Monday, June 18, 2007

Busted Roadtrip

Monday Monday, LA LA, LA LA LA, Just sux to be me....... Oh that isn't really how the song goes. But today.... today it fits. Let's face it, unless you are working Tuesday thru Saturday, Monday Sux.

Start with a surprize road trip. That means that me and my Sirius get busy. In between the cool songs on Hair Nation I listen to all the talk radio channels. Big mistake. Nothing on but all immigration all the time. You'd think that was the only friggen thing worth talking about.

So, road trip Monday was a bust. If the shows were not bashing immigration, everyone was bashing the political figure of the day. Hillary, Obama, Santorum, Huckabee, and of course the most popular non-candidate is still Fred Thompson. Pathetic.

To say that I am not in love with any pol of any party is an understatement. But, I have to continue to beat the drum on one theme. You must support, communicate with, and work with the guys in power. If you are not supportive, then you are disloyal. If you didn't vote, then go away. If you didn't care to voice your opinion on election day, why should you bother today?

I know disloyal is a strong term. Maybe "loyal opposition" is better. The point is to realise that the Dems are in charge and Bush is still in the big chair. You and I must adjust our political tactics to work with that reality to get the results we want. For example, my biggest pet peeve is personal leadership, principled ethics, and taxes. It will do no good to push ethics reform on my Republican reps. They are the minority. Instead I need to push it to the folks in power and explain how they can use my ideas to get reelected.

In the service it is called the WIIFM principle. So, to review, work with your affiliates and within the structure of those in power. You don't have to give up your identity or get down on your knees. But, you must present it by answering the WIIFM question before you begin to rebuild the world in your image.

Supporting those you disagree with openly gives you another advantage. It puts them on the defensive. You basically concede all the petty partisan bullshit and then ask em bluntly "Now What?". Try it with Hillary Clinton or Obama on Taxes. Go ahead and concede that Bush gave cuts to the rich. Concede that there has been no fundamental reform in decades worth talking about. Let 'em tell you all about how wonderful they will be when elected. Then simply ask for specifics by stating your question in a clear forceful manner: "Now What?"

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Open Letter to Senator Reid

When I heard this on the news today I almost blew a gasket. I try really hard to maintain an even temper, evaluate the news, question it, and work with the reality of it. But, just like the last posting, sometimes I simply revert to the McUSA norm.
"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid once again found himself on the defensive after calling the outgoing Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace "incompetent" during a recent conference call interview with liberal bloggers. His comments were first reported by The Politico and confirmed by NBC News. Earlier this year Reid was criticized after saying "the war is lost." -- Source

After I got home I double and triple checked to make sure that I wasn't hallucinating and that more than one source carried the story.

Dear Mr. Reid,
I hope this finds you healthy and your family doing well. I read with absolute disgust your appalling comments against General Peter Pace. At first I didn't believe that a savvy politician could be so publically stupid. But sure enough, You called a Four-Star General of Marines incompetent.

I for one would like to know exactly which benchmarks you are using in your character assassination? Is it a direct comparison of your service versus his? How many years did you dedicate to placing yourself in harms way? I respect your stint as a Capitol Hill policeman. But that really doesn't compare to a Bronze Star with Combat V; Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V"; and the Combat Action Ribbon now does it.

I have to respect General Pace for tolerating your nonsense. Since you are not in his chain of command, he is free to defend himself and his reputation. It's too bad that his time spent at the Naval Academy taught him to not lash out at public stupidity that cannot be substantiated.

Back to benchmarks; Could your ignorance be based on the perception that you are better than him educationally speaking? Does your AS and BS at two no-name Utah colleges compare favorably with his competitive appointment, attendance at, and graduation from the US Naval Academy? In all fairness I will call you two even on that score. So, it must be your JD from George Washington University that you think is the tiebreaker. I'd stack his Master's Business from George Washington University, and his time spent at Harvard University for the Senior Executives in National and International Security program. As if that isn't enough to drown out your slanderous lie, he also a graduated from the Infantry Officers' Advanced Course; the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the National War College.

Maybe you based it on performance? He consistently advanced thru the toughest meritocracy in this country. Did you start at the bottom and through qualification and competence advance upwards to your position? Or, did you simply get reelected time after time? While I assume that the Capitol Police are a meritocracy it doesn't look like you stuck it out long enough to make something of yourself.

Could it have been his character that caused you to fault his competence? I suppose that since you are a real estate tycoon and ethics rules violator yourself, you likely shouldn't throw stones. General Pace "grew up" in an environment that isn't monastically perfect, but far less tolerant of lying in any form, cheating, and technical violations of regulation/law. I suppose it was his forthright non-nuanced answer about gays in the military that makes you think he is incompetent. You may be right, he likely wouldn't make a good politician since he won't bother to define "is".

I am at a loss to figure out why you would call him incompetent. In every measurable category I can think of he outstrips you. Since Officer promotions above major (if memory serves) require Senate confirmation, why didn't you halt him when you had a chance?

I hope your voters are intelligent enough to know they should be ashamed of you and take to sackcloth and ashes. You should simply resign and remove yourself to private life where you will not slander your betters and be taken seriously.

PE Gwinn
MSgt/USMC (ret)

Friday, June 08, 2007

News Rant

Normally I pride myself on being even tempered and rational. Ideologically speaking I am a realist. But, that doesn't mean I don't have an opinion, it's just usually suppressed in favor of "dealing with it". But every once in a while one must just let it out. This is a rant, there are many like it, but this one is mine. Consider this fair warning if you continue to read or comment....

The news industry pisses me off to no end. I don't give a damn what network or outlet you belong to there is one tenet... If it bleeds, it leads. Which explains why every day is a body count of US Service members killed without a corresponding enemy count. Or a count of public works being performed in Iraq or even a count of how many kids are back in school or have immunizations. Journalistic integrity is just another contradiction in terms like "jumbo shrimp". Fair and balanced my ass.

But every once in a while there is the non-bleeder but still a leader story that really isn't newsworthy unless your favorite activity is chanting "JER-RY, JER-RY, JER-RY," in the forlorn hope that Springer will invite you on his show so you can catfight because your second cousin left your twinky eating underage baby factory ass for yet another skank of the month. Whew. Still with me? Good, it only gets better from here.

First it was Anna Nichole Smiths death and the drama over who actually planted the seed in the already over exposed garden of .... and thus stood to control millions. One blurb, with an accompanying playboy before and after photo announcing her death would suffice as news... but nooooo, it became the all Anna all the time news rush.

Once that hole had run dry enough to pronounce it dessicated, we moved on to Paris and Britneys katzenjammer kinders antics. Yes, it was totally newsworthy that yet another whacked out entertainer was losing her marbles all over the public stage. And she was being guided by the darling of the amateur porn star slash heiress without a job queen. Following the dynamic duo was of course the Lindsay Lohan story proving that you don't have to be twenty-one to act stupid in public. But, the connoisseurs of Enquirer also watch tv news and so we have the threesome from dingbat lane dominating the "news".

But the over the top that finally got my blood simmering is the minute to minute coverage of Paris the Heiress and her go to jail saga. The magazines scream with headlines about how she will be subject to strip searches and lesbian gangs. And folks on the radio call in circut actually devote airtime to the Springermaniacs who call in to explain in detail that Paris is being abused.

Well call me old and stodgy since I really don't care. The only newsworthy item in all of this is the highlighting of how you get the best justice you can pay for. If you are the basic in the box citizen of the USA you get thrown in the slammer and you get to deal with bubba the bitchmaker, racially aligned gang violence, abusive guards, corruption, other criminals more violent than you, yadayadablahetc. This applies to anyone uless you are an out of the box celebrity. Then you get reduced or no sentence, special accomidations, and preferential treatment.

Please don't tell me that she was segregated for her own safety. All that proves is a systemic problem where the safety of the average and below average income inmates are ignored. If we truly cared about the safety of all those we jail, we would only jail violent felons and everyone else would be dealt with on an "outpatient" basis.

So between the news coverage of insipid stupidity on the part of celebrity fools, and the slanted coverage of the war, the only thing left is the continual coverage proving our elected officials are fools when it comes to immigration as well.

I think we are finally getting what we deserve. The news delivered via MTV to a nation of celebrity soundbyte addicts.

End of rant.

Cool Cartoon >>> here

Monday, June 04, 2007

Special Trust and Confidence Revisited

On three different occasions I have discussed ethical conduct in Congress. My whole point is that we should try to elect folks we'd be proud to claim as our own family. So, in order from eldest to newest, you might peruse here, here, and here to see what I think Congress should aspire to. And in todays news we have one of the poster children for why reform is needed.

I mean, check this out.

Rep. Jefferson Indicted on Fraud, Bribery Counts
Nine-term Democratic Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana was indicted Monday on 16 federal counts of bribery, racketeering, fraud and money laundering. The indictment
includes charges that he paid off a Nigerian official. Almost two years ago,
investigators found $90,000 in cash in Jefferson's freezer.

This guy needs to be immediately suspended from all congressional duties and an interim appointment made via Louisiana law. In fact, it should have happened long ago and been in effect until all allegations have been cleared via investigation or prosecution.

I realise that since I picked a democrat, someone is going to throw out a republican in a tit for tat showing. Well, to those folks...... Soooooo What? Just because someone else did something wrong doesn't mean you or I get a "turn". The adage of "two wrongs don't make a right" is so true in politics.

The Marines have a phrase in thier promotion warrants that reads, "Know ye that reposing Special trust and confidence in the fidelity and abilities of (name) I do appoint him (her) a (New Rank) in the United States Marine Corps."

Special trust and confidence means a lot of things to different people. I can only comment on what it meant to me and to the Marines around me. Basically it meant that we could implicitly trust that person to literally cover our backs in combat. It meant that when the charge was sounded, we didn't need to look, we knew without a doubt that he or she was right there with us.
Feel free to define it your way, my way, or in the way it was described in 1956 and again in 1984. This article was required reading when I made Corporal (the first of the NCO ranks) in 1984. I reread it again as a Staff Sergeant. As a Master Sergeant it was on the list of things I required my young Corporals and Sergeants to read.

The point for Marines was that leadership isn't only for Generals, Colonels, and other Commissioned Officers. The point for Politicians is that if they are to transcend mere political games and become Statesmen, they must earn and more importantly enforce Special Trust and Confidence.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The New Look

Special Thanks go out to Hoctro for his continuing great work in customising the user interface at I am slowly relearning language ala the internet and without folks who publish the knowlege and take the time to make tutorials and explain the process, I'd be lost. He isn't the only one by any means. But, his style compliments mine more than the others. Thanks again.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Saturday Ramblings and States Issues

I don't visit message boards very often. It is so partisan that normal discussion is virtually impossible since flaming is a sport where the score is religiously kept. But, there is a noteworthy thread over there called Saturdays Soldiers regarding a US Veteran that finally gets the medals he earned... in Korea. The other posting is about US Soldier who was adopted by a school, and died in Iraq. It talks in a positive way that could be a basis for learning by "grownups".

Fred is rumored to be running for President. Whoopie. Don't mind me, I like Fred. I mean I like the character he plays on TV. RudyMcRomney isn't causing my blood to rush. And HillaryBama isn't making any cool points either. So, I hope a lot more get in the race and get publicised so I may have a shot at voting for someone instead of settling for the lesser of two evils.

So anyway back to the business of helping the sitting leaders of the free world do the right thing. I need to ask y'all something......... Where are you from? Odds are you will name a state unless you live in a nationally known city/community. Do you like your state? IF y'all didn't get it I am from Texas. I am proud of that. In fact, most folks from Texas aint conceited, we are convinced. And, I am ashamed to say that even mighty Texas is only a watered down version of it's former glory.

Whose fault is that? The federal government is at fault. Notice I didn't mention the crooks and liars in Congress? That's because the dilution of the greatness of the individual and the individual state began long before the eldest member of congress took his first bribe.

Instead, the states have all become crack whores. In this case the crack is the federal dollar. The whore is obviously the states that will bend over backwards to bark like a dog while yelling "Show me the MONEY!!" Every dollar comes with a string attached and all the strings add up to a noose that has been strangling the life out of the great states of confusion, intoxication, and not to mention Texas.

This problem has its roots in so many places that we cannot list or solve all of them here. But, realistically speaking here are some things that the McUSA family can do. Hopefully others will follow suit and in a few generations we can roll back the assault of the fed.

Remember what your Senate was created to do. Originally the Senators received guidance from the state legislatures since that was who appointed them. With the 17th Amendment the role of the legislature of the State of Kentucky within the framework of federalism ceased. Prior to that, if the State (government) of Vermont felt that Senators Binotz and Umptyfratz were not conveying the sense of the State to the Fed... they could be recalled. With one fell swoop, the 17th, the states were cut out. Now, the Senate supposedly works for the people (which is the role of the House BTW). So the check and balance is skewed. You can help by writing your state Legislatures and Governors and urging them to closely communicate the sense of the state with regard to federal issues. It'll take awhile, but it is doable if enough folks can unite behind it.

Urge your State Government to decline every federal dollar possible. Realists the world over are stifleing a big belly laugh at this. But it is the key element to removing unwarranted federal control from your lives. The best government is local. Everytime you read a paper saying that there is now a federal line item for education.... ask yourself and your Local/State officials what the strings are? As soon as they understand that a mere voter actually understands what fedbux mean.... the tune will change. I know that since my letters to my elected folks reference fedbux and conversations with state authorities I no longer always get the form letter response. So long as you can propose a realistic alternative a dialog can be started. Enough dialogs get started and the C&L might realise that thier reelection chances are being affected.

Challenge every Bill introduced in Congress that isn't obviously national in scope. If there is a bill on education, ask "Why is this required for all fifty states?". Ask your state reps to tell you why they feel that the state is inadequate (use that word BTW as it will garner responses) to the task and must seek fedbux. When challenging bills don't forget the amendments where non-related issues and appropriations get tucked in. When you mention as an example amendment numbered 1176 of Senate Bill 1348 and specifically ask why it is in there when it has no relevence to the bill, they understand that you are not your average uninformed voter. This sets the stage to challenge the amendment on the grounds that there is no compelling interest to all of the States and thus isn't warranted. If you and I can eventually train our members of Congress to write bills that are short, sweet, to the point, and in the interest of all fifty states..... We will have gone a long way towards reestablishing a smattering of our independence again.

That would be three ideas that your average voter can implement and hopefully spread. With enough people doing this there is a realistic chance of a bit of change. Anyone else got other ideas?