Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Legacy.

It has been a thoughtful two days since we learned of the passing of Teddy Kennedy. He was an imperfect man, no doubt, but we are all imperfect men and women. Much as been said about him, much of it loving and respectful, some of it brash and evil and even hate-filled. His colleagues such as Vice President Biden in tearful remembrance. His political enemies singing songs about him in remembrance of a consummate legislator and his ideals, who served close to five decades in the Senate. Some of those we will fine returning to business as usual, attacking his ideals and his values and his caring for "least among us" in favor of business as usual in America shortly after he is laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery next to his brothers. I have been thinking about what to say and what to write about him and suddenly I realized that his eulogy has already been written. It was written on November 19, 1863 by none other than President Lincoln who speaking at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery said in the last of sentence of that address:
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom— and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

In Memoriam Edward Moore Kennedy.

Tonight Ted Kennedy passed from our scene. How great a loss that is for us and for the world. He was a great legislator and a good human being. We are richer for his time among us and poorer now that he is gone. It is a shame he didn't live to see universal health care in the only western democracy that doesn't have such a thing. A fitting memorial for the Lion of the Senate would be to enact Universal Health Care in his name. Requiescat in pacem, Teddy.

No Public Option, No Real Healthcare Reform.

After thinking about this whole issue of healthcare reform, I am of the opinion that there can be no meaningful healthcare reform without a viable public option. The reason for this is very simple: without a public option there is no way to keep the health insurance industry honest. None at all!

Monday, August 24, 2009

GOP Red Herring Sale---More Fear & Terrorism

Our "friends" at the Republican National Committee have a released a document called the Seniors Bill of Rights. This document attempts to secure a political victory for themselves and their patrons by scaring the feathers off of our Senior Citizens. You can read those items on that site and come to a single conclusion. The only people talking about any of those evil things enumerated as evils to be protected against are the GOP and their Patrons, the for profit health insurance industry. They through ridiculous red herrings (that no one else has imagined, much less offered up as policy) and promise to defend against those fake stories and worries. Terrorism is defined as the use of fear to achieve political ends. These non-existent worries are offered up the GOP. They scare seniors witless and then they promise to defend against them by the keeping the status quo in place. The GOP is totally without any conscience and has no shame whatsoever. The RNC should be sent off to Guantanamo Bay to keep our seniors safe. The RNC is definitely a terrorist group.

Let Us Be Crystal Clear.

The current bogey-man debate over Health Care is more like a food fight than anything else. First of all let's be sure we are talking about the same thing. This debate is not about health care. Potentially we have the finest health care available anywhere at any cost. The debate is much more about how it is rationed, if you will. The current distribution system is a bottom line distribution system. It is set up based upon the insane belief that someone or something should be making a profit Those who are opposed to changes in the distribution and current system of rationing of this fundamental right are not led by stuffy Dickensian GOPers, although those fellow have signed on in that battle. People like Smiling Chuck Grassley are modern-day Hessians. They are hired guns, if you will. Smiling Chuck has taken in 2.5 million dollars from the health care and pharmaceutical industry during the last 5 years.The Blue Dogs of the Democratic Party are in the forefront of opposition too. This Battle for America is esentially being waged, directed and, more importantly, funded by those who have the most to lose by making any meaningful changes in this system of rationing. There is a precept of politics coined in the last 30 years that says it all and is just as relevant and foundational as when it was first uttered: follow the money! The health insurance industry funds 15% of the Gross Domestic Product of the the U.S. and they make a hefty profit out of it. Some $14, 000,000,000 at last count. The American People are a cash cow for the industry. What's wrong with this picture? Let me tell you what's wrong with this picture. Adequate health care is a fundamental human right. It is not something that should be designed to make money, obscene amounts of money, for the gate-keepers and the collectors of ration stamps. Simple morality demands a change in this system. It demands a change whereby delivery of health care is maximized and the evil of profit-taking is minimized. That is the main reason why a so-called public option must be included in changes in the health care delivery system. It is absolutely essential that we keep health insurers honest. Nothing short of a public option will do this.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

You Got to Love Barney Frank!

Barney had this marvelous exchange with some nutcase in one of his town hall meetings in his Congressional District. It is one of those things I wish I had said. Watch it here. It's about time someone talked back to one of those nutcases on the Right. Give 'em hell, Barney!

In Memoriam Robert Novak

He is no great loss to the world. If ever there was a man who was a total waste of air, water and food, it was the late Mr. Novak. In his passing we have probably eliminated the possibility of any indictment of Darth Cheney.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Repair California!

Hendrik Hertzberg has written a compelling comment in the New Yorker Magazine calling for a Constitutional Convention in California. Such a convention would require two votes of the People in 2010. The first would authorize the electorate to call a convention, currently only the Legislature by a 2/3 vote can call one. California's Legislature can not even must a 2/3 vote to pass a budget, it is never going to call a convention. The second measure on the 2010 would actually call the convention and require that a new constitution for the Golden State be submitted to the voters at the 2012 general election. The Delegates to this convention would be chosen by lot from among the adult citizens of the state. That is an amazing concept, such delegates would not be subject to electoral pressure and would not, as Hertzberg says, be beholden to the appointing authority.
Check out Repair California's website here! It makes much more sense than the current situation in Sacramento.

I Have About Had It.

I have just about run out of interest in the Hope Campaign of President Obama. He promised us Change. He promised us Hope. He has given us bullshit. He has danced with the wolves of the status quo. No change has been fortcoming. He criticizes DADT and says it must go and yet he refuses to use the power he has to effect that change by ordering the retention of talented officers and enlisted service members because they are needed in spite of the DADT rule he so roundly criticizes. He waffles back and forth on Healthcare Reform. Saying the public option is essential which his department heads say it isn't. He cuts deals with Big Pharma to save Healthcare and then denies the existence of those same deals. When is this going to stop? At the end of his term of office?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Oh the Horror of the Thought!

Could it be? Could the evil rumors be true? Could it be that the Great White Hunter of the GOP, Deadeye Cheney, is running for President in 2012? Say it isn't true! Please, sir, die for your country!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Smiling Chuck Grassley.

President Obama two days ago praised Chuck Grassley (R-IA) as a reasonable man working to get health care reform of some sort through the United States Senate. The very next day, Smiling Chuck, the Farmer-Lawmaker, as he bills himself told a public audience that they have a right to be fearful the batshit crazy tales and baseless rumors of the far right wing respecting Death Panels and the like under the proposed health care bills. Some gratitude this man showed the President who the day before had been the beneficiary of presidential praise. Grassley, who has accepted 2.5 million dollars from the health care insurance industry and Big Pharma since 2003 has emerged as a knight in shining armor to do the bidding of that industry. He is also responsible (along with Vice President Biden) for having given the Nation the Bankruptcy Reform act so desired and begged for by the banking industry. His solution to the bankruptcy 'crisis' was fix what the banks said was wrong with our bankruptcy system on the backs of poor people.
I am led inexorably to the obvious conclusion that Smiling Chuck is not only part of the problem with this Nation but is a whore and harlot. The only question in my mind is will he be an honest whore and harlot and stay bought.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In Memoriam Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

Last evening the founder of the Special Olympics, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, passed from our lives. The world is a much better place for her having been here with us. She cared for the least among us and she brought us, as a society out of the Dark Ages in which we hid. When I was a child I knew of several children who suffered from mental retardation. I didn't befriend them because I feared them. Being like them was one of my greatest fears. I suspect that fear was almost universal, the cry of "Retard!" was even more of an insult than being called "homo" among my age peers. The Los Angeles Times has a marvelous and amazing obituary here this morning. Requiescat in pacem.

Monday, August 10, 2009

In Memoriam for an Empathetic Judge

Robert M. Takasugi passed on August 4th. He was a judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California and sat in Los Angeles. You can read his Obituary here in the Los Angeles Times.
Judge Takasugi was a survivor of the Internment Camps used in the Second World War to protect "real Americans" from their own fears about Japanese spies and terrorists during that conflict. He was what President Obama would call an empathetic judge. He understood oppression and oppressors and he hated oppression. Thank you, sir, for your years of service to the Constitution and your fellow citizens.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Congratulations to Madam Justice Sotomayor.

This morning the Los Angeles Times carried this historic story, the swearing in of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, of New York, as the 111th person to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States and only the third woman so to serve. Here is a picture of the new justice taking the constitutional oath from the Chief Justice. This picture reminded me of the second oath-taking by President Obama at the hands of the Chief Justice when the Chief so badly bobbled the presidential oath. I notice today he is reading from cue cards. I hope he did better this time. It really is a banner day for Madam Justice and for our Hispanic citizens who now have representation on the hightest court in the land. Congratulations Madam Justice and I wish you good health and l ong, distinguishe and heroic service on SCOTUS. Bienvenidos!

Friday, August 7, 2009

We Can't be an Empire if We Keep You Healthy!

I am reading new arguments that say any significant reformation of the health care delivery system is going to require tax increases dropping down into the middle class in order fund medical care for low income people. That coupled with the bullshit about the 'death panels' that will decide which of us deserve to live and get health care and the forced euthanization of seniors and mandatory hospice care for everyone who has a medical condition more serious than influenaza are designed to frustrate any changes in the health care delivery system in the US of A. These lies are being told by the Cave Dwellers, Tea Baggers and othere assorted prevaricators in the employ and service of the obscene profit making of the health insurance industry. Remember health insurers have profits only if they (1) collect premiums, (2) invest wisely and (3) somehow limit the payouts for health care. How do they limit payouts? There are many ways. They can invoke exclusions for pre-existing conditions, faux claims of fraud when they discover that the customer didn't fully disclose that they treated for pneumonia ten years and recite the mantra that had they known that, they would never have issued the insurance policy to begin with. Some of them have annual expenditure caps..."opps we've already spent too much money on you this year" and the like.
One of the unspoken assumptions in their argument that taxes have to be increased in order to pay for a revamp of the system is that nothing else in our budget is going to be cut and that non-health care related programs such as the F-22 stealth fighter along with other Department of Defense boondoggles will be funded at the same levels as in the past. They will remind us that we still have to pay for the $2,000,000,000,000 Bush Iraqi War that was 'funded' off budget. See we also have to fix Iraq which we broke almost 7 years ago...and folks don't forget we are spending lots of dollars in Afghanistan. I am sorry folks but we cant afford to fund your health care, but just be comforted that there will be 'pie in the sky when you die' and in heaven there will be no sickness and no death.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bank of America Has Its Own Stimulus Package.

Recently I got my statement on my visa card from Skank of America. It said my payment is due on 8/8/09. I went on line this morning to pay it and told the computer to pay my bill on 8/8/09. The computer told that it would roll that payment over to be credited on the next business day. August 8th is a Saturday, apparently it's not a business day even though its branches are open on Saturday, August 8th. Two months ago this happened to me and the Saturday date was rolled over to the following Monday and I was warned in my next statement that if that happened again in the next year, my interest rate would be raised. This time they would only charge me $35 for a late payment fee! How sweet and generous of them! Today I called them and was told that they do that because Saturdays are not banking days and because the contract I signed with them allows them to do that. The helpful young 'banker' on the other end of the phone line said I could avoid that by simply paying early! Then I asked him why the statement which sets a 'due date' doesn't warn consumer of the roll over and his comment was because we don't have to.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What the Fuck?!

Today I asked Google to find me some gay blogs. I was hoping to find one that I could enjoy and even perhaps exchange ideas about being gay and living in the real world in the opening decade of the 21st century. I was sorely disappointed. Apparently the only gay blog that isn't primarily involved with sex, porno and generally getting off is Andrew Sullivan's blog and a few others. I mean like sex just as much as the next guy but life is about more than just getting one's rocks off. And the good lord (snicker) knows that I am not opposed to porn. My only reservation about pornography is that porno stars are inherently oppressed by industry in many ways including emotionally and financially. Yes and I say this with full knowledge that I have during my career represented more than a few gay porn houses. If what I found on Google is representative of gay men then it is no wonder that most of the world at least is scared shitless of us and even hates us...witness the shooting last night in Tel Aviv. My primary interest at this point in my life is not getting off, it is living a happy and contented life and indulging and being indulged by my friends, both new ones and old ones, and in passing on some of my life experiences and perhaps some little bit of learned wisdom to other gay men. I hope no one will interpret that as a sexist remark, I say it only because I don't know what I can offer lesbians, having never been one.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What is going on with the Birthers?

A new phenomenon has been created. It is the Birther 'controversy'. These folks who are part of a species of people I call the Cave Dwellers are people, who despite all contrary evidence believe that President Barack Obama is not entitled to be the President of the U. S. of A because he is not a natural born citizen of the United States as is required by Article Two of the Constitution. These crazy folks believe that he was born of a white woman from the heartland of America and a father from the African nation of Kenya in Kenya. They derive their opinion based on the 'testimony' of an elderly Kenyan woman who claims to be both his step paternal grandmother who also claims to have been present at the birth of Baby Barack in Kenya. They explain away the birth certificate that says he was born in Hawaii and the contemporaneous birth announcements published in Hawaiian newspapers as ancient conspiracies and frauds. They claim a conspiracy the state government of Hawaii's Vital Records and some sort of Muslim plot dating from 1960 to make this baby President of the United States almost fifty years after his birth. Recent polls suggest that this conspiracy theory originated and is most strongly believed in the Old South. Which gives this a decidedly racial basis in the old Confederacy. Almost 53% of good white republican folks in the old Confederate states either believe he is not a citizen but an "illegal alien" or that his 'natural born' citizenship is open to dispute. These folks are not in the reality based community (as Bill Maher calls it) but rather are truly Cave Dwellers.

The New Temporary Old Gay Lawyer Ramblings Blog.

Hello everyone. You will notice that Old Gay Lawyer Ramblings looks different and is now temporarily hosted on This is because until Tuesday last I hosted my blog on my own server. On Tuesday morning that server passed on. I have to build a new server and get it up and running and then I have to remove the data from the old dead hard drive and restore it to the new. This is going to take me awhile and I have discovered I have missed writing my ramblings and other such fun with words. There is just too much going on in the world for me to be happy without commenting and ranting about it. I shall do this.