Monday, December 21, 2009

Sorry, soldier - you have a uterus

by Rich Miles

Army Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo, the head of American forces in Northern Iraq, has banned pregnancy under his command.

That's right - it's now against Army regulations to get pregnant.

Now, this is the very definition of mixed emotions for me - I really don't know which way to look on this one.

I have for years been an advocate for responsible penis and vagina use, and abhor the massive number of inadvertent pregnancies in all segments of our society, including the military. I personally have no biological children ('bio-kids', as I coined them.) That's just how good *I* am.

But according to a story printed in the military newspaper Stars and Stripes, any member of the armed forces who becomes pregnant or impregnates another servicemember, including married couples both in the service, could face a court-martial and jail time.

Note that "or" clause - OR anyone who impregnates another service member. This includes married couples who are both in the service. If one is and the other isn't, I guess only the service member gets busted.

Now, how are we to think about this matter?

On the one hand, it's at least gender-neutral, since both the impregnee and the impregnor are liable for these penalties. Since it's nearly impossible to hide one's paternity these days, both parties will face sanction. That is, IF they are both members of the military. Frankly, not a very frequent occurrence.

But on the other hand, what de fuck BIZNESS is it of the military command structure as to whether a couple choose to conceive? Married or no?

And then on the inevitable third hand, do the armed forces in essence own yo' sorry ass for as long as you're in the service? And do they thus have the right to tell you that you can't get knocked up, or do any knocking up?

Col. David S. Thompson, the inspector general for all soldiers in Iraq, says that this is a legal order. I'm not quite sure of that. I have too much experience of the military SAYING that something is legal etc., and just waiting for it to be proven so or not at a future date - kicking the can down the road, as they say.

So perhaps it remains to be seen. But my initial response to this knowledge is that it's just SOOOOO very illegal, even for the military, to pass down an order like this.

I'd enjoy reading your comments on this. I really need guidance.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What does it take to learn?

by Rich Miles

So I'm sitting here multitasking, that is, watching TV and reading blogs etc., and all of a sudden, two HUGE (to me) obvious thoughts pop up out of the mire, to wit:

1) Most Americans don't realize why we're at war, and

2) Almost no one has made the obvious connection between the fact that Joe Lieberman is from Connecticut and the fact that he is doing his level best to defeat national health care reform legislation.

Let us address #1 first. It's traditional, after all:

Ever hear the expression "Defense industries"? Ever given any serious thought to what it means?

It means billions of tax dollars flowing from government coffers into the hands of privately owned corporations and private individuals. I mean, in the worst of times for the nation, it's absolutely necessary that things flow that way.

But in the BUSH of times, in which we've been living for 8 of the past 9 years, the money was made to flow in that direction, no matter the need for national security, etc.

And this is what it seems most people don't realize. They can spot when there is government waste in other areas, but for some reason it doesn't occur to them that the treasury can be deliberately drained in time of war.

This seems obvious to me, and perhaps to you as well - but do you remember the last time someone pointed it out in no uncertain terms? That "we're being robbed by being at war"?

I don't think I ever saw that. But it's true nonetheless. The Iraq War, and now the Afghan War, are nothing more - NOTHING more - than ways for unscrupulous war profiteers to appear to be serving the national interest while in reality robbing the country. And American soldiers are dying in service of this venal enterprise.

You see, the Bush administration was all about the money. In fact, it's arguable that every administration since, oh I don't know, Washington was all about the money. But Bush (and his pals) were just that much more obvious in his ways of robbing us. In fact, that was what pissed me off the most about him and his pals: he robbed us, then laughed at us when we noticed our wallets were a little light. Or missing.

See, everyone knew he and his cronies were robbing us. It's just that damn few people knew they were using the armed forces and the federal procurement system to do it.

Which brings us to point 2: Joe Lieberman is from Connecticut. You know - the INSURANCE capital of the nation?

And you remember how he surpassed all expectations for fundraising when he ran against, and almost lost to, Ned Lamont?

Gee, I wonder how all that happened? Don't you?

So there are your two obvious points for the day. Not very elegantly presented, perhaps, but true nonetheless. At least as far as I can tell.

And even without proof, don't the above two points make perfect sense? Doesn't even require too much in the way of paranoia, does it?

How do we stop it? How do we make the corruption in our government stop?

Because it's everywhere, and it's killing us.