Friday, July 25, 2014

Russia is Guilty

Are there no leaders anywhere in the world today other than Netanyahu? I listened to a leader from Holland. He said they would not stop until they find the perpetrator responsible for downing the airliner. How sad. Who cares which person pushed the button? The only one responsible is Putin. Hello, how complicated is that. From the beginning of the Crimea takeover and the unrest in Eastern Ukraine the rebels have been supported by soldiers and weapons from Russia. This is not rocket science as the old expression states. What was supposedly an uprising by former Russians living in the Ukraine has now become warfare with sophisticated weapons that could only have been provided by Russia. It was reported that the two Ukrainian fighter planes shot down this week were from missile systems located in Russia. Do I propose military action? The answer is no, but economic sanctions to the fullest extent possible should be applied by all NATO nations. What has been done so far has been woefully insufficient. I fully understand that there are consequences both ways but this outrageous conduct cannot be allowed to continue. You would think Europe would demand censoring Russia. Perhaps the citizens are but certainly their leaders aren’t. France continues to build navy ships for Russia. As far as I can ascertain America has continued with business as usual including the production of helicopters for Afghanistan by order of the Pentagon. Israel needs more Iron Dome interceptors. We are supporting Hamas by shutting down flights to Tel Aviv, our Southern border is chaotic, and Congress is dawdling, as they prepare for their much needed vacation the entire month of August. With an attitude of self-interest like that we could never have defeated Germany and Japan in WWII. How much lower can our government leaders take us? Jack B. Walters July 25, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Aircraft Carriers

In the July edition of Time Magazine there was an excellent article about aircraft carriers. There is no doubt that they have been the mainspring of our military since the Second World War. However those days are rapidly coming to an end as more sophisticated missile systems are developed. The article specifically comments on a Chinese weapon system called DF-21D which is truck mounted with a range of 1,000 miles. The maximum range of aircraft is 700 miles which could force our carriers to stay out of range. As time goes on I have no doubt ranges will increase adding to the danger. Not that anyone cares, but I have felt for some time now that the days of the large carrier are ending. Obviously those in authority both military and Congress believe otherwise. Just in the past two years two carriers Ronald Reagan and George Bush have been completed and added to our naval forces. Their cost was about $5 billion each. The crew sizes exceed 5,000. Guess what, there are two ever larger carriers under construction today with a cost estimate of $13.5 billion each. They are the new Gerald R. Ford class which is twice as large. I can’t even imagine the crew required. What a high expenditure on ships growing increasingly vulnerable, again in my uninformed opinion. There was a comment from a retired Navy Captain that compared the Carrier club to the old Battleship Club. “It’s a huge, entrenched interest group-and not just inside the Navy but industry and Congress as well. This is just another example of outrageous expenditures by a country already over $17 trillion in debt and drowning further every day. Jack B. Walters July 24, 2014

Border by; Leon C. Metz- a book report

This book was recommended to me by a close friend who knows of my continuing concern about border issues. This is an outstanding compilation of facts, people and the continuing struggle at the border since the beginning of both countries existence. The author presents many names and provides great detail of events. For me I have to slide over to get the gist of what happened without attempting to know the names of people involved. For anyone with the desire to have a better understanding I highly recommend reading. He does not provide only from the perspective of America but also Mexico. Beginning with America’s war of conquest we took large amounts of land that had been theirs. Desperately poor we were able to purchase the Gadsden strip for a paltry sum in order to provide easier rail service to the coast. I would be writing in Mexico if that had not occurred since Tucson was included. We have taken advantage of their cheap labor when needed and discarded when not. Poor living conditions where prevalent in the early years. Mexican leaders on the other hand have not done their job in proving working conditions and wages forcing the poor to take extraordinary risks to enter America in search of opportunity when none exists in their home country. He doesn’t mention the effect of NAFTA but I will. With tariffs reduced to zero the poor farmers could no longer make income sufficient to support their families, which was the major impulse for the surge beginning in the 90’s. The border throughout our history has been a scene of conflict from marauding Indians to banditos. Water concerns and pollution were constant problems to be resolved. Some were accomplished but much more needs to be done. He did mention many times that employer sanctions if ever put into effect would end illegal immigration in a heartbeat. Although legislation was enacted in the 80’s it has been riddled with loopholes and not effective. Our insatiable need for drugs has made drug running a major operation which the Border Patrol has not been able to stop nor is there any hope that they will. Only reducing the demand or legalization will stop this scourge. I learned a lot by reading, you will also. Jack B. Walters July 24, 2014