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Monday, April 29, 2019

A Gay President in 2021?









When I heard that one of the many candidates running for president on the Democratic side was an openly gay man who was the mayor of a small Indiana city I dismissed him as a dreamer with no attachment to reality.  This dismissal was shored up on learning he’s only 37 and has an unpronounceable last name [Buttigieg]. 






But then I was startled to learn that polls have this man as number three in the huge pack of possible candidates (behind two elders: Biden and Sanders), and that he is climbing in the estimation of more or less everyone.  Hmm.



Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg (yes, all of that), most commonly known as “Mayor Pete,” turns out to be a formidable candidate in spite of the supposed problems noted above.  He is reputed nationally as a “mayor’s mayor,” widely regarded as one of the finest municipal executives in the country, and much beloved by the people of South Bend, Indiana, who reelected him with 80% of the vote even after he came out as gay. 






What makes Pete so popular?  Well, of course, there’s more, much more to the man.  His background is stellar: After graduating from Harvard he was a Rhodes Scholar, getting a Master of Arts at Oxford, his writings have won awards, he joined the United States Naval Reserve and did a tour of duty that included combat in Afghanistan, was named Mayor of the Year in 2013, and has done amazing things for the City of South Bend.  Oh yes, he’s also a devout Christian, speaks seven languages, and plays both the piano and the guitar.  He is married to Chasten Glezman (who also took Buttigieg’s last name).







This is all impressive, of course, but what’s even more impressive is to watch Mayor Pete in action on TV or the internet.  He's not overbearing as many candidates are, but instead is calm, intelligent, full of common sense, fast on his feet, wise, and quite personable.  He has a great smile and comes across as truly concerned about this country, exhibiting a strong desire to put it back on a path very different from the one Donald Trump has beaten through a swamp of his own making.  To watch Buttigieg in action is to be stimulated.  I find myself muttering, “Just what we need: a smart man who cares and has lots of common sense.” 



But what about the gay thing?  Well, with Barack Obama the question was “What about the black thing?”  When the candidate is right for the job—someone who fits the mood of the times, someone America feels it can trust to get things accomplished—these sorts of barriers no longer seem so high.  With Obama voters quickly learned to stop thinking about him as black and just think of him as effective.  Mayor Pete is like that.  He knows how to talk to Trump’s base and address their problems, while Trump has failed to do more than make empty promises to them.  Many of the people of South Bend are very much Trump's kind of voters, but they really like Pete.



What about the mass of other candidates?  There are a thundering lot of them and who knows who might turn out to be a better choice.  A number of them are quite impressive.  Elizabeth Warren is a personal friend of mine (I’ve known her since she started teaching in the early 80s), and she would make a terrific president.  Her followers, of which I am one, adore her, and she’s smart and caring, a fierce debater, and has a wonderful sense of humor.  But she has detractors and enemies and her candidacy (which I support wholeheartedly and even financially) has so far not moved her to the top of the pack as an obvious choice.  Go, Liz!  I’ll do what I can to help you get elected.



Elizabeth with me and my husband David Vargo



Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have major baggage.  They are both far too old to become president in 2021, but even were that not a damning characteristic (as it is in my opinion, and I speak as a 75 year old myself), they have major flaws.  


Joe Biden has a history of outrageous plagiarism.  He was tossed out of law school when caught using other writers' words as his own in a major piece of scholarship (and then, crying, threw himself on the faculty’s mercy and was readmitted), but he went on to outrageously plagiarize the speeches of others in his 1988 presidential run, was caught at it, and ignominiously dropped out for that very reason.  Joe’s a nice guy, but he is widely known known as "Mr. Gaffe" since he speaks before he thinks and constantly gets himself into trouble.  This will only get worse as he ages.  While I’d like having Joe over to the house for drinks (I'm sure he'd be lots of fun), I don’t want him as my president.  I’ve written about this before (see Related Posts below).



Bernie Sanders is a wonderful thinker and a great speaker.  He is dedicated to causes and an impressive person.  But he's known as a man who does not tolerate dissent from his views; “my way or the highway” has always been his approach, and those who know Bernie say he is a difficult, almost impossible, person to work for, the sort of boss who mistreats his staff.  His early history contains episodes in which he explored communism, and the far right can’t wait to highlight that (say on billboards, skywriting, and flooding the internet) were he nominated as the Democratic candidate.  Alas, Bernie has no sense of humor, and that factor is one that always makes me recoil.  As with Biden I’ve written about his defects before (see Related Posts below). 



Take out the two top candidates so far (Biden and Sanders) and Peter Buttigieg moves to the top.  I don’t know if he can stay there, but I am now a fan of this man.  So is my husband, who is walking around the house wearing a “Mayor Pete” t-shirt, and who has purchased a coffee mug which explains how to pronounce his name.






About that name.  Here is how to say it right:  First say the word “edge” twice, very quickly.  Then put the word “boot” in front of the repeated “edges,” emphasizing the “boot” and saying the two “edges” quickly.  Practice a couple of times and you’ll be able to say “Buttigieg” correctly with the best of them.





Just one last thing.  Think how proud we can be of our country—how adult we are, how far we’ve come—if on January 20, 2021, Chief Justice Roberts holds out a bible and swears in Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg as the 46th President of the United States.








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Related Posts:

A Guide to the Best of My Blog,” April 29, 2013;http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-guide-to-best-of-my-blog.html

“Joe Biden, Plagiarism, and Why He Shouldn’t Run For President,” August 25, 2015; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2015/08/joe-biden-plagiarism-and-why-he.html

“Why I Love Bernie Sanders’ Ideas, But Hope He Won’t Be the Nominee,” October 20, 2015; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2015/10/why-i-love-bernie-sanders-ideas-but.html

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Ugliness of Gay Conversion Therapy








It is estimated that over 700,000 people currently living in the United States have undergone some form of gay conversion therapy (about half were teenagers at the time) designed to change them from homosexual to heterosexual.  Many of the groups offering this miraculous transformation are religious in origin, the premier one in this country being “Love In Action,” now renamed “Restoration Path” and still going strong in 2019.  A leading organization having offshoots all over the world was “Exodus International,” which handled many thousands of such cases before folding in 2013 [see Related Posts below].





These gay conversion groups have many methods to turn homosexuals into heterosexuals.  In the recent movies “Boy Erased” and “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” (both available for viewing on the internet) the young people—a male in the first and a female in the second—are placed in an environment very like a summer camp and rigorously trained on how to behave in a heterosexual fashion (movements, clothes, etc.).  There is a great deal of cruelty such as making boys have supposed conversations with their father about why he failed to teach them how to become true males, or, in a real life case making boys beat a pillow representing their mother to punish her for turning them into sissies—see http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/12/nj_gay-to-straight_conversion_therapy_practice_agr.html).  Girls are taught how a real woman walks, talks, looks and behaves.  Much emphasis is placed on religious doctrine as they "pray away the gay."











How often does such treatment (or the similar efforts of professional counselors like psychologists) of produce happy heterosexuals where once there were only sinful homosexuals with twisted desires?


Never. 

What never?  No, never.  The best that can be hoped for is that graduates will learn how to repress their homosexual urges and live chaste and celibate lives.  Imagine how much fun that would be if it were offered to you as a life style. 


During my gay rights activist days and right up until the current moment, I’ve had a standing offer about ex-gay conversion. I will contribute $5000 to the charity of choice of an individual or organization that can produce five men who were once gay and are now straight. There are various conditions: (1) the men must have had significant gay experiences in their lives, (2) become straight through whatever process, and (3) for at least five years thereafter remained completely straight. Finally, they must not have ever been leaders or volunteer workers for ex-gay organizations (just, therefore, normal members) and pass rigorous tests to determine their current sexual orientation (see me for details—I am serious about this—this offer is still open). Since ex-gay organizations have been around for over thirty years, you’d think they’d have thousands of former participants who’d easily meet my criteria, but so far no one has taken me up on this. Note that I’m not proposing a bet. If the person/organization can’t find five men who pass the tests, they lose nothing other than a credibility that is often widely touted (though in tatters whenever considered objectively).  I would require that if five converted straight men are not produced, the expenses of testing be paid for by the entity accepting my challenge.






Frequently the founders of these anti-gay organizations sincerely repent their actions later in life.  Two of Exodus International's co-founders (Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper) fell in love while running the group and left it to get married.  When Exodus International closed in 2013 the then leader of the organization apologized for the pain, despair, and suicides it had caused during its 37 year run.   Prior to that in 2007 three former leaders of EI came out as gay or lesbian and issued a public apology for their roles in Exodus. In April 2010, one of them confessed he'd never seen Exodus actually change any participant into a heterosexual.  Here’s another repentance by a Mormon leader of a similar group: https://www.reddit.com/r/Documentaries/comments/b5xqv3/mormon_gay_conversion_therapist_comes_out_2019/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app.






Why doesn’t gay conversion work?  The answer is simple: sexual orientation is a not a choice, it is a biological imperative (all the science shows this, see Related Posts below).   Let me close with a wonderful rant about this on Reddit from a male heterosexual; https://np.reddit.com/r/Christianity/comments/b4l8tc/this_is_very_good_shout_out/ej8vntx/:


I'm Christian, and the way we, as a whole, treat gays is a sin.
We lack EMPATHY. We don't think CLEARLY.
I'm a straight male.
I cannot IMAGINE being told that my NATURAL SEXUAL DESIRE for the opposite sex is, according to "God's word", a sin. I would be DEVASTATED. If I felt in my heart I love Jesus, and that 'most' of the bible is true, but the very thing that makes me human (my sexuality) was a sin in itself, I would be depressed and suicidal. I would be confused that God would make me born to feel feelings for a woman that I'm now being told I'm "not supposed to feel".
My sexuality LITERALLY is WHO I AM, and no amount of "pray the straight away" could EVER make me change my natural desires for the opposite sex. I could PRETEND to be homosexual for the sake of fitting in and pleasing God, but I would always bear the burden of knowing that God created me to mask and pretend that I don't desire the opposite sex. I would resent God on some level that his own book condemns me.
We straight people take it for granted. We Christians like to say, "I'm not saying homosexuality is the ONLY sin, because I sin, TOOOOOO!" Here's the difference:
I can STOP fornicating, lying, cheating, stealing, etc. But I cannot, under any circumstance, under ANY THREAT OF HELL, make myself stop having feelings for the opposite sex any more than a gay person can. It's IMPOSSIBLE.
I could castrate myself, I suppose, as most gay Christians who claim to be "straight" do who get married and have kids, but are secretly gay and live with that secret for the rest of their life.
I can't imagine being forced to have a same-sex marriage partner and lying to myself all my life that "I'm gay now because Jesus/God loves me"
I would carry so much resentment towards the church, God and Jesus, even if I pretend that I'm a "changed man".
I put myself in other people’s shoes. I use this thing God gave us called EMPATHY, and it hurts my hurt when Christians don't think critically about what's in the bible, because not everything written is true. Most of it is, but not ALL!
Scripture was INSPIRED by God, written by men. Men, who had biases, and men who were not gay (or may have been gay themselves who convinced themselves it was sin) included it with all the other actual sins, making homosexuality look like a sin, when God's Spirit corrected me on that. It's an error in the bible and if Christians took the time to study the word homosexual in the bible and dig on their history about it, they will find it was ADDED TO THE BIBLE and was never part of the original Greek/Hebrew text. Someone who gave us our version of the bible today hated gays and wanted everyone else to hate them, too. And it worked.
Now, some people would say I'm not a true Christian if I don't believe the word is a PERFECT interpretation of what God want us to know. And that's fine. I grew up with a gay friend who saw more persecution in a single WEEK than any living Christian today has seen their entire lives. These people do not choose to be gay any more than I chose to be straight. I can't see the sexual appeal of another man even if I tried, and if seen enough naked male bodies to feel nothing. In fact, when I watched porn, I didn't care for the male performer - give me the lesbian stuff any day of the week.
But, I digress.
Christians don't understand that when you call someone’s sexual orientation a sin, it's literally like calling THEM a sin, and there is no way for them to escape this internal torture except pretend it doesn't exist (get married, have kids, and say to yourself and others "I'm delivered!") or exit the church and abandon God altogether because you were defect. At least, I know that's how I'd feel if being heterosexual was a sin in the bible.
I had to seek the Holy Spirit on this issue because something wasn't adding up, and when God confirmed to me in multiple ways that homosexuality is NOT a sin, but that it was INCLUDED in scripture by men who THOUGHT it was a sin based on their own prejudices and biases, it made me sad.
EDIT: Found an excellent article backing up my "claims" that homosexuality is not and never was a sin. This article is to help my gay brothers and sisters that you are perfectly fine the way God CREATED you and that your feelings ARE natural.
You are NOT to be FORCED to change who God made you to be to "appease" no damn church even after salvation. You are NOT going to turn straight after you get saved, so don't let no Christian put in your head that he will "help you in that area". Your soul is literally attracted to the same sex. Your soul mate IS the same sex, whoever he or she is. It's NOT a curse! It's NOT a sin!
And for you judgmental Christians out there who think I'm "less Christian then you" because you believe blindly in text over the Holy Spirit, I strongly suggest you set aside your assumptions and do a "heart check" before God "checks you".
A lot of these people want to live happy lives with their lovers in marriage, that's why they pushed for it. Not to "encroach" upon your right to marry the opposite sex. For centuries you've forced these people to have multiple sex partners and never be allowed to commit under the union of God because of you prejudices and biases due to your undying faith in the Bible over the heart of God.
LISTEN TO ME CLEARLY NOOOOOW! YOU HAVE MADE YOUR BIBLE AN IDOL! YOU HAVE MADE YOUR BIBLE AN IDOL! AND YOU HAVE PLACED YOUR BIBLE ABOVE GOD AND HIS PEOPLE!!!
HIS TWO GREATEST COMMANDMENTS IS LOVE GOD AND LOVE PEOPLE! BUT YOU LOVE "BIBLE" MORE THAN PEOPLE! THERE IS A PRICE TO PAY FOR YOUR SIN, WHILE YOUR QUICK TO JUDGE A SIN THAT DOESN'T EXIST EXCEPT IN MODERN TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE
Sorry for the rant. I felt it needed to be said as a warning to you Christians who think you got it all "figured out". You are in for a rude awakening when God reveals how much sin you have in your heart to these people, and you won't be able to use the "But, the bible told me so" as an excuse. Okay. I'm done. 







Currently fifteen states and the District of Columbia, plus various cities, make gay conversion therapy illegal; http://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/conversion_therapy .  More should join them and stop this unconscionable cruelty that targets America’s children as their misguided parents send them trudging down a very ugly path.








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Related Posts:

A Guide to the Best of My Blog,” April 29, 2013;http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-guide-to-best-of-my-blog.html

“How To Change Gay People Into Straight People,” September 20, 2010;
http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-to-change-gay-people-into-straight.html

“Choose To Be Gay, Choose To Be Straight,” January 25, 2011;
http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2011/01/choose-to-be-gay-choose-to-be-straight.html

“A Homophobic Organization Throws in the Towel: Goodbye to Exodus International,” June 21, 2013; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2013/06/a-homophobic-organization-throws-in.html

“How To Cure Homophobia,” July 30, 2015; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2015/07/how-to-cure-homophobia.html



Monday, March 18, 2019

I’m in Favor of Prostitution








Recently New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged with a misdemeanor for two counts of soliciting prostitutes when he visited the “Orchids of Asia” massage parlor in Florida.  This is a big scandal!  How dare this man seek out sex with prostitutes, actually paying money for sex!






Hmm.  Well, Kraft’s wife died eight years ago.  He’s 77.  He has sexual urges.  What is the man to do?  Masturbate for the rest of his life?  Try sleeping around with friends in Palm Beach?  That is a major hassle, and at his age is an iffy proposition taking much time and effort, as any bachelor knows.  All the poor guy wants is a sexual encounter without complications and for a remuneration he can well afford.  For this Robert Kraft faces public humiliation, a criminal record, and possible jail time.







Ah, but you say, these were poor Asian girls, likely victims of forced sex work, not willing participants in a commercial transaction.  If that’s true it does make them victims of a crime.  But the criminals are the evil people who brought them to this country and forced them into a life they would never have chosen on their own.  Such scumbags should be in jail and the girls freed from their terrible circumstances. 



If Kraft knew or should have suspected that these women were caught in such a trap then he too is involved in criminal activity.  Note carefully, however, that there is no evidence of this that I know of. 



What he’s charged with is paying money for sex.  He’s guilty of that, of course, but the point of this blog post is that it shouldn’t be a crime at all.  Drag people into court and threaten them with jail because they have a sex drive and figure out ways to satisfy it that hurt no one?  Well, that might upset moralists who think that people should only have sex when married, one man to one woman (and then only when trying to conceive), but I can’t imagine we’d happily let these modern-day puritans dictate our penal laws. 



There was an experiment with capuchin monkeys some years ago where the scientists wanted to know if they could teach monkeys the concept of money.  They slowly introduced tokens as rewards when the monkeys did something that pleased the scientists, and when the monkeys—puzzled—handed the tokens back gave them even greater rewards that the capuchins valued highly.  This system worked as planned.  Soon the little community was abuzz with tokens being swapped for all sorts of things.  At one point a researcher was astounded when he observed a male capuchin hand one to a female in return for a “Slam-bam-thank you, Ma’am” copulation, and, jaw opened wide, reported, “I’m pretty sure I just witnessed the first act ever of simian prostitution.”






Don’t misconstrue what I say.  I’m not in favor of the sex trade in innocent people.  I’m not in favor of taking advantage of young people, forced on to the street and using their bodies as their only means to survive.  I’m not in favor of girls, boys, or adults of any age being tricked or forced by circumstances into selling themselves unwillingly.  All of that is criminal and should be punished as such.



But when people of any age willingly decide that it would be a good idea to make money for a trade of sexual favors they should be able to do that without fear of criminal prosecution.  Years ago in The Advocate (long the leading magazine of the gay community) there was a letter to the editor from a man explaining that when he was seventeen in NYC he’d wander around the city in search of sex with older men, which is what he fantasized about having.  He’d find some man he was attracted to who was attracted to him as well, and after the two of them had sex the older gentleman would give him money (which he didn’t ask for).  They would insist he take it even when he protested.  This happened over and over and he didn’t know what to do with these “earnings.”  He couldn’t spend it because he was living with his parents and they would notice any undue increase in his wealth.  So every month he would bundle the bills up and drop the package off as an anonymous gift to the Museum of Modern Art. 



The Freakonomics writers have a segment in their canon about how some women are like Santa Claus.  They are ordinary citizens much of the year but as the holidays approach they go online and earn needed yuletide money by selling their sexual services to men in search of same.






At various points, between partners and when on vacation, I myself have hired the services of male “escorts” with whom I had a very good time, providing me with memories I cherish with a smile as I write this.  These gentlemen were independent contractors, not part of a brothel or any sort of coerced labor force.  They enjoyed what they did and were good at it.  Often, over dinner afterwards and when we were just becoming new friends and swapping stories, I would hear from them how rewarding it was to service men who couldn’t otherwise have sex at all: too fat, in a wheelchair, very old, ugly as sin.  They were fulfilling a need: not just sex but sex with a dream man!







Yes, there are problems with all of this.  The devil, as always, is in the details.  There should be regulations, laws, or perhaps (hmm) licenses.  It will involve rethinking what is going on and making as sure as we can that everyone is playing fair and no one is being subjugated.  Mistakes will be made and we’ll have to work out the kinks in the system. 



But that is much better than putting people in jail because they have a sex drive and others are willing to help them fulfill it. That should not be a crime.  It should be a commercial enterprise no more controversial than restaurants, yoga classes, or hair salons. 






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Related Posts:

"Rape, Biology, and Tricks of the Mind," January 8, 2015, http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2015/01/rape-biology-and-tricks-of-mind.html
The Magic and Power of a Wink,” August 24, 2011; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2011/08/magic-and-power-of-wink.html
“Good Sex, Bad Sex: Advice on Making Love,” November 9, 2011; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2011/11/good-sex-bad-sex-advice-on-making-love.html

“The Thrill of a Touch,” August 14, 2012; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2012/08/blog-post.html


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Two Gay Men Watch the Superbowl






I was reared in a sports family, played some sports myself, and follow the Chicago Cubs, and the basketball and football teams from Ohio State, Maryland, and Texas (all schools where I either work or which gave me a degree).  My husband, David Vargo, is the opposite.  When we first got together over six years ago he knew nothing about sports and wasn’t keen to learn.  But he joined the chosen family I have here in Columbus, Ohio, and they are all sports fans (a little nuts for the Buckeyes) so David gamely learned something about baseball, basketball, and, most importantly in Columbus, Ohio, football.  We have the chosen family over for lots of the games.


Our Chosen Family Celebrates a Buckeye Victory



David and I at the Blackout Game

The first year he was here we went to the famous “Black Out” game at the Horseshoe in Columbus when the Buckeyes had the crowd dress all in black to defeat Penn State in a freezing night game.  So, now in our seventh year, David knows quite a bit about football, understanding the rules and not infrequently sitting through the Buckeye games with me or the entire family.  It’s not his favorite thing to do, but he’s adapted.



I’m on top of college football annually.  When it comes to professional football I quit paying attention many years ago, but I do watch the Superbowl each year.  I remember the first one and I am pretty sure I’ve seen them all.  But I can’t work up any enthusiasm for watching any sport unless I care who wins so I artificially pick one of the Superbowl teams and root for it.



Ever since Deflategate in 2014 I’ve had a sour taste in my mouth when it comes to Tom Brady, the very talented quarterback for the New England Patriots with a fondness for pliable footballs, so this year I once again cheered for the Patriot’s opponent in the Superbowl, the Los Angeles Rams (even though there was a serious argument that a botched referee non-call was a major reason they made it into the big game).  David decided to watch at least the beginning of the game with me and, to my annoyance, announced he was rooting for the Patriots.  “Why?” I asked.  “Because my family came from New England and I think Tom Brady is sexy,” he replied.  Hmm.








The game itself was the lowest scoring Superbowl ever and neither team did much in the first half.  But right away I started noticing the terrific performance of Julian Edelman, wide receiver, of the Patriots whose pass catches and broken field running were superb.  Not only that, he appeared to be something of a hunk himself.  I said as much to David, and, ever the internet researcher, David promptly made some clicks on his phone to produce a picture of Edelman.







“Good looking,” I commented.  As a joke I threw in “Can you find any photos of him nude,” which immediately resulted in this:






It turns out that Edelman (who was named the MVP for this Superbowl, probably a blow to Tom Brady) has a record of being very LGBT friendly.  He has never married but he does have daughter (born in 2016) from a relationship with an ex-girlfriend.  He has had a long-standing bromance with  Brady and with former Patriot star Danny Amendola, with whom he had a filmed vacation in Mexico [You Tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaRlJyOrnSY].  Hmm, again.



Edelman, Brady, and Amendola


David actually watched the whole game with me, which pleased me a lot.  There wasn’t a touchdown until late in the game when the Patriots finally made one, but the most exciting moment came on the very next drive by the Rams.  It looked like they were about to complete a long pass down near the goal line when Stephon Gilmore of the Patriots made a leaping interception of the ball.  I slumped in my chair.







But that’s the same moment when something amazing happened in our living room.  David, like Patriots fans all over the country, jumped to his feet, throwing his arms in the air, and yelling in delight!  I was thunderstruck.  David had fully appreciated what was going on, become invested in the Patriot’s success, and just like that joined the ranks of a real football fandom.  What an amazing change from the sports challenged Floridian I married years ago!


Now if he could only give up rooting for Tom Brady and those damn Patriots life would be ideal.  Surely the Patriots won’t be in the 2020 Superbowl and this same debacle happen all over again. 


Surely.





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Related Posts:


“On Being a Gay Sports Fan,” March 9, 2012, http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2012/03/on-being-gay-sports-fan.html

“Put-Out at Home Plate,” February 14, 2010; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/search?q=home+plate

“The Duckball Team Goes to London,” January 29, 2011; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2011/01/duckball-team-goes-to-london.html

“My Sad Tale of Being a Chicago Cubs Fan,” May 27, 2015; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/search?q=cubs




Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Atheist Magazine Publishes a Third Comic Article of Mine








The leading atheist magazine in this country is Free Inquiry, put out by the Center for Inquiry in association with the Council for Secular Humanism.  I have been a subscriber for many years and when I published my atheist thriller “Imaginary Friend” I became friends with the editor, Thomas W. Flynn (a great character, fun to know).  When I first sent him the column below he asked that I expand it and when I sent him the newer version he liked it a lot.  He told me one of my changes made him laugh so hard a coworker stuck his head in Tom's office to ask if he was all right.  What author wouldn't want to hear that?


Tom Flynn

I have written three short comic pieces (all of which had their first appearance in this blog and then were rewritten for the magazine), and the most recent of these just hit the stands.  Here is what “What Did the Lions Eat on Noah’s Ark?” looks like in the February/March 2019 issue of Free Inquiry, Vol. 39 #2 (click to enlarge):








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Related Posts:


“What Did the Lions Eat on Noah’s Ark?” October 20, 2017; https://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2017/10/what-did-lions-eat-on-noahs-ark.html  

“I've Published Another Article: "An Atheist Interviews God," November 17, 2017; https://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2017/11/ive-published-another-article-atheist.html




Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Why There Can’t Be an Impeachment of Trump in His First Administration








Actually most people don’t understand the meaning of the word “impeachment” as used in the United States Constitution.  They think it means throwing the president out of office.  It doesn’t.
An impeachment is the same thing as an indictment in normal criminal proceedings.  Under the Constitution a majority of the House of Representatives can impeach the president for “high crimes or misdemeanors” (an ambiguous phrase), but the process can include any civil officer of the United States, including the president, vice president, judges, etc.  There have been two successful impeachments of our presidents: Andrew Johnson (Lincoln’s successor) in 1867 and Bill Clinton in 1999.  Both were acquitted in their subsequent trials.  Thus, technically, the title of this post is wrong: there might be an “impeachment” of Trump, but I was using the word there the way most people use it: removal from office.  It was too awkward to phrase it accurately in a title of a blog post.  Back to the matter at hand:








Following impeachment the trial of the person impeached is held in the Senate, presided over by the Chief Justice.  The House of Representatives presents the case against the person who has been impeached and that person is then removed from office only if two-thirds of the Senators vote for removal.  Johnson survived this trial by one vote and then served the rest of his term as president.  It would have taken 67 votes to convict Clinton, and the most the Republicans could garner were 50 (no Democratic senators voted against him).  History records that both impeached presidents were acquitted.  (Richard Nixon resigned immediately before the House of Representatives would have voted to impeach him.)  It’s a strange system that has members of the house as prosecutors, senators as a jury, and the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court as a trial court judge.  Few of these august people typically have any experience in these roles.








I’ve written once before about impeaching our current president, and in that post I elaborated about both prior impeachments in some detail [see “Related Posts” below].  This time around I want to explore the current climate for the reality of a possible conviction of Donald Trump in any impeachment brought against him by the 2019 or 2020 House of Representatives.









Yes, with a Democratic House it’s possible (in spite of the title of this post) for a majority of the members to vote to impeach Trump for some crime or another (pick your favorite Trump “high crime or misdemeanor”—alas, there are a large number of choices).  But using “impeachment” to throw Trump out of office by a vote by two-thirds of the Senators, well . . . it’s impossible.  You can surely see why.  The 116th Congress, convening in 2019, will bring some good news for the Democrats since they have gained a majority in the House of Representatives after November 2018 election. If they act quickly and have sufficient evidence of Trump’s ghastly misdeeds they might vote to impeach him and send the case to the Senate for trial.  Robert Mueller could help mightily here should his investigation accuse Trump of indictable offenses.



The Senate, however, is where this would all collapse.  In 2019 it is composed of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, and two independents (who vote with the Democrats on most issues). Even if all the Democrats (and those two independents) vote to convict Trump that adds up to only 47 of the needed 67 votes to back a moving van up to the White House's rear door.  It’s nonsense to think 20 of the current Republican Senators (TWENTY!) will turn against Trump and vote to convict him.  You only have to look at the Kavanaugh mess to see how much solidarity the Republicans have in the Senate.  One or two (hell, on a fair day even three) might vote to convict.  Then Trump would laugh, engage in a twitter fit of self-congratulation, and things would go back to the usual chaos of his administration.







Since this is obviously the result it would be a waste of everyone’s time to impeach Trump in the House and face the futility of an acquittal in the Senate.  [Of course that was also true of the Clinton impeachment so Democrats might do something futile just to embarrass Trump, which, admittedly, might be tempting.]



“Wait!” you might say.  “What if the Democrats elect a huge number of new Senators in the 2020 election—wouldn’t that change things?”  Yes it would, but that new Senate wouldn’t convene until January of 2021 and by that time a trial in the Senate it would be relevant only if Trump had just won reelection to a new four year term. 



And surely that won’t happen.






And surely that won’t happen.







And surely that won’t happen.


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Related Posts:


“Impeaching Donald Trump:  A Lawyer Looks at the Legal Issues,” August 16, 2017; http://douglaswhaley.blogspot.com/2017/08/impeaching-donald-trump-lawyer-looks-at.html