61 Comments

Good. Keep it up!!!

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I can't help but be nervous here...the government's "interest" in race-conscious admissions at service academies is clearer/stronger than almost any other case that can be made for affirmative action in higher education. If this case succeeds, great. But if it fails, what are the knock-on effects for how the earlier decision is implemented? With universities everywhere explicitly signalling their plans to sidestep the earlier SFA decision, how much ammo does an SFA defeat in this case provide them?

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If successful, yes it will be sidestepped but I predict SC will not hear the case.

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I'd be very interested in why military academies have a clearer/stronger case for racial preferences? Would the same hold for ROTC scholarship programs? How would that fit with the various schools trying to impose racial preferences in spite of the Supreme Court decision? I am most definitely NOT a lawyer---but do have an inquiring mind on such matters.

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The Academies will -- indeed, already have -- argue that the govt has a legitimate interest in ensuring that the officer corps of the military "looks like" the enlisted ranks from a racial diversity standpoint. They'll argue that it is impossible for them to achieve this national security objective without being able to take race into consideration when determining admission to the Academies. FWIW, this is *exactly* why SCOTUS carved the Academies out of the original SFA decision in the first place.

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Oh, I get it that they will/have so argued. That argument has never made any sense whatsoever to me. To how many decimal points does the match have to be? How do we measure minority--percent of blood? Self identification? Appearance? Also, what if we end up with a statistical surplus of minorty officers?That wouldn't count? Yeah, I know, I'm a Neanderthal.

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Sep 21, 2023·edited Sep 21, 2023

Concur

edit: with expressed thoughts, not the Neanderthal part, lol.

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Agree with your description of rationale, but disagree with said rationale. We can never achieve a truly meritocratic vision such as that described by MLK so long as we advocate policy stating that color does in fact matter.

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Agree with your disagreement

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I think history makes it pretty clear that diversity isnt a prerequisite for an effective force...

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But that issue only applies if the military is also using racial preferences in enlistments;)

If enlistments aren't given quotas either then the same pressures should apply equally to both the officer and enlisted teams - and thus they'll naturally fall into similar racial ratios.

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Basically anyone who meets a set of minimum standards can enlist. Is that true of becoming an officer? I don’t actually know, but certainly not true of the Academies. Last time I knew anything first-hand (20+ yrs ago), the Academies were 5-7x oversubscribed.

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I would disagree that the government could show *any* special interest in the service academies. West Point probably generates the most officers and its still only 1/6. The percentages for the Naval and Air Force Academies is even lower.

You get about 1k graduates from USNA every year out of over 7k ensigns and who knows how many Marine 2nd LT's. Half of who are likely to be out of the service 4 years later;)

I think that if the government were pushed on this issue, it couldn't show why the other commissioning sources - already making up the vast majority of new officers - couldn't pick up any slack. Or why they can't get qualified people into the pipeline in the first place.

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Tbh I dont follow what point most of your post is making, so will only respond to the part I understood - re: the govt’s interest & service academies, the point is that the argument that the Govt can make that they *have an interest* is stronger at the academies than elsewhere on the battlegrounds of AA. One can agree or disagree with how they should express that interest, but I can’t think of any serious good faith argument that rejects the idea that the Govt does indeed have a legitimate interest in who goes to the service academies.

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Great. There should also be a similar lawsuit with respect to promotion boards.

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Just a single anecdote apropos of something. Knew a Naval Aviator who started out as an HT3 but later went to OCS and flew Helos and ended up in the E-2 Hawkeye. As a LTjg he got publicly arrested for spouse abuse in front of his CO and peers. He was soon exonerated by proving he was at sea and flying during the dates of events the bi-polar wife he was divorcing had alleged. No matter, he got a poor fitrep for bringing shame and dishonor to the Navy before being exonerated. Fast forward to years later when he was a senior LT up for promotion to LCDR. He was SH-2, SH-60, Blimp and E-2 qualified. Had just re-completed his CarQuals. A squadron mate, also a senior LT and peer, a female woman of color with an excess of BF failed her CarQuals and got reassigned to shore just before deployment, presumably to fly P-3's. She promoted, he didn't. That old fitrep killed him. The silence in her fitrep didn't hurt her a bit. Long story short...I was with him 18 months ago at a meeting of our internet group in South Carolina. On Friday he was telling us how happy he was that on Monday he was officially retiring from the Navy Reserves as an LCDR. That Saturday he told us he'd just been called and told to report to the Reserve Center to discuss his refusal to get the COVID vaccine, that his retirement was held in abeyance until that issue got cleared up. My point? Life isn't always fair because it is peopled by people. I want to see more good people in the ascendancy.

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Sep 21, 2023·edited Sep 21, 2023

A fellow LT, whom I dated in the Navy, experienced the same kind of "1 bad fitrep and done" situation. The reason for the bad fitrep had nothing to do with her performance but that of a contractor that screwed up and her, O-6 bucking for O-7, CO was concerned how this might affect his own career. What followed was 16 years of a stellar, exemplary service in difficult assignments but that one fitrep destroyed her career. Another close friend, an outstanding officer was hammered by her CO because he wanted her to do something illegal and she wouldn't. Bad fitrep... never advanced past O-6. Both of these officers were exemplary and their careers were held back by the actions of men of shallow character.

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In some ways Enlisted have it better. One poor annual eval usually puts you in Naval Purgatory. After several years of sustained superior performance the bad stuff goes away. I like the idea of redemption. I worked for a CO (a former HM3) whose philosophy was, "It is not enough that I succeed, others must fail." Every officer in the wardroom separated except me, the XO and the SUPPO. Some really good men were lost. But I was a CWO3/LTjg and was no real threat for taking his CNO spot. That man commanded 3 ships.

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I cannot reconcile any of that with effective leadership. It's one thing to make the same mistakes over and over again without learning the lesson, it's another when it's "one and done." That is an absurdity.

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Nods in Nimitz-like agreement about redemption.

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I had an O-4 CSO try to throw my LPO under the bus for "not warning him" when LPO and I had REPEATEDLY told him "get a spare; it's gonna fail."

My career was pushed over the edge while XO, CSO, and I were discussing the issue and CSO said "LPO should have told us! We never would have allowed this to happen" and I said "XO, that <MF> <POS> is lying his A$$ off. LPO and I told him several times, and I might be done but he's not throwing stellar LPO career away over it."

Perhaps I could have been more diplomatic.

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Diplomacy is overrated. Look at State Department. They're mission is to suck up US Dollars and provide minimal efficacy.

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"Perhaps I could have been more diplomatic."

Probably, but then the story would not have been nearly as much fun for the rest of us. Thanks.

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Interestingly, both of these examples seem to point towards a different problem vice the proliferation of affirmative action thru all military selection processes (else I’d expect the females’ careers to have emerged just fine, given the need to “promote women, any women”).

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I just read the quote in Brian Doyle Murray's voice as Mr. Shirley in Christmas Vacation.

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I was talking to a Naval Reservist a couple of weeks ago. The push to get female O6s has taken the age ceiling away from them. We have females that will not get out. They are useless, and have been for years. Through their narcissism, and self absorption, they are providing a backlog of officers that cannot promote. Additionally, maybe, just maybe some of those officers might be worth a damn. The jury is still out, but they are a damned sight better than what is trying to make admiral through attrition.

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I once knew a female pilot who got in a lot of trouble for sleeping with an enlisted member of her aircrew while deployed (both spouses found out and went to the command with proof, it was a real dust-up). She made O4 on her first look less than 2 FITREPS later despite some of the most honest, blunt language to ever make it into a FITREP detailing her “situation”.

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I like to call it the Golden Vagina Effect.

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Basing admission or promotion decisions on anything other than merit is clear evidence that the government has more interest in social engineering than in defending the country.

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our new CJCS seems to think that's fine

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Nero fiddling while Rome burns. On that note, I feel an obligation to point out that the Caesars, like Nero, came about only after the fall of the Roman Republic.

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I have said for decades, we are not a serious fighting force. We do not care about winning. It is just all too evident at this point.

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One of the “peace dividend” booby traps is that we’ve gotten too much practice fighting countries below our weight class as we’ve played worldwide police instead of making foreign policy decisions based on what is best for the people of our country. That, a nearly unlimited funny money in the federal budget, and a lack an existential threat has allowed the social engineers to get away with diverting national resources to their private benefit.

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And the full on money laundering scheme of foreign wars for the upper echelons of society.

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Great! Fire for effect!

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Too bad the Department of Education shows no interest in fixing one of the root causes of the need for preferences.

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Well, Columbia University shut down their 'let's make America Illiterate' program after 40 years of producing illiterates. The new dean decided that 40 years of "the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project" producing only failure was enough.

You want to know why kids in the inner city can't read? Thank Lucy Calkins.

https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/teachers-college-to-dissolve-lucy-calkins-reading-and-writing-project/2023/09

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Kinda' hurts your chances on the word problems in math class.

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If a man and a half picked a bushel and a half for a day and a half, how long would it take a one-legged grasshopper to kick the seeds out of a cucumber?

Have to love my old BTCS/LCDR mentor

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Well, The exact number of seeds depends on the variety of cucumber, and the size.

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of course! :)

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Size matters. Size matters.

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I have not done the math, but it seems plausible... If we got rid of the Dept of Edjumacation, and applied that budget to teachers, each teacher would get roughly a $20k raise a year. Imagine the level of instructors and teachers we could lure into the profession. Also, bonus, if we shut down the Federal Indoctrination and promoted teachers on merit... One can dream, one can dream.

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IMO, public schools are lost. If and when we become grandparents we will fund private school for the grandkids.

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Sep 21, 2023·edited Sep 21, 2023Liked by CDR Salamander

is that HMS Surprise?

my bad, if the first image with Russell Crowe was there, I missed it. I was looking at the bow wave movie shot

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Looks like it. Got hooked on Patrick O'Brian and everything pertaining to the RN and the Napoleonic Wars. I would drip IV that stuff if it was possible.

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A purpose of the congressional appointment process is to ensure there is a representation of our entire country serving as potential career officers. The problem is that it's imperfect, and does not force procrustean solutions that satisfy diversity commissars.

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Enough with the 'diversity is our strength' BS. Put up or shut up DOD. Lets see the academies field teams that are half female next year and see how their season goes.

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How would they know? They can't even define what a woman is.

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Now, now. You know foosball is more important than winning wars!

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SFFA has its act together. I doubt they lose. SFFA ably supported by Veterans for Fairness and Merit. Harvard and UNC cases were clear. Discrimination on the basis of race is illegal! There is zero research that diversity has any salutary impact on performance. If such research exists, in 3 years of searching I have not been able to find it. The two sources Navy cited in TF1N report were a joke. One had to do with an investment firm and the other actually proved that diversity slowed down decision making...exactly what you want in a tactical situation, right? And, the services are already diverse! The Navy is over-represented with minorities at the enlisted ranks and only slightly underrepresented in blacks and Hispanics in officer ranks. And, it is not because our doors are not wide open. The concept of race itself is a flawed concept. It is a superficial marker of a human that has nothing to do with anything except skin color. It is meaningless. The whole concept was made up by OMB officials who were trying to figure out how to count Americans. Hispanics are not a race. They are an ethnicity, officially so they can choose any race they want....white, brown, black or none. How's that for accuracy in counting how diverse we are? It's a massive joke on the American public and kept running by race hustlers who are getting rich peddling the notion that America is still racist. Instead of focusing on DEI nonsense we need to focus on China who plans to rule the world. How diverse is the PRC? 100% of the PLA, PLAN, etc. are Han Chinese.

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right now Im rereading Reemans stuff

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Glad to see this.

Affirmative Action is a conjured up solution that didnt really exist...

https://www.americanindianmagazine.org/story/west-point-wahoo-swamp-career-cadet-david-moniac-class-1822

From West Point To Wahoo Swamp: The Career Of Cadet David Moniac, Class Of 1822

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Sep 22, 2023·edited Sep 22, 2023

This is worth a watch...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDxzrz6CZR0

Interviewing the Man Who Ended Affirmative Action | Dr. Peter Arcidiacono |

Specific mention of the USNA starting here:

https://youtu.be/QDxzrz6CZR0?si=uiFfzNEEY30euRuE&t=736

Will appeal to the STEMheads.

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I had NO idea he was at the USNA. The upper levels of that place must have lost their shit when they heard what he had to say. LOL

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Sep 23, 2023·edited Sep 23, 2023

Making the DEI sausage, worth the read:

(bet everyone who has been a detailer will be able to relate...)

https://x.com/Rule3O3/status/1705282969584140749?s=20

"Black people correctly sense that whites are rigging the game when they’re not looking.

They just can’t imagine the truth: that we’re rigging it for them. "

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