Summit Daily letters: Flynn to blame, not leakers
March 1, 2017
Flynn to blame, not leakers
It is patently obvious that the writer who blamed our intelligence services for the leaks that undermined Lt. Gen Michael Flynn either never spent a day in the military or has forgotten what every person who has ever served knows to their core.
• You have a superior to whom you report. You owe that person your fullest allegiance. You do not "get out front of that boss"… ever. You aren't free to act on your own. Your best moves always involve getting marching orders first and then back-briefing your boss frequently and without fail.
• You have a chain of command. Every three-star general knows that. So what gives? Which sin did Flynn commit?
• You never lie about what you're doing — ever! You don't attempt to cover up, especially when there is the distinct possibility that your communications are being recorded. (And you must assume this at all times). If you behave otherwise, you're probably doing something wrong or illegal.
• You surely don't lie to anyone in your chain of command. It's just stupid to do so. You're going to set them up; you are going to get caught; and you're going to get fired … or worse.
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Mike Flynn got fired. Who knows how much water has flowed under his bridge? Who knows whether he was acting on his own or was obeying orders to do what he was doing? But, let's not blame his sudden demise on anything other than his own bad judgment. Only children seek to blame others for what they themselves must take responsibility.
Now we can all sit back and wait for Lt. Gen Flynn to write his book. Given his propensity for conspiracy theories, it should be a doozy.
Rabbi Joel R. Schwartzman
From what I learned, the Spanish-speaking, Catholic, indigenous natives of Mexico are a unique culture. They are inseparable from the people that, for the past 15,000 years, populated the North American continent, from Point Barrow, Alaska, to the Darien Strait. The people spoke a common language, and traded over 6,500 miles. Mexicans diverged from other indigenous cultures when Spaniards terrorized them into enslavement. Imagine the continent as it was when Europeans arrived. An environment so healthy that two hours a day produced all the food for the people. They were agronomists, food processors, scholars, mathematicians, craftsmen, doctors, priests, a noble class and more. Early Europeans arrived needy. The indigenous fed them and showed the richness of their land, and it was stolen from them. Over the years, these honest, hardworking people created phenomenal wealth for the Spaniards and, still, the North Americans. Ask your representative to show courage and not build the wall or separate indigenous families. Let's do better.
An open letter to the members of congress
The election is over and the results are known. Regardless of your political stripe it is now time to get down to business.
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
In case you were out sick this day in US history class, this is the Preamble to The Constitution.
Note some of the key passages:
We the People of the United States, Do ordain and establish this Constitution.
Please note who you work for, We the People of the United States. It's time you got busy!
We don't care that whatever party is not currently in power is going to object to everything you try to do. Your job is to negotiate, wheedle, cajole, persuade, compromise (now there's a thought), bargain and do whatever is necessary to secure the best possible result. Not dig in your heels and refuse anything that isn't in perfect alignment with what you or your party wants. We sent you there to do the nation's business in our stead. What have you done lately? If you were paid the way the rest of us are, you'd be unemployed.
Most of you are lawyers, business people, educators, former military officers or leaders within your community. Those are the credentials you ran on, correct? Or was it just another case of "smoke and mirrors" and I'll do whatever I want, or nothing once elected? No wonder politicians rank below even garbage collectors when it comes to credibility. At least garbage collection is an honest profession that removes garbage. All you do is create garbage.
Here are a few of the issues in our country that need immediate attention:
1. Infrastructure. Just come and turn onto the on ramp at Silverthorne and play "dodge the potholes" west bound on I-70. Worse yet, get off at the Frisco roundabout and come across the bridge!
2. Our military has been underfunded and not given due credit for their service for years. They put themselves on the line everyday so you can go to the country club and sip martinis in peace and security. Freedom isn't free.
3. Why do many high school "graduates" find the need to take remedial courses before entering college?
4. We need a comprehensive health care system that works for everyone. Many of you on both sides of the aisle don't like ACA. The 17+ million who now have health coverage and didn't before like it. Whatever replaces ACA, give us the specifics. Lay it all out in front of us. How will it work? What is the structure? How will it cover those most in need? What is the estimated cost? How will it be paid for? "We the People" are waiting. Regardless of our political stripe if it makes sense and is truly a step forward, we will support it.
5. The post World War II generation, I hate the acronym, is retiring at something approaching 10,000 individuals a day. They are moving from production and paying taxes to drawing Social Security and Medicare. That is a demographic fact that can't be altered, explained away, recalculated in some government table to change how they are counted or debated. How do we replace these people and the skills they've accumulated over a lifetime? Very soon we will have as many people drawing social benefits of some type as there are working individuals. Social Security is a "pay as you go system". Those working pay for those drawing benefits. There isn't a Social Security "trust fund". There is a stack of IOU's from the Federal Government that need to be redeemed. This unalterable fact has been well known for decades. Yet Congress has played "kick the can". If you want to make it worse, close our borders to tax-paying immigrants and see what happens. The bill has come due on your watch.
6. Our tax code is a farce. It just took me the better part of 2 days to complete our filing for 2016. I was trained in taxation and have a reasonable understanding of how the system is supposed to work. I pity someone without that education attempting to file a long form 1040 with schedule A, B and C. No significant, permanent overhaul of the tax system has been accomplished for decades. This too is long overdue.
In case you're wondering what issues are on the minds of "We the People", here are a few items to get you started. It's hardly an exhaustive list but if you just got 2 or 3 of them solved, you'd probably get re-elected in a landslide. "Kick the can" time is over. "We the People" are watching what you do. We no longer care what you say as you've proven you don't mean it time and again.
Chris & Shari Dorton
Re: Susan Knopf's Feb. 22 column, "Trump's anti-press conference."
While attempting to show that President Trump is a liar the author bandies about statistics that clearly come with a liberal bias. A case can be made for most politicians lying. If one wishes to use statistics then they should be used accurately and with neutrality. As a single example, the short Bloomberg article below highlights the fact that claiming low unemployment during the eight years of Obama completely ignores the number of people not in the labor force. John Williams, who runs shadow stats, uses the same data as the government, but uses criteria used during the Carter administration prior to manipulation by the administrations that followed Carter. Williams estimates unemployment at approximately 22 percent.
The Bloomberg article, Stephen Roach writes that the jobless rate is distorted. "We're still in an emergency mode since the banking crises the fed lacks guts to normalise policy. The labor force participation rate is low, our labor statistics seriously ignore those who have given up looking for work. The employment to population ratio is terribly low. The wages are not rising, even if we had full employment and where's the wage inflation?"
Roach was with Morgan Stanley for 30-plus years and was the investment bank's chief economist since 1991, serving as head of the firm's global team of economists in New York, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Paris. He currently is an American economist and serves as senior fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and a senior lecturer at Yale School of Management.
We should consider statistics from more reliable sources than those cherry picked from either super conservative or lefty liberal sources.
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