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Dissenting While Enlisted Will Get You Fired, Dissenting While Commanding Gets You Retired


Sergeant Gary Stein enlisted in the Marines right out of high school. After nine years, he's both a few months away from ending his service, and a few weeks away from being discharged under a black cloud. The latter possibility is a result of Stein's colorful politics: He started an Armed Forces Tea Party website, where he's selling NOBAMA 2012 bumper stickers, and he called President Obama "the economic and religious enemy" on Facebook.

After a hearing yesterday, during which Marine lawyers argued that Stein's political expressions were "prejudicial to good order and discipline," a Marine Corps board recommended that Stein immediately be "given an other than honorable discharge"–basically, that he be fired and deprived of whatever benefits he's accumulated over nine years of service and several tours in Iraq.  

Stein's legal team has argued that his political activities were private and did not interfer with his soldiering; and more broadly that members of the military should be free to enjoy the Constitutional rights they have sworn to uphold and protect. Stein's fate is now in the hands of the commanding general of the Marine Corp Recruit Depot in San Diego. 

While Stein's fate is processed, I'd direct your attention to how a similar case was handled two years ago, when another member of the military gained prominence for challening the authority of the commander in chief: 

The outspoken general's military career ended not on the battlefield in Afghanistan but on the political one in Washington after President Obama replaced McChrystal with Gen. David Petraeus in June 2010. McChrystal was allowed to retire as a four-star general.

The general who championed the counterinsurgency doctrine that worked in Iraq received the very rare rebuke of being fired during wartime (the same fate befell his predecessor, Gen. David McKiernan) when President Obama asked him to step aside after he gave an unwise interview to Rolling Stone magazine that badmouthed civilian national-security aides.

McChrystal had also been involved in controversy previously; he was accused of helping to cover up the 2004 friendly-fire killing in Afghanistan of NFL-player and then- Army Ranger Cpl. Pat Tillman.

That's from the Washington Post's bio of Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It's a bit skimpy, if you ask me. McChrystal didn't just "badmouth civilian national-security aides," but also Vice President Joe Biden and, indirectly, President Obama. From Rolling Stone

Now, flipping through printout cards of his speech in Paris, McChrystal wonders aloud what Biden question he might get today, and how he should respond. "I never know what's going to pop out until I'm up there, that's the problem," he says. Then, unable to help themselves, he and his staff imagine the general dismissing the vice president with a good one-liner. 

"Are you asking about Vice President Biden?" McChrystal says with a laugh. "Who's that?"

"Biden?" suggests a top adviser. "Did you say: Bite Me?"

And this section, about McChrystal's relationship with Obama, couldn't have been written without McChrytal at least relating the anecdotes to his staff: 

Even though he had voted for Obama, McChrystal and his new commander in chief failed from the outset to connect. The general first encountered Obama a week after he took office, when the president met with a dozen senior military officials in a room at the Pentagon known as the Tank. According to sources familiar with the meeting, McChrystal thought Obama looked "uncomfortable and intimidated" by the roomful of military brass. Their first one-on-one meeting took place in the Oval Office four months later, after McChrystal got the Afghanistan job, and it didn't go much better. "It was a 10-minute photo op," says an adviser to McChrystal. "Obama clearly didn't know anything about him, who he was. Here's the guy who's going to run his fucking war, but he didn't seem very engaged. The Boss was pretty disappointed."

Could those remarks be interpreted as "prejudicial to good order and discipline"? I guess that depends on your rank. They were bad enough that Obama told McChrystal to resign or be fired, but they weren't bad enough for McChrystal to be discharged. He got to retire as a four-star general, and presumably keep the massive pension he accumulated over several decades of service. A year after the incident, he was invited back to the White House to help launch "Joining Forces," a program for military families. 

Or perhaps it's apples and oranges. Stein, after all, was only in charge of the rifle ranges at Camp Pendleton, not overseeing one of the country's longest running wars. 

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  1. Or perhaps it’s apples and oranges.

    If he was in the Army, he might have a chance. But he’s a Marine.

  2. …members of the military should be free to enjoy the Constitutional rights they have sworn to uphold and protect.

    As to whether or not they should, that’s a question worth debating, but I know for a fact that it was made explicitly clear on multiple occasions when I enlisted back in ’99 that no, you do not enjoy those same rights. Just as a private employer can fire you for badmouthing their CEO, the military can sack you for things like this. Maybe things have changed, but that’s how it was a decade ago.

    1. Jimbo, your stint in the Cub Scouts isn’t the same as this. You were free to leave at any time.

      1. That’s actually a common myth. Legally, the Cub Scouts, Webelos, and Boy Scouts are the U.S. Army.

        The Girl Scouts, of course, are the Navy, which makes the cookies.

        1. So you’re saying Jimbo couldn’t cut it in the Girl Scouts. Because that’s what I’m hearing.

          1. Was he in the Girl Scouts?

            1. He got bounced from Girl Scout boot camp is what I heard. His cookie selling just wasn’t up to their standards. I think it’s called a Thin Mint Discharge.

              1. You kid, but my understanding is that cookie selling training is considered the toughest training regimen offered by our armed services.

                Oh, yeah, those girls are armed. Try stealing some cookies some time.

                1. Why don’t you keyboard warriors give an accounting of your service under arms. Most libertarians never leave their scholarly bunker.

                  1. I paid to have someone else serve in my name. I would’ve signed up, but they told me that Field Marshall wasn’t available.

                  2. Most libertarians never leave their scholarly bunker.

                    I’m a Libertarian and an active service member. I know a lot of Big L and small l that serve.

                    1. Judging by the number of donations from service members to Ron Paul, I’d argue that a great many of them are at least “l” libertarians.

                    2. You are a good man. You still haven’t given an accounting of the number of notches on your gun. I have thousands.

              2. Thin Mint Discharge.

                Sounds like a horrifying disease symptom.

                1. No, that’s the Shout Outs Shit Outs. Which they all get at some point. I mean, you know what those cookies are made of, right?

                  1. Look, if all of this is insinuating that I raped a bunch of Girl Scouts, and then a bunch of Boy Scouts, and then forced them to rape eachother while eating the shit of the person in line in front of them, then quit beating around the bush and just come out and say it.

                    1. So Jim, America’s chilluns helped you achieve your lifelong dream of creating a human centipede?

                      I believe we have a tacit admission here. Epi?

                    2. Jimbo said it clear as day, Doc. He rapes human centipedes. He can’t back out of this now.

                    3. Freudian slip.

                    4.…You will never find a
                      more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

                    5. “Look, if all of this is insinuating that I raped a bunch of Girl Scouts”

                      Raping girl scouts is a crime.
                      Eating brownies is a dream come true.

                2. Sounds like a horrifying disease symptom.

                  It is. I’ll spare you the gory details.

                  1. “I’ll spare you the gory details.”

                    It wouldn’t be Hit & Run if you did.

              3. I think it’s called a Thin Mint Discharge.

                I thought that was just the proper verbage for creating Santorum.

                1. It would be if there were such a word as verbage. Perhaps you meant verbiage.

          2. Why aren’t they selling those lemon sandwich cookies anymore?

            Those were the bomb!

            1. Those were the bomb!

              According to my hip friends in their late 20’s, modern usage has dropped the “the” from the phrase “the bomb”.

              Correct modern usage would be, “Those were bomb!”

              1. Also acceptable would be, “Those were bomb dot com!”

                1. I’ve never really given a shit what hip people think, and I’m sure not going to start now.

                  1. Careful. That kind of talk will get you a legion of hipster groupies.

                    1. hat kind of talk will get you a legion of hipster groupies.

                      As long as they’re female and put-out I’m fine with that.

              2. I thought it was “Someone set up us the bomb”?

                1. well, now you’ve outed yourself as a Taranto fan, Pro L. How hipster is that??

                  1. Not even close. In fact, I don’t know what Taranto is.

                    1. Pro L, you were a fan before you even heard of it. It doesn’t get more hipster than that.

                      As long as they’re female and put-out I’m fine with that.

                      Some might be. They look so androgynous though, good luck sorting them out.

                    2. James Taranto of WSJ opinion fame – he uses the “someone set us up the bomb” meme when pointing out headlines that use words out of order. Oh well, another joke fail for me 🙂

                    3. Oh, him. I must not read him enough. In any case, I’m an earlier adopter of “All your base are belong to us.” They are, you know. Belong to us.

    2. 30 years ago they led you to believe you’d be making gravel at Leavenworth for the rest of your short, brutish life. Even as lousy a soldier as I made, I had no reason to disbelieve, and no reason to test it.

      1. Even as lousy a soldier as I made, I had no reason to disbelieve, and no reason to test it.

        Pretty much my line of thinking, as well.

      2. yeah, they told me that under the UCMJ they could put me away for life for having a button missing. Being a critic of the CIC? Not allowed. Still, I think the guy possibly deserves an honorable discharge and his benefits are few and inexpensive after 9 years.

    3. I had a boot lt. in Camp Futenma (Okinawa) tell me to turn a t-shirt my sister gave me inside out because he thought I was mocking the Corps with it.

      I had a lot of anger towards the Corps at that time, but the shirt wasn’t part of it.

      I was smart enough to turn the shirt inside out and go on with my run. Like others said here, they make it pretty clear that USMC was an acronym for U Signed the Mother f-ing Contract and you didn’t have anymore rights.

      1. I forgot to mention that the t-shirt had that picture of Jimbo saying he didn’t want his brain warshed on it. It was only one color and pretty cheesy.

        The LT was in my squadron and knew me. He thought I had actually created the shirt myself.

        1. boot lieutenants are the fucking worst. It’s like Eagle Scout First Class.

    4. OT:…..taxpayers/

      Senate Bill 1813 was introduced back in November by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Los Angeles) to “reauthorize Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs, and for other purposes” .

      After clearing the Senate on a 74 ? 22 vote on March 14, SB 1813 is now headed for a vote in the House of Representatives, where it’s expected to encounter stiffer opposition among the GOP majority.

      In addition to authorizing appropriations for federal transportation and infrastructure programs, the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act” or “MAP-21? includes a provision that would allow for the “revocation or denial” of a passport for anyone with “certain unpaid taxes” or “tax delinquencies”.

      However, there does not appear to be any specific language requiring a taxpayer to be charged with tax evasion or any other crime in order to have their passport revoked or limited ? only that a notice of lien or levy has been filed by the IRS.

      “Thousands of businesses are at stake, and eventually we are talking about nearly three million jobs at stake,” she said in a statement.

      Ah yes, the “pro-business” argument for keeping people in.

      Also, the bill is 1676 pages long. Does anyone ever read through all them?

      1. Does anyone ever read through all them?
        no, one of the hidden benefits of health care was that now we pass bills in order to find out what is in them.

        1. Is there a term for sneaking stuff (usually a variety of stuff) into bills? I thought there was one…

          1. That would be a redundent word

          2. “Drafting”?

      2. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Los Angeles)

        I see that LA statehood movement has had some success.

        1. Oh man, haha, I didn’t notice that!

      3. Remember when it was the bad countries who didn’t let their citizens leave?

        I suppose you could still go to Canada.

        1. This is a good one to keep in mind for the next time one of your liberal friends gets going about how much better the Democrats are on civil liberties.

      4. They have been engaging in this practice for years anyway. In the mid-90s, my sister was denied a passport because her ex-husband owed taxes from the years in which they were married.

    5. Agreed. As a former enlisted (USAF), I don’t know if I would have been discharged if I’d pulled a stint like Stein’s, but at the very least there would have been a Very Serious Discussion regarding chain of command and dissent in the context of serving in the military.

    6. I’ve never been in the military, but that’s about what I have always heard. For obvious reasons, you give up a lot of individual rights in the military. But it seems to me that if you are off duty and are not using your military credentials to promote what you are doing, you should be able to say what you want.

      1. yeah, that’s how it’s supposed to be.. but definitely not how it is. The standards of conduct applies off-duty and out of uniform as well. If someone sees it and doesn’t like it, you better do what they say.

    7. …members of the military should be free to enjoy the Constitutional rights they have sworn to uphold and protect.

      Not really buying that his rights have been violated. He’s free to keep on saying what he’s been saying, and his employer is free to fire him for cause for badmouthing his boss, and he was told upfront that this was a fireable offense.

      Not seeing how this is any different from being fired from Ben and Jerry’s for spouting non-prog views, which right to fire I would support.

      The right to speak freely does not confer the right to be free from having predictable consequences for your actions.

      1. Not being a .mil ever in my life, I was under the impression that OTH is a euphemism for dishonorable discharge. Which carries legal consequences, too. You can’t get a gun with that on your record, right?

        1. No, there’s quite a bit of difference. Other than honorable is administrative, dishonorable is the result of a court martial. You can still possess a firearm with the first.

        2. There are five types of discharge:
          Honorable – Given for satisfactory to excellent service.
          General – Overall satisfactory service, but with some disipline problems and nonjudicial punishment. Eligible for most VA benefits, but ineligible for GI Bill.
          Other Than Honorable – The worst kind of administrative discharge; usually taken in lieu of a court martial. Barred from reenlisting in any other branch. Not eligible for many VA benefits. Not eligible to claim veterans preference on job applications.
          Bad Conduct – Punitive discharge; convicted in court martial for a crime. Usually follows a period of imprisonment. Lose all VA benefits except disability.
          Dishonorable – Reserved for most serious crimes (e.g. murder, rape). Equivalent to a felony conviction. Loss of civil rights (e.g. cannot vote or own a firearm). Always follows period of imprisonment. Forfeits all veterans benefits.

          Source: 10 years as a Human Resources NCO

  3. Distinguishing McChrystal and Stein:

    Lawyers for his command say Stein has violated several orders restricting Marines from making partisan political statements or comments “contemptuous” of the chain of command, including the commander in chief.

    Did McChrystal get the benefit of being “warned several times” by his superiors?

    I didn’t think so.

    1. McC was a multi-star general; that comes with all sorts of built-in warnings. And I still contend he knew full well what he was doing.

      1. McChrystal had over 20 years of service, enough time for retirement. Stein is nowhere near close to enough time for retirement.

        Article 1 Section 8 empowers the Congress to punish Service Members for many things that the non-military citizenry is not subject to.

        1. Mccrystal could have still lost his retirement. Twenty years isn’t a license to commit misconduct.

        2. If A1S8 conflicts with the First Amendment the First wins.

          I don’t think there’s a conflict though, since signing up for the military is voluntary.

          1. See, I have to object to this name. First, BP was temporarily Otto; therefore, Otto should be his.

            Second, there are no evil Ottos. All Ottos are good. Repo Man Otto, A Fish Called Wanda Otto, Bismark Otto–all good for entertainment purposes.

            1. He’ll always be Professor Pomeranian to me, ProL.

              1. Just so long as it isn’t Otto.

            2. I’m already squatting on ~30 different names I don’t want people using. I suggest others do the same.

              1. I’m willing to bet a few pfennigs you squatted Tulpy Poo. 😉 And no, I haven’t tried.

                30 Tulpa? Good grief. Is this name squatting going to become the DOT COM bubble of H&R?

                1. I’ve got Lindsay Lohan for President locked up.

                2. I’m willing to bet a few pfennigs you squatted Tulpy Poo.

                  Every morning after my Dimetapp cocktail.

  4. It sucks for Sergeant Stein that he’s done numerous tours in the sandbox and may not receive any benefits as the result of his political activities, but I am aware of no military force that functioned by letting soldiers do what they wanted.

    Maybe that’s what Barry had in mind when he suggested in the State of the Union address that Congress should be more like SEAL Team Six. Shut up, follow orders, and neither do nor say anything contemptuous of the Commander-in-Chief.

  5. OT:

    Flying car completes test flight!…..15764.html

    1. It’s only a “car” in that it’s been given exemptions to several regulations that every other auto mfgr has to meet.

    2. I imagine a lot of accidents due to the blind spots of that thing.

    3. Hey!
      I linked to the Transition on Engadget (…..-on-video/ ) and its Dutch counterpart (…..2/pictures )a few days ago when someone asked where their flying car was. Thanks for paying attention.


  6. OT: thinking of going to Charleston, SC for vacation this May. Last time I was there, I was 10 years old. My fuzzy memory is pretty positive of the place.

    Any thoughts on this old Southern city?

    1. I (also?) live there, it’s fantastic. Go to Pearlz on E Bay for your drinks and non-tourist priced seafood, then around the corner to the Blind Tiger on Broad St for classy post-dinner drinks ($2 Newcastles). I know I will when I get back from Afghanistan.
      Speaking of this article, reminds me of when the CO of my Naval Weapons Station was caught trying to solicit prostitutes (well, undercover cops) in the ghetto. His punishment? Forced into early retirement.

      1. Holy fuck, $2 New Castles?

        SC is back on the list.

        1. Newcastle Brown Ale: the limey equivalent of Miller High Life.

          1. Newcastle is hella better than MHL. Not that it’s great, mind you, but it’s like possibly edible goose shit compared to fat guy diarhea with peas in it.

          2. No Episiarch, the Limey Miller High Life is Bass.

          3. It’s not even that good. In the UK, West Enders and Chavs actually prefer Foster’s and other Seagram’s products. Big. Nasty. Cheap.

            1. Anyone that would prefer Fosters to anything is an idiot.

              And Newcastle isn’t bad. It is the original workingman’s beer of England. I would say it is more the Natty Bo or Coors Banquet Beer of the UK.

            2. Brits drink Fosters? I thought only Americans did, I know the Aussies sure don’t.

              Also, you are all snobs, Newcastle is chocolatey and delicious.

              1. I like Newcastle too N8. It is not the best beer. But it is not bad.

              2. Brits drink Fosters?

                Chavvies will drink petrol and turpentine, if necessary.

              3. Dude, if you think Newcastle is chocolaty, I have something you should try.

                1. If that wasn’t a link to some sort of scat-joke, I am disappoint.

                  1. It’s a link to a jenkem factory.

                    1. American Foster’s is Australian Foster’s in name only. I suspect the same is true of the UK Foster’s.

                2. Ten Fidy is awesomost.

            3. The Aussies always deny drinking Fosters. When overseas, I always deny that Americans actually drink Coors Light.

              1. Coors tastes like fizzy aluminum foil.

              2. Who the fuck actually DOES drink Coors Light? I’ve never seen anyone order one.

                1. Morons and southern college girls.

              3. The Aussies don’t drink Fosters mostly because it’s not available for sale anywhere.

              4. Aussies seem to have a different favorite beer in every state. I’ve been to every Australian state except Tasmania, and I’ve never seen an advertisement for Foster’s there.

                1. The joke in NSW is that XXXX got its name because Queenslanders didn’t know how to spell beer.

          4. Newcastle is sometimes quite good from a barrel. But it is one of the most inconsistent beers I have ever seen. Usually sucks from a bottle. I blame the clear bottles.

            1. Its one of my fallback beers.

              If I’m in the mood for a malty British ale, though, I prefer Samuel Smith’s.

              1. Yeah, pretty much a fallback beer here too.

                I like Stoudts Pilsner, or actually, pretty much any Stoudts. Sam Adams has some good beers too, but mostly all you can get around here is the shitty Boston Lager.

              2. Yeah, I really like the Samual Smith’s Nutty Brown Ale. Good stuff.

      2. I’m in Charleston for Easter weekend with my family. Just toured Fort Sumter with my history buff father explaining to us all about how the War of Northern Aggression began on this spot when Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard blah de blah and that Matthew Broderick asshole ruined “Glory,” which was full historical inaccuracies anyway and…

        So Pearlz on E Bay sounds good. Anything else we shouldn’t miss while we’re here?

    2. Go to a place called the Seventeen Hundred Ninety Inn. It is a really nice restaurant with good authentic low country food.

      Vic’s on the River is nice too. It has the huge windows overlooking the river. It is right downtown in the historic district.

      1. gotcha – was looking to stay at the Church Street Inn.

        The only thing I remember from my childhood were the beautiful southern homes, a lovely old graveyard, and the aircraft carrier.

        1. I like it. It is a nice place. Like Charleston better. But it is still really cool, especially this time of year.

    3. “Any thoughts on this old Southern city?”

      Is this where they make Charleston Chews? Or is that just something you pay a prostitute to do?

  7. There’s a difference between calling Obama an enemy and saying he’s incompetent. I don’t know what treatment you’d expect if you are in the military and you call the President an enemy.

    1. I know that if you’re Chris Matthews you can say the president is in enemy territory if he’s address the students at West Point.

  8. I agree with those on here who say the Marine Corps had every right to kick him out. But no way does he deserve an other than honorable. That was that board being a bunch of dicks. Other than honorable is reserved for people who commit actual crimes not for knuckleheads who won’t take orders. The Marine Corps is renown for having dickhead boards and juries. And they proved it with this one.

    1. I’m sure he can get it changed on appeal. These sorts of high-profile (compared to the discharges handed out every day that never make the news) issues usually go like that; they give him the OTH at the time to satisfy the media, then it quietly gets upgraded next year after he submits some paperwork.

      1. Maybe. It is up to the CG. The CG can always upgrade. And so can the Navy Board for the Correction of Military Records. In this case, I can’t imagine him not getting an upgrade. But that takes a while. Still a shitty decision.

      2. Is the initially harsh treatment to satisfy the media or to make an example for the other Marines?

        1. Good point. Probably both. I’ve seen this sort of shit happen over and over through the years. John is right; it takes some effort and sucks, but I’d be shocked if they don’t rubber-stamp an upgrade if he requests it once the heat has died down.

        2. Is the initially harsh treatment to satisfy the media or to make an example for the other Marines?


      3. Plus with an OTH he gets an automatic appeal hearing. I agree that it should be upgraded. This seems like a pretty clear case for a General Discharge unless he has a file full of Article 15’s.

    2. Look at it from their POV, John.

      CIC hostile to the military. A Commie SOD. War weary public. A War Hawk SOS. Defense deficit spending (never mind non-discretionary dwarfs it). Then all of a sudden this mere leatherneck gets lippy at precisely the wrong time.

      You really think he is not going to get some poli payback? And be a poster child and example to others?

      1. I would bet money the offered him a general discharge in return for not demanding a board. This decision has as much to do with “how dare you waste our time and not take the general you were offered. He needed kicked out. But he didn’t deserve an OTH.

        1. And he deserves his retirement benefits. He was about to be eligible anyway.

          1. How close was he to retirement? If he is past 18 years only the Sectary of the Navy can authorize his discharge.

            1. The article says 9 years, which I assume has some sort of benefit setup, which it appears he will be denired.

              1. You don’t get a dime of retirement until you hit 20 years. So he wasn’t even close to retirement.

                1. The article said “benefits” so I took that as retirement benefits.

                  1. No it is VA benefits. An OTH means you get no VA benefits. That means that if he shows up sick from his service in five years, he will get nothing.

                    1. Which is still BS.

                    2. Total BS.

                    3. An OTH means he loses all VA benefits EXCEPT service related disability and medical.

              2. With 9 years , he has no entitlement to retirement, but would normally be entitled to a severance based on 10% of base pay X time in service.

                With the OTH discharge, he loses that, as well as access to GI bill and vets benefits. Some of that can be reinstated after a period of time.

                1. Severance pay requires an Honorable discharge, but he wouldn’t be eligible for it anyhow. Severance is only paid for involuntary separation due to disability or reduction in force.

        2. I agree with you both, FTR. A general more than sufficed. I’m simply pointing out that this injustice is just the equivalent of a blanket party.

          For other enlisted that may decide to open their yaps, this serves a deterrent.

    3. Concur with John. It should have been a General. OTHs are typically reserved for actual criminal conduct or other seriously not-good stuff.

  9. OT Jay Carney is a monumental douche.


    Carney: Obama Not Understood Because He Spoke In “Shorthand” Since He Is A Law Professor

    1. He’s speaking in shorthand because he’s an idiot. An adjunct idiot, to be fair. He doesn’t have idiot tenure, yet.

      1. He is working hard to build a track record to get it.

        And could Carney be anymore of a frat boy douche if he tried? He could at least get contacts and maybe a better haircut and try to limit the douche effect.

        1. I have no idea how Obama found a Press Secretary more smug and idiotic than Gibbs. His HR department undoubtedly searched Williamsburg and Seattle far and wide before Carney’s name came to the top of the applications heap.

          1. That is a pretty good trick. I used to think Scott McClellen was smarmy. But he is downright sincere and respectable compared to Gibbs and Carney.

            1. At this point, I think Presidents select their Press Secretaries solely to fuck with the media.

              “They want access? Let’s see if they still want it after spending an couple hours a week having to hang out with Carney.”

              1. Never thought of it that way. I had no idea Obama hated the media that much.

                1. Oh, Obama totally has that in him: look at how he continually patronizes and demeans his own base.

                  Plus it has the added bonus of culling all but the most dedicated of the lemmings from covering him.

    2. Not a law professor, ever.

      Not speaking in shorthand, either.

      Just wrong. The only debate is whether he was wrong from ignorance/incompetence, or wrong to fluff his base.

      1. Wrong to fluff his base. Toranto talked about that yesterday. The base perceives him as a loser who won’t fight for them. He is trying to get his brown shirt on to please the Kos crowd.

      2. It’s stunning that they keep calling him that, like he wasn’t just some adjunct. The standards for adjuncts are quite low, not to mention that without publishing anything, you can’t really be called a constitutional scholar.

        1. They call him that because they want to put a curtain over the uncomfortable fact that Obama never had a career of any note before going into politics. Think about it. He graduated from Harvard, yet never worked as a judicial clerk, never worked for a top law firm or in an important government job, and never published a single law review article. I have published more than Obama.

          They make such a big deal about him being editor of the Harvard Law Review. Okay. There is one of those every year. I would be curious to go back and look at say the last 30 years and see if anyone had a less distinguished legal career than Obama. I bet none of them did.

        2. In fairness though, being an Adjunct for twelve years is a long time.

          1. so is being a rodeo clown for twelve years.

          2. And if you’re an adjunct for twelve years and never move up to professor, that ought to tell you something.

            1. Adjuncts usually aren’t trying to become full-fledged professors, they’re just doing it as a side job to build rep and/or make some extra money.

              It’s the “lecturers” or “associate professors” who are angling for a promotion eventually.

              1. If you’re not tenure track, you’re little people.

              2. To do something as a side job, wouldn’t one need to have a separate primary job?

        3. Orwell had a name for the kind of behavior that the President is engaging in, Crimethink. It was

          The faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc [English Socialism], and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. In short . . . protective stupidity.”

    3. What a bunch of mendacious bullshit. That’s pathetic, even for a press secretary.

      1. And don’t forget his wife works for ABC news. No conflict of interest there. And damn him for being a douche and marrying someone as cute as Claire Shipman.

    4. How the hell do SPEAK in shorthand, leave out half the vowels?

      Is it just grunting?

      1. I think you leave out the pronouns, words like “you”.

        1. Steve Smith.

      2. I would totally vote for Obama if he promised to give every future State of the Union address in Morse code.

        1. Ella Fitzgerald has been deceased for some time, Tulpa. Oh, you meant on a telegraph, not verbally, a la scat. My mistake.

  10. my agency just came out with a policy that it is prohibited for employees to criticize the department using social media. i am trying to recall the exact language, but it’s something similar to that.

    seriously. lol

    i am sure THAT will survive constitutional scrutiny :l

    and our evul union ™ and our bad-ass attorney will have no problem if they try to discipline one of us for violating it

    1. Did you volunteer to work for your department? If so, then they have a right to set terms of employment. And as long as it’s not forbidden in the union contract, they should be free to discipline a voluntary employee as they see fit, as long as they enforce the rules consistently, it will stand up to legal scrutiny.

      1. sloopy, you are so frequently wrong on matters of law, i don’t find this comment surprising at all.

        iirc (i may be wrong it was you) , you were the one who claimed that noncops couldn’t detain people for theft as in the downtown seattle case. and i provided ample evidence, including an attorney general piece that showed unequivocally that they can, and frequently do. they need not be store security, and they need not be on private property.

        witness a theft ANYWhERE and you have the right (in WA) to detain that person pending arrival of police.

        and recently you claimed that cops need PC to enter a house, and i showed ample scotus case law that shows that to be complete horseshit

        and of course you never admitted error and claimed it still needed to be codified, which is ridiculous. foot pursuits and all kinds of shit aren’t codified. but as govt. actions, they are subject to judicial review

        1. judicial review has CLEARLY established that in CC cases, as i explained, cops can enter with a lesser standard than PC

          ironically, i had a similar situation yesterday… very ironci considering the discourse

          guy called 911 to say that his gf had sent him a bunch of texts saying she was going to kill herself

          she didn’t mention a method, but he said she had past history of trying carbon monoxide poisoning.

          i got to the house within 5 minutes

          neighbor i talked to wasn’t sure if she was home or not

          the house was compeltely secured/locked. i pressed my ear to the garage door and i heard what MIGHT have been a car engine, but i wasn’t at all sure. regardless, after a very loud request for her to open the door, and no reply… i kicked it

          forced entry

          1. she was in the garage, in the car trying the carbon monoxide thang

            i later confirmed the text messages etc. and we invol’d her

            did i have PC ‘of a crime’ (whichwas your claim is what i needed?). no. i didn’t have a crime at all

            i did have CC, the community caretaking function and of course exigency

            did i need PC (which you claim is the evidence threshold but i refuted with scotus caselaw that explicitly says the threshodl was lower.?


            you could argue i had PC she was in there, in a car trying off herself. i’d argue since i hadn’t confirmed the text messages , and i couldn’t even be sure it was a car in the garage, or she was even home, i did not have pC

            but i certianly had reasonable totality of the circ’s evidence to justify UNDEWR THE CC FUNCTION, a forced entry.

            and it will be another case you will never read aobut in reason, because it turned out fine.

            if i had kicked, and she was sitting there with a gun and i shot her, the 2nd guessing ignorati would be saying derp derp derp derp

            1. Cool! Can we use anecdotes as well now, or will you continue to dismiss them?

              And by the way, I did say I had conflated PC and RS in yesterday’s thread. Perhaps if you would read things before spouting diarrhea out of your mouth all the time, you’d be received a little better.

              1. that’s fine. i appreciate that. i hadn;’t seen your mea culpa.

                and fwiw, as i have said numerous times before, i have accepted anecdotes numerous times

                for example, it was you or somebody else who mentioned their restaurant experience in regards to cleanliness etc. as contrasted with gordon ramsay cases, and not only did i say i beleived the anecdote, but i believe that people with special knwoeldge should get consdieration for same

                iow, if you have worked in a restaurant, then ceteris paribus i accept that you know way more about restaurant workings than me, and i would generally defer to you on such questions

                i clearly know far more about, for example, how internal affairs works and the reality (vs. what you guys know solely from media reports) about how guys are routinely suspended and fired for all kinds of shit (without video or audio i might add), but i don’t expect the bigorati to even consider that maybe they should ask how does x work vs. assume they know how it works because they read outlier examples in some media outlet and thus think it holds across the board.

                i also draw a distinction between an anecdote that involves subjectivity e.g. ” i was pulled over by a cop and he was a dick” vs. an anecdote simply about factual stuff without subjectivity such as above.

                i have never said anecdotes aren’t useful and often relevant

                but when they conflict with clear data, they are suspect.

            2. did i have PC ‘of a crime’ (whichwas your claim is what i needed?). no. i didn’t have a crime at all

              Suicide is a crime, dunphy.

              And it shouldn’t be IMHO, nor should you be allowed to kick in the doors to interrupt them offing themselves anymore than you can kick in the doors to interrupt sodomy. It’s her life, and if you ask me I prefer an all-volunteer humanity just like the military.

      2. sloopy, i proved you wrong just the other day on the fact that cops do not need PC , whcih was your claim, to enter a residence, as long as they are using the CC function. and i provided supreme court cites and an explicit quote

        and you never admitted error and evaded as usual.

        so i don’t know why i am bothering correcting you here, since your pattern is no matter how wrong you are on the law, to never admit error

        however, police agencies, as GOVT. EMPLOYERS do not have a right to set terms of employement that conflict with the 1st amendment.

        there IS ample case law on this, and i actually asked prof. volokh about this over a year ago and he not only confirmed this, but gave me some bitchen case law (he is arguably the best 1st amendment expert in the country)

        1. police agencies can set terms of employment, but they do not have complete discretion, when it overrides collective bargaining, the WA state constitution, or the US constitution

          read connick v. myers.

          in brief, govt employers (and we are not talking the military here. entering the military means one gives up tons of rights that civilian employees don’t. for example, military can arrest and imprison you for going awol. clearly, a police agency cannot) are limited in a lot of ways

          clearly, criticizing the dept. is a first amendment exercise and is also a POLITICAL speech example, since it is a govt. agency one is criticizing.

          iow, if they tried to discipline one of us for saying ‘man, our dept is really inefficient and here’s why’ they would lose

          there are certainly criticisms that might not enjoy 1st amendment protection, like some sort of personal attack involving racist sexist language on a particular employee, etc. but it is entirely unconstitutional to blanket prohibit such speech and even you should understand that.

          police chiefs are also, as i explain, politicians.

          1. criticizing one is about as blatant an example of constitutioonally protected speech as one could find.

            again, i have provided ample case law to you time after time (just the other day in the pc example you were completely wrong on) and you just show over and over again, that you don’t care… you ignore it and evade

            but feel free to believfe that a police agency can prohibit officers from criticizing the agency in social media (or elsewhere)

            i don’t expect constitutional knowledge from you

            in brief, per connick, which is the most relevant case, imo, govt. employers can regulate employee speech rather broadly IF IT IS NOT RELATED TO MATTERS OF PUBLIC CONCERN

            thus, an officer criticizing an agency’s efficiency, etc. would almost certainly be protected, since discussions of a police agency’s efficiency are clearly matters of public concern.

            an officer who complained that his supervisor was a vindictive asshole, would almost certainly be disciplinable

            grok the distinction?

            1. there is also language regarding whether the employee speech substantially interferes with the day to day operation of his office (kind of like the creation of a hostile workplace), and employees have far more leeway criticizing a SUpERvISOR (vs. the agency as a whole) if that person is not directly supervisory over that officer

              i suggest you read connick… here’s a brief bit of the logic

              “Thus, although the public employer cannot muzzle its employees or penalize them for their expressions and associations to the same extent that a private employer can (the First Amendment, inapplicable to the private employer, is applicable to the public employer), 114 the public employer nonetheless has broad leeway in restricting employee speech. If the employee speech does not relate to a matter of ”public concern,” then Connick applies and the employer is largely free of constitutional restraint. If the speech does relate to a matter of public concern, then Pickering’s balancing test (as modified by Connick) is employed, the governmental interests in efficiency, workplace harmony, and the satisfactory performance of the employee’s duties 115 being balanced against the employee’s First Amendment rights. While the general approach is relatively easy to describe, it has proven difficult to apply. 116 The First Amendment, however, does not stand alone in protecting the speech of public employees; statutory protections for ”whistleblowers” add to the mix. 117″

                1. sloopy … again, you are wrong.

                  you said this : ‘Did you volunteer to work for your department? If so, then they have a right to set terms of employment. And as long as it’s not forbidden in the union contract, they should be free to discipline a voluntary employee as they see fit, as long as they enforce the rules consistently, it will stand up to legal scrutiny.’

                  and i am explaining to you that it is not true, and offering actual case law to prove it.

                  simply put, even if they act consistently, and even if it is spelled out contractucally, the agency cannot restrict speech contrary to connick v. myers since that case establishes that agencies cannot punish officers for many sorts of speech, even speech critical of their own agency and superiors as long as it meets the criteria in connick v. myers, which put briefly — means they are commenting on matters of public concern and they are not going overboard in regards to close supervisors which are distinguished from others who are not directly above them in terms of span of control

                  my kewl story aside, and it was kewl, we as public employees (it’s a double standard, but it applies to public employees not just cops) enjoy greater speech protections from employer discipline than private employees for an obvious reason. the 1st amendment is a restriction on govt. and govt. is our employer

  11. In anticipation that Haley might be the VP nominee, Time gets its racism on.

    n a video interview published Thursday afternoon, Time magazine editor Belinda Luscombe asked South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley a bizarre and perhaps offensive question about how much she tips certain cab drivers in New York City.

    “In New York City, which you’re visiting for a couple of days, a lot of our taxi drivers are Sikhs. If you get one, are you going to give him a slightly bigger tip?” Luscombe asked Haley.…..-magazine/

    1. Never tip a Sikh cab driver, especially since he gave you the flu.

      1. I hope Romney picks her. A mormon with a female minority, but not from one of the favored minorities, will drive the media into a frenzy of crude bigotry.

        1. A mormon and an Indian walk into a bar….bartender goes “beer and a burger”?

          1. And of course Haley, while not as good looking as Palin, is reasonably attractive for a politician. That will drive the feminist harpies in the media into a complete rage of jealousy.

            1. Better than NJ’s Fred Flintstone, The Corpulent Jesus.

              1. She seems okay. I am sure the media will go into a frenzy about how stupid and evil she is. They will no doubt attack her the way they attacked Palin. But I don’t see where she is too bad. And certainly better than Garden State Flintstone.

            2. You’ll hear about nothing but the alleged affair in the media if she’s the pick. It will be talked about 24/7 until everyone walks away from her.

              1. They will get their sexism on big time. The same media that ignored John Edwards love child and Bill Clinton’s string of bimbos will think a single rumored affair involving a women politician should be career ending.

              2. Interesting idea for a false flag operation:

                Set out lots of leaks that you are going with Haley.

                Let the usual suspects conduct their War on (a) Woman.

                Tut tut at the usual suspects for their hypocrisy, ask if Obama really wants his daughters to have to put up with that, etc.

                Haley then says that she has no plans to do anything but serve out her term.

                Result: base fired up, the usual suspects waste a lot of ammo, credibility of Dems as “friends of women” called into question, public is desensitized to subsequent attack on Rubio.

                1. Also allows the Dems and the media make total asses of themselves regarding East Indians.

                2. Result: base fired up, the usual suspects waste a lot of ammo, credibility of Dems as “friends of women” called into question, public is desensitized to subsequent attack on Rubio.

                  Media forgets any of that happened the next day, as does the average “moderate” American who has the attention span of a fruit fly.

            3. Haley’s damned good looking, and comes off as much more intelligent. I’m not sure it is the case that she is smarter, but perception is everything in politics: I think that Democrat attempts to tar her with the bimbo stick will seriously backfire.

              1. They can only do what they did to Palin so many time, really only once. If the media goes berserk and starts eating the furniture over Hailey like they did with Palin, it will have much less effect this time around. People are going to think “they always do this”.

                I think she is a much better choice than Rubio. She would definitely appeal to a lot of people. And she is more experienced and I think smarter than her.

                The only downside is that she is, as you point out damned good looking. And women are so fucking catty about that

                1. The good news is Tina Fay isn’t a dead on look-a-like for her. They’ll never find a perfect SNL double.

                2. Palin did plenty to herself, John. She’s not the third coming of Margaret Thatcher that you’ve built her up to be.

                  Same with Michelle Bachmann. Yes, the media reports disproportionately on stupid things said by GOPers, but they still have to try to avoid saying them.

                  1. Yes Tulpa. We know you are a cosmotarian. You have to keep your street creed. And I would fine with holding Palin responsible for the dumb things she said, if our current President hadn’t said more stupid things than Palin ever has, yet is still held forth as some kind of a genius.

                    And I never said she was Thatcher Tulpa. I only said people like you were morons.

                    1. I don’t hold BO forth as any kind of genius.

              2. They already took a shot at claiming the IRS was going after her for tax fraud. Turned out not to be true, but now they can always reference “rumors of tax fraud” in her past.

        2. I thought the news was recently reporting some tax issues. It would also reopen the affair allegations from her gubernatorial campaign. And she’ll have the same shortcomings Palin has (inexperience).

          Picking someone one and a half years after they get a prominent office simply because they are of a certain gender or race is probably a bad idea. Same goes for Rubio, West, Susana Martinez, etc. I don’t particularly like or agree with him, but Jindal would be the best candidate if we’re going down that path.

          1. Jindal is a hell of a governor. He has actually managed to bring competent leadership to Louisiana. And the tax thing turned out to be bullshit. Haley is not under investigation. That report was wrong.

            1. Being called “competent” in Louisiana is equivalent to winning “tallest midget”.

          2. Picking someone one and a half years after they get a prominent office simply because they are of a certain gender or race is probably a bad idea.

            It didn’t seem to slow Obama down, at least as far as getting elected goes.

            1. Not to defend him, but four years is more experience than one and a half. And note that he’s also a terrible president, as could be expected.

              1. There’s a pretty heavy discount on Senate “experience” compared to gubernating experience.

                The Pirates won the World Series while Joe Biden was in the Senate.

    2. “In New York City, which you’re visiting for a couple of days, a lot of our taxi drivers are Sikhs. If you get one, are you going to give him a slightly bigger tip?” Luscombe asked Haley.

      “I usually try do what the locals do when I visit somewhere. So I would ask a New Yorker like, say, you. Do you give the Sikh cab drivers a bigger tip?”

    3. This is the extent of Time reporters’ cosmopolitanism, it seems. They’re familiar with other cultures through their servants.

      1. LOL. That’s a good way of saying it, and it applies to a whole class of elitists who aren’t as elite as they imagine themselves to be.

  12. DARPA proposes crowdsourcing new military designs. With a website ( that will probably go into my shortcuts just because it is bound to be entertaining as hell.…..facturing/

    1. Bound to be. That sounds awesome.

  13. I think they should only fire him if he officially disobeys and order from the commander-and-chief.

    He has his rights to voice his views.

    1. They haven’t taken away his rights to speak out. He’s still free to do so. He’s free to go work for someone else. He’s about to be fired for cause for bad-mouthing his boss’s boss’s boss’s boss, and was told upfront that this was a fireable offense, and he chose to ignore this clear line in the sand.

      Would you say that, say, a person working at McDonalds couldn’t be fired for starting a blog accusing McDonalds of having tainted food that causes food poisoning, when McDonalds made it clear upon hiring that such badmouthing was a fireable offense?

      1. fwiw, the military is a special case, since all sorts of rights get restricted. for example, you can get arrested merely for not showing up for work (see:awol) and they are very restricted in all sortsof ways

        that aside, though. somebody who works for a private employer does not enjoy the same protections as those who work for public employers

        for example, as a public employee i have protection from my employer disciplining me under the 1st amendment that i would’t have if i worked for a private employer

        for example, i can criticize my police chief, in public, because he is a public official and i am his employee and i enjoy protection under connick v. myers etc.

        if i worked for subway and criticized jared, otoh, of course they could fire me

        1. The military is arguably even more special than you point out on this point. The military can and does engage in combat, and criticizing one’s commanding officer is obviously something that could undermine military cohesiveness and get your fellow soldiers killed.

          Criticizing your police chief is unlikely to result in your fellow officers dying.

          Now, if the military didn’t have the current policy of non-criticism of the President or commanding officers, then I wouldn’t have a problem with protesting this soldier’s firing as being arbitrary. But he knew, or should have known, that what he did would likely get him fired.

          1. yea. from a rule of law angle, i totally agree. i’m not even in the military, never have been, and i am well aware they have rather strict rules about criticism of the commander in chief, partisan campaigning etc,

            it’s totally different from the pd. heck, one of our officers was simultaneously a mayor of a city at the same time he was a patrol officer in another city. since they were different jurisdictions, it was viewed as totally acceptable.

  14. finally, a great example of a double standard where a gross miscarriage of justice is done.

    this police officer should be in jail/prison and imo should get the same sentence (speaking normatively here) that the defendant he tried to frame would get for the possessory offense

    a CLEAR DOUBLE STANDARD. a clear example of the ‘justice system’ letting an officer off because he was an officer.

    this guy should be behind bars. full stop.…..nt_2966727

  15. i’m kind of surprised actually that this is only a brickbat. it is so fucking insanely egregious miscarriage of justice, it makes my teeth hurt.…..nt_2966727

    when i think of all the non-issue cases that get full articles, it’s kind of surprising.

    i can’t believe anybody would agree with the judge’s decision not to imprison the cop for PLANTING COCAINE EVIDENCE on somebody.

  16. oh, and in case my post was missed up above amidst the wall of spewage, …

    sloopy , i am assuming you are truthful that you did mea culpa vis a vis RS vs. PC iow contrary to my claim, you did admit error, so i apologize for saying you did not. i missed that post. i was wrong. i admit when i am wrong, because that’s how i roll

  17. I can understand both sides in this argument. I believe military personnel should be able to express their political views without fear of repurcussions. But you also can’t go around saying you won’t obey the Commender-in-Chief just because you don’t like his political positions or you voted for the other guy.

    1. The problem is not expressing views…service members are allowed to do that. The problem was that he did so in uniform and used his military service to help push those views. And he was disrupting his workplace (according to one of his superiors, other Marines were complaining). There’s a good reason why the military has prohibitions on the political activity they can be involved in…because in a lot of countries, the military becoming a political player means that the civilian goverment is in jeopardy. As for Stein’s case, his bosses warned him repeatedly that he was violating Pentagon policy…he chose to ignore them, which is why he’s getting kicked out.

  18. Ill agree with UCrawford that we may not know all the details of the case. On the face of it it does not appear he has done anything to disrespect the command authority as he should not be doing anything which violates the constitutional rights of citizens or would be war crimes under intl law.

    But if his behaviour was disruptive then he should be dealt in the same manner as any other who creates such a situation but there should not be a different result because of the way he was being disruptive.

  19. If Gary Stein is too stupid to know what respect is due to officers up the chain of command (and Stein’s behavior gives every indication that is is) then Stein is too stupid to be a U.S. Marine.

    Stein’s lawyer should be disbarred for saying some of the most remarkably stupid things any lawyer has ever said, in or out of the armed services.

  20. “They were bad enough that Obama told McChrystal to resign or be fired, but they weren’t bad enough for McChrystal to be discharged.”
    Officer’s cannot receive a punitive discharge. They can receive a dismissal, but will normally resign their commission first, or retire if they have at least 20-years of service.

  21. my buddy’s mom brought home $19328 past week. she works on the internet and got a $538200 condo. All she did was get lucky and apply the clues leaked on this link (Click on menu Home more information)

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