Author Archives: ultimaratioregis

Caturday in Vermont

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I’ll say one thing for Jackass Cat.  He can take a beating.  Sometimes I grab him by the tail and give him a good walloping.  He likes it, too, little sicko.   As soon as I let him go he just sits down and waits for more attention.

Even non-cat people like him.  He is a good dude, not a mean bone in his body.  Less’n you’re a mouse.

I just wish people would stop telling him how handsome he is.  I am afraid his head will get swole.

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“Extremists”

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Once upon a time, we considered those who sold body parts of those they killed to be extremists.

Apparently, Planned Parenthood believes it is those who object to such ghoulish practices who are now the extremists.

The extremists will not win this battle. The goal of these attacks is to get Planned Parenthood to stop providing care — and that will never happen. We have proudly provided reproductive health-care services for 99 years, and we are only getting started.

Whether Congress chooses to stand with extremists or with the women of the United States is up to them. Planned Parenthood will always stand with our patients and protect the rights of every woman to access care. Today, we need the American people to stand with them too.
I know that the President of Planned Parenthood has stated that allegation of such sale for profit is untrue.  But hey, a Lamborghini is a Lamborghini.   Not a peep from the Propaganda Ministry, er, mainstream media.
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Perhaps the “war on women” is more of a blitzkrieg…  Alles klar, Hillary?
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If it isn’t klar, this should make it so.  Right on cue:

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Some Additional Thoughts on the Relief of LtCol Kate Germano

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The recent relief of LtCol Kate Germano, CO of 4th RTBn at Parris Island, is an event that I have been following with some interest.  Quite frankly, I don’t know quite what to make of it.  I have largely refrained from commentary for that reason.  But let me put forth some thoughts.

The announcement that she was relieved because she “created a toxic work environment” smacks of whining about hurt feelings and people being offended.  The Depot Chief of Staff, Col Jeff Fultz, commented “She was telling them their male counterparts will never respect them if they don’t get good physical scores. You just don’t do that.”  Actually, Colonel, you do.  Marines who are physically marginal to substandard, regardless of gender, do not inspire the respect and confidence of seniors, peers, or juniors, especially when compared to those capable of leading by physical example.   If that was the case, LtCol Germano was speaking an immutable truth of leadership.

However, there are also allegations that LtCol Germano disobeyed her chain of command, which is a serious matter.  I can also imagine, having been at the periphery of zealous activism on the part of feminists, that she might have done and said things that she should not have, that indeed were abusive, and did undermine her boss’s authority.   I happen to know Dan Haas, the Recruit Training Regimental Commander, having served with him in 10th Marines a number of years ago.  And I think a lot of his talent and professionalism.  What seems very possible is that LtCol Germano said some magic words to or about the wrong person about a subject she was passionate about, likely more than once, and she got fired for it.  Her complaints, however, deserve examination in whole and in part.  Other than what she has written publicly, I know little about her personal views or why she holds them.

On the whole, however, LtCol Germano is witnessing the head-on collision between two mutually exclusive interests.  The advocacy for women, the accommodation made for them, the emphasis put on their importance, their empowerment to destroy careers and lives of male service members with an unfounded accusation, have caused women to serve in an environment where they are often not held to task or standard, and where they are not expected to perform.  No amount of feminist outrage can take the truth from that statement.  Women are seen, and not unreasonably, as dangerous to one’s career.  Hell hath no fury like a woman with an EEO complaint.  What LtCol Germano identifies is the predictable residue of favoritism.

That favoritism is also the cause of not a little resentment among male service members.  While they are TOLD that women are their equal at all things military (and disagreement a punishable offense, regardless of evidence to the contrary), what they really see is the dichotomy where their female comrade is portrayed as a helpless victim of unwanted sexual advances by evil men, while somehow at the same time being a fearsome she-warrior of the Ziva David variety, kicking male ass at every turn.   The truth was quite a bit different, as you can imagine.  As an example, when I was with 2nd SRIG in 1993-94, it was a staple of every quarterly conditioning hike to have to take note of the gender of the hike drops.  These were pretty mild affairs, as we carried a mere basic load for about 12 miles, and there are virtually no hills at Camp Lejeune.  From a unit of about 400 Marines (HQBn), it was not uncommon to have 30 hike drops, which would almost inevitably include every female in the battalion, of which there were between 24 and 28.   Hike after hike, not a single female could complete the event.   We were warned, however, that mentioning that fact was tantamount to sexual harassment, and we would be held accountable.   Once, one of the female Marines from 2nd UAV Company actually made the hike, and the SRIG SgtMaj wanted her to get special recognition.   If Kate Germano is looking for causes of low expectations, the climate created that would allow such a thing is a great place to start.

In detail, however, LtCol Germano’s assertions also bear some examination.  I spent three years on the Drill Field at Parris Island, graduating eleven cycles, with time thrown in as OIC of Academics and Close Combat.  My position was as a series and company commander, significantly closer to the training than Kate Germano was likely to be on a daily basis.   Though I left Parris Island before LtCol Germano was commissioned (gaaah!), some things likely still haven’t changed.  The problems she identifies regarding female marksmanship and physical fitness are not new.

First, marksmanship.  Marines, as we know, love our marksmanship.  Every Marine a rifleman, even the females.  Female recruits struggle to qualify at the same rate as males.  We explored that answer in detail some years ago, and what we found had little to do with expectations or instruction or emphasis.  It was the raw material.  Primary Marksmanship Instructors (PMIs), coaches, Drill Instructors, Series Officers, and Range Officers all came to the same conclusion, that relative to their male counterparts, far fewer female recruits had any experience handling or firing weapons.  When the PMIs would ask a recruit platoon how many had ever fired a rifle before, about a third of the male hands would go up.  On the female side, sometimes none would.  The entire concept, language, handling, and operation of the service rifle was completely foreign.  The amount of new information they have to process in comparison to their male counterparts is far greater over the same period of instruction.  (Anecdotally, the females who had fired a weapon tended to do far better than those who’d never handled one before.)   One proposal was to lengthen basic training for females by a week to give them an extra “grass week” to work on fundamentals, but with the requirements of service and cost, this was an impossibility.  While LtCol Germano may be able to work some significant improvement into female rifle scores, an effort which I loudly applaud, I believe it is the starting point of female versus male recruits that more than anything determines qualification results.

(I hate to bring this up, but LtCol Germano wears two Marksman badges, the lowest classification of qual for rifle and pistol.  What is true of physical fitness is also true of weapons proficiency.  Practicing what you preach and shooting expert would help a great deal with credibility…)

In the physical realm, we experimented back in the late 80s/early 90s with increasing female running and hiking requirements to approximate male standards.  What we wound up doing was injuring female recruits in large numbers. Here is where Mother Nature was most unfair.  The injuries to the female recruits were far more serious than to their male counterparts.  Males would suffer stress fractures in their shins, below the knee.  Painful, for sure, but when healed, not debilitating.  Female recruits would suffer their stress fractures in the femur and pelvis.  Often those injuries did permanent damage.   We were breaking female recruits at an alarming rate, so the experiment was stopped.  I don’t know if the prevalence of girls and young women on the sports field will eventually have some impact on the disparity, but I would caution that we would continue to break females at an unacceptably high rate, with serious injuries, by implementing male standards for female recruits.

I didn’t see where LtCol Germano advocated for integration of male and female platoons.  If she did, I missed it.  I hope she does not.  Such would be a catastrophe, destroying the character of both male and female training.  The reasons are legion, and I will not explore them here.  Perhaps in another post.  But her lament about being “away from male training” doesn’t really hold water.  When I was at Parris Island, Third Recruit Training Battalion was farther from the main parade deck than Fourth Recruit Training Battalion was/is. “Where nobody can hear your pleas for mercy”, as one of my favorite Senior Drill Instructors was fond of saying.   4th Bn should embrace being “away from the flagpole”, as we did out in the woods with 3rd Bn.

So, I cannot get a feel whether I find LtCol Germano’s relief justified.  I can empathize with and agree with some of her assertions.  I can applaud her zeal in trying to ensure her Marines are trained to the sharpest edge.  I also cannot tell whether I would agree with her in a sit-down regarding the training and leadership of Marines.  She does not come across as a girl-power feminist whose cause comes before Corps.  But again, I don’t know.  I would be disappointed if she were.   What I do surmise is that her relief had little to do with “integration of women in the Marine Corps”, as both sides of the discussion seem to want to make it.

But what we definitely saw was the head-on collision between special treatment and high expectations.  They are mutually exclusive.

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Mil Times: VA Doctor Regrets Post Telling Gun Advocate to ‘Off’ Himself

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So typically VA.

Gorton was responding to a post that came through his Facebook page by an apparent gun-rights supporter, according to images posted to the website Imgur and described by the newspaper.

“I am all for gun control,” the user wrote. “If there is a gun in the room, I want to be in control of it.”

Gorton replied: “Off yourself, please.”

Gorton said he would not call himself a gun-control activist.

“I have concerns about gun violence, but many of us do,” he said.

He should have concerns about his next paycheck, because he should be fired immediately.

For what it is worth, and it is worth a ton, the VA Hospital in Philadelphia commented on the incident, as the AP tells:

“The post was totally inappropriate and does not convey our commitment to veterans. We are taking steps immediately to address the situation,” the VA told the newspaper.

Yes, it perfectly portrays your commitment to Veterans.   And is a symptom of a much larger problem.

In an unrelated matter, VA officials told Congress this month that nearly a dozen employees at the regional office in Philadelphia could face discipline over their errant handling of a backlog of benefit claims.

The VA’s inspector general had found that Philadelphia staff neglected mail, altered claims dates and reviews and made $2.2 million in duplicate benefit payments as it tried to reduce backlogs.

Unrelated, my ass.  The debacles in Phoenix and in Philadelphia and across the VA system should result in people being charged with criminal misconduct (including Federal charges relating to retribution against whistle-blowers), and if clinicians are found to have had knowledge or willfully participated in the scandals, they should have their licenses to practice medicine revoked.

The VA is an unaccountable, unresponsive, inefficient, bureaucratic nightmare, where medical care is decidedly uneven.  There are good people trying to do good work, to be sure.  But far, far too many who are of the ilk that begets the kind of despicable and dishonest mismanagement we hear about daily from the VA.  Secretary Bob McDonald, who took over for Eric Shinsecki, needs to fire people, loudly and publicly.  Heads on plates.  Gregg Gorton’s should be among them.  Along with his newly-revoked license to practice psychiatry.   If Gorton’s head is not on that plate today, perhaps Bob McDonald’s head should be served.

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More on Door-Kicking, Aggressive, Unnecessarily Escalatory “Peace Officers”

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From that urbane sophisticate, LTCOL P over at Op-For, where he references WAPO, via SurvivalBlog:

The culture that encourages police officers to engage their weapons before gathering information promotes the mind-set that nothing, including citizen safety, is more important than officers’ personal security.

Worth the read, both LTCOL P’s cogent commentary and the original article.

Police officers should understand the risks in their jobs when they enroll in the academy, as well. That means knowing that personal safety can’t always come first.

Very tired of Police Officers asserting that their “safety” trumps Constitutional liberties.  Especially when they are more aggressive toward law-abiding American citizens than I was ever allowed to be toward Iraqis.  Sadly, as LTCOL P points out, they behave like Volkspolizei because we have allowed it.

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The Real Problem in the Sandra Bland Case

I agree so seldom with what is written in the Huffington Post as to be just this side of never.  But lo and behold, yesterday there was a column by Tom Mullen about the arrest of Sandra Bland that should resonate thunderously across this country.  In that article, the author spares the reader the indignant shrieks of “racism!”.

It wasn’t her being black that started the tragic chain of events. It was refusing to follow a police officer’s orders.

At some point between ratification of the Fourth Amendment and the death of Sandra Bland, the entire principle underpinning that constitutional protection has been lost. The Fourth Amendment assumes armed agents of the state can’t be trusted to issue their own orders. That’s why we have warrants in the first place. They are permitted only to enforce the orders of an impartial judge, who authorizes them to apprehend suspects upon the judge’s determination of probable cause.

That’s not to say many or most officers aren’t well-intentioned or trustworthy. But their job is to use force. That role must be separated from the issuance of orders.

Had Sandra Bland been a murder suspect and arresting officer Brian Encinia serving a warrant for her arrest, no one would have questioned Encinia’s conduct in ordering her out of her car.

But Bland wasn’t a murder suspect. As she quite rationally protested, she was ordered out of her car over a “failure to signal.” She had complied with the traffic stop. I seriously doubt there is a law or ordinance requiring her to stop smoking while being issued a citation for a traffic violation.

Emphasis mine.  Read the whole thing.  Definitely points to ponder.  Much has been said here and elsewhere about the runaway authority being exercised by law enforcement at the expense of Constitutional liberties.  Ferguson, and the “stop and frisk” policies in Brooklyn are such cases.  However, quite deliberately, the usual suspects shout “racism” at the tops of their lungs to obfuscate the true issues and stifle intelligent discussion.

In Ferguson, the conversation had drifted from Michael Brown’s actions (robbing a store and reaching for the policeman’s gun) to the actions of deputized law enforcement brought in to keep order.  These actions included pointing a loaded weapon at an unarmed and innocent civilian with a threat to inflict mortal harm.  It was when those actions became the focus of outrage, that AG Eric Holder and his ilk moved in to redirect the story back toward cries of racism, and the utterly disingenuous “Hands Up” meme.

I have had a number of conversations about the “stop and frisk” policy in New York.  It was immediately surmised that such a policy was inherently racist, and that is the reason it should have been stopped.  When I point out that, racist policy or not, the Fourth Amendment forbids the police from stopping and searching someone ANYWHERE without probable cause, I often get surprised looks.  A recitation of the Fourth Amendment sometimes helps.

The author offers a highly plausible explanation for the actions of the arresting officer:

…it’s much more likely he treated her the way he did because she didn’t exhibit blind obedience to his every whim, something he was trained not to tolerate and Americans of all political persuasions seem to have acquiesced to without question.

The idea of going along to get along has become a very dangerous thing in the larger picture.  It is creating precedent of unfettered authority in the hands of law enforcement, while at the same time, de facto negating our civil liberties in the face of petty tyranny.

Mix in what XBRAD has documented so often, the militarization of our police forces nationwide, and the result is the subjugation of a free people to an authority without control or restraint, except that of the temperament and decency of those in that authority.  Our Constitution was written, and has been enforced, to prevent precisely such an eventuality.

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The New Black Panther Party

Not so different from the old one.

Black Confederate Flag supporter murdered after rally by car full of jeering black men

Over the weekend an African American woman who had attended a pro-Confederate flag rally and publicly burned her personal NAACP card in protest over how southerners are being treated was run off the road likely by members of the New Black Panther Party who confronted her at the rally.Her companion was killed in the attack.

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After the rally, Vietnam veteran Arlene Barnum was chased and run off the road by unknown assailants. Fortunately she was not killed in the attack. But one Confederate flag supporter was killed in the chase.

Arlene Barnum, a Vietnam-era veteran of the U.S. Army and Republican activist who supports the Confederate battle flag, burned her lifetime membership card to the NAACP at a multi-racial unity rally to save the Linn Park Confederate Monument in Birmingham, Alabama, Saturday. After the rally, however, Barnum was injured in an accident when the truck she was in rolled over after reportedly being chased, Save Our South public relations spokesperson Jonathan Barbee told Examiner.com Sunday.

Vehicle Barnum was in after rolling over. According to Barnum, she and another occupant were chased off the road.

The truck was being driven by Anthony Hervey, another speaker at Saturday’s rally. According to the McAlester News-Capital, Hervey was killed in the accident, which took place near Oxford, Mississippi. Initially, supporters thought Barnum had been killed as well, but the tough Army veteran posted a video to Facebook ensuring everyone that rumors of her death were quite premature.

Supporters were relieved to hear Barnum survived, but were saddened by Hervey’s death. Hervey, Barbee told Examiner, was a veteran from Mississippi who received the Purple Heart.
According to the News-Capital, Barnum said Hervey noticed a vehicle speeding up to catch them. The vehicle started to swerve into their passenger side, the report said. Apparently, Hervey sped up, but a silver vehicle continued to pursue them. Barnum reportedly said the entire incident happened quite fast.

Black Panther Party members had confronted Barnum for her support of white people.

Remember that Attorney General Eric Holder called the New Black Panther Party “his people”, when thugs from the same group prowled voting booths in Pennsylvania with clubs, intimidating voters, for which Holder refused to investigate and prosecute.

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Here’s betting nobody from this blatantly racist Administration will be anywhere near Anthony Hervey’s funeral.  I would also wager that the Eric Holder look-alike, Loretta Lynch, will not exactly demand “Justice for Anthony”, either.  It isn’t like a car full of Klansmen perpetrated vehicular homicide, now is it?  The victim’ name isn’t Malik Shabazz, or anything, either.  And after all, the Confederate flag is a symbol of hatred….

H/T  Brian P.

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