Friday, April 27, 2007

Jumping Aboard

At last a military professional is saying what I have been saying for a long time: The war in Iraq is an unwinnable mess. Writing for the Armed Forces Journal Lt.Col. Paul Yingling [
article] takes a reasoned approach to discussing the failure mode of the entire enterprise.

He points to the lack of intellectual depth common among general officers and calls on congress to overhaul the promotion system for the military’s upper echelons.

The fact that a number of policy setters would have to beg for a living if they didn’t have government jobs has been apparent since the “liberation” of Baghdad in ’03. The mistakes are legion, and those are just the ones that made it into the news. Lord only knows how many SNAFUs have been cloaked with the military’s license to classify any information it wishes.

Yingling goes farther, predicting regional wars lasting for decades as a result of this debacle. Yep, A quick read of the history of the region would convince a rock of that probability.

As far as getting congress to overhaul the flag promotion system goes; that is wishful thinking. If the politicos don’t like what’s coming from one officer, they will find one who will tell them what they want to hear. Hardly a way to find the truth in a military estimation.

Integrity in the officer corps? It certainly wasn’t evident in the First All DOD Outdoor Invitational Circle Jerk, and it is obviously lacking now.

Congress has passed a funding bill that calls for phased troop withdrawals beginning in October. Dubya has been screaming veto at every opportunity. What he had better keep in mind is that congress can just as well not pass any military funding bill, and then the troops would have to come home.

That way when Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Israel decide to go at each other, President Hilary can take the high ground and write another book or have one ghosted boasting the glory of diversity or some such.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Shrinking Middle Ground

Polarization seems to be the wave of the present. Questions like, “Are you a Republican or a traitor?” and slurs painting the GOP as neo-con Jesus Freak Neanderthals abound amid inflammatory misstatements of fact.

I tend to be in the middle; pro choice, pro gun, pro medical marijuana, etc. I was a registered Republican until the State Committee failed to endorse Tom Campbell in his run against Diane Feinstein for US Senator. Campbell had won the primary election, but a previous run-in with later disgraced former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, swayed the committee to withhold endorsements and campaign funding. Tom Campbell later served in the State Senate where this was printed about him:

Campbell also was elected as a California state senator in 1993. During a two-year term, he earned ratings by the Sacramento-based "California Journal" as the most ethical state senator, the best overall senator and the state Senate's best problem solver.

If that’s the kind of man the GOP turns their back on, then I’m not sure I want to have anything to do with them. I’m not alone, Pete Wilson was the last Republican who had state wide acceptance. Dan Lundgren who should have stepped up from State AG to assume his mantle stepped on his manhood by vigorously enforcing marijuana laws that a number of segments of the populace didn’t want enforced. He was seen as being mean to sick people. He lost in a landslide to Gray Davis who holds the California record on BLAH.

Davis has been gone for a while. Recalled for blowing the budget all to bleep. The Governator got into office on name recognition, beating out – among others – a lesbian porno star. (It is California, after all.) He’s got a mixed record and aspirations for the White House. Nevah Happen, GI.

Quite frankly, the Democrats don’t appeal much to me either. Running Kerry against Bush was dumb. Bush could have been defeated on the issues by anyone who did not have such leftist views.

The only candidate they have put forward for the ’08 presidential race that is even remotely palatable is Barack Obama. He is thinking outside the box on Iraq. His proposal if adopted would reduce troop strength, move Americans into safer positions and at the same time offer a big time deterrent to Syria or Iran moving into Iraq. Maybe Hilary will be good enough to name him Secretary of Defense when she’s sworn in ’09.

The phenomenon of polarization is not limited to the U.S. The recent French election selected two widely divided candidates for the runoff. They are so far apart that the third-running Centrist candidate refuses to endorse either.

As I’ve said in this space before, leftist candidates have moved into office in a number of South American countries. Correa in Ecuador, Ortega in Nicaragua, Morales in Bolivia and Chavez, Himself in Venezuela. I would pick Royal, the Socialist candidate to go all the way in France.

So it would appear that the wave of the future is left leaning governments. It’s not like I have a lot of choice in the matter. With the exception of the Governator, all of my elected officials are Dems.

Maybe I should take a nap. (us old folks do that) Would some kind soul please remember to wake me up in 2016?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Guns & Stuff

Recently a very sick young man took two guns into a supposedly firearm free campus and proceeded to murder 32 people before taking his own life.

Family and friends of the victims are still in shock, rage, and mourning for deceased. Meanwhile, crassly insensitive politicians on both side of the gun control issue are busy commenting and drafting bills.

Newt Gingrich was on ABC yesterday. If you recall, he was the Speaker of the House who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and had to kick down $300K to avoid charges on some shady dealing. He resigned from the House under pressure when an extra-marital affair came to light. (That should tell you what kind of folks ABC gives air time to.)

A good portion of his interview was given over to opining how things would have been different at Virginia Tech if only one of the victims had been able to defend him/herself with a firearm. Well, yeah, Newt. And if frogs had wings they wouldn’t bump their a***s.

On the other side of the gun control argument, legislation is being prepared to tighten procedures for background checks on would-be gun purchasers. It seems the perp in this instance would not have qualified to purchase firearms under federal guidelines, but had no trouble with Virginia directives on the matter.

With all the polarization in politics these days, either we will be mandated to all go armed at all times, or else have our guns confiscated by Big Brother. In the meantime there are 32 innocent people to mourn which is a lot more constructive than joining in this debate.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Too Much For Mere Words

I have had Yahoo! mailboxes for years. For that reason alone, Yahoo! is my home page. Lately, I’ve been rethinking that. For the past couple of months the antics of Britney Spears or the untimely passing Anna Nicole and its ramifications have dominated the headline spot.

I’m given to wonder just who is interested in the doings of a couple of bleach-bottle-blonde bimbos, neither of whom has shown the slightest desire to keep her knees together when members of the opposite sex are around.

Today was different. The bimbos have been replaced by an account of the tragedy on the Virginia Tech campus. It took the wanton mass murder of a couple of dozen promising young people to move the editors.

My heart goes out to the friends and family of the injured and deceased. For once I am at a loss for words, but my silent prayers are with you.

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