A samba school’s use of blackface in a Carnival parade is sparking debate about depictions of race in Brazil, which has only begun in recent years to grapple with a fraught racial legacy.
Way back during the Stone Age when I was a young bright-eyed soldier serving in the Army in Germany, searching for the glory I had found in John Wayne movies, I discovered that soldiering was not like it was in the movies. There was a lot more floor polishing, boot shining, and cleaning then I ever saw in any movie—I did fight the battle of the floor buffer well, but there was no glory, and no medals for it.
Of course all of that cleaning and polishing was for a purpose. It was so a command sergeant major could come into your barracks, or your motor pool and tear you a new asshole for a dust bunny you missed under your bed, or grease spot in the back of the armored personnel carrier. Granted, I did not have it as bad as the Berlin Brigade. I only had to wash my vehicle. They had to baby oil theirs so they looked pretty.
The other point of all this cleaning was ceremonies of one sort of another, a change of command, a celebration of unit history, or a visiting dignitary. The one thing all of these had in common: a fucking parade. When I was in an armored unit, it meant spending hours in the motor pool cleaning, and scrubbing a vehicle that was already clean. It meant hours cleaning rifles, machine guns and other weapons systems. You always had one uniform, and one pair of boots you never took to the field so that they were perfect and inspection ready.
Before the parade, and depending on what the ceremony was for you, you would first have an inspection, either by the platoon sergeant, first sergeant, or sergeant major. If it was a dignitary the inspection may include an officer and the dignitary. It is normally hot in the blazing sun and you are standing at attention—it is miserable, especially if it is an inspection in dress uniform.
Once the inspection is over, you have the parade. In an armored unit, you drive your vehicles, maintain spacing and hoping like hell no one breaks down, especially in front of the reviewing stand. If you are in a light infantry unit, you march—again, it is hot. There is no shade and never any breeze.
I am not sure which is worse, Class A uniforms, or being in BDUs, helmet and web gear (or today’s equivalent). Either way you are in for a long miserable day. If you are lucky, you go past the reviewing stand and you are done. If you are not, you stand in formation in front of the reviewing stand and listen to a speech, or two, or three. In the hot sun, in uniform, at parade rest. Inevitably someone will lock their knees and pass out. The ceremony goes on, you stay at parade rest.
Of the 2,952 athletes representing 92 nations competing in South Korea, ten outfits particularly deserve a gold medal.
A string of heavy-hitting military veterans are hammering Trump over his ill-conceived idea to blow an estimated $20 million or more to line our troops up and force them to march down Pennsylvania Avenue, saluting him in his private box outside the White House.
First, Major General (Ret) Paul Eaton, the former commander of the U.S. Army Infantry Center and the man dubbed the “father of the Iraq Army” for his work training Iraqis after the U.S. invasion, released an absolutely blistering letter calling Donald Trump a ‘wannabe banana republic strongman.’ Then Admiral (Ret) James Stavridis released a public letter saying the troops don’t need a ‘puffy parade,’ they need real-life support like higher wages, better veteran care, and the weekend off to rest, not wasting their time in the summer heat inflating Trump’s ego.
Adding to the list is Robert J. O’Neill, the former Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden in 2011.
A military parade is third world bullshit. We prepare. We deter. We fight. Stop this conversation.
— Robert J. O’Neill (@mchooyah) February 8, 2018
The list of people objecting to Trump’s costly parade is growing by the minute. The D.C. City Council also weighed in on the idea of tanks rolling through the streets of D.C. and said “tanks, but no tanks.”
Four days after winning the Super Bowl, the Philadelphia Eagles took to the streets of the City of Brotherly Love to celebrate their victory with millions of fans on Thursday morning. Among the many parade-goers was one fan who quietly paid respects to his sweetheart by carrying her ashes through the crowd.
While he was looking for a spot near City Hall to watch Nick Foles and the team celebrate their dramatic win over the New England Patriots at Super Bowl LII, Eagles fan Dustin Javier noticed a man in a hoodie carrying an urn through the flocks of Philly devotees lining the streets. The man, who Javier learned was named Dennis, said the urn held the ashes of his late wife, Becky, who followed her hometown Eagles and would’ve loved to see them finally bring home the Lombardi Trophy.
“She was a diehard Eagles fan,” Dennis said, according to a viral Facebook post. “I had to make sure she was here for this.”
Soon after Dennis shared his wife’s story with Javier, a touching moment unfolded in front of them—Javier says a police officer walked up to Dennis and handed him a beer, then pointed to a group of about a dozen men across the street. The officer said the drink was from them.
“The officer then let him know that it was from the fans across Broad Street when they raised their beers when he looked over. Dennis was pretty happy about it,” Javier, 41, tells PEOPLE. “He was standing a little in front of me, so I didn’t see how he emoted about it, but from his voice, it sounded to me like he reacted rather jovially to their gesture.”
Witnessing the special moment was especially meaningful for Javier, he adds.
“I lost my mother recently,” Javier says. “While she wasn’t the biggest Eagles fan, I wish she could have been here for this as well.”
The Super Bowl celebration in Philly stretched almost five miles through the city and featured a parade of Eagles players atop of double-decker buses greeting almost 2 million fans in attendance. Many of the Philly-faithful likely never thought they would see a Super Bowl victory just a few months ago when the team’s star quarterback, Carson Wentz, was ruled out the rest of the season with an ACL injury before the playoffs.
But backup quarterback Nick Foles led the team through two more victories in the regular season, and then the playoffs, before playing the game of his life against Tom Brady and the Patriots on Sunday.
While Javier— an IT support technician from Oreland, Pennsylvania—says it was fun celebrating the victory, his run-in with Dennis and the spontaneous kind gesture he witnessed was a moment he will always remember.
“It definitely was one of the best parts of my parade experience,” he says. “Sure, seeing our heroic players come by and cheering them on for finally bringing the Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia was fun and all, but experiencing first hand that kind of camaraderie among the fans is really what that day is about and what being sports fans is really about.”
The Latest on the aftermath of the Philadelphia Eagles’ parade (all times local): 5:10 p.m. Philadelphia officials are apologizing to fans who had their view of the Eagles’ parade blocked by an accordion bus carrying police officers.
Eric Phillips, a spokesman for New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, said, “A dollar wasted stroking our president’s ego is a dollar that could be spent helping our veterans.”
The post Rain on Trump’s parade: Democratic mayors sniff at military pageant appeared first on Politicus USA.
Mike Pence proved on Friday that he can suck up to Donald Trump from anywhere in the world and at any cost to logic. Speaking to reporters in South Korea, where he was attending the Olympics opening ceremonies, Pence simultaneously praised Trump’s desire for a big military parade and attacked a North Korean military parade:
“I think any opportunity we have to celebrate the men and women of the armed forces of the United States is a great day,” Pence said, supporting Trump’s request to plan a military parade. “I heartily support the president’s call to celebrate our military.”
But Pence continued, calling the North Korean parade “an ongoing provocation.”
“Make no mistake about it, what we witnessed in Pyongyang, and we witnessed again yesterday, on the eve of the Olympics — what [South Korean] President Moon [Jae-in] said last night, he hopes will be an Olympics of peace — was once again an effort on the part of the regime in Pyongyang to display their ballistic missiles, to display a military that continues to make menacing threats across the region and across the wider world.
Provocation, he said?
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the Ã¢Â€ÂœNuclear Button is on his desk at all times.Ã¢Â€Â Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
Right, Donald Trump would never ever use military displays as a provocation.
Days after the White House unveiled plans to stage a military parade in the nation’s capital, Vice President Mike Pence blasted North Korea for doing the same.
North Korean leaders staged a large showing in the capital city of Pyongyang on Thursday, one day prior to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opening ceremonies, displaying several new short range and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that officials test-launched late last year. The parade was held to mark the military’s 70th anniversary and was broadcast by North Korean state media.
Speaking with reporters on Friday, Pence, who is in South Korea to lead the U.S. delegation, called the parade “an ongoing provocation.”
“What we witnessed in Pyongyang, and what we witnessed again yesterday on the eve of the Olympics — what [South Korean President Moon Jae-in] said last night he hopes would be an Olympics of peace — was once again an effort on the part of the regime in Pyongyang to display their ballistic missiles, to display a military that continues to make menacing threats across the region and across the wider world,” he said.
However, when confronted with the fact that the White House had itself confirmed plans for a similar military display this week, Pence dodged.
“I think any opportunity we have to celebrate the men and women of the armed forces of the United States is a great day,” he said. “I heartily support the president’s call to celebrate our military.”
Pence then hearkened back to President Trump’s visit to Paris, France last year, for the country’s national day celebration. The city hosts an annual Bastille Day military parade, steeped in tradition and, as the Washington Post pointed out, “deeply rooted in the country’s history and values.”
“I think in the United States of America, just as in France — where the president was impressed on Bastille Day — we can celebrate our troops, not in any way ever be associated with the provocations of the North,” he said.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 9, 2018
The Washington Post first reported the White House’s plans for a military parade on Tuesday, citing several anonymous military officials familiar with the matter.
“The marching orders were: ‘I want a parade like the one in France,’” one source said. “This is being worked at the highest levels of the military.”
The source added that the parade was still in the planning stages. “Right now, there’s really no meat on the bones,” they said.
Shortly after the Post published its report, the White House and Pentagon both confirmed the claims.
“President Trump is incredibly supportive of America’s great service members who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe. He has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated.
A Defense Department spokesman later explained that it would release more details once plans had been solidified. “We are aware of the request and are in the process of determining specific details. We will share more information throughout the planning process,” they said.
Trump has long expressed a desire for a military parade like that of North Korea and other totalitarian regimes throughout history. In an interview with the Post’s Karen Tumulty shortly before taking office last January, Trump explained that he planned to follow through on his campaign promise to “Make America Great Again” by holding military parades in the streets of Washington, D.C.
“Being a great president has to do with a lot of things, but one of them is being a great cheerleader for the country. And we’re going to show the people as we build up our military, we’re going to display our military,” he said. “That military may come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. That military may be flying over New York City and Washington, D.C., for parades. I mean, we’re going to be showing our military.”
However, the president’s recent plans for a showy parade honoring the military have gone over poorly, both among the public and within the military itself.
“A military parade is third world bullshit. We prepare. We deter. We fight. Stop this conversation,” former Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill tweeted on Thursday. O’Neill was a member of the team that took out Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011 and claims to have been the one who fired the kill shot.
A military parade is third world bullshit. We prepare. We deter. We fight. Stop this conversation.
— Robert J. O'Neill (@mchooyah) February 8, 2018
A Military Times poll published on Thursday also showed that nearly 90 percent of readers believed the parade was unnecessary.
According to the outlet, readers were asked, “Should there be a parade showcasing troops and military equipment in Washington, D.C.?” Eighty-nine percent of those polled — a vast majority — answered, “No, It’s a waste of money and troops are too busy.” The remaining 11 percent responded, “Yes, it’s a great opportunity to show off U.S. military might.”