Saturday, October 06, 2007

Fear and Leaderless in America

Has anyone asked the question, where are the real leaders in America? One term, two term senators, actor-turned senator, well heeled investment banker, son of political family turned governor, former first lady now senator of state she never lived in, oh my! Perhaps the idea of the “hero-leader” as outlined in John Keegan’s Mask of Command is passé or politically incorrect in an age where the confident, tested, and masculine leader is denigrated while the feel good, “why can’t we all just get along” approach is applauded.

Today’s leadership watch what they say, take positions that have been crafted out of countless poll-analysis sessions, and try not to offend anyone. The leaders who take positions which are out of step with the media’s twisted concept of right and wrong are deemed extremist. Why the media and fringe elements (both Right and Left) are considered the standard of right and wrong, I do not know.

For example, Senator McCain was quoted saying it was important the next President is Christian, this of course made front page news on To rephrase his comment, what religion would American’s feel most comfortable having their president practice? The overwhelming majority would respond with Christian, Catholic, or Protestant. Is this because Americans or John McCain are extremist? No, it is because America is a nation whose customs, culture and traditions are based on Judeo-Christian principles. This is a fact of life, tour other countries and you will find the same, Mexico/Catholic, India/Hindu, Russia/Eastern Orthodox etc…

Compare how the media treats Senator Clinton whose middle of ground, carefully analyzed approach to issues offends no one and causes no major waves in the media/political arenas. Whether it is the war in Iraq, homosexual marriage or illegal immigration, Senator Clinton takes positions that have a little bit of everything for everyone. The same can be said with Senator Obama who has taken this same broad-based, safe-approach to issues while hiding behind his “beltway outsider” label.

Senator(s) Clinton and Obama’s leadership is false, it is acting. It is pseudo-leadership which works when the seas are calm and the barbarians are at bay. The same can be said for Candidates
and Thompson who evoke less than inspiring images as potential “Leaders of the Free World.” Smooth sounding speeches and poll-based principles are not what America needs when she is engaged in a real war, facing real challenges to her hegemony, and confronted with real domestic problems such as the urban decay of our cities and a culturally fractured society.

It is sad when the only candidate () whose resume’ most closely resembles that of a “hero leader” stands no chance of winning his party’s nomination. This reality is due to his principle-based positions on issues which require hard answers to hard questions (the War in , Immigration, Values). American’s would rather elect people who take the road most traveled, those who dared less to win rather than those dared all to win. Will the real leaders please stand up?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Brown Out

With the Iraq War dominating the headlines, the unrecognized war over congressional seats, who will represent them and the demographic changes creating this conflict avoids the headlines.

A recent special congressional election was held in the 37th district to see who would replace the late Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald. This district has been a “black” district comprising the cities of Long Beach (North Side), Carson, and Compton. These historically African American neighborhoods have undergone a transformation over the past decade losing their “blackness” and becoming increasingly “brown.”
1990 27%
2000 35%
1990 42%
2000 56%
Long Beach
1990 23%
2000 36%

1990 26%
2000 25%
1990 55%
2000 40%
Long Beach
1990 13%
2000 11%

These trends can be projected across the major urban centers of America where traditionally black districts are slowly evolving into brown districts. During the 37th district’s election, many black leaders vocalized their concerns of losing a seat to a Hispanic.

changes will dramatically alter the political landscape within local, state, and federal elections. Democrats will be faced with an internal battle royal between old-line black leaders who paid their dues in the 1960s and the upstart Hispanics who demand and deserve a seat at the political table of democracy.

This demographic shift will also impact the black voters themselves. As more districts lose their blackness, black voters will be faced with the reality of being represented in government by non-black officials. This situation could force blacks to move “beyond” race or it could lead a massive level of political disenfranchisement.

Another byproduct of this change could be an opportunity for the
Party to become the new party for black America. As improbable as this seems, the only other major voter block which consistently expresses strong support for anti-illegal immigration measures are blacks. This combined with a Democratic party which is focused on winning the brown vote could sway some black Americans towards the GOP.

The upcoming 5 to 10 years will witness an acceleration in the demographic tides of change. How communities respond to these changes, the inclusive or exclusive nature of their
leadership’s message will largely determine the success or failure of our political system and our nation’s cohesion or thereof.

Monday, February 19, 2007

America's Choice in Iraq: War or Peace (Talkwise)

The Democratic initiated non-binding resolution against the President’s efforts to increase troop levels in and the subsequent reaction amongst the presidential contenders is remarkable and at the same time troubling because it reveals a lack of seriousness on the part of our elected officials in dealing with and . Americans are probably not surprised by the pandering of the individuals in Congress however the ability of the presidential aspirants to shift their position or lack thereof one in response to perceived public sentiment is something which should cause Americans concern.

The inability of the candidates to understand the serious nature of foreign policy and its repercussions throughout the world increases the potential for chaos and uncertainty abroad. These current candidates both GOP and Democrat have all chosen either anti-war (), “pull’em out now” positions or have taken the ineffectual Clintonesque middle ground, least painful, “how the wind blows” option. Senator seems to be the only one who has from the beginning advocated the only course of action for victory (increased troop and resource levels).

In war, once the fight has started and you are in the thick of it there are not many good options left. War is a terrible thing but someone must win and someone must lose. Yes pulling out (Obama) is an option however your enemy will not have been defeated and you must be willing to pay the price later should they be emboldened to strike on other fronts. History is littered with failed idealist-leaders who have chosen this path only to condemn their people greater bloodshed down the road (Neville Chamberlain).

The Clintonesque, appease everyone option is not a choice in war. In combat you win or lose, live or die. It is not about poll numbers nor is it about making both sides happy. Senator
thinks she can talk tough yet then call for the initiation of a in 90 days and be thought of as a serious candidate for the leader of the free world. Her political ballet maneuvers are useless when real stewardship is needy and a nation must be guided through the treacherous seas of war.

Americans should expect leadership from those in power, not political pandering and Mr. and Miss Popularity contestants. War is about imposing your will on the enemy and achieving political objectives through military means (Clausewitz). America is at war, Americans are dieing and the middle ground approach prohibits victory while pro-longing an eventual defeat due to the insufficient allocation of military means.

Victory or defeat, those are our options. Senator’s Obama and Clinton think they can have it both ways. Senator Obama thinks he is Lincoln yet President Lincoln committed his nation to a war which cost over a half-million lives and nearly his presidency. Senator Obama, you are no . Senator Clinton wants to have both ways yet all she does is reveal her ineffectual and foundationless leadership qualities.

The facts are we have started a fight which we did not think would end up as it is now. Yes mistakes have been made in such as insufficient troop levels, poor post-war planning, and naivety on the part of all elected officials that war can won on the cheap both politically, financially, and socially but war it is and this war must be won. It is time for Americans to choose, victory or defeat, war or peace. There is no middle ground.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Halloween Justice Talkwise

The Halloween Beatings in
Long Beach CA this past year and the subsequent verdicts have crystallized some of the glaring problems our communities are facing regarding traditional views on
and justice. For those who are unaware of what happened that terrible night, three young women were vicisously beaten by a mob twelve youths shouting racial epithets. The women were selected and brutally assaulted because of their race. Had it not been for a Good Samaritan, those three women could have died.

This case did not make national headlines unlike other racially motivated attacks nor did the community conduct candle light vigils, march in protest, or resort to civil unrest. With the recent guilty verdict, amazingly the twelve defendants were categorized as victims right along with their three targets of hatred. The mayor and city council made responses that did not endorse the verdict nor support the victim’s rights and families. Instead, everyone was a victim, the assaulted three and the twelve thugs because of one reason, race.

Why is this? Simple, in this case the victims were white and the criminals were black. The national media did not care because racially motivated crimes can only be white on black, not the other way around. Black on white crime is tacitly excused by the political establishment as a hang-over from the days of segregation and lynching.

The day the verdicts were read, there were gatherings outside the courthouse in support of the defendants but no where were the prayer groups found for the victims. The mayor spoke of a community needing healing, rather than the trial being a triumph of justice. If a community’s leadership is paralyzed by the issue of race, unable to support the judicial system’s verdict because their skewed and racially clouded vision of society our cities especially Long Beach are in store of more trouble.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Clausewitz and Iraq (Talkwise)

The growing opposition to President

policy and to the war in general highlights the ceaseless truth of Carl Von Clausewitz’s axiom, “War is the continuation of politics through other means.” This phrase summarizes the challenges the administration but more importantly, this American democracy faces in sustaining a dirty counter-insurgency effort. In these “Savage Wars of Peace” as Max Boot so succinctly phrased it in his New York Times best seller, the endurance of a nation’s polity and citizenry is just as important as her military’s will.
If war is a continuation of politics through other means, then this Iraq war is the continuation of politics through the application of military force. This begs the question if the current military “means” are sufficient to attain the administration’s political objectives. If the resources currently dedicated are not adequate, then three options present themselves. These are first; redraw your political objectives to match the available military means (partition of Iraq). Second, restructure or deploy your current military forces in a more efficient manner which will enable you to reach your political objective (train Iraqi military). Finally, the third option is the either increase or decrease your military commitment to enable to fulfillment of your political objective (long-term troop surge).

Throughout this four year conflict, the communicated political objectives (regime change, eradication of terror cells, and now a free and democratic Iraq) have all required different yet larger military commitments than the current force structure in Iraq. If the administration is serious about making a democratic Iraq, then the military presence in Iraq must be increased substantially. The current political will does not exist for that choice since in a democracy, a political action without the support of the electorate is fleeting in duration.

If in today’s America the public does not increase its political support for the war effort, the administration’s political objectives in Iraq will have to be reduced. This takes a painful acknowledgement on the part of the President but also an understanding that certain realist truths remain as applicable today as were in the times of .

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

News Feeder Talkwise

I have now added a News Feeder to the blog. You can now get a daily news dump by double clicking on any of the news headlines to the right of the posting. The news feeder will have the latest on the war in
, politics, , and other happenings. To add this free feature to your website, visit Newsfeed Maker. There you can select the news you want and then they will send you the Java code to add to your web page.


Graduating this Saturday from Pepperdine. Thank the Lord it is over so that I can get back on this blog . I started my mba program 2.5 years ago and now it is finally coming to an end. This is in fact the last night of homework since I have finals the next two evenings and work during the day. My program was a "fully employed" program which means you have your regular job and go to class at night. This translates into 10 hour work days coupled with 4 hours of class x 2 to 3 nights per week. Along with the 12 to 20 hours of home work per week you find that your life is a struggle. Over the last 30 months, 5 to 6 hours of sleep per night was the norm. Grey hair, lost physical fitness, and a non-existent social life are typical by-products of such a program. But!!! it is worth it. Life without struggle is just an existence. Life without love is solitude. Now it is ending and Life in all her joys and sadness, peaks and valleys, triumphs and defeats can recommence.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Daily News Loop

Check out the FilmLoop's Daily News Video Loop. It is a great site where you can import to your site a video feed. Pretty cool.

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