Posts Tagged ‘military’

Where to start? That’s a tough one this morning because this story in the Huff Post is wonky on so many levels. Of course, it was the headline that drew my attention: Retired Chaplains Come Out Against DADT Repeal, Citing ‘Religious Freedom’.

Sure, I knew pissed off was coming, but I am surprised that I can still be surprised by the complexity of convolutions possible when minds warped by religion put bent thinking to words. I’m in no fit state for eloquent this early on a Saturday in paradise, so you’ll be settling for the annoying sound of sarcasm dripping.

Before wading in, however, let’s start by watching Bill Maher deliver a new rule.

Done? Good.

Moving right along …

Dozens of retired military chaplains say that serving both God and the U.S. armed forces will become impossible for chaplains whose faiths consider homosexuality a sin if the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is thrown out.

“The bottom line is religious freedom,” said retired Army Brig. Gen. Douglas Lee, one of 65 former chaplains who signed a letter urging President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to keep “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Amazing how the word “freedom” is deemed to have so much oomph when it follows “religious”, ain’t it? It’s ever-so-much more vital that bigotry is allowed to flourish than pushing for any recognition that what consenting adults get up to in the privacy of their own pants in no one’s fucking business, is it?

Of course, we’re not just talking run-of-the-mill clergy here, but those dedicating their careers to serving the military. Hm.

The Southern Baptist Convention, the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church in America, the Presbyterian Church in America, and the Rabbinical Alliance of America have issued statements or written to the Obama administration this year with their concerns that repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” could force their chaplains to choose between serving God and serving the military.

Now THERE’S potential for a quandary. Salute, or genuflect? What is the chain of command? Wonder if that’s ever come up before … like … hm … maybe when sending troops out to kill and be killed over some bullshit tale of WMDs?

The Orthodox Church in America, for example, condemns homosexuality and mandates that the appropriate action its ministers should take toward gay people who seek counseling is to steer them to repent and renounce the gay lifestyle.

“If such an attitude were regarded as ‘prejudice’ or the denunciation of homosexuality as ‘hate language,’ or the like, we would be forced to pull out our chaplains from military service,” the church informed the Pentagon in May.

I’m thinkin’ more along the lines of dishonorable discharge, actually … and maybe a lawsuit.

Anyone who can make a living passing the plate and the pap for the armed forces should damned well know how to keep their yaps shut; loose lips do more than sink ships, so GET OVER IT!

Can’t let this bit of hypocrisy by:

The Catholic Church likewise deems homosexual behavior a sin.

“This means that Catholic chaplains must show compassion for persons with a homosexual orientation, but can never condone – even silently – homosexual behavior,” Archbishop Timothy Broglio said in a June letter calling for “don’t ask” to remain in place. Broglio leads the Archdiocese for Military Services and is the church’s chief liaison to the military.

Oh, paaaaallllllleeeeeeeease! Since when, Archie? Your unit has been silently condoning, dodging and covering for priests jumping into any old fox hole for a long, long time, so shut the fuck up.

And get this:

Every officer in the military, including chaplains, is evaluated in an annual report. One criterion is whether the officer supports the military’s equal opportunity policy. If gays and lesbians are included in that policy, careers of chaplains who criticize homosexuality could suffer.

WTF? IF gays and lesbians are included? That suggests that they are not up til now, even under DADT, which I have to assume means that the confidentiality of the confessional hasn’t been a happening thing. Wonder what the catholic god who made that rule has been thinking. Probably understands that he’s been outranked.

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No, I’m not harkening back to the flap last year that had tacky t-shirts emblazoned with the what was either cleverly hip or cynically horrid “Adoption: the New Black”, but rather the REAL New Black, which is black.

Yep. Black: The New Black.

Blacker than black, this new black is amazingly cool to a science geek wannabe like me.

It’s the Washington Post that puts out a version of this I can wrap my head around … almost … as it describes a new material that absorbs — get this — 99.955% of any light that hits it.

Hmmmmmm … If a moth gets to it, does it leave a Black Hole?

“It’s very deep, like in a forest on the darkest night,” said Shawn-Yu Lin, a scientist who helped create the material at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. “Nothing comes back to you. It’s very, very, very dark.”

I’m trying to imagine aiming my eyes at a bit of fabric from which nothing comes back.

What’s that like? Brain death, maybe? Like, I’m looking, I’m looking, I’m looking, but there’s so much nothing to see that I might as well not have eyes?


Wondering what use the New Black will have, besides being the height of whatever heights get that groovy designation?

Well, the military is jazzed about adding it to stealth coatings that absorb radar waves. Why not?

But check out this stuff:

Solar panels coated with it would be much more efficient than those coated with conventional black paint, which reflects 5 percent or more of incoming light. Telescopes lined with it would sop up random flecks of incidental light, providing a blacker background to detect faint stars.

And a wide array of heat detectors and energy-measuring devices, including climate-tracking equipment on satellites, would become far more accurate than they are today if they were coated with energy-grabbing superblack.

Of course, I’m thinking of the fashion potential. Those extra pounds I’m toting could disappear with just a little nip and tuck, not of me, but of an outfit sporting strategic touches of “super black”. And think of the contouring possible if it could be added to a makeup line! Double chin! What double chin?

And Halloween! Head! What head?

I also can’t shake the idea of Bug Bunny’s portable holes … those disks of black he’d toss when he needed a quick getaway. With big enough circles of the New Black anyone could appear to exit Stage Right for “Wonderland”.

Of course, having all the light sucked out of the immediate area is one way to hide, but not the only one almost possible these days.

Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak is also in the works, but rather than gobble light the stuff being used bends it backward.

Known as transformation optics, the phenomenon compels some wavelengths of light to flow around an object like water around a stone. As a result, things behind the object become visible while the object itself disappears from view.

Does that or does than not give goose bumps the size of headlamps?

Okay … now that we can cloak a Volkswagon like a Klingon war bird, can we please get that beamy-uppy thing in the works? I’d really like to meet my oldest son’s girlfriend.

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