03 July 2008

One 'good on ya' and One 'harden the fuck up'

Good on ya - Columbian armed forces, who managed to rescue a hostage taken six years ago by infiltrating the group holding her captive, telling the boss they were taking her to visit the leader of the FARC, and putting her on a helicopter piloted by military pilots wearing Che Guevera t-shirts.

They also bagged four foreign hostages (including three Americans) and 11 other Columbian prisoners.

"We're the national army," said one of the crewmen. "You're free."

The helicopter crew were soldiers in disguise. Cesar and the other guerrilla aboard had been persuaded to hand over their pistols, then overpowered.

That's frickin' cool.

Harden the Fuck Up, Anthony Weiner.

Weiner (I'm sure it's not pronounced "whiner") is whining about the price "All New Yorkers" have paid in the War on Terror.

See, New York continues to pay differential for its employees who are Reserve Component Soldiers who get called up for active duty. This is a voluntary thing, some employers do it, some don't. The reasons employers do it vary, from patriotism to an incentive to hang on to high-quality employees. But regardless of why, New York does it.

The way this works is that if Reservist A makes, say, $45,000 a year and he gets activated as a Staff Sergeant, he gets nothing over and above his military pay. But if Reservist B makes, say, $75,000 a year, he'd get paid by the NYC government the difference between his military pay and his civilian pay. Even though he isn't doing a damn thing for the NYC government, and is doing the exact same job as Reservist A.

Weiner (not 'whiner') wants the Federal Government to take this over. Personally, I think that's asinine. For one thing, 75% of Reserve Component Soldiers make more in a combat zone than they do at their day job. Face it, when you factor in the taxes, being a beat cop just doesn't pay as well as being a line doggie. Before combat bonuses, I take home about $3,900 a month. Now add almost $700, and make it all tax free once the combat pay kicks in. It takes a New York cop nearly six years to catch up to me, and he's paying taxes (Federal AND State income) on the whole thing (even in the US, about $1400 of mine is tax free). And my benefits are better.

For another thing, if the Federal Government were to officially say, "Some Reservists are worth more than others, and all of them are potentially worth more than Active Duty Soldiers" then that's a huge pile of shit dumped on the idea of the Total Army, where we treat the Reserve Components (once activated) equally with the Regulars. I wouldn't re-enlist. If a Reservist has a deal with his boss to pay him while he's deployed so that he can make the Mercedes payments, that's his personal business. I don't know or care. But once the Federal Government takes over, it's everyone's business.

Reservists enlist knowing that they are going to be called up these days. Their employers know this too--or they wouldn't be offering pay differential as an enticement! If they couldn't afford to serve on Active Duty status from time to time (the WHOLE POINT of having Reserve Components) then they shouldn't have accepted the enlistment bonuses, or the college loan repayments, or the tuition assistance, or what ever else the Army gave them for signing on the dotted line.

Weiner (perhaps weeee-ner?) also whines about the hardship of having First Responders activated.

Well, no shit, Sherlock!

The sort of people who are going to be heading to the sound of the guns are often the sort of people who aren't going to be satisfied with a day job shuffling paper from one side of a desk to another. That's not surprising--most cops I've met have been former military.

That's life in a country at war. Hire new ones--it's not like the NYPD can't use the help. Kick some desk-sitters out back onto the streets, there's a novel concept.

One wonders what Weener would think if New York had to cough up the kind of commitment it did in WWII--its entire National Guard and Army Reserve for six years. Plus most of the military-aged healthy males not required for farm labor or defense industry.

Here's the meat of the argument, though. This isn't about Soldiers, or New York not having cops, it's about Weenie making a statement about the war.

"Rep. Weiner said, 'Dozens of New York families have lost loved ones in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But all New Yorkers have paid in economic price for this foreign policy folly.'"

Harden the Fuck up, Weiner!


Anonymous Laserlight said...

Rep Whiner apparently hasn't worked out that jihadis hardly ever make problems in NYC if they've already been killed in Iraq.
It would be interesting to see what fraction of New York's "GNP" goes to making up the salary difference.

9:39 PM  

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