Some people should keep their cakeholes shut.

I just spotted this asshat over at Just One Minute and also at Blackfive.

Bryan Fischer, who judging by his bio hasn’t ever witnessed anything more valorous than a state senator giving a speech, seems to think that the Medal of Honor has become feminized. In reference to SSG Guinta’s investment with the Medal of Honor, Fischer has this to say:

This is just the eighth Medal of Honor awarded during our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Sgt. Giunta is the only one who lived long enough to receive his medal in person.
But I have noticed a disturbing trend in the awarding of these medals, which few others seem to have recognized.
We have feminized the Medal of Honor.
According to Bill McGurn of the Wall Street Journal, every Medal of Honor awarded during these two conflicts has been awarded for saving life. Not one has been awarded for inflicting casualties on the enemy. Not one.

First, Fischer (and McGurn of the Wall Street Journal) is factually incorrect in his assertions. Of the eight Medals of Honor bestowed so far in the War on Terror, not all have been simply for saving the lives of fellow soldiers. In fact, the very first one awarded, to SFC Paul Ray Smith, was explicitly for engaging the enemy in desperate straits. That his fight had the effect of saving his fellow soldier’s lives was undoubtedly a factor in the award. But he earned is award by engaging the enemy.

Fischer seems utterly clueless about the circumstances that lead to acts of valor. When everything is going well in a fight (and here, well is a very relative term), there is no need for anyone to engage in heroics. Indeed, it would likely be counterproductive. It is only when things are deep in the shitter that an individual can possibly perform above and beyond the call of duty. Not surprisingly, those desperate moments usually see our soldiers at grave risk. So the aspect of saving a fellow soldier’s life is almost inherent to the award of the Medal of Honor.

Secondly, how is rewarding the bravery of men whose actions define “selfless sacrifice” in any way “feminizing” the Medal of Honor?  Selfless sacrifice is the heart and soul of soldiering. From the minute a man (or woman!) raises his hand and takes the oath of enlistment, he agrees to put the needs of his fellow soldiers, his unit, his service, his entire country, before his own desires. That willingness is at the very core of the warrior ethos, the very set of manly attributes Fischer seems to think we have ceased to honor. There’s a reason we call it the “service” and not the “personal gain.”

I would tell  Fischer to stick to his ministry, but just looking at his writings, I’d say he’s pretty crappy at that, as well. Maybe he should just crawl back under the rock from when he came.

Stolen Valor getting attention in the news.

ABC news takes note of the phenomenon of people claiming honors that are not theirs. Mostly the report is about efforts to overturn convictions based upon a supposed right under the First Amendment to lie your ass off.  I don’t know how the courts will eventually rule on this, but to me, it’s a no brainer. Virtually every Stolen Valor case I’ve seen has been someone trying to get something based on “their service.” Maybe not a direct monetary transaction, but like the case of Xavier Alvarez, trying to gain stature in the community, to gain political power. If you ask me, gaining political office via a fraudulent representation of your history isn’t exactly protected speech.

A couple of Stolen Valor updates.

First, there’s a little more information on General McSoulPatch.

This Ain’t Hell covers it here, here, here, here and here. Like I said, I hate these guys. TSO and the fine folks at TAH go and get these guys. Keep it up.

Second, there’s a different case in the news, brought to our attention by the moral degenerates fine folks at DoublePlusUnDead.  I’m pretty sure TAH brought Rick Strandlof (aka Rick Duncan) to our attention  before. But now his defense is arguing that his fraudulent claims are protected speech. Jenn cautioned in our post Monday that there would likely be a First Amendment challenge to the SVA. I guess she’s smarter than me. I’m a stalwart defender of the First Amendment. Having said that, Strandlof’s attorneys’ and “civil liberty” groups  arguments doesn’t seem to hold water to me:

On Tuesday, the Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties group based in Virginia, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in Strandlof’s case attacking the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act.

John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, said the law is poorly written and should not be used to prosecute people for simply telling lies.

“You have to redraft the law to prove a particularized damage,” he said. “If you run around Denver and yell out, ‘I got the Medal of Honor,’ you are guilty of the statute the way it is written.”

First, I would argue that by fraudulently claiming a decoration didn’t earn, he has diminished the value of the award to individuals who have earned it. Both in the military and in civilian life, there is value in being a decorated servicemember. Secondly, he solicited funds from people, justifying in part the trust people placed in his fiduciary duty by virtue of his decoration. And thirdly, his defense claims he has bi-polar disorder, but have not in any way shown that such a disorder causes him to truly believe he earned such an award, nor that he is unable to distinguish right from wrong in this case, making such an argument superfluous.

I’ve met a ton of people in bars and such who claimed to be some variant of super-soldier or another. For the most part, I just ignore them. If they’re just trying to impress some girl to get her home, that’s a venial sin(but still a sin!) as far as I’m concerned. But to present yourself to the public as a decorated veteran to enhance your standing in the community, solicit funds, or to advance a political or commercial agenda or career, is, and should remain, outside the bounds of protected speech under the First Amendment, and certainly subject to sanctions under criminal law as regards fraud and misrepresentation.

Any big brained law types wanna put me some knowledge?

More Stolen Valor

If any of you out there are thinking that falsely claiming to be a veteran might be the way to go to pick up chicks or what not, let me give you a hint. A real veteran will notice in about 2 seconds that you are full of crap. Trying to scam money? That’s even worse.

Hartford’s resident village idiot found that out the hard way.