"Oh God, here comes that aging hippie liberal d**che, we better get out of here before we have to hear his bitching." - Cartman - South Park
Thomas P ONeill has been a Tucson resident for 6 years, retiring here in order to be close to family. He was awarded the nickname "Tip" after the esteemed Congressman when he lived in Cambridge and his name was listed before the Congressman's in the phone book.
(A "phone book" is a large paper volume which was used as a telephone number reference in the days before Google - you could have your name removed for a small fee, used to cover the expense of moving all the other phone numbers up by one)
Much to the chagrin of teabaggers everywhere he has never received a dime of government assistance in any form, actually working for a living - first as a medical technologist and then as a computer programmer.
(Excuse me - "software architect")
He did, however, succumb to the urge to name his son after Timothy Leary.
Heavily influenced while reading Catch-22 on morphine drip following an appendectomy ( the morphine was neccessary to soothe the convulsions of laughter) he later lived at Ft. Benning Ga near the BOQ where Rusty Calley endured his three years of semi-confinement for raping, torturing and mutilating 70 or 80 women and children and, seeing the harsh punishment accorded our glorious military, decided that it was not to be his career path.
Thus began his descent into hippiedom.
Stereotypically his favorite musicians are Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell, favorite artist John Singer Sargent, favorite director Stanley Kubrick, favorite playwrights Stoppard and Tennesee Williams, favorite lyricist Sondheim, favorite philosophers Bertrand Russell and Voltaire, favorite fiction science fiction of the Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein variety.
Again stereotypically, the product of parochial school (and Altar Boy of the Year) he is a radical gay athiest.
Today is Harvey Milk day. If you are a citizen of the UK or France, you can be happy to know that they, finally, have joined the list of civilized countries that treat gay people equally under the law.
The US, still controlled by religious nut-job Repubs and spineless Democrats, failed once again as they dropped equality for gay couples from the proposed immigration bills in the face of Repub threats. So undocumented non-citizens get better treatment under our laws than American citizens who are gay.
American Exceptionalism wins again – Canada laughs.
Regina Romero means well – she is concerned about the expense of El Rio golf course, which is losing the city millions of dollars, and she also wants to attract jobs and industry to Tucson to bolster the local economy.
So when she puts these two goals together what does she come up with ? Selling off city property to a “for profit” “christian” “University”.
Why not a fertilizer factory ? It would be less polluting, and pay more taxes.
Just what Tucson needs is 5,000 little Pat Robertsons running around and voting but paying no taxes.
Since our Dobson controlled State Legislature is currently busy passing the Christian Bigotry Protection Act, which allows anyone to ignore non-discrimination laws as long as they claim to be “religious”, Grand Canyon University can discriminate against gays and persecute them with impunity.
Is this the kind of “industry” Tucson wishes to attract ?
Give me copper mine pollution or exploding fertilizer plants any day.
Does anyone think for a moment that a Senator who objected to an “uppity negro” being appointed to a government position – even 15 years ago – would be considered for the post of Defense Secretary today ?
How about an “openly aggressive gay” ?
The answers are “No” and “Yes”
And let’s be clear – that same person who objected to “openly, aggressively gay” Ambassador Hormel has, in the intervening years, supported an anti-gay Constitutional amendment, opposed the repeal of DADT, protested courts ruling that gays have equal rights, and in general continued his public career of bigotry in every way until the very month when it appeared he might be nominated to Sec of Defense.
Then he issued an half assed “apology” for being “insensitive” and falsely claiming that his remarks didn’t “reflect my views or the totality of my public record”, when in fact they DID reflect the totality of his public record until that moment.
And the fact that he is being seriously considered, and that all is forgiven, is a reflection not upon him but upon President Obama, the Democrats, and American society in general.
So let’s be clear why the answer to question one is “No” and question two is “Yes”
Because the one bigotry that it is still OK – or “understandable” – or “ancient history” to hold in the US is being prejudiced against LGBT people.
And the only way to change that is to STOP tolerating it.
It am amazed at the polarization centering around Mr. Huckabee’s Chick Fil A
appreciation day. I expected it to be popular in Alabama but not here in Tucson.
The sight of so many of my neighbors gathering to openly express their bigotry
has made me look at Tucson quite differently than I did just a few days ago.
I saw this excellent article by a new Tucson resident that I want to recommend.
A small excerpt:
That line at Chik-Fil-A touched me like a banner of unwelcome, like a vigilante caravan of people who could hardly wait for the opportunity to openly express their belief that I was an enemy to be conquered — someone they longed to see be put back in her place as an anamoly, a threat to society, a pervert, a half-person.
Vante regrets the unfortunate events that transpired yesterday in Tucson between our former CFO/Treasurer Adam Smith and an employee at Chick-fil-A. Effective immediately, Mr. Smith is no longer an employee of our company.
The actions of Mr. Smith do not reflect our corporate values in any manner.
Mr. Smith’s actions were described as “bullying”, but I confess that I can’t find any bullying in his protest.
You can judge for yourself here:
What you think may depend upon the side you are on, but there is no doubt what side Vante is on.
That “free speech” is such a tricky thing, it seems.
Where is a more appropriate site for such and event than a chicken joint ?
At the behest of Head Bigot Mike Huckabee, parking lots were jammed, people waited an hour for chicken, and posted their videos on their facebook pages.
You can see your neighbors here, and what they think of you:
(Please notice that it is an all white crowd – pity the poor employees).
I suppose it is understandable that if it is “PC” not to be a bigot, bigots feel unable to express themselves – so given the chance to congregate with others of their type and celebrate their bigotry must be a lot of fun for them. They used to do it at Klan barbeques, but now that’s out of favor, so I suppose this will have to do.
They even have self-righteous code speech for their celebration – they are supporting the “free speech” of Chick fil a’s spending millions to support sending gays to jail, not allowing them to teach or marry, and, in Uganda, passing a “Kill the gays” law declaring the death penalty for gays.
Of course they claim it is their religious right to kill the gays, and it is, but that doesn’t make it right, or not an expression of bigotry.
This is the most successful outing of the religious bigots in quite a while, so they are feeling their oats right about now. They have been boycotting Home Depot and JC Penny’s and Target and Disneyland with no success, but this “anti-boycott” is working out well for them.
The council voted 5-2 Tuesday night to allocate federal Community Development Block Grant funds to repair the historic building’s damaged support structure and veneer. The city’s hope is that a developer will eventually come forward and transform the one-time parochial school, built in 1915, into an economically viable property.
It is even personally upsetting in that I have been a long time supporter of Regina Romero, who pushed this effort,
and the only voice of sanity I find on the council is a Repub, Steve Kozachik
Councilman Steve Kozachik said he voted against the measure because the block-grant money would be better spent on housing rehabilitation, neighborhood enhancements and other issues where the city has a waiting list of residents who could benefit. “But instead we are going to give a gift to the Catholic Church,” he said.
It isn’t as if the Church doesn’t have the money to repair its own property – they’ve already spent almost that amount in out-of-state donations to campaigns to fight gay rights and contraception.
I’m calling the ACLU – the city will have another lawsuit on its hands if I can do anything about it.
Patrick, thanks for your e-mail. I appreciate your feelings due to a lack of detailed reporting regarding this matter. The proposal which has been made to the Diocese to save this building which is on the National Historic Registry includes stipulations that the Church is to have no financial interest or gain from the building, that the City may take title to the Building if it desires, that the building will be put to partial public purpose and that the Church may have no interest in future use of which the City has full control. In fact the Proposal from the City takes the property out of Church control and puts it to an entirely new use. The alternative is to lose a Historic Building of National concern for a Diocese parking lot. Hope that helps you understand the proposal which has not yet been accepted by the Diocese. Thanks.
My reaction to this is that I don’t understand why the City would take title “if desired”, and not simply take title. Or why it would be put to PARTIAL public purpose, and not entierly ?
It is still not satisfactory – the city should not be donating money to the Church – even “partially”.
While I share the trepidation of those who are afraid of the corrupting effect of Corporations buying our legislatures and writing our laws, a greater danger to democracy has already taken place with barely an acknowledgement. It is the extent of church involvement in our politics – something which used to be viewed as semi-prohibited in exchange for their exemption from taxation, but which is no longer enforced and indeed seems a lost cause. They are too politically powerful for any politician to dare challenge – and James Dobson’s Focus on the Family passed more legislation in the Arizona legislature last year than any other interest group.
While any effort to tax the churches has always been pooh-poohed in the past, in light of the churches increased political muscularity I can only hope that concerned citizens will reconsider our attitude towards these corrupt organizations that now far exceed the power, influence, and wealth of the Mafia.
How much does the privileging of these businesses cost us?
University of Tampa professor Ryan T. Cragun along with students Stephanie Yeager and Desmond Vega have published a study on the Council for Secular Humanism website:
While some people may be bothered by the fact that there are pastors who live in multimillion dollar homes, this is old news to most. But here is what should bother you about these expensive homes: You are helping to pay for them! You pay for them indirectly, the same way local, state, and federal governments in the United States subsidize religion—to the tune of about $71 billion every year.
The report is excellent and I urge everyone to read it. One it the points it makes clearly is that we have traditionally exempted churches because we considered them to be “charities”, while in fact a very small portion of their activities are truly “charity”.
Wal-Mart, for instance, gives about $1.75 billion in food aid to charities each year, or twenty-eight times all of the money allotted for charity by the United Methodist Church and almost double what the LDS Church has given in the last twenty-five years.5
Running tax-supported businesses like schools and hospitals is not “charity”, nor are bingo games or multi-millon dollar political campaigns
The report makes clear that providing tax exemptions for true charities does, indeed, make sense but churches have abused their status and should be required to separate out for tax exemption those actual charitable parts of their businesses for tax exemption and otherwise be treated the same way that other service or business corporations are under the law – like Disneyland for the fans of Fantasy Land.