American Highlander

The many musings of an American Celt

Formspring

Posted by Reid on March 17, 2011

Here is a way to ask me questions 🙂 enjoy

<iframe src=”http://www.formspring.me/widget/view/reidmclain?&size=medium&bgcolor=%23fff&fgcolor=%23333&#8243; frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="180" height="275" style="border:none;"><a href=”http://www.formspring.me/reidmclain&#8221; >http://www.formspring.me/reidmclain</a></iframe>

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DADT Repeal May Usher In A Colorblind Society

Posted by Reid on December 19, 2010

One of the best arguments I’ve heard against the repeal of DADT (which, as we say in the business is now OBE) is that it will lead to a new level of mamby-pambyness vis-a-vis gay troops demanding they be treated “fairly”. Often as we’ve noticed, when any “rights” group is looking for “fairness” it’s often simply code for “special rights”.

For the majority (based on my experience) of gay troops, our lives will likely not change much on a day-to-day basis. I, for one, am not planning to “come out” to anybody save a few close friends where I work. I’m expecting, in fact, that they likely know about me anyway. (After all, such a devilishly handsome man with so much going for him my age not married? He must be gay! Har har, but anyway…) Inasmuch, I don’t expect most gay troops will be demanding anything much more than simply not getting kicked out if we forget to use the gender-neutral pronouns when speaking of our dates.

This is not to say there won’t be a few (which will likely seem like much more than a few) flamboyantly unprofessional troops whose conduct will surely be seen as unbecoming and hopefully will be counseled right away. That will be a touchy subject I’ll save for another post.

For now let’s talk about “special rights”.

Many have argued this is a stepping-stone to a larger “gay rights” agenda. I’ve never seen it as such, and I regret that there will definitely be many gay “rights” champions who will misuse this to further their own agenda (much as those opposed to gay “rights” will also use it to further their agenda). They have no concern necessarily about the defense of the Nation nor about the military. We are a tool for them to use and they should be ashamed, if they knew any such thing as shame in the first place.

There’s another thing that I think might come of this which would be a good sign. Check out this quote from the DoD’s report on the repeal of DADT:

We do not recommend that sexual orientation be placed alongside race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, as a class eligible for various diversity programs, tracking initiatives, and complaint resolution processes under the Military Equal Opportunity Program. We believe that doing so could produce a sense, rightly or wrongly, that gay men and lesbians are being elevated to a special status as a “protected class” and will receive special treatment. In a new environment in which gay and lesbian Service members can be open about their sexual orientation, we believe they will be accepted more readily if the military community understands that they are simply being permitted equal footing with everyone else.

(emphasis added)

This is a sentiment I (as most libertarian conservatives) have long espoused: Equal treatment, not special treatment. Which leads to the next logical question: Why should “race, color, religion, sex, and national origin” be the basis for special treatment either? If gays and lesbians “will be accepted more readily” if not treated differently, wouldn’t that also be the same for members of these other groups? What an interesting outcome of this whole episode if the entire concept of “special” categories of troops went by the way-side?

For all the talk (and legitimate, I might add) of “unintended consequences” surrounding the repeal of DADT, what a happy accident it would be if, by virtue of this new policy change, we had to rethink how we treated everybody. Because if there’s no good reason to treat gays and lesbians as “diversity programs” (and there isn’t), then why do we need them in the first place? This could be a whole new chapter in respecting each other as individuals and as part of a larger team rather than the social balkanization the Left so often loves to use to drive us apart.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from TML)

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Before this all goes down…

Posted by Reid on December 19, 2010

There will surely be many words written here and in other places—many by yours truly—about today’s repeal of DADT. Before the deluge, please allow me to indulge this:

I thank God for the gay men and women who have been serving during (and even before) DADT in spite of it. While many gay activists have been on the sidelines carping about “rights” and “integrity” and “honor”, these brave men and women put their Nation before themselves and sacrificed as their colleagues never had to. They were called by service and answered in a way that speaks volumes about their dedication to the mission of the military. They chose to serve even as doing so meant keeping such a big part of themselves under wraps.

They were infantilized, pitied, and even demeaned by their supposed “supporters” for having consciously put their nation ahead of their own desires and identities. Many of them will continue to serve silently and with great dignity. I am humbled to have served with them.

I welcome into our ranks those openly gay men and women who will now choose to join the military, but I will forever be honored to have served next to those who answered the call without requiring their own terms as a prerequisite for their service.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from TML)

Sent with MobileRSS

Cheers!

Reid 

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Before this all goes down…

Posted by Reid on December 19, 2010

There will surely be many words written here and in other places—many by yours truly—about today’s repeal of DADT. Before the deluge, please allow me to indulge this:

I thank God for the gay men and women who have been serving during (and even before) DADT in spite of it. While many gay activists have been on the sidelines carping about “rights” and “integrity” and “honor”, these brave men and women put their Nation before themselves and sacrificed as their colleagues never had to. They were called by service and answered in a way that speaks volumes about their dedication to the mission of the military. They chose to serve even as doing so meant keeping such a big part of themselves under wraps.

They were infantilized, pitied, and even demeaned by their supposed “supporters” for having consciously put their nation ahead of their own desires and identities. Many of them will continue to serve silently and with great dignity. I am humbled to have served with them.

I welcome into our ranks those openly gay men and women who will now choose to join the military, but I will forever be honored to have served next to those who answered the call without requiring their own terms as a prerequisite for their service.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from TML)

Sent with MobileRSS

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Can’t get one past a real Cowboy…

Posted by Reid on April 20, 2009

One of those “e-mail forwards” that I received and actually read, I enjoyed this one so I thought it would be fun to post. I do not know the author to give credit so if you do please let me know:

A cowboy named Bud was overseeing his herd in a remote mountainous pasture in Idaho when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him.

The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the cowboy, ‘If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, Will you give me a calf?’

Bud looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, ‘Sure, Why not?’

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3 cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.

The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg , Germany

Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses an MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer and finally turns to the cowboy and says, ‘You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.’

‘That’s right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves,’ says Bud.

He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then Bud says to the young man, ‘Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?’

The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, ‘Okay, why not?’

‘You’re a Congressman for the U.S. Government’, says Bud.

‘Wow! That’s correct,’ says the yuppie, ‘but how did you guess that?’

‘No guessing required.’ answered the cowboy. ‘You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You tried to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don’t know a thing about cows….this is a herd of sheep

Now give me back my dog

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Denver “Tea Party” April 15 2009

Posted by Reid on April 17, 2009

Denver Tax Day Tea Party 2009

Denver Tax Day Tea Party 2009

On Wednesday I attended my first REAL, protest. It was  part of a nationwide grassroots movement to speak up against the government’s wasteful ways. I posted the information for this event HERE. I knew there would be a lot of people there but I did not realize that it would be so many, Denver Post reports that it was 5000+*. I thought it was amazing, I was listening to bagpipe music as any good Celt would do on my way to the event. I definitely had goosebumps at the event, at times when we said the pledge of allegiance and sang our national anthem. I will put a few pictures from the event here so you can see a bit of the start of this movement Denver style.

Denver Tax Day Tea Party 2009

Denver Tax Day Tea Party 2009

It attracted some fringe, and some nut balls, but these were the exception to the rule. While we were not as big as some of the other events across the nation. The thing I want to point out about this is that it is grassroots movement, there was no “press push” as there is with so much of what goes on with the left. If a protest of this magnitude for antiwar. Some of the fringe (for the protest, but a bit “different”)

Sign says "They Don't Give a F*** about You"

Sign says "They Don't Give a F*** about You

 A Little V for Vendetta ... plus Acorns are nuts

A Little V for Vendetta ... plus Acorns are nuts

I would like to note in the article I quoted for the 5000 number that half of it is dedicated to the liberal “counter protesters” when their presence was not even close of a match compared to the  main event, or even the fringe of main even “crazies”. Here is a picture of Michael Huttner, and his helper carrying their sign in the middle of the other protesters. There were so many other groups there that should have gotten some page time, so why these groups? Here is a picture of the same guy with his helper (yep 2 of them) and the ladies that are trying to block his sign. I suppose that he has a right to the “speech” but people forget that it does not necessarily mean we have to listen, or he might forget that this ridiculous out of control spending is not just a Bush issue.

Little Conflict.. there were 2 of them but they got half of the article

Little Conflict.. there were 2 of them (sign says we are here to sweep up Bush's mess"

Here are a few more:

Are you paying attention?

Are you paying attention?

As the grass in front of the capital fills up

As the grass in front of the capital fills up

Revolution is Brewing

Revolution is Brewing

Got Pork?

Got Pork?

Some of the crowd

Some of the crowd

Nice Day for a Protest

Nice Day for a Protest

Posted in Politics, Tea Party 2009 | 4 Comments »

Quick lesson in government

Posted by Reid on March 31, 2009

Posted in Current Events, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Knitting the discussion…can you take the challenge?

Posted by Reid on March 31, 2009

Most people who know me personally understand that I love a good discussion, even the uncomfortable kind. I think that dissenting conversations are great when managed correctly and good for solving problems. It is one of the ways we strengthen our own beliefs, thoughts, premises and positions–defending them strengthens them.

I have long considered it healthy and quite amazing to be able to knit the strands of a dissent and conflict filled discussion to a positive outcome even if the parties agree to disagree.  It is the friction that propels us forward to good solutions– if we are good knitters.

When these discussion are politics, it is important to keep the  “personal and emotions” out of it. Using the “unwritten rule” to not take it personally,  save the personal and emotional moments for Oprah, your psychologist and your hairdresser.

During the 2008 Presidential Election there was a flood “political “rhetoric” and skewed perspectives on each of the candidates. This influenced the discussions people were having. I felt many of these these discussions were quite unproductive because of the media bias,  incomplete information and passages being taken out of context etc . One of my liberal friends and I decided that it would be best to go to the actual source and then sort out what we thought rather than relying on the cut, past and merge talents of the media . This helped us come to the table with complete information and helped facilitate some excellent “dialogue knitting”.

I was reminded of this when I read the LA Times: Take the Limbaugh Challenge by Andrew Klavan. I have often wondered how some people pass  harsh judgments about Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh et all when the information for their critique was presented an incomplete and out of context message.  Klavan is challenging the mostly liberal audience of the LA Times to actually listen to Rush Limbaugh (in his context). He asserts that many who have formed harsh opinions have never listened:

…And, whatever you claim, you still haven’t listened to Rush Limbaugh.

Which leads to a question: Why not? I mean, come on, the guy’s one of the figures of the age. Aren’t you even curious? I listen to all your guys: NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, The Times, the New York Times, the New Yorker — I check out the whole left-wing hallelujah chorus. Why are you afraid to spend a couple of hours listening to Limbaugh’s show and seriously considering if and why you disagree with him?

Let me guess at your answer. You don’t need to listen to him. You’ve heard enough to know he’s a) racist, b) hateful, c) stupid, d) merely an outrageous entertainer not to be taken seriously or e) all of the above.

Now let me tell you the real answer: You’re a lowdown, yellow-bellied, lily-livered intellectual coward. You’re terrified of finding out he makes more sense than you do.

I agree with him. Because if you are strong in what you believe listening to Rush (or reading Ann) will not change or convince you otherwise. The only reason many do not embrace  types in context is being afraid that they will make sense.

I know this is true because I am always excited that a new Ann Coulter book is out. I have shown certain people the book and they reel backward in hatred, like a cat who has been thrown in a bathtub. So I ask them “what book did you read of hers that let you to that conclusion?” … the response is predicable “I haven’t,  I just don’t like what she says, she is mean” … Sooo crazy, they don’t like the message only to turn around and say I haven’t really listened/read their message.

I like the challenge that he presents, let’s expand it.  You can either listen to Rush radio show (in its entirety) or read an Ann Coulter book (in its entirety).  Let me know if you can do that I will meet you at the table for some sane knitting and discussion.

Posted in Ann Coulter, Current Events, Politics, Rush Limbaugh | 6 Comments »

MUST READ: Townhall: Ken Blackwell … false conservative division

Posted by Reid on March 28, 2009

Conservatives’ False Division <–Read the whole thing!

Interesting perspective, and I combine this perspective with the GP Post and my subsequent reaction on “Equality”… this leads me to wonder why so many “types” of conservatives cannot stand together  when  the fundamental danger confronting us is our loss of freedom.

Social conservatives are scared of getting “sin” on them, some fiscal conservatives are scared to be associated with fanatical religious zealots, paleoconservatives are scared of progress and the list goes on… in the mean time, our government keeps growing and we lose more and more our ability to choose for ourselves. We are frustrated when people to not meet all the attributes of a checklist and we discount thoughts, ignore and push aside people that do not align exactly with our own lists (in short we act like liberals). But as the article points out:

The common enemy of all conservatives is the centrality of the state instead of the individual in our political system. All conservatives oppose elevating government to a place of reverence and esteem. Government must be closely watched and carefully limited.

Why do we have troubles coming together on this? Why do we continue to fight each other on the “small” things and why do we keep letting liberals define who we are?? We need to quit and come together or we are just as much to blame for the dramatic left turn this country is going as Obama is.

Posted in Current Events, Politics | 2 Comments »

This is what the blizzard in Denver makes me do…

Posted by Reid on March 26, 2009

There is nothing like  a good reel to celebrate, it is how I am feeling about the snowstorm here in Denver. Even if the leak in my roof is not fixed yet 🙂 (Joys of being a home owner)

Anyone up for a snowball fight?

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »