Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Geezer Music

Sentimental Geezer

It's Memorial Day weekend and I have been overwhelmed for some reason with thoughts of those who have gone.  I know Memorial Day is for the brave people in the Armed Services who have died while serving their country.  But I've been thinking about family, classmates, teachers, friends, and, most of all, my friend Myron Maye.  I'm posting this as a tribute to them all, but especially to Myron.

Anima eorum et animae omnium defunctorum requiescant in pace.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Totally F**ked

Justin Rosario is at it again.  This morning, he posted a piece about the right--wing funnymentalists' approach to teenage sex.  You can read his excellent piece at

I had so much to say, I didn't want to burden the site with my reply, so here it is:

Oh, Lordy, J–Man!!!  The topics you choose always make me run for my blood pressure meds.  This morning, I took the whole goddam bottle!

I grew up and lived in Northern Virginia until 6 years ago, when we moved to West Virginia to be near our granddaughter.  In Northern Virginia, we were in an increasingly liberal political and social environment with lots of support for teens who were having trouble with sex.  Information about birth control, as well as birth control supplies, were fairly readily available, thanks to knowledgeable medical practitioners and Planned Parenthood.  For those women who needed and chose it, abortion also was available, and not only from Planned Parenthood.  I am the father of four daughters, Each daughter had lots of girlfriends (friends who were young women).  I have seen more lifetime tragedies averted by birth control and abortion than any gay man ever should have to think about.  Young women from stable homes, from loving two–parent heterosexual marriages, from strict Mormon families (we lived very near a Mormon Stake), from immigrant and devout Asian and Hispanic solid Roman Catholic families—I personally have known young women from all of these backgrounds, as well as those from less stable families, and ALL of them have struggled with sexuality from their early teens.  Young women from all the groups mentioned needed birth control.  Young women from all the groups mentioned had to consider, and many of them chose, abortion.

Your point is well taken, J–Man: kids from the age of nine or ten are sexual beings.  With the good nutrition and excellent medical care available in the U.S., menarche comes earlier and earlier, and so does pregnancy.  Some young women, then, are hormone–driven while still in fourth or fifth grade!  Young men, too, are sexual earlier than ever.  All men remember the seemingly constant unwanted erections that propelled us through our teens.  Those erections, and the need to deal with them, happen earlier in life now than ever.  Fertile young women combined with urgently potent young men: put them together and only a fool would think that sex won’t happen.

I certainly don’t encourage sex at the age of 10 or 11.  Far from it.  But it happens!  It really and truly happens!  Those absolutely delusional religious funnymentalists who believe that hellfire–and–brimstone sermons, whether from the pulpit or from the dinner table, will stop early sex are blind to the reality of biology.  Not only blind, in my opinion, but also suffering from convenient amnesia.  Someone should do a study of the teen–age sexual behavior of funnymentalists.  My strong suspicion, having known quite a few of these people, is that their sexual lives as teenagers were as vibrant and active as any of those teenagers whose access to sex education, birth control, and abortion they now seek to deny.  I participated in a prayer group back in the mid–1970's with six straight fundamentalist couples.  All of them preached abstinence to their children and all of them were anti–abortion.  Two of the couples did educate their children on sexual behavior and birth control, and both provided their sons and daughters with condoms.  The other four couples, however, insisted that their children would remain chaste and asexual until marriage.  The interesting fact is that ALL TWELVE of these coupled people, men and women, were sexually active as teenagers, and two of the couples married before their senior year of high school because the woman was pregnant.  Of the other four couples, two also were pregnant when they married, but they were in their twenties at that point.

So I think you are absolutely right, J–Man: the far–right funnymentalists are hypocrites and control freaks.  Unhappy with their own sexuality and sexual history, they want to impose their delusional beliefs not only on their own children, but on the children of others as well.  If I wouldn’t be violating confidences, I would love to tell the real stories of what I know for a fact has happened to young men and women from these sorts of families.  Unwanted pregnancies, unwanted teen marriages, babies having babies, grandmothers raising grandchildren as their own—thanks to four daughters, and their VERY feminist mother, I have seen it all, and it is so very sad.  So many young people having to start their adult lives way before they are ready.  So many kids crying in our living room because they have no idea how to fix the awful mess they are in.  So many young people coming to our house for information and help they should be getting from their parents.

This battle is one that I will fight gladly.  It’s on a par with the battle for gay rights, gay marriage, gay adoption.  Religious funnymentalists can ruin their own families if they insist, but they cannot be allowed to ruin all families.  Young women and men need to be educated on what their body is doing and how it’s doing it.  They need to know precisely how to prevent pregnancy and sexually–transmitted diseases and they need to have ready access to condoms and all other forms of birth control.  If people believe this is encouraging teen–age sexual activity, so be it.  I could care less.  As a psychologist I know said recently, “Teenagers are going to fuck one another.  Period.  They always have.”  That is the truth.  Adult reaction to that truth can be funnymentalist delusional or it can be maturely concerned for the welfare and the entire future lives of the teenagers whom they love.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Thank You!!!

A thank you note to Glenn Dewar, MarĂ­ Sandoval, and Diana Kennady Geary.  I'm too exhausted from the weekend to write, but I wanted to get this up while the impulse is strong.  Luvin!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Annie's Triumph

My daughter, Annie, received her degree today, a Master's of Education with a specialty in education of mentally and emotionally disturbed students.

She has been teaching for several years and, all on her own, she entered this program at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Needless to say (after all my bragging about her), I am a VERY PROUD Dad.  Annie is an amzing woman.

After the ceremony, when we all were taking pictures, she showed off her academic hood.  I told her that the hood was the most expensive piece of clothing she has ever bought!

Congratulations, Goosie!!!  I love you!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Peace. . . The Liberals' Prayer


Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


Thursday, May 19, 2011


Several things happened today that made me think about hope.  It’s one of the cardinal virtues that St. Paul extols in his hymn to charity, 1 Corinthians 13.  It was a buzz word in President Obama’s 2008 campaign.  It’s also, I think, what keeps everybody going.  It’s what keeps me going.

Hope, it seems to me, is a belief in the adage that my shrink drummed into my head during the 5.5 years of our therapeutic relationship: “nothing is forever.”  Good things, bad things; happy times, sad times; being obese, being svelte; being partnered, being alone.  All states and conditions change.   So, as a fat kid, I hoped to be skinny and, when I went to the seminary, I got skinny quick.  As a disgruntled worker in a boring job, I hoped for a job that would engage as many of my interests and skills as possible and, when I went to work at the medical school, I was in job heaven.  When I was younger and more selfish than I am today, I wanted to be more adult, more giving, less self-absorbed.  Today, as I look back, I see that I am much less selfish and self–absorbed and much more a giving adult.  How did that happen?  I changed.  I grew up.  Life changed me.

Life isn’t finished with me yet, though.  There still are many parts of my life that I’d like to improve.  There still are opportunities I’d like to have.  There still are people to be met and loved.  Hope allows me to think that the adage still is true, even for the 64–year–old me: nothing lasts forever; these things, too, can change.  That’s hope.

The question for me, then, is how much of the responsibility for hope is mine, and how much is life’s (or God’s, if I’m to believe in God).  If hope is for a better future, then hope means change.  How much of that change is work that I have to do, and how much of it will be done by life/fate/God?  I think about all the great changes in my life: going to school in the seminary, meeting the various people who changed my life, camping for a month in California, getting married, having kids, coming out, changing jobs, deciding on impulse to go on vacation to New Mexico, retiring.  All of these changes didn’t in and of themselves produce good things in my life.  Most of them just put me in a different position where desired good things happened, with little or no effort from me.  For example, I changed jobs in 1982 because I wanted more money.  That was my one and only reason for moving to a new job.  That new job, though, fulfilled so many hopes besides my hope for more money: I found a supervisor who became a great mentor who taught me so much about work, and professionalism, and myself.  I found many new colleagues and friends who enriched my life and help me better understand exactly who I am.  I found challenges and failure that, in time, made me much more humble, much more patient, much more compassionate, and much better able to be a Mensch to my family and friends.  All the good stuff from that job is stuff that I didn’t expect, didn’t look for when I took it.  It just happened.  None of it would have happened, though, without my getting off my ass and doing something, namely, looking for a job that paid more money.

So hope means change, and change means I have to act.  The definition of insanity that Einstein supposedly gave is repeating the same action but expecting different results.  I can’t sit still, doing the same things day after day, and believe that the things for which I hope will drop miraculously from the sky.  Hope is interactive, I guess.  If I’m to see happen in my life the things I now hope for, I have to start the process by at least being open to changes and making those changes that seem likely to produce the results for which I hope.

I used to think that being old would mean resting on the experiences of a lifetime.  Not true.  I see it so clearly when I visit my Mom and her 80– and 90–year old friends in Florida.  No matter how old they are, each of these women has something they hope for, something better that they are trying to make happen in their lives.  “Hope springs eternal,” is a truism and, like all truisms, it’s true.  I’ve seen it in Florida.  I see it in myself.

Monday, May 16, 2011

In Which the Geezer Rambles On About Hispanic and African–American Gay Men

Women and gay men share a struggle.  It’s an historic struggle and it continues today.  The struggle is against the control straight men want to maintain over women, especially over women’s reproductive processes, and against the self–image straight men have developed over millennia to convince themselves, women, and gay men that masculine is inherently better than feminine.

Straight men have had it easy for most of the history of the European and American cultures.  They have controlled society.  By law, women and gay men have been marginalized, persecuted, imprisoned, and, in not a few cases, killed (see Salem Witch Trials).  By Western religions, women have been told that they are the source of sin, the burden men have to bear in order to develop and maintain families, and the subjects of husbands’ control in marriage and in religious gatherings.  By Western religions, gay men have been told that we are an abomination, the worst kind of human being, deserving of death.  The only reason women and gay men have been successfully bullied and persecuted in these ways down through the centuries is that straight men have, until very, very recently, controlled everything: the law, the church and synagogue, the government, and the media.

Gay men are an affront to the image that straight men have developed and promulgated for themselves.  Gay men have the anatomy and opportunities that straight men have for marriage and reproduction, for power and leadership in a male–controlled society.  Gay men, however, choose to pass on the offer of these goodies.  Because we cannot maintain a lifetime of deception, we can’t marry, or, if we do, the marriages tend to be miserable for one or both of the parties and so don’t last.  Because we are not attracted to sex with women, we can’t participate in the macho one-ups-man-ship that is the foundation of many a competitive straight man’s social life.  Because many of us have been treated badly by straight men as we’ve grown up, gay men often are very sensitive to the hurt that is done to women by their boyfriends, lovers, and husbands, and express that sensitivity by befriending and helping hurting women.  That sensitivity further alienates us from these straight men.

Gay men are worse than women to these straight men.  Women can’t help it.  They are born without penises.  Gay men can help it.  All we have to do, these dudes tell us, is “man up” and get over ourselves and go out and fuck a woman.  I am a first–hand witness to this prescription: I was told this on three separate occasions by three separate professional men.  Not “manning up” puts us in the same class as Esau who sold his valuable birthright to Jacob for a bowl of porridge.  By not valuing straight masculinity, gay men devalue the myth of masculine supremacy that is essential to this view of sexual superiority and threaten to bring down this weak and baseless belief that straight men have fought so many battles and wars to maintain.

Hispanics and other Latin cultures, like all other Western cultures, participate in this straight–man myth.  For some reason, the Hispanic culture seems to accentuate the importance of masculinity in men.  The words “macho” (manly) and machismo (manliness) are Spanish, and I don’t think that’s an accident.  I haven’t known many Hispanic gay men personally, but I have known three very well.  One man was from Brazil.  In Brazil, he had a young, very nice wife.  In Brazil he lived his life as a straight man and voted for political candidates who promised to deal harshly with gay rights.  In Washington, D.C., where he worked for more than half the year, he was an out gay man whose lover was a beautiful African–American professional singer, a tenor.  At a birthday party for a mutual friend one day, I asked my Brazilian acquaintance how he managed to reconcile his two lives.  I asked him point–blank, “Are you gay or straight?”  He answered that he was totally gay, but in order to be an accepted member of his family (and in order to inherit his rich father’s money) he had to be straight.  So, in Brazil, he was straight and in D.C. he was — trust me on this — very gay.  From him I heard for the first time the Latin law:  if you give head or get fucked, you are a faggot.  If you get a blow job from, or fuck a man, you are just a straight man in a bind.  Because he wasn’t, by any stretch of the definition, a top, my Brazilian acquaintance was in a world of contradiction, a contradiction that he successfully navigated thanks to a job that kept him in the U.S. for seven or eight months out of the year.

Another Hispanic friend of mine is from Ecuador.  He came to the U.S. specifically so he could live his life as an out gay man.  He was out to his dad, whom he loved very much, but he could never even think about coming out to his mother.  His father maintained his close relationship with my friend, but he kept urging him to marry and produce “just one baby.”  If he could manage that, then he could continue on in his marriage of convenience and have a gay lover on the side, just as so many married men in his culture have mistresses.  Were my friend to do this, his father argued, he would be a member in good standing of the straight men’s club and could come back to Ecuador, no questions asked.

I am not an anthropologist or a sociologist, or even a serious student of gay history, so I am not sure why Hispanic culture has what seems to me to be almost a Jesuitical view of homosexuality.  If you’re the top, you’re not gay.  If you are a married dad, even if you have a gay lover, you aren’t gay.  It’s almost as though the formalities of the sexual culture must be observed at all costs.  People seem to know instinctively that there are gay things going on now and then by some of the people they know, and they have no problem with it if (1) it’s all hidden behind a marriage, and (2) the member of their family is never penetrated sexually.
African–American attitudes toward their gay sons and brothers is much harsher, in my opinion.  I have thought about this situation a lot, because I have had many gay African–American friends, several of whom are among my closest friends.  Gay sexuality in the African–American community is tied up with the huge question of the absent African–American dad.  Because of slavery and the horrible things it did to the family lives of slaves, and because of the inhuman way African–Americans have been treated in this country since the abolition of slavery, African–American families have been under constant and morbid stress.  Black men have been put down, humiliated, distrusted, subjected to injustice, and killed just for being black men.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to know that, if I am successful and can afford a nice car, and if I am a black man, I have a hugely greater chance of being stopped by the police for no other reason than that I am an African–American male with a nice car.  That kind of life, that kind of treatment, is dehumanizing and brutal and it hurts.

To nurture and foster their male children, I believe that middle class African–American families pay special attention to their sons.  This special attention protects them and insulates them from the cruelty that our society still visits on them.  That attention also seeks to develop a good, solid, contributing African–American heterosexual citizen who will be able to raise up a family even more successful and healthy than the family of his birth.  One of my African–American friends had a grandmother who died in 2006 at the age of 101.  She once told me that she had been disappointed when my friend came out to her, although his coming out didn’t surprise her in the least.  She said that “her people” had to cherish young men like my friend, who was a talented musician and teacher, and who earned his Ph.D. summa cum laude.  His being gay was a loss to the whole community, in his grandmother’s view.  My friend had been subjected to countless hours of counseling from his AME Church pastor, prayed over, and sent to shrinks.  His family was convinced that not only was his being gay a loss to the family and the African–American community, it also was an affront to the God who had brought their family so much success, security, and comfort.

All my African-American gay friends have hard stories to tell of family rejection, misunderstanding, and condemnation.  It seems always to come from the same two sources: the need of the community for good, upstanding fathers, and the fear of God’s wrath that these Bible–believing people are sure awaits anyone who is gay.

I’ve been sitting her debating whether to put this up on my blog.  It is very amateurish and anecdotal.  It wanders.  It probably doesn’t make a lot of sense.  I’ve decided to post it because it’s my blog, and I can put on it whatever I damn well want!

Please just think kindly of me when you hurry away.  My intentions have been good!  Luvin!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Death Comes Unexpectedly (A Meditation on Porn)

Do you remember the scene in the Disney movie, Pollyanna, where the minister, played by Karl Malden, is preaching a fire–and–brimstone sermon?  The theme of the sermon, repeated often throughout, is, “Death Comes Unexpectedly!”  Pollyanna’s eyes bugged every time the preacher yelled those words.

I’ve been thinking about those words a lot lately myself.  I read the obituaries in The Washington Post and every day it seems people my age and younger are dying.  Scary.  I don’t plan to die anytime soon, but who knows?

I’ve written before about my affection for porn.  I don’t enjoy commercially–produced porn; I have only one porn DVD, and that was a gift.  I long ago got rid of all the rest.  There were never many; I was not a collector.  What I do enjoy, however, is self–made porn that is found on sites like X–Tube.  I have a lot of downloads from such sites on my portable hard drive, and I don’t want to erase them.

Since coming out 24 years ago, my taste in porn has changed.  It’s now a bit unusual; I probably should say “kinky.”  Even some of my gay friends wonder about my porn taste.  There is nothing horrific about my tastes, I don’t think.  I’m not into anything having to do with violence, pain, or extremely large body parts going into small body parts.  What I do find “entertaining,” though, probably is a bit unusual.

I have my pron collection on the one hand, then, and in the other hand I hold the obituary page from the Post.  What to do, what to do?  I have no problem with another gay man seeing what I find sexy.  I do have a problem with one of my daughters (some of whom no doubt will read this in the next several days) going through my computer and coming upon this “different” material. I’m not ashamed of it, I don’t think.  I believe it is part of a sexuality that has been, and, thank my lucky stars, remains vigorous.  It’s just that I have no idea what one or more of my daughters might think if they, in their female heterosexual innocence, come upon it.

“Death comes unexpectedly,” Karl Malden screams at me in my mind.  I want to be as prepared as I can be.  On the other hand, I want to enjoy my days as I live them out and part of my joy comes from porn.

The bottom line, I guess, is that once I die, I’ll be, of course, dead.  I won’t be here to have to deal with whatever it is my daughters think of me, whether it’s because of the porn or because of their meager inheritance.  I know each one of them, and my gut tells me that any of them who come upon my digital stash will find it funny and maybe somewhat telling.  Maybe they’ll find that they know be better after finding it.  Maybe they’ll find that I was even more human than they thought.  Maybe they’ll love me more for having been so weird.  They think I’m weird as it is, so what’s a little more proof?

Let death come, unexpectedly or otherwise.  I’ve done my best.  I trust my daughters to continue to be the loving people that they are, each with a great sense of humor, and each with her feet planted firmly on the ground.  I always say that they’re all better people than I am.  I know without much doubt that they’ll continue to be better than I am even after I’m gone.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thoughts on FaceBook - a 2nd Video Post

I want to thank some special FB friends:

Diana Kennady Geary. . . for being a great pal, a true liberal, and for teaching me all about Kentucky and its basketball team.

Justin Rosario. . . for being a great and gifted writer, for making me think, and for making me enjoy thinking.

Fran Woodring. . . for keeping me in her sites, for being down–to–earth and honest, and for being an insightful thinker.

Irmagarde Beatrice Crabby. . . for being Irmagarde Beatrice Crabby.

Jim Howland. . . for being funny, insightful, and good to chat with.

Christopher Rose. . . for his gentle posts that almost always show his love, and for being an SOB when the occasion calls for it.

David Haberman. . . for making the use of the word “fuck” an art form. . . no one cusses like David. . . I’m learning from the goddamn master!

Diana Hickman. . . for having some of the most fascinating posts. . .

Glenn Dewar. . . for teaching me about gardening in New York and for making me examine my thinking.  Glenn is a brilliant guy!

KimThe DudeWhistler. . . for being just a cool guy. . . too bad he’s so young and so straight.

Larry Thompson. . . for his insightful posts, but really for the sexy pictures he posts just to distract me from the business at hand.

Ryan SoRight I'm Left Mergen. . . for being one of most mult-talented dudes I’ve ever come across, for his caring, and for having a really interesting way of expressing his rage.

Stephen G. Ford. . . for his posts about animals, the environment, religion, and life in general. . . the man knows whereof he writes.

Rick Wade. . . for being funny, for having a weird penis, and for telling me about Seth.

Matthew Desmond. . . for that allows so many people to write, and for his own writing and posts.

Neal Daringer. . . for being open, fascinating, caring, ex–Army, and smart as hell.

MarĂ­ Sandoval. . . for being straight (forgive the expression) with me and for her encouragement.

And to everybody else. . . thank you for the privilege of sharing your time on FB.

Friday, May 6, 2011

White, Christian, Heterosexual, Reactionary Conservative, American Males

I’ve been wondering—really wondering—why all of a sudden white, Christian, heterosexual, reactionary conservative, American (WCHRCA) males are fighting like hell to undo 70+ years of civil rights struggle and advancement for African Americans.  Why they rabidly have been trying to overturn Roe v Wade and all the other civil rights achievements made by women since the 1960's.  Why the thought of gay marriage sends these dudes around the bend and why the thought of openly gay soldiers terrifies them so.

What’s going on?  What possibly could be the matter with these poor babies?

First, some boring data.  For 2005, the latest year for which I could find information, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports (at that, across the board in all categories, women are more likely to miscarry male fetuses than female fetuses.  Several theories exist about why this is so.  One is that the woman’s XX chromosomal composition is intrinsically incompatible with the male fetus’s XY chromosomal make–up.  The theory that I embrace is that male fetuses are more fragile than female fetuses and so less likely to withstand the rigors of uterine gestation.  Males, in other words, are delicate.

Now, put these delicate creatures into a fast–changing societal free-for–all, and things are bound to happen!

The poor WCHRCA male!  In 1960, WCHRCA males could expect to be married by a pastor who would tell him in the marriage ritual that he was to be the “head of his wife as Christ is head of the church.”  His wife, in that same ceremony would promise to “obey him.”  The power!!!  The security!!!  All the benefits of having a mother, except he could have sex with her and he didn’t have to listen to what she said.  1980 comes along, the 2.3 kids all are grown, and his wife, brandishing a burning bra, tells him to “fuck off,” secures a quick divorce, and moves in with a tennis instructor 15 years her (and his) junior.

The poor WCHRCA male!  In 1960, he KNEW he was superior to the men of color at his office.  They all worked in maintenance, facilities, and housekeeping, while our WCHRCA make enjoyed the view from the window of his carpeted, but tiny, office on the 39th floor.  Come 1981, and his boss is African American, his daughter is engaged to a boy from Ecuador, and his ex–wife has left her tennis instructor for a Yogi (still 15 years their junior) from India.

The poor WCHRCA male!  In 1960, he could have anal sex with the neighborhood homosexual in his Daddy’s basement, and then call him names every time he passed him in the High School corridor.  Every WCHRCA male back then knew that being gay was disgusting and against the law, to say nothing of the “Abomination” factor whispered about at Church.  Homosexuals were sick!  Come 1985, and his African American boss is openly gay and living with his biker boyfriend in one of the better parts of town in a home he could never hope to afford.  Meanwhile, his ex–wife has come out as lesbian and is living with her pro-golfer girlfriend in Augusta, Georgia.

The poor, sad WCHRCA male.  Life has been difficult.  Today, many people reject his Christianity as superstitious and harmful to mental health.  His racist views have forced him into the redneck ghetto where life is hard and the sun don’t often shine.  It’s been 50 years since he had sex because no woman will come within a quarter mile of his grossly overweight body.  Physically fit homosexuals are parading down the streets of his city with their privates on display and people stand on the sidelines and cheer.  And, horror of horrors, there is an African American in the White House!!!!

Being a WCHRCA male, he will not seek counseling.  He is strong, goddamnit!!!  But he sinks day by dreary day deeper into beer–infused depression.  His only friends are his fellow poor WCHRCA males who gather every evening in the local pub.

Then, out of the ether, as if by the miraculous hand of a WCHRCA male god, comes Fox News.  Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and others are there night after night, hour after hour, telling our poor WCHRCA male that he is a victim; that gays should be sent to reorientation gulags;, that women should be home, barefoot, pregnant, and excellent country cooks; that African Americans should go back to Kenya where obviously they were born.  Miracle of miracles!  Life can be again what is was in 1960, or, better yet, in the glory days of 1945.  If only they can elect several thousand of their own kind, getting rid of all non–WCHRCA males, paradise will once again appear on earth and there will be no need for the Rapture.

I figured it out. . . didn’t I?

Mothers' Day - My First Video Blog!

This is my first attempt at a video blog entry.  I know it's stiff, and I see now that I didn't smile, but it's my first one, so please be kind!

I am going to post some pictures of my Mom, with captions, below so you can see how she's looked over the years.

To all the mothers who will read this, Happy Mothers' Day!

Mom as a Wave, Washington, DC, 1943
Mom and Dad, 1946

Mom and I, my First Communion, May 8, 1955
Mom and Hubby #2 (and #3 and #4)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Racism In Today's Paper

I live in Martinsburg, West Virginia.  It’s a town in the Eastern Panhandle of the State and our population is about 20,000.  We have a good number of minorities, mostly African Americans and Hispanics.  I like the town.  We live close to shops, grocery stores, a mall, a movie multiplex, and we’re right on I-81.  We have a daily paper, The Journal, that is devoted to news of Martinsburg, our county (Berkeley), and other nearby towns.  It’s an award–winning paper and I enjoy reading it every day, after I finish with The Washington Post.

One of the interesting features of The Journal is a column called “Journal Junction.”  This feature allows people to call the newspaper’s answering machine, identify themselves, and leave short (two to four sentences) opinions and comments.  These opinions and comments then are published in the next edition of the paper.

This morning’s paper had about 25 opinions and comments.  The very first one was from Inwood, a town about 10 miles from here.  This is the comment:

From this point on, any black, oriental, Latino, or any other non–white should be prepared to prove their American citizenship on the spot.  We are taking America back.

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Those who say that the questioning of President Obama’s citizenship isn’t racist—RACIST—read this remark.

Those who say that the treatment of our President isn’t doing permanent harm to this country, read this remark.

Those who want to be fair, impartial, and open–minded to Fox News, Trump, Palin, et al., when these people malign the President’s and the First Lady’s work, achievements, programs, etc., on an ad hominem level, read this remark.

Those who don’t call birthers racists—regardless of who the birther is—read this remark.

Those who want to investigate Americans who are Muslim, simply because they are Muslim, read this remark.

Not to challenge this pernicious, evil thinking is to condone it.  Not to call this horrible, nasty, subversive thinking racism is to give comfort and support to the racists.

Not to take a stand each and every day in opposition to this intolerable and hateful group of people is to betray Dr. King, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, Medgar Evers, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, Denise McNair, and the unknown number of other brave and good people who died to bring about full civil rights for African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Muslims, all immigrants, and gay people.