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January 30, 2007

Not our “commander in chief”
Posted by Patrick at 03:29 PM *

Lots of people have blogged this over the last few days, most notably Glenn Greenwald, but I want to leave a pointer anyway to this past weekend’s Garry Wills op-ed reminding us that, unless you’re in the military, the president of the United States is not your “commander in chief.”

The president is not the commander in chief of civilians. He is not even commander in chief of National Guard troops unless and until they are federalized. The Constitution is clear on this: “The president shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States.”

When Abraham Lincoln took actions based on military considerations, he gave himself the proper title, “commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.” That title is rarely—more like never—heard today. It is just “commander in chief,” or even “commander in chief of the United States.” This reflects the increasing militarization of our politics. The citizenry at large is now thought of as under military discipline.

Wills mentions something I hadn’t known: Dwight D. Eisenhower regarded it as “out of order” for Presidents to exchange military salutes. The custom of Presidents exchanging salutes with the Marines on boarding or disembarking from the presidential helicopter was begun by Ronald Reagan and continued by all his successors. A small thing, but emblematic of what we’re well on the way to.
Comments on Not our "commander in chief":
#1 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 04:02 PM:

Perhaps other correspondents will weigh in with more about the protocols of saluting, but my understanding is that salutes are exchanged between uniformed soldiers (sailors, airmen...).

#2 ::: Vardibidian ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 04:12 PM:

The President of the United States is a civilian. Most of our recent presidents were once in the military (Eisenhower, of course, but also Poppy Bush, Ford and Carter), and understood the important difference between military hierarchy and the civilian oversight. President Clinton, of course, was not in the military, and was (at least to some extent) aware of what that meant. President Reagan was ... sort of in the military. Our Only President was ... sort of in the military, but certainly appears to never have understood the difference between the military and the not-military, even when he was theoretically in uniform.

Thanks,
-V.

#3 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 04:27 PM:

While I have never been in the military, I have begun reading a lot of military fact, fiction and history.

In this country, at least, it is the uniform, not the man, that receives the salute. IIUC, a soldier in uniform is not required to salute his superior if superior is out of uniform.

In addition, as others have said, the President is commander in chief, font of orders and hopefully wisdom, but still, by design, the civilian head of the military forces.

So yes, theoretically at least, the president shouldn't salute based on being president.

I remember my Dad having a cow early on in Clinton's admin for Clinton -- who had never been in the military -- saluting, because if he never served then, CiC or no, he was a civilian.

If that's true, then the salute must be based on military service. So, while Dwight may be an exception -- having been a general when in uniform -- for Reagan and Bush and the like, if the salute is based on the justification of having been in the service rather than rank as CiC, then one must also assume they are (still)subordinate to those who hold rank greater than they achieved during their time-in-service. So that doesn't work either.

To be fair, I expect Reagan, coming out of the WWII service was saluting, at least in part, as a gesture of respect and acknowedgement of service. This does not mean it was not a political-image issue as well of course.

#4 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 04:31 PM:

I've been informed that Marines, even if they are in uniform, do not salute unless they're wearing a cover (hat), which would only be worn outside.

#5 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 04:33 PM:

for some definition of "outside"

#6 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 04:38 PM:

So, the next question is: How many presidents put on a military flight suit and played "dress up" for a photo op and ("mission accomplished") propaganda speech?

#7 ::: Doug K ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 04:47 PM:

On saluting: true in both cases: the protocol is that both the saluter and the saluted should be in uniform, and no salute is given when heads are uncovered. In boot camp, the punishment for saluting inappropriately is much the same as for not saluting when appropriate - that is, based on the whim of the corporal who detects it.. polishing the urinals with your toothbrush, twenty laps of camp in dress uniform, etcetera. Iggerant movie stars can't be expected to know this, I suppose.

#8 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 04:50 PM:

Wow, does that mean he's also not the CinC of the Air Force, Coast Guard, or Marines, none of which are mentioned in the Constitution? I think it does.

*schemes begin to surface in Xopher's twisted brain, like poisoned fish in a polluted lake*

#9 ::: Tom S. ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 04:53 PM:

Pedantic @ #3: It's often said that one salutes the rank, not the man, but that means only that you salute a superior officer even if that officer is personally distasteful to you.

You are expected to salute senior officers not wearing the uniform, assuming that you recognize them. Your own commanding officer will draw a salute, even if you run into him while he's jogging, but a random officer you don't know can't expect a salute.

Regulations also require a hand salute to any person who would be entitled to a gun salute or other ceremonical honors, even if they are not uniformed. This includes the president and other senior government oficials (DoD Secretaries and undersecretaries, certain House and Senate officers, ambassadors and consuls, etc). So it's definitely a requirement to salute the president, regardless of whether he is ex-military or not.

The question of whether to salute (or return a salute) when you are yourself not in uniform is less clear. The Navy and Marines never do so. The Army and Air Force may, though it is not obligatory. In the Navy, we were warned that Army and Air Force people will also salute when uncovered (not wearing a hat), such as indoors, while the sea services never do. Civilians should not salute, and generally do not, though courtesy demands an acknowledgement of the salute , usually a nod and a "thank you" or similar words. The presidential salute is very much an affectation of Reagan and Bush and Clinton ought not have continued it (I don't recall whether Bush senior did so -- I think not).

#10 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 04:56 PM:

Xopher @ 8

I think the AF and the Marines are covered as 'army' and 'navy' respectively (USMC is arguable: I think they pre-date the navy). The Coast Guard, on the other hand - I don't know.

#11 ::: Chris Gerrib ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 05:05 PM:

Tom S. @ 9 has the correct saluting regulations. I should add that the junior person will salute and hold the salute until it is returned by the senior person.

Possibly urban legend, but Reagan felt awkward being saluted but not returning them. (It does - I spent a few days as a Navy guy in Air Force land). So, he asked his military advisors if he could salute, and they told him, "you're the military Commander in Chief, who's going to contradict you."

#12 ::: Chris Gerrib ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 05:12 PM:

P. J. - the Marines are part of the Navy. The Air Force was part of the Army until 1947 (and still follows Army customs). Since the Constitution allows Congress to pass laws to "regulate the military" the Air Force is under the command of whomever Congress says it is. The 1947 act creating the Air Force also created the modern Department of Defense, and put the Secretaries of the Army and Navy under the SecDef.

The Coast Guard, when activated as part of the military, falls under the juristiction of the Secretary of the Navy.

#13 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 05:21 PM:

Tom S. @ # 9

Thank you.

I knew there had to be a great deal of detail I was missing and I appreciate the correction and clarification.

Chris Gerrib @ # 11

Thank you as well. Your "possible urban legend" was the thing I half remembered hearing about respect and acknowledgement.

Now when between services, if you are saluted by someone from one service under circumstances where your branch of the service does not normally salute, are you allowed, expected, or required to return it? And if not, is the saluting individual still required to hold it indefinitely?

Also, will a senior officer -- even if only in boot camp -- deliberately withhold a return salute, in order to hold a junior at attention?

#14 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 05:26 PM:

Chris Gerrib @ 12:

I was wondering where the Coasties fell into the groups. The others are what I figured (one of my uncles was USAAF; no surprises there, and far-too-many relatives wore blue).

#15 ::: Chris Gerrib ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 05:34 PM:

Re Pedantic @13 - Saluting is military etiquette, not (to my knowledge) a law. You can't technically be punished for not saluting (although disrespecting an officer is punishable). Basically, in mixed services, one should do what is most polite. When I was the only Navy guy on the AF base, I returned uncovered salutes. A Marine Captain of my acquantance didn't, but did nod and recognize the salute. In short, one should follow common sense and politeness.

Do people sometimes deliberately withhold a salute? Well, if they're pissed off enough, yes. I mean, those scenes in the movies where some senior officer is screaming at a junior? Been there, done that (sending and receiving) and got the T-shirt.

#16 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 05:41 PM:

Chris Gerrib @ 15

Thank you again.


And to Chris Gerrib and all the others who served in the armed forces:

Thank you for that service.

#17 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 05:43 PM:

Commander in chief or not, Bush is still the "decider", a rank one step above arsehole and one notch below barstard. I'm not entirely which branches of the military have this rank. Perhaps Bush invented his own imaginary world. Certainly wouldn't be teh first time.

#18 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 05:51 PM:

P J @ #10 - the USMC predates the USN by about a week, but the USMC is part of the Navy, hierarchically. They were both founded by the Continental Congress in November 1775.

#19 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 05:56 PM:

Ill Duce...

http://www.cnn.com/POLITICS/blogs/politicalticker/

WHITE HOUSE WILL "HAVE A GATEKEEPER" AT EACH AGENCY: President Bush has signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules and policy statements that the government develops to protect public health, safety, the environment, civil rights and privacy. In an executive order.. Mr. Bush said that each agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee, to supervise the development of rules and documents providing guidance to regulated industries. The White House will thus have a gatekeeper in each agency to analyze the costs and the benefits of new rules and to make sure the agencies carry out the president's priorities. ... http://www.thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/013007/baker.html

Apparatchiks with all the ability and less domain knowledge than Mr Brown... smells like "back in the USSR" to me...

#20 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 06:03 PM:

Paula L. #19:

Weren't these creatures called "commissars"?

#21 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 06:05 PM:

As I recall, when Bill Clinton was impeached for the high crime and misdemeanour of heavy petting with an intern some wingnuts argued that since he was commander in chief and adultery is prohibited in the UCMJ he ought to have been courtmartialled. This idea, fortunately, did not fly.

#22 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 06:08 PM:

joann #20: Why, yes they were.

#23 ::: Madison Guy ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 06:12 PM:

Commander in Chief Scope Creep is sympotamtic of a broader problem, one that William Pfaff touches on in the NYRB. The Wills piece is an excellent companion piece for a much needed, broader national discussion of the limits of the powers of the commander in chief (such as the border of Iran, among other markers) and reminding people that POTUS is not the boss of all of us. Role of the Commander in Chief in the Forever War: It's precisely because most of the underlying assumptions governing American foreign policy are shared by most Americans and both political parties, that opposition to Bush needs to be broadly based and transcend the increasing militarization of American society. Otherwise Bush will continue to act as if he is commander in chief of each and every one of us. Positioning himself as commander in chief of a nation at war, he will surely drag us into a wider war that none of us want -- and which will be a disaster for America and the world.

#25 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 07:56 PM:

In armed forces descended directly from the British, the custom is not to salute if not wearing service headgear with badge. (In the Australian Army in the field, nobody salutes officers below field rank anyway; the explanation I heard was that it informs anyone watching at a distance who the officer is.)

The civilian equivalent to the military salute is to raise the hat, if wearing one, or to nod in a formal sort of way if not. To be saluted is a courtesy that should be acknowledged, but I understood that the function of the President as Commander-in-Chief was to provide civilian oversight to the military, a very important principle indeed. If the President of the United States begins to act as though he is a member of the military himself, that principle is diluted. He is a civilian. His proper response is the civilian one.

#26 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 09:27 PM:

The saluting protcol can also be suspended by base commanders depending on situation.

As I remember the Marines that guard the President held the salute for the proper time for Reagan (until the man was pass their line of sight) even when he returned the salute. I haven't paid attention if they still do that for the current President.

It is also sometimes proper to salute the person, not the uniform/rank/pay scale. Such as in the awarding of medals.

Also, since we are discussing it, civilians do have a salute. It is the hand over the heart.

#27 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 09:52 PM:

THERE we go! If anyone ever salutes me (and I can't imagine a situation where they would, unless I get a medal for something, I will place my hand on my heart and f/a/l/l/ /d/o/w/n/ /g/a/s/p/i/n/g/ bow slightly. I've done that as a way to express profound gratitude to someone who couldn't hear me; now I know exactly what to do should the "saluted but civilian" situation ever come up.

Unlikely as it is, I find this oddly comforting.

As far as the self-styled "Commander in Chief of America, President-for-Life Bush," the only salute I'll ever give him is the one-finger one.

#28 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 10:08 PM:

Xopher... If anyone ever salutes me

"Hail, Xopher!"
Cue to a photo of Max von Sydow as Ming the Merciless?

#29 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2007, 10:38 PM:

Okay, kids, rocket belt story time.

Once the Bell Aerospace team got their device working in the spring of 1961, they began to plan for demonstration flights for the U.S. Army, their sponsor. They made a lot of practice flights in a secluded corner of the Youngstown Country Club, not far from Niagara Falls. Young Harold Graham was the rocket "operator" (Bell avoided the word "pilot" --they wanted the Army to believe that infantrymen could easily be trained to fly the Rocket Belt-- and, in fact, only later did Graham learn to fly airplanes, eventually running his own air charter company).

Their first demo was at Fort Eustis, at a gathering of Army transportation R&D officials. Graham jumped over a truck, landed gracefully, and threw a salute. Sure, he was a civilian engineer, but he wanted the audience to believe that soldiers would soon be "operating" these things. So out on the golf course, he had been practicing his post-landing saluting style.

The high point of Graham's rocket belt career came in October of 1961, during a big Army event at Fort Bragg, with the President in attendance. (Film here.) Hal takes off from the deck of an amphibious vehicle on a lake. He zooms across the water (which always flings up an impressive wake of spray), lands on the beach, strides boldly up to the reviewing stand, and salutes. President Kennedy enthusiastically salutes back. The moment was captured by Life magazine. Hal still talks about it.

And that is why, even though the guy in this picture isn't wearing a uniform, or a hat, and isn't a soldier, he's saluting. In honor of Captain Hal.

#30 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 12:03 AM:

wow. 21 seconds of flight time. I think the FAA min requirements for a lift jet rating are probably 40 hours of flight time or something.

divide by 20 seconds, that's, well, that's a lot of refueling....

I wonder if it qualifies as an ultralight....

hm, wonder if I could rent some time on one....

#31 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 12:09 AM:

While the CIC usage is getting on my nerves, I'm not all that torqued about the President exchanging salutes while out of uniform. I think Ike was right, but let's be honest, campers— it's really not a huge deal.

I am wondering whether I'm noticing a real increase in the importance and prominance of the National Cathedral in our ceremonial affairs of state. It's gotta just be my imagination. Yeah, that's it— I clearly need to cut back on the dope again.

I'm probably being a clueless idiot. Sorry about that.

#32 ::: Matt Austern ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 12:17 AM:

I probably read too much Roman history, but I can't help remembering that "imperator" was originally a title that didn't mean much more than "commander" (not even as lofty as "commander in chief"!), and that it was originally a purely military title.

I think it's enormously dangerous that we're taking a technical military job description and investing it with these quasi-mystical overtones and giving it the implication of unlimited power. This is how republics die.

#33 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 12:59 AM:

I distinctly remember the first time anybody ever told me that the President was *my* Commander in Chief (and me a Quaker!) I was working contract at Eli Lilly in, from the context, 1992, and my officemate-slash-supervisor told me that we would be electing the next Commander-in-Chief. I said, no, we'd be electing a President. He seemed to think CinC was a more important title...

Did I mention this guy listened to Rush "I'm just an entertainer" Limbaugh? Yeah.

Just sayin.

#34 ::: Dena Shunra ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 01:14 AM:

JH@31, I'm not sure it's that small a thing.

A point made by ESR in his brilliant essay Dancing with the Gods was that there are some things (like rhythm, dancing, repeated words, etc.) that are the programming language of the human "firmware".

I suspect that the act of salutation - the sudden rigidifying of bits of the anatomy more normally held at a more loose and relaxed position - is one of those programming things. Do it a few times - before a mirror and you'll see what I mean. It seems to release energies from a not-at-all-conscious place, somewhere a bit over the lizard brain.

I am wary of anyone who tries to let loose these particular energies. They seem to be a heck of a lot harder to bottle than release.

#35 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 03:03 AM:

If it's tied down: paint it. If it moves: salute!

Now move it! Move it! Move it!


There is a lot of differences between rendering honors for the US Navy (and Coastguard) and the other Armed Services. A lot in part due to the traditions of the US Navy being mostly in part borrowed from the Royal British Navy. Had we kept beer and brandy rations on board like the Brits do I might have considered staying in and doing my 20...but alas 9 1/2 years of submarines and recruiting duty was enough for me.
What has been said is mostly correct. I will add that the Navy does not remain covered (wearing a hat) indoors unless on watch. Salutes are only rendered in the US Navy when covered. Salutes are not generally rendered indoors (unless conducting formal watch relief), or in large crowds (in or outdoors, where a moving elbow could result in a black eye).
If presenting honors (such as giving a folded flag to the widow of a fallen soldier, sailor--- which I've had to do more times than I care to say) a salute is rendered. With the exception of funerals and retirement ceremonies (where the spouse of the retiring member is often given a gift/plaque/flag), the US President is the only civilian I can recall in my Navy training that is given the honor of a salute because of his title of CIC.
There's lots that can be reviewed on military honors and etiquette...
-=Jeff=-

#36 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 04:24 AM:

My father-in-law and I once were waching TV and there was a cheesy Michael Pare movie (*) on, where he played a Marine. At some point, his character, while out of uniform (**), saluted a superior officer. My father-in-law strongly objected to that scene because he said that Marines are not supposed to salute when they're not in uniform.

(*) there is some redundancy in those last words, I think.

(**) but still fully dressed, Xopher.

#37 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 05:16 AM:

I was saluted a couple of times when I used command voice. Marine guards don't usually hear that from civilians.

#38 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 05:50 AM:

Oh, the hand on the heart? Yes, I've seen that, but only in the USA, and even within that country I had the idea that it was specifically a compliment to the nation, as embodied in the flag, or during the singing of the National Anthem. Elsewhere, the equivalent is to uncover the head and stand "to attention".

#39 ::: Meg Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 06:49 AM:

There's a similar problem here in .au - our Prime Minister, John Howard, would like the majority of Australians to believe he's their head of state. He isn't. He's the head of *government*, which is a different thing altogether. Our actual head of *state* is the Governor-General - and it's the GG who is the nominal commander of the Australian armed forces. The Prime Minister actually has less power over the armed forces of this country than the Defence Minister. It's also the GG who is the notional equivalent of the US president (which is why it was such a big shock when George came and spoke to our parliament, because he *didn't* stop by and see our GG - he only saw the PM. Major breach of protocol). John Howard is equal in rank to Tony Blair - but neither of them is equal in rank to the President of the United States, or even the President of France.

Of course, the *ultimate* power, and the equal status with a President of a republic is residing in a rather small lady who's been doing the job for years (Ah, the joys of constitutional monarchy - at least we have someone experienced in doing the job), but either way, our garden gnome of a PM is busy trying to get people to believe he has powers he doesn't. *grump*

#40 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 07:10 AM:

As Meg notes, the good thing about a monarchy is that at least our heads of state know the etiquette*. I'm sure Tony Blair doesn't want to be president; from the way he talks to us, he sounds more like a big brother.


* There's a joke about choosing rulers based on who their parents were trying to escape there.

#41 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 07:45 AM:

Meg Thornton #39:

Er, not quite. The Governor General is the representative of the head of state. Australia's head of state is Elizabeth, Queen of Australia.

#42 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 07:56 AM:

Marilee @ 47... I was saluted a couple of times when I used command voice.

You're a Bene Gesserit?

#43 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 08:14 AM:

Serge writes in #42:

You're a Bene Gesserit?

Never doubt it.

#44 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 08:27 AM:

#38 Dave Luckett, here in the USA we don't teach etiquette and protocol to our kids. I'm lucky if we can get people to uncover at appropriate times. I had a serious discussion with the nephews (freshman to seniors in High School) about what to do when they hear the national anthem, because nobody had ever told them. Most people only put their hands over their hearts when reciting the pledge, but they only do so because that's what they were told to do, not understanding what it was they were doing.

When a friend's son was brought back to be burried, we had a program to have people line the main road in the Village as the casket was brought to the funeral home. We had a good turn out. A neighbor's son, he was 19, asked what was supposed to happen. So I explained a little and said when the hearse passed he should take off his hat. There ensued a five minute argument about his not taking his hat off, which ended with me saying, "remove the hat or I'll remove the head, your choice."

#45 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 08:54 AM:

Bill Higgins @ 43... Huh oh...

#46 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 09:03 AM:

Should have been "Bente Gesserit", anyway, as they're all women. "Bene Tleilax", fair enough.

#47 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 09:15 AM:

Or the Benny Hill Gesserit?

#48 ::: Nancy C ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 09:36 AM:

ajay, back when I was more versed (prosed, actually, I never read any verse) in Latin, I translated Bene Gesserit as, "She has borne well." What is bente?

#49 ::: Naomi Libicki ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 09:51 AM:

ajay 46:

The word you're looking for is Benot.

#50 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 10:26 AM:

Thanks... (embarrassed)

Bene is the plural of the Arabic word ben (or bin, or ibn, depending on dialect), meaning son. An Arab might be called Mohammed bin Ahmed, Mohammed the son of Ahmed. A tribe could be called the Beni Hassan - the Sons of a supposed common ancestor called Hassan - much as a Scottish clan would be called MacNeil, the Sons of Neil.

Benot or binot (not bente, as I wrote in a moment of idiocy) is the plural of bint, meaning daughter or just young girl.

Arab women take the patronymic in the form Fatima binti Ahmed, Fatima the daughter of Ahmed. So the Bene Gesserit are the Sons of Gesserit, but given they're all women, this is a little odd - Benot Gesserit would be more accurate.

Gesserit needn't be a common ancestor - it could be a concept, as in the Banu Hilal, the Sons of the Crescent, or even a place name. I'm not aware of any Arabic word that sounds like Gesserit with a hard G - but with a soft G it could be a form of Beni Jazera, the Sons of the Island.

#51 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 10:41 AM:

Commissars had high official standing. Apparatchiks could be at any level, they are the ones who carry out all the fascist dictates/oversee the fascist dictates being carried out/enforce fascism. Commissars often made the specific policies but weren't the ones usually involved in the daily censoring, redirection of utterance and activities....

Every Soviet vessel had a political officer, whose official duties were directing/ensuring the alignment of at least the uttered in front of others thoughts and minds and activities of everyone on the crew to the proper doctrinal allegiance, speech patterns, thought patterns, etc. The political officer wasn't called a commissar. The political officers weren't usually considered apparatchiks, because they were military and the military role was "political officer". Also, the political officer was there as political officer, and not in some other function. The apparatchik was the busy Soviet worker-bee at any level from low level political flunky to high level effector, effecting proper Soviet order and ensuring the continuation of the Soviet state at all levels...

Basically, "apparatchik" = Soviet machine cog, some cogs were a lot higher level and more powerful than others, but all of them effected and enabled and sustained the Soviet machine. The apparatchiks were what ensured the Soviet system's continuation. What collapsed the Soviet system was when the appartchiks took the direction from the Soviet leadership to change the Soviet machine into a somewhat different form of society and government.

If the appartchiks had overwhelming balked at the direction from the top to mutate the society and government, the direction from the top would not have gone through, the person(s) pushing mutation, would have been removed instead. Leadership change due to a rejection of the message and direction of the leader, is not exactly unknown. Assassination is not unheard of and replacement with someone that the cogs feel is more oriented towards what the cogs value...

#52 ::: Naomi Libicki ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 11:11 AM:

aj 50:

Actually, I unthinkingly gave you the Hebrew version; Arabic (which would make more sense in the Duniverse as a whole, but then again kwitzatz haderach is Hebrew) would be closer to banat.

Although, without actually knowing Latin, I like Nancy C 48's explanation too.

#53 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 11:17 AM:

'kwitzatz haderach', pronounced "Quiz Kid Had a Rash'?
(My wife and I pronounce 'Shadout Mapes' as 'Shaddup Mavis'.)

#54 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 11:46 AM:

At #31 The National Cathedral as a place for national religious ceremonies.

The Cathedral is one of the most ecumenical religious buildings in the District. It has played host many faiths and congregations while their own facilities were under construction.

So it's no surprise that lots of Presidential funerals are held there -- especially since the Catherdral was given a charter by Congress, and IIRC George Washington contributed funds to it.

I was there the day the last finial was set in place. It is a very special building, and even though I'm Pagan, I have always felt welcome there.

Marilee -- I have a friend who tells me that if I'd been an officer candidate, the one thing I wouldn't need lessons on would be command voice. He says I already have that down pat.

#55 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 12:18 PM:

Naomi #52: so what's that mean, in Hebrew? The KH, I mean.

#56 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 02:04 PM:

#39: Is Australia a constitutional monarchy or a republic? If it's a constitutional monarchy, then shouldn't the head of state be QEII in her capacity as the Queen of Australia with the Governor-General serving as her representative? (That would be analogous to the way I think things work in Canada.)

Of course, in either case, it would still be a breech of protocol for Bush not to visit the GG of Australia. (I mean, it wouldn't make any sense to visit QEII in England every time he goes to Australia in one case. The GG actually is the head of state in the other case.)

I will apologize in advance for being pedantic. (It's just this happens to be important to something I'm writing right now.)

#57 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 02:05 PM:

But in America, you win the gold medal, I’ve seen you at the Olympics. You stand there, hand on the hearts… You and the Roman Empire are the only people who’ve ever done that, so be very careful! ‘Cause you’re the new Roman Empire, you realize that? There’s no one else going! ‘Cause the only other big power is China, I supposed, but they’re going, “Ah… oh…” kind of thing. 1.000 million, but they’re all just getting ready.

But you’re the Roman Empire, yeah! So you’ve got vomitoriums and orgies to look forward to… Let the President lead the way! ‘Cause no one cares in America and… I don’t know. In Europe, we’re just watching you, and going, “What are you doing?” ‘Cause in France they wouldn’t care, and in Britain, they’d get shot. If the Prime Minister had done something, everyone would go, ( mumbling sheepishly ).
---Eddie Izzard, Dress to Kill

#58 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 05:12 PM:

LOL Serge & Bill! As Lori says, command voice is not limited to Dune. It's been used in the military for years. I suspect I got mine partly because I used to be an actress/singer and partly because I grew up in the Navy.

As Lori says, big things in DC are held in the National Cathedral, which is technically Episcopal. They have wonderful gargoyles and, erm, the other figural things up at the top. The stained windows are really great, and one has a peach-like piece in it where at just the right time in summer afternoons, it lights on the face of the statue of Jesus and it looks remarkably lifelike. Before I got sick, I sang with the Cathedral Choral Society -- one of the big three audition groups in DC.

#59 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 06:41 PM:

I'm aware of the wonderful history of the National Cathedral. I simply worry about historical revisionism.

#60 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 07:13 PM:

Tom S: In the Navy, we were warned that Army and Air Force people will also salute when uncovered (not wearing a hat), such as indoors, while the sea services never do.

Yes, we do, but in very prescribed situations. When reporting, a salute is required, be that indoors, or out. When I was a raw recruit, at Reception, I was gently informed (by a second lieutenant) not to salute indoors, because I was uncovered.

The only time we salute outdoors, when uncovered, is when we are in PT Uniforms., which don't always have a hat.

If one is in uniform, and sees a known officer; who out of uniform, a salute may be rendered, but isn't obligate. As a cultural issue, rendering a salute in such circumstances is a sign of personal, not official respect, and the officers who get them are both very good, and obviously flattered. I've only had four officers I would salute under such conditions, over the course of more than 14 years in service.

To address some other comments, in general; with my experience in the present.

Commanders may make no-salute zones. In areas which are salute zones, but are highly trafficked, the custom is to salute on first meeting. For the rest of that day, no salute is required.

In the field, saluting is, generally only done when the officer in question wants to be saluted. The way we determine that is the type of rank said officer is wearing. We have two types of rank, bright, and subdued.

If the officer is wearing bright, then said officer isn't concerned who who knows about their presence, and saluting is required.

Some officers are morons, and insist (loudly) on being saltuted in the field, when wearing subdued rank. They get more respect than they deserve.

TK

#61 ::: Dena Shunra ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2007, 08:30 PM:

Serge @53 & Xopher @55, you pronounce it "kfi-tzat ha-derrrrrr-echhhhhh" and it means "skipping over a biggish piece of road" or "long jump".

It often comes after "magafei" (boots of) or "na'alei" (shoes of) or recently "sandalei" (...you know...) and was a prominet part of at least Hassidic fairytales, probably early Kabbalic ones, too. The English spelling sounds more like the way you'd hear the Yiddish version of the same words (and they are the same words).

#62 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2007, 12:00 AM:

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/020707A.shtml

"Libby Testimony Points Directly to Bush, Cheney
"By Jason Leopold and Marc Ash
t r u t h o u t | Report

"Wednesday 07 February 2007

"According to trial transcripts obtained by Truthout, former White House staffer I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby testified before a grand jury in 2004 that Vice President Dick Cheney instructed him to divulge portions of a then-classified report to New York Times reporter Judith Miller. Libby testified that Cheney said authorization to leak a section of the report had come directly from President George W. Bush, the court transcripts state...."

#63 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: February 08, 2007, 12:25 AM:

JC #56. Sorry I missed this. The Commonwealth of Australia is a constitutional Monarchy, and Queen Elizabeth II is our formal head of state, with the Governor-General of Australia her representative at all times when she is not personally present in the country, which is nearly always. The GG these days is always of Australian nationality.

Offered a chance to express a wish to change this arrangement at referendum some years back (a referendum requiring a majority of voters in a majority of states is the only way to change the Australian Constitution, a high hurdle which is rarely crossed), the voters quite decidedly rejected it - mostly on the grounds, it seems, that it wasn't broke and we didn't want it fixed.

The GG is almost entirely a ceremonial post, with only one effective constitutional power, which is the right to dissolve Parliament if the two Houses are intractibly locked over vital legislation, such as a budget. This would trigger an election, of course. It only ever happened once, in 1975. The then GG acted entirely on his own initiative, and there is still a strong opinion that he was not justified. My own feeling is that if Her Majesty had been consulted, she would have found another way around the impasse.

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