Obama’s Stolen Strength.

February 20, 2008

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What comes to mind when I think of Barrack Obama? A candidate of nothing. An interesting man, a talented orator, a devoted father/husband, and a political novice. A shell of a president. A man with a brilliant future, several years from now, when he has the experience to command anything more than an audience. His own supporters have been stumbling in interviews when simply asked to state one legislative accomplishment. Why then is he winning? Two words: incandescent speech. When the man talks, he glows. He beams of confidence, optimism, and truth. In reality those beams consist of arrogance, naivety, and rhetoric. I appreciate a good public speaker and do value words. I would never lobby his lofty speech against him like some people have. Now his lack of experience is another issue that I have no problem holding against him.

So what is my point? You already know I support Clinton, but respect Obama (that does not mean I have to respect people who vote for him). Words are really all he has and now the news is reporting some of his words are not his own. Yes, I speak of plagiarism, a borderline curse word in the academic setting. Apparently plagiarism is completely acceptable in the campaign for the White House. Because he continued his surge of victories after the story broke. A man running solely on his words shouldn’t be simply quoting others. Many of you will jump to his defense, that is was his speech writers who plagiarized, but therein lies the problem. If words are all he has and we don’t hold him responsible for his words then there is nothing left of his candidacy.

In defense of being “just words”

Obama responded nearly word for word and without attribution, a quote from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. “Don’t tell me words don’t matter. ‘I have a dream’ — just words. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’ — just words. ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself’ — just words.”

On another occasion

Deval Patrick: “I am not asking anyone to take a chance on me; I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations”.

Obama: “I am not asking anybody to take a chance on me; I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations”

On Pharmaceutical Ads

Edwards’s 2004 stump speech: “I love the ads. Buy their medicine, take it, and the next day you and your spouse will be skipping through the fields.”

Obama: “You know those ads where people are running around the fields, you know, they’re smiling, you don’t know what the drug is for?”

During Announcement Speeches

Edwards (2003) : “I haven’t spent most of my life in politics, but I’ve spent enough time in Washington to know how much we need to change Washington.”

Obama (2007): “I know I haven’t spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I’ve been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.”

Unionized Labor

Edwards: “We need a president not afraid to use the word ‘union,’

Obama: “We need a president . . . who is not afraid to mention unions,”

Working Class

Edwards: “Hard work should be valued in this country, so we’re going to reward work, not just wealth.”
Obama: “We shouldn’t just be respecting wealth in this country, we should be respecting work.”

 


Veteran’s Day: Our Heroes, Our Homeless

November 11, 2007

Who are homeless veterans?

The U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says the nation’s homeless veterans are mostly males. The majority are single, most come from poor, disadvantaged communities, 45% suffer from mental illness, and half have substance abuse problems. They have served in every war from the second World War to Iraq.

How many homeless veterans are there?

The VA estimates that nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. And nearly 400,000 experience homelessness over the course of a year. Conservatively, one out of every three homeless men who is sleeping in a doorway, alley or box in our cities and rural communities has put on a uniform and served this country.

Why are veterans homeless?

In addition to the complex set of factors affecting all homelessness — extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income, and access to health care — a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and substance abuse, compounded by a lack of family and social support networks.

Doesn’t the Department of Veterans Affairs take care of homeless veterans?

With an estimated 400,000 veterans homeless at some time during the year, the VA reaches 25% of those in need. For more information about VA homeless veteran programs, go to www.va.gov/homeless/.

What services do veterans need?

Veterans need a coordinated effort that provides secure housing and nutritional meals; essential physical health care, substance abuse aftercare and mental health counseling; and personal development and empowerment. Veterans also need job assessment, training and placement assistance.

The solution?

I don’t know. More government money, more private charity, and more awareness would be a start. But on a personal level, I think the first step is just keeping in mind when you see the homeless on our streets that many of them fought for our country.  I also think this is a cause that organized religion really can and often does step up for.  I know personally, my church and the Catholic church in general does a lot to help the plight of the homeless.


Lions for Lambs for Losers

November 11, 2007

I love politics. I love movies. I love heated debates about the “war on terror”, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the importance of national service. I love Meryl Streep. I love uber liberal Robert Redford. I should have loved Lions for Lambs.

But I didn’t. In fact, I hated it. I thought it was one of the worst films I saw this year. Over hyped, over advertised, over acted, and over ambitious. In fact, I thought it was so bad I needed to post about it.

Problems:

It is preachy and self important. It tells you what is important and just how important it is. It had Tom Cruise just spouting the same Republican Party lines I could watch on CNN of the value of security and turning the Middle East into some Christian moral crusade. It had Meryl Streep as a weak, menopausal reporter who lost the spunk and dedication to truth journalists used to have. She was only capable of saying something needed to be done (and of course to compare the situation to Vietnam). Robert Redford was the worst; he was supposed to be the inspirational teacher who changes apathetic American kids into the proponents of change while having done nothing himself. Except it was so dry the only thing it inspired me to do was fall asleep. Intermittent through the two main conversations were some decent scenes of two soldiers, exploitation cinema at its finest. Although that was essentially to make you sympathize with the troops regardless of your political views by making them minority martyrs dying for our sins. Then after no plot, there was no resolution. I guess it was just to pose the questions you should be asking yourself about our government already. Except the problem is if you weren’t already asking those questions you wouldn’t have gone to see the movie, so it was preaching to the choir. It was also incredibly spineless, there was a general leaning towards anti-war sentiments, but it wasn’t strong or in your face. Just a terribly ineffective, boring tirade made my Hollywood to try to prove some sort of political awareness. I don’t care that you read the newspaper Robert Redford.

My advice:

If you are looking for a movie to make you ask yourself what is right and wrong, check out Gone Baby Gone. That is a fine example of movie posing moral questions while still having an entertaining and fast paced storyline.


Apparently civil rights don’t include gays or women

October 24, 2007

Homosexuality is a sickness, just as are baby-rape or wanting to become head of General Motors. ~Eldridge Cleaver, “Notes on a Native Son,” Soul on Ice, 1968

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I recently came across this gem of a quote by Eldridge Cleaver and have begun to read Soul on Ice. I have not finished by any means, and as such will reserve final judgment until the end. But so far it has been possibly the oddest read of all times. It has insane range. It varies from brutally honest introspective analysis to preachy ivory tower judgments of others. It varies from oblivious and cocky to self aware and humble. It may be the most offensive thing I’ve ever read (that was not intended as hate speech) towards both women and gays. But at the same time he is very aware of his misogyny and understands his hatred is misdirected. He admits to raping multiple women and practice on girls from the ghetto. There are no direct references really, but it is well known he killed several people over the course of his life.

The book was extremely popular in the 60s, he was a revolutionary (literally and figuratively) and was considered a significant civil rights figure. But his idea of civil rights was extremely limited. He notoriously switched religions at his convenience and after each conversion was a fierce proponent of that religion and its accompanying doctrine. I think if he came forward in our politically correct world and tried to step up as a civil rights leader, he would be a laughing stock. An angry, violent ex con with a disposition towards sexism and homophobia telling us how the world should be equal. Equal for black men at least, all the while flip flopping on religion and trying to assist international revolutions.

As it is with all the crazies, I admire his passion. I am looking forward to finishing his book, and to researching him further. Maybe there is a movie!


National Coming Out Day

October 12, 2007

NOTE: If someone could tell me how to make a cut post, so I could put some of the text behind a cut it would be appreciated. This post is super long, but I am not tech savy enough and I am too tired to look it up.

So it is national coming out day, or technically yesterday was, but I haven’t gone to bed yet. I figured I would hook up some links and videos, and share my story. Since this is officially the first year that I would consider myself fully ‘out’. First, this is an adorable post from QueerSighted it is titled “I’m Out and it’s My Mother’s Fault” (Cute Story)

Second the HRC has an informative video that kind of runs through the history of National Coming Out Day and some of their work. The video is on youtube and viewers were encouraged to send in video responses. Check It OUT. I thought many of the responses were incredibly touching and inspiring. It is reassuring to know that more and more resources are out there for teenagers. I remember going with Alex and Christina all the way to Doylestown for some sort of gay youth meeting thing and thinking how reassuring it was to see other teenagers in the same spot. This was the response video that most struck me:

Finally, here is my “coming out” story, as cliché as that is. I hear a lot of coming out stories and have read books and seen movies, but for me it was different. I have known for a long time I was gay, I have been in a long term relationship, and have carried out my life in a very open manner. Everyone assumes I am “out” because I am loud and open in most situations, but there was one place where I wasn’t out until recently, my house. Some of you know the story, but I figured I would share it anyway (warning it is long and rambling as it is almost 2 am)…read the story behind the cut

Read the rest of this entry »


First the Gays, now the Jews?

October 12, 2007

Ann Coulter, the Anti-Christ

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Conservative commentator and best-selling author Ann Coulter may find herself in the midst of a controversy for comments Monday suggesting America would be better if everyone was Christian.

When CNBC host Donny Deutsch responded, “It would be better if we were all Christian?” Coulter said “Yeah.”

Deutsch, himself Jewish, continued to press Coulter on her remarks, asking, “We should just throw Judaism away and we should all be Christians then?”

“Yeah,” Coulter responded, adding “Well, it’s a lot easier. It’s kind of a fast track.”

“You can’t possibly believe that,” Deutsch responded. “You can’t possibly. You’re too educated.”

Later in the interview Deutsch asked Coulter if she doesn’t want any Jews in the world, Coulter responded, “No, we think — we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.”

“Wow, you didn’t really say that, did you,” Deutsch said. Deutsch said he was personally offended. Deutsch continued to call Coulter’s comments anti-semetic.

“No. I’m sorry. It is not intended to be,” she said. “I don’t think you should take it that way, but that is what Christians consider themselves: perfected Jews. We believe the Old Testament. As you know from the Old Testament, God was constantly getting fed up with humans for not being able to live up to all the laws. What Christians believe — this is just a statement of what the New Testament is — is that that’s why Christ came and died for our sins. Christians believe the Old Testament. You don’t believe our testament.”

Sometimes being controversial just to be controversial blows up in your face. Earlier this year she drew fierce criticism from both sides of the aisle after calling Edwards a faggot. Now she is in hot water over these anti-semetic remarks. But the funny thing is I don’t believe she has any problems with gays or with Jews, she is just really really needy.

I’m what I’d like to call a rough around the edges Christian, I believe somethings and I don’t believe others.  I have my balance between faith and doubt.  I don’t ascribe to all of the church’s rules, it would be hard to without hating myself.  Some would say that makes me a supermarket Christian (I pick and choose what to buy), but I think it makes me realistic.  Whether God or evolution, I had no say in being gay and as such I don’t expect to be punished for it.  And while I am in no way a good representative of Christians in general, I do think I can speak for a lot of Christians and say I don’t view Christians as “Perfected Jews”.  I don’t view any people as perfected anythings.

Ann Coulter you are Tool Bag of the Day (she gets this title several times a year in my opinion)


Hot Gay Best Friend Sex

October 4, 2007


I got this article from a seedy website. I would link to it, but there are pretty much naked people all over and I don’t want to advertise porn. But I think it actually has some valuable advice for those trying to stage a hook up with their best friends. The advice holds somewhat true for straight and lesbian couples as well, but as the article was target for gay men, I left in the pronouns.

There’s something about best friends. You love them, you share everything with them, but you don’t really want to have hot gay sex. Except maybe once. We’re only human. We’re not made of stone. Emotions can have a habit of over-spilling. And this is one occasion when it’s arguable great first time sex with a ‘new’ partner can happen while quite drunk.

These are the rules:

1. Right now, never mind tomorrow morning or earlier this evening, do you both want to have sex? Or is it just you? Or is it just him? If either of the latter two options applies, stick to the beers until neither of you is any longer capable – You can just drool on to each other about love, like straight friends. If, on the other hand, you really are both up for it, then it could be time for some fun.

2. Do you or does he have a boyfriend? To whom are you or he committed? If there is a one-on-one boyfriend in the background, bear in mind that if you do have sex now you won’t be seeing each other again for about six months – and then it will be boyfriend-chaperoned and distinctly frosty.

3. Do either of you really want a relationship with the other person – and being best friends has been the second best alternative to that? If so, it could be sex will shake it out of your system, or it could be Fatal Attraction time. Up to you.

4. Are you very good at keeping sex and love conceptually separate? Sex and friendship can coexist perfectly well, but if you associate sex with intimate love and commitment you are heading for trouble.

5. Are you going to learn something about your best friend you’d rather you didn’t know? In terms of ‘kink’ and performative preferences, it could be best to have lots of talk about sex beforehand. Like you haven’t.

6. To sum up: will sex be great fun and a way of sharing friendship and bonding, or is it a very big deal? If the latter, press ‘play’ on the next DVD.

7. And finally: Don’t fondle your friend in the morning. That was last night; this is now.

Keep in mind hooking up with your best friend, can be the start of the best relationship of your life or the end of one of the best relationships in your life. But in most cases it will fall in between. Good luck in life and love.