Suddenly, I Love LEGO Like Never Before… And I’ve Always Loved Lego’s!

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Thank to Wes! You made my day!

Meme Of The Day – “The military is no place for social experiments!” UPDATE

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Someone can possibly say that with a straight face??? While at the same time the military is currently on a mission to pull off one of the greatest social experiments ever attempted – bringing Democracy to Afghanistan and Iraq!!!

I am a gay man. I’ve known all my life. I came to terms with being gay, shed much of the negativity imprinted by society while I lived in San Diego in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Of course, being in San Diego means I inevitably date a lot of military men. I can tell you there are more – many more – gay service men and women than show up in the surveys. Hell, there’s a gay bar right across from one of the bases which was frequented by military personnel. There are many homosexuals currently in the military, many of whom are known to be gay by their fellow patriots. It’s not an issue. Why? Because, they aren’t gay soldiers – it’s because they are soldiers first, who happen to be gay. They are good people, who do their job as well as anyone. There are many homosexuals who have served long careers without doing anything stupid to openly reveal their sexuality and getting kicked out. My cousin is one, and I know of several more.

As far as life on the ground – in the trenches – the repeal of DADT changes nothing about that reality. The basic rules about sex within the ranks are still in place. Those, either heterosexuals or homosexuals who are serving, who can’t control their urges, who can’t keep it in their pants, are caught having sex, will still be subject to disciplinary action… Yes heteros get popped and discharged for flagrant violations of sexual misconduct too.

Do you really think that soldiers don’t know, or suspect, that some of their fellow troops are gay? Of course they do! Take a survey of all those who have been kicked out of the military under DADT. Since he’s making news, lets look at Dan Choi. He served for five years and didn’t get discharged until he went public to protest DADT. Do you think that many of the troops he served with, showered with, and bunked with didn’t know he was gay? Of course they knew! They didn’t care! He was a good soldier!

Of course they did! But they didn’t care, because he was a good soldier.

My friend Capt. Rich Merritt served as a Marine from 1986 to 1998. Do you think that he served for twelve years and not one of those under his command knew he was gay? Of course some did (he just reminded me via Facebook it was 25%). But he didn’t get called on it because he was a good soldier. He also left because he couldn’t stand having to live a double life, pretending to be straight.

Look – the military is about discipline. That include the discipline to control your urges. Just because you are gay does not mean that you somehow can’t do that. Discipline also include more than just sexual behaviors. It also checks you from acting out on prejudices you may have against different races or religions, and now sexual orientation. The repeal of DADT takes away the loophole of not applying that discipline when it comes to gay servicemen.

Knowing personally the integrity of so many gays who have served in the armed forces, I suspect that most of the soldiers who are currently serving will quietly go about their duties, the same as they were before the Senate passed the repeal of DADT, without making a peep that they are also gay. They will continue to do as they and straight soldiers do now – to divide their duty to country from their social / personal life. The repeal of DADT stops soldiers, good men who are willing to serve and die for the country they love, from being kicked out of the service simply because of who they are.

UPDATE: Nick, aka Colorado Patriot, makes a great observation concerning sex and sexual advances within the rank and file:

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would certainly have tied the hands of this commander given this incident. Again, I can’t speak for the commander’s decision, or the whole scenario, but it’s altogether possible that something other than “PC attitudes” was behind his choice to only give “a slap on the wrist” to the offending sailor.

Military commanders can deal with discipline issues using a wide range of tools, from simple verbal admonishment through letters of counseling and reprimand or UCMJ non-judicial punishment all the way up to a court-martial. In a situation like the one the commentor describes, however, anything more ‘official’ than what he’d consider a “slap on the wrist” would have set off a cascade of events that would likely have led to the discharge of this sailor for violation of DADT. For example, even an Article 15 non-judicial punishment would require an investigation that would no doubt have outted the sailor and led to his discharge regardless of his drunken buffoonery.

If the sailor in question was otherwise a good troop (the commentor seems to suggest so) who didn’t necessarily deserve to be discharged for his shenanigans, his commander would be in a pickle: How do I discipline my troop proportionate to his offense? This doesn’t rise to the level of discharge, but anything beyond counseling and a threat of further action would inevitably result in that.

This leaves the commanding officer with no other choice but to issue a “slap on the wrist” punishment. Unfulfilling, I agree.

However, with DADT (soon to be) gone, the offending sailor’s actions could be separated from his (presumed) homosexuality, and he can be disciplined in a more commensurate way. The repeal of DADT will now give commanders better flexibility to address discipline issues among their gay troops. It’s the same flexibility they have had for heterosexual troops all along because they’re not faced with that Damoclean decision of, in essence, discharging a troop for an offense that doesn’t necessarily call for such a measure.

Couldn’t have said it any better.


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The latest reason / excuse to role in government regulation of internet content.  When I hear a politician use this as a justification for anything, I run away as fast as I can.  I may have to create a new TOTC tag for this, as I suspect we’ll be seeing much more of this type of political dishonesty used to try and destroy the free internet we know today.

The Obama Administration Again Becomes “The Most Scientific Administration…. Ever”… Errr….

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Oh, it’s all about the Climate Change thingy:

These guidelines may help prevent situations where political ideology interferes with the communication of scientific information, according to Neal Lane, a professor of public policy at Rice University. These incidents included the editing of an Environmental Protection Agency report to the point where it glossed over the risks of climate change.

“Those are the kinds of things that should not ever happen in any administration, whatever the party is,” he told LiveScience. “These agencies are large complex organizations with many layers and sometimes you can find people who don’t know the science in a position to influence what the agency puts out about the science.”


“Crap! The public is losing interest in Global Warming Hysteria, and we have to do something about it!!!”.

Note that this “New Policy” does not address this administration’s habit of altering it’s own reports and exaggerate claims to forward policy. Note also that they will never consider using peer reviewed literature that does not seem in lock step with the alarmist point of view, such as this, or this. These peer reviewed papers and reflections on this complex issue are swept aside as they don’t support the standard eco-extremist policy.

And then there’s this:

Michael McPhaden, president of the American Geophysical Union and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminsitration scientist, lauded the guidelines emphasis on peer review, transparency, and the lifting of restrictions on government scientists’ activities in professional societies.

Uhm, there’s a reason that restriction was in place, to prevent the influence of government on scientific endeavors, and vise versa. What this does is give cover to government scientists such as James Hansen, who was already breaking the rules and advocating for policy, a dangerous formula, as they are looked at as being the top scientists in their field.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

I’m not sure we’ve ever had a more forward thinking President since Dwight D Eisenhower.

And one more thing…. twenty to one says “The Most Scientific Administration Ever” will use this abomination of an AP “Global Warming Is Destroying The Earth” story to promote it’s policy. Just you watch.

DADT Is No More.

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Thanks goes out to the following republican Senators for bucking the idiocy of their party’s social conservative base: Richard Burr of North Carolina, Mark Kirk of Illinois, John Ensign of Nevada, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, George Voinovich of Ohio, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both of Maine. None of these guys can be expected to run for President in 2012, as the base will be keen on bringing Palin to the front of the line.

I know I have been critical of Democrats for dragging their feet on this (which they did) but again, I want to convey my thanks to them, and especially Harry Reid, for finally getting this through the Senate.

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network must be given a special nod, as they have been advocating repeat since the policy was put in place (thank you Dale Carpenter for reminding me of that).

PS. Obama, time to drop the DOJ challenge to the Log Cabin Republicans challenge to DADT.

Cry For Venezuela

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I was so hoping to never see this happen again in my lifetime… Sigh.

Harry Reid – The Riverboat Gambler UPDATE:

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UPDATE: They did it! They repealed DADT! This post is harsh on Reid, but he did the right thing and didn’t let political showmanship get in the way. I express my gratitude to Ried doing the right thing.


Reid is a gambling man. As many of you know, he and the congress chose not to pass a legislative budget this year for political purposes. You see, the budget would have been massive, and by not allocating money for the next year before the elections, a very unusual move, he was able to deny the Republican yet another example to show just how out of control spending is with the Democrats in charge. The trade off was that, if the Dems did poorly in the elections, they would have a harder time funding their top priorities and pet projects.

Reid took the gamble… and he lost.

The budget he tried to pass this week, at 1.3 trillion, was indeed a monstrosity. He not only got clobbered by the size of it, but his failure to get it through made the Democrats look like losers (yet again). By taking this gamble and postponing the budget until after the elections, he and the current congress, who would have been the arbiters of where the spending priorities went and who got the goodies, surrendered the whole shebang to next years Republican congress, and also left the government on the verge of yet another shut-down, for which the Democrat party and politicians in charge will get the blame. Hope you’re happy.

At the same time, Reid has been playing procedural games with the repeal of DADT, for which he has been rightly criticized. Well, it looks like we’re about to see at least one more act of gamesmanship from Reid before he’s through. There are two vote scheduled for a vote in the Senate on Saturday. One one vote, the repeal of DADT, it certainly looks like there are enough Republican crossover votes for that outdated and useless military ordinance to finally get throw into the dustbin of history where it belongs. We are just learning another vote is schedule to occur tomorrow – a vote on the Dream Act. There is no Republican support for that at all. Twenty to one Reid will tie the vote for the two together, which will all but guarantee that repeal of DADT fails and that onerous policy stays in place. Why would Reid do this? Simply to be able to exclaim that it’s the Republicans fault that DADT was not repealed. Yes, he’s just that partisan.

I hope I’m wrong on this one, but given the pattern of manipulation by Reid in the past, i would be surprised if he didn’t take this route.

Please Senator Reid. Prove me wrong.

PS. My take on the DREAM ACT? DREAM, if I understand it correctly, is an attempt to come to grips with the problem of kids who were brought to this country illegally when they were very young. I have great sympathy for these kids. They didn’t willingly come here of their own free will, but were brought here by their parents, and thus can hardly be held responsible for their illegal status. So many have lived here in the United States almost all their lives and know no other home than this country, They have no connection to Mexico what-so-ever, yet some monsters want to deport them anyway (Tom Tancrado, I’m looking your way). That said, I don’t support the DREAM ACT. Why? Because I don’t like the stipulation that would require these kids either obtain a college degree, or serve in the military as a requirement to get amnesty and become a legal citizen of the Unites States. Why should they have to fulfill either of these options, when other immigrants who actually choose to come here don’t? Plus, as it stands now, assuming that Harry Reid will find a way to screw things up, any of these kids who are gay don’t have the option of serving in the military anyway.

Caption This Friday II

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Not being the brainiest guy in the world, Jake apparently never quite understood why he always had such a hard time clearing the TSA checkpoints.

Caption This Friday

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Unfazed by Jane’s jedi mind tricks, young Anakin knew those were the balloons he was looking for!

Hat Tip: V the K

A Little Quizzie!

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OK my musician friends – Here’s the quiz: Name ten bands / artists who have influenced your playing. There is a purpose to this, which will be revealed after a while. I’m won’t add mine yet, as I don’t want to influence the choices. My non-musician friend can chime in too!

Ready… Set… Go!