Today's Note From a Madman

Tuesday, July 5, 2005



By the way, in case anyone out there is interested, there are still 45 million Americans that have no health care coverage. When they get sick, we all pay and sometimes, they still die.

-Noah Greenberg


They actually Have a Strategy?


"We have 1-4-2-1 now, and we are going to look at that,"
-Ryan Henry, the principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy

"It wasn't there when they came up with 1-4-2-1. If a new strategy emerges from the review, he said, it might be "something that doesn't have any numbers at all."
-Mr. Henry, in response to a question asking where the military's heavy commitment to the fight against terrorism fits into the current strategy formula

What? No numbers? Maybe a letter scheme would do. How much money can we give to a defense contractor to come up with a new "pattern" to determine what we already know: that our military is stretched way too thin. One Billion? maybe 2 billion? The war in Iraq costs about $5 billion a week, after all.

Let me explain: 1-4-2-1 refers to the current military strategy. The New York Times describes it as follows:
"The current military strategy is known by a numerical label, 1-4-2-1, with the first number representing the defense of American territory. That is followed by numbers representing the ability to deter hostilities in four critical areas of the world, and to swiftly defeat two adversaries in near-simultaneous major combat operations The final number stands for a requirement that the military retain the capability, at the same time, to decisively defeat one of those two adversaries, which would include capturing a capital and toppling a government."
-The New York Times, July 5, 2005

The first "1" requires the military to protect US first. Well, aside from the Bush administration's failure on 911, they have done a great job, especially when you consider the wonderful color scheme that former Homeland Security Secretary, and current Home Depot Board member Tom "The Crayola-Man" Ridge, the former "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party Governor of Pennsylvania left US. The "4" is how many "critical areas" our military can fight at one time. I wonder what defines a "critical area" in the mind of GW? The "2" represents the total amount of foes that we can defeat at the same time. I guess while we "defeat" 2 adversaries, we have to simply "fend off" the other 2. And the final "1" is basically an occupation force after a decisive win.

Every four years, as ordered by Congress, the Pentagon has to provide a "top-to-bottom" strategy review. A one-war strategy would concentrate on more "boots-on-the-ground" while a two-war strategy would require better intelligence, more "special forces", but less regular troops and better equipment, like warplanes. The big report, known as the Quadrennial Defense Review (every 25 years) is due out next year.

"The force of 138,000 troops in Iraq is only 13,000 smaller than it was at the height of the offensive on Baghdad two years ago, yet the administration describes the campaign not as a major conventional war, but as the leading effort in the nation's fight against terrorism."
-The NY Times

"what we need for conventional victory is different from what we need for fighting insurgents, and fighting insurgents has relatively little connection to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. We can't afford it all."
-Loren Thompson, a Lexington Institute analyst


Talk about stating the obvious!

"we've come to the realization that we're not. It's coming to grips with reality."
-An anonymous Pentagon Official responding to a question regarding the amount of troops America has in the current two-war strategy

Wow... and it only took them four-and-a-half years to figure this out? Amazing.


Reality... What A Concept!

-Robin Williams

The new assumptions take into account possible conflicts with the likes of Iran, North Korea, Syria and even China. The latter makes you wonder about those threats to the US Congress China has made regarding Unocal, doesn't it.

"Whether anybody believed we could actually fight two wars at once is open to debate. But having it in the strategy raised enough uncertainty in the minds of our opponents that it served as a deterrent. Do we want to lose that? We don't want to give any adversary the confidence that they could take advantage of us while we're engaged in one major combat operation."
-A Senior military officer

If you were reading between the lines here, boys and girls, the New York Times article's headline could have come down to this simple phrase:

"Get Ready For The New Draft"
(The Sons of the Rich and Powerful Exempted, of Course)

-Noah Greenberg


More on China and Unocal

"If China's bid for Unocal is approved by the United States, the 'great game' for energy will become more tangled. Already China has signed a $70 billion deal to buy Iranian oil and natural gas. It has also blocked American efforts to raise the issue of Iran's nuclear weapons program before the United Nations Security Council."


My overall impression of China is that they are not in any sense of word friends of America. They are pursuing military relationships with Russia and they actively do business with Iran. In addition, don't forget that they sold weapons to Iraq (long range missile technology no less!).

When and if China becomes a Democracy, I'll feel more comfortable about them. Until then, watch them very carefully, their government is fascist in every sense of the word. I think we already made a dreadful mistake allowing our manufacturing to go to such a country.


-Robert Scardapane


Robert Scardapane: Swell, Toyota decided to build a $800 million dollar manufacturing plant in Ontario, Canada instead of the Southeast United States. Here is one reason from Mr. Fedchun - a representative of Canadian manufacturing :

He said Nissan and Honda have encountered difficulties getting new plants up to full production in recent years in Mississippi and Alabama due to an untrained - and often illiterate - workforce. In Alabama, trainers had to use "pictorials" to teach some illiterate workers how to use high-tech plant equipment.
"The educational level and the skill level of the people down there is so much lower than it is in Ontario," Fedchun said.

Robert Scardapane: Education does matter even if it is just basic literacy. Here is another reason from Mr. Emmerson - the Canadian Industry Minister:

In addition to lower training costs, Canadian workers are also $4 to $5 cheaper to employ partly thanks to the taxpayer-funded health-care system in Canada, said federal Industry Minister David Emmerson.

"Most people don't think of our health-care system as being a competitive advantage," he said.

Robert Scardapane: I am one of those people that thinks Canada's health care system is a competitive advantage. Their system is based on the single-payer universal health care (SPUHC) model. When are our politicians going to get moving on an American SPUHC system?

-Robert Scardapane


Frist for Frist

Senator Frist is the son of Thomas Frist, Sr. and brother of Thomas, Junior, the founders and CEOs of HCA/Columbia, the largest hospital for profit empire in the USA. Whereas the Thomases have portfolios that scan the list of the Fortune 500, Bill has declared a relatively meager $20 million net worth sheet, thirteen of which is in HCA/Columbia stock.

When asked about this potential (read: kinetic) conflict of interests in that he controls what legislation comes to the floor that affects health care regulations in the country, Frist said (sic) that was not a secret, that he would not go through the charade of "blind trusting" his holdings and that health care competition was good for the country in creating better rates.

He said that with a straight face, just as did his sister-in-law, Patricia, when boldly admitting an illicit $100,000 GOP contribution last year.

Giving "Frist aid" to himself and his industry is a senator's eliminating the lobbyist middleman.

-Robert Scardapane

Are They Getting Smarter?

Ford and Chrysler are matching General Motors successful "employee discount for everyone" program. This program is designed to let the average American purchase any of these American Auto Manufacturers for what their employees can purchase them for. Its a great idea to not only reduce inventory and get some much-needed cash, but also to lower the price of the second-most expensive purchase that most Americans will ever buy in a time where REAL WAGES have plummeted while staples like milk, gasoline and home heating prices have soared.

In addition to these great incentives, Buick, a GM company is extending their factory warranty. American Manufactured autos by the big three (GM, Ford and Chrysler) have a reputation of breaking down more than their foreign counterparts, thus resulting in lower resale value (and boy, don't I know it).

I view all of this in a good light. It's about time that the US auto makers did something to get their customers back, It would also be nice to see these cars still made in the USA in the coming years. I certainly hope this turns the tide.

I just wish they did it before I bought my new Chevy Cobalt three months ago.

-Noah Greenberg


The Fallen

A Kentucky National Guard soldier was killed and two others were injured when their vehicle struck an explosive device.

Ryan J. Montgomery, 22, of Greensburg, died Sunday while returning from a convoy escort mission near Baghdad when their vehicle struck an explosive device.

Montgomery was assigned to Bravo Battery 1st Battalion 623rd Field Artillery, based in Campbellsville. His unit mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom in November and deployed to Southwest Asia in January 2005.

Montgomery graduated from Green County High School and joined the military in September 2000 during his senior year of high school with his twin brother Bryan.

Ryan Montgomery "was an outgoing, top-notch student,"
-Nelson Pickett, former principal at Green County High School

He was an "outspoken student." The twins were, and are "well-liked by many."

"If you knew one of the boys, you knew both of them. They were very close."

Ryan Montgomery played in the marching band, as well as the school jazz band. He was also a volunteer firefighter.

Pickett said the Montgomery twins joined the National Guard as a way to give something back to their country.

"They were looking to serve and be a part of that,"

"Greensburg is a small community and everybody lays claim to these boys. Everybody knows them. The whole town is in grief now."
-Sharon Montgomery, the twins' stepmother, to the Louisville Courier-Journal

The boys served in the same unit.

Captain Lawrence A. Joiner, the commander of Bravo Company, said in a written statement that Montgomery would volunteer for any task for mission and handled them well.

"He was always happy and smiling. He made you feel good inside every time you would talk to him."
-Captain Joiner

Funeral arrangements in Kentucky were not available Monday night.

Montgomery was the seventh member of the Kentucky National Guard killed in Iraq. There are currently 1,127 Kentucky National Guard soldiers in Iraq.

(Taken from

-Compiled by Noah Greenberg

Stupid Quote

'I don't believe $60 a barrel can be sustained because it seems to me that it would slow the global economy enough to generate a reduction in demand and, therefore, lower prices,''
-Economist David Resler at Nomura Securities

It never ceases to amaze me how stupid these smart people are. They see the economy as a whole while the rest of US are actually living it. Just how is demand going to drop, especially in the summer? Most of US have families that want to go on vacation in June, July and August. We want to drive to that place not too far away and relax. The rest of US still need to go to work, or drive to the grocery store or visit grandma.

I can just hear it now, "Ma, I'm not coming to visit you this week because oil hit $60 a barrel."
"Okay, tatalah (we're Jewish... it's Yiddish). I hope oil prices fall by Thanksgiving."

Do these people live in the same world that we all live in? Can they be that out of touch with the rest of US?

Go ahead America. Buy those SUV's. Heat those swimming pools. Turn on all the lights. Those prices can't last forever.

Isn't this what all these guys said when oil hit $30 per barrel, then $40, then $50? They're going to say it at $70, $80 and $90, too.

How much will a Ford Excursion cost to fill at $5.00 per gallon?


-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg