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Only in my most paranoid moments (usually while reading too much news and analysis) do I believe the U.S. is on the path to "fascism", however you might want to define that. I and my family continue to live and work as if the U.S. will continue it's centuries-long democratic path inspite of the many ups (amendments 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 23, 26,  etc) and downs (Trail of Tears, Plesssy vs. Ferguson, etc) of history,  the back and forth trends that even I have witnessed in my lifetime. I guess there is some kind of faith that nothing could 'get that bad' or 'could happen here'. Perhaps we have a misplaced faith in people in general and specifically the American people, but I not sure we have.

(about frogs and canaries below the fold)

But, remembering how history has taken some swift turns (liberal Weimar Republic Germany to Nazi Germany, etc),  every once in a while I wonder if I'm just sitting in cool water. As the story goes, if you dump a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will immediately jump out. Place it it in a pot of cool water though, and it will sit there oblivious to the fact that the water is heating up slowly. It will not leave till its too late. "Is that us?" I wonder in those quiet paranoid moments.

So, to use another cliched metaphor, where is the "Canary in the coal mine"? I sit here feeling relatively secure and confident that things are only taking a small reactionary turn, and will swing back sooner or later. Yet, I'd like to know where the "canary" is, what situation is it that I can point to and say "It's starting to get dangerous here".
And then I realized, it is my family that is the canary.

The decade of the 90's saw a lot of changes for gay men and women, legal, media and social; changes that made it possible for my partner and I to announce and have celebrated our relationship, changes that made it 'easy' for us to adopt and create a family changes that have made the mass marriage protest in San Francisco, including ours, even possible. The changes that made Massachusetts the first in the nation with marriage equality.

A backlash is to be expected. For every movement towards equality, Emancipation, Suffrage, Civil Rights, all have had reactionaly backlashes. The backlash was to be expected, perhaps not as harsh, but expected.

But is it just a 'backlash'? The religious fundamentalist right has an agenda and its not just anti-gay. Their 'friend' is in office and they claim victory. My family is the obvious first target. Any rights we have are still in their infancy and weak, we are still hated by a large portion of the population, our position legally and in society as individuals, as a couple and especially as a family, is still precarious. The religious right would like to see nothing better than the roll back of all our rights and acceptance, even tolerance, in society. Make no mistake, just read their web sites and go to their churches, they want us back in the closets and jails. And that is first on their agenda. They are working on it in state legislatures, changing constitutions, bullying media, remaking the courts.

And, if there is not stance stopping them, giving them no leeway, it will become dangerous for my family to remain in the US if we want to remain intact as a family. We always say that if we felt that the integrity of our family was threatened, we'd leave the US. If we felt that the courts, laws and society were getting to the point that it could break up our family, take our children, we'd leave immediately.

And there is your canary. If you start to see hundreds, thousands, of gay and lesbian headed families leaving the country, it's getting dangerous for YOU.

We aren't the only on the agenda, just the weakest and the first. Then come the Muslims, the feminists, the atheists, the secularists, the left, the non-Christian, heck, even the Mormons (if you don't think the religious right hate the Mormons, just watch 'the GodMakers').

Once we go, you are next. Next time you hear an individual (exspecially one of the above or a Democrat) suggest we leave gay rights for a while, or lay low and not stand firm, remind them they are next.

Will we go? I don't know. As i said, I have a lot of faith in this nation and its people. I really don't think we will have to. I feel like a silly tin hat paranoid when I think of these things. But just so I won't be that oblivious frog in cool water, and to be your canary, I thought I'd start keeping tabs on when the heat is being turned up.

So, below is list of incidents since the election that I will update as necesssary. These are events in the media or government that are turning back the clock (turning up the heat) legally or socially. There are several more I've missed. I'll keep looking.

Dec. 24 2004: NPR, that bastion of liberalism, decides to cut out a passage from David Sedaris' recounting of the time he was an elf at Macy's. This story is read every year on NPR since 1992. This year a passage about an innocent flirt between two men was cut.

Update [2004-12-28 17:11:20 by wclathe]: See comment by sarah below, this turns out much more innocent than it appeared at first. Though, if you read the all comments and updates in the link provided, it could be not so innocent either. You can decide if it was nefarious or innocent, it'll still be off the 'list'

Dec. 17, 2004: CBS shows family reunions on finale of survivor, while showing straight contestant's family reunions, pans away from two lesbian contestants. Explanation? "I'd be an idiot not to notice both the way the country voted and the backlash from the FCC that came off of Janet Jackson's [Super Bowl debacle]. I wanted to protect my franchise and didn't think it was right to show both lesbian kisses at 8 o'clock."

Dec. 2, 2004: Michigan governor pulls state domestic partnership benefits from state contracts due to recently passed anti-gay amendment

Nov. 30 2004:NBC and CBS refuse to run an United Church of Christ ad about tolerance (though there was no mention of 'gay' or 'lesbian' because, as CBS spokesperson said "Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples and other minority groups by other individuals and organizations, and the fact the Executive Branch has recently proposed a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast on the [CBS and UPN] networks."

Nov. 26, 2004:ABC's 20/20 airs a revisionist history of the Matthew Shepard murders suggesting it had little if any to do with the fact that he was gay

Nov. 24, 2004:Washington Post run 18 page rabidly anti-gay 'advertorial' insert, sees not problem though it was pointed out to them that running a similar 'advertorial' that was racist would be rejected out of hand

Nov. 23, 2004 Hate crimes are reported to the FBI (voluntariy by states) have risen in 2003. One segment that rose fast was those against 'sexual minorities', an underreported category because many states do not consider this a hate crime

Nov. 3, 2004 11 states, added to two earlier this year, overwhelmingly pass anti-gay state constitutional amendments

Originally posted to wclathe on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 11:33 AM PST.

Poll

So..how do you think the canary is doing?

2%5 votes
6%11 votes
43%78 votes
32%59 votes
10%19 votes
4%9 votes

| 181 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  bravo (none)
    Similar to the poem (?) that is oft-cited regarding not speaking out when the __ are attacked leaves no one to speak out for you when it's your turn. This is a great diary, one that needs to be updated and reposted often, if only for the timeline at the bottom.
    Keep up the good work.

    Doubt is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.

    by Rainman on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 11:43:34 AM PST

    •  Not a poem -- a quote (4.00)
      Martin Niemoeller:

      In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.  Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.  Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.  Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.  Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.

      "If you aren't completely appalled, then you haven't been paying attention." November 2004 Update: You obviously haven't been paying attention.

      by Savage on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:16:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Everyone should note... (4.00)
        ... this famous poem talks about "speaking up" ... it does not talk about leaving.

        Those who fail to learn from history...are invited to submit an application for a position in the Bush administration.

        by Timoteo on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 03:14:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder too (none)
    This is a great diary and I love the timelines.  Currently, I feel like the frog.  I just wonder how long is too long to wait.

    "...Bush could kiss Osama bin Laden on national television and Karl Rove could spin it into a punch in the face." - Jim Hoover of Huntington Beach

    by fabooj on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 11:58:03 AM PST

  •  I have similar concerns (none)
    My family is a bit more mobile - we're a gay couple with no kids, so there wouldn't be as much disruption though leaving would be traumatic.  The Canadian gov't immigration website has interesting information about programs for skilled workers, etc.

    Like you, I hope things will work out, that we're just in a temporary backlash, that things will eventually self-correct.  I'm vigorously working for change locally, so I'm nowhere near throwing in the towel.  Nothing that's happened since November 2 compares to 1930's Germany.  But...I do have this awful feeling that if Bush gets enough judges confirmed and if the Senate leadership jettisons the filibuster and if the constitutional amendment limiting a president to two terms is repealed (and the Dems are just so limp and lame, these changes could go through)..."it" could happen here.  The progression from Weimar to Hitler happened gradually - individual laws over time limiting the rights of Jews to work in certain occupations, individual ordinances restricting where Jews could or could not live....like that frog in a saucepan under gradually increasing heat....

    Only one small quibble with your diary...I would say that Muslims are already experiencing at least as much persecution in this country as gays are, and in many cases considerably more so, and with even less public sympathy to mitigate any persecution.  And Pastor Neimoller's (sp??) words about the need to speak out are true in their behalf as well, regardless of how much or how little the concern would be reciprocated.

    •  test not so easy to pass (none)
      I took the test online just to see if I would pass.  Its not so easy to pass.  If I remember correctly you need a 70 out of 100.  I scored low in the language section because I didn't know any French.  So, no, I didn't pass.

      I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

      by blue drop on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 08:54:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  can't emigrate with HIV (none)
      I checked out the New Zealand site and because I have HIV I would not be permitted to emigrate to their country.  They consider my HIV status a burden to their health system.

      I don't know about Canada but after failing their skills test I didn't look into it any further.  They probably have the same health restrictions.

      I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

      by blue drop on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 08:58:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some worisome, some banal... (4.00)
    Of the above, the NPR piece seems most disturbing, tho' the corporate takeover of NPR was completed quite a while ago.  I'm surprised Sedaris hasn't complained about this - I will write to my local NPR affilate, yet AGAIN, about the right-wing bias the National NPR shows are taking ... for all the good it will do.

    What I wonder now is, how much of this stuff is typical 'flavor of the month' media cowardice, and how much is a long-term trend?

    AFAIK, "Will and Grace", "Queer Eye" and "Ellen" are not under threat.

    The 'interesting' part of this struggle [I say, as another who is impacted directly] is that it is one that exemplifies the conflict between the Theocracy/NeoCon branch of the GOP vs the Plutocracy/Corporate branch. Gays are a well-research consumer demographic, and large amounts of $$ have been spent developing a marketing infrastructure to the gay & lesbian community.  So far, "Gay Culture" is still a valuable consumer commodity as well - and it is largely consumed by non-LGBT folks. Employers get a cheap [for them] way to lure and retain workers if they offer benefits to gay partners. Buisness opposed the "Eleven Ammendments" pretty much nation wide, and buisness-minded Republican governors spoke out against them.

    If the NeoCon Death-Cult "Christians" suceed in a real takeover of the govt. [not just the bag of empty promises they seem to be holding now] - then we'll see.  What I think we may actually be seeing is a complicit coporate media proping up the 'image' of a morality-based culture war that is being won by the Religious Right.  I think, more likely than not, this is to hide the typical 'bait-and-switch' that the GOP has pulled on the Fundies, once again.

    Bush [by which I mean, Karl Rove] already has reportedly dropped the "Marriage Ammendment" from the administration's agenda for 2005.  

    I think it is absolutely essential to keep an eye on this closely - the canary ain't happy right now, but reports of her death are premature.

    Those who fail to learn from history...are invited to submit an application for a position in the Bush administration.

    by Timoteo on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 12:10:00 PM PST

    •  I Agree with You (4.00)
      The repubs only care about money.  They use the fundies to get elected and give them crumbs.  They could care less about gay marriage or any other so called moral issue.  All they care about is money.  Their goal is to stop taxing the rich and to completely dismantle the New Deal, including social security.  That is what they care about.  We just need to figure out a way to get this through to those morons who live in the south and would benefit much more financially if the Democrats were in charge.  They lose, but we lose too.  We need to come up with ways to fight the corporations.  That should be the issue.
    •  I agree that the 'culture war' is a red herring (4.00)
      IMO, the real threat from Bush judicial appointments will be their attempts to limit the government's (and therefore the People's) right and ability to regulate corporate behavior. Combined with a legislative drive to limit redress in the courts ('tort reform'), the result (at least the result they are seeking) will be even more corporate power over the People and our government, and a decreasing opportunity to do anything about it through legal or legislative channels.

      Theocracy is scary, but I believe that 'corporate fascism' remains the bigger threat.

      •  Agree 100%... (4.00)
        .. theocracy is scary, but is SO out of step with American culture and psyche [at least, for the vast majority of Americans...] that I think it is much less of a reality.  If it DID happen, it would be the worst of the two evils.

        "Coporatism" however, is very, very American.  We almost fell into that trap in the 1920s and 1930s ... I think we are almost there right now.  But I don't see American Corporate Fascism as being specifically anti-gay.  I think GLBT folks will 'enjoy' the same set of limited and faux civil-rights that all Americans who do not fall into the upper 5% financially will have.  

        We'll get the same free gruel and blue-grey jumpsuits as every other American, as long as we agree to be good little worker bees for Wal-Mart, ADM, Exxon, etc.

        Those who fail to learn from history...are invited to submit an application for a position in the Bush administration.

        by Timoteo on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 02:49:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We're turning into Saudis (none)
          The Saudi royal family made a deal with the Wahhabi branch of Islam, too--we'll accept your severe fundamentalist version of the religion as long as you let us rule how we see fit.  Obviously that's worked out just SUPERBLY.

          Does anybody besides me see the parallel to our situation?  If the corporate GOP gives the fundies an inch, they'll try to take a mile.  GOP-corporate America is going to have only itself to blame for any theocracy to come.

    •  Don't contribute to NPR... (4.00)
      save your dough and invest it into XM or Sirius.  That way you can listen to Air American if it is not in your market along with some other interesting programming.  Vote with your wallet.
  •  some criteria (4.00)
    I think for my list (which i'll keep updated and am thinking of some graphic showing how close to boiling...or canary sickness :) I'll have some criteria.

    I'll post advancements, but not things that justs hold to the status quo.

    I'll post changes in the media and law that suggest a change in stance (Fox not allowinng a gay kiss is not a change, Showtime not allowing that.. would be), but not just 'commentary' of others (like freepers).

    I'll try to keep it to things that actually show a backtracking.

    "If you and I think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary" "at least bleeding heart liberals have one"

    by wclathe on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 12:17:32 PM PST

  •  leaving is weak (none)
    what good does it do to leave, except to advance your own goals?  change comes from within, especially in a nation that has never warmed to outside influences.  leave, if you want, but anyone that is interested in being an agent of change should stick around and fight, fight, fight.
    •  yep, it is for the weak, like my child. (4.00)
      I'm not leaving, honestly. And i never would if it were just me, or just my partner and I threatened. I'd stay and fight the good fight.

      but for my daughter and my soon-to-be-in-the-family son, if I feel they are threatened, I'd leave. IMMEDIATELY once I felt they were threatened.

      I can live with the threat, I have no right to allow my child to live with it if I can help it.

      Your damn right its for the weak... my daughter isn't strong enough to remain if she is threatened.

      "If you and I think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary" "at least bleeding heart liberals have one"

      by wclathe on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 12:23:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (none)
        then get out there and do something.  i, personally, don't think we're on the verge of facism and i think the ultra-leftist push to say that we are is the exact same as the ultra-right saying the world's about to collapse because of feminists and gays.

        if you're really that concerned, get off of this blog and get to work.

        the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

        by bsmcneil on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:15:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  hmm, this assumes I (we) are not... (4.00)
          all our savings to the 'cause', countless hours in canvassing and outreach, active membership in several advocacy groups, etc, etc.  Most gay families I know are more active politically and socially than many.

          Like i said, i don't think we are on the verge of fascism either necessarily, and we work hard to make sure that will never be the case....

          "If you and I think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary" "at least bleeding heart liberals have one"

          by wclathe on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:18:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  asdf (none)
            okay well grammar aside (which means I'm not sure what you're saying in the first sentence) - most gay families you know may be more active politically and socially than others that you know - but that isn't necessarily representative of the world.  i have deep problems with the wingnuts (on either side of the aisle) that sit on the internet and bitch and moan and do nothing or next to nothing.  i have deep problems with "activists" that only work in the months preceding a national election or when gay marriage or something is coming up.  there are tons of problems and the only way to solve any of them is to work.  just because you (not you necessarily but a general "you") give 50 dollars a month to HRC doesn't mean you're doing all you can.

            the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

            by bsmcneil on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:26:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  edit: (none)
              ...or all that you should.

              the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

              by bsmcneil on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:26:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  It is presumptuous to say that.... (none)
              when you don't know anything about what a person is doing when they are off-line.  What kind of work do you think a person should be doing, besides actively campaigning, donating money, adopting kids, being "out" in the community continuously, writing, etc, for years?  

              What are you doing?  What is your definition of "work"?

              •  so be it... (none)
                ...but as long as someone is typing their disdain for the world, they could equally be out there fighting for change.  there's a lot that can be done and i'm not saying what one person does isn't valuable - merely we could all be doing more of it than sitting on this blog (and i've said this repeatedly).

                what am i doing?  i won't come to this blog with a list, but i'll say this - i'm working now, i've been working since i came to the realization that we're all in this together and i'll keep working.  giving up, which is what leaving says to me, isn't an option.  i spent christmas day severing ties with my family because someone wore a confederate flag t-shirt and no one was willing to listen to why that was problematic for me.

                furthermore - what exactly was presumptuous?  i didn't say anything about the author of the post, merely how some people on the internet are.  in fact, i went through great pains to explain that my usage of the term "you" wasn't to mean the user wclathe but as the general term "you."  i'm not sure why you got so defensive, some explanation might help clear this up.

                the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

                by bsmcneil on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 02:25:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed, up to a point (none)
      As I said earlier, I have been "fight fight fight"ing and will continue to do so.  As long as the possibility for change through the political system exists, we are morally obligated to do all we can.

      This diary is about what happens if and when those political means are no longer available.  At some point in Germany in the 1930's, various groups of people had two options: leave or die. Hopefully that time will never come here.  But if the Republicans push through the changes they are promoting (no filibuster, no term limits on the presidency, wall-to-wall Dominionists at every level of the judicial system, various other checks and balances eliminated), the question is no longer one of working for a winning Democratic party political strategy, but of whether one can find the means to leave and thereby live to fight another day. If "it" happens here, that choice will come sooner to some folks than to others.  

      •  adsf (none)
        "But if the Republicans push through the changes they are promoting (no filibuster, no term limits on the presidency, wall-to-wall Dominionists at every level of the judicial system, various other checks and balances eliminated)..."

        I've not seen or heard of serious attempts at ending term limits on the Presdency and implicating that it exists (the serious attempt at doing so) is merely an attempt to get people active.  show me a bill, co-sponsors, something.  i'm not saying america can't/won't become a fascist nation - merely that it is not and that we can actually do something about it other than complaining.

        the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

        by bsmcneil on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:17:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, I found a reference.... (none)
          A House resolution was proposed in early 2003.  Oddly enough, most of the sponsors were Democrats (one was Barney Frank!).  Go figure.  If you go to

          thomas.loc.gov

          and type in

          H.J.RES.25.IH

          you'll find a proposed amendment to repeal the 22nd amendment.  With only 7 sponsors it likely didn't go anywhere.  But I also hear there's a movement underfoot to remove the restriction barring persons born outside the US from serving as President (i.e. so Ahnold would be eligible), and I've heard rumblings that a repeal of the 22nd amendment could be folded in with the Ahnold legislation.

    •  I mildly disagree (4.00)
      Why are Americans "special"? So special, in fact, that leaving their country for one that is more socially progressive like my country of Canada, for example, is seen as a weakness? Is it weak to seek the best life possible in the most welcoming environment? Isn't that what immigrants from all countries do every day when they come to Canada or America? Are they weak because they didn't stay home and fight for their rights? Of course not.

      There's a strange attitude we in the west have towards emigration becuase we frankly can't see that any country in the world could possibly be a better alternative than ours. For some people, there is a better choice and you can still fight for your homeland as millions have done throughout the centuries despite the fact that you no longer live on that soil. Freedom is for everyone, not just those from thrid-world or "lesser" countries who we think should be seeking a better life. We can't deny that right to those among us any more than we do any other emigrant or immigrant.

      •  You have a point.... (none)
        One is taught that patriotism means being willing to work hard and suffer inconvenience (or worse) in order to promote the good of the nation.  Of course, the usual context is participation in the armed forces for national defense, or participating in rationing or paying higher taxes in order to promote the common good, or even something more routine (but potentially subject to inconvenience) such as voting or reporting for jury duty.  It's a much harder form of patriotism when one is working for what is objectively the national good, even if the national leadership is working in the exact opposite direction, is undermining the nation, and is labeling one's constructive work as treason.  There's a continuum between being willing to leave at the first hint of inconvenience, and laying down one's life in order to avoid giving up one's citizenship.  I think most refugees coming to America held out hope for their countries of origin for as long as possible before reluctantly seeking refuge here.  I hope my partner and I never have to find out where I fall on that continuum.
        •  asdf (none)
          what i was saying is that you cannot work for the national good once you leave - because America has such a disdain for outside influence.  on the other hand, you could work for the greater good of the rest of the world, of which we are all citizens, but in discussions about what is wrong with America and how to help America - leaving doesn't do anything productive.

          the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

          by bsmcneil on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:23:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  proof? (none)
            "what i was saying is that you cannot work for the national good once you leave - because America has such a disdain for outside influence."

            Do you have any proof of that assertion that one can no longer work for the national good once they leave their country of origin?

            •  yes (none)
              the majority of the voters voted for President Bush and the republican party.  The republican party consistently made it known that they would not change their stances due to other nations/outside influences.  2+2=america must change within.

              the proof you're actually asking for doesn't exist.  I can't prove a negative (i.e., that something won't happen).  but thanks for playing...

              the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

              by bsmcneil on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 03:38:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (none)
        I didn't say it was special, so I don't know what brought this about.  especially the quotation marks which indicate a reference to my post.  but ok.

        it's weak that they won't help all Americans, especially the ones that would like a better world but don't have the means to leave.  it's cut and run, and it's wrong.

        you've got me tremendously wrong when you say that i think there's no country better than america.  one, who are you to assume i believe that.  two, i don't believe in nationalism.  but since it does cost money to move and not everyone has it, i think it's important to challenge the "progressives" that only act within their self-interest by leaving which further alienates poor progressives.

        next time you make a long post in response to something i said in which you seem to address things i've said - make sure you know my beliefs, okay?

        the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

        by bsmcneil on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:21:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  rebuttal (none)
          "I didn't say it was special, so I don't know what brought this about.  especially the quotation marks which indicate a reference to my post.  but ok."

          I'd remove the quotation marks if I could. Often, when I use the word "special" I'm thinking of SNL's Church Lady's tone when she said, "Isn't that special?"

          "it's weak that they won't help all Americans, especially the ones that would like a better world but don't have the means to leave.  it's cut and run, and it's wrong."

          How is it wrong? There are numerous ways to help Americans and I don't begrudge my fellow citizens who have the opportunity to use their bucks to move to a place they would rather spend their lives just because I can't. And, let's not forget about the citizens who live in their home country their entire lives and do nothing to help their fellow citizens.

          "you've got me tremendously wrong when you say that i think there's no country better than america.  one, who are you to assume i believe that.  two, i don't believe in nationalism."

          Nationalism can also be defined as: Devotion to the interests or culture of one's nation. In that context, it seems that you do, in fact, believe in the interests of your nation by saying that if people choose to cut and run they are no longer acting in the interests of all Americans.

          As to your first point, I'll concede that even though I was talking about a collective western attitude and not you, personally.

          "i think it's important to challenge the "progressives" that only act within their self-interest by leaving which further alienates poor progressives."

          I think millions of expats who are working to strengthen America would disagree with you there. I know that my local Democrats Abroad group is active in political issues that face all Americans.

          "next time you make a long post in response to something i said in which you seem to address things i've said - make sure you know my beliefs, okay?"

          Okay. I still don't understand the basis for your beliefs though since I can only go by what you've written. And I stand with my main point that it certainly isn't "weak" for someone to want to leave a country to seek another, more conducive place that matches their future plans and lifestyle.

          The diarist's point is that his community is facing continuing oppression and he is concerned for his family. Would you have called the slaves who fled to Canada via the Underground Railroad "weak" for not staying and fighting? How about the Vietnam war draft dodgers? There are many ways to be a good American/citizen. Sometimes, you need to express it from afar where you have the freedom to do so openly, without fear.

          •  asdf (none)
            ok...on the "special", etc i'm glad we got through that mess, 'cause i was lost.

            "How is it wrong? There are numerous ways to help Americans and I don't begrudge my fellow citizens who have the opportunity to use their bucks to move to a place they would rather spend their lives just because I can't. And, let's not forget about the citizens who live in their home country their entire lives and do nothing to help their fellow citizens."

            it's wrong to me, it's my opinion, it's how i feel.  i thought that's what people were expressing.  it's not a universal truth.  yes, people who live here and don't do anything aren't helpful.  never said they weren't and your usage of them in this situation deflects from what i'm saying.  the most good that could be done, in my opinion, is to stay here and fight.  you and the author can disagree with me and that's perfectly acceptible.  but it's how i feel.  if people don't want disagreements to what they think/write/say - they shouldn't talk about them.

            "Nationalism can also be defined as: Devotion to the interests or culture of one's nation. In that context, it seems that you do, in fact, believe in the interests of your nation by saying that if people choose to cut and run they are no longer acting in the interests of all Americans."

            if the author had said, "I'd leave to help people in other countries that need it more, etc," that would be one situation...but when decrying the problems OF america, i felt it important to say that leaving america may not help solve those problems.  i was responding to a discussion about american problems.  doesn't mean that i think our problems are anywhere close to being more important than others - honestly, i think most of america's problems are considerably less important than those of people around the world which is why i'm an avid supporter of the UUSC and not HRC.  my priority lies with clean water and housing and food for all.

            "I think millions of expats who are working to strengthen America would disagree with you there. I know that my local Democrats Abroad group is active in political issues that face all Americans."

            I don't see evidence of what good they're doing - which isn't to say they're not doing good, just that i don't know about it.  unlike most people, i will profess my ignorance about an issue and this is one of those - i don't see their work.  sorry.

            "Would you have called the slaves who fled to Canada via the Underground Railroad "weak" for not staying and fighting? How about the Vietnam war draft dodgers? There are many ways to be a good American/citizen."

            Well first, it's ironic that you would write about my worrying about American interests over others and then you would tie things back to being an American citizen.  We're world citizens, there are world issues - but the diarist wrote about possibly leaving this country and I responded and said that I felt like it would not help fix the problems that were cited.  Your usage of those historical moments is problematic - I mean how often does one ask someone to call runaway slaves weak.  But should they have stayed in the US and helped others that were in that situation?  Yes.  In that one specific situation, canadian freed blacks could house other freed blacks.  So, theoretically, they could have helped just as much so maybe they weren't weak.  Did the draft dodgers that went to Vietnam do so in a self-serving interest?  Yes.  Could they have helped others by staying in America?  Yeah.  Fill up Ft. Leavenworth with a bunch of people unwilling to fight a war and maybe the press could've run that story giving hope to others not wanting to go to the war.  But I can't change the past and it's fairly difficult to discuss what was right and wrong in a situation that's 40 years past.  I can, however, see what's happened in the past and see how it might relate to the current situation and express my views.  :-).

            the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

            by bsmcneil on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 03:58:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Tell that... (none)
          it's weak that they won't help all Americans, especially the ones that would like a better world but don't have the means to leave. it's cut and run, and it's wrong. Tell that to the hundreds of Mexican familes who enter America illegally each day (despite Dubya's best efforts). I don't suppose their "cut-and-run" ideas help Mexico reform to a place where they'd want to be... and it doesn't look like your opinion really stops them.

          "Think for yourselves, and allow others the privilege of doing the same." - Voltaire, "Essay on Tolerance"

          by The Peanut Gallery on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 06:16:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  well... (none)
            if those folks read this blog, they'll hear my views.  :-)

            the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

            by bsmcneil on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 07:00:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  If we compare this to the civil rights movement!! (none)
      If blacks had taken the "suggestion" from many bigots that they go back to Africa -- instead of staying and fighting for their rights as American citizens - where do you think blacks now living here would be today?

      Isn't it a matter of responsibility to your community at large? -- as one that supports gay people and their rights it would be sad if to you, your fight only involved you and not the gay community as a whole - and gay kids then having to grow up in a country even more hateful to gays than it is now.

      I understand and appreciate what you are facing every day - but I pray that you will have the courage to stay.

      ...Release the Hounds

      by sara seattle on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 12:51:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I understand your opinion here (4.00)
        I really do. And you are right to a point.  

        A lot of blacks did leave, there was a mass exodus to the North. They had a place to go and many were brave (or didn't have the resources) and stayed in the South and fought for the movement there.

        I would remain in the US as long as we had a place to go. For example, I'll stay in California.

        But let me ask you this (and those who would say that gay families should stay and fight and remember, i'm not talking of gay individuals necessarily, i'm speaking of families)

        If the laws had changed in this country to a point where your children were about to be taken away from you and you have two choices:

        1. Stay and fight, for the sake of other gay men and women and the future generation of gays and lesbians, and for 'America... but have your children taken from you, your family torn apart, your child forever devastated because they lost their parents and siblings.

        or

        2. Leave and keep your children and spare them the devastation of having their families torn from them.

        which choice would you make?

        At that point, number 2 is the only choice I would see.

        "If you and I think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary" "at least bleeding heart liberals have one"

        by wclathe on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:14:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  what's the difference? (none)
          between individuals and families?  why are you so special because you have a family?  are you that much more important than me, as an individial?

          given your two choices - it's easy to take the second route and hard to take the first.  but the first one, in the widescreen view, is the only way rights progress.  if you leave and let the discrimination continue, it only helps you and your family - and i'm saying that i feel you have a responsibility to the rest of the gay folks.

          the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

          by bsmcneil on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:30:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  eieio (none)
            that's totally ridiculous.  i mean, why on earth do they have a responisibility to all gay people?  that's like saying i have a responsibility to all jewish people, just because i'm jewish.

            personally, if it gets to the point where it is no longer safe to be a gay person in this country, i'll be helping smuggle families out, and then following them.

            the poster has already said that they are staying and fighting, TO A POINT.  they are just trying to determine what that point is.

            •  personally... (none)
              i feel we have a responsibility to help all people because we are all human citizens.  but i was highlighting the fact that there are queer folk in this country that could use the help of queer folk who have already achieved some wealth/standing in society/etc.

              the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

              by bsmcneil on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 02:27:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  eieio (none)
                i am all for helping all other people, even the ones with stupid ideas (damn red states).  

                but there is nothing that the OP said that indicated that they arn't fighting right now or don't intend on continuing to fight.

                •  ieieu (none)
                  i didn't say the person wasn't fighting, and made it a point to ensure i didn't.  merely, in my opinion - which seems to not be valued in this online community - leaving is quitting/not fighting.  disagree with me - that's fine.  disagreements are good.  because you and some other commenters have been civil, i might would change my mind.  but it's when people try to limit discussion and limit views that are different than theirs that i fear fascism.

                  the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

                  by bsmcneil on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 03:44:45 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  leaving is not quitting (none)
                    It's just changing the position you're fighting from. This just isn't as black & white as you make it out to be.

                    "but it's when people try to limit discussion and limit views that are different than theirs that i fear fascism."

                    Interestingly, That's the point of this diarist.

            •  Because you are your brothers keeper -- n/t (none)

              ...Release the Hounds

              by sara seattle on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 09:09:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  you are not getting it. (none)
            I am not saying 'families' are more special.

            I AM saying that the responsibility to my child FAR outweighs my responsibility to anyone one else, gay or straight. I am saying if i was just an individual, i would stay.

            and though "the first one, in the widescreen view, is the only way rights progress." is true...

            my desire and responsibility towards that ends at the life and well-being of my children. Perhaps I'm just not that noble a human being, willing to sacrifice my child's well being or life for the 'greater good'.

            so, this will be the last response from me. As you say, this is now taking away time from things much much more important. We should both go do some work.

            "If you and I think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary" "at least bleeding heart liberals have one"

            by wclathe on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 02:37:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's a parental thing (none)
              I think to fully understand what's involved in making that decision so cut-and-dried, you have to be a parent.

              I love my kids, and I'm tight with my family. I'd take a bullet for them. I'd dive into a raging river to save them. My personal well being is barely a factor, if one at all.

              It's easy for me to say what course of action I'd take if a nightmare scenario like the one suggested arises. There's not even a moment's hesitation before making it. There's plenty of second-thoughting when it comes to the nitty-gritty of the details: where will we go, how will I live, what about those I left behind, etc, but none of it overrides the basic, instinctual premise of a parent protecting his family, specifically the kids, until they can protect themselves.

              It's been implied that doing so is the 'easy' road, and that the people who'd do so are 'selfish'. Hardly. Ease or self-interest aren't even factors in this equation. You're PROTECTING YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR FAMILY. Period.

              If I decided to put my family at risk so that I felt better about helping to rage against 'the man', I WOULD be acting selfish, regardless if I was lauded as a martyr to the cause at some point down the road. I've shouldered many burdens for the ones I love... a little extra guilt for not 'doing everything I could do' would be a small price to pay to know that the more vital imperative has been satisfied: That I've helped protect, nurture and instruct the next generation successfully.

          •  Bs mcneil (none)
            You are being absurd and cruel.  Stop talking, and listen.  
            •  excuse me? (none)
              expressing my views on a forum is absurd and cruel?  explain to me what i've said that is either.  and as long as i have the right to speak, i will - and i challenge you to never wish someone to stop expressing their views.

              the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

              by bsmcneil on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 03:41:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Gah! (none)
            Do you have children? And if so, I wouldn't want to be one of them.

            Is there no threshold of danger, no limit to the risk that you feel a person has to endure to fight the good fight? Are all political refugees simply cowards who should go back where they came from and resume the fight?

            Or is it simply the case that you believe there's no actual risk and therefore you won't concede that there comes a point where you are being irresponsible to those whose well-being are your responsibility?

            Granted, we're not there yet and for many people, far from it. But being gay in the US is getting more dangerous for those with adopted children. And failing to protect children from life-changing disruptions to their families is wrong. And it's too much to ask a parent to put their children at risk.

            Look for a few shades of grey sometime.

      •  this appears as a response to my comment... (none)
        but i'm agreeing with ya.

        the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

        by bsmcneil on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:27:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think many did leave (none)
        Liberia, Boston, NY, Chicago, Canada, England.
        •  Yes many did leave (none)
          -- but it was because of the courage of the ones that stayed and their supporters that the civil rights movement did succeed.

          You have to think of this point -- if gays are not willing to stay and fight for their rights to have rights like everyone else -- why should the rest of us (non-gays) fight for you??

          ...Release the Hounds

          by sara seattle on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:56:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, (none)
            I think most people will stay, and fight, but some will leave simply because they can, and they can find peace of mind, or a job elsewhere.  We are already experiencing a bit of a brain drain because various scientists are in demand elsewhere, so the financial incentive to move, and the ability to research things that are unpopular or underfunded here is too great a draw.  

            When will things become to much to bare?  It is an individual choice.  Some Jews have been down this road, and to think you can stop a freight train once it has cleared its path would be a mistake.

            This article is interesting in that it shows Jews are leaving France due to an increase in hate crimes.

            http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2004-11-22-jews-france_x.htm

          •  what that last question shows (none)
            Sara, I'm afraid you're not getting the main message here, the message of the Niemoller quote.

            If you fight, it's not a fight for someone else. It is a fight for your own rights.

            Some are in a better position to fight than others. Those of us who can fight have a duty to do so, not so much even a duty to others, as a duty to ourselves, if freedom is really important to us for anything besides the most narrowly selfish reasons.

            Oppression of some people is oppression of all of us. If we the people do not fight back against every oppression, whether or not it appears to be directed at us and what we personally would like to do with our freedom, we will lose all our freedoms.

            Just for an example: say you feel you are heterosexual by choice. Fine. Now imagine that heterosexual is the only choice allowed. Now in that case,  you are not really heterosexual by choice any more, are you?

            Do you really want to live in a place where everyone has to pretend they are heterosexual, whether they are or not?

            This is why we all need to fight for equal rights for everyone.

             

            i believe in the neo-cons-piracy theory

            by inclusive on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 03:35:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  generalizing (none)
            "You have to think of this point -- if gays are not willing to stay and fight for their rights to have rights like everyone else -- why should the rest of us (non-gays) fight for you??"

            Is anyone claiming that all gays are leaving? No. So, even if there is only one gay person left and if there are millions more in exile, we non-gays have a responsibility as simple human beings to fight for the rights of anyone who is oppressed.

            It's too easy to dismiss the rights of others when we, as heterosexuals, have no idea what fighting for those rights even begins to entail for gays. They deserve our support.

    •  no, leaving is smart. (none)
      I fight like hell here. Have for a very, very long time, and will so long as I am here. but I hope not to be here for too long. Does that make me weak? So it goes. I've got one life to live and I'm going to live it where it's worth living, in a culture in which I feel comfortable, amidst people whom I can largely respect - unlike the yeller-ribbon totin', flag-wavin' and television-addled narcissists who make up the American majority.

      I don't choose to live in sewers or pigpens, and given my choice, i shan't choose to live in America.

      www.black-thursday.com - because it's not just an inauguration; it's an atrocity.

      by RabidNation on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 05:21:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Spot on (none)
    We are a gay couple, successful and well educated, who coincidentally had our commitment ceremony just a few months prior to yours in 1997.  While we have no children, we have had extensive discussions about "when we would leave" if we felt things were getting too close to home.  We've lived abroad for three years in the '90's, and would do so again if necessary.  The mere fact that we are thinking this way (in our mid forties, no less) is indicative of how quickly things are moving.  Combine this with the coming (potentially devastating) economic crisis (peak oil, dollar crash), and it is concievable that we are in a recipe for a stronger lurch to the right than anyone can even fathom right now.

    I feel exactly as you do regarding the U.S. political slide into fascism.  Please keep your list updated as you can.  It is useful to keep perspective.

    •  thanks for the comment (s), 2 more recommendations (none)
      and I'll have the most I have ever received LOL.

      Yeah, we brought this up with some friends (gay couple with 2 kids) the other day, that we all felt silly thinking it and talking abou it...

      but then realized that just that it came to mind suggests something.

      (belated congrats on your ceremony :)... we lived in Germany for 4 years, still have ties there... )

      "If you and I think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary" "at least bleeding heart liberals have one"

      by wclathe on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 12:43:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Especially because there are so *many* (none)
      reasons to consider leaving. Gay people face all the dangers straight Americans do -- children drafted, a collapsed economy, gutted Social Security, poisoned air and water -- plus the special perils as the Juden of the radical right. There are so many reasons to be afraid, especially if you're middle-aged and want security for your dotage.
  •  I share your concern (4.00)
    As you know, Hitler's rise to power began one small village at a time in the hinterland, among the uneducated and disenfranchised. By the time he was "annointed" in Berlin it was a virtual tidal wave of force and will. The last election made my youngest sister, her partner and numerous  friends legal non-persons in several states. Now I read of the Democratic leadership discussing "lowering the volume" on gay rights and other cowardly moves to appeal to the bigots and religionists who drive the modern GOP and it's divisive agenda. Today as well, the AP happily reports that the Ohio recount is "complete" with the result virtually unchanged (what a shock) - neglecting to mention one word about the Kerry filing, Blackwell's legal duck and cover maneuvers or the allegations of manipulation to subvert the recount process. It seems that at this time in American history the majority of the populace, courts and legislatures are against real freedom, the media is obviously against truth and as I peruse recent diaries, a growing number on this very site appear to be rationalizing their way to being "against" as well, whether they realize it or not. They will only discuss "approved" topics such as posturing and positioning for 2006, name calling those who are concerned with the bedrock issue of subversion of the voting process, slowly diluting what it means to be a Democrat; in essence arguing over which groups and rights to sell-out in a desperate attempt to "win" the next election, acting all the while as if their own world were not crumbling as well... one little piece of freedom at a time.

    Funny to say, I hesitate even now as I write this. Wondering when the enforcers will swoop down to rant and rave, call me a "tin-hat," a "troll" ad nauseum. But that's democracy for you - a little messy as Don Rumsfeld said. And very little in evidence anymore at all...

    "This is how the world ends. Not with a bang but with a whimper."  T.S. Eliot  

    •  Are we spoiled and impatient..? (none)
      I'm not 'swooping down' to call you a troll - but we need to keep our perspective and not panic.

      We've been spoiled in some ways - our progress on GLBT civil rights has been HUGE during my lifetime. Just this year, GLBT folks won offices in local, state and federal seats. The SCOTUS struck down state sodomy laws. There is curently pending litigation on the "eleven ammendments" and other issues.

      But we need to cry wolf a little less -

      The last election made my youngest sister, her partner and numerous  friends legal non-persons in several states.

      I can understand your sentiment, but please look at that statement -  The "eleven Ammendments" were heinous in not allowing gay marriage - or even civil unions.. these were things that we DON'T have anyway! We lost ground on the rate of our progress - That is disheartening and scary - it is getting to be more and more like 1950's America ... but that's a far cry from 1930's Germany and the gas chamber.

      Working with gay youth, one learns that when you can cast things in an overly pessimistic light you can DAMAGE these kids as they grow up.  Thousands of gay youth have bad experiences - this is tragic.  Thousands of others find support in their family and community. If we ignore the positive, we become part of the mechanism of abuse.

      How about, if people are really worried, moving to New York, Massachusettes, Illinois, California or another state w/ strong civil rights for GLBT people, and fighting from there?

      As for me, I'll be part of the "free state" underground railroad getting Kansas GLBT folks to Chicago [or Toronto] before I pick up and leave my country to those fucking bastards.

      Those who fail to learn from history...are invited to submit an application for a position in the Bush administration.

      by Timoteo on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:22:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i really enjoyed your post n/t (none)

        the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. -jane addams

        by bsmcneil on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:31:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You're wrong (none)
        The antigay ballot measures also eliminated private employer health insurance and bereavement leave and stripped gay couples of protections created by contracts, wills and trusts.
        •  Drama, drama, drama.... (none)
          IIRC, ONE state did that.  Each of those ammendments was different. Three talked about gay marriage only. The others were marriage and/or civil unions.. Ohio's was the one that banned everything, but on the same day Cincinnati voters OVERTURNED the city-wide ban on civil rights protections for GLBT people. This does not rise to the level of 11 states declaring GLBT folks 'non-persons'.

          I think it very highly unlikely restrictions on what type of benefits a business can offer to employees will stand constitutional muster. The corporate wing of the GOP will be some of the forces behind the court challenges. [You think coporations are going to let stand THAT type of precedent? Not in a million years... it's one step away from capping CEO salary and stock options based on a public vote!]

          The Right wing ALWAYS does this ... advances crap that will never stand up to a legal challenge as a way to get the 'base' foaming at the mouth.

          This is so much "same old, same old" ... the difference is the RWCM now is playing it up, dancing to the tune of the GOP... and people are 'drinking the kool aid'...

          But fine, run away if that is what makes you happy - the "Chicken Little" routine so many people want to dramatically embrace will do more long term damage than what the Right has currently been able to achieve on their own...

          I've lived throught the periodic panics ever since the mid 1980s - "We'll all be put into camps"  - I've heard it all before.  It's Reagan, it's HIV, it's Jesse Helms and Newt Gingrich all over again.  I don't know about you, but I refuse to live my life as a political football.

          Those who fail to learn from history...are invited to submit an application for a position in the Bush administration.

          by Timoteo on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 02:13:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  hm (none)
            DEMOCRATS in texas ran on a platform that included removing adoption rights from gay people to "save the babies for normal families". Yes, democrats. Gay couples can't adopt in Texas. Only 'singles' can anyway. Facinating. So it means GAY INDIVIDUALS not couples are being stripped of a right. Dramatic? Hm.

            And 1st on the agenda of the Texas legislature is a.)banning gay marraige/civil unions and b.) requiring het couples to go to mandatory counseling if they want a divorce.

            Yeah, it's a little dramatic.

            •  And that position... (none)
              ...CERTAINLY helped the Texas Dems sweep state elections ..

              Oh, wait ...

              So we use one of the worst states in the union to exemplify the status of civil rights for GLBT folks nationally - and then there is this tidbit:

              DALLAS, Nov. 9 -- Lupe Valdez is a woman, a Hispanic, a Democrat and a lesbian -- and, come Jan. 1, she's entering the ranks of Texas good ol' boys. Valdez is becoming Sheriff Lupe.

              Any one description -- female, Latina, Democrat and openly gay -- would have qualified Valdez's election as Dallas County sheriff for the local history books. But all four?

              All I am saying is that the GLBT community can do what too many of us do all too often when faced with strong oposition - we can indulge in escapism.  Back into the closet, into the denial-land of discos, drugs and alcohol, or flee to Canada as some type of "Promised Land" [as if Canada would be safe if the US economy tanked and/or the US became the next Nazi-Fascist-Theocracy state].

              Or we can tough it out like those who have earned us the civil rights that we do now enjoy.

              If people leave because their kids are threatened by the govt - I can see that. It's a special, specific circumstance. The rest of us need to have some spine.

              Those who fail to learn from history...are invited to submit an application for a position in the Bush administration.

              by Timoteo on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 04:23:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Spoiled? (none)
        Maybe. I started marching with my parents in the 60s. I've seen some of the good stuff up close. The inspirational text then was "Liberty and Justice for ALL," and for me it still is. Impatient? You have no idea.  
  •  Just to add a bit of perspective, (4.00)
    there has always been a wide gulf between the way the United States portrays itself and the way it really is. 150 years ago the gulf was much, much wider than it is now, though it's still wide. Keep in mind that it's been less than 50 years since the Voting Rights Act, and many are still uncomfortable with the idea that those Americans who have long been fodder for our factories and military adventures have exactly the same rights as everyone else. There's always been a powerful antidemocratic strain in this country, and from time to time it makes itself felt.

    To be sure, there are real dangers: the infrastructure of the liberal society built over the past 70 years or so is being systematically assaulted, there's still a great deal of intolerance and bigotry (though much less than when I was a child), and for some reason our administrations have shown no evidence of having learned even the most basic lessons from the collapse of European colonialism. But my own sense is that, in fits and starts, the country's gradually improving life for its own citizens. (Not nearly as much as I'd like, and not nearly as fairly as it ought, but improving for all that.)

    So I wouldn't worry just yet about the water around us frogs getting too hot. 50 years ago gay people were essentially invisible, and it was readily accepted in polite society that homosexuality was a form of perversion. Nowadays, the country is wriggling around, trying to get comfortable with the idea of openly gay people marrying one another. We're not where we ought to be, of course, but I'd call where we are progress.

    I realize that this may be small comfort for you, especially now that voting majorities in so many states have more or less openly declared their fear and loathing of gay people. But the fact that we're having these discussions means there are many millions of people in your corner.

    •  thanks, very true. (none)
      and i appreciate the reality check to my occasional paranoid moments

      there has been huge progress in the last 50 years, much of it in my adulthood as i wrote. And you are right, there are millions in my corner (and thankful for that)

      "If you and I think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary" "at least bleeding heart liberals have one"

      by wclathe on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:21:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The debate is very legitimate imo. (none)
      Should we realistically fear coming darkness marked by theocratic-fascist reprisals and/or autocratic-corporate control; or should we maintain cautious faith in the fundemental good of Americans and view the present state of affairs as mere bumps in a generally positive historical continuum?

      Personally, I am not particularly optimistic. Very bad signs include: The demise of a truly independent MSM; the self-absorbed, unengaged, unquestioning, and politically docile attitudes of the majority of the general public; and the rise of intolerance and murderous partisanship on the political right.

      On the other hand, if history is indeed a guide, the 2006 or 2008 elections could very well mark a swing in the electoral pendulum back in our direction. There aren't, unfortunately, any particular signs of such a swing that I can see at this moment.

      In thinking about this excellent diary and the apprehensive concerns of gays, I wondered whether a significant factor to consider or watch in the future might be documented hate crime incidents based on sexual orientation. So I looked quickly and discovered - rather surprisingly - there does not seem to have been not significantly increasing hate crime incidents aginst homosexuals from 2000 - 2003; at least according to the FBI's reports pursuant to the Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990. See,
      http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_03/pdf/03sec2.pdf ; http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel03/02hcpress.htm ; http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel02/01factsheethc.htm ; and http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_00/hate00.pdf

      Still, in 2003, there were 1479 hate crime victims (more than 16 percent of the total) who were targeted based on sexual orientation bias. This is perhaps less than catastrophic but nevertheless pretty appalling in my view.

      [Apologies for the absence of proper links. I am very technologically inept.]

      •  Interesting points. You write: (none)
        Should we realistically fear coming darkness marked by theocratic-fascist reprisals and/or autocratic-corporate control; or should we maintain cautious faith in the fundemental good of Americans and view the present state of affairs as mere bumps in a generally positive historical continuum?

        Three remarks:

        1. Perhaps you weren't suggesting I was, but to be clear, I wasn't claiming that the issues raised by wclathe were unworthy of discussion. (To the contrary, in fact.)

        2. Just to be persnickety: autocratic-corporate control is a very different thing from a theocratic-fascist reprisal, and the two may have very different consequences for the well-being of gay people in particular. The latter would have much worse immediate consequences.

        3. I'm taking a rather long view of things. Things took noticeably bad turns for the worse at various times in our recent history, involving events that make Bush &co. seem benign by comparison. For example, I am old enough to remember J. Edgar Hoover, who was a bit like John Ashcroft on steroids, only much, much more dangerous.
        •  Thanks Adam. (none)
          (1) I was agreeing with you - very worthy of discussion / debate.
          (2) Correct, very different, and both very concerning, to gays and everyone else too who supports democracy.
          (3) Maybe you're on track with a long view. Historically, of course, these things have swung back and forth while maintaining a steady advance. Personally, however, my hope for the future of our democracy is not so steadfast at this particular moment. Hate to be a nervous nelly, but damn! its scary times.
  •  I'll give this country two years... (none)
    if liberal activists don't make significant progress in two years, and I realize progress can be defined in many different ways, then there will be a turn for the worse, wether timed with the 2006 election or another terrorist attack.

    Two years and we'll know wether we're going to hell in a hand basket.

    •  The Canary in That Particular Mine Is (none)
      the Supreme Court.

      When the Repubs go "nuclear" by ending Senate minority fillibusters on appointments, it's probably time for sensitive populations to begin exploring emmigration. This can take a while so it's best to err on the safe side.

      One of the more helpful tactics is to be able to bring sustainable self-employment into a destination country if you don't have a high-demand occupation.

      When the Court balance shifts to permit ruling basic liberal policies unConstitutional--or certainly when the first such major decision is announced--it's time to file papers.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 02:33:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One Interesting point (none)
    Howard Dean wrote this piece in the Boston Globe about how in Spring of 2000, the Vermont Civil Union battle was a huge deal, and now they wonder: what was all the fuss was about?

    Here's a quote:

    "Although a majority of Vermonters opposed the bill when I signed it, that is no longer true today."

    What this goes to show is that one courageous leader, in that case Dean, can lead people down the road that looks like conflict at first, but leads to acceptance eventually. I cling to this hope.

    Maybe this isn't a fair "Litmus Test", but it certainly divides the field into those who will take a risk and stand for equal rights, and those who don't.

    •  Good point (none)
      And look how conservative Vermont used to be. I was struck recently when watching White Christmas (with Bing Crosby and Danny Kay), which came out in 1954, exactly 50 years ago. The characters are trying to think of something to bring business to a ski lodge with no snow and Bing Crosby's character says, "We need something they've never seen before." Kay responds, "Like a Democrat. No, nevermind, they'd shoot you." (Actualy Crosby may have said the last part.) I laughed because now we just automatically count Vermont in the blue collumn (though I know there are still Republican holdovers too).

      I think that while currently things are looking dim, if you take a broader perspective on the subject we have made a lot of progress. Even four years ago you couldn't find a presidential candidate seriously talking about gay marriage rights and this year even Bush had to imply that he might be open to civil unions.

      Of course the way thinks have been going aren't encouraging, but it's good to keep in mind that a much larger percentage of younger generation belivies in equal rights for gays/lesbians than the older generation. I'd site a poll, but I'm lazy. Instead I'll just relate a tidbit from my local town where our mayor decided o marry 25 gay couples around noon on a Friday, on a school day. A large number of high school kids skipped school to come out and watch and show support. It was great. (Keep in mind, very liberal town, but still.)

      "Take back the new millenium!" - Dan Bern

      by iambaytor on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 07:39:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  NPR quibble... (none)
    Not to detract from your excellent diary (and I strongly believe we should give no ground on gay rights)...  The Sedaris story was played twice on my NPR affiliate (in Central NY, on a station that elbows  for space with a Christian radio station) on This American Life, including the Snowball flirtation section.

    One of the comments under the link you provided said

    "On Saturday, December 25th, MT said:

    The version of the Santaland Diaries that was run on Morning Edition was always much, much shorter than the original text. In the 32-minute long version that aired on This American Life, Ira Glass begins the segment by saying:

    "The Morning Edition version of the Santaland Diaries ran only eight and a half minutes because of the format of Morning Edition, but here, here we have the time to stretch out, and play something that's much closer to David's original text."

    And while it is closer, even the 32-minute version of the story leaves out quite a bit of material that was in the original text.

    So this isn't some vast right-wing conspiracy. I am a huge fan of David's. I'm sure he'd be laughing at the ridiculousness of people getting up in arms over one of his stories being edited for time over ten years ago.

    About 5 minutes worth of fact-checking could have confirmed this."

    •  thanks for the fact check (none)
      I'll take that link off (hadn't read the comments lately)

      "If you and I think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary" "at least bleeding heart liberals have one"

      by wclathe on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 01:56:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, thank MT, I just read down a little ways! (none)
        •  actually, when i first read that link that comment (none)
          was not there.

          and now reading all the comments and the updates on that link, it seems neither innocent (MT's factcheck was fact checked :) nor nefarious, so I'm taking the link off anyway.

          "If you and I think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary" "at least bleeding heart liberals have one"

          by wclathe on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 02:39:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I heard the broadcast (none)
      on the 25th.  I also was pleased to hear the story in it's entirity.  But as I did a little research, though Ira Glass is broadcast on NPR, it is produced  by PRI not NPR.

      In my mind the debate about NPR isn't really over.

  •  You are my canary, I'm afraid.... (none)
    I am watching what happens to the heat level on gay families--first, because it is wrong and we need to stop it, and second--because it will tell us what direction this country will go.  I agree that the first impacts of the fundies will be to you.

    I really just cannot understand their fixation with what happens in your bedroom.  I don't spend a single MILLISECOND of my time thinking about what Jerry Falwell, or Pat Robertson, or similar nutcases, are doing in their bedrooms!  

    But it certainly isn't just sex--because I know they are coming after me when they are done with you.  I'm a secular, feminist, evolution-spouting hetero.  And I don't fit in their world either.  

  •  Stay and fight. (none)
    If you die, you die.  But at least you will have had an honorable death, fighting for truth and liberty.  

    When the revolution comes, Republicans will be a good source of protein.

    by Delaware Dem on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 02:06:05 PM PST

    •  That's very nice to say... (none)
      But I grew up hearing European Jews getting bashed for just laying there and taking it when the Nazis came to town.

      My grandparents got out.  Their families didn't.  Guess who lived.

      Of course he's written in the Lamb's Book of Life. He's the Antagonist.

      by ultrageek on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 02:07:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, your family survived (none)
        but a lot of allied soldiers died fighting for the freedom of the people of Europe.

        I know what you are saying - I feel your pain - and in the end everyone will have to do what they in they heart feel they must do for their families -- but consider what would have happened if the allies had not come.

        In the United States - who will come in to save the gay kids after you have left? - what hope is left for them, especially if they feel they were not worth saving.

        ...Release the Hounds

        by sara seattle on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 03:30:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  and some of those soldiers (none)
          were Jewish. If their parents (my grandparents & others of their generation) hadn't recognized when to stay & fight vs. when to go, my father, my uncles & their friends wouldn't have existed to fight in the US Army in WW 2, and I'd never have been born.

          Although I, too, believe American soldiers were "fighting for the freedom of the people of Europe" and, more importantly, the soldiers themselves felt that way, the US didn't enter the war until we'd been attacked. They were fighting, first and foremost, for our freedom.

          I plan to stay and fight as long as I can. I just hope my instincts & timing are as sound as my grandparents' were; there is such a thing as "government in exile".

          And thanks to the diarist for his courage and his willingness to be a canary. I'll be listening.

          As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

          by sidnora on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 05:41:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  he didn't say just lay there and take it (none)
        He said to stand and fight.

        "Politics is at its best when we create and inspire a sense of community." - Howard Dean

        by galiel on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 04:28:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Like the Jews in the Ghetto fought? (none)
          Like the Jews who took the gold from their teeth to buy guns to fight?

          It's a lot easier to fight from the underground in France or Greece than it is to fight from Dacchau or Auschwitz.

          Of course he's written in the Lamb's Book of Life. He's the Antagonist.

          by ultrageek on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 10:35:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, sure (none)
            those who flee are only leaving so they can heroically rally The Resistance on foreign shores, eh?

            Sure.

            "Politics is at its best when we create and inspire a sense of community." - Howard Dean

            by galiel on Fri Dec 31, 2004 at 12:14:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  yep, i can die, no problem. It'd be honorable. (none)
      wouldn't feel so honorable if i let my child die 'fighting for truth and liberty' though.

      (caveat... not that i think it even REMOTELY close to that, not even close. Talk of death camps and holocausts is premature.. just talking canaries here :)

      "If you and I think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary" "at least bleeding heart liberals have one"

      by wclathe on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 02:20:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Define "honorable" n/t (none)
  •  You're not alone (none)
    I grew up in a Jewish family where all four of my grandparents lost siblings and parents in the Camps.  I was taught to watch and watch carefully.  

    I've been increasingly alarmed by the shift rightwards.  My wife (or partner, depending on whether you look at Jewish marriages as being real, or if it's conditional, like if you're straight and Jewish) and I have been talking about if and when to sell our house, pack up our businesses and head up North where the State will allow us to live as married folks.

    Lately, it's been a lot more when than if.  

    Good luck to you and your family, and please let us know what you decide (when, that is, or if).

    Of course he's written in the Lamb's Book of Life. He's the Antagonist.

    by ultrageek on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 02:06:45 PM PST

    •  Word (none)
      I was also raised with that mentality. There has always been an awareness in me from when I was young, that I shouldn't be too suprised if I'm woken up one night and told we have to leave asap.

      I've been pretty alarmed lately too. After the election my mother thought I was over reacting and I pointed out that 11 states had passed gay marriage bans. She didn't understand why I would be worried about this since I'm not gay, until I pointed out that aside from it affecting my friends, it was also a beginning of infringements on individaul rights, creating a second class, etc. (Well ok, furthering the pre-existing second class.) I think she got it eventually.

      "Take back the new millenium!" - Dan Bern

      by iambaytor on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 07:46:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  True Threat Potential Varies All Over the Map (none)
    On the optimistic side, seeing the great amount of power this Admin has achieved with an array of loose control (in many cases simple influence) over law, economy and culture, perhaps dictatorships no longer need old-time brutal forms of oppression.

    In other words, maybe they just want to be in charge, maybe they don't intend to hurt us too badly.

    On the pessimistic side, society is well along acquiring the powers to exterminate, change and create life, including our own species design. And it's only a matter of time till the economy will be technologically able to dispense with human labor for most every task.

    There is real potential coming for much of the population to be left behind, actively driven out of the economy, or worse. Trends we've been seeing for decades could mean that we're already moving down a road that has no obvious end.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 02:22:54 PM PST

  •  How hot is too hot? (none)
    Well, for one thing, I am not gay, I have a family, and we have provisional plans, "just in case"  We have taken steps to secure some cash in our accounts.  On one hand it seems so remote as to be laughable, much like my friends who prepared for the worst for Y2K, I thought they were nuts. I hope to breathe a sigh of relief one day, that someone with strength, integrity, and courage will step up to the plate for America, and bring us back toward the middle, but I cannot count on that.  

    On the hand, as to canaries and frogs, how will we know when to leave?  Every day brings a new revelation, something to cause some alarm, suspicion, and if you venture over to the conservative websites,  you get a huge dose of hostility against "liberals", academics, homosexuals, pro-choice people, single moms, as well as the rest of the usual suspects, Jews, Muslims, and Blacks.  

    For many, it already has become unbearable, depression, and anxiety post-election was debilitating for many people.  People have left their jobs, their careers out of frustration.  Other have been pushed out of job markets, Muslims have been asked to register with the government, we have a concentration camp for foreign combatants in Guantanamo, Michelle Malkin thinks we should inter Muslims, and  Democrats in red states meet in privacy.  

    We have come a long way, and this may be conservatism's last hurrah. However, we should not cast a blind eye on other regimes, in other times, where fundamentalism has taken hold, where fascism has roots, where wild swings of ideology mark the political landscape.

    •  subtlety (none)
      I agree that it must be very difficult to examine the subtleties and even the not so subtle happenings each day in order to determine when enough is enough. At the same time, people can't live in denial. It's a very fine balance. Everyone has their breaking point and worries that they'll wait until they've passed the point of no return.

      I think it's important to decide exactly what that point of no return is for you and this diarist has chosen the safety and security of his children as that line. That's wise, imho.

  •  The canary's not dead . . . (none)
    He's just sleeping!  

    with appologies ;)  

  •  I'm not sure I understand (none)
    this "duty" to stay behind and fight a losing battle. Unless you immigrated to America, your citizenship is wholly an accident of fate. You could have been born anywhere, but you were born here. Why should anyone feel loyalty to blind chance? You have to decide what's best for you and your family and go where your ideals are best preserved, period.
    •  You are certainly not a liberal (none)
      sounds like you'd feel more at home on the other side, where it is all about getting yours and looking out for your own at the expense of everyone else.

      The reason to stay behind is that you owe something to the community whose benefits you enjoyed.

      How is your rationale any different that those corporate heads who move their headquarters offshore to avoid paying taxes in this country, or from Walmart forcing companies to close shop in the US and open factories in China?

      How is your rationale any different than the rich fucks who say they earned the money, so they should benefit from the tax cuts?

      How if your rationale any different than anything the Right says?

      With freedom comes responsibility. I know "responsibility" and "civic duty" are dirty words in the "gimme gimme" America of "The Apprentice", but you should think twice about the moral, philosophical and political implications of what you say.

      go where your ideals are best preserved, period

      Lucky for you people died to give you the opportunity to have that freedom. Lucky not all Americans have been so historically selfish, venal and callous.

      "Politics is at its best when we create and inspire a sense of community." - Howard Dean

      by galiel on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 04:23:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  what horseshit. (none)
        "How is your rationale any different that those corporate heads who move their headquarters offshore to avoid paying taxes in this country, or from Walmart forcing companies to close shop in the US and open factories in China?"

        Well, as if it's not completely fucking obvious, I'll parse it for you.

        NO ONE is threatening to kill all of the corporate heads, or burn down all the Walmarts. They just want more money. This, on the other hand, is not a "grass is greener" situation; it's about not sitting around and being shit on. S'pose you think all those southern lynching victims should've "fought" the Night Riders? See: John Brown. Yeah, the klan was defanged...AFTER A CENTURY. Some of us don't have quite that long to wait.

        "Lucky for you people died to give you the opportunity to have that freedom. Lucky not all Americans have been so historically selfish, venal and callous."

        Hmm. Here you rain down a hail of insults upon someone you've never even met, tarring them with a variety of ostracizing rhetorical brushes. Sounds...gee, awfully Goebbelsesque of you. And you wonder why people wanna leave. Getting away from assholes is a perfectly acceptable reason.

        www.black-thursday.com - because it's not just an inauguration; it's an atrocity.

        by RabidNation on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 05:31:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then leave (none)
          Just stop whining and let the rest of us fight the good fight. We'll cover your retreat.

          "Politics is at its best when we create and inspire a sense of community." - Howard Dean

          by galiel on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 06:39:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  very well said (none)

          We all have only finite lifetimes. We can't squander  them in lost causes. Mind you, I'm not saying that America is a lost cause -- yet. But when, as the topic of this thread refers, that time is near, and staying would only result in imprisonment or death, then I think you owe it to your community to escape so you carry on the ideals fostered in that community elsewhere. Just MHO.
  •  If your reaction to the coming darknesst (none)
    Is to turn tail and run and make sure you and yours are taken care of, and leave the rest of America--most of whom are not fortunate to have that financial option--to rot, then don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out. Don't even wait, just leave now.

    The rest of us will stay and fight the good fight, so that it will someday once again be nice and cozy enough for you to come back and enjoy the freedom we fought for.

    Bye.

    "Politics is at its best when we create and inspire a sense of community." - Howard Dean

    by galiel on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 04:18:23 PM PST

    •  missed the point and tone of the post? (none)
      because it definitely appears you did.

      "If you and I think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary" "at least bleeding heart liberals have one"

      by wclathe on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 04:42:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please explain to me (none)
      in explicit detail what you mean by "fight the good fight."

      I hear that over and over again on dailyKos, and for once I wish everyone who says that would say what the hell they mean.

      Do you mean armed revolution?  Do you mean violent overthrow of the government?  Are you talking about Weathermen-style action and running from the FBI for most of your life?  Because everyone says the "fight" stuff with such drama:

      "You can run, and you're a real wimp, because you aren't fighting the good fight.  Goodbye, good riddance... I'm off to buy my copy of the Anarchist Cookbook and an AR-15.  Got plans for my bunker, too."

      etc. etc.

      So please explain.

      I want details, plans, point by point.

      What are you going to do?

      Tell us.

      We want to know.

      Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. -- Marie Sklodowska Curie

      by Page van der Linden on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 05:08:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can't reply for others... (none)
        .. but I can reply for myself.

        (1) I have a network of family and in-laws who will not want to see me and my partner marginalized or hurt. I am making them aware of what is going on, and my fear that perhaps things are going to get worse.   Unlike Nazi Germany, the GLBT community permeates the majority of american families.

        Of course, to do this, you have to be 'out' to your family ... and willing to confront them if they don't like your being 'out'. It's part of the work that makes social change.  IF most of us do that, the "New Theocracy" would have to round up something like 33% - 50% of the population to 'solve the gay problem'... makes it a bit harder.

        (2) I am not giving ANY of my dollars to any corp or institution that is not supportive of the community - and I am letting them know why.  It will be hard -- I have to do the research, give up some things I like, but it's part of the work. IF all GLBT people did that, our economic powere would put a stop to this quite quickly.

        (3) I am becoming MORE involved with my local community, and church, as a gay man.  My partner and I are going to volunteer with a GLBT youth org.  I go to city council meetings and MENTION that I am one of the gay constutients. To do this, one must either live in an area that is tolerant enough already, or be willing to fight in a community that is NOT tolerant.  Staying in a non-tolerant bedroom community and shutting oneself inside the house won't do the trick.  

        (4) every letter to a politician, and every donation to a politician or political cause, will MENTION that I am a gay supporter. They will know where that dollar came from.

        Hate to go old-school, but in the late 1980s, with AIDS and all, people had to get down, and dirty and fight.  Very few of us 'fled' to rural areas less impacted by HIV, or to Canada for the superior medical system.  And people actually WERE dying at the time.  We stood up and FORCED people - and Governments - to notice us and RESPOND.

        Silence=Death.  Running Away = Silence.

        Those who fail to learn from history...are invited to submit an application for a position in the Bush administration.

        by Timoteo on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 06:25:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for responding intelligently. (none)
          And obviously with sincerity.

          Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. -- Marie Sklodowska Curie

          by Page van der Linden on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 07:56:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  yes, it was good to see a thoughtful reply, and (none)
          the thing is, my partner and I do all these things and more.

          We are out to all our families, friends, church and strangers.

          We are active in at least three advocacy groups (not just money, time and effort).

          We are very active in our local party.

          We write our letters to our politicians and newspapers and there is no mistake, they know we are gay and a family.

          We have spent the last 20 years fighting in the battle against AIDS, in the front lines in the struggle for gays and lesbians in our church.

          We have marched and protested.

          And the fact of the matter is, we will continue to do so.

          But there is a point where we can not do that any longer. That is the day the government decides to take our children. I don't think that point will ever come, but if it did, no amount of pleading and asking me and my partner to consider the plight of those left behind will change our minds. It's a fact. My child's safety takes precedence over ALL others.

          And that was the point of this entry, it was not a 'I'm leaving' or 'We should leave' rant. It was not about the argument whether it iss better to go or stay and 'fight the good fight'.

          It was about a matter of fact: that thousands of gay families will leave the country when they feel their children are truly threatened and that is the time you should take notice.  It's not suggesting you should leave, its not suggesting that you shouldn't stay and struggle against fascism. It's just saying that will be the first sign that is really getting bad.

          "If you and I think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary" "at least bleeding heart liberals have one"

          by wclathe on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 09:01:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You have a narrow understanding (none)
        of the concept of "fighting" for one's rights. Your only understanding seems to be violence and armed struggle. And you seem to equate resolve with aggression. That is not my understanding nor my intent, and my writings to date on this site are not consistent with your violent vision. Unlike, I suspect, you, I have actually experienced violent conflict. It is nothing to look forward to.  

        And the "details" plaint is just bullshit. We are talking here about folks saying, "let's test the wind, and when things get rough, I'm running", vs. people who feel a responsibility to stay and stand up for freedom. The details don't matter much for those who advocate running away, do they?

        What do you think this site is all about? Violent revolution? Is that the only alternative you see to running away? Then I feel sad for your limited vision, and suggest you pick up a copy of "The Unconquerable World" by Jonathan Schell, and "A Force More Powerful" by Peter Ackerman and Jack Duvall.

        Or, you could just read up on a guy named Martin Luther King.

        Of course, Plutonium, I know perfectly well that you know all about that, and you know perfectly well that I am not advocating violent revolution. You are just deliberately trolling for a flame war.

        "Politics is at its best when we create and inspire a sense of community." - Howard Dean

        by galiel on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 06:47:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am trolling for a flame war? (none)
          I am laughing my ass off.

          You're hilarious.

          Thanks, I needed that.

          Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. -- Marie Sklodowska Curie

          by Page van der Linden on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 07:48:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I note (none)
      some of the same distinct TROLL behavior here that I've seen from you elsewhere, Galliel.

      Sure you didn't wander in here by accident en route to LGF?

      www.black-thursday.com - because it's not just an inauguration; it's an atrocity.

      by RabidNation on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 05:33:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My gay friend, I fear for thee (none)
    My best friend is gay.  We both grew up in rural Missouri and went to college in nearby Kansas.  We both had religious upbringing (him a little bit more than me) and were for the most part "clean cut" kids.  We rarely drank, never did drugs and (at least through high school) said we would "save ourselves" for our future brides.  Shortly after college, he married his high school sweetheart (a woman) and moved to the East Coast.  I went the other way and came to Los Angeles.

    About two years later, I learned that he had divorced his wife because she admitted to cheating on him.  For the next two years, whenever I spoke to him, we seemed extremely depressed and pessimistic about life in general.  He found a great job in big Midwest city and moved back there, but that did not seem to change his attitude.  In the summer of 2002, he finally called to tell me that he was gay.  This was something that he had recently realized himself.  

    For the next year or so following that announcement, he seemed as happy as I had ever seen him.  Admittedly, I initially had those typical machismo (if not slightly homophobic) reservations that one may have when he learns his best friend is gay.  Once I told myself to get over it, I was actually happy that my friend had "found himself" and felt comfortable in his new skin.

    But things have changed for him.  In the past year and a half, he has slowly become more like that depressed post-divorce individual.  He seems confused again about his identity and his place in society.  He has a lot of gay and straight friends that live in his city that know he is gay and are comfortable about that.  However, his family still does not know the truth about him, nor does anyone else from our hometown, and he tells me he feels more and more disconnected from his family and hometown every time he visits.

    He says members of his family often make statements that are derogatory towards gays.  He always wants to say something, but is afraid.  He loves his family and thinks they will disown him if they know the truth.  He says that he can tell that the anti-gay sentiment in the Midwest is increasing, but again he is afraid to do anything about it.  I have tried to explain to him the role that politics plays in this trend, but he refuses to believe me.  He is apathetic when it comes to politics or social activism.

    He is still sympathetic to the Christian right, because he believes that they have the best intentions.  He has always walked the fence on abortion rights, but now appears to be mostly anti-abortion.

    He supports the war in Iraq, although he can't explain why we are over there.  In the early '90s, when Bush Sr. sent troops to Iraq, he was enraged because the war was "all about oil."  When I try to point out to him that the same thing is happening now, he refuses to acknowledge that.  I told him he should see "Farenheit 9/11" and he called Michael Moore a "propagandist."  

    He is not registered to vote.  He did not like John Kerry.  He said he had "no opinion" of George Bush.  He hated Nader.  He says he does not think the world will end if gays aren't allowed to marry (although he did march in a gay rights parade).

    This actually is not too different from the way many Americans operate.  They support Bush and his cronies because they think that Bush has their best interests in mind.  They think they are safer with him in office, although they cannot point to any reason why they should feel that way.  When the media and the church tells them that voting Republican will make society better, they comply without question.

    I fear that by his own inaction and apathy, my friend will be the result of his own downfall.  If the attitude of heterosexual America does not change, my friend will most likely fall into an even deeper depression and a bigger identity crisis, and I worry about what that may lead to.

    Signature goes here.

    by lalawguy on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 05:06:43 PM PST

  •  Don't Go - and Don't Forget. (none)
    We are Canaries too.  And We, that is collectively - all of us who are not fearful Republican Fundamentalists are the majority.  I can't stress this enough.  

    The Bullshit attempt at shining a spotlight on gay issues, and pretending they're some big social problem for everybody is merely a ploy to distract an uneducated, non-reading, population from a more obvious truth.  They're being bilked out of everything, oh, and by the way we're having a war.

    I live in Chelsea, Manhattan, NY.  This is the gay epicenter of NYC.  I'm a Jewish guy, I live with my Korean girlfriend.  Alot of these same people who find it objectionable that gay couples adopt kids, would find us objectionable too.  They would find my Indian neighbors disagreeable too.  Ya know what, fuck them.  We buy the goods they make, I don't see them refusing the money.  They will certainly bitch and moan when they realize they're out of a job - and it ain't because a couple of lesbians adopted a vietnamese kid!

    When they grieve enough, after their sons are dead in an indefensable war, maybe they'll learn.  If they don't, well, we are the majority - I don't think they'll be so anxious to fight a civil war against us.  Not with the amount of credit card debt they have.

    Soon it will be clear.  Try to destroy American Gays, Jews, Muslims, etc. and you destroy yourselves.  I don't think they have the stomach for it - and they sure as hell don't have the brains.

  •  open-minded? (none)
    For a group that is supposedly "open-minded" there sure is a lot of judgement in these posts.

    I don't know any of you, what you have been through, family history, etc and you don't know mine.  Everyone sees the world from their own viewpoint based on their past experiences and makes decisions based on those experiences.  We do NOT have to justify our decisions to anyone.  

    When I read all the bickering and nastiness it really made me wonder whether the people here are really the ones I want fighting next to me.  It sounds like most would rather shoot at each other.

  •  If I ever leave (none)
    Becoming an expatriate is not an option that I would consider lightly. On the one hand, I want to stay and fight the Republican crypto-fascist agenda for as long as possible. At the moment,I have the resources and the will to do so. Living in a blue state, I don't feel particularly threatened, at least not now.

    But if the United States government were ever to take certain actions, such as unilaterally invading Iran or North Korea, or forcing all Arab-Americans into internment camps, I would not hesitate to board the next flight to Toronto or Auckland.

    •  The US will be invading Iran next autumn (none)
      Or maybe late summer.  The plans are already being laid at the top.  Short of a Bush meltdown or the collapse of the US Army in combat, I don't know of anything that could stop it.  Unless Iran gets nuclear weapons by then--(that's their deadline for acquiring them).

      Yes, it will be bad.  It might even be worse than Iraq.  But is Iran really a trip-wire for you?  

  •  One more thing (none)
    Establishing permanent residency in another country is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. And I say this as someone who has advocated leaving if conditions get bad enough.

    Comparatively speaking, Canada is probably the easiest country for Americans to move to (I'm close to qualifying for residency there right now), but even that move involves jumping through a fair amount of bureaucratic hurdles. New Zealand and Ireland are other possibilities, if you have work experience in high-tech or medical industries. But beyond that, good luck, unless you happen to be either a registered nurse or married to someone who is a citizen of the country you intend to move to.

    •  heck (none)
      I think by the time i felt it was time to leave we'd be eligible for political assylum :)

      we ain't leaving any time soon.

      "If you and I think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary" "at least bleeding heart liberals have one"

      by wclathe on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 09:04:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope you're right about that (none)
        because my husband and I(age 50+) are not currently considered desirable emigrants  by any of the beautiful countries we've been discussing.

        And we're not ready to go yet, either. But one of the few pleasant surprises I've had since Nov. 2 is how many of my friends and political associates who were walking around saying, "If Bush wins, I'm leaving", and who were in positions to do so if they chose, are more energized and determined to fight than ever.

        I'd also like to recommend, for those who might like some acute psychological insight into how ordinary people might behave if the situation continues to deteriorate, "The Plot Against America" by Philip Roth.

        And thanks for posting this diary; an important topic that has called forth some challenging thoughts.

        As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

        by sidnora on Wed Dec 29, 2004 at 06:14:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  New Zealand is Beautiful (none)
    So is British Columbia.

    But you can't flee Rome in the time of empire. Rome is mindlessly preparing to destroy to ecosystems and economies of the entire planet earth. And I don't mean Rome, for you allegorically challenged.

    Best to stay and give them trouble, like the French Underground gave the Vichy Nazis. In fact, there is no place to hide. It is our time to fight the good fight, trite as that sounds. We will have the kids and the truth on our side, so I'm optimistic.

    We the undersigned urge you to support Federal funding for research using human pluripotent stem cells. -80 Nobel Laureates to Pres. Bush

    by easong on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 06:50:57 PM PST

  •  Fleeing and Liberalism (none)
    The conservatives like to frame every argument that hurts them in terms of the Individual and the Immediate. But they frame every argument that hurts others in terms of statistics and eventualities.

    Deporting entire employment sectors? Pension fund collapses? The statistical "economy" will recover and "standards of living" will rise. Very plural, and eventually.

    One reason we have liberalism is because we recognize that individual life is very fleeting and fragile. We want the government to protect the vulnerable and help nurture the weak because individually they have so very little time. If your pension fund crashes when you're 60, you're going to work till you're blind, deaf and immobile. Same-same for a great many of us age-sized around age 50.

    Well emmigration is the same problem. Yes the "nation" needs us to fight but the fact is that individuals and families are extremely sensitive to short term circumstances that can do them irreperable harm.

    We liberals base our social justice policies on these vulnerabilities so we must understand the possible need to flee in the same terms.

    5-10 more years after age 50--or any time you develop a serious illness--and "You're here forever" as Monty Burns' humiliating office sign read. A great many of our ancestors who helped build American liberalism came here having had to make similar time-compressed choices.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Dec 28, 2004 at 07:58:35 PM PST

  •  Re: Considering Leaving America (none)
    What is most frustrating is the limp reply to GOP control by many mainstream democrats.  Whether dems have enough power to deny the appointment of Torture Boy Alberto as AG or not, they must present a strong front of dissent; if not, then at what point will they speak up?  Privitizing Social Security?  Doing away with Sentate filibuster rules?  Becoming so impotent as to be irrelevant, ergo, Rove's wish of a one-party State coming true?

    I will stay and fight but I ask if everything in vain if there is no strong opposition party?  It saddens me that if I'm being totally honest, yes, I admit to considering leaving the country because my faxes, calls, petitions to my Democratic Senators have not stopped the Buschco agenda.

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