Thursday, 5/10/12, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

48 responses to “Thursday, 5/10/12, Public Square

  1. prairie pond

    As I’ve had time to think about Obama’s Excellent Adventure yesterday, I’m more and more impressed that he finally laid his cards on the table. It was so the right thing to do, and it certainly was a shot in the arm to energize the youth and gay votes, along with all the gay allies and civil libertarians. Of course, the news media chatter brought home that this is indeed a political risk. Maybe more so than I realized. Which makes me admire the man even more for finally doing the right thing.

    I did not expect this to be the lead news story on all networks. I did not expect every evening talk show to be about this. I just didn’t think it was that big of a deal to anyone but the gay community. I kind of hope some new and shiny object comes along today or very soon so we can move past the spotlight on his announcement. I would hate for this to be THE issue of the election. It can be one of the issues, but good god, it isn’t THE issue facing the nation.

    Indy posted this last night: “One last thought – if this public declaration of his support of gay marriage costs Obama the election…”

    Ok, now that is what I’m worried about. There was no hint of blame in what Indy posted, but it brings up an uneasy truth. As Paul Krugman said last week, Obama’s re-election is no slam dunk, and he said that before Biden lit the fuse on Sunday. (Thank you Joe!) There are plenty of reasons for people to despise Obama, all of which have been previously noted on this blog. Some of them resulted from his appeasements, and some were no fault of his own. However, if he loses, the consequences will be far reaching in many arenas. And who will get the blame if he loses?

    You got it. Gay people and marriage equality. The Democratic wingnuts will never stop saying “we told you so.” An Obama loss runs the risk of setting our cause back for decades. Romney making SCOTUS appointments will ensure that. Wingnut legislators, both national and state, will have free reign to finally destroy all hope of equality, both financial and social. And Democrats, who are already afraid of their own shadows, will run for the hills never to utter the words “marriage equality” for all eternity.

    The stakes are pretty damn high, and actually much higher than I realized yesterday morning. I sure hope this does what was intended. Energizes the base and the donations to get this man re-elected. And I hope the energy and “hope,” hell, maybe even the possibility of “change,” will energize people to hand the Senate and maybe, in a hail Mary kind of way, the House, over to the Democrats.

    If 2000 and 2004 were crucial elections, 2012 is a desperately crucial elections. It’s time for all of us to put our money and time where our mouths have been.

  2. WOW!

    Standing ovation. You go, girl!

    It is important to many different demographics — of course gays and women are at the top of the list but poor people and what’s left of the middle class are high on that list too. Not just their civil rights but maybe their existence is on the line. The most vulnerable can’t be allowed to simply fall through the cracks, and no one should have to ‘eat cake.’ The top of that list of who would be negatively affected by republican wins is pretty crowded!

    Now, if we can ensure that more and more people understand the gravity of this fall’s elections we will have accomplished much.

    A couple more ‘conservative’ Justices on the SCOTUS bench will indeed set our country back to the days of the aristocracy.

  3. indypendent

    I was looking for a link referencing what you and Zippy were commenting about late last night – the black preachers.

    Sounds like the Far Right Wingers might just have those Reagan rose-colored glasses on when it comes to painting the black churches with the same brush of anti-gay hatred that Far Right Wingers must harbor in order to be a Far Right Wingers.

    AT this point int time, I think blacks and all other minorities have seen and heard ffor hemselves some very broad demonization and outright hatred coming from the Far Right Winger Republicans.

    Far Right Wingnuts hate women, poor, illegal immigrants but they sure do seem to love the wealthy white people. That is what I meant by the Republicans will overplay their hand – AGAIN.

    These Far Right Wingers know only one thing – they want power. They already have alot of money – thanks to those tax-free mega churches.

    It’s the power they crave the most – the power to run over anyone and anything to prove that they are God’s favorites.

    Did anyone bother to ask God what He thinks?

    http://pamshouseblend.firedoglake.com/2012/03/27/black-pastors-speak-out-about-noms-race-based-wedge-strategy/

    • Inside each of those churches are good, kind, trusting, simple people. I’m not using the word simple to mean lacking intelligence, but many of them do lack information. They pay attention to what they pay attention to. (PERIOD) If their preacher tells them how to vote and they really aren’t interested in the subject of politics, don’t understand it and don’t want to, then they do what their preacher said. They trust their preacher.

      The preacher isn’t going to make voting against marriage equality sound hateful, but biblical. They’re salesmen with willing buyers so their words become gospel. I know you’re right Indy about those mega churches lust for money and power. Are there enough good people leading enough churches? Are there enough people who will think for themselves, be curious enough to delve deeper than what the salesmen at church are peddling?

      A Facebook friend who is a minister recently posted: “The separation of church and state was to keep the state out of the church, not the church out of the state. People who want to push their own self-defined agenda…based on whatever they base it on…flipped it around backwards. God help us (and I mean that literally) when we start basing all of our laws on what WE think is right, without any greater influence than our own opinions. The problem is…where do you draw the line?”

      Yep! This is an intelligent, educated man. And he doesn’t even realize that is just his opinion, he is convinced of that as fact.

      We have problems with these ‘religious’ folks. That pile of hooey they’ve been sold is pretty strong stuff and they’re also convinced it is not just the way they should live their life but the way everyone should live and the rules by which our government should perform. If there seems to be some disagreement between the U.S. Constitution and their interpretation of the Bible guess which one needs to change?

      • All those good, kind, trusting, simple people will suffer if republicans win. It won’t be the fat cats that help them out either, they’ll help each other, they’ll do with a little less so everyone has some.

      • prairie pond

        I read something yesterday that someone walking toward his rusting, sagging trailer home after leaving a beat up 30 year old barely running truck with a “vote republican” sticker was the ultimate irony.

        I add it’s also the ultimate sadness. Stupid, ignorant, or stubborn, it’s just damn sad.

  4. indypendent

    Found this interesting link about the NC Marriage Amendment. Check out the PAC spending for this ballot issue . That tells alot – doesn’t it?

    Also, I noticed this amendment says that marriage is between one man and one woman.

    So how does that work when someone like Newt has had three wives? (Newt was listed as a supporter of this marriage amendment).

    I know, I know, they put that wording in to keep out those Mormons with the polygamy desires – but think about this – how many people who are yammering on and on about how they value traditional marriage are also the same folks who seem to change their wives like they trade in their cars for the newer model?

    I would much rather have a married gay couple as my neighbors as some churchy-couple who do nothing but run around like two rabid skunks looking where to shoot their stink…..

    http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/North_Carolina_Same-Sex_Marriage,_Amendment_1_(May_2012)

    • indypendent

      I was looking for the vote totals about the NC marriage amendment. I thought fnord had posted that yesterday – but my eyes are not working too well yet this morning (I need more coffee – LOL). But my grandson is due to arrive soon for the day – so I need to get off this blog.

      Maybe someone else could find the totals from the NC vote?

      • Here’s what I posted yesterday —

        There are over 6 million registered voters in North Carolina and only 20% (1.2million) voted in yesterdays election. About 750,000 people or 12% of the registered voters decided that Amendment One is going to be written into the North Carolina state Constitution.

        NC Registered voters:
        2.7 million Democrat
        1.9 million Republican
        1.5 million Unaffiliated

        ———————————————

        Here’s the vote totals —

        FOR the amendment — 61%, 1,317,976

        AGAINST the amendment — 39%, 829,823

      • Getting out the vote is very important! Almost as important as trying to inform the voters.

      • indypendent

        I knew I saw your posting yesterday……LMOAO (Laughing my OLD ass off) Sometimes I feel as old as my grandma (98 yrs old) when I cannot seem to find what I’m looking for when I want it.

  5. In the top map the darker colors indicate greater numbers of people who have completed a bachelor’s degree. In the bottom map the red indicates where the North Carolina voters voted NO. See the correlation between education.

    Why do you think republicans attack education? It’s much more difficult to control educated / informed people. Bigotry and fear of ‘different’ is a product of lack of education.

    I can hear the fat cats now: “This is proof that a college education is just liberal indoctrination.”

    Bigotry and hate are taught, and a bunch of it is taught by churches. The whole premise of their teachings is to be ‘set apart.’

    • prairie pond

      Cue “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” from South Pacific.

      • Exactly, PP. The younger, who played Bloody Mary, respectfully requests permission to use this in the appropriate context, as she grouses that she should have thought of it herself. I quietly told her that although she is a bit older, we almost-middle-agers are a tough group to run with. 🙂

      • prairie pond

        Oh, 617. It is so good to see you hear. I miss you when we don’t hear from you.

        And indeed, we are a tough group to run with. You need hard pads, not soft pads, to run with us older dogs.

        Hoooowwwwwwwwl!

      • prairie pond

        hear = here.

        I was so excited to see you I plumb forgot how to spell.

      • Thanks. I’ll go into greater detail at a later time, perhaps, but suffice it to say I’m finally getting out of a dark place into the sunlight.

  6. r.d. liebst

    Often I put things on the level of where is the differences? Much too often it ends up much like the sweaty guy at the Y complaining because the equally sweaty guy next to him in the locker room smells of B.O.

    “Did anyone bother to ask God what He thinks?”
    I listen to some of the preachers like Terry Fox and it comes to me.
    The lesson is not for the general public, your soul is not saved from stopping others from violating the edicts and laws of the faith it comes from you yourself stopping yourself from committing the mortal sins.

    Standing at the gates of heaven I seriously doubt that Saint Peter is going to ask about who you stopped from committing a sin? Anyone who is married will attest that marriage itself can be so difficult that you really do not have the time to worry or influence someone else’s marriage.

    I do think marriage is something special between two people, a vow of being there through happiness or sadness and no matter what is something to be held high. That and my wife would beat me unconscious if I screw up! How sex happens is such a small part of marriage and never the most important thing to base the idea of whether it is a marriage or not.

    OK enough for now I could go on all day on the subject but the point is if two people want to find either the same happiness or frustration I do in a married relationship then Go for it and God help ya through it!!!

    • Yep! So true.

      The only person we’re ever going to ‘fix’ is ourself. All relationships, married, friend… between two people depend on two healthy halves to accomplish a healthy whole.

      I read this quote and I would change the word “Christian” to human, but otherwise I agree:

      ‎”Being a Christian means fixing yourself and helping others, not the other way around.”

      • indypendent

        I was in the Fundamental Evangelical Christian Movement during the 1970’s and I was raised a Baptist all my childhood.

        With that said – I was always taught that God commanded his followers to spread the good news about salvation. And that without people saying a particular prayer asking God to save them, people had no hope of going to Heaven and would forever be destined to the burning fires of Hell.

        OKAY…….so I always had one question that nobody could answer to my satisfaction.

        If God, in his wisdom, set up this arrangement that only those people who said a particular prayer to receive salvation – then why did God put so many millions of people in those foreign countries where some English prayer to the English God would probably not be available?

        Did God want all those people to go to Hell? And how is that fair to be sending people to Hell for eternity if they were never given the chance to ask for salvation for their soul?

        So – you see – my cynicism started at an early age……

        But in all seriousness – Christianity is the infant in the vast group of religions around the world – isn’t it?

        And Evnagelical Christians are even newer than that – so why would God design a set-up for people to lose their soul to the fires of Hell if they are not even given a fair chance to hear the good news of salvation from all the ‘right’ people?

        Or maybe – just maybe – religions are man-made? And the more fundamental a religion, the more they like to play that Us and Them game?

      • indypendent

        My definition of being a Christian is to follow the teachings of Jesus.

        When I read in the Bible where Jesus hated the homosexuals and demonized them – then we’ll talk.

        But, as DAn Savage said in that video clip someone posted a few weeks ago – if we are to follow the Bible literally – then we should not eat shellfish, no pork and women who are not virgins should be dragged to their father’s doorstep and stoned.

        But, hey, Callista Gingrich was prominently displayed front and center as a presidential candidate’s wife – of which that candidate just also happened to be mentioned as a supporter of the NC marriagement amendment.

        Hmmm, so a woman who is not a virgin must be stoned but yet this is the example we get from someone who thinks gay marriage is evil?

        Oh, please, just give us all a frickin break.

      • indypendent

        And don’t even get me started on the Catholic Church and their hypocrisy.

        1) This church covered up priests molesting little boys.

        2) This church encourages people to annul their long-term marriages to which kids were born so that (usually) the man can show off his new trophy wife and they can be ‘good’ Catholics.

        So bottom line – molesting little boys and in the act of erasing marriages, kids are labeled as bastards are good things?

        NOT in my book……….

        Sorry – Catholic Church – you males wearing dresses and those gold slippers just don’t seem to get it – do you?

        This church has lost all credibility on anything of a moral issue.

      • indy, Christianity is the toddler, Islam the infant.

      • indypendent

        I wonder how many of these Far Right Wing Evangelical Christians even known about Islam – other than what they’ve heard from their preachers?

        I remember being told in that Fundamental Baptist College to not do research outside of the Bible and certain ‘approved’ texts.

        Hmmm, if there is one thing my husband learned early on in our marriage – do NOT tell me what I cannot do – because I will do that very thing just to show you I can and will do it.

        And, somehow, our marriage has lasted for 35+ years. We view our lives together as a twosome – not a master with a willing slave.

        No wonder I never felt comfortable in that Fundy Movement.

      • indypendent

        6176- do you think Christianity has changed or just these Fundamental Christians have made their own interpretations?

        Clarification – that Bible in my college days HAD to be the King James Version. Nothing else was permitted.

      • indy, the tenets of Christianity haven’t changed IMHO. The Evangelicals have shifted the interpretations thereof to suit their own devices (and political goals). In so doing, heavy reliance has been placed on Paul’s Epistles which I, along with Thomas Jefferson, think pervert the teachings of Jesus. Paul, of course, had the advantage of being able to write therefore getting out in advance. There are scholars who contend the Gosprl of Mark, earliest of the “Big 4” was specifically written to refute Paul.

    • prairie pond

      R.D., you and Mrs. R.D. continue to be an inspiration to me regarding the institution of marriage. I’m sure it hasn’t been all roses for you all, and certainly you’ve dealt with more than your share of hardships, but the one time I saw you together at a blog meet-up, I knew you had the kind of marriage I always wanted.

      Keep up the good work, brother. Keep up the good work.

      • R.D. Liebst

        Thanks pond I really do wish everyone could find someone like Mrs R.D. Ok at times that is like wishing the plage on someone but then I can be such a illness to someone to be around as long as she does me.

  7. Meantime, in Brownbackistan where there is a law on the books that makes it illegal to be gay (even tho such law is in itself illegal) here’s what’s going on —

    By stopping debate and using parliamentary tricks, the House passed HB2117 by a vote of 64\59. This bill cuts tax credits and refunds for low income and removes taxes for business owners. It will cause a $270 million deficit by 2014, a 1 billion deficit in 2015 and 2 billion deficit by 2017. This means that schools, universities, highways, health services and public safety programs will be drastically cut in coming years.

    • prairie pond

      It’s not just Brownbackistan.

      It’s also Dumbfuckistan.

      I’m proud to say that my rep, from way out here in UBER Dumbfuckistan, voted against is budget sham. His name is Don Heineman. I’m very proud of him for standing up to his own party leadership and governor wingnut. They’ll probably make him pay, but I sent him a note today saying he rocks.

      And he does!

  8. indypendent

    Just surfing the Huffington Post site and came across this article. Are senior high school boys old enough to know when they are doing something criminal? Or is it just -boys will be boys?

    I can understand doing silly pranks at that age – but pinning a classmate down on the ground while cutting their hair with scissors goes beyond just a little prank – don’t you think?

    As the twig is bent – so goes the tree. (or something like that?)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mitt-romneys-prep-school-classmates-recall-pranks-but-also-troubling-incidents/2012/05/10/gIQA3WOKFU_story.html

    • I think people are more likely to do those kinds of things in groups than they would alone (mob mentality). Young people might not think beyond the moment to a greater extent than someone older would. Most of us learn consequences go along with actions. People are fallible, all of us. We humans really aren’t much to boast about. The telling part of that article is that all five remembered it the same way and the others felt guilt and remorse almost instantly. Wonder if the instigator ever felt guilty or remorseful (especially since he says he doesn’t even remember it!)? That’s interesting too! The other guys remember it sadly, Mitten$ doesn’t even have a memory of it! Just as he made people the brunt of pranks and jokes back then with little regard for them as human beings deserving of dignity you can look at his idea of how to govern and see that same lack of regard today. Mitten$ sounds mean and reminds me of this song John Prine wrote —

      Some humans ain’t human
      Some people ain’t kind
      You open up their hearts
      And here’s what you’ll find
      A few frozen pizzas
      Some ice cubes with hair
      A broken Popsicle
      You don’t want to go there

      Some humans ain’t human
      Though they walk like we do
      They live and they breathe
      Just to turn the old screw
      They screw you when you’re sleeping
      They try to screw you blind
      Some humans ain’t human
      Some people ain’t kind

      You might go to church
      And sit down in a pew
      Those humans who ain’t human
      Could be sittin’ right next to you
      They talk about your family
      They talk about your clothes
      When they don’t know their own ass
      From their own elbows

      Have you ever noticed
      When you’re feeling really good
      There’s always a pigeon
      That’ll come shit on your hood

      Or you’re feeling your freedom
      And the world’s off your back
      Some cowboy from Texas
      Starts his own war in Iraq

      Some humans ain’t human
      Some people ain’t kind
      They lie through their teeth
      With their head up their behind
      You open up their hearts
      And here’s what you’ll find
      Some humans ain’t human
      Some people ain’t kind

    • indypendent

      You picked up on the same thing that I did – the fact that the others felt remorse and they all remember the same basic facts.

      As for Romney remembering this incident – who knows. But do some research on Romney when he was at Bain Capital and how he helped a partner find his missing 14-yr-old daughter in New York.

      The partner’s name is Robert Gay and the story is true (as confirmed by Snopes and Politico) but Romney used this incident in his 2008 ( IIRC) campaign as one of his strengths and moral character traits.

      Which is all well and good – because I think we should all pitch in and help find a missing 14-yr-old. But wasn’t it nice that Bain Capital had the finanical means to do such a thing?

      That’s the same thing as Ann Romney trying to capitalize on the Hillary Rosen fiasco. Ann Romney was in the coveted place in life where she could be a stay-at-home mother.

      AND that is where I think people like the Romneys and these REpublicans just don’t get it….not everyone is in the financial position to do what they really want to do.

      But, I digress…

      While I find it telling Romney uses the act of helping his partner find the missing daughter in his quest for political points……the story of the bully Mitt Romney is just now being made public?’

      Let’s see all the warts of the candidate – as well as the good acts they do. And then let the voters decide if that candidate meets their standards for the political office they are seeking.

      • indypendent

        But, of course, I fully expect the Republicans to simply dismiss Romney’s bullying and assaulting this boy by pinning him down and cutting his hair as just one of those childish pranks – boys will be boys.

        Hmm,……that attitude of boys will be boys plays very well with these folks’ attitude towards birth control – it’s all the girl’s fault because she is a slut…

        Yeah, sure, …….big eye roll///

  9. indypendent

    Serious question: does the future of our society depend on marriage?

    Why can’t we just abolish marriages and issue legal contracts to couples (straight or same-sex) who wish to be considered as married?

    Then religious people can go the religious route and do all that stuff. And those who simply want the smae leel of rights as thos married do – then they are free to simply hae the legal contracts – as issued by the goernment.

    From what I’v e seem from the so-called traditonal marraige b unch – these folks do not seem to value their marriages that much – based on the divorce rate in this group.

    Why not just make it a legal contract then? And basically, isn’t that marriage is – a legal contract – when considering property, money, custody of children when these marriages break up?

    I am just throwing this idea out there ……I don’t know the answer.

    • indypendent

      Definition of marriage per Merriam Webster:

      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/marriage

    • prairie pond

      I completely agree with you, Indy. If there is no equality, and if we continue to waste time and resources on this issue, then I say abolish civil marriage. People can dance the hokey pokey and sacrifice chickens in their churches for all I care. (Apologies to chickens) And there are many churches in many denominations who already do “commitment ceremonies” for gay people. Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s and render unto your favorite deity what belongs to your favorite deity.

    • Civilly, marriage is a “special contract”, and divorce is the ultimate remedy for breach (probably better than applying the doctrine of specific performance, huh). To the best of my knowledge, it has always been so in the U.S. The problem is, and has been forever, the term marriage is used to describe both the contractual relationship and a church sacrament. Given this, what about “civil marriage” as recognized in France, e.g., with marriage reserved for the sacrament. The term “married” could apply to either, important given the plethora of statutes, regulaions, etc., using said term.

      • indypendent

        I would be for that system – anything to stop all this insane and stupid waste of time and money over a social wedge issue.

        EUREKA……did I just say the magic words – wedge issue? Perhaps that is why Republicans always want to waste as much money as possible on the gay marriage issue – or the abortion issue, or the birth control issue, or whatever else issue they can keep dangling over their voters’ heads to keep their votes all in the color of RED – (R) for Republican.

        I swear – is there anything Republicans could win on without a social wedge issue thrown in?

        I had to shake my head when I heard John Boehner say that Obama can talk about gay marriage if he wants to but that he (Boehner) was going to focus on jobs.

        Oh, really?

        IIRC – the 2010 midterm elections were all about Republicans promising to create jobs. WHERE ARE THE JOBS….Johnny – One Note……

  10. indypendent

    Or if religious folks don’t like the way our government is run – then these folks can do as their Puritan ancestors did – find a big ship, sail away on it and then take over a foreign land. Maybe this time, the Native Indians will not be so giving and help these poor misguided Puritans to survive the first hard winter.

    I’ve often wondered if the Native Indians ever regretted relaxing their illegal immigration laws when they helped those starving Pilgrims that first winter?

  11. indypendent

    Seems Romney has apologized about that bullying incident when he was a senior in high school. (well, a GOP-type of apology – which is to say, if anyone was offended, I’m sorry you were offended) Big eye roll////

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/10/romney-bully-gay-bullying_n_1506382.html#comments

  12. prairie pond

    This just in from the Department of Jesus Wept…

    http://news.yahoo.com/girl-scouts-under-scrutiny-catholic-bishops-181843252.html

    Those asswipes in the dresses, fancy hats and golden slippers are really on a holy war against women. Even the Girl Scouts.

    Jesus.. well.. you know the drill.

  13. prairie pond

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. First they go after the nuns and now the Girl Scouts. And we let THESE jackasses call the shots regarding health care? They are insane. Just. Plain. Insane.

    No wonder pastor sam is so looney. He gets a refreshing dose of it every Sunday and who knows how many other days of the week. Opus Dei anyone?

  14. prairie pond

    Oh Yeah, 617. And not only that, they let a trans girl join. And you KNOW trans people make the baby Jesus cry… (Insert big eye roll)

  15. indypendent

    Maybe tehse Catholic hierachy of males don’t like the Girl Scouts because look at their Girl Scout Promise…

    There are quite a few things on that list that the current Catholic leaders just do not measure up to – IMHO

    http://www.girlscouts.org/program/basics/promise_law/