Titillation – it’s not a dirty word

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Gina Elise has been entertaining and thrilling America’s hospitalized veterans since 2007. Her 40s-style pin-up calendar has raised and donated thousands of dollars for veterans’ hospitals, and has delivered calendars featuring photos of beautiful, scintillating, vintage-styled women to bring a little cheer to our wounded warriors, as well as sent them downrange for a morale boost. The photos are sexy, but not trashy. There is no nudity of any kind. And Gina Elise has been lauded for her volunteer work for the troops, visiting, entertaining, delivering calendars, and thanking them for their service. What’s not to love, right? PinUpsForVetsCover2014

Enter Amy Bushatz. Now, I don’t want to call her a dependapotamus, because it’s obvious, she at least has a brain in her head and is doing well in her own right, without glomming on to her military spouse. She’s the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com and covers spouse and family news for Military.com. She’s a journalist who has been featured as a subject matter expert (ostensibly on military family issues) on various media outlets. So one would think this person would have a healthy enough ego that she wouldn’t need to whine about military spouses looking at a sexy calendar. But no… Apparently, Gina Elise is “parading” herself in front of other women’s husbands, and Amy’s labia is chafed because of it.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m pretty sure there are better, more effective ways to support veterans than by parading yourself around in front of someone else’s husband while wearing sexy retro outfits and burlesque costumes, shooting provocative pin-up calendars and holding a burlesque show fundraiser.

Judging from some of the comments, it’s not just you. There are a whole lot of other insecure, whining sows out there, who are threatened by sexy women dazzling the troops for even a few moments! And there probably are better, more effective ways to support veterans, but you apparently aren’t taking any steps to discover and implement them. Instead you’re impugning an interesting, unique, and beautiful way to not only raise money, but morale!

Or maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m “just” another jealous military spouse who would prefer her husband’s eyes be on her, not on some busty veteran supporting pin-up girl, regardless of her good intentions or “good cause.”

If your husband is looking at the pin-up girl, instead of at you, then there is probably a problem, and it’s not caused by a photo of a pretty girl in vintage wear. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Donating money? Good. Visiting vets in hospitals? Very good. Using sex as support, especially when there are other options? In my opinion, very not good.

Wow, sniveling prude much? Sexy doesn’t always equal sex. Titillation doesn’t mean smut. Flirtation doesn’t mean adultery. The female body is beautiful. And Gina Elise’s work is certainly no more erotic than a Titian, and I’m fairly sure you wouldn’t have a problem with your husband looking at one in the museum, would you? Venus here certainly has less clothing on than Gina Elise in any given photo, and yet you’ve got sand in your vagoo about the calendar?

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Oh, but that’s not a photo, and it’s just different! Yeah, it’s different. Gina Elise and the girls in the Pinups for Vets calendar are strong, beautiful, secure, real women! Are you threatened by their power, their commitment to our troops, and their allure?

I get that some of this is supposed to be a throw-back to World War II era pin-up paintings on bombers and risque support “for our boys.” I probably wouldn’t have liked it then, either.

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Guess your kids are going to miss out on some great works of art, Amy. No Guillaume Seignac. No Titian. No Lorenzo Lotto. No Tintoretto or Reubens. What a sad, sheltered, uncultured life you must lead!

So maybe I’m a prude. Maybe using sex to boost morale (because really, that’s what is going on here in a way) is A-OK and I need to get my act together.

Yeah, you do. You’re vilifying beautiful women whose only goal is to bring a little joy to our troops. You’re maligning them as some kind of sluts. Instead of expressing a modicum of respect and gratitude for people helping our service members, you treat them like whoring homewreckers. Maybe you should be looking in the mirror and asking what is wrong with your own relationship that you feel threatened by these women.

These women are elegance. These women are nostalgia. These women are joy and light and entertainment for thousands of troops. These women are sheer beauty. And you are a bitter, insecure hag who feels threatened by art and strives to tear it down to mere tits and ass. I say this as a woman and a veteran: grow up, Amy. You’re pathetic! And Gina, I support you and your mission and admire your grace, style, and imagination! Keep it up.

Appropriating Chris Kyle

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I saw “American Sniper” on its opening weekend. It’s hard to say I enjoyed it.  I’m not sure anyone can enjoy a movie such as this. I can say it was well-acted, well-produced, and well-written. I can say that Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood did a fantastic job with a very difficult subject. I can say it was a fascinating, sad, emotional, inspiring, and interesting look into the mind and heart of a man who saved hundreds, if not thousands, of American lives.

Whatever you may think of the Iraq war, the intelligence failures that led us there, the 9-11 Commission report, the Iraqis, or the hundreds of Iraqi threats neutralized by Chris Kyle, he was a warrior – and a very skilled one. He did his job, and he did it superlatively. He saved American lives, and there are warriors out there who are grateful that he was up there with that rifle, protecting them from on high. He was a father and a husband. His view of the war was certainly different than many others’, but having saved so many American lives, he was a hero.

As a friend of mine put it, “the simple fact is, when we deploy, we have a mission and an objective, that’s all. Politics, religion, point of view……don’t factor in. We go, we do the job, some of us write a book about it, and some of us just buy a bottle and move on.”

Some people just don’t understand that. From the first day “American Sniper” hit the theaters, attention-whoring celebutards rushed to condemn the movie, comparing it to Nazi propaganda and calling Chris Kyle a coward (to be fair, Seth Rogen walked back his stupid comment after being widely panned as a moron), while the usual crowd of leftist writers proceeded to use the movie, and Kyle’s life, as fodder for their continued EvilBooshIraqWarBad campaign.

Enter this dude. Now normally, I wouldn’t give Salon the time of day. Even without reading the article, you know this is going to be an EvilBooshIraqWarBad screed, but because this was written by ostensibly an American sniper, who claims to have served in Iraq, I figured I’d give it a read.

Salon describes the writer thusly: “Garett Reppenhagen served as a Cavalry Scout Sniper with the 1st Infantry Division in the US Army and deployed on a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and a combat tour in the Diyala Province, Iraq in 2004. Garett works as a Regional Director for Vet Voice Foundation and is a veterans advocate and social justice organizer.”

Social justice organizer… This alone sets off all kinds of alarms, but I decided to give it a read anyway. In this essay Reppenhagen describes events much differently from Kyle’s experience.

Unlike Chris Kyle, who claimed his PTSD came from the inability to save more service members, most of the damage to my mental health was what I call “moral injury,” which is becoming a popular term in many veteran circles.

As a sniper I was not usually the victim of a traumatic event, but the perpetrator of violence and death. My actions in combat would have been more acceptable to me if I could cloak myself in the belief that the whole mission was for a greater good. Instead, I watched as the purpose of the mission slowly unraveled.

I served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005. During that time, we started to realize there were no weapons of mass destruction, the 9/11 commission report determined that Iraq was not involved in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, false sovereignty was given to Iraq by Paul Bremer, the atrocities at Abu Ghraib were exposed, and the Battle of Fallujah was waged.

The destruction I took part in suddenly intersected with news that our reasons for waging war were untrue. The despicable conduct of those at Abu Ghraib was made more unforgivable by the honorable interactions I had with Iraqi civilians, and, together, it fueled the post-traumatic stress I struggle with today.

He warns the reader not to take “American Sniper” as the sole view of the Iraq war. OK… he’s correct. Everyone’s experience in the war is different. I was also deployed to Kosovo, and I’m fairly sure that my one-year experience there was much different from Reppenhagen’s. That’s not an unfair warning. Like I said, everyone’s experience is different.

That said, what really bothers me is that the people trying to appropriate Chris Kyle’s story to their own experience. Reppenhagen obviously doesn’t get what “American Sniper” was about. This was Chris Kyle’s story. It was his war. It was his experiences. It was his point of view. This was one man’s account: Chris Kyle’s. And yet, Reppenhagen seems chafed that “American Sniper” didn’t tell his story, didn’t focus on his political views and his doubts, didn’t show his disenchantment with Abu Ghraib, the 9/11 Commission Report, or his view of the Iraqi people.

Guess what! It’s not Reppenhagen’s story. It’s Chris Kyle’s. And Reppenhagen seems to want to appropriate Chris Kyle’s story and apply it to his own experiences.

Know what? When you sell your own memoir and get a movie deal, you can tell your story. But the continued attempts to spew a political message using an American hero as a vehicle, while discounting his experiences or downright smearing him and what he went through is getting old.

Additionally, Jonn mentioned Reppenhagen was a candidate for the board of the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) in 2010. Interestingly, he was apparently good buddies with Stolen Valor phony Rick Duncan aka Richard Strandloff, and couldn’t tell the guy never served. That’s also interesting. Normally veterans are damn good at weeding crap out of their ranks. This guy… apparently bringing Strandloff into IVAW and “raising a lot of awareness” for his political agenda was important enough to overlook his fraud.

So yes, maintain a 360 point of view when it comes to “American Sniper,” but understand the movie and the book as one man’s point of view, and extend that objective 360 eye to the people who see it fit to criticize the movie.

Their motives aren’t as pure as they may lead you to believe.

Wait and See on Bergdahl (UPDATE: Military says “FALSE”)

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I’m at home today, nursing a cough that’s so dry and racking, I’m afraid I may vomit up my diaphragm… or lose bladder control… or something. The screeching histrionics about the so-called “blizzard” that was supposed to hit the east coast culminated with a dusting of light snow in my driveway *EVERYBODY PANIC*, and I was going to head to work until I almost hacked up a lung.

So I’m home.

The first thing that hit my Facebook feed this morning from EVERY. SINGLE. CONSERVATIVE. WEBSITE. was the claim that Bowe Bergdahl (I absolutely refuse to call him SSG, as I am absolutely convinced that he’s not just a deserter, but a traitor who should be hanging from a tree, rather than sitting in a cushy office, being paid a military salary) is about to be charged with desertion.

If true, this would make me happier than a pig in shit. The problem is that EVERY. SINGLE. CONSERVATIVE. WEBSITE. is citing the same source: Retired Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, who currently works for the London Center for Policy Research, who revealed this information to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, and claimed he received it from two independent military sources.

“The Army has come to its conclusion and Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion,” he told O’Reilly.

[…]

“This is shaping up to be a titanic struggle behind the scenes,” he told O’Reilly. “Believe me, the Army here wants to do the right thing … And the White House, because of the political narrative, President Obama cozying up to the parents and because he, President Obama, releasing the five Taliban … The narrative is what the White House does not want to have come out.”

Yes, conservative “news” sites are citing BILL O’FUCKINGREILLY’s interview with a retired O-5, who works for some obscure think tank, citing secondary sources without corroborating evidence.

Know what?

I think I’ll wait. I don’t know how true LTC (ret.) Shaffer’s claims are. Just like I don’t know whether his claims of DIA mishandling information about the 9-11 attacks are true. I don’t know who his contacts in the military are, or whether they’re credible. I also don’t know what kind of access his contacts have to information. For all I know, they could have overheard gossip in the halls of the Pentagon.

And while I would do a little happy dance if Bergdahl was, in fact, charged, I’ll wait for corroborating information.

You should too. WorldNetDaily is not a credible source.

UPDATE: My friend Cassy found this story from Military Times that quotes Army spokesman Paul Boyce  as saying the investigation is not over.

I knew Paul from my PAO days – I doubt he even remembers who I am, as it’s been 10 years, but I also remember him to be a very straightforward, honorable guy, and I’m glad he’s still doing military public affairs.

The Army continues to review the case against Bergdahl, said Paul Boyce, a spokesman for Forces Command, on Tuesday.

[…]

But Boyce said there is no charge sheet and that the Fox News story “seems to be speculative in nature.” Bergdahl’s attorney Eugene Fidell declined to comment. NBC News, citing an anonymous senior defense official, is also reporting a desertion charge is coming, possibly within the week.

An ARCOM for that? (With MAKE THAT FOUR Updates)

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Jonn at This Ain’t Hell brought this to my attention. Apparently an Army 1SG received an ARCOM for issuing what amounts to an on-the-spot correction to a bunch of immature punks in uniform for acting unprofessionally on social media.

First Sgt. Katrina Moerk, now the first sergeant of Charlie Company, 741st Military Intelligence Battalion, was browsing a social media network’s community page earlier this year, when she came upon a video that she found offensive and sexist. When she commented as much, several respondents attacked her with insults. Some of these respondents were wearing uniforms in their profile photos, the first sergeant said, so she wrote to them directly.

“I looked them up, introduced myself and explained to them why they were stupid. And I [copied] the director of the Army SHARP program to help their units improve their SHARP training, because it was obviously lacking. And it’s kind of blown up from there,” Moerk said.

The problem to me is not that she addressed an “offensive and sexist” video on social media (I haven’t seen the video, but from what I understand it actually had individuals in uniform in it, and was in bad taste. If anyone has a link, please let me know). Nor do I mind that after being insulted and ostensibly called names by individuals in uniform she issued a reprimand. She was doing her job as a senior NCO. More power to her.

I do have a problem with her bringing this issue to national level attention by pulling in the director of the Army’s SHARP (sexual harassment / assault response) program. I always thought that as NCOs we were supposed to be mature enough to handle disciplinary infractions ourselves. Address the individual. Address the individual’s chain of command. But bring national level attention to what should amount to an on-the-spot correction and then receive an ARCOM for it? Really?

After Jonn posted his thoughts on this, 1SG Moerk decided to add “victim” to her impressive resume, in a post where she reminds us that 1) she has reached her rank in less than 20 years, that 2) she has apparently been called names her entire Army career and 3) she holds that victimhood as a badge of honor, and she will “heroically” stand up to those meanies.

This is my lesson to my Soldiers.  THIS is what the hard right looks like.  This is what it looks like when you are retaliated against for doing the right thing.  Break the internet with my name.  Tell everybody ALL about me.  I am showing my Soldiers what it means to lead by example, in word AND deed…    My Soldiers have my respect, and I have their loyalty.  That is earned.  Your petty shit, just makes my point.   You can’t bully me into believing that your actions are right.  You can’t bully me into believing that because I am a female I should be okay with this.   You don’t know ME.  But… if this is what it takes to keep you from attacking other people trying to do the right thing… Bring it on.

She’s a real hero, this one.

For the record, I respect the fact that she did her job by correcting social media idiot troops. I think she did the right thing. But the fact that she essentially pulled the Pentagon into the drama, instead of handling it at the NCO level, and then received an ARCOM for essentially running to big daddy instead of handling the issue as a senior NCO would is a little ridiculous.

I did post a comment on her blog. Respectfully. Without the usual mouth you all are accustomed to. It’s currently in moderation. Let’s see if she has the balls to approve it. But in case she doesn’t, here it is in its entirety.

Interesting. A few observations here.

1) Maybe I missed it, but no one on This Ain’t Hell called you a “whore,” but it’s instructive that you use this implication to paint yourself as a victim.

2) The vast majority of us in the NCO corps simply issue an on the spot correction and move on with our lives. In the event that the on the spot correction doesn’t do the trick, most of us would bring the issue up with the Soldier’s chain of command. You chose to bring the Army director of SHARP into it? REALLY? Somehow in light of this, your claim that you received an award you weren’t “looking for” rings a little hollow.

3) I commend you for doing your job. There’s no excuse for acting like an asshat, especially in uniform. I commend you for defending Army values. I DON’T commend you for bringing what amounts to a bunch of idiots acting like idiots to national level attention.

4) Giving you an ARCOM for doing what is essentially your job – correcting junior troops – is akin to awarding a Bronze Star for a squared away barracks room. This may not have been your intent. I would hope you didn’t bring Big Army into what is essentially a bunch of ignorant joes being immature with the intention of getting yourself an atta girl from the SECDEF. But that is what happened. I would submit that THIS is what most people really have a problem with.

You imply that people have called you names your entire career. I find this interesting. I certainly didn’t spend as much time in the Army as you have, but I can tell you I NEVER experienced sexual harassment, name-calling or other “offensive” behavior you describe. Never. Maybe I was just lucky. Maybe I just give off the “don’t mess with me” vibe, so no one saw it fit to treat me with disrespect. I was an NCO. I issued plenty of on the spot corrections and negative counselings. I participated in 15-6 investigations. And yet, I never dealt with the type of harassment you describe. Not from my infantry brothers, not from my junior enlisted folks, not from officers with whom I served. I’m sure it happens, but I have my doubts that it’s as endemic as you seem to imply.

By the way, This Ain’t Hell deals with all sorts of military issues – not just Stolen Valor. Do you even understand what Stolen Valor is? Because if you did, there is no way you could glean a stolen valor accusation out of Jonn’s post.

And finally, “the hard right”? Really? This bit makes me believe your beef is political and nothing else. The “hard right” doesn’t generally harass women any more than the “hard left” does. Harassment isn’t endemic to one side of the political aisle or the other. But from your writing, it certainly appears that you not only believe so, but that you have a political axe to grind.

UPDATE: So she did publish my comment on her blog. Props to her for that. I honestly didn’t think she was going to do it.

Also, some folks seem to think that by “hard right” she was referring to taking the hard road, rather than political issues. I re-read her words. To me, it sounds like she was referring to This Ain’t Hell as a “hard right” site politically. Hard to say. I will admit there’s a possibility I misconstrued it, although I really don’t think so.

Third, here’s a video where the 1SG explains the incident and what happened.

In the video she describes the incident in which she was offended by a clip produced by some Soldiers that depicted a new troop in the barracks being shown around by two Soldiers, who stop in front of what is ostensibly a female’s room and refer to her as “Suzie Rottencrotch” – the barracks ho.

I will absolutely agree that making such a video is unacceptable. These idiots were acting like horny 16 year olds in a brothel. They are the reason the Military Social Media Idiots Facebook page was created, frankly. The image of these troglodytes gathered in front of the barracks whore’s door, giggling like puerile dolts makes me want to bitch slap the fuck out of them. Why the hell would you embarrass the uniform in this manner?

I think this new generation of Soldiers – much like the rest of the dumbass generation of newly-minted “adults” don’t understand that the Internet is forever, and that social media is a public venue. They live their lives online, publishing every bowel movement on Twitter and Instagram, Snapchatting their body parts, not thinking about the consequences.

The idiot troops need to learn better. There’s no denying that.

But what really appalled me, and I said as much on TAH, I find it instructive that 1SG Moerk appears more “offended” that they made this video rather than by the fact that there are still females in the barracks who act like doorknobs (everyone gets a turn) for every Joe.

Fact of the matter is that there ARE those women in the barracks. In every barracks I’ve been in!

Every. Single. One.

I remember the day I arrived at DINFOS. I walked up to the third floor of our barracks to drop off my stuff, and there was this couple making out in the stairwell. The female was Air Force, and the male was Army. I walked past them, dropped off my stuff in my room, and changed. When I came back out and walked downstairs, the same Air Force female was in the stairwell, making out… with a different guy!

Moerk doesn’t seem offended by the fact that Suzie Rottencrotches still exist, and that women somehow feel this is the only way to exist in the military.

She’s more offended by the fact that the Soldiers were openly acknowledging it.

She didn’t seem upset that there are female Soldiers whose MO is to gobble every cock in the barracks.

She seemed upset that horny 19 year old guys would openly admit to taking advantage of it.

Do the male Soldiers need some extra… ahem.. instruction? Sure they do. And I guarantee you that SHARP PowerPoint slides aren’t an effective tool to teach them right from wrong. Soporific slides will likely give them a good opportunity for a nap, nothing more.

But to paint these barracks whores as “victims” of these guys? They’re not victims. They should be mature enough not to act like a cum dumpster for every pimple-faced, fresh out of AIT dumbass. They’re just as much at fault as the guys are, and they certainly shouldn’t be treated like poor, innocent victims. I’ve known enough of them to know better.

Stop acting like every man is a rapist, and every woman who chooses to debase herself is a victim.

Start acting like every Soldier matters. Every Soldier can be taught right from wrong. Every Soldier deserves equal treatment.

And by equal, I mean equal – not coddling females and making excuses for their poor behavior, while painting every male as a rapist.

UPDATE #2: It appears I was too kind to 1SG Moerk. After getting a slew of criticism, she decided to simply ban everyone and make her blog private, ostensibly visible only to those who kiss her lily white ass.  Guess she’s a coward after all. How embarrassing.

coward

 

UPDATE #3: I guess the good MSG decided that making her blog private after starting a shitstorm was bad form. It’s no longer private, for those of you who want to read what she’s written. I do encourage you to be respectful – especially if you’re currently serving. As I said above, nothing excuses acting like a disrespectful shitbag in uniform.

UPDATE #4: This woman’s blog is like a strobe light in a bad disco. After posting a self-righteous screed about how she was yet again victimized and was just trying to do her job *sniff*, with a supercilious blurb about how she’s not trying to censor anyone, but merely made her blog private to catch up on comments, she made it private again.

I’m done with this broad. She’s a sad, pouty-lipped, special little snowflake.

Bateman gets chapped labia

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I know I’ve been away for a while. I wanted to step away from the 2014 election and let things cool off a little. To say I have little faith in the GOP and its ability to accomplish anything of actual value to this country is an understatement. Although, I will admit that the teeth-gnashing, hand-wringing, spin-filled reaction from the butthurt Democrat camp was amusing to watch, as they tried to make excuses for their significant losses – everything from the DERP-filled “VOTERS WERE DISENFRANCHISED!” to “WE MADE #GUNSENSE PROGRESS!” to “REPUBLICANS ARE POOPY HEADS AND THIS ELECTION DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING.”

I admit it. I laughed.

I always like a good chuckle, especially when the now-infamous, violence planner, oath-breaking coward LTC (ret.) Robert (mastur)Bateman pens another angst-filled screed about the evils of guns, the evils of the NRA, and the evils of Second Amendment advocates. Because RIGHTS BAD!

What has Bob’s panties all bunched up in his puckered anus this time? Apparently, someone had the unmitigated gall to exercise their Second Amendment rights in his presence!

And because Bob considers himself an authority on what the citizens of this country, whose Constitution he swore an oath to defend, need and what rights they should be allowed to exercise, he took a wet, nervous dump in his Underoos when he saw a guy open carrying his pistol.

I’m not going to fisk his sniveling treatise, because a) I have no time to address gun banner monkey turd flinging not based in any fact and 2) I don’t want to give (mastur)Bateman more attention than he deserves. So I’m merely going to give you his bottom line, which consists of whimpering that no one needs a gun in a family restaurant (as if a paunchy, half-literate, retired, attention-whoring O-5 is somehow a viable arbiter for anyone’s needs) and a plaintive whimper about America’s “gun culture” and how it (the culture – not criminals, or negligence) kills or wounds something like 100 thousand Americans (without acknowledging that deaths by firearms, and violent crimes in general have been declining steadily over the years, while gun ownership has risen).

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I’m also going to ridicule Bob a bit, because Bob is an idiot. Bob sneers about the motto Second Amendment advocates (and the big, bad NRA!) have adopted as a defiant warning to the politicians and retired O-5s who bloviate about taking away their natural rights. “Molon Labe,” Bob claims, was appropriated from the movie “The 300” by gun rights advocates, who are unaware of  its history. soccent-2 Never mind the movie came out in 2006, and gun rights advocates have been using this particular phrase since at least the 1990s. Never mind that it’s the current motto of the United States Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT), and has been used in that very same spirit of defiance during the Texas revolution. Not that Bob has any respect for actual members of the military or anyone fighting for actual freedom – you know, those who didn’t spend their careers warping the minds of young cadets or lounging around at NATO, “planning violence” – but it’s always useful for panty-shitting cowards to excoriate others based on their alleged “knowledge” of King Leonidas’ Sparta, from whom the quote allegedly originated, rather than comprehend the spirit of the quote itself, which has been used by modern day armies and individuals as a cry of defiance for several hundred years.

And because Bob has no comprehension of honor, but rather chooses to crawl like a cockroach and lick the hands of his masters in vain hopes of perhaps getting appointed to some bureaucratic position somewhere in DC, he would rather focus on the “apocryphal” source of the quote than its meaning and what it has come to represent.

It’s OK, Bob. We understand that your lack of testicular fortitude prompts you to consistently bait gun owners from the relative safety of your computer at home. We also understand that despite your teary-eyed claims of being victimized by threats from gun owners, the vast majority of gun owners wouldn’t waste their time on vermin such as you other than to ridicule your lack of basic understanding of natural rights and your sneering contempt for the very people whose rights you swore an oath to protect. (Unlike your gun grabber friends who gleefully celebrate the thought of someone’s child being harmed, and plan how to best cause the deaths of gun owners by SWATting – such nice company you keep, Bob!)

crazyswat

So it’s time to once again ridicule Bob for being an oath-breaking, snot-nosed coward who soils himself at the sight of a normal guy peaceably exercising his right to keep and bear arms in public. Someone hand Bob a tissue and one of these.

Vagisil

Service members, consider yourselves warned

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This company and others like it target young, inexperienced service members and then victimize them, no matter where they may be. USA Discounters – unfortunately headquartered here in Virginia – along with Freedom Furniture and Electronics and Military Credit Services offer high-priced credit to military clientele. Together with USA Discounters, the three companies have filed more than 35,000 suits since 2006.

They offer automatic approval, easy credit for young military members who may not have had time to establish credit on their own. And that’s when it gets disgusting.

Should customers fall behind, the company transforms into an efficient collection operation. And this part of its business takes place not where customers bought their appliances, but in two local courthouses just a short drive from the company’s Virginia Beach headquarters.

From there, USA Discounters files lawsuits against service members based anywhere in the world, no matter how much inconvenience or expense they would incur to attend a Virginia court date. Since 2006, the company has filed more than 13,470 suits and almost always wins, records show.

[…]

The federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, or SCRA, was designed to give active-duty members of the armed forces every opportunity to defend themselves against lawsuits. But the law has a loophole; it doesn’t address where plaintiffs can sue. That’s allowed USA Discounters to sue out-of-state borrowers in Virginia, where companies can file suit as long as some aspect of the business was transacted in the state.

The company routinely argues that it meets that requirement through contract clauses that state any lawsuit will take place in Virginia. Judges have agreed.

[…]

Once a judge awards USA Discounters a judgment, the company can begin the process of garnishing the service member’s pay. USA Discounters seizes the pay of more active-duty military than any company in the country, according to Department of Defense payroll data obtained by ProPublica.

Look, I’m the first one to say that you are responsible for making payments on time, and that if you borrow from someone, you are responsible for paying them back. I don’t like deadbeats, and I abhor excuses. If you can’t pay for what you borrow – be it a house, a car or appliances – you shouldn’t borrow that money in the first place.

But at the same time, I also know that young Soldiers, who likely have a job for the first time where they’re getting regular pay, tend to be ignorant of budgeting facts and irresponsible with their money. It’s a fact. Yes, it’s a leadership failure to leave those youngsters out there to make bad decisions without giving them the information they need to help ensure they don’t make stupid decisions, don’t deal with predatory lenders and don’t understand how to budget properly. But this company specifically targets young soldiers, tempts them with easy credit and quick lending, and then swoops down to destroy their financial lives.

This company is a predator. Period.

Do not deal with them.

You have been warned.

 

That’s quite the recovery!

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CNN reports this morning that Army Staff Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is all ready for a return to duty. That’s right. After five years as an “enemy captive,” it took Bergdahl all of a month and a half to recover and get back to work.

Um. Yeah.

That’s quite the recovery! Five years in enemy hands. Five years, with his life supposedly in danger. Five years of… grief and misery?

bergdahl

Yeah, he’s looking awfully miserable, isn’t he?

And now, after five years of captivity, Bergdahl has been deemed fit for duty!

He’s free to wander the base. He’s free to do whatever. Good to go.

Now, to be fair, if they want to take any UCMJ action against him, he has to be back on active duty. That said, given the fact that the Army apparently hasn’t even interviewed the guys who were in his unit on the day he decided to take his little stroll into Taliban’s open arms, I have little hope that Taliban Bowe will be seeing the inside of a military courtroom anytime soon.

But we shall see.

In the meantime, that’s a pretty remarkable and quick recovery and repatriation after claims that his health and life were in danger, and that we just HAD to exchange him for five Taliban scumbags at once, or he would die.

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