Wednesday, May 26, 2010

WOW

WOW!
I feel so empowered.

I just called Washington, D.C. Crazy, right? I totally expected to get an answering service and voice mail, but right away a HUMAN operator answered to transfer me to my representative, and then when I got there, another HUMAN answered the phone and asked what my concerns, etc., were. I voiced my opinion and stated where I lived, and my opinion was marked down.

IT WAS SO COOL.

I don't know why I'm so shocked. I mean, she's an elected official. Surely it is her job to hear from her constituents, but I mean, you can't call practically anyone these days without having to push a million buttons to get to the right department (and then you usually still end up in the wrong one!).

Anyway, I feel pretty spiffy right now. That was even cooler than voting.

I recommend that you call your representative the next time you feel like something should be done. I called because someone is trying to push through a repeal of the military's "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" policy, and I feel strongly about that issue. If you think it should or should not be repealed, then you should call, too. It might get voted on as early as Thursday, so there is no time to e-mail. I strongly feel that Congress should not act until the review is complete in December.

Call the Capital Switchboard at 202-225-3121. Someone answers that 24 hours a day. And if you're calling during office hours of your representative, then someone should answer then as well.

If you live in one of the states below, then you should call your senator, too, because those are the senators who sit on the Armed Services Committee.

Evan Bayh (D-Indiana)
Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia)
Susan Collins (R-Maine)
Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska)
Bill Nelson (D-Florida),
Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island)
Jim Webb (D-Virginia) 

 Some background information
In 1993 Congress passed a law specifically prohibiting homosexuals from serving in the military.  President Clinton, in attempting to weaken the intent of the law, instituted the “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy which effectively allowed homosexuals to serve in the military if they were not open about their homosexuality.  The military services were prohibited from asking military personnel if they were homosexual. 
For years, homosexual activists have demanded the repeal of the law on which DADT is based.  Along with such things as including “sexual orientation” as one of the categories protected under nondiscrimination or hate crime legislation and legalizing homosexual marriage, this demand is part of their strategy to mainstream homosexuality in U.S. society.  As such, it directly undermines the family and family values.  Candidate Obama and most Democrats have promised to repeal DADT.
While polls generally show public support for repeal of DADT, there are clear danger signs for trying to impose this new policy on the military while engaged in two wars that most of the public is not aware of because most of the media have ignored them.  One is a letter to President Obama and Congress signed by over a thousand retired flag and general officers opposing repeal of DADT because of the harm it would do to the military.  Another is a poll of active duty military personnel conducted in 2008 that found that nearly 10 percent of those surveyed would not re-enlist if DADT was repealed and another 14 percent said they would be less likely to do so.  Several high ranking active duty officers have also stated their opposition. 
An apparent compromise was reached several months ago when the Defense Department undertook a review of the impact of repealing DADT on the military.  The report of that review is due in December, and it was generally expected that Congress would not act until that review was completed.  The surprise announcement of a vote in a couple of days effectively scraps that review, even though as recently as last week, the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs asked Congress again to hold off until the review was completed.  The amendment will supposedly accommodate the review by delaying implementation of the actual repeal of the law until the report is filed and both the Defense Secretary and the President determine that it would not harm military readiness.  No one actually believes that such a determination is likely after Congress has voted for repeal no matter what the report finds.

6 comments:

  1. Wow, Meems. Again as always so impressed that you know about things and act on them according to what you feel. Nice work.

    I don't know much about all this, so I appreciate you sharing what you know.

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  2. “I fear dictatorial dogmatism, rigidity of procedure and intolerance even more than I fear cigarettes, cards, and other devices the adversary may use to nullify faith and kill religion. Fanaticism and bigotry have been the deadly enemies of true religion in the long past. They have made it forbidding, shut it up in cold grey walls of monastery and nunnery, out of sunlight and fragrance of the growing world. They have garbed it in black and then in white, when in truth it is neither black nor white, any more than life is black or white…” --LDS Apostle Stephen L. Richards

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  3. Wow I really like that quote from Stephen L. Richards. I am glad you got to speak to someone. I am not going to try to argue or anything but my husband serves in the military and my Dad did before him, and I could care less if someone who is gay wants to serve right next to him. If they are willing to do their job well and risk their life for me, what should I care if they are gay/straight/or whatever? I know plenty of gays already in the military who do their job just as well. The fact of the matter is that most of their superiors do know they are gay, but too many people try to use the "don't ask, don't tell" law to GET OUT OF THEIR COMMITMENT. I have heard too many stories of straight dudes pretending to be gay in basic training just so they didn't have to stay in although they enlisted for that time. Anyway, enough of my opinion. I am stealing that quote though from the apostle. That's neat that you got through I will have to call my congressmen and women now that I know that you can talk to them that easily.

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  4. wow that really is something! even when i call my cable company the person answering doesn't speak english! i have a really hard time and have to say "what?" like every 10 seconds and i just end up handing the phone to my husband.
    go mimi!

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  5. cool :) neat information. except this:

    "this demand is part of their strategy to mainstream homosexuality in U.S. society. As such, it directly undermines the family and family values."

    ummmm first....being gay or straight is a part of human life :) one doesn't get to "choose" so it should already be a mainstream part of life...

    and second....how the heck does being gay undermine the family and family values?? i know gay people who are better family peeps than straight people...

    anyway, its always awesome to feel and be empowered by taking things into your own hands and making your voice heard :) yay!

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