Do They Actually Let Patriots Serve Anymore?

August 9, 2006

First came the ideological litmus test for the Pentagon brass (not to mention the State Department).

Then came the graft and corruption test, imposed by the smirking chimp himself (you had to be a devotee graft and corruption to keep your stars).

And what trifecta would be complete without a religious litmus test for cadets at the various military academies?

Meanwhile the military lowered the bar and started taking in Nazis, high school drop-outs, and people with “personality disorders” who are all about the signing bonus and “kill[ing] ’em all.”

Thank God they’re keeping the queers out, though!

Openly gay people are prohibited from serving in the U.S. military under a 1993 policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.” The military can’t ask if a service member is gay, but those who say they are gay are discharged.

The U.S. military argues that barring gays from the military is critical to maintaining a unit’s “cohesion,” the trust among service members crucial to combat effectiveness.

Harassment of gays, however, is prohibited. The
Pentagon, in a 2000 memo to the armed services and commanders, said “mistreatment, harassment, and inappropriate comments or gestures” based on sexual orientation were not acceptable.

On the Navy’s USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, for example, anti-gay statements and jokes are on display and have been incorporated into a video about the F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft, recently shown to reporters on the carrier.

Pilots on the Roosevelt sported T-shirts, also shown to reporters including a Reuters correspondent, that said, “I’m a Tomcat guy and you’re a homo.” The commander of the fighter squadron, in fact, wore the shirt.

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Which Constitutional Provision Would Jesus Undermine?

July 19, 2006

The House of Representatives, in an all-to-common fit of facist lunacy, passed a bill intended to strip the Federal courts – the co-equal third branch of our government – of jurisdiction over the Pledge of Allegiance.

“We should not and cannot rewrite history to ignore our spiritual heritage,” said Rep. Zach Wamp (voting record), R-Tenn. “It surrounds us. It cries out for our country to honor God.”

Is that a fact? It might come as a surprise to Rep. Wamp that Jesus had some very clear instructions on how to go about honoring God*:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense, make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. – Matthew 23:14

Rep. Wamp voted for the bankruptcy reform bill, which makes no exception for debts incurred obtaining medical treatment or from “acts of God.” It should be noted that while a college student, Rep. Wamp was accused of writing “hot checks.” Perhaps this was a way of supporting his cocaine habit (see below)?

“Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” – John 8:7

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” – Matthew 23:15

Rep. Wamp – an admitted alcoholic and cocaine addict – consistently votes against bills adovacting rehabilitation over incarceration, voted NO on maintaining right of habeus corpus in Death Penalty Appeals, and voted YES on making federal death penalty appeals harder.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” – Luke 18:15-17

Rep. Wamp consistently votes in favor of legislation that will increase the prosecution and length of incarceration for juvenile offenders.

“Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” – Matthew 25:45-46

Rep. Wamp has consistently voted against strengthening the Social Security “lock box” and the financing of numerous government social programs. On the other hand, he has been a consistent supporter of tax breaks and credits for large corporations and America’s wealthiest 1%.

“Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers? The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” – Luke 10:36-37

Rep. Wamp, who as a Congressman gets traditional medical care for free, voted YES on denying non-emergency treatment for Medicare subscribers who can’t meet their co-pay. He also voted YES on a bill that would require hospitals to report patients who cannot prove their citizenship to be reported to the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Finally, despite the fact that Jesus said absolutely nothing about gays and lesbians, Rep. Wamp is an outspoken opponent of recognizing gay marriage and proponent of banning adoption by gay families.

I think if Jesus were around to speak for himself, he’d ask for a more representative spokesperson than Rep. Wamp. In any event, he certainly wouldn’t want this nutcase.

* I realize that there are other spokespersons for God besides Jesus of Nazareth, but Rep. Wamp is a Southern Baptist; I’m sure that he not only believes that only Jesus has the straight poop on what is pleasing to God, but that Jesus is God. So I’m limiting this post accordingly.


Southern Poverty Law Center Reports U.S. Military Actively Recruiting, Training White Supremacists

July 7, 2006

The Southern Poverty Law Center recently concluded a study of U.S. Armed Forces recruiting practices that reached an extremely chilling conclusion.

Under pressure to meet wartime manpower goals, the U.S. military has relaxed standards designed to weed out racist extremists. Large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the armed forces.

Department of Defense investigators estimate thousands of soldiers in the Army alone are involved in extremist or gang activity. “We’ve got Aryan Nations graffiti in Baghdad,” said one investigator. “That’s a problem.”

In other words, Iraq has a become a training ground for foreign and domestic terrorists (Tim McVeigh, anyone?).

At least they’re still keeping the queers out!


Prominent Arizona Bigot Dies; Now is the Time for Reflection, Not Celebration

July 4, 2006

From AZCentral.com:

The head of the ballot effort to prohibit gay marriage and define traditional unions in Arizona was killed in a car wreck early Monday.

Lynn Stanley, chairwoman of the Protect Marriage Arizona Coalition, died in a crash on Interstate 40 while returning to Phoenix from Las Vegas, where she was visiting two sisters.

Stanley’s death cast a pall over what was to be a joyous time for the Protect Marriage coalition. The group collected roughly 300,000 signatures to place its measure on the November ballot, said Nathan Sproul, a political consultant for the effort. Amending the state Constitution, as the Protect Marriage coalition intends, requires at least 183,917 valid signatures.

Stanley, a Scottsdale wife and mother of two, wasn’t active in politics before the anti-gay marriage amendment.

“She was passionate on behalf of the family,” Herrod said.

“We in the pro-family, pro-marriage movement have lost a true friend and champion. She’ll be terribly missed.”

While I didn’t know about this woman before today, I am certain that I would have found her as personally repellant as I find her politics. Lynn Stanley was a lot of things, but passionate about “the family” wasn’t one of them.

People who are passionate about “the family” spend their time strengthening the ties that bind them to the people that they love, not hacking away at the bonds between others. As clearly mean-spirited Lynn Stanley was, I don’t believe that spearheading an effort to deny others the right to express their committment to one another brought her any closer to her spouse, her children, or her siblings, nor do I believe that they will miss her for the role she played as a self-righteous moral crusader in the last few months of her life.

Nevertheless, Lynn Stanley’s death is a tragedy. It is a tragedy for her family, who will no doubt miss the wife and mother that she was. It is a tragedy for her church, where she will be missed as an active congregant and teacher.

It is also an opportunity, however. In the wake of this woman’s passing, men and women who truly believe in “the family” need to step up and let Mrs. Stanley’s family know that however much they might disagree with what she stood for in life, they recognize and sypathize with the pain and loss those closest to her are experiencing because of her death. That’s what “the family” is all about, and I mean it when I say that while its totally appropriate to celebrate the setback her death has caused for the awful movement she lead, it is totally inappropriate to celebrate her death itself. With Mrs. Stanley’s passing, a man has lost his wife and lover; children have lost their mother and teacher. People who are truly passionate about “the family” will understand and relate to this.

I firmly believe in the weeks and months ahead, those who love and miss this woman the most will wish that she had spent a lot more time sharing whatever love and affection she was capable of with them, and a lot less time working to make sure that a select group of people are denied their right to do the same. I believe that if Mrs. Stanley were given the chance to relive the last year of her life, she’d realize what real passion about “the family” is, and come to the same conclusion.


Self-Loathing Mary Cheney Puts the “Bull” in Bulldyke

May 17, 2006

Mary Cheney, whose father is the puppet master of an administration that has only harmed men and women in uniform more than gay people over the past five-and-a-half years, recently published her memoirs. Therein, she calls John Kerry a "son of a bitch," and John Edwards "total slime" for doing more for her during the 2004 election than either of her parents ever did up until that point: acknowledging that she is, in fact, a lesbian.

A potty-mouth may well be the best thing Mary Cheney's ever going to get from her old man. With the Republicans tanking in the polls generally, and Mr. Cheney himself trailing rectal warts and ghonorrhea in terms of popularity, the "God, guns, and gays" gears of the Republican spin machine have been put into high gear as the mid-terms loom. As if that weren't a sad enough commentary on how expendable Mary Cheney is in her father's eyes, it bears pointing out that prior to being "outed" by the Kerry-Edwards ticket, Mary Cheney's lesbianism wasn't even acknowledged by those who knew better.

As much as I hate to admit it I find myself in total agreement with Andrew Sullivan, who rightly pointed out:

"The Cheneys didn't respond to . . . [Republican senatorial candidate] Alan Keyes' direct insult of their own daughter in Illinois. They have not voiced objections to a single right-wing piece of homophobia in [the 2004] campaign."

Even worse, I find myself in total agreement with Alan Keyes himself. Mary Cheney, you are a selfish hedonist.

Shame on you.


More Lies the Liberal Media Told Me

April 26, 2006

If you believe the Detroit Free Press, a large stink is being raised over a professor at Michigan State University telling the MSU Muslim Students' Association – over mugs of piping hot cocoa – that he thinks Middle Eastern immigrants who don't believe in Western ideals like democracy, religious freedom, and sexual equality shouldn't live here (a belief I myself hold, though I don't limit those standards to immigrants of Middle Eastern descent – there are a lot of native-born Americans I'd like to see shipped-off to the Republic of Gilead).

Wichman sent the message to the Muslim Students' Association of Michigan State University while it handed out free cocoa during a public awareness event about controversial cartoons that depicted Islam's founder as a terrorist.

The cartoons, one of which depicted Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb, sparked violent protests and riots around the world in February.

"I am offended not by cartoons, but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders," Wichman wrote.

He went on to say: "I counsul you dissatisfied, agressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile 'protests.' "

Ugly stereotypes to be sure, but hardly enough to justify the Muslim Students' Association's call for Prof. Wichman to be formally reprimanded.  Despite the fact that he sent the email from his faculty email account, he did not make his grossly exaggerated and ignorant statements in his capacity as a professor or as an employee of the university.

What's noteworthy about this article isn't that Michigan State University keeps anti-semitic bigots on the payroll.  What's noteworthy, to me at least, is that the Detroit Free Press – which caters to the largest concentration of people of Middle Eastern descent in the Western Hemisphere and had full access to the entire email message – didn't post the proverbial "rest of the story:"

MSU engineering professor Indrek Wichman used his faculty e-mail account to send a "Dear Moslem Association" message to the university's Muslim Students' Association (MSA) containing a long list of charges, including a claim that Muslims rape "Scandinavain [sic] girls and women (called 'whores' in your culture)."

The February 28, 2006, e-mail also stated: "I counsul [sic] you dissatisfied, agressive [sic], brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile 'protests.' If you do not like the values of the West–see the 1st Ammendment [sic]–you are free to leave. I hope for God's sake that most of you choose that option. Please return to your ancestral homelands and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans."

 It kind of makes you wonder just which "half of the story" is really being told at universities and colleges these days that has so many right-wingers worried about "academic freedom," doesn't it?


Flag Burning is Patriotic Afterall

April 10, 2006

Border Guardians, a group of xenophobic self-described "patriots" from Arizona, have taken up flag burning as a form of political expression.

“Flags are symbols of government, not of people," shouted Roy Warden, as a member of his group, Border Guardians, set foot to the Mexican Flag.

As a handful of journalists, and people from both sides of the debate huddled around, members of Border Guardians set fire to Mexico’s flag.

“We have declared this our day, and our moment of expression," said Warden.

The demonstration began before the flag burning as protestors verbally sparred with ACLU members showed up to observe the event.

One man stomped, and danced on the Mexican flag. He also taunted the empty, Mexican Consulate to express the group's view:

"(This protest) is against the Mexican government and the Mexicans that are illegally present in the United States right now," says Laine Lawless, Director of Border Guardians, “I want the American people to know that we're going to stand up for them."

Roy Warden added, “You may not enter our country without our permission.”

Funny, but I think that's the same thing the Mexican government (as opposed to a group of Mexican thugs pretending to be a militia) said back in 1846. Lest anyone think that Warden and his group are acting out of ethnic hatered, the leader of the Border Guardians set the record straight:

“Our movement is of all colors of skin. It has nothing to do with racism."

Warden says the group's action's were not specifically targeting the people of Mexico.

While standing on top of the smouldering remains of the Mexican flag, Warden summed-up his group's views and their actions this way:

“We stand for the Mexican people.”

For more about the Border Guardians, Roy Warden, and premeditated flag-burning, check out this post at No More Mister Nice Blog.