Join Jim and Greg as they welcome an appeals court decision upholding an Ohio ban on abortions because the unborn baby has Down Syndrome. They also fume as the intel community admits there is only low to moderate confidence in last year’s reports that Russia was offering bounties to the Taliban and its allies for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan. And they shake their heads at the obvious court-packing hypocrisy of Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome steady progress in reopening schools, as nearly half of U.S. school districts are now open for in-person learning. While understanding the desire to exit Afghanistan, they’re wondering whether President Biden has learned anything from his botching of the U.S. departure from Iraq that helped trigger the rise of ISIS. And the short fuse of the Biden administration is on display again after left-leaning probability expert Nate Silver criticizes the decision to pause the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The Impression That I Get

 

They like to talk. (“they” being that mystical conglomeration of people who are too difficult to name in the particular) about preparing for war, preparing for the worst of the unknown. I used to think that I could rely on my leaders to be unflinching in the face of impending danger, but experience has taught me otherwise.

As a young lieutenant so long ago, all the captains and the field grade officers were granted a level of respect that is difficult to comprehend if you aren’t a Marine. Even the other military branches don’t lend such esteem to their officers as the Marines do, and I still think that it is deserved. Yes, there are majors that are overweight. There are some who have “dropped their pack” and are taking it easy. But we know that in the heart of every Marine, especially officers, lives the heart of a lion, a bull, and a wolverine all in one.

Critical Corrosion of American Military, Pt. 1

 

We are hollowing out our military again, placing Americans in danger, both those in uniform and the civilian population. In the 1970s, the military was wracked by equipment, training, and personnel problems. After two decades of not-so-small wars, the American military again faces equipment, training and personnel problems, with a new twist. The latest United States Service Academy (West Point) cheating scandal is one manifestation of a 21st Century personnel problem, created by senior leaders embracing critical race theory, a leftist assault on our Constitution and institutions. This leftist assault, embraced by elites, civilian and military, weakens the foundations of integrity and trust in our military at every level.

From January 2021 onward, the American military has shown very troubling signs of accelerated politicization, with attendant concerns about weakness in the face of a resurgent threat environment. This is more than a single post, so I will start with the “so what,” with why it really matters if our military becomes like a socialist military, with political commissars enforcing party doctrine as national interest. I will then briefly outline how training and practice of the military-styled “Equal Opportunity” changed over the decades. Finally, we will take a look at the case of critical corrosion at West Point, the United States Military Academy.

POLITICAL MILITARIES UNDERPERFORM

US Military’s ‘Extremist Briefing’: An Inside Take

 

My daughter is active-duty Air Force and she is currently deployed overseas. She works in a direct mission career field which requires a top-secret clearance. Her work schedule on deployment is much more intense than it is when she is stateside. She works with all sorts of people: ages 19-50, all races, all genders, officers, NCOs, and enlisted. Her field is highly technical and competencies are more important in some aspects than how many stripes you may have. Her unit was tapped for the required “Extremist Briefing” recently and this is her report.

There was about 90 personnel in attendance. The briefing was two hours in length, despite their tight mission schedule. The briefing room required masks and chairs were positioned two feet apart. The briefing started with a video on the big screen with speeches from the SecDef, a four-star, the Chief MstSgt of the USAF, Commander of Air Combat Command, and on down the command structure until the video featured my daughter’s immediate command. She said that the way it drilled down to a face she knows made it feel very personal. The talking heads kept using the term “extremists” and “extremism” but the terms were not specifically defined, and that the terms were used very generally. (Kind of a “we all know it when we see it” kind of way). She said the video was creepy and made her feel uncomfortable. As a “Hunger Games” book fan in middle school, she said that she felt like it was a scene out of a Hunger Games book where the “Capital District” was telling everyone in other districts what the reality was, but that the ones out of touch with reality were on the screen.

After the video and some PowerPoint slides (can you have a briefing in the military without PP slides?), my daughter said they were broken up into smaller groups and a “facilitator” (another military person) then asked questions of the group members such as “Tell me about a time in your military career that you saw or experienced extremism.” The groups were told that the facilitators were required to write down their responses and would be sending them back into the SecDef. One group member tried to pin down the facilitator about what did they mean by “extremism?” (Still no clear definition.) One group member, a black airman, stated that he may have experienced a couple of jerks during his AF career who were racist, but when were they going to be asked about the thousand other incidents of his colleagues going out of their way to support him professionally and personally? Another group member wondered why they were not talking about extremism in the context of Antifa and Portland. Another black female airman said that the AF was a melting pot and, although she came from an all-black neighborhood, she had met and worked with great people of all walks of life. No one in the group offered any examples of “extremism” despite the lack of definition.

Butch O’Hare: The History of the WWII War Hero and First Naval Recipient of the Medal of Honor

 

Edward “Butch” O’Hare was the Navy’s first flying ace, a World War II hero whose name would have been commonly known at the time, but has sadly faded out of view for most Americans. With severely limited ammunition supplies, he was able to shoot down five Japanese bombers, which is how he became the first Naval recipient of the Medal of Honor during the Second World War

But this was not his only brush with world history: His father, known around Chicago as “Easy Eddie,” was Al Capone’s high-powered attorney. Easy Eddie was so prized by Capone that he wasn’t just paid a handsome salary – he was also kept in the lap of luxury in a house the size of an entire Chicago city block filled with servants. 

Easy Eddie lavished the young Butch with gifts. But he was also concerned with his education and moral upbringing – the latter of which changed Easy Eddie’s entire life, when he ultimately decided to testify against Capone in open court. Needless to say, this didn’t end well for Eddie Senior: His life ended in a hail of bullets on the streets of Chicago. 

Member Post

 

Like many people, I have been appalled by the way our military has been exploited by the Democrats to act as their personal bodyguards in DC, but I’ve made peace with it. If our Capitol being surrounded by troops and a militarized fence is “the new normal”, then I think I think we may as […]

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Father Emil Kapuan, Medal of Honor

 

I first wrote this essay several years ago, at that time Father Kapuan’s remains were considered lost, that has changed. His remains have now been identified. I would like to thank @scottwilmot for bringing this update to the story of Father Kapuan to my attention.

The remains of Father Emil Kapaun, a Kansas native and Catholic priest who died while a prisoner of war, have been identified by military officials.

Sen. Jerry Moran announced Thursday that the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency of the Department of Defense has identified Kapaun’s remains. As of Thursday evening, Kapaun was not listed by the agency among the names of people who have recently been accounted for.

You remember the 19th Amendment, right?  It was in all the papers at the time. In this episode, Dave welcomes author Tyler Boyd onto the show to talk about his new book, “Tennessee Statesman Harry T. Boyd,” which tells the story of the gentleman who cast the deciding vote which ratified the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, giving women across America the right to vote. As it happens, the book’s author is the great grand-nephew of Harry T. Burn, and had extraordinary access to the documents and first-hand accounts of Burn, his life and impact on the state and the nation. As you will hear, Harry T. Burn’s contributions to the nation didn’t stop with the passage of women’s suffrage. Indeed, throughout his time in public life, which included a campaign for Tennessee governor and multiple terms in the Tennessee Senate, Burn’s commitment to limited government and responsible stewardship of the public trust was actually ahead of his time.

Then Dave sits down with a fellow military veteran (and fellow 18 wheeler driver), Ricochet Member Chuck Ceccacci. Chuck and Dave both drove military show trucks and participated together in the 2014 Rolling Thunder event, where they drove their show trucks through Washington DC, along with over 800,000 veterans on motorcycles, to call attention to military members who were held as Prisoners of War and Missing In Action. It’s understood that when a couple of veterans start telling stories, it’s going to be interesting, but who knew it would be so funny too? This is one episode you won’t want to miss

Join Jim and Greg for three crazy martinis! First, they aim withering verbal fire at the writer for Yahoo News and The Atlantic, who compared covering the Trump administration to storming Omaha Beach. They also discuss the major, yet unsurprising, Associated Press revelations about how much the Lincoln Project leaders were pocketing from donors and when some of their officials really learned of allegations against John Weaver. And they point out that Joe Biden has exactly the opposite statement on China that he had during the campaign – right down to the metaphor.

Member Post

 

The Joint Chiefs just issued a statement that Biden will be the next president. Breathtakingly irresponsible. Congress certified the EC vote. The military has zero say. If their intention is to tell Trump he better leave then 1) they are stunningly stupid because there’s not a shred of any indication, except in Leftists’ fantasy land, […]

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Jim and Greg offer their reactions to demonstrators flooding into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in protest of the Electoral Vote counting process. They also examine the president’s response and one good thing that happened in the wake of all the chaos.

Join Jim and Greg as they react to Andrew Yang considering a run for mayor of New York City. They also groan as former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe – a longtime Clinton ally – officially wants his old job back. And they discuss several Senate Democrats announcing they will not support a waiver need to confirm Joe Biden’s choice for Secretary of Defense.

One Final Military Thanksgiving

 

Today marks my final Thanksgiving Day in uniform. I have spent it largely alone, as the Middle East dust has been playing Old Harry with my sinuses, sharply limiting my opportunities for fellowship. I did make an exception to go serve the troops at the dining facility, or “DFAC” in our military lingo. I was entrusted with the corn-on-the-cob, collard greens and gravy. They kept me away from the carving knives, which was probably the right call, manual dexterity not being my strong suit.

I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic–indeed, thankful–as I tic off each of these “lasts” through this final year on active duty, an extraordinarily fulfilling 35-year adventure from start to finish. The Air Force collected me from a disastrous early college experience, gave me a trade and sufficient structure to get me through those undisciplined early adult years, and then let me go back to school once I’d grown up enough to handle it. It sent me to amazing places and introduced me to even more amazing people–including my lifelong friend and soul-mate, who willingly signed up for the rest of the journey.

Join Jim and Greg as they reveal what they’re politically thankful for in 2020. From the fight against COVID to domestic politics to major events on the world stage, they each find three things they’re thankful for from this difficult, unpredictable year.

Happy Thanksgiving to all 3 Martini Lunch listeners and your families! There will be no podcast on Thursday. Please join us Friday for our special Black Friday edition, as Jim and Greg pick out gifts for various political figures.

Join Jim and Greg as they credit Republicans for keeping a treasure trove of opposition research on Raphael Warnock quiet until the Georgia Senate runoff. Now  they are highlighting Warnock’s radical statements on many different issues. They also walk through a number of burdensome new COVID restrictions, including Pennsylvania’s requirement to wear masks in your own home if you have guests, and contrast that with politicians like California Gov. Gavin Newsom who don’t think the rules apply to them. And they get a kick out of watching Bernie Sanders supporters become deeply disappointed with Joe Biden as he names corporate figures to most positions in his inner circle.

2016 Documentary, Citizen Soldier, Freshly Relevant with News

 

45th Infantry Patch ThunderbirdCitizen Soldier is an excellent documentary, from soldiers’ perspectives, made freshly relevant by the infuriating revelations that top Department of Defense officials were blatantly violating their oaths of office and actively lying to the civilian elected leadership, President Trump and the Congress, about troops these excrement heaps in suits were keeping in harm’s way. President Eisenhower was entirely right to warn of the deeply corrupting congruence of profit and career in the name of our national security. To understand on whom the Department of Defense are really imposing costs, watch Citizen Soldier.

I finally viewed Citizen Soldier this past Friday with a group of friends who are not veterans. We were all a little skeptical when we popped the DVD in the player, worried that it would be amateurish and not the subject matter that lends itself to being so bad it is good. Everyone gave the movie a thumbs up. We had briefly talked about the forsworn, lawless leadership at the Department of Defense. This movie captured deployment at the height of the Obama Afghanistan surge. The comments after the lights came up were not entirely printable about the top Pentagon leadership then and now.

Citizen Soldier feels like a multiplayer first-person shooter, always from the perspective of one of the soldiers. The view over gun barrels will look very familiar if you ever played or saw a bit of a game being played on a computer screen. This is because the footage comes from small, light video cameras, like GoPro, mounted on the soldiers’ helmets. So, this was an intentional project, from before their deployment, to tell the story of a company company of “citizen soldiers,” the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, known since World War II as the “Thunderbirds.” A thunderbird is on their diamond-shaped unit patch.

Member Post

 

Veterans Day, celebrated each year on November 11th, was first celebrated on this same date in 1919, under the name of Armistice Day. The holiday was named in remembrance of the temporary ceasefire that brought about the unofficial end to World War I when, the year before, the Allied forces entered into an armistice with […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they welcome victories for Republican candidates in the North Carolina and Alaska Senate races. They also applaud former Secretary of State Jim Baker for blasting pollsters for consistently being wrong and almost always in the same partisan direction. And they welcome a hand recount and audit of the presidential race in Georgia.