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Old 07-23-2010, 10:59 AM   #101
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His rank was puzzling. I looked him up. Seems he must have been passed over for promotion (he was in my year group, and most of us were promoted to Captain in 2006). Something must have happened between 2003 to 2005 to prevent him from being selected for the next grade.
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:53 AM   #102
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Washington (CNN) -- The outcome of a key Senate vote Tuesday on whether to begin debate on legislation that includes a repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy remains too close to call.

Republicans appear united against the measure, including some GOP senators who favor lifting the Pentagon's requirement that gays and lesbians keep their sexuality a secret. The Republican opponents are upset that Democratic leaders so far refuse to allow GOP amendments to the broader National Defense Authorization Act that includes the "don't ask, don't tell" provision.

Pop star Lady Gaga spoke at an afternoon rally in Maine to pressure the state's two Republican senators -- Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins -- to join Democrats in overcoming an expected filibuster attempt. To loud cheers from the crowd, Gaga said she was proposing a new law titled, "If you don't like it, go home," which would remove homophobic straight soldiers from the military instead of gay soldiers.

"If you are not honorable enough to fight without prejudice, go home," she shouted.

Without the support of the Maine senators, Democrats are unlikely to muster the 60 votes needed to proceed with debate on the defense authorization plan. Both oppose the policy, and Collins was the sole Republican vote in the Senate Armed Services Committee in support of getting rid of it.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:34 AM   #103
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Man chosen to lead Marines against lifting gay ban

By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer Anne Flaherty, Associated Press Writer – 21 mins ago
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's choice to lead the Marine Corps says he doesn't think Congress should lift the ban on gay troops who want to serve openly.

Gen. James Amos' comment came hours before a Senate test vote on a defense policy bill that would repeal the 17-year-old law, known as "don't ask, don't tell."

Amos told a Senate panel on Tuesday he was concerned that unit morale could suffer. He also said the shake up could become a distraction for forces busy fighting in Afghanistan.

When pressed by Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, who supports repealing the law, Amos said the Marine Corps would dutifully implement any changes to its personnel policy if Congress changed the law.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's John McCain versus Lady Gaga on Tuesday as the Senate takes up the emotional issue of repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the military.

Senate Democrats have attached repeal of the 17-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" law to a bill authorizing $726 billion in military spending next year. The fate of the move appears uncertain, but whichever way the votes go, repeal seems destined to become a major issue in this fall's midterm elections.

The law is already under siege. A federal judge in California recently ruled the ban on gays was unconstitutional, polls suggest a majority of Americans oppose it and Lady Gaga has challenged it in a YouTube video.

Repeal advocates say the law deprives the military of capable soldiers and violates civil rights.

But McCain of Arizona and other prominent Republicans are fighting to keep the law in place, at least until the Pentagon completes a survey later this year on repeal's likely effect on troops. GOP critics say lifting the ban at a time when troops are fighting two wars would undermine morale.

"I regret to see that the long-respected and revered Senate Armed Services Committee has evolved into a forum for a social agenda of the liberal left of the Senate," McCain said last week on the Senate floor.

An estimated 13,000 people have been discharged under the law since its inception in 1993. Although most dismissals have resulted from gay service members outing themselves, gay rights' groups say it has been used by vindictive co-workers to drum out troops who never made their sexuality an issue.

Top defense leaders, including Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, have said they support a repeal but want to move slowly to ensure changes won't hurt morale.

Gates has asked Congress not to act until the military finishes a study, due Dec. 1, on how to lift the ban without causing problems.

He also has said he could live with the proposed legislation because it would postpone implementation until 60 days after the Pentagon completes its review and the president certifies that repeal won't hurt morale, recruiting or retention.

The provision is included in a broader defense policy bill that authorizes $726 billion in military spending for next year, including $159 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a 1.4 percent pay raise for the troops.

By reviving the issue just before the midterm Congressional elections, Democrats are trying to score points with their political base and portray Republicans as obstructionists willing to shoot down a bill that includes the pay raises.

According to a February 2010 poll by the Pew Research Center, 61 percent of Americans said they favor allowing gays to serve openly, while 27 percent said they are opposed.

"Don't ask, don't tell" has become a perennial battleground in America's ongoing culture wars. This time, though, the forces backing repeal seem closer to victory than ever because Democrats control both the White House and Congress.

The House has already passed similar legislation. More recently, a federal judge in Los Angeles sided with a gay rights group and ruled that the military's policy violates due-process and free-speech rights.

Pop star Lady Gaga led a political rally in favor of repeal in Maine on Monday. The state is home to the two Republican senators — Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins — seen as most likely to side with Democrats on the issue. Lady Gaga said it was unjust to have goodhearted gay soldiers booted from military service while straight soldiers who harbor hatred toward gays are allowed to fight for their country.

She suggested a new policy should target straight soldiers who are "uncomfortable" with gay soldiers in their midst.

"Our new law is called 'If you don't like it, go home!'" she said.

Collins and Snowe have not said how they will vote this week. While Collins sided with Democrats during committee deliberations on the bill, Snowe says she would prefer to keep the ban intact until the Pentagon completes its Dec. 1 study.

In a statement, Snowe also raised questions about procedural tactics being used by Democrats to limit debate on the bill by restricting the number of amendments to three.

Spokesman John Gentzel said Snowe was paying attention to the Lady Gaga rally. But he referred reporters to Snowe's statement that said the Senate needs more time.

It's not clear whether repeal will pass the Senate. Even if Democrats block McCain's proposal to strip the provision from the spending bill, final passage is likely to be complicated by other issues.

Republicans are also hotly contesting a separate provision that would lift a long-standing ban on abortions at military facilities.

And in yet another nod to election-year politics, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., wants to attach the DREAM Act to the bill. The provision would allow thousands of young illegal immigrants who attend college or join the military to become legal U.S. residents.

Democrats say the immigration measure would boost military recruitment while Republicans say it would unfairly reward illegal immigrants with amnesty.

Reid has said a final vote on the defense policy bill may have to wait until after the elections.
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Old 09-21-2010, 02:06 PM   #104
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the American public approves of the repeal of DADT by a wide margin, but because of a few Senators who need to prove their hate credentials to the bigoted base of the Republican party, it's not going to happen. it's really shocking.

i have emailed my senator. i wish there were more i could do.

this used to be a bit lower on my list of "gay issues" mostly because i have no interest in ever joining the military, nor did i ever know anyone who did. that has changed since living in DC. i have been amazed at the enormous number of gay veterans who live in this area -- especially Arlington/Alexandria -- and all of whom are very, very proud of their service. it's enormously disrespectful to them that they are forced to lie about a very basic fact of their existence.
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:01 PM   #105
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Adopting a libertarian approach to this, there is no good argument that is not ultimately based on prejudice for not allowing gay people to serve in the military - which is, after all, a public institution.

But, by the same argument, private companies should be allowed to restrict hiring to straights only - or, for that matter, gays only, or whites only, or blacks only - if they so choose. Why should a gay bar not be allowed to hire only gay bar staff?

As for Lady Gaga, seriously, great musician, but I suspect the last thing gay soldiers want is to have her as their representative. It just lends weight to the prejudice that gays are only interested in dressing up and flamboyance.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:55 AM   #106
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Your point about private businesses is valid, except that I guess I would argue that the military is a little different from most other private institutions-taking into account what the military is supposed to be for and how it's supposed to help defend our rights and such, it seems strange and hypocritical then for that very organization to deny people who want to fight the ability to do so, especially for something like this.

As for Lady GaGa, I understand your point there, too, but it sounds like the reception was strong when she spoke, and she also brought those members of the military who were kicked out as her dates to the VMAs, and they didn't seem too bothered by being associated with her, so who knows?

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"If you are not honorable enough to fight without prejudice, go home," she shouted.
That's something I was thinking about when I was watching the news last night. Nowadays the military is voluntary, it's not a draft anymore. So I guess if working alongside gay people really bothers somebody THAT much, then, um, don't join up? Find some other way to serve your country? There's lots of options out there. And if you do join the military, you're going to encounter beliefs and lifestyles and cultures you don't agree with. That's life. Guess you'll have to decide whether or not you can deal with that.

Also, for all the insanity that is Congress, can I just say this: God bless Al Franken. I heard snippets of his speech during the meeting for this yesterday, and I wanted to applaud him (hell, when he got choked up it got me a bit choked up). It was really refreshing to see a moment of sanity amongst these proceedings. It's sad that it's taking a guy who used to be on "SNL" to state such obvious facts, but hey, if that's what it takes, well...

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Old 09-22-2010, 03:35 PM   #107
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As for Lady Gaga, seriously, great musician, but I suspect the last thing gay soldiers want is to have her as their representative. It just lends weight to the prejudice that gays are only interested in dressing up and flamboyance.
She is despicable. (and not really a great musican)

She is constantly using gays for her own advantage at their expense.
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Old 09-22-2010, 07:37 PM   #108
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She is despicable. (and not really a great musican)

She is constantly using gays for her own advantage at their expense.


at least she's better than the Clintons/Democratic Party/HRC/Obama.

and not to worry, folks -- the hundred thousand or so gay soldiers will continue to fight and die for a country that views them as less than human.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:52 AM   #109
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Harvard links ROTC return to end of ‘don’t ask’

By Tracy Jan, Boston Globe Staff | September 23, 2010

Harvard University, which expelled ROTC four decades ago, will welcome the military training program back to campus only when the ban on openly gay and lesbian service members is repealed, the university’s president said yesterday.

Harvard’s president, Drew Gilpin Faust, speaking the day after the US Senate declined to take up a measure that would have repealed the “don’t ask, don’t tell’’ policy, said vestiges of antimilitarism on campus dating to the Vietnam War are largely gone and she would now welcome the opportunity to “regularize our relationship’’ with the armed forces.

“We are very much looking forward to the end of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ ’’ Faust said. “It will be a very important moment to us when that happens.’’

Harvard’s strained relationship with the military has been controversial for years, and came to the nation’s attention again in June, when the Senate grilled a former Harvard Law School dean, Elena Kagan, about a period when that school barred military recruiters. The Senate went on to confirm Kagan as a Supreme Court justice.

Harvard had expelled ROTC from campus in 1969, amid protests against the Vietnam War. Today, Faust said, there is only one reason ROTC is barred from campus: The issue is “entirely linked to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ ’’ She said Harvard bars discrimination by all undergraduate groups.

But Harvard students do participate in ROTC, with the university’s blessing, by joining the program at MIT. And Faust, like Summers before her, has actively engaged Harvard’s military community, attending the commissioning ceremonies of ROTC graduates and publicly displaying support. Last night, Faust invited ROTC cadets to appear with her at Fenway Park when she threw out the first pitch at the Red Sox game.





Can you spot the gay soldier?

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Old 09-23-2010, 01:01 PM   #110
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She is despicable. (and not really a great musican)

She is constantly using gays for her own advantage at their expense.
I always get that feeling as well. Like at the VMA's, when she brought the gay soldiers who were discharged. Of course she would do that. She wouldn't do something like bring a straight soldier with her as her escort, because whats the point in that? I feel bad for them, for being discharged and for being used by her.
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:09 PM   #111
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Of course she would do that. She wouldn't do something like bring a straight soldier with her as her escort, because whats the point in that?
Well what would be the point? Is support for straight soldiers that still have their job somehow under represented?


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I feel bad for them, for being discharged and for being used by her.
Yes, I'm sure they were forced. She gave them a platform, it was their choice to take it or not...
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:45 PM   #112
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Well what would be the point? Is support for straight soldiers that still have their job somehow under represented?
No, but what I'm saying is that it comes across that the only fact she cares about is that they were discharged for being gay. idk, its just how I see it. At any rate I don't like her.
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:46 PM   #113
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From what I understand, she actually does a lot to support the LGBT community.
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:55 PM   #114
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No, but what I'm saying is that it comes across that the only fact she cares about is that they were discharged for being gay. idk, its just how I see it. At any rate I don't like her.
But what's wrong with that? She sees it as an injustice and she's trying to shine a light on it. That's it plain and simple. When you get discharged for being white, straight or male then I'm sure she and I would stand with you.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:37 PM   #115
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But what's wrong with that? She sees it as an injustice and she's trying to shine a light on it. That's it plain and simple. When you get discharged for being white, straight or male then I'm sure she and I would stand with you.
There's nothing wrong with it per say, it's just that it comes across that she doesn't have a strong support for the armed forces, just those that are gay. And you can't be disqualified because of race or gender..
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:47 PM   #116
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There's nothing wrong with it per say, it's just that it comes across that she doesn't have a strong support for the armed forces, just those that are gay.
I figured that's where you were going. Not sure if there is any evidence that supports this.

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And you can't be disqualified because of race or gender..
Kinda my point. Why should one be discharged for being born gay, but not for being born white?
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:01 PM   #117
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Kinda my point. Why should one be discharged for being born gay, but not for being born white?
It's not that black and white (no pun intended), however I really don't care for the current policy. :/

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I figured that's where you were going. Not sure if there is any evidence that supports this.
Yeah I know, and I'm sure deep down she really does, but still
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:34 AM   #118
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There's nothing wrong with it per say, it's just that it comes across that she doesn't have a strong support for the armed forces, just those that are gay.

so do the gay parts count less than the other parts of the Armed Forces?

seems all they're asking for is to be treated like anyone else. after all, not being required by law to lie about fairly fundamental details about one's life would certainly lift a great burden from the 100,000+ gay soldiers, and they'd probably do an even better job than they already do.
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:34 AM   #119
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There's nothing wrong with it per say, it's just that it comes across that she doesn't have a strong support for the armed forces
Curious as to how you figure that?

I'm not seeing this as exploitation, either. Just another voice of support more than anything .

Interesting decision on Harvard's part. I don't know how much sway their actions will hold in regards to solving the problem, but hopefully the message will get out there to somebody. I looked at that picture underneath, and yeah, it's awfully hard to tell who's who there, isn't it?

Looking at that picture of the coffins just further points out how utterly insane it is that of ALL the issues surrounding the military we could be fretting over, this is the one that gets some people all bothered. It's amazing how screwed up some people's priorities are.

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Old 11-12-2010, 09:55 AM   #120
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Sen. John McCain's wife Cindy appears in a new ad that harshly criticizes the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and government officials and religious leaders generally, over what she and others describe as complicity in the bullying that has led to a rash of highly-publicized suicides among gay youth.

The Republican senator from Arizona has spearheaded opposition to legislative repeal of the military's ban on openly gay servicemembers in the upper chamber, vowing to filibuster if necessary a bill similar to the one that passed the House earlier this year. In the ad from the NOH8 campaign -- an activist group formed in response to Proposition 8, the California ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage -- Cindy McCain seems to be suggesting that her husband is partly responsible for the bullying that has claimed a number of gay teens' lives.

"Our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future," Mrs. McCain says in the ad, which features her alongside celebrities such as Denise Richards and Gene Simmons. "They can't serve our country openly."

After other speakers suggest that laws which limit the rights of gay Americans reinforce that derogatory treatment of them is acceptable, Cindy McCain asks rhetorically, "Our government treats the LGBT community like second class citizens -- why shouldn't they?"

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