Former defense secretary James Mattis plans on dropping a book in July, and we couldn't be more excited.
According to the Associated Press, 'Call Sign Chaos: Learning To Lead' won't follow the traditional Trump-era tell-all formula. Instead, Mattis's tome will offer an "expansive account" of his lifetime of public service from the the beginning of the Global War on Terror to, yes, his time leading the Pentagon
"I'm old-fashioned: I don't write about sitting Presidents, so those looking for a tell-all will be disappointed," Mattis said in a statement to the Associated Press. "I want to pass on the lessons and experiences that prepared me for challenges I could not anticipate, not take up the hot political rhetoric of our day."
This capsule description sounds fitting for a Marine general so disciplined and methodical that he's known as a "warrior monk" of Washington. But I have one objection so far: the title sucks.
Yes, all beach-season DC reads have terrible titles (with the exception of maybe "This Town," which is both accurate description and furious epithet all in one), but "Call Sign Chaos" sounds like a direct-to-DVD movie from the studio that brought America "Sharknado."
Perhaps Mattis wanted to do permanently do away with the "Mad Dog" monicker he so despised during his time in the Pentagon E-Ring and forever supplant it with a reminder that Colonel Has An Outstanding Solution. A book is a chance to do that among a civilian audience, I get it.
But at the same time: come on. This is James Mattis! This is the same man who, as I noted last week, once told Iraqi leaders, "I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I'll kill you all!" He deserves better than 'Call Sign Chaos'!
To wit, the Task & Purpose edit team came up with a few, uh, unauthorized suggestions for working titles. We hope Chaos likes them and doesn't knife hand us to death in our sleep (pro tip: if you're running out of ideas, just take the name of a romantic comedy and swap in "kill" for a word):
Meditations on Lethality
Meditations In An Insurgency
PowerPoint Makes Us Stupid And Other Mattis Truths
Sleepless in Syria: The James Mattis Story
The Most Important Six Inches: The James Mattis Story
F*ck This Town: The James Mattis Story
F*ck With Me And I'll Kill You All: The James Mattis Story
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 40-foot-tall (12 meters) cross-shaped war memorial standing on public land in Maryland does not constitute government endorsement of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that leaves unanswered questions about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.
The justices were divided on many of the legal issues but the vote was 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that had declared the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg unconstitutional in a legal challenge mounted by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for secular governance. The concrete cross was erected in 1925 as a memorial to troops killed in World War One.
The ruling made it clear that a long-standing monument in the shape of a Christian cross on public land was permissible but the justices were divided over whether other types of religious displays and symbols on government property would be allowed. Those issues are likely to come before the court in future cases.