How quick will the lawsuits hit military chaplains who choose not to perform same sex marriage?

The Pentagon says they can, unless, of course, it violates their own personal beliefs.

From the AP:

Pentagon has decided that military chaplains may perform same-sex unions, whether on or off a military installation.

The ruling announced Friday by the Pentagon’s personnel chief follows the Sept. 20 repeal of a law that had prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

Some members of Congress have objected to military chaplains performing same-sex unions, saying it would violate the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

The Pentagon says a military chaplain may officiate at any private ceremony, but isn’t required if it would conflict with his or her religious or personal beliefs.

The Pentagon also says Defense Department property may be used for private functions, including religious and other ceremonies such as same-sex unions, as long as it’s not prohibited by state or local laws.

How long until the ACLU cries foul? Or until a gay servicemember decides in his heart of hearts he really wanted that Catholic chaplain to perform his ceremony?

And is this the path to sue the Defense Department to recognize SSM for benefits? Sounds like it, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t it be ironic if the repeal of DADT were the catalyst for the government to be forced to recognize SSM in totality. DOMA could fall as a result.



Who serves? It isn’t the poorest of the poor with no other option

From the WSJ:

In 2008, using data provided by the Defense Department, the Heritage Foundation found that only 11% of enlisted military recruits in 2007 came from the poorest one-fifth, or quintile, of American neighborhoods (as of the 2000 Census), while 25% came from the wealthiest quintile. Heritage reported that “these trends are even more pronounced in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, in which 40% of enrollees come from the wealthiest neighborhoods, a number that has increased substantially over the past four years.”

Go figure, eh? So contrary to what we’re led to believe.

Indeed, the Heritage report showed that “low-income families are underrepresented in the military and high-income families are overrepresented. Individuals from the bottom household income quintile make up 20.0 percent of Americans who are age 18-24 years old but only 10.6 percent of the 2006 recruits and 10.7 percent of the 2007 recruits. Individuals in the top two quintiles make up 40.0 percent of the population, but 49.3 percent of the recruits in both years.”

What about the charge that our Army is disproportionately black? This too is false, as is clear from data for fiscal 2010 available on the Army’s website: Whereas blacks comprise 17% of Americans ages 18-39 with high school degrees, they represent only a slightly larger proportion of enlisted soldiers, at 21%.

Ah, the inequity of … facts.

The irony: blacks are overrepresented as a percentage of military officers. The ones with a bigger paycheck.

Read the rest to arm yourself to battle idiots who claim the military recruits only the poor and black to go fight and bleed for the country.

P.S. Will the same screamers moan when the Army cuts 50,000 soldiers across the ranks over the next 5  years?

Seven months

That’s how long Baby Joseph lived with the tracheotomy performed in an American hospital after Canadian officials denied the family the simple operation that would allow the family to bring Joseph home. Via Wesley Smith:

“Baby Joseph” died with his mother Sana Nader, father Moe Maraachli at the home, CBC News reported. “It seemed like a relaxing breath, like he was OK. It didn’t seem like he struggled,” Nader said, according to the report. “It was God’s way of telling us his last breath was OK.”

Prayers Joseph and for the family he left behind.


Theater of the absurd: white paper leads to racist attitudes

Of course. From the UK Telegraph:

Another staple of the classroom – white paper – has also been questioned by Anne O’Connor, an early years consultant who advises local authorities on equality and diversity.

Children should be provided with paper other than white to drawn on and paints and crayons should come in “the full range of flesh tones”, reflecting the diversity of the human race, according to the former teacher.

Finally, staff should be prepared to be economical with the truth when asked by pupils what their favourite colour is and, in the interests of good race relations, answer “black” or “brown”.

The measures, outlined in a series of guides in Nursery World magazine, are aimed at avoiding racial bias in toddlers as young as two.

According to the guides, very young children may begin to express negative and discriminatory views about skin colour and appearance that nursery staff must help them “unlearn”.

If children develop positive associations with dark colours, the greater the likelihood that the attitude will be generalised to people, it says.

Ah, but it’s across the pond. Where’d they get these crazy ideas anyway? Oh:

The advice is based on an “anti-bias” approach to education which developed in the United States as part of multiculturalism.

Fabulous. Now we export idiocy, too.

Will they ban the white crayons before or after the realization that white crayons mark on dark paper best? I’m sure that’s racist, too. Somehow.

Witches will wear pink. To avoid any negative connotations.

The Scarlet Letter has already been banned, I’m sure. The woods are too dark. Evil lurks in bright white spaces after all. Hell, better toss out all of Hawthorne. Dark and twisty soul, that man.

Oops. Pink and twisty, right?

It’s all a union plot to extract more money anyway. Colored paper costs more than white.  Oh, I suppose “colored paper”–even if it refers to blue or red–is now a slur. Non-white.

Speaking of unions, money and terrible state-run education: Pundette, About that “investment” in government schools.

Army to cut 50,000 troops in the next 5 years, media ignores

This should be much bigger news. Via the Army Times:

The Army is preparing to launch in March a five-year, nearly 50,000-soldier drawdown, using a combination of accession cuts and voluntary and involuntary separations, similar to the post-Cold War drawdown of the 1990s, according to Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, service personnel chief.

Bostick, the Army G-1, said the pending drawdown initially will focus on the temporary 22,000-soldier increase launched three years ago to support the Afghanistan troop surge.

These soldiers can be removed from the force primarily through offsets in accessions and retention, sources say.

The second phase of the drawdown involves 27,000 soldier spaces that were added to end strength during the Grow the Army program, leaving the service with 520,400 active-duty soldiers on Sept. 30, 2016.

The worry:

Gen. Ray Odierno, the service’s new chief of staff, said in early September that the Army probably will be cut beyond the 520,000-soldier level now planned.

Why the worry? The military already faces cuts of $350 billion. But if the budget “supercommittee” fails to come up with $1.2 trillion in cuts this winter, the defense budget will automatically be slashed by another $600 billion.

From the Fox News:

Nearly 200,000 soldiers and Marines would be let go, and the Armed Service Committee members warn that at least 25 percent of the military’s civilian workforce would be furloughed, eliminating at least 200,000 jobs.

And finding employment for returning veterans will be difficult, they warn. The national unemployment rate is currently 9 percent, but unemployment for Iraq and Afghan war vets is 22 percent, and it is 41 percent for wounded vets.

If the deficit super committee fails to reach an agreement, the number of Army battalions will go from 100 to about 60 battalions. The number of Navy ships will go from 288 to 238 – a reduction of two Aircraft Carrier Battle groups. The Air Force would lose more than 400 fighter jets and about 34 strategic bombers.

Hollow force isn’t the word for it. We can’t cut entitlements, but we can cripple our military and remain incapable of defending ourselves. Priorities a decade after 9/11!

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Welfare dead-end

In Greece, the sky is falling:

“No one warned us,” she said. “I have no hope, not for myself, not for my children, and I am only 50.” But she said some things still make her laugh. “I can’t get it into my mind that my life is such a mess,” she said. “It’s a joke.”

When you’re raised to believe the government provides everything, it’s disastrous to realize that a government cannot.

Beyond the public-sector wage cuts, in recent months the government has also imposed a “solidarity tax” ranging from 1 to 4 percent of income on all workers and an additional tax on self-employed workers, who make up the bulk of the economy. It has also raised its value-added taxon many goods and services, including food, to 23 percent from 13 percent.

The economy is flagging, and it is not uncommon for even private-sector workers to see pay cuts of 30 percent or more, sometimes in exchange for a reduction in working hours.

The tax hike most bothersome to Greeks is the new property tax.

Most worrisome, the headline in the NYT: Worried Greeks Fear Collapse of Middle Class Welfare State

Don’t liberals get a clue from this? It’s not sustainable. Never has been. Never will be. Mark Steyn:

Greece is reported to be within weeks if not days of default. There are two likely outcomes to this scenario: 1) Greece will default. 2) Germany and the Eurocrats will decide that default would be too embarrassing for the EU’s pretentions and will throw whatever sum of money is necessary into the great sucking maw of toxic ouzo to stave it off a while longer.

But Option Two doesn’t alter the underlying reality — that, if words have any meaning, Greece is insolvent, and given its rapidly aging population (100 grandparents have 42 grandchildren) is unlikely to be non-insolvent under any conceivable scenario, no matter how tightly German taxpayers are squeezed to pay for it. By the same measure, so are many other Western nations

We face the same fate if we cannot cut the size and scope of government and entitlements. Kinda wild, ain’t it, that we could follow Greece down the black hole of welfare? And we thought we weren’t a socialist nation. Guess we’ve spent like one, no?

H/t: Hot Air headlines

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So what if Christie reconsiders?

First, I admit to being a Christie fan. As the Governor of New Jersey, he has zealously taken on unions and fought to win.

That said, I agree with Allahpundit:

Anyway: Explain to me again why he’d supposedly be such a gangbusters candidate in the primary. He is, to be sure, a supremely gifted messenger on entitlements and public-employee unions, and he’s already accomplished something significant vis-a-vis the latter. Beyond that, what’s the argument for his candidacy? He’s been governor for just two and a half years, he believes in global warming, he’s questionable on guns, he seems to support comprehensive immigration reform, he backed Castle over O’Donnell (RINO!), etc. That’s not to say he can’t win — if we were willing to nominate McCain, we could nominate Christie — but I’m not sure why anyone thinks he’d necessarily settle far north of, say, 25 percent. He’d be dynamite at the debates, but the debates don’t matter much except to hardcore political junkies like you and me. Why risk running now and flaming out instead of staying put as governor, building a record, and then steamrolling into the 2016 primaries when he wouldn’t have to face a Democratic incumbent in the general?

He would be golden–just like Perry was–until asked about global warming, Second Amendment rights and Shamnesty plans.

And then folks like me would be left feeling jilted at the dance all over again.

I’ve long thought that Palin’s chances were destroyed. But unlike Perry, she thinks through (and posts on her Facebook page. Ha!) Obama administration policy positions and clarifies her own response. Detailed response. We can’t get that from Perry, and I’m wondering if we ever will.

What say you? Christie? Palin? Will someone else run or will Romney run away with this even though no one wants to vote for him?

Step away from the computer: crafty break

Keeping up with the news of late has, well, been harder than usual.

It’s just depressing. Between watching Perry implode and Obama scandals grow, I needed a break.

What are we making?


and these

Go here for instructions. Have fun gluing with your kids. Now step away from the computer…

I was, uh, for Perry before I was, uh, against his bungling of uh, um, everything

Dude. I had to turn it off last night. Not only was the noise streaming from the computer messin’ with my head while I made dinner, but I couldn’t take it any more.

Rick Perry, you are my candidate. Why? Because I believe you possess the political courage to make the necessary and likely unpopular decisions the next President will have to make. You don’t believe government is the answer. But hire a damn debate coach and get with it. Saying “look at Texas” worked when you’d been running all of a week, but now it doesn’t. Have a plan for the love of God. And calling me heartless because I oppose discounts for illegal college students? I might as well have watched a Democrat debate. Come up with a better line of reasoning than the tired liberal track.

I loathe Mitt Romney and everything for which he stands (or stood, depending upon the day). He’s slick on stage, to be sure. But I don’t need another slick President. I don’t want Obama-lite.

Pundette is my shipmate on this lonely boat:

I couldn’t watch the debate last night but after reading analysis from Michelle Malkin (here and here) and Philip Klein (“Perry is blowing it”) I’m a bit discouraged. Because if Rick Perry, my 70% solution, can’t rise to the occasion, what we’re left with is Mitt Romney. He may be a great family man and a very able businessman, but I can’t believe he’s a true conservative. I have trouble believing him, period.

His positions are tailored to whichever office he’s currently running for. His horrible stance on abortion as a candidate for governor in 2002 — “I don’t accept either label, pro-life or pro-choice. Instead, I make it clear that I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose.” (conveniently jettisoned when he ran for president last time) — is a disqualifier for me. Toss in Romneycare (a sufficient disqualifier all by itself), his granny-scaring tactics on Social Security, his accusations that Perry is too conservative, and his general all-round RINO-ness, and he drops below 20%. Smooth debate performances can’t change any of that.

Perry has his glaring negatives, too: charges of crony capitalism, his weak stand on illegal immigration (which he defends with lame, insulting rhetoric about “compassion” and “last names” taken directly from the left), and his disturbing  mandate on Gardasil. But I have hopes that Perry possesses the three most important qualifications needed in the next president: He sees the extreme urgency of the mess we’re in; he sincerely believes that monster government is the problem, not the solution; and he’s willing to engage in the fight to beat it back.

Romney has never been a courageous politician.

 Nor will he ever be. Read the rest.

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Have a party at home, just make sure you don’t talk about God!

What is this, Communist Russia?

Via American Spectator, the latest reminder that your home is not your own:

An Orange County couple has been ordered to stop holding a Bible study in their home on the grounds that the meeting violates a city ordinance as a “church” and not as a private gathering.

Homeowners Chuck and Stephanie Fromm, of San Juan Capistrano, were fined $300 earlier this month for holding what city officials called “a regular gathering of more than three people”.

That type of meeting would require a conditional use permit as defined by the city, according to Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), the couple’s legal representation.

The Fromms also reportedly face subsequent fines of $500 per meeting for any further “religious gatherings” in their home, according to PJI.

“We’re just gathering and enjoying each other’s company and fellowship. And we enjoy studying God’s word.” Stephanie Fromm told CBS2.

Rick Moran’s comment:

This is not an isolated incident. It’s happening everywhere. Property rights trampled, religious freedom abridged, free speech stifled, the right to assembly curtailed. This is not a left issue or right issue. It is an American issue. And it’s time we wake up before the Constitution starts gathering dust in warehouse somewhere – forlorn and forgotten.

Pretty much, no?

The rot of totalitarianism starts with localities creating these inane intrusions on rights. No one stands up. No one complains. And the rot spreads.

The city argues that these regular gatherings for 50 or more cause traffic problems. If I were to hedge a bet, if the couple were holding an orgy in the home and inviting 50 of their besties over to join the fun, the city could care less. And the ACLU would be involved if that weren’t the case, blasting the town and the neighbors for being such prudes, to deny the right of homeowners to congregate freely and have sex with multiple partners twice weekly.

The couple lost the appeal to the city. (Of course, as the city stands to gain financially). They plan on taking the case to the state Supreme Court. I shudder to think the law as it stands will be upheld.

H/t: Memeorandum

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UPDATE: Tina Korbe at Hot Air draws the same bedroom analogy:

Mrs. Fromm was rightly incensed at the city government’s intrusion into her living room. “I should be able to be hospitable in my own home,” she said. Had it been her bedroom, libs would have leaped to her defense, but as it was, no such luck for the lady.