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Curb your enthusiasm


It looks like DADT will finally be repealed. It was a bad law, a compromise to prevent something worse. I’ll remain skeptical until it is dead and buried and gays and lesbians are serving openly in our military.

But lets not get too excited. When Truman desegregated the military it didn’t end segregation in the rest of the nation, and it also meant that young black men could be used as cannon fodder in the jungles of Vietnam.

Despite what Rachel Maddow and others might think, Obama didn’t cover himself in glory on this issue. He fought court challenges against DADT and when he lost he appealed. Even now the White House won’t commit to ending discharges of gay and lesbians:

Saying that they had been “focused” on the vote, a senior White House aide intimately familiar with the administration’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal efforts was unwilling to say whether President Obama agrees with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) that DADT-releated investigations and discharges should be halted immediately.

But even if gays and lesbians can now serve openly they still can’t get married.

DADT only affects a minority of the LGBT community. Repealing DOMA and legalizing gay marriage affects all of them.

BTW – What is to stop another Congress and POTUS from reinstituting the ban on gays in the military?

The court ruling that is under appeal said that DADT was unconstitutional. The repeal of DADT doesn’t affect it’s constitutionality.


A 16-year-old is buried alive, nobody cries

I’ll bet that girl did, but apparently nobody heard her. Here’s the story:

Turkish police have recovered the body of a 16-year-old girl they say was buried alive by relatives in an “honor” killing carried out as punishment for talking to boys. The girl, who has been identified only by the initials MM, was found in a sitting position with her hands tied, in a two-meter hole dug under a chicken pen outside her home in Kahta, in the south-eastern province of Adiyaman. … Media reports said the father had told relatives he was unhappy that his daughter – one of nine children – had male friends. The grandfather is said to have beaten her for having relations with the opposite sex. A postmortem examination revealed large amounts of soil in her lungs and stomach, indicating that she had been alive and conscious while being buried. Her body showed no signs of bruising.

Yup. A sixteen year old girl was buried alive for talking to boys and nobody gives a shit. I mean, seriously, who cares? Tiger Woods porked a Porn Star! Angeline is bored with Brad!

The always reliable Peter Doau tells it like it is:

First, let me say this: the brutalization of women and girls cuts across all religious and cultural boundaries, so this isn’t just about dis-‘honor’ killings, though few things are more heinous than a father murdering his daughter (after dispassionately discussing it with other family members). It’s about the things males do to females and will continue to do unless the outcry is loud enough that the world begins to take notice.

I have no patience for anyone trying to blame this hideous act on Islam. None. If you want to get on an anti-Islam soupbox, do it somewhere else, where people who aren’t ignorant don’t have to listen to you. This is not about Religion. This is not about class. This is not about Race or Origin or Ethnic background or location, this is about that girl and millions of others like her who suffer and die because they have a vagina. This is about the human spirit, and the simple fact that women are not viewed as human beings in our society, and haven’t been viewed as human beings for a very long time. What happened to that girl isn’t an isolated incident. It is pervasive, like an ancient and sickening disease. And it is everywhere.

Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist, cannot bear to listen to the stories his patients tell him anymore. Every day, 10 new women and girls who have been raped show up at his hospital. Many have been so sadistically attacked from the inside out, butchered by bayonets and assaulted with chunks of wood, that their reproductive and digestive systems are beyond repair. “We don’t know why these rapes are happening, but one thing is clear,” said Dr. Mukwege, who works in South Kivu Province, the epicenter of Congo’s rape epidemic. “They are done to destroy women.”

[...]

I could post thousands of these and it wouldn’t capture the depth and breadth of the problem. It comes down to this: there simply isn’t sufficient public outrage about gender-based violence to spur political action.

[...]

Sometimes I feel like we were all born into an alternate universe, a psychotic, twisted, perverted version of what life should be. Our existence is marked by unimaginable violence, hideous acts of evil against the most innocent among us. It’s like living in a perpetual horror movie.

Setting aside the existential conundrum, one thing I know for certain: we can’t stop jumping up and down, screaming at the top of our lungs, donating money to organizations that help women, telling our friends and families, doing everything in our power to stop these male monsters from continuing their savagery against women and girls.

Hmmmmm… do any of you know anyone who jumps up and down, screams at the top of their lungs, donates money to lady friendly organizations, and tells all of their friends about violence against women and girls? I don’t.

And maybe its time we do.

As a Wiccan I’m often asked why folks like me carry around the burning times as chips on our shoulders. They ask this as if the burning times are over. Nobody is burning at the stake (at least not very many) but that’s only because its so passe. Genital mutilation and stoning is much more effective these days.

SOD did a series about Male Social Dominance and how it effects women and girls. Attitudes like these do stem from Male Social Dominance, but some argue that Male Social Dominance isn’t as ingrained into human nature as you might think.

If you ever read The Chalice and The Blade, by Raine Eslier or When God Was a Woman by Merlin Stone or In Search of the Sacred Feminine you would know what that means. They and others make the case that human beings aren’t, by nature, violent and warlike, and cite archeological evidence of Pre-Helenic Egalitarian societies as proof.

One common misconception is that women back then were “worshiped” in “fertility cults” because of their reproductive powers, but the truth is much more practical and economical. Nobody was monogamous those days and they didn’t have paternity tests, so societies were matrilineal, meaning property and possessions were passed down through daughters instead of sons, because there was never any way to know who the father of the children were. Women were thus in control of their bodies and independence, so men and women lived together in peaceful harmony.

Archeologists have discovered no evidence of the glorification of violence and war from the civilizations that existed on the Islands of Crete and Thera for at least a thousand years. They were neolithic, so they didn’t hunt and didn’t evolve by eating meat, therefore physical strength, which is where men usually have the advantage, wasn’t very important. People from those societies generally had a different view on life than we do today. They had no human or animal sacrifices. They were highly advanced, and they didn’t have written word because it wouldn’t have made sense to them. Paragraphs are linear and they had no concept of time, for them everything went in a circle. Obviously they weren’t perfect, and they were the way they were because men and women chose to coexist instead of dominating each other.

Their way of life eventually died out because non-neolithic indo-europeans invaded from the north and Hebrews invaded from the south. Those tribes were violent and patriarchal because they came from areas that were to cold or warm to grow food, so they survived by hunting and conquest. That supposedly happened around five thousand years ago, and women have been subject to violence ever since, because to violent societies past and present women are akin to livestock or booty.

(It’s also worth noting that the Aryans were one of the Indo European tribes that invaded those egalitarian societies, and Hitler cited them as superior human beings.)

If you really think about it, all of the world’s problems go back to women’s equality. That’s how it all started. I highly doubt that any of the men in Congress or men in the White House are going to be bringing more attention to gender based violence any time soon.

So, as usual, its up to us to do something about it.

We’re Winning This, at Least

BILLVictories should be taken when they come. With the passage of Proposition 8 and all the Drama with Miss California and Perez Hilton, the LGBT Community needed something good, and it came.

We all love the Big Dawg. Regency said it best in what is possibly one of the best posts ever written at the Confluence.

I lived in this country during the 1990s. I knew the Clintons. I grew up worshiping Bill Clinton, that Bubba from a place called Hope with an affinity for Big Macs and a little bit of “soul” in his soul.

[...]

Millions of new jobs created throughout this country. Millions raised from poverty to hallowed middle-class status. Even with the battles he couldn’t win—like the Defense of Marriage Act, which he abhorred but that prevented the passage of a Federal Gay-Marriage Ban; like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell that as best it could prevented an outright ban of gays and lesbians in the military—things were a little better, positive steps in positive directions had been taken. In that decade, it was good to be alive in America. And it was my party that had made it so.

[...]

I remember the man who cried as those around him struggled and deigned to share their struggles with him. I remember the President who apologized for the Tuskegee Experiment and asked that those still standing in its wake found it in their battered hearts to forgive a nation whose morality once stood so terribly bigoted. I remember the man who helped to re-enact the March on Selma because it meant so much to him. I remember a President who walked into Office on day one ready to lead, only to be stabbed in the back by the very people that brought him—but he soldiered on. That was the Way I was a part of, the Way that “embraces ‘tolerant traditionalism,’ honoring traditional moral and family values while resisting attempts to impose them on others.” There was no battle too small to undertake, no cause unworthy of effort or tears, nobody left behind. Anybody who “worked hard and played by the rules” got ahead, because no way was William Jefferson Clinton going to leave them in the dust.

Modo could never say as much. Recently, Bill came out in favor of Single Payer Health Care. In case you’re wondering why he didn’t go for it while he was President, he explained:

Mr. Clinton said that as he looked at the matter in 1993 he believed that he had two options for providing universal coverage: either a tax increase or an employer mandate. Since he had already expended a lot of political capital on a deficit-reduction plan that included tax increases as well as spending cuts, he said he had to rely on the employer mandate.

“If you had an employer mandate, then you could leave the small businesses out or come up with enough revenues to subsidize the smaller employers — and since we couldn’t raise taxes, having an employer mandate guaranteed that the National Federation of Independent Businesses would join with the insurance companies,” he said. “Now they don’t have to have an employer mandate, because they can offer buy-ins. I hope they won’t give up on this public option.”

Oh, Bill! In a similar vein, the Big Dawg has also come out in favor of same sex marriage.

He is now the most high profile politician to do so, beating out even Dick Cheney in his endorsement of gay matrimony. And since Bill and Hillary agree on most things politically, I predict that she will also come out in favor of Same Sex Marriage shortly.

In May of this year, Clinton told a crowd at Toronto’s Convention Centre that his position on same-sex marriage was “evolving.”Apparently, Clinton’s thinking has now further evolved. Asked if he would commit his support for same-sex marriage, Clinton responded, “I’m basically in support.”

This spring, same-sex marriage was legalized in Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire. In his most recent remarks on the subject, Clinton said, “I think all these states that do it should do it.” The former president, however, added that he does not believe that same-sex marriage is “a federal question.”

Asked if he personally supported same-sex marriage, Clinton replied, “Yeah.” “I personally support people doing what they want to do,” Clinton said. “I think it’s wrong for someone to stop someone else from doing that [same-sex marriage].”

We all ready know what the Obots will scream. We have heard the song and dance so many times before we could recite it in our sleep. Bill passed DOMA! Bill passed DADT! The Clintons are Racist and EEEEEEEVVVVVIL!

Crimony. Tell them Bill.

Talking about Melissa Etheridge’s comment about the Clintons “throwing the gay community under a bus” when introducing DOMA, Bill Clinton said:

“I think it’s a slight rewriting of history that, let me just say, let me remind you, one of the raids that the Republican Party used to get its base out, I think it was in 2004, to have all these amendments on the ballot, right, to change the constitution of these states to ban gay marriage.

“There was at the time, a serious effort to argue that the congress ought to present to the states a constitutional amendment, a national constitutional amendment, on gay marriage. So the idea behind the defense of marriage act was not to ban gay marriage but simply to say that just because Massachusetts recognized gay marriage, which Hillary and I at the time defended their right to do, that marriage had always been a matter of state law and religious practice.

“The defense of marriage act did nothing to change that, all it said was that [the state of] Idaho did not have to recognize a marriage sanctified in Massachusetts, and that seemed to be a reasonable compromise in the environment of the time, and its a slight rewriting of history for Melissa, whom I very much respect, to imply that somehow this was anti-gay when I had more openly gay people in my administration and did more for gay rights and tried to provide an opportunity for gays to serve in the military and did provide an opportunity for gays to serve in civilian positions involving national security that they had been previously been denied to serving in. That’s a little bit of rewriting of history there.”

In the Nineties, public support for Gay Marriage, Equality of Benefits, and the right for Gays to serve openly in the Military wasn’t very strong. In fact, Gay rights were still something of a taboo back then. When Bill was President, he dealt with a foaming Republican Congress, Democrats on the Hill who loathed him, an overly hostile Press Corps, and a Right Wing Conspiracy Independent Counsel sniffing for his impeachment every time he or Hillary so much as farted. Because of Ross Perot’s Candidacy, he wasn’t elected with a majority, and he defeated an extremely popular incumbent. He didn’t have much Political Capitol at all, but he still tried to push as much liberal legislation through Congress as he possibly could before the midterm elections, when the party in power almost always loses seats. Even Dubya, when he was first elected President, passed whatever legislation he wanted, despite not being elected by a majority (and in fact, stealing the election) because his party was in power.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, has a fawning Press Corps and solid, filibuster proof majorities in the House and the Senate at his disposal. He is following an extremely unpopular administration into the White House and he was elected with 53% of the vote. At the moment he doesn’t seem to have much opposition for reelection in 2012. He should be the liberal God Obots claim him to be, but sadly, he is wiping his ass with the Constitution, continuing the War in Iraq, passing Stimulus Bills that stimulate nothing, Bailing out Banks with taxpayer money and proposing lousy Healthcare Reform.

On Gay rights and everything else, he has no viable excused. Polls show that a majority of Americans favor Gays serving openly in the Military and Gay Marriage. Similarly, with the roll out of several high Profile endorsements of Same Sex Marriage, it is apparent that Americans have evolved with their favorite President on the issue of Gay Rights. Not only should Obama be stronger for the LGBT Community, he should be shoving Single Payer Healthcare, which a majority of Americans also support, up Congress’s Bum-ol-ey and prosecuting Bush Administration Officials, but he obviously isn’t.

Obama is just a self absorbed, arrogant, immature, narcissistic coward. I hate to call him names, but there it is folks.

But regardless of what TOTUS does, we do have this victory of changing attitudes about LGBT rights in America. Americans clearly favor treating our Gay brothers and sisters with humanity and respect. And that is a victory worth celebrating, because it is a step in the right direction, and it makes equality for Gays, Lesbians, Bis and Trannies that much more attainable.

Cross posted at Age of Aquairius

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White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs: “It’s the President’s Justice Department.”

I’ve been waiting for the W.O.R.M, but so far nothing. In his daily press briefing today, Robert Gibbs responded to a question by Jake Tapper on the Justice Department’s brief supporting the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):

Q Does the President stand by the legal brief that the Justice Department filed last week that argued in favor of the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act?

MR. GIBBS: Well, Jake, as you know, the Justice Department is charged with upholding the law of the land, even though the President believes that that law should be repealed.

Q I understand that. But a lot of legal experts say that the brief didn’t have to be as comprehensive and make all the arguments that it made, such as comparing same-sex unions to incestuous ones in one controversial paragraph that’s upset a lot of the President’s supporters. Does the President stand by the content, the arguments made in that brief?

MR. GIBBS: Well, again, it’s the President’s Justice Department. And again, we have the role of upholding the law of the land while the President has stated and will work with Congress to change that law.

In other words, yes, the President agrees with the argument that essentially draws an analogy between incest and same sex marriage–the same argument used by the Bush Justice Department! Continue reading

Punk’d

2-face-obama

The Two Faces of Obama

This would be funny if it wasn’t tragic.  Obama throws some more of his most loyal supporters under the bus:

This week, the Obama administration is facing the ire of gay rights groups after it filed a brief in California federal court defending the Defense of Marriage Act and calling it a “valid exercise of Congress’ power” that is saving taxpayers money.

This is an occasion where there is no pleasure in saying “We told you so!”  Okay, well maybe a little – Kool-aid blogger John Aravosis:

We just got the brief from reader Lavi Soloway. It’s pretty despicable, and gratuitously homophobic. It reads as if it were written by one of George Bush’s top political appointees. I cannot state strongly enough how damaging this brief is to us. Obama didn’t just argue a technicality about the case, he argued that DOMA is reasonable. That DOMA is constitutional. That DOMA wasn’t motivated by any anti-gay animus. He argued why our Supreme Court victories in Roemer and Lawrence shouldn’t be interpreted to give us rights in any other area (which hurts us in countless other cases and battles). He argued that DOMA doesn’t discriminate against us because it also discriminates about straight unmarried couples (ignoring the fact that they can get married and we can’t).

Andy Sullivan is barely starting to realize he should have spent more time looking at Obama’s homophobic BFF’s and less time rummaging through Sarah Palin’s panty drawer.

Punk'd_logo-715247

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Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, NCLR, GLAD, the ACLU and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force  issued a joint statement:

Continue reading

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