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I AM JOHN GALT.
Right Thoughts...not right wing, just right.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Obama era expected to end taboo on gays in US military

Good.

Sixteen years after Bill Clinton tried to end restrictions on gays in the military, the US armed forces under Barack Obama may be forced to give homosexuals the same welcome as non-gays.

Under president Clinton, the policy that once saw homosexuals discharged from US military service evolved to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” allowing gays to remain in the military so long as they did not reveal their sexual orientation.

Obama has pledged to overhaul current law.

“The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited,” reads an entry on the president-elect’s transition website.

Going way back in the early days of this blog I talked about the anti-gay rules in the military, and especially how they hurt us tactically when the military started firing Arabic linguists left and right for being gay.  Beyond the rights issue, we have been irresponsibly stupid over the years by forcibly removing good and patriotic men and women from service just because they like grab-ass with people whose parts match their own.  Beyond the blogging, for my entire life I have been a proponent of full and equal...no, that’s not right either.  “Equal” rights for anything implies that there is a separation that deserves noting and I don’t believe that.  I have always believed in full recognition of the same rights gay people have that everyone else has.  I believe those rights to be inherent and obvious, and recognition that they are legally no different as human beings is the way things oughtta be, to steal a phrase.

Obama is god-damned frightening when it comes to economic policy.  He seems to be a bigger spender than anyone could or has ever imagined.  However, on this issue, I proudly state that my President would do me proud to eliminate this irresponsible and unconstitutional discrimination of good and decent (and useful) patriotic Americans.  Not only is it wrong, it’s actually harming our safety and security.  As a practical matter, we are making a huge mistake here.

Gay people should be able to proudly serve their country if they so choose, and we as a people should count ourselves lucky that we treat them so poorly and yet they still want to stand between us and the barbarians at the gate.  I’m not sure I would love my country that much if I were gay.  I’m not sure some of you would either.  If you are one of those who despise gay people, think about the ones that volunteer to get between you and a bad guy with a rifle.  If your very next thought isn’t “Thank you so much for being a better person than I am” then you clearly need to do some soul-searching.

Posted by JimK at 06:48 PM on January 07, 2009
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank a vet

Thank a vet today.  In general and specifically for what they did to serve this country.  They’re all braver people than I, and probably you too. :)

To any vets reading this: your service is greatly appreciated, and I can only hope that you consider any sacrifices you made (or are making) to defend this country worth the cost.

Posted by JimK at 04:08 PM on November 11, 2008
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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

CIA waterboarding used three times

A lot of people have talked a lot of crap about waterboarding over the past couple of years.  Too bad the entire conversation was already moot.

The CIA used a widely condemned interrogation technique known as waterboarding on three suspects captured after the Sept. 11 attacks, CIA Director Michael Hayden told Congress on Tuesday.

Waterboarding has been used on only three detainees,” Hayden told the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was the first time a U.S. official publicly specified the number of people subjected to waterboarding and named them.

...

Those subjected to waterboarding were suspected Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and senior al Qaeda leaders Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, Hayden said at the Senate hearing on threats to the United States.

He said waterboarding has not been used in five years.

Emphasis mine.

To all of you who have used over-the-top rhetoric to condemn your friends and family that didn’t give a shit about this issue: these are the three lowlifes over whom you were alienating your friends.  Three of the worst scum on the planet.  Random Iraqi innocents were not being scooped off the street and taken to Gitmo where they suffered daily waterboarding for the enjoyment of the staff.  Bush wasn’t personally waterboarding any swinging dick that happen to get caught in a raid, unlike the hysterical rantings of some bloggers would have you believe.

Three scumbags, back in 2001-2002 when it was actually thought there might be a ticking bomb in the form of another massive terrorist attack.  We all had to read all that hysterical nonsense over three of the worst terrorists around.

All that hysteria.  Turns out, the issue was over before it started.

Hat tip: DrewM at Ace’s, who has links to info about the three scumbags, and a commenter-inspired ironic observation:

more protesters and media members subjected themselves to waterboarding than the CIA did terrorists.

Posted by JimK at 02:45 PM on February 06, 2008
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Friday, January 11, 2008

Iraqi death toll significantly lower

Interesting.  In the fall of 2006, you couldn’t throw a rock online without hitting a politically-themed blog either discussing or trumpeting the fact that the U.S. was responsible for over 600,000 deaths in Iraq, making us worse than Saddam.

It seems that number, as was stated by many a “right-wing rethuglinazi,” was highly inflated.  I just did a date-filtered Google News search, and since January 4th, maybe a hundred news stories about this have been published.  Most of those are wire service recaps of one or two versions.

Odd, isn’t it?  This 600,000+ number was used to sweep Democrats into Congress all over the country.  Turns out it was more lie than truth.  When the news was as horrible as one could imagine, the story was A-1, above the fold, right next to the seven million stories about how we were failing, losing the war and committing atrocities on a wide scale.  Like most media corrections, however, the story now seems to be running on page D-26 , right next to the seven million stories about how the “surge” is actually working, it looks like we might achieve a real, honest-to-goodness victory of sorts and many of the atrocity stories were made up.

Oh, that liberal media

Posted by JimK at 03:34 PM on January 11, 2008
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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran’s Day

I didn’t even realize today was Veteran’s Day.  I apologize, and I thank each and every vet that has served, and those who are serving.

Speaking of those who are serving, Donna and I are sending some items to a unit of the 325th Combat Support Hospital in Iraq for Christmas...if you’re interested in helping, email me.

Posted by JimK at 08:56 PM on November 11, 2007
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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Media reports half of Gen. Sanchez speech

Oh, that liberal media.

Posted by JimK at 03:35 PM on October 13, 2007
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Monday, September 10, 2007

Petraeus

Is there any point to saying anything about General Petraeus’ testimony today?  He’s doing a great job in a terrible situation, and anyone who has already given up on Iraq won’t be swayed.  See also: MoveOn are scum-sucking bottom feeders.  So to sum up: No one will move one iota off their current position regardless of any facts or opinions presented.

Iraq is the new abortion.

Posted by JimK at 01:45 PM on September 10, 2007
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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Good advice

From Confederate Yankee: Choose Your Preferred Narrative, but Quit Attacking the Troops

Posted by JimK at 10:06 AM on September 05, 2007
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Thursday, May 10, 2007

That’s not news

I may not be the biggest Powerline fan anymore, but I have to admit, John got this one 100% correct. In reference to the Appeal for Courage being presented to Congress yesterday and no one reporting it, John wrote:

This is almost like a laboratory experiment, isn’t it? A handful of veterans (including three out of something like 7,000 retired generals) oppose the war: News. Thousands of active duty personnel urge Congress to support the war effort: Not news. That pretty well sums up the journalistic standard that has been applied to the conflict in Iraq.

Oh, that liberal media

Posted by JimK at 03:18 PM on May 10, 2007
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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Army may be crushing active duty milblogs

This is not good. It’s not surprising, since we’re talking about the Army and the powers-that-be in the Army react to changing social circumstances like snails react to salt - retreat inward and hope it goes away.  Still, it’s not good.  Some of the only sources for what is happening on the ground in Iraq are serving milbloggers, and this may effectively silence them.

Army Regulation 530--1: Operations Security (OPSEC) (.pdf) restricts more than just blogs, however. Previous editions of the rules asked Army personnel to “consult with their immediate supervisor” before posting a document “that might contain sensitive and/or critical information in a public forum.” The new version, in contrast, requires “an OPSEC review prior to publishing” anything—from “web log (blog) postings” to comments on internet message boards, from resumes to letters home.

Failure to do so, the document adds, could result in a court-martial, or “administrative, disciplinary, contractual, or criminal action.”

It applies to civilian contractors as well.

It seems to be to be cutting off your nose to spite your face.  The Democrats, radical leftists and “true conservatives” don’t want to ever discuss a single positive element of the war in Iraq.  It’s all Bush, all the time.  If one wishes to hear anything other than “Bush is a failure and Iraq is lost” then one must look to the boots on the ground.

Whether we want to admit it or not, part of this conflict is the propaganda war, and when you silence the one voice that people trust...you;re going to lose that part of the war.  I can only hope that this part is also true;

Despite the absolutist language, the guidelines’ author, Major Ray Ceralde, said there is some leeway in enforcement of the rules. “It is not practical to check all communication, especially private communication,” he noted in an e-mail. “Some units may require that soldiers register their blog with the unit for identification purposes with occasional spot checks after an initial review. Other units may require a review before every posting.”

But I fear it will be more like this;

But with the regulations drawn so tightly, “many commanders will feel like they have no choice but to forbid their soldiers from blogging—or even using e-mail,” said Jeff Nuding, who won the bronze star for his service in Iraq. “If I’m a commander, and think that any slip-up gets me screwed, I’m making it easy: No blogs,” added Nuding, writer of the “pro-victory” Dadmanly site. “I think this means the end of my blogging.”

Get ‘em while you can, people.  Blackfive says this will only lead to the people who leak negative information continuing, and anyone who would discuss positive missions will probably play by the rules.  Yep.  Makes sense to me.  Greyhawk over at Milbloggers calls it “the end.” Just like he did in the Wired article, so did Dadmanly.

Not good.  Definitely not smart.  Winning a war means winning the peace, and winning the peace includes winning the propaganda war at home.  Sorry, but it’s true.  Since day one, the military has been losing that battle and these new rules will only make it worse.

Posted by JimK at 07:19 PM on May 02, 2007
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