“The embrasures grew with each volley of the unrelenting trebuchets until the merlon was no more.”
General Dachux – The Battle of Chateaubriand (1699)
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
“The embrasures grew with each volley of the unrelenting trebuchets until the merlon was no more.”
New EU new road safety measures attempting to reduce deaths from road accidents by a third are being proposed to fit all cars with devices to prevent cars from exceeding 70MPH, according to The Telegraph.
Why would anyone buy a Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini if they had a top speed of 70MPH? How many of those 30,000 auto deaths in Europe were from cars exceeding 70MPH?
In the United States, during 2009, according to the Census Bureau, 31% of the traffic fatalities were speeding related; however, only a little over 10% were exceeding 55MPH and less than 3% of the fatalities were due to speeding over 55MPH on the Interstates. Did you know that more fatalities had occurred while speeding under 40MPH (4768) than fatalities for speeding in excess of 55MPH (3665)? Common logic suggests even fewer happened while exceeding 70MPH.
What stop at 70MPH? Speed limiters set to 25MPH (about the gallop speed of a horse) might eliminate most if not all of the speeding-relating traffic fatalities, but who wants to live in a world like that?
It just makes sense.
Jesus said, “And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, but don’t be worry because these things will but come, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6)
Clausewitz said, “War is just a continuation of politics by violent means.”
War is the consequence of failed deterrence. The United States failed to deter the Syrian regime from using weapons of mass destruction on their citizenry, thus the United States is about to wage war on Syria. The question yet to answered is, will the war on Syria end in success or not?
To achieve success any violence must be in accord with US law and be appropriate to the unacceptable behavior of the antagonist. If the action is not in accord with US law, the political consequences could result in impeachment or at the least a continued degradation of the United States deterrence ability. If the force is inappropriate, the result could range from increased unacceptable behavior from the antagonist or international condemnation of the United States for excessive death and destruction.
Even with our shrinking military, the tactical capacity of the United States is tremendous. No nation desires an attack from us. Our decision makers are responsible for predetermining the objectives before tasking our warriors to execute the campaign.
There are many possible objectives, but success of any campaign is measured by the establishment of a better state of peace when all is done.
Unless the regime is changed, an appropriate force should leave the antagonist without the means to repeat their former sin. Anything less suggests either malpractice or a crime on the part of our decision makers.
The management of violence is brain surgery. Elections have consequences.
It just makes sense.
Five days after U.S. forces hastily withdrew from Iraq, fourteen bomb blasts in Baghdad killed 63 people and injured 185 others. Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the attack as “cowardly” but what did we really expect to happen?
When the U.S. forces left Germany shortly after WWII ended nothing of the sort happened. Exactly, nothing of the sort happened because the forces did not leave. In 2011, Germany is a stellar member of the peaceful, productive nations of this planet. While that is mostly due to the Germans, as they are as civilized as any people on Earth, had the conquerors of 1945 followed the model set by the U.S. in Iraqi, I venture to speculate they would not be the same today. It takes organization, determination, and time to convert a totalitarian-warlike nation into a free and contributing nation. Maybe it wouldn’t have taken 70 years, but it needed more than seven.
During the force-fed rehabilitation of Germany, the U.S. forces kept the Soviet antagonists at bay with a constant threat of war. That threat of war included not just armed soldiers at checkpoints but also the promised use of annihilating-force against any large muscle movements by the Soviets. We called that the “Cold War” back then.
With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The democratic FRG embedded itself in key Western economic and security organizations, the EC, which became the EU, and NATO, while the Communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German unification in 1990. Since then, Germany has expended considerable funds to bring Eastern productivity and wages up to Western standards. In January 1999, Germany and 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro. In January 2011, Germany assumed a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term–that’s a success story.
The Soviets couldn’t logically risk their total destruction so they postured campaigns all around the world hoping to exhaust the U.S. and then they could have their way with Germany and the rest of the world. But that didn’t happen, the Soviets were exhausted by the American double-blessings of leading-edge technological developments and the greatest economy in history of mankind, which enabled the U.S. forces to be unbeatable.
This “War in Iraq” mess went differently. The rehabilitation program was mostly designed by the patient, while the U.S. forces allowed Iranian antagonists to leak into the county to lead the locals bandits in organized violent actions. The U.S. political machine went out of its way to soften any demands or threats against Iran, which appeared to encourage their schemes. Today the American technological programs have mostly been hacked into by the Chinese and others, which have mostly encouraged opposition to the U.S. and the American economy has been disassembled by a legislative branch which hasn’t produced a budget for over 1000 days, while the Democrat Party leaders have plunged the national debt to a greater level than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first time since the American Revolution. For political reasons, which escape strategic reasoning, the U.S. has abandoned maybe the last opportunity to establish and maintain a civilized stronghold in a totalitarian-aggressive region without having to resort to annihilating-force.
Ironically, many are blaming U.S. intervention in Iraq as the reason for the current situation. As a reminder, in August 1990, Iraq seized Kuwait but was expelled by US-led, UN coalition forces during the Gulf War of January-February 1991. Following Kuwait’s liberation, the UN Security Council (UNSC) required Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles and to allow UN verification inspections. Continued Iraqi noncompliance with UNSC resolutions over a period of 12 years led to the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the ouster of the Saddam Hussein regime.
The invasion of Iraq was the result of Saddam Hussein’s failure to comply with U.N. sanctions, which was magnified through the prism of 9-11 and the resultant Global War on Terrorism. Today’s revisionists are quick to say, “Saddam Hussein did not bomb the World Trade Center on 9-11,” which is just as true as the equally interesting but not compelling declaration, “Adolf Hitler did not bomb Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941.”
To do great things, even great nations need great leadership. Great leadership at the national level is usually manifest in the leaders ability to communicate his vision to the people. “Hope and change” was a bumper sticker which appears to have been used as a blindfold on the American people.
The 44th U.S. President outlawed the use of the previous administration’s somewhat nebulous term “Global War on Terrorism” opting instead for the completely ambiguous term “Overseas Contingency Operations.” The resultant failure of national leadership to educate the American people as to why we were at war since 9-11 has all but squandered the investment of lives and treasure, which should have been used as a lever to move world opinion and policy against aggression and to deter what may prove to be the most destructive war ever.
It just makes sense.
Kim Jong-Il is dead—his heart failed him. The country he leaves behind is economically dead, its population is mostly starving, as what resources it didn’t use to support the lavish comfort of the now dead 69 year-old dictator was pumped into maintaining an offensive military and the development of nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Most likely, Kim Jong-Il’s death won’t end hunger in North Korea, reduce the threat of war, or work towards reuniting the Korean peninsula.
The area we now call North Korea and South Korean was an independent kingdom for much of its long history, Korea was occupied by Japan beginning in 1905 following the Russo-Japanese War. Five years later, Japan formally annexed the entire peninsula and ruled with a brutality, which characterized the Japanese Empire of that day.
Historians and a few others know that the Soviets declared war on Japan the day after the A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. In a mad rush to claim territory before it could be liberated, Soviet-sponsored Communists, under the leadership of Kim Il Sung took control of the northern half of Korea. After the US and the rest of the free world disarmed, the Communist North Korea invaded liberated South Korea but failed to conquer the UN and US-backed Republic of Korea (ROK).
President Kim Il Sung, adopted a policy of ostensible diplomatic and economic “self-reliance” as a check against outside influence. They demonized the US as the ultimate threat to its social system through state-funded propaganda, and molded political, economic, and military policies around the core ideological objective of eventual unification of Korea under Pyongyang’s control. In 1994, Kim Il Sung died and Kim Jong Il assumed the dictators position.
After decades of economic mismanagement and resource misallocation, North Korea relies heavily on international aid to feed its population. North Korea’s history of regional military provocations, proliferation of military-related items, long-range missile development, WMD programs including tests of nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009, and massive conventional armed forces are of major concern to the international community.
Kim Jong-un, the third son of the dead dictator, is the new “dear leader” and get this—he’s 20 years old. How will he lead? But come to think of it, a lot of things were said about Kim Jong-Il which made one wonder how a Hennessey-sipping, sashimi-carving, caviar-chomping, DVD-watching, golf-cheating, people-starving megalomaniac could run an entire country, even one with such limitations as North Korea. But we know the answer, don’t we?
Since Kim Il-Song heart failed him at 82 years of age, other people have been running the country. Having a “dear leader” for the people to worship helped them keep the people motivated. Following Kim-Il Song’s death, many people reportedly “committed suicide” which probably goes to explain the consolidation of power by the winners. Those folks, with their logical replacements, will continue to pull the strings on their new puppet—Kim Il-un.
Therefore, not much of anything will change.
It just makes sense.
By now you’ve heard most of the story about the 88 year-old shooter that killed Stephen Tyrone Johns while he was on duty as a security guard in the Washington DC Holocaust Museum. If you’re like most people, you’re sadden at the loss of yet another productive American citizen and sickened at the reports of the shooter’s hatred for so many people. Depending on where you get your news, you might also be confused over some misleading references to the shooter representing right-wing ideology in America.
Adding to the confusion, is a fundamentally flawed statement in the Homeland Security report on alleged “Rightwing Extremism” inside of the United States. There were 50 uses of the term “rightwing” in the report. It even used the term as a single word, instead of the the grammatical correct hyphenated term right-wing. No references were made to “left-wing extremism,” leaving some to wonder if the report might condone that side of the argument. Of course even suggesting such a thing might be classified as blasphemy in the near future, so I won’t go any further with that line of reasoning.
Are we really to believe neo-Nazism is right-wing?
If so, that would make the Nazi regime of Hitler’s Germany a right-wing government. If true, then on the extreme right of the concept of government theory, you have Hitler and the SS running everything. The rest of us would work as slaves in government-owned factories and fields and have to put up with soldiers banging on our doors at night only to be hauled off to the concentration camp–where we’d die.
So what is the opposite of that? The communists?
If so, on the extreme left of the concept of government theory, you have Stalin and the KGB running everything. The rest of us would work as slaves in government-owned factories and fields and have to put up with soldiers banging on our doors at night only to be hauled off to the gulag–where we’d die.
I don’t see a nickel’s worth of difference between those two systems, unless you happen to be a member of the small group that is controlling everything and everyone else. Which means the popular notice of left and right must be flawed, as the two should be in contrast to each other.
Here’s something that makes much more sense.
Government theory is all about how much power the government has. The more power the government has, the less power or rights the people have. On one extreme, government has all power. On the other extreme, government has no power–or doesn’t exist at all. That’s also called anarchy.
In theory, anarchy could be a nice thing. No taxes, no police, no rules to get in your way–every man doing what he things is right. If everyone were just like Jesus, that might work out pretty good. But humanity is wrought with selfish behavior–striving to advance oneself over others. In total anarchy, only the strongest men could retain their property, which would soon be countered by less strong people teaming together to take what they wanted. Eventually the land would be littered with myriad teams or gangs all striving for their collective superiority over the other groups. Chaos and mayhem–anarchy is a bloody unproductive state in practice.
So with anarchy at the extreme right, what’s at the extreme left? Government with total power, of course.
If a single person were powerful enough to control everyone else–that would be extreme left–but with millions and billions of people on earth, nobody is that powerful. It wouldn’t even work with a small region of several thousand people. No, the king has to have an army. That army could consist of knights sitting at a round table or goose-stepping storm troopers–but a king without his army is a pathetic sight.
Throughout history, most kings have had some collection of advisors to assist them in their rule of the masses. They might be family members or just ideological partners–but loyalty is generally the primary selection criteria. Kings use a variety of job titles: Potentate, Chief, Czar, Leader, Lord, Master, Commander, Seignior, President, Chairman, Chairwoman, Big Cheese, Skipper, or any other of a multitude of “I’m-the-boss-of-you” sounding titles. All those various titles only serve to confuse people who are trying to make sense of the left and right of things.
When a relatively small group of people control all or even most all of the power over the people it is called an oligarchy. If you are not part of the oligarchy, you will be most severely punished by those who control the power if you should oppose any decision they make. The irony is, you don’t even have to oppose the seat of power to be oppressed by it–they have the option of abusing you at their whim.
To the right of an oligarchy, is a democracy–rule by the majority. In theory a democracy sounds pleasant, but in practice that would only be true if you were part of the majority. The majority can vote to take the minorities possessions or even their lives. If the only thing that establishes right is a majority–you basically have mob rule, albeit a majority mob. Democratic principles are good, but a system of laws that protect the rights of all people is necessary if the people are to really enjoy freedom.
Which brings us to a republic, which is more than just a government controlling the people, it is a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives. In the great American experiment, the wonderful document called the Constitution spells out just how much power the government is allowed to control. The rest of the power is supposed to remain with the people.
Some people argue that twenty-first century America is violating certain restrictions of the Constitution, but few people are wanting an America without a central government–the ones who advocate anarchy could correctly be labeled “right-wing extremists.”
The Constitution’s governmental concept is left of anarchy but well right of a direct democracy or an oligarchy. Some say the Constitution is well right of our current practice and that we’re plunging into socialism.
Socialism is the Marxist theory that declares all means of production, distribution, and exchange should be centrally controlled. The theory is that individuals won’t be able to hoard great wealth if the governing oligarchy has control. The reality is that the oligarchy hoards the wealth and the people suffer. You’ve seen the term used in some now defunct oligarchies.
The National Socialists (Nazis) were about a specific people-group’s oligarchy controlling all means of production, distribution, and exchange first in Germany and then hoping to spread across the world. They were thwarted by America and her allies during World War II.
Remember the USSR (a.k.a Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic)? Soviet Communism was about world conquest by any means, most in order for their oligarchy to control all means of production, distribution, and exchange. They also were thwarted by America and her allies during the Cold War.
Somehow the Nazis and the Communists were labeled right and left in attempt to suggest you had to go one way of the other. History shows the two groups didn’t get along very well, but of course each side was fighting for total control. Unless you were part of their small oligarchy, each of the systems were oppressive–each were extreme leftists.
So what would you call a person, regardless of their age or veteran status, who believes a small group of people should control all power, disregarding the concept that all men are created equal, and also believes he has the right to ignore the Constitution of the United States?
Wouldn’t that be–left-wing extremist?
It just makes sense.
America’s deterrence-record with North Korea has recently elevated from embarrassing to down-right dangerous. Even though some form of independent Korean state or collection of states have existed nearly continuously for several millennia, we persist in dealing with them as if they were either children or cavemen. The reality is North Korea’s nepotistic state possesses nuclear weapons and an effective means of delivering them, which possesses a clear and present danger to all their neighbors, except China and Russia.
The details of how the world arrived at this impending conflagration are obsfucated by historic neglect and revisionists efforts, but the major turning points are clearly visible. The tenacious people of Koryo, Silla, Paeche, and Chosun built societies that equal all that is impressive in the study of the ancient Chinese and Japanese cultures. Many Koreans believe that those people descended from theirs or at least copied theirs to achieve greatness. While the “what-ifs” of antiquity fascinate some people, it is obvious that during the last century, Korea was gobbled-up, spit out, and then transformed into a nearly “perfect” example of political Yin and Yang.
About a hundred years ago, all of Korea was formally annexed by Japan–a harsh experience that stirs “racial” strife in some people even today. As bloody World War II (WWII) ended and Japan was pacified, America and most of the Allies rushed to disarm and revert to a consumer-based society–one that improves the standard of living for everyone. On the other hand, the USSR sought to press onward with the momentum of their military might–seeking to control the entire world if they could–thereby blurring any differences between them and the totalitarian oligarchies the Allies had just fought so hard to eliminate.
In the conflict of political pressure and military maneuvering that followed WW II, the Korea peninsula was split into two nations, with the northern half coming under Soviet-sponsored communist control.
Communist North Korea was armed, trained, and then encouraged to invade South Korea. Though initially unprepared, the United States led the UN effort to drive the brutal invaders back to the north. But a new era had dawned.
Not understanding how important it was to stop before China was provoked into a military response, WW II tactical zeal carried the Allies all the way to the Chinese border. Politically denied the option of interdicting the massive forces mustered just north of the Yalu River–General MacArthur could do nothing except wait for the inevitable.
Political contextual elements glowed heavily with American decision makers. The United States no longer had a nuclear monopoly, as the USSR has obtained vital secrets via spies and their own efforts–resulting in communist nuclear test/demonstrations. The USSR had equipped Mao Zedung’s Chinese communists with captured Japanese military gear, as a 600,000-strong force in Manchuria surrendered to Russian forces following Japan’s capitulation after the nuclear bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The exhausted forces of Chiang Kai-shek withered under the assault and barely escaped to Taiwan. The Chinese decision makers were threatened by any thing that might threaten their reformation of their newly established communist state. The Chinese viewed North Korea has a security buffer preventing a two-pronged attack on them sometime in the future–a southern thrust from Taiwan and a northern thrust from the Korean Peninsula–it didn’t matter if no one in America was thinking about doing that, the Chinese are notorious long-term planners. Above all, the President Truman feared that narcissistic Joseph Stalin would employ nuclear weapons if China were invaded–requiring another WWII-style effort from a war-weary world to vanquish communism.
So Chinese forces swarmed across the border. The fighting that followed produced most of what Americans remember as bad about the Korean War. After much fighting and loss of life, the peninsula was once again divided via a crease-fire agreement in 1953. The lesser known background of that agreement is that it was reached only after some combined military and political maneuvering designed to convince China to pressure North Korea into acceptance.
In March of 1953, Stalin died–some believe he was poisoned by members of his cabinet who feared yet another purge was imminent. Regardless of how he died, the internal chaos in the USSR allowed for a window of political and military factoring by the Allies to bring about a ceasefire agreement. Since the US had no formal way of communicating with the Chinese government–as it was not recognized as a legitimate state then–the American’s leaked information through political connections in India. the message was basically that the US would destroy sanctuary bases in Manchuria if the fighting continued. Initially this was hard to believe, as much collateral damage to civilians would accompany such attacks–and they knew the Americans had grown squeamish about such things.
To demonstrate the opposite, a series of previously unmolested dams were bomb, releasing flood waters, which prevented a year’s rice planting. The suffering caused by the food shortage would far exceed the trauma of the initial flooding. Only then were the Chinese convinced–those brutal Americans would probably attack, maybe use nuclear weapons, thus weakening China’s military so much it might result in their collapse–so they influenced North Korea to sign the armistice on July 27, 1953.
Since then a precarious state of “stand-off” exists between the dark oligarchy and what has grown into a thriving republic to its south. South Korea has a GDP nearly 1.3 trillion dollars–equal to Saudi Arabia’s and Taiwan’s combined–much of which is reinvested into their growing economy. Many of their quality products are purchased by Americans. North Korea has a GDP of maybe 40 billion dollars–a little more than Uganda’s–much of which is used to maintain a massive military while their population is mostly fed by international aid. North Korea is a charter member of the “Axis of Evil” and is a real-life characture of an evil nation.
On 27 May 2009, North Korea unilaterally withdrew from the armistice. They’ve tested nuclear weapons and long-range missiles in a bravado attempt to intimidate the rest of the world. The are heavily suspected of nuclear proliferation efforts with other nations in the Axis of Evil–mostly likely seeking additional sources of income for their dying economy. In the wake of the nuclear tests and missile launch demonstrations, they have announced they will respond with military force if another of its ships are boarded by the US-led program to interdict illicit transport of weapons of mass destruction.
What kind of force do you think they are implying? It’s obvious.
So what’s the solution? While past performance is no guarantee of future results …
China has to pressure North Korea to behave. Thus the key to making North Korea behave it to convince China that they stand to lose more than they will gain if they allow North Korea to continue their shenanigans.
The most threatened nations are South Korea, Japan, and the United States. The US already has ample military power to counter a nuclear attack when it comes to it. However, Japan and South Korea are precariously empty–historically relying on the US nuclear umbrella to cover them as needed.
Here’s the solution:
In the light of shrinking US resolve and inventory–Japan and South Korea need indigenous nuclear forces. They have all the necessary technologies and their GDP’s will comfortably support the programs–the only thing that prevents it from happening is their own national laws and leadership. International law have recently been proven inept at preventing any nation from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.
Thus, the US should encourage Japan and South Korea to develop strong nuclear capabilities to stand against the nuclear threats from North Korea. And even if the US fails to encourage them, those nations need to consider what they need to do for their own survival–and do it anyway. Of course, once that happens, Taiwan and Australia would need to belly-up to the nuclear club also–unless they wanted to remain optionless in the face of nuclear threats.
How would China like to be facing nuclear-equipped nations on all their borders?
Not at all, I’m sure.
The long-range planning Chinese leadership would be greatly concerned about this–they have a little history with the Japanese and the folks who live in Taiwan. And that’s the problem with nuclear proliferation: Once it gets rolling–how do you stop it?
Stop it early.
“Too late for that,” some might say.
Well, my grandpa used to say, “You can’t start where you were, only you are.” And where we are is a nuclear equipped North Korea trying to intimidate the world as they seek to spread nuclear weapons to other nations, who also seek to do harm to things we consider valuable.
When it comes to allowing rogue nations to develop or maintain nuclear arsenals–nothing is worse than doing nothing.
It just makes sense.
Tax day. That’s what we’ve learned to call April 15, but we really know that taxes hit us every day. It’s April 15 when those dreaded 1040 are due to the IRS, or it’ll cost us even more money. Our income is taxed and everything we spend our post-tax income on is taxed again through a complex web of visible and hidden taxes. This April 15 a lot of people assembled all over the country to express their concern about out of control taxes.
While the concept of maybe attending a Tea-Party had interested me for a while, it wasn’t until I saw the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report that identified a new type of terrorists–the right-wing terrorist–that I knew I needed to go.
Recently the DHS had said they preferred to call terrorism “man-caused disasters” and I satirically suggested that terrorists would then be called “disaster-engineers” in keeping with the kinder words of referring to the most heinous members of the human race. But now I see no restraint in using the T-word.
The report suggests that “right-wing extremists” are potential terrorists. Those people are described as basically anyone who believe abortion kills babies, or that the 2nd Amendment affirms the right to bear arms, and a group of right-wingers that need particular watching are veterans.
Veterans? What the freedom-snatching kind of conclusion is that? Veterans?
Do they mean those men and woman who have offered up their lives to defend the rest of us–those veterans? The same people, whom on November 11 of each year we have a national holiday to honor their service? Those same honorable heros are supposed to be suspected terrorists? All of them?
Why would anyone suggest that?
Could it be because most Americans hold veterans and the military in high esteem? Could it be that the military and it’s veterans need to be taken down a notch or two in the public eye before they begin whatever it is that follows out-of-control tax and spending? I don’t know. Your guess is as good as mine.
But how could anyone draw a connection between veterans and terrorists?
Well, according the DHS report, veterans have received training that would enable them to do something like Timothy James McVeigh did. Remember him?
McVeigh was the guy that was eventually executed for for the bombing that killed 168 people in the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. He was a veteran. See the connection yet? Me neither.
He did well as a gunner on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, but then washed out of Special Forces training in December of the same year. After he left the service he failed at everything else. No girlfriend, no job, and followed the gun show circuit selling white-supremacist literature until he completely slid off the deep end. For some reason he thought it was his calling to violently overthrow the US government.
Does that sound like the typical veteran to you?
All veterans reading this column will immediately feel a bit insulted to be compared with McVeigh. For the folks who didn’t make the cut to become a veteran, that is because all veterans took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, which is the document that allows our government to legally exist. And since veterans are not released from their oath to God when they are discharged–it means McVeigh violated his oath.
And there were other veterans. What about Oswald? You know, Lee Harvey Oswald. Yeah he was a veteran and he killed Kennedy. You know, John F. Kennedy, who was a veteran. Oh yeah. Hmmm. Maybe not all veterans are terrorists.
Some veterans might actually be productive Americans. Americans like Alan Alda (Army Reserves), Tony Bennett (Army), Jim Blackwood (Air Force), Andy Bloom (Air Force), Johnny Carson (Navy), Ted Duncan (Air Force), Clint Eastwood (Army), Reed Estrada (Air Force), Malcolm Forbes (Army), Jim Johnson (Air Force), Rocky Marciano (Army), Vern Moore (Air Force), Montel Williams (Navy) Dave Thomas (Army), Chuck Norris (Air Force) Bill Cosby (Navy) Drew Carey (Marine), Ben Quintana (Air Force), Bob Goss (Air Force), Britt Larson (Air Force), Doug Barnard (Air Force), Steve Harper (Air Force), Ed Miller (Air Force), James Obsborne (Air Force), John Mitchell (Air Force), John Farese (Air Force), Dudley Woods (Air Force), Mel Bowen (Air Force), Moses Winston (Air Force), Pat Travnicek (Air Force), Paul Hill (Air Force), Scotty Briscoe (Air Force), Shawn Riff (Air Force), Steve Hollis (Air Force), Mark Maryak (Air Force), Donald Davitz (Air Force), even Charles Sutherland (Air Force) … and millions others.
No. Being a veteran did not transform McVeigh into what he became. It must have been something else.
It seems some people can find similarities and proof where they want to find them. For instance, I noticed on McVeigh’s mug-shot that he was a tall man–over six foot-two. Did you know that his parents were divorced when he was young–only ten years old.
To make the assumption “tall men whose parents were divorced when they were young might be terrorists” would be stupid. Most readers might have heard of people who fit that description–some of those people hold high-level elected office.
It is just as stupid–no, it is more stupid–to declare someone might be a terrorists because they are a veteran.
As a 32-year veteran, I can tell you with reasonable confidence that the soldiers, sailors, Marines, and Airmen who are protecting you while you sleep tonight are not being taught how to make bombs out of rented trucks, fertilizer and motor-fuel. And as far as I know, there is no program anywhere to train tall men, whose parents were divorced at a young age, to do the same.
Military service to our nation does not produce terrorists.
Of course the Tea-Parties across American were not about the DHS report, they were about a out-of-control tax and spend policy and practice. But isn’t it interesting how seemingly unrelated events can produce similar motivations? Anyway, let me tell about the Tea-Party I went to in Bossier City.
Since my taxes were already mailed off to Uncle Sam–after I got off my 10-hour work day on April 15–I headed down to the Bossier City Civic Center’s green. Having never attended a demonstration of any sort, I really didn’t know what was going to happen. It shouldn’t have surprised me that convenient parking was no where to be found as I joined about 5000 small-business owners, working tax-payers, families, and even college students from all around Bossier and Shreveport. They were regular people–white, black, Hispanic, young, old, male, female, tall, and short–who like me, had just finished the working activities of their day and then came out for a couple of hours to show their concern.
In case you didn’t make it to a Tea-Party, I posted a few videos on You Tube for you.
The links are below.
After assembling, we sang the National Anthem. If you view this 2 minute 18 second video, I think you’d agree that everyone there was just regular people. Lots of flags. Seemed more patriotic than anything else.
Following that those assembled recited the Pledge of Allegiance lead by a local 6th grader.
Then State Representative Jane Smith gave the invocation. We all prayed for our elected officials, for our country, along with thanking God for all our blessings.
Many speakers were there to motivate the attendees to lawful pro-active action. One of these speakers was Mr. Royal Alexander, who was defeated in the 2007 general election to District Attorney for the sixth Judicial District. He commented about the illegalities of the government writing checks with no funds to cover them.
The keynote speaker was Congressman John Fleming of the 4th district of Louisiana. He explained some of the reasons the radical tax and spend policies are being passed in Congress.
Since the first round of Tea-Parties have ended, much of the national media has used crude humor and mockery to denigrate the respectable citizens who lawfully assembled that day. How many people are we talking about here?
Nobody really knows, but guesses are everywhere. Somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 showed up in Atlanta, our group was considerably less, about 5000. Some reports say there were less than 350 Tea-Parties, but that conflicts with data I had seen on one web site, which stated that as of early April 15, there were over 2000 Tea-Parties scheduled. If only half of those actually took place, and if only half as many people as we had in little Bossier City attended each one of them, that would add up to 2.5 million concerned citizens assembled across America.
That’s a lot of people to denigrate.
So is this a one-time fling or the beginning of a movement? And if it is a movement, what is supposed to happen?
This is what I think. We don’t need another political party. Americans need to take back the two parties we already have–the Democrat Party and the Republican Party. Those two parties can be used to balance our national policies between the two extremes of our Constitutional Republic’s existence. We do not need to dissolve into anarchy anymore than we need to be oppressed by a self-serving oligarchy.
Anarchy is the extreme right–no government. It’s where everyone does according to what they believe is right. In other words, it’s a riot with no police. At its worse, it looks a lot like the corner of Florence and Normandy on April 29, 1992.
An oligarchy is the extreme left–a government with all the power invested into a dominant class or party. It’s the most common form of government throughout history. Sometimes words like “socialist” or “communists” are used to describe them–but at the heart of things–the interests of a small group take priority over everything else. Even a monarchy quickly transforms into an oligarchy, because a king without his army is lost.
The only choices of government-types in the middle of those extremes are a democracy and a republic. A democracy sounds good, but a majority can quickly become a mob if the majority wants something the minority possesses. A republic is what Americans have lived in since the beginning. It is based on law. The Constitution is designed to protect the people by limiting the power of the people operating the government.
That is the reason why some people get very upset when they perceive that some policies and practices may be violating the Constitution. Once the Constitution becomes null and void, our nation will quickly slide into an oligarchy. Which is either where we’re currently headed or arguably by a few where–we’ve arrived.
In each of the great oligarchies of the past, the ruling party used the power of swords, bayonets, or guns to take-over the business pursuits of the majority of the people. By controlling the economy and then the physical activity of their subjects–the oligarchies’ ruling class maintained their power. Today, we call that nationalization. Under the guise of the government’s sovereignty the ruling party takes what they want and does what they deem best with the fruits of the peoples’ labor. Looking back, it was a bloody mess that simply highlights the evil of their leaders while their subjects suffered. Anybody want to argue that the Communists of the former USSR were good for most people that lived there, or that the Nazis of the Third Reich were well-meaning, or that Khmer Rouge only wanted the best for the people? I didn’t think so.
Today, the power of the dollar is being wielded to take-over banks and manufacturers–the business pursuits of the majority of the people. Out-of-control tax and spend policies threaten to undermine the rights of the people. What would our founding fathers have said about this?
At the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 18, 1787, an anxious crowd assembled outside awaiting the results. As Benjamin Franklin emerged from the adjourned convention, a woman was reported to have asked him: “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
“A republic, if you can keep it” responded Franklin.
Never before has that prophetic statement rang more true. Some of us might argue that in light of the current national policies and plans that seem to be determined to tax the United States into oblivion–it’s already too late. Maybe if Franklin were alive today, he would say, “You have a republic if you can salvage it.”
Yes, we can. We can salvage our republic by taking back both of our political parties. In 2010 we can replace every representative who has voted for this madness with people who promise to overturn it. Then if they don’t do what they say, we can replace them with new people in 2012. We still have the power of the ballot. As long as our Constitution still stands as the law of land, we can do things in a civilized manner. We’re still citizens and not subjects–at least not yet.
We the People, can do this.
As one sign at the Tea-Party read, “You can’t fix stupid, but you can vote it out.”
It just makes sense.
My personal life is much too depressing to talk about for now … next month should set a new high in panglossian delight … so I’ll just add some political commentary to make you aware of my continued existence–enjoy:
It’s over–well, almost. The Global War on Terror is now called “Overseas Contingency Operations,” which can be a little confusing to some of us. After all, we’ve been using initials to talk about things for a while. Everyone probably already knows about WWI and WWII but what about the O-wars?
The first one was OAF, remember that?
That was Operation Allied Force, where the US provided most of the muscle and all the backbone to stop the murder of Muslims by the Miloshevich-led Serbs. Remember how that ended?
After airpower defeated the Serbian military and was allowed to retreat, Miloshevich wound up being charged with crimes against humanity. However, he died of heart problems before a verdict was delivered.
What vowel comes after A? Here’s a hint–E. OEF was the next O-war.
Operation Enduring Freedom, is where America resisted the temptation to kill everyone after the bold terrorist attacks of 9-11. At first, it was called Operation Infinite Justice but the Bush administration changed the name when they were told it was offensive to Muslims.
Then OEF was subdivided into several sub-OEFs to deal with multi-geographical areas: Afghanistan, Philippines, Horn of Africa, Trans Sahara, Krygyzstan, and Pankisi Gorge (a.k.a. Georgia). The last two ended in 2004, but you don’t hear much about them in the press. Oh, did you think it was only in Afghanistan? I guess the collective press might have been confusing, but it is a global war, remember?
What vowel comes after E? I’m sure you know. I. The third O-war was OIF.
That was Operation Iraqi Freedom, sometimes called the War in Iraq–which just caused more confusion. At the end of it all, Saddam Hussein was tried and hung by his own people. Even with the tyrant dead and gone, a lot of fighting continued inside of Iraq–mostly terrorists killing Iraqis–but many Americans died also–albeit not in toe-to-toe fighting, but from a variety of suicide-terrorist attacks, called “homicide bombers” presumedly not to offend the people who wanted us dead. Anyway, Iraq is doing fairly well after all the American and other folks that have helped them. We’ll be leaving in less than 18 months–except for the 50,000 that will remain behind forever.
So now, Barack Obama has directed everyone to use the term “Overseas Contingency Operation” which I guess could be shortened to OCO. I guess that sounds better than OOF–which would have fit nicely in the series of O-wars–but OCO is what it is. But this is not all that has changed.
Janet Napolitano, our newly appointed Homeland Security Secretary, doesn’t like the word terrorism. She prefers to use “man-caused” disasters. Was the term “terrorism” offensive to the causers of disasters? I don’t know.
So who are the people who cause man-caused disasters? Disaster Engineers?
So we’ve got disaster engineers causing man-caused disasters in the OCO but we are trying our best not to offend anyone or to sound arrogant while we go about winning this war. Someone told me that recently Barack Obama apologized for American arrogance and announced that “America was not a war with Islam.” I must say, I’m a little confused.
Wasn’t OAF about Americans saving Muslims? Hasn’t OEF liberated Muslims in many places? Didn’t OIF result in the removal of a brutal tyrant in Iraq and then giving the country back to the Muslims who live there? Why would Barack Obama’s speech writers think he needed to make such an announcement? I don’t know.
On a completely unrelated note–within a few hours of the North Koreans launching an illegal missile, the US government announced that we’re going to defund our most promising anti-missile technologies. And we’re going to release all the disaster engineers at Gitmo, maybe even inside the US, because their home countries might be mean to them. Wouldn’t want that to happen.
With the advent of OCO, it might mean the GWOT is over. If it is over, what happened?
It’s easy enough to figure out if you look at the facts. We’re disarming, we’re releasing our prisoners, we’re trying not to offend anyone, and we’re not taking action against other countries that violate international law. Have you figured it out yet?
Yep, that’s it–we surrendered.
It just makes sense.
Do you remember the movie The Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Based on a novel by Jack Finney, it was a 1956 movie starring Kevin McCarthy and Dyna Winter, and then remade in 1978 starring Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams. The classic thriller showed people in a small town being replaced with alien clones that morphed out of plant-like pods while their victims slept. The aliens were exact physical copies of the unfortunate humans whom they killed and then disposed of. The three defensive techniques used by the humans included running away, trying not to sleep, and when they could find them–killing the aliens while they were still in the pods. As the story progressed, due to sheer numbers the pods were increasingly successful.
After the aliens successfully entered society, they worked together in their apparent mission to spread additional pods around the world to supplant the entire human race. The movie was dark and spooky, mostly because it seemed like the aliens were winning and the movie left us hanging as to the ultimate fate of mankind.
Stranger than fiction, there is another invasion going on right now.
Former member and founder of the Black Panther Party, Rep Bobby Rush (D-IL) has introduced a bill to the House Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Rep John Conyers (D-MI). If his bill should morph into a law it will supplant enough of the Constitution to alter our way of life forever.
If HR 45 becomes law it will negate the second Amendment by transforming the right to keep and bear arms into a privilege controlled by the government; it will negate the fourth Amendment by permitting government gun hunters to raid any home in search of any unauthorized firearms; it will negate the fifth Amendment by depriving gun-owners of their property without due process of law and without just compensation; and finally, it will further negate the already shredded tenth amendment which at one time limited the powers of the Federal Government.
Can you imagine what will happen when the gun-collection police force goes out to collect everyone’s guns? What will you do? What will your neighbors do?
Regardless of how you feel about gun-control, you need to understand the threat when Constitutionally subversive bills are introduced into our legislative system. The Constitution is designed as the supreme law of our land. Within the margins of that freedom-inspired document is Article V, which spells out the provisions by which amendments can be proposed and ratified.
Yes, it requires serious effort. Changing the Constitution is a serious business.
To help us understand why we don’t want Congress to make laws that supplant our freedoms and rights affirmed by the Constitution, lets play the same scenario using another right that you might be more fond of, let’s say your right to free speech.
What if some congressman submitted a bill that required all citizens to have a federal license before they could legally own a computer?
The bill could be justified by stating that too many young people are being hurt by hateful words posted on the internet or in emails–an undeniable truth. Sponsors of the bill could claim that hate-speech kills–we need to protect our children. To foster public support, they could say that anyone who opposed the bill must want to hurt children.
Once the bill became law, anyone wanting a computer would be investigated by the Attorney General’s office to make sure they weren’t mentally ill or prone to say hateful things. Their library records, TV viewings, and anything they might have ever posted, emailed, or read would be reviewed to make sure they met the high standards of the Attorney General. What would be wrong with that?
Well, to begin with it is prohibited by the Constitution. You see, the Constitution is supposed to limit the power of the government. When government gets too powerful you get things like restrictions on owning typewriters as in Hitler’s Germany, the Gulags as in the former USSR and things like, well things like H.R. 45.
If “we the people” believe the Constitution needs to be amended, there is a legal process to do that. That process is not via a bill. Elected officials are supposed to be stewards of our great nation. We did not put them in their offices to wage war on our freedoms. The Freedom Snatchers need to be stopped. Start today by attacking the pod known as H.R. 45.
Let your congressional representatives know how you feel. You don’t have to say much, just tell them in your own words that as your representative they need to oppose H.R. 45 (Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sales Act of 2009). If your representative doesn’t listen to you, you owe it to yourself and your children’s future to vote them out of a job on the next election.
If you’re not sure how to contact your representative, use this link to help you find them.
Don’t give into these dark and spooky attempts to snatch your freedoms. For the time being, our Constitution is merely shaken and not completely broken, if we all do what we can to preserve, protect, and defend it we won’t be left hanging as to the fate of mankind.
Abraham Lincoln said America was mankind’s last great hope. H.R. 45 is anti-Constitutional and thus un-American, it must be stopped.
Don’t be caught sleeping this time because when our Constitution is supplanted there will be no place left for any of us to run.
It just makes sense.