In case you missed it, Steve Brodner captures a bit of the testimony given by Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff the other day when the Army was accused of teaching cadets at West Point to understand our history and to respect people of all races.
If you’d like to hear his remarks, here’s the video:
Note that, when Milley, a veteran of combat, mentions a “fellow Green Beret,” he is referring to Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fl), who had, along with other Republicans on the committee, claimed that teaching of Critical Race Theory was undermining the morale of the service.
Not to be confused with Rep. Matt Gaetz, who — as noted by Andy Marlette — gained his knowledge of military matters while non-serving in the famous Sputtering Chickenhawks who bravely stood by while other young people signed up.
It gave him the vision and courage to declare that our military would be a better fighting force if its leadership were more ignorant and racist.
It’s an opinion apparently shared by Gary Varvel (Creators), who views military matters with the same non-service record as Gaetz, referencing a movie in which a temperamental military leader — who was repeatedly censured and suspended for his outrageous statements and for things like slapping a soldier for having PTSD — is continuously cautioned to behave more sensibly by Gen. Omar Bradley.
Though, as someone in the comments pointed out, even in the movie, Patton says “Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I READ YOUR BOOK!”
Patton was an avid history student and, like Milley, had the common sense to study his opponents as well as his allies.
In any case, Varvel’s attack on military leaders who reject racism is particularly relevant today, because on this date in 1948, the President struck one of the first blows in our next war, the domestic war against white supremacists.
Stay tuned to find out who wins that one.
Elsewhere in the News
Michael de Adder comments on the sentencing of Derek Chauvin, whose lawyer argued for time served, but whose 22.5 year sentence leans far more towards the 30-year max, particularly since the semi-isolation likely required for his safety will stretch those years out dramatically.
It’s an interesting test of how you see both jurisprudence — Are we rehabilitating, setting an example or wreaking vengeance? — and the famous “eye for an eye” rule, which can be interpreted as a command of what must be done or as a limit as to what is fair and just.
Though, as this site points out, Hammurabi did not draw up his code in an egalitarian society:
“If a man has destroyed the eye of a man of the gentleman class, they shall destroy his eye …. If he has destroyed the eye of a commoner … he shall pay one mina of silver. If he has destroyed the eye of a gentleman’s slave … he shall pay half the slave’s price.”
Minneapolis/St Paul based cartoonist Steve Sack points out that this, like the desegregation of the military 73 years ago, is only one more victory on a long uphill road.
I consider it a major step on that road, because it is an awakening as well as a precedent: It’s equally important that bad police realize they can be held accountable and that good police realize that they can and should speak up.
And let’s remember that this case isn’t over: The other officers — those who stood by and watched and failed to intervene — have yet to face trial.
Whatever happens to them will also send a message, one way or the other.
Sack strikes again, with this comic but important view of Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., in which everyone except Associate Justice Long Dong Silver ruled that schools do not have unrestricted control over student behavior off-campus and after hours.
The cartoon seems a bit unclear, because parents can certainly set their own “my house/my rules” standards, and I’d suggest that dropping an F-bomb on the street would still reverberate in most homes if the aggrieved party called to report it.
But there are a couple of interesting precedents here. In Morse v Frederick, the Court split 5-4, ruling that the principal had the right to suspend a student who held up a “Bong Hits for Jesus” banner at a school function, citing a school rule against promoting drug use. (with Justice L.D. Silver noting that he’d like to overturn Tinker v Des Moines.)
But in Morse, the offense occurred during a school function, albeit technically not on school grounds. (Students were outside, on the sidewalk opposite the school, watching the Olympic torch pass, but still under teacher supervision.)
A case that never made it to SCOTUS but is more relevant is Thomas v. Board of Education, Granville Central School District, in which the Second District ruled that the school could not punish students for a vulgar underground paper produced off-campus, even though they used some minimal school resources and distributed it on campus.
I’m waiting for some 4th Amendment case to come up about random locker searches, given that students are legally required to be at school.
It’s all part of the dilemma over teaching kids about the Bill of Rights but not wanting to give them a sample.
Maybe Jeff Danziger (WPWG) should be teaching social studies. This seems like a pretty good explanation of how the system — recently implemented in NYC’s Mayoral Primaries — works.
It is the mental process we go through in any restaurant: Here’s what I hope they have, here’s how I rank the choices given.
In ranked choice voting, you pick a number of candidates in order of preference, and, if your top choice is eliminated, the person at #2 on your ballot gets your vote, and then, if they’re counted out, #3 gets the vote.
There’s no reason not to allow it in more elections, except that in a world of instant gratification, the days spent sorting through elimination rounds to get to a final count would frustrate hell out of the media. (Poor babies.)
I suspect the delay would have a positive impact on voter turnout in Alaska, Hawaii and on the West Coast.