There are two storm warnings I want to give you, one of which requires action on your part, the other of which, depending on where you live, falls into the “sit, watch, and thank God you’re far away” category.
First warning: Drastic cuts to the military, courtesy of Bawney Fwank, that noted military expert. (And yes, I am being incredibly sarcastic describing him as such.) The Navy Times provides some details:
Cut two carriers and 40 percent of new ballistic-missile subs, then slash the fleet to 230 ships and eight air wings. Terminate the F-35, Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle and V-22 Osprey. Drop down to six expeditionary strike groups, eliminate the maritime prepositioning force and place greater emphasis on surging smaller naval groups as needed.
These are but some of the eyebrow-raising recommendations provided to Congress on June 10 by the Sustainable Defense Task Force. The group was formed at the request of Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass.; Walter B. Jones, R-N.C.; and Ron Paul, R-Texas; and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. The task force proposal amounts to $1.1 trillion in defense cuts over 10 years. Slightly more than half of that amount comes from personnel budgets; the rest comes by cutting research, development and procurement of weapons systems.
And that’s just cuts to the Navy. As I understand it, the proposals are far-reaching, and involve drastic cuts to every aspect of our military.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea how the military feels about these cuts. Maybe they worked with this committee, and honestly tried to trim out deadwood made unnecessary by technological advances. However, given the committee’s composition, and given the Navy Times own raised eyebrows, I have a suspicion that the military might be less than sanguine about those suggestions, especially given that the world’s bad guys, seeing a weak man in the White House, are acting up like crazy (that would be Iran, Russia, Venezuela, China, the Norks, Syria, etc, etc, etc).
Given my suspicion that the military may have its own ideas about the virtue of these cuts, and the coming storm they may bring about, it occurred to me that concerned citizens might want to make sure that groups that have the military’s interests at heart are sufficiently funded to make their presence known on Capitol Hill. As you know, my pet group is the Navy League, a non-profit organization dedicated, in significant part, to “foster[ing] and maintain[ing] interest in a strong Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine as integral parts of a sound national defense and vital to the freedom of the United States.”
As I said, the proposed cuts may still leave us with a “strong” military as part of a sound defense for a free United States, but, well, I’m just not so sure. I therefore urge you to join the Navy League or, if you have a pet military organization that provides a voice for the military before Congress, by all means, send money to that organization.
The second storm warning is for Oakland, California, residents. If you remember the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, you might want to batten down the hatches in case similar rioting strikes in Oakland. Here’s the problem, as Zombie describes it:
Nearly everyone in the Bay Area agrees that a major Oakland riot is brewing if the verdict in the trial of policeman Johannes Mehserle, accused of murdering BART passenger Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day, 2009, comes back anything other than “GUILTY!” The problem for Oakland’s sense of security is that Mehserle is almost certainly not guilty of murder, and the jury is likely to give him a comparatively light sentence or even let him go completely.
You should, of course, read Zombie’s entire article, which goes to the impending lawlessness in Oakland, a city on the verge of cutting 80 positions from its active duty police officers.
UPDATED: It doesn’t quite belong here, but since there is a storm brewing in the Gulf, this seems like the best place to put Ace’s post about the way in which overreaching government bureaucracy destroys all functioning. One of the stepping stones on my journey across the Rubicon to conservatism was Phillip K. Howard’s The Death of Common Sense: How Law is Suffocating America, in which he describes the way in which government bureaucracy, by aiming for some elusive perfection and by working to keep itself funded, destroys efficiency, innovation, and basic functionality.