This post started out being just a collection of Snarky Snippets, but by the third story, it had turned into a full-blown rant. The issue of guns and the stupidity of people tend to do that to me. Sigh.
No military experience required for senior position — apply within
Earlier this week, I reported that Trump had issued pardons to two convicted war criminals, along with one who was still awaiting trial. One of those convicted and pardoned was Edward Gallagher, a former Navy SEAL, who was accused of shooting civilians, murdering a captive Islamic State fighter with a hunting knife in Iraq, and threatening to kill SEALs who reported him, among other misconduct. In his July court-martial, he was found not guilty of all charges but one: posing for photos with the teenage captive’s dead body.
And then, last week, Trump pardoned Gallagher. The Navy, however, is going forward with its plan to expel Gallagher from the SEALs, given that his crime brought shame upon the entire Navy. And then, Trump intervened yet again, tweeting …
“The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!”
Legally, this is a mine field and adds to the chaos that has become the United States government. The secretary of the Navy and the admiral who leads the SEALs have threatened to resign or be fired if Trump is allowed to have his way in this case.
The Navy secretary, Richard V. Spencer, said disciplinary plans against Chief Gallagher would proceed because he did not consider Mr. Trump’s statement on Twitter to be a formal order. Mr. Spencer added that the president, as commander in chief, had the authority to intervene and that it would stop “the process.”
I am neither a legal scholar nor a military strategist, however from a layman’s point of view, it seems that Trump is way out of bounds on this one. First, he has zero military experience himself, having dodged the draft through his father paying a doctor to lie about a foot condition (blisters, I believe). Second, although Trump is, as ‘president’, also Commander in Chief of the armed forces, I don’t think that should give him the power to micromanage the military, as he is attempting to do in the Gallagher case. And third, even though Trump pardoned him, it does not negate the fact, at least in my mind, that Gallagher was proven guilty of such a heinous, disgusting crime. Frankly, I don’t want him in the military in any capacity.
They’re building their own wall …
There are only two things, as best I can figure, that keep Trump’s base Velcro-ed to him: the economy remaining relatively strong, and his promise to build his damned wall, come hell or high water and at any cost to the environment.
He hasn’t gotten much of his wall built, and what he has built has already been proven ineffective, as it can easily be sawed through with a simple power saw. But never fear, Steve Bannon has formed a right-wing group of people who are taking matters into their own hands. The group call themselves We Build the Wall, and their president is a man named Brian Kolfage.
They have been bulldozing the banks of the Rio Grande to erect a privately funded border fence along the water’s edge … even though they have no permits to do so. Never mind that construction activity along the river banks is tightly regulated under international treaties because structures can exacerbate flood damage and alter the course of the river channel.
The International Boundary and Water Commission, which issues permits to build in the Rio Grande channel, has asked the group to suspend construction, submit a detailed engineering study and withdraw its excavators and other heavy equipment from the river levees. But Kolfage said his group is barreling forward anyway … one could only hope they would all get washed into the Rio Grande and out to the Gulf of Mexico.The damn fool, Kolfage, tweeted …
“Who else loves the fresh smell of diesel in the morning when we’re building the wall? Does it look like we were told stop? NOPE! Burning & Churning suckers.”
According to its website, the group has collected nearly $25 million in private donations and pledges, with plans to build at least 35 miles of barriers at up to 10 locations along the U.S. southern border in support of Trump’s mission to seal the border off to migrants.
No concern for the environment, no concern for the rule of law … vigilantes, in my book, and I’d like to see the lot of them in prison.
Second Amendment sanctuaries??? WTF???
Earlier this month in the state of Virginia, democrats rode a platform on gun control to historic victories in state elections. But … the gun nuts in the rural counties aren’t liking it one bit. They want to declare their counties ‘Second Amendment sanctuaries’, meaning that any new gun legislation passed in the state legislature would not be honoured in those ‘sanctuary’ counties. They say they fear that their ‘way of life’ is being cast aside. Their way of life??? Excuse me, but … how does gun ownership constitute a way of life? Let’s get some facts straight here … guns are made for one thing and one thing only: to kill! To cause death. The words ‘life’ and ‘death’ are polar opposites! They cannot exist together … they are mutually exclusive! Are these people … ah, never mind … I’m not going for the jugular just yet.
When the General Assembly convenes in January, Governor Ralph Northam has promised to move quickly with Democratic leaders to pass measures such as universal background checks, limits on the types and numbers of firearms that can be purchased and a “red flag” law allowing authorities to seize weapons from someone deemed a threat. All very sensible, long overdue, and not-yet-enough measures.
Do the people of rural Virginia not care if their children are shot in school? Do they not care that it is not safe in this country anymore to go out to a restaurant, to even walk down the street? What the heck has happened to sanity in this nation?
The people behind this movement say any kind of gun restriction feels personal. They’ve heard that some proposals would prevent kids under 18 from owning guns and say people who would ban assault weapons don’t understand what they are. So … they want kids owning guns??? And what’s with them saying we don’t understand what an assault weapon is? Oh yeah, folks, we understand full well what it is … a killing machine that can mow down hundreds within a minute or two. NOBODY outside of the military needs such a weapon. NOBODY! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Turns out that rural Virginia is not alone, not even the first to follow this path of idiocy. In New Mexico, 25 of the 33 counties have declared themselves ‘Second Amendment sanctuaries’, with some law enforcement officials saying they would go to jail rather than enforce firearm restrictions! In Illinois, nearly two-thirds of its counties have done the same.
A bit of humour to end this snarky rant …
Okay, my friends, I have now sent myself into a fit of heart-pounding apoplexy and need to calm down, so I’m finished snarking ‘n ranting for tonight. I think I’ll just turn off the computer and read for a while …