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Dear Parents Part Two

Every time you tell your kids to stick up for others, to accept people as they are, and to show your support when someone is down, you help a kid like Jonah.

From all reports the support for the child in the video I posted yesterday has been overwhelming. He came out to his parents and friends after making that video and has found love and acceptance.

Sometimes we get it right.


Dear Parents

Every time you tell your kid that gays are bad, wrong, less than, against God's word, misguided, etc., you do this to another kid.


Just fucking stop it.


Dear Parents:

If you heard your child's version of your hate, I wonder if it might make you stop and think for a minute before you speak. The kids don't even bother with your sanctimonious lies that the homophobia, blaming of the poor for being poor, racism, and other such nastiness is "religious" or "patriotic." They, at least, have more honesty, even though they have no idea why they hate other than that you told them to.

Tea Party of Orange County

I can't comment civilly about this.

The President at the Tucson Memorial

My hope is restored. And my resolve to stop my own rhetoric, turn away from it from others, and to provide a better example for my children is strengthened.

From one member of a community in great pain, thank you, Mr. President.

"And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let's remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud. "

Barack Obama

This. A thousand times THIS


Posted by George Packer

Over a hundred comments and counting! Many are well-argued, including a lot of the dissents, and make me want to argue back. Some are nasty enough to give my original post a sort of roundabout boost. But who knew that so many conservatives read The New Yorker? I hope they stay subscribers.

I’ll group my answers and after-thoughts under several topics that come up frequently in the thread.

Marx wasn’t Hitler! I paired them, in the shorthand of blogging, as influences on Loughner (he cited “The Communist Manifesto” and “Mein Kampf”) whose destructive legacies do not include the shootings in Tucson. Obviously, a philosopher of political economy and a genocidal totalitarian dictator are not remotely commensurate—I should have made that clear. But when tens of millions of people are killed under the banner of an ism that bears your name within a century of your life, you don’t get the philosopher’s free pass. Were those murders the result of a tragic distortion of Marx? Yes—and yet, at the same time, one can’t read Marx’s writings without being aware of his brutal inflexibility, his hatred of what he considered humanistic moral cant. Marx heralded the remorseless wheel of history, whatever victims it might claim.

You started it! It’s undeniable that some Americans on the left never accepted the Bush Presidency as legitimate after the Florida recount. It’s also undeniable that the left’s rhetoric over the Iraq War was often hostile, simplistic, and unfair. For commenters who don’t know my work and assume I’m a partisan hack, take a look at Chapter 11 of “The Assassins’ Gate,” my book about Iraq, for detailed criticism of just that tendency, which flourished on both sides of the war. I try to call them as I see them, and I get in trouble with both sides along the way.

But it won’t do to dig up stray comments by Obama, Allen Grayson, or any other Democrat who used metaphors of combat over the past few years, and then try to claim some balance of responsibility in the implied violence of current American politics. (Most of the Obama quotes that appear in the comments were lame attempts to reassure his base that he can get mad and fight back, i.e., signs that he’s practically incapable of personal aggression in politics.) In fact, there is no balance—none whatsoever. Only one side has made the rhetoric of armed revolt against an oppressive tyranny the guiding spirit of its grassroots movement and its midterm campaign. Only one side routinely invokes the Second Amendment as a form of swagger and intimidation, not-so-coyly conflating rights with threats. Only one side’s activists bring guns to democratic political gatherings. Only one side has a popular national TV host who uses his platform to indoctrinate viewers in the conviction that the President is an alien, totalitarian menace to the country. Only one side fills the AM waves with rage and incendiary falsehoods. Only one side has an iconic leader, with a devoted grassroots following, who can’t stop using violent imagery and dividing her countrymen into us and them, real and fake. Any sentient American knows which side that is; to argue otherwise is disingenuous.

And yet plenty of people who ought to know better are making just that argument, with a heat that suggests they protest too much. For example, Ross Douthat, who brought his promising Times column this morning to its low point. Douthat wrote, in the spirit of phony equivalence, “If overheated rhetoric and martial imagery really led inexorably to murder, then both parties would belong in the dock,” but also this: “the attempted murder of a Democratic congresswoman is a potential gift to liberalism.” In other words, everyone goes over the line now and then, no one actually wants anyone dead, but one side kind of wouldn’t mind. Douthat’s column adds moral ugliness to the intellectual dishonesty that’s characterized the right’s furious response.

No one’s free speech ever got anyone killed, and you’re trying to take away mine! This was Jack Shafer’s claim in Slate. It’s dishonest as well—hardly anyone is calling for suppression of speech, certainly not me. What’s at issue is self-restraint on the part of leaders and media figures who command a following over which they exert considerable influence, and whom they daily incite into a state of political fury. My post stated at the top that no one but the shooter is responsible for the massacre. But other people, far from the Tucson Safeway, are responsible for pushing language, thought, and feeling to an extreme where political violence begins to seem legitimate. Is it a coincidence that threats to the President and Congress have skyrocketed over the past two years? The Secret Service doesn’t like to talk about these things, but I’ll bet that in years to come we’ll hear about a truly frightening level of threats during the Obama Presidency. Is it completely surprising that the shootings took place in a state and district that have become bywords for extremism and hot rhetoric? Or that the target was an elected official whose opponent last year used the M-16 as a campaign symbol?

Loughner might, by chance, have been completely unaware of the climate in his hometown. Or he might have been steeped in it. The point is that the climate is dangerous, in Arizona and elsewhere, and the shootings ought to have prompted its purveyors to step back and do some hard thinking. As David Frum wrote yesterday: “This talk did not cause this crime. But this crime should summon us to some reflection on this talk. Better: This crime should summon us to a quiet collective resolution to cease this kind of talk and to cease to indulge those who engage in it.” That was the point of my post, and it’s remarkable that Frum seems to be the only conservative who’s had the courage to say anything like it (other than one Republican senator, who, not so courageously, requested anonymity). At a minimum, human decency should have led Sarah Palin to express regret for the dog whistle she directed against Gabrielle Giffords, among others. Instead, in Palinland and across the right, the attitude has been: Never apologize. But this has been the right’s attitude throughout the Obama era, with considerable political success, and I don’t expect this tragedy to bring a change.

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/georgepacker/2011/01/tucson-revisited.html#ixzz1Alw68S6j

Gay Teen Suicide Prevention

In reference to the last bit in my last entry, some links that can hopefully help someone out there while we all work towards equality, or at the very very least, respect.


From Dan Savage's column this week about the It Gets Better Project:

IT GETS BETTER: Last week, I wrote about Billy Lucas, a 15-year-old kid in Indiana who took his own life after enduring years of bullying for being gay. Billy didn't identify as gay and may not have been gay. But the consequences of anti-gay bullying—whether the kid being harassed is gay or closeted or just different—are often the same: isolation, pain, despair, and suicide.

After last week's column went to press, I learned about another teenager—this one openly gay—who recently took his own life. Cody J. Barker was a 17-year-old high-school student in Shiocton, Wisconsin. Cody was a cyclist and a gardener and a Lady Gaga fan who had planned to start a gay-straight student alliance at his high school this fall. "He really cared about making schools a safe place for students," a friend of Cody's told the Wisconsin Gazette. "That wasn't always his own experience with school."

Billy Lucas in Indiana, Cody Barker in Wisconsin, Justin Aaberg in Minnesota—these three boys and countless other LGBT kids have committed suicide because they couldn't picture a future for themselves.

That's why my boyfriend and I launched the It Gets Better Project, a slightly grand name for a YouTube channel. We made a short video about our lives—the harassment we endured in school, the full and rewarding lives we enjoy now—and invited other LGBT adults to make and upload videos about their lives. The response has been completely overwhelming: thousands of members, hundreds of thousands of views, and more than 100 videos from people all over the world sharing their stories, all in an effort to let bullied and isolated and unhappy LGBT kids know that it gets better.

I think it's up to us, all of us, to make sure it gets better now.


Where did the time go? Classes start tomorrow and I don't even have a new notebook yet. I've been doofing off instead. Well, and Emma was sick with an ear infection for a week, but mainly I've been doofing off.

Also haven't done the five questions thinger. Sorry! Working on it.

Your result for The Perception Personality Image Test...

NBPC - The Daydreamer

Nature, Background, Big Picture, and Color

You perceive the world with particular attention to nature. You focus on the hidden treasures of life (the background) and how that fits into the larger picture. You are also particularly drawn towards the colors around you. Because of the value you place on nature, you tend to find comfort in more subdued settings and find energy in solitude. You like to ponder ideas and imagine the many possibilities of your life without worrying about the details or specifics. You are in tune with all that is around you and understand your life as part of a larger whole. You are a down-to-earth person who enjoys going with the flow.

The Perception Personality Types:


Take The Perception Personality Image Test at HelloQuizzy


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