Day by Day

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pre-deployment pomp and circumstance

Today was the first time I had chance to witness the pre-deployment ceremonies. I understand the purpose for them. The purpose being to give the soldiers a warm send off, tell them thank you and that people care about them and appreciate what they are doing. To me the most honored people there were the Patriot Guard. There were a lot of Senators, the Governor and High ranking officers that all made speeches. Most of the speeches were too long, stroking ego's, irrelevant and giving people information they would not absorb.

To know that the soldiers were leaving the next day just made the timing of this ceremony very cruel. Cruel to the soldiers, their families, and friends. I say that because the timing of this ceremony, they were required to be at, robbed them of a precious final day before they leave and rubbed their nose in the sacrifice they are making.

I do believe these ceremonies are important. I do believe they need to happen. I just think it needs to be between a week and a month before they leave, not robbing the family of that precious final day.

It all made me happy that when the RagingDave went, he just went without all of this Required Army Hoo-Ha when we just wanted to be with each other.

Award delivered

Woke up way too early and drove for hours each way, but the award was hand-delivered, right during the sending off ceremony.

It's Beer-Thirty.

Progressivism, personified

First, take a good gander at the unemployed dishwasher who wrote a screed against Ann Althouse.  And then read his rambling email exchange with Dan Riehl.  Ladies and gentlemen, if you want to know who exactly is protesting in Madison, take a good long look at Mr. Shankman here.  Stark, raving loony.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Seether

OK, bear with me here because I'm going to get into a bit more private mode than just puking on the progressives that are ruining this country.  I'm going to keep this as non-descriptive as possible, just because you never know who's reading.

I had a Soldier working for me who was pretty much a highspeed troop.  Always driven.  Worked his tail off.  In fact, he pretty much broke himself for the past few years getting the mission done, regardless of what he was faced with.  Worked 12, 16 hour days, weekends, spend months away from his family.  And this is a stateside job, mind you.  Made my unit look GOOD on a national scale because of the work he was putting in on his particular program.

Was he perfect?  No.  In fact, he managed to step all over his wedding tackle on one occasion.  But still, one big mistake vs. years of excellent performance?  He was a darn good troop.  And every single one of us has an "Oh, hell!" moment in life.

Now, my supervisor happened to have a problem with this young troop.  The more I think about it, the more I'm convince that the problem revolved around who was getting recognition in my unit.  When people talked about the program we run, their statements invariably started with "SGT Highspeed" rather than "Officer So-and-So."  And my supervisor is rather narcissistic, to the point of being toxic.  So to have Colonels and Sergeants Major talking about my troop rather than about him had to grate on his nerves.  There was also some personality conflicts that came into play, but that has nothing to do with my troop's work ethic.  And my troop was professional, didn't let those conflicts interfere with the job he was doing.

Now then....  comes time for SGT Highspeed to leave.  I give him a good evaluation.  Not a great one, because again, he did step on his wedding tackle, but a good one that will help him grow and gain advancement in the future.  I also put him in for an award for the service he's done.  And it's a good award.  My supervisor goes nuts, albeit in a rather quiet manner, about this award.  First he tries to tell me not to give my troop that specific award, but to submit him for a lower award.  Sorry, but military regulation states that any Soldier can submit any other Soldier for any award.  That doesn't mean that Soldier will actually get the award they were submitted for, but even the Chief of Staff of the Army does not have the authority to tell me to NOT submit someone for an award.  I respond in a rather blunt manner that I'm putting my troop in for this award, and if my supervisor feels the need to downgrade it, that's his prerogative.  THAT didn't sit well at all, because if my supervisor downgrades an award that I'm submitting for a Soldier, he has to explain why.  And I don't think he can explain that, because it's based on his personal feelings rather than my troop's work.  Then my supervisor tries to tell me that I'll never get this award approved through our chain of command.  I respond with the same line - then let them downgrade the award if they feel the need to do so.  I'm going to submit the award I think my troop should get.  And that's what I did.

I did get somewhat called on the carpet about that, because people do remember my troop stepping on his wedding tackle and my supervisor whines and complains enough for this award submission to get on the radar.  I get pulled into the Chain of Command's office and asked to explain myself, and why I think my troop deserves this award.  And so I lay out my case - SGT Highspeed darn near broke himself for this command on this program.  Made us look good.  Made us the leader in this particular program.  USARC level recognition of being the best.  Yada yada yada.  And then I look that high-ranking person in the eye, and say "There are people in this unit who are going to use this particular program to get themselves a nice big fat award when they leave, and the only reason they'll be able to do so is because of the work that my troop put into this program."

I just got my troop's award back yesterday so that I can present it to him.  And it's the exact award I submitted for him.

My supervisor saw it, saw that I did indeed get my troop his award, and he loses it.  Doesn't go yelling and screaming, but just becomes insulting and nasty.  Says that my troop getting that award "devalues" the award.  Can't understand how my troop can get rewarded after he stepped on his wedding tackle.  Questions my integrity and my work ethic on a few different topics, then finally leaves.  Ticked me right off.  I went home and ran for close to an hour just to get down to the point where I could talk about it to the Ragin' Mrs. without spitting and cursing.

And after having a good long run, and then a good beer, my wife made the statement to me, "Don't be mad.  Your supervisor is sitting at home right now all pissed off because your troop got an award and he didn't."  And you know what?  She's right.  This is a matter of recognition.  My supervisor is losing his mind because my troop is getting recognized, and his narcissistic self isn't.  More to the point, a troop that my supervisor doesn't like and tried to tear down is getting recognized for all of his hard work, and there's nothing my supervisor can do about it.  Someone else is being put on a pedestal for a moment, and my supervisor can't kick that pedestal out from under him.

We had a rather pleasant dinner after that.

So what's the point of all this?  Well, part of me still wanted to vent.  And part of me wants to point out that when you have someone working for you who deserves an award, then you darn well get it for them.  Stand your ground.  I've learned more about dealing with Toxic Leadership during this tour than I ever wanted to, but the enduring lesson is that you still do what's right no matter what, and you stand your ground when you know you're right.

And yeah, part of me wants to gloat.  I made sure my troop got the award he deserved, and I fought my immediate leadership to do it.  And I won that battle.  It might bite me in the ass later, but it'll still be worth it.

Twenty days of thuggery in Wisconsin

This is what "Progressivism" looks like.  And an observer of history with a decent memory can call it what it is:  Fascism.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Budgeting

I'm stealing this from Joe Huffman's blog.  And then I'm printing it out and sending it to my congresscritters.  I know a lot of folks who's budgets are in the $50k range, and I can use this to beat them over the head.


[It is predicted the Federal budget deficit will reach $1.65 trillion this year with a $14.1 trillion debt and about $2.1 trillion in income. Yet the House cannot reach agreement on spending cuts. The House Republicans want to only cut $60 billion in spending and the Democrats only want to cut spending $6.5 billion. If you were to scale this down into numbers people might be able to relate to it would look like the following.
If your family income were $50,000 then:
  • Family debt is $335,700
  • Family deficit is $39,300 (spending is $89,300/year)
  • The head of household wants to cut $1,430 in yearly spending
  • The spouse wants to cut $154.80 in yearly spending
The children should cut up the credit cards and sell everything that isn’t the bare minimum needed for food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and communication. If the debt still isn’t being paid down they should consider selling their parents organs.


Ayup.

More Union Thuggery in Wisconsin

Since it's been proven that union goons, leftist idiots and collage marxists (but I repeat myself) can get away with breaking the law here in Wisconsin, they've decided to go out and show people what Democracy in Wisconsin looks like.


Upon arrival, members of the recall committee were encircled by union protesters carrying signs and a leader with a mega phone who began chanting and ranting loudly. They packed in tightly around the petition collection table so as to prevent those attempting to sign from doing so. At one point, a pro union protester, pretending to be interested in signing the petition, wrote profanity across a partially collected petition form, than began ripping up the completed petitions that were in close proximity.
The policemen who were there, and who were standing in close proximity to these events as they unfolded, did nothing to assist those collecting the petitions as they were being destroyed, despite such an action being a Felony under Wisconsin law. Police also did nothing to clear the walk way for citizens that wanted to sign the petitions. Recall Committee members received many phone calls the following day from Merill area citizens who stated that they showed up to sign the petition, but were too afraid to get out of their vehicles and approach the recall table.
Of course, what Democracy in Wisconsin looks like is Leftist thugs using violence to stifle their opposition, while unionized cops stand there and let it happen.
I am so pissed right now......  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What happened to the Mob?

It got unionized.  I mean sure, if you're a mobster you can go out and break the law and reap quick monetary rewards, but in a union you can do all the formerly criminal stuff you used to do, but this time the Democrat American Communist Party will protect you!


In the letter to Wisconsin businessmen, however, we see why so-called collective bargaining is particularly corrupting to the police. Although the letter explicitly threatens only an economic boycott, when it is written on behalf of the police--of those on whom all citizens depend to protect their safety--it invariably raises the prospect of another kind of boycott. Can a businessman who declines this heavy-handed "request" be confident that the police will do their job if he is the victim of a crime--particularly if the crime itself is in retaliation for his refusal to support "the dedicated public employees who serve our communities"?
Sykes sums up the letter this way: "That's a nice business you got there. Pity if anything were to happen to it if, say, you didn't toe the line and denounce Governor Walker like we're asking nice-like." He's right. "Organized" law enforcement bears a disturbing resemblance to organized crime.


Just another reason why unions have outlived their usefulness.  Why don't the police show up with baseball bats and threaten to knee-cap the business if they refuse to support the unions?  That's about what's going on here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Reinforcing

Just in case you missed it this weekend, President Obama is a gutless lying punk.

He indicated that “our oil production reached its highest level in seven years. Oil production from federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico reached an all-time high,” adding that “for the first time in more than a decade, imports accounted for less than half of what we consumed.”

Flat out lies, plain and simple.  And easily proven lies at that.  He just lies, and automatically assumes that the alphabet networks will cover for him, because they DO actually do that.

If you're the praying type

Pray for the people of Japan.  The Ragin' Mrs. has friends stationed in Okinawa.

Apologies

Sorry 'bout the lack of free ice cream over the weekend.  I had another engagement, and I thought I was going to have the internet there.  I didn't.  So, I'll refund every last cent that people paid me to blog this weekend.