Saturday, January 31, 2009

And Now, For The Ugly

As promised, here is the Ugly part of "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly." And it is ugly. Disturbing, actually. In all honesty, I was dismayed to see what some in the GLBT community are now doing. But I am getting ahead of myself. The article I read was this one, "Next Time, They Come For You". Now, I imagine that for many that title conjures up the poem by Pastor Niemoller, "They Came First For the Communists..." And I imagine that is no accident by the author, Rod Dreher. The poem concludes, "Then They Came For Me, and by that time, no one was left to speak up." Powerful piece, but a lesson not yet learned:
If you gave money to the successful Proposition 8* campaign to outlaw same-sex marriage in California, you'd better watch out. Anonymous gay-marriage activists have mashed up public data with Google mapping technology to create, an online map to your home. And it's perfectly legal.

Alarmed Prop 8 backers recently filed a federal lawsuit seeking an injunction against a state law forcing citizens who give $100 or more to campaigns to disclose their names and addresses. We had all better hope they prevail.

"I don't get the fear," gay-marriage campaigner Andrew Sullivan disingenuously wrote on his popular blog. "If Prop 8 supporters truly feel that barring equality for gay couples is vital for saving civilization, shouldn't they be proud of their financial support?"

Andrew Sullivan. Please. He's being made the voice of the GLBT community? I certainly hope not, and not just because, as some of you may recall, he continues to nominate me for The Moore Award (not all bad, really - it is the Michael Moore award, and Moore has done some pretty good work in his day). Oh - I don't know how it ended up - last I heard, I was beating out Gloria Steinem. But I digress. Andrew Sullivan is an HIV+ gay man who advertises for unprotected sex. That used to get you an attempted murder charge. Oh, and he's an arrogant, pompous, condescending jerk. His quote above pretty much shows how disingenuous he is - he doesn't get the fear? With gay bashing on the rise in the United States, he doesn't get it? Right. The article continues:
Oh, please. This is why people are frightened by Eightmaps:

•Margie Christofferson, a manager of a popular Hollywood restaurant, did not talk about her politics or her religion but quietly gave $100 to the Prop 8 campaign. Activists swarmed the restaurant, with a mob getting so out of hand that riot police had to be called.

•A man who wrote a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle supporting Prop 8 soon found that gay activists posted to the Web personal information about him and, as appalled Chronicle columnist John Diaz noted, urged "in ugly language, retribution against the author's business and its identified clients."

•In Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, someone sent mysterious white powder to Mormon temples, apparently to protest the Latter-day Saints Church's role in passing Prop 8.

•In Fresno, police said the city's mayor and a local pastor received death threats over their support for Prop 8. Vandals pelted the pastor's church with eggs.

There's more where this came from. Given what gay-rights fanatics have shown themselves capable of – did you see the YouTube footage of a furious gay mob chasing a group of Christians out of the Castro district? – who can blame traditional marriage supporters for being afraid?

This is the video referenced above:

The article continues, and oh, joy - another quote from Sullivan:
In online Eightmaps discussion, gays typically take the line that anyone who would vote to take away their marriage rights deserves what he gets (Sullivan: "Why should you be able to protect yourself from the consequences?"). Extremism in the defense of gay marriage, therefore, is no vice. Let this be a lesson about the tolerance those who do not support same-sex marriage will receive if it becomes legal.

Why should someone be able to protect themselves from the consequences of having their own opinion?? Oh, gee, I dunno - because the CONSTITUTION guarantees it?? We have Free Speech in this country, Andrew. The following clip from the wonderful movie, "The American President," sums it up nicely:

So, that's why. You don't have to like what someone else has to say, but s/he has the right to say it without fear of threat or reprisal (unless what the person is saying is threatening). It is a Constitutional right. The article continues:
Eightmaps.commies are so caught up in their own revenge drama that they don't understand how this technique can be used against homosexuals. It won't be long before far-right radicals draw on publicly available data to create an online map to gay-rights supporters' homes. How safe will gay folks in small towns feel if gay bashers are one click away from a map to their house?

For that matter, anyone who wants to give money to a candidate or cause will wonder if it's worth taking the risk of being eightmapped by radicals. Would you give to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, La Raza or Planned Parenthood if you thought right-wing goons would eightmap you, as these left-wing goons have eightmapped social conservatives? Could you afford to put your family at risk?

And that's the only conceivable point of Eightmaps: to intimidate ordinary people into political docility.

Eightmaps is a vicious cultural bellwether. It rips apart a common understanding that makes it possible for us to live together in a diverse democracy. Today, technology makes a great deal of personal information about each of us publicly available. We therefore depend more than ever on the restraining power of custom – such as the shared sense that people have the right to feel safe in their own home – to keep that information from misuse.

And that "political docility" seems to be the hallmark of this recent election cycle. I have never seen this level of thuggery, threat, and intimidation before, certainly not by Democrats. But now we have Black Panthers standing outside polling places, groups going into polling places disseminating political propaganda, groups wearing vulgar hate speech t-shirts, shouting down Congresswomen, destroying private property, and hunting people down for not supporting their candidate. Those of us who have the audacity to speak out against The One have had to guard our privacy jealously for fear of reprisal. Too many have been the recipients of damage done in one form or another, from character assassination to having to spend time and money to counter mischief made against us. All because we did not agree.

As the author says, it comes down to custom:
Recall this memorable exchange between William Roper and Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt's play A Man for All Seasons:

Roper: Cut a road through the law to get after the Devil? Yes. I'd cut down every law in England to do that.

More: And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? ... I give the Devil benefit of law for my own safety's sake.

Substitute the phrase "custom" for "law," and you have captured the danger of what the Eightmaps people have done. They may believe Prop 8 backers are devils, but they ought to give the devils the benefit of custom for their own safety's sake – especially given the vulnerability homosexuals have always had to gay-bashers.

When some techno-savvy barbarians turn this technique against them, remember Sullivan's snide brush-off to Eightmaps' potential victims: "Cry me a river."

He'll regret that one day. We all will.

Rod Dreher is a Dallas Morning News editorial columnist. His e-mail address is

"Cry me a river." Yes, typical compassionate Sullivan. What shocks and appalls me is that a community that has long been on the receiving end of this kind of treatment is now engaging in this kind of treatment. Given that gay bashing is already on the rise, what in the world would stop someone from using Eightmaps to target people who give to the Human Rights Campaign? PFLAG? GLAAD? Any number of gay-positive organizations? Or Women's organizations?

And, why is it that these GLBT thugs seem to have isolated a select group of people for their ire? Why not the African American community, or the Hispanic community, both of which voted in large numbers for Obama, and FOR Proposition 8? Why don't they hold Obama accountable for placing someone like Doug Kmiec, a Pro-Prop 8 supporter, head of his Faith Outreach Team? Oh, I am sure most of those people still bow and scrape before Obama, denying to their core his own stance against gay marriage, his numerous insiders against gay marriage (Rick Warren, Tim Kaine), but they'll target a restaurant owner who gave $100 bucks? Seems to me they have their priorities a bit skewed.

And their morals. While it may not be illegal to post online directions to people's homes, it is immoral and unethical when the intent is to harass them, and that is clearly the intent of these thugs. How is it that they think this is going to help our cause? Do they honestly think that terrorizing these people is going to make them MORE willing to support LGBT marriage? Really? And do they not see how very much alike they are to gay bashers with these actions? They are targeting people with intent to intimidate (at the least), and possibly do harm just because they disagree with their stand, and they don't see the irony?

Well, I do. And I am disturbed by it. No one wants gay marriage more than I do, but not by threats of violence and intimidation. This is wrong on so many levels, and I am sickened by their behavior. They do not represent our community well with their actions. They are acting rashly, and without a care to the long term consequences of their actions. They may get some short-term thrill or victory from it (in their minds), but they are causing long term harm to the community, and to our cause.

And they need to stop. Now. Just because other thugs on the Obama bandwagon got away with this kind of action does not make it right or acceptable. Violence begets violence, and if we start targeting people, they will just target us right back (more). Bottom line, it will do nothing but set back our cause, and will damage the entire community in the making. It is the wrong way for civilized people to conduct themselves, and it is the wrong way to get what we want - equality.

* Just out of curiosity, why does NO ONE ever mention Amendment 2 in Florida, which also passed this past election? It is always Prop 8 that gets the attention, even though Amendment 2 was pretty much the same. Doesn't make sense to me...

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Right up front, let me say I am having a bad knee day. I had plans to write another piece altogether, but best laid plans and all that. But, I do want to share this recent news: Iceland has elected the first lesbian world leader (despite the fact that EVERY freakin' news source keeps using the word, "gay"). That's some good news, though she is stepping in at a very difficult time.

Why is it that the coldest countries are the ones that seem to be the most forward thinking? Is it that they figure if you can find someone with whom to spend your time during the long, cold, winter months, more power to ya? Maybe they are just built to be more open minded and less judgmental. Whatever the case, once again, they are leading the world in the arena of GLBT rights. Good for them! And good for the world.

Here's the story:
World Gets Its First Gay (sic) Leader: Former air hostess to be sworn in as Icelandic premier after economic collapse

The first government collapse of the global economic crisis is about to yield the world's first openly-gay leader. Johanna Sigurdardottir, a former air hostess, is expected to be sworn in as Iceland's Prime Minister by the end of the week.

Her moment in the international spotlight comes at the most horrendous moment in her nation's recent history. As the global meltdown began, the collapse of Iceland's grossly over-leveraged economy was followed smartly by the implosion of its banks and currency. Now its government has gone the same way, the first to succumb to the backwash from the crisis.

Ms Sigurdardottir's party, the Social Democrat Alliance, was asked to form a new government but its leader is taking a leave of absence to recover from treatment for a benign tumour. And so, "Saint Johanna", as she has come to be known, has been propelled from the social affairs ministry – which she has presided over for a decade – to take centre stage in a choice hailed as "unexpected but brilliant".

The 66-year-old politician lives with her partner, Jonina Leosdottir, a journalist and playwright. The couple were joined in a civil ceremony in 2002. Don't expect them to show up togetherfor photocalls, however – that's not the Icelandic way. Though she is famous across the island, having been a top politician for years, her lesbian union was no big deal in this calmly progressive nation of only 300,000 people.

"Johanna is a very private person," said an Icelandic government source. "A lot of people didn't even know she was gay. When they learn about it people tend to shrug and say, 'Oh'. That's not to say they are not interested; they are interested in who she's living with – but no more so than if she was a man living with a woman."

Ms Sigurdardottir has two grown-up sons. She entered politics via the labour movement, was first elected to parliament in 1978 and was given her first ministerial office in 1987. She will be Prime Minister of a minority caretaker government composed of her Social Democratic Alliance and the Left-Greens, with outside support. It is only expected to hold office for two or three months, until fresh elections are called.

"In opinion polls Johanna has repeatedly been chosen as the most popular politician in Iceland," said the government source. "She is a good choice, because one of the problems the government is facing is lack of trust. Getting Johanna to become Prime Minister was a way of saying trust is an issue. Politicians want a fresh mandate from the electorate and, before they get it, they need to rebuild trust. Choosing Johanna is a way of saying, 'Let's bridge this gap, let's have peace to be able to implement the emergency measures'."

Geir Haarde, the former prime minister, endured months of angry protests over his poor handling of the economy; demonstrators pelted his car with eggs and police were forced to use tear gas on the streets for the first time in 50 years. Compare that to a poll in November that gave Ms Sigurdardottir a 73 per cent approval rating, she was the only minister to improve on the previous year's score.

"She is often described as the only politician who really cares about the little guy," wrote Icelandic journalist Iris Erlingsdottir in a blog this week.

She did stand for the leadership of her party back in 1994 and lost badly, but in her concession speech she predicted "my time will come". And some 15 years later, it truly has.

Congratulations, Prime Minister Elect Sigurdardottir! I wish you great success in your new position.

Now for the bad. Remember this woman, Samantha Power? Here's a little reminder for you (along with more hooey from Obama on the Iraq War, and more negative crapola from people on his staff):

Wanna guess who is about to become Obama's Senior Policy Adviser? You got it - Samantha Powers (H/T to Andy). Oh, that cannot possibly make Hillary Clinton's job any more difficult. Just like making UN Ambassador Susan Rice's position equal to Hillary's won't make her job as Secretary of State any harder.

Show of hands - how many of you just KNEW this was going to happen?? Yeah, exactly.

Obama will always find a way to hamstring Clinton. And insult her. We have Rice competing with her, a woman who insulted her on an international stage, and don't forget Obama's boy, Favreau, also insulting her on an international stage. I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so! Good thing Clinton is a tough, smart woman. She's going to have to be to accomplish anything with people like that around her (oh, and let's not forget how much OBAMA insulted her throughout the campaign - the number is legion). Just shaking my head at all of this...

Like I said, bad knee day, so The Ugly will have to wait. I'll give you a hint, though. It has to do with Prop 8. And it is truly ugly. So for today, I'll end on a good note: Congratulations again, Prime Minister Elect! Well done!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

No Doubt About It

Obama and Bush are birds of a feather. Oh, I have written numerous times before regarding ALL of the similarities these two have HERE and HERE, with connections all along the way. And now we have this story to aid us with a visual, Hey Bam, That's Not The Door!:
It looks like President Obama hasn't gotten acquainted to his White House surroundings. On the way back to the Oval Office Tuesday, the President approached a paned window, instead of the actual door -- located a few feet to his right.

Uh, yeah. That would be a window, as evidenced by the fixed nature, lack of hinges, and a doorknob. Ahem.

As a reminder:

Doors didn't open automatically for Obama’s predecessor either. While making a hasty exit from a 2005 press conference in Beijing, former President George W. Bush tugged on the handles of a door, only to find it locked.

Bush laughed off the blunder, but the pictures still live on as part of Bush's lame duck legacy. However, there was little note taken of Obama's rookie mistake.

Really? The media is going to ignore yet another "mistake" of Obama's? What a new and different approach for their treatment of Obama! Cough. Ahem.

C'mon, already - this is pretty damn laughable. How can they ignore this? Shoot, at least Bush was somewhere unfamiliar - this was at the freakin' Oval Office!! You better believe if this had been ANYONE else, ANYONE, it would be leading all of the news stories. Oh, well, I guess I should be thankful SOMEONE is covering it. The article finishes up with a bit of an excuse (again, oh what a surprise):
Obama, who was returning from meeting with Congressional leaders, may have been distracted by Republicans' icy reception to his $825 billion stimulus package, which is poised to pass on Wednesday even without a groundswell of Republican support.

Yeah, that's the ticket. He was thrown off his stride by those schmucky Republicans! What is their problem not wanting to hand out even more money for things like, oh, $600 million more for its fleet of 600,000 government cars? So what if the US Government is already spending a cool $3 BILLION a year on these cars? Sheesh! Skinflints.

Anywho - let's just see if this photo has the shelf life of the Bush photo. I, for one, am not holding my breath.

Oh, but WAIT, there's more that just came out!!! (Major H/T to Andy for this story.) It seems that before Obama tried to enter through the window at the Oval Office, he tried to take the wrong elevator after meeting with Republican Senators. He was a bit "disoriented," it seems. Wow. This stuff practically writes itself. Though that was not as much of a faux pas, since he was trying to use the Senators' elevator. Come to think of it, consider how little he did while in the Senate, it's kind of a surprise he even knew about that elevator! Ahem.

Yep - I'm thinking there are going to be a whole lot more of these kind of episodes. At least that's something...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gimme That Old Time Religion - UPDATED (H/T to SusanUnPC)

I've got some astonishing news about President Obama's "faith groups," the 15 meetings that Obama and staff have held so far with these faith groups, and the kinds of faith leaders he's inviting, including the notorious Rev. James Meeks. What is even more astonishing is how little press this is getting - 15 meetings with faith groups! Wowie zowie - seems like a lot to me.

But first, just in case it's been too long, here's a reminder about Barack's good friend and strong political ally, Rev. James Meeks, both a powerful Chicago pastor and a state senator, who can win elections solely through his church's 22,000 members voting for him. Larry Johnson exposed who Meeks really is in April 2008's "What Would Tip O’Neill Do About Barack’s Pastors? [Updated]", an excellent expose of the ministers with whom Obama has surrounded himself.

But Meeks is special. He has been Obama's friend, ally, and spiritual adviser for years now. Here's a little reminder of who he is:

You can read more in SusanUnPC's late April 2008 story, "Father Pfleger & Rev. James Meeks: Who They Really Are" and at least a dozen more NoQuarter articles exposing James Meeks. Not for the faint of heart, these two men, in their language or theology, as SusanUnPC demonstrates in her fine post.

Oh, and The Rev. Meeks is also connected with The Rev. James Dobson - yes, THAT James Dobson, from "Focus on the Family." They are working together to abolish the separation of church and state. But don't take my word for it. Check out this little blurb about James Meeks from the Southern Poverty Law Center highlights:
The Rev. James Meeks is a key member of Chicago's "Gatekeepers" network, an interracial group of evangelical ministers who strive to erase the division between church and state. A stalwart anti-gay activist, Meeks has used his House of Hope mega-church to launch petition drives for the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), a major state-level "family values" pressure group that lauded him last year for leading African Americans in "clearly understanding the threat of gay marriage."

With over 22,000 members, Meeks' congregation was large enough to buoy his successful 2002 campaign for state senator. Last year, he ran for governor as a virtual single-issue candidate, drawing national support from Christian fundamentalists by boldly vowing to fight marriage equality at every turn. Meeks eventually dropped out of the race.

Meeks and the IFI are partnered with Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund, major anti-gay organizations of the Christian Right. They also are tightly allied with Americans for Truth, an Illinois group that said in a press release last year that "fighting AIDS without talking against homosexuality is like fighting lung cancer without talking against smoking."

Wow, right? Yeah. Funny, I sure don't recall ANYONE in the MSM highlighting THIS little tidbit, or the connection between James Meeks and James Dobson. Such stellar journalism we have had the past 18 months. Hahahaha!

Anywho - it would seem that Meeks' influence on Obama is coming out as this US News article, Crafting Policy Agenda, Obama Team Brings in Faith Groups, The president-elect and his staff have held about 15 meetings so far with religious groups would indicate:
In the eight weeks since Barack Obama was elected president, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism Director David Saperstein or members of his Washington, D.C.-based staff have attended roughly a dozen meetings with Obama's transition team, on topics ranging from domestic poverty and the plight of White House faith-based initiatives to foreign policy challenges like bringing peace to the Middle East.

"This is the most extensive outreach and listening tour that I've ever seen a new administration take, and that is certainly true of their outreach to the faith community," says Saperstein, who has worked with presidential transition teams going back to Jimmy Carter's. "It's quite remarkable."

The effort is noteworthy not only for the number of Obama transition team meetings with religious groups—about 15 so far—but also because top Obama policy aides have joined the powwows. Melody Barnes, who will be director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and Heather Higginbottom, who will be the council's deputy director, have participated in some of the meetings.

"There is the feeling that these are not perfunctory meetings but serious meetings with people in policymaking roles who know the process well," says James Winkler, general secretary of the public policy arm of the United Methodist Church, who says that he or his staff have attended nearly a dozen meetings with the Obama transition team so far. "This is not something meant to bring in the faith community to keep them happy but to solicit our views and ideas."

I don't know about you, but it makes me wonder why religious groups opinions are being sought in policy-making. Even Bush, whom I think most people would expect to operate this way did not, at least not on every issue:
Winkler said that during George W. Bush's tenure, "we were never contacted by the administration" after an initial meeting with the White House Office of Public Liaison, which traditionally handles outreach to religious groups and other constituencies. Though Bush is a Methodist, a group of Methodist bishops was unsuccessful in repeated attempts to meet with the president in the run-up to the Iraq war, which the United Methodist Church opposed.

Yeah, so not as much of a surprise since they didn't agree with his position.

But I wonder if the following IS a surprise to Obama's followers (again, not to those of us who have been paying attention):
Heading up religious outreach for Obama's transition team is Joshua DuBois, a Pentecostal and onetime associate pastor who directed religious outreach for the Obama campaign. Mark Linton, the Obama campaign's Catholic outreach director, is leading the effort to design an Obama administration version of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and Mara Vanderslice, an evangelical Democratic operative who has helped spearhead the party's post-2004 religious outreach offensive, is now Obama's outreach liaison to religious communities.

Don't let this description of DuBois fool you. He, like Favreau, is young - in his mid-20's. And while he may have been an associate pastor at his small Cambridge, MA evangelical/pentecostal church (gasp! Had he been anyone else - like a female VP candidate, this might have gotten some scrutiny.), he was not seminary trained. You can read more about him, if you wish, HERE. It is just amazing to me that he is the one heading up Obama's religious outreach team. Out of all of the people available in this country to Obama for positions like this, he picks this young guy who has no real-world work experience (he went from college to a master's program to a part-time law school program, according to the article). It is a bit mind boggling, actually.

But I digress. Back to the religious influence on policy:
Representatives from a handful of outside religious groups meeting with the Obama transition team expect these aides to stay on in the new administration.

The Obama transition team would not comment about its meetings with religious groups apart from issuing a brief statement from DuBois, the religious outreach director. "The Obama-Biden transition team is working with a range of religious and secular community groups to solicit their views on the transition process and our agenda going forward," the statement read in part.

Interviews with 10 participants in the Obama transition team's faith-based meetings paint a portrait of Obama aides recording priorities and concerns of representatives from religious denominations and advocacy groups, mostly of the left-leaning variety. Their policy priorities include economic relief for the poor, new protections for organized labor, a stepped-up campaign to combat global warming, improved access to healthcare, and guarantees that the United States will forgo torture in its war on terror.

Well, yeah, those sound like some pretty good issues - I think most of us would be fine with this list. But you know it doesn't stop with helping the poor:
Some of the faith-based groups have also pressured the transition team to make a serious attempt to reduce demand for abortion by improving sex education and expanding government services for pregnant women.

There ya go. But wait - there's even more:
Spokespeople for the social conservative advocacy group Family Research Council and for the Southern Baptist Convention—a huge, mostly conservative evangelical denomination—meanwhile, said that their organizations have not received invitations to meet with Obama's transition team. Southern Baptist Convention public policy chief Richard Land says that DuBois called him to report that Obama had personally read a letter from Land urging the president-elect to push legislation aimed at reducing the demand for abortion. "Mr. DuBois told me that he wanted to keep the bridges of communication open and that the door was always open for us to voice concerns," Land says. "I congratulated him on having picked Rick Warren to do the invocation at the inauguration."

Of course he did. And there was much rejoicing throughout the land that Obama picked Rick Warren to participate in his "historic" inauguration. What? That wasn't rejoicing? Whatever - it was Obama's choice, ergo, it must be sanctified, according to the Obama faithful. Ahem.

And now, we get to Obama's take on Bush's Faith-based Initiatives, a program previously abhorred by liberals, but now that Obama is pushing it, it is a fabulous use of your tax-paying dollars:
Transition team meetings with faith groups focused on planning for a Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Obama's version of the faith-based initiatives office that President Bush launched during his first term. The meetings have included advocates of strict church-state separation, who have traditionally criticized such programs.

"It doesn't bother me," Americans United for Separation of Church and State Executive Director Barry W. Lynn says of the Obama policy of having aides sit down frequently with religious groups. "It would only bother me if [Obama] starts implementing the policies of religious groups that are inconsistent with guarantees of the Constitution, and I haven't seen that yet."

Still, creating consensus around the Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is emerging as an early challenge in Obama's efforts to satisfy both secular liberal and religious groups. For instance, proponents of church-state separation want Obama to peel back Bush-era exemptions on employment nondiscrimination laws for religious organizations receiving federal funds—allowing Christian groups to hire only Christians—while some religious groups say they need such hiring discretion to maintain the religious component of their programs.

For now, though, those groups are happy just to have the incoming administration's ear. "We're glad to have a good seat at the table and that [the Obama transition team] is listening to all sides," says Tanya Clay House, director of public policy for People for the American Way, which has expressed concerns about the propriety of federal faith-based initiatives. "The old administration listened to just one side of the argument."

Wow - I guess Rev. Lynn forgets that his organization, Americans United, spear-headed major opposition to Bush's faith-based initiative in a major position paper. Want to guess who signed on to that opposition? That's right - People for the American Way (PFAW). I guess now that it is OBAMA who wants to do it, no, EXPAND the Initiatives, it is magically and miraculously a great plan - because they have "good seats at the table," see.

And it looks like the two Jameses might just get their way with this whole abolishing of that pesky Church and State thing when this is what the opposition looks like. Nice job at "gate-keeping" there, AU and PFAW - way to stick to the courage of your convictions! And way to protect the Constitution. I mean, hey - why bother with that pesky little document as long as Obama lets you have a good seat at the table? You're in the "In" crowd now, and that is all that apparently counts anymore to these groups.

The hypocrisy knows no bounds. It simply knows no bounds.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Why Start Now??

To expect Obama to speak out against his minion's boorish, often aggressive behavior? That's my response to the following article, The Ugly Side of the Inauguration: Obamamania's Mean Streak (and MAJOR H/T to American Girl in Italy for this link). The author, Mr. Frederick, had this to say:
Ironic that on Inauguration Day, when President Barack Obama told Americans it was time to take personal responsibility and "grow up" as a country, some of his supporters behaved like spoiled children in booing George W. Bush.

And, sadly, neither Obama nor any leader in the public spotlight that day seized the moment to admonish the boorish behavior.

It would have been nice had Obama had the presence of mind in his inaugural speech to not only allude to scripture in saying it's time to put away "childish things" but to also have told the boo-birds that their behavior was inappropriate and the embodiment of those "childish things."

He might have said: "Isn't it enough to be just happy for me? When you boo the former president, you fail to understand what this solemn event is all about -- the peaceful transition of power. This is not a football game. Nor is it a Third World bloodless coup. This is American democracy at work. If you can't respect that, then leave. Now."

Like I said, why the hell would Obama start now? He hasn't bothered to say anything to any one of his minions at any point during the entire primary or election season, so why would he speak out for Mr. Bush?

And here is another little problem I have - him saying Obama should have said, "Isn't it enough to be just happy for me?" Um, what? Yes, we should all be happy for The Boy Who Would Be Dictator because this has nothing to do with our actual country. Wowie.

Mr. Frederick's shock continues:
But no one mustered the courage to say that. While I thought Obama's speech was otherwise thought-provoking and worthy, he missed an opportunity to call out these boors and chastise their behavior. By not doing so, I am afraid that Obama essentially condoned this kind of mob intolerance. There is already a hateful mean streak among some Obamamaniacs. Left unchecked, it can fester into something quite un-American and un-democratic.

In case you missed it, when President George W. Bush was announced to the crowd, some booed loudly, shocking even the commentators on the official Obama network, MSNBC. One section of onlookers sang, "Nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, goodbye." And, finally, as Bush left the White House, one deep thinker took the opportunity to give the "one-finger salute," thus saying more about himself than anything else.

This from a movement that fancies itself all about peace, love and global karma.

Where in the HELL Has this man been? Clearly, he cannot distinguish between the mantras of the Obama Party and the REALITY of the Obama Party. How many, many times have we written about this, the cruel, aggressive, demeaning, sexist, even misogynistic behavior of Obama's followers, and that is just toward Secretary of State Hillary Clinton!! It would seem Mr. Frederick's blindfold and earplugs served him well if he was unaware of these, um, "shenanigans." The "one-finger salute? Like the one Obama gave to Clinton detailed in THIS article?

He continues:
Now look, it would be a mistake to paint all Democrats and Obama supporters with the actions of these few on Inauguration Day. And, according to news reports, some in the crowd tried hard to shush the boo-birds. That is a hopeful sign.

But let's also not ignore the obvious. There is a growing faction of the American left that seeks revenge more than righteousness.

Intolerant of dissenting views, this faction thinks as comedian Janeane Garofalo does that some members of the opposing political party should be "jailed." Terrorist acts (such as mailing envelopes of white power to Mormon temples because the gay marriage vote in California went the church's way) are seen by this faction as understandable and acts of legitimate political expression.

But of course. Target the Mormons, thus the Senate Majority Leader (why does everyone always forget that Harry Reid is a MORMON, and ANTI-Choice? I just don't get that.) So, yes, Janeane, let us completely deny that even before the election, the NY Times was predicting that it would be OBAMA'S supporters that would vote IN Prop. 8. That, in fact, was the reality. It was the African American community coming out in droves that tipped the scales, as detailed HERE and HERE.

Mr. Frederick does touch on the issue of race, too:
There is also an ugly racial component to it. We first saw it with Obama's pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who said, among other things, that white America had deliberately inflicted black Africa with AIDS.

When the Rev. Wright first hit the national stage, we hardly knew what to make of his irrational and separatist statements. Consequently, we pretty much ignored the substance of Wright's racially divisive rhetoric and focused on it as a day-to-day political story. It made us more comfortable, I think.

But in light of the things we saw at the inauguration, it may be time to revisit the dangers of intolerance and hate -- no matter the color of the person who makes them -- and nip this ugly mean streak in the bud.

As our president said, it is time to grow up. (Sherman Frederick ( is publisher of the Review-Journal and president of Stephens Media.

Well, that is just laughable - to expect the most juvenile, petulant, arrogant, immature, empty-suit to tell his minions to grow up. HAHAHAHAHA!! Yeah, maybe when he does.

Beside that, though, is the convenient amnesia of Mr. Frederick regarding what the Rev. Lowery said at the inauguration (h/t to LisaB), highlighted in Pat Racimora's article, "A Profound Prayer Until..>Wrong Turn!." To recap, he said this:
Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around … when yellow will be mellow … when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right.

Holy cow. Yeah, I think that qualifies as having a racial component.

But it also begs the question WHY Rev. Wright's incendiary, separatist comments were not addressed more fully? And why his connection, as well as Louis Farrakhan's, to Obama was continually glossed over by the majority of those in the MSM? Because they were afraid of being called racists? Or because they knew it would be real trouble for Obama if they actually did their job and exposed the belief system in which Obama was a willing participant? Some of us were paying attention, though. Do a "search at: NoQuarter on Rev. Wright, and you will get page after page after page of articles that at least have some mention of him, if not dealing with him directly (far too many to link to here), beginning with this one in March.

Same goes for the "boorish" behavior of Obama's supporters. The Palin (and Clinton) t-shirts? The intimidation/bullying at the caucuses? "Iron My Shirt" buffoons? Obama turning away from Clinton without greeting her at the SOTU? Obviously, I could go on and on with examples, all of which have been well documented at NQ and other sites. Which raises this question: where in the hell has this guy been, expecting Obama to change his stripes NOW? Just because it was Bush being booed? Because at no time has Obama acted like a "grown up" when his crowds have gone off on his competition - not once. He has been their role model for boorish behavior from debates to rallies. So for anyone to expect anything different now just because he was sworn in a few times is nothing short of delusional.

So to recap, it is way past time to take off the blindfold and take out the earplugs. The booing? Typical. Comments like Garofalo's? Typical. Intimidation of dissenters? Typical. (Don't believe me? Just ask the Justice Department since they are suing the Black Panthers.) Racial division by clergy? Typical.

This is who Obama is. To expect him to challenge behavior in which he himself engages is nuts.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The New DNC Looks Like...

The old DNC - nothing new here. The GLBT community continues to be treated like the proverbial red-headed stepchild. I bring this up because of the following comment left at my blog the other day:
Thank God I found your blog! I feel like I've been living a real life version of invasion of the body snatchers since Obama was elected! Heterosexual people who I considered to be my friends had the audacity to tell me I should stop complaining about the Rick Warren incident and "trust Obama"....and worse. I have lost lifelong friends over this bullshit, and it has even damaged relationships with family members. Obama did more to degrade, insult, and damage LGBT people on his first day in office than any other president has done in an entire term (at least in my lifetime)...

I'm guessing that beyond Obama choosing Rick Warren to convey God's love to everyone who isn't gay or, well, a woman, was Obama's choice of Tim Kaine as the new DNC Chair. As I have pointed out in previous posts, Kaine is both anti-Choice, and anti-gay. Hell, he even opposes same-sex civil unions. Betcha didn't know that abt the NEW CHAIR of the DNC!!! How could we not possibly take this choice, this hand pick, by Obama personally?

And how we can not take it personally that, as the commenter above noted, our families and friends keep dismissing the numerous slaps at our community by Obama? I don't see how we can't, and I, for one, most definitely DO take it personally. When people like Anne Hathaway think her wearing a damn ribbon is sufficient "protest" to Obama's choices, and others, people who KNOW us, think to do even LESS, well, there's no way not to take that as a slap.

This seems like the perfect time to remind all of those people about the DNC's Platform on gay issues, hammered out this summer. Here is a post I wrote back on August 11, 2008 on the DNC Platform with a couple of edits for the passage of time:

So, I was taking a glance at the DNC Platform for 2008, and I noticed something missing. There was VERY little mention of GLBT Rights. It mentioned repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" - a policy loudly decried, so that's not a big surprise. UPDATE: But now, Obama has put this on the back-burner until at least 2010. Oh, what a SURPRISE from this man who surrounds himself with homophobes!!! Ahem.

And the Obama camp "opposes" DOMA. Well, I guess that's something, they do NOT specifically say they will work to OVERTURN IT, though. So, okay. What else have you got? Oh, okay - on pp46-47, they say they want to end discrimination based on the usual list, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Well, golly gee - all the rest are already illegal, so why are we lumped into a big group? Oh, and they want to work in a bipartisan way to end employment discrimination. Great! That is the ONLY proactive statement they make for the GLBT community, but even THAT is not specific. Those few mentions are interwoven with a bunch of other groups throughout. There is a subheading on FATHERHOOD (I kid you not - I'm not making this stuff up, people!), but NOT a subheading on obtaining FULL rights for the GLBT community. Nowhere in there is a stated COMMITMENT to obtain FULL Federal benefits for LGBT couples, all the same rights that heterosexual couples currently enjoy, and something Hillary Clinton committed to doing if elected president. So, a few nebulous mentions - you will NOT find the term "GLBT Community" in there, and one stated action on employment. Which includes EVERYONE. Peachy. I reckon we'll have to wait for full citizenship because these are just "words," words without even a COMMITMENT to action. I, for one, am not "grateful" for what little is offered in this Platform. I want my country to acknowledge me as a a FULL HUMAN BEING, not act like I should be thrilled to lap up whatever crumbs are dropped from the table of "real" Americans. No. Hell to the no.

How is it that countries like URUGUAY have national civil rights for THEIR GLBT citizens (as of January 1, 2008), and we do not, a country FOUNDED on democratic principles?

Or how about South Africa? Yes, South Africa, the country recently in the throes of a racist regime included IN ITS CONSTITUTION, rights for their GLBT citizens. In 2006, when the issue of Civil Unions came up, their dominant church, the Anglican Church, was not going to fight it. Rather, Archbishop of Cape Town, which oversees 24 bishops in the country said:
he supports the proposed controversial Civil Unions Bill which will legalise same-sex partnerships.

Speaking on Thursday, he said that there should be two separate types of marriage; the existing law which covers heterosexual couples and a new concept which would allow for same-sex unions.

Ndungane said that "I have said to my friends who are gay and lesbian that using the word marriage is like a red flag to a bull. They will be wise to use the word partnership or union.”

While the Synod has said it will not actually perform (or bless) same-sex unions, but it will be supportive. He went on to say:
"People of homosexual orientation are God's children. We cannot penalise someone for something not of his or her own making", said Ndungane, adding that, "Diversity is a creation by the almighty. We need to embrace all of us in our differences and seek to walk together."

Now, in all fairness, some in the GLBT community were not thrilled with this compromise, particularly because they feel like it ends up being separatist in terms of the whole marriage concept, and that it is unconstitutional. I imagine they are right, but when you live in a country in which people go crazy over a gay Episcopal priest, Gene Robinson, being elevated to Bishop in 2003, or have a President of the United States, George Bush, claim he wants to make Gay Rights Unconstitutional, well, it looks pretty good to me.

But I'm not done. We all know (right?) that countries like France, England, and those freakin' cold countries in Europe have full rights for their GLBT citizens - what a concept. Yes, they all seem to see us as being fully human. And get this: Holland isn't content with providing their OWN citizens with full rights - they think it should be GLOBAL, and are fighting to make that happen. Yep. How about that? Meanwhile, we are having people literally beaten to death because they are gay. Geez - what would it take to get the Dutch to come over HERE and get to work on this issue??

Oh, but I am still not done. Guess which other country has full rights for their GLBT citizens? Oh, guess. Go ahead. I'll wait. Nope, no, huh uh - that would be CROATIA. Yes, I said CROATIA. I would have more rights in Croatia, the country recently in a major war with the Serbs until 1995. Just 18 years after forming its Constitution, I have more rights THERE than I do in the United States of America. In fact:
Croatia is also one of very few countries in central, eastern and southern Europe to grant same-sex couples the civil partnership rights equal to those granted to heterosexuals.

In fairness, it is not ALL hunky dory there:
However, like the people of many countries in the region, Croatians do not have the same tolerance we've come to expect from the Dutch, the Swedes, and the rest of western Europe. Gays are accepted when they are not obvious, and meet greater tolerance in cities than in rural parts of the country.

But STILL - they have the SAME RIGHTS as heterosexuals do there. Presumably, that means they are not prohibited from inheriting from their partners like they are in a number of states in the USA. Presumably, they can visit their loved ones when they are in the HOSPITAL. And so, so much more.

Yet, the DNC did not see fit to include us ANYWHERE in its platform for the Convention. And the reason is because they tailored it to OBAMA. If it had been Clinton, I believe, no - I KNOW - it would have been different. She has been a faithful, stalwart friend to our community for years, and she has already said that if elected, she would ensure that we ALL got the same federal benefits, not just some of us (see the YouTube video below).

I have said all along that if Hillary was not our candidate, not our PRESIDENT, that we were going to get kicked to the curb. I would be delighted to be proven wrong, but I'm pretty sure I am right, unfortunately. The lack of inclusion in the Platform for this year was not an oversight. It is just more of what we can expect.

Hillary Clinton was the ONLY candidate out there who will serve ALL Americans, not just some. And that matters. That matters a lot. I have no doubt she will do a great job as Secretary of State, but it would have been better for ALL of us had she been president:

So, yeah - it's personal. To try and minimize the impact of Obama's choices on the GLBT community, or expect US to minimize it, is nothing more than piling on.

Welcome to the New DNC.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Recommend To You...

This post by my good buddy, Logistics Monster, "B. Hussein Obama: The Campaign for Dominance That Never Ends." In it, Logistics Monster highlights Obama's Private Army, created to secure his re-election. It's some scary stuff, though he has been telegraphing this type of activity for some time, especially with the Superdelegates.

Let me give you a little reminder before I get back to the PT with my constant motion machine. Remember Rep. John Lewis, a prominent Hillary supporter before Jesse Jackson, Jr. and his ilk went after him? He ended up switching to Obama because of the pressure, but too late! He was already a target! He didn't fall in line fast enough to suit them. And others, too, as this NY Times article indicates here:
In Georgia, Representative John Lewis, a prominent civil rights leader, is facing primary challenges from two black candidates who have been critical of him for backing Mrs. Clinton for months before shifting to Mr. Obama. To underscore the point, one of the challengers set up his headquarters in the same building that served as Mr. Obama’s office for the primary. Nearby, in Savannah, Representative John Barrow, who is white but represents a district that is largely black, is under attack from a challenger who says Mr. Barrow was also late to endorse Mr. Obama.

I recommend the article to you - it provides a nice backdrop to Logistics Monster's piece. I'll give you a little hint, though - these were not the only two people to get this treatment, and I guarantee you, there will be more!

Those of us who have been paying attention knew this was going to happen - we have been watching it for months now. But since Obama has managed to get the words of the oath of office out ("Do-over!"), his "army" is gonna step it up. This is scary stuff, indeed. I predict it is only the tip of the iceberg...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dear Friends - UPDATED in Comments

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, and for being faithful readers. It means a great deal to me. I hope you have found my blog to be both informational and entertaining.

I want to let you know that I will be taking a break from the blog for a short time while I have, and recover from, knee replacement surgery today (the 15th). I hope to be back within two weeks, possibly sooner, but no promises there. It all depends on the recovery. I do know I will be in the hospital for a few days, and possibly rehab after that. I just don't know at this point.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know, and to once again recommend No Quarter as a great resource for news and commentary. Most of the writers there, like Uppity Woman, have their own blogs as well which you can link to through their sign-in names at No Quarter, and I recommend those to you.

Again, thank you for your support, for your concern over my beautiful horse, Jordan, (who has made a FULL recovery and is now back on his regular feeding schedule), and for coming here. It means more than you know.

I hope you all are well during the next couple of weeks, and stay safe. Take care.

UPDATE: Amy's surgery went well and she is recovering nicely so far. She'll be in the hospital through Sunday or Monday, then back home for some rehab care of the Home Health aides and the demonic CPM machine (I call it that because it has become stuck TWICE in the most painful fully flexed position!! Thanks for all your thought, prayers, healing energies - they are felt and appreciated. I'm sure Amy will be back to her rabble rousing self in no time!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

He Was For It Before He Was Agin' It...

And other news on the ever changing Barack Obama.

Perhaps you have now heard that a 1996 questionnaire for Barack Obama has mysteriously reappeared AFTER he was elected (which of course he could not have done without the DNC's new take on voting, i.e., it doesn't really matter for whom you cast your vote - they will give it to whomever they damn well please). Yes, it is a questionnaire Obama filled out, and signed himself (though he'll probably blame it on some staffer pretty soon here) in which he says he SUPPORTS same-sex marriage! Say, WHAAA??? Yes, indeedy! Ben Smith of has this article, "Obama Backed Same Sex Marriage in 1996":
A document has emerged suggesting that Obama had taken more public, liberal stands in the past than had been revealed in the digging of reporters and opposition researchers over two years of campaigning, the latest of several pointing to a rightward shift as he moved into national politics.

In a 1996 questionnaire filled out for a Chicago gay and lesbian newspaper, then called Outlines, Obama came out clearly in favor of same-sex marriage, which he has opposed on the public record throughout his short career in national politics.

“I favor legalizing same-sex marriages,and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages,” Obama wrote in the typed, signed, statement.

There was no use of “civil unions,” and "no compromise whatsoever," the Windy City Times story today notes.

On another questionnaire the same year, Obama said he would support a resolution in support of same-sex marriage.

The editor of the Windy City Times, a successor of Outlines, Tracy Baim, said she hadn't deliberately held onto the news until after Obama's election. Baim, who had been the editor of Outlines at the time, said that just before the election, she ran across the old Outline story saying Obama backed same-sex marriage, but only dug his forgotten questionnaire out of an old box this week, having assumed that she'd lost it.

Obama now says he opposes same-sex marriage, though he backs giving gays and lesbians a parallel package of marriage-like rights, and opposes a federal ban on same-sex marriage.

Here is a copy of the document:

Okay, now why does ANYONE believe Obama on ANYTHING he says? He changes like the wind. You never know which way he will turn. Oh - and did you notice his response on #10? He has dialed down that rhetoric a bit now, too. Here is but one take on his position. A quick search will provide many more.

Next on the list is Obama's choice of dining companions last night. Marc Ambinder has a report in this article, Obama Dines With Conservative Opinion Leaders":
It's true.

He motorcaded to a house in Maryland this evening, and if the press pool report is accurate, he is breaking bread with William Kristol and David Brooks. (If Brooks and Kristol seem to be unusually briefed about Obama's thinking, you'll know why.)

CBS News's Dan Raviv tells the pool that the house, on Grafton Street in Chevy Chase, belongs to George Will. (Unless he's moved.)

Tomorrow, I hear Obama has another private meeting with non-Republican opinion columnists.

Ellen Moran, the incoming White House communications director, set these meetings up.

Again -- establishment opinion matters to the Obama communications team.

Oh, I just can't wait to see what's next with Mr. Slippery. But I won't have to wait for long, thanks to Comcast. Oh, yes - Comcast has decided to run an All-Obama-All-The-Time Channel. No, I am NOT making this up. Seriously - it's for real.

I know I have said before that some Obama supporters (oh, all right - many) are just delusional, not accepting the reality of who this man is and for what he stands (if you can figure it out, that is - except we do know he is at least anti-gay, so there's that). But this has morphed into flat out insanity. I honestly thought we had reached the zenith of nut-job-iness (yes, that's a technical term!) with the Bush supporters, but Obama's supporters are making them look like the most well-balanced, intelligent, grounded folks around. Except for those of us in the reality-based community, that is. This is just crazy. Crazy!! Can you IMAGINE what all of these exact same people would have said if Comcast has an All-Bush channel?? You know that everyone would be screaming BLOODY murder about that! But now, our nation has collectively crossed the line, and this has become acceptable. Holy crap.

There are two bright lights in the news this week, though. One is that Caroline Kennedy is being edged out in her Camelot quest for Senator Clinton's Empire State seat. Yes, the people of NY, you know, the ones who really SHOULD have a say in all of this since it is their representation at state, are backing Andrew Cuomo. Assuming their governor is paying attention, it will be nice to see that at least one person doesn't sell out to the highest bidder and actually listens to their constituents (oh, you know about what I am talking - all of those senators and representatives who didn't give a WHIT who their constituents wanted for the Democratic nominee - I know, I know, not that it would have mattered since the DNC didn't care, either, but still...It would have been, um, nice if SOMEONE had a backbone. Maybe Paterson does!).

And the other bright light - well, bittersweet, really - is seeing Senator Clinton display her brilliance and command of the issues during her confirmation hearing (if only C-Span would STOP tossing it from channel to channel to online back to channel). Watching her, though, is just a reminder of who we SHOULD Have had, this brilliant woman who knows policy. Who makes it CLEAR where she stands,e.g., with women and girls who are being abused as she did yesterday, when she said this:
“They want to maintain an attitude,” she charged, “that keeps women unhealthy, unfed, uneducated, and this is something that results all too often in violence against these young women.” (NYTimes Live Blog)

“This is not culture, this is not custom, this is criminal,” she said.

She's got that right. And to all of those women who supported Mr. Misogynist, you blew it. BLEW it. He is not the one who will ensure that women's rights are human rights, Hillary Clinton will. Obama is a perpetrator of sexism. Clinton is on the side of equality. But I digress.

Back to the hearings: She has a mastery of issues and policies that should be the envy of Obama. Yes, she looks tired. Unlike Bush, I mean, Obama, she has not had a vacation (Obama has had two since the DNC gave him the nomination, in case you are keeping score - TWO). Clinton has continued her tireless work. So, yes, she looks pretty tired, but she can still talk circles around Mr. "Uh, Um, Uh, Well, Look."

Bittersweet, indeed. Watching Senator Clinton talk is just an ugly reminder of how the DNC and Obama screwed the majority of Democrats in this country. Seeing her is a reminder of who we COULD have had, who we really needed to get us out of this mess we are in. Because Mr. First Term Senator With No Record On Which To Stand is not going to be the one to fix it. The one saving grace is the comfort of knowing Secretary of State Clinton will be handling some major issues facing us, at home and abroad (I still cannot get over the way Obama LIED about her extensive Foreign Policy experience, with his minions buying it. No sooner had the last state reported, for all intents and purposes, he announces Clinton for this very important foreign policy post, citing her experience!! Oh, but the Obots will excuse that, too, just like every other damn thing they refuse to acknowledge.).

So that's the quick round-up. Feel free to add other goings-on of the day!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Well, Golly Gee, Anne, That Will Learn Him

As in Anne Hathaway, an actress I actually like, and one whose movies I have seen (yes, both Princess Diaries - what's your point??!). She has taken such a strong stand, I am sure you will agree, on an important issue. Oh, yes - I am talking, of course, about her decision to NOT turn her back on Rick Warren during The One's Coronation. Oh, SNAP, Anne! Way to stand up for what you believe in - so courageous and brave!! You go, girl!!

Oh, wait - sorry, I am getting ahead of myself now. See, there was this article on Sunday, Anne Hathaway Against Rick Warren, But Won't Turn Back On Him at Inauguration. Now, in case you somehow missed it reading your issue of People or OK! or wherever it is they have this kind of info, Ms. Hathaway is a big Obama supporter. What a SURPRISE! Not. Well, she was mighty upset at him over his choice of Pastor Rick Warren to play an important role in the Coronation. Here's what she had to say about this offensive choice, along with the generous set-up by the author of the article:
Hathaway is also proving to be incredibly articulate, and, as the year passed, politicized in a way that puts her in the legacy of Jane Fonda and Susan Sarandon. She speaks her mind about issues she feels passionately about.

One of them is Barack Obama—whom she backed—and his choice of Rick Warren as the Obama Inauguration’s clergy of choice.

“I am against it,” Hathaway told me at the after party last night amid champagne toasts to her, to Streep, and to her “Rachel” co-star Rosemarie Dewitt. “My older brother is gay, and so its a family issue for me. My father is coming with me to the Inauguration. At first we discussed not going, and then we thought we’d just turn our backs when he [Warren] speaks. But we didn’t want to be disrespectful. So we’re going to wear ribbons protesting his appearance.”

So she’s outspoken, and polite. That’s a combination you can’t beat.

Wowie freakin' zowie, Anne - you are practically another Norma Rae, I tell ya! Way to stand up to the man, especially in solidarity with your gay brother! Hell to the yeah, wear that ribbon! That oughta learn Obama that you are not happy with his choice of YET ANOTHER homophobe for the big occasion! Of course, it isn't stopping you from GOING, or from supporting him in the FIRST place, this misogynistic homophobe who has surrounded himself with anti-gay, anti-choice men at EVERY turn.

I don't know about your brother, but speaking for me only, I gotta tell you, it just does not feel like a whole lot of support. If someone consistently surrounds himself with actively anti-gay people, it should tell you something about him. And if all you do is make excuses for him, or protest by wearing a ribbon while still participating in his Coronation, well, that has about ZERO impact. But you just go ahead and tell yourself you are taking a stand while still participating in the event. Oh, yeah - that'll sure learn 'em, as we say down here in the South. Power to the people!

I cannot even begin to tell you how sick and tired I am of this. People who claim to care about GLBT issues and rights, who have family members who are GLBT, or even GLBT people themselves who continue to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to who Obama really is. What the HELL is it going to take to get through to you? He does not give a DAMN about the GLBT community. If he DID, he would not associate with The IL Senator Rev. James Meeks, who is rabidly anti-gay . Or Donnie "God Delivered Me From Homosexuality" McClurkin. Or Doug "Hell No, You Gay People Can't Marry!" Kmiec. Or invite one of the big haters of Gay people - Rick Warren - a man who will not even allow us into his CHURCH - to be up front and center in his Big Event. Or who chooses Tim Kaine, another big time gay hater, to be THE CHAIR OF THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE, the very party the GLBT community has, by and large, supported.

Oh, that's not a slap in the face or an affront at all!! Oh, and Ladies - both Warren and Kaine don't think you should be able to choose what happens to your own body your self either! What a GREAT feminist minded guy he is! Treats women like crap in the open for eighteen months, and yet still is lauded as being a FEMINIST by Ms. Magazine! That is just obscene.

And yes, I have heard that The Right Rev. Gene Robinson has now been asked to give an invocation at a Sunday night Lincoln Memorial Inaugural event. Oh, well, that just makes EVERYTHING okay now, doesn't it? A last minute addition to an event that is not exactly the main event will make all of us gay people all of a sudden forget that Obama chose a rabidly homophobic, misogynist to be on the Main Stage. Oh, yes, I am so thankful for this crumb dropped from the table. Maybe Obama isn't such a hater after all, right?

Freaking spare me already. I have had it. Sorry if I am being pissy, but this is just sheer stupidity. Yes, I said it. At what point are his followers EVER going to hold him accountable?? EVER??? This is like the people who thought George Bush could do no wrong no matter WHAT he did - the refusal to join the "reality-based community" is just as strong among the Obama supporters as it was for the Bush supporters. You know, the same ones we ridiculed. Enough already. Stop with the excuses. Stop the denial. And stop pretending that wearing a little ribbon will make any difference to the issue at hand - Obama's homophobia. Here's a newsflash: Obama is not the Saint you created him to be.

Frankly, Warren and Kaine are not all that different from Ken Blackwell, the potential RNC Chair, who said, "Homosexuality is a compulsion that can be contained, repressed or changed." Please tell me why that is any more unacceptable than the crap Warren spews about unrepentant gays not being allowed to attend his church, and equates us to pedophiles and incest perpetrators. Or Kaine spewing this:
Marriage between a man and a woman is the building block of the family and a keystone of our civil society. It has been so for centuries in societies around the world. I cannot agree with a court decision suddenly declaring that marriage must now be redefined to include unions between people of the same gender.

Or this:
And finally in the area of adoption. Virginia has adoption laws right now that I agree with. The adoption laws say the only couple that is allowed to adopt is a married couple.

I'm just saying - not a whole helluva lot of difference there.

Here's the deal: no amount of ribbons are going to change who Obama really is, Anne. He is a homophobe who surrounds himself with homophobes. And don't tell me that this is just one issue among many. This is not an "issue" - it is my LIFE. Just as being a woman is not an issue, but my LIFE. Who Obama chooses to elevate is telling, telling indeed. That is the reality.

It is WAY past time for his followers to come back to the reality-based community and take a good, hard look at the man who was given the Democratic Nomination while they covered their eyes and ears, no matter how much we tried to tell them who he really was. Because let me tell you something - Hillary Clinton would never in a bazillion years pick someone so offensive to women and GLBT people. She NEVER would have appointed an anti-gay, anti-choice man to be Chair of the DNC. So when you stood by, and allowed the RBC/DNC to engage in vote theft, when you stood by while Obama engaged in caucus fraud, when you stood by while ACORN engaged in rampant voter fraud, you gave your tacit approval to Obama's homophobia and misogyny.

Stop turning your back on THAT, and FACE the reality of what you have done.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Matter Of Degrees

No matter where you fall on the Israel/Gaza issue, and I know people have strong feelings on both sides, two events this past weekend are disturbing. They are disturbing because we have been down this road before. And this is a road down which we never want to go again, not Israel, not Palestine, not against Jews, not against Muslims, not against any group. And so, when events like the following begin to occur, it should give us pause.

First, there was this article in the Chicago Sun Times, Vandals Deface Three Local Synagogues:
Vandals spray-painted the words “Death to Israel’’ on two synagogues and a Jewish school early Saturday in three separate incidents police say could be linked and are being investigated as hate crimes.

In each case, the vandals — at times donning masks — used orange-colored paint, also shattering glass windows with bricks and rocks at two of the buildings.

A witness and security cameras identified the perpetrators as two men.

Moshe Perlstein, rabbi at Lubavitch Mesivta of Chicago, said cameras captured video of the men damaging his rabbinical school at 2756 W. Morse starting at around 4:40 a.m. The footage shows one man spray-painting the side of the building while the other ran around to the front and threw rocks at the front door, breaking a glass window, he said. The video has been turned over to police.

That was not the end of it. There was more:
Similar graffiti was found at Anshe Motele Congregation, 6526 N. California, rabbi Alan Abramson said.

Lincolnwood police said vandals also scrawled “Death to Israel’’ and “Free Palestine’’ on the outside walls of Lincolnwood Jewish Congregation, 7117 N. Crawford. Mitchell Sandler, past president of the congregation, said they threw at least two bricks at the front doors, damaging four windows.

Lincolnwood Police Lt. Mark Brines said police were notified at 6:10 a.m. that a caretaker in the building heard a brick crash through a window at the temple. The caretaker saw “two unknown males running from the scene,’’ Brines said.

Because all three buildings were used by orthodox Jews, Sandler said it appeared the men were targeting more devout Jews.

“This was a cowardly act in the middle of the night,’’ Sandler said. “Obviously there is dismay because of what’s been happening in the Middle East.’’

Local Jewish leaders were alarmed by what they see as a “rash’’ of incidents targeting Jews.

“It’s disturbing,’’ said Jay Tcath, senior vice president of the Chicago Jewish Federation.

Disturbing, indeed. Whenever a group is targeted, when a hate crime occurs, it is disturbing. And there is yet more:
The incidents come a little more than a week after Ida Crown Jewish Academy, at 2828 W. Pratt, received a mailed bomb threat that also made reference to other Chicago-area Jewish institutions and day schools, said Jay Tcath, senior vice president of the Chicago Jewish Federation.

And police said they are investigating as a hate crime a Dec. 29 incident in which a man hurled a Molotov cocktail at Temple Sholom of Chicago, 3480 N. Lake Shore Dr., after making “derogatory comments’’ to a passerby.

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force has been notified, police said.

No arrests have been made.

Next, Jewish Odysseus had this disturbing story via Mugata: German "Police" Join Jew-Hating Muslim Mob:
1:16 AM Received from Muqata Blog Reader in Germany, Sebastian M.

Today, 10.000 people demonstrated against Israel here in my hometown Duisburg (Germany) and to express their solidarity with Hamas. So, my girlfriend and me put two Israel flags out of the windows of our flat in the 3rd floor. During the demonstration which went through our street the police broke into our flat and removed the flag of Israel. The statement of the police was to de-escalate the situation, because many youth demonstrators were on the brink of breaking into our apartment house. Before this they threw snowballs, knifes and stones against our windows and the complete building. We both were standing on the other side of the street and were shocked by seeing a police officer standing in our bedroom and opening the window to get the flag. The picture illustrate this situation. The police acquiesced in the demands of the mob.

That's a police officer removing the flag of Israel, just in case you couldn't tell.

I understand that many people are angry and frustrated with Israel right now. I really do. Larry Johnson had a great piece on this very issue at No Quarter ("This Will Sicken You"). They are not innocent bystanders in this current conflict with Gaza, as they move into deeply populated areas clearly indicates.

That being said, I don't think it is a stretch to say that for something like this to happen in Germany, for police officers to join in with an anti-Jew mob, raises a pretty ugly specter. We HAVE seen this before, and none of us can allow that to stand. Despite Israel's incursions into Gaza, we cannot allow the pendulum to swing that far back again. Not in Germany. Not in Israel. Not in Gaza. Not in Bosnia. Not in Serbia. Not in Rwanda. We must be vigilant that this kind of atrocity does not happen again, that groups are not slaughtered for their ethnicity, their religious beliefs, or their political beliefs. We must be brokers for peace.

There is a group who does just that, for Israel and Palestine. For any place where there is war or injustice. Women in Blackis a collective of peace activists who realize that women have a different perspective of war. When I lived in Cambridge, Arabic and Jewish women would hold vigils - together - to call for an end to the violence between Israel and Palestine. They represented the mothers, sisters, daughters of people who had been, or were being killed. They represented the ones who brought forth those who were being killed, or tended to the wounded. Yes, they had a different perspective, indeed. Some of them had seen firsthand the devastation in the Middle East. From their website:
Who are Women in Black?

Women in Black… is a world-wide network of women committed to peace with justice and actively opposed to injustice, war, militarism and other forms of violence. As women experiencing these things in different ways in different regions of the world, we support each other’s movements. An important focus is challenging the militarist policies of our own governments. We are not an organisation, but a means of communicating and a formula for action.

It is a start to end the violence, not just in Israel and Gaza, but around the world. Mothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, granddaughters and nieces, working to end injustice in the world, and violence, whether on a whole scale like war, or on the home front, like domestic violence. These women unite for that - peace. And that would be a cause well worth "fighting" for, wouldn't it?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

If This Is A Feminist...

Then I have been mislabeling myself for the past 36 years. See, I thought a feminist was someone who believed in women's equality, who believed that women's rights were human rights, who believed that women had the right to make decisions about our own bodies, that women had the right to equal pay, and that women had the right to self-determination, not being ruled by a man, to name a few. See, that's what I thought it meant. What a surprise to discover at this late date that, at least according to Ms. Magazine, I have been WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

Evidently, in their opinion, a feminist is someone who plays songs like, "99 Problems But a Bitch Ain't One" when he enters a hall (and I intentionally picked the link to go to Huffington Post since so many of those people claim there is no way this happened. Hell to the yes, it DID.). A feminist is someone who flips off - in public - in a speech that is televised - a female US Senator who is also a Former First Lady of the US and a Former First Lady of Arkansas who, coincidentally, believes women's rights are human rights. She even gave a little speech about it. But I digress...

Apparently, a feminist is someone who chooses for the chair of the Democratic National Committee a man who is anti-choice (oh, and as a bonus, anti-gay). A feminist picks a pastor, Rick Warren, to give a major prayer who equates abortion to Nazism. Once again, as a bonus, is tremendously anti-gay, comparing homosexuality to incest and pedophilia. So much so that he will not ALLOW gay people into his church.

A feminist, as it turns out, believes that women who are "feeling blue" should not be able to have an abortion. And a feminist believes any real discussion of abortion is above his pay grade.

A feminist, at least the one Ms. Magazine is revering, is free to make sexist comments about his competitor, allow vulgar, degrading sexual statements to be made and WORN on t-shirts (forget it - I'm not linking to those despicable shirts) without uttering ONE WORD against it, and pays the women on his staff less than the men.

And, lastly(but by no means the end), a feminist is someone who not only has retained on his staff, but ELEVATED to the top speech-writing post in the White House, this young man, Jon Favreau, who demonstrates his "affection" (read: sexist pig incredibly inappropriate actions) for Senator-Soon-To-Be-Secretary-Of-State, Hillary Clinton in the photo below:

Yep - no doubt about it - all my adult life, I have been completely and utterly wrong about what it means to be a feminist. Turns out, it is the exact opposite of what I always believed it to be.

I thought, I hoped, I prayed that after Bush was out of office, our country, our media, our leaders, our organizations, would return to the reality based community. Sadly, it seems that too many are continuing to perpetrate the charade of who Obama is. I guess it would just be too embarrassing to admit they, like so many others, had been completely duped by him (hey, if you want to know what it is like for all of those people who gave everything for Obama only to be dissed by him, just ask that sexist pig Jesse Jackson, Jr., Obama's campaign manager who threw not just Hillary but his own FATHER under the bus for Obama; or John Kerry who shilled for Obama, hoping for that Secretary of State position; or Jay Rockefeller; or HOWARD DEAN, who wasn't even invited to the introduction of the new DNC chair, what it is like to realize they've been had. Frankly, it couldn't have happened to more deserving people, especially Howard Dean, who allowed the Rules Committee to proceed in a completely unethical, immoral way all the while making it very clear who the DNC wanted for its nominee. So, Howie - what are you doing with your time under the bus?? Just wondering...). But to promote Obama, the most sexist, MISOGYNISTIC candidate I have ever seen as a FEMINIST is grotesque. Ms. Magazine has lost all credibility. Its editors have lost their minds. And they have sure lost me.

If this is what it means to be a feminist, freakin' count me out. I don't want to be lumped in the same group with a misogynistic (homophobic) pig like Obama. Clearly, we need another name for those of us who DO care, and work for, rights for women because as of this date, "feminist" has become a disparaging word, at least for me.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's A HIgh Old Time In Rahm's Former Stomping Grounds

According to John Kass in this VERY good piece from Janurary 9, Chickens Dancing, Roosting in 5th District (major H/T to KenoshaMarge via NH). I tell you, that is one courageous man given how so many of Obama's critics, or people close to him, are silenced tout suite. But that as not stopped Kass. He has continued to speak "truth to power" no matter the risk, one of the very, very few in the MSM to do so. But speak Kass does, thank all the powers there are...

The most recent piece by Kass deals with an issue about which very few people are talking: Rahm Emanuel's seat. Yeah, right? Hardly anyone is talking about who is going to fill his seat:
With the eyes of the nation on the saga of Tombstone Burris—and our Illinois politicians hopping predictably toward impeaching the governor like those dancing chickens at the state fair—don't forget another vacant congressional seat of prime importance to the Obama White House.

Until last week, it belonged to U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Tomczak), now chief of staff to President-elect Barack Obama, who ran on the platform of bringing reform to American politics.

With so many new readers from strange lands finally getting interested in how Chicago works—and by this I mean the editorial boards of many American newspapers—you might start by learning about Emanuel's 5th District.

It is dominated by the shadow governor of Illinois, state Sen. James DeLeo (D-How You Doin'?), the state central Democratic committeeman, the fellow who'll decide who gets slated by the party, the guy behind the guys.

Say, whaaaa? You mean there are more Chicago-style politics going on in the state even though good ol' Blago has been charged with some shenanigans? Of course, you know that type of politics has NOTHING to do with Obama, or Emmanuel, or Emil Jones , or any other Chicago politician, right? Oh, sure:
Emanuel's district runs from the historically mob-dominated town of Melrose Park on east, through Elmwood Park into the city, to Chicago's Viagra Triangle along Rush Street. No, how you doin'?

Jimmy's not talking to me these days. He didn't like the columns about his luxury car leasing deals and those trips to the casino in Aruba with that other big risk-taker, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

Yeah, that Jesse White.

That is from the, "you can't make this shit up" file. Kass continues:
Yet there is another expert on Emanuel's political rise, the world's foremost authority in the field:

Don Tomczak.

Unfortunately, Mr. Tomczak, a top political operative for that other famous reformer, Mayor Richard Daley, is indisposed.

Tomczak will be indisposed until July 3, 2010, when he is scheduled to get out of federal prison, where he was sent after pleading guilty to taking $400,000 in bribes for city trucking contracts in that department Daley still doesn't know anything about.

"Mr. Tomczak was a gentleman of the old school," his lawyer, Patrick Cotter, said the other day. "That was the only way he was ever taught to do things. That's not an excuse, but it is an explanation."

"A gentleman of the old school"? That's a LEGAL defense these days?? Oh, no - just in Chicago, the very place in which Obama CHOSE to begin his political career. Hmmm - I wonder why:
Years ago, Daley put Tomczak in charge of an illegal political army of stooges on the city payroll who worked elections to get promotions and overtime to benefit Daley's machine.

City Hall allowed Tomczak to bring the Democratic army out to Will County to elect his son Jeff as a Republican state's attorney. But the important work was in the city, where Tomczak muscled for Emanuel in 2002.

There were hundreds of Tomczak/Daley stooges knocking on doors, manning precincts, passing literature for Emanuel to install him and knock out a true progressive local Democrat, Nancy Kaszak.

Tomczak testified to this at a federal trial of other convicted Daley patronage chiefs. The mayor was so upset that his mouthpiece, David Axelrod, felt compelled to write an op-ed piece in the Tribune that took the side of patronage and clout, saying it wasn't all that bad, really.

Well, if AXELROD said it "wasn't all that bad," then surely, it wasn't (cough, choke):
Simultaneously, Axelrod was massaging the message for Obama about transcending the old, corrupt politics and ushering in the sunshine of reform, a slogan that sent tingles up the legs of pundits.

After Tomczak cooperated and testified, Emanuel defended Daley and denied any knowledge of the Tomczak army that elected him.

"I am not here to excuse any illegal acts or the violation of the public trust," said Emanuel at a lunch at the City Club. "Corruption is corruption. It cannot be excused and it cannot be overlooked."

But he did overlook it, saying Daley didn't know what was going on at City Hall because the mayor "outsourced" his politics, and Rahm didn't know who sent Tomczak and hundreds of knuckle-draggers to install him in Congress to do the people's business.

And now this pause until we can all stop laughing. Rahm claims Daley didn't know what was going on or that he was clueless about the legion of people out drumming up support on his behalf (wow, does THAT ever sound familiar). And that corruption cannot be tolerated???? Oh, hahahaha - that's a good one, Rahm! You card, you!

Okay - now that we've wiped our eyes from laughing 'til we cried at this massive hooeyfication, get this:
"I guess when you have hundreds of city workers show up to help you on your campaign, you don't ask any questions," said Jay Stewart, executive director of the Better Government Association, in an interview Thursday.

"Rahm is one of the few people who defended the mayor in these corruption scandals. He's a creature of Chicago politics. As Mayor Daley benefited from Tomczak's efforts, so did Rahm Emanuel," Stewart said.

I have a question. Do ANY of these people believe the crap that comes spewing out of their mouths? I mean, REALLY - any one of them? I'm just asking because I cannot imagine saying stuff like this and not crack up laughing, or feel compelled to TELL THE TRUTH, but that's just me.

Meanwhile - Rahm defended Daley from all of the corruption scandals? For real? And now he's Obama's right-hand man? Wowie zowie:
Now that Emanuel is working to help Obama bring reform to the nation, 5th Congressional District candidates will eagerly rub up against Jimmy DeLeo, and the lucky one will get a kiss on the cheek. DeLeo is having a big meet soon at the Zam Zam Banquet Hall, and the neighborhood will be awash in the sound of puckering.

But do chickens really have lips?

In the meantime, Blagojevich will be impeached and his Senate appointee, Burris, will fill Obama's seat.

Tombstone will ooze into the job the way lime Jell-O fills one of those terrifying fish-shaped molds your grandmother keeps in her cupboard. So no real surprises there.

But if you really want to see dancing chickens, watch what happens in the 5th Congressional District.

Emanuel will want someone to sit still and keep the eggs warm until he's ready to reclaim his nest. And here's my question.

Are they chickens, or are they just dancers?

I'm sorry, too - but it had to be done, don't you think (and trust me when I tell you I found the shortest, best one!)?

I guess only time will tell for these Chicago-style politicians - both in IL and in DC...