Thursday, 18 September 2014

College Stuff

This week, I noted an odd episode that has occurred with a state-run university.....requiring training....which is all computer-based....and at some point, it asks the individual about his sexual history and habits.

The college?  Clemson, out of South Carolina.

The questions get down to asking you the frequency, the number of partners, and the general methods of sex that you do.  Fairly personal information.

What the college says....I should note they are the only college in South Carolina requiring this...is that it's all necessary because of Federal Title IX rules.

So they built a computer-based one-hour training program which is supposed to prevent you from illegal crimes of passion (as federally mandated), and these questions fall into the requirement.  Again, I will note.....this is the only South Carolina university doing this.

People answering correctly?  I'd take an amusing guess that absolutely no one is putting down factual information.  Some punk college kids are probably answer they do sexual activities at a rate of a hundred or more times a week.....and have at least three-hundred different partners (some imaginary).  All of this data is then pumped into a report, and they will try to get various government funding to examine the further sexual nature of Clemson students (a fairly hot and lusty crowd, by the nature of the answers).

You could see some dimwitted questions being added, and this thing taking five or six hours in the decades ahead.

You could ask the punks about their fishing habits, and the lures they use.  You could ask the punks about sugary drinks.....Tab, Dr Pepper, or Mountain Dew.....that they consume.  You could ask about their driving habits (if they use the parking brake).  You could ask about their consumption of moon pies or beef jerky.  You could ask about their preference of deodorant, discovering that almost no guys ever use the stuff.   You could ask about puppet preference (Ernie or Bert or Cookie Monster).  You could ask about their fetishes....noting that a quarter of the women role-play and pretend to be Xena-Warrior Princess.  You could even ask about their wiping habits....if they use one, two, three, or multiple layers of toilet paper when they do their business.

I'm guessing that Clemson recently hired someone with an agenda, and they are in charge of this mandated Title IX training deal.  If you refuse to accomplish this by November....the college can toss you out.....so they've signaled their intent to force you play along. Honest actions by the students?  No....don't anticipate anyone will answer truthfully.  So it's pretty bogus, and then you start to wonder.....if it's bogus, why bother?

Yep, we've got problems in American education....but it's getting more and more creative, if you ask me.

The "So Help Me God" Situation

For decades....DoD (Department of Defense)....Army, Air Force, Marines, and Navy....had an oath requirement when you enlist or re-enlist.  At the end, there is an optional situation.....you say "so help me God" or you just affirm what you vowed and leave out the God phrase.

If you were an atheist, you could take the second option and just avoid any religious talk.  All of this worked OK, for decades.

So in 2013, someone in the Air Force....they won't say who....determined that there would be one oath, and it'd have to require you to recite the phrase "so help me God" at the end, period.  No exceptions, no waivers.

It didn't really appear in any media, and if you asked around.....barely a thousand people probably noticed the change.

But you could predict a problem would occur sooner or later....as it did in August of this year.  An NCO came up for re-enlistment, and the paperwork for the oath only allowed the God-phrase to be used.....no options....and this NCO was an atheist.

The guy took the paperwork, and did everything right....then crossed-out the phrase at the end, and did everything except that God-phrase.  It didn't work....the unit wouldn't accept the amended paperwork, and noted that if he did nothing....by September, he'd be out of the service.

Well....all of this crap hit the fan....and went to DC to the Pentagon.  They stood there kinda amazed.  Naturally, the Pentagon legal staff is involved, and days of discussion went into this.  Oddly enough, the Marines, Army and Navy were puzzled.  They hadn't done anything to change their oath requirements....they still offered two different ways of doing the oath.  So, naturally, they leaned over to ask the embarrassed Air Force legal guys....what the hell was going on here?

Silence is more or less what was noted.  

After days of internal discussion....this week, the mess was fixed.  The Pentagon told the Air Force.....there's two ways of doing the oath, and the God-phrase is optional.

When this mess started in 2013.....who was attached to the change?  I can only take a guess.  I noted back in 1993, upon arriving at Bitburg Air Base....that suddenly I had three recent graduates of the Air Force Academy in my new shop.  One of the "gentlemen" was a religious nut, to the ninth-degree.  Being a officer, I had to respect the guy for authority, but his commentary over unacceptable behavior....required me to continually note to him that people were entitled to be different.  The other two graduates....had a strong difference of opinion with him, and considered him more of an outsider.  But in conversations....both noted that there were a number of religious enthusiasts at the Academy, and it was going to be an issue in the years to come.

Well....those years have arrived, and those graduates are all now senior leaders in the Air Force.  Religious authority has finally arrived, and forcing changes that aren't part of the general Air Force culture.  This week....the Pentagon legal staff corrected their behavior.  I'm kinda of the view that there will be more corrections down the road.  It's not finished.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Republican/Democrat/Republican/Democrat Party

Out of 100 Senators who sit today in DC....roughly eighty of them (both parties) are really Republican-Democrats.  This means....they really pretend to be of one party, but could flip on any given day to help some agenda group, foundation with political money, lobbyists, or special topic culture.

You'd think that they come to DC to represent their state, or the voters who sent them there.  But that's only media gossip.

The "hype"?  Thank goodness that the networks exist, and cable news have so many potential outlets.....to allow these guys to get their Hollywood-star-status out in front and capture the imagination of dimwitted voters.

I'd take a guess that if you viewed ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News on an average day....at least thirty Senators will appear, and at least two hours of commentary will be offered up in bullet-like clips.  The news idiots are smart enough to ask a simple basic question, and try to limit the Senator to just forty words of commentary, cutting them off before they spill the beans that they really don't know much beyond the memorized piece they got this morning from the Party headquarters or the agenda group.

This sort of game of the media pumping up characters....plays out well, except the public probably has started to catch on, and is now more frustrated with politics.  A soap opera-like scenario....bogus guys appearing nightly on TV.....stupid commentary from both the news media and political figures.  All this adds up.

The fix?  It's not a positive deal....but maybe it's finally time for multiple parties.  Toss in two or three additional political parties with ten-to-fifteen percent of the nation behind each, and limit the Republicans and Democrats to sixty percent of the national vote.  Maybe then, we end up with less theater and better leaders.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The US Army to Africa's Ebola Episode

News reports indicate that the US Army will ship around 3,000 medical personnel off to Africa in the next week.....to help one of the countries in their requirements.  This is one of those deployments that will not end well.

You can figure that 2,000 of the group will be actual medical personnel.  The other 1,000?  Well....you start to get into support.  There will be some kind of communications team....maybe eight guys to ensure satellite communications are up and computers are working.  You can figure they will drag their own chow hall along with them, and twenty personnel will be keeping that running.  Logistical folks?  Figure at least fifty doing various things.  Engineering folks?  At least a hundred.

So, problem one.....the camp where they 'live' and the compound where they work, will be separated, and each will end up requiring security.  In Africa.....things tend to disappear....so you can figure a minimum of twenty guys for each camp will be on security patrol.

Concentina wire?  Yep.....they will put it up and make it look threatening.  The locals will question this and ask if this really help or creating a military presence.

Food?  You can figure they will fly in food every couple of days on a military transport.  The water supply?  No one is going to trust the local water supply....no matter how much the Colonel says it's pure and he sips each day.

In the heat of the tropics.....guys will screw up and make a mistake, and somewhere around day thirty of the deployment....one of the Army guys will come up with a fever.  Tests will take forty-eight hours, and then they confirm that Private Snuffy got himself a case of Ebola. Snuffy will thrown on some transport aircraft, and hustled off to some Army fort in Georgia where his family arrives and gets all frustrated that the Army guys won't talk over his odds or his treatment.

A week or two later....the second guy gets Ebola.  The Army tries to explain this to the Pentagon, but no one can understand how guys screwed up on the procedures and got infected.

When the unit is told to wrap up their initial six months and group two will arrive.....then someone in the Pentagon will write up an order that the first team must spend three weeks at some camp in Texas where they will be isolated and kept from everyone....before they can be released back to their regular lives.

Yeah, it's not the kind of medal or achievement that you'd want to brag much about.