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29 March 2018


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He can add on to that by a call for "volunteers" just like Lincoln did. He should start in the inner city and call it a ACC style summer job's program for underprivileged youth. It's a great way to double down on the left.

blue peacock
I’d rather see our troops spending our wealth (or debt) here that spending it on overseas military adventures.

Bravo! Very good idea.

Overseas military adventures have not done us any good in recent decades. Maybe time to give it a break.


Caveat: I have zero military experience
Do you think, in similarity with the Anti-gun Children’s Crusade, we need a program to push for a national citizen’s army first?

I presume that a professional army, whose linen and mess hall (to name two examples from KBR experience in Iraq) and now intelligence (at least part of it, via Betsy Devos’ brother Eric Prince) is taken care of by private contractors, is not economically efficient for infrastructure work.

The Twisted Genius


A national citizen's army is just a universal draft. I doubt we'll ever go back to that, although I like the idea of some kind of universal service. If I had my way, the military would get away from the employment of contractors except when absolutely necessary. Bring back company mess teams and motor pools. That's where being a soldier is far different from being a warrior. I despise that cheese-assed designation.


TTG et al

Unniversal national service has been a political idea all my life. Nobody ever took it seriously and they will not in the future. pl



The non-profit corporation that enabled the Parade of Democrats in D.C. is called the March for Our Lives Fund and is incorporated as a 501(c)(4). The March for Our Lives permit application was filed by Deena Katz, a co-executive director of the Women's March Los Angeles Foundation. Ms. Katz is a producer in Hollywood. Who is providing PR? 42 West, a PR firm operating out of LA and NYC.

How did 4 trauma surviving teenagers manage to coordinate all that organization? Not with help from KBR, Betsy Devos or Eric Prince. Not with help from anybody, actually, as they are just players on the stage. Mid-terms are coming and the left has to keep the base energized. You know who did coordinate it? The usual NYC/Chicago/Hollywood/DNC left.


wisedupearly Ceo

The civil construction companies and their lobbyists are not going to accept losing the lucrative government contracts for building the Wall.
Universal National Service. "An extension of the family." "You have a bigger family than you imagined"
Why not?
What we have now is not working.


The local Guard built a plain sports fields complex for the Catholic Schools here recently. A lot of earth moving, grading, street building, etc. Even the Lobsterback Baptists hereabouts had nothing but good things to say about the project.
Besides the obvious good will such a project bought the Guard, a second subtler point was driven home. The military can have a local, positive face. Quite a good counter argument to the antis. To appropriate an old phrase: "Your tax dollars at work."
It all reminds me of the old Roman Legionnaires. As they proceeded into the wilds, they built the roads upon which Civilization proceeded in their wake. Short version; if the 'civilian' enterprises don't want to do something that improves the public weal, then let the Army do it. The Army is, after all, an arm of the government, which is supposed to be serving the nation.
Thanks for your indulgence. Rant over.


wised up early CEO

Ahem! The Army COE unis whether in the Regular Army or the reserve components have nothing like the construction capability to build anything like this It is one thing to build a park somewhere and quite another thing to undertake a massive construction job like this. The COE is the civil engineering agency of the US government. Its proper role in this would be to supervise and guide the project as part of their civil works program. In that program they built much of the US's infrastructure, ports, roads, dams, etc, But whether Army engineer troops or COE run civil contracts were used this re-programming of funds and/or employment of troops would require congressional approval. pl


TTG et al,

The idea of restoring mess service, motor pools, and their ilk to a core competency of actual military personnel as opposed to "contractors" sounds like a idea whose usefulness never actually went away. Augmenting this with an expanded emphasis on engineering, construction, and civil engineering in general seems also to be a good idea. Hey, it was good enough for the Roman armies to build roads, and engage in civil engineering projects, and look how well that worked out for them. Now, the terms of enlistments for legionnaires were pretty long, but once they got out of the army, beside their strictly military training, they had become more purpose-useful citizens of Rome when it came to establishing new communities (or finding a role in existing communities) through their training in engineering, construction, and various no doubt associated trades. Why should today's citizens wishing to learn such skills - in a real world context - not have this option available to them rather than just through for-profit, tuition-extracting "schools" (often in reality scams designed to harvest government scholarship monies while neglecting to equip their participants with usable skills that lead to a career)? Cut out the grifters between skill acquisition and social goods. Oh, and imparting the idea that there are other paths to careers than through "credentialing" via the SJW-indoctrination centers known as colleges and universities perhaps? Good idea to know by way of counterpoint, I'd submit.

I would also support the re-invigoration of non-military organizations such as the WPA or the Conservation Corps who did such a great job in employing young men and women at loose ends, equipping them with skills, and perhaps most importantly of all, giving them the gift of focus, accountability for responsibility, self-discipline, and self-respect, all wrapped up in a sense of civic mindedness broadly defined. If that's "Socialism", I'd be willing to take a chance on it on grounds of cost-effectiveness alone.

Spend money on the citizens while also paying those citizens: to do works of use to our communities; to instill a knowledge of the value and way toward actualizing all of the aforementioned social goods in the hearts and minds of those who do the work; to provide an example of what Making America Great Again actually means on an individual and a community level. Hint...it does not consist in the continuation of neoliberal concentration of resources and property into the hands of a vanishingly small group of trans-national "elites". Just sayin', in case Donald Trump is even listening anymore.

Of course, you'd be sailing into the eye of a hurricane to bring this into being given the inevitable screeching and moaning of those deprived of their money-sucking scams if anything like this took form. But should there be a real economic collapse such as the Great Depression, maybe there would be found a way. Otherwise, revolution and anarchy may be unleashed.

scott s.

I could maybe see deploying Engineer Brigade or SeaBee Regiment using "training" O&M funds, but it seems like a heavy lift to build anything like a wall without specific MILCON appropriations or a Congressional reprogramming action. Plus the private sector typically isn't quiet about military doing civil works projects that normally would be contracted out by the USACE district engineer or a NAVFAC.

Since the real or perceived failures of enlisting/mobilizing "volunteers" for service in the Spanish-American War, army organization went through massive changes initiated by SecWar Elihu Root and various officers, culminating in the National Defense Act of 1916 and the concept of the Army of the United States comprising all of the active, guard, and reserve components. AUS in practice appears to have been used for wartime units and troops drafted for them.


''I’d rather see our troops spending our wealth (or debt) here that spending it on overseas military adventures''


I also think Universal national service is a good idea.

Fellow Traveler

A friend and I were trying to think of ways to pay for a wall. After much drinking, he had one idea I couldn't debunk: just build a wall with Casinos in every major border town. Have slot machine odds set to award one green card a day. Big red, white and blue door, flashing white stars, bells, marching band once every night - it would make a great reality show for Trump's retirement.

Sasha S

Since you are tlaking about Virginia local issues, I would want to ask the folks here, what is your input on "Dick" Black....I just saw an article by him on Syria, but went to find out some information about him and got with the impression of him being a "colourful" character...

The Twisted Genius

Sasha S,

Dick Black is a colorful character. He served a full career as a Marine helicopter aviator and forward air controller and as an Army JAG officer. His views are strongly held and consistent. I certainly don't agree with all his views, but I find his open appreciation for Assad in saving the Christian communities in Syria reasonable.


I would like to see Puerto Rico rebuilt.

Babak Makkinejad

You did not do anything like that as a young woman, almost certainly spending your days playing with hormone-crazed young men, being a woman. Why do you want to foist this type of structured life on the young people?


Mexico pays for the wall, and our soldiers get training. What's not to like?

Brendan Doran

I support the Wall and hope the Military does build it.

This statement "It would also require a change in today’s attitude from warrior back to soldier, a change I think is long overdue."

That is an odd statement if one respects warriors or soldiers.

Then again you are a southern officer and graduate of VMI.

One can only expect so much from a man.


Col and TTG,

I'd raise a glass to both of you for Unniversal National service.


''You did not do anything like that as a young woman
almost certainly spending your days playing with hormone-crazed young men, being a woman''

Wow!..I didn't spend ALL or even half my days with hormone crazed young men....lol. From college graduation to marriage 3 years later I had a regular job, got my pilots license at 22 (because my boy friend and future husband was also getting his license)and was a volunteer instructor at a equestrian camp for kids.

I think 2 years in a service would be good for young people...teach them some self discipline and sense of responsibility.

Women do have interest aside from men, just like men have interest in things besides women.

The Twisted Genius


Amen to that. There is plenty of blame to go around as to why Puerto Rico is now in such a sorry state beyond the storms, but this is a good case for political reform, legislative and regulatory relief coupled with good old fashioned rebuilding of the infrastructure.

The Twisted Genius


Vincente Fox has made it clear many times. "Mexico will not pay for the fucken wall."

The Twisted Genius

Brendan Doran,

Those are my words, the twisted genius AKA TTG. Colonel Lang speaks for himself. I never liked the push to refer to soldiers, sailors, marines or airmen as warriors. It paints us all as a bunch of preening prima donnas who can no longer dig our own latrines, clean our own mess kits or repair our own engines. Unless you're facing your foe eye to eye with edged weapons on a regular basis, you're not a warrior.

Green Zone Café

Good idea. No reasons these units could not do it, and it's beneficial training.

Just as an aside, one segment of concrete "T (for Texas)-wall" supplied by KBR subcontractors in Iraq was $1100.

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