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Friday, December 31, 2010

Stop the Absurd US Military Policies on Personnel

There is no part of the US establishment that wastes more money than the Pentagon. A huge component of the waste is the reliance on career enlisted personnel and a career officer corps. The term military career should be proceeded by the word "short". Military service should be composed of mostly conscripts from a universal draft. They should be overwhelmingly male, single with no children.

Two stories highlight the absurdity of the current politically correct social experimentation foisted on the Pentagon by liberal politicians:


A paper published in the journal Pediatrics in late 2009 found that children in military families were more likely to report anxiety than children in civilian families. The longer a parent had been deployed in the previous three years, the researchers found, the more likely the children were to have had difficulties in school and at home. But those studies do not describe the myriad ways, often imperceptible to outsiders, in which families cope with deployments every day.- continue article in the NY Times

The military's next step after 'don't ask, don't tell': Equal rights for gay service members

After the House voted to repeal the policy, the Senate took on the issue and also voted to lift the 17-year-old ban on gays in the military.

By Chris Patti Washington Post
Thursday, December 30, 2010; 8:00 PM
With a swoop of his pen last week, President Obama wiped away more than a century of discrimination that had culminated in a 17-year struggle for the rights of gay men and lesbians serving in the U.S. armed forces. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will now try to fashion a policy that will filter down to all of us in the services. That policy needs to set a standard for the ethical and equitable treatment of all service members, regardless of their sexuality...
...Despite all of the controversy, repealing "don't ask, don't tell" was the easy part. Politics aside, it takes no courage to simply right a wrong. The president and members of Congress have been congratulating themselves for doing the right thing. But minds should be turning to the difficult questions that remain. These are the same questions that vex our society when it comes to equal rights for homosexuals. They cross over into the "gray areas" where some start to feel uncomfortable and where the legal options are ambiguous.

It is, for example, one thing to hand a gay junior sailor a paintbrush and point him toward a rusty bulkhead. But can that gay sailor, if he has a partner, collect the same housing allowance his married counterparts do? Can a lesbian sailor request to be stationed where her partner is? Will the military recognize a marriage between two service members that is legal in one state but not in another?

The issue of gay marriage provokes deep divisions. I hope that my brothers and sisters in the armed forces can help the Defense Department set standards for the rights of gay men and lesbians that far outpace the conflicted sentiment and resulting legal tangle in our society. This is an opportunity to show all Americans that homosexuals deserve equal treatment under the law. This applies not just in some cases or with limitations but to the full rights all Americans should share when it comes to legal matters such as marriage, salary and tax benefits.

It is incumbent on the military to not only pave a fair and equitable way forward for all service members but also to lead by example and provide our country with a template. The Sailor's Creed, which is recited across the globe every day by everyone serving in the Navy, concludes, "I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all." It is time for those words to ring true for everyone who serves.

Most gay and lesbian service members won't be standing up and announcing their sexual orientation at the next "all-hands" call. They won't get new name tags. They will remain, as they always have been, indistinguishable from their straight counterparts. Instead, the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" means that there may be quiet instances of a lesbian sailor telling a shipmate that she is gay, or a gay sailor saying that his plans for the weekend include going on a trip with his partner. Such statements are likely to be met with shrugs, and everyone will go back to getting the mission done. But just because these moments no longer risk automatic discharge does not mean that gay and lesbian service members have equality.

The Pentagon must be clear about treating all members of the U.S. military equally, which means that it must recognize gay marriage as legal and a right of every soldier, sailor, airman and Marine. These rights almost must extend to their spouses, just as they do to the spouses of straight servicemen and women, to include health care, retirement benefits, GI Bill eligibility and commissary privileges.


  1. It is time to RIF the entire US military.

    A reduction in force of about 30% in the next 4 years would set the correct tone.

    Mothball about half the carrier battle groups.

    Put the Air Force back in the Army.

  2. The entire current situation is reducing our real defense.

    When the pentagon claims it costs one million dollars to keep one combat troop on the ground in Afghanistan, we have a problem.

  3. The entitlement mind set runs rampant, through out the Federal establishment. The US Military is not exempt from it, in fact it leads the way.

    End the dependent allowances.

    Require that the soldiers receive equal pay for equal service.
    Do away with the multi-tiered pay structure. The current system is one that would make Karl Marx proud.

  4. Require that the soldiers receive equal pay for equal service.
    Do away with the multi-tiered pay structure. The current system is one that would make Karl Marx proud.

    Explain, please.

  5. It seems to me that with the current and foreseeable financial situation, the US Military is going to take a "big hit".

    I have no doubt that given a choice between cuts, the general public will choose to take a large slice out of the defense budget.

  6. Have societal changes always come this quickly? It seems as though the pace has accelerated tremendously since WWII.

  7. The military pay system is based on needs rather than performance or skill.

    A single sergeant is paid less than a married sergeant with children, not because he is better qualified but because he needs more.

  8. Well, whit, when a soldier, sailor or Marine gains a dependent, they also get a pay raise.

    This pay raise comes in the form of allowances.

    Military Pay and Allowance - Military Benefits - Military.com

    With basic pay and 70 types of special pays and allowances, military pay is customized to your situation. Changes in pay grade, duty status, your military ...

    From each according to their ability, to each according to their need

    The US Military and Marxism explained in a single quote.

  9. With so many single mothers in the service, the military provides medical care, schools, daycare, housing , etc.

    A rational approach of keeping single men in barracks is a thing of the past, an expensive change that provides no defense benefit.

    In WWII, you were deployed in a war until the war was won. There was no permanent military structure overseas. You did not take your family or your car to war with you. You were not expected to make the military a career.

  10. Well, whit, when the US spends more on its military than the rest of the whirled, combined, it is a reasonable place to start cutting.

  11. Vest the veterans retirement benefits after 20 years, but do not pay them until they reach Social Security retirement age.
    62 to 70, depending upon the level of benefits to be paid.

    There is no reason a soldier, sailor or Marine should be getting a retirement check, from the taxpayers, at 38 years of age.

  12. We need a reverse Davis-Bacon Act.

    Government construction contracts called for private contractors to pay prevailing rates (which meant union rates) on any construction project using government funds.

    That inflates construction costs and has the affect of transferring additional wealth to China, as the government is building using deficit financing.

    Union cosnstruction companies are reluctant to hire full-time workers and instead contract for labor from the union halls, who deny jobs to non-union workers. Union halls are regional so if you are on the wrong side of a river, you will be denied employment by the union that controls the other side of the river where the project may be located.

    A reverse David-Bacon woud require that government salaries and benefits cannot exceed the prevailing salaries and benefits of private sector workers in the political region.

    That would be fun.

  13. The Market reaction to yesterday's EIA Report is Bizarre.

    A Worldwide Shortage of Gasoline is rapidly developing. There's no way out of the hole except much higher prices, and, by the end of the year, Recession.

    We're well, and truly, screwed.

  14. ResoluteRufus, have you any New Year's Resolutions?

    I've thought up five I have a chance of keeping, so far.

  15. e-mail from Mat -

    Happy New Year!
    Wishing you all the best, and may 2011 bring you a tidal wave of good fortune

    I'm nearly resolved to drive over to Wal-Mart and buy a couple more of these ten dollar George coats. Hell of a good buy on a vastly overstocked item.

    London pea soup fog this morning.

  16. A wise policy Rational Rufus.

    No promises made no promises broke.

  17. Here's what Foreign Policy Magazine has to say about oil in 2011:
    Triple-digit oil prices strangle the economic recovery

    The global economy seems to be moving in the right direction, but that tenuous recovery could come quickly undone if the price of oil continues to rise. The price of a barrel of oil has been trending steadily upward at the conclusion of 2010: It stood at $91 as of Wednesday, Dec. 29, up 22 percent from a year earlier. With memories still fresh of the slowdown that accompanied the oil shock in 2008 -- when the price of a single barrel shot up to $145 and gasoline cost $4 a gallon in the United States -- you can bet that political leaders around the world will be keeping a close eye on the natural resource markets.

    There's good reason to believe that prices won't rise quite as high as they did two years ago. Unlike then, a cushion of surplus oil wells stand ready in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere to fill almost any demand spurt in the coming year. In addition, oil companies are currently working furiously to expand the total supply of available oil even further: As FP's Steve LeVine has pointed out, the world's biggest oil companies are increasing their spending on international projects in 2011 by 17 percent. And according to the Wall Street Journal, the price increases are being driven less by insatiable economies than by financial investors, who are betting on higher future prices. Those speculators say they'll have a stabilizing effect on potential oil shocks, since they've created an incentive to buy oil now and store it for future use.

    Still, energy costs are taking an ever-larger bite out of Americans' pockets, accounting for 5.5 percent of personal budgets in October 2010 -- up from 4.8 percent a year earlier, and uncomfortably close to the 6 percent share that's generally acknowledged to have a negative effect on consumer spending.

    A cushion oil ready in Saudi Arabia, oil companies working furiously on new production and high prices from speculators, not demand. Doesn't sound as gloomly as "NO OIL".

  18. Lacking a draft - there's not going to be a draft - doesn't the military need all these programs to get people in?

    Many single mothers are going to be getting benefits out in the civilian world as well, they might as well do something to earn them.

    If anything I'm for increasing the military, even if it can be described as a jobs program.

    Least people aren't hanging on the corner with their baseball caps on backwards.

    Wife has vetoed any more coats from WalMart so that is that.

  19. Went downtown last night and poked around. The new sports bar is quite something, they must have 100 tv's in there, you can watch anything you want/

    The Capricorn Ballroom has been incorporated into the Garden Lounge, it is no more.

    I'll end up watching an old Kathleen Turner movie with my wife tonight.

  20. A few nights ago at a friend’s party, I met his daughter for the first time. My friend is a 30 year, retired Army chaplain. His daughter was home on leave prior to joining the fleet.

    She has trained for two years to serve aboard an ultra-modern destroyer in target acquisition and the launching of the myriad weapons systems now available to the Navy. Quite apart from the proposed sexual discrimination, the time in training would have barred her had she been the historic draftee.

    It should also be said that about 30% of Georgia’s prospective enlistees fail the Armed Forces entrance examination. Like our colleges and universities, the military must now spend about two years teaching basic literacy to enlistees. So again, the usual draftee would not fit into the current reality.

    As to this nonsense of equal pay for equal work, tell me that when burger flippers at McDonalds are armed and in body armor. The odds of becoming a multiple amputee or crispy critter at McDonalds are about zero.

    Some of this conversation reminds me of Franklin’s assessment of a particularly nasty bit of British aristocracy, “He holds down a chair.”

  21. Can kangaroos swim? What with those little front arms.

    Drudge has a picture of a roo on a rock surrounded by water, which made me wonder.

  22. Saudi Arabia was claiming a "cushion" of 3 million barrels/day right up to the time oil hit $147.00/barrel, and crashed the world economy.

    I can't, for the life of me, see why this time will be any different.

  23. Mexican Standoff Between Roo and Dingo

    Lady three doors down who I've gotten to know has a hindu man named "Bubba" with here there, in addition to the little kid. Just found this out.

    There are 50 stories in the naked motel.

    The guy that owned this place before the current owner, a farmer named Raugust, stole about $400,000 from us taxpayers through fraud in USDA farm programs.

    His wife Leona didn't go to jail, but Calvin did, for awhile.

    His lawyer said Calvin just got a little overenthusiastic, wanting his farming to succeed so much.


  24. A roo with a broken hip wouldn't be worth a shit.

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. I could always go out and burn a few cars tonight -

    .France braces for annual New Year's car torchings

    PARIS (Reuters) – France will deploy extra police and keep vandalism statistics under wraps on New Year's Eve to fight what authorities say has become an annual "sweepstakes" of disaffected youths competing to see who can burn the most cars.

    Youths in depressed suburbs of French cities have been torching hundreds of vehicles on New Year's Eve and Bastille Day since the early 1990s. Police say the annual rite has turned competitive, with youths tracking the news in the first days of the new year to see which neighborhood did the most damage.

    "I have decided to put an end to the competition, the sweepstakes, and will longer publish the number of burned vehicles," Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said this week, adding that publishing statistics encouraged vandalism.

    Opposition politicians described the move as an attempt by President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative government to cover up the violence.

    "The government tends to eliminate unfavorable indicators. The interior minister has been publishing trumped-up statistics for years, and now Hortefeux is going even further," Socialist deputy Delphine Batho, a security specialist, told Reuters.

    Last year, the Interior Ministry said 1,137 cars had been torched, a 30 percent rise on 2008. French media reported at the time that several thousand cars had been burned.

    Nearly 54,000 police officers will be deployed across France, a rise of some 6,000 compared to normal New Year's Eve staffing levels, and additional command posts set up in several cities, Hortefeux said on Friday.

    The image of burning cars remains particularly evocative in France in the wake of urban riots in December 2005. Sarkozy came to power in 2007 promising to quell violence, but crime and vandalism have inched up in the past year.

    Arson in France's "sensitive urban areas" rose by 17.2 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to a 2010 study by the Observatory of Sensitive Urban Zones. In 2009 a total of 12,874 cars were burned, it reported.

    (Reporting by Thierry Leveque and Nick Vinocur; Editing by Peter Graff)

  27. heh

    "The government tends to eliminate unfavorable indicators. The interior minister has been publishing trumped-up statistics for years, and now Hortefeux is going even further," Socialist deputy Delphine Batho, a security specialist, told Reuters.

    "Unfavorble indicators" - heh

    muzzie yoots - someday we will have this in America if we don't wake up

  28. Jeez, a couple of minutes after I made my comment the oil, and gasoline markets took off like rocket ships.


  29. Allen, less than 10% of the military has a chance of being wounded in combat. Anyone exposed to real combat has a job different from say a radar operator in Germany and should be compensated differently.

    We know that a hamburger flipper has a greater chance of being killed by an illegal immigrant in America than ending up in combat and being killed in a foreign war..

    Why should the same radar operator married to a girl from Turkey , who has three kids from a previous marriage make more money than an equal rank of a single soldier in combat?

    As to entrance qualifications and those too stupid to be accepted, that is what 4F was designed for, unfit for service. So what if 30% fail? With a properly conducted draft and testing procedure, absent social engineering, there would be no need for any remidial training. None.

    Male US citizens between the ages of 18 to 25 are required to register for the draft by their 18th birthday. At present there are over 14 million men are on file. 30% are unfit? That is not a problem for the military. What would be a problem would be an affirmative action program putting the burden on the military instead of closing down the schools that created the dumb asses.

    Focus on the winners.

    There is nothing to stop the military from offering advanced training to inductees that wish to stay longer.

    I fail to see any of your arguments contradicting anything written on this thread.

  30. We have 308 million people. We have all we need for military service, and do not need the services of one immigrant worker.

    An individual company may need one cheaper than the one he has.

  31. Resolution 1

    The only other sound's the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

    I resolve to keep the promises I have made to those to whom I have made promises.

  32. Resolution 2

    I resolve to be more polite, kinder and gentler round the EB.

  33. The ACLU isn't all bad. There was a long article in the paper today, too long to quote, about a lawsuit filed against the State of Idaho by ACLU concerning violence at a private prison here. It is quite bad, and everyone knows it. The fights are a regular event and the person being assaulted often doesn't fight back as it is often written up on their reports and jeopardizes their chances of parole etc.

    These guys need to be in jail, but they should be able to do their time without fear, and fighting.

    I think the ACLU has a legitimate lawsuit going here, and I hope they acheive some reform in the management of this prison.

  34. I don't make resolutions. I don't know why…just don't.

  35. I do, and keep 'em, mostly.

    The trick is, don't make too many.

    And only ones that are realistic and possible.

    I'm not resolving to quit smoking, for instance, though I have toned it down.

  36. Wife is telling me I have to go do some errands with her.

  37. I just finished bagging leaves with my mower. The sun is shining and I was out working in a tee shirt. That's the beautiful thing about winter in the deep south. 19 degrees one day and a few days later, you can sunbathe on a towel.

    Summer, not so good.

  38. Maybe it's because I don't need a specific date and time to reflect on the faulty things I do. I don't need a resolution to eat healthier or exorcise or be nice or cook more or quit smoking or spend more time with friends or whatever it is people need resolving.

    I'm aware of my flaws throughout the year and the moment I do, resolving them comes naturally. I don't need to wait until Jan 1st to make me a better person.

    New Year resolutions are just empty promises people make so they can feel good about themselves for just one day or maybe two.

  39. You don't have to rub it in Whit.

  40. I have tentative plans for Daytona the first week in March.

    It better be bikini weather by then. That's all I've got to say.

  41. The first week in March. That's really pushing it. I suggest you bring warm clothing but if you get lucky...send pictures. :)

    Happy New Year!

  42. Deuce,

    Do you seriously believe that a draft without social engineering is possible? In my lifetime, the government has been unable to pass any piece of legislation without social engineering. Moreover, as Bush/Cheney prove, when last we tried this, it didn't work.

    By the way, if you check the stats you will find that about 75% of those who served in Vietnam were volunteers. You will also discover that about 75% of those killed and wounded in Vietnam were volunteers. It was not a war bereft of "fortunate sons", Fogerty notwithstanding.

    I do not believe the military does a good job of managing its human resources, but a draft is not the answer, unless you are looking for civil war.

  43. Fortunate One

    Chesty Puller's son committed suicide in 1991. Lt. Puller had volunteered. He lost both legs and parts of both hands to a landmine. He was buried with full military honors.

    Fortunate Son...Right

  44. You will be happy to know that I will not be traveling this evening nor will I be near any faulty electrical currant.

    Send pictures? Don't I always? ( :

  45. New Year resolutions are just empty promises people make so they can feel good about themselves for just one day or maybe two.

    well jeez shoot me in the head, but I don't think so

    I'm aware of my flaws throughout the year and the moment I do, resolving them comes naturally. I don't need to wait until Jan 1st to make me a better person.

    You must be perfect by now :):)

    It is good to know you will be safe and sound and not by any electrical outlets.

    It is clear here now, beautiful blue sky, cold, and the trees have those totally frosted white cold look to all the branches.

    Photography weather.

    By the way Melody, you take good pictures, some of the ones you have put up are quite artistic.

    I'm guessing your daughter uses the camera too.

    My son has used mine in the past, and knows it better than I.

    He took a very good picture of a truckers half full piss jug by the road, very well done. I don't know what genre of picture art this should be categorized under, but it had a butterfly in it too and was very well done.

    Art is, like oil, where you find it, I guess.

  46. Whit, just come to Idaho for a look see, you are obviously yearning to do so.

    I will tell you the good spots.

  47. Last night in the dark the magnificent U of I sheep who live by my place made their way through the snow going back to the heated barns, going all in a row.

    Who wants to plow through the snow when those ahead have made a path?

    How they decide who goes first I don't know, but it was kinda neat to watch.

    Animals always take the easy way, if there is one, if you have noticed.

  48. Mel, next time you find a party like that, invite me!

  49. My daughter has her own camera.

    The only thing we share on our computers is itunes and one day when I was loading pictures into my new mac for some odd reason it linked all her pictures. Every single one that she has ever owned. I'll stop there.

  50. bob:

    That was a quick trip. I thought maybe we could catch you on the highway with one of those live cams.

    Idaho, Eastern Washington and Oregon, Montana, Wyoming...All in the bucket list.

  51. Every single one that she has ever owned. I'll stop there.


  52. I now know the life story of the lady three doors down. A refugee from California - Riverside - she has a little boy - and some boyfriend named Bubba that drops in - for what, I wonder - she is dead broke and has to get out of here in two weeks. She has found a one bedroom in Troy for $350 - can you afford that? - yes, barely - she is happy to be gone from California after some big blowout with her male there.

    A little spacey, very demonstrtive, but seemingly in fair spirits, she is exstatic about the beauty of our day here.

    I wished he well.

    I suppose I should find out her name, since she is going to be living in the area.

    I told her to try Lewiston, since things are usually some cheaper there.

    I think she has her eye on the U of I.

  53. We need to see the merchandise first, Whit.

  54. You don't think I could get into trouble down there, do ya?

    I"m definitely renting a segway.

  55. I'll put one up for the boss. He doesn't seem to care for our music, Whit, but he does to like my Norah Jones.


  56. Segways are dangerous.

    Rent a golf cart.

  57. Idaho, Eastern Washington and Oregon, Montana, Wyoming...All in the bucket list.

    Skip Eastern Washington as not worthy of your time. In Oregon, concentrate on middle and eastern Oregon. In Montana concentrate on western Montana and in Wyoming, Laramie and the mountains, and in Idaho, all of it.

  58. heh

    Just get yourself a Harley-Davidson and be done with it. It is bike week or something.

    Warning: my next post is a quote about Puritan sabbath.

    You might want to skip it.

    It is depresssing.

  59. from "The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time" -

    All this not working and not playing certainly made the day quiet. "Sweet to the Pilgrims and their descendants was the hush of their calm Saturday night, and their still, tranquil Sabbath -- sign and token to them, not only of the weekly rest ordained in the creation, but of the eternal rest to come", Alice Morse Earle wrote in a nineteenth century paean to the early New England Sabbath. "No work, no play, no idle stolling was known; no sign of human life or motion was seen except the necessary care of patient cattle and other dumb beasts, the orderly and quiet going to and from meeting, and at the morning, a visit to the churchyard to stand by the side of the silent dead."

    This all seems to me exactly ass backwards. What a hell of a way to celebrate life.

    a visit to the churchyard to stand by the side of the silent dead is a good phrase however.

    And it sounds to me like the dead might be silent in disgust at the wasting of life by their descendants.

    "no sign of human life or motion was seen"

  60. :)

    Get yourself a Harley-Davidson I'd meet you in Sturgis, S.D. August 8th

    My wife was through there during the goings on once. Hell of a deal.




  62. allen speaks like the looting socialist he truly is.