Oct
12
2022

National Coming Out Day

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Today is National Coming Out day.

Most straight people have no idea of the emotional pain one suffers when they can not live life as the person they are because society has told us all our lives our needs and desire to love and be loved by someone is wrong / a sin / evil / abomination etc. My struggles with it kept me under a cloud of severe depression in my youth through my 20’s, and that included serious thoughts of suicide on various occasions.

I don’t automatically consider everyone who is uncomfortable with the concept of homosexuality a homophobe. That said, real homophobia is still accepted and promoted in too many circles, and violent behavior motives by that hatred is all too often justified in its name. Years ago someone I loved was taken from this world because someone didn’t like that he was gay. He was bashed to death. A friend recently had to deal with physical violence from not just one, but two members of his family because he started living his life honestly, and the family members freaked because he was “being a girl”. He was verbally assaulted by others in his circle of friends and family. Even though the acceptance of homosexuality has increased in society by leaps and bounds in the last 15 years, my friends experience shows that we as a society still have a long LONG way to go to stamp out the vile rot inherent in homophobia.

PS: I’ve helped three people come to accept the fact that they are gay. One is just a couple of months into his journey. I also helped a band mate find peace with his gay son.

Helping people deal with gay is my superpower apparently.

Oct
1
2022

Loss

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I’m gonna try not to go into any detail, but my heart hurts.

I have a long time friend who is suddenly having very serious health issues. We’ve been friends for 30 plus years and have a lot of good history. We’ve talked some about what is going on, but not enough apparently. I was planning to go down to Southern California to visit. He was good with the idea. But, in a brief text session, I managed to be clumsy with a comment, not recognizing a shift in tone and saying something in the exchange that in retrospect I should not have. In times gone by this would have just faded away as dumb comments do.

Those days are gone.

He has no interest in ever talking to me again. I think he deleted my number. One of the best friends I ever had has dissolved our friendship.

I know part of this is a result of the tremendous stress he’s going through. I pretend I can wrap my head around it. But, honestly, that would not be truth. I know I can’t. That also makes me understand I probably can’t change this turn of events. All I can do is hope this is not the way things end between us.

Note: This was posted on Facebook, but I decided to delete it. I want to share it, but I really don’t feel putting it on that forum is constructive at the moment. Since few read this blog, and it functions more as a diary, I felt this was the right place for this.

I had been meaning to start blogging again anyway.

Dec
11
2021

We Are All Rocks

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He looks around and there’s so much to do

Laundry
Dishes
Dust
Vacuum

It’s so overwhelms him. So he does nothing.
He chooses to couch sit. Making sure it’s warm and well fed.
A diet of lint, crumbs, and spare change while he goes surfing.
The waves are 500 channels high on the satellite system he bought with the charge card that now way overdrawn and it doesn’t occur to him that the bill is somewhere in the pile over there waiting patiently to be paid

Not that he has the money to pay them thank you very much. That’s just out of the question.

And just to add to the torment and boredom he thinks of any number of girls from his past. Especially the ones he tried to convince that he’s not like the othersWhich of course is absurd. Evidence and time prove otherwise.

Time is the enemy.

It robs us of our youth. Steals our dreams and exposes us to the truth of who we are. Wears us all down like a rock on a mountain.

Yeah. He agrees to himself.
We are all rocks just waiting to crash down to Earth.

It’s only a matter of time.

Mar
27
2021

Culture

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Culture.

It’s a strange elusive thing to conceptualize and grasp its importance and effect on our lives.

I’ve never been or felt the part of a Patriot. I went to church as a kid but never bought in. I’m a gay man, but I’ve never felt connected to the “gay culture” as it were. A few generations removed, my family has some ties to mob culture, but I have no connection to that either. I’m white….

I don’t feel I am connected to that, but how can I avoid it?

In western society, and America, all things have been geared toward the white end of the spectrum. God and Jesus are white, and it spreads from there. Thing is, you don’t notice it because it’s just there, and it’s the way it’s always been. Unless you’ve ventured beyond the surface, it’s like the water surrounding the fish. The fish doesn’t know of anything else. It’s just there. But where would they be without it?

That’s not the direction I should go with this post. Too extreme metaphorically. How about this.I know a lot of people, most are white, a few brown, who are the typical modern Conservative, insist the current crisis of racial relations, the inequality that many live with on a daily basis, is a mirage, something conjured up and passions stoked by the left-wing mainstream media. The say something like “Look, WE had a civil war and ended slavery. We died so you could be free. WE passed Civil Rights legislation in the 60s to fix segregation. Racial inequality is a lie made up by liberals to keep you enslaved.”

The last line is a direct quote from Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, Mark Levine, etc. And, inevitably, in the same breath, they all extol the virtues of the Founding Fathers, ignoring the very fact that many were themselves slave-owners, and that the Constitution they created to form this government had to include provisions that guaranteed the continuation of slavery, else it never would have been ratified by states (and white people) that relied on the institution.

How nice it is to have that cultural history of the white WE. Of the white savior, from God and Jesus on down. I can’t say I’ve indulged in that frothy brew, but the cup is always there for me for the taking. Because of where I was born, of the color of my skin, of the availability of that cultural identity, that luxury is always available to me. I would only need to embrace it. Maybe, twenty years ago, when I too was Conservative-ish, I did, at least a little. If I identify with a culture, it’s that of an artist. It’s certainly a smaller subset, but it’s the waters that I swim in with ease. It gives me comfort swimming in this pond. It gives me confidence to be able to walk up to another who also swims in this body of water and relate.To close this rambling thread, I want to point out the reason I went down this path. I’ve had a realization stuck in my head for quite a while, but I couldn’t figure out how to express it in a concise manner.

I think I have it now.

The same people who exclaim that racial inequality is not real, that the pursuit of black / brown cultural is a made-up construct foisted upon us by the liberal media / government in order to separate us and divide us, will invariably pivot right back to extolling the greatness of this country and the virtues of the Founding Fathers, not even recognizing that they are leaning on the white cultural view of the world. The fact that many of those Founding Fathers owned people, or that the Constitution was crafted with part of its purpose to keep those who embraced the institution of slavery happy, else it would never have been adopted, isn’t even an afterthought. It’s glossed over and ignored.

They are relying on their own cultural identity of white greatness and superiority. It is as vital to their identity as air is to breath. This is something the descendants of slaves and oppressed peoples simply don’t have.

10Betty Sanchez-Mallory, Mike Gentry and 8 others9 Comments2 SharesLikeCommentShare

Dec
14
2020

Why They Lost?

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This is one reason why. Don’t introduce people in court who claim they are experts before you double check to make sure they are, in fact, an expert.

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation-politics/sidney-powells-secret-election-witness-spyder-says-he-never-worked-in-military-intelligence/

Dec
8
2020

Texas Sues Everybody Over Election Loss

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The case is here. I’m posting this so that I can rub it in my Conservative friends faces when this falls flat on its silly face. 🙂

Just Kidding… Sort of.

Here’s the case Texas is making:Texas argued that electors from Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin should not be allowed to cast their votes in part because those states unconstitutionally changed their voting procedures during the coronavirus pandemic to allow for increased mail-in ballots. Biden won all four states.And here’s the problem… ALL the lower courts, AND the Supreme Court have allowed those changes to continue in other cases. State legislatures have broad authority to conduct elections as they see fit. Some changes to procedures were not carried out by the legislators themselves, but by various officials either the legislators themselves appointed, or by the officials within the executive branch. One might argue those exec branch decisions were illegal. BUT here’s the problem with that line of argument… Election rules have been made in this fashion in various states for more than a century. Since all the states have pretty much the same machinery in place to run elections, that would also include Texas. AND it’s pretty easy to point out that although Congress has the sole duty to declare war, they have abrogated that responsibility and willfully allowed the Executive Branch to do so. Plus, most of the examples of fraud have already been laughed out of court.All that said… This is disgusting. But not surprising for Trump supporters.

PS: Does Texas even have standing here? Most cases brought between states involve policy that directly affects the state suing, economic policy or environmental. I can’t remember a case that was brought because one state didn’t like the procedure another state followed that didn’t have direct impact on the state suing.

PPS: Here’s Jonathan Alder of the Volokh Conspiracy I came across after writing this post. Being a real lawyer as opposed to myself who only plays one of the internetz, he lays out all the problems with this action, and concludes the Supremes, even with the Trump picks, are unlikely to even take the case.

Nov
3
2020

Bad Memes.

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I love dumb memes. Here’s one I came across tonight. The idea that Hunter Biden has no energy industry experience has long been a talking point for the right when attacking him and his service on the Burisma board of directors. I’ve challenged people to pick at random 20 BOD’s of companies to see how many have “industry experience” relating to the product or service the company sells / provides.Since Exxon Mobil is mentioned, here are the personnel serving on their Board Of Directors:

Susan K. Avery – No energy industry experience.

Angela F. Bralyy – No energy industry experience.

Ursula M. Burns – Same.

Kenneth C. Frazier – Same.

Steven A. Kandarian – Same.

Douglas R. Oberhelman – Same.

Samuel J. Palmisano – Same.

William C. Weldon – Same.

Darren W. Woods – He’s the only guy on the board who has past energy industry experience.

They really need better talking points.

Apr
26
2020

Sweden… The Great Example Of How To Handle Covid 19… Or Are They?

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Sweden… The Great Example Of How To Handle Covid 19… Or are they?

People have recently started to notice that Sweden has been able to avert “disaster” without resorting to “lockdown” measures. A couple of things to note about Sweden vs the US and other countries. First, Sweden’s healthcare system is top notch, and nationalized. They were quicker to gear up faster than other countries, especially the US, once Covid was identified as a problem. Due to its centralized healthcare system, they were able to develop a much more broad testing capacity and were able to find enough people who were carriers early on and isolate them before they were able to spread Covid to too many people.

They are doing well. But their neighbors Finland and Norway, countries that took stricter measures, have a much lower death rate per capita of Covid than Sweden.

As of April 26, Sweden’s Covid death count is 215 per million.

Finland is 33.5
Norway is 35.6

Note: Sweden has a higher death rate right now than the US. We are at 160.69 deaths per million. California looks to be about 40 per.

The bigger picture? We are only barely even a month into Covid being a truly worldwide pandemic. The stats at this point are more like the snap-shot memories of a three year old human than that of an adult. We need more time to really know how Covid infections trend in societies and nations. The availability of widespread testing for both infection and antibodies is key to filling in the blanks. A LOT of things will happen in the next nine months.

Apr
19
2020

Archived For Rich Merritt

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“Who knew we shouldn’t reopen everything on May 1st? Nobody knew. No one saw a second wave coming.”

~Donald J. Trump July 3rd, 2020

Apr
1
2020

“Because You Lefties Would Rather Trump Fail At Any Cost.”

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On facebook, in a discussion about the recent action of the FDA approving limited treatment of Covid infection by using Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine, I, and “lefties” in general, were accused of “not want a treatments to be identified”.

Me, the “leftie”: “Why would the lefties “not want a treatments to be identified”?

Righty: “Because you lefties would rather Trump fail at any cost.”

Ummmmmmm…. OK. Let’s first look at the reasons us lefties were being cautious about using the drugs.

First: The evidence that they work for Covid infection is scant. Some research suggests they work in-vitro (in a test tube) but the two main studies on this that show any results are, to put it mildly, crap. The isn’t much of a control group, and the PCR (polymerse chian reaction) tests that indicate Covid infection, are mishandled. This doesn’t mean the drugs DON’T work, but the evidence that they do are anecdotal and further study is needed.

Second: These drugs do have side effects, and the drugs can interfere with other drugs.

Third: There have been several people who were injured and a few had died because this irresponsible President singled out the drugs in a press conference, making them sound like magic bullets to fight Covid. That was irresponsible at best. I’m hoping that the FDA’s approval of the drug is science based and not due to political pressure. It’s not like that hasn’t happened before.

In short; us lefties are not opposed to researching the use of the drugs to see if they’ll work, or even using them in the field under strict supervision. Use whatever tools are needed. But don’t overhype.

Now, on the the charge that “you lefties would rather Trump fail at any cost.”

Here’s the timeline on what us lefties and the horrible Trump-hating news media have been saying since the virus was first identified in China:

  • DEC 30 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • DEC 31 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 1 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 2 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 3 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 4 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 5 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 6 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 7 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 8 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 9 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 10 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 11 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 12 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 13 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 14 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 15 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 16 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 17 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 18 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 19 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 20 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 21 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 22 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 23 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 24 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 25 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 26 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 27 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 28 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 29 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • JAN 30 – This could be bad. We need to take it seriously.
  • Repeat for February and March.

What was Trump saying during this time???

Jan. 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” — Trump in a CNBC interview.

Jan. 30: “We think we have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five — and those people are all recuperating successfully. But we’re working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for us … that I can assure you.” — Trump in a speech in Michigan.

Feb. 10: “Now, the virus that we’re talking about having to do — you know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat — as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape though. We have 12 cases — 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now.” — Trump at the White House. (See our item “Will the New Coronavirus ‘Go Away’ in April?“)

Feb. 14: “There’s a theory that, in April, when it gets warm — historically, that has been able to kill the virus.  So we don’t know yet; we’re not sure yet. But that’s around the corner.” — Trump in speaking to National Border Patrol Council members.

Feb. 23: “We have it very much under control in this country.” — Trump in speaking to reporters.

Feb. 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” — Trump in a tweet.

Feb. 26: “So we’re at the low level. As they get better, we take them off the list, so that we’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time. So we’ve had very good luck.” — Trump at a White House briefing.

Feb. 26: “And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” — Trump at a press conference.

Feb. 26: “I think every aspect of our society should be prepared. I don’t think it’s going to come to that, especially with the fact that we’re going down, not up. We’re going very substantially down, not up.” — Trump at a press conference, when asked if “U.S. schools should be preparing for a coronavirus spreading.”

Feb 26: “This is a flu. This is like a flu”; “Now, you treat this like a flu”; “It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner.”

Feb. 27: “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.” — Trump at a White House meeting with African American leaders.

Feb. 29: “And I’ve gotten to know these professionals. They’re incredible. And everything is under control. I mean, they’re very, very cool. They’ve done it, and they’ve done it well. Everything is really under control.” — Trump in a speech at the CPAC conference outside Washington, D.C.

March 4: “[W]e have a very small number of people in this country [infected]. We have a big country. The biggest impact we had was when we took the 40-plus people [from a cruise ship]. … We brought them back. We immediately quarantined them. But you add that to the numbers. But if you don’t add that to the numbers, we’re talking about very small numbers in the United States.” — Trump at a White House meeting with airline CEOs.

March 4: “Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number.” — Trump in an interview on Fox News, referring to the percentage of diagnosed COVID-19 patients worldwide who had died, as reported by the World Health Organization. (See our item “Trump and the Coronavirus Death Rate.”)

March 7: “No, I’m not concerned at all. No, we’ve done a great job with it.” — Trump, when asked by reporters if he was concerned about the arrival of the coronavirus in the Washington, D.C., area. 

March 9: “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!” — Trump in a tweet.

March 10: “And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” — Trump after meeting with Republican senators.

Yes. “Stay calm. It will go away.”

Mar 13: “National emergency, two big words.”

Mar 13: “I take no responsibility at all

And the denial and pseudo-acknowledgement of the true nature of the situation goes on and on through the month, until yesterday, March 31st.

What was Trump doing to stem the spread of the virus? It’s not as if he wasn’t doing anything, but he wasn’t taking the threat seriously. Our Federal leadership have been weeks behind individual states, and countries, that did heed the warning. In both words and action, it’s stunningly clear to all but his cult followers that President Trump was not treating this with the same urgency that us lefties were screaming at the top of our lungs to do.

“Because you lefties would rather Trump fail at any cost.”

No. We DIDN’T want him to fail. We desperately wanted him NOT to fail here. Because failure meant death. Unfortunately, he failed anyway.