Tuesday Thoughts: Special Session, USAF, & Election Day

Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant. – Colin Powell

Today’s commentary deals with:

  • Montana Legislature Special Session
  • U.S. Air Force & the Mass Shooting
  • Election Day 2017

Continue reading

Advertisements

Bergdahl: An Appropriate Sentence?

In June 2009, U.S. Army Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl deserted his post in Afghanistan and was captured by Taliban forces. He was held for five years where he was tortured, beaten, and held in a cage in darkness after he tried to escape.

In May of 2014, Bergdahl was released in exchange for five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. The exchange was approved by then President Barack Obama.

After an investigation, the US military charged Bergdahl with one count each of desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty, and misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit, or place.

Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

Last week Bergdahl received a dishonorable discharge from the US Army with no prison time. His rank will be reduced from sergeant to private, he will be required to pay a $1,000 fine from his salary for the next 10 months. The sentence will be reviewed by higher authorities.

I think the sentence is appropriate.

Many people were outraged at the sentence and that is fine. Some of the reasons they were outraged were false reasons – like that soldiers were killed looking for Bergdahl. It’s true that soldiers looked for Bergdahl and some were badly injured, but the only death was a military working dog.

Continue reading

The Commander-in-Chief and Bergdahl

It was disclosed yesterday that U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl would be pleading guilty to desertion and to endangering the American troops sent to search for him.

The New York Times reports that the guilty plea could mean a five-year sentence for the desertion charge, and the charge of endangering troops carries a potential life sentence. He is due to be sentenced October 23.(WaPo)

I’ve written several posts about Bowe Bergdahl here at The Western Word. I wanted to see a full investigation into the matter before jumping to conclusions.

Leading up to the last Presidential election, Donald Trump should have toned down his hatred toward Bergdahl (not to mention others who were captured) and wait for answers. Of course, Trump did not.

Continue reading

Monday’s Quick Hits

Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking tartar sauce with you. – Zig Ziglar

Today I take a look at the Gold Star Family, Drunk Driving, the First 100 Days, Presidential Election Polls, Today in My History, and much more!

Continue reading

Montana Monday: Nukes, Healthcare, Bathrooms, Picnics, & Slurpees

Some of the major issues I will be writing about today include Malmstrom’s nuclear security, health insurance rate increases, the bathroom lawsuit, the topless picnic, and Slurpee Day 2016!

Malmstrom Nuclear Security:

The Great Falls Tribune has a story posted this morning about Malmstrom Air Force Base and the security of nuclear weapons. As of 6:00 a.m. this morning the Tribune story on the website began with these two paragraphs:

Many of the 450 intercontinental ballistic missile sites across 13,800 square miles in Montana are in remote areas, farmer’s fields, or may otherwise appear to be unprotected.

But a complex security network ensures each of the nuclear weapons in the care of airmen at Malmstrom Air Force Base are secure at all times.

First, there are not “450 intercontinental ballistic missile sites across 13,800 square miles in Montana.” There are 150 missile sites in Montana. There once were 200, but in 2007 the congressional delegation (Sens. Baucus, Tester, and Rep. Rehberg) allowed the Air Force to start the process of removing 50 missiles.

Maybe the Tribune “military” reporter should take a road trip to count the missile sites?

U.S. Senator Steve Daines told his constituents in a May 2016 press release “Right now, our world’s most powerful weapons are sitting unsecured in Americans’ backyards.”

I called Daines’ statement “pure BS” and I’ve been proven correct many times since then. The article from the Tribune once again proves Daines is a failure at understanding defense issues.

Continue reading

Gallup: Confidence in Military, Small Business Rank Highest

It’s pretty quiet out there. The months of June, July, and August are normally pretty quiet on the blogging front with readers playing outside and enjoying summer instead of checking their favorite blogs for new posts. As a long-time blogger, my historic numbers show this year after year.

Here at The Western Word, I will continue to post columns six days a week – God willing.

There’s some big news on the horizon with the U.S. Supreme Court due to release their decisions this month on same-sex marriage and Obamacare. Presidential politics are on the radar as well as state political conventions. Announcements for state-wide office should be trickling in over the summer and into the fall.

Today a new poll from Gallup caught my attention. It was their annual “confidence in major U.S. institutions poll.” U.S. institutions include things like public schools, congress, presidency, small business, newspapers, television news, church or organized religion, banks, big business, organized labor, the police, medical system, military, U.S. Supreme Court, and the criminal justice system.

Gallup named each of these U.S. institutions and 1,527 people were asked how much confidence they have in each one. The answers could be a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little. The margin of error is +/-3%.

Continue reading

Zinke: Montana’s Airspace is ?

It’s always good to see our elected officials making their way around the state meeting with constituents to discuss the local issues that are important to Montanans.

U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke (R-MT) spent last week visiting Missoula, Bozeman, Billings, Glasgow, and Great Falls.

Although the three main sources for news in Great Falls covered the event in Great Falls (KRTV, KFBB, Great Falls Tribune), the story in the Tribune was the one that caught my attention – especially the quote about Montana’s airspace in which Zinke said, “Montana has a huge amount of airspace that should be made available for training.”

After reading that, I thought, “What the %&$@?”

Continue reading