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2006 January 15 — Why Now?
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Oh, Great

At the University of South Florida’s English Language Institute investigators found a misplaced $275,000. While I sort of understand how checks valued at $133,647, might get lost, how do you lose track of $140,000+ in cash. That’s sort of bulky and most people would recognize what it was – money.

In a way, I would have felt better if they had found out that the money had been embezzled and not simply left in drawers and the copier. These people really needed a secretary, a good secretary wouldn’t have tolerated this sort of nonsense. Secretaries have always been more important that department heads in keeping institutions running.

The auditors think there ought to be better financial controls in place – duh!

January 15, 2006   Comments Off on Oh, Great

Good Faith?

In an article about the upcoming Judiciary Committee hearings on ILLEGAL WARRANTLESS wiretapping by the Bush administration:

A number of members of Specter’s committee, including GOP Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, have expressed doubt about the administration’s legal basis. The hearings, planned for early February, will feature Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Specter, speaking in general terms, noted that impeachment and criminal prosecution are possibilities in the event a president acted unconstitutionally.

But Specter added: “I don’t see any talk about impeachment here. I don’t think anyone doubts the president is making a good-faith effort. He’s acting in a way that he feels he must.”

Yo, Arlen given their track record, anyone with an “R” after their name is due no “benefit of doubt”. They have shown themselves unworthy of trust by a record of lies and incompetence. I stand with the majority of Americans who believe that this conduct merits impeachment.

If there was justification for a wiretap there was a special court in place to grant a warrant. If there was a question about legality there is a special panel of attorneys to render an opinion. The judges and attorneys are cleared and unlike the White House staff they don’t seem inclined to leak like a sieve to the media if there is a political point to be scored.

This White House works for the benefit of itself and its friends. They didn’t want anyone outside the White House to know what they were doing because they use the information gained for many things that have no direct connection to the defense of the nation, but only to the defense of their power. Like Louis XIV and Tom DeLay, George W believes L’état, c’est Moi! [“The state, it is Me!” or “I am the Federal government!” in Tom’s case.]

January 15, 2006   Comments Off on Good Faith?

Support The Troops – Part II

No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.
– attributed to George S. Patton

Back in December of 2003 Jonathan Turley wrote a column in USA Today about troops being deployed to Iraq without proper body armor. Nor was that a lone voice in the wilderness as many others were pointing out this problem.

In response to this there were assurances that the problem was being dealt with, and it was a short-term problem that would be corrected.

Well two years have passed and there is still a problem supplying body armor to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and the same people are still saying they are dealing with the problem. This time they are talking about a new protective feature to avoid talking about the fact that they haven’t managed to fix the ongoing problem.

Terry caught another element in the debate in a Andrew Exum column in the New York Times: the troops don’t want the better armor.

The complaints about the armor are familiar, but they failed to include that it is hot to wear, and, a choice bit from negotiating to have agencies pay for body armor for law enforcement, it makes people reckless.

One of the benefits of being from a long line of veterans is that you can compare the progress in uniforms and equipment. The stuff my Dad had in World War II was much lighter and more comfortable than the stuff my Grandfather had in the trenches of World War I. The stuff I had in Southeast Asia was another leap forward from what my Dad had in Korea. If you really want to understand how far things have come, drop by a re-enactors Civil War camp.

People, especially those who have proven themselves in combat, are very expensive to replace. All of the best training in the world will never be exactly the same as when an enemy is really, truly trying to kill you, and you know it. You can’t replicate that situation. You don’t want to lose people. While some like Rumsfeld may believe that military personnel are fungible, they aren’t. Every death and major injury in a combat zone is the loss not simply of a “unit of production”, but of the unique knowledge and abilities that individual possessed. In the current “all volunteer military” we don’t have the depth to replace that person. The capabilities of the unit have been altered, and rarely for the better.

The incompetence of these people to supply the troops in combat the equipment that is required is destroying our capacity to defend the nation. We can’t realistically deal with North Korea and other real threats because of the blunders of the current Department of Defense.

January 15, 2006   Comments Off on Support The Troops – Part II