Dare we hope? That is the question on my mind when I think about finally gaining our full freedom and liberty as gay people in America. Every week seems to bring more good news on the marriage equality front. But how long will it last before a court rules against us?
In 1996 when Bill Clinton signed DOMA it was a stab in the heart that I will never forgive him for. And ten years ago when state after state was enshrining our inequality into their Constitutions I despaired that we would ever see true freedom in my lifetime.
But then things started to change ever so slowly. Then last June the dam burst with the two Supreme Court rulings.
If I could have a "dream team" for the 2016 Presidential election, it would be:
President: Elizabeth Warren
Vice President: Robert Reich
When I look for a candidate, I look for a some basic things:
1. Intellectual capacity - someone who has a rational, scientific brain that's not clouded by ideology. Someone who can think on their feet and speak with clarity, and speak in a way that ordinary people can understand them. Someone who's well written.
2. Empathy toward people from all walks of life.
3. An understanding of the reality of people's lives, from poverty to healthcare to lack of income to lack of opportunity to advance, to the effects of discrimination (past and present), income inequality, voting rights, the daily indignities and struggles that people deal with, and so forth. And a commitment to do something about it.
4. Toughness - the ability to speak the truth to the powerful and the high and mighty, be it Wall Street, Health Care Industry, Insurance Companies, businesses, politicians, foreign leaders, or big-money financiers in politics.
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Tennessee's Governor (Bill Haslam) and Senator Bob Corker, along with 22 other state and local officials have been served subpoena's for their inteference in the unionizing vote at VW plant in Chattanooga, TN per today's (4/10/14) Times Free-Press.
As everyone knows by now, in the last days before the unsuccessful "do-over" vote (after a majority of workers voted to unionize via card-check), Senator Corker interfered by telling workers that if they voted "no" on the union that VW would expand the plant by bringing a new line of cars to the plant. Senator Corker offered zero proof of his claim and VW said he was wrong. It was a desperate, underhanded, last minute interference by Senator Corker to sway the vote. Unfortunately it worked.
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For good or bad, I believe that's what many Americans think/vote when it comes to giving one party the Presidency. After eight years (two terms) they tend to not like (and blame - fairly or not) the party that's been in control of the White House, and switch to the other party.
There are a lot of factors at work in this, from the media wanting fresh "kill", a sense of weariness with the party in power, a desire by people for change, the fact that the other party is on "offense" for capturing the Presidency, and complacency on the party that's been in the White House for eight years.
Then there is the big one: the question "Are you better off now than you were eight years ago?".
"You need a new hip" the Orthopedic Doctor told me like a mechanic telling me I needed new brakes on my truck. So matter of fact. No big deal. Lots of people get new hips these days.
Except it is a "big deal" for me.
I've made it 57 years without so much as a stitch, a broken bone, a single surgery. The last day I was in the hospital was the day I was born 57 years ago. I am very, very fortunate to have made it this far and remain healthy for the most part. Oh, a few minor health issues now and then, but nothing major ever. Healthy all my life. Until now.
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All of us that celebrate Christmas do so for various reason. For some it's a central part of their religious faith, expressed in music and worship. For others, it's a season to come to come together and celebrate with family and friends. For others, it's a time to buy or make gifts for loved ones, and to also be on the receiving end of gifts. For some, it's a gathering for a Christmas meal and the giving out of gifts. For others, it's about taking care of the people around them who are in need and don't have much in food, clothing and other basic needs.
Either way, we all have our own unique way of celebrating Christmas. And those things become traditions down through the years. We look forward to Christmas primarily because it has good memories. It represents stability in a world that seems to be spinning out of control.
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