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It’s Veterans Day…

I’ll be clear, here. I am not a veteran of our armed forces. When my eligibility would have occurred I got a 1 Y on my physical and was never allowed in (I was also married with a child and in college at the time.)

What I do remember every Veterans Day, however, is my Uncle Butch (Marine Sgt. Irving B. Tchakirides, my father’s younger brother), who died on his third tour of duty in Viet Nam… a victim of American fire as it happens. Many times I have gone to DC to see his name on the Viet Nam Wall and to remember how much I liked him, along with my other uncles, as a child.

So I wish a Best Veterans Day to the memory of my Uncle Butch and hope that someday we won’t have to think about losing our young men in wars we never should have been in.

 

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Something is wrong with Alphainventions.com…

…and I can’t get in to post my blog updates. I have been trying to get hold of Cheru with no luck.

If you rely on Alphainventions to get info on my newest posts, let me recommend you try Kadency or BlogSurfer where I also post updates.

 

UPDATE

As of 6PM this evening, Alphainventions.com is active again after 48 hours of being offline for reasons I can’t begin to fathom. Welcome back, Cheru.

As long as I was discussing Colorado, here’s a quote from last weekend…

Discussing gays in the military, Ken Buck (Colorado Republican Senate Candidate) said he believes sexual orientation is a choice

“I think that birth has an influence over it, like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you have a choice.”

– Ken Buck on Meet The Press.

I know a lot of gay guys who are thrilled that they now have a choice.

From Andrew Cohen, Legal Analyst at Politics Daily…

clipped from www.politicsdaily.com

Another Federal Judge Holds ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell‘ Unconstitutional
A federal judge in Tacoma, Wash., ruled Friday that the Air Force violated the constitutional rights of a decorated flight nurse when it discharged her in 2007 under the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy after learning of an affair she was having with a married woman.
U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton ordered the Air Force to reinstate Margaret Witt, an 18-year veteran of the branch, who achieved the rank of major before she was discharged three years ago for what was classified at the time as “homosexual conduct.” Leighton found her termination violated her due process and equal protection rights.
Leighton’s ruling is the second in three weeks to undermine the legal foundation of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, the 17-year-old ban precluding homosexuals from serving openly in the U.S. armed forces.
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Isn’t it time we actually GOT RID of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

Al Franken Speaks On “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

And chokes up as he does… This was picked up at TPM:

Al is turning into one of the most moving Senators… I hope to hell he doesn’t get corrupted. He’s so good right now.

Is McCain working against the rest of the Nation?

It doesn’t look like he’s listening to his Committee testifiers…
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) seemed like he was about to lose his temper during a press briefing Tuesday after Republicans filibustered the defense appropriations bill over a measure that would have repealed the military‘s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) held a briefing in the Senate press gallery immediately following the vote. McCain grew increasingly obstinate when pressed on the military’s history of actively seeking out gay troops to be dismissed under the policy.

Of course, as ThinkProgress notes, the Senate Armed Services Committee — on which McCain serves as the ranking Republican — heard testimony just this past March from servicemembers who said their sexual orientation was actively investigated, including by searches of their private emails.
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(Don’t tell her the dog’s real name is Santiago!) (via HYSTERICAL RAISINS)

Are there any politicians who don’t lie about their history? This is another big one from Hysterical Raisins:

(Don't tell her the dog's real name is Santiago!) From POLITICS DAILY: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer finds herself under scrutiny after telling a newspaper that her father “died fighting the Nazi regime in Gemany.” In actuality, Brewer’s father, Wilford Drinkwine, passed away from lung disease in California, ten years after World War II had ended. Brewer’s comments were made to The Arizona Republic [actually, it’s The Arizona Guardian] newspaper, and came as she was discussing her state’s polarizi … Read More

via HYSTERICAL RAISINS

House votes to repeal military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy

clipped from www.mcclatchydc.com
WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives voted 234 to 194 Thursday night to repeal the military’s 17-year-old policy that prohibits gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the nation’s armed forces.
The historic House vote followed the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 16-12 to end former President Bill Clinton’s 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that allows gays and lesbians to serve in the military but subjects them to expulsion if their sexual orientation becomes known.

Supporters of repealing the “Don’t Ask” say that 13,500 service personnel have been dismissed from the armed forces under the policy.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a Navy veteran who opposes repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” solicited letters from the four military chiefs saying that changing the policy before the Pentagon finishes its review would send the wrong message to service members.
70 percent of Americans support allowing openly gay men and lesbians to serve in the military, while 25 percent oppose it…. says pollster Gallup.
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Senate could vote on it this week.

A Deal Reached to Kill “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”?

OK…let’s see if this goes through. I think it is rather iffy myself.
Picked this up in the NY Times:
clipped from www.nytimes.com
WASHINGTON — President Obama, the Pentagon and leading lawmakers reached agreement Monday on legislative language and a time frame for repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, clearing the way for Congress to take up the measure as soon as this week.
It was not clear whether the deal had secured the votes necessary to pass the House and Senate, but the agreement removed the Pentagon’s objections to having Congress vote quickly on repealing the contentious 17-year-old policy, which bars gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the armed services.
House Democratic leaders were meeting Monday night and considering taking up the measure as soon as Thursday. But even if the measure passes, the policy cannot not change until after Dec. 1, when the Pentagon completes a review of its readiness to deal with the changes. Mr. Obama, his defense secretary and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff would also be required to certify that repeal would not harm readiness.
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Rising military suicides outpaces combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan…

This article from Congress.org caught my attention. I find it especially interesting since we are about to increase troops in Afghanistan.

 

Here’s a clip… but go to the site and read the whole thing:

clipped from www.congress.org
More U.S. military personnel have taken their own lives so far in 2009 than have been killed in either the Afghanistan or Iraq wars this year, according to a Congressional Quarterly compilation of the latest statistics from the armed services.
As of Tuesday, at least 334 members of the military services have committed suicide in 2009, compared with 297 killed in Afghanistan and 144 who died in Iraq, the figures show.
Lawmakers in recent years have been increasingly concerned about the growing problem of military suicides, especially in the Army.
But even those who have been most intensely focused on the issue said they found the new numbers alarming. So far in 2009, the Army has had 211 of the 334 suicides, while the Navy had 47, the Air Force had 34 and the Marine Corps (active duty only) had 42.
The rising number of suicides has coincided with U.S. military forces redeploying frequently to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Army leaders say they are unable to conclude that the deployments are the main cause of the suicide increase — one-third of the active-duty soldiers who killed themselves in 2009 have no deployment history, according to Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli.

But many senior members of Congress say they believe there is a connection.

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