Thursday, September 05, 2013

IL HOP to IA, MN; Take our gay wedding money. Please, take it! AN UPDATE

Back on June 23rd I posted this economic consideration on the marriage equality debate in Illinois: "Having just married off my second daughter, I have an inkling of the tremendous spending involved on dozens of Illinois businesses, not to mention the substantial sums spent in Illinois by hundreds of guests, both local and ...out of state. The total could easily average $50,000 or more per. Since no legal gay wedding can be held in Illinois, gay couples and their guests must spend that dough in nearby states Iowa or Minnesota, or one of the 11 other civilized states not governed by their version of the Illinois HOP (Homophobe Only Party, a.k.a. GOP) that currently blocks marriage equality in Illinois. That's $50 million in lost revenue to Illinois for every 1,000 Illinois gay marriages that could take place right here in the Land of Lincoln".

I don't know if Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak saw that post but he's in Chi Town this week poaching millions in Illinois gay wedding dollars for the great, progressive state of Minnesota which legalized gay marriage as of August 1. Rybak is a gentle gay wedding dollar poacher, actually pleading with the Illinois HOP to legalize gay marriage so he won't have to come here to grab a our desperately needed gay wedding loot: "I'm a supporter of marriage equality and I hope someday Illinois will take away the advantage Minneapolis has. In the meantime, we're open for business"

Tragically for Illinois gays and Illinois businesses, the Four Homophobe Enablers of the Apocalypse vying for the HOP gubernatorial nomination, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, State Senator Bill Brady, Romneyesque money mogul Bruce Rauner and my State Senator Kirk Dillard, have all closed their heart and their pocketbook and collectively shouted "Nyet" to gay marriage in Illinois. They are all political cowards terrified of being dumped in the HOP Primary by the HOP homophobes who control the destiny of any HOP candidate seeking high office in the Land of Lincoln (and Homophobes).

Come on guys! Just in case you think my above estimate of $50 million was far fetched, the UCLA think tank The Williams Institute estimates that legalization of same sex marriage in Illinois could spur over $100 million in wedding and tourism spending over three years.

I'll close this marriage equality update with the same request I made of the Four Homophobe Enablers of the Apocalypse on June 23rd: "Dillard, Rutherford, Brady and Rauner need a "sit-down", Mafia style, to form a united front against the ignorant, the fearful and yes, the haters, who call the shots in the Illinois HOP. They could hold a joint news conference to unveil their peace pact which will mean whoever wins the primary will campaign to govern 100 % of Illinois citizens. And they needn't worry about the HOP's chief ideologue Rep. Jeanne Ives (HOP, 42th), calling them 'disordered' and 'weasels' for breaking the HOP covenant of prejudice. She has proven over and over that she ain't ready for Prime Time".

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

April 22, 1971: Vietnam Vet Kerry calls out criminal war; September 1, 2013; Secretary Kerry calls for criminal war‏

Over 42 years ago a charismatic 27 year old Vietnam War vet gave one of the most riveting Congressional presentations ever before Sen. William Fulbright's Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Representing the Vietnam Veteran's Against the War (VVAW), Kerry, a decorated, twice wounded vet, gave impassioned witness to the utter futility of our senseless Vietnam War which had been claiming millions of lives since the 1950's when the US tried to succeed where the French had failed, preventing the inevitable unification of Vietnam under the North Vietnamese. Kerry looked the distinguished Senator Fulbright in the eye and uttered these immortal words that will forever reverberate in American history:

 "How do ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?   Each day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her hands of Vietnam someone has to give up his life so that the United States doesn't have to admit something that the entire world already knows, so that we can't say we have made a mistake. Someone has to die so that President Nixon won't be, and these are his words, 'the first President to lose a war'."
This past Sunday, the 69 year old Kerry, who parlayed that 15 minutes of fame into a five decade career as prosecutor, state Lt. Governor, Senator, presidential candidate and now Secretary of State, shuttled between five news shows. He looked all 310 million of us in the eye and flat out lied about the need to bomb Syria and kill people as part of our taking sides in their horrendous civil war.  In one of his most egregious comments he lumped Syrian President Assad in with Hitler and Saddam Hussein as the only three leaders who "used these weapons in time of war". Kerry conveniently excluded World War I, in which both sides used chemical weapons, and excluded all that phosphorus and depleted uranium we fouled Iraq with that will be maiming and killing Iraqi fetuses for generations to come. He also fluked the US enabling test in which Uncle Sam gave a pass to Saddam Hussein when he used chemical weapons on both Iranians and Iraqis in the 1980's, a time when he was our dear Middle East ally. He also omitted that the UN reports the likelihood the Syrian rebels used the nerve agent sarin against Syrian troops last spring.  

As an avid opponent of the Vietnam War from 1963, I still vividly recall Kerry's inspiring "who will be the last man to die" testimony in 1971. I was shocked and sickened by Kerry's coming full circle Sunday, to champion, not the end to a criminal war, but tragically, the call for another.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Music Pick: Elvis

"Blue Moon of Kentucky" was the B side of Elvis' first record "That's All Right Mama" recorded at Sun Records in July, 1954. As good as the A side was, Blue Moon may be even better, and it was recorded by pure happenstance. With "That's All Right Mama", Sam Phillips realized his dream of recording a white cat who sounded black whom he could market to the white teens and make a f...ortune. But having no B side, Bill Black, Elvis' bassist, started fooling around mocking Bluegrass legend Bill Monroe's 1946 slow waltz "Blue Moon of Kentucky" by singing it in a fast falsetto voice. Presley and guitarist Scotty Moore joined in and Phillips yelled, "Boy, that's fine, that's a pop song now". We frequently hear Elvis' first record but rarely the flip side. Interesting side note: Phillips released all Elvis' Sun records under the group name ELVIS PRESLEY SCOTTY AND BILL.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Round One goes to the Peaceniks

Last week was a rare and remarkable week for peace loving and patriotic Americans suffering under the endless military adventurism of the Imperial Presidency. On Thursday the Brits, through their Parliament, told Uncle Sam to take a hike and go it alone if he wants to start bombing and killing Syrians in our needless and senseless attempt to enter the Syrian civil war on the side of the rebels, who incidentally, consist of many elements seeking to harm American interests. Stunned by this unprecedented pushback from America's usually compliant "poodle" in pre-emptive military action, and facing mounting public and congressional pressure, President Obama cancelled the imminent Syrian attack, stating he would seek congressional approval when Congress reconvenes later this month.

This unprecedented step back from the brink of launching warfare that could easily spin out of our or anybody's ability to control is welc...ome but by no means certain to hold. The war party, through their spokesmen in the White House, the Congress and the media, will continue to advocate for war till they can launch their smart bombs fired by dummies. We, the true rulers of this country, must build on the 160 plus congressmen who are demanding a debate and a vote before innocents must be killed. Granted, some of the congressional opposition consists of the "derail Obama" crowd opposing Syrian intervention on purely cynical grounds of harming the President. They couldn't care less about saving lives. If Romney were Commander In Chief many of them would be leading the rush to war. But maintaining peace sometimes requires strange bedfellows, and we progressives need every reactionary congressman possible to to head off this new folly. This is one time that party loyalty must not be followed. Watching otherwise sane and progressive government leaders and legislators demanding senseless war is sickening. It must be opposed relentlessly.

The war party is staggering around the ring from a surprise one-two punch but still has plenty of fight to start a new fight. Don't let them do it.