On Saturday I posted Now We Find Out What’s IN It, linking to a piece entitled Obama Just Got his Private Army over at NoisyRoom.net. That piece pointed to a section of the “health care” bill that establishes a “ready reserve corps.” Wookie-suits were donned, bowcasters were charged, until the more level-headed noted in the comments that this wasn’t anything new:
Perhaps we should sit on this one a little longer. I hold a naval commission and was also “personally appointed by [GWB] without the advice and consent of the Senate.” That’s how the uniformed services work. (Promotions are approved, typically en masses, by Congress.) Without looking deeper into it, it seems like this is just a tweak of the statute that deals with the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service (who for some reason wear naval-looking uniforms and use naval ranks).
You can say what you want about the existence of the service or this apparent expansion of it, but I simply don’t see the reason to go nuts over this part of the law. We’re talking about more doctors, nurses, and civil engineers on the federal payroll here, not the creation of an SA/SS. – Xenocles
See Hot Air, this is apparently a 60-year-old program.
Guys, let’s try not to become the mirror-image of the unhinged BDS sufferers. — Mastiff
Ok, ok, I retracted. After I retracted, RobertaX had a comment though:
...So, the program is 60 years old, that makes it okay-fine? More badged bastards from the Feds is a good thing?
Nobody remembers that once upon a time, when the Constitution was still read and even, somewhat. observed, the Feds had to go roust _the_County_Sheriff_ if they wanted to arrest somebody.
It’s been grab, grab, grab ever since and as long as it was that way when _you_ popped onto the planet, why, that’s How It Should Be.
Except it ain’t. And it’s never gonna stop until we stand up and say, STOP. Liable to get squished like a bug but the way I see it, better a grease spot than another cog in the Federal nightmare.
Now to the coincidence.
I have a stack of books on the headboard of my bed that I’m slowly (too slowly) working my way through. I’ve had some of these books for a while now, some loaners, most I’ve purchased, a couple sent to me by authors or publishers (yes, Professor Patrick, I WILL get to yours!) One of those books is Tom Kratman’s A State of Disobedience. Now Mr. Kratman is a very interesting person. From his personal web page:
Kratman is a political refugee and defector from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. The mechanism of his defection was enlisting into the Army in 1974 at age 17, which deeply distressed his high school (Boston Latin, founded 1635) as they thought he had “higher and better things” ahead of him. He served two years as an enlisted grunt with the 101st Airborne and one and a half with the 193rd Infantry Brigade in Panama, getting 2 years of collegedone in the process (when he wasn’t in the field he was taking courses). At that point the Army gave Kratman a scholarship and sent him off to Boston College to finish his degree and obtain a commission. Tom graduated, cum laude, in 1980 and returned to the Army as an infantry officer. Tom served another three year tour in Panama, then more schooling at Benning, then 4+ years with the 24th Infantry Division near Savannah, Georgia. Fun times then ceased for a while while he did two years in Recruiting Command.
Saddam Hussein (PBUH) saved Tom from this by invading Kuwait. He has been told that he was the only captain to actually escape from USAREC for the war. Tom arranged a transfer to Special Operations Command and went through the active part of the campaign attached to 5th Special Forces. He continued slurping at the Army trough until it became painfully clear that the bottom had dropped out of the militantly and violently aggressive anti-communism market and that he was not going to like the rather PC direction the Army (which was, arguably, the only thing he ever selflessly loved) was heading in.
Among other things, Tom earned a Combat Infantry Badge and the Ranger Tab.
Tom got out in 92 and went to law school. He hated it but was far too pig headed to quit. He became a lawyer in 95 and quickly realized that what he had felt about law school was but a pale shadow of true hate. Stayed in the Reserves and took every tour he could to avoid practicing law. And when the reserves had nothing interesting there was MPRI (“white collar mercenaries R us”).
Saddam Hussein (PBUH) once again stepped to the fore and saved Tom from the continued practice of law. In February of 2003 the Army called him up to participate in the invasion of Iraq. Still, God has a sense of humor. While awaiting a flight over Tom was informed he had a 100% blockage in his right coronary artery (imagine his chagrin) and wasn’t going anywhere fun anytime soon. Instead, he spent eight months stuck at Fort Bragg, then a few in the DC area, before finally being sent on to be on the faculty of the Army War College as Director, Rule of Law, for the US Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute. Keep in mind that divine sense of humor previously mentioned.
Tom retired in 2006, bored out of his gourd and finally ready to admit his love affair with the Army was over. He’s returned to Virginia and, instead of practicing law, writes full time for Baen.
Now that you have some feel for the author, let me excerpt just a bit from A State of Disobedience – a book, I’ll remind you, that was first published in 2003. The setting: 2009. America’s first female president has just been elected. She’s a Democrat, über-liberal, and committed to power at any cost (the Department of Redundancy Department, I know). Not only that, but the majorities of both houses of Congress are also Democrat, and the Supreme Court is, for the moment, perfectly split. The President, Wilhelmina Rottemeyer (no, Kratman is not subtle) addresses a joint session of Congress – excerpts:
“We stand poised on the brink,” she began. “We can either go forward, to a new era of peace, progress, and prosperity, or backwards to the dark age of old, to the days when women were kept barefoot and pregnant, when blacks were lynched in the streets of the south, backwards to ignorance, want and filth.
“My administration is pledged to work with Congress to go forward, into the future, rather than backwards to the Republican age of deficits, doubt, debt and decline; recession, repossession and retrenchment.
“We must go forward into the future . . . and we cannot afford to leave anybody behind in the past.
“We are going to invest in America. We are going to invest in a very large way. No more tax cuts for the rich. No more crimping away social security. Instead we are going to make the rich — and the corporations they control — pay their fair share for the first time. We are going to expand social security to ensure that every American can enjoy a comfortable and secure retirement.”
Rottemeyer paused, thinking, It still amazes me that anyone falls for that “soak the rich” crap.
“The people have spoken clearly of the kind of investment in the future they demand. We are going to a national health care system and we are going to do so very quickly indeed. The people demand and deserve nothing less.
“The people demand and deserve a national public education system that is second to none. They will have it. Among the other measures that will be sent to Congress for legislative action is a plan for rigorous testing of schools for quality of education, and national assumption of authority over any schools that fail that test. In short, we will shut down those schools and reopen them under our guidance, funding them directly through bypassing the state bureaucracies.”
“We are also going to put one million new teachers in our classrooms, many of them to go to staff ‘Opportunity Academies’ to help prepare disadvantaged youths for college. In those academies and in nationally funded and run charter schools.
“We are going to ensure that college education becomes as universal as high school education is today.”
“Moreover, along with one million new teachers, I intend to see one million new law enforcement officers, Federal law enforcement officers, to clean up he streets and make our communities livable again.”
I’ve edited out a lot of stuff, but that’s the gist of what I wanted to hit from that speech.
After the speech, the President meets with members of her Cabinet in the Oval Office:
“It’s the expansion of the federal law enforcement capability I have problems with,” said her new attorney general Jesse Vega. “There’s a limit on how fast any organization can expand. It’s not just a question of funding the money and recruiting the bodies. We’ve limited training facilities, limited numbers of people trained for upper management, limited number of administrative people to take care of everything from pay to promotions. The U.S. Marshal Service, DEA, FBI and Treasury can only . . .”
“Who said anything about limiting the expansion to only the existing agencies?” demanded Rottemeyer
“What?” asked Vega, incredulously. “You want to create . . . oh . . . the Surgeon General’s Riot Control Police?”
“Tell me why not, Jesse? Does the Surgeon General’s office not have an interest in controlling demonstrations that get out of hand at, say, abortion clinics? Do they have a bureaucracy capable of administering an additional force of several hundred men, or even a thousand? Can they hire people to train the new officers? Yes to all. So why not?
“Well,” she continued contemplatively, “there has been a certain amount of expansion of federal law enforcement in places you would not expect. Maybe that’s the way I intend to go. I mean, we already do have armed turkey inspectors with the Food and Drug Administration, armed agents of the Environmental Protection Agency.”
Shotgun-toting members of the Department of Education . . .
I read that on Sunday.
Interesting coincidence, no?