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Today’s Event May 12, 2014

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So this morning (Oh gosh – I completely spaced on it too!) I got to go to an even put on by Generation Citizen at the Rhode Island State House. Candidate for Governor Todd Giroux (D) was one of the judges. 

It was funny – the rubric used  was familiar. I’ve seen variations of it doing program reviews. Each of the judges had four projects to judge. 

But one thing that was said by the candidate struck me. He said maybe some of those same kids might serve someday. I shot him down and explained that a high majority of those currently serving either graduated from LaSalle Acadamy I.e. My alma mater or Classical which is a Public Entrance Exam Required School or any of the Saint or Lady of schools. Very very few are public school graduates per se that are in the legislature. 

Kind of sad when you look at it that way but it’s the way the cookie crumbles. There will always be a ruling class and a plebe class. It’s represented in everything we do around here. It’s funny I got educated in the ruling class schools but I much prefer king maker to king. I just realize the amount of shit you have to take as an elected representative. 

And one of the folks from Generation Citizen – look my gaydar is broken but this guy, yeah. Off the scale! He looks a little like someone I went to high school with but he’s too young to be that person though. Maybe the son of a former classmate. 

Women’s Fund Gubernatorial Debate in RI May 8, 2014

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So this evening I attended the Women’s Fund Gubernatorial Debate along with candidate Todd Giroux.

All the candidates were there both Democrat and Republican. Now for my observations:

Todd Giroux (D) – He does need to smooth the act out a little bit. It’s why I recorded all his answers so we can post mortem again. But he is still in my opinion the only gubernatorial candidate with a plan.

Ken Block (R) – if he wasn’t a Republican I’d likely be in his camp. We’re both I.T. guys and he is a pretty good story teller.

Gina Raimondo (D) – he staff must be telling her to stop using the emphatic hands bit. Almost though I saw her sitting on her hands for a moment there.

Allan Fung (R)- current mayor of Cranston, RI. And I thought his name rang a bell. He and I both served at the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General at the same time. Didn’t strike me as a remarkable prosecutor.

Angel Taveras (D) – current mayor of Providence, RI. He and Fung attended the same high school which I suspect was Classical. I almost made a comment vis a vis that oh you Classical people, can’t hold a candle to we LaSalle boys.

Herbert ‘Clay’ Pell – He gave the most bizarre parting remarks about he LGBT community, etc. It was the WTF moment of the evening.

Did get to meet Ernie Almonte who is running for treasurer too.

Come to think of it the only one whose hand I didn’t get to shake was Gina Raimondo. She arrived late – that’s probably why. But I am a firm believer in the idea that politics should in fact be a contact sport. Wherever I go – one of the first things I do is get to know the politicians. Hell, might as well know the lay of the land so to speak.

Let’s Play Rate the Democratic Candidates for Governor in Rhode Island April 5, 2014

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We’ll start with the Democrats. Ratings shall be five points from 1 to 5. This is in no special order just as they come to mind:

1) Todd Giroux – I like his platform idea to steer a billion dollars away from Wall Street and back into the economy in Rhode Island. He also has a plan to keep the state prosperous going forward. That is what I like to see. And ObDisclaimer – I am the Data Analyst for his campaign. Rated 4.5

2) Clay Pell – he’s definitely got the money but I think the brain power is slightly lacking in his case. First there’s the debacle with the missing Prius – who leaves a car unlocked in the city of Providence or environs thereof, and more doesn’t have a second set of keys to the car, and third hasn’t the white matter in their head to think to just lock the car and call a locksmith. This doesn’t give me a whole lot of confidence in his ability to use the bully pulpit to better Rhode Island. Rated 2

3) Gina Raimondo – she is a Wall Street demon spawn. With her at the helm as treasurer I’m pretty upset about the way she’s handled benefits for retirees etc. And it would only get worse once she’s in the bully pulpit. Rated 2.5

4) Angel Taveras – currently Mayor of Providence his most deft move was closing city pools last summer. Plus he’s really stuck it to union retirees and he gets on my shit list for having the tenacity to say that the tax breaks given to the big property concerns created jobs. Really? Of course he wouldn’t answer when I asked “What jobs?” I’m sorry there are no negative numbers allowed because this candidate would be in the dumps. 

An interesting time last night March 29, 2014

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So yesterday I did some work on the Giroux for Governor campaign. I sent out close to 400 emails asking for volunteers. Let’s see what I get.

Plus got the candidate to update his web site. Clean it up a little. Also walked him through how to post pix and videos to the blog for the site. Lots of new stuff I’m throwing at them. Also find out I get to interview the campaign manager. King maker indeed.

But around 5PM the wine came out – a few toasts were made and we started talking. A group of four gay men – haven’t been in that type of environment in a long time.

But one thing came out of that I want to explore. I’m viewed by some as get this, an authoritarian. I did email telling that person that I’m no such. I do have the face that I can go stony at any time. And I’m also very assertive. I tell them when it’s something I truly believe or want, I’m direct as hell about it.

And of the group – three of us sort of liberal, one a gay Republican, not only Republican by Mormon. He and I sparred about marriage equality – he has Libertarian leanings – so he was saying how he and his partner don’t want to marry. I start in with theoretical situations – what happens if one gets sick or dies while they’re not married etc. It comes down to the fact that he was squicky about calling his guy his husband. {Sigh}. I told him he had to get over that artificial ickiness factor.

One other thing I did – I had at least two members of the group of us take the Political Compass test. Now the test ranks you where the Y axis runs between authoritarian and Libertarian, while the x axis goes left to right as in political leaning.

What was interesting is that the Republican and the other guy both placed in about the same lower right quadrant. I place in the lower left quadrant – somewhere to the left of Ghandi. But we all rank about the same level on the Y axis. I haven’t had the candidate take the test yet. I suspect he’ll fall into the same quadrant as me.

Religious wing-nuttery over marriage equality December 6, 2012

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So I was reading this post on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters and this paragraph grabbed my attention:

He went on to maintain that same-sex unions are a “narcissistic parody” of opposite-sex relationships as “homosexual relationships do not represent an authentic intimacy, but rather involve mutual exploitation for the sake of satisfying an unnatural lust” and lead to suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, violence along with other “destructive consequences.” “Homosexuals themselves, who are the greatest victims of the ‘gay lifestyle,’ and are in desperate need of the truth,” he writes.

Let’s break this down, shall we?

“Do not represent authentic intimacy” – the definition:

Of undisputed origin; genuine: “authentic 14th-century furniture”.
Made or done in the traditional or original way: “authentic Italian meals”.

So they’re trying to say because they dispute it our relationships aren’t authentic? Try again! He’s trying to make the wrong-parts argument and failing miserably because we all know better.

…but rather involve mutual exploitation for the sake of satisfying an unnatural lust…

But lust in itself is an immoral thing. Or so says the church. The unnatural part comes from nature being a code word for God. The thing is, in the Bible the prohibitions of a man lying with a man aren’t the word of God per se, but part of the Levitical code of conduct. In other words, written by primitive tribal societies who saw non-reproduction as un-natural.

…lead to suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, violence along with other “destructive consequences.”

Funny, I can only speak from my perspective here. First of all I’ve never contemplated suicide, only drink moderate amounts of alcohol, never abused drugs, and never suffered any violence. Then of course the writer completely gives a pass with “destructive consequences”. This is code speak for “The wages of sin are death.”

This is not to say that alot of gay and bisexual people and even straight people haven’t succumbed to diseases like HIV/AIDS, Herpes, etc. But that’s just it, Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, of the three names doesn’t understand the nature of disease, it’s not so much due to actions per se, but because of bacteria and viruses. Modern science has figured that part out for at least a century now.

And the only reason I’m the ‘greatest victim’ of my ‘gay lifestyle’ is only because religious bigots like Hoffman keep railing on, all up in the Kool Aid, and don’t know the flavor.

Boycott the Boy Scouts December 1, 2012

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So I was reading this over on Laughing in Purgatory

So a December 1st challenge is to write about why you shouldn’t support the Boy Scouts of America.

A little disclaimer here – I was a half-hearted scout back in the 70′s. I was a member first of Troop 42 in Pawtucket, RI and lastly Troop 13 in Providence, RI.

I think the reason I was half-hearted was due to the fact that I knew eventually my disbelief would come out full force. Plus I was starting to realize I was gay, not the only one of course, but I knew that was extreme grounds.

I loved the camp outs. The rest of it, the merit badges, meh.

But I no longer support scouting. First of all because I’m gay and they have a horrid history of discrimination against gay people. Then because I’m an atheist and that runs smack into their little “You can’t be a good scout if you don’t believe in a sky fairy.”

That last part bothers me more than anything. Because the scouts bolster a belief that without God you cannot be moral. I can tell them beyond a shadow of doubt that my morality is probably much more developed than theirs. I don’t have to depend on ten commandments, or other ridiculous notions to inform my view of what is right and what is wrong.

President Obama to have lunch with Mitt Romney November 28, 2012

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This popped up on Huffington Post today.

On the one hand, I find this to be very gracious on the part of the President to even give Mitt Romney a hearing.

Do you really think Willard Mitt Romney can add anything to the political reality in the United States? I don’t. Romney offered no new ideas to move us forward as a nation. So the reality of course is that this is purely symbolic.

Though I would like to be a fly on the wall for this lunch meeting. There won’t be any press allowed which I find really interesting. Perhaps Mitt Romney will me marched out in cuffs and sent to Guantanamo? Nah, that’s just fantasy on my part.

Christianity is fighting a losing battle November 19, 2012

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Take a look at this (You may click to enlarge):

Yes indeed – Christianity is sliding down that slippery slope. A friend of mine says that what we are witnessing is the dying gasps of organize religion.

But granted, it’s going to take a long time for it to completely fade away.

Why else would the likes of the Pope, and leaders of the Southern Baptists, and evangelicals keep saying such ridiculous things? Because they know they’re losing the battle.

Part of it is a function that traces back to the invention of the printing press. Of course we’ve taken that to an extreme, I can publish this without anything more than a swype or press of keys on my phone or computer.

So it’s really a function of education, which is why you’re seeing attacks on things like evolution because the religious know they cannot legitimately argue against it. So they came up with creation ‘science’.

And of course there’s the deliberate dumbing down of our educational system in general. I was at the forum for potential school board candidates and I said, I want every student in the Providence school system to get the education I got, and mine wasn’t in public schools.

But even with those attacks we’re still making progress. It is because we have this thing that I alluded to earlier, the internet. A multitude of search engines, Web 2.0 sites, etc. It heterodynes the message that directly disputes the claims of the religious.

Marriage Equality Advances November 7, 2012

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So congratulations to my brothers and sisters in Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington! You’ve won back your rights to marry under the law or in the case of Minnesota beat back and amendment that would enshrine discrimination in Minnesota’s Constitution.
I think what happened is that people are finally starting to realize that the arguments put forth by the likes of NOM, the Catholic Bishops, et al are only so much bovine effluent.

And part of what moved those people to realize they were being sold a false bill is that both the President and Vice President of the United States came out last May to lend their support to the cause of marriage equality. That is true leadership right there.

I’m incredibly happy about the victories in those four states, Minnesota, Maine, Maryland and Washington. You all fought a hard battle but in the end you prevailed. And you’ve provided the tipping point.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the United States Supreme Court accepts both the Prop 8 appeal and the DOMA class. They don’t exist in a vacuum, they know that the wind of public opinion is starting to blow strongly in our favor. So they pretty much have to act.

 

A good night so far November 7, 2012

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Well well, it was a squeaker for the Presidency but President Obama has triumphed. Good, I didn’t want to see Romney/Ryan anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
And on the marriage equality topic, Maine, Maryland and Washington state all approved. Minnesota is still close but I suspect they will prevail. I’d love to hear what the bigots of NOM and the Catholic church have to say about that. Maybe concede that they’re becoming increasingly irrelevant in modern society?? I doubt it though, they’ll try to spin this in order to justify their existence.

And the question in Providence to re-pave a good portion of the city was approved. This means the street I live on is getting re-paved and it needs it desperately!

In RI casinos in both Lincoln and Newport were approved. This one is a no brainer – the state never had any intention of letting the Narragansett Indian tribe open and/or run a casino, but the state can both own and operate the casinos. It’s a shame in a sense, the Narragansetts had inept leadership to the point that the Bureau of Indian Affairs really stuck it to them.

 

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