Monthly Archives: April 2012

Anti-Obama Comments Lead to Discharge of Marine

Sgt. Gary Stein who was discharged for anti-Obama comments“Screw Obama. I will not follow all orders from him.” In the sharply divided political world we live in today this comment seems commonplace, irrelevant, and to be honest, ignorable. The truth could not be further from that line of thinking. The media has avoided this sensitive subject, as have the candidates on the debate trial, but the question must be asked: when these comments are made by an active duty Marine do they constitute free speech, or insurrection?  26 year old Sgt. Gary Stein received an “other than honorable” discharge from the Marine corps this week, meaning that after nine years of service he will not be given the benefits of VA, pension, or other perks such as the GI bill for education. Stein, who runs a private Facebook page for the Tea Party military group he founded over two years ago, plans to appeal to Federal Courts on First Amendment grounds.  Sgt. Stein claims he was wrongfully discharged because he was acting within the bounds of his right to free speech. Read the rest of this entry

What if Trayvon Martin was White?

Trayvon Martin

For weeks Pariotslog has been refraining from comment on the shooting of Trayvon Martin because there simply are not enough facts. All the evidence in the case is circumstantial at best, and the sum of the legal argument has essentially been limited to a contest of honesty. The press and defense both knew this, which is why we witnessed the mudslinging through media releases that Trayvon had been suspended three separate times, and had been found with marijuana; likewise, we heard that Zimmerman had a violent arrest record, and used his neighborhood watch status to elevate his ego because he could not be a law enforcement official. The fact is that when there is such an absence of evidence in a case such as this, arrests and prosecutions take time. This week, George Zimmerman was arrested and charged with second degree murder. Many believe the Florida “stand your ground” law will lead to his acquittal because of the lack of evidence in the case. However, for all the attention the law is receiving it is interesting to note that it may not even apply in this case. There are two stories in this incident; the first, Zimmerman’s, is that he was attacked and being beaten by Trayvon Martin, and had to pull the trigger out of self-defense. The second, that of Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend–whom he was talking to on the phone just before the altercation–is that Zimmerman followed Trayvon and initiated the confrontation, shooting him for no reason. The stand your ground law is not applicable to either situation because either it was unjustified murder, or Zimmerman was assaulted and had to defend himself. The stand your ground law applies only in situations where one is threatened; in both sides of this story nobody was threatened, they were attacked. If Zimmerman is telling the truth, and he had not had a gun, it would have been him, not Martin who would have died. Read the rest of this entry

Dennis Weichel, an American Hero

Sergeant Dennis Weichel is an American hero, though you would never know that from watching the news. Media today is driven much like the rest of the world; by money. Stories that sell make the nightly news reel. Often this is not a bad thing. Controversy sells, scandal sells, and conspiracy sells; because of this much of the media journalism today is focused on highlighting controversy, uncovering scandals, and derailing conspiracies. It is this type of demand that causes news media to emphasize investigative journalism, thereby giving the public the truth they would not otherwise see. Sometimes, however, this demand means real news worthy stories gets little or no coverage.

We have witnessed the media cover military scandals and atrocities with intense magnification of every detail, the way a teenage girl obsesses over her Facebook friends posts. What we have not seen however, is coverage of our militaries heroic and selfless service. When we turn on the nightly news we can understand why so much of the world opposes the American military; all we hear is negative press. For months the only news out of Afghanistan has been about Quran burnings and a massacre. No one thinks anything good about our military because no media says anything good about our military. In this case, the reality on the ground could not be further from the picture painted by the media. For every Abu Ghraib there is a Pat Tillman, for every defiling of a dead body there is a Marcus Luttrell, and for every massacre there is a Dennis Weichel. Read the rest of this entry

The Road Not Taken; Deficit Reduction

Comic Illustration of National DebtThroughout our nation’s history, Americans have found the courage to do right by our children’s future.  Deep down, every American knows we face a moment of truth once again.  We cannot play games or put off hard choices any longer.  Without regard to party, we have a patriotic duty to keep the promise of America to give our children and grandchildren a better life.
                 Our challenge is clear and inescapable:  America cannot be great if we go broke.  Our businesses will not be able to grow and create jobs, and our workers will not be able to compete successfully for the jobs of the future without a plan to get this crushing debt burden off our backs.
                Ever since the economic downturn, families across the country have huddled around kitchen tables, making tough choices about what they hold most dear and what they can learn to live without.  They expect and deserve their leaders to do the same. The American people are counting on us to put politics aside, pull together not pull apart, and agree on a plan to live within our means and make America strong for the long haul. Read the rest of this entry
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