Day: April 21, 2010

Gay or Straight: Respect Military Families

To those who have a heart for military service, those who can handle the ever-changing, ever-demanding lifestyle, and those who can embrace the risks and rewards of today’s U.S. military, we should award respect. In the spirit of this honor and respect, full and equal military benefits should be extended to families of homosexual servicemen and women. Military families need to stand up for the rights of family members and spouses of homosexual U.S. service members that will soon “join the ranks” with President Obama’s repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell.” “Don’t ask don’t tell” is a military policy restricting the U.S. military from discovering bi- and homosexual service members and barring entry to new applicants since 1993. Calling for its repeal was a terrific first step for the Obama administration, but faulty policy implementation of the repeal of DADT could leave homosexual servicemen and women and their families seriously damaged, alienated and penalized. This responsibility of implementing the repeal of DADT rests with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who should heed this message from military families such as mine. Understand the Grand Bargain Spouses and dependants of military servicemen and women receive untold privileges, perks and pay. The theory goes that these benefits are provided in exchange for a lifestyle that can change capriciously, bring unrequested assignments, impose prolonged family separation and even cause the death of a beloved...

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Capture That Carbon and Put It Back from Whence It Came!

Carbon capture and sequestration technology is absolutely necessary to stave off the worst effects of climate change because it’s the only way to use fossil fuels for power generation without emitting colossal quantities of carbon dioxide into the air.  Moreover, CCS technology is ready for large-scale demonstration today; implementing government incentives for CCS will help commercialize the technology and allow us to realize the immense environmental benefits by putting carbon back from whence it came. CCS describes any process used to separate carbon from a fossil fuel and permanently store or sequester it, usually as CO2. You can remove CO2 before burning the fuel (pre-combustion), after burning it (post-combustion) or by burning fuel with pure oxygen (oxy-combustion).  Most CCS systems would then store CO2 in deep underground geological formations.  Burning fossil fuels takes carbon from the ground and puts it in the air; CCS puts the carbon back where it came from. CCS works for any fossil fuel, but rapid deployment is critical for dealing with the large volumes of CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants.  Half of U.S. electricity comes from coal and rapidly developing countries like China are building one new coal-fired power plant per week, making quitting coal turkey unlikely. Even if the world stopped building coal-fired power plants today, current plants will stay online for decades. CCS is the key to utilizing coal while still...

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