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Politics: The New Republican Platform (And my response!) November 23, 2009

Posted by truthspew in politics.
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Found this over on Joe.My.God.

(1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill;

I suppose government adequate to meet the needs of the people and perhaps a lower national debt. But that’s where my similarities with the Republicans end. I want to see taxes back at the levels they were at in the 1950’s. You know, when people making more than $300K a year paid a fairly high bracket, and corporations paid quite a lot more in taxes than the roughly 9% to 15% they pay now.

I’d also like to mention that if we ended the debacle in Iraq and Afghanistan we’d save a fucking bundle. Especially with the latter. If you understand anything about the Pashtun tribes, you understand that Afghanistan is essentially undergoing a civil war that has been going on for the better part of the last few centuries.

And Iraq, we need another bully puppet there. Saddam Hussein knew how to keep his party in check. That’s what we need so Shi’a, Sunni and even Kurd can learn how to live with one another again.

Once that’s accomplished lets pay off the national debt, and then with the surpluses available let us re-invest in infrastructure (Rebuilding highways perhaps, with lanes set out for rapid transit systems?) or maybe rebuilding all the schools in the nation, or providing health care to every U.S. citizen, from cradle to grave.

(2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run health care;

See the last part of my above answer. I support not just a single payer system, but a nationalized system like they have in the UK. Anything left to a ‘market-based’ approach simply means that the market will charge all that can be borne by the customer and provide as cheap a service as they can in order to maximize profit. Profit in health care should be anathema, particularly the extreme cases of profit over care.

(3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;

Here is what I’d support. I’d support dumping huge sums of money into wind, solar, tidal and whatever alternative energy systems we can come up with. I’d also support the R&D into electric vehicles that have ranges in the 300 mile, with < 15 minute recharge times. It's happening already, but would happen a lot faster if we put a little money into it.

I guess you could almost say I agree with this particular point. Cap and trade is bullshit. Lets move ourselves toward a Type 1 Kardashev society.

(4) We support workers’ right to secret ballot by opposing card check;

This one confuses me a bit because I’m not well versed in labor issues. In essence though the Republican party is pretty much anti-union so I guess I’d have to support card check.

(5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;

This point is purely bovine effluvia. I say if they’re here, working and paying taxes they stay here.

(6) We support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;

I oppose this on so many levels. See the last part of my answer to their first platform plank.

(7) We support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;

I support diplomacy with Iran, and as far as North Korea, we need to put the pressure on China, Japan and South Korea to settle that little cluster fuck.

(8) We support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;

And I support abolishing said act. It is unconstitutional on the very face of it and violates my rights to equal protection under the law.

(9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and

Yes, the lives of the vulnerable. Who are they anyway? The way I see it, the very young, the very old and the disabled. I’d extend it to those between very young and very old too.

But do they not realize that health care is already rationed? It’s a default state of the system as it exists even now. As for denial of health care, they really should talk to their buddies in the insurance industry because by far they’ve been the grinchiest of all.

Now the fun part, abortion. I say this, until we get a reasonable sex education program into schools (One that starts around 5th grade, and repeats again in 8th and 10th) we keep access to abortion free, open and legal for all. Otherwise I neither care, nor do I think it is my right to tell a woman if she can or cannot get an abortion. It’s her choice, not mine.

(10) We support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership.

And I support the right the arm bears. But seriously, yeah I’m kind of gun nut when it comes to this.

So I do find a small amount of agreement with their 10 planks. But I don’t think I’d ever call myself a Republican.

Bigots on the prowl in ProJo article on Domestic Partnerships in RI November 15, 2009

Posted by truthspew in marriage equality, politics.
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I note that the Providence Journal (ProJo) has been blowing up with the gay rights issues here in Rhode Island for the past couple of weeks.

The lastest is this:

PROVIDENCE –– Governor Carcieri surprised political rivals this week when he told gay-rights activists he would consider comprehensive reforms giving many, if not all, of the rights of marriage to same-sex couples.

But the unexpected announcement from the Republican governor has found little support among Rhode Island’s gay community, reinforcing a division among gay-marriage supporters that could kill Carcieri’s idea before it’s even put to paper.

You can click the above block quote to go to the original article. Be forewarned, ProJo requires registration in order to view some content.

But what I’m really here to comment on is some of the more bigoted response comments in the ProJo survey which asks if DP would be acceptable. You can take the survey here.

You can see all the responses if you take the survey. But I’ll just copy/paste a couple of the more egregious ones:

No, the Governor should NOT consider domestic partnership agreements. The homosexual agenda is not only only marriage, is about FORCED ACCEPTANCE of their deviant lifestyle, UNDER PENALTY OF LAW. To legalize “domestic partnerships” is to legitimize the homosexual lifestyle. Anyone who dares object will be punished. Our freedom of religion will be GONE. Don’t believe me? Look at the many examples of what’s already happening in other states! A Catholic adoption agency CLOSED in Boston because they were being forced under interpretation of Massachusetts law to be required to have same sex couples adopt children out of their Catholic agency, which is completely against the Catholic religion. If we had a “domestic partnership” law in Rhode Island, that law would be used to do the same and similar things!

I went with this one first to demonstrate something. All caps are used to stress a point, or to shout when it comes to text on the net. The above demonstrates proper usage of all caps btw.

Now to take issue, well I’ll do that in video form but first I have to post the other all caps message.

MY FEELINGS ON “GAY” MARRIAGE ASIDE, I THINK THAT ALL THE LEGAL AND FINACIAL TROUBLES THAT THIS MOVE WILL BRING UP WILL MAKE IT FAR TOO EXPENSIVE FOR REST OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE PAYING TAXES. IT WILL CLOG UP THE COURTS. COST INSURANCE COMPANIES MORE (GUESS WHO WINDS UP PAYING THAT BILL ULTIMATELY?). YOU KNOW WHAT? JUST GO TO YOUR ROOMS AND DO WHAT YOU LIKE. I DON’T ADVERTISE MY PREFERENCES. IT’S NOBODY’S BUSINESS. AND I CERTAINLY WOULDN’T EXPECT MY NIEGHBORS TO FOOT THE BILL.

Three things on the above. To begin TURN OFF THE CAPS LOCK! Next, spell check is there for a reason. Use it. As to your FEELINGS, civil rights should never be decided on feelings. You need a cold logic when it comes to civil rights something the above commentator fails to grasp.

And now my response to both. Sorry for the annoying UV streak. I’m experimenting with lighting.

For the Obama apologists November 6, 2009

Posted by truthspew in government, marriage equality, politics.
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You know I keep hearing people say how he’s got the war, the economy, health care, etc. on his plate as being the reason he can’t be a ‘fierce advocate’ for gay people.

Part of being a leader is being able to delegate the work to be done. So far President Obama seems to be doing that well.

He also has time to throw Halloween parties for the children of military families. Yet he doesn’t have the time to speak against a hateful proposition in California, or in Maine?

So tell me, why doesn’t the President take five minutes out of his day to say “Voting to repeal civil rights is wrong.” or “Yes on 1 is hateful and disgraceful.”?

Fierce advocate my ass. We’ll take the crumbs he offers like a hate crimes bill, but when it comes to true equality we give him a pass.

On the one hand I’m glad that Obama is President and McCain isn’t. And I don’t regret having dumped a few hundred bucks into the campaign either. But I do wish Obama would show more leadership characteristics. Hells Bells, even Jimmy Carter got roped into telling people not to vote for the Briggs Initiative in CA back in the 1970’s.

Here’s my theory. If you’re going to be a leader and not a politician it means you don’t necessarily get a second term. So you make the first term worthwhile. What astounds me more is that Obama and the Democratic party seem to be on the same page of lack of leadership. This has become evident in the health care reform debate.

There shouldn’t be any debate as to discussion. There should be debate that has the long term goal of fixing a broken medical system.

But instead we’ll see our elected representatives sell us out with health care cooperatives, in essence saying we’ll be even more at the whims of the marketplace.

And as far as gay rights, yes we may now be included in hate crimes statutes, and we may get an ENDA bill but again it’s a half step. ENDA isn’t what we want we want EHCNDA (Employment, Housing and Creidt Non Discrimation) for the entire spectrum of the LGBT community.

We have a golden opportunity with a super-majority in congress and a Democratic President. Civil rights should be easy to push through.

Most of all we want our civil rights, all of them not just some of them.

I find it odd that you have military commanders saying the military is ready to get rid of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell. So where’s the political will to do away with DADT and DOMA?

It seems as thought we’ve elected cowards.

So step up President Obama and do the right thing.

Religious WackNuttery November 1, 2009

Posted by truthspew in government, politics, religion.
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So I’m going through my blog feeds this morning and I see on the blog “Stardust Musings and Thought for the Free Thinker” that the Christian nutjobs have their own special web site that proposes basing everything on the Ten Commandments.

Being the curious sort I had to go and look. It’s kind of like a car wreck or a train crash for me. I’m always drawn to the insanity of religion, particularly when it goes past crazy into ludicrous territory.

I’m going to take just a half dozen of the ones that strike me as the height of absurdity and give my response. You can see all of them here.

First we need to examine the Ten Commandments.

The first four establish their god as a jealous and petty fellow. Not someone I’d want to befriend that’s for certain.

1. You shall have no other gods before me.

This is interesting because in the Genesis story God himself alludes to other ‘gods’. In essence we have God, Yahweh, Al’Lah or whatever other name it goes by establishing its dominance. Nice!

2. You shall make no graven images of me.

Because nobody has ever SEEN their god. Look at the idolatry of Jesus Christ. Ever notice he doesn’t look even mildly Semitic? He’s always the lilly white version.

if you want to find the height of nuttery look at the Muslim offense to cartoons of their prophet that were published in Danish newspapers and magazine. Christians should take a note but then Christians are big on idolatry so I guess that’s why. And the biggest idolaters out there are the Catholics.

3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

Whoa! This one gets violated on a pretty regular basis, god damn it!

4. Remember the sabath day and keep it holy.

This would be all well and good if everyone could get their collective act together and decide when the Sabath actually occurs. The Jews start from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, while Christians pretty much just choose Sunday. So how the hell can you remember the Sabath if you don’t know on which day it falls?

5. Honor they father and mother

Tell that to the crack babies, or the foster kids, et al. Wait for the howls of derisive laughter.

6. No murder

Well, this one makes some sense upon some thought. But I have a better off dead list anyhow but it’s not this commandment that makes me stop from exercising the options on that list. What makes me stop is that even though I’m an atheist I still think the rule “Do unto others as you’d have done unto yourself.” is a pretty good way to live life.

7. No adultery

Here’s one that Christian’s (and Jews!) can’t get their heads around. With a divorce rate in the U.S. of 50% you know that theyre’ not following the commandments.

And here’s my prediction, if we were to be placed on biblical law and #7 were followed it also means no divorce. So you’d see incidence of domestic violence including murder go up if you took away divorce. Fun times for all! (Note the sarcasm!)

Three more to go:

8. Thou shall not steal

A reasonable commandment if you ask me. But it’s violated on a regular basis. Look at corporations, biggest thieves in centuries. A strictly biblical approach would lead to a solution for THAT problem.

9. Thou shall not bear false witness against they neighbor.

The anti-homosexual crowd could learn a thing or six from this one. In other words, don’t lie about other people.

And finally…

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.

Well, we’re all just a little guilty of covetous behavior at times. This isn’t a thorough list but it’s a start. Is it ok to covet the ass of the male servant?

Now for the good part, the nuttery:

Children deserve better than to be forced to live with homosexual parents. Where there are such parents, they should be punished according to Leviticus 20:13, and the children should be placed within righteous families.

For reference Leviticus 20:13 is the passage that has it’s misogynist root about a man not laying with another man as with a woman, for that is an abomination and they shall surely be put to death.

Skip forward to Leviticus 20:14, if you bag a mother daughter tag team gets you a burning at the stake!

It’s all idiotic twaddle built for a desert society that exists a couple of eons ago. Things have changed dramatically and that is precisely what these religious nut jobs don’t like. They don’t like the fact that science, engineering and government has advanced considerably.

What is the use of higher learning, critical thinking and educational skills when they do not enable you to know God?

This one make me laugh. higher learning, critical thinking and educational skills enable one to know God a little too well. So well in fact that it comes to the point that we realize we’ve had the wool pulled over our eyes for so many years due to a fictional character.

The more “technologically advanced” the world becomes, the more morally stupid it becomes.

I think the inverse is true and that becomes more a danger to religious hypocrisy than anything else. And they fail to realize that the technologically advanced world is responsible for helping them to get their sick, twisted message out to the public.

God has stated that, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’ (Psalms 14:1;53:1). In view of that solemn fact, it is quite interesting to note who the people are who deny the existence of God. They are government officials, the rich, scientists, college professors, teachers, attorneys, doctors, etc. All who deny God are to be rightly regarded as “FOOLS,” regardless of their job titles, levels of education and positions in the society.

Think of me as a fool all you wish but I know your Bible better than you do. They say to really vanquish an enemy you must know them. I know what the Christian Nuttery is up to at all times. It’s best summed up as “All up in the Kool-Aid and they don’t know the flavor.”

**WARNING*** Racist content coming….

Blacks have never understood how blessed it is to be outcasts in the american society.

This truly struck a WTF chord in me. The Christian nut jobs have this thing where they’re always better than everyone else. But in this little turd, they actually have the stones to come out and say it’s a blessing to be an outcast in American society? Hence the “What the fuck?” moment.

And finally since this post is getting a little long in the tooth:

Growing old should not cause anyone to become a bigger fool.

With age comes wisdom. And that wisdom includes the fact that ‘evidence’ for the existence of God isn’t evidence at all. The religious would say it’s self-evident. In other words, just because I say that “I am.” then I am. Kind of circular logic when you think about it.

That was the thing that got me through my 12 years of education in Catholic schools. The circular logic regarding religion used to astound me.

Let me be absolutely clear though. I refuse to live under a society that embraces the Ten Commandments. That runs totally contrary to my being.

And if you want to see what happens when you allow the religious nut jobs to take the reigns I give you Iran. There is a cluster fuck just waiting to happen.

Interesting medical bit, a novel idea from the past November 1, 2009

Posted by truthspew in medicine, Policy, politics, Reform.
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I remember house calls going out of vogue about the time I was 4 or 5 years old. Yes yes, I’m THAT old.

But now an old idea is new again.

A couple things jump out from the linked article. One is that the Missouri VA program for veteran care saw a drop in cost per patient of 62%! It went from $45,000 per year per patient down to $17,000. That’s no small feat.

The other little fact that really jumps out is that patients with multiple chronic conditions use up two thirds of Medicare money which approaches $500 Billion this year. If say we could realize the savings that the VA saw, we could chop that $500 Billion down to about $190 Billion. That’ where the savings multiply.

Another fact that jumps out about this new move, which by the way is included in the health care bills floating through congress. That is, patient outcomes IMPROVE when doctors make house calls.

The other little fact that really jumps out is that patients with multiple chronic conditions use up two thirds of Medicare money which approaches $500 Billion this year. If say we could realize the savings that the VA saw, we could chop that $500 Billion down to about $190 Billion. That’ where the savings multiply.

I’ve written about this before. If there’s one thing the U.S. is absolutely on top of it is emergency medicine. Education and technologies have evolved to the point that most every state has one or more Level 1 Trauma centers. The one near me is about 1.5 miles away. You can be shot, have a heart attack, stroke, etc. but the emergency folks can patch you up and keep you alive in most cases.

Where we absolutely fall down is on preventative medicine. And that is what doctors doing house calls would return to the equation.

But I think the reason we’re seeing such a fight over health care reform is because there are businesses out there that stand to loose a lot of money if we implement common sense ideas about medical care. Think about it, Medicare would save $310 Billion in costs. What could we do with an extra $310 Billion? Fix deteriorating infrastructure like roadways and schools? That’s just a start.

You have to look at who stands to lose when disruptive change like this occurs. The quick list I can think of is the hospitals, the insurance companies, the billing companies, the ambulance companies, cities (You think rescue runs are free?), and even states at some level.

The above is what I see as the prime opposition to true reform in health care. But we the people must let our legislators know that we know how disruptive this change will be, but we’re willing to work with them to see it passed.

The truth about the opposition October 28, 2009

Posted by truthspew in Gay rights, marriage equality, politics, religion.
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I’m speaking of the opposition to gay rights and marriage equality.

Here is what I see as the real truth. The opposition numbers far below supporters. For example today at the Maine State House.one Peter LaBarbera (aka Porno Petey) of Americans for truth against Homosexuality (ATAH), was having a little pre-voting speech. Of course the entire content of LaBarbera’s speech was filled with religious biogtry.

The real issue is how many supporters of LaBarbera and ATAH showed up. There were about 36 people from what I read over at Pam’s House Blend.

Per the breakdown only 9 of them were part of Porno Petey’s Posse.

I’ve seen the same thing here in RI when NOM does a dog and pony show. They get maybe five or six of their ‘friends’ to come out. Here is one example from a Marriage Equality RI gathering back on June 6, 2009.

They’re to the center left in the above photo, all five of them including Chris “The Whore” Plante, NOM RI Director.

What I’m trying to say is this, those who oppose us are a vocal minority. It isn’t easy being a bigot. That’s why you’ll see several hundred supporters and maybe a dozen opposition if you’re lucky.

Same was true at the National Equality March in D.C. You had the usual crazies like the WBC but the opposition was maybe 0.00000001% of the total crowd.

And then let us look at the Catholic Church in Rhode Island.

How many people still attend church? I know when I go by Holy Ghost church down the street from me on a Sunday morning I don’t see a full parking lot nor do I see a lot of people in there.

Nope, instead who do we hear from? That dwindling class, the clerics who oppose marriage equality. They’re loud about it too. You get bigots like Malone in Maine, or Tobin here in RI. They are bishops but I refuse to respect use of the honorifics for the religious. And I’m sure we’ll hear from John Codega or Bernard Healey at the next round of hearings. But the reality is, they’ve lost this battle and they refuse to admit it. Instead they’ll beat around biblical passages to try and prove that their god is in the right.

Their god has been wrong before (Need I mention slavery? Or the other Levitical passages regarding grooming and eating habits?).

But we on the side of equality will prevail. We are learning how to outshout the opposition without having to raise our voice because of the sheer numbers we have that support us.

And I’m putting Speaker Murphy and Senate President Paiva-Weed on notice once again. You’re both playing with fire. You don’t want to see what happens when the body you lead goes against your wishes.

And to Governor Carcieri, hugs and kisses! It is now my prime mission to not only aggravate you but to annoy you so much that the real bigot in you will shine through.

I attended the National Equality March for gay rights October 12, 2009

Posted by truthspew in Gay rights, government, marriage equality, politics.
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We left Saturday evening around midnight. We were supposed to leave at 11PM but the one of the drivers had twisted his ankle.

It’s a good thing too. We had about 34 people a the Stop & Shop on Branch Ave rally spot, and we picked up another 20 students from Brown University. So we managed to fill a bus, in fact we actually had to turn a few people away.

On the ride down I think the only one who got any sleep was my friend Rich. Otherwise I was either listening to my iPod (Which needs a little surgery, the earphone jack is messed up.) or talking or trying to sleep but I was far too excited to sleep. Very early in the morning I did hear someone explaining quantum physics and the Standard Model to Luther but I’m not sure who it was, probably one of the Brown students.

Other people that I knew on the bus were both Brians (Brian C. and Brian R.), Josh, James, Shaun, Paul H. and Paul L, and Brandon and probably some whose names escape me at the moment since one of the effects of sleep deprivation is loss of cognitive function.

We got in to Washington, D.C. at 7:30AM and the first order of business was breakfast and yes, coffee. I needed the caffeine blast. Supplemented it with Coca Cola later on at lunch.

We went to this little Burger King since it was the only thing that was a) not a Starbucks and b) We couldn’t find a basic mom and pop shop in D.C. that served breakfast. So Burger King it was. I had a sausage croissant with something that might pass for home fries but turned out to be hard little pucks of potato .The second floor of the place was straight out of the 1970’s:

Burger King in DC

Burger King in DC

Don’t worry – you’re not seeing things. I guess the caffeine had kicked in when I snapped the above frame.

After BK we ran into the Equality Utah folks at a convenience store. Rich was a little shocked by that since Utah is well known as a Mormon stronghold

We spent a little time wandering around D.C. checking out statuary, monuments and such.

Saw the White House and I can’t believe how dinky it looks.

White House

White House

She who hocked the Jewels to finance the journey of Columbus. Apropos for Columbus day isnt’ it?

Queen Isabel

Queen Isabel

The inscription roughly translates to “Ysabel’s first Catholic kingdom of aragon castile islands and mainland of the ocean sea.

The Washington Monument:

Washington Monument

Washington Monument

We saw that as well as statues of Andrew Jackson, and other notables.

We grabbed lunch at a little place called Cosi’s. I had the roast beef with wasabi and pickled ginger. It was a little pricey since the sandwich, chips and a drink came to $9.99. Though I very rarely order out anymore so I may have lost touch with prices. I ended up taking $60 with me and only spending $30 throughout the day.

I noticed during the morning that we didn’t see a lot of people milling around. I found out later why that was the case.

They staggered the locations and times for all the bus drop offs.

Just before the march there was a little warm up march.

We left the restaurant at about 11:30AM and made our way over to the rally point at 15th and K Streets. What we hadn’t realized it buy by the time we got to the really point, there was that a large group had already stepped off for the march. If you click on my flickr photos you’ll see a few parts where the pictures capture the march as it’s already turned the corner and is heading down another street.

Here is a video when we were waiting to kick off the march. They staged it pretty well though.

An Edge Providence photographer took some pics with me, Rich, RI Rep. Frank Ferri, and his partner Tony Caparco. Rich and I both had our MERI t-shirts on.

I’ll have more video from the march soon. I hadn’t realized what a bear it is to process just 15 or so minutes of raw video.

During the march itself we were chanting various things. At one point a D.C. cop helped us to keep cadence with his whistle.

When we finally got to the U.S. Capitol it was getting mobbed. I decided to go use the facilities but couldn’t get back in to hear the speakers. So I wandered the city a bit instead but I can tell you this, the crowd was at least a quarter million people or more.

And there were only a small handful of religious idiots on the sidelines. One carried the standard “1 Man, 1 Woman” sign. Fucking bigot. I believe but cannot verify that I told him to “Stick your god up your ass.”

Otherwise the parade was uneventful. We did have a chant-off with a group from Texas though. And I loved every minute of it. As I post more video and pictures you’ll understand. In fact the march had a certain energy to it. I really really loved being there.

On the bus ride back we watched the movie “Milk”. The movie was ideally coupled to what we just did. That was Harvey Milk’s main modus operandi. Get out and be an activist.

One funny moment came when Paul L. was perusing Facebook learned that I was gay. I just gave him the “It’s pretty obvious.” look.

Otherwise on the ride back we pretty much slept. I even slept from the end of Milk until we were just about out of Connecticut. So that’s about an hour and half. I did wake up in time to see Orion just above the horizon when we were still in the Connecticut woods.

Got home around 2:40AM, kissed Keyron, and went to bed. Rolled out of bed at 9AM. And I’m still recovering. My throat is sore and I’m just coming down off a major caffeine jag. This is the reason I don’t normally drink coffee.

I know that this one came on kind of fast but I think we’ll see another one next year. I just have that feeling because of the foot dragging over DADT and DOMA. So I think they should start planning now. We need to turn up the pressure on our elected reps. If you didn’t make it this year, you damn well better make the next march!

And I promise to be more coordinated next time, E.g. I’ll buy a throw-away cell phone so we can all link up. And I think knowing the city a little better I can suggest rally points (10th and K is actually a good one) for those who wish to join the group.

And when I got home I had an idea. The idea was to find all Marriage Equality supporters in Governor Carcieri’s home districts. Couple that with the fact that Carcieri has open door Thursdays and you can see where this is going. I found 250 people on the list so here we go!

In which I charge Governor Carcieri of RI with Perjury September 1, 2009

Posted by truthspew in Gay rights, marriage equality, politics.
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We’ve recently become aware that RI Governor Donald Carcieri is going to be the keynote speaker at the Massachusetts Family Institute.

Governor Carcieri has accepted an invitation to headline the annual fundraising banquet for the Massachusetts Family Institute, an advocacy organization that promotes marriage between a man and a woman and considers homosexuality “an unhealthy practice and destructive to individuals, families and society.”

First a little background on the Massachusetts Family Institute.

They hold themselves to be fairly innocuous and even friendly. Look at these points from their about us page:

* Educating families and children about the dangers of unsafe Internet use
* Preventing sexual abuse of children
* Enforcing statutory rape laws
* Strengthening, protecting, and preserving marriage between a man and a woman
* Restricting gambling within the Commonwealth
* Providing resources to help fathers meet the financial and emotional needs of their young families
* Educating children and adults on the spread of dangerous sexually transmitted diseases, and the benefits of sexual abstinence
* MFI is an independent, not-for-profit organization and supported through the generosity of our contributors.

Note the highlighted segment.

And note the abstinence part. Yes hide your heads in the sand and pretend that your teenager won’t know how to have sex. It’s pretty simple, animals do it all the time. Tab A to Slot B and bam, the owner of Slot B is impregnated. All because you taught abstinence instead of human sexuality.

A little further digging finds this:

MFI does not consider homosexual behavior to be merely an alternate lifestyle or sexual “preference”; it is an unhealthy practice and destructive to individuals, families and society. Our compassion for those plagued by same-sex attraction compels us to support the healing of those who wish to change their behavior. MFI strongly opposes any efforts by political activists to normalize homosexual behavior and all attempts to equate homosexuality with benign characteristics such as skin color, or the “gay rights” movement with the civil rights movement.

It is not an alternative lifestyle, it is a life. It is not a sexual preference, using the word preference implies that being gay is a choice. I’d like to ask their membership and our Governor, when did you decide to be heterosexual?

They then go on about healing homosexuality “for those who wish to change.” I’m one recalcitrant homo, I don’t want to change, and I don’t believe in God. Yes I’m a godless gay heathen. You can try changing me whilst staring down the barrel of a gun held by me.

And we’re not trying to equate being gay with anything. What we are asserting is our civil rights under that pesky document, the RI Constitution. I direct you attention to Article 1 Section 2. Granted, it was only inserted in 1986 but it’s still part of our Constitution as it stands.

Section 2. Laws for good of whole — Burdens to be equally distributed — Due process — Equal protection — Discrimination — No right to abortion granted. — All free governments are instituted for the protection, safety, and happiness of the people. All laws, therefore, should be made for the good of the whole; and the burdens of the state ought to be fairly distributed among its citizens. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied equal protection of the laws. No otherwise qualified person shall, solely by reason of race, gender or handicap be subject to discrimination by the state, its agents or any person or entity doing business with the state. Nothing in this section shall be construed to grant or secure any right relating to abortion or the funding thereof.

All laws made for the good of whole. Note, WHOLE. That means everyone. Not just the 90% or so of RI’ers who identify as heterosexual.

Now here’s where the crux of my argument comes in. This is the oath that the Governor has sworn not just once but twice.

Section 3. Oath of general officers. — All general officers shall take the following engagement before they act in their respective offices, to wit: You being by the free vote of the electors of this state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, elected unto the place of do solemnly swear (or, affirm) to be true and faithful unto this state, and to support the Constitution of this state and of the United States; that you will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties of your aforesaid office to the best of your abilities, according to law: So help you God. Or: This affirmation you make and give upon the peril of the penalty of perjury.!

So I now charge RI Governor Carcieri with Perjuring his oath of office. My reasoning behind this is his vociferous opposition to my rights as enumerated in the RI Constitution. By doing this and being the headline speaker for the Massachusetts Family Institute he is in direct violation of not just my rights, but the rights of all GLBT people in RI.

Good Article on the Birther/Healthcare/Socilist BS out there August 27, 2009

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Check out this Newsweek article.

In other words – Machiavellian thought. The ends justify the means.

Doesn’t surprise me since I consider that type of behavior to be intellectually lazy. It reminds me of the guy who attended an abortion protest. He asked the participants if they though abortion should be illegal and every one answered in the affirmative. He then asked each a second question: What crime should a woman who seeks an abortion be charged with? The blank stares were stunning.

I may have high Machiavellian tendencies but that’s just from working in state government for 5 years.

But I see this same method being used to stop marriage equality too. Look at the likes of Maggie Gallagher, or even RI Director Chris Plante. They usually tip-toe around even mentioning same sex marriage but I found a video clip of Maggie just bashing the hell out of the idea.

It’s come to the point in time where most of the people (aka sheeple) can be lead along because our education system has failed. This was by design mind you, for a population capable of critical thinking skills is a danger to the status quo.

For example, what would have the administration of George W. Bush been able to get away with if the majority of our 300 million plus could actually compare and contrast, to think about what they were shoveling instead of blindly trusting them to do the right thing.

We’re in the age of psyops. The CIA perfected it, and now it’s used on us on a regular basis. Look at the credit bubble, the housing bubble, et al. The message all along was “buy, buy, buy”. Some of us ignored the message. We also ignored the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) being served by the Bush administration. Maybe it is because years ago I switched off the television and radio. There are those who promote the idea that people who don’t watch television or listen to the radio are somewhat socially inferior.

But the reality is, does it really matter what TV characters do, or what ads tell you to buy, or tell you that you need? Instead we ought to devote more time to knowing what government is doing, to mentoring, volunteering, knowing your neighbors, in essence making it a better place.

RI Tax Stupidity July 25, 2009

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Yes I’m calling on you Representative Costantino, I emailed you about the Amazon tax issue and got no reply at all. So I’ll do this publicly.

The Providence Journal recently had a piece that says a D.C. based group called Budget and Policy Priorities supports the so called “Amazon Tax” implemented by New York and Rhode Island.

This is just another example of the utter ignorance of our state legislators. Maybe if you didn’t give away the candy store in the form of tax breaks to corporations that hardly need them, you wouldn’t be in the bind you’re in now. Seriously, did Bank of America really need a tax break, or Fidelity? No they didn’t.

But the “Amazon Tax” astounds me. In this case RI basically told the big online (and small) retailers that they’d have to collect RI Sales tax on all sales.

And predictably what did Amazon et al do? They discontinued their relationship with all RI based sellers, e.g. people who lived in RI and sold their goods via Amazon et al.

The net effect of this is as I predicted to reduce net taxes in RI. There have been a few comments on the articles on the Providence Journal that make that exact point. If you’re a seller and can no longer sell on Amazon, you don’t generate any revenue for the state to collect taxes on.

Did our brilliant legislators even stop to consider that fact?

Here is my proposal:

It’s simple. Go into MA and copy their sales tax statutes and then paste them into RI general law over our sales tax statutes. Because the state loses more sales tax revenue to people taking a 10 or 15 minute drive into Massachusetts and buying big ticket items then coming back to RI. Lets say you buy a $1,,200 computer in RI, the total would come to $1,284 (7% sales tax) whereas in MA the total would come to $1,260, (5% sales tax), or a $24 difference.

The MA tax applies to categories that the RI tax doesn’t but it broadens the tax base. MA taxes OTC drugs, books, and clothing. RI doesn’t tax those.

But by tying RI’s sales tax rate to that in MA, you make it disincentive to travel to MA to make purchases.

Lets try an experiment:

Let the total retail sales dollars in ri (R) = $1,000,000,000
Let’s say that of those sales dollars, approximately 40% is non taxable leaving us with $600,000,000. Let us also assume that approximately 30% of sales flees to MA. That leaves $420,000,000 in sales with taxes at 7% being $29,400,000.

Now lets do the same thing and apply a 5% tax to the entire billion. Now you have parity with MA and you’ve broadened the tax base so that everything (Books, clothing, otc etc.) is taxed.

The state of RI would get $50,000,000, or $20,600,000 more in tax revenue.

It just makes sense.