The 1878 Gilbert and Sullivan musical, H.M.S. Pinafore, was a spoof of the British Navy. It was a resounding hit. After all, was not the naming of a British man-of-war after a woman's blouse, a pinafore, ridiculous? Well, at that time, it was, but not today.
Speed up to century 21 when Admiral Amy Bauernschmidt took the helm of the USS Abraham Lincoln, becoming the first woman to command an aircraft carrier. From that point, it's a short step to naming a US Navy frigate after a woman's dress, for example, the USS Barbie Doll (and yes, that is a type of dress).
Now there is a downside to a co-ed Navy; it's about a 10 percent loss in efficiency as the Navy reckons it; so you can be sure that's a low-ball estimate. But that's okay. Trading battle readiness for social fairness is the new Navy. It's all a matter of values: Is the Navy's top priority to be battle-ready or to be diversified?
But there are limits. Female swabbies are not permitted to have long hair (a matronly bun is acceptable), no make-up, perfume, or feminine baubles. Feminists take exception. That's still playing by men's rules, they say.
Let women have long hair, make-up, perfume, and jewelry, and give male sailors equal rights to have long hair, make-up, perfume, and jewelry. Now that's progress.
There is a second drawback to co-ed crews. File under, "you can't have roses without thrones"; women tend to become pregnant.
On the good ship Acadia, half the crew, 36 sailors, become with child. However, the ship's captain, Lieutenant Commander Jeff Smallwood, was quick to point out "there were no indications of improper fraternization between officers and enlisted personnel." Ergo, concluded Smallwood, "there was no inappropriate behavior."
"The conclusion somebody is jumping to is that the Acadia is a love boat, and that's not the case," was Smallwood's puzzling comment. Then, unabashed, he continued, "These women have a right to get pregnant."
Continuing our quest for inclusiveness, let's demolish outmoded physical requirements for military service. Today's sailors no longer carry cannonballs or hoist heavy riggings. Instead, have an identical physical standard for all prospective service members, not one weighted to favor men.
If physical requirements for recruits should be relaxed, what about tossing age limits to the wind, also? Should oldsters be denied the opportunity to serve merely because they were – through no fault of their own – born too early? What seniors lack in physical capabilities will be compensated with their maturity and wisdom. Welcome aboard.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and guarantees that they have equal opportunity to participate in mainstream American life. And yet, the military has openly disregarded the ADA for 30 years.
Accommodations such as ramps replacing stairs, auto-chair lifts, and elevators can do much to make the disabled a valuable adjunct to today's Navy.
In conclusion, a few words about our probable future President and Commander in Chief, Kamala Devi Harris.
Lefties love firsts, and Harris has a bucketful of them all described as "historic." She is the first woman and Black Vice President of the US (that's a double). When Biden becomes too much of an embarrassment for the Democrats, Harris will be tapped for the White House.
Harris will then be the first woman and first unelected African American to hold that post (another double).
Harris scores a quadruple of firsts. Now that's something to light up about. And if we admit, as she did, that she is the first president to confess to inhaling (unlike Clinton), that brings up the total firsts to a record-shattering quintuple.
Welcome aboard, to the thoroughly modern US Navy.
Bob Scroggins, New Milford, PA
In view of all the insanity the Democrats have created since the November, 2020 Election, for all of you Cable TV subscribers, there's Stingray Swinging Standards on Channel 803 that may help you to get through the craziness we see on a daily basis. The music on Channel 803 is Big Band and Jazz, and features many bands and singers that recorded the very best music of those musical eras. There's very little recorded music now that compares to what was recorded in the Big Band and Jazz eras because that was when music was music and the lyrics were very meaningful to (their) present time. My favorite singer is Frank Sinatra, and I used to do tribute shows to him and other singers in nursing homes, etc. when I was working for a living.
If Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra were still living now they would be very proud to see what their daughters, Natalie and Nancy, have done to honor their dad's lives and the music they recorded. The Stingray Music Channels on 801-850 also play many other variety's of music that's bound to satisfy everybody's music preferences. Enjoy the Stingray Music Channels. It's a great way to get through the craziness and insanity that we're all going through now!
John Hollenback, Greenfield Twp., PA
A lot of steam is being generated in support of Senator Gillibrand's request for a national hearing regarding the national dairy farmer crisis. However, many organizations are gearing up to address only the financial crisis that is created by the adjustment involving the value of Class I milk (very important).
It's time that everyone realizes that the "real" losses to dairy farmers are created by the current pricing formula. This formula must be changed.
If we have a chance to testify (and chances look good) we certainly will illustrate many of the key elements of the Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act (formerly identified as the Specter-Casey bill).
Next week I will finish the rest of the major points of our bill including how the supply management program would work.
Pro-Ag can be reached at 570-833-5776.
Arden Tewksbury, Manager of Pro-Ag, Meshoppen, PA