Tag Archives: Confederate Yankee

DADT Dead, And Only Seventeen Years Old

Scott Wong at Politico:

The Senate voted Saturday to repeal the ban on gays in the military, marking a major victory for gay rights and an impending end to the 17-year old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

The bill now heads to President Barack Obama, who plans to sign it into law, overturning what repeal advocates believed was a discriminatory policy that has unfairly ended the careers of thousands of gay members of the military.

The 65-31 Senate vote marked a historic — and emotional — moment for the gay-rights movement and handed Obama a surprising political triumph in the closing days of the 111th Congress. The legislation had been left for dead as recently as last week when Senate Republicans blocked efforts to advance it. But on final passage, the bill won the support of eight Republicans, an unexpectedly high total.
Paul Mirengoff at Powerline:

Earlier in the day, the Senate voted 63-33 to invoke cloture. Six Republicans voted in favor of doing so: Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, Mark Kirik, Scott Brown, Lisa Murkowski, and George Voinovich. On the final vote, two conservatives, John Ensign and Richard Burr, joined in to support repeal.

Of that entire group, the only Senator whose view on the subject I credit even slightly is Scott Brown, who has served for 30 years in the National Guard. But Brown must run for re-election in left-liberal Massachusetts. And, political calculation aside, I do not credit Brown’s views nearly as much as those of, for example, John McCain, a true expert in military affairs whose son serves in the Marines and opposes repeal.

It’s clear to me that there will come a day when DADT can be repealed without an appreciable risk to the military and its personnel, such as the risk described by Gen. James Amos, Commandant of the Marines, of American soldiers dying on the battlefield as a result of the decrease in unit cohesion he thinks repeal will produce. The testimony of Gen. Amos, and the data contained in the Pentagon’s study showing the views of the people who actually fight for this country, led me to conclude that day has not yet arrived.

Andrew Sullivan:

It’s been more than three decades since Leonard Matlovich appeared on the cover of Time magazine. It’s been more than two decades since this struggle began to reach the realm of political possibility. From the painful non-compromise of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, through the big increase in discharges under president Clinton, via the wars and civil marriage breakthroughs of the first decade of the 21st Century to the calm and reasoned Pentagon report of December 2010, the path has been uneven. We need to remember this. We need to remember constantly that any civil rights movement will be beset with reversals, with dark periods, with moments when the intensity of the despair breaks the hardiest of souls.

But we should also note that what won in the end was facts and testimony and truth. There is no rational basis to keep qualified and dedicated gays from serving in the military. It was confidence in this truth – not assertion of any special identity or special rights – that carried us forward. And the revelation of the actual lives and records of gay servicemembers – all of whom came out of the closet and risked their livelihoods to testify to the truth – has sunk in widely and deeply. These men and women had the courage to serve their country and then the courage to risk their careers, promotions, pensions, salaries and, in some cases, lives to bring this day about. They represent an often silent majority of gay men and women who simply want to belong to the families and country and churches and communities they love, and to contribute to them without having to lie about themselves. This, in the end, was not about the right to be gay, but the right to serve America. Like all great civil rights movements, it is in the end about giving, not taking.

William Kristol at The Weekly Standard:

Now that the lame duck Democratic Congress has repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT), the new Congress will have to see to it that the Obama administration manages the implementation of repeal responsibly, and that the concerns of military leaders and troops are taken seriously. But over the next two years Congress can do something else. It can take an interest in ensuring that discrimination against ROTC on college campuses ends.

Though ROTC was kicked off campuses like Harvard, Yale and Columbia before gays in the military was ever an issue, DADT became the excuse offered by those universities in recent years for continuing to discriminate against ROTC. The excuse is gone. One trusts the presidents and trustees of colleges that have been keeping ROTC at arm’s length, allegedly because of DADT, will move posthaste to ensure a hearty welcome and full equality for ROTC at their universities. One would expect that patriotic alumni of those universities would insist on quick action. One would hope that prominent individuals, like Yale alum Joe Lieberman, who played so crucial a role in ending DADT, would lose no time in writing president Richard Levin to urge the re-installing of ROTC at Yale, that Crimson alums like Chuck Schumer will be in touch with Harvard president Drew Faust, and that Columbia graduate Barack Obama will weigh in with Fair Columbia’s Lee Bolling

Doug Mataconis

Bryan Fischer:

It’s past time for a litmus test for Republican candidates. This debacle shows what happens when party leaders are careless about the allegiance of candidates to the fundamental conservative principles expressed in the party’s own platform.

Character-driven officers and chaplains will eventually be forced out of the military en masse, potential recruits will stay away in droves, and re-enlistments will eventually drop like a rock.

The draft will return with a vengeance and out of necessity. What young man wants to voluntarily join an outfit that will force him to shower naked with males who have a sexual interest in him and just might molest him while he sleeps in his bunk

This isn’t a game, and the military should never be used, as is now being done, for massive social re-engineering. The new Marine motto: “The Few, the Proud, the Sexually Twisted.” Good luck selling that to strong young males who would otherwise love to defend their country. What virile young man wants to serve in a military like that?

If the president and the Democrats wanted to purposely weaken and eventually destroy the United States of America, they could not have picked a more efficient strategy to make it happen.

Rarely can you point to a moment in time when a nation consigned itself to the scrap heap of history. Today, when the Senate normalized sexual perversion in the military, was that moment for the United States. If historians want a fixed marker pointing to the instant the United States sealed its own demise, they just found it.

It won’t happen overnight, but happen it will.

And Republicans did not just stand around and watch as our military was shredded before their very eyes, they helped it happen. Shame on them all.

Confederate Yankee:

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association wrote that, either fearing that the most combat-hardened military in world history is ripe for the picking, or perhaps, he’s just guilty of a little fantasizing of his own.

His is an absurd position, one that portrays gay soldiers as uncontrollable rutting beasts, and our straight servicemen as docile sheep waiting to raped. Such a point of view is hysterical and illogical and shows that those holding such views think very little of the professionalism of all soldiers regardless of their sexual preference.

It also taps into a deep-seated phobia that some seem to have that homosexuality is a communicable disease, and that soldiers that serve with gay soldiers could be “turned gay.”

I wish I was joking, but the folks who hold these views are dead serious. Some are borderline frantic, apparently unaware that tens of thousands of gays serve in the military right now. This kind of freakish paranoia brings out the worse in some people, and in some, it simply seems to be striking fears that their own sexuality isn’t quite as black and white as they profess it to be.

I find a gay soldier willing to sacrifice his life for my family’s safety to be on much firmer moral ground than a sputtering viper like Fischer the serves up division and fear.

Perhaps that is the greatest irony; a professed Christian, Fischer certainly seems to be batting for the other team.

Oliver Willis:

Finally, the idiotic and anti-freedom “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy has been rightfully placed in history’s dustbin. Sure, it took too long to happen and shouldn’t have been in place in the first place (lasting all the way to the 21st century!) but at the end of the day it will be signed into law by President Obama and that’s a good thing.

Kudos to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid for this passage, and even to the Republicans who kept their promise for a change and voted for repeal.

Getting rid of discriminatory policies like this are part of the neverending American move towards progress and while regressive demagogues like John McCain and Louie Gohmert will always do the best they can to halt the inevtiable – they will ultimately be defeated.

America just got better.

Joe Klein at Swampland at Time:

McCain distinguished himself doubly this weekend, opposing the Dream Act and leading the opposition to “Don’t Ask,” despite the very public positions of his wife and daughter on the other side of the issue. I used to know a different John McCain, the guy who proposed comprehensive immigration reform with Ted Kennedy, the guy–a conservative, to be sure, but an honorable one–who refused to indulge in the hateful strictures of his party’s extremists. His public fall has been spectacular, a consequence of politics–he “needed” to be reelected–and personal pique. He’s a bitter man now, who can barely tolerate the fact that he lost to Barack Obama. But he lost for an obvious reason: his campaign proved him to be puerile and feckless, a politician who panicked when the heat was on during the financial collapse, a trigger-happy gambler who chose an incompetent for his vice president. He has made quite a show ever since of demonstrating his petulance and lack of grace.

What a guy.

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Filed under Legislation Pending, LGBT, Military Issues

Two Ranches Near Laredo, Texas

Kimberly Dvorak at The Examiner:

In what could be deemed an act of war against the sovereign borders of the United States, Mexican drug cartels have seized control of at least two American ranches inside the U.S. territory near Laredo, Texas.

Two sources inside the Laredo Police Department confirmed the incident is unfolding and they would continue to coordinate with U.S. Border Patrol today. “We consider this an act of war,” said one police officer on the ground near the scene. There is a news blackout of this incident at this time and the sources inside Laredo PD spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Word broke late last night that Laredo police have requested help from the federal government regarding the incursion by the Los Zetas. It appears that the ranch owners have escaped without incident but their ranches remain in the hands of the blood thirsty cartels.

The Cypress Times:

Anonymous sources in law enforcement in the Laredo area tonight have passed on word that US law enforcement agencies are in the area and are weighing their options regarding the ranches. The media has been silent on this incident and some law enforcement in the area says that they are furious that the media is not reporting the whole story of the continued violence along the border. Their frustrations are understandable because keeping the truth suppressed continues to hamper law enforcement from receiving the true support they need along the border.

The ranch assaults come on the heels of attacks in Nuevo Laredo that shut the city down as a gun-battle raged in the streets. Los Zetas blocked off intersections with vehicles and used fragmentation grenades to attack Mexican law enforcement. In the end 12 were killed and 21 injured in the assaults. Citizens in the area were told to stay in their homes and bullets whizzed all around.

Michelle Malkin:

There’s a new outbreak of disorder at the southern border this weekend.

The AP reports on gun battles plaguing the region across from Laredo, Texas:

Late-night gunbattles with gangs who forced citizens from their cars and used the vehicles to block streets paralyzed a border city, sound of gunfire alarmed Texans on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande.

The Nuevo Laredo city government posted messages on Facebook warning citizens to stay indoors as the battles erupted at several intersections in the city across from Laredo, Texas.

Frightened people on the U.S. side of the border called emergency dispatchers after hearing the gunfire, Laredo police spokesman Joe Baeza said Thursday. But he said there was no spillover violence.

“We were getting reports from people who live on the river’s edge that they could hear gunfire and explosions from the Mexico side,” Baeza said.

“We didn’t have any incidents on the American side. It’s hard for people to understand who don’t live here,” he added. “They’re not Vikings, they’re not going to invade us, it doesn’t work that way.”

Nuevo Laredo city officials said they could not immediately confirm witness reports that several gunmen were killed.

Despite those denials, rumors are swirling of a Zetas-led invasion into Texas ranches. Digger’s Realm, a veteran immigration blogger, has the story:

The bloodbath continues along our southern border and now word is coming in that Los Zetas, the highly trained killers formerly with the Gulf Cartel, have crossed into the United States and taken over at least two ranches in the Laredo, Texas area. I am receiving word that the owners of the ranches have evacuated without being harmed. The source is law enforcement in the area.

(Update 2 story is now 100% confirmed by second source within the Laredo Police Department)

Founder of the San Diego Minutemen Jeff Schwilk tipped me off to this story and passes along the following information on the location. The ranches are said to be “near Mines Rd. and Minerales Annex Rd about 10 miles NW of I-35″.

Update 1 (Statement from Mr. Schwilk)

I can personally vouch that this info came in late last night from a reliable police source inside the Laredo PD. There is currently a standoff between the unknown size Zeta forces and U.S. Border Patrol and local law enforcement on two ranches on our side of the Rio Grande. The source tells us he considers this an “act of war” and that the military is needed on the border now!

Dan Riehl:

This can’t actually be happening, can it? What, do they figure the numb-nuts in the WH is so weak they can get away with a move like this? Okay, on second thought, maybe they have a point. But still. Hell, the right configuration of Texans could end this nonsense. Retired special forces, anyone?

Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee:

Twitter exploded a while ago about this story, which claims that heavily-armed Los Zetas gunmen of the Gulf Cartel have taken over ranches on the U.S. side of the border.

My curiosity got the better of me, and so I called the Laredo Police Department, and had a delightful chat with the acting watch commander, Sgt. Perez.

Sgt. Perez informed me that I was her seventh caller about this claim since she came on duty this afternoon. She stipulated two things that blows holes in the invasion claim.

  1. The location of the alleged invasion is outside of their city-limits jurisdiction, so they would not be involved, and;
  2. while they would not be involved in any law enforcement response outside of their jurisdiction, they work closely with the county sheriff’s office and would know if such an event is occurring.

She also provided me the number of the Webb County Sheriff’s Department. The deputy that answered the phone there was less amused, having also dealt with this rumor multiple times in a short amount of time. She also told me that there was no invasion and no law enforcement siege, and that deputies were continuing normal operations.

Don’t believe the hype.

Tom Maguire:

However, if I were to believe the hype, this sort of story would be the reason – just a couple of days ago Nuevo Laredo, on the Mexican side of the border, was out of control:

Several intersections in the City of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico were shut down as gun battles erupted between the Mexican military and heavily armed “hit men” from a Mexican drug cartel. The gunfire could be heard across the U.S. border in Laredo, Texas leading citizens there to call 911.

The Latin American Herald Tribune reports, ““Nine criminals, two civilians and a soldier were killed in the three clashes between elements of the National Defense Secretariat and members of organized crime, and 21 people were wounded.” That information is attributed to the Government Secretariat from Mexico.

The U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo had posted warnings on its website hours before the gunfire was reported by Texas citizens, “We have received credible reports of widespread violence occurring now between narcotics-trafficking organizations and the Mexican army in Nuevo Laredo.”

Here is a US travel advisory from July 16 warning visitors to Mexico that, however bad the situation was, it’s gotten worse.

So – is it possible that a group of outnumbered and outgunned cartel members crossed the border figuring it would be better to be captured by the American government than shot by the Mexican federales?  That strikes me as not-impossible.

The story saying that the cartels are coming adds this detail:

There is a news blackout of this incident at this time and the sources inside Laredo PD spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A news blackout makes sense while the diplomats sort this out (and certainly Team Obama wouldn’t want this publicized while they are suing Arizona) but then again, any conspiracy theorist would know to include that.

I would say, stay tuned and stay skeptical.

James Joyner:

Reports from The Examiner and The Cypress Times that thugs from the Los Zetas drug cartel have seized two Laredo, Texas ranches are spreading through the blogosphere.  Is this the first wave of the Reconquista?

Well, Confederate Yankee’s Bob Owens called the Laredo Police Department and the Webb County Sheriff’s Department and told that no such thing was happening.

The Laredo Times could also find no information to support the claim. There’s are registration-only stories on the front page with headlines “Stores close due to cartels” and “Cartel loses chopper,” so they do seem to be reporting aggressively on the cartels.

Pat Dollard:

Kimberly is adamantly standing by her story, and gave me the name of one of her three sources inside both the Laredo Police and Webb County Sheriff’s Departments. She says two of those sources not only confirmed the story of the ranches being seized, but elaborated in great detail on what was happening. She also has other sources on the ground, non-law enforcement. She is mid-stream in developing and further reporting the whole story, and has reason reason to believe that law enforcement is in mid-operation on the ranches, and do not want that operation interrupted with publicity before they are finished.

Given the shootout that occurred on the 22nd, it would also make some sense that the ranches were simply occupied as safe havens by retreating Zeta gunman.

Kimberly has a record as a credible journalist, with established sources inside the Mexican cartels themselves.

I have no idea what quite is or isn’t going on here, but I say let’s give ol’ Kim the hours ahead to track all of this, and flesh it out, one way or the other. She’s asked for the rope, and I’m giving it to her.

As someone else likes to say:

Developing…

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Filed under Foreign Affairs, War On Drugs

They Eat Fingers, Don’t They?

fickle_finger_of_fate

It’s getting ugly out there.

Confederate Yankee, with the blog title of they day:

Yes We Cannibal

Chris Good at The Atlantic:

KTLA news reports that a 65-year-old man got his finger bitten off during a health care protest in Thousand Oaks, California, outside Los Angeles. The man, part of an anti-reform protest that formed across the street from a pro-reform MoveOn.org rally, reportedly attacked a reform backer during an altercation, and subsequently had is pinky bitten off:

“About 100 protesters sponsored by MoveOn.org were having a rally supporting health care reform. A group of anti-health care reform protesters formed across the street.

A witness from the scene says a man was walking through the anti-reform group to get to the pro-reform side when he got into an altercation with the 65-year-old, who opposes health care reform.

The 65-year-old was apparently aggressive and hit the other man, who then retaliated by biting off his attacker’s pinky, according to Karoli from DrumsnWhistles.

The man took his finger and walked to Los Robles hospital for treatment.”
At the blog DrumsNWhistles, blogger Karoli gives a first-person account of what happened. She was there, with the pro-reform people. She writes, sounding a bit shaken up:

“The man in the orange shirt hit the pro-reform guy (I’m going to call him PR Guy just to keep the players straight). Hard. (tweeted in real time) He punched him in the face, knocked him to the ground and into that thruway. As you can see from the photo, cars drive straight through that without stopping. The pro-reform guy could have been run over. He got up, tried to get back up on the curb, but Orange Shirt guy was in his face. Finger in his face, PR Guy standing, steps up to the curb, and there’s a scuffle. Orange shirt seemed to have PR Guy in a hold, but again, I was across the street, so won’t state that as absolute fact. Next thing I see is PR Guy’s hat being tossed into the street, both yelling at one another, then Orange shirt walks away, PR Guy picks up hat and crosses to our side.

When he gets to our side, he tells a story in one sentence: “He punched me hard, straight in the face, so I bit his finger off.”

Honestly, I thought he was exaggerating. I guess he wasn’t.”No word on the age of the biter.

Ed Morrissey:

If the victim in this case initiated the violence, he could be guilty of battery, a misdemeanor.  However, biting off a finger is almost certainly assault with the intent to commit mayhem, a term used for deliberate disfigurement or amputation in California, and a felony.  One of the most infamous rape cases in recent years involved a man who raped a young woman and chopped off her arms, but the victim managed to survive.  “Mayhem” was the only charge at the time the state could apply besides the rape, and he only got 13 years for the crime.

[…]

Whether or not the perp belonged to MoveOn is really immaterial.  As conservatives, we believe in individual responsibility, not group guilt.    Nevertheless, this does demonstrate — again — that most of the violence in these protests have come not from Tea Party activists or gun-carrying protesters, but from the counterprotesters from unions and left-wing groups.

Why might that be?  Other than desperation at losing the argument, I just can’t put my finger on it.

Michelle Malkin:

Opponents of socialized medicine must also adjust their chants:

Hands off my health care…and teeth off my hands!

Dan Riehl

Michael Goldfarb at TWS:

A member of MoveOn.org bites off the finger off a conservative protester and MoveOn responds by calling the incident “regrettable.” The group’s spokesman also says that “MoveOn condemns violence in all forms.” Which is no doubt true, but also a deeply revealing statement from a group that was — from the first moments after 9/11 — opposed even military strikes against al Qaeda and the Taliban. These people would bite the fingers off conservatives who oppose the president’s health care plans, but they would condemn the U.S. military for killing terrorists if it wasn’t political suicide to do so.

Gateway Pundit

Wonkette:

People are now EATING EACH OTHERS’ DIGITS over health care reform and other pieces of legislation and whatever that none of them probably understand.

This is in Thousand Oaks, California, which we thought was on fire or something…?? Here’s a weird way to introduce things:

About 100 protesters sponsored by MoveOn.org were having a rally supporting health care reform. A group of anti-health care reform protesters formed across the street.

Is it accurate to label people who go to town halls “supporting health care reform” as “protesters?” They are just happy-happies! No, not that either. They are wacky monsters from the Internet, just like you and me.

Don Suber:

Police in Thousand Oaks, California are investigating whether a MoveOn thug bit off the pinky of a man who dared voice opposition to Obamacare at a MoveOn event, KTLA reported.

That is one way of showing people that they need Obamacare.

But I thought Obamacare was supposed to reduce emergency room visits.

Well, Barack Obama told his supporters “to get in the face” of anyone who dares oppose him. Gateway Pundit also recalled Obama saying: “If they bring a knife… we bring a gun.”

The Lefty Reaction to this attempted cannibalism? He was provoked.

Yes, a 65-year-old man is such a threat.

Jesse Taylor responding to Suber:

Apparently, Don is not familiar with Jack Lalanne.  But yes, truly, when someone punches you in the face and then, per an eyewitness report, puts you in some sort of lock, they are simply acting to protect themselves from the undeniable Ozomba urge to consume human flesh.

There’s one ironclad rule of right-wing extremism: it’s not extremism until the person did something undeniably wrong, at which point it’s not right-wing.  I predict the whole thing is called “staged” within 24 hours.  People don’t even have pinkies anymore – have you seen the Simpsons?  Ever?

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