Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

John McCain is a Grumpy Old Man

Let gays serve openly in the military?

75% of Americans think so.

Yet John McCain disagrees. His bigoted stance against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell does nothing but reveal his age. Instead of embracing the public and military’s welcoming attitude, McCain continues to rail against gays in the military. His opinions are antiquated, out of sync with most Americans, contrary to the Pentagon’s findings, and, quite simply, wrong. The Washington Post‘s Jonathan Capeheart deconstructs McCain’s wrong-headedness in the video above.

I’m almost embarrassed for McCain. His attitude is less disagreeable to me than an example of an older generation’s xenophobia and crotchetiness.

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Filed under: gay rights, government, military, politics, , , , , , , ,

Brit, Army, and Gay? No Worries

Wait: You’re in the army and you’re gay?

Lance Corporal James Wharton gives a rather unextraordinary account of serving openly in the British Army for the “It Gets Better” project. Wharton celebrated his civil partnership in his regiment’s barracks and served in Iraq for seven months in 2007. He was even featured on the cover of the British Army’s magazine.

Perhaps U.S. armed forces could take a note from our allies abroad?

Filed under: gay rights, government, military, world, , , , , , , ,

O’Donnell’s Understanding of The Constitution

The last thing I want to do in this blog is give space and publicity to crazies. Christine O’Donnell is no exception.

Let’s just consider this video for its entertainment value (and the irony that O’Donnell’s Tea Party is so adamant about its adherence to the Constitution).

The Senate candidate’s ignorance of the separation of church and state begins about 2:40, but it’s worth a look-see to hear her thoughts on religious education in public schools in its entirety:

Come on: Separation of church and state? Why would an understanding of this founding principle be important for a civil servant?

Filed under: government, politics, , , ,

Judge Forwards DADT Injunction

Judge Virginia Phillips will let stand her federal injunction to immediately stop the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Despite the Obama administration’s request to continue enforcing the discriminatory policy, Phillips remains unmoved.

Good news for DADT activists (though not all gay rights advocates), a fine mess for the President (see how Rachel Maddow attempts to clarify the situation). Obama has slowly been losing traction with his LGBT base; little has been done to repeal DOMA or DADT on the White House front, though an executive order from the President would have rolled back one or both policies.

How did the Obama administration find itself defending a policy that it doesn’t support? According to Politico:

“It’s crazy that all this is happening 2½ weeks before a national election,” said Richard Socarides, an adviser to Clinton on gay issues during the ’93 fiasco. “The timing could not be worse for them, but it was fairly predictable that their strategy of postponing and delaying getting into this stuff was, at some point, going to come back to haunt them.”

Obama’s current predicament is a result of a collision between a go-slow White House strategy that deferred to Pentagon and military leaders on the pace of repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the progress of a stuttering federal lawsuit that a small group of gay Republicans filed more than six years ago.

Among the Department of Justice’s evidence explaining the necessity for more time, DOJ presented an article from Rolling Stone, saying an injunction against DADT would hurt military readiness.

The judge balked.

Filed under: gay rights, government, homophobia, military, obama, politics, , , , , , , ,

Fort Worth Councilman: “It Gets Better”

Likely you’ve seen this clip from Forth Worth City Councilman Joel Burns (it’s been a crazy week, and I’m just catching up now).

In a public meeting earlier this week, Burns told a personal story of bullying: cornered at school by bullies and being called a “faggot” and that he should die. What’s particularly moving is Burns’ emotion, tear-filled, genuine, in the midst of an otherwise humdrum city meeting.

Ten teenagers have committed suicide in the past few months. Hanging themselves in garages, using guns in their own homes, jumping off the GW bridge out of fear and embarassment. This is an epidemic.

Our collective burden, as educated adults who care about our young people, is to be honest and straightforward with the kids we counsel and love. Dan Savage started a moving campaign; President Obama addressed cyberbullying at a town hall meeting on MTV; ordinary folks around the country have uploaded their own stories of being bullied and posted them on the Web.

In Massachusetts, where I live, we passed strongly-worded anti-bullying legislation last May. Though a concrete, enforceable measure, the law still relies on adults in the community to become standard-bearers: the school principals, the teachers, and the parents themselves.

Let’s hope that kids out there who might feel alone–called perhaps the ugliest names imaginable by insecure, ignorant jerks–might hear all the voices, those that have lived through it, calling in unison that it gets better.

It really does.

Filed under: gay life, gay rights, government, homophobia, , , , , , , , , ,

Publications

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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