Monday, July 20, 2009
Yes, the title of this blog is Unbound From Briars which is an allusion to the Blake poem The Garden of Love. Given the frank condemnation of religious oppression contained in that poem, one might think that I am anti-religious, or a term that I've been seeing lately on Andrew Sullivan's blog, anti-theist. I am not. I merely believe that ORGANIZED religion is the greatest corrupter of freedom, as it often imposes it's own morality upon non-subscribers. I think religion and spirituality can be beautiful, given the ability of a person to come to their own personal relationship with their God(s) and their morality.
Today I had a bit of down time (if you read this blog then you may have noticed that the last time that I posted an entry was in April) so I've decided to spend a moment to read from the Bible. Specifically, I would like to share the story and some depictions from the Book of Ruth, which is arguably the greatest love story from the Bible. This story possesses some of the most powerfully romantic and beautiful passages I have ever read. The words seem to speak across thousands of years with their proclamation of undying love- of one woman for another.
The book of Ruth is the story of a woman named Naomi, who had moved with her husband to a region called Moab from her own home in Bethlehemjudea. She had two sons with a Moabite man, and these sons married two women, Orpah and Ruth. In time, her husband and both her sons died. Naomi then decided to return to her home country and her daughters-in-law began to follow her, to which Naomi replied:
why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
And she told them to return to their people, that even if she had a son right then and there, would they wait for him to grow to adulthood so that they could marry him? The daughter named Orpah then tearfully returned to her country, but Ruth hugged Naomi and told her that she would follow her to the end of time.
16And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
17Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
18When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.
So the two woman returned to Bethlehem where Naomi encouraged Ruth to help one of Naomi's "kinsman" with the harvest. In those times, a "kinsman" was a relative who could marry a relative's wife if the husband dies. Ruth endears herself to Boaz, the kinsman, who takes immediate notice of her and orders that she be given favored status among the other servant woman. She then goes to the place he sleeps and seduces him. In the morning, he gives her a bushel of barley, which is apparently a metaphor for being with child. Naomi is pleased with this news and tells Ruth to be patient and to find out what Boaz's intentions are.
Boaz then goes to some of the elders of their village and tells them of his intention to buy Ruth and Naomi's land from her. However, he is the second in line in kinship so he asks the first in line whether he intends to marry Ruth and buy Naomi's lot. The elder says no, so Boaz removes his sandal and gives it to the elder (kind of like spitting and shaking, I guess). Then Boaz proclaims that he is now the owner of Naomi's lot, the husband of Ruth. Ruth bore him a child and the village women proclaim that it is Naomi's son, Obed, grandfather of David.
The beauty of this story is in the omitted details. We see the passionate romance between Naomi and Ruth, their scheme to remain together, and the village's support of this relationship. Was it romantic? Was it platonic? Were they pragmatists in their plan? I like to believe that their love for another endured under this sanctioned marriage to Boaz; that the woman loved and cared for each other with their new child and the lineage of king David.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
From the Burlington Free Press:
Gov. Jim Douglas, who vetoed legislation, said, "I prepared myself for this outcome and predicted it. The outcome was not unexpected."
He had called the issue of gay marriage a distraction during a time when economic and budget issues were more important.
"What really disappoints me is that we have spent some time on an issue during which another thousand Vermonters have lost their jobs," the governor said Tuesday. "We need to turn out attention to balancing a budget without raising taxes, growing the economy, putting more people to work."
I'm sorry, but please explain to me how extending LGBT folk the same rights and privileges that straight, married couples have is going to distract greatly from the economic crisis. If anything, we should all be working hard to protect civil rights during times of economic strife. But I guess that's not your thang if you are a re-pug. Suck one, governor Douglas.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
If you are not familiar with Lively, let me just tell you that there is a very helpful and thorough description of his bullshit at the Southern Poverty Law Center website ( http://www.splcenter.org/ ). I'll provide a few hilights here.
Scott Lively is the author of a book called The Pink Swastika, in which he revises the history of the holocaust to say that gays were the motivating force behind the Shoah.
Scott Lively is the leader of the Abiding Truth ministries, and the California chapter of the American Family Association (remember Don Wildmon?).
Scott Lively attacked a lesbian woman in 1992 while she was filming a documentary. He dragged her by the hair. She sued him for damages and won.
Scott Lively is the founder of the hate group The Watchmen on the Walls, which he founded in Latvia during his missionary work in that country. The Christian evangelical group is radically anti-gay and active here in California and other West Coast areas where there is a large Russian immigrant community. Several young men affiliated with this group are responsible for the murder of a Sacramento area gay man.
Scott Lively just recently returned from Uganda where he completed a speaking tour in which he taught about "the gay agenda" in this country where homophobia is so rampant that it is a crime punishable by imprisonment. He was acutely aware of international criticism of his visit.
I’m writing from Kampala, Uganda where I am teaching about the “gay” agenda in churches, schools colleges, community groups and in Parliament. My visit here is being treated as an international crisis by the “gay” activists and their media toadies, who are spinning lies in their usual manner, but the Ugandan response has been resoundingly positive.
So he offered his "positive" suggestion to the people of Uganda.
... the law against homosexuality should be liberalized to give arrestees the choice of therapy instead of imprisonment
The MTRA most likely held the speaking event at a private home in an undisclosed location. This group should be ashamed for bringing this bigot and holocaust revisionist to Temecula. Apparently, the republican party has nothing left except for their hatred of LGBT people to rally around now that they have failed so resoundingly.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Don't forget that not only is it a UFO cult, but the CO$ also donated to Yes-on-8. So... fuck them and their mind-controlling ways.
A funny thing happened on the facebooks today. I mentioned in an update that I have to work on this holiday, and that I'm blasting my music in my laboratory to make up for it, and a facebook friend left a comment that he doesn't consider César Chávez day a real holiday. ??!!! As a Mexican-American and someone who deeply cares about, and has marched for civil rights, I was obviously offended. I wonder if he would have made the comment if I were darker skinned or had a hispanic surname. You gay readers are all too familiar with the feeling of being slighted by some homophobe who doesn't know you are gay. Maybe he meant no offense, but I removed his comment because it was offensive to people who care about what César Chávez stood for. Then I linked to the above video so that others can see what this great man was all about! The Santana music is pretty great too.
Si, se puede!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Recently, consumerist has had AIG in it's cross-hairs (and who hasn't, really? Their antics is the stuff history books of the future will remind us in chilling detail that you can't screw all the tax-payers all of the time). NOW AIG is suing the US govt (i.e. you and I) using our money, to get back HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS it says was denied them through tax breaks, specifically through the use of "foreign entities" (read: "cayman island tax shelters").
Earlier this week (perhaps, predictably), AIG issued a memo to it's employees on how to avoid having your ass righteously kicked.
(click here for corporate comedy)
This locura all reminds me of a recent documentary called "The Corporation." Occasionally they re-play it on the Link channel. Several years ago, people may have dismissed this as commie propanda. Here's the trailer.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I got in a little late, but pretty much get the whole gist of the dick's message of depeption.
On Iraq: We did pretty much what we set out to do. (What? Help your contractor friends bilk taxpayers out of billions)
On Iran: "you've got to find ways to avoid Iran having nuclear" weapons. (More pro-war propaganda. This worked remarkably in Iraq, apparently)
On Obama's pick for dealing with North Korea: Obama is going to listen to whomever he wants (i.e. not Cheney). Cheney wouldn't have picked him. (Your puppet called N. Korea part of an "axis of evil." Face it Dick, diplomacy ain't your thing)
On not being able to capture Osama bin Laden: We were able to capture the number 3. (FAIL)
On Obama's rejection of torture: Those programs were essential to making USA safe. The interrogation practices were legal. Obama's programs are making America less safe. (I've almost forgotten what it was like under this a-hole. It's fucking TORTURE!)
On torture: "Enhanced interrogation" helped us gather intelligence. (No euphemism will change the fact that it is torture and that it neither helps America nor is better at gathering intelligence than having "intelligence" in the field)
On the closure of Guantanamo: Obama is losing focus on preventing further attacks. (Just like you are trying to distract us from the fact that it is an off-shore detention facility that exists solely to avoid affording prisoners of war constitutional protections)
On Scooter Libby: Scooter Libby was unjustly prosecuted. (Scooter Libby got away with treason)
(The dick's writing a book. My guess for title: Spreading Evil in 8 Easy Years.
On Rush Limbaugh: "Rush is a good friend. I love him." (I have NO comment on this bromance)
On future plans: No immediate plans to run for office; none to retire.
This man is living on borrowed time after 3 (?) heart attacks. Just call it a day, dick. Wev'e got a lot of cleaning up to do.
in a very dorky way that appeals to me. I've loved him since seeing him in The Object of My Affection. I really want to see his new movie. I know he pushes the envelope of the straight guy squirm-inducing quasi-gay physical comedy. I think that he does it in a way that is funny but not homophobic. Maybe he is acting out the repressed homosex fantasies of straight guys who aren't necessarily Kinsey 1's. And he's HOT.
Friday, March 13, 2009
a. Uphold prop 8 completely, thereby completely stomping on the ability of LGBT people to realize full rights of citizenship.
b. Uphold prop 8, but permit existing marriages (such as mine) to be valid, thereby creating a special class of LGBT people who have the rights that their gay and lesbian brethren are denied.
c. Overturn this travesty of justice.
WHERE WILL YOU BE?!
I will be helping to organize either peaceful demonstrations or celebrations in Palm Springs. Get involved now. Numbers matter. Let others see who we are, gay, straight, queer, bi, transgendered, whatever!!! We all matter and deserve the same rights to marry the ones we love.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
We've been so dissapointed lately for obvious reasons.
It looks promising!
Ben LaBolt, a White House spokesman, said: “While the president opposes gay marriage, he supports legislative repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. He believes this country must realize its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.”
1996-2006. That's right- the years that the Repugs controlled congress.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which insures deposits up to $250,000, tried for years to get congressional authority to collect the premiums in case of a looming crisis. But Congress believed that the fund was so well-capitalized - and that bank failures were so infrequent - that there was no need to collect the premiums for a decade, according to banking officials and analysts.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Here's one offender's argument:
“I can finally live knowing that I am no harm to anybody,” he said during an interview at a McDonald’s here, as children played loudly nearby. “I am living a productive life. I want to tell people that there is help.”
And more evidence in support:
A Danish study of 900 castrated sex offenders in the 1960s suggested the rate of repeat offenses dropped after surgical castration to 2.3 percent from 80 percent.
And an argument in opposition:
But human rights groups say that such studies are inconclusive because they rely on self-reporting by sex offenders. Other psychiatric experts argue that sexual pathology is in the brain and cannot be cured by surgery.
I'll just quote the article:
"Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday, March 11, will urge a federal appeals court to uphold the right of taxpayers to challenge public funding of a Baptist childcare agency that proselytizes youngsters in its care and discriminates against gay employees who do not share its belief that homosexuality is sinful.
The lawsuit, Pedreira v. Kentucky Baptist Homes For Children, Inc., asserts that Kentucky Baptist Homes has no right to accept state and federal funding while imposing religious dogma on the children in its programs and that the Homes’ religion-based anti-gay employment policy violates civil rights laws."
One of their employees was fired because she disclosed the fact that she is a lesbian. It fills me with DISGUST that this is in a home for children, some of whom may be LGBT, and all of whom will most definitely suffer under this kind of bigotry either directly, or by being indoctrinated with hate.
Here's Jon Stewart's newest target implicating himself in dubious trading by admiting that he manipulated markets by selling his investments short and creating a false impression that a stock is down. This activity is nothing short of ILLEGAL, and a violation of SEC guidelines. (Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, please! The husband agrees and he's in finance)
Bottom line (and this is a direct Jon Stewart quote): fuck you, Cramer
While I've always been an advocate for the very opposite of remaining silent regarding treatment of LGBT youth (I won't be silent on priniple), these new Christocrat antics are pushing my buttons.
From the website:
"Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) is part of a national coalition of pro-family organizations urging parents to call their children out of school on April 17. This is the day designated for this year’s Day of Silence when students and/or teachers will purposely remain silent during instructional time to protest so-called discrimination and gain sympathy for students who identify as homosexual or transgender."
Man, I feel sorry for their gay and lesbian family members. It's a fucking tragedy that these people still act this way in 2009.
Monday, March 2, 2009
I know you've all seen Rush's bullshit, homophobic, oxycontin-fueled tirade at CPAC this week. I won't make you watch it again. Instead, I will show you some of the genius of subtle provocateurs like DL Hughley, who are calling Rush the "new leader" of the republicans. It gets their shit all riled.
Friday, February 20, 2009
I think UBS is afraid of a run on their banks from all the felons who are their clients who have been stealing from the world's working poor. Sacks of shit, the lot of them.
"The customer data may not be given out," he said, "to protect the interests of the customers."
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I love the part where she says "Did you know...???"
Of course not, bitch! Your question even implies that you know your audience is not college educated (which itself isn't bad- as long as your'e not some fundie Christian Taliban).
This is how they start their shit in these "new economic times."
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
The premise: Naive, beautiful, young Christian Jackie must choose among a group of masculine, strapping, hunky, ripped... er... I'm getting carried away... guys, but some of them are pork-sword-swallowing friends of Dorothy!
What Fox would like you to think the show's message is: Gay guys are just like regular straight guys! We're breaking stereotypes!
The not-so-subtle undertone:
The gay guys are necessarily Macchivellian, conniving, and sinister. Oh, and every stereotype is put out there for you to put on the guys you think are gay.
I'm still watching because I think Jackie WILL fall for a gay. I am just waiting with arms folded across my chest to see how Fox handles that.
'Cos Fox is territorial about their shizz, copy n' paste:
You gotta check out the photo gallery!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Obama limited the earning cap for CEOs of financial corporations recieving "exceptional" amounts of taxpayers money (i.e. yours and mine). Seems fair to me, right? Doesn't seem unreasonable since they essentially get all this money to keep their banks open and keep their job (to say the least).
Well... you just can't please all the people all the time, I guess.
“That is pretty draconian — $500,000 is not a lot of money, particularly if there is no bonus,” said James F. Reda, founder and managing director of James F. Reda & Associates, a compensation consulting firm.
And another bag of scum banksta (will look up name and exact quote) told CNN that $500,000 isn't "real money" and that the average american "doesn't understand" that these guys will just look for other jobs elsewhere.
I'd like to see THAT resume:
Driving Financial Institution into ground
Shameless inflation of personal net worth at expense of tax payers
The CEO of bank of America makes about 20M a year. That means that under his new pay scale, he will make approximately 3 weeks worth of his old salary- in a year. If his living expenses are now out of whack with his new financial situation, I welcome him to the ranks of the rest of Americans living in these new so-called "economic times." And don't bitch to me about salary caps being "socialist." Once you took that handout, you forefeited the right to whine about your socialism for the rich, comrade.
I think that I, being an average American, have a pretty good understanding of what "real money" is. It's currency with which to sustain oneself and one's family and enough to save to have hope for a better future. It's money to buy milk, and bread, and diapers, and gas with. I think 500K will do them just fine.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Could Ratzinger be a shittier pope? I mean, it seems like he's really trying to be the most offensive piece of garbage he can be. Some of Ratzinger's greatest hits include:
1. Rejecting the use of condoms to combat HIV/AIDS
2. Comparing homosexuality to the destruction of the world's rainforests
and most recently...
3. Lifting the ex-communication of holocaust denialist bishop Williamson.
Listen to the man yourself!
Congratulations Joseph Ratzinger (AKA Pope Benedict). You win a Douch-ey Award.
Friday, January 23, 2009
"This here fella, Ben Dodge, is one of those, um, models."
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I hate to link to it, but whatever...
My first out-loud reaction was: "why on EARTH does anybody quote this coked-up dope-fiend?"
But of COURSE they ran it. Does this mean that Limbaugh is relevant again? My simple answer is "no," because I would love to believe that he and his ultra-conservative ilk have been marginalized by the majority of this country. At first I raved about how he could possibly want our new president to fail during a time of such uncertainty! Then I asked myself whether this is really worth blogging about, and whether I would be just as guilty as the MSM for repeating this silly fucker's words. I concluded that I should; not because his words are going to shake the world (have they ever?), but because it exemplifies the counter-reaction to the apparent leftward shift that our country is making.
Nobody can overstate the symbolic power of this presidential election, and how it has reflected the optimism for social progress. However, we progressives should always sleep with one eye open lest these bozos quietly work up their base while we revel in the victory of the moment. Let's not forget how prop 8 went here in California, and how gay rights has again re-emerged as the rallying cry in their ludicrous "culture wars."
Anyway, because I cannot help myself I'll just say that I hope Rush falls off his oxycontin wagon again. From saying that Michael J. Fox is "faking" Parkinson's to playing that "Barack the Magic Negro" song, this guy really should just start free-basing.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I am posting this video (taken from Californians Against Hate) that I find to include very compelling evidence that the Mormon church DID in fact lobby substantially to have Prop 8 passed, thereby demonstrating this church's political involvement. In the broadcasted message, church elders outline their plan to have proposition 8 passed, including a multi-media blitzkrieg and a massive "blossoming" of yard signs (you remember these foul flowers).
No church that becomes a political action organization should be tax-exempt.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Shattering the Glass Closet
By Jenny Kurzweil
Acceptance in the workplace for "out" gay scientists is not that unusual in today's scientific work force—whether it be in a university, industry or federal setting—thanks to the enormous strides that have been made in the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) people's equality. And yet, despite the progress, obstacles for LGBTs in science still exist in various and sometimes subtle forms, including access to role models, mentorship, and ultimately, the science itself.
Read more at sciencemagazine:
I've always thought she was just a silly clown for the right wing. From calling 9/11 widows "harpies" to now blasting Blacks in the entertainment industry, she is REALLY REALLY GOOD at playing complete bitch. Always good for LULZ.
Kalamazoo County Treasurer Mary Balkema, an opponent of the ordinance, said she was unsure whether a compromise could be reached. If a second measure is brought forward that raises similar concerns, Balkema predicted opponents would mobilize again to gather petitions to fight it.
Balkema, a former city commissioner, said commissioners ``didn't do their homework,'' failing to consult a variety of community opinions before acting.
I've done MY homework: Here's Mary's digits in the treasury office
241 W. South Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 567-7525 fax
Monday, January 12, 2009
"The Log Cabin Republicans, hampered by lackluster 2008 fundraising, is facing financial difficulties and ended the year at least $100,000 in debt, according to Patrick Sammon, the organization’s president, who spoke to the Blade Friday.
Sammon said he expects the organization to have around $100,000 in debt or “maybe a little more,” adding that the figure is made up of consolidated debt."
Can somebody cue the tiny violins for these sell-outs?
This is great! Finally, Obama has realized that his rhetoric of including everyone at "the table" means that he should definately include LGBT folks in the religious aspects of the innauguration. Now Bishop Gene Robinson is going to be offering a prayer at an innauguration event... not the MAIN event, but I think this is an important olive branch from the Obama camp to our community. Obama STILL has Rick Warren offering the invocation, but I think this whole fiasco has helped our cause in the long run. Now many people who would not be making such philosphical queries are asking themselves whether his thinly-veiled hate speech is tolerable. Warren even edited his church's website to eliminate homophobic content! So... I'm still pissed, yes, but Warren will be pushed further into the fringe if he does not change his views.
And... how awesome is Bishop Gene Robinson? I make no apologies for my agnosticism, but I thank God that there are LGBT folks like him who are taking back a religion that is based upon compassion.
Friday, January 9, 2009
"No one should have to worry about getting a death threat because of the way he
or she votes," said James Bopp Jr., an attorney representing two groups that
supported Proposition 8, Protectmarriage.com and the National Organization
for Marriage California. "This lawsuit will protect the right of all people to
help support causes they agree with, without having to worry about harassment or
"Were you not to donate comparably [to yes-on-8], it would be a clear indication
that you are in opposition to traditional marriage... The names of
companies and organizations that chose not to donate in like manner to
protectmarriage.com but have given to Equality California will be published."
Some experts have blamed the national increase on increased federal funding for
abstinence-only health education that does not teach teens how to use condoms
and other contraception. They said that would explain why teen birth rate
increases have been detected across much of the country and not just in a few
Other factors include the escalating cost of some types of
birth control and their unavailability in some communities, said Stephanie
Birch, who directs maternal and child health programs for the Alaska Department
of Health and Social Services.
I would argue: ALL OF THE A-fucking-BOVE!
ONLY through education and giving these kids a sense of self-worth, can we make sure our society does not devolve into an "Idiocracy"-style dystopia.
Every time I hear about some "Purity Ball" or other group that tries to convince teenagers to ignore their biological urges, it makes me want to stomp on puppies.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
If the IDF KNOWS that Hamas is using human shields, why did they fire on them anyway?
I mean, if a terrorist hides behind a child, would YOU shoot through the child to kill the terrorist?
Friday, January 2, 2009
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Now I've thought quite a bit about what my real resolution should be for the New Year, and I've decided that I need to give back to the community that has given so much to me. I owe a debt of gratitude to all the gay folks who have fought before us. It's time to give back. That's my promise, and you (if anybody is reading this) can hold me to it.