Feb 14 2014

Since it’s Valentines Day.

We should talk about what should be the most important part of the holiday. The post dinner/flowers/movie/carriage ride in the park/romantic walk in the park sex. Sex is always, ALWAYS, the perfect ending to any holiday.

So over at The Atlantic, they had a nice article about the myths about that most dreaded of conditions-virginity.

Laci Green grabs a thin sheet of latex, stretches it over the end of an empty toilet paper tube, and starts cutting away with a pair of scissors. "I'm makin' a hymennn," she sings before holding up the finished product to the camera, where, on the other side, more than 700,000 subscribers now await her every upload. "Ta-da!"

Since 2008, the 24-year-old YouTube sex educator has been making informational videos about everything from slut shaming and body image to genital hygiene and finding the G-spot. This particular scene comes from a clip called "You Can't POP Your Cherry (HYMEN 101)" which explains, with the kind of bubbly, web-savvy humor that makes her a popular vlogger, that the hymen isn't a membrane that needs to bleed or be broken during intercourse—it's actually just small, usually elastic folds of mucous tissue that only partially cover the vaginal opening and can, but don’t always, tear if stretched. A year and a half after it premiered, with well more than one million views, Green's video debunking one of the most enduring misconceptions about virginity is also one of the most popular segment she's ever recorded.

So maybe the ex was not really lying to me that it was her first time-right?

Actually I have been with two women who said it was their first time, this was a long time ago-and I was quite ignorant on a lot of things, and furthermore I was trapped as a slave to a lot of really, REALLY , screwed up ideas about what was "moral" when it came to sexual activity. Now some 30 years later, my thinking has radically changed. All sex is good, and people deserve to have as much guilt and consequence free sex as they can get. ( With, of course, the usual caveats about consent, incest, age of consent etc…..).

So it was kind of interesting to read about the actual let down the "first time was for a lot of people". My first time was great-except for the naggging voice screaming "SIN" in the back of my head.  This voice was competing with the one going, "pussy feels great, don't you want to know for yourself?". The latter voice won out-and for what its worth, 30+years of experience have proven him right and the first voice wrong.

So anyway, I found the article interesting as it told the women's point of view:

When Therese Shechter lost her virginity at age 23, it wasn’t the firework-spouting, momentous occasion she had come to expect. On the contrary, it was kind of unremarkable given the hype. Now a filmmaker, Shechter spent much of the past six years working on her new documentary How to Lose Your Virginity, which revisits her experience—including the basement apartment where it happened, now, funnily enough, a flower shop called Bloom—and explores the "myths and misogyny" behind one of society's most institutionalized rites of passage.

Through interviews with historians, abstinence advocates, sex educators, and self-described virgins and non-virgins alike, Shechter learned she's not the only one who had certain ideas about what sex is supposed to be like. There are a number of pervasive and loaded myths about virginity: That having sex for the first time will be an irreversible transformation that changes your body and mind; that there’s a “right” way to lose your virginity, and how you lose it will affect the rest of your life; that it's going to be the most pleasurable, magical feeling; that it's going to be the most painful experience of their lives. These myths persist in part because of a lack of information about what happens to the human body, specifically the hymen, during sex—information that's often not taught in schools, that's not always found online, and that's not always available from medical providers.

“I’ve spoken to lots of women who are just terrified of having sex because they think it’s going to be this horrible pain and [they’ll] bleed gallons of blood,” says Shechter, whose documentary makes its broadcast premiere on February 8 on the Fusion Network and is airing in cities across the U.S. and internationally in coming months.

 

After spending a good deal of time overseas, its clear Americans and others have some really screwed up ideas about sex. Muslims of course have the worst ideas about the doing the deed, many that have been passed down to them through their history. Asia, in my experience was so refreshing because of the matter of fact attitude I found in so many women about sex. ( The S.O. used to have a very matter of fact attitude about sex-she liked it. Until she stopped liking it or worrying about her hormone levels. That it might leave me more than a little frustrated never enters into her equation. But she knows when to use it to get what she wants still. )

For evidence of just how strongly these ideas about virginity and sex are rooted in popular culture, Shechter points to the number of businesses that profit off them. Genres of pornography fetishize virginity and frequently depict the moment innocent school girls are "corrupted.” Hymenoplasties, or controversial surgeries that "reconstruct" the hymen to induce bleeding during sex as proof of virginity, have become an established practice around the world (stories about the trend have appeared in Time magazine and The New York Times, which, it’s worth noting, called the hymen "the vaginal membrane that normally breaks in the first act of intercourse" in its reporting). In her film, Shechter meets with a wedding dress vendor who markets a dress's virginal qualities as a selling point.

 

As Susan Sarandon said in the movie Bull Durham, women all deserve to wear white-and as I get more mature-I have come to agree with her fully.

 

Seriously though-these time worn and completely silly ideas about sex have bad ramifications. They keep both men and women from seeking out needed counseling and contraception. Everyone, yes I said everyone ( even the fat chick) is entitled to lots of completely wild and orgasmic sex. Anything that stands in the way is just plain wrong.

Because hymens vary greatly from person to person, they’re not reliable indicators of virginity—How to Lose Your Virginity even features a film clip from the 1940s saying as much—but the myth that looking at a hymen can reveal whether a woman has had sex can still discourage women from seeking medical care. "The biggest question we're asked is, 'Can a doctor or a boyfriend tell if I've had sex before?' Zeldes says. "Many people think they can, so they're scared to go to a gynecologist or a GYN exam because they're scared, one, that it could make them not a virgin, and, two, someone would be able to tell."

But what Blank and Zeldes say is one of the most widespread consequences—and the one Green says convinced her to make her video in the first place—is simply fear. Myths about virginity cast a shadow of negativity over young people’s attitudes toward sex. They keep can people from taking ownership of their sexualities and bodies through informed decision-making. They can turn what could be a pleasurable and fun experience into an event that’s scary, stressful, and needlessly traumatic.

So hump away boys and girls-its the greatest sensation there is and you don't get near enough of it, and life is short.  Here is to hoping your Valentines Day is a good and erotic one.

 

Happy (Slutty) Valentines Day!

So when and where was your first time?

3 responses so far

Feb 12 2014

Mandatory Training…..

Over at Esquire's political blog, LTC Robert Bateman has been buying into the entire-"all military men are rapists" theme.  Now, I, for one, am sick of hearing it. A) Because its not true and B) its disguising yet another hidden feminist agenda. Fortunately for us all- ROK Drop is still on the case. 

This just confirms to me how these AP writers are interested in sensationalism and not journalism.  Each case stands on its own facts which leads to its own outcome.  Just because a person is accused of sexual assault does not mean that they should automatically be convicted and receive the same sentence as someone else who was convicted.  You have to look at the facts of each case that was presented at trial which the AP writers did not provide.  Did the first case come down to just a he said said case where the accuser was drunk and changed her story multiple times?  While the second case the accuser never changed his story and maybe even had a witness to help confirm the crime?  I don’t know, but it is facts like this that help the legal system get convictions while other cases do not lead to convictions.

The AP writers also suggest in the article that the fact that accusers are not cooperating with authorities shows that they do not have confidence in the system.  They make this statement with no evidence of course.  I could just as easily make the claim that these were false rape accusations that were made with no evidence.  And if anyone thinks that servicemembers do not make false rape accusations think again:

After which, in his usual thorough style-he proceeds to debunk the AP myths.

Additionally the AP writers make a big deal about how few cases in Japan are tried by court martials and instead handled with non-judicial punishment.  Could that be because of the heavy alcohol consumption and people piled together in the barracks on Okinawa leads to a lot of the drunken he said, she said cases that are notoriously difficult to prosecute?  So instead of going to court martial with little chance to convict due to lack of evidence are the commanders offering the non-judicial punishment route to convict them on something?  Could that be why a high number of people are supposedly convicted of sex in the barracks and adultery?  Once again I do not know and the AP writers do not provide evidence otherwise.  However, McClatchy already looked into this issue and found that the military if anything is over prosecuting service members for sexual assault.

Follow the links and read the rest for yourself. I stand by the statement I made a long time ago. THE MILITARY DOES NOT HAVE A SEXUAL ASSAULT epidemic. It has a rate that is probably lower than that of a comparably sized and aged segment of the civilian population.  It has a buyer's remorse problem and a political correctness problem-by not sticking to its standards and demanding that everyone live by them, male or female. And it has a huge problem with creating policies that place men and women together, encouraging service members to date each other-with the usual hilarity that subsequently ensues. This is the world you said you wanted when began the great experiment-well, welcome to it.

Unfortunately however, we here at Far East Cynic HQ have been notified that we are required, because of failure to understand the gravity of the problem, to take some required training-and they are taking attendance. This has been de riguer since that fun little party at the Vegas Hilton some 20+ years ago. So sit down and make sure you get your name on the sign in sheet.

Now get trained!

 

Danger Zone!

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Feb 10 2014

Why the Navy is horribly wrong.

Published by under Politics

This has always been a stupid idea on the part of the US Navy. I experienced it in 1975-when-in order to win a scholarship I had to Major in Mathematics, a field of study I hated, so as to become a Naval Officer. The only benefit therein to doing so was that, it allowed me to study History and Political Science; then my true love-as a Minor. Thus I was allowed to experience Liberal Larry's Constitutional Law class-one of the highlights of my educational career.

At the Naval Academy, the academic program is focused especially on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), in order to meet the current and future highly technical needs of the Navy. Graduates who are proficient in scientific inquiry, logical reasoning and problem solving will provide an officer corps ready to lead in each warfare community of the Navy and Marine Corps.

 

F*cking blow me!  As a future Naval Officer, STEM classes were required. I had to take Physics, Chemistry, E&M Theory ( and no, that does not mean erotic and masturbation theory). All of those classes sucked and I exited with the requisite "C" and or "B" in these courses. I did however enjoy the wonders of History of Western Civilization, Major British Writers and as I mentioned before Constitutional Law. Not to mention learning the basics of a language now that I use ever day going to work. ( God rest your soul, Col Gundel).

The Navy does a fine job teaching the technical details. They were able to teach me radar, were they not? So much so that I could teach to other people? But it did a lousy job of helping me to understand why I was being asked to risk getting killed off the catapult at night in the North Atlantic. Or in the Persian Gulf.  Or any one of a 100 other places.

They certainly did not teach me about the "why's" o being asked to make such a sacrifice-all they were concerned about was how to actually do it. And nothing in their educational program prepared me for the idea of having to be shoved off to nothing at all of value, solely to fill an Army requirement in such hell holes as Iraq and Afghanistan.

So here is a  little reminder of what it is really all about. Fans of Ross Douthat should take note.

 

The purpose of life is not to work till you die-it is to savor the adventure of being in a sensual, physical, beautiful world.

 

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Feb 08 2014

A big difference

Published by under Uncategorized

Time for this one to go home! Sitting here in the lounge-having visited my father for the last few days, and headed back across the Atlantic and , sadly, back to work. Which I am confident will be unappreciated by our new Zombie masters.

The lounge here is packed, which is more than a little frustrating. Could not get a seat with a view to a TV so I could watch the Olympics.So I am drinking a beer ( or 2) and making up for my feeble lack of posting this week.

One thing about airline lounges in the US is that they highlight well, how shitty service on US air carriers is. Consider:

Lufthansa lounge Z-terminal Frankfurt:

No bar, not required. All the fixings are right there on a long countertop that has been thoughtfully engineered to provide a quick flow through the drinks which you can pour for yourself. Food, readily available and actually of some substance. Soft drinks easily obtainable-and there are plenty of business desks for those who need to work and or print.

United Airlines lounge IAD: One of two lounges in the C&D terminal is closed for some indeterminate reason. Thus EVERYONE is here-making it an ordeal to crawl to the bar and fight your way through to flag down the bar tender for a drink that may or may  not cost you money.

Food? What's that?  Except for carrots and nuts-there is not a bit of substantial eats. Desks and power outlets to charge phones? Not near enough.

What the US air carriers keep failing to realize is that these perks are part of building customer loyalty. Like also enabling courtesy upgrades and other things. A plane flying with an empty first or business class seat is a crime.

Fortunately I was able to get upgraded-but I had to laugh when I checked in on line. It offered me an upgrade to first class-on an airplane that did not have a First Class, just Business and Cattle Car. All for a mere 1000 dollars.

This reinforces for me why, if I have to be in Economy, it will not be on an American flag carrier.

I still maintain my theory that US air carriers could compete-if they would just bother to try. But, sadly, they don't.

Time to board.

 

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Feb 06 2014

The perfect mixture.

Published by under Beer and Babes

Australian voice, Asian body. A wood making machine for sure. :-D

 

Natalie Tran can have my baby…….except I can't make that happen anymore. :-D

But we could pretend right? Maybe she will develop an older man fetish……

Yea right.

Go back to sleep old man.

Sigh.

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Feb 03 2014

Traveliing again

On the road again-had a challenging journey yesterday to the other side of the Atlantic. To start with my ICE train to the Frankfurt Airport was going to be delayed by 90 minutes. That was a non starter as it was going to make me late for check in-and my requisite need to "pre-charge" in the lounge. ( The new Lufthansa lounges in the Z terminal of FRA are pretty sweet). Went to the Deutsche Bahn office and got re-routed to an IC train which was taking me to the Frankfurt Main station.

I made it in a ok amount of time-but then using LH's check in kiosks caused a bit of problem when it refused to read my passport. The newest EU immigrant manning the kiosk line-seemed not to grasp the fact that I need to go to a counter where a human could check my passport. Finally got that worked out-and by the grace of God the security line was very short. Landed safely in the lounge.

Then after boarding the plane-saw the change to get an open aisle seat with out someone next to me. Snagged it and figured things were looking up! But I spoke too soon.

The plane required maintenance that delayed us by almost an hour. Now this was a problem because I was hoping to make it time to get in a combat nap at the hotel prior to Super Bowl kickoff. Now I would be lucky to make the kickoff-much less the first quarter.

It turned out ok-made it to my room just as national anthem was being sung. Turns out, of course, I need not have bothered-the game was a Seahawk blowout. They slaughtered the Bronco's, who appeared to have left any offense they had back in Denver.

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On a serious note, James Fallows has been running an excellent series of articles about the use of Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg. "About the service and sacrifice of this brave man and other men and women like him, we cannot say enough." But as Fallows points out-ALL of us should be outraged that he had to make TEN deployments to the various hellholes America has chosen to fight its war without end in. Furhtermore, there is a dichotomy of purpose when you have the architects of a failed policy somehow applauding him-while failing to do the things that might have prevented his suffering in the first place.

The vast majority of us play no part whatsoever in these prolonged overseas campaigns; people like Sgt. Remsburg go out on 10 deployments; we rousingly cheer their courage and will; and then we move on. Last month I mentioned that the most memorable book I read in 2013 was Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain. It's about a group of U.S. soldiers who barely survive a terrible encounter in Iraq, and then are paraded around in a halftime tribute at a big Dallas Cowboys game. The crowd at Cowboys Stadium cheers in very much the way the Capitol audience did last night—then they get back to watching the game.

 

Later Fallows examines the implications in clearer detail.

There was another moment in the speech that I think will look worse in the long view. It was the emotionally charged ending, the tribute to the obviously courageous and grievously wounded Sergeant Cory Remsburg.

The moment was powerful human and political drama; it reflected deserved credit and gratitude on Remsburg and his family; and as I wrote earlier today, I think it was entirely sincere on the president's part, as a similar tribute would have been from his predecessor George W. Bush. With the significant difference that Bush initiated the wars these men and women have fought in, and Obama has been winding them down. And so the most favorable reading of the moment, as John Cassidy has argued, is that the president was trying to dramatize to the rest of the government the human cost of the open-ended wars many of them have egged on.

But I don't think that's how it came across to most of the Congress, or was processed by the commentariat. This was not presented as a "never again" moment; it was a "this is America's finest!" moment—which Cory Remsburg himself, and with his family, certainly is. (Also see Peter Beinart on this point.) For America as a whole, the episode did not show us at our finest. In the earlier item, I tried to explain why these few minutes will reflect badly on us and our times when our children's children view them years from now. Since the explanation was buried at the end of a long post, I repeat it at the end of this one.

A Congress that by default is pressuring the country toward war, most recently with Iran, and that would not dream of enacting either a special tax or any kind of enforced or shared service to sustain these wars, gives a prolonged, deserved ovation for a person who has dedicated his all to the country. Tears well up in many eyes; the cheering persists; the admiration for this young man is profound. Then everyone moves right on.

Years from now, people can play this clip and see something about the culture of our times. It's a moment of which only the Remsburg family will be proud. 

 

His long exploration of the historical allusions is also worth a read.

Lunch is over-gotta get back to work. Hope it does not snow tonight.

 

6 responses so far

Jan 30 2014

Meanwhile, back at my work.

The most screwed up reorganization since AT&T split up, continues.

The thought police have come home to roost and provide counseling. Guess who was one of the first ones called into see them?

210761.strip

 

This hits pretty close to home-since the personal dynamics of my workplace have changed dramatically-and not for the better. Before,  we used to talk, share stories and ask about people's lives and needs. Now with the new office mates-its all business and no fun. And the megalomaniac behind the merger, has pretty clearly shown the only thing he cares about.

Himself.

Exactly as I predicted.

And he has the balls to wonder why I hate it?

The search for new employment continues.

One response so far

Jan 30 2014

Countdown to catastrophe

Published by under History

Better late than never, I always say.

Today in 1914 and this week in 1914 the following things happened:

                 Jan 22nd – Paul Claudel's "L'échange," premieres in Paris

                Jan 24th – Opera "Madeleine," premieres in NYC

                Jan 26th – 600 Dutch textile workers go on strike

                Jan 26th – Vatican puts Belgian Nobel winner Maeterlinck's works in their index

                Jan 28th – 1st Millrose Games (athletics) held (NYC)

                Author and Nobel Laureate Gerhart Hauptmann ‘s Der Bogen des Odysseus was on premere in Berlin.

                Jan 28th – Beverly Hills, Ca, is incorporated. ( Much to the rest of the country’s regret.

In Austria-Hungary , the country was geographically the second largest country in Europe after the Russian Empire, and the third most populous (after Russia and the German Empire). The Austro-Hungarian Empire consisted of two monarchies (Austria and Hungary), and two autonomous countries: Polish Galicia within the Austrian Empire (from 1867) and Croatia within the Kingdom of Hungary (from 1868). Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sandžak-Raška were under Austro-Hungarian military occupation between 1878 and 1908, when the former was fully annexed and the latter was ceded to the Ottoman Empire. The Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary was Franz Josef, who had been on the throne since 1867. Carl Bechtold was the Minister President of Austria. The deaths of Franz Joseph's brother, Maximilian (1867), and his only son, Rudolf made the Emperor's nephew, Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne. ( You will hear that name again. :-)    ).

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Jan 25 2014

Two gentlemen from Verona

Published by under Travel,Uncategorized

We got back in the middle of last week, but it's been a busy week at work and other items. Preparing to crank up my 2014 travel program next week with a trip back to the land of my birth. So posting has been abysmal and for that, my apologies.

After our two rain soaked days in Venice, which were compensated by the fact we had great dinners each and every night, we got back on the road and headed up to Innsbruck. Along the way we stopped for lunch in Verona ( click to embiggen):

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That's the arena the Romans built. It dates from 45 BC as does this gate:

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Some more shots of the arena:

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To see more pix , look below the fold

Continue Reading »

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Jan 17 2014

Super soaker……..

Published by under Travel

Yesterday we drove down through Austria into Italy and into Vicenza. We are staying here while we visit Venice for a couple of days. There is just one problem ( well two actually). Today it rain all damn day. Not just a sprinkle, but the kind of steady, get on your nerves rain that just makes being out and about as a tourist, not nearly as much fun as it should be.

When got up and saw the rain coming down-we thought we would beat it by driving out to the town of Nove, where the S.O. could do some ceramic shopping. Which was all well and good-and we got out relatively unscathed.

But the rain had not stopped. So by the time we got out to the bus stop-to catch the train to the Stazione, the umbrellas were getting a good work out. And while we dried out some on the train, we got right back into it as we walked from the station to San Marco square.

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And the rain just kept on coming as we walked towards San Marco square:

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By the time we got to San Marco plaza-it was pouring.

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It really did rain:

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More to follow in a later post. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

 

One response so far

Jan 14 2014

Who needs a sabbatical?

Well it’s been two years since I have right royally pissed off the feminist lobby, and it is January and I am cold. So it is probably a good time to jump back into the pool and piss them off again.

Navy Times had a recent article up discussing the idea of sabbaticals, and how they could “help retain women in ranks”. After all, a military career is hard and all, and it is increasingly getting in the way of having it all:

Across the military services, leaders are experimenting with programs that will give valued officers and enlisted troops, men and women, the incentive to stay. Also, as the Pentagon moves to bring women into more jobs closer to the combat zone, military officials believe it is crucial to keep mid-career female officers in the services so they can mentor those on the front lines.

 

“We have innovative things we’re trying to retain women in the service,” said Vice Adm. Mark Ferguson, vice chief of naval operations. “It’s about creating the personnel policies that enable someone to say it’s Navy and family, instead of Navy or family.”

 

In other words, the Navy wants to create a “mommy track”. For what reason, I have no real idea, but it appears they do.

I’ll pause a moment so that you can throw up, and then, scratch your head and utter a cheery, “WTF?!?!”

It seems to me they are not getting the point here.  But I will explain why in a minute. For now, lets remember how hard it is for a service woman to “have it all” shall we?

In October, Katherine left the service and moved from Camp Lejeune to California to be with her fiancé. It was a difficult decision, but in the end, she said, she chose stability.

“For women to have a family and a career, it’s just extremely difficult. And, being in the military, it is extra sacrifice, you have deployments, you have workups, and it just makes it that much more challenging,” she said. “The Marine Corps is a lifestyle, it’s not a job. You dress it, you eat it, you breathe it, you live it. For me, I want to focus on getting married.”

So far, Sarah has chosen to stay in. “I love being a Marine, I love the people I work with,” she said. But not long ago, Rachel said she also is weighing similar issues.

It’s not an uncommon dilemma. More often than men in the military, women choose their family over service.

 

Here is a news flash madam, yes it is about choices, and when you chose to enter the service you made a choice to deal with these complexities. It’s pretty lousy to get in, decide you don’t like the rules of the game and then instead of coping with them, decide it’s better to change the rules and the playing field.

At the risk of being branded with the “M” word-I will remind you that there were reasons that society evolved into the roles for men and women to play in it. Now I will grant you that those roles are changing and society has to change too-but it seems to me that this goes a bit too far.

First of all, its rather discriminatory towards those men (and women) who are not a part of a dual service couple. (Which is a whole another bad trend that is going on-the service has incentives that encourage Sailors to marry Sailors, but we will set that aside for this discussion). A lot of people cannot afford to lose one year’s earnings (or two) especially if there is a stay at home spouse-or young children to raise. They would probably like a year off too-but they can’t afford one.

Second, the logic here is completely faulty.  Especially this idea that you have to have women to mentor women. I thought the services were supposed to be gender neutral. So isn’t that what you have a chain of command for? Isn’t that what you have standards of professional conduct for? Is that not why the Navy is firing so many men?

As it is, there is far too much of this “women networking with other women“ going on with results that are predictably geared to undermine the chain of command. I’ve written about it before-and we have seen far too many Navy Times headlines that have been predicated by mentors “encouraging” actions that have resulted in disaster.

Furthermore the hand of time stops for no one-and the DOPMA wall is still out there, and you can’t tell me that there are not some tradeoffs that get made in the advancement world when you elect this course. For one thing you are changing year groups-and the dynamics of who you are competing with may change dramatically and not for the better.

The Navy is not, and cannot be, a “family friendly” employer. That does not mean, however, that men and women cannot find a balance and raise a family. But it does involve choices and these choices are sometimes hard ones. I hate to remind folks this-but having to make those choices is not the Navy’s fault. When one chooses to enter a Navy career, you are making a statement as either a man or a woman: You want to do something hard and career worthy. That women are the only ones who can have children is a biological fact-not a hindrance the Navy created. If later on downstream a woman decides that she would rather get out and have a family, that’s a choice for her to make. Literally millions of women make it every year. But please, spare me the flack about the idea that the Navy somehow needs to make “accommodations” for the increasing numbers of women in its ranks. It belies the original reason the women said they wanted to serve-to have the same opportunities as men. Well making choices about family and career is an opportunity.

But it’s unfair, men with a stay at home wife don’t have to make that choice!” BS.  I would remind you that there are choices that are being made by the other family-not the least of which is getting by on a lot less money than the dual service couple. “You make choices and you live with them”.

Well, there is nothing wrong with a sabbatical.” No, there probably isn’t-except when you frame it as a way to “retain women”-and allow them to not have to make hard choices, then you are laying bare the hypocrisy behind the idea –and providing an clear inkling of the double standard that will be enforced in its execution. Why not fix the root problem, which is the Navy’s trying to shove 100lbs into a 50lb career bag, and revise DOPMA, to slow down promotion flow points, and allow officers to serve longer . Maybe give every officer a good 2 year break when he or she attends a civilian university to get a Masters Degree. (It could also have the added benefit of exposing these folks to parts of America that don’t normally see military folks). Bring back some of the “good deal" tours as well.

To pay Phibian a compliment for a change, he’s right when he says, “Again, this isn't harmless. In the zero sum game that is selection, support, promotion, and award – special treatment based on [Gender] is discrimination. It also puts in a perverse incentive to lie, cheat, steal, and to tolerate those among you who do.” In essence you are getting to the heart of what all us nay-sayers said many years ago when we began the great experiment, you will fundamentally change the institution in ways that will ultimately destroy the things that made it worth serving in. The PAO hoopla about these sabbaticals and the idea that somehow the Navy has to get to a 50-50 gender split is just crazy. This is not a corporation-it’s a fighting force. You don't always get everything you want-and you cannot have it all. "You make choices and you live with them." We would do well to remember that.

I used to give dual service couples advice, that I thought at the time made sense and I still do. The powers that be did not like it very much and told me not to pass it on. I ignored them. Basically for a dual service couple-you have to decide who will be CNO and who won't be. In other words you have to decide whose career will come first-and then stick to that strategy. If you both want to be successful you will be childless and or lonely. It does not matter if its the man or the woman-but you have to choose. I still think its a useful thing to ponder-and I've met many dual service couples who follow exactly that course. It works-but evidently CDR Steinem doesn't want to hear it.

2 responses so far

Jan 10 2014

The 10th fleet theme song.

Published by under Fun things!

This is so funny, I laughed so hard I cried.

If you have ever had to answer a tasker with the word, "cyber" in it, you will realize why:

 

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Jan 10 2014

Going down a sinkhole…….

Is still a bad thing-no matter how many times you do it.

The usual suspects have come out, and seized upon Robert Gates’ new book to criticize the effort to get the US out of the worthless hellhole that is Afghanistan, and to rewrite the history of the US fiasco in Iraq.  I find the tenor of the comments interesting, if more than a little bit predictable.

First, I think it is most important that the specific quote be examined in the context of the text around them. Gates was and is a person who moves deliberately, does not waste words, and I like to think of him as a consummate professional. Certainly he made a far better SECDEF than his worthless predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld-who ranks right down there with McNamara in terms of overall mediocrity.

Furthermore, it is particularly important to remember who is out there fronting for these criticisms right now: Bob Woodward and William “The Bloody” Kristol, neither of whom can be consider to be exactly “objective” observers. As Charles Pierce notes:

I mean, is there any possible reason to criticize the president because he injured the rather peripatetic fee-fee of Saint David Petraeus, or to find it unprecedented that a president might wonder whether or not a war he inherited — and, yes, supported, as a candidate — wasn't ultimately a futile proposition, or whether his generals were giving him the straight dope. I guarantee you, back in the 1860's, Woodward would have been the go-to stenographer for all those incompetent generals who Lincoln fired. (George McClellan would have loved him.) In the 1950's, Woodward would have been MacArthur's first phone call after Harry Truman canned his ass.

The other important thing to remember about Bob Gates is that a Democratic president thought keeping him on as Secretary of Defense would be a smart, centrist, bipartisan move that would be applauded on the op-ed pages, and by important people. Like, one supposes, Bob Woodward, who now occupies as space in the dingbatosphere far beyond mere journalism.

And, no matter how professional Gates is-he is still a Republican. Who has served a series of Republican presidents and made more than a couple of mistakes himself.

Or does no one remember Iran Contra anymore?

When Obama came into office-he was committed to getting us out of the hell hole that is Iraq. (Which was just as well since there was no prospect that an American troop presence would ever have resulted in social peace there) He had campaigned on the idea that Iraq was a colossal mistake and it diverted resources from the fight against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.  DOD was supposed to give him a menu of options for pursuing “victory”. In the end they only gave him the same tired old formula. A plan for a troop escalation of 40,000 and an open-ended big war to “prove” David Petraeus’s theories of counter-insurgency. Petraeus’ sexual proclivities were as yet unknown-so he still enjoyed sainthood status.  This even though, in Iraq, he was part of the problem long before he became the solution. And when examined in detail-the surge did nothing that it was supposed to have done. ( As is being proved every day now in that useless nation). So what he said carried a lot of weight-and going against them was not a politically expedient move.

Now, even Gates’ critics acknowledge that on the whole, he was a very positive force at the Pentagon and for the nation. He appears to have helped prevent Dick Cheney and the Neocons from attacking Iran. He warned against the seductive character of drone warfare, and wants a court to sign off on drone strikes. He said he thought any military commander who wanted to take US troops into another big ground war should have his head examined. And he tried to rein in the Pentagon’s off the rail procurement processes, which have led to such fiascos as the Little Crappy Ship.

Plus, these criticisms are more than a little self-serving. They seek to completely ignore the fact that by 2009, in general, the public had had it with war without end, and was tired of the wars in general, and Iraq in particular.  As is typical for your fan of Bush’s peculiar brand of liberation theology, it ignores the real people who were causing the failure of said policy, namely the people of Afghanistan themselves. Andrew Bacevich quite correctly pointed out that there was a distance between “American actions and America's interests is becoming increasingly difficult to discern. The fundamental incoherence of U.S. strategy becomes ever more apparent. Worst of all, there is no end in sight.”. It appears to me, at first glance (and I will need to read the book), that contrary to what the neocon apologists say, it is probably Obama that got the assessment right. He understood the public mood and had no real reason to trust the folks giving him advice-especially since they had a vested interest in seeing the wars continue. “It is further understandable that Obama entertained the severest doubts about the feasibility of Petraeus’s big counter-insurgency push. At best, he was willing to give it a try.”

Events have proven the naysayers correct-the Afghans excelled at screwing away opportunities presented to them. Petreaus is gone into obscurity, and Afghanistan has increasingly become synonymous with the overall failure of the so called “War on Terror”.  Public opinion, rightfully so, wants us out-and the sooner we get out,  the better for America. Probably not for Afghanistan, but they made their choice. Now they should have to live with it.

You have to conclude that Gates resents Obama for outmaneuvering him and some of the more gung ho officers. Obama didn’t intend to go on fighting and nation-building in Afghanistan forever. Indeed, US forces are no longer in the lead in military operations and soon they’ll be gone or be little more than troop trainers.

If anything, Obama could be faulted for giving the COIN (“counter-insurgency”) officers the benefit of the doubt and playing along with their completely unrealistic plans. He should have listened to Joe Biden, who has long experience in foreign policy and is most often right (unlike Gates). If Gates is right and Obama distrusted the generals pitching them and was skeptical of the strategy itself, it has to increase your estimation of Obama. Our estimation of Gates, in contrast, can only fall because of his disloyalty and his naive approach to Afghanistan.

 

 

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Jan 06 2014

Countdown to catastrophe-January 6th 1914

Published by under Uncategorized

Today in 1914:

 Stock brokerage firm of Merrill Lynch founded. After almost a 100 years of existence and avoiding the fate of Lehman brothers-the firm was merged into Bank of America in 2013. ( The evil empire wins again!)

Arnold Richardson, composer was born. So too was, Danny Thomas-later of television fame in the 1950's.  Also born this day was David Bruce, an actor.

In the Ottoman Empire, Enver Pasha-one of the leaders of the Young Turk movement had become the central leader of the Empire. He " he helped orchestrate a coup d'état, with which he introduced a military triumvirate that came to be called the "Three Pashas" (Enver Pasha, Talaat Pasha, and Djemal Pasha). In 1914, he was again Minister of War in the cabinet of Said Halim Pasha, and married HIH Princess Emine Naciye Sultan (1898–1957), the daughter of Prince Süleyman, thus entering the royal family as a damat ("bridesgroom" to the ruling House of Osman). His power grew steadily while Europe marched towards total war."

The Ottoman Empire, known as the sick man of Europe had LOTS of problems. For one thing, a growing Zionist movement in Palestine was making the Arab residents of the region quite upset and more land fell into their hands. Secondly there were nationalistic movements stirring in Mesopotamia and what is now Syria. Later on during the war -Britain and France would seek to capitalize on these movements. By 1914 the Ottoman Empire had been driven out of nearly all of Europe and North Africa. It still controlled 28 million people, of whom 15.5 million were in modern-day Turkey, 4.5 million in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan, and 2.5 million in Iraq. Another 5.5 million people were under nominal Ottoman rule in the Arabian peninsula

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Jan 06 2014

There was never a chance………..

Phib, in one of his repeated themes, bemoans the fact that we did not give ourselves a chance to "succeed" in Afghanistan. "All it required was about another four-five years of patience. Of course, that 4-5 from now is based on an alternative history where we did not announce our retreat in DEC 09 … but what is, is. District by district "Shape, Clear, Hold, Build" was a solid way to do it – but just as it was getting roots as the surge soaked in, we stopped feeding it. The following results will be sadly predictable."

Complete and total horseshit.

This is a peculiarly American disease where we always place the blame everywhere but where it really lies. This is how we get pundits like William "The Bloody" Kristol- who,  incidentally, could not be bothered to serve one day in his miserable life, but is more than willing to send other people's children to die for his right to earn six figures a year-advocating war with out end in the Middle East.

Didn't give it enough time? We will have been in that Godforsaken country for over 13 years. How much f*cking time do we need? Or more correctly, how many chances do the Afghans get before we tell them to go f*ck themselves?

Two facts here are really important. One, the clock did not stop ticking in Afghanistan just because we invaded Iraq. So the very idea that we could "just pick up where we left off" and somehow, magically we would have a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, by spending ten plus years-losing Americans-to create what? And two, the patience of the American people is not unlimited-and we are long past the point of patience with any of the wars for most reasonable Americans.

A land of people who refuse to help themselves. This, by the way is backed up by over a 100 years of Afghan history. This is what we are getting today, it is what we would have gotten 10 years from now-it will pretty much always be that way as long as the country is saddled with albatross of Islam.

Want to know the day we "lost" Afghanistan? March 19,  2003. That's the day the United States in one of the most stupid moves in its history, foolishly invaded a land that had not attacked it, and in the process metastized what was a essentially a localized disturbance into the world's blood stream. One could even make the point that we could look further back-to the point where a man like George Bush, under the advice of some pretty questionable characters, decided that the United States could somehow accomplish the impossible and eliminate terrorism from the earth. Rather than pursue the vengeance that our public opinion required in the aftermath of 9-11, the grey hair allowed himself to be diverted into what has now quite well been proven, to be a worthless, damn fool ideological crusade.

And what do we have to show for it? Nothing of substance.

Oh sure, Bin Laden is dead, but as it turned out, that had nothing to do with clear, hold, and build. And Al Queda has been disrupted-but again, that happened with out years of counterinsurgency. We have lost over 6000 fine Americans dead and almost 50,000 wounded for the "right" to stay in a backward nation from over a decade, however. What did they suffer for?

Nothing of value Phib. Nothing of value. And that was true in 2009, as assuredly as it is today. Put the blame where it belongs and leave it there-on the Afghan people.

Now that is what I will drink more over. The  tendency on the part of policy makers — and probably a tendency in the part of some Americans — to think that the problems we face are problems that are out there somewhere beyond our borders, and that if we can fix those problems, then we'll be able to continue the American way of life as it has long existed. I think it's fundamentally wrong. Our major problems are at home in the US.

Starting with the idea that we can somehow "fix" people who are unfixable.

 

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