Missing the point

Institute of Mental Health 5, Nov 06

Institute of Mental Health 5, Nov 06 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the shooting in Washington, the Pentagon will review procedures that allowed the shooter into the Navy Yard, while Congress will focus on mental health issues. Mental health issues are the more important issue. Focusing on the shooter’s security clearance, while important, is not the central issue. Lacking a security clearance, Alexis would have chosen his victims outside the Naval facility, rather than inside. Same results, different victims.

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Irony

1933 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Norman Angel...

1933 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Norman Angell on exhibit to the public at the Imperial War Museum, London, England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Can’t you see
The irony?
Three men of peace:
Opposed the Iraq war
Nobel Peace Prize winner-Obama
Three Purple Hearts in Vietnam-Kerry
Secretary of Defense-Hagel
Now support war in Syria.
Best defense is
A good offense.
Syria is not a game.
Lives are at stake.
Cheney‘s 1% doctrine,
Bad then, worse now,
No longer applicable.
We cannot decide Syria’s fate.
France tried and failed.
Only Syrians can rule Syria.

Mark Helprin

Municipal Building, New York City

Municipal Building, New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Sunlight and in Shadow is Mark Helprin‘s latest novel, set in the mid 1940s both during WW2 and shortly thereafter in New York City. It is a love story between a man and a woman and between the author and the city. Here is a short quotation that reminded me of the current Republican stance on the Chuck Hagel nomination to be secretary of defense.

“Like almost everyone from Ohio, he wanted to run for Congress , and thought that having been a common soldier would more honestly qualify him. ‘The mind of a general and the heart of an infantryman,’ he once told Harry, ‘are what is required to make the decisions politicians make in regard to both war and peace.’ Clearly, he was getting ready to run, and not only was he right, Harry thought, but were he to survive he would go far if after the war courage and probity would still count.”

Harry is the leading character in the novel and the above quotation is from the portion of the book devoted to his experiences during WW2 in Europe.

Filibuster

Chuck Hagel - Caricature

Chuck Hagel – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

The GOP failed in preventing Barack‘s re-election. They know that a second term president has about 18 months to accomplish anything, and they have decided to go into ball control mode to run out the clock. That is why they are filibustering Chuck Hagel‘s nomination to be Secretary of Defense. They know that cloture will be voted and that Hagel will be confirmed. However, precious time will be wasted and taken off the legislative clock. We can expect more of the same in future days.

Please see Chuck Hagel | Chuck Hagel part 2

Chuck Hagel part 2

Hagel

Hagel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chuck Hagel is President Obama’s choice for Secretary of Defense and I think that he is an excellent choice. Some GOP members of the Senate disagree. What John McCain and some others are forgetting is that the cabinet position is Secretary of Defense, not head of the War Department. The War Department became the Department of Defense in 1949. It is possible, and I argue desirable, to defense the nation in international disputes without using force in each and every case.

Please see Chuck Hagel