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Friday, January 21, 2011

MISSILE MATTERS: THE END OF DADT AND NATIONAL SECURITY/Rachel Maddow, Ellen Degeneres + Barney Frank

Hi all. I'm under the weather this week, so bear with me please.
The weather sucks. Three snow storms in Wallingford in one week near Hartford. Sigh.
My health ain't great. Cold lingers and medical matters persist. Sigh.
This article on the passage of DADT and START
and giving credit to Rachel and her TRMS staff
deserves a replay.
So enjoy.
Peace
Steve

Rachel Maddow and her "The Rachel Maddow Show"[TRMS] deserve much credit for their work on the vote that finally succeeded this lame duck session to end the codified discrimination which was the uniformed military's Don't Ask Don't Tell law. 

The tired old arguments that group cohesiveness and battlefield situations required only straight troops or hiding sexual orientation were the same ones that resulted in the separate but unequal black divisions following the Civil War and right up to and including WW II.  If these ethnic divides had not been eliminated, General Colin Powell never would have led, for example, nor been the last Republican cabinet officer within the ranks of those involved in National Security, as Secretary of State, worth his salt[or SALT II, or START treaties ifya prefer--lol].

Rachel's own orientation, though not really relevant, is fairly well-known and she advocates for policies in a journalistic environment caused by the Rupert Murdoch nonsense at the Fixed News Network that calls for a bit of advocacy journalism, not that advocacy journalism is a "bad" thing inherently at all.  Spin happens.  If you see my living room, you might describe white walls and a brown sofa set. I'd be more likely to describe the crack in the ceiling that appeared to have not been caused by rain or water when I decided to recommend its purchase by my own partner at the time.  Facts are abridged and spin happens in all reporting all the time every day. Even good 'ol Walter Cronkite spun.  He spun in favor of NASA and against Vietnam, eventually for example.  Rachel's colleague at MSNBC, Keith Olbermann, did a great commentary not long ago on Walter and Edward R. Murrow recently about this sort of thing.  What Murdoch, Beck and the elected and party officials on the other side have done however is confuse reporting and editorializing with governing.  Palin, Gingrich, Boehner, McConnell, and Romney cow towing and pandering to the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck is the new novelty in US politics. I consider Rachel, considerably younger[and endowed with an awesome research, editing and other-staff] and much more successful, a role model and inspiration.


Ellen Degeneres is a well-known pop culture icon who starred in a sitcom years ago when she decided to acknowledge her lesbianism publicly years ago now. When she "came out" it was a bold and heroic move and a different time that she had alot to do with changing.  She too is a role model for me.  She stopped her successful sitcom to do talk TV and has done that impressively and it is funny AND topical.  She does much to advocate for bullied kids.   Elsewhere on these Unabashed Left pages see a series on "Bully, Bully, Bully" by a guy who was bullied himself as a kid, me. Thanks Ellen.  What a great public servant, free of charge--not collecting a single tax dollar--only dishing them out with a great income because of her great success in a career that breaks records!

And what amount of letters could I type to describe the leadership of Cambridge, MA Congressman Barney Frank. A civil rights icon to me and much more.  He "came out" years ago and has been amazingly effective.  He, along with Chris Dodd on the Senate side got the Banking bill through forya this year.  Thanks Barney.  He demolishes others in National Security debates.  He knows the advantages of DADT's demise to long-term national security.  What we need now that there are women, blacks, Hispanics and gays in the uniformed military with equal rights under the law is to get more of them into positions of prominence, like Colin Powell was.  I just happen to believe that a few Moms, and diversity among the uniformed and Defense Dept. civilian  leadership will help us massively!  We've had Moms as Secretary of State repeatedly, lets try one or two on the Joint Chiefs, or as Chairperson of the Joint Chiefs or as Defense Secretary and see what happens.  Just a theory, that maybe humanized defense strategy may emerge with diversity in the ranks of General Officership and civilian Defense and Intelligence leadership. Yaknow?  Diversity has worked elsewhere, it is one of the last bastions of uniformity--all guys and mostly white guys like me still!

Ellen is a show business celebrity, so she can get away with having her picture taken when she's kissing partners and marrying them.  Remember the huge debate over Al Gore's lip-smack with his own wife, Tipper, on stage at the Democratic convention in 2000? Silly, huh?  Now I happen to be a Liberal Christian, myself. A proud card-carrying member of the United Church of Christ AND the Episcopal Church. And Unabashedly Left. Believing that Christ Himself has a position on Nukes, DADT, the US aggressions in Afghanistan, Iraq and the $700 billion annual Defense Dept budget.  He opposes them, I do believe. :)

It just happens to be my view that Jesus loves Unconditional Love and that he's rather partial to kisses and hugs in general. Al kissing Tipper, Ellen kissing Portia and more. And it happens to be my view that those enlisted personnel and those making military policy at all levels, from Privates accused of Wikileaking to Presidents like our awesome Barack H. Obama[previously guided by Rev. Jeremiah Wright of the UCC] utilize or should utilize their moral guideposts in determining their actions.  And their religion may determine their decisions at least in part, or should just maybe? Some of the crew on the right acknowledges the influence of their religion on their policy positions on everything from abortion to tax policy. Liberal Christianity has much to say about policy, I submit.

I've applied with a dot com for authorization to begin as a reporter for them on Military Affairs from a Liberal Christian perspective. I hope to succeed in getting this project off the ground very soon. I will keep you posted. Sarah Palin is winking atya!

She is claiming to be a Christian right-winger like a lot of folks today.  I submit that Reverend Jeremiah Wright was taken entirely out of context in the video snippets put out there during the 2008 election.  If you look at the body of his work, he has spoken out forcefully and with passion and has had a strong worthwhile message. Many Christians of a more liberal persuasion have a message to deliver in a means that may require a more moderate presentation. Let's not be afraid to articulate our legitimate Christian Liberal views, please. :)
In Jesus' precious name I pray,
Amen.

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