Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sickblogging, Yet Again.

All three kids are down with a stomach virus, which is why I haven't been too prolific on either of my blogs lately, folks. Rest assured I am not "slacking off" and will be back at it full throttle as soon as the familia has recovered.

In the mean time, here are a few items to chew on:

1. A brothel in Germany is shaken down because its advertisements featured scantily clad women and the Saudi Arabian Flag, Spiegle reports. Tigerhawk has more.

2. The Magoo Politic, a liberal blog whose author proclaims that she is "addicted to Randi Rhodes, has been on hiatus for exactly one month. Her last post (where she attempted to defend Helen Thomas without introducing any form of logical effort whatsoever) was 26 March. Every time I check to see if TMP has been updated, it makes me feel guilty that I have not posted anything recently on my own blog. And if you don't post, you're not relevant. So get cracking Magoo!

3. Kos throws out a dizzying array of numbers to put a positive spin on Crashing the Gate's lackluster sales (as reported by Drudge).

4. I probably won't go see this Vampire Musical (?!) the next time I visit NYC. Sorry, Elton.

5. A Harvard Sophomore, flush with cash from a six figure book deal, nonetheless failed to read chapter 8 of Turabian (dealing with footnotes), and yet another plagiarism scandal is born.

6. Dan Rather may start blogging; just what Wilsonizer needs: more cutthroat competition. I'll never be able to retire and live off adsense revenue now!

7. And a Grease Fire wreaks havoc through middle America, according to the folks over at the Onion.

Keep faith in Wilsonizer, dear readers; I will be back in good form in no time!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

New York Times and the Rumsfeld Debate

In today's New York Times, Thom Schanker and Eric Schmitt wrote a rather pedestrian article on junior officer opinions concerning Secretary Rumsfeld. The article begins:

The revolt by retired generals who publicly criticized Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has opened an extraordinary debate among younger officers, in military academies, in the armed services' staff colleges and even in command posts and mess halls in Iraq.

Junior and midlevel officers are discussing whether the war plans for Iraq reflected unvarnished military advice, whether the retired generals should have spoken out, whether active-duty generals will feel free to state their views in private sessions with the civilian leaders and, most divisive of all, whether Mr. Rumsfeld should resign [Emph added].

The article goes on to detail that (surprise) officers hold a plethora of wide-ranging views about things like the Iraq War, SECDEF, and politics in general. This should hardly come as a surprise to anyone who is familiar with the military, especially the Army. The fact that Schanker and Schmitt believe this to be unprecedented betrays a lack of familiarity of military culture on the authors' part.

Dissent is hardly stifled in the military. Read any military professional journal and you are likely to find critical analysis of what the Army is doing (or not doing). Also, those pursuing Master's degrees on the Army's dime are paid to research and publish theses that are often at odds with current Army or DOD policy. An Army Colonel, Douglas Macregor, wrote a revolutionary book a few years back that basically argued the Army's entire organization for combat was obsolete. He survived, and many of his ideas have actually been implemented in the Army's transformation under Secretary Rumsfeld.

Yes, the Army's officers, while executing their duties, take time to think about what they are doing, and at times are critical of politics, operations, and policy. That is just business as usual in the green machine. Any major, or seemingly minor policy change or event inspires thousands of internal debates. When General Shinseki decided to change the Army's headgear in 2000, it seemed to many that the earth had stopped turning in all of the tumult!

Like any dynamic organization, there is always a large supply of healthy debate and critical analysis occuring within the services; the day that it stops would be the time to publish an article like this above the fold, and to be alarmed.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Light Blogging Ahead

Once again, I will be on the road thru saturday; expect light blogging, unless I find a wifi spot where I can use my Ipaq!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Wretchard's Easter Post

Wretchard over at the Belmont Club has a terrific, funny post about the day in the life of a disgruntled liberal blogger here. He includes a picture of his blog work station, which I was about to do as well, but my wife would kill me if I didn't clean the place up a bit first (bills, Diet Coke cans, software boxes, and an old Milton Friedman book clutter the top of my desk right now).

Wretchard's post reminded me of one other personal shortcoming as well: I forgot to extend a holiday greeting to all of you, who take the time to visit, read my blog, and post terrific comments.

Happy Easter everyone.

VDH on Rumsfeld and the Generals' Dissent

Criticism of Secretary Rumsfeld continues to be big news, despite the President's strong endorsement yesterday.

Victor David Hanson has a terrific post today on the subject, entitled "The Jackal and the General", where he argues convincingly that these Generals would have better served their country by pursuing their concerns privately:

If these generals are sincerely concerned for the troops they once led, if they believe that both they and the nation will best be served by doing something different from what’s being done, then they should privately give that advice to their Congressional representatives. At this point, to publicly second-guess the management of the war by scapegoating the Rumsfeld–– as though there were some obvious, easy way to fight the war that the Secretary of Defense arrogantly ignored — only serves partisan politics and encourages our enemies.


This is an excellent post. Read the whole thing.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Armchair Generals and the Old School




Big Lizards has a
great post on the subject of recently retired, newly critical generals.

One of the key points made in the post is that many of the officers' critiques reflect a mindset not in accordance with the 21st century battlefield. BL argues that some of the Generals' references to concepts like "Powell Doctrine" and Unity of Command are less applicable to the assymetrical fights that the military is dealing with in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those wedded so faithfully to the concepts that guided the armed forces through the waning years of the cold war are referred to in Big Lizard's post as "Old School".

"Old School" is a great, descriptive term that in my opinion accurately conveys the mindset of most of the Army's senior leadership at the onset of 9/11. It can be argued that many of the generals at the time were driven out of their comfort zones by both the Global War on Terror and by an aggressive SECDEF determined to tranform DOD, who turned many of the generals' sacred cows into so much shoe leather.

Where is the proof? I have written other posts on the subject of the military's readiness for the exigencies of the post 9/11 world; here are a few examples, new and old, supporting the argument that much of the pre 9/11 military leadership (many of whom are throwing darts at Rumsfeld from the safety of retirement) lacked the mindset for the reality the military now faces:

  • General Eric Shinseki, canonized by many for the dressing down he took after disagreeing with the SECDEFs Iraq troop assessment, fought tooth and nail to save the Army's Comanche helicopter and Crusader self propelled artillery piece. Both of these weapons systems were relics that were designed during and for the cold war, and their functions had largely been replicated by other weapon systems already available. Meanwhile the production and supply of body armor, something recognized during the 1990s by many unit commanders as necessary for the type of fights the Army was expected to be in for the foreseeable future, would have taken literally DECADES to field in the amounts needed based on the Army's plan at the time. The two outmoded weapons systems were finally cancelled, although not before the taxpayers paid tens of billions of dollars for development and testing. The fielding of body armor has come a long way since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, no thanks to the decisions made by the Army's senior leadership prior to 9/11.
  • The Army is involved in two major counterinsurgency fights in Iraq and Afghanistan; however, the Army had no counterinsurgency doctrine until 2004, when it released a draft counterinsurgency field manual. As a student in the command and general staff college at that time (where mid grade officers go prior to being assigned as operations officers and planners throughout the Army), counterinsurgency was not part of the 10 month core curriculum. We spent hours studying the peacetime transformation of the Army between the world wars, but alas, no counterinsurgency. Did the Army's senior leadership prior to 9/11 not envision a scenario where U.S. forces would be involved in a hot fight against insurgents somewhere in the world? Possibly (which is bad enough in itself), but there may be another reason why the Army's doctrine and education system was not adequately preparing the force for the roles that it would by necessity find itself in at the dawn of the 21st century: the Army's senior leadership wanted no part of counterinsurgency. At all. COIN is a messy, long term, close-in fight, a mission where many of the technological advantages the U.S. enjoys are neutralized by terrain and by the nature of the operations themselves. The Army wanted to fight in a situation that met the criteria of the "Powell Doctrine", a conventional mid-intensity fight of short duration, where there was no question of goals or moral clarity (for an example, see DESERT STORM). Under this supposition, the Army's leadership did not educate and train the force on Counterinsurgency because it did not WANT to be employed in a counterinsurgency. Old School, indeed.
  • Major General (retired) Swannack today, in his attack on Secretary Rumsfeld, criticized the way Generals are being promoted in the Army:
“If you understand what Secretary Rumsfeld has done in his time in the Pentagon, he personally is the one who selects the three-star generals to go forward to the president for the Senate to confirm,” Swannack told CNN.
Assuming there is more of a point to this comment than merely sour grapes, Swannack is no doubt referring to the unorthodox manner in which the Secretary of Defense has approached general officer appointments. The current Chief of Staff of the Army is a perfect example. General Peter Schoomaker had actually been retired for several years, after having helmed the United States Special Operations Command until 2000 (note: check lexis nexis, anyone who subscribes, and see how many bitter, critical OP Eds Schoomaker wrote during his brief foray into retirement!). Secretary Rumsfeld and the Pentagon's civilian leadership astutely recognized the nature of the fight the U.S. is involved in, and threw out the General Officer appointment playbook when they chose General Schoomaker as Chief of Staff. This is a decision that no doubt rankled feathers at the highest echelons of the service, but one that the Pentagon's civilian leadership determined was essential for an Army in a new kind of war. While the "Old School" may have wished to maintain the efficient status quo in appointments based in previous assignments and time of service, the Pentagon instead focused on effectiveness.

While it is unusual for so many flag officers to be openly critical of the military's civilian leadership (albeit from the comfort and safety of retirement), it is not unprecedented in American history for military leadership to be unprepared for rapid shifts in the nature of warfare. General George McClellan, despite being immensely effective at organizing the Union Army in the early days of the civil war, was nonetheless relieved by President Lincoln when he failed to close with and destroy the confederate army. Interesting to note in this case is that like many of the current crop of retired generals, McClellan was also critical after the fact of Lincoln's prosecution of the Civil War. George McClellan actually ran against Lincoln unsuccessfully on the Democratic ticket in 1864 (the Democrats campaigned on an anti-war platform, surprisingly enough). In another case, American military journals were publishing articles in the 1930s touting the superiority of horse cavalry over motorized units (ie the armored forces that revolutionized modern warfare a few later during World War II). In a final example, General George C. Marshall relieved and replaced several flag officers at the onset of World War II, believing they were unsuitable for the fight ahead of the nation.

As I reported earlier, the media enjoys the saga of retired generals rebelling against the military's civilian leadership because it is titillating, and the story practically writes itself. But the criticism of these retirees is only part of a larger picture. One also needs to look at what the Army was doing prior to the September 11 atttacks, and decide whether or not the Rumsfeld shake up that has put so many general officers outside of their comfort zone was not absolutely necessary for the type of fights the Army must be prepared for in the future. Then, and only then, will you be prepared to decide whether the old school or the new school is best.

Wilsonizer Engineering, Inc!

Welcome, new readers to Wilsonizer. I appreciate all the commentary, positive and critical, that you provide to this blog. It's all about you, after all!

Today, blogging and searching for news via the internet will be lighter than usual; Wilsonizer and his father are assembling a wooden swingset in the back yard. A working space shuttle kit would probably be less complicated than this miracle of modern engineering!

Stay tuned, and late this afternoon I will post some more content.

Now, back to the construction project. . .

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Armchair Generals, Sour Grapes

Each day this week, it seems like a recently retired General has taken the time out of a busy post military career schedule to get interviewed or write to a newspaper and call for Secretary Rumsfeld's head. Today, former 82nd Airborne Division Commander Chuck Swannack became the fifth flag officer to condemn the SECDEF in print:

"We need to continue to fight the global war on terror and keep it off our shores," General Swannack said in an interview. "But I do not believe Secretary Rumsfeld is the right person to fight that war based on his absolute failures in managing the war against Saddam in Iraq."

Let's save the analysis of the military's role in a liberal society for a later discussion (but check out this post here for yesterday's analysis), and let Wilsonizer veer close to ad hominem territory for a moment:

  • At least one of these critical retirees (all of whom are now comfortably drawing a 75% base pay pension on a lofty salary, by the way) was responsible for U.S. military operations and policy in the middle east from 1996-2000; while he is universally lauded for his tenure and plain-spoken demeanor, this General presided over a command that failed to take decisive action against Al Qaeda (remember the pathetic missile attacks on bin laden's camp?) during a time when the terrorist organization was, by its own statements and actions, at war with the United States. While an immense amount of "engagement" and "bridgebuilding" in the middle east occured during his command, a relentless enemy was nonethless able to plan, resource, and execute deadly terrorist attacks with impunity throughout the region. And these attacks foreshadowed the spectacular terrorist attacks that came later, emanating from the an area of the world that this general had been responsible for. . .
  • At least one of these critical Generals was assigned the critical task of overseeing the training and employment of Iraqi security forces, and during his tenure saw the Iraqis that he was responsible for virtually dissolve overnight. Nary a complaint was heard from him during the execution of his duties; only later, when the man retires after overseeing a catastrophic failure and only in retirement (a retirement that is no doubt earlier than he would have liked), does he raise his voice to be heard.
  • At least two of these Generals retired early after not being recommended by the civilian leadership of the military to receive another star (promotion).
Wilsonizer provides these "factlings" not to muddy the waters in this debate; rather the intent is to demonstrate that some of the men now calling for the SECDEFs head (again, I might add, from the luxurious safety of a VERY comfortable retirement) have demonstrated the same inability to accomplish their mission when they were the top man in their respective organizations. These little stubborn facts also identify the possibility that bitterness at leaving one's lifelong calling before accomplishing all goals, and under a slight cloud, could leave nearly anyone feeling the urge to fire off a nasty op-ed to the local paper.

Chew on this for awhile dear readers. No doubt tomorrow and Easter sunday will bring more disgruntled retired generals off of the country clubs and onto the editorial pages, seeking nothing more than to speak "truth to power". This story has legs, and virtually writes itself, after all.

In the next post on this topic, Wilsonizer will explain where he thinks these retired General Officers, if they truly desired to follow the spirit of their oath of commissioning, could better serve American interests.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Prince Harry Joins the Ranks



From The
Daily Mail:

Prince Harry marched in front of the Queen today at his passing out ceremony at Sandhurst. As he commissioned as an officer in the Army, the 21-year-old third in line to throne took part in the military college's historic Sovereign's Parade.

He is joining the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals where his rank is referred to as a Cornet. He will serve in an armoured reconnaissance unit and train to become a troop commander, in charge of 11 men and four light tanks.

The Prince could be sent to serve on the front line in Iraq or Afghanistan, with one senior Army figure saying today it was "eminently possible" he could be in a danger zone within 12 months.


Public figures are often maligned in the West for a lack of civic spirit or willingness to sacrifice; Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 911 had a scene where the director ambushed numerous congressmen walking about the capitol in an attempt to get their children to "enlist for Iraq". Moore attempted to demonstrate that the power elite in Washington, who are more than willing to send soldiers to war, are considerably more guarded about their own children. Moore's argument is that the children of privilige end up say, playing lacrosse at Duke, while the great unwashed end up on the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan, or wherever.

Prince Harry's service as an officer in a combat arms oufit once again shatters the annoying myth that military service is for those who have nowhere else to go. The Prince's decision to serve his country in uniform sets a terrific example for his peers in England, and is a bright spot for a royal family whose travails are more often detailed on the gossip page instead of the front page.

Congratulations on your commission, Prince Harry, and best of luck to you in reconnaissance. Scouts Out!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Armchair Generals


Within the past few weeks, several retired generals have spoken out against Secretary Rumsfeld and the conduct of Operation Iraqi Freedom. General Anthony Zinni, the former commander of U.S Central Command,
accused the Bush Administration of "true dereliction, negligence and irresponsibility, [and] at worse, lying, incompetence and corruption." Retired Marine Lieutenant General Newbold, who was the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until 2002, said that the Iraq war was executed "with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions — or bury the results." And of course, as I observed in a previous post, Major General Paul Eaton maligned Secretary Rumsfeld and most of the senior uniformed military leadership in a recent op-ed screed.

Everyone in this great, free country of ours is entitled to their own opinion, and the aforementioned generals have a worldview as senior officers that is of no doubt interesting to the public at large. Wilsonizer certainly pays attention when a flag officer takes time to write a piece for the Times.

But deep in the bottom of the cold Army heart of mine that pumps the green Army blood throughout my body, I cannot help but wonder if there is a ring of hell reserved for comfortably retired generals, who utter opinions maligning the efforts of soldiers and commanders in the midst of carrying out wartime missions.

Free speech is a great thing, but in the case of these retired generals, what does it truly achieve? Their words do not hasten the outcome of the war in any way, do nothing to dissuade our enemies or bolster the morale of the U.S. soldiers in combat, and certainly will not strengthen American resolve or even clarify the stakes involved in the war. While each of the generals, in "saying what must be said", apparently quieted the nagging voice of a disturbed conscience, they accomplished little else .

Each of these men was gifted enough to beat the odds and rise to the highest levels of military leadership; together, they served their country in uniform for a combined total of a century. Yet in retirement, when their country (which they all swore an oath to protect, by the way, an oath that in my opinion does not expire until you stop drawing breath) is involved in the most difficult, high stakes war in a generation, what services do these august men offer their country? A few vicious, bitter paragraphs on the editorial pages, and nothing else.

These Generals, all of whom are in the prime of life, might take a lesson from General of the Army George Catlett Marshall.

Hours after retiring from forty years of military service, Marshall, at the request of President Truman, immediately returned to government service as a U.S. representative to China. Marshall later served as an exemplary Secretary of State, and was the architect of the plan to rebuild Europe from the ashes of World War II. Marshall continued serving his country well into his seventies.

General of the Army Marshall served his country without reservation until he was a tired old man; he accomplished a great deal for America and its allies, in war as well as peace. Rather than dither about and diminish himself in op-ed columns, he rolled up his sleeves and continued serving his country, until he had nothing more to give.

I have no doubt that in the coming weeks there will be more General Zinnis, Newbolds, and Eatons, bored and bitter in their retirements,taking time to criticize the Bush administration's handling of the war. There are plenty of these men to go around. If only we had a few more Marshalls. . .



Monday, April 10, 2006

Real Security (Except at the Border!)


In the Dem's now hard-to-find "
Real Security" plan, the Democrats are proposing to:

Immediately implement the recommendations of the independent, bipartisan 9/11 Commission including securing national borders, ports, airports and mass transit systems [Emph Added].

Sounds pretty good, right? Well, look at how Democratic activists promoted their muscular national security stance at a Dallas immmigration protest yesterday (Courtesy of Michelle Malkin):


To the casual observer, the political party party brandishing this placard would not seem too concerned with securing the southern U.S. border. It is surprising that the Texas/Mexico border even appears on this sign at all, actually.

Perhaps this shameless pandering to latino voters is a shrewd move for the democrats; the political calculus, no doubt, is to make major in-roads in the latino voting bloc in the next two elections. However, for those discerning voters who care about things like national security, this placard illustrates why the democrats conistently trail behind republicans when it comes to defense issues.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

OLD Media - Creating, Not Reporting, the News

In the course of a week, two phenomenal stories showcased a major problem with reporting in America: the tendency of news outlets to manufacture the news, rather than merely report it.

First of all, there was NBC's NASCAR sting as reported by Michelle Malkin. NBC planned to send several muslim-looking men to a NASCAR Race in an attempt to generate hostile reactions from the race fans, and catch all the fun on camera. Sports Illustrated online summarized the whole scheme:

NASCAR said NBC confirmed it was sending Muslim-looking men to a race, along with a camera crew to film fans' reactions. The NBC crew was "apparently on site in Martinsville, Va., walked around and no one bothered them," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Wednesday. "It is outrageous that a news organization of NBC's stature would stoop to the level of going out to create news instead of reporting news," Poston said.

While that story was intriguing enough, the New York Post's gossip columnist, Jared Paul Stern, is the subject of a federal investigation for extorting money, as the New York Times reports:

The New York Post is cooperating with a federal investigation into whether a longtime contributor for the Page Six gossip column — the avidly read daily log of wrongdoing, double-dealing and sexual indiscretions by celebrities both minor and major — tried to extort money from a California billionaire, according to a spokesman for the newspaper.

Several people involved in the investigation said the reporter, Jared Paul Stern, had been captured on a video recording demanding a $100,000 payment and a monthly stipend of $10,000 from Ronald W. Burkle in return for keeping negative information about him out of the paper. . .But while the accusations against Mr. Stern are serious, it is the specter — raised by at least three people who say they know what is on the tapes — that Mr. Stern implicated several celebrities and New York power figures in an undisclosed, symbiotic relationship with Page Six that prompted an extraordinary day of full-throated and at times gleeful gossip among those who love, hate and avidly read the column.

Stern allegedly received solicited and received payments from A-list celebrities and socialites to control the tone of coverage on Page 6; those who paid him allegedly received favorable coverage in the widely read gossip column.

These anecdotes, extreme as they may be, illustrate an alarming trend of the media to become the news, rather than report it. THese are not the only examples, though. In 2004, an embedded reporter fed some harsh questions to soldiers during Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's visit to the Middle East; and of course, the inane behavior of Helen Thomas makes her the archetype for journalists becoming the event, rather than reporting on the event.

Two trends should give news editors/managers pause before they send their minions out to generate, rather than report the news: trust of journalists is at an all time low; and judging by the reduced circulation of many top newspapers and media outlets in recent years, demand for this contrived tripe is not increasing anyone's bottom line.

No wonder so many people are reading blogs these days.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Friday Night Hors D'oeuvres



Wilsonizer had a busy work week, and the blog admittedly paid a price in output. Here are some good, light appetizers to sift through as you settle down for what is hopefully a relaxing weekend:


A Colossal rabbit runs amok in northern England.

Leif Garret is off the wagon, apparently.

Kevin Federline is, well heck, he is still in the news, and there is something to be said for that.

In many news photos, Rep. Cynthia McKinney has what could be described as "crazy eyes".

Marshall and Kim just can't work it out.

Joe Wilson (NOT affiliated with Wilsonizer!!!) opens his mouth, and leads us to believe Valerie got him the Niger gig because she needed a little "breathing room".

The democrat's "Real Security" plan is apparently in an undisclosed location being read by VP Cheney or something (I say this because after a bold announcement last week, this proposal has all but disappeared into thin air; it is no longer directly linked to the democrats home page).

Handel's Messiah premiered this day in Dublin in 1741.

There were no Bigfoot sightings in the month of March, which is a leading indicator of summer drought (not really, I made up the drought part!).

And from the Onion, Critics blast bush for not praying hard enough.

Enjoy the weekend everyone, and Wilsonizer will post quality content all weekend long!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Real Security, Buried Deep!

Wilsonizer is spoiling for a fight! I was really hoping to see the Democrats craft a strong position on national security, latching on to more fleshed-out positions by PhD's from, say, the Brookings Institute. Momentum would build, PhD's would sign on to write even more monographs to support the Dem positions, and at last there would be a true clash of ideas between the parties when it comes to subjects like national defense and homeland security.

However, within hours of unveiling their five page "Real Security" PDF document (ten pages if you count the Spanish translation), Cynthia McKinney walked around a metal detector and landed above the fold of newspapers around the world.

And in the days that followed, there has been scarcely a whimper about the objectives listed in "Real Security" . Do the democrats even know about their new national security plan?

And now, "Real Security" has fallen off the top of Democrats.org. Is this a case of negationism? No, not at all, the plan is still there on the site. But it is hard to find, and you have to do some serious scrolling to dig it out ( A few items down from "Dean on Bush's Crumbling Credibility"). And if you weren't looking for the dem's security plan, you surely would not come upon it by accident on democrats.org.

If the democrats continue to approach "Real Security" with no enthusiasm whatsoever, one can expect the rest of the voting public to do the same as well.

McKinney's Follies Illustrate Dem Security Dilemma

The Dem's Real Security plan, in addressing homeland security, states that the party's goal is to

Provide firefighters, emergency medical workers, police officers, and other workers on the front lines with the training, staffing, equipment, and cutting edge technology they need[emph added].

It is difficult to stay on message, however, when a congresswoman from your own party has a grand jury investigation against her for allegedly assaulting the police who are there for her own protection.

Even worse, the Dem's security message is further dampened by said congresswoman's insistence that the scrape with a police officer occurred because of racism and racial profiling:

Something that perhaps the average American just doesn't understand is that there is a heightened sense of a lack of appropriateness being there for members who are elected who happen to be of color," McKinney said, "and until this issue is addressed by the American public in a very substantive way, it won't be the last time."

The Democratic leaders (and the rest of the Democrats in Washington) are wisely leaving McKinney to twist in the wind; however the lack of a statement of condemnation for her absurd behavior, in an incident involving a police force that exist to protect Congress itself, makes any Democratic claim of "Real Security" ring hollow.

The Dem's National Security Plan Dissected, Pt II

One week after the highly touted release of the dem's "Real Security" plan, and you'd be hard pressed to see anything in print about it. No democrats are touring or giving speeches about national security, and about how the democratic plan for securing America's interests is superior to what is being done now.

And why is that?

One can only hazard a guess, of course. My own guess is that most of the current democratic leadership (Pelosi, Reid, Dean) do not feel comfortable talking about national security. I don't expect to hear the Democrats offering much more than a pointed critique of the Bush administration's efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in securing the homeland; this is apparently easier than going to democrats.org and memorizing talking points from their own national security plan.

This is truly disappointing, actually. Elections should be all about choice; once again, the Democrats appear to be distancing themselves from the national security arena, leaving the voters with the decision to either support Republican efforts in this arena, or to "roll the dice" and choose the democrat's haphazard approach to securing our nation's interests.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sen. McCain and the Jobs Americans Don't Want

Senator John McCain gave a speech this afternoon to union leaders in Washington DC, and was asked some pointed questions about his stance on illegal immigration:

McCain [when asked why he supports allowing illegal immigrants to stay in this country] responded by saying immigrants were taking jobs nobody else wanted. He offered anybody in the crowd $50 an hour [note, this seems like a misprint; my guess is McCain said $5.00 an hour] to pick lettuce in Arizona. Shouts of protest rose from the crowd, with some accepting McCain's job offer. "I'll take it!" one man shouted. McCain insisted none of them would do such menial labor for a complete season. "You can't do it, my friends."

Some in the crowd said they didn't appreciate McCain questioning their work ethic.

Indeed!

Senator McCain has bought into the myth that immigrants do work that would otherwise go undone in America. In actuality, the presence of a large, unaccounted for work force drives the price of labor down, so that American workers are unable to make a living in the U.S. economy as unskilled laborers.

It is pleasant to see organized labor taking Senator McCain to task for this illogical stance. Americans are more than willing to do any job that pays a living wage, and do it well; McCain's legislation, however, will deny many Americans the opportunity to work at all.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Rest in Peace, Sergeant First Class Robinson

Yesterday, I was honored to attend the funeral and grave side services of Sergeant First Class Christopher Lee Robinson in Madison, Mississippi.

SFC Robinson was a Special Forces soldier killed by anti-coalition insurgents in Afghanistan last month.

There was a wall of green in the church and at the cemetery where SFC Robinson was laid to rest, as soldiers and veterans came from near and far to pay their last respects to this fallen warrior.

The freedom riders lined the streets of Madison with Harley Davidson motorcycles, and each rider stood proudly with an American flag as mourners entered the stately church. Later, the riders mounted their Harleys and proudly joined the funeral procession to the cemetery, instilling a loud, almost martial spirit to the solemn occasion. No one who passed by that funeral procession had to doubt that a warrior was being laid to rest.

At the cemetery, as family laid roses upon SFC Robinson's casket, one could feel their heartbreaking grief as each one said their final goodbyes. Christopher Lee Robinson was many things: a beloved father, husband, and son, a friend to many, an eagle scout who wanted nothing more than to serve his country, and in the end, a professional soldier who gave America everything he had.

I was honored to be there, and I hope that the example that this man set inspires others to believe in and fight for the values that make this such a wonderful country.