Friday, October 1, 2010

New Job.

So I just got hired today by a local police department. After a year of applying and testing and being in the background process, a little town about two hours from where I live picked me up. I'm pretty excited, but will most likely not have a lot of time for blogging...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Church to endanger Troops with Islamic Insult

This idiot was enough to bring me out of my summer blogging hibernation.

The Dove World Outreach Church, in Gainsville, Florida, is planning on burning Korans on September 11th as a protest against Islam.

From CNN:

The pastor of a Florida church planning to burn Qurans told CNN Tuesday while the congregation plans to go through with the action to protest the September
11, 2001 attack on the United States by al Qaeda, the church is "weighing" its

The Church's founder, Terry Jones, said of the planned burning:

"We realize that this action would indeed offend people, offend the
Muslims. I am offended when they burn the flag. I am offended when they burn the
Bible. But we feel that the message that we are tyring to send is much more
important than people being offended."
Jones said Muslims are welcomed in the United States, if they observe the
Constitution and don't try to impose Sharia law, or Muslim law. The message, he
said, is directed toward the "radical element of Islam.
"Our message is very clear," he said. "It is not to the moderate Muslim. Our message is not a message of hate. Our message is a message of warning to the radical element of Islam, and I think what we see right now around the globe provides exactly what we're talking about," he said.

While Jones, and his church, have the Constitutional Right to do so as a part of the freedom of speech, that does not mean they should. Especially in light of what the US Military has to say about it:

Gen. David Petraeus, the commander in Afghanistan, said the burning of Islam's holy books "could cause significant problems" for American troops
"It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort
in Afghanistan," Petraeus said in a statement issued Monday.
With about 120,000 U.S. and NATO-led troops still battling al Qaeda and its allies in the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban movement, Petraeus warned that burning Qurans "is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant
problems -- not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the
Islamic community."
Petraeus said he was concerned by the political repercussions of the church's plan.
"Even the rumor that it might take place has sparked demonstrations such as the one that took place in Kabul yesterday," he said. "Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult."
He said extremists would use images of burning Qurans to inflame public opinion and incite violence.

That should be enough to stop this. Again, while they have the right to do this, that does not mean that they should. Especially since it will further endanger US Troops...We all the have the right to say and do certain things. I once heard it put this way: "We have the right [to do stupid things], just like people have the right to make out in public. But doing so still makes you a social retard."

Jones, in response to the Military's warning, said the congregation is taking seriously the warning from the U.S. military that the act could cause problems for American troops.

"We have firmly made up our mind, but at the same time, we are definitely praying about it," said Jones.

Praying about it? I'm sure Jesus would approve of this. Actually, wait, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't.

I like what Rick Moran at Right Wing Nut House has to say about this:

As bad as Obama has been, there is nothing more destructive of the
Constitution’s spirit and letter than burning the Koran - or any book for that
matter. What this Reverend Jones is planning on doing is so antithetical to
Americanism that any red-blooded tea party patriot should be steaming at the
very thought that this glory-seeking preacher wants to besmirch our most sacred
values by imitating Nazi brownshirts at their worst who piled high books by
Jewish authors at Nuremberg and set fire to them.

There is no difference - none - between the 50 or so members of the
Dove World Outreach Center and mindless Nazi drones if they carry through with
this plan.

My sole concern is with protecting the legacy of free expression in the
United States - a legacy that would be damaged if we burn any book for any
reason. Why stop at burning the Koran. Why not move on to 1001 Arabian Nights?
Or the diaries of T.E. Laurence? There are dozens of books that deal with the
Koran and the Muslim faith, both fiction and non-fiction. If you want to make a
symbolic gesture about Islam, why not torch those volumes too?

Moran has a great point. Book burning? Really? That does bring to mind fascist regimes of the past...

While I agree with the idea of sending a message to Radical Islam on 9/11/10, book burning is not the way to do this. Book burning is neither right, Christian, or American.

People from all walks of life in the US should protest this. Republicans, Democrats, independents, Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc...

We need to let it be known that is not representative of the whole.

Friday, September 3, 2010


So I've been on vacation most of the summer from tired of the pettiness. I'll be back once the weather isn't nice my motorcycle endorsement early August and got myself a 1985 VT500C (Honda Shadow)...all my time I would be blogging has been spent on this thing. Over 50 miles per gallon city, more on the it. Already planning my next bike...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Do Your Job!"


The same day President Obama is delivering a high profile speech on immigration, a web video is making the rounds featuring a frustrated Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer imploring the president to "do your job" when it comes to securing the borders.
In the web video posted earlier this week, Brewer stands in front of recently erected signs 80 miles from Arizona's Mexican border that warn travelers "smuggling and illegal immigration may be encountered in this area."
"Two weeks ago I met with President Obama, he promised that we
would get word from his administration on what they were going to do to secure
the border. Well, we finally got the message, these signs," Brewer says. "I'm 80
miles away from the border and only 30 miles away from Arizona's capital. This
is an outrage."
"Washington says our border is as safe as it's ever been…Does this look safe to you? Washington is broken, Mr. President," a visibly angry Brewer continues. "Do your job. Secure our borders."
The newly-erected signs are the product of the Bureau of Land Management, according to local TV station KPHO, amid urging from local residents who have witnessed a wave of drug-related crimes.
Brewer's comments come more than a week after a senior Obama administration official confirmed justice department lawyers are planning to file a legal challenge to the controversial Arizona immigration law championed by Brewer.
Federal government lawyers who have been working on the expected challenge for several weeks will most likely file their arguments in federal court in Phoenix in the days leading up to July 28, when the statute is scheduled to take effect, the official said.
Administration officials have indicated the question of Arizona usurping federal authority to control the border and enforce immigration law is the most likely federal point of attack against the state law signed by Gov. Jan Brewer earlier this year.
In his immigration speech Thursday, Obama again took aim at the controversial Arizona measure, calling it "ill conceived."
"It is not just that the law Arizona passed is divisive, though it has fanned the flames of an already contentious debate, laws like Arizona's put huge pressures on local law enforcement to enforce rules that ultimately are unenforceable. It puts pressure on already hard-strapped state and local budgets," Obama said.
The president also defended his efforts to secure the border both with Mexico and Canada.
"We doubled the personnel assigned to border enforcement security task forces," he
said. "We tripled the number of intelligence analysts along the border. For the first time we have begun screening 100 percent of southbound rail shipments. And as a result, we're seizing more illegal guns, cash, and drugs than in years past."
"The bottom line is this, the southern border is more secure today than at anytime in the past 20 years," Obama added.

I can certainly understand Govenor Brewer's frustration. I can also understand Obama's frustration with Arizona. Govenor Brewer, and many other people for that matter, are blaming Obama for an immigration and insecure border issue that should have been taken care of many administrations ago. The fault doesn't lay at Obama's feet-unless he does nothing during his presidency. The fault lies more with Bush II(who should have secured the borders after 9/11), Clinton, Bush I, and all previous administrations. The southern border is entirely unsecure-drugs, money, guns, and of course people, are constantly flowing into and out of our country through the southern border. It's time it stops.

While disagreeing with SB 1070 and other actions that Arizona has taken, I certainly have to give respect to the state for trying something. For trying to get Federal attention. Let's hope it worked. Let's hope thaat Obama listens and does much more than any of his predecessors did. Let's hope he begins to solve the problem.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cops and the Right to Self Defense

This is an article I wrote for the Oregonian, and they published it. You can read the whole article here

Police and the mentally ill: Cops have a right to self-defense
By James Wolfer

Portland Chief Mike Reese announced last week his desire to transform police training, saying that he wants to transform it from a " 'fear-based model' -- where officers are taught to think a motorist reaching toward a floorboard is going for a gun -- to one founded on 'competency and confidence' -- where a mentally ill man isn't treated like a bank robber."

First, I'd like to say how much respect I have for the new police chief. He sure has his work cut out for him in that revolving door that is the chief's position in the Portland Police Bureau. And while there is definitely room for improvement in police training with regard to the mentally ill, removing the "fear-based training" model altogether would be disastrous.

The police need to assume, for their own survival, that someone reaching might be reaching for a gun. Police deaths are up nationally. According to statistics available from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, officer deaths in 2009 were 42 percent higher than in 2008 across the board in the U.S., with 80 percent of those deaths resulting from gunfire. Statistics are not yet available for 2010, but it seems that almost every week an officer is killed somewhere in the country. Some of those shootings have happened here in the Northwest. How quickly we've forgotten the four officers assassinated in Lakewood, Wash., just last December. Even here in Portland, people, some of them mentally ill, have attempted to fight police with deadly weapons. While some are protesting the police "profiling" and killing of Otis Keane, many in the public fail to address the fact that Keane shot first. He shot an officer in the legs, twice, before being fatally shot by the other officers involved. Thankfully, the officer survived, but what would have happened if he had not? Would the public have been appeased? I doubt it. Most likely, there would still be protests against the police for killing their attacker.

The Portland Police Bureau could use more training in dealing with the mentally ill. But the Portland-area public also is in dire need of education on what happens when someone, mentally ill or not, tries to use deadly force against the police: the officers will defend themselves with deadly force. The police have a lawful right to self-defense, to survive an attack and go home to their family at the end of the day, regardless of the attacker's mental state.

James Wolfer lives in Southwest Portland.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Arizona at it again; targets "anchor babies"

This has to be my favorite part:

"If you go back to the original intent of the drafters ... it was never intended to bestow citizenship upon (illegal) aliens," said [John] Kavanagh, who also supported Senate Bill 1070 -- the law that gave Arizona authorities expanded immigration enforcement powers.

Read the rest of the article here.

In summary:

A proposed Arizona law would deny birth certificates to children born in
the United States to illegal immigrant parents...

John Kavanagh, a Republican state representative from Arizona who supports the proposed law aimed at so-called "anchor babies," said that the concept does not conflict with the U.S. Constitution.

"If you go back to the original intent of the drafters ... it was never intended to bestow citizenship upon (illegal) aliens," said Kavanagh, who also supported Senate Bill 1070 -- the law that gave Arizona authorities expanded immigration enforcement powers.

Under federal law, children born in the United States are automatically
granted citizenship, regardless of their parents' residency status...

Kyrsten Sinema, a Democratic state representative, strongly opposes the bill.

"Unlike (Senate Bill) 1070, it is clear this bill runs immediately afoul of
the U.S. Constitution," she said.

"While I understand that folks in Arizona and across the country
support S.B. 1070, they do so because we have seen no action from the federal
government," said Sinema. "Unfortunately, the so-called 'anchor baby' bill does
nothing to solve the real problems we are facing in Arizona."

The founding fathers were illegal aliens. In fact, the first few presidents weren't born here. James Madison was the first president born in the nation known as the United States. We are a nation made of immigrants (unless you are Native American Indian). If children born here, even to illegals, are not citizens, then what exactly would qualify as citizenship? Do infants now need to apply for citizenship?

I don't agree with illegal immigration. It's illegal. And we have to do something about it. But not this. Children born here have always been, and always should be, United States citizens. Arizona is seeking to directly punish children for the crimes of their parents. And that just isn't right.

What further angers me is that this bill is being pushed by Republicans. Republicans, the party of Abraham Lincoln. Republicans, the party that pushed for the end of Slavery. The party that has expoused patriotism so fiercly, is now pushing yet another unpatriotic law, built upon unpatriotic ideas.

If this passes, can the Union recover? Probably. But we'll definitely be a little further away from the Constitution than we were yesterday.

Crossposted to Republicans United

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

An argument for more guns

This was an interesting and well written essay, by Major L. Caudill USMC (Retired).

"The Gun Is Civilization"
As the Supreme Court hears arguments for and against the Chicago, IL Gun Ban, I offer you another stellar example of a letter (written by a Marine) that places the proper perspective on what a gun means to a civilized society.
Read this eloquent and profound letter and pay close attention to the last paragraph of the well as a profound quote from Thomas Jefferson.
The Gun is Civilizationby Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it.
In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.
People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.
Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.
The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal andeasily employable.
When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation...and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act.
So the greatest civilization is one where all citizens are equally armedand can only be persuaded, never forced.
By Maj. L. Caudill USM C (Ret)
And now a word from Thomas Jefferson: "False is the idea of utility ... that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction of liberty. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes ... such laws serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." -- Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States writing in his 'Commonplace Book', 1775

I read this in the opinion section of my local newspaper, the Oregonian. I found it extremely well thought out, and logical. It doesn't attack any side, just merely proposes its thesis and defends it well.

I don't carry a gun. I don't even own one. But I probably will someday, and I believe that having a gun and being well trained in it's use is a huge deterrent for property crimes, and an equalizer in person crimes.

Monday, June 7, 2010

No Cops Allowed

First, let me say how nice it was to just take a break from blogging. I started school in April, taking online classes for a Masters degree, and working full time at my 9-5 M-F job, and a weekend job. I've been busy! Needed a break from the bloggin'...just didn't have the energy to write.

This article caught my eye:
In mid-May, Portland police Officer James Crooker went to Southeast
Portland on a patrol call. With a few minutes to spare, he decided to get a
coffee. So, he popped into the Red & Black cafe on Southeast 12th Avenue near Oak
Street, bought a coffee and was heading out when a customer approached him,
saying she appreciates the hard job that police officers do every day in
Portland. One of the co-owners of the cafe, John Langley, has another
point of view. While the officer and customer were chatting, he walked up and
asked Crooker to leave, saying he felt uncomfortable having a uniformed officer
in the vegan cafe. The incident, which was brief, speaks volumes about the
tensions between Portland police and some members of the community who are more worried about police shootings than protection. Crooker said he was surprised to be shown the door but left immediately. He said this marked a first during his nine-year in law enforcement, two in Portland and seven in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. "The places that I've been kicked out of before have been places like the methadone clinic," he said. "I've never been kicked out of a regular cafe." But the 36-year-old
officer, who was born and raised in Portland, said it's all part of working this
city's streets in a uniform. "We have a unique relationship with the community,"
he said. "You're there to protect them but on the other hand they don't know
what that involves. Being gracious is part of it." A former Marine who served in
Iraq, Crooker didn't take the incident to heart. "It was not personal," he said.
"He was being hostile to my uniform," he said. Langley, who did not raise his
voice during the encounter, agreed. "It's not about the police," Langley said.
"It's about what the police represent to many people who frequent the cafe. The
cafe draws vegans -- of course -- along with homeless people and animal-rights
and environmental activists who Langley said have been targets of police abuse
and harassment. But the cafe also draws customers like Cornelia Seigneur,
who blogged about the incident on her website. Seigneur, a freelancer for The Oregonian who
was enjoying lunch with her daughter on May 18 when Crooker came in, was the one
who approached him. "There have been some unfortunate situations recently,"
Seigneur said. "But overall the police are out there day in and day out
protecting us." She said she struck up a conversation with Crooker to show her
support for police, who she said saved the life of a friend after he was shot by
gang members. When Langley asked Crooker to leave, she was startled. "It was
shocking," Seigneur said. "Everyone deserves to have a coffee, and he was served
a coffee. It was humiliating." She said there were only about three other people
in the cafe and that no else seemed to notice the officer. But the incident has
fired a reaction, with dozens of comments pouring into Seigneur's website. It's
been so overwhelming that she took the blog post down but put it back up
Thursday afternoon. The cafe, too, has received a deluge of calls, with about
half supporting the cafe and the rest expressing anger. "We've received
threats," Langley said. "People have threatened to attack us and break our
windows." Still, he has no regrets. "I never expected a police officer to come
into the space," he said. "If it happened again, I wouldn't serve him."

The customer that was thanking the Police Officer has a blog, and has started a movement not to boycott the place that didn't serve the officer, but to highlight places that do.
Her original blog post
Her facebook campaign

Police Officers put their lives on the line every day to protect their communities. We hear about the mistakes and the bad apples first and foremost. The more common stories of police officers helping people-stopping to help you change a flat, educating children on drug abuse, etc. are left out of the news. And that is sad, and only perpetuates the negative, false thinking that this cafe owner exhibited.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Law Enforcement Split on Arizona Immigration Bill

From Time magazine. To read the entire article, click here.

The law's main champions certainly include some law-enforcement figures, like
Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio and the bill's state senate sponsor, Russell
Pearce, a former cop whose son (also a policeman) was once shot by an illegal
immigrant. But the official opposition of the Chiefs of Police Association — on
the grounds that the law amounts to an unfunded mandate, that it could hurt
community relationships and that it distracts attention and resources from more
serious criminality — shows that in Arizona, cops are just as divided about the
law as everyone else.

Brian Livingston, president of the Arizona Police
Association, which represents 9,000 rank-and-file officers and agents in the
state, supports SB1070 without reserve. "What we've seen is inaction, a lot of
discussion," he said. "We have officers getting killed, getting severely injured
by illegal aliens." He told the story of officer Marc Atkinson, a young Phoenix
cop whom Livingston had personally recruited to the force. Atkinson was killed
by an illegal alien during a drug bust, said Livingston.

David Aguilar,
acting deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, followed that
speech with his own prescription for immigration and border issues. He didn't
explicitly take sides on SB1070, but he argued for a "holistic" approach that
includes a lot of help for America's neighbor to the south. "Speaking cop to
cop," he told the audience, the real question should be "How do we help [Mexico]
reduce the violence?"

The controversy alone made some law-enforcement
officials uncomfortable. Walking on the floor of the exhibition hall, police
chief Jerald Monahan of Apache Junction didn't want to comment about the law,
except to take issue with the rising calls to boycott Arizona: "To boycott all
of us when they're mad at a few people is not right," he said. "We're doing good

Chief John Harris of Sahuarita, the current president of the
Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, said he opposed the law before Governor
Jan Brewer signed it and still does today. He listed his objections: Immigration
has traditionally been a federal issue, and the police already have "manpower
and budget issues" that will only get worse under the law. "If we then arrest
[illegals] on state charges, who will pay?" he asked. He's also concerned that
victims may not report crimes to his officers. And finally, the threat of
lawsuits — any citizen may sue a police officer or department for impeding the
enforcement of immigration laws — makes him leery.
When told of the Arizona
Police Association's support for the law, Harris nodded. "It gives police
officers, in their mind, another tool," he said. "But if they get hit with a
civil rights lawsuit, well, that's a problem for the chief of police."

Ultimately Harris and the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police will
continue to oppose the law until it takes effect in mid- to late-summer. After
that, however, they will uphold its provisions while being as fair as possible.
"We are sworn," he said, "to enforce the laws of Arizona."


I find this really interesting, that Law Enforcement doesn't even agree on this issue. I've been following a lot of debate back and forth on this, and I'm not sure where I stand on it, really. I do think parts of the bill are unconsitutional and will ultimately hurt law enforcement, while other parts have long been needed.

I would welcome some other points of view on this. If you support it, why and what parts?

If you don't, the same: why and what parts? What would you do differently?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

US will begin disarming. Is this a good idea?

From CNN:
The United States will swear off the development of new generations of
nuclear weapons and will not use its existing arsenal to attack nonnuclear
states that are in compliance with nonproliferation agreements, the Obama
administration said Tuesday.
Among other things, the new American stance is meant to provide an
incentive for countries to stay within the rules of the 1968 Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty, a senior administration official said.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Adm. Mike Mullen, the
Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, announced the change two days before President
Obama is to sign a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia that reduces both
countries' missile stockpiles.
The new policy "recognizes that the greatest
threat to U.S. and global security is no longer a nuclear exchange between
nations, but nuclear terrorism by violent extremists and nuclear proliferation
to an increasing number of states," Obama said later in a
"Moreover, it recognizes that our national security and that of
our allies and partners can be increasingly defended by America's unsurpassed
conventional military capabilities and strong missile defenses."
Obama stressed that "preventing nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism
is now at the top of America's nuclear agenda."
The position "provides a road map" to help achieve Obama's "long-term goal
of a nuclear-free world," Gates added. It removes a "calculated ambiguity" in
past U.S. nuclear policy while making clear that "this is a weapon of last
resort," he said.
Gates also noted, however, the new policy sends a "strong
message" to states such as Iran and North Korea.
"If you're going to play by
the rules [of the nonproliferation treaty], we will undertake certain
obligations to you," he said. "But if you're not going to play by the rules ...
all options are on the table."

Read the rest of the article at CNN

Normally, I'm not very much for the neo-conservative attitudes of war mongering and spreading Diplomacy through force.

But disarming the one remaining superpower? I'm not sure this is such a good idea.

Here's a real world example: My brother in law is a police officer on the east coast. His mid-size city's population was afraid of the police officers having shotguns in their cars, even in their trunks. So the chief took the shotguns away, and then took their tasers away, and if it weren't against federal law, I'm sure the chief would take away their pistols as well. All because people were scared of the weapons. Isn't that the point?

His department only carries their sidearms now. Their only option for any situation regarding use of force, from the baseball bat wielding teen to the automatic weapon toting terrorist. This is what happened during the 1984 San Ysidro McDonald's massacre, where the responding officer only had his sidearm and could not stop the killer. The shooter killed 22 people before SWAT put him down. This is the reason officers are heavily armed, so that when the situation calls for it, an officer can stop a shooting spree.

Same with nukes and the US. If we stop producing them, but another county keeps doing so in secret, how do we stop them from using them? Invade them? They'll just start shooting off their nukes, at us, at their own people--much like the shooting spree killer. Often, and I hate to say it, but the threat of existing nukes will oftentimes do what diplomacy cannot: scare the living hell out of dictators trying to produce nukes.

To disarm the US would be like taking guns away from the police. All you'll have left is a bunch of meter maids.

Crossposted to Republicans United

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Michael Chandler feels left out of recession.

Michael Chandler looks out the windows of his sun room, past the swimming pool and guest cottage, to the wide backyard where his two children are playing with their pet dalmatian, Scotty. At a time when Americans everywhere are sharing the struggle of a once-in-a-generation recession, Chandler can't help but wonder how he and his family fell through the cracks.

"It's just not fair," said the 49-year-old real estate developer and grandson of oil baron Duncan Chandler. "Everyone is worrying about an uncertain future and coming together to express their outrage, and I don't get to be a part of it."

Staring out at the ornate garden where workers were installing a large marble fountain, Chandler sighed and added, "It's like I don't even exist."

According to the multimillionaire, the past 18 months have been incredibly difficult to endure, as he is often left feeling excluded from an American populace that includes millions who struggle every day to make ends meet. Chandler, who watched helplessly as his enormous fortune easily withstood the market freefall, has been "completely left out" of one of this nation's most significant cultural moments.

"Everybody's suffering," Chandler said. "And here I am, not scrimping and saving at all, with no demoralizing periods of financial hardship, or frantic weeks living paycheck to paycheck. What about me, you know? Where's my struggle?"

"Everyone's supposed to get a fair shake at this misery," Chandler added. "Even incredibly wealthy people of privilege like me."

Throughout the economic downturn, Chandler has tried to tap into the recession and experience some of the sorrow and widespread desperation he has so cruelly been denied. Sadly, all of his attempts have been thwarted by his seemingly insurmountable stack of riches.

According to longtime financial adviser Ben Schultz, Chandler "constantly" inquires as to whether any of his diversely invested mutual funds are losing money, but is always let down.
"Michael's portfolio is better than ever, to be honest," Schultz told reporters. "In fact, his only real connection to the recession is that he helped to cause it by artificially inflating home prices and making millions off unstable derivatives trading."

Chandler has been so devastated by his inability to feel the same anguish and hopelessness the rest of the country is enduring that he took the extraordinary step last week of speaking openly with a chauffeur about how hard the recession has been on everyone. He even went so far as to tip the driver 50 percent less than usual in an attempt to show the man that he, too, was hurting financially.

"I kept waiting for him to say, 'Well, times are tough on all of us,' or 'Who isn't feeling the pinch these days, eh?'" Chandler said. "But he just seemed really angry."

Despite his best efforts, Chandler told reporters he knows that someday the crisis uniting so many of his fellow Americans will pass, and that the far-reaching anger will give way to the worship of money that preceded it.

But until then, he admitted, it will hurt to be excluded.

"Every month they announce tens of thousands of layoffs," Chandler said, "and every time, I'm not one of them. No matter what I say or do, it'll never be me. My only memory of this historic point in time will be the prosperity I have always known."
Added Chandler, "Dear God, when's this recession going to end?".

Source: The Onion

Well, Mr. Chandler, you have Republicans to blame. We just can't help but give you tax breaks. We just can't allow you to have 60% of your income be part of the Federal Reserve. Suck it up and be rich, dude. Just keep voting for Obama and you too can be part of the recession.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Right-wing militia plotted to kill Police Officers

members of a Michigan-based Christian militia group have been indicted on
sedition and weapons charges in connection with an alleged plot to murder law
enforcement officers in hopes of setting off an anti-government uprising.

In court filings unsealed Monday, the Justice Department accused the
nine people of planning to kill an unidentified law enforcement officer, then
plant improvised explosive devices of a type used by insurgents in Iraq to
attack the funeral procession.
Eight of the defendants were arrested over
the weekend in raids in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. A ninth remained at large,
the Justice Department said. The indictments against them were returned last
Tuesday. The defendants were identified as members of Hutaree, described by
federal prosecutors as an anti-government extremist organization based in
Lenawee County, Michigan, and which advocates violence against local, state and
federal law enforcement. The group saw local and state police as “foot soldiers”
for the federal government, which it viewed as its enemy, along with
participants in what they deemed to be a “New World Order,” according to the

“This is an example of radical and extremist fringe groups which can be
found throughout our society,” Andrew Arena, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Special Agent in Charge in Detroit, said in a statement. “The F.B.I. takes such
extremist groups seriously, especially those who would target innocent citizens
and the law enforcement officers who protect the citizens of the United States.”
A Web site for the Hutaree group talks about a coming battle against
the putative forces of the Antichrist but does not appear to focus explicitly on
recent political events.
The Web site, which describes the group as
“preparing for the end times,” featured video clips of people running through
woods in camouflage gear and firing assault rifles, along with links to gun
stores and far-right media. It also features an elaborate system of military
ranks for its members. The site says it coined the term Hutaree, intended to
mean Christian warrior.
“Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves
using the sword and stay alive using equipment,” the Web site says, adding, “The
Hutaree will one day see its enemy and meet him on the battlefield if so God
wills it.”

The indictment charged that between August 2008 and the present, the
defendants — led by David Brian Stone, 45, who also used the name “Captain
Hutaree” — developed a conspiracy that they hoped would result in a war
against the United States government
. They allegedly decided they would
kill a local law enforcement officer, and then bomb the funeral caravan. The
killings “would intimidate and demoralize law enforcement diminishing their
ranks and rendering them ineffective,” it said.

Afterward, the indictment said, Hutaree members would retreat to
several “rally points” and wage war against the government, using prepared
fighting positions as well as “trip-wired and command-detonated” bombs.

“It is believed by the Hutaree that this engagement would then serve as
a catalyst for a more wide-spread uprising against the government,” the
indictment said.
Mr. Stone used the Internet to obtain diagrams of
“explosively formed projectiles,” a particularly lethal form of roadside bombs
responsible for many deaths of United States soldiers in Iraq, the indictment
All nine people face the charges of seditious conspiracy, attempted
use of a weapon of mass destruction, and carrying a firearm during a crime of
violence. In addition, Mr. Stone and one of his sons, David Brian Stone Jr., has
been charged with teaching the use of explosive materials.

Read the entire article here.
Try them all for sedition. They were trying to use Iraqi style IEDs to kill police officers. Call in for help, and kill the responder? Terrorists. Plain and simple. Try them as such.

As has been said before, we need to denounce those that would seek to define the whole with extremism. This is wrong. And these people should be charged to the full extent of the law.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mississippi still one of the most disriminatory states.

CNN-Walking into school Wednesday morning was not easy for Constance
McMillen. The last time she'd been there was March 11, the day after her Fulton,
Mississippi, high school canceled prom rather than allow her to wear a tuxedo
and attend with her girlfriend.
"I've been very nervous about all of
this," the 18-year-old Itawamba Agricultural High School senior said. "I don't
like being somewhere where everyone hates me."

McMillen's name made national headlines when she, with the help of the
American Civil Liberties Union, filed suit against her school and the Itawamba
County School District, asking them to reinstate prom for everyone, without
discrimination. A federal judge in Mississippi ruled Tuesday that while
he wouldn't force the school to have a prom, which had originally been scheduled
for April 2, he agreed that McMillen's First Amendment rights had been

That was good news, said her attorney, Christine Sun, senior counsel
with the ACLU's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender project. It set a
precedent and helped broadcast an important statement, which was made stronger
by virtue of where it came from, she said.

"We're in a conservative area of the country, where people tend to
think we can do what we like," said Sun, who lives in New York but has traveled
multiple times to Mississippi for this legal push. "This case sends a strong
message that that's not going to fly anymore."

The only pending issue, Sun said, is the question of damages and the
ACLU's request for attorneys' fees. An amended complaint to seek a quick
resolution on this should be filed in the next 30 days, she said.

Meantime, McMillen is trying to find her new normal.

In many ways, she stands in an awkward balance. Though there are some
people who support her in Fulton (population about 4,000), the overarching
tension and what she described as "hostility" that she feels at school and in
her community is in deep contrast to the reception and groundswell of support
that's overwhelmed her nationally.

As a poster child for the rights of LGBT students, she's been asked to
jump on airplanes to appear on news programs and talk shows. The Facebook fan
page "Let Constance Take Her Girlfriend to Prom!" had attracted more than
414,000 fans as of Friday morning. Wealthy individuals, including Ellen
DeGeneres, have offered to pay for a prom for her school. She's received a
$30,000 college scholarship from an anonymous donor and, a digital media company
in New York that's also offered her a summer internship. She's even been invited
to high school proms in cities she's never visited.

"It means a lot to me," she said of the outreach from others. "The
amount of support helps me to continue with the fight."

But all McMillen, who came out as a lesbian in eighth grade, ever
wanted was to go to her school prom with her class, and with her girlfriend.
Going to another school's prom, while a nice offer, doesn't make any sense to
She never meant to be a spoiler for others when she sought approval
to bring her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo, she said. She thought she was doing
the right thing by asking in advance, since the school had stipulated in a
February memo that dates must be of the opposite sex. Rather than give
her permission, the school canceled the prom

Read the rest of the article here.

I have to say a few things. First, what the school did was, and still is, reprehensible. But further, I have to say I disagree with the judge. He said he wouldn't force the school to have a prom.

He should.

Public schools are part of the US government, and are publicly owned. Discrimination has no place in the government, much less in the United States of America.

The judge should force the school to have the prom anyway, and pass his judgement that anyone caught doing this in the future will be fired.

This isn't allowed anywhere else, except for the military, and even that will be over soon enough.

Discrimination has no place in the United States. None whatsoever. This wasn't a private school. This is a publicly, tax funded school, and therefore an extension of the public. Therefore, this behavior is not to be tolerated. Not even in backwater places like Mississippi. Being behind the times should not be an excuse.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pentagon begins easing Don't Ask Don't Tell

Washington (CNN)
-- Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to announce changes Thursday
easing the Defense Department's "don't ask, don't tell" policy prohibiting
homosexuals from serving openly in the military, a senior Defense Department
official has confirmed to CNN.

The official said one of the changes will be that outings by third parties
may no longer be automatic grounds for initiating separation proceedings,
especially if it is proven that the person making the allegation has a grudge
against the military member.

Gates' announcement will focus on regulatory changes that can be made
at the Pentagon without the approval of Congress, which has been debating
whether to change the policy.

President Obama has asked for a repeal of the measure.

I'm glad to finally see us moving forward on this. I'm not sure why Congress is debating this; it's a pretty cut and dried issue. This policy is discriminatory, and therefore should be repealed. This is America-land of the free and home of the brave. But DADT makes the brave not free. Let's change this, let's change it now.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tell Glenn Beck: I’m a Social Justice Christian

Reposted from Sojourners Blog:

Tell Glenn Beck: I’m a Social Justice Christian
by Jim Wallis 03-10-2010

Glenn Beck says Christians should leave churches that use the word “social justice.” He says social justice is a code word for communism and Nazism.

But since the Catholic Church, the Black Churches, the Mainline Protestant churches, more and more Evangelical and Pentecostal churches including Hispanic and Asian-American congregations all consider social justice central to biblical faith, Glenn Beck is telling all those Christians to leave their churches. Of course, Christians may disagree about what social justice means in our current political context — and that conversation is an important one — but the Bible is clear: from the Mosaic law of Jubilee, to the Hebrew prophets, to Jesus Christ, social justice is an integral part of God’s plan for humanity.

Beck says Christians should leave their social justice churches, so I say Christians should leave Glenn Beck. I don’t know if Beck is just strange, just trying to be controversial, or just trying to make money. But in any case, what he has said attacks the very heart of our Christian faith, and Christians should no longer watch his show. His show should now be in the same category as Howard Stern. Stern practices pornography and Beck denies the central teachings of Jesus and the Bible. So Christians should stop watching the Glenn Beck show and pray for him and Howard Stern.

Beck also said that if his church was about “social justice” he would report his church to the church authorities. What authorities? Church bodies as diverse in their theology as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Association of Evangelicals have explicitly endorsed social justice as a biblical imperative.

So here’s an idea: how about reporting ourselves to Glenn Beck as church members and pastors who practice and preach social justice.

Since Sojourners’ mission is “to articulate the biblical call to social justice,” I’ll be the first to turn myself in. And I invite you to join me in turning yourself in to Glenn Beck as a Christian who believes in social justice. Let’s send him thousands of names.

Jim Wallis is the author of Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street — A Moral Compass for the New Economy, CEO of Sojourners and blogs at

For more on this, please visit Dave Miller's blog.

I'll be one of those names. As I mentioned in previous posts, we must repudiate those in our midst that are threatening to ruin the whole. So let me be among those that say: I am a Christian. And Glenn Beck is wrong. Very, very wrong. And he does not represent Christianity whatsoever.

Bread for the World, a Christian group dedicated to eradicating hunger, has joined Sojourners in rebuking Beck.

"What the Lord requires of us, said the prophet Micah, is to act justly, show mercy, and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8)."

Former Obama advisor says efforts aren't enough

Former Obama advisor Steve Hildebrand, who played a huge role in getting Obama elected, has a few harsh warnings for fellow Democrats in Washington.

"I think that there is a real shot we [Democrats] are going to get
slaughtered in elections this fall if we aren't leading the efforts to reform
Washington," Hildebrand said. "We campaigned in '06 and '08, and if voters don't
see that change, we haven't lived up to that promise."
He came to the White House on Wednesday for a quiet meeting with the
president's senior adviser, David Axelrod, to express a fear that Republicans
are seizing the high ground on cleaning up Washington, on issues such as the
ethics probe of Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-New York.

Hildebrand is pushing for a strong outside body to oversee congressional
ethics so that lawmakers are no longer policing themselves, and he is lobbying
on behalf of the Fair Elections Now Act, which would limit federal campaign
contributions to $100 to try and cut the influence of big money donations.

"Voters want solutions, but voters know that it starts with getting
money out of politics first," Hildebrand said before his meeting with Axelrod.
"And I'm going to push that with David, I'm going to push that with anyone that
will listen."

Pressed on whether the president is doing enough on lobbying and
campaign finance reform, Hildebrand said, "I don't think anyone in Washington is
doing enough on this."
"Point is, things [are] happening today in Washington under Democratic
leadership that were happening under Republican leadership that we went after pretty hard as a party
," Hildebrand said. "We went after that culture of corruption, and I don't believe there is a culture of corruption, but I do
believe there is an image problem that Washington in general has to deal with.
And Democrats are in trouble now and if they don't do anything."

Read the rest of the article here.

I liked some of his ideas, as well as his criticism of the Democrats in Washington. They campaigned on some big promises, and so far, most of them just haven't materialized, if not flat out broken. Sure, little promises have been kept. But big ones, like transparency, closing GTMO, executive priviledge, DADT, and ending croneyism? Those I am still waiting for, and I'm sure many others are as well.

It's nice to hear this from a Democrat, though.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tea Party Series: Stray from the GOP and everyone will lose

Washington (CNN):
Mitt Romney has a message to Tea Party candidates nationwide: If you lose your
Republican primary bids, stay on the sidelines.
The former Massachusetts
governor on Monday warned the grassroots movement not to mount third party
efforts in general elections, which he said would siphon votes from Republican

"If there is a conservative candidate that runs in the general
election, then obviously, divide and fail is the result," Romney said in an
interview with the conservative Web site Newsmax. "Hopefully Tea Party
candidates will run in respective primaries and they will either win or lose.
And if they win, they will go into the general. If they lose, they won't, and
they will get behind the more conservative of the two finalists."

Romney explained that "dividing our conservative effort in the general elections" would "basically hand the country to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and that would be very sad indeed."
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin made similar remarks last month in a speech sponsored by the Arkansas Republican Party. "Now the smart thing will be for independents who are such a part of this Tea Party movement to, I guess, kind of start picking a party," she said, adding that the GOP would be the most natural fit for such activists.
Romney had kind words for the Tea Party movement. "I'm really pleased that the silent majority is silent no longer," he said, predicting that the movement "will have have an impact on this election."
"Not all the Tea Partiers are Republicans, not all of them vote for Republicans, but I think most of them will," he said.

Continuing with the Tea Party series, I thought what Romney said was quite appropriate. Earlier, I said that the GOP could use the Tea Party, and in fact needs the Tea Party, because the Tea Party has engaged the "silent majority" to be silent no longer. Then, in the second part of the series, I showed that while the GOP needs the Tea Party, it also needs to make sure to silence and repudiate the "crazy parts" and the fringe of the tea party in order to make sure that the whole is not defined by the rotten few.

Here, I think what Romney says is that while the GOP needs the Tea Party, the Tea Party also needs the GOP. It may be the more conservative part of the Republican Party, but it is undeniably part of the Republican Party. A limb cannot survive without the body, but the body can survive without a limb.

If the Tea Party were to put more conservative candidates in the primaries, that would be great. Let the voters decide. But if the Republican voters choose a more progressive or moderate candidate, like Brown, then the Tea Party needs to honor that choice and try elsewhere. To try and then push someone as a third, more conservative party, would only mean that both the conservative and the republican candidate would split votes, and what would happen? I think Romney said it best: It would "...hand the country to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and that would be very sad indeed."

Crossposted at Republicans United

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tea Party Series: To Protest Everything is to Protest Nothing

I read an interesting op-ed piece today, by Leonard Pitts Jr., entitled Crazy and Incoherent. It was printed in the Oregonian, and you can read the entire article here.

Pitts talks about the Tea Parties and many of the extremists found within its ranks. He gives a surprising quote, by Editor in Chief Erick Erickson of RedState, a big name conservative blog:

"At some point, you have to use the word 'crazy.'"
Erickson was recently quoted on Politico in a report about how he and other
conservatives are attempting to distance their ideology and the Republican Party
from the paranoid theorizing and loud, incoherent screaming that have recently
passed for discourse on the political right. And of course, the darkly comic
thing about it is that, less than a year ago, some conservatives were exulting
over the tea parties, believing they brought needed energy to a movement
demoralized by its 2008 shellacking at the polls. "The Republican comeback has
begun," declared GOP chief Michael Steele.

What a difference a year makes. Or not.

Some of us after all, have argued all along that the tea parties were about
as "conservative" -- insofar as that term has traditionally been understood --
as ladies night in a Castro Street bar. Indeed, some of us made the same point
about George W. Bush, the putatively conservative president who nevertheless
presided over an expansion of the federal government and of a federal
entitlement program (Medicare), a costly war of choice in Iraq founded on a
shifting rationale, and financial mismanagement that turned surplus into deficit
seemingly overnight. For at least the last decade, then, conservatism has not seemed particularly conservative -- a
disconnect many of the ideology's adherents managed to ignore so long as it was
useful to do so, i.e., so long as it played well at the ballot box. "Just win,
baby" was their mantra; intellectual honesty, their casualty...

This, I believe, is completely on the nose. The reason Republicans lost so badly in 2008 wasn't because the Democrats and liberals are great---far from the truth, as we can clearly see with our current administration and Democrat majority. Washington is still broken. No, Republicans didn't lose due to their competition; Republicans lost because of themselves. One thing Americans hate, hate, is hypocrisy. And when Republicans talk about conservativism, less government, fiscal responsibility, and then use their majority to do the opposite, America reacts. And that is why we currently have a Democratically controlled, well, everything.

Pitts continues on why the Tea Parties really haven't accomplished a lot in the last year:

...the tea party movement [was found] to be amorphous and largely without
an organizing principle other than its anger toward government and fear of a
supposedly imminent dictatorship. Beyond that, partiers are an unwieldy amalgam
of tax haters, global warming holdouts, illegal-immigration protesters,
secessionists, gun rights advocates, white supremacists, militia types and
conspiracy theorists, all banging their gongs at the same time. Like the liberal
noisemakers who follow the World Trade Organization around, their lack of
message discipline renders them -- that word, yet again -- incoherent. Like
them, they have yet to figure out that to protest everything is to
protest nothing

Make no mistake: every movement or marginalized people has its fringe
extremists who threaten to define the whole. Thus, moderate American Muslims are
periodically required to rebuke Islamic terrorists, environmentalists are
obligated to rebuff eco-terrorists, and moderate African-Americans are expected
to reprove Louis Farrakhan.

But conservatives, outside of a few integrity-driven souls over the years,
have not rushed to repudiate the crazies among them, even as the crazies have
grown crazier and threatened to engulf the whole.

And here he is right. We need to continue to repudiate, as Erick Erickson has done, the crazier parts. Otherwise, the fringe of the tea party will take over the tea party, and the tea party will, in turn, define the Republican Party. And that would be disastrous for the party, and the for the country.

Crossposted at Republican United

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tea Party Series: How the GOP can use the tea parties and why

For the last six to eight months, the Democrats have been placing their hopes in the tea parties. Yes, I said the Democrats. They have placed their hope that the tea partiers, or "tea-baggers," as they've derisively labelled them, will redeem everything wrong with them, that the Nazi-sign wielding right-wing extremists would make the GOP look so bad that all the mistakes of the current administration would be dwarfed by the ineptitude of the opposition. And at first, they were right.

But the tea party crowd, and the Republican Party itself, may just be beginning to learn from its mistakes. The oft-predicted bloody GOP civil war hasn't materialized. In fact, there are many groups working to unify the GOP's progressive, centrist, and right-wing conservative factions, such as Republicans United and David Frum's Frum Forum. There seems to be less in-fighting than last year, as if the GOP is actually starting to listen to the Big Tent speak. Look no further for evidence than the recent Scott Brown victory; a Progressive Republican by all accounts-he even describes himself as fiscally conservative yet is a social moderate. And not only did he get GOP backing, he won in a traditionally all dem state. And the tea partiers did not get upset that a moderate won-quite the opposite in fact. In Sarah Palin's keynote address at the tea party convention, she said that " many ways Scott Brown represents what this beautiful movement is all about..."

In a syndicated op-ed piece, The Potent Tea Party, Rich Lowry writes:
If the tea partiers were to split from the GOP, or be spurned by it, that
would indeed spell disaster for Republicans. It's an unlikely prospect, though.
In a survey for the National Review Institute, pollster John McLaughlin found
that tea-party activists and their sympathizers self-identify as Republicans,
and 68 percent of them voted for John McCain. They are pro-life, pro-tax cuts
and pro-defense -- in other words, mainstream conservatives who are particularly
engaged by the debt-fueled growth of government.

Palin's rapturously received speech in Nashville could have been delivered
almost line for line at a Republican Convention. She skipped the social issues,
but otherwise rehearsed unalloyed conservative orthodoxy on national-security
and fiscal issues. This is not the stuff of ideological fissure or

Any activist-driven movement will inevitably have rough edges. The
Nashville convention itself was beset by feuding among tea-party groups and
allegations of profiteering for its extravagant $550 admission price. It gave a
platform to ranters Tom Tancredo, a former Republican congressman, and Joe
Farah, editor of a right-wing Web site, both of whom predictably delivered
cringe-inducing screeds.

But such embarrassments are a trifle compared with the enthusiasm of the
tea partiers, and their populist-tinged purifying impulse. They want to
reconnect the GOP to the people, to its principles and to an ideal of public
service that got obscured in the decadent latter days of its congressional

Tom Tancredo gave a terrible speech, and was rightfully called out by Meghan McCain when she said "...I'm sorry [but] revolutions start with young people. Not with 65-year-old people talking about literacy tests and people who can't say the word 'vote' in English. It's ridiculous..."

And she is right. Speeches like Tancredo's, and in fact speakers like Tancredo, should be scorned by the tea party and the GOP itself. The way to really start winning again is to continue to embrace the "big-tent" ideal that Reagan spoke of in the '80's; by embracing our brothers and sisters that are more progressive than us, and also those that are more conservative than us, so that we can, together, reconnect the GOP to the people.

Crossposted at Republicans United

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pentagon begins process to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

It's about time. The United States of America has no business whatsoever in the discrimination arena. But for some reason, we've allowed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to be active since 1993. When will we learn that discrimination is not right, that it is looked upon by future generations as narrowminded bigotry? And since 1993, we've been open about our close-mindedness, and allowed it to affect National Security (as we did when we allowed two Arabic translators to be fired when it came out that they had come out).

But finally, some sense has come. Obama, in his State of the Union address last week, called on the Pentagon to begin the process to end DADT.

This week, the Pentagon began that long and arduous process:

The Pentagon has taken the first steps toward repealing the military's
controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gay and lesbian service
members, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday.
Laying the groundwork
for a repeal of the policy will take more than a year, Gates said...

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen also endorsed a repeal
Tuesday, telling the committee it is his "personal belief" that "allowing gays
and lesbians to serve openly [in the military] would be the right thing to do."
"For me, personally, it comes down to integrity," he said.
"The question
before us is not whether the military prepares to make this change, but how we
best prepare for it," Gates told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"We have received our orders from the commander in chief and we are moving out

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen also
endorsed a repeal Tuesday, telling the committee it is his "personal belief"
that "allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly [in the military] would be the
right thing to do."
"For me, personally, it comes down to integrity," he

"The question before us is not whether the military prepares to
make this change, but how we best prepare for it," Gates told members of the
Senate Armed Services Committee. "We have received our orders from the commander
in chief and we are moving out accordingly."
Read the rest of the article at CNN

This should be something both sides of the aisle can agree on, Republican and Democrat. Progressive and Moderate Republicans should really be at the forefront of this, much like the log cabin Republicans are doing. We need to show the world that our party can change and be at the forefront of civil rights again, as when Lincoln issued the Emanipation Proclamation. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has no place in the US, and therefore, no place for support within the Republican party.

Crossposted to Republicans United

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Military Contractor puts Bible Verses on Gunsights

Who Would Jesus Shoot?
by Justin Fung

In case you haven’t already seen this, it’s been discovered that gunsights on weapons used by British and American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are inscribed with coded biblical references, including:
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
It’s absolutely mind-boggling to me that carved onto weapons of war are words of truth and peace — words from a man who embodied and heralded a kingdom characterized by peace, and from a man who announced an alternative to empire and spoke of faith, hope, joy, gentleness, goodness, and peace. How in the heck do these things go together?!
The website of Trijicon, the U.S.-based manufacturer, states: “We believe that America is great when its people are good. This goodness has been based on biblical standards throughout our history and we will strive to follow those morals.” Which of course is clearly congruent with SHOOTING people.
No wonder Christians have a bad name. You’d think we’d learned our lessons from the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc. But apparently not.

I think Justin has a great point here. I do personally believe there is a such thing as just violence. I just don't believe it's something the US is involved in. Police Officers who shoot a criminal who is trying to kill someone-that's just violence.

But Iraq? Nope. Afghanistan? Nope. We are fooling ourselves if we think Jesus would approve of these wars. And I'm sure he loves it that we put his name and words on weapons of death and destruction.

Oh wait. Wouldn't that be taking the Lord's name in vain? Oh yeah. I forgot about that one. No biggie, it's just one of the ten commandments.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Newt thinks he is top 2012 material.

Former House Speaker Gingrich considers himself among top 2012 presidential prospects for GOP
Associated Press
CARY, N.C. (AP) — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Wednesday he considers
himself among the top Republican prospects for the 2012 presidential election,
adding that he believes there will be plenty of GOP options for voters to
consider."I think I'm probably on a list of seven or eight possible candidates
at this stage," Gingrich said. "We have a lot of people around the country who
would like to have somebody who represents a commitment to replace the current
failed programs and to develop a set of solutions that are practical and

Read the rest of the article here
This is not what the GOP needs right now. We need someone fresh and not full of empty air and emptier rhetoric. We also need someone controversy-free, or at least has minimal skeletons in their closet. Newt is not a winner in either category, as the paragraph above says absolutely nothing, and Newt has way too many skeletons in his closet. I don't want to vote for a man who had ethics sanctions voted against him overwhemingly by the US House of Representatives, as Newt did in 1997.

Another problem I have, and I believe most other moderates and centrist would as well, and rightly should have, is the fact that Gingrich is constantly trying to bring the US "back to its Christian Heritage." I don't want my President trying to bring this nation to some period in time when the State bordered on State Religion (McArthyism anyone?).

Not to mention his leading of the charge against Clinton for his affairs and cover-up while having his own extramarital affairs.

All in all, Newt just isn't a great leader. Maybe he once was, but he isn't someone that I, as a moderate/progressive Republican, could see myself following. And I just don't foresee others following him, from either side (or the middle) of the aisle. To win, we need a charismatic leader without more empty rhetoric.

Crossposted at Republicans United

Donate to Haiti

There is an estimated 100,000+ dead, more displaced, and the country is in chaos.

If you would like to donate, go to and click on the Haiti link.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Robertson and Limbaugh hate Haiti

This is further proof that they are both, and I don't use this term lightly, jackasses.

First, Pat Robertson:
Read it here or here

"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about. [Haitians] were under the heel of the French...and they got together and swore a pact to the Devil. They said, ‘we will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’ True story. And the Devil said, ‘OK it’s a deal.’ Ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after another.”

Blaming 100,000 deaths on sin and voodoo. This is the same guy who said Katrina and 9/11 were God's wrath on the US for abortion and gay marriage.

Pat Robertson worships an imaginary God. Pat Roberson is no Christian.

And then there's Rush Limbaugh being his normal pompous self:
""This will play right into Obama's hands...they'll use this to burnish their, uh, shall we say, credibility with the black community, both the light-skinned and black community in the country. That's why he couldn't wait to get out there; could not wait to get out there...Besides, we've already donated to Haiti. It's called the US income tax."

What does that even mean, Rush?

Go back to rehab, Jackass.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Google may pull out of China: will this increase or decrease censorship?

Google said Tuesday that it may leave China and shut down its strictly monitored site there,, citing censorship rules and a targeted cyber attack on its network infrastructure.
In a blog post, senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer David Drummond said the search giant first detected the attack last month and thought it posed a security threat, adding that the company frequently faces cyber attacks of varying degrees.
But an investigation of the attack exposed evidence that showed the attackers' primary goal was to access Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists, Drummond said. While two accounts were hacked, the accessed information was limited to the date the account was created and subject lines, not the content of any emails.
"We have taken the unusual step of sharing information about these attacks with a broad audience not just because of the security and human rights implications of what we have unearthed, but also because this information goes to the heart of a much bigger global debate about freedom of speech," wrote Drummond in the post.
(read the rest of the article here)

I know there are probably "big business" reasons that Google is looking at pulling out of China, such as the market there not working out for them like it does here, but really, it's all about the free market, and freedom in general. There isn't one in China. At all. So money-wise, Google is getting worked over trying to operate over there. Not to mention that ethically, they were having to adhere to censorship, which Google, at its core, does not believe in. Last year, the Chinese government blocked all sites with "Tiananmen Square", including the website, for 8 days surrounding the anniversary on June 8th.

And now Google's servers are being targeted, by the Chinese government and its silencers, to get information on dissonants within the Chinese people...not okay.

On the surface, I support Google pulling out of China, as well as other companies doing the same. But, one has to look at history. If all of the free world begins pulling out of China due to their censorship and human rights violations, pulling companies, resources, and essentially boycotting China, what will happen? Darkness. The country will fall behind. Look what happened to North Korea. Look what happened to the USSR during the Cold War.

I'm not sure what the answer is. Pulling out may help, but it also may make things worse. We need to figure out how to not abandon those we disagree with. We need to help Google, and other companies like it, figure out how to help develop free markets, and freedom itself, in China. This should be something that we can all agree on, conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican, Progressive, neo-con, and old-school far-right Republicans.

Crossposted at Republicans United

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ron Paul tells Cheney to STFU

(CNN) – Dick Cheney is taking criticism from at least one member of his own party over the former vice president's recent and persistent criticisms of the Obama administration's handling of national security issues.
Ron Paul, the Texas congressman and upstart 2008 presidential candidate, told CNN's Larry King Monday night Cheney is in no place to criticize Obama's handling of the war on terrorism.
"I think he had his eight years, and he's caused a lot of trouble for our country and perpetuated a war in Iraq unnecessary and wrong-headed," said Paul. "I would say it would be best he not be so critical right now."
Paul was a constant critic of the Iraq war during his unsuccessful presidential run. While he is currently not seeking a higher office, his son, Rand, is seeking the Republican nomination for Senate in Kentucky.
Paul's comments come several days after Cheney released a tough-worded statement criticizing the president's response to the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Day.
"He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won't be at war," Cheney said in the statement. "He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of 9/11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won't be at war. He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core al Qaeda trained terrorists still there, we won't be at war."'
White House Communications Director Dan Pffeifer later responded the president "is not interested in bellicose rhetoric, he is focused on action."
I knew I liked Ron Paul. Haven't I been saying this since January of 2009? Hmmm...Cheney needs to shut his mouth unless he's ready to offer real alternatives to Obama's strategies. So far, all he seems to do is naysay and tell Obama to go back to his and Bush's [failed] strategies. If you want to be a real leader, admit your administration screwed up and stop trying to tell Obama to continue to do what you did, what we voted against in November '08...maybe come up with something new for once.