Harsh Reality

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Transgender Troops Prove The U.S. Military Now Exists Only To Serve The Leftist Social Agenda

In the summer of 2006 I was a U.S. Army Soldier serving in Iraq. During my time there I suffered a severely cracked molar. A Pennsylvania National Guard dentist, a "full-bird" Colonel who had a successful private practice back home when he wasn't serving his country and had begun his military career in Vietnam, did an amazing job of extracting that tooth for me in less than ideal conditions in Baghdad, Iraq. I was so thankful for his great work that I got my picture taken with him, swollen face and all. I would share that photo, but I haven't spoken to him since that time. In a moment, we will revisit this story to explain the irony of the current state of the military.

President Obama's Secretary of Defense announced at the Pentagon today that the United States military's ban on cross-dressers is being lifted. From now on, people the mental condition "gender dysphoria" - i.e. they are one sex, but mentally believe themselves to be the opposite sex, formerly called "Gender Identity Disorder" (they recently changed the name to make it not sound like the mental disorder that it is) - are welcome to join the military.

Secretary Carter justified the change by saying:
"[W]e don't want barriers unrelated to a person's qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine who can best accomplish the mission".

But then Mr. Carter went on to describe how medical services would be provided by the military, including surgery, to medically change that service member into whatever sex they tell military leaders they want to be. Medical services for this type of, uh...situation, include the genital surgical deconstruction and construction, breast augmentation, facial plastic surgery, "voice therapy" (training a man to talk with a higher voice like a woman) and mental health services to assist with the emotional difficulties of surgically altering oneself into something that resembles a person that one is biologically incapable of actually being.

A search for reliable sources on the recovery time for sex change operations yielded a wide range of time from a few months to a few years, depending on several factors. So, one can reasonably expect to have to be off work recuperating and rehabilitating various medical procedures for several months to a year. Possibly longer. And those times are for a typical civilian job. Not a military position. With this in mind, how can cross-dressing Soldiers, Marines, Sailors or Airmen possibly be considered the one who "can best accomplish the mission"? They will be entering, or remaining in, military service with a built-in medical disability to perform their job for a substantial period of their service.

Secretary Carter also explained that these special troops will be allowed to use the living quarters, bathroom and shower facilities, wear the uniform and be held to the fitness standard of their preferred gender. This means biological men, with altered genitalia, will be held to the lower women's physical fitness standards. It will also be interesting to see the effect on female morale, recruitment and retention at having a bunkmate who is biologically a man. One has to believe that there will be some effect on female troops. Whether it results in fewer actual women remaining or joining the military, or different types of females joining or remaining, one thing is for certain: Changes like this cannot be made without consequence. What those consequences are remains to be seen.

If budgets were not an issue and the world were at peace, this would still not make any sense. But we know neither one of those are the case.

The U.S. Army is slashing troop levels to the lowest real number of troops since before World War Two, and the lowest level as a percentage of the population since before the Civil War. (See my column at WND.com on that topic.) Commanders are having to figure out a way to accomplish missions with fewer people, fewer dollars and older equipment. The Navy and Air Force have sounded the alarm that budget cuts have severely diminished the operational capabilities of aircraft to the point that airplanes are being grounded and cannibalized for parts to keep other airplanes flying. Just this month several fighter jets have crashed, including a Navy Blue Angel and an Air Force Thunderbird that had just flown over a commencement speech given by Obama at the Air Force Academy. In a single month last year five F-16 fighters crashed due to engine failure or other breakdown.

But, no worries, Secretary Carter assures us. In these times of tightened budgets and slashed personnel levels while we face an enemy who is cutting the heads off American citizens on YouTube and detonating suicide vests anywhere they can find a crowd, Mr. Carter assures the American people that commanders will be given flexibility in how to serve the needs of the transgender servicemembers in their ranks and how to best provide them medical care and job assignments. After all, he reasoned, not all cross-dressers are the same.

Sex change operations and related medical treatments are expensive. They are also elective procedures. When troop levels are being slashed to 150-year lows and fighter jets are using pieces pulled off other airplanes just to be able to fly, while American service members and civilians are slaughtered around the world, one might be forgiven for wondering if we have entered a time of national insanity.

Back to that cracked molar that was pulled out in Baghdad ten years ago this week. I still have a hole back there where that tooth used to live. I have inquired several times since I got back home about getting a tooth implant. They are surprisingly expensive. As an Army Reservist over the next few years I had a civilian dentist try to help me get it paid for by the Army. He reasoned that, since the tooth was lost while in a combat zone on active duty and removed by an Army dentist, that the Army should fix it. He put the request through more than once. The Army refused to pay for it. I asked about getting an implant at my VA visits, too, but have been denied there as well. It is not a huge deal. I am a blessed man to be only missing a molar. Annoying, but not noticeable to anyone. Since the Department of Defense suddenly has all the money it needs to surgically mutilate the genitals and other body parts of otherwise physically healthy servicemembers - on purpose - maybe I should put in another request to get that tooth fixed.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

"Brexit" Explained in Terms of a College Situation

First, my congratulations to the people of the United Kingdom for striking the most massive blow yet against globalism by voting to leave the European Union. Your stand against collectivist globalism has given a shot of adrenaline to freedom-loving people everywhere. Here's praying that the momentum continues to build.

A friend of my college-age daughter shared on social media recently that she was a bit confused by what to think about the "Brexit" news. Major Western media, of course, portrayed the vote in terms of how bad it is. But the people of the UK seem pretty happy with it. So I left the following explanation to help her and her friends with what Brexit was all about in terms they could understand.
There's nothing to be confused about! Think of European countries as people. Pretend YOU are a European country. You've got a bunch of friends. Some have great jobs, some have no job. Some have a nice car, some have no car at all. Some are slobs, some are neat & tidy. Some pay their bills on time and some are constantly having their phone disconnected or are in collection status. So, all of you are sitting around one day and someone proposes you all move into a big house together. Share all the bills. Share all your vehicles. Share all the food.
The guy who works odd jobs doesn't contribute much to the finances, but he IS a really good musician, so he's a fun guy to come home to. And the girl with the really nice car doesn't make a lot of money and made a really poor choice with the car she selected. But now, shell be able to make her payments okay as long as she's able to eat the food that "everyone" is buying for the pantry. And besides, everyone will get to use her nice car. And a million other collective benefits come into the conversation.
 Except it doesn't work like that.
The broke-ass, irresponsible roommates continue being irresponsible - only NOW they're being irresponsible with the food and the cars and the bills that the responsible roommates brought to the deal. Eventually, it becomes clear that basically everything is being averaged out. Which is great for the lazy roommates and the perpetually under-employed ones. And musician guy wrecked the girls' really nice car and she thinks the whole group should get it fixed.
It gets to a point where the 2-3-4 responsible roommates are just completely carrying the rest. And one of the responsible ones says "I'm out of here. I'm not happy with others wrecking my credit, eating my food, running up bills that I'm expected to pay and keeping me up all night with noise because they don't have to go to work in the morning. I wish you well. Goodbye."
Obviously, the loser roommates will beg & plead for the responsible one to stay. And the other responsible roommates - realizing that they're going to have an increased burden carrying the losers - first pleads with them to stay and then threatens them with all kinds of consequences if they leave. Then throw into the mix that one of the roommates is black or muslim, and the roommates start telling the one who wants to leave that he's a racist and is only leaving because he hates brown people. 
Finally, the responsible roommate says I'm out of here. I've got my own place, my own job, my own car and my own credit. I just want to be responsible for myself and not dependent on everyone. I care more about my own interests than the collective does. My own personal well-being is worse off for joining this collective house, so I'm going to just be independent. 
That is what the UK did. They voted to leave. That is "Brexit". 
Germany is the only responsible roommate who's going to stay. Switzerland and Iceland have withdrawn their petition to join, France and others may vote to leave, Austria will probably also vote to leave. The house is coming apart.
Congratulations for the people of the UK reclaiming their independence. America gets our turn in November to make a profound statement against globalism.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

While Americans Are Slaughtered, Our Leaders Refuse to Lead

In our modern 24-hour news cycle there can be hundreds of angles, theories and bad information reported in the immediate hours after a large-scale calamity like the one that took place in the Pulse nightclub, an Orlando gay bar, on Saturday night. No matter the setting, victims or specifics, however, the basic facts that come out are just a mundane repetition of every other recent jihadist attack around the world.

With no intention of being insensitive, is there anyone else who can recite the basics of a Muslim terror attack without even reading the stories? They are always the same: "Muslim gunmen"; “allahu akbar!"; "dozens dead" and Western leftist demands that we "don't judge". Oh yes, and our leaders do nothing about it. These are constants in modern jihadist mayhem.

There appear to be details of this particular attack, however, that should be more problematic for the left and their narratives than normal. In the immediate aftermath liberal attack dogs seized on the opportunity to claim to be victims of homophobic American Christian gun culture. Hate, bigotry and the usual slurs were thrown around freely as the professional victim class commentators clutched the occasion to air their disgust with America’s foundations.

As it turned out, though, Omar Mateen was yet another Muslim whose family, like Muhammad Abdulazeez in Chattanooga last year and the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston, were refugees given shelter by the United States. While this pattern of murder-by-refugee is unhelpful to the left’s current immigration policy, which is to import millions of Mateens, Abdulazeezs and Tsarnaevs, reports from several sources indicate that Mr. Matteen was homosexual. In any rational discussion the fact that the terrorist was a gay Muslim would serve to de-fang an argument that this slaughter was the result of Christian anti-gay bigotry. But Western leftists are not rational.

The New York Daily News blamed the National Rifle Association for Mr. Mateen killing his fellow gay patrons at a club he had frequented many times, even though he was not a member of the NRA. He was a self-described Muslim and follower of ISIS. But those memberships are ignored because they are unsupportive to their claims and causes. Like David Letterman’s rant on live TV after the 9/11 terror attacks, many liberals are using this latest terror attack as an opening to assault “religion”, in general. Notwithstanding that there are no reports of Buddhist monks, Hindus or Episcopalians rampaging anywhere on Earth.

In his statement to reporters on Tuesday, Obama claimed to not know what could have motivated Mr. Mateen or what associations he may have had. This despite specifically telling police in the middle of his massacre that he was an Islamic State loyalist. What Obama is certain of, is that this was an “act of hate” (again, a generic deflection that is a useful slur hurled at Christians), and the result of Americans having too much access to guns.

A narrative has begun to coagulate on the left, though. The excuses being settled on appear to be the internet and guns.

In the words of former Obama advisor and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Immanuel: Never let a crisis go to waste. In other words, use every tragedy as an opportunity to force your agenda while everyone is in shock or mourning. Strike while the public’s guard is down. Reports that Omar Mateen may have been “self-radicalized” on the internet offers a chance for the President to score a rare double play with demands to restrict firearms and tighten government controls on the internet. All while excusing Islam from any culpability and continuing the narrative of the “religion of peace”. He is opportunistic, if nothing else.

Adding yet another layer of modern routine to this story are reports from co-workers, an ex-wife and others that Mr. Mateen was dangerously unstable and claims that he escaped scrutiny or punishment because people were afraid to say anything due to his status as a Muslim. Most Americans are familiar with the current culture that attacks honesty as "racism", "sexism", "homophobia" or some other slur and promotes narratives that we can all see are not true. The purpose is to shut down honest speech and shield privileged classes of people to advance leftist political and social agendas.

To blame the NRA, one must question how this attack could be essentially identical to the Muslim terror attacks in Europe where guns are banned? Explosives are illegal both in the United States and in Europe, but somehow Muslim terrorists keep using those, also, to blow up gatherings of people. Suicide vests, pressure cooker bombs, weapons caches in Germany, Belgium, France and the UK...the NRA has exactly nothing to do with any of these things. There is, however, one common denominator in all these attacks. But that brings us back to where Mr. Mateen’s co-workers and acquaintances found themselves. Specifically not permitted to notice or comment for fear of being castigated as a bigot. Does anybody remember the denunciation of Texas school officials and police over the “clock boy” incident? Or the gun store owner sued by an Islamic group for posting a sign reading “Muslim Free Zone”?

So jihadist attacks keep happening and our leaders keep pretending it's the fault of something else. But this is not unique to our government’s treatment of terrorism. The same thing is happening with the collapse of the American education system and the burning of our inner cities. The obvious problem is ignored and an alternative narrative is created and blamed. "White privilege" is one that's particularly amusing. Satan is the father of lies. We all see how damaging our national embrace of lies has been. Yet we nod our heads as though the lies are true.

Dozens of Americans were murdered in cold blood in America. We have an enemy who has openly declared war on the West, in general, and America, in particular. They are killing us by the dozens and hundreds. And our leaders refuse to even acknowledge there is a war. An actual war. With guns and bombs and dead Americans. What kind of nation refuses to even defend itself as it is being invaded and attacked? America's "leaders" are simply refusing to lead.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Remembering The Culture, Bravery & Sacrifice Of A Day That Is Slipping From Our National Memory.

Pre-flight briefing of American air crews before their D-Day missions.
By the next day, many of these men had given their lives.

Today is the 72nd anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

I just wanted to share a few personal thoughts on this day we should remember.

With some of you undoubtedly growing up in the 1970s and later American public education system, I'll give you some brief history as to what that's about.

Germany and its allies had conquered Europe one nation at a time since the late 1930s. Their influence stretched from North Africa all the way into the Soviet Union. They owned all of Europe and had been relentlessly softening up Great Britain with arial bombardments that were taking their toll until the U.S. got involved. Everyone knew there had to be an invasion of the European continent, but nobody knew when, where or how it would happen. On 6 June 1944 the world learned how the allies would do it. The largest armada in human history poured across the English Channel. Thousands of aircraft, thousands of sea-going vessels and hundreds of thousands of men. But German troops were well-equipped, well-trained and were dug in, expecting an invasion. The fight was chaotic and costly in terms of lives and equipment. But it was a fight worth having and everything was given by a lot of soldiers, sailors and pilots. Some gave their lives. Families gave their sons, husbands, fathers and brothers. It was the 1st day that America, Great Britain, Canada and our allies were on the attack.

The cost was so high and the day such a turning point in such a monumental conflict that it was remembered every year by Americans everywhere after the war and commemorated in some way or other. Maybe just by reading a blurb above the headline of the day's newspaper. Maybe just watching a news item about it on the evening news. Or maybe by lifting a pint at the local watering hole to toast the men who fought that day, living and dead.

I've noticed over the years that the remembrances of the day have faded away from our collective American conscience. Same thing with remembrance of December 7th and the beginning of the war for Americans at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. My grandfather was in the European theater. Patton's 3rd Army. 6th Armored Division, 16th Tank Battalion. The "Super Sixers" crossed the channel and joined the fight weeks after the foothold had been secured at Normandy, but famously fought like tigers at the Battle of the Bulge during the next horrifying winter at Bastogne. My grandparents never let a D-Day anniversary go by without talking about where they were that day. What they saw. How they found out. The confusion, fear and chaos. But they were in it together with their neighbors, extended family and friends. My grandma had no idea if her young husband was alive or dead or part of the invasion or missing or captured or going across later. My grampa had no idea if his brothers or friends were alive or dead or missing or captured.
My grampa SSG Norris Harshey is kneeling front left.
Photo taken by another soldier in his unit
somewhere in Europe.

It's easy to look backwards and relax, knowing that it turned out okay. America's great sacrifice was a success, the war was eventually won, my grampa came home and started a family and lived an All-American life in the heartland with my grandma. And eventually took in a punk 15 year old named Sean Harshey to live in their home. But, on 6 June 1944, nobody knew how it would turn out. But they pushed on, anyway. They paid the price.

The scale of the invasion of Europe 72 years ago today was something that could probably never be duplicated. There's no national consensus on anything anymore. There's no "good" or "bad".

Nobody can agree on "right" or "wrong". Criminals are victims, evil is good, good things are "oppressive". Everything is relative. Even the simplest things have become gigantic national issues. The effect is that we can no longer accomplish big tasks that need to be done. Our ancestors may have been the last generation to be mostly unified in ideals and purpose and patriotism. I'm thankful for that.

My daughter's history class watched Saving Private Ryan this semester as part of their 20th century studies. I'm impressed at how much she learned about the causes of WW2 and the resulting geographic divisions of the Cold War. I'm very thankful to her teacher and her high school for impressing on the students the heavy sacrifices made for them by people they don't even know. On D-Day, nobody knew if these terrible sacrifices would accomplish the task. But they gave it their all. They did their duty. And won. They went through a terrible war to secure peace. For us.

My grampa being silly with my grandma
before he shipped off overseas. They were married almost
50 years before he passed away in 1991. Photo taken
in Louisiana, 1942.
When I was a kid, the World War Two generation seemed larger than life to me. The sacrifices, the achievements, they were all bigger than what I could imagine. The men that did all that - that liberated a continent, that liberated the entire Pacific Ocean - they were Super Men to me. And when I would see members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars wearing their side caps I always revered them as giants. Even as they got older and more frail and fewer in number.

Shortly after returning from Iraq in 2007 I was invited to join my local VFW post. It seemed very strange that I would be able to do so. I never felt worthy. I thought it my duty, though, as these organizations are becoming smaller in number and membership as a natural result of a smaller and smaller number of the American population having military service.

So, for the past nine years I've been a proud member of both the American Legion and the VFW. I served a brief stint as an officer at my VFW post and I've made a lot of friends. This past week an officer of my post (a Vietnam veteran) presented me with my own VFW side cap. I am honored and thrilled to have it. But I have mixed emotions about wearing it. I am very, very proud of my service and my comrades at my VFW post, but I honestly don't feel worthy to wear the same hat that those Super Men who liberated Europe came back home to wear at their local posts. I hope you will believe me when I say that this is not about me. I only share this anecdote about my own experience this week as an example of how much we owe to the generations before us who sacrificed so much. My year in the desert with email, occasional phone calls home and the ability to watch NFL games and the Indy 500 live on American Forces Network TV cannot possibly compare to the 2-1/2 years my grampa spent fighting his way across Europe. So the pride I felt in wearing that cap was more than off-set by the humility of the sacrifices and cost of the men who wore it before me.

They paid for something that we enjoy. They sacrificed for us. And there is nothing we can do to repay them. All we can do is be thankful and try to follow their example and be faithful in our duty for future generations.

Very honored to wear this cap.
CPT Sean Harshey in a Blackhawk helicopter somewhere
over Iraq. 24 September 2006