February 17, 2010
I hope that people actually see this, my focus here will still include anime, guns, cars, motorcycles but with probably a fair bit more posting on politics than as in the past. Well rather more of a focus on domestic politics.
1. Kill Social Security and Medicare. Not reform them, kill them, cash out the social security trust fund and place it 50% in short term interest bearing CDs and the rest in stock market index funds to pay persons currently receiving benefits. This allows payroll taxes to be used to pay down the debt and the cashing in of the trust fund eliminates 2.4 Trillion from the total national debt.
2. Repeal the Community Reinvestment Act. This is what brought about the sub-prime loan crisis. Politicians meddling in the mortgage markets. By no longer forcing banks to give sub-prime loans the can focus on extending credit to people that can pay them back, what a concept.
3. Cut Marginal Income Tax Rates by 5 % across the board. It has proven time and again the best way to restart the economy from a recession is to cut taxes and lower spending. Lower taxes mean people keep more of what the earn, so the wok harder and earn more, allowing the government to collect greater tax revenues with lower tax rates.
4. Initiate number three above as the first phase in introducing a flat income tax on all earners above a minimum income cutoff floor. Making taxes neither regressive or progressive but fair will ensure maximum compliance with the Tax Code by streamlining and simplifying the code itself and eliminate many of the loophole now used to by just about everyone to reduce there exposure to patently confiscatory tax rates.
5. No More Free Money. Namely a massive elimination of all but a handful of tax credits, government grants and other spending that does not directly contribute to the powers and duties given to the federal government in the constitution.
6. Amend the Constitution to Require a Balanced Budget. Make Congress live within its means, no more deficit spending except in dire emergencies, and then only with super majorities of 3/4 voting to approve in both houses.
I am not going to pretend that these are the best courses of action, only that they point a clear way toward reigning in deficit spending and unfunded liabilities. Social Security would need to be replaced by some sort of privatized system of individual accounts, funded by a combination of payroll deductions and voluntary contributions, but whatever replaces it should have an opt out allowing for people to forgo any claim on government benefits to forgo their participation entirely.
March 24, 2009
From the Japan Times: Helicopter carrier commissioned
The acquisition of a combat ship that can project force far from Japan raises concerns in Asia and may even spur rivalry with China, which is rumored to covet an aircraft carrier of its own.
Setting another precedent, the ¥105 billion Hyuga will have female officers and enlisted personnel, the first combat ship to have a mixed-sex complement since the Self-Defense Forces were created in 1954.
At a ceremony at IHI Marine United Inc.'s shipyard in Yokohama, Parliamentary Defense Secretary Ryota Takeda handed the MSDF's rising sun ensign to the skipper, Capt. Katsunori Yamada, to hoist on the Hyuga.
March 23, 2009
There is nothing quite like riding a motorcycle, the connection between rider, cycle and road is a truly amazing thing. I love cars,and I love to drive high performance cars, but nothing can compare the feedback that a bike gives you, every little imperfection in the road surface, the effect of the wind, even sounds that you never hear in a car combine to make for an experience that is unlike any other. If you have never ridden a motorcycle I highly recommend it, but before you do be sure to take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider course and to wear the proper safety gear.
From the Yomiuri Shimbun:
The government has decided to order the Self-Defense Forces to "destroy" missiles predicted to strike Japanese territory, in preparation for North Korea's scheduled launch of what it claims to be a satellite but is believed to be a ballistic missile, government sources said Wednesday.
The order may be issued by the end of this month, according to the sources.
The action will be taken in line with Article 82 of the Self-Defense Forces Law to enable the SDF to intercept missiles using its missile defense system.
Objects to be subject to the order will be defined as "ballistic missiles and others" deemed to pose a threat to Japanese territory. The government said the objects will include satellites predicted to strike Japanese territory--whether water or land--as well as rockets used to launch them, according to the sources.
The SDF law stipulates that prime ministerial approval alone is required for issuing such an order. In practice, however, the order would be issued following cabinet approval and would be announced to the public.
There isn't much to say about this except that it highlights how much more willing the Japanese government is to use the tools of defense for that purpose since North Korea has acquired nuclear weapons. No nation can ignore a threat to its security from its neighbors as real as the one North Korea is to Japan. Only time will tell if the Japanese have to splash this Nork missile or if it is fired off in a different direction or blows up on the pad (which given their history is a very real possibility). For now it is just one more potential flash point in a world full of them that may or may not start a fire which no one wants.
March 22, 2009
November 01, 2008
THis getting far too old, and far too common. Yet once again I am here apologizing for the lack of updates. I really am going to try and get this bad boy up and running again on something resembling a regular basis. Until then have some naughty pictures for your trouble.
More Ecchi goodness below the fold.more...
August 14, 2008
From Multi National Force Iraq and Defenselink
Remember Operational Security Starts with YOU!
August 12, 2008
Being who I am when I recieved the first installment of my enlistment bonus I went and bought myself a nice little toy I have been wanting for a while now. That would be a brand new Harley Davidson Nightser, and here are some pictures of said toy.
Rather than appologizing once again for the extremely sparse posting I will actually post something more interesting. When I left for the Basic in January ADV was one the companies that was at the top of the US anime heap. Now they are struggling to survive, with their recent anouncements at Otakon veing less than overwhelming. Personally I hope they will find a new and more stable partner than Sojitz proved to be. Ideally they would merge with their long time rival to the north, Funimation. That is unlikely, but a merger with any number of companies have interesting possibilities. For now though one just has to wait and see.
See more opinions on ADV's future here.
June 28, 2008
May 30, 2008
April 26, 2008
Wow, despite my best efforts I have less chance to update this bad boy as much as I had hoped. That being said AIT is a hell of a lot more laid back than basic training. The first half of my classes were over manual gunnery, ie learning how to use a chart and associated tools to create firing solutions for the gun line. Now we are learning AFATDS, the computer system that allows to transmit and manage all of that information, for all of the gunnery compuatation are made on the quick and reliable manual methods in use since the first world war.
As far as living conditions go they are similar to basic in that I am still living an open bay, but at the moment with only twenty five or so other guys. When your major complaints are about your slow internet connection or that lights out means you have to turn off your Xbox is pretty telling. Our battery is by far the most laid back in the batallion, we get overnight off post passes every weekend, while the others get on post passes or no passes at all. Really it is all too easy, you get up in the morning, do PT, go to class, come back and have a formation after dinner chow and then we are on our own untill lights out. If anything it will be even easier when I get to my first duty station. That and the 40 large headed my way when I get there will make for pretty comfotable living.
March 26, 2008
I'm back baby, today is family day and tomorrow is graduation. BCT is over and I am damn glad too. Basic was challening, but a lot of fun at the same time, right now I am on pass and posting this from my brother's laptop in the hotel room. In general Lawton seeems to be an ok town and fort Sill is a pretty decent post from what I have seen.
A picture of family day formation right before we were dismissed on pass.
I'll post more tomorrow if I get a chance, and for sure sunday.
January 22, 2008
I am Raging Tachikoma's brother, and I'll be filling in for him while he's away at Basic. I'm new to this site, so please forgive any errors I may make in posting for the time being - I'll try to learn all this quickly so I can avoid mistakes. I may comment on some things once in a while but as I am not quite as up to speed on current events as he is my remarks will likely be fewer. I will also sign my posts with the username signguy29 to avoid any confusion (just as soon as I figure out how to do that without changing all the posts' signatures).
That said, here's some news:
From First Multi National Force Iraq:
January 08, 2008
I am posting this from the airport in Oklahoma City, on my way to Basic Training at Fort Sill. So I am now offically handing things over to my brother from here on out. So lets all say Hello to the new (albeit temporary boss around here.
January 02, 2008
I don't know why or how but spending seven hours sitting in a car doing largely nothing can be as tiring as it is. As for internet explorer the computer I had access to in Texas had IE six, and well the sight looked, not great to say the least. So if you are still using IE six please upgrade to IE 7 or Firefox for the best looking page possible. The only other thoughts of note aside from the giant pile of Manga I have waiting to be read is that I have no idea why it took me so long to buy an external hard drive. Compared to backing stuff up onto CDs is just, well incomparable. I bought myself a Seagate 80 gig free agent with a giftcard I got for christmas, and at only $59.00 at Bestbuy I couldn't be happier, though I was tempted by their after christmas special of a 500GB Western Digital book drive for $109.00. But I was able to resist, because I have nowhere near that much data to back up. All in all it was a good trip, the weather was a nice change of pace, with plenty of time well spent with family I don't get to see nearly often enough.
A random picture of snacks for no reason what so ever.
December 31, 2007
How quickly time seems to pass, it seems as though in a mere eye blink ago I was niether a soldier nor a blogger, yet now both those things are so. In looking back on the past year I must say that taken as a whole more good than bad has emerged from 2007. Both for me personally, and for the world as a whole. Perhaps it is just my optimistic nature, but I see the world becoming an even better place in 2008. What role I will play in that, is as yet unknown to me, but I eagerly await to have that knowledge revealed to me in all due time. Time is a strange thing, when we wish for it move more quickly it crawls by, yet when we wish for more it seems to rush by at ever increasing speed.
How strange it is time, that most human of creations, can seem to be a natural deliniation is merely the desire of the human mind to structure into rigid and equal units what nature does seemlessly and smoothly since before humanity even came to be. I desire to control it, I know that I can not, and I accept it as it passes away, each passing moment ushering in the next. That is one of the great quandries of life, and one of its greatest challenges is to learning to accept the passage of time for waht it is, an inevitable and beautiful part of our precious time on this good earth. So enjoy every moment of your life, for each moment is already escaping into the past. In closing I borrow the words of colonel General Dmitry Volkogonov:
The past is irretrevable, the present is incomplete, the future has already begun.
December 30, 2007
The DPJ has finally managed to offer up an alternative to the LDP's anti-terrorism bill. But as all previous indications were it is totally unrealistic in the conditions it sets for Japanese involvement in operations in coalition operations. On a hopeful note the LDP has apparently come to the same conclusion as the LDP that a permanent SDF dispatch law is needed and that the basic SDF rules of engagement need to be overhauled to reflect the new reality of today.
From the Daily Yomiuri: DPJ must stop delaying govt's antiterrorism bill.
While the DPJ has presented its bill as a proposal for action by Japan in the war against terrorism, its plan will never win support and understanding from the international community.
The DPJ initially intended to put off submitting its alternative bill during the current extraordinary Diet session, but changed its policy at the direction of party leader Ichiro Ozawa in an effort to fend off criticism that the party has an irresponsible attitude. The DPJ is likely to consider having the upper house debate its bill in parallel with that of the government and postpone the voting on the government's new antiterrorism bill at the upper house.
If the government's bill is not voted on by the upper house, the ruling bloc intends to pass it into law via a two-thirds majority vote by the ruling coalition in the House of Representatives in mid-January. If that happens, the DPJ is considering claiming that the ruling parties forced the bill through the Diet without sufficient deliberations, according to sources.
In the end, the DPJ's bill effectively offers nothing as an alternative to the MSDF's refueling mission that was suspended following the expiration of the Antiterrorism Law on Nov. 1.
However, there are noteworthy points in the DPJ's bill. It outlines the basic direction for development of a permanent law to dispatch Self-Defense Forces personnel overseas, while it allows SDF personnel to use arms when doing so is essential for fulfilling their duties.
There also are mounting calls within the government and ruling parties to change the criteria for allowing SDF personnel to use arms and for establishment of a permanent law on overseas SDF deployments. After the government's new antiterrorism bill is passed into law, both ruling and opposition parties should seriously discuss these issues and seek common ground.
Hello Kitty has been turned into a marketing juggernaut without compare. First it was a Hello Kitty viabrator, and now even more obscure product for licseing, bicycle tires. I kid you not go here.
Hat tip to Steven den Beste.
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