Month: March 2011

My Conversation with Rep. Michael Tarro

I had said it would take me a while to process all that happened in that 25 minute conversation.

Let us start with my observations:

1) Tarro seems to be parroting the NOM line, right down to in so many words saying a referendum would legitimize it more so than a vote in the house. What? Reminds me of my conversation with Rep. Dickinson some time bac.

2) Tarro says his sister is gay and partnered and she doesn’t support marriage equality. What? Wait, lets find out who his sister is. A quick search of the Voter Registration database yields the following. I searched for birth years in the 1960’s:


My methodology on this was simple. Find all the female relatives born within 3 to 5 years of Rep. Tarro himself. Then cross reference the street addresses with other voters. That above is the most LIKELY set of candidates. So if anyone knows Donna Tarro, please let me know if my database skills are intact, since I’d like to know if I found the right person. If so let her know I’d like to speak with her and find out WHY she opposes marriage equality.

He basically did the standard political speak which I found exceedingly interesting. He’s an estate planning attorney which explains WHY he has graciously offered to fill out all the power of attorney and other paperwork for gay and lesbian couples.

I told him how I debunked NOM’s 80% of RI voters wanting to see the question of marriage equality on a ballot. Then I asked if he knew what percentage of those who voted for him also supported marriage equality. I think I might reach out to the folks at Marriage Equality RI to do a little digging of all the registered supporters in the district because Tarro thinks only 25% support marriage equality.

And I have a little refund check in my hands which I might use to setup a SurveyMonkey pro account and then spend a little more posting take-one fliers all over the district asking people to vote Yes/No on if they support marriage equality. Maybe qualify it a little more, as if they voted in the 2010 or 2008 elections. That way I could correlate the voters from non-voters and get real numbers out the other end.

Overall Tarro seems like an interesting guy. And I do think I should offer my professional services to help him out with his email and web services because they’re both seriously broken. I figure we can do a quid pro quo arrangement, I’ll fix that stuff for him, he’ll do all the paperwork for me.

Educational Reform and how we’re doing it wrong in the U.S.

This isn’t something I normally write about but education is something in which I have a very strong interest.

I guess part of the reason I have that interest is because I’m a political creature. While most people follow sports religiously, I follow the political religiously.

And I see No Child Left Behind as the ultimate insult to both teachers and students in the United States.

Here’s a write up on how we do it wrong in the U.S. Very interesting points in there.

The article closes with “Will our leaders be willing to take that step? Or will we devolve into a third class power because we have neglected our most important resource for creating a first-class system of education?”

As one of those upcoming leaders, I will take this seriously. I want the U.S. to be a paragon of education, where intelligence is celebrated, not denigrated. I want a living wage for teachers that isn’t 40% below industry wage. I want teachers in the U.S. to have the right to organize and bargain collectively.

One of the ways we can change things is the teacher evaluation. I present something I feel is a very good article on the subject, and leave with this:

One simple question I regularly ask myself is one suggested by Marvin Marshall, a noted writer on positive classroom management strategies. He recommends that teachers ask: If I were a student, would I want me as a teacher?

Would I want myself as a teacher? Hell no. I’d be pretty vicious as a teacher because I’d expect more from my students.

Fuck You Rep. Michael Tarro

Yes I’m one of your constituents you prick. You say you won’t vote for marriage equality but you will help gay people craft the legal paperwork for free?

Bigot say what?

My first point, you’re going to be cranking out a whole lot of paper. I hope you’ve developed a Microsoft Word template and an Excel or Access database because you’ll need it if you don’t want to do search/replace on all the documents you’ll need for each couple.

And here’s where I lay it down. I want EVERYONE in RI to badger him about their free paperwork and his stance on marriage equality. I want us to be like white on rice with this son of a bitch.

Tarro, Michael A.
DOB 1963-04-22
425 Broadway Providence RI 02909
(All information from RI Central Voter Registration Database and RI Legislature web site.)

I need to start hanging at Seven Stars – and when I see him I need to taunt him. I didn’t vote for his ass and I surely don’t like him as a state rep. In fact, when he put his little “Thank You”‘s on his campaign signs after he won the primary I had a serious temptation but lack of funds. That temptation was to print up addendum on the same yellow paper that said “Yes, thank you. Now I can tear down the rest of the historic properties on Federal Hill and in the West End for more parking lots!”

In fact, I think I might do it anyway. I’ve got a laser printer and I can afford the paper and toner. Print up say 1,000 copies of my charge against him and tack it up everywhere.

Who the fuck does he think he is?

Majority of Catholics Support Same Sex Marriage

Contrary to what Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown and “Dr.” Jennifer Robach Morse would have you believe, Catholics are coming around on the issue of marriage equality.

A new poll released today finds a large majority of American Catholics — 71% — support civil marriage equality for same-sex couples. The report also finds that almost half of Catholics, 43%, support allowing gay couples to marry regardless of type of ceremony (civil or religious,) and 31% of American Catholics support allowing same-sex couples to have civil unions, and 74% believe that same-sex relationships should be accepted by society. Additionally, the report finds that a majority of American Catholics (56%) believe same-gender sexual relations is not a sin, as opposed to the teachings of their church.

71% I wonder though if the pope, you know, Benedict the XVI understands that he and his army of Cardinals, Bishops, and Priests are completely off the mark.

But this is great news, and I’m hoping we see a schism of the American Catholic church from the Church of Rome. That would be interesting to say the least.

New stuff and discoveries

And it is about time!

Got a nice dark brown leather loveseat for about 65% off full retail:

Leather Loveseat
Leather Loveseat

And a nice brown leather chaise again, 65% off retail.

The Leather Chaise
The Leather Chaise

Got a little extra break on the chaise because it was missing the legs. Well, when we got it in the house I had it flipped on it’s side and noticed a compartment underneath was a zipped on cover and a label that said “feet inside”

Sure enough, the feet were screwed into the frame of the chaise. Score!

Note too the resident feline, Angie, has laid claim to the chaise.

Still have to get the leather sofa that matches the loveseat, and the recliner which matches the chaise. But I’m doing this piecemeal. Actually I think the leather recliner will be next followed by the sofa.

Another discovery I made is that HDTV is disrupted by 2m radio transmissions at 5W of PEP power. It just freezes the frame on the TV. Looking at the frequencies for ATSC transmissions I see that the mid channels fall smack into the 4th order harmonics of the 2m amateur band.


The Anti-Union attitude in the United States

I’m always astounded by the anti-union attitudes of people in Rhode Island and the United States in general.

It is baseless when you come right down to it. Here is the thing, we had unions for at least 60 years before this whole economic thing started happening. We saw the rise of the middle class.

Once big business figured out that that rising middle class was a new target to make money on, they did. Until such time as they realized that they had t make more money and cut people off from their jobs in order to enhance the bottom line.

And what did they do? They shipped jobs to China, India, you name it. The basic shit holes of the world in essence. But I don’t believe it was just labor costs that forced the issue.

Instead I think things like the EPA and OSHA were partially responsible. Think about it, both China and India don’t really have an environmental and/or workplace safety organization like ours. Or at least they didn’t have them.

But back to my point, unions didn’t cause the destruction of this country. Big business did and as an extension, the corruption of government by big business did it.

And curiously we bought some new leather furniture today. Guess where it was made, China.

The Next Step in Transportation: Buses as Clean, Green Machines

Electric buses? I suppose we could use them here in RI too. After all, a lot of the routes only serve the city of Providence which is only 18 square miles.

Granted, RIPTA just got nearly a hundred hybrid diesel-ele­ctric buses. They’re interestin­g. They are hybrids in the sense the the Flying Spaghettic Monster meant them to be, the diesel runs at a constant speed to both charge a battery pack and drive an electric motor.

The new buses have interestin­g accelerati­on and torque characteri­stics too. I dare say they could probably haul serious ass right off the line.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

The Coming Out Meme

This has been making the rounds of the blogs I read so I thought that maybe I should help propagate it.

Name: Tony

Country: United States

Age: 46

How old were you when you first realized you were gay? 14 years old.

Do you have more gay friends or straight friends? Mixed actually.

Biggest turn on? A cute face.

Biggest turn off? Incompetence.

Ever been harassed due to your orientation? No I haven’t. I have had the ability to master the look that says “Don’t start none, there won’t be none.” I think I’ve mentioned it before.

Have you ever been surprised at the reaction of people who know you are gay? No, most people knew already.

What is the worst gay stereotype? That we’re all screaming queens. I’m quite the antithesis of that.

Are you a stereotype? Just an average guy.

Ever been to a pride rally? A whole bunch of them. Actually marched in one too.

Do you go to gay bars? Not really my type of environment.

How old were you when you first told someone you were gay? 23, I was a late bloomer.

Did you plan it? If so, how? Wasn’t planned.

What made you choose that person to tell? They asked

How did you feel? Pretty good. It meant I had nothing to fear.

Have you ever been snubbed by someone after coming out to them? No.

Have you come out to your family? Yes

Why did you come out at that point? My father actually asked me if I was gay. No point in hiding the truth at that time so I answered in the affirmative.

Are you out at work? To some but not all. It’s on a case by case basis.

If you’ve been outed unwillingly, who did it? It was willingly

What does being out mean to you? Just being me

What advice would you give someone wanting to come out? Do it when you feel you’re ready for it. And I can tell you, it’s probably going to be a relief once you tell someone.

If you could do it all again, would you do it any differently? I would have come out much sooner.

My take on FRC’s Top 10 Harms that Same Sex Marriage will produce

Lets take it point by point.

Reason #1: Taxpayers, consumers, and businesses would be forced to subsidize homosexual relationships.

One of the key arguments often heard in support of homosexual civil “marriage” revolves around all the government “benefits” that homosexu¬als claim they are denied. Many of these “benefits” involve one thing—taxpayer money that homosexuals are eager to get their hands on. For example, one of the goals of homosexu¬al activists is to take part in the biggest government entitlement program of all—Social Security. Homosexuals want their partners to be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits when one partner dies.

The fact that Social Security survivors benefits were intended to help stay-at-home mothers who did not have retirement benefits from a former employer has not kept homosexuals from de¬manding the benefit.1 Homosexual activists are also demanding that children raised by a homo¬sexual couple be eligible for benefits when one of the partners dies—even if the deceased partner was not the child’s biological or adoptive parent.

And I am forced to subsidize everyone, to pay into the pool that benefits everyone else as long as they are in a heterosexual marriage? Give me a break. Suppose I have a stay at home partner, I know of a few couples where this is the case. The FRC needs to get itself in check here.

And I’d love to say I’m not paying taxes anymore until I have my full measure of rights. Imagine if the 5% to 10% of LGBT people did that. And what if we got our supportive people to do that? We’d bring the government to it’s knees, that’s what would happen.

Schools would teach that homosexual relationships are identical to heterosexual ones.

This is something I have a difficult time with. You ask why? Because what is so wrong about everyone being equal? That kids are taught that gay relationships are just as valid as hetero relationships? It’s because they are bigots, plain and simple.

And the FRC can only bring up the cases in Massachusetts which is really a tempest in a teapot. In the five or six states where marriage equality is the rule, there have not been any cases of suits about schools teaching the relationships that are necessarily identical.

And while I’m on the subject, all the ‘arguments’ brought up by the FRC and anti-equality bigots all happened in a) States that didn’t have marriage equality at all and b) That had venues that were PUBLIC in purpose.

Freedom of conscience and religious liberty would be threatened.

Ok, I have to get it out of my system. Boo fucking hoo! Look, your religious liberties are maintained. But as I’ve said before and will now say again, you keep your God out of my government, and I will keep my government out of your God.

You’ve got every right to shout it from the tree tops, but you have no right to tell me who I can or cannot marry.

And of course they bring up the Catholic Charities organization in Boston. Thing is, they neglect to mention that CC didn’t give up the adoption services because gays tried to adopt, they gave it up because they CHOSE to do so. Big difference there.

The next one brings up a “What the fuck?” moment for me.

Fewer people would marry.

So let me get this straight so to speak. Deny gay people the right to marry the person of their choosing, and everyone will want to get married. But let us marry and then nobody wants to marry?

The reality is that yes, marriage rates are in fact declining. They’ve been declining for the last 30+ years. Why? Think it about it for a moment, the last 30+ years has had the first generation to grow up with a single parent, or that have gone through a divorce.

The last thing they want to do is marry someone. So the bigots really have no argument here.

When a relatively small percentage of same-sex
couples—even among those already living together
as partners—even bother to seek legal
recognition of their relationships, while an overwhelming
majority of heterosexual couples who
live together are legally married, it suggests that
homosexuals are far more likely than heterosexuals
to reject the institution of marriage or its legal

I think they’re using red herring arguments in this one. It’s not that we don’t want the rights and responsibilities of marriage, it’s just that in the cases in California and Maine we’ve seen how the bigots motivate the people to strip us of our rights in two cases so far. And we also see how they’re trying to repeal marriage equality to this day in other states. So maybe, just maybe we’re waiting for a friendly U.S. Supreme Court or at least one that understands the Constitutional ramifications of not giving us full equality to make it the law of the land, impervious to the efforts of the bigots to repeal once more.

Fewer people would remain monogamous and sexually faithful.

They think only gay people are sluts? Oh my goodness, can I tell some stories! Only they aren’t about the gay people but the STRAIGHT people. While the bigots at the FRC might want to believe we’re raving sexual maniacs, we don’t hold a CANDLE to the depravity of the straights.

Lets see, I’ve known a number of straight men and women who were for lack of a better words, very sexually promiscuous, and they were distributed equally among both single and married. I have been regaled with tales that would blister paint at forty yards! But yet the bigots at FRC, they’ll point the finger at us without addressing the larger issues surrounding sexual infidelity.

Fewer people would remain married for a lifetime.

Not for anything but the bigots at FRC are REALLY grasping for straws here. Um, with a divorce rate hitting 50% in the heterosexual class, is it any wonder that we might see similar rates in the LGBT community?

Fewer children would be raised by a married mother and father.

And their point is? There have been kids being raised with single male and female parents for a long time now. In a lot of those cases, no deficits. And the studies done thus far indicate that kids brought up by same sex parents are well adjusted just like the kids brought up by a mother and father. There is no difference.

A friend of mine in the psych trade puts it succinctly: Love and consistency are what really matter. And think about another little factoid for a moment, gay couples actually WANT their kids as opposed to any old sloppy hetero hookup that results in the spawn of a one night stand.

More children would grow up fatherless.

This one is ludicrous. What about a kid growing up with two fathers? That ought to make heads at the FRC explode.

Birth rates would fall.

I’m just aghast at this one. Brith rates are falling due to advances in chemistry and the use of prophylactics. But don’t worry, there are still PLENTY of people being born. They’re just not lilly white like the bigots at the FRC. And that is probably what scares the crap out of them.

Demands for legalization of polygamy would grow.

Here we are. The slippery slope argument. You know, the same one that the bigots have been trying to use against us for time immemorial? The one usually followed by bestiality?

No, granting us the right to marry would not lead to any more demand for polygamy than already exists currently. And not for anything, a passel of women is not exactly easy to keep up with. Or are they talking just polygamy and not polyandry? One can never tell.

In conclusion, as you can well see the ‘arguments’ put up by the FRC are nothing but red herrings. In essence it’s a complete load of horse shit.