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  • Members of the military are citizens too.
    • Churches can't be overtly political, and members of churches are citizens too. The point is that something as big as letting active-duty military people take part in the democratic process is a Big Deal, not something that should've been slid thru days just before the RNC. This reeks.
      • So I don't get to take part in the democratic process? How am I any less a citizen than anyone else?

        Who are you going to exclude next?
        • Maybe you missed the part brian, the one where it states that IT IS AGAINST THE LAW. Not that laws matter to these folks anymore. Not like the military coup didn't take place years ago, but it's nice to try to keep up the illusion.
          • Which law are you talking about?

            Some newspaper says something and you believe it? I've read the entire Uniform Code of Military justice and it doesn't say I can't take part in a political party as a citizen. They even have officers especially appointed to let us register to vote! The horror!
            • Vets and non-active duty, sure, but active duty guys in uniform? Hey, aren't they supposed to be out shooting at something brown and vaguely menacing? this DoD directive [] seems pretty clear but, then again, I guess you don't count since you were just in the National Guard and it isn't listed. The contention is on active duty having a regiment show up at a political rally or something, even if it weren't considered illegal, it'd certainly be very worrisome for this thing the US continues to c
              • I don't recall anyone saying anything about people in uniform being at the convention. The law is pretty clear that that uniforms are right out, but I haven't seen any part of the linked discussion that said anything about what people were wearing. All I've seen is an unsubstantiated sentence in an AP wire report that looks like it's based on a RNC press release. That doesn't look like a credible chain of information to me.

                The RNC press release says "active military personnel will make up 3 percent" and then later "Another 3 percent, or approximately 140 delegates, identify themselves as currently serving in the U.S. military" []. They don't say "active duty", and then equivocate by saying that those delegates identify themselves a serving in the military, which could be National Guard. The National Guard is a state organization and not subject to DOD policy until they are federalized. We call this being "Title X" (the same law that the DOD policy references). I am not Title X right now. Those 3% may not be Title X either. I still would identify myself as military, though.

                The telling statement, however, is "when the Democrats gathered in Boston last month, veterans made up only 11.5 percent of the delegates." That's the giveaway. It's a partisan pissing contest over who has the most flag-wavers on their side. It sure sounds like the RNC is doing what they can to make it look like they have more of the poor soldiers in the field on their side.

                And this is what everyone is arguing about: something that the RNC said in a political press release that might not even be completely true. I tend to think that the people that write these things know what they are writing and choose the words for the right reasons. They didn't say that any "active duty" personnel took part. I'm not on active duty right now, but I am "active Guard" because I still show up once a month, rather than "inactive Guard" (which we call "ING") which only shows up for a yearly muster. I think they are playing on that word to actually say something that is correct but make people think something else.

                The DOD directive which addresses this is not a law, though. Congress makes laws. DOD makes internal policy, which it can change as it likes since it is not law (and I think is part of the original source of this little dust-up on kiro5hin).

                The actual US code (the laws that Congress made and the DOD policy references) says that active duty (Title X) military members can't hold elected civil office or take part in political actions when their participation would be construed as an official statement of their branch. Title X military personnel can still act as citizens. The actual law doesn't address convention participation: only the internal policy mentions that, and it's not law.
                • Well, alright then, the more active duty military guys showing up at conventions the merrier. I don't have to care anymore as I left and I don't know why I bother. It should be very worrisome that any active personnel did in fact show up at the convention, law or not. I think people jump to conclusions because things are slipping away from democracy and when people get upset they're just told they're lefties and such.
                  • How are things slippiing away from democracy?
                    • Fascism Checklist ( source [])

                      1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
                      2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
                      3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
                      4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
                      5. Rampant sexism.
                      6. A controlled mass media.
                      7. Obsession with national security.
                      8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.
                      9. Power of corporations protected.
                      10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
                      11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
                      12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
                    • 1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.

                      That's not a bad thing, unless combined with some of the things you mention below.

                      2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.

                      Not happening, although there are some disagreements in implementation.

                      3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.

                      Nobody's been used as a scapegoat, and yes, we did need to unite in the presence of enemies.

                      4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.

                      Respecting the military is a bad

                      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
                • Thanks for the info, it puts the k5 story into perspective.

                  I'm certainly no expert but it doesn't smell quite like fascism to me. Bush supporters in the military now get to be extras in the RNC crowd scenes. They're not writing the platform. (Although, I wonder if we'd have fewer wars if military rank and file got to vote on these radical new doctrines for when you start a war.... yeah I know, that's not what it's about, but just saying.)

                  However, it certainly is a flagrant abuse of power by someone at the
                  • I do not agree. When not in uniform, someone in the armed forces should be able to participate in ANY political event anyone not in the military can.
                    • I don't see how your rebuttal relates to what I said. But anyway, as brian pointed out, the US military disagrees [] with you.
                    • I don't think I pointed that out. When not in uniform there isn't a problem.

                      I also don't see an abuse in power. Indeed, the Secretary of a cabinet level department is mandated to set policy for that department.
                    • I don't think I pointed that out.

                      My mistake. I meant "as in the military regulations brian linked to", but I misremembered -- you didn't link to them, I looked them up myself.

                      When not in uniform there isn't a problem.

                      The 1344.10 [] document lists example activities that are proscribed, like speaking before a political gathering, or doing clerical work for a campaign. I'm not a lawyer, but don't those apply whether in or out of uniform?

                      I also don't see an abuse in power

                      Well, the policy took effect the