Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Too much information......

All of us are inundated with emails, links, posts from who knows where...every minute of the day.

Last month I got fooled by some whack-job paranoid bitching about a food bill he had not actually read. When I actually spent a day reading the bill.....I was embarrassed for my lack of due diligence.

Today, I wasted a half-hour responding to some fuck-head who claimed that HR 1388 was new Obama legislation setting aside $20 million to move Hamas militants to the U.S. from Gaza in Palestine....and how this ties into Obama's Muslim agenda.

This time I actually read the bill....which turns out to be Ted Kennedy's National Service should do community service.

"Hate to pop this clown's bubble.....but this is all bullshit. There is no mention in the bill of anything to do with Palestine or Hamas. Imagine actually reading the material? What a concept. The bill is the Serve America act....making some kind of volunteer service mandatory for young people.

It is possible that there are funds budgeted for helping people who DO manage to extract themselves from all the various Middle East shitholes. Right now, we do not even take Iraqi's.....even translators targeted by insurgents, or families of translators already killed by insurgents......much less Palestinians.

By the of my prettiest and brightest Stanford students is a Palestinian. She did marine biology, and now is a lawyer out of UC Davis. She volunteered in the summers working in the refugee camps teaching the kids dance. Her dad was on a Hamas hit list, so he emigrated (he has plenty of money and lives in Marin County). Carina is a VICTIM of Hamas, who is trying to fix things. Her family was rich, so they did not need our help. There are a lot of poor people on our side in Palestine that need our help.

Saying that just because someone lived in Gaza they are a Hamas terrorist is ignorant, bigoted bullshit unbecoming anyone who should pretend to call themselves Americans. This Watson guy is a fucking douchebag.....he needs to be stuffed in a bottle and floated out on the Japanese current with the rest of the trash and litter. There is way too much hate the world already to be wasting time and energy inventing it and instigating more.

Meanwhile, I will forward to you some info on the new, hi-tech munitions the Israeli's used against Gaza.....DIME munitions. Dense Inert Metal Explosives....If there was money in HR 1388 it would not be for actual Hamas radicals....but for refugees on our side, or wounded or blown up people from Gaza. Actually it would only be for relatives of blown up people since there are no survivors from DIME munitions. The wounds inflicted are considered untreatable....and anyway if you survive the initial blast, you are dead from leukemia within a month.

After reading about the effects of the new weaponry and how it was deployed, you might have a different outlook on this subject. Obama is cleaning up a pretty terrible humanitarian and PR mess our munitions people and the Israelis created. At the time this came out in 2006, I was amazed no one seemed to give a shit.....the Bushies and the MSM hushed everything up.

A $20 million apology would be cheap. One twentieth of one banker's bonus for one year. Unfortunately even that token gesture of humanity is a right-wing fantasy. picture actual journalism. It is hard work. You actually have to talk to people, follow leads, fact-check everything. I have a project in mind.....but it would take two years, and I have weddings to do in the meantime, and bills to pay.

Here is some of my basic research. You can take it to the bank:

The Army spends around a half-million dollars training each graduate from our Army, Navy and Air Force academies. In exchange, the soldiers, sailors and airmen and women promise a full five-year committment to the military.

Once upon a time......everybody stayed in until they died, which was usually of old age and alcoholism.

The Class of 2003? After five years, five thousand dead, stop-loss, multiple battlefield tours, etc........

Thirty-one per cent have stayed on.....and more are leaving all the time.

These are our best and brightest.....the crew that for two hundred plus years have gone on to become generals and admirals and run our armed forces. The West Point classes of the 1840's gave us most of our Civil War generals......and a crazy number of Presidents, Senators, etc.

That is no longer the case.

So.....who is filling the ranks left open by the departure of our actual trained and educated officers? Answer.....whoever signs up.

A newly minted officer leaves West Point as a lieutenant. With good service, and minimal fuckups this guy or gal becomes a captain in four or five years. Majors have to wait for ten or twelve years.

The whole good service and fuckup thing? Out the window in the face of 69% attrition rates. Enlistment standards are way down, and officer qualifications have followed them. At this point, even drug dealing will not get you fired from our New Volunteer Army. Just don't grab someone's dick in the shower, and you can do whatever you want.

There is a 99% promotion rate from captain to major these days.

Are you kidding?

The Army and restaurants fish in the same pool of available employees. We don't get the bankers and doctors and lawyers. Anyone who would do either job is missing some important neuro-transmitters.....not there are not great, creative chefs.....and brilliant military folk.

Still......if I promoted 99% of all the fuckups that ever worked for me......there would be mad chaos in the world of food. Ten per cent is more like it.......thirty per cent at a push.

When I first moved to California from New York City I burned through waitresses and cooks like petrol at a NASCAR race. Eventually....tired of working by myself.....I embraced the California work ethic: If someone shows up some time on the day they were appointed....this wonderful. If they show up most of the time, and are often never fire them. If they show up most of the time and often sober for a make them a manager. If they last two make them a partner.

This is in a business that pours liquid into glasses and makes cold things hot....and hot things cold. There is rarely gunfire.

To discover that our military is in worse shape than our restaurants is sobering. Because our restaurants suck.

There is a core of smart, brave, loyal soldiers and sailors that are bucking this trend....but no one is listening. If we don't get a clue......old Nick the Greek, the alcoholic tobacco stained waiter who always forgets your name......will be directing military operations and strategy.

You think I am exaggerating?

Three stories from today: 1) a triple amputee (West Point grad) arms, one leg...still in service was called back up to active duty last month.....for a third tour in Iraq. He protested a little, but as a good soldier buckled down, took his kids out of school, put his house on the market....and prepared to go back into battle at the Army's command. Turns out, they don't have a mechanism for recognising wounds suffered in battle. 2) An officer (West Point grad '98) who was blown up in Iraq and lost both eyes was just notified that he would not be eligible for promotion from Captain to Major because he had completed the physical training.....the Ranger course or whatever is required. The guy is fucking blind, functioning as a staff officer at a high level despite his wounds.....but not the guy you want with you on a ropes course, and won't be great at spotting IED's in Mosul. 3) A third guy, also blown up in Iraq also gets orders cut for Iraq. This guy is also missing some important body parts, some vision, etc......but more important, is a highly trained security and intelligence officer that is working at planning staff level.

No matter. Nick the Greek needs some waiters for Sunday stick 'em in there. It is either these guys or the dishwashers. And, just like the restaurant ten years, the dishwashers will be in charge.

Lots of people.....including me.....screamed and shouted and waved their arms about the impending housing crisis, and no one listened.

The impending disintegration of the quality of our military is scarier to me than a bunch of Mary Kaye salesladies defaulting on their McMansions in Las Palmas.

I would tell you more.....but I have to get ready for a dinner party tomorrow.


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