It’s About Freaking Time!!

Hackworth: Maybe This Time We’ll Get It Right

The plastic, no-account M-16 rabbit shooter that our Army warriors have painfully packed since early in the Vietnam War might at long last be on its way out.

The hot contender currently being tested by the Army to replace these lemons is the XM-8, a revolutionary smart-weapon being put through its paces by professionals who, so far, give it two thumbs up. It’s a different kind of rifle, lighter and less expensive, yet it offers additional features and performance not available in any other assault rifle in the world.

The M-16 has been a POS since it’s inception. Somebody, probably connected to the Johnson administration, got very rich off of it, but it killed a lot of the wrong people.

I hope this is not another “improvement” that proves to be worse

No Job After FOUR Years?

OregonLive.com – NewsFlash

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Rosaura Navarro picked strawberries in the fields near Watsonville until she wrenched her back and leg while lifting the baskets of fruit four years ago.

Back injuries are notoriously hard to diagnose, and Navarro says doctors could not pinpoint the source of her pain. Nevertheless, the 30-year-old woman has been getting $110 a week in workers’ comp instead of the $420 she made picking crops.

I know they have retraining aid available. Are you telling me that in four years she has not managed to find something she can do?

Schwarzenegger wants to require doctors to use “objective medical findings” to determine if an employee has a work-related injury. Injuries would have to be “reproducible, measurable or observable.” He also wants to require employees to show that a cumulative injury — one that develops over time — was substantially caused by work.

What? Do you mean Doctors will have to actually make a diagnosis that they can back up with facts? And limiting Workmans Comp claims to injuries actually caused by work?

How terribly unfair.

George Soros’s Campaign Upset At Exposure

GOP Accuses Kerry of Using Soft Money

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush’s campaign and the GOP on Wednesday accused the campaign of Democrat John Kerry of illegally coordinating political ads and get-out-the-vote activities with anti-Bush groups and donors including billionaire George Soros.

Why are the the Democrats so upset?

It seems to me that the Democrats are constantly accusing Bush of selling out to this industry or that one. In fact, it seems to be a major part of their campaign rhetoric.

But the Republicans are not allowed to do that?

The Democrats are making the same mistake as al-Qaida. They are both shocked and dismayed that their targets fight back.

If It Can’t Be Used Against Bush, It’s Not News.

Walking Out on the Job

TODAY the New York Times expressed its opinion about Richard Clarke and the 9/11 commission. In an editorial this morning, the paper hunkered down to the tough job of assigning blame for underestimating the threat of terrorism. It will be little surprise in whose direction the gray finger points.

“There are still plenty of questions to be answered about what happened, particularly about the apparent lack of urgency in the Bush administration’s antiterrorism efforts before 9/11,” the paper declares. The Times goes on to note that “there was at least no question about the Clinton administration’s commitment to combat terrorism .

PERHAPS THIS IS SO. But a story from the November / December 2001 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review suggests that the New York Times is at least as guilty of the charge they level against the Bush administration.

In his remarkable report, Harold Evans tells of the Blue Ribbon committee chaired by Gary Hart and Warren Rudman. The United States Commission on National Security was created in a joint effort by President Clinton and Newt Gingrich. In its first public statement in September 1999, the committee warned that “Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers.”

The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal did not carry a line, either of the report or the press conference. Boyd told me: “I won’t ever forget that day in Senate Room 207.” He watched in disbelief as the Times reporter left before the presentation was over, saying it was not much of a story.

. . . the commissioners were particularly bewildered by the blackout at the New York Times; they pitched an op-ed article signed by Hart and Rudman in the hope that it would induce the Times to take a proper look at the commission’s work. The article was rejected.

Stupid Berkeley Tricks.

School District Fails to Protect Bullying Victim at MLK

No one denies that Dominique Reed is getting bullied. The question is, why is she getting punished for it?

After “coming into her own” in elementary school, Reed has been living a nightmare in her first year at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. In her special education classes, bigger and older students quietly taunt her, in the hallways they push her and punch her, in the playground they steal her hearing aid and throw it as far as they can.

After months of daily abuse, school officials finally took action: They confined Reed to a classroom during recess for her own safety.

Three times Reed tried to show her tormentors just how tough she was. Acting against the advice of the school, she fought back. Each time she was suspended along with the attacker.

“There’s nothing I can do,” she said. “If I tell, nothing happens, and every time I defend myself I get suspended.”

School officials offer several different excuses. One that they cannot do anything about the bully because he is a special education student and another blames the emphasis on test scores.

Others say that the school is “good at implementing preventative programs and anti-bullying curriculum” but poor at actually dealing with the abuse.

Another pointed out that they would be sending home pamphlets to parents telling them what to do and who to contact about the problems.

Just what the kids need, a pamphlet.

Link from Best of the Web

Geez, Another One.

Albany man killed in crash on Hwy 20

I just changed to swing shift (2PM-10PM) and took today off so I would have missed this.

This guy is the sixth traffic fatality in Linn County in a little over a week. We had the three young people who died in a crash near Sweet Home last weekend, the elderly man that pulled out in front of another car on Hwy 34, the elderly lady killed in another crash on Hwy 34 near Lebanon and now this one on Hwy 20. I was only on duty for the second one.

I’ve been dispatching for fourteen years and I cannot remember any time when we have had this many fatal crashes in such a short time. What makes it more incredible is that all of these crashes occured during good weather, though it did rain this morning and that might have had some effect on the one today.

How Is This Supposed To Work?

A Dollop of Deeper American Values (washingtonpost.com)

By Joseph S. Nye Jr.

The writer is dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the author of “Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics.”

After the war in Iraq, I spoke about soft power to a conference co-sponsored by the Army. One of the speakers was Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. When someone in the audience asked Rumsfeld for his opinion on soft power, he replied, “I don’t know what it means.” That is part of our problem. Some of our leaders don’t understand the importance of soft power in our post-Sept. 11 world.

Soft power is the ability to get what we want by attracting others rather than by threatening or paying them.It is based on our culture, our political ideals and our policies.

I fail to see how this “soft power” is going to work for us in the Muslim world. It may have escaped the notice of Mr. Nye, but we are being attacked by Islamic Extremists. The things that they find most offensive are our culture, our political ideals and our policies.

How is trumpeting those through the Middle East, no matter how much money we spend, going to help up with the Islamists?

Also, it may have escaped Mr. Nye’s notice, but Donald Rumsfeld is the Secretary of Defense. His entire function is “hard power” and the use of it.

I will not comment on Mr. Nye’s affiliation with the Kennedy School of Government other than to note that he shares this affiliation with Bush critic Dick Clarke and Kerry campaign adviser Rand Beers.

Trying To Understand The Argument.

Thomas Oliphant in a column in the Boston Globe,Understanding the real costs of Iraq war takes the position that the Iraq war was a diversion from the real job of fighting the war on terror.

I have read many such columns by various authors and try as I might, I just cannot follow the reasoning.

[T]he issue of Iraq is central to a substantive understanding of Clarke’s criticism of Bush’s war on terror that followed the 9/11 assaults. I know it is more fun to play the politics of all this, but the fact that the country’s security is involved, and this influences the tone of the public discussions.

After deciding that although it would be fun to play politics with Clarke’s testimony, it would not serve the country well. He proceeds to play politics with the testimony.

And I’m supposed to taking him seriously?

According to experts in and out of government, the reason is that Al Qaeda and terrorism have changed, and we have not kept up with the changes. The most dramatic evidence was the hideous attacks on the Madrid commuter train this month — showing the ability of terrorists with roots outside Spain to plan, finance, and carry out an attack on a vulnerable target that was timed virtually on the eve of national elections for maximum impact.

Just what is it that we were supposed to do that could not be done because of Iraq?

From what I understand, the Madrid bombings were carried out primarily by Moroccans. Although they are loosely affiliated with al-Qaida, they are an autonomous group that performed the act with minimal contact with al-Qaida leadership.

What action could have been taken by the Bush administration that would have allowed them to prevent this attack?

His second point is that the decision to invade Iraq and the way we did it diverted resources and top-level attention from the struggle with terrorism. The famous example is the elite Special Forces unit, complete with Arabic speakers and other highly specialized people, that was taken out of Afghanistan in 2002 and given new missions in Iraq; it has only just recently been transferred back to Afghanistan. That is the tip of a much larger iceberg.

So am I to understand that the transfer of an SF unit (how big a unit? A Team, several teams, a company?) out of Afghanistan enabled al-Qaida to plan the bombing in Spain?

And how exactly were these units whose presence in Iraq so inflames the Arab street, to take any action against al-Qaida, without causing the same rage?

As the recent, shocking Pew Center survey of public opinion in Arab countries showed, support for terrorism is overwhelming, even in countries nominally allied with US policies, such as Tunisia and Morocco. The enormous opportunity that existed 30 months ago because of the widespread revulsion at the attacks in New York and here to undermine terrorism’s appeal has been largely lost. Instead the appeal has been inflamed.

I seem to remember news stories of great celebrations throughout the Muslim world after 9/11. The supposed sympathy for us following 9/11 proved to be lip service. The sympathy disappeared as soon as we started to take action. There was an outcry against the U.S. as soon as we went into Afghanistan. Europeans played it cagier, invoking the NATO charter and interpreting it to mean that they had some kind of veto power over our actions. France was especially conflicted and although they sent a smattering of troops, decided that they would pick and choose which missions they would take. Not exactly support.

The point is that if al-Qaida has “morphed” into something different, we have to fight that. The troops used in Iraq are not the same type of troops used in Afghanistan. And if the terrorists have moved to small cells in different countries, what good is the 1st Marine Division for combating that? How would using even covert forces to round up terrorists spread throughout the Middle East not piss off the Arabs?

Mr. Oliphant ought to know that an M4 is out of place in the kitchen and a chef’s knife is useless in a fire fight. Quit comparing apples and oranges, and quit using 9/11 to play politics.