Tag: Civil Rights

Movies: Selma

So last night I watched the movie “Selma”. Of course I watched it online. Yes, it was a reviewer copy of the movie.

The movie begins with a group of black children in a church coming down a set of stairs and then a horrifying boom happens and bits and pieces flying everywhere. This was the Birmingham Church bombing. I cannot believe how horrible and despicable the then white minority and yes they were the minority – not the black people in Alabama were. But the white folks had a lock on the political and law enforcement sphere and used it to repress and abuse the black community.

The movie focuses on the march from Selma, AL to Montgomery, AL  but also focuses on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. President Johnson and the then racist prick of a governor of Alabama, George Wallace.

And you have images in the movie of white cops murdering black people. Just outright cold blooded murder. And the vote suppression was something fierce. Toward the beginning of the movie a black woman goes to register to vote in what I believe was Selma. She slides the application forward and says “It’s all right this time.” to which the clerk replies “I’ll say when it’s all right.” The clerk then asks the woman to recite the preamble to the Constitution. Then to say how many county  judges there are in Alabama. So the woman answers “67” and then the clerk says “Name them.” while the next scene shows the clerk using a big old DENIED stamp on her application.

Now let’s move forward – officemate and I had a discussion about policing. He lays blame for the murder of a number of black men by police recently to some degree on the victims of police for not respecting authority of the cops. I explained that until cops stop racist policies, it’s never going to change and that no respect for authority is due to police. I told him to go look up the Milgram experiment and the Zimbardo Prison experiment on Youtube.

But it goes further than that. Even today we see voter suppression with Voter ID laws. They just don’t want black and Latino people to vote. That’s what it is, nothing more. It doesn’t eliminate fraud in elections, it doesn’t make elections more secure – it simply represses the vote.

And Governor Wallace, that smug son of a bitch got his comeuppance – an attempted assassination left him crippled for the rest of his life. Ha!

And of course President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Which by the way Republicans were hell bent on repealing recently.

So when you hear white politicians talk about Voter ID, and how there’s no need for federal oversight of elections in the deep south anymore – you’re listening to a racist prick talk. That’s what it is, all code word for racial bigotry.

My rights trump your religion

That is correct. My rights mean I do not have to be subject to your religious dogma or edicts.

This all started when I read the post titled “Phony victimization ruining American Christianity” on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters.

This whole thing with Michele Bachmann and her husband’s sham psych practice are really starting to irritate the shit out of me.

Why? Because the more I hear about it the more I come to the conclusion that the phrase “Religion is a force for good.” is completely and totally incorrect. Religion is a force against good is more accurate, or religion is a force against rights, I like that one better.

We’re being bludgeoned to death because of fundamentalist religionistas who think that their world view is to be imposed on the rest of us.

No it is NOT! You can practice your religion, but when it infringes upon my civil rights I start getting angry. And right now I’m really angry. From the murder of a four year old perceived to be gay, to the 13% increase in crimes against the LGBT community in 2010, I’m sick and tired of it.

Those acts I quote in the prior paragraph, they’re more than just infringements. They are an affront to the person, be they young or old.

How dare people act on their twisted interpretations of biblical texts. I encourage people to read the ENTIRE Bible. Because once you do so you start to see several inconsistencies. If you’d like I can highly recommend the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, or perhaps a couple of YouTube channels that highlight the contradictions in the Bible.

Videos by DarkMatter2525 are pretty good at pointing out the contradictions.

And TaylorX04 does a good job too.

So read, watch and come back and tell me if it doesn’t shake your faith a bit. It shouldn’t just shake it but tear it to pieces.

As I often say, Keep your God out of my Government and I will keep my Government out of your God.

NOM doesn’t have a valid argument

So it seems Brian S. Brown and Christopher Plante (Both from NOM) went on former mayor of Providence Buddy Cianci’s radio show on WPRO.

The callers John, Midge and Mark made some VERY good points in our defense of full marriage equality.

You can listen to the show here.

What astounds me is that Brian Brown keeps banging his head on the “It’s all about the children” bit.

It is and it isn’t about the children Brian. Sure, some kids might just find out that there are in fact gay people out there and that we are really no different from everyone else. And yes, some of those kids may challenge the religious beliefs held by their parents. It isn’t called evolution for nothing!

Then of course there are the children of gay couples. They deserve every right and privilege that their cohort deserves from their straight parents. But according to Brown, there will be consequences!

But we also have the move by Brown and NOM to put marriage equality on the ballot in Rhode Island. Absolutely NOT! Every time our rights have been put to a PUBLIC referendum we’ve had our rights stripped away from us.

At least in Rhode Island getting the question on the ballot pretty much takes an act of the legislature. So like they say in the program, call and write your representatives. Tell them that gay people deserve the full and same measure of rights that straight people take for granted.

If you’d like to find out who your representatives are visit the RI Secretary Of State’s Voter Information Center. Then go to the Legislature web site and find your Representatives and Senators. They have contact information on their Constituent Services links.

Tell them we want equality. Nothing else will do.

For the Obama apologists

You know I keep hearing people say how he’s got the war, the economy, health care, etc. on his plate as being the reason he can’t be a ‘fierce advocate’ for gay people.

Part of being a leader is being able to delegate the work to be done. So far President Obama seems to be doing that well.

He also has time to throw Halloween parties for the children of military families. Yet he doesn’t have the time to speak against a hateful proposition in California, or in Maine?

So tell me, why doesn’t the President take five minutes out of his day to say “Voting to repeal civil rights is wrong.” or “Yes on 1 is hateful and disgraceful.”?

Fierce advocate my ass. We’ll take the crumbs he offers like a hate crimes bill, but when it comes to true equality we give him a pass.

On the one hand I’m glad that Obama is President and McCain isn’t. And I don’t regret having dumped a few hundred bucks into the campaign either. But I do wish Obama would show more leadership characteristics. Hells Bells, even Jimmy Carter got roped into telling people not to vote for the Briggs Initiative in CA back in the 1970’s.

Here’s my theory. If you’re going to be a leader and not a politician it means you don’t necessarily get a second term. So you make the first term worthwhile. What astounds me more is that Obama and the Democratic party seem to be on the same page of lack of leadership. This has become evident in the health care reform debate.

There shouldn’t be any debate as to discussion. There should be debate that has the long term goal of fixing a broken medical system.

But instead we’ll see our elected representatives sell us out with health care cooperatives, in essence saying we’ll be even more at the whims of the marketplace.

And as far as gay rights, yes we may now be included in hate crimes statutes, and we may get an ENDA bill but again it’s a half step. ENDA isn’t what we want we want EHCNDA (Employment, Housing and Creidt Non Discrimation) for the entire spectrum of the LGBT community.

We have a golden opportunity with a super-majority in congress and a Democratic President. Civil rights should be easy to push through.

Most of all we want our civil rights, all of them not just some of them.

I find it odd that you have military commanders saying the military is ready to get rid of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell. So where’s the political will to do away with DADT and DOMA?

It seems as thought we’ve elected cowards.

So step up President Obama and do the right thing.

In which I charge Governor Carcieri of RI with Perjury

We’ve recently become aware that RI Governor Donald Carcieri is going to be the keynote speaker at the Massachusetts Family Institute.

Governor Carcieri has accepted an invitation to headline the annual fundraising banquet for the Massachusetts Family Institute, an advocacy organization that promotes marriage between a man and a woman and considers homosexuality “an unhealthy practice and destructive to individuals, families and society.”

First a little background on the Massachusetts Family Institute.

They hold themselves to be fairly innocuous and even friendly. Look at these points from their about us page:

* Educating families and children about the dangers of unsafe Internet use
* Preventing sexual abuse of children
* Enforcing statutory rape laws
* Strengthening, protecting, and preserving marriage between a man and a woman
* Restricting gambling within the Commonwealth
* Providing resources to help fathers meet the financial and emotional needs of their young families
* Educating children and adults on the spread of dangerous sexually transmitted diseases, and the benefits of sexual abstinence
* MFI is an independent, not-for-profit organization and supported through the generosity of our contributors.

Note the highlighted segment.

And note the abstinence part. Yes hide your heads in the sand and pretend that your teenager won’t know how to have sex. It’s pretty simple, animals do it all the time. Tab A to Slot B and bam, the owner of Slot B is impregnated. All because you taught abstinence instead of human sexuality.

A little further digging finds this:

MFI does not consider homosexual behavior to be merely an alternate lifestyle or sexual “preference”; it is an unhealthy practice and destructive to individuals, families and society. Our compassion for those plagued by same-sex attraction compels us to support the healing of those who wish to change their behavior. MFI strongly opposes any efforts by political activists to normalize homosexual behavior and all attempts to equate homosexuality with benign characteristics such as skin color, or the “gay rights” movement with the civil rights movement.

It is not an alternative lifestyle, it is a life. It is not a sexual preference, using the word preference implies that being gay is a choice. I’d like to ask their membership and our Governor, when did you decide to be heterosexual?

They then go on about healing homosexuality “for those who wish to change.” I’m one recalcitrant homo, I don’t want to change, and I don’t believe in God. Yes I’m a godless gay heathen. You can try changing me whilst staring down the barrel of a gun held by me.

And we’re not trying to equate being gay with anything. What we are asserting is our civil rights under that pesky document, the RI Constitution. I direct you attention to Article 1 Section 2. Granted, it was only inserted in 1986 but it’s still part of our Constitution as it stands.

Section 2. Laws for good of whole — Burdens to be equally distributed — Due process — Equal protection — Discrimination — No right to abortion granted. — All free governments are instituted for the protection, safety, and happiness of the people. All laws, therefore, should be made for the good of the whole; and the burdens of the state ought to be fairly distributed among its citizens. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied equal protection of the laws. No otherwise qualified person shall, solely by reason of race, gender or handicap be subject to discrimination by the state, its agents or any person or entity doing business with the state. Nothing in this section shall be construed to grant or secure any right relating to abortion or the funding thereof.

All laws made for the good of whole. Note, WHOLE. That means everyone. Not just the 90% or so of RI’ers who identify as heterosexual.

Now here’s where the crux of my argument comes in. This is the oath that the Governor has sworn not just once but twice.

Section 3. Oath of general officers. — All general officers shall take the following engagement before they act in their respective offices, to wit: You being by the free vote of the electors of this state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, elected unto the place of do solemnly swear (or, affirm) to be true and faithful unto this state, and to support the Constitution of this state and of the United States; that you will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties of your aforesaid office to the best of your abilities, according to law: So help you God. Or: This affirmation you make and give upon the peril of the penalty of perjury.!

So I now charge RI Governor Carcieri with Perjuring his oath of office. My reasoning behind this is his vociferous opposition to my rights as enumerated in the RI Constitution. By doing this and being the headline speaker for the Massachusetts Family Institute he is in direct violation of not just my rights, but the rights of all GLBT people in RI.

William Felkner – A NeoCon trying to change the world from the inside

This one gets my goat. Felkner decides to pursue a masters in social work and then has his delicate sensibilities offended because of a screening of Fahrenheit 911? There’s more to it than that.

Here are some salient points of the Projo Article about Felkner:

Felkner has filed a lawsuit against Rhode Island College that revives arguments from conservatives who have assailed the NASW code of ethics, the profession of social work and the structure of academic programs in schools of social work across the country.

Emily Brooker, a student at Missouri State University, won an out-of-court settlement in 2006 after she alleged in a civil-rights complaint against the school that her course work required her to be an advocate for the right of homosexuals to adopt children.

These two paragraphs pretty much tell the whole story. They’re neo-cons. And Emily Brooker filing that civil rights complaint is ludicrous. And of course we now have President Bush doing a signing statement protecting medical professionals if their beliefs interfere with their professional training and practice.

It’s so easy to see that the bias in all cases is religious in nature. And in the case of Felkner and Gordon, they’re probably good Catholic boys, and if you didn’t catch the dripping sarcasm in that one you haven’t been reading this blog for long.

They’re Catholics who missed the message of the New Testament, each and every one of them. What part of love thy neighbor, or love as ye wish to be loved did they forget? I may be an atheist but you know what, some of the parables of the New Testament aren’t a bad way to go about life.

I don’t hate people like Brooker, Felkner and Gordon. I just want them to see the error of their ways. However I should make it clear, I consider these people mentally deficient. They forgot to read the parts after the first five books in the Bible.

I refuse to live my life under the rule of Leviticus and if people actually read the prohibition in that book and the others in the Old Testament they’d come to the conclusion that they wouldn’t like living that way either. No divorce, the ability to sell your wife and daughters into slavery. Biblical times were delightful weren’t they?

Felkner’s lawsuit says the RIC School of Social Work discriminated against him by penalizing his grades, filing ethics charges against him, delaying his graduation, and denying him the opportunity to work on welfare reform in the governor’s office — all in retaliation for his conservative views.

But the grounds of his suit and the fact that the courts wouldn’t grant RIC’s summary judgement with prejudice request is interesting. I don’t think Felkner has a leg to stand on. Maybe the courts want to make an example of him. I certainly hope that’s the case.

I did a little digging, here’s what I found on Felkner:

First up is his Ocean State Policy Institute. It’s none other than a neo-con think tank.

BTW, check out the Board of Directors of OSPI. You’ll find the likes of the annual crank Dan Harrop, or First Lady Sue Carcieiri as well as some folks from flyover country who think their opinion should rule here in Rhode Island.

Mr. Felkner’s Blog

His election to the Chariho School District.

His LinkedIn page which curiously has the contacts locked out. I do know I’m connected to Felkner through one person from RI Geeks. I aksed that person about it and he doesn’t really know why Felkner is linked to him.

He’s associated with both the Vanguard Group and the National Taxpayers Union.

His contact info:
William Felkner (401) 377-9027 14 High St,Ashaway, RI 02804

Looking at the domain registration for Ocean State Policy Institute I find his web site was provided by Three Bean Studios. Apparently Mr. Mark Gordon of Three Bean Studios never saw a flash presentation he didn’t like. I can say this as someone who knows Flash and ActionScript too.

But digging into Mr. Gordon yields a few interesting tidbits:

His ZoomInfo profile for one.

But more importantly this article cached on Zoom Info. From the article two things are worth noting:

Conservative Christian, Mark Gordon, recommends putting away the carving knife. He’s got a better idea. Why not take over the National Endowment for the Arts and use it to promote traditional art and family values?

Indeed, take it over from the inside. I almost think Gordon is mentoring Felkner because quite honestly Felkner strikes me as someone short on critical thinking faculties.

Mark Gordon is an administrator of the St. Michael Institute of Sacred Art in Mystic, Connecticut. In a late-May article in the National Catholic Register, a conservative weekly, he argues that “gaining control of the NEA and its $100 million annual budget should be a strategic imperative for Christians who have made this fight their own.”

But it gets better, this sick fuck Gordon is a fundie Catholic. Tell me again why we shouldn’t yank the tax exemption of the Catholic church too?

Mr. Gordon’s contact information:
Mark Gordon (401) 315-5192 4 Rosemount Ln,Westerly, RI 02891

So I think it’s fairy easy to figure out who is funding Felkner and Gordon. It’s the Catholic church. Good going guys. Expose your fucking hypocrisy.