— Cenk Uygur on the impact of repealing DADT
“ Once again, conservatives, shockingly, a hundred percent wrong. Nicely done. ”
Ricky Watson of Littleton, Colorado wipes tears from his eyes after he thanked President Barack Obama for repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at a campaign rally in Golden, Colorado, September 13. Watson was kicked out of the Air Force 25 years ago for being gay.
We don’t believe in the kind of smallness that says it’s okay for a stage full of political leaders — one of whom could end up being the president of the United States — being silent when an American soldier is booed. We don’t believe in that.
We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens. We don’t believe in them being silent since. You want to be commander in chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient. We don’t believe in a small America. We believe in a big America — a tolerant America, a just America, an equal America — that values the service of every patriot.””
(Source: The Huffington Post)
“ The histrionics of a small minority of the GOP debate crowd — cheering over executions, endorsing letting an uninsured patient die and booing a gay soldier — continues to present a lasting problem for a Republican Party struggling to come off as inclusive. ”
(Source: The Huffington Post)
For the second year in a row, more American soldiers—both enlisted men and women and veterans—committed suicide than were killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Also, Milwaukeeans: have you heard of Dryhootch? It is a coffee shop on Brady that was opened by a group of Vietnam veterans who wanted to help soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan (as well as veterans from all eras). In addition to just being a place to hang out, it offers many services for veterans and their families, including support groups, a legal clinic, and resources related to mental health. I’ve been meaning to post something about it for a while (and sadly, this picture is what reminded me to do so). They are particularly focused on helping veterans who are not eligible for military benefits because of the circumstances of their discharges (including those discharged under DADT). Spread the word!
“ Since I’m a single officer in the Marine barracks and I’ve got the highest security clearance you can get, I also serve at the White House in close quarters with President Bush and President Obama at social events. Very seldom was the president ever alone, but one time the president had said, ‘Go and get the vice president,’ and all the straphangers went, and the president went in the Blue Room and was just standing there waiting for Biden. And there was no Secret Service around or anything, and I went, ‘Fuck it, I’m going to go and talk to the president about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” ’ He was looking out south—there’s an incredible view down past the Washington Monument to the Jefferson. And I just stepped in and said, ‘Sir?’ and he turned around and walks to me and I just started: ‘You know, sir, I want to let you know that there are a number of us that work very close to you who appreciate very much what you’re doing on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”—more than you probably realize.’ And he was shaking my hand, he looks up and it’s like… he got it. I said, ‘I want to thank you for this.’ And he goes, ‘No, I want to thank you. Thank you for your service, and thank you for your courage.’ ”