supported the senator, contributing at least $75,550 to the Nebraska Democrat over the course of his political career according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Coincidence or quid pro quo? I vote…coincidence.

Not coincidentally, Senator Nelson penned an op-ed column on March 5, 2012 entitled “Behind Those High Gas Prices.” As you can imagine, the senator was quick to tell Nebraskans that the spike “has nothing to do with the Keystone Pipeline” and also “isn’t a result of domestic oil production.”

Now move along people; Nothing to see here.

Constitution 101 (9)

Lesson 9: “The Progressive Rejection of the Founding”

Study Guide

Overview:

Progressivism is the belief that America needs to move or “progress” beyond the principles of the American Founding. Organized politically more than a hundred years ago, Progressivism insists upon flexibility in political forms unbound by fixed and universal principles. Progressives hold that human nature is malleable and that society is perfectible. Affirming the inexorable, positive march of history, Progressives see the need for unelected experts who would supervise a vast administration of government.

Progressivism is rooted in the philosophy of European thinkers, most notably the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel. Progressivism takes its name from a faith in “historical progress.” According to the leading lights of Progressivism, including Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, and John Dewey, human nature has evolved beyond the limitations that the Founders identified. Far from fearing man’s capacity for evil, Progressives held that properly enlightened human beings could be entrusted with power and not abuse it.

The Progressive idea of historical progress is tied to the idea of historical contingency, which means that each period of history is guided by different and unique values that change over time. The “self-evident truths” that the Founders upheld in the Declaration of Independence, including natural rights, are no longer applicable. Circumstances, not eternal principles, ultimately dictate justice.

If human nature is improving, and fixed principles do not exist, government must be updated according to the new reality. The Constitution’s arrangement of government, based upon the separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism, only impeded effective government, according to Progressives. The limited government of the Founding is rejected in favor of a “living Constitution.”

Tanks Alot

From The Stuff that Intrerests Me Blog:

A while back I posted a pic of an American Sherman tank that had been upended by an explosion. A point of interest was that the tank was in the service of the Russians and part of the massive lend-lease program where the US and Britain supplied massive quantities of arms and armaments to Soviet Russia. Approximately 2000 M4 Shermans (75 mm gun) were supplied to the Russians. Frankly, that’s a lot of tanks. If memory serves me right an American Armored Division had roughly 200 medium and light tanks. This means, just counting the Shermans alone the US gave the Soviets enough tanks to initially equip the equivalent of ten divisions!

Why so generous you may ask? Why be so generous to Soviet, Communist Russia under Stalin, a man whose crimes were rivalled only by Hitler.

Most folks do not know or remember that Soviet Russia fought a war of aggression against tiny Finland in 1940 and make a pact with Hitler to divide Poland in 1939. Britain and France declared war on Germany for the Polish invasion but not Soviet Russia who invaded that poor country almost at the same time the Germans did.

So, why help Soviet Russia in 1941 when it’s clear that Stalin was as bad as Hitler if not worse, if you can imagine what worse would look like.

On June 22nd the Germans did invade Russian occupied Poland and then Russia itself. It’s possible they simply beat the Russians to the first punch. Soviet Russia had concentrated massive armies in the Ukraine. They had many more men and tanks in that area than they had along the Minsk-Smolensk highway that led to Moscow. You’d think if they were thinking defensively that most of their armies would be along the more direct route to their capital. They were not.

Some historians believe the Soviet Armies were in the Ukraine because they had ambitions on Romania, a German ally, but also a nation that disputed Russia’s claim to Moldova and Bessarabia, areas that contained many ethnic Romanians.

In any event, the Germans struck first and within two months of fighting, much of it along the Minsk-Smolensk highway , the Germans had inflicted millions of casualties on the Russians and destroyed a significant part of the Soviet tank force. By the end of November 1941 the Germans were in sight of Moscow and the Soviet government was near collapse.

The US did not enter the war until December, 1941 but had been giving Great Britain lend-lease aid almost from the beginning of the war in 1939. When Germany invaded Russia in June, 1941 the US also began lend-lease to Russia although still not formally in the war. In another way this was odd. Roosevelt was committed to Britain and it was only a matter of time before the US formally joined the war. The attack on Pearl Harbor just hastened the decision. Therefore, prior to the formal declaration of war the US was in the process of equipping its own divisions. So, when it came to lend-lease the US was sending Russia equipment at the expense of our own forming divisions.

Which brings me back to the initial question. Why help Stalin?

It was a pragmatic decision along the lines of the “enemy of my enemy is my friend.” War produces strange bed fellows that often get along well enough to defeat a common foe even though the reality is they hate their allies almost as much as their enemies.

Having said that there really was a better pragmatic reason to help Soviet Russia. The vast bulk of the German Army was in Russia. Should Russia surrender the bulk of the German Army could be transferred to the West. One American General remarked that if Russia failed it would debatable if the USA and GB could win. He didn’t think we’d lose. He just thought it would be difficult to win in a decisive way should Russia be taken out and the western allies had to face the bulk of the German Army. Fortress Europe just might have proven impossible to breach.

By December, 1941 it did look as if Russia just might collapse. It was around this time that Russia started to receive substantial numbers of American and British tanks.
Pictured left is an American light tank-the M3 Stuart and a medium tank-the M2 Lee in Russian service. The Stuart by all accounts was a great light tank. It was fast and it had a 37mm main gun which was not terrible in those early years of the war. The British loved their Stuarts and used them in North Africa against Rommel where they were called “Honeys.”

The M2 Lee was a different animal. It had the same 37mm gun the Stuart had but it was mounted on top of the turret. The Lee’s main weapon was a 75mm gun mounted in the hull which meant it had a limited traverse. At the time, it was the best the US had to offer since the Sherman had not yet produced in large numbers. The British used the Lee/Grant (M3) in North Africa too (as we did in late 1942 when we invaded N. Africa).

The LeeGrant was not popular and inferior to the German Pz IVf2 and upgraded PZ IIIm’s the Germans fielded in N. Africa. One officer complaining about the Lee’s very high-profile remarked that it looked like a cathedral coming down the road.

The Russians did not think much of them either but they were comparing them to their own excellent T-34. However, in the fall/winter of 1941-42 the Russians were desperate and they gladly received the Lee’s, the Stuarts and the British Matilda’s that were sent to them.

The Russians launched a winter offensive in December 1941 than continued through February, 1942. For much of the time the weather was blizzard or the temperature dropped to below 25 degrees Fahrenheit (or worse). The Germans planned to knock Russia out by the winter and were woefully unprepared for the Russian offensive and the weather and were pushed back a significant distance from Moscow. Stalin got the reprieve he needed to survive.

The lend-lease American and British tanks did not win the war for Soviet Russia but they did contribute in keeping Russia in the war and that’s what lend-lease was ultimately all about.

Battleship Island

Deserted, decaying and crumbling into the sea. Visitors to this abandoned settlement could be forgiven for thinking they had entered a long-forgotten war zone.

However, this is Gunkanjima – Japan’s rotting metropolis. And it has been described as the most desolate place on Earth.

Gunkanjima is a deserted island of concrete that is slowly crumbling away on Japan’s west coast.

Meaning ‘Battleship Island’ in English, Gunkanjima’s real name is Hashima and it is one of 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture (territory), about 15 kilometers (9.5 miles) from Nagasaki itself. It earned its nickname due to its resemblance to the military warship.

Despite being off-limits to travellers, the island has become an irresistible magnet for urban explorers who go to extraordinary lengths to investigate and photograph the island’s abandoned buildings.

Gunkanjima was once just a small reef but, following the discovery of coal in 1810, was turned into mining facility during the industrialisation of Japan. It gave rise to its own population of workers and inhabitants who were all densely-packed into a self-contained metropolis.

The 15-acre island was populated between 1887 and 1974, reaching its peak in 1959 with 5,259 inhabitants. However, as petroleum replaced coal during the 1960s, Japan’s mines were hit by closures which eventually reached Gunkanjima.

Within a matter of days of the mines closing in 1974, the workers and their families deserted the island, leaving their possessions, which still lay where they were left.

After 35 years of closure, the landing ban was lifted on Gunkanjima in 2009, meaning it was no longer illegal for boats to dock at the island. However, it still remains illegal to venture inside the city’s walls, meaning urban explorers must go to great lengths to covertly trespass the island.

Attribution: Japan Guide, Daily Mail

History Repeats?

This article is from a while ago but is still applicable.

Something of historic proportions is happening. I can sense it because I know how it feels, smells, what it looks like, and how people react to it. Yes, a perfect storm may be brewing, but there is something happening within our country that has been evolving for decades. The pace has dramatically quickened in the past two (now three).

We demand and then codify into law the requirement that our banks make massive loans to people we know can never pay back? Why?

We learn that the Federal Reserve, which has little or no real oversight by anyone, has “loaned” trillions of dollars over the past few years, but will not tell us to whom or why or disclose the terms. That is our money. Who has this money? Why do they have it? Why are the terms unavailable to us? Who asked for it? Who authorized it? I thought this was a government of “we the people” who loaned our powers to elected leaders who took an oath to uphold the Constitution.

We have spent two or more decades intentionally de-industrializing our economy. We have intentionally dumbed-down our schools, ignored our history, no longer teach our founding documents, why we are exceptional, and why our nation is worth preserving. Students by and large cannot write, think critically, read, or articulate what they believe without excessive use of the word “like.” Parents are not revolting, teachers are not picketing, and school Boards continue to back mediocrity.

We have now established the precedent of protesting every close election (violently in California over a proposition that is so controversial that it simply wants marriage to remain defined as between one man and one woman. Did you ever think such a thing possible just a decade ago?) We have corrupted our sacred political process by allowing unelected judges to write laws that radically change our way of life, and then mainstream Marxist groups like ACORN and others to turn our voting system into a banana republic.

The mortgage industry has collapsed, housing prices are in free fall, major industries are failing, our banking system is on the verge of collapse, Social Security is nearly bankrupt, as is Medicare and our entire government. Our education system is worse than a joke — the list is staggering in its length, breadth, and depth. It is potentially 1929 x ten.

We are at war with an enemy we cannot name for fear of offending people of the same religion, who, in turn, cannot wait to slit the throats of your children if they have the opportunity to do so.

And finally, we have elected a man of who we know very little, the media won’t investigate, and who has not run so much as a Dairy Queen, let alone a town as big as Wasilla, Alaska. His associations and alliances are with real radicals and everything we are learning about him — drip by unsettling drip — is disturbing if not downright scary.

I have never been so afraid for my country and for my children as I am now.

This man campaigned on bringing people together, something he has never done in his professional life. In my assessment, Obama will divide us along philosophical lines, push us apart, and then try to realign the pieces into a new and different power structure. Change is indeed coming. And when it comes, you will never see the same nation again.

And that is only the beginning.

As a serious student of history, I thought I would never come to experience what the ordinary, moral German must have felt in the mid-1930s. In those times, the “savior” was a former smooth-talking rabble-rouser from the streets, about whom the average German knew next to nothing. What they should

Look ma, No Teleprompter

have known was that he was associated with groups that shouted, shoved, and pushed around people with whom they disagreed. He edged his way onto the political stage

 through great oratory.

And there were the promises. Economic times were tough, people were losing jobs, and he was a great speaker. And he smiled and frowned and waved a lot. And people, even newspapers, were afraid to speak out for fear that his “brown shirts” would bully and beat them into submission. Which they did — regularly. And then, he was duly elected to office, while a full-throttled economic crisis bloomed at hand — the Depression. Slowly, but surely he seized the controls of government power, person by person, department by department, bureaucracy by bureaucracy. The children of German citizens were at first, encouraged to join a Youth Movement in his name where they were taught exactly what to think. Later, they were required to do so. No Jews of course.

How did he get people on his side? He did it by promising jobs to the jobless, money to the money-less, and rewards for the military-industrial complex. He did it by indoctrinating the children, advocating gun control, health care for all, better wages, better jobs, and promising to re-instill pride once again in the country, across Europe, and across the world. He did it with a compliant media — did you know that? And he did this all in the name of justice and change. And the people surely got what they voted for.

Many people of conscience, objected in 1933 and were shouted down, called names, laughed at, and ridiculed. When Winston Churchill pointed out the obvious in the late 1930s while seated in the House of Lords in England (he was not yet Prime Minister), he was booed into his seat and called a crazy troublemaker. He was right, though. And the world came to regret that he was not listened to.

Do not forget that Germany was one of the most educated and cultured countries in Europe. It was full of music, art, museums, hospitals, laboratories, and universities. And yet, in less than six years (a shorter time span than just two terms of the U. S. presidency) it was rounding up its own citizens, killing others, abrogating its laws, turning children against parents, and neighbors against neighbors.

As a practical thinker, one not overly prone to emotional decisions, I have a choice: I can believe what the objective pieces of evidence tell me (even if they make me cringe with disgust) or I can believe what history is shouting to me from across the chasm of seven decades. Of course, I can hope I am wrong by closing my eyes, having another latte, and ignoring what is transpiring around me.

I choose to believe the evidence. No doubt some people will scoff and others laugh or think I am foolish, naive, or both. To some degree, perhaps I am. But I have never been afraid to look people in the eye and tell them exactly what I believe and why I believe it.

I pray I am wrong. I do not think I am. Perhaps the only hope is our vote in the next election.

Attribution: anonymous

Constitution 101 (8)

Lesson 8: “Abraham Lincoln and the Constitution”

Study Guide

Overview:

Abraham Lincoln’s fidelity to the Declaration of Independence is equally a fidelity to the Constitution. The Constitution takes its moral life from the principles of liberty and equality, and was created to serve those principles. We are divided as a nation today, as in Lincoln’s time, because we have severed the connection between these two documents.

Lincoln’s “Fragment on the Constitution and the Union” contains the central theme of Lincoln’s life and work. Drawing upon biblical language, Lincoln describes the Declaration of Independence as an “apple of gold,” and the Constitution as the “frame of silver” around it. We cannot consider the Constitution independently of the purpose which it was designed to serve.

The Constitution acts to guard the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. As the embodiment of the Declaration’s principles, the Constitution created a frame of government with a clear objective. The Constitution is not a collection of compromises, or an empty vessel whose meaning can be redefined to meet the needs of the time; it is the embodiment of an eternal, immutable truth.

Abraham Lincoln defended the Union and sought to defeat the Confederate insurrection because he held that the principles of the Declaration and Constitution were inviolable. In his speeches and in his statecraft, Lincoln wished to demonstrate that self-government is not doomed to either be so strong that it overwhelms the rights of the people or so weak that it is incapable of surviving.

By the Way…The Civil War Started Today

A few moments in history from American Minute:

Less than two months after Lincoln was inaugurated President, the Civil War began APRIL 12, 1861, with Confederate troops in Charleston, South Carolina, firing upon Fort Sumter.

The Confederate Army was unstoppable, twice winning battles at Bull Run, Virginia, just twenty miles from Washington, D.C., forcing the Union troops to retreat to the fortifications of the Capitol.

It was not until the Battle of Gettysburg, over two years into the war, that the tide began to turn. President Lincoln confided to Noah Brooks:

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”

In his General Order, November 15, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln wrote:

“The President, Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, desires and enjoins the orderly observance of the Sabbath by the officers and men in the military and naval service.

The importance for man and beast of the prescribed weekly rest, the sacred rights of Christian soldiers and sailors, a becoming deference to the best sentiment of a Christian people, and a due regard for the Divine Will demand that Sunday labor in the Army and Navy be reduced to the measure of strict necessity.”

I guess Abe wasn’t aware of the ‘Separation of Church & State”.

Promises, Promises

From Joe ‘Pags’ Pagliarulo & The Blaze:

Most of us outside of Illinois became aware of Barack Obama in 2004.  He was a candidate for senator and asked to give a speech at the Democratic convention that year in Boston.  He was interesting.  A fresh face — in stark contrast to old Washington embodied by the Democrat nominee Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.  He had a certain confidence, youth and ability to grab your attention with how he delivered the speech.  It would be a few years before we really started understanding who this man was politically.

In 2007 — when some of the candidates running for the 2008 nominations on both sides of the aisle became apparent — I was brought into New York to do a show for CNN.  On the show were: Roland Martin (liberal currently with CNN), Rachel Maddow (liberal currently with MSNBC), and one other man — another liberal whose name escapes me, and me – the lone conservative on the panel.  It was assumed I’d be pulling for Rudy Giuliani the former mayor of New York, I guess, because we were both white and Italian.  It was odd that the assumption was made.  I made it clear, however, that I was not a Giuliani guy because of his stance on abortion.  I mentioned I was looking into McCain but was also looking into Obama.  Why?  Because he was young, energetic and gave one heck off a speech.  I still didn’t know much about him other than what I saw and heard — like most Americans.

  The examination didn’t take long before I found out he was the most vehement supporter of abortion I’d ever heard speak and he was, at his very core, a socialist.  He was and is a guy that believes the ruling class gets all the spoils and the rest of us idiots get what the bloated government decides we should get and we should thank said government for the table scraps.

Obama ran on feel good messages like, “Yes We Can!” and “Change You Can Believe In.” He was going to cut the deficit and fix everything George W. Bush did wrong. As soon as he got into office, of course, he raised taxes on regular Americans ($.62 per pack on cigarettes) and pushed through the stimulus package which cost the American taxpayers nearly a trillion dollars after which we saw the economy get exponentially worse, not better as promised.  How did he get these things done?  There is a formula.  Say whatever it takes to get a law passed, smile a lot and do whatever you want in the end.  Remember how he would never raise any tax of any kind for individuals making less than $200k per year or families making less than  $250k?

 ”I can make a firm pledge under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”  Barack Obama – September 12, 2008.

He clearly didn’t mean it, but it was a talking point he repeated knowing full-well it would resonate with voters.  He pledged over and over again to put every bill online for us to see for five days before they were brought to a vote.  He would stop “corporate welfare.”  He promised transparency, and more.  Matter of fact, he listed seven things he’d stop or change:  

1. Make Government Open and Transparent
2. Make it “Impossible” for Congressmen to slip in Pork Barrel Projects
3. Meetings where laws are written will be more open to the public (republicans shut out)
4. No more secrecy
5. Public will have 5 days to look at a Bill
6. You’ll know what’s in it (Republican Senators didn’t know)
7. We will put every pork barrel project online 

This has become a predictable pattern for this president.  He’ll say anything and whether he plans to follow through has never mattered. He’ll say anything no matter its validity, and not think twice about it. He’ll repeat it until the words saturate the American psyche and many blind followers will fall in line and continue the repetition for him. He must have gotten bored of the same ol’ same ol’ because now he’s added the non sequitur to his repertoire and he’s brought back a favorite from the middle of last year. It’s really a variation on a theme: The rich have what they have and that’s not fair. The regular/average American deserves it all too and we can get it for them by taking it from those evil rich people and corporations. 

Last June, the president put his new-found fondness for things that just don’t have anything to do with one another to good use. He started saying things like:

“If we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, corporate jet owners, hedge fund managers, oil & gas companies that are making 100′s of Billions of dollars, then that means we have to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship. That means we have to stop funding certain grants for medical research. That means that food safety may be compromised. That means that Medicare has to bear a greater part of the burden. Those are the choices we have to make.

Before we ask our seniors to pay for more healthcare, before we cut our children’s education, before we sacrifice our commitment to the research and innovation that will help create more jobs in the economy, I think it’s only fair to ask an oil company or corporate jet owner that has done so well, to give up that tax break that no other business enjoys. I don’t think that’s real radical. I think the majority of Americans agree with that.” – President Barack Obama News Conference 06/29/11

It, on its face, was ridiculous. Do you really think that because rich people have earned a lot of money through hard work or entrepreneurial spirit or invention and have been able to buy nice things that people can’t go to college? Or that the elderly can’t get care? Or that food won’t be safe? Really? It was crazy and without merit but, he must have liked how it sounded because repeated it whenever he saw a camera or a microphone or newspaper writer. The message didn’t work, and taxes weren’t raised on the “evil rich,” but, he must have felt the strategy still had legs because it’s back.

The latest incarnation of the Obama non sequitur reared it’s ugly head on March 29th. This time, the president once again, went after big oil. Much like he did last year, the president said, “Today, members of Congress have a simple choice to make. They can stand with big oil companies, or they can stand with the American people.” Huh? Are oil companies somehow not American? The reason for the Rose Garden speech was to pit big oil against the American people and playing the two sides against the middle — that middle being Congress. The only problem: there is no back and forth between the American people and the oil companies. The American people lay the blame for the highest gas prices we’ve ever seen this time of the year squarely on the shoulders of the Obama administration.

The suggestion through the rhetoric was that if Congress stopped the tax deductions for the big oil companies, the burden on taxpayers (and gasoline users) would be lessened. He wants us to believe that he’ll either send the money to us (yeah right) or the price at the pump will go down if the deductions were ended. Think about it. Do you really think the price per gallon will go down should Congress decide to increase the tax burden on these companies? The plan, of course, is to divert attention from him and his administration to Congress to cast the blame there. He knows going in that Congress will not stop the tax deductions — but that’s not the real goal. He cannot run on his record. He cannot point to how he’s held to his campaign promises, or fixed the economy, or not raised taxes on regular folks, or held unemployment to under 8 percent. So, the only real campaign plan is to find a boogie-man (or men and women).

If the gasoline prices happen to fall between now and the election, you won’t hear anything else about it. If they stay high or go higher, the president will remind us all how he tried to get Congress to go after the oil companies and how the REPUBLICANS refused. Smart. Underhanded. Disingenuous. Politics.

Afghanistan; What’s the Point?

By: The Common Constitutionalist

The attack on Afghanistan began Oct. 7, 2001 dubbed operation ‘Enduring Freedom’. It was in response to the 9/11 attacks. The stated goal was the dismantling of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization and ending its use of Afghanistan as a base.

The United States also said that it would remove the Taliban regime from power and attempt to create a viable democratic state.

The George W. Bush administration stated that, as policy, it would not distinguish between terrorist organizations and nations or governments that harbored them. Of course, it did, Saudi Arabia being a prime example.

On June 22, 2011, President Obama announced that the end of 2011 would withdraw 10,000 U.S. troops. An additional 23,000 troops will leave the country by the summer of 2012. After the withdrawal of 10,000 U.S. troops, 80,000 are left participating in the war. The War in Afghanistan is the United States’ second longest running military conflict, only the Vietnam War lasted longer.

 Almost 2,000 deaths, over 15,000 wounded. For what? What is our vital interest? I have been searching for days to find what our mission actually is over there. I cannot.

What a monumental waste of manpower, money and time. Our brave forces volunteer for military service, only to be sent over to that hellhole to be shot at & blown up & for what? They don’t know what the mission is. They don’t know what they’re fighting for. They are just told to clear those buildings, clear that road, etc. That’s not a mission. That’s a task and a very dangerous one at that. Especially when more often than not they can’t even shoot back without special permission. The enemy can shoot at us, exhaust his supply of ammunition, put the weapon & simply walk away. We are not allowed to fire on him as he calmly strolls away.

Just imagine if General Patton were told the enemy were hold up in a Mosque. There would be no more Mosque. But not in today’s enlightened military.

We, in this country cannot fight a war to win any longer. We don’t have the stomach for it. We’re too civilized, I guess.

Bring the troops home now; every last one of them, and never go to war again until such time as we can develop the courage & determination to actually win.

What the heck happened to us? Everyone knows the old saying “War is Hell”. I agree. War is hell and no one hates war more than the military. But it is also sometimes necessary. It should however be quite uncommon. We shouldn’t be inserting ourselves into every conflict around the globe.

Our leaders have somehow morphed vital or national interests into Meals on Wheels, saving the whole world, or democracy building.

Any reasonable person would understand that we can’t save the whole world and democracy building is a fool’s errand in most countries.

The United States is a good, just and very charitable country. I understand the want of many to right the wrongs in the world. I certainly don’t have a quarrel with our military acting as first responders after a natural disaster somewhere on this planet, but beyond that we must first consider our own interests.

Is the war in Afghanistan being fought for our interests or the interests of others?

Consider the wars past that America has become involved. The ones we have won and those we’ve lost.

World War II was the last real war that America has won, the Cold War notwithstanding. Of course, Vietnam was the last that we lost.

In World War II we lost many battles but yet won the war. We won the war due to overwhelming force and an understanding of what had to be done regardless of the cost. We bombed cities such as Berlin inflicting horrible civilian casualties. Something we would never consider today. These attacks were not by accident. These were purposeful. They were designed to bring the enemy to their knees. The same was proven of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. All these horrific attacks were designed to bring the war to a swifter end and of course they did.

World War II was primarily controlled by the military and less by politicians. Vietnam was fought more by politicians than the military. Unlike World War II, in Vietnam, America won every battle yet still lost the war. Every time our military got close to actually winning the politicians would inject themselves into the situation and order the military to back off and cease hostilities. We could have and would have won the Vietnam War, yet we lost. How is this possible? Easy. One cannot fight a war from Washington DC. As in domestic politics the further one is removed from the front lines the more screwed up things get, which brings us right back to Afghanistan.

So I ask again, what is our mission over there? When, if ever, can we declare victory? What would victory even look like? No one can tell me these answers because there are no answers. This is not a war. It’s a never-ending conflict that can only end with us running away with our tails between our legs again.

If it were up to me, I would scorch the poppy fields, spray chemicals on the fields so that they could not be used again and leave. I would then cut all ties and end all financial assistance to any country on the terror watchlist or those with a despotic leader. Finally I would issue a proclamation, worldwide, stating that if attacked, we will find the country that harbored the attackers and bomb said country into oblivion and then leave.  No rebuilding, no assistance, no nothing. If a country chooses to harbor terrorists, they will know ahead of time the price they will pay for that choice.

Black Gold

A California family claims it is owed a $130 million stake in Coca-Cola Co after their father bought an antique stock certificate in 2008 for a mere $5.

Tony Marohn spent the final year of his life battling the beverage company after tracing the Palmer Union Oil Co certificate to Coca-Cola.

Marohn died in 2010, but his family has taken on the legal battle, saying it is entitled to about 1.8million shares of the soft-drink maker.

Marohn had traced the certificate by way of long-forgotten companies such as Petrocarbon Chemicals Inc and Taylor Wine Co, according to court documents.

But before the family buys that vacation home in Aspen, they’ll have to convince a skeptical Delaware Chancery Court judge that the law is on their side.

‘This is a new version of the Beverly Hillbillies,’ Judge Leo Strine said at a hearing on January 31, according to a court transcript. He was referring to a 1960s television comedy about a backwoods family that becomes rich by finding oil on their property.

If upheld, Marohn’s estate would become among the largest non-institutional investors in Coca-Cola, according to Reuters data.

‘The claim of Mr Marohn’s estate that it is entitled to millions of dollars in Coca-Cola stock – based on a canceled stock certificate for a long-defunct oil company purchased at an estate sale – is meritless and unfair to the Company’s millions of legitimate shareholders,’ said a Thursday statement from Coca-Cola.

Bob Kerstein, who runs the scripophily.com website, which researches and sells antique stock certificates, said he gets lots of inquiries from people who want to redeem old certificates.

‘We get people who have blank stock certificates and they think they have hit the lotto,’ said Kerstein. He said he has to break the news to them they need to be on record with the company as well.

Margules, the Wilmington, Delaware attorney for Marohn’s estate, said he thinks he can persuade Strine that the law favors his client. Marohn’s certificate was endorsed and assigned, but the transferee was left blank.

Marohn filled in his name and began digging through corporate records. He eventually wrote to Coca-Cola to demand 1.8million shares of common stock for his 1,625 Palmer Union Oil shares.

The company refused, and sued Marohn in Delaware’s Chancery Court in 2009 seeking a declaration he was not entitled to the company’s stock.

Marohn’s estate filed papers last week showing courts have upheld that a person who was issued a stock certificate and then endorsed and assigned it – but left blank the name of the transferee — essentially transformed the certificate into a bearer stock. By writing his name on the stock, Marohn became the legal owner, his estate argued.

Strine said in January he would soon decide how to proceed. He also warned the Marohn estate against pursuing ‘a drive by of a public company’ to extract money to drop the case.

‘It’s just not a sport,’ Strine said.

 
 Attribution: Mail Online