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Monday, April 27, 2015

HAWAII TO LOSE OUR GIANT GOLF BALL

Earlier this month I posted on OUR EMBARRASSING FLOATING GOLF BALL.  Well, our Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) went right to work and found a new future home for this flawed mega-spheroid, technically known as the Sea-Based X-Band Radar (SBXBR).  It appears that our East Coast needs to be protected from Iranian missiles.  If you detect any sarcasm here and there, yes, your discernment will be accurate.  But you ask yourself, why would anyone want what The Los Angeles Times called a floating flop?

In the corner of the SBXBR is an organization called the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), funded by the MIC.  The MDAA has only been around for 13 years, and was founded, and is still being led, by Riki Ellison (in middle above).  Anyone into football knows the name.  Ellison won a national championship and played in two Rose Bowls while a linebacker at the University Southern California, and went on to three Super Bowl Championships with the San Francisco 49ers, becoming the first Maori from New Zealand to play for the National Football League.  His great-uncle was a rugby star and first Maori lawyer in New Zealand, while son, Rhett, now plays tight end for the Minnesota Vikings.

Here is the story.  The Department of Defense (DOD) remains concerned about North Korea, China and Russia, so has proposed a new radar system to be placed on land in Alaska for $1 billion by 2020.  Let's face it, SBXBR has worked.  Hawaii hasn't been attacked once since 2006 when this "powerful soda straw radar," a term used by the DOD to point out that this device is a focused radar, came here.  The Los Angeles Times, however, indicated that this radar system had so narrow a field of vision that it would be of little use against a fusillade of missiles and decoys.  Want to bet this next generation Alaskan protector will have both capabilities and cost around $3 billion?  SBXBR has thus far cost $2.2 billion.

So Hawaii would then lose yet another piece of war capability, further damaging our fragile economy.  Pundits have long been prognosticating a shriveling of our share of the military budget, for Senator Dan Inouye once controlled appropriations funds, and was generous with pork.  Unfortunately, he passed away in 2012, so things have not been the same, and are getting worse.  The Roll Call Clout Index of this 113th Congress rates our Delegation as dead last in the nation:
  • With respect to clout per member
    • 2013    4th
    • 2015   50th
Oh well, think I'll go golfing today.

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