Saturday, January 27, 2007

More of the Same with Republican Jingoism

With the long-deserved firing of Donald Rumsfeld, our country seemed to be on the right track for changing direction in Iraq and for replacing faux machismo bravado in the war on terror and the war in Iraq with real policy changes and a sane approach to that problem. Unfortunately for some bottom-trawling Republicans, any dissent for the war in Iraq is seen as the equivalence as treason, even though the majority of Americans oppose this illegitimate war and want our troops to be brought home soon.

The latest example of this is from new Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who calls the bipartisan Senate resolution opposing Bush's "fantasy land" approach for a troop surge a measure that "certainly emboldens the enemy and our adversaries." No, Mr. Gates, an Iraq War resolution that shows no-confidence in Bush's continuing troop surge -- Bush has already done this three or four times -- is not emboldening the enemies: Instead, it is your administration's destructive policies that helps breed terrorist ideology and creates new battlegrounds in the war on terror where none previously existed. Questioning the motives and strategies of an incompetent president is not anti-American -- it is instead a return to sanity and a way of protecting our troops from further harm in a conflict they shouldn't have been in in the first place.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Thank you, New Jersey State Legislature and Gov. Corzine

The New Jersey State Legislature, both the Assembly and the Senate, get a lot of flack for not enacting property tax reform in a timely enough manner and for other issues, but I want to take a moment to congratulate them and Gov. Corzine on successful human rights initiatives that have recently passed or will most likely pass in 2007.

2006 was the year that marriage equality almost made it in N.J., but I'm very pleased with the civil unions bill that passed both houses, as it provides many of the rights of married heterosexual couples to same-sex ones. We also saw life-saving measures such as a clean needle exchange bill pass which can subsequently be used to stop the spread of AIDS and other diseases in urban areas in the state. A transgender discrimination part of the civil unions bill also passed, and N.J. will become the first state completely to abolish the death penalty, doing so because of Corzine's executive order. I also anticipate serious progress being made towards universal health care in the state in 2007 and other important human and civil rights issues.

These efforts should be commended, and the state legislature and governor have acted commendably in passing these provisions.