529 posts categorized "Military"

September 02, 2015

Searing image of Mediterranean refugee crisis

America, with all its wealth, can take more of these desperate families. Especially considering that America's preemptive war in Iraq did so much to destabilize the Mideast region. No one should die like this.

Obama brushes off the naysayers

An oldie-but-goodie.

Mikulski provides 34th Senate vote to ensure Obama victory on Iran deal

Thank you, Sen. Mikulski. Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic offers 10 Responses to Iran-Deal Skeptics.

August 27, 2015

President Trump's first day in office

President Trump's first day in office (except he'll have a lot more than an AK-47 to play with).

Inspired by a comment by Los Angeles radio host Ricardo Sánchez.

August 23, 2015

An old path through new rubble

August 21, 2015

Rep. Nadler supports Iran Nuclear accord, condemns troubling rhetoric

Thank you, Congressman.

August 19, 2015

Chelsea Manning found guilty for having expired toothpaste

Merits of her case aside, the treatment of Chelsea Manning is a disgrace.

Mike Huckabee's revival of the 'social experiment' fallacy

A good perspective on a persistent falsehood.

August 15, 2015

Cost of treating transgender troops called negligible

Stars and Stripes reports. Another anti-trans myth collapses under scrutiny.

August 07, 2015

Obama Allies Blast Schumer, Talk of New Leader

I am with these critics. Schemer's action in opposing this crucial peacemaking deal cannot be rewarded.

August 06, 2015

Schumer opposes Iran nuclear deal

Deplorable.

The horror of Hiroshima, 70 years later

August 05, 2015

Obama speaks on Iran nuclear deal at American University

Out of the park. Thank you, Mr. President.

"But that I see thee here, thou noble thing!"

KHC_as_Aufidius

Blast from the past--favorite lines from Shakespeare Theatre production of Coriolanus, 1999-2000 season, delivered by Keith Hamilton Cobb (@KeithHamCobb) as Tullus Aufidius:

Let me twine
Mine arms about that body, where against
My grained ash an hundred times hath broke
And scarr'd the moon with splinters: here I clip
The anvil of my sword, and do contest
As hotly and as nobly with thy love
As ever in ambitious strength I did
Contend against thy valour. Know thou first,
I loved the maid I married; never man
Sigh'd truer breath; but that I see thee here,
Thou noble thing! more dances my rapt heart
Than when I first my wedded mistress saw
Bestride my threshold.

(Keith Hamilton Cobb as Tullus Aufidius. Photo by Carol Rosegg.)

August 03, 2015

Flamboyantly dressed military vet vows to beat up gays at Russian Pride rally

Work it, honey.

July 31, 2015

Jewish Extremists Suspected in West Bank Arson That Killed Palestinian Toddler

If you are an American taxpayer, your tax dollars are helping to subsidize the West Bank occupation (now in its 49th year) that perpetuates this.

July 29, 2015

The View from Kepler-452b

452b_artist_concept_courtesy_NASA_and_JPL-Caltech_by_T_Pyle
An artist’s concept compares Earth, left, to Kepler-452b. (Image by T. Pyle; courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech)

My Blade column this week looks at the Iran nuclear agreement. Here is an excerpt:

High in the night sky over Washington, the bright stars Deneb and Vega mark a star field at the center of a probe unrelated to Benghazi or Hillary's emails or whether Iran will get the Bomb.

NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has discovered Kepler-452b, an earth-like planet 1400 light years away. At 6 billion years old, it is 1.5 billion years older than Earth. This raises the question whether any intelligent life there has avoided destroying itself. How might earthlings evolve over a similar time period?

It will be sad but unsurprising if it turns out that Kepler-452b has produced several intelligent life forms in succession, each destroying itself after developing genocidal weapons. Back here, of course, humanity's own ongoing quest of self-annihilation nearly succeeded in the last century. Our latest opportunity is the resolute effort by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and American cohorts to foment war with Iran. They are attacking a multilateral accord, reached on July 14 after a two-year effort, designed to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Read the whole piece here.

July 20, 2015

The Guardian: Open up the royal archives

I have never understood nor sympathized with the fetish for the British royals on the part of some Americans. But in any case, the coziness that existed between Edward VIII and Hitler is well established. The video of the current monarch as a child giving a Nazi salute is embarrassing, but no reasonable person is going to blame a 6-year-old princess for making a gesture at the instigation of her uncle. The archives should be open. There should be more embarrassment over the persistence of a hereditary monarchy, which will probably survive anything because the Brits cling to it to justify inflating their nation’s importance. This is odd, since the imperial heritage that makes them moist with pride includes the Opium War, the Amritsar Massacre, and Boer concentration camps.

July 15, 2015

A joyous chant in Tehran: 'Death to no one!'

Go to 1:57 in this video to see footage of last evening's celebrations in the streets of Tehran over the multilateral nuclear agreement. I posted this on Facebook after seeing it:

I just watched video of young Iranians celebrating in the streets of Tehran. It reminded me of a National Geographic cover 50 years ago featuring a Persian man. Goodness. They were chanting "Death to no one" in Farsi. Big smiles on their faces, their arms wrapped around the MSNBC reporter. Note to Lindsey Graham: damn you. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

Log Cabin cynically attacks Obama over Iran nuclear deal

Gregory Angelo says, “Log Cabin Republicans shares the grave concerns about this deal expressed by our allies in Congress." Really? Your allies? The loudest critics in Congress, who condemned the agreement reflexively without bothering to read it, included Speaker Boehner, the quasi-treasonous Sen. Tom Cotton, and the revolting closet case Sen. Lindsey Graham, whose relentless and reckless warmongering seems driven by a need to prove he is a real man. Fine company you are keeping.

The notion that nothing should be done until and unless everything can be done is just as foolish coming from Log Cabin as it was coming from the leftists in 2009 who demanded a single, comprehensive LGBT equality bill immediately--which showed no understanding for the structure and politics of Congress with its multiple committees and power centers, or the different degrees of ripeness of different efforts; nor did it show respect for the many hard-working activists who labor year-in and year-out laying the groundwork for progress. Just "Give us everything right now!" like a baby screaming in a high chair. To suggest that a complex and difficult multilateral nuclear agreement should be halted unless every other concern is simultaneously resolved is sabotage, not serious advocacy.

President Obama is far and away the most pro-gay president in American history. By contrast, his Republican predecessor in 2004 endorsed the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment. On May 9, 2012, after Obama publicly endorsed marriage equality, Log Cabin could not pause from its petty partisan sniping for an hour to celebrate the historic breakthrough of the President of the United States taking such a step. Instead, demonstrating that LGBT equality always comes second for Log Cabin, they belittled the president and boasted of how former Vice President Cheney was ahead of him--despite Cheney and his gay daughter having worked to re-elect President Bush after his call for us to be written out of the Constitution. At least Ken Mehlman has apologized for his role in that, and worked on pro-gay Supreme Court briefs.

Notwithstanding Mehlman's efforts, the GOP remains overwhelmingly homophobic. Instead of throwing stones in its glass house, Log Cabin should be working harder to get its so-called allies in Congress to support pro-LGBT measures here at home, and should be battling the virulent bigotry coming from its party's clown car of presidential candidates. And instead of insulting our intelligence with its pinkwashing stance beside the cynical and extreme Bibi Netanyahu, it should demand that he replace his ambassador to Washington with a serious diplomat.

Finally, I would like to note that the fictional Uncle Tom, while no Nat Turner, sacrificed his own life to help a slave girl escape to freedom. While I sympathize with others who criticize Log Cabin, there is no need to insult Uncle Tom by comparing him to moral cowards.

July 14, 2015

NAACP: Let's sand blast Confederate carvings off Georgia mountain

Mandela let the Voortrekker Monument remain. Instead of acting like the Taliban in the Bamiyan Valley, let's focus on stopping police from murdering unarmed black folks.

Fox News slander on DOD action

Dear trans friends: for this nutbag to call you mentally ill is like some drunk fatass on a couch insulting Serena Williams. Frank Kameny used to say he resented for more than six decades having had to lie in order to serve his country. Here again we have Americans who are slandered as they fight not for a benefit but for an obligation, for the right to serve. Thank you for putting up with so much ignorance and bile. You, unlike Erickson, have my respect.

Iran nuclear agreement reached

Finally a nuclear agreement with Iran. Israel PM Bibi Netanyahu and his friends in the GOP are angry and scornful. What is their alternative? War. Facile talk of another reckless war is all they've got. I am so eager to hear from freshman ignoramus Sen. Tom Cotton. Not. Bibi could not do more harm to the long-term interests of Israel if he were its sworn enemy. Good for the nations involved in this multilateral agreement, including the U.S.

July 13, 2015

Ban on #transgender military service may soon be lifted

It's about time.

July 09, 2015

'Take this symbol of hate off these grounds'

Both houses of the South Carolina have voted by overwhelming majorities to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the state capitol. WIST News reports.

Above, Republican state Rep. Jenny Horne, a descendant of Confederate States President Jefferson Davis, spoke passionately last night during debate on the removal bill.

July 06, 2015

SC senate votes 37-3 to remove Confederate battle flag

The South Carolina senate today, in the second of three required votes, voted 37-3 to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the state capitol. The lower house of the legislature is also expected to act this week.

Today I heard Langston Hughes being read in the South Carolina senate. The blood of the Mother Emanuel martyrs is buying an extraordinary moment of grace. The step the senators are about to take, the removal of a flag, will open the way to other steps. It will not magically end the hate (indeed, there were some less-than-enlightened comments on the senate floor today, including anti-gay comments), but it will mark a significant political shift. The name of Clem Pinckney is much on his colleagues' lips. If only we could have him back. His state needs him. May his memory continue to lift his state and nation.

June 05, 2015

Senate Rejects Same-Sex Benefits For Veterans In Non-Marriage Equality States

As the SCOTUS ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges approaches, Republicans are stuck in their denial. Take out a blank sheet of paper, and there you will see a complete list of everyone who is helped by this bullheaded meanness.

June 04, 2015

HRC works on its own diversity problems

An HRC-commissioned study shows it has diversity issues. Some are inevitably using this for another round of pointless sniping at the gay rights behemoth, which has an enduring base of supporters. There are many other groups for people to support. But to give HRC credit, they work with statewide and other national groups on a range of issues. They helped DC on marriage equality, bullying, and conversion therapy, and are helping on surrogacy agreements and LGBT cultural competency for healthcare providers. I am glad they are looking at where they need to improve.

May 20, 2015

ISIS, erasing antiquity

Dear ISIS, you dishonor your faith, your inheritance, and the human race. May you be swallowed by quicksand.

May 16, 2015

U.S. Special Forces Kill Senior ISIS Commander

President Obama seems to be going after ISIS pretty aggressively, considering the far right's claim that he wants the terrorists to win. Below, 19-year-old college student Ivy Ziedrich confronts Jeb Bush on the campaign trail, saying, "Your brother created ISIS." You will perhaps not be shocked that a college student appears far better informed on recent Middle Eastern history than the scion of a distinguished political family who wants to be our next president.

May 14, 2015

Kirchick: A crank theory of Seymour Hersh

Jamie Kirchick has an interesting piece in Slate on Sy Hersh's ill-sourced alternative version of the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Also, A blunt interview of Hersh by Isaac Chotiner.

April 27, 2015

G.W. Bush decries peacemaking in the Middle East

Until now, I could at least give George W. Bush credit for keeping his mouth decently shut about his successor. That is now over. Like Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and others from his administration, he appears to have learned nothing from his destabilizing and financially ruinous military adventures.

April 25, 2015

Jared Polis introduces 'Restrain Steve King from Legislating Act'

Love it.

April 08, 2015

Taking the Ball from the GOP

Cartoon_150408_insert_c_Washington_Blade_by_Ranslem
(Washington Blade editorial cartoon by Ranslem)

My latest Blade column takes a look at how the GOP's overreach has exposed its weak game. Here is an excerpt:

Republicans had a bad week last week. When not failing in their effort to sabotage nuclear nonproliferation negotiations, they were denouncing the Indiana and Arkansas legislatures for undermining their so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Acts by adding clarifying language. Retail giant Walmart was instrumental in pressuring Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson to demand a fix to that state's RFRA.

The only homophobes who had a good week were the owners of Memories Pizza, who received over $800,000 in donations in a right-wing media scam that hailed them as Christian martyrs for refusing to fill the previously unknown demand for pizza at gay weddings.

Read the whole thing here.

April 03, 2015

Buchanan to Hannity on Iran: 'You're hysterical'

This delightful clip of Pat Buchanan schooling Sean Hannity on Iran makes me think that a reality show called "Battle of the Wingnuts" could be a smash hit.

Obama: framework would cut off every path Iran has to develop nuclear weapons

To those who say there's not a dime's worth of difference between the Democrats and Republicans regarding the Middle East because both support Israel and both use American military, look at this: a Democratic president using multilateral diplomacy while Republicans, aggressively and willfully ignorant of recent history, clamor for another preemptive war. This negotiation is not finished, but congrats and thanks to the president and Secretary of State Kerry for their persistence.

March 23, 2015

Gay Iraq war vet: from homeless to activist

March 19, 2015

Senators Working To Subject Children To Religious Discrimination At School

O-TED-CRUZ-facebook

Republican Senators Ted Cruz (TX) and James Lankford (OK) have introduced a resolution of disapproval against two bills passed by D.C., one prohibiting employer discrimination for reproductive healthcare decisions, the other protecting LGBT students. Cruz and Langford claim that the bills are attacks on religious freedom.

Cruz is setting a pattern of fibbing about legislation. Last week he demanded the repeal of the non-existent federal Common Core law. His cries of religious freedom being under attack are the opposite of the truth. He is defending discrimination. A growing GOP trend is to dress up anti-LGBT discrimination as religious freedom. What they want is not freedom but supremacy.

As you may know, one of the two targeted bills, the Human Rights Amendment Act, which among other things repeals the noxious, congressionally imposed Armstrong Amendment dating from the late 1980s, was requested by GLAA. Here are other news stories on the senators' disapproval resolution:

CBS News reports on #transgender man dismissed by Navy

The struggle for equal service continues.

Santorum seriously answers batty questioner on 'Communist dictator' Obama

You cannot be too crazy to be taken seriously by a politician like Rick Santorum.