Friday, August 31, 2007

They eat their young, and not so young

Republicans are wreaking more havoc on members of their own party than Democrats could ever dream of doing. Senator Larry Craig, an Idaho Republican, is expected to resign his senate seat in the morning just ahead of the GOP's inner-party political lynch mob.

Is it because Craig plead guilty to a misdemeanor? Or are they worried that Craig violated some ethical standard because he showed his business card to a cop, and may have been trying to use the power of his office to get out of an arrest? Doubtful.

Or could it be the stigma that maybe a conservative -- gay, straight or bisexual -- may have been soliciting man-on-man action?

Personally I could care less about Craig's sexuality. I do not believe homosexuality is a lifestyle. That makes it sounds like a choice, and it's not. I also don't think it's a preference. Again that has the connotation of someone choosing something over something else. People don't choose their sexuality any more than they choose their eye color. You can hide your eye color behind tinted contacts or sunglasses, but it doesn't change what's behind the colored lenses.

It's been estimated that about 10 percent of the population is homosexual. So, theoretically out of any random group of 10 people, 1 will be gay. If the U.S. Senate reflects the societal ratio, that would mean out of 100 U.S. senators, about 10 would be gay or lesbian.

I find it distressing that in 2007 a U.S. senator could be run from office for the fear that he may be gay, essentially.

What is disgusting about this whole episode is that there is still such a stigma about gay sex that men would need to have some choreographed bathroom stall ritual in order to find someone to have human, physical contact with. My dear friend Gene describes the ritual on his Logorrhea blog. This sad episode sends the wrong message to young men and women trying to come to grips with their sexuality that may not fit societal norms. It says it's not OK to be gay, and if you are it's not OK to be open about it and whatever you do, don't get caught playing footsy or worse under a bathroom stall.

But gays are not alone. While society has gotten more politically correct and is not at overt and blatant about its bigotry, the hatred is still there. The stated reason's for the attacks on Craig or the reason he will give for resigning won't list anything about sexuality. You'll hear things like criminal charge and ethics and lying and hypocrisy. It's not that he may have sucked cocks or let other men suck his cock, it's that he lied about it.

Blacks know discrimination. American Indians know it. Women know it. Jews know it. Latinos know it.

We hear a lot of clamor in the public and political arena about border security and illegal immigration. Why? Because terrorists are flooding over our borders and bombing innocent civilians regularly? No. Because illegal immigrants are taking American jobs? No, not based on unemployment figures. Because of the high price of social services illegal immigrants are costing us hard-working taxpayers? Well, that's a common claim, never mind the fact that as baby boomers start pocketing their Social Security checks, some of the dollars they will be collecting will have been paid in by people using phony Social Security numbers who will never collect Social Security taxes they have paid into the system from their wages. And in states with sales taxes -- which I think makes a good argument for Oregon to consider a sales tax at long last -- every dollar illegal immigrants spend for most goods and services is taxed.

Most of the noise about illegal immigrants -- maybe not all, but the majority -- is about bigotry, pure and simple. It's a hatred of people with brown skin from Mexico, or Central America or wherever who don't speak English.

Straight white people, men in particular, need to be very careful about the venom and hatred they spout now. The tide in many communities in this nation has changed. The majority is rapidly becoming a minority. All those minority groups we white men have pissed off and offended will collectively outnumber us. Some day they may outnumber us at the election polls too. And white men better hope against hope that our system of government -- not a true democracy but a representative democracy -- with a balance of powers, will protect homophobic, bigoted white men from the pissed off masses who we've been kicking for generations.

Sometimes I think I should have studied political science more extensively in college. I only took one sequence of courses. My favorite poly sci professor used to have a line he used repeatedly. I may not have it work for word, but it went like this: Politics is pretty dull, dry boring stuff. Put it's pretty damn important stuff too.

He was right.

Senator Larry Craig didn't lose an election. He was cast aside like used toilet paper in a public restroom stall by conservative members of his own party and by some in the gay community too. What message are we all supposed to get from that signal?

My friend Gene, on his Take That... blog is much kinder to Craig and dares to dream of a better world where gay people can be "out and proud."

I'm not sure if I am as optimistic as Gene. But I am proud of my gay friends and family members who are out and proud. After this Craig incident, I am also learning just how brave they truly are as well.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Music to blog to

I haven't posted for a while, because I've been spending most of my computer time trying to get my laptop back up and running and into shape. I was able to salvage my iTunes files from my iPod.

So now that iTunes is running again, I've been able to see what I've been missing the last few months. I decided to try out some of their new functions to share some details on the music I like and some of the stuff I've bought off iTunes. So now you all can see how warped my taste's really are.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Gateway to Hell (Part 5)

Well, I finally figured out why my e-mail wasn't working. I needed to install updates to my basic software. I forgot how long it takes to get a computer actually operational.

I was paying a bill online and trying to look at a statement, but there was no software on the computer for viewing pdf files. Not to mention having to set up all the website favorites for the websites I want and need to access.

What I have not done yet is try to figure out how to recover my music files from my iPod. I have gone so far as to look a bit at what my options are for doing that. Unfortunately, I don't know what software package to buy for this little deed. So, if you stumble on this blog and have ever had to recover music from your iPod due to a hard drive crash, I'd appreciate any advice, suggestions or warning you may have about the process and what software to use (or avoid).

Gateway to Hell (Part 4)

Surprise, surprise, there was something wrong with the hard drive on my computer. They replaced the hard drive and now called me Sunday that it was ready. So I went to pick it up today.

Of course, that experience could not be without a glitch. The system disk I took in with the computer, which the computer folks directed me to leave with the computer, was no where to be found when I picked up the laptop. So, they'll either have to mail it to me or I'll have to go back and pick it up.

So, I've been futzing around with the computer for hours, trying to get it back in operation. I don't know when, or if, I'll ever get it back to anything close to where it was. And I don't think I'll trust it enough to try, at least not for a while.

But for now, I have my laptop back, and it only has taken about a month since I first took it in. It seems to be working. And it is certainly faster than my old desktop.

But for some reason, I can't get my e-mail to work right. I'm too tired to mess with it any more today.

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