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August 8th, 2017

The Inclusion Non Paradox

Google fires employee who wrote memo against workplace diversity, citing biological differences between men and women as the reason women cannot be engineers.

Predictably the howling begins from the right that liberals are intolerant, thereby providing yet another opportunity (as if we needed yet another one) to ponder the Barber Paradox. Or: how to redefine a thing in such a way as to make the thing you’re redefining impossible to exist.

Tolerance is not indifference. Inclusion is not indifference. Freedom of speech is not indifference.
 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Inclusion Non Paradox

February 11th, 2013

If We Didn’t Love You We Wouldn’t Be Stabbing Your Heart To Ribbons

I began these Valentine’s Day reminiscences to shine a light on how love is systematically taken from this poor angry world, denied not just to gay people, but to everyone, lover, friend, family, they might have also loved.  I began it with a quote from a vicious screed published in Harper’s Magazine back in 1971, by one Joseph Epstein, who said homosexuals were “condemned to a state of permanent niggerdom among men”…

His howl against the homosexual in that Harper’s article almost certainly became a dagger in the the hopes and dreams of young gay men and women back then, reassuring parents, teachers, clergy that it was no sin to put a knife in the hearts of teenagers in love, that if they were condemned to live their one life in loneliness and heartache that was merely the Curse Of Homosexuality, not their own bar stool arrogance and cheapshit prejudices that did it to them.  Bobby and Johnny are getting just a little too friendly aren’t they…let’s pack them off to the psychiatrist quickly now…or to some nice church camp somewhere far away, where they can pray their unspeakable sin away…

Ah…Valentine’s Day…when all the lonely hearts ponder writing new songs about the one that did them wrong.  I have a different thing in mind.  How about stories of that which might have been, but for the cheapshit prejudices of the world we were thrown into.  I have a few stories of my own to tell.  Pull up a chair.  Sit a spell.  Love is in the air.  Let me pour you a drink.  There is a box of Valentine’s Day candy over there on the table, pieces of the moon rattling hollowly inside…angry, angry candy…

Let us pause in our (my) reminiscences to acknowledge that however better it has become for gay kids just discovering what all that love and desire stuff is all about, many of them still get the knife in the heart, with LOVE engraved on its blade…

Local Students And Staff Want Gays Banned From Prom

Several parents, students, and others who believe gays should be banned from the Sullivan High School prom met Sunday at the Sullivan First Christian Church.”We don’t agree with it and it’s offensive to us,” said Diana Medley.

So now they’re organizing their own Gay Kids Not Allowed prom…

“If we can get a good prom then we can convince more people to come and follow what they believe,” said student Kynon Johnson.

“We want to make the public see that we love the homosexuals, but we don’t think it’s right nor should it be accepted,” said a local student.

Feel the love, as Dan Savage says, because nothing says love like “you’re not wanted and God hates you.”  The people organizing this “traditional prom” had a Facebook page up about it, but took it promptly down when their efforts suddenly became an Internet news item.  Here’s what a couple of them had to say for themselves…

An issue has been raised in the Southwest School Corporation where a same sex couple or couples have requested acceptance of their marching together in the Grand March for the High School Prom. There have been a number of students, along with their parents, that have expressed their dislike over this venue for demonstrating this kind of behavior, which is offensive to many in Sullivan County.

Our first suggestion would be that the school administration ask the same sex couple or couples not use this venue (the Grand March) to demonstrate their sexuality because it is offensive to many and would be demonstrating before minors. So our wish is that the school officials and board return to the traditional couple stance in the same way Indiana only accepts traditional (man and wife) marriages.

We encourage you to show support for the teens in our community that are standing up for what they believe is right. Their position is based on the Bible’s stance against homosexuality and its acceptance in society and in our schools. It is very difficult for many of our high schoolers to stand up against peer pressure, our permissive culture and main stream media and yet many teens are standing up concerning this blatant demonstration that is not in accordance with God’s Word.

Please keep in mind that we love those who participate in homosexuality but that does not mean that we love homosexuality. Just as it has become their civil right (according to our society today) to attend the Grand March as a homosexual couple, it is our teens right to speak out against such a public demonstration. Many believe, as our teens do, this is not the venue to demonstrate a homosexual lifestyle.

A meeting for those in support of these efforts will be on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at the Sullivan First Christian Church at 1:30pm. This event and these efforts are not being organized by the Sullivan First Christian Church but the building is the gathering location for the meeting. Students and parents who support this effort are encouraged to attend. May God bless you as you pray over these efforts.

And this…from another member…

We would like to stress to everyone that this is not a hate group. We do not hate anyone, we are not judging anyone. We are choosing to stand on the word of God. The bible says the truth will set you free. All we can do is stand for what we believe and let God do the rest. We will not judge or hate anyone for their choice. We simply choose the entire word of God. The unchanging living word of God. God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

[emphasis mine]  Those who participate in homosexuality.  Those who participate in homosexuality.  Those who participate in homosexuality.  Do these people ever listen to themselves yapping?  Oh…and there’s Homosexual Lifestyle, right on cue.  And the ostentatious avowals of love for those who participate in homosexuality.  We are not a hate group, we only want those who participate in homosexuality to know they are not welcome at the prom.  Because homosexuals don’t love, they participate in homosexuality.

Feel the love, because the gay kids who go to that school sure are.

Worse though than a bunch of bigot parents, are the bigot teachers.  And especially bad if their job is caring for the kids who are among the most vulnerable among them…

Teacher Says Gays Have No Purpose In Life, Wants LGBT Kids Banned From Prom

A teacher of special needs children in Indiana is speaking out with other Christian parents and students by demanding LGBT kids be banned from a Sullivan High School prom.

Here’s a direct quote from that interview, courtesy of Dan Savage…

PAIGE PREUSSE: A gay person, um, do you consider them, maybe, do [you believe] they have some sort of purpose in life?

DIANA MEDLEY: I don’t. I personally don’t. I’m sorry.

Imagine you are a gay kid and you are hearing your teacher, or someone else’s teacher, say that your life has no purpose.

I notice this morning that the headline on that Wabash Valley Channel 2 page has changed from “Local Students And Staff Want Gays Banned From Prom” to “Local Students Want ‘Traditional Prom’, Gays Banned”, and I strongly suspect that’s at the request of the school that doesn’t want any of its knuckle dragging staff caught in the backwash of all this, let alone the school facing a lawsuit when a gay student takes Ms. Medley’s opinion their life has no purpose to heart and kills themselves.  And of course you just know that at the end of all this, the homophobes will be bellyaching that they were the bullied ones.  Certainly not the gay kids who wanted to bring their dates to the prom, just like any other kid does, and were told they weren’t wanted, that God hates them, and that their lives have no purpose, condemned as Joseph Epstein would have said, to a state of permanent niggerdom among men.

Oh, and happy Valentine’s Day.  We love you.  Can’t you tell by the knife we’ve stuck in your heart?

[Edited a tad…  Edited some more to correct a name…]

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on If We Didn’t Love You We Wouldn’t Be Stabbing Your Heart To Ribbons

August 16th, 2012

Pointing His Finger At The Mirror Held Up To Him

Steve Benen writing at the Rachel Maddow blog today:

[Perkins] said the Southern Poverty Law Center and other groups gave “license” to a shooter who injured a security guard at the conservative religious policy and lobbying organization’s headquarters on Wednesday.

In a news conference addressing the incident and the arrest of the alleged shooter, Floyd Corkins II, Perkins said: “Let me be clear that Floyd Corkins was responsible for firing the shots yesterday that wounded one of our colleagues … but Corkins was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organizations ‘hate groups’ because they disagree with them on public policy.”

Perkins noted that plenty of LGBT organizations issued statements condemning Corkins’ violence, and he “appreciates” the sentiments, adding that he hopes they will “join us in calling for an end to the reckless rhetoric that I believe led to yesterday’s incident.”

This from a group of hate mongers, led by a hate monger, that routinely denies their vitriolic rhetoric has ever caused anyone to attack or kill gay people, or contributed to the climate of hate that gets gay people killed.

I have a wee suggestion Tony.  If you want to be taken of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate group list, you might consider stopping the behavior that got you listed in the first place.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Pointing His Finger At The Mirror Held Up To Him

January 28th, 2012

Postcards From The Gutter

Behold, the human cesspool of righteousness…

Tennessee Lawmaker Compares Homosexuality To ‘Pedophilia, Prostitution, Murder’

The so-called “license to bully” bill…would allow students to share any “religious, philosophical, or political views” that are “unpopular,” regardless of their consequences to the learning environment, and limits educators’ ability to curb such harassment.

Equality advocates lodged an email protest campaign against the measure, but were particularly surprised by the reaction of state Rep. John Ragan (R). In a long letter to one opponent of the bill, Ragan replied that gay “feelings” can be controlled by “mentally healthy adult human beings,” and concluded by stating, “Should society avoid disapproving of pedophilia, prostitution, murder, etc., because practitioners of those behaviors may commit suicide at higher rates?”

(Emphasis mine) What you have to understand about the human gutter is it has no bottom. Here is a man who wants to enable the very bullying that causes gay kids to kill themselves, saying the fact that gays are more likely to commit suicide is proof that there’s something wrong with them. Nice way to prove a point huh?

No bigot, there’s something wrong with you. Something profoundly, terribly wrong with you. Mentally healthy adult human beings? I’m laughing in your face. What do you call an adult who can abuse kids, can create a climate where kids can be easily abused, and does not see anything wrong with what they’re doing?

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Postcards From The Gutter


Our Excuse

In Tennessee they’re now considering two bills that would do little more then put another knife into the hearts of gay kids in the Tennessee public school system. The Don’t Say Gay bill is back again, along with another, even more insidious if that’s possible, which would allow a religious exception to the current anti-bullying codes. A perfect excuse then, for kids to torment their gay peers to death under the guise of freedom of religion. If you can’t make gay kids hate themselves to death, then obviously your religion is being discriminated against…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Our Excuse

June 15th, 2011

The Silence That Speaks For Itself

Andrew Sullivan this morning:

Last night, it struck me that every single statement on gay rights by the GOP candidates, however brutal, could have been leavened by some small concession that gays are serving their country honorably, that gays are a part of many families and indeed the American family, that they should not be demonized by the majority, etc. But none of the candidates could say a single positive thing. Or rather they believed they could not survive a GOP primary by saying anything even vaguely positive about gay Americans. In some ways, that’s more telling.

If in the process of conducting your political campaign you give a silent consent to hate then you are just as much a part of the mob as if you had born one of their torches yourself and screamed for blood.  Anyone who cannot muster the moral backbone to denounce hate is unfit to be director of public parking, let alone president of the United States.  It is that simple.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Silence That Speaks For Itself

June 8th, 2011

From Our Department of It’s Only Wrong When Homosexuals Do It…

[Posted on Truth Wins Out, May 23, 2011…]

So this little nugget from the California Catholic Daily breezes across my news screen this morning…

Predator or hero?

In case you missed it, yesterday was Harvey Milk Day in California…

The Catholic Daily goes on to note the proclamation of Harvey Milk Day issued by Governor Jerry Brown. Of course they couldn’t let all this pass without denouncements of “sexual brainwashing” from the usual gang of bigots and political thugs posing as “Pro-Family” advocates. I’m putting scare quotes around pro-family because…seriously…you really can’t claim to be pro-family while at the same time trying your damnedest to rip to shreds families that don’t conform to the model that’s actually in the minority of family types these days. It’s like saying you love the human race except for all those people who aren’t straight, white and male.

Among those participating in the news conference…were [SaveCalifornia.com] president, Randy Thomasson, several parents and retired teachers, and Dr. Benjamin Kaufman, co-founder of NARTH…[who] called on “mothers and fathers to warn their children’s public school teachers not to honor” Milk.

I see. Randy Thomasson and NARTH want mothers and fathers to warn their children’s teachers about…what was it again…?

“Children are being led down a wrong road by the glorification of Harvey Milk,” Thomasson said in a statement following Gov. Brown’s proclamation. “An official ‘Harvey Milk Day’ promotes the unnatural and unhealthy homosexual, bisexual, and transsexual lifestyle to minors. Just as Harvey Milk ignored the health risks of homosexual behavior, his legacy will be to pull even more young people into this disease-prone lifestyle. Just as he advocated for openly homosexual teachers as role models, ‘Harvey Milk Day’ will train boys and girls to follow a worse role model — Milk, a predator of teens who knew no sexual boundaries or sexual danger.”

Okay…I have a question. Is the Catholic Church really going to go after Harvey Milk day on the basis that he preyed sexually on teenagers? That the game plan?

Sexual boundaries. Yes. Do let us know when you’ve found some.

[Edited a tad to limit quoting…]

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on From Our Department of It’s Only Wrong When Homosexuals Do It…

April 27th, 2011

Bullying Tactics

Ah…the predictable backlash against the backlash against the backlash has begun…

Lawyers question firm’s decision to ditch gay marriage case

Atlanta-based law firm King & Spalding won plaudits Monday from gay activists for backing out of an agreement to argue to uphold the federal ban on gay marriage. But a day later the reviews were a bit more bruising in the legal community.

Top lawyers and law professors, with some notable exceptions, called it an embarrassing blunder by the prestigious firm or a betrayal of a client and legal principles. Others think King & Spalding, whose clients include General Electric and Coca-Cola, may have backed out because the firm fears the fallout from leading an anti-gay legal fight.

You say that like it’s a bad thing…

King & Spalding’s announcement it would not represent congressional House Republicans in their quest to defend court challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the subsequent decision of Paul Clement, the lawyer in the case, to quit the firm and take it elsewhere was the talk Tuesday among Yale University Law School faculty, said Lawrence Fox, a Yale professor and expert in legal ethics. DOMA defines marriage “for federal tax, Social Security and other purposes” as only a union between a man and a woman.

“We really go down a bad road if we say law firms can’t take on (controversial) matters or people will assume you have those views,” said Fox. “I’m going to walk into my class today and I’m going to use this. I’m tearing up my lesson plan … to talk about this case.”

The nice thing about working in an ivory tower is what you do doesn’t have to have any relationship to the world outside.  Tenure.  It’s only those tiresome homosexuals who have to live there, in the world of the commoners, it’s only they who remember the panic that set in back in 1993 when the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples could not constitutionally be denied the right to marry.  It’s only those tiresome homosexuals who remember how the party of Lincoln and Fred Phelps pushed through congress the Defense Of Marriage Act to protect American heterosexuals from the damaging effects of having to live in a world where the sordid, brief and barren sexual assignations of homosexuals had the same legal standing as their noble unions of male and female.  It’s only those tiresome homosexuals who remember how the man who stood in front of them and said “I have a vision for America and you’re part of it” signed that bill into law in the dead of night, somewhat less then three years after he folded on his promise to let gay servicemen serve openly and with dignity.  It’s only those tiresome homosexuals who watched as the new republican majority in congress, elected on campaign pledges of jobs, set about immediately to work reassuring their base that the meager gains gay Americans had made while the democrats were in control would not stand, and that they would be steadfast in opposing president Obama’s plan to impose The Gay Agenda on America.

It’s only those tiresome homosexuals who read the steady stream of news reports of same-sex couples beaten down and destroyed by this nation’s abject capitulation to bigotry, month after month, year after year.

Gay couple’s immigration plight: Ailing New Yorker may be torn from spouse over visa

A gay Long Island couple who have played by the immigration rules for more than a decade are stuck in a Catch-22 that could tear them apart just when they need each other most.

New Yorker Edwin Blesch, 70 and his South African husband, Tim Smulian, 65, have been spending six months on Long Island and six months abroad to comply with Smulian’s tourist visa.

But Blesch, who has HIV, suffered several mini-strokes and other complications and is now unable to travel safely.

Smulian is his primary caregiver – but has no way to stay here permanently.

Immigration Officials To Gay Binational Couples: Just Kidding, No Deportation Holds

It’s unclear what will happen to the couples already profiled by major news sources, like Monica Alcota and Cristina Ojeda. The one thing that is clear is that this is a sad day for binational same-sex couples, and for everyone who values America’s tradition of being a place where people can come from anywhere in the world to make a home. Like so many other things, that seems to be a privilege reserved for straight people.

It’s only those tiresome homosexuals who remember their names…names like Laurel Hester.  Not law professors in ivory towers.

Here is a law firm that proudly touted its support for gay Americans in their struggle for equality.  Suddenly it is, in a very high profile way, part of the republican party’s DOMA circus.  Suddenly every attorney, every clerk, every secretary, every intern working for this law firm is under a gag order…not simply to refrain from speaking about the case, but never to breath so much as a word against DOMA.  Imagine that instead of Teh Gay this case was about defending a congressional ban on Jewish ownership of businesses.  How many eyebrows would be raised when a law firm that touted its opposition to antisemitism, suddenly took on the congressional defense of that law, and gagged its partners and staff from ever speaking a word against the segregation of Jews?  Who would complain when the law firm withdrew and the jackass antisemitic partner who dragged them into that despicable case left to pursue it on his own, that the Jews had gone too far?

But conscience, and a sense of basic human decency wanders in a lot of people, even now, when it comes to the persecution of gay Americans.  Suddenly persecuting minorities becomes some abstract thing, less important, less real, then the right of republicans to conduct a great circus show of defending marriage against the forces of Obama and Satan, and demonize a segment of America for votes.  The constant rain of gay blood on the streets isn’t even on their moral radar…

HRC is right to fight vigorously to overturn DOMA, which deprives gays and lesbians of many of the rights enjoyed by their heterosexual counterparts. But it sullies itself and its cause by resorting to bullying tactics.

So says The Washington Post.  Bullying tactics?

Details Of Brutal Hate Crime Attack On Damian Furtch Emerge

A gay man was attacked outside a West Village McDonalds for doing nothing more than wearing pink shoelaces and bright clothing, according to the victim.

Damian Furtch, 26, was pummeled early Sunday by two suspects shouting anti-gay epithets, police said.

The beating was the third bias attack in the neighborhood since October.

Bullying Tactics?

Gay Bash Benefits Gay Bashing Victim

On February 22, around 11:00 p.m., Shortell was walking home to his apartment on Kent Avenue and North Fourth Street, a walk that never felt unsafe to him before, when he was brutally attacked by a group of four teenagers. The details were fuzzy after that and as a result of the incident, Shortell suffered a fractured chin and nose; eye sockets and cheekbones, requiring ten hours of immediate surgery, several days in the hospital, and a month of recovery since.

Bullying tactics?  Bullying tactics?  Here’s the problem: the scapegoats aren’t taking it anymore.  They’re fighting back.  Where is the outrage in the corporate news media…the comfortable McMansion in the rich white suburbs corporate news media?  Once again, it’s directed at gay Americans.  For standing up for their human dignity.  For defending themselves against hate.  For fighting back.  Republicans inciting hatred for votes is just Business As Usual.  Gays asking businesses to walk the walk not just talk the talk on civil rights is front page news!  How dare they.  Don’t they know their place anymore?  What is this world coming to, when even homosexuals demand to be treated with respect?  Who told the them they had a right not to be bullied?  It certainly wasn’t us.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Bullying Tactics

November 14th, 2010

Love Thy Neighbor…Unless They’re 12 Years Old And Have The Wrong Name

Via Dan Savage over at SLOG. Tony “why of course bullies don’t go to church” Perkins take note…

Girl Beaten for Having “Boy’s Name”

What’s in a name? A 12-year-old girl at Hernando Middle School in Mississippi was beaten by five fellow students — reportedly because they said her name, Randi, was “a boy name.””They started talking about me like I was a man,” she told local news station WREG. “That I shouldn’t be in this world. And my name was a boy name.” The four girls and a boy surrounded her after a Fellowship of Christian Students meeting, and, she said, kicked her in the rib and leg, hit her in the face, sat on her, pushed her face into the floor, and threw her onto a cafeteria table.

It was caught on tape apparently. However, officials at Hernando Middle School have tastefully agreed to keep the incident hidden from public view, and keep the police out of it.

A school administrator issued a statement, said WREG, that “fighting is not tolerated and that disciplinary action will be taken to the fullest extent of the law.” No charges were filed, however, because the police were not called. Whether the attack was an isolated incident or part of ongoing bullying remains unknown.

As Savage says, this isn’t simply a disciplinary matter, this was a violent attack on a twelve year old girl whose only crime was having the name Randi. By not calling the police, school administrators are abetting a criminal act. I suppose that because they were part of a Fellowship of Christian Students the school administration felt they must have had noble motives. Perhaps they were just trying to save her soul from eternal damnation for having the name her parents gave her.

The girl in question is said not to be gay herself, and that would be beside the point except for the fact that some parents seem to think that only gay kids are at risk for anti-gay bullying. But bullying is a sickness that pervades an entire school, terrorizing anyone who might even be thought to be fair game, and the message from Perkins and others of his kind is that those who are different, merely by their existence, threaten civilization itself. Out of one side of their mouths they say Love The Sinner. Out of the other its Hate The Sin.

Oh, and that were we to simply let them live their lives in peace marriage will be destroyed, the terrorists will win and civilization itself will crumble and fall.

Here’s how that plays out in the lives of children: Four girls and a boy surrounded a twelve year old girl after a Fellowship of Christian Students meeting, kicked her in the rib, kicked her leg, hit her in the face, sat on her, pushed her face into the floor, and then threw her onto a cafeteria table. Perhaps they then went home and read their bibles. See how much we love you Jesus…look what we did to Randi…

Wash, wash your hands before the multitudes Tony.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Love Thy Neighbor…Unless They’re 12 Years Old And Have The Wrong Name

October 6th, 2010

Sympathy Worth Its Weight In Gold…

After decades of demonizing gay people and blasting devotion of same-sex couples as fraudulent, Maggie Gallagher suddenly surprises everyone by announcing she thinks she has a heart

“The suicide of that teen was not only a tragedy it was a crime. The young people who violated laws out of mindless desire to bully or embarrass or whatever the heck kids do this stuff will be prosecuted and probably jailed, I hope. Nothing in the press accounts suggest the kids who did this were motivated by homophobia, and the cruelty of cyberbullying is causing teen suicides among those who are not gay, as well. I do not think the absence of gay marriage is the cause of these tragedies or its presence will resolve them. We can make this a symbol of all our other fights, or we can try to save all our kids, gay and straight, from this kind of ugly and mindless cruelty. My heart goes out to the family of the young man. God bless him and them.” – Maggie Gallagher, commenting on NOM’s blog.

Ugly mindless cruelty?  Like this…?

“A group of San Francisco first-graders took an unusual field trip to City Hall on Friday to toss rose petals on their just-married lesbian teacher – putting the public school children at the center of a fierce election battle over the fate of same-sex marriage,” the front page story by Jill Tucker begins.

In fact, the parents who decided to surprise the beloved schoolteacher didn’t put the children “at the center of a fierce election battle” – the Chronicle did for sensationalism.

According to blogger Paul Hogarth in his Oct. 24 dissection of the piece for Beyond Chron and Daily Kos (“SF Chronicle Jeopardizes Marriage Equality”), Tucker said that “the parents who organized the trip actively sought media coverage—and the paper decided on its own that it was ‘news’ enough to deserve front-page treatment.”

Since lesbian weddings were legal then, one can image that the parents might have expected any coverage to go in the back with the other wedding announcements. On Oct. 26 two aggrieved parents sent a letter to the Yes on 8 campaign and the Chronicle complaining about their children “being exploited and used as pawns” by the Yes campaign which downloaded the front page picture from the Chronicle’s website to use in their ads.

Sapphocrat, who blogs at LavenderLiberal, complained vociferously about the Chronicle’s failure to put the field trip into the larger context of the Creative Arts Charter School’s philosophy.

But the damage was done. In an in-depth interview with me after Prop 8 passed, campaign consultant Steve Smith said they were winning back the critical undecided women’s vote until the Yes ad featuring the Chronicle story on the lesbian teacher.

That post by Karen Ocamb centers on the roll of the San Francisco Chronicle in instigating the successful Yes On 8 attack ads which used that teacher’s wedding as a hook for their The Homos Are Invading Your Schools To Turn Your Kids Gay message.  But lurking in the background of her story is this simple, brutal fact: Maggie Gallagher and her fellow travelers in the Proposition 8 battle used the love those kids had for their teacher as a knife to cut their teacher’s ring finger off.

But she wants to save kids from mindless cruelty.  Right.  And Osama Bin Laden wants to save them from terrorist attacks.

More cartoons on The Cartoon Page…and many more in the archives I’ve been neglecting to update for so long…

by Bruce | Link | React! (2)

April 13th, 2010

How About A Day Of Keeping Your Hands Off The Altar Boys?

As usual, the upcoming Day Of Silence isn’t getting a warm reception everywhere.  Like the California Catholic Daily for instance…

Keep your children home
Pro-family groups urge parents to keep kids out of school on ‘Day of Silence’
(Editor’s Note: Some schools observe the “Day of Silence” on dates earlier or later than April 16. Parents should check with a particular school to determine if and when the observance is held there.)

TINLEY PARK, Ill. /Christian Newswire/ — On Friday, April 16, thousands of public schools around the country will permit students and teachers to refuse to speak during class during a political event sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) called the Day of Silence, which is intended to increase society’s affirmation of homosexuality and Gender Identity Disorder. A national coalition of pro-family organizations is asking parents to call their children out of school on the Day of Silence if their school permits students and/or teachers to remain silent during class.

Under the guise of anti-bullying, GLSEN’s goal is to have all children come to believe that moral disapproval of homosexual acts constitutes bullying and hatred and to make it socially unacceptable to express their beliefs that homosexual acts are immoral and dangerous.

GLSEN is using publicly funded schools to promote its agenda.

Worried about the children are you?

Bullying gay kids, whether it’s done by other kids or by adults, is a form of child sexual abuse, and I can understand completely why that isn’t regarded as such a big deal in Ratzinger’s house.  Every day is a day of silence for children who’ve been sexually abused in Ratzinger’s house…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on How About A Day Of Keeping Your Hands Off The Altar Boys?

April 11th, 2010

The Difference Between Having Values And Wearing Them

I’ve been meaning to link to this Fred Clark sermon…

12 vicious values (cont’d.)

I think part of the reason Glenn Beck’s 912 Project opts for the term “values” rather than “virtues” is because virtues take work. They require practice to acquire as habits.

This is not what the 912 Project is for. It is not a group or “movement” of people who have chosen to practice these 12 virtues in order to acquire them as habits. It is not a group that seeks to learn or to embody those virtues at all.

Look at that list again: Honesty, reverence, hope, thrift, humility, charity, sincerity, moderation, hard work, courage, personal responsibility, gratitude.

Does any of that characterize the agenda or the practice or the visible habit of Beck’s tea partying mobs? Were any of these virtues on display in the town-hall disruptions, in the angry marches or the signs carried under Beck’s “912” banner? Was there even a hint that these gatherings were composed of people even slightly interested in such virtues?

This is why Beck’s list of “12 values” can’t withstand comparison to the first similar-seeming list that comes to mind, the Boy Scout Law. The Boy Scouts of America isn’t my favorite organization as I’m not a fan of either homophobia nor vacuous civil religion, but I am a big fan of that Scout Law:

A Scout is: Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

Against such there is no law.

The 12 virtues listed there are at first glance quite similar to Beck’s, but the differences are telling. The Scout Law begins “A Scout is“…

Is verses waving them around like a damn flag.  This is the single most telling thing about the culture warriors.  They yap, yap, yap about Values…but they don’t ever act like they have any. And there’s a reason for that.  Values are to them as weapons to wield against the Faceless Other…not things that actually sustain and guide.  Values aren’t a part of your bedrock, they’re rhetorical tools to use as needed and discard like a Kleenex afterward.

You should go read the whole thing.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Difference Between Having Values And Wearing Them

August 10th, 2009

Welcome, My Heterosexual Friends, To The Front…

Via Sullivan…this little nugget from the front lines from Daily KOS…

It is, in short, a movement made up of the enfranchised and enabled; people who have gained every benefit from the politics of America and yet who feel in their very bones that they are the oppressed ones, the ones who have nothing left to lose, so rapidly is America falling away from them. It is rare to run across any movement so deeply angry — or more to the point, a movement which explicitly celebrates anger as the primary mission of their activism. They are not willing to listen to any factual evidence that contradicts their own beliefs in whatever dark conspiracies have been peddled to them; they have in fact made it their publicly proclaimed mission to block any such explanations from even being attempted.

This could be a description of the anti-gay movement in America ever since Anita Bryant.  Enfranchised and enabled?  Check.  They have every right that their gay neighbors are fighting for.  Every.  Right.  Feeling in their very bones that they are the oppressed ones?  Check.  It’s a constant refrain.  Militant homosexuals are oppressing them.  Somehow.  But don’t ask how exactly because all you’ll get are either vague claims that their "deeply held religious beliefs" are being trampled on every time they’re told to leave gay people alone, or if not that, then outright lies. Remember this?

Another "Yes on 8" canard is that the continuation of same-sex marriage will force churches and other religious groups to perform such marriages or face losing their tax-exempt status. Proponents point to a case in New Jersey, where a Methodist-based nonprofit owned seaside land that included a boardwalk pavilion. It obtained an exemption from state property tax for the land on the grounds that it was open for public use and access. Events such as weddings — of any religion — could be held in the pavilion by reservation. But when a lesbian couple sought to book the pavilion for a commitment ceremony, the nonprofit balked, saying this went against its religious beliefs.

The court ruled against the nonprofit, not because gay rights trump religious rights but because public land has to be open to everyone or it’s not public. The ruling does not affect churches’ religious tax exemptions or their freedom to marry whom they please on their private property, just as Catholic priests do not have to perform marriages for divorced people and Orthodox synagogues can refuse to provide space for the weddings of interfaith couples. And Proposition 8 has no bearing on the issue; note that the New Jersey case wasn’t about a wedding ceremony.

We’re being oppressed…by having to live by the same rules everyone else does…

Not willing to listen to any factual evidence that contradicts their own beliefs?  Check.  Not only are they not willing to listen to the facts, they’ve built a multi-million dollar industry with dozens of front groups whose only job is to churn out one lie after another about gay people which they insist everyone else accept as holy writ, whereas any actual science is regarded as pro-homo propaganda.  Publicly proclaimed their mission to block any actual facts from coming to light?  Check.  From keeping honest, factual information about sexual orientation out of schools, to keeping it out of public libraries, to keeping it off of television, there is no public space that the facts about homosexuality and sexual orientation can appear that they have not vigorously…and I mean vigorously…worked to shut it down.

This Daily KOS post could have been written years ago, decades even, about about the anti-gay culture warriors.  But it isn’t about the fight over gay rights.  It’s about the struggle for America…

The Rise of A Postmodern Racist Movement?

There seems little question that something odd is going on with the healthcare debate. Foremost is the ridiculous extent to which the debate has been entirely commandeered by flagrant, outright lies — things about euthanasia, and death panels, and the like, abject propaganda peddled directly from House and Senate offices. We have had lying in our discourse since the beginning of that discourse, but it has been a long while since the fabrications have been so blatant, so absolutely without even the smallest grain of truth. To take a Republican-sponsored healthcare provision that rather innocently and uncontroversially extends insurance coverage to those that want to create their own living wills and turn it into a declaration that the government will decide every five years whether or not you should be euthanized is something out of the Protocols, or out of Saddam’s Iraq, or a mimicry of the worst and most stupid and most absurd of North Korean propaganda towards their own citizens.

Likewise, the explicit instruction to protestors not to debate, but to aggressively attempt to shut down the meetings entirely — not normal. It is perhaps the best possible approach for insurance lobbyists to take, if their goal is to protect the profits of their industry — but it is still not normal. We have always had the fringes of such speech, but I cannot recall a time it has been so celebrated as the formal solution to political debate. Certainly not by a major political party, coupled with the majority of their most popular pundits and talking heads, coupled again to lobbyist groups with long histories of corporate astroturfing. And the proud shuffling just-up-to-the-line-of-violence, right in the very faces of their own representatives of Congress, requiring police protection in order to escort those elected representatives safely from the meetings — that part is new. That part is not normal.

It’s been normal in the battle for gay rights for decades now…you’re only just now noticing it, because they’ve moved beyond us.  But you have to understand this: you’ve always been the target too.  A free, just, and proud America has always been their target.  The America of liberty and justice for all has always been their target.  Because in that America, they’re then just a bunch of ignorant runts, resentful that the universe doesn’t revolve around them, resentful of everything fine and noble human beings can be, they they never will because it’s too much work.

You haven’t seen the hate like your gay neighbors have seen it.  Now you are.  Surprised?  Shocked?  Just wait until you realize, really realize, that there is no bottom there. 

One thing to keep in mind is that race, and racism, have rarely ever acted alone. One of the best points that Phillip Dray makes in his classic history of lynching is that epidemics of lynching often coincided, not just with an expansion of black rights, but with increased labor mobility among white women. So fear of white women, and their independence, as well as fear of sexual competition, all worked in concert. It wasn’t simply "I hate niggers" — it never is. It was "I don’t much like black people, and prices are going up, and I have to let my wife work, so I can survive, and I’m scared she won’t stay with me if she’s not dependent on me and I’d die if she left me for a black guy." Or some such.

Ditto for the Civil Rights Movement. It wasn’t just racism — it was class also. In the South you had this black middle class that always had to be deferential to the most poorest white person in the world. The prospect of losing that deference, of already being lower than the white aristocracy and now also being lower than a class of blacks too, wreaked havoc.

We’ve got governors yelling about secession, and major politicians peddling stories of imminent threats to your family and your children by the very government they are supposedly a part of, and every day the town hall footage just seems to look more and more like a modernized version of the mob attacks against citizens and legislators during old anti-desegregation rallies, and we don’t need to say "sooner or later someone will be shot" because it has already happened, and multiple times, and in truth it never really left us, these last fifty years.

It wasn’t about desegregation.  It wasn’t about feminism.  It wasn’t about gay rights.  Those were just the flashpoints…the excuses.  It wasn’t about any of those things.  Not ever.  Think about the other major event of the last half of the 20th century…the cold war.  Think about the Iron Curtain.  Think about the Berlin Wall.  Think about all those people who were shot, trying to get over it to freedom.  Think about what was going through the minds of the people who gave the order to shoot and kill those wall climbers.  What this has always been about: The Gutter…resentful, hating everyone who ever managed to rise above them, fearful of being left alone in the gutter, afraid of the day when the walls all fall down and everyone who can leaves them behind and all they’ll have is each other to look at, and to blame.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Welcome, My Heterosexual Friends, To The Front…

June 4th, 2009

Heart, Soul, Brain…These Are The Enemies You Must Defeat To Become A Conservative….

From our Department of Super-Sized Assholes

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committe held the first-ever hearing on the Uniting American Families Act, which would equalize the status of foreign-born same-sex partners of American citizens. Heterosexual Americans can earn citizenship for their foreign partners by marrying them. Gays, obviously, cannot do that, effectively making a gay American and his or her foreign spouse legal strangers.

Testifying was Shirley Tan, a Fillipino woman who has been with her American partner for 23 years. Together, they are raising twelve-year-old twin boys…

one of Tan’s children started crying within seconds of the start of her testimony. At the sight of this, Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy stopped the hearing and asked Tan if her son might want to sit in another room, where presumably a Senate staffer would console him for the duration of what was clearly an emotionally fraught experience. For most people, the sight of a 12-year-old boy in tears at the prospect of his mother being deported halfway around the world would invoke some sympathy. Unmoved, however, was Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions, ranking minority member of the Committee and the only Republican to bother to attend the hearing. At the sight of the weeping boy, according to a Senate staffer who was at the hearing, Sessions leaned towards one of his aides and sighed, "Enough with the histrionics."

Take Note:

Sessions opposes the bill, stating that it would amount to a federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

I keep drumming on this but it’s a simple fact: Everything we have ever asked for in this fight, from hospital visitation to the repeal of the sodomy laws amounts to recognition of same-sex marriage if you listen to our enemies.  This has always been their trump card in Every Fucking battle over any and everything: turn it into a fight over same sex marriage.

So it makes no sense to say that we are wasting energy fighting over same-sex marriage when we could be putting our resources into fighting for anti-discrimination and hate crime laws.  Everything is a fight over same-sex marriage.  Which is to say, everything is a fight over the legitimacy of our emotional lives.  The pieces make up a whole at the center of which is a simple question: do gay people experience life the same way heterosexuals do, or do we, as Orson Scott Card would say, merely play house in hollow mimicry of genuine emotions that heterosexuals feel?  

Look at Sessions’ gut level knee jerk response to that kid’s tears again.  Histronics.  He doesn’t believe they are real.  They can’t possibly be.  Because that family is only playing house.  It isn’t a real family.  They don’t have real feelings.  It’s just an act they have convinced themselves of.  Even the kids.  This is the enemy your gay and lesbian neighbors have been facing for decades now.

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

April 25th, 2009

You Are Not Being Silenced, So Shut Up…

Fred Clark writes about the persecution complex behind the NOM ads…

We’ve seen how this plays out on the national scene two, three times a month. Some pious dignitary remarks that homosexuality is just like pedophilia or bestiality — a statement regarded within the hegemony of the sect as wholly innocent and inoffensive. Someone outside the sect will reply, accurately, that this is an offensive lie, a vicious slander. That response will be perceived, within the sect, as "religious persecution." The response — any response other than "thank you, sir, may I have another?" — implicitly rejects the legitimacy of the hegemony and rebels against the privilege enjoyed by the sect. (A big part of that privilege, it turns out, is the expectation that one can say offensive things without others taking or expressing offense. This has become far more important as a hallmark of American evangelicalism than, say, Sabbath-keeping.)

I’d say this isn’t just a religious right phenomena.  You see culture warriors on the right holding the same two mutually contradictory positions that Fred points out in certain American evangelical circles.  On the one hand, we represent the Great American Heartland…the Common Folk…The Moral Majority…The Silent Majority…  And so on…  But on the other, we are oppressed.  Our values and our way of life are in danger of becoming extinct. 

Your gay and lesbian neighbors have been hearing a version of this self contradicting complaint for decades now.  On the one hand, gay people are a teeny-tiny minuscule minority, whose claims of oppression don’t even merit a laugh, let alone any serious thought.  On the other, we are a vast and powerful conspiracy that will soon extinguish any trace of American values.  On the one hand we are contemptible, weak, easily frightened swishing faggots.  On the other hand we are dangerous militants.  Huh?

The thought police are always out to get them.  Political Correctness is always taking away their right to express their deeply held beliefs.  Whenever someone is called out for their cheap bar stool prejudices, they complain that they are being silenced.  It isn’t that people find their knuckle dragging bigotries disgusting.  It’s that a vast liberal socialist communist homosexual conspiracy is out to get them.  When Mrs California endorsed cutting off the ring fingers of all the gay citizens of California, and promptly fell out of favor with the Mrs America judges, a great wail arose from the kook pews, clamoring that she was the victim of political correctness, and that people who opposed the gay agenda were being silenced.

Silenced.  Let me show you silenced…

Ex-Louisiana KKK chief arrested in Prague: police

PRAGUE (AFP) — A former US Ku Klux Klan chief was arrested Friday in a Prague restaurant while he was on a speaking tour here, Czech police said.

Former Grand Wizard of the Louisiana-founded Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke, was arrested on suspicion of promoting movements seeking the suppression of human rights, police spokesman Jan Mikulovsky told local media.

Regardless of how low in the human cesspool Duke is, that charge sent a little chill down my spine.  It was pure reflex, most likely born of having spent my entire life swaddled in American culture.  But there it was.  David Duke is lower then spit in a urinal in my book, but I am much less afraid of anything David Duke might say, then I am of the charge he was arrested under.  …suspicion of promoting movements seeking the suppression of human rights…   What the hell does that mean?  Suspicion of promoting movements…?  Seeking the suppression…?  What is the fucking criminal act here?  It could be anything.  Today that might mean talking about suppressing the rights of black people.  Tomorrow it might mean arguing against it, thereby suppressing the right of white people to keep black people in their place.  It could be anything.  Totalitarian states love that kind of thing.  It’s the kind of law that can be whatever they want it to be, whenever they want it to be that.  And you don’t have to actually Do Anything to break that law.  Just talk about doing something.  Maybe with one person.  Maybe with a whole roomful of people.  It doesn’t matter.  You open your trap, say the wrong thing, and you’re toast.  And you can never be sure what the wrong thing to say is.  It’s whatever the state wants it to be.  Probably just right then, in order to arrest you and make it all seem legal.  Giving police the power to arrest someone for speaking their mind just greases the skids for fascism. 

Mrs Proposition 8 California and her fans aren’t being silenced.  Critics of same sex marriage aren’t being silenced.  Their freedom to dispense horseshit about morality, religion, family values and same sex marriage does not trump other people’s freedom to call their cheapshit prejudices for what they are, and regard them with disgust.  If you can’t tell the difference between loosing a crown or loosing a tax break and going to jail then go get yourself arrested in some foreign land for opening your trap at the wrong time in the wrong place and find out.

You are not being silenced.  So shut the fuck up.

[Edited a tad…]

by Bruce | Link | React! (2)

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