Brickinthewall

As first reported at Town Hall and later at Popular Military, some imbecile sporting a blue uniform adorned with a high rank transmitted an email banning the use of certain words on an Air Force base. The idea was to constrain the use of terms that might be construed as offensive to some. The effect was to embarrass the hell out of the Air Force.

“Please be cognizant that such conduct is 100 percent zero tolerance in or outside of the work climate,” uttered said imbecile in an email sent to a large swath of the base’s enlisted population. “Let’s capitalize on our richly diverse climate, and help others seek assistance if they are struggling with compliance.”

Now it’s not the first or tenth or thousandth time a misguided, un-American jackass pretending to be an Air Force leader has attempted censorship.  And it’s also nothing new to tie such efforts to social justice motives designed to enlarge the safe spaces of cupcake-munching infants pretending to fight for their country while they secretly harbor equal measures of cowardice, self-obsession, and hyper-sensitivity.

What makes this particular episode of fuckery notable is the imbecile’s choice of terms. Behold.

  1.   Boy

  2.   Girl

  3.   You People

  4.   Colonial

  5.   Blacklist

  6.   Blackmail


  7.   Blackball

  8.   Sounds Greek to me

  9.   Blondes have more fun

  10.   Too many chiefs, not enough Indians

In this person’s alternative reality, ordinary words carry loaded meanings. And unfortunately for the Air Force, that alternative reality is increasingly mimicked by the contours of its actual organizational life.

Ordinarily, such shenanigans should be ignored out-of-hand. Feeding them only encourages them to return, like a flea-ridden stray cat hanging around the back porch hoping for another saucer of milk.

But this example matters because the fact it occurred — along with the response to it — reflects in painfully sharp detail the cultural rot of the Air Force and what that might mean for the defense of our country when we are once again legitimately threatened, which is inevitable.

The very fact something this dumb would occur to a senior officer or NCO shows that the service has clearly promoted the wrong individual.

The fact his or her peers didn’t roll in with a contrary message within nanoseconds shows the service has clearly promoted many of the wrong individuals.

The fact airmen irate about it felt the need to call on the media rather than push back arguably shows the service has promoted almost entirely the wrong individuals. They’ve created a climate where stupidity is expected and not even policed … and where fighting back against it is unwelcome.

But this goes beyond run-of-the-mill stupidity or standard fare censorship. It reflects an attitude that not only are airmen incapable of communicating effectively without help from self-anointed censors … but they are also incapable of processing language in context and deciding for themselves whether something is offensive. In a world where it is assumed no one can use the word “girl” or the phrase “you people” without offending others, it must also be assumed that the receivers of such messages have no control over whether they are offended. Everyone is a witless, hapless lemming swept along on auto-animating tides controlled by the gods of social righteousness … and impervious to individual judgment, reasoning, or common sense.

What to do when trapped in an organization teeming with subordinates incapable of basic reasoning? Easy, you must control thought.

That’s the real motive here. It’s to coerce the receivers of the message into reworking their minds to find offensive content in words they previously considered harmless. This will cause them to self-censor because their attitudes and ideas have been warped by officialdom. This is an attempt at mental conditioning … thought control.

Caged Mind

This kind of bullshit doesn’t come about casually or manifest itself overnight. This is just the next logical step in a decade-plus progression toward organizational oblivion. It is enabled by institutional censorship of contrarian ideas, by the advancement of a social justice agenda and PC culture by former Secretary Debbie James, by perpetual organizational fatigue and overstretch preventing organized resistance to official stupidity, and by the serial gutlessness of a generation of fascist-bent generals who have failed to intervene for fear of risking their beloved official approval. These people brought us classrooms where airmen play with dildos to learn safe sex … where they’re conditioned to expect and suspect sexual violence from their teammates … where they spend more time learning the finer points of homosexual and transsexual psychology than they spend studying and learning to vanquish the nation’s enemies. Where ideas about diversity are keyed to external appearances and demography rather than the stories and backgrounds of airmen.

The current environment is alarmingly rotten, having been composted systematically for years by the aforementioned James and her deranged sidekicks, Gen. Mark Welsh and E-9 James Cody. During their shared tenure, the Air Force became a steaming cultural pile of infectious social waste … with distractions aplenty to divert airmen from the gutting of their ranks through budgetary malfeasance and shrewd policy. All so the Three Amigos could continue exalting themselves on the taxpayer dime while advancing their own narrowly-envisaged legacies. They failed pretty much across the board, but their biggest failures were their policy successes: massive personnel cuts, mandatory hyper-careerism permitting the commoditization of human beings by personnel bureaucrats, passive-aggressive policies giving commanders endless options about the shaping of airmens’ lives while giving airmen none, and of course a decrepit organizational climate where walking on eggshells is expected and unauthorized fun is grounds for censure, which leads inevitably to dismissal. Conformity and compliance are the new watchwords, replacing morale and esprit. Fighting spirit is dead, and that should scare the hell out of all of us.

Just look at the official response to this latest chicanery for confirmation that idiocy has been baked in. 

“The Air Force has no list of prohibited terms. It was sent out by an individual simply reminding Airmen to be respectful to others.”

This is what someone speaking for the Air Force had to say. Rather than condemn the imbecile, the Air Force is congratulating him for meaning well … and equating censorship with “respectful” conduct.

If you can’t trust people to think and speak for themselves, you can’t trust them to fly airplanes and sit alert in missile silos. But you can, and you can. And you must. So shut up and get back to work … there are plenty of real problems to solve. One airman referring to another as “boy” isn’t among such problems.

Now … if people start talking like this in the workplace, you might have something to be offended about. Then again, this pretty much sounds like every flightline that’s ever been successful at generating enemy-crushing sorties since the beginning of air warfare. 

And that gets to the heart of why this matters. The fact that the Air Force’s alleged leaders are this poorly focused and this seized with misapprehension as to their duties and responsibilities reflects an unrecognized readiness crisis. With numbskulls like this running Air Force units, there is no way airmen are ready to fight a major war if called upon.

Whatever Trump and his minions are planning for the future of the service (if indeed they’re planning anything at all) must include a plan to sniff out and eradicate social justice warriors in the ranks. Not so they can be replaced by fascists of a different stripe, but so they can be replaced by free thinkers unbound by pet theories about the meanings of words and structures of interaction. Airpower has always depended upon creative thought, and it cannot coexist in the same institution with officially sanctioned stupidity of this magnitude.

In closing, boys and girls, it’s high time you people in charge stop blackmailing your subordinates by threatening to professionally blacklist or blackball them if they refuse to adopt the ideas you favor, which sound like Greek to me. If you’ve got time to dream up this garbage, the Air Force clearly has too many chiefs and not enough Indians, an organizational flaw Americans have rightly resisted since our Colonial origins. Move on to something else … you’ll have more fun — especially you blondes.

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