Friday, November 05, 2010

Sovereign Citizens Movement and Why It Is Dangerous

This video from Southern Poverty Law Center was intended for police, but it is worth every minute you spend watching it. It details the whole phenomenon of the "sovereign citizens" movement. This may sound new, but it is just the same kind hard nosed folks like Timothy McVeigh. They would be called wackos in most books, but this is something you should take seriously. Watch it. Warning, it contains scenes of real violence.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Reconsidering DADT

As the administration backs away from repealing DADT and just about any other initiative that could benefit LGBT Americans perhaps it is time to reconsider what we want.

Yes I still demand equal rights, but until the time they are granted, (rights that every other American already have) I think the idea of LGBT people serving in the military is essentially wrong headed. Why should we defend a country who systematically denies us equal rights? Why should we risk our lives for a country that has relegated us to the role of second class citizen?

I am waiting for an answer beyond the usual jingoistic patriotic slogans and bumper sticker wisdom. Additionally, I have to wonder why LGBT Americans are taxed at the same rate as straight Americans. We do not share the same rights and services of our government, we do not share the protections of law and we do not rate full representation, so why pay full taxation?

Damn, I am starting to sound like a Tea Bagger!

Here is the crux of the matter. My enthusiasm for patriotism is somewhat dimmed by all the clever little ways my life and rights are used as legal tender in the political process. If someone suggested that women be denied equal protection under the law, there would be such a hew and cry that no one would ever dare suggest it again. Perhaps that is what LGBT Americans need to do. Raise a ruckus!

Every political event, of either party needs LGBT representation. LGBT people who will stand up and ask the tough questions, at least tough questions for politicians.

Every civic event needs LGBT representation. LGBT people who will show up and identify themselves, a visible presence that cannot be ignored. Every newspaper in America needs a daily flood of letter from LGBT people demanding equal rights. Every call-in show needs LGBT Americans to call in and demand to know why we are not getting equal treatment in the press and in the courts and in the military.

Every dollar we spend should be marked with a large red stamp letting people know it is LGBT money that helps power the economic engine of our country. Every check to a creditor or utility should have a notation that it is from an LGBT American so businesses understand how many of their customers are "second class citizens" spending first class money!

Harsh? Perhaps. Maybe I am just tired of fighting the right-wing propaganda machine that is well oiled and working like a big clock whereas the left continues to sputter in disarray, tilting at windmills with the impotent weapons of reason and knowledge. Face it, America is a country that runs on its gut not its mind. Until we can find ways to appeal to that gut, we will always lose. Until we learn to create messages that grab the public by the heart we will lose them to the Sarah Palin's of the right.

Look to our own state to see the proof. Rick Perry, a half baked intellect and frankly pretty much a duffus, won over a very qualified Bill White for governor. Why? Look at the ads. White tried to appeal to our minds, and Perry just smiled and sparkled through a glossy Hollywood filter, with a charming southern drawl and saying nothing of any substance. Damn he looked good! Sounded friendly too!

Wonder why he won? Packaging.

Well, maybe we need to repackage our message. Oh we'll never make it charming enough for most folks, but maybe we can make it look powerful enough to make them pause. Just long enough to make them wonder, heck why not give them rights? How could it hurt?

Who knows? If I had the answer, I'd already be in the Oval Office. Just wondering, you know?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Pee Wee Herman vs WWF!

Whenever I am down and feeling funky about things like "politics" I can always count on one person to cheer me up.  PEE-WEE!

Bush Rewrites History - "I was a dissenting voice" in Iraq War

In one of the most blatant acts of hubris in his political career, Ex President Bush has written his "memoirs.  Now since I feel pretty sure this is a work by a ghost writer, I guess I should cut "W" some slack, but I am not feeling particularly charitable.

In a book promotion interview with Matt Lauer, Bush says in response to a questoin about dissenters in the rush to go to war with Iraq:
I was a dissenting voice. I didn’t want to use force. I mean force is the last option for a President. And I think it’s clear in the book that I gave diplomacy every chance to work.
Strange coming from the man who is quoted as saying "“We need to get Saddam Hussein…that Mother fucker tried to take out my Dad.”

The Republicans feel they can rewrite history with impugnity and unless someone stops them they are right.  It is up to us, the people who lived through that dark era to stand up and call "foul" every time one of the GOP talking heads spouts a party line lie.  Well I am calling FOUL!

Bush is lying in his memoir and he lied in office.  He should have been impeached, but the Congress then as now has no balls.  If the talk show hosts let him continue to lie to the public, we will look back on his disastrous presidency with fond remembrance, and that would be a travesty to our children and to history.

Monday, November 01, 2010

I Remember - Watch This Video Before You Vote!

Michigan Assistant AG May Loose Law License Over Anti-Gay Bullying

The coarseness of discourse in this country is at an all time high.  Consider the case of the Assistant Attorney General of Michigan who is alleged to have spent the last six months harassing and bullying a gay college student leader.

U-M student Chris Armstrong was serving on the Michigan Student Assembly during his senior year.  During that time the complaint filed alleges that Assistant AG Andrew Shirvell has taken it upon himself to lead a one-man campaign against Armstrong. On his blog he posted a picture of Armstrong, a swastika across his face, calling him "Satan's representative" on the student assembly and said he was promoting a "radical homosexual agenda" as president.

Read more here at the Detroit Free Press .

Personally, I find it disturbing that a state official would engage in this kind of childish and brutish behavior.  Appropriately, it could cost him his job and his law license.

Tropical Storm Tomas Headed for Haiti

As though Haiti hasn't had enough disaster, now a powerful tropical storm, Tomas is bearing down on the earthquake ravaged country.  The storm is expected to become a Category 1 Hurricane before making landfall and though Haitian authorities are trying to prepare, I have to wonder how bad this will be. Already a cholera epidemic has been spreading on the island and now the promise of torrential rains and flooding don't bode well.

From a Wall Street Journal interview: "We've been planning hurricane preparedness for months, but to cope with that on top of cholera is hugely complex and demanding, and placing massive pressure on resources already stretched," said Imogen Wall, a spokeswoman for the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. "We need to move supplies quickly and our logistics are concentrated on cholera right now."