Thursday, February 4, 2010

Military Leaders Don't Want To Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"...Except When They Do

John McCain and a handful of Republican Senators made themselves look terrible yesterday at a Congressional hearing with top-ranking military leaders by expressing resistance to the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" military policy that bans openly homosexual servicemen. The 'king' of military brass, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made this statement:

"Allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do."

A similar sentiment was expressed by former chairman Colin Powell. I find this entire charade by the GOP amusing because of their past statements deferring the wisdom to military leaders, who they presumably expected to share their bigoted views. Now they have begun tossing around garbage excuses like "we're fighting two wars" and "it's going to be a tough transition process." The time is up, boys, and you lose. It's 2010, and time to eat your words.

(image source:

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

ND Professors Discuss Happiness and Liberal Policies

Lefty's Recommendation: Happiness, Economics and Politics
Amitava Krishna Dutt and Benjamin Radcliff

Today I found an interesting article about a new book that suggests liberal public policy contributes to higher overall happiness levels. You can find a description of the book here. It was edited by one of my former professors at Notre Dame, Benjamin Radcliff, and his colleague, Amitava Dutt. Radcliff is a very interesting professor that taught a Marxist critique of American politics course my freshman year. I would recommend checking this out at a library when it is available because of its expensive price.

I've seen many articles on subjective happiness levels (usually using surveys), such as this one, but I haven't really dug into something as deep as this book, which includes much more in-depth research from many disciplines. I wanted to know what our readers at Lefty's think about these questions:

What kinds of policies contribute to overall higher happiness? 

If not public policy, then what factors likely affect self-reported happiness levels the most?

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