Don’t ask, get told on

A gay soldier in Kansas has been given the boot because she got legally married in Iowa.

Jene Newsome played by the rules as an Air Force sergeant: She never told anyone in the military she was a lesbian. The 28-year-old’s honorable discharge under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy came only after police officers in Rapid City, S.D., saw an Iowa marriage certificate in her home and told the nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base.

The Bigot Brigade PD basically ratted Newsome out because she wouldn’t cooperate with helping them find her spouse on an outstanding warrant. The BBPD claims they were running a proper investigation, but that’s an incredibly thin lie. They had no business reporting anything to the military. They knew exactly what they were doing.

Police officers, who said they spotted the marriage license on the kitchen table through a window of Newsome’s home, alerted the base, police Chief Steve Allender said in a statement sent to the AP. The license was relevant to the investigation because it showed both the relationship and residency of the two women, he said.

“It’s an emotional issue and it’s unfortunate that Newsome lost her job, but I disagree with the notion that our department might be expected to ignore the license, or not document the license, or withhold it from the Air Force once we did know about it,” Allender said Saturday. “It was a part of the case, part of the report and the Air Force was privileged to the information.”

Steve Allender (adminInt3@rcgov.org) is a liar. The marital status of a third party in their investigation is irrelevant. It doesn’t take some half-ass cop out in the boonies to see that.

“This information was intentionally turned over because of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and to out Jene so that she would lose her military status,” said Robert Doody, executive director of ACLU South Dakota. The ACLU is focusing its complaint on the police department, not the military, and Newsome said she and her attorney have not yet decided on whether to file a lawsuit.

“The ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ piece is important and critical to this, but also it’s a police misconduct case,” Doody said.

The BBPD has no idea what is appropriate action. It’s a department full of petty and vengeance to the citizen who crosses them, evidently. They should have had no expectation that a third party would help them with their investigation – but they did. They precisely expected Newsome to cow-tow to their demands to make their jobs easier. When she didn’t, they sought to ruin her career.

Of course, what would be an obvious case of bigotry without the overt bigotry?

Despite claiming that she had played by the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” rules, she got married to her lesbian lover in Iowa after an activist state supreme court said she could.

Well, that was tell number one. A marriage license, Ms. Newsome, is a public record. If you want to keep your sexual preference hidden from your superiors, it’s best not to advertise it to the whole world.

This is from some dying dinosaur named Bryan Fischer. Apparently Fischer thinks gays want to keep who they are private. No, no, really. People just love faking it.

Second, when the police came to her home seeking to execute an arrest warrant on her lesbian “wife” (“husband?” — it’s hard to know these days), they found the wedding license lying right in the middle of the dining room table. If you want to keep your sexual preference a secret, there are better ways.

For instance, one could hide a marriage license behind a smarmy aura of asshole. To date, no one has been able to confirm Fischer’s marital status.

Rapid City, S.D. law enforcement officials saw the wedding license and did their legal duty by reporting what they had found to the military.

What law is that again?

Ms. Newsome received an “honorable discharge” in January. (This is not your father’s military: she committed what is a crime under the UCMJ, and has the word “honorable” on her discharge papers. Go figure.)

There must be a mistake on Fischer’s website. It says he’s from Idaho, not Uganda.

Newsome’s partner in sexual deviancy is apparently not a model citizen, currently being under indictment for one felony and three misdemeanor counts of theft. That’s another tip for Ms. Newsome — if you don’t want get outed, it might be best not to “marry” somebody who robs people.

Do donation baskets count as robbery since they purport to be used for good causes but instead continue to support religion?

Gates’ theory — you get to break the law as long as you don’t rat yourself out — is absurd. Imagine if we applied that to any other realm of law enforcement. You, sir, get to go right on holding up banks because all we have to go on is ironclad eyewitness testimony from tellers, managers and other bank patrons. Please, please, pretty please admit you did it so we can lock you up. Otherwise, we will be forced to let you go so you can rob and pillage some more.

Idaho simply must be a mistake.

The Venue

I recently wrote about some quality music I saw down in Portland a couple of weeks ago. I just saw another show last night. There was a tid bit of a difference.

First, this was in Freeport and that brings a different crowd with it. And by “a different” I really mean “an older and lamer”. At 24, it’s likely I was close to being the youngest person in the place – the dancing was torturous to watch. Just horrific.

The music, on the other hand, wasn’t so bad. With the notable exception of the first band, Pete Witham and the Cozmik Zombies, the energy was decidedly lower. However, the technicality was far superior to the last show I saw. That said, I don’t give a rat’s ass about technicality. I want passion in my music. No, don’t play like shit, but show me some passion. I don’t care if you know the ins and outs of music theory. Just play like you mean it.

Pete Witham’s band had a healthy combination of that passion and technicality. Their style is country/blues/rock and isn’t exactly what I might find myself putting on my iPod, but they put on a fun show. Plus they have a good sense of humor.

One important last point: The Venue, the place that hosted the event (not featured in the above video), has terrible service. From the point of trying to get someone’s attention to the point of actually getting food was probably 50 minutes. It was a friggin’ sandwich. A turkey and cheese sandwich. And it still would have sucked even if they got it to me in decent time.

It’s only clever when we do it

Suzanne Franks has another post about ‘mansplaining‘.

Over at the mansplaining thread, you can read literally hundreds of hilarious, annoying, frustrating, heartbreaking stories of how women are constantly subjected to intrusive, incessant, insensitive, inane mansplaining. Interspersed you will also find comments from d00dly d00ds whinging away about how awful it is that women are talking so MEAN about men, and their mansplanations about how mansplaining doesn’t exist. Then some douche tried to coin the phrase femsplaining.

Well, if she’s going to phonetically spell things and replace numbers with letters, I just don’t know how I’m going to compete.

I’m not about to defend the use of the word “femsplaining”. If it means to reference a particular ideological group that addresses dissent with condescension and disdain, then it may be accurate, but it isn’t useful. These are caricature feminists. They represent a minority which has developed a sort of in-group mentality, not some mainstream way of thought that is going to change much of anything.

The reason, though, that I don’t want to defend “femsplaining” is that it’s as dumb as “mansplaining”. Each loose (and always piss-poor) definition allows an extension that goes beyond sex and gender. In fact, at least one user picked up on this fact. Even the tried and true caricatures have pointed out in several places that ‘mansplaining’ is not specific to men. One is only left to wonder why they would bother even using it at all. (I think I just mansplained?)

Oh, and this isn’t a post for mocking ‘mansplainers’. While Franks and friends are interested in furthering their fuzzy community feeling by screeching “You don’t geeeeeeeeeeettttttt iiiiiiitttt!!!”, I am not. The caricature Gish Gallop is getting tiresome. “You don’t get it, you don’t get it, you don’t get it! This is mansplaining, this is sexist, these pictures are ALL misogynistic. Your perspective is bunk! Bunk, bunk, bunk! Almost all people think like you do! (Because I know how you think, you straight, white male – and I know your sexual orientation, didn’t you know.)” …well, let me just respond to your first point by saying…”MANSPLAINING!”

Finally, dissent over language does not equal some big, sexist conspiracy. Sometimes terms just suck. Get over it.

Hubble in Imax

A short film about the history of Hubble and the images it captures – called “Hubble 3D” – premiered this past weekend.

But here are the money shots: The telescope’s new Wide Field Camera and infrared eye can look at– and shoot — stars, gas and dust 2.5 million light years out. Taking those photos and using advanced computer visualization, the film whisks viewers on scientifically realistic flights through time and space.

One rushes at, yes, warp speed (actually much faster) past the star Sirius, 50 trillion miles from Earth, to peer into the nursery of developing galaxies in the star cluster known as Orion’s Belt. A journey through our galaxy, the Milky Way, to neighboring Andromeda, reveals 2,000 galaxies and a massive black hole.

The article says Leonardo DiCaprio “ably” narrates the 43 minute film. Mayhaps one journalist doesn’t much like the actor.

The film is slated for wider Imax release for this coming weekend and then an even larger release in August. While it would be nice if everyone liked science for, well, the sake of science, there’s nothing wrong with a little eye candy. Especially in 3D.

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