His two moms

 Posted by at 09:48  Politics
May 242013
 

I just happened upon this video (here) and want to share it with you. It’s video of 18-year-old Riley Roberts talking to a Nevada State Senate committee about his two moms. The committee was debating a resolution favoring marriage equality.

The resolution went on to pass the State Assembly by a vote of 27-14. It had earlier passed in the Senate on a 12-9 vote. All no votes were from Republicans.

Nevada Legislature advances gay marriage resolution

A constitutional amendment that would let voters decide whether to legalize gay marriage passed the final hurdle of the 2013 legislative session Thursday but still has a long way to go.

Senate Joint Resolution 13 passed the Assembly on a 27-14 vote, bringing the process to get it to the ballot in 2016 to an end for this year. All the no votes were Republicans. Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, R-Las Vegas, voted with Democrats.

The proposed amendment must pass again in identical form in the 2015 legislative session before it can go to the ballot. Gov. Brian Sandoval’s signature is not required.

The proposal would remove Nevada’s current prohibition on same-gender marriage from the state constitution, and add new language recognizing same-gender marriage…

The measure earlier passed the Senate on a 12-9 vote will all Democrats and one Republican in support.

Gay kids can be Scouts

 Posted by at 20:50  General
May 232013
 

The Boy Scouts of America today voted to allow openly gay kids to join their organization, however gay adults as Scout leaders will still be banned. Once a gay person turns 18 years of age, they become persona non grata to the Boy Scouts of America.

Boy Scouts approve plan to accept openly gay boys

In one of their most dramatic choices in a century, local leaders of the Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to ease a divisive ban and allow openly gay boys to be accepted into the nation’s leading youth organization.

Gay adults will remain barred from serving as Scout leaders.

Of the local Scout leaders voting at their annual meeting in Texas, more than 60 percent supported the proposal.

Casting ballots were about 1,400 voting members of BSA’s National Council who were attending their annual meeting at a conference center not far from BSA headquarters in suburban Dallas.

“The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting,” said the Boy Scouts in a statement released Thursday.

“While people have different opinions about this policy,” the statement continued, “we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting. Going forward, our Scouting family will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth in order to help them grow into good, strong citizens. America’s youth need Scouting, and by focusing on the goals that unite us, we can continue to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.”

In other words, they are “good, strong citizens” until they reach the age of eighteen years. After that, not so much.

Personally, I have never understood the attraction. Why would a person want to belong to an organization that so clearly does not want them? It’s the same thing that has always confused me about gay Republicans.

Counterterrorism 2013

 Posted by at 14:02  Politics
May 232013
 

President Obama just concluded an important address on counterterrorism and national security. Here is the video:

The transcript of the address, as prepared for delivery, may be read following the break. You’ll notice he kind of deviates toward the end due to a bit of heckling from one of the co-founders of Code Pink. He handles it quite gracefully, though.

Continue reading »

Devastation in Oklahoma

 Posted by at 21:33  General
May 202013
 

Our thoughts are with our neighbors to the north tonight.

Two-mile-wide tornado kills at least 51

Moore, Oklahoma (CNN) — Rescue workers raced against time and the oncoming night Monday looking for survivors after a powerful tornado blasted an area outside of Oklahoma City, leveling homes and killing at least 51 people.

At least seven of the dead were children from Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, which lay directly in the path of the monster storm’s wall of wind…

The preliminary rating of damage created by the tornado is at least EF4 (winds 166 to 200 mph) — the second-most severe classification on a scale of zero to five — the National Weather Service said.

The tornado was estimated to be at least two miles wide at one point as it moved through Moore, KFOR reported.

Unfortunately it is that time of year and we are in “Tornado Alley.” We had a good taste of this in our neighborhood a few nights ago. Still, though, our thoughts are with the folks in Oklahoma tonight.

UPDATE: Fatality count has been downgraded to 24, including nine children. (Still too many.)

Commencement 2013

 Posted by at 10:21  Politics
May 202013
 

It’s the time of year that students begin graduating, most with knowledge and degrees that they will most likely never use. But, hey… they’re educated!

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama each delivered a commencement address this past weekend. The First Lady went to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet High School for Health Sciences and Engineering in Nashville, Tennessee. The President went to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Here are their speeches…

If you’d prefer to read their remarks, you may do so here and here.

Congratulations to all you graduates out there.

Weekly Address 05-18-13

 Posted by at 08:42  Politics
May 182013
 

“The President Talks About How to Build a Rising, Thriving Middle Class”

From the White House weblog:

President Obama talks about his belief that a rising, thriving middle class is the true engine of economic growth, and that to reignite that engine and continue to build on the progress we’ve made over the last four years, we need to invest in three areas: jobs, skills and opportunity.

Click below to listen to the audio only:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Transcript after the break.

Continue reading »

May 172013
 

These are thumbnails. Click on them to view them full size. A slide show is also available during which the images will change every eight seconds. You may start, stop or exit the slide show at any time. Enjoy.

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

Ordinary People

 Posted by at 09:31  Politics
May 172013
 

Deval Patrick, governor of Massachusetts, penned an outstanding op-ed that was published in yesterday’s Washington Post. You should read it. Here’s one paragraph to whet your appetite. Click on the heading at the beginning of the quote to read the entire article.

Gay marriage and the right to be ordinary

Nine years ago Friday, same-sex marriages started happening in Massachusetts, and the time since then has proved wonderfully unremarkable. The sky has not fallen. The earth has not opened to swallow us up. Thousands of good people, contributing members of our society, have made free decisions about whom to marry. Most have been joyful and lasting. Some have failed. Ho-hum. And even as this principle of government treating people equally spreads to 11 more states and the District of Columbia, even as mean-spirited politicians stoke discord over marriage equality in election years, people just keep on being people, choosing their life partners by the same old mysteries, regardless of sexual orientation. Gays and lesbians, like blacks and whites a generation ago, want nothing more than to be ordinary.

P.S. I really am not comfortable with the term “gay marriage.” I do not believe you should need terms to differentiate between “gay marriage” and “straight marriage.” Marriage is marriage. Everybody should have the right to spend their life with the person they love. Period.
 

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Weekly Address 05-11-13

 Posted by at 09:48  Politics
May 112013
 

“Growing the Housing Market and Supporting our Homeowners”

From the White House weblog:

President Obama discusses the housing market and urges Congress to confirm Mel Watt to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency and take action to give every responsible homeowner the chance to refinance and save money on their mortgage.

Click below to listen to the audio only:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Transcript after the break.

Continue reading »

May 102013
 

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

      

Bonus video (may not be viewable outside of the United States):