A sculpture in Georgia larger than a football field – depicting Civil War luminaries Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson – has become the latest target in the push to purge the South of signs of the Confederacy.
The Atlanta chapter of the NAACP called Monday for the elimination of all symbols of the Confederacy from Stone Mountain Park, whose marquee attraction is the 90-foot-high, 190-foot-wide sculpture carved deep into the mountain.
“Those guys need to go,” chapter leader Richard Rose told WSB-TV, referring to Davis, the former president of the Confederate States of America, and the two Confederate generals. “They can be sand-blasted off, or somebody could carefully remove a slab of that and auction it off to the highest bidder.
“My tax dollars should not be used to commemorate slavery,” he added.
In addition to the removal of Confederate symbols from Stone Mountain Park, located outside of Atlanta, the group says it also wants all symbols removed from state-owned buildings, parks and lands.
A spokesman for the park told WSB-TV that any removal of the monuments is up to the Georgia state legislature.
Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., who serves the district in which the mountain sits, told local radio station V-103 that he is “not so much affected by Stone Mountain Park as I am by the flag flying at an official government building like a state capitol or even the federal Capitol, a position, the seat of government.”
“I view Stone Mountain as more of a museum-type archaeological place of remembrance for those who want to remember back then and they have a right to remember back then and the park is there,” he said.
Category Archives: Military
The U.S. military is weighing whether it will conduct or fund gender transition surgery and treatment once the ban on open service by transgender people is rescinded.
On Monday, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter issued two directives, bringing the Pentagon closer to lifting the Department of Defense (DoD) policy barring transgender persons from wearing the uniform.
An unnamed senior defense official told the Associated Press (AP) that the ultimate goal is to lift the ban.
“Some of the key concerns involved in the repeal of the ban on transgender individuals include whether the military would conduct or pay for the medical costs, surgeries and other treatment associated with any gender transition, as well as which physical training or testing standards transgender individuals would be required to meet during different stages of their transition,” notes AP.
Unnamed defense officials told AP that “the military also wants time to tackle questions about where transgender troops would be housed, what uniforms they would wear, what berthing they would have on ships, which bathrooms they would use and whether their presence would affect the ability of small units to work well together.”
Carter announced that the DoD will create a working group to study, over the next six months, the implications that allowing transgenders to serve openly in the military will have on policy and readiness.
“The Defense Department’s current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions,” said Carter in a statement issued Monday.
Now we know what hope and change really meant.
Somewhere Frank Marshall Davis must be smiling. Barack Obama toasted what he always wanted, the decline of the West, as our president finally rolled over and made a big nuclear deal with Iran, giving the ayatollah virtually everything he could have dreamed of, let alone needed — including control over nuclear inspections, making them meaningless — and getting nothing in return.
Among the first to respond, Senator Marco Rubio:
Washington, D.C.– U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today commented on the Obama Administration’s announcement of a nuclear deal with Iran:
“I have said from the beginning of this process that I would not support a deal with Iran that allows the mullahs to retain the ability to develop nuclear weapons, threaten Israel, and continue their regional expansionism and support for terrorism. Based on what we know thus far, I believe that this deal undermines our national security. President Obama has consistently negotiated from a position of weakness, giving concession after concession to a regime that has American blood on its hands, holds Americans hostage, and has consistently violated every agreement it ever signed. I expect that a significant majority in Congress will share my skepticism of this agreement and vote it down. Failure by the President to obtain congressional support will tell the Iranians and the world that this is Barack Obama’s deal, not an agreement with lasting support from the United States. It will then be left to the next President to return us to a position of American strength and re-impose sanctions on this despicable regime until it is truly willing to abandon its nuclear ambitions and is no longer a threat to international security
More from Rep. DeSantis, chairman of the Subcommittee for National Security :
This Iran deal gives Ayatollah Khamenei exactly what he wants: billions of dollars in sanctions relief, validation of the Iranian nuclear program, and the ability to stymie inspections. It even lifts sanctions against Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani, who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers during the campaign in Iraq. The deal will further destabilize the Middle East, allow Iran to foment more terrorism, and aid Iran’s rise as the dominant power in the region. By paving Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon, the deal harms American national security and effectively stabs our close ally Israel, which Iran has threatened to wipe off the map, in the back. Congress needs to move swiftly to block this dangerous deal.
Good words all around, but not enough. Words by themselves are not going to cut it, only action and serious organizing of the apathetic American people. This is not courtly congressional business as usual. This is nothing less than the sabotage of Western civilization by itself, covered by weasel-like spin and outright prevarication. The time has come for the all the candidates, indeed the entire country, to speak out as one. This monstrosity cannot pass.
“As of now, there’s no discussion of adjusting our current naming policy,” Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters on Wednesday.
His comments came amid calls across the U.S. to remove the Confederate flag from public places. The massacre at a Charleston, South Carolina church carried out by Dylann Roof, an avowed white supremacist, sparked a national debate on the Confederate flag. Nine African-Americans were killed in the attack.
Reporters asked Col. Warren about the Army naming several bases in the South after Confederate generals.
Brig. Gen. Malcolm B. Frost, chief of Army public affairs, said in a statement that those bases were named “in the spirit of reconciliation, not division.”
“Every Army installation is named for a soldier who holds a place in our military history. Accordingly, these historic names represent individuals, not causes or ideologies,” he added.
Various news outlets note that there are 10 U.S. Army bases named after Confederate leaders.
The long run has ended. We are losing the war in Iraq for the same reason we lost the war in Vietnam: we are fighting one war, while the insurgents fight another. In both campaigns, we understood neither our enemy nor our friends. In both campaigns, American lives and treasure were thrown into a fight we could not win. So, in both campaigns, we didn’t.
The actions of the Iraqi Army in Ramadi—fleeing at the first sign of trouble—are uncomfortably familiar. Again, our allies fail. Again, our allies ensure American lives in more than a decade of active war were lost in vain. Again, we leave holding a handful of ashes.
There is nothing quite so startling, and refreshing, inside the Pentagon as when the most senior officials say out loud what everyone knows. Ash Carter and General Dempsey, to their great credit—and to the unanimous acclaim of the people who work for them—refused to walk back these quotes. In the Washington press corps, the quotes above are called a “gaffe.” In the regular world, they are called “the truth.”
The Iraqi soldiers of today look an awful lot like the South Vietnamese soldiers of 50 years ago. This average soldier is a conscript, either de facto or de jure, fleeing a wasteland of poverty and low-level corruption in the countryside or urban slums. These young men are either dragooned into service or reaching for their only way out of poverty—a distinction without a difference. Such a young soldier is likely illiterate, innumerate, and incapable of following the most basic of orders due to either incompetence or self-preservation.
An insurgent succeeds because he has a sanctuary: the Ho Chi Minh Trail through Laos and Cambodia provided the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong a secure, safe lifeline of supplies from North to South; the Federally Administered Tribal Areas border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan hides Taliban and al-Qaeda in friendly defiles. In Iraq, ISIS has a sanctuary right out in the open, in the villages and slums they control through intimidation and in which government forces are afraid to patrol.
ISIS does not have to defeat the Iraqis. ISIS, just as al-Qaeda and the Taliban maneuvering right now on the other side of Iran, has only to wait out the Americans. They know the airstrikes will end. They know we will not put Americans back on the ground.
We now know what happened in Iraq in the long run. It is clear to Carter, Dempsey, and every American general, and every soldier and Marine and intelligence analyst and diplomat. The bad guys are winning. We cannot know when they have won. But we will know when we have lost.
Clint Eastwood’s hit movie American Sniper has brought home to Americans the trauma that many veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars bring back with them. An astonishing 22 veterans commit suicide every day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. A disturbing and growing number are younger vets, many haunted by their experiences and poorly reintegrated into civilian life. In a 2014 survey of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, half said they knew another veteran who had attempted suicide.
Investigator James O’Keefe, whose previous undercover videos have exposed scandals involving ACORN, PBS, and voter fraud, has interviewed people who raise disturbing questions about the VA’s inability to treat the underlying causes of veterans’ emotional problems, as it falls back on a regime of drug therapies that often mask the problems or have serious side effects that make matters worse. A video from his group Project Veritas asks why an increasing number of military graveyards are being filled with people who died at their own hands rather than in combat.
During a recent visit to National Review, former senator Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) told me that the VA continues to suffer from poor patient care, unreasonably long wait times, and data failures. The medical records are often horribly kept and inadequate. Dr. Maureen McCarthy, deputy chief patient-care-services officer at the VA, told a congressional hearing last year that she had no faith in the numbers her own department provides, so she couldn’t provide an estimate of how long veterans wait for mental-health appointments. Retired Army sergeant Josh Renschler, who has suffered from traumatic brain injury, told the same hearing that he would become confused or lost in chaotic VA facilities and couldn’t find a friendly staff member to help direct him.
A great country can’t ask its young people to serve bravely on battlefields and then too often treat them like bothersome discards when they return home.
We live in an age of narratives, not news. The narrative in the mainstream media is that Hillary Clinton is “inevitable” as the Democratic nominee, with supporting polling data from the New York Times (that oversamples Democrats and under-samples Republicans) manufactured to support the narrative. But the real news, what people need to know, is that Hillary looks like a disaster-in-the-making, with very poor campaign skills and an indefensible record overseeing foreign policy disasters that have exploded in the face of Obama.
But some in the mainstream media are beginning to shed their reluctance to say that the empress has no clothes. Check out this editorial from the Miami Herald (hat tip: Jerry Schmitt)
The aura of inevitability in which Hillary Clinton basked for so long has smacked up against the reality of the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign. And both she and the Democratic Party are worse off. (snip)
…it’s no longer too early for Mrs. Clinton to make the case that she’s hungry for this job, that she’s the better choice for the position. So far, though, she hasn’t really moved the needle of her poll numbers since declaring her candidacy. And despite the intimate, unrecorded chats Mrs. Clinton has held with small groups of voters, her 27-day silence let others fill the void and tell the public who she is, and mostly in negative terms. (snip)
…Mrs. Clinton comes with baggage, the contents of which should be examined, explained. The dubious sources of donations to the Clinton Foundation, for instance, are fair game.
The problem is:
…the Democratic bench isn’t very deep, and that stands to cause enduring damage to the rich mix of ideas and ideology that has propelled American politics for centuries now.
If tomorrow Mrs. Clinton decided, “You know, maybe I don’t want to be president after all,” who would step into the void? So far, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a large, cultish following that could translate into a credible, popular campaign. Joe Biden? Experienced and personable, but like Mrs. Clinton, and even Jeb Bush on the Republican side, there’s a freshness lacking, though it’s not a deal-killer.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is in there pitching, and former Maryland Gov. Mike O’Malley is exploring. But where the country is only benefiting from the scrappy fighters on the Republican side, from the credible to the far-out, Mrs. Clinton and her party lack that “oomph.” They must keep in mind that inevitability is hardly a winning strategy.
The recepients were Jake Sullivan, Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Secretary of State Clinton, Cheryl Mills, an adviser to Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and Counselor and Chief of Staff to the Secretary, and Victoria Jane Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.
“Cheryl told me the Libyans confirmed his death. Should we announce tonight or wait until morning?” Clinton says in the email, time stamped 11:38 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2012.
The email had as its subject line: “Chris Smith.” The murdered ambassador was Chris Stevens.
The Secretary of State didn’t even know the name of the U.S. ambassador to Libya — even after terrorists stormed an American compound and killed him.
Kayce M. Hagen is a pen name assumed by an active duty enlisted airman. She wrote the following words to capture her thoughts after attending mandatory annual training given by her base’s Sexual Assault Response Coordination (SARC) office. I’m publishing her letter here not just because it captures in visceral form a sentiment I’ve heard repeatedly from airmen who are frustrated by increasingly tone-deaf and overwrought approaches to this issue, but also because I believe her input raises (or renews) two important questions. First, what is the current Sexual Assault Prevention program doing for the Air Force? Second, what is it doing to the Air Force? Kayce’s input explores these questions in a powerful way. Enjoy and respond. -Q.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I got up this morning as an Airman in the United States Air Force. I got up and I put on my uniform, I pulled back my hair, I looked in the mirror and an Airman looked back. A strong, confident military professional stared out of my bathroom mirror, and I met her eyes with pride. Then I came to your briefing. I came to your briefing and I listened to you talk to me, at times it seemed directly to me, about sexual assault. You talked about a lot of things, about rivers and bridges, you talked about saving people and victimization. In fact you talked for almost a full ninety minutes, and you disgusted me.
You made me a victim today, and I am nobody’s victim. I am an American Airman in the most powerful Air Force in the world, and you made me into a helpless whore. A sensitive, defenseless woman who has no power to protect herself, who has nothing in common with the men she works with. You made me untouchable, and by doing that you made me a target. You gave me a transparent parasol, called it an umbrella and told me to stand idly by while you placed everything from rape to inappropriate shoulder brushes in a crowded hallway underneath it. You put my face up on your slides; my face, my uniform, my honor, and you made me hold this ridiculous contraption of your own devising and called me empowered. You called me strong. You told me, and everyone else who was listening to you this morning that I had a right to dictate what they said. That I had a right to dictate what they looked at. That I had a right to dictate what they listened to. That somehow, in my shop, I was the only person who mattered. That they can’t listen to the radio because they might play the Beatles, or Sir Mix-A-Lot, and that I might be offended. That if someone plays a Katy Perry song, I might have flashbacks to a night where I made a bad decision. I might be hurt, and I’m fragile right? Of course I am, you made me that way.
You are the reason I room alone when I deploy. You are the reason that wives are terrified that their husbands are cheating on them when they leave, and I leave with them. When I walk into a room and people are laughing and having a good time, you are the reason they take one look at me and either stop talking or leave. They’re afraid. They’re afraid of me, and it’s because of you. They are afraid that with all of this “power” I have, I can destroy them. They will never respect me or the power and the authority I have as a person, or the power I have as an Airman, because I am nothing more than a victim. That I as a victim, somehow I control their fate. With one sentence, I can destroy the rest of their lives.
“He sexually assaulted me.”
I say enough. He didn’t assault me, you did; and I say enough is enough. If you want to help me, you need to stop calling me a victim. If you want to save me, you need to help me to be equal in the eyes of the people I work with. If you want to change a culture, you need to lessen the gap between men and women, not widen it. Women don’t need their own set of rules: physical training scores, buildings, rooms, raters, sponsors, deployment buddies. When I can only deploy with another woman ‘buddy’ you are telling me and the people around me that I can’t take care of myself. When you forbid me from going into my male friends room to play X-Box on a deployment with the other people on my shift, you isolate me. When you isolate me, you make me a target. When you make me a target, you make me a victim. You don’t make me equal, you make me hated. If I am going to be hated, it will be because of who I am, not because of who you have made me. I am not a victim. I am an American Airman, I am a Warrior, and I have answered my nation’s call.
Help me be what I am, or be quiet and get out of my way.