Archive for October, 2009

Score one for gay rights

Posted in Domestic with tags , , on October 30, 2009 by Black Pumpkin

Even though health care reform is floundering and we are honestly no closer to pulling the troops out of the Middle East, every so often Barack Obama reminds us why it is better to have a Democrat in the White House (not to mention both houses of Congress) as when he signs legislation like he did on Wednesday (10/28).  He signed into law protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.  If anyone is attacked because they are LGBT (or perceived to be) then it  will now be considered a hate crime under federal law.

Of course, since I am being fair and balanced, I would say that I have problems with this scenario.

This was an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act.  I have spoken out against the amount of money that goes to “defense” so I won’t get into again.  (Not right now anyway.)  But even more problematic is that this legislation will only provide for more time in prison for violent offenders.  Believe me, this is a good thing, but it doesn’t go far enough.  We really need legislation that would bar workplace discrimination, allow military service or recognize same-sex marriages.

Perhaps in time, we will have these things at the federal level.  Some of these rights are recognized by a few states, but it should be at the federal level.  No one should have to worry about being discriminated against no matter who they love.  It’s amazing that this should even be a consideration.

I am glad to see that Congress is still working on other things while the health care legislation gets a lot of attention but very little action.  We need to tell them that they can do more though.  Even with majorities in both houses, they still need to be pushed.  Especially if your representative is a moderate or worse, a Blue Dog.

Here is a link to find out who your reps are.

Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone that you don’t know who they are already.

US official resigns over Afghan war

Posted in Middle East, War and Peace with tags , , on October 27, 2009 by Black Pumpkin

I think this is an extremely important story.  And more people need to do things like this to protest what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan.  In years past, we have seen a number of books come out from people in the Bush administration that said things like, “I didn’t think this was a good idea at the time but I went along with it… blah blah blah.”  Well, if they had resigned it would have really made others think about what we were doing and what we continue to do.  If everyone who was against the war in Afghanistan or Iraq (this guy can’t be the only one) were to resign, then the Obama administration would be forced to rethink its policies, especially at a time when it looks increasingly likely that Obama will increase the amount of troops in Afghanistan.  This is exactly the wrong thing to do.  We need to get our troops out of there, not bring more in.

Here is the Washington Post story on that US official (he worked for the State Department, and before that he was a Marine).  We need a lot more people like Matthew Hoh, even if he is not a “peacenik, pot-smoking hippie who wants everyone to be in love.”

Afghanistan has been called the place where empires go to die.  Hopefully, we can get out before it’s too late.

I’m Alive!

Posted in Chit chat on October 14, 2009 by Black Pumpkin

Believe it or not, I’m still alive.  I know it has been waaaay too long since I have written anything here.  And from looking at my stats, it has been a while since anyone stopped by.  But who can blame them.  If there is nothing new, then what’s the point.  Perhaps you were able to catch up on some of the older posts, but probably not.

I will not get into the gritty details of where I’ve been.  Suffice it to say, I was in a bad place and I didn’t like it very much.  But sometimes you can’t help being wherever you are.  I would love to say that I am back for good.  But that would be a little too presumptuous.  I will try to stay here for as long as I can and I hope to bring all of you back to the Butter.