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August 21, 2008

Creeping Incidentalism Alert

Along about 4 a.m., the Blog Princess was slowly lured into something vaguely resembling consciousness by the gurgling of the coffee pot. Carefully opening a jaundiced eye, she took stock of the Clueless White Guy she graciously allows to infest the Marital Bed:

Pros:

Pays bills
Diligent about servicing cars, other things, regularly
Nice chest hair
Lots of muscles
Better than hot water bottle at night
Brings flowers and other nice things
Makes me laugh
Spider removal

Cons:

Won't admit I am always right and he is always wrong
Needs to work on the whole sarcasm thing
Won't ask for directions
Bogarts remote control
Issues with accepting authority (odd ... he seems to be fine with rank structure at work!?!)
Impractical. Spends too much of disposable income on thongs and other fripperies he can't even use.

As she studied him in the pre-dawn darkness, she tallied up the list of recent grievances in her mind, sleepily wondering what fresh hell he had in mind for her today. Men are so brutal and callous. Everyone knows women are just as strong as men; we're fully capable of coping in a man's world. So when will they finally begin to treat us as the strong, empowered equals we are?

Why don't our schools teach those knuckle draggers not to run roughshod over our delicate, flower-like sensibilities?

...in the way of explanation, much of today's ideologically driven curriculum entails group-related skin thinning. Courses in Women Studies, for example, entail leaning to see once hidden victimization, e.g., all sex is rape. Meanwhile, those enrolled in Queer Studies 101 will come to grasp that even the very idea of "normal" is a plot to stigmatize those who just want to be different. Now students "progress" into wisdom by learning to "see" oppression everywhere, and the grand prizes go to the most ingenious at sensing what have never even been imagined. Competition can be fierce, and we should note that last year's Grand Champion was a feminist scholar who proved that Darwinism is a male plot to impose the idea of competition on naturally non-competitive women.

Exactly. How are we ever going to demand our rights as equally strong equals if mean old nasty men don't *let* us compete with them on a level playing field? How are we ever going to reclaim our own self esteem if men keep making us work for it as though we had some sort of control over what we think of ourselves?

Good nightshirt. Got logic? The truth is that, as these smart, smart folks are quick to point out, Teh Patriarchy is always trying to put one over on us:


Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq who will soon take control of Central Command, has found himself embroiled in the “ongoing conflict over religious proselytizing in the U.S. military.” Petraeus’ published endorsement of an Army Chaplain’s Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel, in which he says “it should be in every rucksack for those times when soldiers need spiritual energy,” has led a watchdog group to call for Petraeus’ dismissal and court martial. The book’s author now claims that the endorsement wasn’t meant to be published:

But the endorsement - which has spurred a demand by a watchdog group for Petraeus’ dismissal and court martial on the grounds of establishing a religious requirement on troops - was a personal view never intended for publication, the book’s author now says.

“In the process of securing … comments for recommending the book I believe there was a basic misunderstanding on my part that the comments were publishable,” McCoy said in an Aug. 19 email to Military.com. “This was my mistake.”

Mikey Weinstein, the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, says that it “strains credulity” that Petraeus didn’t know his private written endorsement of the book had been public since last year. But Petraeus’ spokesman Col. Steven Boylan says Petraeus was unaware because he has been in Iraq since February 2007.

"Strained credulity" is right. Everyone knows that our brave, murdering troops are not too bright, or they wouldn't be in Irak in the first place. Some people are tempted to think that people like my spousal unit may actually have IQs barely above room temperature, just because they went to good colleges and even have Masters' degrees in fields like Econometric Analysis. But in reality, this is all a clever feint, carefully arranged years ago by the BushReich.

How they did all of this in the past 8 years, I am not certain. Bush is not too smart. After all, the man choked on a pretzel for Christ's sake, and the esophagus is located pretty near the brain.

I have not figured out how the Chimp managed to fool so many people who are smarter than he is. It is one of the enduring mysteries of our time: I mean, if the man is blitheringly incompetent and inept, how does he simultaneously manage the whole fiendishly clever/Machiavellian shtick? But he did, and now he is preparing to usher in a Thousand Years of Jackbooted Theocracy. This much is obvious, because everyone knows the average military person is so dense that a single endorsement on the back of a religious book no one is forced to buy has the power to impel troops - in the field, in barracks or in garrison - posthaste to their PCs. Yes, off they'll go, lemming-like, to Amazon.com, where they will have no choice but to fork over their hard earned pay (no doubt the poor dears will have to make a choice between eating, paying the rent or being Baptized by the Light, all thanks to the oppression of one David Petraeus, Jackbooted Oppressor).

The fiend.

You know. Because military folks are all alike. They have no independent will of their own. They're incapable of distinguishing a personal opinion about a book ("I think this is a useful resource") from a direct order ("You will buy this book, or else").

Full disclosure here:

I happen to believe in God.

I haven't attended church in quite some time.

Jackbooted attempts to shut down free speech in the armed forces only make me feel like running right out and buying 50 copies of this book to spite the jackass who is making such a big deal over this. I don't believe for one second that a man who has abstained from voting in U.S. elections for years in order to remain above the appearance of partisanship would knowingly have given a written endorsement to be used in selling a book.

But even if he did, that is all it is: a personal endorsement, not a command order to purchase the book. Words have meaning:

"General Petraeus has, by his own hand, become a quintessential poster child of this fundamentalist Christian religious predation, via his unadulterated and shocking public endorsement of a book touting both Christian supremacy and exceptionalism," Weinstein told Military.com Aug. 16.

And by endorsing a book that argues only those who believe in God can fully contribute to the military mission or unit, Weinstein contends that Petraeus insults ""the integrity, character and veracity of approximately 21 percent of our armed forces members who choose not to follow any particular religious faith."

He said that even if Petraeus offered his comments personally, that's a distinction without a difference. "Privately he's denigrating 21 percent of troops," Weinstein said. Suppose he privately denigrated women, African-Americans or Jews? Weinstein asked.

"He should still be relieved of duty and court martialed," he said.

Rev. Billy Baugham, a retired Army chaplain and executive director of the International Conference of Evangelical Christian Endorsers, backs Petraeus' right to plug the book. Past generals, among them George C. Marshall and George Patton, made the case for religion in the ranks.

Marshall claimed that the Soldier's spiritual life was critical to his morale, even more than equipment, while Patton, said Baugham, had a chaplain pray for good weather for an coming battle and then submitted him for an Army Commendation Medal afterwards, when the weather turned out clear.

"So the ICECE would support what General Patreaus has done," Baugham said.

This in-Duh-vidual is doing his utmost to make the Air Force look stupid and overzealous.

Military personnel do not lose the right to their opinions when they don the uniform of the United States of America. They do not lose the right to the free exercise of religion - and more importantly, the free exercise of Christianity does not denigrate other religions. I have personally overheard religious observances in base chapels that were extremely intolerant of other religions and other ethnicities, and these religious groups were allowed to spout their divisive, openly racist, deeply troubling and hate filled messages with no repercussions because they were not Christian.

It is time for our government to stop persecuting Christians just because they can get away with it. If one religion is protected, they must all be protected. It truly is that simple.

And it is time for DoD to stop bowing to blackmail. Secretary Gates is a smart man. He needs to put his foot down.

Unless, of course, he wishes to prove the junior Senator from Massachusetts right:

Posted by Cassandra at August 21, 2008 06:08 AM

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Comments

"[Petraeus] should still be relieved of duty and court martialed," [Weinstein] said.

Weinstein is a former Air Force JAG. To show such abysmal lack of knowledge of the requirements for court-martial under the UCMJ speaks more for his personal agenda than his credibility.

Posted by: BillT at August 21, 2008 08:37 AM

First!!!!


Pseudo-legal efforts by people such as Mr. Weinstein are politics by other means.

I'm dead certain that Keith Olbermann will have something meaningful to say about this within a few days, if he hasn't already. And his pet poodle, Jonathan Alter, will be there chiming right in.

And right now, I'm feeling oppressed by The Man, here at work. Oops, wait a minute. I am The Man here at work. Well, there you go. Oppression everywhere.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at August 21, 2008 08:39 AM

Cripes, NOT first.

Bill, you're wearing me out. This is very oppressive.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at August 21, 2008 08:40 AM

Don Brouhaha:

How could it be otherwise? As a heteropositive white male, you are the inevitable by product of centuries of patriarchal hegemonistic domination over the Other, culminating in a vortex of fully justified self-loathing.

Carry on.

Posted by: The Womyn at August 21, 2008 08:50 AM

Diligent about servicing cars, other things, regularly

Does this mean what I think it means?

Fourth!

Posted by: Cricket at August 21, 2008 08:50 AM

And as far as Mikey is concerned...

Isn't that just like a man? Always showing off his Weinstein.

Posted by: The Womyn at August 21, 2008 08:53 AM

"Does this mean what I think it means?"
Hmmm... Whats the MPAA equivalent rating on this blog again?

Fifth! *hic*

Posted by: bt_in-an-indeterminate-state_hun at August 21, 2008 08:54 AM

You married folk. Minds constantly in the gutter.

[shaking head] :p

Posted by: Mr. Goodwrench at August 21, 2008 08:55 AM

You keep using that word.

I do not think it means what you think it means.

Posted by: Inconceeeeeeeivable!!! at August 21, 2008 08:56 AM

I am watching.

Posted by: Giant Cheeto at August 21, 2008 08:57 AM

Darnit, I missed the fifth... *hic* I suppose I'll have to settle for a beer this evening.

Posted by: bt_in-an-indeterminate-state_hun at August 21, 2008 08:57 AM

DangedolemediamessagesalwaysmakinguswhitefellowslooklikemumblingstutteringselfabsorbedyetaddledbuffoonsinterestedinlittlemorethansexanddrugsandrocknrollwhileeverydateItakeoutalwayswindsuptellingmeabout
her needs...

Posted by: Boomhauer at August 21, 2008 09:03 AM

Bill, you're wearing me out. This is very oppressive.

Well, d'uh. I'm an *oppressor* -- that's what I *do for a living*!

Geez, kids, read the memos, huh?

Posted by: BillT at August 21, 2008 09:17 AM

Lessee...Jack Murtha shoots his mouth off and is blessed, but General whathisname recommends a book and all hell breaks loose?

Definitely an incident. Next thing you know, dogs and cats will be living together.

Posted by: Cricket at August 21, 2008 09:57 AM

I was raised in a firmly atheist household and spent a lot of teenaged years resenting the Christian hegemony in my society, which was to say my schools. But hey -- I was a teenager, and alive in every nerve the danger that someone would always be trying to control my thoughts and actions. Later, I got an adult identity.

Wonderful video, by the way.

Posted by: Texan99 at August 21, 2008 10:19 AM

I love that we should remove one of our most successful general officers from his command, while we are fighting two wars of the type he is particularly expert in fighting, because of an endorsement from him appearing on a book jacket in the chapel.

Now that's priorities, right there. Win the war? Only if it doesn't conflict with our EO messaging.

Posted by: Grim at August 21, 2008 10:29 AM

Just like Ms. Parker's column in NRO, he forgets that the wall of separation that everyone is always yelling about is only one way.

Posted by: Russ at August 21, 2008 11:07 AM

Dog (singular) and cats (2) DO live together in my house.

We are truly bringing about the Apocalypse. One home at a time.

Okay, back on your heads. Or back on my head. I am oppressed. Or I am the flower of centuries of patriarchal hegemonistic oppression training. Now with extra self - loathing included.

Whatever.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha, patriarchal oppressor, YEAH! at August 21, 2008 11:28 AM

Well, my vyctym status...uh...delicatley nurtured sensiblities were not awake at 4 am, so it happened without me knowing about it.

I see I will have to start wearing tin foil even when I sleep.

Posted by: Cricket at August 21, 2008 11:40 AM

Who watches the "watchdogs?"


Really.. in theory the idea of the MRFF isn't wrong. However, in practice it's nothing more that a kingdom for some misanthrope to make a name for himself.

In theory the ACLU is a great idea, it's when they don't have enough to do and they "find" a cause to justify themselves.

I could go on, but the point is that this bruhaha over Petraeus exisits only because a man with no character at all has to make a name for himself. If it wasn't religion he'd be forwarding the cause of somethings else that would stir some fire up. Attention is all he cares about.

Posted by: Samantha West at August 21, 2008 01:10 PM

Now that's priorities, right there. Win the war? Only if it doesn't conflict with our EO messaging.

Diversity Bullies, as CDR Sala likes to call them. Add it in with new Civilian Defense Force Obama wants to cook up that is commanded by the President alone...

Meet new boss, same as the old boss.


Cass is extremely entertaining when she is like this when she writes. Very funny.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 21, 2008 02:33 PM

Isn't that just like a man? Always showing off his Weinstein.

Posted by: The Womyn at August 21, 2008 08:53 AM

And making the 'woo woo' sound.

Posted by: Cricket at August 21, 2008 04:49 PM

A woo woo sound? I prefer this sound.

Posted by: Oscar at August 21, 2008 05:19 PM

Where does the secular left get these jagoffs?
Diversity bullies indeed; it's usually a move to impose their ideas on someone else. Kind of reminds me of the Obamessiah telling folks that
he "won't permit people to question my love of country". And Michelle follows up with the left hook "Barack won't allow you to go back to your ways". Well excuse me; it's "above their pay grade" to tell me what to think or how to live.

Mikey "Woo Woo Waving" Weinstein is of a piece with those attitudes.

Posted by: Mike Myers at August 22, 2008 01:19 PM

I'm not a believer, but I just don't understand the vehemence of atheists regarding this kind of thing. Saying "this should be in every rucksack" or whatever the quote was, is in no way the same as "every soldier WILL READ this, or else..." sheesh, people need to get a grip.

Posted by: April at August 22, 2008 04:42 PM

Aw c'mon, Cass:
> Won't ask for directions

This has two reasons, neither of which women tend to inherently understand (and yes, there are equally valid "female things" which men don't usually inherently understand)

1) Individualism and self-sufficiency
a) If you listen to others tell you where to go, how can you find your own way?
b) Learning to find your own way is a part of being self-sufficient, which is a BIG part of natural male drives, esp. in the kind of "Real Man" you appear to appreciate.

2) Fun. Sometimes, the goal of "going somewhere" isn't solely to get to "the official destination" -- it's to find something new and formerly unexperienced.

You don't get there by asking directions, you get there by bumbling into that "other place" on your way to your official destination. Sure, sometimes -- even most of the time -- you just wind up having taken the "long route", but occasionally, you get surprised by encountering the World's Largest Shoe. Or finding oneself in the middle of the Zellwood Corn Festival. Or anything.

Exploration. Going where no one else (or at least no one weknow) has been. It's in our Y chromosome. It wins too often for it to get removed by natural selection.

Even if we don't think about that, it's deep down in there.


> Bogarts remote control
Oh, c'mon. Women stop forever on the TV channels, trying to see "what's on".

I mean, how long does it take?

If it doesn't have T&A, who cares?

(next channel). No T&A. (next channel). No T&A. (next channel). No T&A. (next channel). No T&A. (next channel). Ah, some T&A.... (30 seconds pass) well, no more T&A. (next channel). No T&A. (next channel). No T&A.

Is this tough to understand? Why do you think beer commercials, generally aimed at guys, almost always have pretty girls, usually scantily clad? Two of the more successful beer ad sequences have been the "Swedish Bikini Team" and two girls in a catfight in a fountain over "less filling" and "better taste".

:oD

Posted by: Obloodyhell at August 23, 2008 10:59 PM

> I have not figured out how the Chimp managed to fool so many people who are smarter than he is. It is one of the enduring mysteries of our time: I mean, if the man is blitheringly incompetent and inept, how does he simultaneously manage the whole fiendishly clever/Machiavellian shtick?

I know YOU grasp this, but I'd like to point out this piece (starting with "War of the Bumper Stickers"), which just totally shreds the "Bush is stupid meme" with one publicly known fact: Bush is a fighter pilot.
Not only does that entail learning how to fly a fairly complex machine, it entails doing it by instruments only. Right: Get out on the runway, close the canopy (which is painted over so you can't see jack but your instruments), now take off and fly the thing 400 miles and land on another runway -- With no clues but your flight instruments. Oh, yeah, Any Chimp could do that.... Tim Robbins, Michael Moore, and Barbara Streisand would wet their drawers the first time that afterburner kicked in on takeoff, but, hey, they would have no problem with accomplishing it, given their high-school educations and all. :-/

Posted by: Obloodyhell at August 23, 2008 11:12 PM

> Isn't that just like a man? Always showing off his Weinstein.

You keep BEER in steins. Wine belongs in a carafe.

Only a woman would be so silly as to keep wine in a stein.

Like, *Duh*. I think we've identified the problem.

.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at August 23, 2008 11:18 PM

The translation for 'stein' is really glass...
but hey, what do *I* know? I don't even drink the stuff.

Posted by: Cricket at August 24, 2008 10:23 AM

That's funny, because all of my steins are ceramic.

Posted by: Grim at August 24, 2008 10:30 AM

*tsk*

"Stein" is "stone" -- "Glas is "glass"...


Posted by: BillT at August 24, 2008 10:54 AM

...close the canopy (which is painted over so you can't see jack but your instruments), now take off and fly the thing 400 miles and land on another runway...

In a simulator, sure -- you won't climb into a single-pilot aircraft with the canopy painted over, though.

When you go into the bag in a trainer (two-seats), the only thing you can see are the instruments, but you'd better have an instructor or a safety pilot aboard -- because if you goofed while you're just learning how to do it, you'd never survive to learn what you did wrong.

The airways are a tad crowded out there, and just because you're *filed* on an instrument flight plan, there's no guarantee somebody with *no* flight plan in the system isn't already occupying your planned flight route -- which is why pilots live by Rule Number One: "See and Avoid Anything Else Up There."

Posted by: BillT at August 24, 2008 11:09 AM

which is why pilots live by Rule Number One: "See and Avoid Anything Else Up There."

Like Cassandras, Soviet nuclear bigabomb missiles, and flying chicken squirrels?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 24, 2008 01:12 PM

Not to forget high velocity rodent tookii packed with WP.

Posted by: bt_what-me-worry_hun at August 24, 2008 01:25 PM

Yup, yup, yup and yup.

Especially the latter.

Posted by: BillT at August 24, 2008 02:26 PM

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