Oct 282014
 

It is incredible that even the folks in Texas keep electing Louie to the U.S. House. The guy is truly beyond absurd nearly every time he opens his mouth, and he’s been opening his mouth again with some strange word salad about gays in the military, the Greeks, and massages. As usual, Stephen Colbert sends up the crazy as only he can.

 

Back with My Thoughts on the Aurora Shooting

 Crime, Featured, Gay Issues, Religion, Society  Comments Off on Back with My Thoughts on the Aurora Shooting
Jul 232012
 

I haven’t been posting anything really in a long time. I’ve been writing so much for work, that even though there are lots of things I want to write about, I just haven’t been able to find the motivation. However, there are a couple of stories lately I would like to share some thoughts about, and one is the horrible event at the movie theater in Aurora, CO this past weekend.

Here is my primary thought. To everyone who was actually touched by this calamity, my prayers are with you and your families.

My second thought is, everyone else needs to just take a breath, and let’s bring some sanity to the discussion. We all want to know why. We want to understand how this person came to this place. We want to assign some motivation, some identifiable cause. We want to blame someone or something so it will look like we can control these situations. We want these answers because we want to be safe. We want to know how to identify this person in the future, or how to create circumstances where this can never happen again.

There are already those taking to the airwaves and the internets to blame Hollywood’s violent movies, gaming violence, guns — both the lack of regulations and the lack of a gun-toting savior, our mental health system, troubled youth, social media, normalization of gun violence, lack of prayer in schools, gays, abortions. I’ve heard criticism of parents who brought children to the movie premier, midnight openings, and once in a while, even some mention of the alleged shooter.

We search for meaning in madness, and don’t take the time to simply grieve. I understand that very basic human compulsion. But “why” will drive you crazy. Has everyone in the entire country forgotten what it’s like to be around a two-year-old, … Why? Because I said so. Why? Because I’m in charge. Why?….” Sometimes there’s just no good reason anyone can articulate for some of the things that happen in this world.

In my Sunday School class were doing a study from a book called The Psalms for Today by Beth LaNeel Tanner. Coincidentally, This past Sunday’s lesson was “Learning to Live Without Fear.” Appropriate for the time, no? This coming Sunday’s lesson is on Psalm 13, and the Chapter is titled, “Living In A Broken World.” The first five verses of the Psalm are, in the American Standard Version:

How long, O Jehovah? wilt thou forget me forever? How long wilt thou hide they face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Jehovah my God; Lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; Let mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; Lest mine adversaries rejoice when I am moved.

You see, even David didn’t have all the answers. Sometimes he cries out to God for some sign, for some deeper understanding. The Rabbi in Ecclesiastes often has the same response. They don’t understand why some things happen in this world, yet we desperately want those answers. However, the rhetoric we’re getting so far is not going to do anything to heal anyone, nor the nation, nor the world.

In her book, Dr. Tanner talks about how the Israelites often, for protection, carried a Psalm rolled into an  amulets. We Christians wear crosses and many wear St. Christopher necklaces. Dr. Tanner writes, “We have become a society where fear sells everything from the latest weather forecast to new cars. Much of our economy is fueled by tapping into our fears. If we own the right things, we can protect ourselves and our family from harm, and that will make us happy. We have replaced amulets with things that supposedly will keep us from harm and offer that ever elusive contentment.”

We have this overblown fear when things like this happen that is out of proportion to the real danger. It’s been noted that, while nothing takes anything away from terror and pure evil of this event, the 12 people killed here represent merely one-half of the total number of people killed by guns on an average day in the United States. John Mueller writes: “International terrorism generally kills a few hundred people a year worldwide—not much more, usually, than the number who drown yearly in bathtubs in the United States. Americans worry intensely about “another 9/11,” but if one of these were to occur every three months for the next five years, the chance of being killed in one of them is 0.02 percent. Astronomer Alan Harris has calculated that at present rates, the lifetime probability that a resident of the globe will die at the hands of international terrorists is 1 in 80,000, about the same likelihood that one would die over the same interval from the impact on the earth of an especially ill-directed asteroid or comet.”1

Let’s take a look at some of the rhetoric up to now. Not surprisingly, the krazy kristian kooks have taken to the internets will all sorts of bullshit. Continue reading »


  1. As quoted on American Broadcast Network’s 20/20, Feb. 23, 2007. John Mueller was commenting about his book Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them (New York: Free Press, 2006). These statistics apply to the world in general and not war zones such as Iraq. 

What Would You Do

 Gay Issues, Society  Comments Off on What Would You Do
May 252011
 
This entry is part 28 of 35 in the series Gay Marriage

ABC News did one of their “What Would You Do” segments in a Texas diner. They had a lesbian couple with children (actors), and a gay couple with children go in, and a person playing a waitress who began to criticize the couples openly. I must admit, I was heartened by what transpired, and reminded of how important it is to speak out in face of bigotry and inequality. The Texan’s fared better than New Yorker’s.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Of course, when the good kristians at the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) saw it, they just couldn’t tolerate the fact that some people are actually opposed to discriminating against gay folks, so they had the following response:

Let’s note first of all that the behavior of the “waitress” in this setup up is outrageous.

The insidious propaganda point from ABC News is the suggestion that millions of good Americans who believe marriage means a man and a woman because children ought to have moms and dads, would or are behaving like this. Shame on ABC.

Be prepared for lot more prejudiced stereotyping of decent and honorable Americans down the road by powerful elites.

Maggie forgets that there is often a grain of truth in stereotypes.

Crazies out in Force Friday

 Congress, Politics  Comments Off on Crazies out in Force Friday
Jun 262010
 

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-1st TX) speaking on the floor about the terrorists babies coming to destroy our way of life. He reports a conversation with an un-named “retired” FBI agent who claimed terrorists were gaming our system by sneaking in pregnant women to have their babies here, then taking them back (and they don’t even have to pay anything for the babies) and raising them in the “terrorist way of life,” so they can send them back in 20-30 years to destroy our way of life.

I can only hope (but I doubt) that other Republicans think to themselves, “Oh shit Gohmert is speaking again.”

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Louie, the only thing stupid we are doing is continuing to elect people like you to public office.

Apr 262009
 

I had some business travel last week to Austin, Texas. I got a little scared, as I had not taken my Passport, so I was concerned about getting back into the United States. I did make it back OK though.

According to a Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll of Texans, Republicans there are equally split when asked if Texas would be better off as an independant nation. I thought Austin was a great city with very friendly people, but if that’s how people down there feel, let ’em go. They can worry about the border, and figure out how to solve their many social problems. As Gny. Sgt. Hartman says to Private Cowboy in Full Metal Jacket, “only steers and queers come from Texas.”

I mean, really, you know you’re in Texas, when half of the front page of Friday’s Austin American-Statesman newspaper was a story about the shortage of ammunition since Obama’s election as President.

A nationwide bullet drought has hit Central Texas with a vengeance. Beginning around the time President Barack Obama was elected, the shortage has made some .380-, .45-, .357- and .38-caliber ammunition as rare as an Austin snowstorm.

Longtime gun dealers say the current ammunition shortage is historic. “We’ve seen runs on various things before, but never this sustained or this lengthy,” said Chuck Wagnon, whose family owns Tex-Guns in South Austin. “It’s been a buying frenzy.”

At a time when American’s need, more than ever, to be trying to work together, you have this idiot Governor (something Texas seems to have no shortage of) stirring up rhetoric like this. It discourages me greatly, that no matter what happens, Republicans are going to just cry, take their ball and go home, when they don’t get their way.

Guys, you lost the election. Obama’s giving tax cuts to the middle class and raising taxes on the rich. That’s what Democrats do, and it’s going to happen. Work with us, or seriously, so ahead and secede. We’ll give statehood to Puerto Rico and not even have to change the flag.

And Another Republican Sex Scandal

 Crime, Gay Issues, Politics, Society  Comments Off on And Another Republican Sex Scandal
Jan 182008
 

Boy, Republican hypocracy is the gift that just keeps going and going and going….

As Michael at Bloggernista says, it’s been like 20 minutes since the last Repug scandal, so time for a new one. This one is especially delicious since it involves the Texas District Attorney who argued before the U.S. Supreme Court to allow Texass to keep their sodomy law which criminalized homosexuality.

Harris County DA, Chuck Rosenthal argued before the Supreme Court:

“Even if you infer that various States acting through their legislative process have repealed sodomy laws, there is no protected right to engage in extrasexual – extramarital sexual relations, again, that can trace their roots to history or the traditions of this nation.”

So what makes this one so great. Rosenthal is married and has portrayed himself as a strong defender of family values and the sanctity of marriage, but now Chuck has a little problem. It seems he’s under investigation following the discovery of e-mails containing sexually explicit videos, racist jokes and what is described as torrid love notes to his executive secretary.

I’m beginning think these guys are so interested in controlling everyone else’s sex life, so they can clear the field for themselves.

Hunting Always a Fun Time In Texas

 Fun Stuff, Legislature, Places, Politics  Comments Off on Hunting Always a Fun Time In Texas
Dec 122006
 

Well, we can always count on Texas for fodder for the blog. A Texas State Legislator has introduced House Bill 308 which will allow for blind hunting in Texas.

We don’t mean blinds as in camouflaged places to hide (as in duck blind) waiting on your prey to wander by. We’re talking here about allowing blind people to hunt with loaded guns. Not only that, but just to level up the playing field with the game, they get to use special lasers that cause the prey to freeze.

Now how would you think someone would justify a bill like this? Well, he’s just ending the discrimination against blind people. “This opens up the fun of hunting to additional people, and I think that’s great,” said Republican Rep. Edmund Kuempel, the bill’s sponsor.

Well, maybe Dick Cheney can get a job as a gun safety instructor in Texas after 2008.

Anti-Gay Email Sparks Furor with Houston Landscaper

 Gay Issues, Society  Comments Off on Anti-Gay Email Sparks Furor with Houston Landscaper
Nov 092006
 

According to a Reuters report, Houston-based firm Garden Guy sent an e-mail on October 18 turning down a prospective customer by saying: “I need to tell you that we cannot meet with you because we choose not to work for homosexuals.”

The recipient, Michael Lord, forwarded the e-mail to dozens of friends and it spread across the Internet.

Garden Guy co-owner Sabrina Farber seems to be offended that Mr. Lord didn’t feel compelled to keep her behavior secret. “When we sent (the e-mail) we intended it for the client. We did not intend it to be some sweeping political statement for the world. That’s it,” she said.

She goes on to say, “We felt that it was our right as an American small business to choose who we do business with.” Guess what, I completely agree with her, but she has to, in turn, respect Mr. Lord’s right to let anyone he wants know of how he was treated by this business. It happens to cut both ways, and it seems it’s always the Am-Taliban that thinks they have a long laundry list of rights that don’t extend to everyone else.

This should come as no surprise, their website says they also do work in Sugar Land…home to disgraced House leader Tom Delay.

Go on Sabrina, please, by all means, here in America pick and choose your clients. I’ll defend your right to do so as a matter of free speech. Just remember, the rest of us get the same right to free speech. We get to let the world know what we think of you too. Grow up.

Evening With an Old Friend in Dallas

 Friends, General, Places, Weather  Comments Off on Evening With an Old Friend in Dallas
Nov 052006
 

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m in Dallas this weekend and most of the coming week. The only good thing was I got to see an old friend.

Robert and his lover had been previously invited to dinner at the home of some friends. I went along, and it was a very nice evening. They were a very nice couple, and one was an excellent cook. It was a much more relaxed and comfortable way to spend an evening than sitting in a restaurant.

We had a few glasses of wine, so although I was back at the hotel around 10:30, I crashed when I got in the room. Of course that was 11:30 my time.

The weather is a bit cool here in Dallas, and it is overcast today. Of course, we’ve been stuck inside in training sessions all day. There is a welcome reception tonight. I’m sure a few of our folks will want to go out tonight for dinner. I think I’ll stay in and do some reading tonight.

Wrap Up from San Antonio

 Fun Stuff, Places  Comments Off on Wrap Up from San Antonio
Oct 252006
 

Monday, about the third person I ran into at the records management conference (ARMA) I was attending in San Antonio was Carol Keuch. Carol was my first boss at my current job. She’s gone on to work with Lockheed-Martin. As Monday and Tuesday wore on, I ran into a lot of the usual suspects, but certainly many fewer than in past years.

Monday night I took Bob Williams from Connecticut to dinner. We ate at a place called something like Pae Sannos on the Riverwalk. It was Italian cuisine, and I’d rate it as OK, but not great. However, the prices reflected “great.”

The weather got rather cool on Sunday, and it was sweater weather in the evenings.

I got home a little ahead of schedule last night, but there’s not a lot of difference between 11:45 and the scheduled midnight. I think American has the worst seats in the airline industry, and certainly have them the closest together…and I was in the back of the plane on both flights.

I took some pictures which you can see by clicking here.

Texas Rep. Joe Barton Finds Silver Lining of Katrina Disaster

 Congress, Corruption, Politics  Comments Off on Texas Rep. Joe Barton Finds Silver Lining of Katrina Disaster
Sep 212005
 

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, lawmakers of all political stripes have used the "political climate suddenly altered by the hurricane to try to advance long-stalled, sometimes controversial initiatives." For example, Texas conservative Rep. Joe L. Barton is once again fighting to open up fragile coastal regions to offshore oil drilling, an idea that languished in Congress earlier this year. "If there is a silver lining [to the disaster], and I’m not saying that there is, but if there is, it may be that our country is beginning to realize how fragile our energy sector is," Barton said. Meanwhile, bills that could improve future disaster relief efforts have died. The Senate rejected a bill authorizing $1.5 billion to improve communications equipment, even though Sen. Bill Frist had said that while in New Orleans, "people could not communicate from one side of that room to the other."

What makes this really a sad story is that it comes as no surprise.

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