How to get arrested in Haiti

And maybe be the president someday.

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Current mood:

So it’s been a…day…in my world.

And looking through the day’s natsec bits, it’s been a day elsewhere.

And we call that day?


From the ‘gram

Yup, there’s an Instagram.

It has things like this in it.

"What do I do? Lean on stuff, mostly. I reckon in 27 years I've leaned against most things in the Army." #natsectacular
September 16, 2019

Quote of the Day

Probably people will like it, too, when he visits Russia. In May.

That’s Trump talking to reporters in London at the NATO summit.

OK, OK, one more:

Orange? Really?

He’s trolling us.


Has to be.

Video of the Day

TIL that Mikhail Gorbachev made a million bucks in 1997.

For a Pizza Hut commercial.

Marines: stick with the thumb

I don’t really have a lot on this story that the Marines have issued new guidance on how to handle your political views on Facebook. Because it’s 2019 and everything is the worst, here’s the USMC’s official position.

"Because an active duty member may not engage in partisan political activity, the active duty member may not post or make direct links to a political party, partisan political candidate, campaign, group, or cause," the message states. "Such activity is akin to distributing literature on behalf of those entities, which is prohibited."

Shares are out, but likes are OK, according to the guidance. An active-duty service member can "friend" or "like" the social media page of a candidate or cause, but cannot invite others to "like," "friend" or "follow" the page, or otherwise invite them to participate.

U.S. Marine Cpl. Jordan Hasberger with VMM-262, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, and a soldier with 8th Infantry Regiment, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, pose for a photo during Forest Light Middle Army in Aibano Training Area, Shiga, Japan, Dec. 3, 2019. Forest Light Middle Army is an annual training exercise that is designed to enhance the collective defense capabilities of the United States and Japan Alliance by allowing infantry units to maintain their lethality and proficiency in infantry and combined arms tactics. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. D’Angelo Yanez)

That’s for active duty Marines, so things are a little more relaxed for reservists.

And Marine retirees.

Reserve members, and military retirees, can use photographs of themselves in uniform in campaign materials, according to the message, but these images must include "a prominent and clearly displayed disclaimer that the military photograph does not imply endorsement by the Department of Defense or their particular Military Department."

Of course, in keeping with this being a story about Facebook, someone didn’t think things all the way through.

But while the service has broad authority to regulate the behavior of active-duty troops and vigilantly guards use of its copyrighted emblems, it's not completely clear how it plans to enforce guidance governing retirees running for political office. has reached out to the Marine Corps for more information on this policy.

No, there’s not many larger conclusions to be drawn here, beyond the obvious that the political landscape has changed, and the new one’s being drawn with crayons.

The real problem with social media is that we all take it so damn seriously.

And the flippant sharing of a politically-affiliated on Facebook feels like a waste of time. Time better spent figuring how the hell we’re going to fight the next war with a near peer adversary when the world’s angriest orange is currently undermining whatever credibility we have with our European partners.

Worry less about Facebook, worry more about how we’re going to face China.

Collateral Linkage

  • Artis International interviewed terrorists and learned that they can’t be reasoned with because apparently someone at Artis is hoping their Alien fanfic gets picked up for the reboot.

    Our research also helps to explain why attempts to change or replace violent ideologies have generally had little effect. Efforts that “emphasize facts over propaganda”—as the Belfer Center at Harvard University suggests—or prioritize “evidence-based and data-driven” arguments, as the U.S. State Department recommends, are unlikely to sway people’s thinking on values that tend to be immune to a rational or logical calculus.

  • Today in “why politicians can’t have nice things,” Maryland state senator Will Smith went to Kabul as a deployed reservist for six months and didn’t get to eat in an Afghanistan restaurant. Not even once. War is hell.

  • Donald Trump is in London for the NATO summit, and when he’s not worrying about his cheeseburger supply he’s taking time to talk to reporters about how French president Emmanuel Macron is being disrepectful of NATO, as Macron said the organization has “brain death.” Maybe that’s different than “obsolete”, Mr. President?

  • Gwinnett County’s opened a new jail unit just for veterans and because no one has any new ideas anymore they’re calling it “The Barracks,” and treating inmates a lot like basic trainees. Because when you think about building bridges over the civil-military divide, you think preferential treatment for incarcerated veterans.

  • If you own a pawn shop, the chances you’re going to get robbed at some point are pretty good. And if you own a pawn shop in Fayetteville, your best bet for surviving the inevitable gunshot wound during said robbery is a power tool cord a brave soldier is going to use as a tourniquet.

  • Kim Jong Un’s getting set for Secret Santa this year, he just wants Trump to pick out the gift, according to Ri Thae Song, a vice foreign minister handling US affairs, who’s less than enthused with how the Americans have handled nuclear talks so far.

    “The dialogue touted by the U.S. is, in essence, nothing but a foolish trick hatched to keep the D.P.R.K bound to dialogue and use it in favor of the political situation and election in the U.S. What is left to be done now is the U.S. option and it is entirely up to the U.S. what Christmas gift it will select to get.”

  • Marines, if you clean up a big enough mess, now you can get a medal for it. That’s according to the Corps, now awarding medals to those jarheads who helped with disaster relief in the wake of Typhoons Mangkhut and Yutu in 2018. It’s like a participation trophy, but sillier.

  • Then there’s the Marine hero who got himself arrested in Haiti on purpose to draw attention to his cause. Which according to the Marine was the liberation of Haiti, and according to one witness was said Marine ending up as Haiti’s new president. Is there a medal for that, though?