Sunday, January 28, 2007

Peace in our time - a corollary

Just some suggested reading, I don't raise Wikipedia to the level of a scholar's reference, but this bit is correct enough and easily accessible.

Dystopia : A dystopia (alternatively, cacotopia[1], kakotopia or anti-utopia) is a fictional society that is the antithesis of utopia. It is usually characterized by an oppressive social control, such as an authoritarian or totalitarian government.

NOTE: I've left the links intact for those who wish to explore more.

The point being that the Peacenik ideal is fraught with realistic problems that idealism and effete words ignore. I have addressed some of the most obvious here, but ...

Although the above reference uses the word 'fictional' one only need to look at the former USSR as a real world example of a dystopia.

Peace in our time - stating the obvious

There was a sort of anti-war/peace rally sometime over the past few days, and Hanoi Jane showed up. I was pissed that she'd raised her hoary head again and was gonna ignore the whole thing.

But I reckon that is the wrong attitude in this context.

Peace is one of the easiest states of existence to create - simply surrender.

A long list of wiser voices than mine have said much the same over the centuries, but it's been one of those things that linger around the periphery of my thinking. I've begun speculating to myself about the practical aspects of such a move? The nuts and bolts, if you will.

Peace in this country must be the only priority, interfering elsewhere in the world would simply not be peace.

It may be a bit of a 'straw man' thing, but one scenario would be to withdraw our military from everywhere in the world, and use them for a one-time sweep, with law enforcement types, of this country to remove every firearm from the citizens, then take those and those of the military and law enforcement somewhere and destroy them.

Then simply disband the military, putting the larger military weapons on the scrap heap of history as well. Use things such as aircraft carriers as homes for the homeless, etc. Peace would reign.

Remove any and all border constraints, allowing the peace loving people of the world free access to our largess. Peace would reign.

Rescind our Constitution in favor of the UN. Peace would reign.

The peace of the dead, maybe, but peace none the less.

The devil is in the details...

"Give me liberty, or give me death" simply doesn't allow the wiggle room that "Peace Now!" does.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Paradise Lost

I've long been puzzled why the liberal/left is seemingly hell bent on destroying the very platform that gives them the freedom to exist?

Akin to this is the strange thought processes that appear to relish big government - under their control, as if that control would last past the moment bureaucratic mass reached some tipping point.

Timothy Birdnow has an piece up here that offers a possible answer.
So, Christianity and Judaism, by giving the World Separation of Church and State, destroyed the old pagan order and splintered the power of the collective will. To those who believe in this collective and the exercise of the will of society over the individual, there can be no worse crime.
I have a few nitpicks with parts of his thesis, but he provides AN answer. Beyond all his intellectual pontificating he hit the nail so soundly with:
A racist, sexist, homophobic, power-mad society such as ours deserves to be taught a lesson! Even if the teacher is racist, sexist, homophobic, and power-mad, they aren't Western, Christian, or White! They aren't Dick Cheney! Power to the people!
that I forgive all the references to many long dead philosophers.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Duty, Honor, Country

I had the pleasure of speaking to Larry Bailey on the phone the other day about another issue and he mentioned he was participating in conference or some such that had to do with retention within the SPECWAR communities. He mentioned a reenlistment bonus figure and I almost reflexively I blurted out "It's not enough!"

Later I was reflecting on my outburst and my thoughts turned to General MacArthur's Thayer Award Speech. You can find it here.

One line means a lot to me:
Yours is the profession of arms, the will to win, the sure knowledge that in war there is no substitute for victory, that if you lose, the Nation will be destroyed, that the very obsession of your public service must be duty, honor, country.
Yet the nation is obligated to pay something for this public service. Duty won't make a house payment, Honor won't put food on the table, and the Love of Country is no real substitute for the love of a family when that family life is disrupted.

I have no idea how to deal with this conundrum? If we raise their pay and benefits to the level my heart tells me we should, we risk creating a situation where Duty, Honor, Country play a lesser role... indeed, we are creating a mercenary force.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

State of the Union?

It's tough for me to get exited about most stuff that comes out of DC. The SOTU is little different.

No loud and clear call for victory against our biggest enemy in 30 years... no loud and clear call for securing our borders.

The issues that make all others meaningless given short shrift. AGAIN!

Monday, January 22, 2007

The nature of trivial things - revisited

My last post created some confusion and controversy. Franky, some of the confusion is because it is simply a confusing issue.

Deaths in the military are facts of life. Everyone who wears the uniform learns this rather quickly. Even in peace time the nature of the job requires risk taking and someone is going to be hurt or killed.

Dwelling on this aspect of military life is counter-productive save in one important way.

These folks work for us!

If we send them to do combat in our names we can not allow them to become trivial numbers in some newspaper story about some other issue, at the same time we can not allow their deaths and injuries to deflect us (and those serving) from the job at hand.

It's a paradox, and not a new one either.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The nature of trivial things

Sometimes we must acknowledge the trivial nature of those things that seem so important.

This one of those times!

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- At least 20 American service personnel were killed in military operations Saturday in one of the deadliest days for U.S. forces since the Iraq war began, and authorities also announced two U.S. combat deaths from the previous day.

Read the rest

Life, and death, intrude.

Bless them all and I hope our thanks follow them on this long journey. By the ones and twos these folks are giving their all, but sometimes a slap in face is needed. Let's hope it does some good.

Man the Barricades!


An event occurred earlier this month that nearly fell through the cracks.

Four armed Guardsmen from Tennessee were surrounded by six to eight men carrying automatic weapons during an encounter on Jan. 3 east of Sasabe.

Chris Simcox, president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps said he was surprised that the government accounts match the the description Minuteman volunteers heard from the Guardsmen involved.
Usually, government-issued reports bear little resemblance to what actually happened, he said.
"I'm impressed," said Simcox, who had not seen the accounts before Friday. "For the first time in a long time, they did something right."
At the same time, the reports expose the danger of putting the National Guard on visible posts with orders to avoid confrontation, he said.

"They are standing out there just basically being targets," Simcox said. "They could be wiped in a second by a group walking up on them. Ultimately, it's going to lead to a bad situation.

No changes have been made in light of the incident, Soto and Aguirre said.
Guardsmen working these observation posts receive special training, and many have been in Iraq or Afghanistan, Aguirre said. They will continue to follow protocol established for the mission, said Maj. Aguirre, which means: "If they feel physically threatened, they will react accordingly," he said.
If they were shot at, they would shoot back, he said.
Napolitano is pleased with how the Guard handled the encounter, her spokeswoman said. She and Rataczak are continually analyzing the danger the troops face but are confident they can handle whatever comes at them, L'Ecuyer said.
"It's not something they ask for," she said. "But, it's something they train for."

Read the Rest
So the U.S. was invaded by an armed group, this group did as it pleased, the NG withdrew.

If an armed person comes into your home, takes a tour, and no one is injured it's a non-event?

The way this works in my head is that the armed group could have been gang members or even on the way to Tuscon to rob a bank. They weren't downtrodden migrant workers!

If an armed person or group walks through my door unannounced I'm going to do what ever I can to neutralize them and call the cops.

I gotta believe that there is something wrong with this picture.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

In through the out door

H/T Supe

I've been predicting this for quite a while. I ain't proud or prescient, just observant.

Rep. John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat, yesterday announced plans to introduce legislation that would cut off funding for President Bush's proposed surge of American troops into Baghdad.

Read the rest.

See this post for my view of the future/present.

I have an admittedly myopic view of such things. We allowed this to happen by concentrating on trivial, but fun, crap like Kerry.

Yeah, I know, I know... 'closing the barn door after the horse got out' and all that.

We bloggers write page after page about 'what is wrong', we highlight a few possible fixes, and the obvious goes unnoticed by most.

Just now we have a lame-duck President who seems to have lost his way. There is a single issue that surpasses everything else and it continues to fall through the cracks of our busy lives.

The battle over whether we will become a Spanish speaking Islamic world/nation trumps every other issue!

Gays ignore it, Feminists ignore it, the global warming folks ignore it... and the anti-Kerry folks ignore it.

The list of folks who spent huge amounts of energy and time on issues that simply will not matter (or worse) is scary.

Every single issue is important, mind you, but context matters, and the context has been lost.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Vapid, Vacant, Vacuous

I have tried to support Bush, even when I disagree with him.

But no more!!!

Since he's not running for re-election he doesn't even have the saving grace of being the lesser of two evils.

'The Surge' is ridiculous on it's face. Within the past year troops have been moved in country (Iraq) to meet changing needs. Just what has changed? This has all the hallmarks of a minor publicity stunt; not unlike 'the surge' of the NG to our borders. It does nothing but put additional lives at risk.

From sunny Clearwater Florida... a beautiful day.

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