Friday, May 27, 2005
Retired Army Lt. Col. Charles Krohn got himself in trouble with his superiors as a Pentagon civilian public affairs official during the first 3-1/2 years of the Bush administration by telling the truth. He is still at it in private life. He says not to blame the military recruiters for the current recruiting ''scandal.'' Blame the war.The problem is that wingnuts love to put those idiotic patriotic magnets on the backs of their cars and trucks -- but very few on the political right are encouraging their children to make a bee-line to the nearest recruiting office. Being a Republican is about securing a life of privilege, not having your son or daughter flown home in a metal casket.
''Army recruiting is in a death spiral, through no fault of the Army,'' Krohn told me. Always defending uniformed personnel, he resents hard-pressed recruiters being attacked for offering unauthorized benefits to make quotas. In a recent e-mail sent to friends (mostly retired military), Krohn complained that the ''Army is having to compensate for a problem of national scope.''
So the ranks are getting thin. And while the fundies would like to keep the girls at home -- you know, barefoot and pregnant (once they're married to good Christian boys, or course) -- well, we're just going to have to let some of the more uppity girls do a men's jobs for a little bit longer.
It should come as no surprise that Congress just rejected a bill that would have further limited the role of women in combat.
Washington -- In a major reversal, congressional Republicans abandoned an effort Wednesday to limit the role of women in combat and instead instructed the Pentagon to keep Congress informed about the status of women deployed in war zones.The flip-flop by Congressional Republicans represents an acknowledgement of 2 realities. The first is that, in the kind of wars that are fought in the 21st Century, there are no front lines. The second is that, to continue the Mr. Bush's dirty little war, the Pentagon needs whatever warm bodies it can find.
Too bad they are so slow to embrace all the other harsh realities they so conveniently ignore.
Women have orgasms because by and large they refuse to launch monstrous ultraviolent illegal soul-deadening wars over oilsucking phallocentric powermad landwhoring BS powergrabs and therefore they fully deserve all the inexplicable otherworldly cosmically infused clitorally energized pleasures they can get.Let me add one other explanation. Women have orgasms because they deserve them. Read the whole thing.
Did you catch that keyword? That note of strangeness? It was right there, in the word inexplicable. Because apparently, as far as science is concerned and despite the obvious reasons I assert above, no one really seems to know exactly why women have orgasms at all.
Thanks to JW for the link. You'll hear more from her soon.
A Day Late. A Dollar Short.
A big-time Felíz Cupleaños and many happy returns to Daily Kos.
High Fives All Around
We saved Social Security! What Duncan says:
What Josh Marshall says. Instead of hand-wringing about what they need to do the Democrats should be out there bragging about the fact they've stopped George Bush from trashing Social Security.Being in that notch group that isn't drawing Social Security yet, but is too old to get any real value out of starting a "private account," I'm real glad we whooped the chimp on this one.
Loudly. Proudly. Daily.
Somebody Warn Bob Dole
WASHINGTON - Federal health officials are examining rare reports of blindness among some men using the impotence drug Viagra.Damn, I was just thinking about getting some, too.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Defending the institution of Marriage
It's about hate and fear and discrimination
Last week Mrs. Rain Storm and I celebrated 31 years of being married to one another. I don't say that to brag, only to point out that at no time during more than three decades did either of us feel that our marriage was somehow threatened by anyone else's commitment to their partner.
So it seemed absolutely appropriate to join with my fellow progressives to provide an alternative voice at a press conference announcing the launch of a drive for an amendment to the Arizona constitution defining marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman. It was held in the parking lot of a strip mall church. I carried a sign that said "God Loves All Families" on one side and "Just Say No to Bigotry" on the other. While those pretty Christians in their lovely suits gave their speeches about preserving the institution of marriage, I sang Jesus Loves the Little Children. I imagine that the irony was lost on the congregation from the Strip Mall Church of the Slow Learners.
The experience taught me that when discussing this issue with the other side, one shouldn't get bogged down into the minutiae of scripture. That is playing their game. It doesn't work.
From now on, whenever confronted with the advocates of this hateful legislation, I will simply say, "You talk very nicely, and I imagine that you think you are nice. But what you are advocating is viscous, hateful, and ugly."
Today Susie linked to this piece by Molly (God bless her) Ivins. Molly quotes a speech by Representative Senfronia Thompson to the wingnuts in the Texas State Legislature:
Let's look at what this amendment does not do: It does not give one Texas citizen meaningful tax relief. It does not reform or fully fund our education system. It does not restore one child to CHIP [Children's Health Insurance Program] who was cut from health insurance last session. It does not put one dime into raising Texas' Third World access to health care. It does not do one thing to care for or protect one elderly person or one child in this state. In fact, it does not even do anything to protect one marriage.Read it all. Representative Thompson knows a thing or two about hate, fear and discrimination. I'm glad I'm on the good side on this one.
"Members, this bill is about hate and fear and discrimination... When I was a small girl, white folks used to talk about 'protecting the institution of marriage' as well. What they meant was if people of my color tried to marry people of Mr. Chisum's color, you'd often find the people of my color hanging from a tree... Fifty years ago, white folks thought interracial marriages were 'a threat to the institution of marriage.'
"Members, I'm a Christian and a proud Christian. I read the good book and do my best to live by it. I have never read the verse where it says, 'Gay people can't marry.' I have never read the verse where it says, 'Thou shalt discriminate against those not like me.' I have never read the verse where it says, 'Let's base our public policy on hate and fear and discrimination.' Christianity to me is love and hope and faith and forgiveness -- not hate and discrimination.
"I have served in this body a lot of years, and I have seen a lot of promises broken... So... now that blacks and women have equal rights, you turn your hatred to homosexuals, and you still use your misguided reading of the Bible to justify your hatred. You want to pass this ridiculous amendment so you can go home and brag -- brag about what? Declare that you saved the people of Texas from what?
Another Nice White Man in Texas
. . . has a bomb
Charged with trying to sell a bomb that he claims "approaches nuclear capability."
Freedom on the March in the Middle East
. . . or else not
Via AMERICAblog, our staunch allies the Saudis are jailing dissident authors and poets.
I'm sure we all feel much safer now. And yes, let's put a chador on Laura and send her over there to make everything much better.
Defending the Border
Looks like somebody sent the trolls over to David Neiwert's excellent blog to rant about the vigilantes who are "patrolling" a tiny swath of the Arizona desert near the border with Mexico.
These guys call themselves "Minutemen." Or maybe that's what their wives call them. At any rate their claims of success in slowing the flow of folks coming across the border are pure fantasy.
I was at a dinner with Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano last month. She says that, although the number of people crossing the zone that the vigilantes are watching has gone down, the number of border crossers at other locations has gone up proportionately. Imagine that.
This whole notion of defending Arizona's border from invasion by foreigners reminds me of a conversation with my father. I grew up in a family of Goldwater Republicans. My dad was a veteran of World War II. He was an artillery officer with the newly-formed 7th Infantry Division.
By the early '70s he had become disenchanted with the Vietnam War and the mounting death toll in a foreign land with no real strategic interest for the U.S. (sound familiar?). One evening when he was about half way into his second tall glass of bourbon (a nightly practice for both my mother and father), my dad declared that the place to stop the Communists was the beaches of California.
I stood there in the kitchen, rather amazed at this somewhat heretical proclamation, wondering if he would say more. My father took another drink and, after deciding that our neighbor to the west (California) had already been lost to the radical left, said, "On second thought, maybe we should make our stand at the Colorado River."
Vaya con Dios, Dad.
Somebody Has a Clue
Kudos to Progressive Majority for holding a big name conference and actually inviting bloggers who know caca from shinola.
If you are not a member of Progressive Majority, you should be. They are building, state by state, the next generation of progressive political leadership in the US. That is how we will take back America.