Politics and Culture


I hope everyone has a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend. Please take a moment and thank the veterans, both current and past, for the service and sacrifice they have paid for the freedoms we celebrate (most of us anyway).

I was in the Army for 4 years and every Memorial Day, I can’t help but think of the love I had for the military while at the same time struggling to figure out who I was in a society that didn’t accept me. I chose a long time ago that I wanted to be an officer in the military more then I wanted to be gay so I just kept it buried deep inside, but over time that silence takes a toll on us. I’m happier now then I’ve ever been, a supportive family that accepts me and loves me and an awesome boyfriend. It isn’t this way for everyone out there and we still have a fight to fight.

On this Tuesday the California Supreme Court announces their decision on the long contested Proposition 8 and the fight over CA gay marriage. I hope that they decide to be on the right side of history.

Some may grumble that Memorial Day is about honoring the veterans and I shouldn’t be turning this into a gay rights issue. I can appreciate that but I will say that I am a veteran and I am gay, and I am unable to separate the two any more then a black person can chose to ignore their skin color in the face of discrimination. If you have served your country, I commend you, if you have not, then don’t tell me what I can and can’t do with this holiday. Those who fought before us, did so, in the hopes that we would not have to…  but we still do. Freedom and equality is not an opinion or a belief, it is an absolute, independent of religion or politics.

As a society, we either live with complete equality everyday or we live without any equality at all. There is no in-between.

A Gay Vietnam Veteran on Memorial Day

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presidential-seal I ran across this image last November and I meant to repost it here but I forgot. I figured it was still appropriate this week with the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

When I first saw this print below, it gave me chills… it’s an amazing visualization of the change we are really experiencing with this election. The characterization of each President with each simple sketch is awesome. I’m a huge fan of the institution of the Presidency and it’s history, so I was really impressed with this image.

The print was created by Patrick Moberg. You can purchase it at http://www.patrickmoberg.com/prints/.

This is a great time in America. Farewell Mr. Bush, you’re legacy is now in the hands of history… god help you.

Click the image to enlarge.

november-4-2008

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A friend of mine passed this along to me and I thought it was brilliant and worth posting.

Most of you will probably remember the Budweiser beer commercials a few years back with the “Wasssssup” guys. The original creator of that video campaign for Budweiser was a guy named Charles Stone. He made a lot of money off it. He actually appears himself in the first Wassup commercial as the first guy on the couch.

We now he has once again put his witty talents to use with a new Wassup 2008 video that is getting passed around.

It’s a humorous video… but in reality not really. This election is probably one of the most important in decades. There is so much at stake for the future of our country and our personal lives. Please take a few minutes and watch the video clips below.

You will appreciate the new version more if you watch the original Budweiser commercial first. Charles Stone (the creator) and his friends are featured in both… now 8 years later.

Original video commercial:

 

New Wassup 2008

Change… coming to a household near you. Please vote!

 

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My brother sent me this YouTube video of a recent speech by the AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer, Richard Trumka. He passionately talks about Obama and racism in America. It’s nice to see people who are not afraid to speak publicly about our obvious past and our need to boldly face the future and grow up.

It’s a great speech that I think is worth passing on.

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A friend of mine sent me one of those standard form-emails soliciting money and asking me to support the McCain campaign. As I started to politely reply back to him with a “no thanks”, I started to get more and more mad at just how ridiculous and frankly saddening it is to see educated people support McCain. Yes, I said educated. If you support McCain and you consider yourself educated and take offense to that, then I say… clearly you are not educated enough. Go back to school. Take some history classes, take some military science classes, take some leadership classes, take some finance classes, take some political policy classes, take some foreign policy classes, take some religion classes, take some constitutional law classes. But don’t just sit there and blindly follow along because you go to church every Sunday morning and you think God and country will make everything ok in your life.

Here is my reply to his email:

No thanks. I do like John McCain as a person but there is no way I’m supporting the Republican party running this country into the ground any longer. You know, I was president of the Republican club in college for 4 years… but Republicans are completely off track, ruining this country, hiding behind the bible and hate. God and country doesn’t pay the bills. Bush has killed more Americans then Osama… and don’t give me that crap that it’s about Terrorism. Anyone with a high school diploma knows Iraq is about Oil. Saddam hated Al Qaida too… no reason for us to have gone in there. As a former Army Captain, I respect your military service, but to support the policies of McCain… well it’s almost too ridiculous to even write an email about. Patriotism is fighting for what you believe in, not blindly following the flag.

Good luck with the campaign none-the-less 🙂

Some say we are entering the age of enlightenment; that mankind will begin to govern itself based on fact, science and proof in the theories that work and that make sense. Not blind faith in religion, segregation, hate, isolationism and ignorance. That as the human race begins to become more and more educated, they will see that we are all part of something larger then ourselves. That we are smart enough to see there are 2 sides to every issue. That there is a cause and effect and sometimes we are the cause not the answer.

Religion is not policy. Hate is not peace, capitalism is not crushing the poor, diplomacy is not weakness, and equality is not fear.

I’m so unbelievably mad at the state of our country. I’m so mad that we have allowed Americans to die because of ignorance and failed politics. When George Bush was younger, he was an alcoholic, cocaine snorting, failure of a son who squeaked through school with a C average. And I’m supposed to follow him? When I was 13, I was in the Air Force Auxiliary; when I was 17, I left for Military college.  I didn’t have a damn drink until I was 20 years old. I was an honor student and was actually president of our college republican party for 4 years and worked on the campaign of a state Senator. I was a police officer at age 19. I was an officer in the Army until 30. No drugs, no smoking, no cocaine, no nothing. I believed in service and country and I spent a year in Korea. And now I see this country falling apart at the hands of George Bush and a Republican party trying to keep things just as they are. Well Fuck You. I didn’t bust my ass serving my town, my state and my country to have a government of idiots. They basically just pissed all over what an entire generation considered to be loyal service and everything I ever believed in.

And on top of all that, guess what, I’m gay… and they say I can’t have equal rights or get married. Apparently their god says marriage is between a man and a woman. Apparently their definition of religion dictates my freedoms and my taxes and my rights. Apparently, the separation of church and state only applies to everyone else’s church but theirs. If I was a straight atheist I would be allowed to marry without any problem. The republican party is now a party of convenience and contradiction on a crusade to rid the world of anyone different from them in the name of freedom.

I would say to them, tread carefully. In the age of enlightenment and education, they will be the minority and their policies and beliefs and hate will be their prison.

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