DoD’s abortion coverage is a confusing mess

Man, I am really confused. I thought we all followed the science, especially in the military. So when the Navy comes out and says “Female Sailors can delay notification of pregnancy to their commands for up to 20 weeks,” I thought “Man, that’s a bad idea.” Then I immediately flayed myself for saying “Man” and not “Women, people who identify as women, and birthing people.”

But I digress. It is true, per ALNAV 017/23:

To provide Service Members with appropriate privacy protections in the early months of pregnancy, in accordance with reference (c), DON health care providers shall follow a presumption that they are not to disclose to a Service Member's command authorities a Service Member's pregnancy status prior to 20 weeks gestation unless this presumption is overcome by one of the notification standards listed below.  In making a disclosure pursuant to the notification standards established below, Department of Defense (DoD) health care providers shall provide the minimum amount of information required to satisfy the purpose of the disclosure, consistent with applicable policy.

Normally we encourage female Sailors to report pregnancy fairly early. The reason behind this is science, because developing babies are very susceptible early on to a lot of environmental factors that are quite common in the military environment. Factors like radiation:

The effect of radiation exposure during pregnancy also depends on the gestational age of the fetus. The embryo/fetus is most susceptible to radiation during organogenesis (2 to 7 weeks gestational age) and in the first trimester. The fetus is more resistant to the radiation during the second and third trimester. Dose between 0.05 to 0.5 Gy is generally considered safe for the fetus during the second and third trimester while it is considered potentially harmful during the 1st-trimester fetus. Even though the fetus is more resistant to the radiation during the second and third trimester, a high dose of radiation (greater than 0.5 Gy or 50 rad) may result in adverse effects including miscarriage, growth reduction, IQ reduction, and severe mental retardation. Therefore, clinicians and radiologists should counsel the pregnant patient regardless of the gestational age.

Or hazardous materials:

Exposure to some organic solvents could increase your chances of having a miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth, a low birth weight baby, or a baby with a birth defect.

Or stress:

Both animal and human studies have found that prenatal maternal stress affects the brain and behavior of the offspring. Stressful life events, exposure to a natural disaster, and symptoms of maternal anxiety and depression increase the risk for the child having a range of emotional, behavioral and/or cognitive problems in later life. These include depression, anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and/or conduct disorders. There is an increased risk for other outcomes also, including preterm delivery and reduced telomere length, possibly indicative of an accelerated life history. 

(I heard being in the military isn’t stressful though. The person that told me this was also encouraging me to buy shares in Silicon Valley Bank.)

The Navy isn’t hiding the reason behind delaying notification either. Its specifically to allow elective abortion, or as the Navy calls it, “non-covered abortion,” because the Navy does cover abortions in the event of a threat to a mother’s life, incest and rape (which it has always done, despite what every pro-death protestor will tell you). From ALNAV 017/23:

Pregnancy Termination.  A Service Member considering terminating the pregnancy is encouraged to consult with a DoD health care provider or a licensed non-DoD health care provider from whom the Service Member is receiving care.  The DoD health care provider will place the Service Member considering pregnancy termination in a medical temporary non-deployable status without reference to the Service Member's pregnancy status, until appropriate medical care and the necessary recovery period are complete.

Now, mind you, service members have always had the chance to abort children outside of military medical care. Planned Parenthood has certainly ensured that was an option, and while some states have banned abortion since Roe v Wade was overturned (13, according to Wikipedia), its not the majority. What has changed is Navy leadership, who decided to wade into the situation and dictate how commands would do their bidding. In ALNAV 018/23, they speak out of both sides of their mouth. On one hand, they demand Commanding Officers comply with law:

Consistent with existing law and Department policy, COs will protect the privacy of protected health information received under this policy, as they should with any other protected health information.  Such health care information shall be restricted to personnel with a specific need to know; that is, access to the information must be necessary for the conduct of official duties.  Personnel shall also be accountable for safeguarding this health care information consistent with existing law and Departmental policy.

Annnd on the other hand, they say “give people time off if its, you know, ILLEGAL in the state you are in:”

Approval Guidance.  COs or approval authorities should grant an administrative absence to eligible Sailors and Marines when a non-covered reproductive health care need is identified by the eligible Service Member.  Requests for administrative absence should be given all due consideration and should be granted to the greatest extent practicable, unless, in the CO's judgment, the Service Member's absence would impair proper execution of the military mission.  If the CO denies the request, the Sailor or Marine may appeal the request to the next level of leadership.

How much you wanna guess that all appeals will be approved?

But then Navy commits the biggest woke sin of all…forgetting that we have “birthing people!”

I encourage you to visit the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center's, "Women's Health Toolbox," at https://www.med.navy.mil/Navy-Marine-Corps-Public-Health-Center/Womens-Health/ for additional information and 
resources on myriad women's health issues.  Additional information on these policies can also be found at 
http://www.health.mil/ensuringaccesstoreproductivehealth.

10.  Rest assured that the DON's work to implement the DoD's new policy is a priority.  I expect cooperation from leaders across the Navy and Marine Corps to ensure appropriate input and efficient implementation of this new policy.

“I expect cooperation” really means “You will comply.” Why not just come out and say it?

This post represents the views of the author and not the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. If you enjoyed this post, why not donate to DaTechGuy or purchase one of the author’s books?

Rules for the Dynasty 1996 Short Season Draft League

Here are the rules for our new 1996 short season draft league. If you’re in my draft league that started in 1969 the rules might look familiar.

How the league is to be played

We will be playing the 1996 season We will be playing under 1996 rules with two exceptions. There will be at least one interleague play to allow each player to play each other player at least one home and away series. There will be no wild cards.

The schedule

We will be playing an 80 game schedule with two series against each opponent.

  • 2 Two game series vs interleague opponents
  • 2 Three game series vs teams in the same league but different divisions
  • 2 Four game series vs division rivals

Frequency of games

There will be one series per week. This will make it easier to get in series vs division rivals and to prevent conflicts with my other leagues.

Number of teams

We will have a fixed number of teams 16. As of this writing we are one short.

Division setup:

2 leagues, 2 divisions in each no wild cards.

Trades and waivers.

After the fifth series of the season teams may trade. Any player on the current roster may be traded along with any of the first seven draft picks for the next season If a trade is made that increases a roster beyond the 40 man limit a player must be released before the next series is played. Any trades agreed will not be executed until all the teams involved have the same amount of games played.

Waivers takes place after the sixth series. Teams make waivers picked based on their current record and are made from the undrafted players not on rosters.. If a pick brings a Roster over 40 a player must be released or an injured player not on the DL must be placed there to make room.

Note: Any player who is planning to leave the league at the end of the season is encouraged NOT to trade as it is unfair to both the other teams and the player who will replace him or her.

The DL:

The DL WILL count toward your roster but to make up for it we will have a maximum 40 man roster. We will still only draft 35 but players may expand their rosters via trade and waivers.

Playing Games.

All games must be completed before the next scheduled series. the Dynasty system will take over and auto play any games that are not completed one hour before the next scheduled game (even if said unfinished game is in progress) Players are encouraged to use the chat room and the Dynasty message system to reschedule games if needed and are also encouraged to make a manager profile in case a game has to autoplay. Instructions on how to do that are here.

Be aware that if you have your team on AUTO and your opponent requests a rescheduled in the system Dynasty will automatically allow it so keep this in mind when or if you turn auto on. Also be aware if both team are on auto and you reschedule the game will be played automatically so make sure your team is not on auto before you do this.

Expansion

This league will not have expansion. It is designed as a short season to contract with the 1969 league and to give me an easy schedule to make. If you want a longer season and / or a bigger league check out my 1969 league currently playing 1971.

Selecting a franchise:

Players picked from existing franchises keeping two batters and two pitchers the rest go in the draft

Franchise locations and parks

Every team is presumed to have the park their team played in during the season they entered the league.

Franchises whose teams move in real life are not required to relocate their teams. So the Montreal Expos are not required to move to Washington but they retain the option to do so at any time.

Franchises are NOT required to build new stadiums and my continue to play in their old stadiums if they wish. So Houstony can stay in the Astrodome if they wish but they retain the right to move into Minute Maid park at any time If a team chooses to move into their new park in the same city the old park is considered demolished and no other team may use it from that point on.

A team may NOT move into a park that in a different city because the Dynasty system bases the weather on the park used NOT the city that a team’s label claims it is in. .Example from the 1971 league: If the Seattle Pilots want to play in Country Stadium they MUST move to Milwaukee

A team may NOT move into a park in the same city that belongs to a future franchise. Example from 1971 league: If the Seattle Pilots choose to remain in Seattle rather than move to Milwaukee they may NOT move into the Kingdome because it is reserved for the Mariners franchise when it becomes available.

Old parks

A team MAY move into an old park from the same city under the following conditions:

  1. The park was once the home park of the franchise OR
  2. The franchise that once owned the park is now located in another city

Examples,

  • the Seattle Pilots move to Milwaukee the Mariners if taken MAY move into Sick Stadium.
  • The Cardinals may move into sportsman park because it was once their old stadium.
  • Both the Yankees and the Mets may move into the Polo Grounds because the park is in NY and both teams were once based there.

Franchise Moves and or Replacement players or teams

A player may decide to take a different franchise after playing one season under the following rules

The player who movies will get the city and park of the new franchise at once but will NOT get the rookies for said new Franchise until the season AFTER the move

Example: Boston decides to move to California after the 2010 season. he does NOT get the rights to Mike Trout but retains the rights to any RedSox player who has their first card in 2011. If Boston makes the move to California in 2009 then after keeping the Boston rookies for 2010 in 2011 Mike Trout is his as a rookie (see rookies below)

If due to circumstances in the real world a player has to temporarily drop out of the league their team will be put on auto until a substitute can be found. Said substitute shall take over the team and play games until the original player can return but may not make trades or drop players from the roster (excepting for injury).

If at the end of the season the base player can’t return the substitute has first rights to the team and gets full control over it.

If a player has to drop out permanently the team will go on auto until a substitute or replacement player can be found. Said player will get full rights to the franchise unless they declare that they will only be a substitute till the end of the season.

If no replacement player is found during the season a new player will be recruited for the next season. Said player will retain the franchise and draft picks of the player he is replacing. If said new player wishes to move the franchise he can per the limitations listed above, namely he retains the rookies of the current franchise for his first season and then get the rookie rights to the new franchise the following year.

Example The Yankees drop out of the league due to illness. A substitute is found to play their games. The sub places the games until the Yankees recover. If they do not recover sufficiently to return to the league the substitute may over the Yankees franchise permanently

Example 2: A replacement player is found for the Yankees in the above example but is a big Texas fan. Said substitute can move their franchise to Texas but will retain the Yankees rookies for the 1997 season. Starting in 1998 they will have rights to Texas rookies.

Rookies

A “Rookie” is define as any player who did not have a card for the previous season.

A rookie is considered to be part of the team listed on their card regardless of who they actually played their first game for (Dynasty lists cards based on who a player finishes a season with thus any rookie that was traded by an MLB team in his first season will have their card listed for the team they were traded to NOT the team they played their first game with.

All teams retain rights to their rookies prior to the draft and rookies for a franchise are not eligible to be drafted in any expansion draft.

A Rookie becomes a part of a team after said team names their protected players for the draft. They count toward the 35 man roster

Any team that doesn’t want to retain a rookie may release them before the draft to open up a roster spot but once release all rights to said player are surrendered.

Players retained list

At the end of a season teams may retain a number of players based on their finish in the previous one The players retained list for 1997 is

  • World series winner 4 players 
  • World series runner up 5 players 
  • Division winners that don’t go to the series 6 players
  • Teams with the 5th and 6th best records that didn’t win a division 7 players
  • Teams with the 7th and 8th best records 8 players
  • Teams with the 9th and 10th best records 9 players 
  • Teams with the 11th and 12th best records 10 players
  • Teams with the 3rd and 4th worst records 11 players 
  • Teams with the worst and 2nd worst record 12  players 

NOTE: If a player on your current Roster does not have a card for the next season due to injury, military service etc but WILL the following year a team may choose to retain the rights to said player but will have to spend a protected spot for it and will have to keep a space for him all season.

Example: Rheal Cormier was out the entire 1998 Season. If a team has him after the 1997 season and wants to keep him they can choose to hold his rights when his season ends and keep a roster spot for him. He will play 1998 with 39 players and in 1999 will hold the rights to Cormier.. If at any time he chooses to release him Cormier will be considered a rookie for Boston because

  1. He had no card the previous year
  2. No team held his rights
  3. His 1999 card says “Boston”

The draft order of teams for each season will be based on their finish the previous season. Any team that is not retained will of course not be drafting BUT If a team holds the draft pick of a team that is no longer in the league he will draft those picks as if that team was still in the league in the round that he holds them.

  1. Worst team (12) 
  2. 2nd worst team (12) 
  3. 3rd wort team (11) 
  4. 4th worst team (11) 
  5. 5th worst team (10) 
  6. 6th worst team (10)
  7. 7th worst team (9) 
  8. 8th worst team (9) 
  9. 8th BEST team (8)
  10. 7th Best team (8)
  11. Team with the 2nd Best record that didn’t win a division (7)
  12. Team with the best record that didn’t win a division (7)
  13. Division winner not in WS with worst record (6)
  14. Division winner not in WS with best record (6)
  15. World series loser (5)
  16. Word series winner (4) 

NOTES

If there is a tie the advantage will go to the team that drafted later

The first tiebreaker for non-playoff teams with identical records is head to head matchups

The 2nd tiebreaker if teams had identical records AND split their season series is draft order for the previous season

For our 1st season the actual records of the teams will determine the order of the picks

  1. Pirates worst record of teams selected one game worse than Bluejays 
  2. Blue Jays 4 games worse than Twins 
  3. Twins two games worse than Marlins 
  4. Marlins one game worse than Reds 
  5. Reds one game worse than Astros 
  6. Astros Three games worse than Red Sox
  7. Red Sox Tied for best record of remaining teams with worst finish in division 
  8. Mariners tied for Best record of remaining teams with best finish in division who joined ahead of Chicago) 
  9. White Sox tied for Best record of remaining team with best finish in division and last to join
  10. Dodgers division series loser with the worst record of league teams)
  11. Padres Division series loser with 2nd best record or finish in division
  12. Indians Division series loser with best record or finish in division
  13. Orioles LCS loser with worst record or worst finish in division
  14. Cardinals LCS loser with best record or best finish in division
  15. Braves World series loser
  16. Yankees World Series winner

The rest of the teams aren’t filled in because we don’t know what team the final player will pick but 11-16 will not be affected by the pick made

Examples: If San Diego traded the NYY their 3rd round draft pick last season but are not an active team in 1997 then during round 3 the Yankees would get a pick in the sport where SD would have been had they played..

When all teams have drafted that will be considered the end of a round and the next round will commence.

Teams will continue to draft in this order until:

  • Their team reaches 35 men OR
  • A team with 25 or more players on their roster voluntarily drops out

Once a team has dropped out of the draft they may not re-enter it and must increase their roster either through trades or waivers.

Draft on designated Draft day(s):

A date and time will be set for the initial rounds of the draft. It will almost certainly be a Saturday or Friday as those are the days I have off. Because my schedule is particularly full till April 16th this may be delayed. If/When a designated draft day is set All teams will be expected to be either:

  1. Available in the slack chat room (preferred)
  2. Available by phone
  3. With me in my home at the time of the draft
  4. Have a list of players to be drafted submitted

All currently players are presumed to have looked over the card(s) for 1996 online or at least looked up stats by draft day. All teams are encouraged to start doing so at once.

  1. There will be one designated draft day per week.
  2. On a designated draft day a strict 5 minute limit will be allowed to make a pick.
  3. If a team misses their pick will be moved to after the next player on the list who will be considered on the clock and allowed to pick. Example San Diego misses their pick and Cleveland is next, Cleveland is allowed to pick and San Diego picks after them
  4. If a team who has been skipped has to be skipped twice their pick can be made any time before the end of the round. Example San Diego is scheduled to pick 11th They miss their pick If they figure out who they want they can make a pick or submit a list any time before the end of the round and that pick will be valid.
  5. If a team that has been skipped has not picked by the end of the round then a pick will be made for them by me. Said pick will be the player from your franchise who played the most games that season based on their card. Example: Boston does not pick or submit a list for round 5 I will look at the Roster for the actual 1996 red sox to see who is available. If John Valentin has the most game played among unpicked players he will be Boston draft pick. If Boston already has 2 shortstops that will not matter Valentin becomes the pick.
  6. The opening Scheduled draft days will go on for 100 picks. Other scheduled draft days will be 60 picks. Once the number of picks is reached the clock is turned off

BE AWARE THAT EVEN WITH A FIVE MINUTE LIMIT THAT CAN MEAN 100 MINUTES FOR 20 TEAMS TO PICK IN ONE ROUND. PLEASE DO YOUR BEST TO PREPARE FOR THE DRAFT TO CUT DOWN ON THE TIME REQUIRED. The more prepared everyone is the faster things will go.

Picks off the clock and on non-draft days

Because of my hectic schedule until April 17th this draft will begin as an “informal draft” which will mimic the system that takes place after a the formal draft with the clock is turned off or 100/60 picks are made

During the informal draft a team has an unlimited time to make a pick. Picks can be submitted in the draft room or via the Dynasty message system or in person if the person picking is local or via the phone to me.

Once the pick is made and recorded on the draft sheet and the player moved to the roster I will announce the pick in the slack chat room and inform the person up, the person on deck and the person in the hole to be prepared to pick. Until you see that announcement the pick is not official.

The season will begin one week after the draft is complete.


If you have any questions not covered here please let me know.

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Family doesn’t lay you off

I have five living kids at home, and the comments I get from strangers when they first hear this is telling. If someone tells me “That’s awesome,” or “Sounds like a beautiful family,” they are most likely Catholic or Muslim. But that’s not most people. Most of the time I get asked “You know how babies are made, right?” or “Sheesh, did you run out of condoms?”

I’m not sure when it became weird to have large families, or actually like having kids, but its painfully obvious that we have oriented our culture around mostly childless people. When I see ads for Disney parks, they feature young or old couples, and typically at least one gay couple. But there are more gay couples than kids in these commercials now. Disney, a theme park once totally oriented for children, is quickly becoming a childless playground.

Everywhere the advantage of childlessness is touted. People with large families are bad for the environment. We are made to suffer through inflation, because it’s harder to feed our kids when the price of eggs quadruples due to bad monetary policy. And try going to Disney, or fly to Hawaii, or get a hotel to provide you two rooms next to each other to accommodate your large family, because you’ll often get little to no sympathy or help.

The big advantage of family finally became apparent to me this last week. Almost 4 years ago, the Navy accused me of a crime I didn’t commit. I provided all the evidence to show this, but the investigator, a corrupt official in the Defense Department’s Investigator General, wrote a biased report to try and punish me. I’ve had to defend myself at a Court Martial, an Article 15 proceeding, and this last week at a Board of Inquiry, which finally found me 100% innocent of all charges. During this process though, I watched many people that I served with abandon me. The Navy went from telling me I was one of their best officers, to “You’re horrible scum,” to now saying “Hey, since you’re innocent we have this great assignment to get you back on track!”

Honestly, it’s pathetic. I was reminded every day of how fickle people and organizations are. I have read plenty of articles about people getting cancelled at work because someone made an accusation, but now I actually lived it.

The one constant I had during this process was family. Every time I came home after receiving bad news, I had a wife and kids that still loved me, still believed in me, and encouraged me to take on the next challenge. While the true friends I have were encouraging, it really was family that kept me going. It makes me feel bad for the childless couples out there, because as I see companies laying people off, I wonder “Who do they turn to?”

It’s telling that the same government that makes it difficult to have large families is the same government that wants you to worship it, make it your religion, and then cancel and kick you out once you are no longer useful. I’ll write more about the whole process later, but for now, I’ll be having dinner tonight with the best group of people I know.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. Because honestly, after multiple years of serving, I have no idea what their views on darn near anything are.

Navy manpower train wreck

Damn I hate being right.

Remember last week when I spelled out the Navy’s way to stop bleeding people:

  1. Not kicking people out for physical fitness test failures
  2. Waiving darn near everything, from age to non-violent felonies
  3. Asking people to pretty-please stay around a few more years
  4. Opening OCS and other admissions
  5. Raising bonuses
  6. Make life better for officers
  7. Reduce opportunities to leave early
  8. Op-Hold people
From last weeks post

I said the Navy was already doing items 1 through 5. Item 6 won’t happen because the Navy doesn’t actually care about its Sailors. So…we’re now on item 7. From NAVADMIN 064/23:

4.  SkillBridge is intended to provide transition assistance and skill development for Service members leaving the Navy.  However, it is not an entitlement and participation does impact readiness.  As such, the time allowed for program participation is now based on paygrade.  If approved, SkillBridge must occur prior to any terminal leave or permissive temporary duty associated with separation, fleet reserve, or retirement.  The following limits indicate the maximum amount of time prior to the actual separation, fleet reserve, or retirement date that SkillBridge participation can commence. 
    a.  Tier one (enlisted E5 and below) - 180 days or less. 
    b.  Tier two (enlisted E6-E9) - 120 days or less. 
    c.  Tier three (officers O4 and below) - 120 days or less. 
    d.  Tier four (officers O5 and above) - 90 days or less. 

In case you don’t know, SkillBridge is a program where military members that are retiring or separating get to spend the last 90-180 days being trained in a civilian job before retirement. This helps military members get a jump on gaining practical skills before transitioning to civilian life. It happens at the end of their service, so theoretically they are already one foot out the door, and the Navy should already be planning to replace them.

As I pointed out before, plenty of Sailors have been denied SkillBridge because the command “can’t afford to lose them.” This is very prevalent at the junior enlisted levels. Now Navy is cutting the benefit for anyone that is retiring (it’s nearly impossible to retire below the rank of E6), and since junior Sailors already struggle to use SkillBridge, the end result is more erosion of the benefit.

I give it 6 months before Navy just starts OPHOLDing people. An Operational Hold (OPHOLD) is permitted in MILPERSMAN 1306-120. Basically, the Navy can keep a Sailor on sea duty for up to 12 months. I’ve seen this happen, and in general, it’s almost always a bad idea. The big problem is that while the Navy can force you to STAY, it can’t force you to WORK, so Sailors on OPHOLD simply do the bare minimum and the command doesn’t get the hard-working Sailor they once had. I’ve told at least one knucklehead in HR that “Your OPHOLD is only good until the Sailor says they are going to hurt themselves,” because saying you will commit suicide is the quickest way off sea duty.

Denying SkillBridge won’t work. You can’t make people work. Workers have to want to work, and unless they are motivated or fear punishment, you can’t make them work. By denying SkillBridge, all that will happen is people will purposely do less work in the time they should have been on SkillBridge. Anyone retiring was ALREADY not doing that much, SkillBridge simply recognized that and let them go early. A better option would have been to declare that SkillBridge participants have vacated their billet, so you can get a replacement in sooner. Denying SkillBridge is also a recruiting loser, because as the word gets out that Navy won’t actually uphold SkillBridge, fewer people will sign up to be in the Navy.

I continue to hate being right.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. Please support the author by purchasing one of his books or donating to DaTechGuy!