Saturday, June 13, 2009

Amplifying 'Zo

by Smitty

Alonzo Rachel has a clip pointing out that Jon Stewart doesn't mind mentioning the military as an example of the federal government running something well, when it's useful as a pro-socialized medicine argument. The clip has a hilarious ending when 'Zo realizes he's starting to cross the Olbermann Horizon.
Now, set aside the vitriol spewed about the Bush Administration's handling of Iraq. As a service member, let me elaborate on points Even More Insidious than the ones 'Zo raises about the military and health care.
  • The military screens out the unfit. This would be like practicing exposure of imperfect infants.
  • The UCMJ makes it perfectly legal to control what you eat, how much you take exercise, take random urinalysis samples in case you had excessive fun last weekend, and so forth.
  • The vast majority of people in military medicine are ousted after 30 years. VA medicine is more a commode than commodious example for Stewart to employ for his argument.
My personal tastes run to the dirt simple. I can tell you that the authoritarian system of the military in general, and military medicine in particular, will suit many people fine. Those 300 pound couch potato dudes are going to have an NCO calmly explain to them to put down the wii controller and fall in for a wee bit of exercise. We'll all get our American Idol on as we go on a formation run for some jodies. We'll have a blast. Maybe not Jane Fonda and Joan Baez, but the rest of us. Great team building.
So here is the point: people scale as effectively as politicians deliver on campaign promises. The reason military organizations and military medicine work to the degree they do is that they are grossly authoritarian systems. You may think you will, but you will quickly hate it when Nutrition is not a Private Matter.


  1. Has Rahm Emmanuel settled on the uniform design yet? I'd like to see them before I make my final decision.

  2. As a past member of the military, and someone who respects the various organizations which have a claim to the term, I have always understood the military to be the socialist system which suffered the socialist way in order that the rest of Americans need not do so, as well as the protective group of citizen soldiers.

    If not convinced, consider what form of government every military commander put in charge of during a foreign occupation has developed. From Japan to Italy to Germany, they all developed egalitarian socialisms which in turn have only become more so over time. I think most of them, after more than half a decade, are crumbling.

  3. Excellent points. Unfortunately, libs don't have a big problem with authoritarianism.