Friday, April 23, 2010

Find Your Military Match (in your local gay paper)

I captured this screen shot of today's DC Agenda (DC's LGBT weekly paper) when I saw the ad on the left. The article is a Kevin Naff editorial on DADT. The Ad says "find your military match today" and shows a picture of a man in uniform in an intimate pose with a woman.

There's something either terribly wrong with this picture or our service members are a lot more progressive (and sexually adventurous) than anyone gives them credit for.

Holy Ghost Hokey Pokey

Somehow in Sunday School, when we learned about the Lord's Prayer, which Jesus told us to use as a model prayer, I missed the part about putting your left foot in.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How Managing a 5-year-old is Like an International Incident

Sometimes it's like Eli and I are two hostile countries, with me playing the superpower and Eli the upstart nation. Today, for example, we had opposing goals. Negotiations began. We were making progress, but suddenly, Eli broke off diplomatic relations and recalled himself to his room. I responded by imposing sanctions. He retaliated by launching a flurry of tears. This led to an internal peace protest within me, but I stayed the course. Finally, Eli offered reparations. Negotiations resumed and a truce was called.

All of this will be repeated tomorrow.

Republicans will denounce me as weak for not spanking, but I will continue to seek diplomatic solutions.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Leonard Matlovich

Via Good As You, vintage footage of Walter Cronkite interviewing gay pioneer Leonard Matlovich. G.A.Y has more vintage coverage of earlier attempts to end the ban on the rights of gays to serve in the military.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

GOProud. The Gay Republican Hope?

After bemoaning the lack of progress on gay issues from our Democratically controlled federal government, James Kirchick writes:

If liberal gays truly value legal equality over political partisanship,
they will wish groups like the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud tactical
success in changing the GOP from within.

Well, yes, I wish them well. But I question whether changing the GOP from within is really the goal of GOProud. It seems to me they're more about giving conservative gays a social club from which to bash Obama. That's okay, being gay doesn't mean you're going to be for health reform or against torturing detainees, much less chanting "yes we can" at political rallies.

But providing a safe haven for gay conservatives within the GOP doesn't necessarily translate into working for change from within. A look at GOProud's federal legislative priorities suggests they are not on a mission to do what Kirchick hopes for.

Out of 10 "priorities," two are related to gay issues. One is opposition to a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Well, how very 2004 of them. The fight today is DOMA repeal.

They also support repeal of DADT, and good for them. However, if they are "working from within" to deliver any Republican votes on DADT repeal I haven't seen any evidence of it. A review of their news releases doesn't reveal any evidence of their having successfully lobbied any GOP support in Congress on DADT repeal. They tout their founding, promote market based health care reform, promote the right to carry concealed weapons and brag about their sponsorship of CPAC.

One could argue -- and Kirchick does -- that their sponsorship and visibility at a prominent conservative gathering is a good thing. Visibility is important and their presence certainly highlighted the generational fissure in the conservative movement on gays. But again, did it result in any additional support in Congress for DADT repeal?

I agree philosophically with Kirchick. I don't think it's wise for gays to blindly support Democrats and see the gay movement as of a piece with the Democratic Party. But as long as the GOP's base of votes and money is southern and evangelical I don't see how it's politically possible for a small group working within to affect real change. And as far as I can see, it doesn't seem like they're trying all that hard.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Conversation with Eli

While sitting at Potbelly's watching (endless) construction at 14th and Irving:

Eli: Construction workers are amazing. They can make so many things.

Me: Yes they can (in my best 2008 campaign spirit).

Eli: They can't make everything, though.

Me: (so much for "yes we can" enthusiasm) Oh? What can't they make?

Eli: (thinking). Humans. God has to make some things.

Me: (thinking this the first time I've heard Eli mention God) What do you know about God?

Eli: (thinks again) Nothing.

Me: Me either. And I've got more than 40 years on you, trying to figure it out.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Taught My 5 Year Old that Abe Lincoln Was an Axe Murderer

I'm a geek but not a very imaginative one.

My favorite historical figure is Abraham Lincoln. He's one of the most written-about figures in the English language (I once read second only to Jesus Christ) so I'm hardly alone in my interest in him. But it's not very original.

I blame my maternal grandparents. They were some kind of Lincoln nuts. I first heard about him from them. I can remember my grandfather saying Lincoln was president for only "half of the United States." To which I said, "which half is President Nixon President of?"

Of course, when my grandparents were little, they too were hearing stories about Abe Lincoln. Except they were hearing it from people old enough to have been alive when Lincoln was. Think about that -- it's 2010, and I can say I talked to people who knew other people who lived through the Civil War. See? Geek excitement!

But I digress. So I'm a Lincoln nut too. I've read every bio of him I could. Two cartoons about him from newspapers from his time hang in one of the rooms of my house that contains other Lincoln Administration era artifacts.

So imagine my surprise and interest when I heard about a novel called "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." It's written by the same guy who wrote "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies."
And I saw it at the airport bookstore in Seattle when I was there fetching my son to bring him back here and of course I picked it up.

So there I am, on the plane, next to Eli, devouring the contents of this book (it is a good book) when out of the corner of my eye I saw him staring. At the cover of the book. Which has a photo. Of President Lincoln, in his long frock coat. As you would expect. Except bloodstained. All over. In one hand the rail splitter held a blood stained axe -- in the other, the decapitated head of a vampire.

"Who's that?" my son asked of my hero.

Oh shit.

One of the hardest parts of being a sometimes parent is the transition from an all adult world to one intended only for general audiences.

Um, that's Abraham Lincoln.

"Is he a bad man? What's that?" he said, pointing to the decapitated vampire head. Oh dear.

I know kids are supposed to be able to distinguish between fantasy and reality. But what do you do with something that purposefully blends reality with fantasy?

I remember seeing the classic Star Trek episode where Kirk and company end up on a planet with historical good guys and bad guys, including Mr. Lincoln. During the episode a Klingon (maybe a Romulan) kills Lincoln with a spear. "oh that's how he died," I remember thinking. It took me a while to sort that out with the whole theater thing.

I took off the Lincoln the Vampire Hunter book cover and wouldn't let Eli see it. He now needs a reintroduction to Mr. Lincoln -- I think I will take him to the Lincoln Memorial sometime during this trip.

And pray he doesn't ask where they keep the vampire heads.

Here's a wicked cool video promoting the book, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.

Remember, it's fiction.

Friday, April 09, 2010

President Palin?

Chris Bowers thinks so:

A continually weak economy--which is very possible--could actually make her
President less than three years from now.

I think his reasoning for her getting the GOP nomination is sound. But I don't think the economy will make her president. But a terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 could.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Dept. of Denying Reality

"I don't agree with homosexuality" wrote a reader of Andrew Sullivan's blog.

That's about as stupid as saying "I don't agree with the Earth revolving around the sun."

Thursday, April 01, 2010

What Congress is Worried About Now with HCR Done

Island capsizing. According to the Hill:

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) is afraid that the U.S. Territory of Guam is going to "tip over and capsize" due to overpopulation.

You can see it for yourself in this clip. The tipping point is at about 1:20 in. The Congressman's spokesperson later spinned that Johnson was speaking figuratively about the island's infrastructure collapsing from an influx of U.S. Marines.

The Admiral he is questioning deserves an award for not laughing in his face.