Lift Ban On Gays In Miltary

Remember the name: Major Margaret Witt, United States Air Force. She will undoubtedly be remembered as a trailblazer for women in the gay rights movement.

For 19 years Major Witt served with distinction as a flight nurse, tending to the wounded and the critically ill. She received medals, was featured in a recruitment flyer, and served tours in the mid-east where — among other notable achievements – she helped evacuate wounded troops and earned a special commendation for saving the life of a Defense Department worker.

And for all this, Major Witt was honorably, but involuntarily discharged two years short of the time needed to receive retirement benefits. Her offense: A relationship with a same-sex partner for six years. Commanders had received an anonymous tip in 2004 which led to an investigation and ultimate discharge under the “don’t ask, don’t tell,” ban on gays serving in the military.

Major Witt did the right thing. She sued. This month, the 9th District Court of Appeals overturned that decision and ordered her reinstated, saying the military cannot automatically discharge people because they are gay. While this does not strike down “don’t ask, don’t tell,” it puts the military in a position …

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Only in America.

It was bigger than any convention for either party. It was bigger than a Super Bowl. It reached out to more television sets than any program in history. In the end, a scruffy, 25 year-old bartender with facial stubble and messy hair stood weeping in mid-stage as American Idol, 2008, amid screams, confetti, cheers and record contracts falling at his feet. David Cook’s rise to stardom, fete accompli.

Over 95 million viewers participated in the voting process. That doesn’t say much for the poor turnouts we see for political elections.

I’m not a big fan of today’s pop music culture, but I have to give credit where credit is due.

This show does it well.

It all begins with three judges — Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson — scouring the nation for signs of talent, selecting a very few from thousands of auditions from amateur singers who — if they get the thumb’s up — move on to the next phases. Contestants must be between ages 16 and 29. Once the final dozen is assembled, the voting is all left to the fans. Judges critique each performance, but have no more weight in the scoring …

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Free speech in America? Not according to the Muslim Students Association (MSA).

Figure this. In October of 2007, while in the U.S. on a diplomatic mission, the president of Iran was invited to speak at Columbia University and present his views. No jeering. No shouting. No gestures of hate. A world leader, Mahmãud Ahmadinej~ad, has openly supported genocide by declaring his intent to annihilate an entire nation, simply because it is a Jewish state. He refers to Israel as “baby eating Zionist pigs…a disgraceful stain that should be wiped off the map.” In 1979, this same hate monger was instrumental in the capture and imprisonment of 53 Americans from the U.S. embassy in Tehran, ridiculing and holding them hostage for 444 days. Despite all this, the Americans who attended his speech in Columbia University treated him with dignity and respect.

Contrast that to an American scholar who is invited to speak at the University of California, Santa Barbara about the status of world terrorism and Islamic jihad. David Horowitz, author and founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, was heckled, shouted down, jeered and cursed throughout his talk by a handful of rebel students. The MSA …

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Sometimes, I must admit, politics disgusts me.

We have a presidential campaign on-going for eighteen months, and in the last six months, two candidates in the Democratic Party finally emerge as front runners. That’s when all the other former candidates — about ten — started deciding who they will throw their support to. One would think, with all their savvy, they would know from the upstart who they think the best president would be, if not them. But, such is not the case.

What they do is play the waiting game to see who is actually rising to the top of the delegate board — the likely nominee, then announce an endorsement. That’s like betting on the game when you already know the winner.

No doubt in my mind, Bill Richardson, who James Carville called a “Judas” for turning his back on the Clintons, is pandering for a Vice-Presidential nod. John Edwards, who also waited until the last minute, has already tried the Veep run with John Kerry, but is probably hunting for a cabinet post. If Hillary was in the front runner spot right now, these same two guys would be talking her up as if she was the …

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Not long ago, I visited Burwell, a small town in central England where I took a morning walk each day along narrow curved streets with the aroma of fresh baked bread in the air and children — ages 6 to 16 — waiting on corners for their school bus. Those kids caught my attention. Every one carrying books, neat and tidy, hair combed, well behaved and beaming with pride and self-esteem. At least, it seemed that way. What was so different?


It’s the rule, not the exception throughout many locals in England. Each child goes to school without competing for style and attention by what they wear. There is no societal status — no rich, no poor. The have-nots need not feel inferior because of what they wear. The haves need not feel superior. The kids go to school to learn, not to out-fashion one another. There is no sexy garb, no filth, no piggishness. If they feel good about themselves, they will perform good. Most of all, the schools are safer. Aye, there’s the rub.

Contrast that to the school scene within the United States. Mini-skirts. Body piercing. Flip flops and dirty feet. Low-rise shorts bared to the …

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May 8th to the 15th is designated as Police Appreciation Week. This article is dedicated to my comrades in law enforcement, and their families.

Stalin once said, “One death is a tragedy. A thousand deaths is a statistic.”

We are constantly barraged with death numbers. Plane crashes, earthquakes, war. But numbers obscure the story of individual suffering. This is about some of those numbers.

2007 will go down as the deadliest in history for the sentries of law and order with 181 police officers killed in the line of duty. That doesn’t even mention the 65,000 more that were wounded and seriously injured fighting battles in the streets so that you and I can rest easier and feel safer in our communities.

Last year was unusually high. On average, 162 police officers are killed annually in this nation. That’s 162 families wrecked, hundreds of kids stripped of a mother or father, shattered dreams, lost friends, eulogies and graves. All for one reason. The badge.

Each harbored feelings of love and hope, and of commitment to their profession. Each left for work like any other day kissing loved ones, unaware it would be their final embrace. Each knew the …

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* What is the difference between Former President Jimmy Carter laying a wreath at the grave of Yasser Arafat, and me, a former cop, laying a wreath at the grave of Ted Bundy?

* How can we respect the Nobel Peace Prize when it honored a man who dedicated his life to killing people?

* If Billy Graham’s church had bestowed honors upon David Duke, (a devout anti-Semite, racist) would that have been any different than the Trinity Church of Christ bestowing honors upon Louis Farrahkan (devout anti-Semite, racist)?

* If John McCain or Hillary Clinton had remained as member of a church that honored David Duke — for twenty years — would that not send a message to voters about their character and their values?

* If John McCain or Hillary Clinton ever used the term (no matter the context) “…like a typical black person…” would they have been considered racists? Would blacks have been offended?

* Is there anyone out there with an IQ over 90 who actually believes that Obama was unaware of his pastor’s anti-Semitic, anti-American, pro-Farrahkan leanings over a period of twenty years?

* Why isn’t Barack Obama being questioned by the media about his …

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