RANGER AGAINST WAR: It Takes a Village <

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It Takes a Village

When I was in the military, they gave me a medal

for killing two men and a discharge for loving one

--Epitaph, Technical Sgt. Leonard Matlovich

It does me no injury for my neighbor to say
there are twenty gods or no God.

It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg

— Thomas Jefferson

Can't you see we need a hand

In the Navy

Come on, protect the motherland

In the Navy

--In the Navy
, Village People

There is nothing wrong with going to bed

with someone of your own sex…

People should be very free with sex;

they should draw the line at goats

–Elton John


Happy Armed Forces Day.

Thursday's ruling by California's conservative State Supreme Court allowing gays to marry, only the second state in the nation to do so, reminds us how bigoted and provincial we are as a nation (
California Strikes Ban on Same Sex Marriage.) The court decided marriage was a fundamental right of the individual, and barring it between same-sex couples is akin to the now-discredited ban on interracial marriage.

If the Republicans are the party of family values, what could be more value-filled than allowing two people to legally declare before the eyes of the community and the law that their partnership is binding? That commitment adds value to everyone's life.

On the other hand, forcing people to live in shame does nothing to foster a healthy society. As with abortion, drinking and biracial marriage -- people will engage in these behaviors whether they are state-sanctioned or not. You do not eradicate the behavior by denying its legality.

The only question is, will rights be protected, and will goods and services be provided in the safest, healthiest manner possible? Or will people be punished for their predilections by a moralist state.
In my book, only the church should be allowed to shame you, should you choose to tolerate that censure, that is.

The wedding vows say you shall love, honor and cherish. They don't say you will create a passel of kids, and that may be a good thing. (Bad for the church maybe, which wants to create more hands for the donation plate.) On the other hand, should a gay couple wish to adopt, the is one less child out of the maws of the foster care system or the orphanage, another thing which is not bad.

Homosexuality is a biological fact; 3 - 10% of animals are queer. I know the fundamentalists run re-education camps to un-queer members, but why fight one's essential nature? It is as meaningless as making left-handers become right, because left-handedness was considered evil at one time. Then again, some people are naturally ambidextrous. These are biological facts. What do you do -- chop off the offending hand?

The imposition of any moral doctrine recorded by man should not counter natural inclinations, certainly not so long as these impulses are in keeping with the Golden Rule. Love, that is the directive, not hate and ostracize.
In any event, religious doctrine should not trump legal doctrine in a nation under rule of law.

Isn't our goal a healthy and civil society in which neighbors love neighbors, for the good of the whole? Does our greedy desire for salacious news and the scapegoats override our sense of decency? If you are straight, seeing a gay couple carrying in groceries or mow the lawn is not going to turn you gay if you lack the impulse. So why the homophobic fear?

The papers are abuzz with the idea that this will become an issue for the presidential candidates. But this is a constitutional matter, a question of basic civil rights and freedoms.
It would be great if any of the candidates had enough dignity to declare that fact, to say that their own preferences matter not a whit. That would be a welcome step away from the stance of the god-like, unitary executive. They all lack the backbone, however.

If we really wanted to cease unfortunate incidents like Senator Larry Craig's bathroom trolling, we would come clean about our true natures and allow people to marry appropriately. Is it better to force people into a marriage of propriety, for show, or to allow them to select mates based upon choice? As we no longer have arranged marriage, the idea should be that people join of their own volition.

On a pragmatic level, how mean-spirited to deny partners in a homosexual union medical benefits, etc., when they are life partners every bit as much as those who have joined in a heterosexual union. Gay and lesbian couples often suffer censure from their families and society at large; why deny them the refuge of a happy family life?

Shouldn't we celebrate love and care in whatever form it takes? Do we not smile when the zoo gorilla pick up a tot who has fallen into the enclosure, or when the swan becomes attached to the perfect swan peddle boat? Love in all its forms is a marvel. Nature is a mosaic.

Different strokes for different folks.

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i served with more than a couple of gays. it was one of those "secret, but not really" type of things for us. once you were on the teams, you were one of us.

the only difference that was discernable was our taste in bangkok hookers. beyond that, they served with all the honor and distinction each individual was capable of.

chocolatissimo nutella bomb ice cream

Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 3:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Pistol Pete said...

Thoughtful analysis of a thorny subject. Thank you.

Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 11:15:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Right, and isn't that all we can ask in a civil society? That everyone fulfills the job they undertake, to the best of his ability, and tries to coexists as peaceably as possible in civilian life? Sexual preference has nothing to do with that.

Live and let live is a good motto.

Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 1:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

the thing that the chief justice of california picked up on, and there's a fine article about him and his decision in the l.a. times, is that the laws banning marriage and other anti-gay provisions are as mean spirited and divisive as the old jim crow laws. the same people are using the same arguments.

by not allowing them to marry california was imposing an unfair impediment to the stated principles of our constitution.

all one needs to do is to take a look at iran, or any other place that executes people for homosexuality. they execute people all the time. passing a law against homosexuality does nothing to halt it. it only gives brutal and often hypocritical regimes an excuse to be brutal and hypocritical. they can execute every single gay person that they can track down, what the heck, why not throw in some folks who are not gay that you don't like, and by the next generation there will be a whole new group of people to persecute and mistreat in the name of your god.

gay people will not go away because they can't.

i'm very impressed with my fellow californians right now. i hope fervently that the draconian proposition measure to amend our constitution with a stated goal of removing basic rights from a segment of our citizenry is reprehensible and just plain wrong.

Sunday, May 18, 2008 at 6:59:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

I agree that the critical passage in the decision was the citation of Perez v. Sharp, the California decision throwing out the "miscgenation" statutes.

My point has always been that the state has no business enforcing one denomination or another's definition of "marriage". The state's interest is only in codifying stable, tax-paying partnerships so as to reduce the legal burden to the state of sorting out the disposition of property/responsibility for heirs and assigns/guardianships, etc.

Sadly, I'd give the loathsome proposition nullifying this a 50/50 chance of passing. Our generation isn't ready to accept that those darn homos are humans, too. The positive trend is that our kids probably will, and that change will happen as it always does, one death at a time.

Good decision, tho., and worth noting (as you have, Lisa).

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 7:07:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Right, forgetting the N.T. for a moment, as we are talking about laws in a democracy, not a theocracy -- gay people can not help their sexual orientation, despite what Dan Quayle said.

As we begin to map the brain, we are finding morphological and functional differences between homosexual and heterosexual brains.
You can't go in and tweak the gray matter b/c your God says it's a sin.

For the religious, the only real sin is not spreading the earth with more of your kind, as they are charged with proselytizing and being fruitful and multiplying. But I think the world has moved on, and we don't need more consumptive bodies these days. The church is also greedy for more tithers.

Who would choose to be gay in such a homophobic society? Little benefit would devolve to the individual. And whether it is a choice or not is irrelevant, right? In these free United Sate, shouldn't we have the right to live our own bodies as we see fit, provided we do no harm?

For those who argue the sexual activities of gays are aberrant, everything a gay couple might engage in many straight couples do, as well. So that can't be it.

As the judge pointed out, this bias is similar to the Jim Crow laws. CA was 18 years ahead of the nation in allowing mixed race couples. They may lead on this issue, as well.

It really seems a non-issue to me, and I cannot understand why anyone would be so cruelly against it.

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 12:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Thank you. The bottom line as you note is a fiduciary one: the issue of taxpaying and dispensation of assets.

As well, this is yet another feeble non-issue for the simian republicans to gather "round. God only knows what evil they impute to gays who wish to marry. Perhaps they imagine they are construction some kind of gay cocktail in their basements which they will use to convert the rest of us to their merry ways.

Can't let that happen to the memory of John Wayne, Charlton Heston and Clint Eastwood.

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 12:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Labrys said...

::::::::giggling uncontrollably::::Sorry, not at you or the article; I am absolutely in agreement. But the last comment before this one and the "gay cocktail" thing put my funny bone in over-drive. I don't recall where, but there actually WAS some research into a chemical warfare weapon that was supposed to "turn on" the enemy troops so they would be so busy presumably assaulting each other that we could win the war. Only, one assumes, while swathed in MOP gear!

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 2:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Yes, you get all my little inside jokes. Sick minds think alike(?) :)

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 3:06:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Perhaps they imagine they are construction some kind of gay cocktail in their basements which they will use to convert the rest of us to their merry ways.

Well, of COURSE they are. IT's called a "Brandy Daisy" and it's

3 or 4 dashes gum syrup
2 or 3 dashes of Curaçao liqueur
The juice of half a small lemon
1 small wine-glass of brandy
2 dashes of Jamaica rum

Fill glass one-third full of shaved ice. Shake well, strain into a large cocktail glass, and fill up with Seltzer water from a syphon.

Repeat four times and decant into the boys' locker room with a wet towel and stir...

I just wish someone had slipped a few of these to the elder Cheney sometime back in the 1920's...

Monday, May 19, 2008 at 10:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this guy was able to nail Bush!

Don't Blame Bush For This Mess He's Oblivious.
By James T. Moore (05/20/08)

Here is something you won't hear from any other columnist: I am not qualified to write this article.

I have only a superficial knowledge of human nature. I barely got through high school. I never saw the inside of a college classroom. I have only a layman’s grasp of most sciences. And I certainly don’t have a clue as to the intricacies of the human mind.

But I have one thing indigenous to political commentary: insatiable curiosity, an ability to communicate, and most important-- but in small supply these days---commonsense.

With these, admitted limited qualifications, I offer this ballpark analysis of President Bush, and the one thing about him that most Americans know little or nothing about, because it is not evident. It is his blind spot.

Simply put, there are two kinds of people in this world: those who know what they’re doing; and those who don’t know what they’re doing---but don’t know that they don’t know. The former are “normal” people in a psychological sense, are in most cases reasonably successful and harmless. The latter, who by some odd circumstance, are in a state of “denial”, i.e. they are oblivious to certain situations, events, and conditions.

It is Bush’s blind spot---which he is totally unaware of---that literally defines the mental makeup this president. And the only professional who has, in my view, brought Bush’s condition down to an understandable description of it is Paul Levy, a visionary artist, prominent author, and informed activist.

In a ground-breaking analysis of Bush, Levy offers this: “George W. Bush is ill. He has a psycho-spiritual disease that is endemic to our culture and is symptomatic of the times in which we live. It is an illness in the soul of all humanity that has been with us since time immemorial. As such, Bush’s sickness is our own.

Levy makes it clear that Bush’s illness is not schizophrenia, where the personality is fragmented, resulting in internal chaos. Bush can sound and act like a “regular guy” which makes his illness hard to recognize. This is because the healthy part of his personality has been taken over by the illness, and self-organizes itself around a pathological core. Thus, Bush can look, act, and talk genuinely, but being the victim of this malady (which any human being can fall prey to) his obliviousness (blind spot) dominates a large part of his life.

Levy has named this inner sickness “Malignant Egophrenia”, or ME disease, (as compared to schizophrenia). Warns Levy: If ME goes unrecognized and is not contained, it can be very destructive, particularly if the person afflicted is in a position of power.(all italics are mine)

In all fairness, if President Bush did not have the ME disease, that is to say, if he was the “real guy” that he sometimes comes off as, how else could most of his erratic actions as president be explained?

Such as, failure to stop illegal immigrants from swarming into the US? Such as, approving the use of torture in prisoner interrogations? Such as, depleting our army, requiring the service of National Guards? Such as, allowing the North American highway to proceed, thereby threatening U.S. sovereignty? Such as, preemptive strikes on “suspect” nations without even a consultation with Congress? Such as, looking the other way while our seriously war veterans are deprived of immediate and adequate medical attention? Such as, making no effort to end this costly, illegal and unnecessary Iraq war? Such as, doing everything possible to push America into the New World Order? Such as, using media spin to deny that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are all but lost? Such as, doing nothing to reduce the price of gasoline while his friends in the oil business are getting wealthier. Such as, almost shedding tears at his daughters wedding, but grinning at photo-op with a veteran whose face has been hideously burned beyond recognition?

Bush’s ME illness does not enable him to see beyond his own self- created and sustained delusions. But, and here’s the catch, it is important to realize that Bush is merely a deluded human being in a position of great power who is being manipulated like a puppet on a string, which more intelligent, albeit “evil”, people have learned to use the power of the presidency, together with the psychologically diseased president, to accomplish their traitorous ends.

And all the while, because he is oblivious to his sickness, Bush may never come to see why 75% of Americans consider him to be the worst president in U.S. history.

Paul Levy is somewhat kinder: “George W. Bush is what the quality of ignorance would look like if it had a body.”

(Printer friendly version) Email: James T. Moore

Article URL: http://americandaily.com/article/22184 Copyright ©2007 AmericanDaily.Com


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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 11:02:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Absolutely love it! I can picture something like a Gay Divorce Fred Astaire, with spats, dispensing the spritzer from the platinum syphon coquettishly from across the room as he spins a pirouette.

The wet towels are the key ingredient. Per Cheney: He might have been exposed, but no one chose to play with him. Hence his later incarnation as Darth. Sour grapes.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 11:42:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Thanks for the essay. Bush certainly does seem to be an oblivious megalomaniac. Many have said, "Do not impute to malice what can be hung on ignorance." Maybe.

But in between his delusions of messianism, I think he's crazy like a fox.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 11:51:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger BadTux said...

I'm just wondering what kind of closeted background these people come from, anyhow. When I was in high school we all pretty much knew who was gay -- it was those kids who were always impeccably groomed and dressed who participated in things like community theater and, well, seemed a bit "off". And sure enough, many of them went on to be hairdressers or interior decorators and come out as gay and so on and so forth. And this was back in the Juraissac Era, long before it was "okay" to be gay, and this was at a rural-suburban school in the Deep South full of robust farmboys who were really into that "macho" thing, not at some effette San Francisco school. But you know what, the fact that they were gay didn't make a damn bit of difference insofar as being friends went. None of them sexually propositioned me in any way, and one who maybe was getting the idea that he might want to basically asked me what my opinion of gays was and I basically told him that I found the notion of gay sex to be kinda disgusting but it wasn't any of my business telling folks what they can or cannot do in the privacy of their bedrooms. He respected that, and that was the end of that, we were just friends, that's all. And no, he didn't go on to be a hairdresser, he went on to be an oilfield roughneck who worked on the offshore oilrigs, and he lived with his (male) lover who was also an oilfield roughneck. So much for stereotypes. That was close to 40 years ago. Daaammm, I be getting old...

My best guess is that folks who think gays are somehow evil and that gay-ness can be acquired like cooties are home-schooled and "protected" from the "evil" of gay people. Back then in the Juraissac it was damn clear that folks weren't *choosing* to be gay -- they got no end of shit from the "macho" types for it -- but they simply were who they were, and me, I didn't give a shit, so that's why they were comfortable around me. If these closeted gay "anti-gay" activists had ever known gay people, they would know that gay folks are, well, just folks. Gays might do stuff in the privacy of their own bedroom that makes me uncomfortable, but it ain't none of my business what they do in their bedroom (just as it isn't any of *their* business what I do in my own bedroom), and as long as they leave it in the bedroom I just plain don't give a shit. Gay, straight, heterosexual, metrosexual, in the end we're all just a bunch of goddamned monkeys with bad fur and delusions of grandeur hooting and howling and throwing shit at other monkeys who don't follow the leader of our own troop of monkeys, and fine divinations of worth of monkey-hood based on fur color or what other kind of monkey we boff or whatever is as ridiculous as saying that riders of red motorcycles are better than riders of green motorcycles.

So pointing and laughing probably should be all the response folks like these get. But what can I say, I'm an ornery old coot who likes to have fun pointing and laughing, so I tend to go a bit overboard with it. So it goes.

-- Badtux the Not-gay Penguin

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 2:56:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Per tbe "evil" title, I think it is that people enjoy having scapegoats. Especially God-sanctioned scapegoats. So they scrape up their bits in their bible and become holy warriors.

Too, I think there is an element of fear in some homophobes of their anima coming to the fore. They must be "100% hetero," like the Rev. Ted queer-boy Haggard. Perhaps they are not comfortable enough in the masculinity, so best not tempt fate.

There is also a meanness I have seen in the conservatives, a "more for me" mentality that wishes to exclude the infidels from access to their font of goodies. No health care for gay spouses, for instance.

As you say, in school, we usually knew who was who, and it really didn't much matter. Our world would be much less for the absence of the many contributions of people who happen to be gay (or black, or Jewish.) Its just that some insular people will always have hatred and always be threatened.

All in the name of God, mind.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 3:41:00 PM GMT-5  

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