We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Having worked in the DC defense contractor market for several years, I agree w/ Carafano's assessment.
I have not read the "Base Force" document, so I don't know what that proposed. But I believe the following isn't fully appreciated. The reaction to 9/11, primarily the technologies being developed and utlized, poise a grave risk on liberty in the US. The approaches to dealing w/ domestic terrorists involve tools and techniques that can be(and frankly have been) used to violate the rights and liberties of US citizens, including 1st and 4th Amendment rights.
Would this be different if we hadn't done so much cutting in the 1990s? I don't know. But I fear the cure is worse than the disease.
Burleigh upholds the decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, asserting that the alternative was the continuation of conventional bombing or the use of a naval blockade to starve Japan.
This is an important point that I hope the author expands upon. The atomic bombings have to be understood within the context of the fire bomb attacks that had already burnt out some 60 cities. The nukes used against Japan were roughly the equivalent of a raid by 200 B-29s dropping a mix of high explosive and incendiary bombs. However, they were different in kind, enough to make the imperial government capitulate. The post war United States Strategic Bombing Survey study on the Pacific War, based on Japanese documents and interviews with government, military and industrial leaders, concluded, without the atomic bombs, that Japan would have surrendered by November, '45. Had the bombs not been dropped, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki been firebombed, the war would have dragged on another 10 - 12 weeks, with more cities subjected to air attacks, more servicemen killed, more POWs murdered. An important point: China's death toll averaged some 200,000 a month since the Sino-Japnese phase of WW2 began.
How moral was WWII? I did not have to face the question directly because I wasn't alive when the hostilities began, but I believe that if my enemies bring a samurai sword to a fight that they start, I can bring an atomic bomb. Growing up, I wasn't the biggest, toughest kid on the block, but I learned never to let the other guy get the idea that he could pick on me a second time. The first time they tried, I made them pay a heavy price. In a word, any victims of an unprovoked attack or war should have no qualms about defending themselves.
My crystal ball says we will follow the UK's plan for gutting the armed forces. I don't think it will matter which party is in power. There will be so much pressure to fund senior citizen entitlements that I fear our armed forces will be whittled down to nothing over the next 20 years.
Food trucks for those who like to travel: On Saturday night in Pape'ete, Tahiti, the food wagons (the roulottes) gather in the Place Vaiete on the waterfront, near where the outer island ferries dock, and the local crowds gather for the cheap eats. A number of the wagons are run by Asians--among them Vietnamese and Cambodians---which makes it possible to try out a variety of alternatives to the more expensive French restaurants in that part of town. Been there, done that, a few times over the past decade; haven't died or gotten sick yet.