August 27th 2016


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Online census fiasco a cautionary tale

CANBERRA OBSERVED Tony Abbott: regrets, he's had a few, and those few he mentions

VICTORIA Volunteers put head on CFA, Cash pursues federal remedy

RURAL AFFAIRS Crisis in dairy industry escalates to new level

SOCIETY AND POLITICS Gays and lesbians can have happy marriages

SOCIETY AND RELIGION The science is in: God is good (for our children)

LAW AND SOCIETY Messing with marriage will hit constitutional bump

GENDER POLITICS Croome's blackmail gamble

TAIWANESE POLITICS Tsai remains in control after her first 100 days

MUSIC An industry that serves everyone bar the maker

CINEMA Villains under coercion: Suicide Squad

BOOK REVIEW A lose-lose country

BOOK REVIEW Grown in the 'burbs: a self-sufficiency plot

U.S. POLITICS The Good Ship Lollypop must be on the slipway

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U.S. POLITICS
The Good Ship Lollypop must be on the slipway


by Hal G.P. Colebatch

News Weekly, August 27, 2016

Feelings that there is something very weird going on in the armed forces of the Western World have been reinforced by the news that the Obama-dominated U.S. Navy plans to name a warship after homosexual activist Harvey Milk.

Apart from serving on the San Francisco City Council until he was shot dead by another city official in a spat 38 years ago, Harvey Milk did nothing in particular to merit this honour. However, the U.S. Naval Institute News Service points out that “he was wearing a U.S. Navy belt-buckle at the time he was killed”. It seems this helps qualify him for such a distinction.

His own close friend and biographer confessed: “Harvey always had a penchant for young waifs with substance-abuse problems.” Quite an exemplar for modern non-judgemental and inclusive servicemen, it seems. One wonders if the USS Harvey Milk will fly the Stars and Stripes or the rainbow flag from the, er … poop deck?

It seems that under Obama the U.S. military is more interested in pushing the counter-culture than in protecting the nation, and is forcing on the military the exact opposite of the values that a fighting service needs.

Obama seems determined to push as much political correctness as possible onto the armed forces before his term expires. It has been reported that an astonishingly large number of both junior and senior officers and NCOs who have made stands against political correctness have been forcibly retired.

U.S. Navy sailors, unlike their British or Australian counterparts, do not wear their ships’ names on their cap-tallies. Nonetheless, one posting on Twitter asked: “Imagine a red-blooded sailor saying: ‘I serve on the USS Harvey Milk’.”

“This action by the U.S. Secretary of the Navy will further send a green light to all the brave men and women who serve our nation that honesty, acceptance and authenticity are held up among the highest ideals of our military,” Milk’s nephew Stuart Milk said.

It is possible to imagine Vladimir Putin allowing himself a small chuckle at the news of this “green light”.

It makes some contrast to the names of British ships, like Warspite, Vanguard and Illustrious. Where they are named after individuals, they are great admirals like Nelson, Rodney, Barham and Hood.

Australia too manages to name its ships after heroes like Rankin, Waller and Sheahan.

The fleet of ships the USN Harvey Milk – a Military Sealift Command fleet oiler – will join includes ships named after Attorney-General Robert F. Kennedy, abolitionist Sojourner Truth and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.

The push for political correctness at the expense off morale and efficiency in the U.S. and other Western armed forces, including the Australian, is advancing on several fronts.

One lobby group that boasts a direct line to the White House attacks any manifestation of Christianity in the forces; even as in Britain a few years ago one ship, HMS Cumberland, had to set aside a Satanist chapel to cater for the proclivities of a Satanist crewman (gives you a warm feeling, doesn’t it, to think that such a one might be instrumental in controlling the launch of nuclear missiles).

It has been reported that at some U.S. Air Force bases Christianity is a definite career-handicap, and servicemen at one who identify themselves as Christian have been either discharged or sent for counseling.

Most Western countries, not for reasons of combat efficiency but solely for reasons of political correctness, are pushing to have women in front-line combat roles, egged on by feminist lobbies whose members are unlikely to see front-line combat themselves.

This has, of course, meant a lowering of standards for activities requiring greater upper-body strength, such as serving heavy guns or lifting wounded, perhaps out of the turrets of burning tanks or the cockpits of burning aircraft. Experience has also shown that when women are involved in battle, men tend to protect them, at the likely cost of mission efficiency.

The first Western nation to experiment with this, Israel, with an urgent need for manpower, dropped it as unworkable after a trial in actual battle.

Another bizarre report from Britain not long ago is that women soldiers have been given breast enhancements at taxpayers’ expense because it makes them “happier soldiers”; while (it is hard to believe these things are not satires or hoaxes) recruits have been given cards they can display if their delicate nerves have been jangled by drill instructors shouting at them.

Since the dawn of anything that could be called civilisation, it has been defended by rough, course, unrefined hard men against surrounding and encroaching barbarians. Some simple religious belief, deep-seated, inchoate values, and techniques to foster morale and esprit de corps have upheld them. Now it seems all that is being deliberately knocked away by people without patriotism, knowledge of history, or even concern for their own survival.

The push to exalt homosexuality in the services, as seen in the naming of the good ship Harvey Milk, is not of course the same thing as the push for women in combat or the other things mentioned here, but they all spring from the same impulse – an urge to destroy the military ethos and values learned by the bitterest imaginable experience over the last couple of thousand years, as the only way to defend the community.




























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