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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Captain Dishonor

Well, I suppose it was inevitable.

The Navy fired Captain Owen Honors, Commanding Officer of USS Enterprise.

It’s a damned shame, isn’t it?

Damn those queers, it's getting so you can't ridicule anybody anymore.

Used to be the military was the last refuge from political correctness, a bulwark of blunt and rough video skits keeping America safe from the humorless PC police.

Back during the Greatest Generation you didn’t have to watch your mouth. No sir. It was the golden age of American Freedom, a veritable paradise of 1st Amendment rights for true Americans. You could tell ethnic jokes all day in the foxholes and make fun of homosexuals and women and non-Christians until the air raid siren sounded and nobody was offended – and, boy, you know if it wasn’t for that kind of harmless patriotic morale-boosting humor we might not have beaten those filthy racist homophobic misogynistic anti-Semitic Nazis and Japs. And what would America be like now, huh?

Alas, that great age of expression is gone, every generation since The Super Greatest One has been a little more diminished, a little more politically correct, a little more wussified.

It seems that a real American can no longer make fun of anybody. You can’t demean black people, er I mean African Americans any more, or Asians, or Latinos – hell, there isn’t a single ethnic minority left that you can safely ridicule in public – except for maybe Indians (everybody loves that 7/11 bit, even Indians).  You can’t pick on atheists or Muslims because they’re too thin skinned. People get all sensitive and call you Nazi if you poke a little fun at Jews. You can’t even treat women as second class citizens anymore because they get all emotional and start crying and stuff.

And now they want to take away the last safe target of hate and derision: Gays.

Honestly, what’s a real man supposed to do? Act civilized? Act maturely? The politically correct terrorists have won! I weep for lost America when men were men and everybody else had a sense of humor.


You buying any of this?

No?

I didn’t think so. Unfortunately, you may be in the minority. See, for a rather large number of folks, the tongue in cheek bit I penned above really is how they think. They really do buy Glenn Beck’s teary proclamation that the White Christian Manly Man is the most persecuted minority in the world, oh yes they do. Let’s look at a sample of comments from Yahoo News. Yahoo, for those of you unfamiliar with the forum, makes FoxNews readers look like limp-wristed bunny-hugging Obama-loving Liberal intellectuals by comparison.  Yahoo is where stupid and ignorant go to breed incestuously and multiply with Willie Nillie abandon:

- This is the kind of persicution CHRISTIANS have to deal with now that gays can serve in the military. A bunch of fags whining about everything!!!! Those damned gays! Oh how I hate their whining! Why can’t they just be quiet? Quiet like those Christians who suffer in stoic silence whenever a local Atheist group oppresses them by putting up a billboard, or somebody accidently raises the topic of evolution in their presence. Yes, like that. Just like that.

- Here it is !!! a career Navy man who has dedicated his whole LIFE to serving his country.. tells some JOKES.. (like Larry the Cable Guy, or Ellen.. or any number of others ) and because 10 homosexuals whant to play Navy guy and take showers together and hold hands in uniform...lets sacrifice honorable men to the cause of homosexuality.. if i were still in the Corps.. i would resign.. and would recomend ALL non-homosexual men and women do the same... i guess America will feel SO much safer with @#$%'s and hey.. lets fill the ranks with illeagals.. to protect the people.. see how you like this hopey/changy thing also. Apparently those gay people who dedicated their whole lives to serving their country aren’t deserving of the same courtesy and respect as Captain Honors. All I can say is that if we do end up filling the ranks with gay illegals (or illeagals, whatever those are), hopefully they will know the difference between the ellipsis and a period and how to use each form of punctuation correctly. Ability to use an internet browser with an integrated spell checker would be good too. Question, what’s the deal with fundies and the use of the ellipsis as a period and bizarre random capitalization? It’s like Conservative Tourette's (Seriously, these are the people bitching about immigrants who can’t speak English without an accent? Doh)

- This whole issue is because Gay's came out for revenge. They will get there's I'll bet. They will regret the repeal of "NADT" When they will have to function like fighters (unless scratching becomes the method of warfare" Beware the Gay Revenge! I love the logic here, gays will regret being able to serve openly because they’ll “have to function like fighters.” As opposed to what? Serving covertly under DADT when they apparently didn’t have to fight? Apparently the commenter doesn’t realize that gay people already serve in the military – that, of course, being the whole point of DADT in the first place - but then he doesn’t even seem to know what the proper acronym for the policy is.  Fuck it, I’ve got no actual idea of what I’m talking about but I’m outraged! Outraged, I tell ya! Outraged about them vindictive Gays and their revenge!

- Scumbag liberals strike again. No one was offended when it happened and everyone enjoyed it. Morale was very high during a long deployment at sea. We were in the middle of 2 wars but some gay liberal got offended so the MAJORITY gets screwed again. Continue with the traditions. Gay Bashing is a time honored tradition apparently If the majority appreciate it, then shout down the minority. Finally! Somebody who understands the Constitution, shout down the minority! Yes, that’s how we do it in America! If only we had stayed true to that founding ideal why we’d still have good old American slavery and women would be livestock as God intended. Damn those scumbag liberals, damn them and the tyranny of the minority!

- Probably considering a gay black woman as a replacement. Yes, because that’s the only choices there are, an randomly chosen unqualified politically correct candidate or Roger Ramjet The Masturbating Gay Basher. Nothing in between. Isn’t there a name for this particular logical fallacy? Or is this the wrong forum to bring up logical fallacies?

- America has lost the experience of a career and dedicated officer. He was given command of a carrier so he was no slouch and that video was mild parody humor at worst. This was just a head on a stick handed to the demented homoperverts by the Odumma administration. There are homoperverts everywhere giving limp wristed high fives and celebratory blow jobs to each other. Question: is celebratory oral sex strictly a gay custom, or can anybody get in on that?

- I am a soldier He was commanding officer of humor. The conversion Capt. Owen Honors to the administrative division is normal. Because he was happy too that affect the United States Navy honors. But Capt. layoffs. Honors are too heavy for him. Capt without violating the professional commanders. This incident happened many years ago, Capt. there was still a good achievement and are trained from the U.S. Navy. Captain commanded aircraft carriers as the world He's only a few dozen people only. Sorry for Capt. Owen Honnors Hell, I love this guy. At least he knows how use a period.

- Anytime that anything other than "excellence, intelligence and competence" are used to elevate people to high levels of authority... then a society is in trouble!!! Quota's and set-asides have already lead to a generation of ill equipped fools in positions that they don't deserve and did not earn on merit... only God can save us now... but I am starting to doubt why he would even want to!!! Oh, I’m sure God values your opinion. He cares, no really, He does. Sure He does. I have to assume the commenter is railing against the well known Naval Academy Graduate White Alpha Male Fighter Jock Only Club Super Carrier Skipper Quota. Fucking Affirmative Action is soooooooo unfair. 

- This is pathetic, one day you civies will figure out the military is for the military and you'll keep your nose out of our business. Just like the Constitution says!

- This is a nation of wussified wussies. Wussified Wussies would make a great name for a breakfast cereal. Kellogg’s Wussified Wussies, now wussified with 8 wussy vitamins (It would be like the opposite of Cheerios).

- Letting this man go is a crock of @#$%. The Navy has a lot of time and money invested in him. Next we should put our military in skirts and give them sticks to fight with. Never would I serve again in this nations politically correct armed forces. When politicians and military @#$% run our military, it's an absolute no win situation. Get the women off the ships, out of the co-ed barracks, put the troops back in 60-70 men squade-bays, feed every body the same @#$% food (get the lard off their asses) and start running the military the way it should be run. Restart the draft and teach all these young kids to respect people, the law and drugs ain't the way to go. Somebody has watched one too many reruns of Full Metal Jacket.

- This would not have happened in Patton's time because people today are very perverted unlike yesterday. Oh, excellent example. One thing about conservatives, they know their Patton – his superiors would never have held him accountable for being politically incorrect, not the Greatest Generation, no sirree. Because, you know, if Patton did something stupid that offended and outraged people and brought discredit to the US Military by becoming a national news story that was so fucking obnoxious people actually remembered the event seven decades later, why there’d be some kind of record of it. Right? Yes, excellent example.

- IMPEACH the Marxist-Leninist, Barack Hussein Obama! Because, as you know, Tea Party rules dictate that this phrase be used at least once in every conservative forum. Alternatively, you may substitute a request to see the usurper’s birth certificate.

- In the few days leading up to the repubs in the Congress...you have 1. environmental attack..genetic markers kill 1.000 's of birds in Arkansas... 2. environomental attack ..killled-- fish at same time 3. leak of inhouse four year old video causes navy reassignment.... 4. sudden suicide of iranian shah's youngest son...just like that... I now know what to expect from you ruthless socialists.... I get it.... Damn it, he’s on to us! Which one of you blabbermouths talked?

- (And finally, my personal favorite) obviously he made an enemy of some lesbian or male homosexual who was out for revenge and this all came to light just as "dont ask dont tell" is repealed ...my bet is on a lesbian ..no one hates men in positions of power& command like a lesbian ....they live and thirst for control its what drives them that and hatred of mankind.  There’s some sadistic part of me that is tempted to repost this comment verbatim on John Scalzi’s site. But, honestly, I’d be afraid that the resulting total supernova fusion meltdown of uberfeminist SciFi Fandom would explode the internets and destroy the world like some kind of Dr. Strangelove doomsday device of offended outrage. But I won’t. You’re welcome. 

A lot of you wrote to ask my opinion of this incident.

Let’s start with a couple of points:

- Institutionalized denigration and demeaning of gays?  Well, sure. That’s the poisonous part about making people second class citizens. Those videos were made by the Executive Officer of one of the world’s most powerful warships without fear of repercussion (false confidence as it turns out, but still).  They are the result of a 17 year policy that made some people, people who were willing to lay down their lives same as the rest of us by the way, less than full citizens and gave that minority absolutely no recourse. No recourse whatsoever in fact. Anybody complains, ipso facto they’re gay and they get kicked out and their life ruined.  Honestly, what the fuck did you think the results of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell were going to be?  This was the result of Separate But Equal. This was the result of those policies that kept women out the military and out of business and out of politics. This is always the result when you decide that some people are less than others.  This, in microcosm, is the same wrong perpetrated on a national scale when gays, or any minority, are denied the Constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

- By all accounts, Captain Honors is a damned fine officer.  I seriously doubt he intended to actually offend anyone. Most of us in the military are tough enough to handle some bawdy humor, foul language, and sexual innuendo. Sailors tend to develop a thick skin.  More than any other service, we’re rude and we’re crude, it’s a mark of pride with us. It’s true.  I watched the videos available on the web. I’ve see worse, far worse, in Grand Theft Auto or on basic cable.  I’m positive that Honors was only trying to keep morale up and have a bit of fun.  Life on a warship is tough. Life on a deployed birdfarm is a special kind of hell and little things like your XO hamming it up make a big, big difference. 

What?

Oh, you think I’m going to excuse him, don’t you?

You do.

Well, you’re wrong.

I’m not making any excuses for him whatsoever.  There are few, damned few, officers in the United States Navy that should have known just how inappropriate this type of juvenile frat-boy bullshit was as the XO of USS Enterprise. In point of fact, it is the XO’s job to put a stop to this kind of unprofessional nonsense.  It is the XO’s job to ensure that every single Sailor, every single one, is treated fairly and with respect and dignity – yes, even the gay ones. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that Captain Honors couldn’t have made funny morale boosting videos without demeaning a minority, simulating sex acts, or using foul language on shipboard TV.  The XO of a navy ship isn’t an idiot, he had to have known there was a very high probability that those videos would find their way outside the lifelines - and even if there wasn't, honor is how you behave when nobody is watching, if you wouldn’t act like that in front of your family, you sure as hell shouldn’t be doing it in front of your crew. Captains and Executive Officers set the standard for their crews, no excuses, no exceptions, they are held to a higher standard for a damned good reason.

Captain Honors was relieved of his command by the Navy today and that was the only way this was going to end. Period. It was inevitable from the minute those videos surfaced on the web. His dismissal was right and proper and keeping within Navy tradition - and there isn’t an experienced Navy sailor who didn’t see it coming right down the line.

It wasn’t because what he did was wrong, because legally and by regulation it wasn’t.

It wasn’t because he bashed gays, because under DADT gays were NOT a protected minority within the military.

It wasn’t because he used profanity, it’s frowned on for someone in his position but if we shitcanned every Sailor who used salty language, well there wouldn’t be anybody left to man the fucking ships.

It’s not because of political correctness or revenge of the gays or the fact that president is a democrat or any other such nonsense.

There are a lot of mistakes a Navy officer can make and survive.  I know of a commanding officer who through arrogance and bullheadedness managed to cause the loss of not one, but two, US Navy helicopters.  Fortunately their crews survived.  He went on to another command at sea and what finally did him in was the affair he was having with the wife of one of his young crewmen…while his own wife lay dying of cancer in a Navy hospital (I hear after he got out, he went to work for the John Edwards campaign.  Ba dump bump! What? Too soon?).  I know officers who’ve hit the pier on approach to dock and managed to survive with their careers only slightly dented. I know aviators who lost planes because they were too hungover to be flying and yet they returned to the cockpit.  An officer can fuck up a lot of ways and still survive.

But see, Captain Honors violated the one inviolate cardinal rule that a Naval officer cannot recover from.

He brought discredit to the service.

It’s really just that simple.

13 comments:

  1. Post it on Whatever, I'll even go back there to watch.

    My father in law retired as a full Commander, he wasn't a hateful man but did a lot of both black and gay bashing. It was 'humor'. He also bashed women.

    He is buried in Arlington. The Chaplin was gay and the E-6 leading the burial detail was a black female. My wife figures he is still spinning in his grave.

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  2. Jim,

    You're right. He did break the cardinal rule and for that, he was sacked.

    One has to wonder though, why now? And cui bono? It's been a while since the actual events and they were supposedly addressed at the time. So why now? I smell the stink of rotting, latent vindictiveness, selling newspapers on a very slow holiday, and/or the ever present fight among internal factions (who is Honor's rabbi?).

    I guess what disappoints me most is that Honors did not immediately (and publicly) tender his job but instead, like McCrystal, pulled into the tortoise shell hoping to ride out the storm. But, that's how we seem to make them these days. Do something questionable and get caught? Don't man up and lay the gauntlet but hide out and hope it blows over - or that some new shiny attractive object floats by to divert attention away from yourself. It seems a bit incongruent with honor, courage and commitment. (Then again, so are the videos...)

    Anyways, thanks for the fine post.

    RP

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  3. Retired Patriot, you bring up what bothers me too; why are these people not owing up? You can explain without making excuses and take your lumps. I guess there's no reward for that. If you lie low the teapartiers will make you a hero (or martyr) and keep paying you.

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  4. SP, your first point is something that, I think, bothers a lot of people, i.e. why now?

    I don't know the answer to that. It may have just taken this long to show up. It may have floated around the ship's computer system for this long and just now offended somebody. Hell, it might not have offended anybody on board at all, they just thought it was funny and posted it to youtube so everybody could enjoy it - do a search on YouTube for navy videos, there are thousands of clips of sailors on deployment hamming it up for the camera. Or it could be, as you suggest, delayed revenge. The simple solution for an XO or CO (or any other officer for that matter) is this: don't do stupid shit, and if you must do stupid shit, don't do it on video. Honors made the tapes, and he let them out into the wild, he has to now live with the consequences. Too bad for him. It's sort of like those folks who were separated from the navy for videos of them at a Gay Pride parade or a party or other event, something harmless, something where they were just being themselves and living their lives, that suddenly surfaced and destroy their career. Frankly I just don't have a lot of sympathy for Captain Honors and I just don't care why the videos showed up now.

    Your second point, that Honors didn't immediately step up: Carrier skippers are hardly shy. But Honors wasn't authorized to talk to the press without permission of 2nd Fleet. 2nd Fleet very likely told him to be quiet, stay at his post, and not make things worse. Using one of the examples from the article above, remember what happened when they let Patton speak to the press after he slapped that particular soldier? The Navy predictably hunkered down and hoped the hoopla would blow over. Senior navy folks also have a tendency to immediately distance themselves from any senior officer who gets bitten by the zombies: you do something stupid in public and suddenly you have no friends at all. Because at that level, it's hasta lasagna don't get any on ya. Any taint of association is a career ender. That's the politics of the paygrade.

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  5. I am actually a bit shocked by how many members of his crew think what happened is just a-okay and that he should not have been relieved. Crew members that I know personally.

    Has I really changed that much?

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  6. I didn't ask what you thought- I figured I knew(and was right!). At least one newspaper article that I read said that higher-ups knew about the videos.

    I've been rereading some of Daniel Gallery's work. It's weird to see them talking about 'boys,' the black servicemen who couldn't do anything more to serve their country than shine officer's shoes. On the plus side, he's pretty clear- if you allow your people to mess up, it's on you as a captain or officer.

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  8. It's not political correctness. It's the ongoing effort to rid the military of a mindset that allows anyone's service to be denigrated, not based on their performance but based on societal blinders.

    I'm not sure if anyone else saw this, but there was
    a story in the NY Times recently about a WWII sailor who is being considered for the Medal of Honor.

    Part of the article reads:

    On May 3, 1945, the destroyer U.S.S. Aaron Ward was on “picket duty” to warn the fleet in Okinawa of impending Japanese attacks. At sunset, a kamikaze plane hit the deck in an explosion of fire. Five more planes followed in the next 51 minutes, killing dozens.

    Yet the ship did not sink. As the planes struck, Mr. Clark, despite a broken collarbone, raced into the mayhem and manned a fire hose, one so powerful it usually took four men to control it, to douse flames headed for an ammunition locker, which would have exploded and split the ship.

    Mr. Clark was a steward in a racially segregated Navy. His job was to serve, clean and shine shoes — and endure daily slurs from white enlisted men and officers. That he saved those same lives was omitted from the battle report, while white shipmates received the Bronze Star.

    “If you put in your battle report that a black man saved the ship, that would be pretty embarrassing,” Mr. Clark said.

    To provide for his family, he stayed in the Navy as it integrated, serving for 22 years and rising to the rank of chief petty officer. Racism still ran deep — on his final day, in 1958, a white clerk called him “boy.”


    So, yeah, by all means we should make sure we don't have any Broads or Niggers or Fairies serving with normal honorable people.

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  10. Sorry for the quadruple post. Google kept telling me it wasn't being accepted. Please delete a few of them, Jim.

    Thanks

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  11. You were probably loopy from the bad car meat you ate today. mmmmm car meat.

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  12. @Jim,

    Good points. Can't really disagree with what you're saying. That said, there's more to the story that we'll probably never hear about.

    RP

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  13. Love how you express yourself with humor that makes me LOL. (Yes, I wrote LOL just for you because I know how much you like to see it posted.)

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