I keep returning to the asshole well. That’s because it doesn’t run dry.
In my to do list is to finish the goddamn story about how I became a lefty, and I’ve been compiling stories that suggest to me that something big is gonna go down in America, like in a violent way. When (or if) the Republican Party is finally exposed for the criminal organization that it is, I think we’re going to pop off into a civil war-and I want to be ready, although my wife does not want me to be a soldier again.
Anyway, I’m biting at the Tucker bait because I think it’s funny and judging by the amount of people who come here to see what an asshole he is, it’s the sensible thing to write about. I need to give the people what they want.
So, how many of us remember “Ol’ Blood And Guts”?
No, not Patton.
A more current warmongerer is who I had in mind.
Hm. I don’t seem to have any stuff about Colonel Ralph Peters on this blog. That means I haven’t heard from him in over six years. He’s one of Fox News’ “analysts” and go-to guys on all things war, even though the good colonel has never been to one. Ralph’s a cantankerous fella, more old man than old soldier. You can reasonably assume that his appearances and writing will be over the top, and therefore hilarious. Here’s a few of his greatest hits. Kill, kill, kill for peace, hang the traitors by their thumbs and take the booty because it’s the white man’s burden to civilize the world.
Did I mention that Ralph is old? Ralph is so old, he’s a Republican who remembers that t
he Soviet Union Russia is not our friend. And don’t you forget it, sonny, or you’ll get a tongue lashing.
That’s the mistake that Tucker Carlson made, who is young and does not remember fallout shelters and desk drills and being an ass hair from mutually assured nuclear annihilation. Now look-I’m not saying that historical enemies cannot be our friends. But if you think about it, you generally have to waste them to get them to be nice, a la Germany, Japan and even Vietnam in the long run. We never broke Russia to the point where it pledged to be good after we crushed it. And we did the enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend thing with them already. When our common aims were achieved, which was ridding the world of the Nazis, we went on hating them and every godless thing they stood for.
Now it could be argued that we are at that place again, this time against ISIS. But really, no one gives a jolly fuck about ISIS but us, partially because we keep picking at a scab called 9/11. That’s the story for the rubes in the United States, anyway. What we’ve actually been up to is trying to control the globe, cynically using our collective fear of terror (and make no mistake, the “terrorists” are today’s Red Menace) as a pretext to gobble up more power. We never stopped trying to hem Russia in while they spiraled into chaos in the 80s. Since then we’ve grown NATO, made buddy-buddy with breakaway soviets, and are moving antiballistic missiles closer and closer to the Russian border. I really think we are still trying to game out getting away with an unanswered nuclear first strike.
Then Vladimir Putin came along. An ex-KGB creep turned technocrat, he embraced capitalism, Christianity, and politically motivated murder while using Russia’s formidable oil wealth to mount a defense of itself. He has crushed rebellions and annexed land as he expands his power. And if you are an enemy of America, he wants to know you.
We are NOT angels, but Vladimir Putin is probably not a good person and not to be trusted whatsoever. We are at cross purposes with him in Syria. He’s pummeling the resistance to Bashar-Al Assad ruthlessly, and setting ISIS back on its heels a little in the process. We’ve had less luck in this area because we are futilely trying to arm the small resistance that has both ISIS and Assad as its nemeses. We’re trying to thread a needle here-because any further aggression against Assad is probably not going to sit well with Putin. We’re already in something approaching a proxy war with him already, and there seems to be no appetite here for a more direct one that could send this whole world to hell.
Anyway, it looks like Putin’s recent skulduggery took the form of trying to curry favor with an entire American political party, particularly one that would work with and protect one President Donald J. Trump and associates in order to advance Russian interests. After the country suffered six months of smoke inhalation, we’ve finally found some still glowing embers of the conflagration that we’re calling collusion. And it’s not going to go away. The American political system has never been tested in this way before-this is “new snow”, as I saw it put once. It’s so new, there might not be laws against it, I fear. But surely there is something odious and unethical at the very least about letting a rival nation ratfuck an American election. Our elections stink of illegal and unethical behavior as it is with caging and allegations of machine hacking. But the reachout to Russia must qualify as something in the “misdemeanor” part of the impeachment clauses, if Herr Trump is indeed red-handed. And that’s just the president-this dragnet could ensnare high ranking Republicans outside of Trump’s inner circle.
But you didn’t come here to listen to me tell you shit you already know. You want the good shit, where your suspicions that Tucker Carlson is an asshole can be confirmed. I don’t know what his producers were thinking when they put Peters, a temperamental cold warrior, on Tucker’s show to discuss how better we can work with Russia because they are achieving one of our foreign policy goals (while undermining another, because not only is Tucker an asshole, he’s a damn fool as well). Here’s the exchange:
You can read a partial transcript here, if you have no patience for how wrongly both of these people see the world before the sparks fly. But basically, Col. Peters said that Carlson was like Charles Lindbergh in 1938 who said he had no issues with Hitler because he hasn’t attacked the United States.
Boom, Ol’ Blood And Guts, boom.
So, is Putin Hitler? I don’t know really know enough about him. But the general rule is Hitler, and only Hitler, is Hitler. Peters is no stranger to hyperbolic thinking, but that doesn’t necessarily make him wrong in being worried about their expansion. The potential is certainly there. Peters is upset that the Russian military bombs indiscriminately. As if we have never done that. He props up vicious dictators like the Assad family. We do that shit all the time. So really, is Russia any more terroristic than we are? Not really. We are two sides of the same coin. But both of us are trying to divvy up the world, and Putin wants a few pieces and Tucker’s like, have at it, Russkies. And we don’t know how far they will go, and that’s why I’ll go with Peters’ assessment before I go trying to shake hands with the country who will try to run the board if we don’t. Personally, I wish we could stop playing Risk but bowing out of the imperial struggle does not guarantee that the other player wants to stop. And that’s where Carlson fucks up, failing to understand that we are two empires in competition and it’s not worth extending Russian reach across the globe in order to advance a narrow, misdirected foreign policy objective partly because we can Never Forget.
As anti-gay laws sweep across the country after the marriage ruling, we see the main theme is simple-people can no longer “practice their faith” without the ability to discriminate.
Eventually, the high courts will rid us of these scourges and we can have a more just society.
I’m sick to death of all of it. I’m tired of the faithful trying to get their way at the expense of others. I’m tired of having to soothe them and succor them. Their special snowflake proclivities have got to go.
Now I know, I know the government can’t curtail freedom to practice one’s faith. This pernicious little clause has been the source of much controversy. I yield to the document. I don’t like it, but I yield. But you better be on terra firma when you exercise this right.
I want to approach this “religious freedom” thing in another way. In no way am I relating the push for freedom above with the push for freedom below. It’s just on my mind a lot lately.
I’m known to love an underdog. Which is why I usually defend American Muslims who want to be respected as they practice their religion. Maybe I shouldn’t give them special preference because as I said, what’s good for the goose ain’t good for the gander. So it is with regret that I find favor towards the Citadel in disallowing the traditional headdress of a Muslim woman to be worn while training. Islam and the military have something in common with each other when it comes to adornment. All men are shorn to the skin and are not allowed to have facial hair during training. Women, in training and in regular service, must keep their hair up so it does not pass their collar. What I’m trying to say is that there’s an enforced modesty and a rejection of finery in the military-one that I believe satisfies the requirements laid down in the Koran (it is, if I remember right, not terribly specific as to how a woman should dress necessarily, it seems that the coverings evolved as the religion did).
It looks like CAIR is going to address this; there is, in one sense something to abridging one’s religious freedom here, and that applies to the armed services. But I think we’re going a bit too far-you can’t just practice your faith whenever it pleases you, just as you cannot always speak or assemble wherever you wish.
Maybe I’m just an ex-soldier griping about change in the military, something I never thought I would do. Maybe I’m just a cranky atheist who’s tired of religious exemptions and special treatment for believers. You tell me. Personally, I think all this covering of women is bullshit and I can’t believe so many women choose to cloak themselves and perhaps that’s what my problem is. I can’t tell.
Guess what? Todd Starnes is lying and talking about things he doesn’t understand again. He’s got a strange fascination with the military and its regulations, especially when it comes to defending annoying Christians in uniform. Today’s Todd is about another Christian kook in the Marines who found herself court-martialed and kicked out with a bad conduct discharge because she can’t take orders. Starnes says she was booted for being a Christian; the real story is that she refused to listen to the direct orders of her superiors multiple times.
Refusing to follow orders is very serious. It undermines the discipline of a unit. You can get away with a lot of shit in the service but you don’t buck your superiors when they give you a direct order. I suppose that goes double for the Marine Corps-a much more rigid, disciplined group than my Army. Had Starnes comprehended and understood the offenses described in his own link to the court transcripts, he’d have nothing to write about. But being outraged is his bread and butter, so he made it about freedom of religion.
You can be involuntarily court-martialed for grievous violations of the UCMJ, but most infractions can be dealt with in an Article 15 hearing. It’s likely that this PVT Sterling had a choice between that and a court-martial. Article 15 procedures can also result in reductions in rank, a pay cut, and confinement to barracks for a period of time. She got all those things in the court-martial, and also got herself kicked out. That last part probably wouldn’t have occurred had she kept it in-house. She made the choice to go in front of a judge. Worse yet, she chose to represent herself in the court-martial, thinking that she had good reason to disobey the orders of most of her NCO support chain and command. The judges weren’t interested.
Why was she so recalcitrant? What is the basis for Starnes’ assertion that she was fired because of her religious beliefs? She sounds like a pain in the ass that needed to be removed. She had little to no military discipline. Her first infraction was posting religious phrases all over a desk she shared with another Marine. The notes said things like “no weapon formed against me shall prosper”. The SSG interpreted this as provocative language, a demonstration of defiance. Real fruit loop shit. The judges concurred that this is not a religious act protected by RFRA. She was told to take the notes down. She refused. That’s her first strike. The SSG then took the signs down at end of business. She put them up again. Once more she disobeyed the order to take them down. I have no idea why she wasn’t Artie 15’ed at this point.
Two months later, she was on profile for a hip injury. This means that she is exempt from certain duties or formalities to a degree. Her “chit” suggested that she wear her camo because a more dressed uniform would be difficult to wear. Her SSG was told that Friday’s uniform would be “charlies”, which I guess is the equivalent of my Class B dress. Consequently, she was told to change. She refused because she thought her chit gave her a pass to not dress in that uniform. Here’s the important thing; this profile was not tantamount to “orders”. It was a suggestion. The SSG checked with medical and was told that yes, the Marine could wear something other than her camo. Even when confronted with this information Sterling wouldn’t budge. Eventually, PVT Sterling was ordered to do duty giving out passes to drivers at the gate of the post by her fucking 1SG. She refused, producing another profile that excused her from things like guard duty. She had done this duty before. But she thought that her chit covered that. Nope. She earned herself a trip on the carpet with the MAJ of the unit who ordered her to do the mission. Again, she refused to comply. So, she’s basically pissed off everyone in her chain.
Given these offenses, I am not surprised that she was sent to Fort Living Room. But leave it to Starnes to suggest that she was a target due to her religiosity. As I have demonstrated in a previous post by him, he has no military insight, so he misapprehends the facts in the case. No NCO or officer would allow this degree of insubordination to occur-it gives the rest of the unit the impression that they too can go up against their superiors without consequence. PVT Sterling was insolent (and indolent) to an unacceptable degree, and that is what got her removed. It had nothing to do with her right to express her faith. Neither Starnes nor PVT Sterling have a basis to support the claim that her charges were trumped up because she is a Christian.
Who cares what she is? If she was Muslim, Jewish or Hindu she would have landed in a world of shit too. This whole persecution act by Christians is such bullshit. Nobody wants to hear about your gods or your outlandish beliefs. It is happening to Christians a lot because A) They are the majority faith in this country and B) their predilection for projecting that faith is unprofessional and irritating to those who don’t subscribe to it. I know plenty of places in the civilian world where religious displays are not welcome at one’s workstation. The military is, unsurprisingly, no different.
You have a bazillion churches to uplift your lords and gods. Go there and be weird.
CORRECTION: Marines call punishment under Article 15 “NJP”, or “ninja-punch”.