Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A 'Pioneer' in propaganda

I keep having more and more confrontations on the News-leader forum with this hateful, closed-minded, nasty old bigot nicknamed 'Pioneer'. He's some stodgy jackass that I debated about the Iraq war with months ago. Naturally, he was an apologist for it and Bush. He never really had any good reason for it, except that he's ex-military and we've just gotta support the commander-in-chief, no matter what. Such jingoism from this one.

I recall back in our first debate he questioned why I wasn't over there fighting instead of sitting back here complaining about it. What a way to show you care about the soldiers, shout down anyone who points out that Bush is getting our troops killed needlessly, and for an unjustified war. Well, it seems according to Pioneer you can't have an opinion about the war unless you enlist. I explained one very important reason that I'm not in the military, 'don't ask, don't tell'.

Naturally, he's been making a mockery of my sexuality and gay equality issues ever since. He's full of all sorts of snide insinuations, even accusations, among other things. He certainly likes to resort to personal attacks, but not generally the obvious kind. He prefers to suggest a bunch of bogus rumors about a person hoping that people will believe it. He is definitely a propagandist who seeks to discredit people with lies and bullshit, not that I'm at all surprised to have that coming from a nasty old conservative curmudgeon like him. My guess is he aspired to be a drill sergeant barking orders at subordinates, but just never got that kind of authority. He sure expects people to get in line now. It's very satisfying to routinely serve as a thorn in his side and help to expose his bigoted prejudices.

It's amazing how much he is similar to local white supremacist, Glenn Miller, who has been spewing all sorts of hateful racism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia on the forums. Pioneer might not be particularly racist, but I know he doesn't like Muslims, and holds nothing but contempt for homosexuals. The latter became especially clear with his latest bit of propaganda, some garbage book that claims the Nazi's were mostly homosexuals and that homosexuality lead to the violent militarism of the Nazis.

He says, "Hitler was a known homophobe, and sort of into sado-masochism, and since there were numerous homosexual people in the Nazi party, by design not by chance"

Of course it doesn't matter that homosexuals were put to death by the hundreds of thousands for 'unnatural sex acts' — homosexuality. No, apparently this is just all part of the 'gay agenda' which Pioneer insists is a fact and is undermining societies moral fabric. Yep, there is an agenda alright, Pioneer's, to demonize gays at all costs.

What a scumbag...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ding dong the wicked witch is dead!

Well, not dead, even better - he was fired! Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, whose incompetence at the Pentagon has contributed more to the reasons the Iraq war is and has been the fiasco that it has, probably more so than any single person. He's gone, canned, toast, adios.

It's certainly great to see him go! While I'm afraid that
Iraq is a hopeless mess that will take a generation to sort out, at least now perhaps those who should know what the hell is going on — military leaders in Iraq — can actually use the strategies they feel the mission requires and the freedom to implement them. I'm not sure what to think about this Robert Gates character but surely he has to be an improvement. He couldn't possibly be as resolute in carrying out disastrously bad strategies as Rummy has been, and no doubt he will not cling to bad policies so stubbornly even in the face of obvious failure.

I'm both glad Bush got rid of him and glad that he waited until after the election to do so. While it might not have changed the election results in favor of the Democrats and cost the Republicans their status of absolute power in government, I do think that Bush's refusal to replace a man in such a prominent position that was seen by such an overwhelming majority of folks on both sides of the political aisle as the problem and not the solution contributed substantially to a general lack of confidence in the Administration and the Republican party overall.

Good riddance to the Republican majority, and to bad ol' Rummy — failure monkey!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Vote NO on unchecked power

A very important day has come to us again. This time it may be more important than ever. So much hangs in the balance, and not just in relations to the war against terrorists. The protection of true American freedom, liberty, and justice from institutionalized corruption a the consolidation of power holds in the balance as well.

The Bush Administration, with the help of their Republican colleagues who control the Congress, have undermined some of the most basic civil liberties and human rights and they have done so under the misleading guises of safety, security, and morality. They don't talk in terms of honest debate, they talk in terms of absolutes. They leave no room for democratic processes to work, for representative government to be a reality. Instead they use disinformation, scare tactics, partisanship, gerrymandering, and even cheating to ensure they get reelected, and their agendas become mandates regardless what the majority of the public really thinks of the issue, regardless what civil liberties are trampled in the process, and regardless how un-Constitutional these mandates may be.

Under the Bush Administration we've been lead into an unjustified war based on false pretenses. The war has been waged with incompetent strategies, utilizing tactics that have often been at odds with what military analysts who know their stuff have called for, and even at odds with what our military leaders would themselves choose. Some strategies which have been repeatedly and stubbornly employed simply defy common sense.

The Bush administration has bristled at legitimate questions about the deteriorating situations in Iraq & Afghanistan, they have scoffed at any examinations of their failures in Iraq, and fumed over any suggestions of changing strategies. Not only the Administration but Bush apologists in general have attempted to squelch any dissent, using cheap rhetoric like 'cut & run' and imply the patriotism of those who advocate for a shift in policy should be questioned.

Bush & his Republican cronies talk of a sort of delusional idealism about Iraq which defies the reality of the situation at hand, endlessly repeating that victory is just over some elusive and arbitrary horizon. They call for a strategy of "stay the course", no matter how bad things get on the ground and dismiss anyone who suggests otherwise as cowards and traitors. This 'wait and see' policy has gone on for 3 years now. In that time more soldiers have died since Bush declared "Mission Accomplished" than people who died in the destruction of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center. The saddest, and most disgusting part about this is that it didn't have to be this way. But Bush just won't stop listening to the advice of incompetent officials like Rumsfeld & Cheney.

The truth is we can't just pull out of Iraq. It was obviously a mistake in going, but now that we are there we are invested, and there are grave consequences to how we deal with the debacle it has become. There desperately needs to be a new strategy employed in Iraq & Afghanistan. The one force keeping that from happening thus far can be summed up in one entity — the national Republican party. That's why in this election it is so important to send a message to them, and to remove their ability to hamper genuine progress further.

Regardless the fear-mongering that the Republican propaganda machine has been churning out, if the democrats win there will not be a pull-out of Iraq, but the President will certainly be kept in check from 'staying the course' as he has and intends to continue to do. With a rival party wielding some power & influence the Administration, including Rumsfeld who has the support of next to no one outside of the Administration, will finally be subject to a long absent pressure to make much needed corrections there. With the Republicans, one single party being in charge of every branch of the government, the President has had a blank check to do with as he sees fit. What has he bought with that unchecked power?

That is a very important question every voter needs to ask themselves when they go into that voting booth tomorrow. Like so many who voted for Bush the first or even the second time have come to regret, do you want to regret having bought into the scare tactics, the lies, and the empty promises of Rove's Republicans again?

Please vote tomorrow. No matter how disgusting all of this political campaigning has been, no matter how pitiful most of the choices are it is far too important not to. And when you do vote, don't vote Republican in the upcoming elections other than at the local level. The state & especially the national Republican juggernaut needs to be sent a very clear message of disapproval. And if you want to send the clearest message of all to the GOP itself, vote Democrat. Vote to put a check on the absolute power that one corrupt party currently holds over all of us, or live with the consequences of not having done so.

Monday, October 30, 2006

De-ranged...

I have been involved in a debate on the News-leader forum with an ultra-religious, ultra-conservative, Constitution Party candidate. I'd seen his letters to the editor a long time ago so I knew how crazy his views were, which is why I agreed with the one of the editors for the Newsleader paper which referred to him in just such a way. I'm finding he is much worse than I thought.

Debating separation of church & state

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I have had the question come up many times in my arguments on gay equality issues as to whether those opposed to something like gay-marriage are bigots. It's a good question. Really I think it depends, in some cases I'd definitely say yes, but in many cases I'd say probably not.

I think the ban on gay-marriage — marriage being defined only as heterosexual unions — is discriminatory, unreasonable, and bigoted. I think some of those who support such legislation truly are bigots, they are full of intolerance, they believe in and promote unfair stereotypes, they hold gays in contempt. Then there are some who are not bigoted, they are just misinformed. They have been frightened by anti-gay propaganda into believing there is this menacing gay agenda that seeks to force immorality on society, on children. Perhaps they haven't known gay people themselves so they don't really know what to expect. They know gays only through the caricatures that society has made of them, and those caricatures are scary, weird — definitely not 'normal'.

Again, these people are not necessarily bigots, just uninformed to certain truths about how gays live and what the majority of them hope to achieve in their lives. I think the disconnect comes in when people who believe marriage is under assault and needs to be protected don't realize that this sort of thinking would have to establish homosexuals as tainted, perverted, immoral, dangerous in some way. Those who believe such things are bigots but those who don't aren't so much. The problem is, even though they may not believe that homosexuals are all dysfunctional & perverse, the ideology they support — marriage must be heterosexually exclusive — does promote that very intolerant & hateful notion.

I don't think a person can support tolerance of gays, or notions of gay equality and also support a ban on gay-marriage. The two are completely incompatible. Those who claim to be supportive of gays but also support anti-gay marriage legislation are giving a hollow support to homosexuals and gay-equality in general.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A comment I left at the Independent Gay Forum, main article at top of page.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Gay prom and bigots

A local Gay & Lesbian organization held a gay prom a while back and a journalist who covers human interest stories wrote about it in the local paper. Some Christianist bigot wrote a letter to the editor about it, protesting the concept of a gay prom and criticizing those who promoted it. This letter got published and is as follows:


"Gay prom promotes sin"

Re: "Ozarks area students boogie at gay and lesbian prom," May 24 Sarah Overstreet column.

Gay and lesbian prom? You must be kidding?

Please understand this is not a shot at the confused young people who were at this prom, this is the truth straight at the adults that allowed and put this thing together. When are we going to wake up and see that this lifestyle is a choice and that God forbids any such act.

A "gay gene" has never been found. Homosexuality is a choice! God created each of us in his own image and he has never created a homosexual, alcoholic or wife abuser. I believe God has a reason for creating us male and female. And when we get away from God's created purpose for the sexuality of his creation and pervert his intention, it becomes a sin. God says the wages of sin is death.

Every adult and business that supported this event is encouraging these young people to sin. I am not judging anyone, God has already done that.

Sure, times have changed, but God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Please, let's stop encouraging our young people to sin.

Mark Kiser, Springfield


Of course I couldn't just let this kind of idiotic rationalization of bigotry stand so I decided to make a rebutal in a letter to the editor:

Bigotry is what it is

In response to June 2, "Gay prom promotes sin" by Mark Kiser.

It's very convenient to say 'I'm not judging anyone, God has judged', as if that somehow excuses someone who is unapologetically judging others. These judgments are mere highly debated interpretations of supposed divinely inspired literature.

In addition to homosexuals, some people believe hating Hindus, Blacks, or liberals is god sanctioned and they quote scripture 'proving' it, yet most of us would agree they're not only wrong but most definitely bigots.

Mr. Kiser talks as if he's not a bigot. I have yet to meet anyone who admitted they were. Even the most blatantly bigoted people deny being merely intolerant.

Those who have prejudices & narrow views see themselves as speaking an unquestionable truth but that doesn't change the nature of what they advocate.

People have every right to feel, believe, & say what they want. People also have a right to couple together, straight, gay, mixed religions or races. It's no one else's business or responsibility. Social conservatives really need to remember this when they seek to foist or legislate their 'god sanctioned' views on others.

If you really believe that homosexuals or anyone else is going to hell for what they do, "God says so", then let's let God tend to it, shall we? And in the meantime, tend to your own business — live & let live.

And on that note: "Live and let live, that's what I say. Anyone who can't understand that should be killed." — George Carlin

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Shouldn't all soldiers be heroes?

In respect to Memorial day I got to thinking about the many U.S. soldiers that have been lost in this war fought for all the wrong reasons. It’s certainly been a heavy toll. The Department of Defense has confirmed 2464 so far {2325 since Bush declared "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq}.

There is a lot of flag waving going on right now, everyone wants to support the troops and rightly so. Some misguided souls even believe that in order to do this one must support the President and the War itself including the reasons it was supposedly fought. They claim you can’t support the troops without that. Of course that’s absolutely ridiculous, or at least highly debatable. Either way, pretty much everyone is in agreement, except Fred Phelps and his bunch of lunatic scumbags, that these people are heroes for risking their lives and ultimately losing them in what is thought & hoped to be the defense of their country. People can’t say enough nice things about these soldiers and the sacrifices they are making, even if we don’t all agree on why they are there and when they should come home.

All of this praise seems very nice, deserved, but also rather ironic. I’ve been thinking about how grossly unfair it is that homosexuals are kept out of the military. It is such an unbelievable insult not only to homosexuals in general and law abiding citizens overall who certainly shouldn’t be considered second class, but more directly it is a tremendous insult to gay people who truly want to serve their country in the military. Currently the ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ policy which was instated under Bill Clinton is still in place. While it’s not a total ban, it’s about as close as you can get to it. One can’t be openly gay at all and not be discharged from the military. The same ignorant bigots that once said the whole military would go to shit if you let Blacks in, or women, are now telling us that homosexuals would demoralize & weaken the armed forces. I fear for our defense if our soldiers are so petty and easily distracted that the gay man or woman working beside them interferes with their ability. So what other excuses are left? Perhaps that homosexuals are too “weak” to serve. Women generally have certain physical limitations, like upper body strength compared to a man, yet women are allowed to serve most roles in the military. So if they are going to use this excuse, first of all they need to admit to being a bunch of bigots who are making a broad generalization about a varied group of people, secondly if they’re going to be consistent they should take women out of most of their current military roles, and third they need to back their ridiculous misconceptions up. Let’s see some proof that gay men are inherently unable to do the job of a soldier. I may be quite the radical here but I think it sounds quite fair, reasonable, and efficient to enlist those who are able & qualified to do the job, period.

The fact is there are untold numbers of homosexuals serving in the military today. Some believe the percentage of gay and bisexual people in the US is 8-10%. A conservative estimate which is rarely disputed is around 5%, or based on the last census around 14 million people. According to the Department of Defense there are around 1,378,000 serving in the US military as of the beginning of 2006. 207,000 deployed in Iraq. So if we use that 5%, in fact, considering that gay people are encouraged against military enlistment I’ll even lower that to 4%, then the number of homo and bisexual persons serving in the military would be roughly 55,120. Using that same method there would have been 8,280 deployed in Iraq at the beginning of the year. And using the 2464 dead soldiers from the Iraq war to date, there may be 123 of them that we’ve buried and celebrated as heroes who just happened to be homosexually inclined. 123 who because of their sexual orientation would be considered by many in our society as ‘sexual deviants’. 123 "heroes" that the military brass think best to not allow to continue a career in the military, at least not openly and honestly about themselves. 123 that had they lived and decided they wanted to have a marriage or union with the same-sex partner of their choosing would be denied that by President Bush if he gets his way on a Constitutional Amendment declaring marriage be only between one man and one woman.

I am left wondering if even only one of those dead soldiers were gay did they deserve any less respect? Did they serve their country with any less dignity, courage, loyalty or service? Should they have been discharged had they ever acknowledged their sexual preference? Is it at all fair that they served to protect a country which would hold them in contempt because of who they are attracted to and fall in love with? A country which only a few years ago, depending on where they lived, would criminalize them for engaging in sexual activity with a same-sex partner even in the privacy of their own home. A country in which they were not allowed to marry the person of their choosing in almost every state, and in which the Commander in Chief may soon ensure that they nor any of their peers ever will.

I think as this country considers its war dead and those who serve they should keep this sort of thing in mind. 'Support the troops?' Indeed.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

National Day of Action

The powers that be estimate there are 11-12 illegal aliens {oh, so sorry, I mean "undocumented immigrants"} in this country. It is believed as many as 1 in 10 people in the US are homosexuals. Even conservative estimates admit about 5% of the "documented" population is admittedly gay. At today's population that's about 15 million. That's 15 million legally recognized citizens who are largely considered second class not just by society at large but by government specifically, and why? Because we desire physical & emotional intimacy with the same sex. To put it more romantically — because of who we love. What a disgrace it is for a so-called free country, one which so militantly proclaims it's love of liberty and a right to the pursuit of happiness, to wear such a stain in the 21st century. What a disgrace that some 86 years after woman were legally recognized as equal to men, 42 years after racial minorities were considered equal to the white majority, and even today as we possibly embark on granting full citizenship or the next best thing to it to persons who entered this country illegally, and here we are still being denied the choice of who we can couple with, denied marriage, denied civil unions, denied the privilege to adopt children or defend our country, denied the dignity to have basic legal protections in regards to our chosen partners, and often forced to live in secrecy lest we jeopardize our livelihood, our property, possibly our very lives.

As I see hundreds of thousands taking to the streets all over the country in a "National Day of Action" to protest this immigration issue and the legislation being debated about it, I find they are clearly illustrating that they are a sizable minority and one which is a force to be reckoned with. I find myself wondering why in the hell those of us who just so happen to have an innate attraction to the same sex are not also taking to the streets to fight for our rights? Rights that as legal citizens we should already be enjoying. It certainly would make a very powerful statement.
A few hundred in a parade is a novelty at best. Tens or hundreds of thousands however... That makes an impact. I’d settle for half that right now.
The powers that be estimate there are 11-12 illegal aliens {oh, so sorry, I mean "undocumented immigrants"} in this country. It is believed as many as 1 in 10 people in the US are homosexuals. Even conservative estimates admit about 5% of the "documented" population is admittedly gay. At today's population that's about 15 million. That's 15 million legally recognized citizens who are largely considered second class not just by society at large but by government specifically, and why? Because we desire physical & emotional intimacy with the same sex. To put it more romantically — because of who we love. What a disgrace it is for a so-called free country, one which so militantly proclaims it's love of liberty and a right to the pursuit of happiness, to wear such a stain in the 21st century. What a disgrace that some 86 years after woman were legally recognized as equal to men, 42 years after racial minorities were considered equal to the white majority, and even today as we possibly embark on granting full citizenship or the next best thing to it to persons who entered this country illegally, and here we are still being denied the choice of who we can couple with, denied marriage, denied civil unions, denied the privilege to adopt children or defend our country, denied the dignity to have basic legal protections in regards to our chosen partners, and often forced to live in secrecy lest we jeopardize our livelihood, our property, possibly our very lives.

As I see hundreds of thousands taking to the streets all over the country in a "National Day of Action" to protest this immigration issue and the legislation being debated about it, I find they are clearly illustrating that they are a sizeable minority and one which is a force to be reckoned with. I find myself wondering why in the hell those of us who just so happen to have an innate attraction to the same sex are not also taking to the streets to fight for our rights? Rights that as legal citizens we should already be enjoying. It certainly would make a very powerful statement.

A few hundred in a parade is a novelty at best. Tens or hundreds of thousands however... That makes an impact. I’d settle for half that right now.