Our Veterans have been Wounded and Maimed and we thank them for their Service with the VA
Where do the rich and famous go when they go to a hospital? They can afford the best. So you will hear hospitals like Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Mount Sinai, etc. The crème de la crème of the best health care system in the world. But one name you won’t hear? Any VA hospital.
Rich and famous people have something our veterans don’t. Choice. They can choose to go to the crème de la crème of the best health care system in the world. While our veterans have no choice but to go to the dregs of the best health care system in the world. Very often the worst place you can go in the United States for health care.
It’s sad, really. For our veterans have given more than any other American. They have put themselves in harm’s way. Had people shoot at them. Lob hand grenades at them. Had mortar rounds and artillery rounds land near them. And had improvised explosive devices (IED) detonate around them. Our veterans have been wounded and maimed and faced the hell of combat. And our thanks for their volunteering to do this for us? The VA.
Our VA Hospitals are so bad because they know our Military will be good Soldiers and Wait
There aren’t a lot of VA hospitals around. So some veterans have to travel to get to one. And when they get there they have to wait. As there are a lot of other veterans in the waiting room with them. Because there aren’t a lot of VA hospitals around. But that’s not the only waiting they’re going to do.
If they need surgery or treatment there will be even more waiting. A lot more waiting. Because there aren’t a lot of VA hospitals around. Or a lot of VA health care providers. Or a lot of VA diagnostic equipment. Which means they have to ration out health care in our VA hospitals. And when you ration health care you make people wait longer for treatment. An alien concept for the rich and famous. Who get what they want when they want it. Because they have choice.
Our veterans, on the other hand, continue to be good soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen. And wait. Just like the old military joke to ‘hurry up and wait’. Where they will get up before dawn to wait on the tarmac for 4 hours to board an aircraft. So we’ve trained our military personnel well in waiting. Perhaps this why our VA hospitals are so bad. Because they know our military will be good soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen. And wait.
VA Hospitals are run so poorly that Veterans are dying as they wait for this National Health Care
The sad thing is that some of our veterans are waiting so long that they are dying (see A fatal wait: Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital’s secret list by Scott Bronstein and Drew Griffin posted 4/24/2014 on CNN). Because rationing leads to longer wait times. And longer wait times lead to more deaths. And this is why the VA hospitals (America’s national health care) are the dregs of the best health care system in the world.
The American left wants national health care. They want VA hospitals for everyone. Except them, of course. For they will be going to the hospitals the rich and famous go to. But it’s VA hospitals for the rest of us. Where they will ration health care. Increase wait times. And provide some of the most inefficient health care service. Another reason veterans have to wait so long is that the VA still uses paper records. Like they did before the 1970s.
The left settled for Obamacare. They wanted national health care but accepted Obamacare as a stepping stone to national health care. For they think the government can run health care better than the private sector. Even though they’ve been running the VA for decades without ever modernizing it. The government runs the VA hospitals so inefficiently that veterans are dying as they wait for this rationed national health care. But these same people who can’t bring the VA into the 20th century say they can improve the crème de la crème of the best health care system in the world. But if they do the VA poorly they will do all national health care poorly. Because the government just can’t do anything well.
The Roman Empire was one of the greatest empires of all time. It lasted some 500 years in the West. And another thousand years in the East. Give or take. As empires go they don’t come much bigger. Or last longer. The Romans ruled the world. It stretched from Northern Africa to Britain. And from Spain to the Middle East. It was huge.
There have been bigger empires. The British Empire. The Mongol Empire. The Russian Empire. The Spanish Empire. And others. But none of them lasted as long as the 1500 years of the Roman Empire. The British Empire lasted about 400 years. The Mongol Empire lasted about 50 years. The Russian Empire lasted about 200 years. And the Spanish Empire lasted about 500 years. Adolf Hitler said the Third Reich would last a thousand years. But it lasted only 12. Proving that empire building—and empire maintaining—are easier said than done.
Yet the Romans did it for 1500 years. Give or take. So they knew a thing or two about empire building. And maintaining that empire. Yet even this mighty empire fell. Why? Historians still debate this question today. As do the laymen. With a person’s political persuasion sometimes determining what they believe.
A Debased Coin and High Taxes made the Roman Citizenry very Unhappy
Empires are costly. As Rome built her empire she paid for it by conquering new lands. So as her borders pushed out treasure flowed back the other way to Rome. Which paid for her massive military. And her massive bureaucracy to govern that sprawling empire. So the Roman people went about their business. Shielded from the cost of empire. Farming and taking their goods to market. Safe within their empire. For her enemies were outside the borders of the empire. And those borders were pushed a very long way out.
But then something happened. Those borders stopped moving. They were not conquering new lands. And there was no more treasure flowing back to Rome. Which was a problem. For the Roman Empire covered a lot of land that they had to govern. And defend. So the cost of the Roman Empire was never higher than when her borders stopped pushing out. While her revenue to pay for that empire was never smaller. So they had to do something. And that something was taxes. Lots of them. All of a sudden the Roman citizenry was feeling the cost of their bloated bureaucratic state. And the cost of that massive military that defended the frontier.
So taxes soared. Making the Roman citizenry unhappy. But the tax revenue proved to be insufficient. So they started debasing their currency. Adding more and more lead to their silver coins. But not their gold coins. For they used gold to pay the military and to pay the government bureaucrats. So they only debased the silver coin. The coin of the Roman citizenry. Which, of course, resulted in inflation. As the coins had less and less silver in them they bought less and less. So prices soared. As did taxes. Making the Roman citizenry very unhappy.
The Cost of Mercenaries and the Roman Bureaucracy and Welfare State bankrupted the Roman Empire
So the Romans started building things to entertain the people. And they grew a welfare state to help feed those who could not afford to buy food. Public works and the new welfare state may have eased some of the animosity towards the state. But it only increased the costs of the state. Requiring higher taxes. So high that people lost money on their farms and businesses. So they quit. Causing food and goods shortages. So the Romans passed laws forcing them to stay in their jobs. And forcing their children to do the same work their parents did. Which eventually evolved into feudalism.
Eventually the Roman citizenry no longer wanted to serve the empire. Leading to the use of mercenary armies. Which were costly. And only increased the cost of empire. With the silver coin so debased the Roman government would not even accept it in payment of taxes. So the government took a portion of the food grown and goods made. Making it more difficult to pay for the welfare state (just imagine your employer paying you in food, toilet paper, soap, etc.). And the mercenary armies guarding the frontier. Which could prove troublesome. As they had no loyalties to the Roman Empire. They were just hired muscle. Their blood loyalties were often to people on the other side of the border they were guarding. Having come from those people.
So the massive cost of hired mercenaries and the massive cost of the Roman bureaucracy and welfare state basically bankrupted the Roman Empire. Of course the American left prefers not to think about this. As they are very fond of their large welfare state. So some on the left often cite the decadence of the Roman Empire that caused her fall. They talk about the feasts, the drink, the gladiators, the orgies and other acts of debauchery that caused a societal decay that eroded the empire from within. Even while they are in the business of societal decay themselves. Free birth control, abortion on demand, the decriminalization of marijuana, the rejection of virtue and morality, their extreme secularism to remove any vestige of restraint from their lives of excess, etc. The kind of things a debauched Roman citizenry no doubt would have enjoyed. So either way the Roman Empire fell because of principles the American left embraces. Which means if liberals keep winning elections the United States will fall like the Roman Empire.
Bad Guys won’t open their Can of Whoop-Ass if there is a Chance they’ll get their Ass Kicked
Bullies generally pick on smaller and weaker people. Smaller and weaker people don’t pick on tough guys. They don’t walk up to a bully and give him a wedgie. They’d like to. But they don’t. Why? Because if a small and weak person did they’d get their ass kicked. That’s why. And people don’t like getting their ass kicked. But sometimes it’s the tough guys that save the day.
In the opening scene of V for Vendetta Evey was about to get raped by some government thugs. Then tough guy V came along and kicked their asses. Saving Eve from a brutal rape. In Die Hard the evil Hans Gruber was going to kill everyone in that building until tough guy John McClane happened on the scene. And started killing the bad guys. Saving the day. In the movie Patton everyone wanted him thrown out of the Army after he slapped that crying soldier. But when the Allies’ drive stalled in the Normandy hedgerow country who did they turn to? That’s right. Tough guy General Patton. Who started kicking Nazi ass big time. Breaking through their lines and advancing in every compass direction while British General Bernard Montgomery was still struggling o take his D-Day objective. Caen.
People don’t like getting their ass kicked. But if they are in danger of a good ass-kicking they’d want someone on their side who can kick ass as good as the next guy. For even bad guys don’t want to get their ass kicked. And if there is a chance of that happening they’re going to think long and hard before opening their can of whoop-ass. Especially when someone else’s can of whoop-ass is bigger.
Only the Military Might of the United States could contain Soviet Expansion
The Roman Empire had one mighty can of whoop-ass. Something her potential enemies understood. And feared. So they didn’t cause any trouble. Because they didn’t want to get their ass kicked. Which is why from approximately 27 BC to 180 AD there was relative peace in the world. Pax Romana. For the Romans had the mightiest military force in the world. And if you went up against them you were most likely going to lose. So they didn’t. Instead, choosing to live in peace.
The British Empire was even larger than the Roman Empire. And had an even larger can of whoop-ass. Not only did they have armies throughout their empire which was so large that the sun never set on it. The Royal Navy ruled the seas. Which meant if you caused any trouble in the world you could expect an ass-kicking. Either from her mighty military power. Or her aid to a smaller and weaker country under threat from an aggressive neighbor. The bad guys learned. It wasn’t worth it. If you tried to break the peace you were going to get your ass kicked. Which is why from 1815 through 1914 when the British Empire ruled the world there was relative peace. Pax Britannica.
The United States of America had come of age during the 20th century. Growing even bigger and stronger than the empire that sired her. The British Empire. Who went into decline during the 20th century. But just as Pax Britannica drew to a close and the world became a more dangerous place the United States stepped in. Allowing the Allies to defeat Nazi Germany. And Imperial Japan. She grew to have the biggest can of whoop-ass in history. And became the world’s policeman. Pushing back against Soviet expansion. In Europe. The Balkans. The Middle East. And Southeast Asia. The Soviets wanted to conquer the world. And would have if not for America’s mighty military to counter their threat. Leading to a period of relative peace following World War II. Pax Americana. As only the military might of the United States could contain Soviet expansion.
Vladimir Putin feels that he can put the old Soviet Union back together during the Obama Administration
During a sound check before a radio address President Reagan made a joke. He said, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” Reagan had a sense of humor and those present laughed. The joke leaked. The Soviets heard it. And they put their Soviet Far East Army on alert. You see, they had great respect for the awesome military power of the United States. And they respected Reagan. They did not like him. But they respected him. And if he said he was going to open a can of whoop-ass on them they got nervous. For President Reagan may have spoken softly. But he was not afraid to kick ass.
The Soviets had no such respect for Reagan’s predecessor. Jimmy Carter. In fact, they had so little respect for him that they developed a nuclear first-strike plan. For Carter was gutting the military. And wasn’t a tough guy when it came to foreign policy. He was a president who wanted to focus on domestic policy. A sign of weakness the Soviets could smell. Anyone who gutted the military to pay for more domestic spending would never pull the nuclear trigger. At least that’s what the Soviets thought. Which is why they prepared a nuclear first-strike plan during the Carter administration. Sure they could win a nuclear war against him. The Soviets thought no such thing during the Reagan administration. So instead of a nuclear war (which may have happened in a Carter second term) we had peace. Because of our strength.
Peace through strength. If you’re a bad-ass people will leave you alone. Because no one wants to get their ass kicked. If you’re hell-bent on beating the crap out of your neighbor so you can take her resources and there is a bad-ass in the world that can bring a world of hurt down on you it will make you think. And pause. This is why there was a Pax Romana. A Pax Britannica. And a Pax Americana. Because people respect a bad-ass. And will not incite it. They may hate the bad-ass. But they will respect it. And not piss it off.
President Obama has a strong domestic agenda. Like Jimmy Carter. He doesn’t want to deal with foreign policy. Like Jimmy Carter. And he is not respected or feared by the world’s bad guys. Like Jimmy Carter. Who is far more inclined to make a speech and threaten action. But is far less likely to open a can of whoop-ass. Like Ronald Reagan. Which is why Vladimir Putin feels that he can put the old Soviet Union back together during the Obama administration. Because he doesn’t fear the wrath of President Obama. As no one does. For he is all bark and no bite. At least, so far. Apart from killing a bunch of people that can’t fight back. Drone strikes. Bombing Libya (that was no threat to American interests). And killing Osama bin Laden with a SEAL team. More of an imperial use of force than acting as the world’s policeman to safeguard liberty and democracy. So Vladimir Putin has little to worry about during an Obama presidency. Unlike conservatives in America.
There is a connection between lower physical standards for women in the military and sexual harassment and assault of these women. Some men resent the women in the service academies because they can score higher by doing less (see Lower Standards for Women in Service Academies may play Role in Sexual Harassment and Assault posted 1/12/2014 on PITHOCRATES). For in their eyes these women would not even be there had it not been for the preferential treatment they get in the form of lower physical standards. They don’t respect them as peers. And think of them only as the weaker sex. Objectifying them. Thinking that they are good for only one thing. Perhaps thinking the only reason why some are still in the service is because they advanced through the ranks on their backs. Pleasing their commanding officers with sexual favors in return for promotions. And better duty assignments. Which leads to these horrendous acts of sexual harassment and assault.
Man can evolve from Neanderthals. And has. But you can’t take the Neanderthal out of man. Some can suppress it better than others. But some can never lift their knuckles from the ground. Figuratively, of course. And will resort to bad/criminal behavior. Women aren’t asking for this trouble. Their government just gave it to them by creating an environment where men have to do more to score as high as women score. And something like this just isn’t going to make things any better (see Seahawks cheerleader and Air Force first lieutenant Alicia Quaco by Jay Busbee posted 1/30/2014 on Yahoo! Sports).
Quaco, 25, is a first lieutenant in the Air Force. A graduate of the Air Force Academy, she had some work to do to convince her superiors that part-timing as a Sea Gal was a good use of her time.
Is she a sexy cheerleader who is also a first lieutenant in the Air Force? Or is she a first lieutenant in the Air Force who is also a sexy cheerleader. I wonder what the men who serve under her will think. Will they be thinking about the mission at hand? Or will they be thinking about that poster of her in her cheerleader outfit? With her toned midriff exposed. Her tight shorts that leave little to the imagination. Her sexy top showing ample cleavage. That gorgeous mane of blonde hair cascading down her shoulders. Those long, sexy legs. Yes, I wonder what the men who must report to her will be thinking about when they see her.
Her Air Force uniform is anything but sexy. Because being sexy has nothing to do with the mission. In fact, being too sexy may only distract from the mission. As the teenage men serving under her are little more than boys who buy Playboy and Penthouse magazines. Or magazines that are a little racier. The kind of things many have tried to limit the sale of around military installations. For they tend to demean and objectify women. Which can cause problems when men have to work with women.
Empowering women by being sexy and empowering women with careers in the military just somehow don’t go together. Parents tell their daughters not to send nude photos of themselves to their boyfriends because they will be out there in cyberspace forever. Coming back to haunt them when they apply for their first job. Or run for political office. Imagine this first lieutenant reporting one day to an international command. Attending a meeting as a staff officer with foreign dignitaries. Who may be more interested in the cheerleader officer rather than the business at hand.
If women have had to work harder to be respected in the military this cannot help their cause. For objectifying a woman in a sexy cheerleader outfit just cannot bring respect to that woman as she dons her Air Force uniform.
Boys love their fathers. And it’s tough losing them. Just listen to some Pink Floyd music. During the Roger Waters’ period. Whose concept albums were shaped by his experience growing up without a father who died in World War II. As the children of Britain grew up in a dearth of fathers following World War II. As so many of their fathers died in the war. Waters went on to great success. But he suffered for his art. As all great artists do. Who probably would have preferred to be happy instead of being a great artist.
The bond between child and parent is so strong that the parent doesn’t even have to die to affect the child. Just periods of separation is enough to do damage (see Military deployments tied to teens’ depression by Kathleen Raven posted 11/29/2013 on Reuters).
Adolescents who experience the deployment of a family member in the U.S. military may face an increased risk of depression, suggests a new study.
Ninth- and eleventh-grade students in California public schools with two or more deployment experiences over the past decade were 56 percent more likely to feel sad or hopeless compared with their non-military-family peers, the researchers found.
The same kids were 34 percent more likely to have suicidal thoughts.
So it would follow the more deployments (i.e., the less time the parent spends with their child) the more likely the increased risk of depression, feelings of hopelessness and suicidal thoughts. So the more time one parent stays away the less happy and the more frequent mental health issues a child suffers. With the child no doubt suffering the most should that parent die in a combat zone. Thus being removed from the child’s life forever. Sad. But intuitive. For most probably didn’t need a study to tell them this.
The same can be said about single mothers. And their children. For it is the absence of one parent from their lives that reduces the quality of their lives. Because that father isn’t there to toss the football around with him after school. To attend a tea party with her favorite stuffed animals. To be there to teach them what to do when they lose power during a thunderstorm. And make them feel safe just by being there.
We take a lot of things Dad does—or did—for granted. And the more time we spent with him the more we’re able to do the things he did when he’s no longer there to do them. So the more time we have with Dad the stronger and more able we become. The less time we have the less strong or able we become. And if he’s not there at all it is like a child losing him in a military deployment.
The Democrats attack the Republicans and claim they have a war on women. Because they don’t want to provide free birth control. Abortion. Or an expanding welfare state for single mothers. The left really doesn’t want women to have children. And if they do they want to help mothers raise their children without a father. By having the state replace the father. So women can remain free. Pursue careers. And not be condemned to stay-at-home motherhood. The left does all of these things for women. For it’s what is best for them. Without ever considering what’s best for the child. Two parents. They will do studies to prove this if they can condemn the military for the effect it has on children. But when it’s about women enjoying life to the fullest while treating pregnancy as a disease to avoid it’s a different story. And for those women who become infected with pregnancy? They don’t need a man in their life. As long as there is the reassuring embrace of government to comfort her.
The Republicans don’t have a war on women. But you could say that Democrats have a war on children. As they always put a woman’s happiness over her child’s happiness. For a child would rather grow up in a traditional family than be shuffled back and forth from daycare. Just listen to some Pink Floyd music if you don’t believe that’s true.
The rollout of Obamacare has been a disaster. Now we’ve learned that they used ten-year old technology for the big website. They didn’t test it sufficiently before going live. And there are political operatives working as navigators collecting our most personal information. Some even with criminal records. In other words, it’s a real cluster [deleted expletive]. Or business as usual whenever the government tries to do something (see The Army’s $5 billion waste by Caitlin Dickson posted 10/14/2013 on Yahoo! News).
In 2004, the Army decided to scrap the two traditional camouflage uniforms that had long been used by the military—one meant for woodland environments, another for the desert—and claimed to have come up with a universal pattern that could be worn anywhere and blend in with any environment. The $5 billion dollar experiment with the universal pattern is over as the Army is phasing out the uniform after less than a decade of use. But many soldiers and observers are wondering why it took this long and cost this much to replace an item that performed poorly from the start during a period when the money could have been spent on other critical needs, like potentially life saving improvements to military vehicles and body armor.
The left loves to point to the military as a government success story. But it’s not the government that makes the military the best in the world. It’s the people. Patriots who love their country. Especially the junior officers and the noncommissioned officers. Those closest to combat. Who learn at a steep price the art of war. Those grizzled veterans of their late teens and early twenties who survive pass their craft on to the kids coming up behind them. This is who landed at Normandy and fought their way through those beach defenses and went on to win World War II. These old men in their late teens and early twenties leading the younger guys through the fires of hell and back home again. Not government. For all the weapons and all the planes and all the ships would not have done a damn thing unless they were in the hands of America’s finest.
Those noncoms and junior officers who advance through the ranks and the officer corps to leadership positions command larger units. Turning from tactics to strategy. Crafting our war plans. That those noncoms and junior officers carry out. But, again, it’s these combat veterans that make the military great. Not the bureaucrats responsible for buying the uniforms.
We can expect more of the same with Obamacare. For the same bureaucrats that waste $5 billion on a bad uniform design will be running our health care. Of course under Obamacare we won’t just be wasting billions of dollars. We’ll be destroying the best health care system in the world. Which will put all Americans at risk. Our health. And our lives.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian is a hilarious movie. If you don’t own it buy it for your permanent collection. When it came out it was blasphemous. Religious groups hated and condemned it. Which only made it more popular. But who’s laughing now? Probably not the left. At least over this scene:
Funny, yes? You want to laugh, yes? But do you? Can you? Should you?
Bradley Manning’s recent conversion to Chelsea Manning makes this classic scene a bit impropriate these days. Funny how time changes things. First the left loved this movie. As well as every man on the planet. Except those with delicate religious sensitivities. But today the left may have trouble laughing about poor Loretta and his struggle against reality (see The Fight for Trans Rights in the Military by Molly Knefel posted 8/26/2013 on the Rolling Stone).
In a statement released on August 22nd, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued that denying Manning access to hormone therapy – considered medically necessary care for the treatment of gender dysphoria – could be a violation of her Eighth Amendment rights protecting her from cruel and unusual punishment.
No, it isn’t. If Manning was not imprisoned or in the military Manning would still not be getting treatment for gender dysphoria. Would a free person unable to afford hormone therapy/gender reassignment surgery be inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on him or herself? If so who would they sue? A child dying from cancer is pretty cruel and unusual. Should we be suing someone for that, too?
One trans* service member, a second-year medical student with a full scholarship from the U.S. Navy, feels that the DADT victory was incomplete. “I’m literally the same exact person I was before, the same feelings, experiences, abilities,” says Jai, who identifies as non-gendered and prefers gender-neutral pronouns, and plans to begin taking testosterone in September. “The only thing that has changed is the words that describe me, but now I’m deemed unfit for service…”
As a medical student, Jai feels especially astounded by the discrimination trans* people face when it comes to accessing necessary health care. “It’s comparable to a person with type II diabetes or hypothyroidism not having their medication covered,” Jai says. Jai, whose father was a career military serviceman, saw the Navy as an opportunity to go to medical school and serve a population that needed care. Now, they’re hoping to avoid being discharged until figuring out another way to pay for school.
People join the Air Force for free pilot lessons so they can get an airline job after their EAD. Because it’s free. And airlines like hiring former military pilots. Medical school is costly, too. But it’s free if you have a military scholarship. Of course, because it is so costly the government makes your EAD 5 years instead of 4 (this was the way it used to be but things may be different today). Making you serve as a military doctor for at least one more year before leaving the service for a more lucrative career in private medicine.
Back before the Gulf War this was a pretty cheap way to get a quality education. It’s a little more risky these days. As there are more shooting wars than before. But some still do this. And some serve in combat zones. Earning every dime of Uncle Sam’s investment. But the military is different than ordinary life. It trains killers. Who are expected to go out and kill without remorse. And all of this attention to sexual orientation and gender issues distracts from the mission. As we are discussing the poor feelings of someone in prison who for all intents and purposes committed treason instead of the harm to national security he did. Which endangered our military people. As well as create more anti-American hostility.
The military is not a place for social experimentation. We have the greatest fighting force in the world. Nay, in history. We get great peace with that strength. Because our enemies know that we can unleash lethal killing force anywhere our enemies may be. This is what we want our enemies to be preoccupied with. Trying to avoid the wrath of America’s military might. Not the soap opera about the cruel and unusual punishment we’re inflicting on a prisoner because we’re not footing the bill for this prisoner’s sex change.
You get in trouble in the military if you have an affair. Why? Because that secret could give someone power over the adulterer. This is the stuff they made spy movies about during the Cold War. If the Soviets found out a person’s adulterous secret they would demand top secret information from the adulterer to keep that secret from becoming public. A lot of traitors were made this way. Which is why the military likes their people to be happily married. With a regular, run of the mill boring life. So there is nothing that can fester and boil over one day. And compromise U.S. security (see Revealed: How an alcoholic mother and being kicked out of home for being gay turned a geeky Midwestern boy the biggest leaker in U.S. history by Dan Bates posted 7/30/2013 on the Daily Mail).
He was a ‘mess of a child’ who was tormented for being gay, kicked out of home at 18 by his father and once threatened to stab his step mother with a knife.
His own mother drank too much, he could not hold down a job and once literally crawled up a wall because he felt his family were ignoring him.
Perhaps it was no surprise then, that Bradley Manning was angry at the world – angry enough to hit back at any figure of authority that was within his grasp.
He has now been convicted of leaking classified information but given the troubled life he led Manning was always a time bomb waiting to go off…
Even at a young age Manning had a festering lack of respect for authority and refused to recite part of the Pledge of Allegiance to God…
In 2000 his already turbulent life took a turn for the worse when his parents divorced…
Manning spent four years there and, according to reports, was taunted by his classmates because he was gay and because he was American.
Rowan John, a former classmate who was openly gay in school, has said: ‘It was probably the worst experience anybody could go through. Being different like me, or Bradley, in the middle of nowhere is like going back in time to the Dark Ages…’
He met Tyler Watkins, a freshman at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, west of Boston, who called himself a singer and a drag queen on his blog…
Manning made weekend visits to see Watkins and met the lesbian, gay and transgender community he was part of. He also got involved with the university’s hacker community…
He had already been noticed by those around him for his keenly developed political views, and even in Iraq he posted Facebook that he was ‘beyond frustrated with people and society at large’…
Three months after being stationed in Baghdad, Manning came home for leave for two weeks and told Watkins that he had ‘gotten his hands on’ some sensitive information and was considering passing it on to Wikileaks.
Manning was no doubt an angry young man – he is still only 25 today – and spent his life doing things his own way because he had no other choice.
So it is hard to believe that he was entirely acting out of the wider good when he gave 700,000 documents to Wikileaks, the largest national security breach since the Pentagon Papers.
How much of his motive was cold-blooded revenge for a lifetime of rejection, only Bradley Manning will know.
I never knew that Manning was gay. I don’t recall the mainstream media reporting that small bit of information. All they said was that Bradley was a hero. For exposing the crimes of the Bush administration. While condemning the treachery of Edward Snowden who exposed the crimes of the Obama administration. That is, who compromised national security during the Obama administration. For sneaky things are only crimes in the Bush administration. Not in the Obama administration. Apparently.
So he was gay. An atheist (based on that thing about the Pledge of Allegiance). Liked hacking computers. And was angry at the world. Particularly the straight world. For the way the straight world treated him while growing up gay. Which is, sadly, not that uncommon. Bullying of gay kids. Which does who knows how much damage to these kids. Some are so distraught from this bullying that they have even committed suicide.
The Army needs to do a better job with their background checks. If someone discovered this information now someone could have discovered it before he was put into a position where he could do great harm. Especially someone who was involved with a university’s hacker community. Which should have been enough to bar him from having access to any computer that is a portal to classified information. For law abiding (and Army regulation-abiding) people shouldn’t be hanging out with people who illegally hack into computer systems.
One can’t help but think that had they kept Manning out of the Army for being gay he could not have leaked 700,000 classified documents to our enemies (who no doubt read these on the Internet like everyone else did). Of course, banning gays from the military would only drive them underground. Where gay servicemen would harbor a great secret that could give someone power over them. Like an adulterer trying to hide an affair. Then again, an adulterer would have to be found out. A spy would have to discover the secret to apply pressure for information. Whereas Manning just gave it up because he was angry at the world. Making him more dangerous. Less unpredictable. And should have been easier to screen out of a position having access to classified information. Something the military should consider before assigning anyone to a position with such access again.
In the classic World War II movie Run Silent Run Deep every time they went to battle stations they patted the backside of a pinup girl. The pinup was one of artist Gil Elvgren’s creations. You can see it in the movie trailer just after the one minute mark.
Patting the backside of this voluptuous pinup brought the sailors good luck. And was a constant reminder of their wife or sweetheart waiting for them at home. Or it just let the sailor dream of the pretty woman they would one day meet at home once the war was over. If they survived. And the odds for that weren’t that good. Especially for those in the submarine service. Or anyone in combat. So who could begrudge these boys a little titillation from a sexy pinup girl? To remind them what they’re fighting for. The people at home. Pretty ladies. And the American way. But, alas, they can’t do that today. Because it creates a hostile work environment. In addition to the hostile work environment created by the enemy trying to kill them (see Navy Will Inspect Its Bathrooms for ‘Degrading’ Images of Women by Elizabeth Harrington posted 6/18/2013 on CNSNews.com).
In line with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s order for troops to have their workplaces searched for “degrading or offensive” materials — part of an attempt to curb sexual assault in the military — the Navy will inspect even its bathrooms…
The “comprehensive visual inspections” of the workspaces conducted by commanding officers will “ensure they are free from materials that create a degrading, hostile, or offensive work environment…”
All branches of the military are under orders to remove inappropriate materials from work spaces, but the Air Force has made an exception for some of the pin-up art of World War II.
According to a December 2012 Dayton Daily News report, paintings of voluptuous women will not be removed from the nose cones of old planes at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
I hate to say this but this wasn’t a problem when there were only men in combat. Where thoughts were only focused on a sexy pinup. And their sweetheart at home. With women on board, though, those thoughts can drift to the woman working with them in close quarters. Who they can kill time with during unbearable stretches of boredom at sea. Where there is nothing to do once off duty. So far from home. Especially when you haven’t enjoyed the company of a woman in months.
So today the military has to deal with sexual assaults. As well as the occasional pregnancy during active duty. For men aren’t the only ones bored while off duty. Women get bored, too. And some women get together with some of the men. And they help each other get over their boredom. You know they are. And there’s no point trying to tell them not to. It’s why we give birth control to our teens. And give them access to abortion services. Because no matter what we say they are going to have sex anyway. Yet a few years or so later we expect them to become puritanical and chaste. Something we don’t dare demand of people of the same age who aren’t serving in the military.
The military is really not a good place for social experimentation. Having to deal with sexual assaults and the occasional pregnancy takes resources away from the mission. It is a distraction. Trying to segregate men and women while off duty sleeping, showering or going to the bathroom. That’s space that they have to take away from someplace else. And on a ship there isn’t a whole lot to begin with.
If they want to cut down on sexual assaults then they should stop sexualizing women at such an early age. And force-feeding them birth control. Giving them access to abortion services. And even letting girls as young as 15 buy the morning-after pill without a doctor’s prescription or parental notification. Signaling to boys that these girls are there to have sex with. So they have nothing but sex on the mind. Even a well-disciplined killer in the military may falter when there is more than a pinup poster in their midst. But an actual woman of flesh and blood. That they may want to pat on the backside for good luck when going to battle stations. Or more. Because they are flesh and blood men. Brought up in a highly sexualized world. Where they’ve learned it’s okay to have sex with women. Because women have birth control, access to abortion and the morning-after pill.
The world has had some horrible dictators. And still does. Who have committed horrible acts of cruelty against their own people. Even though dictators are only one person. And couldn’t do these things alone. So they get a little help (see Was a North Korean General Really Executed by Mortar Fire? by MICHAEL MADDEN posted 10/31/2012 on Foreign Policy).
Kim Jong Il had learned the importance of keeping his friends close and his generals closer. Until he assumed the role of supreme leader in 1997 (after a three-year morning period for his beloved father), almost all of his reported public appearances were field inspections of military units. This broadcast the military’s prominence as Kim Jong Il’s most valued political constituency. Under his “military first” policy, the military received priority in the allocation of increasingly scarce food and energy resources, as well as the rights to a number of lucrative foreign-currency generating economic activities. Having given his generals the butter churn, Kim Jong Il handed out the guns. Research and development into nuclear weapons continued, and the development and production of ballistic missiles thrived.
The number of military officials treated to the largesse of Kim Jong Il’s party economy steadily increased. They were permitted fine homes and vacation at exclusive retreats. On state holidays he gifted expensive automobiles, household appliances, and various luxury goods. As with Kim’s close aides in the party, military officials were allowed wide administrative latitude in how they managed the daily affairs of their respective agencies and units. This eventually incited fierce bureaucratic turf warfare among senior security officials. It suited Kim Jong Il’s interests as leader to have his generals squabbling among themselves instead of challenging him.
The key to being a dictator is taking care of the military. You make sure they have the best food. And the best stuff. You make sure their lives are good lives. In a country where most people quake with fear. Fearing their government. And famine. This is life in North Korea. Where it goes dark after the sun sets. And looks like something out of medieval times. While just across the border in South Korea life is good for all Koreans. And there is no famine. Where it is so good for some that Park Jae Sang (PSY) mocks their conspicuous displays of wealth in his Gangnam Style. A world unknown to the people north of the border. Unless you’re in the inner circle of power. Or the military.
Of course you don’t have to live in a dictatorship connected to the inner circles of power to enjoy the very good life. As governments grow in rich countries they have mountains of tax money to play with. And those in the inner circles of power have a lot of privilege. Who get generous portions of that vast tax revenue. And live a far better life than most others could even imagine. Even in the United States. Where some of the richest communities with the highest real estate values are where? Adjacent to our nation’s capital. The suburbs of Washington DC.
In the US the ruling elite do not rely on the military to maintain their positions of power and privilege. They rely on a loyal media. The universities. And public education. Who help the people understand that they should vote for them. And their very good lives. Making it a lot easier for them to enjoy the very good life than someone like Kim Jong Un. Who has to bribe the crap out of the military to prevent them from killing him. And to put the fear of God into the people to prevent them from killing him.