Sunday, November 30, 2008

Team Obama

The possible strategy behind the picks.

Finally, we have unity between conservatives and progressives. Unfortunately it is a unity based either in stupidity or deceitfulness.

Both sides are tripping all over themselves to criticize Obama's picks for his cabinet and advisers. Progressives in particular seem to be livid that moderates figure so prominently and conservatives, who want change less than they want a salt filled straw in the eye, are falling all over themselves pointing out that Obama's picks seem to be at odds with his campaign mantra of "change". One side is being incredibly shortsighted and the other is being blatantly disingenuous. Both are being patently ridiculous.

Barack Obama will face challenges upon taking the oath like no president in recent times has seen and possibly, no president ever. I certainly have no contact with or special insight to the Obama mindset but, it is obvious what he is doing. Given the current economic crisis and the wars that have so far been idiotically prosecuted, team Obama will have to hit the ground running. Among the things he wants to avoid are contentious and drawn out confirmation hearings. He also simply does not have the time to wait for an entire crew of fresh minded Washington outsiders to learn the whos, whys, and hows of the Washington system. It is almost an impossibility that many of today's picks will not start to need to spend more time with their families in two years or whenever things start to get better. I fully expect them to be replaced with those who would be considered outsiders today. They will be working for current picks and/or will have been apprised of their position on the list and will have been given study materials plus, they will not all start at once. It would be irresponsible, even if it were possible, to institute al the desired change at once. It must be instituted over time.

However, all of that is pretty much secondary. There is an old saying that "the fish stinks from the head". The Clinton appointees will not do as they did under Bill Clinton. They will have the knowledge and experience but they will have a leader with a a different agenda. What seems to be forgotten is that Bush did not hire stupid people to work for him. He hired smart people(of perhaps questionable moral character) and he led them to do stupid things. The fish stinks from the head. Anyone who doubts that Barack Obama could take the exact same crew who helped bush screw the nation and achieve significantly different and positive results is simply not paying attention.

So what say we give Obama a chance to lead. What say we withhold judgment until we have some evidence. It may be that he can't fix this but then, it may be that no one or group can fix this. For sure his chances will not be improved by building his team entirely out of rookies.


cross posted at

Saturday, November 22, 2008

45 Years

Where were you, 45 years ago, when you heard the “news?” This was the first really big dose of reality in my life. I had been in the Navy over five years, was in Washington, D.C. on 20 Jan 1961 when John Kennedy was inaugurated and married with one child.

But I was not prepared for the news that came over the TV while I was eating lunch at the Acey-Duecy Club at the Naval Training Center on Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. The assassination of the President of the United States was a foreign concept. It was not in realm of the possible for me.

So, at 1215 22 Nov 1963, my world changed (as did a lot of other people’s worlds.)

Where were you ? ?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

All Gave Some...Some Gave All

This post is crossposted at deuddersun says... and is the opinion of deuddersun. It is in no way meant to reflect the position of the American Patriot Institute or it's members. I encourage other members to cross post their own tributes here as well. - d.

(I am once again re-posting this Tribute...because I just can't say it any better...)
This is a post from Veteran's Day last year. I have reposted it, with some modifications, because I think it says it all. While the video and song below relate to a particularly bloody battle fought by the United States Army's 173rd Airborne, the message relates to all who have given their lives in service to the United States of America, whether it be 1945, 1965 or 5 minutes ago on a debris littered street in Baghdad.

Today I would like to put politics aside and honor the Warriors.

The Sentinels Creed

My dedication to this sacred duty is total and wholehearted.
In the responsibility bestowed on me never will I falter.
And with dignity and perseverance my standard will remain perfection.
Through the years of diligence and praise and the discomfort of the elements,
I will walk my tour in humble reverence to the best of my ability.
It is he who commands the respect I protect.
His bravery that made us so proud.
Surrounded by well meaning crowds by day alone in the thoughtful peace of night,
this soldier will in honored glory rest under my eternal vigilance.

Poster courtesy United States Army. Image and Sentinels Creed courtesy Arlington National Cemetery

This is for Jerry Maguire.

Mag's First love...

Who, only six weeks in country

Was shot in the head

While walking point.

God Bless You


Today we'll visit the wall

here in Philly

and drink a beer with you.

Gerald Maguire

United States Army

Once, Always. Forever


For My Own...

Photo courtesy of Arlington National Cemetery

While the weapons may have changed over time, one thing remains the same, the Marine who wields it.

The Final Inspection

The Marine stood and faced his God

Which must always come to pass.

He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as brightly as his brass.

Step forward now, oh, Devil-Dog,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?

The Jarhead squared his shoulders... said,

"No, Lord, I guess I ain't,

'cause those of us who carry guns

Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

'cause the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep...

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills just got too steep,

And I never passed a cry for help,

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here,

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fear.

"If you've a place for me here, Lord,

It needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

So if you don't, I'll understand."

A silence fell all 'round the throne

Where Saints had often trod,

As the Marine awaited quietly,

The judgment of his God.

Step forward now, My Fine Marine,

You've borne your burdens well,

Walk your post on Heaven's streets,

You've served your time in Hell.

Sleep in Peace, Brothers.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Need Some Help

My co-blogger, Kathy, at Liberty Street has asked me a question about U.S. Army unit hierarchy. I cannot answer her. Can anyone here shine some light on this ? ?

"I've just begun reading David Halberstam's book on the Korean War, and in the front matter of the book he has a listing of military terminology, of military units, from largest to smallest: Army, Corps, Division, Regiment, Battalion, Company, Platoon, and Squad. He says:

An Army is comprised of 2 or more Corps and is normally commanded by a full General.

A Corps is comprised of 2 or more Divisions and is normally commanded by a Lieutenant General.

A Division is comprised of 3 Regiments and is commanded by a Major General.

A Regiment is comprised of 3 Battalions and is commanded by a Colonel.

A Battalion is comprised of 4 or more Companies and is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel.

A Company is comprised of 4 Platoons and is commanded by a Captain.

A Platoon is comprised of 4 Squads and is commanded by a Lieutenant.

A Squad has 10 or more soldiers in it and is commanded by a Staff Sergeant.

Does the above accord with your experience of military hierarchy?"

Friday, November 7, 2008

Another Tragedy

This story, as much of a huge tragedy as it is, is difficult to know where to begin writing about. The end of the story reflects my initial thoughts.

Pietrzak's mother said she can't understand how Marines could have committed such a crime.

"Don't the Marines screen out people like this?" she said. "Didn't they know they had murderers under their roof?"

I was a Navy recruiter for three years. Only a recruiter or ex-recruiter can understand the extreme pressure that is applied to find "warm bodies."

The up-front cause of this tragedy may have a strong racial component, although I read that two of the accused are white and two are African-American, or maybe not. But I believe the underlying cause will be shown to be the recruitment of people that have no business being in the U.S. military and are only there because the military is scraping the bottom of the barrel.