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Military Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault in the Military

Yesterday, in the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, about 15 or 20 of the military brass sat in front of our senators and tried to justify their current system of military justice and the ongoing sexual assault of women in the military. I wish I had something brilliant to say. I really don’t. I find the whole situation sad. No, that’s not right. Outrageous. Pitiful. Intolerable. For almost 20 years women have been fighting in the front lines of our military, yet we have thousands if not tens of thousands of military assaults and rapes against our own by our own. This has to be fixed. We can accept no more excuses.

I was thinking that I needed to write something about how our women in the military need to feel as safe as they do in the normal civilian population. I was gonna say something like the military should be as safe, if not safer. But, as I mentioned a couple months ago, women are not all that safe in the general population. Somehow, the crimes of rape and sexual assault do not seem to be prosecuted with the same vigor as “regular” assault or other violent crimes. We simply need to fix this.

By |2013-06-06T21:44:48-04:00June 5th, 2013|Civil Rights, Military|1 Comment

NFL: week five – Hits and Misses

There’s no way that I can go any further without talking about Tim Tebow. The Denver Broncos are playing mediocre to awful football. Kyle Orton is struggling in the current system. Last year at this time, he was one of the best quarterbacks in the league. This year he has seven interceptions and eight touchdowns. He has a quarterback rating of 75.7. That makes him the 28th-ranked quarterback in the league. The Denver fans are screaming for Tim Tebow. All I can say is – be careful what you wish for. Yes, Tim Tebow has made some exciting plays over the last year. Do you want exciting plays or do you want to go to a Super Bowl? In this league, you go to the Super Bowl with a quarterback who stays in the pocket and protects the ball. You do not go to the Super Bowl with a running quarterback. For all those people who said that he won in college, so? Chris Weinke also won in college. He had a less than stellar pro career. He had all the intangibles. He was 6’4″ tall. He weighed 232 pounds. He threw the ball well. He came from a college system that was much like the pros. Nevertheless, he ended his career with a quarterback rating of 62.2. He threw 26 interceptions, compared to 15 touchdowns.

Detroit Lions – I wanted to mention that I said that the Detroit Lions were going to win and they did. I think it’s clear that Detroit is playing some actually fabulous football. Their front seven on defense have been dominating. They’re controlling the line of scrimmage. As a matter fact, they’re playing on the other side of the line of scrimmage. This is making things easier for the offense. I’m still not quite believing in Matthew Stafford. He had some unfortunate overthrows. If the Detroit offense had been clicking on all cylinders, they could have used this opportunity to blow out the Bears, who looked terrible – false starts, couldn’t protect Cutler, couldn’t cover. I’m really looking forward to next week (see below).

San Francisco 49ers – Who would’ve thought? Last year, the 49ers couldn’t do anything right. As a matter fact, they didn’t look all that great at the beginning of this year. Now, they have a record of 4-1. They simply dismantled what I thought was a pretty good Tampa Bay Buccaneers team. Josh Freeman looked inept. The 49er defense was opportunistic. The 49er offense was clicking on all cylinders. Alex Smith, a quarterback who I thought was never going to make it in the NFL, is starting to throw the ball pretty well. He is not throwing for a ton of yards but he’s been very efficient. Frank Gore turned in one of his best performances of the year. Vernon Davis is a beast in the middle and it looks like they have a second tight end, Delanie Walker, who can play ball. The 49ers play the Detroit Lions next Sunday. This may be the game of the week. Two young teams that are starting to show something. I’m looking forward to this.

New England Patriots/Green Bay Packers – both these teams seem to keep rolling on. Personally, I think that the Green Bay Packers are probably the best team in the NFL, but I think you can make a case for the New England Patriots. I know that the Detroit Lions are still undefeated and I think that they are good, but I don’t think they’re as good as the Packers or the Patriots.

Seattle Seahawks – I thought they were awful earlier this year. I’m still not quite ready to buy the fact that they may be okay. I’m not going to say that they’re actually good. They put a lot of pressure on Eli Manning and he started spraying the ball. A couple of tip balls could’ve gone either way, but on Sunday they went the way of the Seattle Seahawks. Let’s say that they had a good game on Sunday and just wait and see what they deliver next Sunday.

Matt Cassell – QB rating of 138.9. 4 td’s and no ints!

Jahvid Best – 12 carries for 163 yards and 1 td. He was one of the main reasons that the Lions won.

Philadelphia Eagles – I know that it’s fashionable to beat up on Michael Vick and the Eagles these days. The fact is that the Eagles had an opportunity to have one of their patented fourth-quarter comebacks if it weren’t for a few tipped balls. They do have to figure out how to tackle on defense. They don’t seem to be able to stop the run, which may be their biggest problem. They have to figure out a way to stop the turnovers.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers would like to be thought of as one of the elite teams in the NFC. Unfortunately, they have to go back to the drawing board. They got thoroughly beaten on Sunday. Nothing looked good. Josh Freeman looked lost. There was no running game. Their defense was simply awful (actually worse than that, but I can’t think of a word that would be fitting – abysmal?)

New York Jets – Although I don’t think it’s time to panic in Philadelphia, it’s clearly time to panic in New York. The New York Jets are not what they thought they were going to be. They thought they were going to be better than last year. They aren’t. They’re not running the ball. Their offensive line is not creating running lanes. Their passing game is simply average. The biggest problem with the New York Jets is their front seven on defense. They simply aren’t the dominant front seven that the Jets had last year or the year before. Losing Shaun Ellis and Kris Jenkins has really hurt the Jets. The Jets traded or gave away Derrick Mason but that’s not going to fix their problems. They simply need to get tougher on defense.

More later.

By |2011-10-11T23:31:57-04:00October 11th, 2011|NFL|Comments Off on NFL: week five – Hits and Misses

The Brilliance of Obama’s budget

I have talked about the importance of fixing the economy and then tackling the deficit. Unfortunately, reality has raised its ugly head. The GOP is beating the deficit drum. Americans have been led to believe that short term deficit reduction is really, really important. So, the Obama administration is walking the tightrope. Reduce the deficit while sustaining job growth.

From Center for Budget and Policy Priorities:

The President’s budget achieves this goal by cutting domestic discretionary programs, securing savings in entitlement programs, limiting defense expenditures, and raising revenues primarily by curbing a plethora of tax loopholes.  At the same time, it does not propose the immediate and severe cuts in domestic discretionary programs that House Republicans are proposing, which would weaken the economy (and thereby cost many jobs) before it can safely absorb such austerity measures, eviscerate key programs and services, and render the federal government unable to meet some critical national needs.

Nobody is going to be completely happy with this budget. That’s okay. The key is that Obama budget must reflect the Progressive Agenda. It must work to stabilize Social Security. It must strengthen programs that work like Head Start. It must also begin to cut some of the expensive programs that are exploding the deficit.

From EPI:

Education: An 11% increase in education, investing in 100,000 new science, technology, engineering, and math teachers, and a $1.4 billion new investment in early childhood education.  Pell Grant funding is increased by over 20%, although eligibility criteria will actually be narrowed to prevent a larger increase spurred by growing demand for higher education and rising tuition costs.

Transportation: A 60% increase in transportation infrastructure investments over six years, focusing on rebuilding and maintaining the current system and building out the transit and rail infrastructure (ensuring that 80% of Americans have convenient access to a passenger rail system within 25 years).  This includes an immediate $50 billion investment as a down payment on this stronger commitment to transportation, and $30 billion for a National Infrastructure Bank.

Energy: A 12% increase, including a doubling of energy efficiency research, development, and deployment, increasing renewable energy investments by over 70% and continuing the vital investments in the national electricity grid.

Science and innovation: Doubles basic research at the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technologies, while maintaining funding for the National Institute of Health.  The budget would also invest $15 billion in the national broadband network to boost speed and increase access. (more…)

By |2011-02-15T08:55:59-04:00February 15th, 2011|Budget|2 Comments
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