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Through out the history of our nation, since it?s founding in the fire of revolution in 1776, we have spent more time at war through either actual fighting or in proxy wars, than we have at peace.
We have fought wars against almost every major European power, including ones who are now our allies, such as Britain, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, as well as nations that are still not so friendly such as Russia.
America?s conflicts 1798 to 2004
The end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is quickly approaching. On September 20th the repeal and certification process officially is complete and the sexuality that a person is born will no longer be grounds for discharge. As we approach this historic day that marks the end of seventeen years of institutionalized discrimination former and active duty service members are telling their stories of how they made it through and what it was like to endure.
GQ magazine has collected some of these stories and presents them here.
Like the story of Eric Alva, the first American injured in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
When Alva signed up, before "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," he had to lie on his paperwork. "I knew I was lying," he says. "But I loved what I did, I loved my job, and I didn’t want to tell anyone. I said, ‘It’s going to be my secret.’ I knew I was not going to be happy in a way, but I knew this was what I wanted." In 2003 he was deployed to the Middle East, and on March 21 he crossed the border from Kuwait. His unit was part of a huge convoy that stopped outside Basra. Alva got out of his Humvee and went to fetch something from the back of the vehicle. "That’s when I triggered the IED. I was awake, my hearing was sort of gone. My hand was covered in blood and part of my index finger was gone. The chaplain was holding my head and I was telling him I didn’t want to die. I was taken off a helicopter in Kuwait—it was estimated that I was only in Iraq about three hours—and carried into surgery. I woke up later and when I looked down I saw that the right side of my sheet was flat. I cried myself asleep, only to wake up hours later and see that it’s true: My leg is gone."
DADT not only affected the lives of those who risked their lives on the battlefield. It also took a toll on those they loved.
"The relationship lasted for about four years, but I always felt like I was disrespecting him, to have to pretend he didn’t exist when I went to work. When I got deployed, he was there with my family when I left. It kind of sucked—to shake his hand and a little pat on the back and ‘I’ll see you when I see you’ kind of thing. And when you’re getting ready to come back, the spouses were getting classes—here’s how you welcome your Marine back into the family—and my boyfriend didn’t get any of that. I had a really hard time adjusting to being home. We tried to make it work for a year but he was getting more and more paranoid about people finding out about us. It killed me that he felt that way because of me. I don’t think we ever really had a chance, ultimately."
For some DADT became the weapon used by haters.
The harassment grew worse. Of a number of escalating events—Rocha was also force-fed dog food and locked into a shit-filled dog kennel—the most abusive and explicitly homophobic was when he was ordered by his commander to act in a dog-training scenario, repeated over and over so that every dog in the unit could be run through it. "The scenarios were supposed to be relevant to what the dogs or the handlers would experience. Like a domestic dispute, or an armed individual who has been spotted on the base, or someone strapped with explosives. This day he chose that the scenario would be that I would be getting caught giving another service member a blow job and, once the dogs came in, I was supposed to jump up from having been in between this guy’s legs. He would coach as to how exactly he wanted it played out, which was the sickest part of it." Rocha says he had to act this out between half a dozen and a dozen times, about fifteen to twenty minutes each time. As they repeated it, his commander ordered Rocha to make the scenario more extreme. "He wanted me to be very queer and flamboyant. He wanted me to pretend like there was stuff on my face. Loving it so much that each scenario was gayer and more disgusting—the introduction of fake semen, that I would have to wipe my face, or that I would have to make slurping noises. The level of humiliation I experienced that day, that’s when I knew I wasn’t safe in the military."
I highly recommend heading over there and reading more http://www.gq.com/news-politics/big-issues/201109/dont-ask-dont-tell-gay-soldiers-military#ixzz1WAXDJMrl
For several days now, I?ve been in a running argument with an individual who goes by the name of ?On Lawn? over in the comments sections of the blog ran by anti-gay equality group National Organization for Marriage. In several comments here, here, and here, this person seems to imply that procreation, or at least the potential for procreation, is a requirement of marriage. I?ve tried several times to get this person to explain this concept but they keep brushing off the question calling it absurd. When I tried to point out that there is no link between marriage and procreation they came back with this.
Well, there shows the damage they want to do to the institution. If marriage can?t look equally at the interests of all involved in the practice of human mating, then you tell me what can.
Prehistoric humans didn?t marry before they mated, they just found a bush did it. When you look at the whole of human history, marriage is a relatively new creation, only being a few thousand years old. Our very existence proves that marriage is not a requirement or an essential element of the human mating process.
Contrary to what some may believe, being gay doesn?t sever a person from morality. I am not out to convert anyone, recruit anyone, and I am not preying on children, but I am supposedly?
?the greatest threat to America?
Everyone that tries to tell me that being a homosexual is wrong is relying on one thing, their religious beliefs. It seems to be nearly impossible to divorce any discussion about the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality from religion, because when you do, the people against it have nothing to base their argument on, and any good debater will tell you that you don?t win a debate by bringing God into it because it?s a cop out. God is all mighty, he can do anything, so any argument against that is moot. It comes down to biblical passages written by men who were ?under the influence of God? and ?can?t be wrong?. Can someone name me one living human being that isn?t ever wrong about something? How about naming one human being that isn?t living that was never been wrong about something, and yes I know that the first answer to that question is going to be Jesus Christ, but then in John 10:30 Jesus says?
Does that mean that Jesus wasn?t human after all?
On July 14th the NAACP passed a resolution condemning the racist elements with in the Tea Party movement. Needless to say that didn?t go over well with the Tea Party or the conservative movement in general.
Now, I’ll be honest, I haven?t read the text of the resolution, but I find it hard to believe that the NAACP was actually condemning the entire Tea Party Movement, and was instead just targeting the racist fringe elements, elements that tend to exist within all most any political movement. Elements that most Tea Party leaders themselves have been trying to remove.
So, on the 19th, Andrew Brietbart dug up some video clips from an NAACP awards dinner in March where Shirley Sherrod, USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development gave a speech, edited them to remove any context, and posted them on his site Big Government in an attempt to prove a point. Using editied video to undermine your political opponents has exploded thanks to the advent of the YouTube era.
The Pajama Pundit posted yesterday about Blogroll Amnesty Day, something I didn?t know existed until then. He plugged several blogs, including your?s truly. In order to pass the love around, here are all of the other Blogs that he plugged as well.
The Absurd Report
The Rude Pundit
C. Alyson Love
Brown Man Thinking Hard
d r i f t g l a s s
Shots On The House
Simply Left Behind
The American Boy
Viva Chuck Todd/Viva Rachel Maddow
Annette’s little piece of the world
Hip Young Thing
Susan Katz Keating
The Communist Dance Party
The Median Sib
In response to Jennifer Roback Morse’s remarks to the Minnesota house I have asked them the following questions. I post a screen shot of them here since NOM and the Ruth Institute are generally not interested in open civil debate. I don’t expect them to provide any answers to them.
Gay and Lesbian people exist. We always have and always will. Regardless of what NOM, the Ruth Institute, or any of the other discriminatory organizations that continue to turn our own government against us hope to achieve. Sometimes I truly wonder what their goal really is. Is it to try and somehow cure us and eliminate us? I don’t think that there really is a clear answer to that question and frankly if that is the goal, it’s a fool’s goal because it can never be achieved. More Gay and Lesbian Americans are born everyday. Trying to rid America of us makes about as much sense as trying to get rid of everyone with red hair.
So if we aren’t going away what sort of protections do we deserve if not marriage? The reality of the mater is that we do fall in love. We do have children. We do build lives and families together. We buy homes together. We go on vacations together. We worry about paying the bills together just like any other family. Is it right that when one of us dies we have no say over burial or that we have to pay gift taxes on the things we bought together as a couple? If one of us becomes sick do we not have a right to visit our partner? Should we not have any rights to the children we may have spent years raising together simply because the state won’t allow us to adopt our partner’s biological child?
These are questions that can’t be answered by a simple contract other than that of civil marriage. Contracts other than marriage can be and often are challenged in court by family members that may not approve of the same sex relationship.
Without marriage are we just supposed to live a life without love, in solitude, and unhappiness? If you deny us marriage, then what will you allow?
For some time now myself and others have been railing on the idea that the GOP has been simply fighting against the President?s plan for moving the country forward and fixing our economy without providing some sort of alternative to the President?s budget.
Today the GOP put out a Budget Alternative, or at least a blue-print for one. Maybe it?s a rough draft?
In 1873 Jules Verne published the novel “Around the World in 80 Days“, in which an English Gentleman attempts to circumnavigate the Earth on bet. At the time the story was taken as simple fiction.
In 1889 Nellie Bly actually succeeded in making the trip and did it in just 72 days.
Today the Space Shuttle can make the trip in about 90 minuets.
A new plasma based rocket engine system, named Vasimr, has just recently been approved for testing on the ISS in 2012. The new engine could make it possible to travel to Mars in as little as 39 days, making around trip voyage of less than 80 days.
could we finally be on the Brink.
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