Detailed reporting and a large number of meaningful reader comments here:

Oct. 19, 2019 The Seattle Times

Instant analysis: Three impressions from No. 25 UW Huskies’ loss to No. 12 Oregon

When a sports team falls short, hometown loyalty does not stand in the way of questioning players, coaches, referees, team owners, league rules, etc.

No similar open & honest discussion seems to exist Re: the Dept. of Defense track record for winning undeclared wars.

If the US Armed Forces were an NFL team, or a top 25 college football team, sports talk radio would feature comments like: DOD was nowhere to be found on 911. We haven’t won a war since.

Glorifying Military Service

No similar open & honest discussion seems to exist Re: the idea that undeclared/unwon wars in distant lands are somehow linked to American rights and freedoms.

Both major political parties, sports announcers, public school teachers, and the press promote the idea that wars are for freedom. This idea does not stand up to questioning and mostly will not be questioned by traditional veterans groups, public school teachers, the press, or readers commenting on news-related web sites.

Congressman Derek Kilmer:

Wars are for freedom and democracy.


When the US returns from an undeclared war or military conflict without a victory- what becomes of American rights and freedoms?


The family friendly, hometown pride-oriented local small town papers and TV news folks not only shy away from asking questions, they promote urban legends about freedom.

“For the past couple of years, the Whidbey News-Times paid the insurance for the Veterans Day Parade, about $200, because it was a small way of saying thank you to the men and women who sacrificed so that we may have our liberties, including our Freedom of Speech.”

Were US troops sent to Vietnam so that Americans could be free to send letters to the editor?

Is there any case in which the US Armed Forces have been sent to distant lands on a mission to protect freedom of speech?

Is protecting freedom of speech even part of training scenarios?

Veterans protect freedom of speech?


Did the Joint Chiefs of Staff send The Troops to safeguard American freedoms?

Was it the Viet Cong that restricted rights to freedom of speech or expression in public schools?

JUNE 10, 2019 TIME

High School Students’ Graduation Speeches Keep Getting Censored. But They’re Seen by Millions Anyway

“In 1965, a young Iowa middle schooler named Mary Beth Tinker decided to wear a black armband to school to protest the war in Vietnam. She was suspended for doing so, eventually leading to 1969 Supreme Court case Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. In a 7-2 decision, the court found that students at public schools maintain their First Amendment right to free speech.”


Urban legends about freedom

A popular slogan around here: Jet Noise is the Sound of Freedom

Maybe the sound is the reminder of a Dept. of Defense that is not good at winning, preventing, or shutting down wars.


As the decades of undeclared/unwon wars stack up (The Department of Defense track record goes back to 1949.) the greater the cultural urge to glorify people who do, or did time in uniform.

If there is an honest reason to send people away into decades of undeclared/unwon wars overseas let’s hear all about it.

Why do we pretend that the US Armed Forces function as some sort of giant civil rights organization?

In some cases, the US Armed Forces provide for our physical security. That’s as good as it gets.

In terms of American rights and freedoms- The Dept. of Defense has no more say than the Dept. of Agriculture.

Many veterans claim to have served to protect American rights & freedoms.

How does this work?

Black people were still riding at the back of the bus after the big WWII victory.

Women were not allowed full voting rights at the end of WWI.

Until July of 1971, 18 year old adults did not have full voting rights. Why didn’t US Military operations conducted in the 1940s, 50s & 60s get the job done on this?

Why the need for a 1965 Voting Rights Act if overseas military operations somehow secured voting rights?

Why, in 1967 was an interracial couple sentenced to a year in jail for violating Virginia’s ban on marriage between people of different races? Where were The Troops?

With all this talk of American rights and freedoms- would it be OK to grow a marijuana plant in the back yard? Can I take my 20 year old girlfriend (a responsible adult) down to the bar to order up a few beers for freedom?

Should we check with the Joint Chiefs of Staff first?

More here:

Both Major Parties

Liberty And Justice For All?

Jet Noise Protects Your Right To Protest?

Did the speech mention Armistice Day?

Jet Noise Made Them Free?

Freedom Comes And Goes – Joint Chiefs of Staff Play No Part

Let’s Honor The Troops In Honest Ways

Military Town – Hometown Pride

Navy on Whidbey is a Matter of National Security?

Armistice Day Is Now Free Chow Day

Too Many Lies From Veterans – Straight Out of a Land of Make Believe

Goodbye Armistice Day

Sports Culture Tends to be Open and Honest


How Do The Troops Defend The Constitution?

Not asking about the oath of enlistment. Asking about what happens after the oath has been taken.


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A symbol of a culture where voting and giant flag rituals at sporting events are highly emphasized, while asking questions related to public policy takes a lower priority.