My sordid past

Today I received an email from one of my US Naval Academy classmates (Class of 72). Usually I just dump such messages unopened, but for some reason I clicked on this one. I was not surprised to find it filled with typical neocon bullsh*t about librul faggots and Monica Lewinsky. Just think, your tax dollars are hard at work helping to educate Neanderthals like this, a dimwitted Bushbot who made it all the way to Commander in the US Navy before he retired.

I won't waste my time to respond to his hate-filled message, but the whole exchange reminded me of an important framing lesson I learned last year.

It is no longer about liberals and conservatives. It is about progressives and reactionaries. Progressives strive for progress toward better conditions, as in society or government. Reactionaries are opponents of progress.

Repeat after me:

People who support Bush are not conservatives, they are reactionaries.
Art Pope Puppets are not conservatives, they are reactionaries.
North Carolina Republicans are not conservatives, they are reactionaries.
Robin Hayes and Chuck Taylor are not conservatives, they are reactionaries.
Walter Jones and Virginia Foxx are not conservatives, they are reactionaries.
Anti-constitutional theocrats are not conservatives, they are reactionaries.

Almost every single day, Democrats find themselves on the defensive, forced to say that they either are or aren't liberals. Meanwhile, the rightwing lunatic fringe proudly claims to hold the conservative values of "middle" America - values like hate, discrimination, greed and selfishness. It's time Republicans had to defend themselves and say "I'm not a reactionary."

Of course, they'll just be lying. As always.

When I talk to people out in the real world, I tell them BlueNC is a forum for North Carolina progressives. I say we share a commitment to progress, that we stand for integrity, competence and the common good.

At least that's where I stand.


Good Dump A!

I have had to do some myself!
Dan Siler
Graham County Democrat Party


I thought this was going to tell us something juicy we could hold over your head at a later date.

Now, I'm not fond of Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. She votes with the Republicans far too many times, but she stood up on the floor of the Senate and's the quote from Dana Milbank's column.

At about the time Pelosi was unveiling the "New Direction" brochures, Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) was out on the Senate floor, accusing Democrats of aiding the terrorists. "Al-Qaeda," he said, sees "the lack of resolve in some of our leaders, and they seek to exploit it."

The charge enraged Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who had come to the floor to talk about education.

"America is not tired of fighting terrorism," she retorted. "America is tired of the wrongheaded and boneheaded leadership of the Republican Party that has sent $6.5 billion a month to Iraq when the front line was Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, that led this country to attack Saddam Hussein when we were attacked by Osama bin Laden."

Can't say it much better than that.

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Damn A, you are one Spiffy looker there

Is that a 1968 Ford LTD your climbing into?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.


It's my daddy's 1968 Mustang! (He only let me drive it once.) My own first car was a Ford Pinto. Man was I dumb.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


i THINK that is the side of Bancroft towards downtown.

Lyndon Helton for NC Senate

"Keep the Faith"


Good eye!


Ed Cone has a fun post today about the REACTIONARIES in the NCGOP who have sent out this hysterical fundraising email:

Our country must continue to fight terrorists at home and abroad.
The Republican Party, our determination, and our resources are the best way to protect America now and in the future.

Republican candidates are fighting everyday to ensure we maintain a strong national defense. Our troops in the field must have the best leaders and equipment to eliminate the constant threat of terrorism.

The anniversary of September 11th reminds us about the dangers our country and world face each day. Our men and women in uniform continue to bravely serve around the globe in Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other critical areas. If we do not stand up for our military and for Republicans devoted to the cause of freedom, the terrorists will gain strength.

The Republican Party needs your assistance today. Any amount you can give will enable us to elect Republicans fighting for our national defense. The price of safety and security has no limit!
Our great candidates depend on your financial resources to not only win elections, but also to fight for the men and women charged with keeping peace for our blessed country.

Electing Republicans and supporting the Republican Party guarantees that America will be secure in the face of desperate terrorist threats. We must destroy the enemy by electing leaders with strength and resolve. Our troops need Republicans of the highest caliber to battle the terrorist forces. Election season is here and we must contribute to the cause and vote for freedom.

Go give him some love and be sure to read the comments. There's one REACTIONARY there who has done the Vulcan mind-meld with AWOL George and doesn't appear to have the sense god gave an animal cracker.


Electing Republicans and supporting the Republican Party guarantees that America will be secure in the face of desperate terrorist threats.

Well, damn, that about does it then. I'm changing parties tomorrow. Those spinless Dems can't make that promise. That's just too rich. I notice he didn't say "money back" guarantee. Or how about "life and limb back" guarantee. Too funny if not so sad.

Shuler YES, Taylor NO!

Wow. I didn't see the "g" word.

Holy moley. That's just about enough to get me to switch parties too! The Guarantee that American Will Be Secure. Hot damn.

No, I just can't

I stopped over at Ed Cone like you suggested. Just can't do it.

Shuler YES, Taylor NO!


You learned what I obviously didn't: If you can't say something nice ...

I admire your restraint!

Speakin of restraint

the new Daily Election Race Diary is up. Here.

Since tomorrow is talk like a pirate day, all of our comments are going to be in Pirate talk. Should be fun, come join the party!
Shuler YES, Taylor NO!


We be t'ankin' ye, matey fer bypassin' yon filter for me post!

"The most unamerican thing you can say is 'You can't say that'" - G. Keillor

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Mohandas Gandhi


Are you a former DNC Kicking Ass blogger?

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

KA and elsewhere

Yeah! JWWF aka RedLetterRev over in the Triad. Well, there y'are! Glad to "see" ya again, man!

I've kept my CountryCrats links up in my blogs and wander over every once in a while (in my copious spare time :lol:).

"The most unamerican thing you can say is 'You can't say that'" - G. Keillor

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Mohandas Gandhi

Were you also

Amanda Hugginkiss?

Trying to get it all clear in my head. You will be happy to know that CountryCrats is back up and running after a year of down time ; )

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Lordy, I'd forgotten

about AmandaBReckondwythe... that came about when the KA'ers were taking silly names when there was a flood of trolls. Some things ya' rather forget. :lol:

Check your PartyBuilder page... I sent you an invite.

"The most unamerican thing you can say is 'You can't say that'" - G. Keillor

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Mohandas Gandhi


That was it. I, of course, accepted your invite. Now, if someone on party builders would actually start partying!

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


are you reading my mind? Check your PB messages :-)

"The most unamerican thing you can say is 'You can't say that'" - G. Keillor

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Mohandas Gandhi

Grrr... they had to throw the

"faggot" word in. Sigh. The "piratization" of what I'd rather have as a serious rejoinder isn't helping my early-morning, pre-coffee attitude (wry smile). After all, isn't that the reactionaries' modus operandi? "Privatize" is just a euphemism for "piratize", no?

I've written an article which will be published in the Gay Military Times. There is a huge population of GLBT people who have served honorably or did their best to serve honorably, but were told that no matter how good or sincere they were. Just by the nature of who they were, they weren't good "enough". I'd like to repost that here, in hopes that other GLBT veterans will tell their story.

So long as we remain silent, we'll remain an invisible boogey, a tool for the reactionaries.

When I first offered to tell my story, I didn't realize the difficulty of putting my military experience to post. It isn't that I went through trauma or embarrassment. It wasn't that my career was suddenly snatched out from under me. It was the quality of being completely ordinary that seemed to stand in the way of a good story.

Then it occurred to me, that this is exactly the point. GLBT people do and have served in the military since the concept of a military. When we offer our service, we do it in the same patriotic spirit as anyone else. All too often we do our particular jobs better than our cohorts -- because we fear we must.

It is irritating to me that so many gay people have given their time, energy and patriotic love to this country, yet we are not accorded most of the benefits of citizenship. It irritates me even further that there are so many in the current regime who refuse to serve the country in any way, shape or form, yet reserve unearned rights and privileges to themselves.

The rest of us try to lead by example.

I volunteered for the Army in 1975; just young enough to miss Viet Nam but old enough to be mentored in my profession by those who had been there and in Korea. At that time, the Army was making weary transition to peacetime mode, yet the Cold War was still going on. There was still a need for people who could pick up languages easily.

When I left high school, I was comfortably fluent in Spanish and French by grace of two fine teachers; one, a native speaker; the other went to university in France. After that amount of self-application, I was most certainly not going to spend my life in a mill town. Going into debt for college was certainly not an option, either.

After a chat with several of the recruiters in town, the most attractive choice was offered by the Army recruiter who suggested the Army Security Agency. We went through the extensive list of do-you-now-or-have-you-evers including "any homosexual behavior".

Uh. Um.

Truthfully, I answered, "no" -- being gay in a tiny mountain community was begging for an "unfortunate accident". Doing gay things was almost certain death. Swallowing my innermost self deep down inside, I went forward, accepting my lot as one of poverty, chastity and obedience, to purloin a phrase. I really felt that offering my service to the Constitution and my fellow citizens was not only the duty of every citizen, but a rite of passage into adulthood as well.

I took the same oath of induction as every other recruit and, because I promised upon G'd's help, meant every word of it. As I recall, we promise our defense of the Constitution before all else. Most especially, I think, because it is America's contract with her people, the contract beyond all others and from which all others extend. The dignity we gave it in signing our military contracts, we have a right to expect to be returned in kind.

After my initial schooling, I was assigned to my first company in Colorado. Until then, that's as far as I had been from North Carolina. It wasn't long before this naive country boy figured out (ever so slowly) that there were quite a few gay people in the military. Most were motivated by the same sense of duty and the same pride in performance as I was. Some, like me, needed a way to college. All of us were soldiers in every meaningful sense of the word. We were proud to be craftsmen, straight, gay or indifferent.

That went doubly when I was assigned to duty in Germany. I must say I have never worked with a finer group of technicians and analysts but once since then. Many of them were gay.

Given the cost of our training, what we were expected to do with it, and (most importantly) the stewardship of our national responsibilities the senior officers were loathe to put someone out of the military. The Army had a right to expect their money's worth, one way or another. The biggest threat over anyone's head was, "you'll lose your clearance and before you can say 'amen' you'll be in an infantry unit". From there, it was either "adapt" or be removed from service with a discharge under unpleasant conditions.

I grew up poor, hence the thought of wasting money makes my teeth itch. Even now, while I'm taking care of my partner of 10 years (he has been poz for 23), it's extremely difficult to make ends meet. Wasting money just isn't in my purview. (BTW, he was also tossed out of the Navy for being gay... excellent work record notwithstanding. See how they are: bigoted AND wasteful.)

Hard-earned taxpayer money is being spent to find, recruit, and train qualified personnel. Yet, because of bigotry, we all lose when a trained professional is turned out of the military. The monetary loss is compounded when the professional is a member of intelligence services -- BI's are extremely expensive and hard to get, plus the training is far more extensive (thus far more costly). Most folks have no idea how extremely expensive it is to train and retain intelligence professionals. It's an appalling waste of resources any way you look at it. My partner was reading an article the other day about the senseless waste of dollars and human dignity caused by GLBT folks being tossed out of analyst and translator positions that this country sorely needs.

DoD is happily pissing away millions per year on DADT and pissing away desperately-needed resources: people who are dedicated to making and keeping our nation safe. Little wonder the BushCo intelligence is so screwed up. Waste upon mismanagement upon insult.

The intelligence service that failed the nation it was supposed to protect before 9/11 was the very one the Poppy put in place. (GIGO: Gospel In, Garbage Out.) They heard and produced what they wanted to, not what the reality was on the ground. I will allow as how that entire failure was by design. The effects were just beginning to show during my active duty tenure. The difference in civilian and military products was apparent even then. I can only imagine how much worse it must have gotten in the last 30 years with Bush fingers stirring and grabbing within the services.

All of that kept me as closeted as one can be in a "small town". So long as "nobody actually saw anything" nobody could lie about it, either. I grew up in a series of small southern towns so I know how to wear a mask as well as anyone else. Fortunately, part of the culture in the intelligence community is "neither confirm nor deny" and that extended a long way past just keeping national secrets. In order to protect those, often, we protected one another.

It shouldn't have to be that way, this nowhere-land state of existence. A culture of cilence surrounds the service that all of us gave. DADT solves no problem and creates many. Several countries ahead of the United States return the honor of service to their country with equal dignity and recognition. There haven't been any big soap-dropping shower scenes (damn!), no big uproars, no crowds of people praying for their salvation outside the barracks. Being GLBT is part of the human condition, like being brown-haired or green-eyed.

DADT neatly removes any hope of dignity for either GLBT people or our hetero counterparts. When people serve their country, the have the right to expect full citizenship with all of the benefits.

"The most unamerican thing you can say is 'You can't say that'" - G. Keillor

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Mohandas Gandhi