Friday, May 29, 2009

There is no argument against gay marriage

If you follow this blog regularly, you know one of the most frequent topics is the issue of gay marriage. People tell me I shouldn't worry about it so much, I'm straight, why should I care, etc. The bottom line is the simple fact that the law applies to everyone equally or it applies to no one. The 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees equal protection under the law and the 1967 Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia made it explicitly clear that marriage is a basic civil right for all human beings.

I generally shy away from using this kind of language, but not with this topic: there is absolutely no logical or legal reason why gay marriage should remain illegal. None. I've outlined this in multiple blogs and any time the subject comes up, I always ask for a reason to oppose it and no one can do it. Any argument I've ever heard can be immediately debunked by anyone with even the most basic understanding of law and state-sanctioned marriage. My highest education is learning how to talk for a living and I can counter any argument raised by people who oppose same-sex marriage. Imagine what would happen if two brilliant lawyers tackle the subject...

Oh wait, they have. Ted Olson and David Boies, who argued against each other in the infamous Supreme Court case, Bush v. Gore, have teamed up to take this fight to the federal level. Finally! It's time to stop worrying about individual states going through a long, drawn-out process and end this nonsense once and for all. Here's a great video of Olson & Boies appearing on Hardball, how can you possibly argue against the points they raise?

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Okay, I've tried controlling my anger, but I can't take it anymore: Dick Cheney... shut the hell up. I really don't like throwing around things like this, but he may very well be the worst person who has ever served in any kind of public office. I don't even know if I can call him a person, he is walking evil. And the media must stop treating his every word as if it has any meaning or relevance to our national dialogue. It's bad enough that President Obama continues to move to the right (and he was already in the center to begin with), but now the media gives Cheney a platform to push the nation even further to the land of insanity.

Now I could just end this blog there and call it a day, but I'm sure some wingnut will barge in and say something to the effect of "why do you liberals hate dissent? Dick Cheney is just voicing his opinion, why do you want to take away his free speech?!" or something equally stupid, so allow me to elaborate.

Dick Cheney is in no position to offer his opinion on anything. Sure, he can mutter whatever he wants from his undisclosed location, but for the media to give this man attention is like asking Richard Nixon about Jimmy Carter's ethics. The Cheney Administration (since it's becoming more and more clear that it was not the Bush Administration) systematically wrecked this country on just about every level. They killed our economy, they ruined our reputation with our allies, they sent 5000 brave men and women to die for nothing in Iraq, and yes, they made us less safe. Furthermore, when it comes to issues of national security, everything that Dick Cheney ever said over the course of his "vice" presidency was demonstrated to be 100% wrong:

"There's a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda"
"Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction"
"The war will be over in six weeks... six months, tops"
"The war will pay for itself"
"We'll be greeted as liberators"
"Bush kept us safe"
"Waterboarding isn't torture"
"Waterboarding saved lives"
"Ending waterboarding makes America less safe"

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.

Plus the dozens more I can't remember off the top of my head. On the issue of torture, all of the information that we gained from those who were waterboarded came before they were tortured. The only reason these men were subjected to the "enhanced interrogation" methods was to create a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda. Yes, the Vice President of the United States authorized torture to falsify evidence in order to mislead the American people to go along with the Iraq War. Imagine a police officer planting evidence on a suspect, then multiply it by the 5000 lives that were lost in Iraq... that blood is on Cheney's hands.

Between the torture and the outing of a CIA agent for political gain, Dick Cheney doesn't belong on television, he belongs in a prison cell. That's the only reason I can imagine why we've seen him more in the last two months than we have in the last eight years, he's trying to keep himself out of jail. If he becomes a vocal opponent of the current president, any investigation into his war crimes will appear to be politically-motivated and Washington will turn into a bigger circus than it already is. Way to go, Dick... politicizing the Justice Department even when you're out of office, that takes skill.

It's obvious that Dick has no other real motivations behind this other than to save his own skin. If it were strictly out of concern for his country, he would've ran for president; of course he would've been demolished since he has the lowest approval ratings of just about any individual politician in the history of the nation, but if he's THAT concerned, he should've went for it. If Bush-era policies truly made America more safe, it would've been Cheney's duty to the country to attempt to continue them. But no, he's just fine going on all the talk shows, smearing legitimate war heroes like Colin Powell (how many deferments did you get, Dick?) and continuing the fear mongering that plagued this nation since the day after 9/11. The American people have rejected the politics of fear and the politics of the worst administration in the history of this nation, it's time the media do the same.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Supreme Exaggeration

Just a quick little thing I wanted to share with you today. I was torturing myself, watching Fox News (nothing else is on Sunday afternoons!) and they just had an anchor on there say something to the effect of "the most controversial issues of our time, abortion and gay marriage, will be in the hands of one person, the next Supreme Court nominee."

I know it's always an issue when the Supreme Court comes up, but did the folks over at Fox forget that we've already had the abortion debate? Roe v. Wade put the subject to bed, at least in terms of legality. Obviously people are trying to overturn it, but the decision on abortion doesn't rest solely in one person's hands, we've already had people make that decision... 36 years ago. If we want to travel down that road again, it's going to take a long time and go through a lot of people before it even reaches the Supreme Court, so saying the decision is in the hands of one person is beyond ridiculous.

Sensationalism from Fox News? I'm stunned!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sinking to new lows

Gay marriage has been legalized in five states: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and Maine; New York and New Hamsphire could be added to the list very soon. So here we are, 10% of the states in the union recognize same-sex marriage and society has not collapsed onto itself. Straight marriages aren't threatened, the "family unit" has not come unraveled and the only difference seems to be that gay people are enjoying (or will soon be enjoying) the same rights as everyone else. That is of course, if you don't pay attention to the right-wing, who have lost their collective shit. Take a look:

Watching that video makes me literally nauseous, I'm not kidding. To paraphrase the video, when I have to listen to scumbags like Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Pat Robertson, I want to puke. These are despicable human beings and they should be ashamed of themselves (if they had shame) for spreading this kind of bigotry. "The Gay Gestapo?" Seriously? Yeah, God forbid someone call you out on your hate and intolerance, you phony moral crusaders. A few months back, I said that people who make these kind of arguments are subhuman and it's sad that I even need to discuss it now, but apparently the wingnuts aren't going to let it go. These smears, lies and distortions are all patently false and I'm going to put these disgusting arguments to rest right now.

Gay marriage is not going to lead to polygamy. As it stands right now, there is nothing illegal about a married man or woman bringing a third, fourth or fifteenth partner into their home. Many people live in open marriages and if they choose to do that, that is their own decision as consenting adults. But the state legally recognizing a plural marriage will lead to several complications that would not be present in a
monogamous gay or straight marriage. We provide tax incentives to married couples, if the state recognized a plural marriage, those incentives would double with each additional spouse, which would create all kinds of tax issues. Welfare and immigration abuse would skyrocket; we already have enough problems with people getting married simply to secure immigration status, now imagine if someone could turn it into a business. A man could theoretically charge immigrants to marry him so they could become citizens of this country. Also, think of how messy divorce is in America when it's just two people, imagine a court wasting time, resources and taxpayer money trying to figure out paternity rights, division of property, alimony and inheritance for three, four, or ten partners... the cons far outweigh the pros for legalizing polygamy.

Gay marriage will not lead to man-child marriage for one simple reason, pedophilia is illegal. Children are not in any position to give legal consent, and even if they think they would want to marry an adult, that's why we have statutory rape laws in place. Gay marriage, just like straight marriage, will be between consenting adults.

Despite what Bill O'Reilly fantasizes, gay marriage will not lead to a man marrying a turtle, bestiality is illegal. Animals have none of the legal rights that humans do, they cannot enter into any legal contract, including marriage. Having sex with an animal is animal abuse, and much like with pedophilia, animals cannot give legal consent, so there's no legal argument to be made here.

These concerns being raised are completely insane and it further proves the bigotry of those who oppose gay marriage. Yes, if you use these arguments, you are a bigot, plain and simple. They're trying to equate homosexuality with various perversions and fetishes, to give the impression that there's something wrong with a gay person. There's nothing wrong with gay people, but I think the above video shows the only perverts in this debate are the twisted deviants who make these kind of arguments.

Spoiler alert: when you support bigotry, you'll be on the wrong side of history. Just like our treatment of the American Indian, our usage of slavery, suppression of women's rights, Jim Crow laws, and the internment of Japanese citizens during World War II, the fact that we even needed to have this debate about gay rights will be looked back on with shame and disgust.
Gay marriage will be legal in this country, hopefully sooner than later, but it will happen... You can't stop social progress, those who try will always lose.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Miss Bigot

I really didn't want to write about this, I didn't want to give her any more attention, she's already got way more than she deserves, but then "Miss California" Carrie Prejean just had to go and say this:

I felt as though Satan was trying to tempt me in asking me this question. And then God was in my head and in my heart saying, "Do not compromise this. You need to stand up for me and you need to share with all these people . . . you need to witness to them and you need to show that you're not willing to compromise that for this title of Miss USA." And I knew right here that it wasn't about winning. It was about being true to my convictions.

Yep... Satan's fault. Couldn't possibly be the fact that you're a closed-minded bigot, that pesky Satan was tempting you at a beauty pageant! So apparently if you support gay marriage, you're doing the devil's work. Wow. You stay classy Christian conservatives!

This false sense of importance from evangelicals never ceases to amaze me. Yes, you're so important than Satan personally chose to tempt you with a question about gay marriage at the Miss USA pageant. I'm sorry, but when you say things like that, you should probably be committed to a mental institution. This isn't morality, you're just crazy. And while I'm on the subject doesn't the far-right already have enough intellectually-challenged, beauty pageant losers running around spreading their wacky religious beliefs?

Let me be clear, I couldn't possibly care any less about this whole "feud" (I'm rolling my eyes as I type that) with Perez Hilton. I think the world would be a better place without Perez Hilton's celebrity gossip and the Miss USA pageant, both things are complete wastes of time and I can't fathom how anyone could give a shit about either one of them. Seriously, what purpose do beauty pageants serve? Much like how there isn't a single reason to oppose gay marriage, I don't think there's a single reason to support beauty pageants.

Anyway, my problem isn't with her response to the question, it's with Prejean seizing an opportunity for fifteen minutes of fame, hopping on the homophobic bandwagon to promote the National Organization for Marriage. Much like Joe Wurzelbacher, Carrie Prejean is a know-nothing nobody. Her opinion is no more valid than mine (although I do have the ability to speak in complete sentences) yet no one can attack her because she just stated her opinion? Please. She's whining about her freedom of speech, but I got news for you, freedom of speech doesn't mean anything you say gets to go unchallenged. The Grand Wizard of the KKK has an opinion, that doesn't mean people don't get to call him a racist.

This vapid bimbo is nothing more than Anita Bryant 2.0, but unfortunately, no one has hit her in the face with a pie yet. Hiding behind her disgusting interpretation of Christianity, Prejean will continue to spread her bigotry because it gives her the attention she desperately seeks. Making yourself a star at the expense of someone else's rights, I guess a pretty face can't cover up an ugly soul.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Unsurprisingly, today's talking point from the right-wing media is that comedian, Wanda Sykes went too far in her speech Saturday night at the White House Correspondent's Dinner. Sykes jabbed at Rush Limbaugh, mocking him for his comments about wanting Obama to fail, saying it was borderline treason, she hopes his kidneys fail and that he was supposed to be the 20th hijacker on 9/11, but was so strung out on Oxycontin that he missed his flight. The White House issued a statement today saying 9/11 was off-limits, which isn't surprising, but the conservatives still aren't letting it go, saying all her attacks on Rush were over the line... have these people never actually listened to Limbaugh? Sykes was tame! Let's take a look at more glaring hypocrisy from the right:

Jokingly calling Limbaugh treasonous was over the line, yet Ann Coulter is free to write a book called Treason:
Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism and Rush is free to call the president a thug.

Sykes "crossed the line" with hoping for Limbaugh's kidneys to fail. I guess some people see it as poor taste to make light of an illness, but that didn't stop Rush Limbaugh from mocking Michael J. Fox for having Parkinson's Disease. Or Ted Kennedy's brain tumor.

And saying Rush Limbaugh was supposed to be the 20th hijacker is beyond the pale, but please ignore the fact that Rush just described Obama as "the follow-up to 9/11." Seriously... and that was just last month.

The fundamental difference here is that Wanda Sykes' performance was roast-style joking. Yes, it was edgy and controversial, but it was still comedy; I can't speak for Sykes, but I don't think she really wants Limbaugh's kidneys to fail and she obviously doesn't believe he was the 20th hijacker. Yet Rush Limbaugh says shit like this every single day and it only makes the news when it's really over the line.

All this uproar over Wanda Sykes is just more manufactured outrage from the masters of pretending to be offended. It's hilarious that the party that's always whining about left-wing "political correctness" is always the first to cry foul when someone hurts their wee little feelings. Here's the truth, the Republican Party is still pouting over the fact that they got their asses handed to them in the election, so they'll grasp at any straw they can to smear Democrats. Just look at the last few weeks of phony outrage: moaning about the unfair treatment of some beauty pageant bimbo that ran her mouth about gay marriage (even though she's clueless to the subject), attacking Obama's choice of mustard, and now Wanda Sykes making a couple mean jokes about someone who spews venom on a daily basis. Here's a tip to the right-wing smear machine, don't dish it out if you can't take it.

And just for some laughs at how absurd it is to defend Rush Limbaugh while calling Wanda Sykes harsh, here are some more of Rush's greatest hits:

"We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles ... because his father was black."

"Liberal black politicians" envy
Fidel Castro's "dictatorial power"

"Everybody knows it was the vacuum cleaner that liberated women more than the pill"

"I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. They’re interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well. I think there’s a little hope invested in [Donovan] McNabb and he got a lot of credit for the performance of his team that he really didn’t deserve."

Obama's Supreme Court pick will be "a teenage single mother, who's gay, is a lesbian, who's dirt poor, African-American, and disabled"

"AIDS was going to get really bad but it didn't"

For more on Rush Limbaugh's racism, sexism and generally stupidity, just check Media Matters.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sean Hannity is great... for me to Poupon

I don't know if you've noticed, but occasionally Fox News is the funniest damn thing on television. Clearly they're not a real news network and their entire on-air staff is composed of the biggest nimrods in broadcast history, but it is a never-ending source of hilarity. If you can manage to watch the network without feeling a need to evacuate your bowels, did you catch Sean Hannity this week? Sean really skewered Barack Obama this time, he caught the president - on camera - ordering a hamburger... with spicy mustard! THE HORROR! Yes friends, this is what the Republican Party has reduced itself to... mocking Obama because of his "fancy burger."

But Vannity wasn't alone, Laura Ingraham joined the promotion of "Dijongate" (seriously), "I don't even like the way the man orders a hamburger. ... What kind of man orders a cheeseburger without ketchup but Dijon mustard?" Apparently, Ms. Ingraham is unaware of the fact that this is America, where you can get a hamburger made out of a fucking donut, there's nothing we WON'T put on a burger.


Never mind the fact that "spicy mustard" is available in every supermarket in the country and I guarantee you can get some form of it (or elitist Dijon) at the vast majority of restaurants in this country. Even All-American company, French's sells a spicy mustard. OMG! Commie Socialists have invaded our condiments! Next thing you know, Obama will be making us put Worcestershire sauce on our hot dogs!

Fox and the other clowns from the right-wing propaganda machine are free to waste their airtime however they see fit, but really, this? Look, I know you're desperate to make fun of the guy after Bush gave us so much ammunition over the years, but just accept it, Republicans aren't funny. It's okay, you're the curmudgeon party, you're not supposed to be funny. Relish in the fact that you're a bunch of angry old white men shouting at kids on the lawn, it's what Dick Cheney does! Embrace your inner Dick, it suits you.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

National Day of Prayer

On this, the National Day of Prayer, I am praying for the end of the National Day of Prayer. There is absolutely no reason to have the government involved in something like this and I'm already tired of the faux outrage from the right because Obama is choosing to pray privately (which is what it says to do in the Bible). We've got too much prayer in this country, too many people wearing their religion on their sleeve, how about a National Day of Secularism? Or a National Day of Logic? And how about we celebrate it 365 days a year?

The funny thing about this bullshit holiday is that it's only been around since 1952. My dad is older than the National Day of Prayer, so it's just more evidence that this country has been hijacked by the religious right and they've been at this for quite a few decades. It is a direct violation of the First Amendment and the exact opposite of what our Founding Fathers intended. Let's take a look at some quotes from our third president:

"Fasting and prayer are religious exercises; the enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the time for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and right can never be safer than in their hands, where the Constitution has deposited it. ...civil powers alone have been given to the President of the United States and
no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents."

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State."
-Thomas Jefferson

Many of our Founding Fathers were believers in one way or another, but they were also very critical of religious institutions and they actually questioned the very idea of religion. Benjamin Franklin once said, "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason," imagine if a candidate today said that. He'd be run out of town, tarred and feathered by the right-wing propaganda machine and his political career would be over. Today, you don't necessarily have to be as crazy as George W. Bush and hear voices in your head, but you do have to have some religion. Of course, this is unconstitutional, but it's an unwritten law, so there's really not much rational people can do about it.

You know what I hope Obama is doing to celebrate today? Working! He's the President of the United States, he's got far more important things to do. Prayer sure as hell isn't going to get us out of recession, get people back to work or solve the crisis in Pakistan (actually I think prayer is the exact cause of the crisis in Pakistan), so I'd much rather him be getting shit done. I know Barack Obama is a man of faith, but for the sake of this nation, I hope he's lying. We had eight years of a man who thought he had magical powers and look where that got us... maybe it's time for an appeal to reason? Pray on your own time, do what makes you feel good, but keep it away from our government.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

RIP Radio

Once again, the good folks over at Media Matters have exposed the dangers of corporate media and why Rush Limbaugh is rolling in a new $400 million contract while his bosses at Clear Channel are bleeding cash at an alarming rate. Ironically enough, $400 million is the same amount of money Clear Channel is trying to save this year, they've already cut 12% of their workforce in the process. This is a subject that's near and dear to me since I was one of the many victims of the collapse of the radio industry in the last two years.

This isn't directly Rush Limbaugh's fault, though the environment he created in the radio industry probably didn't help. No, as much as I would love to blame the long lost son of Jabba the Hutt, it's not his fault that the people who sign his paychecks are complete idiots. Blame falls in the lap of corporate media, it's the same reason newspapers and television stations are dying off - the parent companies are just too damn big. Media consolidation and deregulation has put these companies in the same position as the financial giants "Too big," but radio isn't considered "too big to fail," so no bailout for them. And you know what? Good. Even though I'm no longer in my chosen profession, corporate radio needs to die.

And this is back when Clear Channel was actually making money.

When times were good, the heads of Clear Channel were arrogantly walking on sunshine, pushing a political agenda and continuing to make the industry smaller and smaller, but now that times are tough, they throw out a nine-figure contract to Limbaugh while axing thousands of people across the country. Does Limbaugh deserve a ton of money? Of course, but $400 million? Give me a break. I'm sure some conservative will come whining to me about wanting to "punish Limbaugh's success," but to that I ask, why do you want to keep others from succeeding?

Why are today's conservatives so worried about the guy making $400 million, but could seemingly care less about the guy making $40,000? What about the people left in the radio business who are taking paycuts and doing the job of three employees? What about the death of local content? What about live, in-studio broadcasters being replaced by Voice-Tracking so employers only have to pay someone for one hour of work instead of five?

There will never be another radio success story like Rush Limbaugh, not as long as companies like Clear Channel control the business, corporate radio can't afford a personality to get bigger than the station they're on. A handful of corporations took away the ability for minimum wage radio employees to become as successful as Rush thanks to the government allowing them to own the entire industry. Radio has become an environment where employees can't strive for more, they can't ask for a raise, they have no advantage in contract negotiations and they certainly can't threaten to take their work elsewhere. In today's radio industry, you're lucky to just be employed, so you're expected to shut up and do what you're told. How are you supposed to work your way up when the ladder is in quicksand?

Monday, May 4, 2009

More Fun With Jack Bauer

Joseph Farah, one of the many lunatics over at the wingnut fringe site WorldNetDaily posted an article today titled Life imitates '24', once again trying to justify our use of torture because Jack Bauer does it on TV. I already covered this absurd notion a couple weeks ago, but there was one thing about the show that I forgot to mention, and that's the fact that 24 is the first carbon neutral television production. Now, if the right-wing wants to use a work of Hollywood fiction to justify breaking the law, then how do they reconcile that with the idea that the people behind that show are championing the "liberal" cause of fighting climate change?

It's funny because I discussed this very same topic the day before I wrote about Jack Bauer in my Earth Day column; why is the party that uses 24 to support torture, not listening to 24 about the environment? It's an appropriate analogy for the Republican Party, wrapped up in fiction while ignoring the reality that's right in front of their face.

Here are some PSAs from the cast of 24 about climate change:

24 Going Green PSA - Kiefer Sutherland

24 Going Green PSA - Cherry Jones

24 Going Green PSA - Mary Lynn Rajskub