1-4-11 Strains of Kumbaya will come to a jangling stop
Governor Dayton was inaugurated yesterday and the 2011 Legislative Session begins today. All along, Dayton has pledged to work together for the benefit of the state, yet laid down the gauntlet to the now-Republican-controlled legislature, daring them to send him a bill that can balance the budget with no tax increases "without destroying education, health care etc"...Doesn't sound very Kumbaya-like. As Governor Pawlenty repeatedly said, the level of spending by the state on health and human services is unsustainable, so I guess we have to ask what is "true destruction"...reducing health and human services spending, or increasing taxes and spending on HHS until it eats up all the budget. The weirdest, most dramatic Viking's season ever just finished with Leslie Frazier getting the nod as permanent head coach, and him announcing he cannot imagine a scenario in which Brett Favre will be back next year. Good and good. Now let's get a stadium bill passed so we can stop worrying about them going to Los Angeles. I'm willing to give Governor Dayton the benefit of the doubt that he will be a good, dignified leader of the state. However, I still remember his time in the U.S. Senate and some of the downright goofy and strange things he did and said. He recently came out and revealed his problems with depression and alcoholism...I hope he successfully battles these demons and puts his bizarre behavior far behind him. The state needs a steady hand on the wheel.
Speaking of a steady hand on the wheel, Owen Honor, Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise, was recently suspended and his Navy Career might be over because of some off-color comments he made on video-introductions that he recorded and played during movie night on the ship 3 or more years ago. Apparently most of the sailors, male and female, took them for what they were...Honor's attempts at humor, and enjoyed them. However, they were leaked to a Virginia newspaper, which published certain segments that poked fun at women and gays, and now Honor is dis-honored. Normally I would say "For God's sake, they were jokes, no one was offended, let him apologize and let's get on with our lives." However, in this case, I would have to question his judgement...Everyone knows that these days, dang near anything you've ever said or done can come back and bite you if you ever acheive a position of power. He should have known better. If he drove a garbage truck or washed dishes for a living, I would be willing to forgive such a lapse in judgement, but to command a ship, with thousands of lives depending on him, and having access to high tech and even nuclear weapons, I want only the wisest person in charge. True, when he made the videos, he was executive officer and not yet captain, but still, you need to realize these days, the media will crucify you for anything remotely smelling off-color.
I just finished the book "Lone Survivor" by Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell. He was one of 4 SEALS who came under attack during a mission in Afghanistan. He and his team mates killed dozens of Taliban, but eventually they were overwhelmed and only Luttrell survived thanks to some friendly villiagers. Luttrell talks about how U.S. soldiers' hands are tied by "rules of engagement" that greatly hinder them from accomplishing their missions. Rules like; you cannot fire unless fired upon. The enemy does not abide by those rules and many others and laugh at them. Luttrell and his team mates lived in fear, not of the Taliban, but of the liberal media which they were sure would portray them as bloodthirsty murderers if they violated even the slightest of the "rules of engagement" which were put together by politicians, acting at the behest of the god "politcal correctness" and putting our soldiers at risk. Following such rules allowed Luttrell and his team to be betrayed by Afghan goat herders, and led to three of his team mates' deaths. As a member of the media myself, I make every effort to support our troops and will almost always give them the benefit of the doubt. After all, they are risking everything for us.