Monday, August 22, 2011

"We don't need more people with guns telling us what to do."

Tom Brokaw, who surely is one of the most credible commentators around these days, following in the footsteps of Cronkite and then Brinkley as elder statesmen of the media, related recently on "Morning Joe" an experience he had with an army unit in Afghanistan. The unit was working on gaining control of a particular area of the countryside, and Brokaw managed to break away and ask a local merchant what he thought of the operation. The merchant said, "We don't need more people with guns telling us what to do."

A succinct commentary on the folly of the US operation in Afghanistan, and in any other sovereign country where we try to impose our will by force. It well illustrates that the myth of redemptive violence is just that, a myth.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Michelle Bachmann

My conservative friends are all excited about Bachmann, who I will admit has done a great job so far in her campaign. (OK, in the interests of full disclosure I will admit that I have just one "conservative friend", but he is real smart and articulate, and so is as good as several would be.)

A review of the 43 men who have served as president shows that we have never elected anybody with as little executive experience as Bachmann. If you take out those in just 3 categories--state governors, secretaries of state, and army generals, you are left with only 14. And if you eliminate the 4 of those 14 who became president only because they were VP's when the Prez either died or resigned, that leaves only 10. Now take out Taft, Bush 1 and Hoover, all of whom had substantial executive experience though not one of the 3 positions stated, and you have only 7. If you count being Pres. of a major university, then Wilson goes out too. That leaves only Adams, Lincoln, Harding, JFK, Nixon, and Obama. Hardly an endorsement for the idea of electing somebody with no executive experience.