Archive for March, 2014

Hem those pants up

March 31, 2014

No, this isn’t a real important post but it’s one of those subjects that irritates me.

US-ATTACKS-AIRPORT SECURITYYou know the TSA uniform isn’t too bad.  But the one thing too many who put on a uniform neglect is to properly hem the pants.  Extra long pants look sloppy and unprofessional.  I’ve been traveling  a lot lately and I’ve seen a number of TSA agents who look and act very professional, but I’ve also seen those few that look terrible in their uniforms.  A poorly fitted uniform looks horrible.  It’s hard enough for a TSA agent, security guard or a police officer to garner any respect these days but a sharp uniform helps.  It says trust me I care about what I do. 

I’m not a uniform “Nazi”, but damn why wouldn’t you want to look your best?  Just saying….

Note: picture is of TSA uniforms worn properly although you can’t see the hem.  Smile

EPA, Russia, Mexico

March 19, 2014

EPA fake

fake-cia-agent

John Beale, the former EPA official who fooled his bosses into believing he worked for the CIA, was deeply involved in crafting costly environmental standards which are still having an impact today — though he came into the job with little, if any, environmental experience.

The details were included in a 67-page report from Republicans on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which claims the fraudster’s role should now throw those rules into question.

The report is the product of months of research into the case of Beale, a top official in the Office of Air and Radiation, who was sentenced to prison in December for defrauding the agency with his CIA lie. It details Beale’s role in crafting an aggressive regulatory approach which the report dubs the "EPA Playbook."

 

This may seem like a single incident but my experience with government civilians both civil service and contractor makes me believe this is more common than one might think. It’s not just at the highest levels although though the standards at that level seem more based on political productivity. The lower levels are just plain nepotism and cronyism. This produces many bad policies and dysfunctional areas of government. But how do you fix it? More regulations don’t seem to be the answer as the process to higher Government workers is already filled with pages of rules. Most of these rules, in the name of fairness, seem to rule out the competent and insert the something quite different.

Russia and Crimea:

Some of you might expect me to say a lot about this subject but the truth is all is falling into place just as expected. But never fear our President is on the job.

President Obama is picking Michigan State to win the NCAA men’s basketball championship over defending champion Louisville.

In what has become an annual March Madness tradition at the White House, Obama filled out a bracket in a segment broadcast on ESPN Wednesday.

Mexico:

Lately I’ve been reading a little on Mexico and the state of the drug/cartel wars. Check out Borderlandbeat if you want some real depressing news.

EPN, 14 Months: 23,640 Deaths

ZETA documented, only in January 2014, there were 1,425 intentional homicides related to organized crime, which include “executions”, “shootouts”, “homicide-attacks”, and those that are a product of vendettas by narcomenudistas (“stew” makers) who belong to different drug cartels or drug cells throughout the country.

But don’t worry folks there is absolutely no reason to fear any spill over into the US.

There’s a foreign policy?

March 3, 2014

President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy

This from the Washington Post’s editorial board. 

FOR FIVE YEARS, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality. It was a world in whichthe tide of war is receding” and the United States could, without much risk, radically reduce the size of its armed forces. Other leaders, in this vision, would behave rationally and in the interest of their people and the world. Invasions, brute force, great-power games and shifting alliances — these were things of the past.

I still thinks that’s a rosy outlook.  The idea that we have a foreign policy at the moment seems remote.  If we do have a policy I don’t think it’s in the interest of the US or western democracies. 

Photo Credit to BRANCO and the Conservativedailynews.com

From the Diplomad: Read the whole thing there.

Our "leaders" are simply not to be taken seriously on critical foreign policy issues. They have no overall strategic aim for our foreign policy; no clear idea where they want us to be in three, four, five years; simply put they don’t really care about foreign policy. They react to crises with bland words, and by wishing them away into the cornfield with the help of the compliant media. Whatever happened to the urgency of the Syrian crisis?

Oregon’s healthcare site signs up illegals

March 3, 2014

Nearly 4,000 applicants for a state program that provides undocumented immigrants with pregnancy services were instead enrolled in full Oregon Health Plan coverage, contrary to federal law, thanks to problems with the Cover Oregon health insurance exchange.

State officials say they discovered the problem several weeks ago and are correcting it.

What can you even say anymore?  Umm… go Ducks?

UKRAINE, Defense, Army Uniforms

March 1, 2014

Yes my friends the postings have been severely limited. I’ve been a rather busy lately. It’s a hell of a time to be busy too with all that’s going on. Certainly there are lots of topics to say a word or two about. So, as a method of catching up I’ll just post a little about a few current topics in one post. I hope to write a longer piece on the drug war in Mexico soon.

Ukraine:

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As Russian troops move into Ukraine the President issued a harshly worded statement. ‘there will be costs’. Whew, glad he got out in front of this crises. I’m sure Putin said to his advisors, “wow, I didn’t see that coming”. “We better back off and quickly”.

And that Romney fella is looking smarter and smarter as this administration goes along.

 "This is to Russia," Romney said. "This is without question our number one geopolitical foe.

"They fight every cause for the world’s worst actors. The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed," he said.

Defense:

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In a related topic the Defense Secretary announces proposed defense cuts which include a major drawing down of the military. This also include pay and benefits reductions. These proposed cuts would reduce the military’s size and capabilities considerably. The cuts of course are in response to years of war. But doesn’t the leaving Afghanistan and Iraq already save us money? If done intelligently, shouldn’t a drawdown be done slowly and with an eye on events still ongoing around the world. Does this announcement seem like it’s timed rather poorly? Or is it just politics as usual before budget talks?

Army Uniforms:

But don’t fret my friends the pentagon will move forward on redesigning the army’s uniforms and equipment again. This time they are looking at the Army using the Marine’s design although there will still be another year at least of “Rigorous” testing. Because it take a long time to put four or five guys in different camouflage and send them into the woods to see which one works better. There will be charts and graphs and formulas which will be much better than the previous tests conducted. This will only costs a few million or is it billions in the end and really that’s not much for cools ass uniforms and all the equipment pattern changes. Never mind the drawdown. There must be priorities and lord knows we haven’t changed uniforms enough yet. Now don’t get me wrong. The ACUs must go. They were the worst camouflage pattern ever. What a waste.

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