in case you missed it: Ban bigots


Ban bigots

In less than two months, the ban on gays in the military will come to an end. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” (DADT) the policy of silence put in place as a compromise by President Bill Clinton, will be swept away in favor of equality. Well, that’s one campaign promise President Obama has kept. Now all people, regardless of gender, race or sexual preference, will be able to serve their country. And for some, this is a terrible thing.

“I am disappointed the president hasn’t properly addressed the concerns expressed by military service chiefs before certifying the repeal [of DADT],” said Rep. Howard P. McKeon, R-Calif. “Their worry that the combat readiness of our force could be placed at risk, particularly those serving on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq, must be taken seriously.”

It was this thinking that delayed the repeal of DADT for so long. And although it’s clear that those in the military understand military needs better than those of us who have never served, it’s really hard to understand how knowing there are gay guys in one’s unit could possibly impact “combat readiness.”

The fact that gays have served our nation for so long in secret with no negative impact on our military proves that they’re up to the task, so clearly their preparedness and their skill are not the issue. So what’s the problem?

Are straight soldiers so uncomfortable with gays that they can’t sleep at night and feel tired and stressed all day? Do they feel to afraid to shower? Will knowing that the brother in arms beside them has a boyfriend make them too afraid to go into combat?

If so, then we propose a new ban, one that bars ignorant bigots from serving. After all, a soldier who is too distracted by the sex lives of others to focus on his job shouldn’t be in the military in the first place.

Chasing the “God” particle

Scientists say they’re inching closer to uncovering the deepest secrets of the atom and that they may be on track to isolate the Higgs boson, the so-called “God” particle, by December 2012.

The Higgs boson is the keystone of the Standard Model of particle physics and has been used as the explanation for why matter has mass.

During a conference on particle physics in Grenoble, France, scientists discussed the latest data collected from the gazillion dollar proton supercollider buried 300 feet below the ground on the Franco-Swiss border, claiming that they’re finding what they’d expect to find if, in fact, the Higgs boson exists.

The supercollider fires beams of protons at one another down a 17-mile long tunnel. Because the magnets in the tunnel are super-cooled to almost absolute zero — that’s minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit — the protons are able to attain speeds that are one-millionth of a percent below the speed of light, creating a crash of Big Bang proportions on an itsy-bitsy scale. The collision releases smaller particles for scientists to study, and somewhere among the quarks and gluons there might just be the Higgs boson — and a deeper understanding of how the universe came into being.

Knowledge is a great thing, except… Wasn’t there something about the supercollider generating tiny black holes that could destroy the universe? Why, yes, there was. In theory, each of these collisions creates tiny black holes that may or may not dissolve. If they do dissolve, all is well. If they don’t … Let’s just say that the random appearance of a black hole anywhere near you would put all other problems in your life into perspective. In other words, observing the Hobbs boson might be the last thing humanity does.

It’s a complete coincidence that December 2012 — Dec. 21, to be precise — is when the Mayans predict the end of the world, right? We hope so.

Tackling the football problem

So what’s with this most recent rash of football players, at the college and pro level in Colorado, in the news due to charges that they raped women over the past year?

It’s not like you see a string of rapes by, say, male volleyball players, bowlers or curlers. What is it about football that makes players think they can do whatever they want with women’s bodies? Do they think they’re demi-gods? If so, they are mistaken.

Let’s swap the entitlement and swagger in the football culture for some respect and responsibility.