Saturday, December 18, 2010

How Distracting Are Gay Soldiers, Really?

The Marine Corps commandant believes that "changing this policy this way would cause distraction among the Marine Corps to the point that he is worried about increased casualties." Which policy? Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT).

Yes, I can see it now: "LOOK! A missile is heading RIGHT FOR US! We're under ATTACK! More importantly, is Adam trying to get into Steve's pants?!? Into MINE?"

Get real, folks.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bullying Must Stop. Period.

Ellen is so right to say that the bullying must stop.

But that is not all:

Committing acts of violence against people who are different must stop.

Converting people in the name of love and religion must stop.

Discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity must stop.

Demonizing politically unpopular groups must stop.

Eradicating rights from loving same-sex couples must stop.

Moronic parenting must stop.

Apologizing for your reaction to bullies must stop.

Simply put, the hate and ignorance must stop.

We have such a long ways to go. It is regrettable and unfortunate that some young people deal with their challenges in our current society with the ultimate consequence. How many more gay teens such as 13 year olds Seth Walsh and Asher Brown (THIRTEEN, DAMMIT) must take their own lives by suicide before We The People get the point?

The bullying must stop.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Imagine If An Obscure Muslim Preacher Announced A Book Burning..

So let me get this straight:

  1. A preacher from an obscure Christian church in the United States decides to practice his freedom of religious expression.

  2. He announces plans for an old fashioned book burning on September 11.

  3. The book? None other than the Muslim Quran.

  4. News spreads worldwide like wildfire. The world reacts.

  5. Muslims around the world protest. Chants include "Death to America" and "Death to Christians".

Imagine if the preacher did follow through with the book burning. Imagine if the preacher did not make those plans to begin with. Imagine if a preacher from an obscure Muslim church in Afghanistan announced plans to burn the Christian Bible.

Religious intolerance, especially when expressed like this, is quite simply a shame. Stupid behavior such as this leads to bloodshed and terrorist acts -- in part based on religious beliefs -- from extremists on BOTH sides. Plain and simple.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Is FRC's Tony Perkins An Expert On Military Readiness?

It is hard to believe that the president of a charitable organization about families knows more about what impacts military readiness than the service chiefs who are all on record saying the law on homosexuality in the military should not be changed. I would call Judge Phillips a fair minded judge who believes differently that the likes of Tony Perkins, president of the notoriously anti-gay and conservative Family Research Council.

I was really curious how a statement by Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, would sound if you tweaked some of the wording. The original statement appeared in this article on the recent ruling on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. In this article, Mr. Perkins questions how an activist judge knows best with regards to military readiness.

I wonder the same about Perkins.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Frugal Billionaires and Lucky Doctors

So, I'm doing my Facebook thing and enjoying this three-day weekend when a friend posts a link to an article with the following headline:

7 Tips From Frugal Billionaires


It reminded me of the story of Doctor Shirley which was recently featured on one of those "Lottery Changed My Life" shows. She continues to work (which is admirable), has a strong desire to help people (which is pretty cool), and is now writing a book about her experience (huh?). I wonder if she's thought of contributing to political causes and to finding solutions to make emergency health care and expensive medical procedures affordable and accessible to the common, honest, decent person. Now that would make her effin' awesome.

Correction, 10:20pm: When I wrote this earlier today, I did not remember whether or not there was mention of the doctor's charity work on the TV show. This article states that she has "started a foundation to pay for uninsured medical expenses for Holocaust survivors that is run by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation." That is pretty awesome. But on the show which featured their story, they flashed price tag after price tag for the things she bought after winning the lottery. When they talked about the medical emergency and organ transplant, there was no mention of the cost nor how it was paid for. This just did not sit well in context with all the price tags.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Michael Moore on "We The People vs. Corporations"

Michael Moore said the following minutes ago on Larry King Live:

"I just think that historians when they write about us, they're going to say that we allowed these corporations to become the government. We the people thought we had a say, but we really don't."

In the wake of the recent situation that Target finds itself in, I couldn't agree more.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

What, Who, and the Inevitable Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

I've read with interest the diverse opinions people have about the inevitable repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I find it intriguing how so much focus is placed on who and what this is about. For example, some might say:

During a combat situation, "the last thing that one would want then and there is a romantic attachment between any of those men, even if it is unexpressed in overt sexual conduct." (emphasis added)

Now substitute the emphasized phrase in that statement as follows:

During a combat situation, the last thing that one would want then and there is a romantic attachment between any of those men and women, even if it is unexpressed in overt sexual conduct.

The only difference in the two statements is who is involved. Excuse me, but during a combat situation lives are at stake. Sex and romance should be furthest from anybody's mind. I would agree that the last thing people should be thinking about is the romantic interest or sexual attraction between any two people.

In the wake of an increase of sexual assault reporting -- presumably among heterosexual people -- should heterosexual women be allowed to serve if men fear that they will be sexually attracted to the men, and vice versa? Is unit cohesion only an issue when politically unpopular groups are involved? Does it make sense to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation within military ranks?

Hundreds of military careers have been destroyed since this discriminatory policy was enacted; destroyed for no apparent reason. To focus on the "what" and "who" is to miss the point of the need to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Acceptance vs. Tolerance, Integration vs. Segregation

I recently returned from a week-long trip to the Bay Area in California. I arrived there with a pure sense of excitement: my only other trip to California was many years ago as a young kid, and I only have vague memories of that because of pictures.

As I went about the week, I began to realize just what is great about California. Sometimes, people say things like, "only in California" and the like. I began to realize why.

Now: normally when I go on trip alone, I don't really turn on the television set. I watch enough TV at home. I don't have a need to watch it while traveling; there is just so much more to do, to explore, to experience..

But this time, I happened to catch the news on a local TV channel. I caught coverage of an incident regarding anti-gay graffiti at an area university. I'll never forget a San Jose local's reaction while we discussed the incident.

I explained to him that if something like that happens in Milwaukee, the media basically does nothing and nobody wants to talk about it. His reaction? One of amazement and disbelief.

That was when I realized just what it was about California that gets people to say, "only in California."


You see, when something like that happens in Milwaukee, the news media doesn't pick it up. In fact quite the opposite: its almost as though Milwaukee society accepts that hateful incidents happen -- not just to LGBT people but to all cultural groups -- and simply does not care. True acceptance would include fair coverage of issues affecting people of different sexual orientations and gender identities. Milwaukee seems to tolerate us, acknowledging issues and incidents only when pushed hard enough.

I haven't checked statistics recently, but I certainly do continue to have this perception that Milwaukee is among the most segregated cities in the nation. Some would say that it is the result of a divisive freeway structure, which broke up neighborhoods and cultural groups years ago. Nevertheless, if Milwaukee's communities work together the media doesn't seem to take notice. The media sometimes reduces news to the point where they reinforce stereotypes, diluting the positive efforts within the community. Each neighborhood does their own thing, each community does their own thing, and it could be my ignorance but there just doesn't seem to be any collaboration amongst Milwaukee's segregated communities.

That is really too bad.

San Francisco and the Bay Area must be doing something right. Especially compared to places like Milwaukee. You see, I would say that that the general attitudes in Milwaukee are of tolerance and segregation -- not acceptance and integration.

Even though there are distinct neighborhoods, each with their own distinct identity, they are clearly a part of the integrated fabric that is San Francisco. Driving through the Bay Area I could feel the pride that the area shows in its diversity. I don't feel that here in Milwaukee. You can feel that each community in the Bay Area is integrated into the greater whole and not segregated. Signs for the diverse neighborhoods are prominent throughout and in multiple languages. People from all walks of life are visible everywhere, comfortably living their lives. These are indications that the area's diversity is accepted and integrated -- not just tolerated and segregated.

Stampp Corbin said it best in a recent article: "Acceptance says a lot more about what we want to achieve." I would completely agree. Check out what he had to say about acceptance vs. tolerance.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Great Vision, But Obama Could Speak Out And Ask For More..

Of course, I just had to listen to President Obama's State of The Union address. I found it to be a great speech. Yes, it had its share of rhetoric. That is to be expected: this is, after all, politics. We are each entitled to our own individual vision and his speech and vision are always subject to individual interpretation.

His speech included indisputable facts, such as the budget surplus from 2000 which took a nosedive at warp speed in the years that followed. Of course I'm paraphrasing. By the way.. did Senator McCain say "blaming Bush?" after President Obama stated that fact?

Anyway, I enjoyed listening to President Obama's vision of unity and I found his wrap-up quite inspiring. Here's hoping that both democrats and republicans in the House, Senate, and Supreme Court listen closely to what Obama had to say.

But that's not what I'm writing about tonight. As with any political speech, there were also rather unremarkable moments.

Take this one:

"[...] we are all created equal, that no matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law you should be protected by it; that if you adhere to our common values you should be treated no different than anyone else."

An interesting post and commentary is over at regarding the very brief mention of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

The comments in that post refer to the above statement from the State of The Union, which reminds readers about a certain Proposition 8 thing going on California which Obama seems to be a little quiet about.

Then there was the following:

"As we have for over sixty years, America takes these actions because our destiny is connected to those beyond our shores. But we also do it because it is right. That is why, as we meet here tonight, over 10,000 Americans are working with many nations to help the people of Haiti recover and rebuild. That is why we stand with the girl who yearns to go to school in Afghanistan; we support the human rights of the women marching through the streets of Iran; and we advocate for the young man denied a job by corruption in Guinea. For America must always stand on the side of freedom and human dignity."

Hmm. I took note that there was no mention of the plight of gays in Uganda. He discussed working with communities around the world. It is really too bad that President Obama appears to have chosen to be quiet about a certain death penalty for gays that is under consideration in Uganda.

Don't get me wrong: great speech, great vision. I do believe he is doing the best he can. I'd rather have this vision to look up to than the one we had to live through before Obama assumed office. This great vision would be even better if he'd take a visible stand on more for gays.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Its Happening Under Obama's Watch." Getting Old, Folks!

I'm getting tired of reading and hearing commentary that "(fill in the blank) is happening under Obama's watch". You know, crap that has been happening since BEFORE Obama took Office.

I've stated this before, and I'll state it again. When Clinton left office we had a budget surplus. When Bush took office, our country's finances took a nosedive and he lead our country into a huge budget deficit.

President Obama inherited a screwed up situation and he is doing the best he can.

I came across the following post on Twitter and I just couldn't help but respond.

From recent op ed by Richard Socarides: "hundreds of military careers have been destroyed on (obama'-) watch for no valid reason." #sotu

What about the hundreds of military careers that were destroyed during the years Bush was in office? Which brings up another thing. Just WTF was Clinton thinking when this "compromise" known as Don't Ask, Don't Tell was enacted?

I say again, only not as politely. I say this about one man, forced to deal with a screwed up House, Senate, and Supreme Court which have some selfish people who do not give a damn about the needs of the many. One man leading a nation which is more unbelievably backwards than it would care to admit.

President Obama inherited a fucked up situation and he is doing the best he can.

Tornado Rainbow Triangle