About Taller Than Madison

Taller Than Madison has worked as a paid staffer for Republican candidates at the local, state and federal levels. A native to Fairfax, where he still resides, Taller Than Madison is really just a conservative country boy longing to end up in a quiet part of beautiful rural Virginia. His posts are not paid for or authorized by any candidate or committee.

Jackson Miller For Clerk

Red NoVA endorses Jackson Miller for Clerk of the Court for Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. Miller is the only Republican running in this special election, which will be held on Tuesday April 18.

Clerk of the Court is not a partisan position, but we need a Republican in this office to protect voter integrity. Clerk is a Constitutional office that is really more about management than anything else. Miller is in the leadership of the House of Delegates serving as the Republican Majority Whip and is a member of the House Courts of Justice committee. He is  also a former police officer. This all makes Miller qualified in that he has worked in management on both sides of law enforcement. He knows the needs of the justice system at the local level which will allow him to efficiently allocate resources. He is a great fit for clerk and we are excited to support his candidacy.

Voters in Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park are encouraged to vote early. A special election on the third Tuesday in April is a very odd time to vote. Best to get it out of the way when you’re think about it.

In-person absentee voting has already started in Manassas. You can vote at Old Town Hall, 9025 Center Street, Manassas, VA 20110, Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm.

Manassas Park has already started in-person absentee voting as well. You can vote at City Hall, One Park Center Court, Manassas Park, VA 20111, Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm and on Saturdays 9:00am to 5:00pm.

And in-person absentee voting starts today in Prince William County. Voters can go to either the Prince William County Office of Elections, 9250 Lee Ave Ste. 1, Manassas, VA 20110, or the Woodbridge Department of Motor Vehicles, 2731 Caton Hill Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192, starting today Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm until and including Saturday April 15.

Or you can always vote on Election Day at your usual voting location from 6am to 7pm. But Election Day is Tuesday April 18. Good luck remembering that. We strongly suggest getting out and voting early while it’s on your mind. Come Tuesday April 18, there will be little news coverage, not much buzz, and plenty of other things to do, so vote early and vote for Jackson Miller.

jackson miller for clerk.

Rep. Garrett Helped Free Christian Missionary

This is an amazing story. Congressman Tom Garrett of Virginia’s 5th District helped to free a Christian missionary who was sentenced to over twenty years in prison in The Sudan for “espionage,” which is what the Sudanese government calls reporting. Rep. Garrett is only two months into his first term on Capitol Hill and he has already done something extraordinary. It matters who we elect and Rep. Garrett is one of the good guys.

Copied and pasted below is the press release from Rep. Garrett’s office, also linked here.

Rep. Garrett instrumental in securing release of imprisoned Czech missionary

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday Petr Jasek, a Czech national who was sentenced to twenty-two years in a Sudanese prison, was freed and has arrived safely in Prague.

Initially, Jasek was arrested on charges of “espionage,” among other accusations. The case sparked international outrage when details emerged that Jasek was on a missionary trip and was arrested after filming Sudanese government officials persecuting Christians. Two other local Sudanese pastors were arrested and sentenced to ten years as accomplices to Jasek.

In early February, several constituents made Rep. Garrett aware of this grave human rights issue. In the ensuing weeks, Rep. Garrett held meetings with the ambassadors from The Czech Republic and The Sudan with his Sudanese Embassy visit marking the first by a U.S. Congressman in a decade.

Last week, Rep. Garrett was part of a Congressional delegation to Germany and spent the week with members of the German Bundestag to discuss immigration and refugee issues and their national economic and security impact. His schedule also included a meeting with the Czech Deputy Foreign Minister in Prague to further discuss Mr. Jasek’s case. This information was not released publicly at the time for fear of disrupting negotiations for the release of Mr. Jasek.

Upon release of the first three prisoners, Rep. Garrett issued the following statement:

“This unfortunate case has unfolded for over a year and I am happy to report that within a week of our meetings with these respective countries, Mr. Jasek was released. I commend each of these nations for working on a swift release and look forward to continuing my role in the negotiations to overturn the imprisonment of the remaining two Sudanese pastors and provide them refugee status under the J-2 visa program.”

Pictured is Rep. Garrett with Czech Deputy Foreign Minister during last week’s visit to Prague.

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garrett and czech.

It’s Your YRFV

Glad to see a conservative grassroots ticket has emerged for the leadership positions for the Young Republican Federation of Virginia (YRFV). Below is the email they blasted out earlier today.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2017

Contact:
Andrew Mullins
703-678-9276

“YOUR YRFV” ANNOUNCES GRASSROOTS CONSERVATIVE TICKET
Proven Young Republican Leaders Organize to Win in 2017

LOUDOUN, VIRGINIA – Proven Young Republican leaders from across Virginia announced the formation of “Your YRFV” – the grassroots conservative ticket for the Young Republican Federation of Virginia executive board.

“Engaged young conservative from every corner of our state have signed on to expand the Young Republican presence in Virginia,” said Nicole Tardif, candidate for Chairman. “I am proud to lead the ticket of Young Republicans who have a proven track record of leadership in Republican politics. I am confident this team will help statewide and down ballot Republicans win this November.”

Members of “Your YRFV” ticket include:

Chairman – Nicole Tardif
Nicole has been involved in Virginia politics for many years. She is an active member of the Loudoun Young Republican club and serves as YR representative to the 10th Congressional District Republican Committee. She has worked on Republican political campaigns from Northern Virginia to southwest Virginia and currently works on Capitol Hill.

First Vice-Chairman – Dustin Curtis
Dustin is a fundraiser who has raised millions of dollars for Republican candidates and organizations over the years. The first campaign he volunteered for was in 2009, helping the winning Republican ticket of Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, and Ken Cuccinelli. He has been volunteering for Republican candidates ever since then.

Second Vice-Chair – Christian Heiens
Christian is the current Legislative Assistant for Delegate Nick Freitas (R-30) and has been active in the Republican Party since High School. A graduate of James Madison University with a Major in Political Science in 2015, Christian has campaign experience at the state and federal level helping various campaigns throughout the commonwealth.

State Central 1 – Willie Deutsch
Willie is on the Prince William County School Board and has spent over a decade volunteering on political campaigns across the Commonwealth and served in numerous positions in College Republicans, Young Republicans, and his local committee.

State Central 2 – Andrew Loposser
Andrew is a legislative director in the Virginia House of Delegates and Chairman of the Arlington/Falls Church Young Republicans. He worked for the Republican Party of Virginia during the 2016 cycle, where he oversaw field operations in Northern Virginia. He has also worked on several state and local campaigns throughout Virginia.

Secretary – Andrew Mullins
Andrew is a lifelong grassroots activist who currently serves as Secretary of the Loudoun County Republican Committee and Vice Chair of the Loudoun Young Republicans.

National Committeewoman – Mary Curtis
Mary has a long history advocating for liberty and grassroots candidates and is looking forward to utilizing that experience on the national level.

Fifth District Representative – Jesse Murch
Jesse is the current Young Republican representative to the Fifth Congressional District Republican Committee and is a member of the Lynchburg Area YRs. He lives in Appomattox.

Sixth District Representative – Josiah Tillet
Josiah is the current Young Republican representative to the Sixth Congressional District Republican Committee and is a member of the Lynchburg Area YRs. He is a grassroots activist and campaigner, currently working on a gubernatorial race.

Eighth District Representative – Matthew Hurtt
Matthew is a community organizer around free enterprise issues. When he’s not traveling the country and the Commonwealth, Hurtt is working to turn the liberal tide in Arlington by volunteering with local charities like the Arlington Food Assistance Center, by growing the ranks of Republicans, and by engaging his neighbors on the Left.

Tenth District Representative – Nikhil Verma
Nikhil has been an active member with the Fairfax Area Young Republicans for the last seven years and has volunteered for many campaigns in Northern Virginia. He served as VP of the College Republicans at the University of Maryland College Park , where he was the recipient of the Maryland GOP’s “Youth of the Year” award for his contributions to the state party.

All leadership positions will be decided at the Young Republican Biennial Convention on April 1st in Richmond. Delegates to the convention must be members of their local Young Republican club. For more information on how to file as a delegate please reach out to Nicole at youryrfv@gmail.com.

Your logo 2017.

Sunday Morning Book Review

The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel J. Miller is an action-packed account of the life of one of our country’s most romanticized historical figures. The author briefly discusses the events of Revere’s life while giving the subject due credit for being as significant to the Revolution as any Bostonian. This book reads like a report on Revere’s family, business, and on the events Revere was involved in while leaving out ideological or philosophical examinations of Revere’s political leanings. Revere was a patriot; that was his politics. And he expressed his patriotism in some incredible actions that still ring out in history with inspiring awe. This book captures those events with excitement. We recommend this to all.

Taught to us at an early age, Revere’s late night ride to warn the patriots at Lexington and Concord that the British army was on the way was a significant event in the creation of our country and Revere is the story’s undisputed hero. But his contribution to the fight for democracy was not limited to that one iconic horseback ride in 1775. Revere was the leader of the Boston harbor spy ring that kept tabs on all movements of the British army and navy, he participated in the Boston Tea Party, he attended rallies at the Liberty Tree, served in the Revolutionary War, and engraved one of the more famous depictions of the Boston Massacre. He also made numerous other rides as an express messenger from Boston to Philadelphia, which in those days on horseback through pitch black conditions and rough terrain was not an easy task.

Revere did all of this while owning a small business and raising a large family. As a professional he was considered an artisan which for Revere meant he was a blacksmith, wielder, mechanic, engraver, mill owner, innovator, and you can even add in dentist to his list of trades. At home he fathered eight children with his first wife who died of exhaustion. Then he fathered eight more with his second wife. Unfortunately Revere outlived most of his sixteen children.

As for his political views, the book does not touch on them much. There is the mention that Revere supported the ratification of the Constitution, but the author does not delve into why. Instead the focus is on the action, of which there is plenty. There is one great line on how Revere felt about the government’s involvement in economic matters; “there is no greater destroyer of wealth than misguided government.” Hear, hear.

The only disappointment I found from this book was that there was no emphasis on the famous ride to Lexington and Concord. The ride is of course included and told well, but in the book it stands shoulder to shoulder with the rest of his accomplishments. This is, however, consistent in the flow of the story, but I felt it failed to highlight the ride as the consequential moment that it was (for a great book on the ride itself check out Paul Revere’s Ride by David Hackett Fischer).

The book ends with the death of Revere at the old age of eighty-three. A sad but peaceful ending in how Revere lived through the Revolution while outliving so many close to him. The author quotes one of the notices published immediately after Revere’s passing that really captures his life, as well as the theme of this book; “a life so honorable and useful.”

paul revere.

Perfect Time To Unite

The senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as secretary of education today by a 51-50 vote, with the extra vote coming from Vice President Mike Pence as the tie breaker. This is causing the left to have another meltdown. Democratic senators went to bed on time last night while their futile procedural move only kept senate pages up all night. They called it #holdthefloor and it had even less substance than most trendy hashtags. In the end the votes were cast and nothing changed. It was all just another dog and pony show from the Democrats.

Enough of these games. The time has come to unite. Principled conservatives and angry liberals can join hands and rally behind the idea that now is the time to abolish the Department of Education. Seriously.

Conservatives have never liked the Department of Education. President Jimmy Carter elevated the Department of Education to the cabinet level in 1980 and since then conservatives have pushed back against its intrusive reach. We prefer parents and localities, not DC, to have the largest say in how their kids are educated.

Angry liberals who just can’t understand why an education secretary would favor school choice for parents can join principled conservatives in our mission to return more discretion in education to the states by advocating the end of the federal Department of Education. So what if the Democrats who sign-up are only doing so as a reaction to the individual who is temporarily in charge, their vote will count just the same.

This could happen thanks to Rep. Thomas Massie who submitted HR 899 today. It reads as follows: “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018.” That’s all and that’s all it needs to say.

So let’s team up and unite behind the idea of returning education to the parents (or call it taking power away from DeVos if you must). She can lead this effort at the federal level along with Representatives Massie and Justin Amash, and we’ll lead the effort at the grassroots level. Together we can empower parents and local school districts to the betterment of our children.

edu dept closed (2).

End Sanctuary Cities

President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order today that calls for federal grants to be withheld from states and cities that do not enforce federal immigration law. This is the necessary first step in ending the lawless idea of sanctuary cities.

Enforcing immigration law has nothing to do with being racist. The left needs to stop hiding behind their false accusations of racism and join the conversation for real. An illegal immigrant is someone who broke the law, regardless of which country they came from. An “undocumented worker” is a cute term. Ask a proponent of the term to explain its origin and its meaning, then they’ll make the case for how silly it is for you.

Advertising that a city will not enforce immigration law is an invitation that travels out of the country and offers incentive for someone to break the law in the first place. Rahm Emanuel had the best ad of all when he said that Chicago “always will be a sanctuary city.” He also said in the same press conference, “you are safe in Chicago.” It is crazy to think that when the mayor of America’s murder capital said you’ll be safe he was talking about not enforcing the law instead of talking about how he plans to reduce his city’s record murder rate. Lawlessness begets lawlessness.

President Trump is right when he said, “A nation without borders is not a nation.” Know your history. But kids today are not taught history, or when they are exposed to history, it is in a strange attempt to change it so that it is more palatable to today’s whims. Sanctuary cities are unlawful. Period. They were poorly conceived to begin with. Our nation is an open door with very generous access to lawfully becoming a citizen. Sidestepping the law and then hiding behind false cries of racism is a disingenuous way to discuss reforming existing immigration laws. End sanctuary cities.

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Dunbar Endorses Stewart For Governor

Virginia’s National Committeewoman Cynthia Dunbar has endorsed Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart for Governor.

Dunbar is a grassroots activist and constitutional scholar who ran for her current position with the goal of leading the RNC toward a more conservative message which greater adheres to the constitutional principles of limited government, states’ rights, and individual freedom. So from that perspective it is no surprise to us that Dunbar has chosen to support Stewart for Governor.

Below is the statement released yesterday by Stewart’s campaign, also linked here.

Conservative Leader Cynthia Dunbar Endorses Corey Stewart

Woodbridge, VA – Today, Corey Stewart announced the endorsement of Cynthia Dunbar, Virginia’s National Committeewoman to the Republican National Committee and conservative leader. She has led the charge successfully on life and education issues, among many other conservative causes.

A strong advocate for conservative principles and highly respected statewide grassroots leader, Mrs. Dunbar stated, “People are tired of politicians who are long on message and short on action. They want real leaders, leaders willing to confront the political elite, NOT join them. Corey has proven he isn’t afraid to speak out for what is right and to fight for what is in the best interest of the people. He is directed by an internal moral compass which is why he does not back down from a fight. There are many politicians driven by compromise to make their fellow elected officials happy, but there are very few leaders like Corey Stewart who are driven by conviction to make the people happy. That is why I am endorsing Corey Stewart for Governor of Virginia.”

In response, Corey Stewart said, “Cynthia is a key leader in Virginia who not only has been successful as a party official, but also has been successful as a leader of the people. A steadfast conservative dedicated to principle, never backing down from a fight even when it’s unpopular. I am honored to have her support and will not let her and others in the conservative movement down. I look forward to working with Cynthia to Take Back Virginia.”

corey for governor.

2016 Quote Of The Year

“Donald Trump is going to be our president.” –Hillary Clinton, Nov. 9, 2016

What a year it has been. So many things happened in the political arena that produced some memorable quotes.

We chose the above quote from Hillary Clinton’s concession speech for two major reasons. First, it offers the conclusion to a presidential campaign that seemed to drag on forever while absorbing a fanatical amount of media attention. No matter where you went, there was some sort of mention of either Trump or Clinton. This quote officially ends the campaign and we are thankful for that.

Second, this quote is significant because it represents the death of the Clinton brand in the Democratic Party and the country’s repudiation of President Barack Obama’s radical left agenda. The Democratic Party is in trouble right now. Clinton won just 20 states and got blown out in the number of counties won by her Republican opponent. There are only four states with a Democratic governor and Democratic control of the state legislature. A great amount of seats nationwide have been picked up by Republicans during Obama’s two terms. The Democrats are in shambles right now.

Things are so bad over at the DNC that they had to go through two national chairs to protect their anointed one so that she could become the nominee. This we saw. What we didn’t understand was that things are so bad over at Obama/Clinton incorporated that they couldn’t beat populist and TV celebrity Donald Trump. Clinton had been running for president for the last sixteen years. The Democrats had their party and major national media outlets all lined up for an easy win. But, after stacking the deck in the Democrats’ favor as best as possible, “Donald Trump is going to be our president,” which is why this quote from Hillary Clinton is our 2016 Quote of the Year.

clinton-concession-speech-1.

Electoral College Final Results; 304 To 227

The official votes in the 2016 presidential election were cast yesterday by the Electoral College. Republican nominee Donald Trump won 304 electoral votes, officially making him the president-elect. He will be sworn in on January 20, 2017.

The results were surprisingly. There was talk of a possible movement by unfaithful electors to leave Trump for a compromise candidate. But in the end, the surprise was more electors were unfaithful to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as she won that race five to two with her unfaithful electors giving three votes to another former secretary of state in Colin Powell, one to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and one vote going to Native American Rights activist Faith Spotted Eagle. Trump’s two unfaithful electors went to Ohio Governor John Kasich and former congressman Ron Paul.

Here is the final scoreboard;

Republican nominee Donald J. Trump- 304 (minus 2 from his pledged total)
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton- 227 (minus 5 from her pledged total)
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell- 3
Ohio Governor John Kasich- 1
Former Congressman Ron Paul- 1
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders- 1
Native American Rights activist Faith Spotted Eagle- 1

Now let’s move on and actually give the new administration a chance before we start hammering away.

trump-pence-button.

Big Day For The Electoral College

George Will’s column in yesterday’s Washington Post on the wisdom of the Electoral College is a must read. And with the electors meeting today to cast their votes to officially elect Donald Trump as the next president some people out there may need a reminder why the Electoral College is an essential component for a federal-state republic.

Will’s column can be summed up in the following line; “the electoral college shapes the character of majorities by helping to generate those that are neither geographically nor ideologically narrow, and that depict, more than the popular vote does, national decisiveness.” The column is linked here.

And when you factor in the size of our federal-state republic, both in terms of population and geography, the Electoral College becomes even more important in preventing, as Will puts it, narrow geographical pluralities from speaking for the whole country. Had the popular vote been the determining factor then Hillary Clinton’s win would have been from major cities, just 20 states, and from a plurality which fell short of a majority of the votes. That doesn’t sound like a win. Of course, had the rules been different then the way the campaigns went about attracting votes would have also been entirely different.

The Electoral College forces a candidate to be super-regional, and therefore diverse in platform. After all, the winner is the president of the whole country, not just the big cities and the wealthy suburbs.

2016-prez-race-results.

Sunday Morning Book Review

Igniting The American Revolution by Derek Beck takes the reader from the Boston Tea Party in 1773 to the Americans taking Fort Ticonderoga and then control of Lake Champlain in 1775. Only 270 pages, it’s a quick read through a fast-paced set of key events which propelled colonial America to war.

The beginning scene is what was then known as The Destruction of the Tea. The author explains how this was a protest that had a global impact and was conducted with the discipline of a military exercise. No one was allowed to steal any of the tea and the one who tried was quickly stopped and removed. We don’t have protests like that anymore.

The result of The Destruction of the Tea was Boston was put into a military controlled lockdown. General Thomas Gage, the British governor of Massachusetts, is a major figure who the author treats fairly. His control over Boston is described as strong but never exceedingly harsh. While some of the soldiers behaved in ways that no one could defend, General Gage held his officers to the highest standards.

Other major figures in the book are heroic Paul Revere and traitorous Benjamin Church. Revere is properly described as brave, selfless and honest. His ride from out of Boston across the water to Charlestown then on to Lexington is one of most important events in American history and the author gives it its due credit. Also credited is Revere’s network of spies that had eyes on the British from Boston harbor to the outskirts of Charlestown. Revere and his network sounded the alarm in the countryside that the redcoats were coming. Note; it is unlikely Revere was saying the “British are coming” and the author rightly points this out.

Church was also part of a spy network, but for the other side. He gave intelligence to the British and likely directly to Gage himself. His treachery is listed throughout.

The most detail can be found in the descriptions of the military structure on both sides and in their movements engaging each other first at Lexington and then at Concord. Greater detail is offered in a lengthy appendix section (14 in all).

The title suggests a comprehensive account of the lead-up to war, but the attention hardly leaves New England. As a Virginian I was not expecting this but don’t take this as criticism because keeping things in Massachusetts allowed the book to flow very smoothly from the key events of the Boston Tea Party to the first shots of the war at the battle of Lexington and Concord.

This is an outstanding book.

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Trump Picks ExxonMobil Executive For State Department

President-Elect Donald Trump has selected Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, to be the next secretary of state. Trump called Tillerson “a world class player.” He will serve our country well in this position.

Tillerson’s qualifications are perfectly fitting for the state department in that he has managed a multi-national business, dealt directly with foreign leaders, and accomplished the construction of many large infrastructure projects which have required as much diplomacy as they required business skill. He is a manager who is well-known in international circles.

These qualifications are stark contrasts from his last two predecessors. This pick should have the liberals going nutty because in addition to the big oil part, Tillerson is the opposite of how the Democrats have recently used the top spot at state department.

The office of secretary of state can be used for political positioning in two ways. The first is to give it to the person who your party wants to launch as the next presidential contender, which is why Barack Obama chose Hillary Clinton. The other way is to give the position to a career party player to reward them for their service and to not disturb the already set political order, which is why Obama picked John Kerry. Tillerson fits neither category.

Former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates said Tillerson “would bring to the position vast knowledge, experience and success in dealing with dozens of governments and leaders in every corner of the world.” Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said Tillerson has “a deep understanding of the global economy and a belief in America’s special role in the world.”

As qualified as Rex Tillerson is, none of it will matter to the left, who will see ExxonMobil and then claim to already know enough to oppose, which is too bad because Tillerson is qualified. Tillerson is not using the position to launch to the presidency like Clinton, and he is not a political hack in is twilight like Kerry; he is a global economist who has built relationships by building large infrastructure projects throughout the world. Tillerson is, as Trump puts it, “a world class player.” He is a fine choice for secretary of state.

exxon.

Mattis Picked For Sec Def

President-Elect Donald Trump has announced his intention to nominate General James Mattis, Marine Corps (Ret.), for secretary of defense.

This is a great pick as General Mattis is highly respected throughout our military. His subject matter expertise on the logistical management of the defense budget is an asset. His presence at the top level of the Pentagon will surely be a morale boaster to our troops who have been asked to do an awful lot, especially over the last 15 years.

One of the many reasons we like this selection is because General Mattis is a scholar, who is a scholar because he is a humble man who reads to understand and appreciate his field of work as best he can. Below, and linked here, is an email General Mattis sent to one of his colleagues on why reading history is an important tool for the modern day:

….The problem with being too busy to read is that you learn by experience (or by your men’s experience), i.e. the hard way. By reading, you learn through others’ experiences, generally a better way to do business, especially in our line of work where the consequences of incompetence are so final for young men.

Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed (successfully or unsuccessfully) before. It doesn’t give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead.

With TF 58, I had w/ me Slim’s book, books about the Russian and British experiences in AFG, and a couple others. Going into Iraq, “The Siege” (about the Brits’ defeat at Al Kut in WW I) was req’d reading for field grade officers. I also had Slim’s book; reviewed T.E. Lawrence’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”; a good book about the life of Gertrude Bell (the Brit archaeologist who virtually founded the modern Iraq state in the aftermath of WW I and the fall of the Ottoman empire); and “From Beirut to Jerusalem”. I also went deeply into Liddell Hart’s book on Sherman, and Fuller’s book on Alexander the Great got a lot of my attention (although I never imagined that my HQ would end up only 500 meters from where he lay in state in Babylon).

Ultimately, a real understanding of history means that we face NOTHING new under the sun. For all the “4th Generation of War” intellectuals running around today saying that the nature of war has fundamentally changed, the tactics are wholly new, etc, I must respectfully say… “Not really”: Alex the Great would not be in the least bit perplexed by the enemy that we face right now in Iraq, and our leaders going into this fight do their troops a disservice by not studying (studying, vice just reading) the men who have gone before us.

We have been fighting on this planet for 5000 years and we should take advantage of their experience. “Winging it” and filling body bags as we sort out what works reminds us of the moral dictates and the cost of incompetence in our profession. As commanders and staff officers, we are coaches and sentries for our units: how can we coach anything if we don’t know a hell of a lot more than just the TTPs? What happens when you’re on a dynamic battlefield and things are changing faster than higher HQ can stay abreast? Do you not adapt because you cannot conceptualize faster than the enemy’s adaptation? (Darwin has a pretty good theory about the outcome for those who cannot adapt to changing circumstance — in the information age things can change rather abruptly and at warp speed, especially the moral high ground which our regimented thinkers cede far too quickly in our recent fights.) And how can you be a sentinel and not have your unit caught flat-footed if you don’t know what the warning signs are — that your unit’s preps are not sufficient for the specifics of a tasking that you have not anticipated?

Perhaps if you are in support functions waiting on the warfighters to spell out the specifics of what you are to do, you can avoid the consequences of not reading. Those who must adapt to overcoming an independent enemy’s will are not allowed that luxury.

This is not new to the USMC approach to warfighting — Going into Kuwait 12 years ago, I read (and reread) Rommel’s Papers (remember “Kampstaffel”?), Montgomery’s book (“Eyes Officers”…), “Grant Takes Command” (need for commanders to get along, “commanders’ relationships” being more important than “command relationships”), and some others. As a result, the enemy has paid when I had the opportunity to go against them, and I believe that many of my young guys lived because I didn’t waste their lives because I didn’t have the vision in my mind of how to destroy the enemy at least cost to our guys and to the innocents on the battlefields.

Hope this answers your question…. I will cc my ADC in the event he can add to this. He is the only officer I know who has read more than I.

Semper Fi, Mattis

Wow. Great pick.

trump-and-mattis.

School Choice Wins With New Education Secretary

President-Elect Donald Trump has announced he will name Betsy DeVos as the next Secretary of Education. With DeVos we can expect more local control of schools and more freedom for parents to send their kids to an alternative choice rather than a failing school. Her website says “her political efforts are focused on advancing educational choices.” This is a big win for advocates of school choice.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse expressed his support in a Facebook post; “The nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education is great news for those of us who care about educational freedom, local control for parents and more opportunity for all. But it’s even better news for the millions of low-income kids who for too long have been locked out of their best shot at an education that allows them to compete.” Senator Sasse concludes his post his post with, “This is an excellent pick.”

Some conservatives expressed concerns over DeVos position on The Common Core. She irrefutably stated in a tweet that she is “not a supporter-period.”

But the left will line up, ready to stop freedom in education. Teachers’ unions have come out against DeVos and they should because, like so many supporters of school choice, she does not believe the government should have a monopoly on education.

The Wall Street Journal describes liberals’ gripe on this topic well with,

“Ms. DeVos, a prominent charter-school advocate, would enter the office at a time when traditional public schools are fighting charter schools for students, as enrollment drives state and local funding. Some school districts, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, have reported losing thousands of students and millions of dollars.
Charter schools, publicly funded campuses that are mostly privately run, are the fastest-growing educational option. Enrollment in charters rose 219% from 2004 to 2014 to more than 2.5 million students, while school-district enrollment dropped by 1%, according to an analysis of the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics.”

New York Senator Chuck Schumer took the usual Democrat line of more money solves all problems when he tweeted “Students thrive when we invest in public education, this Ed Sec pick threatens that.” More appropriately, DeVos will work to stop forced union membership, break up the idea of a government-ran monopoly on education and offer more freedom for parents in the education of their children.

A little deregulation is a move in the right direction for the Department of Education. Founded in 1867, the Department of Education did not become a cabinet-level agency until 1980, when Jimmy Carter was president. This is a case where rolling back another growth in the federal government leftover from a Democrat’s administration will benefit the states.

Betsy DeVos looks like a great selection for Secretary of Education. We are wishing her the best in her pursuit of furthering school choice, home schooling, vouchers, and charter schools. With DeVos deregulating in Washington, freedom in education finally has the legs it needs to meet its full potential.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is by far the best holiday on the calendar. There are three key elements to today; food, family and football.

With the best of luck to all who are trying to avoid political conversations this year, allow us to offer two topics;

1) The best way to cook a turkey is on the charcoal grill.

turkey.

2) Randy Moss had the best Thanksgiving Day game against the Cowboys.

moss-on-thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Blank Line For Congress

Red NoVA endorses the blank line on your ballot for Congress in the 11th District. At this point no representation would be better than incumbent Rep. Gerry Connolly.

When Connolly walked out on a hearing on the assassination of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, he walked out on his job and on the people of his district. Anyone else would have been fired if they had left a meeting like that.

And when Connolly asked an IRS official in a congressional hearing, “Are reports that you can fly accurate?” he made a fool of himself and disgraced his office. Anyone else would have been fired if they had asked a question like that during a meeting.

Rep. Gerry Connolly deserves to be fired. We encourage everyone in the 11th District to just fill in the bubble for Write-in, but then just leave the line blank. The blank line would be an improvement through addition by subtraction.

blank-line-for-congress.