Sacrifice, Valor, and Integrity; the ending of DADT

The Senate has voted to adhere to American principles while simultaneously making the nation stronger and safer.

In a historic vote for gay rights, the Senate agreed on Saturday to do away with the military’s 17-year ban on openly gay troops and sent President Barack Obama legislation to overturn the Clinton-era policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

“It is time to close this chapter in our history,” Obama said in a statement. “It is time to recognize that sacrifice, valor and integrity are no more defined by sexual orientation than they are by race or gender, religion or creed.”

The vote was a relatively overwhelming 65-31. I say relatively because it ought to be 100-0 (or apparently 96-0), but the fact that 8 Republican’ts actually did something right makes this overwhelming. It isn’t like them to do the right thing. For example:

Sen. John McCain, Obama’s GOP rival in 2008, led the opposition. Speaking on the Senate floor minutes before a crucial test vote, the Arizona Republican acknowledged he couldn’t stop the bill. He blamed elite liberals with no military experience for pushing their social agenda on troops during wartime.

“They will do what is asked of them,” McCain said of service members. “But don’t think there won’t be a great cost.”

This is the same guy who said he would always ask those he commanded what they thought he ought to do. “Do you want to go out and attack the enemy? No? Why, that sounds like good ol’ fashion American values!” But maybe it’s just my elite liberal eyes that make me question if that fits the definition of leadership.

The repeal of this discriminatory law is the most significant federal civil rights legislation in decades. Far from being another meaningless lame duck session, this Congress has made a difference in both the effectiveness of our military and in the personal well-being of real, living human beings who matter. But while DADT is discriminatory, it cannot be overlooked that it was an important stepping stone. As frustrating as it is to approach civil rights in such a piecemeal fashion, that’s just how it often is. Just as Thomas Jefferson made the first step towards ending slavery by putting an end to the slave trade in 1808, Bill Clinton made the first step that has led us to where we fortunately stand today. As Adm. Mike Mullen said:

“No longer will able men and women who want to serve and sacrifice for their country have to sacrifice their integrity to do so,” he said. “We will be a better military as a result.”

Bigot questions military study

A bigot has raised bigot-based questions on a military study.

Directly challenging the Pentagon’s top leadership, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain on Thursday snubbed a military study on gays as flawed and said letting gays serve openly would be dangerous in a time of war.

McCain also said Adm. Mike Mullen’s opinion didn’t matter as much as other military leader’s opinions because he doesn’t directly lead troops. Mullen had one hell of a response.

“With all due respect, Mr. Chairman and Sen. McCain, it is true that, as chairman, I am not in charge of troops. But I have commanded three ships, a carrier battle group and two fleets. And I was most recently a service chief myself. For more than 40 years I have made decisions that affected and even risked the lives of young men and women.

“You do not have to agree with me on this issue. But don’t think for one moment that I haven’t carefully considered the impact of the advice I give on those who will have to live with the decisions that that advice informs. I would not recommend repeal of this law if I did not believe in my soul that it was the right thing to do for our military, for our nation and for our collective honor.”

McCain would absolutely not question this study if it gave him the results he wanted. He’s just a typical bigoted Republican, arguing from his biases, not any sort of objectivity. What’s worse, he’s making our military weaker by allowing this unconstitutional law to remain in place.

All it takes to refute something…

…is for some journalist to say you did. According to the headline on that article, James Perloff refuted evolution at some half-baked meeting.

Perloff tried to draw parallels throughout history, attempting to connect individuals such as Andrew Carnegie, Karl Marx, Josef Stalin and Adolph Hitler with the teachings and rationales of Charles Darwin. He also told of his own life’s inner conflict, saying he was briefly turned into an atheist at a young age due to Darwin’s theory.

Perloff went on to say, “Survival of the fittest does not explain arrival of the fittest,” and that, “[the theory of] evolution is just speculation on the past and should not been seen as scientific fact.”

There you go. EVILution has been defeated. Good job, Perloff. Honestly. It should be clear to everyone. If someone can make bogus, tinsel thin connections between ideas and people Real America loathes, then the idea must be false. Just pretend that logical fallacies don’t exist and the argument is air-tight.

The event was held in front of a small gathering and was kicked off with a prayer along with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Harold Shurtleff of West Roxbury, regional field director for the John Birch Society.

I remember as a very young kid playing Street Fighter. When the levels got too hard or my older brother beat me a bunch of times in a row, I’d start up a game just by myself. I would have a Player 2 set up, but no one was controlling it. I’d just wail all my 32 bits on that character. It made me feel good. Does anyone get the feeling that conservatives have the same frustration? I mean, the exact same frustration – one born out of immaturity and a lack of rationale. These people are kicking and screaming their prayers and flag-based prayers all over the place because it makes them feel good. Of course, I was a child when I did it. What excuse do these people have? There are more examples.

Take Sean Hannity. He’s a huge idiot. (I heard him say in the middle of a broadcast, and I paraphrase, “…that isn’t an arrogant statement. America saved the world from Totalitarianism. It did this multiple times. The world has us to thank. That isn’t an arrogant statement.”) He refuses to refer to Obama as “President Obama” in virtually every instance. He insists on calling him “The Annointed One”, or “The One” for short. You can feel his anger and immature frustration. People very rarely identify whining correctly (they tend to conflate it with active disagreement). This is not one of those cases. Sean Hannity and the new breed of ultra-radical conservatives are big, fat whiners.

Conservapedia is another great example of a bunch of crybabies. Their page on evolution (which is just a page on creationism) has a section titled “Creation Scientists Tend to Win the Creation-Evolution Debates“. I kid you not. This is their version of 32-bit wailing. They absolutely cannot win. Rather than to accept reality, they set up these conversations in their own heads where they win every time. Sean Hannity does it. John McCain did it. Dubya definitely did it. This is the path of conservatives in America. Yell and whine and if that doesn’t work, beat the crap out of Blanka.

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