USS WASP Training In South China Sea

The JAPAN TIMES writes about the significance of such a move:

Contacted by The Japan Times, a U.S. military spokeswoman would not confirm or deny the Wasp’s presence near the collection of outcroppings that barely jut out above water at high tide, citing “force protection and security.” However, the spokeswoman did confirm that the Wasp “has been training with Philippine Navy ships in Subic Bay and in international waters of the South China Sea for several days.”

Scarborough Shoal, which is also claimed by Taiwan, is regarded as a potential powder keg in the strategic waterway. It was seized by Beijing in 2012 after an extended standoff with Manila. China later effectively blockaded the lagoon, which is rich in fish stocks, and routinely dispatches scores of fishing vessels and government-backed “maritime militia” ships to the area to continue its de facto blockade.

The Wasp was taking part in the annual Balikatan U.S.-Philippine military training exercise “that focuses on maritime security and amphibious capabilities, as well as multinational interoperability through military exchanges,” said U.S. Marine Corps Second Lt. Tori Sharpe, a spokeswoman for the exercises, adding that the exercises were “unrelated to current events.”

Still, beyond the location of the exercises, the Wasp’s presence alone in the South China Sea was likely to draw Beijing’s attention since this year’s Balikatan exercise was the first to incorporate the Wasp paired with the U.S. Marines Corps’ cutting-edge F-35B Lightning II stealth aircraft. The F-35B is the short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the aircraft.

“TOGETHER THEY REPRESENT AN INCREASE IN MILITARY CAPABILITY COMMITTED TO A FREE AND OPEN INDO-PACIFIC,” SHARPE SAID….

Some WASP Porn:

Everything the Left Touches is Harmed (Military Standards)

(Originally Posted December 2013)

This UPDATE comes by way of MOONBATTERY, and is followed by the an excerpt from the larger piece:

By necessity if not design, political correctness corrodes standards of value. That’s why its first victim is excellence. Those who draw attention to the corrosion are punished as thought criminals.

Progressives are in the process of reducing the military to a social engineering laboratory. It provides an example:

Two Army Green Berets are fighting for their military careers after being associated with an anonymous email that accused their commanders of lowering standards to enable more soldiers — particularly female — to graduate from its prestigious Q-course.

The anonymous email, signed, “A concerned Green Beret,” accused the leaders of the school of “moral cowardice” for lowering the standards

The author of the email has already been punished. Now the Army is rooting out people who seem likely to agree with it….

Here is more information via BREITBART:, one can understand some of the disciplin, IN THAT, it became widely public. Here is a bit from the email that could have been more constructive… maybe?

  • “[The school] has devolved into a cesspool of toxic, exploitive, biased and self-serving senior officers who are bolstered by submissive, sycophantic, and just-as-culpable enlisted leaders,” the email said. “They have doggedly succeeded in two things; furthering their careers, and ensuring that Special Forces [are] more prolific but dangerously less capable than ever before.”

However TRUE it may be… someone’s macheezmo was butt hurt. Here is more on the other two Green Barretes:

Now, the two additional Green Beret instructors, Sergeant First Class Micah J. Robertson, 33, and Sergeant First Class Michael Squires, 31, say they are being punished by association.

Robertson said in an interview that after the email was sent out, commanders put together a list of about seven suspects, including them. He said he believes they were suspected because they had previously brought up concerns during town halls with leaders that were held to solicit their feedback.

Both have been instructors since 2016, before Sonntag took command in June 2017, and say they have witnessed the changes.

“Although Micah and I had nothing to do with it, it spoke true to what’s happening in the regiment. This guy Sonntag, who’s basically the one who’s trying to screw us over — he’s trying to make his career about putting a female through the course,” Squires said. He added that he did not oppose women in Special Forces, but opposed lowering the standards.

“Not only doing that, he’s changed it to where the guys who are coming through the Q-course are not even the same quality of guys we had back in the day. Guys who should have been kicked out for several different things … As instructors, they took our power away.”

Both Robertson and Squires were also served with Article 15s related to the email, as well as to an online app they started building in September 2017 named Kayu, aimed at helping travelers and veterans with similar interests connect.

The Article 15 accused both men of using their positions as instructors “for the purposes of personal gain” by “sourcing information from students that had no relevance to training,” or having their students sign up for the app. Robertson called that “hogwash.”

[….]

Former Green Beret and Ultimate Fighting Champion superstar Tim Kennedy said Army recruitment challenges hit the Green Beret force especially hard.



“[For] Special Forces specifically, we are gonna have the biggest deficit of eligible… population, to select from,” he said on The Joe Rogan Experience on May 17. “You have to have a certain level of intelligence, a certain level of physicality, just to be eligible for Special Forces to pick you… that pool is the smallest that has ever been in history.”

Sonntag himself acknowledged those challenges shortly after taking command. He said at a symposium in November 2017 that all three of the Army Special Operations regiments are facing serious challenges in “force structure changes, pipeline production, and recruiting.”

“We are currently not meeting our production numbers. The restructuring of the 85th [Civil Affairs] Brigade has created an imbalanced CA force structure. And our recruitment is down. If something doesn’t change soon, we will short the operational force drastically over the next five years,” he said.

Robertson said lowering standards in order to produce more Green Berets goes against a fundamental SOF truth that every Green Beret is taught….

I wanted to post some commentary on this issue, the first comes from a Marine posting some open thoughts on this “social engineering” grab by the Marines… joining the other branches in making it less safe on our front-lines in the name of Political-Correctness:

Didn’t see this coming Female Marines have received ample time (over a year) to prepare for this test which, oh by the way, still isn’t to the same standard that it is for males. Sure, they have to get the same bare minimum of 3 that males get. However, their max is 8 whereas mine is 20. So, on a maximum 300 point physical fitness test (PFT) where each of the 3 events (pull ups, crunches, 3 mile run) has the potential to give you 100 points, a female Marine only has to do 40% of the work I have to in order to get 100 points for her pull ups on her PFT. I call bogus. That enables her to be as competitive for promotion as me without having to do the work that I do. Not to mention that she can run her 3 miles in 21 minutes to receive 100 points for that while I have to run it in 18 minutes. If you’ve ever run a 5K, 3 minutes is an eternity between two runners.

Some of you will say “Well, that score is only part of what is looked at when considering promotion.” I will submit this to you. Every promotion board for E-6, E-7, and E-8/E-9 (this board is conducted jointly) in the Marine Corps has an after action review written for it. In every one of those after action reviews, the board members are asked “What is the first tie breaker between two Marines if there is one spot left in their MOS field to promote?” The answer is ALWAYS “Their PFT score.”

Now, some on this site will say that I am butt hurt because 3 females passed our infantry course. That is mentioned in the article. Not the case. When I know that 16 females began the course and only 3 passed, I’m not worried. Of the 16, 9 failed due to performance reasons. That leaves 7. Of those 7, 4 broke due to hip and knee problems. Those are the classic female breaking points that I’ve seen in most female injuries. Those occur very frequently at Parris Island as well. So, we have the 3 left. Now, for males, approximately 79% make it through infantry training. 10% of them are dropped for medical reasons. That leaves approximately 11% for performance/legal issues. For those of you who are Marines, it’s the classic, always spoken of, 10% that fail. Also of note, the females were required to carry each other during casualty evacuation, movement courses, etc. So, a female weighing 110lbs-140lbs is carrying around her equivalent weight while the males are slinging whichever casualty they see over their shoulder.

Again, I call bogus. I’m not a big fan of this social engineering crap. DADT was another issue. I wasn’t a supporter of that. It wasn’t performance based. A gay guy can fireman’s carry a casualty just as effectively (though the casualty may be uncomfortable) as a straight guy. But the vast majority of females cannot do the same. This is a performance thing for me. It is a logistical thing. It is a morale thing. Our military is the best in the world yet we want to mess with the very core of its competence. The members of it. I’m not a big fan.

…read more…

Technicalities of Gender Differences in Injuries

The above graph comes from a 1998 journal article in The Royal Society of Medicine (you may enlarge the graph by clicking it). The below is from Runners Connect:

[color-box]

The risk of running injuries in women

From looking at the scientific literature, we can see that women indeed do, on the whole, get injured more often than men do.  But the difference is not quite as drastic as popular wisdom might hold—a 2002 study of around two thousand patients at a Vancouver, Canada sports injury clinic found that women represented 54% of injuries, with men taking up the other 46%.  But among some specific injuries, women are at significantly higher risk.

In particular, the following injuries are 50% more common in women than men:

The LEFT loves to try and change, yes, even what nature has wrought!

[/color-box]

Libertarian Republican opines on the topic as well:

…About 55 percent of female recruits tested at the end of boot camp were doing fewer than three pullups; only 1 percent of male recruits failed the test. Upper body strength critical for combat

Continuing:

The Marine Corps has been using it to test upper body strength for men for more than 40 years. And that upper body strength, they say, is necessary to serve in ground combat: to pull yourself out of a canal in Afghanistan, to climb over a mud wall, to carry an ammunition box.

Exit question – So, how many male Marines have to die in combat in order to satisfy the liberal PC affirmative action crazies before women in combat is repealed?

To which I respond, a maximum amount can never satisfy the Left, look at the MILLIONS killed by the progressive Left’s attack on the black African’s lives via the non-existent DDT scare!

As I do in these cases, I always like to post David Mamet’s depth on this topic. I say depth because as a lifelong liberal… he finally applied common sense to his views and you have the following:

There is a Liberal sentiment that it should also punish those who take more than their “fair share.” But what is their fair share? (Shakespeare suggests that each should be treated not according to his deserts, but according to God’s mercy, or none of us would escape whipping.)

The concept of Fairness, for all its attractiveness to sentiment, is a dangerous one (cf. quota hiring and enrollment, and talk of “reparations”). Deviations from the Law, which is to say the Constitution, to accommodate specifically alleged identity-group injustices will all inevitably be expanded, universalized, and exploited until there remains no law, but only constant petition of Government….

Another legislative act talked about in the shop after this conversation about polygamy took place, are politicians listening to environmental activists and legislating the regular light-bulb illegal. In January it will be officially against the law to sell most forms of the standard — incandescent — light-bulb (Breitbart).  The idea is that if we use higher efficiency bulbs we will “save the planet” from those evil* fossil fuel emissions. (*I picture ‘blood’ dripping from the word as well as evil laughter off in the distance somewhere)

The problem? In every bulb that researchers tested they found that the protective coating around the light creating ‘phosphor’ was cracked, allowing dangerous ultraviolet rays to escape (RPT). You got it… through legislation, the power of government has made many people, in their own homes mind you, at a far greater risk for skin-cancer. A risk that this Irish-man knows all too well. What sounded good and altruistic, “saving the planet,” ironically has deadly consequences.

(RPT post on Polygamy)

We cannot live in peace without Law. And though law cannot be perfect, it may be just if it is written in ignorance of the identity of the claimants and applied equally to all. Then it is a possession not only of the claimants but of the society, which may now base its actions upon a reasonable assumption of the law’s treatment.

But “fairness” is not only a nonlegal but an antilegal process, for it deals not with universally applicable principles and strictures, but with specific cases, responding to the perceived or proclaimed needs of individual claimants, and their desire for extralegal preference. And it could be said to substitute fairness (a determination which must always be subjective) for justice (the application of the legislated will of the electorate), is to enshrine greed—the greed, in this case, not for wealth, but for preference. The socialistic spirit of the Left indicts ambition and the pursuit of wealth as Greed, and appeals, supposedly on behalf of “the people,” to the State for “fairness.”….

….But such fairness can only be the non-Constitutional intervention of the State in the legal, Constitutional process—awarding, as it sees fit, money (reparations), preferment (affirmative action), or entertainment (confiscation)….

….“Don’t you care?” is the admonition implicit in the very visage of the Liberals of my acquaintance on their understanding that I have embraced Conservatism. But the Talmud understood of old that good intentions can lead to evil—vide Busing, Urban Renewal, Affirmative Action, Welfare, et cetera, to name the more immedi­ately apparent, and not to mention the, literally, tens of thousands of Federal and State statutes limiting freedom of trade, which is to say, of the right of the individual to make a living, and, so earn that wealth which would, in its necessary expenditure, allow him to provide a living to others….

…. I recognized that though, as a lifelong Liberal, I endorsed and paid lip service to “social justice,” which is to say, to equality of result, I actually based the important decisions of my life—those in which I was personally going to be affected by the outcome—upon the principle of equality of opportunity; and, further, that so did everyone I knew. Many, I saw, were prepared to pay more taxes, as a form of Charity, which is to say, to hand off to the Government the choice of programs and recipients of their hard-earned money, but no one was prepared to be on the short end of the failed Government pro­grams, however well-intentioned. (For example—one might endorse a program giving to minorities preference in award of government contracts; but, as a business owner, one would fight to get the best possible job under the best possible terms regardless of such a pro­gram, and would, in fact, work by all legal and, perhaps by semi- or illegal means to subvert any program that enforced upon the pro­prietor a bad business decision.)*

Further, one, in paying the government to relieve him of a feeling of social responsibility, might not be bothered to question what in fact constituted a minority, and whether, in fact, such minority con­tracts were actually benefiting the minority so enshrined, or were being subverted to shell corporations and straw men.


* No one would say of a firefighter, hired under rules reducing the height requirement, and thus unable to carry one’s child to safety, “Nonetheless, I am glad I voted for that ‘more fair’ law.”

As, indeed, they are, or, in the best case, to those among the applicants claiming eligibility most capable of framing, supporting, or bribing their claims to the front of the line. All claims cannot be met. The politicians and bureaucrats discriminating between claims will necessarily favor those redounding to their individual or party benefit—so the eternal problem of “Fairness,” supposedly solved by Government distribution of funds, becomes, yet again and inevitably, a question of graft.

David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (New York, NY: Sentinel Publishing, 2011), 116-117, 122, 151, 154.

You see… the left loves to feel good. In doing so they ruin the quality of what they touch. From the lives of those who have contact with our first responders, to even composers looked at as the best in history:

Further poisoning musical judgment is the Left-wing value of diversity. In 2011, Anthony Tommasini, music critic of the New York Times, published his list of the ten greatest composers who ever lived. Absent from the list was Haydn, who Tommasini acknowledged was the father of the symphony, father of the string quartet, and father of the piano sonata. Indeed, one of the avant-garde’s most celebrated modern composers (and a justly celebrated conductor), Pierre Boulez, “thinks Haydn a greater composer than Mozart,” and one of the greatest pianists who ever lived, Glenn Gould, thought Haydn’s piano sonatas were superior to Mozart’s. So, why did the New York Times music critic omit Haydn? Because, he wrote, “If such a list is to be at all diverse and comprehensive, how could 4 of the 10 slots go to composers—Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert—who worked in Vienna during, say, the 75 years from 1750 to 1825?” Diversity, not greatness, helped determine the New York Times list of the greatest ten composers. That is why Bartok, Debussy, and Stravinsky made the list but Haydn (and Handel) didn’t.

Dennis Prager, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph (New York, NY: Broadside Books, 2012), 52-53

Professor Sommers & the Tyranny of Niceness

“The ideal of liberty and freely speaking your mind is so quintessentially American.”

FIRE Board of Advisors member Christina Hoff Sommers is no stranger to speaking her mind. As the author of books such as The War Against Boys and One Nation Under Therapy, Sommers has taken firm stances on many hot button issues.

But in FIRE’s latest video, Sommers argues that today’s students are afraid to express their own potentially controversial viewpoints. She believes students are enveloped within a cultural phenomenon she calls “the tyranny of niceness.” So concerned with not offending their peers’ beliefs, students are hesitant to take a stand for what they believe in.

“What [students] are supposed to be doing is developing ideas and challenging them, learning how to debate,” says Sommers. “We have a generation of kids who can’t argue. They think that will create tension or there’s something wrong with it. Well, if you can’t argue, you can’t think.”

F.I.R.E. has a FaceBook (https://www.facebook.com/thefireorg), a YouTube account, as well as a Twitter account.

Education is the same… the dumbing down of children in the pursuit of “fairness” and “equality” is one of these examples that harms our children’s future. First a commentary about high-school, with a video as an example of the harm done to higher education by the PC crowd ruining education:

It has been no secret that we are having an educational crisis in the United States.  Public schools are doing worse and worse, unable to compete with private schools, homeschooled children, and for that matter the rest of the world. Some suggest that this is on purpose. By dumbing down our children we are preparing the future generations for more easily accepting authoritarian control by leftist systems of governance.

We are raising young people in our public schools that are illiterate. We are cramming them with bad information from experimental teaching techniques, political correctness, and liberal philosophies so that they will be good, obedient citizens. Informed voters think for themselves, and seek freedom. A dumbed down population is always eager to depend on the government overlords. Mind-numbed followers don’t ask questions.

History is our students’ worst subject. They can’t even answer the simplest questions about history in regards to the Revolutionary War, World War II, or the Korean War. The fault partly lies in the fact that history textbooks are poorly written, and partly because they are not being taught the information in the first place. I remember when my nephew came to me upset because in his History Class they skipped the chapter about the U.S. Constitution. When he inquired why, the teacher explained to him that the class was limited in time and had to skip unnecessary lessons.

In addition to skipping over important parts of history, new history uses political correctness, and caters to pop culture and particular groups in an effort to appease the same groups the leftist political wing-nuts are also trying to appease. As a result, the generations of students that come out of our schools don’t know our past, and as the old dictum goes, he who forgets the past is doomed to repeat it.

Educational malpractice in the public schools is not only a problem presented by liberal democrats and Marxists that have infiltrated our educational system, but is also the fault of bone-headed, and unconstitutional, legislation like the “No Child Left Behind” Act. The law that was Bush 43’s baby, despite its good intentions, worsened our education system, took the emphasis away from knowing our history, and of course was unconstitutional just like the Education Department. The federal government has no authority over education in this country. That is a local issue, and for good reason.

The problem is, the local systems have been so influenced by federal dictate that they have also become a part of the madness that is dumbing down America. An example revealed itself recently in Florida schools where, because only 27% of the students were able to pass a fourth grade state written exam, the Florida Department of Education lowered the performance level standard. The decision was made by a four-three vote, reasoning that the kids did so poorly because the test was too hard.

Yes, I just defended that our schools belong in local hands, and here we are with a state board doing stupid things too. Understand, though, that is because of the federal, and hard left, influence.

…read more…

See also FIRE’s list of “10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2013

Inclusion of Women in Front-Line Combat

This is with a hat-tip to CHICKS ON THE RIGHT via DAILY MAIL:

US Army drops grenade throwing as a requirement to graduate because new recruits can’t throw far enough (but do they mean women?)

  • US Army will no longer require recruits to show adequate hand grenade skills
  • Change is being made because many enlistees ‘can’t throw it far enough’ 
  • Recruits also won’t be required to pass land navigation course to graduate 
  • Army’s redesign of Basic Combat Training is aimed at instilling more discipline 
  • Army would not comment on whether the specific requirements are particularly a problem for women 
  • Many on Twitter used the development to attack influx of female enlistees 

[…..]

The new policy was reported by Military.com.

‘What we have found is it is taking far, far too much time,’ said Maj. Gen. Malcolm Frost, the commanding general of the US Army Center of Initial Military Training.

‘It’s taking three to four times as much time … just to qualify folks on the hand grenade course than we had designated so what is happening is it is taking away from other aspects of training.’

‘We are finding that there are a large number of trainees that come in that quite frankly just physically don’t have the capacity to throw a hand grenade 20 to 25 to 30 meters,’ he said.

The above was originally uploaded by myself to my MRCTV account on April 26th, 2012. I wrote a post on it on my blog with the same date. I am uploading the audio to my YouTube for easier embedding. Here is the description from the original post being updated today:

Dennis discusses the purpose of the Marines, to win. For the same reason a professional baseball team does not have women on its team is because they cannot perform as well as a man in most situations similar to the analogy of baseball and combat. If so, why not make full fledged women brigades for the front lines? Also, a woman caller who served in the Air Force mentions her not qualifying for the K-9 unit because she could not carry 70lbs. She agreed with that policy… that is, if a women cannot physically meet the demands, then, they should not be allowed into such a position.

Another caller that was in the ARMY when they integrated training points out some of the below in rough terms:

It was July 1959. With about 60 other recruits, I was being welcomed to basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. According to John Leo’s “A Kinder, Gentler Army” (in U.S. News & World Report on Aug. 8, 1997), such a welcome is now out. Today’s Army manual dictates, “Stress created by physical or verbal abuse is nonproductive and prohibited.” Forget whether traditional adversative training produced a first-class military throughout our history.Why the changes? Partly, it’s because today’s youth are unaccustomed to discipline and authority, but mainly it’s because our lovelies want to be fighting persons. To accommodate them means the military must lower standards. Carrying a stretcher used to be a two-man job, now it’s a four-person job. The Navy finds that few of its females can manage shipboard emergency tasks such as hefting fire hoses or carrying wounded personnel up a ladder on a stretcher.

Females pass physical training because of gender-norming. Yellow lines are put on climbing ropes. Male trainees have to climb to the top, but for our lovelies the yellow line will do. As for those awful push-ups, men have to do 20 and women just six. Then there’s the “confidence course,” called the obstacle course in the pre-P.C. days. At Quantico’s Marine training facility, a visitor noticed a footstool placed in front of an 8-foot wall so no trainee would fail to climb over it.

There’s one male/female strength difference quite worrisome. At Parris Island, it was discovered that 45 percent of female Marines were unable to throw a hand grenade far enough to avoid blowing themselves up. Translated in Williams’ terms: If I were in a foxhole with a woman about to toss a hand grenade, I’d consider her the enemy.

Walter Williams book, “More Liberty Means Less Government,” [see: http://tinyurl.com/zdxxkk4], also his article: “Double standards in military could be scary in actual combat


MORE


Similarly, when it comes to first responders, we want the best person to protect civilians in the best possible manner. Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly in their book, The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know — and Men Can’t Say, note the following:

If there is indeed a social revolution under way, it shouldn’t stop with women’s choice to honor their [own] nature. It must also include a newfound respect for men. It was New York City’s firemen who dared to charge up the stairs of the burning Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. The death tally of New York City’s firefighters was: men 343, women 0. Can anyone honestly say you would have wanted a woman coming to your rescue on that fateful day?

(Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2011), 181-182.

To further make the point, here is David Mamet — of Glengarry Glen Ross fame — noting the above in a very erudite manner:

There is a Liberal sentiment that it should also punish those who take more than their “fair share.” But what is their fair share? (Shakespeare suggests that each should be treated not according to his deserts, but according to God’s mercy, or none of us would escape whipping.)

The concept of Fairness, for all its attractiveness to sentiment, is a dangerous one (cf. quota hiring and enrollment, and talk of “reparations”). Deviations from the Law, which is to say the Constitution, to accommodate specifically alleged identity-group injustices will all inevitably be expanded, universalized, and exploited until there remains no law, but only constant petition of Government.

We cannot live in peace without Law. And though law cannot be perfect, it may be just if it is written in ignorance of the identity of the claimants and applied equally to all. Then it is a possession not only of the claimants but of the society, which may now base its actions upon a reasonable assumption of the law’s treatment.

But “fairness” is not only a nonlegal but an antilegal process, for it deals not with universally applicable principles and strictures, but with specific cases, responding to the perceived or proclaimed needs of individual claimants, and their desire for extralegal preference. And it could be said to substitute fairness (a determination which must always be subjective) for justice (the application of the legislated will of the electorate), is to enshrine greed—the greed, in this case, not for wealth, but for preference. The socialistic spirit of the Left indicts ambition and the pursuit of wealth as Greed, and appeals, supposedly on behalf of “the people,” to the State for “fairness.”….

….But such fairness can only be the non-Constitutional intervention of the State in the legal, Constitutional process—awarding, as it sees fit, money (reparations), preferment (affirmative action), or entertainment (confiscation)….

….”Don’t you care?” is the admonition implicit in the very visage of the Liberals of my acquaintance on their understanding that I have embraced Conservatism. But the Talmud understood of old that good intentions can lead to evil—vide Busing, Urban Renewal, Affirmative Action, Welfare, et cetera, to name the more immedi­ately apparent, and not to mention the, literally, tens of thousands of Federal and State statutes limiting freedom of trade, which is to say, of the right of the individual to make a living, and, so earn that wealth which would, in its necessary expenditure, allow him to provide a living to others….

…. I recognized that though, as a lifelong Liberal, I endorsed and paid lip service to “social justice,” which is to say, to equality of result, I actually based the important decisions of my life—those in which I was personally going to be affected by the outcome—upon the principle of equality of opportunity; and, further, that so did everyone I knew. Many, I saw, were prepared to pay more taxes, as a form of Charity, which is to say, to hand off to the Government the choice of programs and recipients of their hard-earned money, but no one was prepared to be on the short end of the failed Government pro­grams, however well-intentioned. (For example—one might endorse a program giving to minorities preference in award of government contracts; but, as a business owner, one would fight to get the best possible job under the best possible terms regardless of such a pro­gram, and would, in fact, work by all legal and, perhaps by semi- or illegal means to subvert any program that enforced upon the pro­prietor a bad business decision.)*

Further, one, in paying the government to relieve him of a feeling of social responsibility, might not be bothered to question what in fact constituted a minority, and whether, in fact, such minority con­tracts were actually benefiting the minority so enshrined, or were being subverted to shell corporations and straw men.


* No one would say of a firefighter, hired under rules reducing the height requirement, and thus unable to carry one’s child to safety, “Nonetheless, I am glad I voted for that ‘more fair’ law.”

As, indeed, they are, or, in the best case, to those among the applicants claiming eligibility most capable of framing, supporting, or bribing their claims to the front of the line. All claims cannot be met. The politicians and bureaucrats discriminating between claims will neces­sarily favor those redounding to their individual or party benefit—so the eternal problem of “Fairness,” supposedly solved by Government distribution of funds, becomes, yet again and inevitably, a question of graft.

David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (New York, NY: Sentinel Publishing, 2011), 116-117, 122, 151, 154.

What this boils down to is people wanting to feel good about themselves…. but like Mamet noted, would rather not “feel good” about themselves if their own family member is involved.

A Veteran’s Dying Words To President and Vice-President Elect

  • “General Mattis, it appears I am out of ammunition but I continue to fight with my last breath. I do not fear death for I know where I am going and I am only going home for a rest.”

Dr. Larry, a Marine, Gives Final Farewell to Donald Trump from His Death Bed… A close family friend notes:

  • “Larry passed a few mins ago please keep all his family in your prayers” I’ve reached out to her for support. Please respect the family’s privacy, but do offer condolences and prayer!

THE DAILY WIRE has more:

Former Marine combat photographer Dr. Larry Lindsey made a career shooting pictures and video for big names, including Animal Planet, National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, Fox Sports Network, and others.

But being an ardent and vocal Trump supporter in his last years and posting videos to his Youtube channel in favor of The Donald while railing against the wickedness of Crooked Hillary garnered him quite an internet following. 

On Saturday, Dr. Lindsey posted his final video (below) while in the hospital hooked up to an oxygen machine and monitors. He addressed president-elect Donald Trump, vice-president elect Mike Pence and General James Mattis, saying that is was the “greatest honor” of his life waging battle with them on their way to the White House. He added, “I have been prouder of being a Marine than anything I’ve ever done in my life. Having a hand in some small way in fighting for my country has meant the world to me. There is no greater honor for me than to have great men like you leading this country back to its foundation and back to God. Mr. Trump I have no doubt in my heart and my mind that you will be perhaps the greatest president in the history of our country.”…

22-Military Suicides a Day? ~ No (Military Mantras)

This post is not to diminish a horrible and tragic act of suicide, it is just bringing some sober thoughts to the all too commonly used 22-vets a day commit suicide. If you want the skinny now without the long post to follow, here it is:

A more recent study, which surveyed 1.3 million veterans who were discharged between 2001 and 2007, found that “Between 2001 and 2009, there were 1650 deployed veterans and 7703 non-deployed veteran deaths. Of those, 351 were suicides among deployed veterans and 1517 were suicides among non-deployed veterans. That means over nine years, there was not quite one veteran suicide a day,” according to the Washington Post.

(Task and Purpose)

This stat is spread to merely to promote politicians at the expense of truth… would be my guess.

The things to pull from the above 2011 video are:

  1. Its not deployment (PTSD);
  2. Its not financial reasons;
  3. It is the same age group in the general population that commit suicide.

This post is a combination of a newer report from FOX News (above) and an older post from my old blog in May of 2009. First however, I will deal with the 22-vets commit suicide every day number: The L.A. Times notes the following:

That number comes from a study published in early 2013 by researchers at the federal Department of Veterans Affairs. But the recent wars were not the study’s primary focus. In fact, they play a minor role in veteran suicides overall.

The VA researchers used death records from 21 states to come up with a 2010 national estimate for veterans of all ages. As a group, veterans are old. Military service being far rarer than it was in the days of the draft, more than 91% of the nation’s 22 million veterans are at least 35 years old, and the overwhelming majority did not serve in the post-9/11 era.

About 72% of veterans are at least 50. It is not surprising, then, that the VA found that people in this age group account for 69% of veteran suicides — or more than 15 of the 22 per day.

Many experts believe that the farther a veteran is from military service, the less likely it is that his or her suicide has anything to do with his or her time in uniform. In other words, many older veterans are killing themselves for the same reasons that other civilians in the same age group kill themselves: depression and other mental health problems coupled with difficult life circumstances.

The VA analysis does not attempt to determine rates of veteran suicide or how they compare with rates for people who never served.

[….]

One more step was required to make the comparisons relevant. California veterans under 35 are about 80% male, and nearly half are over 29. A straight comparison to the general population in that age group would be less than ideal, since suicide and accident rates vary significantly by gender and age.

The Times adjusted the non-veteran death rates so they reflected the age and gender mix of the veteran population.

As the story explained, suicide and accident rates were substantially higher for veterans. Over the six years examined by The Times, 329 California veterans under 35 took their own lives. That amounts to an average annual rate of 27 suicides per 100,000 veterans.

If that rate were to hold true across the country, about 530 young veterans are committing suicide each year — roughly 1.5 each day…

In a very recent conversation that has expanded my thinking a bit on this topic… is that… people hear 22-vets commit suicide and then rush to pass political bills that help with:

  • PTSD,
  • physical pain not managed by meds,
  • survivors guilt,
  • and difficult reintegration,
  • etc.

But ~ this mainly deals with the suicides of young vets returning from the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan [which AGAIN, are not 22-a-day!].

Since the bulk of the suicides are in the 50-year old range, those “fix-its” are missing most of the veterans that need something else.

What was just pointed out to me as well that fighting cancer or other serious illnesses increase the probability of suicide. For instance:

  • The researchers found that, in all countries combined, the number of suicides observed among the breast cancer patients was 37% higher than expected, on the basis of general population rates. That figure translates into four extra suicides per 100,000 person-years, according to the study’s lead author, Catherine Schairer, Ph.D., of NCI’s division of cancer epidemiology and genetics. In the United States, 245 breast cancer survivors committed suicide, making the risk 50% greater than would be normally expected, she said.

(Journal of the National Cancer Institute)

Just to be clear –veterans– who could be retired for decades, get cancer treatments [even if successful], and for whatever variable of reasons, commits suicide due to depression caused by this serious illness… this is wrapped up in the suicide statistics.

Here is WebMD:

…Although any illness can trigger depressed feelings, the risk of chronic illness and depression gets higher with the severity of the illness and the level of life disruption it causes. The risk of depression is generally 10-25% for women and 5-12% for men. However, people with a chronic illness face a much higher risk — between 25-33%. Risk is especially high in someone who has a history of depression.

Depression caused by chronic disease often makes the condition worse, especially if the illness causes pain and fatigue or it limits a person’s ability to interact with others. Depression can intensify pain, as well as fatigue and sluggishness. The combination of chronic illness and depression might lead you to isolate yourself, which is likely to make the depression even worse…

[….]

  • Heart attack: 40%-65% experience depression
  • Coronary artery disease (without heart attack): 18%-20% experience depression
  • Parkinson’s disease: 40% experience depression
  • Multiple sclerosis: 40% experience depression
  • Stroke: 10%-27% experience depression
  • Cancer: 25% experience depression
  • Diabetes: 25% experience depression
  • Chronic pain syndrome:  30%-54% experience depression

So the older members of the veteran community have these same maladies, and these statistics from serious illnesses SURELY play a roll VERSUS merely “being in the military.”

WHAT we can do or HOW we can help the vets is something I cannot answer.

But if all you have is the VA to help in your fight against cancer or heart disease, PTSD, or prompt medical responses to any number of things — getting a more private response versus “government care” is the answer that I think would help the most.

When all the factors of gender, race, age, etc. are plugged into the suicide rate in the military: if your son or daughter join the military their chances of commiting suicide lessen slightly. You combine this with other healthy activities such as marriage, regular church attendance, etc… and the rate drops even lower. There are many factors at play in this post, a person’s predisposition, religiousity, serious illness, etc. — it isn’t “cut’n’dry” in other words. ALL that being said, my main purpose of this post however is to deal with media myths and bad media headlines.


THE FOLLOWING COMES FROM MY OLD BLOG:


Spin Masters: Military * Stats + Bias = Liberal Agenda (MSNBC & NPR) [May 09, 2009]

I have recently come across this wonderful blogger/retired physician. Her name is Nancy Reyes, her catalogued articles can be found at the Blogger News Network, and her blog is not typically about political affairs at all: FinestKind Clinic and Fish Market. (She mainly writes on health issues or food.) How, you may ask did I come across this blogger/physician? Well, I overheard in a conversation someone mention the high suicide rates of our military are higher than the rest of the country. I remember hearing Michael Medved (if memory serves) going through the stats and correcting a caller on this subject. But very similar to other stats used by politicians in the past few elections (just as examples) these stats are easily shown to be misstated or misused. When I hear people make these claims – suicide rates of our military, unequal pay between genders, anthropogenic global warming, and the like — I often think how these people can make decisions and assumptions on statements made by media that has been proven to be biased time-and-time again.

There have been many studies done on where NPR for instance comes down on the side of the abortion controversy with how many stories and experts who give their input on the matter; the amount of “experts” brought in to support the Palestinian view of things versus how many people they bring in to support the Israeli view of the conflict; the amount of pro-2nd Amendment versus how many stories it lines up with “experts” who are for more gun regulation. The graph below is an example of NPR’s use of conservative versus liberal think tanks in the presentation of their stories (see graph below):

Heck, there are whole sites committed to following and exposing NPR’s biased reporting, one is NPR Sucks, for example. Another small article shows why this seems to be the case, a liberal slant to reporting that is, is one entitled, “Few Reporters Describe Themselves as Conservatives.” This isn’t a “big conspiracy,” rather, it is a culture born in the universities about 40 years ago. All this being said, I think the below articles are a must read. The reader should see my already mentioned link to ad to his or her understanding of how stats are misused. While keeping those examples in mind, the crux of the misuse of the below stats is this:

  • By comparing a population that is 90 percent men to the general population, you are comparing apples and oranges.

Suicide attempts are more common in the female population, but the men who try it succeed at a higher rate. Taking this higher rate in men (which the military is primarily composed of) and then comparing this to the population as a whole (men and women in other words) is skewing the results.

Army desertion rate up 80%? More lying with statistics

Last week, it was CBS jiggling the numbers to bash the war in Iraq by stating Veterans had a suicide rate of 18, much higher than the civilian population’s rate of 11 (ignoring that it was only slightly higher than the suicide rate for men, which was 17, and a heck of a lot lower than the rate for doctors, which is 30/100 000 per year).

This week the headline is “Army Desertion rate up 80%”.

The problem? the number “80%” implies a huge increase. But in statistics, if you start with a small number, it doesn’t take a large number to get a huge increase.

So the actual numbers are an increase from 0.7 % to 0.9%. For those of you who are numerically challenged, both those numbers are less than one percent:

According to the Army, about nine in every 1,000 soldiers deserted in fiscal year 2007, which ended Sept. 30, compared to nearly seven per 1,000 a year earlier.

Many of the desertions are soldiers who don’t want to go back to a war, but many are about soldiers with family problems. Many wives and families are severely stressed by their husband or wife going overseas, and sometimes soldiers just disappear because their families need them more than the Army. Often they report in later, and get an administrative discharge. The article implies the majority are war protesters and says that Canada no longer welcomes them, but the article does not give hard data on this.

Many just don’t like the Army, and it has nothing to do with the war. This NYTimes article notes that the number who actually deserted the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan was 109 (out of the 1 million military who served in these areas since 2003). The real worry is that some of the deserters are not anti war as much as suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome and cannot face staying in the military. Others have family problems, such as spouses theatening child custody or divorce. The military is sensitive to these problems, and tries to work out helping the soldier rather than punishing him or her.

As a comparison, the article admits that during Viet Nam, the desertion rate was 5%, and many were for being against that war.

Finally, if you go down to the end of the article, you find the desertion rates for the Navy, Marines, and Air Force are either stable or have gone down.

Nope, can’t publish good news, folks, let’s just move along…

Yup….just ignore the headline.

The war in Iraq is going well, so we have to find bad news to report…..

But just wait a week. Christmas is coming and the MSM will start their annual deluge of articles explaining why Christ was just a myth and Christians are delusional.

[….]

The Military and Suicides, Part One: Spinning statistics

The US Army is very worried about suicide and injuries in returning veterans. Stress in soldiers, and in returning veterans, is nothing new:

During World War II, PTSD was an even more serious problem. In the European Theater, 25 percent of all casualties were serious PTSD cases, compared to about 20 percent today. In the Pacific Theater, the rate varied widely, depending on the campaign. In some of the most intense fighting, like Okinawa in 1945, PTSD accounted for over a third of all wounded. In Iraq, less than ten percent of the wounded are PTSD, but the more troops serve in a combat zone, in combat jobs, the more likely they are to develop PTSD. This has been known for over a century.

One of the results of this is, alas, suicide.

The annual suicide statistics of the military/VA have been released.

The good news? The suicide rate remains low.

The bad news? The press is spinning the numbers to fit into the “Evil Iraq war is killing soldiers” and “the Military doesn’t care about the soldiers” meme (to fit the ultimate meme: Evil Bush’s war and evil Republicans don’t care).

Well, never mind the politics. I’m a doctor. Suicide is a major public health problem in the US (and in many countries). But there are a lot of myths out there.

So let’s look at myth number one:

CNN article: Headline: Army Suicide rates could top nation’s this year.

The story is not half bad, but you have to dig into the actual statistics to find the details.

As of August, 62 Army soldiers have committed suicide, and 31 cases of possible suicide remain under investigation, according to Army statistics. Last year, the Army recorded 115 suicides among its ranks, which was also higher than the previous year.

Well, one would expect a higher rate of returning veterans, who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress syndrome.

Problem: By not placing it into the context of total number of those who served in the Army, we cannot do a comparison.

But the third paragraph is the real problem:

Army officials said that if the trend continues this year, it will pass the nation’s suicide rate of 19.5 people per 100,000, a 2005 figure considered the most recent by the government.

That, my friends, is spin.

You see, suicide rates vary by age and by sex.

Although women have a higher rate of attempted suicide, men die of suicide at a much higher rate than the general population.

The rate of suicide of the general population is 19.5

The rate of suicide in men from the ages of 20 to 35 in 1980 was 24.

The rate of suicide in women from the ages of 20 to 35 was 5.

By comparing a population that is 90 percent men to the general population, you are comparing apples and oranges.

Certain groups: older men, alcoholics, minorities, and those with mental health problems, have a higher rate also.

So CNN assures us:

According to the VA, about 46 of 100,000 males between the ages of 18 and 29 utilizing VA services committed suicide in 2006, compared with about 27 the year before.

A very high rate. Except this is not the general population: this is the rate of those using the VA services, including those with mental health problems. By eliminating the healthy from the statistics, it makes the rate look higher than if the numbers included the entire population of military personnel.

The rest of the article goes on to say the VA is going to improve care for those with PTSS and depression.

So it’s not like nothing is being done: they are just trying to improve the care of the veterans.

For example, unmentioned in the article is that a pre 2001 program in the AirForce was credited with lowering it’s suicide rate from 16.4 yo 9.4 per 100 000 in two years.

Ironically, the article citing the Air Force is not about military suicides, but about suicides in physicians.

Eva Schernhammer and Graham Colditz examined the results of 25 studies of physician suicides and concluded that male doctors killed themselves at a rate 41 percent higher than that of other men and women. The more startling finding was that female doctors take their lives at a rate more than twice (2.27 times) that of the general public.

Tomi’s “Red, White, and Blue” Rant on Islam

Radical Islamists, have brought the fight right here to the Red, White and Blue and it’s about time we bring it to them. Full force. Let’s show them what the U.S. of A looks like up close and personal. Show ’em what a B1 bomber looks like flying overhead. Show ’em what they’re messing with. Put the fear of OUR God in their desert. Because clearly our lack of strategy isn’t working.

Marines On Funeral Detail Ran Into “Sergeant Major” Douchebag

Via The Blaze!

A new video posted on Facebook Sunday appears to show two U.S. Marines confronting a man who they believe to be impersonating a military veteran. In the video, the Marines are friendly at first as they ask the man where he served as well as other details about his military service. The man identifies himself as a “sergeant major,” a military policeman, and a special forces operator. However, the Marines grew very suspicious with his answers and eventually called the guy out.

“You know that’s called false valor? It is a federal crime for you to be wearing that uniform,” one of the Marines tells the alleged impersonator.

“No it’s not,” the man shoots back. “You can get out my face right now… because I’m a military officer as well.”

When the Marines asked him where his “MP” card is, he claimed it was in his car. He never concedes that he is not who he says he is.

Source: U.S Army W.T.F! moments