Royalty and the family.

Bless me, father, for I have sinned. It has been approximately 45 years since my last confession. Um…I forget the rest, but here’s the deal:


I was inclined to cut Tiff a break, but seeing her lined up with the rest of the gang before the state dinner at Buckingham Palace about made me blow a gasket. I was googling for a particular photo, and came across this slideshow (Daily Mail link, be forewarned!!!) of Tiffany “showing off her curves” in a swimsuit, which is apparently British tab-speak for “has gained 40 pounds since last we saw her.” This made me feel bad, then good, because one of the pictures in this insanely big gallery (80-some frames) is of her hair extensions revealing themselves, and while it’s bad to fat-shame women, we still can surely still extension-shame them.

Another question: Is white the protocol color of choice for women attending a state dinner with the queen? Melania wore white, as did Cathy Cambridge and Lilibet herself. Then I went googling for past photos, and found one of Michelle Obama wearing white in the same venue, but also black, so I was confused. Then I rabbit-holed down a bunch of angry tweets from conservatives, yelling about Trump-haters daring to abuse Tiffany, who after all keeps herself out of the family business, except when she doesn’t, like when there’s a chance to have dinner with the queen. Most of the Tiffany abuse wasn’t particularly abusive, at least not compared to the conservative comments about Mrs. Obama, which concerned deep analysis of her trapezius muscles, vis-a-vis their long-held belief that Michelle Obama was born a genetic male.

For the record: Melania’s state-dinner dress was nice, Ivanka’s was weird, Tiffany’s was tragic, Lara’s was bleh. Lucky Barron got the night off, for once.

Also, I’m not 100 percent down with the Maggie Haberman-hate that rains down every time she files, but man — pieces like this make it hard:

On this visit, another family opportunity surfaced: The Kennedys have long occupied the American political culture as the unofficial royal family, but this week, the Trumps appeared to present themselves as the 2019 version.

“He’s surrounding himself with his family in this kind of certainly royal family, prince-and-princesses way,” Gwenda Blair, the author of “The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire,” said in an interview. “Just as traditionally crowned heads surrounded themselves with their progeny, he has surrounded himself with his progeny.”

Read it closely, and its claims are held at arms’ length: “appears to present themselves,” etc. But that quote!

Anyway, they’re all back stateside by now, and thank God for that. Camilla was positively dying for a download with a chum and a double gin, you could just tell.

I hope I live to see Charles’ coronation, whenever that happens, should it happen. Camilla is my second-favorite royal, world division. (First is Princess Charlene of Monaco, of course.) Her motto: Whatever “Living is the best revenge” translates to in Latin.

OK, then. Wednesday approaches. My ass is beaten to a pulp by seasonal allergies this week, but I’m carrying on. A note to Brian Stouder: I’m glad you enjoyed the Grand Prix, but be advised, there is a loud and growing group of locals who absolutely HATE it. Not the race itself so much as the set-up and tear-down, which takes one-third of a state park, the city’s best and most unique, out of commission for more than two months, in high season. It’s pretty appalling, but never you mind that. You had fun, and that’s a good thing.

Posted at 6:23 pm in Current events |

84 responses to “Royalty and the family.”

  1. basset said on June 4, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    Meanwhile and totally unrelated:

    and Muslims don’t have constitutional rights either, he says, because… no such thing?

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  2. Jeff Borden said on June 4, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    They look like they’re attending the annual HOA dinner dance in a gated community. A pox on all of them. . .including Tiffany.

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  3. Julie Robinson said on June 4, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    Tiffany looks like she can’t even breathe in that dress. Also, Don Jr seems to have porked out quite a bit. Also, not-Don Jr shouldn’t have buttoned that button. Also, they both should have shaved.

    Apparently Camilla gave the press a big wink as she was escorting the Trumps in to tea, and now everyone is trying to read what that meant.

    Also, Trump didn’t get the highest honors available during this trip, like staying at Buckingham Palace, or a special horse salute.

    Does Belle Isle still have the plant conservatory? We were there way back in 2010, and like the rest of the island then, it was barely holding on. I remember a sign saying they didn’t get any tax money and were being run by volunteers, and it was super run-down. Despite all that, the plants were gorgeous. Lots of orchids.

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  4. Sherri said on June 4, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Maggie Haberman’s piece about the existential question faced by Hope Hicks over whether to comply with a Congressional subpoena was egregious. I’m still a subscriber, but the NYTimes makes me question that choice regularly.

    If a Dem FLOTUS had worn Melania’s dress, we’d have heard no end of caterwauling from the RWNM about the incredible breach of protocol that was demonstrated by those sheer shoulders.

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  5. Sherri said on June 4, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    If you’ve listened to Running From Cops, you’ve heard of Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich of Spokane. He’s decided he doesn’t like the new law the legislature passed on immigration.

    Elected sheriffs are a problem.

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  6. LAMary said on June 4, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    There was a photo of Tiffany a few weeks ago at some event with her semi-siblings. The extensions were present and she was wearing something that was about two sizes too small. She’s inherited her dad’s looks and fashion sense. I know that’s nasty. So be it. Porking out isn’t a crime. In this case the mind reels at what she’s consumed to gain weight.
    Her mother is all clean food and healing crystals. We know what dad eats. Ivanka’s dress is weird.

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  7. Alan Stamm said on June 4, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Prince Chuck (Chaz?) is one year older than me, to the day, and I unhumbly suggest he needs to spin or do yoga or run or something before it’s really too late to at least try looking not-80.

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  8. Suzanne said on June 4, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    I saw that pic of the Trump family (remind me again why they are even there. Did George HW haul W and Jeb! & the rest of fam along on state trips?) and my immediate thought was Miss Ellen’s potiers and Emmy Slattery trying to squeeze into Scarlett’s red dress.

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  9. David C. said on June 4, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    I have no doubts that someone who sits his butt on stage for a charity event that he didn’t give a dime to would haul his spawn uninvited to Buckingham Palace.

    My wife’s four wingnut, fundie sisters are visiting for the next three days. I have such a headache right now from gritting my teeth. I’m so glad things are busy at work so I can spend extra time there.

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  10. beb said on June 4, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    Julie — the Belle Isle Conservatory still stands. Like much in Detroit it’s showing it’s age but is still a grand place. Next to it is the Belle Isle Aquarium, which has re-opened after being closed for a few years. It’s one of the oldest Aquariums in the country and shows its age but it’s nice to have. The Belle Zoo, though is still a closed, overgrown mess. it was a neat place when it was open but underutilized. AS Nancy mentioned the Grand Prix on Belle Isle is resented by some of use because of the amount of set and break down time and the large amount of the island cut off from the public during that time.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on June 4, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    Grand indeed, beb, with lovely architecture. The aquarium must have been closed when we were there or we would have visited. The crumbling zoo buildings made me sad, imagining the days of families having their outings. Dangerous, too, because at that time they weren’t even fenced off. Lack of funds no doubt.

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  12. Mark P said on June 4, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    Forget the ladies’ gowns, Donald Trump’s knee-length waistcoat was absolutely stunning!

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  13. FDChief said on June 5, 2019 at 6:55 am

    That was my thought; that the Trumpenfemmes’ outfits looked classic compared to the Godfather’s appalling tiny tailcoat. WTF? You’re the most powerful politician in the US and you can’t find a decent tailor? Instead the only thing that set you apart from an organ-grinder’s monkey was less hair and a sour face?

    I know Trump’s a boob who constantly wears ill-fitting clothes, but that was outstandingly awful even for him. If he’d have clomped in wearing his golf spikes with it he couldn’t have looked that much worse.

    That said…what’s depressing is something like two-fifths of my fellow citizens look at that hot mess and want more of it.

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  14. nancy said on June 5, 2019 at 8:11 am

    No one misses that zoo on Belle Isle. Detroit has a fine zoo a few miles away, and the one on the island was not part of Olmstead’s master plan. The long-range agenda for restoring the park calls for it to be demolished.

    They really need to demolish “Penske pond,” i.e., the several-acre paved area put in to accommodate the Grand Prix, but that won’t come for a while.

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  15. Connie said on June 5, 2019 at 9:28 am

    News story about cancelling drag queen event at Licking County Public Library, with a brief mention of the Delaware cancellation.

    Drag queen story times are a trend, going on in libraries around the country. Often supported by community, often opposed by right wing politicians.

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  16. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 5, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Yes, but Denison took over hosting; huzzah for my spouse’s school. They moved the event to the Denison Art Space, two blocks east of the library and two doors down from my court office.

    Oh, and just because:

    What Queen Elizabeth was doing this week 75 years ago.

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  17. Bitter Scribe said on June 5, 2019 at 10:20 am

    Sorry but I’m firmly in the “leave Tiffany alone” camp. She didn’t ask to have that jerk for a bio father, and she’s been making her own way in the world, not sponging off him like her half-siblings. If she tags along on a state visit to Britain, that’s no crime in my book.

    Her weight and her hair are no one’s damned business. If a bunch of bigoted assholes said outrageous things about Michelle Obama, that does not make it open season on her or anyone else just because they happen to be associated with Republicans.

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  18. Jeff Borden said on June 5, 2019 at 10:22 am

    A friend of ours takes her 5-year-old son to monthly story hours by a collection of drag queens. He’s convinced they are princesses from a fairy tale. His favorite is Muffy Fishbasket. It all seems pretty harmless and fun to me.

    Kathleen Parker had an amusing column on the Trumps visit to Old Blighty, referring to the Orange King as New York’s most famous hillbilly. And it wasn’t just the grifter kids who came along. The whole crew of dolts and sadists from Kellyanne Conway to Stephen Miller to Sarah Huckabee Sanders were there, too.

    BTW, while most U.S. presidents have refrained from bringing along their offspring to state visits, our slobbish fearless leader is not alone. Other world leaders including the president of Mexico have brought large numbers of family members along.

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  19. Heather said on June 5, 2019 at 10:43 am

    Ivanka’s dress seems to be some weird ballgown/prairie dress combo? Or maybe a cowgirl theme? Yugh. And did y’all see the fascinator she wore earlier? It looked like a maxi pad on her forehead. I’m a fan of fascinators but wear them right. Girl gets into trouble when she steps out of safe “sheath dress and heels” territory. Hey, she’s abetting the destruction of the country, I’m allowed to be a little catty.

    I’m not down with fat-shaming Tiffany either but I think it is appropriate to point out that her dad would have no problem doing so. How much you wanna bet he’s commented on her weight gain?

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  20. Sherri said on June 5, 2019 at 11:03 am

    I’m not going to fat shame Tiffany, but if she’s going to join in on a state visit representing the country at taxpayer expense, then she’s open to some criticism. I don’t know if she came because she’s always wanted to meet the Queen or because Daddy wanted to create the illusion of the royal family (Maggie Haberman’s articles don’t come out of thin air, you know), but she chose to be a part of it.

    Just like the pastor of that church trump dropped in on, she let herself be used.

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  21. Deborah said on June 5, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Did we, the US taxpayers, pay for the whole famdamily to go over there? I can see taking Baron, but the adult children seems like an extreme extravagance. I hope they at least paid for their own clothes. I still feel sorry for Tiffany, she’s a law school student now. Must be terribly hard to have a dad like Donald and to be so scrutinized in the press.

    Did Baron even go? I don’t recall seeing any photos of him there.

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  22. Connie said on June 5, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Story from the Newark Advocate about local support and change of location referred to by Jeff above.

    Who everr dreamed that I would reach my monthly for free articles in the Newark Advocate!

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  23. Julie Robinson said on June 5, 2019 at 11:39 am

    Deborah, I haven’t seen anything about this trip, but I believe the family has to pay for their airfare. Of course, the Secret Service coverage ends up costing taxpayers, and they would need extra cars, etc. I think it makes them fair game for our snark.

    After perusing Tiffany’s dress again, I’ve decided it’s not so much antebellum south as Regency or Georgian England, as interpreted on the cover of a romance novel.

    Glad to know Detroit has another zoo.

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  24. Sherri said on June 5, 2019 at 11:55 am

    They pay some of their expenses, but not all, and not their Secret Service expenses.

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  25. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    [smiles on behalf of the Newark Advocate]

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  26. Suzanne said on June 5, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Another Great Britain photo to add to the Trump collection:

    “So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu!”

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  27. Joe Kobiela said on June 5, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    75 years ago right about now midnight in France 8pm eastern thousands of young men some as young as 17-18 jumped out of their c-47 and into immortality, for just a short time tonight please put aside the politics and remember these extremely brave men and the ones that came ashore 6hr later we owe them a debt of that can never be repaid.
    Pilot Joe

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  28. beb said on June 5, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    I dispute Nancy’s claim that no one misses the Belle Isle Zoo, My wife, daughter and I went there many times. It featured exhibits that were not part of the main Zoo (Belle Ilse was a satellite Zoo) and the overhead walkway was an interesting and pleasant way to view the exhibits. Sadly, not enough people came to the Belle Isle Zoo and it was not able to support or justify its existence, but I still like it and miss it.

    I’m not sure what “Not being part of Omlstead’s plan” has to do with anything. Omlstead has been dead for a long time and no one has ever bothered to stick to his plan before. I’m sure he never intended for Belle Isle to have a golf course. And I’m sure Olmstead never planned for a Grand Prix race. We should never slave ourselves to century old plans. I realize that the Belle Isle Zoo could not justify itself but I still miss it.

    I am with you that the “Penske Pond” (is it really called that? Never did it called that before) has to go? It’s ugly and destroyed the symmetry of the ponds around the Scott Fountain.

    I’m listening as I type to Elizabeth Warren at the Ft. Wayne town hall. She’s a lot more stimulating and earnest (I want to say emotional but that’s usually a club against women) then expected. I favored her before this but feel ever more strongly that she’s good and capable.

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 5, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Love this.

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  30. brian stouder said on June 5, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    Well – Belle Isle is a beautiful setting, and the fairly bustling harbor with jet skiers and huge freighters and sail boats just adds to the experience.

    Truly, Detroit is a beautiful major American city. I don’t know precisely what I was expecting, but suffice it to say that any and all expectations I had were vastly exceeded!

    When we first got to Belle Isle, the beauty of the place was nothing short of striking; and the incongruity of hearing racing engines screaming in the near distance (one of the support series sedan races was progressing when we first arrived) as we entered what was clearly a beautiful park was not lost upon us.

    But indeed – with the Detroit skyline (and especially the GM tower, with a Chevy banner upon it) in the middle distance – what better setting for an American race then Motown, eh?

    And indeed, rather than a street race (as in Monaco), the park provides a uniquely American automotive setting without disrupting the operation of the city itself

    We stayed in a pleasant hotel just west of downtown (off I-94) for two nights, and ate at several different restaurants, which were quite good.

    I was taken aback, during the post-race interviews at the fountain, when the drivers plunged into it, but waddaya gonna do?

    Total non-sequitur: I’d have lost the bet, if the wager was: True or False – US-24 runs through Detroit, Michigan

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  31. Dexter Friend said on June 6, 2019 at 2:58 am

    Rachel Maddow pointed out she noticed the only partially-obscured sign in the photo says “no photography”. I had to grin. Now the way we boys useta talk, some of us were face men, some leg men, a lot were breast men, and a lot were ass men. I suppose the ass men were printing off the pictures of Tiffany and running off with a box of kleenex to be alone with their fantasies. Since I was never any kind of ass man, and was a sucker for a pretty face, I was certainly leaving the Kleenex in the box it came in. jeezuss kreist, what a photo-shoot. We all know the world has a lotta fatties, and I am one , so I don’t ridicule tubs. I certainly saw a bunch of lardasses at the Cleveland Clinic yesterday as I awaited Carla Lee’s business to be completed…X-rays and knee replacement checkup. I think she loves her surgeon. I guess he is a blond ladykiller type…I have heard my wife talk about him. Maybe that’s her fantasy. Hell, I will be 70 in the fall, I ain’t good for a goddam thing anymore , but by cracky I can still push the lawnmower around. As soon as we left Cleveland, a four hour downpour happened over there and today it rained hard all day there as well. We didn’t get a drop on us…good timing, and Carla Lee doesn’t have to see Doctor Dreamboat for a couple years. She’ll have to suffer looking at my tired old face—and ass, I guess. Here’s an oddity: At the toll booth in Cleveland, the toll collector said to my wife “aren’t you Carla Lee and don’t you have a sister…” it was old Deb, her friend who moved to Cleveland in 1975. That’s 44 years ago of course…pretty Deb now has deep creases from years of bar life, with lots of cigarettes and booze, now all clean, no more cigarettes even…but she looks like she’s 85, I shit you not. Still workin’ the toll booth gig at age 65. Good on old Deb.

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  32. icarus said on June 6, 2019 at 7:19 am

    by cracky I can still push the lawnmower around.

    Is that a euphemism Dexter?

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  33. FDChief said on June 6, 2019 at 8:11 am

    Re: Pilot Joe’s “leave politics out of war” observation…there is no such thing. War is inextricably mixed with politics, and let’s not forget that the people those GIs were parachuting and landing in to kill or capture were there for, among other reasons, because their political masters insisted they revere their soldiers’ “sacrifice” thirty years earlier.

    No republic should kneel at the altar of war dead, or glorify that brutal dying. The appropriate measure was that of LTG Truscott, as I’ve written about here earlier. Grieve, and apologize, for not being able to prevent those deaths.

    And as a reminder of “war as politics”…we here in the West will not commemorate the anniversary of June 23rd, 1944. But it will be the 75th year since the opening rounds of Operation Bagration, also known as “The Destruction of Army Group Center”, the massive, brutal Soviet attack that essentially destroyed the Nazi German Army.

    While the France campaign was a decent effort, it was really the Soviets that defeated Nazi Germany in 1944. It was Europe’s misfortune that the victor was only relatively less horrific than the vanquished.

    So…speaking as a GI and former paratroop sergeant, the bottom line is, as always, that Owen was correct, and we do ourselves no favors to repeat the Old Lie.

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  34. Suzanne said on June 6, 2019 at 9:17 am

    I am listening to the audio version of the Mueller Report, not very far in, but I am struck by how widespread the use of Russian produced Twitter accounts that spewed mis-information or fake information that was shared and shared, several times by DJT jr, Kellyanne, and even Trump himself. I also think that even when this is known and verified, it means zilch to a whole lotta people, so this part of the report will not sway them. I am fairly certain most of my family and friends do not use Twitter or even understand how it operates. So when they hear about Trump tweeting inane idiotic things, it means nothing to them. They don’t understand what tweeting is so they don’t imagine it’s terribly important.

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  35. Sherri said on June 6, 2019 at 10:10 am

    There are some groups that are heavy twitter users, journalists among them, but twitter is not as big a force out in the world. Facebook is still the biggest, Instagram has communities where it is big, and I can’t keep track of where the kids are these days.

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  36. alice said on June 6, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    My neighbor said using local honey has helped his allergies. Makes sense, but I can only offer the anecdote.

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  37. LAMary said on June 6, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    I saw Ken Burns on TV this morning, talking about D Day. He was saying good stuff and all that, but why does he wear his hair that way? The hair he had when Civil War was being shown was bad. The current hair is different but also bad.

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  38. Joe Kobiela said on June 6, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    I was trying to say, for a minute let’s put aside our differences and remember the men who sacrificed for the cause, sorry you couldn’t see it that way chief. Saying the Normandy campaign was a “decent effort” is a slap in the face to anyone who was there, I hope those that still lay there forgive you.
    Thanks for your service
    Pilot Joe

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  39. Jakash said on June 6, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    50 years ago, give or take a few, Generalissimo Bone Spurs jumped out of his chauffeured limo and into infamy — armed with only the thinnest of condoms and his father’s money, he waged his lifelong battle against STDs, never knowing that one day he would be elected president by people who spent their whole lives despising much of what he seems to represent. Oh, sorry, I guess that’s not really putting aside the politics…

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  40. FDChief said on June 6, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    You’re as dead in a backstreet brawl in Fallujah as in the greatest offensive in human history, Joe. You’re just as dead in a “decent effort” as in Armageddon. There’s no shame in accepting the facts and the reality is that the Soviets won the war, much as we like to pretend that it was the Greatest Generation.

    And they were horrors, only less horrible than the Nazis by comparison, something we should remember every time we trot out our little flags and drums and speeches when it’s convenient to “memorialize” the people we send out to do our dirty work. War is, as Sherman described it, all hell. There is nothing to be gained in wrapping war dead in the flag and pretending otherwise. Grieve. Apologize. That’s really all we can and should do.

    And “Putting aside our differences”? Seriously? Is that what you call it, when you come here trolling ninety percent of the time but want to wrap the dead today in a pious shroud of patriotism? It’s people just like you who wave the flags and cheer the Old Lie.

    I WAS a GI. I know that lie, as well as any man. Those dead men are closer to my brutality than they are to your sentimental notions of war without politics. Don’t you dare come here and one-up my dead, old man.

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  41. Sherri said on June 6, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Maybe we should start talking about living in a war zone…

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  42. Connie said on June 6, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    Sherri, teens are on Snapchat and Instagram according to my teen librarians. Facebook is for old people.

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  43. Connie said on June 6, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    I have been interviewing teen librarian candidates this week and they have all told me that in their interviews.

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  44. Mark P said on June 6, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    Sherri, in a sane country, that would be unacceptable. In this country, as the gun violence rationalizers say, it’s just the price we pay for our freedom to own guns. I’m sure the founding fathers, as big a bunch of racist oligarchs as they were, would have totally agreed that guns are more valuable than people, including elementary school children. But let’s make sure we outlaw abortion. Can’t have people killing fetuses, can we? But once they’re born, those little shits are on their own.

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  45. Joe Kobiela said on June 6, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    If you want to politicize everything on here have at it big chief, I’ll just sit back and give thanks for everything those brave men did in that decent effort. Nothing you can say to or about me will change that.
    Pilot Joe

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  46. Sherri said on June 6, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    I still remember reading several years back, when teens were still using Facebook, of how kids got around their high school’s blocking Facebook traffic by hanging out in the comments section of seldom purchased books on the Barnes and Noble web site.

    My daughter (in her mid-twenties) and her gang of friends hang out on Discord. I’ve discovered that Slack is perfect for the kinds of things I do, where a group of 5-20 people from a variety of places need to communicate about a joint project.

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  47. Dexter Friend said on June 6, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    By now, the John Dowd voicemail, released 90 minutes ago, of a conversation with Flynn’s attorney, is blowing up everywhere. It’s concrete, undisputed evidence of a crime—obstruction of justice by the mouth of Trump via his private attorney, Dowd. It’s a crime. Trump should be hauled off in handcuffs now…right now. If you can’t find the audio, at least read it. It’s the smoking gun; it’s dynamite.

    And…Congress will not do a goddam thing about it. Shit.

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  48. Dexter Friend said on June 6, 2019 at 6:00 pm


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  49. LAMary said on June 6, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    Pilot Joe, we in a time when politics are part of our everyday lives. Not in the usual sense, but in our faces, intruding on our privacy, our rights, the air we breathe, our wallets. Everything is about politics right now and I blame Trump and the party that used to be the Republican party but is now the Trump kiss ass party. When evangelicals support a man like Trump, and so people who are supposedly the tax cut party support the tariffs, things are very screwed up and it’s all politics. Consider yourself very lucky if you find it easy to ignore all this. I can’t ignore it or pretend things are otherwise.

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  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 6, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    Ditto from the juvenile courts, Snapchat and Instagram are where youth are, but I can contact their parents more quickly through a Facebook message than phone calls or even texts sometimes. Sending a registered letter is like spinning up the mimeo drum.

    If I’m doing this in ten years, I wonder sometimes what the comms will be then, because ten years ago I didn’t see voicemail and email becoming as useless for contacting folks as they are now. Email is inhouse, work related, but to reach moms and students and involved parties, texting and FB messages are gold. Voice mail’s a roll of the dice.

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  51. annie said on June 6, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    FDChief @33 expresses it perfectly. All this commemoration and glorification of D-day just reinforces people’s belief that wars are a crucial & noble way to act. Of course the German men were equally heroic and equally had no choice but to go into the army and kill and die in horrific numbers.

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  52. ROGirl said on June 7, 2019 at 4:17 am

    Honoring the sacrifices and bravery of the soldiers involved in the D-Day invasion and thinking about the deeper implications of the follies, destructiveness and futility of war are inextricably connected. History has to grapple with the contradictions, and so should we.

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  53. Scout said on June 7, 2019 at 9:23 am

    I’m just going to leave this here.

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  54. bbinDE said on June 7, 2019 at 9:55 am

    To ROGirl’s point about grappling with the contradictions, I have to give my host country props for their post WWII efforts to talk honestly about what the Nazis were up to, and what they did to achieve their goals. In Berchtesgaden, at the foot of the Eagle’s Nest, there’s a “documentation center” that offers an unvarnished display of photos, papers, reports, etc. showing how the party rose from backwater rabble rousers to in charge of everything in the span of a decade. In Kaiserslautern they have a (to my mind) fascinating memorial on the ground where the Jewish synagogue once stood, before it was burned by the Nazis. Placed at various angles are what’s best described as “historical viewmasters.” You look through the fixed-point binoculars and see a 3D image of what the building looked like, from that exact vantage, when it still stood. Here in Wiesbaden they mark the outline where the city synagogue stood with special brick. Surrounding the space is a wall made of bricks listing every (known) local Jewish person, along with his/her birth date and the location of their murder–most often the name of a concentration camp. Those are just the 3 I’ve had an opportunity to explore in our time here; long-time expats tell me there are similar memorials and museums throughout the country. Compare that to what we Yanks (don’t) do to address the litany of offenses committed against minorities and women for the past 200+ years in our country. Tough to address the sins of the fathers if the children never bring the subject up.

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  55. 4dbird said on June 7, 2019 at 10:00 am

    I was a GI too. Joe, go ahead and give thanks to those brave men (and women) it is the least you can do. When did you serve?

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  56. David C. said on June 7, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    What the fuck, Mr. Stable Genius?

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  57. Mark P said on June 7, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    When you think about Donald Trump, you should remember this:

    He is an idiot. He is both stupid and incredibly ignorant. I have grown tired of parsing his absurd statements. It’s just not worth worrying about whether he makes sense; he doesn’t. His statements are typically outright lies. If they are not lies, they are based on such a limited and flawed understanding of anything that it’s a complete waste of time to try to understand them. Entire books have been written about things he does not know. Libraries are full of books about things he does not understand. His ignorance extends to every subject. His ignorance is broad and its depths have not been plumbed. He is so ignorant that he is ignorant about how ignorant he is. There is no subject about which he is not ignorant. He sets a new standard of ignorance and has reached a level that will probably not be exceeded in our lifetimes. It may, in fact, be impossible for any other living human to know as little about as many things as he does.

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  58. Jakash said on June 7, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Hey, I’m happy to jump on most Il Douche-bashing bandwagons, but this Moon one leaves me cold. “much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part)” just seems like a Twitter-shortened reference to travel to the moon being the steppingstone for going to Mars. I have no problem with that wording, and hyperventilating about it seems over-the-top, to me, which is why I’m disappointed to see several that I respect doing so. Even the analysis linked to by David C., saying that he “seemed pretty gung-ho about going to the moon just a month ago” seems beside the point, to me. I read the tweet as indicating that he thinks that NASA should be talking about the larger Mars aspect more than just the Moon portion. Which, (shudder) might even be a rare good point from the guy. Hey, he even managed to give a shout-out to Science, and spell it right. Given the unending litany of actually stupid, mean and/or misguided tweets he fires off, I think it’s pointless to focus on this one. Sorry to disagree!

    Alas, despite being a big fan of the space program when Apollo 11 took place, I’m not really on board for this excitement about going to Mars. At this point, I’d much rather the billions be spent on things that have an effect right now, right here on Earth, which has plenty of problems that need addressing. (I realize that the same was true in the sixties…)

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  59. susan said on June 7, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    Here is a typical Trump voter. Brains have already oozed out of their heads and turned to…rainbows, maybe? Soft brown $hi†?

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  60. Joe Kobiela said on June 7, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    When I graduated in 1976 we didn’t even have to sign up, so I was never in the service, I went to work at Dana 2 weeks out of high school, but I did study my history, and have nothing but the highest respect for those who did. Thanks for your service
    Pilot Joe

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  61. Mark P said on June 7, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Jackash, we don’t disagree. I am willing to accept that the moron knows that the moon is not part of Mars. I am also willing to entertain the possibility that he does not, or did not until someone told him. I still maintain that it is pointless to try to parse the ravings of this cretin.

    As far as going to the moon or to Mars, that is all part of the same infantile, cartoonish fantasy that drove him to suggest a space force. It’s ridiculous for the US to spend hundreds of millions (billions, actually) to try to go to the moon. Of course the major aerospace companies are pissing their pants at the possibility of getting their hands on that much money. But there is simply no good reason to go to the moon now. As far as Mars is concerned, we aren’t even close to having the technology to take humans to Mars and return them safely. And there is absolutely no reason to even try at this point. It’s worse than stupid. We can spend probably a tenth or less and send robotic probes to Mars without running the risk, and probably a high risk, of killing people along the way. We would be far better off developing artificial intelligence to control robotic probes.

    The dumbass in the oval office probably thinks we could get to Mars while he is still president. That’s how stupid he is.

    There may be a good reason to go to Mars some day, and we (more likely the Chinese) will develop the technology to do it.

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  62. David C. said on June 7, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    There’s no reason to return to the Moon and going to Mars will radiate the astronauts into an early grave. For those who think we need Earth mk. 2 to use as a spare, there’s nothing that could happen to the Earth, even the worst thing you can think of that would make Mars more habitable. If Elon wants to send himself there, more power to him. It’s one Elon idea that I can get behind. I’m all for exploring, but robotic craft do the job very well and at a much lower cost in dollars and lives. I wouldn’t want to see money needed to explore Jupiter and Saturn’s moons pissed away sending humans to Mars.

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  63. Dexter Friend said on June 8, 2019 at 3:00 am

    Trump says he is against the draft, which means he probably really would sign a paper to re-activate the draft. From what I read, males from 18 to 26 still must register for the draft. When I got my “Greeting:” I had five days from my 18th birthday to sign up or an order for my arrest would have been issued. So Joe, if you never registered and henceforth were never arrested , at some point that stopped, but you certainly broke a federal law. Right now, with what the Commander of US Forces in The Region is saying, we are on the verge of a war with Iran. A few hours ago a US Navy destroyer and a Russian destroyer came within 50 feet on the high seas of colliding, each blaming the other. The paid retired brass that are now consultants on msnbc are saying we will soon need to rush 10,000 ground troops to The Region to somehow deal with Iran. I would not be surprised at all if Trump pulled a stunt like starting a draft for the Marine Corps and the US Army. Yeah, believe me, they drafted men into the Marines during the Vietnam saga, so they could do it again.

    I have been seeing a repeating ad for the new Kia Telluride SUVs. I began thinking that would be a great vehicle for me; it is impressive. So I kidded my daughter out in Las Vegas, NV that she was using mental telepathy, reading my mind, as yesterday she bought one, white, tan interior. They are sweet SUVs.

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  64. Joe Kobiela said on June 8, 2019 at 6:01 am

    In 1976 you didn’t even have to sign up, there was no draft, no draft card, no number, nothing.
    Pilot Joe

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  65. alex said on June 8, 2019 at 7:15 am

    Bullshit Joe. The draft ended but you still had to register for it. I did when I turned 18 in 1979.

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  66. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 8, 2019 at 7:29 am

    Still do. Each county still has a Selective Service Committee that meets once a year, just in case. Barely evaded getting tapped to serve on ours a few years ago when I was backed into a corner by a county commissioner (ironic, that).

    During the peak of Vietnam, there are sadly too many credible accounts of Marine recruiters coming into draft board physical line-ups and saying “you don’t want to get drafted into the Army when you can join the Marines; count off!” And every third guy followed the sergeant to a new line where they “volunteered” for the Corps. I used to argue the point, but about the third guy who told me about seeing it happen, and one who said that’s how he ended up in the USMC, I stopped fighting it.

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  67. Suzanne said on June 8, 2019 at 8:51 am

    David French discovers what many of us understood years ago:

    Personal experience is a wonderful tutor, isn’t it?

    Jonah Goldberg starting to get it, too

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  68. Julie Robinson said on June 8, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Our son had to register even though the draft itself is no longer in effect. He then got a selective service card, which is the official name for what we all call a draft card.

    Back in the day they operated a lottery for draft order. I remember watching it with my older sister, who had friends in the class of ’71, the last class to be drafted. Everytime they pulled a birth date she would sigh with relief as her friends moved further down the list.

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  69. Sherri said on June 8, 2019 at 11:13 am

    The current head of the Selective Service is Don Benton, a total nutcase from Vancouver, WA. He’s a former state legislator and was at the EPA early on in the trump administration, but was too nutty for Scott Pruitt, which takes some doing. He’s been begging trump to be his chief of staff.

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  70. David C. said on June 8, 2019 at 11:23 am

    No Alex, Joe is right. I never had to register for the draft either. I turned 18 in 1977. I think there was about a five year gap between the end of the draft and the reinstatement of registration.

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  71. Dave said on June 8, 2019 at 11:59 am

    According to Wiki, which means my brother was born five days before the cutoff date:
    On March 29, 1975, 38th President Gerald R. Ford, whose own son, Steven Ford, had earlier failed to register for the draft as required,[25] signed Proclamation 4360 (Terminating Registration Procedures Under Military Selective Service Act), eliminating the registration requirement for all 18- to 25-year-old male citizens.[26]

    1980 to present[edit]
    On July 2, 1980, 39th President Jimmy Carter signed Proclamation 4771 (Registration Under the Military Selective Service Act) in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the previous year of 1979,[27] retroactively re-establishing the Selective Service registration requirement for all 18- to 26-year-old male citizens born on or after January 1, 1960.[28] As a result, only men born between March 29, 1957, and December 31, 1959, were completely exempt from Selective Service registration

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  72. dull_old_man said on June 8, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Fortunate sons born between Mar. 29, 1957, and Dec. 31, 1959, never had to register for the draft. The Vietnam-era system went out of business in the mid-’70s and the 1980 version didn’t extend draft liability all the way back.

    There are many oddities in the draft history. I was born in 1952, for example, and had a much easier trip through the system than classmates born a couple of weeks earlier in 1951. When I have forgotten my kids’ names I will remember my lottery number was 287.

    –Edit–Good job, Dave. I will keep my post here for my remark about how lucky I was unlike some of the other guys in my class.

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  73. LAMary said on June 8, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    Class of 71, here and my classmates were all subject to the lottery. A few of them went to Vietnam. My two sons received notices to register with the selective service when they were 18 in 2008 and 2012 respectively. I don’t think either of them did. So Joe, you should have signed up.

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  74. Joe Kobiela said on June 8, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    Read post 71-72, if I was required to I would have.
    Pilot Joe

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  75. LAMary said on June 8, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    Joe, I recruit for healthcare facilities and I’ll be working on finding people for VA clinics shortly, so I had to go through federal background check, fingerprinting, etc. Right in the middle of a form I was filling out today, there was a question asking if I was a male and if so had I registered with the selective service. They ask because I would not be eligible to work as a contractor with the feds if I had not.

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  76. brian stouder said on June 9, 2019 at 12:02 am

    Well, I remember registering for the draft – but I was born in 1961 and our hot-wars (and indeed, the actual draft itself) were over at that moment.

    I also recall that the only time I ever saw my dad cry was the day – I believe in 1976 or ’77 – when my brother joined the United States army. (Mind you, my dad served in the US Navy in the early 1950’s, aboard an aircraft carrier)

    So – to agree with Joe – it strikes me as altogether fitting and proper to commemorate our nation’s soldiers and sailors, wherever they served – and in whatever war.

    It is also wise to recall (and guard against) a concept I learned when I was reading all I could find about the American Civil War; and that is “mindless glorification”

    Afterall, in 2019, you never have to look far for a stars-and-bars plate or sticker on a car, or even the actual flag flying here or there.

    Skipping past all the horror and then having a parade or festival or a heart-tugging commemoration is akin to having a full-blast Christmas celebration that pays no heed to the actual ‘reason for the season’ (a clumpy example, but waddaya gonna do, eh?)

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  77. basset said on June 9, 2019 at 8:55 am

    And here are the lists of Vietnam draft drawing numbers:

    028 and 263 for me, I was only in the last two.

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  78. Joe Kobiela said on June 9, 2019 at 9:33 am

    How could you be disqualified if they didn’t require you to sign up at that time? With my job I hold known crew status, that means I can bypass tsa check points at airports, I don’t have to go thru any screening. There is a separate way I enter airport terminals, in order to get this status I had to pass numerous security and background checks including fingerprints I was never asked if I had signed up for the draft, if they had I would have answered no because when I turned 18 I wasn’t required too.
    And thanks Brian for recognizing with me that wars should never be glorified but those that had to serve should be.
    Pilot Joe

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  79. LAMary said on June 9, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Are you a federal contractor? I am. Hence the question.

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  80. David C. said on June 9, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    LAMary. I’m working on my DoD security clearance. I had to answer the draft registration question, but it was worded to exclude the time that Joe and I fall under. We aren’t required to be registered and it can’t be held against us that we aren’t.

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  81. Joe Kobiela said on June 9, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    No, employee of a private air charter company.
    Pilot Joe

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  82. LAMary said on June 9, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    Ah, David C. That weird little hiccup in the selective service.

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  83. David C. said on June 9, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    I think it’s completely nuts that they left that 2.5 years out of registering. I was only about 21, so a completely draftable age when they reinstated registration. Not that I mind. I think it’s strange too that they still ask when guys are beyond thirty years or so. But bureaucrats gotta bureaucrat.

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  84. LAMary said on June 10, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    In the meantime my male friends were all waiting for the lottery dates. My brother got drafted when his student deferment ended when he got his masters degree at 24. This was during Viet Nam, but luckily, he broke his foot before being shipped out and instead of going to Viet Nam he was sent to Thailand to work in an office doing inventory for two years.
    My father, who was a solid Republican, thought US involvement in the war was senseless. When the son of one my father’s long time employees was killed there he was truly angry and outraged.

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