Fort Hood exemplifies the insanity of our modern age

David Burge (aka Iowahawk) reduces the insanity at Fort Hood to a mere 22 perfect and pithy words.  (Hat tip:  Caped Crusader.)

No guns on army bases

Imagine, if you will, that what happens at one of these bases isn’t one crazed gunman or disaffected Islamist but is, instead, a sustained, surprise paramilitary attack. Will our sitting duck troops call 911 then too? They are vulnerable to any surprise attack, whether it comes from one or dozens or hundreds of murderously inclined and heavily armed people.

Clearing the inbox and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesWhew!  I was quite productive today.  I think those iron pills I’ve been taking because of mild anemia have helped.  I felt much less sluggish.  I still have a lot of stuff in my inbox, but these articles are a good start:

The always-astute Lee Smith has a surprising take on Obama’s coziness with Mahmoud Abbas.  I don’t believe that Obama has thought the issue through as carefully as Smith, but I think that the outcome is the same whether Obama acted deliberately or accidentally.

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Oy voy vey!  It’s not just that Obama is giving away the Free Speech internet, which is disastrous enough.  It’s that, back in 2010, when he wasn’t even in full flexibility mode, Obama handed something very valuable over to Putin.  And Putin, being no fool, will play this card as he reinstates the former Soviet Unions geopolitical reach.

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The pro-Iranian faction has always argued that sanctions hurt the poor the most. In Iran’s case, they said, sanctions deprived the poor of medicine. But what if it turns out that sanctions are just depriving the rich of luxury articles? Will that information change Obama’s calculus? No. At a fundamental level, he thinks it’s wrong that Israel has the bombs and Iran doesn’t. He’s working to redress that inequity.

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If you like creative literature with a libertarian/conservative bent, a new site called Liberty Island is the place for you. Here’s a snippet of its mission statement, explaining that conservatives are the new counterculture:

Once upon a time the mainstream culture was conservative and the so-called counterculture was left wing. Today the situation is reversed and a new counterculture has arisen, one that boldly challenges the cynicism, nihilism, and stifling political correctness of popular culture today.

Our mission is to support this raw and untamed counterculture by gathering its creators in one place and providing the tools and resources they need to succeed. Here they can present their latest works, interact with colleagues, and connect with a likeminded audience. At Liberty Island, readers of a conservative or libertarian bent can find fiction, music, video and graphics that reflect their social values and political beliefs — and readers of all persuasions can find new voices and undiscovered talent. Writers and creators you’ve never heard of, and won’t find anywhere else, because their views have been excluded from the mainstream popular culture.

One of my favorite writers, Ray Zacek, already has a story online at Liberty Island.

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Rogue government? Well, yes.  The ATF ignores a court order and raids a gun store to get its customer lists. Let me quote Elmer: Be afwaid. Be vewy afwaid.

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Let me reiterate a point I’ve made repeatedly before: Women do not belong in combat units.

The anti-bossy campaign is just the latest example of the Left’s obsession with gender, sex, and sexuality as a way of remaking society

Little girl scolding puppyIn America, it used to be that boys were boys and girls were girls, except for a handful of boys and girls who didn’t conform to the norm.  Boys were at the top of the heap; girls had a carefully carved out, limited sphere of influence and opportunities; and sexually non-conforming people were ignored or abused, depending on both their ability to blend in and their community’s ability to cope with their differences.  Both women and sexually non-conforming people were routinely denied equal treatment under the law.

The women’s lib and gay rights movements were originally sold as a way to ensure that women and gays (and, eventually, the whole LGBTQ spectrum) received equal treatment under the law.  That was originally understood to mean equal access to education, employment opportunities, and house; equal pay for equal work; and freedom from overt, violent discriminatory practices — and that was it.

Since then, equal treatment under the law has become a picayune, limited goal.  Instead, the Left is using gender and sexuality as a way to remake society entirely in opposition to heterosexual males, the ones who created Western society in the first place.

The latest push to remake society is the effort either to ban the word “bossy” or to turn it into an undiluted positive when the word is applied to girls.  This, of course, ignores the reality of bossy little girls.

Girls are bossy, something that comes about because they model themselves on their mothers.  Despite decades of Leftist marriage, gender, and sexuality rejiggering, for most children, Mom is the Big Boss in the house.  (Indeed, considering the soaring number of single moms, she’s the only boss in the house.)  The vast majority of little girls identify with mommy.  That’s a fact that no gender theory will ever change.  So if Mommy is bossy — as she has to be in order to run a household with children — then a little girl’s logical assumption is that, to be a grown woman in training, she too must be bossy.

And what about the claim that we’re all wrong to say it’s obnoxious when girls are bossy?  I couldn’t disagree more.  It’s incredibly obnoxious when girls are bossy.  What’s appropriate coming from a grown woman with responsibilities is profoundly irritating whether a 4-year-old lisps orders to her friends, a 10-year-old hollers imprecations at her brother, her a 15-year-old, in a strident whine, tells her parents what she wants them to do.  It’s obnoxious not because the 4, 10, and 15-year-old are female, but because they haven’t yet earned the right to boss anyone around.  The issue is age, not sex.

Even as the Leftist/Progressive/Democrat establishment seeks to make it so that every girl’s fecal matter is perceived as perfumed, the relentless attacks on boys never end.  Fortunately for me (’cause I’m lazy), I don’t have to go into detail on this topic because Matt Walsh has already done so, saying what I would say, only doing it better.

So let me just skip ahead to a discussion of the Left’s latest attack on America’s last bastion of masculinity:  the military.  The military used to be the place where you sent your boys to become men.  Now?  I don’t know.  The military is still overwhelmingly male, but the Obama administration, even though it cannot change the numbers, is doing its best to change its manly ethos.

Gays can openly serve now, which puts a great deal of pressure on young men.  While the Left will freely acknowledge that women shouldn’t have to shower with men who view them in a sexually predatory fashion, and that women in the military are at risk of becoming victims of violent sexual attacks from predatory men, the Left refuses to acknowledge that gay men can be equally predatory to other men.  (And lesbian women are often predators to other women.)  Under the new paradigm, shying away from showering with an aggressive gay man or lesbian woman isn’t logical self-preservation and respect for ones own sexual integrity; it is, instead, homophobic and the people holding such views must be re-educated and/or destroyed.  It’s an interesting social experiment, but a disastrous burden to place on an institution that has as its primary task combat training and preparation to fight off enemies of unspeakable savagery.

Placing women in combat is also a de-masculinizing effort (yes, it’s a neologism) on the Obama administration’s part.  Training standards will have to be lowered because it’s the extraordinarily rare woman who can compete head-on physically with men.  Men are bigger and stronger.  They have stronger bones and joints.  Their skin is tougher and has fewer nerves, meaning it’s less sensitive to pain.  They get less breathless.  They can pee standing up or into old water bottles, and they don’t have periods or get pregnant.  They are vulnerable to rape (see the above paragraph), but less vulnerable, especially because cultures other than America subscribe to the Red Army’s approach to despoiling conquered women.

The only way women can compete equally with men is to lower the standards for men.  This means that young men will not be challenging themselves as much.  To the extent many join the military because men need challenges, the military becomes less attractive.  Additionally, young men aren’t fools.  They know that women will create physical and emotional drags on a combat unit.  Only in the Ivory Tower, surrounded by theory, would people think that women with their different biology are identical to men for all purposes, including combat.

Having turned the military into a Progressive experiment for gays and women, now what do we do?  We bring transsexuals into the military.  Although the number of transsexuals in the military will of necessity be small (there aren’t that many around), I suspect the transsexual-infused military will be a different animal from what it currently is.  Libby, one of my wonderful commenters, found this interesting tidbit about transsexuals:

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention report on suicide attempts among transgender and non-gender conforming adults (Jan.2014)  found that the while rate for suicide attempts in the general US adult population is about 4.6%, in transgender people, the rate is 41% (46% for trans men).

transsexuals are deeply, deeply unhappy people, who wear their own bodies like a painfully ill-fitting outfit.  I feel nothing but compassion for their anguish (an anguish that gender reassignment may do nothing to help).  Having said that, I am appalled that our president somehow thinks that the military will be the group therapy environment these troubled souls need.  He is using America’s front line defense against a dangerous world to normalize that which, statistically and biologically speaking, isn’t normal.*

There is nothing closer to who and what we are than are gender and sexual orientation.  A wise friend of mine thinks that Islam’s entire beef with the Western world is the fact that, as Westernism creeps into Muslim communities, women fight to leave the harem, the burqa, and the hijab.  All other insults to the religion are tolerable, except for the one that shakes up the relative values between men and women under Islam.

The Left understands this, but it heads in an opposite direction from Islam.  Rather than attacking women and gays to gain control over culture, it attacks heterosexual males.  This is why, beginning when they’re just little children, America’s males are systematically demeaned and insulted.  They are also deprived of opportunities to express their masculinity in positive ways and, instead, are reduced to expressing it through computer games, random violence, and perpetual dorm-style sloth and slobbery.  If you want to see the end of a sustained Leftist attack on men, you need only look to the American black community, where men have been rendered useless.  The government fulfills all the functions women need (shelter, food, health care, and child care), leaving the men responsible only for spread sperm.  No wonder, then, that black men have developed a culture focused on the size of their weapons (both of which, ironically, are tucked in the pants):  guns and penises.

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*No, I’m not saying people on the LGBTQ spectrum are “perverts” or “sickos,” or that they should be ridiculed, humiliated, discriminated against, hanged, beaten, imprisoned, or anything else.  I don’t believe that.

What I do believe is that love and physical desire are a combination of mind, biology, and culture, and that, when it comes to consensual adult relationships, it’s my business to stay out of it.  When I look at people, I judge them on values other than their sex partners, values such as individual freedom versus government control, stable relationships versus promiscuity, hard work versus parasitism, kindness versus cruelty, etc..  I do, however, reserve the right to look down upon people if their choice of sex partner is their only value.

So, rather than sit in judgment on LGBTQs, what I’m trying to say is that non-heterosexual orientations are statistical anomalies and that it is impossible to build a culture around a biological statistical anomaly.  It won’t stick.

Per an email I received, veterans are organizing to clip the wings of an anti-military Commander In Chief

Marines dismounting from an amphibious assault vehicleI cannot vouch for the following email’s veracity. That is, I do not know whether it’s true that there’s rising distress in the military about the Obama administration or whether it’s true that troops and veterans are beginning to share political information amongst themselves directed at clipping Obama’s wings in 2014. A lot of the information about ROEs sounds old, but the reference to the 2014 election indicates that this is a current email. All I can say is that I got this and found it interesting enough to pass along:

You may not be a veteran but you might know someone who is to pass this on to.

VET’S BACKLASH AGAINST OBAMA, A movement has been started by our armed forces, to get out the vote in 2014. They are organizing themselves, but this can be done by all of us. The President, the Commander in Chief, has made the Rules of Engagement (ROE) so difficult, that our troops are often killed before they can even get permission to fight. Nothing has been done to stop our troops from being murdered by Afghanis they are training, either. Now, the President wants the US to sign on to the UNs International Criminal Court (ICC), which would allow the UNs ICC to arrest and try US troops for War Crimes, without the legal protections guaranteed under US Law, and from which there is no appeal. The President, with his Democratic control of the Senate, has nearly all the power. If the Non-Establishment can take back the Senate in 2014, our troops can once again be protected from unnecessary danger. Please consider this, and send it on to your mailing lists. Thank You and Semper Fi,

Interestingly enough, when GWB was president you heard about the military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan almost daily. With Obama in the White House, the mainstream media has been strangely quiet. More than 1,000 American soldiers have lost their lives in Afghanistan in the last 27 months. This is more than the combined total of the nine years before. Thirty have died in August. During the last month, over 50 additional NATO and US servicemen have been murdered, inside jobs by those who are hired to be a force for good in Afghanistan .

The commander in chief is AWOL. Not a peep, although he ordered the White House flag flown at half-staff for the Sikhs that were killed. There is a deep disgust, a fury, growing in the ranks of the military against the indifferent incompetence of this president.

It has taken on a dangerous tone. No one knows what to do about him, but the anger runs deep as the deaths continue with no strategic end in sight to the idiocy of this war. Obama has had 4 years to end this futile insanity, during which time he has vacationed, golfed, campaigned, and generally ignored the plight of our men and women in uniform. But, there is now a movement afoot in the armed services to launch a massive get out the vote drive against this president. Not just current active duty types, but the National Guard, Reserves, the retired, and all other prior service members. This is no small special interest group, but many millions of veterans who can have an enormous impact on the outcome of the November election if they all respond.

The million military retirees in Florida alone could mean an overwhelming victory in that state if they all show up at the polls. It might not keep another one hundred U.S. troops from dying between now and November, but a turn out to vote by the military against this heart breaking lack of leadership can make a powerful statement that hastens a change to the indifference of this shallow little man who just lets our soldiers die.

(Thanks to Caped Crusader)

A Facebook post that explains why Ryan’s pension cuts to the military were so craven

American military cemetery LuxembourgA friend tipped me off to a Facebook post that’s gone viral.  Practically within minutes of learning that, while Congress was doing nothing to stem the millions of dollars heading to illegal aliens, it would cut veterans’ benefits, Chuck Wooten, Chief Master Sargeant, USAF (ret.), got a fundraising letter from Paul Ryan.  Wooten took to Facebook to explain precisely why he wouldn’t be contributing any money to Ryan any time soon:

FB Friends,
I’m still mulling this Paul Ryan budget deal that stole money from every military retiree (past, present and future). This morning, upon opening my email, I noticed I had a letter from Congressman Paul Ryan…and it was begging me for an “emergency end of the year donation.” It only proves what we already know. The folks in Washington are indeed clueless. Instead of hitting the delete button, I decided to call Congressman Ryan out on his audacity and lack of self-awareness. I sent the following to him. I’m also posting it on the FB USAF Chiefs page as an open letter to the Congressman. If you’re a retiree, I will tell you we may have lost the battle, but not the war. If you’re inclined and find it worthy, let’s flood social media with this letter and see if we can get some traction. Thanks.

To Congressman Paul Ryan
Today at 8:19 AM
Congressman Ryan,

Please note that this request by you for a cash donation from me is extremely unfortunate and very ill-timed. You see sir, I am one of the military retirees your “bipartisan” budget just impacted. You and every Republican (both in the House and Senate that voted to pass this travesty betrayed and broke trust with me and everyone like me. You may not know us by name, but we’re the people, Congressman, who answered our Nation’s call, some of us at a very early age to willingly serve YOU and others LIKE YOU so you could safely attend college and pursue your personal ambitions without fear of harm.

You might also want to note that for at least 20 years, my brothers-in-arms answered that call of duty EVERY SINGLE DAY, without fail, without complaint, without enough money to sustain our loved ones we had to leave behind while we DID OUR JOB in every corner of the Earth. And for that service, we were given absolute assurance our so-called retirement benefits would be protected by law. The very law you shattered in your zeal to impress your Democratic cohorts in your back room deal–with the enemy. Yes, I said it. The liberal Democrats are an enemy to the American people and our Nation. Your lack of judgement and eagerness to compromise on the backs of us who protected you is sickening. Congressman, you and every Republican that voted for injuring military retirees have engaged in a complicit, sordid affair with the Democrats who’s objective has always been to dismantle the military. By climbing into their bed on this issue, you have confirmed you are absolutely no better than they and have proven it with your vote.

Congressman Ryan, the audacity which you display is noteworthy, but to unceremoniously snatch earned money from a small group that has added so much more value than the paltry $6B you looked to “save” (which is all smoke and mirrors and you know it), is reprehensible and insulting.

We have, despite the hardships, meager salaries and harsh conditions, have performed with honor and excellence…in silence, which is something most members of Congress have no idea about doing. Our job approval was, is and always be better than yours. We knew our mission and we got it done, then handed it off to a new generation in better shape than we found it.

Your ability to look us in the eye, take money from us (apparently there was ZERO, other source of waste within the federal government that you could have recovered this money from…right, got it), while simultaneously holding your hand out to beg (with passion) for our cash is stunning. Your actions have proven you do not have the tremendous intellect you’ve sold the American people on. I say, with all seriousness, Congressman, what you lack in intellect and spinal rigidity, you make up for in cajones.

I hope you and your cowardly, Republican “colleagues” hear a message from me loud and clear. You will NEVER receive another cent of financial support from me. Further, if you happen to be at a Capitol Hill dinner or at a K Street cocktail party with RNC Chair Reince Priebus, Rep. Ron Barber, Sen. Jeff Flake or Sen. John McCain, I would be honored if you communicate with them that I am launching an effort to ensure NONE of you traitorous “representatives of the people” ever receive another vote from a military retiree. Remove me from your contact lists.

Chuck Wooten,
Chief Master Sergeant, USAF (Ret)

That pretty much says it all. While I’m no fan of the overly generous pensions too many public employees get for doing jobs that the rest of us perform in the private sector without all the whoops, hollers, and excessive rewards, the military is sui generis. Our troops hold a unique position in which they promise to fight, bleed, and die on our behalf. Thankfully, most of them aren’t called upon to make these ultimate (or potentially ultimate) sacrifices, but the fact that their job description requires them to make such a promise means that they deserve something more upon retirement than the average white collar desk jockey gets.

Pajama Boy . . . and the rest of us

Princess Pajama Boy croppedAs far as the Left is concerned, Pajama Boy — the ultimate androgynous metrosexual — represents a significant majority of young people.  Certainly that’s where the White House is betting its money.  As Rush Limbaugh said, they wouldn’t have put together an ad campaign aimed at 1,00o or 2,000 people.  The White House genuinely believes that, across America, there are tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of Pajama Boys who want to get cozy in their onesies and talk about how to promote government growth.

I wonder if the White House’s money men are right, or if the White House is deluded by the bubble in which it lives (a bubble with lots of Pajama Boys) or by the ideology that both strengthens and blinkers it.  The White House is essentially saying that, for too long, we’ve been assuming that men are . . . well, manly, when all that they really wanted was society’s permission to be girlie.  As far as the professional Left is concerned, traditional masculinity is one long, biased, societally-imposed construct that has nothing to do with biology.

I think (or maybe I just hope) that the White House is wrong.

Here in Marin, conscientious Marin parents do their best to raise their children free of gender stereotypes, yet the kids embrace those stereotypes with gusto.  Boys play war games; girls sit around and share their feelings.  That’s not all that the boys and girls do — they’ll come together for lots of shared activities — but even in shared activities, boys are rambunctious and girls are bossy.  The kids who gather in my house each represent perfectly the highest points on the bell curve defining typical male or female behavior.

Slumber partyThese behavioral differences are mirrored in their physical differences.  The boys shoot up, their voices deepen, their legs get hairy, their faces more square (and hairy), and their shoulders broaden.  The girls grow too, but not as tall, their faces soften, and they get curves in all the right places, something that they’re happy to show off in feminine clothing.  These formerly somewhat androgynous little children, once they hit adolescence are manifestly different from each other.  Moreover, as they flirt gently with each other, I do believe that each would agree with that old French expression, Viva la difference!

But back to the boys especially.  I just learned the other day that another young man of my acquaintance enlisted in the military.  On Facebook, his father showed a photograph of the young man in his fatigues after ending basic training.  I wrote a comment congratulating the young men and saying that I’m seeing more and more young men look to the military as a way to learn self-discipline, have a purpose in life, and be part of a team, all as a way to hasten the maturation process.  The boy’s father wrote a response saying that I had hit the nail on the head.  He noted that, while his son’s choice was a surprise considering his Marin upbringing, it was precisely those goals that drew him to the military.  In other words, this 19-year-old boy, despite Marin’s assiduously asexual upbringing, still wanted to be a man.

One of the things the insulated White House ignores is that, just as was the case for this Marin youth, boys want to be men.  I don’t know if the White House ignores this reality because its ideology cannot accept it, or if it ignores this reality because, as Rush Limbaugh posits, it’s filled with Pajama Boys, whether youthful interns, or wrinkled and grizzled senior advisers.  Either way, whether because they’re true believers or actual Pajama Boys, the White House has given us an insight into what it thinks the American young man is, or should be, like — and that’s like a girl.

A military man’s take on a budget that stiffs vets while enriching illegal aliens

Marines dismounting from an amphibious assault vehicleThe new budget cuts pensions for vets, including those who were wounded while serving this country, while continuing unchecked the flow of money to illegal aliens.  We’re not shocked, because we’ve learned that, no matter how low our government goes, give it a day and it can go even lower.  The absence of shock, though, doesn’t insulate us from anger and disappointment.  I got the following from a friend who serves and I think it pretty much says everything that needs to be said on the subject:

So I signed a contract with the govt outlining what exactly I would get in exchange for my lifetime of service. Now the govt gets to change the deal yet I am expected to continue to hold up my end of the bargain.

The same government who is complaining about military “entitlements” eating us alive has no issue extending unemployment benefits at the drop of a hat. They also feel someone who has chosen a life of dropping fries and flipping burgers deserves a “living wage.”

Illegal immigrants crossing into USIn the end, those who have chosen a life of service and actually have contributed to society get a pay cut while the leeches and those with their hand out contributing nothing get a reward.

Also, John McCain is a dick. I would expect more support from a POW. This is the height of hypocrisy considering his political career is based on his military service, specifically time spent as a POW.

This entire issue smacks of disloyalty and is particularly galling to those of us who have spent a lifetime of loyal and faithful service.

Missing headlines: Obama’s Pentagon kills American troops

On November 7, 2011, the Army sent out a tweet.  It forgot to tell anyone that the Obama ROE's made this tweet a lie.

On November 7, 2011, the Army sent out this tweet. It forgot to tell anyone that the Obama ROE’s made this tweet a lie.

Do you remember how, during the Bush years, Democrats and Progressives wept every night for those poor American troops being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan? Those tears are dried now that Obama is in the White House, but the troops are still dying — and worse, they are dying in increasing numbers because the Obama Pentagon has put into place rules of engagement that ensure troop deaths:

[I]t is clear that the rules of engagement, which restrain troops from firing in order to spare civilian casualties, cut back on airstrikes and artillery strikes — the types of support that protect troops during raids and ambushes.

“In Afghanistan, the [rules of engagement] that were put in place in 2009 and 2010 have created hesitation and confusion for our war fighters,” said Wayne Simmons, a retired U.S. intelligence officer who worked in NATO headquarters in Kabul as the rules took effect, first under Army Gen. Stanley M. McChrystal, then Army Gen. David H. Petraeus.

“It is no accident nor a coincidence that from January 2009 to August of 2010, coinciding with the Obama/McChrystal radical change of the [rules of engagement], casualties more than doubled,” Mr. Simmons said. “The carnage will certainly continue as the already fragile and ineffective [rules] have been further weakened by the Obama administration as if they were playground rules.”

Read more here.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again:  I support the military, but Obama is hell bent on changing it into a military that is hard to support.  It’s becoming a metrosexual death trap, if you will.

Veterans Day

Veterans Day

Today actually is Veteran’s Day, which was cemented on the calendar to commemorate the end of World War I in 1918:  The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  With our reverence for three-day weekends, we too often forget that holidays used to be celebrated on a specific date for a reason.  World War I, of course, marked the first time that America embarked on her 20th- and 21st-century crusade:  wading into foreign wars to ensure that people other than Americans can enjoy the freedoms we too often take for granted.

While it’s been the politicians who have made the choice to send Americans abroad — twice to Europe, twice to Asia, and twice to the Muslim world, along with various sorties and battles in other faraway places — it’s been citizens, not government, who have actually boarded the planes and the boats that took them far from home to fight for others’ freedom as well as for our own.

In our grandparents’ time, in our parents’ time, and now in our own time, young American men and women, both draftees or volunteers, have always made America proud.  Whether politicians fought wars to win (WWI and WWII) or fought wars to stalemate (Korea) or, if Democrats, fought wars to lose (Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan), these men and women have always given their all.  Undeterred by partisan politics or fickle public support, they have taken their oath seriously, and given their hearts and souls and, too often, their blood and guts, to the fight.

Considering all that these troops have given to us and, sadly, how little is given back to them by our plutocratic Progressive government, saying “thank you” one day a year seems like a very small acknowledgment and repayment. Still:  THANK YOU!!

Incidentally, if you would like to add a little something to that thank you, I can recommend these military charities:

USO

Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

Soldiers’ Angels

Navy SEALS Foundation

Also, to make a difference in non-partisan political support for all of the “sea services,” there’s always my favorite, the Navy League.

Is Obama purging the military, or is this politics as usual?

Sadie sent me a link to an article that’s been discussed in a couple of email groups to which I belong.  It’s entitled “Obama’s curious purge of the military continues.”  She wondered if I’d heard any military feedback on this noticeable trend.

One of my email groups includes two retired military bloggers.  They reminded everyone that the military’s upper echelon is always political, and it always has been.  (Look at the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam, etc.)  They’re not yet prepared to comment on any deeper ramifications beyond a two-term president doing the usual of getting his own political hacks in place.

As for me, I’m not sure the purges are anything more than sealing up an already done-deal.  After all, Obama has spent the last five years “fundamentally transforming” the American military.  It’s now an anti-Christian, pro-LGBTQ institution that’s marching women into combat.  Put another way, Obama’s already gone a long way to turning ours into an ineffectual European-style military force.  All he needs now is friendly management to cement the deal.

Your thoughts, please?

Is Obama this disciplined and clever?

A friend wrote me about Mark Levin’s theory, and now you can read about that theory in this article:

According to sources in Congress and the White House, Barack Obama is preparing to usurp the Constitutional power of Congress to control the purse strings of the federal government. The Obama plan entails using the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to bypass Congress on the upcoming debt ceiling debate and unilaterally raise the debt ceiling without the approval of Congress.

On Thursday Mark Levin cited several Congressional sources who have told him that Obama has no intention of negotiating with Congress on the debt, which is just under $17 trillion, the highest in U.S. history. When unfunded liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare are added in, the real debt is over $125 trillion — a figure so astronomically high that the country has no hope of ever paying it back. Uncontrolled spending has led the nation to this point.

According to Levin, Congressional sources say that Obama does not want any limits on his spending ability, in spite of the fact that the Constitution specifically gives Congress the power to control spending. Further, the use of the 14th Amendment to bypass Congress has never been done before. Thus, such an act would be an entirely new “interpretation” of the 14th Amendment and would raise a plethora of Constitutional issues concerning separation of powers.

Are we paranoid to believe this?  Or are we living in the zone of “even paranoid people have enemies?”  And if he does usurp the House’s power of the purse, do you think the House will respond with a bill of impeachment.

Frankly, when I read that Obama’s hyper-politicized Pentagon is set to court martial military chaplains who are continuing to perform mass, I begin to think that this administration is capable of anything.  (H/T:  Danny Lemieux)  Of course, this could be a hoax.  After all, there is a bill funding the military which would, presumably, keep those chaplains chaplaining.  Indeed, I can’t begin to imagine the outrage should the administration deprive troops of access to mass.

UPDATE:  The Anchoress, who knows these things, tells me that “The masses ARE going on at Quantico and rites like Baptism will go on too, but probably with outside priests or deacons which shouldn’t be a problem.  That press release was updated but apparently some didn’t get it.”

Morning roundup — and Open Thread

My very strong sense is that the shutdown will reveal how much of our federal government is inessential.  I’m not the only one who feels this way.  And no wonder, because the shutdown reveals waste everywhere.  This shouldn’t be a surprise.  Monopolies are invariably poorly managed and unchecked bureaucracies invariably grow.

PowerLine takes on a disgusting piece of revisionist history.  (I’d seen the underlying grotesque revisionism myself, but hadn’t had the time to challenge it.)

When it comes to Obamacare, is the government shutdown both a means and an end?  Buzzfeed thinks that the shutdown on its own, without any specific defunding measures, will damage Obamacare quite badly.  Considering Obamacare’s disastrous first few hours, Buzzfeed may be right.

Even in my most atheist days, I recognized that religion, whether or not there really was a God, is a moral necessity.  Dennis Prager’s challenge to Richard Dawkins hones in on that fact.

Britain’s NHS continues to show us just  how coercive government-run healthcare is.  I’m no fan of smoking, but this type of bullying is sickening.

As we already saw in the Balkans, when it comes to Islam, the call to jihad always trumps all other loyalties.

Obama’s foreign policy in a nutshell — sort of.  I actually think there’s a malevolent consistency running through it, which sees Obama’s hierarchy:  Most favored are Muslim tyrannies; second place to Muslim nations; third place to Leftist tyrannies; fourth place to socialist nations; fifth place to free countries and traditional American allies.

Did I mention bullying somewhere above?  Why, yes I did, in connection with Britain’s NHS.  The fact is, though, that leftists are always bullies, as Christian troops in the American military are discovering to their cost.  The First Amendment promises religious freedom.  America hasn’t always been true to that, as with her attack on Mormon polygamy.  (I hold no brief for polygamy, but it was a core Mormon doctrine.)  There are certainly practices one can quarrel with.  For example, I don’t think the First Amendment should extend to human sacrifice.  To the extent, though, that heterosexual marriage is one of the core doctrinal concepts in all of the world’s religions, and that it reflects biological and reproductive reality, the bullying and coercion from the left is unconscionable.

Arthur Laffer (the repeatedly proven Laffer Curve) and Stephen Moore write Obamanomic’s epitaph.  (And one should add that Obamanomics, which is simply Marxist economics has already been repeatedly proven . . . as a failure.)

This is an open thread, so please add anything you’ve found that’s interesting.

William Jefferson Clinton has blood on his hands

Those of us who are actually paying attention have noticed that mass murders consistently happen in gun-free zones.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a killer is likely to be more effective if he’s not dodging bullets heading his way.  He’s the fox in the hen house.  (Or maybe it does take a genius, because the stubbornly ignorant folks on the right refuse to recognize this cause/effect nexus.)

What most people didn’t realize before the Fort Hood massacre is that military bases — which are the places where you’d think everyone is armed — are places where no one is armed.  This is because William Jefferson Clinton decided in 1993 that, while the military can carry guns to protect him (think of those Marine guards), they’re not allowed to bear arms to protect themselves.

Jeff Bruner describes vividly the fallout from Clinton’s “I don’t like scary soldiers” policy:

Excepting military police and troops shooting under supervision at practice ranges, no person (regardless of rank) is today allowed to carry any weapon (including standard service pistols) onto any US military base or to keep any weapon, even stored securely, in his office or personal quarters.

Prior to that order, officers of certain ranks were required to wear side arms.

Anyone who watched more than a few minutes of the extensive television coverage of yesterday’s attack at the Navy Shipyard saw multiple accounts by senior Navy officers who described running for their lives after others nearby them fell or hiding under their desks, desperately texting colleagues seeking and offering reassurance that they had escaped the shooter thus far.

Think about that.

Career commissioned officers of the United States Navy–the Navy of “I have not yet begun to fight!” and “Don’t give up the ship!”–the Navy of “We have met the enemy and they are ours!” and “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!”–the Navy of which George Washington said “[W]ithout a decisive Naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious!”–had no choice but to “shelter in place,” cowering despite their proven personal courage and the best training in human history, while a lone gunman without benefit of body armor calmly executed 12 of their colleagues and wounded as many others.

As a former anti-gun liberal myself, maybe I should give Clinton a pass. Nah, on second thought, nah. You see, I’ve figured out how dumb I was, and I try to make amends (including an NRA membership). Clinton and the party to which he belongs have instead decided to double down on a policy that transcends stupidity and heads into evil.

As you know, I wholeheartedly support America’s military.  I know that, as an entity, it will survive the Obama years.  If America elects another Democrat president, however, I would strongly advise people not to enlist or to re-up. There’s nothing more dangerous to America’s military than a Democrat in the White House. What makes Democrats worse even than Republicans such as Bush who took the military to war is that, with war, at least military members expose themselves to risk doing what they’re trained to do and, because we have a voluntary military, what they want to do. Under Democrats, though, they’re exposed to unreasonable risk when being forced to do something that goes against their training, ability, and instincts.

A very disillusioned military

Yesterday, I asked if the military will follow Obama’s Syria orders.  In both public comments and private emails, the answer to that question has been a unanimous “yes.”  Our military is under civilian control and, if the American people elect an idiot, our military is still under civilian control.  So be it.

But the military doesn’t have to be happy about this reality.  Robert Scales, a retired Major General, has been speaking to a lot of people in the Pentagon and he reports that they are deeply unhappy about the proposals coming out of the Obama administration:

They are embarrassed to be associated with the amateurism of the Obama administration’s attempts to craft a plan that makes strategic sense. None of the White House staff has any experience in war or understands it. So far, at least, this path to war violates every principle of war, including the element of surprise, achieving mass and having a clearly defined and obtainable objective.

[snip]

They are outraged by the fact that what may happen is an act of war and a willingness to risk American lives to make up for a slip of the tongue about “red lines.” These acts would be for retribution and to restore the reputation of a president. Our serving professionals make the point that killing more Syrians won’t deter Iranian resolve to confront us. The Iranians have already gotten the message.

[snip]

Our military members understand and take seriously their oath to defend the constitutional authority of their civilian masters. They understand that the United States is the only liberal democracy that has never been ruled by its military. But today’s soldiers know war and resent civilian policymakers who want the military to fight a war that neither they nor their loved ones will experience firsthand.

Civilian control of the armed services doesn’t mean that civilians shouldn’t listen to those who have seen war. Our most respected soldier president, Dwight Eisenhower, possessed the gravitas and courage to say no to war eight times during his presidency. He ended the Korean War and refused to aid the French in Indochina; he said no to his former wartime friends Britain and France when they demanded U.S. participation in the capture of the Suez Canal. And he resisted liberal democrats who wanted to aid the newly formed nation of South Vietnam. We all know what happened after his successor ignored Eisenhower’s advice. My generation got to go to war.

The above is just a taste.  You really need to read the whole thing to understand how toxic the administration’s combination if ignorance and ideology really is.

Will American troops obey their commander in chief if he tries to march them into Syria? *UPDATED*

Here’s my take on Syria:  While it’s utterly tragic that 1,400 people got gassed, and while gas is a heinous weapon of warfare, especially when loosed against civilian populations, the true weapon of mass destruction in Syria is the combatants:  Muslims from different tribes and with opposing takes on Islam (Shia v. Sunni) are fighting for control over Syria.  This specific type of war (civil war, differing interpretations of Islam, different tribes) means that there is no such thing as a non-combatant .  Everyone, from newborn to ancient crone, is now, has been, or will be a potentially active enemy.

This is total war, which means that there is no such thing as an “out of bounds” tactic.  Indeed, the more vile, the better.  We’re talking about “shock and awe” on a case-by-case basis, with awards going to the person who spatters the most blood when slowly sawing off an enemy’s head, the person who figures out the most creative way to mutilate an opponent’s genitals while he or she is still alive (with extra points for rape and sodomy); the person who slaughters the most Christians in a single attack, the fighter who chews the most hearts and lungs (preferably taken from living subjects), etc.

Please understand that, short of leveling the country, as we eventually and reluctantly did to chunks of Germany and Japan in the very last days of WWII, or as Sherman did to Georgia, bringing our Civil War to an end, there is nothing we can do to stop what’s happening in Syria.  There are no surgical strikes that will stop the hominid WMDs that have killed more than 100,000 non-combatants and that are enthusiastically set on killing as many more as needed on the other side to wipe out the other side completely.

To understand what’s happening in Syria, just think about the Sudan, a country that had its own Muslim tribal warfare.  There, the pale brown Muslims killed, first, all the Christians and, second, all the dark brown Muslims.  The goal was to decimate every single opponent, whether babe in arms or doddering old man.

Given the nature of Muslim/Tribal civil war, unless we decimate one or both sides instantly upon getting involved in Syria’s black hole, we will be drawn into this carnage and, worse, the carnage will come to us.  American-based Muslims will consider it their Shia or Sunni, Alawite or Al Qaeda duty to fight the war on any and every battleground.  “Allahu Akbar” will be heard in a lot of American towns and cities.  We’re already seeing intimations of this with Iranian threats to kidnap and kill family members related to Obama’s cabinet crew, as well as to kidnap and rape one of the Obama girls.

We all know that America’s first act if it engages in Syria will not be to decimate one side or another in the war.  We also know, given the nature of the beast, that there is no such thing as a surgical strike in a Muslim Civil War.  The only that will happen if we go in is that we will pour flammable material on an already raging fire.  Anything we do, rather than de-escalating the Syrian situation, will escalate it.

In real terms, the immediate result will be that American servicemen and women will become targets everywhere in the world.  Also, mission creep will inevitably tip-toe in on bloody cat’s feet, and American troops will find their boots on Syrian ground.  This is especially true if Russia and Iran rush to Assad’s Alawite, Baathist aid, as we lend our blood and money to al Qaeda — which is, of course, our sworn enemy.  (Only someone profoundly disconnected from the Islamic mind actually believes that, if we help al Qaeda beat Assad’s troops, al Qaeda will made nice with us later.  Right.  Just like they did in Libya. . . . What?  Benghazi?  Well, never mind. . . .)  Syria will make Iraq look like a picnic and Afghanistan look like a sock hop.  Our troops will die and they will die miserably.

That’s my prediction.  If you have a different one, please share it with me.  My prediction is depressing even by my jaundiced standards.

Assuming I am right, though, here’s my question, and I mean it quite seriously:  Will America’s troops obey commands to invade Syria or will they mutiny?

To help get this discussion started, here’s a sample oath — in this case, the one that officers in the U.S. Army take:

I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

Does this oath obligate our men and women in the military to follow a crazy president into a suicidal war?

UPDATE:  This opinion piece by a retired general seems to answer my question:  they will think their commander in chief is an idiot. That thought, however, will not destroy the fact that the America people elected him, he is the CiC, and they will follow orders.  My only hope is that not too many brave men and women die, sacrificed on the altar of Obama’s narcissistic personality disorder.

In honor of the Marines

Marines dismounting from an amphibious assault vehicle

As the Marines make ready to follow their Commander in Chief’s orders and include woman in combat infantry positions,* perhaps now is the time to stop and consider what we like about Marines who haven’t been turned into jello by a politically correct class, the honest members of which make no bones about their hatred for all things military.  I received the following pro-Marine message from a friend:

Marines:

I like the fact that if you are a self-declared enemy of America, running into a Marine outfit in combat is your worst nightmare; and, that your health record is either about to get a lot thicker, or be closed out entirely.

I like the fact that Marines are steadfast and consistent in everything they do, regardless of whether you agree with them or not.

I like the fact that Marines view the term ‘politically correct’ with nothing but disdain.

I like the fact that Marines stand tall and rigid in their actions, thoughts, and deeds when others bend with the direction of the wind and are as confused as a dog looking at a ceiling fan.

I like the fact that each and every Marine considers the honor and legacy of the Corps as his personal and sacred trust to protect and defend.

I like the fact that most civilians don’t have a clue what makes them tick. And that’s not a bad thing. Because if they did, it would probably scare the Hell out of them.

I like the fact that others say they want to be like them, but don’t have what it takes in the Pain-Gain-Pride department to make it happen.

I like their motto… SEMPER FIDELIS, And the fact that they don’t shed it when the going gets tough, the battlefield gets deadly or when they hang up their uniform for the last time.

I like the fact that Marines take care of each other in combat and in times of peace.

I like the fact that the people of America hold Marines in the highest esteem and that they know that they can count on them to locate, close with, and destroy those who would harm them.

I like the fact that people think they’re cocky; yet they know that they have confidence in everything they do and the fact that they don’t know the taste of that makes them look at them as if they are arrogant.

I like the fact that Ronald Reagan said… ‘Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference… Marines don’t have that problem!’

I like the fact that a member of congress felt compelled to publicly accuse the Marine Corps of being ‘radical and extreme’; and I like the fact that the Commandant informed that member of congress that she was absolutely correct, and then he passed on his thanks for the great compliment.

I like the fact that Marine leaders – of every rank – know that issuing every man and woman a black beret – or polka-dotted boxer shorts for that matter – does absolutely nothing to promote morale, fighting spirit or combat effectiveness.

I like the fact that Marines are Marines first, regardless of age, race, creed, color, sex, and national origin, or how long they served, their former rank, or what goals they achieve in life.

I like Marines and I love the fact that I am both humbled and privileged to walk among the ranks of Marines.
In closing…if you aren’t a Marine, the next best thing is to have a Marine for a husband, wife, father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, best friend, or friend.

SAEPE EXPERTUS, SEMPER FIDELIS, FRATRES AETERNI
(Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever)

___________________________

*Let me just reiterate what I often say.  Being a woman myself, I have the  highest respect for women and for their abilities.  Some of the tough ones can beat the living daylights out of men.  But women are not men and I think it’s a singularly bad idea to throw them into combat situations together — bad for the women, bad for the men (I can just hear the sexual harassment and rape claims now), and bad for unit morale.

Marriage’s open frontiers in America

A few days ago, I commented about a profound problem with the Supreme Court decision striking down DOMA:  before DOMA, we had a societal consensus that marriage was between one man and one woman.  During DOMA, we had a law that said marriage was between one man and one woman, even as the societal consensus broke down.  Post-DOMA, we have nothing.  There are no boundaries, and there is nothing to stop a “loving” marriage based upon bestiality, incest, pedophilia, polyamory, etc.  The boundaries are gone.

In addition, the demands on government will change substantially with this “new frontier” approach to marriage.  A friend of mine who knows all things military sent me this email:

The other thing I’ve been thinking about is how recent Supreme Court decisions have rendered marriage and family meaningless. For instance, if I were a young private or PFC in the military I would find another guy to get married to (contract marriages between service members are nothing new. It’s a great way for two otherwise unattached people to get free money for being married). Getting married is often the best way for service members to get themselves out of crappy barracks life so I could marry a male service member from another unit and move into my new house. We would not even have to be gay to do it. Then we could run around with as many women as we wanted and essentially be room mates and get paid a basic housing allowance (x2) for being married. If I were caught in some kind of adultery situation (hard to prove usually) I would simply state that I and my life partner are straight and though we are married we do not sleep together. Further, who is to judge how we choose to run our family/household? Anything goes according to the Supreme Court and if two gay men can get married why can’t two straight ones?

So that’s two of us figuring out that Anthony Kennedy’s decision creates tremendous societal problems.  Can we add three of us or four of us?  Yes, we can!

I don’t want to tread upon copyrights, so let me just direct you to Michael Ramirez’s post-DOMA cartoon and Terminal Lance’s post-DOMA cartoon (warning:  ever so slightly risque).  They both make the point perfectly, one with regard to society at large and the other with special focus on the military.

Andrew Klavan is right that we need to view this as a Democrat “squirrel” moment, one in which the Democrat powers that be distract their sometimes mindless constituents from more important issues such as the economy, or the fact that Syria is imploding, Egypt is on the verge of imploding, and Turkey is working towards imploding.  However, we cannot ignore the legal ramifications flowing from the Supreme Court’s rulings, because these ramifications can become very expensive very quickly.

If nothing else, the end of DOMA is one more reason that the tax code and IRS should be done away with and a flat tax instituted.  After all, the current tax code gives married couples distinct benefits, with an eye to advancing a stable, two-parent family.  Since that’s now out the window, we better revisit where all those tax benefits are flowing.

What would an atheist chaplain do? *UPDATED*

Atheists aren’t limiting their attacks in religion in the military to demonizing Christians.  It turns out they’re also agitating for their own chaplains.  I find this amusing.  I can just imagine the atheist chaplain in different military scenarios.

Atheist military chaplain on the eve of battle:

“You’re going into battle tomorrow.  No one is watching over you; no one is at your side; and you’re not cradled in anyone’s divine love. Have fun and be careful.”

Atheist military chaplain in a fox hole:

“We’re going to die!  We’re going to die!  And after that . . . nothing!!!”

Atheist military chaplain at a dying soldier’s side:

“Please, my son, ignore the fact that your life had no meaning, your death will have been equally meaningless and, when you die, you’ll rot and turn to dust.  Don’t worry.  Be happy.”

Atheist military chaplain when soldier confesses that he has the urge to rape the enemy’s women:

“Well, I think that’s a very bad idea.”

My parodies are stupid, right?  It’s not just that I’m a bad parodist (which I am).  It’s that life in Obama’s America has moved beyond parody.

UPDATE:  There’s a meme going on here.  Check it out.

Reservists in lieu of a standing, trained army? Really?

IRAQI FREEDOM

Back during the Iraq War, PBS showed a documentary about reservists from a Southern state who had been called up for active duty.  (For the life of me, I can’t remember the name.)  The documentary was very sympathetic.  It showed these reservists as pathetic, out-of-shape bubbas — family men, of course — who were being forced out of their peaceful, domestic routines and sent to be lambs in George Bush’s evil, military-industrial-complex, oil- and Halliburton-driven slaughter.  They were victims as surely as the innocent Iraqi children they were being sent off to kill.

The hyper-serious, oozingly-sympathetic documentary was another reminder, as if I needed one that, in the world of the liberal media, there is no correct way to have a military:  trained, standing troops are sex-hungry rapists and, of course, baby killers.  Reservists are bumbling, out-of-shape fools.

That documentary, which I haven’t thought about in years, popped unbidden into my mind when I read that the Pentagon is proposing to trim America’s standing military and to rely more heavily on reservists as a cost-saving measure:

The Defense Department is preparing to send a controversial report to Congress that explains in detail how Reserve-component troops are substantially cheaper than active-duty members — an official analysis that is likely to fuel a growing debate about the future shape of the all-volunteer force.

Based on a two-year study conducted within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the report marks the military’s first attempt to provide an itemized cost for the active and Reserve components in an effort to help determine what mix of forces can provide the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars.

According to a draft copy of the report obtained by Military Times, the Pentagon analysis concludes that Guard and Reserve troops not only are cheaper when in drilling status but also when fully mobilized, in part because their overall compensation is lower when taking into account noncash benefits such as retirement accrual and health care.

As a friend of mine dryly remarked, a Yugo is also cheaper than a Mercedes.

I have great respect for reservists — certainly more than the PBS documentary did, which subtly managed to paint the ones it filmed as mentally defective.  These men and women reserve a corner of their lives for America’s defense, which is a lot more than can be said for the rest of us.  But they are not a standing army.  They are weekend warriors — something I say, not in a pejorative way, but as a factual statement.  They no longer engage in the constant training that hones strength and reflexes, and that too often is the difference between life and death.

You guys know that I periodically link to a mil blog called Castra Praetoria.  I like Mike’s sense of humor and I like the insights he offers into military life.  The very first time I read his blog, I read a post called “Dr. Tabata.  We hate you!“  The post resonated with me because I’ve done some Tabata training and, even though I’m fit, it was the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done.  For the Marines, though, this is part of the training necessary to keep our front line fighters able to accomplish their jobs:

Simply thrashing a group of Marines into the ground is pretty easy and not a method of instruction I prefer. If they are simply getting their doors blown off without learning anything then I figure I’ve passed up a great training opportunity.

I like to ask Marines why we PT at all. Their answers are inevitably: “To be in shape.” “Be fit.” My personal favorite is: “To look good naked 1stSgt!” I appreciate the honesty.

The bottom line is we conduct PT in order to make our bodies harder to kill. Never mind the idea of being fitter and stronger than your enemy. Fit, healthy bodies tend to survive being shot, blown up, infected, and other rough treatment. It’s only natural the Corps would develop a culture of physical fitness within its ranks.

Being fit enough to survive is a full time job (and it helps if you’re young, too).  Making our military rely most heavily on those who are neither fit nor drilled is cruel:  it’s cruel to the reservists, who are pushed into responsibilities inconsistent with their entirely appropriate day-to-day lifestyles, and it’s cruel to Americans, who will be forced to lose their first and best line of defense in a world too heavily populated with people inculcated in a culture of death — people, moreover, who have America in their cross hairs.

photo by: expertinfantry

Military brass invited a Muslim cleric to pray at Navy SEALs’ service — and he proceeded to damn them (in Arabic)

Portraits of Navy SEALs killed in helicopter crash

This one really got my goat.  I wrote it for Mr. Conservative, but I want it to be here too.  It’s not enough that Obama’s careless boasts got the SEALs (and 21 others) killed.  It’s that, when all honors should have been paid to them, the gutless, PC, Obama Pentagon (I’m mad at the brass, not at the troops) decided to invite a Muslim cleric to give an invocation.  They probably didn’t even bother to find out what he would say or what he did say.  I’m really steamed about this lack of respect:

On May 2, 2011, United States SEALS raided Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound in Pakistan and killed the man who masterminded the 9/11 terror attacks that left 2,996 people, mostly Americans, dead. The moment the mission concluded, President Obama was boasting about the details – including identifying SEAL Team 6 as the team responsible for the raid.

President Obama’s loose lips left the Special Forces community in shock because an important part of their operating procedure is anonymity. Three months later, on August 6, 2011, the Taliban shot down the helicopter in which 17 members of SEAL Team 6 and twenty-one other American and Afghani troops were traveling, killing all of them.

For Obama, the bin Laden raid was a personal triumph, and he boasted loudly about his role in it, in order to boost his political credentials. For the SEAL Team 6 members, the raid’s political aftermath was an entirely unnecessary death sentence. These men willingly and cheerfully served their country, but none of them intended to die as a political sacrifice to Obama’s ambitions.

Aside from an October 2011 report on the men’s death, Washington has forgotten about these men who not only died in America’s service, but were sacrificed on Obama’s political altar. Their families and friends haven’t forgotten though, and convened a press conference in Washington on Thursday, during which they revealed a truly shocking fact.

The gathered families played a video showing the official funeral that the military held in Kabul for the victims of the attack on the helicopter. Although there were generic references in English to “God”, the military barred any mention of Jesus Christ. The military did, however, invite a Muslim cleric to speak at the funeral. The Muslim cleric recited a long prayer, in Arabic. Later, the families had that prayer translated and were outraged to learn that the cleric damned the fallen troops as infidels – at their own funeral! The translation you see in the video and below is a certified translation:

Amen. I shelter in Allah from the devil who has been cast with stones.
In the name of Allah the merciful forgiver.
The companions of the “fire”
(The sinners and infidels who are fodder for hell fire)
ARE NOT EQUAL WITH the companions of heaven.
The companions of heaven (Muslims) are the winners.
Had we sent this Koran to a mountain, you would have seen the mountain prostrated in fear of Allah.
(Mocking the God of Moses)
Such examples are what we present to the people, so that they would think.
(repent and convert to Islam)
Blessings are to your God (Allah) the God of glory and what they describe.
And peace be upon the messengers (prophets) and thanks be to Allah the lord of both universes (mankind and Jinn).

You can view the full three hour video here.

In addition, the gathered families reiterated what those not in thrall to Obama had already realized: this funeral need never have happened. Their sons, husbands, brothers, and fathers died because the White House, by identifying SEAL Team 6 as the team responsible for bin Laden’s death effectively ensured their death. “In releasing their [the SEAL Team 6 members’] identity, they put a target on their backs,” said Doug Hamburger, whose son, Army Staff Sgt. Patrick Hamburger, was a crew member on the helicopter.

The Team 6 members knew that they were targets. According to Bill Vaughn, his son, Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Vaughn called his parents after the White House released information about the Team’s identity. Vaughn remembers that “He said, ‘Mom, there’s chatter. My life is in danger. Your life is in danger. Get everything off your social media. Our families are in danger.’”

As with anything that could tarnish Obama’s reputation, the mainstream media will most assuredly ignore this press conference. It’s up to us, therefore, to ensure that these stories live on. Please use social media, or just old-fashioned socializing, to let your friends know about this press conference. The seventeen SEAL Team 6 members and the twenty-one men who died with them on August 6, 2011, deserve at least that much.

Are the Marines approaching recruitment in the right way?

Marines

For at least 60 years, advertisers have pitched young people by saying, “If you buy our product. you will be cool.”  They haven’t said, “You are cool; therefore you should buy our product.”  The promise is that the product will fulfill your desires, desires that go far beyond a particular pair of jeans, a specific soft drink, or a certain brand of after shave.  You don’t desire “Nike.”  You desire the promise of Nike:  performance, sophistication, beautiful body.  The fact that you will wear your expensive Nike shirt stretched over your cuddly beer belly as you lounge on the couch watching Honey Boo-Boo is irrelevant.  You’re wearing Nike, so you know you’re awesome.

Which gets me to a Marine recruitment effort:

The Marine Corps on Wednesday began an advertising campaign targeted toward encouraging enlistment by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, two groups that make up only a tiny percentage of the Corps.

The campaign, entitled “A Warrior’s Education,” features videos on the Marines’ Facebook page in which 1st Lt. David Pham and 1st Lt. David Oliver David extol the virtues and challenges of being a Marine officer, and link Marine discipline to the values they learned from their families.

Pham, 25, who spent some of his youth in Westminster, attended Georgia Tech and is now a combat veteran of Afghanistan, talks of his mother, a refugee from Vietnam.

“Growing up, I’d say my role model was my mother,” he says. “You always respect your mother, you do the right thing. When you get to the Marine Corps, it’s more a pride you wear.”

From focus groups, Marine leadership learned that family honor and the concept of self-betterment through education are key values among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, according to Lt. Col. Raphael Hernandez, assistant chief of staff, advertising, for the Marine Corps Recruiting Command.

“They’re strivers, they seek opportunity,” Hernandez said of the two groups being targeted. “We want the influencers to know — the mothers and fathers — that their daughter or son can find success in the Marine Corps.”

On the one hand, I really don’t like the idea of the military targeting specific racial or nationalist subcultures within America.  That seems to me to buy into the multiculturalist PC stuff that’s turning our Pentagon into a haven for every Leftist idea, and that’s driving out the fighting ethos that is, technically, it’s actually purpose in this world.

Having said that, to the extent that the Marines are targeting Asians and Pacific Islanders by saying that being in the Marines is about having something to be proud of and having accomplishments under your belt — well, I think that’s a great way to sell a product.  Nike also thinks it’s a great way to sell a product.  We’re not running after you — but you should be running after us.  Except….  Except that when your ad campaign targets a specific minority group, that’s precisely what you’re doing — you’re running after them, which kind of kills the message about how you’re supposed to be the prize they pay for, and not vice versa.

In other words, the Marines have the right idea (“we’re special and you can be special by association”) but have fallen into political correctness and are sending a meta message that undercuts the spoken message.  (“Please, join us, please, please.  Our quotas are unbalanced without you.”)

I didn’t enjoy the movie Field of Dreams (Kevin Costner just doesn’t work for me as an actor and I just don’t “get” baseball), but I’ve always liked the movie’s famous tag line:  “If you build it, he will come.”  The Marines take pride in being the best. In this day and age, they need to advertise, but the ads should be spread far and wide, to all people, and shouldn’t be a form of quota hunting.  That just cheapens the message.

Incidentally, one of my favorite books to come out of the war in Iraq is Marco Martinez’s Hard Corps: From Gangster to Marine Hero.  When being a gang member sickened his soul, he was drawn to the Marines because they didn’t want someone like him.  They wanted someone better than he was and he too wanted to be that better guy.

Some institutions just shouldn’t pander.