Wednesday, March 30, 2005

hysTERRIa: another fucking idiot opens his trap - powerline's hinderacker

This was commented on by Tbogg, more concisely and amusingly than I may manage, but caught my eye none the less:
��TBogg��: "I don't know how to account for it, unless one concludes that for some liberals, politics is about hate, period."

"... for some liberals, politics is about hate, period." ?!?!?!


It gets under my skin when some holier than thou prick decides to suddenly play the nice voice of reason and restraint and pull some why-can't-we-all-get-along bull when the crazies in their constituency have taken over and turned the thing into a shameful freakshow. They call her husband a killer, pass special legislation interfering in a private life-and-death decision, parade a brain dead lady around for (attempted) political gain and WE are the hysterical fools for whom politics is all about hate? Don't you dare.

Take your fake piety and fake rationality and shove it. We will be lucky if someone doesn't end up shot in this whole ordeal and it ain't going to be the side I am standing on that pulls the trigger if it happens.

Like the lovely Ms. Dickenson I do not have time for hate, but I do keep a healthy reserve of rage around so perhaps from time to time I do need to be told to be little nicer and more positive. And there are many from whom I will happily take such a calling out, but I'm not taking fake-conciliatory finger pointing passive-aggressive bullshit from anybody.

(here is the crap in its original habitat: Power Line: March 2005 Archives)

Angry attack nerds invade moron town.

Who will stop the insanity? When is the reality-based community going to leave the lunatic idiots all to their lonesome and let them be dumb and annoying in peace?

"'We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture,' "

Really though, it appears from reading the article that it is the sane folks in town who are under attack by the loonies. The science teachers were already teaching SCIENCE in their classes, it is they who are being attacked by the space-cadet fringe who think they should also be teaching religion.

Really, I don't care too much if these folks wanted to just pull away form everything and leave science alone and not bother with it. I would kind of feel bad for the kids born into it, but hey, the sins of the father and all. If they really want nothing to do with evolution or science, fine. Give us back our technology and take your bible off to some commune and do things your own way. Leave your phones, your tv's, your modern pharmaceudicals, your modern crops, your plastic, you cars, and your airtravel at the door and don't let it hit your fat butt as you exit the 20th century. We are taking our biology/geology/physics/astronomy/meteorology and going home. We try to share, but you just want to break our toys and boss around so we are leaving and you can just play amongst yourselves.

Honestly, people. Can we start calling these lunatics out? Want to believe that God created the world in 7 days? I don't care; fine. Have any faith you like and teach it at church, but don't call it science and don't try to use it to attack something which couldn't have less concern with how you want to organize your mind. You have your faith and I'll have mine, but keep your faith or lack there of the hell off of our science.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Marriage schmarriage...

Having been told to leave the gay kids alone til 2006 when we can be paraded out in front of the bigots and all the ashamed parents with homo offspring can vote against our gayness, the republican bullies had to find someone new to pick on. Trying to beat up on social security is going about as well as trying to beat up a brick wall, so they needed something nice and soft to kick around. Having tired of hurting kittens (yeah, you mister frist) and knowing the nekkid emperor kind of has a thing for puppies, they decided to slap around a brain-dead lady.

Sure, we all know this is beyond the pale, but really, you shouldn't be suprised. All in all, I would kind of rather them stick to picking on the gays. We can at least fight back. Everybody loves our gay dollars and needs a decent haircut every now and then, so they kind of have to pull punches some of the time.

It is interesting to see what happens when their 'culture of life' bullshit runs smack into their 'sanctity of marriage' load of crap. Well, Mullah Delay is here to tell us which is more important: "The sanctity of life overshadows the sanctity of marriage."

Interesting how that goes.

Funny that the sanctity of marriage folks are trying remove this husband's right to try to carry out his wife's wishes after she became incapacitated. These are the same folks that said Hillary should have divorced Bill and actually fault them for working things out and staying together. They support marriage, but then don't want to let some people get married. Huh?

But I guess that is what you expect for folks who scream about a culture of life, but support the death penalty and creamed over going to war with a nation which didn't present a real threat to us and who want less restrictions on gun-ownership and who have destroyed sex ed in this nation and with that are actively working to help HIV infection and unwanted pregnancies increase.

They don't care about life, they don't care about marriage. They want to control you, they want to control me. If we have something they want, they are all friendly and nice. If not, they will push you in the gutter and kick you every which a way they can.

Gay folks are learning to kick back. That is why they are going after invalids now. Shameless bastards.

Friday, March 18, 2005

frozen in time

the posting below was not one for this blog but in advertantly ended up here and now refuses to go away. I deleted it after putting it in it's proper place, and yet it remains on this blog. my blogger, my blogger, why have you forsaken me? I appreciate the service, but glitches like this will drive a person batty.

UPDATE: so now said post is gone and all is right in the world again. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I want Lizz back. Now.

Lizz Winstead is unfortunately no longer on Unfiltered, the moring radio show she hosted with Rachel Maddow and Chuck D on Air America. Right from the start, Unfiltered was my favorite show on the station. I used to listen to it every morning (my responsibilities have changed at my job keeping me away from my desk more often or I would still be a regular listener), and always walked away informed and entertained. I like Al's show and Randi's too, but really Unfiltered has always been my favorite.

During the republican convention, the Unfiltered crew came down and did their broadcast from a restarant, inviting us to come join them and standing with us at the front lines. They helped keep me sane while trying to find my brother who had been swept up in one of the mass arrests and kept incommunicado and without arraignment for several days. When he finally did get free, he met me at their show and they took one look at him and put him on the air to tell his story.

Now Lizz is gone and the show itself faces an uncertain future. Why? I have my thoughts, but the people directly involved seem to be keeping mum on the subject, so I will defer to their judgement on the matter.

But I will point to Gawker's nice words on Lizz and her mystery disappearance:

Gawker : Archive for Media: Commentary

Lizz, we miss you. (PS-thank you for the Chrismas tree stand. It is still safe and sound and I will get B to return it soon)

Cunning realism: social security and the stock market

A new blog that I found through Josh Marshall:

-THE CUNNING REALIST-: SOME OPENING COMMENTS AND A BIT ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM: "With an even greater public focus and reliance on the stock market, the political pressure to take extraordinary, unconventional measures to boost stock prices--pressure that already exists--will be overwhelming."

This is just his first post, but wow. Will be one to watch.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Don't like being called Nazis?

Then stop acting like them:

My Way News: "WASHINGTON (AP) - A pair of Jewish groups accused Sen. Robert Byrd on Wednesday of making an outrageous and reprehensible comparison between Adolf Hitler's Nazis and a Senate GOP plan to block Democrats from filibustering. A GOP senator called for Byrd to retract his remarks.
Byrd spokesman Tom Gavin denied that Byrd, D-W.Va., had compared Republicans to Hitler. He said that instead, the reference to Nazis in a Senate speech on Tuesday was meant to underscore that the past should not be ignored.
'Terrible chapters of history ought never be repeated,' Gavin said. 'All one needs to do is to look at history to see how dangerous it is to curb the rights of the minority.'
Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the Senate's No. 3 Republican, called for Byrd to retract his comments, saying they 'lessen the credibility of the senator and the decorum of the Senate.'
Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee, called the remarks 'poisonous rhetoric' that are 'reprehensible and beyond the pale.'
Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said Byrd's remarks showed 'a profound lack of understanding as to who Hitler was' and that the senator should apologize to the American people.
'It is hideous, outrageous and offensive for Senator Byrd to suggest that the Republican Party's tactics could in any way resemble those of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party,' Foxman said.
In his comments Tuesday, Byrd defended the right senators have to use filibusters - procedural delays that can kill an item unless 60 of the 100 senators vote to move ahead.
Byrd cited Hitler's 1930s rise to power by, in part, pushing legislation through the German parliament that seemed to legitimize his ascension.
'We, unlike Nazi Germany or Mussolini's Italy, have never stopped being a nation of laws, not of men," Byrd said. "But witness how men with motives and a majority can manipulate law to cruel and unjust ends."

Byrd then quoted historian Alan Bullock, saying Hitler "turned the law inside out and made illegality legal."

Byrd added, "That is what the nuclear option seeks to do." "

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Divide and conquer.

I recently had coffee with a friend who I am just getting to know, and the conversation forced me to try to articulate some thoughts on some issues that have been rolling around in my head lately, mainly about race and sexuality.

J is an African-American fellow who grew up in predominantly black communities in Chicago and Minneapolis. I am a European-American chap who grew up in rural and small town Mississippi and Alabama, in predominantly white neighborhoods but in close proximity to black people in the larger community. Both of us are 27, homosexual, college educated, and have lived in NYC for slightly more than 2 years.

As we talked about family and how we interact with our families, he said positions race, religion, and homosexuality caused some tension with his mother (and family/community at large, but it sounded as if she was where general family attitudes collided with his so I will use her as the representative voice of that community as I understood it). They come from the south side in Chicago, and she viewed white people with suspicion and seemed almost hostile to the mixing of the races (this is meant as much culturally and community wise as it is meant in the 'mixed baby' sense). I got the feeling that she would not have been happy that her son was spending his evening in New York talking to this white kid. It didn't sound like it was so much animosity towards white people in general, but just wanting to keep things segregated. Black (and conversely, white) people were better off sticking with their own kind. Mixing things up just introduced troublesome things.

Like homosexuality. It seemed that she viewed homosexuality as a mainly white perversion or like some affliction which the black community is dragged into by the white folk. That her son sometimes hung out with white folks and was gay seemed intimately connected in some way.

I can't say that I ever got the impression from my parents that my having black friends and being a homo are connected in their minds. If you are uncomfortable with basic social interaction between people of different races, our corner of Alabama/Mississippi probably isn't a place you should live, so perhaps it this is partially because of a more casual regard for racial interaction from a less effectively segregated community at large (or one which was more aggresively integrated in the previous generation), but more importantly, there is little reason for my parents to associate homosexuality with black people, while there are, unfortunately, many reasons for a black person to associate gay culture with white culture.

Much to all of our detriment, the major gay organizations turn a blind and negligent eye to gay people of color and only really represent the wealthy and fairly secure middle/upper middle class white homosexuals. The battles they pick are the battles for those who have already made it to have it just a little better. Partner benefits, gay marriage, cheaper and better HIV meds. Yes, I am perhaps being unfair; all of these are important issues, but you have to have a certain amount of security and safety to really enjoy any of these. The poor, the rural, the inner city (of any color), and (most) people of color aren't really seen as part of the 'gay community'. The 'gay community' is Will and Grace or Queer as Folk (I have never seen the L Word, so I hesitate to include it in my example; not trying to exclude the lezzies on purpose). Black people aren't seen as part of the 'gay community' unless they are somewhat assimilated into this 'white' world. The rest act on their sexuality in more of a 'down low' fashion and that is more of a black community issue than a gay issue, right? Sounds ridiculous, but you would be suprised how prevalent these attitudes are amongst some in the gay community.

Instead of partnering with black community leaders on issues of HIV and discrimination, the big gay powers that be have somewhat pitted them against us and aligned themselves with the corporate and political elite (isn't that whose feet we are supposed to be holding to the fire?). And the black community as noticed.

And so have many of us in the gay community who no longer feel represented by the HRC or Lambda or the Advocate, etc. I have been discussing similar things with friends who are working with the new gay group Queer Fist. They don't quite fully have their direction yet, but they have the anger and they are getting organized.

For me personally, this divide between the black community and the gay community is particularly painful and bewildering. As I was telling J tonight, for me, issues of racism and homophobia have never seemed very different. Dealing with one helped me deal with the other. In fact, the underly basic issue is inseperable in my mind: it is all about bigotry and assumptions about some 'other'. About 'Them'. When first beginning to come to terms personally with being gay, with this meaning something in my life other than dirty secrets and hidden shame, with it being a part of my identity/personality/worldview, it was Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin who led me safely through to the otherside (the 'otherside' not meaning 'gay' instead of 'straight', but rather acceptance and comfort instead of shame and discomfort). Their lessons weren't just for the black reader, but for any black sheep, any outsider, any disadvantaged.

_Invisible Man_ is easily the single most important book to my mental/emotional development. It wasn't just the external racism which Ellison was dealing with, but also how a person deals with their own internalized bigotries and how a person can be limited and damaged by their own misunderstandings of themselves and how they relate to society. It was about learning how others see (or don't see) you. It was a personal journey, not just a lament or indictment.

Other than Ellison, no single author has made such an impact on my worldview except perhaps James Baldwin. I will admit freely to having read few of his works of fiction, but his essays and interviews I have pored over. And it was this voice, which railed against the injustices of American bigotry and fear with unmatched anger and passion, which warned that it isn't only those on the receiving end of oppression who suffer. Being the oppressor is also debilitating (even if more comfortable). When given the choice of being hammer or nail, demand more choices.

I still have to believe that for most of us, bigotry is a singular vice. Fighting it on one front furthers the fight on the others. Perhaps this is why gays are the new popular target; they aren't targeting just us. It is easier to go on TV and talk about how the gay people are ruining our country and our culture and our marriages and our children, but notice which communities had fewer voting booths this year and increased challenges and more contested votes. They used us to embolden people's bigotry and biases, and they stole your black vote. And it isn't benign or 'just politics': they want my gay ass just as dead as they want your black ass.

Hyperbole? Maybe, but the effect of their abstinance only education isn't reduced unwanted pregnacy or lower STD rates, it is a rise in HIV/syphilis/etc. in our communities. It is gay kids and black kids (and poor kids of any race) dying. And they know that, the politicians pushing it, and that is why they support it. The gay marriage amendment? It ain't about keeping gay people apart, it is about saying that we matter less to the law. It is an implicit threat: get in your place, boy or the law may not pay too much attention when somebody puts you back there. This is what the HRC should be screaming bloody murder about, not just whatever individual benefits we can get, not just what AIDS drugs cost. The rhetoric of the right is that we, in what we, gay people, are an abomination and are destroying the country. They aren't calling us a national threat because they like us and want to be friends.
The HRC doesn't care because even if you belong to a marginal group, with enough money or influence, you can buy a pass. They have enough money now, so they don't care.

Because really it isn't just about black or gay: the powerful elite care nothing of the fact that we are gay or black or polka-dotted; it is just about power. They look to bully whoever is weak and if any group of traditionally down-trodden or marginal people is gaining ground, they focus on them. Gay, black, brown, female, poor, whatever. It is all the same as long as someone stays stuck at the bottom for them to feed off of. Back to hammer or nail. I refuse to be either. I still want more choices.