AGAIN?!

Bush’s call for a constitutional ban on gay marriages failed last year in Congress, but his position was seen as a key factor motivating Christian conservatives concerned about “moral values” to turn out in large numbers and help supply Bush with a winning margin in last week’s election.

“If we want to have a hopeful and decent society, we ought to aim for the ideal, and the ideal is that marriage ought to be, and should be, a union of a man and a woman,” Bush political aide Karl Rove told “Fox News Sunday.”

Rove said Bush would “absolutely” push the Republican-controlled Congress for a constitutional amendment, which he said was needed to avert the aims of “activist judges” who would permit gay marriages.

Renewing his push for an amendment — despite its slim chances of success — would be a way for Bush to reward his conservative base. The amendment would face a steep hurdle winning the needed approval of three-fourths of the states.

Land of the free and the home of the brave. So why do our leaders keep trying to make us less free?

Assassination

The mayor whom she hoped to succeed chased her into a public health clinic and fired three bullets into her back. Then, in front of at least a dozen horrified bystanders, he reached over Ms. Ávila’s body and fired another bullet into her head.

True story, down in Mexico. There’s been a lot of frustration from the left-side of the aisle this week, after John Kerry’s defeat. Many of us, myself included, expected a Democratic landslide, “revenge” for what many of us consider a stolen election in 2000.

Read the story of Guadalupe Ávila Salina, murdered because she dared to be a voice of opposition, and regardless of your feelings towards our current President, be grateful that we live in a country where our lives aren’t threatened when we don’t toe a party line.

Bogus Arguement

A really great post on the myth of the ‘message’ that Massachusetts has supposedly sent the world:

The way some of them make the link is to argue that whenever the law treats two things with legal equality that sends a message. According to this worldview, by allowing marriage equality, Massachusetts has “sent a message” which says that no child needs a mom or a dad.

There are two problems with this point of view.

First of all, it’s simply, factually wrong: equal legal treatment sends no such message. If it did, then by allowing criminals in prison to marry, the US has sent the message that convicted murderers are just swell as parents and mates, and that kids don’t need two parents out of prison. By allowing the KKK a legal right to march, the government says the KKK is just as good as Veterans marching on Veterans Day. And so forth.

So, for instance, if the government bans all paintings of clowns (wistful thinking, I know), that sends a message that clown painting deserves contempt and lesser treatment. Does it follow that by not banning clown paintings, the government is saying a clown painting has just as much value as a Mary Cassatt’s The Bath? Of course not; the government is simply remaining neutral and letting the culture decide for itself what to value.

I don’t understand why so many people get their undies in a bunch when the “other” people want the same legal rights and protections that they do. It is really shocking to me how many Americans understand freedom as something for THEM, and them alone, and fail to realize that freedom means sometimes people do stuff that you might not agree with.

I don’t agree with the KKK. I don’t agree with those who stand outside abortion clinics and protest. I don’t agree with people who believe there is a god. I don’t agree with people who don’t buy French’s mustard because they hate France. But as free Americans, those are rights which they have. And as a free American, I have right to disagree with the KKK, to disagree with the anti-choice crowd, to not go to church, to buy French’s mustard.

Freedom is beautiful. But freedom is more than just you. Freedom is more than just me.

Backdoor Draft

From USA Today:

A veteran of the first Persian Gulf War is suing the Army after it ordered him to report for duty 13 years after he was honorably discharged from active duty and eight years after he left the reserves.

Kauai resident David Miyasato received word of his reactivation in September, but says he believes he completed his eight-year obligation to the Army long ago.

“I was shocked,” Miyasato said Friday. “I never expected to see something like that after being out of the service for 13 years.”

Make no doubt about it – these involuntary recalls are exactly a backdoor draft. These men and women affected have already served their time defending this country, many of them putting themselves in harm’s way. And now they’re being told “it isn’t enough.” Oh puh-lease.

But the question becomes, what will we do in the future? Look, as a liberal American, I hoped for years before September 11th that we’d deliver a good ole’ ass kickin’ to the fundamentalist Taliban in Afghanistan, and I remember turning on CNN that night to pictures of the Northern Alliance shelling Kabul. Make no mistake – I have many complaints about our Commander-in-Chief, but to my estimation, the invasion of Afghanistan wasn’t one of them.

The invasion of Iraq, however, was, and with every dead American, and with every report of lootings going unhindered, of arms dumps raided, of politics trumping common sense, of abuses, of the lack of responsibility from those in command, with all of this, is it any surprise that those who make up the bulk of our armed forces are noticing?

According to General Peter Pace, Vice Chairman of the JCS, recruitment was down 23%, including in the National Guard. Folks – let’s face it, the US military is undermanned. If we’re going to keep our troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq where we need them, we’re either going to have to completely abandon any secondary missions elsewhere throughout the world, but we’re also going to have to come to grips with the dreadful realization that all we can do with Iran or North Korea is glare at them.

Maybe throw a rock or two.

So, looking at this situation (yes, you can probably accuse me of being ‘grim’), the question becomes, what do we do? We could always leave Iraq. Well, no, we can’t. When we invaded Iraq, we became responsible for Iraq’s security. Iraq isn’t secure, and withdrawing will leave the country in a worse state than we found it, not to mention reinforcing the notion to Osama and his goonies that the United States, indeed, is a paper tiger.

Or we could have a draft. Unpleasant? No more unpleasant than dragging veterans kicking and screaming back into combat zones. Here’s something fun to chew on – if there is a draft in these next few years, don’t think it’ll only be your son or your brother or nephew being called up. There are many positions in the military that can be filled by a woman – it’ll be your son & your daughter our government will put in harm’s way, to defend this nation.

There’s nothing shameful with defending this nation. What is shameful is lying to us to drag us into a war that didn’t need to be fought.

And I’m not talking about the war on terrorism, here.