So duh, what did you think would happen?

Boycotts are a weird thing. Companies make hundreds of decisions, and large companies have hundreds if not thousands of employees that make decisions all the time. Every decision risks alienating or otherwise pissing off one group or another. For example, I went to a local restaurant with my two youngest kids once on a quiet Saturday morning, and after sitting for 25 minutes with no waiter taking our order or even bringing us water or coffee, I left in frustration and vowed never to return. I took my business to a competitor and for the next year went out of my way to not have a meal at the offending restaurant. Could it have just been a bad day, a mistake by a server, or even a disgruntled employee that was later fired anyway? Don’t know, and don’t care, because it spoiled my morning and I was determined to economically ensure my wrath was felt in the restaurants pocket book.

If that restaurant repeatedly treated customers like this, over time more and more would lose patience and go elsewhere. This is really important with restaurants because normally there are hundreds of venues in even a small city. When you have a myriad of choices, you don’t have to tolerate bad service.

Which brings me neatly to Bud Light and Target.

Remember Gillette? I used Gillette razors in the past and even introduced my wife to their female brand. Gillette could have remained the razor company for everyone, but it dipped its toe into the “toxic masculinity” bandwagon. Big mistake, because when you have options, you can go elsewhere. As analyzed here, it took a hit, potentially on the order of $350 million. I personally subscribed to Jeremy’s Razors and never looked back, and I suspect others did too.

Bud Light has always been the cheap beer choice of party goers everywhere. Need a non-offensive beer that is sure to please the limited palates of both college sororities and aging Boomer men at the local bar? Then order a Bud Light, because you can’t go wrong. That is, until you decide to insult a large portion of your customer base when they can easily pick another beer brand.

Budweiser is suffering the same fate as Gillette. What happens when its customers discover there are plenty of non-patronizing beer brands happy to serve you a fine brew without all the woke silliness? Once they get hooked, do you think those people are coming back, no matter what sort of American flag/military colors/Clydesdale commercials you run after? Not happening. That might have worked before the microbrewery revolution, but that strategy is no longer viable.

Target seems to have joined that group. You can get away with a lot when you’re quiet about it. Target had a small boycott scare once with its bathroom policy. Honestly, had it simply changed its policy on its website and stayed relatively quiet, I’m betting most people wouldn’t have cared much. But its latest pride month clothing line, conveniently right before the rush to buy summer clothes, was too big to ignore. The first day of the boycott was interesting, but when your stock plunges to the lowest price this year during a time its supposed to be high…that’s bad news.

It seems conservative customers are finally waking up to the notion they have real choices. It’s not hard to find clothing stores without rainbows in June, beer that actually tastes good, or razors that don’t lecture you while you shave. Perhaps the next big test will be in June. What if conservative voters choose to not eat or purchase items from places displaying a Pride flag? A month is a small amount of time to boycott, but its long enough for a company to see damaging results, and enough damage will make even a die-hard executive scale things back.

You don’t have to protest, post on Twitter or even tell your friends, because the simple act of no longer spending your money in these places tells the foolish executives is always going ring much louder than any letter or social media post.

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. Speaking of making choices, why not buy the author’s book and donate to DaTechGuy?

Let them kill their own

The day that Jordan Neely, my Google News search gave me a million articles about how crazy it is that a white man can literally kill a black man in cold blood and get away with it. Applying my normal rule of “Wait 72 hours till the truth comes out,” and low and behold, we get some facts:

  • Daniel Penny gets charged, but not the black or Hispanic men that helped him
  • Multiple eyewitnesses say Penny didn’t do anything until Neely threatened to kill people
  • The news media plays lots of clips of Jordan Neely doing Michael Jackson impressions
  • As always we get protests and people comparing Neely to George Floyd

If you want a good summary, watch the Actual Justice Warrior break it all down:

Likely Penny’s only crime was being white and making the mistake of thinking he should stop Jordan Neely from potentially killing someone. Anyone who has sat through a self-defense class knows that the first rule of self-defense is to get yourself out of the situation if you can, because things can go south quickly. It can take seconds to go from begging for food to stabbing someone to death, and given you can’t exit the subway, that would frighten any normal person.

Anymore though, I say abandon the cities that want to live like this.

Why bother defending others in these situations? I bet plenty of the people riding the subway voted for the current NYC mayor. Sure, they might testify on behalf of Penny, but I doubt it, since NYC has a track record of intimidating witnesses to make a case work. Penny defended a bunch of people that actively voted against his own interests, and those people will try to send him to jail. Sadly, that makes him more of a sucker. Anyone that is living in NYC and not either working to actively change it or leaving is a sucker, because if the local government has become this tyrannical, you can’t put your head in the sand anymore.

This is why Virginians fought hard on the school board front. Many of us were happy to let the school board run without much oversight, until we realized just how bad it was. So we pushed back, hard, and its changing for the better. Most of the time, local government does a good enough job that its just not worth the time and effort to root out the corruption that exists. When it gets to the point where the government will happily throw you in jail in a sham trial, then you either fight to change it or leave.

Daniel Penny should have never been on the subway, but since he was, he should have simply let Jordan Neely stab or injure someone first, since his first thoughts should have been “I’m a white guy trying to stop a black man, how is NYC going to view that?”

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.

Maybe the military could just stay out of housing

I have never been a fan of military housing, especially in the continental United States. Military housing started out as decent idea, given that many military bases didn’t have large communities around them when they were built. Now its an old concept that needs to die.

I lived in base housing a few times, and each time was a pain. First, you have to register to get housing, and your housing choices are completely based on your rank. I was selected for a higher rank once and had to send in my selection paperwork to the housing office so I could get into a bit nicer house. Granted, being a higher rank gets you more pay and thus you can afford more house, but why is my square footage based on my rank? I have a large family, but people of the same rank as me with no kids got the same size house. I mean, if we’re going to provide equitable housing, maybe it should be based on the number of people occupying it?

Once you get selected for housing, then you have to fill out paperwork. The housing offices love to make you sign away your rights to sue them. That’s how we get the mold, bugs and genuine issues that any other landlord would have to solve or face an ugly civil lawsuit. Then they want you to register all your guns, and man do they get angry if you happen to own more than a few. When I asked the lady for two more sheets to fill out, she looked at me and questioned why I owned so many weapons. My first thought was “None of your damn business,” but I replied in a more nice fashion.

Why is it a big deal that a military member owns a bunch of guns? I’m normally paid to have weapons in a combat zone. Why every single military housing office turns up its nose at me when I have weapons is just weird.

Then once you’re in, you often get treated like a second class citizen. Want to walk into the local exchange in a tank top and shorts to purchase something? Don’t try it, military police will tell you about a dress code. Have an issue with water, or bugs, or mold? Take a number and get in line. Don’t expect the housing office to fix it any time soon either.

BTW, WiFi isn’t free either…listen to Congresswoman Kiggans at the 3:40 mark.

Don’t worry though, the base commander’s house and all the flag and general officer’s homes will be picture perfect. That way, when you make a complaint that gets routed to them, they will look at their beautiful row of homes and go “Gee, I don’t see any problems with housing.”

The military needs to get out of the business of housing. It’s far cheaper and more predictable to simply pay the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for all members once they are out of basic training. I could be persuaded to keep housing near big school houses where it would be hard to find housing quickly when you’re going to school, and perhaps at overseas locations where you may need to house people on base for protection. The military is already distracted enough that it can’t execute its wartime missions well, so it shouldn’t be trying to play landlord when it needs to focus on beating China in the next war.

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.

What’s worse than the military recruitment crisis?

What if the best people in the military start asking “Who is John Galt?

Anyone who has read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” or like me used the audiobook because its too damn long to read on paper, knows what I’m talking about.

Spoilers ahead for those that haven’t read it.

The book is set in a future world, where American industry is slowly crumbling. Trains are a preferred method of transportation, but its becoming harder and harder to run the trains on time because of a crushing bureaucracy in government that is making it more painful for businesses to operate. Eventually one of the characters, John Galt, decides to destroy the bureaucracy by removing all the smart people from the system in what he calls a strike. He approaches the engineers, business owners and other hard workers and offers them a chance to leave to a hidden place where their efforts are appreciated instead of demonized. This causes the United States to delve into dictatorship, and eventually collapses, with John leading the strikers to now rejoin the world.

By HKDP – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

It was a hit book. The first movie was good (although it wasn’t well received, go figure!), but movies 2 and 3 kinda sucked. The book teases out the interesting point that a small number of people tend to make the biggest impact on industry, and if they quit, the systems they run tend to collapse.

I’ve seen this hold true in the Navy. I’ve watched some leaders take difficult commands and turn them around, only to watch another lesser leader destroy the well-functioning command right after. It’s incredibly infuriating to spend two years building a team of people, only to watch a new person come in and squander your efforts.

When I think about military recruiting, I’m not as worried about the young people coming in. Every young generation gets looked down upon by the older ones. Every older generation thinks they were so much better at that age. Young people tend to do OK long term.

But what happens if the talented people decide the military isn’t worth joining? What happens if the budding young Nimitz, Marshall, or Billy Mitchell decides to leave, or never join in the first place? What happens if after they join and are greeted with an oppressive bureaucracy of our own making, they vote with their feet?

What happens if John Galt gets to them first?

Our military relies on a perilous few smart people to drive the strategic thinking of the organization. Not everyone is going to be a Nimitz. That’s fine if and only if we actually HAVE the Nimitz in our midst. But if the Nimitz decided he or she had enough beratement by lesser individuals, then we’re going to be left with more Richmond Turners, who might win in the short term through brute force, but lack the operational and tactical genius to win our long term conflicts.

Military recruitment scares me, but the ongoing brain drain as people ask “Who is John Galt” gives me nightmares.

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. If you enjoyed this article, drop some coin in DaTechGuy’s wallet!