Bobby Jindal for Veep

Interesting (albeit biased) list of “cons” for Piyush “Bobby” Jindal:

Townhall.com::The GOP Veep List: Pros and Cons::By Michael Medved
CON: He’s too young, too inexperienced – how can Republicans criticize Obama as unprepared, when Jindal is ten years younger? Actually, this argument ends up turning in Jindal’s favor, since he possesses vastly MORE experience than Obama, particularly in executive positions. In addition to his early triumphs as governor, he’s also won spectacular success in a long series leadership roles – as executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, President of the Louisiana State University System (at the ludicrously young age of 26!), Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (unanimously confirmed – and praised – in a bipartisan vote of the US Senate), and two terms in the House of Representatives (including service on the House Committee on Homeland Security and re-election with 88% of the vote). Nothing in the Obama resume comes close to any of this. It’s true that I started promoting Jindal for Veep on my radio show nearly a year ago (before he even won election as governor) and, frankly, I don’t see serious negatives to his candidacy.

The article goes onto discuss John Thune, who I saw being groomed three years ago as a running mate for John McCain.

But there’s no imaginable way that someone elected to the Senate in 2004 is ready for national office, right?

Chinese Visas (The Other Kind)

Previously I discussed the difficulties I encountered on my way to obtaining my third Chinese tourist visa. My problems were nothing compared to Chinese who wanted American tourist visas: Until very recently, there weren’t any available. Fortunately, as part of the ongoing institutional talks supported by the Bush and Hu administrations, this is changing:

US Opens to Chinese Tourists, but Limitations Still Exist
Although the US is expected to welcome the first Chinese visitors issued tourist visas before the forth China-US Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) next month, problems still remain, as it is not easy for Chinese citizens to get access to these visas. Presently, only residents of some of the richer areas can obtain these visas, and those issued the visas will have to travel with tour groups.

Shao Qiwei, Chairman of the Chinese National Tourism Administration (CNTA), and the visiting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Carlos M. Gutierrez announced in Beijing on May 15th that starting on June 17th Chinese tourists would be able to travel to the U.S in group tours.

The first tourist visas from China to the United States are restricted. Essentially, Chinese needs to prove that they have no desire or need to move to the United States, and so need to show proof of employment, a title to a home, money in a bank account, and so on.

Hopefully the comprehensive immigration reform long championed by George Bush and John McCain (and tepidly endorsed by Barack Obama) will be passed in the next Congress, shrinking the grey market of unskilled immigrant labor and allowing more tourists from oversees to visit our country.

Re-“Orientation”

Good news on Russia becoming closer to China. Russia’s days as a European power are rapidly fading, as Russia is not economically, culturally, or politically on the same track as either the EU or the borderlands. Rather, Russia’s best seen as a Central Asian state, with a Central Asian route to development. Embracing China as a major customer for raw materials is a good move for this once great power:

The Weekly Standard
In the lead-up to Medvedev’s visit, the Chinese media made a special point of reporting on a recent survey of the Russian public. In the poll, conducted by the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion, China was mentioned most frequently when Russians were asked “Which country is friendliest towards Russia?”

Beyond the cordial welcome, Beijing’s assessment is that Medvedev’s decision to travel to China so soon after his inauguration reflected a number of geopolitical considerations. In addition to further consolidating bilateral ties which had reached “a historical high” under Putin, Medvedev saw in China “a breakthrough point” and “a special diplomatic arena” at a time when Moscow’s relations with Georgia, the EU, and the United States have all been strained.

Liberation Daily predicted that despite Medvedev’s “looking East,” Moscow will continue to strive for “a balanced diplomacy”:

Further, friendship with Russia removes possible friction for China, allowing her to rise without that pesky natural resource exporter on her northern frontier from causing too much trouble.

William Ayers: Actually Dangerous

If Barack Obama’s friend William Ayres was only a terrorist who attempted to overthrow the government, that would perhaps mean no more than that Barack is a trend-chasing Leftist: I know plenty of those in academia.

That Ayres is an institutionally connected member of AERA, a well respected professional and academic research association I belong to, is troubling:

Amicable Collisions: Hiding in plain sight
Ayers’s influence on what is taught in the nation’s public schools is likely to grow in the future. Last month, he was elected vice president for curriculum of the 25,000-member American Educational Research Association (AERA), the nation’s largest organization of education-school professors and researchers. Ayers won the election handily, and there is no doubt that his fellow education professors knew whom they were voting for. In the short biographical statement distributed to prospective voters beforehand, Ayers listed among his scholarly books Fugitive Days, an unapologetic memoir about his ten years in the Weather Underground. The book includes dramatic accounts of how he bombed the Pentagon and other public buildings.

His works are required texts in education school courses all over the country and he’s much in demand as a lecturer in many of those schools. Plus, he’s a pioneer in the progressive education publishing industry, encouraging books by many other authors that show teachers how to bring “social justice” themes — i.e. the evils of American racism and imperialism – into their public school classrooms.

While American politics is divided between conservatives and liberals, American academia is divided between liberals and Leftists. As much as it pains me to say this as a conservative: the liberals are the only hope we have that the non-profitable areas of Academia stay out of the hands of the Marxists. An Obama administration that does anything to tilt the balance in Academia away from liberals and towards Leftists would be a disaster.

For the good of the academy, vote Clinton.
For the good of the academic, vote McCain.
For the good of the academy, vote anybody but Obama.

Update: Thanks to Power Line News, for linking to this post. The discussion that follows is nice, referencing 4GW.

The Terminology of XGW

The clean break of XGW from GMW has is amazing. Not only does it represent the greatest advance since the first descriptions of 5GW, it’s simply liberating to no longer carry the water for thsoe more interested in Idealism than in advancing our understanding of war.

Today, I’ve come across a number of thought-provoking articles in Arms and Influence, Castle Arg, Dreaming 5GW, Simulated Laughter, and Soob. They made me think of XGW in terms of the words we use. In particular, two suggestions came to me.

1. The Term “Generation” Must Be Abandoned.

Just as the abandonment of GMW (The Generations of Modern War) is a critical step in the evolution of XGW theory, the abandonment of “Generation” is the next step. Consider the many criticisms of “4GW” available on the web. Previously, proponents of XGW had to argue against these criticism, and assert that the critics did not really understand 4GW. Now, proponents can agree with the criticism, generalize them to criticism of GMW, and present XGW as an alternative.

I propose Grade, thus making XGW X Grade War Theory. The first four definitions of “grade” are:

# A stage or degree in a process.
# A position in a scale of size, quality, or intensity: a poor grade of lumber.
# An accepted level or standard.
# A set of persons or things all falling in the same specified limits; a class.

These fits how G is used in XGW theory.

Grade also has the benefit of not having the strict timeline implications of “generation” while not doing away entirely with the parts of the timeline of XGW that make sense.

This leaves open the question of whether Roman or Arabic numerals should be use. That is, whether “4th Grade War,” “Grade 4 War,” “IVth Grade War,” or “Grade IV War” is clearer as to what it implies.

2. The “Stages of 4GW” Must Be Abandoned

4GWS1, 4GWS2, and 4GWS3 properly refer to only one form of 4GW, the Maoist model, and so exclude any form of 4GW that is not Maoist. Boyd’s PISRR-Loop is both more precise and more general. I’ve mapped the 3 Stages onto PISRR before, but that earlier work is limited. Instead of S1, we should clarify whether we are talking about Penetration anad Isolation. Instead of Stage 3, we should be precise if we meant Reorientation or Reharmonization, and so on.

3. In Conclusion

Consider one of the final actions in winning a 4GW. In GMW, this would properly be referred to as:

“The Third Stage of the 4th Generation of Modern War” (long form)
“4GWS3” (short form)

I propose instead:

???? (long form)
“4GW Reharmonization” (short form)

Of the Mixed-Blooded and the Marxists

I’ve despised the ideas and manners of people like this my entire academic career.

Not Joyce, obviously. Obama.

Obama’s self-described college-age animosity towards politically incorrect groups (such as offspring of the miscegenated) and in favor of “The Marxist professors and structural feminists” would be less worrying if not for his refusal to renounce racism and his Marxist-terrorist friends.

She was a good-looking woman, Joyce was with her green eyes and honey skin and pouty lips. We lived in the same dorm my freshman year, and all the brothers were after her. One day I asked her if she was going to the Black Students’ Association meeting. She looked at me funny, then started shaking her head like a baby who doesn’t want what it sees on the spoon.

“I’m not black,” Joyce said. “I’m multiracial.” Then she started telling me about her father, who happened to be Italian and was the sweetest man in the world; and her mother, who happened to be part African and part French and part Native American and part something else. “Why should I have to choose between them?” she asked me. Her voice cracked, and I thought she was going to cry. “It’s not white people who are making me choose. Maybe it used to be that way, but now they’re willing to treat me like a person. No — it’s black people who always have to make everything racial. They’re the ones making me choose. They’re the ones who are telling me that I can’t be who I am…”

They, they, they. That was the problem with people like Joyce. They talked about the richness of their multicultural heritage and it sounded real good, until you noticed that they avoided black people…

To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society’s stifling conventions. We weren’t indifferent or careless or insecure. We were alienated.

But this strategy alone couldn’t provide the distance I wanted, from Joyce or my past. After all, there were thousands of so-called campus radicals, most of them white and tenured and happily tolerant. No, it remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names.

I’m just surprised that Obama didn’t use the annoying pseudo-spelling chican@!

What’s hilarious, of course, is that coverage of Obama still reads like this:

If Obama seems alien, it may not be simply because he’s the African-American presidential front runner, but because he’s an African-American politician who doesn’t flaunt his scars. Instead, he seems improbably blessed with good fortune and holds himself up as an example of the American Dream as reality. As he says again and again in speeches, only in this country would his story be possible.

Courtesy snopes.

Completing the COIN Cycle on the “Global Insurgency”

I’ve written on the importance of completing the COIN cycle in Iraq — of experience a counterinsurgency from initial response to final victory – as an important way to set the right lessons in the minds and institutions of the U.S. military. However, Iraq is not the only COIN (counter-insurgency) we are fighting. And some have even argued we are also fighting a “global insurgency” spread across the world.

If we are, we are winning:

The Simon Fraser study notes that the decline in terrorism appears to be caused by many factors, among them successful counterterrorism operations in dozens of countries and infighting among terror groups. But the most significant, in the study’s view, is the “extraordinary drop in support for Islamist terror organizations in the Muslim world over the past five years.” These are largely self-inflicted wounds. The more people are exposed to the jihadists’ tactics and world view, the less they support them. An ABC/BBC poll in Afghanistan in 2007 showed support for the jihadist militants in the country to be 1 percent. In Pakistan’s North-West Frontier province, where Al Qaeda has bases, support for Osama bin Laden plummeted from 70 percent in August 2007 to 4 percent in January 2008. That dramatic drop was probably a reaction to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, but it points to a general trend in Pakistan over the past five years. With every new terrorist attack, public support for jihad falls. “This pattern is repeated in country after country in the Muslim world,” writes Mack. “Its strategic implications are critically important because historical evidence suggests that terrorist campaigns that lose public support will sooner or later be abandoned or defeated.”

The University of Maryland’s Center for International Development and Conflict Management (I wish academic centers would come up with shorter names!) has released another revealing study, documenting a 54 percent decline in the number of organizations using violence across the Middle East and North Africa between 1985 and 2004. The real rise, it points out, is in the number of groups employing nonviolent means of protest, which increased threefold during the same period.

Why have you not heard about studies like this or the one from Simon Fraser, which was done by highly regarded scholars, released at the United Nations and widely discussed in many countries around the world—from Canada to Australia? Because it does not fit into the narrative of fear that we have all accepted far too easily.

The Bush Administration has been a great complement to the Clinton Administration. While Clinton oversaw a build-out of our financial capacity, helping with everything from NAFTA to the WTO, Bush continued this work and oversaw a built-out of our COIN capacity. The great job that Bush has done is the natural follow-up to the great job that Clinton did.

Of course, there are specific points of criticism. It took Bush perhaps a year to recognize that his initial “Phase IV” plan in Iraq was not working, and to adjust course. Likewise, he did not “shoot the moon” through an alliance with Iran or a multilateral war against North Korea. These are fair criticisms, and it is valuable they are made.

Still, the Clinton and Bush administrations were creative and valuable in a way not seen since Roosevelt and Truman. Those wise old men were present at the creation of the “Post-War” (in the sense of Cold War) world. Now we stand at the beginning of the globalized world with its own post-war insurgencies. And with the capacities built up by Clinton and Bush, we are ready for the challenges ahead.

The Rule of Law in a Free Society

D.M. Hallowell, a close friend of this blog and normally one of the most insightful pundits in cyberspace, has now written several posts harshly criticizing the Fundementalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). FLDS, of course, broke off from the main Mormon Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) over the issue of polygamy.

When Texas raided the FDLS compound, taking every child from his and her parents, I criticizerd Texas. When the courts ruled that this was an abuse of power, I praised the courts. D.M.’s unhappy with this.

As he writes, “This is one of those can’t define it but know when I see it situations.” While guy instincts are wise in many areas of life, legal philosophy is not one of them. A free society requires laws that prevent specific actions, as all that is not forbidden is permitted. An illiberal society which is run by the emotional biases of those in power forbids all that is not permitted, and so injurs freedom.

D.M. then proceeds to give several reasons in support of total child removal. As I understand them, they are:

a) the FLDS supports an alternative lifestyle that is not normative

b) The Head of the FLDS is a convicted sex offender

c) The FLDS religiously instructs its followers to school their children within the FDLS community

d) FLDS views on marriage are anti-feminist

In response to the first two:

a) Normative sexual and family norms do not define lawful conduct. The laws define lawful conduct.

b) Obviously, this is serious (indeed, it is the only serious point in the list). As the status of criminals in the United States is properly handled through the courts, I take no view on this point other than what the courts say.

For the third point, the right to homeschool children is widely recognized (albeit with regulations) in every state in the country. Homeschooling is not just for those of the leisure class who believe their children are being held back by public schools, but also for those who disagree with the socialization in values supported by the State. It is for this reasoning that home schooling was so loudly agitated for by both the Left and the Right from the 1960s to the 1990s.

For the last point, D.M. appears to be referring to the FLDS that wives are “sealed” to their husbands and enter into heaven as part of a family. It is my understanding that this is also mainstream Mormon theology. A similar concepts (that men enter into heaven in their earthly bodies, but women enter into heaven in their perfected bodies) occurs in Islam. While I certainly urge all members of the FLDS to convert to the true practice of the true faith (the Latin rite of Catholicism, obviously), I also recognize their right to a theological perspective on sex and gender roles that is different from mine.

Indeed, I’m surprised that D.M. even brought up the last two points, as their implications are so chilling. Would D.M. alsos support raids of the Hutterite Colonies along the Jim River, because they practice sex-segregated meals, obedience of wives to husbands, and community-based schools? What about the Amish? Or does D.M. support police power only against polygamist religions, such as Islam?

I know that D.M. said he beliefs this without thought, relying on his feelings. But I emphasize that replacing the rule of law in a liberal society with the rule of prejudice is very dangerous. Indeed, the rule of prejudice will surely generate an illiberal society.

(In spite of this, I do not support the police taking the children of prejudicial illiberals away from their parents. Those families, like mine, have rights in a free society. Even if they oppose it.)