Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic thought Obama’s speech at the Fort Hood memorial was the greatest he had ever written. The full text is on Ambinder’s site.I thought I would try my hand at speechwriting to emphasize what should have been said. Although my version is less than soaring, it touches upon issues which ought to be have been addressed. My amateurish attempts and an actual video of Obama’s Fort Hood address taken by a participant are after the Read More.
Today, at Ft. Hood. I guarantee: they’ll be teaching this one in rhetoric classes. It was that good. My gloss won’t do it justice. Yes, I’m having a Chris Matthews-chill-running-up-my-leg moment, but sometimes, the man, the moment and the words come together and meet the challenge. Obama had to lead a nation’s grieving; he had to try and address the thorny issues of Islam and terrorism; to be firm; to express the spirit of America, using familiar, comforting tropes in a way that didn’t sound trite.
First of all, I would like to apologize, as Commander in Chief and on behalf of the entire chain of command, for failing to protect the men who were shot here some days ago. The specific shortcomings which allowed the shooter the opportunity to commit this crime will determined and rectified forthwith. That is the least I can do for those who died.
You men and women of the Armed Forces are expected to risk your lives in the service of our country; to overcome your fears, to bear up against hardship and risk your life and limb to protect the nation you serve. No one will accept the excuse ‘I was afraid’ from a soldier, though God knows there will be times when fear will be the natural thing for a man to feel. But in return the senior military and political leadership owe you its own kind of courage. Perhaps not the physical bravery expected of you, but courage nonetheless. The courage never to call you to arms unless national interest absolutely demand it; the fortitude to support you unswervingly until your mission — the mission we gave you — is completed. We owe you that. The leadership owes you the best equipment, the finest intelligence and the most competent leadership. But above all we owe you our loyalty and the assurance that everyone placed above you and alongside you wearing the uniform of the United States is someone you could trust implicitly with your life. Because there would be times when you would have to.
And in that duty we have failed.
For reasons which brook no excuse, whether from lack of competence or the absence of professional courage, we have allowed a traitor to gain a position of trust in your midst. We gave him high rank. We gave him the prerogatives and honors due to a member of the medical profession and an officer in the Armed Forces. And he used that position to kill the men we are remembering today. We who demand of you the courage to routinely risk your lives in the service of our nation did not ourselves have fortitude to expel a man from the service who by rights should have been gone because we feared criticism. We feared being accused of bigotry. We feared being accused of persecuting a religion. We feared the bad publicity that would come from recognizing the danger signals which have all too tragically culminated in this. It was out of fear that we forbore and men died.
Let me repeat my apology. By command responsibility the onus of this falls on my shoulders. And the duty for correcting the defects falls on me as well. Already there are those who say “this was an ordinary crime”; or that we do not know what motivated this killer to commit the crime he did. We must not add dishonesty to dereliction. We know. If we were not men enough to do our duty then, then at least we should do it now. Let me pledge that from this day forward, no officer in the Armed Forces, no member of law enforcement, no man or woman in authority should ever dare ignore a danger to you, my men — for you are my men — out of fear of giving offense. Political correctness should fall distant second to duty, honor and country.
I cannot bring back the dead. But I can prevent others from following in their tragic place. Others will eulogize the fallen. They will recall this young life or that promising future cut short on that day. Let others speak of the nobility of those who died on this post. Let others comfort the parents and loved ones of those who will wait at the door for the knock they once heard and hear nevermore. That is not for me to do.
Rather let my deeds from this day speak more eloquently than tributes or flowers. Let my determination to prevent this from ever happening again be my peroration and my tribute to the fallen. "Gesta, non verba" is all the Latin I need to know. Deeds, not words. I will return to my duties and you to yours. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
First is my Grandfather. He served in WWII in Germany in 1943 and 44 in the Army Corps of Engineers before coming back to live a long and productive life as a stock broker, then later an avid iris gardener before passing away last year. He was married for over 50 years to my Grandmother, and together they raised 3 children. They watched their kids raise 5 grandchildren, including me.
Second, my Father, who was in the National Guard during Vietnam. He served in a reserve capacity for 4 years, prepared to go to a foreign land if his country required it. He and my Mother were divorced when my sister and I were young, but in watching him pull himself back from the brink of death, I've learned more from him about strength and character that any other person.
Third, I spent 6 years in the US Navy from 1990-96. I spent time all over the country and northern and western Europe. I was on a Minesweeper and we swept for mines in the North Sea, further cleaning up the WWII mines laid by Nazi Germany. This is as close as I've ever been to what my Grandfather did for our country and the world.
Last, at least for now, is my son. At 17 years old he has made the decision that he is joining the Navy. He is a senior this year and will graduate in May of 2010 and then head off to serve the same country that I served, and my Father and Grandfather before me. He is currently in the Delayed Entry Program and applying for ROTC.
I keep trying to write things about my son here, but all I can say is that I am so proud of him for making this choice. I can't get the words out.
So to all you out there who have served, who serve now, and those who are still making the decision, please accept my gratitude for your sacrifice and dedication to us and our country. Remember that no matter what the rest of the world says, here, we're thankful that you have chosen to serve. Here, we enjoy the freedoms that you fight to protect, and without you, they would no longer exist.
Thank you, from me and mine.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The Army's chief of staff is saying that even though Hasan was known to maintain radical muslim beliefs; had said openly, in his official capacity as an Army officer, about how muslims should kill non-believers; had contacted known anti-American clerics and terrorist leaders including al-Queda members; and was being watched by the intelligence community, that we shouldn't jump to conclusions.
"I'm a Muslim first and I hold the Shariah, the Islamic Law, before the United States Constitution."General Casey, 13 of your soldiers were killed and almost 30 others injured by another one of your soldiers. While he was killing them, he was screaming, "Allahu Akbar!" He had made many statements about the righteousness of jihad. Now, you're covering for the political correctness that caused more than two years of purposeful ignorance of this issue.
How can you honestly go out there and say this:
But we have to be careful. Because we can't jump to conclusions now based on little snippets of information that come out. And frankly, I am worried -- not worried, but I'm concerned that this increased speculation could cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers. And I've asked our Army leaders to be on the lookout for that. It would be a shame -- as great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well.I have nothing against diversity specifically, but putting diversity ahead of soldiers' security and safety is lunacy. As great a tragedy as this was, I think a greater tragedy is that you're still out there defending Hasan's beliefs. He has a lawyer for that. You owe your allegiance to the other soldiers there at Ft Hood and throughout the Army. Stand by them.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Not to mention calling the Medal of Freedom a Medal of Honor. Obama even awarded that medal personally. Of course, if Dubya had done that it would have been front page news with the discussion on how stupid he is, after all, he can't tell the difference between the medals.
So in the middle of all this, he goes in to damage control mode, give another pale soulless speech then schedules a trip to Ft Hood for tomorrow, to explain how his teleprompter feels about this tragedy.
But then, FoxNews broke the story that the last known leader of the free world, George W. Bush, visited Ft Hood and spent "considerable time" visiting with the surviving victims and families, as well as the families of the deceased. It's nice to see a president who cares, isn't it?
What's interesting is the commentary showing up from overseas on Obama's gaffe. The Telegraph has this headline: Bloodless President Barack Obama makes Americans wistful for George W Bush.
Completely missing was the eloquence that Mr Obama employs when talking about himself. Absent too was any sense that the President empathised with the families and comrades of those murdered.That says something, doesn't it? Maybe it is contempt after all.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Chris Muir over at DBD has pointed out a CNET story and described it perfectly, as usual.
That is a scary set of statements. The wording in the excerpt is very vague, and there's no way to know how that could possibly be interpreted. Well, it will be interpreted in the way that gives the government the most power and leeway in any situation.
They're not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors. CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773 (excerpt), which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.The new version would allow the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "non-governmental" computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for "cybersecurity professionals," and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.
Wow. If you're a power company or a telecomm provider or a bank or, I don't know, Wal Mart...anything that this new cybersecurity coordinator deems "critical" then you have to submit to network mapping, hiring regulations and approval as well as federal control over your network whenever there is an "emergency." Because more regulation always promotes competition and performance. Just look at the mortgage industry.
Rockefeller's revised legislation seeks to reshuffle the way the federal government addresses the topic. It requires a "cybersecurity workforce plan" from every federal agency, a "dashboard" pilot project, measurements of hiring effectiveness, and the implementation of a "comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy" in six months--even though its mandatory legal review will take a year to complete.
The privacy implications of sweeping changes implemented before the legal review is finished worry Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco. "As soon as you're saying that the federal government is going to be exercising this kind of power over private networks, it's going to be a really big issue," he says.
Probably the most controversial language begins in Section 201, which permits the president to "direct the national response to the cyber threat" if necessary for "the national defense and security." The White House is supposed to engage in "periodic mapping" of private networks deemed to be critical, and those companies "shall share" requested information with the federal government. ("Cyber" is defined as anything having to do with the Internet, telecommunications, computers, or computer networks.)
"The language has changed but it doesn't contain any real additional limits," EFF's Tien says. "It simply switches the more direct and obvious language they had originally to the more ambiguous (version)...The designation of what is a critical infrastructure system or network as far as I can tell has no specific process. There's no provision for any administrative process or review. That's where the problems seem to start. And then you have the amorphous powers that go along with it."
Translation: If your company is deemed "critical," a new set of regulations kick in involving who you can hire, what information you must disclose, and when the government would exercise control over your computers or network.
So the real question, other than what in the hell does the government think it's doing, is what would be considered an emergency? There are hacking attempts all the time from China, Russia, various African countries and others, and that's just from script kiddies who downloaded the most recent rootkit. China, for one, has a comprehensive, government backed hacking effort aimed at the US. Is that an emergency? What gets taken over and shut down if something happens? If Chris runs a critical 'toon during an "emergency," do we see the picture above instead of our daily dose of conservative art?
Anything that gives the government more control over the private sector reduces our rights and freedoms. Isn't the republican party the party that wants to preserve our rights and freedoms? Then why the hell is Olympia Snowe (R[ino]-Maine) a sponsor of this bill? Why isn't the ACLU screaming about this? I remember the Patriot Act and all of the screaming from the Dems and ACLU about how it was an encroachment on our rights and freedoms, so where are they now? This is a bill that would allow the President to selectively shut down private websites, networks and computers, and there's no outcry from the ACLU? Wouldn't this be considered an encroachment on our rights and freedoms? I think we know the answer to that last question: It's because the ACLU is dedicated to protecting the rights and freedoms taken away by the evil republicans. Because if the democrats do it it is for the greater good and therefore acceptable.
As for Sen Snowe, it's because she's not really a conservative. She's only voted with the republicans 57.8% of the time, which is the lowest party line voting percentage in the entire Senate. Regardless of your current view of the republican party, they're all we have up there right now, and we need to be able to count on them. We can't count on Olympia Snowe. Or Sen Susan Collins (R[ino]-Maine), either, who has the second lowest partly line vote record at 59.3%, right above Snowe. And we can't count on the Senate to throw this bill out if it makes it to a vote, so contact your Senator and let them know that more government control is not acceptable. Add this vote to your list of issues you'll use to decide for whom you'll vote, and let your Senators know that this one is on that list. I know it's on mine.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
3Gun uses the IPSC (international) rules instead of the USPSA rules for Multi-gun competition. I'll be shooting pistol, shotgun and rifle, one, two or all three at a time. There will be rifle shots out to 600 yds, shotgun slug shots out to 100 and pistol to 50. I'll be up in the mountains at the NRA Wittington center for a full week working and shooting.
We're driving to Raton, NM this Saturday to get started.
So again I'll mention the USPSA for any of you shooters out there who want to become more involved in shooting or have an itch to compete.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
A woman from Arizona whote a letter to Glenn Beck recently (Gunslinger, I agree with you on Glenn Back by the way), and she is firing on all cylinders. Tell me you don't jump up and down agreeing with her.
"I'm a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me.Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you're willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I'm not a racist. This isn't to be confused with legal immigration.Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don't you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don't you start there.Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why ‑‑ what do you have against shareholders making a profit?Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we'll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band‑Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let's have it. Let's say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try ‑‑ please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let's just slow down and get some input from some non-politicians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law.I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I'm busy. I'm busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course.What happened?You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance.Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us.We want our voice back.You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington.Our president often knows all the right buzzword[s and the latest] is 'unsustainable'. Well, no kidding! How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don't want your overpriced words.Stop treating us like we're morons.We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you—not for long—because we are coming.We will be heard and we will be represented. You think we're so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work, pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you.You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust.We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish.We didn't ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when hewill rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don't care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now.We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back.We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired.Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you.If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are.If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one.We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming.We the people are coming."