Thursday, October 25, 2012

Breaking the Trust

One of the things that commits the warrior class to it various missions is the trust they place in the Chain of Command to support their efforts.

On a visit to Fort Benning, GA many years ago I was given a tour through the Delta Force training facility.  Without a long digression, we had supported their training activity in New Mexico over an extended period and they invited us to bring a couple of jets to Pope AFB, and then to tour their facility.  Needless to say, it was an unbelievable experience.

But what impressed me most was the nonchalant approach that the Delta Force team members took to the dangers of their duties.  They shrugged off dangerous nature of some harrowing training exercises as if they were going to the grocery store to pick up a quart of milk.  They were serious, but casual.  There was never any doubt, based on what I saw and what I heard, that these Special Forces operatives were hard as woodpecker lips, and no amount of danger would get them to flinch.  Nothing could dissuade them from doing anything other than their duty.

There was one moment during that visit when one of the team members related a story to us that was seared into my mind.  It was the only time I saw a flash of intensity that has been unseen by me since.  The discussion was about a Delta Force team that was attacked and presumed lost during the Grenada invasion.  (Forgive me if I don’t get the details entirely correct, but in the end you’ll see that that will be mostly irrelevant.)  Shortly after this news reached the DF command element a discussion brewed about whether to send more DF members after the team that had been attacked or whether the situation was “too hot” to risk additional troops.  Apparently the DF commander deferred to engage because of the risk involved.

At this point the face of our DF escort’s face was nearly purple with rage.  He calmed a bit and went on to explain that several team members armed up, commandeered a helo, and went to find the other team to see what they could do.

Upon their return, the DF commander had been relieved of his duties and was on his way off of Grenada.  Such business like decisions are not part of the Special Forces creed and are not acceptable to those special operators who will do ANYTHING they are asked to do, all they ask in return is to cover their backs.  Small potatoes when it comes down to what they risk.

Fast forward to Libya.  We had two special force operators, outnumbered and out gunned, and the best that we can do for them is NOTHING?  They fought for SEVEN hours, undoubtedly each wounded many times throughout.  They kept the faith with one another, as expected, but what did the Chain of Command do?  NOTHING.  The Administration left these two highly trained and committed warriors isolated; knowing with CERTAINTY that they would eventually perish to the overwhelming odds.  Every American should ponder what that must feel like before they vote this election.

In order for the military to operate effectively it MUST trust the Chain of Command.  At this point in time, I wouldn’t walk across the street under a Presidential order.  The spineless behavior, the absence of direct action and the cover up for this heinous delectation of duty is unprecedented and it is reprehensible for any Commander in Chief.

If for no other reason than fact that the Obama administration abandoned its people in the field while engaged with the enemy, this President should not be allowed in the office, let alone voted by the people of this country back into it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thoughts for Obama

Holding the wheel is not the same as steering.  Sitting the the White House and allowing world events to unfold around you does not constitute a coherent foreign policy.  It does not shape events.  And it most certainly does not diminish the threat to our country.  It does however more clearly define the idiot thought that it is possible to "lead from behind."  Let the wheels go where they may, then pretend you were actually steering.  Brilliant.

Closing your eyes does not make the boogie man go away.  Al Qaeda attacked us again in Libya; plain and simple.  The previous strategy of 3.5 years of playing nice did not make them go away.  It did not diminish their organizing activities.  It did not slow their training.  It only gave them room to maneuver.  No matter how much you had hoped they would forget about us and move on, they did not.  Instead, they moved in; killing four Americans.  Clearly not optimum.

As Commander in Chief, you should learn something about waging war.  Key principle, you must maintain contact with your enemy lest you get ambushed.  "Gain and maintain contact with your enemy," is basic warfighting and it also applies strategically.  Rest assured, if you take your eye off your enemy or ignore him, you will be ambushed; as in Libya.  Normalized relations with Al Qaeda is warfighting, not sipping home brews at the 19th hole chatting it up.

Semantics is no substitute for substance.  Quit dancing around the Libya timeline splicing words that have clear meaning to the rest of America.  It may help you feel better while giving a stump speech, but the rest of us know that going to Vegas to fundraise, says more about you and your deep concern for dead Americans, than finding a fortuitous sound bite on a tape that you think will act as an escape hatch from dereliction of duty.  Not so fast.  We get it.  You wanted peace through smiling and apologizing.  It didn't work out; it only took you four weeks of Cirque du Soleil verbal acrobatics to get to a spot where you think us stupid idiots in the Middle Class now find you believable.  We don't.  You lied about what you knew when.  You did it to protect your political butt.  Shameful behavior form the Commander in Chief.  Pathetic.

It sure is hard to defend vapor.  You should have worked harder for 3.5 years rather than just talking about "results;" you should have produced some.

You and Joe Biden could not lead ants to a picnic.  You both came out of the Senate.  You had 60 seats at one point, and you still haven't been able to wrangle a budget out that highly respected legislative institution.  If the President and Vice President, both fresh out of the Senate, cannot get a budget out of the Senate, what could they do?  I guess three years of no budgets is all the evidence we need.

Own up to it, you love being President, you just don't want to do the job.  Why let those security briefings get in the way of golfing?  Why not line up a new gig as a DJ while you can?  Why not strut your eye candy self through NY and Hollywood while everyone is licking your boots and telling you how much they like your new clothes?  Who could give it up?  Sorry, but being President is about being on call 24/7, and attending security briefings, and meeting with foreign leaders instead of TV ratings bottom dwellers and softball buttkissers.  It is heavy lifting and it is not for the faint of heart.  It is for those who love this country more than they love playing a round of golf, or watching the teleprompter, or watching themselves on TV being "hip."  It is not for those who can even utter the words "lead from behind," let alone try to turn an un-clever punch line from a joke into "coherent" foreign policy while half of the Arab world is in the throes of revolution. 

Walk away, you can play golf for free for the rest of your life, but the rest of America can't afford to have you as President. 

It costs too much. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Jimmy Carter Part II

Interesting how the President of the United States, an unabashed apologist for radical Islam (read as murderous radical Islam) and self-proclaimed swami of foreign policy has put the US in a position to lose an Ambassador and three consulate employees, allow for a breach of an American Embassy, the destruction of an American flag (the most powerful symbol of freedom in the world) and then have the Embassy staff tweet out an apology to the attackers.  Haven't we been given enough evidence in the post-Carter era, now totalling 31 years, that appeasement, apologies, and avoidance do not equal peace and cooperation. 

The cultivation of these three A's through ignorance, inaction, and idiocy only embolden what would otherwise be impotent and ignominious splinter groups into becoming polarized Muslim mobs that are wreaking havoc on a lame and limp Presidency.  It wouldn't bother me so much, except it continues to cost the lives of Americans across the globe, and the President's responses in these circumstances are so feeble that they only add gas to the fire and accelerate more attacks.  The attack in Benghazi was clearly fueled by the success of the attack in Cairo and fanned by the completely ineffective White House response.  Now four people are dead.

When will the liberal culture in this country come to understand that Christians are not the ones running around the globe murdering innocents, and when will they finally place the blame for such attacks, not on the producer of a movie, but squarely on the shoulders on which it belongs, the bent and radical believers of Islam and the timid and weak moderate Muslims who have allowed the "religion of peace" to be hijacked?  Those sitting idly by are just as guilty.

Monday, August 13, 2012


The selection of the upcoming Presidential Debate moderators is showing again what schlubs the GOP leaders can be. 

Good job in not securing a debate for FoxNews the #1 news station, while securing a debate for CNN who can muster about as many viewers as a midnight showing of "Spies Like Us", "Three Amigos", "Gigli" and "Showgirls."

Good job in allowing all three Presidential Debate moderators to be so far left that they could make Gov Jerry Brown seem to be on the fringe of being a Repbulican.  That should set up for three very fair debates.

What GOP candidates and RNC leadership fail to grasp, is that when they cannot negotiate to a fair outcome on matters such as these, our confidence in their ability to govern is diminished.

Put your pads on, lace up your skates, grab a stick and play.  Don't let yourself be pushed around by a bunch of pooofty figure skaters who get blown down in a stiff wind.  Man up and get your candidate and your party a fair deal...always!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Beware of the Heinous ATMs

It is astounding that America could elect as its President a man who is blaming ATMs for slowing the economic recovery.
 "You see it when you go to a bank and ... you use an ATM, you don't go to a bank teller. Or you go to the airport, and you're using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate," the president said. 

It is obvious that the fate of our economy has been entrusted to a man who knows less about business than a five year old running a lemonade stand.
His ATM example is off for several reasons, but foremost is that ATMs were a regular part of life well before  the economic downturn, and based on their cost-effectiveness it is doubtful that at any point since that anyone in the banking business has even remotely considered removing their ATMs in favor of bank tellers.   ATMs have had exactly ZERO impact on the economic downturn or the recovery.
Secondly, he fails to comprehend that every component contained within the impenetrable boxes has to be manufactured by someone with a far greater skill set than your average bank teller.  I am not in the ATM business, but it is easy to see that inside every machine there is a small computer, a scanner, a remote access device (modem/comm. Device), human-machine-interface (control screen), steel case for the machine, and hundreds of metal and plastic pieces that have to be injection molded or stamped in order to get the machine to function.  All these parts then need to be assembled, tested and shipped to their installation locations.  I think it is safe to say that each ATM supports dozens, if not hundreds of jobs.  Not to mention that they are way move convenient than most bank tellers were only available between 9:00 am and 3:30 pm.
ATMs add to the banks’ profitability, and thus allow banks to make better investment decisions with those dollars; decisions that add to profitability and higher paying jobs.  Perhaps they would even want to buy more evil ATMs.  Or hire a securities analyst rather than an entry level employee who has a skill set about the equivalent of the TI 30 calculator.   Or open another branch, which would in turn create construction jobs and more ATM jobs.
In business, jobs that can be replaced with capital equipment which is ultimately more cost effective and efficient have always been the target of automation.  Cotton Gin.  Harvest Combines.  Motorized street sweeping machines. 
It is way too late to lament the loss of the cash counter at the bank window.
The reference to the airline kiosks though shows just how out of touch Obama is with the real world. 
If I have a choice between the “friendly” ticket clerk and the kiosk, I am heading to the kiosk.  Because the President has not likely flown on a commercial airliner since before his Chicago organizing days, he has no comprehension to what degree most of us disdain airline travel today.  TSA (no more need to be said), Surly clerks, surly passengers, surly parking attendants, and surly airport cops make taking a trip about as fun and time consuming as having back-to-back root canals done.
In two simple sentences our President shows the world that he knows NOTHING about business and that he is completely out of touch with that part of the population (90%?) which has to travel by commercial airliner vice luxury jet or Air Force One.
Who in the country would vote for this guy, and why in the world would they think for a minute he was capable of managing us out of financial crisis?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Camouflage Cooperation

Many years ago, as the services were becoming more “Joint,” many eager beavers floated the idea that the individual service cultures should devolve into a single, joint (blended more appropriate) service that would go so far as to share a single uniform set.  I believe it was referred to for a while as going purple, or a rough blend of all of the existing uniform colors.  Suffice it to say, I personally knew of no Marines who were in favor of this idea, although in the officer brown-nosing class, I am sure there were a few. 
Marines are both aware of, and proud of the history behind their uniforms and uniform items.  They know that the uniform is what links them to previous generations of Marines and sets them apart from the other services whose uniforms pale in comparison to those of the Marines.  Switching uniforms was a complete non-starter for the Corps.
Given this, it is not surprising that the Marines are particularly defensive about sharing their camouflage uniform pattern with the Army.  They are simply protecting their distinctive Marine turf, a pretty natural reflexive response for most Marines.
I would ask the Marines to re-consider.
Allow me a few of short digressions.
My last assignment in the Marine Corps was as an operational requirements assessment officer on the Navy staff in Pearl Harbor.  My job was to evaluate the operational requirements submitted by the operational staffs (Fleet, Air Wings, etc.), prioritize them and if approved, get them into the budgeting process.  I personally evaluated all things fixed-wing tactical aviation, all air delivered ordnance, and all things Marine.  One thing I learned in that job was that money was tight, always.  A million dollars meant a lot to each of us in our respective roles in N83, and haggling for a million dollars was not uncommon.
A million dollars saved on submarine spare parts might easily fund training ammunition for a battalion of forward deployed Marines for a year.  I would say we did a fair job of making the money go as far as we could.
Digression number two.
 I was able to catch a snippet of how the Marines developed their new camouflage pattern on a show about camouflage on the History Channel.  The show depicted the intense analysis and testing that the Marines put into the development and selection of their final pattern, and I was impressed to learn that when the Army evaluated their choices it was one of the top patterns considered.  The Marines had done their homework, and it seems to have paid off.
Allow me one more digression.  In the early eighties the Marines embarked on a program in their development center in Quantico, Virginia to come up with a new PT (physical training; gym) short.  This process was long and painful.  And while I am sure that project officers were sincere and energetic, the fruits of their labor proved to be woefully in adequate.
In an era where nylon shorts had become the running norm, and indeed the standard, the Marine Corps spent millions of dollars and several (five or six as I recall) years to develop the equivalent of a 1940’s era gym short made of cotton that was so stiff that many of us would have preferred to wear the same short made of burlap.  The material was so heavy and the seams so thick that the seams at the leg openings would cut through the skin on a run of even modest length.  They were, in short (pun intended) a disaster.
So, in times of fiscal austerity and looming budget cuts, I implore the Marines to reconsider and let the Army use their successful camo pattern.  This gesture would surely save years of development and millions of dollars in testing.  And even then, a successful outcome is not guaranteed.  Save the money and use those funds for more live ammo that can be used in training or directly on our enemies.
Marines needn’t worry, they will never be confused for soldiers as their utility cover will forever be distinctive, and the Army will put enough patches on the uniform to set them apart from miles away.
I think that these two services should get together and act cooperatively in a time where wasting money developing another camo pattern, while compelling for service distinction reasons, is still a waste nonetheless.  It would be a lesson in cooperation that could serve as an example for other, less prestigious  governmental institutions to emulate.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Who’s Dumber, Politicians, or Journalists Who Accept Their Stupid Answers

I am done watching ANY television interview with ANY politician.  Why?  Because they NEVER produce any meaningful information.
I enjoy watching Fox News Sunday, but Chris Wallace is no better at getting a straight answer out of a one-on-one guest than CNN is at getting Anthony Weiner to pick his own johnson out of a police line-up.
The Weiner story brings to a head all that is worthless about the MSM today.  They have come to accept the most world-class improbable explanations from idiotic guests, and then they let the steamy turds lie there expecting us public school graduates to go “Wow, I guess that is a really good explanation as to why some 21 year-old college student accidentally got a photo, of what may or may not be Anthony Weiner’s Johnson, from his twitter account.  Makes sense to me.”
Where is the follow-up question?  “Mr. Frankfurter, if you’re not denying that that picture is your scantily clad package, what prompted you to take such a picture in the first place, let alone have it stored in a place on your computer where if hacked (doubtful) it could be sent to others via social media?”
“Do you think this behavior is appropriate for a US Representative?”
“Do you think the people in your district approve of you farming photos of you junk out to twenty-one year olds?”
“Geez, your wife must be really upset!?”
But no, the MSM lets these narcissistic spin doctors ramble on for hours without answering even the simplest questions.
“Are you running for President?”
“How are you going to vote on HB-XYZ?”
TiVo all the Sunday morning shows and you will not see one question answered by a politician.  What you will see is continuous streams of nonsensical ramblings that make the infinity sign seem to have an end.
“I am not going to answer whether or not there are yellow and blue in the color green.  It takes a village to make a color, and I don’t think that the composition of green should be used to de-value the color red or purple for that matter.  We need to understand that yellow-blue diversity, while unique does not necessarily set them apart when it comes to making colors of all kinds.”
The idiotic press also delivers the Get-Out-of-Hell-Free card to any scandal laden politician, as long as they follow the formula; go to re-hab, do 40 hours of public service counting rat turds in rabbit nests, cry on camera, give a one hour interview to Barbara Walters, cry again on TV, and promise never, ever to do it again.
I thought part of their role was to comment and critique when public officials’ behaviors get out of hand, not condone and facilitate.
It is easy to tell when people are lying and obfuscating.  By letting the politicians slide around every question, journalists are proving that they are incapable of doing their jobs.  Again.
So I ask again, who’s dumber, politicians, or journalists that accept their stupid answers?
Or, C., we voters for voting these idiots in time after time after time.

Update 6/6/11

Answer: Representative Weiner for thinking we were all stupid enough to believe his lame story and his whacky attempts at deflecting the heat.  He now admits to doing an Annie Leibovitz on his miniature wanky and broadcasting proudly (not so much anymore) via Twitter.  Oh, and by the way, to five other women as well.  I wonder how married life is treating him these days.

Please, voters in his district, show America that we will not tolerate idiots representing us in Congress; as least not once we have confirmed they are idiots.  

I am bi-partisan on this one.  No idiots, donkeys or elephants. 

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