Friday, August 31, 2012

Old News Will Be New News: Nuns On The Bus

I have a special place in my heart for nuns and women religious even though I may not share all of their religious beliefs.

Sister Simone Campbell was in the news this summer with the Nuns on the Bus Tour refuting the current Republican VP Nominee, Paul Ryan's Budget from a Catholic Social Justice perspective.  Her talk here is inspiring but for some of you readers may be a bit too long and a bit too "religious".  So I also included a shorter video of her on "Hardball with Chris Matthews".

Interesting was her point that social programs like the food stamp program are actually subsidies for business.  They can get away with paying low wages because low wage workers will still be able to eat using food stamps.  And that if such programs are cut as the Republicans wish to do, non-profits that help the poor would really have to struggle to make up the difference, if they even could.  The burden would not be on the private business sector to increase wages of course, so their low wage employees could both eat and pay rent.

Simone Campbell will certainly be in the news again soon: I am looking forward to her talk at the upcoming Democratic Convention.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Gay and Lesbian Wedding Guests Dance the First Dance at Straight Wedding

This comes via Towleroad and was a short post but very moving.  It's about a straight couple who invited all the gay/lesbian couples at their wedding to have the first dance ... to the Beach Boys' Wouldn't It Be Nice.  I've always liked the Beach Boys, but I'll admit that I never heard this song from the perspective of Marriage Equality before...listen and enjoy!

Link Here to John Green's Blog

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Medium Is The Message?

Thanks to Wicked Gay Blog for this (I couldn't resist):

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Off the Grid

Won't be posting or reading for a few days...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

LGBT Parenting - And People Say The Scariest Things

Thinking of the many gay and lesbian couples with children, many of whom are fellow bloggers, (Mark, Guy Dads, etc) I was dismayed when I heard about this comment by a spokesperson of a an anti-gay "family" organization (as is my habit, I will NOT use the name in print), namely that children of same-sex couples should be removed (dare I say kidnapped?) from their homes by some kind of "underground railroad" network of religious fanatics.  He bases his comments on the supposed trauma suffered by one boy who grew up parented by two Lesbians.  Troubled son of Bi/Lesbian Mother source article here

While I cannot discount his personal, subjective experience the individual who wrote this obviously had some issues - which, I believe, he would most likely have had even if he grew up with his biological mother and father in somewhat similar circumstances.

There are many children, who grow up in dysfunctional homes;  many who grow up having been parented by one parent, step parents, serial parents, grandparents, group parents, or no parents and several other types of households.  Some have issues, some don't.  Having two men or two women as caring, loving and fully engaged parents is as nurturing and healthy - or more so - than having opposite-sex parents or other types of families which may provide less than optimal parenting - and G. knows there are many of those.

The comment by the anti-gay "family" organization spokesperson was reprehensible and irresponsible, and ignorant not to mention just plain stupid.  I suppose ignorant and stupid is a bit redundant, but that's OK.

Huffington Post source article here

This ignoramus' comment is so outrageous on so many levels and there is absolutely no logic to be found therein, that it is not even worth refuting.  But that doesn't make it any less scary.  These are the kinds of things that may incite others to act in very dangerous ways.

His idea was fashioned after another news article about a child custody case involving a biological mother and her ex-partner (who happened to be an "ex-lesbian" who found religion).

"Kidnapp Trial" source article here

Apparently, the aforementioned ignoramus thinks it was just peachy-keen to arrange a kidnapping and expatriation of a child in order to "save" the child from any contact with her Lesbian mom.

All I'm saying here is that there are frightening ideas circulating out there - ideas that can infect others and, given the right (or wrong) political environment might encourage some other wingnut to act based on the notion that such ideas have some legitimacy.

That is one of the reasons I felt that the Chicken appreciation day was somewhat akin to a KKK rally.  It bestowed an aura of legitimacy (by visibility and sheer numbers) to hate speech and hate behavior and emboldened bigots to come out of their closets.

We must call them out at every opportunity.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Photos, no Politics

Monday, July 30 I took a "vacation" day.  Even retired folks need to call in sick once in a while.  

Leon was home due to lack of work so I said, "Here, the dog is yours today. I'm going to the beach."

I drove to Rhode Island to Misquamicut Beach because Connecticut does not have any "real" ocean beaches.  It was a glorious day.  The temperature was perfect, low humidity, nice breeze, no sand flies.  Listened to Brazilian samba music and Soul Flutes.  Walked the beach and felt like I was 18 again. 

The beach on a day like that is Heaven.  If heaven is that good, I'll be happy.

Palm trees in Rhode Island
 This beach shop has palm trees in the ground.  In Rhode Island which is in New England.  Now I've seen palm trees in New England but they are usually potted so they can be returned to a green house for the winter.  I want to know whether these are removed for the winter.  They look rather permanent.

A few odds and ends.  I thought I'd seen a humming bird but on closer look it had antennae.  Its wings were beating like a humming bird.  Looked it up - it is a "hummingbird" MOTH.  Unusual.  What would we do without Google?

We've been spending every other weekend in Vermont at the property of some friends where we've parked our camper for a while.  Lance and Rolyne are very generous to let us share their land - they have water, electric and sewer hook-ups for our camper.  They have a park model "camper" and their place is quite nice.  The yard looks like a State Park - Lance keeps the grounds looking great.
They've got quite the stone driveway.
 We spend our days visiting Vermont friends or they come to our camper for evening cook-out and good conversation.  Lance is a great story-teller and loves to talk.  We always have a good time and some good laughs.

Here are some Connecticut stone walls in Litchfield County.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

It Ain't Necessarily So

I think this is what Raulito was trying to say in Trickle Down BS.  George Gershwin said it in music and Bronski Beat, one of my favorite groups, does it here:

  Gershwin's lyrics here

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Little Levity For The Weekend

Here is a cute video - a new internet TV series.  Rated VG (Very Gay)  Hope you enjoy:

Where The Bears Are - Episode 1 BEAR DOWN from Where the Bears Are on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

We're Here, We're Queer, You Need Us, Back Off - Part 2

Reflecting on comments regarding yesterday's post:

Yes the rich bastard certainly has the right to mouth off, but it is precisely his wealth and power that presents a danger to us - especially when his money and thus his ability to reach the ignorant masses with lies, half-truths and innuendo can do irreparable harm. Some people let others do their thinking for them and believe and rally around everything that is said if it is wrapped in the bible, god and the flag. And big rich boys know it.

News clips did show crowds lining up to eat Chicken and perhaps demonstrated more support for the anti-gay sentiment than may actually exist. However, even a false but dramatic indication of anti-gay sentiment can convince more people to hop on the hate bandwagon.

Maybe my life hasn't changed since the guy mouthed off, but something has definitely transpired in the country and I'm not sure it is a safer, more tolerant country because of it. So yes, it may be a big deal if it gives more people "permission" to act on their bigotry and homophobia.

At the bottom of yesterday's post is a link to a letter by 170 law professors refuting the right wing, religionists' talking points about religious freedom and the provision of contraception to women under the Affordable Care Act. Their reasoning, while specific to that issue, is relevant to LGBT issues, including the right to marry, because so much of the vitriol and hate stems from misguided fundamentalist religious doctrine that has no place in fashioning laws that effect the entire populace. 

Call me cynical, but I think writing letters to congresspersons is a joke. Even though I do so on occasion, I truly don't think anyone is listening - unless, of course your letter is accompanied by a $100,000 or more campaign contribution.

So, my point is this: demonstrations of hate and bigotry deserve a response appropriate to the degree of ignorance demonstrated. I think it is time for another civil rights demonstration - but I'm not sure another March on Washington will have much impact. It has to touch the lives of ordinary citizens. My example of a Day Without Homos was a bit of a fantasy - cute, but I had hoped it made a point.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

We're Here, We're Queer, You Need Us, Back Off

Thinking about the big Chicken eating crowds that came out to support the Chicken billionaire who donates millions of his Chicken profits to anti-gay causes AND thinking about an adequate response to this event, I am reminded of a short story I read years ago by Robin Hardy entitled The Day the Homos Disappeared, A Cautionary Tale.  

In the story, a Toronto socialite is hosting The Social Event of the year and is dismayed that she is unable to get things done for the big party. She can't get her hair done or have lunch because all the hairdressers have vanished, along with most of the waiters and others.  She realizes that all the homos have disappeared but is completely baffled by why they took the others with them - at least 10 percent of the population has disappeared along with the homos - 10 percent of the police, firemen, teachers, doctors, nurses, bus drivers, bankers, politicians - even her husband has disappeared.  The city just about shuts down in the crisis.

Well, I think a LGBT general strike - a sick day - a boycott of everything day is in order.  If we all just "disappeared" for a day - the teachers, the actors, the EMTs, the service workers, the computer experts, the nurses, the store clerks, the taxi drivers - if we all called in sick, didn't report for work, didn't spend any money on anything, perhaps it would make a statement - we're here, we're queer, you need us, back off.

What do you all think?  I think it would take a lot of convincing for there to be enough participation to make our absence noticeable.  We need a leader to rally the masses!

Ron Romanovsky did a cute song about it: (But I don't think we should be cute at all)

P.S.  What I had for lunch, not that it makes a difference:

AND P.S. Again - here's a link to a letter by 100 law professors about Conscience and Contraception on the day Affordable Health Care Act provision goes into effect.


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