Tuesday, June 16, 2009

WTF - Don't Ask - Don't Tell and the US Constitution

I'm trying to understand this 'Don't Ask - Don't Tell' thing. As we all know, often the best way to explain a concept is to provide a good example or two:

So, let's substitute 'Jewish' (like me) or 'Christian' (like many of you) for 'gay'. If you just are Jewish/Christian, but you don't say you're Jewish/Christian, you can serve in the military to your heart's content. Of course, if you actually practice your religion (i.e., attend religious services, go to a Seder, sing in church, attend Midnight Mass, show up at a revival tent, light Chanukah candles...), then you're OUT of the military on your (Jewish/Christian) ass.

How can this policy possibly be OK for gay? Much less legal under the equal protection clause of our Constitution that guarantees equal protection of the laws for all????


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Why We Don’t Have to Choose Between Big Business and Big Government

Back when the GOP was running things around this country, we heard a lot about reducing the size of Big Government and 'letting business handle what business was good at.' With the stranglehold they held on the three branches of our government, the neocons turned business loose.

Frankly, we can all see now that ‘business’ wasn’t so good at running things, except perhaps running them amuck. In fact, the truth is that it isn’t a choice between ‘Big Business’ and ‘Big Government’ at all. It’s all about qualities that make programs work, whether they are run under a management team that is public or private: solving today’s dilemmas is going to take honest, smart leaders with vision and integrity, regardless of their political party or proclivity for either of these divisive monikers.

For another example of labels that seem to drive opinions, we hear pretty much the same old chorus of the now-marginalized GOP decrying the current administration’s efforts to put the government back in charge. These kvetchers like to throw around those intentionally loaded (but scary and empty) phrases—like ‘socialized medicine’—instead of participating in the dialog about how to fix our broken health care system. When over 60% of US personal bankruptcies are caused by health care costs gone wild (up over 50% from six years ago, it’s time to join in the discussion and stop whining about what you don’t like. C’mon, give up on those unsavory swiftboat-y tactics that preempt meaningful dialog and that just aren’t workin’ anymore. In today’s world—where you experience the failures of past administrations in your life and in your checkbook on a daily basis—these questionable tactics won’t hold water.

I suggest we all put our heads together and drop ineffective and fallacious ‘either-or’ arguments so we can actually solve the tough problems that we face.