Burroughs Adding Machine

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

I’m Voting for Obama. How about You?

I will be voting for Barack Obama on Tuesday. Despite my reservations about his centrist policies and his failures on Guantanamo and drone usage, I believe that President Obama has still led us on a path to economic recovery and social justice. Especially in the last 12 months, he has used his executive office to effectively grant protection to children of undocumented immigrants and to influence public attitudes about gay marriage. In contrast to Romney, I believe that Obama will make a difference over the next four years for all Americans and not just the oligarchs, the wealthy, and the religious right.

I remember that feeling I had four years ago, when President-Elect Obama came on stage in Chicago. Seriously, I was amazed and tearful seeing a person of color elected President of our nation. As a brown kid growing up in Iowa, I never imagined this could happen. Admittedly I’ve lost some enthusiasm for the compromises he has had to make over the last four years but I still support him overall. I’m excited to cast my vote for him in a few days.

President Obama is fighting for the American Dream because he’s lived it. http://OFA.BO/kV8SNu

Filed under: obama, politics, social justice, , , , ,

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, , , , , , , ,

Another Example of Fox as Infotainment, Not Journalism

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade sums up his philosophy–not an impartial one, to say the least–that “there was a certain group of people that attacked us on 9/11. It wasn’t just one person, it was one religion. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”

One wonders if, in Kilmeade’s one-sided view of terrorism, he includes men like Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the Oklahoma City bombers.

President Obama has derided Fox News’ lack of impartial journalism, calling it “destructive.” Kilmeade, O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck are all shucksters–far-right politicos masquerading as journalists.

In terms of infotainment, Fox News can’t be beat.

Filed under: entertainment, media, obama, , , ,

Homophobia Abounds in DADT Survey

The Pentagon’s survey to servicemen has been leaked, and the questions, designed to gauge attitudes toward GLBT servicemen and women, are laden with homophobia. According to ABC News, among many questions intended to bring out the “ick” factor–as Mike Huckabee likes to dwell on it–are:

“If Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed and you are assigned to bathroom facilities with an open bay shower that someone you believe to be a gay or lesbian Service member also used, which are you most likely to do? Mark 1.”

So asks the Pentagon survey of 400,000 non-deployed active troops regarding the pending repeal of the “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

The choices:

“Take no action;

“Use the shower at a different time than the Service member I thought to be gay or lesbian;

“Discuss how we expect each other to behave and conduct ourselves;

“Talk to a chaplain, mentor, or leader about how to handle the situation;

“Talk to a leader to see if I had other options;

“Something else;

“Don’t know.”

What about a multiple-choice answer like, “It doesn’t bother me.” Or: “Taking a shower with a gay person is the least of my concerns.” Or: “I am a gay or lesbian serviceperson, and what’s important is that I want to serve my country.”

Servicemembers United is encouraging its constituents not to respond to the survey; Robert Gates encouraged active gay and lesbian troopmembers to respond, claiming that responses would not be used to discharge them.

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

Limbaugh Explains Oprah and Obama’s Success

Vodpod videos no longer available.

You guessed it: Because they’re black.

In this searing clip, Keith Olbermann smacks down Limbaugh and his racist comments (the fun starts at 2:10). More than Glenn Beck and his ridiculous new job as a college professor (Olbermann’s “worse” person award), Rush Limbaugh earns Olbermann’s coveted “Worst Person in the World” award.

Among other odious comments, Limbaugh ranted on his weekend radio show:

[Obama] wouldn’t have been voted president if he weren’t black. Somebody asked me over the weekend, “Why does somebody earn a lot of money, have a lot of money?” I said it’s because he’s black.

It gets worse.

There’s a lot of guilt out there, to show we’re not racists, we’ll make this person wealthy and big and famous and so forth….

Thanks for explaining it all (and for using small words), Rush.

And thanks to Olbermann for doing what he does, drawing our attention to racist remarks like these ones, hiding in plain sight.

Filed under: hate, media, obama, politics, race, racism, , , , , , ,

Writing

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)
March 2017
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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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