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In a Friday morning tweet, President Donald Trump again upped the intimidation ante on North Korea, saying the U.S. military is “locked and loaded” for a fight.
But since the U.S. military is, hopefully, not using M1 rifles from World War II, nor in a John Wayne movie or Star Trek iteration, Trump may have chosen the wrong words.
In the Spanish-American War in 1898, military reports include a dispatch order from the Philippines saying, “The line was under strong long-range fire and the order was given to load and lock the pieces.”
“In the Army Now,” a 1941 comedy with Jimmy Durante and Phil Silvers, uses the phrase “one round, ball ammunition, load and lock.”
The phrase “locked and loaded” went mainstream in the 1949 Wayne movie “Sands of Iwo Jima,” about the bloody battle to take the Pacific island away from Japan. M1 Garand rifles were first locked, with the safety catch enabled, and then loaded with ammunition.
In the 1990s, fans of the TV series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” heard the character Data tell the crew of the Enterprise to, “Saddle up, lock and load” — essentially telling the crew to brace for war.
In any scenario, one question remains: Can you lock and load a nuclear bomb?
King of the hill, top of the heap
President Donald Trump is returning to his NYC base on Sunday for a few days, his first extended homecoming since inauguration.
And he will get a vocal reception from activists, albeit with some new themes.
Planned protests start on Sunday, including a morning Rally for Peace & Sanity in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza, organized by a branch of Indivisible, a Trump-era activist group.
Many of the demonstrations will center around Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, which the president says he has avoided turning into a second White House so as not to inconvenience New Yorkers.
The area will likely be busy. On Monday, there are plans for a mock funeral to welcome Trump to NYC (because “Trump is killing us,” the event’s Facebook page says).
There are issue-specific actions, such as a 5 p.m. march Sunday with anti-Trump group Rise and Resist to protest future health care “sabotage.”
On Tuesday, immigration advocacy groups like United We Dream, Make the Road New York and the New York Immigration Coalition will protest at Trump Tower five years after implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, President Barack Obama’s program allowing some residents brought to the country at a young age to remain.
Larger numbers are expected for another event organized by Rise and Resist, according to Martin Quinn, a representative of the group: Monday’s anti-war rally and march to Trump Tower to protest saber-rattling with North Korea.
The prospect of war provides another age-old reason to protest the president, as if the anti-Trumpers need anything more.
About those robocalls
Are robocalls the new catnip for elected officials wanting to get attention?
Long Islanders, who are older and tend to still have landlines, are being plagued with the annoying and, for some, exploitive, calls like this one hitting right now: “There is a legal warrant filed on your name and your identity because of the tax fraud and tax evasion with the Internal Revenue Service.” It’s a widespread telephone scam seeking personal information and money.
Chad Lupinacci, a state assemblyman and GOP candidate for Huntington supervisor, is on the case, using his franking privilege to send out mailers this week to his 10th District constituents to warn of the scam. “Don’t become another victim,” it says, accompanied by photos of two older women on landline phones. In addition to the IRS plot, the mailer mentions two others: “Contest/Vacation Scam” and “Gift Card Scam.”
While other state elected officials are emphasizing the school aid they brought home, Lupinacci told The Point his office is referring callers to the state attorney general for potential violations of state and federal laws.
“We’ve gotten quite a few complaints over the past several months,” he said.
And he’s not alone. Newsday is receiving its share of grievances about the scam phone calls, as well. See Sunday’s letters page in Newsday for three readers who want elected representatives to do something to stop the annoying calls.