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Posts posted by Countrydave55

  1. Safety in a battle zone comes from armor and speed. You need to trade one for the other. Unarmored Humvees were made top move quickly out of harms way not to patrol slowly in the presence of RPGs and mines. That is why there are armored troop carriers. They move relatively slowly but are protected by armor.


    The problem is that the Humvee was employed in a role and environment it was not designed for.


    As for risking loosing the rich in battle and the loss to our economy. I can pick a lot of wealthy people that don't contribute and would be no great loss. I am sure that their money would return to the economy.

  2. "Please note, proposal of discussion of a draft is not proposal of a draft anyway. So lets not embellish too much. " I am not sure who is embellishing. I didn't say lets drat and I didn't say he said there would be a draft. I asked about other options. I really don't see any so far but that is just me. In any event I don't see where I have insisted upon a draft.


    "There will be a variety of opinions even among the general and it does not imply that any of them are inept. Why do you insist on such language? There are many ways it can be done, they can all submit their opinions, so what? " I propose such language because it appears that you keep saying that the General is ignorant of his job (i.e., meeting the troop force demands by implementing strategies already implemented). If that is the case he is inept. If there is another interpretation please enlighten me.



    "LOL, The General in charge of recruitment! That's like asking why the head of French Fries at Burger King would propose to buy more French Fries!" OK I get it. So the Commander in Chief needs a war otherwise he has nothing to do.


    "So why do you insist he is inept and ignorant if a draft isn't needed? Do you not respect the opinions of others? I for one respect his opinion that a discussion is warranted. Nothing wrong with discussion. " If you feel a discussion is warranted why do you appear to be closing the discussion with statements like "My point is that the plan is clear and in motion. It isn't any mystery and there isn't anything cryptic about it." If there is a plan and it is in motion then there is no problem and this General is just a trouble maker. If the plan that is in motion is not adequate then there is room for discussion.


    BTW am not sure "there will be no draft" is much of a discussion.

  3. Chopdoc writes "My point is that the plan is clear and in motion. It isn't any mystery and there isn't anything cryptic about it.


    I am suggesting nothing about the generals. If they need more troops then we should send more. We can more than double the troops there without going to the extraordinary measures of a draft. Are any of them calling for more than double?"


    I don't know that any are calling for more than doubling the troops but the point is that the Generals are proposing considering a draft. If this is taken care of then why did the General in charge of recruitment propose a discussion of the draft? Is he (actually 2 according to the article) so inept and ignorant that he had not recognized that the military was implementing the measures to extend the troop strength? Is he too a victim of media truth?

  4. "Then you missed one. I made only one suggestion." Then I apologize.


    "Regarding your lengthy discourse on redeploying noncombat troops as combat troops, just where did I say to redeploy them all? You speak as if I would propose such a thing. Why? Is it to be confrontational? Do you really think you need to explain to me that not all can be redeployed? What is the accepted minimal ratio of support personnel to combat troops in a modern army? THAT is the real question." I did not mean to imply that 100% would need to be deployed to combat only that one could not convert 100% to combat troops in anything other than an extreme emergency.


    "The numbers that could be redeployed are in fact massive. That's why I posted a break down of troop numbers. But you seem to have skipped over the actual numbers." I didn't mean to ignore your numbers but I do not know how many of these people can reasonably be redeployed to a frontline troop position do you? Do you proposed to do this with or without training? Is the plan to be snatched out of your sonar technician job in a submarine and handed a rifle the same day? I am not proposing that I am simply asking how many people and how quickly o you plan to make this transition?


    "Yes indeed, most of what I am saying is currently being implemented. Do you think that was by accident or design?" I am assuming by design but I don't understand the purpose of the question? Are you suggesting you helped with this plan? Are you suggesting the military leadership is so inept that these things could only occur by accident? Are you suggesting that because these things are occurring (either by design or by accident) are sufficient and the Generals are too ignorant to understand that the issue is adequately addressed? I simply don't understand your point here?


    "Bush has not implied it is a fading dream, he has directly cited the failure. Why is it that you don't want to say that it was the President himself who clearly stated it?" I did not hear Bush say that this was a failure only that it is not going as well as hoped. If you wish to characterize Bush's statement as an admission of defeat and failure please feel free to. I didn't hear that said and I can't imagine him saying it.


    "US forces in Iraq have their own support units. actual infantry soldiers in Iraq are a minority even there. The proper measure of US commitment is units, not personnel. By that measure, the US retains the vast majority of its combat units at home, on rotation or uncommitted." So one proposal might be to stop rotating troops out of theater? That may be workable.




    "How many troops do we need? I question the 10:1 counterinsurgency ratio that has been often quoted by military strategists as it is antiquated, a more optimum figure is 1:5. Numbers don't matter nearly as much as do efficient intel and effective troop usage." Wow I hope you are right. That would be a huge change We could reduce troop strength in Iraq by 130,000 or so. Oh yea there is that intelligence prerequisite. Well I am sure that will work out like the WMDs did.

  5. Chopdoc writes "You ask what the otions are and then refuse to hear any options. "


    I looked over the posts to this thread (again) and I don't see any alternatives proposed. The responses are characterized as 'there will be no draft' and 'incentives will be increased'. Surely you recognize that 'there will be no draft' is not an answer. As for 'incentives will be increased' I asked which and how much. Tripling sign up bonuses has not been effective.


    Chopdoc writes "The premise is there will be no draft. Don't propose a premise and then change it." I was not aware that I had done that.


    Chopdoc writes "There are inumerable other options. Do you believe that the only strength is in numbers?" I do not think that numbers are the solutions to all problems but I do not see that there are alternatives in this situation. If there are please enlighten me.


    Chopdoc writes "You want to know why there is so much noise about the number of troops and talk about a draft? ONE reason and one reason only. Media hype." Good opinion. So your position is that the generals are in league with the media to create a problem that does not exist?


    Chopdoc writes " Here are your options:

    1) delay discharges and retirements, extend tours

    2) redeploy non combat troops as combat troops, all military personnel are trained to fight. There are MANY troops that could be made available that way

    3) redeploy women into combat

    4) recall recently discharged troops

    5) hire private security forces for the scut work



    Some of those are already being used and there are more options than that anyway."


    Actually I think all of these are presently implemented except to redeploy women to combat. Thank you for posting these suggestions since I do not see any of these proposals in the previous posts.


    "1) delay discharges and retirements, extend tours" this is called stop loss and is on going.


    "2) redeploy non combat troops as combat troops, all military personnel are trained to fight. There are MANY troops that could be made available that way " I think this is on going. I believe that naval personnel and Air Force personnel are being transferred to Iraq. I would say that while all military are trained to fight this is bit like saying all physicians are trained to operate. Do you want a general practitioner performing open heart surgery on you? We have already seen how well prepared support troops are for combat. Remember the during the push to Baghdad when a maintenance company made a wrong turn and were ambushed. After the heroic after action reports were released it was discovered that their rifles had jammed and most of the soldiers did not participate in the combat. Besides it turns out that all military (indeed all businesses) require support personnel to maintain equipment, treat and feed the troops, etc. You cannot convert 100% of the military personnel into rifleman and mortar men for an extended period of time.


    "3) redeploy women into combat" Good suggestion. Will that increase combat troops by 10% , 20% , 30%. I don't know, I am asking.


    "4) recall recently discharged troops" I think you posted that they were recalling surgeons that have been discharged. The ready reserve is already being tapped.



    "5) hire private security forces for the scut work" I think this is already being done. There are concerns about how much such contract employees can be directed by the military in a combat role and there are liability risks. We know that some of the contractors have made no pretense of following rues of combat. Are such civilian contractors protected by the Geneva convention. Oops I forgot Bush said they aren't. Oh well I guess that is their risk. What does a mercenary cost? Or should I ask what do 100,000 mercenaries cost?


    "The aim is to train Iraqi forces to take over. The Iraqis are currently failing in their training so that will need to be remedied. " Yes that is the aim but it seems even Bush implies that aim is a fading dream.

  6. "The low grade smart alec remark made about the command structure demonstrates a lack of serious concern for this subject." This is uncalled for. You may disagree with the content but I caution you not to attack the writer. This is a violation of the forum rules.

  7. Perhaps the democrats proposed a draft because they are able to see reality and can see that more troop needs plus fewer troops available leaves few options other than the draft.


    As for the republicans supporting a draft. I agree that they cannot support a draft. They campaigned on the claim that the war was going well and more troops were not needed. They can hardly go "Oops my bad".


    On the other hand they have spent the last 30 years claiming Democrats can't stand up and will run from a fight. Can they now say "democracy is restored" and leave? I know Nixon did it in Vietnam but will people fall for that trick again? Unlike Vietnam where leaving was embarrassing leaving a mess that we created in Iraq will be deadly.


    Speaking of leaving I thought the Bush doctrine was to support a secular democracy in the middle east. Mostly Iranian backed theologians are running for office. How does that move the middle east toward a secular democracy?

  8. As of 24 months ago the military would accept and a physician if they were licensed in any state in the US and were 49 years 11 months old at the time of enlistment. So I would say go for it.


    As for "there won't be a draft" that is what the republicans keep saying but of course that doesn't answer the question. The Reserves have already acknowledged that increasing the sign up bonus by 300% did not significantly improve the number of recruits.


    How much do you have to pay somebody to go into a war zone where you can't tell friend from foe and the sec of Defense thinks you are a wimp for asking for armor?

  9. Now that Bush has been re-elected the military are talking about recruitment short falls and the need "to discuss a draft". Discuss a draft



    Lots of Republicans made the talking heads news programs over the weekend to say "there will not be a draft". I think that is great but my question is if you need more troops as the generals say, we are loosing troops to attacks and retirement, recruitment is less than needed to sustain current troop levels then how does the military maintain troop strength. Bush says that he opposed to cloning. What are the options?

  10. I have looked everywhere I can look and I can't find any source which indicates 50% of US residents pay no taxes. I frankly don't see how this is possible unless you live in the woods (that you don't own). Otherwise you will pay property taxes. If you live in a homeless shelter and don't buy anything I guess you could pay no taxes. Even people in jail and prison pay taxes on canteen purchases. Still I wouldn't think 50% of people in America live in homeless shelters. I am sure this may be a Bush goal but has not yet been realized.

  11. Looks like we are already beginning pay. Inflation is higher than predicted in October and inflation in September has been revised upward. With the Feds borrowing heavily the cost of money will go up and inflation will increase.

  12. This country/relied upon charities in the past and some poor countries still do. Charities did not and do not have the resources to take care of the needs of the needy. The plight of the poor and elderly is why Medicare and Social security were implemented. That is apart from the higher overhead costs most charities have compared to Medicare/social security. That is apart from issues of social injustice maintained by charities in the past. It was not uncommon for some religious charities to support people with their own beliefs and ethnicity while ignoring other needy individuals. I am not confident that charity will get us very far.



    Chop I might know more than you think. I didn't mean to suggest that Medicare payments directly support residents. Medicare is one of the larger payers of inpatient treatment services. Residents generally train in an inpatient setting. When Residents attendings were not allowed to bill for services provided by residents (i.e., supervised services) residencies made dire and probably accurate claims that the programs would need to close. I don't understand the the controversy. What other profession is so heavily subsidized during its training experience without expectation that society will be compensated except by the presence of physicians that do very well financially and generally but not exclusively do not otherwise give back to the community. Perhaps the fully trained physician should be expected to provide one year for each year of residency training in pro bono service except of course for expenses.

  13. How did the elderly care for themselves before Medicare and Social security. As stated they didn't.


    Medicine until about the 1940s was surgery and a few crude antibiotics. If you it couldn't be cut out or cured with bed rest you died. Now people live longer and more people live longer (two separate thing). They live longer because medicine is better. So not only do you have people alive that may be too old to work but they are consuming medical services at a markedly increased rate. It is chronic consumption and the cost is high.


    As for Residents relying on Medicare for money. I say let them do what most other professions do. Incur debt. Dentists don't rely upon Medicare and plumbers don't rely upon Medicare when they are in school. I agree that it is expensive to educate a physician but it is a financially rewarding career paying $130,000 to $500,000 a year. Those debts get paid down pretty quickly with an income like that.

  14. I agree that the Federal budget needs to be much smaller.


    What do think should be cut? Defense? It is only 18% of our budget (well more during this war of course). Maybe Social Security and Medicare? That is the biggest chunk 41% of the budget.


    We could always stop paying interest on the debt. That is 12% and going up since the debt is going up and interest rates are rising.


    None of those good places? There is still 30% left paying govt. employees, FBI, ATF, Homeland security, air traffic controllers. Which of those should be cut?

  15. I agree it would be helpful to know the proposal. Is there an official website or report from the media.


    I have a friend that owns 3 Rolls Royce Automobiles but no Lamborghini. I guess he isn't rich yet. I will tell him next time I see him.


    So a couple with an income of about 27,000 less 7.25% for Soc Sec, less any state and local income tax, Spending an average of $5 per person times 2 people, times 365 days (about $3650 for untaxed food) leaves about $23000 non food and tax related expenses to spend. Looks like that would be the tax free spending range for 2 people. Anything over that would cost you about 125% of the sticker price (plus any state or local taxes). I guess that isn't bad.

  16. "No rich person purchase's minivans or $20,000 sports cars. " I think it depends upon how you define rich. For what it is worth I know at least one person whose net worth is over $5,000,000 (which many people would say is rich) that bought a minivan. Therefore I think you are wrong.


    "And there is a discussion on luxury tax, that's what we've been debating for the last couple pages. If you go back and read, you'll see that I proposed a luxury tax on luxury items (that which the wealthy buy) and a 9% tax on "normal" goods (that which the poor and middle class tend to buy)." Yes I apologize. I guess I should have said that I thought the question was a 23% sales tax and the pros and cons not how what other variations on a theme are there.


    "And YES this put the power in the hands of the individual. If you don't want to pay high taxes, don't buy fancy stuff. If you want a more expensive car that uses more gas, then you pay a higher tax, it's as simple as personal choice." So a diesel powered car, or a hybrid car which is much more expensive than the equivalent gas powered car should pay a higher tax even though it uses less gas. And more efficient air conditioners and refrigerators should pay a higher tax rate for the luxury of reduced fuel consumption. I think that this is a bad public policy. It still does not address the tax dodges the upper income can engage in that the rest of us poor working people can't. So the only people with total control are the very wealthy.

  17. I fail to see how a sales tax " would give the power to the individual". This clearly is not the case.


    Rich or poor anyone not living on a self sustaining farm would have to buy food, water and sanitation at a minimum. While the poor would always be taxed on this (i.e. no control) the rich could eat and drink at their work place (which under some proposals is a business expense and not taxed). Even if it were taxed the wealthier could fly to Europe or drive to Mexico and buy whatever they wanted and bring it back without paying sales tax.


    As for dividing everything into two groups luxury and not luxury What agency gets that job? Doesn't this just rename the question of deciding what is a luxury. Do we tax medicine that costs more than $5 a day and nothing under that? Does that mean that cancer treatment is a luxury?


    Defining a luxury by the cost seems a bit dangerous. So a $20,000 sports car is not a luxury but a $21000 van to transport the 6 kids is a luxury? What happens next year when things go up by 2% due to inflation or whatever. The sports car and the van are now luxuries.


    What about meat. Say any beef over $2.00 is a luxury. Won't this mean that more people will buy hamburger driving up demand and cost making it a luxury? Won't the demand for tenderloin drop causing the wealthy to buy cheaper steak that is taxed but because it is cheaper the tax revenue drops?


    Besides I don't remember any discussion of a luxury tax. The proposal is a sales tax. If you only tax luxuries the rate will either have to go way up like 50% or 200% or something because not only will fewer luxury goods be sold (because of the tax structure) but there will be no other tax revenue stream.

  18. I agree that you cannot start making exceptions.


    Is a branded medicine a luxury and a generic not? Are birth control pills, and viagra luxury items?


    Shouldn't antibiotics be considered luxury items? After all people get infections all of the time and recover without the "luxury" of an antibiotic. Granted for some people or some infections it is a necessity but not for most.


    What about food. It seems to me that except for rice, beans, and potatoes everything else is a luxury. Certainly we can agree that anything prepared is a luxury (hamburger helper, prepackaged salads, $.99 burgers).


    I don't think the whole "luxury" tax idea is so great anyway. Apart from the arguments over what is a luxury it looks like the sentiment in most postings is that the wealthy are over taxed and the poor are under taxed. If that is the case a luxury tax would perpetuate the injustice that many people say they want fixed.

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