Don’t ask, don’t tell, but change is coming

Back on Jan. 26, Army 2nd Lt. Sandy Tsao wrote a letter to her new commander in chief, Barack Obama. It said, in part:

“Today is Chinese New Year day. I hope it will bring good fortune to you and your newly elected office. Today is also the day I inform my chain of command of who I am. One of the seven Army values is integrity. It means choosing to do the right thing no matter what the consequences may be. As a Christian, this also means living an honest life…”

As part of living an honest life, a life of integrity, Tsao felt compelled to tell her commanding officers that she was gay. As part of military policy and federal law, her commanding officers felt compelled to dismiss her from the service. Tsao knew that would be the outcome. As she wrote Obama:

“We have the best military in the world and I would like to continue to be part of it. My mother can tell you it is my dream to serve our country. I have fought and overcome many barriers to arrive at the point I am at today. This is the only battle I fear I may lose. Even if it is too late for me, I do hope, Mr. President, that you will help us to win the war against prejudice so that future generations will continue to work together and fight for our freedoms regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.”

Last week, the following arrived in the mail to Tsao, on White House stationery:

obama note

It’s a nice sentiment. The fact that Obama took the time to respond, and to so explicitly and personally commit to changing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, suggests that he takes it very seriously and intends to follow through.

In the meantime, however, the policy continues to be enforced. Army Lt. Dan Choi, a West Point grad and infantry platoon leader in the New York National Guard who is fluent in Arabic, is being dismissed. Choi, who recently returned from Iraq, forced the issue when he went public about his sexuality in an interview on MSNBC on March 19.

“”I intend fully to fight it tooth and nail,” Choi said upon receiving notice of dismissal. “I believe that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is wrong, and what we really need to be encouraging soldiers to do is to don’t lie, don’t hide, don’t discriminate, and don’t weaken the military. That’s what we need to be promoting.”

159 comments Add your comment

Susan Myers

May 9th, 2009
8:50 am

Lt. Tsao, I salute you. The change is coming. And not a moment too soon.

DB, Gwinnettian

May 9th, 2009
8:51 am

we really need to be encouraging soldiers to do is to don’t lie, don’t hide, don’t discriminate, and don’t weaken the military

Perfect.

And good for Obama to respond as he has. I expect him to keep his promise.

Cherokee

May 9th, 2009
8:53 am

Yes good for both of them..

Susan Myers

May 9th, 2009
8:57 am

By personalizing the issue, President Obama has moved this from ‘the GAYS in the military!’ to about people who want to serve the country. It’s a huge first step in getting the Congress and the military to realize that this isn’t the hot button issue that the right wing would have them believe it is.

DB, Gwinnettian

May 9th, 2009
9:02 am

Odds on the elapsed time / specific nature of the first anti-gay slur to be issued from one of the resident trolls in this thread?

DB, Gwinnettian

May 9th, 2009
9:05 am

this isn’t the hot button issue that the right wing would have them believe it is.

All the right wing can do with this, at this point, is try to play bits and pieces of the issue to bits and pieces of the base. There is very solid support from Americans, in general, to remove discrimination hurdles for gay folks in the military; however, there remains some softness in that resolve when it’s framed as “should those people be ‘openly gay’ and in the military” or suchlike–in other words, if they can manage to lie about what the military would look like if DADT were taken out back and shot, maybe they can cling on for a little ride, for a little while.

It’ll backfire, it’ll never produce anything more than a very short-term result for righties, but does that ever stop them?

DB, Gwinnettian

May 9th, 2009
9:05 am

Must run. Later, kids.

Redneck Convert

May 9th, 2009
9:07 am

Well, maybe we could keep the gays in the army to clean the bathrooms and such. If we let them stay without some punishment they would be as good as godly rednecks like me. Anyhow, you can’t use Those People as targets anymore because of these civil rights laws so we got to have somebody we can look down on. Might as well be the gays.

Don’t anybody worry we’re running out of people we can blame? I don’t care if this guy that got kicked out could speak towelhead good. It’s more important we go by the Bible. We can make the towelheads we capture learn to speak English before we get the goods from them.

Anyhow, Bookman don’t say nothing about the thunderstorms we’re about to get. It just ruins a weekend on the golf course. I got these new balls from WalMart I want to try out but I don’t want to be fried with a 5 iron in my hand. Have a good weekend everybody.

Mrs. Godzilla

May 9th, 2009
9:17 am

Don’t forget Daniel Choi, National Guardsman…..

Wonder….isn’t there a job in the administration or a congressional office for these fine young Americas?

I Report :-) / You Whine :-(

May 9th, 2009
9:23 am

2nd Lt. Sandy Tsao wrote a letter to her new commander in chief

Anybody wanna bet that letter^^ was written by some hairy 50 year old homo freak from the Daily Kooks?

eewwwww, hahaha.

You can’t believe a damn word you hear from the liberals, if their mouths are open, they are lying.

sick

Susan Myers

May 9th, 2009
9:29 am

Dan Choi…wow! What an inspiration! I can’t think of a better face for the campaign to eliminate Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Ray

May 9th, 2009
9:30 am

Really liked the political vent today. For those of you who didn’t read it, ” Now I know why liberals want to save the trees. They believe money grows on them.” Sort of surprised that Cynthia and Bookman would let that Conservative thought run in the AJC. Is there hope? Nahhhhhh!!

I Report :-) / You Whine :-(

May 9th, 2009
9:31 am

Gays are some of the most violent, angry radical extremists you can find, sorta like the way liberals describe white Christians, but for real-

PROP 8 RALLIES TURN VIOLENT PROTESTORS ATTACK BLACKS USE N-WORD WOMAN CARRYING CROSS ATTACK VIDEO

http://binside.typepad.com/binside_tv/2008/11/prop-8-rallies.html

Stomping on a little old lady, how nice.

And how about the getalife cameo, hysterically screaming like a sissy at the little news lady?

SuperDave

May 9th, 2009
9:45 am

“Odds on the elapsed time / specific nature of the first anti-gay slur to be issued from one of the resident trolls in this thread?”

“some hairy 50 year old homo freak from the Daily Kooks?”

Right on cue, as usual.

N-GA

May 9th, 2009
9:55 am

All “Don’t ask, don’t tell” does is reinforce the attitude of many that discrimination is okay…all forms of discrimination.

Just look at the derogatory terms posted here already. Pathetic…but he already knows that. He of the “Christian” values. He has no empathy or tolerance for anyone unlike himself. What a hater!

I served for more than six years on active duty during the Viet Nam conflict. There were many gays and lesbians serving in the same units as I. Everyone knew it, including our CO’s. No problems at all. But you wouldn’t believe the number of rapes (males raping females). Now there is a serious problem!

I Report :-) / You Whine :-(

May 9th, 2009
9:58 am

Here comes the second slur, timekeepers-

Former House Republican and CIA Director Porter J. Goss — who attended the 2002 briefing of Ms. Pelosi — wrote last month in an opinion piece that he was “slack-jawed to read that members claim to have not understood that techniques on which they were briefed were to actually be employed; or that specific techniques such as ‘waterboarding’ were never mentioned.” Mr. Goss described the lawmakers’ claims as “a disturbing epidemic of amnesia.”

The libs on the House intelligence committee apparently thought the CIA invited them over to watch gay sadomasochistic videos, almost like a Barney Frank hearing, of sorts.

I wonder why the CIA wanted the LAWMAKERS to review their enhanced water sports, maybe for like you know, APPROVAL?

AmVet

May 9th, 2009
9:59 am

Back in 1993, DADT, crafted by Clinton and Powell, was brilliant and to me the perfect compromise to end the injustice and farce of the historic policy of outright banning homosexuals in the US military.

Of course, that one word – compromise – never, ever sits well with the puritanical and segregationist Reich-wingers, and many (most?) of them practically blew a gasket when this policy went into effect. I remember well the ensuing firestorm of moronic justifications from the neo-cons. (Funny how they were to soon perfect this “strategy”) One would have thought we had just allowed Negroes to marry white women.

Although the more rational and realistic segments of our progressive society have moved on and learned how to deal with these realities even better, the intransigent fraud conservatives are still stuck on stupid. And still stuck on bigoted.

No surprises there, but it begs the question – who cares?

They are in mortal danger and their very political existence and the viability of their outdated ideology is in doubt. And this is but one of innumerable issues highlights how they are condemning themselves to a self-imposed extinction…

RW-(the original)

May 9th, 2009
10:01 am

DB,

Should you return I’d love to hear your rational that “righties” are rigidly insistent on maintaining Clinton policies or why something that you claim is overwhelmingly supported by the American people can’t be breezed through the Congress.

Taxpayer

May 9th, 2009
10:07 am

Good morning, most. Did most everyone enjoy their Oh So brief respite on last night’s thread from most all that they find offensive in this minuscule corner of our ever-increasingly virtual society. We have sunshine this morning — the real thing. I’m not about to ask if it will last because I’m sure that someone out there will tell me what I do not want to hear. Anyway, everyone should be able to make their own choices without fear of unjust consequences but even if that much were given, there would most likely always be those that would fight forever more to make it not so. (At least, I think that Jean-Luc would probably believe that to be true.) I offer Andy as existence proof of this lasting constant that humanity as a whole seems unable to rid itself of, given that his mindset permeates even this remote outpost of the vast and ever-expanding stretches of virtual space. Other than that, life can be good unless you just do not want it to be so.

Have a good day, most of you.

Bud Wiser

May 9th, 2009
10:12 am

Obama’s spoken words and promises are mostly lies, about ‘eliminating pork’ from the stimulus for instance, so why should anyone expect him to tell the truth just because he writes a cutesy little note?

He comes from the party of drunks, murderers, (Ted Kennedy on both parts) and liars, Nancy Pelosi the latest liar, but Jabberin’ Joe Biden giving her a run for the money, as well as apparently Harry Reid in his dealings with Arlen Spector T-Pa (T for traitor, turncoat, turd, you choose).

So is one supposed to expect the little ‘lovers note’ to be any different? This is almost as stupid as this change we’re getting – changing from the most respected nation on earth to third world status; changing from a history of the line of the presidency where the men all stood firm and proud as the leaders of the most powerful nation on the planet, to in 3 months having a man bowing and grovelling before a sheik and trashing out America while giving speeches on foreign soil; changing the value of our dollar, the American dollar, the standard by which everyone else measures their own monetary worth, into a worthless piece of paper by his outrageous and unchecked spending with no accountability (although I’ll give GW Bush a share of this part too); changing the world recognized status of the First Family from chic and civilized, into outright buffoons by their actions so far with perhaps our greatest allies, the Brits.

Yeah, this is your change you wanted, from prosperous and respected, even feared, to stunningly unthinkable debt, and being laughed at and scorned on the world stage by the very people this moron is trying to ingratiate himself too.

Be proud of that for sure.

SuperDave

May 9th, 2009
10:14 am

Homophobes are really just afraid of their own homosexual tendencies.

Andy the Vulcan

May 9th, 2009
10:22 am

What a sad dark little world Bud lives in… It sounds awful, I’m glad I don’t live there.

ty webb

May 9th, 2009
10:25 am

What’s stopping Obama from overturning Clinton’s DADT? The administration has the votes in a tolerant democrat congress, and will soon have a filibuster proof majority. Who on this board is willing to hold their breath until it’s overturned? Why does Obama feel as though an openly gay soldier should be allowed to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country, but not marry the one they love?

Bud Wiser

May 9th, 2009
10:36 am

Andy the Vulcan, it is the world being painted (or stained, depending upon one’s perception) by the Moron Known as Obama, elevated by the likes of you. I just call it as I see it. If you’re still on those pills that make you continue to separate fact from fiction, then might I suggest the Betty Ford clinic?

Since you live in the twilight zone for now, us crossing paths on reality seem remote, so at least I am safe for now. You on the other hand, well, be very careful where you step, it just might be in another pile of Pelosi lies or Obama crap, and so far it seems that you are unable to tell when you smell of it.

ByteMe

May 9th, 2009
10:50 am

ty: political calculation. He wants to expand health care first and doesn’t want to rile up the Talibaptists over this policy until he has other policy changes that affect more Americans in place. It’s pretty simple if you put yourself in the shoes of the President dealing with a Congress that’s full of its own gaggle of opportunists.

godless heathen

May 9th, 2009
10:53 am

Fine with me if the mos serve in the military. Give them non-combat roles like we do the girls. For the same reasons.

And if some of them butchy women want to pack a gun and shoot some terrorist scumbags, I’m fine with that too.

ty webb

May 9th, 2009
10:55 am

Political calculation? Does that not make Obama himself an “oppurtunist”? He won! The dems won! Bring on the Change and all that stuff! Quit making excuses. Put down the pom poms.

ty webb

May 9th, 2009
10:57 am

meant to say “opportunist”. sorry for the bad spelling.

ByteMe

May 9th, 2009
10:58 am

ty: wake up to reality. He’s not sitting around reading about “My Pet Goat”. He’s actually doing something, whether you like what he’s doing or not. He’s not asleep. You ever rebuilt a car from pieces in an hour? Takes a little more time than that.

Put down the unreality stick you’re waving around. You might poke your eye out.

eagle scout

May 9th, 2009
11:02 am

Sissy the whiner you write “Gays are some of the most violent, angry radical extremists you can find.”

What happened did one of those angry, violent gays pound the sh*t out of you one night?

Too bad!

TnGelding

May 9th, 2009
11:16 am

I Report :-) / You Whine :-(

May 9th, 2009
9:23 am

We certainly don’t have a monopoly on misrepresenting the facts.

Both individuals sound like just the kind of people we need in the military, or anywhere else for that matter. Let’s see if Obama is just another pretender or if he actually fights for change.

It’s the heterosexuals that are the real problem:

http://www.pentagon.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=53525

georgian by birth floridian because I'm lucky

May 9th, 2009
11:28 am

do not mean to sound like the sour puss, but…

Why does anyone think Obama is going to be serious about this. He has openly said he opposses gay marriage.

So I am just curious what it is that makes us think that he would allow a person to serve in the military especially since he does not even allow them to marry who they love.

I hope this is changed though. The only issue needed to be addressed would be housing. I know that nothing would happen, but sexual misconduct and uncomfort with someone possibly looking at one in a sexual manor, are reasons why male and female soldiers are seperate. So that is the only real issue to think about or plan for. Other than that one issue what could possibly be the reason that this has not already been done.

Could it be our politicians being affraid again?
Jay I thought you told us only republicans get scarred and act stupid.

georgian by birth floridian because I'm lucky

May 9th, 2009
11:32 am

ty webb sorry did not see your post at 10:25, or well wouldn’t have taken the time to write mine.

Sorry for borrowing your thunder, good point notice not many have had a logical response for your comment.

TnGelding

May 9th, 2009
11:35 am

Ray

May 9th, 2009
9:30 am

Money does grow on trees. We need them to print our newly found wealth and the AJC. Although it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to cease and desist in both cases.

Looks like most of the banks are going to be able to repay their TARP investments, WITH INTEREST!

http://www.reuters.com/article/companyNews/idUKBNG43509020090420

georgian by birth floridian because I'm lucky

May 9th, 2009
11:40 am

byteme,

As much stuff that gets added onto bills he could have got it done.

The rep. can do nothing to stop it.

The only reason he and the other dems. have not done as they said, kinda like the freedom of choice act, is because they are worried about votes. Sorry but what a sheep you must be to think they actually have principles about them. They are in for a power grab, all politicians.

I understand that you are a dem. and you LOVE Obama but being blind is not only dangerous to yourself but also all of us. They need people like you, and Andy to blindly cheer regardless of what the actual facts are.

Does Obama say he is in favor of changing don’t ask, don’t tell? YES
Did he also say his first act would be sign the freedom of choice act? YES
Is there anything the REP. can do to stop anything the Dem. want to pass? NO
Has he produced any type of legislation about either of these and have the dems done anything about them? NO

Does their success depend upon people always defending them blindly and not looking at what they say as oppossed to what they do? YES

I know it is all these press conferences that Nancey Pelosi has been having to attend that has kept this from getting done.

Who was it again that wanted to look deeply into the torture documents agaian?

TnGelding

May 9th, 2009
11:47 am

ty webb

May 9th, 2009
10:25 am

Two entirely different issues.

History of marriage:

http://marriage.about.com/cs/generalhistory/a/marriagehistory.htm

Why ruin a good relationship by getting married? Some day it might come about, but just think how absurd it would have sounded just a few years ago. In reality all it takes is a commitment between two individuals, society be damned. Take the civil union and be happy if you must have some kind of legal acceptance.

clyde

May 9th, 2009
11:56 am

When I was in the Army I never really thought about the sexuality of the people there with me. I really didn’t care.They weren’t girls so I wasn’t interested.
Now it seems that gays have some compulsion to tell me they’re gay and I still don’t care.Am I supposed to?Is this being gay some earth shaking thing that is so much better than being heterosexual?Is that what I’m supposed to believe?
I don’t care what you do or who you do it with as long as it isn’t me.

AmVet

May 9th, 2009
11:57 am

Notwithstanding the over-simplified and sophomoric exaggerations regarding the Uppity One’s commie/pinko/Marxist/socialist agenda, his first 100 days have been the polar opposite of his bungling predecessor.

– Jan 22 Phil Gramm of Texas introduces the George Bush tax cut for the rich just 2 days into office.

– Jan 30 Bush gets godly by offering up his faith based initiative.

– Feb 9 Bush starts his talk of a war effort by by offering top to bottom funding of the military.

– Tax point man for Bush tells Congress it is time for a tax cut for the nations richest people.

– Feb 16 Bush visits with President Fox of Mexico and offers a guest worker and amnesty program.

– March 13 Bush reneges on a promise to reduce carbon dioxide pollution in the US.

– March 19 Bush pushes for drilling rights for energy corporations saying we need to allow unchallenged exploration in the US.

– March 20 Bush repeals law covering work place stress injuries.

– March 29 Bush once again refuses to regulate carbon dioxide pollution.

– April 9 Bush sends 2002 Budget proposal to Congress with cuts to transportation, agriculture and environmental protection.

And though a tad later, in May 2001, Bush proposed cutting 57 SEC staffers, with 13 coming from the ranks of mutual fund examiners. With the SEC then inspecting funds only once every five years, these staff cuts were reason to celebrate if you’re a fund manager who makes money by playing fast and loose with your shareholders’ money. And this after GWB promised to “clean up Wall Street” in his campaign

I’ll allow the Uppity One loathers to create their own 100 day list and if they have problems, I’ll try to help with that as well…

DB, Gwinnettian

May 9th, 2009
12:04 pm

Clyde asks: “I still don’t care. Am I supposed to?”

Well, there is a clinging-for-life political contingent that expects you to, yes.

Pretty pathetic, huh?

DB, Gwinnettian

May 9th, 2009
12:04 pm

Oh, and let the record show that it took all of 39 minutes for our resident knuckle-dragging buffoon to post the first slur. Way to go, Andy!

@@

May 9th, 2009
12:11 pm

jay, if you haven’t yet learned, it’s best you don’t put too much faith in what Obama says he’ll do. He’s making a lot of promises that congress has no intention of letting him keep. I’m beginning to suspect that he knows that. Everybody gets to save face.

I’ll side with the majority of our military on the repeal of DADT. They’re opposed.

Military Times poll found that 58% of active-duty respondents were opposed to repealing the law. The 2008 survey further found that if Congress repeals the 1993 law, 10% of respondents said they would not re-enlist, and an additional 14% said they would consider ending their careers. This is a poll, not a crystal ball, but indicators such as this should give pause to the new president and commander-in-chief, Barack Obama. Personnel losses anywhere near these numbers would devastate the volunteer force.

I think you and the libs have been skewered by the gay rights activists on this one not unlike the polls they push.

It’s obvious that Tsao’s need to proclaim sexual preference overrode her desire to serve in the military. Her choice….her consequences.

I Report :-) / You Whine :-(

May 9th, 2009
12:21 pm

eagle scout May 9th, 2009 11:02 am What happened did one of those angry, violent gays pound the sh*t out of you one night?

Anytime you’d like to try, Nancy, just let me know.

Vinny

May 9th, 2009
12:29 pm

@@,

Since when does President Teleprompter care about what the majority want? The majority of Americans were against overseas funding of abortions, yet one of the first things the president did when he entered office was to send our tax dollars overseas so that more babies could be killed.

If Obama thinks that changing a policy will garner more votes for him, then to heck with what the people in the military think. This is all about power for this President and this administration. They will do anything to retain it, no matter how much it destroys America

ByteMe

May 9th, 2009
12:30 pm

@@ – I did a good job debunking that survey a few weeks ago. It was a self-selecting “survey” and not a random poll or even a real poll. Repeat — unlike your commentator’s statement — it was NOT a poll. Go to the Mil Times web site and get the details on how they did the survey.

If you dig deeper into the issue, you’ll find two things: (1) the military wasn’t real happy to integrate with black people either; (2) the people responsible for DADT now claim it was a stupid mistake accepted by a weak noobee Clinton and they want it repealed in favor of complete acceptance.

ByteMe

May 9th, 2009
12:35 pm

Whiner says: Gays are some of the most violent, angry radical extremists

and then follows up a comment with:

Anytime you’d like to try, Nancy, just let me know.

Whiner, you either have a finely tuned sense of irony or none at all.

AmVet

May 9th, 2009
12:35 pm

To paraphrase that hated Clarence Darrow, “We have the purpose of preventing bigots and ignoramuses from controlling the the United States military.”

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
12:36 pm

For every one act of gay violence, you can find ten thousand acts of anti-gay violence. Right wingers have engaged in more acts of violence than all other groups put together and that includes Islamic fundamentalists.

@@

May 9th, 2009
12:47 pm

Vinny:

I don’t think Obama does care. His concern is for self-image and nothing more. He convinces me more each day. His efforts are to please everyone. I like to describe him as mooshy. Like the Queen of England, he serves only as a figurehead with no head for figurin’.

ByteMe:

And here’s what’s being said about the “polls” gay activists push (pun intended). The “polls” that you so readily accept.

@@

May 9th, 2009
12:50 pm

DB, Gwinnettian

May 9th, 2009
12:57 pm

“if the policy was repealed, nearly 10 percent of respondents said they would not re-enlist or extend their service”

Figuring in a braggadocio-factor and assume maybe five percent of the military’s most unreconstructed Jesus freaks would be purged, I’d say that’d be a great thing.

Door, ass, you know the rest.

RW-(the original)

May 9th, 2009
12:58 pm

Create our own list? Perhaps you should have thought of that.

And if you must post others work as your own you could at least post the whole thing.

Later, y’all. Big Flower Moon celebration to get ready for.

DB, Gwinnettian

May 9th, 2009
1:02 pm

Byteme, naturally that article the homophobette linked has nothing about the military times poll’s methodology. Any idea where they’d tucked that away?

Or do we maybe let her run on this one? It’s kinda like shooting fish in a barrel…

N-GA

May 9th, 2009
1:05 pm

DB,

You can add to that the fact that most don’t re-enlist anyway. I suspect that the people we would lose aren’t the best that they can be. Afraid of some gay soldiers? What would they do if they were attacked by gay muslims? Run like hell I guess.

Of course we would probably have many more military volunteers from the gay community since they would no longer face outright discrimination!

@@

May 9th, 2009
1:10 pm

the homophobette

Wrong! but always a comeback close “at hand”, eh DB?

It’s only been recent, but the patience I’ve afforded liberals here has proven to be foolhardy on my part and unwarranted on yours.

KMA!

@@

May 9th, 2009
1:11 pm

…and theirs.

AmVet

May 9th, 2009
1:13 pm

Nancy Drew has no actual retort? No counter-arguments? No list?

Now there’s a shocker.

Homophobette?

LOL…

Off to see Star Trek.

I Report :-) / You Whine :-(

May 9th, 2009
1:16 pm

ByteMe- Whiner, you either have a finely tuned sense of irony or none at all.

Let’s see here, Bite Me has two choices, gays stomping some little old lady or me responding to a threat upon my person, now guess which one he has no problem with.

DB, Gwinnettian

May 9th, 2009
1:18 pm

KMA!

You know, you can write the word “ass” here. Anyway, no thanks; I figure your better half’s got that covered already.

Do you have a point, by the way? I mean, aside from sniffing that you’re not a homophobe? Because it’s kind of silly to say that in one post while ginning up phony cases against allowing them into the military in another.

DB, Gwinnettian

May 9th, 2009
1:21 pm

we would probably have many more military volunteers from the gay community since they would no longer face outright discrimination!

Well, those folks, plus those folks who’ve avoided service on general principle because they don’t want to support homophobia.

Make no mistake–this isn’t about “morale,” save for the morale of those who thought they could insulate themselves from the rest of the world. I’m sure there were guys who were bummed out when blacks got integrated; ditto for women in leadership positions as well.

As Cheney might say: “So?”

@@

May 9th, 2009
1:22 pm

DB:

What we have here is a conflict in “polling”. It’s something that you would have go on forever.

I, unlike you….am just not that into it. Know what I mean?

DB, Gwinnettian

May 9th, 2009
1:26 pm

@@, I actually don’t have time to go into it forever either, but I don’t think the polling’s especially contradictory. I even said so up top of this thread–if you phrase the question and make it about “discrimination” a solid majority want to drop DADT. If you say “you ok with homosexuals openly being GAY in the military” or suchlike, well duh, there are some who back away.

Anyway, if by “polling” you meant something else… nah, prolly not.

Later.

Ray

May 9th, 2009
1:58 pm

The black community is much more homophobic than any other ethnic group in the US. When black youth (18-25) was polled, some 58% said that gay lifestyle was definitely not to their liking. Hispanics, about 38%, Whites, about 35%. And that is just in this young age group. Many of this age group are in the US military and blacks represent a larger proportion of service members (relative to their % of US population) than any other ethnic group.
Are all of these people wrong? We call anyone who disapproves of a gay lifestyle as homophobic. We heap criticism on their “homophobia” in our own politically correct way but is if fair. How many of the gay communitydisapprove of a straight lifestyle? I would guess close to all. Maybe we should call them straight-o-phobics or some other silly name. Perez Hilton is the poster child for intolerance but what criticism do we hear of him. None. The media drops this issue like a hot rock. Come on, America. Every person has the right to his/her opinion without being ridiculed for it and being called names. Barney Frank solicits a gay prostitute for an $80 lay, caught redhanded, and Eliot Spitzer resigns as governer of NY. Fair? I think not.

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
2:00 pm

One of the most absurd assertions is that gays have an adverse effect on the military. Most of our allied forces in Iraq permit openly gay people to be in their military and it had no effect on performance in Iraq. Given that the areas under the control of the British in Iraq were the first areas that were brought under complete control, it might be that military forces perform better when a portion of those serving can pay more attention to their jobs than trying to avoid being thrown out.

Both fire and police departments in many large cities in the United States have also removed restrictions on gays openly working for theses department for long enough to determine if this has any adverse effect on the missions of these departments. The adverse effects. Zero.

At the time that “dont ask, dont tell” was being debated, the GAO did a study on what it costs to replace military personnel who are dischaged for being gay. Or in fact discharged for any other reason.

In 1990, it cost 28,226 dollars for each enlisted troop and 120,772 for each officer.

And it was estimated that it might cost more, because gays tend to make up larger percentages in some task areas that require considerably more training. A rather large percentage of troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq are there because of their abilities to speak second languages.

Between 1998 and 2003, 7 fluent speakers of Arabic were discharged for being gay, and in 2004 13 additional fluent speakers of Arabic were discharged. Six speakers of Farsi were discharged. This was about 5 percent of the speakers of these languages. But the problem is a bit more complex. A lot of the gays who are discharged are not merely students of the languages but the teachers. In Iraq, we were heavily relying on the British for their linguistic skills and in Afghanistan, we were relying on British, Dutch and Germans heavily as well. As the NATO nations are at the start of serious reduction of their forces, we will be losing a large number of speakers of the various native languages, Farsi, Dari and Pashto.

One of the most amusing events before the invasion of Iraq was when the White House received another message released by Bin Laden, and in their rush to have the public hear it, they had it translated directly by an Arabic translator, from the tape as he was listening. This was supposedly to make some point that Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were somehow in league with each other

At one point, the translator started fumbling over his translating, because Bin Laden had started an anti-Saddam rant, raging about Saddam’s secular,socialist nation (most Americans don’t realize that Fundamentalist Muslims hate socialism as another ideology that began in the west, expecially the “Godless Communists”), virtually issuing a fatwa against Saddam, ordering all good Muslims to slaughter Saddam like a dog (Arabs consider dogs to be “unclean animals”), and the translator fumbled, trying to find some alternative words that would lessen the absolute hatred that Bin Laden had for Hussein. Basically Bin Laden was asserting that Hussein was the worse of the worse secular leaders in the Muslim world.

The military had a large lack of speakers of second languages on 9/11. It has gotten much larger since, due to the discharge of gays in the military.

Of course most experts agree that had we had more speakers of Arabic working for the United States on 9/10/ 2001, there would be a much better chance that the events of 9/11 migt have turned out very different.

Nothing makes this nation less safe than the absurd anti-gay policies.

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
2:16 pm

The wording of the polls is pretty much irrelevant, because over the last several months several polls asking the question several different ways all come up with the same results. The majority of Americans think gays should be allowed to serve in the military, openly and oppose the “Dont ask dont tell” policies. In the last poll that asked the question directly “Do you think that gays should be able to serve in the military openly’ the poll result was 56 percent FOR and 37 percent againt.

Support for allowing gays to marry is reaching an all time high with 52 percent of Democrats supporting it(28 percent opposing), 43 percent of independents supporting it (with only 25 percent opposing it) and 18 percent of Republicans supporting it (and 59 percent opposing it)

As usual Republicans are pretty much out of touch with the majority of voters. And as usual this will benefit Democrats in elections for a long time coming. Republicans assert that these states that are, one after another, either passing legislation that allows gay marriage, or having the courts decide that not allowing it is unconstitutional. Rhode Island is the last holdout in New England on this issue, and if it falls an entire region of the country will have gay marriage on the books, which will make a test legal test of DOMA much easier. Its one thing to prevent the constitutional requirement for one state to recognize another laws, its another when you its not recognizing the laws of a quarter of the nations population.

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
2:29 pm

Also even the idea that gays in the military would effect the ability to recruit non gays has proven false in polls. In 2005 a poll released in “Stars and Stripes” indicated that potential recruits have no objection to serving with openly gay members of the military. 76 percent said lifting the ban would have no effect on their decision to enlist, 2 percent said that it would encourage them to enlist, and 21 percent said that it would discourage them from enlisting.

The pollsters said that this report might be skewed because they polled more REPUBLICANS than they make up of the general electorate. 53 percent of those polled were self identified Republicans and 30 percent independent, as these were the proportions they found most likely to enlist.

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
2:30 pm

The Israeli army also allows openly gay people to serve in the military. I dont think one could make the argument that morale in the Israeli military is low.

TnGelding

May 9th, 2009
2:32 pm

@@

May 9th, 2009
12:47 pm

How would you define Bush before and during his presidency?

ByteMe

May 9th, 2009
2:33 pm

ByteMe

May 9th, 2009
2:34 pm

Whiner: that you perceive anything written here as a threat on your person speaks more about you than anything, you know that, right?

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
2:38 pm

One of the strangest things to me is the right wing obsession with homosexuality. The only time I think of gays is when I have to listen to a lot of right wing blather about homosexuals and the homosexual conspiracy, but I expect that this is because the same sort of people were insisting that there was a communist hiding under every bed in America back in the fifties when I was a kid. I looked under my bed every night when I was a child, looking for that pinko, but since I never found one, I decided that Republicans had over active imaginations very early in life. Every crackpot assertion made by Republicans and other conservatives over the last five decades that I have had to listen to has proven so overwhelmingly false, that I never even bother listening to Republican or conservative arguments. When their ideas prove false or fail completely, they have to come up with all sort of complex reasons why they did not. When their economic policies ruin the economy, they always blame someone else, and when their social ideas prove false, they simply keep asserting them. For years they have been denying that global warming is not occuring, even today, Republican legislators will get up and assert that the majority of scientists do not beleive that global warming exists or that it is not caused by fossil fuels. Simply bald face lie about it.

TnGelding

May 9th, 2009
2:40 pm

I Report :-) / You Whine :-(

May 9th, 2009
2:40 pm

Ms. Pelosi was replaced by Jane Harman as the Committee’s ranking member, but the bipartisan briefings continued. On February 4, 2003, Senators Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence were given a briefing in which “EITs [were] ‘described in considerable detail,’ including ‘how the water board was used.’ The process by which the techniques were approved by DoJ was also raised.” The document also adds that Mr. Rockefeller, the Committee’s ranking Democrat, was later given an “individual briefing.”

Nor was that the only time Mr. Rockefeller, who chaired the Committee from 2007 to 2009, heard from the CIA. The West Virginian was briefed at least 12 times more about interrogation techniques, legal authorities and other aspects of the program. The last, in June 2008, was offered to 10 members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and covered “discussion of EITs and the OLC [Office of Legal Counsel] opinions. Specific mentions of waterboarding numerous time.

Hehehehehehe, Obozo and his steel trap of idiocy, pandering to the moonbat fringe, and what do you know, Bushie covered all the bases.

And hit a home run too.

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
2:44 pm

Well, Lt. Tsao and her photo on various military blogs as well as in “Stars and Stripes” seem not only to be real enough, but female enough, so any assertions that the letter was written by someone not in the military seem to be false enough

TnGelding

May 9th, 2009
2:48 pm

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
2:44 pm

Some see a conspiracy in everything. They aren’t willing to acknowledge that some people have the ability and courage to speak out on their own.

I Report :-) / You Whine :-(

May 9th, 2009
2:55 pm

Mr. Obozo has scoffed at critics who complain these savings are inconsequential. “I guess that’s considered trivial,” he explained. “Outside of Washington [$17 billion] is still considered a lot of money.” Yes, Mr. Obama himself signed a budget bill with 9,000 earmarks costing more than $13 billion and then justified the expenditure by declaring these levels of waste minor in the grand scheme of things.-WSJ

He did “impress” the Urinal though.

I Report :-) / You Whine :-(

May 9th, 2009
2:59 pm

Mad Harris- Perhaps then you could provide us with a link to this hairy fifty year old sodomite creating letters to the president from the Daily Kooks website, er, I mean, Lt. Tsao, no?

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
3:05 pm

Sure. One is on the “Military.com “milblogging” section:

http://milblogging.military.com/listingDetail.php?id=1453

Military.com is “Stars and Stripes” website.

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
3:10 pm

Also her photo has been included in several of the newspaper articles in which the story was published, like Chigago’s “Windy City Times”

http://www.edgechicago.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=&sc2=news&sc3=&id=87113

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
3:12 pm

In Chicago papers, because the Lt was born and raised in Chicago. And of course unlike many recruits to the military, she actually has a college education.

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
3:14 pm

AND,

the branch of the military with the highest percentage of gays is the Marines, with 15 percent of marines estimated to be gay.

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
3:15 pm

Thats about one in six, for those with limited math skills

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
3:19 pm

And if those figures are roughly correct, there are more gays in the military than that other minority that right winger love to hate, hispanics, who make up about 13 percent of the military.

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
3:25 pm

Varies from study to study though. One recent study indicated that 1.4 percent of active duty servicement are gay and 9.3 percent are women. Others estimate higher figures.

Others estimate more men than women.

This might bother you AJC reading conservatives, but the states with the most gay veterans are:

California, Florida, Texas, New York, and….

GEORGIA

http://www.urban.org/publications/900751.html

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
3:27 pm

One would expect the first four states to claim larger numbers, because these are the four largest states by population…

But GEORGIA!!!!

I Report :-) / You Whine :-(

May 9th, 2009
3:33 pm

First of all, um, that’s a man.

What are you libs doing calling it a “woman?”

Looks like I’m at least 50% correct but no matter what, we ain’t checkin for no hair.

eewwwwww.

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
3:36 pm

Looks more like a woman than most female Republicans I have seen.

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
3:39 pm

Yes, gays in the military is an issue that is barely on the radar screen when it comes to most Americans. The majority dont care one way or the other. Same thing goes with gay marriage. To most Americans its a non issue. Most dont give the sort of wing nut assertions about gay marriage that the average right winger gives. Most do not beleive that allowing gays to marry will in some way invalidate heterosexual marriages, the most insane of right wing assertions.

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
3:41 pm

Too late for that bet about time limits Gwinettian, happened at 3:33

Susan Myers

May 9th, 2009
3:41 pm

N.J, @ 3:36,

Good one!

Susan Myers

May 9th, 2009
3:56 pm

The image of that letter is suitable for framing. The President of the United States pledging to fulfill a promise in writing.

That is integrity! (Something you right wingers wouldn’t understand).

Taxpayer

May 9th, 2009
4:03 pm

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
4:14 pm

I hate stooping to those sort of levels Susan, but sometimes one is left with no alternative.

Right wingers are notoriously inconsistant. One minute they will assert that only people who pay income taxes should have the right to any say about government, and then they will equally assert that you can deny rights to taxpaying gays. Because of various factors, gays tend to pay higher taxes than those “family oriented” anti-gay ranters do.

Most studies indicate that the income of the average gay couple is 60 percent higher than the national median income. This places the median gay housaehold income well into the highest tax brackets, while at the same time denying a good number of the deductions that non gay couples get to take.

This is a fact not lost on many of the Fortune 500 companies who dont care much about the sexual orientation of those who spend dollars on the products and services they offer.

StarBucks

May 9th, 2009
4:15 pm

The truth is that the “Pentagon” makes the rules here concerning this issue. They are the ever lasting authority and have ignored many an administration’s letters, laws, rhetoric .
Personally I believe it is a rule that has longingly outlived any usefulness but I also believe that a 2 year mandatory draft should be applied to every citizen over the age of 18 that is physically/mentally capable.

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
4:32 pm

Well in ten of 15 years, when “don’t ask, don’t tell” is history, when most if not all states allow gay marriage, Republicans will rewrite that history and assert they not only never opposed this stuff, but helped it become law. For those interested a very interesting history of how Republicans have always gotten it wrong, and always get by on the fact that the wingnut ideas that have been at the center of their platform in every generation, this site is for you…

the site starts out like this:

Suppose you had a friend you had known for many years, one who was very opinionated, who always seemed absolutely certain about everything, and yet who was always turning out to be wrong. He got you to buy stock in Enron and swore it would just keep on rising. He bet on the Yankees to sweep the Red Sox in ’04. He said mobile phones were just a fad, and before long people would give them up and go back to sending telegrams.

Would you trust this person’s powers of analysis? Would you continue putting any faith in his predictions?

“Conservatives,” or those who call themselves this nowadays, have an equally good and much longer record of faulty analysis and wrong prediction. In order to exist as a viable movement, they depend on everyone forgetting that they’re basically always wrong.

http://conservativesarealwayswrong.googlepages.com/

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
5:10 pm

Actually, the constitution gives Congress the power to write and modify all the rules of the military, these are the powers granted to Congress under this section

Section. 8.

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress

http://www.constitution.org/constit_.htm

When it comes to the military, its Congress that makes rules governing this, but also when it comes to “captures” on land or water, during war or peace, it is ALSO Congress that makes all rules regarding the treatment of those captures, not the Executive branch.

This is why the Bush Administration engaging in “enhanced interrogation” is also problematic. Congress should never have had to be BRIEFED on these issues. They should have been making the rules from the start, and the administration was not allowing this to be done.

Constitutionally it does not make any difference whether it is on American soil or not. Congress governs the rules that the military and other agencies related to military actions must behave. The president gets to be Commander in Chief, but he must govern the military under the rules established by Congress. This flew in the face of the administrations concept of “The Unitary Presidency”, but this requires stretching the powers of the president way beyond the powers the constitution gives the president.

@@

May 9th, 2009
5:14 pm

ByteMe:

SLDN’s Paul DiMiglio hanging out with agenda at hand

TNG:

I don’t know much about Bush prior to his presidency. As a CiC, I found him to be

committed to national security

committed to lifting all boats through tax cuts and whether successful or not (through no fault of his own)….accountability in education

he did grow government on some fronts but, at the time and under the circumstances (9/11) I can’t condemn him for that

he wasn’t one for nuanced delivery in his speeches. He was capable of improvising should his teleprompter crash. In other words, his heartfelt emotions weren’t scripted

he was capable of self-deprecating humor

I can’t recall any instance where Bush sought to misplace blame. He took it straight-up without deflecting.

On the social issues? I was never totally convinced that Bush felt as strongly about those as his supporters did. They elected to support him and he did his best to represent their views. He was firmly committed to immigration reform although his supporters weren’t. At some point he had to concede and he did on border security. He never fully came around to their way of thinking and didn’t mind letting them know.

I

@@

May 9th, 2009
5:29 pm

DeMiglio’s #8

N.J,

May 9th, 2009
6:33 pm

The Republicans came up with that “Raising all boats through tax cuts” from Thomas Jefferson, whose basic philosophy was the exact opposite of Reagans. Jefferson’s description of this was what we now call the “progressive tax” with those at the bottom paying lower percentages with a constant rise in taxation as income increased.

As usual Republicans tend to cherry pick from theories and economic system the ideas they like, and ignore the ones they dont, but the way the systems are designed, every element of them is of equal weight.

Which is why Reagan ignored the limits set by supply side theory, which state that taxes at both ends of the tax scale, govenrment revenues drop off. If they are too high, there is a disincentive to earn more, and if they are too low, government can never even collect enough to pay for non-discretionary services. Also in supply side, ALL spending is discretionary. You cannot exclude defense budgets at the expense of social spending. Its cut everything the same amount, or the theory can never work, which is why David Stockman gave up on the theory, why Milton Friendman repudiated it before he died and why Jude Wanneski supported John Kerry in the 2004 election.

Republicans do this with their talk about “free market economics”. In the basic theory, in Adam Smiths wealth of nations, the quickest way to ruin a business or an economy is to create high profits by keeping wages as low as possible and employment as low as possible.

SO far, everytime a Republican has asserted that tax cuts will raise all boats by lowering taxes, the wealthy have gotten wealthier, the rates of poverty have increased, and the middle classes have basically seen their income stagnate. Not occasionally, but every time the Republicans have given across the board, ten percent tax cuts, only the wealthy have benefited, and nothing has no more has “trickled down”

It is a theory that has proven false, over and over again. Republicans simply rely on the fact that those who have experienced its failure will die off at some point, and they can make the same assertions again, which sound good, appeal to peoples greed, but eventually do more harm than good, if they ever do good at all.

Stockman, in his book about his years in as Reagans budget advisor, speaks about how every time they passed a tax cut, they would sit around looking for some sign, any sign, that the tax cuts were stimulating the economy, that more jobs were being created, that businesses would purchase new equipment in order to increase their output and profits, and it never happened. Because while the idea SOUNDS good, its simply not true. You cannot guarantee that a wealthy person who gets a tax cut will not spend that money on a new yacht, a foreign Maserati, a kilo of cocaine. All this might provide a tiny stimulus to the economy, but not as much as if you took the same tax cut and divided it among a thousand average income workers who would go out and purchase many more items that cost less, but required more employees to produce and sell. The FIRST rule in economics 101 is that you dont hire a new employee, just because you got a PERSONAL income tax cut. Because if you keep the money INSIDE the business to begin with, and use it in ways that are productive for the business, it remains untaxed.

The Republican theory is basically that if you allow a business owner to take a million dollar a year out of a business and tax it at 25 percent, he will then take the 750,000 he keeps BACK into the business and “REINVEST IT” But if he left it in the business in the first place, it would REMAIN a million dollars if it was spent on hiring employees and purchasing new equipment. He could use it to hire 25 percent more employees, and purchase 25 percent more equipment. There is no real economic stimulus from the blanket, flat rate tax cuts given by Republicans, because they cannot GUARANTEE how that money will be utilized. They simply assert that the person who get the tax cut MIGHT use it in that way

Kamchak

May 9th, 2009
6:53 pm

N.J,

As I recall, the initial Reagan tax cut was to re-tool and re-train the U.S. work force. Corporate America, however, used that money to float junk bonds–and those funds were used as leveraged buy outs. The targeted companies were liquidated to pay off the high interest rate bonds resulting in more job losses and the Midwest rust belt. Many decent blue-collar careers were lost because of this short term gain myopia.

StarBucks

May 9th, 2009
7:03 pm

Congress governs & the US DD (Pentagon) enforces as it sees fit. I am not saying this is right but I know that this is the way the world we live in revolves.

P.S. I think the last time a “letter of marque and reprisal” was authorized was the Spanish-American war of 1898. I could be wrong, but that is what I am thinking.

Interesting concept, it might be time for President Obama to utilize this little known tool in dealing a blow to the Somali pirates. Privateers on the high sees. AKA Blackwater gets a new lease on life.