Saturday, April 4, 2009

Et tu, Uganda?

A new persecution against gay women and men seems to be brewing abroad. This time, it's in Uganda. 365 Gay is reporting that Uganda seeks to outlaw homosexuality. A proposal is on the table to establish a colony on an island in Lake Victoria where the country could send its gay people.

Sunday, Blood Sunday: George Bush does U2

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Biggest Taboo of All

May we finally start reexamining our failed "drug war"?

Iowa Supreme Courts Rules in Favor of Marriage Equality!

(Also at OC Progressive)

I just wonder when California, New York, and a host of other states will come to their senses (once and for all). Are CA's Supremes noticing the language in the ruling? Is Vermont's Governor noticing? What will it take for Prop H8, Arizona's Prop 102, Florida's Amendment 2, and all those other H8ful measures to go down?

Well, at least Iowa has now allowed full equality for its gay & lesbian couples. I just can't help but to follow Pam's House Blend as they track all the crazy fundie wingnuts' heads exploding. They say that "as Iowa goes, so goes the nation", so may this be the bellwether that starts moving the rest of the nation (including California) to marriage equality?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Budget? A Budget Coming Soon?

If we are to believe Reuters, we may finally get a decent one soon. Maybe we'll finally see our money being spent on our needs?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Great News

OK, I can't keep this from you all any longer. I'm becoming a TV star!

No really, I am! I'm so excited about this opportunity I have to share with the world all the good work I'm doing. So you want to see what this real Democrat of Orange County will be doing on your teevee set, take a look here and here.

How Did We Get This Fundie Wingnut as DNC Chair?


Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has signed a bill into law banning the use of some state funds for embryonic stem cell research. [...]

It contains language inserted by the General Assembly that would prevent a state fund from providing dollars to organizations or businesses that undertake "research in Virginia on human cells or tissue derived from induced abortions or from stem cells obtained from human embryos."

Kaine's support for the legislation is not surprising: He is a staunch Catholic who has long opposed using taxpayer money for embryonic stem cell research. But the platform of the Democratic Party, now headed by Kaine at Obama's behest, describes embryonic stem cell research as "research that could save lives."

What is wrong with this picture?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Union Busting Under Obama?

Is this for real?

Remember Gordon Gekko from Wall Street? Specifically, remember how Gekko's entire scheme for the airline industry was based on crushing the blue-collar union that Bud Fox's dad (Martin Sheen) was part of? Welcome to a real life version of that story, starring corporate raider Steve Rattner, who President Obama appointed to head the White House team now overseeing the auto industry (and don't say you weren't warned).

As the Wall Street Journal reports, Rattner's strategy is to use the government's leverage to try to specifically crush auto workers and force them to accept even more contract concessions than they've already agreed to.

What the hell is going on? I have no clue. Perhaps President Obama needs a reminder from us on why he voted for him over McCain?

Why I Still Hope

(Proudly cross-posted at OC Progressive)

Right after the last election, I was devastated. I thought we had won, but instead I lost my fundamental rights and felt like garbage. I didn't know what do to next.

So what did this po' lil' queer kid do to start recovering what H8 stole away? I joined the impact. I put love into action. I didn't let homophobes like Rick Warren take my hope away. I looked back, then started thinking ahead. And lately, I've been waiting for our day of justice.

So what now? It's time to move on. It's time to start kicking some radical right ass and secure equality for all once and for all!

As we've talked about before, there's no way to really know how the California Supreme Court will rule in the Prop H8 lawsuits. They may issue a verdict we don't like, or they may issue a verdict that immediately reinstates marriage equality in the nation's most populous state. But either way, we must prepare for something else historic. We must prepare for the campaign afterward to secure our civil rights.

No matter what the court decides, we will likely see reaction to the ruling lead to action at the ballot box. Either the radical right will further try to erode LGBT rights and/or we will work for an initiative to secure marriage equality in California for good. So in order to prepare for the inevitable continuing campaign, we must ensure we build the strongest campaign possible. And no, I don't just mean raising money or putting up media ads. While we do need both, the inept and failed No on H8 campaign proved that those weren't enough to win.

We must knock doors. We must make calls. We must talk to our neighbors. We must register voters. We must reach out in our community and build those personal connections necessary to make a real impact and change people's hearts and minds.

This is why I've been so impressed by Courage Campaign. They get it. They realize how important grassroots community action is, so they're willing to help build local networks statewide like the one I'm working on in my hometown, Orange County. Without them, I don't know how I'd be able to prepare for our upcoming community outreach walks in Irvine on April 4 and Dana Point on April 18. Without their help in finding other local activists to help me do all this organizing, I don't know how I could have done this all on my own.

So if you're in California, please consider joining Courage Campaign. Give of your time if you can. Give of your money if you can. If you care about our civil rights, just give what you can and join our movement for equality.

And if you're not in California, you can still help us out here. But more importantly, go find your local LGBT activist network and join them. We need to see progress in all 50 states to build our way up to a nationwide tipping point for equality.

We're so close. I'm so fired up. I still have my hope, and no court or fundie wingnut can take it away from me.

Gay Men and Women to be Executed in Iraq

So, for the last six years, we have poured out in Iraq our national treasure, including the tax dollars of gay men and women, their families, and their friends for what? It would seem that we have done so to assist the Iraqi government execute Iraqi gay men and women. Reports say that 128 gay persons are awaiting execution in Iraq for the "crime" of homosexuality and that Iraq intends to start these executions in "batches of 20" starting in this next week.

Activists are calling on the government of the United Kingdom, international human rights groups, and the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva to intervene. The report says that Amnesty International has called on the Iraqi government to make public all information about each of the detained individuals.

Our State Department's human rights functions are housed in the Office of the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs. At the moment, the position is unfilled, but this is a list of telephone numbers of employees at that department. Maybe we should let them know about what's going on under America's watch in Iraq:

Under Secretary
Under Secretary Vacant 7250 202-647-6240
Personal Assistant (vacant) 7250 202-647-6704
Executive Assistant Eva Weigold Schultz 7250 202-647-7609
Senior Adviser vacant 7253 202-647-4096
Senior Advisor Cathy Blank 7253 202-647-2990
Senior Advisor Lisa Sherman 7250 202-647-7196
Special Assistant Kate Friedrich 7253 202-647-1190
Senior Advisor Sam Patten 7253 202-647-9108
Special Assistant Daniel Rochberg 7250 202-647-1038
Special Assistant Carl Schonander 7253 202-647-8703
Special Assistant Kelley Currie B-864 202-647-9804
Special Assistant Jeannette Windon B-864 202-647-9810
Staff Assistant Laurie Mitchell 7250 202-647-8877
Staff Assistant Agnes Liptak 7250 202-647-6205
Intern Justin Sosne 7253 202-647-1189

Update: Here's the link to the story from UK Gay News. Here's the link to the the Iraqi LGBT Blog. The story is on both web sites.

Update: Please don't forget what happened in Iran four years ago. The blood of those boys still cries to me from their graves.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Difference of Hope?

Is fear what separates Republicans from Democrats? Maybe?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

It's Monday morning on the East Coast. So what will you be up to this week? I know I'll be busy! Stay tuned this week to see what I'm up to. ;-)

Justice Finally?

Well, at least the Spanish courts are willing to investigate Bush Administration crimes.

A senior Spanish judge has ordered prosecutors to investigate whether key Bush aides should be charged with crimes over the Guantanamo Bay detention center, a lawyer said Sunday.

Garzon says the case can be brought under Spanish law because several Spaniards were held at Guantanamo.

Investigating magistrate Baltasar Garzon has passed a 98-page complaint to prosecutors that accuses former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and five others of being the legal architects of system that allowed torture in violation of international law, human rights lawyer Gonzalo Boye told CNN.

Prosecutors will review the document to determine if a crime has been committed.

The prosecutor's office will make a decision within five days, said Boye, one of the report's authors. Garzon accepted the complaint under Spanish law because there were several Spaniards at Guantanamo who allegedly suffered torture.

Let's hope Spain can do what America seemingly can't do. Let's hope they give the Bushies their day in court.