Friday, February 25, 2005

Move To End 'Don't Ask' As GAO Reveals Gay Ban Cost $200 Million

by Doreen Brandt Washington Bureau

"(Washington) On the heels of a new report by the Government Accounting Office showing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has cost taxpayers more than $200 million since its inception in 1993 a group of congressmembers has announced plans to introduce legislation to end the ban on gays in the military.

The GAO report was sought by more than 20 lawmakers, concerned about the cost of the policy instituted in the Clinton administration. Of primary concern to the members of Congress were the costs associated with drumming out gay service members in "critical occupations" and "important foreign language skills."

The report will be released officially on Friday but the New York Times obtained an advance copy.

More than 10,000 service members have been discharged over the last 10 years under the policy according to statistics from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

Since 9-11 the number of gay discharges has dropped which SLDN says is an indication that when the nation's security is at danger the military turns a blind eye to gays serving in the armed forces. (story)

The GAO report says that it cost taxpayers $10,500 a person, to recruit replacements for enlisted service members who were discharged from 1994 to 2003 for being gay. The figures do not include the hundreds of officers who also had been discharged under the policy.

The report said that GAO investigators could not quantify the cost of losing personnel discharged after having been trained in certain areas of expertise like intelligence or languages like Arabic, Chinese, Farsi or Korean.

Rep. Martin Meehan of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, Conventional Threats and Capabilities, said he was shocked by the findings.

Meehan (D-MA) has drafted a bill to repeal "don't ask, don't tell. It will be introduced on March 2 and is already supported by a bi-partisan coalition of Congressional representatives, including Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) among others.

“Our homeland is more secure when every qualified, capable American who wants to serve is allowed to do so,” said C. Dixon Osburn, Executive Director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN).

“The choice we now face is clear: Spend $191 million on firing patriotic Americans or spend the same amount on a dozen Blackhawk helicopters or 800 sidewinder missiles. Our priority should always be defense and security."

During the ten years that "don't ask" has been in force many of the United States’ closest military allies, including Great Britain and Canada, repealed their prohibitions on gay service personnel."

I don't know about the extra Blackhawks or sidewinders. It would be nice if the money were there to equip the soldiers with some protective armor.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Peace Corps Anti-Gay? Op-Ed Piece

Spent some time last week finally reading the many magazines that have been accumulating unread over the past two months. In one of my Advocates I came across an article about a gay couple who wanted to quit their jobs and join the Peace Corps in order to help with disaster relief after the tsunami, only to find out that the Corps won't recognize them as a couple and would very likely not honor their request to be placed together.

How screwed up does the world have to be when an important world-aiding organization like the Peace Corps has the chutzpah to descriminate against a gay couple who want to help out? You'd think it would be more important to have more bodies helping the needy than to make sure those bodies aren't pairing their genitals up in matchings decidedly non-hetero.


Friday, February 18, 2005

My biggest fear in '05

The other day, as I walked to the game store for my regular 'steam blowing' session I realized what my biggest fear in '05 was... to lose my anger at W.

See the day before I saw a picture of W. in the paper Mike was reading. I asked him what the picture was about... Mike said I didn't want to know. He was of course right, but I looked and it was a picture of Alberto getting confirmed as Attorney General. I sighed... and pointed out I *knew* he was gonna get it- but had hoped that things had turned out differently.

And the next day I realized that I had lost my anger- that I had accepted Aberto's confirmation... because it was expected. That W. is always going to choose the most incompetent @$$ kisser for the job... like his replacing Powell with Condi. We can't just shrug and say 'ah... that's just W. being W.' We've got to fight him.

We've got to protect Social Security- even if it means the dems kill the bill with a filibuster. We've got to tell them that we STILL don't want them drilling in Alaska. And we don't want to go to war with Iran.

Heck I just saw a link on wonkette with a Repubican commercial ripping on Dems ala the capital One ad... because we always say NO! to them.
It looked like a little kid who was crying because the parents wouldn't let them stuff their faces with sweets.
Well we HAVE to keep saying NO! because Republicans are little kids who have the keys to the candy shop... and if we don't keep saying NO! after they're done bingeing- they'll throw up ALL over our nice blue suede shoes.

Stay Angry! Stay on Message! Don't let these guys get away with anything it's in your power to stop!

War- What's it good for???

Ok you know if Canada or Mexico buzzed us looking for OUR WMDS, we'd say pretty much the same thing as the Iranians... Or ( as W. is in charge) do more sabre rattling.

However I fear that if/when Iran shoots something down W. will say that it PROVES that they have something to hide... otherwise why shoot down AMERICAN planes? and thus get his 3rd war, helping to PROVE he's a war time president. Nevermind the fact that he's the one starting these wars.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Black not only equals White for W. but also 52.3

I just read this story and I KEEP getting forced backed into the idea that reality really is what W. makes it. It's not enough that his sense of right and wrong is pretty different from mine... It's that reality BENDS to their will. The facts are either unimportant or bend to W.'s will. In 2000- Social Security= Lock Box, 2005- Social Security= National Emergency.

So Iraq USED to equal BAD, but now that Bushco control it- it's GOOD. When it was BAD, it was responsible for every threat against America and what WE stand for. However now that Bushco controls it, Christlike it's been re-born into a SHINING example of all that is GOOD.
So before- W. had no problems giving millions of Saddam's EVIL blood money to OUR men and women brutally wronged by Saddam. NOW W. feels it's more important that the money goes to paying Iraq's debt to Haliburton... and besides can we REALLY put a price tag on pain and suffering? NOPE, and that's why we need tort reform... to save doctors from unnecessary lawsuits.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Good Laugh

Ok- once again it's amusing to see the difference between REAL reality and neo con reality.

Ann Coulter appears on a Canadian show. She points out how the U.S. and Canada USED to be best buds. How Canada was right in the trenches with America in 'Nam- and what's the difference between Iraq and 'Nam?

And the Canadian said POLITELY "No we weren't"

Now when a normal person is told they are wrong- and were being told on TELEVISION that they were wrong, they'd back down and apologize, or say something like 'well... you get my point, we're amigos'.
Not Ann- she ARGUES with the Canadian about HIS country's history!
She told him about 4 times that she thought he was wrong.

And that's the neo con way of doing things. If they deny reality often enough they, ala Big Brother, come up with a NEWER BETTER reality where they are right.

And for the record- American and Canadian history, NOT so friendly. During the Revolution, American forces attacked Canada, hoping to annex it for our new country. And in the war of 1812( as a Canadian friend loves to point out) it was the Canadians who burnt down the White House.
I also heard that Canada actually welcomed the draft dodgers of 'Nam with open arms and had no problem with these 'unamerican swine'- you know those guys who didn't have rich fathers to get them in the national guard.

Monday, February 07, 2005


I'm amazed at what I find when I surf the web.

As an adult I always though Christmas was 'National Jesus Day' but apparently Jesus needs MORE holidays for people to remember how swell he was.

And George W. is just the guy to remind people how much they OWE to Jesus.

Republican Double Standards

Ok... I found this Rush audio on Something Positive so not sure how long it's gonna be valid.

Basically Rush complains about Cosplay and people dressing up as animals. Now I will admit I find Cosplay sorta icky and would love to delete my knowledge of Cosplay....

That said, I'm putting up this rant because at the END of Rush's complaint, he mentions that we're at WAR. He says "Alright folks only got one question, we've got a war going on and the tragedy of the tsunami, isn't this furry convention a little bit too festive and too costly?"

Now I find this VERY funny because this is EXACTLY what I thought about W. second inauguration.
Actually I felt a tad bit of difference... because you see the furries were spending their OWN darn money for their own amusement. Bushco had the city of Washington DC pony up a few million for security, and then didn't invite these people to any of the balls.

bunch of flaming hypocrites.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Exporting Freedom....?

You know if MOST high school kids think our first amendment rights are "too much", imagine how much freedom they'll give the Iranians when we take over Iran.

Karl Rove: Unelected Co-President.

I just saw Bush's Brain, a movie based on the book about Karl Rove's role in George W. Bush's life and presidency.... Towards the end, it's mentioned how some politicians wish there was a confirmation hearing for Rove as no one un elected person should have the power he does.

Now, I'd like to say I found this funny considering all the Republican crap we Dems were given about how much power Hillary had.

However, I'm really left with the same bad ashy taste I've had for the past 4 years or so. Two of the people who appeared on tape were Max Cleland and Joseph Wilson, and they talked about how W. and Rove done them wrong.

For Cleland- He did his job and did a good job. He lost 3 limbs in 'Nam and then wanted to serve his country some more in the Senate. His reward was to be compared to Bin Laden and Saddam in an attack ad. The Republicans weren't attacking him because he was drinking blood or rodgering little boys BUT because he refused to vote for the REPUBLICAN Homeland Security Bill. Basically both parties created a Homeland Security Bill and rather then reach a compromise the Republicans destroyed Cleland.

Joseph Wilson's wife was put in clear and present danger by Robert Novack( and Rove). Wilson felt after W.'s State of the Union where W. mentioned Iraq was trying to buy nuclear material from Africa, to set the record straight. Wilson wrote an op ed piece and said he had been 'asked' the previous year to check into these rumors, and had found them to be false. Novack was then leaked and published the fact that Wilson's wife Valerie Plame was a CIA agent.
This destroyed Plame's life. I mean it's hard to be a secret agent if everyone KNOWS you're a secret agent. Worse, it also endangers the life of OTHER secret agents as after seeing her picture and under it "CIA agent" you're thinking- did I see her with Bob from accounting... Yeah... doesn't that mean Bob could be CIA?
They destroyed her life to give her husband the finger. It's a CRIME to revel the identity of a secret agent ( and made a crime by Bush Sr. and Reagan in 1982)... because of what was said above it puts the lives of people SERVING our country in jeopardy.

I just thought Bush's Brain was interesting because it showed the lives destroyed by Bushco. on a personal level, people who were just trying to do right by their country.