For decades people have enjoyed Sacajawea State Park, a large forested area located where the Columbia River and Snake River meet in central Washington state. Entire families from the Tri-Cities (Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick) used to come to the park during the week and on weekends, having picnics and launching boats from the nearby docks. However, no one goes there anymore and it is the fault of the fanatical priests of Political Correctness. Since it's creation in 70 years ago Sacajawea State Park has been used by citizens for decades but in the 1990s, hordes of illegal aliens invaded central Washington. Most settled in the heavily black city of Pasco, driving out the locals with the threat of violence and creating a nearly all-hispanic city in its place in just 10 years. Law and order within the city limits of east Pasco descended so badly that local police forces refuse to patrol in that part of the city, sparking outrage from the remaining poor whites and blacks in east Pasco. Sacajawea is located near Pasco and the lawlessness that flooded the city spilled over to the park as well. Whites and blacks were driven out of the park as hispanics took it over. Illegal aliens, not respecting the laws of the land, began to destroy the park by leaving tons of trash in the area and by urinating on the trees and defecating in areas of the park, made Sacawajea so unsanitary that state officials closed the park down permanently. Government leaders cited complete deterioration of public safety and sanitary issues for closing down the huge park but it was well known that even park officials (wardens and even trashmen coming to collect the trash) were threatened and shot at with guns by hispanics within the park who had "claimed it" for themselves. These illegals also devastated local fishing within the enormous Columbia River Basin. Ignoring catch laws that were meant to sustain local fish populations, hispanics were seen fishing the waters using several lines attached to beer cans. When fishing officials would pull up, the illegal alien would just walk away from his beer cans. Since they used this cheap method of fishing they would not lose expensive fishing rods and reels when caught. In not wanting to offend illegals, fish levels in local rivers are at critical lows and some areas have been totally fished out. Political correctness has totally destroyed one of Washington states' largest parks, put the general public in danger, and led to a collapse of fishing in the middle Columbia and lower Snake Rivers. It is this sort of absurd behavior by federal and state government that forces local citizens to act in their own defense. God help us all.
U.S. sees Russia, China, OPEC financial threat
The United States should be worried that Russia, China and OPEC oil-producing countries could use their growing financial clout to advance political goals, the top U.S. spy chief told Congress on Tuesday.
U.S. National Director of Intelligence Michael McConnell voiced the concern to Congress in an annual assessment of potential threats, in which economic matters joined terrorism, nuclear proliferation and computer-network vulnerabilities as top security issues. McConnell told the Senate Intelligence Committee in prepared testimony that the global threat of terrorism remained, but that al Qaeda had suffered setbacks and its international reputation was diminishing. Among other top worries, Iran still had the potential to develop nuclear weapons despite stopping work on nuclear warhead design, he said.
But Pakistan's nuclear arsenal remain under military control, even amid the political turmoil there. In Iraq, violence had declined and al Qaeda in Iraq had been weakened, but the capabilities of Iraq's security forces remained limited while sectarian distrust was still high, McConnell said.
Discussing U.S. financial vulnerabilities, McConnell voiced "concerns about the financial capabilities of Russia, China and OPEC countries and the potential use of their market access to exert financial leverage to political ends." Russia was positioning itself to control an energy supply and transportation network from Europe to East Asia. China's global engagement was driven by a need to access markets and resources, McConnell said.
A weak U.S. dollar had prompted some oil suppliers to ask to be paid in other currencies, or to delink their currencies from the dollar. "Continued concerns about dollar depreciation could tempt other producers to follow suit," McConnell said. Discussing Cuba, McConnell said provisional President Raul Castro was seeking to bring about economic changes and aid from Venezuela was helping the country ignore outside pressure for reform. He said that in the event of Fidel Castro's death "the political situation is likely to remain stable at least in the initial months."
Tu-160s Back in Production
Russia is building heavy bombers again. It has built at least one new Tu-160, and this aircraft began flight testing last month. Production of the Tu-160 had ceased in 1994, with several of them partially completed. Apparently, this new aircraft is one of those left uncompleted in the 1990s. Lots of Russian weapons factories were shut down after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. That occurred, in part, because the Soviet Union was, literally, bankrupt. The defense budget was cut by more than two-thirds, and weapons production got hurt the most. The only plants that kept operating were those producing items for export. But many of the shuttered factories were preserved, and now many of them are in operation again, picking up where they left off.
The Tu-160 "Blackjack" is very similar to the U.S. B-1, but never really lived up to its potential. Still, it is the most modern heavy bomber the Russians have. It's a 267 ton aircraft, that can carry up to 40 tons of bombs and missiles, for up to 12,000 kilometers. The aircraft can refuel in the air. It originally entered service in 1987, and was built mainly to deliver cruise missiles. Noting the success of the B-1 in Afghanistan and Iraq with smart bombs, the Tu-160s were modified to do the same, in addition to retaining their cruise missile carrying capability.
Over the last eight years, Russia has revived its heavy bomber force. In the 1990s, most Russian heavy bombers were kept on the ground. But since 2001, heavy bombers have been refurbished and restored to service. This including getting some Tu-160s back from Ukraine (because half of the 36 Tu-160s built were stationed in Ukraine when the Soviet Union was dissolved, and thus belonged to Ukraine). Only about fourteen Tu-160s are still operational, plus about fifty Tu-22Ms and about the same number of Tu-95s. Exact numbers are not available on the Tu-22Ms and Tu-95s, because both of these aircraft serve other functions (reconnaissance, electronic warfare). Their ability to perform as heavy bombers depends on the current state of crew training and maintenance. Most of these aircraft are at least twenty years old, and spare parts are sometimes difficult to get. Factories had to be reopened, or new production lines established, to obtain needed parts. Increasingly, over the last seven years, heavy bombers have been increasingly showing up the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic oceans, as well as the Black and Caspian seas. Some of these aircraft are firing cruise missiles, or simulating it, and practice bombing runs, during more frequent training flights.
This past Summer, Russian heavy bombers flew hundreds of sorties over land and water, including night aerial refueling (a tricky operation.) In terms of sheer numbers, the Russians have about as many heavy bombers in service (over a hundred) as does the United States. The American bombers are better equipped and more capable, but the Russian force is competitive, and now it is being expanded.
Who Supports The Troops?
The liberal line on the Iraq war has always been: We oppose the war but support our troops. It’s a very nice rhetorical turn of phrase but, for most of the anti-war Left, it also happens to be patently false. The anti-war Left denounces our troops at every turn, burning them in effigy and spitting in the faces of pro-victory veterans at political rallies, not to mention opposing legislation that would protect troops from attacks on the battlefield.
In yet another outrageous example of the lunatic Left showing its true colors (that is: yellow and red) in regards to the U.S. military, the Berkeley City Council recently passed a resolution telling the U.S. Marine Corps that Marines are unwelcome. On Tuesday, public officials in Berkeley, California, passed by an 8-1 vote, a motion informing the Marines that one of its recruiting stations is “not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.” At the same meeting, the Berkeley City Council voted 8-1 to give the radical anti-war group Code Pink a free parking space in front of the Marines’ recruiting station, as well as a free sound permit for protesting once a week.
This entire episode is replete with ironies. First off, Berkeley, a suburb of San Francisco, is supposed to be a bastion of tolerance—for illegal immigrants, for homosexuals, for communists, for death row inmates, etc. But when it comes to showing a little tolerance for the Marine Corps right to recruit soldiers, the Berkeley’s tolerance vanishes. The Berkeley City Council’s actions come at a time when the influence of the anti-war movement is diminishing. With clear military successes emerging in Iraq, and increased public recognition of the dire consequences of a precipitous withdrawal there, the message of the anti-war movement—troops out now—seems irresponsible and even immoral to an increasing share of the American public.
Of course, you will hear little about this incident in the context of the ongoing 2008 presidential campaign. While the conservative candidates have all been probed about issues, such as evolution, that divide some of their supporters, the liberal candidates will undoubtedly never have to answer for their support for groups that denigrate our troops so brutally.
At the end of the day, do not expect the Marines to be fazed by fringe wacko anti-war protestors, whose verbal assaults are nothing compared to the lethal assaults our men and women in uniform face every day in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is ironic, though, that the troops the lunatic Left attacks are the very same troops whose efforts abroad protect the freedom of these groups to attack them as viciously as they do.