08/23/19

Trump’s Folly — Greenland

Don’t let the title fool you, I am in favor of the United States buying Greenland and its 844,000 square miles of ice. I don’t really care that it was President Trump’s idea meaning I could like something even when it is disqualified by being an idea from “that” guy. [Tongue, meet cheek.]

Image result for images of greenland

Here YOU are, dear reader, after the deal goes through and you are looking for some adventure-sailing. Looks chilly, no?

Of course, it is not President Trump’s idea.

That distinction belongs to Senator Owen Brewster of Maine who spun the idea up in 1945. That idea was first proposed to the Danes by President Truman’s Secretary of State in 1946 and the US’s opening bid was $100,000,000. Classified archives burst open in 1991 revealing this nugget.

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08/20/19

Failing v Quitting

Yesterday, somebody sent me a link to the formal ritual whereby the freshmen/women (called “Rats”) of the Virginia Military Institute are pried loose from their parents’ loving arms and deposited with a third class corporal to be whipped into hard men and women during four demanding years at the nation’s oldest state military school.

At a school founded in 1839 which has provided warriors to fight our wars since then, ritual is an important element in the process — the unique process that turns an unshapen lump of clay into a hardened vessel in four years.

Sixty-one percent of the Rats will study math, science, or engineering and they are from 34 states and 4 foreign countries. They have an average GPA of 3.7.

It is a touching ritual. If you are bored today, watch it. Do you know of any other school that takes its students in in such a fashion?

The man speaking, the Superintendent of VMI, General JH Binford Peay III, VMI ’62, was the commander of the 101st Abn Div in the First Gulf War which conducted the longest airmobile movement in combat of any division in the history of warfare, setting up shop behind the Iraqi invaders of Kuwait. He was also the Centcom Commander as a 4-star General. [He has whipped VMI into the best shape it has ever been in since 1839. Personal view. He is also an inspiring leader and a good guy.]

One of the speakers, the Commandant, a warrior with almost three decades of military service made the distinction between failing and quitting. It is an important distinction.

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08/19/19

White Privilege = Original Sin

Going philosophical on you. Original Sin and White Privilege.

If you are a Christian, you likely know about the concept of Original Sin.

When Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden — hey, have you ever imagined a world in which Adam and Eve had chocolate chip cookies with ice cold milk and didn’t bite into that apple (honeycrisp, likely)? — mankind was tagged with an ancestral sin that was fairly shared amongst all of us as collective guilt.

Here’s Michelangelo catching Adan & Eve in the act in the Garden of Eden.

[Note: The Snake, the perpetrator, seems to have womanly characteristics. No? Is that terribly unwoke to mention? If so, I apologize. Also, please take notice of the fact that everyone in the painting is white. This will turn out to be important.]

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08/18/19

Exclusive Interview — Kim Kielsen, Premier Of Greenland

Greenland was granted home rule independence by Denmark in 1979. The majority party in the Parliament of Greenland supplies the Premier — the Leader of the Government. The King of Denmark appoints the Premier subject to majority support from the controlling party in the Inatsisartut (Parliament).

Since 30 September 2014, the Premier has been Kim Kielsen, a member of the Siumut party.

Today, he joins us to talk about Greenland and the recent interest by the Trump administration to buy Greenland.

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08/10/19

The Family Sweepstakes

If you are born in America that first day you will have much of your future defined by the family into which you have arrived. There are no do-overs or Mulligans.

The first question is this — were you actually born into a family?

Image result for out o f wedlock family statistics

As you can see, a substantial portion of babies are not born into a nuclear family — a mother and a father in a stable relationship that will foster the development of a child.

The obvious first impact is that a single-parent household is limited in the number of person hours they can dedicate to child rearing.

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08/8/19

Heil Hitler

So, I’m reading a few things and I stumble on this bat shit crazy story from a former FBI guy, Frank Figliuzzi, about how President Donald J Trump is signalling to Nazis, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists “Heil Hitler!” with his choice of the term for which government flags will be flown at half mast to honor the recent murder victims in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas.

Let me step back for a second: There is NOTHING funny, clever, or wise about making gratuitous references to Hitler, a truly evil person who unleashed Hell on earth. It is repugnant. 

He — this Frank Figliuzzi in his blue suit, blue shirt, coordinated tie, sleek haircut — looks like a normal enough guy, right? And, he was with the FBI, right?

Look at his mouth. Let me tell you about the words that came out of that nasty mouth. Guy says President Trump is sending “coded messages” to Nazis, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists. This guy.

Image result for images frank figliuzzi

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07/27/19

Skin In The Game

I woke up this morning to a lovely Texas day. It is a good habit to get into — waking up every morning. I am on a run that I hope to continue for a long time. Wish me well.

In my first look about at things, I was struck with awe and gratitude that the particular zip code in which I woke was in the United States of America.

I am amongst 330,000,000 persons who have the distinction of calling themselves Americans. Today, I don’t care where you came from, how you got here, whether you did it legally or not — I am just overwhelmed with our collective good fortune. Yours and mine.

Which raised another question: How did I ever come to  deserve this enormous blessing?

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07/26/19

Socialism At The Speed Of Light — Venezuela

OK, I don’t think The Squad or the Democrats writ large are going to plunge the United States of America into socialism, but I do think it is worthwhile investigating how fast such things can happen.

Doing singular stupid things is not the same as imposing socialism, but it is how socialism takes root.

Let’s take the case of Venezuela. Venezuela was the richest country in South America and sat upon the largest known oil reserves on the planet (still does) in 1992.

Image result for images flag of venezuela

Here is the time line:

1992

An unknown Lieutenant Colonel of paratroopers, Hugo Chavez, attempts to overthrow the duly elected government of Venezuela. The coup attempt fails. Chavez is imprisoned, but achieves name identity.

[Pro tip: As a paratrooper myself — a guy who jumped out of perfectly good airplanes — I caution the world to keep track of what the paratroopers are up to at all times.]

The country was in the midst of street protests over a gasoline price hike.

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07/23/19

Iran And The F-35 Stealth Fighter

Last year, there was an important report that went unnoticed by the US media for more than a year. There is some confusion on this matter.

Israel was reported to have flown its IAF (Israeli Air Force) F-35I Adir planes (flight of three) over Iran and conducted photo recon over Tehran, Karajrak, isfahan, Shiraz, and Bandar Abbas.

This plane is the American F-35 adapted to specific Israeli requirements, hence the designation F-35I. It is a stealth warplane.

The question has been — how stealthy is the F-35? How would it perform v the Russian S-300 missile system and its supposedly cutting edge radar array?

Point of order: Greece, NATO ally, had purchased the Russian S-300 after their mid-1990s spat with Turkey over the Kardak islets sovereignty. The Greeks later gave the US one of the S-300s which the Americans tore apart to develop measures that overcame the Russian capabilities. Who says having NATO friends is all bad?

Iranian air defense systems — which includes cutting edge Russian radars, including the S-300 — failed to detect the entry, the exit, or the presence of these Israeli  stealth planes that stayed on station for an extended period of time over the most sensitive Iranian facilities including underground nuke manufacturing facilities. In other words, they were circling where they might have to bomb in the future.

It was a very real test of capabilities — the planes and the defenses. Scores as follows: IAF 100 v Iran 0 v Russian radar 0.

When the Iranians learned about this, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei fired the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force commander, Brigadier General Farzad Ismaili, who had been in office since 2010.

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07/9/19

The Pursuit of Happiness

With Independence Day in the rear view mirror, I am still taken by the most famous sentence in the history of the governance of mankind:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

It is a powerful statement filled with meaning for the world and Americans who have lived with it for 243 years. It inspired our country in rebellion, in the Revolution, and in the development of other similarly meaningful documents such as the United States Constitution. It is the core value of our national philosophy and governance.

Our countrymen fought to make it a reality.

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07/4/19

The Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America was authored by a Virginian, Thomas Jefferson, and the “Committee of Five” in 17 days. It captures the essence of the Revolution that was now no longer to be a “rebellion” but a fight to the death or victory. It demands a reading.

Image result for images thomas jefferson

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06/3/19

Have We Earned It?

In three days, we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Allied landings at Normandy, D-Day. In those landings, the Allies drove the first nails in Hitler’s coffin. Good began to triumph over evil. A year later, the war would be over in Europe and shortly thereafter in the Pacific.

It was a complex undertaking with the Americans, British, and the Canadians landing on the beaches and the Americans and British dropping paratroopers behind the landing beaches with American Rangers scaling the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc.

The Americans fought the toughest battle at Bloody Omaha whereat the US 1st Div and the 29th Div landed and almost were thrown back into the sea until American courage overcame the German opposition. It was a very close call and evacuating the Omaha landing force was considered.

All told there were 10,000 casualties that day — KIA, WIA, MIA, POW. Of that number, 2,500 were from the American 82nd and 101st Airborne units who jumped before dawn.

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05/29/19

Patriotism 2019 Version

In response to a posting about Memorial Day, bright guy calls me and says,

“Different world when you were in your twenties. The draft exerted discipline on how you served the country. The Army was much bigger. We were engaged in a big war. Not the same today. How does a young person harness their patriotic fervor? What does individual patriotism look like in 2019?”

Memorial Day — The View From Another Direction

Good question.

What does an American citizen do today to pick up the patriotic tendencies of a Founding Father?

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05/15/19

Tariffs — Some Straight Talk

If you read the current drivel on the imposition of tariffs on the Chinese — notorious thieves of intellectual property, currency manipulators, erectors of hurdles to access to their market, a despotic Communist regime — you would think the entire economy is about to explode. Let me give you some facts.

Here’s President Trump putting the squeeze on President-for-Life Xi. Ouch!

Image result for images trump xi

Tariffs are taxes, right, Big Red Car?

Yes, dear reader, a tariff is a tax. The USA depended primarily on tariffs from its formation until the first income tax.

The first income tax imposed in the US was enacted in 1861 — 3% on all incomes over $800. It was rescinded in 1872.

In 1874, the US Congress enacted a flat rate Federal income tax that was promptly found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

The Sixteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, passed in July 1909, papered over this defect, but it wasn’t ratified until February 1913.

A Federal income tax was enacted immediately after ratification and has been enshrined in the funding of the Federal government since then.

Big takeaway — we didn’t really have an income tax until 1913.

So, we lived on tariffs.

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05/1/19

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger HYPERSONIC WEAPONS

Big Red Car cruising the international military sites and stumbles on a troubling issue — HYPERSONIC WEAPONS.

OK, there are other things out there like Venezuela and the idea the Russians might have already slipped nuclear weapons into the country — Big Red Car is a huge skeptic — and be ready to trigger Cuban/Venezuela Missile Crisis Redux. This could get dicey quick.

But, there is something we need to get on top of now. NOW. Hypersonic weapons.

Here’s a picture of Vlad Putin overseeing the testing of an Avangard hypersonic missile that Russia claims is capable of Mach 20 — 15,340 MPH. For the record, the Big Red Car is skeptical of all Russian weapons claims. Of course, the American military establishment uses such info to get Congress to take their hands off the checkbook.

The test was conducted at the Kura Test Range which is significant as it is a real test range that Russia uses frequently. It was observable from space. The total travel distance was 3,800 miles, so this was a full scale test when you think how accessible all of Europe is to Russia.

Hey, Germany, why the Hell are you buying natural gas from a country that has weapons that can nuke you?

It is also significant that Putin kept his shirt on and he wouldn’t have come for a dud.

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03/11/19

What Chaos?

We Americans are a tough people. Hard to believe that when you see what a bunch of victims and cupcakes we see on the Internet, but at our core, we are resolute survivors.

I used to ask my father if he thought my generation could have fought and won World War II. He received a battlefield commission in Italy running a Cannon Company shooting it out daily with Kraut 88s while in his twenties.

He would get a solemn look on his face and say, “The sons of tigers are tigers.” I never really understood what he meant.

I recently read something sent from a pal and it hit home on the subject. It focused on who we were back in 1969, half a century ago. Most of y’all weren’t born then, but I was a cadet at Virginia Military Institute, the Vietnam War was raging, in the mess hall there were moments of silence for VMI men killed in that war, and the country was aflame with riots.

I like to tell people today, “You have no idea what a proper riot looks like, Ace. You should have seen the Vietnam War riots. Now, those were riots.”

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03/9/19

Israel and Anti-Semitism

Big Red Car here on a dark and cloudy day that will top out at 82F. For comparison, Manhattan will have a low of 28F and a high of 36F, but it will be sunny.

So, the ether is abuzz with darts and arrows about anti-Semitism and, by association, Israel.

This was all triggered by idiotic comments made by freshman Democrat Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota’s 5th District.

Image result for images ilhan omar

In the picture above, Congresswoman Omar is pictured with Palestinian supporter Linda Sarsour, a controversial figure who once tweeted about two women with whom she had debated, “She’s asking 4 an a$$ whippin’. I wish I could take their vaginas away – they don’t deserve to be women.”

This type of remark sets the tone for the discussion.

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02/6/19

Venezuela — A Huge Concern

Big Red Car here enjoying the warm, gray days in the ATX. OK, had the air conditioning on yesterday afternoon! Hello, America.

So, the USA has been distracted by all the distractions and has not been paying attention to Venezuela and Russia.

You know that Russia has been meddling in our hemisphere for some time: Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. These countries have welcomed Russian assistance because they are economic basket cases.

[Hey, what happened to the Monroe Doctrine? <<<link]

Image result for images putin maduro

“Wow, Vlad, you’re a little shit, aren’t you?”

Stop — Venezuela used to be the wealthiest country in South America with the largest known oil reserves in the world. They have 300,000,000,000 recoverable barrels of oil lurking below the surface. Still, somehow, they have managed to find a way to turn into a shithole [talking to you, socialism].

Cuba was once the wealthiest Caribbean island, but Fidel Castro and communism killed that baby.

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01/28/19

Nancy Pelosi – an Exclusive Interview

Big news today, y’all. Your Big Red Car has snagged an exclusive interview with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro Pelosi is the 78-year old Speaker of the House for a second time. She represents approximately 80% of the City of San Francisco (if people are taking a dump on your block, call Nancy) and has served in the Congress since the Holy Ghost was a Private First Class.

OK, she has served for 32 years and will serve through 34 when she finishes this term. [Term limits. The Big Red Car is in favor of term limits.]

Image result for images nancy pelosi

“You thought he, President McDonald Trump, had a chance? I was running the House when he was banging porn stars and Playboy bunnies. Please!”

We met at a coffee shop in West Austin where she was nibbling a croissant and drinking a “shot in the dark” — three shots of espresso in a black cup of coffee.

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01/24/19

Ringworm — the Politics of Ringworm and Billionaires

Big Red Car here on a lovely Texas Thursday with sunny, clear skies and a bit of a chill in the air. Today, we discuss the politics of ringworm and billionaires as brought to us by the following snippet from my new favorite Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

True — the Big Red Car adores Alexandria the Great. She brings a brash freshness to the US Congress from New York’s 14th District.

In a long interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates at a Martin Luther King Day event, Alexandria said the following:

” … a system that allows billionaires to exist when there are parts of Alabama where people are still getting ringworm because they don’t have access to public health is wrong.” 

Damn, girl, speak it. Ringworm and billionaires! The Bronx shouting out to Alabama! Isn’t democracy great?

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