Month: March 2009

Spring is here

Finally, a five day span where daytime temperatures will be above 50F and nighttime temperatures above freezing.

The lowest it’ll go is 36F now. Spring has arrived!

Rhode Island College Rainbow Alliance Marriage Equality Panel Debate

The only reason I knew about this is because I got an email from the National Organization for Marriage (There’s that oxymoron again!). Very short notice on this one.

Here’s the panel:

Rainbow Alliance Panel
Rainbow Alliance Panel

I didn’t get the names for everyone, missing are those for the gay Episcopal Priest, the Attorney and the gentleman in the gray suit. When I have more information I’ll post it.

First a bit of introduction form the panel. In this video we get a gay Episcopal priest, RI Rep. Frank Ferri, Cassandra Ormiston, the Attorney an the gentleman in the grey suit. Unfortunately my camera battery died just as I got the opposition as it were.

But fear not, I can identify those on the ‘con’ side. First we have Mr. Chris Plante, Executive Director of NOM-RI, Reverend John Codega, Pastor of Christ the King Church in West Warwick, RI, and finally Dr. Paul Gondreau, a theology professor at Providence College (A Catholic institution.)

I don’t think I really have to focus on the pro side here. If you’ve read this blog at all you’ll know where I stand on the issue which mirrors the arguments put forth by those for marriage equality.

I did get to meet a few people in the flesh this evening. What I mean is I have corresponded with them via email but just never crossed paths at the right time. I met Susan MacNeil who is the devel director for Marriage Equality Rhode Island, also got to finally meet Rep. Frank Ferri and his husband Tony Carparco.

We heard from the Rev. Codega that “There is no such thing as gay marriage.” and that marriage is not a civil right, that marriages are ordained by God. He also brought up the procreation aspect which as many point out is meaningless. Good friends of ours are married and they didn’t want any kids. I say good for them. Under Codega’s view their marriage isn’t whole or complete because they have no spawn.

Dr. Paul Goudreau (His RateMyProfessor rating overall is 3.4), stated that the authority over marriage is granted by nature. Using the term “nature” is a code word for God. He goes on to state that “God can be known.” and marriage is intrinsically in God’s domain, that we can’t transfer the authority of nature to the state. But then he goes on to mention the tax benefits conferred to married couples.

That’s right Dr. Goudreau, you don’t know it all. You completely disregard the state whereas I disregard the religious but prefer the state.

On the pro side, Rep. Ferri said that it just feels right to say that you’re married. I understand that concept very well, there’s a certain cachet that comes with the words.

What I liked about the forum is that we didn’t have the same rules of decorum we usually have in the hearing chambers at the State House. So some minor heckling was in order.

There were a couple of women who got up to ask questions who stated that they had in one case 10 children, in the other 7 children.

I have one thing to say on the subject and the below image sums it up nicely.

It's a Vagina, Not a Clown Cat
It's a Vagina, Not a Clown Cat

Anyhow when I got up I stated that the main point of contention was the civil v. religious and that since so many Biblical quotes were being thrown about, could the good Reverend please explain 1 Timothy 2:11, read back a few posts or just click the link to read what old Tim had to say about the women.

I then went on to remind him that the law is an evolving thing and so too is the interpretation of the Bible. Codega answered that in essence he was guilty of taking things out of context. After I’d testified Tony Carparco patted me on the back for that one.

Others who testified of course brought up the straw man argument of “What about the children?” I know the specific case they’re talking about, recall my post on the Worthless Wirthlins who got bent out of shape because the book “King and King” was read to their child.

But there was one young woman who got up to the mic, and said that she was a Catholic who supported the right of those who love each other to marry be they male/male, female/female, or male/female. This is something that terrifies the church hierarchy.

It’s funny, after the forum ended I was talking to my friend Rich Hite who is the acting chair for MERI, and Tony Carparco. Turns out I’m not the only former Catholic who is now an atheist.

But further the religious opposition comes down to one thing and one thing only. Religion is what we feel, no logic or cognition involved, just pure emotivism.

They Just Don’t Stop

The religious fruitcakes are going like crazy.

There is a bill floating in the legislature that would codify all the sex education programs in the schools. In my opinion this isn’t a bad thing since everyone would be on the same page.

There is however one known character who shows up to testify at many bills involving sexuality. That would be Chris Young.

Here is the quote:

At last night’s hearing, Christopher Young, a former Providence mayoral candidate, asserted that studies have shown sex education does little to curb sexual activity. Parents and clergy, he said, should be the resources for that, and he contended Walsh’s bill would undermine them.

Young also attacked a provision that the instruction must not “teach or promote religion.” “What right does the state have to say that God isn’t involved in procreation?” he demanded.

Parents and clergy? And what happens when there is no clergy or the parents have never had a decent education regarding sexuality? Young exposes himself here ({Shudder}, I wish I could find a recent pic so you could see how repulsive he is.) as a religious freak.

Anyhow while it may not reduce the sexual activity, at least it’ll give kids the information they need to protect themselves. And I’m all for it. Put it this way, even though my first twelve years of schooling were in Catholic schools, we had sex education. Even covered, horror of horrors, homosexuality. But I never got the talk from my parents. Certainly my father had knowledge having been in the Navy. But he never broached the subject with me.

Young’s second paragraph is laughable. His god has nothing to do with procreation. Procreation, or more accurately reproduction owes more to biochemistry and genetics than anything else. If there was a god do you really think he would just leave a few documents around, knowing that we humans are so adaptable that just about anything could be believed?

National Organization for Marriage – So Predictable

When I’d heard that the Vermont Senate had passed the marriage equality bill 26 to 4, I knew an email from Brian Brown or Maggie Gallagher wasn’t far behind. And of course my prediction was correct.

Here’s the email:

Dear Anthony,

If we don’t act now, by the end of the week, Vermont could become the first state to adopt same-sex marriage legislatively — without a court order hanging over their heads.

I need two things from you today. It’ll only take about 5 minutes, but your action could make the difference for marriage, not just in Vermont, but in the nation. Once the floodgates open in Vermont, it will be easier for other state legislatures to follow suit.

We need to remind these legislators that their constituents are watching, and that they will be held accountable for their votes. We can’t let them forget that 17 Vermont legislators lost their seats over civil unions in 2000. Urge them to adopt a proposed amendment sending the same-sex marriage bill to the people of Vermont for a vote. Tell them this is too important an issue to ramrod through in just a few days — with no real public debate.

Here’s where things stand: Despite our best efforts, the Vermont Senate passed Senate Bill 115 Monday night on a vote of 26-4. The vote sends the bill to the Vermont House, where the leadership is expected to try to push it through quickly — a committee vote is likely within the next day or two and a vote of the full House may come before the end of the week.

While the Democratic leadership claims to have enough support to pass the bill, our efforts this week are critical. Working together, we can stop this, and at the same time put Vermont legislators on notice that the nation is watching, and that their constituents care about marriage. Even if the leadership succeeds in ramming the bill through this week, the margin of passage is critical. Governor Douglas opposes same-sex marriage, and is considering a veto. The House vote is certain to be closer than the Senate vote, and we need to keep the pressure on.

One legislator told the Burlington Free Press yesterday that he’d received 300 calls and emails about the same-sex marriage bill (an unheard-of number in Vermont!)– and that supporters of same-sex marriage outnumbered opponents by a 2-1 margin! Let’s correct the record, and make sure that every pro-marriage Vermonter contacts his or her legislators today!

Here’s what I need you to do:

1. Contact the members of the Vermont House. If you live in Vermont, your action today is critical. Even if you’ve taken action before, please use this hyperlink to send a message to all 150 members of the Vermont House of Representatives, urging them to respect the voice of all Vermonters, and send this to the people for a vote — not rush it through in just a few days.

Even if you don’t live in Vermont, please send a message letting the Vermont House know that the nation is watching, and urging them to respect the voices of their constituents — let the people vote!

2. Forward this message to every person you know in Vermont! Click here to send this email to five friends! We have three days to get every pro-marriage person in Vermont to contact their legislators, and we need your help!

Thank you for all you’re doing to stand for marriage. The need is urgent, and we couldn’t do it without your help.
Brian Brown

God bless,

Brian S. Brown
Executive Director
National Organization for Marriage
20 Nassau Street, Suite 242
Princeton, NJ 08542

Be subversive, use NOM’s link to craft your message in support of marriage equality. I did a few minor edits on mine. I also emailed Brown and told him that NOM is now on the losing side.

When Brown says that they need to remind the legislators that their constituents care he’s being disingenuous since the constituents he speaks of HAVE TO BE BUSED IN FROM OTHER STATES!

Troppe Informazioni Martedì numero uno e settanta per cento Nove (TMI #179)

1. Ever Googled a date, a potential date or an ex?

My dating life ended before Google even came about. In fact I think it ended right around the time Alta Vista came into being. However I have googled past dates to see what they’re up to.

2. Do you gossip?

Not really. I’ll certainly listen to gossip but there is just too much real information out there to be discovered than to pass on gossip.

3. How many people do you completely trust?

Just two. Keyron is one of them, and my friend Ky the other.

4. Have you ever had sex in car?

Yes as a matter of fact I have. Non moving though. I don’t trust myself to drive when in ecstasy.

5. What is your best flirting technique: innuendo, telling a dirty joke, talking about sex life, or physical contact?

I’d have to say talking about my sex life. But then I’ve been told I’m naturally flirty so I really don’t know what my technique happens to be.

Bonus (as in optional): How many times is the most you have ever had sex in a 24 hour period?

Eleven. Yes I know, I was a freak of nature when I was younger. Are we talking total number of discrete incidents, or total number of orgasms?

I was known for marathon sessions when I was in my early to late 20’s. Probably has lots to do with that testosterone that surges through an Italian-American guy.

Now playing: G.Q. – Disco Nights (Rock Freak)
via FoxyTunes

Yet another Great Quote

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false and by the rulers as useful”

– Roman philosopher Seneca – Science and Reason over Myth and Superstition.

I assume this is Seneca the Younger, born 6BCE and died 65CE. He pretty much sums up my view of religion. And would someone please explain to me why Obama has not yet dismantled the Office of Faith Based Initiatives? That’s a Bush era creation and has no place in the secular White House.

Now playing: IMC SOUL feat. Dawn Pemberton – Travelin
via FoxyTunes

Yet another Epiphany

The most recent epiphany is that the Providence Journal now allows you to register and comment on stories, letters, editorials and things of that nature.

Apparently there was a scuffle in which the Principal of a local middle school was punched and bitten by a parent.

Here are some of the more ignorant comments attached to the article:

dizgusted in pvd 6 minutes ago wrote:

Hey GRACE & JANU (Diaz & Pichardo) – WHY ARE YOU ALL CLAMMED UP NOW? YOUR ” COMMUNITY” SHOULD BE REPRIMANDED!! And if you don’t like being all lumped into one category of ungrateful, ignorant, lower-than-animal life forms, one of you so called “community leaders” better get your “people” to start behaving or else GET THE HE_L OUT! EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU D.R. PITA’s!

Or maybe this:

LUCIA88 43 minutes ago wrote:

OK MOSELEY HOW DOES IT FEEL. You didn’t give Perkins a chance, now I am glad you are getting a taste of your own medicine…….this will not stop until the illegals are stopped from going to our schools which are paid for by our taxes. WHEN WILL THIS STOP. WHERE IS ICE……ITS ENOUGH.

And for final effect:

Isthisajoke 56 minutes ago wrote:

Most of the gang violence is from illegals and the schools are out of control because of the illegals. Wise up and send them all back to their native and precious countries.

I need to remind these people of something. The immigrant issue started in RI in the mid to late 1970’s with refugees from Guatemala, Venezuela, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and so on.

Yes many of those initial immigrants probably started out as an illegal. But they’ve built lives here and more importantly they had children here.

Here’s an interesting part of U.S. Immigration law. You can be 8 months and three weeks pregnant, so long as your delivery happens here in this country, your child is a U.S. citizen.

I hate to keep reminding people of this but if you live in RI and your last name is Murphy, Smith, or tends to end in a vowel, you’re likely a child, grandchild great, or great-great grandchild of an immigrant.

It took nearly 70 years for the Italian enclave of Federal Hill to start doing business with the English speaking world. Same for the French Canadians in Woonsocket.

The Latino and Asian immigrants have only been here for about 30 years so far. I can see the changes happening because I’m here on the ground with it and even have some language skills in both Spanish and Italian. Io Sono Americano but of Italiano descent.

I remember coming to Federal Hill as a child, the language was Italian. But then the merchants started realizing that speaking English was the way to generate more business traffic.

The same is true of the Spanish speaking groups, their kids know both languages and the kids of those kids will more likely than not know only English.

Lets look beyond the language and cultural issues and look at the more sociological issues. Lets make sure that everyone can obtain a living wage job. Make sure that the safety net programs aren’t dismantled. Make sure they are values members of the society.

Federal Hill now is a little alien to me though, particularly restaurant row on Atwells Avenue. You see Bentley, Bugatti, etc. vehicles parked on the street. Yet on Broad St. in Providence you see numerous businesses, it very much reminds me of the way Federal Hill used to be.

So if you’re going to post a comment on a news story, at least have some background to your racist and anti-immigrant screed.