Posts Tagged ‘NG36B’

Because if I put in a real picture, well, you’d all call it click bait ;)

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?

Starry perks and suicide

Posted: May 7, 2022 by navygrade36bureaucrat in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

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 then 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, and remember to share this with your friends on social media.

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 and other sexual crimes 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 other sexual crimes 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

Posted: April 23, 2022 by navygrade36bureaucrat in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,
Only in Florida…California Disney requires a four year degree from a liberal school!

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 really 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 himself was a pretty great American. At the parks there is 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 to please a bunch the alphabet people 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