Kilroy Was Here
March 28, 2003
Those Who Do Not Know History....
I remember a very telling point from Ken Burns's Civil War documentary.

A Union soldier asks a Tennesee share-cropper why he was fighting the Union. The share-cropper didn't own slaves.

The share-cropper responded, "I'm fightin' y'all because y'all are down here."

Progress of Racial Justice
The Christian Science Monitor has an important article on the state of racial justice today and how it compares to the state of racial justice during the famous Bakke decision which outlawed racial quotas 25 years ago.

From that article:

Yet, rather than find the cause of this disheartening disparity in a economic and political system that has disenfranchised blacks for over 300 years, conservatives are still blaming the victim.

At some point in the future, I'll address this in more detail. But of course, we have a war going on now.

March 26, 2003
Why Mute Dissent in Wartime?
I believe that the support the troops argument goes along these lines.

  1. The key factor in winning a war is breaking the will to fight among the populace of the nation-state.

  2. If an enemy sees weakness in their opponents will to fight, that enemy's own will to fight will grow stronger. Thus, the stronger the enemy's will to fight, the longer the war, and the greater danger to our troops.

  3. In democratic societies, vocal dissent among large portions of the citizenry are perceived by the enemy as weakness.

  4. Thus, it follows that mass dissent endangers the troops by prolonging the war and delaying victory.

Therefore, if you support the troops, you should mute dissent (at least until after victory.)

Though I was against the war for a wide variety of reasons, it is hard for me to deny the force of this argument.

Kilroy Was Here
Where is Van Riper?
The analyst that I would like to see is former Marine general Paul Van Riper.

For those of you who might not remember, Van Riper was the Marine Corps general who, playing Iraq during the last major wargame exercise Millenium Challenge 2002, defeated the Joint Forces Command through a mixture of innovative 'guerilla' type tactics that circumvented some of the technical advantages of the JFC.

From the Army Times:

Now this is a television analyst I'd like to hear from. Maybe some online magazine can ask him for some analysis?

March 24, 2003
Pledging for Dean
Here's an idea for grass-roots, viral, campaign marketing.

NPR is having their fundraising drive in the near future. (It's next week for KQED in San Francisco). One of the thigns that they do in these pledge drives is ask for groups to volunteer to answer the phone. In return, the anchors plug the group during the pledge drive.

This might be a good grass roots way to get Howard Dean's name out to the demographic most amenable to his message. If at every public radio station doing the pledge drive thanks 'Volunteers for Howard Dean' at each one of those 5 minute breaks, it might get some play.

I've already contacted KQED in San Francisco about it. Maybe other folks should pick up the charge at other radio stations.

(Note: The Volunteer Services guru at KQED mentioned that there might be some FCC recommendaiton against this. I should know more later.)
Dean For America
In the midst of a war and with over 20 months to go until the next Presidential election, I know that it may be early to think about which candidate you will support. However, I'd like to take a moment of your time to try and convince you to contribute at least $10.01 to Dr. Howard Dean's campaign.

Howard Dean is the former Governor of Vermont. Elected five times as Governor, Dean balanced the budget, made health care for every child in Vermont a reality, raised the minimum wage twice, created a "rainy day" fund which, even through three years of recession, is preventing Vermont from having to go through the type of draconian cuts that face us, and signed the civil union bill, giving homosexual partners the same rights as married couples. You can read more about Dr. Dean's biography here (

While his record has impressed me, I've been even more impressed by his fire and candor on the political trail. At the DNC winter meetings, Dean launched directly into his speech, asking, "What I want to know is why in the world the Democratic leadership is supporting the President's unilateral attack on Iraq?"

In Sacramento, at the Democratic Party State Convention, Dean fired up the crowd by angrilly declaring, "I want my country back!"

In listening to Dean, I've been convinced that this is a man who can win the White House and who can push the policies that we need to put our country back on the right track.

I know that you will probably need more than my endorsement to make an informed decision about whether or not to contribute at least $10.01 to Dean's campaign. So please take a moment to review the following pages and video clips.

If after listening to Dean, you feel as I do, please consider donating at least $10.01 to Dean's campaign at . March 31st is an important milestone for Federal Matching Funds, and if you can donate $10.01 now, it will go even further than you might think.

Regardless of how you might believe, if you could take a second and let me know what you think about Dean, I'd really appreciate it.

March 12, 2003
GWB Military Table Timeline
This was originally on uggabugga's blog, but I can't seem to find a copy up. I got this from Google's cache.

Old news?

skippy the bush kangaroo links to this well-writen piece about Bush's Texas National Guard service (actually, his non-service). We felt compelled to organize the material into a table:

when Bush other situation
  Did not choose to join the full time active duty miltary    
  Chose to enlist for duty in the (Texas) Air National Guard
On application:
  • checked "do not volunteer" for overseas assignment
  • listed his "background qualifications" as "none."
  Waiting list of 100,000 nationally at the time
17 Jan '68 Took the Air Force officer and pilot qualification tests
  • Scored 25%, the lowest possible passing grade on the pilot aptitude portion
  • Speaker of the House in Texas at the time, Ben Barnes, admitted he had received a request from a longtime Bush family friend, Sidney Adger of Houston, to help Bush get into the Air National Guard.
  • Barnes further testified that he contacted the head of the Texas Air National Guard, Brig. Gen. James Rose
May '68 Graduated from Yale   1/2 million men fighting; dying @ 350/wk
Years 1 & 2
27 May '68 Sworn in    
after 6 weeks of basic airman training Received a commission as a second lieutenant
  • By means of a 'special appointment' by the commanding officer of his squadron, with the approval of a panel of three senior officers.
  • Normally required eight full semesters of college ROTC courses or eighteen months of miltary service or completion of Air Force officer training school.
  • Texas National Guard historian said that he "never heard of that" except for flight surgeons
  Assigned to flight school
  • Normally reserved to pilots graduating from ROTC training or Air Force officer training
  'fast tracked' into the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, a standby runway alert component of the 143rd Group   Over those on the existing pilot applicant waiting list
  Trained to fly the missile-equipped supersonic F-102 Delta Dart jet interceptor fighter    
  Racked up approximately 300 hours of training flight time in the F-102
  • Qualified him to fly the F-102 without an instructor
  • Short of the 500 hours of experience required for volunteer active duty combat operations in Vietnam
Year 3
Jul '70 Earned his wings    
  Applied for a voluntary three month Vietnam tour Was turned down for this volunteer active duty option Air Force needed additional F-102 pilots to fly reconnaissance missions.
  Left to fly as a "weekend warrior" in the Texas Air National Guard out of Ellington AFB near Houston    
3 Nov '70 Promoted to 1st Lieutenant by Brig. General Rose  
Jun '70
May '71
Credited with 46 days of flight duty    
Year 4
Jun '71
May '72
Credited with only 22 flight duty days 14 days short of the minimum 36 days owed the Guard for that year  
Apr '72 Flew for the last time in the cockpit of an F-102 All the overseas and stateside miltary services began subjecting a small random sample in their ranks to substance abuse testing for alcohol and drugs.

Pentagon had announced its intention to do so back on December 31, 1969

Year 5
15 May '72 "cleared this base" according to a written report by one of his two Squadron supervising officers, Lt. Col. William D. Harris Jr.    
24 May '72 Requested in writing a six-month transfer to an inactive postal Reserve unit in Alabama If Bush had been temporarily transferred there, he would not have continued flying until he returned to Texas, because the Alabama unit had no airplanes  
31 May '72 Transfer request was denied by National Guard Bureau headquarters
  • Bush should have returned to his base in Houston and continued with his flying duties.
  • Instead, he remained in Alabama until late in the fall.
Aug '72 Scheduled physical Could have been subject to selection for a random substance abuse test  
  • 1st Lt. Bush took his mandatory annual flight physical for pilots and failed it for some as-yet undisclosed reason,
  • or he refused to present himself in the first place to an Air Force Flight Surgeon, who were readily available in almost every state
Release of Bush's miltary service record would resolve issue.  
1 Aug '72 Suspended and grounded from flying duty on verbal order of the TX 147th Group's Commanding Officer for "his failure to accomplish annual medical examination."

Two years left of remaining National Guard service.

  • Expensively trained pilots are not casually suspended
  • There is normally a Flight Inquiry Board
    • If one had been convened, its three senior officer members would have documented why such a severe action was justified in relation to the country's miltary objectives at the time, as opposed to the simple desire of a trained pilot to just "give up flying".
    • There is no evidence now in the public domain that a Flight Inquiry Board was convened to deal with Bush's official reclassification to a non-flying, grounded status
  • This absence of a Flight Inquiry Board is of particular interest to veteran pilots. The implication is that Bush's misconduct was handled like everything else in his miltary service: aided and abetted by powerful family connections
Country at the height of the Vietnam (air) War
5 Sep '72 Ordered to start serving three months in an active but non-flying administrative Guard unit, the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in Montgomery, Alabama, for four certain duty days in October and November    
29 Sep '72   In memo to the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force, Major General Francis Greenleaf, then Chief of the National Guard Bureau in Washington DC, confirmed the suspension of 1st Lt. George W. Bush from flying status.  
Oct/Nov '72 No official notation in his service record that Bush ever showed up for this assigned duty in Montgomery, Alabama.

Bush: "I was there on temporary assignment and fulfilled my weekends at one period of time. I made up some missed weekends. I can't remember what I did, but I wasn't flying because they didn't have the same airplanes. I fulfilled my obligations."

The Bush campaign conducted its own search of Bush's miltary records, and could not find evidence that Bush performed any duty in Alabama.

General William Turnipseed and Lt. Col. Kenneth Lott, who commanded the Montgomery, Alabama, base at the time said that Bush never appeared. "To my knowledge, he never showed up," Turnipseed said.  
Nov '72
fall '73
  • Returned home to Houston Texas.
  • Did not report in person for non-flying duty to his parent Texas 111th Squadron during this whole time.
Year 6
May '73
  • Ordered to attend nine certain duty days in person during Summer Camp at Ellington AFB between May 22 and June 7.
  • 1st Lt. Bush did not do so.
22 May '73
30 Jul '73
Bush was credited with 35 "gratuitous" inactive Air Force Reserve points -- in other words, non-attendance inactive Reserve credit time No one in the Texas Air Guard at the time, has stepped forward to say they saw Bush in person on a single day between May 22 and July 30, 1973  
1 Oct'73 Prematurely discharged with honors from the Texas Air Guard. This leaves Bush without a single legitimate Texas Air National Guard service day for his fifth and sixth years of service to his Texas Air National Guard discharge.  
26 May '74 Scheduled discharge.    
Nov '74 Final inactive Reserve discharge with honors. Bush was attending Harvard Business School as a full-time student by that time  

NOTE: We are not familiar with miltary procedures or Bush's record and cannot vouch for the accuracy of this table. All we did was take the elements in the piece, and organize it so that the timeline may be better understood. (A critical review of some elements is available here.) This presentation is intended as a starting point for discussion.

UPDATE: We came upon this BuzzFlash Reader Commentary on Bush's miltary service (written on 25 Oct 2002), and this Washington Post story which fills in a few details (dated 28 Jul 1999). The Post story has a revealing picture of Bush while he was at Harvard Business School.

And while we're at it, this site: is devoted to the issue.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Mother Jones has a timeline as well (with a few additional details).

March 11, 2003
An Essay I found on Tom Tomorrow's website

March 10, 2003
When Email Goes Bad
Great article on how to manage your email. Putting it here so I can find it later.

When Email Goes Bad

March 07, 2003
Credible Alternatives
Michael Walzer details a credible alternative to the "big war" that Bush is pushing for. (You can also find a copy of this article in The Stacks.)

After listening to Bush's simplistic and incompetent speech last night (analyzed very well by the always insightful William Saletan of Slate), I can only wish that we could have the level of discourse and thought that Michael Walzer provides at the highest level of our government.

March 02, 2003
The Seven Deadly Sins
Here's a great article on the seven warning signs of bogus science (The Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science). In this age of UFO worshipping cults claiming the ability to clone humans, everyone should make themselves aware.

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