Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Obama v. Jindal

Watch and compare.

That's all I ask.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Extreme & mainstream

First off, I want to remind everyone I believe Alan Keyes has every right to say everything he did. Free speech. It is your right to sound totally bat-shit crazy.

Now turning to the larger theme, I think everyone needs to start listening to what people say and do. We all have the right (dare I say duty) to say what we think, but we all need to start understanding what ideas & beliefs are mainstream, and what ideas should be considered fringe and be marginalized.

I would hope we can all agree that Alan Keyes and his ideas are not mainstream, and he lives on the extreme right fringe of the political spectrum. And really, when people hear him talk, they tune him out. Or laugh at him. Either way, that is how we treat people with views that aren't mainstream, but they have their voice and every right to use it.

But when do we start legitimizing these fringe ideas by supporting them with equal weight and balance? 55% of people support traditional marriage, but 81% support gays being able to serve openly in the military. 52% of Americans want to keep weed illegal and 60% approve of labor unions, but only 39% believe in evolution and 46% think we shouldn't close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. 58% of people think we should actually teach creationism in school as science! Do 58% of Americans want to start ignoring parts of the Constitution and Bill of Rights?

So what we need is a reality check. We can't have people arguing the New Deal didn't work. Because it did. I'm just waiting for Lindsey Graham to take to the Senate floor and proclaim "The Earth is Flat!" John McCain will then be called up to yell about the young folk.

We need to stand up and call bullshit.

Honesty. It hurts. Weed is illegal because the government tied it to violent crimes and non-white cultures. Evolution is science. Creationism is religion. Public school (government funded) can't teach creationism because it establishes one religion as better or right, and that is unconstitutional, so all long as we are still working under the United States Constitution, that is kinda a big no-no. And people aren't for closing Gitmo because they want to feel safe. I want to be safe. You want to be safe. And you think you are until your best friend, who happens to be of middle eastern descent, gets taken and locked up for no reason. But is Gitmo working?

If we let people lie, mislead and get away with it, we are doing even more damage to our nation than we thought. We need an informed electorate, which comes from great news. But, news and the businesses it created are fare from perfect. But if we can keep the dialog honest, open, and productive it will make everything just that much easier.

It's what we do; strive to form a more perfect union.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

For Susan, cus Facebook kinda sucks

Gay marriage. Ooo, aah. Given that speech, where it was given, and the arguments he used, you would think gay marriage wouldn't be an issue anymore. Or least not an issue we have a hard time dealing with. But...

And all I did was google Michael Savage and gay marriage, then BOOM, the mind-bending, cringe-inducing ranting begins. Ah, you just have to love civil, honest debate.

So, I don't like to bring up gay marriage too much, simply because there are bigger things I care about, and I don't want to be seen as the liberal gay man screaming for marriage either. Good thing I have my friends to help me remember working for a good cause is a good thing, no matter what people might think. The right thing to do is always the right thing to do, no matter who you are. But that doesn't mean I will play the same role. I am a gay man, so I am going to have to keep that in mind when talking about gay marriage, but that is more of an asset than a liability.

So, this all came up when Susan wrote her note on Facebook. So today (when I'm home with a very upset stomach and not at work) I was working on a reply, but it seems there is a limited number of words I could use. So, I decided to just make a whole post out of it. So, thank you Susan for giving me a little poke to write, even if you didn't know we were doing it. :-)
"I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination."
- Barack Obama, Aug. 28, 2008.
The optimist in me wants to believe that they aren't against love. Yet the pragmatist in me knows that they don't see it as love, so it's easy for people like them to be against gay marriage and so much more. But the pragmatist in me also knows most of the people against gay marriage don't think like that, and they are worried about the word "marriage" and because of that, what the institution of marriage means. And while the history of marriage is rooted in so many different things, it's hard to separate religion and state when it comes to marriage.

So what we need to do is take the State out of marriage altogether. Let the state issue "civil unions" with full legal equality and say "Civil unions are for consenting adults, who are not blood-related, to form a legally-recognized union, share their lives together, and to be granted all the legal rights inherent in such a legally-recognized union."

People could then go to any church they wish to get "married" and if the church doesn't want to marry them, great; that's their right! And people can chose to also not get "married" but live together in a legally-recognized union. They keep "marriage" and everyone gets equal rights. Win win, so I think we all need to stand up. From a Conservative view, taking the government out of the "marriage" business and letting the people keep those tax cuts and tax breaks they love and only given to "married" couples as the Federal Government defines it. We need to take them on from their right. We have fought the equal rights fight, but going at them from the left isn't going to work. At least not in a way that could take bigger steps towards letting government and organized religion coexist peacefully while the people keep ALL of their rights.

“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.”
- Arnold Bennett

And while we think our fight is hard, we should look to history. We shall overcome, because their fight was longer, bloodier, and more painful, but they did overcome.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Obama and Music

So, I had to cut out the start of his speech with all of his shout-outs so I could bring the file in (just barely) under the size limit.

It is really early, but I think this will be the speech we remember for defining what President Obama will use as his governing philosophy, and showing us how he will attack the problems he takes on. So I thought it was really important to post this speech. I think we can really see how he thinks.

But, moving away from the insanity of Washington, D.C., my week has been filled with music. And it has been a week of finding new music while finding old friends all over again. I got the new India.Arie album and that lead me to listen to both TLC's "CrazySexyCool" and Lauryn Hill's "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" and I love fallen in love all over again.

And I also found some Jonny Lang, Rufus Wainwright and some Macy Gray. I have a lot of music I forgot about.

And this all came about because I bought RENT (the movie) and then fell in love (yet again) all over again. And then bought the Original Broadway Cast album, which I love. And I actually took the movie and some of the deleted scenes and made my cut of the movie. I love it.

But yeah. The point of this post is mainly to act as reminder that we have to a lot of different parts of ourselves. I'd been focusing too much on the politics and not letting the rest of me be me too.

Balance. Obama and India.Arie. Congress and Britney. So, I hope to be making more posts as well as trying to write different types of posts.

Onward and upward!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Greatness Watch, 12 days in

So, it takes Super Bowl Sunday to get me posting again. While it may seem odd, the Super Bowl tends to be the only football game I watch all year. So, I am with the rest of America, and I use this day, and this game, to unwind and regroup.

I have been going over random things over the last few weeks. Between the great things, like Obama, there were bad things, Gannett enacts week-long furloughs. So I was off for the week of Obamamania. And between that, and random other things like Michael Phelps, Washington politics, then some in Washington actually acting human, like this:

So now, I'm just left trying to find my place. But instead, I was reading online, and read this, this, this, and this.