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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
And gives lousy answers.

Just heard on the BBC. Rumsfeld is speaking with US soldiers, and is asked two questions by soldiers in the audience in a not-so-friendly manner:

First question is why they are at risk of having their tours of duty and/or term of active service extended without their consent. Rumsfeld's answer just plain sucked: Said it was simply a fact of life during a time of war. Now, I dunno how many Viet vets are out there, but if you had that particular pleasure you may recall having it down to the nanosecond just how short you were. I can only speculate as to what the response would be if shortly before return to the World GI's were being told that their tour of duty had been extended. And that it was just a fact of life.

Second question is why there still isn't adequate armor for Humvee's. Rumsfeld's response was that you go to war with the army you have, not the army you wish you had, and that they're trying to get armor manufactured and installed as quickly as possible. Better answer, but still sucks. Seems to me that the Iraqi war didn't start yesterday, and that it was pretty clear early on that the Iraqis were not exactly strewing flower petals in our path. More importantly to me, Rumsfeld's answer speaks to the diminished manufacturing capabilities of the USA - the same USA that astonished everyone during WWII with its ability to manufacture astonishing quantities of military materiel astonishingly quickly.

Personally, I think that Rumsfeld needs to figure out that supporting our troops requires more than sticking on the back of your car a yellow ribbon magnet with "Support our troops" emblazoned on it. It requires something better than the PPP we have seen to date.
 

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Smegs......it takes time to order the HUMMVE Armor kit from China North Industries through Wally World,(Low Bidder)and have it shipped and installed.
 

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Well, in Veitnam we started drafting folks, in WWII same story. If we had more folks joining the military and a a better military budget thing I am sure would be different. In WWII the nation was more motivated, had more pride and a much larger war to fight. As far as manufacturing capacity....yea it is diminished due to labor unions making absurd demands on employers, poor quality of work, and lack of American commitment to buy American. We are far more content to buy Chinese for a dollar less than to buy American for more even if the American product is better. Which sad to say isn't always the case. So between us being tight wads and workers American industry is in the can. IMO
 

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Oh, please, let me respond.
The first answer was, while less than politic, correct. Your Vietnam anology brings up a good point "you knew to the nanosecond how long your tour was". Yes, and this led to problems, not the least of which was the constant turnover of personnel that were trained and seasoned. In comes a batch of FNG's and if the outgoing folks don't train them right, you get a bunch of fresh off the plane dead guys cause they don't know what to do. Guys getting short started avoiding situations where there might be danger, and tended to become much less effective as DEROS came closer. The new guys would follow the example of the older guys-many of whom may have been avoiding contact, faking patrols, calling in falsified body counts, trying to not be killed or wounded while "short". Some units followed a policy of pulling short-timers out of the field for the last 30 days or so-thereby robbing the unit of their expertise just that much sooner. It was really bad for the officer corps as it takes longer to really become competent at that level. The removal and replacement of entire units, rather than individuals, is a more militarily sound policy. The plain fact is, the military is stretched too thin.
The second is pretty much a function of the pentagon. I'm just livid that a way hasn't been found around this. It takes forever and 30 minutes to get anything done in the puzzle palace. Bids to be solicited, designs to be tested and approved, stock numbers to be assigned, ect, ect, ect. Secretary Rumsfeld's only answer should have been "NO EXCUSE SIR!"
 

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My .02.

smegs has a point about the manufacturing base. In a Macro Economic sense we are losing daily the capacity to produce value added manufactures which incidently was the goose that laid this Golden Egg we call the U.S. We have to get that back. Globalization and outsourcing is a failed model and you'll start seeing that soon with the ancillary effects of the falling dollar.
Did one thing very well though - lowered wages worldwide. Not profits, but wages. Add to this the fact that fully 2/3 of our U.S. debt is now financed by the Central Banks of China and Japan. China also has the largest Tungsten ore deposit on Earth. Gee we use alot of that in the military as a raw material for alot. We can not be a service oriented nation any longer since we know what happened to the high tech bubble. Sort of hard to maintain copyrights to Intellectual property. We need to get back to basics and made in the U.S.A. or the sucking sound will continue.

On the patriotism issue - that seems to grow stronger with age.
I can say for a fact none of my relatives were thinking about rhetorical issues like duty, honor , country, Mom and apple pie when they were under fire in Korea or Vietnam. Probably the same today.
My wifes' Grandfather joined during the Depression to get something to eat. He was on Corregidor in WWII and ended up as a POW. My old man went in 50 because of 3 hots and a cot and it seemed like a good idea at the ime career wise. Korea and Vietnam helped that career. My Cousins = Drafted in the 60's. My niece in the Sand box now joined to get out of a bad home situation.
So I think the thumping your chest and blood and honor diatribe
must come with age and survival.

The stop loss policy is a back door draft. They should be up front about it. Runny has been a prime champion of the leaner meaner military for decades even when he was running around Washington trying to get a job and people to listen to him. Well - they have.

Ok maybe that was .10 worth.
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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Real simple solutions.

Don't like the military stop loss program? Bring back the draft.

Don't like the lag in manufacturing of military equipment such as armor for personnel and vehicles? Stop allowing the massive importing of manufactured goods into our country, which would encourage our manufacturing capability to expand.

Both solutions have consequences. Take your pick, and take your chances.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Some stats to ponder that help exlain some things no one wants to deal with when it concerns jobs that are not low skill especially in manufacturing.

Math.

In industrialized countries, we are 24th out of 29 in math skills. This is based on high school, NOT college. We are only ahead of Portugal, Italy and Mexico and I can't recall the others. I think we were tied with Latvia. Spain, Poland and the Slovak Republic are ahead of us. I believe we have about the same results when it comes to science.

The measure uses a 500 point score "average" for comparison purposes. US was at 483. As examples, we were 51 points behind Japan. 59 points behind Korea. Hell, we are 28 points behind France. These are large differentials.

You are not going to rebuild the industrial base with this educational infrastructure regardless of what kind of politicial pandering programs someone proposes.

Toss in the over-regulation of employment and you get a bad employment result.
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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Custer said:
In industrialized countries, we are 24th out of 29 in math skills. This is based on high school, NOT college. We are only ahead of Portugal, Italy and Mexico and I can't recall the others. I think we were tied with Latvia. Spain, Poland and the Slovak Republic are ahead of us. I believe we have about the same results when it comes to science.

The measure uses a 500 point score "average" for comparison purposes. US was at 483. As examples, we were 51 points behind Japan. 59 points behind Korea. Hell, we are 28 points behind France. These are large differentials.

You are not going to rebuild the industrial base with this educational infrastructure regardless of what kind of politicial pandering programs someone proposes.
Custer,

I heard that on the news yesterday. But, at least we have "free" public education for our children.

And Bush is wanting school vouchers so that parents can send their kids to a school of their choice. That will ruin the education system in our country. :confused:
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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I did not used to be for this school voucher stuff but I don't see any alternative anymore but to try to introduce some competition into the system.

But, I am betting virtually everyone of those countries ahead of us are free public education, too yet they are kicking our butts.

Something is amiss and not all of it can be blamed on being "public".
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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Custer said:
Something is amiss and not all of it can be blamed on being "public".
Yep, and everyone knows what it is - the teachers union. It started out good like most unions. But, it deviated from the original purpose of a union. The union's greed is going to bring about it's own demise just like the auto workers and the steel workers union. I expect Strange Destiny to have something to say about this. It's hard to guess where she stands on the issue, so be prepared to duck. :rofl:
 

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I know in my experience with teachers, (and SD this isn't a shot at you) but there are teachers that are only there for a paycheck and could care less about the kids. Then there was some that didn't know their butt from a hole in the ground and had no business being in a class room educating our children. Then there were those that knew what they were doing, and cared, and made sure that you made the grade and learned something. Unfortunately, the latter of the three is the smallest group of the bunch.

I counted it up a while back and I had encountered nearly 75 teachers while going through school. Out of all those, I can think of about 7 or 8 teachers that fell into the last group. From these 7 or 8, I can easily say that I learned more from them than all the others combined. For those 7 or 8, I am eternally grateful. I ran into one of them a while back and thanked him. I thought the guy was going to cry.

Strange Destiny, I've heard the way you talk about your kids and you sound like a very caring person. I'm sure you fall into the 3rd group.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Cephus said:
Well I hate to burst your bubble Smeg but your talking to a two tour here....
Actually I was RA. Because of my political beliefs, I'm a bit more embarassed than proud of that, but it remains a fact. I wasn't true to my beliefs, as you are to yours.

Glad you made it back OK.

With regard to Rumsfeld's first answer, I wish he had given the troops yours instead of his. His I found verged upon being dismissively disrespectful. Yours is an explanation, and that is what the soldier asked for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Pogo said:
Real simple solutions.

Don't like the military stop loss program? Bring back the draft.
Don't like the lag in manufacturing of military equipment such as armor for personnel and vehicles? Stop allowing the massive importing of manufactured goods into our country, which would encourage our manufacturing capability to expand.

Both solutions have consequences. Take your pick, and take your chances.
Agree entirely with your first solution. Except that I think the draft should be reinstated regardless of whether you do or don't like the stop loss program.

Your second solution is a very good one, and the one I think we will have to ultimately attain, but, alas, It's not simple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Pogo said:
Yep, and everyone knows what it is - the teachers union.... I expect Strange Destiny to have something to say about this. It's hard to guess where she stands on the issue, so be prepared to duck.
It's all Strange Destiny's fault. She's probably maintaining a low profile now that we're onto here. She's probably busy inculating sedition in our children right now, anyway.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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I doubt it. She is a computer teacher plus she has stated she keeps her views out of the classroom.

Might be a different story for people in social studies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Custer said:
I doubt it. She is a computer teacher...
Ah. That explains all the recent fuss about kids being able to access porn on the Internet.
 

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Pogo said:
And Bush is wanting school vouchers so that parents can send their kids to a school of their choice. That will ruin the education system in our country. :confused:
How can competition ruin our education system? I'm not wealthy but I kept my daughter in private school, as I felt her future was much more valuable than a new car or other material things, but since I paid property taxes I would have prefered to have a choice in where I spent her education tax monies.
 

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Pogo said:
Yep, and everyone knows what it is - the teachers union. It started out good like most unions. But, it deviated from the original purpose of a union. The union's greed is going to bring about it's own demise just like the auto workers and the steel workers union. I expect Strange Destiny to have something to say about this. It's hard to guess where she stands on the issue, so be prepared to duck. :rofl:
Pogo, no fireworks from me. Its your opinion are you are entitled to it. I don't have to agree with you. Let me say, that I am a Democrat but, I don't like unions.
There are several levels of teacher's unions. Some are hard core unions, like the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) The AFT is part of the AFL-CIO. Wasn't that Jimmy Hoffa's outfit? . Others are more of a representative organization for lobbying. I joined my organization for liability insurance mostly. It costs $115 a year. The AFT is upwards of $500 a year. I don't think their members get that much representation.
You should see the unions at new teacher orientation, its like a sharks in a feeding frenzy, trying to get new teachers to join. It kinda' fun to watch.
There are a couple of AFT wannabe groups out there. My organization is the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE). The ATPE is more like a professional organization. They do a lot of lobbying for education related issues in the state legislature. They are not a union, like the AFT.

There has been a fight going on among organizations in El Paso for the last couple of years. The Federation has been pushing to be the sole organization that the districts can consult with on education issues. I don't want that. I didn't join their organization on purpose, I don't want them speaking for me. They have some very heavy-handed tatics.

I have a pseudo-brother in law (Don't ask, I wont tell) that is a teacher in Wisconsin, he is a union leader in his district. He told me about the contract "negotiations" that he was part of with the school district. I was appalled to hear some of the tactics they were using. It was about greed. More! More! More! They didn't care about the kids, just about themselves. I have read that this is indeed the case for most teacher's unions if the NE United States. I don't think that is right.

Most people that I work do care about the students. That is more the rule than the exception. Not all teachers are evil, despite what some people on gun boards may think. We are just people trying to live our lives, too.

Over at Brand X, I used to get flak from a couple of the "good christian" members about how their homeschooled kids were superior to public school students. Hey that's O.K.. Actually, I say please keep certain kids at home, PLEASE!!!! It creates a better learning environment in some schools.
I don't interject personal political views into my classes, ain't my job. If the students ask me I will tell them what I believe. I don't try to get them to change their mnds. I teach computers, not political science.
Teachers are not evil beings!!! I truly care about my students.
 

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Dzerzhinsky said:
Ah. That explains all the recent fuss about kids being able to access porn on the Internet.
Now Smeg, I just tell tham to wait until they get home for the porno time, like everybody else. :rofl:
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Jimmy Hoffa I was President of the Teamsters. He and his union were so corrupt that even the AFL-CIO threw them out as members. (Acutally it was more like "You can't fire me, I quit"). Teamsters are back in the AFL-CIO now.

The AFL-CIO is more like a trade or industry organizaton for individual trade unions.

AFT and NEA are bad news. There might be some local groups that are ok but that is a small % of our national education system.
 
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