Marine Survey raises Concerns about Allowing Women to Serve in Combat Zones

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 2nd, 2013

Week in Review

Men and women are different.  They notice that difference during school.  In the workplace.  In single bars.  And they will probably notice that difference in a combat zone.  Where normal actions between men and women anywhere else could have drastically different consequences in a combat zone (see Marine survey lists concerns on women in combat by JULIE WATSON, Associated Press, posted 2/1/2013 on Yahoo! News).

Male Marines listed being falsely accused of sexual harassment or assault as a top concern in a survey about moving women into combat jobs, and thousands indicated the change could prompt them to leave the service altogether…

Among the other top concerns listed by male Marines were possible fraternization and preferential treatment of some Marines.

Respondents also worried that women would be limited because of pregnancy or personal issues that could affect a unit before it’s sent to the battlefield…

Some, however, said the survey shows the need for sensitivity training and guidance from leadership so the change goes smoothly, as occurred when the military ended its policy that barred openly gay troops…

Just as the Marine Corps adjusted to the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” despite being the most resistant among the military branches, troops will likely fall in line again with this latest historical milestone, said Frakt, a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

Gay men and heterosexual women are different.  Heterosexual men may be attracted to the heterosexual women in their units.  They’re not going to be attracted to gay men.  And no relationship that can result in a pregnancy is going to result between heterosexual men and gay men.  So this is not the same as repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’.

About 17 percent of male Marine respondents and 4 percent of female respondents who planned to stay in the service or were undecided said they would likely leave if women move into combat positions. That number jumped to 22 percent for male Marines and 17 percent for female Marines if women are assigned involuntarily to those jobs, according to the survey.

Interesting.  Some 17% of active duty female Marines would leave the Corps if assigned to a combat position against their will.  Like they assigned men to all of the time.   So not all women are on board with putting women into combat.

Both sexes mentioned intimate relationships between Marines and feeling obligated to protect female Marines among their top five concerns about the change.

Female Marines also said they worried about being targeted by enemies as POWs, the risk of sexual harassment or assault, and hygiene facilities, according to the survey, which did not give specifics.

One can guess.  Marines in a combat zone are in the field.  They sleep on the ground.  They don’t bathe.  And don’t use bathrooms.  The ground is their toilet. Where there are no toilet stalls with disposal bins for soiled feminine hygiene products.  Or dispensers for new ones.  So all of those things women do when they go off to powder their nose behind closed doors they will be doing in the field.  At a very short distance from their fellow Marines.  Many of whom will be men.

Over the past decade, many male service members already have been fighting alongside women in Iraq and Afghanistan. Women who serve in supply units, as clerks and with military police have ended up on the unmarked front lines of modern warfare.

Some active duty women have gotten pregnant.  So there is some fraternization going on.  Also, pilots, air crews, supply personnel and military police typically work out of bases.  Where they have segregated living quarters, toilets and showers.  Things you don’t have when deployed in the field.  So you can’t really say that women are already serving in combat zones as if they are already serving in the infantry.

Yes, women are serving heroically in combat zones.  Some have been wounded.  And some have died.  But they haven’t served in the infantry.  Where they live and fight like animals.  With no propriety about any bodily functions.  Where you may have to poop in your helmet while hunkered down next to someone in a foxhole.  Then risk getting your hands shot off while dumping your helmet outside of your foxhole.  Or you just crap in your foxhole.  For the filth and stench in your foxhole is a whole lot better than what is happening outside of your foxhole.  Unable to go someplace to powder her nose a woman would have to do this next to whoever is in her foxhole with her.  As well as attend to her other needs.  Such as her feminine hygiene needs.  No doubt a concern of some female Marines who were concerned about hygiene facilities.

In a combat zone there is strength in numbers.  And individuals cut off from the main body of troops are easy pickings for the enemy.  So while some ladies would like a modicum of privacy to powder their nose they do so at their own risk.  For the farther she wonders off the greater the chance the enemy will capture her.  Unless a detail of women go with her to provide protection.  Which could weaken the unit.  Or cause an unnecessary rescue mission should the enemy capture them all.  Especially when her fellow Marines worry about what the enemy may do to them.  Which could weaken the unit even more should the rescue mission fail.  Things that just wouldn’t happen if there were only men in combat zones.  Even if some of those men were gay.

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Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg are taking on the Teachers Unions over Teacher Evaluations

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 2nd, 2013

Week in Review

Once upon a time Republicans ruled New York.  George Pataki was governor from January 1, 1995 – December 31, 2006.  And Rudy Giuliani was mayor of New York City from January 1, 1994 – December 31, 2001.  Sparking a renaissance in New York.  Especially in New York City.  For Giuliani cut crime and improved the quality of life for New Yorkers living in America’s greatest city.  But I don’t recall them taking on the public schools like the current Democrat leadership (see New York City’s schools could lose 2,500 teachers by next year by Hilary Russ posted 1/28/2013 on Reuters).

New York City’s public schools over two years will lose $724 million in state aid and as many as 2,500 teachers through attrition, because of a labor union conflict over a teacher evaluation system, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday.

The schools lost $250 million of that total earlier this month after the city and United Federation of Teachers failed to agree on a way to evaluate teacher performance.

City schools would lose that same baseline funding amount in the state’s coming fiscal year, which begins April 1, plus another $224 million under the state budget proposed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last week, Bloomberg said at a joint legislative hearing…

City schools could lose $1 billion altogether in baseline state funding without action on the teacher evaluations, said New York City Comptroller John Liu, who testified after Bloomberg.

Bloomberg, however, said that the union tried to introduce new provisions to an agreement at the last minute that would have made the evaluation system a “fraud” because it would have expired in two years – the same amount of time required to conduct the evaluations, making the process pointless.

This is not what you expect to hear coming from Democrat governors and Democrat mayors.  For the teachers unions help these people get into office.  By funding their campaigns with union dues.  And getting out the vote with their foot soldiers.  It is doubtful that these actions will swing the teachers’ support over to the Republican cause.  But it is interesting to see these Democrats bite the hand that feeds them.

It also shows how contentious teacher evaluations are.  For the unions are willing to lose $1 billion in funding to avoid evaluating their teachers.  One has to wonder why?  Why are they so dead-set against evaluations when every industry in the private sector evaluates their employees?  The common answer is that evaluations aren’t fair.  That they just measure a student’s ability to read, write and do math.  And not more important things like helping these kids see things from a liberal point of view.

The problem is this, though.  Businesses want to hire graduates who can read, write and do math.  For these are necessary skills in the business world.  And seeing things from a liberal point of view will not allow American kids to keep up with the Chinese and Indian kids.  Who are learning how to read, write and do math.  Which is why more and more jobs are being out sourced to these countries.  Their kids score better on standardized tests than our kids.  And end up getting better jobs.

This may be why these Democrats are taking on public education.  New York has some of the highest tax rates in the country.  These high rates are causing the best and brightest to leave New York.  As more and more of their earnings are taxed away.  And who is replacing the best and brightest?  The kids graduating from the public schools.  Who apparently aren’t doing as well as they could.  As Bloomberg and Cuomo are playing hardball when it comes to these teacher evaluations.  There must be a reason for that.  And one can only assume that they want their high school graduates to be better and brighter.

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Anti-Oil Al Gore Sells Current TV to Oil-Rich Qatar’s Al Jazeera and Disappoints his Liberal Friends

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 2nd, 2013

Week in Review

Al Gore has been warning us all about the coming climate disaster thanks to global warming.  Unless we start acting now (actually he’s been trying to scare us since the Nineties) we’re doomed.  The ocean levels will rise and swallow our beachfront properties.  Of course that didn’t stop him from buying a mansion on the beach.  But his hypocrisy doesn’t end there.  And it’s not just those on the Right pointing this out (see Tough questions follow Al Gore book tour by PATRICK GAVIN posted 1/31/2013 on Politico).

From “Today” to “Morning Joe” to “Late Show with David Letterman” to “The Daily Show,” Gore has come under attack by his interviewers for his decision to sell Current TV to Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera.  The television network owned by oil-rich Qatar.  That’s right, Al Gore, champion environmentalist, sold his television network to one of the greatest producers of earth’s public enemy number one.  Oil.  Hypocrisy, thy name is Al Gore.

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Economists say Falling Inventories, Steady Unemployment and Shrinking GDP is actually Good News

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 2nd, 2013

Weekin Review

There is a slew of bad economic news but you wouldn’t know that if you listened to the economists.  Who say that this bad news is some of the best news bad news can be.  Even with unemployment rate ticking up slightly and GDP shrinking they still see the glass is half full.  Eternal Keynesian optimists they are.  But even their explanations are cause for concern (see US economy shrinks 0.1 pct., 1st time in 3 ½ years by Christopher s. Rugaber, Associated Press, posted 1/30/2013 on Yahoo! Finance).

The U.S. economy shrank from October through December for the first time since the recession ended, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles. The decline occurred despite faster growth in consumer spending and business investment.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. That’s a sharp slowdown from the 3.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter and the first contraction since the second quarter of 2009.

Economists said the surprise decrease in the nation’s gross domestic product wasn’t as bad as it looked. The weakness was primarily the result of one-time factors. Government spending cuts and slower inventory growth subtracted a total of 2.6 percentage points from growth.

Those volatile categories offset a 2.2 percent increase in consumer spending, up from only 1.6 percent in the previous quarter. And business spending on equipment and software rose after shrinking over the summer…

Subpar growth has held back hiring. The economy has created about 150,000 jobs a month, on average, for the past two years. That’s barely enough to reduce the unemployment rate, which has been 7.8 percent for the past two months.

Keynesians focus on consumer spending.  For them an increase in consumer spending equals a healthy economy.  Despite that economy shrinking by 0.1%.  They explain that away as just being a fall in inventories.  As if businesses will go back to increasing their inventories in the next reporting period.  Making everything fine once again.  But if non-Keynesians take all of this data together they arrive at a different conclusion.  The economy is bad.  And will be getting worse.

Consumer spending rose while inventories fell.  And no one is hiring.  What does this mean?  Businesses above the retail level (wholesalers, manufacturers, industrial processors, raw material extraction, etc.) don’t like what they see.  So they’re cutting back production.  They’re not expanding or hiring people.  With these businesses producing less there is less product flowing into inventories.  With less flowing in while there’s more flowing out inventory levels fall.  Which eventually will lead to higher retail prices as goods become scarcer.  Leading to a fall in consumer spending.  And less hiring at the retail level.

So what does this mean?  Businesses above the retail level see a recession coming.  And they’re already hunkering down to limit their losses.

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Consumer Confidence falls as President Obama’s Policies fail Economically but succeed Politically

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 2nd, 2013

Week in Review

If you watch any reporting on the economic news chances are you’re a little confused.  Apple posts record profits and its stock price slides.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke 14,000 despite an uptick in the official unemployment rate.  Democrats talk about how great the economy is despite some 8 million people dropping out of the labor market since President Obama took office because they can’t find a job.  And the U-6 Unemployment rate that measures everyone who can’t find a job is holding steady at 14.4%.  The Democrats can spin the economic news all they want but it doesn’t change the numbers.  And they’re not fooling the people (see Consumer confidence drops to lowest level since November 2011 by Ricardo Lopez posted 1/29/2013 on the Los Angeles Times).

Consumer confidence continued to slip in January, falling to its lowest level since November 2011, the Conference Board said Tuesday…

The index, based on a compilation of consumer polls, found that those claiming business conditions are “good” declined from 17.2% to 16.7%. On the labor market front, those claiming jobs were “plentiful” declined to more than 2 points to 8.6%.

The economy sucks.  Despite the trillions in new government spending.  And it’s only going to get worse now that the 2% payroll tax cut has expired.  And more of the Obamacare taxes hit the American people.

Obama’s economic policies have failed.  If you measure success with things like the unemployment rate, job creation and consumer confidence.  Of course if you measure by a different metric one could say Obama’s policies have been a great success.  Politically.  Especially if people keep demanding the government do something to fix the economy.  And if they never fix the economy the people will always demand that the government do something.  Which is what those in government want.   People demanding for more government.  So by this metric the Obama policies have been a great success.  Because they have been a great failure.  Economically.

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