On June 3, 1965 spaceman Edward White became the first of Nasa’s elite band of super pilots to step outside of his tin can and float in the dark weightless atmosphere more than 100 miles above Earth.
The American made history that day, but he wasn’t the first to space walk. That was USSR cosmonaut Alexei Leonov who had done the same thing weeks before, but in secret.
White however spent twice as much time outside the Gemini 4 spaceship and was able to manouvre around instead of just float.
United States Air Force Lt. Colonel Edward White was a West Point graduate who was also an accomplished athlete. Following his college graduation, he competed for a slot on the U.S. olympic team at the Olympic trials, missing out on a slot by 1/10 of a second. He went on to serve in a fighter squadron in Europe, before being selected to NASA in 1962.
White was chosen as lead pilot for the Gemini 4 flight, the mission where he made his historic spacewalk, capturing that iconic photograph at the top of the page. In awe of the feeling, he was so reluctant to come back inside after the allotted time that he uttered his famous phrase, “I’m coming back in… and it’s the saddest moment of my life.”
Lt. Colonel White would later be part of the Apollo 1 mission. He, along with astronauts Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee, would perish when a fire engulfed the cabin during a launch rehearsal test. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. He was 36 years old. RIP, Colonel White.
I want you to take a moment to read and digest that last paragraph again. Because 50 years later…
Almost 40 years ago, Bruce Jenner’s Olympic success came as a result of strengthening both his mind and body leading to his status as one of the world’s greatest athletes, but the decision to publicly come out as a transgender woman took a different kind of courage and acceptance of one’s self. To celebrate that bravery, ESPN today announced that Jenner will be presented with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at The 2015 ESPYS Presented by Capital One. Presented annually to individuals whose contributions transcend sports, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award is the pinnacle of the sports celebration, which will be televised Wednesday, July 15, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC from Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE.
We, the vast, vast staff at the cms.sofrep.com news roundup, don’t just bring you stories about the military. No, we take pride in keeping our fingers on the jugular of our whacky American political/pop culture. Plus, it was a slow military news week. So it was fascinating to watch the country react to the
Bruce Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair magazine cover, and muse over all of the existential questions raised.
*TRIGGER WARNING FOR HARD TRUTHS*: This is America, where if someone feels like changing their name, they should damn well be able to. So Caitlyn it is. However, I will continue to use the proper gender pronoun of “he,” since Jenner is a male with a penis, I believe in science, and I’m not a crazy person. If Jenner’s corpse is exhumed by scientists in a thousand years, they will look at his skeleton and say, “yep, here we have a male homo sapiens.” I’m not going to pretend to admire the emperor’s fine clothes with these nut jobs and their robots in the media.
First off, I enjoyed a hearty guffaw by seeing the usual feminist scolds, who, having in the past excoriated media for promoting “unrealistic” body images of women, now cheering on a photo that was airbrushed within an inch of its life. Not to mention the best makeup, hair, and lighting teams in the world to project an image that, most assuredly, does not resemble the reality of a 65 year old man. It smacks of a sort of desperate propaganda, with Vanity Fair practically screaming, “LOOK! LOOK EVERYONE HOW GLAMOROUS AND NORMAL THIS IS!!”
Caitlyn is honestly the queen and goddess of 2015 I don't care what anyone says
— lau (@buttonIwt) June 1, 2015
Also, I found a sort of irony in the photo chosen for the magazine cover. The social justice warriors have railed for how long now against gender stereotypes? We’ve covered this in past news roundups (remember the “controversial” subway beach body ads?) And yet, when it comes time to have Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of a magazine, instead of an image that defies theses traditional stereotypes, they go with an image of Jenner fully coiffed and made up to appear as a sexpot straight out of a 1950s pulp magazine cover.
Now, my amusement from the shrieking SJWs aside, my first thoughts were of the Libertarian variety. If Jenner wants to undergo surgery to change himself into what he honestly feels inside, who am I to tell him otherwise? This is America, after all, and I am a huge believer in the equality of all men and women, and individual liberty, especially when it comes to personal lifestyle choices. I mean, I like to watch “Golden Girls” while doing nude yoga poses covered in crisco, for chrissakes.
And Jenner was, in fact, a Hollywood celebrity who has spoken in the past of his love for America and the Constitution. These were my first thoughts as I sprung into action on the twitter machine:
I don't give a shit if @Caitlyn_Jenner chops dong or not… He's down with the Constitution, so he's my boy.Or girl. Doesn't matter. 'Murica
— BK (@BKactual) June 1, 2015
But I’ve been thinking about this a lot this week. And the more I think about it, the more uneasy I find myself becoming with the whole thing.
First, these surgeries: Do doctors and psychiatrists really feel that extreme body modification is the answer? After all, if it is ok to slice and dice a man into marginally resembling a female, is it ok to, say, amputate a perfectly functional, yet unwanted limb? And yes, that’s a thing. Is it ok to aid a man into turning himself into a tiger (suicide,) or a lizard, or adding horns? What if a white male identifies as, say, a black female? WHO ARE YOU TO SAY THAT HE IS NOT?
If the answer to these is “yes,” then we really are going down the rabbit hole. This would mean that there is virtually no limit placed on how we see ourselves, regardless of truth, because there is no truth, and no limits placed on how we modify ourselves. How far are plastic surgeons willing to go? Are we all destined to end up as cyborgs anyway? Should we embrace it, or condemn it?
In other psychological issues, the opposite is the treatment. A young girl cutting herself with a knife isn’t encouraged to continue wounding herself as self-expression. An anorexic person, who looks in a mirror and sees someone obese, isn’t taken off to the O.R. to get her stomach stapled to match her vision. Schizophrenic patients aren’t counseled that the voices in their heads and their imaginary companions, are, in fact, reality, and that everyone should play along with the charade.
But when it comes to transgender patients, we’re told permanent, life-changing, disfiguring surgery is the best option, even though the vast majority of patients with transgender feelings grow out of them, a fact that even the most radical transgender advocates will freely admit. Could it be that the American Psychological Association is reluctant to challenge the status quo because just about every member is a far-left liberal in good standing? Could it be that, reluctant to publish anything that goes against the powerful LBGT lobby, researchers are just making things up that fit what they believe on a personal level, not a professional one?
And the jury is still definitely out on the efficacy of surgical transformation. There’s a reason Johns Hopkins University, a pioneer in early sex change operations, no longer does the surgery. There are plenty of examples of former transgender citizens returning to their original status, including Los Angeles Times sportswriter Mike Penner, who transitioned to a woman to great acclaim. Penner would quietly revert back to his male identity, only to commit suicide shortly after. Of course, the activists who had cheered him on had left town by then. Perhaps, faced with a suicide rate that is simply staggering, a better option may be to focus less on the quick, slapdash fix of surgery and try the longer, harder route of learning to love one’s own natural body instead.
There are other issues. One advantage Jenner has is extreme wealth. He is easily able to afford the massive amount of plastic surgery that he’s already undertaken, and the really big ones yet to come. But most people battling this condition don’t have unlimited resources to try and use elective surgery to turn themselves into something they’ll never be. Now, that used to be none of my business, but since Medicare is supposed to cover these surgeries now, and judges are ordering prisons to provide sex change surgeries for murderers, it’s now very much my business. Personally, I’d rather my tax money go to little kids fighting cancer or needing organ transplants, but that’s just me. There is a finite amount of funding, after all.
And once that final surgery is done, that’s it: There is no going back. And it’s pretty common knowledge that plastic surgery isn’t this magic cure-all for people’s psychological feelings of inadequacey or low self-esteem. If you’re living in a rotten house, slapping a new coat of paint on the walls isn’t going to do shit. Our society loves to poke fun at the insecurities of plastic surgery-obsessed soccer moms, even questioning the mental health of those who can’t stop altering their bodies, but suddenly shuts up when a man does the most extreme surgery in existence.
As to the Arthur Ashe Courage award from ESPN? Look, it’s their award, and they are free to give it whomever they want. And if there is anything that pudgy, effete, jock-sniffing WEENIE sportswriters love more than sucking off athletes, it is advancing progressive politics. I’ve written about this extensively before, particularly King Wiener Bob Costas. But this is their first choice?
Past winners included Muhammed Ali, who defied the U.S. government, was hated by much of the American public, and went to prison for his beliefs. They include Todd Beamer, Jeremy Glick, Mark Bingham, and Tom Burnett, the men who charged the terrorists on September 11th Flight 93. They include Jim Valvano. Pat Tillman. Billy Jean King.
There were plenty of deserving candidates, helpfully pointed out by the internet. There was college basketball player Lauren Hill, who continued to play on her team while battling the brain cancer that would eventually kill her. Or Sergeant Noah Galloway, who became a double amputee when he was hit by an IED in Afghanistan. (And yes, stupid media, I’m aware they weren’t runners up: THEY WEREN’T EVEN CONSIDERED.)
Sergeant Galloway would go on to become a personal trainer, fitness competitor, and motivational speaker. It doesn’t get much more courageous than that. Hell, they could have given it posthumously to Lt. Colonel White, mentioned above, for his athleticism as well was transcended by his incredible service and sacrifice for the nation’s space program.
Jenner isn’t exactly the greatest person in the world. There’s no denying he was a highly accomplished athlete. However, he ran out of his kid’s lives, leading one to quip, “I hope Caitlyn is a better person than Bruce.” He carries the stench of the Kardashian virus, an infectious disease from which the United States may never recover. And let’s not forget he just killed someone in a traffic accident, still under investigation. (Boy, that disappeared, huh?) So: a fame-hungry reality TV show actor who received elective surgery to universal acclaim from the adoring media/showbiz/political complex, while any criticism is muted out of fear, is courageous?
This all smacks of such… COORDINATION. The surgery, the magazine cover, the awards ceremony, and his new show, all coming together in some sort of sick reality TV production. This is something that should be serious, accompanied by serious questions and debate about gender, medical and scientific ethics. Instead, it’s turned into this circus-tent Kardashian train wreck. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jenner calls OFF the surgery next year… JUST IN TIME FOR SWEEPS WEEK! Frankly, this is grotesque, and regular people, battling regular-people transgender issues, should be embarrassed and insulted.
As for these demented activists, a laissez faire position is no longer acceptable. When they aren’t ogling your humble author’s tall, dark, chiseled athletic frame, they are, in true Orwellian fashion, scrubbing Wikipedia and changing birth certificates to cleanse the world of these triple-plus ungood thoughts. I believe most people probably fall somewhere in the middle of a wide spectrum of belief: They don’t have a moral problem with surgical transgenders or think they should be persecuted in any way, but they probably don’t think it’s awesome, either. Only now, mere shrugging of the shoulders and indifference to peoples lifestyles doesn’t cut it. YOU WILL CELEBRATE JENNER OR ELSE. And that’s what annoys the shit out of me.
So yeah. An award for courage. What do you think of that?
THIS IS MY ghost gun. To quote the rifleman’s creed, there are many like it, but this one is mine. It’s called a “ghost gun”—a term popularized by gun control advocates but increasingly adopted by gun lovers too—because it’s an untraceable semiautomatic rifle with no serial number, existing beyond law enforcement’s knowledge and control. And if I feel a strangely personal connection to this lethal, libertarian weapon, it’s because I made it myself, in a back room of WIRED’s downtown San Francisco office on a cloudy afternoon.
I did this mostly alone. I have virtually no technical understanding of firearms and a Cro-Magnon man’s mastery of power tools. Still, I made a fully metal, functional, and accurate AR-15. To be specific, I made the rifle’s lower receiver; that’s the body of the gun, the only part that US law defines and regulates as a “firearm.” All I needed for my entirely legal DIY gunsmithing project was about six hours, a 12-year-old’s understanding of computer software, an $80 chunk of aluminum, and a nearly featureless black 1-cubic-foot desktop milling machine called the Ghost Gunner.
This is the problem with gun control now: It’s never going to work. Especially now that you can buy a machine for a mere 1,500$ that can turn a lump of metal into a ready-to-complete lower with just a push of a button. Go read the whole thing; it’s fascinating.
Is Rick Perry the only declared candidate with his own henchmen? pic.twitter.com/2YER9BxXYg
— Daniel Kibblesmith (@kibblesmith) June 4, 2015
In case you didn’t know, those are Navy SEAL twins Marcus and Morgan Luttrell. The twittersphere was busting on some lib journalists for not knowing who they are, but it WAS kind of funny. After all, they were in Texas, in the middle of the day, in summertime, sweating their asses off. No wonder they look irritated. Plus, they have to stand there and listen to Rick Perry blathering on about free-market Jesus land for God knows how long.
But to answer Kibblesmith’s question? You’re goddamn right. As far as henchmen go, I don’t think you could do much better.
The mother accused of intentionally running over a Navy sailor in a road-rage crash trembled and sobbed as she pleaded not guilty to murder in court on Tuesday.
Darla Renee Jackson, 25, was ordered held on $1million bond five days after she killed 39-year-old Chief Petty Officer Zach Buod during a rush-hour altercation on State Route 54 in San Diego, California. She faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted.
Deputy District Attorney Laura Evans said Jackson and Buod got into ‘some sort of back-and-forth’ confrontation and that Jackson proceeded to tailgate the military man aggressively before striking his Ducati motorcycle from behind with her Nissan Altima ‘in a purposeful and intentional act’.
Still a lot to sort out on this one. Obviously, we are dealing with a mental patient here. Both the DA and her defense attorney made it sound like Chief Buod giving back as much as he was receiving. And that’s the problem today: you can never be sure when you’re dealing with a crazy person, so you better be sure you’re operating from a position of strength before getting into a confrontation.
It’s like the guy who goes around being an asshole because, in today’s non-confrontational society, 99 times out of a hundred, he’s going to get away with being a bully. But all it takes is that one time that he picks on a cranky kickboxing champion, and then, it’s lights out. This is sad: We have a dead petty officer and a mother whose life is destroyed because they let tempers get the best of them.
Since Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, the iconic visual of the American flag they left behind marked NASA’s success in going where no man had gone before, marking their arrival for future visitors to see. Since then, all space suits worn by Americans have been adorned with the American flag. However, NASA has been supporting a design that may replace the American flag during space travel. The new flag, called the International Flag of the Planet Earth, is expected to represent Earth as a whole, rather than segment only the United States.
According to the International Flag of the Planet Earth’s official website, the new flag is intended to represent Earth as a whole and to “remind the people of Earth that we share this planet, no matter of national boundaries.” NASA is hopeful that other countries will adopt the new flag during their space expeditions and bring forth a level of solidarity across the planet, rather than segment the space race into different teams.
I was POSITIVE this was a hoax article when I read it. I scoured the internet far and wide, I checked out Snopes.com, all to no avail. Yes, this is actually a thing that seems to be real. What kind of freaking HIPPIES do we have running NASA now? Yeah, I’m sure the Russians and Chinese will be right behind you in abandoning their national symbols, you gelded goons.
A selfie posted online by a member of the Islamic State group just cost the terror organization a headquarters building in Syria.
Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command, said Monday that airmen with 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group at Hurlburt Field, Florida were able to turn intelligence gleaned from the terrorist’s selfie into a successful bombing run.
“The guys that were working down out of Hurlburt, they’re combing through social media and they see some moron standing at this command. And in some social media, open forum, bragging about the command and control capabilities for Daesh, ISIL. And these guys go: ‘We got an in.’ So they do some work, long story short, about 22 hours later through that very building, three [Joint Direct Attack Munitions] take that entire building out,” the general said, Military.com reported Wednesday.
It’s good to see even the Soldiers of Allah aren’t immune from the narcissistic ways of the west. I wonder how many trial selfies he took before he finally had just the right head tilt, the right sneer, the correct sardonic curled lip that says, “Yeah, I love Allah. BUT I’M ALSO HERE TO PARTY.”
And did he use selfie stick?
MAYPORT NAVAL STATION, FLA. — A Navy sailor pleaded guilty Tuesday to secretly videotaping female trainees as they undressed for showers aboard a submarine, becoming the fourth crew member of the USS Wyoming to be sentenced to prison in a case that has tarnished the U.S. military’s integration of women into its submarine fleet.
A court-martial sentenced Petty Officer 3rd Class Cody Shoemaker to 18 months in prison and a bad-conduct discharge. The 22-year-old missile technician told a military judge that twice last spring he used a cellphone to record female midshipmen from a tight crawlspace that looked into the shower area from beneath a sink.
“The Navy has brought women into the submarine force and the accused has not gotten onboard,” Lt. Cmdr. Lee Marsh, a Navy prosecutor, said in asking the judge to “send a message to that submarine force that all sailors, male and female, will be treated with dignity and respect.”
In addition to midshipmen — students from the U.S. Naval Academy or college Navy ROTC programs — prosecutors say four female officers serving on the Wyoming were also recorded undressing and sailors traded the videos “like Pokemon” cards for energy drinks and other items.
C’MON GUY. Look, you have to expect there’s going to be a little perving out when you stick a bunch of early twenty-something men and women into a metal tube for months at a time. What I didn’t expect was that last bit about “Pokemon cards” is in quotes. So we have a prosecutor, presumably highly educated and well-read, and the best metaphor he can come up with is “Pokemon Cards?”
I mean, are those even still a thing? Get with the times, bro. Those came out like 20 years ago. (Yeah, you’re GODDAMN RIGHT I looked it up.) How about something a little more relevant and/or adult? WE AREN’T TEN. You could have gone with “cigarettes” or “sex favors” or “crack.” I’m here if you need me @BKactual.
The Army this week stopped paying an active duty Green Beret war hero who is under investigation, prompting his lawyer to threaten to ask a military judge to intervene.
Meanwhile, the soldier’s West Point colleagues, class of 1993, have banded together to create a White House “We the People” petition. Reaching 100,000 signatures would obligate the White House to respond to a request that it provide whistleblower protection and end the investigation.
The action comes in the case of Lt. Col. Jason Amerine, one of the first Green Berets to invade Afghanistan in 2001 and lead a joint U.S.-Afghan team in fire fights as it moved toward the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar.
The Army in January escorted Col. Amerine from his Pentagon office after the FBI complained he was sharing information with Congress on policies for freeing American hostages.
We talked briefly about the Lt. Col last week. Like I said before, there’s still a lot we don’t know, because nobody’s talking. But damn, the man is still on active duty. Even though he’s under investigation, don’t you still have to pay the guy? Either change his status or open your checkbook.
OCALA, Fla. – A fully naked man was arrested Sunday in Marion County on allegations of mooning a sheriff’s deputy.
Craig Bierema, 48, was arrested on charges of exposure of sexual organs.
According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to the Ocala Boat Basin at 9570 N.E. 28th Lane for a nude man standing on the river bank.
Witnesses said Bierema was exposing himself while pointing at their boats.
A deputy approached Bierema, who was screaming and waving his hands in the air, the Sheriff’s Office said.
A witness told Bierema that a cop was behind him, and Bierema bent over to moon the deputy, authorities said.
Does anyone in Florida actually work, or do they just sit around snorting Flakka and guzzling booze all day? Ah, I’m sure Messr. Bierema was perfectly sober at the time:
According to deputies, Bierema said he had consumed about five beers while swimming.
Hmmm. I’m going to go ahead and and multiply that by about ten. Find me on twitter @BKactual