Big Steve blogs so I don’t have to

There was a really interesting item in the Post today about how the US Air Force seems totally incapable of getting its house in order.  Don’t really know much about the issue, though, this does make two USAF posts in less than a week, but I knew Big Steve would find it interesting and had probably not come across it on his own.  Well, thanks to my intervention, he’s written the blog post I would’ve if I actually knew anything about this stuff:

1.  Uphold the honor code and to include sexual assaults as part of dishonorable conduct.  To borrow from Saturday Night Live’s update routine: really?  Really? Realllllly? Just having to say this–that sexual assault should be considered as part of the things one is forswearing is just appalling.  And the fact that Schemo says that accountability must apply to those who are well connected screams that the system is still very, very broken.

6.  “Don’t use Jesus as crazy glue.”  My favorite quote of 2010!  “But there is no earthly reason for the academy to host weekly Bible study classes by outside groups, some of whose philosophies dangerously blur the distinction between military service and missionary fervor.”  Schemo notes that religion should not be “fodder for unit cohesion.”  So, even after all the controversies, no progress at all on this.

That is a great quote.  I’m going to have find the occasion to use that one myself.  And, I love this conclusion (I can’t resist being told “job well done”):

I am pretty sure ‘lil Steve passed this on to me because he knew I would go ape@#$#@$.   Job well-done, Steve.   If our academies, or at least this one, are creating officers who seem to believe that the rule of law does not apply to them, that those who criticize are enemies of the military, that the will of Congress can be thwarted, then perhaps civilian control of the military (at least of the USAF) is genuinely in crisis.

Real confederacy

Well, the whole confederate history month brouhaha has come and gone, but that doesn’t stop Salon’s Michael Lind from using the new Texas history standards  as the basis of a column about teaching the real confederacy.   It’s pretty concise, you ought to give the whole thing a quick read, but if not, Lind writes: ” That being the case, the education of schoolchildren in my state should include a reading of the Cornerstone Speech made by Alexander Stephens, the vice-president of the Confederacy, on March 21, 1861…”

The prevailing ideas entertained by [Thomas Jefferson] and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically … Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.”

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

I do enjoy watching those Confederate “heritage” hangers-on try and argue that the Civil War was actually not about slavery.

DADT (sleeping victims and separate bathrooms)

It’s amazing the silliness that those in favor of keeping DADT keep coming up with.  The Family Research council argues that ending this policy will, in fact, lead to straight soldiers being fellated in their sleep by their homosexual counterparts.  Right.  I see a lot of that happening.   They also somehow argue that commanding officers will be afraid to report on homosexual assaults for fears of political correctness.  If I was teaching a research methods class, I would actually use this report as a great example of how not to make conclusions.

On a related note, NC’s Republican Senator, Richard Burr, who voted against the bill explains his reasons why:

“I don’t think now is the time to change the physical environments in battle,” he said. “Do we need to separate housing? Do we need to separate latrines? What do you do with outposts? Does this affect how you make up platoons? It changes drastically in my mind the challenges that we would face in theater, and I don’t think that now is the time.”

Separate latrines?  Please.  I guarantee you, any man reading this has shared a restroom with a gay man at some point or other.  I’m also willing to bet no man reading this has ever been assaulted under these circumstance, much less looked over to find some many leering at their penis while they are urinating.  It would be one thing if the opponents of the repeal had some reasonable arguments, but comments like Burr’s simply show a complete disconnect from modern reality.

Dare to stop Dare

So, last night, I noticed that a facebook friend had posted a number of pictures of her daughter’s DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) “graduation.”  The first thought into my head– “I thought a bunch of studies showed that DARE doesn’t actually work.”  Thanks to the google, it was easy to find that, yes, a bunch of studies show that DARE doesn’t actually work.  An especially good Wikipedia entry actually has a brief summary of each of the study results.   This one is especially notable:

2001 – Surgeon General categorizes D.A.R.E. “Does Not Work”

In 2001, the Surgeon General of the United StatesDavid Satcher M.D. Ph.D., placed the D.A.R.E. program in the category of “Does Not Work.”[5] The U.S. General Accountability Office concluded in 2003 that the program was sometimes counterproductive in some populations, with those who graduate from D.A.R.E. later having higher rates of drug use (a boomerang effect).[24]

I’m all for any program that would actually help reduce the likelihood of kids starting drugs, but DARE does not seem to be it.  So, why does it keep going?  At what point does the fact that even the Surgeon General and the GAO saying “this doesn’t work” lead to a change in policy?  Some smart political science professor ought to be able to answer that.

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