Friday, November 25, 2005
Last Friday, Senators John Corzine and Frank Lautenberg, Democrats of New Jersey, sponsored a resolution congratulating
Bruce Springsteen on the 30th anniversary of his album "Born to Run."
However, Sen. Bill Frist or one of his GOP colleagues didn't let the resolution come up for consideration. So much for fairness and cordiality in the Senate!
Presumably, the reason the Republicans dissed the Boss was because he campaigned for John Kerry against Bush. After watching Bush's remarkably disastrous performance after reelection, the Boss looks pretty smart, doesn't he?
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a column
whining about the GOP's incessant whining. I got a stack of nasty mail from conservatives calling me all sorts of names. After Frist's pathetically petty move to punish Springsteen, all I can do is gloat. Conservative Republicans simply belong in papmers. They are even more parochial and vindictive than I had imagined. To quote a lyric from The Boss, the GOP is "dancing in the dark".
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Check out Daily Kos
for great political information, such as this map, showing Bush's unpopularity rating by state.
On November 14, Focus on the Family launched
a sickening national ad campaign for it's TroubledWith
web site that teaches hate and offers free advice on how to screw up one's family. It includes a variety of backwards and outdated advice from pseudo experts.
The campaign features a 30-second television commercial that will run in Times Square and during The Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil in the New York market. The campaign will conclude with a grassroots effort along the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade route with volunteers distributing TroubledWith.com promotional items. Folks, if you see these creeps handing out offensive knick-knacks, please give them a piece of your mind. I certainly will if I attend the parade.
The only silver lining to this garbage, is that Fucking Up The Family is giving us a glimpse on who they really are. For example, on the web-site, James Dobson talks fondly of how his mother once sent him to the woodshed to make a paddle that she could beat him
"My mother always used a small switch, which could not do any permanent damage," Dobson wrote. "But it stung enough to send a very clear message. One day when I had pushed her to the limit, she actually sent me to the backyard to cut my own instrument of punishment. I brought back a tiny little twig about seven inches long. She could not have generated anything more than a tickle with it. She never sent me on that fool's errand again."
What loving family values! After reading this heart-warming story, I can see why Dobson is such an abusive tyrant. It really wasn't his fault, just the disastrous way he was raised. By beating him, his parents created a monster.
Dobson's lowbrow morals are apparent when he discusses his view of a working mom dividing daily chores with her husband.
You might ask the married woman, "Where is your husband and father in all this exertion? Why isn't he carrying his share of the homework?" Well, he may be working a fifteen-hour day at his own job. Getting started in a business or a profession often demands that kind of commitment. Or he may simply choose not to help his wife. That is a common complaint among working mothers. "Not fair," you say. I agree, but that's the way the system often works.
Just the way the system works? No, in happy, functioning families (particularly gay families) the chores are divided equally. It seems to me like Dobson is placing the primary burden on working moms and letting lazy fathers have a pass. If you ask me, this patriarchal attitude is why divorce has exploded in America. With shallow, misogynistic answers such as this, Dobson is actually contributing to the divorce rate.
The bottom line is Dobson is partially responsible for creating the very problems he is attempting to fix. This new website is a disgrace to cyberspace.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Yesterday, President George W. Bush reluctantly gave a "pardon" to Marshmallow, the 35-pound national Thanksgiving turkey. Insiders say the former Texas governor wanted to give the bird a lethal injection, but after reviewing the latest poll numbers, Karl Rove wouldn't let him.
In a break from tradition, the bird will be going to Disneyland, where he will be grand marshal of the Thanksgiving Day parade. However, inside sources tell me that the bird is only going to California so he won't have to campaign with Bush.
"Do you think I want to be seen with Bush?" Marshmallow reportedly said. "Even Sen. Rick Santorum won't campaign with him. Bush went to Virginia to help Jerry Kilgore in the governor's race and Kilgore got the stuffing beat out of him. Screw that and no thanks, I'm going to California to chill wth Arnold. Wait, he's less popular than Bush. Is it too late to find an axe?"
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Marine Reserve Colonel Danny R. Bubp, who was alleged to have said of Rep. John Murtha, D-Penn., that "cowards cut and run, marines never do," says his comments were misconstrued
by Congresswoman Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio.
Rep. Schmidt is a disgrace to her office and should consider stepping down. What she said was not only mean-spirited, it also appears to be false and misleading. If she keeps it up, she might earn herself a top leadership position with the GOP.
For the most part, I have little faith in the majority of organized religion. It tends to have undesirable side effects such as crusades, Inquisitions, witch burnings and the election of George W. Bush. To me, the idea of blind faith is baffling. It seems like some people are compelled to create an imaginary, invisible friend to help them cope with pain and tragedy.
With such strong, secular views on religion, you might be surprised to know that I believe the gay and lesbian community desperately needs to find God. Unless we win the battle of heaven, the right wing will continue to make our lives hell. To win the hearts and minds of most Americans, powerful alliances with religious organizations must be forged and GLBT people of faith must be respected.
Fortunately, I am not alone in this assessment. In Matt Foreman's keynote address at this month's Creating Change conference in Oakland, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's executive director wisely underscored the need to welcome religious viewpoints.
"The secular part of the movement has distanced itself from people of faith, and that's got to end," Foreman emphatically stated. The annual conference also featured a seminar by the Empire State Pride Agenda called "Pride In The Pulpit."
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest GLBT organization, has also jumped on the faith bandwagon. In June, they hired respected gay advocate Harry Knox, a 1989 graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary, to run their newly created religious and faith program.
"We must bring faith discussions back to their roots of seeking understanding," said Knox. "A vocal minority is falsely promoting the notion that religious people stand in opposition to equal rights. Our job is to promote the truth that a majority of people of faith believes strongly in fairness and justice."
Knox may be a bit optimistic, but he is correct to suggest that the religious right is not God's mouthpiece. Unfortunately, the media has all-too-often presented religion as monolithic and uniformly opposed to gay rights.
Bloated and bloviating buffoons, such as Rev. Jerry Falwell, are chosen to represent the "religious viewpoint" while mainstream religious leaders are frozen out of the debate.
This creates a huge problem because the public has been conditioned to watching cable television shouting matches dangerously billed as Gays vs. God. For even the most talented and trenchant debaters, defeating God is a tall order.
Changing this dynamic will be difficult because news directors love conflict, and who better to churn the waters - and turn up the ratings - than fire and brimstone preachers? Let's face it, people love (or love to hate) Rev. Pat Robertson's messianic meteorology routine. The more he behaves like an airhead, the more airtime the networks give him.
One of the major challenges is finding dynamic, TV-friendly religious leaders who will openly champion gay rights. One such leader is Rev. Al Sharpton, who endorsed the freedom to marry during his presidential campaign and who continues to be a strong advocate. His voice is key, especially in African American churches, where a lot of work needs to be done to break through a wall of entrenched homophobia.
Another strong voice is that of Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, representing about 900 synagogues in North America. In a memorable speech last week in Houston, the Associated Press reported that he blasted the religious right and offered his support for gay rights.
"Religious right," leaders believe "unless you attend my church, accept my God and study my sacred text you cannot be a moral person," Rabbi Yoffie thundered. "What could be more bigoted than to claim that you have a monopoly on God? We cannot forget that when Hitler came to power in 1933, one of the first things that he did was ban gay organizations. Yes, we can disagree about gay marriage. But there is no excuse for hateful rhetoric that fuels the hell fires of anti-gay bigotry."
It is imperative that spiritual leaders, such as Sharpton and Yoffie, take-on the right wing because it gives cover to people of faith who believe in gay rights, but need to be able to theologically justify their support.
Look, religion will always be with us, whether we like it or not, because it fulfills a deep need and spiritual longing in millions of people. I will personally never understand why man thinks he can truly know, explain or comprehend the enigma of what we call God.
But, maybe I don't have to, anymore than people of faith have to fathom why I feel no need to pray. What matters is that there is mutual respect and a strong desire live in a free society where the government does not mandate a particular religion or discriminate.
If a person with my secular beliefs can enthusiastically embrace our religious friends and allies, I think anybody can. Having visited dozens of churches in the past couple of years, there is a lot of good happening that must be acknowledged. If the GLBT movement has a prayer at winning full acceptance, it better find religion fast.
Abramoff Partner Pleads Guilty:
A onetime congressional staffer who became a top partner to lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring to bribe a congressman and other public officials and agreed to pay back more than $19 million he fraudulently charged Indian tribal clients.
The plea agreement between prosecutors and Michael Scanlon, a former press secretary to then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), provided fresh detail about the alleged bribes. The document also indicated the nature of testimony Scanlon is prepared to offer against a congressman it calls "Representative #1" -- who has been identified by attorneys in the case as Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio). -- The Washington PostCheney Smears War Critics:
Vice President Cheney yesterday accused critics
of engaging in "revisionism of the most corrupt and shameless variety" in the Iraq debate, in a major speech that reflected the uncompromising style that has made him a touchstone for many of the controversies shadowing President Bush.
"Any suggestion that prewar information was distorted, hyped, fabricated by the leader of the nation is utterly false," Cheney said, decrying the "self-defeating pessimism" of many Democrats. He added that to begin withdrawing from Iraq now, as some lawmakers have suggested, "would be a victory for the terrorists."
Folks, what Cheney is doing is unpatriotic and flat out despicable. Fortunately, the public is no longer buying his patriot games and the administration is further digging its grave with each ugly, wild accusation. For example, a recent Newsweek
poll found that only 29 percent of Americans regard him as honest and ethical. With his credibility gone, what the VP says amounts to little more than sickening blather.
Here is the funniest and most bizarre spin from Cheney's scathing tirade:
Although the United States has not found any stockpiles of banned weapons in Iraq, Cheney said, "I repeat that we never had the burden of proof; Saddam Hussein did."
Don't expect Cheney's awful reputation to improve in the near future. He is scheduled to appear at a Dec. 5 fundraiser in Houston for Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Tex., who was forced to step down as House majority leader after being indicted.IRS Attacks Anti-War Church:
Shortly before the last election, a former rector at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Calif., gave a fiery antipoverty and antiwar sermon. He did not endorse a presidential candidate, but he criticized President Bush's policies in Iraq and at home. Now the Internal Revenue Service has challenged the church's tax-exempt status. (New York Times