Thursday, October 23, 2008

Congressional Candidate Chris Myers and His Horrifying Vision on Iraq

Any philosophy on the Iraq War that doesn't include a set of benchmarks for the Iraqi government and a clear withdrawal plan, with timelines, is the equivalent of political amnesia and destructive in its vision. If American troops are asked to fight a war continuously, then the justification must be extraordinary. In Iraq, there is no such justification for this conflict, one that the U.S. has been in for a longer engagement than the entirety of U.S. engagement in World War 2. Try telling that, though, to right-wing neocon sympathizer Chris Myers, a Republican candidate for congress in New Jersey's third congressional district.

Myers, in a recent interview, said that "The surge is working and we must complete the job over there to keep us safe at home." Myers philosophy on Iraq is intellectually irresponsible: There are terrorists over there, he says, so we must stay in perpetual engagement in Iraq -- no timeline, no withdrawal.

Myers, who makes no differentiation between the Shiite majority, Sunni Arabs, and other factions in Iraq, only sees "terrorists" "over there." His argument, amazingly enough, is that the Iraq War somehow makes the U.S. safe from terrorism, "We have to make sure that evil doesn't come to the United States." The Iraq War, in fact, exacerbates terrorist activity, keeps American troops in the role of moderating a civil war, and lessens America's national security. Chris Myers, who is supported by right-wing neoconservative organizations like "Freedom Watch," just doesn't get it.

Compare that to John Adler's clear, correct stance on the ill-begotten Iraq War: "We're spending a lot of money in Iraq. I think we should be spending that money in America." Adler favors a phased redeployment of troops out of Iraq, beginning in the next few months, while Myers favors perpetual occupation of Iraq with no end in sight. Adler is absolutely right in his opposition to this war and his call for a timeline and withdrawal; Myers, on the other hand, lives in neocon la-la land.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Connecticut Opens the Door for Marriage Equality for Gays -- New Jersey Should Follow Suit

Some rather incredible news today: Connecticut, via a landmark Supreme Court decision, has now legalized gay marriage. For those of us who envision a future American culture where homophobia is a thing of the past, and equal rights are afforded to all, this action represents a huge step in the right direction. Supreme Court Justice Richard Palmer wrote in the majority opinion that "Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex partner of their choice." The state constitution is cited here, but legal protection for gay and lesbian couples, while not explicitly state as such, are part of the equal rights ethos of the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution, too.

New Jersey shouldn't wait to legalize gay marriage, as now Massachusetts, California, and Connecticut (Bravo, Connecticut) have all legalized gay marriage. What will make New Jersey's marriage equality law different, if it is indeed passed, is that it will legalize gay marriage through actual legislative vote. That vote should come sooner rather than later.

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