It's been 30 years.
Do we need to wait 50? 100?
Until there's a Republican in the White House?
Of course, that was before 30 years of Reaganomics left most of us in much, much worse positions financially than our parents.
My parents didn't have the student loans I do.
My parents didn't have a Depression to live through.
My parents didn't go through 3 periods of longterm unemployment that drained all savings that they had.
My parents had unions pushing wages up.
My parents had Social Security and Medicare and funded Medicaid programs--all on the chopping block now so that the top 2%--including many of the Democratic Party leadership.
My parents had a solid Welfare program that guaranteed if not a good life, at least modest economic security.
My parents never accepted rightwing framing.
My parents center was the center. The current "center", as described by the main stream media, is far, far to the right of the "center" that they knew.
The rules were different in the late 70s and early 80s. The 21st Century is much, much closer to the 1880s. We have Robber Barons and a New Gilded Age. And it sucks as much for anyone not in the top 2% now as it did then.
So when people suggest that the Gen Xers should still be willing to end (or "weaken" or "strengthen" or "swap to a chained CPI" or whatever cow excrement term the PTB are using today) Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid (Welfare being long gone in the modern United States), remember--the rules were changed on us.
It started with "401k"s that were supposed to help us prepare (and before Wall Street Panic after Wall Street Panic reduced the 401k's of everyday people to 201k's and then 101k's and then 0k's). And there was Welfare Reform that shifted Welfare to tax rebates that led to 47% of Americans not paying income taxes and now have led to those 47% being vilified for not carrying their load rather than remembering that this is what was supposed to happen under Welfare "Reform". So now we have a "Democratic" Leadership willing to end that.
40 years of Reaganomics. Bush Sr. was truly right on one thing--Trickle Down is Voodoo Economics. Only far more evil than any actual Voudoun. We've become a harsher, meaner society because the people who were supposed to be protecting us--the "Democratic" Leadership--sold us down the river to endless wage slavery. The precious few who actually fight for the lower 98% get branded in the press as "Liberals", a smear word since 1979. And the popular culture and mainstream media lie to those who really shouldn't need to follow politics as closely as those of us who actually care and tell us that we're being "unreasonable" and "demanding" and "childish" and, get this..."disloyal".
So what do you call people who remain steadfast to the ideals of the Democratic Party ca. 1978? That's right. Now we're the "disloyal" who need to be purged. Those of us who insist that Social Security perhaps could have been ended if society had continued an upward track rather than embarking on a massive downward spiral? "Disloyal". Those of us who fight for our own survival and for those who walk with us who prefer to take care of kids and dogs and daily jobs and chores and grocery shopping? "Disloyal".
And that's the History Lesson for those who actually remember and won't lie.
Posted by Creideiki in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Thu May 14th 2009, 10:33 AM
First, what the hell are we still doing in Iraq? Oh, yeah, we had to oust Saddam Hussein because HE TORTURED HIS PEOPLE!!!!!!111!OMG!
Second, well, let me say that again. What the hell are we still doing in Iraq?
Okay, I think I'm past that.
Third, photos don't endanger servicemembers. Photos of servicemembers torturing prisoners endanger servicemembers. But they wouldn't exist if a) the torture didn't happen, b) some fool with a camera wasn't standing by to snap a memento, and c) the torture didn't happen.
I find myself repeating myself a lot. Let me explain. Most people need to have something repeated three times to saturate the skull.
So let me say this one more time. That we tortured prisoners is a national shame and a crime. Release the photos. Prosecute the torturers. Prosecute those who knew the torture was going on.
And, no, I don't care if that little guilt-trail leads right up to Nancy Freaking Pelosi's door. I would hope it doesn't. But if it does, then she's complicit.
Torture is wrong whether it's performed by a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian, or a Progressive. (Note: "Progressive" and "Democrat" are not completely mutually exclusive, but neither is one sufficient for the other.)
I know, it's not strictly GLBT, but it does touch on it, and I'll try to highlight where it's germaine. This is something everyone needs to keep in mind. I won't post in GD or GD because, frankly, those places are anti-gay cesspools, and a non-fanboi-ish take won't be welcome. As a note for the fanbois and fangirls, I'm not going to respond to your claims, so maybe start your own thread in the pit and discuss it there.
When it comes to anything progressive, including GLBT rights, Obama will go with whatever the Congress will pass along to him. It's Illinois Politics 101--if it works, then he takes credit for signing, and if it doesn't work, then he gets to blame it on Congress. But...he's not going to initiate any discussion or policy on his own. He's a coward; it's really not his fault, he came into politics from Illinois, and it's coloring his worldview.
So what we need to do is convince 4 Republicans to vote for Cloture, and get 51 total votes to pass in the Senate (the House is pretty much a sure thing, honestly). Get it out of Congress and Obama will either sign it. Reid is a coward of monumental proportions. Durbin is going to be busy trying to keep the conservative Democrats in line. If we can get progressive things onto his desk, he won't triangulate--he'll sign. Then duck behind, "But they PASSED IT! I couldn't stand against the will of the PEOPLE!"
He "sponsored" ENDA, but he was given sponsorship of almost every piece of legislation by his mentor, "the Kingmaker" Emil Jones. By "given sponsorship", I mean that he did not originate the fight for the vast majority of the legislation he "sponsored". Someone else fought for it for years through Republican misrule, then when the Democrats came into power, Jones stripped the former sponsors and pasted in Obama's name.
The Illinois ENDA did not reach a vote while Obama was in the state legislature.
Obama's BFF in Illinois was the virulently homophobic (I don't think Obama's actually homophobic, I think he's more heterosexist--believes that heterosexuals are better than gay people, which is a distinction from homophobia) Rev. James Meeks. When the ENDA came up to a vote, The Obama, from whom all charisma and leadership flow, couldn't even convince Meeks to vote "present"--the Illinois cop-out.
Basically, he's the type that wouldn't throw a stone at a gay person he saw on the street, but would be more likely to get distracted by a street performer, turn and pay attention to that, and "not notice" that the stones are being thrown. This is pretty much exemplified by the recent round of anti-gay amendments. He sent a little letter that he would vote against Prop 8, but didn't talk about it. That doesn't even include the absolute obliviousness to Arizona, Florida (swing state--might have lost that one with a controversial stance), and Arkansas.
Not overly impressive, really.
Posted by Creideiki in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Fri Dec 19th 2008, 06:24 PM
I'm pretty damned masculine. I survived 9 years in the military while others I knew got harrassed far more than I did (my harrassment came via guilt by association). I don't lisp, I tend to walk with Marine military bearing everywhere I go. My voice is moderately deep. I'm amazingly good at the pronoun game.
I'm also 40 and single, and it got me fired from one teaching job and harrassed at another by students, parents, other teachers, and administrators until I quit.
Don't give me this, "You can choose to pass," crap. No, you can't. Once you're single and refuse to lie and put up pictures of women you're not dating and over a certain age, you no longer are allowed to pass.
Like I said elsewhere, I am already scheduled to work at that time.
a) Recognition that there are some extremely controversial people associated with the campaign and with Obama personally--Nunn and Meeks for example.
b) The statement after the California Supreme Court. Couldn't he have said he was happy for Californians in same-sex relationships at least? Would that have been too much?
c) Some explanation on how he thinks equal rights can be extended at the Federal level if we have "civil unions" in one state, "domestic partnerships" in another, and "marriages" in yet another? How does he think he can extend equal rights if we're looking at a patchwork of legal terms?
d) Just when was the Illinois ENDA passed and who was the sponsor? All of my research has pointed to someone that was not Barack Obama--except for the statements that he himself or his campaign have made, anyway.
e) Reassurance that Supreme Court nominees will not be inherently hostile to the LGBT community.
f) Since Obama himself is fairly non-friendly in his own statements (granted while not overtly hostile), seriously, look at a-e above, does Barack have some "softening" figure, either a spouse or VP or something at that level that can make the type of statements that Hillary used to make for Bill in 1992 and that Elizabeth Edwards made for John Edwards early in this campaign? I've been looking and can't find that softening figure that can say these things to let us know we're really welcome in the Party Obama intends to lead.
g) Is Obama really a member of the United Church of Christ? Because they do support same-sex marriage, but Obama claims his faith prevents him from doing so.
I realize, truly, that in many ways, what the LGBT community is looking for is our Bobby Kennedy. We're at a dangerous junction where someone with access to the "bully pulpit" that chooses can either make or break us for decades. Is Obama prepared to be that person for us?
Namely, he thinks that his status as a heterosexual makes him a better human being who should enjoy special priveleges than we should based on our status as members of the LGBT community. It's pretty subtle. I don't know that he would actively move to hurt anybody here. He has sincere religious beliefs that differ with the church that he used to be a member of. Honestly, I'm too tired of constantly tracking Obama to find out if he's still a "member" of the UCC.
He hasn't lifted a finger, though, to actually help the LGBT community. No, not even in Illinois--the ENDA passed after he left the state Senate and someone else sponsored it. Even more, his virulently homophobic friend and spiritual mentor, the Rev. James Meeks (D), voted against the Illinois ENDA, which means that Obama either could not or would not get Meeks to at least use that much lauded Illinois copout, the "present" vote.
His statement after California's Supreme Court granted same-sex marriage rights didn't even include any verbiage that would say, "Hey, it's your state and I respect your right to run your state the way you choose, even if I disagree on a moral basis." (Granted, the CSC shot that argument down in their opinion saying that personal opinion on others' marriages are completely not the issue. It's troubling.
Taking Nunn (the guy who rammed DADT down Bill and Hillary's throats) as an official advisor to his campaign is troubling.
The campaign's comment after the McClurkin debacle (yes, he said he didn't agree with all of McClurkin's views, stick with me) that the campaign "got what they needed" from McClurkin's participation bothers me more than McClurking appearing. After all, Obama may not have known the guy and what he was prone to saying in public performances.
I'll be keeping a close eye on his VP choice. That's going to really tip the scales one way or another. Basically, no one like Nunn, no one who thinks being homosexual is a "choice", no one who comes from a state that forbids same-sex couples from even seeking the most basic of legal rights (i.e. "Virginia is for haters"). That shouldn't be too hard, and would at least signal to the LGBT that we are an important part of the Democratic coalition, rather than a demographic that the Democrats just assume will support whichever yellow dog they run.
That's just part of the situation as I see it; I've made several other equally in depth posts with some of the same content and some other things. It's almost ironic that a campaign that started with a debate called "Visible Vote" and dedicated to announcing that we're important to the Party should end with the Party telling us that we can either sit down, shut up, and vote like the good automatons they expect or go home--our blind support is expected.
It's an unfortunate position he's put him in. Most Democrats run the primaries to the Left and then moderate for the general election. Barack (and Hillary did this, too) has put himself in a position where he's going to need to solidify the base by moving left during the general election campaign. Not very promising. (Similarly, most Republicans run the primaries to the Right and then moderate for the general election--it's how Smirky won.)
Don't take this as me saying I really liked Hillary. I used to. She used to be openly and proudly liberal. She used to speak her mind. She used to stand up for the people that were most vulnerable in society. I could give her moderate support comparatively because I remembered when she was liberal.
What Causes a Person To Have a Particular Sexual Orientation?
There are numerous theories about the origins of a person's sexual orientation; most scientists today agree that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors. In most people, sexual orientation is shaped at an early age. There is also considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's sexuality. In summary, it is important to recognize that there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people.
Is Sexual Orientation a Choice?
No, human beings can not choose to be either gay or straight. Sexual orientation emerges for most people in early adolescence without any prior sexual experience. Although we can choose whether to act on our feelings, psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed.
Now, we come to another thing to consider--should we protect people against discrimination on traits that they have chosen for themselves (assuming that the anti-intellectual, anti-education, anti-research types are correct)? We already protect people against discrimination based on religion--that's a choice. We allow for freedom of association--that's a choice.
So is choice really the issue or is it that this makes people feel ooky? Because if it's okay to discriminate against people because they make me feel ooky, then I'd like to see anyone willing to eat eggplant fired. Eating eggplant is clearly a choice, and when I see someone eat eggplant, my gag reflex immediately kicks in. I also know people that used to eat eggplant that stopped, so clearly I've got legal basis for this. Join PFOXE--Parents and Friends of eX-eggplant Eaters!
One of the things that several of my gay friends and I noticed as we'd walk around Chicago's northside Lakeview neighborhood, we started calling "White Knuckle Syndrome".
The basic history of the area is that even as recently as the mid-80s, no one wanted to go there--my father refused to park his vehicle east of Clark during Cubs games because of a near certainty that when you went back to get the vehicle after the game, you would be likely to find no hubcaps, windows bashed in, or no car. Then the gay community, having gotten priced out of the Loop and Gold Coast and most recently Lincoln Park, started to move into the area. The general process works like this: gay people who can't afford the pricier neighborhoods move in, then they start renovating the area, and are publicly visible, so that policing becomes easier. Eventually, the gay people that are making significantly less than their straight coworkers have a nice little neighborhood that has gone through "urban renewal". (Logo's "Real Momentum" series had an episode on this a while ago.)Then the straight people that can't afford the extremely overpriced Gold Coast and Lincoln Park neighborhoods moved into Lakeview. It's a safe neighborhood, getting pricier, just right for the yuppy set. The only problem is that it's filled with gay people.
The easiest way to tell when a guy on the street is gay or straight is to look at his knuckles. If he's walking with a woman but has her hand clutched in a death-grip that threatens to break every bone in her hands, he's straight. If another guy looks his way, his pace picks up and a look of pain appears on the woman's face as he tightens the grip and the white knuckles appear. Gay people will walk with woman friends. They'll even occasionally hold hands with them. But the fear and anxiety induced white knuckles are a sure sign that someone is homophobic. Now, not all the straight people there are phobic. Some are great people. They have gay neighbors and friends in the neighborhood and will hang out and even occasionally go to the gay bars (we have actual dance floors). They like the diverse environment and will even politely smile and brush off advances with, "Thanks, but I've got a girlfriend." But for a sizeable proportion, there's the anxiety and panic that drives them past garden-variety bigotry.
It does get hard to tell, though. I agree random off-the-cuff comments are a sign of bigotry. That doesn't justify the bigotry--it's an increasingly smaller world, and we've all got to figure out how to live together. A big part of that is not making random "pansy" comments. Right now, I hope someone is taking, say, a certain governor of North Carolina, aside and explaining that to him.
I grew up in Illinois. Mostly, I'm an Illinois social liberal, fiscal moderate. Dick Durbin is really the same way. Paul Simon was a little more fiscally liberal than me, but I could appreciate his liberalness. Even Peter Fitzgerald, who, lets be honest here, gave Obama his seat by quitting out of disgust at the social conservatives that were ruling the Republican Senate and refused any moderate voice, was socially moderate and fiscally conservative.
Coming from Illinois, it's usually easy to consider the merits of both Republicans and Democrats, as the state until the second half of Ryan's term had managed to avoid the religious rightwing takeover of the party. George Ryan (the last Republican governor) and Corinne Wood (his Lieutenant Governor) were both socially moderate and fiscally moderate and both tried to let the Republicans know that if they allowed the religious/social conservatives to take over the party, they would lose the whole damn state, and that in fact happened. The only Republican who can win a statewide contest is Judy Barr-Topinka, the Treasurer, who is socially liberal, fiscally conservative. She's also a stronger proponent of gay rights (such as a Treasurer can be) than the Governor or Lt. Governor. Only the Attorney General, Amy Madigan--somewhat politically tainted by her father, who has been very powerful in the state government--is as strong. When Rod steps down and Amy and Judy step up, it's going to be a really interesting governor's race (although Judy's getting a bit long in the tooth and may choose to retire). Barr-Topinka has been trying to convince the Republicans in Illinois that pursuing social conservativism will prevent them from gaining ground in the state, both by exhortation and by proof that she's the only one that can survive a statewide election.
Understanding that, and that both Hillary and Barack are from Illinois--Hillary by birth and Barack by living there and going into politics there--it's almost insane that both of them are pandering to the religious types. Of the two, Hillary is slightly (and only slightly) more palatable. Illinois Senators from both parties have traditionally been "live and let live" style social moderates to liberals. The difference between the parties is more the fiscal side--Democrats tending toward the argument that there is a certain necessary set of things that the government can provide with some other things being nice add-ons provided 1) you can prove they're working and 2) they're fiscally feasible.
It's absolutely nuts that two Democratic Senators should both be pandering to the religious right. The only real difference I can see is that while Hillary is saying she's glad that New York will be giving marriage rights to the gay community, Barack refused to attempt to remove the ban while he was active in the state government and could put that forward--especially if, as he said, the legislation that was given to him to "sponsor" was given to him because only he could unify the dissenters. Basically, he's been an ass to the gay community. His advisors are disgusting--Meeks, Boren, and Nunn. And I'm getting tired of the argument that I should constantly be supporting other groups that won't support me. The key with Barack will be his VP nominee.
Meanwhile, Hillary at least, in 1992 was seen as the one that was insisting to Bill that he integrate the armed forces. When the social conservatives (like Barack and his advisors) rebelled, then we were saddled with DADT. It's the only difference on the civil rights side.
I also have serious issues with Barack on his healthcare proposal and his education proposals--"Merit pay" makes me vomit in my mouth.
So which one would be more likely to veto legislation from the Right? Hillary is showing through her, "I prefer civil unions, but I'm glad New York is going full marriage," that she wouldn't. Barack isn't giving those same signals. I could see Barack vetoing from the right anything that was slightly socially progressive. He irritates the crap out of me.
Even with that, I can't say I'm thrilled with Hillary. I liked her better when she spoke her mind. I think now she's trying to appear "tough" and "moderate"--moving to the center already, even before she has the nomination.
So it's absolutely nuts that two Democratic Senators from Illinois can't earn my wholehearted support. At least two other candidates were capable of that.
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