When they say the US Healthcare system, they don't just mean Medi-Care. They mean the WHOLE healthcare system.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
It's Friday night and I'm in a mood to celebrate!
Congress has passed a significant piece of hate crimes legislation by extending the existing federal hate crimes laws to cover crimes committed against lesbians and gays. I feel just a little bit safer and a little more at peace that violence done because of "those f***ots" or "those dy**s" will hold increase penalties for offenders. I can even dare to hope for future conversations about the reasons people commit such crimes in the first place and try to put a stop to that crime before it begins.
On top of that, my partner and I are celebrating 21 years together tomorrow and we're celebrating the recent wedding of one of our relatives (if this blog were about them, I'd name them) !
While I'm in a celebratory mood, click play on the YouTube clip below featuring Christian singing duo Jason & DeMarco (and they are boyfriends in real life! Yikes! Yippee!!) a fairly recent hit song "It's OK"
Because maybe it really is
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
. . . has been told and augmented with comments from some of the accused in, of all places, military.com!
Not the New York Times.
Not even the (insert name of your favorite liberal newspaper/magazine here) !
Finally, Brad Friedman's months long efforts to write about and talk about, write about and talk about, then more of the same, the testimony of Sibel Edmonds (seh-BEEL ehd-MUHN-dz) is FINALLY starting to get a little traction. Here is part of what Brad wrote this past August, just to whet your appetite for what an interesting story this really is:
Thanks to a subpoena issued by the campaign of Ohio's 2nd District Democratic U.S. Congressional candidate David Krikorian, her remarkable allegations of blackmail, bribery, espionage, infiltration, and criminal conspiracy by current and former members of the U.S. Congress, high-ranking State and Defense Department officials, and agents of the government of Turkey are seen and heard here, in full, for the first time, in her under-oath deposition.
So, if you are interested in the details and can't find the time to sort through his chock-full-of-info-and-brightly-colored blog, check him out on the radio later this week (though, I still don't understand how he doesn't yet have his own nationally syndicated show -- he's got a great voice for radio and a rapid-fire, jam-packed interview style when he's on air). Just search for Green960 this Friday and listen on-line between 6 pm and 8 pm Pacific as he is filling in for the regular host of "Live From the Left Coast".
If there really is an investigation ongoing into what Ms. Edmonds testified to this past August and even half of what she testified to is true, this could get ugly.
And, while it's tempting to brand this one a full-blown liberal smear job, then how would one rebrand this story when it was also reported here?
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I was checking out the top of Malloy's program earlier tonight and he was talking about the opinion piece (well sourced, btw) from truthout.org regarding how children of military families these days are handling one of their parents being deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. I won't rehash Ms. Bannerman's article as it's already easy to understand and the questions asked should be obvious to anyone.
Maybe because my father was in the military while I was growing up, I'm presuming that everyone should feel the same as I do. My father did go to war; however, I was a little infant at the time, so the trauma wasn't so profoundly felt -- unless you count hearing stories about how adorable I was walking around in the dry heat of the desert southwest in only a diaper as my mother took care of the laundry at the local laundromat.
Silly aside, I could not imagine how a child must feel knowing mom or dad is halfway around the world for the next 12 months or longer with no guarantee of quick visits around the holidays. And, with my father having to take frequent, sometimes weeks at a stretch, temporary duty assignments, at Uncle Sam's behest, phone calls and postcards (this was the 70's and early 80's, mind you) just don't fill the gap completely. Nor, I'm sure, would a video or audio call or any frequency of e-mails from the front.
But even the opinion piece would not have fired me hot enough to write. Not until the start of the last leg of my commute home tonight. My apologies again for the poor photography:
For the first time since I began riding the Metro light rails earlier this year, there was a table set up at the bottom right of the stairs which connect one rail line with the other. While I carry a satchel containing sunglasses, the iPhone . . oh, to hell with it -- it's a small purse, I narrowly escaped the random bag searches being conducted this evening. I was not aware of any specific threat toward public transportation, unless you consider how many folks are using public transportation while being sick with something (yes, hand sanitizer is in my purse, but it only works when it's used and too much use just looks pretentious. Besides, I got my flu shots on Friday, so I can look reasonably cool on the train and use the sanitizer sparingly.
Keeping in mind that my (ugh) purse would have been tossed about at any major airport should I have chosen to fly to work today, I suppose I should not have been so jarred by the mere presence of the Sheriff's department's presence tonight.
Perhaps I should save my indignant attitude for another night where the Deputies bring in the dogs to sniff around? Or maybe practice a little deep breathing and relax until they start patting random passengers down?
The only question to ask is: did I feel safer tonight because of the random bag search? If the random pieces of contraband (I haven't a clue for what exactly the Deputies were searching) taken and the odd passenger was whisked away in cuffs this evening because of this, I'd say this was a colossal waste of time. If, however, there was another motive to the random searches . . .
Nah, still a waste of time. And, the deep breathing ain't working.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
As I type this, I'm watching C-SPAN's broadcast of the Equality Across America rally at the foot of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. I'm about an hour into the 3 hours being broadcasted live while I watch it off of a DVR. I can pause and reflect on each speech . . literally!
As is often the case with LGBT marches and rallies, there is a rainbow of participants on the stage, 18 years old to AARP eligible, every shade of skin color, all heights and widths and everything else that makes watching one of these events so joyous for me.
Before today's march and rally even began, Representative Frank has already weighed in on what the LGBT community really should be doing instead of marching and rallying and making speeches in D.C: lobby your congressional representatives to get pro-LGBT legislation passed the Congress and signed into law. While today's speakers are happy to use this "wet-blanket" proclamation as a springboard to justify the frustration and vehemence in their tone, when the last of the trash is policed from the Mall and everyone has been bussed and flown home later today, Representative Frank's words will find their place in the hearts and minds of even the most verbose participant.
Now is no time to stop pressuring our Representatives to get pro-LGBT legislation from being passed and signed into law.
While "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", the overturning of the "Defense of Marriage Act" and repealing a ban on persons with HIV/AIDS from entering the U.S. are most certainly issues our community can support, we also need to be mindful of pending legislation that also affect us directly but does not name us specifically. Here, I'm referring to the passage of meaningful health care and health insurance reforms and a peaceful end to war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
If you're like me, and you're trying to decide which issue you should support with your money (not issues plural -- times are tight for everyone), before trying to take a large enough bite into these nationwide concerns, each of us can lend support in ways besides clicking in a credit card number.
Volunteer a few hours a month to knock on doors in support of a pro-civil rights candidate for a city, state or nationwide elected office.
When you hear a defamatory joke being told, or a person perceived to be gay/lesbian being taunted, teased or picked on, stand right next to them and look the bullies in the eye. No words are necessary -- your presence next to the victim will make a difference. This 18 year-old who took the podium today in D.C testified to this today.
Click on the banner that will stay atop my blog and find out what you may do to help support the Trevor Project. Anyone who is contemplating suicide because they do not believe they can live with pride about who they are must know this group existence. One more person dead because they think they are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and/or transgendered is too horrible a tragedy for me to contemplate.
If none of these opportunities resonates with you, there's a quote you can write down and keep with you as a promise you can make to yourself:
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I may roll my eyes over the lack of a timetable on the promises the President made again in tonight's speech. However, it was pretty terrific to see a sitting President give a speech to the HRC and speak in as definitive a tone as is possible without the full support of a Democratic-controlled Legislature.
BTW, the finger-pointing from us LGBT people needs to really remain on the "blue dog" Dems. Give the President legislation worth signing, he will sign it.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Thursday, October 8, 2009
The top two photos are views to the west toward tonight's sunset and to the north and the skyline of downtown Los Angeles in the far distance as Southern California's marine layer starts to creep in for the night. I'm going to miss coming home in the sunlight when we lose Daylight Savings in a few weeks!
The 3rd photo was from another world premiere earlier this week at Graumann's.
Now that you're sufficiently relaxed and bedazzled . .
In the interest of full disclosure, I heard bits and pieces of Rep. Gohmert's ramble on Randi Rhodes' show this afternoon and heard Mike Malloy reading a post from someone who attended a rally/protest march in Rochester, NY yesterday. If you ever wondered what the state of freedom of speech is in the U.S these days, these two videos illustrate this well.
While the Gohmert clip is edit-free thanks to C-SPAN, please note that the Rochester video has edits a-plenty. While the editing is likely due to time constraints (who would watch an entire rally and protest when it's unlikely you know anyone there?), it's a bit difficult to know if there was any provocation on the part of the participants or if all of the aggression came from the police offers who swarmed in. The clip is most telling when a female off camera toward the end of the clip begins to pan around and count the number of police cars (around two dozen) on scene to end the protest (number of participants I would guess at around 60).
Now, editing aside, I couldn't help but notice how ignorant the Representative sounded while at least two rainbow pride flags appear in the midst of the Rochester clip. Remember what I wrote about fear? I can't help but think that while the Rep's words ring of fear, the presence and passion of those protesting in Rochester, NY, may, in some small way, overcome the fear of changing the course of whatever it is we are doing in Afghanistan.
Finally, in the spirit of love overcoming fear, while the efficacy of last night's Countdown Special Comment is open for debate, his fund-raising / political statement idea could only do good: stage Free Clinics so folks can get basic health care for a day in five states (or as many of those five as possible) where Democratic Senators have not yet supported the Public Option or are working against it.
Got insurance? Please share of your blessings with those who cannot afford it.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Some interesting articles with a religious tilt:
The Shroud of Turin, apparently, is a fake. Perhaps a gentle reminder to be a little more cautious before granting a measure of holiness in anything?
Conservatives are feeling the need to cobble together a right-wing version of the Bible. I had no idea the versions of the Bible out there were starting to wear thin from all the thumping of the Bible all over teh gays, women who have had an abortion, non-Christians, etc. This is apparently going to be a everyone-can-contribute version on-line. Seems a little odd that there are not enough funds to create a hard-copy version of this work-in-progress Bible. Personally, I'm fascinated to read a "final" version of the new "Conservative" Bible -- kind of like I'm fascinated to see what's lying in the middle of a rural road (I'm a city boy - I'm not lying when I say I'd be fascinated)
Even after over 15 years at a fairly liberal Church and, as I was reading the Gospel lesson this past Sunday, I still found myself needing to better understand just what Jesus was talking about when He, yet again, was dressing down the Pharisees. When my Pastor explained that in Jesus' time, women were treated much like property and far too many men seemed to have taken more than one wife at a time and/or may have had socially acceptable outlets for their unsatisfied sexual urges (i.e. concubines), suddenly the reminder that when a man and woman joined in marriage they should remain so. Instead of a man just signing off on a certificate to end his relationship with his wife and leaving her to grovel to her brother(s) and/or parents or to become a prostitute, men need to work on their relationships with their wives and, only after exhausting all attempts to restore the relationship, should divorce be an option. In addition, if a man cannot treat his wife with respect and as a partner in the relationship, the man is at fault for violating his marriage vow and his wife should have the option to part ways with her husband. These acts include physical and/or emotional abuse, neglect, etc.
Whew! And I typed the condensed version. It really was quite the sermon.
So, was Jesus a Liberal? As far as a group of folks who are determined to keep as much of Christ's teachings as is, He may as well be. I suppose I invite trouble when I mix politics with religion, but that's why I'm writing and not starting up conversation.