Chez wrote a piece this past week where he asks: “Has Twitter Become Too Toxic?”
I think the answer to that is, yes. Yes, it has.
Todd Kincannon is said to be “the chairman of the Simpsonville, South Carolina Election Commission.” He has over 32,500 subscribers on Twitter.
Call me a weak-kneed liberal, but I wouldn’t last a minute in a military run by right wing conservatives.
When the Bush administration decided to take the country to war, they eventually had to resort to issuing “moral waivers” to fill recruitment needs because hired mercenaries couldn’t meet the demand on their own evidently.
The New York Times reported in 2007:
To keep filling the ranks, the Army has had to keep lowering its expectations. Diluting educational, aptitude and medical standards has not been enough. Nor have larger enlistment bonuses plugged the gap. So the Army has found itself recklessly expanding the granting of “moral waivers,” which let people convicted of serious misdemeanors and even some felonies enlist in its ranks.
Last year, such waivers were granted to 8,129 men and women — or more than one out of every 10 new Army recruits. That number is up 65 percent since 2003, the year President Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq. In the last three years, more than 125,000 moral waivers have been granted by America’s four military services.
This opened up the door to “neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and gang members.”
Kind of like the Hedley LeMarr approach to war-making and foreign occupation: “I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, shit-kickers and Methodists.”
Since then, sexual assaults in the military have spiked with “5,061 sex assault reports in the 2013 fiscal year, which ended last September 30. That represents a 50% increase from the same period the year before.”
Suicide within the military also spiked well above the civilian national average:
Beginning in 2005, particularly for the Army — steadily began increasing to record levels every year, and may have peaked in 2012.
Among full-time soldiers, the suicide rate soared to 29.7 deaths per 100,000 in 2012, well above a 25.1-per-100,000 rate for civilians of a similar age group during 2010, the latest year available, according to a Pentagon report. Among male soldiers, the rate was 31.8-per-100,000. There were a record 164 soldier-suicides that year.
The overall national civilian suicide rate was 12.1-per-100,000 in 2010 and 19.9-per-100,000 for men in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The Army National Guard rate for 2012 reached 30.8 deaths per 100,000 with 110 suicides. The suicide rate for men in the Army National Guard was 34.2-per-100,000,Pentagon data shows.
For full-time troops across the U.S. military, the suicide rate peaked at 22.7-per-100,000 in 2012 and fell to 19.1-per-100,000 last year, according to the Pentagon.
When I heard that Bowe Bergdahl and his father probably didn’t much care for the military the Bush administration assembled, it reminded me of Pat Tillman‘s brother, Kevin, whose view of the men in uniform that opened fire on his brother went like this:
“I wish he would’ve just lit these fucking idiots up with his own gun. ‘Cause he knew that they were shooting at him. I wish he didn’t have so much character, and he would’ve shot his own guys.”
After it was revealed that the Bush administration had covered up the cold-blooded killing of Pat Tillman and tried to use him as a pro-war propaganda poster, I don’t recall anyone of any influence on the right coming to the Tillman family’s defense.
By all accounts, Bowe Bergdahl was a good kid who, upon enlisting in the military, soon found himself surrounded by walking, talking, moral waivers– mired in a military quietly facing an epidemic of suicidal depression and sexual deviants.
This is not an indictment on the men and women who valiantly serve their country. I had a friend who served in Afghanistan and told me he’d never be the same after the hell he endured. He’s now working for the Evanston, IL fire department.
This is a call for empathy in light of extenuating circumstances– Something right wing conservatives will never abide by.
I can only hope that I never end up in a military of their making because one moment of doubt while stationed in a bloody foreign land of confusion-by-design, and they’ll be jumping up on the table to demand, “Just execute him!”
The Honey-Bunny party has spoken.