Failure to Learn: Bonfire of the insanities
Some say insanity is: Doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. If you accept that definition, then the United States Government is clinically insane.
For example, the U.S. Navy has mixed-gender crews serving in the close confines of its surface ships, even submarines. Instead of focusing on the Navy’s mission: “To conduct prompt and sustained combat operations at sea,” ship captains are spending enormous amounts of time playing Solomon as they try to keep the men and women on board from engaging in acts of “moral turpitude” that violate the Navy’s anti-fraternization policy – a policy aimed at stopping the formation of “unduly familiar relationships.”
In 1991, a Navy ship returned from the Persian Gulf carrying 22 crewmembers who became pregnant while the ship was underway. What has the Navy learned in the ensuing 20 years? Last year, 17 U.S. Navy ship captains were relieved because of improper, male/female relationships on their ships. A January, 2011, U.S. Naval Institute study reveals, “…half our commanders are being fired for issues related to male/female relationships…” Now, the current Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) wants to add gays to the gender mix.
Apparently, political correctness ranks higher than combat readiness. So, how long before we have CNOs who will stop playing with political correctness and sail a U.S. Navy more feared by our foes than it is popular in, say, Sweden or West Hollywood?
Since the end of World War II, the United States has been the world’s leading economic power. Now, according to CitiGroup’s top economist, in just nine years, Red China will have the best economy. By 2050, India will top China. We will be third. How long before we stop this insanity and develop our abundant resources of fossil fuels and become independent of those who control the oil of the Middle East and Latin America? As a result, we would have tons of money to develop non-fossil-fuel alternative energy resources.
Back in the era of Robber Baron Capitalism, industrial unions were a good idea, leading to work place reforms so successful that only ten-percent of today’s workers join labor unions. But unionization of “public” employees, who hold a monopoly on the goods and services they are hired to provide, is another one of those insanities.
In 1981, the unionized air traffic controllers tried to hold hostage the nation’s skies by walking off the job. Their contract stated they could negotiate all they want; however, they had to show up for work. President Reagan warned the striking controllers that failure to honor their contract would cost them their jobs. Of course, the Sinistra Media said Reagan fired them. Actually, by refusing to work, they fired themselves.
The immediate result of having the non-union supervisors operate the air traffic control system was much better and friendlier service to pilots in the air. (During the Vietnam War, one could escape the draft by going into air traffic control.) As a result, the union became infested with anti-establishment, malcontents who hated their jobs and were surly to the pilots they were supposed to serve. With the malcontents gone, many pilots immediately noticed the return of “the friendly skies.”
Sometimes, technological temptations work against sanity. For example: the move by some legislatures to take legal notices away from print newspapers-of-record and post them solely on the Internet. First of all, not everyone has Internet access. Secondly, we run the risk of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack that would zap all our computers and servers, causing our legal notices and records to disappear. Moreover, look at WikiLeaks. Do we really want our legal notices and records accessible to hackers?
It is human nature to err. But do we have to make the same mistakes over and over again? That is insane.
Nationally syndicated columnist and aviator, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
©2011. William Hamilton.