“Joseph Miller”, a nom de plume for “a ranking Department of Defense” official has an opinion piece out regarding the prospect of Senator Rand Paul running for president. Why Rand Paul’s Ideas Scare Me — And Why They Should Scare You is a typical scare piece from the military/law-enforcement/intelligence-industrial complex, and a completely inappropriate step into electoral politics for the bureaucracy.
While “Miller” ‘s opinions have some merit — the world should think that the United States is ready to throw down over an issue, but as Reagan showed, having people you’re just nuts enough to nuke the planet doesn’t mean you have to do that. Other than a few select actions, Reagan was careful to avoid direct conflict while talking tough. As with the current president, Paul’s statements show a reticence to use military force — a position that can be construed as weakness. (See the current Ukrainian situation.)
His position is in sync with the American people, which the “Miller” points out, then dismisses as naive.
The problem is not the sentiment, which is shared by a large number of Americans: The problem is that any decision on what military resources the United States is willing to bring to bear on its sworn enemies must not come based on some campaign commitment, but based on what the U.S., dealing with real-time facts, has decided its mission is; and what tools U.S. leadership has decided are required to achieve them.
After all, the 307 million or so people he works for — their opinions don’t matter. He’s the “expert.” Probably one of the same that saw nuclear weapons in Iraq. Worse is the assumption that the missions decided upon by the “U.S.” exclude the civilian leadership. That would be the administration, not the bureaucracy. Unfortunately, the various bureaucracies now see themselves as the drivers of policy, not the administration or legislature.
The problem is that Paul cannot seem to differentiate what U.S. national security interests are any more so than Obama can, though Paul does so in the name of a noninterventionist dogma…
After all, Paul is not an “expert.” More importantly, his policies would mean a dramatic reduction of money for the military, their contractors, and could endanger the massive, profitable police militarization programs that are a spin-off of the Terror War.
“Miller” is also obsessed with the collapse of the US puppet governments in Afghanistan and Iraq — situations that were almost certain to occur as soon as American troops left the area (as any historian of the region or intelligence analyst below the rank of lieutenant could have predicted.) The dominos, we are assured, are falling — just as they were in 1961, after we lost China, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. This trend, the “expert” assures us, will lead to certain, imminent threats to our nation.
What “Miller” and the big warfare types miss is, historically, there are two factors that lead inevitably to the collapse of an empire or hegemon…1) massive military campaigns, and 2) large scale public welfare programs. Egypt, Athens, Rome, the Carolingians, Spain, France, Britain — constant war and expensive monuments eat the state up from the inside and make it weak to outside attacks. The Cato Institute shows us what this looks like:
The failure of policy is Afghanistan and Iraq was due to colonial dreams of creating stable nations from cultures that had no real cultural capital regarding self-ownership, freedom of expression, free trade, or representative government. The expansion of the Terror War into Africa and Yemen has not destroyed al-Qaida or other Islamic terror groups because the strategy is not to destroy them, but contain them and keep the money and influence flowing to the DoD and their contractors.
It’s welfare for warfare.
“Miller”, as well as other warfare-welfare sock puppets Dick “Sorry I shot you, dude” Cheney, John “Angry Gnome” and Newt Gingrich assert that the world is more dangerous and unstable than ever before, but the facts do not bear this out. 1) Wars are less deadly than ever before (which also makes them more palatable for long-term conflict…)
But, Scott, those numbers stop at 2008! True — and averaging out the conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq, we still do not top the violence of the 1990s, and is nowhere near the levels of the period of classic socialist state violence in the 1940s and 1950s. As for terrorism, the deaths are still lower than that of 2001.
The hawks are wrong — we are safer than we’ve been for a decade. Does that mean we should be less vigilante about monitoring events in the world — absolutely not. Should we be involving ourselves in the internal affairs of other nations? How did that go in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan..? Do we need to be spying on every cell phone and internet user in the United States? No.
But where “Miller” is right — we should look like we’re ready to jump in at a moment’s notice. That might make a politician like Obama, Paul, or (Gary) Johnson look weak internationally, and this can entice our enemies to action. But it is imperative that we strengthen the country internally, and to do that we have to cut our spending dramatically — both on military adventurism, and personal and corporate welfare; reduce harmful regulation by cutting the size of the federal government; and strengthen our nation’s identity by divisive racial and gender politics.
The ruling on Halbig v Sebilius is in, and the court is not happy with itsef. (Sad face!)
congress wrote this law assuming all the states would hop on for promise of big federal dollars, but 34 states didn’t fall for it and refused to set up exchange. HHS set up a federally mismanaged Healthcare.gov to fill in the gap — a direct violation of the Affordable Care Act, as the states have to set up and manage the exchanges. So federal subsidies for ACA are illegal. The court’s saying that it isn’t their job to rewrite the law; that’s Congress…so they should either fix the law, or it’s done.
The chances that happens? A big round multiple of zero.
There’s always the chance the feds can ask for an en banc hearing of all the DC Circuit judges, which might aid the court, as it has been packed with Obama appointees, but I suspect the DC Circuit wants this out of their docket as fast as possible, so the black robes in the Supreme Court take the heat.
Now with even more “Morom” Mika B!
It must be very disappointing, after having been anointed queen by her party and their media flunkies to suddenly find herself radioactive. Now let’s see how long it takes the best and brightest in the Progressive circles to realize that Lizzy “Plan B” Warren is even more unelectable at a national level than Her Grace, Lady Clinton.
Remember the South Florida lady that was proclaiming an Obama victory would mean no more paying for gas, or paying her mortgage, or anything else she could think of? It reminded me a lot of a South African woman that had been interviewed after the end of apartheid (or the transfer of power from rich white bastards to rich black bastards…and damn the rest) who was exclaiming, “Democracy will give me everything!”
It’s understandable there was a feeling of excitement and vicarious accomplishment for American blacks. Well, it seems Peggy Joseph is off the Obama Kool Aid…
Even in Chicago, folks seem to have noticed that “The One” didn’t do much for them…
For the last decade, I’ve had a selection of rifles — mostly AR-style carbines from various manufacturers in gas port and gas piston, but I never meshed with the ergonomics of the weapon. i was much more fond of the FN PS90 in 5.7mm — sure, it didn’t have the power of the AR-15, but for most urban engagements or home defense SHTF situations, a pistol cartridge carbine has a few definite advantages: 1) they’re lighter, 2) ammo is interchangeable with handguns, 3) they’re easier to control and shoot. The downsides are obvious: 1) lower power, 2) shorter effective range.
The PS90 served the house for a decade with the FiveSeven as my carry gun, but over the last two years or so, I realized i wasn’t carrying the FN, despite the lighter weight; my 1911 was more concealable. Also, I hadn’t shot the PS90 in almost three years. Time to make some room in the gun cabinet. I decided I wanted a 9mm or .45 for cost efficiency (and because it’s near impossible to get a 10mm carbine.) There were only a few options — an AR in 9mm, but i don’t like the ergonomics and if you’re going to buy an AR, buy a rifle cartridge; there was the Hi-Point, which had some real boosters online, but looked like crap; and the Beretta CX4. The Storm is a sexy looking thing that uses M9/92 model magazines, and those are plentiful. All the reviews touted the reliability and the accuracy. I borrowed one from the local range and put a few boxes through it.
The bad first: The trigger’s a bit heavy, but better than the PS90. The iron sights are spot on but horrible for quick use. The gun needs a decent reflex sight or a simple red dot. I dropped one on and I can still see the iron sights through the glass, just in case. Some might not like the safety — it’s a cross bolt and hard to operate unless you’re used to a shotgun; then you’ll be fine. The magazine well is a bit clumsy for seating the standard 15 round M9 magazines, but I suspect the extended 30 round ones should go in much easier. It’s a little pricey at $700 when a el-cheapo AR is running $850.
The good: Accuracy is great out to the 30 yards I tried it at. My suspicion is it should be spot on out to 100-150 yards. Reach to the trigger is about the same as the PS90. Recoil is very manageable and the rubber cheek pad and buttpad is very comfortable. There’s a Piccatinny rail on the top for optics, a light screw-on rail for the side near the front for a light, and there’s a very small nub of a rail under the barrel for a laser or grip, or whatever thing you feel the need to hang on your gun. [Edit -- After cleaning the Storm, I noticed a long bit of plastic in the upper. Pushing in the front sling post allows you to slide a long, useable rail out under the barrel.]
The great: It looks amazing and futuristic. You can swap the ejection port and charging handle with ease from right to left hand. The takedown is as easy as the PS90 — knockout a wee pin from either side of the foregrip, pull the stock out, pull the bolt out. Done.
So is it worth it? Yes.
UPDATE: I took the Storm out this morning and dropped 200 rounds through it. The old BSA RDA30 scope shook itself apart about halfway through the shoot and had to be junked in favor of a new reflex sight. The rifle had no malfunctions, shot true to it’s iron sights and my original red dot, and once I got the new one sighted in, here were no issues. It is, however, a dirty gun — 200 rounds had me with soot all over my fingers and I could feel the oil from the ammunition on my face.
Really..? This is all you have? Admittedly, this shot-down airliner cut into the Teleprompter-in-Chief’s burger run, but his staffers couldn’t whip up something a bit more substantial here?
But then again, State’s spokesginger wasn’t much more use:
However, she did have important information to impart via Twitter:
Here’s an example you might have used, folks…
Good job, Democrats, on the most inexperienced, corrupt, and unengaged administration ever.
The law perverted! The law — and, in its wake, all the collective forces of the nation — the law, I say, not only diverted from its proper direction, but made to pursue one entirely contrary! The law become the tool of every kind of avarice, instead of being its check! The law guilty of that very iniquity which it was its mission to punish! Truly, this is a serious fact, if it exists, and one to which I feel bound to call the attention of my fellow citizens.
― Frédéric Bastiat, The Law
Everything old is new again.