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March 2006

Immigration & Turbulence

Uncle Jimbo has raised the flag of the immigration debate.  Since BlackFive suggested I might cross-post things while he was on vacation, for your reading pleasure, I'm going to put a post I wrote for Grim's Hall in the extended entry. 

It treats these questions:

*  When we think about immigration in America, we think about the historic immigration from Ireland and Germany.  American education normally suggests that opposition to such immigration was simple fear, or even racism.  But what conditions were the opponents of immigration responding to with the cartoons and speeches we all encountered in social studies class?  How bad did the turmoil sparked by that immigration really get?

*  Can immigration really threaten an established culture? 

*  What is to be done, in the particular case of Mexico?  What are the problems facing us, and what solutions are available?

It's a survey of the topic, but may offer you a perspective or two you haven't encountered before.  If you like, it's in the extended entry.

Continue reading "Immigration & Turbulence" »

The mythical power of protest marches

When was the last time the right got all up in arms and flooded the streets with chanting protesters? I mean beside the 4th of July, seriously, why is this such a staple of the left?

I think it has a lot to do with the civil rights movement and it's importance to our society. This was a tremendous wrong and in large part it was the same folks who now rhyme poorly about blood for oil, who righted it. They did a fair amount of marching in support of this goal, but this was a truly universal and unquestioned wrong, and even those who tried to maintain the reactionary, racist status quo were marginalized. But it was the horrifying barbarity of their beliefs that sunk them, not the mellifluous musicality of the chanting marchers. The strains of "We shall overcome" resonated with both the protesters and the rest of America because the message reminded us that all men are created equal.

The problem now is that the left marches mostly about issues that the rest of America doesn't agree with them about, or certainly that there is no consensus on. They still recall the glory days where a real wrong was righted and since the issues today feel as important and righteous to them, they assume the rest of us take them seriously. They figure if they are committed enough to hit the streets their fervor will infuse the rest of us and we will join them. But this isn't the civil rights movement, this is national security or border security, or illegal immigration.

Continue reading "The mythical power of protest marches" »

Some Thoughts On A Marine

There are a number of things going on in my life right now, some of which have prevented me from posting or commenting as I would like. One of them in particular, along with this discussion sparked by Army Wife Toddler Mom, has helped bring back some memories of a Marine -- my Dad.

I will keep it short today, for to tell his full story is a thing for a book. What I will share is just a bit of his time in the Marines.

Continue reading "Some Thoughts On A Marine" »

Isn't it illegal to be an illegal alien?

It's fun to see that my Cap Times editorial board is even more petty than I am when making a partisan attack. Their editorial denouncing Rep. Sensenbrenner is a case in point.

Editorial: Sensenbrenner's crude language
A Cap Times editorial

When I read the Cap Times editorial bit, I hear the Saturday TV Funhouse theme from SNL.

We did not expect U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner to change his anti-immigrant position simply because tens of thousands of Wisconsinites rallied in Milwaukee this week to call for humane and responsible reforms to current immigration policies. But the Menomonee Falls Republican's cavalier dismissal of the massive demonstration as an "illegal alien rally" was as irresponsible as it was inaccurate.

First I will grant that it was a significant number of people, but if it wasn't an illegal alien rally what was it? A rally in support of illegal aliens? I see a difference with no significance. If you enjoy my whacking of the folks who employ me and host my blog here it be.

Soldiers' Angels Needs your Help

Received this call for help from Soldiers' Angels.  Since I'm working from a Dial-Up connection on vacation, I'll paste the whole email:

I hope this email finds you doing well. It has been a while since we chatted. Thank you for everything you do everyday to advance the cause of supporting our brave heroes.

I am emailing you today because we need your assistance. We received an urgent request from one of our brave medics asking for help. It seems that they have 4 ambulances that have no armor at all and well – you can understand why this is not a good thing in that region. Of the four, only two ambulances go out of the green zone at a time, so he has requested we send 12 blankets to provide some protection in each emergency vehicle. Here is the note from this hero:

I have 4 ambulances but I only use 2 to go out of the green zone. Based on this I can use 4 seat blankets, 4 floor blankets and 4  blankets I will use in the patient compartment for medics or casualties riding there. These items will give me 2 ambulances with some protection. I was told today that our supply system ordered 4 armor doors(for 2 ambulances) for the front compartment. This is great news. I understand my request can get expensive but me and my soldiers will appreciate any help. Thanks a lot and God Bless!

We are working hard to get these armored blankets out right away. However, the cost for each blanket is $935 which includes shipping and insurance. We need your help to get these blankets to our heroes so that they will have an added layer of protection as they go out to rescue their wounded friends – our wounded heroes.

We are asking for assistance to help us meet this urgent request. If you are able, please send donations in one of the following ways:

To donate via PayPal, please send your donations to [email protected]

· To donate via check or money order, please send your donation made payable to Soldiers’ Angels to:
Soldiers’ Angels
Armor Up Project
1150 North Loop 1604 West
Suite 108-493
San Antonio, TX  78248

· To donate via Credit Card, please call us at (615) 676-0239 and leave us a message. We will return your call as soon as possible.

Thank you Matt and please thank your readers for their continued support of the brave men and women fighting to keep us safe. We simply couldn’t do this without everyone’s help.

Please help if you can.

Godspeed Desmond Doss

Desmond Doss has been featured here before.  Doss was a Conscientious Objector who served as a medic in WWII and received the Medal of Honor for his heroism.

A reader sent a note that he died Thursday at age 87 in his home in Alabama.  Click here for more details.  Here's just a part of his history:

...Doss never liked being called a conscientious objector. He frequently said that he preferred the term “conscientious cooperator.”

Raised a Seventh-day Adventist, Doss did not believe in using a gun or killing because of the sixth commandment, which states, “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13). Doss was a patriot, however, and believed in serving his country.

During World War II, instead of accepting a deferment, Doss voluntarily joined the Army as a conscientious objector.

Assigned to the 307th Infantry Division as a company medic, he was harassed and ridiculed for his beliefs, yet he served with distinction and ultimately received the Congressional Medal of Honor on October 12, 1945, for his acts of bravery.

According to his Medal of Honor citation, time after time Doss’s fellow soldiers witnessed how unafraid he was for his own safety. He was always willing to go after a wounded fellow, no matter how great the danger. On one occasion, in Okinawa, Japan, he refused to take cover from enemy fire as he rescued approximately 75 wounded soldiers, carrying them one by one and lowering them over the edge of the 400-foot Maeda Escarpment. He did not stop until nearly 12 hours, later when he had brought everyone to safety...

Godspeed, Desmond Doss.

God and his evil mouthpiece at Yale

Although I can sympathize with the difficulties of being the official liar for a nation, it is still tough to stomach  Yale admitting the former spokesman for the Taliban. Yes that's correct the Taliban, those charming barbarians who shot victims of rape in soccer stadiums, who pulled the fingernails out of women who dared paint them, who dynamited 3,000 year old statues of an actually peaceful god, Buddha, their mouthpiece is now a student there.

In the interest of feeding that ravenous beast diversity, Yale has deemed the contributions of the man who looked the world dead in the eye and said "Wuddint us" about horrendous atrocities and crimes against humanity, as a necessary addition to the collegiality of it's campus. This is disgusting enough and Yale should be shunned and condemned for it, but wait....it gets better.

In 2002, Yale received a letter from Paula Nirschel, the founder of the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women. The purpose of the organization, begun in that year, was to match young women in post-Taliban Afghanistan to U.S. colleges, where they could pursue a degree. Ms. Nirschel asked Yale if it wanted to award a spot in its next entering class to an Afghan woman. Yale declined.

So Yale thought precious little of the diversity these oppressed women could bring, but deemed their very oppressor as worthy of the Yale experience. Well sounds to me like the Yale experience is a pile of hypocritical bulls**t!

Next Slide

The U.S. Treasury Department has named Hezbollah's al-Manar television a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity. Al-Manar runs programming designed to recruit terrorists and incite violent attacks. Much of its funding is provided by Iran.

This is what I have been waiting for. We have the technical means to disrupt, pirate, jam or otherwise stop many electronic means of communication used by the terrorists. The NSA surveillance is one aspect of this, but if we did that at home I hope you can imagine we are considerably more aggressive overseas. I would hope we start the old school Voice of America concept back up and counter the vile hate and lies currently poisoning the minds of many. This current action allows al-Manar to be blocked from any satellites, but I would go a step further and designate their broadcast facilities as legitimate targets. Now there's a fun one eh? If you are broadcasting a message of terrorist recruitment, you are an active member of the group the same way a recruiter for the US Army is still a soldier.

I don't want to hear any crap about targeting journalists, we haven't and won't ever do that. But this has nothing to do with journalism, so if that sends a chill down the spine of those close to the line in inciting Islamist violence, or covering it in an unjustifiably positive manner, then pay attention and don't fail to differentiate between good and evil.

Who Is The Idealist Here?

Howdy. Subsunk here. I noted a couple of articles on my favorite subject (no, not that favorite subject) during my usual rounds today. Slate has an article by Jacob Weisberg indicating the true cultural divide in America today is between civilians and military people. While I might agree that there is a difference in perspective between civilians who have never served in the military and military members or veterans, I disagree with the foundation of Mr. Weisberg’s premise that "young men who might be called [to serve in a draft] do not want to contemplate having to kill, die, or be maimed in a war that inspires little idealism. Nor do their families want to dwell on such possibilities."

I do agree somewhat with his premise “In the upscale sectors of American society, there remains a primal antipathy to military culture, which has only been heightened by revelations about torture at Abu Ghraib and ongoing discrimination against gay people in the armed forces.” But then I think he believes upscale American society consists only of enlightened, educated people who wouldn’t be caught dead drinking a beer with the country boy from Tennessee who can shoot straighter, run farther, and last longer than the candy-assed frat boys from Hah-vahrd. I guess that just rubs me the wrong way. I guess Mr. Weisberg never met a veteran he didn’t like or distrust.

Some of the finest Men I know came from Texas, Tennessee, Idaho, and even Connecticut, and were just plain everyday high school graduates with backbone, dedication to their country, and more idealism that you can shake a stick at. But Jason van Steenwyk does a much better job of discussing what I think of upper middle class elites, and Chapomatic expresses perfectly how I feel about the divide between elites and military folk. I wish you’d all read them. They have something good to say regarding the difference between journalistic elites, and the Salt of the Earth.

Continue reading "Who Is The Idealist Here?" »

Rebuttal to comments on IAVA post

Jonathan Morgenstein sent an email to rebutt the email and comments about him from his appearance sponsored by the IAVA.  He gave permission to post his entire email.

Dear Matt,

Obviously I cannot speak for IAVA, but I would like to address the comments sent to you regarding my remarks at Mercyhurst College on Monday.  I am glad the emailer attended and tried to address my perspectives in a respectful manner even if he disagreed with them.  The point of the exercise is to educate the broader population and get an intelligent, respectful and constructive discussion generated.

I would however, like to counter some of his critiques of my statements. I should point out that I am a ground intelligence officer by training and have studied counterinsurgency in-depth.  My criticisms of our war effort were not based on a personal slight, but from sound analysis based on decades of counterinsurgency doctrine and lessons learned.  I would point you to the Marine Corps's Small Wars Manual and Thomas X. Hammes's "The Sling and the Stone."   The fact is, if you're not prioritizing Civil Affairs, you're not doing counterinsurgency properly and will not defeat an insurgency.  That was my concern, not that I didn't get sufficient attention to my pet projects.  I don't know who wrote this commentary but I do think his is a fair assessment of much of what I said, assuming he doesn't know much about counterinsurgency warfare.

As far as the comment that I work for the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), it happens to be a Congressionally chartered institution, established by Ronald Reagan.  By law an equal number of Republicans and Democrats sit on USIP's board.  So the writer of this email seems to have a reflex prejudice against anything with the word "peace" in its name and isn't familiar with the organization or what it does.  My employment at USIP has had no impact on my belief that we were compelled and justified to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan (unfortunately we have dedicated WAY too few resources to this effort in fact).   Nor did it influence my reservations about the invasion of Iraq to begin with, nor my current position (which I also stated in my speech at Mercyhurst but this emailer neglected to mention) that instead of drawing down or withdrawing, we should triple the number of troops on the ground and dedicate all the resources we need to bring true peace and stability to Iraq... I would call that not a partisan position--because neither Democrats nor Republicans support it--but a completely nonpartisan position.
Thanks for listening,

Be sure to read the comments.  #13 is from Sergeant Humphrey who may shed some light on why Craig Smith isn't getting as much attention for PTSD as he believes he should.