Soldier Fitness Tracker: How Would It Grade Pat Tillman?

DENIGRATION IS A FINE WAY TO TREAT A HERO - Many patriotic people stake a claim on Pat Tillman's heroism. However, it turns out he's an atheist (hero) in a foxhole denigrated, along with his family, by some Christians for his beliefs. Click here for more about his story >>

In joining the military, young troops give up some basic Constitutional rights given the civilian population. The vagaries of war sometimes require it. The military is not a democracy and that’s as it should be.

However, there are some rights they don’t and shouldn’t give up, including the right to worship or not worship as they see fit. A slew of recent events and complaints about the religious components of the Army’s mandatory Soldier Fitness Tracker (SFT) test show abuses that cannot stand.

I’m not a militant atheist. I’m not particularly troubled by most of the many Christian symbols and deeds that appear in clearly secular places. Whether you want to worship Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, or rocks and trees is none of my concern. I even say Merry Christmas and not Happy Holidays on occasion.

In God Some of Us Don’t Trust

However, I strongly believe that one’s rights stop at the point where they infringe upon others’. Scribbling “In God We Trust” on a dollar doesn’t make it  worth less. It doesn’t infringe on my right to spend the dollar as I see fit. I prefer to see it as a label that identifies God’s cash when it goes into a collection plate or tithe, even though you’d think an omniscent being could figure it out on their own. No harm and no huge foul. More of a bum call actually, but nothing to get dangerously huffy over.

War is Hell, even if Hell is a religious construct. It’s a dark place that breaks bodies and minds and that’s why I’m not against SFT in principle. Everyone could use a little help on the battlefield. If God is your answer, who am I to deprive you of that comfort? If God isn’t, who are you to deprive me of that comfort?

My objection stems from non-Christians and non-theists being tested against a purely Christian scale. Not only are they deemed failures if they don’t answer questions “properly”, but they receive help clearly not right for them. In effect, they get no help at all. Worse yet, they’re compelled to see the chaplain about arrangements for being “born again” or attending Christian concerts.

The problem is less SFT than the measuring metrics used, how the Army interprets the results,  and whether or what kind of emotional support the non-Christians may need. There’s nothing in the test that can’t be remedied with more attention to the needs of all soldiers, not just the select few.

The Army is No Theocracy
As a group, it’s probably safe to say that the majority of those agreeing with such Christianization of the military are the same ones who prattle on about DADT victims being such grave dangers to “unit cohesion and morale”. Doesn’t it seem a soldier labeled a failure, told their beliefs are wrong, and deprived of support offered to Christian soldiers wouldn’t have such great morale and possibly feel alienated enough to damage unit cohesion? The Army may not be a democracy, but it’s not a theocracy either.

American Christians represent a far greater portion of the population than non-theists, polytheists, and non-christians combined. Yet, their constant hosannas are about their rights being lost to the Great Godless Hordes – even to the point that the new Alabama governor publicly suggests his relationship with Christian constituents is greater than his relationship with other Alabamans.

Christians’ insistent imposition of their beliefs on other Americans is exactly what drives the more militant Atheists to distraction. Christians have built a slippery slope not unlike the NRA‘s where many Atheists feel the need to fight every new slight as though it means the death of the Constitution and their inevitable excommunication as Americans. And we’re all – Christians and non-Christians alike – going for a long slide if it continues.

My Christian friends – this isn’t persecution of you, but by you.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Soldier Fitness Tracker: How Would It Grade Pat Tillman?

DENIGRATION IS A FINE WAY TO TREAT A HERO - Many patriotic people stake a claim on Pat Tillman's heroism. However, it turns out he's an atheist (hero) in a foxhole denigrated, along with his family, by some Christians for his beliefs. Click here for more about his story >>

In joining the military, young troops give up some basic Constitutional rights given the civilian population. The vagaries of war sometimes require it. The military is not a democracy and that’s as it should be.

However, there are some rights they don’t and shouldn’t give up, including the right to worship or not worship as they see fit. A slew of recent events and complaints about the religious components of the Army’s mandatory Soldier Fitness Tracker (SFT) test show abuses that cannot stand.

I’m not a militant atheist. I’m not particularly troubled by most of the many Christian symbols and deeds that appear in clearly secular places. Whether you want to worship Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, or rocks and trees is none of my concern. I even say Merry Christmas and not Happy Holidays on occasion.

In God Some of Us Don’t Trust

However, I strongly believe that one’s rights stop at the point where they infringe upon others’. Scribbling “In God We Trust” on a dollar doesn’t make it  worth less. It doesn’t infringe on my right to spend the dollar as I see fit. I prefer to see it as a label that identifies God’s cash when it goes into a collection plate or tithe, even though you’d think an omniscent being could figure it out on their own. No harm and no huge foul. More of a bum call actually, but nothing to get dangerously huffy over.

War is Hell, even if Hell is a religious construct. It’s a dark place that breaks bodies and minds and that’s why I’m not against SFT in principle. Everyone could use a little help on the battlefield. If God is your answer, who am I to deprive you of that comfort? If God isn’t, who are you to deprive me of that comfort?

My objection stems from non-Christians and non-theists being tested against a purely Christian scale. Not only are they deemed failures if they don’t answer questions “properly”, but they receive help clearly not right for them. In effect, they get no help at all. Worse yet, they’re compelled to see the chaplain about arrangements for being “born again” or attending Christian concerts.

The problem is less SFT than the measuring metrics used, how the Army interprets the results,  and whether or what kind of emotional support the non-Christians may need. There’s nothing in the test that can’t be remedied with more attention to the needs of all soldiers, not just the select few.

The Army is No Theocracy
As a group, it’s probably safe to say that the majority of those agreeing with such Christianization of the military are the same ones who prattle on about DADT victims being such grave dangers to “unit cohesion and morale”. Doesn’t it seem a soldier labeled a failure, told their beliefs are wrong, and deprived of support offered to Christian soldiers wouldn’t have such great morale and possibly feel alienated enough to damage unit cohesion? The Army may not be a democracy, but it’s not a theocracy either.

American Christians represent a far greater portion of the population than non-theists, polytheists, and non-christians combined. Yet, their constant hosannas are about their rights being lost to the Great Godless Hordes – even to the point that the new Alabama governor publicly suggests his relationship with Christian constituents is greater than his relationship with other Alabamans.

Christians’ insistent imposition of their beliefs on other Americans is exactly what drives the more militant Atheists to distraction. Christians have built a slippery slope not unlike the NRA‘s where many Atheists feel the need to fight every new slight as though it means the death of the Constitution and their inevitable excommunication as Americans. And we’re all – Christians and non-Christians alike – going for a long slide if it continues.

My Christian friends – this isn’t persecution of you, but by you.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

DADT and the Wall of Whoop

DADT has been studied more than cancer, but the data is finally in. A vast majority of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines said, “big whoop”. The Secretary of Defense and many senior commanders have said – as they have for quite some time – “big whoop”. And the public, which the Tea Baggers and Republicans claim gave them an overwhelmingly clear mandate to do whatever they wanted screamed, “big whoop!” The Republican caucus, a minority of military commanders, and most notably Lindsey “Rentboy” Graham and the world’s most petulant child, John McThuselah, have said, “Not so fast. There’ll be no whooping in my military.”

On this issue – come to think of it, on most issues – McCain has been a major pain in the tuchus. He whined because the 17 gazillion studies that have been done since DADT was enacted just weren’t thorough enough, if by thorough you mean agreed with him. He said he’d gladly go along with repeal once the troops on the ground said, “big whoop”. Not unexpectedly, when confronted by the troops’ Wall of Whoop, his response is, “Whaaaaaaaa! I don’t wanna!”

McCain: Formally Admiral Crybaby
How the hell did such a crybaby survive being a POW? “Wahhh! I want more gruel. Whaaaa! I’m hot, and cold, and hot. Whaaaa! You waterboarded me with a neti pot instead of a towel and bucket. What kind of enhanced interrogator are you?!”

Look, almost every military on Earth, except perhaps Pope Ratzzie’s Swiss Guard, accepts gay people. And like the old saw about masturbation (with apologies to Christine O’Donnell), those that think there are none already there are lying. So far as I know, there has never been a military failure attributable to sexual orientation unless you count drumming out qualified and critically needed translators at just the time we needed them most.

Way to fight the War of Error there Boehner Bitches.

There have been no instances of soldiers running out of the shower tent directly into the groping hands of a TSA agent because someone looked at their junk. Even little old ladies from Pasadena waited until someone took x-rays of their desiccated old vajayjays followed by the most embarrassing crotch grab in history to complain.

AAAAAHHHHH! Look, It’s a Dick
Are you saying that accidentally looking at an underwhelming, soap-lathered dick will cause a top notch military to take up arms and resist the legal orders of Congress and the President – who ought to stop pussyfooting (no pun intended) around and issue? If you do, are you not saying, “These colors never run!” but, “These colors will always run from a comrade they never even knew was gay before they were allowed to ask”? You’re not describing a world class military; you’re describing an extremely well-armed gaggle of unpatriotic, cowardly traitors.”

As a veteran, I for one am as insulted as those in uniform should be.

John Boy, Graham Cracker, Boehner Boys, Senate Leader Yertle, stop turning an issue with as much import to the country as your last 27 anti-flag burning amendments into a holy crusade that allows you to stomp your little wingtips and whine whenever the Democrats’ chiropractor accidentally finds a spine.

I believe you’ve been bragging about that massive mandate you got from the public. A public, BTW, that rates you several points below your craven Democratic colleagues and that sorry excuse for a President across the aisle. Quitcher bitchin’ and do as the vast majority of voters have commanded.

Your behavior is just so, um, gay (apologies to the LGBT community for the insult).

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

 

The Elephants Eat the Carrot and Beat Obama with the Stick

There are many things Barack Obama has reneged on during his first two years and as a result the country has never benefited from his promises of change. Instead, he’s become more Bush Lite in many ways.

The War of Error goes on – apparently indefintely. Gitmo is still open and many of the accused are still waiting for counsel, much less actually getting a trial. He’s cast aside promises on gay marriage, DADT, transparency, and limitations on presidential powers hoping some lucky Washington voodoo will somehow resolve the issues for him. On every major issue, he begins compromising before negotiations even begin. But perhaps his biggest blunders are in the way Americans live and work , or often, don’t work.

Obama faces a host of accusations that he’s a raving socialist busily fist-bumping the ghost of Karl Marx. The problem is, the facts don’t fit the accusations and they don’t fit because Obama has perfected that Bushian ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Profits Up, Obama Down
Despite the cat calls, profits at American corporations have steadily risen since that awful commie took office. In fact, they set a record in the Q3. Profits are up, not because Obama opposes business, but because he colludes with them. The CEO compensation juggernaut is traveling like such a runaway locomotive that even the richest of the rich are calling for higher taxes on themselves – yet, Obama is open to the idea of extending Bush tax cuts for the rich before the debate gets underway.

No wonder the head Mertle of the Grand Old Turtles, Mitch McConnell, feels justified in treating Obama persona non grata. He knows The Messiah™ will crack at even token opposition. Obama’s once sterling approval overseas is eroding quickly too, making it hard for him to effect meaningful change on the global stage.

Perhaps the best example of his special talent in taking too long to do too little to benefit the wrong people is his woeful stewardship of flagship issue, health care.

Before the debates even began, Republicans, who trumpeted their alleged bipartisan civility, said the bill was DOA. As Democratic lawmakers ineptly tried to hammer out compromise after compromise, they went all dirty sanchez on every Republican with a case of political hemorrhoids while caving to hundreds of demands and letting Republicans call them uncooperative, hyperpartisan Visigoths favoring the offing of your 90-year old grammy because she has a hangnail.

Grammy’s Hangnail

Hidden among those compromises were plenty for health insurers who are some of the most despicable miscreants in American economics. These are people who literally put grammy’s well being far behind their own. They have a proven track record of rationing health care and reaping the rewards in excessive compensation.

Despite a bill that was popular at the time and is now favored by voters 49-40%, Americans got a huge bill from the insurance companies before almost anything actually took effect. They got that because Obama caved to their demands just as he caved to the neo-tea baggers. In return, he was charged with shameless socialism…by the same Republicans and lobbyists who brokered – if one could call it that – the sweetheart deal. Repblibaggers say they’ll repeal it bit won’t  – unless by repeal you mean rejigger it so the deals get better for the unhealth care giants and their minions in striped suits and whigtips.

BO may know sports, but politics? Not so much. He has established a firm and repeatable record for setting himself up for the Big Fail. He gives a carrot to the Grand Old Elephants, who throw it a few feet down the road. Trying to be a nice, agreeable guy he bends down to pick up the carrot. Suddenly, the elephant breaks out a huge stick and beats him like a rug. Then, after the beat down, he dutifully hands the carrot back to the elephant who accuses him of being an oafish prick for dropping it, throws it down the road, and starts the cycle again.

For such a smart guy, you’d think he’d learn this is a really mean game of carrot and stick.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

 

 

Values Voters: Hating Sin, Loving Sinners Only Applies to Their Own Group

When will politicians learn that running on personal values is a non-starter, particularly since most voters don’t care? But more importantly, how is it that the most sanctimonious pricks are usually the ones who turn up in compromising positions with those they hate on?

I don’t care what a person does behind doors. Really, I don’t. Plushies, fisting, or sex with park benches, it’s all good with me. By the same token, if you don’t like something, I’m OK with that too as long as you don’t try to force others to embrace your kookie, holier than the holiest of holies blather. But when a lout like Carl Palidino screams about the evils of the “homosexual life style” and is then caught emailing “awesome lesbian porn” (BTW Carl, lesbians are homosexuals) it’s rank, “large H” hypocrisy.

However, I expect a some “little H” hypocrisy, even though it too is wrong. There are a variety of reasons for candidates to change positions – from legitimate conversions of opinion to taking a slightly different spin on an issue to placate a particularly important constituency. But, there is something different about ignoring what you preach, particularly when you scream it at the top of your sinning-assed lungs.

And, here’s the difference.

When a candidate changes position on, for example, whether the Department of Education should be abolished, most voters – if they notice at all – forget about it within days. Most wouldn’t vote based on that single issue anyway.

But when a sanctimonious ass cake preaches the evils of homosexuality and is then found in bed with hookers or shipping porn spam around like a Nigerian Viagra dealer, values voters never seem angry about the breach of faith. In fact, they often scapegoat others, from the media to some innocent party, to protect the “sinner”. Values voters are much more likely to care less that a soldier who was never asked and never told was discharged than the sin of the anti-gay, red-handed jackwad pulling his pud over lesbian porn.

And values voters do often vote purely on values issues. They seem to have an attitude of hating the sin but loving the sinner only when the sinner is one of their own – even if the sinner has compounded their original sin with the sin of lying about it – repeatedly.

It’s also different in another important way.

If someone is elected and succeeds in abolishing, say, the Department of Education, the Republic may suffer from a stupid decision, but it’s unlikely to perish. However, if values voters continue to ignore and defend the transparent imbeciles like Palidino and nibble away at constitutional protections because someone is gay or Muslim or black or just different in some way, the Republic will perish.

If you think the worst thing that can happen is the repeal of DADT or gay marriage, you ain’t seen nothing like a country turned into group-belief theocracy.

Especially if you’re not a member of the theocratic elite.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

 

 

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