Monday, April 28, 2014

Tommy, Meet Jim Gourley

How often has we talked about the significant problem we have with a lack of knowledgeable people in Congress with military experience?

We see it all the time on The Hill, from decisions on what to buy to when to go to "war," a table full of lawyers and professional pontificators uninterested in the military consistently don't ask the right questions of the right people, and the nation suffers.

It appears that some, in this case Jim Gourley trolling ... errrr ... writing in Stars & Stripes of all places, think that we need FEWER veterans in politics.

From the department of self-loathing and feeding the critics of those who have served, behold; 10 reasons not to vote for a veteran. Here's my favorite,
6. We really don't understand the average American. Most current serving veteran members of Congress are former army officers. They are college educated and many have graduate degrees. They began their military careers significantly higher on the pay scale than their civilian peers, never had to worry about health care, lived in the ultimate gated community, bought their groceries at federally subsidized stores, got all kinds of discounts when living on the civilian economy, were often given a pass on state income and sales taxes, and their pay raises and career advancement were more or less set to a stopwatch. Maybe being in the military is a real job, but it sure isn't like any other job in the world, and for a lot more reasons than "the sacrifices" for which it calls. Don't assume that fighting for you on a battlefield means this person knows how to do it in a legislative body.
I only have time to HulkSmash one item, and I don't really know where to start here. Let's just do a wee bit of fisking on just #6 to purge some bile. Facts - let's play wif' 'em.
1. In the Senate breakdown (some did active, reserve, and Guard time - I'll count the last):
-- USA: 3
-- USAR: 3
-- Army National Guard: 0
-- USN: 2
-- USNR: 2
-- USMC: 1
-- USMCR: 1
-- USAF: 0
-- USAFR: 2
-- Air National Guard: 2
-- USCG: 0
For Land forces, that is 6 out of 16, or 38%.

Now the House (+/-):
-- USA: 26
-- USAR: 14
-- Army National Guard: 13
-- USN: 7
-- USNR: 4
-- USMC: 3
-- USMCR: 4
-- USAF: 8
-- USAFR: 5
-- Air National Guard: 3
-- USCG: 1
For Land forces that is 53 out of 88, or 60%.

If you combine both Houses you get 59 out of 104, or 56%. Technically "most" - but that is just one chunk of a very weak cheese argument. On top of it all, everyone go to the last link and make sure you look at the dates and type of service, because ...

2. These, with very few exceptions, are not career military personnel. They served in some cases only one year active duty time. Some have spent a lot of time active/reserve or Guard time. Who in the name of Crom is Gourley thinking about?

3. These people did not live on base for large stretches of time. Those who were on AD were probably like me. Heck, I spent over two decades on active duty and never once lived in base housing. I am far from along. We only occasionally shopped on base. As for income, talk to Mrs. Salamander who made much more money than I did, and had much higher earning potential that I ever did, but could not because she made the strategic error of being married to me. If I did not insist on staying on AD and the two of us returned to what we were born to, our lifetime earnings would have been an order of magnitude (only a slight exaggeration) that what they were. Again, we are not alone. Love does have a price tag.

4. Look at the career paths and family origins of the rest of the Senate and Congress and tell me what great life lessons they bring over just a little time in uniform. Really people.

If you want reality of what kind of professional background is coming to Congress - here is a great picture from BusinessWeek that is so awesome (NB: numbers differ slightly from the first link, you figure out why if you wish), you almost want to get nakid and roll around in it. Note the lawyers.

What a stupid argument, but one we should all get used to. We are well in to the start of the winter of our discontent not unlike the Vietnam Generation. We won't have it as bad as them as outlined in B.G. Burketts book, Stolen Valor. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

Jimmy my boy, if you have issues with a specific politician - which you do - then fleck you foam in his direction, not everyone.

I don't know if this exercise in therapeutic trolling was his idea or was commissioned - but read it all yourselves folks. Interesting trip though someones head.

Here we go again ... and Mr. Kipling saw it too.
I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

UPDATE: Awwww .... poor Jimmy is butthurt.

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