Email Letter to Frank Bruni, NYT, re “Extinction of Gay Culture”

Thank you for your commentary! I came out in 1968 at age 24, two years after my honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force. Right around Memorial Day weekend of that year, I met the man who would become my first partner. We remained in our relationship for eight years; bonded as close friends until he died from AIDS in 1996.

In the late seventies I joined Gay Activists Alliance, DC, when Frank Kameny was still a very strong presence in our “community”. Anita Bryant’s assault on gay men, asserting that we all were child molesters, sent me over the top to become an activist of sorts.

I served on two separate gay rights boards in the very early1980s; wrote columns for gay rags in the early nineties, always using my real name. I contributed as effectively as I could while building a successful career in the private business sector.

I have seen how our “movement” has gone forward. I am still very close to the vest about being gay. “None of their business” is how I have kept it throughout these many years. In some respects, I believe our “blending” into the various neighborhoods has been a very positive step forward. Yet, at times I become anxious over the fact that we gays are not as mysterious as we once were. “Familiarity breeds contempt”, and we certainly see that in the current White House administration.

I guess I have been fortunate in that I ‘pass’ as straight to most people. I do not put any energy into that; it just happened. I love sports of every kind, especially Euro rugby and soccer; ice hockey; football. I was a bit of an enigma to those who “suspected” because I liked so many of “those guy things”. Sad, isn’t it!
Thank you for your article! It took me back to somewhat more perilous, and terribly sad times. I remember the fear we had. I remember how in the late sixties we could be arrested in DC’s gay bars if we were caught so much as holding hands. Yep! Even inside the gay bar! And, I must admit that I do get a bit uneasy when I see two lads walking down the street holding hands. It is an adjustment!

I have watched “The Normal Heart” at least 3 times and manage to cry during various scenes along the way. “Call me by your name” is awesome; so tender and truly loving — a time now past for me. At the end, the father’s speech to Elio was so profound. I thought to myself, “if only all parents were so perceptive and understanding!”

Best regards, Mr. Bruni, and bless you. By the way, you are one VERY handsome man. Yes, I can say that. I am old enough to be your daddy. LOL.

Comment on WaPo responding to Michael Gerson’s column on today’s vile rhetoric

Quote, “And the repair of our public life will eventually require a restoration of rhetoric.” End quote. Good luck with that one! I have watched with considerable sorrow over the years how our nation has been sliding into a national sewer. Trump calls it a “swamp”, but Trump replaced the swamp with his own style putrid cesspool.

Those things once treated as “best left unsaid” now are the sayable. The boundaries have been broken down in multiple venues. The ‘in your face’ mindset is killing us from within. If I think it, I will say it. Right out of the Trump playbook. But, Trump does not get all the credit on this. Somehow, the art of the insult has become far more powerful than the art of the deal; any deal.

I catch myself using profanity and expletives where even just a few short years ago I would not have. That is especially true when posting comments online in certain venues. I strive to avoid personal attacks, despite the fact having come under some pretty nasty ones.

Decency and dignity, truth and honesty have become the victims of society’s villains, villains who believe anything goes and there should be no holds barred. Being “gentlemanly” and “ladylike” seem almost vulgar in concept in today’s world. License to be vulgar and thoughtless has pushed aside the idea of being thoughtful and compassionate. As a friend said to me years ago, “We are like rats. We eat our own.” It appears there is no toxin or poison potent enough to kill that.

Thoughts on Evangelicalism

Evangelicals writ large have contaminated and corrupted Christian faith; at least insofar as many have come to understand and embrace the Faith. Hatred and intolerance form the core values of evangelicals. They are self-righteous ideologues who believe that they and only they hold any true faith. Yet, they are among the least faithful and the most toxic of any religious group. Evangelicals and fundamentalists lack all respect for our Republic and the principles upon which this Republic was founded and established. We are NOT a theocracy.

Matthew 23:25: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” (Matthew 23:25-28) Evangelicals and fundamentalists are phony, a collective offense to Jesus the Christ and God of the Heavens.

Email to Kathleen Parker, WaPo, 19 FEB 2018

Dear Ms. Parker:

In your column in yesterday’s Sunday Washington Post, your next to last paragraph reads, “Politicians don’t change or fix things until their constituents demand it . . .”

That is a huge part of our national problem. Politicians, who are by their nature parasitic non-leaders, fail to be proactive. Even when constituents demand things, “things” do not happen. “How so?” you might ask. Well, for one, how many deaths have taken place since Sandy Hook at the hands of crazed madmen brandishing an AR-15? We look at the slaughters of Sandy Hook, Columbine, Orlando, Las Vegas and now Parkland. (I apologize if I missed a few, doing this solely from memory.)

If the reports I have read are correct, congressional Republicans have accumulated a rather handsome stash in the millions from the NRA. MILLIONS! Donald Trump alone has been reported as having received nearly THIRTY million dollars in campaign contributions from the NRA! Again, if my readings are spot on, the Democrats have totaled up less than one million dollars from the NRA. The NRA knows which bread to butter.

Leaders lead. Leaders do no wait for a crisis to occur. They are proactive, and take the steps necessary to avoid the crisis. Or, to be snap ready when it happens. “Thoughts and prayers” be damned! Members of Congress have become fat cats walking across dead bodies in a very short time period as pigs at the trough. (Thank you Arianna Huffington!)

Your praise of the students at Stoneman Douglas High School where this latest atrocity took place is superb. They are stand up youth and deserve all the recognition they can be given.

But, if history tells us anything, their rage, anger and outrage will be a mere blip on the screen of time. People like Marco Rubio or a Ted Cruz likely are thinking those kids can’t vote right away, anyway. “In a month or so, all this will be forgotten.” Sadly, I suspect that attitude is quite accurate. I truly hope I am wrong.

Each slaughter has resulted in enraged voices. Memorial gardens are created. Parents scream in despair at TV cameras. And, some idiot politician suggested arming teaches. WOW! The NRA’s Wayne La Pierre likely is salivating to the point of choking.

The fact is: No one needs an AR-15 except for soldiers and officers of the law. No one needs armor piercing ammunition except for soldiers and officers of the law. Both of those deadly items have been “approved” by the NRA for citizen possession and use. It has been reported 85% of NRA members support stricter gun laws and background checks. Years ago I cancelled my NRA membership as the result of their stance on AR-15s and armor piercing ammo. The heads at the NRA do not care. They are deep into the pockets of the guns and ammo manufacturers. It’s all about greed and money. As the saying goes, “Follow the money,” even when that takes one to the grave of yet another innocent child.

Best regards,

Comment on NYT about Alt-Right, 14 FEB 2018

We have devolved into a society of lies and deception, with the despotic king of lies and deception residing in the White House. The United States of America is being splintered into multiple parts as never before, with vile, vulgar and vibrant misinformation taking control of the narrative. We are witnessing the rise of consummate evil, gnawing away at our institutions, our truth and our national sanctity as a democratic Republic. It is growing like a cancer out of control and without cure. Society, like the fish, rots from the head down.

Post on Salon.com, 30 JAN 2018

It has been recorded that upon adjournment of the Continental Congress, Benjamin Franklin was asked what had been created.  Franklin responded, “A Republic, if you can keep her.”  It has become increasingly clear during this last year of Trump that our Republic is under siege.  The very tenets that have been the underpinnings of the United States are being aggressively dismantled.  People such as Jones and Gorka are the fringe of the fringe, but they have audiences.  What is especially concerning is not how large or small their audiences may be.  It is that they have audiences at all.  That fact speaks to an underlying problem among a subset of American citizens who are totally clueless about the system of governance we live in.  The bluster and bombast of Trump and his close knit circle of friends sounds assertive and aggressive to some, allowing them to take on the “Give ’em hell, Harry” persona.  That bravado is ill-fated for them and for the nation.  If the congressional Republicans continue to fail at their DUTY to this nation, we will fall ever more precipitously toward a fascist state run by oligarchs and the masses will become their serfs.  (If we haven’t already.)

Post on AlterNet, 30 JAN 2018

The three branches of government were created by our Founders for the purpose of separating the powers. The Republican Party has abdicated its duty and responsibility to fulfill their requirements as the Legislative Branch by blurring the lines between the Legislative and Executive Branches; falling on their collective, tribal sword for Donald J. Trump, the enemy of our Democratic Republic. The Democratic Party has become all but useless, what with its infighting, piss poor leadership and its failure to get solidly behind one candidate. (Bernie Sanders was a pariah to the process, and cost the 2016 election hugely.) Pelosi? OMG. Pathetic at any level.

Trump’s scorched earth, burn the Constitution form of quasi-governance is taking the United States down a perilous path. Sadly, the congressional Republicans are so giddy with power their hubris is taking us down that perilous path. This has been long in the making, but all too short for the taking.

Joe Scarborough, MSNBC, 30 JAN 2018

Dear Joe Scarborough,

It would be somewhat reassuring if Republicans in Congress read your piece in this last Sunday’s Washington Post (January 28th, 2018),  Sadly, I doubt if any will bother.  Congressional Republicans are so giddy with their newly found power their jubilation has transformed them into treacherous, hubris-filled beasts.

The line between the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch has become blurred dangerously.  The Paul Ryans and the Mitch McConnells of our world have been pigs at the trough of corporate benefaction for so long they have abdicated their duties as Members of Congress.  Just this past week Paul Ryan was parading giddily like a boy who had just been crowned Peter Pan because of the $500,000 (count ’em, five hundred thousand dollars) gift from the Koch Brothers.  Anyone who keeps even somewhat abreast of the Kochs knows all too well the tyranny they are raining down upon our Republic.

Mr. Scarborough, I am roughly twenty years your senior.  And while I may not “hanker for the good ole days”, I do remember an America that I believe was far more pleasant.  The acrimony, the sheer bitchiness of congress people, the litany of lies and falsehoods exiting the president’s mouth daily and the blatant disregard for the sanctity of our United States Constitution tells me “the husk of a once-proud Republican Party that will be swept away . . .” is already assaulting the “husk” of American society and culture.  The behavior of congressional Republicans is fully and boldly transparent in its intent (not just its effort) to destroy our Republic.

Quoting from Thomas Paine:  “THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.”

I served our nation as a very young Airman, promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant before age twenty-one; appointed Controller, Intel Ops Section for my Flight at age twenty-one.  My family has served since The American Revolutionary War.  Two uncles served in WWII, one a career officer, U.S. Army.  We who served during the Cold War would never have imagined the treachery that is taking place today right within our own government.  Russia, our friend?  Really!  China, our ally?  Really!  Incredulous!

The congressional Democrats are all but useless.  While Republicans act like feral bullies in the schoolyard, the Democrats sit on the sidelines debilitated by their cowardice.  Our nation is bereft of leadership.  We are cursed with politicians too consumed with hubris or too disabled by fear and ineptitude.

This is a dangerous and volatile time in our nation’s history.  The damage already done by Donald Trump and his legislative allies may be irreparable.  Even if the sweeping away of destruction of decency and dignity, of wholesale decimation of pristine environments and the elevation of lies, deception and “alternative facts” are, indeed, reparable, it will take at least an entire generation to repair the damage done.

Best regards,

 

Post on WaPo, 25 JAN 2018 re Article on DACA, CHIP & 2-week Delay

Democrats are weak and weak-kneed. Pelosi is a lost cause and should be pushed to the back rows of the Party. I will give Schumer some license, but he is the man who insisted early-on that he could “negotiate” with Trump. Well, we see how that’s worked out. Politics is pugilism at both its best and at its worst. In order to “reason” with the right (so wrong in their ideology), it has to be bare-knuckle no-holds-barred pugilism. Democrats need to organize; stop being like cats that cannot be herded. The Democrats are their own worst enemy: Too much navel gazing. Too much kindergarten style in-fighting. The one thing Republicans have always had going for them: Once a leader is picked, the leader is picked even that means holding one’s nose. One does not rule by consensus; they rule by authority and everyone falls in line, like it or not. So long as Democrats allow the likes of Bernie Sanders to ride on their coattails, they will continue to lose. So long as Democrats ignore the young, strong and forward thinking within their Party, they will lose.

Posted 25 JAN 2018 on AlterNet

Our Republic is in its worst state perhaps in all her history. The Trump White House is aggressively trying to undermine the FBI and the Department of Justice. Trump believes he should CONTROL both, thereby eliminating the arms’ length and objective relationship necessary. It is obvious Trump and his congressional Republicans are taking pages out of Hitler’s playbook and Stalin’s. Just within this last week Justice Gorsuch has been cited for hobnobbing with Republicans in quiet quarters. The goal of the Trump administration is to upend our nation. The Trump White House is getting huge support from Republicans in Congress. The claim by several Republican congressmen that the FBI has a “secret society” is poised intentionally to discredit the Agency and the DOJ. If this ship of state is not soon righted, we may have seen the last of our very best days as a democratic republic.