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Gays in the military, I don’t get the problem

We already have laws in the US against discrimination. We have amended the constitution to make sure that we aren’t discriminating against anyone, yet we are having this stupid debate over gays in the military. Why? What’s the problem? Gays have been serving in the military since the Revolutionary War. There are codes in the military about unwanted sexual advances. So what is the problem? There are gays in the military now. I just don’t understand the opposition. Sen. Al Franken made a very emotional speech from the floor of the Senate last night. Take a look:

Shortly after Senate Republicans and two Democrats blocked a vote to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Sen. Al Franken gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor.

Franken (D-MN) told a story about one of his trips to entertain the troops when he was a comedian, and started to choke up over the people who told him they were gay. You can watch him get emotional as he tells the story below.

Franken said the year was 2006 and it came at a time when the military had a tough time recruiting. He said they gave waivers for just about everything at the time.

“If you ask every man and woman on that base, who would you rather have standing to your right, standing to your left, that gay man or that gay woman who has been serving with you the last year, or somebody comes in here with a moral waiver and those troops who had moral waivers, many of them served very honorably and bravely, or some with a cognitive waiver, many of those flourished in the military and are doing great things,” Franken said.

He added: “All gay and lesbian service members want to be able to serve. Instead, people are getting kicked out of the military. People who don’t need any moral waiver, people who don’t need standards lowered for them in order to serve. People who are patriotic and courageous and who have vital, irreplaceable skills.”

By |2010-09-22T13:37:33-04:00September 22nd, 2010|Civil Rights, Military|33 Comments

Obama at the NAACP

100 years of the NAACP. President Barack Obama at NAACP. This is a great speech. Just when you think Obama has lost his way, he throws a speech like this in your face. I just have to step back and say, “Damn!”

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From AP:

President Barack Obama on Thursday traced his historic rise to power to the vigor and valor of black civil-rights leaders, telling the NAACP that the sacrifice of others “began the journey that has led me here.” The nation’s first black president bluntly warned, though, that racial barriers persist.

“Make no mistake: The pain of discrimination is still felt in America,” the president said in honoring the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s 100th convention.

Painting himself as the beneficiary of the NAACP’s work, Obama cited historical figures from W.E.B. DuBois to Thurgood Marshall to explain how the path to the presidency was cleared by visionaries. (more…)

By |2009-07-17T10:06:42-04:00July 17th, 2009|Civil Rights, Obama administration|Comments Off on Obama at the NAACP

Damn Sympathetic Liberals… Not on My Supreme Court!

Liberals are nothing but whiny, Volvo-driving tree-huggers.  Can you believe what Sotomayor said now?

Here’s what she said in response to a simple question.

Questioner: Can you comment just about Sonia Sotomayor, and what she cares about, and let us see a little bit of your heart and what’s important to you in life?

SOTOMAYOR: … I tried to provide a little picture of who I am as a human being and how my background and my experiences have shaped me and brought me to this point.

SOTOMAYOR: I don’t come from an affluent background or a privileged background. My parents were both quite poor when they were growing up.

And I know about their experiences and I didn’t experience those things. I don’t take credit for anything that they did or anything that they overcame.

But I think that children learn a lot from their parents and they learn from what the parents say. But I think they learn a lot more from what the parents do and from what they take from the stories of their parents lives.

And that’s why I went into that in my opening statement. Because when a case comes before me involving, let’s say, someone who is an immigrant — and we get an awful lot of immigration cases and naturalization cases — I can’t help but think of my own ancestors, because it wasn’t that long ago when they were in that position.

And so it’s my job to apply the law. It’s not my job to change the law or to bend the law to achieve any result.

But when I look at those cases, I have to say to myself, and I do say to myself, “You know, this could be your grandfather, this could be your grandmother. They were not citizens at one time, and they were people who came to this country.”

When I have cases involving children, I can’t help but think of my own children and think about my children being treated in the way that children may be treated in the case that’s before me.

And that goes down the line. When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account. When I have a case involving someone who’s been subjected to discrimination because of disability, I have to think of people who I’ve known and admire very greatly who’ve had disabilities, and I’ve watched them struggle to overcome the barriers that society puts up often just because it doesn’t think of what it’s doing — the barriers that it puts up to them.

So those are some of the experiences that have shaped me as a person.

Oh, wait… my bad.  This wasn’t Sotomayor.  It was Samuel Alito during his confirmation hearing.  The whole thing should read like this:

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Judge Samuel Alito’s Nomination to the Supreme Court

U.S. SENATOR TOM COBURN (R-OK): Can you comment just about Sam Alito, and what he cares about, and let us see a little bit of your heart and what’s important to you in life?

ALITO: Senator, I tried to in my opening statement, I tried to provide a little picture of who I am as a human being and how my background and my experiences have shaped me and brought me to this point.

ALITO: I don’t come from an affluent background or a privileged background. My parents were both quite poor when they were growing up.

And I know about their experiences and I didn’t experience those things. I don’t take credit for anything that they did or anything that they overcame.

But I think that children learn a lot from their parents and they learn from what the parents say. But I think they learn a lot more from what the parents do and from what they take from the stories of their parents lives. ….

Well, that’s something else entirely, isn’t it?  What does say about Alito?  What does say about empathy and live experience?  More from Keith Olbermann (watch the video):

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By |2009-05-28T16:36:32-04:00May 28th, 2009|Bush Administration, Countdown, Party Politics, Supreme court|Comments Off on Damn Sympathetic Liberals… Not on My Supreme Court!
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