The Jury Talks Back


Insert vulgar words here

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 7:54 pm

So, I’ve hit what you could charitably call “a snag” in my enlistment.

If you were trying for the “understatement of the millennium” award.

The Gunny Sgt of the local recruiting post informed me today that my criminal record is a problem.  A “stopped dead” kind of problem.  The issue is that, apparently, recruitment is darned good for the military, and as such the work involved in getting the waivers is more trouble than it is worth for those up the chain.  Why work on my stuff when there’s that 19 year old over there with a clean history?  Sure he’ll only score a 55 on the ASVAB, but they only need him to get a 50, and he’s in.  Way less work, same result.

But I’m not giving up.  Hell to the no.

What I need is a way to give incentive.  Means to show the Marines that I’m a good person to sign up, and that I’m likely to stick around for the long haul.  Letters from people with impressive letters by their name.

I need brass, and I need politicians (my God, I think I found a use for politicians!!!).

So, if any of you fine, fine folk happen to have an Admrial, or Captain, or General somewhere in your roladex (any service works, retired is ok), or if you’re in Illinois if you happen to have a way to get a few minutes ear-time with one of my two Senators or Governor, and if you have a high enough opinion of me to go to bat for me (if you have a low opinion of me, I think I’ll pass on your kind offer to help :)), then please let me know.

Respond here using a working e-mail as your “check in” e-mail (you know, that thing what Patterico requires you to put in to post), I will be more grateful to you than I could ever express in word or deed.

I would, in fact, have a rough time even expressing my gratitude in my own mind, let alone how I would ever convey such lofty concepts to you fine people.

Thanks folks.  Whatever you can suggest, I’m more than open to.

PS – Sorry for bumping the actual informative posts, aphrael.  Mea Culpa.  :)

Now They Tell Us, Katrina Edition

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin M @ 6:01 pm

What a difference a change of administrations makes.  After several years of non-stop hectoring about Bush and the bungled response to Katrina, the New York Times offers an op-ed about how “All Disasters are Local.”

AMERICA seems to have dodged a bullet with the swine flu epidemic — yet this was more the result of the virus being less deadly than feared rather than of any government coordination.

Despite billions spent since 9/11, we are still not well prepared to react to disease outbreaks, terrorist attacks and natural disasters — a fact Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has been frank about in her brief time on the job. She has ruffled feathers by criticizing a $25 million national-security exercise the department undertook in 2007 as being too expensive, too unrealistic and “too removed from a real-world scenario.” But her frustration is well founded and indicative of larger fundamental flaws.

The big problem is that coordination among state and local governments and Washington has been only incrementally improved in recent years. The national exercise system is broken, focusing too much on senior officials and neglecting training at the state and local levels. There is a better way.

The author then goes on to talk about the need for low-level training, rather than just showpiece enactments to make the bigwigs look good.  And as for Katrina?  Way down past the jump, we have just this:

The degree of personal trust at the tactical level, not money or machines, is the single most important determinant of how well communities will deal with threats and disasters. But these relationships must be established in training so that first responders are not handing out business cards to one another on the way to the disaster. In addition, preparation can sort out any questions as to what the military’s proper role will be in a disaster and spare us the sort of legal haggling that helped hamstring the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

Now, that would be an interesting story to hear.  Legal haggling stymied the federal response?  That’s actual news.  When, where, by whom and why?  Since we didn’t hear about it, I’ll bet it wasn’t Bush’s folks doing the haggling.

But I guess that would spoil the narrative.

Campbell’s budget proposal

Filed under: California Politics — aphrael @ 6:19 am

Former Congressman Tom Campbell, in anticipation of today’s debate among likely Republican gubernatorial candidates, has released a counter-proposal to the governor’s May Revise. It’s an interesting proposal.

I particularly like the observation that it’s unwise to budget on the assumption that a certain amount of fraud will be rooted out, and the observation that we can propose all the cuts we want to the Department of Corrections but can’t actually implement them unless the court receiver agrees. In addition, his point that one-time fixes aren’t helpful is very well taken. On the other hand, I think the notion is absurd that public employees can successfully be talked into a 15% pay cut.

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