Where Politically Correct Indoctrination Goes Wrong

Posted on Tuesday 9 June 2015

This woman, whoever she is, needs to be heard, because what she has to say about the military’s sexual harassment training is spot on.

Kayce M. Hagen is a pen name assumed by an active duty enlisted airman. She wrote the following words to capture her thoughts after attending mandatory annual training given by her base’s Sexual Assault Response Coordination (SARC) office. I’m publishing her letter here not just because it captures in visceral form a sentiment I’ve heard repeatedly from airmen who are frustrated by increasingly tone-deaf and overwrought approaches to this issue, but also because I believe her input raises (or renews) two important questions. First, what is the current Sexual Assault Prevention program doing for the Air Force? Second, what is it doing to the Air Force? Kayce’s input explores these questions in a powerful way. Enjoy and respond. -Q.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Dear SARC,

I got up this morning as an Airman in the United States Air Force. I got up and I put on my uniform, I pulled back my hair, I looked in the mirror and an Airman looked back. A strong, confident military professional stared out of my bathroom mirror, and I met her eyes with pride. Then I came to your briefing. I came to your briefing and I listened to you talk to me, at times it seemed directly to me, about sexual assault. You talked about a lot of things, about rivers and bridges, you talked about saving people and victimization. In fact you talked for almost a full ninety minutes, and you disgusted me.

You made me a victim today, and I am nobody’s victim. I am an American Airman in the most powerful Air Force in the world, and you made me into a helpless whore. A sensitive, defenseless woman who has no power to protect herself, who has nothing in common with the men she works with. You made me untouchable, and by doing that you made me a target. You gave me a transparent parasol, called it an umbrella and told me to stand idly by while you placed everything from rape to inappropriate shoulder brushes in a crowded hallway underneath it. You put my face up on your slides; my face, my uniform, my honor, and you made me hold this ridiculous contraption of your own devising and called me empowered. You called me strong. You told me, and everyone else who was listening to you this morning that I had a right to dictate what they said. That I had a right to dictate what they looked at. That I had a right to dictate what they listened to. That somehow, in my shop, I was the only person who mattered. That they can’t listen to the radio because they might play the Beatles, or Sir Mix-A-Lot, and that I might be offended. That if someone plays a Katy Perry song, I might have flashbacks to a night where I made a bad decision. I might be hurt, and I’m fragile right? Of course I am, you made me that way.

You are the reason I room alone when I deploy. You are the reason that wives are terrified that their husbands are cheating on them when they leave, and I leave with them. When I walk into a room and people are laughing and having a good time, you are the reason they take one look at me and either stop talking or leave. They’re afraid. They’re afraid of me, and it’s because of you. They are afraid that with all of this “power” I have, I can destroy them. They will never respect me or the power and the authority I have as a person, or the power I have as an Airman, because I am nothing more than a victim. That I as a victim, somehow I control their fate. With one sentence, I can destroy the rest of their lives.

“He sexually assaulted me.”

I say enough. He didn’t assault me, you did; and I say enough is enough. If you want to help me, you need to stop calling me a victim. If you want to save me, you need to help me to be equal in the eyes of the people I work with. If you want to change a culture, you need to lessen the gap between men and women, not widen it. Women don’t need their own set of rules: physical training scores, buildings, rooms, raters, sponsors, deployment buddies. When I can only deploy with another woman ‘buddy’ you are telling me and the people around me that I can’t take care of myself. When you forbid me from going into my male friends room to play X-Box on a deployment with the other people on my shift, you isolate me. When you isolate me, you make me a target. When you make me a target, you make me a victim. You don’t make me equal, you make me hated. If I am going to be hated, it will be because of who I am, not because of who you have made me. I am not a victim. I am an American Airman, I am a Warrior, and I have answered my nation’s call.

Help me be what I am, or be quiet and get out of my way.

dave @ 4:02 pm
Filed under: Politics andWork
Sawdust Strata

Posted on Tuesday 9 June 2015

I needed to sell my table saw a while back, and took this photo as I was cleaning out the sawdust catch drawer. It captured a record of the different projects I had worked on since last cleaning it out. I sure wish I could remember what I had been cutting, and what I was making!


The sawdust makes me think of the dad of a friend I had when I was a kid; Jamie’s dad had a lot of woodworking tools in his garage, and one time while we were passing through the garage, he was busy at the turning lathe. I asked him what he was making; “Sawdust,” was his only reply. Still makes me chuckle.

As for the table saw, I miss that thing. I sold it not long after taking the photo, and even though I hadn’t used it a lot in recent years, there were times it really came in handy. And there have been times since selling it when I could’ve used it.

dave @ 3:18 pm
Filed under: Fun!
I Met Messiah

Posted on Monday 11 May 2015


This is a cool project; video testimonies from Jewish people who have become Christian believers. I first saw Mottel Baleston’s testimony on FB, and then clicked the link to the website… Listening to their testimonies is such a fantastic experience, encouraging in many ways because it shows how God can work through really, really strange way means to reveal the Truth to people.

dave @ 9:07 am
Filed under: Faith & Worship
Classical Gas

Posted on Saturday 25 April 2015

I remember Classical Gas from way back, but I don’t think I knew who the artist — Mason Williams — was. It got a lot of radio airtime I do know I enjoyed the song, and admired the guitar work. The blending of the guitar and orchestra is marvelously done.

I also found a newer rendition of that song with Williams accompanied by Manheim Steamroller. It’s pretty awesome too.

dave @ 12:30 am
Filed under: Fun! andMemory Music
My Empire of Dirt

Posted on Friday 24 April 2015

I can’t say I’ve ever heard this song before, but I like it. I like it a lot. Johnny Cash, Dirt.

Someone on the e28 board asked what everyone’s favorite guitar solo was, and I’ve been listening to all manner of guitar work. This was one I stumbled across while listening & poking around. More guitar songs coming!

dave @ 11:17 pm
Filed under: Fun! andMemory Music
Good Design

Posted on Saturday 28 March 2015

While cleaning the tub yesterday — an American Standard whirlpool tub — it looked like it was time to clean the whirlpool intake cover. After cleaning it I went to put it back on & discovered an ingenious little detail designed into the cover.
The cover attaches with two screws, but underneath there are six holes on bosses that stand out from the intake into which the screws could fit.
The outside diameter of the cover is larger than outside ring of the intake port, and the center of the cover mates together with the center of the port. At first I thought that it might be difficult to get the screw holes to line up, but then I noticed the tiny tabs on the inside of the two screw holes…
All it takes is to place the cover over the the intake port, rotate it a few degrees clockwise until those tabs bump up against the bosses for the screw holes. The holes in the cover are then aligned perfectly with the holes in the intake port. Perfectly. It’s totally ingenious.

I remember one of my marketing professors saying that good design doesn’t cost any more than bad design; so very true. It would’ve been so easy for the person/team responsible for designing these two pieces to have made them to fit together differently — many lesser outfits would’ve done things differently, but they thought of the assembly process and what would eventually go into cleaning the tub, and put a little bit of thought into making the parts fit together easily and well. Attention to detail like this always impresses me. That something as seemingly obscure as aligning the screw holes when replacing a cover that might come off once in a year (if that) for cleaning would be like this tells me that there are probably lots of other little things deeper inside the workings of this tub that are just as well designed. Put American Standard on my list of products I will buy again.

dave @ 8:33 pm
Filed under: Geek andJust Stuff
I’ll Have A Unimog, Please.

Posted on Wednesday 25 March 2015


What’s not to like? Part truck, part car, part tractor… The Mercedes Benz Unimog has to be the world’s coolest vehicle, hands down. 4WD, ground clearance that will spare a good sized deer, 4 doors, roomy interior (ingress & egress can be a little difficult, but I digress.), power take off, balloon tires, etc, etc…

Originally an aircraft tug, this is the rare 406.145 crew cab model with a 5.7-liter, 84 hp diesel inline-six. It’s part of a Mercedes-Benz Museum auction in Stuttgart, and is expected to bring up to $55k.

No, I can’t afford it, but I can drool. I’ve always liked the Unimog. Always will. They look like great big Tonka Trucks, and I’m just a kid at heart.
(Continue reading…)

dave @ 11:14 pm
Filed under: Cars!
Blessings — Laura Story

Posted on Thursday 5 March 2015

Last year a friend (with connections) gave us some tickets to a concert that she wasn’t able to attend. The headline act was Casting Crowns, with Laura Story and For King And Country warming things up. It was kinda funny because I had heard of Casting Crowns, but really couldn’t pick any song that they had done. Once the concert got going it was like, “Yup, I know that one,” and, “Oh, I really like that one!” and “That’s their song? Cool!

It was the same story when Laura Story was on stage; I can’t say I’d ever really heard her name before, but when she started singing her song, Blessings, it nearly brought me to tears. That song was a constant reminder to me while going through chemo & radiation treatments in 2013 that, while things weren’t great, they were pretty darned good, and far better than they might have been, had not God intervened. “What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

We take so much for granted, and complain so much when things get uncomfortable. We too easily forget how good God is to us.

dave @ 10:12 pm
Filed under: Medical Adventures andMemory Music
Momofuku Ando

Posted on Thursday 5 March 2015

I really blew it on the 2015 e28 Calendar (and the 2014 as well); I failed to commemorate Momofuku Ando‘s birthday, which is today. Google’s Doodle for today reminded me of my error.

Google Doodle 1
Google Doodle 2
Google Doodle 3
Google Doodle 4

If ever there was a badass name… It should rightfully be associated with Sumo wrestling or Ninja assassination squads instead of ramen noodles. But it is what it is. Happy Birthday you bad Momofuko!


dave @ 9:20 pm
Filed under: Fun! andJust Stuff
Alive Inside

Posted on Wednesday 4 March 2015

Alive Inside is a documentary about the power of music, and how it connects people with who they are and who they have been. Dan Cohen, the founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, uses music to help dementia patients recover lost memories; “to demonstrate music’s ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it.” Here is the trailer for that documentary:

The documentary came out last fall, and the trailer has already made the rounds on the blogosphere; from what’s written on the website, it sounds like they are still booking showings, but a few weeks ago I stumbled across a link to a YouTube video of the entire documentary. The one I watched has since been pulled down, but others are likely to crop up and can be found easily enough.

I had seen the trailer before, and watching the documentary reminded me of the question that came to mind after seeing the trailer; what if we had done this for Mom in the years before Alzheimer’s disease robbed her of her self? Alzheimer’s and the accompanying dementia are terrible things, but what if listening to some Tommy Dorsey or Bing Crosby or Glenn Miller might have allowed her to maintain her cognitive abilities just a bit longer? It would’ve been worth a shot. It might have kept Mom’s mind together long enough to give my kids the chance to get to know her a bit. The disease would’ve still ravaged her body, but I would give about anything to have been able to give her a sound mind through all of that or even some of it. Mom loved music from the WWII era, and I’m sure she would’ve responded just as the people in this documentary did.

The second thing that watching this documentary got me to thinking about is how I might help myself ahead of time if I end up going down the dementia road later on. I don’t wish for it, but considering that it’s what took Mom and Uncle Bud, it’s not outside the realm of possibility. If I do, I’d like people to know the music that moves me. From the documentary it looks like they picked the music that fit the generation of the patients best, but what if there was a song in the playlist they loathed? If those people are anything like me, there are certain songs that are more meaningful than others, and it only takes a few notes from the melody to bring memories flooding back.

To that end, maybe somewhat selfishly, I’m going to start a new thing here on my blog; when I hear a song that means something to me, I’ll post a little something about the song and what it does for me. With a little planning, the list that grows from this idea will stick around long enough to be of some help to my family if I ever end up in memory care. And if the list outlives me, it’ll provide some fodder for the people planning my funeral.

The rules I impose on myself will be simple; 50 words or less, no links needed, but ok if included, and one song per post, mainly to keep things simple so that I can do it quickly from my phone if the computer isn’t in front of me. I’ve added a new category for the list — Memory Music, under Favorite Things — so keep an eye, or ear, open for the first volley.

dave @ 9:35 am
Filed under: Family andFavorite Things andFun! andMemory Music