Whose wedding is it anyway?

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Although they may assume, and, therefore, claim that marriage is their purview, in reality, when it comes to legal marriage, the closest churches come to be in charge of it is to be the setting for the show.

Each religion and denomination in it has those rules that its members have to follow to have their marriages blessed. But one religion does not necessarily accept that a marriage blessed by another actually is blessed.

The only unifying commonality is that weddings performed in any church only become legal with the signing of a court document in the sight of a witness. Until then, they are only legitimate within the walls and confines of the denomination and not beyond.

For churches to demand that the government only recognize marriages that they allow is an over stepping of lines and a usurpation of authority.

They desire to have forced on those both within and beyond their congregations what is presently their self contained beliefs and rites, and want the Supreme Court to give them power and authority over secular society that they presently do not have and do not deserve.

They are, in a sense, demanding that their religious laws and beliefs become the law of the land to which the Constitution is secondary.

In opposing marriage equality, they are surreptitiously attempting to introduce their form of Sharia law over all the citizens of the country whether or not we are of their religious system.

Remember, beyond the fee the couple pays for the court issued marriage license, Churches get to charge a fee for the use of their sanctuary and organist.

Are they protecting the true and legal institution of marriage, or are they afraid they will lose the money they make with each wedding.

The separation of church weddings from legal ones must remain intact.

If churches are able to usurp the legal institution of marriage now, what other civil practice or legal procedure will they claim must be dependent on them for execution and enforcement in the future?

How Sharia will the Supreme Court allow this country to be?

 

They aren’t all “thugs”.

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Besides teaching in “inner city” schools and having many students of African descent, I have also known many Black men in my life ranging from casual friendships to rather more intimate involvements.

Some of my Black acquaintances were, and are, well educated professionals, while some where closer to the street.

But regardless of their socio-economic status, if they were clothed casually, simply changed their appearance by putting on a ball cap, pulling up the hood of their hoodies, or were caring for their just completed hair-do with a durag, they became “thugs” instantly.

They need not commit a crime or act in a threatening way; they just had to put on a ball cap while being Black.

I heard students I knew, who were very good and motivated students, referred to as “thugs” in stores, in school, and on the street based solely on their being young and Black.

Web pages that begin with “thug”, especially image sites, are rife with pictures of young Black men with nothing about them that would indicate why they are considered “thugs”.

It seems for reasons both convenient or bigoted, that any young Black man is considered a “thug” by those who do not know them.

In the media, whenever there are two or more young Black men standing in a group, they are referred to as “thugs”, and now with the riots taking place in Baltimore, there’s actually no distinction made between those who actually are thugs and young Black men who may be acting orderly and responsibly.

The dictionary definition of “thug” is “a cruel or vicious ruffian, robber, or murderer”.

Wearing a hat or hoody, or just being a young Black man does not fit the definition.

But if you want to negatively portray any group, and in the process get others to feel toward them as you do, especially if the desired feeling is one of dislike, applying a negative term such as “thug” to a whole segment of the population, and basing the application solely on looks, and not actions, is very effective.

Repetition increases the effect

When sports teams win or lose, and riots break out that include looting, burning, and vehicular destruction, the media refers to the crowds celebrating as excited fans and rioters, but never “thugs”, even though their actions are the same as in Baltimore but with a much weaker motivation.

Somehow residents of a city with little employment because the companies that used to be there moved overseas for larger corporate profits, whose schools are poor because the tax base that supports the school system left with the jobs, where obvious problems have been ignored for decades, and which hasn’t been heard might finally explode, seems to have a more explainable reason for extreme actions than people with no financial interest in a team for which they do not play, in whose championship bonuses they do not share, and for whose athletic shirts they have to pay high prices, burn and loot businesses, destroy public and private property, and overturn and destroy automobiles just to say “Yay!”.

I do not condone the rioting in either case, but it would take a moron not to see that if the former is objectionable, so should be the latter.

One should not be condemned, while the other excused.

And, maybe, the reasons for the former should be addressed by the politicians who are now condemning it, and the reasons for the latter not dismissed as the rambunctious behavior of happy fans.

More people are peacefully protesting in Baltimore than are burning looting and rioting, and among them are many young Black men who are not thugs. You will notice that this large group is referred to as “protesters”, but I can imagine that if any of the protesters who happen to be young and Black were to move away from the crowd and stand watching, we would be informed that the protesters are being eyed by “thugs”.

Suggestion.

Let’s reserve the term “thug” to those who have demonstrated by action and attitude that they are thugs.

Let’s stop using the term as a convenient description applied to all young Black men.

There is a theory in education that if you continually tell a student that he or she is stupid, he or she will assume they are and will comply with the label by doing poorly, acting out, and becoming a self fulfilling prophecy.

I can imagine that if all Black males from an early age are told they are ”thugs”, are referred to as “thugs”, and are treated as “thugs”, they, too, will internalize this and will try to live up to expectations.

To be clear, not all young Black men are “thugs”. Putting on a hat or pulling up the hood of a hoody does not make a young Black man a “thug”.

Society makes them, and potentially anyone, a thug, if it creates and then refuses to remedy an environment that is void of hope.

It is a case of nature vs nurture.

The Agenda

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Having the same rights as all other citizens of the United States is not a “special” right.

Being allowed to discriminate against tax paying American citizens in the name of religion while churches pay no taxes but use tax supported infrastructure while pastors tell their congregations for whom to vote so this continues IS a special right.

 

You gonna eat that?

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Kansas recently passed sweeping new restrictions on EBT cards, and there is proposed legislation in Missouri that would prohibit buying seafood and steak with them, which by definition would include canned tuna and low-grade beef. One state has even brought up banning people on welfare from taking ocean cruises because, well, lots of people on welfare take them, I guess.

Maine is now considering banning such items as soda, over the counter dietary supplements, seltzer and bottled water, sweets, and “prepared food.”

Included in “prepared food” are groceries bought in bulk like packaged deli meats, large jars of spaghetti sauce, and pickles- the stuff of warehouse groceries and cash-and-carry markets.

Governor LePage of Maine justifies this because Maine’s 32,000 unemployed people are just lazy. He believes that the state’s 12,000 families on welfare are just too busy getting high to better their lives because of a study that showed that about two-tenths of 1 percent of assistance recipients may have bought alcohol, gone to strip clubs, or patronized bars. He believes that this figure “indicates a larger problem than initially thought.”

He’s a governor who love his people.

Paul Ryan, who loves to put restrictions on poor people and claims that kids who rely on school lunches have no souls, believes that poor people need to have their behavior policed tightly.

He does not acknowledge that poor families budget what funds they have so as to have food on the table, cloths on their bodies, and a roof over their heads, but believes they budget and behave badly.

Things are bad enough for poor people, but the politicians who have never been truly poor either have no idea what poor people face, or simply choose to ignore reality because it plays well to the base.

But as Kentucky writer Jeanine Grant Lister, who gets food stamps, wrote, “In America today, being poor is tantamount to a criminal offense, one that costs you a number of rights and untold dignities, including, apparently, the ability to determine what foods you can put on the dinner table.”

There have been poorly designed experiments among politicians and celebrities to see if they can survive for a week on a food stamp budget. One week of rice and beans and Ramen noodles gives no idea what it is like to feed a family for a month and to do so nutritionally.

And most, if not all of these people, have never had to witness a person on assistance deciding whether or not to buy a little treat for a child because it just might cut into the budget at a bad time, or cause the judgmental to condemn.

Whatever you do for the least seems to be a part of Christianity that those in charge of the “Christian nation” seem to ignore.

People who used to be the middle class who have fallen on hard times need more than suspicion and increased embarrassment at the hands of those who should be helping them, the well off politicians.

 

Rules of the Road

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The signs of the upcoming summer are all around us.

Stores and restaurants closed last fall for the winter are re-opening for the coming tourist season. Museums that used the winter months to clean, refurbish, and reorganize have opened their doors. Garden stores are restocked, as are the retail stores that supply the cleaning products and yard furniture for the seasonal residents. Beaches are being groomed.

And that means cars with out-of-state plates are beginning to take over the roads.

We love them, and we need them.

But their arrival means that locals cannot make left turns until after Labor Day; have to plan on which of multiple days they will schedule the various errands they can do all in one day in the off-season; do their grocery shopping before the sun comes up so they can get out of the stores and off the roads before the traffic gets thick;  have to stay away from their winter time restaurants and bars because they will be too filled to get into; and hope the tourists won’t discover the back roads that allow them to get around without the conga lines of traffic on the main streets.

As a public service I would like to present some rules of the road that, if the summer crowd follow, will allow people to get around with the least amount of frustration.

Nothing can ruin a vacation on Cape Cod like getting to a restaurant and having to wait for the person to serve your table who could have been there already but for the fact that your distracted driving had him stuck behind you somewhere on the road, and  he hasn’t been able to arrive yet.

Feel free to share with your visiting friends.

1) Never relinquish your right of way
2) You are not alone
3) Use your directional signal.

1) Whether or not a person took formal driving lessons or got informal lessons from a family member, we all had to take a driver’s test both on paper and in the car, and to be successful we had to at least read the manual. So, we cannot claim we have no idea about the basic rules of the road.

-Every road sign seen by every driver says the same thing to each driver. “Stop” says “Stop”, “Yield” says “yield”, posted speed limits and no passing zones say the same things no matter who is reading them, and road work signs convey universal messages.

-Taking it upon yourself to reinterpret such signs causes problems as people driving behind you or toward you have seen those same signs, know what they mean, assume others are in the same position, but none of them have any idea what is in your head, nor can they anticipate when you intend to totally change the reality.

-You may be consumed with charity when you arrive at a four way stop sign, but those on the road with you assume everyone who arrives at the intersection will have a turn to go through relative to the order of arrival.

-Sitting there waving other cars through at your personally chosen order throws everyone off and puts people in the position of having to guess when it is their turn to go, and this greatly increases the possibility of more than one person assuming it must finally be their turn with more than one car entering the intersection at the same time.

-If you are on a main road, it must be remembered that it is a main road, and all other entrances are secondary.

-Side roads do not take precedence over anyone already on the main road. People behind you or coming toward you have assessed the road conditions and are not prepared for your unilateral desire to be nice to someone by letting people out of parking lots or side streets.

-When you are overcome with the desire to let people in, take a look in the rear view mirror and notice all the cars behind you, and accept the fact that they have already been stuck in a long line of traffic while that person you intend to let in from a parking lot may have just come out of an air conditioned restaurant after a nice meal during which they were relaxing while the people in the rear view mirror have been dealing with traffic. Unless you asked these people if it is all right for you to let someone out so they will be one more car further back in line, let the person with the full stomach wait until there is a lull in traffic.

-But if you cannot resist the urge to inconvenience those behind you so you can feel warm and fuzzy for having been charitable to someone other than those behind you, do it once. Don’t be the driver who lets all entering traffic in with a smile and a wave. Your charity needs to be extended toward those already in traffic.

-And if you happen to be one of those people who has been let in, remember that you are entering already existing traffic that may have been moving at a slow pace, but they were moving, so don’t set a slower pace because you just want to cruise along enjoying the sights so the already existing traffic that you have just made a longer line is further inconvenienced by your entry by having to go even slower.

-As far as rotaries, those big, round circular islands at places like Orleans, Hyannis, and Mashpee, the rule is that those already circling the thing have the right of way, and as the area does not have an infinite amount of space, only so many cars can be circling the rotary at any given time. Do not stop and let more people in, and if you are waiting to get in, wait until there is room. I have been stopped at the Cape Side Bourne rotary as someone up ahead was cheerfully waving people in. It not only clogs traffic, but it introduces the situation where people now have to guess whose turn it is to do what.

-Even though the Mid-Cape Highway takes on the appearance of a country road between Dennis and the Orleans Rotary, it is still a major highway. People may want to enter traffic, but they need to wait until there is an opening before they can ease in. Do not, and I have seen this done on more than one occasion, stop to allow someone in from an on ramp. No one behind you can evenly remotely expect that.

-If you rudely ignore the yield sign at the end of an on ramp and cut into traffic, remember you are entering a major highway. Don’t magnify your rudeness by then going at a speed that would be acceptable on a side road. The best thing to do is respect the yield sign.

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2) Remember, you are not alone on the road, and among the tourists there are those locals who have to get somewhere.

-If you have no place to go, there really isn’t any need to get in your car and kill time. Just sit in your driveway making lip engine sounds and pretend you are driving, but stay off the road.

-If there are no cars in front of you, and you see a line of cars behind you in your rear view mirror that extends beyond the horizon, you are holding up traffic, so either pick up the pace, or pull over and let the cars behind you pass since you are not in much of a hurry anyway.

-This applies to the state highways like 28 and 6A, and especially Route 6 between Dennis and Orleans. There are plenty of places to pull over, and it must be remembered that section of highway is a major artery, and no one needs a clot in a major artery.

-If you suddenly realize you are passing a Christmas tree Shoppe or a Dunkin Donuts, there is no reason to slam on your brakes to turn into the parking lot. Or worse, throw your car into reverse to get back to the parking lot entrance. There is another one of the establishments just a few blocks further up.

-If you are overwhelmed by the need to let someone in from a parking lot or side street, look in the rearview mirror and see how many cars are behind you. If there are less than five, that person can wait. It is not your prerogative to decide that the fifth car should become the sixth while the new one becomes the first.

-When traveling in the right lane behind a slow moving car on Route 6, don’t cut in front of cars in the left lane if you intend to go only slightly faster than the car you are passing. Let the faster cars pass before pulling over. Attempting to pass a car going 40 mph by entering the left lane at 45 mph without ascertaining the speed of the cars already in that lane can induce a bit of panic, especially in the person driving that a semi that is now behind him.

-You are not alone, so, just because you may decide to get from behind a slow moving vehicle, it does not mean you can simply change lanes to get around it. There may be cars already in that lane. Look before you simply swerve.

-If you join traffic exiting the highway due to construction related traffic, be aware that the other cars are doing that to avoid the snail speed traffic, so keep up. Don’t bring that slow speed with you.

-If after being stuck behind a car on Route 6 between Dennis and Orleans who is driving way below the speed limit as if it were a small country road instead of the main Cape artery, do those behind you the favor by picking up the pace when that car exits the highway, and do not continue at that slow speed.

-And lastly, if you are in the process of turning into a parking lot or a side street, and suddenly change your mind, check you mirror and the cars around you. They are driving behind you according to what you are doing, and have no idea what you have suddenly decided to do. Bite the bullet and continue the turn unless the road behind you is clear.

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3) That little lever, usually on the left hand side of your steering column, is a standard feature, and not scary at all to use. It lets people know what you intend to do further up the road so those behind you, and those on side streets, can be ready.

-The signal indicating an intended turn should be made well in advance of that intended turn.

-It is more than annoying when the car at the head of the line of traffic begins an agonizingly slow deceleration that lasts for blocks, and, when finally coming to a complete stop, indicates it is going to turn. Cars behind could have made certain moves to pass this car, and those waiting in a parking lot or side street could have pulled into traffic if they knew that car’s intention.

-There are also those occasions, such as the two lane section of Route 6 past the Orleans rotary, where the highway goes back to four lanes with lights that stop traffic along the way. There are few things more annoying than when two lanes of traffic are waiting for the light to turn green, and when it does, the car at the head of the left lane then indicates an intended turn. Had this been made known earlier, the cars behind may have had the opportunity to change lanes rather than sit behind the discourteous car until it is able to make that left turn. Sometimes two cycles go by under these conditions.

-The directional signal is to let people know what you are going to do, not what you are doing, or have done.

-Turning on the signal as you begin a turn, or when you are pretty much into it is either your way of letting the drivers around you know you think they are stupid enough not to know what is going on, or it is your thumbing you nose at them as if you just pulled a fast one and now want them to know you intentionally confused them.

-And while we are on the topic of turning, it really is none of anyone’s business, except the person turning, where they are going. Don’t sit there watching them turn as if they need you to cheer for them or make sure they have been successful, or that it is your business where they are going. Let them turn without your watchful eye, and keep the traffic moving.

-And when you get to a corner yourself that you intend to turn, don’t sit there drinking in the fact that you have reached the right corner. Take the turn, and don’t stop when you have completed it as if you have time to spike the ball. There may be cars behind you that want to, or are in the middle of making that same turn.

-Remember, your greatest acts of charity should be reserved for those behind you in traffic.

-When entering a parking lot, enter the parking lot. Do not stop as if you are done, or you must survey all before you. Keep driving so that cars behind you can also enter. Look for the parking spot by driving around, not by scanning the parking lot from the entrance.

-Turning right on red has been standard procedure since the 1970s, which means it has been in effect for up to 35 years. There is no need to sit at a light wondering if you should turn if you intend to and your directional signal is on. Turn.

-Related to this, if you are facing a green light don’t stop progress to allow someone on the side street to take the right turn. Their light will be turning in their favor soon and they will have their chance.

-Anticipate. If a lane divides so that those who intend to go left have their own lane, decide ahead of the corner if you are turning. Do not be one of those drivers who waits until the last minute to choose your lane, or who, during that indecision stays straddling the line so those behind you have no idea if you are turning or going straight. Be decisive.

There are many more rules that will make the traffic flow like the current in the Canal, but these will have to do for now.

I may republish these as we get closer to Memorial Day, the official opening of the summer season, so more vacationers might see them, and I do encourage hotel owners to place a copy of the rules by the doors of the hotel and motel rooms, so their guests can familiarize themselves with them each time they head out to their cars.

 

Rubio’s hypocrisy

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One of the negative reactions to a young Gay person’s coming out to his or her parents, is rejection. The worst form of rejection, a favorite in the Buckle of the Bible Belt, is to be thrown out of your home in the name of religion and “family values” because you are the ultimate abomination, and there is no room for Satan in a good Christian home.

Going to a friend’s or relative’s house for a temporary place to stay should be an option, but there is a strong possibility that your circle of friends and relatives shares a mindset with your parents, and won’t want to welcome Satan into their homes.

Your friends can even experience family strife for inviting you in.

Homelessness is often the only alternative to living at the home you were thrown out of or with friends whose doors are closed to you.

When I spent the occasional evening at The Strip, the Gay area in Oklahoma City where the bars and social and political gathering places are, it was common to see some students, some I would see in class the next day, hustling the streets at night not necessarily because they wanted sex, but for the shelter that they could get for the night if someone took them home for it.

That put them at the mercy of whomever it was who had the attractive pickup line and the place to take them for the night. While some of the Johns might have been closet cases who could only have an intimate moment if they could be hidden about it and would not want, or need, any publicity that could cost them their jobs, or may have been someone young enough not to present an age difference complication, there were also those who had a twisted idea of what sex with a young street kid was supposed to be and those who saw an opportunity do harm for perverse, and even “religious” reasons.

Sinners, after all, need to be punished.

There were the noted stories in the newpapers of young Gay men found dead after having been tortured by someone whose defense was “Gay panic”, a classic defense that was based on the claim that they had no idea the person they paid to come home with them was gay which caused them to defend themselves from a surprise sexual advance that called for an excusable over reaction.

It didn’t seem realistic to accept this defense when the victim was burned on a pile of tires, or had his eyes burned out with cigarettes, but it actually worked more often than it should have.

And this does not include the Gay bashing that gave some groups of kids bragging rights at school the next day. Sometimes, being able to say, “We beat up a fag”, made some kids accepted as true men by their like minded peers.

But there were those incidents that happened quietly. The ones I was told about by a county sheriff who had found or was aware of those found beaten or dead at the side of some dark, lonely county road far outside the city.

On cold winter nights, finding a place to stay was a necessity, and the homeless kids, Gay or Straight, were desperate and did not have the luxury of being choosey. They had to be practical regardless of the potential danger.

A friend, Jacqueline by name, came up with the idea of starting a group home for rejected kids where they could live in a good home environment with the requirements to attend school, have a job, and help with the upkeep of the house. There would be a regular volunteer staff who would help the kids with school work, find and keep jobs, care for health needs, and keep clothed and fed.

But her idea died quietly when, after finding a location and designing the program, county requirements had to be met and applications filed, and the Bible Belt politicians, and not a few churches, decided that the real reason for the home was to have a place where teens could have sex, and adults would know where to find them for it.

The perverted minds of the adults who should have cared denied the homeless Gay youth the home they could have used.

Without a home base, many of these kids had to drop out of school to find a way to survive, but, having no marketable skills, would inevitably descend the downward spiral that would leave them without hope and permanently homeless.

I know of some who, in order to stay fed, clothed and housed, took to crime whose worst punishment would give them three hots and a cot as the penal system became a home.

I have to admit, in all honesty, that if I knew the names of the kids I saw working the streets at night and then did not see them for a while, I would check the Department of Corrections prisoner population pages on the internet to see if they were there, why they were there, and how long they would be staying.

I still do that occasionally. Some will be getting out and placed on probation soon.

Sometimes permanent housing became possible provided they worked for a pimp and entered the world of sex trafficking.

They had no home and so could be moved to wherever they could make money for the trafficker, and when too old to be productive, could be thrown away to fend for themselves.

That is why it was such a wrongheaded move for Mitch McConnell to have held a bipartisan human trafficking bill hostage during the confirmation of Lorretta Lynch for Attorney General.

The trafficking bill could have passed when originally proposed months ago as it is unthinkable that the senate could possibly see a reason to avoid protecting vulnerable homeless youth, but when playing politics takes precedent over the needs of the citizens, Senate Republicans slowed its passage down by adding an amendment with anti-abortion language.

A proposed anti-discrimination amendment to the trafficking bill that was authored by Democratic Senator Pat Leahy and Republican Senator Susan Collins fell 4 votes short of the super-majority needed for passage. The Leahy/Collins clause would have prevented discrimination in the application of the bill based on the race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability of the trafficked kids.

Without the nondiscrimination clause, the bill was eventually passed 99-0.

With the nondiscrimination clause it was doomed for failure.

Marco Rubio, the lover of life was one of the votes against the nondiscrimination language.

His need to pander to the anti-gay crowd in his presidential bid took precedence over the safety of homeless minors who are Gay and make up a sizable number of homeless youth.

Before the vote, Leahy had said:
“A recent study found that 1 in 4 homeless youth have been victims of sex trafficking, or traded sex for survival needs, such as food or a place to sleep. The study also found that 50 percent of homeless youth had been solicited for sex by an adult within 48 hours of leaving home. Let me say that again: half of these homeless kids were solicited for sex by an adult within the first two days of leaving home. These kids – some as young as 12, 13, 14 years old – have nowhere to go, but we can work to make sure they have a safe place to go. That is what our amendment does”.

But it is what the amendment cannot do now that it is dead.

While other kids need protection while they are homeless, presidential hopeful, Marco Rubio, does not see Gay homeless youth as deserving of protection or safety.

Rubio’s campaign site states:
“All life is worthy of protection, and all life enjoys God’s love. I have a record of supporting pro-life policies, and will continue to do so in public and private life. I believe that as a nation we must always come down on the side of life. We must speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves”.

But there is an obvious exception to his pro-life stance.

Gay kids.

Unfortunately, it works too often

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During the days I was advocating to have “Sexual Orientation” added to Oklahoma City school student policies that dealt with Bullying, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination, there were people within the Gay Community who just drove me crazy.

I had expected a great deal of push back from school district administrators who for religious, political, and personal reasons would be vehemently opposed to making the inclusion of GLBT kids in those policies stated as opposed to implied or assumed, and I was not disappointed.

I had to make sure I did not buy the promises of future action in exchange for patience now. On more than one occasion I was advised by more than one administrator to be patient and wait until that somewhere down the road moment when the district would be ready to add the words, something I refused to do since the bullying and harassing of the GLBT students was happening at the time, and not somewhere down the road.

What made me have to regroup, however, was when members of the GLBT Community, some in positions of influence who could have made the progress swifter, either bought into the reluctance and the cautions to accept it, found excuses to justify it, or played roles that slowed progress because that was to their advantage.

Recently in the news there was the story of the Gay real estate moguls in New York who had a small gathering for Ted Cruz, and who number among their close associates people who work for Ted Cruz as advisers, and who are also Gay.

The majority of Gay people are stuck in place. They have to live, work, and survive where they are without the benefit of being able to move away or pick and choose the society in which they move, and cannot easily move away from those who mistreat them or hold the community down.

They have to deal with where they are.

But I know some members of the so called A-List Gays who, while they are able to associate with people where they choose to do that, and who are acceptable because political donations are a great equalizer, although there is actually no deep pay back, trade what they need and what their fellow GLBT Community members need for crumbs that are thrown their way, crumbs that buy them off because it saves their income, lets them hobnob, and buys their support.

I have had to deal with those who, while being in a position to help make change, either obstructed the progress because doing so had a personal payoff, or who actually colluded in the down the road approach because it was uncomfortable for them in the now.

I have dealt with the type who have been rewarded by groups run by those on the A-List because they have used their positions to help safeguard the positions of others on the List while presenting themselves as champions, but who could then move on leaving the greater community to deal with the lack of change.

One such even objected to compromise language in the school policies after having  prevented stronger language, or any language for that matter, and then attempted to assume the role of the more resolute person, and the greater one, by objecting to the compromise as a sell out when the wording she refused to support was what she claimed she had been demanding. She condemned the compromise that was necessitated by her collusion and reluctance to speak when it had been necessary for her to have done so.

I have watched when promises were made that sounded good, but which had no follow through. I was told things that were supposed to make me happy enough to have me fooled into backing off. I didn’t, but I know some can be fooled by the assurance of doing what the GLBT Community asks for, and then when quiet and relaxed are given nothing.

The assumption is that we are too stupid to catch on, and, sadly, some are.

I was at meetings where individuals with connections informed politicians that they were the official voices of the GLBT Community and the ones to whom the politicians must listen, but who then kept quiet as they attended the social events that were covered in the society section of the local paper and were in pictures with the people who were keeping the GLBT Community down.

They were doing very well while progress was put off for that sometime down the road moment.

They have since moved on, and are doing quite well.

The best ruse is to promise the GLBT Community that their needs and rights will be met, and when it relaxes and waits, simply do nothing.

And the worst enemies are those among us who let this happen because it is to their advantage, and those among us who fall for this repeatedly.

As far as those guys in New York, I never met them, but I certainly know them.