February 4, 2010
What do you think about Gay Equality? WWII Veteran Phillip Spooner says it better than nearly anyone else could. A must-see video.
We Americans grow up hearing about “Freedom and Liberty.” It is literally drilled into our heads day after day. We are now at a time when those words must either be proven true, or dismissed all together. A thank you to Mr. Spooner for his service and his beautiful sentiments.
February 4, 2010
I have never served in the U.S. military. It was never really an option for me, as I tend to be quite cowardly and flee at the first sight of trouble. Also, I’m about as disciplined as Dennis Rodman. In fact, not only have I never served, I don’t really even know anyone currently serving. Nonetheless, I know exactly what men and women in the military are thinking.
First off, there are a lot of 18-year-old, old-fashioned, testosterone-laden men in the military who are tough guys. They’re often politically old-fashioned or conservative; they are not necessarily at the vanguard, in many cases, of accepting alternative forms of lifestyle.
Yes, these tough guys (and tough girls, I suppose) are willing to go into enemy territory, fight death-wishing terrorists and do whatever it takes to keep our nation safe. But they’re horrified of gay people. The mere sight of a gay person leads to what they call in the military (I’m assuming) “Spontaneous Pants-Pooping.” These may be brave men and women, but they are mostly conservative and mostly terrified of what someone does in their own bedroom. Trust me, I know.
Despite never having been in the military, I have a stunning deal of knowledge on the subject. After all, I love war. Thus, I’m an expert on those in uniform. Here are some facts you might not have been aware of:
- All of our troops are Christian. If they weren’t when they joined, they are now.
- Our troops risk their lives for the American people. Except for the Gay American people. They must fend for themselves.
- When our troops torture enemies (and all of them torture enemies, all the time) they call it “Happy Fun Time.” Like me, most of them orgasm just thinking about torture.
- Everyone in the military wants war, perpetually.
- Everyone in the military under the rank of Colonel has a vestigial tail.
How do I know so much about the mindset of those in the military? Because I’ve watched a lot of movies about war. And after watching them, I know that American soldiers always win. And I know that they, like I love war. But more than anything, I know they are closed-minded and despise gays and lesbians. I do, after all, so they must, as well.
February 2, 2010
“Stand by what I said: Allowing homosexuals to serve openly is the right thing to do. Comes down to integrity.”
January 25, 2010
Originally Published in the UK Times Online
A minor incident in a barber’s shop last week has helped me to realize that I may no longer be straight. Not a fully fledged straight guy, anyway; perhaps not even a part-timer who helps the team out when it’s busy. It appears I may be going Gay.
I was waiting my turn for a chatty Latvian to apply the hot towels and razor when a handsome young dad entered with a small, fair-haired boy at his side. The man took a seat and hoisted the wide-eyed child proudly on to his knee. The first haircut, I speculated inwardly, as a lack of fatherly glow and feeling of mild disinterest swept over me.
From time to time, the dad leaned forward as they waited and whispered close to his son’s ear, tenderly kissing his fair head. Touching stuff if you’re into that sort of thing, I imagine.
Still, I think my life changed at that moment. I learned that I totally don’t want children. Plus, I so totally wanted to do the Father.
That’s reality, folks. Simple really. A proud dad, an adored little boy and a beautiful display of dependence and responsibility. It was the epiphany I had needed and I emerged with a dashing new haircut and a desire to plow the Dad into next week.
January 21, 2010
Remember those heady days in basketball of four-corner offenses, set shots and not allowing Black people play? Well, someone is trying to bring that back:
A new professional basketball league called the All-American Basketball Alliance (AABA) sent out a press release on Sunday saying that it intends to start its inaugural season in June, with teams in 12 U.S. cities. However, the AABA is different from other sports leagues because only players who are “natural born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league.” AABA commissioner Don “Moose” Lewis insists that he’s not racist, but he just wants to get away from the “street-ball” played by “people of color” and back to “fundamental basketball.” Lewis cited the recent incidents of bad behavior by NBA players, implying that such actions would never happen with white players:
“There’s nothing hatred about what we’re doing,” he said. “I don’t hate anyone of color. But people of white, American-born citizens are in the minority now. Here’s a league for white players to play fundamental basketball, which they like.” [...]
He pointed out recent incidents in the NBA, including Gilbert Arenas’ indefinite suspension after bringing guns into the Washington Wizards locker room, as examples of fans’ dissatisfaction with the way current professional sports are run.
“Would you want to go to the game and worry about a player flipping you off or attacking you in the stands or grabbing their crotch?” he said. “That’s the culture today, and in a free country we should have the right to move ourselves in a better direction.”
Sure, some will look at this as abject racism (because, you know, it’s abjectly racist). I take a more nuanced look at it, however – at least ol’ Moose will lose a lot of money on this venture.
January 16, 2010
One wonders if the allegedly hyper-liberal U.S. media will get around to talking about decades of U.S. involvement in Haiti and the results of that involvement. Ok, no need to wonder – never. So here’s some Chomsky from 2004 to help balance the scales. In his first-round KO loss to Australian Danny Green, Roy Jones Jr. showed that he no longer has a chin. Or reflexes. Or hunger. Or just about anything a human would need to be a competitive boxer. The result? Big payday versus Bernard Hopkins! No one could have ever anticipated that Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, in actuality, are mindless racist attention whores, dedicated to ratings and nothing else. Thank God that Barack Obama finally took the war against Afghanistan seriously. Finally, we’re seeing the number of civilian deaths go up. Maybe the next President will get around to regulating a financial industry gone mad. So Arizona is closing its National Parks? If something doesn’t make money, it has no business existing in the U.S. Culture and society be damned. The year is 2010. And people are standing in a federal court debatying whether Gay and Lesbians are harmful to their own children. Oh yeah, and if you’re Gay or Lesbian and in the military, you’re fucking fired. If the Saints manage to win tomorrow, I could conceivably get interested in the NFL Playoffs this year. Even though the average NFL game only gives you 11 minutes of actual action.
November 4, 2009
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
That the United States of America was founded as a great experiment in freedom has always been somewhat of an unintended practical joke. The great freedoms espoused in such documents as the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights have always had the world’s attention. But these freedoms Americans so revere have been countered by the importance of defining which Americans were deserve such freedoms. It has always been so.
While insinuating that the Founding Fathers were pulling a practical joke is a polemic sentiment, how else can one interpret any document that begins with “all men are created equal” and then immediately follow it with a definition of slaves as 60 percent of a person?
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
As English abolitionist Thomas Day wrote in a 1776 letter: “If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature”, “it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves.”
Such has always been the paradox of the United States. While words such as “Freedom” and “Liberty” are shouted with such jingoistic and patriotic glee, these freedoms have always been the sole property of the majority. It has always been so, and millions of Americans from every era have fought hard to ensure that these freedoms only apply to “Real Americans.”
Yesterday in Maine, we saw the majority gain its latest victory in its perpetual battle to keep the minority beneath them, as voters in Maine overturned the state’s Gay Marriage law. For now, the people have spoken, and their words are as old as the Union itself – Americans have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, provided the majority doesn’t have to share these rights with any minorities that are morally unacceptable, be they slaves or gays.
Because while America has always been a nation that preaches freedom, the preaching of religious fundamentalists has always had a deciding vote in who deserves these freedoms. And with Proposition 8 in California and yesterday’s vote in Maine, these fundamentalists have made it clear with their words and dollars – the LGBT Community is not worthy of having the same rights as others.
The election of Barack Obama was, to many, a mandate for freedom. But, in Maine, we saw how Obama has handled Gay Rights issues. Because while they had the money and time to campaign for Dave Corzine’s failed bid to be re-elected as Governor of New Jersey, both he and the Democratic Party were silent and even disinterested in Maine’s Gay Marriage referendum.
Six months ago, the Los Angeles Times presciently defined Obama’s role in the fight for Gay Rights thusly:
“Although he appears willing to sign gay rights bills, he takes a curiously passive approach to ensuring that such legislation actually gets to his desk.”
Basically, if you can get Gay Rights legislation to his desk, he’ll sign it. But don’t expect this transcendent President – the first member of a minority to ever hold the office – to use up any of his political capital fighting for the rights of others. Such fights are for candidates in speeches to the disaffected, they are not the type of fights an elected official has much interest in. Not when there are millions of religious votes to be had.
Still, Tuesday’s elections did have its bright side for Gay Rights activists, as voters in the State of Washington narrowly voted to increase “Domestic Partnerships” – giving gay marriage advocates a partial victory.
But, as it always has been, the freedoms promised by the United States are still separated by nebulous walls. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) is still the law of the land, and gays and lesbians still get fired for having a sexual preference that religious fundamentalists abhor. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is still on the books – and has been vociferously defended by the Obama Administration – meaning that as of today, a married same-sex couple in Vermont is not a married couple in Maine. And Gays and Lesbians can still be fired from their jobs due to their sexual preference as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) slowly makes its way through the Senate.
To put it as simply as possible, as of today, Nov. 4, 2009, members of the LGBT Community do not have the same rights as a heterosexual white male like myself. In the eyes of the United States Government, I am more deserving of rights than any Gay, Lesbian or Transgendered person.
These rights will never be given to the LGBT Community without a fight. Freedom, especially in the United States, is predicated on fighting for those freedoms. And the fight will continue, and the voices will get louder until they can no longer be ignored.
Because despite it all, there is one advantage that the LGBT community owns. And that is the fact that those in federal and state governments just don’t care who has the rights promised in the Founding Fathers’ documents. What they care about is money and votes. It has always been so. And the Milton Friedman revolution has given them all the money in the world. The economy is now the sole possession of the U.S. Government and their corporate sponsors. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are little more than irksome side issues.
This is why the LGBT Community will – with the help of allies that truly believe in freedom and liberty – eventually gain the rights that will make them five-fifths of an American citizen. This great practical joke of liberty will eventually become a literal truth for the LGBT Community, as it is for myself and others in the majority.
That it will require a tireless and endless fight goes without saying. For any minority, the fight for equal rights is a long and arduous one, filled with small victories and big losses. But the brave and unstoppable fight by Gay Rights activists will eventually turn the politically impossible into the politically inevitable. It has always been so.
October 29, 2009
Growing up in this great nation of ours, I was taught to have great pride in the freedoms America has bestowed upon its citizens. I learned of the brave Americans who heroically fought to acquire these freedoms, and today I still swell with pride thinking of the Americans that made the ultimate sacrifice to assure that all American citizens would live in the “Land of the Free.”
Nonetheless, it took time for these freedoms to be acquired. The Founding Fathers were well aware that political pressures meant that they needed contain themselves when it came to bestowing these rights. In essence, there was – and is – the right time for rights.
In 2009, the Lesbian and Gay communities are fighting to have the same freedoms and rights as other Americans. Currently, gays and lesbians aren’t allowed to serve in the military unless they keep a large part of themselves hidden. Likewise, the multitude of rights provided to married Americans just do not apply to the gay and lesbian community.
Americans should feel shame in allowing their government to define which of “We the People” are deserving of all the rights and freedoms available and the time for Gay Rights is now. Still, we must go back to the words of our Founding Fathers to see that sometimes these things take time, due to complicated political reasons. A look at some of the famous quotes by great Americans:
“Each individual of the society has a right to be protected by it in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property, according to standing laws. Should these laws not protect groups of Americans, they must wait patiently until Congress can agree that these rights should, in fact, be available to them.”
“The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy. And I resolve that once there are no wars, once there is no poverty, once there is no hardship, once there are no important pending bills relating to corporations in the Senate, that we shall judge the political atmosphere and then take under advisement whether we shouldmake these protection, rights, privileges, and advantages available to others aside from rich white men.”
Never have the words of our Founders been more important. This is why we all must fight to guarantee that the protections, rights, privileges, and advantages available to some are available to all. It is time for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, to have the full benefit of the freedoms available. By following the advice of the Founding Fathers, we shall repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the “Defense of Marriage Act” and all other laws that shut out Americans from having the rights that so many Americans gave their life to acquire.
Once the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are over, and health care reform is passed, and the unemployment problem is solved, and the international financial crisis has run its course, and we solve the illegal immigration problem, and the international dilemmas of Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Honduras, and North Korea are quelled, we will focus on Gay Rights and achieve freedom for all. Provided we have the votes necessary and there’s no election coming up and and no fringe groups make to much of a ruckus about it.
“Give me liberty or give me death. Provided nothing else pressing is happening and we have the votes necessary to achieve this liberty and are able to break any filibustering against said liberties and are able reach bi-partisan agreement that these liberties are necessary, warranted and don’t upset anyone.”
October 28, 2009
At the United Nations recently, the Obama Administration joined Egypt in presenting a non-binding resolution to in the U.N. Human Rights Council to protect the freedoms of peoples around the world.
The resolution is A/HRC/12/L.14/Rev.1 [PDF] and titled “Promotion and Protection of all Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including the Right to Development.” The resolution – which passed unanimously – included this section:
4. Also expresses its concern that incidents of racial and religious intolerance, discrimination and related violence, as well as of negative racial and religious stereotyping
of religions and racial groupscontinue to rise around the world, and condemns, in this context, any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, and urges States to take effective measures, consistent with their obligations under international human rights law international human rights, to address and combat such incidents;
The Egyptian ambassador to the U.N., Hisham Badr, applauded the teamwork between his nation and the U.S., stating “freedom of expression has been sometimes misused” and the “true nature of this right” must yield government limitations.
This section has caused an uproar amongst many, including Atheist groups and other civil libertarians that fear the slippery slope of censorship. As I see it, this battle is far from over, but many Muslim nations like Egypt – which already has draconian anti-free speech policies – have put in the heavy lifting to make blasphemy an international crime. So regardless of the “non-binding” part, this is a battle that free-speech proponents need to win.
There’s still hope, mind you. Secretary of Defense Hillary Clinton has spoken out against an effort by the Organization of the Islamic Conference to get the U.N. Human Rights Council to adopt resolutions that crack down hard against blasphemy:
“Some claim that the best way to protect the freedom of religion is to implement so-called anti-defamation policies. . . . I strongly disagree,” Clinton said. “The protection of speech about religion is particularly important since persons of different faiths will inevitably hold divergent views on religious questions.”
Just in case, however, I think it may be best for me to get as much of blasphemy out of my system before I become an international speech criminal. So, let’s misuse some freedoms while we still can:
Catholicism: Nothing quite like having some dude in a fancy robe condemning millions of Africans to death via AIDS because he demonizes condom usage as a sin. One wonders if the Pope has informed his pedophile priests to not use condoms when they destroy the lives of children?
Christianity: It’s amazing that all the scribes back then missed out on seeing a three-day dead dude physically ascend to the heavens after creating a huge ruckus. It’s even more amazing the people are so convinced there really was a Jesus Christ, especially after you learn that his same story had been told many times before.
Judaism: Sure, there was no Jesus Christ. But let’s blame his death on you guys, anyway.
Islam: Nothing quite like having your top prophet marry a 6-year-old to get you to pray five times a day. Seriously folks, have a BLT and a beer and chill the fuck out.
Mormonism: A guy wanders into the woods alone and comes out with a religion. No, it’s not the beginning of a joke, it’s the beginning of the Church of Latter Day Saints. You folks aren’t fooling anyone. We know it’s just a plot for white folks to have an American Jesus while being racist, homophobic and marrying as often as you want.
Scientology: My mistake. This isn’t a religion. It’s a Ponzi scheme.
Jainism:Go ahead, just suck in a microbe already. They don’t give a shit.
Hinduism: Ok, we’re all doing yoga now. So go pray to an elephant or something and leave the rest of us alone.
Buddhism: Smoking a joint will get you as enlightened as you need. The rest of it is just an overwhelming desire to sit.
Rastafari: I said “A joint.” Once you start rapid-firing the cannabis, you start believing this guy is Jesus Christ:
Wicca: Oh for fuck’s sake, you aren’t a witch.
Sikhism: We don’t care what you say or do – we all think you’re Muslim, anyway.
While preaching for violent acts against any group is never to be tolerated, this issue is about the rights of all – from the lowliest serf to the richest land baron – to be able to speak out, or for, institutions that already have too much control over their lives. If slippery slopes are your thing, this UN non-binding resolution is overlooking an extremely deep chasm.
October 7, 2009
My friends, I have long withheld this information, as I’ve long believed that my sexuality is no one’s business but my own. However, after seeing recent studies and news reports, I believe that now is the perfect time to come forward and admit what so many have long believed:
Now, I know all about Gay & Lesbian pride. The LGBT community is proud of who they are, and they at least have that right. But seriously, I’m not trying to gloat here, but being a heterosexual kicks ass. If there is a right available, I have it. I’m hetero, and like the Founding Fathers wanted, I win.
Before you get angry at me for bragging, let’s just go through some simple facts that prove being a heterosexual is like winning the lottery of rights, benefits and advantages:
I got to marry the person I love; I can’t be fired from my job for being heterosexual; I never was thrown out of school for being my heterosexual self;
If I was in the military, I could openly discuss my sexuality and not be fired; Mormons will never rally together to deny me anything; The Pope will never denounce me for being heterosexual; I get every Social Security benefit available; My marriage is accepted in all 50 states; My heterosexuality would never get in the way of my ability to adopt; No one will commit violence against me, or murder me for being heterosexual. Entertainers don’t insult me or incite violence against me for being heterosexual;
Hell, there’s a lot more things my heterosexuality gets me. I didn’t even include the more than 1,000 rights and benefits bestowed upon me for being allowed to marry. Did you know that my Spouse’s flower sales count towards meeting the eligibility for Fresh Cut Flowers and Fresh Cut Greens Promotion and Information Act? Or that I have the Right to continue living on land purchased from my spouse by the National Park Service when easement is granted to my spouse? Neither did I, but I have those rights, as well.
Oh yeah, and I’ll save roughly $400,000 by being heterosexual.
Basically, being a heterosexual means I have so many more rights than gays & lesbians that there are a shitload of rights and benefits I have that I don’t even use or need. And I don’t have to march, protest or fight for any of them.
So my friends, you better recognize. I have more rights, less expenses, less chance of being beaten, less chance of being disowned by family, and tons of other benefits, rights and advantages. Because I fell in love with, and desire a person of the opposite sex. For this, my life is clearly better than anyone who is gay or lesbian.
The United States has made it clear – I am heterosexual and my life is better than the lives of gays and lesbians because of it. And, in the end, isn’t that what being American and living in the land of the free all about?
No time for DADT: Obama Administration too busy not pushing public option, not investigating torture
October 5, 2009
The Obama Administration, which has been busy being malleable on the Public Option for Health care reform, avoiding investigating war crimes, and giving banks trillions, just doesn’t have the time to deal with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Jones said Obama “has an awful lot on his desk. I know this is an issue that he intends to take on at the appropriate time. And he has already signaled that to the Defense Department. The Defense Department is doing the things it has to do to prepare, but at the right time, I’m sure the president will take it on.”
As a candidate, Obama signaled support for repealing the law. To the disappointment of gay-rights supporters, he has yet to made a move since taking office in January. The White House has said it will not stop the military from dismissing gays and lesbians who acknowledge their sexuality.
Apparently, General Jones would have us believe that President Obama wasn’t aware that we were fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when he promised to lift the gay ban during the campaign in exchange for our votes. So, Jones tells us today, Obama can’t get to that particular promise right now because he’s busy fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Uh huh.
So when exactly are both of those wars going to be over? I’m guessing some time after Obama leaves office. And that of course assumes that we don’t have more wars to “distract” the president.
Don’t fret, my LGBT friends, Obama may eventually get around to giving you the same rights I have. He’s just really busy not getting his agenda passed for now.
October 1, 2009
Oh, sweet diversity. Remember, only a few months ago it was all middle-aged white guys making U.S. policy. Now:
With one woman and one African-American, only 98 percent of those that run the U.S. are white males. Which is much more in line with the nation’s population, right?
Will Barack Obama be against retroactive immunity for illegally spying telecoms after he was for it after he was against it?
September 30, 2009
Retroactive immunity for telecoms that illegally spied on you? President Obama was against it before he voted for it. Where does he stand on it now?
August 24, 2009
Currently six states have legalized same-sex marriages, with several more either prepared to legalize it, or currently working on same-sex marriage legislation.
July 20, 2009
During his latest visit to the Rachel Maddow Show, the mask keeps falling further off the head of Pat Buchanan: