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Dolly Parton’s Words to Receive a Biblical Level of Reverence from Naval Intelligence Facility

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Dolly Parton’s Words to Receive a Biblical Level of Reverence from Naval Intelligence Facility

 

a.shap / Flickr my other hero...
a.shap / Flickr

This is one for the ‘you just can’t make this crap up’ file.

A few weeks ago, an employee at the National Maritime Intelligence Center (NMIC) in Suitland, Maryland contacted the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), saying that they were very disturbed when they saw that a large Bible quote prominently was displayed in a corridor at this facility.

The NMIC employee couldn’t send us a photo of this Bible quote because it is in a secure area where no cameras or cell phones are permitted, but described it to us as being so large that it is completely impossible for anyone walking down this corridor to avoid having to look at it — four inch tall metal letters spanning an eight foot wide area over a doorframe, saying:

“I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Nehemiah 6:3 (NIV)”

Like so many of our service members and employees at military installations — including many Christians — this NMIC employee does not want to be made to feel like their military mission is a religious mission, which is exactly what the display of Bible quotes like this in their military workplaces do.

So, MRFF did what we usually in cases like this, which is first for MRFF’s founder and president, Mikey Weinstein, to contact the commander of the installation and make them aware that we have received a complaint about the display, and what the problem with it is. In many cases, this is all it takes. The commander realizes that the display is inappropriate and understands why it would bother some of the people in their command, and, depending on what type of display it is, takes some action to either remove it, move it to a more appropriate location such as a chapel, or alter it in some way that would be acceptable to everyone.

In other cases, however, the commander will have a public affairs officer or a JAG respond with some justification for why they are going to allow the religious display to remain. And this was the type of response we received regarding this Bible quote display at the NMIC.

The response came from a JAG, who, after speaking to Mikey Weinstein (who is also a former JAG), sent an email with a lengthy legal justification of why, in his opinion, this religious display is permissible.

The gist of this JAG’s lengthy legal justification was that displaying a religious item at a government facility is permissible as long as it is part of a larger non-religious display, and the inclusion of the religious item has a secular purpose.

In the case of this Nehemiah quote, the secular purpose that this JAG used to justify its display was that it was a Bible verse that an Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) employee who was killed in the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon kept posted on her bedroom dresser mirror, and that to the left of the doorframe that this large Bible verse spans is a portrait on this ONI employee who lost her life on 9/11, with accompanying text that ends by saying:

“This quotation from Nehemiah 6:13 (NIV) commemorates her dedication to the ONI mission and serves as a reminder to all that one’s day-to-day sacrifices and dedication to duty makes a significant contribution to the ONI mission and security of our nation.”

Where is the secular purpose in this? How does saying that this individual’s personal religious beliefs “serves as a reminder to all” that their sacrifices and dedication to duty make a significant contribution to their military mission. It doesn’t, of course. While this religious quote might have served that purpose for that individual, telling all service members and employees at this military facility this this religious quote should serve that same purpose for them is a promotion of religion, which is the exact opposite of serving a secular purpose.

As part of his further claims that this Bible quote is part of a larger, secular display, the JAG also pointed out that there is another quote, displayed in equally large lettering, similarly positioned over the next doorframe in this corridor. That quote is:

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, and become more, you are a leader.”

What struck me when I read the JAG’s description of the display of this other quote was that, unlike the religious quote, which includes the attribution to the Bible — and even the specific version of the Bible — this other quote includes no similar attribution.

The reason that the lack of an attribution for this other quote jumped out at me was that the NMIC employee who contacted us about the Bible quote had told us that had it not been for the attribution to the Bible being included with that quote, they wouldn’t have even realized that it came from the Bible. The quote itself isn’t inherently religious, so without pointing out that it came from the Bible, it would merely be seen as a motivational quote that could have come from anywhere. So there might be a simple solution — leave the quote, but just remove the “Nehemiah 6:3 (NIV)” attribution.

The next best thing, if they refused to remove the attribution from the Bible quote, would be to add an attribution to the other quote. That way, the two quotes would be displayed in an equal manner, and at least get rid of the perception that the Office of Naval Intelligence is sending the message that it is highly significant for everybody to know that the words of the one quote come from the Bible, but completely unimportant to know who that other, non-religious quote came from.

So, what the hell does any of this have to do with Dolly Parton?

Well, a quick Google search of the other quote returned whole bunch of hits attributing it to John Quincy Adams. Although the wording as displayed at the NMIC and in the hits I was seeing in my search seemed too modern-sounding for a  John Quincy Adams quote, I assumed that it must be a modernized version of something he said. So, we asked the NMIC why they didn’t have an attribution to Adams included along with that quote. Their answer was not at all what we expected. They said that they originally did have the quote attributed to Adams, but had removed the attribution at some point because someone had said they thought the quote came from Dolly Parton!

So, after I got over a bit of a WTF moment, I did a real search of John Quincy Adams’s writings to see if I could find anything he had written that was close enough to this quote for it to be a modernized version of a real quote from him, still thinking that there must be some reason that it’s attributed to him in so many books and other places. But my search turned up nothing from John Quincy Adams that was even close.

But what a broader search for the source of this quote did turn up was that, sure as sh*t, it really did come from Dolly Parton! Although the wording of the version at the NMIC isn’t exact, there was no question about it. Dolly Parton was quoted in a 1997 book as saying:

“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.”

So, the quote should obviously be attributed to Dolly Parton.

But the next email from the JAG said that what the admiral who commands this facility had approved was putting back the attribution to John Quincy Adams — the attribution that had been removed when someone said they thought the quote came from Dolly Parton — with only some kind of note to the side of the doorframe “noting the disputed nature of the authorship.”

But at this point there was no longer any “dispute” over the “nature of the authorship.” There was now no doubt whatsoever that this quote came from Dolly Parton!

So, we sent another email to the JAG, making this very clear:

“There may be a bit of a misunderstanding here. It is no longer open to debate whether or not this is a John Quincy Adams quote. It is ABSOLUTELY NOT a John Quincy Adams quote.

“It is absolutely a Dolly Parton quote, and has nothing whatsoever to do with John Quincy Adams.

“It should NOT be attributed to John Quincy Adams at all, with a reference to Dolly Parton or not. It should be attributed to Dolly Parton and nobody but Dolly Parton.”

The next morning, we received the following response from the JAG:

“We’ll make sure the quote is properly attributed to Dolly Parton.”

So now, in addition to having had a plane named for her by the 134th Air Refueling Wing of the Air National Guard in her home state of Tennessee, complete with her image painted on the plane’s nose, Dolly Parton will also have the honor of having her name emblazoned over a doorframe in a corridor in the National Maritime Intelligence Center.

While the preferable solution would have been to remove the attribution from the Bible quote, at least now the message to people walking down this corridor that the Office of Naval Intelligence is telling them that the Bible is the only source from which they should draw their inspiration is somewhat lessened, and the quote they see as they pass that next doorframe is attributed to its rightful source — Dolly Parton.

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Fox & Friends host says America is great because ‘we defeated communist Japan’

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Fox & Friends host says America is great because ‘we defeated communist Japan’

 

Fox News Insider / YouTube Interview Ainsley Earhardt talks about hosting...
Fox News Insider / YouTube

Let’s be clear. Fox & Friends isn’t just some shit-kicking local morning show in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, giving out tips on where to find the best cheese curds and night crawlers. The actual president of the United States watches it every day, and gives it more credence than the CIA, FBI, National Security Council, and Carson Daly combined.

And this is the kind of thing that comes out of their falafel-holes.

From The Hill:

Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt incorrectly said Thursday that the U.S. defeated “communist Japan” in World War II as she defended America’s greatness.

“We defeated communist Japan,” Earhardt said on “Fox & Friends” as she responded to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) saying America “was never that great” a day prior. Japan has never been communist, and was under imperial rule during World War II.

I mean, come on. Come on! The pr*sident is confused enough as it is. Let’s just hope Brian Kilmeade hasn’t played Risk lately. The last thing we need is to get into a ruinous trade war with Irkutsk.

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‘Sloppy Steve’ Bannon’s Back, Declares Plans To Save House For GOP In November

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‘Sloppy Steve’ Bannon’s Back, Declares Plans To Save House For GOP In November

 

The New York Times / YouTube Steve Bannon s Interview with the...
The New York Times / YouTube

Steve Bannon had a war room in the White House, replete with a portrait of himself as Napolean, an oversized white board which contained every promise Trump made during the campaign, and most importantly, a “shit list” which he and Trump compiled, of Trump’s enemies to be eradicated. Unfortunately, after “Fire and Fury” was published, Bannon found himself at the top of said shit list and was subsequently banished by Trump, and Breitbart and the Mercers. To this day Republicans roll their eyes at the mention of his name. Be that as it may, Bannon has returned, Rasputinesque, and he intends to reestablish his relevancy, starting with saving the House for the GOP in November. Axios:

Bannon said his new group [COAR] is aimed at stoking the “populist-nationalist movement” that put Trump into office, and includes booking, messaging and rapid-response operations that regularly brief friendly cable-news pundits.

  • “The war room is up and running,” Bannon bragged, saying Citizens of the American Republic will focus on the triumvirate of ideas, communication and action.
  • “When I got involved [with the Trump presidential campaign] in August 2016, Trump was down 12, 14, 16 points. Democrats thought I was a clown. They never took him seriously. We caught them napping. We can do it again.”

The effort to hold the House for Republicans “is more winnable” than Trump’s campaign was three months before Election Day, Bannon contends.

  • “I think we can hold this to a net loss [for Republicans] of under 15 seats.” (Democrats need to flip 23 seats to take House; top Republicans fear losses of 40 or more seats.)
  • “All the whining I hear among establishment Republicans, all the whining I hear in the official corridors of the Republican Party, has got to stop.”

Bannon is characterizing the midterms as Trump’s “first re-elect.” Politico:

“It’s very simple to me. This is a referendum on Trump, up-or-down vote on impeachment,” he said. “This other side, they’re very motivated — and they’re motivated for one thing: They want to impeach Donald Trump.”

“It’s all on the table Nov. 6,” said Bannon, who flatly asserted that Democrats would impeach Trump if they seized control of the House. “This is the re-elect. How do you use this to trigger the civil war in the Democratic party? You must win. [The midterms] have more value than the typical, ‘We‘re holding the House.‘”

Bannon’s reasoning is that the Republicans not only need to hold the House as the first re-elect, with many more to come, one presumes, but he also declares that the Democratic party will erupt in civil war on November 6, as well —  a win win scenario.

“If we get to October and that blue wave is not evident, those people who walked those districts in July, they’re going to say ‘How can this possibly be?’” he said.

“There is a tremendous advantage to winning this. The civil war in the Democratic Party will start on Nov. 6 if they don’t win.”

Now how does Bannon intend to effectuate this miracle that will have the Democrats eating each other like rats and Trump bouncing back more resilient than moss growing on a volcano?  Simple. Through his film making genius. Bannon has made a film, “Trump@War” about which he says, “If you’re a deplorable, you’ll literally standing on your chair with your pitchfork saying: ‘I’ve got to get people out to vote.’”

Here’s the trailer. Maybe it is catnip to the deplorables, but to a normal sensibility, it’s so monochromatic and monotonous that it would have to rise several levels to become even pedestrian. Don’t look for this opus to be nominated in the Academy’s new category of “Most Popular Film.”

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It is NOT an Enemies List, It Is a “Witness List”: Trump Discrediting Witnesses

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It is NOT an Enemies List, It Is a “Witness List”: Trump Discrediting Witnesses

 

CNN / YouTube Trump John Brennan is a total...
CNN / YouTube

“President” Trump is telling his advisers that he is eager to pull the security clearances of more people that have been involved in the intelligence community and been critical of Trump, according to the Washington Post.

Of course he is, that’s what Trump does, attack anyone he believes can hurt him, or attack their wives, or call them dogs, you get the idea.

So, the natural tendency for all of us is to think of these soon to be yanked security clearances as the equivalent of an enemies list. It is that, for sure. But, that’s not the primary reason for yanking these clearances, nor are they simply petty bull shit moves “just because I can.”

As Trump often does, he has – without realizing he has done it – told us exactly why he is yanking these clearances.

The real truth came out this afternoon, when Trump summoned two Wall Street Journal reporters back to his office, from the WaPo story:

Later that afternoon, Trump summoned a Wall Street Journal reporter into the Oval Office for an impromptu interview in which he linked Brennan’s clearance revocation to the “sham” Russia investigation.

“These people led it,” he said, referring to Brennan and others. “So I think it’s something that had to be done.”

Trump just admitted that he pulled the security clearance because these people were the ones that started the investigation, meaning they are not just enemies, but they are critical witnesses – the top cops, the ones that were on the beat when they found out all that was going on between Trump and Russia. Trump just told us that he is attempting to punish, or do something in response to the people who started the investigation against him. 

His goal is to muddy-up the witnesses, make them look bad, “they had their clearances revoked …” sounds bad, even if it is a naked political (or criminal) ploy to lift himself up.

The Wall Street Journal, owned by the same man who owns Fox News had the “scoop.” They had the direct quote from Trump stating that his action really relates to the fact that they started a hoax investigation. Yet, the Wall Street Journal did something peculiar with that story – they buried it. In fact, by the time Rachel Maddow’s show ran, the story had “disappeared” from the Wall Street Journal web page.

Why?

Likely, because the Wall Street Journal is more pro-Trump than any other paper, it is because that quote demonstrates direct obstruction of justice. Trump is going after the witnesses, and that is obstruction of justice – he’s admitting it, again.

Look at the rest of the list that Huck-Sand read from the podium without any sense of shame today; Clapper, Yates, Comey, etc. they all go back to the point of origin, when the American intelligence community first learned of Trump’s campaign contacts with Russia in 2015. Trump is not creating an enemies list. He is not punishing people for speaking out, well – yes, he is doing that, too, as a side effect. No, Trump is attempting yet again to save his sorry self from what is so obviously NOT a hoax, his criminal ties to Russia.

After all, this decision didn’t come up in a vacuum:

Trump grew increasingly agitated about Brennan and others earlier in the summer, believing they were exploiting their credentials as former national security officials to make money, aides said. The president mentioned the Russia investigation when discussing the matter in private and drafted a list of officials who have angered him for Sanders to read at the lectern in the White House briefing room, the aides said.

It is not an enemies list. It is a witness list, and thus it was “something that needed to be done.”

Problem is, as James Clapper asked yesterday; “Where does this end? Will he pull Robert Mueller’s security clearance, thus making Mueller’s team unable to get the evidence they needed?”

We will see.

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