“You Have No Rights!”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CRII3p8rcI]

It seems that Towson, Maryland police officers verbalized what many in Law Enforcement have shown with their behavior nationwide for the last several years.  A man filming police officers at a disturbance is threatened and assaulted by a police officer who declares at one point that the private citizen he is responsible for protecting and serving has no rights.   The local CBS affiliate has the story.

It is well past time to view these cases in isolation.  I don’t want to hear that.  Nor do I want to hear about how the police “fear for their safety”.  Or how they were somehow justified in threatening jail or declaring which freedoms are permitted.   That, in large dose or small, is tyranny, plain and simple.  Trying to explain it away is to stretch plausibility to the breaking point and beyond in order to find excuses for such behavior.

Of course, police officials are always “concerned” and vow to investigate the “possibility” of wrongdoing.  The assertions that additional training and possible disciplinary action is a solution is entirely in error.  This is not a matter of training but of attitude and sense of unbridled authority and entitlement.  Borne of not being accountable.  David Rocah of the ACLU is quite right.  It is very problematic, and it does reflect a great and growing sense of impunity.

No, the solution to this, eventually and unfortunately, is for police officers like this jackass to face the wrath of an armed populace willing to assert their liberties forcefully.  And if he survives the encounter, he should consider himself lucky.   Of course, it is no coincidence that the Governor of Maryland has all but disarmed the law-abiding.  He, and his police forces, get to decide which of your Constitutional liberties they would like you to have and when.  Which, it should be noted, this Administration desires to make the national model.

Tyranny around every corner, indeed.

Planespotting- AW609

I stepped off the hospital campus for a moment to make a phone call/check email/twitter/facebook for a second, and heard a helicopter a bit aways. Hardly surprising. There’s a lot of helicopter traffic here. Life Flite helos, and traffic helos, and police helos. Heck, the other day, I looked up an saw a Marine AH-1W flitting by.

So, sure, I looked up today. I just didn’t have the camera on my phone handy.

And say a very unusual aircraft go by. And couldn’t get a pic, dammit. Here’s one from the internets.

http://avioners.net/wp-content/uploads/blogger/-BdQX_R8Cl7c/TyFiNKBGrLI/AAAAAAAAHas/M9f-oJQLcqo/s320/agusta-bell_ba609.jpg

So far as I know, there’s only 4 flying, though once the AW609 is certified, as many as 70 may be on order.

The one I saw was in formation with an AB109 conventional helicopter, both in red and white (with black trim) paint jobs. The AW609 was operating in a “blended” mode, with the rotors tilted to about 45 degrees from vertical.

Aha! Here’s why the AW609 was in town!

Social Media, Stupidity, Dodging Retreat, and Leadership.

You may have seen this explode onto Facebook and other social media sites.

http://cmsimg.armytimes.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=M6&Date=20140225&Category=NEWS&ArtNo=302250023&Ref=AR&MaxW=300&Border=0&Soldier-flagrantly-avoids-flag-salute-sets-off-online-outrage

I’m just going to align myself wholeheartedly with John’s take at The Castle.

I have a different take on this, coming as I do from an era where Retreat literally caused an installation to pause and face the flag – to the point of people pulling over and getting out of their cars, and end of day formations being scheduled to facilitate unit participation in the tradition.
This is *not* that Army. I say that without rancor. It just isn’t.
And it isn’t because *the leaders* have made it so.
Anybody who wants to hammer this soldier for this action *better not* have been the Lieutenant Colonels and Majors I routinely see at Fort Leavenworth rushing to get under cover to avoid having to render honors.
Anybody who wants to hammer this soldier for this action *better not* be the Sergeants I saw ignoring the bugle on their way to their cars, who got in and drove away as the music was playing over in the Old DB complex.

Going Hollow: The Hagel Preview of the FY2015 Defense Budget

lets-be-honest-chuck-hagel-will-be-the-next-secretary-of-defense

Anthony Cordesman, the Arleigh Burke Chair at CSIS, provides a very cogent summary of the weakness of our Defense Department leadership and its inability or unwillingness to discuss the 2015 DoD budget meaningfully.

At the simplest level of budgetary planning, the Secretary’s budget statements ignore the fact that the Congressional Budget Office projects that the Department’s failure to manage the real-world crises in personnel, modernization, and readiness costs will have as negative an overall budget impact over time as Sequestration will. Ignoring the Department’s long history of undercosting its budget, its cost overruns, and the resulting cuts in forces, modernization, and readiness means one more year of failing to cope with reality.  Presenting an unaffordable plan is as bad as failing to budget enough money.

Cordesman gets to the real meat of our failure of strategic (dare I say “national strategic”?) thinking, as well.

He talks about cuts in personnel, equipment, and force strength in case-specific terms, but does not address readiness and does not address any plan or provide any serious details as to what the United States is seeking in in terms of changes in its alliances and partnerships,  and its specific goals in force levels, deployments, modernization, personnel, and readiness.

He holds nothing back in his contempt for the process of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), either.

Worse, we are going to leave these issues to be addressed in the future by another mindless waste of time like the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). All the past QDRs have been set so far in the future to be practical or relevant. Each successive QDR has proved to be one more colostomy bag after another of half-digested concepts and vague strategic priorities filled with noise and futility and signifying nothing.

Cordesman saves his best for last, however.

Like all of his recent predecessors, Secretary Hagel has failed dismally to show the U.S. has any real plans for the future and to provide any meaningful sense of direction and real justification for defense spending. The best that can be said of his speech on the FY2015 defense budget is that U.S. strategy and forces will go hollow in a kinder and gentler manner than simply enforcing sequestration.

We do need to avoid cutting our forces, military capabilities, and defense spending to the levels called for in sequestration. But this is no substitute for the total lack of any clear goals for the future, for showing that the Department of Defense has serious plans to shape a viable mix of alliances and partnerships, force levels, deployments, modernization, personnel, and readiness over the coming Future Year Defense Plan.

I don’t always agree with Cordesman’s assertions, but he is just about always a thoughtful if provocative commenter on Defense and National Security issues, and his analysis of SECDEF Hagel’s remarks are spot-on.  We are headed for a hollow force, despite its smaller size, as many of us have feared all along.  This, despite all the promises and admonitions of this Administration and our Pentagon leadership.  Go have a read.

 

 

The Army Force Cuts: 3 Truths, 4 Fallacies « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary

WASHINGTON: There are three things you need to know about the administration’s new budget plan and what it means for the Army. Most importantly, the fact the Army will be its smallest since before World War II is not one of them.

In the dystopian mirror universe that is Washington under sequestration, being cut by 40,000 to 50,000 soldiers is actually a win for the Army. Everyone I’ve talked to inside and outside of the Army knew the service would go below 490,000 regular active-duty troops, the previous plan. The only question was how low. Sec. Hagel’s Strategic Choices and Management Review studied a 380,000-soldier option and many sources speculated about 420,000, while Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno entrenched himself at the 450,000 line. Hagel’s plan to reduce the Army to “440,000 to 450,000″ looks pretty good for Gen. Odierno…

via The Army Force Cuts: 3 Truths, 4 Fallacies « Breaking Defense – Defense industry news, analysis and commentary.

Read on to see what LTG(Sel) H.R. McMaster has to say.

Unseen Gains of the PLA: Objects in Mirror Are Closer than They Appear

Analysis is easy when you assume your opponent is just a lesser version of yourself; a likely reason we often defer to simple defense budget comparisons when talking about China. When we focus solely on the dollar-for-dollar budget of the People’s Liberation Army, we’d find it disturbingly close to the U.S. budget and certainly beyond those budgets of U.S. allies. The reality, however, is more complex – but it is even less optimistic.

via Unseen Gains of the PLA: Objects in Mirror Are Closer than They Appear.

Mahan and Morrison might have refered to the problem as one of the tyranny of distance.  The US Fleet of 1940 was sufficiently strong to defeat the Japanese battle fleet. But the forward deployed US Asiatic Fleet was virtually wiped out. Mass is an important principle of war, both for armies, and for Navies.

War Is Heck(ish) | National Review Online

In light of the substantial cuts to defense and considering certain cultural changes underway in the military, I decided to e-mail my 2020 self to see what the Army will be like in just a few, short years. My 2020 self responded by forwarding the following welcome briefing to new recruits:

via War Is Heck(ish) | National Review Online.

Read the whole thing. Methinks David might have stopped by CDR Salamander’s the odd DivThu or two.

VA destroyed veteran medical records to delete exam requests | The Daily Caller

“The committee was called System Redesign and the purpose of the meeting was to figure out ways to correct the department’s efficiency. And one of the issues at the time was the backlog,” Oliver Mitchell, a Marine veteran and former patient services assistant in the VA Greater Los Angeles Medical Center, told TheDC.

“We just didn’t have the resources to conduct all of those exams. Basically we would get about 3,000 requests a month for [medical] exams, but in a 30-day period we only had the resources to do about 800. That rolls over to the next month and creates a backlog,” Mitchell said. ”It’s a numbers thing. The waiting list counts against the hospitals efficiency. The longer the veteran waits for an exam that counts against the hospital as far as productivity is concerned.”

By 2008, some patients were “waiting six to nine months for an exam” and VA “didn’t know how to address the issue,” Mitchell said.

via VA destroyed veteran medical records to delete exam requests | The Daily Caller.

In my last conversation with Swamp Heathen 1, he mentioned that he tried to get copies of his medical records, especially the ones for a specific injury. The Army hospital told him that they turned his records over to the VA; the VA told him that they had none of his records. While I don’t think that having his old Army records would have saved him, it was one more stress that he did not need, and it does no good to “make the problem go away” in this manner.

I also plan on using this in my next Obamacare argument. When rationing doesn’t work, is the delete key next?