NC GOP vs. urban

My “angry activist” side has mellowed considerably over the past twenty years or so, but this makes me boiling mad. And it makes me even angrier that so few people seem to realize all the implications of what’s happening here.

For those of you who don’t see what the “bathroom ordnance” means to you:

Let’s be clear about what’s really going on. It’s not about “bathroom etiquette” nor is it even specifically about LGBT rights (though it would be evil enough if it WERE about either of these two things). It’s about a gerrymandered state legislature telling the cities of North Carolina that even though they are responsible for basically all the population and economic growth in the state, they are unfit to govern themselves in a very wide range of areas. And if they step out of line, the legislature will make life miserable for them. 

Cities in North Carolina (and their residents) are basically being punished for being insufficiently deferential to the party in power. HB2 is the next logical step after the Charlotte airport controversy, the Greensboro redistricting controversy, the sales tax grab, and any number of smaller initiatives designed to minimize the impact of cities in an increasingly urban state. Urban growth, of course, also means “urban values” which may not be compatible with “traditional North Carolina Republican values.” Therefore, urban growth and economic development it brings are viewed as threats.

If you live in an urban area, this nasty brand of politics will affect you sooner or later, regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity. Most of these legislators couldn’t care less about who uses which bathroom. Like so many other non-issues in the past century or so, it’s merely a convenient distraction. Stay focused. Don’t fall for it.

Pardon me for sharing what is essentially another Facebook rant. I will try to avoid additional sermons over the weekend. I cannot promise this, however. Like I said, I’m really mad. And I’m also really sad that a state I love is letting something like this happen.

The obsession with bathrooms

Conservatives have been using public restrooms as a ridiculous tool for building opposition to progressive legislation at least since the dawn of the civil rights movement. Potty panic was first used to scare while people who were afraid to pee next to black people. Later, the threat of “unisex bathrooms” was used to help defeat the Equal Rights Amendment.

And now, North Carolina has passed legislation that is ostensibly based on making sure that people use the appropriate restroom based on their “biological sex.”

But it ain’t about bathrooms. Not by a long shot.

In addition to the bathroom regulations, which are a small part of the package, the ironically named Equal Access to Public Accommodations Act will:

  • Prohibit cities from passing nondiscrimination ordinances that do not match the state law, which excludes protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as protections based on veteran status, etc.
  • Impede or eliminate the right to sue based on discrimination categories that still are protected.
  • Supersede any local regulations on hiring contractors that do not mirror state law.
  • Prohibit any local ordinance that would raise the local minimum wage (of which, to date, there have been exactly…none).

See what they did with that last one? Not sure how it fits into all this? No, neither is anyone else.

Once again, this is not about the fucking bathrooms. The sponsors of this legislation couldn’t care less about the bathrooms, but they know that their base will, by and large, not take the time to pay attention to what the law is really about.

This is a power grab passed in the dark of night by a rural, conservative legislature that, thanks to gerrymandering, no longer reflects the increasingly urban, moderate population of the state. it’s the next logical step by a legislature that has usurped local authority in setting city council districts, attempted a hostile takeover of a major urban airport, and engaged in unconstitutional redistricting.

We’re engaged in a war here.

#WeAreNotThis

Signal-to-noise

What I know about Bernie because of social media:

  • He is the salvation of the planet.
  • The media, the Democratic Party, and the cosmos just aren’t being fair to him.
  • He still has a chance to be nominated. Really.
  • He is a democratic socialist, which is (of course) the exact same thing as a communist.

What I know about Hilary because of social media:

  • She is (of course) the only electable candidate.
  • Unless, that is, “Bernie’s kids” think Donald Trump is a better option than she is, which many of them apparently do.
  • She is also the antichrist and eats adorable puppies for dinner on dishes paid for exclusively by large corporations.
  • She then uses her personal email servers to send pictures of the dead puppies to Nancy Reagan’s ghost.

What I need to be reminded of constantly via misspelled and oversimplified social media memes or by stupid fucking clickbait “journalism” links originating from the followers of either:

  • None of the above.

I miss media with editors. 

While sitting in the hospital with my mom this morning, I’ve been doing lots of Facebook and Twitter pruning.  

Spring cleaning is fun. 

Respectfully sumbitted

perry

Raymond Burr for SCOTUS. Why?

  1. He’s a gay Californian, which would make the left happy.
  2. He’s not a lawyer but he played one on TV, which would appeal to the Trump contingent.
  3. He’s dead, which would satisfy all the people who despise “activist judges.”

Just a thought…

Otherstream at 20: 2015

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It’s kind of hard to curate posts that are less than a year old, but I tried. This is the final year to be covered in my “twenty years” retrospective. I may talk about the actual anniversary tomorrow and try to draw some broad conclusions. Or I may not. You’ll have to check back by to see which it is.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Otherstream at 20: 2014

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Only two more years to cover before Wednesday’s big anniversary.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

 

Otherstream at 20: 2012

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Let’s just say I visited some very dark places in 2012. I’d love to say I handled it with my usual good humor, but that might be a stretch. Maybe the best thing to say is that I lived through it. And lost weight. What i really hate is that the big entries on the site stopped being about anything other than me. The big anniversary comes on Wednesday.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Otherstream at 20: 2008

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There was better reading in 2008 than in 2007, maybe because I was tying (at least for a little while) to generate content for four different websites, all of which eventually landed here. I’d call this year “reflective” and “hectic” with grad school and all. I also worked a very odd part-time job, continued with my freelancing, and migrated the site from static HTML to WordPress. I’d sort of forgotten what a busy year it was.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Not perfect. Just forgiven.

Thirty years ago, I was working part time as a DJ in a gay bar. I enjoyed it because I was very into music and I was especially happy about getting to play something other than the miserable disco schlock that is mandatory in 99.25% of all American gay bars.

One night, several heterosexual friends came by to hear me. Two of these friends were a couple (of the male-female variety, obviously). At some point during the evening, they kissed. And that finally pushed my boss over the edge. He was already offended by their very presence in the place and when they had the audacity to engage in a very tame public display of affection, he came up to the booth to tell me he thought they should leave.

I was appalled that a fairly sophisticated gay man would not ultimately realize the irony and hypocrisy involved in his actions. Ethically, I felt that I could no longer work for him.

So I quit.

That very night.

You see, that’s what you do when you face such moral outrage that you can no longer justify doing your job.

And that’s what Kim Davis needs to learn. She needs to do the job she swore an oath that she would do. Or she needs to quit. Right now.

For her to continue accepting her salary amounts to theft and misappropriation of public funds. For her to continue refusing to do her job amounts to criminal misconduct. Her beliefs don’t matter one infinitesimal damn. She’s free to believe whatever she likes. She is not, however, free to continue collecting her salary while not doing her job.

A lot has been written today about the hypocrisy of “sanctity of marriage” claims being made by a woman who has been married four times and divorced three, and who seems never to have cared very much whether or not her children were fathered by her husband at the time. It’s a fair criticism, but one that her supporters feel is a moot point since her sins happened before she was “washed in the blood” (or in the Holy Windex). Too many conservative Christians use the “not perfect, just forgiven” excuse as a way of refusing to take responsibility for any of their own actions, which is particularly ironic in that so many of these same conservatives very much stress the concept of personal responsibility in others.

But even being the biggest hypocrite on the face of the earth would not disqualify Kim Davis from keeping her job–although her double (triple? quadruple?) standard does make her a pretty wretched human being.

What disqualifies Kim Davis from keeping her job is the fact that she refuses to do it.