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09 August 2011


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Do you happen to have a picture of the little Renault tank that you could post so others could see the little bugger?

William R. Cumming

They serve good fried chicken the 1st Monday of each month at the local VFW post.they have plenty of room of a T-72 or M-6l!

The Twisted Genius

I'm struck by the general agreement among all the responses to this NJ question.


"A strong America needs the Dirigible"

-bumper sticker I saw 30 years ago, & loved so much that it lodged in my otherwise rather porous cranium.

"Reunite Gondwanaland!"

-another one. Not relevant to this post, but perhaps it's a fun way to skewer steriodal foriegn policy.


So with no 'super-power' threat we need a super power air force and a super power navy and a bunch of super power ICBM's and on and on because if we don't have them …. a bunch of super power compensated jerks get super un-employed? Sadly for DOD contractors there have been so many 'hawks' for so long that they've eaten up all the pigeons. I would like to point out to Sydney Freedberg and co. that Social Security, like military pensions and VA medical care, are 'obligations' the American people have had their constitutionally elected representatives enact. My question to him is why does he think this super power military exists, to defend 9% unemployment and a low tax rate on owners of money?

William R. Cumming

Typo and meant M-60!



Caution should be our watchword in speculating about significant cuts in the defense budget anytime soon. History counsels against anticipating that the latest wave of austerity will breach the seawall that protects the Pentagon from bouts of intemperate political weather. There are 3 reasons for this.

1. The DOD is not just any Executive Branch department. It is the keystone of an Iron Triangle whose other vectors are the vested defense contractors and legislators whose districts and campaign chests both are kept well filled by Pentagon largesse.

2. Assessing tangible defense depends on a frank strategic appraisal of threats and response capability. Always difficult to do, it has become impossible in today's climate. There is neither the talent, the will nor the sense of public interest within the nation's security establishment as currently populated (which includes the White House and OMB) to do this on an honest and rigorous basis. Too many careers, bank accounts and pet ideas would be put at risk. As a consequence, there are no yardsticks for measuring what is needed to perform what missions for what purpose and how.

3. Intellectual disarray opens the way for purveyors of fear to use catch phrases to sow anxiety and to put on the defensive anyone who- might even contemplate asking the questions of 'why?' and 'how much is enough?' We still live in the brooding atmosphere of the post-9/11 era. The magic words terrorism, al-Qaeda, WMD and now Iran need only to be broadcast in somber tones for the Pavolovian fear response to register from sea to shining sea. Add to this host of ghouls China - the now omnipresent, lurking menace to America's fulfilling its Providential destiny to lead the world's tribes into the land of milk, honey and abundant consulting contracts. Leon Panetta put on his grimmest face to trot out that time dishonored ploy a few days back. Barack Obama, too, always has it at the ready to rivet the attention of potential campaign contributors - most effective when deployed in combination with ringing declarations of support for Israel, the indispensable American leadership in the global fight for freedom, the obligation to leave the world a better place for our (soon to be impoverished) children, and to earn the Lord's blessing.

So don't count the savings until this logic shows signs of eroding.

Patrick Lang


Sounds like you and adams have a similar opinion. the only reason i don't agree with you is that there is NO MONEY. pl

The Twisted Genius

Colonel Lang, I agree with your observation that there is no money. But I think we will find a way to pretend otherwise for quite some time. The Treasury is printing wads of 100 dollar bills in the same way the JFKSWC prints wads of Republic of Pineland 50 don notes. In reality, both currencies are comparable in actual worth. However, as long as I'm still paid in dollars, I'm reluctant to call bullshit on the whole charade... just as reluctant as Wall Street is to acknowledge that their mortgage backed securities are worthless.

The talk of cutting a trillion dollars over ten years is also a charade. Any grand agreement done this year will be undone before five years pass and any real cut will be closer to ten million than one trillion. The gravy train of ever rising defense budgets may be over, but I doubt the huge cuts bandied about in Congress will ever materialize. The emperor will continue to prance around balls-ass naked.

My fervent hope is that all the dire talk of debt and, at least, minimal actual budget cuts will force us to abandon our strategy of military adventurism.

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