Monday, September 27, 2010

Arizona Republic laments how hard it is for immigrants to legally get a US visa

Which is quite funny because the Arizona Republic spends most of it's time implicitly telling us how much the U.S. sucks. They do mention near the bottom of the article how we let 1 million people a year emigrate legally to the US. That's a pretty big number. The peak year of Ellis Island immigration (which is not mentioned in the article) was 1,004,756 in 1907. And we're doing that every year.

One million a year is plenty. That's one percent of our entire population every three years. I wonder what would happen to the already failing Arizona Repugnant (sic) if they got their wish and we opened up the floodgates to unlimited immigration.

I am in no way excusing the INS by the way. They DO suck beyond all recognition. I have seen this first hand, as a friend of mine married a foreign national. They repeatedly lost her records, hassled them, and it took multiple letters to a local Congressmen's office to get them off their fat asses and issue her a green card.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Traveling in Italy

I recently went to Italy for the 4th time. It's a great country, and anyone who loves history should go. Rome and it's ruins are fascinating of course. Most travel articles and books will tell you not to get any tours and just go to the sights with a good history book and hang out at them.

Being hardheaded I disregarded this advice and got tours in Rome and Florence with Dark Rome tours. Some notes:

Vatican Tour: Great Tour, beautiful museum, and American tour guide with excellent English.

Colosseum and Roman Ruins tour: Bad English, bad knowledge of Roman History.

Florence tour: Bad English and bad sound equipment, but tour path was good.

For some reason Dark Rome didn't offer a tour of Venice, so we had to book through Unfortunately the tour guide's English was poor, we couldn't hear her half of the time, and she got in a shouting match with a bunch of people in line at St. Mark's Basilica. That pretty much ruined the tour for us. While some might find an Italian Riot exhilarating we can see riots at any G-8 summit for free.

A movie to see before you go to Venice is Dangerous Beauty, which is the story of Veronica Franco, a famous Courtesan of Venice:

And, there is the impeccable miniseries Rome...seeing this before you go to Rome will enhance the whole trip:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sharpe's Rifles

I recently went down the DVD aisle at Sam's Club and saw a British Series called Sharpe, about a fictional English Soldier fighting in Napoleanic times. Don't know how I missed it...this is a type of Horatio Hornblower character who came up from the ranks by saving Wellington's life. I gave the first one, Sharpe's Rifles a try and found it to be excellent. Sean Bean plays a tough as nails Sargeant in His Majesty's Army in Spain.
This series also has a lot to say about not being "a proper officer" but coming up through the ranks and class snobbery. Not just from the other officers but from the enlisted men too. Some of whom he literally has to beat into submission. Big difference nowadays in the American Military, often times the officers that are not prior enlisted are looked down upon compared to the officers who come up through the ranks. In either case, you will be judged on your merits in today's military. I like to think so anyway.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The 100k secretary

We have a lady who runs the facilities in the office, she is rude, overpaid, nasty, and lazy. Let's call her Spamela. She handles the office and cube assignments, and the facilities issues. All of these things are a mess right now. How is that? How did she get the job? How can she get away with it?

Simple: her husband is a program manager in another program with the same contracting company. Therefore Spamela can be nasty, lazy, and unresponsive. And keep her job. Not only that, but Spamela's daughter can be security manager for the building, work 1 day a week, and get paid an exorbitant salary in an unskilled job with no education.

How many Spamela's are running around the department of defense? And the bigger question is, how do we the taxpayer put Spamela where she belongs? In an unemployment line. Where there are plenty of good people who can do Spamela's job? Complain? Maybe if you want to lose your own job. Expose? Maybe, but that's been tried before with no response.

Another way maybe is the IG for the DOD to report Military and Civilian Irregularity on contracts. Sometimes they do their job. Or, you can monitor their comings and goings and report when they are goofing off on the government's time. There is always a way. Let's fix this government, one Spamela at a time.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Regime Collapse in North Korea

Black 5 believes that special forces Colonel David Maxwell's hypothesis about regime change in North Korea will result in another bloody insurgency problem for the United States.

Here is the actual show excerpt on C-Span. Colonel Maxwell's thoughts begin at the 25 minute mark.

I think COL Maxwell is off the mark here for a couple of reasons:

1) The North Korean people themselves want nothing more than to get out from underneath the boot on their throat, as do almost all people in communist countries that bought on to that crap. There will be no support for an insurgency. The Vietnamese left communism of their own accord. As the Chinese are doing now.

2) There is a basic cultural difference between the Middle East and the Far East.
The ideology of militant Islam that exists in Afghanistan does not exist in North Korea. This would not be the case if it was the Philippines or Indonesia. Then the probability of a long insurgency would be high.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Filesharing and the military

I used to have a bad opinion of bittorrent file sharing and people who break copyright laws. No longer. And I'll tell you why. Is it stealing? Yes. Is it legal? No. So why the change of heart?

The vast majority of those Hollywood gerbil-racers that you are stealing from hate the military, hate the U.S. and hate any type of meritocracy. If they could get away with it, they would still be at the airport spitting on us and calling us baby-killers. They still do it, albeit implicitly with movies and television shows depicting us as ignorant savages.

So, while I don't condone stealing, if you're gonna do it, I suggest you get a vpn set up such as BTGuard VPN so you don't get caught and have at. Hit those Hollywood turds where it hurts them the most: in the pocketbook. Give them a dose of communism that they so fervently believe in.