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Profile Information

Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 10,618

About Me

I'm always on the lookout to connect with like-minded people, learn new things and debate the issues. I enjoy indoor gardening, traveling, going to the theater, reading and cooking. My great grandmother instilled in me a love for democratic politics. She lived through the great depression and talked about how essential FDR was in rescuing our country from the brink. My pronouns are he and his; I use they, them and their in posts when I refer to others when I do not know their gender.

Journal Archives

American Leaders Praise Nelson Mandela’s Contributions To Advance LGBT Rights

Mandela was a major gay rights leader - something that I'm ashamed to say that I knew little about or fully appreciated.

LGBT history has been pushed aside too long. I'm learning so much about how progressive he actually was.

Mandela ushered in the world’s first constitution to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation. “Nelson Mandela tore down oppression, united a rainbow nation, and always walked arm-in-arm with his LGBT brothers and sisters—and with all people—toward freedom,” Human Rights Campaign president says.

The Constitution that was promulgated by Mandela in December 1996 was the world’s first to contain explicit protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

As the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Rea Carey said in a statement, “Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to the millions of people who yearn for freedom across the world. With great personal sacrifice, he fought apartheid and state-sanctioned racism. His principled approach, his willingness to reach out to former enemies, led to the introduction of multi-party democracy and real change in South Africa.”

From Buzzfeed: http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/american-leaders-praise-nelson-mandelas-contributions-to-adv

And the Washington Post had this to say:

Nelson Mandela: LGBT rights champion

As we celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela, who died yesterday at the age of 95, I want to make sure he is heralded for doing something no other head of government has ever done. As the first president of post-apartheid South Africa in 1996, Mandela ushered in that nation’s new constitution, which included protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The first of its kind.

The new constitution, adopted in May 1996, led to the end of the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the South African military. And that historic document laid the groundwork for a historic 2005 court ruling written by Sachs that legalized same-sex marriage in the Rainbow Nation.

Please stop using Latin to criticize posts - a modest proposal

Saying ad hominem is so 2002. Can we start criticizing people en francais instead?

In addition to mixing things up, it will class up the joint.

Plus we can drop in French phrases in our posts randomly, n'est-ce pas. Everyone gets a pass on using proper French grammar or since that's a pain in le derrière anyway.

It will make us sound like Ms. Piggy, and who can turn away from her irresistible allure?

Certainly not moi.

So instead of saying I've perpetrated the transgression of ad hominem-ism, can people just say something like:

Mon dieu! Vous message est merde like un pungent fromage.

Merci and happy Friday!

Chemical weapons and averting our gaze

After Obama's speech, I watched the videos that showed the aftermath of chemical weapons attack. I hadn't watched them prior.

They show men, women and children writhing on the floor and the effects of what being the victim of chemical weapons looks like. Some were moving their limbs uncontrollably. Others were frothing at the mouth. All exhibited a perverse rictus of agony that they were unable to escape. Many were dead or nearly so.

I have never seen anything like it. Part of me wishes I could erase the images from my memory.

I was among the people who called my rep and senators to ask them to vote no on any resolution to attack Syria. I'm not sure if that was the right thing to do. I feel like I expressed a virtual fuck you to the victims. I was engaging in the kind of binary black/white thinking that I despised in the Bush admin. That I am trying to make myself not believe that chemical weapons are in a class of their own. Will I be complicit in the next gassing of whichever group becomes the brunt of these types of weapons again?

There are far more threads on DU about outrage at president Obama than at Assad.
I'm not sure what to make of it.

There's wisdom in the quote (which I am badly paraphrasing) that all that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good people do nothing.

I don't know what the answer is. I only wish I had that wisdom.

But I do know this - if we settle for allowing Assad to simply say "Sorry! Mea culpa. I promise to not do that again," then aren't we just averting out gaze to focus on something that's easier to see?

Do we need to have an answer to the question of how many people is it acceptable to subject to chemical weapons? When will it be time to act? Is there ever a time to act unilaterally?

I hope diplomacy works since that is the direction we're headed. But the complexity of the issue does not change. Reducing our reactions to sound bites accomplishes nothing and debases us all.

Obamacare: Three sentences that say it all

I was poking around on the healthcare.gov site when I came across this gem in the pre-existing conditions section:

Being sick doesn't keep you from getting coverage.

Starting in 2014, being sick won't keep you from getting health coverage. An insurance company can't turn you down or charge you more because of your condition.

It's only three sentences, but for me it captures the essence of the miracle that is the ACA.

I'm sitting here tearing up at what this means for so many. What it means for me and my extended family. What it means for all of us.

This is what change looks like. And it's amazing to be alive to bear witness to so much history in the making.

We need more positive Obama news on the homepage

DU, it seems, is becoming little more than a platform to bash president Obama.

I log in today and the first thing I see on the front page is a message thread about how Obama isn't progressive.

Are these people insane? Obama is the most progressive president of my lifetime and by a wide margin. Does universal access to HC insurance and mind-boggling progress on LGBT rights mean nothing to people?

Do posters understand how the legislative process works? The ACA is a platform that we can build on. The entire NSA apparatus was put in place long before President Obama took office. I could go on and on.

And of course there are valid criticisms of some policies, but personal attacks on the president's character need to stop.

I used to enjoy spending time on the site a lot more than I do now. I can't see myself giving DU up completely, but it's a buzzkill to see the president being bashed day in and day out.

Where is Skinner in all of this? Does he take a position? I'm scratching my head over the mission of DU, because I don't understand it now.

Women are being stripped of their rights across the country and the GOP is doing everything in its power to discourage people from exercising their right to vote.

These are real issues that are here now. We need to unite, focus and work as hard as we can to get Democrats elected into office.

DU can be a positive force for good. It doesn't have to be known as Demoralizing Underground.

Honestly, there's less Obama bashing on Yahoo comment streams than DU now. And that's saying a lot.

And it also tells me that DU isn't like the rest of the world. And now I'm glad of that. It pains me to say that, since DU used to be a respite from vitriol being flung at the president.

There are millions of us Obama supporters out there, but are we still welcome in the main forums like GD?

I am finding that I spend more time in the subgroups, which hasn't been a bad thing. I'm getting to know some pretty awesome people that I have a lot in common with.

I don't know what the answer is for DU or if there is a solution to be found.

But you know what? Obama continues to give me hope. Everything about his story proves anything is possible. I hope DU can become constructive again even as I fear the current climate is driving people away since it's no fun being the victim of the bash mob.

The front page enraged me today, which is why you're seeing this rant.

I'll close with a positive note by sending hugs to the BOG and other posters who still have faith in our remarkable president. We are the change we seek.

My name is politicub and I can not roast a whole chicken

There. I've said it. And now I am starting to be okay with it. Acceptance is the first step.

I'm a pretty decent cook when it comes to most things. But for the life of me, I can't seem to get a roast chicken to come out right.

I have tried numerous recipes, and each time something doesn't come out correctly. The problem I have most often is the meat not being done on the thigh, even when I use a meat thermometer. I've tried adding more time than called for, baking in a hotter oven, using a cooking rack, not using a cooking rack, cooking it on its side a la Cooks Illustrated, trussing, brining, not starting with the chicken ice cold, cooking it low and slow (I roll my eyes every time I hear someone say that, and I feel dirty typing it), slathering it with butter, not putting a lemon in the cavity, starting with a lilliputian bird, getting a showtime rotisserie oven, doing a chicken dance before it comes out of the oven... but it doesn't matter.

I thought this evening would be different. I followed Pioneer Woman's recipe to the letter. It has step by step pictures, for crissakes. I added a good amount of extra cooking time. How could it go wrong?

Well, it did go wrong.

The chicken itself was beautiful. But it turned out that its perfectly browned skin was just there to mock me. When I cut into the thigh, I had high hopes. But WTF - I did it again.

So now it's back in the oven. Having already been cut into, it's going to come out dry and sad.

The bitter irony? I can roast a turkey. What's up with that?

I'm not looking for help. Just someone to listen.

So thank you for listening, DU Cooking & Baking group. The wine beckons.

Oven BBQ chicken

It's too rainy to BBQ outside, so I'm going to try to BBQ my chicken in the oven. I guess that technically it won't be BBQ, but you catch my drift.

I found a recipe that sounds good - http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2009/04/13/oven-baked-bbq-chicken/ - but thought I would ask the group for suggestions or links to other recipes you've tried.

I'm cutting up a whole chicken, so not just leg quarters like the recipe above calls for.

It will be served with coleslaw and baked potatoes.

On edit: Made the recipe as it was described on the site except for adding cilantro. It turned out great. I wanted sticky BBQ, and this recipe didn't disappoint.

Now I have to figure out what to do tonight with the leftovers!

The neW PBS channel on Roku is fantastic

Last night I watched the San Francisco Ballet's production of the Little Mermaid on Great Performances.

I highly recommend the ballet. The SF Ballet's interpretation of the story is thought provoking, and the lighting, performances and score were very well done.

President Obama arrives in Atlanta for Morehouse commencement address

It's exciting that the president is in town! Wish I had a ticket to the graduation ceremony.

Obama exhorts good deeds by Morehouse graduates

ATLANTA (AP) — President Barack Obama is telling graduates of Morehouse College to take the power of their example — as black men graduating from college — and use it to improve people's lives.

He's asking those headed to law school to think about defending the poor, and those destined for medical school to consider treating people in communities without access to health care....


Air Force One arrives at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and President Obama steps off the plane Friday afternoon (Video)


501(c)4s - The GOP's preemptive strike to protect its fraudulent activity

The right is treating this entire issue as politically motivated, but how can this be since these groups aren't supposed to support one candidate or another?

Unless - gasp - the applicants and those who run these orgs are out for political gain.

So the GOP needs to be honest; admit that the applicants were perpetuating fraud by masquerading as social welfare orgs; and stop the obfuscation.

There is rampant disregard for the law by many 501(c)4s, and the IRS was just doing its job, IMHO, to apply scrutiny to the litany of filings.

All of the political bluster is to cover the GOP's abuse of 501(c)4s.

It makes me wonder if the GOP is trying to obfuscate the issue since there could be damning evidence lurking out there that proves that the biggest groups were directly involved and corroborating with political campaigns at all levels - reps, senators, and Romney's presidential bid.

Something smells rotten in Denmark.

And a tell that the GOP is mounting an obfuscation campaign is the sudden appearance of the concern troll storm over the weekend, and not to mention the coordinated talking points. DU old timers know exactly what I'm talking about and what's going on here.
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