What are they training for now?

April 15, 2014 by

Attorney General Eric Holder asks congress for $15 million dollars for active shooter training.

Seriously?

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. urged Congress on Tuesday to approve $15 million in funding for “active shooter” training for law enforcement officers in light of the recent shootings at Fort Hood and a Jewish community center in Kansas.

Law-Enforcement-Rifle-1What the hell is happening to us?  There not training for active shooters now?  Freaking amazing.  And with a straight face too.

I’m not against good training for Law Enforcement but isn’t this a core competency?  You know, why we have police. 

Baseball

April 14, 2014 by

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Saturday was a baseball day.  The family went to a skysox game here in Colorado Springs. As usual we only made it to the bottom of the forth inning. But hey, the weather was nice.  It was warm and a little overcast. That was nice since it snowed Sunday.

Marriage at age nine?

April 9, 2014 by

Why did we go to Iraq?  Well apparently to free them.  You know to free them to marry their girls off at age nine, to make marital rape legal and not allowing Muslim men to marry outside of Islam unless it’s just for sexual satisfaction. 

Scott Bixby of the Daily Beast reports.

Iraq wants to legalize child marriage.

In a bid to please the nation’s Shi’a Muslim majority ahead of parliamentary elections, Iraq’s Council of Ministers has drafted a law that would legalize marital rape, as well as grant men the authority to marry girls as young as age nine. The Jaafari Personal Status Law was approved by the Council of Ministers in February, and now awaits likely passage in the Iraqi parliament in the last days before the April 30 election.

It is unclear whether or not Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s prime minister, supports the bill. Maliki, who is standing for a third term as leader, “has never said that he is with the law or against it," according to his spokesman. "What we have done is democratic. We took this to be discussed then voted on. We didn’t object straight away.

Nice huh?

Fort Benning visit

April 6, 2014 by

 

In 1985 I attended the Basic Airborne course and the Ranger Indoctrination course at Fort Benning. I hadn’t been back since. That is until last week. Work took me to the home of the Infantry school and I had a chance to look around. The base if of course larger and has improved the roads considerably. Airborne school didn’t look noticeable different though. The buildings had some renovations done but the overall layout was the same. The was about all that was the same though. I didn’t recognize anything else. There is some major building taking place on Ft. Benning and the designs looked good.  I wish I would have taken a couple of pictures of the new buildings. 

The highlight of the trip was the Infantry Museum located just outside the Ft. Benning gate. It was a great museum covering the history of the US Infantry.  I highly recommend visiting the museum if your in the Columbus Georgia area.  I’ve attached a couple of photos.

250ft Tower Ft. Benning, GA

The 250 Ft Towers looked the same as they did many years ago.

Ft Benning Jump Tower

The Mock doors were fun to see.  While I didn’t’ catch the current class this day they were jumping out of these while I was there.

Ranger Memorial Ft. Benning (800x451)

The Ranger Memorial

Infantry Museum Ft. Benning (800x446)

Infantry Museum

Infantry museum entrance (450x800)

Entrance to the Museum

Hem those pants up

March 31, 2014 by

No, this isn’t a real important post but it’s one of those subjects that irritates me.

US-ATTACKS-AIRPORT SECURITYYou know the TSA uniform isn’t too bad.  But the one thing too many who put on a uniform neglect is to properly hem the pants.  Extra long pants look sloppy and unprofessional.  I’ve been traveling  a lot lately and I’ve seen a number of TSA agents who look and act very professional, but I’ve also seen those few that look terrible in their uniforms.  A poorly fitted uniform looks horrible.  It’s hard enough for a TSA agent, security guard or a police officer to garner any respect these days but a sharp uniform helps.  It says trust me I care about what I do. 

I’m not a uniform “Nazi”, but damn why wouldn’t you want to look your best?  Just saying….

Note: picture is of TSA uniforms worn properly although you can’t see the hem.  Smile

EPA, Russia, Mexico

March 19, 2014 by

EPA fake

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John Beale, the former EPA official who fooled his bosses into believing he worked for the CIA, was deeply involved in crafting costly environmental standards which are still having an impact today — though he came into the job with little, if any, environmental experience.

The details were included in a 67-page report from Republicans on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which claims the fraudster’s role should now throw those rules into question.

The report is the product of months of research into the case of Beale, a top official in the Office of Air and Radiation, who was sentenced to prison in December for defrauding the agency with his CIA lie. It details Beale’s role in crafting an aggressive regulatory approach which the report dubs the "EPA Playbook."

 

This may seem like a single incident but my experience with government civilians both civil service and contractor makes me believe this is more common than one might think. It’s not just at the highest levels although though the standards at that level seem more based on political productivity. The lower levels are just plain nepotism and cronyism. This produces many bad policies and dysfunctional areas of government. But how do you fix it? More regulations don’t seem to be the answer as the process to higher Government workers is already filled with pages of rules. Most of these rules, in the name of fairness, seem to rule out the competent and insert the something quite different.

Russia and Crimea:

Some of you might expect me to say a lot about this subject but the truth is all is falling into place just as expected. But never fear our President is on the job.

President Obama is picking Michigan State to win the NCAA men’s basketball championship over defending champion Louisville.

In what has become an annual March Madness tradition at the White House, Obama filled out a bracket in a segment broadcast on ESPN Wednesday.

Mexico:

Lately I’ve been reading a little on Mexico and the state of the drug/cartel wars. Check out Borderlandbeat if you want some real depressing news.

EPN, 14 Months: 23,640 Deaths

ZETA documented, only in January 2014, there were 1,425 intentional homicides related to organized crime, which include “executions”, “shootouts”, “homicide-attacks”, and those that are a product of vendettas by narcomenudistas (“stew” makers) who belong to different drug cartels or drug cells throughout the country.

But don’t worry folks there is absolutely no reason to fear any spill over into the US.

There’s a foreign policy?

March 3, 2014 by

President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy

This from the Washington Post’s editorial board. 

FOR FIVE YEARS, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality. It was a world in whichthe tide of war is receding” and the United States could, without much risk, radically reduce the size of its armed forces. Other leaders, in this vision, would behave rationally and in the interest of their people and the world. Invasions, brute force, great-power games and shifting alliances — these were things of the past.

I still thinks that’s a rosy outlook.  The idea that we have a foreign policy at the moment seems remote.  If we do have a policy I don’t think it’s in the interest of the US or western democracies. 

Photo Credit to BRANCO and the Conservativedailynews.com

From the Diplomad: Read the whole thing there.

Our "leaders" are simply not to be taken seriously on critical foreign policy issues. They have no overall strategic aim for our foreign policy; no clear idea where they want us to be in three, four, five years; simply put they don’t really care about foreign policy. They react to crises with bland words, and by wishing them away into the cornfield with the help of the compliant media. Whatever happened to the urgency of the Syrian crisis?

Oregon’s healthcare site signs up illegals

March 3, 2014 by

Nearly 4,000 applicants for a state program that provides undocumented immigrants with pregnancy services were instead enrolled in full Oregon Health Plan coverage, contrary to federal law, thanks to problems with the Cover Oregon health insurance exchange.

State officials say they discovered the problem several weeks ago and are correcting it.

What can you even say anymore?  Umm… go Ducks?

UKRAINE, Defense, Army Uniforms

March 1, 2014 by

Yes my friends the postings have been severely limited. I’ve been a rather busy lately. It’s a hell of a time to be busy too with all that’s going on. Certainly there are lots of topics to say a word or two about. So, as a method of catching up I’ll just post a little about a few current topics in one post. I hope to write a longer piece on the drug war in Mexico soon.

Ukraine:

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As Russian troops move into Ukraine the President issued a harshly worded statement. ‘there will be costs’. Whew, glad he got out in front of this crises. I’m sure Putin said to his advisors, “wow, I didn’t see that coming”. “We better back off and quickly”.

And that Romney fella is looking smarter and smarter as this administration goes along.

 "This is to Russia," Romney said. "This is without question our number one geopolitical foe.

"They fight every cause for the world’s worst actors. The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed," he said.

Defense:

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In a related topic the Defense Secretary announces proposed defense cuts which include a major drawing down of the military. This also include pay and benefits reductions. These proposed cuts would reduce the military’s size and capabilities considerably. The cuts of course are in response to years of war. But doesn’t the leaving Afghanistan and Iraq already save us money? If done intelligently, shouldn’t a drawdown be done slowly and with an eye on events still ongoing around the world. Does this announcement seem like it’s timed rather poorly? Or is it just politics as usual before budget talks?

Army Uniforms:

But don’t fret my friends the pentagon will move forward on redesigning the army’s uniforms and equipment again. This time they are looking at the Army using the Marine’s design although there will still be another year at least of “Rigorous” testing. Because it take a long time to put four or five guys in different camouflage and send them into the woods to see which one works better. There will be charts and graphs and formulas which will be much better than the previous tests conducted. This will only costs a few million or is it billions in the end and really that’s not much for cools ass uniforms and all the equipment pattern changes. Never mind the drawdown. There must be priorities and lord knows we haven’t changed uniforms enough yet. Now don’t get me wrong. The ACUs must go. They were the worst camouflage pattern ever. What a waste.

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The state of Afghanistan after years of WAR?

February 17, 2014 by

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Picture taken during my first Deployment in 2002-2003

As we prepare to depart Afghanistan after 13 years of WAR what has been accomplished? The initial foray into Afghanistan was primarily to oust the Taliban who had been harboring Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Within just a few weeks US SOF and Intelligence assets along with the Northern Alliance pushed the Taliban from Afghanistan into Pakistan. Bin Laden was purported to have been in the Tora Bora region then slipped through the hands of US and ally forces. Hamid Karzai was then instated and later elected to the Afghan Presidency. In the next few years it was relatively quiet. The process to build the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police began.

The Taliban safe in the borders of Pakistan our supposed allies, began to build their insurgency. Aided by a corrupt Afghan Government which did more to line their own pockets than build a productive country the Taliban began to re-emerge. The exact timeline is difficult to say as many would be insurgents just kept quiet for a while biding their time. Plus it’s hard to tell insurgent Taliban from run of the mill warlords and their relatives.

President Obama then ran for election on the idea the Iraq was the wrong war and Afghanistan was the good war. A surge was sent. To what end it’s hard to say since at the same time the same administration also set a timeline for withdrawal. Thus effectively muting the surge and we lost many lives and limbs for a very unclear message.

Now Karzai openly opposes our efforts by not signing an agreement to maintain a small number of US/ISAF forces to continue training the ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces) and maintaining an on the ground intelligence capability. Karzai brags of releasing known Taliban and Al Qaeda prisoners while telling the world it’s none of the US’s business what the Afghanistan government does. He has in recent years continually blamed the US as we have worked side by side with Afghan forces for deaths as the results of these operations. All the while we’ve been funding this very same administration and country.

So, after 13 years of war we find a country that has increased its ANSF(Afghan National Security Forces) forces to over 300,000 thousand strong yet it’s still unable to maintain itself. I don’t want to downplay the huge change in the ANA which has improved greatly. However, we have an ally that we don’t trust nor does it trust us. A government listed as one of if not the most corrupt in the world. All done right under our noses as we were unwilling to lead but rather be led. The region is less stable than it was in 2003 and chaos reigns nearby. Pakistan is nearly and all out enemy now, Iran is on the march toward nuclear weapons, Syria and Libya all are leaning toward the Islamist. I hold out hope for Egypt although had we promoted liberty rather than appease the Muslim Brotherhood they may have avoided much violence. Democracy for the sake of Democracy isn’t the same as liberty.

President Obama seems to wish a complete withdrawal and just end this situation regardless of the consequences to the region.

This is only one sign of our complete loss of any coherent foreign policy. A policy guided by either incompetence or indifference. The United States right now seems unable to believe in itself or it’s ideals. So as the slogan goes “lead or get the hell out of the way”, we seem to be taking the get the hell out of the way path. Once again leaving others to pay the price for our half-hearted measures and many veterans wondering what was the point.

Yes Osama is now dead, well we are told anyway, but are we safer?


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