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I'm a Dork 4 Jay Brannan to see his links click here:

"The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported."

Fight the H8 in Your State"A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity."

~ Honorable James Madison, Jr., President, The United States of America, 1809–1817. The Father of the Constitution, Author of the Bill of Rights, Co Author of The Federalist Papers


Come On People! Is your life really worth the risk? Wrap It Up!
Scroll down to the bottom of the page in order to view the Public Service Alert from Chi Chi La Rue
or to view all four videos and see the latest updates in this series click here please

31 December 2008

Happy Green Year: Resolution #1 I will begin this year more environmentally friendly! Will you start by recycling your Christmas Trees?

The gifts have been unwrapped for the most part, the mistletoe privilege was abused at least once if not twice by your sober and crazy best friends and drunk and weird cousin. Now that you have used the leftover tinsel to stream between you and your friend's significant others during the New Year celebrations, Allen County residents can recycle their Christmas Trees into mulch until the 16th of January. Trees may be dropped off at the sites listed below at any time throughout the program. For more information on Christmas Tree Recycling or other environmentally friendly ideas, visit Allen County Solid Waste District website.

DROP-OFF LOCATIONS:

Fort Wayne Area:
Allen County Highway Garage 2234 Carroll Rd.
Foster Park West - Soccer field parking lot west
Foellinger Theatre - back parking lot sw corner
McMillen Park - pool parking lot
Shoaff Park Conklin Pavilion

Leo-Cedarville Area:
Across from Riverside Gardens Park
@ Grabill & Schwartz Rds.
New Haven Area:
1. Jury Park 2. Meadowbrook School Parking lot 3. City Hall

Monroeville Community Park - Parking lot north end
Woodburn Area:Front Street under the Water Tower

PLEASE NOTE: BE ADVISED WE ARE EXPERIENCING TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES AND WILL MAINTAIN A PUBLICATION SCHEDULE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, UNTIL OUR SERVICE CAN BE RESTORED. PLEASE BE PATIENT, THANK YOU!

28 December 2008

4 My Birthday: ST:HF Boldly going where few gay fan bois went before! Battlestar Galactica: Lt Felix Gaeta Comes Out; Intro: Western Nightmares Comics

*PLEASE NOTE THIS POST HAS A MAJOR UPDATE BELOW*

EDITOR: Please accept my apologies for this post running way behind for several reasons, including a dedication to accuracy, followed up by severe weather locally. This was suppose to be a blended Saturday and Monday post on Sunday, as my present to all of you on my 33rd birthday. But before I begin to unwrap this present for you, I would ask that we all take a moment and remember the First Lady of Star Trek, Majel Leigh Hudec (Barrett) Roddenberry, whom passed onto Risa to be with Gene and all the other greats of Star Trek lore and history earlier this month.

BOLDLY GOING WHERE FEW GAY FAN BOIS
COULD EVEN DREAM OF GOING BEFORE


Star Trek: Hidden Frontiers was an offshoot of the fan series Voyages of the USS Angeles (ANG), produced by the Star Trek Fan Club in Southern California. Hidden Frontier inherited the setting, Deep Space 12, and several of the characters from the Angeles series, but quickly went on to establish its own unique identity. The series (ran seven seasons from 2000 to 2007, comprising 50 episodes), was set in the Brier Patch, the wild region of space introduced in the motion picture film, Star Trek: Insurrection.

Command presence from the Flag Starship Excelsior, NCC-77246, but the entire series focused around its home base, Deep Space 12 (sector 441), which orbits the Ba'Ku Home World, as they fend off attacks from a powerful new alien race, the Grey, and mediated disputes between such races as the Tholians, Cardassians, Bajorans, the Son'a and the Breen. Even though it is a new and Hidden Frontier with the metreon gas cloud it is close enough to receive assistance from the Bajoran Home World and DS9 and yet at the same point necessary still to have a specified Federation presence in this particularly hostile area.

The show (while being true to Cannon, including characters like Cmndr. Elizabeth Shelby and Lt. Wesley Crusher (yeah!), when possible) strives to unfold the civil society and political and social sciences side of the Star Trek franchise to new heights. It goes further in detail and depth with the principles of the Federation and how they can be applied to everyday life now, which was always part of the Star Trek platform, as yet it had been more discreet or reserved.

Hidden Frontier has garnered media attention and honors for its boundary-breaking portrayal of gay characters, the series’ gay story arc involves a three way multi-dynamic give and take between Bajoran Ro Nevin's search for his sexual identity, his near-romance with Corey Aster, and Aster's eventual relationship with Jorian Zen Dao, a joined Trill.

Below you will see two videos from season five that I found last week, while doing a random search to get my Star Trek fix. I received the shock of a life time for my birthday. I want to share these beautiful stories of gay love and romance dynamics and dealing with relationship development and anxiety from a very honest standpointe into these intense explosion of love for your best friends and brothers in arms. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did.


Star Trek: Hidden Frontier 5.03 "Darkest Night"
from Hidden Frontier on Vimeo
The first video is about four to six months into their new found relationship and Ro Nevin, trying to be polite to Zen, has Aster invite his now boyfriend along for a camping trip to study some ancient ruins with his best friend and Academy chum Barrett. Of course an atypical protective response ensues and then Aster goes and Zen stays on board, until a swift kick from a good friend, allows the heart to win out in every man involved.

In this second video, a year has past and as they are celebrating their anniversary, Cassius Dao, Zen's mentor shows up and informs him that he is dying and that he has been expelled and is regarded as a lost symbiont. Does Zen accept his mentors request? Does he accept the expulsion sentence that comes with such an act? Does he loose himself and his love for Aster by joining with a straight symbiont who has lived for 17 life times?

Star Trek: Hidden Frontier 5.06 "The Battle is Joined"
from Hidden Frontier on Vimeo.

It should be noted that Adam Browne (Jorian Zen Dao) and JT Tepnapa (Corey Aster) are actually Married to each other and make their home in Los Angeles. The fact that the Producers and Cast have opened this story line and allowed two gay actors, let alone a preexisting couple, and three gay characters at a minimum, to actually play out multi dynamic relationship story line with all of its natural setbacks and successes is even more phenomenal.

As best as I can tell so far, in the current show time/story line, after being saved from death by Nevin's ex Klingon boyfriend and drifting into a comma for six months, Corey (c) was rescued from a Romulan Medical Prison by the USS Helena, and Jorian (r) is on board as the 2nd in Command. Their friendship is not as strained as much as one would think due to the symbiont influence and the former love interest factor.

However Corey's husband Nevin (l) who is currently stuck in the Andromeda Galaxy (follow info for ST: Odyssey below) and is presumed dead by Starfleet, after the same battle. Corey who is psionic inclined naturally, would shares an obvious connection to husband Nevin, and is receiving dreams, which assure him he is still alive and scars (which force him to restricted duty) that turn out to be a star chart of particular anomalies in the Andromeda Galaxy. The Helena as it fights to find Nevin and the crew of the Odyssey had to go rouge and is crossing the universe to bring their people back.

In the clips used above from season five, the character, of then Ensign, (now Lt. Cmndr.) Bajoran Ro Nevin, was played by Aurthur Bosserman. The roll was then followed by Bobby Rice (see the bottom of this post for a major update), and currently by Brandon McConnell. All three Browne, Tepnapa, and McConnell are currently involved with the sister spin off series: The Odyssey & The Helena Chronicles. Other cast members are active in the two previous mention sister shows or being attached to another sibling of the series, Star Trek: Federation One.

Even with being done on green screen which sometimes glows through and distorts the images in the earlier episodes this is the best ever "fan fic" I have seen yet, and the common bonds between the cast and crew is intensely obvious. This series and its spin offs need to be picked up by a network, preferably Sci Fi, please!



Battlestar Galactica character comes out
by Matt Schafer Staff Reporter Southern Voice
It’s difficult looking at the future and not seeing yourself in it. Some three decades ago, after watching "Logan’s Run" with its all-white cast, Richard Pryor said black people weren’t in science fiction because, “White folk ain’t planning on us to be here.”

The same could be said for gays.

The original "Battlestar Galactica" was widely regarded as cheesy, so when a miniseries came out in 2003 revamping the concept, expectations were low. But the Sci-Fi channel quickly managed not only a hit science fiction show, but one of the most popular dramas of any kind.

Former "Star Trek" writer and producer Ron Moore reinvented the concept as an analogy for terrorism and our growing reliance on technology. The Cylons - machines man created that rose up to destroy them, but called a truce after a long war, only to return with a doomsday attack and 12 Cylon models who look human - are hunting the remains of humanity through the Galaxy as they search for Earth, the last colony of man.

The show remake took some heat for white-washing the cast -- roles played by black men in the original were changed to a balding alcoholic white guy and a Korean-Canadian woman - but ultimately pushed far more race boundaries than all of the "Law and Order" and "CSI" franchises combined.

"Battlestar" has even seen a lesbian couple, albeit briefly and it ended badly, but never approached the “Pink Line” of an openly gay reoccurring character until just before the end of its four-season run. The final season returns to the sci-fi channel in January and introduces online "webisodes" [http://www.scifi.com/battlestar/webisodes] each Friday until the premiere.

On the Dec. 12 webisode, regular character Lt. Felix Gaeta (Alessandro Juliani) kissed another guy, an officer who until now stood in the background and occasionally told people the Cylons were calling. On a side note, Gaeta is also the first handi-abled gay man on television, because last season some jackass shot him in the leg and refused to get him medical attention in time to save it.

Gaeta is a regular, but not a main character, so it remains to be seen how much of an impact his sexual orientation will have on the overall plotline. At Dragon*Con in Atlanta this year, leading actor Edward James Almos told everyone he ran across that “Lots of us die” in the final season, so who even knows how much longer Gaeta and his lover will live.

A lot of the credit for Gaeta’s sexuality goes to actor Alessandro Juliani, who not only deftly handles the techno-babble the writers consistently give him, but endows Gaeta with a sense of subtlety and ambiguity. Because of his choices, at least one of the writers has said it felt natural to give Gaeta more dimension with a same-sex relationship.

The reaction online to Gaeta’s outing has been pretty muted. Gaeta has been largely written as asexual (read: gay) for some time now, so it's really no surprise to hardcore fans. At Dragon*Con a couple of years ago, someone asked Aaron Douglas, who plays Chief Galen Tryol, why there weren't any gay characters on the show, and his response was along the line of, “Not only is there a gay character; I have the gag reel to prove it.”(clip above)

So after spending a lifetime looking at the stars and wondering where the hell the gay boys are, now we know. They’re quietly serving on "Battlestar Galactica." So the only remaining question may be, where are the transgender folks?


WELCOME TO BLACKWOOD, AZ! Population: 113, circa 1880.
Please enjoy Western Nightmares.

Forget what you think you know about Vampires and Werewolves and prepare to enter a new world of darkness and shadows. For here nothing is what it seems to be and living in the light can be a dangerous place. But as dark as this place can get, love does exist. In this world love tends to take on unfamiliar forms.

In 2006 Tony Lawrence, aka Skylar, and Iceman Blue came together to produce a western, action/adventure, romance, dark comedy, gay comic series that is intended to explore the struggle of finding love where you least expect it. Western Nightmares is graphically violent and sexual format, but it is erotic not explicit, when it comes to frontal nudity and same sex intimacies. In its first issue we are slowly introduced to the main characters in a dual story line. The story will seem a bit confusing at first since they have to set up the characters for the most part of the first issue. Below is a basic rundown.

I realize this is a long standing debate inside the comic, animation, and science fiction industry about how much back story is necessary to tell a good tale, but I think they made good use of this endevour by splitting the two main characters into their own parts of the book. As Lawrence admits it is "moving slowly, but it's moving. It appeals to a wide range of people: gays, cowboys, horror fans." Unfortunately if you are a grammar Nazi you will have a migraine with the first issue however the art is excellent, the future graphics I have seen look phenomenal and even with with traditional black and white sketch nature that the strip uses there are only a few detail and shading issues.

Marshall Starbuck

Starbuck towers at six feet one inch, his taught body is encased with sandy blonde hair and blue green eyes. We are introduced to him in the story as he is just finishing a three way with a mother and a daughter by lighting up a cock sized cigar, when his Deputy comes barging in with bad news. Not much is known about Starbuck. As a baby, Starbuck was found in an abandon gypsy covered wagon alone on the main trail 20 miles south of the town. The town adopted the baby. Starbuck suddenly stopped when he turned 20 years old. The town became quite fond of him and made him their Marshal.

When Starbuck was found the only thing with him was a book with the name Starbuck and had an unusual symbol written on 20 pages. It was a slow acting spell to protect the baby from harm and give him eternal life as an Awarewolf. Now as an Awarewolf Starbuck can change into an Awarewolf at will. He can even control how drastic the change will be. In our world, people Magic Users are looked at as drug users. Here in this world magic comes at a heigh price. It eats away at your soul and over time you can become a very dangerous person. Come see what keeps this from happening to Starbuck.

Jack Anthony Reaper

Kid Poison stands a mere five feet seven inches tall with black hair and brown eyes, at now age 18 he has lived an interesting life. At six years old his mother, a rich prostitute was hung for poisoning his entire class with cookies laced with rat poison. It was then discovered that Jack had a supernatural immunity to all poisons and in fact his body needed the poison in his system to survive. After the Mayor of Dead River Junction stripped Jack of his mothers inheritance and home he sold him to a Side Show passing through town. Ten years later, when the side show joined the circus, he met Patrick McClellan Angel, the only person who was not scared of Jack and the first to show him any kindness, their friendship developed from there. One year later the circus was burned to the ground by Patricks father, Patrick lost his life, Jack lost his best friend and his grasp on the world.

Jack became a mercenary. At 18 he was shot in the back by Marshall Bodin and taken back to town to the doctors office where he was left to die. Just as he was about to take his last breathe he was fed on by the Vampire Jessie James, this had an unexpected result as Jack already was a superhuman with an ability to absorb poison, his spiritual body became an Energy Vampire which then took possession of his best friends body in order to maintain corporal form. He can suck the life out of anyone, turn into the form of a fog cloud, and when he is angry turn the sky with red lightning. He still needs poison for his physical nourishment as well as energy, even though he can still tap an artery every now and again.

Patrick McClellan Angel

Knifes is a beautiful Irish lad, stands two inches taller and is one year older than Kid Poison, with auburn red hair and emerald green eyes borne in Gateway. At the age of 15 he immigrated to the United States from Ireland with his older brother Darren and his mother Kelsey to escape from their abusive, drunken father, Erin. Life in the United States was a lot more difficult. In order to make ends meet for her family, she decided to sell her body on the streets. The first man who came up to her was very handsome, tall and had a strong face. She blushed as he introduces himself as Christopher Angel. He knew she did not belong on the streets, so he invited her and her sons to join him in the Traveling Circus in witch he performed in. Very soon the two lovers found themselves married to each other.

She and her two sons took Christopher's last name and they became known as the Angel family. Now being part of the Angel Family also meant you were now part of the act as well. Patrick and Darren were trained by Christopher himself. Within a short amount of time, the boys were a part of the act. and part of the initiation was to get tattoos on their backs that matched their auburn/red hair. It was when the Circus teamed up with a Side Show, Patrick meet the Poison Kid and an unlikely friendship developed and it was quite an adventure. It was Jack who gave Patrick his nickname, Knifes. Patrick's brother was previously shot by a drunken cowboy. Patrick was about to quit the circus but Jack gave him a set of throwing knifes and a hidden talent was discovered.

The Issues At Hand!

They have enough text written to form the first six issues. You can preview Issues One and Two here. Issue 1 is currently on sale and can be purchased for $5 including shipping and handling. Issue 2 is in production currently.

Issue 3 has also begun pre production with the revelation that a portion of the artwork will be contributed by world renowned artist Joe Phillips (MySpace), who was also recently spotlighted on Gay Agenda, and whose work appears on F6 any chance I can get. Please check out the other links below in the Bibliography/Works Cited section.

Linked Out Of This World


Star Trek: Hidden Frontier
(Original Series 2000-2007, 50 episodes)
Website You Tube You Tube 2
Created by Rob Caves Produced by Areakt Pictures & H. F. Productions
Unofficial Sources: Vimeo Spike TV
Gay Three Way Relationship Storyline (not complete)
(r) Adam Browne: MySpace (c) JT Tepnapa: MySpace
Biography: Adam and JT are Partners in real life, living in Los Angeles.

UPDATE (16 JAN 09): BLOOD BORN PATHOGEN AND GAY ROMANTIC STORY LINES ORIGINALLY SLATED FOR THE LAST SEASONS OF ST:TNG FINALLY COVERED BY PHASE II PHENOMENALLY!

Bobby Rice, who played Bajoran Ro Nevin, from season six through the end of Hidden Frontiers to the first Episode of the new series The Odyssey, according to reports initially forwarded to me by Gay Tel Aviv as originally reported on by Andy @ Towle Road, Bobby is now reappearing/playing the role of Ensign Peter Kirk, Captain Kirk's nephew, in Star Trek: Phase II (formerly known as New Voyages), another fan made series. ST: Phase II, which continues where the Original Series ended, released the first part of their latest project "Blood and Fire" by David Gerrold's, as a special gift for the fans right before Christmas.



In this clip, Peter Kirk has joined the Enterprise A as a new crew member and while recovering from a bad burn during a recent attack has a romantic session with his partner Alex Freedman, played by Evan Fowler, in secret. They begin discussing, in between the smooching and groping, the elder Kirk's overextend protectiveness and how they are going to come out as a couple to his Uncle and then ask him to marry them on the Enterprise, as is the Captain's Privilege. I believe Admiral Picard once said it was a Captain's sole prerogative.

The horrific story finds a battle damaged Enterprise caught between an incurable contagion that threatens to overrun the galaxy, the pull of a dying star, and Klingons poised to attack. Like all of the best Star Trek episodes, Blood and Fire finds the Enterprise crew facing their own human fears and failings as they have to weigh the costs and decide how much personal risk to take in order to save the people around them.

This episode besides having main guest appearances by Bobby Rice (bottom) and Evan Fowler (top) as the same sex couple (in the pictures above and below), also sees the return of Denise Crosby (who played Lt. Tasha Yar on ST:TNG). Blood and Fire is also the culmination of many years of anticipation by fans and the original goal of Gene and Majel Roddenberry.

Right before his death Gene planned to cover HIV/AIDS, to pay tribute to the many legends and heroes of the Universe who lost their fight in the battle against such a horrible disease (William Ware Theiss, Mike Minor and Merritt Butrick); and and have a primary gay character story line in the last seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation for all those whom suffered with a long standing discrimination just even for being gay and a Trekkie let alone an actor on television.

The original episode for TNG, was shelved indefinitely specifically because of the simple mention of a gay crewman aboard the Enterprise, was originally written by David Gerrold, and is now the basis for the P2 episode Blood and Fire, which David produced and co wrote with Carlos Pedraza. It was also Gerrold's intention to challenge the apathy of the public regarding the small sacrifice, yet far reaching power, of blood donations. You can download the episode here.

Battle Star Galactica
Website Wiki
Actor: Alessandro Julian/ Wiki Character: Lt. Felix Gaeta Wiki
Commentary: Queer Visibility on BSG October 2008
Article: Battlestar Galactica character comes out
by Matt Schafer of The Southern Voice

3. Western Nightmares Comic Series: Website MySpace
Writer/Creator: Tony Lawrence (aka Skylar)
Art/Lettering:
Iceman Blue: Website Blogspot MySpace
Published by Red-Tail Comet, 2006 Distributed by Prism Comics

OTHER REVIEWS
Western Nightmares
by Mike VerblePrism ComicsRating 2*/4*
The Wild, Wild West: Tony Lawrence's Western Nightmares
by David Alexander NahmodBay Area Reporter05 April 2007

EDITOR: I pray that over the next year your warp cores do not breach and your main computer's gel packs not melt into silicone puddy, you get the idea. We will return to normal programming and pictorials on New Year's Eve. Thank you and Blessings!

25 December 2008

Christmas: I hope you found everything under the tree that you wanted! Sadly the hottie in thier socks n undies isnt included, but FDR & Churchill is.

Seriously though folks, Merry Christmas!

I was up late sliding across the ice in our neighborhood to go get cigarettes at the one gas station Downtown still open on Christmas morning. While dodging ruts and trying not to slam into my neighbors cars, since the City is incompetent when it comes to following the Snow Removal Process, I was listening to the radio.

On WOWO 1190 they were playing a prerecorded Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Special, and they used a quote that I had pondered using for a Christmas tribute to our men and women overseas, with some political banter of course included, was being read over the air waves. What a coincidence I thought, then I was like, "
Oh great, if their doing it that means other people are using the same quotes.", and sure enough there are a lot of reference to the two Presidential messages of Christmas Eve 1941 all across the blogosphere and some traditional media outlets.

Even Pulitzer Prize Commentator, George F. Will has even thrown down some pen to paper, or finger to binary coded keys, on the social side of the historical event as well, back on Christmas 2005.

So I still think that actual words while loaded for bear with political background and pandering themselves are too important for Americans not to hear or read completely in context and then also commit to our collective memory once again. I will give the quotes in context, then use the particular segments for what I need to say this Christmas. Although, since 67 years have past since this historical occasion, here is a really quick history review (pdf), with my commentary in green, from the Government Archives, and other sources for those who didn't have as awesome of an 8th grade US History teacher like Mr. David Dew @ Northwood Middle School or fell asleep in High School History:

In 1940 Winston Churchill was elected Prime Minister, in July he requested and help in replacing 11 destroyers to the German Navy over a 10 day period. At this pointe the US was strictly neutral in all foreign wars, as was the custom of our Founding Fathers. Roosevelt exchanged 50 of our destroyers for 99 year leases on British military bases in the Caribbean and Newfoundland. In the 1940 Presidential Election Campaign Roosevelt made the promise, "I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again; your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars."
Okay well let's start with the obvious, politicians lie, especially in Presidential politics. So much for America's historical strict neutrality, and promising that "your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.", when all along he knew he was just biding his time for when the "opportunity presented its self" to go kick Hitler's ass. He exchanged 50 of our destroyers when they had only lost eleven, that is four times over what they needed to replace. And exchange for what, leases on military bases, that America didn't need to have access to in the first place. Here we begin to see the development of American influence across the world flex the Country's military muscle rather than diplomatic mindset. We are slowly becoming the worlds police, at this pointe, the transition is evident; but I digress, back to the history lesson, which becomes definitive with the signing of the Atlantic Charter and the lend lease agreement.
In January 1941, following up on his campaign pledge and the prime minister's appeal for arms, Roosevelt proposed to Congress a new military aid bill to "lend-lease or otherwise dispose of arms" and other supplies needed by any country whose security was vital to the defense of the United States. This Lend-Lease Act, proposed by FDR in January 1941 and passed by Congress in March, went a long way toward solving the concerns of both Great Britain's desperate need for supplies and America's desire to appear neutral.

In August 1941, Roosevelt and Churchill met for the first of nine face-to-face conferences during the war, was devoted to an agreement on war aims and a vision for the future. The document created The Atlantic Charter, an agreement on war aims between the two nations. The charter set forth the concepts of self-determination, end to colonialism, freedom of the seas, and the improvement of living and working conditions for all people. Which was similar to Woodrow Wilson's 14 Points after World War One which everyone pretty much ignored. Also worthy to note is that this day was the last execution done in the Tower of London.
So not only did we "exchange" three times over the amount of Destroyers that they needed, we decided to invest in our own "national security" by "disposing" or rerouting our military supplies into other countries who were deemed vital to our own defense. How does this not sound like what we did back in the eighties with Iran Contra and by supporting the Taliban to oust Russia from Afghanistan, or sitting idly by while Saddam Hussein did the whole Oil For Food shares scandal by buying votes of the other UN officials with stocks and credit vouchers?

It would be interesting to also note, that while this Charter was the foundational document to build the United Nations years later, it was never signed by either man; so the Charter, is not Constitutionally binding on the United States Government, in any way shape or form. The United States by this charter has officially taken ten more steps closer to war by irritation of the Axis of Evil nations. Another note of interest is that the Germans didn't start gassing people until December of 1941 the same time America entered World War Two. Does that leave one to wonder if the horrible extermination of the Jews and others was in fact a response to America ending its neutral state in the War or the excuse Germany was looking for to start the Holocaust?

When is America's Citizens going to learn that if we fuck with another country eventually they fuck right back. Eastern culture does not forget injustices quite as easily as America likes to, but it may take twenty years (which is also our Country's foreign policy cycle and political memory span), for the injustice to return full circle, and for our "chickens to come back home to roost!", to quote Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, retired Pastor of Trinity UCC in Chicago:
  • We (America) have got to change the way we have being doing things as an arrogant, racist, military superpower....
  • We bombed Hiroshima and we bombed Nagasaki, we have nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon and we have never batted an eye.
  • We have supported state terrorism...and now we are indignant, because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own front yards....
  • We have paranoid group of patriots in power that now in the interest of Homeland Stupidity, that cannot see what we were doing is the same thing Al Queda was doing under a different coloured flag, calling on the name of "a different" God, to sanction and approve our murder and mayhem....
A government sponsored religiosity makes you suffer from amnesia:
The sixth of December 1941, the day that will live in infamy, The United States was ramshackled by Japanese suicide bombers at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This event brought America into the war directly. Congress declared War against Japan two days later, three days after that Germany and Italy were stupid enough to mutually declare War on the United States. Which made Winston Churchill noticeably jolly as he came over to visit FDR. On Christmas Eve 1941, while spending weeks at the White House, and being a wretch of a guest at that (ref: George Will article above and WWII Daily), in what became known as the First Washington Conference, that ultimately placed first priority on the defeat of Germany and Italy rather than Japan. Roosevelt and Churchill delivered Christmas greetings to the nation and the world from the South Portico of the White House during the lighting of the National Community Christmas Tree.
Text of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1941 Christmas Eve Speech (with modified format for space):
Fellow workers for freedom: There are many men and women in America- sincere and faithful men and women—who are asking themselves this Christmas:
  • How can we light our trees? How can we give our gifts?
  • How can we meet and worship with love and with uplifted spirit and heart in a world at war, a world of fighting and suffering and death?
  • How can we pause, even for a day, even for Christmas Day, in our urgent labor of arming a decent humanity against the enemies which beset it?
  • How can we put the world aside, as men and women put the world aside in peaceful years, to rejoice in the birth of Christ?
These are natural—inevitable—questions in every part of the world which is resisting the evil thing. And even as we ask these questions, we know the answer. There is another preparation demanded of this Nation beyond and beside the preparation of weapons and materials of war. There is demanded also of us the preparation of our hearts; the arming of our hearts. And when we make ready our hearts for the labor and the suffering and the ultimate victory which lie ahead, then we observe Christmas Day—with all of its memories and all of its meanings—as we should.

National Day Of Prayer And Penance

Looking into the days to come, I have set aside a day of prayer, and in that Proclamation I have said: "The year 1941 has brought upon our Nation a war of aggression by powers dominated by arrogant rulers whose selfish purpose is to destroy free institutions. They would thereby take from the freedom-loving peoples of the earth the hard-won liberties gained over many centuries. "The new year of 1942 calls for the courage and the resolution of old and young to help to win a world struggle in order that we may preserve all we hold dear."We are confident in our devotion to country, in our love of freedom, in our inheritance of courage. But our strength, as the strength of all men everywhere, is of greater avail as God upholds us. "Therefore, I... do hereby appoint the first day of the year 1942 as a day of prayer, of asking forgiveness for our shortcomings of the past, of consecration to the tasks of the present, of asking God's help in days to come. "We need His guidance that this people may be humble in spirit but strong in the conviction of the right; steadfast to endure sacrifice, and brave to achieve a victory of liberty and peace."

Our Allies, Our Sons and Brothers, Our Friends, Our Fallen Heroes

Our strongest weapon in this war is that conviction of the dignity and brotherhood of man which Christmas Day signifies-more than any other day or any other symbol. Against enemies who preach the principles of hate and practice them, we set our faith in human love and in God's care for us and all men everywhere. It is in that spirit, and with particular thoughtfulness of those, our sons and brothers, who serve in our armed forces on land and sea, near and far- those who serve for us and endure for us that we light our Christmas candles now across the continent from one coast to the other on this Christmas Eve.

We have joined with many other Nations and peoples in a very great cause. Millions of them have been engaged in the task of defending good with their life-blood for months and for years. One of their great leaders stands beside me. He and his people in many parts of the world are having their Christmas trees with their little children around them, just as we do here. He and his people have pointed the way in courage and in sacrifice for the sake of little children everywhere. And so I am asking my associate, my old and good friend, to say a word to the people of America, old and young, tonight Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain.
Then followed by Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill's comments "I spend this festival far from my country and far from my family, yet I cannot say I feel far from home," as his mother was an American, continued with:
"Let the children have their night of fun and laughter. Let the gifts of Father Christmas delight their play. Let us grown-ups share to the full in their unstinted pleasures before we turn again to the stern task and formidable years that lie before us, resolved that, by our sacrifice and daring, these same children shall not be robbed of their inheritance or denied the right to live in a free and decent world."
There is always more that can be said and this is far but from complete on the current commentary and cautions that history brings us as a people. Please know that I am grateful that we as a Country overturned Hitler and Hussein from their power and tyrannical grip over the people. However the similarities in the build up between the four wars is very prevalent and one day must be answered by We The People as to what type of society we want to leave for our children.

The questions regarding the Industrial Military Complex, and whether or not our Leaders should have done some of the things we have allowed, in the name of freedom or security, I just hope we as a nation have those conversations sooner than later, until the world knows peace.

The season of sharing gifts and giving of ones self for your fellow man, is the perfect time to start and maybe one day solve these issues and angst, that violate our common bonds and brotherhood, for the sake of a babe in Bethlehem, or Afghanistan and Iraq, or Indiana, Nebraska, Maine, and Nevada.

My prayer for the men and women serving us away from their family and friends this Holiday is that, they may find comfort in Roosevelt's and Churchill's words as we all pray for them with these same thoughts, before we enjoy our feasts and open our presents. May they be comforted in knowing we have remembered them today. That we have lighted the first candle, for peace; and the second, for brotherhood; and the third, for freedom; the next is burning, for equality; the last one is lit, for liberty; because we know, thanks to them, these flames will unite and never die. Thank you for your sacrifice and may you come home to us soon and safely!


F6 CREDITS
FDR speech on Christmas Eve 1941
Source: THE AMERICAN PRESIDENTS PROJECT
by John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters @ UC Santa Barbara
Hat/tip: The Asstute Bloggers from 24 December 2006

F6 Recommends You Read
One Christmas In Washington
by David Bercuson and Holger Herwig
available via AMAZON for $20 Hardcover



F6
has and always will hold the men and women of this Country's Uniformed Services in the highest esteem possible and will at all times give them the honor and respect above and beyond that which they inheritable deserve from each citizen.

24 December 2008

The DBU Christmas Special: Daniel, Is This Star Worth Your Eternal Soul?

Do you remember from childhood those Choose Your Own Adventure mystery novels? Well now an 18 year old from Lincoln Nebraska, Daniel Brown, a social and political commentator, has turned that gamebook formula in to a multiple tiered Christmas Musical that you the viewer can control by clicking on the annotation links in the video screen. Enjoy! After you are all done going through the different options for the musical (Yes I know you that well!), take another minute and subscribe to his channel.



LINKS: DAN BROWN UNIVERSITY You Tube | MySpace | Twitter | DBU You Tube |
If you like what you just saw, if Dan put you in a state of awe, then subscribe to him and push the orange button.
It would really really really mean something if you would do that for me it would be really cool!

The Religious Right Is Niether: Leave our friends and families and Campbells Soup Company alone!

Does the Religious Right have nothing better to do in the Spirit of the Christmas Season?

The American Family Association doesn't think so. In a recent press release they decried a two page advert spread in the December 2008 and January 2009 issues of the Advocate. Which by the way, The Advocate is no longer the nations largest "homosexual" magazines, just one of the oldest. This also bears a question: How many Religious Right organizations have subscriptions to GLBT Magazines?

The AFA in their press release bemoan the Campbells Soup Company stating that, "Campbell Soup Company has openly begun helping homosexual activists push their agenda. Not only did the ads cost Campbell's a chunk of money, but they also sent a message that homosexual parents constitute a family and are worthy of support. They also gave their approval to the entire homosexual agenda."

The adverts which promote the Swanson brands, which highlighted amongst the many recipes and other ideas for the holidays, gasp, is a featurette "of two lesbians with "their" son." Mr. Randy Sharp, Director of Special Projects, continues to ring his hands in an interview one ONE NEWS NOW saying, " And in one ad, which...clearly shows two lesbians who say they are married, who say they have a son together, ...the Campbell Soup Company is saying 'we approve of homosexual marriage.'"

Excuse me, Mr. Sharp, but your an moron, which is a legal term!

If you bother to read the article, she is also a chef, and the co-owner with Carolyn, of their own restaurant in New York, hence the dual application of the word "partner" in this case. When is the Religious Right going to realize that the word marriage doesn't exclusively belong to them, it is a legal term. Partner, which does not always mean married, but signifies business partners, is why civil unions legally wont work, they are not equal, and fore to with, the language does not match. Civil Unions would create disparity between one type of relationship and another, let alone confusion on the other levels of legal terms using the phrase "partner". The way this Action Alert and corresponding media reviews sound is that, according to the religious right, not only are Gays allowed to be Christians; but they cant even celebrate Christmas with their family and friends, or their children; let alone be in business together!

A SUMMARY OF THE ADVERTISEMENTS

The brief article with pictures (as you can see above left) discusses Chef Lea Forant, her partner Carolyn, and their young son Eli and includes a beautiful Butternut Squash Bisque recipe underneath. It also discusses the fact that, on Christmas Eve, they open up their restaurant for the Italian tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes.

Another part of the advert campaign highlights World renowned Personal Chef Wil Crutchley (pic to right) originally from North Carolina, who sixteen years ago decided to tie on an apron, instead of doing construction. Now he chooses to share with you his success, just like he does with his closest friends on New Years Eve, with this delectable, herb crusted, Rack of Lamb, roasted with a minted jus, for the savory side of singing Auld Axine and intimately sipping on a beautifully aged Brandy or Scotch, screw the champagne.

The other Chef spotlighted during this two page advert campaign is Executive Chef Christopher Lee with his pan sauteed Chicken with vegetables and herbs and a classic Roasted Turkey with pan gravy.

ARE YOU HUNGRY YET? Here is how to help out?

Well before you go scrounging around your deep freezer looking for leftovers from Thanksgiving or try the most dangerous thing, and attempt to sneak into the kitchen and steel a piece of pie or lick the batter out of the bowl, take a moment and stand up for equality show your support for Campbell's Soup Company. Please, over the course of the next two days especially, sit down and write via email: douglas_r_conant@cambellsoup.com or better yet, via the US Postal Service, and send your own personal letter or holiday greeting card to:

Mr. Douglas R. Conant, President,
Campbell Soup Company,
Campbell Place,
Camden, NJ 08103
Please communicate with him, that you (and if applicable, your family) are grateful that their company is willing to recognize the varied marketing capabilities and customer loyalty they have assured by just treating the GLBT Community, in all of its different facets, as an equal part of society with their advertising choices.

In an interview given by Anthony Sanzio, a Campbell Soup Company spokesperson, to OneNewsNow that the company reaches out to all segments of society. He stated that, "We support all types of families, regardless of how they're defined, for more than 100 years. We advertise in a variety of different media outlets that appeal to a broad spectrum of society. That's what we're doing here, and that's what we'll continue to do."

Unlike the AFA, I am not going to ask you to call their phone numbers (800-257-8443) and (800-442-7684) to show your support, but it is toll free.

I am however going to ask you to copy down the information or forward this blog post to your friends and parents, whoever supports you in your choice to be open about love and equal access under the law and sexual orientation, and ask them to also send Mr. Conant their own holiday greeting of equality and appreciation.

Lastly, make sure that the green bean casserole, in your family's celebration, is made with Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup this year! Happy Holigays Everyone.

22 December 2008

Winter Solar Feasts: Burn down the Yule log with the Star of Bethlehem in hopes that Santa doesnt get shot down by the Military while leaving Turkey!

This post is being done on Monday rather than Sunday, Wednesday or Thursday to show respect for the particular celebrations (of Solstice or Yule, Sol Invictus, Solemn Incarnation Octave, and Chanukah) and faith paths of the many varied readers of this blog. This started out as my Christmas homily, prepare yourself for it.

We are going to take an honest look at all of these Winter Sun Festivals, aside from any particular bias that I or anyone else may have. This is done, in hope that one day, whether religious or secular, we can eventually achieve enough mutual respect for each others celebrations that we wont have a fit of carnality over whether we are following the traditional meanings of the holidays.

Eventually we can celebrate together as one people!

This post is going to be so intense that I don't want to bold any fonts, just take your time to read and pray about everything please. And then also please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you and Peace Be With You!

He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good, so give me a fucking break!

So lets settle something first and foremost, Santa, or at least America's version of the jolly elf, is completely fictional and secular in origin. While he still derived some attachment from the historical figure of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Turkey, the secularized version that promotes crash consumerism and big brother antics is hardly what St. Nicholas, in any of his particular apparitions throughout history would ascent too. However as The United States of America is a Country "that in no way was founded on the Christian religion", and celebrates Christmas as a secular holiday with respect to the individuals choice to celebrate as a religious holiday; the climb of popularity of this astute judge of character in the hearts of children and even in the intimate thoughts of adults, is understandable in a post modern, and post Christendom, society.

So knowing that Santa was invented by greed and the corporate desire to propagandize the public into buying the latest, greatest piece of crap for 30 dollars more (only to be sold a month later for 70 dollars less): What is one left to do if they want to tone down the stress of the holiday season or restore the "traditional meanings of the holiday celebrations" in their lives and the lives of their children?


~Silent Night by London Gay Men's Chorus from December 2006

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see the lie?
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent Stars go by.


So apparently scientist in Australia have actually taken the time to figure out that Joshua Emmanuel of Nazareth was born on the 17th of June of 2BCE, as marked out in the sky by "when Venus and Jupiter conjoined in the sky as a singular beacon."

'Jesus was born in June', astronomers claim

Astronomers have calculated that Christmas should be in June, by charting the appearance of the 'Christmas star' which the Bible says led the three Wise Men to Jesus. They found that a bright star which appeared over Bethlehem 2,000 years ago pinpointed the date of Christ's birth as June 17 rather than December 25. The researchers claim the 'Christmas star' was most likely a magnificent conjunction of the planets, Venus and Jupiter, which were so close together they would have shone unusually brightly as a single "beacon of light" which appeared suddenly.

Australian astronomer Dave Reneke used complex computer software to chart the exact positions of all celestial bodies and map the night sky as it would have appeared over the Holy Land more than 2,000 years ago. It revealed a spectacular astronomical event around the time of Jesus's birth. Mr Reneke says the wise men probably interpreted it as the sign they had been waiting for, and they followed the 'star' to Christ's birthplace in a stable in Bethlehem, as described in the Bible.

Generally accepted research has placed the nativity to somewhere between 3BC and 1AD. Using the St Matthew's Gospel as a reference point, Mr Reneke pinpointed the planetary conjunction, which appeared in the constellation of Leo, to the exact date of June 17 in the year 2BC...."Venus and Jupiter became very close in the the year 2BC and they would have appeared to be one bright beacon of light.

"This could well have been what the three wise men interpreted as a sign. They could easily have mistaken it for one bright star. "Astronomy is such a precise science, we can plot exactly where the planets were, and it certainly seems this is the fabled Christmas star.".... "Often when we mix science with religion in this kind of forum, it can upset people.
Sky Show December 1: Jupiter, Venus, Moon Make "Frown"
Andrew Fazekas
National Geographic News
01 December 2008

...In fact, some historians think that a similar conjunction between Jupiter and Venus in 2 B.C. may be the source of the "star of Bethlehem" story related in the Bible. The stellar pair would have appeared so close together, scholars think, that they might have seemed to meld into one brilliant beacon of light.

Of the eight official planets in the solar system, five are visible at night without the aid of a telescope or binoculars. Jupiter and Venus are particularly bright, partly because both have highly reflective clouds that completely envelop them, but also because Venus is Earth's closest neighbor while Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system....The next time a so-called planetary occultation with Venus will be visible from North America is on the morning of April 22, 2009.

Planetary conjunctions are relatively rare events, especially ones involving such a close encounter between Venus and Jupiter. The next visible conjunction will be on the evening of March 14, 2012, but the two planets will appear farther apart in the sky, separated by more than three degrees. Historically, striking planetary groupings have held special meaning to ancient astronomers and astrologers. A similarly close conjunction between Venus and Jupiter occurred in June of 2 B.C., .... According to the Bible, three magi in the East were alerted to the birth of Jesus and led toward Bethlehem by a superbright star....
Staring down the barrel of another holiday. Force fed a Christmas Carol of another time,
another place, another way. What child is this who laid to rest on Mary's lap is sleeping?


~ UnStable Boy by Jay Brannan

Above all powers and thrones, let us look at what we do actually know.

While slouching towards Bethlehem we find the story of the babe in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes in fact we also encounter the Epiphany and Communion with the Saints. It is a matter of faith only not fact that, LORD Joshua-Emmanuel (aka Jesus Christ) was born in a stable and placed in a feeding trough in the City of David, Bethlehem, the "House of Bread".

What we do know for a fact is that, The Gospels (starting with John Mark's) were written in response to social uprising and political circumstances 40-120 years after the events took place, the towns were devastated or destroyed, and the people scattered to the four corners of the Earth. What a great way to keep the faith and the Christian Community alive then but by talking about Joshie's humble beginnings without a home or a bed to rest his weary head.

This is the message of Bethlehem: From the very moment of his Incarnation he was to offer himself up by laying down his life on a piece of wood and we were to come and worship, offer our finest gifts (our first fruits if you will allow that assertion), consume his body, and become more like Him, reaching out to our fellow man in good will and peace. The story of Bethlehem is a metaphor of Communion with bread and wine, and the common bonds of humanity, aside from any particular religion, even though it has been used to assert Christian primacy of religion over the last 2000 years.

My pointe is simply this, the details of the Eucharistic metaphor don't have to be verified by science to still be true, because Bethlehem is a metaphor of something greater than the actual event, whether or not it took place exactly as written. When He comes back and asks us, "What the hell were you all thinking?", and says, "That is not what I said", Christians are going to be in for a big surprise! Pagans are not much different, they just are not as judgmental.

Roman and Greek Mythos

Ironically, with a basic knowledge of Roman (and Greek) mythology, Jesus being a Gemini instead of a Capricorn, would make sense: Jupiter (and Zeus) the God of Sky and Thunder and father of Mars (and Ares), the God of War but originally Agriculture, who was also the lover of Venus (and Aphrodite) the Goddess of Love and Fertility. Mars is also credited as the father of twins Romulus and Remus.

Romulus and Remus are the founding brothers of the City of Rome, were born forth to the imprisoned Virgin Rhea Silvia, Priestess of Vesta (a Vestal Virgin was sworn to celibacy for thirty years), who claimed that the God Mars "came upon her and seduced her" in the forest, hence her conception and later birth of the twins. The illicit King (Herod) then ordered the boys to be floated down the river (Moses, Book of Exodus) to be killed by drowning but they survived only to kill the King and restore the proper King's heir in his place.

It should also be noted that Mars has an impressive list of consignments with other deities all the way to the Celtic Lands and the Iberian Peninsula. The titles are very similar in fashion to the ones assigned to Joshua Emmanuel of Nazareth by the Roman Church and throughout Sacred Scriptures.

This story has unfolded within humanity more than once, maybe even in the same time frames, and this story definitely shows continuity between the two mythologies. With the mythology between the Greek-Roman Pantheon and the Judea-Christian Divinity having completely intertwined stories, any person, with an open mind and an honest heart, would be willing to ask (everyone else has refused to ask under fear of repression or murder by those in power), the following questions:
If The Blessed Virgin Mother, Mary of Nazareth, was also a temple virgin, as recorded in the Gospel of St. James the Just, and she was "overshadowed by God", exactly as described by Rhea Silvia, then in regards to her birthing forth Joshua Emmanuel of Nazareth one would have the following concerns or queries:
  • Why was there not a second child born in this version of the metaphor?
  • Did Jesus have a twin or triplet brothers?
  • Who would most likely be his twin/triplet?
  • Is there any proof in secular or religious history that would back this question up?
This would explain first and foremost the story of the Resurrection, certain accounts of double appearances later in earthly life, or after his crucifixion, and the multiple assertions of romantic encounters and companionship with either St. Mary of Magda, St. John the Beloved, or St. Lazarus, each of which is alluded to, if not point blank declared as obvious, within Scripture.
Keep in mind that, via the honour rights of the first born, these questions do not diminish the authority of the Christian claim of Divinity and Lordship of Joshua Emmanuel of Nazareth, nor His succession and claim to the Throne of David, as the King of Israel.

In fact, this would enhance His claim and prove it to be stronger. If this proves to be accurate (or at least a better explanation), it opens up a full conversation about the facts as we have known them versus what the truth actually is. And that is a good conversation to have once in awhile.


My personal thoughts on the matter, without cite, are that the Apostles St. James the Just, first Patriarch of Jerusalem, and St. Jude Thaddeuss, who carried the "image of Jesus' face" (to or from King Abgar of Edessa, whom was healed) were not cousins or just brothers of Jesus, but identical triplet brothers of Jesus. So of course whose story gets told? The first born's does, because he has the birth right, and anything else that the brothers do is seen as supporting the head (or the one with the birthright) of the family's legacy.

I should also note that my religious name, by receiving Holy Orders, is half in tribute to St. Jude Thaddeuss and to Mother Mary, under her patronage of Prompt Succor.

"Mary and Mohammed are screaming through the clouds, for you to lay your goddamned arms down, rip up your bigoted roots up from the Earth and salt the goddamned ground!"

~ Goddamned by Jay Brannan

To Tell Tallied Tales To Triumph!

Try saying that fast multiple times, geezers!

Of course it sure wouldn't be the first time one people usurped another people's Divine encounters either. The Hebrew people especially have a knack for usurping other stories and asserting practices. Like the idea of weekly worship or communal prayer, which came as a direct result from their captivity in Babylon (Iraq). For their own survival in a new land they constantly usurped stories and continued to assert those patterns when they returned to their own land (eg: the Festival of Lights or Chanukah), including the piss poor theological idea of the inerrant nature of Scripture, to maintain order and power over the people, as they returned to "the land promised to their ancestor".

Portions of Exodus and most of the Book of Genesis, came as a direct result from their captivity in Babylon (Iraq). The Patriarch Abraham was from the land of Ur (which is approximately 50 miles down wind from Baghdad). The Scriptures were modified and added to to stave off the obvious assimilation of another culture that takes place when the Hebrews were ransacked and forced from their homeland, which is proven by the annulment of mixed marriages when they returned many years later.

Unfortunately in their effort to establish themselves as a separate people in a foreign land, they had to assume a local heritage to tell the story, and understand local customs and culture to weave a story, that made them distinct from their neighbor. In doing so vilified their Babylonian captors and at the same time made them their ancient ancestor by common Patriarchy. The Garden of Eden is a land mass located, as reported via Scripture, at the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates River, which means Paradise is located smack dab between Kuwait and Turkey, Santa Claus or Saint Nicholas' homeland.

In Closing My Friends,

Is it any wonder we are in a state of chaos over the Middle East? The confusion was created, when one group of people tried to separate themselves from another. When are we going to realize that, fabricated ancestry or not, Jews, Muslims, and Christians claim the same blood line and history of faith. It is about damn time for us to embrace our brethren, drag ourselves across the sands of time, to draw out the message of Bethlehem. Coming from far and wide, we will consume the goodness of God once again with each other, and finally share peace on Earth and good will towards our fellow man. That is the message of Bethlehem! Now will you join me at the Altar, to receive the Bread of Life that has come down from heaven?

I want to live in a land called Paradise; I want to go to the Valley of the Kings

~ Kareem Salama: American, Muslim, County Music Artist,

CREDITS
Kareem Salama: Website | MySpace |
Jay Brannan: F6 Links Page Post | buy his 1st ind. albumn |
London Gay Men's Chorus: Website

LINKS
Coming Out @ Chanukah
The Gay Witch Network

RESOURCES

Star of Bethlehem Again
by Phil Plait, Founder, Bad Astronomy Blog
Gay Chanukah
HRC Reflection
Tips for Yule
by Dyke Notes

Psalm 133:1
How good it is, how pleasant, where the people dwell as one!

20 December 2008

F6 UPDATE ON DADT: CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS & THE WITT CASE IS THREE MONTHS AWAY FROM THE SUPREME COURT & ROTC REVISITED BY IVY LEAGUE SCHOOLS

EDITOR: The following articles are a follow up to this post earlier from this week on Monday in regards toward the current legal heresy and political future of Dont Ask Dont Tell.

In the previous post, on the 15th of December, I made specific commentary in reference to the President elect, Barack Hussein Obama, that:

He opposes DADT; but he first wants consensus from the Joint Chiefs of Staff?.....Personally, Mr. President Elect, it is not the Joint Chiefs you should be consulting; it is the thousands of gays and lesbians currently serving in silence with honour but yet also disgrace that you should be talking to.
On the same day, came this article, that quotes the Chairman of the Joint Chief's thoughts on DADT:
Challenges and Perhaps More Influence for Chairman of Joint Chiefs
By ELISABETH BUMILLER

WASHINGTON — As President-elect Barack Obama convened the first meeting of his national security advisers on Monday, there was just one person at the table whom Mr. Obama did not choose to have there: Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Admiral Mullen, who was selected by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates for a two-year term, has been on the job for a year. Come January, he will face perhaps the biggest challenge of his career: pivoting from one commander in chief to another, in the middle of two wars. Friends describe him as an even-tempered, intellectually curious and politically astute presence who sees the world beyond the immediate battles of the Pentagon and the White House, all skills that they say will serve him well in the new administration.

“I’m encouraged by the fact that he said he’s going to listen to his military commanders,” Admiral Mullen said of Mr. Obama in a recent telephone interview, recounting a meeting he had with the president-elect on Nov. 21 in Chicago. The admiral declined to discuss the substance of the conversation other than to say “it was a good initial meeting — we talked about a lot of things.” He discounted any concern on the part of senior commanders that Mr. Obama had not served in the military. “By and large, I’ve found that those who really care about us and learn about us and are supportive of the military, having served in the military isn’t a requirement,” Admiral Mullen said.

In preparation for his new commander in chief, Admiral Mullen is overseeing the final stages of a comprehensive military strategy review of the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan — one of four such studies in the government — to guide Mr. Obama in his first days as president. More quietly, he has also had initial conversations with his top commanders about potential changes in the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law that allows gay men and lesbians to serve in the military as long as they keep their sexual orientation secret.

Mr. Obama has taken a strong stand against the law as a moral issue, although his team has signaled that he will not push for its repeal in the early months of his administration to avoid the kind of blowup that engulfed President Bill Clinton when he sought to lift an outright ban on gay men and lesbians in the military in his first days in office. (In a cautionary tale for Admiral Mullen, that 1993 storm raged in part because Gen. Colin L. Powell, who was the holdover chairman of the Joint Chiefs from the first Bush administration, publicly disagreed with what became a Clinton compromise solution of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”)

Fifteen years later, Mr. Obama is of the view that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is long out of date and that it is time for gay men and lesbians to serve openly. “The president-elect’s been pretty clear that he wants to address this issue,” Admiral Mullen said in the interview. “And so I am certainly mindful that at some point in time it could come.” A friend of Admiral Mullen said the admiral had begun to think about practical implications like housing, but Admiral Mullen said there had been no formal planning or task forces on the issue.

SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES [...abridged for brevity....]
Mr. Obama has repeatedly advocated repeal of military's policy for gays but is willing to "take his time to build consensus for a change" within the military. As I also stated in last Mondays post: "They now ask the Courts to push it through for a Constitutional showdown in the Supreme Court, so no one actually has to act with the Executive or Legislative powers, and get the bad rap amongst their religious conservative base, for turning it over themselves. It is almost like they want the Courts to do the dirty work for them."

The actual legal precedent from Major Margaret Witt's case, as previously updated last Monday, and originally covered in this forum back in May and again highlighted on F6 in mid July, is what will throw DADT into a Constitutional showdown at the Supreme Court very soon. Currently, as the standing precedent reads, as the 9th Circuit's decision found, that:"... the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 ruling overturning state laws against gay sex established a new level of constitutional protection for gays and lesbians. Under that standard, the appeals court said, the military can't automatically discharge all openly gay soldiers, but must prove in each case that dismissal would promote troop readiness or unit cohesion...."

On Thursday, the 4th of December, the Ninth United States Circuit Court of Appeals "failed to achieve" the 14 of 27 votes needed to rehear the case from May, in front of an 11 judge panel.
The Air Force has 90 days to appeal to the Supreme Court or allow the ruling to become binding on federal courts in the Ninth Circuit, which includes California and eight other states. Even if the Bush administration appeals before leaving office, Obama could withdraw the appeal.

During the presidential campaign, Obama said gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military. In an April 2008 interview with the Advocate, a gay publication, Obama said there was "increasing recognition within the armed forces that this (policy) is a counterproductive strategy." He added that the nation is spending "large sums of money to kick highly qualified gays or lesbians out of our military, some of whom possess specialties like Arab-language capabilities that we desperately need."

Obama would need congressional action to repeal the policy. But he could move in that direction on his own by deciding not to appeal the Ninth Circuit ruling, which could encourage challenges to "don't ask, don't tell" elsewhere. Other circuits have upheld the policy, but only one, the First Circuit in Boston, has done so since the 2003 Supreme Court ruling.

SOURCE: Court's ruling stands on 'don't ask' doubts
by Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer, 05 DEC 08
I will once again assert that, "the American people should be ashamed that their elected representatives are taking the easy road home and not standing up for our fundamental principles that, all men are created equal, (and for refusing to admit) how negligent Dont Ask Dont Tell really is in the lives of our Service Members and what a scorching wound it is to the honour of their sacrifice for our freedom and liberty."
Battle ahead over 'don't ask, don't tell' rule
By John Marelius | The Union Tribune of San Diego, CA | 07th December 2008
Staff writer Steve Liewer contributed to this report.

Still smarting from the unsuccessful same-sex marriage battle in California, some gay-rights activists are turning to another front: repealing the so-called “don't ask, don't tell” policy that prevents gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military. Last month, President-elect Barack Obama and nearly 30 new congressional Democrats were elected, giving activists hope that the 15-year-old policy can be overturned.

“I think the election of Barack Obama is a sea change in terms of moving the issue forward,” said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which is dedicated to ending the policy and assisting military personnel affected by it. “I think 'don't ask, don't tell' can be repealed in the next Congress.” Democrat Obama, who repeatedly advocated ending the policy during his campaign, has also signaled that he intends to take his time to build consensus for a change within the military.

“I know that Barack Obama is committed to raising this issue,” Rep. Susan Davis told a recent fundraising reception for the legal defense network in Mission Hills. “I also know that he's got a very full plate.” Davis, a San Diego Democrat who chairs the Subcommittee on Military Personnel of the House Armed Services Committee, is a strong advocate of the change. “There are many people, as you all know, who want to serve our country openly,” she said. “And I know from talking to people how difficult, how really painful that can be.”

Leaders of the effort to repeal “don't ask, don't tell” say they have no objections to Obama's deliberate approach. “We've had discussions with the Obama transition team, and I think we're all on the same page of not rushing..., but to do it right this time,” Sarvis said. Some analysts question whether Obama will want to expend political capital on the issue when the economy is in crisis and the United States is fighting two wars....

Legislation to repeal the policy will face stiff resistance from Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress. Congressman-elect Duncan D. Hunter, an El Cajon Republican and Marine Corps Reserve captain who served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, strongly opposes changing the policy. “This thing is OK the way it is because I don't care what people do in their off time,” Hunter said. “What I care about is unit cohesion, especially men in very tight units, in very close quarters, in extremely difficult situations. They need to be comfortable around each other.” [....moved here for continuity....] Hunter maintained that repealing the policy would damage the institution in other ways. “The majority of the military is conservative and I think it would have an effect on recruitment if we change that policy,” he said. “If you have an 18-year-old guy from Alabama or Georgia sitting around the dinner table talking about joining the military, I think this issue would come up and it would have a deleterious effect on recruitment.”

Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, is one of the most outspoken critics of any effort to alter the current policy. “This would totally change the culture of the military,” she said. “The new policy would be forced cohabitation with known homosexuals in all branches of the military, 24/7, with no option for dissent.....If that law is repealed, it would pretty well destroy the volunteer force,” Donnelly said. “These people are pushing an extremely radical agenda.” She also scoffed at the results of the poll below stating, "Civilians know about as much about that as they would if you asked them a question about issues currently being debated in the Canadian Parliament.”
I am going to address Duncan Hunter's and Elaine Donnelly's accusations directly in another post over the holidays and post it sometime next month, probably on the 29th of January, the 16th Anniversary of DADT, unless hopefully it gets repealed or overturned before then. For the last fifteen years ABC News and the Washington Post have conducted a poll on the current military policy mandates which order the discharge of gays and lesbians who engage in homosexual conduct or tell anybody about their sexual orientation. Data collected from 1993 and July of 2008, illustrates public attitudes are no longer in line to the public policy statements that DADT embodies. The poll posed two questions:

The first question was:
Do you think that homosexuals who do not publicly disclose their sexual orientation should be allowed to serve in the military?
In 1993, 63% said yes; in July 2008, 78% said yes.


The second question was:
Do you think that homosexuals who do publicly disclose their sexual orientation should be allowed to serve in the military or not?
In 1993, 44% said yes; in July 2008, 75% said yes.
Last, on this round of updates I hope, is some excerpts from a story from TIME Magazine regarding the Reserve Officers Training Corps relationship with IVY League Schools.
Why the Ivy League Is Rethinking ROTC
By Laura Fitzpatrick |TIME MAGAZINE | 18th December, 2008

.... With Millennials embracing national service in droves, more students around the country are questioning the Vietnam-era dogma that drew a bright line between the Peace Corps and the War Corps. Borrowing a page from the Greek historian Thucydides, who observed that "a nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors has its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools," many of today's students are pushing for Sparta to make more inroads into Athens. By uniting the best students and the best soldiers, advocates say, the schools and the military - and the nation - will grow stronger. The focus of the fight, on a growing number of campuses, is the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), which was kicked off most of the Ivy League campuses (or made an extracurricular activity) during the antiwar protests of the 1960s.

The Yale Political Union concluded this fall that the university ought to bring ROTC back to campus, a move some students said would help the school live up to its motto: "For God, For Country, and For Yale." While many of the objections are based on the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays, op-eds and letters to the editor in the Yale Daily News - which endorsed the idea - argued that allowing ROTC back would encourage debate over the policy, rather than indicate an endorsement of it. At Harvard, meanwhile, where students can participate in the ROTC program at neighboring MIT, the undergraduate council in April passed a bill - jointly presented by the college Republicans and Democrats - called "Supporting ROTC," urging the school to list ROTC courses on students' transcripts and say that it "is proud of [students'] service to the nation" in its official description of ROTC. But nowhere is the debate more pronounced than at left-leaning Columbia University.

Ever since September, when both Presidential candidates came to the Manhattan campus and voiced their support for ROTC during the TIME-sponsored Service Nation Summit (John McCain's remarks incited boos while Barack Obama's elicited baffled silence), controversy over the issue has roiled the campus. Students at Columbia, which once bred more officers a year than the U.S. Naval Academy, even went so far as to conduct a poll at all four of the university's undergraduate colleges on whether to bring back the military officer training program that was booted from campus in 1969 at the height of anti-Vietnam furor. While students voted 54% to 46% to keep the ban in place, ROTC advocates say the tenor of the debate was more revealing than the ultimate result.

Take Learned Foote, for example, a sophomore who is gay but supports ROTC as a way to bridge the gap between civil and military service. "If you push [the military] off of campus and wait for others to do that work, I don't think that's as effective as saying, 'OK, we're going to put Columbia students who do have progressive values into the military and change it both from the inside and from the outside,'" he says. "'Don't ask, don't tell' is only a symptom of a larger issue, which is a lack of engagement with the military." .... In the more immediate term, engaging with the military could benefit both civilians and soldiers. For students, Foote contends, interacting with more future soldiers in classes and dining halls would discourage the view of the military as a monolith — or a political entity. "Having the students within the military at Columbia reminds us that something like the Iraq war was not done because of the military but because of the politicians we elect," he says.

ROTC supporters point to the debate at Columbia and its focus on "don't ask, don't tell" as a sign that students no longer have strong objections to the military more generally - and therefore would be receptive to inviting the program back if the policy were repealed, something more than 100 retired generals and admirals called for in November. For now, though, the debate at Columbia remains largely symbolic. University President Lee Bollinger has said he won't ask ROTC back until "don't ask, don't tell" is overturned. Moreover, even if Bollinger did let ROTC on campus, the Pentagon may not allocate funding to start training there, according to spokesperson Eileen Lainez. Students who are so inclined can continue to participate in Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC at nearby colleges.
The lives and honour of countless GLBT Service Members in the United States Armed Forces and their families are waiting with anticipation for the day they can live the freedoms they have fought for around the world and defended here at home! Don't Ask, Don't Tell is not right, moral, honest, nor legal! It is time for this heresy of American Law to come to an end!

EDITOR'S NOTES:
  • F6 has and always will hold the men and women of this Country's Uniformed Services in the highest esteem possible and will at all times give them the honor and respect above and beyond that which they inheritable deserve from each citizen.
  • F6 as an issue of editorial policy will challenge any assertion that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is either Constitutional or proper policy in our great Country, especially in a place where all men are created equal!
  • F6 has several resources and commentaries regarding GAYS IN THE MILITARY for your perusal.

give medals 4 killing men but 4 loving men they wish you were dead?

give medals 4 killing men but 4 loving men they wish you were dead?
thanks to the sacrifice of many the scourge of Dont Ask Dont Tell in the land of the free and home of the brave will be gone by the end of June!!!!