Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Well until today, the only state on my boycott list was Utah (for obvious reasons). I’ve now added Arizona.

I cannot believe the extremists were able to get an immigration law passed that allows  police to enforce immigration laws and stop people, using “reasonable suspicion,” for being illegal. Now, I was a cop and have a criminolgy degree and I cannot define what characteristics would describe someone being illegal, and allow a stop, can you? This is racial profiling at its worst.

I am glad I am not dark skinned.

Further, the Constitution does not allow states to enforce federal laws. Does not matter if the feds have failed at their duties, states cannot enforce immigration. Period.

Lastly, it is well known that most illegals are already afraid of the police. This will be the nail in the coffin of the chances that illegals will call or cooperate with police in any way ever again. In Arizona and get robbed in front of an illegal? Don’t expect help. You will not get it. Police and prosecutors looking and needing witnesses to convict a murderer? Forget it.

We have soldiers fighting for us overseas that were born here, and are therefore citizens. However, they have family members that are not. Should we arrest and deport Mom and Dad while Son or Daughter is in Iraq or Afghanistan. That is a subject for another day, but it has happened.

What happens when the state arrests people for being illegal and the feds refuse to take them? It will happen as this country does not have the means to arrest, jail, process and deport every illegal. It is simply not possible with current fiscal constraints and infrastructure.

Oh, get this. This law just passed today. Type in “boycott” in google and the first suggestion that apears before you hit the enter key is “boycott Arizona.”

Read Full Post »

I love these stories. It is hard for all of us to come out yet these people act holier than thou until they are forced into coming out. Karma is a bitch.

Roy Ashburn, California State Senator, Says He’s Gay After DUI Arrest

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Republican state Sen. Roy Ashburn said Monday he is gay, ending days of speculation that began after his arrest last week for investigation of driving under the influence.

Ashburn, who consistently voted against gay rights measures during his 14 years in the state Legislature, came out in an interview with KERN radio in Bakersfield, the area he represents.

Ashburn said he felt compelled to address rumors that he had visited a gay nightclub near the Capitol before his DUI arrest.

“I am gay … those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long,” Ashburn told conservative talk show host Inga Barks.

The 55-year-old father of four said he had tried to keep his personal life separate from his professional life until his March 3 arrest.

“When I crossed the line and broke the law and put people at risk, that’s different, and I do owe people an explanation,” he said.

Ashburn was arrested after he was spotted driving erratically near the Capitol, according to the California Highway Patrol. Shelly Orio, a spokeswoman from the Sacramento County district attorney’s office, said a breath test showed the senator’s blood-alcohol level was .14 percent, or .06 points above the legal limit.

The next day, reports surfaced that Ashburn had left Faces, a gay nightclub, with an unidentified man in the passenger seat of his Senate-owned vehicle.

“The best way to handle that is to be truthful and to say to my constituents and all who care that I am gay,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s something that has affected, nor will it affect, how I do my job.”

Ashburn had been on personal leave since his arrest, but attended Monday’s brief Senate session, where he avoided the media. Fellow lawmakers greeted him warmly, and he received pats on the back and hugs from some Republicans and Democrats.

Ashburn has voted against a number of gay rights measures, including efforts to expand anti-discrimination laws and recognize out-of-state gay marriages. Last year, he opposed a bill to establish a day of recognition to honor slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk.

Equality California, a group that advocates for expanded gay rights and other issues, has consistently given Ashburn a zero rating on its scorecard.

The group’s executive director, Geoff Kors, said Monday that he hopes the senator’s revelation will lead him to change his voting patterns.

“He’s still the same person, only living more honestly,” Kors said. “I hope his own self-awareness will result in him no longer voting to deny people the most basic rights.”

Ashburn said his votes reflected the way constituents in his district wanted him to vote, not necessarily his own views.

“I felt my duty – and I still feel this way – is to represent my constituents, not my own point of view, not my own internal conflict,” he told Barks.

Ashburn said he planned to continue voting on behalf of what he sees as the majority viewpoint in his district, which includes parts of Kern, Tulare and San Bernardino counties.

Former state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, an openly gay Democrat who was visiting the Capitol Monday, said she hopes Ashburn receives support, not condemnation, from his friends, family and constituents.

“It’s very painful,” she said of the coming-out process. “And mostly it’s painful because you think everyone will be against you.”

In the radio interview, Ashburn said he is drawing on his Christian faith, and he asked people to pray for him.

He said he does not plan to run for any public office after his term ends this year.

Read Full Post »

Never thought I’d see the day so soon. Congress decided it was better not to get involved and the courts have (so far) thrown out every suit against the law.

More here.

Read Full Post »

From DCRTV.com:

Rush Jests During Obama Speech – 1/20 – “Where’s Puff Daddy?” Rush Limbaugh said during the post-inauguration poem. “I’m still waiting for a rhyme here, it’s a poem,” Limbaugh added. Heard via WMAL and WCBM. Adds a local radio listener: “Rush Limbaugh – speaking over Barak Obama during the (inauguration) speech – sounds like the ‘stupid’ kid talking out loud while the new principal is speaking to the school. Shut up Rush, you sound like a bitter, racist pig. The man is the president, can’t you let him speak? You have all the time in the world to blast him later on”…..

Read Full Post »

A sensible judge in Florida ruled in favor of gays adopting. One small step forward….Let’s hope the state’s appeal is defeated.

A Florida circuit judge Tuesday struck down a 31-year-old state law that prevents gays and lesbians from adopting children, allowing a North Miami man to adopt two half-brothers he and his partner have raised as foster children since 2004.

“There is no question, the blanket exclusion of gay applicants defeats Florida’s goal of providing dependent children a permanent family through adoption,” Judge Cindy S. Lederman wrote in her 53-page ruling.

“The best interests of children are not preserved by prohibiting homosexual adoption.”

The state attorney general’s office has appealed the decision.

She said there is no moral or scientific reason for banning gays and lesbians from adopting, despite the state’s arguments otherwise. The state argued that gays and lesbians have higher odds of suffering from depression, affective and anxiety disorders and substance abuse, and that their households are more unstable.

Lederman said the ban violated children’s right to permanency provided under the Florida statute and under the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. Whether the ban violated the state’s equal protection clause by singling out gays and lesbians should be considered, she said.

Lederman’s ruling paves the way for Martin Gill to legally adopt the two half-brothers, ages 4 and 8, whom he has cared for since December 2004, the American Civil Liberties Union said.

The two boys, who are referred to as John and James Doe in court documents, were removed from their homes on allegations of abandonment and neglect.

“On that December evening, John and James left a world of chronic neglect, emotional impoverishment and deprivation to enter a new world, foreign to them, that was nurturing, safe, structured and stimulating,” Lederman wrote.

In 2006, the children’s respective fathers’ rights were terminated, court documents said, and they remained in the care of Gill and his partner.

“Our family just got a lot more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving,” Gill said Tuesday, according to the ACLU, which represented him.

Florida is the only state that specifically bans all “homosexual” people from adopting children, although it does allow them to be foster parents.

This month, Arkansas voters approved a ballot measure to prohibit unmarried partners — same-sex or opposite-sex couples — from adopting children or from serving as foster parents. The measure is similar to one in Utah, which excludes same-sex couples indirectly through a statute barring all unmarried couples from adopting or taking in foster children.

Mississippi allows single gays and lesbians to adopt, but prohibits same-sex couples from adopting.

Neal Skene, spokesman for the Florida Department of Children and Families, said the appeal was filed so a statewide resolution on the law could be determined by an appellate court. He noted that another Florida circuit judge declared the law unconstitutional this year but that ruling had not been appealed.

“We need a statewide determination by the appellate courts,” he said.

Gill’s adoption petition cannot be approved until the appeal process is finished, Skene said, but the children will remain in Gill’s home.

“These are wonderful foster parents,” Skene said. “It’s just that we have a statute, [and] the statute is very clear on the issue of adoption.”

Several organizations — including the National Adoption Center, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics — have said that having gay and lesbian parents does not negatively affect children.

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a nonprofit organization that studies adoption and foster care, hailed the decision.

“This ban, which was the only one of its kind in the country, has done nothing but undermine the prospects of boys and girls in the foster care system to get permanent, loving homes,” said Adam Pertman, the Adoption Institute’s executive director, in a written statement.

“So this decision by Judge Lederman is a very important, hopeful ruling for children who need families.”

source: cnn.com

Read Full Post »

US-BUSH-KNIGHTS-COLUMBUS

In a press release, spokesman for the Knights of Columbus, Patrick Korten said that the donation from the Knights “is both an indication of how important we believe this referendum to be, and an encouragement to other groups and individuals of all faiths to lend their support as well.”

“From the day the organization was founded 126 years ago, strengthening and protecting the family has always been central to the mission of the Knights of Columbus. Preserving marriage as the indispensable institution in which children are conceived, born and raised to adulthood by a loving father and mother is vital to a healthy society. It is also the most favorable environment in which to protect the rights and best interests of children. We are proud to join the Catholic bishops and priests of California, and so many other people of good will, in this effort on which so much depends.”

The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization, may be best known as the group that collects glasses for needy people outside of stores. That gives me the opportunity to run into members a few times per year outside of stores. The next time I see a member outside of a store I’ll let him know how I feel about his organization giving $1,000,000 to take away the rights of my California brothers and sisters. I’ll also let the store manager know what I think.

Don’t email me telling me what a great job they do as a charitable organization. There’s been many groups and individuals over the years seen as ‘good’ only to later disappoint. In this case, the bad far outweighs the good. Their press release above is ignorant and Catholics around the world should be ashamed.

Read Full Post »

I think we will finally see some movement in Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the arcane “stay in the closet” military requirement for gays. Frankly, the name is a misnomer. If an allegation is made that a member is gay, the military investigates it (asks) and the service member must admit (tell) to it, if true, or risk court marshal.

From msnbc.com:

Admirals, generals: Let gays serve openly

More than 100 retired generals and admirals called Monday for repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays so they can serve openly, according to a statement obtained by The Associated Press.

The move by the military veterans confronts the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama with a thorny political and cultural issue that dogged former President Bill Clinton early in his administration.

“As is the case with Great Britain, Israel, and other nations that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, our service members are professionals who are able to work together effectively despite differences in race, gender, religion, and sexuality,” the officers wrote.

While Obama has expressed support for repeal, he said during the presidential campaign that he would not do so on his own — an indication that he would tread carefully to prevent the issue from becoming a drag on his agenda. Obama said he would instead work with military leaders to build consensus on removing the ban on openly gay service members.

“Although I have consistently said I would repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ I believe that the way to do it is make sure that we are working through a process, getting the Joint Chiefs of Staff clear in terms of what our priorities are going to be,” Obama said in a September interview with the Philadelphia Gay News.

Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for Obama’s transition team, declined comment.

Flash point for Clinton
The issue of gays in the military became a flash point early in the Clinton administration as Clinton tried to fulfill a campaign promise to end the military’s ban on gays. His efforts created the current compromise policy — ending the ban but prohibiting active-duty service members from openly acknowledging they are gay.

But it came at a political cost. The resulting debate divided service members and veterans, put Democrats on the defensive and provided cannon fodder for social conservatives and Republican critics who questioned Clinton’s patriotism and standing with the military.

Retired Adm. Charles Larson, a four-star admiral and two-time superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy who signed the statement with 104 other retired admirals and generals, said in an interview that he believed Clinton’s approach was flawed because he rushed to change military culture.

Larson said he hoped Obama would take more time to work with the Pentagon. Joining Larson among the signatories was Clifford Alexander, Army secretary under former President Jimmy Carter.

“There are a lot of issues they’ll have to work out, and I think they’ll have to prioritize,” Larson said, noting that the new administration will immediately face combat-readiness issues and budget concerns. “But I hope this would be one of the priority issues in the personnel area.”

The list of 104 former officers who signed the statement appears to signal growing support for resolving the status of gays in the military. Last year, 28 former generals and admirals signed a similar statement.

Generational shift cited
Larson, who has a gay daughter he says has broadened his thinking on the subject, believes a generational shift in attitudes toward homosexuality has created a climate where a repeal is not only workable, but also an important step for keeping talented personnel in the military.

“I know a lot of young people now — even people in the area of having commands of ships and squadrons — and they are much more tolerant, and they believe, as I do, that we have enough regulations on the books to enforce proper standards of human behavior,” Larson said.

The officers’ statement points to data showing there are about 1 million gay and lesbian veterans in the United States, and about 65,000 gays and lesbians currently serving in the military.

The military discharged about 12,340 people between 1994 and 2007 for violating the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, according to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a military watchdog group. The number peaked in 2001 at 1,273, but began dropping off sharply after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Last year, 627 military personnel were discharged under the policy.

Political observers say that even though the issue may not be as controversial as it was when Clinton addressed it, it’s impossible to forget what happened then.

Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia, said Obama is unlikely to tackle the issue early on. Sabato said he expects Obama to focus on economic recovery and avoid risking the spark of a distracting “brush fire” controversy at the outset.

“I can’t imagine that he will do this right in the beginning, given the Clinton precedent,” Sabato said.

Aaron Belkin, who has studied the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as director of the Palm Center at the University of California at Santa Barbara and organized the officers’ statement, said how Obama addresses the issue will be the first test for the new president on gay rights.

“Everyone is going to be interested to see how he responds,” Belkin said.

Read Full Post »

“Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man,” the unanimous opinion striking down the couple’s conviction said, “fundamental to our very existence and survival.”
Anna Quindlen
NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Nov 24, 2008

One of my favorite Supreme Court cases is Loving v. Virginia, and not just because it has a name that would delight any novelist. It’s because it reminds me, when I’m downhearted, of the truth of the sentiment at the end of “Angels in America,” Tony Kushner’s brilliant play: “The world only spins forward.”

Here are the facts of the case, and if they leave you breathless with disbelief and rage it only proves Kushner’s point, and mine: Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving got married in Washington, D.C. They went home to Virginia, there to be rousted out of their bed one night by police and charged with a felony. The felony was that Mildred was black and Richard was white and they were therefore guilty of miscegenation, which is a $10 word for bigotry. Virginia, like a number of other states, considered cross-racial matrimony a crime at the time.

It turned out that it wasn’t just the state that hated the idea of black people marrying white people. God was onboard, too, according to the trial judge, who wrote, “The fact that He separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” But the Supreme Court, which eventually heard the case, passed over the Almighty for the Constitution, which luckily has an equal-protection clause. “Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man,” the unanimous opinion striking down the couple’s conviction said, “fundamental to our very existence and survival.”

That was in 1967.

Fast-forward to Election Day 2008, and a flurry of state ballot propositions to outlaw gay marriage, all of which were successful. This is the latest wedge issue of the good-old-days crowd, supplanting abortion and immigration. They really put their backs into it this time around, galvanized by court decisions in three states ruling that it is discriminatory not to extend the right to marry to gay men and lesbians.

The most high-profile of those rulings, and the most high-profile ballot proposal, came in California. A state court gave its imprimatur to same-sex marriage in June; the electorate reversed that decision on Nov. 4 with the passage of Proposition 8, which defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. The opponents of gay marriage will tell you that the people have spoken. It’s truer to say that money talks. The Mormons donated millions to the anti effort; the Knights of Columbus did, too. Like the judge who ruled in the Loving case, they said they were doing God’s bidding. When I was a small child I always used to picture God on a cloud, with a beard. Now I picture God saying, “Why does all the worst stuff get done in my name?”

Just informationally, this is how things are going to go from here on in: two steps forward, one step back. Courts will continue to rule in some jurisdictions that there is no good reason to forbid same-sex couples from marrying. Legislatures in two states, New York and New Jersey, could pass a measure guaranteeing the right to matrimony to all, and both states have governors who have said they would sign such legislation.

Opponents will scream that the issue should be put to the people, as it was in Arizona, Florida and California. (Arkansas had a different sort of measure, forbidding unmarried couples from adopting or serving as foster parents. This will undoubtedly have the effect of leaving more kids without stable homes. For shame.) Of course if the issue in Loving had been put to the people, there is no doubt that many would have been delighted to make racial intermarriage a crime. That’s why God invented courts.

The world only spins forward.

“I think the day will come when the lesbian and gay community will have its own Loving v. Virginia,” says David Buckel, the Marriage Project director for Lambda Legal.

Yes, and then the past will seem as preposterous and mean-spirited as the events leading up to the Loving decision do today. After all, this is about one of the most powerful forces for good on earth, the determination of two human beings to tether their lives forever. The pitch of the opposition this year spoke to how far we have already come—the states in which civil unions and domestic partnerships are recognized, the families in which gay partners are welcome and beloved.

The antis argued that churches could be forced to perform same-sex unions, when any divorced Roman Catholic can tell you that the clergy refuse to officiate whenever they see fit. They argued that the purpose of same-sex marriage was the indoctrination of children, a popular talking point that has no basis in reality. As Ellen DeGeneres, who was married several months ago to the lovely Portia de Rossi (great dress, girl), said about being shaped by the orientation of those around you, “I was raised by two heterosexuals. I was surrounded by heterosexuals. Just everywhere I looked: heterosexuals. They did not influence me.” As for the notion that allowing gay men and lesbians to marry will destroy conventional marriage, I have found heterosexuals perfectly willing to do that themselves.

The last word here goes to an authority on battling connubial bigotry. On the anniversary of the Loving decision last year, the bride wore tolerance. Mildred Loving, mother and grandmother, who once had cops burst into her bedroom because she was sleeping with her own husband, was quoted in a rare public statement saying she believed all Americans, “no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry.” She concluded, “That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.”

Read Full Post »

Oh my, by lucky chance due to the time change while in Denver, I caught Keith Olbermann’s gay marriage special commentary while flipping channels. An extraordinary commentary that is not to be missed. In case youtube vid is not working, here’s the msnbc link.

Keith certainly gets it. We must spread his message.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.