Alpine Summit

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What's Wrong With the Media

We (conservatives) often make the claim that the media is liberally biased. Liberals, in knee jerk reaction, make a baseless claim that the media is conservatively biased so as not to miss out on an opportunity to sound disenfranchised (or to give such a concession in the court of public opinion).

Well once again we catch a glimpse of the wrong attitude for members of the media have about their job.

Bob Woodward, the US journalist who helped break the Watergate scandal, called Wednesday on reporters to take more time on stories after the US media's handling of the run-up to the Iraq war.

The celebrated Washington Post reporter said the media should have done more to verify whether Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had secret weapons as alleged by US President George W. Bush as a reason to go to war.

"We should have been much more aggressive," Woodward told a conference in Tokyo.


A true journalist should say "I want to see what others don't and tell people about it." Journalists in the real world say "I want to change the world." This is merely evidence of that. Woodward, as a journalist, should know that his (and his peers') job is not to "be aggressive," but to simply explain the situation and the facts.

It's also pretty self-centered to think that the world's events will be put on hold if the media can only hold off on reporting things until arguments in the favor of the reporter (or their editors as the case may be) can be made by the same under the cloak of objectivity.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

This is What Happens When You're Rich

...you go crazy.

Our photographers say she was crying in the car for ten minutes before she went inside -- you can even see wet tear stains on her sweatshirt. She then went inside and did the deed herself -- picking up the shears and shaving her head.

Don't get me wrong, I like bald chicks as much as the next guy but this is pretty odd. People who act like this are not stable. This only further proves my theory that the only people who go senile are those who can afford it.

Why people would look up to entertainers as role models is beyond me. Sure they have lots of money, but their lives are so incredibly screwed up it just doesn't seem worth it, frankly.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Glimmer of Hope

After my long training I'm finally able to reconnect with the world a bit. Though the Republicans' stock with me has gone down in recent months, the Democrat stock is still as low as ever (with a few exceptions).

In that vein, I see some hope that the Democrats won't sweep the election in '08. This mainly has to do with my own opinion that they are trying too hard to get votes too soon. They're already trying to start the misdirection of our attentions and still as uncommitted as ever to solving real problems.

The problem to address is should we surge troops in Iraq or not? The response of the Democrats is "there isn't enough armor!" While on the surface it sounds important and something seriously affecting our troops' safety in Iraq, it's been solved and has been relegated to the "non-issue" pile-- which explains why the Democrats have jumped on it again. Not to mention the fact that it doesn't answer the question asked regarding troop numbers. See how it works?

If they keep it up, there may be a chance that all their publicity and attempts at misdirecting people may cause a backlash in opinion and Republicans may have a chance if (and it's a big 'if') they actually fence quality candidates and demonstrate the values and agendas they advertise to their base.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

BOLC II is Gay

So let me update everyone on my latest adventures. Since I posted last, I have been in my second officer class known as "Basic Officer Leadership Course" or "BOLC" II. My hopes for this course were that I could hone my skills as an officer and learn more professional development things like how to act as an officer. My hopes were dashed the first weekend when half my platoon played beer pong in the hallway of the barracks. Not to worry though, it all went downhill from there.

Having gone to BCT, it's been hard to adjust to the less artificial environment of the actual Army--even through OCS I had this problem. While I was waiting for this course to start back in December, I caught a glimpse of what the REAL Army is like: way more laid back. After experiencing this, I come to BOLC II where they try to enforce that artificiality again to some extent.

The course itself is stupid because EVERYTHING-- and I do mean everything-- we do here I have already done, sometimes to a better standard. This isn't to say I haven't enjoyed SOME moments here, but it's really just a waste of time. Since this past week is most fresh in my mind, I'll cite that as an example because it's all been a similar experience from week to week.

These past two weeks, we have been in the field doing various training tasks. We have one more week to go and then we'll be out processing. On Tuesday, it was the nicest weather we've had since I've been here, and luckily we were supposed to be doing convoy operations--that's where we hang out the side of a truck and ride around shooting at the enemy. Instead, we receive a FRAGO (quick change to existing orders) that we have to assault the motor pool. At this point we were pretty excited because it sounded cool to actually assault an actual building on the post. As we are approaching, we get another FRAGO that says our "enemy" is now friendly which was weird to hear on an operation. As we are pulling into the motor pool, we see everyone else in the company walking around sweeping the parking area. At this point we now hear that the mission is canceled and we are going to be picking up trash instead. Picture this: commissioned officers-- college educated future leaders of the military sweeping a parking lot like a bunch of E-1 privates. All of us were beyond words at how we felt.

But what about the training? You might be asking yourself. Well, we finished our training exercise on Thursday when it was once again cold as it could be and rode around in 25-30 degree weather for 2 hours. Safety considerations are much more lax in this place. Training is supposed to be done with a low safety risk level, but I would classify our training as well into the "Moderate" level of safety.

Thursday night, we were told to complete a squad-level mission where we basically go out, recon the rage we did our ARM (Advanced Rifle Marksmaship) on and return. We exectuted at 11 at night. We didn't get to bed until about 1 and had to get up at about 5. Losing sleep for stupid missions with no perceptible training value. Awesome.

Everyone here at BOLC tells themselves the same thing: I could be through a lot of my training in my branch-- instead I'm wasting time here in BOLC II. What we find most frustrating about this course is that we see how it can be a good course for professional officer development and instead it's just like basic training with fewer restrictions.

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