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Military

Conduct Unbecoming

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I spent 10 years of my life as a US military officer in both the Air Force and the Army. I served a tour in Afghanistan as the commander of a forward surgical team (basically a modern-day MASH unit). As a member of the military, and especially as a commissioned officer, it was not my place to publicly criticize those in my chain of command, including my Commander-in-Chief, the Secretary of Defense, or anyone else in political authority, no matter my personal feelings.

Newly minted 2LT Spenser Rapone’s recent conduct on social media and at graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point is a clear violation of more than one article of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and his career is just a few months old.

Rapone wore a Che Guevara t-shirt under his cadet uniform, and expressed support for Colin Kaepernick and Communism. None of these actions, in and of themselves are cause for dismissal. However, expressing support for Kaepernick who is supposedly protesting the treatment of blacks in America while supporting Communist Guevara who believed blacks were inferior is ironic.

Where the young lieutenant went wrong was when he disrespected his uniform by displaying that undershirt, and more importantly showing blatant disrespect toward the Commander-in-Chief, President Donald Trump, and the Secretary of Defense, James Mattis.

These tweets from this account that have been identified as Rapone’s are a clear violation of Article 88 of the UCMJ, and should land 2LT Rapone’s with a dismissal from the service at a minimum. He can then go on to a very successful career teaching social justice studies at UC Berkeley wherever I’m certain he’ll be given tenure in no time.

I didn’t like Barack Obama. He was unfit to be Commander-in-Chief, as is Donald Trump. When I was a military officer I couldn’t publicly say so. Doing so could have meant my commission, as it should have.

Saying other things that weren’t prohibited, that were TRUE, but didn’t fit a politically correct narrative, eventually did cause me to resign my commission, and I have no regrets about that. Perhaps 2LT Rapone won’t have any regrets either, but make no mistake, unlike my statements, which were designed to save the lives of the trainees I was teaching, his statements are strictly prohibited and have been for decades. If he had said these things about Barack Obama during Obama’s presidency, my stance would be exactly the same.

West Point Alumnus Holding A Pro-Colin Kaepernick “Communism Will Win” Sign While In Uniform | Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, NoisyRoom.net

http://noisyroom.net/blog/2017/09/26/west-point-alumnus-holding-a-pro-colin-kaepernick-communism-will-win-sign-while-in-uniform/Now, the hundreds of tweets this asshat has put out are being scrutinized. He obviously is enamored with Democratic Socialists of America. Pro Tip: Communism is a political theory penned by Karl Marx that advocates class war and a society where the lower class would revolt and take down the upper class, destroying capitalism and bringing about socioeconomic emancipation where all property is publicly owned and people are paid based on their skills and needs. Rapone tweeted: “In case there was any lingering doubt, hasta la victoria siempre,” which means “until victory, always,” and are lyrics to a song that became famous after Guevara’s death in 1967.

Military members can be politically active, but there are certain important restrictions. You can’t publicly disrespect the current chain of command, and you can’t use your position as a member of the military to endorse a candidate. You can’t campaign in uniform.

I remember back in 2012 during the GOP Presidential Primaries when Ron Paul had a National Guardsman get up on stage with him in uniform at a rally after one of the early primaries. I looked at my then-wife and said “well… he’s dead meat.” I was still on active duty at that time and explained that if I was this young Soldier’s commanding officer he would have been excoriated on Monday morning.

No one thought that the military was going to pull of a coup to install Ron Paul as President if he did not win, but what if a 3-star general who was commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps did it? You can’t cross that line so you just make it the same for everyone. As a former military officer himself, Congressman Paul should have known better, but as part of the nut-job wing of the libertarian movement he probably didn’t care.

Perspectives

West Point responds to tweets of cadet with Che Guevara tee under uniform

http://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2017/09/26/west-point-responds-to-tweets-of-cadet-with-che-guevara-tee-under-uniform/“Second Lieutenant Rapone‘s actions in no way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army,” the statement from West Point said.

“The 10th Mountain Division not only supports free speech, it trains every day to ensure our nation has the ability to protect it at all cost,” Lt. Col. Tonya Stokes said. “That being said, when our soldiers are in uniform, politics must be set aside. Our uniform represents every corner of our nation and it cannot be used to promote any single ideology.”

Army Opens Query Into Communist Graduate | The Daily Caller

http://dailycaller.com/2017/09/26/army-opens-investigation-into-west-point-grad-for-promoting-communism/The U.S. Army has opened an investigation into West Point graduate Second Lieutenant Spenser Rapone for appearing to openly advocate for communism on social media.

“The U.S. Military Academy strives to develop leaders who internalize the academy’s motto of Duty, Honor, Country, and who live the Army values,” West Point said in a statement released Tuesday. “Second Lieutenant Rapone’s actions in no way reflect the values of the U.S. Military Academy or the U.S. Army. As figures of public trust, members of the military must exhibit exemplary conduct, and are prohibited from engaging in certain expressions of political speech in uniform. Second Lieutenant Rapone’s chain of command is aware of his actions and is looking into the matter. The academy is prepared to assist the officer’s chain of command as required.”

Former Legislator Disavows Spenser Rapone | The Daily Caller

http://dailycaller.com/2017/09/27/former-congressman-who-nominated-communist-extremist-to-west-point-aggressively-disavows/Former Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Rapone’s long history of extremist tweets, which include calling Mattis an “evil, vile f****,” is shocking, disappointing and abhorrent.

“Several years ago, I met Spenser Rapone when he was a high school student seeking an appointment to West Point,” Altmire said. “At the time, he was an outstanding, well-rounded student who came from a good family. I have not been in touch with him in the years since the appointment, and I was shocked and extremely disappointed in the recent reports of his indefensible actions.”

Final Thoughts

2LT Rapone is free to embrace an ideology that stands opposed to everything he is sworn to protect and defend, however silly that may be. He is not allowed to have his beliefs override his duties as an officer. He is guilty not only of Article 88 of the UCMJ, but in my opinion, also of Article 133 Conduct Unbecoming an Officer, and because he has apparently advocated violence against his political foes, among which he counts the current administration, Article 94 Mutiny or Sedition.

He should be investigated and dismissed from the service, with a dishonorable characterization of service, at a minimum. Prison time would also not be out of order to make it clear that this kind of behavior should not be tolerated from the military, particularly its officers. It won’t hurt him in his future job market as a liberal activist professor, but it’s still the right thing to do.

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ed

    September 27, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Amen.
    As a West Point Alumni, I agree with you 1000 %.

    Well said.

    Thank you for saying this in print and in public. It desperately needed to be said.

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Foreign Affairs

The United Nations only opposes terrorism if it’s not directed towards Israel

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The United Nations only opposes terrorism if its not directed towards Israel

The hypocrisy and lunacy of the United Nations was made crystal clear today. Despite receiving a majority of votes on a resolution to condemn Hamas for their terrorist and military attacks on Israel, the 2/3 threshold was not met. The resolution will not be adopted.

By doing this, the U.N. has officially accepted terrorism as an acceptable means of dealing with the nation of Israel. Most nations do not agree, but as a governing body they have made their choice. More importantly, we are now aware of which nations support Hamas despite their heinous acts against the Jewish state.

The U.S. Mission to the U.N. laid down the stakes just prior to the vote.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley gave a speech that resonated with enough nations to bring about the simple majority. This is an accomplishment even if the resolution ultimately failed.

My Take

This is a good thing for Israel. One can argue it’s even better than had the resolution passed. United Nations resolutions are about as worthless as a press release. But seeing the United Nations being unwilling as a group to condemn the undisputed terrorist and military activities perpetrated by Hamas against Israel helps take away the governing body’s waning credibility.

We know who is more fair than others towards Israel. The European Union, for example, has been outspoken in their condemnation of many of Israel’s actions. But they voted as a unified block to condemn Hamas. This is a sign of hope that alerts Israel and the United States that the anti-Israel bias at the U.N. isn’t absolute. Some are willing to be at least a little more fair than usual.

Hamas is a terrorist organization. Its nature, stated goals, and actions have proven this beyond a shadow of a doubt. The fact the U.N. will not condemn them after condemning everything Israel does is a clear indicator the organization is corrupt.

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Military

Israel demands international action on Hezbollah tunnels

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Israel demands international action on Hezbollah tunnels

The IDF launched “Operation Northern Shield,” only to discover and eliminate attack tunnels constructed by Hezbollah from Lebanon to Israel.

 The Israeli government demanded international action on Hezbollah on Tuesday for building tunnels to infiltrate and launch attacks against Israel.

“These cross-border terror tunnels were built by Hezbollah with direct support and funding from Iran. They were built with one purpose in mind—to attack and murder innocent Israeli men, women and children,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. “This is a grave violation of Israel’s sovereignty and a gross violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution #1701. It is an unacceptable act of wanton aggression.”

The IDF launched “Operation Northern Shield” on Tuesday to discover and eliminate attack tunnels constructed by Hezbollah from Lebanon to Israel.

“I have a message for the people of Lebanon: Hezbollah is putting your lives in danger,” said Netanyahu. “They are sacrificing your well-being to serve the aggressive purposes of Iran. Israel holds the Lebanese government accountable for all terror activity emanating from Lebanon against Israel.

Like any other nation, Israel maintains the right to defend itself. We will continue to do all that is necessary to defend ourselves against Iran’s efforts to use Lebanon, Syria and Gaza as forward terror bases to attack Israel.”

Netanyahu added that he mentioned the imposition of new sanctions against Hezbollah during his meeting on Monday with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon demanded the world body condemn Hezbollah “in the strongest terms possible” and hold the Lebanese government “responsible for the dangerous destabilization of the region.”

“The Lebanese government must abide by its international commitments and fully implement the above mentioned Security Council resolutions,” he wrote.

“The construction of these tunnels, built by Hezbollah and funded by Iran, alongside the ongoing efforts to transfer arms, convert inaccurate projectiles into precision-guided missiles and manufacture precision-guided missiles in Lebanon, are a flagrant violation of Israel’s sovereignty and mark yet another stage of Hezbollah’s ongoing efforts to expand its military build-up and further destabilize the already volatile region,” he added.

The United States also condemned the tunnels.

“The U.S. strongly supports Israel’s efforts to defend its sovereignty, and we call on [Hezbollah] to stop its tunneling into Israel and to refrain from escalation and violence,” said U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton. “More broadly, we call on Iran and all of its agents to stop their regional aggression and provocation, which pose an unacceptable threat to Israeli and regional security.”

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Economy

Medicare-for-All would cost more than every penny we’ve spent on defense in the country’s history

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Medicare-for-All would cost more than every penny weve spent on defense in the countrys history

Math is hard for many Americans. It isn’t just the sad state of our public school system that keeps the people down. It’s politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who push lies and pipe dreams that keep many Americans thinking the government has unlimited money and there’s no real difference between millions, billions, and trillions.

There’s a big difference, of course, but leftists will never let the number of zeroes get in the way of promoting their ideological goals. As I posted earlier, even left-leaning news outlets like the Washington Post are calling out Ocasio-Cortez for her false statements about Medicare-for-All.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez earns 4 Pinocchios over bungled defense budget interpretation

http://noqreport.com/2018/12/04/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-earns-4-pinocchios-bungled-defense-budget-interpretation/Ocasio-Cortez must have realized when she Tweeted the article that there’s no way “66% of Medicare for All could have been funded already by the Pentagon.” She was certainly playing down to her base in hopes they’d ignore reality and embrace her false notions just because she said it. The Tweet was either a bald-faced lie or she’s an absolute moron. Or both.

Washington Post, which normally supports socialist initiatives recommended by their Democratic puppetmasters, had to call this particular claim out. They gave the claim “4 Pinocchios,” a designation they save for some of the most egregious lies in politics.

It isn’t just about being completely wrong on the Pentagon’s accounting errors. This goes deeper. While fact-checking her claims, PolitiFact decided to do some math of their own. They gathered defense spending data as far back as they could – 1940 – and tallied the totals. Those who understand the difference between millions, billions, and trillions probably won’t be surprised to learn the total spent in that time is under $18 trillion, well short of the $21 trillion Ocasio-Cortez claimed she could have used to pay 2/3 of Medicare-for-All.

The also stipulated that since defense spending was much lower in the past, it’s very likely the total spent since the nation’s inception still couldn’t hit Ocasio-Cortez’ number.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrong on scale of Pentagon accounting errors

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/dec/03/alexandria-ocasio-cortez/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-wrong-scale-pentagon-acco/One tip-off is the amount of Ocasio-Cortez’s “accounting errors” is far bigger than the actual Pentagon spending from 1998 to 2015, which was $8.5 trillion. In fact, it’s also far bigger than the amount the government has spent on national security since 1940 and, in all likelihood, in the nation’s history.

Here’s a chart we assembled showing national-security spending by the federal government from 1940 to today. Ocasio-Cortez’s $21 trillion estimate exceeds the entirety of national-security spending since 1940, which checks in around $17.8 trillion. And while full data back to 1776 doesn’t exist, prorating backwards for another 164 years would almost certainly not add enough to make the total $21 trillion.

Medicare-for-All is projected to cost $32 trillion over its first 10 years alone.

Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and all their mathematically challenged supporters need to hear this information now. If you could somehow take back every dollar spent on defense from the time the nation was formed until today, it still wouldn’t be enough to pay for Medicare-for-All. This isn’t a right-wing conspiracy. This is left-leaning Politifact crunching the numbers.

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