The “Typical” Marine

Although I was working last week, I paid as close attention to the hearings on DADT repeal in the Senate Armed Services Committee as I could. I was encouraged that the service chiefs were as supportive of the report as they were, as well as their attitudes towards their respective services’ ability to implement repeal should it be ordered by Congress to do so.

As a Marine who personally supports the repeal of DADT, I have been working over the past several days to understand the position of the Marine Commandant, General Amos. Specifically, although he recognized that, according to the Comprehensive Review Working Group’s report, over 80% of those who have knowingly served with gay service members in their units have a relatively positive (or neutral) view of repeal, nearly 45% of troops who have deployed have a negative view. He used this latter statistic as the basis for his apprehension towards repeal at this time. I agree with the Commandant that, although a statistical minority, this figure represents a segment of the military that cannot be ignored.

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President Obama’s Speech to Students

I wrote this piece in September of 2009. Apparently, this idea of protecting children from the President of the United States still isn’t dead, so I’m re-posting.

As I sit here watching and listening to President Obama’s speech for students on the first day of school, telling them the importance of staying in school, of taking control of their own education, and of growing up and doing great things, I think about the parents all across the country who had their kids stay home from school, or demanded that the schools not broadcast the message.
There was a conservative talk show host a few years back who referred to the public school system as the “government schools”. I actually think this is an accurate name for it. That’s exactly what it is. The Board of Education (a government entity) determines what should be taught in schools and then requires schools funded with public money to teach just that. Why should the President of the United States not be allowed to address the students in his schools? If you don’t like what the government teaches, then you can foot the bill to teach them whatever ridiculousness you want them to learn. (Just remember that, one day, those kids will have to grow up and deal with the products of public education. But I digress.)

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