So Much For The Army

Oy. The story is as follows: female recruit can’t handle bayonet training, gets cussed out by the instructor, bursts into tears — and the instructor is now facing a court-martial because feewings.

I’d put in a little excerpt from the article, except that it would cause all veterans’ blood pressure to soar and the howls of outrage would upset all the other people in the cubicle farm*.

And the Brits expect their army to go to war… it is, as they say, to laugh.


*I know that most of you read this website at work. Don’t bother lying to me.

Depressing Statistic

As Longtime Readers all know, I look on most “studies” nowadays with the utmost skepticism, being as they generally employ shoddy data collection techniques, poor sampling and / or stupid analytic conclusions.

All that said, I found this one, from this study, to be at least credible:

Most relationships start with terrible or awkward sex.

Well, duh. That’s true of pretty much most human interaction,because you’re on unfamiliar territory and you need to get things straightened out before you can make it work properly.

Within the report, however, was a factoid which I found downright depressing:

69% of Americans admit that they get feelings of excitement right before sex with a new partner.

Now the last time I had sex with a new partner was during the Clinton presidency, so my memory may be failing me. But FFS: what other feelings can one have before first-time sex, if not excitement? Dread? Nausea? Fear? Disgust? And to make it worse: if 69% of folks get excited before a first-time bonk, that means that 31% don’t get excited, which seems incredible. I can understand pre-bonk anxiety, of course — which over half of people admit to — but one can be anxious about something yet still be excited about it. But 31 percent?

As I suggested above, this may just be shitty data, in which case we can carry on with our lives. But if the data can be trusted, then we as a society are in deep shit when something so basic, so natural, and (speaking from memory again) so much fun is not exciting.

Loose Lips

…and I’m not talking about the Kardashians, Lindsay Lohan or the cast of Jersey / Geordie Shores, either. I’m talking about “leakers” — those Snowden types who are entrusted with confidential information, but can’t resist telling other people about it.

I’m going to make a clear distinction between leakers of State secrets — who deserve imprisonment regardless of their motivations, and whom we can discuss some other time — and commercial leakers, such as those addressed in a (leaked!) memo from Apple. I think the Apple folks are precisely correct:

Apple explains that leaked information about a new product can negatively impact sales of the current model, give rival companies more time to build a competing product and hurt sales of a new product when it hits the shelves.

I am unmoved by the apologists who point out that in Apple’s case:

Consumers continue to be in a frenzy each time a new Apple product is rumored, while the tech giant’s stock price has catapulted higher in the past year.

That’s not the point. The point is that when you work for a company, you are privy to information which, as the word “privy” specifically denotes, is privileged information. When you abuse that privilege, the company has “cause” to terminate the leaker (which is spelled out in just about every employment contract, and is implicit in all employment hiring). In extreme cases, as Apple adds in the memo, revealing confidential information can be and has been further grounds for arrest and indictment — which is precisely as it should be. Passing information directly on to a competitor is definitely criminal, and for leaking to the Press, a “scourging” rider should be attached to the criminal penalties.

At best, leaking confidential information is indiscretion; at worst it’s actual espionage. And leaking information just so you can feel important should translate to that feeling of importance as Jamal’s favorite plaything in Cell Block D — and Apple has given its assurance to its employees just how far they will go to making the latter part come true if employees are caught and identified.

I’m no great fan of Apple, but in this case: good for them.

Let us all be perfectly clear about this. We are talking here about ethics — when you are asked on your word of honor to keep a secret, whether on paper or by handshake, you keep your fucking mouth shut.

Lawyers have “client confidentiality” tattooed on their foreheads (metaphorically speaking), and quite frankly, I see no difference between those ethics or any other agreement concerning keeping your mouth shut.

And I don’t care if indiscretion doesn’t lead to any actual harm — e.g. lives being lost as a consequence — because breaching trust of any kind is just plain wrong, regardless of the penalties thereof.

Is that too high a standard? It better not be.

They nailed it perfectly in a bygone era:

…and Apple has simply extended the concept:


I am fully aware of the irony involved in discussing a topic which has arisen from a breach of confidentiality — i.e. a leaked memo from Apple in this particular case — but I could have written this post without any prompting at all. The leaked memo simply provided the spark which resulted in the above. Had I been CEO Tim Cook, I would have posted the memo on the front page of Apple’s website, to inform not only Apple employees but the whole world of its contents. It’s long overdue.

Stupid Time

If you’re wondering why this post appeared earlier (or later) than you expected, it’s because you didn’t set your clocks forward.

Words cannot describe my dislike for the foolishness known as “Daylight Savings Time” (or, as Drew Carey [?] once described it, “Making yourself taller by cutting off your head, then standing on it”).

All the crap justifications for its creation (in the U.S., anyway) have been proven to be either false or else unknowable. Power savings, crisper vegetables (!), greater outdoor recreation: whatever was promised, it didn’t — and doesn’t — happen.

The only people who truly benefit from DST are retailers, who discovered that “increased” daylight hours caused more people to go shopping. (And of course, when Americans go shopping, they don’t walk across the street to the corner haberdashery, oh no: they get in their cars and zoom off en masse to the mall. So much for reducing power consumption.) So the Chambers of Commerce, naturally enough, are all over this silliness because dollars.

For the rest of us, it’s just a huge PITA — especially if, like me, you have a whole bunch of analog mechanical clocks in the house — and under the reign of Emperor Kim, the banning of DST will follow immediately after the Obama / Clinton / Pelosi / [insert your person of choice here] executions.

The Brits, by the way, are shackled to DST because in Scotland, the inhabitants really need the “extra” hour of daylight lest they become still more depressed and kill themselves in still-greater numbers. (Mr. Free Market suggests that instead of adding an hour, we subtract one to hasten this self-elimination process, but he’s still irritated that the British Army didn’t get to “finish the job” at Culloden, so we can ignore his fevered rantings for once.)

It seems as though at least one person at The Smithsonian agrees with me, not that I seek or need validation. And if The Donald wants to guarantee my vote in 2020, he’ll put an end to this crap by signing an Executive Order decreeing that the Federal Government will no longer observe DST (which, by the way, as the Chief Executive he is empowered to do). Besides, as any fule kno, time is malleable anyway.

Worst Gun News Ever

So… bye bye Browning High Power?

Small arms manufacturer Browning has ended production of the Browning Hi Power semiautomatic handgun. The legendary pistol served in armies worldwide, from Nationalist China to the British Special Air Service and was one of the first high capacity pistols ever invented. An invention of prolific arms designer John Moses Browning, the Hi Power was the inventor’s last pistol design.

I don’t wanna talk about it. I just hope some company buys the tooling and continues to make it to the same standards of excellency, like they did with Llama. (Okay, they improved the Llama by using better steel, but you know what I mean.)

So good and beautiful a gun cannot be allowed to disappear.

(Thanks to several Readers who wrote to tell me about this.)

Not So Outlandish

That Hanson fella has done it again, pointing out in irrefutable detail how conspiracy theories turn into actual conspiracies.

“Everyone should be keen to distinguish conspiracies from conspiracy theories. The [details] are real events, not the tales told by the paranoid.”

And it should be read in tandem with this outstanding piece by Daniel Greenfield:

“Guns Are How A Civil War Ends… Politics Is How It Starts”

I wonder how many Lefties are truly aware of the consequences of their actions?