Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day

General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868
i. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.

ii. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

iii. Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.

By order of




Adjutant General



Saturday, May 21, 2011

Danger Close

The debate about this Administration's incompetence has included speculation about its ignorance vs. intentionality, but it is moot whether the President has adopted the motto "Never Remember" consciously or otherwise. President Obama has done a very dangerous thing.

Ignorance of history is a necessary condition for his betrayal of Israel, but it is not sufficient. This ignorance must be coupled with a visceral disdain for Israel and for the United States.

The links below illustrate the ignorance and the danger. The first reminds us of the facts of the 1967 War the President either does not know or wants to erase. The second is an astute analysis of what the President means by "fundamentally changing America." Neither is short. Both are worth your time.

Contemporary coverage of the Six Day War

Obama's abandonment of America

Whether the President's ignorance is real or feigned, the only difference is whether his ideology requires lying or the lying enables his ideology.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Picking whiners

This morning I got up to find a letter I wrote in the State Journal.
Taxpayers gave 'new' GM about $40 billion, which was converted to common stock. In November, the Feds sold 480 million GM shares for $20 billion. If taxpayers are to break even, the remaining 350+ million taxpayer-owned shares need to be sold above $55. GM is trading at $31.36 as I write.

The Feds gave 'new' GM $14 billion in future tax breaks, even though the losses of the 'old,' defunct GM had to be counted to justify the largesse. That accounting sleight-of-hand had never been allowed before.

GM is presently profitable. This is better than the alternative. But celebrating profitability resulting from an interest free $40 billion loan, and a $14 billion tax-avoidance gift – after giving your major creditors a major haircut and while your stock sinks below its IPO price – is premature.

If taxpayers had given each of GM's 75,000 pre-bankruptcy hourly workers $250,000, we would have be ahead compared to the cost of the bailout and tax breaks.

Picking winners is bad. Picking losers to make into winners is worse.
Tonight I find out GM wants billions more in tax subsidies. Sigh.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The 34% solution

The border with Mexico is 1,900 miles long. About 650 miles of it are fenced against illegal immigrants. Our President calls the fence "basically complete."

It follows, then, that our President defines "basically complete" as 34% complete. Or perhaps less. I'm sure 32% would qualify. Maybe even 25%.

In fact, it doesn't matter to the President whether we have control of our southern border. The GAO says we only have effective control of 50% of it. At what point does sovereignty becomes suspect? According to the President, effective control would be somewhere in the low 30% range.

Perhaps our President meant "complete" in the sense of "over, done with, terminated, stick a tenedor in it." Or maybe it's just affirmative action for fencing material.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Congratulations, Mr. President

Well done!!

And THANK YOU to the SEALs who carried this raid out.

I hope we will find out more about the sources of the intelligence that led to Osama's execution, and whether Pakistan cooperated.

Rumor has it that the intelligence resulted from "enhanced interrogation," and the deceased was living just 50 miles from Islamabad: In the same town as Pakistan's version of West Point, alongside many Pakistani military officers.

Inquiring minds want to know if waterboarding worked and if Pakistan should be trusted or vilified.