The Ignorant Folly of Sending the National Guard to the Border

I vehemently disagree with Michael Savage’s April 7, 2018 article, “ACLU SIDES WITH DRUG SMUGGLERS:  TROOPS DO NOT BELONG AT BORDER.”
It’s not that I agree with the ACLU.  I don’t.  They’re idiots.  Specifically, they claim that “Deploying the military in U.S. communities is a dangerous move, contrary to the fundamental norms of a civilized society.”
Under Article I, Section 8; Clause 15, the United States Congress is given the power “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”  Furthermore, 10 U.S. Code § 246 – Militia: composition and classes, specifically states the National Guard, along with the Naval Militia, are one of the two classes of the Constitutionally and federally recognized militia mentioned under Article I, Section 8; Clause 15.
That’s why the ACLU are idiots.  Apparently, they can’t read.  At the very least, they can’t seem to read the U.S. Constitution and federal law without totally screwing it up.  It’s the National Guard’s job to “suppress insurrections and repel invasions.”  The ACLU doesn’t understand that “the fundamental norms of a civilized society” require that society to maintain good order and discipline i.e. law and order while simultaneously protecting the life, limb, and property of people, both individually and collectively.
But Michael Savage is also an idiot, for two reason.  First, he confuses illegal aliens crossing our border with drugs and weapons with an invasion.  Second, he is apparently unaware of the U.S. Border Patrol’s actual mission.
INVASION
The Cambridge Dictonary, arguable one of the top three dictionaries of the English language, defines “invasion” three ways:
 – an occasion when an army or country uses force to enter and take control of another country
 – an occasion when a large number of people or things come to a place in an annoying and unwanted way
 – an action or process that affects someone’s life in an unpleasant and unwanted way
That matches the definitions I learned in history in both high school and college, as well as studies as a U.S. military officers.
There’s also this to consider:  “The priority mission of the U.S. Border Patrol is preventing terrorists and terrorists weapons, including weapons of mass destruction, from entering the United States” (Source: https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/along-us-borders/overview).
 
Furthermore, “While the Border Patrol has changed dramatically since its inception in 1924, its primary mission remains unchanged: to detect and prevent he illegal entry of aliens into the United States. Together with other law enforcement officers, the Border Patrol helps maintain borders that work – facilitating the flow of legal immigration and goods while preventing the illegal trafficking of people and contraband).
 
Finally, the U.S. Border Patrol contains a Special Operations Group (SOG) with three units:
– Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC): The mission of BORTAC is “to respond to terrorist threats of all types anywhere in the world in order to protect our nation’s homeland.”
– Border Patrol, Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR)
– Mobile Response Team (MRT)
 
Looks to me like the U.S. Border Patrol already has that job.
Don’t get me wrong: I despite the ACLU. But the question of whether or not sending National Guard troops to the border is the right move, or whether or not it’s even legal, has nothing to do with the ACLU.
 
It has to do with the fact that our nation already has a civilian law enforcement on ground to do precisely the job that needs to be done. The U.S. Border Patrol is specifically trained to do the job they’re doing and they do it very well.
 
If those units aren’t enough due to a surge in the threat, then INCREASE THEIR NUMBERS as THEY ARE IDEALLY SUITED FOR THE JOB.
 
TRAINING: All Border Patrol agents spend a minimum of 13 weeks at the Border Patrol Academy (if they are fluent in Spanish) in Artesia, New Mexico, which is a component of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). Those who are not fluent in Spanish spend an additional eight weeks at the Academy for a total of 21 weeks. Border Patrol Agent Trainees are instructed in courses including; criminal law, nationality law, and administrative immigration law, police sciences, self-defense and arrest techniques, firearms training with pistol, shotgun and rifle, police vehicle driving, and other Border Patrol / federal law enforcement subjects.
 
Once they arrive back at their duty station, Trainees then must graduate from the Field Training Officer (FTO) program, an on-the-job training program, which varies in length from a minimum of 12 weeks to a maximum of over 16 weeks long, depending on the practical demands of the duty station and local management. They must also successfully complete the Post Academy Training Program, an extension of the Border Patrol Academy where Trainees complete additional classroom-based training over the course of their first nine months back at their duty station.
 
Does this mean the National Guard should never be used along our borders?  Of course not!  As the Constitution specifically states, it’s the National Guard’s job to “suppress insurrections and repel invasions.”
What’s happening along the southern border of the United States, however, is most certainly not an invasion.  It might seem like it to some people, but it utterly fails to meet that definition.
According to Wikipedia, “An invasion is a military offensive in which large parts of combatants of one geopolitical entity aggressively enter territory controlled by another such entity, generally with the objective of either conquering; liberating or re-establishing control or authority over a territory; forcing the partition of a country; altering the established government or gaining concessions from said government; or a combination thereof. An invasion can be the cause of a war, be a part of a larger strategy to end a war, or it can constitute an entire war in itself. Due to the large scale of the operations associated with invasions, they are usually strategic in planning and execution.”
You might say, “But it’s been done before!”  Indeed it has:  “President George W. Bush sent 6,000 troops to the border. President Barack Obama sent 1,200. The deployments cost a total of more than $1.3 billion.”
 
Wow. That’s $722,222 for each troop, and just because “everyone’s doing it” doesn’t make it legal.
 
So…  Since it’s clearly not legal, and the U.S. Border Patrol already has that job, why not INSTEAD increase the U.S. Border Patrol’s budget and open wide their six-month training pipeline? That way, at the end of all this you’d pay less than a THIRD of that cost while simultaneously having another trained U.S. Border Patrol agent at the read.
 
Like I said earlier, the National Guard is expensive!

Why Ethanol Fuels are a BAD Idea

A recent article in Forbes says the U.S. ethanol policy is under siege.
Good!  It should be under siege, as it’s extremely stupid for a number of reasons:

First, it’s gravely outdated.  “Today’s ethanol industry began in the 1970s when petroleum-based fuel became expensive and environmental concerns involving leaded gasoline created a need for an octane” (Source).  The move was meant to better oxygenate fuels, thereby reducing harmful emissions, particularly CO (carbon monoxide).  HOWEVER, that was the era before emissions controls became mandatory.  Carburetors were ubiquitous.  Catalytic converters were very rare.  Adjustments in ignition timing and mixture were produced by two means, if at all:  Advancement in timing as a function of engine RPM and fuel control as a function of air velocity passing through the carburetor with an augmented “pumper” for when the throttle was floored (wide open).  As a result, engines burned fairly rich, and fairly dirty.

Modern engines, however, sense environmental temperature and oxygen levels, exhaust gas temperature and oxygen, and a host of other things, automatically adjusting ignition timing and fuel injection to produce far cleaner lean burning engines which carry an excess of oxygen throughout the combustion process.  As a result, they produce only a tiny fraction of the CO of, say, a 1968 Mustang.  Ethanol fuels have almost zero impact on emissions as there’s almost nothing left to impact.

Second, it’s both grossly less efficient and more expensive. Ethanol contains approx. 34% less energy per unit volume than gasoline, and therefore in theory, burning pure ethanol in a vehicle reduces miles per US gallon 34%, given the same fuel economy, compared to burning pure gasoline. For E10 (10% ethanol and 90% gasoline), the effect is small (~3%) when compared to conventional gasoline. According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the average American driver puts in 13,474 miles behind the wheel each year. Furthermore, cars and light trucks sold in the United States hit a new record for fuel efficiency last year — 23.6 miles per gallon, on average. Even at that high rate, your average motorist will burn 17.1 more gallons — $39.22 and about a tank full — each year while simultaneously paying $91.52 more at the pump, and for WHAT?  Well, NOTHING if they own a modern vehicle.
 
Third, it’s not a cure-all: “A study by atmospheric scientists at Stanford University found that E85 fuel would increase the risk of air pollution deaths relative to gasoline by 9% in Los Angeles, US: a very large, urban, car-based metropolis that is a worst-case scenario. Ozone levels are significantly increased, thereby increasing photochemical smog and aggravating medical problems such as asthma.” Why? Because burning ethanol is NOT “clean.” It produces CO2, H20, and aldehydes, the latter of which cause serious breathing problems:  “Exposures to formaldehyde, acrolein, and other aldehydes occur at work, in homes, and outdoors. Inhalation of high doses of formaldehyde has produced nasal tumors in laboratory rats, and lower concentrations have irritated eyes and air passages in humans. However, information is limited regarding the adverse human health effects caused by aldehydes other than formaldehyde. Emissions from motor vehicles using gasoline and diesel fuels add to the outdoor levels of aldehydes, including formaldehyde and acrolein. The projected use of methanol and ethanol as alternative fuels and in fuel blends may increase outdoor aldehyde levels because alcohol combustion yields more aldehydes than conventional fuel combustion. In view of the known and potential health effects of formaldehyde and acrolein, the Clean Air Act of 1990 defines them as hazardous air pollutants that are subject to regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency. At concentrations exceeding usual outdoor levels, aldehyde inhalation can alter breathing patterns by narrowing airway openings (airway constriction). It can also damage cells lining the airways, prompting white blood cells to enter the lungs” (Source).
 
Bottom line, ethanol fuels are outdated, costly, and surprisingly, even more polluting than the fuels they intend to replace.
 
https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2018/04/08/u-s-ethanol-policy-under-siege/#3a894b74115b

Emma González on Why This Generation Needs Gun Control

The blitheringly idiotic liberal rage Huffington Post claims, “Emma Gonzalez is not budging in her fight against gun violence.”

Good! As a concerned parent, neither am I.

The difference between Emma Gonzalez and I, however, is one of experience. I have more. FAR more, especially in the area of securing both facilities and people.

In addition to four years of managing pools, during which pool security, especially after hours, was critical in keeping kids safe, I was also certified as a Level II Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection representative for my unit in the military. But that 40-hour class of boiled-down know-hour condensing perhaps thousands of hours of experience of others, experts in their fields, is nothing compared to the 20 years I spent on active duty where security is always in the back, if not the forefront of people’s minds. I spent several rotations in combat zones, where the enemy is always trying to find ways to kill you. The security measures we used were highly effective, if not vexing to the enemy, an enemy far better equipped and more determined than was the shooter as Emma’s school.

By comparison, Emma Gonzalez’ experience is limited to that of a handful of fire drills, perhaps a couple of other drills, and having been a victim of an active shooter in her school. Terrifying, absolutely. Experience that qualifies her to properly identify the problem and properly respond, however, absolutely not.

For example, her article in Teen Vogue is utterly void of reason and rationality. It is based upon false premises, flat out wrong information, and idealism — how things “should” work — instead of how things actually work. Her ineptitude in the Teen Vogue article is worth an entire and lengthy analysis, which I will do elsewhere and send to my members of Congress, encouraging to steer well clear of the uber-idealistic liberal backing and crafting of all things Emma Gonzalez while opting instead to listen to area/facility/personnel security experts who were unfortunately ignored by most people in Parkland, Florida, including school district supervisors, school officials, and the sheriff’s department.

Put simply, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was wide open to the attack. Fortunately, most high schools around the nation are more secure.

In closing, I would like to highlight the comment mudstream media heralds the most, as it’s a prime example of how grossly they twist reality and distort the facts in order to sell their news, so much so that people like Emma Gonzales wind up saying stupid things like, “Any way you cut it, one of the biggest threats to life as a teen in the U.S. today is being shot.”

That’s not reality. That’s nothing more than media-hyped fear, fanned into flames by powers within this country who abuse journalistic integrity in order to advance their agenda, and they have absolutely no qualms about using, if not abusing, children like Emma Gonzalez in order to achieve their goals, which, quite frankly, have nothing to do with security, but rather, controlling the general populace.

Here’s REALITY:  “The five leading causes of death among teenagers are accidents (unintentional injuries), homicide, suicide, cancer, and heart disease.  Accidents account for nearly one-half of all teenage deaths” (Mortality Among Teenagers Aged 12-19 Years:  United States, 1999-2006.  Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db37.htm)

In FACT, homicides pull a distant third, at just 13%, behind unintentional injury (48%) and other causes/residual (17%).  While this study was completed a decade ago, homicide did not quadruple to become the leading cause of death as Emma Gonzalez wrongly claims.

Leading Causes of Death for Teenages

No, I am not a member of the NRA, or any other gun-advocacy group. I am simple a concerned father who chooses to arm myself with facts instead the blitheringly idiotic idealism of the liberal left.

As a realist, with significant education and training — vastly more than Emma Gonzalez, I am here to tell you that her story in Teen Vogue is so full of holes that anyone who listens to her “advice” is likely to be put in significantly greater risk than if they listen to experts who have been securing facilities and people for millennia.

I will tackle her article in Teen Vogue, later.

CEO’s on Gun Control – Informed Responses

A recent article in the Miami Herald has me wondering about the level of sanity that remains in our nation’s business leaders.  In “CEOs hope common-sense control on assault rifles happen soon,” I found the same myriad of feel-good, do-wrong think most commonly associated with the ignorant anti-gunners who populate basement-run organizations operating off fears and rhetoric rather than facts and science.

Without further ado, I will address both the ignorance and logically fallacious suppositions mention herein:

Although I do believe in our Second Amendment right, I feel all assault weapons should be permanently banned. I believe that the government should implement stricter policies related to the waiting periods for all firearm sales, including gun show requirements and private sales. In addition, I believe that anyone purchasing a gun must have an extensive Level I and II background screening prior to the sale.

Margaret “Peggy” Bass, executive director, Good Hope Equestrian Training Center

First, Ms. Bass professes her belief in the Second Amendment, which emphatically requires an unwaivering moratorium on any and all infringements on our right to keep and bear arms.  That’s what “shall not be infringed” means.  She immediately proceeds to call for stricter policies, which are infringements, as well as serious and burdensome hurdles, which are also infringements.

Our Constitution does not say, “the right of the people who have completed Level II background screening prior to the sale to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed beyond the initial waiting period required even when passing heirlooms from parents to progeny.”

It says “the right of the people to keep (own/possess) and bear (carry) arms (armaments) shall not be infringed.”

Our Founding Fathers weren’t stupid, Peggy.  If they wanted to add all sorts of restrictions, they would have done so, the same as they did when adding the many restrictions against the federal government found in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.  The Second Amendment does the same, restricting the government against precisely the kind of infringements you propose, and for good reason:  It’s necessary to the security of a free State.

The Parkland tragedy must be a call to action that echoes in every home, office and classroom. The horrific loss of life — the failure to meet our most basic obligation of protecting our children — should rapidly bring policy-makers together to ensure common sense gun control measures along with expanded access to effective behavioral health supports. Schools, mental health providers and law enforcement need to come together and create a social safety net to ensure that individuals who need help have access to quality services and create a seamless system of notification if violent behavior is even suspected.

Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg, president, CEO, Carrfour Supportive Housing

Ms. BE commits an oxymoron by attempting to equate “the failure to meet our most basic obligation of protecting our children” with her implied failure of “common sense gun control measures.”  As the Parkland, Florida shooter already had a number of other firearms, including rifles, a rejection of his background check when he purchased his AR-15 would have made little difference, especially since his hunting rifle operates precisely the same as his AR-15, regardless of how much “nastier” his AR-15 looks.

I do agree with Ms. BE with respect to correctly identifying situations where individuals are a danger to themselves and others.  However, it’s a very slippery slope between correctly identifying one who is dangerous and identifying five — if not thirty — additional people who are not dangerous and depriving them of their constitutional rights.  Depriving people of their Constitutional rights “if violent behavior is even suspected” gets very expensive in very short order, in more ways than one.

In my opinion, our country needs more protection in our schools to prevent tragic events like this one. We have lost many innocent lives, and this needs to stop. Our society needs to leverage these painful tragedies to propel our government to pass stronger legislation regarding who’s allowed to purchase these dangerous weapons. The change has to start now, and it has to be driven by all of us.

Jose R. Costa, CEO, For Eyes

Apparently, Mr. Costa is unfamiliar with both our nation’s Constitution — the “supreme Law of the Land” — as well as it’s order of precedence in our nation’s system of laws.  So, here’s a quick refresher:

The Constitution is indeed the “supreme Law of the Land.”  Amendments are integral parts of our Constitution, so says our Constitution.  If either an executive order of piece of legislation, including one such as Mr. Costa is proposing, violates our Constitution, including any Amendment, the legislation is null and void right then and there, so says the U.S. Supreme Court.  It might take a court case to convince the local, county, state, or federal government, though.  If a court in our nation’s judicial branch rules in favor of the plaintiff, then the local, county, state, or federal government absolutely most stop their un-Constitutional advances and abide by our “supreme Law of the Land,” regardless of whether they want to or not.

That’s the law.

Thus, Mr. Costa’s suggestion to “pass stronger legislation regarding who’s allowed to purchase these dangerous weapons” is in violation of our Constitution.  Everyone is allowed to purchase firearms:  “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

As for his “dangerous weapons” assertion, Mr. Costa needs to review  the Real Time Current Death Toll from January 1 to present, where he will see that abortion tops the list by a factor of nearly two, and that murders by gun chime in at just 1% of abortions.  Meanwhile, 22 other causes of death fill the gaps between the two.  As Mr. Costa works in the medical field, he is certainly aware that medical errors occur 21.9 times more often than do murders by gun.  Of course firearms are dangerous.  If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be categorized as “arms” (armaments) and would ineffective against bad guys, game, and tyrannical governments, which is WHY our Founding Fathers saw fit to ban any infringement against our right to keep and bear arms.

It has reinforced my position that our society is being put at increasing peril to gun violence because the silent majority has not put more pressure on government leaders to act in the best interests of public safety.

Jerome Hutchinson Jr., managing partner, JHJ Marketing Group

First, our society is not “being put at increasing peril to gun violence.”  The simple fact of the matter is that “Although the violent crime rate in the U.S. has generally decreased over the past 15 years, the gun homicide rate has hardly changed.” – Everytown for Gun Safety

Second, Mr. Hutchinson makes the erroneous assumption that the “silent majority” is on his side.  In fact, while 86% of Americas do support background checks, the same percentage — 86% — also support our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.  The silent majority stands 7 to 1 against Mr. Hutchinson’s anti-gun stance.  Put simply, we agree it’s in the best interests of public safety to NOT infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

I have walked into a few gun shops over the years and questioned the wisdom of allowing these military grade assault weapons to be owned by any civilian, least of all an 18-year-old we don’t trust to drink alcohol responsibly. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas mass shooting tragedy has only reinforced my belief that a ban on assault weapons should be re-established and that adding an enhanced background check for gun purchases is a no-brainer. It should not be this easy to obtain guns of any kind.

Raymond Mobayed, owner, 4IT Inc.

Mr.  Mobayed makes several glaring errors.  First, as previously mentioned, “assault weapons” aren’t actually a thing.  Second, claiming any firearm sold to civilians at large to be “military grade” is incredibly ignorant.  Third, he may have a point on 18-year-olds, but if we go that route, no 18-year-old should be allowed in the military, either, where they have access to far more powerful armaments.  Fourth, you can’t ban something that doesn’t actually exist.  Fifth, an “enhanced background check for gun purchases” is what we currently have with the FBI background check system.  Perhaps we need an “enhanced enhanced” or even an “enhanced enhanced enhanced” system.  Sixth, it should be this easy to obtain guns, as THAT IS THE LAW, and it exists precisely because 96.3% of U.S. citizens OBEY THE LAW when it comes to lawful purchasing, handling, storage, and use of firearms.  We don’t infringe on the defensive, hunting, and anti-tyrannical rights of 27 law-abiding U.S. citizens just to shut down 1 bad guy.  That’s not the way America works, and if Mr. Mobayed doesn’t like it, there are a number of countries in this world that agree with Mr. Mobayed.

The one thing this shooting made me sure of is that something needs to change. Yes, we need to limit access to military-style weapons, but addressing the gaps in our mental health system is just as important. Our kids deserve to feel free to focus on their schooling without having these kinds of fears on their minds.

Carlos Rosso, president, The Related Group’s Condominium division

We already “limit access to military-style weapons.”  Those weapons are called “assault rifles.”  AR-15s are similarly-“styled” firearms are not assault rifles.  As for “assault weapons,” that’s a term a journalist invented in the 1980s after he was slapped down for attempting to call an AR-15 an “assault rifle.”

If you want kids to “feel free to focus on their schooling without have these kinds of fears on their minds,” then secure the schools.  Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was not secure.

First off, I am completely for the Second Amendment, but what I do not understand is why an 18-year-old cannot buy alcohol or a pistol, but they are legally able to purchase and utilize an AR-15 rifle. (Still not sure why any citizen really needs an AR-15). There is something completely wrong with this picture and I am so glad to see President Trump support raising the age limit to 21 and looking for stricter background checks. I was recently in Las Vegas and drove by the area where the mass shooting occurred across the Mandalay Bay Hotel. It was surreal to see everything still in its place, from the stage to the portable bathrooms. The same day I was flying home, I heard about the mass shooting in Parkland and it really hit home. We need action now!

Stan Rudman, CMO and owner, Sportailor Inc.

I can’t really fault Mr. Rudman for his sentiments, and he’s right about needing action now.  The most effective action is to secure the schools.  Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was NOT secure.  Four cowardly sheriff’s deputies who failed to serve and protect didn’t help matters any, either.

***  Work in progress.  Will finish the rest later.  ***

What happened in Parkland is tragic and it’s happening too often in the United States. The fact that assault rifles are weapons of war but are the primary weapon of choice for active shooters needs to be addressed in a meaningful way. I believe we can find the balance between the two sides of the gun debate, and I am hopeful that it will be the students from Stoneman who will get us there.

Kim Stone, general manager and EVP, AmericanAirlines Arena

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Our hearts go out to the families and the community of Parkland. As a bank, we explored disallowing gun purchases using our Visa debit and credit cards, however, Visa does not flag purchases of guns separately and some retailers that sell guns — like Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods — also sell other merchandise such that we would not want to block entire retailers. So we are very pleased that some retailers are implementing common sense gun purchase policies.

Teri Williams, president, CEO and a director, OneUnited Bank

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My thinking has not changed. It has become more validated by these frequent and extreme events. No one can justify the need for a private person to have, let alone use, an AR-15 in a civilized society. Guns of mass killing do not belong in our society at all, especially not in urban environments. I hold in high esteem the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for speaking up and leading the charge for safer schools and gun reform in our state of Florida, as well as across our nation. They are the voice of a new generation of community activists who have keenly used social media as their own call for action.

Bernard Zyscovich, founder and CEO of Zyscovich Architects

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The Olympics, Fair Play, Doping, Shaming and Political Correctness

I wholeheartedly concur with one Olympian’s recent conclusion that “we need full reform of the organization, its purpose, and its functionality.” Myself and my friends who were in Fellowship of Christian Athletes in college are rather aghast at what at least some of the elements within the USOC have become.
 
Do you think the erosion of the sense of fair play and above-board mindset afforded the U.S. from our Judeo-Christian heritage has contributed to the problems? After all, if one is never willing to cut any corners in the first place, then the idea of doping in any form, much less the horrors that happened with Nassar, is simply out. But when moral relativism approaches the rules in such a way that it’s looking to see how far they can push the envelope, bending the rules but not breaking them, the logical next step involves breaking them without being caught, and even hiding the truth in the process.
 
That mindset is based not on a sense of fair play but on winning at all costs, just so long as they’re not caught.
 
By contrast, an approach whereby everyone within the system both understands and fully respects what is prohibited results in steering well clear what’s inappropriate, working within “the Olympic Spirit which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”
 
Learning that level of respect, that sense of fair play, begins at a very early age. While I appreciate the “winning isn’t everything – it’s the only thing” Red Saunder-isms and Lombardi-isms in professional sports, and certainly on the battlefield, the Olympics was never about replacing war with sports as a means of counting coup. If that’s what’s corrupting the sense of fair play we viewers world-wide expect to see, then perhaps the IOC has bigger fish to fry, including tackling the worldwide loss of faith-based foundations upon which these ideals stand firm.
 
Under a true sense of fair play, strict doping rules would result in athletes who take the high road. They wouldn’t behave in ways which avoid getting caught (the letter of the law), but rather, they might behave in ways would refuse to engage in any form of doping at all. Under strict rules, however, that might not only ban training while using oxygen-deprivation devices, but also requiring all athletes to train below a certain altitude, say, the lowest elevation available in all member nations. Such a draconian approach to political correctness, however, adopts all nation’s responsibilities to afford their athletes appropriate access to reasonable training venues.
 
The point is that even within the scope of doping, lines should be drawn between natural and artificial means of training. It’s perfectly natural to train at higher altitudes. Athletes have been hiking or running up mountains for millennia. We now have the technology to detect changes in the hypoxia-inducible factor 1 regulator and its many subservient enzymes. The problem is, we cannot yet differentiate, and may never be able to differentiate between training and altitude and training in an hypoxic environment. Thus, we’re back to fostering and relying on a sense of fair play. Fair play is only effective, however, in an environment where those who skirt the boundaries are chided and censured, “shamed,” if you will. Political correctness and its spirit of tolerance leaves little room for shaming.
 
Perhaps the problems within USOC are a reflection of similar or even greater problems throughout the International Olympic Committee and its competing athletes, many of whom feel that winning is everything and are compelled to win at all costs by the expectations of their respective nations.

Term Limits for Congress

I like what Charlie Daniels has to say on the matter, except the part about the lengths of terms.  His proposal is just way too darn short, for a variety of reason.

 I agree with term limits, provided they’re not so short that there’s no continuity. Continuity is EXTREMELY important when you’re talking about detailed, complex jobs and procedures, and Congress isn’t simple. It takes four to six years for a member of Congress just to learn the basics.  The military builds in continuity.  Airlines build in continuity.  Just about every important, complex job builds in continuity, and the demands of Congress are no different.
 
I’ve analyzed a lot of different proposals, and find the tiered approach to provide the best balance between fresh faces and maintaining continuity:
 
Tier I: 0-12 Years, consisting of three House terms or two Senatorial terms, IF they’re re-elected each of those terms.
 
One-third of all members of Congress (both House and Senate), will be capped at 12 years. That’s it. At the 12-year point, they roll a die. If you score a 1 or 2, you get to run again. But if you score a 3, 4, 5, or 6, it’s time to pack your bags.
 
For practical purposes, that year group should draw random numbers and be ranked accordingly. The bottom third is out.
 
Tier II: 12-24 Years, consisting of three more House terms or two more Senatorial terms, IF they’re re-elected each of those terms.
 
Two-thirds of all members of Congress (both House and Senate), will be capped at 24 years.
 
Tier III: 25-36 Years, consisting of three more House terms or two more Senatorial terms, IF they’re re-elected each of those terms.
 
100% all members of Congress (both House and Senate), will be capped at 36 years.
 
FOR ALL PRACTICAL PURPOSES, and because some members of Congress are not re-elected after their first, second, or third terms, it’s likely that only half will serve more than 12 years and a quarter will serve more than 24 years.
 
In addition, since Congress puts a mandatory retirement age on airline pilots of 65 years, I feel it’s only fair that this be the mandatory retirement age for members of Congress, as well, and for the same reasons.
This approach is simple, straightforward, and provides for roughly double the current turnover while maintaining critical continuity.

Lee Sang-Ho LOST to Zan Kosir

This article raises several very good questions:

  1.  Why did the S. Korean flag appear beneath Lee Sang-Ho well before the Slovenian flag appear beneath Zan Kosir?
  2. Did the premature appearance of the S. Korean flag (or the delayed appearance of the Slovenian flag) affect the judges’ ruling?
  3. Was there electronic timing being used on the course?  If so, what did the timing claim?
  4. Given the fact that the video clearly shows Zan Kosir crossing the finish line first, with both board and hand over the line when neither Lee Sang-Ho’s hand nor his board had reached the line, why did the judges decide in favor of Lee Sang-Ho?
  5. Given the video, why was the electronic timing not examined immediately afterwards?
  6. Why has this obvious mistake on the part of the judges not been called into question at the highest level???

If Lee Sang-Ho or S. Korea has any honor, they will concede defeat and ask the IOC to redistribute the medals.