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Archive for October, 2008

October 31st, 2008

So I Am In The Book Of Love

Yesterday, as I was driving home, I was listening to the Michelangelo Signorile show on Sirius OutQ.  He was playing a radio clip that was particularly chilling.  It was James Dobson of Focus On Homosexuality The Family choking up for his listeners as he told them how God wanted him to drop everything and lead a "prayer" vigil in California to ban same-sex marriage.  Right Wing Watch has more…

Dobson Chokes Up Explaining God Wants Him in California to Save Marriage

James Dobson dedicated his radio program today to explaining his sudden decision, which we mentioned earlier, to go to California this weekend to join Lou Engel, Tony Perkins and others for a massive "The Call" rally of prayer and fasting in the name of saving "traditional marriage."

In the clip below, Dobson has just explained that he received a letter from Rev. Jim Garlow, one of the leading organizers of the "yes on 8" movement pleading with Dobson to attend and, after reading it, felt God’s hand on his back telling him to attend "The Call."  Dobson chokes up explaining that despite having been on the go for weeks and being exhausted, he knew God wanted him there.  Dobson had to call his son to tell him he couldn’t babysit for his grandson this weekend as planned and his son Ryan then confirmed that God wanted him in California instead.  Dobson could barely keep it together when he explained that "the Lord must be involved in this" and then hands over the program to Garlow, who also gets choked up and speaks of their level of spiritual desperation and their constant "crying out to God" to save California because they are "watching the destruction of Western civilization."

You can listen to the clip there.  I heard it on the Signorile show, and listening to it I just knew it was going to drive the kook pews to open their wallets up in droves.  All the little old ladies who believe Dobson when he tells them that gay people are the tools of Satan and that same sex marriage will allow homosexuals to molest children in public schools will open their fixed income pocketbooks and give, and give and give.  And thus the smear campaign being waged now in California will get a new infusion of cash, allowing them to wash one final media tidal wave of lies over every television in the state, scaring people into believing every filthy lie they can get away with about their gay neighbors.

Behold the destruction of Western Civilization…

The Face of Proposition 8

I was on my way home from the Lakeshore district when I encountered this group of supporters of Prop 8. After turning my vidphone on, I was screamed at, physically intimidated and eventually attacked by one of the more aggressive sign-wavers.

I asked the most aggressive woman (who was not underage) "are you afraid to be online?" She answered, "oh, no, they already videotaped me, but these kids don’t want to be online, cause they’re [unintelligible] loaded on a sexual perv profile and [unclear] look at my little cousins." Fair enough. I’m all for protecting the innocent. (Not that there’s anything particularly innocent about shouting hate speech in public.)

"Go away, Nasty Nasty. Nasty, nasty, nasty, nasty."

The woman continued to poke at my face with her sign and call me "nasty." Genuinely disturbed by the complete lack of rational behavior I’d seen up to this point, wanting to look into her face and possibly connect on some level with her as a fellow human being, I pulled a corner of the sign down away from my eyes and asked "why are you calling me nasty?"

That’s when she attacked, clawing, grabbing and then shoving. I didn’t fight back; she was much bigger than me. Calling me a "nasty fucker" and threatening to kick my ass, she pried my phone out of my hand and tried to break it in half while her friends egged her on.

Please note that I never touched or threatened her in any way (unless you want to consider my pulling the edge of her sign out of eye-poking territory a threatening gesture).

As she grabbed at my phone, I stood there stunned, not really sure what to do. One of the counter-protesters (the woman who you see saying "No on Prop 8" towards the beginning of this clip) quickly intervened and calmed the attacking woman down enough that I felt safe enough to try to take my phone back. After a second or two of grappling, she let go and went back to screaming at cars from a lawn chair near the side of the road.

(Big love and gratitude to the kindly counter-protester who pleaded for calm. I don’t think my phone would have survived without you!)

I stood there for another minute or two, checking the phone’s applications for damage. One of the other sign-wavers, a teenage boy standing nearby, leaned over and whispered "fuck you, dyke."

Even though I wasn’t hurt besides a small scratch on my hand, and my phone was okay, being attacked definitely shook me up. I was a bit tearful. Call me naive, but I never thought I’d actually be in physical danger just for shooting footage of their activity and pulling the edge of a person’s sign out of my eyes. Verbal insults, sure. But attacked by an anti-gay activist? In one of the most queer-friendly neighborhoods in the bay area? Yikes.

The man holding the "Vote No" sign noticed that I was in tears and approached me. We hugged to a chorus of jeers, exchanged some reassuring words, and I turned to leave. Someone called after me: "keep crying, and keep walking."

(Emphasis mine…) You can see the video of the incident at the link above.  When Dobson says god wants him to go to California, this is the flock to whom he will preach, that they are the salt of the earth, defending it from unspeakable evil…  One of the other sign-wavers, a teenage boy standing nearby, leaned over and whispered "fuck you, dyke"… "…keep crying, and keep walking."

This is what Dobson and his congregation are doing to California.  This is what they have been doing to America for decades now. Dividing us against one another, so they can carve their own personal kingdoms out of the shattered pieces.

Behold their righteousness…

Ken Mettler, a politically conservative activist and member of the Kern High School District Board of Trustees, was caught on video kicking and punching a protester at a Friday night demonstration against Proposition 8.

Mettler said the following day that he was only defending himself.

"I was assaulted," Mettler said. "A fellow threw a punch at me. He missed, and I did hit him."

The incident was recorded by another protester. The video shows Mettler taking signs which originally read "Yes on 8" but had been altered to read "No on 8."

And…surprise, surprise…the video tells a somewhat different tale…

Here is the America of their dreams…a place where high school trustees beat the crap out of dissenters and then lie through their teeth about it afterward.  Tell me that the kids in this man’s schools won’t take a cue from this, that it’s okay to beat the crap out of their gay and lesbian peers.  Tell me he wouldn’t want them to take that cue.  Tell me Dobson wouldn’t want them to take that cue.  Homosexuals are destroying Western civilization.  That means it’s okay to shove that terrified gay kid’s face into his locker, like they’ve been wanting to do for weeks now…

So…what are you going to do about it?  I know…I know…you’re going to vote for Obama.  You’re going to work like hell to keep McCain and especially Palin out of the White House.  You are going to help get better democrats elected, so this country doesn’t have to endure another year, let alone four, let alone eight, of rule by the kook wing of the republican party.  Fine.  Good.  Wonderful.  Really.  But…can you spare a few dollars in the fight for the right to love?   Because that’s what this fight is about, in its starkest terms.  This is about hate that cannot bear the sight of decent, wholehearted human love, and urgently wants to snuff it out.

This nation has a lot of work ahead of it, healing the wounds from decades of republican hate mongering for votes.  Making gay and lesbian people second class citizens, cutting the ring fingers off of devoted, loving couples, only prolongs the bitterness.  It could last for decades.  Do you want to see hundreds of loving couples forcibly divorced?  Do you want to see thousands more denied the right to marry.  Do you think another two or three decades of this…

Is going to help America heal its wounds?  What kind of America do you want.  This one…

Or this one…

I’m in for another $500 dollars.  That makes $1,500 I’ve given to this fight and it will take me months to pay it off, win or loose.  But I can live with that, so long as I know I gave it everything I had, cut to the bone, so that love could have a chance in this poor angry world.

I’m not asking you to cut to the bone.  I’m not asking you for hundreds, let alone thousands.  Can you spare 20?  10?  5?  It’s easy.  Just go to the No On 8 site and give.  Anything.  Anything at all.  The polls all say it is close.  We can win this.  We can.  But we have to give the people fighting on the front lines of this something to keep their ads going.  The other side is going to spend millions in the next few days to  dump an tidalwave of hate mongering over California.  The polls all say that when our side gets its message out in equal force, we win. 

They have the Mormon church, which has given anywhere from 40 to 70 (!) percent of the money for the Proposition 8 campaign.  They have Pope Ratzinger’s Catholic church.  The have James Dobson, and the protestant religious right.  They have their own array of right wing billionaires.  They have Fox news.  What do we have?  We have a dream.  An ages old dream of freedom and justice.   For all.  Where Americans can live together in peace.  Where love is not spat upon, but nurtured and cherished.   Where hate does not rule.

I know this fight is an uphill struggle.  I know how much it can soul-weary a person, how deeply it can wound.  Hate takes its toll on all of us.  I still vividly remember sitting in my eighth grade sex ed class, hearing our gym teachers tell me and everyone I knew in that school, that homosexuals mutilate the bodies of people they have sex with, and then, usually, kill them.   I have no idea how many of my classmates from back then still believe that.  But I suspect even now some of them still do.  And some of those who still believe it, are themselves gay, and they have loathed themselves all their lives. 

And that is why, win or loose on the night on November 4th, I know where my name will be written… 

BARBARA GARRETT $100  CERRITOS       CA  90703  ST FRANCIS HOSP               Support
BRAD GARRETT    $500  SAN JOSE       CA  95133  APPLIED SIGNAL TECHNOLOGY     Support
BRETT GARRETT   $250  REDWOOD CITY   CA  94061  SAME NAME                     Oppose
BRETT GARRETT   $100  REDWOOD CITY   CA  94061  YOHOSTCOM                     Oppose
BRUCE GARRETT   $500  BALTIMORE      MD  21211  SPACE TELESCOPE SCIENCE INST Oppose
BRUCE GARRETT   $500  BALTIMORE      MD  21211  SPACE TELESCOPE SCIENCE INST  Oppose
DAVID GARRETT   $100  WALNUT CREEK   CA  94597  SELF-EMPLOYED                 Oppose
DAVID GARRETT DDS $1,000 LA CANADA CA 91011 DAVID P GARRETT DDS Support

So I be written in the Book of Love,
I Do not care about that Book above.
Erase my name, or write it, as you please..

So I be written in the Book of Love. 

Will you write yours there with mine?  You have the power to tell the heart-wounded, young and old, that they do not have to hate themselves…that they never had to hate themselves…that love is possible to them. Please donate to No On 8.  Write your name in the book of love.

 

by Bruce | Link | React! (2)

October 30th, 2008

Deep Thought For The Day 2…

So this spam email arrives in my personal (not my work…there’s pretty good about blocking spam here at work) mailbox.  Gain Inches The Easy Way…reads the subject line.  Ah-ha…thinks I…of course it’s easy.  Just stuff your face with cookies all day long and you’ll gain lots of inches.  Er…around the waste.  That’s what you meant…right???

Ever notice how much spam is targeted at male sexuality?  Never mind the porn ads…just look at all the ads for bootleg Viagra, among other things.  Either spammers think the entire world is gay (and that gay men like straight male pornography too) or they’re targeting all this to a mostly straight audience.  Yet we gay men are the ones who are obsessed with sex, and have like, thousands of sexual partners every night or something…

by Bruce | Link | React! (2)


Deep Thought Of The Day…

Isn’t it…interesting…how we’re suddenly seeing all these stories in the IT press about how Wonderful Windows Vista version 2…er…Windows version 7…will be.  I mean…since it’s not going to be released for another year and a half yet at least.  They don’t even have a beta candidate yet, let alone a product that reviewers can try, and already it’s…So Wonderful!

Vaporware, I believe they call it…

In other cases, vaporware may be announced by companies in order to damage the development or marketability of more real products by competitors, sometimes in combination with a campaign of fear, uncertainty and doubt; if customers believe the hype, they may put off purchasing the real product to wait for its vaporous rival to mature.

And who knows…they might even be able to get away with it one more time.  Especially if Steve Jobs keeps jerking around Apple third party developers.  On the other hand…  DOT-NET.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Deep Thought Of The Day…


Ah…Sauerkraut Burrito…

I get settled into work and a co-worker comes in with something from the Institute cafeteria.  After a while I’m beginning to smell…Sauerkraut…???  Er…no.  It was a Ranchero something.  It’s Mexico week at the Institute cafeteria. 

Life with a nose like mine.  Something in the Ranchero sauce set it off.  But my sense of smell isn’t good at all, and getting weird feedback from my nose is something I’ve had to learn to live with.  I have about a dozen different kinds of incense here at Casa del Garrett that I’ve bought over the years…most of it from Chinatown in San Francisco…and time was I could distinguish between each of them and I had my favorites.  Swear to God it all smells exactly alike to me now.  But at least I can still smell it.

I’ve watched my sense of smell deteriorating ever since adolescence. You don’t really think of smell as being something you might miss horribly.  Eyesight yes.  Hearing yes.  But smell?  It might be a nuisance not having it working right, but what more then that?  Let me tell you.  Back in the mid 1990s I visited Ocean City, New Jersey again after nearly twenty years of not visiting the seashore at all, and was saddened to discover that I could no longer smell the ocean.  That tang of salt air that use to delight me as a kid, because it meant vacation at the beach, was gone to me.  I walked right up to the shore and waded in a bit and I still couldn’t smell it.  I really can’t describe that moment, other then the kid inside of me felt a bit heartbroken.

It can lead to embarrassments too.  I run my deep fryer a lot here at Casa del Garrett and the only times I can really smell it is when it’s at temperature.  Some months back a friend came over for a visit and when they walked in the door asked me if I’d been frying fish.  I had.  About a week previously.  So now I make it a point to open the windows and burn some incense after running the deep fryer.

Nowadays I can barely smell anything, and when I do I often have trouble identifying it.  They put a lot of things in their food south of the border but Sauerkraut isn’t one of them.  About the only thing I can still reliably smell in small amounts is whatever scent it is they put into natural gas as a leak warning.  Thank goodness I can still smell that.  Oh…and that really foul smell of burning wire insulator.  That’s a good thing to be able to notice too.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Ah…Sauerkraut Burrito…

October 29th, 2008

The Shape Of Things To Come

Via Sullivan…

McCain Miami Rally, Getting Ugly Down Here

After the rally, we witnessed a near-street riot involving the exiting McCain crowd and two Cuban-American Obama supporters. Tony Garcia, 63, and Raul Sorando, 31, were suddenly surrounded by an angry mob. There is a moment in a crowd when something goes from mere yelling to a feeling of danger, and that’s what we witnessed. As photographers and police raced to the scene, the crowd elevated from stable to fast-moving scrum, and the two men were surrounded on all sides as we raced to the circle.

The event maybe lasted a minute, two at the most, before police competently managed to hustle the two away from the scene and out of the danger zone. Only FiveThirtyEight tracked the two men down for comment, a quarter mile down the street.

"People were screaming ‘Terrorist!’ ‘Communist!’ ‘Socialist!’" Sorando said when we caught up with him. "I had a guy tell me he was gonna kill me."

Asked what had precipitated the event, "We were just chanting ‘Obama!’ and holding our signs. That was it. And the crowd suddenly got crazy."

I hope nobody thinks this sort of thing is going to stop after election day.  What you need to understand is they’re not trying to win the election anymore.  I really believe that choosing Palin was for inciting the base for war on an Obama administration they had come to believe was a certainty.  They know this time the fighting will be harder then it was to destroy Clinton because the democratic grassroots, if not the leadership, is organized and ready for it this time.  Expecting it even.  And maybe they’ve taken the measure of Obama in their private conferences and figured that he’s no Bill Clinton.  So they’re stoking the gutter full of hate, because the gutter is all they have left to win with.  That’s why it was Palin.  People are shaking their heads wondering how McCain could pick the likes of her to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.  But he didn’t pick her to be vice president.  Her job is to be gasoline on the fire.

What we’re seeing now isn’t the last ugly gasp of a failed presidential campaign, but the start of the scorched earth after-the-election knife fight for the next four years, if not longer.  I’ve been saying for years now that the shit doesn’t really hit the fan until the republicans begin loosing power.  In the coming years, it won’t only be gay people getting bashed on the streets of America.  Just so you know. 

Welcome to the reality your gay and lesbian neighbors have been living with for decades now.  You knew it had to be you next didn’t you.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Shape Of Things To Come


Transplanting My Brain As Painlessly As Possible

So I’ve finished updating my old Sony Clie’ with all the new personal data I’d accumulated on the iPhone.  Including all the notes I couldn’t sync.  Then I updated my Palm Desktop for the Mac software and synced the Clie’ to it.  I’ve just now finished syncing with kPilot on my Linux system.  It was absolutely painless, unlike the first few times I tried it back when I first bought the Clie’ in 2003.  kPilot now has a configuration "wizard" that detects which device port the Clie’ is trying to talk to the PC on and configures everything.  So you don’t have to muck with finding out which /dev device your Palm is on and setting the permissions correctly and then getting the conduits to work properly.  It all just works…to borrow a phrase.  Wow…that’s a new one in Linuxville…

I’m off now to try and find a belt case for the Clie’ at the new and improved Towson Town Mall.   Wish me luck.  I don’t think very many folks bother with dedicated Palm organizers anymore.  Usually it’s a smartphone nowadays.  But Palm is still selling them so there must be a market out there for them.  Alas, Sony doesn’t anymore, so I can’t just go out and buy or order a belt case from them.

[Update…]  Success.  Yeah, not many people use dedicated Palm Organizers anymore, but Blackberry’s are pretty popular, and about the size as my Clie’.  So I have a nice belt case for it now.

So this makes three belt widgets I’m carrying around with me now, though not always at one time.  A phone widget (the iPhone), a music widget (my iPod 3rd generation), and my data widget (the Clie’).  The iPhone was supposed to be the thing that integrated all of those.  But it doesn’t.  It can’t hold all my digital music, and its organizer functionality is missing critical pieces. 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Transplanting My Brain As Painlessly As Possible


It’s Not About Teaching Children That Gay Couples Are Alright…

Andrew Sullivan almost gets it from time to time…

Althouse makes marriage equality opponent Dean Broyles’s argument clearer:

Let me see if I can make Broyles’s point. I think he means to say that if same-sex marriage remains a legal right, enshrined in state constitutional law, then homosexual relationships will come to be regarded normal and good, and, consequently, anyone who objects to them will start to look like a bigot who should not be permitted to have his way. Thus, in order to preserve the right to discriminate against gay people and to keep schools from teaching children that gay couples are perfectly nice and so forth — all things Broyles wants — it’s important to outlaw gay marriage, because it will be a powerful force in changing perceptions about gay people and those who think gay people are doing something terribly wrong.

Yes! That’s it. One reason I favor marriage equality is that the simple public fact of gay married couples will in itself teach something about the reality of gay people and our lives – without any school or parent having to say a thing. It gives us a way to talk about gay couples for the first time in human history without talking about sex acts.

There is something else that the haters don’t want happening in schools, beyond teaching children that gay couples are perfectly nice and so forth as Althouse puts it.  Look more closely.  Kids don’t usually socialize with adult couples other then those of their own immediate family.  Yes, we can hope the next generation grows up without hate in their hearts.  But if they are immersed in anti-gay hate at that age, it’s their peers, those who are gay and those who are only thought to be gay, who will feel the impact of that.

And that’s what Broyles and his kind are adamant must never happen.  Gay kids must be hated.  And that is because gay kids must hate themselves.  What the example of same sex couples living normal, decent, whole lives will do is this: show the gay kids a future where love is possible to them too.  That cannot be.  Gay kids must never feel loved.  Because they are vermin.  More despicable even then the gay adults they will eventually become.  Because their hearts are sincere.  Ever wonder why right wingers seem to hate children so much? 

Or to put it in a way that might appeal to social conservatives: grant marriage equality and we can stop talking about homosexuality. We can start talking about love and friendship and commitment and family – for gays and straights. We can leave this horrible identity politics division behind.

Why would social conservatives want to do that?  Identity politics is their creation.  It’s a belly laugh listening to you blame liberals for it.  When people are discriminated against based on things like race, religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation, when doors are closed to them again and again and again, when they are driven from neighborhoods, job opportunities, when a decent education is denied them, simply for being different, do you really think they’ll continue to see themselves as a part of the whole, or as one of the outcast?  They are supposed to see themselves in terms of their assigned identity.  You can’t marry…you’re a homosexual.  Your very presence in the house of marriage defiles it.  We don’t want no faggots in our community.  I’m just telling you Bruce that there is no place in this company for homosexuals…  That’s the whole point of prejudice.  Not to elevate the bigot, but to make hated other feel hated, cast out, separate.

I would love to see my sexual orientation as just another random, and not particularly important aspect of my being.   But I can’t.  Bigots like the ones pushing anti same-sex marriage amendments keep telling me that it’s the only part of me that matters.  You need to stop blaming the victims of identity politics, for being imprisoned in it.

That said, I’m really heartened to see you acknowledging that the breaking down of real barriers in this election cycle will go a long way towards the day when we see and end to identity politics.  I agree.  Liberals have been trying hard to break down these barriers for decades now, so that we can all be Americans one day…free and equal.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on It’s Not About Teaching Children That Gay Couples Are Alright…


Probably The Most Hopeful Sign This Year

Via Atrios…  If this is true, then maybe it means that voters have finally become fed up enough with the republican strategy of winning elections by alienating Americans from one another, that they’re willing now at long last to punish them at the polls for it.

Kissell beating Robin Hayes.

North Carolina Congressman Robin Hayes, reeling from recent remarks about "Liberals hating real Americans," has lost his lead in North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District race.

Hayes trails Democrat Larry Kissell 51-46 in a poll released Tuesday by Raleigh’s Public Policy Polling. In its last NC-8 poll in August, PPP had the incumbent Hayes leading by five points.

You can argue that the republican party has a lot to answer for, in terms of how badly they’ve damanged the economy, our moral standing abroad and the rule of law here at home.  But all of that pales in comparison to this one fact: that for decades now the republicans have sought to deliberately make Americans hate one another in order to win elections.

As a young speechwriter for Richard Nixon, Patrick Buchanan once expounded upon the politics of polorization.  "If we tear the country in half," Buchanan assured his boss in a perversely optimistic memo, "we can pick up the bigger half."
J. Michael Hogan, Rhetoric and Community

And so they set about to do exactly that, inflaming bigotries and ugly passions to separate neighbor from neighbor, the better to split apart the New Deal coalition of working class urban and rural Americans, women and minorities, and replace it with a toxic wasteland of mutual hatred.  And every election year that hatred had to be stoked a little bit more, and a little bit more, and a little bit more, to keep it alive, to keep Americans from voting for their hopes and dreams instead of their fears and hatreds. 

The damage they have done to America goes far beyond the economy and the war.  It is worse even, then the constitutional damage Bush has done while in office.  Those things can be fixed, with effort, in our lifetimes.  The hate they have deliberately sown amongst the amber waves of grain will take generations to heal.  If the republican party is to be held accountable for anything this election night, let it be for that.

[Update…] Via Atrios…  From Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly…  

WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE WEAK GET RIDICULOUS…. Recent polling shows Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) trailing in her re-election fight in North Carolina against Democrat Kay Hagan, so it stands to reason that she’s getting a little desperate.

I didn’t think she’d get this desperate.

Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s latest advertisement suggests her Democratic opponent, Kay Hagan, is a godless heathen.

"A leader of the Godless Americans PAC recently held a secret fundraiser for Kay Hagan," the 30-second spot says, showing footage of the group’s members talking about their atheist beliefs on cable news.

"Godless Americans and Kay Hagan. She hid from cameras. Took godless money," the ad concludes. "What did Kay Hagan promise in return?"

At the very end of the ad, a voice sounding like Hagan’s says: "There is no God."

Seriously, Dole used a Hagan impersonator to make voters think she’s an atheist.

It’s hard to know where to start with an ad this deplorable. First, Hagan is actually a Sunday school teacher and an elder in her church. Second, the fundraiser in question was co-hosted by 40 people, one of whom is on the board of an atheist political action committee. Third, there’s nothing scandalous about non-believers.

And fourth, what the hell is "godless money"?

Hagan held a press conference this morning with her family and pastor to denounce the ad, and announced that if Dole didn’t pull the ad, she would seek a cease-and-desist order.

Even in a campaign cycle filled with sleazy, deplorable attacks, Dole has disgraced herself in a way few thought possible.

Possible?  Possible?  If you’d spent the last couple decades as a gay man, living under the kinds of attacks on your person that republicans just take for granted as normal conversation, you’d know goddamned well what the kook pews are capable of.  There is no bottom in that gutter.  That’s what you need to understand.  There is no bottom.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Probably The Most Hopeful Sign This Year

October 28th, 2008

Write To Marry Day…Please Join Us

 

 

Click on the graphic above to join bloggers all over the world in taking a stand for freedom to marry.

This is not just a fight over same-sex marriage.  Same-sex marriage is but a battle ground in a much larger war against basic human freedoms.  All over the world the fundamentalist haters of liberty, from al Quada to our own domestic Taliban, rise their fists against us…we who believe in liberty and justice for all. They call us heretics. They call us corrupters. They call us destroyers. We are. For as long as there exists one place on this good earth were people can stand on their own two feet unbeaten and unoppressed, and embrace their dreams unafraid, no tyranny on earth is safe. We are the sons and daughters of the revolution of freedom, and liberty, and justice.  For all.  Join us.  

Donate Here, to No on 8.  Any small amount…any at all…can make a difference in the fight for the freedom to love, and honor, and cherish…

Believe in love.  Believe in your right to love, and be loved.  There is no more noble cause you can fight for, no greater good you can do for this poor angry world, then to take a stand for the freedom to love.  Donate now to No on 8. Make a little more room in this world for love to grow, and endure.

If you donate between now and election day online (for any amount), and send me your confirmation email, I will draw, if you wish, an editorial cartoon on the topic of your choice. Or…alternately…a Mark and Josh cartoon on the topic of your choice.  Or…if my cartoons don’t do it for you…you can have a signed 11 by 17 print of the image of your choice out of any of my photo galleries.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Write To Marry Day…Please Join Us


The Amazing Wonderful Reinvention Of The Telephone…And Its Discontents…

So…I’m switching back to my little Sony Clie’.  For the PIM functionality.  For now anyway…

The iPhone is nice…don’t get me wrong.  It’s a great phone, even if AT&T isn’t a great carrier…(Hi Tico!).   And its touchscreen interface is a work of engineering art.  Absolutely magnificent.  But Apple seems to be completely clueless when it comes to Personal Information Management software, and why it’s an important part of a ‘smartphone’

  • Fifteen months after the iPhone was first introduced and we Still don’t have notepad synchronization.  This is pathetic.  You see complaints about this all over the web and yet Apple seems completely indifferent.  This should have been a no-brainer.  A No Brainer.  But it looks like not only will we not get note synchronization any time soon, but when we do only Leopard users will have it.  On the other hand.  I can sync my Palm notes on my Macs, my Windows boxes (were I to still be using them regularly) and on Linux via any of several methods.  kPilot and jPilot seem to work very well, though setting them up is, Linux like, only easy if you don’t mind dinking around in /dev.
  • No native ToDo lists.  Let alone ToDo list synchronization.  Yes…you can get third party ToDo apps.  But Apple’s insistence on keeping third party apps away from the sync mechanism means you can’t sync third party ToDo lists (or third party notepads) directly to your computer.
  • Security:  In the Palm you can apply different security levels to individual records in the contact list, the calendar, the notepad and the ToDo list.  This means you don’t have to lock down the entire device, just individual records according to their sensitivity.  A record can be password protected and additionally it can be hidden, which means it doesn’t even show up in the list until you unhide it.  What this meant was, when I was using my Kyocera Smart Phone (which was a Palm device) I didn’t have to lock the phone.  Which meant that whenever I wanted to use it I just flipped it open.  I could use the phone or access any of my unsecured Palm data instantly, without having to key in a password.  But the iPhone won’t let me do that.  It’s security is either all or nothing.  So I have to lock down the entire goddamned phone so my senstive information is kept secure.  Which means every time I want to use the phone I have to enter my password and unlock it, even if all I want to do is make a phone call.
  • Categories.  In the Palm I can assign contacts and other data to various categories for sorting purposes.  Can’t do that in Apple’s simplistic contact manager.  The Apple calendar application now allows you to choose between a ‘work’ calendar and a ‘home’ calendar.  Whee!
  • Cut and Paste.  Palm’s had it since forever.  The iPhone still doesn’t.  Wait…what..?
  • vCards.  The iPhone doesn’t.  People’s jaws still drop when I tell them this.  Amazingly…idiotically…Apple’s MacOS contact manager app does vCards nicely.  So why the hell doesn’t the iPhone? 

My little Sony Clie’ is five year old technology and it runs rings around the iPhone when it comes to basic PIM fucntionality.  There are additionally dozens of little annoyances to the iPhone that are unique to it, and which have not been fixed since its introduction.  Crap like applications that don’t switch into landscape mode although they logically should.  The damn quirky touch-keyboard would be a lot easier to use if it existed in landscape mode more often.  I’ll say this though, fumble-fingering with the iPhone’s touch keyboard has actually made me a hell of a lot faster with the Palm’s stylus keyboard.  I’m still no better then I ever was with Palm’s own quirky ‘graffiti’ text entry…but I’m lot’s better with the stylus now.  Tons better.  It’s like my fingers have achieved a whole new level of dexterity. 

Where the iPhone excels and the Palm doesn’t is as an entertainment device.  But that’s largely because of it’s third party apps.  I have the Pandora app loaded on my iPhone and it is a joy.  I’d never really cared to use the iPhone as a music player until I put Pandora on it.  My iPod is a third generation one with no wireless connectivity.  I often have it on my belt though, because it can hold my entire digital music library and the iPhone can’t.  But with Pandora for the iPhone I can listen to my Pandora stations while working around the house or at work.  I love it. 

I strongly doubt there will ever be a Pandora for Palm devices, although Palm application development isn’t exactly stagnant either.  I can get really nice media players for the Palm that handle many different media formats including even the open source ogg format.  No Apple device I think its safe to say, will ever natively support ogg.  The media industry absolutely hates the open source movement, and Steve is being his usual jackass control freak self about what he’ll let third party developers do on his hardware.

Which is in the end, probably the biggest reason I have now for dumping my iPhone.  I still have until this coming July on my AT&T contract (like everyone else who bought iPhones when they first came out…).  That gives me plenty of time to wait and see what happens with the Google Android platform.  My hunch is by the time my contract is done, Android will have it’s own Pandora and who knows what else.  Maybe even something comparable to the Palm desktop that’ll sync across multiple platforms including Linux.

But for now it’s back to the simple Palm device for my personal data. It’s five year old technology and it beats the pants off of Steve’s reinvention of the telephone.  Nice work there Steve.  I can sync the contact book with the iPhone…awkwardly…by way of vCards.  The iPhone itself doesn’t do vCards, but I can export a vCard from the Palm Desktop to the MacOS contact book and from there to the iPhone.  And back the other way if need be.  But…sheesh…  I don’t really need calendar synchonization on the iPhone if I’m going to be using my Clie’ again.

Now I need to go find a nice belt case for the Clie’…  Since I’m going to be wearing it again probably for the next eight months or so…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Amazing Wonderful Reinvention Of The Telephone…And Its Discontents…


Reality Is That Which, When You Stop Believing In It, Doesn’t Go Away…

Sex.  Religion.  Fundamentalism.  Thump your bibles all you want people.  An instinct older then the fish, let alone the mammals, let alone the primates, is just going to ignore you on its very single-minded way to making your teenage kids pregnant…

Red Sex, Blue Sex
Why do so many evangelical teen-agers become pregnant?
by Margaret Talbot

…During the campaign, the media has largely respected calls to treat Bristol Palin’s pregnancy as a private matter. But the reactions to it have exposed a cultural rift that mirrors America’s dominant political divide. Social liberals in the country’s “blue states” tend to support sex education and are not particularly troubled by the idea that many teen-agers have sex before marriage, but would regard a teen-age daughter’s pregnancy as devastating news. And the social conservatives in “red states” generally advocate abstinence-only education and denounce sex before marriage, but are relatively unruffled if a teen-ager becomes pregnant, as long as she doesn’t choose to have an abortion.

A handful of social scientists and family-law scholars have recently begun looking closely at this split. Last year, Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, published a startling book called “Forbidden Fruit: Sex and Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers,” and he is working on a follow-up that includes a section titled “Red Sex, Blue Sex.” His findings are drawn from a national survey that Regnerus and his colleagues conducted of some thirty-four hundred thirteen-to-seventeen-year-olds, and from a comprehensive government study of adolescent health known as Add Health. Regnerus argues that religion is a good indicator of attitudes toward sex, but a poor one of sexual behavior, and that this gap is especially wide among teen-agers who identify themselves as evangelical. The vast majority of white evangelical adolescents—seventy-four per cent—say that they believe in abstaining from sex before marriage. (Only half of mainline Protestants, and a quarter of Jews, say that they believe in abstinence.) Moreover, among the major religious groups, evangelical virgins are the least likely to anticipate that sex will be pleasurable, and the most likely to believe that having sex will cause their partners to lose respect for them. (Jews most often cite pleasure as a reason to have sex, and say that an unplanned pregnancy would be an embarrassment.) But, according to Add Health data, evangelical teen-agers are more sexually active than Mormons, mainline Protestants, and Jews. On average, white evangelical Protestants make their “sexual début”—to use the festive term of social-science researchers—shortly after turning sixteen. Among major religious groups, only black Protestants begin having sex earlier.

Another key difference in behavior, Regnerus reports, is that evangelical Protestant teen-agers are significantly less likely than other groups to use contraception…

The whole thing is Here.

A terrific 2005 documentary, “The Education of Shelby Knox,” tells the story of a teen-ager from a Southern Baptist family in Lubbock, Texas, who has taken a True Love Waits pledge. To the chagrin of her youth pastor, and many of her neighbors, Knox eventually becomes an activist for comprehensive sex education. At her high school, kids receive abstinence-only education, but, Knox says, “maybe twice a week I see a girl walking down the hall pregnant.” In the film, Knox seems successful at remaining chaste, but less because she took a pledge than because she has a fearlessly independent mind and the kind of parents who—despite their own conservative leanings—admire her outspokenness. Devout Republicans, her parents end up driving her around town to make speeches that would have curled their hair before their daughter started making them. Her mother even comes to take pride in Shelby’s efforts, because while abstinence pledges are lovely in the abstract, they don’t acknowledge “reality.”

Here’s the reality:  Sex is one of the most powerful drives within us.  Denial is not a stratigy for managing it.  Just ask any gay man who shoved his sex drive into a closet, got married and then later found himself in jail for propositioning an undercover policeman in a public toilet. 

But…just say ‘No’.  Right?  Condoms fail, not abstinence.  Right?  No.  It doesn’t work that way.  Actually, abstinence fails a hell of a lot more often then condoms do…

Bearman and Brückner have also identified a peculiar dilemma: in some schools, if too many teens pledge, the effort basically collapses. Pledgers apparently gather strength from the sense that they are an embattled minority; once their numbers exceed thirty per cent, and proclaimed chastity becomes the norm, that special identity is lost. With such a fragile formula, it’s hard to imagine how educators can ever get it right: once the self-proclaimed virgin clique hits the thirty-one-per-cent mark, suddenly it’s Sodom and Gomorrah.

The human identity isn’t a blackboard you can scribble slogans on.  We carry the history of hundreds of millions of years of life on earth with us in our flesh and blood and bones every minute of every day, and sex is one of the most powerful drives there is among its creatures.  Should be obvious why…right?  Ignorance isn’t a strategy for managing it. 

On the other hand…the more people have sex and feel guilty about it…the more they come flocking back to the priests to beg for forgiveness.  In that sense, abstinence really seldom ever fails…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Reality Is That Which, When You Stop Believing In It, Doesn’t Go Away…


Can We Call This For What It Is Now?

Via Pam’s House Blend…  Janet Porter says if you don’t vote for McCain God is going to cast you into hell for all eternity.  Can we just stop pretending now that the religious right wants anything to do with democracy…?

You cannot be a Christian and vote for Obama

To all those who name the name of Christ who plan to willfully disobey Him by voting for Obama, take warning. Not only is our nation in grave danger, according to the Word of God, so are you.

Insert the usual antiabortion, anti-gay rhetoric here…

Be forewarned: If you willfully disobey God on life and marriage because of race or false hope for the economy, you will usher in the kind of change that brought the Soviet Union to collapse.

But the warning goes far beyond that. To those who think that God’s grace gives them license to willfully disobey Him without consequences – think again:

Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?" And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (Matthew 7:21-23)

That deals with your eternity. Matthew 7:26-27 says if you don’t obey God, prepare for a crash even sooner that that:

But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash (Matthew 7:26-27).

I just hope you won’t take the rest of the nation with you.

If the word of God matters more to you than your perception of personal gain, Joel 2:12 issues a call to repentance I pray you will heed:

"Now, therefore," says the LORD, ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning’" (Joel 2:12).

Then obey Him in the voting booth and out of it. If not, do us all a favor and quit calling yourself a Christian.

Right.  I get the message…

  

 

I get it all right…

  

The America where everyone has a right to their own life, their own bodies, their own conscience, is something you couldn’t have any less use for.   The American Dream of liberty and justice for all is apostasy as far as you’re concerned.  America belongs to fundamentalist Christians.  The rest of us just live here.  Conditionally.

America’s biggest sin isn’t abortion is it Janet.  It isn’t same sex marriage.  It isn’t pornography.  America’s biggest, most unforgivable sin is this…

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

There’s where it all went wrong, isn’t it Janet?   Justice?  Domestic Tranquility?  Common defense?  General Welfare?  Blessings of Liberty?  Makes you sick to your stomach to read it, doesn’t it Janet?  And this…this must make you positively livid…

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" 

 

The Golden Door.  The Golden Door.  Does that make you want to laugh Janet, or puke?  The people who fled the old world and its state churches and religious wars didn’t found a new nation dedicated to freedom of worship just so babbling Darbyite pre-millenial nutcases like you could build a theocracy over their graves.  Do us all a favor and stop calling yourself an American Janet.  You are a Christian Nationalist, and the United States of America is to you as a cricket is to a digger wasp.  

 

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Can We Call This For What It Is Now?


The Long Dark Night Of My Empty Soul…Let Me Project It On To You…

It’s been…interesting…to watch the reactions of the heterosexual mainstream to the gradual unraveling of the Bush republican mask.  Wow…these people really are Nuts!  And…they really Do live in their own separate reality…  Yes.  Yes they do.  And now comes the dawn, that they not only live in their own separate reality, they project their own private demons onto everyone who doesn’t live their with them.  This from David Krutz Talking Points Memo…

Dark Night of the Soul

Barack Obama is noted for his powerful intellect, but I don’t think he gets nearly enough credit for the mental dexterity it takes to be simultaneously an Islamic theocrat, atheistic communist and national socialist while posing as a center left candidate. Those must be the compartmentalization skills they taught him at that Manchurian madrasah in Indonesia.

The fact that Obama embodies the worst nightmares of so many on the political right says far more about them that it does him. In this piece at The Corner, Mark R. Levin, bristling over normally rational conservatives like Colin Powell and Charles Fried falling under Obama’s demagogic spell, pushes ajar the door to his inner psyche, where the horrors are of the communist-cum-Nazi variety. Levin doesn’t go in much for the Obama as closet Muslim nightmare. I’m sure it’s just a failure of imagination.

Emphasis mine.  Re-read that sentence again…  The fact that Obama embodies the worst nightmares of so many on the political right says far more about them that it does him.  Ya Think?  And here, via Sullivan, is Eric Martin over at The Poorman

New meme: Obama is nuclear holocaust Jesus:

Anyone familiar with the history of communism knows enough to be terrified by utopian visions. Equally frightening is the staggering breadth of the Moonbat Messiah’s ego. Not long ago, Obama told Sunday worshipers in Greenville, South Carolina that they don’t have to wait for any Second Coming:

“I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.”

Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot, et al. had ambitions on a similar scale, although I don’t recall them comparing themselves to God. For the messianic aspect, you normally have to leave politics for cults like Heaven’s Gate.

Obama isn’t the first to mix Marxist utopianism with cult deification. Jim Jones did it with his Peoples Temple. Fortunately Jim Jones never had access to the USA’s nuclear codes.

A bit of a misstep here, comparing Obama to Jim Jones, rather than the more evocative Charlie Manson.  True, Jones brewed the original Kool-Aid, and did go to darkest Africa swarthiest South America.  But Charlie Manson was much scarier, was all about the class and race war, and – and this is critical here – was from the Epochal and Very Scary Late Sixties, rather than the Forgettable and Mostly Embarrassing Late Seventies.  Now, one could construct a perfectly serviceable Culture War narrative based on late-70’s resentment – in fact, I can think of 3 without even trying:

  1. Obama as secret (black, gay, urban, coastal) disco partisan opposed to salt-of-the-Earth (white, suburban/rural) Eddie Money fans;
  2. Obama as secret (London/NYC, jobless, stoned, callow) anarchist punk rocker/reggae listener opposed to John McCain’s steady, hard-working Frank Sinatra-listening establishment type;
  3. Obama as creepy glam transsexual Ziggy Stardust Bowie vs. coked-out fascist but sensibly-tailored Thin White Teuton Duke Bowie;

The last one made more sense when it was in my head – substitute some kind of scary forced-busing liberal Negro vs. punk-killing “Death Wish” Charles Bronson narrative here.  It’s not hard.  But once you’ve made a narrative choice, you do have to stick with it – you can’t just keep bouncing around, or people become confused.  If you are telling the story of a scary vampire, you can’t decide in chapter 2 that he’s also 500 feet tall and radioactive and bent on destroying Tokyo, in chapter 3 that he is actually a giant man-eating shark, and in chapter 4 that he is all this and a super-terrorist trying to plant a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles.  All of these things are, indeed, scary, but taken together they add up to a muddle.

This is the problem.  It’s not just the McCain campaign’s problem – although their inability to pick a narrative and stick to it is a special kind of inexcusable –  it’s a problem for the entire wingnut noise machine.  Obama is a Marxist Muslim Arab Jesus Black White Terrorist Technocrat Racist Do-Gooder Liberal FDR Stalin Hilter Commie Fascist Gay Womanizing Naive Cynical Insider Noob Boring Radical Unaccomplished Elite Slick Gaffe-Prone Pedophile Pedophile-Seducing Liberation Theology Atheist Etc. & Anti-Etc. with a bunch of scary friends from – wait for it! – the Nineteen Hundred And Sixties.  It makes no sense.  It’s a jumble sale of fears and scary associations from 50 years of wingnut witch hunts and smear campaigns, a flea market of pre-owned and antique resentments, and if one does detect a semi-consistent 1960’s motif running through it all, that’s because that’s when most of these ideas were coined.

But Sullivan should have at least recognized all this.  Consider the Militant Homosexual: If he’s male he’s a contemptible, mincing, swishing, girlie-boy faggot with limp wrists and a high pitched voice that giggles a lot.  He cowers pathetically and hides behind his purse at the first sign of trouble.  But he’s also a dangerous psychopathic killer lurking in the alleyways, waiting to pounce out a rip the liver out of you and eat it.  Lesbians are male haters who just need a real man but are so ugly they couldn’t get a real man if they wanted one, which they all secretly do.  But lesbian are hot…especially when they’re having sex so real men can watch them and get off. 

Gays are a weak and pathetic minority of very sick and mentally unstable individuals.  They are a powerful gay mafia that controls Hollywood and the news media.  They lurk in back alleys and dirty slums and engage in petty theft and prostitution to support themselves.  They’re a rich and powerful elite who control congress and the courts.  Their minds have been completely destroyed by sex and drugs and AIDS.  They are clever and scheming and secretly manipulate governments and the media.  They are narcissistic.  They hate themselves.  They have sex with hundreds of partners every night.  They are lonely.  They engage in every kind of filthy, sadistic, sexual perversion known to man, and invent new ones every day.  They are delicate prissy dainty little fairy boys.  They have no friends and are incapable of emotional connection.  They occupy in a vast secret subculture with its own code words that they all know and recognize.  They lurk around schools looking for children to molest.  They lurk in public restrooms trying to seduce men into having sex with them… 

The long dark night of the bigot’s soul.  When I was busy growing up, black men…negros…coloreds…were shiftless shuffling lazy stupid servents.  When they weren’t big and powerful criminal thugs that went around raping white women.  The fact that Obama embodies the worst nightmares of so many on the political right says far more about them that it does him.  But doesn’t it always, no matter whose face the nightmare has? 

Because in the end, it is the world that is their nightmare.  The world they cannot cope with.  The world that doesn’t need them.  Every time we tell them to get the fuck off our backs, we remind them that they need us far more then we need them.  And so they despise us a little bit more.  And so the nightmare, the demon, the destroyer of worlds, has our face.

[Edited a tad…]

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Long Dark Night Of My Empty Soul…Let Me Project It On To You…


Neighbor To Neighbor On Proposition 8

A reader sent me this overnight and I’m posting it here in full…

Hello Bruce!

I’ve been reading your blogs and your writings on aph for nearly twenty years now.  Thought I’d share something I wrote to my neighbors in Lake Manor CA (just to the west of Chatsworth).  And I’ve been sharing it, and sharing it, and sharing it…

Feel free to share it as well.

Cheers,
Bill

———–

Neighbor to neighbor on Prop 8

Dear Neighbor,

Bill here, as in Bill and Robert and our three dogs. I normally don’t suggest to my neighbors how they should vote, but this time the stakes are too high. On November 4, the Yes–On–8 campaign wants you to take away a constitutional right. This is unprecedented in California, and it’s wrong. I’m writing to ask, neighbor-to-neighbor, that you vote NO on Proposition 8.

Robert and I have been together for 16 years, and we’ve lived here in Lake Manor since 2005. We’ve grown to love Lake Manor, not just for its beauty, but also for its people. We’ve shared many dinners, holidays and block barbecues together, a few Super Bowl parties, and countless evenings just chatting over a few beers. During the wildfires, our neighborhood pulled together to see that everyone and their pets came to safety. Never have Robert and I been treated as less than other couples. We love our neighborhood and our neighbors. We’ve found our home here, and we are profoundly grateful.

Proposition 8 seeks to legally make us lesser people, and relationships like ours less protected under the law. There are dozens of legal rights – and responsibilities – given to married couples and no-one else. The backers of Prop 8 say they only want to preserve marriage, but marriage is not threatened by gays and lesbians living the same quiet life as any other couple. It’s sad that Yes-On-8 ads have used fear mongering and falsehoods to deny that which everyone else enjoys. I can’t believe what they’re saying, but it’s not hard to see through their campaign:

Claim: Same-sex marriage infringes on religious liberty.

Fact: The California Supreme Court specifically stated that no church, synagogue or other religious institution can be required to perform or recognize a same-sex marriage.

Claim: Children will be forced to learn, over parents’ religious or moral objections, that same-sex marriages are equal to opposite-sex marriages.

Fact: Prop. 8 does nothing about education. California law expressly gives parents the right to review classroom material on health and family issues and remove their child from hearing what is objectionable. That won’t change.

Claim: Domestic partnerships for gays and lesbians are enough, and activist judges shouldn’t make new law.

Fact: I actually read the Court’s decision. The Court recognized this as a ‘Separate but Equal’ argument, and court after court has ruled that separate-but-equal has no place in American law.

You may have genuinely-felt religious objections to same-sex marriage. I respect that. I grew up Lutheran, and if my conservative congregation isn’t exactly gay-friendly, neither is it gay-hostile. They don’t perform same-sex weddings, but they still treat Robert and me like any other couple when we’ve gone on visits to my home town. In fact, people hear about what’s going on in California, and ask us when we’re getting married!!! Why? Because in addition to marriage being a religious rite, marriage is also a civil and legal institution apart from any particular faith. The law doesn’t care who performed your marriage, nor should it. Legally, it makes no difference if you were married by a priest, minister or rabbi, or by a judge. My congregation is happy living in a pluralistic society, because while their faith is strong, they know that everybody should be equal under the law. Everybody.

It’s wrong to make gay couples pay the price for someone else’s misplaced fear. On November 4, it’ll be only you in the voting booth. Nobody will see how you vote – that’s your business. But before you mark your ballot on Prop 8, please take a moment to ask yourself, in all honesty, what does it hurt you if gays and lesbians get married? Will it make you love your spouse any less? Does it make you love your children any less? Would it hurt your family if, after 16 years, Bill and Robert finally get to tie the knot?  I think your answer will be no. Your marriage will be no weaker if Prop 8 doesn’t pass. Your family will be no less under the law or under God.

This will be a close vote, so what you decide matters. Vote NO on Prop 8.

Thank you for reading this, and thank you for helping make our life in Lake Manor a happy one.

Your neighbor,
Bill

P.S. Feel free to share this letter if you like. Get the facts at www.NoOnProp8.com and contribute if you can. If you want to talk about this issue, drop by the house or send e-mail.

P.P.S. You may have heard from Yes-On-8 about those school kids who threw rose petals at that gay wedding in San Francisco. What they didn’t tell you is that the idea was from a parent, not the school, and every one of those kids had their parents’ permission to go. Some parents declined, so their kids didn’t go. That’s OK, but the Yes-On-8 campaign seemed to miss those details. 

Thanks for sending this.  And…wow…I had no idea that some of the folks who read me once upon a time on aph (that’s alt.politics.homosexuality, the Usenet newsgroup I used to post to often, long ago, before I set up my own website), were still reading me.  That’s…amazing. 

Please, give what you can to the fight against Proposition 8.  We have closed the fundraising gap and the vote is close, very close, and that’s only made the other side raise their own stakes more furiously.  They want to swamp TVs all over California with anti-gay propaganda in the closing hours of the election.  We need to be able to match them ad for ad in the last days before November 4th.  Please give.  Anything you can spare.  So that love can have a chance in this poor angry world.

Donate Here, to No on 8.  Any small amount…any at all…can help make a difference in leveling the playing field. 

If you donate between now and election day online (for any amount), and send me your confirmation email, I will draw, if you wish, an editorial cartoon on the topic of your choice. Or…alternately…a Mark and Josh cartoon on the topic of your choice.  Or…if my cartoons don’t do it for you…you can have a signed 11 by 17 print of the image of your choice out of any of my photo galleries.

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)


Oh Look…It’s Morning In America…

And you thought at least the dead didn’t have to worry about the Bush economy…

Bodies removed from foreclosed funeral home

PONTIAC, Mich. — The bodies of five people and cremains for 22 others are on their way to a county medical examiner’s office after the funeral home sending them to their place of rest was foreclosed on Friday morning.

Pontiac, Mich. Medical Examiner’s administrator Robert Gerds said the bank holding the note for the House of Burns Memorial Chapel has been working with his office for a couple of weeks to avoid mishandling of the remains. The 50th District Court in Pontiac scheduled the foreclosure to start at 3 a.m. Friday, he added.

"They can’t just push them to the street," Gerds said this morning, referring to the bank. "They’re doing the right thing, or they’re trying to do the right thing. They’re trying to make the best that they can out of this."

When contacted this morning about what families whose loved one is at the funeral home should do, the woman who answered the phone declined comment.

"You don’t want to let nobody know nothing — you just want gossip," the woman said, adding "have a blessed day" before hanging up.

Have a blessed day America.  And remember, republicans are better at managing the economy then democrats.  Because they know that free markets are self regulating…

…and deregulation leads to more consumer choices and lower prices.  Why…since they deregulated Baltimore Gas and Electric here in Maryland, my utility bills have fairly plummeted.   Er…or they would have…if they hadn’t gone up so much…

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Oh Look…It’s Morning In America…

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