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

โ€œThe 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.

Ukraine and Korea, more of the same

In January 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson gave a speech discussing, among other things, where he thought US interests around the world sat. The United States had been supporting the South Korean government with training and arms to quell a communist uprising in their country, and had been so successful that it seemed they would be able to withdraw from the peninsula entirely later that year. Unfortunately for Mr. Acheson, his speech was likely one of several indicators that the Soviet Union used to ultimately decide that the US would not intervene in a Korean Conflict. Josef Stalin authorized Kim Il-Sung later that spring to begin his invasion, which kicked off in June of 1950.

The Soviet Union, People’s Republic of China and North Korea all counted on the United States not intervening in Korea. That turned into a miscalculation that ultimately cost over one million lives between the two sides and countless scars that are still visible in the landscape and culture today. It was a worthy sacrifice, as South Korea has remained a strong and independent country that demonstrates what a real democratic government can look like in Asia.

The Ukrainian invasion came as a surprise to nobody. Russia’s interest in Ukraine has been stated from the very beginning, and it has been calculating the time and place of an invasion for some time. Perhaps the most important reason it launched now, verses in the past, was the assurance that it could invade without interference from the US and NATO. Similar to Korea, the invasion is designed to be quick, precise and achieve victory in a matter of days. Whether it does or not remains to be seen.

Authoritarian governments bent on invasion will never back down from their intentions, but they also aren’t stupid. They all perform the cold calculations of cost when they consider actions, and those costs skyrocket if a country like the US, France, Japan, UK, or other nations intervene. The Russians and Chinese militaries aren’t without faults, and they know those faults well, and they do in fact fear legitimate military intervention by Western democracies. But as shown in Korea, when we telegraph weakness or even indifference, it pushes these calculations in a direction we don’t want.

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.

Candidates are being vetted now…are you part of the process?

With everyone focused on November elections, its easy to forget that right now, as we speak, candidates are being vetted to run at the local, state and federal level. Especially for local elections, where the winner often wins by less than a thousand votes, and frequently less than a hundred votes, now is the time when candidates get setup with the party architecture and start building their campaign and fundraising.

This is also the time where upstart candidates have a chance of booting out the establishment folks in the primaries and caucuses. We hear about this for federal candidates, but surprisingly little for state and local candidates. The big reason is that the local parties are run by very few people, who often wield significant influence.

Which brings me to my main point: are you getting involved now? Are you attending your local Republican or Libertarian meetings? Are you part of that process? Are you asking the hard questions of the candidates? Are you donating to candidates you like? Are you getting signatures to get them on the ballot?

Too many times, we have trusted party leadership to vet a slate of candidates and assume that they will do a good job. That’s how we wind up with the Lisa Murkowskis, Liz Cheneys and Arlen Specters of the world, who win elections but don’t actually support the policies that their party supports. They sneak in because the majority of people aren’t part of the selection process.

Now is the time to get involved. Everyone is busy, but find the one thing you’re able to do. Maybe its walking around getting signatures for your school board and local representatives to get them on the ballot. If so, do that. Maybe you’re more extroverted and are good at asking hard questions at a party meeting. If so, do that. The point is, find what you’re capable of and do it now, while encouraging your friends to get involved as well.

We can’t make the Republican party great in November if we don’t start today.

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 like this post, please help the author by purchasing his book.

COVID wallpaper

No, I’m not talking about putting up wallpaper with little COVID molecules on it. Maybe I’ll consider that for a Halloween haunted house though, to scare all the liberals into wearing masks ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m actually talking about how COVID has covered over a whole list of other serious issues. For the past two years, the main topic of discuss in almost all suburban homes has been COVID and its impacts on the home and family. It’s difficult to have a conversation with any of my friends that doesn’t touch on the disease in some way. The problem with this is it removes focus from a lot of other problems.

For example, our military is facing a manpower crisis. If you only read some headlines, you’d see that the Navy met its recruitment goals for the year. But that covers up the fact that its hemorrhaging manpower at a higher than normal rate. It can’t fill its sea billets that contribute the most to its ability as a fighting force, and it can’t keep Surface Warfare Officers.

Evaluating personnel data from 2004 to 2020, the agency found from Navy data that retention for SWOs was so low that the service changed how it inducted junior officers to ensure an adequate number of department heads for surface ships.

USNI News

In my community, my detailer already announced that there were significantly more retirements than expected, and they will simply be gapping billets. I’m not even mad at the detailer, he is simply working with what he has.

Gee, who could have seen this coming?

What about our economy? Everyone is focused on COVID’s impact to the supply chain, but there has been little focus on the brittleness of our economy. The fact that most of our advanced microchips come out of one country (Taiwan), or that most if not all of rare earth metals come from one country (China), or that our infrastructure has been ravaged for years by poor management and maintenance with nobody held accountable (see multiple dam collapses that past two years), or that we can’t seem to manage water in the state that produces most of our produce (California), or that we have a massive power crisis because we’ve been shutting down nuclear power plants (even Vox! says its a problem).

These economic problems have solutions that take years to implement. Some solutions are finally coming, such as Intel’s new chip plant being placed in Ohio. But its woefully behind schedule, and a glance through Biden’s “Build Debt Better!” plan didn’t show much resolution for any of these. In most cases, its not financing that is the issue, its holding the people responsible for the day-to-day management of these problems accountable, something that government in general has a bad track record of accomplishing.

But probably the worst bit of COVID wallpaper is cultural. COVID has become the excuse for people to live out their worst tendencies. Want to publicly shame people online and in-person? Want to kick people out of their jobs for personal medical decisions? Want to make demands of other people’s children? Want to do all this from the isolated safety of your home while you work on your laptop? Then COVID was just the thing for you! It’s no surprise that so many people don’t want the COVID restrictions to go away, because it removes their ability to boss others around.

COVID is like cheap wallpaper. It’s covering up a whole magnitude of other problems, and as the crisis goes away, we’re going to realize that we have always had much more important problems to solve.

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 like this post, please consider supporting the author by purchasing his book.

Why my kids are still masked

On his first day in office, Governor Youngkin signed an executive order repealing the mask mandate. Contrary to popular media belief, he didn’t make it illegal to wear masks in school. You can in fact still have your child wear a mask if you want to. In typical liberal fashion, people began suing the governor for providing the freedom to choose whether to mask your child or not. The list includes plenty of people that I personally know.

Now, you might think I’d be the first one to tell my kids to remove their masks. And yet, I’m not.

Why is that? Did I suddenly get cold feet when all this freedom was given to me? Am I secretly a germaphobe that has been called out into the open? Did I suddenly lose my spinal cord like so many senior military members?

Nope, none of that. The simple reason is that while the mask mandate is gone, my school district has some insidious rules that punish students for not wearing masks. Not directly of course, because that would open the spineless bureaucrats to lawsuits and more public shaming. These are instead indirect consequences, conducted in a sort of administrative warfare that is most often found at your local DMV.

If your student doesn’t wear a mask, and there is an outbreak, then he or she (or meow, or whatever you want people to call you) will have to quarantine at home for at least 5 days and take a bunch of COVID tests. But if your student is wearing a mask….no quarantine.

Yup. So if you choose freedom, you’ll get punished if anyone tests positive for COVID in a classroom. But keep that mask on, and you can still go to school.

So for the parents that want their kids to stay in school, rather than be virtually schooled, you take a massive risk of 5 days of at-home babysitting if your kid doesn’t wear a mask. If both parents work, or its a single parent family, will you risk that? Will you tell your job you need more flexible hours? Will you risk the hassle of losing another week due to some kid testing positive for COVID, even if they aren’t showing signs of actual sickness.

Some people might. Most won’t. So it’s not a surprise that most parents in my school district are still sending their kids with masks. Its not because we don’t want the freedom. It’s because the school district decided to impose its will anyway via administrative means. And until we dump these people to the curb like the trash that they are, all the executive orders in the world won’t bring the freedom they promise to the average family in Virginia.

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, please consider purchasing my book on Amazon or Audible to help me and my family.

Easy Republican issue to win: stop police lying

As I said previously, Republicans have been a party of losers because they take the position of not doing anything, while more radical Democrats push for ever more changes that make us look more like California and the old Soviet Union. Republicans need to actually rally under something more than just lowering taxes. I’ve got a few ideas, so let’s start with an easy one: stop cops from lying.

Now, that sounds odd right. Would police officers really lie? Isn’t that illegal? Well, fun fact, police officers can lie to your face to try and get you to confess to a crime. We’re not talking about misrepresenting truth, or talking around the issues, or any other nuanced conversation. Nope, cops can straight up lie to you. They can literally tell you they have evidence that makes you guilty when they have nothing.

Worse still, this is protected by the Supreme Court! So its totally OK for this to happen. Are we surprised when this gets abused? Let’s take the folks currently jailed for the January 6th protests. Can you bet the police and prosecutors are lying to them right now, threatening to jail them forever under the same laws used to prosecute actual terrorists? I can guarantee we’re going to start hearing these horror stories from people this year, if not sooner.

Or how about something closer to home? Virginia Beach police got caught using knowingly false, completely made up DNA tests to pressure people to confess to crimes. Yup, that just came out, conveniently right before a new Republican Attorney General takes over this weekend. Even worse, in one case this fake evidence WAS PRESENTED IN COURT! It had fake signatures and everything. How on earth can we trust a court process when DNA evidence, which is supposed to be a gold standard in a court room, can be faked?

Want to bet Mr. Miyares is going to find even more examples of this once he starts digging? I’d stake more than a few dollars on him finding out that there are plenty of abuses happening in Virginia right now.

Here’s the worst part: police get away with it. Nobody is being sent to jail over this.

Now, think about this: if you’re a young man, particularly a young black man, and you read stories like this about police falsifying evidence, and you already have some distrust of them, and you see these officers and prosecutors walk away unscathed, why on earth would you put any trust in them?

I’ve experienced this first hand myself. NCIS pulled me into a room a few years ago and interrogated me over some travel expenses I took while traveling for the Navy. The investigator, a super pushy a**-hat of a man, rattled off dates of trips I took over two years ago and said “So why did you take this trip?” I fired back that I had no idea (my memory isn’t that good), but that every trip had a description section, which I always filled out to explain why I was traveling. He told me, to my face, that all the sections in DTS (which is the Defense Travel System, an online database where government members book travel arrangements) were empty, and that he had checked that himself. I finally told them to pack sand (in a nice way) and that I would send them a written statement of the reasoning behind my trips.

Not surprisingly, when I got back to my office and logged into DTS, what did I find? ALL THE TRIPS HAD REASONS LISTED! Every, single, one. I even had additional documentation anytime a trip went over a weekend to explain the cost savings to the government. Agent A**hat had lied to my face in an attempt to get a confession. When I sent him a wonderful 3 page memo outlining all the reasons and raising the question about whether he would like to press actual charges and suggesting we should sit down with a lawyer, suddenly the investigation disappeared.

Now, I’m an angry, bitter Sailor and I tend to punch back at people. Most people aren’t like me. How much would you bet that Agent A**hat had successfully intimidated people into confessing before? How much you want to bet that he’ll do it again? If you’re in the Navy, or have a son or daughter in the Navy, doesn’t it bother you that people like Agent A**hat can operate with impunity?

Police intimidation and lying is real. It happens at all levels of government, and its getting worse. It is absolutely intimidating to sit on the wrong side of a police officer or prosecutor, worse still when they are a jerk-off loser, and be told you’ll be rotting in jail unless you confess. Republicans should make this tactic illegal, and should make it easy to prosecute anyone that uses it, especially at the federal level. Want to stop stupid cases like Kyle Rittenhouse? Start with laws that punish police officers and prosecutors from abusing their power. Republicans need to champion this cause, which affects everyone, but especially young black people, and make it a legislative priority. This is an easy win.

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. For the NCIS agents reading this, I have nothing but disgust for the dirty tactics you use, and you should be ashamed of yourselves and all the innocent people you’ve intimidated and punished.

If you enjoyed this article, why not check out my book? It’s an even better read, and you can even listen to it on Audible.

Merry Christmas!!

Make today a positive day. Don’t bother reading the news, or browsing social media. Enjoy Christmas for what it is: a time to spend with family and friends. All that bad news and fighting social media posts will be there tomorrow for you to scroll through and waste your time on.

Plenty of people will want you to spend your holiday in fear. Fear for the future, and whether you’ll leave a better place for future generations. Or fear about the present, and between inflation and the latest Wu-Flu variant, there is plenty to stoke fear over. Or even fear of the past, judging past actions out of context in order to shame us about crimes we never committed ourselves.

Don’t give in to that fear. Celebrate Our Lord’s birth today. Call your friends and wish them a Merry Christmas. Gather with family and friends. Cook up a tasty feast. Push off any fears until tomorrow…they will still be there, like fears always tend to be. Positive feelings are the first to leave under the fire of those that think they know better. Resist those urges today and enjoy the holiday.

While these views don’t represent the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency (obviously, since most agencies want you to cower in fear today or submit to a battery of tests to just enjoy it with friends), it does represent my views and hopes for you today. Please accept my wishes of Merry Christmas to you and your family today.

Man, creating stuff is hard work!

It’s tough watching people destroy things.

I remember watching the second plane ram into the Twin Towers on 9-11, eventually bringing down both buildings that had taken years to build and had created so many jobs and generated so much wealth for this country.

I watched in similar dismay as riots broke out last year and scores of businesses were looted and burned, putting hundreds if not thousands of people out of work and out of savings.

I think its hard, especially for me, to watch this destruction because I know first hand just how difficult it is to create something. It took me years to build my own home, having to wade through mountains of paperwork and battle the elements, city bureaucrats and even my own builder at times. I could never stand by and let someone destroy it needlessly because they had some imagined offense in their head that somehow justified their actions. Destruction is far too easy, especially when destroying someone else’s property.

Once you’ve put in the sweat and tears to build something, you immediately learn to place value on the building process. It’s only the truly lazy among us and those that have never had to build anything who can stomach the wanton destruction of private property.

In a similar fashion, its easy to complain that the media is a basket case of loser, left-leaning literature, but are most of us doing much about it? This blog here, and others like Instapundit, are a good start. It’s not cheap though, and I’d encourage you to donate to DaTechGuy so that he can keep it running.

And if you’ve liked the content I’ve produced this year, why not get my book? It makes a great Christmas present for that hard-to-please person. If you’re not into reading things on paper or a Kindle, you can now get the Audible audiobook version here. Sharing the link with your friends and having at least a few purchase it really helps me out.

Remember that creation is hard. Give your favorite creators some love this Christmas season.

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 check out my book on Amazon, its the easiest way you can directly support me!