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.