Thursday, March 23, 2006

Turning the Tide...

The number of veterans running for Congress, as reported on Air America this morning, is up over 60, with all but two so far registered as Democrats. With only a 15-seat swing needed in the House, these veterans, sick and tired of how this administration has dumped on them after sending them off on a pre-emptive war based on cherry-picked wrong intelligence, are ready to help take this country back. The Repugs assumption that all military voters, and especially veterans, are in their camp, is over as of November.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Leadership 101 Revisited

Is there a failure of leadership in the administration and Congress? Judge for yourself.

In any organization:

- Leadership starts at the top
- Leadership is revealed by the types of people chosen to be key staff & advisors
- Leadership sets the values & ethics for the organization
- Leadership sets the culture for the organization
- Leadership encourages a cooperative, team approach with those being led
- Leadership builds trust and strong communication channels
- Leadership sets the vision ahead and gets overwhelming buy-in to it
- *Credibility is the foundation of leadership

Although these principles are not an exhaustive description of leadership, I know these principles to be true from my own experience. I teach them to a variety of groups who invariably confirm these principles back to me.

Therefore, using these principles, every one of you can evaluate this administration and its leadership effectiveness overall and its support of veterans and the troops in particular. You can also evaluate your own organization where you work, your state and local leaders - and yourself.

* The last principle listed comes from The Leadership Challenge, 3d Ed. (trade paperback) by James M. Kouzes and Barry C. Posner. I highly recommend you take a look at it.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dubai Retrospective...

Everyone else has commented on Dubai, so a close friend asked me what I thought, now two weeks later...

The 62-2 vote in Congress sums up things well. It was a stupid decision by those involved including Homeland Security that took no notice that, on it's face, contradicted everything the administration has asked us to believe about the threats to our ports - even if it had turned out that there was no real threat from the Dubai company. Incompetence, arrogance, lack of communication, and money issues (similar themes in Iraq, Katrina) were made worse by the fact that no one told the president about the decision until after it was made. How many times do Chertoff and his friends have to screw up royally?

In immediately saying he would veto any action to stop the deal, Mr. Bush made things worse in that he clearly wanted us to believe that he knew about the deal and had good reasons for it - when in fact he admitted a couple of days later that he didn't make the decision but had only just been told about it. Fortunately, Mr. Bush was saved from further embarrassment when the Dubai company 'voluntarily' backed out of the deal.

Like so many other things with this administration, folks, following the money will ultimately help provide more clarity of how everything happened.

What is worse, we still have monumental security issues with our ports that have not been addressed well enough yet, no matter who winds up managing them.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Mental Health and Military Service in Iraq

Discussion on NPR radio:

A new study shows more than one in three members of the U.S. armed forces serving in Iraq seeks help for mental health problems. We talk about the types of problems they're experiencing, the help available, and long term cost to individuals, their families, and the nation.


Charles Sheehan-Miles, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense and a veteran of the first Gulf War

Col. Dr. Charles Hoge, director of the division of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

Chaplain John Morris, chaplain for the Minnesota National Guard

Craig Smith, served as a Specialist in Operation Iraqi Freedom from April to November 2003

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Back to Code Red...

You were a great baseball pitcher, Mr. Bunning, but you and your ilk are headed for the scrap heap of the 'politics of fear'...
"Civil liberties do not mean much when you are dead," Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., told the Senate.
...but they mean a hell of a lot when you are alive, senator - that's what you don't understand, and never will.

So now we see that more than 40 Democrats have no problems left with the Patriot Act - the only thing that changed was that you can now supposedly feel relatively safe going into your public library.

Whoop-de-do, Dems: you really showed 'em...

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link