“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Speaking of contingent liabilities, why is this our problem?

South Korea Rejects Trump’s Demand They Pay for Missile Defense

Trump Insists System 'Most Incredible Equipment'

President Trump has repeatedly made clear that he likes the idea of getting other countries to pay for US military operations that benefit them, and that showed up today in the ongoing buildup on the Korean Peninsula, with Trump talking up how incredible the THAAD missile defense system is, and that it “would be appropriate” for South Korea to pay for the billion dollar system’s deployment.
South Korea didn’t like that idea too much, and since the THAAD deployment is subject to an actual agreement, they were quick to point out that the agreement required them to provide a site and infrastructure for the deployment, while the US paid for deployment and operation.

The THAAD is intended to protect targets in the area around Korea from North Korean missiles, though its effectiveness in actual situations is seen by most experts as extremely limited, and the it would be of little use if the US did launch a full-scale war against North Korea, as most retaliation would be artillery, not missiles.

Trump’s notion that he might be about to get South Korea to pay for the costly system is the latest in a string of such notions that has come very much after the fact, with the US already having agreements in place that don’t oblige the other nation to offer them any sort of payment,, and no real reason for anyone to expect that they’d suddenly offer to do so just because Trump suggested it would be “appropriate” of them to offer.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz


  1. Abbas and Hamas: Not our problem
    Kurds and Turks: Not our problem
    Israel building 15,000 houses: Not our problem
    Islamists killing each other: Not our problem

    And some shitass wanker playing with missiles in Japan and China's backyard: Not our problem

  2. China can stop it.

    Not Japan, though, unless they really arm up.

    Not a good idea, though, Japan arming up, IMHO.

  3. If the at-threat nations are not prepared to pay 300% of the costs, it cannot be all that important. If we are putting our country at risk for others, using our mercenary forces, at least we should be entitled to a scalper's markup.

  4. Why is an armed up China ok and an armed up Japan not?

    1. The fewer nuclear weapons around, the better, is my motto.

      The Japanese may seem perfectly reasonable right now, but they weren't before, and one never knows what the next generation may do.

    2. Including our next generation.

    3. Not that the Japanese couldn't put a nuclear weapon together in about a week, if they wished.

  5. China is launching a second career group. We were told that would never happen.

    Who is the carrier deterring against China?

    Why don't we sell a carrier to South Korea, one to Japan, one to Australia, one to Viet Nam and one to India?

    1. Thankfully, Pakistan is not on your list.

  6. Japan’s Asahi Shimbun cites a report from the State Oceanic Administration saying that China will complete construction of its first aircraft carrier by 2014, something the government never previously admitted. Constructed primarily at Shanghai, the carrier is supposed to displace between 50,000 and 60,000 tons. And it’s part of an even larger effort by the People’s Liberation Army Navy to “build itself up as a maritime power” during the next decade: a nuclear powered carrier is supposed to be completed by 2020. All of that should be taken with a grain of salt, but navy experts generally consider building a carrier to be well within Chinese capabilities.

    The U.S. military has little visibility into the plans of its Chinese counterparts. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently urged the creation of a regularized military channel between the two nations to reduce ambiguities. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is heading to China next month for the first in a series of top-level U.S.-Chinese official visits scheduled for 2011.

  7. Your Freudian Slip comes closest to the explanation if you shift it from China to the US:

    The reason for all these systems and expenditures is to maintain our Career Groups.

  8. What with the Russkie in the Med and the Chinaman on the seas, we meed more Freudian Ships.

  9. With the world in such a mess, I'm going on an "Eat When You're Hungry Hunger Strike", like they do at Yale.

    The brutal “hunger strike” by Yale graduate students

    These students need to be careful. While hunger strikes have been used in the past by many people seeking to draw attention to their cause and gain some leverage, the effects on the human body can be brutal. Live Science reports that prolonged periods without food can result in severe neurological problems, including cognitive impairment, vision loss and lack of motor skills.

    Oh, wait… The Yale students have found a way around these problems. This is a hunger strike where you get to eat if you get too hungry. (Fox News)

    As it turns out, the hunger strike might not put anyone’s health in peril. According to a pamphlet posted on Twitter by a former Yale student, the hunger strike is “symbolic” and protesters can leave and get food when they can no longer go on.

    So this “hunger strike” is actually a group of people taking up space on the sidewalk when they’re not running out to Burger King for a Whopper. Well played, ladies and gentlemen. But perhaps they won’t have to travel as far for a bite next time. It turns out that the College Republicans decided to set up a tent next to theirs and serve up a barbecue.


    1. .

      It turns out that the College Republicans decided to set up a tent next to theirs and serve up a barbecue.

      Now, that's funny.


  10. 'Three for One' Miracle Bamboo Bra Offer still ongoing -


    'The most comfortable bra you'll ever own'

    1. Shouldn't they be saying 'bras' though ?

  11. .

    Not our problem.

    Not sure I would go that far but if you are saying no more saber-rattling, no more interventions, no more wars of choice, I would agree.

    The money we waste on empire will eventually break us. We have between 150,000 - 200,000 of our troops scattered around the globe in about 150 different countries or about 75% of the world's nations and we have unfortunately developed an attitude of 'its our way or the highway'.


    1. Looking at today's Germany, Japan, and South Korea, our way looks better than the highway to sane observers.

    2. Courtesy of Doug -

      Satellite Photo of Koran Peninsula at Night -


    3. Korean Penisula, not Koran Peninsula

      In that sense.

    4. .

      I'm sure you have a point (well, not real sure) but I will likely be in bed before you finally get to it.

    5. .

      Please translate your last post from 'Idahoan English Major' into real English.


    6. .

      Why can't you simply say what you mean in simple sentences with a subject, verb, and predicate?


    7. Any of those countries can kick us out, if they wish, save perhaps Syria, which has no national government.

      Whether you are being intentionally or unintentionally obtuse I cannot tell.

      Definition of Obtuse

      Adjective: obtuse (obtuser,obtusest) ub't(y)oos or ób't(y)oos

      Taking more than usual time to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity
      "he was either normally stupid or being deliberately obtuse";
      - dense, dim, dull, dumb, slow

    8. Watch more TV, slave!

      Relative to the size of the U.S. economy (which is to say, as a share of GDP) we have cut military spending to barely a third of what it was in 1957, from 9.8 percent of GDP then to 3.3 percent of GDP now. Even though we were spending three times as much on national defense in 1957—and even though we had lower taxes (17.2 percent of GDP then vs. 17.7 percent of GDP today) we ran a budget surplus. It’s usually described as a “modest” surplus, but at 3.4 percent of GDP, the budget surplus of 1957 was proportionally larger than military spending is in 2015.

      So, where’d the money go?

      Feel free to consult the historical data yourself, but the short answer is: welfare spending.

      The broadest budget categories are national defense, human resources, physical resources, net interest, other functions, and undistributed offsetting receipts. National defense, net interest, other functions, and undistributed receipts are pretty self-explanatory; human resources includes welfare and health-care programs, entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security, and education spending. Physical resources means things like energy development, transportation, natural resources maintenance, environmental conservation, and community- and regional-development programs, the “infrastructure” we’re always going on about.

      Interest on the debt today is almost exactly the same as it was in 1957; it is exactly the same as what it was in 1953: 1.3 percent of GDP. In 1957, we spent 1 percent of GDP on physical resources; today, we spend a bit less, 0.8 percent of GDP. Other functions constituted 1.6 percent of GDP in 1957, today down to 1.1 percent of GDP. Undistributed receipts is nearly unchanged, up 0.1 percent of GDP.

      That leaves us with the welfare category, the only area of federal spending that has grown significantly relative to the size of the U.S. economy. In 1957, it was 3.9 percent of GDP—not insignificant, to be sure; that’s a slightly larger figure than our present-day military spending. But welfare entitlement spending in 2015 is 15.2 percent of GDP. Which is to say, broadly defined welfare spending alone is equal to 86 percent of all the federal taxes that are going to be collected this year. Most of that is Social Security, health-care spending, traditional welfare, and federal education spending, which has grown substantially despite the fact that most education spending happens at the state and local level.

      Recap: In GDP terms, we spend about a third on the military today compared to what we spent in the late 1950s. We spend almost exactly the same on interest on the debt. We spend 20 percent less on energy, transportation, the environment, and natural resources. And we spend almost four times as much on welfare. Again, that is in GDP terms, and our economy is a heck of a lot bigger than it was in 1957. As a share of all federal spending, welfare has gone from 23 percent of spending to 73 percent of federal spending. In constant-dollar terms, we spend 17.5 times as much. In nominal-dollar terms, we spend 150 times as much.


    9. For those in kindergarten, pictures work better than words in many situations, Quirkiddie.

    10. Interrupted by the Quirk and Bob show:

      Reply was to comment ending in:

      "The money we waste on empire will eventually break us. We have between 150,000 - 200,000 of our troops scattered around the globe in about 150 different countries or about 75% of the world's nations and we have unfortunately developed an attitude of 'its our way or the highway'."

    11. QuirkKiddieCare sounds like a great name for a day care for kids, QuirKittyCare for cats, eh?!

    12. That's The Bob and Quirk Show, Sir !

    13. .

      Do you really believe that the National Review article is a convincing argument to my post that you referenced above?


    14. .

      Any of those countries can kick us out, if they wish...

      Why in the world would they kick us out, sonny?

      In some of the bigger deployments our troops provide income.

      We act as a shield against their enemies.

      I am not talking about those countries interests, I'm talking about the US interests.


    15. Not speaking for Doug but your 'post' was simplistic bullshit.

    16. "Empire" my ass.

      Tour the Toyota plant in Lexington, Kentucky, and ask yourself why American workers are slaving away for the Nips.

      Some Empire.

    17. (they have little electric choo choos you ride around on and can see the happy American imperialist workers)

    18. .

      Go away, Bob, you are a complete idiot. I'll take my chances with Doug. I might get a complete sentence out of him.


    19. You are a SIMPLETON !

      Go away, yourself, dipshit, go to Lexington, tour the Toyota plant, get an education !

    20. Maybe they have an opening in the ad department, too.

      You got to get away from Ye Olde Mafia Barber Shoppe.

    21. Cause I'm convinced that's where you pick up all your non sense.

    22. Television or TV is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black-and-white), or in color, and in two or three dimensions and sound.

    23. Television....at Ye Olde Mafia Barber Shoppe.

      That double whammy would do anyone in....sympathy is called for....

  12. QuirkSat Apr 29, 10:14:00 PM EDT

    Do you really believe that the National Review article is a convincing argument to my post that you referenced above?



    1. Please diagram that sentence, or sentence fragment.

    2. What's that mean ?

      You go first.

    3. I can't do it with an ASCII Keyboard.


    4. http://www.siongboon.com/projects/2007-12-08_ascii_code/

    5. Correction:

      It's a complete answer to the bullshit about what is bankrupting the country.

  13. Congressman Ken Buck’s ‘Drain the Swamp: How Washington Corruption is Worse Than You Think’


    Representatives want committee seats for a variety of reasons, some of them honorable, some of them not. For some members, committee assignments aren’t so much about public service as they are about raising one’s public profile—and attracting special interest donations to one’s campaign fund. Because congressional leadership understands that self-interest motivates many members to serve on committees, they leverage that desire by unofficially ranking the committees.

    Numerous high-level members of the Republican House leadership have confirmed to me that committees are ranked. The ranking system is understood by members, though seldom spoken of. Committees are assigned letters—A, B, or C—based on how important they are deemed to be by leadership.

    There are five A committees in the House: Appropriations, Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, Rules, and Financial Services. Both parties use committee appointments to raise money. If you want to serve on a committee in Congress, you have to pay for the privilege.

    Here’s how it works for Republicans. If you want to serve on a committee, you have to raise money for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). The amount varies depending on the committee and role. For example, to serve on a B or C level committee, a GOP House freshman member must raise $220,000 every two years. I paid that amount to the NRCC in my first term in Congress, but now must pay more than double that amount. Veteran members on A committees must raise more than twice that amount—$450,000. That’s right, almost half a million dollars to do what the people elected them to do.


    1. As it is, some members of Congress spend at least half their time fundraising to keep their dues paid and campaign coffers full.
      If you become the chair of a B committee—congratulations—you’re now expected to raise $875,000 a year for the NRCC.
      Chairing an A committee means you must raise $1.2 million.

      The higher your role in the House leadership, the higher the price tag:

      Deputy Whip $2.5 million

      Conference Chair $5 million

      Whip $5 million

      Majority Leader $10 million

      Speaker $20 million

      When representatives don’t pay their “dues” or fall behind, they are pressured to pay up—or else. It’s happened to me, and I’ve heard similar stories from countless others.


  14. Hasan Minhaj is a typical American ripping the US President in front of the US Media. Minhaj comes from a Muslim family originally from Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India.

  15. When everyone is an American, no one is an American. If a cat is born in a barn, you don't call her a cow.

    1. Interesting thought there Deuce. On this animal farm of yours are the only true Americans the pigs?

    2. "Our allegiance must be purely to the United States.
      We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance.

      “But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic,
      he is just as good an American as any one else.”

      -Teddy Roosevelt

  16. Has anyone seen our terms of surrender on the Culture Wars?

  17. No borders, no language, no culture ?

    1. Culture is not developed in a singe generation. The Indian twerp may be an American citizen, but he is not an American.


  18. Hasan Minhaj at #WHCD2017: "Free speech is the foundation of an open and liberal democracy."


    Trump is against free speech because he didn't attend...

    ...or something.

    Funny guy?

    1. "Free speech is the foundation of an open and liberal democracy."

      Except for Conservative Speech at Universities and most of the time on the MSM.

    2. Those eyes.

      ...and the audience makes me wretch.

      I think.
      Only watched 1 minute and 53 seconds.

      Maybe Quirk will report.

    3. He didn't exactly get a standing ovulation.

      They all looked like zombies, to me.

  19. April 26, 2017 3:05 pm
    Yesterday, Pat Buchanan appeared on “Breitbart News Daily” to discuss his views on President Trump, who has embraced many of Buchanan’s political views, despite calling Buchanan “a neo-Nazi” in the past.

    While reminiscing about Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew’s attacks on the mainstream media, Buchanan said that conservative outlets like Fox News helped pave the way for the recent political success of nationalist ideas.

    And yet, he remains pessimistic about the future of Western civilization.

    “The West itself is being colonized and invaded by folks from its former colonies who are changing the character of Western civilization and frankly who disregard many of the traditions and things that we have built,” he said.

    Buchanan said that while he “was elated with Donald Trump’s election,” he doesn’t “see a lot of will” among European nations “to stop this invasion.”

    1. Just compare what was taught of the Declaration and Constitution in 7th and 8th grades when I was a kid to what goes on now.

      Then add in free rides for racists, as long as they are La Raza racists.

  20. April 29, 2017
    Can Islam ever be reformed?
    By Nonie Darwish

    ....The reform Islam movement is nothing new and Muslims have attempted to reform Islam for fourteen hundred years and always failed. Leaders of such movements were often beheaded for apostasy. Jihad and sharia are foundational principles of Islam and no mincing of words will change that. That in addition to lying, deception and terror as approved Islamic tools to stay in control, could never help any reform movement to build on. How can anyone build on a foundation of lies and violence? But the so-called reformers tell us they can and that keeps American media happy and that is all that counts.


  21. from Fauxcohantes Watch -

    Elizabeth Warren Jokes About Wanting to ‘CUT OPEN’ Republican ‘Bodies’
    By Pamela Geller - on April 29, 2017

    Imagine if a Republican had said he wanted to “cut open” the bodies of Democrats. The outcry would be immediate, hysterical, frenzied, and unending until that Republican was forced to resign in disgrace. But this savage gets a free pass from the enemedia — they’d like to cut open Republican bodies, too.

    “Elizabeth Warren Jokes About Wanting to ‘Cut Open’ Republican ‘Bodies,’” by Sam Dorman, Washington Free Beacon, April 28, 2017:

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) joked last week that she hoped Republicans donated their bodies to science so she could “cut them open” when they died.

    “I hope they leave their bodies to science. I would like to cut them open” Warren said during an event in Chicago on Saturday.

    Warren was discussing the Republican effort to repeal Obamacare and seemed to suggest their position on healthcare was unfathomable.

    “God, what planet do they live on?” Warren asked, before sharing her wish to cut open their bodies.

    She was visibly bothered by the argument from “a lot of people” that the Republican plan was “not brutal enough for a big chunk of the Republican party.”


  22. April 29, 2017
    Yale College Republicans trolling phony ‘hunger strikers’
    By Thomas Lifson

    As a sophisticated and clever blogger reminds us, "Alinksy works for us now." The self-righteousness of the left has created irresistible opportunities for conservatives to apply Alinksy's Rule #5:

    "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There is no defense. It's irrational. It's infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

    Just when you may have concluded that elite universities are hopeless, along come the Yale College Republicans:

    By their "hunger strike" that allows them to eat when hungry, the snowflakes of Yale have more than earned ridicule.

    The best part of this is that the left's monomania toward President Trump, the unrelenting hatred and endless jokes pointed at portraying him as stupid, has already played out the humor potential of that comic vein, and then some. It is simply boring, not funny, to hear the same punch line over and over again.

    When it comes to attracting young voters, the worst sin a political movement can commit is being boring. Self-righteousness is not just boring; it is tedious.

    As a sophisticated and clever blogger reminds us, "Alinksy works for us now." The self-righteousness of the left has created irresistible opportunities for conservatives to apply Alinksy's Rule #5:

    "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There is no defense. It's irrational. It's infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

    Just when you may have concluded that elite universities are hopeless, along come the Yale College Republicans:

    By their "hunger strike" that allows them to eat when hungry, the snowflakes of Yale have more than earned ridicule.

    The best part of this is that the left's monomania toward President Trump, the unrelenting hatred and endless jokes pointed at portraying him as stupid, has already played out the humor potential of that comic vein, and then some. It is simply boring, not funny, to hear the same punch line over and over again.

    When it comes to attracting young voters, the worst sin a political movement can commit is being boring. Self-righteousness is not just boring; it is tedious.


  23. Man, freight was hauling ass through downtown Truckee.

    Choo Choo!


    1. Another one.
      Didn't know they hauled trains that long over the Sierras.
      The Donner Party would be proud.

    2. Why don't they call it Trainee then, instead of Truckee ?

      But thanks, I can never get to sleep without seeing the train go through Truckee.

    3. The town’s original name was Coburn Station, commemorating a saloon keeper.[5] It was renamed Truckee after a Paiute chief, whose assumed Paiute name was Tru-ki-zo. He was the father of Chief Winnemucca and grandfather of Sarah Winnemucca. The first Europeans who came to cross the Sierra Nevada encountered his tribe. The friendly Chief rode toward them yelling, “Tro-kay!”, which is Paiute for “Everything is all right”. The unaware travelers assumed he was yelling his name. Chief Truckee later served as a guide for John C. Frémont.[6]


    4. 1880 1,147 —
      1890 1,350 17.7%
      1970 1,392 —
      1980 2,389 71.6%
      1990 3,484 45.8%
      2000 13,864 297.9%
      2010 16,180 16.7%
      Est. 2015 16,299 [15] 0.7%

    5. So it's more than ten times larger than when I was there!

  24. Sleep well, dreamers -

    Islam Is As Islam Does

    APRIL 29, 2017 11:13 AM BY MICHAEL DEVOLIN

    “No religion can be considered in abstraction from its followers, or even from its various types of followers.” — Alfred North Whitehead, from Adventures in Ideas (1933)

    Publilius Syrus wrote long ago that “there are some remedies worse than the disease.” We could say as much about most of the Western world’s erroneous ideas about the religion of Islam. Chief among them is the notion that Islam is good and the terrorism committed by Muslims is tangential from Islam – a transmogrification of Islam proper. The remedy for this terrorism, the theory goes, is to “deradicalize” those Muslims who have taken the plunge into the dark waters of Islamic terrorism, or better yet, prevent those Muslims considering taking this plunge by sheltering them from the dangers of “radicalization.” The consequences of these imprudent and sciolistic estimations is now catching up to the Western world, a world that at one time believed our freedoms and our unhindered way of life immune from the egregious cultures and violent sectarianism to which Islam is innately connected in other, far away reaches of the planet.

    Edmund Burke warned: “Well is it known that ambition can creep as well as soar.” And those who have not really taken the religion of Islam seriously, who have assumed that its adherents and its tenets are probably quite similar to those of the other major religions, have done so at the expense of our future and the well-being of the Western world. The insouciant and the foolhardy pluralist (and this would include journalists and academia and clergy) among us believe that the hegemony that Islam strove violently and ruthlessly to achieve in the not-so-ancient past cannot possibly be the end and the means that the “moderate Muslim” envisions and employs today for the future of Islam. The most glaring failure of our modern experts (aside from making innumerable observations about terrorists and terrorism without offering even one real antidote) is that their premise has always been, and remains, that Islam is good and, as the logical extension of this premise, terrorism and the terrorist are anomalies tangential from Islam proper. The creeping obtrusion of jihadist ideologies (and their political/religious supporters) into the Western political narrative will continue in congruence with the propagandistic existence of such contradictory assumptions.

    1. In a 2015 article in Commentary, Joshua Muravchik, after presenting the results of numerous polls regarding Muslim attitudes towards terrorists and terrorism, concludes: “While the predominant view among the world’s Muslims, insofar as we can learn from these polls, rejects terrorism, a significant minority does not. If, on the whole, say, 20 percent of Muslims, a conservative estimate of the average of these numbers, support terror ‘often’ or ‘sometimes,’ that amounts to 300 million people; and if, say, another 15 percent support it ‘rarely,’ then the total base of support for at least occasional terror acts comes to 500 million. There is little comfort to be found in such figures.” Such figures prove without a doubt that terrorism within the Muslim world and terrorism committed by Muslims in the Western world can no longer be viewed as incidental or anomalous, but the norm. Such figures also do little to exculpate Islam from the common but oft-slandered and suppressed opinion that this religion is a root source of anti-Jewish hatred and terrorism, and the primary inspiration for jihadist ideologies.

      Edmund Burke also wrote: “Nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference.” It could also be said (although it would be a deviation from Burke’s intended meaning) that nothing is so fatal to Western democracy as indifference to Islam and the terrorism that inevitably manifests itself in a minority of Muslims that numbers in the hundreds of millions. I’ve written long ago that you cannot judge a religion’s efficacy, whether good or bad, by its exceptional personalities, but only by the behavior of those masses who are conglutinated by its tenets. In this sense and from this perspective, Islam is not merely insalubrious for mankind, but even worse, and because of this same insalubrious nature, it is a grand deception that has hoodwinked the Western world in such a way that we bend over backward in abject humility just to accommodate this intolerant religion “in abstraction from its followers, or even from its various types of followers.”


  25. 10 memorable lines from comedian Hasan Minhaj at the WHCA dinner



    1. No wonder he bombed.

      There is no humor in Islam

      Grand Assaholla Ruhollah Khomeini

      "Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious."

    2. There can be no....joy in whatever is serious

      O For Christ Sake and Sweet Jesus....are these Iranians fucked up, or what ?!

    3. Fuck Islam !

      ...Quirk turns me in to the MSM Mind Melding PC "Truth Squad"

    4. .

      Why would they care about your sorry old ass?


  26. Yep, Fuck islam.

    And while I'm at it, Fuck god/allah, and the prophet he rode in on...Moses!

  27. .

    It's a complete answer to the bullshit about what is bankrupting the country.

    Point taken. My original statement was poorly written and hyperbolic. However, while your article is admittedly an answer, it's an incomplete one and doesn't address the point I was trying to make in my post regarding allocations within discretionary spending categories in our budgets, a matter of priorities regarding the choice of guns vs butter including appropriate levels of military spending.
    Before getting to my main point, I can’t help but point out the following about the article you posted.

    First, the author starts off with some incorrect assumptions on percentages as seen in the following pie chart of the 2017 budget.


    The actually spending for his ‘welfare’ programs comes in at 63% of the budget and this includes the education funds the author has included (something I’ve never seen included as welfare before). Yet, the author says…

    Which is to say, broadly defined welfare spending alone is equal to 86 percent of all the federal taxes that are going to be collected this year. Most of that is Social Security, health-care spending, traditional welfare, and federal education spending, which has grown substantially despite the fact that most education spending happens at the state and local level.

    The author keeps switching back and forth between actual budget percentages and percentages of GDP so it is hard to see where he is getting his numbers; but even if he is only talking about revenue and ignoring the deficit spending, I don’t see where his numbers add up or come close. I notice that on the other hand the author leaves out of ‘Military Spending’ funding for things like Veteran’s Affairs as well as the costs paid out of Medicare/Medicaid for issues associated with veterans and their time in service, disability, drug problems, etc.

    He also seems to have only a vague understanding of the compounding effects of interest payments and only talks of them in static terms; yet, as long as we continue with deficit spending, the interest never goes away, it merely grows at a compounded rate, a rate that as we’ve seen is beginning to rise steadily and which is by 2022 projected to cause a doubling of annual interest payments from its current amount to nearly equal that of defense spending as a budget item. Things will only get worse (at a compounding rate) over time.

    The author starts his analysis in 1957, a point at the height of the cold war and before Medicare/Medicaid as we know it today was signed into law. It was also before the point that FICA funds were rolled into the general budget and replaced with IOU’s. I suspect the date wasn’t picked by chance but of course the author’s point remains, ‘welfare spending’ has increased substantially since then and military spending as a percent of GDP has decreased in a point to point analysis. Of course, his analysis ignores the various ‘temporary’ increases in military spending that occurred in that interval (Vietnam, the increases under Reagan and Clinton, Bush’s wars) much of which I questioned.



    1. {...}

      All that said, it is beside the point I was trying to make in my post which was one of national priorities.

      Even though the only real spending that is mandatory in our budgets is the interest on the debt, Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security are not called 'mandatory' programs for nothing . While not especially popular when first introduced they are both highly popular right now and, in fact, have become the third rail in the budget process. Medicare is more efficient than private health insurance. It’s an insurance program paid for by dollars put in by the public and distributed through 30 -50 private insurers. As with all insurance, some people get more in benefits than they pay in and some get less.

      Social security is a government mandated retirement program and is similarly funded.

      There is nothing in law that designates Medicare/Medicaid or SSA benefits as mandatory; therefore calling them mandatory is a political decision which reflects political reality. This doesn’t mean there aren’t changes that could be made to these programs that would make them more sustainable but only that there is no political will in Congress to make the hard choices.

      Likewise, though a bunch of old farts can sit around here all day long pissing and moaning about ‘welfare costs’ don’t count on them not using their Medicare cards or sending their Social Security checks back with a note saying, “Spend it on more bullets.”



    2. {...}

      This leaves us with discretionary spending and the military spending that makes up the biggest part of it. My contention is that we spend way too much on the military, that we have done so for decades, and that the money we wasted could have been spent on more productive uses that would have made this country stronger in the long term.

      While Vietnam started our current losing streak and cost us much in terms lives and treasure, the Cold War spending while necessary to a point was excessive and based on faulty assessments about Soviet strength right up until the wall came tumbling down. It was our economy that beat the Russians rather than our military. Then you have the $ trillions lost in Iraq, the beginning of the long wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, the WOT, troops deployed in 150 countries around the world, wars in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, you name it. And the net benefits of the $ trillions spent on this shit, a country that’s infrastructure is falling apart and a big contribution to the current national debt.

      But this only talks of opportunity costs lost and at this point the money’s gone and won’t be coming back so the discussion really needs to be about the military budget going forward.

      Here are my arguments against not only current spending but more importantly Trump’s proposal to increase that spending by 10%.

      The US has (150,000 to 200,000) troops deployed in a 150 countries around the world. Why? As Deuce would say, ”Not our problem”. I say bring most of them home.

      The US has 10 aircraft carriers and Trump has said he will build 2 more. Why? Other than us, the only country in the world with more than 1 carrier is Italy with 2.

      Last year’s IG report showed that DOD wastes $25 billion per year of its budget more than some countries spend on defense. The money wasted on Bush' Iraq war alone would have paid for the required infrastructure spending needed in the US two or three times over.

      The US spends 3 times what China spends on its military. It spends 10 times more than Russia spends. It spends more than the next 7 or 8 highest spending countries combined and has been doing so for decades. Why? The only reason I can see is to support our self-proclaimed job of world policemen, a job history seems to prove we are not very good at and one that I don’t believe is in our national interest.

      With Trump’s latest budget he’s indicated he will be asking for a 10% more on top of an already bloated military budget. In order to pay for it, we could increase taxes but instead Trump is looking at a massive tax cut. In order to pay for the military increase and his taxes for the rich, Trump will be making drastic cuts in other discretionary programs, cuts negatively affecting the health and welfare of Americans, as well as, our strategic position in the world. I consider that a dumbfuck misallocation of resources.

      What do you think?


    3. Italy's Navy is an Existential Threat.

    4. Yep, that's consistent with the usual depth of your analysis


    5. Thinking is not the forte of the "Dimwitted Duo"

      Emoting, that's their thing ...

    6. "Medicare is more efficient than private health insurance."

      To speak of any of the plans and schemes extant now as efficient reeks.

      Certainly if all government spending on Healthcare were eliminated and people were instead given health care savings accounts, with the only string attached being a requirement to purchase catastrophic insurance, a truly competitive and efficient system would result.

    7. Lots of spaghetti, few meatballs....same old, same old....no sauce, either.....

    8. It's called humor, boys, I was agreeing with Quirk's premise as I did with Deuce way up at the top of the thread.

    9. I worked in a place that had a big supply of cooked spaghetti, and when an order came in they'd slop some in a colander and run scalding water over it to both heat it and deslime it.

      Worked quite well.

      Quirk should give it a try.

    10. Not even any Parmesan Cheese on Quirk's spaghetti.

      And, he serves it cold, as leftovers...

      We've all been forced to eat Quirk's Spaghetti before, and, like prison food, or a Michelle Obama school lunch, we don't like it.

      It's not exactly 'brain food'.

    11. .

      "Medicare is more efficient than private health insurance."

      Of course it is. Economies of scale are a wonderful thing. If Trump is such a great negotiator he should be taking advantage of that size a hell of a lot more than we are right now.


    12. .

      It's called humor, boys, I was agreeing with Quirk's premise as I did with Deuce way up at the top of the thread.

      Good choice. It's so much easier than forming an informed opinion for yourself.


    13. I gave my opinion.

      I don't turn it into War and Peace like some.

  28. Oops, didn't see rat'sass there....

    That means its time to head in to the Casino and win the motorcycle.



    1. “All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”

      ― George Orwell

    2. .

      Hey, rat, try coming by a little earlier if you could.


  29. U.S. Marines back in Helmand as Afghanistan 'stalemate' continues

    By James Mackenzie | CAMP SHORAB, AFGHANISTAN
    The U.S. Marine Corps has returned to Helmand, the restive province in southern Afghanistan where it fought years of bloody battles with the Taliban, to help train Afghan forces struggling to contain the insurgency.

    Many of the 300 Marines coming to Helmand as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support training mission are veterans of previous tours in the province, where almost 1,000 coalition troops, mostly U.S. and British, were killed fighting the Taliban.

    When they left in 2014, handing over the sprawling desert base they knew as Camp Leatherneck to the Afghan army, the Marines never expected to return. The fact that they are back underlines the problems Afghan forces have faced since being left to fight alone.

    Despite a warning from U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis last week that 2017 would be a tough year, though, the tone as the deployment began was positive.

    "I was excited to come back," said Staff Sergeant George Caldwell, who had previously spent eight months in the far south of Helmand that mixed combat operations with training the Afghan border police.

    "I have a lot of time invested in Helmand province. We have many, many years of combat operations and we'd hate to see the region become unstable," he said at the margins of a ceremony marking the Transfer of Authority for the training assignment.


  30. Good to know Helmland is stable.

    1. Some 8,400 American troops are based in Afghanistan as part of Resolute Support as well as a separate counterterrorism mission against Islamic State and Al Qaeda, but Gen. Nicholson said earlier this year a few thousand more would been required to end the "stalemate" with the Taliban.

      The Trump administration is currently conducting a review of U.S. policy for Afghanistan, where American troops have now been stationed for more than 15 years.

      While most are no longer usually involved in combat operations, the dangers they still face were underlined last week when two army Rangers were killed in the eastern province of Nangarhar fighting Islamic State militants.


      What are they doing? Supply troops for the Afghans?

    2. .

      Gen. Nicholson said earlier this year a few thousand more would been required to end the "stalemate" with the Taliban.



  31. Delta says pilot who struck a passenger was trying to break up a fight

    The Delta video, apparently taken using a cellphone, shows three people cursing at each other, then fighting on the Jetway as shocked passengers watch or scramble to get out of the way.
    At one point, one of the fighters takes the other woman to the ground, then wraps her legs around her neck and head in an apparently choke hold.

    That's when the pilot, clad in his white shirt and pilot's cap, walks over and tries to intervene. He grabs the woman's wrist and strikes her, though it's unclear whether he does it with an open or closed fist.
    According to TMZ, the women "had gotten into a skirmish earlier, on the airplane, and they knew each other."


    1. Fucking airlines....

      UNITED cremated bunny!....DRUDGE

      WHO PUT BUN IN OVEN? United Airlines under fire again as giant bunny’s breeder slams airline for cremating Simon without her consent

      Former Playboy model Annette Edwards had called for a post-mortem but later learned the bunny’s body had been burned
      By Nick Pisa
      30th April 2017, 10:24 pm Updated: 30th April 2017, 11:16 pm

      THE breeder of Simon the giant rabbit has slammed United Airlines after they cremated him without her consent.

      Annette Edwards, 65, had called for a post-mortem but later learned the ten-month-old’s body had been burned on Friday....


      This is a crime against BunnyWorld, against Bunny everywhere.

      What would Bugs say ?

      Jeez....if one is going to cook up Bunny one should at least eat Bunny.

      If I were a Playboy Bunny and someone cremated my Bunny my buns would be heated up and I'd be pissed too.

      Wouldn't you ?

    2. This in an attempt by the airlines to cover up their original crime.

      And they waste the meat !

      I am simply outraged !!

    3. United's CEO is going to get burned over this.

  32. What Quirk's bitching about military spending never takes into account is that the USA basically defends all of Europe, and Japan, and S. Korea, and other places as well, Canada for instance.

    This is the major error in his thinking.

    The Donald seems aware of this, unlike The Quirk, and is asking that they pay more.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. .

      What Quirk's bitching about military spending never takes into account is that the USA basically defends all of Europe, and Japan, and S. Korea, and other places as well, Canada for instance.

      Of course I take it into account. Can't you read? This was one of the key points I was making.

      The question is why. Meeting treaty obligations doesn't require us having forward placement of 'our' troops all over the damn world. Forget their damn money. Have them build up their militaries to the point where they can defend themselves, at least, initially before treaty partners arrive. If they want to hire mercenaries to protect them, there are plenty of them all over the world. They don't have to be US troops.

      These are all the countries where the US has a military presence



    3. Your definition of 'troops' is quite elastic.

      We've all heard your kind of craparoo all our lives.

      And now you're looking for reinforcements from rat'sass ?


      You know how to pick your troops, you do.

    4. You might be low on B-12, Quirk.

      Have you thought about getting your blood tested ?

    5. I can't get over it. It's looking like Quirk might be seeking an alliance with rat's ass, the very guy Dr. Quirk certified as being crazy as hell.

      If one is losing an argument and making idiotic statements one might turn anywhere for help, so it seems.

      Or, some people might....

      Sad, and disheartening....

    6. Tell us all about the overwhelming US Military presence in, say, to pick one of many possibilities, South Africa, Quirk.

      Your map indicates there is one.

      How about, say, Brazil ?

      Brazil Invites US to Use Amazon Military Base
      Congress will make the final decision as it remains one of the most sensitive issues in the bilateral relationship.
      Congress will make the final decision as it remains one of the most sensitive issues in the bilateral relationship. | Photo: Naval and Aerial Defence
      Published 24 January 2017
      Increases text size - Decreases text size

      Follow us

      Former President Lula vetoed a similar proposal out of concern that the base violated Brazil's sovereignty and could be used for military operations.

      The government of Brazilian President Michel Temer has invited the United States to use the Alcantara missile launching base in the Amazon region to launch satellites as part of bilateral negotiations in the so-called "Brazil and United States Defense Industry Dialogue."

      Defense Minister Raul Jungmann made the announcement following a meeting with U.S. officials at the headquarters of the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil in the national capital of Brasilia.

      The final decision will be determined by Congress, as it remains one of the most sensitive issues in the bilateral relationship. The current law imposes safeguards on foreign technology on national soil. Back in 2003, then-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva vetoed a similar proposal by the Congress that sought to allow the U.S. military to use the facility....



    7. Tomorrow is May Day, Quirk, international day of protests.

      Find yourself a march somewhere, carry your sign.

      On one side:

      US Troops Out Of South Africa Now !!

      On the other:

      US Troops Out Of Brazil Now !!

      Who knows ?

      You might make CNN.

    8. .

      If rat gets here earlier, it appears it means you are out of here sooner.

      All good.

      The rat and I could be developing a great modus vivendi.


    9. Lord help this our suffering, sinful, absurd world.... !

  33. In Venezuela, even the ‘chavistas’ are turning on President Maduro

    If you want to know how Venezuela went from one of the richest nations in South America to a basket case of 4-digit inflation, the answer is “chavistas.” Chavistas are the people who voted for former President Hugo Chavez on the promise that the government would provide for them. That worked for a while, so long as oil prices were sky high, but once global oil prices dropped the government’s ability to pay also collapsed. Now the Washington Post reports even the chavistas have had enough of the country’s socialist rulers:

    “Maduro is so different,” said Irene Castillo, 26, who lives in El Guarataro, a tough neighborhood not far from the presidential palace. She voted for Maduro in 2013 when Chávez died after 14 years in power. But no one on Castillo’s block supports the government anymore, she said. “Now, those who remain ‘chavistas’ are just the radicals.” …

    “The base of the chavista movement has eroded, and the situation is growing more explosive,” said Margarita López Maya, a political analyst in Caracas. “There’s no bread, but the government continues to insist it has the majority of Venezuelans on its side, so it looks increasingly dissociated from the reality of people’s lives.”
    Where the chavistas once supported the socialist government on the promise of a better life, they are now being threatened by the same government. With food increasingly difficult to find (to the point that people are eating dogs, cats and pigeons), the government began distributing food through party representatives in each neighborhood. That means anyone who protests the ruling party or even fails to show up for pro-socialist rallies is in danger of having their food supply cut off:

    In interviews, several residents of poorer Caracas neighborhoods said they have been warned not to participate in any anti-government protests. “They blackmailed us with the bag,” said one man in El Guarataro, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.
    The ruling party also has a paramilitary wing known as colectivos. These are the guys in red on motorcycles who are seen at anti-government events. The government (and its media supporters) maintain they have no association with these people but everyone on the street knows better.

    But President Maduro isn’t just relying on the stick approach, i.e. threats to cut off food. As the ruling socialists have done for years, he is also trying to buy support through government handouts. The Associated Press reports Maduro just raised the minimum wage 60% in a vain attempt to keep up with inflation:

    On his regular Sunday television show, Maduro ordered a 60 percent increase in the country’s minimum wage starting Monday. It was the third pay increase the socialist leader has ordered this year and the 15th since he became president in 2013…

    “We’re here to take care of the workers, those who are most humble, and not the privileges of the oligarchs,” Maduro said.

    This will fail of course. Maduro can order the presses to print more money to distribute to the population but that only increases the rate that inflation spirals out of control. Nothing will change until Venezuela abandons its failed socialism and makes long-overdue market reforms.

    Meanwhile, every time I hear Maduro speak I can’t help but notice how much his rhetoric sounds like Bernie Sanders. Here’s Bernie last year in a piece for the Washington Post: “What do we want? We want to end the rapid movement that we are currently experiencing toward oligarchic control of our economic and political life.” About half the Democratic party is ready to make the same devil’s bargain the chavistas made in Venezuela. If only they were paying attention to what is happening in Venezuela right now, maybe they’d feel differently.


  34. Harry's New York Bar, Paris, France


  35. Maduro on Sunday repeated his call for dialogue, which the opposition has rejected after Vatican-sponsored talks collapsed in December with little progress.

    He also repeated a pledge to hold gubernatorial elections soon, perhaps as early as this year.Many in the opposition consider Maduro's offer of gubernatorial elections an empty concession and are pushing for an early presidential vote after the government cancelled regional races last year. Maduro's allies currently govern in 20 of Venezuela's 23 states but polls indicate the opposition would likely win the next election after it took control of congress in December 2015 by a landslide.

  36. Let that ahole Maduro create 'dialogue' by holding fair elections and abiding by the results.

    The would solve the political impasse.

    Fixing the destroyed economy so people actually have enough food to eat so as not to starve to death will take longer, but certainly doable.

  37. Pope Francis appealed to leaders of Venezuela’s government and society Sunday to avoid more violence after four weeks of political turmoil that has produced a mounting number of dead, injured and arrests. Francis told faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square that, united in sorrow with the families of victims, he was making a heartfelt appeal to “the government and all the components of the Venezuelan society so that every further form of violence is avoided, human rights are respected and negotiated solutions are sought.”


    In a public letter to Francis on Sunday, the opposition dismissed the notion that there are divisions within its ranks and outlined its key demands that have been behind the almost daily protests that have already claimed 29 deaths. “The only dialogue acceptable in Venezuela today is the dialogue of voting, which is the only way to overcome the crisis and re-establish Venezuela’s kidnapped democracy,” the Democratic Unity alliance said.

  38. My hope, and goal, as we continue these conversations, is to slowly lift Quirk up from the cognitive lumpen-proletariat to the proletariat level, to a proper respectible place in the cognitive third estate.

  39. from GOOD GRIEF

    Trump: 'Why was there the Civil War?'
    BY REBECCA SAVRANSKY - 05/01/17 09:03 AM EDT

    President Trump during an interview that airs Monday questioned why the country had a Civil War and suggested former President Andrew Jackson could have prevented it had he served later.

    "I mean had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later you wouldn't have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart," Trump said during an interview with the Washington Examiner's Salena Zito.

    "He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War, he said, 'There's no reason for this.'"

    Jackson, the nation's seventh president, died in 1845. The Civil War began in 1861.

    The president further questioned why the country could not have solved the Civil War.

    "People don't realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why?" Trump said during the edition of "Main Street Meets the Beltway" scheduled to air on SiriusXM.

    "People don't ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?"

    During the interview, the president also compared his win to that of Jackson.

    "My campaign and win was most like Andrew Jackson, with his campaign. And I said, when was Andrew Jackson? It was 1828. That's a long time ago," Trump said.

    "That's Andrew Jackson. And he had a very, very mean and nasty campaign. Because they said this was the meanest and the nastiest. And unfortunately, it continues."

    Trump has in the past drawn comparisons between his campaign and that of Jackson.

    Ahead of a March rally, the president compared his presidency to Jackson's while marking the birthday of the seventh president.

    Speaking outside The Hermitage, Jackson's estate in Nashville, Tenn., Trump referred to Jackson as the people's president.

    "It was during the revolution that Jackson first confronted and defied an arrogant elite. Does that sound familiar?" Trump said ahead of his rally earlier this year.

    Trump said his visit to The Hermitage was "inspirational" and that he is "a fan."


    1. My mom dated Andrew Jackson.

      ...on a spot quiz.

  40. "Satellite Photo of Koran Peninsula at Night -"

    Quirk's dream is to take a drone image of Detroit once the two are indistinguishable.


    1. Anything goin' down in Truckee today ?

    2. Westbound freight.

      Lots of "K-Line" cars.


    3. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd., also referred to as "K" Line, is one of the largest Japanese transportation companies.


  41. Women !

    Female FBI agent married ISIS terrorist she was investigating

    A female FBI agent named Daniela Greene, who had a top-secret security clearance in 2014, married a German rapper-turned-ISIS-supporter she was supposed to be investigating. Shortly after marrying Denis Cuspert, Greene regretted her decision. She returned to the U.S. and was arrested and eventually sentenced to two-years in prison. From CNN:

    In Germany, Cuspert went by the rap name Deso Dogg. In Syria, he was known as Abu Talha al-Almani. He praised Osama bin Laden in a song, threatened former President Barack Obama with a throat-cutting gesture and appeared in propaganda videos, including one in which he was holding a freshly severed human head…

    Greene was assigned to the bureau’s Detroit office in January 2014 when she was put to work “in an investigative capacity” on the case of a German terrorist referred to in court records only as “Individual A.”

    Individual A was Cuspert who had left Germany for Syria in 2012. In April 2014, just a few months after Greene was assigned the investigation, Cuspert released a video in which he pledged allegiance to ISIS. Two months later, Greene lied to the FBI in order to go meet Cuspert:

    On June 11, 2014, Greene filled out a Report of Foreign Travel form — a document FBI employees and contractors with national security clearances are required to complete when traveling abroad.

    Greene, who was still married to her American husband at the time, characterized her travel on the form as “Vacation/Personal,” court records show.

    “Want to see my family,” she wrote. Specifically, Greene said, she was going to see her parents in Munich, Germany.

    In reality, she traveled to Turkey and then got help from Cuspert to cross into Syria. Once there she married the terrorist and warned him he was under investigation by the FBI.

    Emails Greene sent while in Syria suggest she quickly realized she had made a terrible mistake. “I really made a mess of things this time,” she wrote to an unidentified friend in the U.S. In another email she seemed resigned to her own death, “I am in a very harsh environment and I don’t know how long I will last here, but it doesn’t matter, it’s all a little too late.” About a month after crossing into Syria, Greene fled the country and returned to the U.S. where she was promptly arrested and sentenced to two years in prison.

    Greene was released from prison last August. CNN notes that her sentence seems comparatively light given that some people convicted of trying to join ISIS have received sentences closer to 13 years. Greene now works as a hostess at a hotel lounge. She refused to talk to CNN saying it would put her family in danger.


    1. Yup, she really made a mess of things, we can all agree with that.

    2. Don't hear much of that kid imprisoned right at the beginning for fighting with the Taliban.

      ...done forgot his name, in fact.

    3. I mostly stay out of downtown for fear I'll run into someone in a burqa, fall madly in love, only to find he's a Caitlyn wannabe.

    4. "Never fall in love with a burqa"

      from Ancient Wisdom

  42. Back here at home I fell in love with a dog seen here at 7 min 22 seconds.

    Stay tuned, he reappears on land @ 9 - 12


    1. I've seen that mutt somewhere before....but where ?