wwcitizen: (Uuuuuuh)
Tonight on the way up the Cape to Provincetown, we both saw  a very bright falling star off in the distance.  It was really romantical and stuff.  We both sent out our separate wishes, but I'm fairly certain they weren't too different.  :-)
wwcitizen: (Rainbow Flag)
"Come out, come out, wherever you are!" Glenda called.  So I came out.

As Katy Perry states it plainly, I'm wide awake. It's how I feel about myself. It's how I view the world since I accepted myself years ago and "came out".  I was gay anyway; why waste my energy on being something and someone I'm not?

God loves me as I am and set me completely free.

My coming out was a spiritual rebirth and a veil was tangibly removed. God was no longer boxed in. Within a 20-minute prayer, false theologies and misinterpretations thrust on me and shoved down my throat for 30+ years no longer had strength over my soul.  I was free and began living life honestly.

Everything else has fallen into place, including happiness.  This week marks the 11th anniversary. I've never looked back to wonder whether continuing a life of lies and secrets would have been better. Nope. I'm wide awake.



I'm wide awake (x3)
Yeah, I was in the dark
I was falling hard
With an open heart
I'm wide awake
How did I read the stars so wrong

I'm wide awake
And now it's clear to me
That everything you see
Ain't always what it seems
I'm wide awake
Yeah, I was dreaming for so long

(Pre-Chorus)
I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn't dive in
Wouldn't bow down
Gravity hurts
You made it so sweet
Till I woke up on
On the concrete

(Chorus)
Falling from cloud nine
Crashing from the high
I'm letting go tonight
(Yeah I'm) Falling from cloud 9

I'm wide awake
Not losing any sleep
I picked up every piece
And landed on my feet
I'm wide awake
Need nothing to complete myself - nooohooo

I'm wide awake
Yeah, I am born again
Outta the lion's den
I don't have to pretend
And it's too late
The story's over now, the end

(Pre-Chorus)
I wish I knew then
What I know now
Wouldn't dive in
Wouldn't bow down
Gravity hurts
You made it so sweet
Till I woke up on
On the concrete

(Chorus)
Falling from cloud nine
Crashing from the high
I'm letting go tonight
I'm Falling from cloud 9

Thunder rumbling
Castles crumbling
I am trying to hold on
God knows that I tried
Seeing the bright side
I'm not blind anymore

(Chorus)
Falling from cloud nine
Crashing from the high
(Ya' know) I'm letting go tonight
I'm falling from cloud 9

I'm wide awake (x5)
wwcitizen: (Rainbow Flag)
Would you travel to a country whose leaders actively persecute gays and lesbians?

Would you travel to a state where religious leaders want to round up gays and lesbians into concentration camps and leave them to die?  Would you travel to a place whose leaders advocate "punching the gay" out of innocent children?  Would you want any of these people making medical decisions for you?

What if you were rushed to the emergency room and your attending doctor's church advodates the killing of gays and lesbians?  How hard do you think he would fight to save your life?  What of that of your partner's life?

Could you expect these radicals to adbide by man's laws when they feel they're answering to a "higher law?"

If you're straight, would you want your gay children, family members, or friends to go to those places? Wouldn't you be afraid for them?

At first blush, what's your knee-jerk reaction?
wwcitizen: (Default)
Matt got a Ladders.com job description today. He read it to me and I just had to share it:
Fullscreen capture 8102012 45743 PM.bmp

Doesn't this equate to ANYONE who is on the Romney campaign?  Also, I find it really strange that they want someone who's got a strong desire to influence Christian entrepreneurs.  Just seems kinda cultish, doesn't it?    
wwcitizen: (US Flag - LEARN PPL)
When Scott Walker survived his recall in WI last night, about 1/3 of my feelings leaned toward wanting to escape this country and move to Canada or some place else, or just sink into Xbox role playing games and escape. But the other 2/3 of me got really mad, frustrated, and concerned.
  • MAD at the situation and voter determination in WI. I sense that Walker wouldn't be above tainting the voting pool further to secure a win by any means possible. Still hoping for an indictment against Walker for corruption - that'll get the fucker out of office.
  • FRUSTRATED at Citizens United, when the ruling decidedly isn't about citizens of the US at ALL - it's about corporations. And corporations are NOT people.
  • CONCERNED about people who are apathetic to their voting rights and who aren't paying attention to what's going on in our country.
I want to inform people around our neighborhood about voting (after meeting 2 somewhat apathetic college girls yesterday). What can it hurt?  I'm not telling people how to vote, but I'm presenting information about how to register - whether they vote or not. Hopefully, once they've registered, they'll want to vote, too!  I'm putting together the following flier to hand out around my neighborhood.  I'm thinking about making a VistaPrint card to hand out, as well - just to hand out to people in NJ.
_______________________________________________________
WE THE PEOPLE FIX WHAT IS BROKEN! REGISTER TO VOTE! 

NJELECTIONS.org

Click on “Voter Information” and read about:

How To, Who Can, & Where To Register, as well as answer “Am I Registered?”
Or call the Division of Elections toll free at 1-877-658-6837 for more info.

LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!  ACTIVATE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE!

If you want your voice to be heard, you must
REGISTER BEFORE OCTOBER 8, 2012

THEN: DON'T FORGET TO VOTE FOR YOUR PRESIDENT ON NOVEMBER 6, 2012
or
RockTheVote.com
_______________________________________________________

Feel free to copy/paste this information for your own state. Make copies and give to friends, neighbors, family members, and local businesses that you visit. Make sure that people are aware of their right to vote. Make sure that you have an impact on the 2012 election.

Here's how the VistaPrint card turned out:
REGISTER AND VOTE

wwcitizen: (US - Gay Politics)
Christian Group Shows Up To Chicago Gay Pride Holding Apologetic Signs | Practikel

What do y'all think about this? Some folks are saying, "Well, it had to start somewhere," or, "Neat!" 

Personally, it has to happen and take place and be seen and covered by the media MUCH more than the one-off at Chicago.  Things like this have happened before - Chicago wasn't the first instance. This might have been the first instance that has gone somewhat viral. 

For as much as churches (not only the Christian churches, but also the Mormon church, Islam, and Judaism religious groups) have stood firmly against the gay community for so long, one or two hugs affecting a small, accepting congregation isn't enough. 

It didn't "have to start" anywhere, actually, but I'm glad this interaction was captured to show it's possible.

Zen Steve

Apr. 3rd, 2012 11:01 am
wwcitizen: (Smell The Flowers)
This last week, Matthew and I have rediscovered incense.  I kept seeing our little vase of incense and a wooden stand awaiting our enjoyment.  I also wanted to pick up some new scents for a pomander I bought at L'Occitane years ago. Needless to say, L'Occitane sold out of and discontinued its incense squares. Undaunted and not wanting to be thwarted by that revelation, we went to Whole Foods to try and devise a new means of using the pomander.  I found a new incense burner for little cones, which sits nicely in my bathroom. 

Burning incense is so calming and the energy in the house has changed slightly for the better. The low-level negative energy came from 1) losing my wallet recently, 2) dealing with law enforcement, and 3) calling the credit card companies. I've also started minor meditation again.

Today, I should be wearing my Zen Mickey Mouse t-shirt. I like the sentiment and it pretty much encapsulates my recent need to center myself again (btw, I do replace "The Mouse" with "self".). 

There's definitely a sense of renewal in my spirit that intensifies in the spring, of course. New life and freshness are evidenced everywhere, much like the blue bonnets in Texas posted by [livejournal.com profile] erstexman and [livejournal.com profile] texwriterbear or the myriad of blossoms at Kew Gardens posted by [livejournal.com profile] changeling72.  The flowers this year seem so much cleaner and crisper (might just be the quality of the cameras, but I like to think it's the flowers doing it all).

I'm loving it.

The primary difference this year from last year in the spring is that we're not hosting Easter dinner this year for Matt's family.  That made us both pretty sad when the rest of the family decided they wanted to go to a country club - again - for Easter lunch/dinner.  Matt and I did SUCH a good job last year with the planning, the food, the decorations, the hosting, the leftovers (yes - everyone got a to-go bag!), the Easter baskets for the kids, the traditions from Matt's mother - down to the bunny cake!  Everyone loved us hosting Easter and appreciated the effort we put into it. I know we're good hosts, dammit!!  Alas, Easter dinner will lack tradition, be plastic, and short-lived.

Having a Spring/Easter dinner party to plan and prepare really inspired us last year. This year, Matt and I are finding new ways to be inspired and discovering other things to do.  This Friday night, for instance, we're getting together with friends to dye eggs and tie-dye t-shirts!!  That'll be lots of fun.

Then, of course, Matt and I are meeting - WOW - [livejournal.com profile] squirreltot, [livejournal.com profile] texwriterbear, and [livejournal.com profile] super_sean for the first time ever along with another Texan friend of theirs, and [livejournal.com profile] allsmilesbear (who - nudge nudge - hasn't posted in like forEVER - 3 years, actually), while they're in NYC on vacation. We're also meeting [info]jimwnyc and [info]tinman11201* for the first time in person, even though they're just down the road from us; our schedules and determination to meet up finally synchronized!  I think I've known some of these guys for 5-6 years at least online.

On Thursday night, whilst Matt is teaching, I meeting up with [livejournal.com profile] devil_cub52, [livejournal.com profile] durabear (wishing that [livejournal.com profile] malorso would make it up here sometime with him!!), [livejournal.com profile] gstorm17, [livejournal.com profile] mat_t, and [livejournal.com profile] perkbear for dinner.  This is going to be one LJ-filled week!! 

I'm very excited.
wwcitizen: (Whatever)
Why are we humans obsessed with our doom, gloom, and damnation? What's in these theories of destruction for us? Yeah, we will all die, eventually, and our natural bodies will return to dust - individually.  I don't believe that we will all as a collective die at once or that there is a specific end of humanity. Why would God set something so wonderful, in his/her/its image, in motion only to stop it eventually? Does that by default mean that God has an end, too?

Terence McKenna (on 'shrooms when he) came up with his end of humanity theory in his book Timewave Zero that on Dec 21, 2012, we reach a "singularity of infinite complexity." This is the moment when all possible probabilities are equally valid; i.e. we're all dead.  He used the Chinese 1 Ching (not solely the Mayan calendar) to plot out periods of "novelty" in human existence, which all pointed to the Dec. 21 Dooms Day.

McKenna is one of 1000s of End of World, End of Earth, Dooms Day theorists. Every year there's a new one or two or 50.  Why not choose, rather, not to stress oneself or others out?  Why not sit back, relax, do your job, make friends, come home, make good food, and breathe?  Find blessing and peace in breathing and being.  If even for a day.  Srsly.
wwcitizen: (Cross USB)
No one is coming out and saying this plainly: Republicans and evangelical Christians cross-promote each other. If you're Republican, you're a Christian. If you're a Christian, you're a Republican.  There are large groups of evangelical Christian Republicans who also believe that Catholics are on the wrong path and are going to hell because they pray to saints and have priests as intermediaries between them and God (if you think I'm mistaken, I have pictures to prove it).

Evangelicals and most of the Christian community, and, therefore, by default, the Republican party believe that Mormons do not uphold Christian values, do not believe in the Jesus they do, and are all part of a cult.  That's why the Christian community, by and large, has a huge problem with Mitt Romney as a potential candidate for president.

I used to like Franklin Graham and was knowledgeable of his back story - that he had departed from his father's "straight and narrow" and then "returned as the Prodigal Son" to follow - somewhat - in his father's footsteps.  He runs Samaritan's Purse, a Christian charity. By definition, a Christian charity should mean, a loving organization that espouses and represent Christ's love and acceptance. Listen to what Franklin says about Obama and how he differentiates between Obama's faith (abstaining from an opinion), Santorum's and Gingrich's morals (!!!), and then his perspective on Mormons (as I mentioned before).

Franklin Graham has now established himself to be a two-faced bigot in my book. What's good for the goose in his book is not good for the gander.  Obama said he's a Christian. Santorum and Gingrich have said they are Christians. However, Franklin Graham will not support Obama's claims to be true.  Why the double standard?

Franklin Graham is too pious a Pharisee.  

Religious beliefs and theology have no place in politics.  That's why our Founding Fathers (many of whom were athiests or deists, and NOT Christians) established the distinct separation of Church and State. 
wwcitizen: (Cross USB)
Who likes junk mail? What do YOU do with junk mail? A little while back, I posted about Andy Rooney's solution to junk mail - use the postage paid envelope to stuff with the information a junk sender sends you and send it back to them without providing them any information about you. In doing that, you support the US Postal Service and make the junk sender's money support the US Postal Service. It's a win-win for you, as well, because the junk mail is off your desk and won't fill up your local landfill. YAY!

Last week, we received some particular junk mail that REALLY twists my nickers! Here are some photos:








I can't stand this type of advertising. So many churches do it. What really bothers me is not that I'm receiving this crap, but other people who attend their church services like lemmings, who cannot discern that this kind of ministry is full of crap! They're sending around this "prayer rug" that's about 1.5' x 3'. After you've prayed for yourself to get financial gain - FOR YOUR HOUSE FIRST (the ad says) - you're supposed to give the "prayer rug" to someone else to pray, as well.

All of the verbiage instills subtle fears and threats that if the (unknowing and unwise) person doesn't use the "prayer rug" for its intended purpose and donate to the church and give the "prayer rug" to someone else in a reasonable amount of time, their prayers will not be answered.

It disturbs me when people prey upon the prayers of those who follow in blind faith. I'm glad we got this mail, so that we could shred it with glee.
wwcitizen: (Champagne Glass Toast)
During Tommy and Brian's wedding ceremony in Mexico, the officiant spoke out the hand ceremony. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard at a wedding and cut deep into my heart and soul as she read it - especially because Tommy and Brian were facing each other holding hands - especially because Matt and I were holding hands watching, listening intently. Our grip got harder and tighter as words struck our heart strings.

Here is the version that Brian and Tommy used on the beach that wonderful day:

THE HAND CEREMONY:
These are the hands of your best friend, full of love for you, holding yours on your wedding day
These are the hands that will scratch your back when you have an itch you can’t reach
These are the hands that will help decorate your Christmas tree
These are the hands that will dial your number just to say hello – when you’ve been missed throughout the day
These are the hands that, at times, will want to strangle you
These are the hands that will passionately love and cherish you through the years
These are the hands that will hold you for comfort and tickle you for joy
These are the hands that will wipe the tears from your eyes
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children
These are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch
wwcitizen: (Residenz Into Wuerzburg)
There's a connection I have on Facebook that is like no other. The man's name is Heinz and he's from Germany close to Leipzig where I lived for 2 years after the reunification of Germany. That time in my life was pivotal to who I am today. That time shaped a lot of my basic desires for social change, social movements, and a healthy level of activism in one's personal life. Each day that I happen to see one of his posts about social things happening in Leipzig and eastern Germany again, it truly tugs on my heart strings.

Heinz posted a picture today of himself in a forum at the Gewandhaus (a concert hall) in the center of Leipzig where I had seen my first concert there. Heinz was the moderator last week for a discussion of unity, rights, and freedom, basic law and peaceful revolution. You can see him raising his hand in the middle:



Close to the Gewandhaus is where Leipzig's (televised!) peaceful revolution in 1989 began, around the time that I was in school in Paris and traveling through Germany to go back to college in NC. I remember being glued to the TV in 1989 watching the demonstrations move from Leipzig out and throughout the GDR. I had just come back from Germany and WANTED TO BE THERE! I wanted to be a part of history.

A mere two years later, I became part of history, living and working in Leipzig during the young years of social and economic change for everyone around me. Everyone was an expatriate, no matter if they grew up in the town or not; it was a new country with amazing potential and possibilities. It was such an exciting time and place to be.

I wrote this blurb as a comment on the photo to him:
"Heinz, your stories remind me over and over that positive change is possible. East Germany and Leipzig in my opinion represent a worldwide example of freedom, peace, and the world's human rights. The world's people (in contrast to one people) through peace chose for itself freedom and basic human rights. It overwhelmingly surprises me that since the reunification, not much more has changed in this world in the name of peace.

My country and city have in contrast changed drastically for the negative since 9/11. I wish it were possible for us to begin a peaceful revolution (here) that would balance out our civil rights. I often yearn to go back to 1992; I would love to experience those changes in Leipzig again through older eyes and my current Weltanschauung (perspectives on the world)."

(Here's the German version:)
Heinz, Deine Geschichten erinnern mich immer wieder, dass positive Änderung möglich ist. "Ostdeutschland" u. Leipzig sind zusammen meiner Meinung nach eine weltweite Darstellung der Freiheit, der Friede, u. der "Weltvolks-"menschenrechte. Das "Weltvolk" hat durch Friede insofern für sich Freiheit u. grundsätzliche Menschenrechte entschieden. Es wundert mich grossartig, dass seit der Wende sich nicht mehr im Namen Friede in dieser heutigen Welt geändert hat.

Mein Land u. meine Stadt (NYC, US) haben sich im Gegensatz aber ja sehr negativ seit 11.9.2001 geändert. Wäre es möglich, dass wir auch eine friedliche Revolution anfangen können, damit die grundsätzlichen Menschenrechte wieder ausgleichen.

Ich habe oft Sehnsucht auf 1992, als ich nach Leipzig umgezogen hatte. Ich hätte die damaligen Änderungen sehr gerne durch ältere Augen u. meine jetzige Weltanschauung wieder erfahren.
wwcitizen: (Cross USB)
Having grown up in protestant Christian churches and gone to seminary for 2 years, we were taught to believe that the greatest trick the devil (or Satan) ever pulled was to convince people that he didn't exist.

The truth is that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making believers do evil in God's name.

A few examples:
- Treating women as property rather than equals.
- Allowing slavery to continue - even today! - for centuries.
- Telling people they'll go to hell - even if they're believers (in any religion) - because they're gay.
- Not treating non-whites as equals.
- Creating a mindset that convinces children they should kill themselves because God hates that they're gay.
- Believing that the US is God's chosen nation and we're better than other nations.
- Wars against MULTIPLE nations, cultures, and peoples.
- Creating a mindset in parents that makes them hate their children because they're gay.
- And you fill in the other blanks...
wwcitizen: (NJ Quarter)

I got an email from my brother last week, which inspired me to respond. Initially, because my knee-jerk responses don't always convey clearly what I mean, I hadn't responded.  But I'm really glad I went ahead and addressed some of his points.  I also inserted support links within this "article".  I have also changed some of my brother's initial questions and/or statements because, well, it just sounds and flows better. My youngest sister also mentioned to me that most of my Facebook posts relate to gay topics and equal rights, which is true. I found this whole exercise beneficial to understanding more thoroughly elements about our current political, economic, social, and legal stance.

Q: Explain why Obama won't make his birth certificate available for review [Many believe that what was published has not been verified - despite what people may believe]?

A: Obama, the State of Hawaii, and the US government have provided a copy of the original birth certificate online.  The US Library of Congress put the copy online simply because they were expending too much time and money on sending out 1000s of copies to people, like my brother, who want to see the "actual" birth certificate.  Interestingly enough, McCain wasn't born actually IN the US, rather in US-controlled territory. BUT, in McCain's case, because his parents were American, he's still an American-born citizen. Same rules apply to Obama; Obama's mother is an American citizen.

How does one verify a birth certificate beyond the notarized copy from the county courthouse. In order to get a US passport or (in most states) a driver's license, the notarized copy of the original is sufficient; shouldn't we trust that the document provided is, in fact, the verified copy? My birth certificate doesn't have my little foot prints on it, and I can get a notarized copy of mine from Raleigh, NC, where I wasn't born.

Q: Why won't he make his Harvard transcript available for review?

A: He graduated Cum Laude from Harvard. 'Nuff said. Not everyone in the Senate or House can say that.  You cannot make that kind of claim without Harvard coming after you to make sure it's correctly represented.

Q: Why can’t we see his school records from Indonesia?

A: Matthew (my partner) can't get property records of property he owns from Italy! You try getting school records from Indonesia. However, in order for Obama to have been admitted to any US college, he would have had to provide those records to the school for admission. <a href=" http://www.studentaffairs.columbia.edu/admissions/applications/transfer_admin-finaid.php " target="_blank">Columbia requires each transfer student</a> to provide more than you're demanding our president provide you. That should really and truly be end of story.

Q: One does not have to be an American-born person to run for any office except President!

A: Exactly; i.e. Barack Obama is an American-born president. Do [the birthers] seriously think that Dick Cheney (let alone Bush) would have allowed Obama to even run for president if Obama didn't have his papers in order? Seriously?  Also, as pointed out before, whether the birthers like it or not, his mother is a US Citizen; therefore, he's a US-born citizen.

It is not my job (even as an American) to pull all this stuff together, but links I listed above should suffice. I've never seen other presidents' school records made as public as folks expect this president to do. I find it interesting that a Wall Street Journal article in 2008 says about his time at Columbia, "Maybe that's what most pains a young memoirist and an ambitious politician who strains to make his life anything but unremarkable."

Thing is, Barack Hussein Obama is our president. And that's that. There's no going back.

Q: This individual who is occupying the White House is the most incompetent, poorly prepared, inadequately equipped, narcissistic fraud that has been so unfortunately elected to the office.  The only good thing about this socialist being there is that now Jimmy Carter is no longer the country’s worst president.

A: I happen to believe that Jimmy Carter (in my limited memory of his "reign of terror on the nation" - also a Nobel Peace Prize Winner - I was 10 years old when he was in power) was a good president. He was a strong supporter of human rights, created the Departments of Energy and Education, and established a national energy policy. That energy policy included conservation, price control, and new technology. He also returned the Panama Canal Zone to Panama, which is still lauded as a massive accomplishment.

I find it interesting that you call Obama a socialist because on the books and publicly, he's a member of the Democratic Party.  I suppose you chose "socialist" because he has been presented as advocating state ownership of industry, which is totally untrue.

Our president (and his people) bailed out the auto industry (yes, financially) when they needed it, but it was in no way meant to make the auto industry state-owned.  The auto industry is paying back the loans given to them.  If Obama had NOT bailed them out financially, the auto industry would have collapsed. That would have had a major ripple effect throughout the US economy and industries, one which we cannot even begin to imagine. Obama in that regard staved off a worse economic depression than Dad lived through.

If one deems Obama a socialist because he supports social and economic equality (so that more than the current 2% of our population hold the wealth in the country and so that we have a stronger middle class - as in the 50s), and because he supports bi-partisan involvement in decision making (i.e. collective decision-making), then maybe you're onto something! But, don't forget to point out in the same breath that Republicans during the Bush era were becoming more and more tyrannical, and
dominionist in their workings. Bush made sure (via the US PATRIOT Act of 2001) that law enforcement agencies were able to invade US citizens' privacy (phone tapping without announcement made legal - VERY Big Brother and Big Government), for which there is no evidence that I can find these expansions have proven successful in bringing a terrorist to justice in our country. More and more, Republicans and Tea Partiers (becoming more dominionist) are stating falsely that our forefathers founded this nation upon Christian principles. This country was formed from the colonists because of high, exorbitant taxation from England. The colonists were tired of paying the high taxes - hence, the Tea Party in Boston Harbor, which destroyed highly taxed tea. Columbus in 1492 was hoping to find trade routes to India that went quicker (business prospect) than going across the continent of Asia; he wasn't expecting to find a place to start a Christian nation! 

Q: Any black person who voted for him solely because he appears to be black, cast a racist, uneducated vote. Any [other] person who voted for him should be ashamed and many are becoming more and more ashamed as time progresses and they see what he really is.

A: I agree that black voters of Obama basing their vote solely on his heritage and not educating themselves are myopic. In fact, no one should vote for any candidate solely based on their party affiliation, race, creed, or heritage. People casting a vote in this nation should educate themselves and know who and why they're voting for whom they're voting. Once that vote is cast, shame shouldn't be carried solely on who a person voted as president because a president isn't alone in his job; there are thousands of people who make the presidency, policies, our economy, and our nation what it is. A perspective that the president is the end-all-be-all of our nation's direction is myopic and uneducated, too.

Q: I can’t wait until he is sent back to the political cesspool that is Chicago and his absurd health care plan and his exorbitant, spend my money as fast as he can attitude are out of Washington.  He is costing seniors millions in Medicare that he stole to pay for bail outs. Obama promised to end entitlements but instead, allowed them to increase!

A: Right now, I was secured health insurance because of Obama's new health care program; I was informed by the health insurance company that my policy would not be canceled if I have (thank goodness I don't) any pre-existing conditions.  In 4 short years, anyone can have insurance.  Right now, your son can stay on your health insurance policy till he's 26, which will ultimately help him get on his feet before having to take care of himself fully at 18.  I think part of your anger about the health care bill is that you (and I) don't know fully what's in it, and I'm educating myself about it more and more. 

After today, Sep. 23, US females will be able to get breast cancer screenings and everyone cholesterol tests without paying deductibles or co-payments.
"In addition, patients will be able to see obstetricians and pediatricians without getting prior authorizations. Recommended immunizations also must be provided at no cost." To learn more about the health care bill and the new laws around health insurance, check out the following video:

Q: Obama has no clue how to get people working and more people are on the government dole than at any other time in history and he still wants to raise taxes and now he’s wanting to go after people’s 401k programs.

A: The unemployment rates we're now faced with started at the end of Bush's era.  Also, for the most part, the unemployed people have been tapping money they invested. Everyone has money extracted from their monthly paycheck in order to cover Unemployment Insurance!  Why criticize people for taking advantage of something that they paid for?

Obama saved our auto industry from failure (saving jobs).  As a result of the loan to the auto industry, previously closed auto plants are reopening and "
last week, GM announced that it would rehire 483 workers"; i.e. (re)creation of jobs.  A Republican Congressman in TN had the audacity to attend a ceremony at an auto plant and take credit for Obama's financial bail out assistance!  Republicans (without ethics, integrity, or scruples) take credit on a regular basis for things that Obama does right that they did not support.

Baby Boomers (my brother included when he retires) will potentially and most likely bankrupt the Social Security funds, not Obama.  By the sheer numbers of BBs, Social Security will not be able to handle the money that will be gushing from its vaults.  Before my nephew (who is 3 yrs old) is of retirement age, he will most likely see the end of Social Security as we know it.  In fact, there will probably eventually be something much better conceived and implemented by the time Nathaniel retires (thank goodness!). 

Q: Democrats have looked into the backgrounds of Republicans and were not chastised.  Clinton pulled almost 1000 FBI files of political opponents before he was nabbed at it.

A: You're probably right that Democrats were not chastised about peering into current presidents' backgrounds.  The Republicans, in contrast to Democrats, run away from controversy and "bad lighting".  Sharron Angle (R-NV), Jan Brewer (R-AZ "Gov"), Joe Miller (R-AK), Christine O'Donnell (R-DE) are really good examples of this. They ignore the liberal media.  They ignore questions that they don't want to answer.  Jan Brewer to reporters is seen in videos as saying, "OK, thank you for coming everyone!" on the heels of hearing, "What did you mean about the headless bodies in the desert?"  Even though she's a liar and lied to her state for months about "headless bodies in the desert" to substantiate her state's need for immigration restrictions, she turned and walked away instead of addressing her state's concerns.  Sharron Angle actually jogged away from reporters who were from news agencies decidedly not Republican or Tea Party backers.

Q: Don’t get me started on Obama's lack of military understanding.  When it comes to the military, he’s a joke.

No president (even GW Bush) has as extensive knowledge of the military to be able to command the military the way a military leader would. That's why each president has advisers.  Obama has appointed and has relied upon the right people for their jobs to provide him excellent military advice.  If you're talking about the court-martial of Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, you should be ashamed of yourself.  Any US military personnel who disobeys an order can be legally court-marshaled

I sincerely didn't like Bush.  I hate that Bush and Cheney started wars that helped deplete the surplus that Clinton's era gave us (in FY 2000 was $237 billion—the third consecutive surplus and the largest surplus ever!!) and drove us into multiple trillion-dollar debt.  "
Under the Clinton-Gore budget, we were on track to pay off the entire publicly held debt ... by 2009."  On the flip side, the national debt grew by more than $4 trillion during George W. Bush's presidencyUnder Presidents Reagan and Bush, the debt held by the public quadrupled.  Then Clinton fixed it.

Having those feelings toward a bad president doesn't make me less of an American or hate my country.  Hopefully, this post sheds some light on my perspectives as much as your email enlightened - and inspired - me!  I'm really glad I went through this and hopefully someone else will find my work here useful.

wwcitizen: (NJ - Gay Map)
The RANT from the DSCC (the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee) sent out an email today. This is excellent information about Senate candidates. To be clear, I did not write this information, so some notes can seem inflammatory. However, if they inflame, research the points and make your own decisions. I did add a couple of links to things outside of what I've copied here, but 98% of this stuff is not my own.

Quick Hits

Here's the latest news from races across the country:

Delaware: National exposure has shed some light - and lots of cold, hard cash - on Christine O'Donnell, the Tea Party's newest spokeswoman. The Sarah Palin-endorsed O'Donnell raised more than $2.2 million since the primary. It's also been revealed that she used to dabble in witchcraft, believes being gay is an "identity disorder" and thinks women shouldn't be allowed in military schools. She also disagrees with all abortions - even in the case of rape and incest - and has been quoted as saying that scientists are growing real human brains from mice (trying to point out problems with stem cell research). She's also facing two official election complaints: one from a government watchdog group that says she's been embezzling campaign contributions for years, and another - from the Delaware GOP, of all groups - that claims O'Donnell's campaign illegally worked with the Tea Party Express to get her elected.

California: Carly Fiorina is hoping that by attacking Barbara Boxer, Californians will forget about her failed leadership of HP. Fiorina laid off 30,000 workers and was the outsourcing queen, saying: "perhaps the work needs to be done somewhere else." Fiorina tripled her salary and bought a $1 million yacht and five corporate jets. Fiorina has yet to explain how an HP subsidiary sidestepped the law to sell printers to Iran during her tenure. Tea Party mega-donor Koch Industries must have been impressed, because its leaders just hosted a Washington fundraiser for Fiorina. Charles Lewis of the Center for Public Integrity said the Koch brothers "have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation and obfuscation," and that "they are the Standard Oil of our times." Koch Industries was named among the nation's top 10 polluters and is funding Proposition 23, which would suspend California's air pollution control laws. Boxer has been leading slightly in the polls, but Fiorina's sure to dip into her cushy $42 million golden parachute as the election nears.

Colorado: Here's a clear example of how grassroots donations to the DSCC makes a difference: DSCC is running ads about Tea Party King Ken Buck, and his numbers in the polls have slipped. Buck has opposed the 17th Amendment - which (irony alert!) lets people elect their own senators. He also is rabidly anti-choice - he opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest, and supported an initiative to make common forms of birth control and even in-vitro fertilization illegal. On Don't Ask Don't Tell, Buck said it's best that our military be "as homogeneous as possible." So Ken, do you oppose women in the military? How about African Americans or Latinos?

Wisconsin: Polls remain tight in Wisconsin, where Tea Partier Ron Johnson has been digging into his out-sized bank account to attack fiercely independent Democrat Russ Feingold. Johnson's not backing away from his assertion that Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme." In fact, he boasts about that position in his most recent ad. Social Security isn't the only government program Johnson hates. He's also declared war on business assistance and federal stimulus funding. Unfortunately for Johnson, he's been exposed as a hypocrite on both accounts. Johnson's company has used government loans for expansion projects, and last March, Johnson inquired about using stimulus money to renovate a building he was tied to as a board member.

Connecticut: The GOP's Linda McMahon is trying to avoid discussing issues as she attempts to buy herself a Senate seat. She's long claimed to have gone bankrupt at one time - but some accuse her of lying about her life for political gain. Then there's that ever-growing list of former WWE wrestlers dying far too young…

Florida: Republican Marco Rubio this week was the subject of a brutal story on how he's lived high on the hog for years - racking up enormous amounts of debt and living far outside his means - then using his political connections to receive special treatment. That doesn't sound conservative to us. Then there's independent candidate Charlie Crist, who spent thousands to jet-set around the country, then charged it to the Republican Party of Florida's card. So much for claiming to be fiscally responsible.

Illinois: The DSCC is running an ad that attacks Republican Mark Kirk for his inability to tell the truth and his claim that unemployment is no big deal. Kirk also voted against extending unemployment benefits SIX TIMES and increasing the minimum wage FIVE TIMES while voting for HIS OWN PAY RAISES six times.

Kentucky: This is embarrassing: Republican Rand Paul claimed that two sheriffs had endorsed him, but had to back away from the claim when the sheriffs said: "Uh, no we haven't." The National Republicans have realized that Paul is a ticking time bomb and are running ads against Democrat Jack Conway to push him down in the polls. Rand Paul had a less-than-pleasant interview on Rachel Maddow months ago and as a result changed his website about his personal AND political beliefs claims.

Missouri: Republican Roy Blunt is the Very Worst of Washington, and Democrat Robin Carnahan is making sure voters know it. Karl Rove's American Crossroads is coming after Carnahan based on new polling, but the DSCC is making sure that voters know the truth about Blunt, one of the most corrupt members of Congress.

New Hampshire: Palin-endorsed "Mama Grizzly" Kelly Ayotte was chosen the Republican nominee last week, and shady right-wing groups are already coming to her aid. Karl Rove's billionaire-funded American Crossroads is busy attacking Democrat Paul Hodes on the air.

Pennsylvania: All of Democrat Joe Sestak's hard work is paying off. Polls show a close race, and the DSCC is helping by introducing voters to Republican Pat Toomey, who wants to bring back all of the same Bush policies that nearly destroyed our economy.

Washington: Republican Dino Rossi has been busy attacking Democrat Patty Murray on the airwaves, but Murray's continued focus on Washington jobs, jobs, jobs has her rising in the polls. Meanwhile, Rossi is also focused on jobs - European ones. He's being slammed in the media for opposing a level playing field for Boeing - a huge employer in the state.

Fight back!

There are only 39 days until Election Day. There are 15 races within 5 points, and Republicans only need to win 10 to take back the majority. Races are changing by the day

Make sure you get out and vote!!
wwcitizen: (AnxiousFace)
Last night, I asked Matt, "How does one bring down someone like Sarah Palin? How do you take her out of running for president before she gets to the point to start her campaign?"

He said, "Doesn't she look tired?"

"Ah! The Doctor Who Solution!!" I replied. Then it clicked.

I went onto Facebook this morning and "Liked" her page so that I could comment on her posts and wall. I've peppered "Doesn't Sarah look tired?" on as many posts as I could. When I posted, "Glenn Beck is a Mormon! http://www.glennbeckmormon.com/" to her wall, within 5 minutes, the comment was removed. When I posted a link to the Project for the Old American Century, it was removed in 2 minutes. They're onto me!

Sarah actually pays a person to sit and watch the comments on her FB - and remove counter comments. It's fascinating how she spends her money - that people give her freely!! I just don't get why people just hand her $225 for a ticket to her beer bash with Glenn Beck in Alaska on Sep. 11. Just to have a meet-and-greet with her and him. It's disgusting. And they're both laughing all the way to the bank.




Quotes (lifted directly) from people who follow Sarah Palin on Facebook:
1: "sarah,i think you are great i read going roguh,was very supprized,you era quite a womanthis is a 71yr old that appreats you."
2: "So my dear, What..may I ask, is your oppinion on Medicianal Marijuwana?"
3: "Acorn is subsized by the govmnt to work the friends for Obama on Facebook like they registered dead people to vote."
4: "Hey I have made a group "Sarah Pailin for president," because you would be the best right now for the job. I feel you have all of your values right and you know what needs to be done with country. Also I feel everyone would love your decisions, and look you have how many fans of you on facebook only. All else i could say is you should consider running for president in the next election."


wwcitizen: (Face-Serious)
The other day, my father sent me an atrocious video link to sensationalist propaganda about Obama - a different one than the others in times past. The claims made in the video were easily debunked by a few clicks onto different news agencies. Sent those to my dad and asked him to remove me from mass distributions, but to include me on family business only. I'm tired of hearing brainwashed, misinformed, conservative, dominionist rhetoric. Last night, because I'd CC:'d my siblings on the email to my dad, my brother wrote a vehemently worded email agreeing with my father's point of view and all the Obama smack talk. That made me sad.

It's not that I absolutely love Obama; there are many things he could be doing better.
It's not that I want people to believe that Obama was born in Hawaii, that he has school records from Indonesia, or that he has an actual law degree and is a Christian.

Obama is our president. End of story. Man up (as I said in my email, which pissed off my brother tremendously, apparently). Get over it and move forward.

I wish people would focus on the important stuff. We have departments, commissions, and watchdog groups in our government whose sole job is to vet our potential candidates. If anything - truly anything - doesn't measure up, then it will stop the process and the person won't be on the fracking ballot, folks!

It's ever more saddening to see whack jobs like Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle winning their states' primaries.

It's disheartening not to see Democrats rising to the occasion and REALLY getting out there to campaign - MAKE HISTORY AGAIN - and KEEP OUR DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY in Washington!

It's so frustrating that many Republican folks are just following their Senators and "Representatives" so blindly. Their sheep aren't noticing that filibustering is not only childish, but counterproductive - working toward bi-partisan consensus is more productive. Even when Republicans say they agree and support something the Dems put forth, when it goes to a vote, the Republicans (lacking integrity) filibuster and/or vote "no".

It baffles me that conservatives - in general - aren't listening to both sides and making well-informed decisions.

I barely have an interest in mentioning Tea Baggers because they and their ideas are all so insane. Political candidates, like O'Donnell, actually believe in and preach on abstinence. In 2010. Abstinence is a (misguided) practice, which has proven DISASTROUS in Texas. Political candidates, like Angle, actually believe that illegal immigration is on the rise and oppose abortion even in cases of rape & incest; wonder if that would apply to one of her daughters or grandkids?

The problem with the Tea Baggers is they may be the next "viable" party that puts people into office. When I used to wish for more political parties in America, I wasn't talking about conservative ones; that wasn't even in my thought process at all. Next time I speak to my blue genie, I'll have to be more specific.
wwcitizen: (AnxiousFace)
We've been boycotting Sonoma County, CA, for months by not buying wines from there (not easy to do!) because of the mistreatment of an elderly gay couple. The court case was finally settled on July 25th with pretty good results, but the entire outcome for the couple (who'd been together for 20+ years) was so sad. Not sure if our and others' boycott of Sonoma County products was helpful in the process, but we like to think it was. We are lifting our boycott of Sonoma County wines due to the fruitful outcome of the settlement. BTW, "the settlement also prohibits the public guardian's office from moving people against their will."

However, now Target is supporting opponents of the LGBT Community and specifically opponents of gay marriage, which, as everyone that knows me knows we support same-sex marriage (the terminology is unimportant, but the equal civil rights and federal & state benefits are important). We'll be boycotting Target now.

The substance of the issues that sprung up in Sonoma represent the need for same-sex marriages or civil unions (whatever they end up being called) across the country. A business that supports candidates that oppose same-sex marriage should not be financially supported by the LGBT community.

Out of the 308 million Americans estimated by the 2010 census bureau, there are roughly 5 million Americans (using 1.5% as based on earlier estimations) who acknowledge themselves as LGBT. If every one of the 5 million people spends $100 a month at Target, then we are supplying Target with $500 million per month to spend as they like. If, however, we decide to boycott any specific company, like Target, and remove that $500 million we spend with them in a month, we send them a distinct message that we don't like how they're using our money!

Just so companies realize, the US Gay Buying Power is estimated at between $732 and $734 billion for 2010. Wake up people! Money talks!
wwcitizen: (Default)
This is a CNN editorial (and, yes, opinionated) article that a (lesbian) girlfriend of mine sent me in response to other things I've been highlighting recently.

Grand Rapids, Michigan (CNN) -- My partner and I recently took our mothers to Las Vegas for a week for Mother's Day. It's not our favorite city, but for a pair of 60-somethings who can sit at the penny slot machines for hours, it was heaven.

When ... not being robbed by one-armed bandits (aka slot machines), we saw a couple of shows and had some amazing dinners. We also enjoyed trying to figure out which women were hookers and which were just dressed like one. And of course saying "public drunkenness" is pretty redundant after 11AM.

But that's why we go to Vegas, right? Life on the Strip. What happens here stays here ... and all that good stuff. By the end of our trip, the four of us had seen just about everything you would expect to see in a place nicknamed Sin City -- except for faith-based protesters.

Funny, a week of walking up and down the main artery of the self-proclaimed heart of moral debauchery, and nary a Bible verse could be heard. In the many times I've been to Las Vegas over the years, I've never seen a religious protest. And yet let a mid-size city try to add sexual orientation to its municipal nondiscrimination policy or a high school senior bring a same-gender date to prom, and you would think it was the apocalypse. (Being gay in our society in our culture at our place in history is not a sin.)

Where are the faith-based organizations trying to make adultery a crime punishable by death, as suggested in Leviticus 20:10?

The Bible doesn't state that one sin is greater than another (even though homosexuality is not a sin), but you wouldn't know that by counting the number of comments that quote Scripture on news stories about the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. Compare them with how many address murder, or the environment, or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and well, the word "hypocrite" comes to mind.

I am never ashamed to say I follow the teachings of Christ, but I am not always proud to say I am a Christian. That's because I am bothered by the continual mutilation of my religion's basic principle of love by the extremists in my religion who construct a hierarchy of sin -- which does not exist in the Bible -- for no other reason than to protect their own prejudices.

We've seen this throughout this country's history, and perhaps with the exception of abortion, no current issue illustrates [the transgression of hypocrisy] more so than gay rights.

Some conservatives might attend church only twice a year, but ask their opinion about gays in the military. They can find Leviticus 18:22 blindfolded, handcuffed and sinking underwater: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is an abomination."

Rarely do you hear them mention the other "sexual sins" in Leviticus, such as making love to your wife while she's menstruating (i.e. having her period). There are some people who say Jesus freed us from the old laws with one side of their mouths while using old laws to condemn GLBT people with the other.

Many turn to the destruction of Sodom as proof against homosexuality. But the King James version lists fornication, greed and lying as sins committed in Sodom as well, and never specifies which particular sin caused God's wrath.

In fact, the word "Sodomite," which some like to toss around as an anti-gay insult, is a mistranslation and is not used in the original Hebrew text. The actual word is "kadesh," and it does not refer to the city, its inhabitants or a specific sexual act. It refers to the occult male prostitutes in the shrines, just as "kedesha" refers to the female equivalent. Neither word reflects sexual orientation.

It may be convenient to say [the Sodom & Gomorrah story] was all about homosexual people, but historically and scripturally, that isn't accurate. This is why I, like so many other Christians, do not follow a literal interpretation of the Bible.

I'm not ducking Leviticus, I'd just rather go directly to the source. Concepts get lost in translation, and we all know history is filled with influential people and institutions that have defined religion for the masses based upon their own selfish needs. For example, King Henry VIII, the man who authorized the first English translation of the Bible, was married six times and essentially had the British Empire separate from the Roman Catholic Church so he could divorce in peace. Then there's King James, whose own writings suggest he was secretly gay or bisexual, according to historians such as Michael B. Young and Caroline Bingham.

He was directed to marry for the sake of the throne before authorizing the version of the Bible that swapped "kadesh" for "Sodomite" in the first place. Hmm, where have we heard that story -- closeted gay politician with an anti-gay policy -- before?

But theology and history aside, it is clear from the lack of consistent reaction to and organization against the litany of other present-day sins that a large number of people who call themselves Christians do not follow the literal interpretation of the Bible either. So, if some of us are picking and choosing which Bible verses to follow, why are so many opting to pick and choose verses that appear to condemn homosexuality and not the one against marrying a woman who isn't a virgin?

If sin is sin (and the conservative Christians consider homosexuality to be a sin), why such Christian angst directed at the GLBT community and not the greedy corporate community, which, quite frankly, has more direct impact on the average person's life?

The answer is simple: Those who are uncomfortable or fearful of someone who is different from them sometimes hide behind religion to gain power, nurture their ignorance, and justify their prejudices.

It's no different from Christian slave owners (150+ years ago) using Scriptures to feel better about enslaving Africans, or men pointing to Jezebel as a way to keep women out of the clergy, or Bob Jones University picking verses that supported the school's ban on interracial dating.

The extremists aren't fighting gay rights because of sin and honoring Leviticus 18:22. If they were, then where are the faith-based organizations spending millions trying to make adultery a crime punishable by death, as suggested in Leviticus 20:10? Is 18:22 more true than 20:10, or does it just support a more common and entrenched prejudice?

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of LZ Granderson (and annotations/clarifications by me, Stephen Lambeth).
wwcitizen: (Cross MP3)
The group in which I was involved in Philadelphia - Harvest Ministries - is an ex-gay ministry that spews lies, hate, and rejection. They muddy the waters of faith and mislead people to a place where they have little faith left many times, people leave the church and their faith behind, and live unhappy lives believing that God hates them because they're gay. I'm evermore empowered to witness others learning what I have learned: God is MUCH bigger than we give him credit for. God cannot be boxed into the corners and Pandora's Boxes we make in our myopic churches. These people in this video are apologizing for lies and hate that they proliferated through Exodus International, an organization that they started and continues today.

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wwcitizen: (Default)
Stephen Lambeth

May 2017

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