The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibt employment discriminaton based on sexual orientation and gender identity, has a good chance of passing in Congress, IF, gender identity is dropped. This is forcing LGBT rights activists and organziations to make a tough choice: Do we work to pass ENDA with gender identity and sexual orientation and it fail or get vetoed, or do we pass ENDA without gender identity have have a better chance of it passing and not getting vetoed? The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and transgendered actitivists say NO WAY to excluding gender identity, while Rep. Barney Frank argues that we should go ahead and pass ENDA without gender identity and work on adding it later. Tough decision.
Did the U.S. Senate Just Authorize Military Action Against Iran? By a vote of 76-22, the Senate passed the Lieberman-Kyl amendment, which threatens to “combat, contain and [stop]” Iran via “military instruments.” Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) called the amendment “Cheney’s fondest pipe dream” and said it could “read as a backdoor method of gaining Congressional validation for military action.” (Hillary Clinton voted for it!)
Republicans have stopped several Democratic bills to bring troops home and end the illegal occupation of Iraq. In fact, MORE Senators, including many Democrats, voted FOR the GOP resolution condemning the Move On ad exposing General Petraeus than voted to support our troops and start bringing them home. Maybe that is why the approval ratings of Congress continue to fall (to 11% according to one poll) below George Bush's 30% approval.
Why do the Democrats continue to allow the Republicans to change the debate from the Iraq War to Moveon.org? Why did the Democratic leaders even allow this stupid resolution to come up for a vote? Why did so many Democrats fall for the bait and vote for this resolution? Are the Democrats in Congress, especailly the Senate really this stupid and incompetent?
It is time Democrats and activists do something to counter the GOP filibusters. Maybe the Democrats should use the "nuclear option" the GOP threatened to use agains the Democrats when they controlled the Senate. There should be a simple majority vote to pass bills in the Senate. Otherwise, if GOP obstructionism continues to thwart the will of the American people, maybe it is time for a REVOLUTION! No I'm not kidding... We need to consider all options to end the illegal occupation of Iraq, bring our troops home, and save this country.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." — The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
According to a recent poll by the First Amendment Center, 65% of Americnas believe the founders of our country intended the U.S. to be a Christian Nation, and a majority (55%) believe that the U.S. Constitution established a "Christian Nation". If they read the U.S. Constitution they would know that it is a secular document that does not even mention God or Christianity! If they read the FIRST AMENDMENT they would know that it prohibits "an establishment of religion."
More disturbing than the mistaken assumption of special status for one religion is a broader pattern evident in this poll, taken by the respected First Amendment Center. The poll shows widespread ignorance of basic freedoms and a belief that many of the Constitution's rights apply only to some Americans, not to all:
* 98% said the right to speak freely about whatever you want is essential or important. But 39% would muzzle public statements that might be offensive to religious groups, 42% would bar musicians from singing songs others might find offensive, 56% would outlaw public statements that might be offensive to racial groups, and 74% would prohibit public school students from wearing a T-shirt that others might find offensive.
* 97% said the right to practice the religion of your choice is essential or important, but only 56% said freedom of religion applies to all religious groups.
* 93% said the right to be informed by a free press is essential or important. But 37% would not allow newspapers to freely criticize U.S. military strategy or performance.
After 9/11, the American people seem to have forgotten what, if anything, they learned in high school civics class, if they still teach such a thing in schools. Over the past six years we have seen more and more government and media censorship, especially of anything that is too critical of the government or the military. The Busheviks do not allow anyone critical of Bush to attend a Bush event, the Republican and Democratic Parties restrict protests at their conventions, the media censors anti-war speech... The right to speak or protest has been sharply curtailed, and if you speak too much you might feel the sting of a taser gun!
In another blow to LGBT civil rights, the Maryland Court of Appels ruled 4-3 today to uphold Maryland's resriction of marriage to heterosexual couples and deny marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. The majority opinion followed a series of similar court opinions in asserting that the denial of marriage rights does not discriminate based on gender, that marriage is not a fundamental right for gay couples, and that sexual orientation is not a "suspect class" requiring the highest level of legal scrutiny. It is unbelievable that U.S. courts continue to support the erroenous claim that states have a legitimate interest in promoting procreation to deny gay and lesbian couples equal rights. Three other states will be taking up the issue in the near future: Conneticut, California and Iowa.
Romney Plays Anti-Gay Marriage Card
Meanwhile, the GOP Presidential candidates are still competing with each other to prove they are the most anti-gay marriage candidate. Multiple-Mitt Romney is airing ads in Iowaclaiming HE is the only "major" GOP candidate to support an ant-gay marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
"Bush Dog Democrat" John Tanner is an embarrassment to the Democratic Party. He and other DINOS (Democrats in Name Only) are the reason this illegal occcupation is not over yet and our troops are stuck in the middle of a civil war. Anti-War activists should target DINOS like Tanner for protests, etc. We need to get him out of office and replace him with a REAL (progressive) Democrat!
Tanner and fellow ">Bush Dog Democrats are working on a "compromise" to help the Republicans get their way on Iraq, and keep our troops in the middle of that country's growing civil war.
The Shelby Co. Committee of the Tennessee Equality Project had a Candidates Meet and Greet tonight at Quetzal's. It was a great to see a large turnout, especially all the candidates in the upcoming Memphis City elections, including Mayoral candidate Herman Morris. Morris also came out to Mid South Pride in June, and he supports equal rights for LGBT people, and for that he has my support. I endorse HERMAN MORRIS for Memphis Mayor! Where was Carol Chumney? She seems to be ignoring the gay community. She hasn't even bothered to respond to the Stonewalll Democrats or TEP questionnaires.
MoveOn.org has been under attack by Republicans AND Democrats for this ad telling the TRUTH about General Petraeus, who testified before Congress today that the "surge" is working and that he would only support bringing back some of the troops who were part of the surge by next March! Democrats, scared of their own shadows, were quick to join in the GOP attacks on Move On.
Media Matters exposes the Myths and Falsehoods about Progress in Iraq.
Why are American politicians and the media afraid to question or stand up to military Generals? Given the record of the military in our history, why don't our political "leaders" stand up to the military? Giving the military (and corporations) total control over a society is called FASCISM! And if the Democratic Party does not stand up to them, and the military-industrial complex has their way, there will be no end to the illegal occupation of Iraq!
It doesn't look like the illegal occupation of Iraq will be ending soon, and the Democrats are afraid to do anything to stop Bush's criminal acts, so we need to take to the streets this Saturday and demand an end to the "war" and the IMPEACHMENT of Bush and Cheney! I'm losing hope! ImpeachBush.org is organizing a March on Washington D.C. this Saturday to end the war and Impeach Bush & Cheney. I can't go, but I'll be at Poplar & Highland 11 am-2 PM if you want to join me! IMPEACH BUSH & CHENEY!
Good article by Gary Greenberg at Mother Jones, Gay By Choice? the Science of Sexual Identity He asks, "If science proves sexual orientation is more fluid than we've been led to believe, can homosexuality still be a protected right?" This question is so obviously silly to me! Why do people believe that we can only have civil rights if we are "born" gay and "cannot change" our sexual orientation? Where did this argument that rights are based on biolovy come from? Our Constitutional rights are not based on biology, they are based on the principle that American citizens have the freedom to CHOOSE their identity, whether religious, political or sexual! It has NOTHING to do with biology! I've been making this argument for years now, and we are still arguing in the dark ages!
Of course people can and should be free to CHOOSE to be gay (or straight)!
What happened to Progressive Talk 680 AM? The Air America affiliate has been on autopilot for a while now, with lots of repetitive filler about "Fun Food Facts" and Memphis history lessons, but no local news, commentaries, etc. except for repetitive and often imbecile "Blue Hotline" comments. Obviously the program director has been unable, for some reason, to get advertisers. Given the fact that Shelby County is a majority Democratic county, and that progressive media like Memphis Flyer don't seem to have a problem getting advertisers, it is hard to see why this station could not get enough advertising. Instead, the station has been airing Cardinal baseball games and other sports programs, and may even become an all sports station.
I have been thinking of many ways to improve the station: have local commentaries from our many local activists and bloggers, have local progressive news, replace the Fun Food Facts fillers with informative short programs like Jim Hightowers Commen Sense Commetaries, better promotion and advertising, and maybe even try another local talk show with a real progressive personality with some connection to the Memphis progressive/liberal communities.
It will be a big loss if we loose Air America and Progressive Talk 680. It's a shame since we will lose the only Air America radio station in the mdsouth and no longer have Thom Hartmann, The Young Turks, Randi Rhodes, Rachel Maddow and other great progressive talk radio shows to share our airwaves with Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly and company.
UPDATE: Progressive Talk 680 is DEAD, it is now Fox Sports Radio! You can stream Air America online or download the PodCasts for some of the shows on iTunes. There is also Democracy Now! and Go Left TV It looks like the progressive/left will have to find ways around the corporate media to make our voices heard, Democracy Now is a good start.
As difficult as it is to have sympathy for a right-wing conservative hypocrite like Larry Craig, I have been doing a little rethinking on this incident. Craig deserves a lot of what he is getting for his hypocrisy, but let's take a closer look at this whole thing. First, why are police departments wasting time and money sending hot good looking cops like Sgt. Dave Karsnia into men's bathrooms to entrap lonely closeted men who don't pose any threat to the public? Take a look at that picture, that was a hot policeman, I would probably be tempted to at least return a wink myself. Imagine if men and women shared public restrooms and the police sent undercover cops that looked like Britney Spears in to tempt straight men? Second, as deplorable as Craig's beahavior, especially in light of his public political carrer bashing gays, there are a lot of sociological forces at work in what happened. The anti-gay homophobia that drives men like Craig to attack gay people and repress their own sexual feelilngs for example. And as far as we know, he didn't actually engage in any sexual behavior, at least not with this hot cop. HE DID NOTHING WRONG! Why all this media and public attention to this restroom stall?? And remember that a human and his family have been destroyed by this incident, even if partly his own fault. What about his wife and family? Third, What about the hypocrisy of the Republicans in Congress who forced Craig to resign, while they continue to embrace the adulterer David Vitter?? Read Glenn Greenwald's excellent analysis of that on Salon.com. And then there is the problem of Why Gay Republicans Feel Forced to Hide in Bathroom Stalls