Tag Archives: Bastille Day

Fourth of July celebration to ‘star’ Donald Trump? Really?

This can’t be happening, but I guess it is. When I first saw reports of this upcoming event celebrating the nation’s independence, I thought it might be a phony, made-up gossip item concocted by some Internet troll.

Turns out it’s real. Donald Trump appears intent on making the annual national Fourth of July celebration — which historically has been a non-partisan/non-political event — into something akin to a political rally.

The Washington Post reports that the president is moving ahead with plans to move the fireworks display from the National Mall to West Potomac Park. Then there’s this: He wants to address the nation from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

According to Mother Jones: The traditional event has been staged for more than 50 years, and has long included fireworks on the mall organized by the National Park Service, as well as a concert near the Capitol featuring the National Symphony Orchestra and a lineup of major musical stars.

The national event has been televised for many of those years by PBS.

That isn’t apparently going to happen this year. Trump appears intent on inserting himself into the celebration. Only the Good Lord Almighty knows what the president is going to say when he takes the stage in front of President Lincoln’s statue.

I get that Trump is a proud American. However, to use the high profile of his office to promote himself — which appears to be a high probability — at an event choreographed to honor the nation is a reprehensible act of partisan politics.

Trump reportedly got the idea at a Bastille Day celebration in Paris. He wanted to stage a huge military parade in Washington, D.C., to commemorate Veterans Day, but that idea has been put off for at least a year; its cost is, um, prohibitive.

The Interior Department calls the Fourth of July event a “Salute to America.” Does anyone really believe, though, that this president is going to allow such a salute to occur without taking credit for his effort to “make America great again”?

Neither do I.

As the Post reports: The presidentā€™s starring role has the potential to turn what has long been a nonpartisan celebration of the nationā€™s founding into another version of a Trump campaign rally. Officials said it is unclear how much the changes may cost, but the plans have already raised alarms among city officials and some lawmakers about the potential impact of such major alterationsĀ to a time-honored and well-organized summer tradition.

Good grief!

Thanks for the recognition, but no parade, please

Strike up the band, fire up the tanks, lock and load, forward … march!

The word is out that preliminary planning has commenced for what Donald J. Trump is seeking: a full-blown military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.

The president wants to honor the service and sacrifice of active-duty military personnel and to thank the nation’s veterans.

Well, gosh. I do appreciate the expression of thanks from the president. Really. I do! I served a couple of years in the U.S. Army, serving some of that time in Vietnam in wartime.

That was a zillion years ago and to this day I still get “Thank you for your service” greetings from strangers. I appreciate the recognition that we didn’t receive when we were mustering out of the service and returning home.

To be honest, that’s all I want.

Do I want to see a military demonstration with tanks, artillery, thousands of troops from all branches of our 1.5 million-member military? No. I consider it a waste of money and an unnecessary showing off by the commander in chief.

I’ve read that the president was so taken by a Bastille Day parade he saw in Paris that he wanted to do something like it here. Except for this little item that I believe the president is ignoring: The French parade included troops from other nations as well as the French military. Is the president planning to allow foreign fighting forces mach alongside our men and women in uniform? I don’t think so.

If the president wants to honor our military, all he has to do is have a White House ceremony. The leaders of the Joint Chiefs of Staff can speak publicly about the sacrifice each of the personnel under their command make to protect us.

Donald Trump could offer some legislative remedies to ensure that our veterans receive top-tier medical care.

A parade down Pennsylvania Avenue? A parade that will cost the country millions of dollars it cannot afford to spend? An event that will stretch our overworked and stressed-out military men and women even more?

No thank you, Mr. President. A simple — and sincere — expression of gratitude would work just as well. The world’s greatest military machine doesn’t need to show off its might in this ostentatious — and costly — event.

Newt calls for Muslim ‘test’


Newt Gingrich must be making a last-ditch pitch to become Donald J. Trump’s running mate.

Or … he’s feeling frisky now that he appears to be out of the running to join the Republican presidential ticket led by the presumptive nominee.

Whatever the case, the former U.S. House speaker has gone ballistic — and flown off the rails — in the wake of the terrible attack yesterday in Nice, France, in which someone plowed his truck through crowds of people in an apparent terrorist attack.

Eighty-four people are dead. Yes, it is a horrible, despicable act. The group responsible for it must be punished with extreme prejudice.

What is Newt’s response? He wants to apply a “test” to every single Muslim living in the United States of America. If they pass the test, they’re welcome to stay. If they fail, out they go. Deported. Sent to their country of origin.

The basis for Newt’s test is whether these Muslims believe in Sharia law, which he said is “incompatible” with western civilization. Oh, and he wants to “monitor” mosques to see if they’re being used to recruit jihadists.

Holy moly, Mr. Speaker.

My third thought about Newt’s post-Nice rant is that he’s trying to show off his own anti-Muslim credentials to Trump.


AĀ few questions come to mind.

One concerns the logistics involved. How do we identify every single Muslim currently in this country? How do we pay for this endeavor? How does the country enlist enough security agents to fan out across more than 3.6 million square miles of American real estate to search for these individuals?

How do we devise this test? How do we establish whether its results prove beyond a doubt that someone is a Sharia-believer?

Has the ex-speaker decided that U.S. citizens who also are Muslim also should be tested in this manner? If so, well, then we have another fairly significant issue to ponder: the U.S. Constitution. That silly ol’ First Amendment says something about religious freedom and guarantees every American the right to worship as they please without government interference.

Moreover, I recall President Bush saying right after the 9/11 attacks that we weren’t going to war against Islam, which his successor, President Obama, has reiterated. Our enemies are the radical Islamists who have perverted a religious faith for political gain.

Of course Americans ought to be outraged over what has happened in Nice. Someone said last night that this attack that occurred while France was celebrating Bastille Day appears to be the costliest attack in terms of lives lost ever committed by a single terrorist. French police shot the driver of the truck to death and then apparently discovered his vehicle contained other munitions, suggesting he was operating as part of an organization.

Is it the Islamic State? Or al-Qaeda? Or some other group?

French intelligence officials are pretty good at rooting out bad guys. And they’ll have plenty of help from U.S., British, German, IsraeliĀ and other international law enforcement agencies as they seek to combat this latest attack.

As for Newt Gingrich’s proposal to go after every living Muslim in the U.S. of A., let’s not allow fear and panic to overtake us.