Day: May 8, 2010

Defense Secretary Robert Gates Continues To Amaze!

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a holdover from the Bush Administration, continues to amaze in his open mindedness and insights, and is seen as one of the major assets of the Obama Presidency, despite many Republicans being critical of him, even with his extensive background in the party structure and in the administrations of earlier Republican Presidents!

Now, on the anniversary of V E Day, May 8, Gates has delivered a speech at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kansas. This location is no accident or coincidence, but perfectly planned, as President Eisenhower remains famous for his outgoing Farewell Address in January, 1961, still regarded as one of the three greatest Farewell Addresses in American history!

A former leading General in World War II, responsible for the successes of the D Day (June 6, 1944) Normandy, France invasion, Eisenhower warned of the dangers of the Military-Industrial Complex on the future of American democracy!

The last nearly 50 years since his speech have proved very prophetic as we have seen the national debt skyrocket, with most of it being caused by military spending and interventions in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iraq yet again, plus the numerous other smaller interventions around the world, and the fact that we have troops and military and naval bases in more than 60 countries around the world!

Gates referred to those realities, and called for cost savings and cuts in spending in the future on defense. He pointed out that the past decade since September 11 has seen a doubling of spending on defense, and he said some of it is wasteful spending that cannot be expected to continue.

Gates has canceled or cut back dozens of weapons programs estimated to save a third of a trillion dollars over the long haul, and wants now to cut the bureaucracy in the department, and also cut overseas locations and operating costs.

Gates questioned the need to have more than 40 generals, admirals, or civilian equivalents overseas, two decades after the Cold War ended with the Soviet Union.

This is all very refreshing news, as Gates challenges the accepted worship of military spending by the right wing of the Republican party, who only wish to cut domestic spending, but see defense spending as sacrosanct!

Gates has said he will have to see what happens after this year, as he had pledged to stay at least through the first two years of the Obama Administration. Needless to say, Obama should keep him on indefinitely as a tremendous asset, and Gates should do the patriotic duty and continue to work for the Commander in Chief for as long as Obama wishes him to contribute to a new image of the Defense Department! What a tremendous change since the days of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld! 🙁

The Hypocrisy Of Anti Gay Religious Conservatives: The Case Of George Rekers

There is nothing worse than anti gay “religious” conservatives who condemn the gay lifestyle, and at the same time, have latent tendencies and live a life of denial, while promoting discrimination and prejudice against those that they participate in with hidden trysts!

The latest case is George Rekers, one of the founders of the Family Research Council, infamous for its self righteous campaigns against homosexuality which spur attacks by those who think it is God’s work to punish those who are outside the mainstream of “Christian” values!

Rekers was a founder, also, of the National Association For Research And Therapy Of Homosexuality, and is a retired professor of Psychology at the University of South Carolina. He recently was paid $60,000 by the state of Florida to testify against gay adoption, a case which was lost in court, despite the payment being authorized by the Florida Attorney General, Bill McCollum, who now is the Republican nominee for Governor in Florida! This fact should make intelligent and open minded people wonder about making McCollum the next governor of the fourth largest state! 🙁

For an anti-gay activist to take a male escort who he found on on a two week trip to Spain and Great Britain and have sexual massages, and claim he just needed someone to carry his luggage is beyond preposterous!

Hopefully, just as with Ted Haggard, an evangelist who had been the head of the 30 million member National Association of Evangelicals until he was outed by an escort he had hired in 2006, the legitimacy and validity of anti gay “Christian” activists will be further damaged by the George Rekers scandal.

If one is truly religious, he or she should be tolerant of differences and promote understanding and open mindedness, rather than hate and intolerance. In other words, follow the preachings of Jesus Christ, not politics! 🙁

Tea Party Extremists Gone Amuck: Defeat Of Utah Senator Robert Bennett!

Senator Robert Bennett of Utah would be considered, by any reasonable standard, to be a solid conservative Republican, certainly in no way a liberal or moderate.

This man, a Mormon whose father Wallace Bennett served in the Senate before him; the grandson of the seventh president of the Mormon Church; and married to the granddaughter of the ninth President of the Mormon Church–was unable to win a fourth term nomination at the Republican State convention today!

What stood in the way of this senator, who voted against abortion, affirmative action, gay rights and marriage, health care reform, energy standards proposals, even emergency funding for Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina–and for the Patriot Act and tighter immigration controls, and repeal of the inheritance tax and support of the flat tax which favors the most wealthy taxpayers, among many other votes?

You would not believe that the vote which doomed Senator Bennett as NOT conservative enough, was his decision to support, as many others in the Senate and House did, the “bailout” of Wall Street institutions introduced by the Bush Administration in the fall of 2008, and continued in 2009 by President Obama’s Administration!

This event, the rejection of Senator Bennett, is an example of the absolutely sickening, crazy, loony Tea Party Movement’s influence, and a warning to Senator John McCain, Governor Charlie Crist and many others–establishment Republicans with a solid record of accomplishments for conservative causes–but also an element of individualism and maverick nature who DARED to use their brain, rather than ideology, to do what was the proper thing to do in a dire emergency, as we had not seen or experienced in 80 years!

The fact that what the US government has done has indeed worked toward the beginning of an economic revival does not matter to these lunatics! They are such “puritans” regarding their backwards ideology that they do not care what harm they do to the party which has best represented their right wing interests for all these years!

This is a warning to the GOP–continue to embrace the Tea Party extremists–and IF the American people have any common sense, these right wing rebels will be rejected at the polls this November!

Obviously, SOME of these characters will manage to get through and poison the political atmosphere, but Democrats MUST do whatever they can to keep the ship of state on an even keel, as a Tea Party takeover of American politics would be the triumph of insanity and harm the long term future of the United States!

By the way, there is the possibility that Senator Bennett will wage a write-in campaign for his seat, since this rejection was not in a primary where all registered Republicans could vote. With a famous name in Utah politics, and 18 years in the Senate behind him, it could occur that Senator Bennett will yet overcome the wingnuts who defeated him in the state convention today! For a state that is solidly conservative Republican, his eventual write in victory is the best that could be hoped for!

Germany 1945 And Germany 2010: 65 Years After VE Day! What A Difference!

65 years ago today was VE Day, as the remnants of Nazi Germany surrendered, ending World War II in Europe!

Germany lay in ruins, and was then divided by the Allies, into what became a 45 period of division, between Communist East Germany (controlled by the Soviet Union), and the Federal Republic of West Germany (controlled by troops of the United States, Great Britain, France).

East Germany was a totalitarian Communist dictatorship which languished economically, while West Germany flourished as a successful democracy.

The Berlin Wall was built by the Russians in 1961, dividing that city physically from then to 1989. When the Wall fell, the Soviets had already determined to withdraw from Eastern Europe and East Germany, and within a year, not only was the Cold War ended, but the two German nations became united as one, finally, after 45 years of division.

Now Germany, a very successful democracy, is also the economic powerhouse of Europe, and is engaged in the bailing out of Greece, and likely in the future, of other European countries in economic crisis, including Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain!

Who would have ever imagined that the nation that had spawned the worst war in history would, two thirds of a century later, be the savior of nations?

An amazing turn of circumstances, which no one could ever have imagined! 🙂

Michelle Obama: Role Model, Good Will Ambassador, And Elegant First Lady! :)

Probably the greatest asset President Barack Obama has is not his cabinet officers or advisers, but his elegant, highly intelligent and articulate First Lady! 🙂

Michelle Obama has already demonstrated that she is one of the greatest First Ladies in American History in just a little over a year in office!

Not only has she become a role model for women and young girls and promoted “family values” and the work ethic, but she has also become the leading advocate of her husband as he faces the most massive series of problems of any President since Franklin D. Roosevelt!

On her recent trip to earthquake torn Haiti and to Mexico, she showed her talent as a good will ambassador and spokesperson for every decent human trait to help those less fortunate!

She always knows the right thing to say and do, and she possesses great charm and presence!

It is such a delight to have an intelligent and accomplished First Lady, as the job description has become much more upgraded by her qualifications, which rival, and in some ways, surpass all First Ladies except, possibly, Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary Clinton!

Michelle Obama will continue to be a tremendous asset to her husband and to America in the coming years, and this can be seen in a way to follow what Bill Clinton said when he was elected, regarding his wife: You elect me, you gain my wife as a dividend! 🙂

That is certainly the case with Michelle Obama!