Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | February 21, 2013

Obama and Israel: Community-organizing the planet?

A correspondent of mine expressed some surprise when it was announced yesterday that the new secretary of state, John Kerry, would not be visiting Israel prior to the visit next month of President Obama.

What this means to foreign-service hands is that there won’t be a ministerial-level sit-down in advance of the president’s trip.  The army of foreign-service specialists who negotiate for the U.S. and Israel won’t come up with serious negotiating points (or at least statements of common objectives) on topics like talks with the Palestinian Arabs, or the Iranian nuclear threat.  The president’s itinerary and official events will no doubt be planned thoroughly, but there is a big hole where the normal process of policy preparation would be.

The prospect of Obama’s visit producing a tangible Middle East-policy outcome is thus nil.  Appearances now suggest that the trip will basically be

an extended photo op.  The president will have photo ops with the Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank as well.  One of the bigger photo ops will be the award to Obama of Israel’s Presidential Medal of Distinction, by President Shimon Peres.

Appearances as to the kind of trip we can look forward to are probably not deceiving, but they must be understood in the context of Obama’s political style.  This is a president who believes that a photo purporting to show him shooting skeet at Camp David will establish his bona fides as a supporter of the Second Amendment – enough so, at any rate, to neutralize political opposition to the increased gun restrictions he favors.  For Obama, photo ops are the execution of policy: they build a narrative that gives him leverage by undermining his opponent’s position.

Obama shooting skeet; White House photo, Pete Souza

Obama shooting skeet; White House photo, Pete Souza

A case study in community organizing

Certainly, he has approached the federal budget stand-off this way.  It makes an excellent case study.  As numerous pundits have pointed out in the last week, the “sequester” of funds, in the absence of a budget agreement, was Obama’s idea.  He has played the sequester to the media on both sides, however, attributing it entirely to the Republicans in Congress when it suits him to.

In February 2013, he is decrying a set of exaggerated effects which he claims will result from the sequester kicking in on 1 March.  (Mike DeVine and Howard Portnoy, my LU compadres, have been all over this.  As Jennifer Rubin notes, even the New York Times detected exaggeration in Obama’s dire predictions.)

But in the thick of the negotiations that produced the sequester threat, back in 2011, Obama threatened to veto any attempt to avert the sequester without a full budget deal.  The same consequences have always been in prospect; what has changed is the position Obama proclaims to the public.  (Daniel Horowitz’s timeline on the sequester, and the spending it has made possible, makes good reading at RedState.)

Writers at Politico – hardly a hotbed of right-wing perspective – quote administration officials identifying Obama’s sequester strategy as “shame.”  (Emphasis added.)

Certain that the political winds are in their favor, [the White House is] forgoing serious negotiations for a high-risk public offensive, banking almost entirely on the president’s ability to persuade. They believe that the GOP will be scared of taking the blame from an angry public — and the White House says this is just the kind of thing that gave them the victory they claimed in the fiscal cliff fight and the most recent standoff over the debt limit.

The aim is to force Republicans to submit to new revenue as part of a deal to avert the $1.2 trillion in potential cuts — and the only way to get there, senior administration officials said, is by making the GOP position indefensible.

Just so we’re clear:  this is community-organizing politics, in a nutshell.  Hype an exaggerated problem or threat – even a counter-factual one – with a lot of noise and pressure; stir people up about it; make yourself and your agenda the hero fighting for the people; and pin the blame for it all on the target you want to squeeze concessions from:  in this case, Republicans.  (This site has a brief summary of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” the methods community organizers favor to achieve their goals.  Rules 4, 9, and 10 are particularly applicable here.)

Obama has taken off the mask of moderation since his reelection – something even his supporters have reservations about.  This is important context for his visit to Israel in March.  If he foregoes serious negotiations in Israel for a photo-op narrative-building opportunity, what are his objectives?

The approach to Israel

He will presumably seek to be seen in a posture friendly and solicitous toward both Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.  I think we can expect very positive-sounding but vague comments about Israel and Israeli security, which, along with photos at the Western Wall (with kippa), a visit to an Iron Dome battery, and photos of himself receiving his medal from Peres, will be intended to evoke powerfully the sense of Obama as a friend to Israel.

Similar care will be taken to select photo-op venues with the Palestinian Arabs.  But nothing material will be resolved; Team Obama will simply hope to pocket good feeling about his attitude toward both parties.  As with his Magical Sequester Tour in the U.S., he will be looking for imagery and narrative building to establish his bona fides on Israeli security as against his political opponents’ – most particularly with an audience of the U.S. media and American Jews.

In community-organizing terms, Obama doesn’t have to convince Netanyahu himself, or other Israelis, or regional-policy experts; he certainly doesn’t have to make a parsable case for a posture that is trustworthy or has a rational basis.  What he has to do is neutralize or “make indefensible” the position of his opponents – from House Republicans to Bill Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel – regarding both Israel and Obama’s stance on Israel.  He has to outflank them on the battlefield of perception, looking more solicitous of Israeli security than Netanyahu, and better disposed toward Israel than either AIPAC or Pastor John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel.

If, as Rush Limbaugh suggests, Obama’s main political objective today is winning the House in 2014, then establishing imputed bona fides for him on Israel is certainly important to the races in some key districts.  That Obama’s campaign organization remains in political-action mode, in spite of the constitutional limit on his own reelection, is clear.  Obama won’t be leaving the 2014 election for the Democratic Party to handle.

But there is also the foreign-policy aspect of any “perception benefits” Obama hopes to garner from a photo-op tour of Israel.  Down the road, Obama may want Israel to pay a high price in security concessions for any hugs administered in March 2013.

That, I think, is where the limits of community organizing will be reached.  Netanyahu will remain undeceived as to the wisdom or utility of anything Obama may insist on (such as bilateral talks with Iran), regardless of personalities or media hype.  So, of course, will supporters of Israel in the United States – but in this case, unlike the case of the sequester, the decisive factor will not and cannot be the perceived “indefensibility” of the position held by Obama’s political opponents at home.  Not only does Israel have a vote on whatever policies are to prevail, but the other regional actors have votes too.

The limits of community organizing

None of those actors – the Palestinian Arabs, the Arab nations, Hezbollah, Hamas, Turkey, Iran, the EU – is locked in a closed-loop system with Obama, as his political opponents in the U.S. are.  The foreign actors have alternatives to Obama’s suggested roles for them, and they are starting to pursue those alternatives.  From outside the closed loop of American politics, most of them see clearly that a perception advantage for Obama inside the U.S. isn’t the same thing as Obama being reliable or competent, or having a policy idea that’s good for them.  They will act according to their interests, in the end, rather than hitching their wagon to Obama’s star – or, indeed, rather than suffering political losses if Team Obama can make their American supporters look bad.

The community organizer’s horizon is always limited.  So is his reach.  In a way we have not seen since the 1930s, the rest of the world stands outside America’s internal struggle today, and plenty of foreign observers have Obama’s number.  This will have the effect of making the world less stable, unfortunately, while reducing America’s influence over its direction.

It may also increase the poignancy of the Israeli government’s codename for the Obama visit – or perhaps it increases the geopolitical insight behind it.  According to media reports, Israeli officials have dubbed the visit “Brit Amim,” which is being translated from the Hebrew as “alliance between nations.”  The English expression being used officially by Israel is “Unbreakable Alliance.”

Christian groups on the watch for the eschaton immediately pointed out the similarity of “brit amim” to a passage in the prophetic book of Daniel that refers to “brit rabbim,” or a future covenant of Israel with all peoples.  (The verse in question is Daniel 9:27.)  “Brit” recurs throughout the Old Testament to signify “covenant,” in the sense of a covenant between God and His people.

While I do not think the Israeli government meant to invoke Christian prophetic expectations in choosing this codename, it is reasonable to suppose that Bibi Netanyahu, who titled his 1993 book on Israel A Place Among the Nations, is well aware of the biblical connotations of the formulation Brit Amim.  The UN’s recognition of the state of Israel in 1948 was, in a sense, a covenant of the nations with the Jewish people, and Brit Amim as a codename for the visit of Barack Obama in 2013 may imply, at the very least, a dual meaning: not just affirming the alliance between Israel and the U.S., but affirming as well that the covenant of the nations with Israel extends beyond any one president or nation.

Community organizing is very narrowly focused and self-referential.  Having no positive goals, it comes with an inherent expiration date.  It may or may not bring America down; it will not keep history from happening.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard online. She also writes for the new blog Liberty Unyielding.

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Responses

  1. Bibi put Tzipi in charge of negotiating with the “Palestinians”, that’s sign enough for me that the Israelis are being pressured to do a deal. I don’t think there can be any deal. But the Israelis are in a fix, so they have to show movement (stall in other words) until conditions are more favorable for their positions.

    There are some problems with stalling though, most logical indicators of the long-term regional situation show that the Israeli position is weakening in regard to their neighbors. In addition, with the nuclear proliferation monkey business occurring in Iran and N.Korea, the voices calling for an accounting of Israel’s nuclear capabilities,not to mention her borders, will only increase. From what I can deduce from publicly available information, we may have missed the window of opportunity for dealing with this Nuclear issue with either or both the Russians and Chinese (that could not be the case of course). That’s bad for the Israelis, but not tragic for us.

    Something is gonna have to give, some major realignment has to occur, before the United States can free itself, and the exercising of global foreign policy, from the vicious circle that is the Middle East and its domestic US political ramifications. There is a danger that the more this realignment delays, the bloodier the outcome down the line.

    Well, good luck to Obama and Netanyahu, photo op or not, they’re gonna need it in the next next four years.

  2. unusually worthless essay.

    • unusually worthless administration

    • Willful obtuseness invariably results in that opinion.

  3. This will be controversial no doubt, but anyway…in the spirit of debate and Freedom of Speech…

    Rereading your article, in regard to your points on the president’s community organizing tactics and sequestration. It might have helped had the extreme right wing of the opposition not fallen into the trap of opposing the nominations of the President’s candidates for SecDef and DCIA. This gave the President vital ammunition. He can now assert that it is the Republicans who are obstructionist on… everything.

    This practically rabid opposition to presidential nominations is yet another example of one of the banes of hypermetric special interest that plagues our political life. A segment of the Far Right has (vainly) expended a great deal of political capital opposing these nominations, in direct defiance of the prevailing sentiment of moderates (of their own party I may add). Certainly there will be a political price to pay for this from those responsible for insisting on such a course of action. Sadly, then again, special interests have become the rule in our political life, not the exception, so, maybe the outcome will be a rush to reward such tactics. Who knows

    Aside from community organizer the President has a reputation as a good poker player. I would also add that he’s proved himself to be a quick learner, and, is in his second term.. It would be wise not to underestimate that.

    And please before I get jumped.

    “All II know, is that I know nothing”
    - Socrates

  4. “If he foregoes serious negotiations in Israel for a photo-op narrative-building opportunity, what are his objectives?”

    Permit me to modify that statement J.E. so as to place it in a larger context.

    ‘If he foregoes serious negotiations with Republicans, Israel or any other ally for a narrative-building opportunity, what are his objectives?’

    To answer that question we must first determine his motivations and to do so, we examine his history and his behavior, as given that Obama is a proven congenital liar, his words are of limited utility.

    To confirm his motivation is that of the knave rather than simply that of a naive, gullible fool, it is of use to ask; within the current political constraints Obama must operate under; if his objective is to “fundamentally transform” America into AmeriKa, what would he do differently, than he is actually doing?

    I challenge anyone to point out a significant differentiation between what he has and is doing and, what he would do if he were a fifth column agent. ‘Fifth column’ being defined as a clandestine group or faction of subversive agents who attempt to undermine a nation’s solidarity by any means at their disposal.

    Thus, given his constraints, my contention is that Obama is doing all he can to undermine American society and the Constitution’s foundations. The brutal truth is that Obama is a traitor, as he has and continues to betray his Constitutional oath of office. That he does so in a manner that prevents impeachment is part of the constraints within which he must operate.

    The larger context to which I referred may be best understood by confronting two fundamental strategic obstacles that the left faces; America’s two most fundamental societal foundations are the family and our Constitution.

    Our Constitution places difficult to surmount barriers that prevent the left from ‘ fundamentally transforming’ American society. That is of foremost strategic importance to the left because America is militarily and economically, by far the single greatest obstacle to the left’s goals of world domination.

    Just as much as Islam, the left follows an ideology that requires world domination for its ideology to be brought to its fullest fruition. Thus the Constitution’s unalienable rights must be undermined, as they present the most fundamental Constitutional barrier to the transformation of American society.

    Due to parental influence, the family is the most fundamental obstacle to the left’s indoctrination of “the masses”, which is why Obama is trying to get the country to approve of public schooling for 3-4 yr olds. As, the earlier the indoctrination begins, the greater the countering of non-PC parental influence, of those who “cling to their guns and bibles” instilling those values in their children.

    And in typical leftist tactics, this is an incremental step toward their real goal, which is the removal of parental influence entirely. The new missive, “Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism” is illuminating;

    “Against Autonomy is a defense of paternalistic laws; that is, laws that make you do things, or prevent you from doing things, for your own good. I argue that autonomy, or the freedom to act in accordance with your own decisions, is overrated—that the common high evaluation of the importance of autonomy is based on a belief that we are much more rational than we actually are. We now have lots of evidence from psychology and behavioral economics that we are often very bad at choosing effective means to our ends. In such cases, we need the help of others—and in particular, of government regulation—to keep us from going wrong.”

    The title of Professor Conley’s next book is also illuminating; “One: Do We have a Right to More Children?”

    “In One, I argue …If population growth is sufficiently dangerous, it is fair for us to impose restrictions on how many children we can give birth to.”

    Given that the 2011 population rate of change (the most recent) was 1.7% and that a 2.1% rate is necessary for demographic stability…Professor Conley’s call for, in effect a rapidly declining population must conceal another agenda.

    The left is attacking on a multitude of fronts, the various tactics employed all have the strategic goal of undermining the family and the Constitution, which are the foundations of American society.

    Thus whatever the machinations of Obama and the left, one merely asks, “how does this move the agenda forward?” and the larger context and goal is revealed.

  5. our national debt is a national concern and all the bulls*** in the world won’t change that both parties are responsible for incurring the debt and neither party holds the high ground or is doing as much to seriously addressed whatever problem that the debt presents as it is to use it to advance a political agenda.

    Obama is as much acting as an Alinskyite community organizer as the opticon is analyzing the action as a war-mongering reactionary devotee pf Dr Goebbels.

    the woman goes blood-simple around mention of Obama and it causes her to post simplistic sloganeering slop that should be far beneath her.

    very sad.

    • You’re quite right as to shared responsibility. Just as “all the bulls*** in the world won’t change that” the democrats are far more responsible for our national debt.

      It also won’t change the fact that Obama is trying to bury us under ever larger levels of debt, that even the RINO’s balk at. Equating the two is tantamount to stating that a thief and a murderer in prison are guilty of equal transgressions.

      Obama is far more mendacious than you credit and your willful obtuseness, motivated by pride is why you cannot acknowledge what is right in front of your face. Your denial is tantamount to condoning his behavior and that, makes you culpable in his treason.

  6. TOC is a family-friendly blog, gentlemen. Please use asterisks (or, of course, eschew certain words altogether). You are welcome to speculate to your heart’s content re the falsity of the verbal hygiene. It’s a convention; it’s used here.

  7. It is interesting to see the divergence of opinions here. I cannot agree with jgets at all that it is extremism to oppose Hagel for Defense. Hagel is well out of the mainstream in both parties on matters precisely germane to our defense posture, such as whether Hezbollah is a terrorist organization and what kind of threat is posed by a nuclear-armed Iran.

    He is comprehensively wrong on the question of what happened in Iraq after 2006: what the surge accomplished and what effect our policy had on regional stability. His approach to this question is pure hysteria; his assertions are wildly hallucinatory and bear no relation to reality. That kind of anti-defense hysteria is a really dreadful base from which to project defense policy.

    These facts alone should shut down his nomination. I sympathize with the concerns of Republicans about John Brennan, although as a matter of practical politics, I would put the effort behind killing the Hagel nomination. Brennan’s impact on national security isn’t likely to be as enduring as Hagel’s. DCIs don’t tend to last very long anyway, but Chuck Hagel being a cipher for Obama for four years could really have a deleterious effect on DOD, which is already facing serious budgetary and programming shortfalls.

    Where Panetta has been a placeholder, Hagel would be a black hole. Hagel is wrong from A to Z about defense issues and defense spending; he would be an atrocious SECDEF, and I endorse the effort to kill his nomination. Brennan I would treat like Kerry: let the president have his pick (and, in Brennan’s case, watch him like a hawk).

    • Hagel is a dumb bully. (Back in the day, some of my campaign folks were also Hill staffers… and Hagel’s reputation for being a nasty bully with a really dim lightbulb between the ears was renoun, his people hated working for him.) This is pretty much what I ran into growing up in the Army. There was always some SSG or SFC who lived his his life for tormenting the people under his command. There weren’t many, but when they cropped up, they made everyone, including officers miserable.

      Needless to say the units in which they “served” were plagued by morale and operational difficulties.

      Hagel will do the exact same thing to the entire DoD. He is unqualified, clueless, and totally unfit. The first thing that he touches will turn to (stars here), then the second thing will turn into worse (stars here).

      Usually the Pentagon has the permanent personnel infrastructure to isolate and neuter a bad SecDef. This is no longer the case, most of the Conservatives have been transferred, neutered themselves, and or retired in disgust. What is left very much reminds me of the “Liverpatch” wearing politicians in uniform of the mid to late 1970′s.

      If they don’t stop Hagel’s nomination, it’s going to get uglier faster.

      r/TMF

      • Once McCain came out in favor of passing Hagel’s nomination out of committee, it was all over but the shouting.

        No doubt it shall be justified for a variety of reasons but any Senator who votes for Hagel has betrayed their oath of office.

        Consider that it is the President’s prerogative to nominate whomever he pleases, though his oath places upon him an obligation to nominate qualified candidates.

        In not doing so, he is guilty of at the least, negligence. Were he to nominate a dogcatcher, would Senators have an obligation to vote against the nomination? Of course, which means that voting for the unquestionably unqualified Hagel is a betrayal of the obligations that their oath places upon them. In voting for Hagel they make themselves equally culpable to the President’s offenses.

        They have sacrificed whatever honor and integrity they still possessed upon the alter of political expediency.

    • As I stated months ago Opcton, I came to the conclusion that Hagel & Co. were about as good as we could hope for under the current administration.

      I personally saw no point in choosing this issue to fight on, since practically speaking, the chances of winning were next to nothing. For most of the Citizenry uninformed or not, it’ll be spun as an obsessive Rightist attempt at obstruction.

      Unfortunately political expediency is one of the rules that govern the game. This was a wrong place to make a stand, IMHO.

      Of course I have no problem in being proven wrong.

      • Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting a big fight either in committee or on the Senate floor. I’m stating that no republican or democrat can, in good conscience, vote for an unquestionably unqualified candidate. Simply say, “he’s unqualified, nothing more need be said” and then vote no, that’s all. When Obama’s foreign policies and the Dept of Def. are found wanting in some not-so-distant crisis, Obama would not then have the political cover of saying that republicans voted for Hagel making for bi-partisan approval.

        • I sympathize GB. I have no control over this. But when five? ex-SecDef support you candidacy and you walk in to the nomination hearing flanked by Sam Nunn and John Warner…your qualified, at least by today’s standards. Even if you totally fumble the ball out of nervousness that you’ll be goaded into saying something that could be twisted by some silver-tongued lawyer/Senator on the committee that will be construed as anti-semitic, you’re qualified.

          For the good of the Nation I hope he really is qualified….time will tell. If we get into big trouble abroad, the last thing I’ll be thinking about is blaming either the republicans or democrats. The first thing (only thing probably) I’ll be thinking about is my kid in uniform.

          • Your concern for your kid in uniform is certainly understandable.

            There are however, larger issues to consider as well. Not if but when we get into big trouble, Obama will use bipartisan approval of Hagel to deflect criticism and deeper consideration of his larger strategy, by the public. Hagel will be a fall guy, so that Obama can continue the same policies and avoid political blowback.

            And Obama will once again avoid responsibility.

            Regardless of how low the ‘qualifications’ for a cabinet post may now be, voting for Hagel is equivalent to, as far as experience goes, approving a dogcather for the post.

            By, at the least, every Republican voting against Hagel, they effectively place all the blame upon Obama for Hagel’s incompetence. So real politik and obligation to country both align on this issue.

            • I’ve got no problem with that GB.

    • PS
      Now gun control is an entirely different matter. This is an issue where the Right can really rock, big time.. Bearing arms are part of American culture as well as a right. Even the President had to circulate a photo with a gun in his hands (though the closest he got to any weapon in his youth, youth meaning everything till the day of the photo op, was probably a kid-size Mau Mau spear.. I know, I know, that wasn’t nice).

      Some unverified reports state that the photo in question was actually taken after our President discovered a pot-smoking teenage metalhead attempting to woo his eldest daughter. We all change our views on gun control when it has to do with our daughters….in any case the photo is a much prettier sight than Dukakis on a tank… and , almost as good as a Putin judo ippon :)

      • Yes, Obama felt the need to blunt criticism. The photo however was faked in that he was not skeet shooting, he was firing at most probably a paper target but with a shotgun…which is ludicrous.

        So he had his people lie when it was stated that he occasionally shoots skeet. Anyone knowledgeable of skeet shooting knows that firing straight ahead doesn’t happen. Birds when flushed don’t fly straight at the shooter, typically they fly up, occasionally one might fly low.

        What’s even more telling is that no one involved knew this…most especially Obama did not. Just one more example of the congenital liar at work.

        • Theoretically he could be shooting skeet, that’s not the issue., The reason this particular image was selected is to show someone (supposedly) comfortable, confident and able with a firearm. Anyway you slice it, it’s beyond PR, it’s propaganda. Judo anyone?

          • Yes, it is propaganda and in exposing his lie, the propaganda is exposed… for if he really were comfortable, confident and able with a firearm, there would be no need to lie. The photo which he provided and advanced as proof of his ability, backfires on him when the lie is exposed.

            Exposing a lie attacks credibility and undermines trust.

            That is what is most needed in awakening liberals to their being played for fools by the left.

  8. “In One, I argue …If population growth is sufficiently dangerous, it is fair for us to impose restrictions on how many children we can give birth to.”

    GB, you posted this quote earlier in this thread from that Lefty professor. Kevin Williamson at NRO had a poignant assertion in regards to this Leftist impulse. Conservatives see people as the greatest asset in a society. Liberals a person as another mouth that needs to be fed. It’s why a Leftist can merely shrug their shoulders when banning “toxic” DDT in Africa directly leads to the death of a million Africans from malaria. It’s why the charming Valerie Jarrett can cite Mao as her hero. It’s why the Left can not merely be “pro-choice” but can actually promote abortion as a good (as indicated by the several “Abortion” placards at the Democratic National Convention. Demographic suicide seems to be of no concern to the Left.

    • IMO, demographic suicide is of no concern to the left because they don’t view people as real individuals until they join and are accepted into the elite. Anyone not of the elite is either an enemy or one of the “great unwashed masses” who must be controlled.

  9. In regards to guns, you make a great point GB in regards to the angle Obama is shooting at. A skeet shooter would almost certainly be aiming much higher. I’m certainly no gun expert, but Obama almost looks awkward in that picture – like he has never shot a gun before perhaps..

    I myself have never had any desire to own a gun. Until now. With all these politicians from Obama on down trying to restrict our 2nd Amdt rights, I now want a gun. It’s more for the sake of liberty than anything else. Here’s what a Boston resident must go through in order to get a gun:

    Take a gun safety class and get a certificate proving that you’ve taken the class ($95). There was a person in my class last Saturday who served in Afghanistan. No matter, everyone must take this gun safety course if they want a gun in MA.

    I went to the police station to get an application for a gun license, but was told that I must go to “headquarters” to get the application. So there’s only one police station in Boston where one can do this.

    Along with the application (where I state why I should be able to have a gun), one must also bring a birth certificate and drivers license. I was born outside the country, but am not a naturalized citizen, so my birth certificate will be of no use and I have no naturalization number. I’m hoping that my passport and my certificate of citizenship from the State Dept will be sufficient to prove my citizenship. I submit my fingerprints for a background check as well. This costs $100. Also, I must have an interview with the police chief (or whichever officer it is who decides whether someone is fit to own a gun). The next available interview appointment is on May 2nd.

    About a week after this, if the officer determines that I can be permitted to own a gun, I have to take a shooting course to show whether or not I can shoot properly and safely. This is 3 towns south of Boston. I don’t know what this costs, but I’m sure it won’t be free.

    If all goes well to this point, I can expect to wait 12 weeks to get my gun license. So I can have started the process in February and the soonest I can expect to actually have a gun is September. This sounds like a pretty unreasonable process for a law abiding citizen to get a gun. Nevertheless, I’m determined to go through with it.

    • As is obvious, the long involved, expensive process is intentional. It’s the best they can currently do to prevent private citizens from having guns. Be assured that they will make the process even harder in the future. If not already, you should seriously consider getting out of MA, it’s only going to get worse.

  10. Off topic , sorry.
    More great news on the F-35, the plane with a Ferrari’s price-tag and a Pinto’s output.

    http://www.voanews.com/content/us-f-35-jets/1609328.html

    Silver lining? The Chinese stole the design and based their current fighters on it.

    Does God have a sense of humor or what?

    • Yeah… saw that today. At least Edsels actually ran… they looked out of time and had features that were too advanced for the market… but they were basically just Ford Fairlanes so they still ran.

      It cannot do any of the jobs that it was designed to do. It is too underpowered to be a dog fighter, not stealthy enough to be a stealth fighter bomber, cannot carry a big enough internal bomb load to replace the F-117, either. It can’t loiter like the A-10, and doesn’t have a 30mm GAU-8A to tear up tanks… it’s missiles SDB’s or nuthun. It cannot carry enough AIMs to be a credible fighter, unless they are hung on hardpoints (no stealth there… again…)

      The B model still suffers from advancing blade lift asymmetry problems in the lift fan, it’s prone to ring state stall when transitioning… requires huge blow in doors and flaps to correct dirty airflow over the lift fan, and it can’t carry as much as the AV-8B – and it’s short takeoff characteristics aren’t anywhere near as good as the Harrier’s either.

      The C model’s landing gear was too light and its point to point airframe not strong enough to make carrier landings… when they beefed that up, and snitched the landing gear from the F-18… their payload and range too a serious hit because the stowage for the bigger gear took up lots of room and empty weight soared. Again, the jet in stealth mode has a range just long enough for the pilot to scream BINGO at the edge of the carrier group. Add to that the little number about the Arresting hook being put in the wrong spot (structural issue related to the landing gear too…) so trapping on a carrier was indeed a controlled crash.

      Electronic wise, the entire 5th generation smart glass cockpit and helmet rig is not ready for prototype time, let alone prime time.

      Fuel leaks… Litium Ion Batteries… fly by wire program response problems…

      The airplane is 20 to 40% slower than it was supposed to be (originally the A was supposed to be a Supersonic cruise capable aircraft) and the B model in the Mach 1.8 range. Good luck getting them to sustain anything close to those speeds.

      I have said it before.. Time to abandon the whole thing. It’s a tragic waste of money.

      Restart the F-22 line, fix its oxygen system and double it’s numbers so that it can support the Air Dominance doctrine that it was designed for.

      Go to Boeing/McDonnell Douglas – get them to put the YF17 Viper’s landing gear on the F18E and F18F, and purchase the heck out of them (G and H models) to replace the old F15C, E, and F16′s.

      We are losing our ability to design and field new weapons systems, missiles, guns… we are gold plating budgetary cash cows, and seriously degrading our technological capabilities…

      r/TMF

      • Gold Plated F-35 Runway Art. If you want to be depressed, go look up how many aircraft we produced for WWII, and compare with the number and cost of the F-35s we are now laboriously squeezing out.

      • What’s done is done. Cancel it asap, while identifying who in the military was involved in promoting this fiasco and either force them to retire or post them to the remotest outpost(s) possible.

        Of course to do that, you’d have to have a President, Congress and top military personnel that gave a ‘hoot’…

      • Cancelling the project outright is probably unrealistic. Aside from the purely technical military issues involved, a complex web of economic/political (foreign and domestic) interests are at stake.

        Might be best to focus on what role (if any) out of the hypothetical multirole, the current design is best suited for and focus on that. scrapping other variants. That and a reduced production run coupled with TMF’s increased production F-22/F/-18 etc. plus getting the ball rolling on other 5thgeneration designs to replace the F-35 might be a feasible solution to tide us over the next decade.

        It would be ironic if we found ourselves having to purchase Mirages or Eurofighters…to plug operational gaps.

    • When the Chinese get it to work, maybe we can steal it back.


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