Open Thread

Well, Matt and I decided to write another book. Started working on it just yesterday and we hope to publish right around the 1st of November, 2019. Two guesses what the overall subject will be. Matt is actually doing double-duty as he’s also working a solo political book project. Meanwhile, I keep working on the third draft of the novel; which I think is getting to be a splendid story.

Bill Maher does the right thing: defend Alex Jones’ free speech rights. Most people on the left are simple partisans…but a few of them understand that unless all are free, none are free. Maher gets it.

Here’s a real problem:

Here’s the arithmetic: one in three potential recruits are disqualified from service because they’re overweight, one in four cannot meet minimal educational standards (a high school diploma or GED equivalent), and one in 10 have a criminal history. In plain terms, about 71 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds (the military’s target pool of potential recruits) are disqualified from the minute they enter a recruiting station: that’s 24 million out of 34 million Americans. The good news is that while the military takes pride in attracting those who are fit, educated, law abiding, and drug-free, they’re having difficulty finding them—manifestly because fewer of them actually exist.

Adding to the failure of many to meet requirements is the fact that in our now-booming economy, the military has less appeal to young men starting out in life.

But I’m not in a mood to despair over this. The overweight thing can be fixed, of course – and, in fact, 8 to 10 weeks of basic training would help just about anyone trim down to fighting weight. I’m also not too worried about the kids not having a high school diploma because having one doesn’t actually indicate being educated. The criminal history thing is a problem, but it is also not a 100% problem: in fact, a stint in the ranks might just be what the doctor ordered for a troubled youth who still hasn’t gone down the road to doing something truly horrible. We don’t want to lower standards, but I think that a revision of standards will allow us to get what we want…out of a nation of 317 million people with more than four million men reaching military age annually, we should be able to find the people to fill the services.

As long time readers know, I’m not in favor of conscription – not even in war time. If a nation can’t get volunteers to defend itself, then it isn’t worth defending. Revise the standards on weight to “what can a strict regime do for this kid’s weight in two months?”. Perhaps even start a pre-boot camp for the hefty kids: you can join if you drop X pounds by your induction date. Revise the high school diploma to a test to see if the kid can read, write and do basic sums. If he can, I don’t care if he failed to finish the third grade. Revise the criminal history thing to “as long as you weren’t convicted of a felony or ever charged with rape or murder”, you can join. Revise the drug use to “don’t care if you were high when you signed up, don’t do any more now that you’re in”. And then just train the hell out of the kids – push them, hard. All branches – everyone runs for miles, does lots and lots of pushups, learns how to use a rifle, how to fight hand to hand. Everyone, that is, becomes a warrior…or, they drop out of training and go home. No one is forced to stay: quit whenever you want. After they become lean, mean fighting machines, then they can learn their actual job in the military (be it remaining a lean, mean fighting machine in a Marine infantry battalion, or loading up missiles on the deck of a carrier. eg). And then keep the standards high – everyone has to requalify in physical fitness on a periodic basis…anyone who can’t cut the mustard: out. Do all this, and I think we’ll get just what we need.

The whole #MeToo thing ended just as soon as a senior Democrat got caught up in it during an election year. Always remember: Democrats don’t give a damn about people being harmed…all they care about is whether they can use something against a Republican.

As we’ve said for years, take all polls with a grain of salt – but there’s a poll out there saying Trump is more trusted than the Democrats. Here’s what I’ve been saying of late: if the MSM Narrative about Trump were true, CNN would be the highest rated cable news outfit.

Cutting Military Benefits

I’m posting this from a former ship mate of mine – we served together on board the USS Conolly way back when.  Joe became a lifer dog, of course, while I got out after four years – but that just puts him in an even better position to understand these things. 

Sorry if this offends anyone but I feel I need to post it.

Mr. President and US Senate,

I just want to say, Thank you , and You are welcome for the service of my self and my brothers in arms, who sacrificed 20+ years of our lives, enduring years of deployments out of CONUS assignments, 24+ hour days in conditions most Americans would consider not fit for an animal to work in, endless hours of waiting for the next order to get underway or move out, the letters from our families that state they miss us, don’t want to worry us, but we are not sure if we can make the rent this month or the light bill, least of all the grocery bill. Thank you.
We left our families on a moments notice to engage an enemy, right a wrong, supply disaster relief, chase an unseen enemy for months on end during the cold war, to protect embassy’s against people who hate us, but need us there to make sure the relief money keeps rolling in from the US, and keep the Sea lanes open, air space free, and our shore lines protected from those that would want to cause us harm. We did it because we love this country.
We did it for you and for our fellow Americans because we felt it was a our duty to give back to this great country for all that was given to us. All we asked for was a paycheck (and that was not much: most of us qualified for food stamps and public housing, but we were to proud to apply for it, and actually at times forbidden to apply, so as not to embarrass the US Government with the fact we were so poorly paid), and for the vision of the retirement we were promised, when we finished.
Now the comments coming from Washington are that we have to give it away because we really don’t need it, if we are of working age.
Pleased can you explain to me why you let welfare run rampant with fraud and do nothing, why you let SSDI run rampant with fraud and do nothing, why you let Medicare and Medicaid run rampant with fraud and do nothing. Why are you giving cell phones and calling plans away for nothing, public housing availability without drug testing, and the list goes on and on.  Yet when it comes to the Military who daily put, and are to this very second, place or have placed their lives on the line.  Please Sirs, let me know why, you feel it is ok to take from us, to cut back on what we were promised, because you consider it an “entitlement”, yet other entitlements are off limits.
To the citizens of this country, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity o serve and defend this great country. To the US Government thank you showing your gratitude for all that we did for you, time and time again. By stating it is my duty to give back so that others may take what they did not earn, and in a lot of cases do not want to earn.

I love this country and what it stands for, I will defend it to my death, gladly and without hesitation, all over again if asked.

God Bless America and those that have defended and those that continue to do so.

Leo P Leonard Jr. RMCS(SW) USN Retired
Richard W. Schuerch Jr. BTC USN Disabled Vet
Joseph J. LaPenna Jr. OSCS(SW) USN Retired

A Hero Recognized

From a White House press release:

On May 16, President Barack Obama will award Specialist Leslie H. Sabo, Jr., U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.

Specialist Sabo will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic actions in combat on May 10, 1970, while serving as a rifleman in Company D, 3d Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division in Se San, Cambodia.

On that day, when he and his platoon were ambushed by a large enemy force, Specialist Sabo immediately charged the enemy position, killing several enemy soldiers.  He then assaulted an enemy flanking force, successfully drawing their fire away from friendly soldiers and ultimately forcing the enemy to retreat.  While securing a re-supply of ammunition, an enemy grenade landed nearby.  Specialist Sabo picked it up, threw it, and shielded a wounded comrade with his own body – absorbing the brunt of the blast and saving his comrade’s life.  Although wounded by the grenade blast, he continued to charge the enemy’s bunker.  After receiving several serious wounds from automatic weapons fire, he crawled towards the enemy emplacement and, when in position, threw a grenade into the bunker.  The resulting explosion silenced the enemy fire, but also ended Specialist Sabo’s life.  His indomitable courage and complete disregard for his own safety saved the lives of many of his platoon members.

Specialist Sabo’s widow, Rose Mary Sabo-Brown and his brother, George Sabo, will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service and sacrifice.

We are a nation as long as we can find men like Sabo among us.

The Enemy Strikes Hard in Afghanistan

From the AP:

A military helicopter was shot down in eastern Afghanistan, killing 31 U.S. special operation troops, most of them from the elite Navy SEALs unit that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, along with seven Afghan commandos. It was the deadliest single incident for American forces in the decade-long war.

The Taliban claimed they downed the helicopter with rocket fire while it was taking part in a raid on a house where insurgents were gathered in the province of Wardak late Friday. It said wreckage of the craft was strewn at the scene. A senior U.S. administration official in Washington said the craft was apparently shot down by insurgents. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the crash is still being investigated…

Hopefully the reaction will be to go very hard after the Taliban unit responsible for this…we dare not let them think they have scored a victory; make them pay a price all out of proportion to our losses.

This is a good time to remind ourselves that while we sit fat, dumb and happy, young men and women are still laying it all on the line for us.  What is our budget debate or debt downgrade or the 2012 election compared to what the armed forces are doing, day after day, with little thanks or note from us?  We have allowed ourselves to be too distracted … and I hope President Obama gets a grip on the Afghan campaign, and brings it back to the forefront of public consciousness.  It is time to win this campaign and then come home…whatever it takes, do it, and let’s have done with these savages in the Taliban.