An Open Letter To Charlie Daniels

A note to our enemies:

You think you know America, but you only see the tiny, inept, incompetent, cowering political tip of a very big, very capable iceberg.

You don’t know the Heartland where the people are fiercely independent and willing to defend this nation with their bare hands if that’s what it takes.

You don’t know the steel workers in Pittsburgh with muscles that could break a man’s neck like a twig.

You don’t know the swamp folks in Cajun country that can wrestle a full-grown alligator out of the water.

You don’t know the mountain folks in Appalachia who can knock a squirrel’s eye out from a hundred yards away with a small caliber rifle.

You don’t know the farmers, the cowboys, the loggers and the seagoing folks. You don’t know the truck drivers, the carpenters, the mountain men who live off the land, the hard rock miners or the small town cops who keep the peace in the rowdy border towns.

No, you don’t know America. You’ve only seen America through the eyes of an Ivy League ideologue. There are no calluses on his hands, no notches on his gun. He is naive enough to believe that people who only understand power can be swayed by political correctness, kindness and acquiescence.

Soon America will have a new leader, and I pray to Almighty God every day that we will choose the right one. – “Charlie Daniels’ Open Letter to America’s Enemies: You See Obama, But You Don’t Know America”, CNS News, February 15, 2016

Apparently, Charlie Daniels thinks the world cares about the opinions of a washed-up country musician

Apparently, Charlie Daniels thinks the world cares about the opinions of a washed-up country musician

Dear Charlie Daniels –

I honestly don’t believe anyone outside your ever-shrinking fan base cares all that much about your opinions. Certainly, America’s “enemies” don’t care. And since I’m someone whose opinions matter as little as yours, I thought I’d write you an open letter to address your . . . odd . . . “Open Letter to America’s Enemies”.

Let’s start, rather arbitrarily, with the incident in which two small American naval vessels wandered in to Iranian territorial waters, one experienced mechanical failure, and the 10 crew members were first detained, then released after a couple days negotiations. This all happened around the time of the Constitutionally required State of the Union. Many of Pres. Obama’s opponents insisted at the time he should cancel his speech and work to bring home the sailors. What these people didn’t know was that Sec. of State John Kerry had already completed negotiations with the Iranians and the captured sailors were already in the process of returning to the American fleet.

Now some people, including you, have protested the fact that Sec. of State Kerry “apologized”. I’m wondering what, exactly, you would have done. Sent in the 5th Fleet that’s already in the area? Threatened to bomb Iran while it holds American service personnel, which gives them no incentive to keep the Americans safe? Sent in the Navy Seals? What do you think someone demonstrating “strength” would have done that would have achieved the same results, results every American wants anyway, getting those folks home safe? A simple apology for violating Iranian territorial waters – something the Iranians seem touchy about anyway, particularly when it comes to the American military – seems a very small price to pay to get back our ship and our people.

So let’s talk about military recruitment. In 2014, facing serious fiscal and budgetary issues; understanding the changing face of modern warfare that, in all likelihood, won’t have even one front let alone two; and with the Pentagon budget top-heavy with weapon systems that, occasionally, they don’t even want; over a decade of war slowly – too slowly – coming to an end; all these considerations led Pres. Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to propose serious reductions in troop-size, including reducing recruitment targets. While the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps reached their recruitment targets in FY 2015, the Army projected falling almost 15% short of its goal. The reasons?

The Army’s top officer for recruiting, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow, acknowledged in an interview with USA TODAY on Thursday the difficulties in attracting young men and women to the active-duty Army in an improving economy and the greater effort his recruiters are taking to find new soldiers.

—–

During the height of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the services struggled to make their annual goals. Standards for recruits were lowered, and greater signing bonuses were handed out. In 2006, for example, it spent $1 billion on bonuses to recruit and retain soldiers.

Bonuses and educational incentives, however, have decreased in recent years, Snow said. The Army paid out $117 million in 2014 compared with $235 million in 2013.

—–

In 2005, the Pentagon relaxed standards for recruits who fared poorly on standard military exams. Those who scored in the lower third of the test, so-called Category Four recruits — had been limited to 2% of recruits. The relaxed standard allowed 4% of those recruits, and even that was exceeded at times. Less than 1% of recruits this year belong in Category Four, Snow said.

“On quality we’re doing very well this year,” he said.

An improving economy, higher recruiting standards (or a return to high standards), and war-exhaustion are all really good reasons not to volunteer for the Army right now. Particularly since the bribes the military was handing out – singing bonuses for the military? Really? – to try and lure people to join an all-volunteer military in a time of war that was, by and large, invisible to the American people (by design) are far better explanations than some mythical distaste for the Commander-in-Chief (particularly since the other branches of the military reached their recruitment goals last year).

And finally, your really strange description of “the American people” “from the Heartland”. First you said they’d defend this country bare-handed if necessary. Because we obviously are in imminent threat of invasion and there’s a shortage of weapons in this country. Since these same people from the heartland piss their pants in fear at the notion an Islamic person might move in to their neighborhood, it seems to me you’re overestimating the courage of the American people.

Let’s consider your claim that steel workers in Pittsburgh are so powerful they can snap a person’s neck with their bare hands. Survey, however, says not really.

Note that in Real Life, it takes a considerable amount of strength and/or training to snap a person’s necknote , especially if the character getting it snapped is considerably big and strong. It’s possible if you know where to grab and twist, and can pin your opponent to get leverage. In real life, spinal/neck manipulation is allowed in certain martial arts competitions such as the UFC and other MMA events. However, it looks very different than in the movies, and there is almost always time to “tap out” before injury, much less permanent or lethal injury. To preform the “neck snap” like in the page’s image you would have to be extraordinarily stronger, to a point that is nearly superhuman.

—–

First, with regards to actually breaking the neck itself, it depends on exactly what type of fracture is involved, but cadaver studies have shown a range of 840 to 1500 N to cause the C2 vertebrae to be fractured [1]. A C2 fracture is highly correlated with high mortality but said injury is also most commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents [2] which gives you an idea as to the force involved with the injury. Given that amateur boxers have been shown to generate up to 8000 N of force with a hook punch [3] it is within the realm of possibility to fracture the vertebrae under the right conditions.

So breaking the vertebra is possible; however, the issue the video and those like it is that you need to apply the pressure the right way and the neck itself is built with a fair degree of flexibility [4] so it’s not just a matter of twisting the neck a given way.

So those steelworkers both need superhuman strength and special training. Instead of being, you know, steel workers who spend their days making steel and their nights with their families.

As for all those “real” Americans, according to the 2010 Census, urban dwellers comprise just over 80% of the American population. all those lumberjacks and sharpshooting West Virginians, Kentuckians, and folks from the middle of Pennsylvania; the cajuns from Louisiana and the farmers from the breadbasket while certainly brave and patriotic, just are as numerous and therefore not as much of a threat to some prospective enemy.  In 2010, New York’s population was 8.19 million people. The populations of South and North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, and Iowa are 7.7 million. No matter how much you might think of those mythical “real Americans”, Charlie, there are just more of all those coastal elites of whom you think very little.

As for Vladimir Putin being an “enemy”, sure Russia is a rival. They’ve sent planes over the pole to test our northern border at Alaska, and that is certainly something folks in charge are keeping an eye on. On the other hand, I’m just not all that frightened of a supposed superpower who can’t even defeat a fractured and far weaker neighbor (Ukraine), using proxies instead because the Russian army just can’t seem to get the job done. As for China, well, they’ve spent most of their thousands of years of recorded history laughing at foreign powers, whoever they might be. Mongols, Russians, Japanese, Open Door Policies, foreign missionaries have all come and gone, and China remains. Why shouldn’t they laugh at us? And so what? Are you seriously so fragile the thought of a foreign power not fearing American power somehow just gets you so mad you have to write a letter to show them who’s boss?

And, really, the rest of the world knows what America is really like. Our music is the world’s music. Our movies are the world’s movies. Ours is the only military with a global presence. And satellite television beams our current farcical Presidential primary season all over the world, so people can watch buffoons, liars, and borderline psychopaths carry on for their entertainment. Should one of those people be elected President, however, I guarantee you pretty much the whole world – including many in the United States – will, indeed, be terrified of what the United States might do.

Sincerely,

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford

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Comments are welcome, as long as they apply to issues rather than individuals. Don't make me break out the Benevolent Banhammer Of Love

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