American Elephants

Leadership: Here’s What It’s All About. by The Elephant's Child

If you can manage the time tonight, watch this speech by General Mark Welsh III, Commander U.S. Air Forces Europe,  speaking to the cadets at the Air Force Academy last November. You will quickly see why he is such a respected leader, and the speech is moving, inspiring, and worth every minute of your time.

This week, General Mark Welsh III was nominated to be the next chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force. By all accounts, General Welsh is perhaps the most respected leader in the Air Force today, and for months both active and retired Air Force personnel were rooting for him to occupy the top slot. Currently serving as Commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe, Welsh will take over a service whose mission is more vital than ever, but one that has flown through lots of turbulence in recent years, from severe budget cuts to program mismanagement and security failures. It would be hard to find an American military leader as inspiring as General Welsh, now that David Petraeus has retired, and the Air Force will have a formidable leader in the coming years.

Military Academy, or Playground to Experiment With Fringe Ideas? by The Elephant's Child

Political Correctness constantly rears its ugly nature, yet, though we scoff and sneer, nothing ever happens to make it go away.  What is political correctness and why is it so offensive?

Think of other terms like courtesy, manners, thoughtfulness, which the thesaurus mentions before it veers off into chivalry, gentility, complacency and good breeding.  These latter terms, at least, refer to interaction with another specific person or persons.

Political correctness is a creature of bureaucracy and refers to the fear of offending— not a real person— but a nebulous someone, somewhere. Synonyms are more likely to be found under absurdity, or irrationality.  Why should we care if we offend some unknown person in some unknown venue?  The general desire to be courteous should cover the situation.

Political correctness says that you must follow these rules—although we know they are silly— but they are in the rule book, and my boss knows they’re silly, and his boss knows they’re silly, but if we don’t follow the rules, he might be criticized because he did mot instruct the people for whom he is responsible that they had to follow the rule.

Political correctness says of the rule-maker that he, by making the rule, has assured that no one,anywhere, can be offended if the rules are followed, and the rule-maker is absolved of all blame.

In that vein, I urge you to read this short editorial from the Washington Times.  It explains how political correctness has cast a spell on our armed forces.

The U.S. military’s success in Pakistan this week proved the importance of maintaining a team focused on accomplishing dangerous missions. Others on the left prefer to look upon the armed forces as a playground to experiment with fringe ideas. Take the Air Force Academy which reportedly held a ceremony on Tuesday to dedicate a pile of rocks in the academy’s “worship area for followers of Earth-centered religions.”

It must be like having to perform your real job while wading through molasses.  One rule, then another and another that have nothing to do with your real tasks, until in the end it’s all molasses.  Do read the whole thing.

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