Don’ t Upset The Barista

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Interesting sticker on this guy’s smartphone this morning:

“Guns and Coffee”


And the Starbucks mermaid in the center is packing two pistols in her hands, instead of the usual fishy fins. 


Now the good thing about this particular guy was that he was also wearing a lapel pin from a prominent law enforcement agency here in Washington, D.C., so that was comforting. 


I’ve heard about the economic trade-off (“opportunity costs”) between “Guns and Butter,” meaning how much we choose to budget for defense vs. civilian goods/social entitlements.


But this is novel–“Guns and Coffee”–I guess you can have your coffee and your 2nd Amendment rights as well. 


What happens if you haven’t had your coffee yet, does the little mermaid shoot first and ask questions later? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Paper Navy Tiger

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We spend $600 billion on defense and this is what we get?


In the middle of the night our U.S. Navy DESTROYER crashes with a ginormous container ship.


The commercial vessel (yes it’s bigger, but it’s a civilian ship) is lightly damaged, but the U.S. Navy BATTLESHIP (after having undergone a recent $21 million upgrade) has 7 dead, the captain injured, and it can barely make it back to its port except with tugboats for extensive repairs. 


WTF!


How does an battleship with the latest sensors and technology collide with a civilian ship–how did such a foreign vessel even get close to our navy ship let alone collide with it–was someone completely “asleep at the wheel?”


This is no joke!–this is our first line of defense in our ability to project force globally. 


What if this had been a terrorist ship laden to the hilt with high explosives or an Axis of Evil Iranian or North Korean fast attack craft or even a Russian or Chinese attack submarine–surprise!


Doesn’t a battleship need to be ever-vigilant and -ready for battle? 


How can we fight sophisticated 21st century militaries with advanced ship-killer cruise missiles, torpedos, and mines, if we can’t even avoid the essential sinking of one our own fighting ships in peacetime. 


Our brave men and women who take up the uniform to serve this great nation–and this country–DESERVE BETTER!


Does this paper navy ship with a punched hole in it represent a larger forgotten or war-weary military in dire need of modernization and genuine readiness to defend the beautiful and free America? 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal via The Guardian)

Drones Vs. Man

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I took this photo of this man and drone in Florida. 


Look how close this machine is flying to his head!


Aside from the surveillance capabilities and offsetting privacy issues, these are bringing some dangerous fighting capabilities anywhere and everywhere.


Just today, I read about how the U.S. shot down an armed Syrian drone–presumably made and deployed by Iran!


I guess it’s not proprietary technology anymore!


As drones and robots become better, faster, and cheaper and ubiquitous on the battlefield and on main street, who will be (relatively) safe anymore? 


Unless of course, my drones are stronger than your drones!


It’s going to be a war of technology and machines more than ever before. 


Small ones like insects, swarms of them like engulfing locust, and large ones like Godzilla. 


What was once human flesh against a steel blade, arrow, and then bullet is now going to be an superfast artificially intelligent, armed to the hilt “man of steel” (and they don’t miss) against just regular everyday people.


Don’t hurt your hand punching that Robot in the face. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

G-d Bless Nikki Haley

What a gem this Nikki Haley is. 


One nation, the United States, speaking truth about the bias and hate of the UNJust, United Nations against the lone democracy in the Middle East, Israel. 


How refreshing to have clarity of foreign policy after 8 years of 


– Disastrous and secretive Iranian deals


– Bending over backwards for Radical Islamist terrorism


– Tension and military escalation with Russia, China, and North Korea


– Meltdown in Crimea, Syria, Yemen, Benghazi, and more


– Rise and proliferation of ISIS across the Middle East


– Weakening of the U.S. Military including our nuclear deterrent


– Shameful UN resolution 2334


All of these, which speaks volumes to the Obama years of foreign policy debacles, one on top of another. 


While the fake news, New York Times, again published utter nonsense about President Trump needing to clarify his foreign policy when nothing could be further from the truth.


President Trump has made absolutely clear his support for Israel, Japan, UK, and other true friends and allies of America are crystal clear. 


The President has also made it clear that he will not tolerate bad behavior towards the United States from rogue terrorist nations like Iran and North Korea


Further, the President has made clear that he seeks better relations with Russia and at the same time a more robust NATO that can actually contributes to it’s defense and has the muscle to show for it. 


Finally, we have a doctrine of peace through strength and the implementation that is backing it up. 


Anyone wonder why the New York Times isn’t following, let alone reporting on the real news?  


And how different could this be than the obscurity and chaos of Obama’s disappearing red lines all over the globe. 😉

Drumbeats Of War

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My bet is that we are looking at a semi-major international confrontation over the next few years. 


The bend over backwards for our enemies is over. 


Terrible and unenforceable deals are shameful history.


Cyberattacks and hacking will not be treated as the cost of doing business in the 21st century. 


Buzzing of our ships and planes won’t be tolerated anymore.


Letting other nations take what they want in Georgia, Crimea, Syria, and the South China Sea is finished. 


Watching helplessly the nuclear proliferation and buildup of the means to deliver weapons of mass destruction by Iran and North Korea won’t go unanswered.


Radical Islamic terrorism is not a dirty word anymore and we will bring the fight to the enemy in a bigger and more serious way. 


Our defense and that of our allies won’t be treated lightly and we will not retreat in the face of evil. 


No one wants war, everyone wants peace, but unless we stop the aggression against us once and for all, the drumbeats of war will only get louder and more ominous. 


Set the boundaries and enforce them before the all the red lines are crossed and a real and highly dangerous confrontation becomes inevitable. 


Peace through strength is far preferable than war because of disengagement, weakness, and leadership from behind. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Bombs But No Strategy

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So the good news is that we have killed about 45,000 ISIS terrorist fighters.


The bad news is two-fold:


First, there are still roughly 15,000-30,000 remaining and more being recruited all the time. 


Second, it took us 49,315 bombs dropped over two years to do this. 


So we are averaging less than 1 kill per bomb!


Sure, we are also hitting other targets like oil and gas infrastructure and tankers.


But about 20,000 of the munitions dropped are GPS precision-guided (e..g Joint Direct Attack Munitions, Small Diameter Bombs, and Hellfire Missiles) and have cost $2 billion!


That comes out to a cost of around $45,000 just for just 40% the bombs to kill each and every ISIS terrorist, and doesn’t even include all the extensive military infrastructure, planes, intelligence, and people. 


And this is just a super tiny drop in the bucket compared to the $4-$6 trillion that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, after 9/11, has cost just through 2013


–That represents between 20-30% of our our entire $20 trillion national debt!


At this rate, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the other terrorists may simply be able to cause irreparable damage and even bankrupt America.


How long can we afford to fight these extended and expensive wars against terrorism and never seem to even win–what’s the strategy here? Is there one? 


(Source Photo: here with attribution to vaXzine)

Best Bag 2016

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Just wanted to share this photo of this great bag that I saw on the street in Downtown, DC.

While it wasn’t the largest or most functional…

I really liked the design, colors, and all the pockets. 

A little military looking, contrasted by the rips, peace sign, and swirl made it even cooler. 

For some reason, I don’t think you can get away with wearing it to the office though. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)