Category Archives: Uncategorized

Stop Calling Abortion Murder

The annual March for Life is currently ongoing…I have been many times, and, generally speaking, I agree with many of the political goals of those in attendance. In my opinion, abortion is a fundamentally bad thing, and if we correctly structured our society, we could generally do without it.

Every time I attend the March though, I bristle at a single word: Murder. Murder is vicious. It is intent. Revenge. The most hateful human act. In much of America, committing Murder is cause for the state to execute you. Attempted murder is cause for lethal self-defense or Samaritan action.

These are not appropriate descriptions or reactions to the modern reality of abortion.

Murder is not a terrified 19-year-old girl doing something that society has given her a right and reason to do. Murder is not women who choose to have an abortion because there’s no financial safety net for her potential child. Murder is not a woman who has been raped choosing out of confusion, fear, and traumatic stress to end a pregnancy.

I am not asking you to soften your stance. My opinion is that abortion should and must be opposed. I am asking you to soften your tone, and to consider the long-term implications of telling a young woman she has committed murder.

I want to end with one thought: If we are not compassionate after a first abortion, are we complicit in a potential second one?

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The Sarcastic Response Putin Deserves

PUTIN: “No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.”

PUTIN: “Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.”

PUTIN: “Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force” ….. “We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”

OH REALLY?

More to come…

Edie, the Unlikely Hero

 

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In a movement defined by lockstep support among 20-somethings, and a marriage debate shaped by the 2000’s, 83-year old Edie Windsor has become our unlikely hero. An octogenarian widower leading the charge is certainly unexpected, but it is important.

Edie Windsor’s story is a reminder that Millennials are not all-of-the-sudden demanding a redefinition of marriage, but instead are campaigning for recognition of something that has been around for a long time. At the very least, since Edith Windsor asked Thea Clara Spyer “is your dance card full?”

These couples have been here, and we are all quite late to their party. We’re the generation who decided to attend. Millennials are just the group who decided we wanted stories like Edie’s to be a part of our story, our history, and the list of things we want to carry with  us into our 21st Century.

An 83-year-old widow is a reminder that there has been havoc let loose on people’s lives that we cannot undo. There are 50-year relationships that have ended in death, never given equality. Though this is now the young people’s fight, there are many who stepped out long before us.

Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer’s heartwarming yet heartbreaking story is the embodiment of the consequences of Martin Luther King Jr’s warning that “a right delayed is a right denied.” Because our culture and our politics ‘just weren’t ready yet,’ a 50-year love story ended in inequality, hidden behind closed doors, and met with a monstrously large tax bill.

This is what marriage inequality does. This is what we are fighting to end. And, this is a story that a 20-something cannot tell. It takes the unlikely hero that is the energetic yet frail Edith Windsor, walking up the steps of our Supreme Court at age 83 and demanding that her love story, even in death, is equal.

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What it’s Like to Have Your Future go to Court

I’m writing this down for three reasons. First, I’ve been asked dozens of times ‘how this feels’ by friends and family over the past few weeks. Second, I think this might be interesting to look back on in 10 or 20 years as what it was like “back then.” And third, I can’t sleep, so why not.

This week, nine men and women who collectively make up the Supreme Court will consider if I, and millions like me, have the right to marry. They may decide this in the context of California, they may decide that the federal government can’t tell my state what to do with my marriage, or they may change the shape of gay marriage laws nationwide. They may deal a painful blow and decide that there is no such right.

No pressure.

There are certainly others with more of a stake in this than I have. California couples. Those already married in states which allow gay marriage. Those in the Deep South who may wait a decade if the Supreme Court does not act on their behalf against an unfathomable local majority. Some people’s lives will change forever based on this week’s arguments.

But there’s something about this case that is a great equalizer. Every gay man and woman, whether they have come out yesterday, or they protested alongside Harvey Milk and continued ever since, is watching the Supreme Court with the same mix of cautious optimism and panic.

If I could sum it up in one phrase: This is our chance, but how dare they.

This is our chance to have the Supreme Court affirm what we know — that we are citizens of the United States and deserve by birthright equal justice under the law, and before our fellow citizens. We know it ours like we know it is our right to vote.

But how dare they hear arguments that it isn’t! How can a body like the Supreme Court entertain while sober the idea that some citizens are not guaranteed rights that others are? How does this go on in my homeland? How dare we be forced to sit by and watch this argument be presented as a factual, legitimate case.

Yet we will, as we have before, watch our families be smeared and our families and souls be reduced to words like “promiscuous,” “special rights,” and “non-procreative persons.” We will return home to our husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, and others, and pretend as though there is not a war about us raging outside.

We are patient. And we hope.

This is the story of gay men and women watching political developments over the past decade. We are patient, yet persistent. We have stood by and have watched TV ads that declare us invalid parents, even threats to our own children and siblings, and somehow, to society at large. And we have painfully watched as millions of our friends, neighbors, and family members abandon us at the ballot box and the local debate.

Every time, we pick up, we forgive, and we begin our arguments again — hoping that next time, maybe you’ll change your mind. Maybe.

This situation sheds light on something that many in the gay community do, that I think is often overlooked and under-appreciated: They perpetually forgive. While we may pester, bother, demand, complain, and protest to no end, when you finally do Screen shot 2013-03-26 at 12.01.58 AMcome around to supporting gay marriage, we forgive you. We thank you. We ask you to saddle up and join the fight. Even if you’re Dick Cheney and campaigned nationwide to ban same-sex marriage in dozens of states. Even if you backed Proposition 8. We embrace you and we ask for your help. No matter what you may have said.

We have done this over and over again, but this time it feels different. Doesn’t it?

The wind is at our backs, support for equality is rising at record pace, Republicans are crossing over. It feels like, maybe – just maybe, for the first time, we won’t have to pick up the pieces afterwards, go home, and pretend as though it is not going on. Maybe — just maybe, we will cease having to plead for rights we know are ours. Maybe, we can finally stop asking that All Men Are Created Equal be extended to us. We may stop having to say ‘please?’ for our rights. It may help stop the stares in restaurants, the teenage tauntings, the suicides, the federal injustices, and the state law discriminations. Maybe that time is finally now.

We are a small minority who after decades of pleading our case, finally have the majority on our side. Maybe this time, unlike any other time before, we will celebrate a national victory for our families and families to-be.

So that is how it feels. It is nerve-wracking, it is anxious, it is full of maybes, it is hopeful, and it is possibly damning. But above all, it is time. We have waited, some of us a few years, others for decades, and finally our patience is paying off.

AND it is time, for you too. Whatever vote you may have cast in the past, whatever comments you may have made in front of us or behind us, this community has proven time and time again that it will forgive to make a new friend. We ask only for equal treatment under the law (and, maybe for the last time,) please.

Conor Rogers
Facebook | Twitter
March 25th, 2013.

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Fauxmentum

Simply put, the Iowa Caucuses are a better indication of who isn’t going to win the Republican nomination.

Let’s have a look:

Iowa Caucus Winner Eventual Nominee Iowa Finish by Nominee
1980 George Bush Ronald Reagan 2nd
1988 Bob Dole George  Bush 3rd
1996 Bob Dole Bob Dole 1st
2000 George W. Bush George W. Bush 1st
2008 Mike Huckabee John McCain 4th

For all the talk about this year’s Iowa caucuses giving a candidate some momentum, this year might actually be about deciding if the Iowa causes are even relevant when it comes to picking candidates.

Ironically, Ron Paul’s rise in Iowa might actually give the caucuses some legitimacy. There’s plenty of folks in Libertarian-leaning New Hampshire who aren’t quite sold on Ron Paul who might flip if another state gives him the nod. At the same time, nominating the guy many perceive as the “crazy candidate,” may well ruin the caucus’ influence for good.

6 days!

Don’t Assume Palin is Running…as a Republican

Sarah Palin has until October 31st to get on the ballot in the Iowa Caucuses, and she shows little sign of doing so. At the same time, she’s talking, walking, and traveling like a candidate.

The conventional wisdom: Palin isn’t running and is just trying to stay relevant, but there’s still a small chance she’ll seek the GOP nomination.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned for sure about Sarah Palin since she appeared on the national stage three years ago, it’s that she doesn’t follow the conventional wisdom, ever. In fact, she revels in proving it wrong and seems to enjoy out-maneuvering the “elites” than anything else. And it’s not for nothing…despite being cast off as irrelevant after 2008, and her widely-panned resignation from office a year later, Palin proved to be a force in the 2010 GOP primaries, and in rallying the Tea Party Movement. She’s still here, we’re still talking about her, and her moves still matter.

Palin has shown — particularly with her endorsement of Christine O’Donnell — that she is not interested in winning races, but instead in ideological purity, and (in a more cynical view on things) simply throwing her weight around to stick it to those who criticize her. It’s not hard to see how a dedication to purity, a  knack for stealing the spotlight and a commitment to elite-bashing leads to a third-party bid.

A third-party run by Sarah Palin could be a transformational moment in American politics, and could also annihilate the Republican Party’s chances in 2012. It boils down to this: Would Sarah Palin want to go down in history as a game-changer who laid the groundwork for a conservative party or as a former vice presidential nominee who endorsed a candidate in the 2012 election?  We all know the answer to that question.

As the President’s approval continues to plummet faster than the economic outlook, and the Republicans can’t seem to find anyone to unite their warring factions, we’re ripe for a third party candidate, Sarah Palin or not.

The Media Is Ignoring You Because No One Cares

I just finished reading Glenn Greenwald’s column about the #OccupyWallStreet protests. Greenwald pens over 1,000 words to argue that the only reason Occupy Wall Street isn’t getting any media coverage is because of a massive corporate-media apparatus that seeks to quell dissent and keep people in their place.

The last thing I heard that was that outside of reality was the right-wing charge that US Muslims are attempting to infiltrate US courts with Sharia — and that this is somehow related to the decline of the American family and/or gay marriage.

Greenwald’s piece is only being mentioned because I just finished reading his piece, and it’s the longest and most thorough of all the left-wing “It’s the Corporations, Man!” articles that have come out to explain why the media is ignoring the Wall Street Protesters. The quick answer they’ve all agreed on: The media is owned by corporations. The protesters are protesting corporations. Obviously, corporations are telling their media outlets to ignore the protests.

There’s one glaring fallacy about all this.  The idea that a multi-billion dollar corporation might actually care that there’s 500 people outside of Wall Street with signs and megaphones. Progressives are so incensed that the Wall Street protests are being ignored that they, like Greenwald, are bending over backwards to create some sort of evil alliance between journalists and CEOs (lol…) to avoid the simple truth: America does not care about your protest.  Americans don’t hate corporations, and while they’re frustrated with Wall Street, and bankers are none too popular, most Americans don’t want the massive societal economic reorganization that these protesters are calling for. Furthermore, the big corporations especially do not care that 500 people have been in Lower Manhattan for over a week calling for their demise.

The Occupy Wall Street protesters are simultaneously protesting that we are too powerless to be a threat to corporations, but that the media is ignoring them because the protest is a threat to corporations.

There’s no collusion between gay activists and the Muslim orthodoxy to bring down the American family, and there’s no massive corporate plot to silence your protest. We just really, really, do not care about your protest. And if the American consumer doesn’t care, you can be sure as hell that the corporations don’t, either.

Quit Smoking Manufacturing

President Obama had me last night — payroll tax cuts, hiring credits, targeted construction spending and allowing homeowners to adjust to the contemporary interest rate economy — all small, but cost-controlled and cost-effective ways to get cash flowing back into the economy. Finally, some economic reality has entered the White House.

And then, he dropped reality like a hot rock. President Obama called for making America the capital of global manufacturing again. He called for the return of good, middle class, manufacturing jobs to revive the heartland.

Politicians always offer platitudes to their base — and part of Obama’s is blue collar union Democrats. But leaders also have a responsibility to confront reality. Obama’s ignoring a glaring part of America’s economic reality: manufacturing is not coming back to the United States. We’re doing a terrible disservice to those formerly employed by the big auto companies, at steel mills or on assembly lines by telling them otherwise. Instead of promising to bring back manufacturing jobs that fled to cheaper ground, we should be warning our working class that they need to update their skill set. They must change-up their own abilities.

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Hooray! Michele Bachmann is (Sort of) Gone Now

The most clear takeaway from tonight’s debate — aside from the fact that everyone loves Ronald Reagan — is that Michele Bachmann is  becoming increasingly irrelevant, just weeks after winning the (now formerly) all-important Ames Straw Poll.

In so many words, Rick Perry has nuked Michele Bachmann’s candidacy. Last debate, Bachmann was the only candidate with both the loud voice, fresh-face status, and conservative record to draw a parallel to Romney. Now that three-term titan Rick Perry has entered the race with one of the most conservative platforms to date, Michele Bachmann’s platitudes about repealing “Obamacare” and getting a conservative into the White House sound more like an endorsement of Perry than a Bachmann talking point.

Some other takeaways from tonight’s debate in case you didn’t watch it, or for some reason care what I think: 

  • Jon Huntsman got a big boost — from everyone else. Huntsman got continually lumped in with “the Governors” on stage. Every time employment policies came up, Perry, Romney and Huntsman sparred — Huntsman’s Utah was the #1 state in the US for job creation, and he finally got to tout it.
  • Newt Gingrich really hates the media.
    Serving as a de-facto (and much needed) moderator, Gingrich slammed Politico for trying to create a rift between Republicans where one doesn’t really exist. This blog likes cutting through the narrative crap. Bravo, Gingrich.
  • Herman Cain and Rick Santorum were there.
    That’s about it for them.
  • Tim Pawlenty wasn’t there! And no one noticed? 
    Each candidate on stage missed an opportunity to pick up the 5-10% of Republicans who formerly supported Pawlenty. The moderators missed an awesome question by not asking “Which if you is most like Governor Pawlenty?” 
  • No one talked about gay marriage or abortion. Ever.
    Not even Rick Santorum. This debate was tri-focused on the economy, national security, and who had more Reagan points to redeem. Let’s just say it’s about time … with 14+ million out of work, does anyone really care if two gay unemployed people are getting married?
  • Rick Perry is the front-runner.
    By virtue of not screwing up, and beating back Brian Williams’ crappily-researched questions about Texas’ economy, Perry’s debate performance matched up with his poll numbers.

Obama — The Next Reagan?

The graph above (via Gallup) shows the approval rating of a first-term President whose poll numbers have dropped steadily since taking office due to a failing economy and a sense of buyer’s remorse following a landslide victory as a party savior.

It also shows President Obama’s first term to-date.

Republicans are quick to pounce on President Obama’s free-fall poll numbers, and are already predicting an easy win in 2012. Fact is, Ronald Reagan, relative to Barack Obama, was more unpopular, more divisive and more likely to lose re-election throughout most of his first term. Only recently has Obama’s approval rating fallen out of sync and dropped below Reagan’s.

At his current rate, Barack Obama is cruising to an electoral landslide — Ronald Reagan style.

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