Month: March 2008

Obama hits it out of the park

There is a very nice write-up about Obama’s latest speech regarding racism in the Huffington Post. I have been an Arianna Huffington fan since her book “How to Overthrow the Government”. It’s a fairly progressive site that I keep track of via regular email updates.

Ok, now it gets ugly. Those of my readers that are Hillary Clinton supporters might want to close this window or stop reading now.

I do not support Hillary Clinton for President. I know her record and to me, I want someone in there that is deliberative, balanced, and has a demonstrated record of helping people vs. helping their own career. In that case Hillary Clinton is now employing what I term a scorched earth policy that I fear will destroy the Democratic party. This whole kerfuffle about Minister Wright is taken out of context, that much is clear. And it sounds much like a smear job done by the hatchet masters on the Clinton campaign.

Now it’s become clear that she was in on the formation of NAFTA. Sure, loot the last manufacturing jobs from the U.S. and for the most part ship them to Mexico where labor is cheap, labor laws non-existent, and it’s basically a third world shithole with pollution run amok and poverty like we’ve never seen, or at least not yet.

Then of course she was a Wal-Mart director during the time that unions were trying to break into Wal-Mart and she didn’t say shit about employment rights.

She’s a bought a paid for politician. And if she continues on this course she will essentially hand the presidency to John McCain who at 71 wouldn’t be the best choice. Friends and I think he’ll last maybe a year or two before he suffers some debilitating disease or just up and dies.

But I don’t want to see another Republican in the White House for the rest of my life. Put it this way, Bush makes even Nixon and Reagan look like saints. But then one has to remember, Bush had something none of his predecessors had, lock-step control of two branches of government. And John McCain would just be a continuation though with any luck people won’t be stupid enough to cede control to the Republicans again.

Time will tell. But right now I’m starting to get a little sickof the sniping in the Democratic party. To Hillary Clinton I say step down NOW! I don’t want you as my president. And to Howard Dean and Barack Obama I say keep on, and win this thing in November.

The Colorful Lights

You know it never stuck me but I know Chicago dyes the river green, and other places have different ways of marking St. Patrick’s Day. St. Paddy’s day is the day when everyone can tie one on like an Irishman.

But here in RI, we not only have the parades but there are two buildings in downtown Providence that have lighting atop them. One dates back to 1928, the other to 1973. They change the light colors depending on season.

So for Saturnalia/Christmas it’s red and green. For Valentines they use red, for St. Patrick’s it’s green, and being that St. Joseph’s Day is next, they’re now red. Otherwise they’re a HPS Orange, or bluish white light.

Now if only Buddy Cianci hadn’t thought that up-lighting wasn’t such a good idea. Because not only does the 1928 building have the light on it’s spire, it also has a ton of up-lighting. Same is true of many other buildings in the area.

Letting an ancient run for President

I was reading about Obama now going after both McCain and Clinton over foreign policy but one little glaring fact in the article stood out.

John McCain is 71 years old. I’m sorry but he’s got what, maybe 3 good years left. I don’t want some doddering old fool as my president.

At least in Obama’s case, he could serve two terms and come out in his 50’s. And Clinton could serve two and come out in her 70’s.

Me, I’m a middle ager like Obama and would prefer my generation to lead among many other reasons. We’ve seen what McCain’s generation is good for.

The Beginning of the 21st Century Depression Era

The more I and my friends look at the indicators the more we come to believe that we’re heading into a depression, not a recession.

Chief among the indicators is the unemployment rate. The government would have you believe it’s only 5.6% of the working population but they don’t count those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits. I’ve seen estimates that as many as 1 in 4 or 25% of the population is out of work. That’s bad! Look around your social group, I bet if you do the math you find at least that amount.

Another indicator is the price of fuel. I just went by a gas station where the price of diesel is now $4.13 a gallon. This puts it on the same level of heating oil which is going for $3.51 a gallon, in fact a little more since if you add the 48 cents in taxes to the heating oil it comes out to $3.99, so in essence they’re now charging 14 cents a gallon for the purple dye in diesel fuel. You do realize that everything we eat, wear, etc. is transported in trucks that use diesel fuel. Who do you think is going to absorb the increased fuel costs? It won’t be the producers and manufacturers that’s for sure. And I’ve already noticed supermarket prices starting to rise astronomically.

Then of course we have the Bear Stearns collapse. For that is truly the correct word since their stock went from a high of $61 a share until they were finally bought by J.P. Morgan, courtesy of our tax dollars. Expect to see one larger bank undergo the same thing. My guess is it’ll be CitiBank or Bank of America since each had huge write-offs of bad mortgage debt.

And what will the new depression look like? If you surf the web you’ll find things like the housing voucher program in Boca Raton, or the Tent Cities in New Orleans, or this one in Ontario, CA.

It is getting downright ugly. We need to rise up and fight.

AFA has it’s nads in a lather over cartoon

Oh, I love getting the AFA alerts in my email because they give me an excuse to go off on them for being the asshats that they are.

Here’s the latest, snipped for brevity:

University of Virginia newspaper mocks Christ and Christians

Dear ,

Last week, the University of Virginia’s student paper, The Cavalier Daily, ran a cartoon depicting a naked man smoking a cigarette in bed. Standing beside the bed, a woman in her underwear buttons up her shirt and asks, “Come on God, be honest – Did you really get a vasectomy? I can’t let Joseph find out about this.” The man replies, “Well, Mary, you’re f***ed.”

The editors used the week before Holy Week to run this bigoted cartoon belittling Christ and Christians. Just a day earlier, the paper ran a cartoon portraying a crucified Jesus telling jokes onstage.

I never did get the email about when Family Guy depicted god going into a bar where he meets this blond chick and then does the old finger zap to light her cigarette. Then she’s all agog at it and he snaps his finger at her and she disintegrates leaving a pile of dust on the floor at which point you here god proclaim “Jesus Christ! Get the Escalade, we’re outta here.”

But I just know people that belong to the AFA don’t watch Family Guy since it’s a pretty irreverent and blasphemous show and I love Seth McFarlane for that. Here’s an example. They spliced together all the religiously irreverent clips into one monster but I direct your attention to 2:43 on.

A memo in support of Marriage Equality

This memo was written by my cousin. He knows his way around the RI and U.S. Constitutions due to his fighting for his rights as an individual with certain disabilities. He sees parallels between his fight and the fight we’re going through right now in Rhode Island regarding marriage equality.

I think you all know my position on this issue already and I don’t have much else to say about this. But Tom definitely lays it out, in essence telling our legislators either they do something, or the courts will have to decide. I think his memo is going to shake things up in the Marriage Equality RI circles as they feel the RI Supreme Court is somewhat hostile to our cause and I understand that after the gay divorce debacle that the court dropped the ball on. But I think it comes down to wording it in such a way that the justices on the court cannot say no.

LEGISLATIVE MEMORANDUM SUPPORTING AMENDMENTS CREATING EQUAL MARRIAGE RIGHTS

In this memorandum of law, I shall briefly outline the legal reasons that this honorable General Assembly must pass the proposed legislation, bills S.2204 and H.7839, which will amend the current statutes to equalize the marriage rights of same-sex couples in Rhode Island (provided that both individuals are legally-competent, consenting adults and are not otherwise-prohibited because of bigamy or incest). R.I. General Laws, section 15-1-1 et seq. I also respectfully urge this Legislature to create such other remedies to enforce this provision (i.e., to prevent discrimination against lawfully-married, same-sex couples).
1. The current marriage statutes are facially arbitrary and invidiously discriminatory in their enforcement, and thereby violate the due-process and equal-protection provisions of the Rhode Island and United States Constitutions.

The Rhode Island marriage statutes discriminate based solely on the gender of one or both of the individuals, and on no other factor (emphasis added). These statutes recognize only marriages between one man and one woman, thereby depriving the
involved individuals and couples of their rights guaranteed by the Equal Protection

Clauses of the Constitution of the United States and of the Rhode Island Constitution.

U.S. Const., amend. XIV, sec. 1; R.I. Const., art. I, sec. 2 (1986).

The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, section

2 of the Rhode Island Constitution both clearly prohibit denials of substantive due-

process and equal-protection of the laws. Rhode Island’s equal-protection guarantee

(amended in 1986) is more specific, however, regarding the prohibition of gender-based

discrimination by the State. See Teachers’ Union, Local 958 v. Providence City Council,

888 A.2d 948 (R.I. 2005); Kleczek v. R.I. Interscholastic League, 612 A.2d 734 (R.I.

1992) and Jones v. State, 724 F.Supp. 25 (D.RI 1989). See also, Romer v. Evans, 517

U.S. 620 (1996) and Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1.

Moreover, the statutes are facially arbitrary as written and are enforced in an

invidious, discriminatory manner that is clearly repugnant to the substantive

due-process guarantees contained in both the federal and state constitutions. They

interfere with fundamental, constitutional and human rights of privacy, dignity and

freedom of association. See State v. Russell, 890 A.2d 453; Lawrence v.

Texas, 539 U.S. 558; Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 379 and Meyer v. Nebraska, 262

U.S. 390.

In fact, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has long held that the right to marry (or to enter the marriage contract) is itself a fundamental right protected by the federal and state constitutions (emphasis added). See Riley v. Department of Environmental Management, 2006-175-Appeal (R.I. 2/14/2008)(citing In re Advisory Opinion to the House of Representatives, 85-H-7748, 519 A.2d 578 (R.I. 1987)(quoting Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 562 (1972)).

2. The current statutes are inconsistent with the stated public-policy goals and

purposes of this General Assembly and previous court interpretations of the R.I.

Civil Rights Act of 1990.

The state and federal courts of Rhode Island have consistently construed the Rhode

Island Civil Rights Act of 1990 (“RICRA”), section 42-112-1 of R.I. General Laws, as a

broad, legislative grant of contractual rights for all persons within the State, regardless

of [inter alia] gender, and providing more expansive protection than the [then-existing]

federal civil-rights laws (emphasis added). See Ward v. City of Pawtucket Police

Department, 639 A.2d 1379 (R.I. 1994)(cited by Rathbun v. Autozone, 361 F.3d 62 (1st

Cir. 2004) and Wyss v. General Dynamics, 24 F.Supp.2d 202 (D.RI 1998).

In fact, our Supreme Court has held that the RICRA was enacted by this Legislature to override any statute inconsistent with its overall public-policy goal of eliminating all forms of discrimination (emphasis added). See Folan v. Department of Children, Youth and Families, 723 A.2d 287 (R.I. 1999).

3. If this honorable General Assembly refuses to act on this matter, the Rhode

Island Supreme Court may have no choice but to compel such action, as a matter of

constitutional law.

Article 1, section 5 of the Rhode Island Constitution states that no class of

individuals can be completely denied a remedy for constitutional or legal injuries.

Kennedy v. Cumberland Engineering Co.,, 471 A.2d 195 (R.I. 1984). Our Supreme

Court would likely order this Legislature to fashion an appropriate remedy.

To summarize, this Legislature must be proactive in equalizing the marriage rights

and benefits for same-sex couples in Rhode Island.

Sincerely,

Thomas P. Seymour

Copyright © 2008, Thomas P. Seymour. Interested persons or organizations may use the material contained in this memo, as long as they give me proper credit. The opinions contained herein are made by me as an individual citizen and disability-rights advocate. The author hereby states, under penalty of perjury, that he is not an attorney and therefore, nothing in this memo should even be remotely construed as his giving of legal advice or preparation of legal documents.

United States Supreme Court to decide FCC Profanity

Oh Glory Be! The USSC is getting active on a whole bunch of things near and dear to me, what with their interpretation of the 2nd Amendment coming in June, and now their looking at the FCC’s fleeting profanity rule. Two levels of courts have already told the FCC that their new rules concerning fleeting profanity were wrong, hell I think all the fucking FCC rules regarding profanity are wrong.

More to the point look at the comments on the linked article. These are people who’ve never heard of parental discretion, or the V-chip. I wish someone would point out to them what idiots they are.

In any case I’ve long been of the opinion that the FCC should be out of the RF content game, and instead be a bandwidth manager.

The Lies that Liars Tell

I found this on Mike the Mad Biologists blog.

Here’s a few choice citations:

17) On Meet the Press in July 2007, David Brooks declared that 10,000 Iraqis a month would perish if the United States pulled out. Bob Woodward, also on the show, challenged him on this, asking for his source. Brooks admitted, “I just picked that 10,000 out of the air.”

18) Also in July 2007, an old clip of a C-SPAN interview with Vice President Cheney from 1994 surfaced, in which he defended the decision not to depose Saddam Hussein during Gulf War I: “Once you got to Iraq and took it over…then what are you going to put in its place?…It’s a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq.” He explained, “And the question for the president…was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth? Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right.”

You can find the whole list at The Iraq Follies article at Mother Jones Journal.

Here are my thoughts on the two items that I block quoted.

Mr. Brooks is a New York Times columnist. But here’s the thing, opinion doesn’t need to be substantiated by tangible evidence. But Mr. Brooks should be tossed from the NYT for pulling such a ludicrous number of 10,000 straight out of his poop chute.

Here, I’ll pull a number out of my ass too. I’d say that his number is the inverse, that while the U.S. occupies Iraq there are probably 10,000 or more deaths or Iraqi citizens, both directly and indirectly.

As for Mr. Cheney, here we have him on the record saying what folly it would be to invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein just eight years before he became Vice President of the United States. Cheney btw has long ties to the Reagan administration, along with ties to Halliburton, big oil, and all the things that we the little people don’t have any say over.

How Bush ever got elected in the first places comes into question here. But then the media was complicit in the cover-ups. Only those of us who have web access and read media in other countries got to see what was really behind these lying sacks of shit.

And don’t get me started on election irregularities, or the scorched earth tactics being employed by Hillary Clinton. Put it this way, who do we think is financing the Clinton campaign? It’s large corporate interests. Curiously the Obama campaign is the inverse, most of their donors are < $100 donors.

What Mrs. Clinton doesn’t realize is that by pursuing such a scorched earth policy, she dooms us to a continuation of the neocon agenda.

Silencing the Christians

This little missive landed in my inbox today:

Second episode of “Speechless…Silencing the Christians” to air Saturday night.

Dear ,

The second episode of “Speechless…Silencing the Christians” will be shown Saturday night. You can watch the program on the INSP cable network. Or you can watch it on-line at silencingchristians.com

You can view the second episode on the web for free, but you must register to view the program. With traffic being heavy on silencingchristians.com, your computer may be slow. If so, we advise you to come back later and view it. The program will be up all week.

Be sure to forward your friends this alert and invite them to watch.

See if INSP is available on your cable system.

That’s right, I actually agree with the AFA here. I want to see the Christians shut the fuck up once and for all. They haven’t actually offered a new message in well over 600 or so years. So why don’t they shut up for a while and let us discuss the ridiculousness of their belief in a sky fairy.

Yes, I am a double threat to the likes of the AFA and other fundamentalist asshole groups out there. Why? Because I’m gay and an atheist. I don’t want to hear about their religion, or their alleged persecution. It is my feeling that religion in general isn’t persecuted enough. Religion deserves no respect from me and I’m laying the cards on the table now. I don’t care if your practice Judaism, Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism or any other organized religion. I just wish that you’d keep it to your god damned self. I’m beyond ever being ‘saved’ by a vindictive god.

AFA’s sample letter for Day of Silence 4/25/08

Sign up for the AFA’s email alerts, I did it some time ago and anytime they really piss me off I post it here.

The latest is the following:

Homosexual Day of Silence – Is Your Child’s School on the list?

Dear ,

Because of the action of concerned parents, hundreds of schools have removed their school as a listed participant in the pro-homosexual “Day of Silence.” You can join the fight for your children too!

On, Friday, April 25, several thousand schools across the nation will be observing “Day of Silence (DOS).” DOS is a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools.

When AFA alerted parents of this public school classroom disruption by homosexual student activists, many took action immediately! If you haven’t gotten involved, it’s critical that you do so today!

A simple phone call or letter to school administrators, telling them your child will not attend school the day it observes DOS, may be enough to cause some participating schools to change their plans. Sample letter here.

Please listen to a 60-second radio ad warning parents about Day of Silence, then forward this email to your local Christian or conservative radio station. Ask them to broadcast it as a Public Service Announcement (PSA)! MP3 file or WAV file

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about the Day of Silence.

In the past week alone, over 200 schools have announced they are dropping plans to participate. Please, get involved for the sake or your children, and all children, today!

Take Action!

What should parents do? Check with your local school principal to see if your child’s school will be participating in DOS. If the school is participating, notify other parents about DOS and ask them to join in keeping their children out of school on that day.

Here is a partial list of schools which are expected to participate in DOS: If your school is listed, call your local school and ascertain whether they officially or passively allow students to observe “Day of Silence.” If your school is listed, please double-check with your local school to see if the school is actually sponsoring DOS. Sometimes the “participation” turns out to be a handful of kids who are saying they have a homosexual club and are observing this protest day, but without school endorsement. We sincerely hope your school, if listed, is not actually an official sponsor. If it is not, we will take them off the list, if a school official asks us to do so. Please e-mail your correction to webmaster@missionamerica.com.

Some tips:

1. Be sure of the date that DOS is planned for your school. (The national date is April 25, but some schools observe DOS on a different date.)
2. Inform the school of your intention to keep your child home on that date and explain why. Click here for a sample letter.
3. Explain to your children why you’re taking a stand: Homosexual behavior is not an innate identity; it is a sinful, unnatural and destructive behavior. No school should advance a physically, emotionally, and spiritually destructive sexual lifestyle to students.
4. Schools do not have to tolerate students remaining silent in class. Schools can adopt policies that require parental consent for students to attend any club, including those premised on sexual orientation or gender identity. Click here for more information from Attorney Mat Staver with Liberty Counsel who provides free information to parents, students, and schools regarding their rights associated with noncompliance on the Day of Silence.

Thank you for caring enough to get involved. If you feel our efforts are worthy of support, would you consider making a small tax-deductible contribution? Click here to make a donation.

Sincerely,

Don

Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman American Family Association

The PDF file can be found here. I suggest we use the letter except modify it in support of the Day of Silence.

I’m so sick and tired of being told that I’m pushing an agenda, I’m not doing so and neither are the other gay people I know. I haven’t even gotten my copy of the gay agenda nor have many people that I know.

I only know that I hope Wildmon suffers a debilitating anyeurism or something equally painful. I know, it’s evil of me but when they keep putting out shit like this it irks me something fierce.

When he spouts religious bullshit like this:

3. Explain to your children why you’re taking a stand: Homosexual behavior is not an innate identity; it is a sinful, unnatural and destructive behavior. No school should advance a physically, emotionally, and spiritually destructive sexual lifestyle to students.

I feel that I have to take this apart, point by point. No homosexuality is not an identity, it is my sexuality. Otherwise I am a person and deserve to be treated like every other person, not discriminated against for who it is that I chose to love.

By stating is sinful, unnatural and destructive Wildmon is clearly invoking religious dogma which has no place in secular and moral society. Since I don’t believe in the Judeo-Christian God, it isn’t sinful. And when you look at the Biblical argument, lest we forget that the Bible also sanctions slavery, women as chattel etc. Yet we conveniently say those are taken out of context while the prohibition against homosexual content is constantly bandied about. They don’t talk about the other parts of Leviticus, particularly those indicating one shouldn’t eat shellfish, or sleep with ones wife when she is menstruating.

Since homosexuality isn’t exclusive to homo sapiens I can conclude that once again Wildmon is pulling this out of his ass. This is typical of all the religious characters I’ve run across in my lifetime. They’ll take a few passages out of context to justify their discomfort with and bigotry against a class of people.

As far as being destructive, how so? Just because we can’t procreate naturally doesn’t mean we can’t have a positive role in society. But the religious would deny that to us.

Calling homosexuality physically destructive is interesting. Perhaps he should talk to Dr. John Corvino about the “parts don’t fit” argument.

Emotionally we’re no different from the heterosexuals. We have our well balances, our slightly off kilter, and out batshit crazy too. There is no difference whatsoever since emotionally we span the spectrum.

The spirituality part is what shows Wildmon’s hand. He’s a hateful religious bigot. If I’m wrong and there is a heaven and hell, Wildmon is most certainly headed for hell. Actually I’d like to create that hell for him. I’d put him in a room with a bunch of hot guys sucking and fucking. It’d be fun to watch Wildmon’s head explode.

Another thing related to Dr. Corvino is the statement about calling it a lifestyle. No, it’s our life! Not lifestyle. To imply style means we chose it. I know in my case I didn’t choose to be gay, I have been gay all my life.

In short, I’d like to personally tell Wildmon to take a flying leap off a steep cliff.