Thursday, October 21, 2010
I don't understand this latest string of developments. DADT is back in effect as a result of a stay issued yesterday. The purpose of a "stay" is to stop the effect of a ruling while it's being appealed. Fine, I suppose. I can understand the logic of doing this in an orderly fashion (even if I don't agree with it).
But how about the reverse? Shouldn't there also be a "stay" on DADT enforcement while it's being reviewed? If the end goal is an orderly end of the policy, wouldn't it be logical to stop firing people for being gay? As the history of DADT enforcement shows, the Pentagon has not applied the policy uniformly over time (hint, discharges drop in time of conflict), suggesting that there isn't really any factual emergency when it comes to gays in the military. And as the testimony of a high level NATO official shows, the whole concern about unit cohesion is totally bogus. So while the judges, bureaucrats and the assholes in Congress are working on this one, why not stop enforcement of DADT?
As for the DOJ appeal of the DADT ruling, I suppose they didn't have a choice. But again, it matters how you do this. Amy Davidson makes some good points on this here, in particular about the wording of the DOJ motion.
As for Obama's insistance that DODT "will end on my watch", I'd like to see where he gets his ballsy certainty from. Will it end on his watch when the newly Republican House and possibly Republican Senate vote to repeal it? What else will they do while they are at it? Pass a climate change bill and an immigration overhaul? Clearly, saying that the Congress will do anything is an empty promise and acting like it's self-evident means that either he is delusional or believes that we must be, and I don't know which is worse.
by Alex Kristofcak at 10:24 AM
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Reposting this interview with Chairman of NATO's Military Committee, because this needs to reposted again and again and again.
BLITZER: Let's talk about gays serving openly in the military. It's a big debate here in the United States as you well know, right now. Most of the NATO allies, including in Italy, allow gays to serve openly in the military. How is that working out in the NATO alliance? DI PAOLA: I think it's working out quite well. In the end, fundamentally, the issue here is the sexual orientation is not an issue insofar as you being a soldier or whatever you would be in the environment you are working for, that is not a problem. Sexual orientation is a personal matter, not a matter for state policy. BLITZER: So it hasn't undermined unit cohesion, combat readiness? DI PAOLA: Absolutely not. If there is misconduct, applied to a gay or non-gay, that would be treated as misconduct. So your sexual orientation does not have to influence the environment in which you work. BLITZER: When NATO troops, whether from Canada, Britain, or Germany, or France or Italy, serve in Afghanistan, for example, with U.S. combat troops and there are gays serving side by side, have you seen one example of an incident that has undermined the ability to fight? DI PAOLA: I have not seen it. I am not aware of it. Of course, I don't know all the cases that might have happened. But I'm not aware of any cases of any relevance.
by Alex Kristofcak at 10:39 AM
by Alex Kristofcak at 10:19 AM
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
You probably heard all about it: the Republican nominee for the governor of NY made a nasty remark about gays. NY Times and NPR can't stop reporting about it. Predictably, Andrew Sullivan reacts to Paladino's rant with his own typical Sullivan rant. I take one look at Intrade and Pollster and say: who gives a shit. In all seriousness, the chances of him being elected are pretty slim, and clearly rants like this are not particularly helpful. Yes, it is infuriating for a serious candidate for political post to be saying these things .. but honestly, maybe his slim chances of being elected are a testament to how marginal and extreme his views are? So instead of wasting time and energy on him, can we all please get more sleep or run for 10 minutes?
by Alex Kristofcak at 10:16 AM
Monday, October 11, 2010
"The Nobel thus not only crowns a career but provides the basis for a fine future Javier Bardem/Antonio Banderas movie."
by Alex Kristofcak at 2:32 PM
Due to reasons I may (or may not) discuss another time, I was on the Wikipedia page on civil partnerships in the UK and on the right hand side, in the list of countries and jurisdictions that recognize same-sex marriage, I see a list: United States: CT, DC, IA, MA, NH, VT, Coquille. Huh? Well, apparently Coquille is an Indian tribe in Oregon which legalized same-sex marriage in 2008. “We want all people to be open to benefits and accepted in our group,” stated the Tribal Chief.
by Alex Kristofcak at 11:50 AM
Friday, October 8, 2010
A terrorist is on trial. The key witness is not allowed to testify since his identify was revealed as a result of torture. The terrorist might possibly be acquitted. As Glenn Greenwald points out, the neocons are angry at Obama for subjecting us all to the inconvenience that is due process.
And of course they are also angry at the assholes who tortured the guy and botched the case in the first place. Finally faced with potentially adverse consequences of torture - a terrorist could be acquitted - they insist on investigating the torture regime of the previous administration.
A man can dream, no?
by Alex Kristofcak at 4:01 PM
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Totally forgot to post an update. A pretty fun month .. ESPECIALLY PUMPKINS!
by Alex Kristofcak at 10:48 AM
“There’s class warfare, all right. But it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
by Alex Kristofcak at 9:05 AM
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
by Alex Kristofcak at 11:21 AM
This is quite bizarre. In 2001, when the US attacked Afghanistan "to find Osama bin Laden and other high-ranking Al-Qaeda members to be put on trial, to destroy the organization of Al-Qaeda, and to remove the Taliban regime which supported and gave safe harbor to it," few probably imagined that the outcome of the war would be for the Taliban to be in the government of Afghanistan. And yet, that is what is apparently happening, according to this article, which says that Karzai is in talks with the Taliban over a negotiated end to the war.
I would lie if I said I can envision a different end to the war. But God, how dispiriting: after all these years of fighting, how is one to feel about the fact that Taliban might be back in power in Afghanistan? And not because we failed to stop them from doing so by force but rather because they negotiated some sort of a deal? And how does the "surge" factor into this? What about the counter-insurgency strategy? The administration will have a lot of explaining to do.
More importantly, if a negotiated settlement with our original enemy ("we will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them") is indeed the ultimate solution, can we all please stop for a moment and agree on the obvious conclusion to leads to with regards to American military intervention in foreign lands? Please?
by Alex Kristofcak at 10:47 AM
Wanda Sykes, Kathy Griffin and Tim Gunn. It's like gay cocaine.
by Alex Kristofcak at 9:53 AM
Pretty good article from the Times about Zuckerberg. I genuinely believe that success on this scale is 5% skill and 95% total randomness (right place, right time, etc). That said, the movie was super fun. http://nyti.ms/atfaaF
by Alex Kristofcak at 8:54 AM