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

ā€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 šŸ˜‰

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 issue for 2022 Republicans: reform adoption laws

Fortunately, people are beginning to write about how they don’t simply want Republicans to win elections, they want them to, you know, actually make some conservative wins in our government. Some are also saying “Hey, you haven’t won yet,” which is very true, since actually counting the votes seems to matter more than voting itself. To truly win though, as I pointed out earlier, its not sufficient to go back to the way things were, because that’s a regressive message that is, frankly, loser speak. Republican legislators need to advance issues that matter to us beyond tax reform.

So, let’s start picking some, and let’s start with adoption.

Anyone that has tried to adopt a child knows that the process is absolutely miserable. The state will come and inspect your home, check your background and during the whole process treat you like a common criminal. They’ll point out that you don’t have enough bathrooms, or enough safety devices, or enough whatever, which pushes would-be parents to spend thousands on their homes. Then, when that’s done, it can take months to find an eligible kid, even though there are literally thousands of kids in foster care that deserve a good home.

When a friend of ours (white) adopted a young boy from Africa (black), she caught a bit of flack for not adopting someone of “her kind.” She told me it was far easier to adopt a kid from overseas than from the US, and after we talked about the struggles she went through with the local state adoption agency, it all made sense. Another friend of mine tried to adopt his wife’s daughter (she was divorced and remarried), but because he was military and moving, the local state government held that against him and kept the daughter with her dad in a substandard home.

These sad cases point to a problem: a deep-state bureaucracy of adoption workers that have an interest in making sure the system is difficult and expensive. When over a half a million children are in need of a family, this is entirely unnecessary, yet I haven’t heard one politician actually try to fix the issue.

A winning strategy would look like what President Trump did to the VA. He cleaned house and began firing underperforming staff, then set about reforming the way VA claims were handled. He created a White House hotline for VA claims that has proven successful at clamping down on the filthy bureaucrats that drag out the process and cost veterans thousands of dollars in lost payments. While the VA isn’t perfect, its far better than it was a few years ago.

We need the same for adoption. Republicans should put a cap on the cost of adoption. Would-be parents shouldn’t spend thousands to give a kid a loving home and a far better chance at life. How is it we’re paying foster parents while charging would-be parents and then more often than not denying them a child? Isn’t that theft? Isn’t that redistribution of wealth in another form? One might even argue its a form of modern day slavery.

How about “6 months to a good home” as a motto? Republicans won big when they pushed legislation that made concealed carry permits a shall-issue permit, instead of letting local sheriffs deny otherwise lawful Americans the right to protect themselves. If a would-be set of parents has a good home, it should take no more than 6 months to place a kid identified as a good match. Period. Six months from “We would love to give Johnny a home” to “Johnny is now in our home.”

Not only would this begin to save our children that need a good home, it would also provide a counter to abortion. Making it easier to adopt begins chipping away at the argument that you’re destroying someone’s life with an unwanted pregnancy. It’s a compassionate way to help women that somehow became pregnant and cannot, for whatever reason, support their child. Rather than lecture women on whether they should accept the consequences of their actions (always a losing formula), adoption gives a far better option of preserving life while avoiding the lecture.

This also pushes back on assaults on the family. While so-called elitist liberals talk about forcing people to give up their kids, its not enough to just say “That’s a bad idea.” One has to come to the table with something better and, here’s the kicker, actually do something about it.

So get onboard Republicans. Give the wonderful people that are trying to adopt children and make this world a bit better for a deserving kid a voice in your election run and some help against the towering bureaucracy that has been denying homes to children for a very long time.

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.

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!