aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, June 11, 2005
No Refuge for gay kids
Crooks and Liars points to this blog from 16 year old Zach :’( writing about coming out to his parents, who are now sending him to a $2,000 two week ministry called Refuge which is “designed to minister to adolescents struggling with broken and addictive behaviors such asÃ¢â‚¬Â¦homosexuality.”
Refuge is a program of Love in Action International, Inc., whose website states, “There is no such creation as a “gay” or “homosexual” person.”
Is it any wonder the suicide rate among gay kids is so high? Zach :’( writes:
I went numb. That’s the only way I can get through this. I agree, if you’re thinking that these posts might be dramatized.. but the proof of the programs ideas are sitting in the rules. I pray this blows over. I can’t take this… noone can… not really, this kind of thing tears you apart emotionally. To introduce THIS subject… I’m not a suicidal person… really I’m not.. I think it’s stupid - really. But..
I expect Zach :’( will make it through, and I’m deeply sorry he has to. But I see this as an essentially positive story. Yes, he’s at the camp, but this all happened because at 16 he chose to come out to his parents, and he chose to write about it on a blog. Good for him!
Now the blog is getting widening attention (Mike Ditto to Talk Left to Alas, a blog and Crooks and Liars to...) Zach :’( got over 350 comments (so far) filled with incredible support, including a listing of all the local elected officials and media (copied here in the extended entry). Crooks and Liars links to a local TV news story which solicits comments that are overwhelmingly supportive and best of all, a local gay group is at the camp protesting.
The Religious Right can poke their finger in the dyke, so to speak, but strong as the gay marriage amendments and Parents Permission to Participate bills (here and elsewhere) make them feel, they’re fighting a losing battle. There’s a flood of gay and lesbian people coming out loud and proud and they’re not going to go away.
Like King David
“I appreciate your comments but like King David in the Bible I will be a better mayor now. I will be more focused and more driven to see this city succeed in all areas. My faith in Jesus Christ and the Lord tell me this will be done.”
John says, Hallelujah, he’s been CURED!
Oh, I’m sorry, that’s very nice and all, but gag me. This man has yet to come clean with what he’s done, and we’re to believe he’s a-okay because he just found God:
“My private life is my private life,” he said on Friday.
Uh, no it’s not. You didn’t think OUR private life was so private when you tried to repeatedly legislate against it, including supporting legislation to fire gay state employees. Funny, but OUR private life wasn’t so private to you back then. But now that everyone knows you’re a fag too, suddenly you’re Mr. Private Life King of the World. Well, bite me.
Kilgore & Drum on Dean
My basic take on Howard Dean’s DNC chairmanship is simple. After the 2004 elections, Dean had a choice. It would have been the easiest thing in the world for him to have assumed leadership of an abrasive and divisive faction of the Democratic party, as a proto-candidate for the 2008 presidential nomination. But instead, he chose to pursue the difficult and often thankless job of party chairman, building on the aspects of his 2004 candidacy that virtually all Democats appreciated: small-dollar fundraising, and grass-roots efforts to expand the ranks of party activists. For all my differences of opinion with Dean’s 2004 campaign, his self-sacrificing choice afterwards earned my respect, and my loyalty.
Via Kevin Drum, who adds:
I don’t want Dean to go over a cliff with this kind of stuff, but his reputation as a straight shooter allows him to say things that other people are only thinking, and his role as party chairman forces the press to pay attention. This is a good thing.
Initially, of course, it doesn’t look that way, but guess what happens after the initial firestorm has died out? With news hook in hand, reporters will get to work. Does James Dobson control the agenda of the Republican party? Are Republicans overwhelmingly white? Do party leaders work against the interests of the working class? This is exactly where we’d like the focus to be: on our issues, not theirs. After all, the answers to these questions are inevitably going to be bad for the Republican party.
UPDATE: Dean’s raised more money than Terry McAuliffe.
Credit where credit is due
Nine years ago, the Internet was still pretty much in its infancy. But a lot of people - both well-known names and unsung heroes - have helped shaped the Web to what it is today.
And at the ninth annual international Webby Awards in New York this week, one particular Net figure finally received his due: Former Vice President Al Gore.
Officials at the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences honored Gore with the Webby Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of his pivotal role in the development of the Internet over the last 30 years.
I’ve never seen anyone even attempt to seriously dispute the assertion of “no Al Gore, no internet.” It’s hard to imagine, about 12 years after mosiac, that the web wasn’t inevitable. However, it surely wasn’t. There’s a pretty good chance that without Senator big geek Gore we would never have had the “information superhighway.” Sure, we would have had a set of competing walled gardens (compuserve, aol, etc...) which would’ve probably had improved interconnectedness over time. But, I do believe that without Gore (and, of course, others) there’s a pretty good chance that the Web as we know it, or anything similiar, would never have existed.
Yes, thank you Al.
MILLIONS of Americans despise Bill Clinton. They have done so since he became a presence in national politics in the early 1990’s, and they continue to do so today, more than four years after his retirement from public office.
The passion of the Clinton haters is a phenomenon without equal in recent American politics. It is not based on any specific policies that Clinton promoted or implemented during his years in office. It is almost entirely personal… Viewed in historical perspective, Clinton-hatred is not easy to explain. Certainly the Monica Lewinsky affair does not explain it. The people who detested the president after that dalliance became public were essentially the same ones who had detested him in 1992. They merely grew louder.
There is, of course, a simpler argument that some Clinton haters use to explain the persistence of their passion. They say that he was, to put it bluntly, a very bad president—immature, self-absorbed, indecisive in domestic affairs and disastrously weak when it came to representing America in the affairs of the world.
It is this argument that John F. Harris utterly demolishes in ‘’The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House,’’ his thorough, readable and scrupulously honest account of the Clinton years. Harris, who was The Washington Post’s White House correspondent from 1995 through 2000, is no Clinton apologist. His portraits of the decision-making process he witnessed reveal a president who indeed lacked discipline in his daily routine; examined and re-examined policy choices endlessly, to the frustration of his advisers; and was fearful about the use of military force abroad, even in behalf of the most defensible causes.
But over the course of 500 pages, Harris also documents the history of a president who, however frustrating he may have been in style and method, usually made the right choices in the end—even when he felt that he was hurting himself politically. The 1993 spending cuts and tax increases, over which he agonized for months, ultimately reduced the federal deficit, reassured financial markets and set in motion the prosperity that marked the second half of the decade. The 1996 Welfare Reform Act, which Clinton signed against the advice of his closest Democratic allies, turned out to be the most successful domestic policy initiative of the 1990’s.
Billy Graham crusade in NY
Mr. Graham is now preparing to venture down the mountain to travel to New York City for another evangelistic crusade - a three-day outdoor revival meeting beginning June 24 in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens.
“Maybe this will be the last crusade I’ll ever hold,” he said in a conversation on his porch that lasted more than an hour, during which he reflected on his own mortality, his close attention to the funeral of Pope John Paul II, his son Franklin’s comments that Islam is an “evil and wicked” religion ("Let’s say, I didn’t say it"), and his regrets, including comments about Jews he made 30 years ago to President Richard M. Nixon that were tape-recorded.
As it happens, that’s Gay Pride weekend. I’ll be there.