All posts by fzxjkg

Progressive victims of “Until”

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The “Theory” of Progressivism is clearly attractive. Many people can be and are led into progressive activism due to the siren-call of its sound bytes.  However….

Eventually time and reality catches up with them. Pick a couple of their most heart-felt and enduring stances – gun control, and social accountability of the general US population for actions by criminals.

The big gun control push started in the 1970s, and the reaction to that push started in the late 1980’s and 1990’s.  Let’s look at the facts – Violence escalated during the period that progressives pushed for more control peaking around 1991. With the ongoing pushback (which is still going on) gun violence, and violence in general dropped by about 50% from 1991 to 2014.

The “theory” of improving society by attacking the right of the law-abiding to have access to guns (2nd amendment issues aside) had an effect, but it was the opposite of what was expected. The theory worked UNTIL time and reality had a chance to work.

This theory had new life breathed into it with the Obama administration, and progressive leadership in cities like Washington DC and Chicago. And what happened? Reverses of a decades long downward trend in gun crime and violence in those cities year on year.

Is the gun control approach solely the issue? Let’s look at the social assumption that criminals should not be held accountable for their actions, after all they are simply a result of an unfair society.  Where has that led us?

Chicago was forced to cease “stop and frisk” and take a softly softly approach to policing due to a series of factors. One of which was again, putting more emphasis on restricting law enforcement’s ability to do their jobs while repeatedly refusing to enforce federal gun laws and their own sentencing guidelines. Police reduced their active enforcement through stops by 87 percent, and homicides increased 57 percent.

In Washington DC a second-chance law has allowed young (under 22) offenders to avoid minimum sentencing guidelines. Leading to skyrocketing crime and recidivism rates among those eligible for the program.

These theories of putting more emphasis on officer limitations than criminal accountability sounded great, UNTIL the victims of violent crime and homicides started rolling in.

We have had an activist justice department under Holder, based on statistical review, police department after police department has been placed under review and accused of institutional racism. Under the Obama administration several federal law enforcement arms have been instructed to NOT do their jobs. And what has this social engineering led to? Have the criminals of various stripes understood the efforts to reach out to them and understand their challenges and pain?

16 of the top 20  largest police departments in the country have seen year-over-year increases in crime. In progressive-theory-led major cities we have seen the reversal of decades of improvement in crime statistics as reported by the FBI.

I believe that the progressive movement is doomed to failure. It is unfortunate that with the media banging their policy drum day in and day out that much of the illogic of their policy positions is hidden. However, in nearly every case that sneaky little word will step up and bite them – UNTIL.

 

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Boots on the Ground? – Wrong Question

It feels like we are finally awakening frthom a long nightmare where national security policy was being set by sugar-infused 5th graders who got their foreign policy training by watching back-to-back episodes of Barney.

Can we please take a shot at understanding the threats we will likely face over the next twenty years? Can we then design a military that is capable of handling those threats?
Not that it is just the Obama administration that has proven itself unbelievably incompetent in this area, we have a long embarrassing history of allowing politics to dictate readiness. It would be nice to break the trend. We were in the middle of severe cutbacks in our armed forces based on a “peace dividend” theory that said that since the Soviet Union collapsed that we no longer needed a large, heavy-division, combined-arms based military. Then – we had to face at least two wars with opponents based on the Soviet model. Large, heavy-division-based tactics.

We won, largely due to the complete incompetence of our opponents, poor leadership, and outclassed weaponry. Keep in mind, we were coming off of our peak of readiness to fight the heavy division battle of the future. Also, our opponents were operating without their support structure of Soviet advisers and access to newer Soviet equipment and parts.

Since then we have continued to draw down our military, and focus primarily on small unit patrol and raid operations. Our elites in DC seem to have a problem in separating tactics from strategic risks.

Sure, we can drone-strike whoever we want in the Middle East. And, we can send guys in to kick in doors in urban environments. And, we can send in observers to watch the various armed groups blunder through confrontation after confrontation. To what end?

Did our military positioning do anything to prevent the Russian invasion of Georgia or the Ukraine? What message does our military positioning send to the big threats in the world like Iran, Russia, China or North Korea? Watch out Putin, we will drone-strike some of your lower-level officials in the contested territory in the Ukraine? Really?

Finally, belatedly, we are frantically running through an exercise I call Reforger Redux. (Reforger was an acronym Return of Forces to Germany to augment our forward positioned units should the Soviet Union invade Europe.) And no Obama, this isn’t the 80’s asking for their national security strategy back. (Snarky, but ignorant.) Geopolitics is geopolitics and all the tree-hugging and Barney-song singing in the world isn’t going to change it.

Russia’s strategic center is exposed, and it has always been exposed, to invasion from the West. There are no natural lines of defense in this direction and the landscape is perfectly suited for large armor formations. So, Soviet was and now Russian defense is focused on heavy division structures, and building a buffer to its West to protect itself. Until the geography changes, this will always be the Russian focus, which creates an existential threat to all of the European countries bordering it.

Since this has always been the case, it makes one wonder why we removed all of our heavy units from Germany in the first place? The geography didn’t change, the aspirations of Putin have been clear from day one, and he is a threat to the security of Europe, period. But our politicians in DC apparently couldn’t, or wouldn’t learn from history.

As we now frantically try to establish new bases in Eastern Europe and push armor units forward to be a credible force we are very weak and exposed. We don’t have the forces in place yet, we don’t have the logistics in place to sustain those forces, and we don’t have a network of partners to fill in the gap should something occur while we try to fix the problem. And, we are still drawing down our military.

The whole boots on the ground question is a red herring. We need forces in the right locations structured correctly in order to respond to the strategic threat, period. These military leaders that wisely nod their heads recognizing the threat, then claiming that we cannot put “boots on the ground” and must rely on others are simply politicians in uniform. We should never submit our strategic decision making to popularity polls of those that have only the vaguest clue of what the true issues are.

We need a heavy, combined arms formation in Europe if we decide we want to defend our interests there. We need a slightly different mix in the Korean peninsula based on the landscape. If we want a strong position in the Middle East we need a force capable of countering the threat from Iran.

Wishful thinking is not going to preserve our interests going forward. We have seen a significant reduction in our standing in the world based on ideological rather than strategic planning. We can argue about how to pay for what we need, but how we pay for it doesn’t change what the threat is.

Selective Memory Rampant in Senate!

Government Shutdown Averted, The New York Time...

Anyone remember why the government shutdown occurred?  It was a last minute attempt to avoid the Obamacare disaster.

A variety of compromises were offered to simply delay certain portions and make it less painful on the population. The answer from the senate and the administration was to play hardball, no negotiation whatsoever, which led to the shutdown.

So where are we now?  5,000,000 people that have become “magically” uninsured with no chance of regaining insurance in the near future.

Now, the “we will not negotiate” bomb-throwers in the senate that used vile hate mongering to defend a political position are now saying the exact same things that was being said by those trying to avoid the disaster in the first place.

By Dan Gilbert

Can you detect horse manure?

 Free horse manure?

Interesting comment on the news this evening. When President Bush said that there were chemical weapons in Iraq, all of the worlds intelligence agencies agreed with him. (Well, those that are affiliated with NATO and our allies.) Democrats and Republicans on the intelligence committees also supported this conclusion. When it turned out that these weapons had been moved and were no longer in the country – the media promoted the whole “Bush Lied, People Died” mantra. Now that President Obama has been proven to make multiple statements that are the exact opposite of the truth, and evidence has come out since that he had been briefed on the facts so he absolutely knew that he was not telling the truth the media reaction is: “He misspoke.” Really? Dozens of times, using the same phrase in different situations, specifically as a response to the challenge that the plan would force people out of their current plans? This is misspeaking? Wow. Perhaps ABC, NBC and CBS should get their ombudsmen to publish their definitions of lying as a public service announcement so we all know how to react when politicians are feeding us a load of horse manure. Or is it as simple as: No matter the statement, if it comes from a Republican, it is a lie. The corollary being, no matter how outrageous the lie, if it comes from a Democrat (and it gets proven beyond a reasonable doubt) then it was a mistake. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame the politicians for this… this is a failure on the part of the talking head media.. of course our leaders in Washington take advantage of the situation.

by Dan Gilbert

Wrong Hillary! Benghzai does make a difference!

Benghazi – four Americans dead. Our DOJ has decided on a new rule – no-one can share any information on what happened until they completely conclude their investigation and a trial.  (They apparently made this rule up all on their own.)  The “clever” bit – they are not conducting an investigation in the first place.  Known terrorists who participated are conducting interviews with foreign journalists … but we can’t find them.  Our program that give millions in financial awards to help find wanted terrorists?  None of these specifically identified terrorists are listed. For over a year now, US citizens have been held and threatened to keep them from testifying. (The recent eye witness that completely contradicted everything this administration said about Benghazi was a British citizen…)  As of Benghazi, we in the U.S. now live in a progressive version of a police state.   But as Hillary Clinton said so eloquently, “what difference does it make?”

by Dan Gilbert