Saturday, August 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

President’s informality shows lack of respect

stevenson column sig 2

By
From page A11 | May 23, 2014 |

You like news quizzes, don’t you? Here’s one for you: Who said this, and who was he talking about?: “. . . and I know that (his) attitude is if he doesn’t think he can do a good job on this and if he thinks he’s let our veterans down, then I’m sure he is not going to be interested in continuing to serve . . .”

No, it wasn’t President Woodrow Wilson talking about Gen. Blackjack Pershing; it wasn’t President Harry Truman talking about Gen. Douglas MacArthur, or President Abraham Lincoln expressing his dismay with Gen. George McClellan.

Trick question, obviously: It was President Barack Obama referring to “Rick” Shinseki who has been in charge of the Department of Veterans Affairs for a while now.

Did I misspeak? Or rather miswrite? Maybe, to follow the verbal protocol that most any American over 15 years old would know, I, at least, should have written that it was Obama talking about Gen. Eric Shinseki. I may have gotten it wrong all these years, but when you’re speaking publicly about anyone who has a title, rank or honorific, that’s how he or she should be referred to.

That sounds so petty, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not, and I can almost guarantee that any veteran, enlisted man, or officer, or for that matter almost any sergeant, lieutenant, police officer, doctor, professor, nurse – the list goes on – would be struck by Barry’s use of General Shinseki’s nickname. I say “Barry” because that was the name he liked when he was a student. Later, he switched to his given name, Barack, but, if you meet him, you can call him Barry.

Of course, this was not the first time the president was either rude or ignorant when talking about someone who wore, or still wears, the uniform of our country.

One particular gaffe sticks with me, because it showed a total lack of familiarity with the military. Lest you think I’m making the proverbial mountain out of a molehill, see if it grates on your sensibilities as it does mine.

Most Americans know that frontline soldiers have a medic with them, or at least nearby, to, well, save lives. A medic’s counterpart in the Navy, probably the Coast Guard, although I’m not sure about the Marine Corps, is known as a corpsman. Corpsman is, as you know, pronounced “core-man.” Unless you’re the president of the United States, that is, in which case you would say – argghhh! – “corpse -man,” as in dead body.

I am not talking about the president’s occasional unfamiliarity with things military as a subtle way to raise suspicions about his place of birth. As you know, when he first became president, there were some who insisted that he was not really an American citizen. They were known as “birthers,” but they didn’t really convince a critical mass of their fellow citizens to climb on the conspiracy bandwagon, and so the claim died.

Let me take this a step further. In many areas of American society, we work for, deal with, are friends with, someone who has earned a rank of title. In most cases, the “titled” individual would encourage the use of his or her given name when in private, or away from the office. But it’s a custom, a tradition, protocol – what have you – to use the rank, title, honorific, etc., in public. That would be an indication of respect for what the rank or title stands for. So to refer to a retired four-star general who served as Army chief of staff as “Rick” either indicates ignorance or disrespect.

That leaves us still looking for an explanation for Obama’s “informality.” I guess if you’re the president, the rules aren’t made for you.

Bud Stevenson, a retired stockbroker, lives in Fairfield. Reach him at Bsteven254@aol.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 21 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • CD BrooksMay 23, 2014 - 6:43 am

    Mr. Stevenson, I believe the lack of respect politically speaking, got off to a really poor start when our Congress put a target on the president's back and chose to degrade him from day one. That began a world-wide battle of front page news between parties and has not let up. We have witnessed public displays unbecoming of any professional person in this country and the proverbial snowball effect. It is tragic that we have been forced to witness this and the ultimate influence upon our children. I would love to see proper respect and good manners returned to their once glorious practice across the board.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • PornacMay 23, 2014 - 7:04 am

    Where's a medic when you need one.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Jason KnowlesMay 23, 2014 - 7:35 am

    Are you f**king kidding me? Birth certificates, calling him a Muslim socialist, disparaging remarks about his ancestry and family members, the list goes on and on, and your worried about how he addresses a subordinate? How shall we address thee, Bud? I have a few suggestions...

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensMay 23, 2014 - 9:51 am

    Knowles--those are all valid issues. Barack's SSAN is not valid and when entered into E-Verify it comes out invalid too. His birth certificate has been deemed to be a forgery and the original has not been surrendered to a panel of documentation experts for a scientific examination either! Everything about Obama is not bona fide. Nobody at Columbia remembers him. He claims to be a Constitutional scholar but has published no papers or books on the subject. His law client list and Illiois State voting record can't be revealed. He has lied and denied everything. Much is being hidden and his promoters are orchestrating the greatest fraud ever perpetrated in all of recorded human history.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895May 23, 2014 - 8:42 am

    The Commander in Chief can call a general whatever he wants.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Demons - Imagine DragonsMay 23, 2014 - 8:50 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQYaoiIFh8

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Demons by Fatboy Slim [Official Video]May 23, 2014 - 8:52 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGaVG-GxFu4

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Spirits in the nightMay 23, 2014 - 9:04 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvJ6o1PC4pA

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy0ABjAP0TIMay 23, 2014 - 9:45 am

    Pink Floyd-The Gunner's Dream (Lyrics)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The Who Wont Get Fooled Again lyricsMay 23, 2014 - 9:52 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4rMNCLjrv4

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Today Friday on InfowarsMay 23, 2014 - 8:47 am

    On this Friday, May 23 edition of the Alex Jones Show, Alex examines the latest absurdity connected to TSA Gestapo zones in America's airports and looks into the latest effort to take down Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty. He talks about warnings of another recession as the economy continues its slump years after the banker engineered subprime collapse. On today's worldwide broadcast Alex talks with the president and co-founder of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, Twila Brase. Ms. Brase talks with Alex about the threat of biometrics and the unmitigated failure of Obamacare. Her organization has helped 34 states say no to the Obamacare exchanges and has drawn national awareness to data ownership rights and to the genetic privacy violations regarding newborn screening.wwwinfowarscom

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Google...May 23, 2014 - 9:08 am

    The Recession Is Coming: Economist Warns It’s Beyond Control: “I Don’t See What Will Save It At This Point” by Mac Slavo | SHTF Plan | May 23, 2014....

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • http://www.newswithviews.com/Spingola/deanna113.htmMay 23, 2014 - 9:15 am

    Google....BARACK OBAMA, FORMER CIA AGENT Deanna Spingola March 21, 2010 NewsWithViews.com............According to Dr. Manning, Obama (born in 1961) enrolled at the very pricey Occidental College in Los Angeles, California in 1979 and was recruited there in 1980 by the CIA which has made it a practice since its inception to recruit college students. He was, by his own admission, a “C” student, a dope smoker and a member of the Marxist Club at Occidental, a co-educational liberal arts college. In 1981, Obama allegedly transferred from Occidental to Columbia University. It is atypical for a student to begin their education in one four-year school and then transfer to another school. Columbia University requires that incoming students pass certain academic requirements which Obama apparently lacked. However, Columbia had a foreign student program and the CIA has major connections and influence with Columbia and the nation’s other educational facilities...... Submitted for your consideration.... also remember Obama's birth family mom, grandparents, true father Frank Davis... were all CIA assets..... Obama is a creature of the CIA, and works for the Illuminati on the left....

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • http://copycateffect.blogspot.com/2008/11/jonestown-harvey-milk-and-george.htmlMay 23, 2014 - 9:29 am

    In general google....feinstein harvey milk Satanism......See....Twilight Language: Jonestown, Harvey Milk, and George Moscone ..... and when the CIA is involved in all the Helter Skelter mind control stuff... freaky things happen, that are set up to trigger an issues in Dialectics.... Feinstein is a harbinger of the Dialectic... look at the Illuminati goals of controlling healthcare and taking away our guns for self defense ......Diane is an Illuminati tool...

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895May 23, 2014 - 8:48 am

    And when the president uses a first name it DOES show something important, if not respect. It shows familiarity. It depends on the situation and what the president is trying to communicate.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • BalancerMay 23, 2014 - 11:15 am

    Familiarity breeds contempt.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895May 23, 2014 - 11:26 pm

    Remember "Brownie?"

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensMay 23, 2014 - 9:36 am

    The rats and their political party are unhappy because the facts show Bathhouse Barry and his government of traitors treat welfare recipients along with illegal aliens better then they treat Veterans and military retirees! Too bad, rats! Res ipsa loquitor!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • PornacMay 23, 2014 - 12:15 pm

    Corporal Bud!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SlimmsMay 23, 2014 - 9:28 pm

    It's so funny how you stand in your glass house and throw stones while you refer to the President (also a "title" I believe) as "Obama." Get outta here with that BS.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895May 23, 2014 - 11:24 pm

    Touché!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Vallejo celebrates cultural diversity

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

2 shot Friday night in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1

 
Groups receive honors for going green

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Inmate sues jail for $4.5M over returned letter

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

Badges pinned for new Fairfield, Vacaville firefighters

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
‘Nuttin But Fun!’ theme of 2015 Dixon May Fair

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Adult literacy efforts in need of volunteers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

County looks for Solano centenarians

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

 
Brown signs two bills by Wolk

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Brain tumors are not all alike

By Scott Anderson | From Page: B8

Weather for Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

New Obama birth control fixes for religious groups

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
US won’t let borders hamper fight vs. extremists

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Interpol seeks clues to Thai ‘baby factory’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Parents had hoped to negotiate with Foley captors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Lawn removal in parched California draws fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
IDs of men found shot in adjacent yards released

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

DUI arrest is California Democrats’ latest blow

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Couple charged in alleged odometer rollback scheme

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Passengers leave trove at San Francisco airport

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
New fear: What happens in Ferguson if no charges?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Ice bucket challenge may change nonprofit world

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Obama taking less vacation, but too much for some

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Days Obama, predecessors spent on vacation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Questions, answers about Missouri grand juries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Gov’t warns US retailers about hacking software

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ebola spreads in Nigeria; Liberia has 1,000 deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Mosque attack kills 64 in Iraq, Sunnis halt talks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Hamas kills 18 suspected informers to deter leaks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

UN: death toll from Syrian civil war tops 191,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
West condemns Russia over convoy to Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

An honest view of recent police shootings

By Deon Price | From Page: A8

 
Cheers, jeers for the week of Aug. 17-23, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Boxer, Feinstein: Different routs in backing Israel

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A8

 
Somebody deserves to be fired

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

A ‘gifted’ family member doesn’t have a degree, can’t keep a job

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
Ebola outbreak revives interest in ‘The Hot Zone’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Parole denied yet again for Lennon’s killer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Avila remains undefeated after opponent throws in towel

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Offense struggles, Raiders fall to Packers 31-21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Panik, Giants end Nationals’ 10-game win streak

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Gray pitches into 9th, A’s top Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Davis’ accomplishments still inspire despite loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Versatile Martin looks to earn 49ers roster spot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
New, longer grass laid at 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

US picks 12-man roster for basketball World Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Blaney steals 1 from Kyle Busch on final restart

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Harvick wins Bristol pole; 5th of this season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Chevrolet wins IndyCar manufacturers championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Scott, Tringale tied for the lead at Barclays

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ryu has 66, leads by 5 at Canadian Women’s Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Goodes leads Boeing Classic by 1 stroke

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Aug. 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

Fitbit to Schumer: We don’t sell personal data

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Jell-O can’t stop slippery sales slide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

At Jackson Hole, central bankers eye varying goals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Yellen: Job market makes Fed hesitant on rate hike

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Lawsuits challenge FAA drone, model aircraft rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Mary Louise Loveall

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sandra “Sandy” Caldwell Garton

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Paul Nolin

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 08/23/14

Real estate transactions for Aug. 23, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.10 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3