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Today in My History

2000:  Burn Rubber, Baby
2001:  Tiptoe Thru the Tulips
2002:  Moaning Becomes Electric
2003:  Risotto by Committee
2004:  Old Dogs, New Tricks
2005:  Kamakaze Krafting

2006:  Pups on the Pergo
2007: First Day of School

Mamma Mia

Books Read in 2008
Updated: 3/14
"Here's Johnny"
"Hush Puppy"
"A New Leash on Death"



(I'm trying imbedding Flickr videos now)


Mefeedia Video Archive

My Favorite Video Blogs
Desert Nut
(for others, see Links page)

Look at these videos!
El Camino del Rey
(this will give you chills too!)
Just the Black Notes
(will give you chills)
Why Dogs Bite People
Howling puppy
Jerry Dog
Charlie Bit Me

Family Stories Vlog
(updated 10/2/07)

New on My flickr_logo.gif (801 bytes)



22 April 2008

A 2005 government audit found that 10,000 troops, including more than 50 Arabic translators, have been discharged because of the military ban on being openly gay.   (Seizing on the latest discharges, involving three specialists, members of the House of Representatives wrote the House Armed Services Committee chairman that the continued loss of such "capable, highly skilled Arabic linguists continues to compromise our national security during time of war.").

Now, also according to the Associated Press, in order to beef up its shrinking ranks, the military is recruiting convicted felons instead.

Under pressure to meet combat needs, the Army and Marine Corps brought in significantly more recruits with felony convictions last year than in 2006, including some with manslaughter and sex crime convictions.

Data released by a congressional committee shows the number of soldiers admitted to the Army with felony records jumped from 249 in 2006 to 511 in 2007. And the number of Marines with felonies rose from 208 to 350.

The bulk of the crimes involved were burglaries, other thefts, and drug offenses, but nine involved sex crimes and six involved manslaughter or vehicular homicide convictions. Several dozen Army and Marine recruits had aggravated assault or robbery convictions, including incidents involving weapons.

Apparently, according to our military, someone who has committed manslaughter or who has been convicted of a (presumably heterosexual) sex crime is a better member of The Few, The Proud, The Marines than someone who simply admits to being a homosexual.

Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (now that's an office which must be busy these days!), says, that "low unemployment, a protracted war on terror, a decline in propensity to serve," and the growing reluctance of parents, teachers and other adults to recommend young people go into the military, has made recruiting a challenge.


Late last fall, the Pentagon quietly began looking for ways to make it easier for people with minor criminal records to join the military. The goal of that review is to make cumbersome waiver requirements consistent across the services — the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force — and reduce the number of petty crimes that now trigger the process.

According to the data released Monday, a bit more than half of the Army's 511 convictions in 2007 were for various types of thefts, ranging from burglaries to bad checks and stolen cars. Another 130 were for drug offenses.

The remainder, however, included two in 2007 for manslaughter, compared to one in 2006; five for sexual crimes (which can include rape, incest or sexual assaults) compared to two in 2006; and three for negligent or vehicular homicide, compared to two in 2006. Two received waivers for terrorist threats including bomb threats in 2007, compared to one in 2006.


At least 235 of the Marine Corps' 350 waivers were for various types of thefts in 2007, and another 63 were for assaults or robberies that may also have included use of a weapon. The remainder included one for manslaughter in 2007, compared to none in 2006; four for sex crimes, compared to one in 2006; and five for terror threats, including bomb threats, compared to two in 2006.

The total number of sailors who received felony waivers dipped from 48 in 2006 to 42 in 2007. Most were for a variety of thefts or drug and drunk driving convictions. Two in 2007 were for terror or bomb threats compared to three in 2006.

But by God, none of those criminals now putting their lives on the line in Iraq looks fondly at the guy in the next bunk.  Whew!  What a relief.  They might blow the barracks up or start a drug dealing ring in the Green Zone, but thank God they aren't gay.

What kind of stupid screwed up system is this?

This goddamn administration has so screwed up the system, stretched our military to the limits, and turned its back on everything that we once held sacred in this country that now that fewer kids are going into ROTC or rushing off to the nearest recruiting office to serve their country, we have to turn to the prisons to get guys to do our killing for us.

But heaven help us if a guy who knows the region, speaks the language and has a clean criminal record, but happens to have a boyfriend instead of a girlfriend, wants to serve his country.  (Or vice versa for women.)  That would bring about the fall of civilization as we know it.

Let's get the drug dealers, the burglars, the thiefs and the terrorists.  At least they aren't gay. 

Sometimes it just makes me want to stick my head in the oven.   Fortunately (a) I can no longer get to my knees, and (b) it's an electric stove.


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