Welcome to Air Force Voices. This site is intended to provide unofficial commentary on current leadership, military, or political topics.
This website is not created, maintained, or sanctioned by any official United States or Air Force agency. This is a private website. Send questions or comments regarding this website to the link below.
This is a great move! Check out Pundit Review and what they are doing on the radio now that Boston's #1 talk radio station (WRKO) has cancelled "Newsweek on Air" in light of the liberal magazines false story (HT: LaShawn Barber)
They have a great lineup of bloggers instead.
Someday, Air Force Voices will get on the air (in a positive way!).
[Note: My friends at ACSC are all waiting for me to get in trouble for blogging...I don't see it happening as long as I refrain from releasing OPSEC and ensure good order and discipline rules are not broken. This doesn't mean I won't comment on a poor decision...staying quiet about bad decision-making doesn't help the situation...BTW: that is another recommendation in my research paper.]
Why do I blog? Because I am tired of the liberal bias in the MSM/DNC. That is why I chose public affairs as my research seminar and titled my research paper Weblogs: The Power to Shape Public Opinion. As a result, I started this blog to gain practical experience and as my knowledge grew...I found out many others in the military who feel the same way.
It is not just Newsweek retraction that offers the latest example. Michelle Malkin has a great column in today's edition of Jewish World Review: Here is an excerpt:
It's the New York Times and CBS News and the overkill over abuses at Abu Ghraib prison. It's the Boston Globe publishing porn photos passed off by an anti-war city counselor as proof that American G.I.'s were raping Iraqi women.
It's the constant editorial drumbeat of "quagmire, quagmire, quagmire."
It's the mainstream media's bogus reporting on the military's failure to stop purported "massive" looting of Iraqi antiquities.
It's the hyping of stories like the military's purported failure to stop looting of explosives al Qaa Qaa right before the 2004 presidential election stories that have since dropped off the face of the earth.
It's the persistent use of euphemisms "insurgents," "hostage-takers," "activists," "militants," "fighters" to describe the terrorist head-choppers and suicide bombers trying to kill American soldiers and civilians alike. It's the knee-jerk caricature of American generals as intolerant anachronisms. It's the portrayal of honest mistakes in battle as premeditated murders.
It's the propagandistic rumor-mongering spread by sympathizers of Italy's Giuliana Sgrena and former CNN executive Eason Jordan about American soldiers targeting and/or murdering journalists.
It's the glorification of military deserters, who bask in the glow of unquestioning and largely uncorroborated print and broadcast profiles.
Michelle Malkin has a number of links to other examples of liberal bias on her blog today.
One recommendation I made in my research paper was for Public Affairs to re-evaluate their relationship with these liberal outfits 1) since they do not have the best interests of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines and 2) they are losing market share while blogs are gaining market share.
Surprisingly, in a survey conducted as part of my research, most senior public affairs officials had never heard of a blog or didn't read them...however, they were all quick to criticize and condemn blogs. This was not the case with those below the rank of captain or senior NCO. Hmmm...
Do you think anyone at the top of the Public Affairs hierarchy will get the message any time soon? I am not holding my breath.
I also wonder, do you think Public Affairs will release my research paper for publication? I hope so. (BTW: I got an "A" on the paper).
For those of you who enjoy sci-fi movie speculation...especially how it relates to current day politics (e.g., did George Lucas weave his political viewpoint in the last and current Star Wars episodes?)....
La Shawn Barber has a great post and links to some fascinating articles. I also highly recommend reading through the comments at the bottom of La Shawn's post.
Things that make you go hmmmm...
BTW: I like the speculation...it is a welcome change to all the dry reading assigned here at ACSC.
And now a word about the rioters. They have desecrated their religion and their holy text far more than the alleged flushers of Koranic pages.
Did any Buddhists riot and murder when the Taliban Muslims blew up the irreplaceable giant Buddhist statues in Afghanistan? Did any Christians riot and murder when an "artist" produced "Piss Christ" -- a crucifix immersed in a jar of the "artist's" urine?
When all Christian services and even the wearing of a cross were banned in Saudi Arabia? When Christians are murdered while at prayer in churches by Muslims in Pakistan?
Have any Jews rioted in all the years since it was revealed that Jordanian Muslims used Jewish tombstones in Old Jerusalem as latrines? Or after Palestinians destroyed Joseph's Tomb in 2000 and set fire to the rebuilt tomb in 2003?
It is quite remarkable that many Muslims believe that an American interrogator flushing pages of the Koran is worthy of rioting, but all the torture, slaughter, terror and mass murder done by Muslims in the name of the Koran are unworthy of even a peaceful protest.
Related: I guess religious intolerance can only be charged when/if evangelical Christians simply ask people to accept Christ as their savior (see previous posts on the Air Force Academy). But when other religions torture, slaughter and burn...where is the outrage? Cricket cricket....cricket cricket.
If you were wondering where I have been the last couple of days...
Not much going...just finishing up with school getting ready to graduate while starting the commander's course here at ACSC.
I have been reading the blogs, following the Newsweek, Air Force Academy Witch Hunt, BRAC, and a bunch of other political stories.
Lately, I think I may have experienced my first case of writer's block (or blogger block if there is such a term). I wasn't happy with what I getting ready to post so I had been saving items as draft, tried to reword them, and ended up deleting (kind of like I am feeling right now). I am sure many of you can relate...blogging can be time-consuming...especially if you have to struggle to get your words out (writing is not one of my strong points).
Anyway, I think the best way to overcome the block is to just keep writing and let the chips fall where they may...so here goes...
Aside from the 33 bases recommended for closure, another 29 based are being recommended for realignment. More than 775 other smaller military installations, including National Guard and Reserve facilities, will also be closed or realigned, according to the recommendations...
...White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters Friday that the president was aware of the base closures and said the administration supports the process established by the Defense Department as to what happens next.
"This is the recommendation by the secretary of defense. There is a process in place, and there are steps in the process. It will now go to the [BRAC] commission. Then it will go to the president after that," McClellan said.
McClellan said base closings are a necessary, if painful, part of transforming the military into a force matched to modern demands.
"We want to make sure that our troops, particularly those in combat, have all the resources they need to do their job," he said. But the White House, well aware of the dread in many communities, is focused on helping affected towns move on, with federal assistance available through the Defense, Labor and Commerce departments, he said.
First, remember, previous BRAC commissions have accepted 85 percent of bases the Pentagon recommended for closure or consolidation. That means there will be fight this summer for as much as 15% of whatever is left. Watch the politics and if you see any changes on the list, ask yourself, "what else is going on/what is being traded?"
A crucial vote on the filibuster
A nominee to the federal bench, U.N. or other post
Social Security Reform
A controversial bill (energy, transportation or immigration)
A crucial spending bill (budget)
Supplemental appropriation for the Global War on Terror
Second, I understand the government is supposed to "save" $48.8 billion over 20 years...heh heh heh. Does anyone remember what happened to the $29 billion "saved" in previous BRAC rounds? Anyone? Bueller, Bueller?
Does anyone remember it ended up costing the government more money to clean up the bases they closed (i.e., environmental restoration) before they could be turned over to the communities.
Third, is the $48 billion in current-year or then-year dollars? Even if you use the standard 3% government inflation rate for O&M...it doesn't really matter because it is all funny money anyway...will your tax bill be any less?
I don't mean to sound cynical. In fact, I think the BRAC is a great thing to do. Remember how I feel about both effectiveness and efficiency (see previous post). We need to close these bases and realign others.
I just have to snicker when I hear about the government "saving" money or that this BRAC process will limit the amount of politics being played. Stay tuned for more.
Has anyone seen the latest outrageous claims at the Air Force Academy?
Capt Morton the AFA Chaplain who threw her lot in with Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AUSCS), is now crying foul because she is being "removed" from her perch at the center of the investigation.
T.R. Reid of the WaPo is spinning the story this way (here is an excerpt...emphasis added):
An Air Force chaplain who complained that evangelical Christians were trying to "subvert the system" by winning converts among cadets at the Air Force Academy was removed from administrative duties last week, just as the Pentagon began an in-depth study of alleged religious intolerance among cadets and commanders at the school.
"They fired me," said Capt. MeLinda Morton, a Lutheran minister who was removed as executive officer of the chaplain unit on May 4. "They said I should be angry about these outside groups who reported on the strident evangelicalism at the academy. The problem is, I agreed with those reports." ...
...After several "reasonably tense" days among the academy chaplains, Morton said, she received an e-mail on May 4 from Whittington. It said a new executive officer would be named, effective immediately.
[Lt Col Laurent] Fox, the academy spokesman, said this change was made because Whittington is retiring from the Air Force in June and Morton is due for a transfer in July to Okinawa. But Morton said the normal procedure would be to keep her in the number two post until she departs, so that she could help the unit's new commanding officer settle in.
Pam Zubrick of The Gazette adds a little more detail. Here is another excerpt (emphasis added):
An Air Force Academy chaplain said she was dismissed from an executive position after pointing out religious intolerance issues and contending that evangelical Christians have too much control at the school.
Capt. Melinda Morton, a Lutheran minister, also accused academy officials of lying about faith bias issues, which arose more than a year ago but only recently have grabbed the national spotlight.
In an interview with The Gazette, Morton said Thursday that she went public because working within the academy wasn’t effective and she wanted to preserve her integrity...
...Morton said in December that she was told she would remain at the academy through summer 2006. In March, she got orders to ship out to Okinawa in July. Then, last week, she was removed as executive officer.
Now, she’s not sure what her future holds.
Academy spokesman Johnny Whitaker said Morton’s removal was planned and announced at a staff meeting in April as a transition to a new chief chaplain in June.
He also disputed her recent orders to Okinawa had anything to do with her advocacy of pluralism.
“Air Force policy is we can move you anytime after two years,” he said. “The needs of the Air Force drives that.”
Zubrick provides more details about the good captain (emphasis added):
Capt. Melinda Morton, Lutheran minister Age: 48 Native of Missouri Joined the Air Force in 1982, served as a missile launch officer and orbital analyst Air Force Reserve chaplain, 2001 Active-duty chaplain, Dec. 9, 2002, assigned to the Air Force Academy
First, I am not surprised the MSM/DNC is spinning things this way. However, there are other questions from the articles:
1. Why did the captain leave service as a missile launch officer? Was her tour up, didn't like missile launch duty, or was the captain's Personal Reliability Program (PRP) status yanked? In other words, did the captain become a conscientious objector (which would adversely affect PRP) and join the chaplaincy? Was the chaplaincy the only place the captain could serve? Or did the captain always want to be chaplain? I don't know...it just seems like a logical question based on what the article presents.
2. Why is reassignment to Okinawa being spun as a bad assignment? Is Okinawa a dumping ground? I doubt it. If it is, don't tell the troops stationed there.
3. Has the captain ever been stationed overseas longer than 120 days? Hmmm...as a missile launch officer, then a reservist, then a 14-year assignment to the Air Force Academy...I doubt it. Did the captain think she would never be reassigned from the Academy? Are chaplains given tenure at the Academy or something?
3. Is anyone sure what their future holds? Poor captain...yet, why should the captain be any different than the rest of us? Will I make general someday? There are no guarantees.
4. Since when is the executive officer in an Air Force unit considered the "number two" post? This isn't the Navy...an executive officer in an Air Force unit is nothing more than a glorified administrative assistant (i.e., secretary).
[NOTE: Personal comment: There are several types of Air Force executive officers. The first type are the "golden boys and girls" who can't risk screwing up in a real job because it might tube their career (they get to "learn how to be generals" instead). Another type are the "strap hangers" who keep screwing up in a real job that an executive officer job is a safe place to park their butts...the other types are "yes" men or "window dressing" and I won't go into further details...all can answer the phones, update MS Outlook, and get coffee for the boss. If you are an executive officer reading this post and are offended...tough...you can blame the generals who explained this to me during my many mentoring sessions.]
5. What did the captain expect would happen? If religious intolerance is so pervasive at the Academy, why would the investigation team need to speak to her? It seems she wants to control the outcome of the investigation...obviously biased.
I am sure there is more to the story...the questions above are just some of the things the MSM/DNC leaves out of the story.
In the mean time...expect to hear more about how the poor chaplain is being mistreated <sarcasm> (mean ole Academy zealots)</sarcasm> ...