On the Death of the Polish President

April 11, 2010 at 12:22 pm 69 comments

by Brian Leubitz

Yesterday, Polish President Lech Kaczynski died, along with 95 others, in a plane crash on approach to a memorial ceremony for a Red Army massacre of Polish fighters in World War II. Kaczynski was a noted anti-gay zealot, even broadcasting, without permission, the marriage of an American couple performed in Canada.

If you couldn’t tell from my name, I have some Polish heritage. Well Russian-Polish Jewish to be more specific. Both the Poles and the Russians weren’t exactly great to my people during the late 19th and 20th Century. Eastern Europe has long been known to harbor some substantial anti-Semitic hatred for a long time, but it’s more recent that we’ve seen the full extent of the homophobia. Gays and lesbians there are quite a few years behind us in the West.

And Lech Kaczynski was something of an enigma. His twin brother, the former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has long been rumored to be gay himself. Whether he knew, or acknowledged that, Lech certainly showed no mercy upon Poland’s gay and lesbians. He even went so far as to suggest that acceptance of our community could lead to the end of humanity.

Despite all that, you will not find me saying that the crash was anything but a tragedy. The Polish government lost a whole segment of its intellectual class, and whether or not some of them were anti-gay, that is not a good thing. Losing that much of the leadership sends the country into something of a state of chaos. Quite simply, that is not a good thing.

But, the greater point isn’t really about that. Despite any abuse that we have suffered, I believe we are better than wishing ill will on bigots. As Holly Near’s famous song goes:

We are a gentle angry people
Singing, singing for our lives
We are a land of many colors…
We are an anti-nuclear people…
We are gay and straight together…
We are a peaceful, loving people…

We are angry, and we will fight for our rights. Yet, we are peaceful people, working towards a better day. Rights are rarely won by wishing for tragedies. They are won by hard work and non-violent resistance. There are reasons why Ghandi and MLK are such legends. They won their rights the hard way and they even gave their lives for their cause.

We will win by being better human beings than the bigots.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

On Ronald Reagan Day, I’ll Be Wearing A Red Ribbon Prop 8 Won’t Be on The Ballot in 2010

69 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 11, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Exactly. We will not win our rights by sitting idly by and wishing for it to happen. However, we will not win our rights by trampling the rights of others or glorifying in their death. Nor will we gain our rights through violence, even though violence is used in trampling on our rights. However, if we all get together and sign up for the Equality Rides that are being modeled on the Freedom Rides of the 1960’s we will make it harder to ignore the consequences of discrimination and oppression, because they will see that we are humans too.

    Reply
    • 2. G Rod  |  April 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm

      @Richard A. Walter
      Lamdba via an amici brief (April 1 2010) joined the State of Washington in defending disclosure of initiators of ballot initiatives in a case before the Appeal Division of the 9th District Supreme Court. Petitioners accuse LGBT community of a systematic and coordinated “intimidation campaign”. The brief refutes that claim. It does a good job of exploring the limits of free speech and other actions. In reading it I was mindful of J. Stone’s comments on this site on April 9th.
      http://data.lambdalegal.org/in-court/downloads/doe-v-reed_us_20100401_amicus-lambda-legal-et-al.pdf

      Reply
      • 3. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 11, 2010 at 7:09 pm

        Thank you, G. Rod. I still want everybody to sign up for the Equality Rides so that we can do something that is in person, in the flesh, and will actually show everybody exactly who it is they are harming. Except for the Westboro Baptist “Church” gang, it is harder for people to continue hurting people when they actually see them and begint oknow that they are hurting people just like they are.

        Reply
  • 4. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 11, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Subscribing because nothing happened the first time.

    Reply
  • 5. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    UGHHH

    Reply
  • 6. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    This Week In Holy Crimes

    Over the last seven days…

    Vermont: Pastor David Heckman pleads guilty to stealing $110K from Habitat For Humanity.
    Florida: Youth Pastor Cecil Wayne Seay charged with sending obscene text messages to 14 year old girl.
    Alabama: Pastor Anthony Hopkins on trial for murdering his wife and storing her body in a freezer for four years.
    Florida: Catholic Diocese of Orlando pays undisclosed settlement to woman after Father Wladyslaw Gorak was convicted for stalking and assaulting her.
    California: Pastor Melvin Lynn Silas charged with felony bigamy. Silas’ rap sheet includes 25 arrests for pimping, assault, burglary and other crimes.
    Arizona: Father Charles Schultz kicked off Luke Air Force base after military officials learned he’d been ousted from a previous parish for the verbal and physical abuse of boys, whom Schultz had physically forced into confessional booths. The Archdiocese of San Bernadino acknowledged the charges.
    California: Pastor Carlton F. Hammonds on trial on four felony counts of sexual assault on a child.
    New Jersey: Salvation Army Pastor Enoc Sotelo charged with 18 counts of felony fraud in a green card scam that preyed on recent immigrants.
    Texas: Father John Fiala accused of raping a teenage boy at gunpoint. The boy’s mother is suing the Archdiocese of San Antonio.
    Wisconsin: Father Thomas Brundage now says he “misremembered” after church records contradicted his claims of how he handled the investigation into the sexual abuse of over 200 deaf boys.

    This Week’s Winner-
    Germany: Father Ernst W. charged with multiple counts of molesting boys. The Diocese of Erfurt admits that although they knew of the accusations, they continued to allow the priest to work at a male juvenile detention facility but never told authorities about the allegations. The diocese says it accepts responsibility for the “incorrect decision

    Reply
    • 7. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 11, 2010 at 1:00 pm

      And Pastor Anthony Hopkins has been convicted of the murder of his wife, the unlawful disposition of her body, and various sex offenses against the teenage relatie, as well as child abuse. So he is no longer on trial.

      Reply
    • 8. Kathleen  |  April 11, 2010 at 1:16 pm

      Pastor Anthony Hopkins (mentioned above) was also charged with sexual abuse of a child. (Investigators say Hopkins killed his wife in a violent fight after she caught him having sex with the teenager). UPDATE: Pastor Hopkins was convicted of the murder of his wife and rape, sodomy, incest and sexual abuse with a child between the ages of 12 and 16.

      Reply
      • 9. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 1:21 pm

        But it’s OK for him Kathleen, because as they have so oft times pointed out…God will forgive him…it is only the Gay people that God wants in hell for loving another.

        Raping a kid is cool with God as long as the rapist is a Christian….just ask a Christian..they will tell you he has already been forgiven.
        but we scary gays?….who actually love people?..NOPE!!
        No Heaven for us…

        Reply
  • 10. K!r!lleXXI  |  April 11, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    As some of you know, I’m from Russia, but I’m not so close to Smolensk… I never knew about Kaczynski’s anti-gay rants, nor did I know about rumors of his brother’s perceived homosexuality. Yes, it is a tragedy when the heads of the government die like that, but, honestly, I don’t feel compassion to people who spread lies about my gay brothers and sisters and only make our lives worse, for no good reason… This is reason enough for me to feel no compassion for bigots and zealots. Let’s pray for Polish people that they will make it and that the next President would be more pro-gay.

    –Kirill (soon-to-be Kevyn)

    Reply
    • 11. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 1:09 pm

      I think there is danger in asking for people to be more “pro-gay”. I think we should just hope for someone who is pro “people” period.

      Just like I hate when they say “gay marriage.”

      It is not gay marriage…it’s just marriage.

      I don’t want or need anyone to become pro gay…just to treat everyone equally without predjudice for one’s life circumstances.

      we gay people are putting way too much emphasis on the whole “gay” thing.
      some of these phobias we bring on ourselves, every time we scream for equality while at the same time adding the “gay” label to everything we discuss.

      we need to stop calling for “gay” marriage and “gay” rights, and lets just call it what it is:
      Human rights, and Marriage.

      My 2 cents.

      Reply
      • 12. Joel  |  April 11, 2010 at 1:13 pm

        More like a dollar, IMHO. well stated, Deiter.

        Reply
      • 13. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 1:15 pm

        see..I am not TOTALLY crazy…LOL
        Just impassioned

        Reply
      • 14. Joel  |  April 11, 2010 at 1:28 pm

        And BTW, my husband was sitting next to me on the sofa last night while we were having our exchange…

        I never implied that you were crazy, Deiter. I just took exeption to your celebration of Koczynski’s death. I find your posts to be eloquent and insightful, for the most part, and I enjoy your sense of humor. You have the talent and intelligence to become a great voice for equality; I just sometimes wish that you would temper you passion with compassion

        Best wishes…

        Reply
      • 15. K!r!lleXXI  |  April 11, 2010 at 1:30 pm

        Dieter, you’re reading too much into my words.
        I don’t like using this “gay” word everywhere either, but it just makes it easier to explain things.
        And “pro-gay” here means “not anti-gay”.

        Reply
      • 16. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 1:39 pm

        That’s the problem…we should not need to EXPLAIN anything.

        when I speak to people in my area I never say I am pro gay marriage. I say I am for equal marriage rights. It takes the whole gay thing out of the equation, and makes it harder to dispute my desire, and it forces THEM to be the ones to bring up the gay issue which makes them the uncomfortable ones. When WE are the ones who use the gay term to describe everything..it gives them the opening they desire to be all icked out…LOL

        I win over many people by omitting the gay term from everything.

        It is quite hard for some people to argue against equal rights. It is easy for those same people to say “gay”?..ewwwww.
        Example:
        I asked my neighbor who is a cop if everyone in our nation should be treated equally. He said YES emphatically…then I said do you think gay people should be allowed to get married?…he said NO…then he paused, and went..
        OH…I guess I just contradicted myself didn’t I?.
        I said Yes…yes you did.
        This neighbor now has an equality sign on his front lawn. he told me he had equated the gay thing as a seperate issue, and realized he could not do that and still expect that He should also be treated the same as everyone else.
        He still does not agree with gay marriage, but by my taking the gay part out of the equation…he saw the greater idea of equality for everyone regardless.

        Reply
      • 17. K!r!lleXXI  |  April 11, 2010 at 3:10 pm

        we should not need to EXPLAIN anything

        Heh… If you do not explain things, you won’t get people to change. Sitting around and waiting for them to change on their own is not gonna work.

        As for the rest — yes, that approach is a very smart one, but here, on P8TT, I was not necessarily addressing people who I want to change. Here we are talking among ourselves — LGBetc. and straight allies — so maybe you shouldn’t be so hard on us for using words that we are used to and that we identify with? Don’t turn “gay” into a new “nigger”! Everything must be in balance and for every kind of language there must be its own appropriate use. And I think it’s appropriate to use “gay” on this blog.

        Reply
      • 18. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 3:16 pm

        we may be talking amongst ourselves in here, but the trolls are among us. trust me.

        Reply
      • 19. F.A.G.  |  April 11, 2010 at 4:44 pm

        I like the word gay. It describes who I am. Dieter has some good points but I like the word gay used as often as is desired…this is after all Our Site regardless of trollery. FAG

        Reply
      • 20. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 4:55 pm

        well I do not have a problem with the word gay. you don’t seem to grasp my point. which IS, that we cannot keep labeling our issues as being DIFFERENT while proclaiming that we are the same…LOL

        I am gay and proud to be gay, but we don’t have to call everything we do gay…like “gay” marriage.
        like “gay” rights.
        it is simply marriage and human rights.

        I don’t drive a GAY car to a GAY store to get GAY groceries.

        I drive my car to the store to get groceries.

        I do not want gay rights or gay marriage..
        I simply want marriage and equal rights.
        that’s all I am saying. use the word gay all you want..but it is not necessary to attach the word gay as an adjective to every aspect of our lives.

        we keep screaming to our detractors that we are the same as them, while the whole time screaming out how we are so different…LOL

        I guarantee if we started using equal marriage more and gay marriage less, the tide would turn much faster.

        the same way they have proved that words matter in the case of “gay” versus homosexual.
        In a military study they asked people if they thought gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military and around 63% said yes.
        but when the question was changed to ask “do you think homosexuals” deserve to serve openly in the military, only about 38% said yes.
        It is all semantics, and wordplay. I simply think by calling everything we do gay, we are not exactly helping ourselves.

        Reply
      • 21. Kathleen  |  April 11, 2010 at 5:26 pm

        If I’m understanding what Dieter is saying, I agree with him on this. Language is powerful, as we all know. I generally talk about “civil rights” or “human rights”and “marriage equality.” If I need to distinguish between marriage as it’s legally recognized today in most US states, and the marriage for which I’m advocating, I use the terms opposite sex marriage/couples and same sex marriage/couple.

        I also understand that people post here with a feeling that we’re talking to our own community and we often use “short hand” at times to express ourselves, knowing that what we’re really talking about is simply inclusion in the guarantee of rights afforded any law abiding citizen.

        Reply
      • 22. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 5:57 pm

        You are correct Kathleen…

        I dont want or expect anyone to be afraid of or to stop using the word gay…I just think we could be doing other things with the word than using it as an overused description of everything we do and are!

        people are watching and words matter.

        when I am going out for the evening, I never say I am going out with my black friend, my fat friend, and my gay friend.
        I say I am going out this evening with my friends.

        seems the gay community is stuck on defining every aspect of our lives with the description that in reality only defines about 2% of our lives in their entirety.

        I myself use the term gay many times. I am just thinking if we change our language, we have a better chance to also change the world.
        In my mind..there is no such thing as GAY marriage or GAY rights.

        both are issues that deserve no other label than what they are. Marriage, and human rights.

        Reply
      • 23. Kathleen  |  April 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm

        I probably should have clarified. I certainly have absolutely no problem with the word gay. Hell, I’m a fan of the word “queer.” For me, it’s a word that sums up nicely the broad range of people who don’t conform to the majority view of how someone should be expressing their gender. But I don’t always use it because I know that for some it’s still an offensive word (long history of use as a slur).

        I’m just saying that it helps define the direction of the public debate on civil rights, it our language doesn’t perpetuate the view that somehow we’re asking for “special” gay rights. How many times have we heard that!

        Reply
      • 24. Kathleen  |  April 11, 2010 at 6:31 pm

        That was confusing… I meant the word queer has a history as a slur — not the word gay.

        I probably shouldn’t be posting while trying to do taxes at the same time.

        Reply
    • 25. Papa Foma  |  April 11, 2010 at 4:46 pm

      Kirill,

      Clearly you have more compassion than you think.

      Reply
  • 26. Joel  |  April 11, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks for that reasoned and compssionate response to what is undeniably a tragedy. I do not mourn the loss of President Kosczynski, but celebrating his death is not only heartless, but counterproductive. Let us offer our condolences to those who loved the president, as there surely are a few, and pray for a more insightful, intelligent and compassionate leader to take Kosczynski’s place.
    We fight judgmental people every day. Are we destined to become as judgmental as those who presume to judge us? To what end ? Let the dead rest, or burn, or join the universal conscience, and let’s move forward. Koszcynski can harm us no more.

    Reply
  • 27. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    The son of creep fred Phelps who left his families cult, has recently done a television interview warning that his father and his clan are beginning plans to escalate their tactics into violent ones. He said his father was at a point where he feels he is losing his fight, and has decided that to get his point across, he is now training his family how to perform violent acts. The son claims his warning is real and Hopes to God that people do not ignore his warning.
    he said the time is near when we are about to see something horrendous occur from his family.

    Reply
    • 28. Kathleen  |  April 11, 2010 at 1:57 pm

      This is scary. Do you know where the interview was done? Given that people in our community are going to be one of the most likely targets, I think it would serve us well to get the word out.

      At the least, we should make sure that law enforcement in the communities where they’re planning actions are directed to this interview. While the WBC is pretty universally reviled, they also have a reputation for not being physically violent and I worry that the local police might not be adequately prepared.

      Reply
      • 29. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 2:01 pm

        I will go right now to try and form a link.

        but in the mean time, here is a song dedication from one of my favorite artists, to the Catholic church, and the pope apologists:

        Reply
      • 30. Papa Foma  |  April 11, 2010 at 4:41 pm

        Stephen Lynch ‘If I were gay’ (A bit less edgy than ‘Priest”)

        Reply
      • 31. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 11, 2010 at 6:37 pm

        For anyone who saw the link I posted on another thread, I believe the beginnings of this increase to violence was first expressed in Charleston, WV, with the complaint his daughter Shirley Phelps Rhodes filed with the Chief of Police in Charleston alleging that they were not protected well enough by the CPD.

        Reply
    • 32. Carvel  |  April 12, 2010 at 10:39 pm

      I do not ever want to see violence for or against us or any cause. However, I think that if Phelps or his followers ever did become violent it would be just the excuse that the law is looking for to put an end to him and his hate mongers. I seriously doubt that the violence they would do would be something like we think of as violence. I certainly do not think they will kill anyone or blow up anything that could be traced back to him and his people. They are not stupid people. They are allegedly preaching the word of God. I seriously doubt that they would actually do great violence. I believe that what they do do is great harm, but not violent.

      I would never want to see anyone be violent, but if they did, the law would come down swift and certain. They tried to go into Canada and those people would not let them cross the border to get into the country.

      Reply
  • 33. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Kathleen, the video is on VIMEO, and it won’t let me create a link. It is about 30 minutes long.

    In the clip, Nate Phelps (the son) says his family is actively seeking for a verse in the bible that they can use to justify the violence they will perform, be it on others or themselves.
    Let’s hope it is themselves, but I fear for the children. This is starting to sound like this family wants to harm as many people as they can, and then take their own family out afterwards.
    again, they are simply waiting to figure out exactly which bible verse to use, before the carnage begins.

    Reply
    • 34. Kathleen  |  April 11, 2010 at 2:23 pm

      Here’s the link. I haven’t watched it yet.

      Reply
      • 35. Bob  |  April 11, 2010 at 3:05 pm

        I watched this interview, a few weeks back, and wrote about it on a thread, At about 20:40 into the talk, Nate explains, why he believes it is a cult, he also says if they found the right quote in the bilbe, he sees them as possibly using that to act in a violent way, either to themselves or others, he clarifies by saying, that’s not to say that they will.

        He says his father is a sociopath, or at least fits all those criteriia in the diagnosis, the dangerous part of that is that he is one of those who refuses treatment.

        It’s a litte misleading to say, they are actively pursuing this goal of violence, but as with any cult, or sociopathic behavior , there is always the danger of violence.

        Again in this climate, violence is a potential outcome, but I didn’t hear him say they were actively pursuing that approach at the present time.

        Reply
      • 36. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 3:08 pm

        the video link Kathleen provided is not the same video as I have. I am still trying to get the link to work, which also includes a written letter from the son to the media stating what I said before.
        gimme a chance..I will get the link to work..LOL

        Reply
      • 37. Kathleen  |  April 11, 2010 at 4:47 pm

        Dieter, when I searched Vimeo for “Nate Phelps” that was the most recent video I found. There were also a couple of others from about 9 months ago posted by the American Atheists – “Introducing Nate Phelps”

        Once you go to the video to watch it, look at the top of your browser (safari, IE, firefox, etc.). Go to the space that shows what the current url is (starts with “http://”), copy that and paste it here.

        Reply
  • 38. Alan McCornick  |  April 11, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Nice sentiment, nicely expressed. Two facts about this event do not cancel each other out. Lech Kaczynski died a tragic death, and while alive he furthered the aims of an unenlightened, (anti-semitic, homophobic, woman-subordinating) Roman Catholic tradition. One hopes we can respect the man’s accomplishments and mourn his death without making a martyr out of him. He was a powerful and influential figure. He was not a hero.

    Reply
  • 39. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Portugual courts PASS gay marriage law. Now all they are waiting for is the presidents signature!!!!

    Portugal joins five European countries – Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and, most recently, Sweden – in legalizing gay marriage

    Reply
    • 40. Marius  |  April 11, 2010 at 2:52 pm

      Go portugal!
      Welcome into the future=)

      Reply
    • 41. Joel  |  April 11, 2010 at 3:24 pm

      Congrats to the Portugese! But shame, shame on you, America! The nation that is supposed to be a beacon for civil equality, that has civil equality enshrined in it’s most basic tenets of law, is being left behind in the dust. What an embarrassment!

      Reply
      • 42. G Rod  |  April 12, 2010 at 5:32 am

        There is a difference between nations like a federal government like Canada and Portugal and nations like the USA where state governments have responsibility for the definition of marriage in achieving change. As well, holding national vote initiative vs a lower level (i.e. state) ballot initiative is more difficult. With ballot initiatives gaining progressive vs reactionary consensus is more difficult as explained –
        http://www.livescience.com/culture/political-division-psychology-health-care-100411.html
        Fellow commenter Bob asserts that, for this reason. courts are a more reliable vehicle for effecting changes in the definition of marriage. Possibly so.

        Reply
  • 43. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Blaming the gays again:

    In Africa a White leader of a White supremecist group was
    murdered by two black men…
    and so the government has decided that the only logical conclusion would be because the anti gay white supremecist leader must have really been gay and tried to have sex with the 2 black men….WTF?

    Reply
    • 44. Carvel  |  April 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm

      That was the reason that the Roman leaders made same sex marriage which had been legal up intil the 3rd century illegal. The leader would brand his political opponents as homosexuals and condemned them to eternal damnation. The Christian church did the same and took their lands and that is how the church got so much money in those days. To keep the money in the church, priests could not marry and any gift to them did not go to their family and chlidren, but went instead to the church.

      Jesus did not decree that religious leaders not marry and not have children. Certainly, Jewish religious leaders did not believe that. It is just something they, the Christian church, made up after the fact. I would rather they marry and leave the innocent children (mostly little boys) alone. But since when did politicians use anything but fear to sway the voting public.

      Reply
  • 45. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    I gotta stop posting tonight..I forgot that after around 5:00 everyone from this site mysteriously disappears….LOL

    Reply
    • 46. Kathleen  |  April 11, 2010 at 6:08 pm

      I”m sort of here. I’m checking in on occasion when I come up for air. I’m buried in tax filings.

      Reply
  • 47. Santa Barbara Mom  |  April 11, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    This evening I received an automated survey from NOM on my office phone. It consisted of 3 questions:
    1. Do you feel that marriage defined as being between a man and a woman is legal?
    2. Are you a male?
    3. Are you over 50?

    What’s that all about……..freaks me out! I’m only sorry there wasn’t a person to take my answers.

    Reply
    • 48. Kathleen  |  April 11, 2010 at 9:20 pm

      Here’s just a wild guess.

      Since it was automated, they needed yes/no answers. They seem to be dividing the results into M/F, and over50/50&under.

      That question number 1 is loaded, isn’t it? Most people are going to answer “Yes” because, as it’s currently defined it is, in fact, legal, whether you think it should be or not. If they had asked, do you think it should be legal? or is it fair? or does it violate the US constitution? You’d get different results.

      Reply
    • 49. Sagesse  |  April 12, 2010 at 5:56 am

      If I recall, NOM used similar robocalls in Maine to identify and target people who would respond to their message. In Maine they were using it near election day to get out their vote.

      Reply
    • 50. fiona64  |  April 12, 2010 at 8:27 am

      I got the same robocall at home. The first question was actually “Do you feel that only marriage defined as being between a man and a woman should be legal.”

      Love,
      Fiona

      Reply
  • 51. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    OMG I am soooo bored and at least a few hours away from even starting to get tired…LOL

    Reply
    • 52. Kathleen  |  April 11, 2010 at 10:34 pm

      sorry :(

      Reply
      • 53. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 11:02 pm

        On top of being bored, it is in the news that today in Sacramento it rained more today than it has on this date since 1886….lol 124 years ago.

        Reply
      • 54. Kathleen  |  April 11, 2010 at 11:54 pm

        Yeah, it just started raining down here. It’s supposed to be an unusually heavy rain for so late in the year. Also, snow in the upper passes. Freaky weather.

        But, we started up a fire in the fireplace, helped drive away the gloom from the rain and a day immersed in taxes.

        Reply
  • 55. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    hey people:
    Please check out this site called
    “dining out for life”

    when you visit the page, just scroll down to the city nearest you, and find the date and restaurants that are participating.
    they will provide you a date and all the restaurants that will be donating part of their proceeds to AIDS research, and such.

    Mine is Sacramento, so the dining out day will be April 29th.

    find yours!

    http://www.diningoutforlife.com/

    Reply
    • 56. Dieter  |  April 11, 2010 at 11:51 pm

      out of curiosity I checked the info for L.A. and their’s is also the 29th of april,
      and One of the participating restaurants is a place called Barney’s beanery. That is a restaurant that many years ago when I used to live in hollywood, had a sign permanently posted on the front doors stating:
      “NO FAGS ALLOWED!”

      Times have changed.

      Reply
      • 57. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 12, 2010 at 6:50 am

        I just went to the site. THe reason that all of these cities are showing up as holding this on the 29th of April is that this is the fourth Thursday in April, so these dinners will all be on that same night. And I would urge everybody to go to the Dining Out for LIfe event nearest you if you are able to. I am going to contact them to see how we can get one for Fayetteville/Cumberland County, as the closest one for us is in Asheville. Thanks for the notification about this, Dieter.

        Reply
    • 58. Kathleen  |  April 12, 2010 at 12:01 am

      Thanks for the heads up. Nothing near me in the San Gabe Valley (sorta, but not quiet Pasadena), maybe I’ll venture into downtown or Silverlake — gawd I hate living out here in boring land. Miss my old stomping ground in downtown and Venice.

      Reply
    • 59. Billy  |  April 12, 2010 at 9:33 am

      I posted the info on my facebook page to get the word out. I’ll go to a sponsoring restaraunt in Indy the 29th.

      OT – my mom made it through surgery ok , but while in recovery she had a heart attack. Now she’s in ICU waiting until her heart is stronger before they perform open-heart surgery… To say the least, I’m a little anxious right now.

      Reply
      • 60. fiona64  |  April 12, 2010 at 9:38 am

        My thoughts are with you and your mom, Billy.

        Love,
        Fiona

        Reply
      • 61. Billy  |  April 12, 2010 at 9:53 am

        Thanks, Fiona.

        Everyone should post more stuff to keep my mind off of stuff. I’ll start with a humorous justice story:

        http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20100410/local/panda-print

        Hurray for 4chan! Epic win.

        Reply
      • 62. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 12, 2010 at 10:19 am

        Billy, we will continue to pray for your mother and will also send a prayer request to put in the Western Wall. Please keep us posted. We care.

        Reply
      • 63. Bob  |  April 12, 2010 at 10:57 am

        Hey Billy, sorry to hear about the drastic turn of events, you and your mom are in my thoughts and prayers today, and have been since you first informed us.
        Distractions are good, and thanks for that post, I finally get 4chan…….
        Bring your thoughts and attention back to the moment as often as you are able, as frightening as the situation is, it calls for awareness , thank you for sharing the moment with us, it helps us all focus on the importance of connection, and the fragility of life. you bring a sense of reality to our chat, in a profound way. You teach that in spite of circumstances which we try to change, we are always faced with reality which lies within the outward appearnce of differneces.
        This experience which you share is the part of humanity which we all share, (no matter our sexual orientation, political difference, religious belief, at some point we all confront the truth of our similartiy, regarding the fragility of our bodies. What a courageous example of a son’s love for his mother.

        As for distractions, I’ve read that their are at least 100 , woman trained and ordained as priest in the Catholic church, of course against the popes wishes, but I thought the ultimate penance for these pedophile priests, would be that each time one is charged, he would have to be replaced by a woman priest. There’s not shortage of priests there’s one hundred women waiting to step up to the plate……

        Please keep us updated about your mom sending love

        Reply
    • 64. fiona64  |  April 12, 2010 at 11:22 am

      There are a couple of places near to me that are participating. My husband teaches on Thursdays, so it would be a solo outing … but it could happen if my spending plan cooperates.

      Love,
      Fiona

      Reply
      • 65. Bob  |  April 12, 2010 at 12:32 pm

        Our dining out in Canada, was last month, when I looked at your webpage, I thought it was so nice they had Vancouver Island, way up there on the north west coast, of U.S. that’s southwest for us in Canada, where I live.

        Reply
  • 66. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 12, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Look who may be in the running to replace Justice Stevens!
    http://www.aolnews.com/story/psst-secy-hillary-rodham-clinton-for/980575

    Reply
  • 67. Broom  |  April 12, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Sorry to nitpick – but it’s not Ghandi – it’s “GANDHI”.

    As an Indian, I’m extra-sensitive to his name being correct.

    Reply
  • 68. MaineDave  |  April 12, 2010 at 11:46 am

    I’m not anti-nuclear. What does that have to do with anything?

    Dave in Maine

    Reply
  • 69. Piotr  |  April 17, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Hey Brian ==> “Both the Poles and the Russians weren’t exactly great to my people during the late 19th and 20th Century. Eastern Europe has long been known to harbor some substantial anti-Semitic hatred for a long time” ==>It’s not true.

    Poland was home to the largest Jewish population in Europe and served as the center for Jewish culture. A diverse population of Jews from all over Europe sought refuge in Poland, contributing to a wide variety of religious and cultural groups. Before the outbreak of World War II, more than 3.3 million Jews lived in Poland, the second largest Jewish community in the world; barely 11 percent (369,000) survived the war population.
    Polish citizens were hampered by the most extreme conditions in all of German–occupied Europe. Nazi-occupied Poland was the only territory where the Germans decreed that any kind of help for Jews was punishable by death.
    Of the estimated 3 million Polish Gentiles killed in World War Two, thousands were murdered by the German Nazis for assisting Jews. After the War most of this information was suppressed by the Soviet-backed regime in an attempt to discredit Polish prewar society and government as reactionary

    Some estimates put the number of Poles involved in rescue at up to 3 million, and credit Poles with saving up to around 450,000 Jews from certain death. Israel has awarded 6,135 Righteous among the Nations medals to Polish Gentiles – more than to any other nation

    I’m Polish and I have to disagree with you Brian. You need to learn some more history before you write about Polish people beeing anti-semitic.

    Reply

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