One of my favorite authors is Allen Drury.
In fact, he was the first “modern” author I had read outside of the classics.
That’s what happens when you grow up in a household where your Mother is an English teacher and Chaucer was her main field.
Drury wrote four fictional books that were based on Washington DC and politics.
I came from a family that was semi-active in politics, but very strong on opinion, and it was Drury’s books that gave me the “bug” for politics.
He was the first author to write about a Senator, before Robert Kennedy’s murder, assassinated while running for President and that was in his 1962 novel, A Shade of Difference.
The reason I started this post with the reference to Advice and Consent will be explained a bit further in this piece.
Many months ago I had mentioned to several people how I thought Senator Ted Cruz, Republican from Texas, reminded me of the late Senator from Wisconsin, anti-communist crusader, Republican Joe McCarthy.
I marveled at the similarity in tone; style; rhetoric; philosophy and even to the fact that they look a like.
Many have stressed that Joe McCarthy was one of the most vicious, calculating and self-serving Senators of modern times, but now we have Senator Ted Cruz.
The Freshman Senator from Maine, Margret Chase Smith, herself a Republican, summed up the feelings of many in Congress, and the Nation, on June 1st, 1950, when she spoke about McCarthy and McCarthyism.
“Mr. President,” she began, “I would like to speak briefly and simply about a serious national condition…. The United States Senate has long enjoyed worldwide respect as the greatest deliberative body…. But recently that deliberative character has…been debased to…a forum of hate and character assassination.”
“Freedom of speech is not what it used to be in America,” she complained. “It has been so abused by some that it is not exercised by others.”
She asked her fellow Republicans not to ride to political victory on the “Four Horsemen of Calumny–Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear.”
Now we have Senator Cruz, and his “tea baggers”, again high jacking the Congress by debasing it into a “forum of hate and character assassination.”
McCarthyism has been revived by the Texas Senator in the name of “Patriotism.”
He attacks “Obamacare” as tho it was infesting the nation, as did McCarthy on communism.
He is willing to bring about economic chaos to the nation, and it’s citizens, in the name of patriotism.
He is willing to charge ahead with the “Four Horsemen-Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear.”
The fictional Senator from Wyoming, Fred Van Ackerman, in Drury’s Advise and Consent, also used vile and devious methods to carry out his political agenda.
His less than civil methods and concerns caused another Senator to commit suicide.
When the leader of the Senate, and the same party as Van Ackerman, confronted him, Van Ackerman’s answer, “What I did, it was for the good of the country.”
Senator Bob Munson answered, “Fortunately, our country always manages to survive patriots like you.”
Hopefully, and prayerfully, this nation will survive Cruz’s Tea Party brand of “patriotism” like we survived McCarthy.
The State of Ohio, where we live, does not recognize same-sex marriages and even has a State Constitutional Amendment to that fact.
We had hoped that we could have been married in the State which we have lived, worked, and in the case of my partner, born but that presently isn’t to be.
Many in Ohio have organized under the banner of “Freedom to Marry,” to fight against the Ohio ban on same-sex marriages and overturn the State constitutional amendment to bring about marriage equality.
Petitions are being signed and the efforts to get the proposal on the November 2014 ballot are being made.
Recently the Federal Government, through the IRS, released a statement saying they would recognize same-sex marriages in regards to Federal taxes and filings, no matter where and which State the marriage took place.
This statement was followed several days later by the Veterans Administration stating that they would recognize partners of same-sex married veterans for health care.
After several weeks of discussion and research, on what marriage would mean for us on taxes and health care, we decided that it would prove beneficial for us not to wait to see what transpires in Ohio and for us to get married.
As one friend put it, “…economics is the issue for many long term gay partners not romance.”
So, after making our decision, we traveled 2 and a half hours to New York State to a small town just across the border. There we registered with the Town Clerk who issued us a Marriage Certificate.
I mention a side bar at this point. I asked the Clerk if they had dealt with many “gay” marriages and we were startled at his answer.
Out of the 50 certificates that had been issued for marriage this year, in this small New York town, 25 were to same-sex couples.
After we returned home I posted on Face Book our intentions and was pleasantly surprised as to the overwhelming goodwill and warm “congrats” that we received.
Tho I did notice that several in the “Freedom to Marry” camp have been very silent to our decision.
I want to assure them that we haven’t given up on the “cause” but have made a pragmatic decision on our situation, relationship and needs since being together for 24 years.We will still work, promote and vote for Marriage Equality in Ohio.
The Justice who will be conducting the ceremony also informed us that we will be his 7th “gay” marriage. Three of them female marriages and we make the fourth male union he will officiate.
One final tidbit to offer.When I talked with my married friends who are not for “gay” marriage, but who support civil unions, domestic partnerships or common law, anything but using the word marriage, they also gave us their support. One stating that “…if the Government is giving you the opportunity, you should take it.”
The pragmatic decision has been made; a date confirmed; Justice and place reserved; rings bought and a dream about to become reality.
We hope our decision, in a small part, will advance the equality issue for all of the LGBT Community and next year as we celebrate our 25th anniversary together we will also be celebrating one year of marriage.
The other night I was watching Fox news and as is my custom when watching, yelling at what ever idiot is spewing forth their “rant” at the time.
Bill “Oh Really”, along with Laura Ingram, were musing over the “far lefts” secular attack on the “Christian Traditional Value” of Easter Eggs and the Easter Bunny, because of some communities changing the “Easter Egg Hunt” to “Egg Hunt or Roll.”
I watched and couldn’t believe he was spouting this garbage.
Sir, the symbols of eggs and rabbits for Easter are based on pagan concepts!!
No where do you find Easter eggs and bunny in Bible theology.
The Hare, a “hermaphrodite” symbol of fertility and the egg, along with birds that must include ducks and chicks, are also a symbol of fertility.
They, like the Christmas tree and other symbols for Christmas, adapted to the Christian tradition to bring other cultures into the “fold.”
No-where in the song does it say, “Peter Cottontail, hopping down the” road to Calvary.
The Death Sir!
THE Resurrection Sir, these are the true Christian Easter Traditions we should be concerned about.
After I had posted yesterday’s article on my musings about longing for the simpler times of my youth and how it was brought about by the instant news of the Colorado Batman shootings, my partner of 23 years stated, “Isn’t that how the Tea Party feels and wants us to ‘go back’ in time to the 50′s?”
Sounding like Frank on Everybody Loves Raymond, all I could answer was “Holy Crap!.”
Now I admit to having some, not all, feelings that the Tea Party represents but then again I have some leanings to several things that the Occupy Movement professes also.
I have never been able to understand the Tea Party slogan “Take our Country back.” Back from who or whom? Take it where?
It is my feeling that I don’t want to take us “back” to anywhere but to restore a value lost to these fast paced days.
What I remember of the 50′s, and what history tells us, is that they were very uneventful and even might be described as boring but yet facts also show that government was very involved in expanding the national road system and thereby employing millions of workers on construction projects. Taking us back to then would be a great idea but doesn’t the Tea Party want a smaller government?
Most Tea Party followers want America to have a strong military, yet it was President Eisenhower who upon leaving office after his terms, 1952-1960, warned us about the corpocray of the military establishment. He also prayed a very unlike Tea Party statement “that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all people will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.”
I think my postings on “the simpler” times was a musing on where did they go and can we restore them in balance with the technology we have in the 21st century?
People don’t chat with each other in one on one conversations but texting is now preferred.
Taking a book off the shelf and reading has been replaced with kindles and such.
Sitting down in the easy chair and listening to the radio has been replaced by the ipod and smart phone while your on the go.
Movies which were once an art of fantasy have now become an art of brutality.
Simple childhood yard games have now become hiding in front of a game machine shooting the nameless enemy in some sort of detached reality.
Has the door to the wardrobe been locked and Narina lost forever?
There were many fields, some farms, and enough woods to give a curious and lonely teenager a place to explore and dream.
My Dad was a pastor of a small church which sat on a dead-end road that headed back to a Little League baseball field and then some woods that stretched far behind that field.
The parsonage occupied the lot at the entrance of that so-called street and fronted the busy major passing highway.
I had a dear friend during those formative years and her name was Lady. A mutt by breed and a loyal companion by nature.
Lady and I would often wander off and “get lost” in those magical woods that seemed to call my name as soon as the Summer sun rose in the morning sky.
In the middle of the woods was a small meadow and a babbling stream of cold, clear water, where I first saw a water spider skimming across the top of what appeared to be a sheet of glass.
That wonderous water way was the first place I ever saw minnows darting back and forth among the ripples and the first place I ever saw tree frogs and toads.
Eagerly Lady would join me as I would take every chance I could to escape what I called, “the front world,” and head back on that dusty little lane to a world only she and I could appreciate together.
In the meadow, that I named for her, I’d lay among the clover and wildflowers looking up at the clouds drifting by. They never seemed to interest Lady, but there she laid by my side, her head upon my chest with loyal devotion.
I would later in life write “every boy should have a dog to remember as a man and every man should have a dog to bring out the little boy.”
Those were simple times. Carefree times. Times without fear and anger. Times with civility and respect. Times of dreams and imagination.
As I watched the TV reporting on the Colorado shootings, read the instant online accounts plus the instant Facebook and Twitter postings, I began to wonder if this “instant” age of information, bad or good and mainly bad, hasn’t taken us to a world that youth no longer hears the call of those “magical woods,” or even, do those woods exist anymore?
Has the smart phone, ipod, x boxes and wiis, replaced the loyal companionship and devotion a youth can have with their dog?
Has man’s inhumanity to man paved over those dusty lanes to dreams?
I wonder if simpler times are now only illusions of age, a notion desired and enhanced by the fear of growing old?
Brutality has always been around us, yet it now appears to be even more so because it’s an instant age and romping through a meadow on a Summers day, being amazed by water spiders and tree frogs is not and instant moment.
*This is the first in a series of posts on exploring the loss of innocence of youth and some theories on why.
Just less than 4 months to go to what will be America’s most defining moment in history.
Beyond the appalling amount of money being spent on the November election, beyond the tradition of them against us party politics along with the slash and burn moments, there is a quiet but not so subtle change in our Nation’s direction if Mitt Romney becomes President and/or if the Republicans get complete control of Congress.
If you are a regular Dare to Dream reader, you are aware that I have often written that I am more leery of the far right than I am of the left.
After the Supreme Court ruling on “Obamacare”, Glenn Beck in his rantings stated that “they’ll be coming to take us out of our houses and shoot us.”
I find his ravings a super imposing of his beliefs and ideologies on the left. For it is they who want to suppress Women, Blacks and Hispanics along with that dreaded disease…being Gay.
The far right believes in the evil of Muslim run states and the oppression against the people of those states yet in the GOP’s rush to set up an American Theocracy they would suppress those they despise.
How does that make them better than Iran or Syria?
The far right talks about death panels but in their drive to end Social Security they will condemn many Seniors to their deaths.
By protecting the rich they forget the words of Jesus, “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” or even “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”
The storm clouds are rolling.
A class war will be at hand if the right wins this defining election.
Charles Dicken’s admonishment of the Industry Revolution will pale next to the establishment of the Republican agenda and their Corpocracy wrap in Theocracy.
The Bill of Rights they cherish as a cornerstone to the Constitution will become only a list of suggestions.
Their battle cry of “Take America Back” will have a more sinister action then slogan.
This election is more than which man sits in the Oval Office.
This election is about what and who we are as a people, as a Nation, as seekers of truth and justice.
Just like many Americans, and especially President Obama, I have come to terms with how and why I now support same-sex marriage, but unlike the President, my evolution had that I am a member of the “gay community.”
For years I sat on the fence when asked by my straight friends, and business associates, on how my partner and I felt about the issue of marriage. Knowing that many of them were against the fact, I proceeded to take a less direct approach, hoping to win support and I would say, “Oh we feel that the M word is not important. It’s doesn’t matter what you call it, civil union or domestic partners, as long as we receive the same rights as a married couple. You know, a rose by any other name still smells just as sweet.”
Boy, now that I see that statement and hear those word rolling through my minds ear, I say, that’s full of crap.
My partner of almost 23 years is the reason I started to evolve away from my “separate but equal” way of looking at same-sex marriages. He nudged me and challenged me mentally to constantly check the logic in my stand and when I did, it was obvious, separate but equal didn’t work in the 60′s and 70′s with the black community so why would it work for the LGBT community now?
My parents, in their small part, were activist during the 60′s and supported civil rights. I paused to remember my father’s sermons and his admonishment of the congregation in the facts that the separation of the “Body of Christ” by color in worship was not right and how he brought a black pastor into his pulpit and thereby being the first to do so in the Mahoning Valley. He was also the first white pastor to preach in a black church because he believed in that equality of sameness and put it into practice.
Now the last big civil rights issue we face as Americans must be conquered and “same but equal” does not bring that about.
So, yes the M word means a lot.
It means my love and devotion to my partner is just the same, just as important and relevant as my heterosexual friends marriages.
By saying that Bob and I can marry means that we no longer will be thought of as second class citizens.
Yes, “…a rose by any other name” may smell just as sweet but a rose is a rose and not a carnation.