Arizona and the Oil Spill

I've got a confession to make.

Other then what I've read in the few blogs I do visit, I haven't been really following the whole Oil Disaster in the Gulf Coast. I've heard of it, but I guess I don't realy comprehend how big of a problem it is. This might be because I don't watch news or maybe because the news hasn't really been reporting that much on it.

Whatever the case, what I do hear about it is that they are comparing the Gulf Oil Spill for Obama as Hurricane Katrina was for Bush. Well, I didn't really follow that much either, I had other things going on at the time when that disaster hit too (I was overseas in Kosovo at the time).

I've been following it a lot more since then, but i still honestly don't know a whole lot about it to really inject my own opinion on the whole debacle. Other then, if you could blame Bush for Katrina, where the people of New Orleans had plenty of notice to get out of the area and in all actuality it could be seen as a local disaster (and FEMA was probably more to blame then Bush), then you could definitely pin this on Obama. Not the initial damage of course, that's all BP, but the reaction to it and the slow moving to correct it from the executive level, yeah, I think I'll have to say that his reaction has been far from extraordinary. In fact, it's kind of difinitive of his actions as president so far, so to speak. I find it interesting how he's doing everything he can to pin the blame on somebody other then him. Has this guy taken blame for anything in this presidency?

Which brings me to Arizona (which i've heard a lot about). I think I want to take a trip down there sometime this summer. It's actually quite a beautiful state, one of these days i'd like to actually go to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and hike around down there.

Isn't it interesting how people who oppose Arizona's new law always refer to it as an anti-immigration bill? But they leave an important detail of what kind of immigration the law is against. yeah, that's right, illegal immigration. Hmm. I think if you come into the country lawfully the State of Arizona will still be happy to have you. Get your facts straight, people, illegal immigration happens to be a serious problem in Arizona and there is nothing racist about it, being a border state, Arizona just happens to get a lot of Illegal Aliens that happen to be Mexican decent. Put the two and two together, it's a coincidence, not racist. I hope these boycotters get a huge fallout from their boycotts.

Yep, Arizona sounds like a nice place to visit sometime this year.


From this point on, I guess I probably should admit that my milblogging (when i do it) will more likely be related to current events and the military and my opinion related to those rather then my personal experiences within the military, as I have come to realize over the course of the last five or so years that me and Milblogging don't really mix. Because of that, I can relate my personal opinion on current issues such as DADT, any lame awards that they are kicking around, and issues such as women in the military or what not. Though i like to get political, one thing I will not do is criticize President Obama's role as Commander in Chief. I'll criticize his other policies and agendas, but this is one area I will not get into.

That said, getting ready to leave over Memorial Day Weekend to get the next stage of my schooling out of the way and then I can continue on with life. Now that I'm gettng back into blogging, I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to comment on over the next few weeks. Um, I guess we'll see?


My Opinion on Don't Ask, Don't Tell

I originally wrote this post in february, but for some reason, didn't post it. Oh well, I'm just going to post it now.

Ok, so there is a lot of haroohaha going on about Don't Ask Don't Tell right now. It was stated as one of President Obama's goals to rescind this year, so that gays can serve openly and honorably in the military.

My feelings on this are mixed, and I will tell you why.

Gays can serve in the military now, Don't Ask Don't Tell allows them to serve, they just can't be open about it. It forces them to just remain quiet about a certain aspect of their person.

Now there can be something said for and against this, for one, people shouldn't have to lie about who they are, though in my opinion it isn't a lie, it is just withholding of certain aspects of a person's identity.

So we get into my opinion on Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Actually, I did a report on Don't Ask Don't Tell when I was in college. I took it more from a preventive medicine perspective then, but in truth, soldiers by their very nature are a horny group of individuals so I don't think it really stands up. So what's my basic opinion of Gays in the Military?

You know, it really depends on the person. I have known people in my experience in the military who are fantastic soldiers, and though they didn't come out and declare it, I'm pretty certain they swung that way. It was only a little obvious, with some people it is. I know more then one soldier who if they had come up to me and told me, "Sergeant, I'm gay," I'd have looked right back at them and said "that's nice, get back to work." Unfortunately in the Basic Training Environment, coming out is a quick way out of the military for those privates who made a realization that perhaps this whole military thing is a mistake, and I can't make that same judgment call based on the soldier. If they come out, we have to tell the commander and it falls on him on what to do with these 'out' soldiers. Frankly, I don't want any soldier in the army that doesn't want to be there and is only going to waste my time getting out.

There has been a lot of mention of how many gay people the military kicks out each year, the number is apparently 13,500 since 1994 or so, but I would like to know how many of those were discharged during their initial entry training period, basically the ones who got in and promptly found a way to get out. I'm guessing about 80% fall under that category, but until I see the numbers, guess we'll never know.

Because with only a few exceptions, most people I have worked with don't really care about a soldier's orientation as long as they can soldier up and keep their personal affairs largely to themselves. In affect, as a matter of courtesy, most people just don't really want to know about your intimate affairs in the bedroom. Basically, if you can do your job and work with the team, that's all people really care about. If you need to make your sexual identity the focus of your interactions with other people, you need to find another job. The military is to intimate of a workforce to throw that in the mix.

My main issue of rescinding the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy is the influx of people enlisting who make their sexual orientation the main focus of their identity. Basically the flamboyant gays. Lesbians by and large do just fine in the military setting, I wouldn't be surprised if thirty percent of females currently serving are gay. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if fifty percent were, military service draws this personality type and they do well. Most people in the military are more then willing to work with lesbians.

But the flamboyent ones that want to join the military because they are attracted to a man in uniform, I'm not looking forward to this type joining the military (and yes, though there may not be a huge number, they will join for this very reason, and I'm sure there are gays in the military who fit this discription now, they are probably the ones most likely to get discharged under DADT) and watch the harrassment charges begin when they get their asses kicked. Seriously.

Most soldiers probably agree with this assessment, and there are plenty of soldiers serving now who are out amidst their command, who have retained them because they are good soldiers and they need bodies, and the gay soldiers aren't making it a huge issue. People know they're gay, and they keep it professional at work.

So basically, it boils down to this. There are gays currently serving in the military, they are serving admirably, and as long as they serve admirably, I don't really care if they are there and they are gay. As long as when they are in uniform they are a soldier first. You soldier up and do your job and work with the team, we can use you. You're gay? Fine, leave that in the bedroom and get to work. Don't bring it to work with you.

Courageous Restraint

Somebody made mention that I should post my (belated) thoughts on the new proposed medal for Courageous Restraint (because we all know there isn't enough junk to throw on our uniform!)

Alright, this is my thought on medals in general. Medals are given out like Candy. Civilians can look at a military uniform and see all those pretty ribbons and think 'wow, that person is pretty well decorated!' I can tell you bull crap. Case in point, here's my uniform.

I've got four rows, FOUR ROWS of freakin ribbons. You know what they are? Nothing. they don't mean shit in the long run. They are just a pat on the back and an 'atta boy, er, girl' and if I had anything worth anything on there, you wouldn't know the difference because it's just getting obscured by the rest of the 'bling'. In other words, what I'm basically saying is, How Many Freakin' Ribbons do we need? There's even a medal for VOLUNTEERING!!! While we're at it, why don't we give out medals for showing up to work on time, oh wait, we got one of those too.

My thought on the whole thing, we got to many damn medals. They are losing their luster and the whole point behind them. Which brings me back to the original question of a medal for Courageous Restraint.

now granted, I probably shouldn't be voicing my opinion on this to the whole world, being a highly decorated Non Commissioned Officer *snort*. Hell, I'll voice my opinion on the matter anyway.

Ok, you can tell I'm already annoyed by the sheer numbers of medals and ribbons they throw at me already. Now look at the principal behind this type of medal.

First, i want to know where it goes in the heirarchy of giving out medals. Is it more prestigious then a Bronze Star? Because you know what it sounds like to me? It sounds like some politician that is trying to earn brownie points by creating a medal to show a kinder and gentler military but doesn't understand the whole nature behind the purpose of the military to begin with. But apparently it's being proposed by a British General, which makes me wonder if he's ever served in Combat or if he's spent his years commanding from a staff position.

See, the purpose is to encourage soldiers to put themselves in danger to prevent collateral damage. See, the reason why you give soldiers guns is to protect themselves and kill the enemy, because without a gun, the soldier is basically just cannon fodder. You see, in a time of war, when a soldier is getting shot at, it's his job to shoot back. If you are giving him an award for not shooting back, you're going to end up giving out a few purple hearts along with it, probably awarded posthumosly. There is nothing courageous about restraining from pulling the trigger to prevent civilian casualties. The reason why there are civilian casualties is because the enemy is in the area. The only reason why this award would need to be given out is because soldiers allowed themselves to be blown to bits for fear of fighting the enemy due to civilian casualties. How many times can I rephrase this? It is a STUPID AWARD! You aren't going to give it to soldiers who just walk around doing their patrols and don't fire on the population (because that is a war crime). Yes, the only reason why this award would be given is because a soldier didn't fire back when he came under fire with a civilian population was present. Courageous Restraint might be confused with cowardace. Who's to say the poor soldier came under his first gunfight and ended up in the fetal position sucking his thumb? Well, he didn't shoot any civilians, give that kid a medal!

Yeah, sounds dumb to me.

So, what's the latest news on this award anyway? Please tell me NATO changed their minds on the whole thing. But probably not. No wonder Afghanistan is such a mess. Can we keep political correctness out of wars and just let us do our job by eliminating the enemy? Oh yeah, the whole hearts and minds thing. Got it. Before you know it, the military will be deployed without their weapons because it looks to aggressive to the civilians.

War is a dirty and ugly thing. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense when you really come to think about it. But we got people out there who want to kill us. They will use our rules of engagement against us and hide out where they know the Laws of War won't allow us to go and shoot us from their mosques and hospitals and use innocent children for their dirty work. The whole region is a mess and these people are not like combatants we've seen before. My thoughts on the whole issue, Obama should have just pulled us out of there so we don't risk more lives or let us actually fight this war and bomb the crap out of it and kill those bastards. Because how we're fighting it now is completley ineffective. And a medal for Courageous Restraint isn't going to be helping matters anytime soon.

Maybe it's time for me to put my hat up and get out of the army? It's going to hell in a handbasket quick.


I want to really get back into blogging. About what, i'm not sure. But seeing my blogging is sporadic at best, and my life is in chaos at present, I'm not sure how long it will be before I find the time to pull myself away from Mafia Wars and state my opinion on different things. Because I think for the most part that's what I really did enjoy about blogging is just stating opinions.

So what is up with me? I'm married now, crazy I know. Getting married has shaken things up in the personal life quite a bit. I'm enjoying married life so far, and I'll give some info on my significant other in time, but I probably won't be blogging a lot about him mostly because private life should probably stay somewhat private and I probably tell to much about myself anyway.

What is keeping me from blogging? Well, I've got a busy life! I've got two horses, I've moved all of my crap into his place and in the process of downsizing ten years worth of accumulation of various stuff being I'm a pack rat, and trying to get ready to go to BNCOC/ALC phase 2 for the army (one of those schools you have to go too). That's a fun one, seeing I just found out an 'eight week' course I'm supposed to have done before I go to school and I have to get it done in three days. Fortunately, it is completely doable.

One of these days, I'll post pictures.


New URL?

So my life has settled down over the last few hectic months, and I think I want to get back into blogging again. The problem is, well, Blogger disabled their FTP service, of which was how I was blogging before. Apparently .5% of blogs wasn't good enough reason for them, and I am apparently to stubborn to make the switch. Dang it all.

Anyway, the blog up until this point still resides on the original domain of www.risawn.com/blogger.html is archived on my original site, however from this point on, I have to choose a new domain name and have it hosted by blogger. So the new domain name?


What's a iratblu? It's kind of a funny word, is that what my blog is going to be known as now? risawn.blogspot.com was taken however, that was a blog idea that I quickly abandoned for various reasons, and you only need so many blogs. Anyway, we'll see if this move works well as planned, or if it doesn't. We'll see.