Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Labels: THE election
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Governor Baggy Pants
Labels: New Jersey politics
Monday, May 28, 2012
Gold Star Mother, to you
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Fort Dix NJ
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Happy Birthday Bob Dylan
Dylan quickly realized "Like a Rolling Stone" was a mountain he couldn't climb twice.
I'd like to say Bob Dylan inspired me to adopt "Bob" rather than "Robert" as my writing name. Bob made it more popular for writers to use ordinary names rather than the ones on the birth certificates. But I also knew from experience that the hard "B" consonant was less likely to trip me into a stutterer's word blockage than the soft "R," & Bob Rixon could be run together into Bobrixon.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
One of these Repug conservative friends commented on this graphic, "I don't even think Harry believed all that stuff. I actually think I would have liked Harry from what I know of him." He added that he believed it was "campaign talk."
I replied, "Don't kid yourself. He believed every one." President Harry didn't mean that all Republicans were as he said they were on every issue; that, of course, was campaign rhetoric. He did mean that he was definitely not a Republican. He was a Democrat, successor to Franklin Roosevelt. Every issue he mentions here is domestic policy.
These post-Reagan Repugs think Bill Clinton & Barack Obama are real liberals. They also can't or won't recall when the Republican Party wasn't exclusively whacko reactionaries. Even if they're old enough, they just gradually slipped & slid into the slime with rest of the Party. Back when the Democrats had most of the southern racists it took stones for a Democratic President to promote some liberal policies, especially in civil rights. Now, all Republicans are as Harry Truman characterized them. He'd probably be shocked by the change. But up to dealing with it.
Monday, May 21, 2012
Bust Out Mitt
How Mitt spends his money isn't the issue. People spend their money in all kinds of damned fool ways. Mitt's "nature" is in how he makes money, & to that end he doesn't give a crap whether or not you have a job. He'll bust you right out of it, just like Tony, if the opportunity is there.
Thanks to everyone who already used the Tony Soprano Bust Out comparison. I thought I could state it more succinctly.
*In a bust-out scheme, the identity and credit line of a business are used to obtain loans and goods with no intention of repayment. In some instances, businesses are created for this sole purpose; in others, legitimate businesses are acquired and used for the fraud.
Labels: THE election
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Lake Hopatcong NJ
Friday, May 18, 2012
BTW, I do not like the trend toward jacketless tuxes. When you wear only a vest, you look like you should be carrying around trays of appetizers.
Once, miraculously, a tux rental store actually did the alterations they said would do. Before attending the wedding I asked my date if I resembled the little man on top of the wedding cake. She said I did. I said, "Then I'm perfect."
Thursday, May 17, 2012
It's hard to be yourself
When everyone else is around
There's always someone out there
Trying to pull you down
You're sitting on the fence crying out to the moon
The day goes by too fast and the night comes too soon
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Donald "Duck" Dunn
Duck was, of course, the bassist for Booker T & the MG's, one of the greatest rock bands, for me also an ideal of a band as collective creative enterprise. Most of their highly entertaining original instrumentals are credited to Jones, Cropper, Dunn & Jackson. No member of the band took credit for another's contributions. They are deservedly renowned as the primary house band at Stax in the Sixties. Duck Dunn enjoyed live performing & touring & regretted that session work largely kept the band off the road & at its peak confined to the studio. It paid the bills. Live recordings of Booker T & the MG's reveal that they were a superb performing group, at once tight yet oh so loose. Duck achieved his greatest fame playing with The Blues Brothers. Virtually a peerless stylist, as were all the MG's, his musical services were in always in demand.
Monday, May 14, 2012
first gay president
Mitt Romney, not Barack Obama, is strongly out-of-step with America. True, most Americans still oppose equal marriage rights (by an ever-shrinking majority), but Americans know there isn't much the President can do to promote equal marriage rights. However, a growing majority of Americans favor options like domestic partnerships & civil unions, including an increasing number of Republican insiders & operatives tired of writing off a large, affluent demographic over a losing cause. Mitt gains few votes by opposing all legal recognitions of same sex domestic relationships. He does identify himself as someone drifting toward the edge of American mainstream culture. He has enough of a problem convincing Americans his rich kid, Mormon upbringing puts him in touch with the "average" American. Unlike George W. Bush, you can't even imagine having a beer with the guy.
President Obama in effect told us, "You knew I wasn't really opposed to equal marriage rights, so let's stop the charade. Yeah, Biden pushed me to do it, but the why doesn't matter. It's all in the open now."
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Asbury Park NJ
late '50s - early '60s
Friday, May 11, 2012
Some of my favorite composers, artists & poets are gays, lesbians or bisexuals. How much of this "identity" is evident in their art varies. Sometimes they think about it deeply in their art, sometimes it isn't obvious at all. If you're involved in the arts, you better get used to being around LGBT, & in a nonjudgmental way. But I was hardly ahead of the curve on LGBT rights, & I've said this many times. I had gay & lesbian coworkers. The brother of one of my best friends was gay. I had no close gay friends. I had a lesbian piano student in the late '80s I got to know fairly well, I resided across the street from a "married" lesbian couple for a few years & casually observed their ordinary coming & going routines. A beloved gay DJ at WFMU died of AIDS in 1993; it was the shock turning point for me, seeing how his family (except a younger sister) was in complete denial throughout the wake & funeral. I finally began to understand what rights LGBT did not have that were guaranteed to married couples & family members.
A gay person did not have the right to have a gay "spouse" relation by his side when he was dying, for this relation to be involved in funeral planning, manage his postmortem affairs, collect his insurance, inherit his property, if "family" objected. This is unadulterated cruelty. It has nothing to do with religion. The solution is civil, changes in law. A strong domestic partnership law would alleviate some of the most egregious injustices. It's not marriage equality, but its something. North Carolina voted to ban not only same sex marriage, but other forms providing basic social justice & human rights for LGBT.
Why do we keep putting this up for a popular vote? Why do North Carolinians - who already have strong laws against same sex marriage on the books - get to engrave pure prejudice in their state constitution? It's ignorance & stupidity & bad law & even worse religion. Enough is enough.
This is how people like myself logically & morally conclude that nothing less than full civil marriage equality can permanently guarantee full human rights to LGBT. The "other side" doesn't really want to compromise with civil unions & domestic partnerships or any other legal arrangement less offensive to religious sensibilities regarding "marriage" they can use to place limits on LGBT rights. Give them a chance & they'll permanently say "no" to everything. The best we say is that some of them are misguided & misinformed. But they are all horribly wrong.
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
I did foresee the President expanding LGBT rights within the federal government by presidential directives in his second term. Now I wonder if this announcement will cost him a second term. The President is on record as wanting the Defense of Marriage Act overturned by the courts, or at least not caring if it is, as the administration declines to defend its constitutionality.
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
The TV show is in Idaho (1958), only two couples know what to do when they pass through the line. In my town, where American Bandstand ruled, no teenage couple would join the stroll line unless they had some little dance step - or a whole routine - worked out.
Sunday, May 06, 2012
Perth Amboy & South Amboy
Friday, May 04, 2012
Thursday, May 03, 2012
Methodists vote to keep stand on homosexuality
TAMPA, Fla. — After an emotional debate, Methodists at a national legislative meeting Thursday upheld the denomination's policy that same-sex relationships are "incompatible with Christian teaching.'"
Delegates at the General Conference voted by about 60 percent to 40 percent against softening the language on homosexuality in their Book of Discipline, which contains church laws and doctrine. The meeting is held once every four years, which means the policy won't come up for a conference vote again until 2016.
Advocates for gay and lesbian Methodists gathered in the convention hall wearing rainbow stoles and protested the vote by singing and interrupting the meeting. Some cried when the vote tally was announced. Methodist leaders briefly shut down business in response to the protest.
With just under 8 million U.S. members, the United Methodist Church is the largest mainline Protestant denomination in the country, with a significant and growing membership of more than 4 million overseas. However, the number of Methodists is shrinking inside the U.S., while expanding in African and Asian countries where the church is theologically conservative.
In many of the Asian & African countries, homo-bigotry is not only the norm, it's the law. The UMC does not support punitive civil laws against homosexuals. Unless the United Methodist Church finds some way to separate delegates from those countries & deal with the matter for America only, any further attempts at future General Conferences (held every four years) to revise the Book of Discipline & remove the offensive language are doomed. Probably doomed anyway, given the size & power of the southern delegations. The UMC is based on an episcopal structure (with Bishops & a hierarchy), not on individual congregations, so the matter cannot be left to local preferences. A UMC pastor who performs a same sex marriage ceremony - even in a state where it is legal - is subject to church discipline. Gas & lesbians can be ordained, but only if they are celibate, since the UMC will not recognize any monogamous same sex relationship, legal civil marriage or not.
The situation for Methodist LGBT & their supporters is increasingly untenable. Their own support organizations, activities & conferences are not recognized by the UMC. The UCC, Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church in USA have moved on & ahead. It may be time for those United Methodist Districts that support full inclusion for LGBT to explore doing the same & withdrawing from the UMC.
I've felt for many years that Methodist LGBT are too nice. The transcript of the 2004 church witch trial that defrocked lesbian pastor Beth Stroud is irritatingly polite on both sides. She got bounced hard all the same. Reconciling Ministries, the largest UMC LGBT right group, has wonderful, upbeat annual conferences if the brochure I receive every year is to be believed. But they seem incapable of making a fight. Individual congregations are reasoned into hanging "Open & Welcoming" over their doors, but it applies only to that church. The United Methodist Church remains closed & unwelcoming. I wonder why, at the General Conference, they didn't identify delegates from nations with brutal anti-homosexual laws (who probably voted almost 100% against changing the BoD), introduced resolutions condemning those laws (which would be in concert with the Church's public stance & social values), instructing delegates from those nations to oppose the laws (dangerous)? Force them to vote for or against the resolutions, or abstain. That's playing hardball. If you reside in a country that turns a blind eye towatd gays being lynched, that incarcerates homosexuals just for being gay,* maybe the Christian thing to do is to risk having yourself locked up with them.
*Some of these laws in African nations have been connected to the influence of conservative American Evangelical political operatives.