Tuesday, February 20, 2007

They Don't Work For Us

If you honestly believe that politicians are working for the people, then this post will be hard for you to take.
"When I'm asked to carry a bill, I do, whether I like it or not--I work for the people. This bill had some good points and some bad points, and it was defeated by executive decision. They said there's other bills coming along that would suit the needs of the people, so they voted this one down."
Here's the down and dirty.

No federally elected or appointed office to my knowledge works for "we the people". Certainly you would not claim the Supreme Court works for the people. As certain, you would not claim that Members of Congress or even the President works for us. Why? Because to claim that our elected officials work for us would imply an Employer/Employee relationship. For example:
An Employer hires and terminates employees.
An Employer sets the standard for his employees.
An Employer can hold his employees accountable for job related performance.

See where I am going now? Your basic McUSA's at best are part of a vast hiring committee. Yet, we cannot fire those we elect to federal office. Some feel that by not reelecting them we are in effect firing them. I disagree and would say that we are simply hiring (by committee) a different person once the contractual obligation was met. Did you notice that the McUSA's also had a very limited choice of job applicants and no say at all when interviews (campaigns) began.

We the people do not set performance or conduct standards for our elected officials. The Foley scandal demonstrated this. We don't have the authority or ability to tell any official how they are to act.

Likewise accountability for performance. If you elect Senator Umptyfratz of the State of Intoxication because he opposes gun control, and he votes instead to tighten regulations and introduce new ones; What can you do? Nada, nothing, zip etc. He is under no legal obligation to live up to his campaign promises. Imagine if you will a job applicant who lied about his qualifications and intentions during the interview process. Read My Lips, He's outta there if you are the boss. In this case, we aren't.

Oh, and remember the vast hiring committee? Technically speaking you are not even entitled to that without a very liberal interpretation of the text of the constitution. I understand that a few amendments imply a right to vote. However it isn't explicitly stated. And of course in the case of presidential elections, it's all about the electors, not us.
While the title of the Voting Rights Act might imply that it established an explicit right to vote for U.S. citizens, there is no such federal right. However, the Voting Rights Act and three constitutional amendments that prevent discrimination in granting the franchise have established in United States Supreme Court jurisprudence that there is a "fundamental right" in the franchise, even though voting remains a state-granted privilege. Washington, DC, not being a State, has been granted only limited voting rights by the Congress, which controls the District "in all cases whatsoever", according to the District Clause of the Constitution.[10] U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. re-introduced House Joint Resolution 28 in March, 2005, to amend the U.S. Constitution and create a federal right to vote.[11] The resolution had 60 co-sponsors as of October, 2006.[12]

So the bottom line dear readers is that the feds don't work for us. That means that as you scrutinize who you are going to (we hope) be allowed to vote for it's just that much more important to get it right.

The opening quote for this post was taken from here.
No constitutional right to vote
The wiki article on voting rights quoted above.
The Mark Foley Scandal

Monday, February 19, 2007

Break Time

Ha! I made it thru two more snowstorms and a(nother) fifty odd hour work week. Everything in the new house is still covered by those three little words In A Box...... I've been doing a lot of political entries lately and so need a break. So now we are going to look at the rest of the world......

Some say that I only praise the military. And after slamming back at a diary on daily kos, I can see why they would think that. But let me tell you, anyone, anywhere can be a hero. In Houston, this act is enough to break your heart. It's a tragic story and doesn't have a happy ending. But, the man is a hero in the truest sense of the word. I heard it on the radio and had to find the print version. I hope his last act mitigates any potential sins to be held against him.

I heard this today on Sirius radio. All I can say is that I better not have to buy new hardware. I subscribed to Sirius during my truck driving days and haven't looked back. Back then you had to shell out about one-forty for the receiver. Now you can get one that records (like TIVO) for about seventy bux . I like listening to everything on it. I have a system where each time I stop my van to do a job I switch channels. From the AP...
(AP) If Sirius and XM have their way, Howard Stern and Oprah Winfrey could soon be sharing the same airwaves.

Long bitter rivals, Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. have decided that they would be better off working as one rather than duking it out in the marketplace -- Full Story

On the other end of the tech spectrum, crime is rising. One has to wonder what these guys could accomplish if they applied their skills other than on the dark side. It is getting so that you need a bodyguard to surf the web. There goes the neighborhood.
'Phishing' Scammers Try New Tactics
by Jack Speer

Morning Edition, February 15, 2007 · It used to be that phishing attacks, a kind of computer fraud, centered around e-mails that attempted to trick users into giving up passwords.

But the assaults are getting more sophisticated. In some cases, phishers are employing special software that allows them to persuade users they're dealing with a legitimate Web site.

Scott London, an attorney in Santa Barbara, Calif., and thinks of himself as Internet savvy — not the sort of person who gets taken in by online scams.

Until he did.


Of course no entry about life in general would be complete without the "I cannot believe they did this" category.

Pelvic thrust led to Chippendales arrests
Blowing on a woman’s neck and thrusting a pelvis led to 11 arrests last weekend after police shut down a male review at Jake’s Sports Cafe, said the bar’s owner. The dancers, their manager, a production manager and a manager of Jake’s Sports Cafe were arrested during the first of three performances scheduled for Feb. 16. Lubbock Police Lt. Greg Stevens declined to elaborate on what “simulation of a sexual act” caused police to shut down the dance performance, but said “they engaged in behavior that falls under the city code for sexually oriented businesses.” Scott Stephenson, one of Jake’s owners, said one of the dancers blew on a woman’s neck and thrusted his pelvis toward her the rest of the story

Yep, with all the online porn, strippers just on the edge of the city, hookers walking the street, we have to get a hold of the half dressed men who entertain the women. I smell a lawsuit.

Y'all have fun now.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Leadership Principles for Congress

A short while ago I published the individual traits that political leaders should aspire to. Now is the time to take those traits and turn them into tasks. Again, I am drawing from my career as a US Marine to try and point our new Congress into a successful direction. In order to shorten the length of the post I will print the principles verbatim, and my interpretation of them as they apply to politics. The link at the end will allow you to see the "official" version as applied to Marines. Remember, if you think these standards are too tough for politicos, the Marines live them daily. BTW, I am not slamming the other services. But, since I am a retired Marine I reserve the right to work from my comfort zone.

Know yourself and seek self-improvement.

Sounds easy doesn't it? Can you remember the traits and figure out which go into making this important? You cannot be a leader without a style. If your leadership style is fake, it will fail over time. The point is that no one is perfect and you must look inside yourself and identify your strong and weak points. As an elected official you need to be able to face your voters and tell them not only how good you are, but what you are doing to improve yourself.

Be technically and tactically proficient.

Remember the trait of knowledge? Here it is. Technically proficient means that you have the skills to complete a task. Tactically proficient means you can employ those skills in the real world. As a leader you are also supposed to be a mentor or a teacher. You are supposed to groom your replacement. To do that you must be an expert. BTW, this doesn't mean that you must be a certified expert at every possible task. It means that in some areas you have a working knowledge which will allow you to supervise the detail experts without getting the wool pulled over your eyes.

Develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates.

You cannot be an effective leader without teamwork. As you assign tasks, prioritize the fires to be put out, and carry out the business of the office you must delegate tasks to your subordinates. They have to own them. When the cats away..... is a truism if you are not a leader. People dodge the boss. People strive to earn the approval of a leader who not only gives you a task, but the latitude to make that task your own.

Make sound and timely decisions.

In the last post I quoted Patton. For an Army guy, he was alright :) This is where judgement, justice, knowledge, decisiveness, and integrity come into play. Just to reinforce the point... "A good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed at some indefinite point in the future." Attributed to General George Patton Jr

Set the example.

This in my humble and professional opinion is the single most important of these principles. There is nothing like a positive example to help someone rise to a higher level. It demonstrates by the most influential of communications, deeds, the courage of your convictions. Once upon a time a child could aspire to be the President and it was considered an honorable goal. Now, most folks don't consider politicians honorable at all. There is a saying that deeds, not words, define the person. By openly setting the example of honor, courage, and commitment you (the freshman congress critter) may just cause a bit of a sea change.

Know your Marines and look out for their welfare.

This is a very close second to setting the example. In this instance you are looking out for your staff and your constituents. You need to know the attitude of your constituents on virtually everything. It doesn't mean that you have to do it thier way. Because, we both know that you don't truly work for them. But, by applying your courage, integrity, and knowledge you will vote and do what you believe to be the best thing. And you will be able to explain it without coming across as a hair-splitting politician. By looking out for your subordinates, you will earn trust and loyalty. Remember, they are the ones making you look good or bad. And so you must repay that loyalty and effort with your own.

Keep your Marines informed.

I don't recall. I didn't know. Didn't get the word? Those statements can be the precursor to disaster. Remember that you are responsible, and accountable for everything your subordinates do or fail to do. So, keep them in the loop. If it is a dirty little secret, then you do the dirty work.

Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.

Here is another conundrum. If you seek responsibility you will find it. But if it goes wrong, and something will, you must place yourself in the bullets path. Don't blame a staffer that did something wrong. Remember, if you are observing and practicing the next three principles, then they are speaking with your voice. So, stand up in public and take your medicine. Then if correction or discipline is required do it in private hold them accountable to you.

Ensure assigned tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished.

Pretty simple right? Then why do people screw up the tasks they are given. If you keep em informed, and make sure they understand the task it should be gravy right? Here is how to do it. Make each task a personal mission. A mission statement requires three elements.

    First is a Task. A task is a clear statement of the results required. Example:Provide a listing of registered voters to me. Second is Conditions. List any conditions attached to the task that add to or take away from execution. Example: During normal business hours using only government approved sources. Finally is the Standard: The standard will tell the subordinate exactly how he or she will be "graded" or success and failure measured. Example: No later than close of business Friday and the list must be accurate to within 90 days.

So for the above example you would create a short concise paragraph that incorporates all three requirements. For example: Bob, I need you to provide me a list of registered voters. Do all the legwork during normal work hours and use only approved government sources. This has to completed and on my desk by 5:00 pm on Friday and must be current as of the last 90 days.
Bob now has a mission. It is personalized to him so he can take ownership of it. Your final step is to ensure Bob actually delivers it on time and within the standard.

Train your Marines as a team.

It's common knowledge that any politician must have a staff. With all the minutia of the .gov it's a sure bet that his staff is going to accomplish things in his name and not always with his knowledge. In addition to being clear and concise with your expectations you must know that your staff has to coordinate things in your name. You must ensure that they can work well together. Picture a sports team. Many specialized positions working together to score points. Each member of your team must mesh with everyone else. Remember, they will speak with your voice. Everything they do or fail to do is your responsibility. Begin by pair them off and assigning the pair a mission as outlined above. Continue adding moving parts and more people until they work as a unit.

Employ your command in accordance with its capabilities.

Take the last couple of principles and then look in the mirror. Be objective. Figure out the strengths and weaknesses of yourself and your team. Do not set them or yourself up for failure by biting off more than you can chew. That doesn't mean you are always going the easy way either. You only get better by stretching yourself. So, look at what appears to be the limit, and push it: Hard.
For the Voters: That's it. Sounds easy doesn't it? I mean, our guys and gals in harms way live these or variants of these every day. As a realist, I don't believe any politician is 100% worthy when measured by these standards. But, I submit that if you can evaluate which traits and principles your guy publically demonstrates you are a lot closer to a vote that is intellectually and morally honest. Thanks for reading.
For the Pols: I bet you think you are living up to these. Well, maybe you are or aren't but I submit that if you can at least make an honest attempt it will show in public even without an events manager to stage them for you. You now have the ball, it's time to score some points. Thanks for reading.

The USMC Leadership Principles page

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Leadership Traits for Congress

What makes an ideal member of Congress? I intend to explore what mix is needed to get the perfect Senator or Representative. For my discussion I will be referring in this post to the official list of Leadership Traits from the Marines. They worked well for me for 22 years. Right up front I admit that I am skeptical of whether a politician really can live up to the lot of these. But in all fairness we expect our Marines to live up to them on a daily basis.

Leadership Traits are nothing more than personality or character traits that make up a person. When you combine leadership traits into tasks you get leadership principles, which we will cover in a day or three. At the end of this post is the official USMC page devoted to this topic. I left the definitions intact along with the suggestions for improvement. I added a Congressional Spin to each.


Definition: Justice is defined as the practice of being fair and consistent. A just person gives consideration to each side of a situation and bases rewards or punishments on merit.

Suggestions for Improvement: Be honest with yourself about why you make a particular decision. Avoid favoritism. Try to be fair at all times and treat all things and people in an equal manner.

Congressional Justice: While each Member is part of a party, justice requires that you consider the opposing view and weigh the pros and cons based on facts and not who contributed to your campaign or which committee appointment you would like.


Definition: Judgment is your ability to think about things clearly, calmly, and in an orderly fashion so that you can make good decisions.

Suggestions for Improvement: You can improve your judgment if you avoid making rash decisions. Approach problems with a common sense attitude.

Congressional Judgement: Good Judgement means that you make the best decision you can within the time allotted based on all the facts. Like Justice, your decision or your good judgement will come from a strong sense of your own core values, the facts at hand, and a healthy dose of reality.


Definition: Dependability means that you can be relied upon to perform your duties properly. It means that you can be trusted to complete a job. It is the willing and voluntary support of the policies and orders of the chain of command. Dependability also means consistently putting forth your best effort in an attempt to achieve the highest standards of performance.

Suggestions for Improvement: You can increase your dependability by forming the habit of being where you're supposed to be on time, by not making excuses and by carrying out every task to the best of your ability regardless of whether you like it or agree with it.

Congressional Dependability: You simply have to be there to do your job. Adopt the attitude that all votes are key votes. Don't make the mistake of believing dependability means you can always be counted on to follow the party line.


Definition: Initiative is taking action even though you haven't been given orders. It means meeting new and unexpected situations with prompt action. It includes using resourcefulness to get something done without the normal material or methods being available to you.

Suggestions for Improvement: To improve your initiative, work on staying mentally and physically alert. Be aware of things that need to be done and then to do them without having to be told.

Congressional Initiative: This should be the easiest trait for a Politician to master. You got elected at least party based on issues. So, attack those issues. Find out what is being done and get involved. If nothing is being done, don't follow the herd, start the stampede.


Definition: Decisiveness means that you are able to make good decisions without delay. Get all the facts and weight them against each other. By acting calmly and quickly, you should arrive at a sound decision. You announce your decisions in a clear, firm, professional manner.

Suggestions for Improvement: Practice being positive in your actions instead of acting half-heartedly or changing your mind on an issue.

Congressional Decisiveness: Like the definition above says, weigh everything you have access to and make the call. Sometimes things will change and you will have to adjust. OODA is a military acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. It is a never ending cycle. When you begin to Act you are simultaneuosly Observing and preparing to re-orient yourself to the changing reality. The best quote that exemplifies being decisive is: "A good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed at some indefinite point in the future." Attributed to General George Patton Jr


Definition: Tact means that you can deal with people in a manner that will maintain good relations and avoid problems. It means that you are polite, calm, and firm.

Suggestions for Improvement: Begin to develop your tact by trying to be courteous and cheerful at all times. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

Congressional Tact: If I had to lose one this would be it. You are required to tell the absolute good, bad, and ugly without being deliberately offensive. Do not undermine courage, integrity, or judgement due to tact. For the Congress, this means that while politeness is a mark of bearing, don't become so enamored of a well turned phrase that you lose the message.


Definition: Integrity means that you are honest and truthful in what you say or do. You put honesty, sense of duty, and sound moral principles above all else.

Suggestions for Improvement: Be absolutely honest and truthful at all times. Stand up for what you believe to be right.

Congressional Integrity: This is it, the single most important character trait of a leader. If you have no integrity, then everything you do is tainted. Integrity means that the truth is more important than politics as usual. It also means that you don't parse your words so that you can "Lie the Truthful way". IF you ask about the definition of "is", then you might need to work on this.


Definition: Enthusiasm is defined as a sincere interest and exuberance in the performance of your duties. If you are enthusiastic, you are optimistic, cheerful, and willing to accept the challenges.

Suggestions for Improvement: Understanding and belief in your mission will add to your enthusiasm for your job. Try to understand why even uninteresting jobs must be done.

Congressional Enthusiasm: This should be obvious. Why be an Elected Representative if you don't love it? How stupid is it to do something you hate continuously? If you don't love getting up every day and going to work (which philosophically speaking is the peoples business) then go home. Enthusiasm is contagious and is like a shot of Nitrous to the other traits.


Definition: Bearing is the way you conduct and carry yourself. Your manner should reflect alertness, competence, confidence, and control.

Suggestions for Improvement: To develop bearing, you should hold yourself to the highest standards of personal conduct. Never be content with meeting only the minimum requirements.

Congressional Bearing: Being presidential in both appearance and deportment is a must. Being able to do what is needed while radiating calm, and confidence is inspiring. In other words do not lose your bearing and tell a member of congress to fuck off on or off the record


Definition: Unselfishness means that you avoid making yourself comfortable at the expense of others. Be considerate of others. Give credit to those who deserve it.

Suggestions for Improvement: Avoid using your position or rank for personal gain, safety, or pleasure at the expensive of others. Be considerate of others.

Congressional Unselfishness: I'm not sure that any pol can be unselfish. It is so culturally ingrained to make the deal, get the money, etc. It's not realistic to expect it yet. But I think it is realistic to put out the requirement and then make a focused effort to train them to standard.


Definition: Courage is what allows you to remain calm while recognizing fear. Moral courage means having the inner strength to stand up for what is right and to accept blame when something is your fault. Physical courage means that you can continue to function effectively when there is physical danger present.

Suggestions for Improvement: You can begin to control fear by practicing self-discipline and calmness. If you fear doing certain things required in your daily life, force yourself to do them until you can control your reaction.

Congressional Courage: There's not much I can add to the official line. A Congressman must have the courage of his or her convictions no matter what the party line is. The song says that you've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything. Tests of courage for elected officials is to see who or how they explain negative publicity. Other tests are when they break ranks because it's the right thing to do (not just seeking soundbytes).


Definition: Knowledge is the understanding of a science or art. Knowledge means that you have acquired information and that you understand people. Your knowledge should be broad, and in addition to knowing your job, you should know your unit's policies and keep up with current events.

Suggestions for Improvement: Suggestions for Improvement: Increase your knowledge by remaining alert. Listen, observe, and find out about things you don't understand. Study field manuals and other military literature.

Congressional Knowledge: To the Freshman Congress Critters: Learn everything you can about anything at all related to your job. It means that you must know the ethics manual cold, you must know the key provisions of bills you vote for/against. It means that you must burn some late night oil boning up on events so that you cannot later claim you were fooled.


Definition: Loyalty means that you are devoted to your country, the Corps, and to your seniors, peers, and subordinates. The motto of our Corps is Semper Fidelis!, (Always Faithful). You owe unwavering loyalty up and down the chain of command, to seniors, subordinates, and peers.

Suggestions for Improvement: To improve your loyalty you should show your loyalty by never discussing the problems of the Marine Corps or your unit with outsiders. Never talk about seniors unfavorably in front of your subordinates. Once a decision is made and the order is given to execute it, carry out that order willingly as if it were your own.

Congressional Loyalty: This is a conundrum. I've been saying all along that party loyalty is second to some of these traits. And yet, if you (as an elected official) are not loyal to your constituents and to an extent your allies, you may lose the next election. I would caution that you place your loyalty after due consideration of the effect it will have for you to do well by your constituents. Once you've placed your loyalty out there, don't back down unless it would require you to breach your own integrity.


Definition: Endurance is the mental and physical stamina that is measured by your ability to withstand pain, fatigue, stress, and hardship. For example, enduring pain during a conditioning march in order to improve stamina is crucial in the development of leadership.

Suggestions for Improvement: Develop your endurance by engaging in physical training that will strengthen your body. Finish every task to the best of your ability by forcing yourself to continue when you are physically tired and your mind is sluggish.

Congressional Endurance: Means you stick to it until you get it done. You go the extra mile and slog it out. It might mean reading the last hundred pages of a bill to (fill in the blank) in order to satisfy yourself that it is right and proper because the vote is first thing in the morning.

Please remember that I don't honestly believe any pol can live up to these standards. But I damn sure expect them to try. The reason I am actively trying to throw out ideas to help the current office holders succeed is that I want results. I and the rest of the McUSA family are pretty disgusted at the last Congress who had a clear majority and did nothing with it. Just politics as usual isn't a leaders path. Instead it is a well worn rut.

"Because it is important to always be able to remember the basic leadership traits, the acronym "J.J. DID TIE BUCKLE" is used. Each letter in the acronym corresponds to the first letter of one of the traits. By remembering the acronym, you will be better able to recall the traits." - From the same website where I pulled the above traits.

The USMC version

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Not too early for the money.....

Never mind that as of today there is well over a year before we elect another president, the process has started and will be a full court press. The almighty dollar is quickly falling into line to launch the bids of some really big names. Does this matter to the McUSA family? I say that it does if you are a realist.

Being a realist means that you get to have a philosophy or ideology, but you must keep them in the backseat as you look at the world around you. Red is still red even if your philosophy calls it blue. Realistically speaking we need to be concerned about who is going to run and why. Follow the money. Mit Romney for example:

In one day, he secured a jaw-dropping $6.5 million in contributions and pledges from others — and he still has at least a dozen fundraisers planned and nearly two more months to raise cash online and elsewhere before March 31.

Or, look at the current golden child of the DNC. Mr. Obama is hypercritical of the war and in order to look presidential has submitted a bill to pull out the troops. How much money is he getting? Well, what he (and Mrs Clinton) are doing is trying to look like they are above mere money in politics:
Obama, a freshman Democratic senator from Illinois, isn't accepting donations from political action committees and lobbyists. Following Clinton's lead, he also doesn't plan to accept public campaign financing for either the primaries or the general election.But he has asked the FEC if he can return donors' money later and still qualify for public financing should he change his mind. Jeffrey Katzenberg, a founder of the DreamWorks movie studio, is among his backers.

Now is the time to look at that and compare your personal philosophy to reality. Obama and Clinton are appealing to the voters who are offended that money plays such a big part, but in reality are setting themselves up via the FEC to rake in the ducats.

So far I cannot say I am for anyone. I don't like Mrs. Clinton and have barely heard of Obama. On the RNC side, I don't see a magic maker either. So I have to bide my time and see. If you have a similar quandary, I would suggest you go to a site like Votesmart and see how your philosophy matches up with the candidates. Also, you can write your reps and demand that they answer the questionnaire. I did, and I actually got back a letter that says "Mr (so and so)'s issues page on his website adequately addresses this issue." To me it is stuff and nonsense.

The world of message boards and blogs is chock full of prognostications and portents. For the realists among us, I think it is too early for to worry about the 08 elections. Better to study the 06 fallout and act on that in my view. Thanks folks.

Candidates begin hunting for '08 funds

Monday, February 05, 2007

Dang Kennedys' are at it again.

If memory serves, didn’t the Democrats make a commitment to not add stuff into bills not relating to the title of the bill? I could be wrong, but I thought I read about it somewhere. I really do want them to succeed. Because they are what we have even if not what we want. But so far it’s just been more of the same crooked political shenanigans. Kennedy must not have gotten the word. But, true to his eternal apologist nature he has managed to slip Illegal Alien Amnesty into the Minimum Wage Bill. BTW the credit for bringing this to my attention goes to Little Acorn at USMB.

To see it for yourself go to Thomas at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:HR00002: and check out the amendments portion. You are looking for SA187 and follow the links to the text. IF someone can answer two questions for me I'd sure be obliged. First is: Why is this process even allowed at all? Second is : What does this have to do with the minimum wage? In reality, the GOP did stuff like this before. I just don't remember them saying they wouldn't and then doing it.

Here is a bit of disinformation from the Wall Street Journal.
"In his new budget yesterday, Mr. Bush proposed some modest ways to restrain the wealth gap, particularly by offering new tax breaks to help the uninsured buy health insurance, but did little to fundamentally strengthen existing government efforts to alter the distribution of income. Included in his budget also was a proposal to extend his 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, which Democrats say benefit the rich over everyone else." - Story.

The reason it is disinformation is that by proposing new tax breaks, it is implied that this will help the poor. In reality, if you cannot afford health insurance, you cannot afford it. All the incentives in the world will not give you money you don't have. Secondly they refer to "his" 01 and 03 tax cuts (cue the mantra) for the rich. IN reality all he can do is make proposals and lobby for it via the bully pulpit. Congress must draft, debate, consolidate, and submit all changes to the tax code. So in reality it's "Congress's tax cuts for the rich". Finally the line that scares me the most is:
"did little to fundamentally strengthen existing government efforts to alter the distribution of income."
This tells me that the WSJ favors a larger government that while discussing a minimum wage now, might be discussing a maximum wage down the road.

Stay tuned. Eventually I am going to launch an annual screaming hissy fit over the income tax. Even if you don't agree, you should at least laugh out loud at the vision of a two year olds temper fit posted on a blog.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Daily Kos Rebuttal

I missed this one. But it was caught by Stephanie at debate policy. Essentially the dummies at Daily Kos have leaped on the bandwagon to slam the military based on a story in the Washington Post. To them I say Get Real...

For starters you need to understand that slamming the troops merely demonstrates that you are idiots in the mold of the nutjobs who spit on troops in the sixties. Then you need to look at your general attitude, summed up in the second link...

n00161's diary

This, of course, is a point I have brought up many times and the Milblogs when crazy then. You, the military, are the servants of the people. That is what you signed up for. We send you to war and we bring you home. We tell you when to wake up and when to go to bed. If you do not like that, GET OUT. But, that is the life you chose.

In reality we are not servants of the people. You, the people, get no say in hiring, firing, employing, disciplining, using, or abusing us. IN fact: You the people are in general inferior to those of us who wear or have worn a uniform in service to our country.

Yeah, that's right, you the people are generally inferior. After reading the links All I could think of was: These idiots are thinking of the Military specifically as if they were simply "those people"


Those people are physically superior. They are physically superior to the American (and I suspect Canadian) norm. Your average American citizen simply isn't physically fit enough to chase anyone a quarter of a mile and still have the energy reserves to subdue him. Your average Canadian citizen simply isn't physically fit enough to march with sixty to eighty (or more) pounds of gear in extreme climates for a mile let alone the standard of forty klicks and and still have the energy reserves to dig in and fight if needed.

The US Military folks are mentally superior. Your basic average citizen (of either nation) isn't trained or equipped to respond well to crisis. It requires a mental fortitude to not surrender to hardship that is lacking in most of the citizenry. The problem is that they are not trainable. It's fundamentally a lack of the needed will to dominate a situation.

Military folks are more adaptable. Mr or Mrs average American/Canadian doesn't adapt quickly or well. The adage "adapt or die" normally means that Mr./Mrs. Average will die. The public servants consistently adapt faster and more effectively. Failure to adapt is what lets the enemy win.

Those people are morally and ethically superior. Our CanAmerican citizens don't score high on morals or ethics in most cases. It's not that they are evil, it's that they get what mom or dad teaches them with a smattering of whatever they pick up here and there. "Those people" you tend to start with a higher set of values and then they receive additional and ongoing training.

On any given day of the week you pick a hundred average citizens and a hundred of "those people" and test em. You will find that they are physically fitter (the reason is not relevant), and they are mentally sharper. If you check the demographics on crime you will find that "those people" are about the same on minor crime such as traffic citations but far less on felonies. The demographic search should include courts martial as well.

You, the people, will argue that if you had the training then .... I agree that the training they get, and the application of it in daily life, and the continued (in many cases) application of it makes them in general better than the folks they serve.

Take physical fitness for example: I am forty-two and holding (till June anyway). I can still run over five miles and I am holding at my ideal weight. Check the demographic information on Americans and you will find that society is becoming fatter and more lethargic. So, it doesn't matter whether you give credit to genetics, or to training, I am still physically superior to most Americans.

The same applies to mental fitness. The average American isn't trained in critical observations skills (ala the cops), or rapid problem solving (ala the firemen and .mil), or immediate actions in emergencies (ala the EMT). That same training will allow me (as a retired military man) to observe, orient, decide, and take action faster and more effectively on my civil job than the untrained counterpart. Most of the folks who wash out of recruit training (.mil) or entry level academy (cops/emts) fail training because they are not mentally able to continuously deal with the stress of training. They are not accustomed to being held accountable without being allowed an excuse. They have grown up being conditioned that "it isn't really your fault" when they fail. IF you look at our current educational process there is less stress applied to the students than ever before. Perhaps it helps the learning environment, but it doesn't keep thier heads cool during an auto crash.

If we try to put it together I have an example to share: About three months ago a ford expedition t-boned a Saturn coupe as me and my wife were making a turn. She stopped our car and began dialing 911 as I ran to the car. He was bleeding from three places and was going into shock. Other citizens gathered around. I applied a tourniquet to his worst bleeder using a belt, I cut away his seat belt to improve his breathing and one of the non-panicking citizens helped me calm him (the victim) down. His leg was obviously broken and had we allowed him to move, it would have been worse for him. His screams were agitating those who were gawking. Within five and a half minutes of the call the EMS arrived. I exited stage right as the real professionals took over. I gave my name to a cop in case they wanted to talk later.

The point is that I believe my training in combat first aid (severe trauma), as well as the mental discipline imposed in the service, allowed us to help that guy. The other citizen who stepped up instead of being frozen? He was an Army reservist. The rest of the onlookers likely were not callous people, they were simply (for whatever reason) unable to perform.

Then we can look at ethics and morals. But, let me ask you (the people) this: What are your Core Values and can you articulate them? Any member of the services can. Because the services core values are imprinted on them and reinforced throughout the entire career. Again, it is training, and reinforcement of both positive and negative types.

Finally, I have to say that there are those wearing a uniform that don't deserve it. Approximately ten percent of any group does not deserve to be there. Demographics again. I was speaking of the faceless groups. Individually there are awesome citizens who are highly moral, mentally and physically fit and disciplined. But they are not the norm. There are fat, lazy, and dishonest Marines or Cops as well, but they are not the norm. What is the norm is that the civil leaders of both parties are corrupt and society is easily manipulated with bread and circuses.

Oh, and we are better educated than you (the people) as well. Don't take my word for it either. Look up the stats for number of folks who graduate HS and College and compare it to the US Military.

So, when you can honestly prove that I worked for you then you can run your mouth. Until then shut up and let your betters do what they need to do.

Superbowl and not super politics

The superbowl is underway and I must root for Chicago because the coach is from Texas. IF not for that, I would not even watch this years game.

This weekends politics news is so boring I am almost afraid to put it out there. None of it has anything that a realist will worry about because it won't trickle down. For instance, in the thin skinned department: Bush adds the IC to Democrat to sooth the new majority. Stories. Then of course we have to applaud as the majority ties in it's first 100 hours (which took how long?) to diversity and panders to the black vote. Story. In other words it is politics as usual.

Prince is on for the halftime show. That kinda tells me the state of the NFL. No wonder I am not really following the game.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Drowning and Driving....

In Illinois a woman got ten years for drowning her kids. Her boyfriend got life. I don't know if the land of Lincoln has a death penalty, but they should. I hope that thier time in prison is happy and filled with cavity searches. Story.

In other law news...... Down Louisiana way a judge has ruled that a state law banning illegal immigrants from driving is unconstitutional. I Have to hand it to the folks in LA. At least they are trying to do something. I would say that the lawmakers need to get together and fix this issue. My take is that it won't happen. Our current pols are not interested in working for the people anymore than they are interested in turning down campaign contributions. The reality is that you and I need to work more in our local communities to keep the bigger brothers out of them. Story

I'm really not up for the news lately. After moving and weather and jury duty, I am happy just to be hanging out with my family. Give me another day or three and I will be back to reality.