Friday, May 28, 2010

Its Fundamental

For any of you that have read this blog over the past two years it’s no surprise to know that I am a Liberal. A Progressive. A Democrat.

And proud of it.

Perhaps I haven't defined why?
If you don't care, move on there is nothing to see here.

But if you are even vaguely interested, heres why I am a Liberal/Progressive/Democrat.

Because I believe that the government can do some good.

I spent 13 years in the United States Navy. Since then I have worked with agencies of three different government departments as well as a state agency and a number of private companies mostly in power generation or the manufacture of medical devices. And through it all I have been largely impressed by the professionalism of the federal civil servants I have worked with and with their dedication.

Maybe I am delusional. I have been called worse. But in all that I have done, I have seen people who were doing their best every day to make this country better. In the end, I have far more trust and faith in government bureaucrats than I do in politicians

And I believe that government can be a force for good in our lives.

And that, from my observation, is the fundamental difference between me and most Republicans/Conservatives.

They believe, it seems to me, in the fundamental incompetence of government. They seem to believe that the government, outside of national security, is basically a drag on the economy. That is my perception anyway. I had one Conservative tell me that they believed in tax cuts with or without spending cuts because that put more money is their pocket. And they didn't even recognize the truth that, long term, tax cuts that aren't paid for take money out of all our pockets and out of the pockets of our children and grandchildren and probably their grandchildren as well.

So, to me, the difference is fundamental.

Can the government do some good or is government somehow inherently either destructive or incometent.

I believe it can do some good.

Don't Ask Don't Tell

We are on the cusp of repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell
75% of Americans believe that openly gay Americans should be allowed to serve.
I only mention a poll number because of the number of times Conservatives and Republicans cited poll numbers in their oppostion to things like Health Care Reform. On this issue, polls are trash. This, like Gay Marriate, is a Civil Rights issue.

But finally, in accordance with the will of the vast majority of the American People, we are on the Cusp of repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell.

And yet, Republicans/Conservatives insist that this is a bad thing and they promise a fillibuster.

Most of the Europe and the Isreali's all allow openly gay men and women to serve in their armed forces. And despite the jokes you might want to make about the Ducth Army, nobody doubts the combat effectiveness of either the Isreali or British Armies. This blather about unit cohevisness is bullshit. I left the United States Navy almost 20 years ago and even then, the members of the wardrooms that I was in didn't care if a person was gay or straight, as long as they could do the job.

It's sad that religious conservatives have such sway in our system right now that this is even an issue.

There is no evidence, NONE, that allowing gays to serve openly in the military will have any negative impact on force readiness, or unit cohesion or combat effectiveness. But because Religious Conservatives want to focus on two verses from Leviticus and ignore the rest of the book (how many Christian Conservatives happily eat pork) we are still having this debate.

So now, many of the Republicans in the Senate are promising to filibuster the repeal of this law. This law that has no basis in fact. This law that is opposed by the vast majority of the American people. This law that is actively hurting our National Security by kicking out of the military more than 10,000 good honorable effective service members for no reason other than the silly beliefs of a small minority. Finally we are on the cusp of repeal

Its a small victory, but I will take it.


Gay Marriage

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Tea Party

Those who know me know that I have no respect for the vast majority of Tea Baggers. I don't even call them Tea Party members. I have though, not always expressed my reasons for that disdain well. I found this paragraph in Digby's Blog Hullabloo and it expresses my feelings as well as anything I have seen.

I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that tea partiers are having fits over a health care plan which they claim is a usurpation of our constitutional rights, but stripping Americans of their citizenship when someone suspects them of a crime is worth considering. Torture and indefinite imprisonment are perfectly in keeping with our founding principles but asking people to fill out a census form is Big Brother in action. Profiling anyone who some beat cop thinks might not be a citizen is a-ok, but making it difficult for terrorist suspects to buy a gun is an assault on the constitution. What the hell?

Thanks to Digby for this.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Conservatives - Wrong again

The advocates of expanded drilling (off-shore or in Alaska or anywhere else they believe oil to be hiding) have been telling us how safe and environmentally benign drilling is. After there hadn't been a major disaster at one of these drilling platforms in years so they must be safe!!

Wrong again.

And now, thanks to Drill Baby Drill, we have a looming environmental disaster on the Gulf Coast that will likely devastate commercial fishing for years, perhaps decades (just look to the continuing affect of the Exxon Valdez disaster on Prince William Sound). The impact on tourism is already being felt and will last for years.

Conservatives were wrong again, its like a habit for them. Off-Shore oil rigs are not safe and benign, they are environmental and financial disasters waiting to happen.

Of course, liberals have been predicting exactly this kind of disaster and yet again were right about it.

Conservatives have been wrong about so much but they continue to insist that they have the magic policies that will fix everything.

They pushed for deregulation of banking, got Glass Stegel repealed, told everyone that the Financial Services industry could regulate itself and claimed that regulating the market in derivatives would stifle innovation and what did all that got us was a new financial meltdown that trashed the entire economy. Boy were they wrong.

They opposed the Environmental Protection Act and the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act, predicting that each would lead to economic disaster. They were wrong.

They opposed Clintons 1993 budget with its tax increases claiming that that would lead to economic ruination and financial devastation. They were wrong.

They supported the Bush Tax Cuts, claiming that the tax cuts would not explode the deficit and that we would grow our way out of deficits. They were wrong.

They opposed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, I still don't understand why, and they were wrong there as well.

Now they continue to claim that Climate Change/Global Warming is some sort of hoax perpetrated by a thousand or so Climate Scientists in order to make Al Gore rich or something. They don't have a viable alternative scientific explanation for what is happening, but they know all those pesky scientists have to be wrong. And their denial of what the science clearly shows is delaying our addressing the problem. And those delays will cost people in the United States and around the world greatly. They are wrong again and are insisting that we do nothing about a looming disaster.

They are opposed to gays serving in the military because they believe that homosexuality is bad and gross and an abomination and really bad. They talk about good order and discipline but can't show any evidence that allowing open homosexuals to serve in the armed forces of Israel or Great Britain or Canada has made those forces less effective or riven with hidden sexual tension. Wrong again.

So now here we are again, having to pay a price for the errors of conservatives.

I am tired of paying for their mistakes.