The Great Green Waste of Taxpayer Dollars

by: the Common Constitutionalist

 

What will we tell our children and grandchildren? When they look us in the eye and ask how we could’ve let it get this bad and what we did to help prevent it?

Did we just stand by and watch as our governments, local, state and federal frittered away trillions of dollars on giveaways and boondoggle projects?

One such boondoggle project that comes to mind is that of the U.S. Navy’s “Great Green Fleet”.

Having been in the Navy and spent some time aboard a carrier, this is particularly disturbing to me.

Defending the nation is one of a very few things our government is actually constitutionally charged with. So it’s more than just upsetting when in February it was announced that the aircraft carrier Lincoln (CVN 72) would have to indefinitely postpone it’s refueling and overhaul due to budgetary constraints.

Great news! A carrier that is undeployable. Oh wait… make that two. The deployment of the carrier Harry S Truman (CVN 75) will also be delayed for the same reason.

Yet the Marine Corps can spend $350 million on solar panel field communications equipment. As with all dimwitted government programs, they have charming acronyms. The programs are called “GREENS”, Ground Renewable Expeditionary Energy Network System and “SPACES”, Solar Portable Alternative Communication Energy System.

As an aside, you know darn well that some bureaucrat thought up the acronym GREENS first, then just assigned words to each letter.

Col. Bob Charette said: “Solar is the best technology for us.” He explained that the Marines could lay the array on the ground to achieve a low profile.

Well, that all sounds great until the soldiers realize it can take up to 12 hours to recharge their equipment. “Wait, Mr. Insurgent, we are not finished recharging!”

Not to be one-upped, the Navy, or should I say the hacks in the White House that command the military, have been purchasing biofuel to power the “Great Green Fleet”. My goodness, how the Chinese and Russians must be laughing about this one.

In 2009 the Pentagon bought 20,000 gallons of algae oil. It was a bargain at $424 a gallon. They paid a mere $27 a gallon for 450,000 gallons of biofuel. Why pay $3.60 a gallon for diesel? Genius!

The grand theory of the brainiacs in Washington is these purchases will create demand, which will drive the price down to be competitive with petroleum products. But as long as the dolts in Washington are happy to pay 20 some bucks a gallon, the suppliers will happily oblige.

To make things worse, the Navy, Agriculture and Energy departments will “invest” $170 million each in bio refineries. That’s $510 million! Why? Because the private sector knows it’s a waste of time and money.

So when your children ask how this could’ve happened, you can assure them that it wasn’t due to projects like the “Great Green Fleet”. You can tell them, with a straight face, that it was a smashing success, a wise “investment” and we helped save the planet for you, little Johnny.

The Death of Stonewall Jackson

Astronomers have cleared up the mystery of  how Confederate general Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson was accidentally shot and  killed by his own soldiers.

General Jackson was a major figure in the  American Civil War, a genius general and second in command to Confederate  general Robert E. Lee.

He was shot by his own troops during the  Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863, and died soon after, an incident  widely regarded as a turning point in the fight between North and  South.

Now a reconstruction of the Moon’s cycle at  the time of the friendly fire incident has explained how General Jackson’s own  troops could have mistaken him for the enemy.

That fateful night, General Jackson kept his  troops, who were fresh from a major victory against the Union’s Twelfth Corps,  fighting even as the Sun set – a rare move in that time.

But as the South’s soldiers fought on under  the moonlight, a Confederate officer on the left flank of the 18th North  Carolina regiment spotted a group of riders headed towards his  position.

It was General Jackson and his command unit.  But fearing the enemy was upon them, Major John Barry ordered his soldiers to  fire on the riders, riddling the group with bullets.

General Jackson was hit in his right wrist  and left arm, which had to be amputated, and died eight days later after  catching pneumonia.

Now astronomers say they have worked out why  Major Barry and his soldiers didn’t recognize their commanders, and it’s because  the position of the Moon meant they appeared only as silhouettes to the men in  their own lines.

Astronomer Don Olson of Texas State  University and Laurie Jasinski, a researcher and editor at the Texas State  Historical Association, used astronomical software to calculate the Moon’s  position on the night of the battle.

 
This map shows the positions of the Confederate (black) and Union (blue) lines during the Battle of Chancellorsville, as well as the relative position of the moon which meant the South's soldiers didn't recognise their commander 
The positions of the Confederate  (black)  and Union (blue) lines at Chancellorsville, as well as the relative position of  the moon, which meant the South’s  soldiers didn’t recognize their  commander

They also scoured historical accounts and  battle maps to work out exactly where the 18th North Carolina  regiment and  General Jackson’s party were placed at the time of the  shooting – about  9pm.

Professor Olson told SPACE.com: ‘Once we calculated the compass direction of the moon and compared that to the  detailed battle maps published by Robert Krick, it quickly  became obvious how  Stonewall Jackson would have been seen as a dark  silhouette, from the point of  view of the 18th North Carolina regiment.’

General Jackson’s death was seen as a major  blow for  the Confederacy, affecting not  only its military prospects, but also the morale of its army and of the general  public. Jackson in death became  an icon of Southern heroism and commitment,  joining Lee in the pantheon  of the ‘Lost Cause’.

Still regarded as one of U.S. history’s  greatest tacticians, historians still debate whether the outcome of the whole  Civil War might have been  altered if he had survived.

 
Illustration showing Stonewall Jackson with his troops at Bull Run, July 21, 1861
Illustration showing Stonewall Jackson with his troops  at Bull Run, July 21, 1861

His Valley Campaign and his  envelopment of  the Union Army right wing at Chancellorsville are studied worldwide even today  as examples of innovative and bold leadership.

He excelled as well in other battles; the  First Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas) where he received his  famous nickname  ‘Stonewall’, Second Bull Run (Second Manassas),  Antietam, and Fredericksburg.

Jackson was not universally successful as a  commander, however, as displayed by his weak and confused efforts  during the  Seven Days Battles around Richmond in 1862.

He was greatly admired and respected  throughout the South, and his death had a profound effect there on civilians and  soldiers alike.

A poem penned by one of his soldiers soon  became a very popular song, ‘Stonewall Jackson’s Way’.

 
A stone marks the spot where Stonewall Jackson was shot Guinea, Virginia
A stone marks the spot where Stonewall Jackson was shot  Guinea, Virginia

‘We are always interested in any historical event that happened at night — very often, the moon plays an important role’, Professor Don Olson, Texas State  University

On learning of his injuries, General Lee wrote to Jackson stating:  ‘Could I have directed events, I would have chosen for the good of the country  to be disabled in your stead.’

This isn’t the first time that Professor  Olson has used astronomy to clear up other historical mysteries.

He has previously calculated the direction of  moonlight on the night of  Paul Revere’s ride to warn Colonial militia of the  advance of British  forces to explain why he wasn’t spotted by sentries on a  Royal Navy  warship.

And he did the same to explain how sailors on  Japan’s I-58 submarine were able to spot and sink the USS Indianapolis in  1945.

‘We are always interested in any historical  event that happened at night – very often, the moon plays an important role, as  happened here,’ he added.

Professor Olson and Mr Jasinski reported  their findings in the May 2013 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine.

 
A painting commemorating the last meeting between General Robert Lee and Stonewall Jackson, the two confederate leaders of the U.S. Civil War
A painting commemorating the last meeting between  General Robert Lee and Stonewall Jackson, the two confederate leaders of the  U.S. Civil War

 

Benghazi Smear

Benghazi Whistleblowers

 

It’s on. As the White House grapples with a growing backlash over its Libya lies and lapses, President Obama’s apologists are gearing up for battle. Put on your hip-waders. Grab those tar buckets. Get ready for Operation Smear Benghazi Whistleblowers.

Capitol Hill hearings this Wednesday on the deadly 9/11 consulate attack by jihadists will feature three compelling witnesses, all State Department veterans: Gregory N. Hicks, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya and highest-ranking U.S. diplomat in the country at the time of the Benghazi jihad attacks; Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine who now serves as deputy coordinator for operations in the agency’s Counterterrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the top security officer in Libya.

Nordstrom first testified last fall about how State Department brass spurned his requests for increased security at the compound. Hicks and Thompson are coming forward publicly for the first time this week with more damning evidence contradicting Team Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s claims about the administration’s response the night of the attack and in the ensuing months of cover-ups.

According to the House Oversight Committee, Hicks reportedly will refute Team Obama’s claims that nobody was told to stand down and that all military resources available were used in the rescue efforts. As Special Forces prepared to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi to save lives during the attacks, Hicks says the team received a phone call from the U.S. Special Operations Command Africa telling them “you can’t go” and that the decision was “purely political.”

The State Department press office already has accused Victoria Toensing, attorney for one of the Benghazi whistleblowers, of “lying” about administration pressure on her clients. Left-wing operatives funded by billionaire George Soros have taken to Twitter to mock reports of fear and intimidation among the new witnesses. White House press secretary Jay Carney continues to sing “Long, Long Ago” and deny all wrongdoing.

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No Warning From Israel

As you read this article, knowing what you know, would you warn this administration ahead of time? Heck no! Why? Because you would, as would I, be afraid this administration might very well warn Israel’s enemies.

And why is old Johnny McCain so hot to attack Syria?

(Reuters) – The United States was not given any warning before air strikes in Syria against what Western and Israeli officials say were weapons headed for Hezbollah militants, a U.S. intelligence official said on Sunday.

Without confirming that Israel was behind the attacks, the intelligence official said that the United States was essentially told of the air raids “after the fact” and was notified as the bombs went off.

Israeli jets bombed Syria on Sunday for the second time in 48 hours. Israel does not confirm such missions explicitly – a policy it says is intended to avoid provoking reprisals. But an Israeli official acknowledged that the strikes were carried out by its forces.

“It would not be unusual for them to take aggressive steps when there was some chance that some sophisticated weapons system would fall into the hands of people like Hezbollah,” the U.S. intelligence official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

While the air raids raised fears that America’s main ally in the Middle East could be sucked into the Syrian conflict, Israel typically does not feel it has to ask for a green light from Washington for such attacks.

Officials have indicated in the past that Israel sees a need only to inform the United States once such a mission is under way.

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday that Israel has the right to guard against the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah, an ally of both Syria and Iran.

Rather than an attempt to tip the scales against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Israel’s action is seen more as part of its own conflict with Iran, which it fears is sending missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon through Syria. Those missiles might hit Tel Aviv if Israel makes good on threats to attack Tehran’s nuclear program.

Another Western intelligence source told Reuters the latest attack, like the previous one, was directed against stores of Fateh-110 missiles in transit from Iran to Hezbollah.

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Al Qaeda Involved in Benghazi Attack

For a story that the White House (“happened a long time ago“) and our last two Secretaries of State (“what difference does it make?” / “more important things to worry about“) insist is basically over, the Benghazi attack continues to make headlines.  CNN is reporting that at least three Al Qaeda operatives took part in the 9/11 raid.  The administration knew within the first few hours of the assault that it was the work of radical Islamist terrorism.  How long have they known that the specific organization that attacked America in 2001 was directly involved?

Several Yemeni men belonging to al Qaeda took part in the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi last September, according to several sources who have spoken with CNN. One senior U.S. law enforcement official told CNN that “three or four members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” or AQAP, took part in the attack. Another source briefed on the Benghazi investigation said Western intelligence services suspect the men may have been sent by the group specifically to carry out the attack. But it’s not been ruled out that they were already in the city and participated as the opportunity arose. If the AQAP members were dispatched to Benghazi, it would be further evidence of a new level of co-operation among jihadist groups throughout the Middle East and North Africa, counterterrorism analysts say.  According to one source, counterterrorism officials learned the identity of the men and established they had spent two nights in Benghazi after the attack. Western intelligence agencies began trying to track the men in the aftermath of the terrorist attack, but were always behind in their manhunt.

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