Retired Spook Mail

Retired Spook, our favoritest Master Sergeant, writes in on a couple of topics. First, he urges caution on the impending overturn of the Senate:

Remember, this is the party that took the NYT-endorsed candidate into the 2008 election. They have proven, time and again, that they can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. While I remain very cautiously optimistic, I’m not going to start celebrating quite yet.

On the plus side, they haven’t managed to completely squelch the Tea Party, despite the best efforts of the Establishment Republicans and the RNC. This indicates the presence of more than two active brain cells somewhere in the gaggle.

There may indeed be a light at the end of the tunnel. G-d willing, it won’t be an oncoming train.

It might not be accurate to say the Republicans accepted the NYT-endorsed candidate (McCain)…more that the NYT endorsed the candidate that emerged victorious through the primaries. We heard the same thing with Romney—the Republicans put forth another squish candidate. This is not at all true—the Republican voters put both McCain and Romney forward. The backroom, smoke-filled poker parlors haven’t been used to select candidates since, well, a hundred years: you cannot blame the GOP for their candidates; you have to blame the voters.

What you can blame on the Republicans is their sense of decency and fair play. “Wow! A whole bunch of debates with moderators from the major networks! What a great chance for us to show off our candidates.” “Heck, we wanted to talk about the economy and foreign policy, but the reporters want to ask us about education, birth control, and gay marriage. Okay, we’ll be courteous and answer.” “That Democratic candidate is killing us with these spurious accusations of tax fraud. Let’s be big and show him we will not respond aggressively to such jibberjabber.” The Romney campaign learned far too late that playing by voluntary rules will get you less than 50% of the vote.

The GOP, as you may have heard, has changed its entire campaign strategy: fewer debates, and the GOP will accept only venues it considers to its advantage. Candidates are not announcing early, and are instead pushing assassins off onto strawman candidates (Cruz, Christie, and probably Pawlenty) to see what this election’s tactics will be. Proto-candidates like Scott Walker are reformulating their messages to embrace conservatives as well as independents ( “We need to cut these silly welfare programs and help lower business taxes” becomes “You say you want to lower goverment spending; how about we also increase incentives for employers to hire the middle class at the same time?”), and so on. It should be interesting to see. The GOP now seems to think its very survival depends on not being reliably stupid; let us see how well they have paid attention. 2014 should be easy—but it could be a great test for 2016.

Also, Retired Spook has a response to Island Dweller on the incipient ecological risks posed by the USS Arizona:

If you’ve ever been to the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, you noticed, I’m sure, a fairly regular stream of oil droplets making their way to the surface, and bursting into little rainbow puddles. Knowing where those bubbles are coming from, and why, I find that my level of concern for environmental issues can be measured in micro-givashits. (Please note that I had seven uncles, and one step-grandfather who served in WW II, and I grew up in the shadow of, and in awe of, their service.)

And given that the current administration can’t manage to produce a working web site in FOUR FREAKING YEARS, the notion that they can arrange the removal of several hundred thousand gallons of oil from a sunken ship beggars belief.

So I think that either they will dither, waffle and buck-pass until the bunkers rust through and all of the oil is released, or go to the other extreme, which is destroy the memorial, and human remains be damned. Either way, I fear that the memorial itself is doomed. Not surprising, really. These people have no concept of “service” unless it lets them strut, preen and feel important, or else lines their pockets with someone else’s money.

(As my daughter tells people, “My dad’s not cynical. He’s too jaded for that.”)

Expecting to find competence in the current liberal circus is like expecting to find a virgin in a whorehouse.

But I’ve been to the Arizona Memorial more than once. In fact, I stood there one day and read every single name of the ones who perished. Let the enviro-weenies do their worst, those names will remain.

The thought just occurred to me that there are probably several private, for-profit companies that could figure out a way to pump the fuel oil out of the wreck of the Arizona, and get it into a container vessel. Not sure what the appropriate tanker would draw (how far below the surface it would extend, when filled). And I’d be willing to bet that they could do it without seriously disturbing the remains entombed in the hulk of the ship.

And the resale value of the oil would be pretty substantial, especially in Hawaii. What will you bet that there are at least two companies that have a plan for this? And double-or-nothing the liberal circus won’t let them get within 3 nautical miles of it?

Even if it’s only one quarter of the fuel that we know was on-board, it would be a good bit of change, but since the enviroweenies wouldn’t be able to skim the money, it probably won’t happen, which is really too bad.

I need a drink.

Absent companions,

Retired Spook

The Czar responds as well: this would be a terrible opportunity for the Obama administration, which notoriously buggered up the Gulf of Mexico spill simply by showing up. Government improves processes like gasoline improves water: neither is fit to use afterward. Despite the government intervention, private companies managed to do a great job cleaning up the Gulf, and did so in astonishing time. Yes, they could make short, easy work of the Arizona, but we would recommend a president other than a Democrat take charge. As you indicate, the ways liberals would mess this up would be manifold.

Simple: private bids to a select group of unconnected private cleanup firms with the proven ability to handle sensitive cleanup. Any oil recovered, in fact, could be theirs to keep to offset their costs. The more you can salvage and recycle, the more profit. Finally, the government would be there to safeguard the sanctity of the site and relocate any recovered remains with dignity and honor.

It would cost the taxpayers only the expense of having the government monitor and provide UDTs to recover remains. Not a lot, but then again the Czar doesn’t think like bureaucrats. Any more suggestions, anyone?

About The Czar of Muscovy

Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia by upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.