Thoughts on DADT Repeal

I have always said an Executive Order halting the enforcement of DADT was a bad idea. It’s a temporary measure that could easily put military gays in jeopardy should the next president decide to do away with it–which he could with the stroke of a pen.

I know that it takes an act of Congress to overturn an act of Congress, which is why legislative repeal is a sure-fire way to end DADT. It also leads to the most systematic repeal process, allowing time for policies and regulations to be updated, as well as training and education, etc.

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Nearly There

In Marine recruit training, each day is numbered according to the different phases of recruit training. We have three training battalions, each with four training companies, for a total of twelve companies. Each company consists of two series, which themselves consist of three or four platoons. A different company picks up every week. Recruits begin arriving on Monday (P-1, P is for ‘Pick-Up’) each week. They continue arriving through Thursday (P-4) and are “picked up” by their training company on Friday (F-1, F is for ‘Forming’). They have four days of Forming, where they are taught the basic rules of how to speak, how to make their racks (beds), customs and courtesies, have their records reviewed, conduct medical and dental screening, and basically everything they need to know about living in their squad bays (large rooms with bunk beds which house platoons of 30 to 90 recruits).

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Biblical Question

Originally posted July 16, 2009

OK, so I have a problem. I was thinking about something that sort of bothered me: the contradictions I remembered that initially turned me from the church. So, after several years, I decided to take a more mature approach, and do some quick reading. This isn’t full research, mostly because I haven’t got the time and get far too frustrated, but I post it here as food for thought, and I’d like some clarification or even comments.

Here’s what started it all: I was watching some video produced by the Family Research Council to make the point that hate crimes legislation that would specifically include crimes against gays would inherently criminalize religious leaders who preach that homosexuality is a sin. Basically, the argument is that if a preacher says homosexuality is a sin, he could be prosecuted for hate speech.

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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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About Today’s Senate Vote

I’m afraid I don’t even know where to begin tonight, so I’ll just dig in. I just finished watching a video of Senator John McCain after the vote today where he insisted over and over again that it is not the military’s policy to seek out the sexual orientation of military members. All I can say is that he’s right: it isn’t the policy. But the policy isn’t enforced.

The good senator says he has sons in the military and that he’s seen it in action. I don’t know what he has seen. But he certainly hasn’t seen what I have, or else he wouldn’t make these statements. The policy is typically referred to as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but there’s a third part: “Don’t Pursue”. Officially, commands don’t pursue. They don’t conduct random searches of people to determine their sexuality. But they do act on suspicion.

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Back in the Saddle

I gave myself three weeks to not worry about workouts and diet. This being my first recruit training cycle, trying to manage my physical training regimen and three weeks in the field at Camp Pendleton just wasn’t going to happen. That meant coffee on my way in to work at 4:30 AM, McDonalds usually on my way in and out of work, and no actual gym time. Thanks to the pace of the training, I didn’t actually out on any weight, but I know I was putting my body through hell.

So this morning I am back at it, and with a vengeance. First up is the diet. A few of the changes will be simple: only drinking water (no more soda or energy drinks), no more sugar, eating the right number of meals and snacks in a day. Some will be a bit more difficult: no more fast food, keeping eating out to a minimum, eating properly balanced meals (I follow the Zone Diet).

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Closing a Chapter

I had a conversation via text last night that I should have had a year ago when my relationship that spanned the previous four years ended. I’m clearly a glutton for punishment, but even today I refuse to believe I was wrong about the relationship. We had something very special, something I’m not sure I’ll find again. I’ve said before, true love is when the one you love and the one who loves you are the same. Whether this was true love, I guess I can’t ever really know. I think it was. But apparently I was the only one of us who felt that way.

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Thoughts on Privacy

There has been quite a bit of fervor recently about privacy on the web. There was recently an op-ed piece on Mashable that mirrored most of my own thoughts, so I invite you to read that as well.

I’ve heard the rants of several people recently–many among my own friend circles–who bemoan Facebook’s upcoming Open Graph system that will bring personalization to third-party sites based on users’ Facebook activity. The complaints center around the idea that what someone posts on Facebook will be accessible to third-party entities without explicit permission being granted by the user.

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Random Saturday Thoughts

It bothers me enough that there are people who literally believe all people are created equal, until they discover you are covered by one of their moral exceptions. What drives me absolutely insane is trying to understand how we as Americans have actually allowed a so-called “moral” majority to impose those views upon the law.

How is it that simply uttering three words, “I am gay,” can actually have the effect of stripping rights and fundamentally changing your life? Saying those three words, openly discussing that one aspect of your self that is otherwise undetectable, even without deed or evidence, can get you fired. They can even get you evicted from your home.

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