Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland was terrorized by a racist thug with a badge. She ended up dead. All because she was a Black woman. This is wrong. This is offensive. #JusticeforSandraBland!

Posted by Raymond Houston Bridges on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Monday, August 11, 2014

It hurts when a friend dies

Bless his heart. The darkness caught up and overwhelmed him. In my own experience, genius often has a dark shadow. I am saddened, almost beyond words. I seldom grieve for celebrities, but Williams was a regular fixture in my life for the past 30 years. Oh, not as a friend, but as someone I would see when out jogging, dining in a favorite restaurant, or just participating in civic life in San Francisco. I have probably seen everything he's ever done, either intentionally or simply because of his iconic status in television and movie humor. He was a part of my consciousness. I grieve as though I've lost a good friend.  Indeed, I have.

This is my favorite epitaph from the shock waves his death created on Facebook:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dry Drunk

Following a speech in San Francisco, Rick Perry compared being Gay to being an alcoholic.  I do not doubt the sincerity of his beliefs, after all, he did stop drinking.  And he did so without help.  We call that a dry drunk. I wonder if that was his own experience with same-sex attraction rumored some years pas.

Ranting about Stupidity

Someone I like a lot put something on his FB page this morning that I thought was stupid -- a word that has a lot of power in my life experience and is therefore used sparingly.  For the record, I say "Fuck" more often than I say "Stupid."  It was a cartoon that suggested the massacre of about 150 Lakota at Wounded Knee was because the Sioux people were forced to give up their guns.  Yeah, right, that was the reason.  It had nothing to do with racism, revenge, Manifest Destiny, and overFUCKINGwhelming population advantage which gave the Whites the advantage similar to the Germans vs. Jews in the 1930s than any other comparison I can come up with.

But to the issue at hand, I seldom have anything to say about the idea of guns.  Almost everyone to whom I'm related has a personal firearm as well as several rifles used for the several types of hunting they do.  I'm totally cool with that.  I do not feel unsafe when I'm around them.  The guns I feel unsafe around are the millions of easily and cheaply obtained weapons of various power that proliferate our national landscape.

When friends visit me here in Oakland, California, I advise them to consider everyone they encounter eight years or older to be armed.  And anyone carrying a handgun thinks it bestows upon himself a magical cloak of power.  This results in the death of hundreds and thousands of young men and women of color in every city in the United States.  I have yet to hear anyone in the Pro-Life camp express concern for this ongoing tragedy, but I digress.

I am disturbed when I read a news story about a 15-year-old high school student taking an AK-15 (whatever that is, but it sounds bad) into his high school and killing someone and then being killed. Where does a 15-year-old get access to any kind of gun?

I am not a part of any sort of liberal movement to ban guns.  I get it, your guns are more important to you than peace and quiet.  I have no interest in participating in an exercise of frustration.  Keep your fucking guns.  Keep them cheap and plentiful so that they trickle down to eight year olds riding the bus, or killing one of their friends showing it off.  Keep them cheap and easily available so any 15-year-old can get one.

We are who we are and like Pogo said many, many years ago, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Songs Inspired by Tennessee Williams

This was shared by someone on Facebook this morning, and all I wanted to do was to share it with someone who doesn't do Facebook.  Let's see if this works.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Columbus Day Revisited

Tomorrow is a legal holiday for one of history's jokes. Christopher Columbus died disbelieving that he had stumbled upon a gigantic continent unknown to Europeans. Perhaps it is for that reason neither of the new continents is named for him. More likely they aren't named for him because his contemporaries knew him to be the lucky fool that he was. This loser gets a holiday because Franklin Roosevelt was courting the Italian vote in the East.

Indigenous Americans do not have a holiday dedicated to them. There is no national observance for the hundreds of thousands of men, women and children who died from exposure to new diseases. There is no national holiday for the thousands of men, women and children who were seized and sold as slaves. There is no national holiday for any of the several massacres of men, women and children who stood in the way of America's sense of manifest destiny.

Don't get me wrong. I love holidays. Everyone should have one or two. I'm glad the Italians consider this one theirs, it's just not a day of joy for everyone. October 12 is a day with heavy kharmic implications to indigenous peoples of the Americas. On the other hand, October 10, thanks to the American proclivity to celebrate all holidays on the most convenient week-end, is just another day where a lot of folks don't have to work, and I'm all for that.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I'm Back

Have you missed me?  I've missed you.  My fling with Facebook is coming to a end.  I type too fast not to have some way of editing misplaced and/or misspelled words.

Also, I want to rant and rave about politics more.  I have too many family and friends on Facebook to subject them to constant rants about politics. 

There were some advantages to using Facebook, and that's why I'm not quitting it altogether.  Also, when I do have something to say, I can link to it and those who really want to hear my opinion can come over on their own. 

So, let's get this show on the road.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Boycotting Target and Best Buy

I'm not big on boycotts. In my opinion, they seldom work on a national or international level any longer. Because Minnesota has some very strict laws about financial disclosure in political campaigns, we know that the CEO of Target, Gregg Steinhafel, donated $150,000 to a pro-business Minnesota political action committee which in turn has given financial support to GOP candidate for Minnesota governor, Tom Emmer. Pretty tenuous connection so far, eh? Gregg even went so far as to write a letter to the employees of Target Stores stating that Target's support for its employees who are Gay and Lesbian is "unwavering." That's nice to hear. Even better to hear is that Target doesn't just "talk the talk," but also "walks the walk."

"In the context of this contribution, some of you have raised questions regarding our commitment to diversity, and more specifically, the GLBT community. Let me be very clear, Target’s support of the GLBT community is unwavering, and inclusiveness remains a core value of our company. Some current examples of that support include:

• Domestic Partner Benefits

• Sponsorship of Twin Cities Pride

• Sponsorship of Minnesota AIDS Walk

In addition, Target’s rating of 100% on the 2009 and 2010 Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index further demonstrates the reputation our company has earned.

Why then is there so much anger at Target in the Gay and Lesbian community at one of our corporate success stories? A closer examination of Tom Emmer is necessary to understand why Gays and Lesbians might feel betrayed by Gregg's indifference to Gay Rights.  Emmer isn't just against same-sex marriage, he is passionately obsessed by it.   Emmer is a male Minnesota version of Sarah Palin.  There's no subject which he cannot reduce to a simplistic jingo.  Emmer has "positions are jarringly reactionary for a state where even the right prides itself on some degree of progressiveness."  He thinks the U.S.Constitution guarantees you the right to smoke tobacco, but not the right to control your own body, as in abortion.  No surprise there, eh?

So again, why should Gays and Lesbians be bothered by Gregg Steinhafel's contribution to the PAC Minnesota Forward which in turn supports Tom Emmer?  Since this contribution came to light, it's also been disclosed that Gregg and his wife both gave the maximum personal donation to Emmer's campaign, and also maxed out contributions to Michele Bachman, ol' miss crazy eyes.

While I have  no intention of boycotting Target, I don't think I'll go shopping there anytime in the near future.  Same with Best Buy.  Both corporations are exercising their Constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech according to the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution by the Roberts' Court, a concept our founding fathers would probably find ludicrous, and I'm all for free speech.  I am not, however, inclined to give my money to corporations which support nativist Do-Nothings.  It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

As for explaining his donation as being simply "pro-business," I'd like to remind Gregg that "Mussolini may have done many brutal and tyrannical things; he may have destroyed human freedom in Italy; he may have murdered and tortured citizens whose only crime was to oppose Mussolini; but 'one had to admit' one thing about the Dictator: he 'made the trains run on time.'”  (Ashley Montague and Edward Darling writing tongue in cheek in The Ignorance of Certainty, 1970)