Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.
Sunday, April 30, 2017
Friday, April 28, 2017
Thursday, April 27, 2017
In Alabama's most outrageous Senate race, Roy Moore is in
Roy Moore is running for U.S. Senate.
Which means that no less than three candidates - Moore, the Christian Coalition guy and Rep. Ed Henry - will probably seek the "backed by God" mantle.
Sorta like The Bachelor in search of God's rose.
It could get uncomfortable.
This race, the special election for the seat abandoned by now-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and assumed by now-tainted U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, is a downhill sprint that might just end in a heap outside a Sand Mountain Dollar General.
There is Moore, who has name recognition surpassing even the sitting senator. But it ain't all good. The guy has been booted off the Alabama Supreme Court twice. He says it was for standing up for your rights. Rights groups say it's because if you don't fit into his definition of rights your rights are wrong.
Strange would have been the presumptive favorite if not for, well, current events. The downward spiral and subsequent earthly impact of ex-Gov. Robert Bentley didn't just take out the governor, it left Strange's reputation in a smoking pile. The former attorney general is now widely seen as the guy who was willing to look the other way on potential gubernatorial crimes if Bentley would appoint him to his dream job.
Henry - a guy who hounded Bentley for months - now claims the crown of corruption fighter in chief. "Trump's going to need help draining the swamp," he said when entering the race. But I'll never stop seeing this "corruption fighter" clapping like a seal on speed at a pep rally supporting former House Speaker Mike Hubbard, the current poster child for Alabama corruption.
Randy Brinson, president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, has also announced his candidacy, bristling against corruption and the "venality of politicians."
Hard to argue that, and this race is case in point.
The wild card - if he's even in this race - is Alabama Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh, who has made a decision about whether to run but had not, as of this posting, decided to share that decision.
He's a somewhat boring businessman, who along with Hubbard dominated the Alabama GOP for years, although he has managed to do it without becoming a household name. He'll take heat for being a silk-stocking Republican, a part of the Goat Hill status quo. He won't claim the anointing of God but will probably get a sprinkling from the BCA, which in Alabama politics is pretty close to the same thing.
His biggest asset - and this could be a big thing - is that he's not, as far as I know, crazy as a bag of jackhammers.
As a matter of fact that should be his slogan, should he choose to run: "Del Marsh: The practically sane one."
This thing is gonna get hairy fast. The primary election - and in blood-red Alabama the election that counts is the Republican primary - is in August, so name recognition and money will be big.
Strange has already been able to build a campaign war chest of almost $800,000, but he's got as much baggage as he has money.
Moore hasn't been as successful raising money in the past - and his last attempt at governor was a dismal failure - but he has a big name and a committed base. But he, too, has as much baggage as he has base. And Henry and Brinson could peel off some of his votes.
If I had to lay odds now - assuming Marsh makes it into the race -- I'd say Strange finishes third to Moore and Marsh.
And while Moore seems a shoo-in to make the runoff, he could very well lose to Marsh.
But then, maybe I'm putting too much stock in "practically sane."
The pretty picture above has nothing to do with the article but is a palate cleanser since politics can leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
I don't understand
You love it when I do that--
Wait, no. That's Stephen.
Remember when I
Said I disliked oral sex?
I meant just with you.
My seventh birthday;
I weep at Barbie's Dream House.
How could you not know?
The salmon's divine,
But I'm afraid we can't stay--
I screwed our waiter.
He's gorgeous, witty
And stimulating. Please, God,
Let him be a top.
EDIT: These are all from "Gay Haiku" by Joel Derfner.
Monday, April 24, 2017
With Transgender Day of Visibility and the GLAAD Media Awards occurring during the same week and with Pride Month just a few months away, it made me reflect on LGBT history and historiography. If you don’t know what historiography is, it can be defined as “the writing, methods of scholarship, and selection of materials to create a narrative of history that will stand the test of critical review.” It’s the work that historians engage in to help us understand our past. There are numerous approaches to it that have risen and fallen in popularity over time from Great Man, Annales School, and Marxist to Consensus and New Left, each with its own merits and followings. However, the challenge they all share is how to reconcile their views with the complexity of human existence and its past. As part of that, LGBT history faces the same dilemmas and the same issues with reconciling the past without falling subject to fallacies commonly found in historical thought.
It’s only been in the last few decades that being LGBT has moved beyond being seen as merely a sexuality or way of expressing yourself but a genuine group identity. As with any emerging group, there is a drive to create a historical narrative of where we came from, to create a mythology that includes virtuous heroes, and to place us within the greater society. This is nothing new or special, as every group in history has done it — nations, ethnicities, genders, religions, and even various professions. To want to find a place in the historical narrative of humanity is simply an act of being human, yet as such can be entirely flawed and problematic. This is not to say that what LGBT people are doing is wrong — far from it — it’s just that we need to be aware of these problems and work to correct them, as the process can ultimately work against our goals of acceptance.
The major problem where this occurs is the same problem that has plagued other groups, which is forming a selective narrative and projecting our current worldviews into the past. The first part is forming a selective narrative that tends to emphasize the good and play down or ignore the bad. A good example for Americans would be the issue of race. For example, while much focus is placed upon the South’s Jim Crow laws and slavery in our collective history, we tend to overlook that American finance and industry were funded and supported by the slave trade. Additionally, we have yet to fully resolve the contradictions of our hero Founding Fathers with their claim “All men are created equal,” while many still fought to own slaves themselves. In this regard, the LGBT community is quick to proclaim virtuous obvious heroes such as Harvey Milk, Alan Turing, and Bayard Rustin, but tends to play down those that are far less virtuous such as Roy Cohn, a man who helped persecute LGBT people and helped Donald Trump escape greater punishment for his racist housing practices. Another great example of this is J. Edgar Hoover, who helps highlight the second great problem in developing an LGBT history.
J. Edgar Hoover was never proven to be gay, though rumors circulated his entire life. Allegations about his relationship with his assistant Clyde Tolson, whom he was extremely close to, were around for years, along with Hoover’s suspiciously coincidental associations with other closeted gay men like Roy Cohn. Now, while Hoover’s sexuality will likely never be proven to a general satisfaction and many people will debate it for years, it raises a particular issue for LGBT people — that of appropriating historical figures. While there certainly are historical figures we can cite as being part of the LGBT population, such as the Emperor Hadrian, Gustave Flaubert, or Oscar Wilde, it’s when we start to take on those who have more ambiguous histories that we run into issues that may actually end up working against us. For example, it’s often said that Abraham Lincoln was gay and Joan of Arc was transgender because of the behaviors they exhibited that we see now as fitting those identities. Historians have a word for it: “presentism.”
With LGBT people, the issue is that in trying to paint many historical figures who behave in ways that seem to be “gay” that are familiar to us — or err on the side of favorable historical rumors — we run contrary to the contemporary arguments about gender and sexuality that we use to foster our own acceptance. We regularly argue that gender roles and behaviors are a social construct and therefore are constantly evolving. For example, we point out that at one point in Western history it was acceptable to be bisexual or to exhibit same-sex attraction, yet we fail to note that people of the time viewed sexual behaviors in a vastly different than we do, and the period often included complex social values and norms. We also seem to sometimes place modern views on same-sex nonsexual relationships to these figures in that “no true straight person” could have such feelings for a person without it being sexual. We cite letters and poems that express a fondness we consider romantic or sexual, when we know well that in those times and in different cultures expressions of closeness were different. Even in today’s world, while Americans might find men kissing or holding hands an overtly homosexual act, in many parts of the world, it’s simply a sign of affection and closeness, just as men sharing a bed for long periods of time in the past was completely common but seen as “queer” today. The same goes for expressions of gender behavior that we have deemed masculine or effeminate, like dress and occupation, including those that served a specific purpose. When we place a pattern of gendered behaviors from our contemporary culture onto the past, we contradict our own arguments against gender expectations.
LGBT people are not special nor really stand out in misinterpreting, appropriating, or revising history to suit their purposes over any other groups. Reconciling the good and bad LGBT figures from history will come with time and from a more reflective position when values have changed. People project their own values and views so regularly onto the past, it’s practically expected. A huge portion of the work historians do is to counter that. However, there is a unique interest in LGBT history to avoid viewing the past through our current frameworks. If we are to advocate for diversity of expression, to work against toxic views of gender and sexuality, and to show that society is better for embracing such beliefs, we cannot rewrite or whitewash history along those lines, as we end up working against our self-interest.
AMANDA KERRI is a writer and comedian based in Oklahoma City. Follow her on Twitter @EternalKerri.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"-yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.James 4:13-17
Friday, April 21, 2017
Thursday, April 20, 2017
The Alabama Supreme Court today upheld the decision that removed Roy Moore from his position as chief justice.
Moore in a press conference after the decision called the prosecution "politically" motivated and declared that he remains Chief Justice despite the suspension regarding an administrative order against the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
"I have done my duty under the laws of this state to stand for the undeniable truth that God ordained marriage as the union of one and one woman," Moore said during the press conference with reporters in the Old Supreme Court Chambers at the Alabama State Capitol.
Moore can't appeal the ruling to the federal courts because there are no federal issues. "This is it," he said.
Moore also said he would reveal early next week for any plans he may have to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by former Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, who was appointed to replace Jeff Sessions who is now U.S. Attorney General.
Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center which had filed the ethics complaint against Moore issued this statement after the court's ruling today:
"Roy Moore's violation of the Canons of Judicial Ethics was egregious. He got what he deserved. We'll all be better off without the Ayatollah of Alabama as our chief justice," Cohen stated.
The Alabama Court of the Judiciary on Sept. 30, 2016 suspended Moore for the remainder of his term as chief justice after finding him guilty of six charges of violation of the canons of judicial ethics. The charges were brought and prosecuted by the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission.
Moore's term is to end in 2019, but because of his age, 69, he cannot run for the office again. Moore appealed the COJ's ruling to a special supreme court of retired judges appointed to hear the case.
"We have previously determined that the charges were proven by clear and convincing evidence ... we shall not disturb the sanction imposed," today's order stated.
Moore's current suspension was focused on a Jan. 6, 2016 administrative order he sent to the state's probate judges regarding the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses.
Prosecutors with the JIC said Moore's in his order urged probate judges to defy the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in 2015 that declared gay marriage legal nationwide and halt their issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Moore testified that it was only a "status report" to probate judges regarding Alabama litigation regarding same-sex marriage that remained active.
They also have argued that only the Alabama Supreme Court has jurisdiction over administrative orders issued by a Chief Justice and that such orders cannot serve as the basis for ethical charges.
"This opinion and the entire case against Chief Justice Moore is a tragedy," Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, which represents Moore stated in a press release after the ruling.
"For the first time in the history of Alabama, a justice has been disciplined for issuing an Administrative Order. Under this system, no judge is safe to issue orders or render dissents. The system has to change, and politics should be removed from judicial decision making and disciplinary actions," Staver stated.
Moore also said today that a federal judge in Mobile had agreed with his legal basis for the administrative order.
Both Moore and one his attorneys, Phillip L. Jauregui, called the Judicial Inquiry Commission's decision to prosecute him, the COJ's verdict and suspension, and the special supreme court's decision "illegal."
"This case was a politically motivated effort by the Judicial Inquiry Commission and certain homosexual and transgendered groups to remove me from office because of my steadfast opposition to same-sex marriage," Moore read from a prepared statement.
Moore contrasted his career-ending suspension to that of a probate judge - Leon Archer - who got a six-month suspension from the COJ for transmitting sexually explicit photos of himself to a litigant before his court.
In March cancelled, at Moore's request, the planned April 26 oral arguments in the case. Instead, the court will consider Moore's appeal based on written arguments already presented by the Judicial Inquiry Commission and Moore's attorneys at Liberty Counsel.
Moore had argued that setting oral argument nearly three months in the future has imposed a "substantial financial hardship" on Moore because he has had no income or benefits since his suspension.
Moore's attorneys with the group Liberty Counsel have said that the "suspension" imposed against Moore is the longest suspension in the history of the Court of the Judiciary. The COJ illegally removed him de facto from the bench "because political opponents disagreed with his legally accurate analysis," his attorneys have said.
Moore has questioned the COJ's suspension and argues that court violated its own rules. The COJ couldn't get the nine votes necessary to outright remove him from the bench, but did get the votes needed to suspend him from the bench for the rest of his term.
Jauregui and Moore also questioned the timing of today's ruling to affirm Moore's ouster. The press conference was originally going to be about the delay by the special court and only an hour or so before it happened, the court ruled, they said.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
thanks in advance: get this done by the time i press "send"
thanks for your interest: why'd you have to bring this up
would you be so kind: fucking do it
best: i have never physically met you
all best: this conversation is over
all my best: i wish you would die
happy to help: this is the easiest thing in my inbox
i hope this helps: i've done all i'm willing to do
i did a bit of research: i googled it, because you're too lazy to
sorry to chase: answer my email
so sorry to chase: answer my FUCKING email
i am really sorry for being a pest but: i am LIVID that you are ignoring me
please contact my colleague: this isn't my problem
i'm copying in my colleague: this isn't my problem and i am thrilled about it
i'll check and get back to you: i might forget to
i'll let you know when i hear anything: i will forget to
can you check back with me in a week?: i'm hoping you will forget to
per our earlier conversation: i just yelled at you on the phone
great to chat just now: you just yelled at me on the phone
thanks!: i'm not mad at you
thanks!!: please don't be mad at me
thanks!!!: i'm crying at my desk
please advise: this might be your fault
kindly advise: this is entirely your fault
mind if i swing by?: i'm already in the elevator
can you confirm for me: you told me before and i deleted the email
sorry if that was unclear: i think you're an idiot
let me know if you need anything else: please never contact me again
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Tears, Idle Tears
Lord Alfred Tennyson, 1809 - 1892
Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.
Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail,
That brings our friends up from the underworld,
Sad as the last which reddens over one
That sinks with all we love below the verge;
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.
Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.
Dear as remembered kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feigned
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more!
Monday, April 17, 2017
Friday, April 14, 2017
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
We will aye be true to thee,
From thy Southern shore where groweth,
By the sea thine orange tree.
To thy Northern vale where floweth
Deep and blue thy Tennessee.
We will aye be true to thee!
Broad the Stream whose name thou bearest;
Grand thy Bigbee rolls along;
Fair thy Coosa - Tallapoosa
Bold thy Warrior, dark and strong.
Goodlier than the land that Moses
Climbed lone Nebo's Mount to see
We will aye be true to thee!
From thy praries broad and fertile,
Where thy snow - white cotton shines.
To the hills where coal and iron
Hide in thy exhaustless mines.
Strong - armed miners - sturdy farmers:
Loyal hearts what'er we be.
We will aye be true to thee!
From the quarries where the marble
White as that of Paros gleams
Waiting till thy sculptor's chisel,
Wake to like thy poet's dream;
For not only wealth of nature,
Wealth of mind hast thou to fee.
We will aye be true to thee!
Where the perfumed south - wind whispers,
Thy magnolia groves among,
Softer than a mother's kisses
Sweeter than a mother's song;
Where the golden jasmine trailing,
Woos the treasure - laden bee,
We will aye be true to thee!
Brave and pure thy men and women,
Better this than corn and wine,
Make us worthy, God in Heaven,
Of this goodly land of Thine;
Hearts as open as our doorways,
Liberal hands and spirits free,
We will aye be true to thee!
Little, little, can I give thee,
Alabama, mother mine;
But that little -- hand, brain, spirit,
All I have and am are thine.
Take, O take the gift and giver.
Take and serve thyself with me,
I will aye be true to thee.
"Alabama," words by Julia S. Tutwiler and music by Edna Gockel Gussen, was designated the official state song of the state of Alabama in 1931.
Alabama will always be my home, no matter where I live. I was sadden to see it's name dragged through the mud yet again yesterday. Governor Robert Bentley, the Luv Guv, resigned as governor over more than just a sexting scandal. It is what he did to try and cover up the scandal that ultimately proved his downfall. In the past year the three highest ranking Republicans in Alabama, Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard was convicted of corruption and removed from office, Chief Justice Roy Moore was removed from office for defying a federal court order over same-sex marriage, and now Governor Robert Bentley has been removed for corruption charges. Only in Alabama would an Acting Chief Justice have to swear in the Lt. Governor as the new Governor. Alabama now has her second female governor, Kay Ivey. If Ivey lives up to the grandness of Lurleen Wallace who turned out to be more than a puppet of her husband, George Wallace, then Alabama may have some redemption. However, Ivey should have never become governor. She does not have the wherewithal to hold the office and rumors of her dementia have been widespread in the state. The saddest part of all is that this should be the downfall of the Alabama Republican Party, yet Alabama will always be a one party state. At one time that was the Democratic Party, but now the Republicans have taken over and I'm afraid that the people in Alabama are not smart enough to see it as the party of corruption that it is. There's even rumors that the next governor will either be a woman bought and paid for by Alabama Power, the state's largest electric company, or it might just be Roy Moore. I can't explain how overwhelmingly sad all this is for me.