Immediate don’t ask, don’t tell injunction

The courts have traditionally been the place where the immorality of bigoted Americans has gone to die. Today is no different.

A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction Tuesday immediately stopping enforcement of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, suspending the 17-year-old ban on openly gay U.S. troops.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips’ landmark ruling also ordered the government to suspend and discontinue all pending discharge proceedings and investigations under the policy.

The Obama Administration is under no obligation to challenge this. It’s unclear what this administration will do, especially this close to midterm elections, but I feel decent about the right decision being made. A challenge to this ruling would be a slap in the face to all the gay people who serve the United States in uniform, not to mention a weakening of our military. There’s no rational justification in DADT and it needs to stop.

Capturing the world

As usual, the wonderful writing over at Shambling After deserves recognition.

I lived in a little bubble of ignorant bliss and although I convinced myself that I was concerned with the rest of the world, I couldn’t even begin to comprehend how much of the world there is to be concerned with.

This is about Cairo, but the same feeling found its way into me while I was in Africa. The constant dirt and abject poverty was something I expected, but it wasn’t something for which I was necessarily ready. I found myself often thinking, when people say they’re suffering, when they say they have it bad, it’s all relative. The tiny villages of Tanzania have suffering, they have it bad. That isn’t to say there is nothing but misery there – the number of smiling children I saw astounded me – but it isn’t ice cream and video games. When black Americans say they can relate to their ‘home land’, I now have nothing but contempt for such statements. Just as when a white person says he can at all relate to being black in America, the claim would be risible if it wasn’t such a lie. And I’m not saying I can relate merely because of what I saw while I sat in a Range Rover with my hundreds of dollars worth of hiking equipment and Slim Jims. But I do at least know I can’t relate.

To steal the Samuel Johnson quote used at Shambling After,

The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.

Thought of the day

The notion that theists can take comfort in living for some purpose shows at least two things: (1) that they’re oblivious to the fact that they’re wrong that there is an ultimate purpose. It’s all a big if, then situation – if everything they say is true, then they can take comfort. Too bad they’ve never bothered to offer any evidence for any of their claims. (2) The whole game is really just about comfort. People fear death, they fear losing all they have, they fear not existing. That probably has played a role in the invention – and certainly the persistence – of religion. And it is this need for comfort manifested through religion that has lead to hostility towards science. We can’t stop the need for comfort, nor do we want to stop it, but we can stop religion, if even only theoretically.