Army to EO Reps: “Discrimination Against Atheists OK”

 

A message from Army Lt. Adkins. He has some harsh words to share on an issue that many of us (non Army folk) are not aware of. What do you think?
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It was bad enough when Army chaplains and leaders like Chief of the National Guard Bureau Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum were disparaging atheists in the press. It was bad enough when my formal EO complaint was thrown away by the National Guard Bureau EO office. It was bad enough when the Department of the Army Inspector General’s office refused to follow regulations and send me a written response to my formal EO complaint. It was bad enough when I had to file for documents pertaining to my complaint under the Freedom of Information Act to discover its disposition. It was bad enough when those documents revealed that, despite the unlawful discrimination that had occurred according to Army Regulation 600-20, the Army concluded that “Lt. Gen. Blum’s remarks, though perhaps insensitive, did not rise to the level of an offense”.

Now the Army National Guard is telling its unit level Equal Opportunity representatives that it is OK to discriminate against atheists. They are using my formal EO complaint as a training scenario in which a Lieutenant files a formal EO complaint against a general officer for claiming that there are no atheists in foxholes. The Sergeant Major who conducted the EO training for Ohio’s unit level EO reps told them that “since atheism is not a religion, atheists are not protected by the regulation and it is acceptable for officers and chaplains to disparage their own soldiers”. This is, of course, a fallacy. To discriminate against a soldier because he has no religion is still discrimination on the basis of religion. The Army’s position on this is like saying that discriminating against someone because they are black is illegal, but discriminating against someone because they are “not white” is fine.

This only further confirms that the problem of bigotry towards atheists in the Army is a systemic one. The Army not only looks the other way when officers and supposed leaders disparage soldiers because they lack a belief in the supernatural, the Army systematically ignores formal EO complaints by atheists and refuses to enforce its own regulations. Now, being the efficient machine it is, the Army is training its EO reps to ignore legitimate EO complaints by atheists at the lowest possible level. I am so glad I submitted my resignation as an officer. The Army has disgraced itself by protecting bigots and allowing unlawful discrimination to continue.

1LT Wayne Adkins

Oh Big Deal Wolfowitz

 

It is likely that you already know the scandal going on with World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz.  If not, the short of it is that the world community is in a tizzy because he promoted his girlfriend and gave her a substantial pay increase.  I have mixed view on this issue…. (1) What else is new, and (2) shut up Wolfy.

Really now, are we making this problem a bigger deal than it needs to be?  Do people know how often this kind of thing goes on in the world today, all over the place.  I am by no means supporting his actions (face it Wolf, you got caught), but it is common sense in society that it isn’t “what you know” as much as “who you know” that matters.

The “good ol’ boys”  is what it is called in business – everyone looks out for each other.  Think it isn’t happening?  You’re wrong.  Look at all major corporations (heck, even small ones) and you will see an overwhelming majority of the higher up individuals are white males.  Does this happen by accident?  Perhaps.  In fact, people might not even know they do it – but the point is, it happens.  In the end, stop making it a bigger deal than it is…so we found a corrupt politician playing the system – is that a novelty? 

So now we are left with Wolfowitz arguing that he won’t give into “smear campaigns”.  <Sigh>… Sorry Wolfowitz, no one is going to have any sympathy for you, so stop trying to play the victim.  You got caught, now face repercussions (and yes, those repercussions include people wanting you out of office).  In short, just shut up.

 In my opinion, kick Wolfowitz out – he messed up, he got caught, so let’s replace him (and he is certainly replaceable)….but if he happens to stay, I sure hope I don’t hear more “feel sorry for me” plugs from him.

Ahmadinejad Scares Me

 

Simply put, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad scares me.  Why?  Because he is an arrogant man in charge of a soon to be (already?) nuclear capable armageddon focussed nation in the middle of the most violent part of the world.  Some may laugh away my concerns, but they are grounded in evidence of a man who has a hidden agenda looking to speed along his eschatology (belief about the end of the world).

As you likely know, Ahmadinejad claimed that he felt a embraced in a heavenly light when addressing the U.N. in September of 2005.  One of his aides reported that he saw the light, when told about it, Ahmadinejad replied:

“I felt it myself, too, that suddenly the atmosphere changed and for 27-28 minutes the leaders could not blink,” the transcript continues. “I am not exaggerating…because I was looking. All the leaders were puzzled, as if a hand held them and made them sit. They had their eyes and ears open for the message from the Islamic Republic.”

The very fact that this message comes from the “Islamic Republic” is scary.  Ahmadinejad is a member of the minority Shi’ite sect of Islam.  In this sect, there is a belief that a 12 Imam will return and after world carnage to usher in peace…of course, this peace involves totally submission to Islam and not doing so means your head will be peacefully cut off from the rest of your body.

Ahmadinejad questions the holocaust even took place; he wants Israel moved to Europe; and in a 60 minute interview,  he directly attacks the United States (something we are used to), pointing out our “arrogance”.  Interesting that this is coming from a man who many claim to be extremely self-righteous.  But why shouldn’t he?  He is Allah’s chosen one to usher in the 12th Imam.

In a previous post, I discussed oneIslamic belief that it is okay to lie as long as it promotes the spread of Islam.  Is Ahmadinejad lying about his intent with nuclear weapons?  Probably.  Anyone who believes to be a main character in worldly destruction (in order to “pave” the way for a supposed religious figure) would have no problem lying to the world…besides, as far as Ahmadinejad is concerned, he has Allah’s approval in any action (immoral included) as long as it means Islam is forced upon other individuals.

That is why Ahmadinejad scares me.  

Jack Rhodes: World’s Toughest Bully

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Jack Rhodes must be the toughest man alive.  He is so scary that even the elderly are afraid of him…

Oh wait, they’re not. (Victim says attack hasn’t intimidated her: “I’m not fearful at all” -CNN.com)

I cannot believe that people like Jack Rhodes exist.  He has made a profession out of crime and intimidation, with a special niche: the elderly.  Jack Rhodes (using his full name is more fun) is being charged for mugging a 101-year-old woman.  The poor woman (Rose Morat) was leaving her apartment, walker in hand, and was suddenly punched in the face by big man Rhodes.  And for his “troubles”, Rhodes became $33 richer (unfortunately, not enough to buy himself some morality)

Other great accomplishments in this man’s profession of crime is his mugging of an 85-year-old woman and a 51-year-old woman (I’m a little confused on why Rhodes decided to deviate from his standard 3 quarters of a century age preference). 

After being arrested, this crack addict issued a statement from his lawyer:

“I am so sorry for what happened”

Sure Jack Rhodes, we believe that.  Face it, you are sorry that you got caught, not that you have been knocking over and robbing senior citizens.  That’s okay though, you’ll have plenty of time (25yrs to be exact) to think about what you did to the elderly….of course, by the time you will be a ripe 69 years young yourself.

700,000 Turks protest religion-based government

Pro-secular demonstrators wave a huge Turkish flag during a rally in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, April 29, 2007. Tens of thousands of secular Turks gathered in Istanbul, chanting slogans against the pro-Islamic government, which has faced severe criticism from the powerful military for allegedly tolerating the activities of radical Islamic circles. It was the second large demonstration against the government in just two weeks and shows a deepening division between secular and Islamist camps in Turkish society. More than 300,000 secular Turks staged a similar rally in Ankara two weeks ago. 

By Benjamin Harvey, Associated Press Writer | April 29, 2007

ISTANBUL, Turkey –Some 700,000 Turks waving the red national flag flooded central Istanbul on Sunday to demand the resignation of the government, saying the Islamic roots of Turkey’s leaders threatened to destroy the country’s modern foundations.

Like the protesters — who gathered for the second large anti-government demonstration in two weeks — Turkey’s powerful secular military has accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of tolerating radical Islamic circles.

“They want to drag Turkey to the dark ages,” said 63-year-old Ahmet Yurdakul, a retired government employee who attended the protest.

More than 300,000 people took part in a similar rally in Ankara two weeks ago. Police, who said Sunday’s demonstrators numbered around 700,000, cordoned off the area and conducted body searches at several entry points.

Sunday’s demonstration was organized more than a week ago, but it came a day after Erdogan’s government rejected the military’s warning about the disputed presidential election and called it interference that is unacceptable in a democracy.

The ruling party candidate, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, failed to win a first-round victory Friday in a parliamentary presidential vote marked by tensions between secularists and the pro-Islamic government. Most opposition legislators boycotted the vote and challenged its validity in the Constitutional Court.

The military said Friday night that it was gravely concerned and indicated it was willing to become more openly involved in the process — a statement some interpreted as an ultimatum to the government to rein in officials who promote Islamic initiatives.

Sunday’s crowd chanted that the presidential palace was “closed to imams.”

Some said Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc was an enemy of the secular system, because he said the next president should be “pious.”

In the 1920s, with the Ottoman Empire in ruins, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk imposed Western laws, replaced Arabic script with the Latin alphabet, banned Islamic dress and granted women the right to vote.

The ruling party, however, has supported religious schools and tried to lift the ban on Islamic head scarves in public offices and schools. Secularists are also uncomfortable with the idea of Gul’s wife, Hayrunisa, being in the presidential palace because she wears the traditional Muslim head scarf.

“We don’t want a covered woman in Ataturk’s presidential palace,” said Ayse Bari, a 67-year-old housewife. “We want civilized, modern people there.”

The military, one of the most respected institutions in Turkey, regards itself as the guardian of the secular system and has staged three coups since 1960.

“Neither Sharia, nor coup but fully democratic Turkey,” read a banner carried by a demonstrator on Sunday.

read more | digg story

ALL ABOARD! Next Stop: Temptation Station

 

ALL-ABOARD!  Next stop: Temptation Station!

It’s no secret, we face temptation every single day of our lives.  Humanity is unified by Christ, but we are also unified in our struggling battle with temptation – but what is temptation?  Although temptations vary person to person, temptation in itself is anything that allures us away from what we know is moral; away from God’s word.

Here is a process that I use (although not with perfection) to conquor temptation:

1. Identify
it is important that you can adequately identify and define what is tempting you, make yourself aware of what is happening instead of just blindly acting on the temptation.

2. Think Jesus!
Once you identify and define the temptation, immediately think of Jesus (his life, works, words…whatever works for you).  Over time, you will automatically begin to think of Jesus whenever confronted with temptation.

3. Don’t do it!
Hopefully by putting your thoughts to Jesus, you will gain strength through his name not to committ to the temptation

Perhaps you have another method?  Feel free to share with everyone!

“U.S. needs a bigger Army faster” …. Dream On!

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I shook my head in pitty after reading an article on CNN.  According to General George Casey, the army needs to be increase by 65,000 people by 2010.  I’m sorry, but unless a draft is imposed, then those kind of numbers will not be reached.

Another method that the Army could use (and has been using for about a year now) is to lower their standards for entry.  I feel like that solves an immediate “problem” only to potentially create greater problems down the road.  Let’s face it, the previous standards for the Army weren’t too difficult.  Granted, individuals with learning disorders (A.D.D. or A.D.H.D.) had trouble with the test, but the majority (even the extremely poor students) pass the Army requirements.

This calls into question the strength of our Army.  Now I don’t mean how much damage we can do, but I am referring to the number of quality soilders.  Being a soilder is a profession, and just like there are poor professional business men and women, I’m sure there are poor soilders as well….the only difference is that they have a lot more on the line. 

Here’s my suggestion:  If you want a bigger army, then stop spreading the current force so thin!  We don’t need to be everywhere, all the time – let’s get some help from the world community with peacekeeping efforts.