June 30, 2011

Is Obama a 'Dick'?

How's the state of the union under Obama? From here it looks like the bow of the U.S.S. America is pointing towards Venus. The stimulus flopped generating no momentum to pull us out of our recession. We bailed out Wall Street and General Motors, a surefire prescription for more bad behavior by speculators and unions. And although Obama included a tax break for corporate jets in the stimulus, that didn't stop him from demonizing the fat cats who benefitted. This from a guy who flies in style to fundraisers and nights on the town with wifey at taxpayer expense. The only job creation is in government, with our bloated bureaucracy now counting about 22 million. Unemployment continues to hover over 9%, the figure actually higher with many job seekers giving up the rat race.

June 29, 2011

General Allen Contradicts the White House on Afghanistan

Courtesy of Fox News

In his nomination hearing to succeed Gen. Petraeus as commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen admitted to Sen. Lindsay Graham R-S.C. that President Obama's Afghanistan drawdown plan was not among the options presented him by Gen. Petraeus:

GRAHAM: The option that the country has chosen through President Obama is to withdraw 10,000 this year, all surge forces gone by September. Is it fair to say, General Allen, that was not one of the options presented to the president by General Petraeus?
ALLEN: It is a more aggressive option than that which was presented.
GRAHAM: My question is, was that a option?
ALLEN: It was not.

Executive and leaders at all levels rely on staff to provide options and background before decisions. The President is not obliged to choose an option presented to him, but can pick another course of action he thinks will suit his long-term strategy. That the White House spokesman went out of his way to claim that Obama's strategy was within the range of options given by Petraeus proves yet again Obama only finds his senior military leaders useful as top cover for his end-state of enfeebling the U.S. and its standing in the world.

To Obama questions of victory or success in Afghanistan are non-issues. He didn't get elected to fight the war on terror and sees the Afghan drawdown as a way to court war-weary Americans just in time for the 2012 election.

June 25, 2011

Steven Pressfield's The War of Art

If you've ever suffered from procrastination and sloth, Steven Pressfield has the self-help book for you. But unlike the garden variety, new agey feel-goodism that most preach, Pressfield defines the enemy (resistance) and outlines a ruthless battle plan to combat it. There are no easy fixes: and like most hard earned wisdom, finding your inner Muse and creating the art that is your birthright, requires discipline and hard work.

Pressfield's most eclectic chapters concern creativity, or connecting with the Muses. While some readers may recoil from the imagery of ancient abstractions, I found his narrative compelling in its description of the magic and mystery of creation.

For all those with novels, symphonies and paintings in them, struggling to burst forth, The War of Art is required reading.

June 24, 2011

Medal of Honor, Obama and Chronic Dumb-Ass Syndrome

President Obama, the gift that keeps on giving, was playing up his fake relationship with 10th Mountain Division troops at Fort Drum yesterday, when he offered this:
“Throughout my service, first as a senator and then as a presidential candidate and then as a president, I’ve always run into you guys,” he said. “And for some reason it’s always in some rough spots.”
“First time I saw the 10th Mountain Division, you guys were in southern Iraq. When I went back to visit Afghanistan, you guys were the first ones there. I had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously,” the president said.

As usual with this president, the personal pronoun is the subject of his speeches. Obama obviously can't be bothered to remember that he presented the Medal of Honor to the Monti family, since Jared Monti was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2006. Last November Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, the first living recipient since the Vietnam War.

Obama's followers will dismiss this latest gaffe as simple misspeak, just like the 57 states, the tornado that killed 10,000 and the Austrian language. After all, the Commander-in-Chief is just a regular guy enjoying the trappings of office, golf on Memorial Day and lavish vacations on the taxpayer. And all those Medal of Honor winners are hard to distinguish, even for one as brilliant as the president.

June 11, 2011

Obama: Narcissist-in-Chief

The Daily Caller's description of post bin Laden White House celebrations as "Obama Administration takes victory lap in clown car," cannot be improved upon. In the rush to capitalize on a P.R. boon, the administration's amateurishness was on full display, with the narrative changing constantly to suit the president's re-election prospects. And when it comes to grabbing credit, no one does it better than Obama. Despite years of intelligence work and detailed operational planning and preparation that went into the raid, the president's speech to the nation was riddled with the personal pronoun. Wait... that's every speech. Sorry.

One wonders if the president is able to reflect on anything without a mirror, especially on the fact that a superb American military, a culture and institution so alien to him, has saved his bacon arugula several times now. Obama's campaign notoriously benefitted from the surge in Iraq, despite his vocal opposition. When he travels abroad, the president walks with the power of the United States and its global reach, a capability meglomaniacs can only dream of. And now that Obama got Osama, a supine media is more than happy to portray this waffle eating, mom jeans wearin, girl's bike riding, metrosexual as an action figure.

June 10, 2011

McChrystal's Network: Think Different

"It Takes a Network,” General Stanley A. McChrystal’s uneven essay on his tactical and operational challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan, shows how an adaptive enemy using 21st Century technology changed his thinking about the “new front line of modern warfare.” McChrystal correctly identifies the characteristics of an emerging threat and details his adaptation to that threat. Unfortunately, he misses an opportunity to show how the institutional Army, and its obsession with doctrine and process, puts Army creativity in a headlock when facing new, non-linear phenomenon.

Facing Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and later the Taliban, McChrystal realized both had evolved into self-organizing and unstructured networks that were resilient and self-generating, employing ever changing tactics in response to U.S. military presence. Terrorist leaders used cell phones and the internet effectively to get out their global message and provide direction to their decentralized network of cells. After initially seeing the enemy as he saw himself, McChrystal found that traditional “indicators,” predictive of enemy action, were too numerous and non-linear to inform decision making. Further, intelligence sharing tended to stovepipe along organizational and cultural lines. To destroy the enemy’s decentralized, resilient networks, McChrystal’s troops had to create their own in order to find, fix, finish, exploit and analyze (F3EA) the enemy faster than it could evolve itself.

June 8, 2011

Leadership Principles of Lao Tzu

Scholars debate whether Lao Tzu - author of the Tao Te Ching and considered by many the founder of Taoism - actually lived during the 4th century BC as a contemporary of Confucius, or was merely a synthesis of early Chinese thought. Whoever he was, his leadership principles are timeless and should be required reading for those who seek and hold power.

Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish - too much handling will spoil it. Tarp, stimulus, Obamacare, bailouts, offshore drilling bans, FDA, EPA, and the TSA are all examples of activist government robbing Americans of their constitutional liberties. The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.