Cold War II

The adages goes, “those who fail to understand History are doomed to repeat it.” That is so true for our government. Obama and the dems have emasculated our military while destroying our economy. We are seeing a scenario reminiscent of mid-1980s, when Ronald Reagan’s plan to force the USSR into economic failure succeeded. The US won the Cold War by outspending the USSR—forcing them to compete until their spending ruined them.

This time around, the roles are reversed. The former USSR, the empire Putin wants to restore, is recovering from its economic collapse and it is rebuilding its military and returning to it’s expansionist history to restore the Russian Empire. We need only to look at the Crimea and the Ukraine for proof.

In fact, Putin’s Foreign Minister has announced the beginning of the next Cold War.

Russian Prime Minister: We Are ‘Approaching a Second Cold War’

7:08 AM, May 20, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev says that “we are slowly but surely approaching a second cold war.” He also said that U.S. President Barack Obama could be “more tactful politically” and that he’s disappointed in some of the decisions Obama has made.

“Yes, I believe that President Obama could be more tactful politically when discussing these issues. Some decisions taken by the US Administration are disappointing. We have indeed done a lot for Russian-US relations. I believe doing so was right. The agreements that we reached with America were useful. And I’m very sorry that everything that has been achieved is now being eliminated by these decisions. Basically, we are slowly but surely approaching a second cold war that nobody needs.

Medvedev continues about the incompetency of Obama. Putin and Medvedev would not be making these statements, pushing, being aggressive in the Crimea, sending ‘agent provocateurs’ into the Ukraine, if the United States had the ability and the determination to counter him.

When Ronald Reagan was president, we had a 600 ship navy, twelve carrier battle-groups, troops in Europe, commitments from our NATO allies requiring a level of competency in their militaries and navies, and an equally strong US Army, Air Force and Marine Corps.

Now, the democrats and Obama have created an unsustainable welfare state, reduced out military forces, destroying their morale with repeated back-to-back deployments and, when they can no longer meet the physical requirements, the veterans are discarded into a Veterans Administration that ignores their needs.

But Putin isn’t our only enemy. China looms in the west. They’ve made extraordinary territorial claims to vast segments of the western Pacific, imperialistically seizing resource rich areas from a number of neighboring countries—countries who, by treaty, look to the United States for defense.

http://i.imgur.com/m8Vuf.gif

China’s Exclusive Economic Zone

Just this week, we watched an approaching confrontation between China and Viet Nam. We don’t have any treaty obligations with Viet Nam, but we do with the Philippine Islands, Taiwan and Japan.

How an oil rig sparked anti-China riots in Vietnam

By Hilary Whiteman, CNN, May 19, 2014 — Updated 1307 GMT

http://thediplomat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/thediplomat_2014-05-08_15-06-31-386x231.pngHong Kong (CNN) — When China’s state-owned oil company dispatched an oil rig to a contested area of the South China Sea it flicked a match on a long-smoldering dispute with its communist neighbor Vietnam.Analysts say Beijing must have known the move would elicit some reaction, but it clearly didn’t predict having to evacuate thousands of Chinese nationals desperate to put some distance between them and violent Vietnamese protests.“The whole episode seems to reek of miscalculation, perhaps by both sides, but it demonstrates how volatile how this region can be,” said Alexander Neill, Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Asia (IISS).At issue is the positioning of an oil rig in waters claimed by both China and Vietnam. Vietnam claims the rig’s presence is “illegal” while China says it has every right to drill, and has castigated the Vietnamese government for failing to ensure the safety of its nationals.To understand the issue, it’s vital to look at the exact position of the rig.Where is the rig?In early May, Beijing announced the HD-981 rig would be parked at sea for exploratory work until mid-August. Owned by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the rig is anchored in Lot 143, about 120 nautical miles east of Vietnam’s Ly Son Island and 180 nautical miles from China’s Hainan Island, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).Analysis co-authored by CSIS experts said China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs appears to be basing its right to be there on the assumption that one of the Paracel Islands, which it claims as its own, is 17 miles north, allowing it to claim its own continental shelf in the region.China calls the contested Paracel Islands the Xisha Islands, while in Vietnam they’re known as the Hoang Sa Islands.Vietnam says the rig site is clearly on its continental shelf, and moreover is in its Exclusive Economic Zone. Hanoi has demanded that China remove the offending rig, escort vessels from the region and hold talks to settle the issue.The Chinese rig was escorted to the region by naval vessels and fighter jets, drawing Vietnamese boats to the area and raising tensions at sea. The Vietnamese have accused Chinese vessels of ramming and blasting its boats with water cannon. The Chinese say any conflict was provoked by Vietnamese harassment.

The column was just updated with the following bullet points.
  • China evacuates thousands of nationals from Vietnam amid territorial dispute
  • Protests erupted after China’s state oil company sent a rig to disputed territory
  • Vietnam says the rig site is on its continental shelf and within its Exclusive Economic Zone
  • China says the rig will be there until mid-August, has sent ships to guard the site
Another report tells of Chinese troops massing on the border next to Viet Nam. The report states that “Conflict Between China And Vietnam Is Imminent.

Conflicts in the east with Putin, conflicts in the west with China and Obama and the dems, as well as our military and naval forces, are completely unprepared. I think we are entering another of those “interesting times” mentioned in the Chinese curse.

War Warnings

The United States was involved in two major, world-spanning, wars in the 20th Century. We had warnings before the start of each war…and, for the most part, ignored them.

Newt Gingrich, in a CNN column, writes about the parallels between our current foreign situation and that prior to World War One. Gingrich, in addition to his political experience, is also a Historian. He is seeing the same parallels that I’ve written about in past posts.

The twin dangers of the Ukraine crisis

By Newt Gingrich, April 23, 2014 — Updated 2221 GMT (0621 HKT)

Ukrainian troops take position near burning tires at a pro-Russian checkpoint in Slaviansk following an attack by Ukrainian soldiers on Thursday, April 24. Ukraine has seen a sharp rise in tensions since a new pro-European government took charge of the country in February.

 

(CNN) — This year is the centennial of the First World War. One-hundred years ago this month, in April 1914, no one thought there would be a war. But war began, triggered by events in Eastern Europe, by the end of July. It came as an enormous shock, in retrospect almost like the Titanic hitting an iceberg.

In the end, it shattered Europe, cost tens of millions of lives, bankrupted countries and changed forever those who survived the horrors.

A century later, our focus is again on Eastern Europe, the site of a regional conflict that threatens to entangle the world’s leading powers.

The situation in Ukraine is a perilous one, much more so than our current debate acknowledges.

In Russia, we are dealing with the largest country in the world geographically, a country that possesses thousands of nuclear weapons, plenty of ballistic missiles and a ruthlessly determined leader motivated by nationalism and an imperial drive: a leader who also has an entrenched machine capable of keeping him in power for a long time.

In Ukraine, we are dealing with an ally that fought alongside us in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a nation now threatened with conquest by a much stronger neighbor against which it cannot defend itself.

In Europe, we are dealing with a continent that for more than half a century has relied on the United States to guarantee peace, security and freedom. We have kept that promise through NATO, the alliance that war in Eastern Europe threatens seriously to undermine.

And in the United States, we are dealing with a nation weary of war after more than a decade spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a public wary of more armed intervention abroad.

We need a national debate on what our policy is going to be. And then we need to engage our friends in Europe on what our policy is going to be.

As retired former NATO Commander Gen. Wesley Clark and his colleague Dr. Phillip Karber, a former Defense Department official, detail in their recent report from Ukraine, the Obama Pentagon has adopted a position of not helping that country with any offensive weapons. Offensive weapons including, for example, Kevlar vests, night vision equipment and aviation fuel.

So while the United States has sent thousands of meals ready to eat (Army rations) to a country that is an agricultural exporter, the administration has refused to send even nonlethal equipment that would help Ukraine defend itself and possibly avert war.

Instead of sending military supplies to Ukraine, we hear talk of more sanctions. And yet, as I discuss in my podcast this week, I suspect it will be apparent very quickly that sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin are going to be irrelevant. He is a very tough man. He heads a very big country with immense natural resources. He can cause pain fully as much as his neighbors can cause him pain. He can block American shipments to Afghanistan from coming through Russia by the northern route. He can cut off natural gas flow to Western Europe. He has a veto at the U.N. Security Council, and can obstruct further sanctions against Iran.

This is a very difficult situation, and we are now in two enormous dangers. First, of the Obama administration doing too little, in which case the world will become less safe as we show weakness to our allies and the Russians seek to reconstitute the Soviet empire. And second, of doing things too clumsily, in which case, as one-hundred years ago, a bad combination of miscalculations, delusions, laws and alliances could land us in a war no one intends.

If you read popular history, you would believe that the US entered World War One because of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania. What you may not remember is that the Lusitania was sunk on May 7, 1915. The US did not enter the war until April 6, 1917—nearly two years later.

The reasons for the delay were many—mostly due to the incompetence of Woodrow Wilson and his alliance with various ‘Peace’ groups. Wilson was finally convinced to sign the declaration of war after a number of events, such as the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare, the Zimmerman letters that indicated the Axis powers were attempting an alliance with Mexico (an aftermath of Pershing’s pursuit of Pancho Villa) and other indications that the Axis powers would soon ignore the neutrality of the US and attack US assets and installations at home and abroad.

American Entry into World War I, 1917

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson went before a joint session of Congress to request a declaration of war against Germany. Wilson cited Germany’s violation of its pledge to suspend unrestricted submarine warfare in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and its attempts to entice Mexico into an alliance against the United States, as his reasons for declaring war. On April 4, 1917, the U.S. Senate voted in support of the measure to declare war on Germany. The House concurred two days later. The United States later declared war on Austria-Hungary on December 7, 1917. — Office of the Historian, US State Department.

The paragraph above is the official summary of our entry into WW1. There is a more extensive, and controversial, discussion on Wiki (accused of anti-German bias.)

What Gingrich’s article does is to compare parallels then and today. Is the Russian invasion of the Crimea similar to that of Austia-Hungary’s invasion of Serbia? Is the overthrow of Ukrainian President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, the parallel of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand?

Obama, in response to Putin’s actions in the Ukraine, is sending a few troops to Poland, a US and NATO ally. True, it’s only 600 Paratroops to participate in a joint exercise. Other Army companies will head to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Obama and others in the White House and in the Administration think these pittance of troops will block further aggression by Putin. Unfortunately, like those events leading to World War 1, those few troops could be a tripwire leading us into another war. And, like we were prior to those two world wars in the last century, we are, again, ill prepared to respond.

How do you like it now?

Obamacare is in force. Not surprisingly, there are…issues.  Yeah, let’s call them issues, it sounds so innocuous.

It seems some hospitals, attempting to use Obamacare, had problems. A surgeon, attempting to get permission to perform a surgery, spent hours trying to verify a patient’s insurance…and finally gave up.

Paperwork problems almost delayed suburban Chicago resident Sheri Zajcew’s scheduled surgery Thursday, but Dr. John Venetos decided to operate without a routine go-ahead from the insurance company. That was after Venetos’ office manager spent two hours on hold with the insurer Thursday, trying to get an answer about whether the patient needed prior authorization for the surgery. The office manager finally gave up.

“I’m not a happy camper,” said Nate Zajcew, the patient’s husband. The couple signed up for a Blue Cross Blue Shield bronze plan through the federal HealthCare.gov site on Dec. 16. — CBS News.

In other locations, people arriving for care at some ERs were left in frustration because the ER could not verify their insurance.

‘They had no idea if my insurance was active or not!': Obamacare confusion reigns as frustrated patients walk out of hospitals without treatment — UK Daily Mail.

  • MailOnline spoke with patients who were told they would have to pay their bills in full if they couldn’t prove they had insurance
  • One was faced with a $3,000 hospital room charge and opted to leave the hospital after experiencing chest pains
  • ‘Should I be in the hospital? Probably,’ she said
  • Another, coughing in the cold, walked out without receiving a needed chest x-ray
  • Consumers face sticker-shock from medical costs under the new Obamacare system, made worse if they can’t prove they’re insured
  • As many as one-third of new enrollees’ applications have seen problems when the government transmits them to insurance companies

No, it’s not an auspicious rollout for Obamacare. In fact, it’s so bad, the rats are jumping ship. A second Obamacare official quit this week.

The man who led Oregon’s problem-plagued health insurance exchange has submitted his resignation.

Rocky King has been on medical leave since Dec. 2. His resignation is effective at the end of his leave, March 5.

The news came in a letter sent by King to the board of Cover Oregon on Wednesday. The board wrote to the agency’s staff on Thursday that it would begin looking for a permanent director.

King is the second official connected to the exchange to resign. He came under fire when the online enrollment system failed to go live in October. Technical problems with the exchange have been an embarrassment to the state and forced Oregonians to apply using paper applications. The state had to hire or reassign nearly 500 people to process applications by hand. — FOXNews.

Even for libs, it is not going well. A woman, an icon for publicizing Obamacare was astounded to discover she could not afford insurance under Obamacare as she assumed

Assumed. When I was in the Air Force, I was quickly taught the consequences of ‘assume’. It is a lesson I’ve never forgotten. Perhaps if this lib had spent a few days in boot-camp, she, too, would have learned the consequences of ‘assuming.’

PORTLAND, Ore. (CBS Seattle/AP) — One Oregon mother says that she is unable to afford health insurance for her and her 18-month-old son because it’s too expensive.

Kate Holly, 33, tells KOIN-TV that she originally championed President Barack Obama’s signature health care law because she thought it would help people in her situation.

“I’ve been a cheerleader for the Affordable Care Act since I heard about it and I assumed that it was designed for people in my situation,” Holly, a freelance yoga instructor, told KOIN. “I was planning on using the Affordable Care Act and I had done the online calculator in advance to make sure I was going to be able to afford it.”

Holly’s husband works for a non-profit organization that pays for his health care, but the couple is unable to afford to have her and their son covered under his plan. And she’s been told their combined income is too much to qualify for a subsidized health care plan under Cover Oregon.

“It wasn’t until I started the process and got an agent that I started hearing from them I wasn’t going to qualify for subsidies because I qualify on my husband’s insurance,” she told KOIN.

Holly is hoping things work out but she doesn’t know if she will have health care for her and her son.

“I guess I’m hoping that I will find out there’s a way around this, but I don’t know yet,” Holly told KOIN.

It’s always a wake-up call to libs when they discover their assumptions are nothing more than vapor. Reality bites.

The Word

A word was spoken yesterday, in an open forum, by someone who is not a member of the media’s right-wing, extremist, whack-jobs. The speaker was Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute’s Director of Health Policy Studies. He was speaking before a congressional committee hearing about the constitutional limits imposed on the presidency and the implications of President Barack Obama’s disregard for implementing the Affordable Care Act (AKA, Obamacare – Crucis) as written. His statement was this:

“There is one last thing to which the people can resort if the government does not respect the restrains that the constitution places on the government,” Cannon said. “Abraham Lincoln talked about our right to alter our government or our revolutionary right to overthrow it.” — Mediate.

Revolution. Civil War. Scary words that should make everyone hearing or reading them have second thoughts on the consequences of their current, past and future actions. A second Civil War in the United States would make the Lebanese Civil War of the last century look like a walk in the park among cool breezes and playing children. No one who has seen war takes those words lightly, but they have now been spoken by a credible speaker, before a congressional committee. Once spoken, the words cannot be retracted.

The nation has been on this path for decades. It started under Reagan when the democrat congress passed laws to make differences in foreign policy a crime. An incident occurred call the Iran-Contra Affair. The prosecution of Ollie North was the result. North was convicted of accepting an illegal gratuity, obstruction of a congressional inquiry, and destruction of documents, but the ruling was overturned since he had been granted immunity.

From criminalizing differences of political policy to ignoring, failing to enforce law and selective enforcement of law, the democrat party has lead the country to this point—massive repeal of federal laws, abolishment of federal agencies used by democrats to persecute political opposition, and a restructure of the federal government to restore state sovereignty—or chaos and war.

The Republican Party has been an active partner in many of the actions of the democrats. They have ignored the wishes—the demands, of their constituents to maintain their personal positions of power in Washington. They are not guiltless, either.

Michael Cannon continued to say, before the congressional committee this final statement.

“That is certainly something that no one wants to contemplate,” he continued. “If the people come to believe that the government is no longer constrained by the laws then they will conclude that neither are they.”

“That is a very dangerous sort of thing for the president to do, to wantonly ignore the laws,” Cannon concluded, “to try to impose obligation upon people that the legislature did not approve.” — Mediate.

Have we reached the point in this country when law become irrelevant? Many believe so.

Peace…for our time

In 1938, after Germany invaded and incorporated Czechoslovakia into the German Reich, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Germany to make an agreement with Adolf Hitler to end Germany’s expansion in Europe. On his return to London, Chamberlain gave his famous speech saying he had gained, “peace for a time.”

barack_chamberlainOver the weekend, Obama announced an agreement created by Sec’y of State John Kerry with Iran to “halt” their nuclear weapons program. Of course, the agreement has no teeth and leaves Israel swinging, alone, in the breeze. As a consequence, Saudia Arabia, fearing a nuclear Iran, is in the process of buying some nukes of their own from Pakistan. The Saudis have split with Washington over the justifiable fear that if attacked by Iran, the US would do nothing.

Yes, peace…for a time. A year after Neville Chamberlain made his famous speech, Britain was at war with Germany. The events of this last week leads me to wonder what the coming year will bring in the Middle East. Israel has never announced whether it has nuclear weapons, nor has Israel signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that would allow outside inspectors to see if Israel really had any. That aside, some sources estimate that Israel has approximately 90 nuclear weapons with enough material to manufacture 150-200 more on short notice.

***

Obamacare is heading back to SCOTUS again. This time for possible violations of the First Amendment. Obamacare requires individuals and corporations to buy and provide birth control for themselves and their employees regardless of religious opposition. Hobby Lobby has filed suit and that suit is going to the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court to decide whether to review ObamaCare contraception mandate

Associated Press

WASHINGTON –  President Barack Obama’s health care law is headed for a new Supreme Court showdown over companies’ religious objections to the law’s birth-control mandate.

Amid the troubled rollout of the health law, and 17 months after the justices upheld it, the Obama administration is defending a provision that requires most employers that offer health insurance to their workers to provide a range of preventive health benefits, including contraception.

Roughly 40 for-profit companies have sued, arguing they should not be forced to cover some or all forms of birth control because doing so would violate their religious beliefs.

Both sides want the justices to settle an issue that has divided lower courts. The high court could announce its decision whether to take up the topic as early as Tuesday, following its closed-door meeting.

Arguments probably would take place in late March with a decision expected in late June.

The key issue is whether profit-making corporations can assert religious beliefs under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Nearly four years ago, the justices expanded the concept of corporate “personhood,” saying in the Citizens United case that corporations have the right to participate in the political process the same way that individuals do.

The administration wants the court to hear its appeal of the Denver-based federal appeals court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain that calls itself a “biblically founded business” and is closed on Sundays. Founded in 1972, the company now operates more than 500 stores in 41 states and employs more than 13,000 full-time employees who are eligible for health insurance. The Green family, Hobby Lobby’s owners, also owns the Mardel Christian bookstore chain.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said corporations can be protected by the 1993 law in the same manner as individuals, and “that the contraceptive-coverage requirement substantially burdens Hobby Lobby and Mardel’s rights under” the law.

In its Supreme Court brief, the administration said the appeals court ruling was wrong and, if allowed to stand would make the law “a sword used to deny employees of for-profit commercial enterprises the benefits and protections of generally applicable laws.”

In two other cases, courts ruled for the administration. Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., a Pennsylvania company that employs 950 people in making wood cabinets, is owned by a Mennonite family. Autocam Corp. is a Michigan-based maker of auto parts and medical devices that employs more than 650 people in the U.S.

The companies that have sued over the mandate have objections to different forms of birth control. Conestoga Wood objects to the coverage of Plan B and Ella, two emergency contraceptives that work mostly by preventing ovulation. The FDA says on its website that Plan B  “may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg … or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the womb (uterus),” while Ella also may work by changing of the lining of the uterus so as to prevent implantation.

Hobby Lobby objects to those two forms of contraception as well as two types of intrauterine devices (IUDs). Its owners say they believe life begins at conception, and they oppose only birth control methods that can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus, but not other forms of contraception.

Autocam doesn’t want to pay for any contraception for its employees because of its owners’ Roman Catholic beliefs.

The article continues at the website. You can read it here.

***

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I wish you all have a great Holiday.

Rewrite!!

Obamacare

healthcare.gov

One of the top headlines on Drudge this morning says,5 million lines of software code needs to be rewritten...". Five million lines of code. You know what that means? A  rewrite of a significant portion of the software.

Before I retired, I was a project manager. I built things for my employer. I built customer service call centers across and outside the country. I built nearly 30 specialized call centers to allow the Deaf and Hard of Hearing use TTYs to communicate with the non-deaf. I created specifications for unique hardware and in the process of all this, was awarded seven telecommunications related patents.

Some of those projects were larger than the one proposed for Obamacare. The expected user base for our systems approached that expected for Obamacare.

My largest budget was under $15million over a three-year project. Obamacare spent over half a billion dollars—and it doesn’t work. In the private sector, everyone connected with that software development project would have been fired in three months—for gross incompetency and failure to meet milestones.

You see, in the private sector, there exists project gateways. Every few months, a gateway review is conducted—are you on schedule, does the design meet the original specifications, are you on budget (and woe to you if you are over or under budget for that particular segment of the project.)

Fail one of these criteria, and your project is on probation, fail two, you, the manager, are up for review and maybe fired, fail three and the project is killed before it can waste more money and usually, everyone on the project team is looking for a new job. Contractors are out on the street. In addition, at the end of each year of the project, it is reviewed for specification changes, whether the business climate, still needs the project. The project must pass this gateway, too, before any money is allocated and allowed to be budgeted to the project for the coming year.

I once had a three-year project killed after the second year. Why? I was on-time, on-budget, meeting all the project specifications and milestones…but the business climate changed and the project wouldn’t meet its expected ROI, Return-On-Investment. Too bad. Stamp! The project was killed. The company would not pour money into a project that couldn’t pay for itself within three years.

That is the real world, not the fantasyland that is now government. Apparently, the government failed to do any of these project reviews.

Obama is scheduled to have a press announcement later today to explain what he’s going to do to fix Obamacare. I know what he should do but knowing him and the dems, he’ll throw more money down the rathole to fix the unfixable.

He no longer takes questions. It is too dangerous. Someone may ask a hard question such as why a project needed 500 million lines of code or why was a Canadian company chosen on a No-Bid contract? Are there not plenty of US companies with that skill? I’ve managed projects with a comparable customer user base that was one-tenth that amount of code—and my project worked.

I suspect the real reason is that the data collected from people is shared across a multitude of government (and maybe outside companies, Obama favorites?) databases all across the government from the IRS to the FBI to who knows. One bottleneck in that update slows everything—if the transaction is completed at all. It is a rookie mistake by software engineers who don’t understand transaction processing, which, at the core, Obamacare enrollment must be.

Be that as it may, now Obama must “explain” why it failed. He’s already blamed Bush, I wonder who he will blame now? Probably Ted Cruz and the Tea Party.

Tech ‘surge’ to repair Obamacare websites

By JASON MILLMAN | 10/20/13 1:38 PM EDT Updated: 10/21/13 11:21 AM EDT

The Obama administration Sunday said it’s called on “the best and brightest” tech experts from both government and the private sector to help fix the troubled website at the root of the Obamacare enrollment problems.

The unusual Sunday 600-word blog post from the Department of Health and Human Services was the first update in more than a week on the many failings of an expensive website that HHS itself described as “frustrating for many Americans.” But it didn’t specify whom the administration had called in, or when the American people would see clear-cut results on HealthCare.gov.

“We’re kind of thinking of it as a tech ‘surge,’” an HHS official told POLITICO.

The Health and Human Services statement didn’t explain everything that’s wrong, or give technical details about the repairs under way. It outlined some steps being taken to fix the site, including updates with “new code that includes bug fixes.” The department also says it’s installing monitors to catch parts of the website that are proving the most troublesome for consumers. And it also said it had seen some improvements in wait times and consumer access to the website, the online portal to health insurance exchanges or marketplaces the federal government is running in 36 states.

Blah, blah, blah. Words from non-engineers who have no concept what they’re doing. I can tell you right now, they’re going to fail because they never knew what it was supposed to do in the first place. It reminds me of the old programmer’s joke.

IT Manager yells to his programming team, “You start coding and I’ll go see what they want!”

It was never so true as with Obamacare.

Joyce Watson, Steve Brown liked this post

The Return of the Vigilantes

California has a history matched by few states. It has a history of dealing justice when the “official” law enforcement organs can’t or won’t meet their obligations. The Vigilantes of San Francisco first appeared in 1851 and a few years later in 1856.

The San Francisco Committee of Vigilance was a popular ad hoc organization formed in 1851 and revived in 1856 in response to rampant crime and corruption in the municipal government of San Francisco, California. It was one of the most successful organizations in the vigilante tradition of the American Old West.

These militias hanged eight people and forced several elected officials to resign. Each Committee of Vigilance formally relinquished power after three months. — Wiki

Now, move forward 157 years. The Vigilantes have returned for the same reasons, unconstrained criminality and the refusal of law enforcement to perform their function.

Oakland Neighbors Policing Their Own Streets As They Lose Faith In Cops

February 26, 2013 11:22 AM
This surveillance image shows three men preparing to break into an Arcadia Park neighborhood home in Oakland. (CBS)

This surveillance image shows three men preparing to break into an Arcadia Park neighborhood home in Oakland. (CBS)

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – Oakland’s crime problems have gotten so bad that some people aren’t even bothering to call the cops anymore; instead, they’re trying to solve and prevent crimes themselves.

KPIX 5 cameras caught up with a half dozen neighbors in East Oakland’s Arcadia Park neighborhood Monday as they walked the streets on the lookout for crime. The vigilance has never seemed more necessary than now; 25 homes in the neighborhood have been burglarized over the last two months alone.

In a neighborhood that has started to feel like the wild west, people have even started posting “wanted” signs.

“You have to walk around in your house with a gun to feel safe here,” said Alaska Tarvins of the Arcadia Park Board of Directors.

Over the weekend, one home was burglarized twice in a 24 hour period, once while a resident’s nephew was inside.

“He was on with 911 when those men tried to kick into his room. That was very frightening,” said the woman, identified only as Inca.

Now, Arcadia park neighbors are taking the detective work into their own hands.

KPIX 5 found a woman who identified herself as L.E. patrolling her neighborhood by car. She said she recently chased down a couple of robbers herself.

“There was an armed robbery in progress and the owner yelled ‘help me’ and I ended up going after them,” L.E. recalled.

The people who live in the area are nothing if not gutsy, but they need help. A plan to gate their community has been stalled. With the police force stretched painfully thin, they may be forced to follow other Oakland neighborhoods and hire private guards.

“We don’t have a choice. Either die or we hire some security ourselves, because we can’t depend on the police department,” said Tarvins.

Remember the adage loved by 2nd Amendment supporters, “When seconds count, the cops are minutes away.” In Oakland, they just don’t come at all.

Some lefties like to boast that California leads the nation. I surely hope not. I don’t want anarchy to come to Missouri like it is, increasingly, in California. Decades of overspending, higher unsupported debt, massive influx of unrestrained illegal immigration and infiltration of gangs and the drug cartels, all the failed and frankly unworkable liberal policies are coming home.

The cities in California pay their elected officials multi-hundreds of dollars salary all while cutting the budgets of their police and fire departments. This is leading to some innovative solutions by Californians—by individuals, not the municipalities. The article below leads with events in New Jersey and continues with similar activities in California.

Alana Semuels,  February 21, 2013

Roles once held by police are now becoming commonplace for private detectives and security firms.

CAMDEN, N.J. — In an office in a sleepy town in southern New Jersey, Harry Glemser’s phone rang. With no buxom secretary to take a message, he answered it himself.

It was a dame, looking to hire a private eye.

But this was no scene from a noir novel. The woman was calling because someone in a car kept lurking in her driveway, the engine running, when her husband wasn’t home. She’d called the police, but they couldn’t help. She hoped Glemser could.

Detectives like Glemser across cash-strapped states have been getting more calls like these as cities and towns cut their police forces to contend with deep budget cuts. New Jersey alone lost 4,200 officers from 2008 to 2011, according to the Policemen’s Benevolent Assn., which tracks the state’s most recent data. As police focus more on responding to crime rather than preventing it, private detectives and security firms are often taking on the roles that police once did, investigating robberies, checking out alibis, looking into threats.

“The public is frustrated by the police,” said Glemser, a retired cop of 63 whose gold chains, white hair and bulky body might make a stranger worry he’s on the wrong side of the law. “The citizenry is quick to say that the police don’t do anything for them. They should be saying the police can’t do anything for them because of this budgetary issue, this manpower problem, this directive we have that came down from the chief.”

In California, where many cash-strapped cities cut police budgets during the recession, residents are turning to detectives, security firms and even the Internet.

After police cuts in Oakland, resident Dabney Lawless encouraged 400 neighbors to sign up on a website so they could send alerts to one another when they noticed suspicious people around; she also pays extra to an alarm company to drive through the neighborhood. Ron Cancio, the manager of a Stockton security firm, said that since the city’s budget battles, residents often have called his firm for minor complaints, because they know he’ll respond more quickly than the police.

Roger Arrella, the owner of TSInvestigations in Corona, said he’s getting a lot more calls from people who say police won’t help them in investigating burglaries, suspicious suicides or identity theft. But once they hear his rates, which are around $150 an hour, they usually balk.

“We get the phone calls — people are upset that someone broke into their house, or stole their car, and the police aren’t doing what they should be doing,” he said. “But then you tell them the price, and they say, well, maybe it’s not worth it to me.”

It’s another facet of how income inequality is playing out in America — as cities are forced to cut their budgets, even police protection is more accessible to those with cash.

“Wealthy neighborhoods are buying themselves more police protection than poor neighborhoods,” said Samuel Walker, emeritus professor of criminal justice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the author of 13 books on policing.

Those who can afford it use private police—retired officers, detectives and security firms. Those who cannot afford that price are left with themselves to prevent crimes…and dispense justice. We call them Vigilantes.

We, here in Cass County, are fortunate to have a Sheriff who understands duty and commitment. It’s too bad, Californian elected officials aren’t like him.

Welcome to the Progressives’ world.

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