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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dodging Bullets

 

That's odd.

I can't seem to find it.

I've looked through all the major news sites this morning, but I can't find it.

Hell, I even visited his website.

You'd think it would be there.

But it’s not.

It was a huge deal, right?

I mean it was going to destroy America. You’d think that the fact that it didn’t would at least rate a footnote somewhere.

It was going to usher in the End Times and socialism – which according to the bible-wavers is apparently the same thing.  It was going to be THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT! Dogs and cats living together! Anarchy! The coming of the Anti-Christ. Zombies! Velociraptors! Robot cannibal armies! Alternate Universe Kirk and his Evil Goatee of Evil! 

And, of course, Nazis.

They’ve had a whole year, you’d think you’d see something by now.

So what happened?

Looks to me like America is still intact. The world is still here.  We’re still lumbering along, same as always. The Internet is full of fat puppies and laughing kittens and conspiracy nuts.  There’s an awesome new iPhone out that’s even more iPhoney than the last iPhone. Babies are being born. You can still buy thirty different flavors of coffee pretty much twenty-four hours a day and get it served in a chocolate waffle cone by a topless runway model if you really want it bad enough.  The terrifying addition of not one, but two babies to the cast of Bones didn’t cause the show to explode in an orgy of suckastic cuteness and diaper jokes. 

The world seems pretty much the same as always to me.

It’s been a year today.

Satan’s had a whole year, and what? He was on sabbatical? Too busy in Afghanistan and Libya and Texas? What? I thought the world was on the brink, the Bilderbergs or the Illuminati or FEMA were all ready to go with the dismantling of America.

I would think we’d at least see some Nazis, but nope, not even one lousy storm trooper.

So what the hell happened?

Nothing, that’s what happened.

Nothing, not a goddamned thing. Nothing. Big whooptidoo.

It’s been a year today since gay people could begin serving openly in the US military.

And what about all those dire warnings? There's been no, repeat no, negative impact to military readiness. None. Zippo. Nada. Nothing. Turns out nobody other than a predictable handful of haters gives a fig. Imagine that.  Turns out morale has improved and costs have come down now that we don’t have to hunt our fellows and watch them drummed out of the service for being who they are.

After all the screaming and shouting, the tears and the rage and the Jesus-flinging, after the protests and the congressional hearings, the testimony, the fact finding, the endless TV special reports, the interviews with Admirals and Generals and the “average” grunt in the trenches, turns out everybody in America forgot all about it as soon as the decision was made.

And what?

Nothing, that’s what.

Looking at the war effort, looking at morale, at recruitment, retention, or any other metric you care to measure, there’s just no impact.  And that includes those “medical” issues the homophobes were so, so very worried about.

The world didn't end.

Pictures of gay military folks kissing upon return from deployment and generally displaying unbridled life, liberty, and whatever happiness they can scrounge up in the middle of a warzone appeared momentarily on the front pages of newspapers around the country. Nobody cared. Not really.

Angry Homo-Hatin’ Jesus staying up there in the heavens and pouted.

The mountains didn’t fall.

The sky didn’t turn into sparkly gay rainbows.

The seas didn't rise – well, no more than predicted by the changing climate anyway, and despite the fact that certain gay people are some major league flaming, you really can’t blame global warming on them.

Hell, even military uniforms are still the same old unimaginative drab utilities they’ve always been, there’s been no fashion revolution and soldiers haven’t become suddenly fabulous.

As a retired military guy and now a military consultant, I spend five days a week on one of America’s largest military installations, I’m surrounded by military folks day in and day out.  Army and Air Force, a handful of Navy and Marines, Coast Guard and all the Alaskan National Guardsmen you can shake an MRE oatmeal bar at. Today I see, what? Business as usual.  Gayness doesn’t seem to keep the jets from flying or the ships from deploying or the tanks from rumbling along same as they ever did.  Military folks in smartly pressed uniforms stride purposefully past my office on their way to war, none swish, none sashay – well, except for one rather odd Major, but he was like that before the repeal.

And despite repeal of that idiotic law, they don’t ask and they don’t tell because they just don’t care

Today it’s been a year since the repeal of DADT.

Nobody is talking about it because whether or not the guy next to them is gay is just about the furthest thing from their minds.

There’s still things to be done, of course, even now a year later.  Gay people still can’t get the same benefits as their straight comrades in uniform, but it’s only a matter of time.  It’s galling, I’m sure, to be told that they still have to wait, that they might die in this lousy goddamned war before they’re accorded full citizenship in America, but still it’s coming and nobody can stop it now.

And out there? Out in the bigger world?

Oh, out there it’s business as usual. 

Plenty of military folks are still dying because they don’t have the tools and support necessary to do their jobs, because they’re given idiotic or impossible orders to do idiotic or impossible things in idiotic and impossible places. 

More are wounded or damaged or fighting for their lives in the dark and dangerous corners of the world.

Many more have come home and are now fighting a different battle against a different enemy. They struggle to get the medical care and benefits they were solemnly promised by a terrified nation a generation ago, back when we declared war on the rest of the world.

And even more are out on the streets of America right now looking for work and a way to feed their families, and they will be out there looking for the foreseeable future –  because yesterday the US Senate deliberately skull-fucked every veteran in America. Every single one. Right in the eye socket.

Senate Republicans filibustered the bipartisan Veterans Jobs Corps bill yesterday, a bill they helped write, but then decided to torpedo in an act of obscene and disgustingly infantile partisanship.  Despite vague protestations that putting vets to work costs too much, an excuse that simply doesn’t hold water in light of the eight trillion dollars they’ve enthusiastically spent waging this idiotic and impossible war on terror, the real reason Republicans sabotaged the bill was that President Obama mentioned it in his DNC speech last week. Senate republicans were outraged, outraged that the Commander in Chief of all US Armed Forces mentioned one of his pet priorities, jobs for veterans, and said that when the bill made it through congress he’d sign it into law. Given their all consuming irrational hatred of Obama and their promise to remove him from office by any means available, not to mention given the pitiful state of their candidate’s imploding campaign, Republicans weren’t about to share credit with the President. And they sure as hell weren’t going to let a filthy liberal appear to be better at supporting the troops than conservatives. They were deathly afraid that Obama might get credit for taking care of veterans as he, and specifically the First Lady, have advocated since he took office.  So they fucked us.

I served in uniform for more than two decades. I served under four republican presidents and two democrats.  Without exception, when republicans talk about “taking care of our veterans” what they really mean is money for defense contractors and new weapon programs.  When democrats talk about “taking care of our veterans” they’re talking about people, about the Veterans Administration and medical coverage and jobs.

Republicans blocked the bill specifically to stick it to Obama at the expense of veterans.

They did it on purpose and with malice aforethought.

They did it because they place allegiance to a political party and a political ideology above their Oath of Office, above the Republic, and above their worthless promise to the veterans they sent into the meat grinder.

They fucked us all against our will, they raped every one of us veterans, and they don’t even have the common decency to be ashamed of themselves today.

So yeah, business as usual.

Exactly as usual.

There are a lot of shitty things happening in the military right now, but nearly every single bit of it can be laid directly at the feet of the selfish rotten sons of bitches on Capitol Hill.

Not one single thing wrong in the military today can be blamed on gay people in uniform. Not one.

To be perfectly blunt about it, or more blunt than I’ve been up to now, I’m one hell of a lot more concerned about getting repeatedly ass raped by this dysfunctional excuse for a Congress than I am about sharing a locker room with a gay guy.

I’ve known a number of gay men and women in uniform, I’d trust them to have my back any day. I have trusted them with my life.  Congress on the other hand?  I’ll keep those miserable rat bastards where I can see them.

So, anyway, it’s been a year.

I figured it would be on the front page.

Nope.

Not the front page. Not even buried under the fold on page three.  So where is it?

No, I’m not talking about acknowledgement of the repeal’s anniversary. That’s there, not on the front page maybe, but mentioned here and there in a kind of, oh yeah, right, gay people in uniform, whatever, no problems, move along, nothing to see here sort of way.

No, I’m looking for something else.

I’m looking for Senator John McCain’s apology.

I’m looking for Senator John McCain to stand on the Senate floor in the same spot he did a year ago when he warned us all, when he warned President Obama, that the nation was making a huge mistake and it would destroy the US military.

I’m looking for McCain to stand up and admit that he was wrong

McCain was not just wrong, he was completely wrong, utterly wrong, wrong in every way that it’s possible to be wrong.  Wrong in a manner that calls into question his judgment regarding anything.  Wrong in a manner that calls into question his mental competence and his fitness to serve in congress in the first place.  Wrong in a manner that indicates he gives more credence to his personal hatred and bigotry and bias than to the evidence of his own damned eyes.

Today I looked to see if Captain John McCain USN(ret) would do the right thing, if he would live up to his oath, if he would stand before the world and admit to his fellow comrades in arms, his fellow veterans, gay and straight, that his words and actions were wrong and misguided and ill-informed and not in keeping with the Navy core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment, values that we officers are sworn to uphold with our very lives.  Values that Lieutenant John McCain once demonstrated to the fullest measure, but Senator John McCain seems to have forgotten.

I looked to see if, while he couldn’t give veterans jobs, well, maybe Senator John McCain could at least put aside his religion and his politics long enough do something else for them today, even if it was only to make a gesture. Even if it was just that one small miniscule thing.

When John McCain came home from his war, he was broken and shattered and damaged – but he came home to fame and wealth and privilege and the best healthcare money could buy.  He never had to beg for respect, for the simple acknowledgement of human dignity denied to his comrades in arms because of their sexual orientation.  He never had to crawl on his belly for a job. He never had to wonder how he would feed his children.

Not all of us are so lucky.

Veterans aren’t asking for much – or perhaps we are, but we’re not asking for more than we’ve earned with our blood and the blood of our comrades, we’re not asking for fame and wealth, we’re not asking for privilege.

We only want the things we were promised by Senator John McCain and the hypocritical cowards in congress.

Funny isn’t it? Funny that one of the very few members of government to vote against the war, is the one supporting veterans in the White House today.

Congress stood together when they decided to send us to war, they were able to do it then weren’t they? The lousy sons of bitches.  They could stand together then, couldn’t they?  It’s ironic – no strike that, it’s not irony, it’s a goddamned disgrace, it’s a fucking travesty, it’s damned near treason, that that they can’t stand together now long enough to do what’s right.

Jobs would be a start.

Respect would be better.

But ultimately what it’s going to take is a change. It’s long past time for these people to be sent looking for new jobs themselves.  It’s been a year today. And if there is anything, anything, that tells me we made the right choice four years ago, it’s the fact that today John McCain’s apology is nowhere in evidence. No matter how hard I look.

We made the right choice four years ago.

But that was just a start.

It’s time to finish the job we started.

The election is not won.

Vote. 

Get involved.

92 comments:

  1. Standing ovation!
    I wish your articles would go national. You are amazing.
    Holly

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    1. Exactly! Standing ovation in Pennsylvania as well!!!!! Yes his articles do need to go national! He needs his own TV show! I love how fired up you get Jim! You need a wider forum! Every single word you right is so right on! I saw this yesterday and thought hell why isn't the national media talking about this??? Must share this article with my friends. Jim you rock!

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    2. Kate OB, as a fellow Pennsylvanian, I was inspired by Jim so much that I wrote to Senator Club-for-Growth Toomey, Prince of the Deficit Hawks, to express my outrage on his voting for the filibuster and against our veterans. Hope you will do the same. And while his predecessor, Rick Santorum, was a disgrace, I fear that Toomey is much more dangerous to our future as a nation, though he'll no doubt be front and center to kill the sequester and be sure the military-industrial complex gets all they need. You know, we can't lose those jobs. Veterans, not so much/

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    3. Wow! This whole veterans deal is just unreal to me. I heard they don't even give women tampons or deoderant, that their families are shipping essentials like that to them. My dad was in the Navy, and he told me during WWII that gay men would just disappear off the ships in the night. I was shocked. I don't know what he would think of gays in the military, he wasn't a fan. But some of these old farts in congress are almost his age and they still feel the same. I am always amazed to hear veterans that are republicans after they come home from war. Growing up with Vietnam soldiers dying and coming home in boxes every night on the news, I don't know how anyone of my generation could choose to join. But after you've been treated like crap when you've given your best for your country...how could you still be a republican? You knew McCain was an idiot when he picked Palin as his running mate. Why should he apologize, darlin', he's only a creature of this day's way of being a republican. And you sure are right about the Weapons vs benefits...

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  2. Mr. Wright, I fully share your fury at the regressives in Congress, and especially with those four senators who torpedoed the Veterans Jobs Corps legislation. I shall leave it at that, because once I start, I won't know when to end my own rants. I checked both Whoot! and I cried, but those were tears of fury at those bastards whose behavior in my opinion borders on treason.

    Once again you have my gratitude for saying what needs to be said.

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  3. Outstanding post once again. Thank you.

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  5. You Sir, are on a roll!

    Jesus loves you my friend.

    Scott in MI

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  6. Can you hear my cheering in New Mexico? I don't get worked up over too many things these days because life is just too short, but I've been a fulminating ball of outrage since I read that those scum-sucking, cowardly Republicans voted against the Veterans Job Corps Act. This Congress has done many despicable things, but this is the worst one. We have sent thousands of young men and women to wage unnecessary wars and endure unimaginable hardships. Many have returned broken in body, in spirit or both. They deserve all the assistance, all the kindness, all the respect that we can possibly show them. That Congress has denied them that all for the purpose of political pasturing is unforgivable. Thanks Jim.

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  7. Excellent article Jim. That was one of the best commentaries I have read in a long, long time. I am pissed too...We do need to VOTE & we need to get out the VOTE...

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  8. And many cheers from this side of the Atlantic too. Say it loud, brother!

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  9. What most Americans (and the associated media) miss is that many of these positions and contracts will NOW be resourced with outside government contractors that will cost significantly more from a budget not controlled by congress. They were not hiring these vets to sit around, they have projects and positions that need to be filled. The GOP,in reality, did not save a dime of money by shooting this bill.

    So they killed it on one side, to actually pay for it out of a different budget that congress does not control, as project and government infrastructure.

    So, what the candidates and media focus on...the 1 BILLION dollars that will need approved by congress, not the 1.3 B is will cost when they have to hire "fat cat" government contractors to do the same work...so in reality, we gave[screwed over] away a livelihood for our war vets coming home to hire outside contractors who have not sacrificed anything.

    There is no budget "savings" with killing this bill, there was just a GOP clear decision to resource these community projects with government contractors that will cost significantly more than this bill in doing the decent, respectful choice to take care of those who took care of us.

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  10. Jim, thank you so much for saying this. I wish I could make sure a copy was sent to every single person in the military. Both to boost the morale of those who are open-minded and to open the minds of those who can't bring themselves to think beyond their knee-jerk support for Republican Party because of their mistaken certitude that the Repulicans "support" the military and the Democratic Party doesn't.

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  11. Sir, first thank you for serving and continuing to advocate for American values and calling us out for not living up to them. This righteous rant should be in the front of every newspaper in America, those that remain, every day for a week, and on every internet site top banner until everybody in the country has read it. Champing at the bit to go on vacation, again, the Congress showed their deep traitorous (small t but just as vile) disregard for veterans today. War seems to be permanent and profitable hobby for a certain class of our country with valuable and well-intentioned young pawns for every adventure--until they come home, as we saw today.

    While I did note the anniversary of DADT's repeal today, I forgot that civilization was supposed to implode because of it. I guess that threat is used so often, we just quit responding to it. I'm waiting with bated breath for Mr. Trump and Sheriff A......(fill that in as you will) to bring forth the fruits of their vast global investigation into our alien leader's true birth circumstances. I guess if they've got nothing despite the Donald's infinite but vacillating fortune, then the election day will come and pass and it will be crickets on that front, too. They won't even give an update or a progress report, just crickets. Like the doomsayers of DADT. BS on them all.

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  12. Once again, Jim, right on the head. It is beyond disgraceful that these miserable bastards are allowed to stay in an office where they have the authority to send soldiers to war, and then will deny them a god damned job, because it's to expensive. They go straight to hell. This story should be all over every media outlet in the nation. Your fury is more than justified, and I share it.

    Fuckin' A, Jim. Fuckin' A.

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  13. Thanks Jim, your article is dutifully distributed :)

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  14. I did want to say though, Jesus does not hate homosexuals, people made that part up and rally behind it like it was truth everyday.

    It is their "golden calf".

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  15. It hadn't occurred to me that it was the one year mark for end of DADT.

    I was, however, uberflumberoxed about the U.S. Senate.

    What the goddamned hell?

    You help write it. You negotiate. You vote for it. It passes. This is what competent professionals do. The amateur hour anti-ThatBlackMan(TM) pissyness that part of Congress is marinating in is insulting to the nation and to the men and women -- straight or gay -- who serve or have served.

    Sir -- Your rage is well earned. And that is a damned shame.

    Dr. Phil

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  16. The zombie Anti-Christ velociraptor? Wait, what? And I expect the next time I'm in one of those bars to see signs for Jesus-tossing contests.

    Sen. Johnny McCain sold out around 2002. Now his head is so far up his ass he's wearing himself as a puppet.

    Also, I could share another outrage at the hands of people who pedal the conservative kool-aid at the expense of veterans, but I'm not allowed to talk about the inside baseball of work. But it also made my blood boil.

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  17. Sen. McCain may not have admitted he was wrong. But according to Rep. Barney Frank on the Rachel Maddow Show, the Commadant of the Marine Corp who strongly opposed the repeal, has stated he was wrong and that the repeal has had no affect on the military.

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  18. I'd like to send every single one of those treasonous bastards in Congress to dig latrines, under fire, in Somalia.

    As for the anniversary of DADT, I was at least hoping for some new shoes.

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  19. I agree with every word. Thank-you for articulating my feelings so well.

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  20. Thank you. That was excellent! My first time here, but I'll definitely be back.

    Incidentally, my sister is a retired Navy Chief. She feels exactly the way you do. Her husband, retired from the USMC, does not.

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    1. ditto... my first time here and I will indeed be back regularly. Very well written posts. Time to make another donation to Obama.

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  21. Jim,

    I got as far as the part where you wrote on the Jobs bill, and couldn't finish before I wrote an outraged email to my senator, Pat Toomey (R-Club for Growth), who of course highlights himself talking with a veteran on his home page.

    I too had heard this, probably on NPR, and it was a prominent story on page 3 of the Philadelphia Inquirer (front page was significantly on the story of the funeral for a police officer murdered on the job - another place where our society is falling apart thanks to the mess politicians are making it, the killer was a multiple offender), so at least there is some coverage.

    I was just young enough to miss service as Vietnam ended, but between my dad, a WWII veteran, and the guys who had returned to Nam and were going to college with me (all on the socialist GI Bill), along with veterans and folks still serving I have gotten to know over the years, I more than appreciate the service of every veteran, how fortunate I was to come of age when we were pulling out of conflicts for a short period of time, and how I see how abused those who are in the service are by politicians, most especially by Republicans. One of the reasons why, after years of being a Republican (hearing my Philly grandmother mutter "Dirty Democrats" whenever the city machine did another of their often stupid things) and changed my registration. Not that Democrats can stand blameless, but in this case they were doing the right thing.

    Thank you for your always spot on commentary, now to go back and finish reading this one.

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    1. Congratulations on your change of party, John, although you might have done better staying in the GOP as an underground dissident who might have more of an impact on other members of the club. We need every vote this year, so welcome!

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    2. I was also a registered and voting Republican until last year when the hearts fell out of most of the public ones. I could no longer stand behind them nor associate with their party. I changed to independent in Oct 2011, and then changed to Democrat last month. I have officially made the jump and cannot believe I was a Republican without "looking under the hood" for so long...

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  22. Thank you for your past service to our country and your continued service to our national conscience. As always...you are awesome.

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  23. Oh, and posted a link to the post to my friends on Facebook, encouraging them to read and write to their senator.

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  24. For some reason, I keep being reminded of a quote from Eric Flint's wonderful alternative history novel "1824: The Arkansas War." If you haven't read it, please do so after reading the first novel in the series, "1812: The Rivers of War."

    The quote is, "It’s one thing to gain office by pandering to prejudice, unreason, and blind fury. Quite another, to guide a nation based on them. The first can be done, yes. The second, not at all." Flint put that quote in the mouth of President James Monroe, referring to presidential candidate Henry Clay, but it just as easily could have been applied to W or to Romney or to virtually any prominent Republican over the last decade and a half. They have proven that pandering to prejudice, unreason and blind fury can indeed get them elected. We've seen it happen. They have also proven that you cannot successfully guide a nation if you base them on those values because prejudice, unreason and blind fury by their very nature cannot coexist with professional competence. It cannot be done. The skills necessary to gain office are not the same set of skills to function in office competently after acquiring it.

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  25. Okay, I just have to say it, Jim: "Alternate Universe Kirk and his Evil Goatee of Evil!" (Love it! But of course I'm OLD Navy Comm O and so I remember seeing it the first time it was broadcast...good memories of good years....)

    Again you have hit the virtual ball out of the park and on both topics. Thank you, thank you for doing it so well! I am proud to have had you in my Navy. Standing ovation! I concur!

    First items first. I hadn't realized today was THE day. DADT has been in place for a year and big surprise (not for me either, Jim), nobody asks or tells because nobody cares...or maybe because troops (generic term to include Sailors, Marines & of course Soldiers, not to mention National Guard) just like their privacy as well. The times have changed and that isn't always a bad thing.

    But the Republican filibuster of the Veterans Job Corps bill...that I somehow missed, so thanks for telling us but I sure do wish to hell you hadn't had to tell us. Appalling. Disgusting. Probably many other synonyms for similar minded words as well. Not to mention one of the most reprehensible actions ever taken by these sunny day patriots. How do they justify leaving our veterans continue to struggle with way higher unemployment rates than the nation at large? Oh, right---can't do anything that would give the President something to take credit for. Despite the fact that it is good for our military veterans and our country. And you would think at some point (like before the upcoming election) they would want to demonstrate that they can actually be bipartisan and govern in the best interests of the country. What could have been less divisive? And as for CAPT McCain (USN, retired) -- couldn't have said it better. Time to get some folks into office who understand they are elected to look after the best interests of us all, not to hew to line of Grover Norquist or anyone else.

    Bravo Zulu, shipmate!

    Old Navy Comm O

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  27. At times where it seems there are no words to adequately express the sheer fucked-up-idness that is the Republican party, you always seem to craft an opinion that hits the proverbial nail right on the head. I know you're retired Navy, but as my retired Marine son would say, Semper Fi.

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  28. One little thing, Jim. President Obama didn't join the U.S. Senate until 2005, so he wasn't there for the Iraq War vote. He DID speak out against the war while still a state senator in Illinois, though. As a proud member of a family that has worn this nation's uniform in every generation since the American Revolution, I truly appreciate your service and absolutely love your rants. I just don't want a tiny factual error to be a reason for anyone to dismiss the veracity of the rest of this great post!

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  29. You rock. Now to get you that national contract so 300 million more can hear you.

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  30. The new GOP motto: "Billions for defense, not one damn cent for veterans!"

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  31. Eloquently said sir! My brother was gay and died in 1994 from, you guessed it AIDS. He was 33 and while we suspected he was gay he didn't tell us until he had 6 months left to live. How sad is it that people have to live that way, hiding their life from their own family. Society sucks sometimes. Needless to say, we were all by his side when he started his new journey:)

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  32. Eloquently said sir! My brother was gay and died in 1994 from, you guessed it AIDS. He was 33 and while we suspected he was gay he didn't tell us until he had 6 months left to live. How sad is it that people have to live that way, hiding their life from their own family. Society sucks sometimes. Needless to say, we were all by his side when he started his new journey:)

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  33. Jim...thanks for a really good post...The truth needs to be spread.

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  34. A-frickin'-men, Jim. A-frickin'-men.

    And thank you for your service. It looks like we've got some congressmen to fire. Maybe we can give their jobs to veterans.

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  35. Jim,

    THANK YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, FOR YOUR EXTRAORDINARY SACRIFICE FOR OUR COUNTRY!!! I love reading your posts and once again spot on.

    However there's a Where's Waldo, ;) -

    "They fucked us all against our will, they raped every one of us veterans, and they don’t even have the common decency to be ashamed of themselves today."

    And, Vote and drag everyone you know to the polls

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    1. and btw there is anarchy, I have a dog and a cat both living in harmony here at my place

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  36. Gonna link, 'k? You rock and you pull no punches. People need to hear from you.

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  37. Mr. Wright, I have loved every post you have ever written, but this one takes it to a whole new level. Rock on!

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  38. Thank you Jim. I was so pissed when I learned the GOP sunk this bill my head hurt for
    a full day. Bastards.

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  39. "Suckastic"! I love it. I must confess that I laughed so hard at that one word that I had to return to the beginning of the piece and start the reading process over because I completely lost my train of thought.

    Great stuff as always.

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  40. Why don't people like you run for office? Why are we stuck with self serving cowardly idiots whose only real job is to keep getting themselves re-elected time and time again. They have no convictions, no morals and no guts, they bend with every little gust of wind.

    I will never understand why people with common sense who call a spade a spade never run for office. Are we all so brain washed to think politicians must have charisma or slick charm like the Sham Wow guy?

    I'd much rather have a smart person who is uncomfortable in front of the camera, dresses badly, doesn't have the sound bite quote, but has the guts to make hard decisions and listen to his constituency.

    A long winded way of saying great article. I don't see how anyone could disagree with the obvious,

    JW Canada

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  41. Oh it would have been so fun if the skies turned a sparkly rainbow! Anyway, hypocrisy is a terrible, deadly disease and you'd so articulately pointed out that John McKain is very sick with it.
    I work at a military college and watch young women and men who were born after I even graduated from college know already they are going to fight for our country. It's incredibly sobering and inspiring every day.

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  42. Bravo, Sir! This was the first post of your that I have read, having seen a friend link to it on facebook, but I will be back to read more. I wish we had more voices in this country willing to stand up and tell it like it is. Thank you!

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  43. Excellent article. I have only one disagreement. You said, "Pictures of gay military folks kissing upon return from deployment and generally displaying unbridled life, liberty, and whatever happiness they can scrounge up in the middle of a warzone appeared momentarily on the front pages of newspapers around the country. Nobody cared. Not really."

    I cared, sir. I sat in my office, and I looked at those pictures, and I cried. I've been an LGBT ally for almost 20 years; DADT is why I voted for a third-party candidate in 1996 instead of Clinton. I have been working towards this for people I care about for half my life, so I cared very much indeed.

    I'm neither gay nor in the military so it's not personal for me, but I have gay friends, and a lot of military friends, and no small number of gay friends who are or were military. If you'd asked me six years ago what changes mattered most to me in the military, I'd have said 'ending DADT and allowing the pentacle as a military grave marker.' The latter finally happened in 2007, and the former a year ago. It is incredible to me that I can sit here and think, "Two of my passionate social justice dreams came true. Two fights actually *ended* and we *won*."

    There are more fights, and every time I see one of those happy same-sex kisses in the news, it gives me strength for them.

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  44. bravo fucking Zulu bravo fucking Zulu bravo fucking Zulu bravo fucking Zulu bravo fucking Zulu bravo fucking Zulu bravo fucking Zulu bravo fucking Zulu bravo fucking Zulu bravo fucking Zulu

    well you get the picture, great post keep putting that stick in their eye, keep their bullshit front and center, the lies the god damn fucking lies, they never end, the only remedy, sunshine keep the bright light shining keep these brilliant posts a churning and everybody vote!

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  45. Just sent in $20 to Wayne Powell running against Eric Cantor -- and he has a chance to beat him. While I will vote for our President and will continue to contribute to his campaign I'm so hoping that people will realize how we must re-take the House and cement a 60 vote majority in Senate. The only way the GOP will ever change is to lose and lose badly -- unfortunately it will take at least 2 - 3 more election cycles so the GOP finally understands they must listen to the people - and people like Jim who so eloquently summarize issues that matter about people who matter. Jim you always entertain, you always make me think and you bring issues to light with humor and devasting truth. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Or at least, vote out the arrogantly ignorant obstructionists in the Republican party. Wait, you say, there are no moderate rethuglicans left. Somebody had better get in Lisa's face about her vote.

      Delete
  46. VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! Against every one of the cowardly bastards with (R) behind their names.
    According to Texas Monthly magazine so few Texans VOTE, Texas is no longer a democracy.
    VOTE THE BASTARDS OUT!!!

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  47. Brilliant. Worthy of national publication. Keep writing. Keeping ranting. Keeping prying open closed eyes.

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  48. Thanks Jim,
    You're helping get out the word that only those of us who served seem to have understood.
    Now I'm a parasite because I gave up 21 years of my life for my country. Now I'm disdained because I "...didn't have to pay for my health insurance." Now I'm dependent on the public teat because (when I retired) I was earning the princely sum of $22 before taxes, etc an hour (based on an eight hour day and, as you know, there were damned few of those).
    My heart breaks a little more every day for the generation that has been betrayed by these bastards.
    Keep it up.

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  49. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

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  50. Excellent post Jim.
    But it should be glaringly obvious why this is not headlining the news. REDISTRIBUTION!! The 'Magic Negro' has singlehandedly brought this nation to it's knees! Something that for 250 years the Barbary Pirates, French, British, Mexicans, Germans, NAZIS, Japanese, Italians, Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, Vietnamese, NAZIS (had to mention them again) had been unable to do! He has personally bankrupted our American Way of Life and destroyed any future hope for generations to come and . . . What's that?
    JESUS IS MARRIED!!!??

    Keep it up Jim. Let's hope we can get the services and help to those who have served faithfully. The guy in the White House gets it. He deserves the next four years to get it right.

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  51. The medical issues will take years before they become apparent. Also, if the gays are not celibate, they are in violation of UCMJ Article 125. And it's a felony.

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    Replies
    1. So, PJJ, is this some sort of bigoted fake-concern about AIDS? It's not like you're hinting at diabetes or high blood pressure, right? It's okay to come out and say the words "acquired immunodeficiency syndrome", bigot, you won't catch it (not from that, anyway). AIDS is a medical disease, not a social pariah-hood like your bigotry. Of course, if you came out and said AIDS, then you'd admit that your kind of bigot thinks all gay men have AIDS, and you'd sound even more of an idiot than you do by just hinting at it. Well, as a biochemist and long time AIDS researcher, let me just clear it up for you. I'll type slowly and use small words so you can keep up. AIDS is a communicable disease caused by a virus. Not all gay men have it. Fewer lesbians have it, so it's notable that your fake-concern bigotry about DADT doesn't even include them. Many people who are infected with HIV, in fact most of the cases in the world, are _heterosexual_. HIV is a virus and doesn't care if you're an open homosexual, a closeted self-hating bigot on the down low who votes straight GOP (pun intended), a baby, a teenager taught "abstinence-only" crap and nothing about condoms, a faithful wife of a philandering husband, or a celibate nun nurse in a hospital who happens to get stuck with a needle at the wrong time. Or are you hinting that you have some other kind of secret medical knowledge about secret gay medical issues that the entire medical community has missed for the past 175 years? So what freaking "medical issue" ARE you talking about, bigot? Come out with it, or admit that you're just vomiting 30 year old bigoted GRIDS lies without knowing single thing about medicine and just want any plausible sounding excuse to be a hate-filled bigot. Did you jump helmet-first without a parachute one too many times or did you just deliberately ignore all of the medical information in the news for the past three decades?

      As far as the UCMJ, learn to freaking read (and think, though that may be too much to expect). Article 125 is about consensual sodomy (it covers oral sex too) and applies to _all_ sexual orientations. It is violated more by straight people than gay or lesbian service members simply because there are fewer gays and lesbians than straights. Every time a guy's wife or girlfriend gave him a BJ at home, they violated Article 125, he became just as much of a "felon" and nobody freaking wanted to know or would have cared. So, PJJ the wannabe barracks lawyer, it's as much of a felony for straights as for anyone else. It's just not enforced much, or in a fair manner. If it were not for the GOP's bigoted hypocrites just like you in the Senate, then this antiquated and mostly ignored law would have been repealed already (smart people tried again in 2012). I call your "felony" objection stupidity based on your bigotry, not legality. You are convicting them first for being gay and only then trying to find a law they broke, written by bigoted prudish hypocrites just like you a century ago. They made sodomy a crime back then because they hated gays, not because a "moral" guy would never ask for a blowjob. (What is it with bigots who obsess more about gay sex than gay people do?)

      I don't know what I dislike more, the fact that you're a small-minded prejudiced, hate-filled bigot, or the fact that you're deliberately ignoring the kind of science I've and thousands of other scientists have been doing for the past 20 years. Either way, your snide bigoted remarks deserved to be taken apart every time you open your filth-filled ignorant mouth. Go crawl back under your rock, or maybe, just maybe open your eyes to the fact that gays are not diseased outcasts. You can't attack honorably serving gay and lesbian military with your bigotry, hatred, and contempt, because they do not deserve it. They are better than that, and given your tone, better than you.

      Delete
    2. You seem to know a lot about "the gays," JJ.

      Too bad you don't have the same detailed knowledge of the UCMJ.

      Delete
    3. Jerry, ParaTrooperJJ is a troll. Please don't feed him.


      I put the term "medical issues" into the post on purpose. It's a troll whistle.

      And just for the record, The UCMJ does not classify offenses as petty offenses, misdemeanors, or felonies. This is something a "paratrooper" should know - if he really was a paratrooper instead of just playing one online.

      Delete
    4. Actually under federal law if the offence is punishable by over one year confinement, it's classified as a felony. Art. 125 has a maximum penalty of five years confinement, so yes it's a felony under federal law.

      Delete
  52. I was so incensed after reading your post that I wanted to write my Senator and tell him off. Then I realized that both of the Senators from West Virginia are democrats. I don't know why. This state was strongly McCain and is strongly Romney. Also, the state sport is Jesus Flinging.

    Maybe I should write someone else's Senator and tell him off.

    Jeanne White (I have to post anonymously because Google absolutely refuses to post for me and whatever the other options are, I don't have them)

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  53. I really wish that the sky did turn into sparkly gay rainbows.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed. That'd certainly be scintillating stuff!

      (& by stuff I mean natural spectroscopes, to use another scientific prism of thinking 'bout things.)

      Delete
  54. Semper Fi Jim - I am in complete agreement with all the above. Particularly in the GOP 'March of Folly' to utterly destroy the government, economy, the social compact and nearly everything that they can fuck up to drive a spike through Obama's Presidency. And to show that I am fair minded - both sides of the Congressional aisle are populated by idiots beholden to money, money and more money to retain their seats as "democratically" elected servants of the people.

    Check out Lewis Lapham on "The Rule of Money" - http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175595/tomgram%3A_lewis_lapham%2C_the_rule_of_money/

    As for DADT and the misuse of ALL the services, it goes back to the previous post on Romney - We are just tools to break and throw away. I am too far gone to despair as to the direction this country is going. It will take a massive catastrophe of some type to reawaken the concept of American citizenship that has been worn down in the majority of people. DADT, GWOT, TSA, TIA, Iraq, AF/PK, Blackwater, TARP, QE1, 2 and 3, Halliburton, etc, etc. Our BETTERS think that we are just too damned stupid to know that we are getting fucked by puppets, wrapped in the flag and carrying the bible. Norman Rockwell on acid.

    And John Mccain is a fucking IDIOT! I don't care whether he's the son of the son of an Admiral. You finish 894/899 in ur Annapolis class, your stupid AND privileged. He might have crashed 2 or 3 or 5 planes, but he's a fucking dope with a string of glowing FitReps; cause what CO is going to tell the Admiral that his son is a moron.

    This dickhead has pride of place on every Sunday talking head show - as if HE won 4 years ago. Mccain's butt buddies in the Senate are a closet GOP queer and a hangdog Israel apologist. Mccain, Graham and Lieberman are the Three Horse's Asses of the 'Bomb Everyone Now' party. These are the finest voices we have to keep council on defense issues? They are indicative of the infection running through our "democracy". We are not totally lost, but we are one Supreme Court justice away from sliding into indentured servitude and forever war.

    On the lighter note, fall weather has finally arrived in the DC area!! No more flashbacks to Liberia (at least weather wise). Tommy D

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  55. Thank you, Jim, for another superbly stated post.

    And thank you for your many years of service.

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  56. Lord High McCain, Savior of all (White People In) Arizona, would never deign to apologize. Shame, that. Once upon a time, I think he had integrity.

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  57. Great post! I wish you would write a scathing piece about that fucktard Kevin McCarthy. I have the unfortunate circumstance of having him for the dumbest Congressman on earth. Mr. Buttboy for Boehner.

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  58. Jim, we don't have bravo zulu in the army, but my unit had something close.
    Gary Owen CWhoa!

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  59. Thanks for your post, Jim. I could never lie, so never was able to serve in the military. 27 years (and counting) of civilian law enforcement instead. Thanks to all who serve, have served, and will serve. And thanks for your blog.

    Ally House, who will show up as "Annon" because there's just some stuff I haven't figured out yet...

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  60. Thank you. Put this on my FB for my Army veteran daughter, my currently serving-somewhere-that-doesn't-exist AF son and my currently serving Guard FS.

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  61. Beautiful post. As a Navy civilian who's worked with our PROFESSIONAL military for 28 years I could never understand why there would be a problem with repealing DADT. And there hasn't been.

    The partisanship with the Veterans Jobs bill is a disgrace, as is McCain.

    Thanks.

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  62. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  63. "I served in uniform for more than two decades. I served under four republican presidents and two democrats. Without exception, when republicans talk about “taking care of our veterans” what they really mean is money for defense contractors and new weapon programs. When democrats talk about “taking care of our veterans” they’re talking about people, about the Veterans Administration and medical coverage and jobs."

    I have elaborated on this very point to numerous military and ex military friends of mine over the years....and still they vote republican.
    I cant figure out how any veteran can vote republican, or any women, or any minority, or any gay person...or for that matter, any rational human being. Their craven, naked self interest is now on very public display as an ingrained tennant of their ideology. They treat the rest of us like they are cornered animals fighting for the last scrap of food. I hope we are witnessing their end as a political force in this country, for everybody's sake.

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  64. I'm sure McCain could come up with the same excuses and hand-waving for refusing to concede defeat as Elaine Donnelly. Google her in the news to see her lame stabs at holding her ground.

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  65. Inside every "Real American" Republican scared to death of homosexuals......is a Gimp, all zipped up and busting to get out. The fear is not so much OF the homosexual. The fear is IN the GOP homosexual.

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  66. Jim:

    I’ve gotta learn to take my laptop along with me whenever I go out of town for a few days because every time I come back I find I’m way behind the comments on your site. I’m not really into twittering, tweaking or twaddling or whatever the hell it is that folks do these days, and I’m just too damned old to catch up. But your comments about DADT jolted my history genes and I remembered back to another time when such things were never discussed in polite company. Anyhoo, here’s something about progress you can put away in your history index for future reference.

    I’ve gotta start off be admitting that I once thought I’d be a lifer in the Navy. It was just after WWII in 1946, I was serving on the flight deck of a carrier directing and spotting planes on the flight deck when I got hit by a blast of propwash from an F8F Bearcat doing a magneto check. That 2800hp Pratt & Whitney produced a volume or air of hurricane force that lifted me right off the deck and propelled me in the direction of a second Bearcat behind me also doing a full throttle run-up. Before I realized what was happening I was heading toward a grisly but spectacular death in that air cooled meat grinder when suddenly I got slammed onto the deck by a human body hitting me from the blind side. Almost immediately, I was hit be a second body and between them they managed to pin me onto the deck until the hurricane subsided.

    A second later the Flight Deck Chief had me by the collar as he gave me a tongue lashing about my stupidity. When I looked around at my saviors I was surprised to see that one was white and the other was black. This was about the time when Truman had decided to integrate the services and, in the Navy, black crewmen were no longer relegated to being officer’s stewards or mess cooks only. In fact he was the only black man in our division.

    The white crewman was the only guy in our division who was considered to be “queer” but no one was ever able to prove it one way or the other. Nevertheless he was treated like a pariah and constantly taunted, particularly by the religious whackos in the division.

    And, as you might imagine, I had an epiphany about race and sexual orientation that was considered uncommon for the 1940s and, though I thought such ideas should have disappeared more than a half century ago, are still subjects of contention today.

    John from Rhody

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    Replies
    1. John - So often in the military (and law enforcement or firefighting) immediate action renders race, gender, hatred or fear meaningless in the need to act in super human ways to save a life (or take a life, if need be). Your story is terrifying, but the actions of your saviors have nothing to do with their identities. Distilled to the essence of service, shipmates are shipmates. But your response to who they were reveals as much character in yourself as in the men who came to your aid without thought to their own safety.

      To me, flightdecks are the modern equivalent of a cacophonous ballet where a misstep or error can get you crushed, shredded, run over or knocked overboard (an 80' fall if the nets don't catch you). My respect to the Yellow/Green/Red Shirts. I prefer nighttime parachute OPS as safer and more peaceful. Semper Fi - Tommy D

      Delete
  67. I, for one, could use more sparkly rainbows in the sky.

    I also think Jesus gets very tired of being used as a blunt instrument to whack people over the head with. Really, really tired of it.
    -Jessica

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  68. I think those 58 Senators who voted to kill the Veterans Job Bill should be made to walk ahead of the vehicles in Afghanistan and Iraq in the hopes that some Taliban or Al Queda fighter will do the world a favor and shoot or blow the bastards up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Charles,
      You have it backwards. 58 senators voted in favor of the Veterans
      Jobs bill. 40 voted against it on a technicality, all of them Republicans.
      http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/250391-gop-kills-veterans-jobs-bill-with-budget-vote

      A minority of the Senate can kill bills by technicalities and filibusters. The GOP have been using those rules for the past 4 years in record numbers (~250 times, more than 1/week), more than at any time in recent history. Bills used to be slowed down or blocked ~20 times per year, and in more distant past 3-4 times per year.

      Delete
  69. Someone upthread has said it already so I'm going to second it - you are on a roll lately Jim.

    Cheers. Keep up the great blogging. (Raised beer salute.)

    FYI. Linked on the pharnygula blog "lounge" comment #238 and shared your olden days 2012 - 1912 comparison one on facebook too.

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  70. Really glad I found your blog. Spot on!

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  71. I didn't think the world would end, nor do I think most legitimate criticism of the repeal of the policy and/or law expected that. Then again, the world didn't end while the policy was in place either.

    But it would be naive to think that the policy change has no impact on the military. Given the numbers we're talking, any impact, positive or negative, would be expected to be minimal but nevertheless, I think you'll see some friction caused by the inability to look ahead and see 2nd and 3rd order effects. After all, blacks and woman have been integrated for 55 and 36 years respectively, yet we still have an EO and DACOWITZ.

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  72. In 2008 I said to friends something like this:

    There is a saying - there are old pilots. There are bold pilots. But there are no old, bold pilots.

    John McCain is the exception that proves this rule. He was bold in pressing the attack on Hanoi in his plane. He managed to survive. That makes him old and bold.

    It also makes him someone who doesn't follow the regulations. His orders for the attack included restrictions. One of those restrictions was not to press the attack when the anti-aircraft was heavy. He pressed the attack. He violated his orders.

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  73. Politicians are some of the most unbelievable hypocrites in existence.
    As usual bang on the nail!

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