Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to Strengthen the Military

Judge Virginia Phillips ruled Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) unconstitutional in Log Cabin Republicans v United States the other day. DADT deprives gay and lesbian servicemembers of both their right to due process and freedom of speech, besides it was harmful to military readiness. She also ordered the military to stop enforcing the ban immediately.
It should not be that hard to follow this directive. Many accused of violating DADT were not discharged until their combat deployments were completed,thus, their service appears to have been crucial to the military. of the almost 14,000 servicemembers who have been discharged under DADT, many were translators, counter terrorism and military intelligence officers. Closeted and not so closeted gay men and women have been serving (and living) next to their straight comrades for years (see Randy Shilts' Coming Out Under Fire for an historical overview). The military is having such a hard time recruiting soldiers that the requirements have been lowered--education, physical and criminal-- moral waivers have been given to felons so that they may serve! Not to mention that we are recruiting more foreign nationals to serve, with the idea that they can fast track to become American citizens (BTW foreign nationals have always served in our military,too).
And, though the President, the Secretary of Defense,the chair of the Joint Chief of Staff, the House of Representatives and 70% of the American public think that DADT should be lifted, the Senate is delaying a vote and the Justice Department feels they might have to appeal this decision.
I believe that if you want a strong military defense it is only common sense that DADT needs to be lifted now. I suggest that the Justice department sit on their hands, President Obama issue an executive order (such as Truman did in 1949 integrating the military), and Senator Reid tell his fellow senators to do the right thing now for a real strong defense--that their inaction is just continually has been weakening our military.

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

First Amendment, Privacy, Decency?

The Supreme Court head the oral arguments yesterday in the case that pits the Westboro Baptist Church against the bereaved father of a fallen soldier--do the members of the Phelps family (most of the members of the Westboro Church) have the right to their antigay speech used at intrusive but legal protests at the funeral of fallen soldiers?
The Phelps family church believes that "God hates homosexuality and hates and punishes America for its tolerance of homosexuality" especially in the military. (note to self: Don't Ask, Don't Tell equals tolerance???????)

Read the arguments:

And some analysis:

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