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General Mattis speaks

By Phantom On August 28th, 2019 at 11:40 pm

There would be few recent military leaders more revered in military and civilian society than General Mattis, who retired from the Marine Corps in 2012. He of course later served as Secretary of State for a time, before resigning at the end of last year.

The general has authored a book, ” Call Sign Chaos, Learning to Lead “. Leadership is something that Mattis knows a lot about

He has served under good military and civilian leaders, and he has served under this president. A major reason why he left the SecDef position is that he believes in the NATO alliance. The president seemingly doesn’t support alliances of any kind, not NATO, which he spoke of having the US leave, not alliances among Americans. His every comment is aimed at demeaning and dividing.

Mattis chooses his words carefully. He’s clearly critical of the president ,and I hear no praise at all for the other party.

The Marines are bluntly critical of falling short, satisfied only with 100% effort and commitment. Yet over the course of my career, every time I made a mistake—and I made many—the Marines promoted me. They recognized that these mistakes were part of my tuition and a necessary bridge to learning how to do things right. Year in and year out, the Marines had trained me in skills they knew I needed, while educating me to deal with the unexpected.

Beneath its Prussian exterior of short haircuts, crisp uniforms and exacting standards, the Corps nurtured some of the strangest mavericks and most original thinkers I encountered in my journey through multiple commands and dozens of countries. The Marines’ military excellence does not suffocate intellectual freedom or substitute regimented dogma for imaginative solutions. They know their doctrine, often derived from lessons learned in combat and written in blood, but refuse to let that turn into dogma.

Woe to the unimaginative one who, in after-action reviews, takes refuge in doctrine. The critiques in the field, in the classroom or at happy hour are blunt for good reasons. Personal sensitivities are irrelevant. No effort is made to ease you through your midlife crisis when peers, seniors or subordinates offer more cunning or historically proven options, even when out of step with doctrine.

An oft-spoken admonition in the Marines is this: When you’re going to a gunfight, bring all your friends with guns. Having fought many times in coalitions, I believe that we need every ally we can bring to the fight. From imaginative military solutions to their country’s vote in the U.N., the more allies the better. I have never been on a crowded battlefield, and there is always room for those who want to be there alongside us.

A wise leader must deal with reality and state what he intends, and what level of commitment he is willing to invest in achieving that end. He then has to trust that his subordinates know how to carry that out. Wise leadership requires collaboration; otherwise, it will lead to failure.

Nations with allies thrive, and those without them wither. Alone, America cannot protect our people and our economy. At this time, we can see storm clouds gathering. A polemicist’s role is not sufficient for a leader. A leader must display strategic acumen that incorporates respect for those nations that have stood with us when trouble loomed. Returning to a strategic stance that includes the interests of as many nations as we can make common cause with, we can better deal with this imperfect world we occupy together. Absent this, we will occupy an increasingly lonely position, one that puts us at increasing risk in the world.

Unlike in the past, where we were unified and drew in allies, currently our own commons seems to be breaking apart. What concerns me most as a military man is not our external adversaries; it is our internal divisiveness. We are dividing into hostile tribes cheering against each other, fueled by emotion and a mutual disdain that jeopardizes our future, instead of rediscovering our common ground and finding solutions.

Jim Mattis: Duty, Democracy and the threat oF Tribalism


By Pete Moore On August 28th, 2019 at 7:03 pm

I used to like Gloucester. Played plenty of rugby there, always followed by a decent session in a country pub nearby. Now they have new pursuits, outside a halal butcher, courtesy of new arrivals.

Call me what you like, but I preferred the old Gloucester, when it was less enriched. It really was better.


By Pete Moore On August 28th, 2019 at 6:42 pm

Remainers are fewmin tonight. From Westminster to Islington to the BBC, the fancy restaurants are in uproar over Her Majesty proroguing Parliament. It’s because they know nothing.

Parliament is prorogued for a month in September and October every year for the party conference season anyway. It happens every year. We need a Queen’s Speech anyway. This is the longest Parliament since the 17th-Century and we’ve had a recent change at the top. A classical liberal with a classical liberal agenda has replaced a progressive leftist with a progressive left agenda. So the previous legislative agenda has been binned. So prorogation is perfectly normal and in order.

This prorogation extends the normal shutdown (for the party conferences) by four whole days. Remainers have gone completely mental because of four whole days. If Remainers can explain what they would do in those four days, which they have failed to do in the last 3 years and 3 months, that would be helpful.

Now this is what will happen. We leave the EU, by law, on 31st October. There’s a big EU pow wow on 17th-18th October. BoJo will get concessions on the so-called backstop. Ignore that the withdrawal agreement is riddled with terrible things, the backstop is the headline. So he’ll get that neutered and pick up a few other concessions.

He returns to Parliament, with a slightly changed withdrawal agreement, he calls it a new deal, then tells the treasonous anti-democrats to vote for it or we leave on 31st with no agreement.


By Patrick Van Roy On August 28th, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Parliament Funkadelic

By Mahons On August 28th, 2019 at 12:04 pm

The British Prime Minister has asked The Queen to suspend parliament. Her Majesty, as the Beatles noted, doesnt have a lot to say (except Yes). It is causing a bit of an uproar but it will certainly happen.

Boris of course sees the inevitable no deal Brexit heading his way. He truly was never going to broker a deal himself. He is hoping this eliminates the opportunity of Remainder forces to force anything and he can be the man who delivered Brexit, even if he delivers it in the only manner it would ever realistically be delivered at this juncture – by diving off a cliff into the unknown.


By Pete Moore On August 27th, 2019 at 7:06 pm

Johnson and Johnson, which hid the presence of asbestos in its talcum powder, is having another bad day –

An Oklahoma judge has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572m for its role in driving Oklahoma’s opioid epidemic. The landmark ruling will have wide-ranging consequences for the other opioid makers, distributors and pharmacy chains facing thousands of lawsuits across the country.

Judge Thad Balkman determined that Johnson & Johnson ran a “false and dangerous” sales campaign that led to addiction and death in the state, as well as helping to fuel the worst drug epidemic in US history. These are the key points from his damning 42-page decision.

Good. The corrupt doctors who collaborated with the pill pushers need to be prosecuted too. Many of them took money from Johnson & Johnson to push opioids onto people who simply didn’t need them. It was part of a greater campaign to convince as many Americans as possible that they were in pain and needed opioids. It’s a campaign which they’ve exported to the UK and beyond.

This is just Oklahoma. Lawsuits are going ahead all over the country. I hope they take Johnson & Johnson, and similar pill pushers, to the cleaners.


By Pete Moore On August 27th, 2019 at 7:00 pm

No words –

CCTV footage has revealed 1,500 crimes on one ward of Muckamore Abbey Hospital in County Antrim, the police officer leading the investigation has said.

The incidents happened in the psychiatric intensive care unit over the course of six months in 2017-18.

Police are investigating allegations about the physical and mental abuse of patients.

The hospital provides treatment for people with severe learning disabilities and mental health needs […]

Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster programme, Det Ch Insp Duffie said police were examining a series of “very traumatic events” seen in more than 300,000 hours of footage.

She said officers were going through the footage “minute by minute”.

She said the footage included the repeated physical abuse of patients.

“Over the period of six months we are looking at a pattern of very traumatic events,” she added.

“We have seen the repeated pattern of physical and mental abuse of the patients contained within that ward.

Like a Hurricane

By Mahons On August 27th, 2019 at 1:16 pm

The President has decried as Fake News the story that he asked senior advisors if he could use nuclear weapons to nuke hurricanes before they reached our shores here in the US. The reporters stand by their story. I suppose my reaction is who knows?

It certainly sounds like something he would ask. It involves something no one has done, something on a grand scale, and he has the nuclear weapons (a reminder that we, as a nation, are in a state of denial). It would certainly lead the news cycle. And one imagines his supporters cheering him on for protecting the country from an outside menace with all the means at his disposal. The fact that it wouldn’t work seems an afterthought.
It is my fond hope that his advisors deflected his attention by suggesting they would look into it and pointing to something Oprah Winfrey said about him to distract him. One can imagine him asking the Joint Chiefs “Where are we on that bombing Hurricanes thing, after all they struck first! My predecessors appeased the weather!”
While it seems totally in character for him to have suggested it I am willing to accept for sanity sake that he did not, or at least that there is insufficient evidence that he did. I enjoyed watching Dr. Strangelove, I dont need to live it.
The takeaway for me is I am going to extend to him an unearned benefit of doubt. To do otherwise is unthinkable.

Chinese Takeout

By Mahons On August 26th, 2019 at 1:31 pm

I fall into the group of political observors who think the President doesn’t necessarily believe everything he tweets, rather he believes he can tweet anything. I suspect his tweeting that he can order American business out of China falls into that latter category.
Reckless, impulsive, juvenile and even false comments are not merely expected from Trump, they seem to be so common that a truthful and thoughtful comment would be shocking.
True conservatives would be appalled by any President making such a statement, let alone acting on it. By they do not control the Republican Party any more. Calvin Coolege once said the business of America is business. Trump demonstrates that the business of America is show business.
Trump’s supporters will certainly not recoil at his tweets. They will fall in line and praise a position they would have condemned the day before the Dear Tweeter’s tweet. It has become a cultural phenomenon, a surrender of self unseen since the Moonies.
So here it is, the President is not the legislature. He can not this day order American companies to cease trade in China. Under certain national emergency laws he can, subject to Congressional oversight, effect trade with a foreign nation (no such emergency having been declared with China mind you). For him to pretend otherwise shows he is playing checkers, even Chinese checkers, while the Chinese are playing chess.

Johnson The Welsher

By Patrick Van Roy On August 25th, 2019 at 8:15 pm

Guest Post by Paul McMahon

In the ultimate act of bad faith Brit PM Boris Johnson has said that Britain won’t pay the £39bn liability agreed if Britain leaves the EU  without a deal on 31 October:

The act of  a desperate man? Is this the UK blinking?

Incidentally, I’d urge readers to read the comments on the tweet, particularly this one: 

UK signed up for the terms of budget contributions and ancillary responsibilities for the 2014-2020 term. That is under a treaty (EU membership). Failure to honour commitments breaches Art. 43 of the Vienna convention so, see you all in the Hague and in all UK courts. Unwise.

In refusing to accept it’s agreed responsibilities the UK would of course become a pariah internationally. 

See you in court Bojo.