“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Save the children, kill the women. Nearly three-quarters of Americans say that, given the opportunity, they would vote to allow women to serve in combat roles. So says a Gallup survey conducted on Thursday, following Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's announcement that the Pentagon is lifting the ban on women serving in direct combat.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LEON PANETTA, January 18, 2012, DOD News Briefing from the Pentagon:  

Good afternoon:  
            When I was sworn into the office of secretary of defense, I said that I had no higher responsibility than to protect those who are protecting America.  Our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line every day to try to keep America safe.  We have a moral duty to keep them safe from those who would attack their dignity and their honor.  
            That's why I've been so concerned by the problem of sexual assault in the military.  
            Sexual assault has no place in this department.  It is an affront to the basic American values we defend, and it is a stain on the good honor of the great majority of our troops and their -- and our families.    
            As leaders of this department, we're committed to doing everything we can to ensure the safety, dignity and well-being of our people.  These men and these women who are willing to fight and to die, if necessary, to protect and serve our country -- they're entitled to much better protection.  Their families and their dependents also sacrifice and serve and so, for that reason, we have to spare no effort in order to protect them against this heinous crime.    
            The number of sexual assaults in the military is unacceptable. Last year 3,191 reports of sexual assault came in.  But I have to tell you that because we assume that this is a very underreported crime, the estimate is that the actually is closer 19,000.    
            One sexual assault is one too many.  Since taking this office, I've made it a top priority to do everything we can to reduce and prevent sexual assault, to make victims of sexual assault feel secure enough to report this crime without fear of retribution or harm to their career, and to hold the perpetrators appropriately accountable.    
            In all these efforts, I've worked closely with the military and civilian leadership of the department.  I've discussed this subject with the service secretaries, with the chairman and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all of the service chiefs.  The latest meeting was as recently as last week.  They completely share my sense of urgency and commitment to addressing this problem, as do members of Congress with whom I consult regularly on this issue.  
            To ensure that this issue received proper visibility and attention within the department, a two-star officer, Air Force Major General Mary Kay Hertog, was appointed to serve as director of the department's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office last August.  General Hertog has done a great job coordinating a DOD-wide effort to address this serious and complex problem.  
            There are no easy answers, but that makes it all the more essential for us to devote our energy and our attention to trying to confront this crime.  
            Over the holidays, we announced two new policies that provide greater support for the victims of sexual assault.  The first policy gives victims who report a sexual assault an option to quickly transfer from their unit or installation to protect them from possible harassment and remove them from proximity to the alleged perpetrator.  
            Second, we will also require the retention of written reports of sexual assault to law enforcement to be retained for a period of 50 years.  The reason for that is to have these records available so that it will make it easier for veterans to file a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs at a later date.  
            These two policies are the first of a broader package of proposals that we will be presenting in the coming months, many of which will require legislative action by the Congress.  
            Today, I want to announce some additional steps that we are taking.  First, I've directed the establishment of a DOD sexual assault advocate certification program, which will require our sexual assault response coordinators and victim advocates to obtain a credential aligned with national standards.  This will help ensure that the victims of sexual assault receive the best care from properly trained and credentialed professionals who can provide crucial assistance from the moment an assault is committed.  
            Second, I have directed the department to expand our support to assault victims to include military spouses and adult military dependents, who will now be able -- this was not the case before -- they will now be able to file confidential reports and receive the services of a victim advocate and a sexual assault response coordinator.  
            In addition, we're going to ensure that DOD civilians stationed abroad and DOD U.S. citizen contractors in combat areas receive emergency care and the help of a response coordinator and a victim advocate.    
            Third, because sexual assault cases are some of the toughest cases to investigate and to prosecute, I've increased funding for investigators and for judge advocates to receive specialized training.   
            We're also putting in place one integrated data system.  The data systems, frankly, were spread among the various services.  We're going to put them together into one data system in order to track sexual assault reports and monitor case management so that we'll have a comprehensive database for information available later this year.  
            And finally, in addition to our focus on taking care of victims and holding perpetrators appropriately accountable, we've been focusing on what more can we do to try to prevent sexual assault? Our leaders in uniform, officers and enlisted, are on the front lines of this effort; they have to be.  We must all be leaders here.    
            For this reason, I'm directing an assessment, due in 120 days, on how we train our commanding officers and senior enlisted leaders on sexual assault prevention and response and what we can do to strengthen that training.  It's important that everyone in uniform be alert to this problem and have the leadership training to help prevent these crimes from occurring.    
            These are important steps.  But I want to be clear that this is an ongoing effort that will remain a top priority.  There's much more work to be done to prevent this crime.  And we will be announcing additional initiatives over the coming weeks and months.  
            Let me close by speaking directly to the victims of sexual assault in this department.  I deeply regret that such crimes occur in the U.S. military.  And I will do all I can to prevent these sexual assaults from occurring in the Department of Defense.  I'm committed to providing you the support and resources you need and to taking whatever steps are necessary to keep what happened to you from happening to others. 
            The United States military has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault.  And we will hold the perpetrators appropriately accountable. I expect everybody in this department to live up to the high standards that we have set and to treat each other with dignity and with respect.  
            In a military force, where the promise is to help each other in battle and to leave nobody behind, that promise must begin by honoring the dignity of every person on or off the battlefield.  
            Thank you.  



  1. 19000 rapes in the US military by other members of the US military. Great idea to move the woman right to the front line. That ought to reduce the number of rapes, get more women killed so they are not available for rape.

  2. 20% of all US servicewomen have been sexually assaulted.

  3. The frontlines in the US military should be very interesting, men humping men, sexually assaulting women or getting them killed.

  4. Still think devolution is a bad idea?

    Preserve the union at any cost?

    Our strength lies in our diversity?

    Still want to be part of this regardless of where it is going?

    Love it or leave it?

    Just curious.

    1. .

      You assume the alternative would be any better.


    2. I know that the current arrangement will never be fixed without a whole lot of trouble.

    3. There's always the open road.

    4. If liberty means anything at all it means the open road.

    5. Allons! be not detain’d!

      Mon enfant! I give you my hand!

      Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900.

      82. Song of the Open Road

      The sentiments great, the execution woeful.

  5. :)

    Don't look at me.

    About the first thing I posted here was if I had a bigger shop and better tools I'd make a spaceship and be out of here, to fish among the stars.

    That was before leaving was cool and began to really catch on.

    Where are those men in black, the rich men, men wealthy beyond belief, the strong men, the secretive intelligent men, of The Cleaning Lady's whimsey, when I need them most?

    Art Bell knows.

    And it all started with a pair of smelly lavender underwear 150 years ago, did the devo.

    1. Here, chill out -

      There is always Caledonia.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Seriously though, if one is for a more 'non - interventionist' foreign policy one might support women in the armed forces all up and down the line. They tend to be I think less gung-ho than men on such things as thoughtless interventions and they always let their opinions be known. And they are certainly as good as, maybe better than, men in many things. Pilots, snipers, driving over 90mph on desert roads, maybe thinking through strategy and tactics too, intelligence analysis and legal skills. The problems may abound, but the rewards might be great as well.

    1. But, then, considering our past, many of the foremost interventionist abolitionists were women.

      Why are things always so complex!

  8. They may all be Dicks, but we have become a nation of morons.

  9. To view a "really smart" moron, see "Programmr" on Leo Linbeck's thread @BC that I linked in the previous thread.

    Jeeze Louise.

    ...almost makes Quirk seem tolerable.

  10. At least the guy in grey looks more sincere than Michelle usually does.

    ...must be a top.

    1. Beats that Al and Tipper Gore Power Kiss.

      Tipper got out soon as she could.

  11. We are winning but the enemy is stronger than ever.

    1. Redwood Logging in the Forties.

      Forgot about Fort Ross:

      The Russian Empire extended to California in 1812.

      A topper in those days meant a guy that climbed 100 feet up w/ an axe and cut off the top of the tree.

      Probly be puzzled by our top in grey.

    2. In Alaska there are a lot of old Russian Orthodox churches still around. Neat looking too.

      Any in California that you know of?

    3. The Russians were all dicks anyway. What does it matter now?

    4. Drunk Dicks, to boot.
      Nah, I never went on a quest to find old Russian Orthodox churches.
      ...but I was young and gay.

  12. The Israelis have hit Fordow.

    It begins.


  13. 68. blert

    Radag @59

    IIRC, the Death Panels are actually but one supreme death panel with, IIRC, some nineteen members.

    Further, it is charged with coming up with save/don’t save spend/ don’t spend norms that are then to be applied nationally.

    Under such a scheme, private money can’t buy treatment, as the indirect intention is to have the 99% dependent upon the kindness of the state.

    Private insurance schemes must implode as the monarch ever expands benefits faster than premia can adjust — in an era of ZIRP.

    Consequently, endowments, savings, retentions and every manner of financial assets will prove insufficient in private hands.

    Only the hyper-inflationist, fiat issuing, government will be able to cover its tab.

    Weimar Germany blew up because that government didn’t want to curtail railroad spending. It was deemed a universal good.

    This time around, America should founder upon medical spending. It is now our universal good.