Poll: Do You Think We Should Have A Military Parade In Washington?

images-3The United States has long rejected the holding of military parades featuring tanks, missiles and other heavy weapons as a symbol of authoritarian regimes like the Soviet Union, North Korea and other countries.  We commonly have parades with marching military and military bands in Washington.  What we generally have not done is add heavy weaponry — the signature display of so many of the history authoritarian enemies of this country (though, as some have pointed out on this blog, there have been exceptions where tanks or missiles were present in inaugurations).  Trump’s desire for military equipment at the presidential inauguration was reportedly rejected by the Pentagon as running counter to the long traditions of the country.  Now Trump appears to be close to getting such a parade, modeled on the Bastille Day parade. A military official told The Washington Post is quoted as saying“The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France.” (The current results show 77 percent against such parades with around 800 polled.  The Army-Navy Times is reported opposition at 89 percent).  Opposition is also coming from Republicans who are calling it “cheesy” and “wasteful.”  The Navy Seal who killed Osama Bin Laden has called it “third world bulls**t.”

Ironically, as many on this blog know, I am a military history buff and love to review both vintage and modern weaponry.  However, I like our tradition in not holding such military parades. Our military has long maintained its apolitical and professional distance in our system. We celebrate and honor our military but do not use heavy weapons as props.  We also avoid the high costs associated with such parades.  However, people of good faith can disagree and I wanted to ask the blog about the consensus (if any) on this issue below.

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RES IPSA HITS 33,000,000

Audience_Frontier_FiestaWe have hit another milestone today with over 33,000,000 views. We are also expected to reach 35,000 followers on Twitter.  That hardly makes us competition for the largest sites but it is still an impressive collection of people seeking a place for civil but passionate discourse on legal and policy issues  of our time (and perhaps a few wacky stories).  We often use these milestones to look at the current profile of the blog and its supporters around the world.

As always, I want to offer special thanks for our weekend contributors: Mike Appleton, Larry Rafferty, Darren Smith, Kimberly Dienes, and Cara Gallagher (particularly Darren who continues help up with periodic technical problems etc).

I particularly want to thank our regular commentators and readers.  We try to keep this blog as an open forum with as little interference or monitoring of the comments as possible.  Given our free speech orientation, we try not to delete comments and, for that reason, we are deeply appreciative of how most people avoid personal or offensive comments in debating these issues.  We have had to delete a handful of comments with personal attacks or profanity but the number remains quite low for a blog of this size.  The success of this blog is due to the fact that we offer something more than the all-too-common troll-driven, angry, and insulting commentary of the Internet.  Thank you for voluntarily assuming restraint over the tenor and content of your comments. Continue reading

Aim High: Military Pilot Draws Giant Phallus Above Washington State [UPDATED]

DOyF6cMUQAEFaTEIt seems that Naval Aviators are taking a cue from their Air Force counterparts and “aiming high.”  In what may be the greatest example of male exaggeration, a Naval pilot drew a giant phallus in the skies above Okanogan, Washington.  I am ready to represent the pilot and argue that this is really nothing more than a cowboy hat and that the suggestion of anything more is merely an example of sexual repression revealed in an aerial Rorschach test. UPDATE: The pilots have been disciplined but will keep their “wings.”


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With Friends Like This: Egypt Sought To Smuggle Over 30,000 RPGs In Violation of North Korean Embargo

Egypt1600px-Flag_of_North_Korea.svgWe recently discussed the controversy over U.S. taxpayers giving billions to Egypt as that country persecutes homosexuals, including its recent ordering of anal examinations of suspected gay men.  Now a new report indicates that the United States suspended aid temporarily when it learned that the Egyptian government was knowingly circumventing international trade bans with North Korea.  While North Korea was threatening the world with nuclear war and specifically targeting the United States, our “ally” was secretly trying to pay North Korea $23 million for over 30,000 rocket-propelled grenades.

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Harvard Rescinds Manning Fellowship Under Pressure

imagesThe only thing worse than Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government appointing Chelsea Manning as fellow was the school’s withdraw of the fellowship. The school today succeeded in demonstrating to the world that its fellowships have zero intellectual content by first appointing Manning without a clear explanation of her expected academic contributions and then terminating the appointment under pressure.  As academics, we are not supposed to remove academic appointments because individuals are controversial or unpopular.  If Harvard was sticking by its academic reasons for the appointment, it should stick by its appointee.

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Rep. Luis Gutierrez Calls Gen. Kelly A “Disgrace To His Uniform” For Allowing DACA Decision

440px-Luis_Gutiérrez_official_photo440px-John_F._Kelly,_2012The incendiary and uncivil politics that has gripped the nation has been a long focus on this blog.  I am honestly worried about how the insulting and personal attacks from both sides will change political dialogue in this country for a generation.  These include some past comments made by President Trump as well as his political opponents.  As the father of four children, I emphasize the need to maintain civility, but that lesson is undermined every time the kids watch the news. The latest such incident involves Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) who made troubling statements about White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, including calling the highly decorated veteran a “disgrace to the uniform.”  The reason was that Kelly somehow did not prevent President Donald Trump from rescinding DACA. This age of rage appears to have given people license to vent their most insulting and unfair criticisms at one another. We can no longer have a simple disagreement over issues like immigration.  People have to be labeled “terrorists”  or white supremacists if they think DACA should be decided by Congress or oppose amnesty programs. Calling this man (who lost a son in the military service) a “disgrace to his uniform” is a sad moment for our country.

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