The Word Is, uh, Out
In case you missed it, one of Illinois' native sons wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times last week. Retired General John M. Shalikashvili, an alumnus of Bradley University and a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for an official end to the Pentagon's official ban preventing gays and lesbians from serving in the armed forces and, consequently, to their unofficial policy of "Don't Ask/Don't Tell."
It should perhaps be noted that Shalikashvili's tenure as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs was from 1993 to 1997, when "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" was adopted.
Bill Clinton, you may remember, sought to have the official ban lifted, only to have the issue, uh, blow up in his face. Clinton's suggestion was vociferously opposed by up-standing, god-fearing, all-American, family-valuing types who are --let us make peace with the truth, Brothers and Sisters-- Just Plain Better than the rest of us. You know: People like Mark Foley... or any of the dozens of political types who, when they get down on their knees and pray --as they so often tell us they do-- have to be careful not to do so too near their closet, lest the skeleton that's in there slip them an all too welcome bone. In other words, real, uh, straight shooters.
In the Times article, Shalikashvili first admitted that he'd supported maintaining the official ban at the time, mostly because the idea of lifting it was so controversial. He then said that "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" was a "compromise... [that] was a useful speed bump that allowed temperatures to cool for a period of time while the culture continued to evolve."
I like that sentence; I really do: "While the culture continued to evolve."
In other words, "Even ignorant people can learn, if you give them enough time."
Shalikashvili's main thesis was this: "I now believe that if gay men and lesbians serve openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces."
He also opined that it was "inevitable" that the ban will, eventually, be lifted.
I agree. In fact, my math says it will happen sooner, rather than later. We know --by both their actions and their words-- that This Blinkin' Administration doesn't like homosexuals and seeks to discriminate against them. We also know --by their actions, which run contrary to their words (bald-faced lies)-- that This Blinkin' Administration has absolutely no respect for the men and women serving in the armed forces and seeks to use them as cannon fodder so that Halliburton can pocket more of your tax dollars. It seems only logical, therefore, that they would decide to use more members of one group to swell the ranks of the other.
II. Yours For the Asking.
Apparently, at least one National League franchise has heard the news...
You might recall that Yours Truly --having become disgusted (again) with the doings of the [Censored], [Unutterable], Bogus [Stool-heads] and, in particular, their choice of "Loopy" Lou Pinella as manager-- is shopping around for a new ballclub to root for this season. Imagine how full of myself I became, then, when I received in the mail a fan magazine from the Los Angeles Dodgers, a.k.a. Baseball America's "Organization of the Year."
Imagine, too, how much it amused me to note that the cover photo was of Nomar Garciaparra being mobbed by his teammates as he touched home plate after one of --yes, I said "one of"-- his game-winning home runs. On the inside cover, an open letter from a couple of the higher-ups in the organization also mentioned his game-winning grand slam on Fan Appreciation Day-- a game that One F and I and several others attended in connection with the First Annual Blasphemes Convention.
How I remember that day! How I remember being chauffeured to the ballpark and escorted directly to our luxurious block of seats along the first base line... Okay, actually, we caught a ride from a friend and wandered three-quarters of the way around the ballpark before finding that we'd been stuffed into a little bat cave of a concrete crevice in the right field corner. Not "The Batcave," mind you, "a bat cave." Big difference.
The magazine also features an interview with --get this-- near-Cub Rafael Furcal, a.k.a. the "Man Who Broke Derrek Lee's Wrist." After that, pretty much every page exhorts me to "Get Your Tickets Now!"
Patience, oh, Blue and Lah-lahd ones. If I think your ballclub looks good on Opening Day, don't worry, I'll be among the first ones on the bandwagon.
Bud Selig must go... sooner, rather than later.