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    • The End of the Rebels in the Ukraine and the Ukraine’s Future
      We’re down to street fighting in Donetsk.  The Russian leaders resigned in the last two weeks.  The rebels appear to be done, at least in terms of their conventional military phase (of course, I could be wrong depending on how much stomach Ukrainian troops have for house to house fighting).  It seems like that would [...]
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Bullycide at ??? High

My High School alma mater has become famous in recent months. Earlier today, the actor from that new show on NBC I can’t be bothered to watch, The Event, Scott Patterson, posted the address, location and phone number of the guidance office of Mentor High School on his Facebook page. It was wrong of him to do that. Posting addresses online is low, and Scott Patterson knows little about the town he refers to.

I lived in Mentor from the time I was seven to the time I was seventeen. It is typical of suburbia across the country in it’s conformity, simplicity and repression. It is a beach front town, located on the shore of Lake Erie, and sometimes my friends and I would go to the Headlands and climb the rocks near a lighthouse, brushing cottonwood seeds off of our clothes from the trees in the parking lot, hopping over dead fish and cigarette butts.

At times Mentor can be not entirely unpleasant. I still have fond memories of some of my teachers. Mr. Wolski, my history teacher from Sophomore year, was a lefty clown (not unlike myiq) and he and I had a running commentary with each other. When I was a junior and passed him in the halls, I would mutter “Mr. Wolski is a loser,” and pretend not to have noticed him when he turned around. Mr. Raiff,  from AP Government, told me I was an anarchist. The Hopkins Airport once had an air show and a few people were photographed protesting the War in Iraq, and he wrote my name above one of the girls carrying the signs. Because of  my old English teacher, Mrs. Stucky I can write a three page research paper in ten minutes or so in perfect MLA format.  I feel privileged to have been taught by them and others. If it hadn’t been for them I wouldn’t be writing this post right now and I would never know my right to search for my own opinion and stand by my convictions, to always learn and never stop, because you can never really know everything.

But those fond memories, I’m sorry to say, pale in comparison to others. Lately, the media seems particularly interested in Mentor’s secret little world of shit. Out of all the schools we’ve heard about where teens have taken there own lives due to “bullycide,” Mentor has been singled out. In Mentor, four suicides have occurred in the past couple of years, and almost all of them were due to bullying. Here’s an article about it from the AP, it gets most of the facts right, and I recommend reading the whole thing:

Eric Mohat was flamboyant and loud and preferred to wear pink most of the time. When he didn’t get the lead soprano part in the choir his freshman year, he was indignant, his mother says. Continue reading

Yo Barack, how about an EO on this?


From Bilerico via Corrente:

Clay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Clay and Harold made diligent efforts to protect their legal rights, and had their legal paperwork in place–wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77, who was in good health.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. Based on their medical directives alone, Clay should have been consulted in Harold’s care from the first moment. Tragically, county and health care workers instead refused to allow Clay to see Harold in the hospital. The county then ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other, placing the men in separate nursing homes.

Ignoring Clay’s significant role in Harold’s life, the county continued to treat Harold like he had no family and went to court seeking the power to make financial decisions on his behalf. Outrageously, the county represented to the judge that Clay was merely Harold’s “roommate.” The court denied their efforts, but did grant the county limited access to one of Harold’s bank accounts to pay for his care.

What happened next is even more chilling.

The worst parts of this tragedy have nothing to do with any hospital rules:

Without authority, without determining the value of Clay and Harold’s possessions accumulated over the course of their 20 years together or making any effort to determine which items belonged to whom, the county took everything Harold and Clay owned and auctioned off all of their belongings. Adding further insult to grave injury, the county removed Clay from his home and confined him to a nursing home against his will. The county workers then terminated Clay and Harold’s lease and surrendered the home they had shared for many years to the landlord.

Three months after he was hospitalized, Harold died in the nursing home.

The two men were unable to see each other during the final three months of Harold’s life, and almost everything they owned is gone.

Sonoma County is about an hour north of San Francisco, just above Marin County. When I lived up that way in the mid-eighties it was a fairly liberal place with a sizable LGBT community. Not exactly a hot bed of homophobia.

Words fail.


Not to be a wet blanket but . . .

Sadly, when I first read this:

Obama extends hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners of gays

my first reaction was suspicion rather than elation.

President Obama mandated Thursday that nearly all hospitals extend visitation rights to the partners of gay men and lesbians and respect patients’ choices about who may make critical health-care decisions for them, perhaps the most significant step so far in his efforts to expand the rights of gay Americans.

The president directed the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation in a memo that was e-mailed to reporters Thursday night while he was at a fundraiser in Miami.

As with any Obama policy or proposal you have to look for the loopholes. The first one is a biggie: While the proposed rule would apply to any hospital receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding (which is the vast majority of them) it would not apply to military or VA hospitals.

The next loophole is also huge:

Obama’s order will start a rule-making process at HHS that could take several months, officials said.

How long is “several months?” Remember when Obama ordered that Gitmo be closed in a year??

What exactly will these new rules say? How will “same-sex partners” be defined? How will this apply in states that don’t permit gay marriage or domestic partnerships? How will this affect someone who is rendered unconscious or incapacitated from a stroke or accident and didn’t predesignate their LGBT partner as a visitor or give them a medical power of attorney?

Without a properly executed medical power of attorney will state laws on next-of-kin still apply?

What about religious hospitals?

I’m curious to see how the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reacts to this executive order. I don’t know whether Catholic hospitals are more likely to have rules in place preventing visitation by gay or lesbian partners, but I would expect religious conservatives to complain about the government nullifying such rules. I wonder whether there is even grounds to challenge Obama’s order in court, if hospitals could demonstrate that their visitation bans are grounded in religious principles.

I’m also suspicious of how the story about these proposed new rules was publicized. No speech, no formal announcement, just an emailed memo while Obama jets off to another fundraiser. Not exactly bold leadership by a “fierce advocate” of LGBT rights.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe strongly in equal rights for lesbians and gays and the end of discrimination against them. But I’m not ready to celebrate this announcement just yet.

Cindy McCain Supports Gay Marriage


From The Guardian:

John McCain’s staunch opposition to gay marriage was one of the key parts of his presidential campaign. But it has become clear this was not supported in his own household. His daughter, Meghan, is a vocal advocate of gay rights. Now his wife, Cindy, has appeared in a poster campaign against California’s proposition 8 – a law banning same-sex marriage.

[...]

Cindy McCain appears in the poster with silver duct tape across her mouth and the campaign slogan, “NOH8″, marked on her cheek.

[...]

“Aligning yourself with the platform of gay marriage as a Republican still tends to be very stigmatic, but Cindy McCain wanted to participate in the campaign to show people that party doesn’t matter.”

John McCain’s office said in a statement that he respected the views of his family but remained opposed to gay marriage. “Senator McCain believes the sanctity of marriage is only defined as between one man and one woman,” it said. In 2008 McCain backed a measure in his home state of Arizona to ban same-sex marriage.

Meghan McCain also appears in the poster campaign. “I couldn’t be more proud of my mother for posing for the NOH8 campaign,” she wrote on Twitter. “I think more Republicans need to start taking a stand for equality.

“I was there when she did it and I almost started crying during the photo shoot.”

Totally uncalled for cheap shot:

Pam Spaulding, who blogs on gay issues, was reminded of an infamous and foul-mouthed bust up between John and Cindy during a campaign in 1992. “Given the Senator’s hot temper, and the fact that he called his wife a trollop and ‘you c*nt’ … this was a nice ‘screw you’ for picking that dimwit Palin and derailing the campaign,” Spaulding wrote.

Kudos, props and thumbs up for Cindy and Meghan McCain. Shame on John McCain and Pam Spaulding.


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We Told You So!

straitjacket_new1

Another day, another broken promise:

The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a challenge to the Pentagon policy forbidding gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, granting a request by the Obama administration.

[...]

In court papers, the administration said the appeals court ruled correctly in this case when it found that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is “rationally related to the government’s legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion.”

During last year’s campaign, President Barack Obama indicated he supported the eventual repeal of the policy, but he has made no specific move to do so since taking office in January. Meanwhile, the White House has said it won’t stop gays and lesbians from being dismissed from the military.

(emphasis added)

Well it’s good to know our red-blooded warriors won’t have to worry about catching teh gay from a toilet seat while they are keeping the world safe for democracy.

(Cue the Obots Failbots explaining that this is more “11-dimensional chess”)

Here’s a tip from Arthur Silber:

Don’t try to keep a list of all of Obama’s broken “promises.” Instead, keep a list of the promises you think he made that he’s kept. In this manner, your work will be brief and undemanding.

At the moment, I can’t think of a single issue of importance that would appear on a list of promises Obama wanted us to believe he was making, and that he has kept. Not even one.

Nonetheless, he has kept one commitment, the overriding one that was obvious from the beginning but that he notably restrained himself from offering explicitly: that he would faithfully serve the interests of the ruling class, that he would increase their already massive power and wealth still more, and that he would entrench them and their particular interests so that they would become impervious to all serious challenge.

It’s gonna be a long four years.

We told you so

Please DIGG!!! and SHARE!!!

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Is it Just Me?

Doesn’t it seem like the lefty blogosphere is way more upset about this friend of Obama:

rickroll2

than they were about this one?:

drunk-and-stupid2

Is misogyny more acceptable than homophobia?

LGBT Community Gets Rick-Rolled by Obama

rickroll

We tried to tell them, but they wouldn’t listen.  “Obama is not your friend” we said.  “He said he opposes gay marriage.”  

“He has to say that for the campaign” they said.  “Wait until he’s elected.”

Well, the campaign is over, he was elected, and guess what?

From Politico:

Barack Obama’s choice of a prominent evangelical minister to deliver the invocation at his inauguration is a conciliatory gesture toward social conservatives who opposed him in November, but it is drawing fierce challenges from a gay rights movement that — in the wake of a gay marriage ban in California — is looking for a fight.

Rick Warren, the senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California, opposes abortion rights but has taken more liberal stances on the government’s role in fighting poverty, and backed away from other evangelicals’ staunch support for economic conservatism. But it’s his support for the California constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage that drew the most heated criticism from Democrats Wednesday.

“Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans,” the president of Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solomonese, wrote to Obama Wednesday. “[W]e feel a deep level of disrespect when one of architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination.

In a response, Obama calls himself “a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans.”

Yeah.  So fierce that he ran around with Donnie McClurkin and skipped this year’s Gay Pride Parade in Chicago so he could get a haircut and go to the gym.  So fierce he has postponed dealing with DADT until the 12th of Never.

we-told-you-so5

———————————————————————————

UPDATE:

Sam Stein published a copy of the Obama team’s talking points on this controversy:

• This will be the most open, accessible, and inclusive Inauguration in American history.

• In keeping with the spirit of unity and common purpose this Inauguration will reflect, the President-elect and Vice President-elect have chosen some of the world’s most gifted artists and people with broad appeal to participate in the inaugural ceremonies.

• Pastor Rick Warren has a long history of activism on behalf of the disadvantaged and the downtrodden. He’s devoted his life to performing good works for the poor and leads the evangelical movement in addressing the global HIV/AIDS crisis. In fact, the President-elect recently addressed Rick Warren’s Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health to salute Warren’s leadership in the struggle against HIV/AIDS and pledge his support to the effort in the years ahead.

• The President-elect disagrees with Pastor Warren on issues that affect the LGBT community. They disagree on other issues as well. But what’s important is that they agree on many issues vital to the pursuit of social justice, including poverty relief and moving toward a sustainable planet; and they share a commitment to renewing America’s promise by expanding opportunity at home and restoring our moral leadership abroad.

• As he’s said again and again, the President-elect is committed to bringing together all sides of the faith discussion in search of common ground. That’s the only way we’ll be able to unite this country with the resolve and common purpose necessary to solve the challenges we face.

• The Inauguration will also involve Reverend Joseph Lowery, who will be delivering the official benediction at the Inauguration. Reverend Lowery is a giant of the civil rights movement who boasts a proudly progressive record on LGBT issues. He has been a leader in the struggle for civil rights for all Americans, gay or straight.

• And for the very first time, there will be a group representing the interests of LGBT Americans participating in the Inaugural Parade.

Just out of curiousity, is anyone parroting these words without attribution?  Because that would tend to identify them as members of the “team.”

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