Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Barker's Newsbites: Wednesday, February 27, 2013

We are NOT French...!

We are NOT Socialists...!

We are NOT Anarchists...!

(But, hey... it IS one hell of a song...)

Do you understand what America is... what America was... what America was founded upon?

Do you understand how different were the French and American Revolutions and do you recall what came out of each compared to and in contrast with each other...???

I beg of you all... REMEMBER...

Barker's Ramblings

Well, folks... what do you wanna know?

Hagel? Senator Barker would have voted "aye."

Why...??? Because unless a presidential nominee is clearly intellectually or ethically unqualified to serve at a president's pleasure advancing said president's constitutional agenda... Senate "consent" is the constitutional default position.

This said... I don't chide the Republicans who voted "nay" based upon Hagel's unwillingness to answer legitimate questions directed to him during his Senate hearing. My friends... if "nominee" Hagel doesn't believe it's his duty to fully and honestly answer reasonable Senate Committee questioning... then why would anyone expect "Secretary" Hagel to take a different tack once confirmed and ensconced in the cocoon of office?

Moving on....

The sequester...???  I support it. I support going further... much further. 

The President's specific actions and orders thus far in line with the sequester? A disgrace. Obama is acting as a school board does when their budget request is voted down; he's responding not by making the most reasonable and least harmful immediate cuts possible, but rather by doing just the opposite... threatening to begin cutting into the muscle of spending rather than the fat. Frankly... Obama should be impeached.

Frankly... if Obama, Biden, Boehner, Pelosi, Reid, and McConnell were to all just up and die... simultaneously... I'd be a happy camper indeed!

Oh... folks... breaking news from Politico via Drudge: "White House Was Not Involved In Decision To Release Detainees," is the headline. Is the headline true? I doubt it. 

Hey... perhaps it is true... but in either case "Big Sis" is the President's gal. If she went off the reservation than it's because Obama provided her the latitude. My guess...? The public backlash against the prisoner release has Obama and key Democrats quaking in their boots and they're willing to throw Napolitano under the bus if necessary in order to take the spotlight off Obama.

Anyway... on to newsbites. (Separate post!)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Pat Buchanan (and yours truly) Opine on What the Sequester Would Mean for National Defense

And... they're off!

In that year of happy memory, 1972, George McGovern, the Democratic nominee, declared he would chop defense by fully one-third.

A friendly congressman was persuaded to ask Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird to expatiate on what this might mean.

The Pentagon replied the Sixth Fleet might have to be pulled out of the Med, leaving Israel without U.S. protection against the fleet of Adm. Sergei Gorshkov, and provided the congressman a list of U.S. bases that would have to be shut down.

Radio ads were run in the towns closest to the bases on the Pentagon list, declaring they would be closed and all jobs terminated, should McGovern win.

Something akin to this is going on with the impending sequester.

A cut of 7%, $46 billion, in Pentagon spending, says Army chief Ray Odierno, will mean a “hollowing” out of his force.
Odierno is full of shit.

The Navy? The carrier Harry Truman will not be sailing to the Persian Gulf. The Abraham Lincoln will not be overhauled in Newport News. Thousands of jobs will be lost.

The defense budget is about national defense... not national job creation. Less defense spending by government will lead to more rational, capitalistic economic stimulus.

Reporter Rowan Scarborough writes that the Air Force has produced “a map of the U.S. that shows state-by-state the millions of dollars lost to local economies,” should the guillotine fall.

Shouldn't the air force be spending their time writing battle plans - both offensive and defensive?

Military aid to Israel may be cut, says John Kerry.

Boo-friggin'-hoo-hoo says William R. Barker!

But if an evisceration of the national defense is imminent, why did Obama not tell us in 2012? Why were the joint chiefs silent, when they are panicked now? Are the generals, admirals and contractors all crying wolf?

In a sense, no; in a sense, yes. Our military commitments must shrink in line with our military budget. If the politicians simply ask the military to do the same... or more... with less... that's a problem.
As for the contractors, their goal is to make money. The more money in the defense pool... the more money in their pockets.

Undeniably, spending cuts by sequester slicer, chopping all equally, is mindless. And with the national security, it manifests a failure of both parties to come to terms with the world we are now in.
The Cold War is over. The Soviet Union is gone. Mao’s China is gone, though a mightier China has emerged, as America’s share of the global economy is shrinking. Moreover, as ex-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen contends, our greatest strategic threat is not Kim Jong Un or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but the soaring national debt.

And if, as Republicans insist, we have a debt crisis because we are “spending too much,” spending will have to be cut - discretionary spending, entitlements and defense. And the only question about the defense cuts is not whether they are coming, but where.

What is needed is what America, since the collapse of the Soviet Empire, has stubbornly resisted doing: a strategic review of all U.S. commitments abroad to determine which remain vital to the national security. Before we decide what our defense forces should be, let us determine what is in the U.S. vital interest to defend at risk of war.

Start with NATO. In 1961, President Eisenhower urged JFK to bring home the U.S. forces and let the Europeans raise the armies to defend themselves, lest they become military dependencies. Yet, more than 20 years after the Wall fell, the Red Army went home, East Europe broke free and the Soviet Union fell apart, we have scores of thousands of troops in Europe. Why? The European Union’s economy is 10 times that of Russia. Europe’s population is twice Russia’s. Why are we still there?

Let's... get... out...!!!

Though we have given NATO war guarantees to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, our McCainiacs want them handed out to the Ukraine and Georgia. Yet no president in his right mind is going to go to war with a nuclear-armed Russia over some Caucasus dust-up or Baltic brawl.

In a sense I'm still more comfortable with Obama as Commander-in-Chief than I would be with McCainiac in charge!

If Richard Nixon could achieve a modus vivendi with Chairman Mao, have we no statesman who can patch it up with Vladimir Putin? A first step might be to pull all U.S. missiles out of Eastern Europe and put our democracy-meddlers on the next plane out of Moscow.


Even as Ike was telling JFK to bring the troops home from Europe, Gen. Douglas MacArthur was urging JFK not to put his foot soldiers in Asia - advice not taken there, either.

Japan is our ally... Australia is our ally... New Zealand is our ally... I could go on, but my point is that we do indeed have vital interests in Asia and need to maintain a strong military presence there. In the long run... China is our likely enemy.

On retirement, Robert Gates said any future defense secretary who advises a president to fight another land war in Asia ought to have his head examined. So why do we have 28,000 U.S. troops in Korea and 50,000 in Japan?

We should take our troops out of South Korea.

In his Guam Doctrine, Nixon declared that in any future Asian war, we should provide the weapons to our Asian allies and they should do the fighting. Does that not still make sense today? Before we can decide the size and shape of our defense budget, we need a consensus on what we must defend.

True... but again... America does indeed have real allies and we need to bear this in mind when coming to the consensus Buchanan rightly calls for.

And if Republicans wish to remain a viable party, they cannot delegate these decisions to the “We-are-all-Georgians-now!” crowd that plunged us into Iraq and is bawling for intervention in Syria and war on Iran.
Let me hear another "Amen," my friends!

The GOP desperately needs a credible, countervailing voice to the uber-hawks whose bellicosity all but killed the party in the Bush era.

Obama is president because of them. And his most popular act, according to voter surveys from 2012? Ending the war in Iraq.

Barker's Newsbites: Monday, February 25, 2013


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekend Newsbites: Sat. & Sun., Feb. 23 & 24, 2013

So... the good news:

Got yet another extension of our "trial" SirusXM subscriptions - $37.01 for an additional six months!

(That's for BOTH cars... a TOTAL of $37.01 covers BOTH cars thru August!)

The bad news...???

No military coup to restore the Constitution.


Enjoy this weekend's newsbites, folks; found within the comments section as always!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Wisdom of Patrick J. Buchanan

...on "free" trade:

“It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth — a rising, thriving middle class.” So said Barack Obama in his State of the Union. And for one of his ideas to reignite that engine, Republicans applauded.

“And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union — because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.”


One wonders if any of those in the hall who rose robotically at the phrase “free and fair” were aware of the trade results just in from 2012.


What were the 2012 figures for the European Union? U.S. exports to Europe fell, imports from Europe rose, and our trade deficit with the EU shot up 16% to $116 billion.


The Europeans are eating our lunch.


What about South Korea, the country with whom we signed a free-trade deal in 2012? U.S. exports to Korea fell last year, and due to a surge in imports our trade deficit in goods with South Korea soared 25% to $16.6 billion.


Seoul’s trade minister who cut that deal and cleaned our clock should get a medal and the kind of bonus Americans reserve for people like hedge fund managers and the folks who ran Fannie and Freddie.


And Japan? Last year, Nippon ran a $76 billion trade surplus with the United States, second largest of any country.


What about that NAFTA treaty the establishments of both parties heralded in the Clinton era? How has that worked out for Uncle Sam?


Last year, the United States ran a trade deficit of $32 billion with Canada and twice that, $61 billion, with Mexico.


What was America’s overall trade position in 2012? We ran a global trade deficit in goods of $736 billion. That is 5% of the U.S. economy. We are hemorrhaging jobs, factories, wealth.

ONE... MORE... TIME...

We are hemorrhaging jobs, factories, wealth.


In banking, consulting, lawyering — i.e. "services" — we had a nice surplus. That’s what we Americans do now.


Since "Pappy Bush," when some of us began to argue loudly that a mindless ideological pursuit of free trade would imperil America’s industrial base, the total of U.S. trade deficits in goods with the world is approaching $10 trillion — 10 thousand billion dollars!


Might this humongous dumping of foreign goods into the U.S.A., killing our factories, and the liberation of our transnational elite to close plants, outsource production, and bring foreign-made goods back free of charge into the U.S. market, have had something to do with killing the middle class?


The U.S. median income stopped growing in the mid-1970s - the same time we began to run 40 straight years of ever-expanding trade deficits.


And how are we doing with China? Well, if one reads the weekend Wall Street Journal, Feb. 9-10, on page A3 in the lower left-hand corner is a box with a story headlined, “Trade Gap Shrinks 21% as Oil Imports Decline.” A positive headline, but about December only. In the 10th paragraph, however, was this tiny item: “Although the trade deficit with China narrowed 15.5% in December … the year-long deficit grew to a record.”


“Grew to a record”? What did that mean? Elsewhere, one learns that the U.S. trade deficit in goods with China was not only an all-time record, but the largest between any two nations in the history of the world — $315 billion. China now exports 6.3 times as much in manufactured goods to the United States, $417 billion’s worth, as we export to China.

Over two decades, Republicans in the lead, America granted Beijing most favored nation status, then permanent normal trade relations. Then we squired Beijing into the World Trade Organization. And since the courtship began, the trade surpluses China has run with the United States have enriched, empowered and emboldened her so that, today, brimming with ethno-national arrogance, China has laid claim to all the islands in the South and East China seas and is telling the U.S. Navy to stay out of the Yellow Sea and Formosa Strait.


And the free-trade fanatics responsible for building up this Asian colossus challenging us in the Pacific now tell us we must “pivot” — i.e. shift — our planes, ships and troops out of Europe and the Mideast to Asia and the Western Pacific to contain the mighty and mammoth power their stupidity created.

Every nation seems to understand what our baby boomers were never taught. A trade balance is a measure of national power that reliably identifies rising and falling nations.

Barker's Newsbites: Thursday, February 21, 2013

The nephews opening for the Bangles back in 2011 at the Fillmore in San Francisco...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Barker's Newsbites: Monday, February 18, 2013

Yep... been shirking my blogging duties...

I freely admit it: The 2012 Election results knocked me for a loop that quite frankly... I'll never recover from.

With no end at the light of the tunnel... blogging just isn't fun anymore.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Barker's Newsbites: Thursday, February 14, 2013

So... I got Mary a 4-pack of dishwashing sponges - the 3 +1 bonus pack - at Shopright yesterday... half-price! (Ya think Mary's gonna like it as a Valentine's Day gift...?!?!)

(Sadly... the answer - in all seriousness - is YES...)

Oh... also surprised her with tulips on Tuesday...

(Trader Joe's - $4.99 a bunch!)

Let's see... what else...? Oh! Decided to take today off from the gym. (I'll go tomorrow, instead; simply trading days off...)

Enjoy today's newsbites!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Barker's Newsbites: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Forgive me, folks... more procrastinating! 

What can I tell you...? Yesterday Obama gave his State of the Union Address. This of course focused me upon contemplating the state of the union. Suffice it to say that while I couldn't bring myself to blog yesterday, at least I didn't kill myself out of profound depression! (Any... I'm homicidal... not suicidal...)

So... speaking of profound depression... let's do a bit of newsbiting...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Barker's Newsbites: Monday, February 11, 2013


I... Want... Them... Dead...!!!

No... let me rephrase...

I want them beaten around the head... 


No... I just... 


OK. So. Monday's my 10:45 a.m. BodyPump class. Only... today it's not.

I head to the gym this morning... get a decent parking space... walk to the front entrance of the gym to find a sign tapped up saying that "Due to today's two-hour school delay all morning classes are cancelled."

I enter the gym. Staff are manning the desk. I begin my rant...

Point 1) IT SNOWED ON FRIDAY...!!!

Point 2) TODAY IS MONDAY...!!!


It's raining, folks. It was raining when I left my house at 10:15 a.m. 

Tomorrow I'll be up probably around 4:15 a.m. in order to make a living driving a customer to an airport. Had his flight been today I would have been up at 4:15 a.m. today and on the road by 4:30 a.m.

Mary went to work. She left here at 7:55 a.m.




Apparently it was... er... "icy" this morning. 


America has become the land of the faggot. The fem. The ballless wonder.

No... I'm not talking about what hole - or whose hole - you wanna shove something in. I'm talking temperamentally. I'm talking stereotypically risk-averse wimp behavior which says nothing good about America 2013.

God help this once great nation and our once proud and competent People.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Barker's Newsbites: Friday, February 8, 2013

Today's Newsbites theme song...

Censor the Truth...? Or Just Ignore It...?

"He Whose Name Dare Not Be Mentioned" responded to one of yesterday's newsbites.

He sent me an email with the subject header titled, "Really?"

His commentary... "Black! Black Teens! Black Teens! Blackity black black blackeis!"

My response: "I suppose you'd rather they'd ALSO censored the video?"