Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Time For Everything

The holiday season always brings certain thoughts to mind that most people don't really consider the rest of the year. 2010 has been no different for us in that respect - and actually began a bit before the holiday season with some things we've been mulling over.

One of those topics happens to be the increasingly common habit of businesses remaining open on the day a holiday is celebrated - the other is "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Both have some similarities in common.

In the old days, no one asked if someone was gay in the military. If the soldier next to you did his job well, no one cared much. In a similar way, holidays were something for ALL Americans to celebrate, a time for all Americans to - if nothing else - enjoy a day away from work. No one asked if taking a day to spend time with family and friends was a good thing. Everyone knew it was a good thing, including employers.

It was good psychologically as well as physically for nearly everyone in America to share a few days off a year. It wasn't worth it to the bottom line for most businesses to be open for just a few hours, or with a skeleton crew on days most folks weren't going to be out shopping anyway.

In a similar fashion, the incredible amount of added bureaucracy, paperwork, legal problems, unit disruption, and loss of well-trained individuals heaped onto the American military with DADT has been ridiculous.

With the Pentagon study that was released Tuesday on DADT, we hope any final thoughts on at least one of these two topics will be laid to rest.

In short, the Congressionally-mandated, Pentagon study determined that overturning DADT would not cause any widespread or long-lasting disruptions to our military. That doesn't surprise us one bit, because that same study proves that 70% of service members simply don't care what their fellow soldiers' sexual orientation might be. When asked about their experiences serving with someone they thought was gay, an overwhelming 92% said the experience was either “very good,” “good,” or “neither good nor poor.”

Secretary Gates' comments Tuesday at the release of the DADT study were both wise and sensible. In short, he told Congress to either get off their asses and kill DADT in an orderly and sensible manner - or else the courts will likely mandate the end of DADT abruptly at some point in the near future, which would be worse for the military.

We hope Congress will follow the advice of all of the many studies that have been done on DADT, and finally close the topic of gays in the military forever.

As for those Scrooge-like employers in retail settings who choose to force their lowest paid workers to report to work on holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's?

We're afraid that topic will be hanging around for some time to come. Greed seems to rule. At least for now.

Ho, ho, ho.

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