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Feb 07 2018

Sure, let’s have a parade.

I don’t suppose I have to tell you what a bad, authoritarian, and fascist idea this is. You know, I have contacts that could get me a ringside seat where I could sit with my pink pussy hat in silent protest, but the concept scares me to death.

Maybe if enough people think it’s a good idea I will anyway. I do have travel plans for July that will take me north of the border. If things go all pear shaped I could hop a flight from Halifax that would have me in Paris by Bastille Day. Have a baguette and a coffee and watch the Bikes Parade up and down the Champs-Élysées. Do you know that it was specifically designed by Napoleon so that he could move large formations of Troops and Artillery into the heart of Paris and put down any rebellions? Anyway since I was born in Michigan, a former French colony, and they have this right of return law, I could probably confuse things for a while and there’s always Denmark. Of course, you have to learn the language for permanent residence and unfortunately I only have Spanish, and that literary- it would be like talking with an Elizabethan accent in Brooklyn.

Well, we’ll cross that Rubicon when we come to it.

Oh, you just think I’m kidding.

Something that will probably not get the coverage it deserves is how stupid and expensive this all is-

Trump’s Military Parade Is Likely to be a Logistical Nightmare for Planners
By W.J. Hennigan, Time Magazine
2/7/18

Getting a wide-array of military equipment from across the nation — in some cases, the world — into Washington, along with the technicians, mechanics, and support staff, will not be easy. It may also prove difficult to choose which units to showcase, what uniforms they should wear, what equipment they should carry, and when they’re available.

The last time the U.S. had a large-scale military parade was 1991 when the U.S. military overran Saddam Hussein’s forces in Iraq after just 43 days of combat. Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of Desert Storm, led the pageantry and later joined President George H.W. Bush behind a bulletproof glass partition to watch battle-clad troops march past. The event featured Patriot missiles, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, M1-A1 Abrams tanks, and a flyover by four F-117 stealth fighters.

Streetlights had to be removed. The 67-ton tanks punched deep tread marks into the pavement. An army of 1,000 workers picked up heaps of trash left behind by the crowd of 200,000 (later estimates said crowds swelled to 800,000.)

The parade cost $12 million, which amounts to about $22 million adjusted for inflation in 2018.

Another hurdle is where to host the event. The National Park Service maintains lengthy (PDF) protocols in hosting national celebrations on Pennsylvania Ave., where the president has indicated it should take place. The Pentagon also has a laundry list of rules and regulations regarding parades, which are laid out in a 43-page Department of Defense directive (PDF) from 2001.

It wasn’t the first time Trump flirted with showing off fighting hardware. The Huffington Post obtained emails last year from his staffers asking about deploying heavy military equipment in his inaugural parade on Jan. 20, 2017. The email exchange revealed the complexities of a seemingly simple request by the Trump team when a Pentagon official told them they needed time “to make deliberate decisions about vehicle choice and configuration, paint scheme, uniform for crew members, etc.”

No equipment, except fighter jets, were approved for the event. All flyovers were ultimately canceled, however, due to inclement weather.

I’m not sure the money covered the holes in the street, equipment transportation, and salaries of all the troops marching and support personel required to keep the vehicles mobile, probably not. After all it costs $502,680,965 a day to keep our wars of choice going (see Joseph Stiglitz, $3 Trillion War, and that’s a conservative estimate from a Nobel Prize Winning Economist, spread over 5968 days since October 7th, 2001).

I have a thought, let Trump have his damn parade as long as he pays for it out of his own pocket. Then we’ll see if he’s the Billionaire he claims to be.