About Sal McCloskey

+Sal McCloskey is a tech blogger in Los Angeles who (sadly) falls into the stereotype associated with nerds. Yes, he's a Star Trek fan and writes about it on Uberly. His glasses are thick and his allergies are thicker. Despite all that, he's (somehow) married to a beautiful woman and has 4 kids. Find him on Twitter or Facebook.

We Hate to Admit it but Bush was Right About Iraq

George W Bush

We’ve been very critical of George W Bush in the past (mostly because we thought he was too liberal) but we have to give him kudos for predicting the mess we’re in now. In a speech from July 12, 2007, the President was defending his proposal for a surge in Iraq and discussing what could happen if we pulled out completely like many were requesting at the time.

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Why Transparency in Pricing is Right AND Wrong

Transparent Pricing

We don’t normally get mixed up in the business side of politics. It’s not that we don’t care, but there are other battles that need to be fought that are often more important. However, when the government starts messing with the way that companies do business in the United States, it’s important for us to chime in.

One of the biggest trends that nobody is talking about is the pricing controls that the government is imposing. There are rare instances when price gouging can be utterly abused, but these are few and far between. What most consider to be price gouging is simply the supply and demand model at work that has driven capitalism for centuries. The rare cases occur and are easily recognizable; just because a cup of soda at the convenience store costs them 12 cents doesn’t mean that they can’t charge $1.99. That’s not price gouging.

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As SCO War Games Begin, the Russian-Chinese-Muslim Alliance Grows

Putin and Xi

Call the relationship between Russia and China what you will. When two of the three military superpowers converge in an alliance such as theirs, the third superpower had better watch out. When their organization includes countries with a Muslim majority, the concerns for the future are even greater.

This is not another case of Islamophobia. In this situation, the other countries in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan – are all primarily Muslim and are pawns through which the group will be able to pull more support from other Muslim countries. Russia and China are the threat. The expansion of the SCO across Asia, Europe, and into the Middle East will quickly dwarf NATO in overall population.

They are already courting other countries, some of whom have strong military forces and even nuclear capabilities. The fifth watershed summit in 2005 held in Astana, Kazakhstan, included representatives from Pakistan, India, Iran, and Mongolia. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev greeted guests by declaring that “The leaders of the states sitting at this negotiation table are representatives of half of humanity”.

This week, the SCO will be holding their largest military drills in history. Dubbed “The Peace Mission 2014″, members of five different armies will be working together to train to eliminate a considerable “terrorist force”. Why they would need to test 40 BMP-2 fully amphibious crawling traction infantry combat vehicles to use against terrorists is a mystery. Or is it?

Preparation for Middle East Warfare

The countries in question have remained passive over the various Middle East conflicts in the last decade. Is this a sign that it could all change soon?

As conspiracy theories go, this isn’t really much of a stretch. The insistence by Russia to control Ukraine seems to be more than just a passing fancy. They’re willing to provoke the United States and Europe over the land which many consider to be their gateway to western Europe. Moreover, it would give them better access to and control over the Black Sea than NATO’s Turkey.

If there are plans in the future to participate actively in the Middle East, having alliances with more Muslim countries will be paramount. Currently, their are loose relationships that are bolstered by Russian aid and Chinese commerce, but if the need for military action arises, they’ll need a solid relationship. We may be seeing the seeds of those relationships breaking through the dirt right before our eyes.

Why Did the Napoleon Harris Story Get No Traction?

Napoleon Harris

Former NFL linebacker and current Illinois state senator Napoleon Harris is like many politicians. He has multiple houses spread across the country. The problem with Harris’ multiple addresses is that only one of them is in the district that he represents and a report from the Chicago Tribune brings into question whether he ever lives at the address at all.

State law states that a representative must reside in the district that he/she represents. It makes sense. The district is considered a poor one with high poverty and crime rates. His nearby address where his wife apparently answers the door is in a much nicer area. Shouldn’t this be a problem? Shouldn’t political activists, his primary competitors, or even local Republicans be fighting to challenge his eligibility to represent the district for a second term?

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The Normalization of Gay Marriage through Common Association

Pumping Gas

In mathematics, normalization means adjusting values between different data sets to bring them to a common scale. It allows for statistics to be viewed together in a way that makes more sense. In essence, it makes them more acceptable.

That’s what’s happening today with gay marriage. Anyone who believes that it’s not the norm to accept gay marriage is missing the trends. It doesn’t matter how hard the opposition fights. This battle has already been lost. One of the biggest reasons is the brilliant methodology of strategies used by proponents of gay marriage. They’re assuming victory and have achieved it as a result. It will not take long for nearly all states to allow gay marriage. In six years, the concept of gay marriage has gone from widely unaccepted (even by our liberal president who was against it in the beginning of his first term) to holding a majority of support.

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As Hard as this is to Say, it’s NOT Obama’s Fault

Barack Obama Disappointment

For the last few years, we’ve been amongst the masses of bloggers who have been blaming President Barack Obama for the reduction of freedoms, the increase in government control over citizens, and the poor policies that are leading the country and the world to the brink of economic collapse. We’re rescinding all of that now. We believe the president is actually just a pawn being moved into place along with so many others around the world.

Simply stated, he’s just not powerful enough to have made things this bad this quickly without help.

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Obamacare is Off to a Good Start with 3% of Enrollment Target

Obamacare Enrollment

It’s a good start… if you’re one of those who is against the program. With over a third of the 2013 enrollment time time behind us, we’re not at a third of the enrollment projections. We’re not at a third of a third of the enrollment projections. We’re not even at a third of a third of a third.

The numbers are in for the 12 states that are having the most success with their healthcare websites and those numbers aren’t exactly thrilling. While it’s good that 49,100 people are signed up for health insurance, that’s tiny compared to the target of 1.4 million. While the numbers were expected to trickle in gradually, they’re downright weak according to Avalere President Dan Mendelson.

“The technical problems of the website and enrollment generally are causing the administration to go much slower on the positive messaging that is necessary to build enthusiasm for the law and that’s an issue,” Mendelson said.

According to Reuters:

The 49,100 enrollments also include Medicaid sign-ups in Hawaii and Rhode Island, which did not provide a break-out, Avalere said. It based its numbers on public and press reports for the above mentioned states as well as Connecticut, the District of Colombia, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, New York and Washington.

Read More: Reuters

Is Obama Hurting His Party’s Election Chances?

Our President. Mr. Teleprompter.

They say that the first Presidential term is all about getting a second term and that the second term is where the real action comes into play. That seems to be the case as the first term for President Obama was marked with just enough successes to earn him a second term to an uneducated population, while his second term is quickly becoming a disaster.

How does this play for those in the Democratic party seeking election or re-election in 2014? According to the Washington Post, “they are rightly nervous about the prospect.”

It has been a folly on top of a disaster followed by a debacle with a scandal or two mixed in. Member of his own party are turning against him in much the same way that conservatives turned on George W Bush in his second term. The difference is that the democrats truly like Obama while the conservatives never really cared for Bush.

Things are growing bad enough now that more publications and news outlets are writing about the President in ways that the mainstream media would never have considered just a year ago as he was getting re-elected. In a year, he has turned many of his allies against him. This could spell doom for many of those in his party that are a year away from their own election bids.

According to the Washington Post:

Obama faces two urgent problems. The first is to make the Affordable Care Act work. That begins, but does not end, with fixing the balky Web site HealthCare.gov. He and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have promised the site will be running smoothly by the end of this month.

Read More: Washington Post

Government Shutdown Didn’t Kill Economy

Jobs Report

It was guaranteed. The Republicans destroyed the economy last month with the government shutdown. That’s what we were told would happen. Fortunately, it didn’t kill much. In fact, the numbers are much better than expected.

What effect did the government shutdown really have? It gave us something to gripe about. It pointed to the partisan nature of the way the country is run. It put the democrats in a bad light over decisions they made about what to shut down and what to keep up and running. It put the republicans in a worse light because they were to blame for tanking the economy…

…except it didn’t tank.

According to the LA Times:

Despite forecasts that job growth would be sapped by the budget impasse and government shutdown, employers in the U.S. stepped up their hiring last month by adding 204,000 new jobs across a wide spectrum of industries.

Read More: LA Times

Liberal Media Distorts the Story About Obamacare

Obamacare Success

It’s subtle. It’s probably a “mistake”. Still, it should infuriate those who oppose Obamacare that liberal mainstream media cannot help but distort the sentiment when it come to the Affordable Healthcare Act.

The headline in the Chicago Tribute reads, “Obama takes responsibility for healthcare website problems”.

The reality is that he did not. The story goes on to report that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that she should be held accountable for he debacle. If, by proxy, she represents Obama, then the headline would only be slightly wrong, but at no point did he take responsibility for anything. He didn’t take responsibility for lying to the American people when he said that they would be able to keep their health insurance when they knew before his statements that millions would definitely lose their insurance. For that lie, he blamed the “bad apple” insurance companies, but it does not change the fact that the statement was made knowing that these “bad apples” were going to take away their coverage as a result of Obamacare.

It was a complete lie. The reason that so few Americans actually have any understanding of what Obamacare is going to do to the country in the coming years is because of liberal media cheerleaders like the Chicago Tribune. The numbers do not lie, but unfortunately the numbers that point to an economic collapse as a result of Obamacare will never be reported by the mainstream media. They don’t want you to know. That would go against their support for their hero in whom they’ve given blind obedience.

The hard part for people to understand is that there had to be those who were forced to switch over to Obamacare in order for it to work. Someone needs to fund the service for those who are not able to pay and the only ones who could do that are the ones who are happy with their current insurance the way it is. Most of the people who will take advantage of Obamacare do so because they either chose not to take insurance in the past or could not afford it, so those who have been responsible for their own healthcare insurance needs in the past will have to pay the price.