Sacrifice isn’t shared

Gallup surveyed attitudes among military. What shocked me wasn’t veteran attitudes toward Obama, but the disparity of service among generations:

  • 75% of 80-89 year-old men served
  • 60% of 70-79 year-olds
  • 49% of 60-69 year-olds
  • 21% of 50-59 year-olds
  • 19% of 40-49 year-olds
  • 13% of 30-39 year-olds
  • 8% of 18-29 year-olds

The drop in service among Boomers marks the 60s cultural revolution more explicitly than anything else: who cares about serving thee when I can just serve me, me, me? It’s pretty obvious by the ever-dwindling percentage of veterans that boomers passed along their selfless mentality to their own progeny, no? Serve the country? How passé.

The 5,000 service members who have died in the wars of the past decade have wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. The impact ripples. But families tend to raise and shoulder the burden of service. Society at large doesn’t feel it, not with 8% of 18-29 year-olds serving in the military.

UPDATE: Via Hot Air, a tribute to the Greatest Generation who served and the pilots who donate time and resources to ensure the veterans see their memorial. If you want to be humbled, visit the WWII Memorial and watch the octogenarians awed by memories of long ago.

No greater love

Via AP:

U.S. Army medic Sgt. Jaime Adame hauled open the door and lunged from the helicopter into a cloud of dirt and confusion.

He could hear bursts of incoming fire above the thumping rotor blades. Somewhere in the billowing red smoke that marked the landing zone and the choking dust whipped up by the medevac chopper was a cluster of Marines pinned down by heavy fire, and one of them was bleeding badly.

The problem for Adame was that he did not know where.

Adame had dropped into “hot L-Zs” before but this one was especially thick with commotion. Every second of indecision mattered, so he just ran, knowing any direction was dangerous. Only then did the cloud clear enough to bring into view the blurred outline of several Marines’ boots peeking out of the vehicle they were taking cover under.

“The fear I have never lost,” said Adame, who’s from Los Angeles. “It’s absolutely risky … and it will definitely get a lot more dangerous.”

With the spring fighting season under way in Helmand province in Afghanistan’s volatile south, the medics, crew chiefs and pilots with the U.S. Army’s “Dustoff” medevac unit expect a rising number of casualties. Coalition troops are seeing stepped-up attacks, the use of complex weapons systems like multiple-grenade launchers and the continuing plague of improvised explosive devices on the battlefield.

By the war’s blunt calculation, the worsening hostilities on the ground mean more medevac flights to ferry the wounded. For an emboldened insurgency, that equals opportunity. Increasingly they are targeting the medevac choppers as they swoop in for a rescue.

“It is kinda the wild, wild West,” said pilot Lt. Terry Hill of Kellyville, Oklahoma, the senior officer at Forward Operating Base Edi. “In the back of your mind as a pilot you know that you will most likely be shot at or hit.”

The Black Hawk helicopters Hill and other medevac pilots fly are unarmed, though they are always accompanied by at least one other aircraft that is. The “Dustoff” helicopters are distinguished with the emblem of the Red Cross and under international law are supposed to be off-limits to enemy fire.

Afghanistan’s insurgents make no distinction.

Our enemies rarely do. An observation from the field:

“They seem to want us to get killed, which is surprising because we rescue everybody, including them.,” said Chief Warrant Officer Michael Otto of Irvine, California.

The medevac doesn’t discriminate between the war’s wounded. Beyond coalition and Afghan soldiers, helicopters and medics also pick up injured Afghans, especially children. They often act as an ambulance service ferrying ill and injured Afghans from remote villages to coalition medical facilities. Enemy fighters are evacuated from the battlefield and treated as well.

To all those in uniform who have given all defending this country and saving the lives of others, thank you. For those who continue to fight, thank you.

If you’d like to help a servicemember serving downrange, fellow Potlucker Carol at No Sheeples highlights an excellent way to do so: This Memorial Day, Be Their Hero.

Feminist angst: they weren’t there to get bin Laden

Ah, lowering standards in the name of inclusion. Heather Mac Donald takes aim at the feminist hand-wringing over the lack of females on Seal Team 6:

It was just a matter of time before the successful Navy SEAL operation against Osama bin Laden on May 1 provoked a complaint that SEAL teams are all-male. Sure enough, Washington Post pundit (and founder of the feminist website Jezebel.com) Anna Holmes came through last week with a column denouncing the “paternalistic, discriminatory” exclusion of women from special-operations units and comparing that exclusion to racial segregation. If you’d like to get a full picture of feminist thought today, just combine Holmes’s column with the ongoing farce at Yale University, which is under federal investigation for allegedly denying female students equal educational opportunities. Not only has the rise of women to positions of power and control in American society not dented feminist irrationality, it seems to have exacerbated that irrationality.

 Read it all.

Panetta won’t protect the military like Gates.

God help us all. The WSJ outlines what outgoing SecDef Robert Gates has accomplished while protecting the military from the Obami:

But on coming into office, the Obama Administration put the Pentagon on a fiscal diet—even as it foisted new European-sized entitlements on America, starting with $2.6 trillion for ObamaCare. The White House proposed a $553 billion defense budget for 2012, $13 billion below what it projected last year. Through 2016, the Pentagon will see virtually zero growth in spending and will have to whittle down the Army and Marine Corps by 47,000 troops. The White House originally wanted deeper savings of up to $150 billion.

Mr. Gates deserves credit for fighting off the worst White House instincts, but his biggest defeat was not getting a share of the stimulus. Instead he has cut or killed some $350 billion worth of weapon programs. He told his four service chiefs last August to find $100 billion in savings. The White House pocketed that and asked for another $78 billion. Last year, Mr. Gates said that the Pentagon needs 2%-3% real budget growth merely to sustain what it’s doing now, but it could make do with 1%. The White House gave him 0%.

Reelect Obama, eviscerate the military. Welfare state or superpower. What do we want to be?

 

 

Liberals salivate over 62% top tax rate

Stephen Moore of the WSJ does the math:

If the Democrats’ millionaire surtax were to happen—and were added to other tax increases already enacted last year and other leading tax hike ideas on the table this year—this could leave the U.S. with a combined federal and state top tax rate on earnings of 62%. That’s more than double the highest federal marginal rate of 28% when President Reagan left office in 1989. Welcome back to the 1970s.

Here’s the math behind that depressing calculation. Today’s top federal income tax rate is 35%. Almost all Democrats in Washington want to repeal the Bush tax cuts on those who make more than $250,000 and phase out certain deductions, so the effective income tax rate would rise to about 41.5%. The 3% millionaire surtax raises that rate to 44.5%.

But payroll taxes, which are income taxes on wages and salaries, must also be included in the equation. So we have to add about 2.5 percentage points for the payroll tax for Medicare (employee and employer share after business deductions), which was applied to all income without a ceiling in 1993 as part of the Clinton tax hike. I am including in this analysis the employer share of all payroll taxes because it is a direct tax on a worker’s salary and most economists agree that though employers are responsible for collecting this tax, it is ultimately borne by the employee. That brings the tax rate to 47%.

Then last year, as part of the down payment for ObamaCare, Congress snuck in an extra 0.9% Medicare surtax on “high-income earners,” meaning any individual earning more than $200,000 or couples earning more than $250,000. This brings the total tax rate to 47.9%.

But that’s not all. Several weeks ago, Mr. Obama raised the possibility of eliminating the income ceiling on the Social Security tax, now capped at $106,800 of earnings a year. (Never mind that the program was designed to operate as an insurance system, with each individual’s payment tied to the benefits paid out at retirement.) Subjecting all wage and salary income to Social Security taxes would add roughly 10.1 percentage points to the top tax rate. This takes the grand total tax rate on each additional dollar earned in America to about 58%.

Then we have to factor in state income taxes, which on average add after the deductions from the federal income tax roughly another four percentage points to the tax burden. So now on average we are at a tax rate of close to 62%.

Democrats have repeatedly stated they only intend to restore the tax rates that existed during the Clinton years. But after all these taxes on the “rich,” we’re headed back to the taxes that prevailed under Jimmy Carter, when the highest tax rate was 70%.

Too bad they can’t raise it to 98%, eh?

Communist slayer Lech Walesa declines Obama photo op

Supposedly due to a “scheduling” problem, and he wishes Obama well.

Via AFP:

Lech Walesa, Poland’s Solidarity-era leader, ex-president and 1983 Nobel Peace Prize winner said Friday he would not accept an invitation to meet fellow Nobel winner US President Barack Obama.

“I expect this meeting would only amount to a photo opportunity,” Walesa told AFP.

Given Obama’s preference to shun allies and hail enemies, good for Lech Walesa.

What liberal child abuse looks like: the “genderless” child

What a birth announcement, eh?

“We’ve decided not to share Storm’s sex for now–a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm’s lifetime (a more progressive place? …),”

So argues Storm’s mother, Kathy Witterick. What a gal. She belives she’s providing her two sons and one, um, it, an opportunity. 

There’s nothing ambiguous about the baby’s genitals. But as Stocker puts it: “If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs.” So only the parents, their two other children (both boys), a close friend, and the two midwives who helped deliver the now 4-month-old baby know its gender. Even the grandparents have been left in the dark.

Fortunately, I can tell if a person is male or female sans asking “what’s between the legs,” but people don’t have that luxury with Wittrick’s two older boys, aged 5 and 2:

The couple’s other two children, Jazz and Kio, haven’t escaped their parents’ unconventional approach to parenting. Though they’re only 5 and 2, they’re allowed to pick out their own clothes in the boys and girls sections of stores and decide whether to cut their hair or let it grow.

[...]

Because Jazz and Kio wear pink and have long hair, they’re frequently assumed to be girls, according to Stocker. He said he and Witterick don’t correct people–they leave it to the kids to do it if they want to.

But Stocker and Witterick’s choices haven’t always made life easy for their kids. Though Jazz likes dressing as a girl, he doesn’t seem to want to be mistaken for one. He recently asked his mother to let the leaders of a nature center know that he’s a boy. And he chose not to attend a conventional school because of the questions about his gender. Asked whether that upsets him, Jazz nodded.

No, the boys haven’t escaped the parents’ damaging attitudes. And the boys–not the parents–will be the ones to suffer. In the eyes of the lefty parents, the suffering the boys have endured isn’t their fault–even though they could put a stop to it–but of society at large. But apparently the gender-less experiments suffering of the older two weren’t enough:

Stocker and Witterick say the decision gives Storm the freedom to choose who he or she wants to be. “What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious,” adds Stocker, a teacher at an alternative school.

They say that kids receive messages from society that encourage them to fit into existing boxes, including with regard to gender. “We thought that if we delayed sharing that information, in this case hopefully, we might knock off a couple million of those messages by the time that Storm decides Storm would like to share,” says Witterick.

“In fact, in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, ‘Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be?!.” she wrote in an email.

This poor kid. Gender is not a construct, despite what millions of über-liberals would have us believe. The parents aren’t allowing their kids choices, they’re imposing their notions of gender(lessness) on their children. And that isn’t a choice. From Salon:

The couple’s 5-year-old son, Jazz, “keeps his hair long, preferring to wear it in three braids,” his favorite color is pink and “he loves to paint his fingernails and wears a sparkly pink stud in one ear.” What’s more, the reporter describes a booklet Jazz wrote titled, “Gender Explorer.” Inside, it reads: “Help girls do boy things. Help boys do girl things. Let your kid be whoever they are!”

Besides the bad grammar, “gender explorer” isn’t innate behavior. It’s taught. And what kind of lesson is that?

UPDATE: Jazz Shaw at Hot Air takes exception with the name Jazz being used so freely. Visit to read the comment thread.

UPDATE: linked as a “Recommended Read” by Pundette. Thanks!

Perry ponders presidential run, eh?

Allahpundit:

It’d be hard for him to say no. Romney, Pawlenty, and Huntsman will split the centrist vote, so there’s an opportunity on the right for a prominent conservative to swoop in and consolidate the base. That’s what Palin’s going to try to do, leveraging her higher name recognition to swamp Bachmann and Cain in Iowa, but Perry would be a major challenge for her. In fact, given his record on jobs, he may even pull some votes from the centrists.

Others have made the Perry call over the past few weeks, though I wondered yesterday if the lack of name recognition caused his terrible numbers here.

His record in Texas speaks for itself: the Lone Star state added three-quarters of a million jobs in the past decade while the rest of us flounder in a recession. Unreal. His pro-life bona fides aren’t shabby, either, as he signed a sonogram requirement for women seeking abortions into law yesterday. Witness how to make a liberal’s head explode:

Perry said the measure will save “countless lives” by discouraging women from getting an abortion.

The governor had declared the matter emergency legislation and has already officially signed the bill. Tuesday’s formal signing ceremony at the Capitol brought together anti-abortion activists to celebrate the passage of the law after working four years on the measure.

These people worked hard, with long hours of prayer,” Perry said of the activists and lawmakers who sponsored the legislation. “Even in Texas, where we pass the toughest laws in the nation, tens of thousands of lives are lost … this is a tragedy we must all work together to stop.”

Yeehaw! Sign me up, please. Wouldn’t you love to see him debate Mr. I-wouldn’t-punish-my-daughters-with-a-baby?

Seriously? Christie, Ryan top Rasmussen

Both have emphatically denied running for the nomination. Yet the none-of-the-above mentality among GOP voters doesn’t surprise me: I’m in the same boat.

According to Rasmussen, here is the margin by which those who are likely to vote in a GOP primary would “definitely vote for,” rather than “definitely vote against,” a given candidate: 

1. Chris Christie, +22 points (30% “definitely vote for,” 8% “definitely vote against”)
2. Paul Ryan, +17 points (23%, 6%)
3. Michele Bachmann, +16 points (26%, 10%)
4. (tie) Mike Huckabee, +14 points (26%, 12%)
4. (tie) Mitt Romney, +14 points (26%, 12%)
6. Sarah Palin, +5 points (23%, 18%)
7. (tie) Newt Gingrich, +3 points (20%, 17%)
7. (tie) Rick Santorum, +3 points (12%, 9%)
9. Tim Pawlenty, +2 points (13%, 11%)
10. Herman Cain, 0 points (11%, 11%)
11. Ron Paul, -2 points (14%, 16%)
12. Mitch Daniels, -4 points (7%, 11%)
13. Rick Perry, -4 points (5%, 9%)
14. Donald Trump, -5 points (21%, 26%)
15. Jon Huntsman, -6 points (4%, 10%) 

Rick Perry falls behind Mitch Daniels and only a tad better than The Donald? That doesn’t sound like a lack of name recognition.

Dismal numbers all around.

Bill Kristol bets the “next President isn’t currently running.” Let’s hope pray.

Related: Ouch. Pawlenty doesn’t excite me. I guess he doesn’t excite many, eh?

UPDATE: linked by Pundette as a “Recommended Read.” Thanks!

3960′

That’s the estimated width of the tornado that ripped through Joplin, Missouri, yesterday: three-quarters of a mile.

The hospital took a direct hit, as did multiple schools.  A busy commercial corridor–a Wal-mart, Home Depot, Sonic–needs more body bags.

Pray for Joplin residents.  And consider donations to the Red Cross for the thousands who have lost their homes.

UPDATE: linked by Pundette & a “Recommended Read.” Thanks!

UPDATE: via Pundette, text donation info that wasn’t available late last night:

Financial donations to The Salvation Army disaster relief efforts may be made by texting the word ARMY to 90999 for an automatic $10 donation. To make a credit card donation, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or go to SalvationArmy.us.Checks may be mailed to The Salvation Army, 3637 Broadway Ave., Kansas City, MO 64111.

The Red Cross has said they are in need of blood donations. Those interested can donate $10 by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

The death toll rises. More storms head for the area.

UPDATE: via The Other McCain, wicked video. It just … appears.

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