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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
June 2, 2010     Hays Free Press
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June 2, 2010

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Page 4A THEY REALLY SAID THAT? "Bottom line, thousands of serce members baveJeen ]mshed out of the U.S. military not because they were inadequate or bad soldiers, sailors, Marines or airmen but because of their sexual orientation. And that's not bat zlmerica is all about. " -U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman Hays Free Press June 2, 2010 Innovate or perish A SQUEEZlN' "' top The World. I Want To Get Off." .The original play in NewYork pre- U sented life as a circus. I feel as if life has been a circus in the last few months: deaths in a West Virginia coal mine, tor- nadoes, floods, threats from abroad and at home, and now an oil spill of such tre- mendous proportions that, as I write this, oil is still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. In October of 1938 a famous radio broadcast called the "War of the Worlds," with Orson Welles, sent people into the streets in hysterics. They were loaded down with baggage and household goods crying that the Martians had descended on New Jersey and were fast approach- ing. There was complete chaos in the streets. No one knew where to go but all were going some place. This was truly a time when everyone wanted to get off the world. Perhaps President Obama would like to get offthe world now. There is no end to the disasters he is supposed to prevent. Having to face the knowledge that people in certain government agen- cies cannot be trusted, knowing the vast sums of bribery offered, not being able to trust financial leaders or oil executives, faced with endless greed in the market place, he is flying on a trapeze. People waiting on the shore, watching their livelihoods evaporate are desper- ate. They are waiting for someone to do something to stop the horror of destruc- tion, to save them from ruin. The oil that makes modern life possible has become their Martian. They must sit through hours of watch- ing television for news, hearing that soon they will know if the oil has been stopped, but no explanation satisfes them as time goes on. In the meantime, they know the oil has already reached the marshes. The marshes are dying along with the loss of refuge for birds and all that lives in the sea, wherever the oil finds its way. We are desperate to punish those who are responsible. Yet our addiction feeds their greed. Now is the time to take risks in alternate forms of energy. Even the most dyed-in- the-wool conservative can see that the na- tion must invest in the young people who are struggling to find funds for their inven- tions. It is time to face the math: there is no way to stop the world and get off. Make your choice. Innovate or perish. Whatever you invent, make sure it will make an automobile run. Yesterday, I saw a picture of a turtle swimming in clear water. Keep that pic- ture in mind. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. - Genesis 1:24-26 Honor every soldier Prejudices smack of '40s racism en I was gro nly gay peopl ere on TE. I k tha Stephens' sardonic (played to the hilt by Pa "Bewitched." And Billy ( Dallas, the first gay TV d And even though there' peredhunors that the fl Ellen John might be a h we shot those theories t because it was just not ! he could be gay and sl love songs to our adoles retrospect, it probably v gifts being affected by h Back then, being gay essarily connote sex, it lifestyle and personalit played out in prime tn friends or extended far bers, I didn't know it. G Gay clergy? It just didn't And figuring that rough population is gay, I'm a was just totally dueless gay people were quietly lives all around me. I fee have grown up with a laq But with this also came; awareness. And now I am charge( my young children the ( sity of tolerance and ace equality for all American help them make sense o members of our comm: friends and neighbors at ing up, the I remember ved Saman- Jncle Arthur fl Lynde) on ;rystal's Jodie ad on "Soap." vere whis- amboyant )mosexual, 1to the dirt ossible that croon those cent hearts, in rasn't just us s music. J_idn't nec- ras more a characteristic e. If I had gay fly mem- y teachers? hit my radar. y 10% of the suming that I md all these iving theft L forttmate to :k of prejudice. t total lack of l with teaching [re neces- ;prance and s. To somehow the fact that nity-our td family members - are routinely denied their basic right to marry the person of their choice, to adopt a child, or to openly serve in the military in defense of their country. How do I explain the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy to my girls when, for their entire lives, I have staunchly stood by the adage that the omission of troth is a lie. Help me justify the fact that so many of our elected officials feel that by allowing all service members to be treated equitably, we are somehow trying to destabilize our own military. It smacks of the same mentality used by racists 60 years ago, as xunan brought a successful end to segregation in these same armed forces. And although the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" narrowly passed;it has been stipulated that it will not take effect until a Defense Department review surveying 300,000 service men and women is completed in December and the president, the defense secre- tary and the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that it will not have negative effects on military operations. How ironic is it that the repeal of this antiquated edict is attached to a $700 billion defense spending bill which includes billions of dollars for security for our troops already in Afghanistan, new weapons, planes and mine-resistant vehicles to protect them as well as complete funding for the additional 30,000 troops requested to be de- ployed to Afghanistan in the future? Also included in this bill is $13 billion dollars to the Department ofVeterans I Affairs to treat soldiers disabled by Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Yet the.Republicans are willing to kick the entire defense spending bi]l to the curb because they don't want a repeal of this outdated policy even reviewed or considered. I'm not sure how they can purport their loyalty to the military or the country and be willing to deny this funding. So, on this Memorial Day, unlike in times past, it is my hope that we can honor each person throughout history who has lost their life in the defense of our nation, regardless of their sexual ori- entation, race or any other characteristic which makes them unique and yet still whollyAmerican and worthy of respect and honor. As I was fortunately able to do with my children regarding civil rights, I pray that we can end this bla- tant discrimination once and for all so that their children can shake their heads in disbelief as well, with the notion that we ever tried to justify the denial of fun- damental rights to anyAmerican. kafi so I'm working the census this sum_mer, and with all the poisonous paranoia being spewed by Rush Lilnbau ,a and the geniuses on "Fox News," I'm expecting Come to your census A GOD AND most people to be hostile erative, possibly even vie locate my first address la day aftemoon. My left lel Some kind of nerve prob ing pain from my knee d kle, and I'm walking with limp as I get out of the ca young woman sitting on hobble slowly up the dri a pair of reading glasses ( old nose, I call out, "Hi, h and she responds pleasa who I am andwhyI am t consents to the interviex smooth as glass, just like class. I couldn't have ash start to my new career ( about two months, give t Down the street I see pushing a baby in a stroll bell on the next home on out it's his house. He dou] talk to me, and we condu view smoothly also. Thin 1 great/I arrive at another the couple is backing thei out of the driveway. We a come back in the evenin[ week. Although things my leg is just killing me, s after only about an hour i The next morning is m ing in the field. My boss me I will be wasting my tJ around during business t nobody will be home. H already completed four c have managed to locate addresses that even Goo[ find (let s hear it for Map( on the same cul-de-sac, i first one, clipboard in hat and tmcoop- Lent, right? I :e on a Men- ;is ldlling me. em is shoot- wn to my an- a pronounced r. There is a the porch. As I eway, wearing ,n my 58-year- w's it going?." ally. I explain aere, and she ; and it goes al training d for a better hich will last r take). young man ;r as I ring the myllst. Tunas ties back to :t his inter- s are going ome just as r sports car Tee I should later in the goingwell, 91 callit a day n the field. g first morn- as assured me, going tours, because vever, I have tses, and I couple of le couldn't uest/), both approach the td. It's a nice, kid-friendly place, with a pair of athletic shoes and a comfortable looking bench on the shady porch. Nobody answers the door, which is not surprising, since there are no cars in the drive, so I leave a notice on the door, and go across the street to the other address. There are several cars out front, but nobody an- swers the door, so I leave a notice, and go back to my car. Then I discover, oh crap, I've locked my keys in the car! Oy. Fortunately, I didn't lock my cell phone in the car, so I call my wife. AS luck would have it, she is already plan- ning to come to Buda for a business meeting, so she leaves a little earlier than she had planned and heads my way. It will be an adventure, directing her to this out-of-the-way spot, using only my memory of this neighbor- hood I have never set foot in before this morning. I can't get back into my car, so I decided to avail myself of that com- fortable looking bench on the porch of the first home. I'm sitting there playing Brick Breaker (badly), and a few min- utes later, a Sheriff's unit goes rolling slowly b turns around, and pulls into the driveway of the home where I am loitering. The deputy gets out slowly. I get up and hobble over to meet him. "You're probably wondering what I'm doing here," I saywith a smile. He smiles back and says, "That's right." I explain the situation to him, and he smiles. He says there is an ordinance in that neighborhood against going door-to-door, but since I am working the Census, I am exempt. He also says apologetically that the Sheriff's office doesn't unlock cars any more, because on a recent attempt, the officer accidentally damaged the wiring in the door, and the owner sued. He leaves, and I return to the comfort of the porch. It is a few minutes past noon now, and another car pulls into the drive. This time, it's a van, and the driver is a youngish man wearing what looks like medical scrubs. He seems reluctant to get out of the car. I walk toward him with a smile and say, "I bet you're wondering what I'm doing on your porch." He says, "Yeah, actually I am." So I explain the situation to him and he chuckles, and invites me in to conduct the interview. Ordinar- ily I don't go into the house with the respondent, for safety reasons, but under the circumstances, I don't feel like I can refuse the man's hospitality. So we go to the kitchen and he gener- ously offers me something to drink. I politely refuse, because I'm expecting my wife any minute. We conduct the interview, which goes very smoothly, and when it's over, my host repeats the offer of a cold drink. Though I ap- preciate his hospitality, I still decline, wish him a great day, and just as I walk back out the front door, my wife calls. She is in the neighborhood, so I talk her through the turns and walk up to the comer, in case she has trouble locating the street. Before I get to the comer, she has already tamed in. My wife goes easy on me about locking my keys in the car, even points out how fommate it was to have hap- pened on that particular day at that particular time. They say God watches over fools and little children, and on this particular da this particular fool, yes, the shoe fits. lilllllrlll]lB-Imll]ll1llllliirlllillllrTIrllmlllllllmn,,, '" * *""''' """"" .......................... , ...................................... POLL QUESTION THIS WEEK'S POLL QUESTION Do you agree with Congreu move to repeal Ihe military% "don't ask, don't tell" rule? A. Yes. It's wiong to bar pa- triotic Americans from serving their country because of their sexual orientation. B. Maybe. I think they should have waited for the full Penta- gon report. C. No. I don think openly gay sot- diem should be allowed to serve. LAST WEEK'S POLL QUESTION How do you plan to celebrate Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer? A. My family will take part in a ceremony commemorating fallen military heroes. 13% B. We'll enjoy the sun with a barbeque or trip out to the lake. 27% C. Nothing much - we'll take the long weekend to relax around the house and catch up on projects. 60% TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR WEEKLY POLL GO TO WWW.HAYSFREEPRESS.COM MANAGEMENT Barton Publications, Inc. 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