Thursday, June 18, 2009

Expected Outcome

As was expected, two towns in California had their anti-recruiter ordinances struck down. Turns out that the Federal Government takes things like the sole authority to raise an army kinda seriously.
Attorneys for the cities are reviewing the decision and deciding whether to appeal.
Meserve is also working with the city council, which is considering a new measure that could achieve the same goal of restricting military access to minors while skirting the judge's objections.
This is my favorite part of the whole story. Arcata and Eureka, please, appeal this. Nothing would make me happier than to see your two cities spend more time and money making this pointless statement. Last I heard California is in the middle of a pretty serious financial crisis. I suggest that the State Legislator might want to look into the city legal funds for Arcata and Eureka. Obviously there was some sort of error which gave those fund way too much money since they can afford to waste it on such quiotix tasks like "attemtping to subvert the Constitution".

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


My mother recently gave me the second most precious thing she has ever given to me. Late last year she sent me a package containing my dad's letters to his parents when he was in Marine Corps Boot Camp, and then Vietnam. I've been reading them and rereading them since. It's very strange to read what your father was thinking when he went through similar training that you yourself went through nearly 25 years later. This is a letter he wrote the day before he headed off for another tour.
6 April 69

Dear Mom & Dad.
Tomorrow we fly to Danang and my 5 months starts. I probably won't be home till around Sept 12th at the latest no you won't have to worry about me after the first of the month.
I forgot my address book on the dresser so could you please send it in the first package or letter. I didn't mail my uniforms from here, I'll mail it from Nam.
I haven't taken my film yet but if I do I'll send you the stuff to be developed. There isn't much more to write about so I'll stop.

Finding out my dad would also end letters with "I'm out of stuff to write" is kinda spooky.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nice try

A couple of towns in California passed city ordinances barring military recruiters from contacting minors. This is, of course, news to the Federal Government given that whole "supreme law of the land" and the "Constitutional right to raise an Army" so they're taking these two cities to court.

The other recruiting-related story I read recently (and yes, you'd think that the assassination of a recruiting assistant by an Islamic convert outside a recruiting station would generate more than one day of blurbs, but you'd be wrong) was an editorial from OhMyGov! discussing the Recruiter Incentive Pay program. Oh man, RIP... how I didn't get to use you as much as I wanted to. I shared my concerns about RIP back when it first came out. And while my greatest fear, reducing pay for non-performers, didn't come around, it's still a program that was probably not needed. That the GAO found the Army has done a poor job of tracking and justifying RIP doesn't shock me in the least.

Monday, June 01, 2009


I know, two posts in a month... on the same day. What the heck is wrong with me?

News about recruiting has been pretty light. There has been no repeat of the "Army enlisting Felons" stories of years past. Instead the DoD puts out the monthly press release saying that all the services have exceeded their missions and they are ignored.

The first bit of recruiting news covers something I don't think I'd seen discussed in the news at all. The reactions of the recruiter who enlisted a Soldier who is killed in combat. I've been fortunate that none of the Soldiers I've enlisted have died. The only Soldier I know from recruiting who has been killed in combat was SSG West. However a Soldier recruited in my station did die while at their duty station, and a station in my recruiting company was where SPC Lori Piestewa enlisted into the Army. They had a memorial to her in their old recruiting station. Not sure if it moved to the new one.

Two HRAPs being shot, and one being killed, is going to be overshadowed by the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in KS. Dr. Tiller was a lightening rod who was involved in one of the most controversial medical practices in our nation. His murder outside his church by some nutjob is a natural magnet for media attention. I had come to accept that violence against recruiters is perfectly acceptable though. After all, they're only recruiters. The murderer of this Soldier was motivated by the exact same hatred and close-mindedness that motivated Tiller's murderer. And while Tiller's death has elicited euologies from everyone who can get near a microphone, a Soldier being gunned down in his hometown drive-by style by a guy who just wanted to kill a Soldier will be unremarked upon by the same people ignoring the continued success of Army Recruiting.


I worked at a grocery store back in Sugar Land, TX the year before I went AGR. Thanks to this experience I consider myself qualified to use the self-checkout aisles at grocery stores. Based on this qualification I have some advice for anyone choosing to use these wonders of technology.

If you have a full cart, use the regular checkout lanes. I know that you think you'll be able to get through quicker, but you're going to fail. Normally I'm happy enough to let you fail on your own, but your failure has now reduced the number of available self-checkout machines, which is going to slow everyone else down.

Don't go through the self-checkout if you have bought more than two bags worth of loose fruits and or vegetables. They don't scan and you don't know the 4-digit number to input. It is going to take you five minutes to look through the "identify by picture" menu on the register to find it. And that's assuming that you can tell the difference between the three different green peppers they have.

They have two different types of registers. There are the ones with the rotating bagging area which can keep like six different bags on the scales. There are also the ones which can only hold three. Do no take a cart with a bunch of items into the three bag area. You will run out of room, take off a bag to make room, and cause the machine to stop because it doesn't know you're a moron who couldn't see that the three bags weren't going to be enough space for your mammoth purchases. It thinks you might be trying to steal and it's trying to stop you from doing that. Wait for one of the larger bagging area machines to open up. You're doing yourself a favor.