LGP Political Discussion Thread

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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby ExPatriatePen on Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:04 pm

redwill wrote:
ExPatriatePen wrote:Soldier Who Read Conservative Books Now Faces Charges
http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/to ... arges.html


This isn't anything new. I recall several incidents like this when Clinton was Pres.

But, just for discussion's sake, what if the soldier had one or more bumper stickers on his car expressing contempt for his immediate superior: like "Lt. Col. Smith Sucks" or something like that. Should that be allowed? The issue of free speech or other civilian liberties in the context of the military has always interested me.


Col. Smith is not a public official or elected official.

Different ground rules.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby ExPatriatePen on Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:09 pm

tifosi77 wrote:
ExPatriatePen wrote:
tifosi77 wrote:
ExPatriatePen wrote:Soldier Who Read Conservative Books Now Faces Charges
http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/to ... arges.html


If he had more than one bumper sticker on his car - or if he was ever in uniform while driving said car - then that aspect of the reprimand is legit.

Again, obviously there are UCMJ issues while on duty (or in uniform - implying a representation of the US military), but what he reads, or the opinions he holds, can not, and should not, be used as a "big stick" to force him into compliance with partisan political views.

I agree, but that's not what he's getting in trouble for, nor was he being asked to 'conform' his views or be more compliant with his Commander in Chief. You want to read clearly political material while on duty or otherwise in uniform at an official public interaction? We've all been to school and know how to make book covers out of brown grocery store bags.

When I was in the USAF from 1975-1979 I was very interested in the Russian Revolution and the formation of the USSR. Trust me, in the late 70's that raised quite a few hackles.

I shouldn't have to put a brown paper wrapper on the books I read simply because they espouse philosophical differences from the party in charge. That's ludicrous.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby redwill on Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:10 pm

ExPatriatePen wrote:Col. Smith is not a public official or elected official.

Different ground rules.


Hardly. "Commander-in-Chief" means exactly what it states. It's a simple chain-of-command issue, is it not? If he shouldn't mock or express contempt for LTC Smith, what about COL Jones? Or BG Williams? Etc. All the way up.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby ExPatriatePen on Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:14 pm

redwill wrote:
ExPatriatePen wrote:Col. Smith is not a public official or elected official.

Different ground rules.


Hardly. "Commander-in-Chief" means exactly what it states. It's a simple chain-of-command issue, is it not? If he shouldn't mock or express contempt for LTC Smith, what about COL Jones? Or BG Williams? Etc. All the way up.

Let's get the attorneys opinions in here (although there's a big difference between civil law and UCMJ)
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby tifosi77 on Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:33 pm

ExPatriatePen wrote:When I was in the USAF from 1975-1979 I was very interested in the Russian Revolution and the formation of the USSR. Trust me, in the late 70's that raised quite a few hackles.

My uncle joined the USMC in 1975.... after previously threatening to defect to Russia. We had FBI dudes at our house and everything (this was before I was born, so it's just anecdotal to me), so I know that such things can be.... curious. :lol:

ExPatriatePen wrote:I shouldn't have to put a brown paper wrapper on the books I read simply because they espouse philosophical differences from the party in charge. That's ludicrous.

You absolutely should, whether such material is supportive or condemnatory of the party du jour.

Civilian and Military Personnel Participation in Political Activities
"Generally all service members are prohibited from acting in any manner that gives rise to the inference of endorsement or approval of candidates for political office by DOD or the U.S military."


Redwill is right; this is a straight chain-of-command issue. They're the bosses, regardless of one's beliefs. Having a civilian command authority over the military is a central tenant of our republic. And keeping the political and the martial as separated as possible is a key component of that.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby columbia on Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:37 pm

Why was he reading on the job?
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby ExPatriatePen on Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:23 pm

columbia wrote:Why was he reading on the job?

Band member. Talk about the epitome of "hurry up and wait"

tifosi77 wrote:
Civilian and Military Personnel Participation in Political Activities
"Generally all service members are prohibited from acting in any manner that gives rise to the inference of endorsement or approval of candidates for political office by DOD or the U.S military."


Redwill is right; this is a straight chain-of-command issue. They're the bosses, regardless of one's beliefs. Having a civilian command authority over the military is a central tenant of our republic. And keeping the political and the martial as separated as possible is a key component of that.


If he was out collecting signatures while in uniform, sure.

But simply reading a book doesn't "give rise to the inference of endorsement or approval of candidates for political office by DOD or the U.S military."

Hell I wasn't advocating for communism when I was so intrigued with Rasputin, the Czar, Trotsky, the Bolsheviks, et al.

IT'S INANE.

Our men/women should give their lives for their country but need to keep their own mouths shut re: freedom of speech. <<< Nuts
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby columbia on Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:30 pm

This dude is definitely in the sweet spot of the I'm being persecuted demographic.
(The culture of victimhood as Limbaugh might say.)

I definitely would like to read more on it.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby redwill on Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:00 pm

ExPatriatePen wrote:If he was out collecting signatures while in uniform, sure.

But simply reading a book doesn't "give rise to the inference of endorsement or approval of candidates for political office by DOD or the U.S military."


the article wrote:Sommers’ troubles started last year when he was confronted about having pro-Republican and anti-Obama bumper stickers on his personal vehicle.

The stickers read: “Political Dissent is NOT Racism,” “NOBAMA,” NOPE2012” and “The Road to Bankruptcy is Paved with Ass-Fault.” That sticker included the image of a donkey.

His superior officer told the solider that the bumper stickers were creating “unnecessary workplace tension.”

“The types of stickers on your car were creating an atmosphere detrimental to morale and were creating unnecessary workplace tension,” the officer wrote in an Army document obtained by Fox News. “A Soldier must balance their personal feelings with the mission of the U.S. Army. Even the slightest inference of disrespect towards superiors can have a demoralizing effect on the unit.”


He was doing more than just "simply reading a book."

ExPatriatePen wrote:Hell I wasn't advocating for communism when I was so intrigued with Rasputin, the Czar, Trotsky, the Bolsheviks, et al.


Did you have anti-Jimmy Carter bumper stickers on your car? Were you sitting around the band shell bad-mouthing the yokel peanut farmer Commander-in-Chief who was destroying the country and Western Civilization while he was at it? Did you? Were you actively destroying your unit's morale by mocking and questioning the actions of your superiors? Were you mocking the entire institution of the military while you expressed your individual rights as if you had just come out of a freshman philosophy class? Did you have any idea what it takes to run a nation-defending military force? Do you now? ANY?

ExPatriatePen wrote:IT'S INANE.

Our men/women should give their lives for their country but need to keep their own mouths shut re: freedom of speech. <<< Nuts


I have a real problem with people being led to "defend their country" when no real country-defending actually takes place since there is no real threat except to corporate interests. THAT's nuts.

BUT -- If you sign up for the military you agree to certain things that are critical to the future of this nation. One of them is that you give up the right to criticize the politicians who are your commanders and who make the choices. You have the right -- indeed, the obligation -- to disobey an immoral order from your superior, but that's it. Certainly nothing this guy faced falls into that category.

You seem caught up in this idea that it is inherently bad for people to surrender ANY of their rights. But I see service in the military as similar to the rights we VOLUNTARILY give up as members of society. We don't shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater (that example is as obligatory as it is unnecessary), we don't run red lights, we don't kill each other, etc. People in the military are not conscripted. They are volunteers. They need to (1) make sure they understand their superiors' orders and not commit a moral crime (how that is possible is a whole other subject perhaps suited to the philosophy thread) and (2) shut the hell up about their political opinions. They can read, think, and believe anything thing they want, but keep it out of the job. It's not so hard to do. Liberals in uniform were wrong to criticize GWB and Ditto-heads in uniform are wrong to do it now. IMO.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Kaizer on Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:47 pm

lets everybody just calm the **** down. the headline of that article says hes being charged, CHARGED!!, like hes going to prison or something, but in the article it says he's being NJP'd. non judicial punishment, which could mean he loses rank, forfeits some pay for a few months, and he werent an E-9, clean some extra toilets. OR it could mean he gets a piece of paper saying he did something bad and shouldnt do it again. getting an NJP is like the military version of a speeding ticket. the punishment is based on just how fast you were going, the maximum penalty isnt that serious, and lots and lots of people have had them.

further, it says what he picked up this NJP for, which seems perfectly in line with whats happening to him, and the crap about obama stickers and conservative books is just circumstantial firewood so someone could go pitchfork caroling.

edit: looks like i misjudged where the article ended.

During the course of their investigation, the military unearthed a tweet from 2010 that included a derogatory word for homosexuals. The soldier admitted that he had retweeted someone else’s original tweet.

“Lordy, Lordy, it’s f****t Tuesday. The lefty loons and Obamabots are out in full force,” the retweet read.


Wells said there are a number of homosexuals serving in the Army Band and he believes they are ganging up on Sommers because of his religious beliefs.


what do you expect you f***ing idiot. freedom of speech works both ways.
if this guy hadnt run to fox news to show everyone his sad, sad tale of personal oppression, none of this would have went any further than his CO's desk, and there wouldnt be any investigating into anything this nimrod did with his twitter account and chicken sandwiches.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Kaizer on Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:25 am

redwill wrote:
You seem caught up in this idea that it is inherently bad for people to surrender ANY of their rights. But I see service in the military as similar to the rights we VOLUNTARILY give up as members of society. We don't shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater (that example is as obligatory as it is unnecessary), we don't run red lights, we don't kill each other, etc. People in the military are not conscripted. They are volunteers. They need to (1) make sure they understand their superiors' orders and not commit a moral crime (how that is possible is a whole other subject perhaps suited to the philosophy thread) and (2) shut the hell up about their political opinions. They can read, think, and believe anything thing they want, but keep it out of the job. It's not so hard to do. Liberals in uniform were wrong to criticize GWB and Ditto-heads in uniform are wrong to do it now. IMO.


this is also spot on, but the guy seems to think he was doing all of this obama bashing in his own private ways, but the other side says it was hurting unit morale. since half of this story unfolded after the media got ahold of it, who the hell knows now.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby ExPatriatePen on Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:56 am

redwill wrote:
“The types of stickers on your car were creating an atmosphere detrimental to morale and were creating unnecessary workplace tension,” the officer wrote in an Army document obtained by Fox News. “A Soldier must balance their personal feelings with the mission of the U.S. Army. Even the slightest inference of disrespect towards superiors can have a demoralizing effect on the unit.”


I wonder what the officers political position is? Was that officer as diligent about making sure that Pro Obama stickers were not present on any personal vehicle "on post" as well?


ExPatriatePen wrote:Hell I wasn't advocating for communism when I was so intrigued with Rasputin, the Czar, Trotsky, the Bolsheviks, et al.


redwill wrote:Did you have anti-Jimmy Carter bumper stickers on your car? Were you sitting around the band shell bad-mouthing the yokel peanut farmer Commander-in-Chief who was destroying the country and Western Civilization while he was at it? Did you? Were you actively destroying your unit's morale by mocking and questioning the actions of your superiors? Were you mocking the entire institution of the military while you expressed your individual rights as if you had just come out of a freshman philosophy class? Did you have any idea what it takes to run a nation-defending military force? Do you now? ANY?


On that note Redwill, my involvement with you in this conversation is effectively over.
I served. I may not have served to the level of sacrifice as Kaizer or many others on this board, individuals who actually saw combat, who lost friends and comrades who's lives are forever changed by the experience. But I did serve and I do know what it's like to operate within the structure of the US military.

There are many ways to respond to you. I'll just say that I'm disappointed in seeing your reaction expressed in this manner.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby columbia on Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:03 am

Sharing HBO Go Passwords To Watch 'Game Of Thrones' Could Result In Prison
http://www.ibtimes.com/game-accounts-sh ... n-1298659#
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby redwill on Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:35 am

ExPatriatePen wrote:
redwill wrote:Did you have anti-Jimmy Carter bumper stickers on your car? Were you sitting around the band shell bad-mouthing the yokel peanut farmer Commander-in-Chief who was destroying the country and Western Civilization while he was at it? Did you? Were you actively destroying your unit's morale by mocking and questioning the actions of your superiors? Were you mocking the entire institution of the military while you expressed your individual rights as if you had just come out of a freshman philosophy class? Did you have any idea what it takes to run a nation-defending military force? Do you now? ANY?


On that note Redwill, my involvement with you in this conversation is effectively over.
I served. I may not have served to the level of sacrifice as Kaizer or many others on this board, individuals who actually saw combat, who lost friends and comrades who's lives are forever changed by the experience. But I did serve and I do know what it's like to operate within the structure of the US military.

There are many ways to respond to you. I'll just say that I'm disappointed in seeing your reaction expressed in this manner.


The part you bolded was just a throw-in and was kind of a little joke on my part recalling Jack Nicholson's speech in A Few Good Men. It seemed mildly amusing to me late last night in a late-night-joke-sort-of-way. Oh, well. I forgot how easily some soldiers get offended ...
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby shafnutz05 on Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:05 am

I'm not seeing the big deal with this case. I expressed my political beliefs while I was in, but the President is at the top of every military chain of command. You can hold and express certain beliefs, but you simply cannot openly criticize your commander in chief.

Back in 2004, I had a Bush Cheney sticker on my truck. If it would have been Kerry Edwards no biggie. But in the military there is a certain line you cannot cross.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby PensFanInDC on Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:07 am

Yeah, if there really is anything coming of his reading material or his choice of fast food sammich then it's a different story. But, from what I can tell, the real issue is the stickers. I work for a company that does business with Monsanto, a company I detest and wish would drop off the face of the planet, but I wont be putting any anti-monsanto stickers on my car.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby tifosi77 on Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:28 am

I think Kaizer kind of hit the real extent of the story: a staunch anti-Obama servicemember got butthurt over a completely legitimate non-judicial punishment and ran to Fox News to vent his spleen and allege higher malfeasance in the hopes of making the NJD go away. (That last bit is just my own guessing at motive)

I mean...... the very first comment under the story reads, " in fact, this is how the German SS handled decent through the German ranks in order to get everyone to toe the line and support the Fuehrer". That's exactly the echo chamber this is was meant for. (btw, that post has 366 'Likes' as of this writing)
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Gaucho on Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:40 am

omg godwinz law!!!1
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby columbia on Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:42 am

tifosi77 wrote:I mean...... the very first comment under the story reads, " in fact, this is how the German SS handled decent through the German ranks in order to get everyone to toe the line and support the Fuehrer". That's exactly the echo chamber this is was meant for. (btw, that post has 366 'Likes' as of this writing)


columbia wrote:This dude is definitely in the sweet spot of the I'm being persecuted demographic.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Factorial on Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:51 am

His attorney was on Hannity last night and this is just more of the persecution complex that is good for Hannity's bottom line.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Factorial on Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:53 am

PensFanInDC wrote:Yeah, if there really is anything coming of his reading material or his choice of fast food sammich then it's a different story. But, from what I can tell, the real issue is the stickers. I work for a company that does business with Monsanto, a company I detest and wish would drop off the face of the planet, but I wont be putting any anti-monsanto stickers on my car.



EPP wrote:How is that even remotely relevant to this ?

This is your government, who control so many aspects of your life that extend far beyond any worker/employer relationship.

It's not even remotely the same.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby shafnutz05 on Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:53 am

Factorial wrote:His attorney was on Hannity last night and this is just more of the persecution complex that is good for Hannity's bottom line.


You are not a great American.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby columbia on Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:55 am

I don't know how anyone with any sense can watch Hannity. :pop:
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Troy Loney on Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:56 am

personal affirmation.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Factorial on Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:58 am

columbia wrote:I don't know how anyone with any sense can watch Hannity. :pop:


Who needs the daily show when you have Hannity.
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