April 4, 2013

A trip to Atlanta reveals an awesome truth

By walterh
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I travel for work, and right now my job takes me to North Carolina every week.  I fly in on Sunday nights and fly home on Thursday afternoons.

If you’ve ever been to an airport, you know that there’s going to be time to kill between your flights.  In trying to get in my 10,000 steps per day, I walk as much as I can, and today that meant walking between all of the terminals.  Between terminals B and C, there’s a “History of Atlanta” display that spans the lengthy walkways, and I nearly stumbled when something caught my eye.  It was the saying in this picture:

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Think about that…  Now think about what our politicians do to minorities in this country.  White school districts get and spend more money per pupil than minority school districts, while minority neighborhoods even lack the presence of healthy food sources (grocery stores), and were more likely to have to rely on expensive check-cashing stores rather than actual banks.  And voter ID laws, which Republican state legislatures are pushing (even though there’s minuscule evidence it’s even needed), will hurt the poor and minorities disproportionately.

That’s the trifecta; we’re denying the books, the bucks, and the ballots.

This has to stop.  But until we have a more equitable system of government – one that isn’t driven by lobbyists and greed, and gerrymandered beyond anything reasonable – we’re not going to have one.

 

April 4, 2013

WHO keeps putting these people into office?

By walterh
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Sometimes I wonder about the collective psyche of the American public.  I seriously have questions for anyone who voted for Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Steven King (R-IA), or Michele Bachmann (R-MN).  Because headlines like these – “Louie Gohmert Links Gay Marriage, Bestiality” – seem to be the norm for these folks.

I truly don’t get it.  How can people vote for these total fringe whackos?  I mean a dead houseplant would be more effective in Congress than people like Michele Bachmann.  She, and now-defeated Allan West (R-FL), have both gone off about Democrats having “anti-American views”, and have called for McCarthy-esque witch hunts.  It’s ridiculous.

So how do these people keep getting elected?  At least Allan West was defeated in 2012; now we just need to get the other three whackos out of office.

April 2, 2013

Hoisted by their own petard

By walterh
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This is somewhat of a sad story – but it really makes me want to laugh!

In Oregon, like most states, there has been a big push to cover for revenues that have slacked off because of the recession.  Paying for things like a District Attorney is something that people don’t really think of that highly.  Hell, only 29% of people in a recent survey consider lawyers to be a “popular” subject (as opposed to our do-nothing Congress, that comes in at 9% in that same survey).  I mean, who needs a District Attorney?

Uh, WE DO!  DUH!

The people of Josephine County, Oregon, found themselves in a bit of a budget hole when a Federal timber study expired.  And as the case happened, the issue went to the voters – who voted down raising their taxes to help pay for things like the District Attorney’s office.  And what was the result?  Crime has skyrocketed, while convictions have plummeted.

Again, DUH!

Grants Pass, Oregon saw their crime rate from burglaries go up 50%, whereas the rest of the county went up 45%.  At the same time, prosecutions went down 42%.  And the DA’s office went from nine lawyers down to four.

I guess people would rather sit at home and watch Law & Order rather than actually deal with it in their communities.  Seriously – hoisted by their own petard.

April 2, 2013

An Open Letter to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

By walterh
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Justice Thomas,

I know that you are not a man that finds himself on the liberal or progressive side of arguments.  And I know that you sit on the one of the most important courts in America.  But I’m asking you to stand up for your fellow citizens just this once; your LGBT brethren.

Justice Thomas, you’ve been married twice, when I can’t get married once.  And your second marriage, in 1987, was to a caucasian woman named Virginia Lamp.  I know you know that, but many people don’t.  Here’s a recent picture that was taken of both of you:

Justice Thomas, you and your wife look so very happy there!

So can you please tell me why it is I am not allowed that same happiness?  I’m a gay man, who has been in a relationship with the same man for over 21 years.  That’s not quite as long as your marriage to Ginni, your second wife – but it’s almost twice as long as your first marriage.

There’s also a little something about the year you got married.  See, it was 1987.  That’s significant.  Why?  Because 1987 was the twenty year anniversary of 1967′s Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, in which interracial marriage was declared constitutional. Because the Supreme Court acted the right way in 1967, you were able to marry Virginia “Ginni” Lamp in 1987.  See?  That’s another connection right there.  Loving v. Virginia and your wife, named Virginia.

It’s 2013, and a few days ago you heard arguments for and against California’s Proposition 8, and the US law DOMA.  The previous generation’s Supreme Court saw to it that you could marry the person you love.  How about you and your fellow Justices follow suit in June 2013, and make sure that gays and lesbians are allowed to marry the one that they love?

What say you, Justice Thomas?

March 26, 2013

One of these men is going to be very, very wrong

By walterh
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There’s a tale of competing headlines this morning.  Here’s they are:

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The first one is from JoeMyGod.com (article here), and the second is from Towleroad.com (article here).  Basically, these two men, who are staples of the Republican party, are telling two very different stories about the future of their party.  Bush, who is already being talked about for a 2016 run for the presidency, thinks the GOP can grow if they start embracing diversity; basically, they can’t rely on old, straight white men to be the core of the party if they want to grow and prosper in America.  The GOP needs diversity if they are to survive.

Huckabee, on the other hand, wants to bolt if the GOP comes out for marriage equality.  He’s one of those in the core of the GOP that doesn’t want to learn nor grow.  He’s happy with the GOP being based in a bigoted reality, and will pick up his toys and go home if the GOP decides to grow without him.

Well, one of these will be right.  The question is, which one?

Personally, I think the GOP will once again come up to be a respected national party ONLY IF they abandon their bigoted views on everything not-white and not-male, and start talking about sensible regulation.  The GOP of the past, such as Eisenhower or Barry Goldwater, wouldn’t be in the banks pockets, gutting financial regulation or doing idiotic, racist things like we see today’s GOP doing.  But I think it’s going to take the GOP being ripped to shreds, and maybe even bordering on disappearing (can we say the modern day equivalent of the Whigs?), before something drastic changes.

Democrats have a big-tent view of things, proven by having such diverse members from Oregon Senator Jeff Merkely (D-OR), who is one of he most liberal senators in the Congress, to Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who holds views much closer to Eisenhower or Goldwater’s GOP than Democrats.  But the GOP can’t stand diversity, even in their own party.

Only the future will tell us how this is going to unfold.

 

October 23, 2012

Putting Party Above Self-Preservation

By walterh
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There’re noble things that you do.  Like when Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, then turned to an aid (allegedly) and said, “We have lost the South for a generation.”  See, it was important, and it was right to sign the Civil Rights Act.

Noble acts aren’t just for Presidents, though.  There are ones committed every day.  But there’s one that some may call noble, that I call short-sighted.  And that’s a gay group endorsing Mitt Romney, like the Log Cabin Republicans have.

Sure, there can be gay Republicans, like Fred Karger, who is a good man with good ideas.  But you don’t have to kowtow to your party’s bigotry.  The Log Cabin Republicans have endorsed Mitt Romney, even though he’s badmouthed gay people his whole political career, from saying he’d end hospital visitation rights for gay couples to saying he didn’t care about gay families – to a lesbian mother.

There’s times when people will “hold their nose and vote” for someone.  But gay community support for Mitt Romney goes way beyond that; it’s giving someone your time, money, and vote, and hoping they support you, while knowing that they really think you’re much less than even a second class citizen.

EDIT: The Stonewall Democrats have an excellent blog post on this very subject posted this morning!

August 7, 2012

So here’s who is going to be Romney’s VP running mate and why

By walterh
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Romney knows that he’s milquetoast in front of the American public.  He’s also fighting off the “wimp” factor, and yes, there’s still those pesky tax returns that still keep creeping up.  Oh, and his inability to connect with anyone who makes less than $500,000 per year is a bit of a harsh buzz, too.

So he needs someone who can connect with the American public, someone who isn’t seen as a wimp.  Someone that will take the distraction away from his tax returns, while exciting the new (teabagger) base of the Republican party.

That’s why he’s going to choose Donald Trump as Vice President.

Think about it for a minute…  Trump is, mostly an unknown in politics, except for the wingnut teabagger side of the Republican party, so that’ll be a point up. Romney is going to need someone who excites his base, but who isn’t afraid to just go bat-shit crazy and tell lies, which will go over so well with the birthers. And though Trump is out there, he’s not as crazy as Michelle Bachmann, so he’s got that going for him.  The white evangelicals who may be hemming and hawing about Romney’s Mormon roots are going to get behind a Trump VP; that’ll get them to the polling booth when the religion issue might not.

I truly think this is what’ll happen; Trump is someone who will distract from the actual issues of the race, Romney hoping he can slide though until November without having released his tax returns, and not having to attack Obama himself.

We’ll see how it plays out.

July 24, 2012

This shit has to STOP

By walterh
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It’s like there’s a gay bashing every other day in the United States.  And it’s got to stop.

People who say that gays aren’t like blacks when it comes to civil rights struggles are wrong.  Because yesterday’s lynching of a black man for talking to a white woman is today’s beating of a woman because she’s a lesbian.  Or attacking a gay male couple just because they’re there, and it’s opportune.  This shit is wrong.  But when is society going to stand up and say “Enough!”

Last weekend, three men broke into a woman’s house, tied her up, carved words into her body, and poured gasoline over her and her house, trying to burn it down.  Luckily the fire didn’t take, and she was able to get out of the house.  But the police have absolutely no suspects.  The woman’s crime?  She’s a lesbian.  A lesbian who lives in a quiet town, in her quiet home, who helped neighbors shovel their snow, rake their leaves, and mowed their lawns.  But these men decided that she deserved to die for that.

Also?  A gay DC couple was ambushed as they walked home and beaten.  Why?  Solely because they were gay.  The beatings weren’t as severe, solely because there was another couple nearby that startled the attackers and interrupted the beating.

I’m so fucking sick and tired of this type of thing happening.  It has no place in our country.  The people that do this are nothing but cowards, lashing out at people they don’t understand.  They should be found, tried, and punished.  Severely.  So much so that they’re made an example of.  And our leaders should take to the airways, take to

July 23, 2012

In which I disagree about the fundamental differences of boycotting

By walterh
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So one of the regular blogs that I read is JoeMyGod, which is a really good source for pretty much all things GLBT and equality related.  This morning, Joe posted an excerpt from an opinion piece in The Atlantic by Jonathan Merritt, where Mr. Merritt discussed how we really should become level-headed in our arguments, and basically stop with the culture wars by stopping the threats of boycotts or such.  The quote that got to me was this one:

As Josh Ozersky argued on TIME Thursday, ‘businesses should be judged by their products and their practices, not by their politics.’ I agree: I don’t care how my dry cleaner votes. I just want to know if he/she can press my Oxfords without burning my sleeves.

You know what, Mr. Merritt?  I do care.  Why on Earth would I give my money to a corporation that is just going to turn around and – especially now thanks to Citizens United – fund that money into attacks against what I believe in?  It’s like giving a drug addict a syringe of morphine and then telling them, “Please don’t inject that on yourself”.  In short, it’s bollocks.

I may not know what my dry cleaner’s voting record is, but if I read good things about them (in reputation, as well as doing good for the community), then I’ll pay them for services.  But if they are like the Chick fil A company?  I’ll take my money elsewhere.

July 12, 2012

Someone at the USOC needs to be fired

By walterh
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The USOC of course being the United States Olympic Committee.  Why?  Because someone made the decision to give the contract for Team America’s official uniform to Ralph Lauren, and then Ralph Lauren turned around and got the garments made in China.

China.  Team America is being outfitted by uniforms manufactured in China.

Some people use the lame excuse that “Well, the US wants cheap clothes, so we don’t make anything here anymore.”  Tell that to the pair of “Union Made in the USA” jeans I’m wearing right now, along with a great shirt made by King Louis America.  Two great American shops who could use a break, and would have proudly made Team USA’s apparel if given the chance, I bet!

So shame on you, USOC!  Your poor choices bring shame to our nation!