Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pictures From Stonewall Democrats In Las Vegas

Though I would post a couple of snaps from the Stonewall Democrats Trainng session in Las Vegas this past weekend. Bill Richardson (Govenor of New Mexico) was a featured speaker. Sorry for the fuzzy pics from my cellphone. Dennis Kucinich showed up as a surprise speaker, he was in town for the Democratic Health Care forum at UNLV.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Gays And Lesbians In The Armed Forces Face Institutional Hatred

I just walked in and had to write this about my trip back from Las Vegas. On the plane I sat next to two female soldiers who had obviously been returning from a deployment. They were both very tan and wearing those gray camouflage that blends in urban fighting. Both could not have been over 20and they were dog-tired.

I tried not to disturb them as they slept, but I wondered how their superiors would have reacted to their intimate sleeping arrangements. They lay in their seats, heads resting on each others shoulders, a lot like my partner and I do when we fly. I didn’t ask them, but I strongly suspect they were lovers, and that made me even more sympathetic to them. I felt proud that they were serving our country, yet sad that they were so young and if they were gay, that they were on such shaky ground.

Don’t ask, don’t tell may be the official policy on the Armed Forces, but it sucks as both a practical and moral regulation. In recent polls of the military the majority of soldiers have no problem with having gay or lesbians serving in their ranks. So much for the bullshit argument about gays causing problems with unit cohesion.

Beyond that, it forces young men and women who already have enough to worry about in a combat situation to have yet another concern. Staying in the closet is tricky and dangerous both to their career and to personal sanity. Funny how the Spartans, (the real ones not the ones in the movie) were often lovers fighting side by side. They considered lovers the best fighters because they would fight fiercer for each others safety. Pity the Army can’t study history any better.

As I sat down to write I saw this story that emphasized the whole insanity of this policy. A recruiter, upon learning that a potential recruit was gay is quoted as saying in an official email:

Looks like Peter Pace’s policies and attitudes are paying off with big dividends. Just what our government needs, more hate and prejudice!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Blogging From Las Vegas - Back To Big D Tomorrow!

Heading back to Big D tomorrow morning EARLY! Gee, I wish air travel was fun like it used to be, no arrive at the airport an hour early so you can undress and be screened. No crowded tiny seats with no food or refreshments. Ah the good old days.

You can really tell how old I am by that rant.

Well, the Stonewall Democrats training session was great! Looks like the DNC has finally figures out that it’s not about the next heroic candidate to magically fix the party, it’s about the party! We are really trying to build an effective infrastructure and that’s what we need to do.

As for Vegas, well there was fun to be had. Friday night we all attended a party at La Cage here in the Riviera Hotel. Frank Marino and a gaggle of fabulous drag queens. Even though I am so over drag, it was big fun.

Last night I went out on my own and saw Steve Wyrick’s Real Magic at the Aladdin Hotel, (soon to be Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino and no they are not blowing it up, just refacing the whole building!) The show was fast paced and very clever. Steve is a Garland, TX boy who made good, and his act is one of the best magic reviews in Vegas. He starts by appearing onstage magically along with a full sized helicopter. Later he jumps through the spinning fan blades of a jet engine!

And my luck, he ended up pulling me onstage for a card trick and ended up stealing my watch! Of course he gave it back much to my embarrassment. All in all a fun night. My complaint was the audience. They seemed dead. They were smiling and enjoyed it but they wouldn’t clap. What is that? I can only guess it is from too much TV watching and they don’t know how to react to a real live performance.

Overall, Las Vegas is Las Vegas, and I am ready for Dallas again.