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J. KARL MILLER: 'Get a Job' remains the recipe for the American Dream

Monday, July 9, 2012 | 7:54 p.m. CDT; updated 10:22 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Many lament the perceived death of the American Dream, particularly as the job market and slow economy limit opportunities and make the doors more difficult to open. However, it is refreshing and encouraging to note that immigrants, prospective as well as arrivals, not only continue to believe in that dream but also enjoy considerable success in achievement.

The American Dream is defined loosely as a national ethos of the United States — the notion that everyone has the freedom and the opportunity for success, prosperity and upward mobility. The product is achieved through hard work. The idea of that dream springs from the Declaration of Independence: "All men are created equal, that they are endowed ... with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

To most parents, the American Dream is that their children will attend and graduate from a four-year college or university in preparation for a better career than was available to the previous generations.  That is a noble aspiration; nevertheless, it is neither universally attainable nor mandatory for success.

As I have written previously, in my generation and earlier ones, the work ethic for achieving the American Dream was embodied in the works of such authors as Horatio Alger Jr., a 19th century writer of dime novels of rags-to-riches success stories for young boys: "With uncommon courage and moral fortitude, Alger's youths struggled against adversity to achieve wealth and acclaim."

Accordingly, the American Dream is essentially an idea portending that success is the result of hard work, attention to detail and perseverance. Further, its concept implies that it applies to everyone, without regard to race, color, creed or ethnic origin.

Admittedly, while the perceived inequalities faced by those cited in the above paragraph are factors that may impede the pace of progress, to suggest the dream is not attainable by all is, at best, a cop-out. The individual successes enjoyed by Gen. Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Denzel Washington, Chubby Checker, Tuskegee pilot Col. Charles McGee and Tiger Woods, to name just a few, belie that notion.

Unfortunately, for far too much of the population, the dream no longer embodies freedom of opportunity, but rather opportunity for "free stuff." Much of this is attributable, in part, to our elected officials in the creation and expansion of entitlements without regard for the cost, or who is to pay.

The entitlement mentality has created worlds of opportunity for attorneys such as former presidential hopeful John Edwards (ambulance chasers). The volume of TV ads touting law firms soliciting claimants for disability, Social Security, asbestos-related illness, auto-accident injuries, a litany of ailments caused by medications, misdiagnosis/mistreatment by hospitals and the catch-all "tripping and slipping" is enough to make one wonder if working for a living is necessary.

Further, the juvenile, property destructive and anarchist actions of the "Occupy" movement against the productive and successful are highly illustrative of today's "I want what you have without having to earn it" mentality. The misplaced ardor of the protesters is fueled by both the tacit and the overt approval of their aberrant and lawless behavior by many of our elected and appointed officials.

This entitlement-driven indolence has also infected our education system, particularly in the high school and college curriculum. Inflated grading, passing students who deserve to fail and lowering education standards might please the students and the teachers, but they do no favors to that young man or young lady about to enter the workforce.

The notion that everyone must be afforded a college education makes for excellent political points, but there is no evidence that a college education is either a necessity or feasible. We have created an employee class that believes manual work is somehow beneath its dignity and is entitled to a desk, an in-and-out basket and a secretary to do the heavy lifting.

Too many of the current crop of students opt out of engineering, physics, mathematics and other sciences in favor of easier and less stressful social studies. While they may be of interest and stimulate the intellectual palates of some, what corporation or small business seeks to hire graduates of such disciplines as ethnic, gender, art and music appreciation, philosophy and other fine arts/social studies?

Contrary to the progressive spin, there are jobs that Americans just won't do — they require strenuous manual labor, they are beneath their dignity or they are just unnecessary because food stamps, welfare, disability shams and other entitlements trump the necessity to seek employment.

The American Dream is alive and well; why else do legal and illegal immigrants find employment and prosper? All that is required is for Americans to swallow their unearned pride, get off their lazy behinds and be willing to begin the climb at or near the bottom rung of the ladder.

Honest, hard work never hurt the able-bodied — a safety net is in place for the widows, orphans and truly disabled. The Silhouettes 1957 No. 1 hit "Get a Job" remains the recipe for the dream.

J. Karl Miller retired as a colonel in the Marine Corps. He is a Columbia resident and can be reached via email at JKarlUSMC@aol.com. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.


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Comments

Derrick Fogle July 9, 2012 | 9:58 p.m.

The man in the silk suit hurries by, catches the poor old lady's eye... Just for fun he says, "Get a Job." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1NAGhiVq...

(Report Comment)
Bob Brandon July 10, 2012 | 7:21 a.m.

"They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob,
When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job.
They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead,
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad; now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?
Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;
Once I built a tower, now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!

Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Why don't you remember, I'm your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!

Say, don't you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.
Say, don't you remember, I'm your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?"

- E.Y. Harburg, 1931

(Report Comment)
Gary Straub July 10, 2012 | 9:57 a.m.

The reason that many immigrants, especially undocumented ones, get the jobs is because they will work for much less, require no benefits and are constantly reminded of their status. How many immigrants do you see riding on the back of a trash truck in hundred degree weather? How many immigrants do you see working at McDs, working their ass off to serve a bunch of recalcitrant old men who are too cheap to go to a real restaurant where they will be expected to leave a tip. How many immigrants do you see delivering your mail in any weather, while your dog is nipping at their heels. How many do you see sweating their ass off building high rise metal edifices. You of all people know the physical and mental stress and low pay of serving in our military, how many are immigrants.

The jobs you are alluding to are mostly farm labor picking grapes and tomatoes and other fruits which require hand picking. I have worked those jobs and they are as close to slavery as allowed. And, no there are not many citizens who are willing to be treated like that for a measly few bucks.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin July 10, 2012 | 1:38 p.m.

Not that I'm any big Occupy supporter, but this comment misses the mark:

"...actions of the 'Occupy' movement against the productive and successful..."

The criminally-fraudulent Bernie Madoffs, Ken Lays, Allen Stanfords, Raj Rajaratnams, and Rajat Guptas of the world gave rise to the Occupy movement far more than the truly productive and successful American citizens I believe you're trying to reference here.

Occupiers (and their right-wing counterparts, Tea Partiers, and many others, for that matter) have also objected to overpaid CEOs looting companies until the companies are bankrupt; and plutocratic fat cats getting undeserved government bailouts.

In fact, one can argue that corporate welfare is more to blame for the entitlement mentality gripping America than laziness and educational deficits among the comparatively lowly masses.

(Report Comment)
Bob Brandon July 10, 2012 | 1:43 p.m.

If we're going to be about getting rid of entitlements, let's start with the likes of Jamie Dimon's and go from there.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller July 10, 2012 | 8:48 p.m.

Mr Straub,

Unwittingly, you have just made my point. Those who sneer at manual, entry level employment as "too hard" or beneath them in favor of freeloading are exactly as I described.

Mike-Please, you have to know better than to describe the "Occupy Movement" as a Tea Party counterpart.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 11, 2012 | 5:12 a.m.

There weren't any drug overdoses, rapes, assaults, trashed out areas, public urination and defecation, riots, shootings, suicides, people threatening to murder Democrat governors, or business interruptions at any tea party rallies. The people who attended tea parties rallies could give you a clear, sensible, coherent message on why they were there. Those are the major differences between the tea party rallies and the OWS gatherings. Other than that, they were pretty much the same.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking July 11, 2012 | 8:03 a.m.

Tea party rallies typically don't go on for weeks in one place, and this is part of the difference you see.

One of the bigger mistakes of Occupy was including some of the chronic homeless in their camps. Some may have felt noble giving the down-and-out meals and a place to stay, but neglected the fact that most of the homeless are on the street not because of our unfair society, but because of their own bad choices and habits. Giving them a place to stay meant they also had to deal with their behaviors, and some of them involve rape and assault.

Occupy is pretty much irrelevant these days, anyway. I know Col Miller seems to have a real dislike for them, but there's likely more important political targets these days.

DK

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 11, 2012 | 8:37 a.m.

These people were only here a day also:

After Pres. Obama's inauguration

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/im...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/inaugur...

(Report Comment)
Rich C. July 11, 2012 | 9:14 a.m.

"The people who attended tea parties rallies could give you a clear, sensible, coherent message on why they were there"

Clearly....

http://0.tqn.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/I/...

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking July 11, 2012 | 9:22 a.m.

Don Milsop wrote:

"After Pres. Obama's inauguration"

Looks like the parking areas around Faurot Field after Homecoming.

Guess Mizzou fans are a bunch of liberal unwashed hippies also.

DK

(Report Comment)
matt arnall July 11, 2012 | 10:29 a.m.

Just pathetic bigotry on display. All tea party good, all occupy bad. For a grown man to think like you do is really sad. Really infuriates me that you use your platform to spread this garbage.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 11, 2012 | 11:29 a.m.

"Occupiers" are in error,
Thinking they are Che Guevara.

Che, though dead, a beacon shining;
"Occupiers" really can't stop whining.

Pol party symbols: Donkey and Elephant;
"Occupiers" mainly now irrelevant.*

Fast away the time it passes:
Get a job, get off your asses.

*-Thank you, Mr. Foecking.

(Report Comment)
David Sautner July 11, 2012 | 1:49 p.m.

J. Carl Miller wrote:
"Further, the juvenile, property destructive and anarchist actions of the "Occupy" movement against the productive and successful are highly illustrative of today's "I want what you have without having to earn it" mentality. The misplaced ardor of the protesters is fueled by both the tacit and the overt approval of their aberrant and lawless behavior by many of our elected and appointed officials."

Not so, many of strongest supporters of Occupy are some of the hardest working, most successful Americans I've ever met in my entire life.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 11, 2012 | 4:01 p.m.

David, I have to admit I'm amazed that you've met so many successful people in your line of work that support OWS. In my work of dealing with thousands of contractors, engineering firms, and material suppliers, I never discussed once Obamacare or any other political matter. That would not be something my employer would appreciate at all. Now outside of that, I have no idea if the people I run into in daily life are some of the most successful people I know or not. And I generally don't know their feelings on Obamacare. I know several of them are multi-millionaires because I have to deal with their properties here at our condo in Hawaii. But how are you able to meet all these successful people and discuss these issues with them?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 11, 2012 | 4:19 p.m.

Uh oh.

Be careful out there.

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/ju...

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 11, 2012 | 5:15 p.m.

Michael, when you accuse somebody of what is basically a crime, you should have to stand tall for it.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 11, 2012 | 5:21 p.m.

Don: Yes, I understand that and agree.

Just lettin' folks know what a judge decided. Anonymous isn't necessarily anonymous.

We post here with out real names (hopefully); most at the other local paper don't. I wonder what the Trib's response to this would be?

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller July 11, 2012 | 7:18 p.m.

Mr Sautner,

I welcome your criticism--differing opinions, right or wrong, are worth sharing. However, I would expect that someone with the intelligence to master the Internet and share those opinions would also be proficient in reading bylines and spell my name correctly. Just a suggestion.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller July 11, 2012 | 7:39 p.m.

Ellis,

Your talents never cease to amaze me. Not only are you an engineer, a philosopher, a humorist but also you display a knack for poetry.

Your linking of the left's late hero, Che Gueverra, as the heart and soul of the "Occupy" movement is a stroke of genius. Much like the self aggrandizing Marxist revolutionary, guerilla fighter, and military tactician, the occupiers will be a failed blip in the history of social whiners.

(Report Comment)
Rich C. July 11, 2012 | 8:01 p.m.

"the occupiers will be a failed blip in the history of social whiners."

Similar to every one of your columns.

Now get back to enjoying your taxpayer funded retirement/healthcare.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 11, 2012 | 8:12 p.m.

Colonel Miller, I remember one of your readers used to tell me how little I knew about tactics because I was not a devotee of Sun Tzu. When I reminded him that Sun Tsu did not deal in the realm of vertical envelopment, electronic communications, ECM, satellite imagery, GPS munitions, nuclear capability, rapid armor deployment, and that Sun Tzu had never read von Clauswitz, "On War" (which in today's world is about as useful as Sun Tzu), he couldn't come up with a ready reply.

And for the record, it was Marine BGen Samuel B. Griffith who wrote the definitive translation of Sun Tzu's, "The Art of War." It's also still on the list of the Commandant's required list of professional reading.

http://www.scuttlebuttsmallchow.com/Batt...

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 11, 2012 | 8:43 p.m.

Mark, on December 7th, 2001, amongst the events I attended that day in remembrance of the attack on Pearl Harbor, was a memorial service at the Punch Bowl - The National Cemetery of the Pacific. When the area cleared out, I stayed to do a little maintenance work on some of the Marine grave sites there. Oh, and the grounds were spotless after the 20,000 people left. The NPS only expected 3,000 to be there. This is what the area looked like before the ceremony - and immediately after the people left:

http://lupacchino.smugmug.com/Navy/CINCP...

It's a matter of dignity and respect for your environment - as well as self respect not to act like a pig and throw your trash on the ground. Liberals just don't seem to grasp that concept at any of their functions.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 11, 2012 | 8:47 p.m.

Rich, you should have posted yours to read: "taxpayer funded retirement/healthcare earned after extreme personal self sacrifice under extreme and dangerous conditions in many parts of the world, often times for little pay when considering the hours and work environment, and several times facing imminent death in performing those duties so that ungrateful, smug, self-centered people like me can feign superiority, but who know deep inside that we could never measure up to endure what you did on our behalf."

There, that's better.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt July 11, 2012 | 11:57 p.m.

Karl, you misspelled Che Guevara's last name.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 12, 2012 | 1:17 a.m.

At least the Houston Chronicle and FOX News spell Che's name correctly when they went to the Houston campaign office in 2008 and they had the flag with Che's face hanging on the wall.

Notice the FOX reporter doesn't even mention the flag.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCja99Kpj...

http://www.babalublog.com/archives/00740...

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 12, 2012 | 6:54 a.m.

@ J. Karl:

Hopfenblatt is correct, you have incorrectly spelled Che's last name. Che has been pushing up daisies for awhile; if he were still alive he'd be older than I am, and that's pretty damned old.

On a somewhat different note, have you noticed those on the Left say they agree with Darwinism...except not when it applies to things having to do with people? They are repulsed at applying "survival of the fittest" to economics or social situations. We must all be "equal." But, as George Orwell has pointed out, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." (Orwell's selection of pigs as "more equal than others" was a stroke of genius.)

As an aside, I trust Milsop scanned our posts attached to your previous column and now understands Colorado School of Mines is NOT a subdivision of University of Colorado.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking July 12, 2012 | 7:58 a.m.

Don Milsop wrote:

"a memorial service at the Punch Bowl - The National Cemetery of the Pacific."

Well, I'd expect a memorial service to be considerably more dignified than a political rally.

My point is that the "trash" argument depends much more on the nature of the gathering. Many of the Occupiers camped for months in one place. Football games, parties like Mardi Gras, and Gasparilla in Tampa, NASCAR events (for which the majority of attendees are likely to be conservative), etc, all generate large amounts of trash, and require quite a bit of cleanup. Obama's inauguration was a party event for a lot of people.

It's not at all just a liberal/conservative thing, it's the nature of the gathering that determines whether there will be a lot of trash generated and blowing around.

DK

(Report Comment)
David Sautner July 12, 2012 | 12:41 p.m.

Well, this is what those groups of nasty, homeless, social whiners have accomplished:

http://whattheheckhasoccupydonesofar.com...

Never underestimate the power of people cooperating with each other for a cause they believe in.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm July 12, 2012 | 2:19 p.m.

"The reason they call it the American dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it" - George Carlin

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 12, 2012 | 3:48 p.m.

Mark, Glenn Beck had over 100,000 at his rally on the mall in DC in August of 2010. Again, no arrests and the area left spotless. As Martin Luther King said from that same area years earlier, it's the content of your character.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 12, 2012 | 5:34 p.m.

@ Jack Hamm:

George Carlin has a good point. We have no shortage of citizens in this country who are asleep.

So did a black comedian [have a good point] who said, "That guy who said 'all men are created equal' must not have had to stand, buck naked, in line with a bunch of other men for a military induction physical." Indeed, a stark way to expose one's shortcomings.

(Report Comment)
Rich C. July 12, 2012 | 7:19 p.m.

"Glenn Beck had over 100,000 at his rally"

Let's not be too generous. The ONLY scientific estimate put the crowd at 87,000.

Not that 87,000 is a small number. Just no reason to over-exaggerate it.

Obama's Inauguration had an attendance estimated between 1.1 million and 1.8 million. It had the highest attendance of any event ever in Washington DC.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller July 12, 2012 | 7:53 p.m.

Mr Cookley,

I am sure a huge crowd attended President Obama's inauguration. But setting a new record requires knowing the old record and producing a new estimate that tops it. And crowd-counting in Washington, D.C., these days is a political hot potato. After high-profile numerical disputes, no government agency is eager to put its name to a specific number -- even though projecting crowd sizes is crucial for planning for an event of such massive proportions,

Your spoof of the attendance count at a Glenn Beck Rally, claiming the purported count of 100,000 an over exaggeration when the "official estimate" put it at only 87,000 is most amusing. I believe almost anyone would agree that a 13,000 atendance exaggeration is far less than the 6 million difference between 1.2 and 1.8 million.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 12, 2012 | 8:49 p.m.

I have noticed consistently that the liberals here tend to use left leaning blogs/websites to back up their arguments. Conservatives on the other hand, tend to use major news networks and well known magazines/newspapers for their sources, or government websites.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 12, 2012 | 9:24 p.m.

JKarl: 600,000

(Report Comment)
Rich C. July 12, 2012 | 11:50 p.m.

Michael: I'd like to thank you on behalf of JKarl for doing the math. You saved him from busting out his calculator.

JKarl:

I was not trying to compare attendance exaggeration in the media between the two events. I was attempting to display how large of a gap there is between the attendance at the two events so one wouldn't attempt to compare the amount of trash left at one to the trash left at the other.

Like Don, I too could've quoted the highest number available and said Obama drew a crowd of 1.8 million. However, some like to know all sides to a story and have all of the facts present. You (and Don/Frank) apparently are only interested about whichever side helps your case the most or makes you feel the warmest inside.

I was merely trying to state that a crowd of ~100,000 is in no way even close to that of 1.2-1.8 million. Perhaps Michael can do the math for you on how big of a difference that is.

(Report Comment)
Rich C. July 12, 2012 | 11:50 p.m.

Don - I'll give you a hand-out. Even though you'll complain about it, I'm sure you'll gladly accept it. Do you know how to copy/paste? Is Wikipedia too "liberal" of a site for you? I'm sure I could easily find others if you're unable to find Google's web page and type in a quick query.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inauguratio...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restoring_H...

(Report Comment)
Rich C. July 12, 2012 | 11:57 p.m.

Quick correction I guess:

I had initially stated 1.1-1.8 million but then copied JKarl's 1.2-1.8 million in the last postings.

1.1 Million subtracted from 1.8 million is 700,000 Colonel.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 13, 2012 | 3:03 a.m.

Math lessons, how nice. In time we can progress to calculus and differential equations. Perhaps experimental statistics and a discussion of CONFIDENCE INTERVALS would be better.

A CEO was worried about what 2+2 might equal, so he asked his chief engineer. "It's 4," said the engineer, "with a tolerance of +/-0.2."

Then the CEO asked his chief statistician what 2+2 equaled.
"With 95% confidence," said the statistician, "2+2=4."

Still not satisfied, the CEO called in his chief accountant. "What does 2+2 equal?" he asked the accountant.

The accountant got up from his chair, came around the CEO's desk, and whispered in the CEO's ear, "What do you WANT it to equal, boss?"

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 13, 2012 | 8:07 a.m.

Well, perhaps now that everyone involved has made at least one mistake in their respective posts (either with math or misuse of the copy button), we can return to reasons for the unsettling tendency of liberal demonstrators to leave more trash/person/hour than tea partiers.

Maybe trash-picking-up is a union shop and leaving trash behind is simply support for those unions.

I wonder if it's true that Condi is the frontrunner for VP.

Hope so. In fact, she and Romney should change places.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller July 14, 2012 | 5:29 p.m.

Touche--OK, so like Barby, perhaps math is not my strong subject. But, I believe Michael Williams is on to something with his erudite reasoning re the liberal/conservative trashing and lack of trashing.

His "Maybe trash-picking-up is a union shop and leaving trash behind is simply support for those unions" was a stroke of genius. Mike--you get two gold stars and two weeks of getting to clean the blackboard erasers for that gem.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle July 14, 2012 | 9:18 p.m.

The very definition of an "entitlement" mentality: "...earned after extreme personal self sacrifice under extreme and dangerous conditions in many parts of the world..."

Why shouldn't you have to *keep* extremely fighting for your life every day, big boy? Like you seem expect the next generation to do? But please, don't bother answering. We'll have to extremely flush every toilet in the city if you do.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 14, 2012 | 11:54 p.m.

"Why shouldn't you have to *keep* extremely fighting for your life every day, big boy? Like you seem expect the next generation to do?"

This post is attributed to Derrick Fogle. What does it mean? That the writer of the column suggests some unattainable quest that no one, but he might achieve? Surely not. That the next generation should not have to "fight"? Yeah, he thinks the next generation of the United State of America should fall in line and watch, while, the despots controlling the United Nations, destroy the short existence of democratic self government in the history of the world, be put into the past.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking July 15, 2012 | 5:12 a.m.

frank christian wrote:

"the despots controlling the United Nations, destroy the short existence of democratic self government in the history of the world, be put into the past."

C'mon, Frank. The UN is a minor player in world events, and they would be nothing without us. Individual members of the UN might wish to see us go away, but the entire world would be a lot worse off without us, and most nations know that.

DK

(Report Comment)
Greg Allen July 15, 2012 | 7:47 a.m.

Dreams are a big motivator, to be sure, and the American Dream has been persistant. But it's a bit unfair to say that only those who work hard 'succeed' (a debate on the definition of success would score a record number of posts). Many, many people work very hard and barely make it, and wouldn't dream of taking handouts because they still believe in the Work Ethic. Not as many, but still a good number, have things handed to them for a variety of reasons. This argument seems, to those of us who have slogged for decades with high education and low pay, and the pay will never get better for the jobs we do, to be supported by those who are already successful and those who still dream. It supports the stereotypes of classism.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 15, 2012 | 10:37 a.m.

Mark F. - Are you kidding? "The UN is a minor player in world events". "Individual members of the UN might wish to see us go away," The world has been waiting for the U.N. to stop the killing of 14,000 in Syria. Kofi Annan admits his plan A (did not call for step-down of Assad) did not work. Over 4000 have been killed while we wait for plan B. This coming GW treatment entails only taxes, tariffs, subsidies and public "investment" as a "cure". No one wants us out as long as we have transferable wealth on hand.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,5109...

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 15, 2012 | 10:48 a.m.

JKarl: oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy....TWO weeks of cleaning erasers. I remember that as the highest-of-all-high rewards in grade school. The veritable elementary medal of honor (in lower case, to distinguish it).

Hey, wait a minute!

Who you callin' "erudite?"

PS: I'm so mad about all this trash-talk, I just broke out all the windows in my house and set fire to the shed.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 15, 2012 | 10:55 a.m.

Jkarl gave me two stars.

That's a major general.

Which...ahem...outranks a colonel, I believe.

(I'm still sulking over that "erudite" slur....totally uncalled for and in gross violation of the "obscene, profane or vulgar language" part of the Missourian guidelines, to say nothing of the personal attack and gross discrimination against me on the basis of my religion)

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 15, 2012 | 8:14 p.m.

Let's see. LBJ told us that Medicare would never cost more than $500 million per year. In 2011, it was $551 BILLION. That's 1,102 times more than they said it could be at max.

Obama told us that Obamacare would cost $900 billion over 10 years. Now the CBO says it will be at least $2.6 TRILLION, and likely more.

All things considered, I'll take Colonel Miller's math. It's alot closer...and less damaging.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 15, 2012 | 8:44 p.m.

Our President says, "If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."
____________________

Yes, and I'm busy trying to find an australopithecine to thank for my opposable thumbs.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 15, 2012 | 9:08 p.m.

Michael, the trouble began when the single celled protozoans started thinking they were better than the amino acids.

(Report Comment)
Rich C. July 15, 2012 | 10:31 p.m.

"Obama told us that Obamacare would cost $900 billion over 10 years. Now the CBO says it will be at least $2.6 TRILLION, and likely more."

Thoroughly debunked. Don't make me do a google search for you.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 16, 2012 | 7:17 a.m.

Rich, this was back in March.

http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofi...

Now, do you REALLY think that this program will meet all the budget projections that President Obama gave?

How did LBJ's Medicare projections do?

Geez man, grab a clue.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks July 16, 2012 | 7:50 a.m.

Rich: Please share your experience in crowd control and estimations.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 16, 2012 | 8:06 a.m.

@ Don Milsop:

Amino acids can be converted into polypeptides in a nitrogen-rich atmosphere (our present atmosphere is about 79% nitrogen) at 300+ deg. F. A temperature that elevated may have existed on earth at the time primitive life began, and most of the free oxygen would have been dissolved in sea water.

Beware of polypeptides! They are known Neighborhood Organizers, and there's an unconfirmed suspicion that some are Harvard alumni. :)

[Damn! That @%#$& engineer is usin' them big words again.]

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 16, 2012 | 8:23 a.m.

"Rich: Please share your experience in crowd control and estimations."

ThinkProgress, here we come!

(Report Comment)
Rich C. July 16, 2012 | 8:47 a.m.

"Rich: Please share your experience in crowd control and estimations."

"ThinkProgress, here we come!"

Not once did I claim to know how to estimate crowd size. I, unlike Frank, know how to navigate to sites other than Fox News and Rushbo.

If Frank cared about the opinions of others enough to attempt to comprehend any comments made them, he would see that I did not link to or even mention ThinkProgress above.

Ironically, he linked to Fox News (the conservative counterpart to ThinkProgress) to back-up his claims.

The Wiki sites are linked above. I stated the crowd at the inauguration of Obama was much larger than that at the Beck rally. If you care to dispute that....Good luck.

(Report Comment)
Rich C. July 16, 2012 | 8:56 a.m.

Don,

From the CBO report you linked: "CBO and JCT now estimate that the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA
will have a net cost of just under $1.1 trillion over the 2012–2021 period"

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 16, 2012 | 11:13 a.m.

R. Cookley - You still haven't linked anything of your own, about aca cost.

http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/11/analys...

"But the majority of the spending provisions do not take effect until 2014, four years into the decade Obama based his estimates on.

“Congressional Democrats delayed these provisions in order to show only six years of spending under the plan in the original 10-year budget window (from FY2010-19) used by CBO at the time the law was enacted,” said the press release." From the Ranking Republican of U.S. Senate Budget Committee.

"Ironically, he linked to Fox News (the conservative counterpart to ThinkProgress) to back-up his claims."

Fox re-produced the letter their whole article was based upon. This puts them out of the TP league for anyone except the political hacks, whom must stick with their agenda, no matter what evidence is produced.

(Report Comment)
Rich C. July 16, 2012 | 1:41 p.m.

I don't have to link to anything of my own. Don already linked to the source.

Your links are just twisting the information in the CBO report to produce a sensationalist headline.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 16, 2012 | 2:32 p.m.

Rich, how very deceitful. Tell everybody how they will reach that $1.2 trillion (ONLY $300 BILLION more than they said).

“Offset in part by about $0.4 trillion in receipts from penalty payments, the new excise tax on high-premium insurance plans, and other budgetary effects (mostly increases in tax revenues).”

“The current estimate of the gross costs of the coverage provisions ($1,496 billion through 2021)”

“that amount represents a gross cost to the federal government of $1,762 billion, offset in part by $510 billion in receipts and other budgetary effects (primarily revenues from penalties and other sources).”

“Gross additional costs of $1.5 trillion for Medicaid, the Children’s Health “

You knowingly left out all of these statements in the report. Further, these are the projected increases in only 2 years, and before implementation of the program itself. Are you going to stand there and try to tell us you expect these numbers to stick because they are accurate? Only an absolute fool would think that.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 16, 2012 | 3:09 p.m.

R. Cookley - "the political hacks, whom must stick with their agenda, no matter what evidence is produced."

(Report Comment)
Rich C. July 16, 2012 | 3:44 p.m.

Don,
My statement was just as misleading as your was.

Frank,
The irony. It's nearly unbearable.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 16, 2012 | 3:56 p.m.

You proud of your misleading" statement?

"The irony. It's nearly unbearable." Too bad. I can handle it, but then, I know what I am talking about.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 16, 2012 | 4:46 p.m.

So Rich, yes or no? Do you really think any of these projected budget costs of Obamacare will be anywhere near accurate? Have the courage to state what you think.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 18, 2012 | 2:42 p.m.

Don Milsop July 16, 2012 | 4:46 p.m.
"So Rich, yes or no? Do you really think any of these projected budget costs of Obamacare will be anywhere near accurate?"

The silence was deafening.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 18, 2012 | 2:47 p.m.

Ellis, the neighborhood organizers could be polypeptides, but they are definitely anaerobic, because no air/oxygen is getting to those minds.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 18, 2012 | 4:09 p.m.

Squawk! Polly wants a peptide.
Pretty Polly!
Pretty peptide!
Pretty polypeptide!

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 18, 2012 | 6:51 p.m.

Ellis, you know that's going to result in criticism for lack of haikuness.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 18, 2012 | 8:57 p.m.

@ Don Milsop:

We all serve as best we can.

That sounds like Rudyard Kipling:

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Savior of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot...

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 18, 2012 | 9:08 p.m.

Ellis, that happens to be a favorite of both myself and Colonel Miller. However, my favorite Kipling is If (for boys).

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 19, 2012 | 7:31 a.m.

@Milsop & Miller:

I thought it might ("Tommy"). Sadly, the sentiments expressed in that poem seem to mirror the situation in this country since the 1950s. A huge change occurred in the United States between the Korean War (Conflict, Police Action) and the Vietnam War, and that change cannot be laid to conscription versus all-volunteer forces, because the latter didn't occur until later.

"If" contains lines that anyone engaged in industrial trouble-shooting (which I did for over 40 years) can relate to: the part about everyone losing their heads and then blaming you for it. Goes with the territory.

I am going to post here some advice that works very well in such situations, whether industrial, military or other: When you find yourself in the middle of a mess, concentrate on WHAT went wrong, not on WHO was wrong. That will allow you to be more objective, and to get to the bottom of things faster. (When I was self-employed I normally charged $200 an hour plus expenses for giving advice. That sounds modest by today's standards, but the ficticious TV private eye Jim Rockford only charged $200 a DAY plus expenses., and he lived in Malibu, California.)

Polly has had enough polypeptides. One aspect of Chemical Engineering versus Metallurgical Engineering and Ceramic Engineering is that the latter two don't require study of organic chemistry; otherwise, there are many similarities.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 19, 2012 | 6:33 p.m.

Ellis, with the advent of nano machines, the three disciplines may well be combined.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 19, 2012 | 6:35 p.m.

One of the eternal paradigms of leadership is to praise your subordinates for success, and assume to yourself responsibility for failure. President Obama hasn't learned this.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 19, 2012 | 9:05 p.m.

@ Don Milsop:

Actually, at MS&T metallurgy and ceramics are today combined into a single department, called Materials Science. However, Metallurgical Engineering and Ceramic Engineering are separate, ABET approved, curricula, and your diploma says one or the other and not Materials Science.

This combination has saved only a very modest amount in administrative expense, but it has done wonders for co-operative research. This is one of our smallest engineering departments, but it pulls in big bucks in research contracts. :)

I don't recall that our current President ever served time in the military, so why would he have learned what you've referenced?

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 19, 2012 | 9:18 p.m.

And neither has he learned respect for the rule of law. He has single-handedly stripped the work requirement from the successful welfare reform law passed by R' Congress and signed by B. Clinton. If you recall, Clinton apologized to liberals and told them "we can change it!"

Earlier today, on Fox Business Channel, a Rob't Rector, stating that he was involved in writing the law, also stated that Obama's action was absolutely illegal, because the writers specifically entered that the work requirement could under no circumstances be omitted from the acts requirements. This prez intends to change everything his agenda demands, up to and including the day he leaves office!

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 19, 2012 | 9:22 p.m.

Ellis: I don't recall that our current President ever served time in the military, so why would he have learned what you've referenced?
____________________

Now, now, now.....good managers know this, too, plus the corollary: Praise in public, chastise in private.

Good advice for parents, too.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 19, 2012 | 9:42 p.m.

@ Michael Williams:

I assume you are suggesting that Obama is a good manager.

No further comment (from me).

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 19, 2012 | 9:53 p.m.

Leadership Explained:

If I lead, follow me.
If I stumble, help me up.
If I hesitate, push me.
If I turn back, kill me!

From Central America (translated into English). I don't think Che ever said that, but he might have.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 20, 2012 | 3:27 a.m.

$20K for Drumsticks? GSA Blasted for One-Day Quarter-Million Dollar Awards Conference

http://news.yahoo.com/20k-drumsticks-gsa...

Comrade President Obama, commenting on the story, stated, "Had this been Governor Romney and Bain, they would have outsourced this wasteful spending. Can you see why I'm a better leader than Governor Romney?"

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 20, 2012 | 3:53 a.m.

You government employees out there, you think you're smarter than everybody else. Well, you didn't waste that money on your own. Somewhere along the line you had Barrack Obama to help you.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking July 20, 2012 | 4:04 a.m.

OK, Don. Next time you call 911, be sure and ask the police or fireman if Obama helped them waste money on their jobs, or if they think they're smarter than everyone else. Believe it or not, there are a lot of government employees that do a lot of essential jobs that wouldn't get done otherwise.

DK

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 20, 2012 | 6:21 a.m.

What? No comments on the four line definition of leadership, Latin American style? (See above.) Pass around the Cohibas, there are no ATF agents present. Be sure to include the ladies, should they too wish a cigar.

Actually, the first three lines aren't bad and could apply to non-military situations. Leaders are needed. Any leader, no matter how good, is human and may very well stumble*. And there are times when leaders show indecision and may need to be pushed.

Don, I have to agree with Mark Foecking: my axe to grind is with the institution of government itself, not with employees per se. I did not pursue a career in the military (government employees too) but I think we can agree that there are both good and bad employees in the military, although maybe not in the Marines.

Must we have a federal government? Yes, but there's plenty of room to argue how MUCH government we should have or what the emphasis of that government should be.

*-One big problem is when followers start thinking that the leader is superhuman and CAN'T stumble. Remember the Third Reich?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 20, 2012 | 5:40 p.m.

I'd bet if we cut the size of the federal employees in half, we'd suddenly see them become much more productive and efficient. President Obama keeps touting that government employees are shrunk....but that is very misleading because the shrinkage has been at the municipal, county, and state level....NOT the federal level.

Additionally Mark, I don't see police and firefighters having lavish conventions at the taxpayer expense, do you? And do you think this kind of waste is limited to the GSA? If you do, you probably believe that Obama's numbers on how much Obamacare will cost are accurate too.

When you have no fear of job performance leading to your dismissal as to workers covered by federal civil service, you are going to get a lazy, corrupt workforce.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 20, 2012 | 5:49 p.m.

Ellis, since the end of WW2, when Harry Truman tried to disband the Marine Corps, the Corps has basically lived by one standard. Ask for 100% of the funding you need. Use 90% of the funding you received. Do 110% of what you said you were going to do.

The Marine Corps watches everything it spends on very carefully, from aircraft down to office pens. It scrimps, scratches, and digs out of the trash items thrown away by other branches of the service, restores them, and brings them back to what, in the Corps' standard, is serviceable life.

The Marine's success in doing this predicated on graduating dedicated people from boot camp, mentoring them through all phases of training, ensuring rigorous performance standards, and holding themselves accountable. Again, there is where we should have it starting at the top. President Obama holds himself accountable for nothing. And he engenders that attitude all through the civilian sector of government, where civil service rules ensure there is no accountability for actions. Just look at what was NOT done after Fast and Furious, and the GSA scandals.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 20, 2012 | 6:00 p.m.

As someone who remembers computers that filled many square feet of space and generated so much heat that the room required year-around air conditioning to keep them cool, whatever happened to the business of having fewer persons involved with office work? If we subtract the military, USDA and federal law enforcement, how many federal agency employees are habitually in the field versus being habitually in an office?

State agencies and private businesses aren't immune to the question.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 20, 2012 | 6:14 p.m.

Ellis, before ANSI level languages, punch card creation of programs and all their various sub routines was an onerous task in itself. As with government programs, there is always the unexpected. I remember the notion that computers would make us a paperless society. Nobody counted on the notion of the desktop printer.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 20, 2012 | 7:42 p.m.

So Mark, which do you think is more likely? Obamacare will stay close to budget, or Obamacare will cost amounts astronomically higher like Medicare did due to unforeseen expenses and spending?

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 20, 2012 | 9:11 p.m.

Ellis - "Remember the Third Reich?" That, I'm afraid, is our problem. No one remembers 3rd Reich, or the other tyrannies, in relation to the fact that it could happen to them/us. David Rockefeller wrote that education is only way to remove "sovereignty" from the ideal of American freedom. This was in 60's and his advice has progressed since. I feel that to put this back into our basic American memory is all that will save our society. Republicans are only political entity that has suggested any change to our union laden, educational system. So?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 21, 2012 | 1:03 a.m.

Frank: You may recall that in the late 1940s, following the defeat of Nazi Germany, there was talk and articles along the lines of "could it [a totalitarian state] happen here?" As I recall, the consensus then was that while conditions here (then) made it more difficult to happen, it COULD happen.

There's a tendency of some to fully equate National Socialism with Fascism. Some historians posit that National Socialism was NOT classic Fascism (Italy, for example). National Socialism's doctrine was based more on race and nationalism, not classic Fascism or Socialism.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 21, 2012 | 1:56 a.m.

Don Milsop:

Punch card creation of programs...was an onerous task in itself." I hated those damned cards!

So was running standard deviation calculations using only a desktop mechanical-electrical calculator and a table of square roots. It was done step-wise, using paper forms to write on, made for that purpose. Time for completion, given 30 data points, was about 30 minutes. Running any division calculations on either Marchant or Monroe mechanical calculators was fun. You pressed the divide button and watched that baby spin! Service calls were frequent.

I am looking at my Texas Instruments TI-36X SOLAR scientific calculator: three registers, no thicker than a lead pencil, no batteries to fool with, and operates using natural, incandescent or fluorescent light. Fits in the front pocket of an Exofficio shirt (which has Velcro pocket flaps, to make sure the calculator doesn't fall out*). Cost less than $20**. How long does it take to do mean and standard deviation? Only as long as it takes to key in the data points. Regression analysis? Got that too. English-metric conversions. Temperature conversions. Numbers converted into scientific notation. Etc. It's definitely smarter than its owner.

The damned thing will process Bolean algebra. I don't have much need for Bolean algebra. :)

*-A three-story drop finishes off calculators.

**- A professional society chapter in mid-Missouri used to award a similar calculator out as a door prize at meetings.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking July 21, 2012 | 5:54 a.m.

Don Milsop wrote:

"When you have no fear of job performance leading to your dismissal as to workers covered by federal civil service, you are going to get a lazy, corrupt workforce."

I know fed employees are a favorite conservative whipping boy, but like any other workforce, you have very productive individuals and you have slackers, and this is true in the private sector also.

My 16 years as a VA employee were by far the most productive in my career. This had nothing to do with my status as a federal employee - it had to do with the lab I was with and how we did things. Some of the other research employees were similarly dedicated, and some less so.

A lot of federal employees at the higher levels could make far more in private industry. The federal government underpays upper management severely compared to the private sector, and the reason a lot of them stay is because of job security. And not because they're lazy - it's because they're in a position where there is a lasting need for their services. In the private sector, there's a lot more uncertainty in this era of outsourcing and mergers.

"Obamacare will stay close to budget, or Obamacare will cost amounts astronomically higher like Medicare did due to unforeseen expenses and spending?"

I don't know, but I do know that whether it's $1 trillion or $2.5 trillion, it's a single digit percent increase over what we'd spend on health care in total over that period. Whether we implement it or not isn't going to make much difference to health care costs, or how most people pay for it.

DK

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 21, 2012 | 6:57 a.m.

Mark, what part of my post about Medicare now costing 1,102 times more than the max they said it could reach not register with you? I do not believe the cost of living has increased that much since 1964.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 21, 2012 | 6:58 a.m.

What want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the message was lost. For want of a message the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. All for want of a nail.

They could have speeded this process with a slip stick.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking July 21, 2012 | 2:13 p.m.

Don Milsop wrote:

"Mark, what part of my post about Medicare now costing 1,102 times more than the max they said it could reach not register with you?"

I don't take one misstatement by a politician and generalize it to all politics - that's what doesn't register. LBJ was wrong - that doesn't mean Obama is. Everything needs to be considered on its own merits (or demerits).

DK

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 21, 2012 | 2:21 p.m.

Don M. - That all the "misstatements" have been made by Democrats, doesn't compute with Mark F. either.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 21, 2012 | 10:13 p.m.

Come on Mark. The CBO is already saying the actual costs to the taxpayer for Obamacare will be $2.6 trillion, not $900 billion. AND THAT is only if they get the fines they are anticipating...more cost to the taxpayer. Mark, would you be willing to bet your entire net worth that Obamacare, over the next 10 years, would not cost at least 5 times what they the Dems are projecting? Would you have that much confidence?

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt July 22, 2012 | 1:04 p.m.

frank said: "David Rockefeller wrote that education is only way to remove "sovereignty" from the ideal of American freedom. This was in 60's and his advice has progressed since. I feel that to put this back into our basic American memory is all that will save our society. Republicans are only political entity that has suggested any change to our union laden, educational system. So?"

Making improvements to education would certainly not bode well for the Republican party or conservatism in general, as the conservative worldview rests entirely on fundamentally flawed, demonstrably ignorant assumptions about human reality.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks July 22, 2012 | 1:27 p.m.

Imagine if they went back and started teaching real history in things like politics and American History. Millions of low income people who vote Democrat would feel betrayed by the party keeping them in poverty while preaching prosperity

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 22, 2012 | 2:03 p.m.

"...as the conservative worldview rests entirely on fundamentally flawed, demonstrably ignorant assumptions about human reality."
________________

You mean like how luck controls us all, we have no say in the matter, and we all just blow with the wind with some getting lucky and others not?

Yep, that's us conservatives, you betcha.

Of course, if we're successful, we had not much to do with it. The Prez sez so.

But, the Prez is a knucklehead experiencing a failed presidency and representing the failed beliefs of the Knucklehead Party.

PS; I had no idea my human reality was based upon fundamentally flawed, demonstrably ignorant assumptions. I must be real sad and don't know it.

My bad luck, I guess.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 22, 2012 | 4:40 p.m.

@ Michael Williams:

You know, Michael, you are a rather humorous fellow.

I'm with Corey: I'd be happy simply to see more, and more objective, history taught to young Americans. As for how that would cause them to vote in future elections, ya pays yur money and ya takes yur chances. Good lord, Michael, isn't that [invest money, take chances] the 25 cent definition of Capitalism? :)

Da doo ron ron ron, da doo ron ron.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 22, 2012 | 4:44 p.m.

Jona has demonstrated again what David R. and the liberals have done for him and our youth in regard to their education, while remaining too ignorant to realize, or even wonder about it.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 23, 2012 | 3:46 p.m.

Would any liberal here be willing to bet their entire net worth that the cost of Obamacare would not be at least 4 times higher than projected in 10 years?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 23, 2012 | 5:03 p.m.

Ellis Smith: Know any good conservative historians? My list seems rather skimpy.

Re: "Invest money, take chances." I would NEVER invest money if I thought I was taking too many chances. For example, right now there is NO way I would start a business...or expand a business (that means hire someone)...unless I came to the conclusion that what I had for sale was absolutely essential to the daily or weekly lives of most of my fellow citizens (ie., goes right to the "must have" spending priority list). And, since I don't believe I'm much different than my fellow entrepreneurs, I fully understand why much of US corporate American is behaving the same way. For now, most of my assets remain safe to me (some burgs, however, will have to cough up some taxpayer money for bond interest and principle).

Good risk/benefit analytical abilities are in short supply with most liberals unless the risk/benefit applies to someone else's money.
________________

Don Milsop says, "Would any liberal here be willing to bet their entire net worth that the cost of Obamacare would not be at least 4 times higher than projected in 10 years?

Me: Whew. I'm sure glad I'm not a liberal because I might get stupid and take that bet.

But I'm not, so I won't take that bet because I'm convinced you are exactly right.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 23, 2012 | 6:49 p.m.

@ Michael Williams:

Must historians be either conservative or liberal? How about being ACCURATE, at least as accurate as possible, given materials (records, etc,) available to work with.

Occasionally when I attempt humor it gets misinterpreted, an occupational hazard. Neither would I take serious risks with my capital. And that's exactly the situation we see, not only here but in other "developed" countries: a reticence [another of those damned big words again] to make aggressive investments, due to the shaky international financial situation.

I get tickled at posters on this forum who chastise those with wealth for sitting on their money. IF THEY HAD THE MONEY AT PRESENT THEY'D BE SITTING ON IT TOO - UNLESS THEY'RE IDIOTS.

Here's an alternate scenario. When I invest money in private enterprise I am aware that some risk is involved. When I donate (through taxes) money to the government it is a SURE THING: I know I will not get my money's worth and I am seldom wrong.

Hopefully, that clears things up.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 23, 2012 | 7:11 p.m.

Ellis asks, with a solemn and wise voice, "Must historians be either conservative or liberal?"
__________________

Me, with a wiseass comment, "No, but I was disappointed by reporters, too."

PS; yes, I knew you were being humorous. And I especially like the part about "IF THEY HAD THE MONEY AT PRESENT THEY'D BE SITTING ON IT TOO - UNLESS THEY'RE IDIOTS."

That's an "if-then" statement, isn't it? Which part is the "then?"

PSS: Here's an "if-if-then" statement with great truth: IF you have never been to the City Museum in STL, and IF you have grandkids between 4-14, THEN you need to take them as soon as you can. Amazing, and I can't even figure out how to tell you "what it is". Just got back.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 23, 2012 | 10:19 p.m.

All (I started to say most) military historians I have come in contact with in my work with the Nimitz Museum and Foundation have been decidedly conservative. But they have studied more thoroughly the true cost of freedom.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 23, 2012 | 11:05 p.m.

Don: Just finished my 3rd book (Grunts) by John C. McManus, a military historian.

What do you think of him?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 24, 2012 | 2:20 a.m.

Michael, I have not read anything by McManus. Most of my time has been spent on WW2 Marine Corps and Navy operations in WW2. I have a general knowledge of Army operations in Europe, but nothing in great detail. I know quite a bit of Marine operations in Vietnam also, and a little about the Civil War.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 24, 2012 | 6:06 a.m.

John C. McManus, PhD is, or at least has recently been, Professor of Military History at Missouri University of Science & Technology. How d' ya like them apples?

McManus' specialty is WWII.

Among McManus' published works is one for Wiley Publishing Co's popular paperback "Dummies" series: "U.S. Military History for Dummies."

There are unconfirmed rumors that the paperback book in question is being used as a textbook at MU.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 24, 2012 | 8:54 a.m.

Ellis: This I did not know (about the location of McManus).

Cool.

Don: The book I just finished, "Grunts", is exactly what you would expect from the name, discussing the role of "grunts on the ground" and their specific battles from WWII through Vietnam and Iraq. Peleliu looms big. He concentrates mainly on Marines and, to a lessor extent, the Army. His basic premise is that military higher-ups (and the American people) are just whistling-dixie if they think war can become an impersonal electronic thingie conducted from a distance without anyone on the ground. He's an advocate of "only grunts can take and hold ground....all else is just assistance."

He also wrote "September Hope", a story of the American side of Market Garden...dealing, of course, mainly with activities of the 101st and 82nd Airborne.

After reading 3 of his books, I'd not classify him as a great writer, but I sure would classify him as a great researcher.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 24, 2012 | 12:51 p.m.

Michael Williams:

Slight correction: McManus is an Associate Professor, not a Professor, at MS&T. Apparently he lives in St. Louis. If that sounds odd, our late and lamented Dr. Robert Moore of Ceramic Engineering (same class year as mine) during his final years at MS&T lived in St. Louis and commuted to Rolla. He was mainly supervising graduate research and didn't need to commute daily. The closest UM Systeem campus to MS&T is MU (95 highway miles), but the drive from St. Louis to Rolla on I-44 is much easier.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 24, 2012 | 6:01 p.m.

Peleliu was an absolute nightmare. It was an unknown at the time, but we didn't need to take it. I lost some of my respect for Chesty Puller because of his pigheadedness at Peleliu. I have discussed this battle and Iwo Jima to some degree with Eric Hammel, author of many military books. He recently published a pictorial book on the battle for Okinawa, which I have not read yet, but did discuss with him some issues prior to publishing. Foremost amongst these was my puzzlement that there was a total absence of smoke to cover movements and assaults from observation. This could have saved many lives at both Peleliu and Iwo Jima. The same could be said for the Normandy landings. They seemed to have only discovered this tactic on Okinawa.

FYI, the Marine Corps offered the Army the use of Marines to call naval gunfire on shore at Normandy, but the Army refused it. That cost alot of lives too, since by this time, the Marines had become experts at directing naval gunnery onto ground targets.

I appreciate the heads up on McManus. For some reason I thought he dealt mostly with the Army and WW2. I shall look forward to reading his works.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 24, 2012 | 6:02 p.m.

I forgot to mention that at Peleliu, the Army brought up tanks, used smoke, and broke open the pocket so that the Marines could clear that hellish place.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop July 24, 2012 | 6:13 p.m.

I would bet that John McManus knew the late Marine author, Gene Duncan, who I know Colonel Miller knew well. Major Duncan lived for many years in Boonville, MO.

During Operation Desert Shield Major Duncan appealed directly to the Commandant of the Marine Corps for active duty, stating, "I want to fight in one war which has public approval before I die." He was unofficially told that his impaired hearing might keep him from active duty, but he replied, "I don't want to LISTEN to the Iraqis, I want to SHOOT them." His application was still being considered when Desert Storm ended.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 25, 2012 | 5:54 a.m.

@ Williams, Milsop, Miller:

http://people.mst.edu/faculty/mcmanusj_p...

Yes, Virginia, MS&T DOES have a Humanities & Politica Sciences Building, and it's larger than a telephone booth.

A list of McManus' latest publictions is shown: the ones concerning more recent military history (except as covered in "U. S. Military History for Dummies") are Army oriented.

It's nice when you only have a capped enrollment of 7,300 students to have a professor of military history. It would be even nicer not to have enrollment capped at all. Governor, UM System president and curators SAY we need more technically trained graduates to compete the the 21st century. PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTHS ARE!

Note the "footer" shown on the page. "Payscale," currently rates MS&T 2nd in the Midwest for BS/BA degree starting salaries, all universities and colleges, all majors.

PS: Just sent Miller a "care letter" with a cartoon in it taken from "The Economist." Who says Brits have no sense of humor?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 25, 2012 | 8:11 a.m.

Ellis: As your link notes, McManus also wrote "Alamo in the Ardennes". Almost everyone knows what the 101st Airborne did at Bastogne, but few know what happened in the days before the 101st got there.

The "days before" part is what his book is about....delay, delay, delay.

PS: It was...unfortunate...that Hitler understood the importance of Antwerp better than the Allies. Sir Bernard didn't help much with this sentiment, and Eisenhower went along with it.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 25, 2012 | 3:53 p.m.

I served in an Engineer Group with a number of older officers, some field grade, who had been involved in Operation Market Garden. What they had to say about Montgomery cannot be shown here (obscenity rule).
One humorous story. To the southwest of us were the Vosges Mountains in France. Among the towns is one called "Biche." One of our majors had a card he carried in his wallet from WWII announcing, in both French and English, that we was an honorary Son of Biche, having helped liberate their fair city. :)

(Report Comment)

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