This week I will be blogging from London, England. Today will be the first day, though I arrive around 10 pm in London. I will be speaking at the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. I will be participating on a program organized by Hon. Delissa A. Ridgway, Judge of the United States Court of International Trade entitled “What if . . . there had been no Magna Carta?”
There was a moment this week that many thought they would never see. Brig. Gen. Randy S. Taylor rose to address a major conference and introducing his spouse. However in this case his spouse was his husband Lucas who was sitting in the same row with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter Army Secretary John McHugh and other senior officials. Taylor has served 27 years through the ban on gays, the “don’t ask don’t tell policy,” and now the new policy of openness. He and Lucas have had an 18-year relationship.
Colorado police in Greenwood Village seem to follow the same approach to home invasion as the major at the battle of for the South Vietnamese town of Ben Tre: “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.” The logic however escaped Anna Mumzhiyan and her fiance John Lech. Police chased a shoplifter who was believed to be armed to their home. The Walmart shoplifter, Robert Seacat, (left) was met by a SWAT team including the most all-too-common armored cars. Not willing to wait him out, the police proceeded to punch holes through the walls of the home and plant explosives — destroying walls and leaving the home uninhabitable. They got their man and the homeowners got a collapsing wreck of a home. Police are still debating whether they are liable for the damage.
The religious orthodoxy of some Israeli laws have long been a point of contention in the country, particularly with the large secular Jewish population over everything from dietary limitations to segregated buses. A U.S. born Israeli soldier found out about these pervasive laws when he was brought up on charges after being spotted eating a pork sandwich in uniform. His secular grandmother had made him the sandwich and it initially landed him in jail with a 11-day sentence. Continue reading
There is a remarkable story out of Belgium where researchers have not only identified a 200-year old skeleton discovered beneath a parking lot at the Battle of Waterloo site as a German soldier, but identified the soldier as 23-year old Friedrich Brandt, was a member of the King’s German Legion of British monarch George III. The pictures shown here actually reveal the minimal still lodged between Brandt from the wound that killed him.
We have yet another example of how we are wasting billions of dollars in Afghanistan where a combination of incompetence and corruption continues to drain the U.S. treasury. This week, SIGAR released two reports showing how, an inspection of the $7.8 million Shorandam Industrial Park in Kandahar is an utter failure and how the money to create a sustainable source of power for Kandahar City has left the city literally in the dark. Once again, there is no indication of any discipline or action taken against those who approve such projects and oversee such failures.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
In an injustice to both the liberty of a Kurdish man and free speech in general a court in Turkey handed down thirteen year sentence to a defendant accused of removing a Turkish flag at a military base near Diyarbakir, Turkey. The disproportionate sentence followed an outraged Recep Erdogan who declared after the act, “[w]e don’t care if he is a child. Even if a child dares to take down our sacred flag both him and those who send him there will pay a price.”