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In Olden Times People This Stupid Were Called “Retarded”

Thinking is hard!

Now it may seem somewhat juvenile to call Mande Wilkes a “re-tard”, but in school-ground parlance, she started it.

In her column at a website called Fitsnews she spews forth the following profound bits of garbage about today’s military:

It used to be that everybody who was anybody enlisted in the military. Nowadays, everybody who’s nobody serves – a natural consequence of incentivizing service with signing bonuses, comped education, and plush pensions. Not to mention that for those in the U.S. illegally, the incentives are that much more attractive – a respectable way to root into jobs that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible.

So, what used to be a military made up of statesmen has devolved into a force comprised of men who have few alternatives but to enlist. Rather than the symbol of nobility it once was, military service has become almost a scarlet letter of sorts – signifying an individual of lesser resources, breeding, or ambition.

She also claims that Ron Paul was the only Republican candidate to have served, I guess Rick Perry was just pretending to be a C-130 pilot.

Honestly I thought we had moved beyond such ugly rhetoric about the people who serve our nation and literally put their lives on the line. The words uttered by Jack Nicholson in the movie A Few Good Men were meant for a woman like her…jeeze.

H/T This Ain’t Hell

40 comments to In Olden Times People This Stupid Were Called “Retarded”

  • That title is unfair to retarded people… she’s an outright bitch.

  • Dr. Schplatt

    I still don’t get why it’s such a big deal if a candidate served in the military or not. There are heroes who are veterans and there are jackasses who are veterans. There are heroes who have never served in the military and there are jackasses who have never served.

    Examples:
    John Kerry served in the military = jackass
    LBJ served in the military = jackass
    Jimmy Carter served in the military = jackass

    Abraham Lincoln served in the military = hero
    Eisenhower served in the military = hero
    Ronald Reagan served in the military = hero

    • JS Lawalin

      Wow. Surely this is parody. This is so laughably bad and ignorant of American history and society that it must be a weak attempt at satire. On her website she states, “I don’t take myself too seriously. I hope you won’t either.” Way ahead of you, Mande.

    • It was a big deal because back in the day if you hadn’t served there was something wrong with you (often literally). My father believed till the day he died that everyone should have to serve in the military…but he was from the WWII generation. That way of thinking is in the past for the most part now, but if you are running for elected office I think having served would be looked upon by most people in a favorable light.

      • Rufus

        I can’t really reconcile it with the Constitution, but I believe mandatory military service for all U.S. males from age 18 to 21 would improve 90+ % of them. Many other nations in the world do this. I think must 18 year old males need a big dose of humility. Nothing like a drill sergeant to teach you the meaning of the word respect. It would have saved me about a decade of immature behavior.

        • Military service is what one makes of it. I’ve had a bunch of current and ex-military students in the past 13 years… the good ones are EXCELLENT students… the bad ones are douchebags like any other student. I’ve had innovative researchers and cheaters.

          Like any good thing… it’s only as good as the effort and opportunities people put into it and put to good use.

          • Dr. Schplatt

            That’s been my experience with the military and similar organizations. If you go in a jerk, there’s a pretty high chance coming out a jerk but even bigger because now you’re buff and have a false sense of confidence. If you go in good, there’s a really good chance you come out a whole lot better.

            Of course there’s a chance that you go in as a jerk you come out better so there’s some validity to what Rufus and Outlaw are saying. One of my best friend’s dad went from being a motorcycle gang member who beat women to an extraordinary, outstanding, Christian father who shows great responsibility. His dad says it was the choice given him by the judge of “go to prison” or “go to Viet Nam” that changed his life for the better. He joined the army.

          • I will say the good students far outweigh the bad ones though — and at a higher rate than the normal student population.

    • Rufus

      It’s important to me because I’m always skeptical of anyone who wants the title to a job they have little interest in mastering. The main bullet point on the U.S. President’s job description is Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.

      It’s odd to me that someone would want to command an institution he or she never chose to join.

      We’ve had a few Supreme Court Justices who weren’t judges. It’s the same thing, to me. Why accept a job you weren’t interested in doing until the “supreme” title was offered?

      Would you get on an airplane piloted by a captain who was never took lessons?

      Would you invest your life savings in a start-up business led by a woman who had never worked?

      • Dr. Schplatt

        But, being in the military doesn’t mean you have a clue about it. All three of the examples above I gave for jackasses helped turn Nam into the big screw up it ended as. However, there have been leaders who either didn’t have military experience or their experience was extremely limited (Abraham Lincoln for example) who were great Commanders in Chief.

        I don’t think that being a judge on the Supreme Court and being the POTUS is a fair comparison. As a judge, the buck stops with you and you’re expected to make your own decisions about things and write your own opinions. You never see a judge say, “based on the advice of my (fill in the blank) I have judge as following. But I think it’s perfectly acceptable for a POTUS to surround himself with good military men/woman if they don’t have that much personal experience. It doesn’t bother me at all when a POTUS says, “Based on the advice of the joint chiefs and my military advisers, I have decided to (fill in the blank). FDR, for all his wrong doings, was a pretty decent wartime leader but had no military experience. But he had good advisers.

        Also, a pilot? How does that work? The pilot doesn’t have the option of asking advice and hearing all points of view before making his choice. I wouldn’t put a person with no military training in charge of a platoon, but I would put him in office. I wouldn’t put someone with no training behind the stick of an airplane, but I would have no issue with a CEO of American Airlines who has never flown a plane.

        Start-up business? I might if that person has surrounded themselves with top level, high quality accountants, financial advisers and the like. Do you really think the CEO of General Mills knows how to make oats? No, but the people who work for him do and he listens to their advice.

        • We put non trained people in charge of platoons all they time. They are called Lieutenants. :)

        • Rufus

          You seem to have an emotional association with the military that I don’t share, which makes it difficult to discuss this topic with you.  Did your High School girlfriend leave you for a recruit?  The military to you is like the monarchy to me, but I’ll try anyway.
           
          I was in my 30s and a guy I worked with asked me to play in an annual, indoor soccer game he played every year against a friend.  The friend had played some pro-soccer and was now a coach.  Ever since childhood these guys had played soccer together and they had a running bet on this annual game where they’d each assemble a ragtag team from whomever they were going to school with, working with, hanging out with… at the time.  Both teams contained a fair amount of their old teammates from High School soccer.  I had never played soccer before and had no idea how I would do, but I love sports and was happy to help a friend.  I scored 3 of our teams 7 goals.  It turns out soccer, especially indoor soccer, was something I could do reasonably well.
           
          Now, before the game started if you were given the resumes of the guys there and asked to put down a $100 bet on who would score the most goals that night you wouldn’t have picked me.  I wouldn’t have picked me!  Sometimes when people are thrust into an unfamiliar situation they are able to adapt and do well.  But, most of the time a person who has experience, training and multi-year success in a field will do better than someone who does not.  At the very least, there is much less risk going with a proven quantity.  In 2008 would you bet that General Petraeus or Barack Obama would do a better job of overseeing our armed forces?  I would have bet big on Petraeus.  He had a proven track record.  Barack Obama had absolutely no experience managing armed forces, managing anything… to base an opinion on.
           
          So, yes, you are right, every once in awhile circumstances force someone who is green into a very difficult situation (look at Bush II and 9-11) and sometimes those people are able to adapt to the challenge, but most of the time they will do a mediocre or even poor job.  Experience and training matter (my pilot example).  Bill Clinton had no military service and was a pretty abysmal C.O.C.  He didn’t seem to have the respect of the men and women he commanded and our foreign foes took advantage of his inexperience with extremely bad results for the citizens of this nation.  And your Lincoln example doesn’t wash.  Yes, he was thrust into one of the most difficult military circumstances any U.S. C.O.C. has had to face, but he was a natural leader and soldier while serving, even though his service was brief.
           
          So, as outlined in the above three paragraphs, I cede your point that every once in awhile lightning will strike and someone with no experience or training will ably lead in a difficult situation, but we’d all prefer to have a trained fireman with the proper equipment at the door when our house is on fire as opposed to the pizza delivery guy.
           
          However, even though that’s the point you chose to argue it’s not the point I was making.  The point I made was I am suspicious of someone who wants to lead something he or she has shown no prior interest in.  Whether President Obama or President Clinton are good C.O.Cs is besides the point, for me.  Both men obviously had no interest in being a part of the military, based on their pasts it seems that both men actually reviled the military and those who serve.  O.K., that’s fine.  It’s a free country.  Well then why apply to be the head of that organization?  That’s the part that makes me very suspicious.  It’s a free country and I can apply to be the head of surgery at John Hopkins, but Human Resources will take one look at my resume and throw it in the trash can.  And, if I told you I had applied for that opening you’d think I was nuts!  “Rufus,” you’d say, “you never bothered to go to Med School and study all those books and sacrifice your days and nights toiling in residency.  You’ve never done anything medically beyond putting a band-aid on one of your kids’ boo-boos.  Why the sudden interest in medicine and what makes you think you are qualified to lead one of the best surgical departments in the world?!”  You would likely think I was insane to set my sites on that job with my complete and utter lack of experience and, equally important, lack of prior interest in the profession.
           
          If, for the past 20 years, I’ve mocked people who are in Greenpeace and called them morons and claimed they are puppets and harpoon fodder manipulated by governmental forces they don’t understand wouldn’t you think it odd if you heard I was interviewing to be the Chief Commander of Greenpeace?  Wouldn’t you be suspicious?  “Rufus, you hate Greenpeace and think they have done incredible harm in the world.  Do you sincerely want to be their leader, and, if you are will you sincerely try to promote their interests in the world?”

          • Dr. Schplatt

            I didn’t think we were talking about an individual’s other traits that make them fit or unfit to be Commander in Chief. I was just making the point that military service or no military service is not what makes a man. Character is what makes a man and I can honestly say that finding out a candidate served in the military might slightly raise my interest in them because yes, like you pointed out a certain kind of person is going to be more inclined towards military service and that type of person often has high personal character. But I wouldn’t be turned off by someone who didn’t serve in the military. Yes, a vast majority of liberal, socialist, turdballs will never even think about joining the military, but not everyone in the military will be great.

            I have a lot of respect for people in the military and what they do as far as their sacrifices in the face of danger. Based on personal experience with people in the Army and Marines I very much oppose the idea that joining the military makes someone a better human being. My mom’s entire family of 4 brothers and 5 of my cousins are all veterans some due to the draft, some due to volunteering and I wouldn’t trust all but one of them to successfully hold a turd in their hand without screwing it up. They’re generally worthless human beings. In the case of my cousins who I have observed from their days before, during and after their military service, they just got worse through the whole experience.

            I know a lot of fine human beings who are soldiers and veterans. I am very grateful to them for what they do. I’m even thankful on the inside that my cousins, for whatever reasons joined up. I do not believe though that military service automatically makes someone a better person or a more valuable member of the human race.

            • Rufus

              So the emotion is due to your family members who skew towards the left-side of the bell curve?  At least now I understand the source of your emotion.
               
              What you wrote in that regard is true of every single thing that involves human beings.  Some folks are screw-ups.  Some folks are greedy bastards.  Some folks are jerks.  I don’t understand why you keep singling out the military as an institution that suffers from its association with the human race.
               
              The reason most of us tend to wax appreciative when discussing military service is we admire individuals who voluntarily choose to focus their lives on protecting their fellow man.  Most of us were immature and self-centered at 18, 19, 20… and we didn’t have the maturity and sense of sacrifice the majority of those volunteering do, so we acknowledge their service positively.  That doesn’t mean some of them aren’t joining to get out of prison sentences, or to get free tuition, or because they lack imagination, or, or…  But most of the kids I went to College with had ill-reasoned and illogical reasons for their career aspirations and I saw a lot of 18, 19, 20… year-olds do stupid, selfish, immature things in College.  I doubt the Military Police see anything the local security force at my University hasn’t seen.
               
              So, by and large, a young adult voluntarily making the personal sacrifice to serve his or her country is a cut above a young adult voluntarily going to State U, sleeping through his morning classes and vomiting beer every Friday night.  Many of the kids at State U are there to sacrifice endless hours in medical research in hopes of curing a disease, or mastering Agriculture so they can help sustenance farmers in Central America feed their families, or to study Engineering and build office buildings that demand fewer resources to heat and cool their tenants.  And, many of the kids in basic training are there to chase skirts and drink until they puke whenever they are on leave.
               
              So what?  We can’t examine every individual every time the subject comes up and, because one of your cousins did something mean to you, disparage an entire institution.  Military service changes most men and women for the better.  Most men and women in the U.S. join the military because they want to serve their nation and protect its citizens.  If you’re waiting for both of those categories to skew to 100% you’ll be waiting a long time.
               
              I hope this next statement doesn’t sound cruel; but as a child of missionaries who devotes his time to helping others around the world you seem overly focused on who deserves the title of “one who serves.”  Are all the missionary kids you know saints?  Are all of them geniuses?  Are none of them selfish, or dumb?  I sense a bit of jealousy that most Americans revere those who serve in the Armed Forces, yet I’m confident you didn’t choose your profession in hopes of winning accolades for your self-sacrifice.  I’m fairly sure you simply wanted to do some good in this world.  Should I chastise what you do with a litany of bad actions committed by missionaries throughout history?  And, just as you sincerely want to serve and help others, even though missionaries have a mixed track record of success, isn’t it possible most young adults joining the military share your aspirations despite some of the failings of that institution and its members?
               
              No offense meant by any of this, as always I’m just trying to find answers, and, for the record, I view young adults in the missions and Peace Corps and Americorps, etc. in a favorable light, just as I do those who serve in the military.  They’re not all saints, but, by and large they are more mature than I was at their age.

              • Dr. Schplatt

                Now I’m trying to figure out what we’re arguing about. You asked, “I don’t understand why you keep singling out the military as an institution that suffers from its association with the human race.” The answer to that is because it’s the military that this forum keeps singling out as an institution as doesn’t suffer from it’s association with the human race. I respond to posts here on this forum. This time I simply asked a question because I honestly don’t consider military service to be a huge defining trait for me when choosing a candidate. So I asked why people consider military service to be a huge positive for a POTUS. The response I got was that the military makes someone a better person and more fit to be Commander in Chief. I disagree based on historical evidence of veterans and non veterans who were good Commanders in Chief and veterans and non veterans who were not good Commanders in Chief.

                I also disagree that military service alone makes someone a better person based on real life examples. I have never said that there are no good people who come from the military and earlier I even conceded the point that most of the people who come form the military are good people. I’m just trying to make the point that military service is not always a good measuring stick of a human being. Not trying to repeat myself, but I have 1 uncle who was in the Air Force for 20 something years. He’s a great guy, wonderful dad, and a great uncle. I have other uncles and cousins who were in the military for various amounts of times who are total rejects when it comes to being human beings. I’m not trying to disrespect the military and I don’t think I have. I’m just being realistic, the military like any other organization will have a mixed record of success when it comes to producing young men and women of good character.

                I’ve said many times before that I respect the sacrifice of those who join the military. I am very thankful to them for what they do and have personally involved myself on multiple occasions with events that seek to support those who now have hardships due to injuries and the like. I mean no insult to veterans at all but like you pointed out in your post above, some missionaries are losers and some veterans are losers. A majority of both groups are not, but neither the title of “veteran” or the title of “missionary” would be anything more than a curiosity to me when researching candidates and their personal character.

                I think you and I might be heading in the same general direction just on two different trains at different speeds. You said, “We can’t examine every individual every time the subject comes up and, because one of your cousins did something mean to you, disparage an entire institution” and I don’t believe they have disparaged my view of the military at all. I just don’t assume that everyone who is a veteran is a good person. Veteran + personal character = good. Would you not agree that a candidate, who is a veteran, needs to be researched just as much as a candidate who isn’t? Would we not both agree on that point?

                That’s all I’m saying. Veteran or not, there are plenty of good people in the world and to find them, one must research more than just one aspect of someone’s life.

                • Dr. Schplatt

                  One last example to maybe explain my viewpoint.

                  Lets say you have a farmers market you like to shop at. You’ve been coming to this market for 50 years buying strawberries and it used to be that a majority of the fruit stands produced wonderful strawberries and it wasn’t difficult to find good ones. However, recently, the overall quality of the strawberries has been declining. Well, now there’s a certain produce stand that you often visit because they have the greatest strawberries in the world compared to everyone else. You buy some from them by just grabbing a box with that stand’s label on it because everyone knows that stand produces the best strawberries. You get home, and with great excitement you open the box only to find out that 1 out of every 10 strawberries is a black, rotten, mushy, mess. It’s not a total loss though because the other 9 are the most amazing strawberries you’ve ever eaten.

                  The next day you go to the stand and ask why there were some rotten strawberries in the box with the good ones. They tell you that the source plants just aren’t quite the quality they used to be and while they are able to produce good strawberries still, there will be some bad ones.

                  Now, next time you go to that produce stand, aren’t you going to take a little extra time to open the boxes to actually check the strawberries before you buy them? It has been proven that the brand name alone is not enough to produce perfect results and some extra inspection is needed.

                  For me the military is the same way. I see the brand name for my strawberries and say, hmm they have produced some good strawberries in the past, but they’ve also produced some real stinkers so I think I’m going to open all the boxes until I find the ones I want.

                  That’s all I’m suggesting. Don’t just automatically assume military = good 100% of the time.

                  • Rufus

                    No one here has ever made that assumption.

                    • No s#!t, I’ll be the first to tell you that the military is somewhat of a reflection of society at large. There are thieves, idiots and lying snakes as well as the good guys. But the percentage of good guys is vastly over-represented in the military as opposed to society as a whole.

                      That being said, I would never use military service as the sole determining factor on if I would vote for someone or not…I don’t think ANYONE here has ever said that they would either.

                      Rufus’ point as I understand it is, if a person running to be the POTUS has a history of avoiding or denigrating military service why would that person even want to be POTUS? Or better yet why would I even care to vote for a person like that?

                      There are and have been people who served that proved to be less than stellar leaders, just as there have been people who didn’t serve that were effective leaders as well. That wasn’t necessarily the point.

                      If the predominance of persons attempting to lead this country have never served a day in uniform how can they as a group effectively make decisions regarding the care of, planning in regards to, and funding of the military? They generally have no concept of what goes on or how it should or be run and generally trust the political ass-clowns that make it up the promotion ladder to tell them what they want…that is why we need more veterans in office.

                    • Rufus

                      Yes, that is my point.

                • Rufus

                  We would agree on that point. I would also bet $100 thatandirons candidate was a missionary kid as a child you would favor that candidate, all things being equal.

                  My main problem, as I wrote, with someone seeking to be commander-in-chief who never cared to serve in the military, is I do not understand why someone wants to be the head of an organization they would not voluntarily join.

                  If I were a soldier, air man or marine I would want to know that my boss understood what that means.

                  • Kit

                    On Lincoln, his military service was very small. Some time in the militia during the Black Hawk War where, according to him, “the only blood I lost was to mosquitos”

                    Compared to Jefferson Davis, an actual war hero, one would say he was utterly ill-equipped to be commander-in-chief.

                    Yet he proved to be the better commander-in-chief.

                  • Dr. Schplatt

                    All things being equal, of course. But by itself, no necessarily.

  • -fritz-

    What she wrote was more than applicable to the current brood of vipers who vote “present” in the House and the Senate. America’s military isn’t afraid to put their feet…and their lives on the line to do what they do.

  • JimmyC

    “So, what used to be a military made up of statesmen has devolved into a force comprised of men who have few alternatives but to enlist.”

    This is America, Mande. What makes a man a “statesman” here isn’t being born into a life of privelege, it’s his character. You know, the kind of character a man shows by signing up to serve, and possibly die for, his country.

    What a dolt.

  • Rufus

    It’s a poorly written and absurdly reasoned piece. She is either trying to draw attention to herself by writing provocative things, or she is a moron.

    I’m not really interested in wasting more time researching her to find out which it is.

  • Wow, this one’s dumb enough to be one of my students.

  • Tink in Cali

    Bless her heart. And least she takes a purty picture.

  • goozer

    Maybe she stayed in a Holiday Inn Express the night before she penned this…

    I wonder if asked for payment first? ;-) :-D

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