September 23, 2011

Many are the Armies of Darkness

Last month the U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) held annual war games

Below my hotel window on Yongsan army base, cabbies salute the dusk with glowing cigarettes. Their mismatched plaids make them perfect extras for a Caddyshack remake; not at all far-fetched in this golf crazed country. Above, Namsan Hill fills a quarter of the horizon, and Seoul Tower looks like a space age, aqua-blue flag stick on the back of a monstrous, terraced green. It’s a rare night without smog, so I walk the course.

It’s a brisk 45 minutes to the top. Dodging busloads of Japanese and Chinese women who come to Seoul to shop, I make it to the base of the tower.

September 21, 2011

Way to go, Mr President

I'm sure the guy to your right (can't tell who from the photo) is ordering his prints as we speak.

September 20, 2011

Navel Gazing and the Chattering Class

I enjoy Peter Wehner's posts in Commentary Magazine. He's a thoughtful, articulate conservative who excels at skewering the lunacy of the left.

His post today, however, had me scratching my head. Not that I disagree with Wehner's take that President Obama's incompetence is losing middle-of-the-roadish pundits, but it's Wehner's assessment of Ross Douthat and David Brooks:
Brooks refers to himself as a “sap” throughout the column. In fact, both he and Douthat are first-rate writers and thinkers. They are also honest enough to admit (in their different ways) their faith in the president has been misplaced. It’s hard to know whether Obama cares. But he should. Defections like these are indicative of a broader erosion, one that seems to be accelerating by the day.
Honest, yes, a rare quality among public intellectuals. But first-rate thinkers?

Millions of Americans took Obama's measure long before he became president. It was obvious from the outset that his dopey, hopeychangy snake oil, the inexperience, the radical affiliations and the contempt toward traditional American values, meant disaster for the nation. If you still missed the cluetrain, there was the not very subtle indicator of unmatched arrogance and narcissism; an unaccomplished man who hid his records, promised to lower the oceans, and to bring the shattered fragments of post-partisanship to its finest melody in all of us.

Instead we got Greek columns, golf on Memorial Day and the first credit downgrade in our history. And that's just scratching the surface of American decline under Obama.

How did the young, the media, academics and the progressive elites miss the "Eat at Joe's" sign hanging over Obama's head? Near as I can figure, they're all as inexperienced as he is. When you make your living trafficking in beautiful ideas like politicians and pundits do, the last thing you worry about is testing your theories in practice. However, for the multitudes that work for a living, navigate stifling bureaucracies and hunt down criminals and terrorists, theories and ideas get tested daily.

Brooks is right, he is a sap. Anyone excited by the crease in a politician's pants leg deserves all the ridicule he can handle. At least he's man enough to admit it.

As far as Wehner's definition of a "first-rate thinker," let's just say there are millions of Americans that qualify ahead of Brooks and Douthat.

It's Raining Men

The dreaded DADT was repealed today and it didn't take long for the first gay navy LT to leap to the altar. Once the flood gates opened, you just figured everyone would want to be a macho man.

Blackfive had an unusual passive/aggressive take:
Yes, some of us (including me) didn't really care about the repeal of DADT, but it still doesn't mean you can't laugh at some of this stuff.
I still haven't been browbeaten enough to accept the progressive arc of history. Gay marriage doesn't build a stable society and ensure progeny. I refuse to accept the degradation of morale and military cohesion that accompanies this latest moral weakening and attack on the cultural foundations of the United States, and admit to lacking the enlightened sensitivities of our liberal elites, or for that matter, retired paratroopers.

And just wait awhile, laughing at gays and their antics will soon become a hate crime. That's just how it works. Call it the fruits of DADT repeal.

The day is not far off when we will face so many speech taboos that the only difference between the U.S. and Soviet Russia will be that of latitude and longitude.

That, and our listening devices will be much better. 

Obama and Syria: What Foreign Policy?

The propaganda arm of the Obama White House, otherwise known as the New York Times, has this little gem of news analysis by Helene Cooper on life after Bashar al-Assad:
The Obama administration is determined to avoid a repeat of the aftermath of the American invasion of Iraq. Though the United States did not stint in its effort to oust Saddam Hussein, many foreign policy experts now say that the undertaking came at the expense of detailed planning about how to manage Iraq’s warring factions after his removal.
You see, while still blaming Bush for Iraq, Cooper's point is that Obama is way too smart to allow the non-linear dynamics of a volatile Syria to go unmanaged. And to prove it, the president is meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey at the U.N. to smooth the way.

Erdogan is the same guy that's been hostile to the U.S. and its support of Israel of late, and has rapidly moved Turkey from its decades long secularism towards an Islamic state. Obama, by relying on another America hater to ensure our interests, is following the failed policies of his north Korea and Iran approaches where he assumes the sheer magic of his personality will make tyrants and despots forget where their real self-interests lie.

Not to worry. In Obama's mind, the fact that he had dialogue will equal success. Meanwhile, that sucking sound you hear will be American influence vacating the middle east.

If Obama was merely opining in his sophomoric way in some progressive foreign policy rag, that would be harmless. But what the President of the United States says has widespread, downstream effects that could spell danger for our citizens and allies. As with the outing of Seal Team Six after the bin Laden hit, our president seems to have precious little grasp of operational security:
While other countries have withdrawn their ambassadors from Damascus, Obama administration officials say they are leaving in place the American ambassador, Robert S. Ford, despite the risks, so he can maintain contact with opposition leaders and the leaders of the country’s myriad sects and religious groups.
After all, what could go wrong by telling a murderous dictator like Assad that U.S. representatives in Syria are openly coordinating his downfall and possible execution at the hands of the opposition.

And if the U.S. is "quietly" getting ready for a post Assad Syria, that must explain Obama months long inactivity and refusal to shape events after the Syrian uprisings began; just as Obama squandered the initial momentum of the Iranian revolt, blowing the chance to jump start badly needed political and social reforms.

The fact is Obama has no foreign policy or mechanisms in place to ensure American interests. I seriously doubt the president knows what American interests are. Meanwhile, instead of doing her job, the  secretary of state is whining that more women should be in politics. (I'm sure a costly, inefficient government program to ensure equal outcomes in political races is not far behind.) And the NYT, once a great paper, has sunk to cheerleading for a failed president and hope bringer.

Good luck, America, you're going to need it. 

September 19, 2011

A Tale of Two Presidents

Remember ole dumbo, President Bush? This was his setup to speak to schoolkids:

This was historian Michael Beschloss on the Don Imus Show on Barrack Obama's genius:
Even aside from the fact of electing the first African American President and whatever one’s partisan views this is a guy whose IQ is off the charts — I mean you cannot say that he is anything but a very serious and capable leader and — you know — You and I have talked about this for years …

Uh. I would say it’s probably - he’s probably the smartest guy ever to become President.
And so, here's the President Obama setup to speak to grade school kids:

All of which makes you wonder, who's dumber, our slow learner president or everyone's favorite hack socialist historian?

Today's Fav Bumper Sticker

Once again, don't mess with Texas, y'all.

Changing the Military Culture

Cdr Salamander has a great post on military leadership and the failure of our institutions to nurture and promote those that think differently.

That our heavily bureaucratic military needs drastic reform is an old argument from the periphery; in other words, not sanctioned by those in position to effect real change. As such, the cyclical calls for change come and go with merely incremental evolutionary movement.

There are many reasons for this: Our flag officers are victims of their own success. It's natural for those successfully climbing a hierarchy to believe in the infallibility of their judgment and intelligence. There is also a tendency for corporate group think among the already like minded, which naturally selects against risk, experimentation and controversy. Thus, institutions seldom self-reform. Change must come radically, and from the outside, or not at all.

Anyone in government would naturally shy away from a career path that embraces failure as a path to success, especially the U.S. military famous for its zero defect mentality. However, our senior leadership should look to the career of Steve Jobs for inspiration. The media got right that the Jobs we see before us today was forged by failure; only then did he emerge as one of the most influential entrepreneurs of our time.

That kind of latitude for action is mostly lacking in our armed forces. The great commanders of the 21st Century will manage complexity, uncertainty and the fluid battle-space by selecting and enabling the best junior leaders and pushing decision making to the periphery. And although this enlightened form of leadership has been around since Lao Tzu, tomorrow's officer corps will view the zero defect military of today as a dark time.

September 15, 2011

Proud to be an American

JFK's secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60's when DeGaulle decided to pull out of NATO. DeGaulle said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible. 

Rusk responded, "Does that include those who are buried here?"

DeGaulle did not respond.

Quotes of the Day

“Fathom the hypocrisy of a Government that will require every citizen to prove they are insured…but not everyone to prove they are a citizen!”

U.S. Govt Philosophy: "If it ain't broke, fix it until it is."
Bumper sticker seen on Yongsan Army Base, Seoul, Korea

September 14, 2011

Our Classy, Dignified President?

Staff Officer One-Liners

"At this Command, we have written in large, black letters: DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) on the back of our security badges." Maj (Central Command)

"'Leaning forward' is really just the first phase of 'falling on your face.'" Col (Marine Forces Europe)

"I am so far down the food chain that I've got plankton bites on my butt."

September 13, 2011

Today's Funny: Air Force Cloaking Device

Air Force General: "Mr. President, we've just invented an invisibility cloak for Air Force One."

Obama: "No Way!"

General: "That's right, sir. Will you be going along on its maiden flight?"

Obama: "Wouldn't miss it for the world."

General: "Have a good trip, sir."

The United States Air Force--Solving the Nation's Problems since 1947!

What is the First Lady Saying at the 9/11 Flag Ceremony?

We all fondly remember how Michelle Obama said she was never proud of her country until her husband became the democratic nominee for president:

This YouTube video is creating buzz on the internet. At the 9/11 flag ceremony in New York, the First Lady appears to whisper to the president, "All that for a flag." The president seems to agree. Judge for yourself:

Whatever she said, her sneer of contempt is unmistakable and has no place in a solemn ceremony honoring the 3,000 Americans who died in the most lethal attack ever in the U.S. Michelle Obama, like her husband, has cheapened and degraded the office of the presidency like none before them; even beyond that of the vile Bill Clinton.

One thing is near certain: Obama is going down like a power window. The only thing that could save his presidency is the near miracle of an economic recovery-of which Obama is ideologically and temperamentally unable to facilitate. 

America cannot afford four more years of these two ass-clowns. Get the brooms for 2012 and lets sweep this garbage back to where it belongs.

September 12, 2011

Tribal Wisdom of the Dakota Indians

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that, "When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount."

However, in government, education, and in corporate America, more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

1. Buying a stronger whip.

2. Changing riders.

3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.

4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.

5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.

6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.

7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.

9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse's performance.

10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.

11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.

12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

H/T Dave Sallee

Rumsfeld Cancels NYT Subscription

Former SecDef Donald Rumsfeld cancelled his subscription to the New York Times over Paul Krugman's rant about Republicans capitalizing on 9/11. On Rumsfeld's Twitter account:
"After reading Krugman’s repugnant piece on 9/11, I cancelled my subscription to the New York Times this AM."
Because of its blatant liberal bias, the NYT has been shedding subscribers for years now and its long term survival is questionable.

The only question I have for Rumsfeld is, what took so long?

September 10, 2011

Beginning of the end for Obama, Part II

Here's a useful graphic found on Roger Kimball's blog:

However, I disagree with Kimball on letting Obama loose on the taxpayer dime. Impeach him and strip him of his government pension at once. Not one more dime to this incompetent fraud who’s fluted away trillions in taxpayer wealth. We jail bank robbers for stealing fractions of what Obama’s blown.

September 8, 2011

Hollywood Squares Best One-Liners

Back in the seventies there was a great game show hosted by Peter Marshall called Hollywood Squares. I doubt the young folks will recognize any of the comedians on the panel, but for the older folks, these one-liners will bring back memories. The humor was always spontaneous and often hilarious...

15 Books Obama Could Write

Seems there's serious doubt that Obama wrote the best seller he's credited with. Jack Cashill has done excellent work exposing the fraud-in-chief and fingering unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers as the real author of Dreams From My Father. At a 2008 meeting in Fairfax, Virginia, Obama blurted out "I've written two books. I actually wrote them myself." Just as with the lady that "protests too much" in defending her virtue, one is likewise doubtful of Obama's claims.

Now that we've seen three years of Obama governance, here's fifteen books Obama could actually write:

September 7, 2011

Beginning of the end for Obama

Once you've lost the media hot air balloon that sent your candidacy soaring, there's only the spectacular crash and burn left. For Golf War veteran B. Hussein Obama, the world will likely end in fire; that is, fired from the presidency-a post he was ill-suited and unprepared for.

Renewing his monthly membership in the slow-learners club, Tom Friedman of the NYT was asked by CNN's Howard Kurtz if the media was duped by the Obama hype:
“Way too soon to tell that kind of thing, I think,” Friedman said. “I think if — look, what have I been calling for, you know the president to have — I think there is, we just so desperately needed a grand bargain that involves restructuring of debt, raising of taxes, cutting of spending and investing in the sources of our strengths as a country from everything from infrastructure to government-funded research to education. It’s so clear that’s what we need. My personal frustration with Obama has been that while he certainly tried that grand bargain for a little bit, it just kind of went away. Well, it didn’t on the work. He said [House Speaker John] Boehner backed out. I don’t know who backed out.”

September 4, 2011

South Carolina State Trooper Outtakes

1. "You know, stop lights don't come any redder than the one you just went through."

2. "Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch after you wear them a while.."

3. "If you take your hands off the car, I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document."

4. "If you run, you'll only go to jail tired."

5. "Can you run faster than 1200 feet per second? Because that's the speed of the bullet that'll be chasing you." (LOVE IT)

6. "You don't know how fast you were going? I guess that means I can write anything I want to on the ticket, huh?"

7. "Yes, sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think it will help. Oh, did I mention that I'm the shift supervisor?"

8. "Warning! You want a warning? O.K, I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you another ticket."

9. "The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?"

10. "Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy and corn dogs and step in monkey poop."

11. "Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven."

12. "In God we trust; all others we run through NCIC." (National Crime Information Center )

13. "Just how big were those 'two beers' you say you had?"

14. "No sir, we don't have quotas anymore. We used to, but now we're allowed to write as many tickets as we can."

15. "I'm glad to hear that the Chief (of Police) is a personal friend of yours. So you know someone who can post your bail."


16. "You didn't think we give pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't. Sign here.."

September 3, 2011

September 2, 2011

Majesty of our Nation

Sometimes, when I get tired of all the cowards and incompetents in Washington, I'll watch this Marine commercial. This speaks to a remnant who value nation and devotion to duty above self, and whose ethic is deaf to the culture of sloth and entitlement. 

Obama's Funeral Joke

Obama goes on a State visit to Israel.

While he is on a tour of Jerusalem, he has a fatal heart attack.

The undertakers tell the US diplomats: "You can have him shipped home for $1 million or you can bury him here in the Holy Land for $100."

The US diplomats go into a huddle and come back to the undertaker and tell him they still want Obama flown home.

The undertaker is puzzled and asks: "Why would you spend $1 million to get him home when it would be wonderful to be buried here in this religious country and you would only spend $100?"

One diplomat replied: "More than 2000 years ago a man died here, was buried here, and just 3 days later he rose from the dead.... We simply can't take that risk."

Buyer's Remorse

September 1, 2011

Worth a Thousand Words

Found this over at Diary of a Mad Conservative. Tells you all you need to know, doesn't it?

Godspeed, Gen Petraeus

General Petraeus retired from the Army after 37 years service to the nation. He's a good man and a competent commander and we wish him well as he heads the CIA. 

The Petraeus legacy will be debated for some time. One thing is certain: Always count on the mainstream media to get it wrong. Spencer Ackerman's hagiography is typical of the genre:
Petraeus’ time in command in Baghdad is surely his crucible. His most lasting legacy, however, wasn’t forged in the deserts and urban battlefields of Iraq, but the classrooms of Fort Leavenworth. During his time running the Combined Arms Center, one of the Army’s most important educational institutions, he instituted coursework in counterinsurgency for mid-career Army officers, most of whom were either Iraq and Afghanistan veterans or would soon be.
After the promotion system, Fort Leavenworth is the greatest impediment to Army creativity. It produces an unbroken line of linear thinking doctrine junkies who believe that if the army wanted them to have something, it would be issued to them. It's no surprise that COIN, written for the Iraq context, is a failure when applied to Afghanistan. The truth is that only after immersion in an operational context will effective tactics and techniques evolve. The counterinsurgency mindset occupies most army officers only because that's where the action is now. The next time the U.S. conducts conventional war, such as in Korea, COIN will once again be a backwater. As such, the Petraeus legacy will be short-lived.

The truth about Petraeus is more nuanced. He's competent, slightly less rigid than most generals and knows how to spin the media. However, any claims that he's transformational, are way off. He is also a patriot, and was there when Americans needed him.