head, brick wall. brick wall, head.

I’m beginning to wonder if I’m subconsciously seeking a concussion. Because I keep willingly slamming my head against the brick walls that are people who identify as right-of-center/those with Obama Derangment Syndrome.

Continue reading “head, brick wall. brick wall, head.”

sexy liberals rawk!

Pretty much every weekday morning for the last five years I’ve listened to The Stephanie Miller Show as I’m getting ready for and commuting into work. Her particular brand of political analysis (with fart jokes) is both highly entertaining and rather informative – just the way I need my political analysis. Especially since the entertaining parts of the show keep me from driving my car off a bridge when considering the political parts of the show.

Back in May they announced that Stephanie and her mooks would be bringing their Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour to their homebase of Los Angeles. My ears perked up and I thought, I must see this! So I checked with RockerChick to see if she’d like to join me, since one of the performers would be Hal Sparks and I knew she loved her some Hal (they had even met once and she said he was funnier than hell, super cute and very sweet). She jumped on the chance (and probably would’ve jumped on Hal, had the opportunity arisen), whereupon I quickly procured tickets for us about two days after they went on sale. Which, it turns out, was none too soon, as the show sold out in five days. And they had to add a second show. Since I was rapidly developing a harmless little crush on Ecclesiastical Mook John Fugelsang (he of The Unholy Experiment that I wrote about last month), I too was eager to see it. Especially if there was an appearance by show producer Chris Lavoie (I mean, look at that picture on that site – a hot smart sexy liberal in a NASA t-shirt – rowr!).

For the last five months I’ve been holding onto those tickets. Well, not literally, as that would have been vastly impractical and my eager sweaty palms would’ve rubbed all the ink off of them. But they’ve been sitting up on my home office area’s bulletin board.

Finally last night I was able to take them down and use them. For last night – after a delivery dinner of excellent vegan thai food – RockerChick and I made our way west and joined hundreds of other sexy liberals at the fabulous Wadsworth Theater (where I had seen Patrick Stewart perform A Christmas Carol over twenty years before) and enjoyed an evening of political humor and nary a fart joke to be heard. Though there were many jokes of a sexual nature, Ms. Stephanie Louise Miller. (Cue phony exasperated sigh.) Joining them were show cast Chris Lavoie (swoon), Voice Deity Jim Ward and associate producer Rebekah Taylor. And there was a special guest star: Rob Reiner.

And yes, I was able to take photos from my balcony seat, though I opted to not use a flash as I didn’t want to disturb my fellow sexy liberals.

As they signed off, they said they’d be back in town next year. If all continues to go well with HotScienceGuy, maybe I should take him…

Sexy Liberal Tour - John Fugelsang, Stephanie Miller and Hal Sparks
Sexy Liberal Tour - John Fugelsang, Stephanie Miller and Hal Sparks

Hal Sparks and Stephanie Miller demonstrate teabagging while Ecclesiastical Mook John Fugelsang prays for their souls.
Hal Sparks and Stephanie Miller demonstrate teabagging while Ecclesiastical Mook John Fugelsang prays for their souls.

i have a girl-crush…

…on Elizabeth Warren.

I’ve long admired her, but after the clip below, I have a major girl-crush on her. Hell, I wanna be her when I grow up:

*swoon*

(H/T to my platonic internet crush Eric, who tipped his hat to David Atkins, who is the brother of someone I worked with a bit in my political activism days, Dante Atkins. Hello, small world!)

thou shalt not kill…

…so says The Bible.

I may not be a Christian. Or a believer in any of the religions that use The Bible as a book of study and worship. However, there are valuable lessons in that book. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “Love thy neighbor.” “Thou shalt not steal.”

And “Thou shalt not kill.”

On September 21, 2011, at 11:08 EST, Troy Davis was murdered by the State of Georgia.

Over the last twenty-two years he maintained his innocence in the killing of off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail. Not unusual. Even the most obviously guilty of prisoners on Death Row will maintain their innocence when facing death.

What was unusual was that, in the years between Davis’ conviction and murder, seven of the nine witnesses recanted their testimonies, citing fear of the police due to pressure put upon them to deliver the testimony that the prosecutors wanted instead of the truth.

Reasonable doubt was introduced. Despite this, all of Davis’ appeals to the state and federal courts (including a very last minute appeal to the United States Supreme Court, which delayed the execution by four hours) were denied. And so a possibly innocent man was killed by the government.

The sad thing is, this is not the first time this has happened. It’s not going to be the last, especially with people of color.

I’ve written before about my stand on the death penalty. As I get older, my conviction that state-sponsored murder is wrong only gets stronger. And yes, I feel the same way about executing a white supremacist definitely guilty of the race-motivated murder of a black man.

Murder is murder, whether it’s by an individual or a government. I’m against it on a moral level and on a practical level.

While I am not at all surprised by the outcome of Troy Davis’ appeals, I am ashamed of it. I am ashamed of the State of Georgia and I am ashamed of the United States Supreme Court.

Thou shalt not kill.

I wish we, as a country, could follow those simple words.

“It’s important not to hide anymore.”

Today marks a wonderful day in American history: the official repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

After eighteen years of forcing far too many of our best, brightest and bravest to lie about who they are and who they love, our LGBT servicemen and women are legally permitted to serve openly and honestly.

It’s about damned time.

This isn’t to say that things will be magically okay overnight. Janiece writes about the difficulty of sea change. But, as time goes by, this will be less of an issue for future generations who choose to defend the United States, no matter their orientation.

Even lovelier: the marriage of Navy Lt. Gary Ross and his partner Dan Swezy in Vermont at the stroke of midnight, the moment the repeal went into effect. So very fantastic. As Lt. Ross said, “We feel that it’s important that as soon as we’re allowed to commit to each other that we do. It’s important not to hide anymore.

Navy Lt. Gary Ross, right, and Dan Swezy marry at midnight in Vermont as Don't Ask, Don't Tell becomes history. (Toby Talbot / Associated Press / September 19, 2011)

sometimes barbarians need to be disciplined…

…and sometimes they need to flash mob dance outside a “mental health” clinic that takes Medicaid money – possibly to supplement their dangerous “ex-gay reparative therapy” – while the wife of the head “therapist” runs for President on a platform that bashes Medicaid spending:


A barbarian raises his paw in salute to "Marcus Bachmann's" conversion.
A barbarian raises his paw in salute to "Marcus Bachmann's" conversion.

Photo, video and caption courtesy of Columbus Go Home.

trying to not agree…

Last week the inestimable Janiece wrote about the pit of despair in which she found herself in regards to the current political climate of these here United States. She despairs that being a conscientious voter just doesn’t matter.

I want to disagree with her, to put forth the excellent arguments that her intelligent readers lay out in her comments section. I want to counter with an example of from my former, all too-brief life as a political activist of how it very much does matter.

I just can’t do it.

My burnout has a burnout. Watching MSNBC – which I like to watch to stay informed – just fills me with impotent rage. I so dearly wish to keep up with what’s happening in American politics & world events, but I also want to refrain from sticking a fork in my eyes and ears or destroying my TV, so I flip over to Food Network/Cooking Channel or HGTV/DIY Network. I might even take a gander at the Style Network just so I can bring my blood pressure down and calm my anxious nerves. And, unlike the last time when I felt this impotent rage (right after the 2004 “re-election” of Bush fils), I can’t seem to channel it into positive action.

(At least I still have my Stepahnie Miller Show every morning that both enlightens and amuses me. And I’ll be attending the Sexy Liberal Show in October, which I’m very much looking forward to. Stephanie Miller, Hal Sparks and – my personal favorite – John Fugelsang? Heaven! And if Chris Lavoie stops by? *swoon* Seriously, Chirs Lavoie is hawt.)

I have to believe that educating oneself about the truth of the positions of our elected officials is important. I have to believe that, as intelligent, responsible Americans, we have to act in accordance with our consciences and vote for the people and issues that matter to us.

It’s getting harder to keep that belief alive. To keep the despair away.

But I have to do it.

quick note re: obama speech (revised)

As most of y’all know by now, last night President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress regarding health care reform. Personally, I thought it was an excellent speech. I didn’t agree with everything in it — mainly the requirement to carry health insurance. I understand the sentiment, but requirements such as this usually bring fines and the fines I’ve heard discussed seem pretty hefty and outside the budget of the average American. Also, Eric brings up an excellent point regarding Obama comparing health care insurance to auto insurance. And while I’m more for single-payer or universal health care, making sure there is at least a government-run public option for those who cannot afford private insurance or whose jobs do not (or cannot) provide it is a step in the right direction. I just hope that it’s only a first step and not a plateau. I also hope the passed bill takes into account those who are under-insured due to hefty deductibles. Any bill without at least a public option is laughable (co-ops would be a total joke, as would placing a trigger).

However, I do have a major concern: that Obama will not be able to get Congress to do the work it needs to do in order for the bill to be passed. I’ve never thought it would ever be a truly bi-partisan bill – the Republican Party in its current form is too busy flying off the crazy cliff. But even with a Democratic majority in the House and Senate, there are conservative Democrats who seem determined to tag along with the GOP in their mid-air flight. That could very well sink the bill.

Plus I’m still leery after Obama’s refusal to at least place a moratorium on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell until a full repeal can be implemented. I understand that health care is near and dear to the president’s heart whereas ensuring equal rights for all American soldiers doesn’t seem to be. I also understand that equal access to quality health care affects far many more people than ensuring that qualified members of the military continue to serve their country. I just feel that there has been a precedent in the Obama’s presidency that makes me leery. Because of this, I still have reservations.

I hope that my reservations are unfounded.

P.S. Re: the Joe Wilson kerfluffle – those who say the Democrats did it first may be referring to the moans which Democratic lawmakers uttered during Bush’s 2005 State of the Union address in which he spoke about Social Security. Moaning and muttering “No” is not the same as calling Obama a liar when he is, in fact, telling the truth.

P.P.S – I revised the third paragraph to more closely reflect my thoughts – I was in a hurry and neglected to flesh out the reason for my reservations.

the roar of the lion…

…has been silenced.

Last night, Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy died at the age of 77, after a year long battle with brain cancer.

I found out when CuteFilmNerd called me last night just as I was starting to drift into sleep. I fired up Twitter on my cell phone to see what others had tweeted and found only one news report, then realized it was much later Points East of Los Angeles. This morning I listened to President Obama’s words on Kennedy as I readied myself for work.

There will be much written about him today. No matter how much is written, it could never do justice to the Lion of the Senate. Some have said that, while he was never their senator, they felt that he was America’s Senator. This is a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with.

My heart goes out to his family and friends in their grieving. But I also find that I’m grieving for myself and for the United States. Being human, he wasn’t a perfect man, but he was one of the best and brightest of us and his loss will be felt keenly. Especially at a time when he is needed most. May someone of his strength, courage and convictions stand up to take his torch. Let the roar of the lion be heard again.

Requiescat in pace, Senator Kennedy. You will sorely be missed.
Requiescat in pace, Senator Kennedy.
You will sorely be missed.