joint-chiefs-of-staff

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The world is changing. Slowly, but surely, television is changing. The character stereotypes are changing, or being turned inside out by some fantastic writers and actors. People of color are on TV playing roles that are fleshed out, complex, human. And yes, some of those characters are maids. Some are sexy heartbreakers there to steal your man. Some own BBQ joints, while some are Chiefs of Staff. Some are prisoners, and some are cops. All are real people with hopes, dreams, ambitions, fears, and all the other vast human emotions and desires.

please reblog: steve bannon

Yesterday, Trump removed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence from the National Security Council. He replaced them with Steve Bannon. Bannon has no government, intelligence, or high-level military experience; his experience is leading a propaganda outlet (Breitbart News) that peddles nationalist and white nationalist viewpoints.

This would be deeply concerning in and of itself. But one of the jobs of the NSC is to oversee a secret panel that authorizes the assassination of “enemies of the United States Government” – including American citizens. These targeted killings are fully authorized by law under the Congressional military authorization act following 9/11. There is no trial, no due process, and no public record of the decision or the assassination itself.

Just to recap the absurdity: the President of the United States has appointed a known propagandist, nationalist, and white supremacist to replace the highest military advisor in the country on a council that authorizes secret, legal, targeted killings of American citizens (and others) without due process.

What You Can Do:
- Call your Senators and Congressperson this week and demand that they publicly and legislatively oppose Trump’s appointment of Steven Bannon to the NSC.
- Spread the word about this news to your networks, since this is not getting a lot of coverage right now.

Please COPY AND PASTE this update as opposed to sharing the post.

Haunted By War: Jared Kushner Just Woke Up In A Cold Sweat After Having A Flashback About Getting A Blister During His 2-Day Trip To Iraq

The horrors of war can have significant impacts on those who experience them, and it seems like the president’s son-in-law is no exception: Jared Kushner just woke up seized with terror after experiencing a flashback to a blister he got on his foot during his two-day trip to Iraq.

What an incredibly harrowing experience.

Dreaming he was back in the war-torn country he visited last week, sitting with military generals in a climate-controlled room, Kushner broke out in a cold sweat as he was forced to relive the trauma of having his big toe rubbed raw by a pair of shoes he had not yet had the chance to break in. His mind replayed scene after scene in which he had to excuse himself from conversation with the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff in order to limp to the bathroom and shake any grains of chafing sand from his new loafers. A phantom pain in his heel throbbed as he repeatedly clapped his shoes together in his dream, only to find the Italian leather insoles covered in a fresh layer of sand every time he slipped them on his aching feet. The terror of the nightmare proving to be too much to handle, Kushner gasped audibly as he bolted upright in bed, eyes bloodshot with the horror of the injury he had sustained in Iraq.

Trauma can be difficult for anyone to overcome, and these flashbacks to his 48 hours in Iraq spent 10 miles away from any fighting show that Jared Kushner is having a tough time adjusting back to civilian life.

As he kicked off his covers and tried to catch his breath, Kushner was plagued by visions of the long hallways he had been forced to painfully traverse with the soldiers who’d put their lives on the line every day, his blister growing redder with each passing step as they told him about their fellow service members who had not made it home alive. He was haunted by memories of meetings with military strategists, in which he had stoically endured hours of discussions about the future of the United States’ involvement in Iraq without a single opportunity to apply an ointment or soothing balm to his foot.

Kushner attempted to clear these thoughts from his mind as he tried to fall back asleep, but they kept him awake for hours more. The sunburn he’d gotten on his nose still felt as fresh as ever, even though by now it had faded into a tan, and he could swear his shoulder still felt the slice of the uncomfortable seatbelt in the Humvee in which he’d had to ride on the second day.

This just goes to show the serious horrors Jared Kushner faced for our country. We hope he has a strong support network to help him get through this grim chapter of his life and work past the traumatic blister flashbacks that haunt him and disturb his rest. No one should have to live like this.

With each day, President Trump offers fresh proof that he is failing the office that Americans entrusted to him. The rolling disaster of his presidency accelerated downhill last week with a news conference on Tuesday at which he seemed determined to sow racial strife in a nation desperate for a unifying vision.

Since the 1930s it has not typically been a challenge for an American leader to denounce Nazism. But there is nothing typical about this president; urged by some of his advisers and family members to summon the majesty and moral authority of the presidency to heal the wounds of last weekend’s neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville, to put the good of the country before personal pique, he chose instead to deliver a defense of white supremacists that raised as never before profound doubts about his moral compass, his grasp of the obligations of his office and his fitness to occupy it.

This, in essence, is where we are now: a nation led by a prince of discord who seems divorced from decency and common sense. The alarm bells were loud and swift. Five members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff delivered a rare rebuke, condemning race-based extremism in the military and the nation. Foreign leaders, from Secretary General António Guterres of the United Nations to Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain, condemned intolerance and a failure of leadership in the White House.

[…]

Mr. Trump was reportedly energized by his Tuesday performance, which he saw as a rebuke to politically correct forces that he thinks are determined to topple him. He crashed ahead, attacking critics on all sides and delivering Twitter bursts of anti-historical nonsense. Not the least of these was his repetition, shortly after the terrorist attack in Barcelona on Thursday, of the canard that Gen. John Pershing, known as “Black Jack,” had stopped Islamic terrorists in the Philippines by killing dozens of them with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood, a strategy Mr. Trump thinks worthy of emulation.

[…]

Yes, other Republican leaders, while claiming the mantle of Abraham Lincoln, have subtly and not so subtly courted bigots since the days of Richard Nixon’s “Southern strategy.” But Mr. Trump has now made that subtext his text. Last week, he stripped away the pretense and the camouflage. In deciding to split Americans apart rather than draw them together, he abandoned the legacy of Lincoln for the legacy of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. He chose to summon not America’s better angels, but its demons.

— 

The New York Times Editorial Board on Trump’s “Presidency” being a massive failure (08.20.2017). 

The New York Times​ Editorial Board is 100% right that the Trump “Presidency” is a failing one.

I can’t believe I forgot to post this.. Anyway, I was just chilling at a tailgate with the rugby bruvs after Army BEAT THE HELL OUT OF AIR FORCE, and who shows up?

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. GEN Martin E. MOTHERFUCKING Dempsey.

How do I know he’s a cool guy? He said, “Yeah, hold my beer. So I heard you boys beat Air Force as well.”

Fucking A right we did..

The Powell Doctrine and North Korea

So most of you may not remember Colin Powell, the first African American Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who later, as W Bush’s Secretary of State, burned through a lot of credibility (all of it, in my opinion) when he supported the ridiculous and unnecessary invasion of Iraq.

As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, however, Powell was much more successful, and employed what journalists and analysts came to call the “Powell Doctrine” to US military actions. It is a useful list to consider as Trump saber rattles with North Korea. 

The Powell Doctrine states that a list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States:

  • Is a vital national security interest threatened?
  • Do we have a clear attainable objective?
  • Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
  • Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
  • Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
  • Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
  • Is the action supported by the American people?
  • Do we have genuine broad international support?

(Copied from Wikipedia.)

Seems hard to imagine all this in context of war with North Korea, huh? “Because the president is a petulant 12 year old” is not an appropriate reason to kill millions … nor is it likely to lead to a successful conclusion to the conflict underway.

May there be adults in the room where it happens, and may they win.

Rumors are circulating to the effect that the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military leaders in America, have an emergency plan in effect to prevent Donald Trump from launching nuclear weapons or instigating any attack on U.S. citizens. If this is true then it is the first time this has happened since it was imposed on President Richard Nixon during his final ten days prior to his resignation in advance of impeachment. There was a real fear at that time that Nixon might decide to commit suicide and take the world down with him.

Nervous? Me? Naaah!

Donald Trump's Transgender Ban was Driven by His Personal Views, Not Military Expert Advice

So word just broke that Donald Trump never consulted with any generals or joint chiefs of staff in the Pentagon. This was, by and large, a random decision he made simply because he doesn’t like transgender people. The Pentagon even confirmed that there are no ongoing investigations against the effectiveness of transgender service men and women.

Trump’s tweets were deliberate and calculated, riddled with buzz words that reaffirm the views of his voter base:

“Consultation” - formal language that is very uncharacteristic of Trump. Also, he has openly criticized and rejected advice and consultation from his generals and military experts in the past. Why suddenly bring them up now?

“Please be advised” - again, uncharacteristic. Trump doesn’t ever use formal language. Here, he uses it to set up an announcement that, for nine minutes, sent the Pentagon itself into chaos. This language coming from the president sounds like he is about to make a declaration of war, and that’s exactly what the Pentagon thought was about to happen. THE PENTAGON.

“will not accept or allow” - a defining statement that represents a line has been crossed, and still uncharacteristically formal.

“in any capacity” - 100% shutout. He is saying if you’re transgender, you aren’t eligible. He is personally prohibiting an entire demographic of citizens from being included in the largest FEDERAL program.

“decisive and overwhelming victory” - pandering to the voter base: in wars, we want to win. Trump is directly insinuating that the 15,000 transgender people in the US military are stopping us from winning wars. There are 1.3 million active duty members, and 800,000 reserve. But apparently the 15,000 transgender people will prevent the US from achieving victories.

“burdened” - again, pandering to his voter base. Anyone who hates, kills, or is prejudiced against LGBTQ+ will swarm around this word. According to Trump, transgender people are a burden and must be removed.

“tremendous medical costs” - and again, pandering to his voter base and anyone with an LGBTQ+ prejudice. He’s saying these people cost YOU a lot of money (even though he gives no evidence, and there is plenty of data pointing to the contrary)

“disruption” - and yet again, Trump panders to his voter base. Nobody wants the military to be disrupted. Nobody wants their lives to be disrupted. Nobody wants their safety disrupted. He’s saying transgender people are disrupting our military and our lives.

“Thank you” - Trump ends his tweets on another uncharacteristic, formal note. This is Twitter, not the podium at the head of Capitol Hill. He’s unveiling this statement where his voter base will see it and support it. He knows revealing this decision online will cause more immediate chaos than if he stood in front of cameras and said the same thing. Social media is an unpredictable world where you’re more likely to unleash your anonymous, raw emotion, than, say, while gathered in front of a TV or beside a radio. He wants people to be emotional. For his enemies to feel that anger, and his supporters to feel that triumph.

Make no mistake, Trump deliberately chose these words, and he sure as hell didn’t meet with any qualified officials. And he has a history of ignoring them and advisors anyway. This was Trump talking. Not policies, not military officials, not credible data. Trump. This man is forcing his personal views and biases against an entire demographic, knowing his supporters will swarm to and defend his every word. No respectable leader would ever make this announcement on Twitter, let alone not bring it to the attention of superior officials in the government and Pentagon. This is unstable, irrational, cowardly, dangerous, and an example of blatant bigotry.

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…And so we argued and so we disagreed – all dedicated, intelligent men, disagreeing and fighting about the future of their country, and of mankind. Meanwhile, time was slowly running out.

The members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were unanimous in calling for immediate military action. They forcefully presented their view that the blockade would not be effective. General Curtis LeMay, Air Force Chief of Staff, argued strongly with the President that a military attack was essential. When the President questioned what the response of the Russians might be, General LeMay assured him there would be no reaction. President Kennedy was skeptical. “They, no more than we, can let these things go by without doing something. They can’t, after all their statements, permit us to take out their missiles, kill a lot of Russians, and then do nothing. If they don’t take action in Cuba, they certainly will in Berlin.”

General David M. Shoup, Commandant of the Marine Corps, summed up everyone’s feelings: “You are in a pretty bad fix, Mr. President.” The President answered quickly, “You are in it with me.” Everyone laughed, and, with no final decision, the meeting adjourned
.
Robert F. Kennedy, Thirteen Days, pg. 29 ||| Thirteen Days (2000)

Storybrooke Has Fallen (2/?)

Summary:   Based entirely too closely on the movie Olympus Has Fallen. Secret Service agent Killian Jones has always taken his job seriously - perhaps a little too seriously if his supervisor were to have her say. But when terrorists attack the White House with Emma and her son inside, Jones will stop at nothing to find them and get them to safety.

Rated:  T, for violence, kidnapping, some dark themes

This is for the elusive @nothingimpossibleonlyimprobable on the occasion of her birth.  Which occasion, I won’t tell you, but suffice to say, she’s a few days younger than me.  Also, tagging @killian-whump​​, @xhookswenchx, and @cocohook38​.  Adding in @eala-captian​, @snowbellewells, @jsilva0117, and anyone else who’d like to be tagged.

Word count:  ~ 4,600

From the beginning: ao3 / ffn

Current Chapter: AO3 / FFN



Emma’s morning started off at a rush.  She needed to meet with the Korean delegation and answer a thousand protocol questions, needed to organize a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and figure out what the hell was going on under their noses in the South China Sea.

She needed to spend more than thirty seconds with her growing son.

Emma’s heart clenched when she thought again about how difficult the last year and a half had been on the both of them.  The Fourth of July had come and gone and she’d barely seen Henry, let alone spent any time with him.  It was usually Neal who took their son to see the parade and the fireworks, Emma living vicariously through their stories long into the evening - long past Henry’s normal bedtime.

Henry had been asleep in his room before the first explosion had even gone off.

Now she was being briefed on yet another crisis that needed her immediate decision, and all Emma wanted to do was take Henry, wrap her arms around him, and squirrel him away someplace where they’d both have time to stop and heal.

Their upcoming vacation would hopefully give them both time to reset and to just talk.

Keep reading

This is what the “Muslim Ban” is helping to distract us from…
“What is unfolding inside Washington right now is, for all intents and purposes, a step-by-step coup e'tat against constitutional government. Steve Bannon has played, and will continue to play, the leading role in this usurpation – his positions effectively shield him from any government oversight or accountability. That Bannon has largely succeeded in shielding from public view his neo-Nazi associations and contempt for the American constitution should be cause for still greater alarm. What much we do know is gravely worrisome in itself.
This post concerns Donald Trump’s elevation of Bannon to leading roles within the National Security Council. To review: the National Security Council (NSC) comprises important high-level government officials including the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Director of National Intelligence. Its main job is to use this broad expertise to advise the President on national security matters and assist in carrying out security directives.
Yesterday, the President removed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence from the NSC. He replaced them with Steve Bannon. Bannon has no government, intelligence, or high-level military experience; his experience is leading a propaganda outlet (Breitbart News) that peddles nationalist and white nationalist viewpoints.
This would be deeply concerning in and of itself. But one of the jobs of the NSC is to oversee a secret panel that authorizes the assassination of “enemies of the United States Government” – including American citizens. These targeted killings are fully authorized by law under the Congressional military authorization act following 9/11. There is no trial, no due process, and no public record of the decision or the assassination itself.
Just to recap the absurdity: the President of the United States has appointed a known propagandist, nationalist, and white supremacist to replace the highest military adviser in the country on a council that authorizes secret, legal, targeted killings of American citizens (and others) without due process.
What You Can Do:
- Call your Senators and Congressperson this week and demand that they publicly and legislatively oppose Trump’s appointment of Steven Bannon to the NSC.
- Spread the word about this news to your networks, since this is not getting a lot of coverage right now.”

The other post I promised about Godzilla: King of the Monsters isn’t quite ready yet, so have some headcanons about film (kaiju and otherwise) in the MonsterVerse instead.

  • King Kong (1933), of course, was never made. Instead, Merian C. Cooper decided to finish Willis O’Brien’s Creation. Though no dimension-hopper with access to both films would put it on the same level as Kong, the dinosaur flick impressed the hell out of Eiji Tsuburaya.
  • Godzilla (1954) was never made either, but for different reasons. As in our world, the Indonesian government put the kibosh on In the Shadow of Glory, the war film intended as Toho’s big end-of-the-year release. Tomoyuki Tanaka began developing a science-fiction story to take its place, inspired by a wild rumor he had heard about the U.S. testing nuclear weapons on dinosaurs. Aghast, Monarch pulled every diplomatic string imaginable to get In the Shadow of Glory back on track.
  • Toho’s first kaiju movie was Daimadako (1956), about an octopus mutated by radiation who turns the tables on Japanese fisherman. Tsuburaya realized the monster through a combination of puppetry, stop-motion, and live octopi on miniature sets. Ray Harryhausen famously despised the film, calling it a rip-off of his It Came from Beneath the Sea.
  • Toho would continue to make kaiju and science-fiction films into the seventies, many of which were released theatrically in the U.S. The more well-regarded ones, including Daimadako, were remade as an interconnected anthology series in the eighties and nineties.
  • The Japanese company that cracked the American market in a big way, however, was Tsuburaya Productions. Its avian hero Bemular became bigger than Batman when it arrived here in 1968. After a few seasons, Tsuburaya Productions was able to open a Los Angeles branch and localize the series with American actors. It endured until 2014, when the arrival of Godzilla and the MUTOs on the world stage led to the mid-season cancellation of Bemular Galaxy.
  • Hollywood feared that the mass destruction visited upon the U.S. by the three kaiju would wreak havoc on the summer movie season, and it was proven correct when X-Men: Days of Future Past and Transformers: Age of Extinction both sank like stones.
  • By 2019, the two most popular franchises are Star Wars The Force Awakens somehow made even more money than it did in our reality – and Pacific Rim. The latter is essentially a Transformers successor which has cranked out three movies since 2016. Its detractors like to say it stops just short of crediting the Joint Chiefs of Staff as co-writers and executive producers.

“I took her in my arms. The anaconda’s habitat was probably not the most romantic place on Earth, but it felt safe. ‘You know I love you.’

'I love you, too, Jake,’ she said, and put her head on my shoulder.

'I guess if we win, if we survive, maybe we should, you know, get married and all. I mean, eventually. I know we’re young, but man, we’ve been through enough that it should count for a few extra years, shouldn’t it?’

I don’t know what I expected her answer to be, but I didn’t expect her to start crying. And not tears of joy, either.

'I would like that…eventually,’ she said.

'But. But what?’

She sighed. 'But, Jake, what are you going to be? What are you going to do?’

'Guess I thought I’d go to college,’ I said.

'And study what, Jake? Me, I’ll go to college, I’ll become a doctor. I’ll never forget what’s happened, I’ll never even try, but I’ll be able to slip back into a normal life. But you, Jake?’

I shrugged and released her and stood away a bit. 'I’m not Rachel, you know. I didn’t fall in love with the fight. I don’t need it like she does. I do it, I try and do it well, but it’s just a job, a duty.’ I tried to make a joke out of it. 'I mean, what do you think? The Pentagon is going to call me and make me Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff? I’m not even old enough to enlist as a private.’

She didn’t laugh. She just looked at me.

'Look, Cassie, when this is over I’ll be done with it forever. I’ll go back to school, get an education, go to basketball games, get a driver’s license, go to college, figure out what it is I really want to do. And be with you. You and me.’

She forced a smile. 'A year after it ends, if it ends, if we win, a year afterward if you want to be with me, we’ll talk about that again, okay?’

'I have to wait a year? Kind of harsh, isn’t it?’

'Hey, if we get married, Marco isn’t going to live with us, is he?’ Cassie said, trying her best to jolly us both out of our dark moods.

It didn’t work.”

- Book #53: The Answer, pg. 75 (by K.A. Applegate)

Trump and Bannon’s “America First”

Donald Trump has reorganized the National Security Council – elevating his chief political strategist Steve Bannon, and demoting the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Bannon will join the NSC’s principals committee, the top inter-agency group advising the President on national security. 

Meanwhile, the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will now attend meetings only when “issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed,” according to the presidential memorandum issued Saturday. 

Political strategists have never before participated in National Security Council principals meetings because the NSC is supposed to give presidents nonpartisan, factual advice.

But forget facts. Forget analysis. This is the Trump administration. 

And what does Bannon have to bring to the table? 

In case you forgot, before joining Donald Trump’s inner circle Bannon headed Breitbart News, a far-right media outlet that has promoted conspiracy theories and is a platform for the alt-right movement, which espouses white nationalism.

This is truly scary. 

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice calls the move “stone cold crazy.” Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who also served under George W. Bush, says the demotions are a “big mistake.” 

Republican Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, told CBS News, "I am worried about the National Security Council. … The appointment of Mr. Bannon is a radical departure from any National Security Council in history.” McCain added that the “one person who is indispensable would be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in my view.”

Here’s the big worry. Trump is unhinged and ignorant. Bannon is nuts and malicious. If not supervised by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, their decisions could endanger the world.

In Trump’s and Bannon’s view, foreign relations is a zero-sum game. If another nation gains, we lose. As Trump declared at his inaugural: “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America First.”

Some of you are old enough to recall John F. Kennedy’s inaugural, when the young president pledged to support any friend and oppose any foe to assure the success of liberty. 

But Trump makes no distinction between friend and foe, and no reference to liberty. As conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer observes, Trump’s view is that all other nations are out to use, exploit and surpass us.

Not incidentally, “America First” was the name of the pro-Nazi group led by Charles Lindbergh that bitterly fought FDR before U.S. entry into World War II to keep America neutral between Churchill’s Britain and Hitler’s Reich.

Trump’s and Bannon’s version of “America First” is no less dangerous. It is alienating America from the rest of the world, destroying our nation’s moral authority abroad, and risking everything we love about our country.

Unsupervised by people who know what they’re doing. Trump and Bannon could also bring the world closer to a nuclear holocaust.

Legacy of World War II on the Philippines

In early 1946 Japan’s General Tomoyuki Yamashita was tried as a war criminal and hanged by order of MacArthur. In 1986, a salvage group located the wreck of a Japanese ship containing $500 million worth of treasure in Filipino waters. The ship was sunk in World War II.

In 1994, President Fidel Ramos had hoped to turn the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Leyte into a sort of an Asian version of the D-Day commemoration at Normandy. President Clinton and MacArthur’s 92-year-old widow were invited to event but neither were able to attend. In their place came the U.S. Secretary of State William Perry and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Shalikashvili.

After World War II and independence, the United States Congress reneged on promised to give benefits to Filipino soldiers who fought on the Allied side against Japan. In 2009 Associated Press reported: “Men and women from the Philippines were promised recognition and benefits when they enlisted to fight alongside US troops during World War II. Many of those honors are only arriving now, 64 years after the war ended. The Fil-Am veterans are also set to receive long-awaited benefits that the United States pledged during the war. [Source: Associated Press, June 7, 2009]

“Some 250,000 Filipinos enlisted in 1941 to help defend the Philippines, a US commonwealth at the time. They were promised that they could become US citizens if they chose, and receive benefits under the G.I. Bill. The US Congress took away that offer in 1946 when the Philippines became an independent nation. Congress passed legislation in 2009 rewarding the soldiers for their service with $9,000 payments for non-US citizens and $15,000 for those with citizenship. In 2009, about 18,000 Filipino veterans, many in their 80s and 90s, were still alive. Ravaged by old age and disease, they were dying at the rate of 10 a day, officials said. “ [Ibid]

Carlos H. Conde wrote in the New York Times, “Unlike in other countries where the war’s end brought renewal and hope, there is a strong sense in this country that the war victimized Filipinos twice over, that its horrifying toll went beyond the destruction of its cities. If the war destroyed 80 percent of the Philippine economy, its consequences - the reparations, the ensuing relationship between Manila and Tokyo, the Cold War, the rise of Ferdinand Marcos, who exploited Japan’s postwar penitence and benevolence and almost single-handedly repaired relations with the Japanese - damaged Filipinos even further, diminishing their sense of pride and their ability to appreciate their past and learn from it. [Source: Carlos H. Conde, New York Times, August 13, 2005 +=+]

“In short, World War II left the Philippines devastated long after it ended, historians and sociologists say. This damage, they say, defines the modern Filipino: poor and lost, perpetually wandering the globe for economic survival, bereft of national pride, and - like the women of Mapanique - forced to suffer, to this day, the indignities of their violation. “Filipinos have a very short historical memory,” said Ricardo Trota Jose, the country’s foremost scholar on Philippine-Japan relations, who teaches history at the University of the Philippines.“ +=+

washingtonpost.com
A history lesson for Trump: Transgender soldiers served in the Civil War
Though they wouldn't have recognized the word transgender, hundreds of women dressed as men to fight in the War Between the States. And some lived as men afterwards.

This post has been updated to reflect the military’s reaction to President Trump’s transgender ban.

Albert Cashier served in the army as a man, lived his life as man and was buried at 71 with full military honors in 1915, as a man. But beneath the uniform in which he fought and was buried, he was biologically a woman, one of the many cross-dressers and gender defiers who have served in the U.S. military since the earliest days of its history, according to historians.

President Trump’s proclamation by tweet Wednesday that he was banning transgender people from serving in the military in “any capacity” is the latest twist in a thoroughly modern controversy. Trump’s declaration would overturn a policy only recently put in place by the Obama White House as the armed forces continue to grapple with modern issues of gender identity and sexual orientation. Caught off guard by the sudden shift, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, told military leaders Thursday: “There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance.”

But behind the 21st century contretemps is a history that predates the musket.

“They wouldn’t know what in the world you meant by the world transgender, but there have women serving in men’s dress in armies since the beginning of wars,” said Elizabeth Leonard, a professor of history at Colby College. “It’s a story that we keep losing sight of.”

[Women soldiers fought, bled and died in the Civil War, then were forgotten]

Cross-dressing has roiled the ranks of armies at least as far back as Joan of Arc, the 15th century military genius who was burned at the stake for heresies that included wearing a man’s uniforms. Leonard’s own expertise is the Civil War, a time when the ranks were filled with hundreds of women who cut their hair, put on pants and took up arms on both sides of the War Between the States.

Researchers at the National Archives have found evidence that at least 250 women dressed as men to fight in the 1860s, some motivated by ideology, some by a taste for adventure and some by the need for a job. Most of those who survived presumably returned to their lives as women. But others continued to live as men after the war.

Albert Cashier was born Jennie Hodgers in Ireland, immigrated to the United States as a stowaway and, at 18, enlisted in the Illinois Infantry Regiment as a man. After the war, in which he fought in some 40 actions, Cashier continued to dress in trousers and, in the modern parlance, identify as a man. He worked as a farmer and handyman for decades and missed out an army pension after refusing to take a required physical exam, according to scholar Jason Cromwell, the author of “Transmen and FTMs: Identities, Bodies, Genders and Sexualities.”

Cashier’s anatomical secret only came out after he was injured in a 1911 car wreck and treated by doctors. He was committed to an insane asylum but when his story was reported in newspapers, his former army comrades rallied to ensure he was buried as a soldier and recognized on a monument at Vicksburg as one of the Illinois soldiers who fought there.

Sarah Rosetta Wakeman was driven by poverty to work as a male canal boatman and then sign up with a New York unit to fight for the Union Army. The teenage girl passed as a 21-year-old man named Lyon Wakeman and bagged a $154 signing bounty. Recruits were not always closely examined, Leonard said, particularly toward the end of the war when armies on both sides were desperate for “men” of any kind. Among boys barely past puberty, the smooth face of a female impostor could easily have passed without remark.

“If you had teeth to tear open a cartridge and a working thumb and forefinger, that was enough,” Leonard said.

Wakeman died in New Orleans of dysentery after the Red River Campaign and was buried under a stone monument to “Lyon Wakeman.”

In addition to women who concealed their true gender, others created their own. Leonard’s favorite example is Mary Edwards Walker, a New York physician who served as the only woman surgeon for the Union Army.

During a remarkable career (which included being arrested as a spy for treating the wounded behind enemy lines), Walker never claimed to be a man, but she insisted against all custom on dressing as one. She was known as the Little Lady in Pants in her army years, and she adopted more masculine garb as time went on. By the end of her life, she wore a top hat and tails.

That proved even more controversial than the cross-dressers who completely adopted a male/soldier identity, who were often hailed as heroes when their story was uncovered.

“People tended to celebrate the courage of the women who cut their hair and passed as men,” Leonard said. “But they had no idea what to do with Mary Walker. She really was the precursor for the idea of ‘I am just going to be who I am.’”

The greatest terrorist threat to our country right now is Steve Bannon. And he’s controlling Trump. He wrote his inauguration speech and filled it with white nationalist rhetoric and slogans. He’s behind a lot of these poorly vetted executive orders. Read that quote on the right. He’s doing it knowingly to create chaos and unrest so he can literally break our government and install a totalitarian regime that puts white men solely in control of everything. He loves Andrew Jackson, i.e. the turd who created the Trail of tears and forced almost 17k Native Americans to leave their homes in the south in 1830 and march a thousand miles. 30-40% of them died en route. That is genocide. Bannon thinks that’s great. This man was just promoted to the National Security Council. Trump demoted the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the head of the CIA, and his National Security Advisor and promoted Bannon above them. This is unheard of. This is not okay. This guy now has control of our president and a huge say in National Security and he believes in breaking our democracy and genocide.

I see people expecting things to go farther south very quickly, expecting national guard troops to be sent in to break up protests and for Trump to institute martial law. Trump’s advisers like Conway and Bannon want the media to stop criticizing Trump and to be quiet. That is a blatant violation of the First Amendment and freedom of speech. This is a large part of why that amendment exists–to guarantee freedom of the press. Media outlets are not slandering the president when they quote him and then analyze what he says and does. That is their job.

On the one hand the number of people turning out to protest and fight and file lawsuits and show up at airports is heartening. ACLU donations in the past 24 hours have been what they normally raise over 5 years. I’ve read quotes from police chiefs and border control agents who do not want any part of this. And Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, has vowed register as a muslim if Trump tries to start a muslim registry. (corrected. thank you. @bobthemole)