Stop pretending Star Wars hates Black People

I watched the first episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi last night, and I’d say it was pretty good. I’ve been warned by a few people its a “bait and switch” and we’ll get less Obi-Wan and more Sith Inquisitor Reva, but that remains to be seen. Her character so far is decent: dark, conniving, and ruthless, if a bit hot-headed, but certainly not dumb.

What is dumb is this article about LucasFilm prepping Moses Ingram (who plays Reva) for the coming racist backlash about her character. Two quotes stand out:

In her interview with the Independent, the “Obi-Wan” actress tackles diversity issues in the franchise. “To me, it’s long overdue. If you’ve got talking droids and aliens, but no people of colour, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s 2022, you know. So we’re just at the beginning of that change. But I think to start that change is better than never having started it.”

The Post Millenial.com

No people of colour?

So this guy is white?

Lando Calrissian, from Wikipedia

And this guy?

Finn from StarWars.com

And this guy?

Ahmed Best, from IMDb

(No, seriously, Jar Jar was played by Ahmed Best)

And who can forget this guy, the MOST iconic voice in Star Wars?

James Earl Jones, from IMDb

Star Wars has always had people of all races. It’s Science Fiction, which gives you the license to bring in darn near anyone with any background. Almost all of the portrayals have been good, and when they aren’t, its normally the studios fault. Lando Calrissian plays an awesome character in The Empire Strikes Back, and fans love him. James Earl Jones will never be forgotten for voicing Darth Vader.

Finn would have been a cool character had Rian Johnson not gutted his backstory to prop up Rey. I and many fans thought it was cool to see the man behind the stormtrooper helmet, but then Rian Johnson sacrificed him to become the butt of jokes in The Last Jedi. Remember when he uncovered that the Resistance was buying weapons on the black market illegally while on Canto Bight? That cool side story lasted for all of 30 seconds, so you could be forgiven for missing it. Wouldn’t it have been cool if Finn spent the films coming to grips with the Resistance using similar methods to the First Order? What if he had come from a crappy backwater planet that the First Order had rescued? The fact that Finn was a mediocre character had nothing to do with fans and everything to do with crappy directing, crappy plots and a box-ticking thinking when it comes to putting diversity on screen.

But the article doesn’t stop, because it has this gem:

John Boyega of the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy has said that their experience with the franchise has included a racial component to it. In order to comply with Chinese authorities, Disney shrunk Boyega’s character on the “The Force Awakens” poster in December 2015.

The Post Millenial

So where’s the outrage over this? Please actors and actresses, jump all over this one like you do with every single social issue here in the United States. But we know you won’t, because that sweet, sweet cash will keep your mouth shut.

To recap: there have always been people of color in Star Wars. Always. Some get great characters, some don’t. When the character is well acted and well developed, people love it. When that doesn’t happen, fans don’t like it. That goes for every character in Star Wars. Americans love good Star Wars characters, but the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t like black people.

Now, I’m sure some dumbass on Reddit will claim to be a Star Wars fan and make a bunch of racists remarks on black characters. To which I say…so what? I’m sure some racist loser wishes Lando Calrissian was white. Nobody takes that guy or gal seriously. Heck, one could say that when fans fall in love with good, well developed characters that are portrayed by black people, it helps breakdown any racist tendencies they might have had.

I hope Disney gives us some good characters in the Obi-Wan series, and I hope they make Reva an intriguing, cool antagonist. Because perhaps what we need is a new hope.

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 liked this article, why not buy one of the authors books? You can even get the audible version to distract you on your drive to work about the high cost of fuel these days.

Walmart vs. The Navy

One of the great things about being in the Navy is the chance to interact with people from all over the United States, and even the world. It’s diversity in its truest form. I’ve met someone from every single state, almost every territory and plenty of immigrants from countries in every continent and heck, I’ve even met people that traveled to Antarctica.

I’m quite proud that I never wasted these opportunities to learn about the background of the Sailors around me. It’s how I learned about the real difficulties my African-American Sailors faced growing up, or the difficulties for Sailors from the backwoods portions of America. I particularly remember one Sailor’s response to my question “Why did you join the Navy?”

“Well Sir, it was either that or working at a gas station my whole life.”

For many people, the Navy is there chance to get out of a bad circumstance. Compared to most companies, the Navy is happy to pay big money to train someone with nothing but a high school degree and give them a decent paying job with good benefits. In fact, I’d say it was one of the only places that did this.

But that has changed.

Walmart is now paying truck drivers over $100K a year.

Lowes and Home Depot are paying for employees to be upskilled, without debt.

These companies and others have always had a path for people to excel. A friend of mine works in McDonalds Corporate Headquarters, but he got started as a teenager flipping burgers. The problem was not that there isn’t much opportunity, but that it wasn’t advertised all that well. Now that it is, that’s a good thing, because the more skilled our labor force, the better it is for everyone.

Except the Armed Services.

The military depends on a constant flow of young, somewhat educated young people (mostly men) to fill its ranks every year and replace the older, burned out service members that leave. The choice between the service or a life of gas station work is a real choice many Americans face every day. But if you can drive trucks for Walmart at $95K your first year, you’re making more then any non-nuclear Petty Officers in the Navy. Combined with not getting shot at in a war zone or deploying on a ship in such conditions it might make you turn to suicide, and it looks like a pretty good deal.

Even Business Insider is reporting on it now.

In the quest for manpower, my money is on Walmart, not the military.

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 they’ll tell you everything is great while I tell you the truth. If you enjoyed this post, check out some of my books on Amazon, they make great gifts for your friends.

Firewood and Breast Milk

If it was a real person, you’d accuse me of clickbait!

I sell firewood at my house. I cut down trees on my property (or cut up trees blown over by a storm), saw them into 16 inch pieces, split them with a hydraulic log splitter, and then dry them on a rack in the sun for almost a year. After that, I put them out in a nice, lighted stand at the end of my driveway. Most people pay me with cash, although quite a few are now paying me with Zelle. I give them more firewood then the 7-11 does for the same price, and everyone walks away happy.

Recently on the NextDoor App, some lady made the mistake of complaining that she couldn’t find any nice, split firewood for free. I and many others reminded her that properly split and dried firewood takes time and effort, and as such people like to be compensated for that time and effort. She scoffed at that notion.

I was going to ask if she stayed warm at night under a blanket in the form of the flag of the People’s Republic of China…but I decided against that.

Plenty of people want something for free. Americans are generous people, and while the pandemic drove down charitable donations, a majority of Americans still donate in some way. But donations are gifts, and you shouldn’t fault people for wanting compensation for their time and talent.

That brings us to breast milk. The expectation from quite a few people is that breast milk should be donated to a breast milk bank. That’s all well and good, but as I noted in my book (which you should absolutely read!), when my wife attempted to donate to our local bank, the number of rules and restrictions were outrageous. For example, if you take any supplement outside of prenatal vitamins, it precludes you from donating. I find it absurd that taking glucosamine sulfate means that you should dump perfectly good breast milk down the drain because the milk bank won’t take it.

Then there is the fact that breast milk donations get sold. At non-profit milk banks, this is touted as a way to cover freezers, employee pay and other expenses. Most milk banks sell breast milk at around five dollars an ounce.

To help defray the costs of screening donors and managing donated breast milk, nonprofit milk banks typically charge recipients a fee of about $5 per ounce of milk. “Although the milk is donated, there are expenses, such as milk processing, milk distribution, and buying of pasteurizers, freezers, and bottles,” Noble said

Healthline.com

Insurance coverage is hit or miss, and you’re stuck with the bill if your insurance says no.

Now, you can always buy formula…oh wait, not right now. Hence the increased interest in breast milk banks. And, hence the increased interest in purchasing breast milk through websites like Only The Breast (yup, that’s a real, non-pornographic website). Which has sparked lots of debate on whether people are justified to sell their breast milk.

To which I say, if you want to sell it, you’re 100% justified in doing so.

It is a pain to hook up to a breast pump, put everthing in a nice bag, freeze the milk and then store it. To make substantial milk, you’re eating more calories then normal, which costs more money. All this work, and yet some people think its unethical to pay people for their time and effort. The fake science studies people have even “questioned” the safety of purchasing breast milk, but can’t point to any significant cases where someone sold dangerous breast milk. While, on the contrary, there are plenty of cases of bad formula, but that hasn’t stopped hospitals from pushing it on mothers.

If I was a conspiracy theorist, linking this push of formula on mothers, and then a shortage of formula spiking the price which brings more money to formula companies, would be pretty easy. Did we create this crisis to further some other agenda? It doesn’t look good.

Selling breast milk undercuts milk banks and makes it easier to get milk locally. It compensates women for their time, effort and calories, and it encourages money to stay locally instead of fueling some big corporations that have every incentive to profit from formula shortages and breast milk donations that they can markup on their own.

Which is exactly why many interested people want you to believe its unethical. People that, just like my firewood example, don’t place any value on your time or effort.

Moms, if you’ve got extra milk, check out OnlyTheBreast, or talk in your mom groups about selling or donating your milk on your own terms. Don’t feel bad asking for some compensation, if nothing else for the time it took you to bag everything and stay hooked up to an uncomfortable machine. You could help solve the formula crisis, since its not like the US government is going to anytime soon.

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. While you’re getting ready for Memorial Day, why dont you buy one of my books on Amazon and help me out?

Some New Rules for The 1970 Season: Waivers Week 3, Emergency Waivers, Draft Picks up to Round 7 Tradable, Conditional Draft Picks

I’d like to announce four changes to league rules that will that effect this season. Two are changes to existing rules. One is to handle a problem that wasn’t addressed last season and one is a brand new rule that I’m implementing due to odd circumstances for this season.

Wavers Begin After Week 3

Last season to speed up the draft we allowed people to drop out after they hit 30 players and go into waivers early. Because of the limited amount of players by comparison with 18 teams this was changed to drafting to a max of 30 players. However the nature of the Dynasty game clearly shows that 30 players might not be enough due to injuries and suspensions.

So instead Waivers will begin for everyone starting week three under the following rules:

  1. After week three (series 6) teams will be able to make waivers claims
  2. Waivers Claims may be made at Saturday Mornings beginning at 12:01 AM EST and ending on the following Monday 2:00 PM EST
  3. To make a waivers claim a team announces either via the chat room or via a blast in the System that they are claiming a player who is not currently on a roster off of waivers.
  4. If no valid counterclaim is made by a team with a worse record that waivers claim will be upheld and the player shall be placed on the roster at 1 AM EST on the Tuesday after that week.
  5. If the added player brings any roster above 35 active players (that is players on the major or minor league roster not counting the DL) the claiming team shall release a player who will be available in waivers the following week if he has a card or available in the draft the following season if he does not.
    1. Example Boston makes a waivers pick which brings their roster to 36. They choose to release John Mayberry to make room. The following week Mayberry can be claimed off waiver by any team that wishes (including Boston) that either has room or can make room for him
    2. Example Rico Carty missed the entire 1971 season due to injury. Boston chooses to protect him and retain the rights to him during the 1971 season. If at any time that season they make a waivers pick that brings them over 35 they can release their rights to Rico Carty. Because he doesn’t have a card in the 1971 season he can not be picked up in waivers but CAN be drafted the following year.
    3. Example: Atlanta has Tom Burgmeier on the DL which reduces his total of available players (majors and minors) to 34. They pick up a player in waivers. No player has to be released as long as the active roster remains at 35. As soon as Burgmeier is eligible if Boston wishes to activate him they must either add an already injured player to the DL or release a player to get the roster back to 35.
  6. A team may only make one waivers claim per week with TWO exceptions
    1. If two teams both make a claim for the same player the claim that came with the earliest timestamp either in waivers or the message system of dynasty shall be considered to have made the waivers claim. In that case the player with the later time may either make a different waivers claim or , if eligible put in a COUNTERCLAIM for said player
    2. A team may make a 2nd waivers pick if they are making a claim under the EMERGENCY WAIVERS rule (see below)
  7. COUNTERCLAIMS: When a team makes a waivers claim on a player. Said claim is subject to a Counterclaim.
  8. A counterclaim may be made by any team with a worse record than the team making the claim provided that said team does not already have an active waiver claim in progress.
  9. If an eligible team makes a counter claim the initial waivers claim the initial waivers claim is forfeited and the team making the counterclaim shall be considered the player making a waivers claim on said player subject to the rules above and subject to a counter claim by a team with an even worse record.
  10. If two teams with identical records make a counterclaim for the same player the team that had the worse record in the draft shall have precedence.

Emergency Wavers

While rare there are cases when due to injury, rest rules or suspensions, a team does not have a legal available pitcher to start a game either on the major league roster or in the minors to call up. An even rarer situation is that a team may not have a person available to play a legal player to start at a non-pitching position. In such a case a team my request EMERGENCY WAIVERS from the commissioner.

If it is granted in such a situation the player may before the game is played make a pick from the waivers pool. The pick MUST be a player who fills the emergency role either a starting pitcher if there is nobody who can start a game or a batter who plays the vacant position at any skill level.

Standard roster rules apply to EMERGENCY WAIVERS picks meaning a team making an emergency pick must make room for said player if the emergency pick brings his roster above 35. The player released will be placed in the waivers pool.

EMERGENCY WAIVERS picks are not subject to counterclaims.

Draft Picks Up to Round Seven Now Tradable

When trading begins after week five (series 10) instead of picks up to round 5 being tradable picks up to round 7 may be traded.

Previous trade rules apply.

Reminder no franchise that has announced either publicly to the league or privately to me that they will not be playing next season may trade draft picks. Players who are considering giving next season a miss are encouraged not to trade draft picks so as not to hamper whoever takes over the franchise.

Conditional Draft Picks In Trades

A situation came up last season where shortly after a trade was made for Dick Allen Dynasty announced they were not only going to release the 1968 season online but would be releasing 1971 & 1972 not to long afterwards, The team trading away Allen object as they said they would not have traded him if they had known those season might be available as won the MVP in 1972 and had a pretty good year in 71 as well. So the option to reverse the trade was given to Cincinnati and they accepted that option.

Since we don’t know for sure if next season will be 1973 (the current situation) or either 1971 or 72 (if released by the time of the draft) we shall allow the use of a Conditional Draft Pick Clause in trades this season.

When making a trade this season involving draft picks a clause may be placed in the deal to allow additional or different draft picks to change hands dependent on us playing the 1971 or 1972 season next time around.

  1. Example: Boston falls out of the race early due to injuries and Minnesota wanting to shore up it’s offensive attack wants to make a deal for Rico Carty. Boston wants a 1st & 2nd round pick for Carty but because Carty does not have a card for 1971 due to injury the Twins balk. The two teams may agree to include a Conditional draft clause saying that if we end up playing the 1971 season next Boston will get a 3rd and 7th round pick rather than the 1st and 2nd round pick.
  2. Example Cincinnati again having a bad year offers to trade Dick Allen to the Pirates who are making a run. The Pirates offer 1st & 3rd round pick but because Allen’s MVP season might suddenly come into play the Reds insist that if we play 71 or 72 next season the he also get a 5th round pick. Pittsburgh agrees. so If at any time before next season’s draft 71 or 72 are released the Reds get that extra pick

No draft pick that is included as a conditional pick in one deal may be traded to another team.

  1. Example: Boston & Minnesota has made the deal above for Rico Carty. After the trade Boston has a big turnaround and approaches California about Tommy John. Boston may NOT offer the picks they acquired from Minnesota to the Angels in any trade because there is a chance that he may not possess said picks. However if before the trade deadline Dynasty releases the 1971 season the picks may be traded.
  2. Example: Minnesota having made the above trade with the conditional pick clause still looking to trade approaches California for Tommy John. He may NOT include his 3rd and 7th round pick in any offer to the Angels because those pick may not be available to him. However if the 1971 or 72 season is released before the trade deadline he can
  3. Example: The reds want C Dwayne Josephson Pagan from the Phillies. Mike Kennedy being Mike Kennedy wants draft picks. The reds may NOT offer Pittsburgh’s 5th round pick unless Dynasty announces the release of the 1972 season before the trade deadline but the CAN offer Pittsburgh’s 3rd round pick because that part of their trade with Pittsburgh is not conditional.

If at any time during the season Dynasty releases the 1971 season then all conditional picks from trades are considered made and no more conditional picks may be included in trades.

If at any time during the season Dynasty releases the 1972 season but NOT the 1971 season any picks conditional on the 1972 season area considered made and can be traded.

If after the season BUT before the draft Dynasty releases either the 1971 or 72 season any conditional trade clauses from the current season become active

REMINDER! You may only trade draft picks for the following year.

Starry perks and suicide

Easy to miss in the midst of the Ukraine Conflict and Supreme Court leaks is the fact that the Navy is dealing, poorly, with a suicide epidemic (at the time of this article we’re up to 7 Sailors) onboard the USS George Washington (CVN-73). Now, you might think “Is the George Washington underway on another long, stressful deployment?” That would be an intelligent question to ask, and sadly the answer is “no.” George Washington is in the shipyard in Newport News, VA.

Now, why would Navy Sailors be so stressed out that they would end their lives if they are home and not deployed underway? Well, because shipyard life is pretty tough, according to the dad of one of the Sailors:

“He loved his job. He did his 12-hour shifts. And how do you sleep on an aircraft carrier with jackhammering and smoke and smells during the day? So, he would sleep in his car,” John Sandor said about his son, who was 19. “It is just awful. No sailor should even have been living on that ship in those conditions.”

-John Sandor

You might be wondering if these poor conditions are something new, to which I will sadly tell you…nope. I had the same issues at the same shipyard 16 years ago. The 45 minute walks to get to work…that’s a thing, because the Navy never built enough parking or bus options. The article didn’t mention many other stressors, such as the rampant car break-ins, since most of the parking lots are located off the secure facility and aren’t patrolled. For female Sailors, I’ve had more than a few tell me shipyard workers regularly get away with overt catcalling during the day.

Shipyard life, with its long days and crappy working conditions, sucks.

Instead of trying to fix the housing situation, or the driving situation, or the working conditions, Big Navy’s response is…suck it up!

“What you’re not doing is sleeping in a foxhole like a Marine might be doing,” he said, adding that much of the crew goes home each night, something that can’t be said for a deployed carrier.

-Master Chief Russell Smith

I can’t make that up, go listen to the audio at the link. I give Master Chief credit, he’s not yelling at the crew, but as a senior leader, you have to know that trying to minimize the issue isn’t ever going to look good.

The Commanding Officer seems to have taken matters into his own hands, and moved 200 Sailors off the ship. Keep in mind, there are still 2,700 Sailors onboard, and if you move off, you still have the long walk and long drive to get to work. So its a catch-22: move off the ship and you add a long drive and walk to work, stay on and your sleep and off-time is horrible.

It’s also not the Commanding Officer’s job to build sufficient rooms at the shipyard. A better advocate for that would be the admiral in charge of Naval Aviation, in this case Vice Admiral Kenneth Whitesell. So where has he been?

Watching Top Gun.

VADM Whitesell with Tom Cruise

Yup, can’t make that up either. While the George Washington is suffering, VADM Whitesell spent this weekend watching the premiere of the new Top Gun movie with Tom Cruise. Now, I’m not knocking on Tom Cruise, because he spent part of the time talking with Sailors onboard the carrier Carl Vinson. But for VADM Whitesell, its not the best look.

Tom Cruise onboard the USS Carl Vinson

OK, so the immediate response doesn’t look very good, but maybe Big Navy put together a more comprehensive response?

The Navy plans to host a day of team-building activities and has asked each department to submit ideas for how crew members could interact off the ship, according to Lt. Cmdr. Robert Myers, a Navy spokesman. “It could be anything,” Myers said. A Super Smash Bros. video game competition and a soccer tournament are some of the suggestions that have been floated, according to one George Washington sailor, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation.

NBC News

Super Smash Brothers! That’ll cheer them up! They’ll stop killing themselves if they just get to play video games!

However, that sailor doubted whether such events would fix what appears to be a mental health crisis on the ship. The sailors spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press and feared retaliation.

– NBC News

Ya think?

This whole thing makes me cry. We have Sailors in the United States that should be working in decent conditions and building themselves into warriors, and instead the conditions are so bad that they are taking their own lives. Then we have leaders that care more about the perks they get with the stars on their shoulders than about the young men and women entrusted in their care. But to top it all off, we have a Navy bureaucracy that is focused on running some morale events to patch the problem.

Nobody in this entire situation is giving us answers on how to build more housing, build a better transit service or fix the onboard sleeping conditions.

Since you’ve made it this far, do me a favor and email your Congressman. Tell him or her that if Congress can make millions of dollars go to Ukraine, it could spend a bit of money to fix glaring errors at our nations shipyards.

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 those agencies would have you believe video games and soccer tournaments will suddenly fix years of neglect to our Sailors and the infrastructure they work on. If you enjoyed this article, please consider purchasing a book by the author or donating to this blog.

The Air Force’s double standard on sexual assault

Recently I wrote a few articles about how reforms to how the military would prosecute sexual assault would likely not make any difference, and how the military abuses the non-judicial punishment system, especially on young enlisted servicemembers, while not doing much to hold members of higher ranks accountable. Those are great articles and you should go back and read them, as this article is going to build off of that information.

My email was inundated recently with articles about Air Force General William Cooley, who was recently found guilty of sexual assault abusive sexual contact (editor note: he was found not guilty of sexual assault, which is the Article 120 reference in the linked article. My apologies for that mistake, and thank you to the commenter that caught it!). This is a big deal because its the first time in the entire history of the Air Force that a general (someone that is wearing a stars on their shoulders and was specifically approved for promotion by Congress) was taken to court martial and found guilty. Now, this isn’t the first time a general was punished. That normally happens under the radar through administrative means, and can happen even as the person is retiring.

As an intelligent reader of this blog, you might ask yourself “How did the Air Force make it 75 years without taking a single general to court martial? Are they just that good at picking people?” When you consider the size of the Air Force and the large number of generals that have served over its 75 year history, and if you know anything about statistics, you realize that this is nonsense. People committ crimes. It happens. You can’t judge an organization by the fact a member committed a crime.

You CAN judge that organization by how it responds to the crimes, and in the case of the military services, that judgement should be pretty harsh. General Cooley was given a fine of $10,910 a month for five months (total of $54,550) and a reprimand. Now, $54K is a lot of money for little people. But at the low end, a major general makes $191K a year in just base pay, so you can be excused for thinking he got off pretty easy.

Normally, sexual assault abusive sexual contact carries jail time and having to register as a sex offender, which General Cooley apparently won’t have to do. Is this a double standard? The easiest way to confirm is look at the results of other court martials of lower ranking people. Scanning the Air Force’s trial results show an awful lot of jail time for Article 120 (sexual assault) convictions, as well as abusive sexual contact.

Probably more infuriating for the average airman is that Air Force leadership told everyone that sexual assault and sexual crimes in general would not be tolerated and would be punished, despite the fact that sexual crimes in general are notoriously hard to prosecute due to lack of evidence. Inevitably this attitude lead to more than a few innocent people getting NJP, which doesn’t give members a fair trial, and seems to disproportionately affect young enlisted members, and particularly minority members. But when the Air Force has the chance to prosecute a senior member and show it can hold its own accountable…it doesn’t. A fair jury finds General Cooley guilty, and yet the judge goes soft on him.

By the way, not the first time the Air Force hasn’t punished one of its own.

To which I have to ask, why? Why denigrate yourself this way? How can you sleep at night knowing that you botched the chance to prove you really do care about your core values and the service members that serve your organization? The Army lost a lot of credibility in how it handled the Jeffrey Sinclair case. This directly mirrors it, and somehow the Air Force learned nothing from it.

I can’t imagine how this makes parents of kids wanting to join the military feel. The fact that General Cooley did something criminal says nothing about the Air Force, but the fact that he faces no jail time says volumes about the Air Force. It’s just one more reason the military is losing credibility and will have a long road to win it back.

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. Those agencies would have you believe everything is great and that nothing is wrong with the current way things work. If you liked this article, drop a donation in DaTipJar, share this story and consider purchasing one of the author’s books on Amazon.

The conservatives at Disney

I just came back from a family visit to Disney. Yes, yes, I’ve been watching the news about Disney’s stupid comments about Florida’s anti-grooming laws. Yes, I know some people totally went on a Disney boycott and canceled their vacations. But that’s not me. I’d been planning a Disney trip since March 2020, and now two years later I wasn’t going to tell my kids we couldn’t go.

So we drove the nearly 12 hours to Disney, stayed at a nearby Marriott and went to Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot.

Did I see any crazy wokeism.

Nope.

I was looking for it to. Sure, the guy handing us our parking pass to Epcot had a really, really nice manicure (although black just isn’t his color!), but otherwise I didn’t see anything overt. All of my kids interactions with characters were…normal. Elsa didn’t try to persuade my son he was really a girl, nor did Alice in Wonderland try to talk my daughters into kissing other girls. Heck, we even heard “Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls!” when we were at Magic Kingdom.

Even stranger was the interaction I had with a security guard. Since I was pushing the stroller with two little kids, I went in a separate line to get screened. The guard noticed the Navy command on my hat (which is not obvious, so he was paying particular attention to me) and asked if I was in the service. After I told him I was, he asked me a strange question:

“Are you a fan of the former President?”

To which I replied “In fact, I am.”

Then he knocked me to the ground with a chop across my back, handcuffed me and yelled “F%^&ing J6 insurrectionist!” right in my face!

Just kidding, that didn’t happen. Instead, he reached into his pocket, pulled out a coin and handed it to me.

Yup, I was not expecting that. That coin is now proudly displayed in my coin rack at home.

Now, I’m not making excuses for Disney’s actions. They’ve had a woke problem for years. It’s sad because Walt Disney was a pretty great American. At the parks there was a museum devoted to Walt Disney’s artistic talent, and I was surprised by the large number of war related propaganda and cartoons he drew. The man was truly American, and to have to watch lesser men take his company and its legacy and flush it down the toilet is just sad.

But perhaps there is some hope for Disney. Removing their special governance was a solid shot across the bow. Perhaps we’ll see more conservative shareholders and more conservative employees voice their displeasure, and maybe Disney will get back on track. If nothing else, there are far more fellow conservatives at Disney than I would have given it credit for.

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 liked this article, consider supporting the author by purchasing one of his books on Amazon.

The Navy owes more than a public apology

The Navy made news, in a bad way, with its plan to decommission 24 ships. If that sounds like a lot…it is. The idea is to decommission ships that cost a lot to maintain to free up money to build new ships. That makes a lot of sense for ships that are old, such as the cruisers that are over 30 years old. But many of these ships are Littoral Combat Ships, and less than 10 years old.

Representative Elain Luria, a former Naval Officer, was quoted as saying

“The Navy owes a public apology to American taxpayers for wasting tens of billions of dollars on ships they now say serve no purpose.”

Representative Elain Luria

With all due respect m’am, that is woefully insufficient.

The Littoral Combat ship was designed around speed. Everyone that talked positively about the ship said “Look, its really fast, like 50 knots fast!!” and “It’s so fast it can chase down pirates!!” The rest of us lower ranking and obviously uninformed people asked questions like:

“If we run fast all the time, doesn’t that use up a lot of gas?”

“Do we really need to drive fast if we have missiles or guns or helicopters, or other long range weapons?”

“Can it fight real enemies besides pirates?”

But these questions were low-browed. We, the dumb people, were told not to worry about this. Then, to nobody’s surprise, we found the LCS couldn’t fight in high end combat. Now, if we simply said “It wasn’t designed for that, that’s what destroyers and cruisers are for,” I could accept that line of logic. But nope! Instead we decided to put missiles and guns and more weapons on a platform that lacked the people and structural support for such weapon systems.

And now, again to nobody’s surprise, we want to decommission them.

In the mean time, no admiral or civilian in charge of LCS, or anyone that made the disastrous strategic decisions to build the ship in the first place, nor anyone in charge of the shipyards that built these ships, was fired, fined or jailed. In fact, the admirals got promoted, and their promotion was approved by Congress.

Worse still, when Congress actually tries to flex its authority and stop a promotion, such as the case with Admiral Losey, the Navy simply walks all over them and promotes the guy anyway.

So the Navy blows billions in ship building money, builds ships that we can’t use in a modern fight, and wants to decommission them so we can build other ships. Congress is MAD, and says they should apologize, but won’t actually punish anyone.

Want to bet that nothing will change? I sure am.

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. All those agencies want you to believe everything is great and you should continue to throw money at them without asking questions. By the way, if you liked this article, please consider purchasing one of my books for you or one of your friends.

Father Stu is coming…but will you see a rated R movie?

Not many movies draw me into the theaters. I saw both Dune and Ghostbusters: Afterlife in the theaters, and both were an absolute hit, but pretty much everything else seems either dull, done before, or intent on pushing “The Message.”

In case it wasn’t obvious what “The Message” references

But I was surprised to see Father Stu, a movie based on the true story of a boxer who suffered some horrible injuries and eventually turned himself around an became a Catholic Priest. It stars Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson, and yet the questions on every reviewer’s posts seems to be “Will this be Mel Gibson’s redeeming movie?”

Sheesh, seriously? From the same crowd that defended the likes of Harvey Weinstein for years. I just want to know if he made a good movie.

Well, apparently my bishop thinks so. Our church received a letter today encouraging everyone to watch the movie, saying its an accurate portrayal of the events. The one caution is that the movie is rated “R” and has some coarse language and violence. One of our parishioners commented that maybe we shouldn’t be promoting an “R” rated film.

I immediately asked “Wasn’t The Passion rated R?”

“Oh yeah, but that was different.”

Which brings me to my point: Life is rated “R”. Get over it.

I’ve talked before about how Christian movie ratings are flawed at best, and typically have huge biases based on the person authoring the rating. They aren’t consistent, and thus I don’t see any reason to believe them. But more importantly, as an adult, I get tired of having people tell me I shouldn’t see an “R” rated film because its “R” rated and being “R” rated is bad because…reasons.

Life is R rated. Life throws lots of crazy problems at you. Sometimes its violence. Sometimes its sexual sins. Plenty of people curse and swear. That’s the world we live in. But just because a movie depicts this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t watch it. Father Stu follows a man who wasn’t anywhere close to perfect, but then chose to become better. He’s a guy that laughs at adult jokes, rides a motorcycle and drinks a lot. He’s not perfect. He’s like many of us. And that makes him relatable to us, and his story gives us hope that even our sinful nature can be overcome.

I’ll take a story of a flawed person becoming better over any bland story about someone who doesn’t have any problems doing the right thing.

So yeah, I’ll be seeing Father Stu in theaters. If Hollywood says it won’t win an Academy Award, well, then even more reason to see it.

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 liked this article, consider supporting the author by purchasing one of his books.

Expansion rules for the next season (1970) of the 1969 Dynasty Draft League UPDATED 4/9/22

Here is an update Our 1969 Draft league that I pointed to on the primary blog is only a few weeks away from finishing which means that the 1970 season is almost upon us. So as my old datechguyblog.com is no longer active I thought I would put the explanation of how this league works for those who might be coming into it.

How the league is to be played

We will be playing the 1970 season under 1970 rules with one exception. There will be at least one interleague play to allow each player to play each other player at least one home and away series..

The schedule

As soon as I have the number of teams confirmed (I’m presuming 20) I will begin to work on the schedule. While I don’t have to deal with the logistics of hotels and airports it still is a complicated matter to make it and will take some time to enter into the system. Please be patient with me as I do so. My goal will be to have the schedule ready before the draft.

Number of games:

The plan is to play a 162 game season I reserve the right to adjust that number up or down up to 10 games in order to make the schedule work. 162 is my target and 154 is my secondary target. All teams will have an equal number of home and away games and an equal number of games vs each opponent.

The number of game vs each opponent will be determined by the final number of teams in the league for the 1970 season. I will schedule at least one interleague series. The plan is to again have an unbalanced schedule so you will have more games in division than out.

Frequency of games

There will be two scheduled series per week. If we have issues with the schedule or an unbalanced number of teams I may have to tweak this.

Number of teams

We currently have 16 teams, I have firm commitments for three expansion teams and have have multiple inquiries for a 4th. If interest is high enough we may expand to the full 24 them that existed in 1970.

UPDATE one existing team (SF) has dropped out and one of the three expansion players (K Hazan) has decided to take it.

Division setup:

We current have two divisions in each league depending on the number of teams I may go to three divisions then number. In order to facilitate games I may adjust which teams are in which division so that people in the same time zone

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 five draft picks for the next season (currently 1973 BUT if either 1972 or 1971 is finished by Dynasty in time they will take precedent.) If a trade is made that increases a roster beyond the 35 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 35 a player must be released or an injured player not on the DL must be placed there to make room.

The DL:

Players on the DL do not count toward Roster limits. If a player comes off of the DL and brings the Roster of a team over the 35 man limit a player must be released or and injured player must be added to the DL before the next series is played.

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.

Expansion and Expansion draft

I have a firm commitment for three new players for expansion and have at least two players who have inquired about joining. The expansion rules will take place as follows:

Selecting a franchise:

New players will be allowed to select any of the currently open franchises for 1970 they are:

AL

  • Chicago White Sox (current player is moving to the Red Sox he made this request mid season and it was granted)
  • California Angels Taken by S. Murray
  • Kansas City Royals
  • Detroit Tigers

NL

  • Philadelphia Phillies Taken by M Kennedy
  • Chicago Cubs
  • San Diego Padres
  • Houston Astros

They will automatically gain the rights to any rookies for the 1970 team of that franchise.

Teams coming in expansion will pick franchises in the order that they confirmed their intent to join the league the current list is

  1. M Kennedy Picked Philadelphia
  2. S Murray Picked California
  3. K Hazan Took the existing SF Franchise
  4. J Messner Took the existing Cle Franchise

The next tentative player on this list is F Abboud (Declined)

If a current player expresses an intent to leave the league before the expansion draft the expansion players will in the order above be given the option of taking over that existing franchise including their roster and current draft picks (or lack thereof) K hazan SF J Messner Cle

Expansion Draft:

At the end of the season each team will have two weeks to submit a list of protected players currently on their 35 man rosters. These players will not be eligible to be drafted in the expansion draft. There will be a maximum of 7 players on each teams protected list. it is recommended (but not required) to submit an additional twelve players to be protected once a player or two is drafted from their team.

Whenever a player is chosen off a team in the expansion draft said team will be able to immediately protect an additional five players. No team can lose more than three payers to the expansion draft. If a list is not submitted before the draft and not submitted at the time the first player is taken from the team then said team will not have additional players protected until such a list is provided. I will allow a reasonable amount of time in case the player is not in the chat room for me to try to contact said player before another player is takin from his team.

Expansion teams draft a minimum of four players and a maximum of 12 players to their rosters before the regular draft. The number of players picked in the expansion draft by an expansion team will determine where they will draft in the regular draft.

As soon as all expansion teams have completed their drafts two things happen

  1. All Rookies become property of their franchises and count toward their current rosters.
  2. All teams must submit the list of players retained in the regular draft. The players drafted by the expansion teams are considered to be that list.

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 Seattle Pilots are not required to move to Milwaukee and the Washington Senators are not required to move to Texas 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 Cincy can stay in Crosley field and Pittsburgh can remain in Forbes Field if they wish but they retain the right to move into those new stadiums at any time so another team my NOT select that stadium. 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. Thus 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. 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.

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 reguardless 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

All teams may retain a number of players based on their finish in the 1969 season as follows :

  • World series winner 4 players (Mets/ Daytraders)
  • World series runner up 5 players (Pilots)
  • non-world series Division winners 6 players (Dodgers, Indians)
  • Non division winning teams with the best & 2nd best record 7 players (Minnesota Montreal)
  • Non division winning teams with the 3rd and 4th best records 8 players (Pittsburgh, Baltimore)
  • Non division winning teams with the 5th and 6th best records 9 players (Oakland, Washington)
  • Non division winning teams with the 7th and 8th best record 10 players (St. Louis , Chicago AL)
  • Teams with the 3rd and 4th worst records 11 players (San Francisco, Cincinnati)
  • Teams with the worst and 2nd worst record 12  players (Atlanta, Yankees)

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: Rico Carty lead the AL in batting in 1970 but was out for all of 1971 due to injury. Presuming we play 1971 & 72 the team that holds Carty can choose to hold his rights when his season ends. He will pay 1971 with 34 players and in 1972 will hold the rights to Carty. If at any time he chooses to release him Carty will be considered a rookie for Atlanta Rookie because

  1. He had no card the previous year
  2. No team held his rights
  3. His 1972 card says “Atlanta”

In the example above if we don’t play the 1971 season but not the 72 Carty would be a rookie for the A’s because his 1973 dynasty card says Oakland

The draft order of teams will be the inverse of this list Expansion teams will be inserted based on the number of players they draft in the expansion draft inversely applies to the above list

  1. Worst team (12) Atlanta Braves
  2. 2nd worst team (12) NY Yankees
  3. Team(s) if any that draft only 4 players in the expansion
  4. 3rd wort team (11) San Francisco Seals (Giants)
  5. 4th worst team (11) Cin City (Cincinnati Reds)
  6. Team(s) that draft only 5 players in the expansion draft (if any)
  7. 5th worst team (10) St Louis Cardinals
  8. 6th worst team (10) Boston Red Sox (formally White Sox)
  9. Team(s) that draft only 6 players in the expansion draft (if any)
  10. 7th worst team (9) Washington Senators 2
  11. 8th worst team (9) Oakland A’s2
  12. Team (s) that draft only 7 players in the expansion draft (if any)
  13. 9th worst team (8) Pittsburgh Pirates
  14. 10th worst team (8) Baltimore Orioles
  15. Team(s) that draft only 8 players in the expansion draft (if any)
  16. 11th worst team (7) Montreal Nos Amours (Expos)1
  17. best non-playoff team( 7) Minnesota Twins1
  18. Team(s) that draft only 9 players in the expansion draft (if any)
  19. Division winning Pennant runner up with the worst record (6) Cleveland Indians
  20. Division winning Pennant runner up with the best record (6) LA Dodgers
  21. Team(s) that draft only 10 players in the expansion draft (if any)
  22. World series loser (5) Seattle Pilots
  23. Team(s) that draft only 11 players in the expansion draft (if any)
  24. Word series winner (4) New York Day Traders (Mets)
  25. Teams that draft 12 players in the expansion draft (if any)

NOTES:

1. Minnesota and Montreal finished with Identical records but Minnesota won the season series so they are considered the higher team

2. Washington and the A’s finished with identical records AND split their season series the next tie breaker is draft order and since the A’s drafted ahead of the Senators the previous year they are considered to be the higher team.

Examples:

Example 1: S Murry takes California as their expansion team and drafts four players (Don Kessinger, Ron Fairley, Ken Berry and Blue Moon Odem and stops. Because he stops at four players the minimum he will draft 3rd after the two worst teams

Example 2: K Hazan takes Houston and drafts the maximum twelve players. Because he has taken the maximum he will draft after the world series winner.

Example 3: M Kennedy takes Philadelphia and drafts 8 players he will pick after the team with the 10th worst record in the 1969 season.

If two or more expansion teams draft the same number of players their draft position will be determined by a dice roll

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. 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 1970 online. All expansion 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 Seattle misses their pick and Montreal is next, Montreal is allowed to pick and Seattle 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 Washington is scheduled to pick 10th 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 1970 red sox to see who is available. If Billy Conligiliaro has the most game played among unpicked players he will be Boston draft pick. If Boston already has 6 outfielders that will not matter Billy C 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

Once the clock is off 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.