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Grateful for my Great-Grandfather

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:14 pm - April 26, 2009.
Filed under: Family

Going through my unread mail from the past week, I followed a reader‘s link to Orin Kerr’s post telling his father’s story, the “only member of his immediate family to survive” the Holocasut

What made the story particularly touching was that his father was born in Suwalki, the town my great-grandfather fled at the end of the Nineteenth Century to find a better life for his wife and young sons, my grandmother’s older brothers.

My great-grandfather, born Fajwel Kronberg, was one of two brothers.  As the second son, he would have been required to serve in the Czarist army for a term of several decades.  As my great Aunt Ruth explained, a son could escape military service  only if he had no brothers, so her father took the name Friedman, posing as the only son of another family.

He and his brother saved up enough money until both could leave the Russian Empire, the older going to Australia and the younger making his way to Cincinnati.  Because of that choice, my grandmother was born to freedom and I would have a number of great uncles and one amazing Great Aunt, the aforementioned Aunt Ruth, whose very life was a gift to those who knew her.

And today, let me thank Orin Kerr for helping remind me just how fortunate I am.  And to my great-grandfather, whom I never knew, for making the choice that he did.

So, as a tribute to those who perished in the Holocaust, read Kerr’s post.  As you learn what he–and so many others lost–you might see how truly fortunate those of us are to have or have had aunts and uncles, great and just good.

Roesgan, Lezko Promote Obama’s Tax Plan

My nephew caught this commercial promoting Obama’s tax plan and captured it on video:

Favorable MSM coverage of Tea Parties in direct proportion to negative coverage of the President

This thought occurred to me as I was going through my accumulated mail this morning and chanced up an e-mail where reader Peter Hughes alerted me to this post over at Newsbusters, Summary of the April 15 TEA Parties Media Coverage:

The media coverage of the more than 800 Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party protests that took place in all fifty states on April 15 ranged from disdainful dismissal of their nature, significance and import, to outright hostility towards the events and individual participants, to sexual innuendo-based full-on ridicule.

Perhaps the notion came to mind because, while fixing my coffee, I was listening to FoxNews and heard that Obama had appeared more often on the cover of Time magazine than had two of his predecessors, George W. Bush his immediate predecessor, who served eight full years in the White House compared to Obama’s not quite 100 days, and a more distant predecessor Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who served just over twelve years.

Bill Maher & the Use of the “Tea Bag” Smear

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 10:00 am - April 26, 2009.
Filed under: Mean-spirited leftists,Tea Party

Until this post, I had not used the term all too many on the left are using to discredit the grassroots phenomenon of “Tea Parties” organized across the country to protest “out of control spending at all levels of government.”

At least 300,000 people (and that’s the most conservative estimate) attended these protests on Tax Day alone with more people joining ralies the following weekend and even this past weekend.  Clearly, something is afoot when nearly a half-million people who do not readily take to the streets to protest do so.

Some on the left, however, would rather smear this movement than understand our concerns.  I’ve blogged on this before, and more than once.  The latest to do so is Bill Maher who took to the Los Angeles Times to throw his tantrum.  Maybe he was trying to be funny, but he just ended up being mean.  Blogger Robert Stacy McCain takes his criticism apart so I don’t have to.

Maher claims he can’t find out why the “conservative base is absolutely apoplectic.”  Guess it’s because he hasn’t been trying to find out.  A good part of that base has been apoplectic for several years now, largely over the issue which drove many of us to the streets earlier this month:  government spending run amok.  (Bill could find that out by reading conservative blogs and talking to conservative citizens.)

Even a week after the protests, Maher claims he still doesn’t know “what those ‘tea bag’ protests were about.”  Doesn’t know or doesn’t want to know?  Or, maybe so conditioned is he to slurring them as “tea bag” protests that he used that as his google search term.  And came up only with posts and columns by his ideological confrères trying to slur them.

If he had merely typed in “Tax Day Tea Party” into google, his first hit would have an explanation (included as footnote*).  But, that’s the thing, he doesn’t want to call them what their organizers have called them.  He resorted to the childish slur to mock them.

Perhaps, Bill Maher is just trying to be funny.  But, his piece just dripped with contempt for his ideological adversaries.  And his use of the standard left-wing slur to describe the growing grassroots phenomenon shows he, like others who use it, have no interest in understanding why we took to the streets on April 15.  They’d rather attack conservatives than take seriously our concerns.**


Did CNN Hype W’s 1st 100 Days as it Hypes Obama’s?

While doing my cardio yesterday afternoon, it seemed that every time I looked up at CNN on the TV monitor, a host was talking about the President’s first One Hundred Days in office or the network was promoting another program to mark the event.  First, it was Don Lemon, then Wolf Blitzer, even with ads for some report card.  Given that it’s CNN, don’t expect the grading to be too tough.

But, just want to note a couple of things.  Don Lemon seemed remarkably even-handed, a nice balance to Armstrong Cooper and Rick Sanchez.   Why not have Lemon take Cooper’s weekday spot?  CNN’s political reporter Ed Henry as well as a left-wing columnist and former Bush aide joined him.  His questions were fair and he didn’t bait the Republican, letting him speak uninterrupted, a courtesy he also extended to the columnist.

He asked each to grade the President on his first one hundred days, but expressly refused to extend that courtesy to Henry.  It seemed that reporter was chomping at the bit to offer the President favorable marks, but Lemon had a better understanding of journalism than did his colleague.

All that said, watching CNN hype Obama’s first one hundred days, I was wondering if they similarly hyped the same time frame for his predecessor eight years ago.

Are there positive portrayals of gay Republicans on stage?

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 9:00 am - April 26, 2009.
Filed under: Gay America,Gay Culture,LA Stories,Random Thoughts

Last night, I went to see a straight friend performing in a gay-themed play at West Hollywood’s Celebration Theater and was quite impressed with his performance in particular and the show in general.  The play, The Prodigal Father, depicts a strained father-son relationship when the father suffering from Alzheimer’s escapes from his Tennessee nursing home and barges in on his son and his lover in a Chicago loft.

I had this strange thought as I was waiting for the show to begin, perhaps sparked by the poster for Tony Kushner’s Angels in America on one of the set walls.  It was almost like wincing, anticipating some anti-Republican barb in the play.  It seems standard fare for gay productions.  (And I wonder if such portrayals where the playwrights write their own biases into the script help create the dishonest stereotypes which exist in our community.)

This show lacked such barbs, indeed, treated the father’s faith with a degree of respect.  But, during the show a thought occurred to me:  Has there every been a positive portrayal of a gay Republican on stage?

I don’t know.  I’ve never seen one, but do wonder.  If you’re aware of such portrayals, let me know, even in plays written for and produced by local (and or community) theaters.