mytopleft

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Just can't understand how this could have happened

This is a couple weeks old, but it still strikes me as significant in a "why did they expect a different outcome" sort of way. They referring to the Social Justice Warriors who like to pretend, among other things, that there are no differences between the abilities of men and women. There are:
(CNN)The only female officer enrolled in the Marine Corps' Infantry Officer's Course has dropped out after failing to complete two conditioning hikes last month, according to the Marine Corps' Training and Education Command.
"At this time, there are no female officers enrolled or slated to attend (the Infantry Officer's Course)," Marine spokesman Capt. Joshua Pena told CNN.
He added that 33 additional officers have been dropped from the course out of a starting class comprising 97 officers. The course started on July 6 and is scheduled to finish on September 20.
Please note that the spokesman made it clear that 33 men have dropped from the course, as well. Combat infantry training is not for the faint of heart, particularly for officers, who must be able to perform all of the physical feats that their men do while also having the mental ability to lead their unit and keep their men alive and functioning properly as a unit. It is physically and mentally grueling, and not everyone is cut out for it. Physically, I doubt there are very many women who are suited, and it is not at all clear to me that any physically suited women are mentally suited or even interested in trying. Entering this field requires a certain combination of can and want-to. Most folks don't have both.

Why the Department of Defense is pushing this initiative defies logic. I know why they are doing it -- - Emperor Barry wants it, just as he wants to shove transgender bathrooms in public schools and federal offices down our throats, biology be damned. But that does not mean it makes any logical sense. The military is not society. Regardless of what you think society should embrace, the military has a purpose: to kill people and break things. The capability to kill people and break things is largely inconsistent with Social Justice Warrior goals for society. And yeah, Emperor Barry shares the SJW goals.

And he obviously hates the military. Or maybe he just hates its purpose -- the aforementioned killing people and breaking things. Because his administration has done its level best to undermine those functions, both by cutting funding and by attempting to force the military into embracing "societal goals" -- or at least those societal goals that matter to Emperor Barry. Thus, he has driven the effort to force the military to accept gays in all roles (actually not a problem, from all accounts), to not only allow transgender service members but to force the military to fund any operations, etc. that might be required for those people to complete their transition, and to allow women in every possible combat role, regardless of how physically unsuited they might be.

The Marines have stood alone in attempting to oppose this effort, at least as far as allowing unsuited individuals into combat roles. The Marines have declined to lower the physical standards they require of anyone seeking a combat role. They have conducted live-exercise studies and found that co-ed units don't perform as well as all-male units. They are trying very hard to be what they always have been -- the branch of the military that, when the nation needs someone to kill people and break things tomorrow, is ready to do so. Despite the administration's best efforts, the Marines seem to be standing by the ethos reflected in one of my favorite bumper stickers:
The U.S. Marines: When it absolutely, positively has be be destroyed overnight.
I'm sorry the woman officer flunked out of the infantry' officer's course. I'm not sorry the Marines let her.

Woodsmoke in August?

As I was walking with Jeb the Wonder Dog tonight, I noticed a smell much more closely associated with January or February than with August: wood smoke. The temperature the last few nights has dipped into the 60s. Apparently, this is low enough to prompt at least some people -- I would say more than one, based on the pervasiveness of the smell -- to fire up the fireplace. To each his own, I say, but I doubt the Chez Wolves firepit will be in business anytime soon. Unless I need an excuse to drink beer, which seems an unlikely scenario, given that football season is almost upon us. But you never know.

I don't know why she thinks this is comfortable

But apparently she does. Mischief has taken to sleeping on computer keyboards. No, I don't get it, either:


But there you have it. Desk top units, laptops, doesn't seem to matter. She prefers laptops, however, as pictured here. Go figure.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Amazing how well that worked. For now, anyway.

So, the first work day after this email from the agency, the main violators of the dress code showed up in long pants and shirts with collars. Many of them still looked like they slept in those close and could blend seamlessly with the homeless population of Washington, but they were making an effort. I put the over-under on when they quit making the effort and go back to gym shorts and such at two weeks.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Apparently, it is difficult to replace perfection

For reasons known only to God and the Army, the Army apparently is attempting to replace the M2 .50 caliber machine gun, affectionately known as the Ma Deuce. The M2 has been in the US military's inventory since 1918, designed by legendary gun designer John Browning. It has been used in every role imaginable, on armored vehicles and tanks, on a tripod as an infantry weapon, in aircraft and pretty much any other role you can think of for a machine gun.

It has done so extremely reliably, as well. The Army recently discovered an M2 that had been in service for 90 years without need of repair.  Hell of a weapon, there. Naturally, the Army wants to replace it:
The US Army has begun a program to create a lightweight .50 caliber machine gun to replace the venerable M2 Browning. The program will, like the M240L machine gun, use titanium to reduce weight by 20-30 percent. Scout.com and NationalInterest.org both have stories on the subject. The following is from Scout.com:
The Army is creating a new, lightweight version of its iconic .50-cal machine gun designed to better enable Soldiers to destroy enemies, protect convoys, mount weapons on vehicles, attack targets on the move and transport between missions.
The new weapon, engineered to be 20-to-30 percent lighter than the existing M2, will be made of durable, but lighter weight titanium, Army officials said.
The emerging lightweight .50-cal, described as still in its infancy stage, still needs to be built, riveted and tested.
As the Firearm blog notes, this is not the first time the Army has tried to replace the M2 with a lighter weapon. The blog also notes that trying to create a lighter .50 caliber machine gun tends to ignore physics, as the weapon has to be a heavy, rugged piece simply to adequately perform its role. Earlier attempts ended in failure:
The two latest attempts to replace the M2 were the XM312, a lightweight, long-recoiling .50 BMG machine gun derived from the 25mm XM307 ACSW (and which was originally intended just as a test bed for that larger-caliber weapon), and the XM806 LW50MG. Both of these were cancelled, despite each being half the weight of the M2.
What both the XM312 and XM806 programs found is that there is a serious contradiction in having a lightweight .50 caliber machine gun, especially one that compromises the performance of the weapon in some way. Automatic weapons in this caliber, due to their massively heavy ammunition, virtually cannot be used as dismounted weapons, and must be used mounted to either a vehicle, aircraft, or tripod. As a result, the benefits of lightening the weapons even substantially does not create a major improvement in usability for the weapons,
We'll see what happens. My money is on the M2.

Farming, Part II

Having gone to The Farm last Saturday and mostly weeded, I went again last Sunday and mostly harvested. Since I went again yesterday and might again today, I figured I better get the second post from last weekend up before the next visit happens. Could get confusing otherwise.

With the hot, dry weather, the peppers have been busting:


The cucumbers are enjoying the heat considerably less:


The onions are ready to come out. Farmer Tom started on that:


The potatoes look good, but except where they have come out of the ground during weeding, we aren't harvesting yet:


And they do need weeding:


No really:


Farmer Tom did some weeding in one potato bed, which is why you see some potatoes in this bin, which is mostly full of our very good onion crop:


Harvested a bunch of peppers, too:


Tomatoes look great, as you will see in posts from this weekend, as do the carrots. Lots happening on The Farm, Time to put in fall crops.

Maybe somebody finally noticed that people aren't paying much attention to the dress code

As I have mentioned before, folks on this project have been a little lax about the dress code. Based on an email we got Friday, it would appear the agency has finally noticed that a fair number of people have been showing up for work in whatever they slept in:
I would also like to remind everyone that our space is both a review facility and a business office. You were all told that acceptable office attire is business casual. On Fridays you may dress down to jeans but on no weekdays are you to wear shorts, crop tops or other clothing that would be outside the business casual range.
We'll see if this makes any difference.