Guns? No. Radical Islam? No. LGBTQ Rights? No. Insanity? Close…

Guns? No. Radical Islam? No. LGBTQ Rights? No. Insanity? Close…

UPDATED: 7:49pm

 

I didn’t want to go there, but I sure had a sneaking suspicion, and I’ve just been proven right.
According to Gawker Magazine, the shooter was a regular at Pulse. This was no random attack. It was cold blooded, premeditated murder. Daesh had nothing to do with it.

 

Orlando Shooter Was Reportedly a Regular at Pulse and Had a Profile on Gay Dating App

 


There are plenty of words for what happened in Orlando but I promised not to say any of them yesterday because the families and friends of the dead deserved that much.

It’s disgustingly typical of Conservative America that the 2nd Amendment remains more important than human life, but how will the deluded reconcile too many guns with radical Islam and manage to keep the dialogue from devolving into “more guns would fix this?”

Make the problem into a self-righteous rant that they must have deserved it because LGBTQ? (Nope. No cognitive dissonance there.)

No. Not quite.

Whether the lone wolf shooter, who will remain anonymous in this post, is or is not an actual member of DAESH is truly irrelevant here. He was born in New York City, was not even observing Ramadan (the holiest month in the Islamic year), and in the usual 20/20 hindsight that comes after these events, was unstable, violent, threatening, and still employed despite a co-worker’s warnings that he was dangerous. The shooter was licensed and fully able to acquire the firepower he needed to do roughly a third the amount of damage as took place November 13, 2015 at Le Bataclan in Paris.

The problem lies not in the shooter’s actual affiliation but in the dialogue that will come from this horrific event. It lies in this statement, posted by WTOP at 5:50 a.m.:

The Islamic State’s radio has called the Orlando mass shooter “one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America.”

Al-Bayan Radio, a media outlet for the IS extremist group, on Monday hailed the attack that left 50 people dead [including the shooter], saying it targeted a gathering of Christians and gays and that it’s the worst attack on U.S. soil since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Authorities say [the shooter] opened fire with an AR-15 rifle at a gay nightclub early Sunday before being killed in a shootout with police. Another 53 people were wounded in the shooting.

The broadcast is apparently an opportunistic statement as IS has not officially claimed responsibility for the Orlando attack.” [emphasis mine]

You want to see how this stacks up against reality?

Have you been reading my posts? I’ve explained this already. And I’m not alone.

As mass shootings plague US, survivors mourn lack of change

There can be no rational discussion ever again about common sense gun control, because GOD NRA FORBID we exercise control of our emotions long enough to realize we’re talking about human lives, of people with the same exact rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, whether it’s the brand of happiness we think is acceptable.

When single issue voters choose the Second Amendment over anything resembling sanity, this is what we get as a result: “The state of Gun Violence in the US, explained in 18 charts.”

In 2009, when there were still enough Democrats in Congress to make a difference, the House and Senate finally passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which President Obama later signed into law. It would never have passed today.

According to Vox.com, the bill, which added perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disabilities to the list of protected classes under existing federal hate crimes law, was passed as a rider to one of that year’s Defense Spending bills, no thanks to the following individuals, who voted against the bill.

[The names in RED are running for re-election this November. Remember that when you go to the polls this year. Again, emphasis mine.]

In the Senate:

Sen. John Barasso (R-WY)
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Sen. James Risch (R-ID)
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)
Sen. John Thune (R-SD)
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)

 

In the House

The following are ALL up for re-election, except where noted, and you can vote them out in November:

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL)
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Rep. John Boozman (R-AR), who’s now a US senator
Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA)
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Rep. Dan Camp (R-MI)
Rep. Shelley Capito (R-WV), who’s now a US senator
Rep. John Carter (R-TX)
Rep. John Chaffetz (R-CA)
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)
Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL)
Rep. John Culberson (R-TX)
Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), who’s now a US senator
Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-TN)
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who’s now a US senator
Rep. John Fleming (R-LA)
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA)
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ)
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ)
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO)
Rep. Steven Guthrie (R-KY)
Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS)
Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV), who’s now a US senator
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)
Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS)
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX)
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH)
Rep. Steve King (R-IA)
Rep. Pete King (R-NY)
Rep. John Kline (R-MN)
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH)
Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK)
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX)
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA)
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC)
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Rep. John Mica (R-FL)
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)
Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI)
Rep. Jerry Moran (R-KS), who’s now a US senator
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA)
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA)
Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX)
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN)
Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN)
Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA)
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX)
Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL)
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)
Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN)
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL)
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY)
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL)
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL)
Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL)
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)
Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)
Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE)
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)
Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA)
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX)
Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH)
Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH)
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA)
Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY)
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)
Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA)
Rep. Don Young (R-AK)

 

What are YOU doing on November 8, 2016?

Between the Debates – Maryland’s Question 6 and Marriage Equality

Between the Debates – Maryland’s Question 6 and Marriage Equality

Obama Pride: LGBT Americans for Obama

With only a few weeks to go to get the word out, rhetoric on my Facebook friends’ pages has heated up. Today’s issue seems to be Marriage Equality (aka Gay / Same Sex Marriage). Here’s what Maryland’s law says: http://mlis.state.md.us/2012rs/chapters_noln/Ch_2_hb0438T.pdf

Maryland is one of four states voting on the question. Two others (Washington and Maine) are also voting to support Marriage Equality, as Minnesota votes on a ban. http://www.towleroad.com/2012/09/thefour.html

I came out a very long time ago as a Straight Ally for Marriage Equality and I will be voting FOR Question 6. This ought to come as no surprise to anyone who knows me or my politics. I have many friends whose relationships with long-term partners have outlasted my straight friends’ marriages and my own. We should not have to vote on a matter of human and civil rights based on sexual orientation. The vote should be unnecessary and those rights should simply be recognized for what they are: basic and fundamental to each individual.

These questions should not be necessary but we still fight about context, putting words into the mouths of our founders even as we try to view and interpret our ruling documents in historical context.

I am often shocked and saddened by the claims I’ve heard from the other side of Equality questions, of why we shouldn’t support what is clearly a civil rights issue. Marylanders for Marriage Equality has a whole series of ads which are not seeing wide release because advertising is expensive (http://www.youtube.com/user/MDers4MarriageEqual).

There is no argument that is as valid as a human being’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, especially in the United States of America, where these are considered basic rights granted by birth and not privileges granted by government.

LGBTQ people have begun to recognize a level of freedom that, until very recently, they believed was unattainable except in the narrowest confines of private space. They are becoming less concerned about their safety, job stability, family reaction or bullying because of a fundamental shift in the views of society that have increased rapidly in the last few years. If we remove these rights, we become guilty of shoving these people back into the dark who might otherwise be welcomed as contributing members of society, for something as basic as the color of their eyes, size of their bodies or texture of their hair.

Beware the restriction of your rights and those of others.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. –Ben Franklin

[Edited to add]

It must have been something in the air this morning, because shortly after I posted the commentary below, news items began popping up on my feed declaring that the Federal Appeals Court has Struck Down DOMA. It’s only a matter of time before the question goes to the Supreme Court. And here’s the thing: Whoever sits as President in the next term will help decide whether DOMA will be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, because it’s more than likely that at least one, possibly as many as three members of the Supreme Court will need to be replaced by the President as they retire.

This issue is far too important to leave to Romney or Ryan. Please consider this as you go to the polls and make your choice!

My senators are on the correct side of this issue. Are yours?

My senators are on the correct side of this issue. Are yours?

Thursday, a discriminatory policy that deprives our military of qualified troops, endangers our national security, and violates the simple American principles of integrity, fairness, and equality was allowed to remain law.

Every Republican senator but one — Senator Susan Collins — voted to prevent the passage of legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Several of them had previously claimed to support repeal, but voted “no” Thursday.

It’s a frustrating setback, but here’s the good news: We are just three votes away from moving forward on repeal.

And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and our allies in the Senate are promising another vote on repeal before Congress heads home for the year. There is still a chance for this to pass.

Allies in the Senate are not done fighting. The President is not done fighting. And I know you’re not, either.

Write the Republicans standing in the way in the Senate — and tell them to get on the right side of history.

There’s no question that Thursday’s vote was disappointing.

But we also have a lot of reasons to be proud today.

The letters to the editor you wrote and the phone calls you made — and the 582,000 petitions you signed — have been crucial in building support for repeal.

Thursday morning, OFA volunteers delivered those petitions to Senator Collins’ office. And Thursday afternoon, she voted to move this bill forward.

Now your work can help make sure we secure the votes necessary to finally put an end to this unfair policy.

One final push might be all it takes.

I know we still have a lot of fight left in us. Write Republicans now — and tell them to stop standing in the way:

http://my.barackobama.com/DADTRepealLetters

November 11, 2008: Special Comment on Gay Marriage ~ Keith Olbermann

November 11, 2008: Special Comment on Gay Marriage ~ Keith Olbermann

From a friend, who found it for me…

Keith Olbermann’s special comment on Proposition 8:

And here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChanTFSmqao

It’s long but you should watch the whole thing. All I could think of was “Amen, brother.”
I couldn’t have said it better.

Here’s the text of the Olbermann piece, in case you don’t want to watch the video (which you should): http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27650743/

Comments:

JW:
If I were single I’d be writing that man love letters.

SO-D:
I love him anyway.

LD:
Thanks so much for posting this
Wow. I think that’s the first time a new commentary has made me cry.

SO-D:
A Mormon comments on gay marriage: Mormon Church wins on gay marriage

RR:
He said what I said but in a more eloquent way. I wish I had gotten off my duff because about two weeks before the election I realized the “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Why can’t the world live more that way?

For a few more months the sentence is true. The sentiment holds regardless of my marital status…

For a few more months the sentence is true. The sentiment holds regardless of my marital status…

Copy this sentence into your blog if you’re in a heterosexual marriage, and you don’t want it “protected” by the bigots who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow.

Too stunned to write…

Too stunned to write…

Last night I sat down before bed and read all the way through our Bill of Rights. You know, the things which govern how we are supposed to operate as a country?

Too bad the current administration hasn’t bothered to do the same recently.

I have a whole lot to say but I’m thinking about how I want to say it. I’m also contemplating writing it in essay form and posting it on my Writing blog page.

So much to say. So long to wait until the next election.

And so very much disappointment.

Aside from all that, there is apparently a protest being organized for February 13 to support same sex marriage in Annapolis. I am giving serious consideration to attending the event. Anyone who wishes to come join me is welcome to come to my home afterwards for some hot cocoa and like-minded support.

It is time to take our rights back and to hold those responsible for their restriction accountable.

Theme: Elation by Kaira.