Friday, 5 February 2010

The Blizzard

Normally, when you tell a Bama guy about a blizzard coming...they typically ask "What, three inches this time"?

Yesterday, it was pretty much written in stone...a blizzard is coming to Arlington. Today...somewhere 1PM in the afternoon...it'll likely start. Over thirty hours, they expect a minimum of 18 inches of snow here in this area.

The county has come out...warning folks of the impending emergency. Plan to stay home from late afternoon Friday...all the way up until Sunday mid-day. Even talk about snow being cleared...is mostly saying it might be Monday afternoon before they can swear that people are safe to drive into work.

I started yesterday considering the implications and then decided to buy some extra groceries. I arrived at Harris Teeter at 5PM yesterday....my one and only local grocery here...and then found at least four hundred folks there. Everyone was buying something.

So right now....this Bama guy is about to view his first real blizzard. I'll have a bag of apples, whipped cream, peanut butter, waffles, four gallons of orange juice, and some frozen peaches to get me by.

My only concern is just how late the Pentagon wants to stay open and if the buses declare a no-go situation by 5PM. They were hinting yesterday that five inches might be the breaking point. It might prove to be an interesting blizzard.

Gunsmoke and Toyota

For a week now...I've been watching this Toyota episode unfold. I sat last night and watched some serious comments leveled against Toyota by a major member of the Administration. I sat and pondered over all these comments.

Frankly, today.....Toyota is still building the best cars that you can buy in America. When you buy a vehicle of theirs....you can sit back for a good five years before you have any maintenance issues....and you can absolutely depend on your Toyota for daily commuting probably up to the eighth year. Then you can hand the car to Billy Junior and rest assured that through high school and through four years of college, it's still probably the best used twelve-year old car that you could ever buy.

Whatever comic observations that the US government is busy handing out....has to be measured against the history and reality of US cars versus Toyota. The Toyota guys are still number one when all the smoke has cleared. It's kinda like going into a Gunsmoke episode with a bunch of gunfire, and at the end...there is Matt Dillon still standing in the street. Toyota is Matt Dillon.

Don't Ask Don't Tell, Version 2.0

In the past week...."Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has come back up for issues. The President says...along with the bulk of the media...that it is going to end in 2010 with the US military.

Having spent thirty-plus years associated with the US military...I'm going to offer a pretty short, yet complete moment of wisdom. Frankly, instead of tossing DA-DT...I'd simply move to version 2.0.

Why? Why not just toss it and accept everybody and move on?

My wisdom on this. I sat at the very beginning and when I first heard of the concept of DA-DT...I was laughing. It was crazy. You basically tell folks to shut up and don't talk about 'it'. Two years later...I came to realize that this was the most brilliant moment of Bill Clinton's administration. It came to fix a number of odd issues.

We had people wanting to chat on daytime TV, radio interviews and a wide assortment of public displays....and you could see this trend where people going past the top twenty questions...and starting to ask more intense questions...and often personal things that just weren't the things you wanted on TV or in public.

We had various characters in the Air Force running around and trying to constantly 'report' gays...so that whole stupid act of getting people into trouble...started to come to an end.

What failed with DA-DT? It's a funny thing that I noticed around 2003. The numbers of people being tossed out....still stood up to a fair amount across the four services. What was happening to a great extend....was jealous lovers....trying to get even. You had some civilian 'player' who decided that Denise was dumping her at the wrong time and place...so the jealous lover ran to the military to report this. The military...often got caught in a stupid act...which cross the borderline of DA-DT.

Yes, DA-DT...but the curious thing is that we can actually modify it.

Why don't I go ahead and agree to just toss it? I'm looking at the hundred other scenarios that come behind this. The various countries that we deploy to....that don't approve of gays. I'm looking at the airman that will come in and ask on day one if he can wear a female uniform. I'm looking at the thousands of guys who would have a problem with open sexuality and some crew member admitting he was gay.

Frankly, I'd like to make DA-DT strong enough to put jealous lovers at bay. We have the problem currently where various characters run around and get hyper over adultery....and this DA-DT might be a way to settle this problem.

I realize I'm taking an odd position... but frankly, this DA-DT logic really was pretty smart to start with....and we could fix a little to make it really work.