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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Fallout from Rev. Willie Wilson's "Sermon" Attacking Gays

Recall the Rev. Wilson's "sermon" attacking gays?

There's been a fair amount of fallout. The Washington Blade has called for Wilson to get fired from his position as Executitive Director for the Millions More March.

Wilson also threatened to expose the "Judas" in his congregation who supposedly betrayed him by leaking the sermon. Another ridiculous claim, considering an audio recording of the full sermon, titled, "You've Got to Fight to be Free," was available for sale in the church's own store. It has since been pulled from the shelves by the church.


I wonder how much tapes of this sermon will go on E-Bay.

Incredibly, Wilson stood by the remarks in a subsequent sermon last week in which he arrogantly stated, "I don't like being talked about, being lied on."
Again, the tape recording does not lie.

WHAT'S WORSE THAN Wilson's words and the vicious tone in which they were delivered were the congregation's reactions. Churchgoers can be heard cheering and applauding in the background as their leader spews hate and ignorance from the pulpit.

It's a sickening and disheartening screed that should have no place in a church. That the entire congregation didn't walk out in protest shows just how far some in the black church have to go in terms of understanding the lives and struggles of gay men and lesbians.

Imagine the outcry from those same parishioners if a white preacher demonized blacks in the same way and white churchgoers roared their approval. Or the uproar if a Catholic priest delivered a diatribe against Jews. Some minority groups seem to have forgotten what it was like to endure the open hatred and overt attacks of bigots.

Of course, there are many open-minded African Americans active in the gay rights movement and plenty of racism among gays, but black culture at large still prefers its gays in the closet, as evidenced by the disturbing "down-low" phenomenon.


I don't think the "down-low" is restricted to blacks.

What's doubly upsetting about the lack of support from black leaders and institutions is they ought to know better. As the victims of the worst kinds of bigotry and discrimination, black Americans should be marching in lockstep with gays seeking full equality under the law. Instead, gay blacks have to beg for a place at the upcoming commemoration of the Million Man March in D.C.

Any hope that black gays will be welcomed at the march was dealt a near-fatal blow thanks to Wilson's sermon. He serves as executive director of the march.

Despite assurances from Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader who organized the 1995 Million Man March, that gays would be welcome at the march and might even be allowed a speaking role, no gays were invited to a May news conference where the October march was announced.

BLACK GAY RIGHTS activists have courageously denounced Wilson and expressed outrage at his indefensible remarks. Wilson should be removed from his post as executive director of the march and should apologize to his congregation for abusing his position in such a cruel way.

The LGBT Community Discussion Group, composed mostly of members of the D.C. Coalition and National Black Justice Coalition, issued a statement describing Wilson as "defensive, unremorseful and unapologetic" at a meeting after the sermon came to light.

The groups then made several demands, including a public apology from Wilson and his immediate resignation as executive director of the Millions More Movement; two gay representative speakers at the march; and a seat on the Millions More Movement Steering Committee for the National Black Justice Coalition.

Those would all be welcome developments, however unlikely they are to occur.

Unfortunately, Wilson's hateful speech will only serve as a setback in the struggle to break down the walls that divide blacks and gays, whether black, white or otherwise.

Working for an AIDS service organization in Baltimore years ago, I remember the resentment felt by gay volunteers who turned the other cheek as misguided black ministers like Wilson spewed anti-gay venom on Sunday, while members of their congregations called on AIDS charities staffed almost entirely by gays for help on Monday.

Black ministers are hugely influential in their communities and those who harbor Wilson's views are doing untold damage to their gay and lesbian congregants, who are pushed deeper into dangerous denial by these attacks.


From Metro Weekly:

Things heated up July 3, when Wilson delivered a sermon at his Union Temple Baptist Church in Anacostia. Pannell got a recording of that sermon and delivered it first to the Washington Blade on July 13, then to the Washington Post shortly thereafter. The city has been talking about the sermon ever since the Blade story, published July 15.

''That's one of the reasons many of our women are becoming lesbian,'' Wilson told his congregation, pointing to women who earn more than their husbands. ''You've got to be careful when you say you don't need no man.... If you don't need a man, what's left? Lesbianism is about to take over our community....

''I ain't homophobic because everybody in here got something wrong with him.... But when you get down to this thing, woman falling down on another woman, strapping yourself up with something -- it ain't real.... It ain't natural. Anytime somebody got to slap some grease on your behind to stick something in you, there's something wrong with that. Your butt ain't made for that.... It's destroying us.''

The morning the story broke, Pannell was a guest on the Joe Madison radio show on WOL. ''I was really shocked,'' Pannell said of the sermon. ''It was not the Rev. Wilson I know, love and respect.'' He described the sermon as ''overly graphic, venomous and vitriolic.'' Of assurances that GLBT voices would be part of the MMM event, Pannell added, ''Obviously, every invitation is not a welcome.''

Wilson's sermon turned a cold shoulder into something far more overt and offensive. And if Madison's radio show is any indication, it may do more to isolate Wilson than the gay community.

''It's obviously insulting,'' Madison told his audience, saying that Wilson should apologize. ''This is beyond name-calling. It isn't even logical.... It's absurd.... Willie Wilson does not speak for me.'' Callers to the show, for the most part, seemed to agree with Madison.

. . .

Wilson, greeted with much applause, did not, however, use this opportunity to apologize.

''A blessed moment it is, brothers and sisters, to dwell together in unity.... That's what we're all about,'' Wilson began, seeming to take pages from the Books of Skinner and Orange. He read a list of attending organizations, including the D.C. Coalition. ''This is a diverse effort we're putting together here.... We've got to bring in everybody.''

It was not long before Wilson's address turned. He was saving his most passionate rhetoric to lash out at ''negro spies,'' presumably Pannell.

''If you've got a problem with me, come talk to me!'' Wilson shouted, complaining of calls from the press the day before. ''What happens in this house, stays in this house.... I don't like being talked about, being lied on. But the cause is greater than the pain.... I ain't your enemy. I ain't done nothing to you.... I'm asking all of us, come together. We need to make a covenant with each other.... I'm not going to be the one to betray the covenant.''

Pannell and others insist they have tried to talk to Wilson about his comments, to no avail. At a Sunday meeting of the local, black GLBT community to discuss MMM, Cheatam offered that she alone has planned a meeting with Wilson, after giving him her card at the end of the Saturday meeting, which she said brought her to tears.

''He called me, and I'll be speaking to him sometime this week,'' Cheatam told the group at the Sunday meeting, while some argued that there should be no closed-door meetings with Wilson. ''It's my plan to go alone.... I'm not going to be co-opted. I'm not going to go in there and just roll over.''

Others who were at the Saturday MMM event shared their perceptions with the group. ''I was at Scripture Cathedral yesterday,'' offered longtime HIV/AIDS activist and performance artist Michael Sainte-Andress, at times choking back tears of his own. ''I really just wanted to spit in the face of Rev. Wilson. My heart was being broken over and over and over again.... This man was hateful. He was mean. And he was nasty.''

Sainte-Andress had supported Wilson's successful 2000 bid to join the board of the University of the District of Columbia.

. . .Carol Schwartz (R-At Large), the only council member to vote against Wilson joining the UDC board in 2000, said at the time that a vote for Wilson was a vote for ''intolerance and divisiveness.''

Today, says Schwartz, ''Rev. Wilson's belittlement of various communities continues, and that saddens me. Leaders need to bring people together, and not be divisive. Or they shouldn't be leaders.''


Good for Carol Schwartz. She clearly saw right through this appalling Willie Wilson.

U.S. Muslim Religious Council to Issue Fatwa Against Terror

Here.

CAIR to release English, Arabic, Urdu radio versions of anti-terror PSA (WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/27/05) - On Thursday, July 28, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will hold a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to release a fatwa (Islamic religious ruling) against terrorism and extremism. The fatwa is being issued by the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) and endorsed by major U.S. Muslim groups. Representatives of the Fiqh Council, an association of Islamic legal scholars that interprets Muslim religious law, and leaders of several leading American Muslim organizations will take part in the news conference. (The term "fiqh" refers to Islamic jurisprudence.)

WHAT: Release of Fatwa Against Terror and Extremism/Release of CAIR Radio Anti-Terror PSA

WHEN: Thursday, July 28, 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: National Press Club (13th Floor), Murrow Room, 529 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C.

CONTACT: CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org

At Thursday's news conference, CAIR will also release radio versions of its 30-second "Not in the Name of Islam" television public service announcement (PSA) in English, Arabic and Urdu. The PSA campaign ties into CAIR's "Not in the Name of Islam" online petition drive designed to disassociate the faith of Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims. To view the television PSA, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/video/psa.ram CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

To read CAIR's Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About

- END -

CONTACT: Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: ihooper@cair-net.org; Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail: rahmed@cair-net.org

NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a journalist's window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called ISLAM-INFONET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.

To SUBSCRIBE to or UNSUBSCRIBE from ISLAM-INFONET, go to: http://cair.biglist.com/islam-infonet/

http://cair.biglist.com/islam-infonet/

Friday, July 29, 2005

Democratic Underground Thread on Wetterling Rumor

Here.

Judge Roberts

From a post to a Log Cabin Republicans discussion list:

Join this Senate Committee!
You don't have to be a U.S. Senator anymore to have executive nominees fail to answer your most nagging questions. Thanks to a group of Democratic senators, people from around the country can query Judge John Roberts, President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, about topics ranging from abortion to civil rights. The Senators, including Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) have set up a new interactive website that they claim will allow Americans to "engage" in the Supreme Court confirmation process. The website is listed as non-partisan, although only Democrats were scheduled to attend an unveiling Thursday. C-SPAN junkies shouldn't get too excited, though. Judiciary Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) has urged Roberts not to answer specific questions about how he would rule on certain cases. And there probably aren't too many questions that Judiciary member Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) hasn't already thought about asking.


Some good questions asked by members of a Log Cabin Republicans chat list participants:

How would you react if you found out one of your children were gay?

Was Brown vs Board of Education an example of activist liberal judges ignoring the strict construction of the Constitution?

Is there an inalienable right to personal privacy within the Constitution? If so, where?

Does the majority view of any community (local, state or national), even when expressed in legislation, trump the freedom of a person to pursue their own moral compass? For instance, the Bible has certain prohibitions. Are these religious traditions, perhaps even supported by a majority or legislation, to be given precedence over the right of an individual to not practice those religious teachings?

When does individual liberty and choice become subservient to the majority will?


If you send a question to this site, add it to the comments of this post.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

A "Sermon"

There's contact information for the Church and the
"minister" here. Wonder what Michele Bachmann thinks about this one?

EXCERPTS FROM THE SERMON

You can listen to it here at the Washington Blade:

Rev. Willie Wilson
"You've Got to Fight to Be Free"
Union Temple Baptist Church
July 3, 2005
(As published in The Washington Blade)

"We live in a time when our brothers have been so put down, can't get a job, lot of the sisters making more money than brothers. And it's creating problems in families. That's one of the reasons our families' breaking up. And that's one of the reasons many of our women are becoming lesbians.

You got to be careful when you say you don't need no man. I can make it by myself. Well, if you don't need a man, what's left? Lesbianism is about to take over our community. I'm talking about young girls. My son in high school last year, trying to go to the prom, he said, "Dad, I ain't got nobody to take to the prom because all the girls in my class are gay. There ain't but two of them straight and both of them are ugly. I ain't got nobody to take to the prom."

Now, can I talk here? I ain't homophobic, because everybody in here got something wrong with him. Whoever you point at, you can point at your own self. You got something wrong with your life. But when you get down to this thing, women falling down on another woman, strapping yourself up with something, it ain't real. That thing ain't got no feeling in it. It ain't natural.

Any time somebody got to slap some grease on your behind, and stick something in you, it's something wrong with that. Your butt ain't made for that. [Audience shouts and yells its approval in the background.] You got blood vessels and membranes in your behind. And if you put something unnatural in there, it breaks them all up. No wonder your behind is bleeding. It's destroying us.

Can't make no connection with a screw and another screw. The Bible says God made them male and female. The Hebrew word "neged," which means complementary nature - there is something unique to man and unique to woman and it takes those two things to complement each other. You can't make a connection with two screws. It takes a screw and a nut! (shouting)."


Now, I thought people called phone sex lines for this sort of talk. 99 cents a minute....

Keith Boykin's got contact information for this idiot.

Stadium Boondoggle Failed to Pass

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Twins Stadium Tax Bill
Defeated For Several Reasons

St. Paul, MN (July 11, 2005) — It appears the $1.1 billion stadium tax is no longer under consideration by legislators. Hennepin county commissioners were lobbying for special sales tax authority. The most controversial aspect was an exception to Minnesota law requiring a voter referendum.
Analysis – facts and news coverage likely contributing to defeat:


  • Intense legislative gridlock on higher priority, core issues of government
  • Taxpayer stadium subsidy of nearly 80% was excessive compared to other states
  • The controversial exception to Minnesota law requiring a voter referendum
  • Financial and ethical conflicts surrounding the 4-3 county commissioner vote
  • Lack of sharing new stadium revenue to help reduce any stadium tax
  • Poor design and confined location of stadium building
  • Lack of urgency – Metrodome lease runs through 2012
  • Narrow base of stadium tax – 1 of 87 counties subsidizing a Minnesota team
  • Active and organized opposition efforts by citizens and many legislators
  • No cost over-run protection for land, infrastructure and environmental clean-up
  • News coverage showing little or negative economic benefits of taxpayer-funded stadiums


"This is a huge win for taxpayers and legislators responding to public opinion," said John Knight, of Citizens for a Stadium Tax Referendum. Knight added, "the taxes for the county proposal were the most troublesome – $1.1 billion without a voter referendum, as required under Minnesota law."


A big thanks to John Knight for his dedication to opposing this boondoggle. No thanks to Governor Pawlenty who is doing his best to increase taxes on Hennepin County shoppers. Sen. John Marty and Rep. Phil Krinkie also deserve major kudos.

Rumours: Patty Wetterling Running in 6th Congressional District?

Minnesota Democrats Exposed:

"I'm sure this will come as no surprise, but according to one of my real DFL insider friends, Patty Wetterling has all but announced that she'll be running for the 6th CD again because Klobuchar has proven to be much stronger than expected. Apparently Tinklenburg has agreed to get out of the 6th if Wetterling gets in, too."


Kennedy v the Machine:

MDE may just have broken some significant news again: word on the street is that Wetterling will return to run in the 6th Congressional District next year in the face of strong Klobuchar support among DFL stalwarts for the U.S. Senate endorsement.

KvM puts great stock in the rumor as that blog has the distinction of announcing Senator Dayton’s withdrawal more than a week before it became public.

Such a move would relieve national conservative groups who have told me in recent weeks they were concerned about the likely Tinklenberg candidacy.
Filed under: Klobuchar, Wetterling — By: Gary M. Miller — July 28, 2005 @ 1:23 pm


Wetterling could defeat Michele Bachmann, but she'd have a hard time defeating Phil Krinkie.

UPDATE: I posted this on the mn-politics-national list, and Dennis Tester responded:

From: "Dennis Tester"
To: ,
"Eva Young"
Subject: Re: Rumours: Patty Wetterling Running in 6th Congressional District?
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 20:23:21 -0500
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2900.2180
X-Loop-Detect:1
X-DistLoop-Detect:1


"Such a move would relieve national conservative
groups who have told me in recent weeks they were
concerned about the likely Tinklenberg candidacy."

LOL. Yeah right. Ever hear of Brier Rabbit?

If not, listen for conservatives talking about how scared they are of Hillary.


Dennis Tester
St. Paul


Oh drown me, Brier Fox sir, but please don't throw me into dat Brier Patch....

Developing. . .

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Rick Santorum Find Griswold Wrongly Decided

Spotty at the Cucking Stool lets him have it.

Gay Teenagers Hanged in Iran

Horrifying pictures available at Gayorbit here.

Log Cabin Republicans Calls for the International Community to Denounce the Iranian Regime:

News Release
For Immediate Release
July 26, 2006

Log Cabin Republicans Denounce Execution of Gay Youth by Iran
International Community Should Denounce Iranian Regime

(Washington, DC)— In the wake of news stories and photographs documenting the hanging of two gay Iranian teenagers, Log Cabin Republicans re-affirm their commitment to the global war on terror. "Like any decent human being, I am shocked and outraged by the execution of two young gay men by Iranian government officials," said Log Cabin Republicans President Patrick Guerriero. "This barbarous slaughter clearly demonstrates the stakes in the global war on terror. Freedom must prevail over radical Islamic extremism."

Log Cabin Republicans call on the United States government, as well as the broader international community, including the United Nations, to publicly condemn these atrocities. There is a special obligation for those countries with continued economic ties to the Iranian regime to speak out. "The international community should be outraged, and those countries that continue supporting the Iranian regime have a special obligation to condemn this deplorable act," concluded Guerriero.

###

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Log Cabin has state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time Washington office, and a federal political action committee. www.logcabin.org


From Iran Focus:

Tehran, Iran, Jul. 20 – Members of Iran’s parliament from the north-eastern city of Mashad, where a minor and an 18-year-old man were publicly hanged yesterday, vented their anger on Wednesday on foreign and domestic news outlets for reporting the ages of hanged prisoners.

Ultra-conservative deputy Ali Asgari said that the two deserved to be hanged in public, adding, "Whatever sentence is decreed by an Islamic penal system must be approved, unless proven otherwise".

Asgari complained of foreign and domestic reporting that the two were mere boys. "Instead of paying tribute to the action of the judiciary, the media are mentioning the age of the hanged criminals and creating a commotion that harms the interests of the state", the member of the Majlis Legal Affairs Committee said.

"Even if certain websites made a reference to their age, journalists should not pursue this. These individuals were corrupt. Their sentence was carried out with the approval of the judiciary and it served them right."

Effat Shariati, another Majlis deputy from Mashad, told a state-run news agency on Wednesday, "The issue of the age of the convicts is created by those who are causing problems for our country".

The two young men were lashed 228 times before being hanged at 10 am (local time) on Tuesday in Edalat (Justice) Square in downtown Mashad.


Contact President Bush, and urge him to direct Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to condemn this action in the strongest possible terms.

Our "Friends" the Democrats

Grand Forks Trib:

Tinklenberg, in Washington on Tuesday for a visit with trade and advocacy groups, said he expects he'll have to raise about $2 million in the race.

The former Methodist minister has gotten the national backing despite views on social issues that put him to the right of his party. He opposes legalized abortion, supports a constitutional ban on gay marriage and opposes increased restrictions on gun ownership.

"There's a sense among Democrats that the person who wins this seat will have to come from a more conservative background," said Tinklenberg, a former mayor of Blaine. The 6th District includes northern Twin Cities suburbs and extends northwest to the St. Cloud area.

"It's going to be a struggle," Tinklenberg said of winning the conservative district. But he said he thinks he can appeal to voters who support Democrats on economic issues but not cultural ones.

. . .

DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., who contributed $2,000 to Tinklenberg's campaign, said in a statement: "Elwyn Tinklenberg's experience as a mayor and pastor and his work at the state level on important transportation issues makes him an impressive individual and candidate for Congress."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., contributed $2,000 to Tinklenberg's campaign, and Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, contributed $2,500.


These Democratic leaders have already picked a horse in this race - even though there is another Democratic candidate - Scotty Mortensen - who opposes the Federal Bachmann amendment. Robert from Lime Shurbet says it well:

It seems the House Minority Leader and San Francisco uber-liberal darling has given some support and $2000 to fellow Democrat Elwyn Tinklenberg, who hopes to win the seat vacated by GOP Rep. Mark Kennedy in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District. Normally this would not raise any eyebrows, a Democrat supporting another Democrat. However, WHICH Democrat doing the supporting is especially interesting given the candidate’s position on some hot-button issues.

The former Methodist minister has gotten the national backing despite views on social issues that put him to the right of his party. He opposes legalized abortion, supports a constitutional ban on gay marriage and opposes increased restrictions on gun ownership. (emphasis mine)

But I thought Nancy Pelosi was FOR gay marriage?

To make this worse, there is a Democrat running against Tinklenberg, Scotty Mortensen, that is AGAINST the FMA. So this isn’t just a question of Pelosi supporting the only Democrat running in a race against a Republican, she made a conscious choice to support the guy that is on the exact opposite of her own positions, all the while she is kissing the collective ass of the gay community.

I guess Nancy believes Minnesota’s queers should just take it up the a$$ for the good of the party.

With friends like Nancy, who needs Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell.


Indeed.

Janet Robert, who ran for this seat before, has been telling Scotty Mortensen supporters stories about her gay friends who are supporting Tinklenberg for the "good of the party". Now if these were gay republicans, we'd hear about how "self-loathing" they are.

North Dallas Thirty also comments:


I would simply answer in my own cynical fashion.....what most likely will get Pelosi in trouble for backing Tinklenberg is not that he's antigay, but that he's pro-life. As Joe Solmonese and Emily Malcom showed last summer, even if you support the FMA, as long as you're pro-choice, it's worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to you and an endorsement. This is, as far as I can tell, the same logic that led them and others to proclaim John Kerry and his support of antigay state constitutional amendments and banning gay marriage because of his religious beliefs to be pro-gay and gay supportive.


Developing. . .

Kelly Interviewed in Lavender



An Interview with St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly

By Heidi Fellner

Photo by Lynn Schoenstedt
For much of the past century, St. Paul has been in Minneapolis’s long shadow.

Despite attractions like Xcel Energy Center and Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, on any given evening or weekend, the city often looks more like a ghost town than Minnesota’s capital city.

But Mayor Randy Kelly is employing some creative initiatives to change that.

Kelly’s focus is on reinvesting in and revitalizing the languishing city at a time when most other municipal governments are tightening their purse strings.

SimCity enthusiasts, it’s time to take notes: Kelly’s unconventional methods—like a five-month series of town hall meetings called StreetBeat—appear to be working.

The day he publicly announced his bid to seek re-election, I sat for a tête-à-tête with Kelly to talk about high art, low taxes, big money, and small business in the town he’s proud to call home.


Here.

A big difference from 4 years ago, when Kelly refused to answer Lavender's questionaire - following Norm Coleman's bad advice.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Special Session Part II: The Stadium

From the Strib:

Special session?

The governor also said that while he hoped to call a special session this fall to deal with, among other things, the Twins stadium proposal, that appeared improbable.

Putting the odds at 60-40 against such a session, Pawlenty said that the closely divided Legislature is too polarized to reach a preagreement on such a controversial issue and commit to a short session of less than a few days.

However, Pawlenty made it clear that he wants to keep the Twins here, and to find "reasonable" ways to fund the arts, transit, natural resources and other amenities.

The case for attracting the best and brightest to Minnesota, he said, can't be, "We're going to tax the snot out of you, it's cold and dark six months out of the year, and there's nothing to do. That's not an attractive marketing position.

"I may get in trouble with my conservative friends," he said, "but we're a small state tucked in the Upper Midwest. It's cold here. We've got to have some fun stuff."


Moving to Minneapolis because it's "fun" to pay sales taxes to finance professional sports isn't my kind of fun.

Monday, July 25, 2005

David Strom and his wife Margaret Martin hit hard at Pawlenty.

Triple A commented:

Does anyone who is upset with Pawlenty have issues with their GOP legislators? I happen to know that many of you do not have a GOPer representing you, and you placed all your hopes on Pawlentys' shoulders, and he let you down.

I am just as upset with what happened, but there is a lot of blame to go around for all 201 Republicans at the captial, and we NEED you urban conservatives to muster a seat or two.

We don't have a monarchy, so one man or woman can't run the State, we do have a legislature, that is representative of the population and beliefs of us. The DFL stronghold of the inner Twin Cities is driving the bus right now, help us porevent this next year by working even harder to get Representatives and Senators who agree with us elected, instead of ones that work against us.

This si a friendly request, not a cry to stop hitting Pawlenty.

Sullivan is not going to take on Pawlenty in an endorsement battle, so we have to deal with Tim. You don't have to like it, but please don't turn the Governorship over to the DFL because you feel betrayed. Its politics, that's what politicians do.

Do you think that a DFL Governor would even have help the budget to where it is? The DFL still wants more spending, and if Pawlenty looses, that is exactly what will happen.

Criticize the policies, don't kill the man. Please?
triplea | Homepage | 07.23.05 - 12:01 pm | #

Well Triple A, legislators like Bachmann, Limmer, Severson and Emmer both make it harder for Republicans to win in Minneapolis and St Paul. Having local parties endorse wackjobs like Renee LaVoi and Tom Swift don't help the party brand name with urban voters.

Urban legislators are NOT driving the bus. Minneapolis legislators used to - but they don't any more.
Eva Young | Homepage | 07.25.05 - 10:22 pm | #

Queer Theory by Charlie Mehler

Posted with permission of the author:

What is queer theory?

It's the current trend in academia to give an intellectually hip sounding name to gay studies. The new visiting prof in my department is knee-deep in it. Below, please find my reaction to such stupidity. It's a speech I prepared in case I'm ever asked to speak at any conference involving "Queer Theory." I should note that in any paper I've written lately on gay issues, I insert a preface, warning the reader that if they try to lump my work under the rubric of "Queer Theory," to expect a phone call from my attorney.

-- Charlie Mehler

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WHY DOCTOR, I'M PERFECTLY NORMAL

A speech on the tragic misuse of the word "queer"

by Charlie Mehler

I want to say two things before I begin my remarks. First, what I'm about to do might be considered a kind of "performance art," intended to shock the audience member into recognition. In order to achieve this, I will be using language I would not normally use. Please indulge me, and show the same courtesy you'd show any other performance artist. Second, with respect to the issue at hand, I remind the audience members that this is an intra-family discussion, and that, ultimately, we're all fighting the same fight.

Now, just to get started, I want everyone to give me a good, swift HISSSSSSSS. Yeah, that's it. I CAN'T HEAR YOU! There we go! Beautiful!

Okay, let's get started: I'd like to welcome everyone to this Diversity in Theatre conference. I'm looking out at the audience, and I'm noticing a whole bunch of jungle bunnies (CM encourages HISS), a whole lot of beaners (etc.), dagos, pollocks, krauts, frogs, micks, slant-eyes, redskins, towel-heads, canucks, bohunks, and I see some of my own people, the ever-popular hymies. And let’s not forget one of our most forceful and active groups, all you cunts out there.

End of performance piece. How many people were offended by the language I used? Good, you should have been! (Or, "That's strange. I was.")

Now, let's try this again. Welcome to the Diversity in Theatre Conference. I'd especially like to welcome all the queers in the audience. Oh, you're not offended? Hmmm.

So let me get this right. In order to find power, people involved in same-sex relations are expected to sit politely and "reclaim" a word that is, to most people I know, at least as offensive as any of the words I used earlier. And where there is no United Towel-head Republic, no League of Cunt Voters, no Hymie Defense League, there is supposed to be a Queer Studies department at every local university, where the local Queer Theorist weaves a web of magic and intellectual majesty.

Don't get me wrong. When I'm making fun of a close, and I repeat the word close, friend, I will use the Q-word, much in the way I have heard my African American friends use the phrase (and again, this is language I would NEVER normally use myself), "Niggah, you black as the ace of spades." In both cases, I consider this reasonable colloquial use of these slur words, and a reasonable effort to use gallows humor in the face of marginalization.

But let's get back to my earlier point. With the exception of those of us who engage, either full- or part-time, in sexual relations with our own sex, no other marginalized group is expected to "reclaim" the slur word by using it in serious discourse.

And yet in order for gay people – and let's stick with "gay" as our word of choice for the moment – for gay people to participate in the deep, millennia-long struggle against the social oppression we face, we are expected by our intelligentsia, who should know better, to endure the kind of slur that is used by the bashers who roam the gay neighborhoods of our nation, looking for one of our number as the target for a baseball bat.

"You fucking queer," shouts the basher. "Take this!"

"Oh, no, nice Mr. Gay Basher," says the Queer Theorist, as the baseball bat descends. "You're not allowed to use that word. My people have reclaimed it for our empowerment."

A very ugly scene, no doubt. But this is no less ugly than when people of supposed intelligence use the Q-word in serious discourse.

Let me remind you what the word "queer" means. When I put this speech together on Thursday, September 23, 2004, I went to dictionary.com and found the following under "queer":

Deviating from the expected or normal; strange: a queer situation.

Odd or unconventional, as in behavior; eccentric. See Synonyms at strange.

Of a questionable nature or character; suspicious.

Slang. Fake; counterfeit.

Feeling slightly ill; queasy.

Offensive Slang. Homosexual.

Usage Problem. Of or relating to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, or transgendered people

Strange. Suspicious. Counterfeit. Queasy. Offensive. Notice that the usage that the Queer Theorists seek to force upon the larger public is still at the bottom of the heap. Pray God, it will stay there.

Let me make one more remark on the use of the Q-word. George W. Bush is perhaps the most homophobic president in recent history. Even the Reagans had gay friends in Hollywood. In the years up to and including 2003, Mr. Bush NEVER used the word "gay" in a political speech. Yet I saw him recently on television, and he had no problem using the phrase "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" when talking about the television show. Do the math!

I have spent my life trying to convince the average American that we gay folk are in no way harmful to the body politic, and that an environment that promotes the fair and equal treatment of gay men and lesbians is of benefit to all concerned. The word "queer," used in serious discourse, says the opposite. It says that we are forever strange and not to be trusted. And that is a wrong that borders on the immoral.

I beg of you. As a community, we have the future of the next generation of same-sex-oriented people in our hands. We can continue the use of this tragically chosen word, this word that forever marginalizes us. Or we can sit down, deal directly with the issue of same-sex oppression, and find another word.

If worse comes to worse, we could always go back to "gay." At least it means "happy" and "care free."

Thank you for your time and indulgence.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Reactions to Canada Allowing Gay Marriage

Craig Westover comments.

Canada took the liberal approach to same-sex marriage -- let's do it now, all at once, because it is the "right thing to do." I'd be surprised if there aren't problems. You've got a generation divided between straight people raised to believe that if homosexuality is not actually the spawn of Satan, there is certainly something wrong with it that makes "those people" not quite as close to God as the rest of us. On the other hand, you've got a generation of homosexual people raised with no expectations that they would ever, or more importantly should ever, form a permanent personal relationship. There is no accepted tradition of same-sex relationships as a model. And Canada jumped right to the end game. Let me revise my comment -- there's got to be problems.

So what should the U.S. do? I think the approach of "Okay, let's watch Canada and do nothing" is wrong. That's not a conservative approach; it's a reactionary one. It's not based on political principle. Canada’s decision doesn't change the situation in the United States. We still ought to encourage stability of the growing conservative segment of the gay population. We ought to move slowly, but we ought to be moving. We ought to be removing barriers that prohibit or make complicated the ability of same-sex couples to form the legal relationships automatically granted by marriage -- without any formal recognition through "marriage" or even "civil unions." As that is put in place, then move some more formal recognition like civil unions. Ultimately, if the sky doesn't fall -- in the United States, not Canada -- then we move to recognition of same sex-marriage. And this should all be done on a state-by-state basis through legislation, not at a national level and not through the courts.


I'd disagree that stable, monogamous relationships in the gay community are connected with conservative political beliefs. That's not what I've found from the gay people I know. I know many long term couples who are quite to the left politically.

Swiftee responds with an anti-gay rant that is typical for him.

Back from Vacation

From the comments:

Did you get blown up?


Nope. That was on July 7 - but the tubes that were damaged were close to where I was staying in London (over in the Russell Square area in Central London). The Picadilly Line in that area is offline (and will be offline for a while - because of all the damage to the tunnels from the exposions. The suicide bombers were British born citizens - whose parents came from Pakistan.

I was in North Devon during the second week of my stay - so missed the failed attempt to bomb more subways and a bus on July 21.

This was great fun - this was a family get together. It was nice to get a chance to spend time with my sisters, parents and niece nephew in this great location in North Devon. We went to see several English gardens in the area - Rosemoor and Marwood gardens. English gardens really are beautiful.