Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Big hat tips to "Pass the Brass" and "Pat Dollard" for finding this:

Evan Sayet lays out what makes the modern liberal mind tick. It's long (more than 30 mins, they leave 13 mins at the end for questions) but well worth a listen.

Sample: “There is no journalistic standard, none, zero, zilch, by which the misdeeds of a handful of night guards at an obscure prison for terrorists - misdeeds in which nobody was killed, nobody was seriously hurt - there is no journalistic standard by which this is a front page story in the New York Times. Much less for two days in a row. Five days in a row. Ten days in a row. Twenty days in…forty four straight days this non-story was a front page story in the New York Times. Why? Because while it met no journalistic standard, it met the one and only modern liberal standard. It said, “Do you think America’s good? We found something that’s gonna make you not believe that any longer.”

Evan Sayet - Writer, Lecturer and Pundit

Friday, March 23, 2007

Joint Forces Command takes a tip from CENTCOM

Well, I got the weirdest email a few days ago...It was weird because I'm already an Army Public Affairs Officer.

I am a military journalist with U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) inNorfolk, Va. I would like you to link your main site to our Web Bloggers, newsgroups and all the elements of Web 2.0represent the future of mass communication and the best opportunity totell the military's story. Your site is an important link in this newchain of communication.USJFCOM is one of the nation's nine unified commands and is theDepartment of Defense's executive agent for military transformation.Transformation is the future of the military, and we are the fluxcapacitor that makes it possible.

(Edited for brevity)
Thank you for your time,Spc. Andrew Orillion, USJFCOM public affairs

Well, SPC Orillion, I'm happy to help out. I'm also happy to see that US Joint Forces Command is following in CENTCOM's footsteps and reaching out to military bloggers all over.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Saving money...wasting lives

From today's Christian Science Monitor,

Christian Science Monitor
March 19, 2007

How To Fuel Up The Out-Of-Gas US Military Machine

A poor state of readiness is hurting the world's finest fighting force. Congress must act to correct it.

By Neil Abercrombie and Solomon Ortiz

WASHINGTON -- Earlier this month, the House Armed Services Committee got a classified briefing about US military readiness. Details were disturbing, but the implication was jaw-dropping: The US armed services are literally at the breaking point. This is not hyperbole or partisan rhetoric. It is stark reality – and it requires immediate attention.

That's why Congress must reassert its constitutional responsibility to provide for America's armed services. This begins with the Armed Services Committees, which have already begun hearings on the 2008 National Defense Authorization bill.

Read the complete article here

So let me get this straight…Mssrs Ortiz and Abercrombie say the military is dangerously under-funded and that the solution is for President Bush to stop requesting emergency funds and go through the “regular” budgeting process?

I particularly appreciate their remarks that the war has damaged retention…as evidenced by the Army missing the recruiting goal by 2005. But they fail to mention that Feb 2007 marked the 21st consecutive month of the active duty component meeting its retention goals.

So what does their accusation say about our recruits that we can only make our retention goals by offering expensive bonuses…to people who know they’re going to war. I’m not sure that I buy the notion that people are really anxious to go to war because of the re-enlistment bonus.

Nor do I accept the argument that we’re suffering equipment damage and casualties in numbers not seen since Vietnam. Well, duh! When you don’t really get involved in such a large scale ground-war for a long time, that’s kind of what happens, isn’t it?

I found it ironic that not once in the author’s argument did they mention the validity of our being over there, just that we need to find an “exit strategy from Iraq” and “improve US effectiveness in the ‘real’ war on terrorists”. All of this as part of congress’ role in improving financial oversight of the army. And dangerously short on specifics, or even the impact of such ideas on the current situation in Iraq.

I guess the logic of “If we aren’t using it, it doesn’t cost as much” overrides any real discussion of whether or not we actually NEED to use it in the first place.

It'd be nice to see our leaders engaged in less rhetoric and a little more substantive debate...but then, that wouldn't be politics, would it?


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What's good about not having gays in the military

Does God work in mysterious ways? I’ll never know, but perhaps that’s why the ways are mysterious.

I had just finished a rather long post on why GEN Pace got in trouble for stepping outside his lane and discussing his personal opinion on the immorality of homosexual acts, not –as some would have you believe—the immorality of homosexuals. Whether a man can be separated from his acts may be a discussion for another time; maybe he truly cannot.

I discussed why you should stay, “in your lane” during interviews, when it’s okay to go “off the record” despite what we learn at PAO school (you’re never “off the record”), and why this all changes the higher up the chain of command you move.

Anyway, I had all my links lined up, my thoughts down in electrons, and I hit preview to view my work. Then, somewhere between “preview” and purgatory everything disappeared…for good.

At that point I gave up. I said I’m not redoing that entire post.

At then I realized why after I read an email from my boss, where he talked about briefing the CG of Army Public Affairs today. One of the things I like about my boss is that he’s always upbeat. In his email he talked about briefing the crew back in DC yesterday about our live broadcast from Daegu the other day. He started the briefing with the words, “let me tell you what’s GOOD in Army Public Affairs”.

That’s when it hit me about the furor over GEN Pace’s remarks. That the discussion over whether a man’s nature can be separate from his acts isn’t a discussion for another time. It’s a discussion that we can afford to have now.

It’s a discussion we can afford because of who we are as a nation. It’s a discussion that we can afford because those that live here, straight, gay or otherwise, don’t have to live in fear that a pile of trash is going to explode in the mall, killing 17 people, 8 of whom are children.

It’s a discussion we can afford because we truly do live in a nation that serves as a beacon for others, an inspiration and a dream. We live in a nation where despite our problems, we can debate the nature of man and its fitness for military service.

We’re a nation where our leaders can waste time on problems like this because the nation isn’t under the immediate and real threat of destruction.

Of course, I’d rather they get back to debating how we’re going to take care of our people at Walter Reed at other places.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Anti-war types don't even like anti-war congressmen

From "The Hill"
House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) berated a woman who approached him in a Congressional corridor, claiming that “idiot liberals” don’t understand the war supplemental spending bill process.

The altercation was videotaped and posted on .

“We’re trying to use the supplemental to end the war,” Obey said. “You can’t end the war if you’re going against the supplemental. It’s time these idiot liberals understood that.”

Read the story....See the video.

The funniest thing is reading how that Obey "screamed" at this woman and had to apologize for it afterwards. The video is approximately six minutes long and Obey tries to explain to this woman, and another man who jumps in later, that the Dems just "don't have the votes" to do what they want. In my opinion, he goes a lot farther than he should have in trying to explain to the woman, who wants better health care for her son but also an end to the war, that his bill does exactly that...the language provides more money for things like body armor and health care, but also makes it illegal to continue the war.

The woman then says, "Oh, I didn't know that was in the....that's in the supplemental"

That's when Obey has started to have enough. Here's a guy trying to do what he thinks is the right thing (even if I think he's wrong) and he's getting no end of grief from his own side, people who won't take the time to figure out what's really going on. Or people who decide that their lives revolve around a single issue and won't stop to decide what's truly better for everyone as a whole, or what's truly just for the greatest number.

Not that that liberals are the only ones that do that. But it's got to be even more frustrating for a guy like Obey...Not only to take an unpopular position, but to get jumped on by what few people share your opinion of the war?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The mess at Walter Reed

There's a world of difference between LTG Kiley and MG Weightman it appears.

Well, unfortunately it's not surprising. Anyone who's in the Army right now and NOT in Iraq or Afghanistan knows exactly what the rest of the Army is going through. We're all being told, "not one more dollar for anything,". Hiring freezes, spending caps... anyone knows the situation that MG Weightman was in: "Do your increasingly complex mission with not one more dollar or person".

If I were in charge of WRAMC, and I had to choose between life-saving medical care and equipment for the returning soldiers, or better conditions for the Med-hold company, well, that's not really much of a choice, is it?

Now, just back away from the keyboard for a second :) I'm ABSOLUTELY agreeing the conditions were terrible, they weren't fair to those that sacrificed so much for our country, and they weren't what's expected of our Army. Yes, we should be embarrassed and ashamed that those Soldiers, and worse their families, had to endure a single day of that. That's all entirely true.

What I'm saying is that most likely scenario for Weightman is that he was given two losing choices; he just chose the least terrible of the two.

I'm waiting for some evidence of congressional irresponsibility to appear...perhaps the records of those that voted against spending increases for things like, well, medical hold facilities.
This is when we see that, for many, "supporting the troops" means something entirely different than what you and I think it means. You and I think it means making sure troops have what they need to do their job, and what they need to care for those that did their job. Apparently for some it means, "I'm going to disagree with the war but I don't want to make the rank and file angry".

Well, too late for that. They're already angry and they already realize they're not being supported. Now, everyone else is starting to realize it also.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Your own motivational posters

It's amazing what you can find on the Internet...

Are we still doing this?

This is really an outdated practice that needs to stop. Let these boys do some community service and then join the military if that's what they want, but stop giving them this kind of "choice". As a commander and a Soldier, I don't want -- or need -- people who've been forced into the military. I've seen the effect that one personality can have on the cohesion and morale of the unit, and this isn't someone we need. Our Soldiers are professional and educated as never before and this kind of action is an insult to all they've accomplished.

If they want to join the Navy after they've learned some hard lessons about life, then let them. But that's a personal decision, and a decision best left for another time.

LTC Mike Lawhorn

Two Men Choose Navy As Sentence
By Associated Press

BELLEFONTE, Pa. - Two 19-year-olds facing probation and community service or even jail time in the shooting of a steer considered a family pet took advantage of another option offered by the judge - joining the Navy.

Chris Jabco and Eric Smith, both from Bellefonte, had pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit cruelty to animals and two summary violations in the shooting of the $3,500 Scottish Highland steer.

The two were drinking Sept. 17 and drove through Spring Township with another man in search of deer to poach, culminating in the shooting of the steer, authorities said. The pair reached a deal with prosecutors, who recommended two years' probation and at least five hours of community service.

But Centre County Court Judge Bradley P. Lunsford said the case warranted more than probation. He noted the pain caused to the animal's owner and said Jabco and Smith had been drinking and driving around looking for something to kill. Their actions, he said, "were premeditated, senseless, and your motivations were evil."

The judge said they could spend 48 hours in jail, two years on probation, and 100 hours caring for animals on a farm; avoid jail time but spend 200 hours on the farm and remain on probation for two years; or enlist in the military.

Defense attorney Jim Bryant said his clients planned to join the Navy.
"I think it was an appropriate and innovative resolution to a bad situation," Bryant said. "This was a case of young adult stupidity."

Centre County Assistant District Attorney Nathan Boob also said he was pleased.
"We believe the defendants will benefit from military service," he said.
Another judge had sentenced the third man, who pulled the trigger, to two years' probation.