Archive for the ‘political’ Category

Above the Hate: Riled Up

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Through the Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrief, I read Follow the money: The network behind anti-gay funding. I decided to pick out a name and look further. I chose Maggie Gallagher, President of the National Organization for Marriage, who directed $1 million to California to promote Prop. 8. She’s a syndicated columnist for TownHall.com, which bills itself as “the Leading Conservative and Political Opinion Website.” The content and reader comments are appealing and appalling. I knew this stuff was out there. I’d just never seen it before.

I knew better than reading her column titled Above the Hate, but I did it any way. I got all riled up. So riled up that I signed up on townhall.com to post a comment to the ‘marry a goat,” “because the bible tells me so,” and other conservative comments. I also wrote an email to Maggie. It’s below.

You want ‘marriage’ to be between a man and a woman? Start advocating for the government to get out of the marriage business. Work to transfer the institution of ‘marriage’ to religious institutions where it belongs. Churches and other private institutions are allowed to discriminate. The government is not. The government can and will provide all the legal rights and responsibilities to all couples who want to make the commitment.
You and your movement is mistaken if you think domestic partnerships “provide exactly the same legal rights and benefits as marriage.” Try filing a Federal tax return with a same sex partner.
When you talk about minorities exercising their civil rights, it makes these votes and their actions even more appalling. That sidelined and disenfranchised groups would be the strongest backers of government discrimination is a little incomprehensible and very hurtful, especially in the face of a government and people who have worked hard to insure that they are and remain protected classes. We did not put the civil rights gained in the 60’s to a vote. A vote would have institutionalized discrimination, and the Supreme Court would have struck down the vote. The civil rights changes happened because of national leadership and activist courts. (I’m making the assumption that you support “blacks getting the vote”. If you don’t, which I guess is a possibility given your other views, I’m not making a very strong argument.) I see your hate and discrimination.

I have my eye on you. You are the enemy. Your support for government-sanctioned marriage is a battle cry. You do not support the US Constitution and the Supreme Court will make you and your kind look as silly and appalling as Anita Bryant, Adolph Hitler and all the racists who amplified their attacks during the civil rights movement in the 60s. (Again, unless you support separate black and white drinking fountains, et al.)
You are presumably straight. Your movement is parallel to men saying that women can’t vote, another form of discrimination that seems laughable today. Now that you as a white woman have your rights, you don’t want to extend them to anyone else.

In this column, you talk about extraordinary attacks against Prop 8 supporters. GLBTI people have been subject to attacks like these FOREVER. It’s an ongoing problem that is underreported for fear of reprisals, community experience with local law enforcement, and a hateful society. That these attacks are happening to the oppressors do not make them right. I bring it up to point out that what you consider extraordinary are common, every day events for GLBTI folks. They are common because there is social, cultural and government sanctioned discrimination that gives dimwits permission’ to beat up a fag or rape a lesbian. The marriage issue is the most vocal face of that discrimination right now. Payback? GLBTI folks have been on the receiving end of payback since the beginning. We’ve been playing nice and following the rules. That has not worked.
Your actions on marriage means that young gay and lesbian teen will continue to be teased, beaten and killed. That LGBTI adults will continue to be at the receiving end of discrimination.
p.s.
Once this is resolved, the next LGBTI battle is going to be for polygamy, a right we’ll fight for, this time with the Mormon Church at our side. The government needs to get out of people’s bedrooms.

Not sure writing the letter was a good idea. I think my passion might cloud my main point: to get them to put their money and effort toward getting the government out the marriage business, my favorite compromise on this ultimately insignificant issue.

Lead the nation forward Sam. You are in the perfect position.

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

I posted this on the Portland Mercury site as a comment to a picture of Sam Adams with Gnomeland Security and Sister Krissy Fiction:

Just before the beloved Gnomeland Security crew grabbed the focus of the mayor-elect for the photo op, I was trying to talk to Sam about fixing the marriage problem.
Sam Adams will be the mayor of the biggest city in Oregon. He’s gay and in a visible leadership position. Although Multnomah County issues marriage licenses in the Portland area, I still think Sam could play a role in this solution:
Multnomah County stops issuing all marriage licenses, offering instead civil unions to all couples. All couples could experience what a bunch of crap civil unions are at the institutional and Federal level. If you want to get ‘married’ you got to go somewhere else. Multnomah County, and by association and visibility, Portland, could lead the national discussion toward the ultimate resolution: the government gets out of the marriage business and leaves that to the churches.
The activist part of me wants everyone to have to suffer through getting their government marriages changed to government civil unions, and the practical part of me says that grandfathering will be necessary.
This issue is one where the far right and the far left have a common cause: letting religions have marriage. Our constitution dictates the separation of church and State. Our marriage laws do not reflect that.
Lead the nation forward Sam. You are in the perfect position.

This is a time for leadership. Sam Adams is in a perfect place to take the national conversation to the next level. (Straight) SF Mayor Gavin showed leadership by issuing marriage licenses. Just before he did, he said (I paraphrase), “Watch me throw away my political career.” That has not been the case. Getting rid of government-sanctioned marriage of any two individuals would be wildly unpopular, yet, ultimately, it’s the solution that makes the most sense. Lead us forward Sam Adams. I’m sure the Supreme Court will back you up.

Letter to the International Court of Justice

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

As the Bush regime comes to an end, the outrage I’ve felt during the reign inspired me to write this letter to the the International Court of Justice in the Hauge

As a citizen of the United States, I invite you to investigate George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft and other members of the outgoing US federal government for war crimes. The United States is not above the law, and should be accountable to the world.
Thank you,
John E. Brennan

Two Hours of Interesting Economic Stuff

Friday, October 10th, 2008

This American Life and NPR News have co-produced two shows that I found very interesting and frightening.
Besides learning a lot about what exactly happened, I also learned that regular lawmakers brought this issue up a decade ago. Everybody said that these complex financial arrangements were not for the public, just financial professionals, and should not be regulated: that Wall Street would not make any bad decisions.

For more listening, they’ve been doing podcasts, Planet Money, on iTunes for free.

We Have an Unsustainable Economy, not a Wolf

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Wall Street & Congress: Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

I know I am going to get screwed with the economy, bailout or not: my 401k will lose value, my taxes will go up, my consumer debt interest rate will rise. So why should I support the bailout? With or without it, my American Dream gets screwed, again.

Eliminate the Middle Class

Bush & Co. has been setting the economy on a track to make the wealthy wealthier, the poor poorer and mess with the middle class so that most start falling on the side of poor or struggling. When you are struggling to make ends meet, you can’t be very politically active. You can’t keep an eye on abuses of power, corruption of the constitution, or general vague smarminess. When the general public and their kids are not well-educated, the government has even more power to grab power, insinuate control, and act as traitors under the guise of patriotism. No child left behind in getting an education that’s worse than their parents and grandparents with the real objective.

Predictable, Inevitable Comparison to Nazi Germany

I’ve used Goering war quote before, edited to make it apply to all leadership circumstances:

…[I]t is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers [opposition] for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
–Goering at the Nuremberg Trials

Bush & Co. are waging war on several fronts, most of them on the home front: education, economy, social. (I can’t believe people were stupid enough to re-elect him…)

Back to the Bailout

I’m not voting for anyone who did not vote on it or voted for it. I know they think they are compromising, but this is not a time for compromise. It’s a time for leadership.
The problem is: nobody knows what they are doing. We are in new territory. The experts don’t seem willing to admit that they are just guessing; doing what’s been done before, what’s been perceived to have worked in the past. I have to question, given the situation we are in, if what has been done in the past has indeed worked. Seems to the that it’s gotten us to where we are today.
History is also repeating itself in the presentation of this as a financial meltdown that needs to be rushed through: crisis management. Bush already got us on that one. He’s cried Wolf! too many times.
We have an unsustainable economy. There, it’s been said. We need to pour money, not into a fix, but into a restructuring.
I hope the upcoming elections reflect the power of the people to overthrow the people in government, and therefore the worst parts of the government and its ties to big business.

Better Reading than Here

Here’s a great Progressive post: Turning a Wall Street Giveaway Into an Economic Rescue for All Americans

California Marriage Case – What Caught my Eye Toward the Beginning

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

From the Legal Opinion (pdf)

…the legal issue we must resolve is not whether it would be constitutionally permissible under the California Constitution for the state to limit marriage only to opposite-sex couples while denying same-sex couples any opportunity to enter into an official relationship with all or virtually all of the same substantive attributes, but rather whether our state Constitution prohibits the state from establishing a statutory scheme in which both opposite-sex and same-sex couples are granted the right to enter into an officially recognized family relationship that affords all of the significant legal rights and obligations traditionally associated under state law with the institution of marriage, but under which the union of an opposite-sex couple is officially designated a “marriage” whereas the union of a same-sex couple is officially designated a “domestic partnership.” The question we must address is whether, under these circumstances, the failure to designate the official relationship of same-sex couples as marriage violates the California Constitution.

It also is important to understand at the outset that our task in this proceeding is … only to determine whether the difference in the official names of the relationships violates the California Constitution…the constitutional validity of the current legislative provisions.

Although, as an historical matter, civil marriage and the rights associated with it traditionally have been afforded only to opposite-sex couples, this court’s landmark decision 60 years ago in Perez v. Sharp (1948) 32 Cal.2d 7114 — which found that California’s statutory provisions prohibiting interracial marriages were inconsistent with the fundamental constitutional right to marry, notwithstanding the circumstance that statutory prohibitions on interracial marriage had existed since the founding of the state — makes clear that history alone is not invariably an appropriate guide for determining the meaning and scope of this fundamental constitutional guarantee. The decision in Perez, although rendered by a deeply divided court, is a judicial opinion whose legitimacy and constitutional soundness are by now universally recognized.
…we conclude that, under this state’s Constitution, the constitutionally based right to marry properly must be understood to encompass the core set of basic substantive legal rights and attributes traditionally associated with marriage that are so integral to an individual’s liberty and personal autonomy that they may not be eliminated or abrogated by the Legislature or by the electorate through the statutory initiative process.
…our state now recognizes …that an individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.


There’s lots good to read, and I just got to the first 10 pages.

Rumi Quote

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

“People who renounce desire
often turn, suddenly,
into hypocrites!”
From Two Ways of Running The Essential Rumi
Translations by Coleman Barks with John Moyne.

Funny I should run into this with Larry Craig in the news.

Bush Regime Censorship

Friday, February 9th, 2007

From the ACLU site, “Patriot Act is being used to deny visas to foreign scholars whose political views the government disfavors.”
This kind of stuff makes me sick. How can limiting free speech be a form of US patriotism?
more

A Little Name Calling, I Guess

Friday, December 8th, 2006

WTF?

Dennis Prager, a conservative talk radio host in Los Angeles, wrote on http://TownHall.com:

The American Family Association in Tupelo, Miss….sent out an “action alert” to its 3.4 million members urging them to write their legislators “to pass a law making the Bible the book used in the swearing-in ceremony of Representatives and Senators.”

Swearing in officeholders on Islam’s holy book “represents a change in our society, our culture, if we hold up the Koran as equivalent to the Holy Bible,” said association president Tim Wildmon. “If calling the Bible superior to the Koran in American tradition and culture is intolerant, then I’m guilty.”
-Washington Post

If you are not for the founding values of our nation, how can you be a conservative? I think religious intolerance is, well, treason. You want constitutional change? Start your own fucking country.

You Can’t Fix Nature

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

In an article here I read about the supposed spiritual “restoration” of the Rev. Ted Haggard, the meth and male prostitute guy. This caught my eye:

“I see success approximately 50 percent of the time,” said H.B. London, vice president for church and clergy at Focus on the Family, the conservative Christian ministry in Colorado Springs. “Guys just wear out and they can no longer subject themselves to the process.”

Those who fail “end up selling cars or shoes or something, and being miserable and angry the rest of their lives,” London said.

Have these people not seen A Clockwork Orange?

You can’t fix nature, or nurture for that matter.  Men and women have thoughts and feeling they are not comfortable with.  I have no reason to believe the Kinsey scale is wrong. So that means that a majority of people have some level of homosexual and heterosexual inclinations. It’s the belief that people are either homosexual or heterosexual. This polarization of sexual orientation creates tragedies that we’ve seen in the news lately.

Guys: It’s OK to have homosexual thoughts.  It’s even OK to act on them as long as you can stay in integrity with yourself and the commitments in your life. When you repress it, it becomes a mess. Your thoughts can not be fixed. You might be able to go against nature and “fix” your behavior.