And So It Begins…

Those of us who are old enough to remember Vietnam are getting a little nervous about what is happening in the Middle East–for various reasons. The American involvement in the war in Vietnam actually began in 1950 under President Harry Truman, who sent the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) to assist the French. President Kennedy increased our commitment, and it began. South Vietnam fell when a Democrat Congress refused to send them the aid they needed to stand. This is somewhat similar to what happened in Iraq when President Obama did not get a strong status of forces agreement to maintain stability. Now, despite claims to the contrary, we are back in Iraq.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article today stating that we are sending 130 military advisers to northern Iraq to assess the situation there. It seems to me that we already have a pretty good idea what the situation in Iraq is. We have an extremist Islamic terrorist group killing people who will not convert to Islam. They have no problem killing women and children. I have no idea what the proper course of action is at this point. The Obama Administration has made so many bad decisions I am not sure it is capable of making a good decision. Meanwhile, the world seems to be turning away from the genocide that is happening.

The article at Power Line concludes:

President Obama claims that he’s determined not to do “stupid [stuff].” It would be nice if, in addition, he abjured “half-assed [stuff].”

Combating ISIS with a few pinprick airstrikes and a small number of advisers is half-assed. Fox News reported this morning that U.S. military commanders have compared our limited action against ISIS to “whac-a-mole.”

ISIS is powerful and is becoming more so by the week. But it is not unstoppable, as has been seen in Syria.

ISIS found the Iran-backed Syrian regime too tough a nut to crack, so it turned to the U.S.-backed (sort of) Iraqi government, correctly perceiving that it is low hanging fruit

In short ISIS’s approach is to probe for weakness. When it finds weakness, it runs rampant.

Northern Iraq is the first place where ISIS has encountered the U.S. military. It is imperative that ISIS not find weakness there.

At some point the democracies of the world are going to have to unite against ISIS and ISIS-type groups.

This Article Has No Title–It’s Just A Basic Vent!

Harry Truman is credited with saying, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Both the Republicans and the Democrats could learn from that statement.

It is a national scandal that the taxpayers are going to be expected to subsidize the healthcare of Congressional staffers at levels that the taxpayers themselves will not be eligible for. It is also a national scandal that the President, who has the ability to determine where the money goes during a government shutdown, has chosen to shut down the military commissaries and cancel sports events at the military academies. Why doesn’t he simply cut his (and Congress’) expense accounts?

Why have the Democrats refused to meet in conference with the Republicans to resolve the shutdown? This is political theater at its worst.

The government shutdown will end as soon as the President and the Democrats in Congress begin to be blamed for the stalemate. At that point all disagreement on everything will magically disappear.

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There Is A Plan

I am warning you ahead of time that this article is going in a number of different directions. If you don’t want to bother to read the whole thing, the bottom line is, “Please follow the link to the ‘Fix It’ Series”–Rep. John Campbell’s plan for turning around the economy. Rep. Campbell suggests nine basic steps that would make a great difference.

According to, Charles Edward Montague, English novelist and essayist (1867-1928), stated: “There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it.” That statement has been quoted in various forms by American Presidents, corporate leaders, and various coaches. It still stands as a truthful statement. Washington isn’t broken–it’s just that some of the leadership are not taking full advantage of the talent around them.

John Campbell is a member of the U. S. House of Representatives representing  the 48th Congressional District of district in California. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and small business owner. He serves on the House Committee on Financial Services and served on several Congressional economic working groups in 2008 and 2009. When you consider his business background, it is not surprising that he has put a plan together to turn around America’s struggling economy. You can find that plan at the “Fix It Series.” Please follow the link to see what is possible if the leadership in Washington was more interested in solutions than politics.

Some of the lessons I think our representatives in Washington need to learn are found in a book I recently read. “How Starbucks Saved My Life,” by Michael Gates Gill. This book tells the story of a high ranking corporate type who had grown up in a privileged environment (Yale University, Skull and Bones, easy entry into the corporate world, etc.). The book details the changes in his life that occurred when he suddenly lost his corporate job. One of the major lessons in the book is the value of respecting yourself and the people who work for you and with you. I understand that Washington politicians need to get re-elected, but a little cooperation and respect would go a long way in the current environment.

Harry Truman once stated, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” This statement tells me that the environment in Washington is challenging at best and has been for a long time. At this point in our history, we need to grow up and start hearing each others ideas so that we can solve the serious problems facing our country.

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