July Rambling: Weird Al, and the moon walk

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Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. – George Orwell. To that end, Bible Stories for Newly Formed and Young Corporations and Congratulations: It’s a corporation.

An answer to the child immigrant problem at the US-Mexican border? I note that the Biblical Jesus was a refugee, his parents fleeing Herod’s wrath. Yet so many people who profess to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ “are so uncaring and hateful about hungry children trying to get to a better, safer place to live.”

In the non-surprise category: Stand Your Ground Laws Lead To More Homicides, Don’t Deter Crime.

Misleading on Marriage: how gay marriage opponents twist history to suit their agenda.

Yiddish Professor Miriam Isaacs has dug in a previously unknown treasure of over a thousand unknowns Yiddish songs recorded of Holocaust survivors; text is in Swedish, but can be translated. Miriam was my old racquetball buddy decades ago.

The Creation Myth of 20th Century Fundamentalism by Jeff Sharlet, who I also knew long ago.

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe came out as gay. Arthur explains why it STILL matters. Also: I Can Be Christian, and Gay, and Live in Alabama.

Portraits of people in 7 days’ worth of their own garbage.
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NALT Christians

Last month, my friend Dan sent me a link to this nifty page about Christians Openly Supporting LGBT Community In ‘We’re Not All Like That’ Campaign. I wrote back, “This will appear on my blog within the week! Thanks; I had not seen this.” I was particularly taken by Fred Clark’s video, maybe because how he self-identifies.

Obviously I didn’t post anything, and frankly it got lost in my e-mails. Then Arthur wrote about it, and I was going to let it go as a topic. Moreover, while I appreciate the sentiment of NALT, I never like things identified by what they are NOT. Quirky, I know.

But then I saw this story about a tea party leader and former Baptist pastor who is proposing to file a ‘class action lawsuit’ against ‘homosexuality.’ Oy.

So let me share with you Continue reading

August Rambling II: Smart is sexy and stupid is not


The New York Times’ prophetic 1983 warning about the NSA, which naturally leads to Glenn Greenwald killed the internet.

My Feelings About the Harriet Tubman Sex Tape in 10 GIFs.

Invisible Disabilities Day is October 24. I have this friend with rather constant neck pain, but she doesn’t LOOK sick, and therefore feels diminished by those who actually don’t believe her. Conversely, The Complexities of Giving: People with Disabilities as Help Objects.

Photos of the worldly goods of inmates at the Willard Asylum. I backed the Kickstarter for this and wrote about it a couple years ago.

“Each week, TIME Magazine designs covers for four markets: the U.S., Europe, Asia and the South Pacific.” Often, America’s cover is quite, well – different. I had noticed this before. I don’t know that it’s “stunning,” but it IS telling.

The Peanuts gang meets The Smiths, in which This Charming Charlie masterfully blends Charles Schulz’ comics with lyrics by The Smiths. Continue reading

That purported gay/black antipathy thing

Arthur at AmeriNZ asked a question earlier in the month:

Here’s something that worries me…: Racism. The spokesperson for the leading radical rightwing religious-political anti-gay hate group seemed to go WAY out of his way to praise black Democratic legislators in Illinois for not supporting the freedom to marry. That same hate group, of course, famously said that one way to defeat marriage equality was to deliberately create divisions between the LGBT and Black communities. All too often, LGBT people buy the racist propaganda hook, line and sinker. And, it seems to me, some Blacks are too willing to buy the propaganda of mainly (or exclusively) white anti-gay groups.

So, I’m wondering two things. Continue reading

That equality thing

It’s happening so quickly that I’m having a difficult time keeping track, but marriage equality has moved forward quite a lot in the past year since President Obama had given his support for same-sex marriage. Whether people support it, or not, there seems to be almost a sense of inevitability that it will happen nationwide, sooner or later, regardless of what happens in the Supreme Court this month. (Though if SCOTUS DOESN’T strike down DOMA, it will rather suck for a lot of people right NOW.)

National Basketball Association player Jason Collins comes out as gay this spring, and other than a lot of support, from the President, to other sports figures, on down, the reaction mostly seems to be, “Hey, no big deal.”

All of this worries me.
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Recycling my gay marriage/SCOTUS post

I have a blog at the Times Union newspaper, the local Hearst-owned daily, where I write far less frequently, and generally have a difficult coming up with topics there. I KNOW what I want to do here in THIS blog, but after over three FIVE years there, not so much.

It’s the week in late March of the Supreme Court hearing two cases about gay marriage, or same-sex marriage, or marriage equality. The latter term may be preferred by advocates – of which I am one – but the former two are more descriptive. It’s like talking about interracial marriage, which was a marriage equality issue in the US in my lifetime. Most people these days don’t say, “Hey, there’s an interracial couple,” do they? Continue reading

Rob Portman and Michelle Shocked

I’m feeling a bit less churlish than I did initially about the pronouncement by US Senator Rob Portman that he NOW supports marriage equality because his son has come out as gay, even though, previously, Portman usually got zero ratings from civil rights groups on the issue in the past. I know that SamuraiFrog was right:

“I’m seeing a lot of people who are having this very liberal reaction of ‘Well, why couldn’t he have empathy for everyone’s child?’ Well, you know, because humans are like that. They’re self-interested… Continue reading

SCOTUS and marriage equality

As an old political science major, and a bit of a US Supreme Court junkie, I’ve been musing over what it means that the high tribunal has decided to review two cases testing the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. “In agreeing to examine California’s Proposition 8 (Hollingsworth v. Perry) and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (Windsor v. United States), the court has created a defining moment, not only for its own legacy but for the country as a whole.”

Got that right. But how will they decide? I think one has to look at the specific people represented in the cases, specifically 83-year-old Edith Windsor Continue reading

Sing If You’re Glad to Be Gay

In the “nobody said progress was linear” department, I note that, in short order:
* Joe Biden Says He’s Comfortable with Gay Marriage, a remark which sent all the tea leaf watchers to ponder whether it was a “gaffe”
* US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Supports Gay Marriage
* Despite the pleas of good Christian folks such as this guy, the voters of North Carolina voted for constitutional Amendment 1, which not only reemphasizes an already codified law, which will also complicate the lives of unmarried heterosexual couples

* President Barack Obama said:
I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer:
I’ve always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.

But over the course of several years I’ve talked to friends and family about this. I’ve thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, I’ve gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.

What I’ve come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens. Continue reading

E is for Equality

The news that made the recent headlines in terms of marriage equality in the United States was that a federal appeals court ruled Proposition 8, the California plebiscite overturning gay marriage, violated the Constitution, setting up an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, or possibly not. Meanwhile, the Washington state legislature passed a bill legalizing gay marriage; here is part of the debate. Also, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch has vowed to veto efforts to repeal that state’s same-sex marriage law.

Discussing specifically the California judicial ruling Continue reading