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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Bachmann Diaries: It's not QUITTING

Image from Democratic Underground

Dear Diary,

Early this morning, after much screaming and about 15 vitamin drinks, I made a video announcing I would not seek reelection in 2014. I think I looked amazing, considering I haven't slept in 5 days. Marcus let me use his sheep placenta eye cream and kept slapping me because all the color drained out of my face.

There are a lot of reasons I made this decision. Jim Graves will probably win because Obummer has released mind-control drugs into the 6th district's water supply, the FBI is going to put me in prison, and Peter Waldron is scary. Why did we EVER put him on the campaign? I mean, he killed people or something in Uganda, or helped people kill people or whatever.

When Minnesota legalized gay marriage, I knew. I knew this was a message from Jesus that my time would be better served ridding the world of evil HOMOS. Obviously Minnesotans think nothing of God abandoning them, and they don't care at all that by allowing HOMOS to get married, their entire state will be turned into a pillar of salt. I can't live in salt-it would ruin my hair.

I have a plan to keep the 6th district out of the hands of Muslims liberals. We're going to relocate Allen Quist. Allen is my mentor, he believes abortion is first degree murder, understands we must teach creationism in all schools because evolution is just a "theory" while the Bible is 100% true and he hates gay marriage as much, maybe even more, than I do. He went undercover at a gay bookstore and saw the most disgusting things imaginable and when he tried to talk about it for 30 hours on the House floor, people made fun of him. NO. This stupid country has got to understand that when a man is brave enough to put himself in danger of being gay married, that man should be their representative.

We're I'm very proud of all I've accomplished in my many years in Congress. I reopened the airport, I got that bridge built, I joined Margaret Thatcher and President Reagan in overthrowing Russia, I drew attention to the horrors of Obamacare and the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrating our government. And if one more person asks me how I could be against the bailouts but take bailout money to reopen the airport, they'll be buried next to that damn poodle.

Marcus and I have been married for 35 years, and during that time we managed somehow to have 5 wonderful children. We raised 468 320 23 foster girls and continue to have a loving and honest friendship marriage. He is by my side always, unless he's in Miami saving gay male models.

The liberal media is already calling me a quitter. Oh hell no. You know who quit? That woman with the hooker hair, Sarah Palin. SHE left her job as governor of Arkansas Alaska because she was being investigated for improper behavior and abusing her office. Also, something about her husband wanting to secede and some preacher from Africa who believes in witches. I believe in witches-Nancy Pelosi is one, I saw her pouring blood into a cauldron once in a dream-but I would never want any state to secede. Except any blue state. They can all go to Hell. 

I guess this will give me more time to focus on my campaign for Queen of Godlandia. Although, I don't see Godlandia in our future. More like Sodomlandia. What IS IT WITH HOMOS? Why can't they just marry a straight person like Marcus did?

18 months. Marcus says that's plenty of time to do what needs to be done, but I don't know. How do you overturn all the horrible laws and fight back against the fascism growing in this wonderful country? Obamacare is the worst-healthcare for everyone? That's just what Hitler did after he took all the guns.

I need to sleep. I'll figure it out, Diary, I always do. With the help of Marcus's special drinks, Xanax and a hammer.




Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It's time for Michele Bachmann to go

Image from Google


Over the past two years or so, I've written many Bachmann Diaries. Some of them are funnier than others and most of them are satire based on truth. Except for Geronimo. 

Lest anyone think I do not take Rep. Bachmann seriously, I'd like to share the reasons I believe her time in the Minnesota House should end next year in what I hope to be a scathing loss to Jim Graves. He came close last year, closer than anyone else, and I really believe he can beat her in 2014. There's no snark here, just facts, statements from Rep. Bachmann and the ramifications of her McCarthy-like actions and words.

For someone who despised the stimulus package as much as Bachmann claimed, she sure wanted a lot of it. Rep. Bachmann practically begged for $300 million for her pet Stillwater bridge project and she used quite a bit of stimulus money to reopen the St. Cloud airport-$1.5 million total. I guess it's only bad stimulus money if it's used for something a Democrat wants?

Then of course, there is the game of Six Degrees of Muslim Brotherhood Rep. Bachmann played in 2012. Bachmann joined with four other members of Congress to attack and malign Huma Abedin, then an aide to Hillary Clinton, by claiming Abedin was linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Members of the GOP including John McCain and John Boehner, denounced Bachmann's statements, McCain going so far as to address them in the Senate Chamber. Rep. Bachmann's former campaign manager, Ed Rollins, appeared on numerous cable news programs, condemning the attempt to link Huma Abedin to the Muslim Brotherhood.

As you may know, Michele Bachmann's hate does not limit itself to Muslims. She and her husband, Marcus are vehemently against marriage equality and frequently make incredibly ignorant and bigoted statements about the LGBT community. Two of Bachmann's most dedicated donors, The Minnesota Family Council and the Parents Action League are "pro-life", anti-gay groups who in the past have pushed for reparative therapy literature to be placed in public schools.
Between 2009 and 2011, nine teenagers committed suicide in Michele Bachmann's district. Four of these kids were bullied for either being gay or "seeming" gay. Samantha Johnson shot herself in the head with a hunting rifle, Justin Aaberg hanged himself in his room. Rep. Bachmann said nothing. She said nothing so loudly that during the presidential election last year, Nancy Pelosi made a public statement, saying if Bachmann "wanted to be the president of the United States, she would understand that this is a larger issue than whether someone is gay or not, but as to whether someone is harassed and bullied to the point of seeing no way out."

In 2006, Michele Bachmann gave a speech in response to anti-bullying legislation, and during that speech, she again showed her incredible intolerance and ignorance:

“I just don't know how we're ever going to get to point of zero tolerance, and what does it mean? What will be our definition of bullying? Will it get to the point where we are completely stifling free speech and expression? Will it mean that what form of behavior will there be — will we be expecting boys to be girls?”

And most recently, in response to the historic vote to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota, Michele Bachmann released the following statement:

“I am disappointed at the passage of the gay marriage bill in the Minnesota State Senate today, which redefines marriage and denies religious liberty to people who believe in traditional marriage and who do not want to be forced to violate their conscience and sincerely held religious beliefs. I appreciate Sen. Warren Limmer’s leadership and support for the definition of marriage as one man and one woman, and I thank the legislators who voted to uphold traditional marriage in the face of pressure. I’m proud to have introduced the original marriage amendment, and I thank all the Minnesotans who have worked so hard on this issue.”

Finally, we have the little problem of ethics violations. Michele Bachmann is facing an ethics probe regarding misuse of campaign contributions. She has also been accused of not paying her staff. In 2011, Bachmann came under fire for for sending two e-mails to a Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators (NICHE) list, in violation of the group’s non-profit status.

And yet, in spite of her bigotry, her hypocrisy, her callous disregard for victims of bullying and her questionable ethics, she gets reelected time and time again. Well, not next year. I understand the 6th District is the most conservative in Minnesota, but even they have to be tired of Bachmann's delusions and paranoia. 

I implore the voters in Michele Bachmann's district to please consider what it is she brings to the political table. Are you truly happy having a representative who plays fast and loose with people's safety (Huma Abedin received death threats after Bachmann's letter), their lives (nine teenagers) and the truth (ethics violations and the stimulus package)? Or are you finally ready to tell Michele Bachmann to pack her bags and go back to Iowa?

Thanks to Mediaite, Mother Jones, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post and The Advocate.




Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pardon me while I scream

Image from Google

Hello there! Today is Tuesday, May 14th, 2013. I would like to take a moment and just share a few thoughts with everyone (46 of you, on average) who are reading this.

1) It is still possible to support President Obama and be rather twitchy about the DOJ wiretapping.

2) I am not a firebagger.

3) Dan Brown has a new book out, Inferno, and I am debating whether to buy it or not. Would it make good summer reading, or can I just reread The DaVinci Code?

4) It's flipping hot here.

5) What is it with Democrats? My people? Why are we the party of self-destruction? Give us enough rope...hell, we don't even need a lot of rope. We could hang ourselves with a few inches of dental floss.

6) Leave Hillary Clinton alone. Both sides, just leave that poor woman alone. She's been in politics forEVER, and frankly, if she wants a decade or two off, that's peachy with me. Let her relax, take a few vacations, yell at Bill, garden, eat pizza, yell at Bill. If she runs in 2016, okie dokie. If she doesn't, that's fine.

7) Did I mention the heat?

8) Here's a link to what I think might be one of the problems with America.

9) I think it would be a good idea to keep guns out of the hands of children, felons and sociopaths. So, someone go get Darrell Issa's firearms.

10) Science needs to figure out a non-surgical method for removing cellulite from the human body. Also, why don't men have cellulite? That's not fair at all. Oh, they have back hair and ear hair and other weird hair, but just once, I'd like to see a guy standing in front of a mirror, twisting around to see his own ass and quietly crying.

11) Rumor has it, super rich people are hiring handicapped folks to help them get through the long lines at Disney parks. Somebody doesn't know about the Fast Pass!

I end on eleven because I can.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Equality Experiment

Image from believeoutloud.com

It takes brass balls to just walk up to complete strangers and ask their opinion of same sex marriage. I am not usually the wearer of brass balls, but Saturday I decided to do exactly that: walk up to total strangers and find out what they thought of Minnesota being poised to legalize marriage equality.

Our son informed us he was in need of the annual summer wardrobe, which meant traveling an hour to the closest shopping mall. Before we left, I informed my husband of my plan and asked if he could stick close. As we left the house and the automatic locks on the car kicked in, I told our son what I was going to do. His advice was "Don't argue."

First stop-Target. We headed back towards the men's department in search of board shorts, cool tee shirts and Minnesotans willing to go on the record about marriage equality. We struck out completely in finding clothing for the teenager that didn't make him look like a professional golfer, but I found 3 people who spoke to me about the vote in the House on Thursday.

Kristie is from Mountain Lake, and was shopping with her husband. I approached her, introduced myself and asked what her feelings were about the vote Thursday. She told me she was "sad." Kristie had voted in favor of an amendment to the state constitution in November that would have legally defined marriage as only between a man and a woman. Kristie seemed like a very nice woman and I wondered why Kristie was "sad," but I didn't really want to press it.

Thanking Kristie, I turned to see a very tall man headed down the aisle. I pounced. Matt, a local guy from Mankato, was proud to support marriage equality and had voted against the amendment on the ballot last year. He was friendly, excited to answer my questions and really enthusiastic. Matt was searching for Twins sweatshirts and after we both realized we had no idea where they were, I pointed at a Target employee. Matt grinned and shot towards the young woman in a red tee shirt.

My last subject in Target was Bonnie. Bonnie did not want to tell me where she lived, but did admit she had "no opinion." Out of all the people I approached, Bonnie seemed the least comfortable. There was no eye contact, she shifted her weight from foot to foot and she couldn't wait to get away.

I was determined not to shop at Abercrombie and Fitch, and thank goodness, we didn't have to. Wandering into a chain that sells awesome teenager clothing, I procured the assistance of Tyler, personal shopper to the stars (not really, but he could be), and as he and the child went hunting for "coolness," I glanced around.

A few feet away, a man stood staring off into the distance as his wife looked for belts. She was blonde, pretty and petite while he was balding and wearing a camouflage fleece jacket. Bingo. Jamie and Jeremy are from Springfield, and Jamie was chosen to speak on her husband's behalf. They are in agreement: this is wrong. Marriage is between a man and a woman, period. Man + man and woman + woman cannot produce children, so it's even wrong in nature. This was the one and only moment my son's advice about not arguing came in handy. I complimented her choice of belt and moved on.

As Tyler and our son made headway, I noticed a woman shopping with her sons. I waited until she was by a clothing rack alone, and approached her. When I told her what I was doing, she smiled and tilted her expertly coiffed head to the side. Teri from Windom simply stated she was "against the vote" on Thursday, unwilling to give me any more detail than that. Again, I thanked her, and walked back to my husband.

Tyler and the teenager appeared, happy. Tee shirts had been found, shorts fit, life was good. Poor Tyler-he was my final victim. Young guy, cute, hip-what could go wrong? He wanted to be "eloquent," but was having trouble expressing his thoughts. What we wound up with is "It's okay with me" because Tyler doesn't think it's his place to "tell people what to do" when it comes to marriage. We love Tyler.

The results of my Equality Experiment are impossible to tally because I only got to speak with 6 people. I was hoping for 20, but we got hungry. What I learned is that it seems the younger you are, the more on board you will be with equality. The stereotypes are wrong: Matt looked like a former football player, hunter and all around outdoorsy dude while Teri looked every bit the upper middle class, well cared for wife and mother. Yes, the camouflage jacket couple played out exactly as I thought it would, but still, that could have gone either way.

Here's the important part. The only way to change the nays to yays is education. Teach people that America is not a theocracy and we do not make policy decisions based on religion. Marriage is not only for procreation and numerous animal species exhibit homosexuality. Allowing same sex couples the rights that come with legal marriage means nothing to the millions of straight married people in this country, but it means everything to the men and women who are told every day their love isn't "good enough."

Minnesota has a long way to go before every citizen supports equality, but at least I got 2 firm supports out of 6. I'll take it.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Where are the rivers of blood and why am I still married?

Image from Sodahead.com

Thursday, the Minnesota House of Representatives voted yes on marriage equality. According to many on the far right (or the Republican party as they're now called), nanoseconds after this historic vote, my husband and I should have either turned gay or been instantly divorced. Well, I'm here to say that neither of us are gay and we're still married.

Nor did my husband come home from work Thursday afternoon and proclaim his undying love for the weed whacker. I am not engaged to a chipmunk. Neither of us want to have sex with the neighbor's Labrador retriever.

The Minnesota river is not running with blood. As far as I know, frogs did not rain down from the sky, no one turned into a pillar of salt and my state has not been swallowed by a cataclysmic earthquake. In other words, the right wing dog whistles were wrong. You're shocked, I can tell from here.

I think this all goes back to the pretend "gay agenda." You know, the thing right wing "Christians" claim is the reason they are the victims and the LGBT community is trying to turn all our kids gay. Which reminds me-our son is still straight. Booyah. Back to the "gay agenda." There's no such THING. You know what my gay friends do every day? Work, shop, sleep, eat, shave, bathe, read, watch television, pay their bills, walk their dogs or pet their cats and then they do it all over again the next day.

Okay, yes, I have a few friends in the LGBT community who are activists. Take Josh. Josh is the lead organizer and creator of the C-Bus of Love, an amazing event taking place in June. However, Josh is not kidnapping 25 straight couples and forcing them to get gay married in Washington, DC. Josh has never kidnapped anyone, straight or gay, and he certainly isn't going to start now. His husband, Steve, is an Army officer famous for being that soldier. You know that soldier; he got booed at the Republican debate by a few twatwaffles and then ignored by every single person on the stage? Arms the size of trees? Yeah, him. He's an activist as well, but he's not trying to turn every single member of the Army gay.

Do you need a moment to absorb this? When you look at the absolute bullshit flying out of the right wing (DUCK) about marriage equality, you really expect rivers of blood and frog storms and people registering at Wal-Mart to marry a Lawn Boy. If you were married on Wednesday, odds are, barring any hanky panky of the Mark Sanford kind, you're still married today.

The party of family values isn't. It's all smoke and mirrors and hypocrisy and flat out lies. You know what ruins marriages? Divorce, adultery, abuse, domestic violence. Allowing consenting adults who happen to have the same genitalia to get married will not destroy marriages. And what the hell is all the whining about "traditional marriage?" Who wants a marriage that includes incest, concubines and possibly slavery? Ick.

So there it is. Minnesota is one gorgeous step closer to recognizing marriage equality. Some woman I've never heard of wept on the House floor because she thinks this vote will "divide" our state. Of course, she belongs to a church that believes the Bible was actually written by God and we must follow it to the letter. Which doesn't explain why she's speaking-aren't women supposed to be super quiet and subservient?

I bet she eats shrimp.






The C-Bus of Love

Image from cbusoflove.com

In 2004, after Ohio failed to legalize same-sex marriage, Joshua Snyder-Hill made a decision. He would not just sign petitions or carry signs at protests; he would change the conversation. But it took a moment in 2011 to show him the way.

During a Republican presidential debate in September of 2011, America watched an Army officer serving in Iraq ask a question about DADT via video. That Army officer was Steve Snyder-Hill, Josh's husband. Josh watched as the man he loved, the man to whom he had pledged his life and heart had his service to our country ignored by every single candidate standing on that stage. And he realized exactly the path he had to take.

Josh founded Marriage Evolved.com last year. The original idea behind Marriage Evolved was to bring gay couples into one forum and advise them on the best places to get married, budgets and travel information, calling attention to the financial losses accrued by states who refused to legalize same-sex marriage. At the time, a spark of an idea was beginning to grow in Josh's head, but the details were sketchy.

Then in January, it hit him. Why not organize a trip for couples to Washington, DC? A group of gay couples, who couldn't legally marry in their own state, all traveling to DC to get married? Josh and a friend were brainstorming one night, trying to find the right name for this event and coming up with good, but not great, ideas. Josh ran upstairs and spotted tee shirts with "C-Bus" written on them, the nickname for Columbus, Ohio. He stopped cold, realizing this was it. The C-Bus of Love.

The C-Bus of Love was launched on February 14th, 2013-Valentine's Day. Josh, Steve and the other members of their small organizing committee watched and waited, all the while continuing to market and plan this historic adventure. Josh told me they were afraid not enough couples would sign up and they would never get it off the ground. Information about the C-Bus of Love showed up on numerous social media sites for LGBT rights and marriage equality, and the group suddenly found themselves receiving an application every 10-15 minutes.

On June 21st, 2013, 25 couples will travel from Columbus, Ohio to Washington, DC to say "I do." These couples are from all over the Midwest and West Virginia, they have expressed their unwavering love for one another and from what Josh and Steve shared with me Thursday evening, they are beyond excited. Some of the couples weren't really sure what being "married" meant, in the legal sense, and who better to educate them than Josh and Steve, two heroes of the LGBT community who are fighting DOMA on a national level.

A lot has changed since that September evening. President Obama was reelected and came out in favor of marriage equality, the majority of Americans support same-sex marriage and numerous states are poised to join the eleven who have already said yes to marriage equality. The battle for equality stared long before Steve asked his question and Josh came up the C-Bus of Love, but I believe that with the leadership of men and women like the Snyder-Hills, we are close to winning this fight.

Interviewing Steve and Josh on the same day Minnesota voted yes on marriage equality was more profound than I can ever express. Knowing my state is likely to become the next to legalize love while speaking with two of my heroes about the C-Bus of Love was wonderful and poignant and, well, perfect.

It is an honor to count Steve and Josh Snyder-Hill among my friends, and it will be extremely emotional to watch 25 couples become husband and husband, and wife and wife this coming June. Please visit the link below to learn how you can contribute to the C-Bus of Love, read about each couple and get more information on the two men responsible for making this happen.

The C-Bus of Love

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Who is Adam Kokesh?

Image of Adam Kokesh from Adam vs. The Man and Google 

July Fourth is a day of celebration all over America, especially in our nation's capital. This year, however, someone has an event planned that is anything but festive. A man named Adam Kokesh wants to take ten thousand armed gun enthusiasts and march them through Washington, DC.

Paying a visit to the Wikipedia page dedicated to Adam Kokesh shines very little light on why he has become an outspoken anti-government "crusader." Kokesh was a Marine who served in Iraq and brought a pistol home with him after returning to the States in direct violation of military code. Kokesh was demoted from sergeant to corporal and given an honorable discharge, but he would never be able to re-enlist. 

Adam Kokesh began protesting against the war, and at one rally, he appeared in his uniform, another violation of military code. A photo of Kokesh appeared on numerous websites and in print, and he was contacted by a Marine Corps major, advising him of an investigation into his behavior. Kokesh responded to the major's email with his own, using an "expletive in his reply," which resulted in further charges. Kokesh's honorable discharge was downgraded to other than honorable after a hearing.

In 2008, Kokesh spoke at a rally for Ron Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota, and made the following statement during his speech:

"While it is our responsibility now to resist tyranny civilly, while we still can, there may come a time when we will say to the powers that be, be it with your blood or ours we have come to water the tree of liberty … who will stand with me?"

After a failed congressional campaign, Adam Kokesh began hosting a radio show called Adam vs. The Man. The program was picked up by RT (Russia Today) television in 2011, a move that was highly criticized, especially by the group Accuracy in Media; they claim RT uses American activists to "make propaganda points." Kokesh used his radio show to endorse and raise money for Ron Paul, resulting in a complaint being filed with the FEC. The radio show was canceled in August of 2011. 

Kokesh was part of two well-publicized protests at the Jefferson Memorial, also in 2011. The first was a silent dance flash mob of sorts, highlighting a recent ruling against dancing at the monument; the protesters were arrested by force. The second protest, organized with Code Pink, occurred a week later. No arrests were made. When asked if he had a permit, Kokesh held up a copy of the Constitution and replied that he didn't need a permit, the Constitution gave him the right to assemble.

And now, Adam Kokesh-former Marine, son of a wealthy venture capitalist, holder of a bachelor's degree in psychology and anti-war protester-wants to march ten thousand far right, armed libertarians into Washington, DC on the Fourth of July. This is a statement, written by Adam Kokesh and posted to the Facebook page for the event:

"This is now a call for mass civil disobedience on July 4th anywhere in Washington, DC. Break whatever unconstitutional law you choose. "Law Enforcement" has made it clear they have no respect for the Constitution and so we will shut them down by overwhelming them. I will still be crossing the line on the Memorial Bridge and facing up to 5 years in jail." (bold and italics mine)

What happened to turn a kid from New Mexico into a less than honorably discharged Marine, hell bent on violating the law and possibly injuring many innocent people? Understand that with this statement, Adam Kokesh is encouraging people participating in his "protest" on the Fourth of July to use violence and intimidation if and when confronted by law enforcement.

I have a theory. Many of us ask if our government's actions help grow terrorists overseas. Maybe what we should also be asking is if our government's actions help grow them here at home.

Thanks to Wikipedia, Google and Huffington Post.






Come on Minnesota!

Image from Facebook

This Thursday, the Minnesota house will be voting on marriage equality. Delaware just joined the 21st century, and it looks like the Land of 10,000 Lakes will be next. God, I hope so.

When I was a teenager growing up in Minneapolis, I remember going to school with gay kids and thinking nothing of it. I remember Uptown and First Avenue and how cool it was to be a Minneapolis teen in the 80's. We had award-winning theater, Prince, a punk rock scene that rivaled LA and New York and a very vibrant LGBT community.

There has always been an undercurrent of hatred towards the LGBT community, especially from the so-called Christian evangelical and fundamentalist movements in America. Our state representative supports marriage equality, and I went to his Facebook page to thank him. Oh my goodness, the "moral majority" was out in force, pontificating about the Bible and sin and yada yada yada. One women wrote that 1 man + 1 man or 1 woman +1 woman could not produce children, therefore marriage equality was wrong. I can't have kids, thanks to surgery performed last year, so I guess my husband and I should get an immediate divorce. My dad and my stepmom certainly cannot have anymore children-off to the lawyer!

We. Are. Not. A. Theocracy. If you want one, move to Uganda. Please. We'll trade you for all their LGBT. It's a win-win. America does not make policy based on religious doctrine or some antiquated belief that marriage is only for propagation. By fighting equality for LGBT, you (people who think folks can actually marry a toaster or a dog) are on the wrong side of history. You're also on the wrong side of actual Christianity.

I've written the next statement so often, I have it memorized, but some on the Tea Party side of things can't seem to get it through their tricorner hats. Jesus rose from the dead according to the Bible, and by doing so, He destroyed the old covenant. This is why Christians are allowed cut their hair and eat shrimp and wear polyester and plant corn next to soy and why Christian women who still menstruate are not tossed out of the house into a tent 7 days every month. So why is it that when it comes to being gay, or legalizing marriage equality, "modern" Christians cling to the old covenant? Oh I know, they quote Paul, but when you correctly point out the numerous Biblical scholars who have deciphered  Paul's meaning, they begin foaming at the mouth and calling you names.

My marriage will not suddenly dissolve if more states vote to allow same sex marriage. No one is going to try and marry your cat, or your car or your lawn mower. And God will not smite America, because, and this may come as a shock to some, I really don't think the LGBT community is on His radar as a bad thing. My guess is it does break His deified heart when people use His name to hate and hurt and kill LGBT folks, but that's not what right wing Christians think. They tell the rest of us time and time again how "letting the GAYS get married will remove the protective hand of God." I think it's their behavior that will remove whatever hand of whomever may be hovering over America.

On Thursday, I hope Minnesota does the right thing, the ethical thing and the fair thing by voting to allow same sex marriage in our state. In spite of the rise of the right wing in Minnesota, we are still a great state, filled with people who understand it's time. It's time for equality.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Why I can't ignore Ted Nugent

Image from Google


This past Sunday, during the NRA convention in Houston, Ted Nugent gave a speech entitled "Repaying Our Debt to Heros (sic)." The speech was promoted with the following statement:

Freedom Is Not Free-Repaying Our Debt to Heros
 There is a soldier in a flag draped box who died for America, the US Constitution and Freedom. We the people, who still believe in the American dream, owe it to those who gave all to utilize our precious freedoms as provided by the ultimate sacrifices of the US military warriors and their families.

Ted Nugent gave a speech on military heroism. The man who told High Times magazine in 1977 that he "shit his pants" to avoid going to Vietnam gave a speech about military heroism. Decades later, Ted tried to backpedal the original story he told, stating he never "shit his pants" to get out of Vietnam, he just didn't want to get his "ass blown off."

When the Vietnam memorial opened, my dad took me into DC to visit the Wall. The day we were there, a group of bikers had traveled to the memorial along with hundreds of other people. I remember looking at the leather jackets worn by these bear-like men and seeing all the patches and badges: platoon names, what looked like BDU name tags sewn onto the backs and sleeves, MIA, POW and the American flag. And I remember the tears. Standing a little ways off from the Wall, arms around one another, just sobbing and whispering names. A woman stood close to the Wall with a pencil and a piece of paper rubbing a name, trying to take whatever she could of the loved one whose life was reduced to a line on a stone edifice. At her feet, a small girl-no more than ten-gently placed a teddy bear on the ground.

My father was there to find a name, Phil Robinson. Phil and my dad had served in the Navy together, and Dad considered Phil his best friend. My parents told me stories about Phil and I always wished I had met him; he sounded like a great guy. Phil wanted to be a teacher when he got out of Vietnam. A sniper's bullet ended his dreams of teaching and his life.

I watched my dad run his hands over the names, searching for Phil. This was a private moment, and I remained back a few feet. Suddenly, my father's hand stopped and flattened-he'd found Phil. I was not aware of my tears until I felt them hit my hands. The group of bikers turned and looked at my dad, then at me, inclining their heads in respect. That entire day was incredibly powerful. To be in the midst of such sorrow and anguish, to see, on the periphery, the pain of men and women who made it home but left so many behind was excruciating.

Having Ted Nugent give a speech about military heroism is an insult to the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces. The NRA proved, once again, their disdain for true heroes and heroines. Why anyone who has served our country would be a member of the NRA is beyond my comprehension. This is not the same group that represented hunters and sportsmen for over a century. The NRA doesn't care about our kids, our parents, our siblings or our military.

If you need proof of that, look no further than the blatant disregard for the lives lost during the war Ted Nugent skipped because he was a coward. He was not a conscientious objector, he was not mentally ill or physically unable to perform the duties of a member of the military. Ted Nugent didn't want to get his "ass blown off." Neither did Phil Robinson.

Phil Robinson wanted to be a teacher. He was my father's friend, and he died in Vietnam. His name is carved into a wall with thousands of other names, thousands of men and women who died during one of the bloodiest and most horrific events in our nation's history. And what did Ted Nugent do. He scurried away like a cockroach, leaving the dying to others. Leaving the pain and the suffering and the addiction and the PTSD to others.

And on Sunday, Ted Nugent, draft dodger, coward and weakling, stood before a room of NRA members and mused about military heroism.


Thanks to Mediaite.



PHILIP OWEN ROBINSON

 
LTJG - O2 - Navy - Reserve

Length of service 3 years
Casualty was on Mar 25, 1966
In QUANG NGAI, SOUTH VIETNAM
Hostile, died of wounds, GROUND CASUALTY
GUN, SMALL ARMS FIRE
Body was recovered

Panel 06E - Line 50 



Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mitt Romney: College is the ultimate matchmaker

Image from Soda Head


Ah, Mitt Romney. The man who would have been president if it wasn't for his slightly cavalier attitude toward the middle class, women, the poor, LGBT and, well, everyone not like him gave a commencement speech at Southern Virginia University that must have had parents spitting tuition receipts. Mr. Romney decided to go full tilt Quiverfull and suggest the graduates just get out there and start making babies.

Mitt was addressing the insane notion of waiting until you're a wee bit older (30) to have kids. I mean, Mitt and Ann were married in their very early 20's, and before adopting a dancing horse managed to have their very own quiver filled with white teethed little Romneys. Which Mitt tried to shoot out of his bow during the presidential campaign with very little success. Graduate degrees? Harrumph, bellows Mittens! Have more babies!

Just for gits and shiggles, let's look at how much it costs to attend Southern Virginia University, using their own website and a calculator. First we have $28,250 a year in basic tuition, so there's $113,400 for a 4-year degree alone. Add in housing ($5,000 for 4 years) and the basic dining plan ($17,600 for 4 years) for a whopping $136,000. If you take any summer courses, those will run you $255 per credit hour. Ostensibly, you could be taking summer classes in order to graduate early, so adjust tuition accordingly. No matter how you slice it, that's a ton of money just to flee the campus grounds and immediately get married.

It's no wonder Mitt will probably never be invited to speak at his alma mater, Harvard. My God, can you imagine? Harvard's yearly tuition is almost $60,000. I can picture it: Mitt gives his little Quiverfull speech and hordes of parents storm the podium, waving their checkbooks with one hand and throwing clods of grass at his perfect hair with the other. Even Rafalca couldn't get him out of there in one piece.

Our son wants to be an architect. In Mitt's universe (white, pristine, with animals glued to tops of cars and lovingly accessorized with stolen art from Nazi Germany...too much?), college is really just a place to meet your future husband/future brood mare I mean wife. So, parents, take note! That second mortgage, the savings bonds, the college funds, the harping about grades? Pfft. College is really a big matchmaking service, albeit a very expensive one. Who cares if Sally never makes the dean's list, it's not as if she's going to work when she graduates. Her role in life is to receive the seed of her hubby and keep popping out kids until menopause.

It's 2013, and a former presidential candidate told a group of young people getting ready to embark on the next amazing phase of their life all that matters is having a "quiverfull" of kids. We should thank Mitt, I suppose, for reminding us to celebrate his loss last November. You may not like everything President Obama is doing, but at least he's not telling a bunch of college graduates all that matters is how full their quiver is.

Thanks to MSNBC and Southern Virginia University and Daily Kos for the photo.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Saying no to the Pill and yes to guns

Image from Stop the World, the Teabaggers Want Off


My friends over at Stop the World, the Teabaggers Want Off shared the above meme this morning. And it's true. What's also true is the DOJ is fighting the FDA is regards to the availability of emergency contraception, and I think I know why. 

President Obama is the father of two teenage girls, and trust me when I tell you the last thing in the world any father of teenage girls wants to think about is his daughters having sex before they're married or he's dead. Having been a teenage girl, I know this to be a fact. My guess is President Obama is directing the DOJ to go after the FDA because he's in complete denial over his own daughters' maturity. 

Now about this meme. Earlier this week, a 5-year old boy accidentally shot his 2-year old sister, killing her. He shot her with his Crickett rifle, a rifle marketed and made for little kids. Crickett's website is filled with photos of little children gleefully armed with their tiny rifles in all different colors including hot pink (to appeal to the Hello Kitty set). The grandmother of that 2-year old girl said it must have been her "time." 

This happened in Kentucky, where from what I've read, guns seem to be given as gifts at baby showers. According to many locals who have spoken with the media, everyone has a gun in their house. It's common to start teaching kids how to shoot at a very young age, and Keystone, the company that makes the Crickett rifle, has thousands of photos proving it's never too young to learn how to kill things. 

However, there does seem to be a minimum age when it comes to contraception. Let me rephrase that. There seems to be a minimum age when it comes to female contraception. I've written about the lack of interest any pro-fetus, anti-sex for fun, anti-birth control groups have in condoms; they're not interested in saving sperm, just controlling women. And what better way to do that than limit the availability of the Pill, Plan B and other forms of female birth control? 

Contraception doesn't actually kill a person, but it's tough getting an entire political party that thinks the second sperm meets egg that's a human being to believe that. This is Steve Stockman's newest bumper sticker: "If babies had guns they wouldn't be aborted. Vote Pro-Life!" See? If we allow women to use contraception, we can't arm a group of cells in her uterus thereby making the world a safe place for wait what?

As I bang my head on my desk, I wonder what the hell is going on in America. It's perfectly fine to arm a 5-year old kid and it's tantamount to treason to suggest teenage girls have access to birth control. I wish I could explain this as sarcastically as I explained the Obama administration's strange obsession with Plan B, but I can't. I just can't. My mother took me to a gynecologist when I was 16, and if I had been sexually active, she would have slapped that circular pack in my hand faster than the speed of light. 

Guns-great! Preventing unwanted pregnancy-bad! Fetuses-people! Abortion-murder! Gun violence-same as driving a car! Armed toddlers-fantastic! Sex education-evil! 

Headache-here!