Bruce Garrett Cartoon
The Cartoon Gallery

A Coming Out Story
A Coming Out Story

My Photo Galleries
New and Improved!

Past Web Logs
The Story So Far archives

My Amazon.Com Wish List

My Myspace Profile

Bruce Garrett's Profile
Bruce Garrett's Facebook profile


Blogs I Read!
Alicublog

Wayne Besen

Box Turtle Bulletin

Daily Kos

Mike Daisy's Blog

The Disney Blog

Disney Gossip

Brad DeLong

Dispatches From The Culture Wars

Epcot Explorer's Encyclopedia

Envisioning The American Dream

Eschaton

Ex-Gay Watch

Hullabaloo

Joe. My. God

Made In Brazil

Peterson Toscano

Progress City USA

Slacktivist

Slacktiverse

SLOG

Fear the wrath of Sparky!

Truth Wins Out Blog

Wil Wheaton



Gone But Not Forgotten

The Rittenhouse Review

Steve Gilliard's News Blog

Steve Gilliard's Blogspot Site



Great Cartoon Sites!

Howard Cruse Central

Tripping Over You
Tripping Over You

XKCD

Scandinavia And The World

Dope Rider

The World Of Kirk Anderson

Ann Telnaes' Cartoon Site

Ted Rall

Bors Blog

John K

Penny Arcade

Friendly Hostility

Downstairs Apartment




Other News & Commentary

Amtrak In The Heartland

Maryland Weather Blog

Foot's Forecast

All Facts & Opinions

Baltimore Crime

Cursor

HinesSight

Page One Q
(GLBT News)


Michelangelo Signorile

The Smirking Chimp

Talking Points Memo

Truth Wins Out

The Raw Story

Slashdot




International News & Views

BBC

NIS News Bulletin (Dutch)

Mexico Daily

The Local (Sweden)




News & Views from Germany

Spiegel Online

The Local

Deutsche Welle

Young Germany




Fun Stuff

It's not news. It's FARK

Plan 59

Pleasant Family Shopping

Discount Stores of the 60s

Retrospace

Photos of the Forgotten

Boom-Pop!

Comics With Problems

HMK Mystery Streams




Mercedes Love!

Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz TV

Mercedes-Benz Owners Club of America

MBCA - Greater Washington Section

BenzInsider

Mercedes-Benz Blog

BenzWorld Forum

Archive for October, 2015

October 26th, 2015

Message In A Bottle…

From my Facebook stream…

the prison of other peoples approval

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Message In A Bottle…

October 13th, 2015

Like A Good Neighbor, State Farm Will Pick Your Pocket.

Last July a neighbor cut it a tad too close trying to park in the space in front of mine, and hit Spirit’s driver’s side front fender and did some damage. My security cameras caught the whole thing, but he fessed up (he’s a nice guy…very apologetic.  His wife, their infant son and his in-laws were in the car with him when he did it and he was just red with embarrassment). Nobody was hurt. He called his insurance company (Erie Insurance Exchange). Eventually the total cost of the damage to Spirit was $1,322 for the body work, which was completed in August (to perfection by Valley Motors), of which I had to pay my $250 deductible. My agent assured me they would try to get my deductible back from the other insurer (which they did).

I filed the claim with my insurance company, State Farm, because after talking with his company I felt uneasy about trusting them to do a proper estimate and not give me any trouble over getting my car repaired. State Farm sent out a very professional adjuster to look my car over and give me an estimate, which I took to my dealer. Later, I got a check from State Farm, and a letter stating that they would now seek subrogation from the other company.

Last Saturday State Farm sent me a letter notifying me they were raising my rate for…get this…”NOT AT-FAULT ACCIDENT, PAYMENTS OF $1,322 COLLISION”

Hahahahaha…you’re NOT AT-FAULT and we’re going to be reimbursed for the money we paid you…so now we’re raising your rate! It’s a NOT AT-FAULT WIN-WIN!

So I went to complain to my agent, (Scott Garvey on Roland Avenue), today, and basically got a bunch of boilerplate smiles and explanations of why I have to pay more even if I didn’t do anything and they are getting the money back from the other company anyway. They gave me a very well practiced performance and a very polite and professional stonewalling. One of the managers looked at me throughout the entire exchange as if he could barely keep from laughing at me. Oh you poor thing…you think complaining is going to get you anywhere with an insurance company? How…adorable.

So my next step is to file a formal protest with the Insurance Commissioner. But since that was the advice I was given on my way out the door my hunch is the reason they don’t care is because they know they don’t have to.

And truth be told I feel somewhat foolish. I trusted them. Why did I do that? This isn’t the country I grew up in once, where big business was at least theoretically regulated against gouging their customers, and accountable to the regulators. When I left the offices of Scott Garvey they were all looking at me like I was some poor imbecile who thought his clean driving record, and monthly payments on the car insurance, plus the other business I do with State Farm, actually meant I didn’t deserve to be screwed over at the first opportunity. But I will at least Try to get some satisfaction about this.

I just today got one of their letters inviting me to invest in their State Farm retirement savings accounts. Let me see if I can explain to the droid who wrote me that why that isn’t likely.

I’m going to need a lot of postage stamps in the coming weeks…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Like A Good Neighbor, State Farm Will Pick Your Pocket.

October 12th, 2015

Without Compromise

without compromise

“If we took just five minutes to recognize each other’s beauty instead of attacking each other for our differences—that’s not hard, it’s really an easier and better way to live. And ultimately, it saves lives. Then again, it can be the hardest thing—because loving other people starts with loving ourselves and accepting ourselves. And I know many of you have struggled with this, and I draw upon your strength and your support in ways that you will never know.

“And I am here today because I am gay. And because maybe I can make a difference to help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility. I also do it selfishly, because I’m tired of hiding. And I’m tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered, and my relationships suffered. And I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of that pain. And I am young, yes. But what I have learned is that love—the beauty of it, the joy of it, and yes, even the pain of it—is the most incredible gift to give and to receive as a human being. And we deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame, and without compromise. There are too many kids out there suffering from bullying, rejection, or simply being mistreated because of who they are.

 

Full text of her speech at The Human Rights Foundation conference Here.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Without Compromise

October 10th, 2015

A Coming Out Story – Episode 19 – What I Learned About Homosexuality (Part 3) “Aftermath”

Whew!  Finally…

A Coming Out Story Episode 19 is posted…

acos-19-sm

…wherein our hero discovers his inner strength.  And his inner prison.

I hadn’t initially thought of dividing this story into sections, but it’s a work in progress and now that I’ve finished this little three part story arc about why I’m so bottled up inside when I should be asking this beautiful sexy classmate out on a date, I see that it puts exactly the right closure to everything that came before it. So I’m calling this End Of Part 1.

Part 2 begins soon (I hope!), and we shall see how this gay kid and the object of his affections manage to deal with their angsty adolescent hormones in a world that would as soon push them off a bridge than give them role models, support and maybe even a prom to go to. This is 1971/72 we’re talking about here. I try to explain what that means in the first strip of this episode.

I apologize for the excessive delay in getting this one out. But I had to pull some stuff out of my guts I never did before.  Plus…everything I said a few posts ago.

Enjoy!

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on A Coming Out Story – Episode 19 – What I Learned About Homosexuality (Part 3) “Aftermath”

October 7th, 2015

Episode 19

I just now finished the last of the pencils, inks and line art scans of A Coming Out Story, Episode 19. It’s been like pulling teeth getting this one out of me, but now that I have it to look at completed (except for some texturing detail), I think I understand better why. I had to pull out of myself and present to the world a part of me I really wanted to keep private forever, to make this story make sense.

I’ll have it posted by the end of this weekend at the latest. But check in if you’re interested between now and Sunday evening because I’ll probably have it up before then…I just won’t notify anyone until I’m satisfied it looks right.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Episode 19

October 6th, 2015

Our Stories Matter

This came across my Facebook stream just now…

exodus-dismantled

Being chosen to lead Exodus in 2001 was like becoming the ex-gay Pope following the Catholic sex-abuse scandals. The ministry’s board knew it could not survive another public scandal, so it questioned Chambers rigorously before deciding to hire him. During the interview process, Chambers recalls a board member asking him what success would look like under his leadership. He replied, “It looks like Exodus going out of business because the church is doing its job.”

Chambers words would later seem prophetic, but he first needed to travel a long road. In 2005, he called homosexuality “one of the many evils this world has to offer.” And in 2006, he lobbied for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. But Chambers admits that during the same year his thinking began to evolve.

“As I heard more stories and evaluated my own realities,” Chambers said, “I realized change in orientation was not possible or happening.”

(Emphasis mine). Full article is Here. Our stories matter. Our stories are what win this struggle. We tell our stories, and we stop being the monsters others have made us out to be, and we become neighbors. Our stories turn their lies to rust.

I’ll post another installment of my story by the end of this weekend. Tell yours. We will win this thing, if we tell our stories.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Our Stories Matter

October 4th, 2015

Living Honestly

This came across my Facebook stream yesterday…

Vatican Theologian Confesses: “I’m Happy to Be Gay and I Have a Partner”

“There comes a day when something inside you snaps, and you can’t go on. If I had been alone I would have lived the nightmare of a denied homosexuality, but God never leaves us alone. And I think He has helped me take this important existential step. It’s important because of its consequences, but it’s also the premise for living honestly, which should be natural for every homosexual.”

There are times you wonder if the reason we can’t be allowed to live our lives honestly is because some people hate seeing in others what they cannot manage for themselves.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Living Honestly

October 3rd, 2015

The School Shooting…(continued)

Here’s the guy who had a gun and didn’t go looking for the shooter because he knew the police might think he was the one…

had-a-gun

Full article Here.

Parker noted that he was hustled into a classroom with other students by a professor who asked if anyone was armed. He said he raised his hand and said he would attempt to protect his fellow students if they came under attack.

This was the sane thing to do. Note that he had military training. There’s a discipline that comes with that you just don’t see in the open carry zealots, which is what makes them so scary.

But also note this: it makes a case for not totally banning private citizens from carrying a firearm too. It’s even making me rethink my own knee jerk reaction about having them on a school campus. If this was typical behavior then I don’t think there would be much opposition to concealed carry. And with strict licensing, safety training and background checks I think this would be. This guy had military training. You would expect he could pass all of that handily. But it’s not typical behavior, and that’s the problem.

People with guns don’t worry me as long as there is some reasonable control over it. It’s the stunning lack of control the NRA and others are insisting is their right that worries me. No…being a hazard to others in our public spaces is not your right. They say if you have to get a license to drive why can’t we license gun ownership too. Well I still think people ought to be able to have guns in their homes or on their own property as long as they can pass a background check. But taking one into our public spaces should definitely require a license. And that license should definitely require passing a background check, passing a range safety and accuracy test and passing a test for knowledge of the applicable laws. Something I have a hunch the most vocal of the open carry idiots could not.

And even then, it should be left to the locality to decide what weapons are allowed and where no weapon is allowed. Cities for example, might decide no, you can’t carry Anywhere in a densely packed urban zone because of the danger to bystanders in such close quarters. No, you can’t carry in a subway. No, you can’t carry in a shopping mall. The localities know best where their own danger zones are and how to handle them. And if the argument is high crime zones are exactly where citizens need their means of protection the most, my reply is high crime zones are where civilization is failing and more people with guns sure as hell isn’t the answer to that. There’s a failure of society and government in those neighborhoods that needs to be addressed. Not every problem is a nail.

So here’s a situation where a law abiding man who had a gun on him knew better than to believe everything the NRA and the Ted Nugents of the world keep yapping about how more guns in the hands of citizens would have stopped all the spree killings we’ve suffered recently.  But also there was this: 

Parker noted that he was hustled into a classroom with other students by a professor who asked if anyone was armed. He said he raised his hand and said he would attempt to protect his fellow students if they came under attack.

This is why I am in favor of gun control, and why I am against outright bans.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The School Shooting…(continued)

October 2nd, 2015

The School Shooting…No, Not That One A Few Days Ago…No Not The One Before That One…

I’m going to just write some thoughts as they occur…

  • David Gerrold, who I follow on Facebook not so much for his fiction as his willingness to talk about how it is to work in TV and Hollywood, while lambasting NRA extremists wrote what I think is the right take on the Second Amendment. You see people arguing about the “well regulated militia” part and either ignoring that part about “the right of the people” or insisting that the one overrides the other. Gerrold said essentially that taken together they mean “the people” have a right to own guns, but that “well regulated” part means congress has the power to regulate them. Yes. That works for me. It makes complete sense.

    I keep bringing this up: We have the right to self defense, and to the means of self defense, but our shared spaces convey shared obligations and responsibilities. To the extent that government can require car makers to make their cars safe to drive on the public streets, make them not disgorge crap into the air everyone breaths, make everyone get a license to drive on them, and tell localities exactly how to erect signage on those streets, and what sort of markings streets must have, so that the streets are safe for Everyone to drive on, it can also limit what sort of weapons you can bring into public spaces, which public spaces must of necessity be weapon free (oh…say…courthouses…polling places…Schools!) and require licensing to show that you know how to handle them safely and that you understand the law.

    This is just common sense as far as I see it. Public space that is too dangerous for the public to use is a contradiction. It’s not a public space if nobody sane dares go there. And as to the notion that more guns makes public spaces safer…well:

  • The nutcases were babbling initially that the school was a so-called “gun free” zone, and of course, blaming that on the carnage. But it wasn’t a gun free zone after all, and furthermore, there actually Were people on campus carrying guns. They didn’t intervene for the staringly obvious reason that they were afraid the police would mistake them for the shooter if they did. Be nice if the More Guns On The Streets The Better crowd would try to understand this.

    We have the right to self defense, and to the means of self defense. That’s a right that is obvious in the context of democracy. But that’s the limit of it. The role of government is to secure our rights. And a vital part of that is a police force that keeps the peace. How anyone sees that a dozen or so armed people fighting it out on the streets with a spree killer amounts to civilization is beyond me. The police have to handle these situations and they can’t if everyone is a potential threat. At best a weapon gives you better odds at getting the hell out of there, or staying alive while ducking and covering. But you can’t do more than that or else you are contributing to the chaos of the event.

    Most of us in this life aren’t prepared to engage a shooter, even if we take our guns out to the range on a regular basis. At best we can train ourselves to handle firearms safely, hit what we’re shooting at, know what our limits are, and maybe keep our homes, loved ones and our own butts alive if the worst happens suddenly. But dealing with violent crime is the sort of specialty skill you have a trained police force for, so the rest of us can go on with the business of civilization. They keep the peace. That is their job. A country were everyone needs to bear arms to keep the peace is better described as an anarchy, not a democracy. And there’s a reason why anarchy and civilization are mutually contradictory terms.

    We have the right to self defense, and to the means of self defense. That’s a right that is obvious in the context of democracy. But that’s the limit of it. If you want to play with military grade weapons and go after the bad guys, join the army or your local police.

    And if you can’t make the cut there…take that as a lesson. Most of us can’t either. Respect the ones that can. Let them do their job. It’s a really important one.

  • I could wish I saw nearly as much passion about the recent news story of how Alabama, the birthplace of The Voting Rights Act, is once again moving to deny black Americans the right to vote, as I see now about gun control. Oh there is anger and activism on that issue without a doubt. But the anger, the take no prisoners fury, on this one issue is incomparable. And it is disturbing. There are so many of us who are gun owners, who believe the second Amendment confers a right on individual Americans as opposed to militias (one supposes not the sort of militias as the ones that came to Cliven Bundy’s defense…) to own a gun, who can be talked to about this, and worked together with to achieve some good sane sensible gun regulation. If only we could be talked to in terms other than we’re crazed gun nuts with Dirty Harry fantasies of killing people. Please. We are not that. We enjoy the shooting sports. We believe we have a right to self defense.  We don’t have fantasies about overthrowing the government. In fact, if I could point to one thing about right winger rhetoric on guns that absolutely drives me nuts it’s the notion that our guns are a defense against tyranny.  No.  The ballot box is our defense against tyranny!

    Now…look at this…

    alabama-dmv-closures
    The entire article is here.

    This is how we loose our precious democracy. The belly laugh is the same people who are bellyaching about needing their guns to defend themselves from tyranny, are the same ones making damn sure only folks like themselves are allowed to vote, or have any say in their government. Tyranny? Why goodness no…they just want Their country back is all.  So I have a question for all my liberal friends who are as heartbroken and appalled as I am at the level of gun violence in this country: What change do you think is going to be remotely possible in a nation where only republican votes matter?

More later…

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The School Shooting…No, Not That One A Few Days Ago…No Not The One Before That One…


Tangled Webs

This came across my Facebook stream just now…

blindsided

This is all of a piece with the cathedral of lies the homophobes have been building over the decades. All that junk science, all those lies about the lives of gay people, all that meticulously crafted misinformation. It was supposed to sway the masses and win them the culture war. Instead it’s cocooned them in a fantasy world. No, the Catholic church is nowhere near as gay friendly as the way more humane than Ratzinger ever was Francis is making it seem. But the same people at Liberty Council who have been manipulating Davis for their own ends, really thought they could manipulate the highest levels of the Catholic church too.

As my bitter Baptist grandma used to say, oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. And the first person you deceive when you start down that path, is yourself.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Tangled Webs

Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories, WoodwardClassOf72.com


    What I'm Currently Reading...




    What I'm Currently Watching...




    What I'm Currently Listening To...




    Comic Book I've Read Recently...



    web
stats

    This page and all original content copyright © 2015 by Bruce Garrett. All rights reserved. Send questions, comments and hysterical outbursts to: bruce@brucegarrett.com

    This blog is powered by WordPress and is hosted at MomoWeb. Some custom design was done by Winters Web Works. Some embedded content was created with the help of Adobe Photoshop for MacOS and/or The Gimp. I proof with Firefox on either Windows, Linux or MacOS depending on which machine I happen to be running at the time.