Miscellaneous Comments - 2003
After spending 10 years and $460 million to clean up a half century's worth of shrapnel and unexploded bombs, the Navy is returning control of Kahoolawe to the Hawaiians for the first time since the attack on Pearl Harbor. The uninhabited 45 square miles of Kahoolawe are sacred to Native Hawaiians who feel the island, untouched by tourists, connects them with the spirits of their ancestors.
"It's important for us to have a place where we can practice our traditions without it being a spectacle, without it being some kind of tourist attraction. It's one place we can go to be in communion with our natural life forces."
Six miles southwest of Maui, Kahoolawe is the smallest of the eight major Hawaiian islands. It is 11 miles long and seven miles wide. The Navy has controlled Kahoolawe since martial law was declared after the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Access to Kahoolawe will be controlled by a state agency.
Are "native Hawaiians" Americans? Separation of state and religion? If one worships money, should the government give it to them?
Are Saddam's Fedayeen paramilitary militiamen covered by the Geneva Convention?
Article IV of the Geneva Convention states that members of irregular militias like Fedayeen qualify for combatant status if their military organization satisfies four criteria. The criteria are:
(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
Saddam's Fedayeen, "those ready to sacrifice themselves for Saddam",
40,000 strong, report outside the Iraqi military organization
and directly to the person of Saddam's family.
Their peacetime function is to inflect terror upon the civilian population. They have a black uniform, but fight have been disguising themselves as civilians, but even regular Iraqi army seem to shed uniforms and adopt civilian dress with ease.
Long guns are not easily concealable, rather when pretending to surrender to entrap Americans, the technique is to carry the weapon in a submissive manner while waving a white flag.
However, the pretence of surrender to lure or advance within killing range is a willful violation of the laws and customs of war, while simultaneously taking advantage of the coalition forces' compliance with that law."
(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) that of carrying arms openly;
(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
Thus, Saddam's Fedayeen members need not be treated as prisoners of war. This makes them subject to summary execution. However,
as in Vietnam, irregular forces are sometimes granted protections
that are intended to be reserved for uniformed combatants as a matter of reciprocity -- we won't execute your people and you won't execute ours.
If this policy is in effect, then the deceptive Fedayeen must be killed in combat and not executed once captive.
Selective Service. The following people must register for
the draft, in case a call up is again authorized.
The problem of immigrant labor was caused in part by WW2. Recall
that during the depression there was a surplus of unemployed Americans
-- there was no incentive for foreign workers to enter the U.S.
With the enlistment of 16 million Americans in the military, there
became a shortage of labor such that seasonal immigration was encouraged
to harvest crops. Once exposed to American wages, it was impossible
to put the toothpaste back in the tube -- and business found it is
a way to keep down wages of real Americans. Strangely, once the draft
is put back into effect, the illegal problem will go away -- illegals
are here for the money, not for contribution to the American society.
However, a big war will open the gates again.
- All male U.S. citizens and male immigrant aliens residing in the
U.S. or its territories must register within 30 days of their 18th
- More specifically, all males who are 18 but not yet 26 years old
who are not already in full-time military service.
- Aliens must register. Excluded are lawful non-immigrant's on visas
- tourists, diplomatic, student.
Seasonal agricultural workers - some do, some don't - see form I-688,I-688A.
- Illegal immigrants must register. I am surprised more are not
prosecuted for failure to register, but it is probably cheaper to
just send them back, rather than trial and jail them, they have already
broken other laws.
Appropriation is not Commission. The time span from
design concept and Congressional appropriation of funds and the actual
commissioning of a ship is measured in years. Montana class battleships
were authorized in 1939 when war started in Europe but were never
completed in World War Two service. Midway class aircraft carriers
were authorized in mid-1941, before Pearl Harbor, and were not
completed until after the war ended. Wars are pretty much a come
as your are event. When the military is excessively cut in peacetime,
it is not available to stop aggression whenever it starts.
Vieques Island This is an isolated island 10 miles east
of Puerto Rico, is 15 miles long, and is 25 miles west of the St.
It is used to train navy ships in gunnery before they deploy for duty.
It has been the fleet target range for 60 years. The Navy owns two-thirds
of Vieques; about 9,000 people live there, many employed by the government.
Some civil disobedience types have raised a question of political
correctness. This remote target area is considered an abuse because
Puerto Rico does not have a vote in Congress or pay taxes.
The fleet bombing range will be relocated to Florida and the
gunnery range to North Carolina where 22,000,000 people do pay taxes,
although Manatees don't. The Navy base at nearby Roosevelt Roads, P.R.,
will likely be shut down.
Parris Island. It is all in the perception.
Have you ever noticed that the Marine boot camp hell-hole
is located just across the Broad River from luxurious Hilton Head
Island? Hint for future Marines, enlist in winter and go to the same
area where the very rich folks do at that time of year. The Island
is beautiful with much colonial history.
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