Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category

>New Blog Links and a Prediction

November 24, 2008

>Since my kids have become “adults” (sorry about the “”, kids, but you know), I don’t know many younger people. If I know any 12 year olds, I hope they are as articulate and progressive as Joey. Here is what Joey wrote for a school project:

I think it is so amazing and so wonderful that Obama won the presidency. It’s just that all throughout history in America we have never elected a black president or anyone for that matter who is not in the category of white men who have been oppressing so many people throughout history through slavery and racism. I just can’t believe that it has taken people so long to realize that no matter what color, no matter what gender, no matter what religion, straight or gay, it doesn’t matter. We are all people, aren’t we? But last night I saw on the television that Barack Obama had won the spot of the 44th President of the United States of America, and I just thought to myself: this is change; that we as a people of America can change. And that we will change from this awful past we have had. I just hope this is a milestone for America and for the world, that there can be people from more different races elected for president and for senate.

Joey’s thought were posted on The Wild Reed. The Wild Reed is labeled as Thoughts and reflections from a progressive, gay, Catholic perspective. I discovered The Wild Reed because google told me he linked to this post about Jesus and the gay centurion. You know how I appreciate progressive gay religious perspectives, and Michael offers that.

My other new link is Homer’s World where Homer, A Queer Archaeologist Living in Tuscon, writes. Homer is like me, he just writes about anything. And like me, he was fuming after Prop 8 passed. Like me, he cooks interesting things, and bakes. Homer owns cats.

You can link to The Wild Reed and Homer’s World from my blog lists.

Speaking of writing about anything, we saw Quantum of Solace yesterday.

Everyone knows not to wear heels when you’re going to be traipsing across the desert, or formal wear either, for that matter. And Bond and Camille don’t seem too happy about it, do they.

We were recently in the desert (not in Bolivia) but we didn’t see anything like this.
Great movie, though. I’ll leave the vampires and Twilight to the young females.

Now, a prediction. I hate to say this, but I am afraid the movie theater in Bessemer (Premiere) is going to fail, because they don’t advertise. Many people have asked me about this. Some people still grab the newspaper and run out the door to see a movie. When the listings aren’t in the paper, we aren’t gonna go there. We went to Rave in Patton Creek.

Play, the Birmingham News entertainment supplement, does not have listings for Premiere. If you go to the Birmingham News web site, they aren’t even listed. It’s difficult to find them even if you google their name. So come on Premiere, give yourselves a chance. Advertise a little.

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>Tipping Point

October 22, 2008

>OK. Here is the crap I have to put up with. People who are ashamed of themselves and post anonymous comments say things like this:

Joe is extremely prejudiced! More so than the people he struggles to slander on a daily basis through his blog! If you don’t agree with Joe, you my friend are a racist hate monger and public enemy number 1! So what does that make Joe? That’s right, he is just as prejudiced as the person who puts on a white robe and burns a cross or openly speaks out against gay rights or maybe uses the “N” word. Look in the mirror Joe! Oh wait, that would be the christian thing to do.

I did not publish this comment, not because I am embarrassed at the accusation or refuse to publish opposing views, but because it is useless chatter.

First of all, why am I “extremely prejudiced?” I truly don’t understand this accusation. Prejudice is “making a decision before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case or event.” Unless something I post is copied (with reference) or meant to be funny, I research or confirm what I write.

Prejudice used to mean “making a judgment about a person based on their race, religion, class, etc.”, but more recently has been used to describe”any unreasonable attitude that is unusually resistant to rational influence,” including “race, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, and religion…”

I understand the people I speak out against. I understand their beliefs, their philosophies. That is why I speak out against them. If I make a broad statement about right wing Christians, for instance, it is because of their beliefs and actions that I consider wrong, but it is not because of their Christianity, per se. The problem is, they have warped Christianity into a divisive element so far removed from what Jesus must have had in mind that it is barely recognizable. But I digress.

Now this anonymous commenter may be reacting to the post he tried to comment on, or he may have read my column in today’s Western Tribune and reached a tipping point, I don’t know. I will post that column tomorrow, for those who do not subscribe to the paper.

It’s almost laughable that I am compared to KKK members by a right winger just days after “they” tried to discredit a civil rights hero (John Lewis) for making the same comparison about certain elements of the McCain campaign. Because I am for human equality, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation and age (innate characteristics) and even religion and creed (chosen characteristics), I am considered prejudiced?

I’ve reached a tipping point myself. I am sick of anonymous commenters. Especially when I have a good idea who they are. And where they work. (I do wonder what they were doing in handcuffs in downtown Bessemer the other day, but my research hasn’t turned up the reason).

I will find a way that is best to avoid anonymous postings, and my first attempt is using openID. When you comment, you will be required to use your google blogger name or one of several other ID’s. I don’t want to exclude commenters, I just want to exclude people who will not identify themselves. If you don’t have any of the ID’s offered, create one, I guess is my recommendation. We will see how this works. My other option is to require membership to the blog to post, but that is limited to 100 people. Well over 100 read each day, but I don’t know how many would want to post comments, and only they would have to be members. Others could read, I guess. Help me out here fellow bloggers if you have suggestions.

If you find you cannot post a comment, and want to, email me…I will try to work around it either by posting your comment myself, with you name (or pseudonym) and the explanation that I am posting it for you, or change the way comments are handled.

In the meantime, continue to enjoy Bessemer Opinions where you can be entertained and educated on an almost daily basis.

Artur Davis Plays to a Packed House

November 28, 2007

But first…for this week at least, Bessemer Opinions was recognized as the 11th most influential blog in the state. See the list here. It changes each Sunday. Keep coming back and Bessemer Opinions will move up in the rankings. Bessemer Opinion’s ranking will appear over to the left (Blogging Communities) on weeks that we are ranked.

Also, Bessemer Opinions now has a link on the Alabama Democratic Party’s page. See the list of links on their page here.

Yes Artur Davis showed up last night, accompanied by his good friend, earliest supporter, and the “first person to give me a $1000 check,” (a paraphrased quote), the Mayor of Bessemer, Ed May. The congressman’s assistant said there were 122 people present, an SRO crowd.

I was somewhat surprised that not one question was raised during the hour and a half question and answer period about the War in Iraq or about the patriot act. People are more concerned about the economy, gas prices, education, health care and infrastructure. The was one “big issue” question and that was about immigration.

Davis supports tight border security, and a guest worker program. He would allow undocumented aliens that have been in the country working for 7 years to have guest worker status and a path to citizenship that puts them at the end of the line and requires them to pay a fine. For those who have been here 2 – 7 years, he supports guest worker status, but no path to citizenship. For those here less than two years…sorry Charlie, you are out of here. He also favors continuing to allow children of illegals to receive food stamps (the ony benefit they qualify for…and who wants to see kids starve) and attend schools (better to educate them than keep them on the streets from 8 to 3 every day).

A local pastor asked a question about hate crimes, and showed that he has been influenced by the misrepresentations of the legislation spread by the religious right. He said he had heard that preachers would be restricted from preaching about homosexuality and if they did they would be charged with a hate crime. Not so, said Davis, who helped draft the bill that passed the house. Nothing in the bill restricts our first amendment right to free speech. The bill only provides for harsher penalties for physically attacking a person because of their real or perceived sexual orientation.

I raised my hand at every opportunity and was finally recognized for the last question, and I asked about recent vote against ENDA, the Employment Non Discrimination Act, adding that a no vote gives the appearance that everyone should not be given the same rights and protections. He said he agreed that the government should not be making employment decisions based on sexual orientation, but that he doesn’t think the government has the right to tell individuals who they can hire and who they can’t. He mentioned that churches were exempt, but countered that religious individuals were not, and he thinks they should be.

Of course he didn’t mention that it is the churches and the religious individuals who are at fault here for not recognizing that gay people came about just like everyone else and that the church should accept gay people for who they are. Actually, he did sort of allude to that, saying the churches should be more open and not restrict themselves to people who are just like they are…if they do they are missing the point.

I visited with Davis after the event and reminded him that I serve on a committee for which he is the chair (the Health Committee of the Black Belt Action Commission)Commission). He remembered.

I give him credit for the work he has done in helping the Black Belt, but he pointed out that while improvements are being made there (such as unemployment rates in all the Black Belt Counties being in single digits…a change from just a few years back) we are slipping in urban areas when it comes to poverty. The poverty rate in Jefferson County is over 19%. He tied this in with the unemployment rate in Jefferson County, at 2.7% and drew the conclusion that there are a lot of poor people out there who are working.

He might have read my blog yesterday because he mentioned the Army Corp of Engineers as being the most dysfunctional and least efficient government agency known. He was speaking about flood plains and water but levees tie right in there with that.

ENDA passed the house without Davis’s vote. He admits that attitudes are still evolving on gay issues and that in a few years as young people grow up and vote that more and more rights and protections will be afforded. It’s a shame that he is not on the forefront of that effort, but maybe, as he said, his own attitude toward the LGBT community will evolve and he will see that most gays, like most blacks or most poor or most women, are hard working spiritual people who just want to move forward with their own lives and see our country do the same.

>Artur Davis Plays to a Packed House

November 28, 2007

>But first…for this week at least, Bessemer Opinions was recognized as the 11th most influential blog in the state. See the list here. It changes each Sunday. Keep coming back and Bessemer Opinions will move up in the rankings. Bessemer Opinion’s ranking will appear over to the left (Blogging Communities) on weeks that we are ranked.

Also, Bessemer Opinions now has a link on the Alabama Democratic Party’s page. See the list of links on their page here.

Yes Artur Davis showed up last night, accompanied by his good friend, earliest supporter, and the “first person to give me a $1000 check,” (a paraphrased quote), the Mayor of Bessemer, Ed May. The congressman’s assistant said there were 122 people present, an SRO crowd.

I was somewhat surprised that not one question was raised during the hour and a half question and answer period about the War in Iraq or about the patriot act. People are more concerned about the economy, gas prices, education, health care and infrastructure. The was one “big issue” question and that was about immigration.

Davis supports tight border security, and a guest worker program. He would allow undocumented aliens that have been in the country working for 7 years to have guest worker status and a path to citizenship that puts them at the end of the line and requires them to pay a fine. For those who have been here 2 – 7 years, he supports guest worker status, but no path to citizenship. For those here less than two years…sorry Charlie, you are out of here. He also favors continuing to allow children of illegals to receive food stamps (the ony benefit they qualify for…and who wants to see kids starve) and attend schools (better to educate them than keep them on the streets from 8 to 3 every day).

A local pastor asked a question about hate crimes, and showed that he has been influenced by the misrepresentations of the legislation spread by the religious right. He said he had heard that preachers would be restricted from preaching about homosexuality and if they did they would be charged with a hate crime. Not so, said Davis, who helped draft the bill that passed the house. Nothing in the bill restricts our first amendment right to free speech. The bill only provides for harsher penalties for physically attacking a person because of their real or perceived sexual orientation.

I raised my hand at every opportunity and was finally recognized for the last question, and I asked about recent vote against ENDA, the Employment Non Discrimination Act, adding that a no vote gives the appearance that everyone should not be given the same rights and protections. He said he agreed that the government should not be making employment decisions based on sexual orientation, but that he doesn’t think the government has the right to tell individuals who they can hire and who they can’t. He mentioned that churches were exempt, but countered that religious individuals were not, and he thinks they should be.

Of course he didn’t mention that it is the churches and the religious individuals who are at fault here for not recognizing that gay people came about just like everyone else and that the church should accept gay people for who they are. Actually, he did sort of allude to that, saying the churches should be more open and not restrict themselves to people who are just like they are…if they do they are missing the point.

I visited with Davis after the event and reminded him that I serve on a committee for which he is the chair (the Health Committee of the Black Belt Action Commission)Commission). He remembered.

I give him credit for the work he has done in helping the Black Belt, but he pointed out that while improvements are being made there (such as unemployment rates in all the Black Belt Counties being in single digits…a change from just a few years back) we are slipping in urban areas when it comes to poverty. The poverty rate in Jefferson County is over 19%. He tied this in with the unemployment rate in Jefferson County, at 2.7% and drew the conclusion that there are a lot of poor people out there who are working.

He might have read my blog yesterday because he mentioned the Army Corp of Engineers as being the most dysfunctional and least efficient government agency known. He was speaking about flood plains and water but levees tie right in there with that.

ENDA passed the house without Davis’s vote. He admits that attitudes are still evolving on gay issues and that in a few years as young people grow up and vote that more and more rights and protections will be afforded. It’s a shame that he is not on the forefront of that effort, but maybe, as he said, his own attitude toward the LGBT community will evolve and he will see that most gays, like most blacks or most poor or most women, are hard working spiritual people who just want to move forward with their own lives and see our country do the same.