June 30, 2014

Privileging the 1% over the 99%

The Editorial Staff, whilst eagerly awaiting the arrival of our very first granddaughter, were shocked and appalled to realize that we have already committed an egregious act of microaggression against her ... it:

The imaginary treatment I described above is real. Obstetricians, doctors, and midwives commit this procedure on infants every single day, in every single country. In reality, this treatment is performed almost universally without even asking for the parents' consent, making this practice all the more insidious. It's called infant gender assignment: When the doctor holds your child up to the harsh light of the delivery room, looks between its legs, and declares his opinion: It's a boy or a girl, based on nothing more than a cursory assessment of your offspring's genitals.

We tell our children, “You can be anything you want to be.” We say, “A girl can be a doctor, a boy can be a nurse,” but why in the first place must this person be a boy and that person be a girl? Your infant is an infant. Your baby knows nothing of dresses and ties, of makeup and aftershave, of the contemporary social implications of pink and blue. As a newborn, your child's potential is limitless. The world is full of possibilities that every person deserves to be able to explore freely, receiving equal respect and human dignity while maximizing happiness through individual expression.

Question for the ages: what sane parent tells their children they can be anything they want to be? I want to be a winged unicorn. Of course I lack the requisite horn growing out of the middle of my forehead. Not to mention the mane, tail, hooves, and other physical features thereuntoappertaining.

Dresses or ties aren't physical characteristics. A girl isn't at terribly high risk for testicular cancer. A boy is virtually assured of never having to have a hysterectomy. Heart disease has completely different symptoms in men than it does in women. One of the consequences of those physical differences is that it is underdiagnosed in women.

That's about as good a textbook example as we can think of for not encouraging doctors to view the physical differences between men and women as irrelevant distractions from "who the patient really wants to be". Objective reality exists, no matter how hard some try to deny its existence.

How we choose to respond to that reality is up to us. How we choose to present ourselves to the outside world is up to us. How others choose to respond to us is up to them. It takes a unique kind of almost totalitarian self centeredness to demand that the rest of the world change to suit your subjective likes and dislikes rather than viewing it as your job to figure out how you fit into a social structure composed of millions of individuals, each with their own wants, desires, and goals.

Privileging the 1-2% over the 99% is the polar opposite of the Occupy movement's demands that the 1% listen and subordinate their interests to the 99%.

All this talk of percentages is exhausting.

Posted by Cassandra at 08:25 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

March 20, 2014

Command Climate

If the Army can't enforce their own laws when it comes to a jackwagon like this...

Suspicions of an Army general’s extramarital affair with a subordinate had circulated widely enough that soldiers portrayed the two in a sexually suggestive skit at a 2010 party, according to witness testimony Tuesday.

Lt. Col. Benjamin Bigelow testified at a sentencing hearing that the skit was performed during a party at which Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair was being honored in Germany. It involved a soldier dressed up as Sinclair and a soldier dressed as a woman in a brown wig to represent the captain who was his primary accuser, Bigelow testified.

...During the skit, the character in the wig “moved in front of the Sinclair character’s crotch and offered to do something for him,” Bigelow said. “There was absolutely no question.”

Bigelow said Sinclair’s wife attended the party and was “clearly shocked, angered and dismayed.” He said the accuser was not at the party.

But wait! There's more inspiring leadership where this came from:

At Monday’s hearing, prosecutors also called Lt. Nargis Kabiri to testify that she rebuffed advances from Sinclair, who invited her to go horseback riding after she sought him out as a mentor.

Sinclair pleaded guilty to conduct unbecoming of an officer for the advances on Kabiri, who was not one of the three subordinates with whom he admitted an inappropriate relationship.

She said the publicity of being connected to the Sinclair case has hurt her as she tries to move through the ranks in the male-dominated area of field artillery.

Male commanders will refuse to talk to her alone in their offices.

“I have had male leaders who approach me with caution, and I approach them with caution,” she said.

Laws. They are for the little people.

Posted by Cassandra at 06:11 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

FINALLY!!!, Terrifying "Witch Hunt" Ends with Stern Talking-To and [GASP!] Fine

The bottom line is: I have no tolerance for this... I expect consequences. So I don’t just want more speeches or awareness programs or training, but ultimately folks look the other way. If we find out somebody’s engaging in this, they’ve got to be held accountable — prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”

- Our Commander in Chief

Watching all this Smart Power transform the planet is truly a marvelous thing. And really, it's hard to argue with the results:

An Army general who carried on a three-year affair with a captain and had two other inappropriate relationships with subordinates [Editor's note: AND misused his government credit card, AND disobeyed his commander's orders AND pestered a third female officer to go out with him] was reprimanded and docked $20,000 in pay Thursday, avoiding prison...

...Sinclair's fine breaks down to $5,000 a month for four months. He earns about $12,000 a month.

"I can't believe it," said Solis, who served 26 years of active duty in the Marine Corps and tried hundreds of cases as a military judge. "I know Judge Pohl to be one of the best judges in the Army judicial system, but ... this is an individual who should not be a general officer. He should have gone to jail and dismissed from the Army."

Sinclair will now go before Fort Bragg commander Maj. Gen. Clarence K.K. Chinn, who approved Sinclair's plea deal, and he'll get either an oral or written reprimand. Then he'll appear before a board to determine whether he will lose any rank, which could cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits.

...In closing arguments, prosecutors argued Sinclair should be thrown out of the Army and lose his military benefits, while the defense said that would harm his innocent wife and their two sons the most. Prosecutors did not ask the judge to send Sinclair to jail, even though the maximum penalty he faced was more than 20 years.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys offered contrasting arguments about the seriousness of the misdeeds that felled the general.

"It's not just one mistake. Not just one lapse in judgment. It was repeated," prosecutor Maj. Rebecca DiMuro said. "They are not mistakes. We are not in the court of criminal mistakes. These are crimes."

The general also pleaded guilty to using his government-issued credit card to pay for trips to see his mistress and other conduct unbecoming an officer.


... it will be a STERNLY WORDED letter of reprimand, so who can say there's a double standard when it comes to crime and punishment in the Army? ///Sarcasm off///

Talking trash while carrying the world's tiniest stick is pretty much the defining characteristic of this administration.

Posted by Cassandra at 05:20 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

March 07, 2014

Important Iffy Prosecution Update

Why, O why is the military persecuting this great man?

He pleaded guilty to adultery, improper relationships with three other female officers, impeding an investigation and watching pornography on his personal computer on a military base in Afghanistan.


Posted by Cassandra at 08:22 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 25, 2013

IRS Flagged Groups Using "Anti-Obama Rhetoric"

...and the saga continues:

ABC, CBS and NBC have so far refused to report the latest bombshell in the IRS scandal - a newly released list from the agency that showed it flagged political groups for "anti-Obama rhetoric." On September 18 USA Today, in a front page story, reported the following: "Newly uncovered IRS documents show the agency flagged political groups based on the content of their literature, raising concerns specifically about 'anti-Obama rhetoric,' inflammatory language and 'emotional' statements made by non-profits seeking tax-exempt status."

Not only have ABC, CBS and NBC not reported this story they've flat out stopped covering the IRS scandal on their evening and morning shows. It's been 85 days since ABC last touched the story on June 26. NBC hasn't done a report for 84 days and CBS last mentioned the IRS scandal 56 days ago on July 24.

The article by Gregory Korte went on to report: "The internal 2011 documents, obtained by USA TODAY, list 162 groups by name, with comments by Internal Revenue Service lawyers in Washington raising issues about their political, lobbying and advocacy activities. In 21 cases, those activities were characterized as 'propaganda.'

Never attribute to malice what can be easily explained by ... incompetence?

...the larger failure of public administration that has been endemic in the Obama White House... is probably the president’s most significant weakness

Obama failed to fill the key post of IRS commissioner for FIVE YEARS. A savvy commissioner, in place early on, would have understood the potential train wreck ahead over the long-term IRS mishandling of 501(c)4 and (c)6 applications, and would have set up a process to create a bright line both to eliminate or ameliorate the political abuses of the tax code by groups like American Crossroads GPS and to give the career staff the clear guidelines they needed. And an experienced executive-branch veteran and public-management expert inside the White House would have seen the problems emerging with HealthCare.gov and begun the urgent management repair work earlier…

Or lack of interest:

And there is the enduring mystery of why the president, who in his career has attempted to persuade the American people to have greater faith in and reliance on the federal government’s ability to help, continues to go forward with an astounding lack of interest in the [actual effectiveness?] of government.

He talks but he doesn’t implement, never makes it work. He allows the IRS under his watch to be humiliated by scandal, waste, ill judgments prompted by ideological assumptions. He allows his signature program, the one that will make his name in the history books, to debut in failure. In response he says bland, rounded words that leave you wondering what just got said.

...or perhaps just the unbearable ennui of boooooring national security briefings:

... at the State Department, some officials were fuming about what they felt was a broken process and a lack of strategy... The administration took more than a year to nominate a replacement for Jeffrey D. Feltman, a veteran Arabic-speaking diplomat who had coordinated the State Department’s Middle East policy...

...Even as the debate about arming the rebels took on a new urgency, Mr. Obama rarely voiced strong opinions during senior staff meetings. But current and former officials said his body language was telling: he often appeared impatient or disengaged while listening to the debate, sometimes scrolling through messages on his BlackBerry or slouching and chewing gum...

Whatever happened to the candidate who earnestly informed us that the American people expect the buck to stop at the Oval Office?

Please pay no attention to the man in the ginormous white house where the buck used to (as recently as the end of July) stop. Yes, he's technically in charge of the country. And the State Department is technically part of the Executive branch. But Obama can't be held responsible, you see. It's not his fault that embassy staff in a turbulent nation with troubled relations with the West can't be trusted to obey direct orders. Or that - apparently - they had not been instructed to consult with the White House on matters of this delicacy. Or that Libyan diplomatic staff were working in an insecure environment...

One could be forgiven for sensing a pattern here.

Posted by Cassandra at 07:12 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 24, 2013

Chill Wind Alert

Exhibit A:

Mediaite captured a revealing moment today on CNN. As anchor Carol Costello hosted a segment on the senior White House aide recently fired for — not making this up — inappropriate tweets, she admitted that the Obama administration has no problem getting “nasty” with reporters who dare to report any negative story about Obama.
Costello agreed with panelist Jason Johnson that the Obama administration can be thin-skinned, and said that “President Obama’s people can be quite nasty. They don’t like you to say anything bad about their boss, and they’re not afraid to use whatever means they have at hand to stop you from doing that, including threatening your job.”

Exhibit B:

Days after Bob Beckel called for a delay in the implementation of Obamacare, a former “highly placed” White House official called him and “absolutely bludgeoned” him over his comments.

Exhibit C:

[Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications] Dan Pfieffer then tweeted the link to PolitiFact’s launching of the factchecking of pundits and added, “There should be some sort of penalty for over and incorrect use of breaking news alerts by media organizations

Dang. They warned me if I voted for a Rethug, journalists would suffer the Chill, Freedom-Harshing Winds of Heavy Handed White House Intimidation! Kinda makes one long for the good old days when Keith Olbermann got paid several million dollars a year for screaming at the top of his lungs about how the Bush administration was trying to silence him.

Oddly, we never actually saw any evidence that the Bush administration was trying to silence him, but he totally felt silenced, sitting there on national TV with one of the world's biggest megaphones. And several million dollars in his checking account.

Exhibit D: ObamaCare operator fired for talking to media:

On the top of Thursday's broadcast of his radio show, Sean Hannity revealed Erling Davis, the Obamacare operator he called early in his Monday show, got fired. Hannity quizzed her on how well the law is being received by applicants and she revealed no one liked it...

Oh well, at least she wasn't working for an insurance company:

The Obama administration asked North Dakota’s largest health insurer not to publicize how many people have signed up for health insurance through a new online exchange, a company official says.

And then there's this:

All those photos of Richard Nixon and not one single mention of Barack Obama. Makes a person wonder what all those brave, truth tellers are afraid of? The whistleblowers at the end of this video are being prosecuted by Barack Obama's administration.

And his name is never mentioned. Once.

Posted by Cassandra at 05:17 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack