Insignificant

When actress Ellen Page came out last month, several conservatives I know (and those I only know by association) posted comments that were really pretty mean. I read everything from “Ellen WHO???” to “who cares? Did another idiot celebrity really need to come out?”

First of all, if you have seen the movie “Inception” then you know exactly who Page is. If you haven’t seen that movie then you should be slapped silly. It’s amazing.

Second, it is unfortunate that it is still important for celebrities to come out of the closet.

In the last six years, I’ve run more calls than I can remember. I’m in public safety. I talk to a lot of different kinds of people. I’m not allowed to give details, but I have met a hell of a lot of people – teens and adults alike – who have battled depression second to the bullying they are dealing with for being gay or lesbian. I’ve talked to kids as young as 13 and adults as old as their mid-40’s who are still fighting to be accepted as human beings. Most of the kids haven’t even figured out whether they’re gay; some know they aren’t, but other kids (and sometimes even teachers) are bullying them because they simply appear to be gay.

Bullying takes many different forms. I was bullied for a lot of reasons. The fact that I was a huge tomboy was only one of those reasons. I have told my story before; I was the loser that other losers used to pick on and beat up. I was a tomboy, I was a girl who played guitar and bass, I was a science nerd, I was a history buff, I was terrible at sports, I was awkward, I just wasn’t cool enough…I was never good enough. I often still feel like I’m not good enough, but that is par for the course when you see the way I grew up.

The belief that I was a lesbian when I was a kid was one of the reasons I was bullied, though, and it was huge. Nowadays kids take school bullying home with them on their smartphones, where they endure a continuous stream of hate through Facebook, Twitter, and a myriad of other forums. I’ve talked to a lot of those kids. They’re afraid to tell their parents at least partially because they know the bullying will only get worse when they tattle. More than one kid has looked at me and asked, “did your parents hate you when you came out?”

No, they didn’t hate me. It wasn’t easy for them to accept at first, but they didn’t hate me. The first time a teenage boy sat in my ambulance and asked me to help him tell his parents because that was why he was sitting there with serious injuries from a beating, I wanted to disappear. How do you do that? How do I sit down with this kid in his hospital room, look his parents in the eye, and tell his crying mother that he needed to tell her something? Once I’ve said that, how do I stand there and mediate while he tells her something she probably never expected him to say because he was such a good religious boy?

Even the most well-meaning conservatives among my friends who are straight don’t understand how hard that can be. It took me months after my horrible self-realization to finally tell my parents. It’s still a stigma in society. It’s a stigma at home. Thankfully, it doesn’t appear that Ellen Page is losing work because of her announcement, but a lot of actors and actresses in the past have watched their careers tank after admitting to the world that they were gay.

It took a lot of courage for Michael Sam to come out. It took a lot for Ellen Page. It took a lot for Chely Wright (who immediately saw her career as a top-ten country artist evaporate). It took courage because, even in a society where being openly gay is becoming normal, there is still enough stigma and enough bullying to make one’s life very difficult. Being true to oneself is important; when those around you decide that they can’t stand your true self, it can be devastating.

I look forward to the day when we won’t have to “come out” anymore. Until then, I will have a lot of respect for those who come out and tell the world that it’s normal for some. We’re still people. We’re still just like you, and we’re not insignificant.

Well, Blow Me Over…

Madonna just made me fall out of my chair.

Following the news that has-been Jim Carrey made the very public decision to stop backing his latest film, Kick-Ass 2, superstar Madonna managed something I didn’t think she could: she shocked the hell out of every conservative in America.

She has gone public with her belief that it’s PEOPLE that kill people – not guns.

Carrey Tweeted, “I did Kickass a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence…I’m not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.” So, the shootings at Paducah, Jonesboro, Columbine, Red Lake, Amish Country, Virginia Tech, and Tucson didn’t change your heart before Sandy Hook? It took multiple mass shootings (nearly all in gun-free zones, something you’d think would indicate a trend) before you opened your eyes? That smacks of either willful ignorance or blatant opportunism, I can’t decide which. Besides being openly insulting with his “Cold Dead Hands” schtick (again, I point out the trend that this supposedly brilliant man can’t find right under his nose), now he expects that we’re gullible enough to buy his mea culpa routine? Please.

Don’t count on him giving his salary back to the production studio that made Kick-Ass 2. He won’t do any pressers to promote the film, but you can bet your sweet bippie he got paid for his time.

Carrey’s self-righteous grandstanding doesn’t really surprise me anymore. Madonna, on the other hand, was completely unexpected in her support of Second Amendment rights and the logic behind what we believe. She’s right. A gun isn’t going to sprout legs, walk down the street and kill someone. It doesn’t tell the person who picks it up to drive to the local school and start shooting people. A person – a human being with full control of their own choices and movement – has to make the decision to get the gun, load it, transport it, find their victims and kill them. That takes time, thought, and effort. Often they have to consider whether they’re willing to be taken into custody or if they’d rather kill themselves. A lot goes into these mass events that most liberals don’t stop to think about.

Madonna apparently has a better head on her shoulders than I first thought. I still don’t like her music, but I can certainly give her more credit for being able to think independently and not move with the Hollywood herd.

She is sure to catch flak for this. Carrey is taking some from one of the film’s producers, but that will be where it ends. His career has hit the skids; his most recent roles have been reduced to support (whereas he was once a commanding presence as a leading actor), and the slam-dunk of a sequel to one of his biggest hits, “Dumb and Dumber”, has been cancelled. He has several other films in the works but he is no longer the box office draw that he was.

The hysterical thing about this whole situation? The character he plays, Colonel Stars and Stripes, is a Christian who refuses to fire a gun.

I think I’m gonna go see it on opening day.

The Great Planned Parenthood Lie

I’m sick to death of big names in American culture trying to have me believe that, as a woman, I should be a pro-abortion liberal who screams for forced coverage for contraceptives. Scarlett Johansson is a beautiful and talented young woman. So is Eva Longoria. But the fact that they are lined up with other starlets to push their “vote with your ladyparts” campaign is disgusting and extremely off-putting.

In the newest ad, Hollywood is climbing all over Romney and Ryan for promising to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Their choice of words comes across as being dishonest, though – the Obama campaign is accusing Ryan of backing laws that would “allow employers to deny women access to cancer screenings and contraceptives.” In the Hollywood ad, Johansson makes an absolutely deplorable statement: she claims that “we have the GOP trying to re-define rape!”

Oh, yes…she did. She, like Cameron Diaz before her, is trying to accuse conservatives of wanting to undo laws that make rape – particularly marital rape – a crime. There is no evidence of this at all. No meetings or hearings, no drafts of bills being considered in committee, not even the slightest hint that Republicans are actually trying to do such a thing. She is accusing me, my family and most of my friends of trying to decriminalize one of the most outrageous personal crimes that can be committed. As a fire/rescue/EMS worker who has helped rape victims, I am furiously insulted.

As for the meat of the argument, I’m always the kind of person who wants both sides of a story, so I went looking. Michelle Malkin recently quoted a report by Live Action that showed 30 Planned Parenthood offices in 27 states had no direct programs for mammograms. One staffer openly admitted that they don’t provide those services at all. The Alliance Defense Fund asked the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for information on how many PP centers are certified to perform mammograms. HHS said they had no such documentation for PP.

When I wanted to read investigative pieces from the other side of the argument, I couldn’t find any. I found plenty of op-eds, for sure, but none of them offered any tangible evidence to back their argument. Stephanie Todd, writing for The Examiner, quoted PP president Cecile Richards in claiming that 97% of all services provided by PP are “preventive care” medical services. What she didn’t do was ask for proof to back up Richards’ claim – and since she got the quote from a Joy Behar interview, we all know why no probing questions were asked. A Huffington Post article claimed in its headline that “women rely on PP for critical breast health care – period.” That article turned out to be written by Rachel B. Fleischer, who happens to be the Managing Director of Communications for the PP Action Fund. She comes out and admits that PP’s staff OB-GYNs and nurses do not perform mammograms, though she never addresses cervical cancer screenings. She says that PP gives referrals, which she says you need to get a mammogram (this is untrue, as family history can dictate that a mammogram before age 40 is important, as it is in my case). She, like President Obama, claims that PP is vital to women who are underinsured or uninsured.

What none of the PP cheerleaders have mentioned is the CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP). This program “provides access to breast and cervical cancer screening services to underserved women in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 5 U.S. territories, and 12 tribes” (that’s straight from the website). There’s no information immediately available for how much money is spent on the program, but the website boasts that in 2011, 333,302 women were screened for breast cancer, with 5,655 diagnosed. 253,312 women were screened for cervical cancer, with 4,695 diagnosed. With those numbers it’s not hard to believe that between the tests themselves (which run anywhere from $75-$120 apiece) and funding for staff, equipment and facilities, funding likely runs into the $300M range.

With PP, the numbers have to be read carefully. If you’re looking directly at their numbers, they they don’t add up. Cecile Richards claims that only 3% of PP’s business comes from abortions. Here’s how their pie chart breaks it down: 35% of services were for testing and treatment of STD’s, 35% for contraception, 16% for “cancer screening and prevention” (which, we’ll talk about shortly, takes place largely through referrals outside the organization), 10% “other” women’s health (which is undefined by the report), 3% for abortions and 1% for “other” (also undefined). Even those figures are doctored, as other notes in the same report show that out of three million people who walked through their doors in 2009 (the latest year I could find expense reports for), 332,278 went for abortions. That would, in reality, be one out of every nine people, or 11%. Also, their revenue shows that 37% comes from actual income from their “health centers” (read: abortions). They recorded a total revenue of $737M (aside from government funding) and recorded net assets of $994.7M.

We the taxpayers gave them $363.2M that year.

Everything that I found showed that PP doctors and nurses give referrals when someone comes in for a mammogram. Who do they refer these women to? Well, bless me – they refer them right back to NBCCEDP! That’s the government program that funds cancer screenings, pelvic exams, biopsies and referrals for treatment. Rachel Fleischer also says that PP works in conjunction with other organizations to provide mobile mammography sites. Considering what’s likely spent on the CDC’s current program, the government could transfer all of the money they’re giving PP to the CDC and expand it so those poor women who are going to PP right now can go to another participating doctor.

And we’re supposed to believe that electing Mitt Romney to the presidency is going to put PP out of business and deprive women of affordable cancer screenings?

It frightens me that those who stand on society’s pedestals are so willing to lie just to support their chosen political candidate. I would never have lied for Bush, nor would I lie for Romney or Governor Palin. I would hope that none of them would ever ask me to – and if they found me doing it, would insist that I stop. I would hope that Obama would have some shred of honesty, at least enough to ask his high-powered followers not to go so far as to claim that the opposition is attempting to de-criminalize rape. That is reprehensible.

If you’re not willing to actually research all of the facts, don’t throw your hat in the ring. Just because you have an emotional reaction to something you’ve heard or read does not mean you’re right.

Welcome to Hollywood

I love a good story. I always have. I read voraciously when I was a kid and only read less now because I have to work for a living. I love to write (I know, shocker!) and currently have three different novels in the works. I love movies, too. GOOD movies. If a movie is too political or preachy, so much so that I notice that before I even notice what the story is supposed to be, I won’t finish it. I can rattle off a list of actors/actresses that I love because they absorb their characters so completely that you almost forget who you’re watching (Kate Beckinsale, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Michael Caine, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Edward Norton, Donnie Wahlberg, Robert Duvall, Joaquin Phoenix, Robert Downey, Jr., Liam Neeson, Anne Hathaway…I could go on forever).

The problem now, however, is that so few movies are worth watching anymore. I loved Transformers when I was a kid; I was so happy when I found out that Michael Bay was making a movie out of the franchise that I did a little dance. I was irritated when, barely 20 minutes into the movie, the character playing the president appeared. He was portrayed as a faceless hayseed, twang and all, reclining in his bed aboard Air Force One in his stocking feet – his single line was, “would ya rustle me up some dingdongs, darlin’?” At that point the flight attendant, an attractive woman, makes a sardonic comment to another crew member: “we’re on board Air Force One and the man asks for dingdongs!” He is never named, but it is made perfectly clear that the scene is a jab at then-president George W. Bush.

Contrast that scene with one in Transformers: Rise of the Fallen, the second film in the series. You almost miss it if you’re not paying attention. About halfway through the movie, a strand of news clips are played to add to the realism and one of the clips shows a grainy clip of Barack Obama and the anchor says, “President Obama was moved to a secure location after news of the attacks…” Then, in the beginning of the third film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, main character Sam Witwicky receives an award from – you guessed it – President Obama.

The difference in tone and delivery are palpable. Directors and producers think the unwashed masses don’t notice these things, but we do – and it’s irritating. I don’t go to see a movie to hear a sermon; if I wanted that, I’d have gone to see Michael Moore. I want a story. I want to be kept on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what the next twist is going to be. I want to laugh with the characters. I want to be able to feel what they’re feeling. If I get the impression for even one scene that I’m being made the punchline to a bad joke because of my political views, I will immediately lose respect for the film and its creators.

I cannot watch anything with Matt Damon in it anymore. I can’t even stomach the lighthearted films because he’s been so nauseatingly arrogant about his views. It wasn’t bad enough to say that having Governor Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency “is like a really bad Disney movie” – he had to step it up after that. He has openly attacked everyone who isn’t steeped in liberalism. Cameron Diaz is another I can’t watch. When the Charlie’s Angels silhouette was changed for the movie – removing the guns and replacing them with karate hands – Diaz said that they wanted women to “feel empowered to defend themselves without guns.” Several years later, when Bush was up for re-election, she said, “if you think rape should be legal, then don’t vote!” In other words, she thinks all conservatives are knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers who want to take America back to an age when marital rape wasn’t a recognized crime and women weren’t allowed to vote. Ben Affleck? I can’t even watch Daredevil anymore, and that used to be one of my favorite Marvel character films. Cher, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Janeane Garofalo, Danny Glover, Sean Penn, Lindsay Lohan (she, too, attacked Governor Palin on multiple occasions, once saying, “is our country so divided that the Republicans best hope is a narrow minded, media obsessed homophobe?”), Chris Rock…oh, and who can forget Alec Baldwin? I can’t watch any of them anymore. All I see when they appear on the screen are the video clips of hateful anti-conservative comments.

Of course, we’re talking about people who never studied political science, constitutional law or history in college. None of these airheads ever served in the military. None of them have lost a friend to war, sent a brother or sister to that same war, or written to friends who are deployed. They live in their own private bubble, oblivious to the realities of what real life is like for the rest of us. The part that disgusts me is that they expect all of us to follow them blindly and believe whatever they say because they have higher status in the social pecking order.

They’ll make a movie one minute about how evil the government is, then turn around and make another one about how the government needs more power. They make movies preaching about the evils of corporations, yet the very movies are being made by powerful corporations called movie studios and production companies. They’ll eviscerate one political candidate as lacking executive experience (a state governor with a long, storied history of incredible accomplishments) while praising the other – a senator with nary a single congressional accomplishment to his name who has never filled an actual management role. When called out on their hypocrisy, they’ll just tell you you’re uneducated and intolerant, right before appearing on an anti-bullying ad.

Welcome to Hollywood.

Sexism Will Never Die

When I was in high school, a vicious drama played out between three of my classmates. A popular boy, the stereotypical football player with a lot of talent on the field who was in love with his own legend, cheated on his cheerleader squad captain of a girlfriend with a girl who was widely panned as the school skank. The plot has become ridiculously familiar in today’s high-school-themed movies: big man on campus has the perfect girlfriend and screws it up by sleeping with the town party favor. The movies aren’t nearly as ugly as real life. There was no happy ending when the jilted cheerleader picked a fight with the girl who stole Mr. Wrong. As is always the case, the cheater was far more street wise and had been in fights before, while the cheerleader was just really pissed off. Suffice to say, the cheerleader couldn’t shake her pom-poms anymore when the dust settled. In time, everyone forgot that the fight was over a boy. The girl who stole him for a one-night stand, however, was never forgiven. My former classmates remember what she did even now.

It was then that my dad told me a story about his Navy days when women first began serving on US ships. Two sailors, a man and a woman, both married, had an affair during a major deployment. They were eventually caught (impossible not to get caught on a Navy destroyer – if you’ve ever been in one of the berthing compartments, you know why). When they were, everyone castigated the woman as being a whore – the man, however, got high-fives and his name was eventually forgotten. It was the same thing that happened when I was in high school.

Fast forward to today. Kristen Stewart, the sweetheart of the Twilight films, has been in a relationship with on-screen partner Robert Pattinson for a few years. She didn’t actually admit their relationship until she was caught cheating on Rob. Naturally, all hell broke loose – Twilight fans posted YouTube videos reminiscent of Chris Crocker’s crying rant, screaming “how could you” at Kristen over the internet. People have gone absolutely insane over this whole thing. Interestingly enough, the same tired storyline is playing out: everyone is mad at Kristen, but not one person in my office could name the man she cheated with, nor could they say for certain if he had a family.

For the record, his name is Rupert Sanders. He is technically still married to actress Liberty Ross, who played Snow White’s mother in Snow White and the Huntsman. The pair has two children together.

I’m sure Rob is torn up and feels deeply betrayed. Anyone who’s been cheated on feels a hurt that is unique to that particular act. I have to wonder, though – why in the hell has Rupert not been publicly shamed? Why hasn’t his apology been entered into the current quotable vernacular? Why hasn’t he been screamed at? He was actually married. He has two children with a woman he vowed to remain faithful, ’til death do us part. He’s the one who’s gonna have to explain to his kids why Christmas has to be split between mom and dad’s house. Why isn’t he the one everyone is targeting?

For the same reason that my classmates all forgot the guy in that love triangle. The same reason all the men on my dad’s ship gave their two-timing buddy a slap on the back and congratulated him while the woman he screwed was branded an adulteress: sexism will never die.

Women have always been held to a different standard than men. You can see it in the way Hilary Clinton was treated as soon as Barack Obama entered the presidential race. You can see it in the way Sarah Palin was skewered in John McCain’s place. We have long since answered the question of whether America is ready for a black president, yet we’re still asking if our nation is ready for a woman in the White House. We’re not ready because we still haven’t moved past the centuries-old idea that a woman is always the seductress and the man is unable to withstand her wiles. You can see it in our subconscious in the way Jodie Foster has to stand up for Kristen Stewart because almost nobody else will.

(Jodie brings up one very good point – our society has grown into an animal that eats alive any celebrity who doesn’t live up to our unspoken expectations, and it’s unfair to subject a kid to that these days. I’m glad now that I didn’t get fame when I wanted it.)

As long as things like this are coupled with White House staff salaries proving that women still aren’t equal in the workplace, we’ll never move forward; but sexism will always remain that dirty little secret that nobody talks about. It will never change because the liberal feminists will only point at abortion rights and conservatives refuse to speak loudly enough to be heard.

Roseanne Barr: American Idiot

When I was a kid we used to watch the show Roseanne. The first few seasons were absolutely hysterical. Once it got into the gay marriage mess my mother wouldn’t let us watch it anymore, but I remember some of the funniest stuff from that show. Sure, the family in the show was outrageously dysfunctional, but by the time Roseanne Barr had her own show that wasn’t anything new.

Roseanne is up to other things these days. I made such an impression on her that she blocked me on Twitter; the only way I can see her idiotic tweets now is if the Twitchy team posts them. Today, they posted one of the most outrageous things she could have possibly said. I was pissed off enough when she waded into the “hate chicken” debate.

Today, though, she told the wife of a US Naval officer that she was living “on the dole.”

Yeah. I just about spewed my nice chianti all over my computer screen.

She didn’t stop there, though. She continued, “so you are not on military retirement or socialized medicine or the government dole in any way?” THEN, she wrapped up by saying, “t party is another word 4 ppl employed by the military who want to see the social safety net dismantled so they can b assured of their gov$.”

I tend to watch my language here, but I’m gonna say it…that cock-juggling thundercunt can kiss my military family’s collective ass. I’m a Navy brat. I even remember all of the ships my father served aboard. Were the Navy to accept me now, none of the pranks would work on me because I was raised on stories of them. In real life, I tend to have a pretty foul mouth – not just because I was a corrections officer, but my dad was a tin can sailor, from the days when women weren’t on ships yet and there was no such thing as a harassment complaint. My father is extremely intelligent, but when he and I get going we could make today’s sailors faint. My brother is still in the Army and, if I can get a waiver for my missing gallbladder, eventually I’ll be joining him. Many of our friends have either died serving this country or come back with serious injuries, and not a damn one of them has complained about what their lives have turned into.

Roseanne has no spine. She has no clue what sacrifice those men and women make to serve their country. That is the main reason why she would accuse them all of being “tea partiers on the dole” and claim that they’re “trying to destroy the social safety net to protect their own money”. That she would even think that is an outrage – that she’d say it publicly is unforgivable.

So, Roseanne, block us all you want, but there is no way in hell you’d make it in showbiz now. Nobody would watch your drivel. Even the liberals in the military would turn off the TV before watching you.

Oh, and by the way…you’re welcome, you colossal bitch.

More Liberal Lies

I always used to like Tina Fey. Her work on SNL cracked me up, including when she lampooned Sarah Palin. After her most recent comments, however, I’m pissed.

Tina Fey won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor last night (h/t Michelle Malkin). In her acceptance speech, she bagged on conservative women – in particular, Sarah Palin. She said that “I would be a liar and an idiot if I didn’t thank Sarah Palin for helping me get here tonight. My partial resemblance and her crazy voice are the two luckiest things that have ever happened to me…” Then, she criticized the sudden increase of conservative women politicians, saying that the surge was a positive thing for women – “unless you don’t want to pay for your own rape kit…unless you’re a lesbian who wants to get married to your partner of 20 years…[or] unless you believe in evolution.”

Really? You’re seriously going to go there? Okay…let’s go.

Sarah Palin was the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, in 2000 when then-Democratic governor Tony Knowles signed a bill into law that dumped the state’s responsibility for sexual assault forensic tests – commonly called “rape kits” – on local police departments. The bill also required that the departments themselves pay for them, apparently, and not pass the cost on to insurance companies. Wasilla police chief Charlie Fannon (whom Palin had hired for the job) said shortly thereafter, “in the past, we’ve charged the cost of exams to victim’s insurance companies when possible.” This was all twisted by multiple liberal blogs into “OMG! Sarah Palin hates rape victims, she makes them pay for their own rape kits! We can’t let her get a heart attack away from the presidency!!!”

Horsefeathers. No mayor, not even in a small town like Wasilla, controls the policies of the police department up front. That’s what she hired a chief of police for. She didn’t know what Fannon was doing about the costs, and as soon as she found out about it she put a stop to it. Later, when Palin ran for governor, Fannon ran for mayor in Wasilla – and Palin endorsed his opponent. I think that speaks volumes. Yet we still have Tina Fey propagating the myth that Palin personally made the decision to charge victims for forensic tests.

The second remark she made angered me the most: she used gay marriage as a prop. I hate to burst the liberal gay bubble (and the Hollywood liberal one), but Palin is not the only politician in America who opposes gay marriage. An outrageous number of Democrats oppose it. Anyone remember DOMA? The Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law by then-president Bill “I Did Not Have Sexual Relations With That Woman” Clinton (that was the most outrageous part of it, because he’s never been able to keep it in his pants – he got around more than any of my gay friends). It all began in 1993, when the Hawai’ian state Supreme Court ruled that the state must show a compelling interest in keeping same-sex marriage on ice. Worried that the ruling would make gay marriage legal in Hawai’i and that other states would be required to recognize such unions, DOMA was introduced by Bob Barr and passed overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress in 1996. During the debate over the bill, Senator Robert Byrd – A DEMOCRAT – said,

”the drive for same-sex marriage is, in effect, an effort to make a sneak attack on society by encoding this aberrant behavior in legal form before society itself has decided it should be legal. Let us defend the oldest institution, the institution of marriage between male and female as set forth in the Holy Bible.”

Slick Willie had announced weeks before passage of the bill that he would sign it and supported it. The bill bars the federal government from providing benefits to same-sex partners and recognizing same-sex marriages as well as giving states the option on whether or not they will recognize such unions. A few months later, he told The Advocate, “I remain opposed to same-sex marriage. I believe marriage is an institution for the union of a man and a woman. This has been my long-standing position, and it is not being reviewed or reconsidered.”

It’s also worth noting that a bill that would have banned employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation was defeated – by only a single vote. The only way that could have happened is if a number of Republicans supported it. All this happened just three years after Clinton’s promises to end the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military turned into Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. To date, not one gay liberal has been able to answer this for me, either…if liberals love gays so much, why is it that Democrat-registered black and Hispanic voters ensured the passage of Proposition 8 in California? Without those demographics, that bill never would have passed. Somehow, though, it was the damned churches that gay rights activists targeted. They would never have dared target their own party because they’re still hoping to get a few scraps from their table and are happy being lied to.

Mrs. Fey, don’t you dare condescend to me by telling me that my political loyalties are misplaced with conservatives. The fact remains, and it is one you cannot ignore, that there are plenty of Democrats in office now who are every bit as anti-gay and they’re not going to change their minds. You and your fellow Hollywood emotion junkies can bash people like me all you want and you can lie to yourselves about how wonderful the Democrats are, and you can call conservative women idiots, but the fact remains that you are supporting politicians who espouse the exact same ideals that you’re calling out in conservatives.

Not all conservatives think that way (obviously). Maybe, just maybe, those who DO would be willing to sit down and have a civil conversation if you would stop accusing them of being hatemongers, stop portraying them as crazy and idiotic, and actually come to the table for once in your privileged life. Truth is, you don’t know one goddamn thing about being a lesbian and you are not qualified in the least to talk about the issues we face.

Political Correctness is Tyranny With Manners

On October 4, 1924, Charlton Heston was born in Evanston, Illinois – he was originally christened John Charles Carter. Charlton was his mother’s maiden name; Heston was his soon-to-be stepfather’s last name (it became his surname when he was 11 years old). He didn’t adopt his stage name until his first film, Peer Gynt (a 16mm silent film he starred in at age 16 while still in high school – it was directed by future Hollywood director David Bradley).

Heston grew up in Northern Michigan, spending time wandering and hunting in the back woods near his family home. He didn’t wait to be drafted for service in WWII; he enlisted in 1944 in the Army Air Corps, the same branch of the service my great-grandfather was drafted for. That same year he married Lydia Marie Clarke. After the war, they worked as low-wage models for art students in Manhattan; it was then that Heston got back into acting, landing a lead role in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra on Broadway. He also landed several TV shows, including Studio One. He happened upon film by accident – a studio executive saw Heston on the set of a TV enactment of Wuthering Heights and offered him a contract. Lydia didn’t want him to do it, but he reportedly told her, “just one film – just to see what it’s like.”

Heston took off in film in a way he likely never dreamed. After a few lower-key crime dramas, Heston was cast by Cecil B. DeMille for the lead roles in Greatest Show on Earth and The Ten Commandments. Heston starred in Touch of Evil before landing a role that all but defined him: Ben-Hur. Hollywood legends Marlon Brando and Rock Hudson turned the role down before it was ever offered to Heston. He won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance as Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur (the movie garnered eleven statues total). He also starred in Secret of the Incas, The Big Country, El Cid, 55 Days at Peking, Julius Caesar, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Khartoum, Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green, Earthquake!, Midway, and Grey Lady Down (among many others). He was one of the most prolific actors of his time and served as the president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1965 – 1971.

Today’s generation remembers him most for his political activism…in particular his stint as the president of the National Rifle Association. Michael Moore openly disrespected him in the crockumentary Bowling for Columbine, a political screed in which Moore pinned gun violence on gun-rights advocates like Heston. George Clooney (who is, quite possibly, one of the worst actors I have ever seen – even beating Keanu Reeves, in my opinion) outrageously quipped during a speech at an event for the National Board of Review that “Charlton Heston announced again today that he is suffering from Alzheimer’s” (he later excused himself by saying that Heston deserved the off-color crack merely for his involvement with the NRA). Most of today’s young’uns don’t know about Heston’s early activism.

He campaigned for future president John F. Kennedy. He picketed segregated restaurants and theaters and, along with a handful of other actors – including Sidney Poitier – marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963. He protested for civil rights long before most other actors got into it. He also supported the Gun Control Act of 1968, the law that bars interstate gun transfers among all but those who are federally licensed as firearms dealers (the same law banned all people convicted to one year or more by the feds and two years or more by any state to imprisonment for any crime, fugitives, drug addicts, illegal aliens, anyone with a court protective order against them, any person found legally mentally unstable, anyone dishonorably discharged from the US military, anybody who has renounced their US citizenship or who has committed any domestic violence crime from possessing any firearm and created the FFL system for licensing gun dealers). Heston opposed the Vietnam war and voted for Richard Nixon with the hopes that the Republicans would find a way to end the war.

Heston went on to criticize the press for their coverage of the 1991 Gulf War for lowering morale among Americans during wartime. He lambasted what he saw as racism against whites and discrimination against heterosexuals in Hollywood, education and the media, saying, “why is ‘Hispanic Pride’ or ‘Black Pride’ a good thing, while ‘White Pride’ conjures shaven heads and white hoods? Why was the Million Man March on Washington celebrated by many as progress, while the Promise Keepers March on Washington was greeted with suspicion and ridicule? I’ll tell you why, Cultural warfare!”

While he is most often remembered for declaring, “from my cold, dead hands,” most don’t know and don’t care about all the other causes that Charlton Heston stood for. Considering the wealth of good causes that he fought hard for long before I was ever born, I think that is horribly sad.

When I was in my early twenties my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I watched her turn quickly – shockingly so – almost completely infirm thanks to that dreadful disease. It broke my heart that weekend in 2004, when my family gathered to say goodbye and she passed away after days of fluid buildup in her lungs, listening to the death rattle that so many have experienced in a loved one. Charlton Heston’s family has never spoken publicly about the days and weeks before his death, but having witnessed such a death, I can understand why.

Heston is still one of my greatest heroes. Not because of his fame…rather, I admire him because his fame didn’t get the best of him. Long before Hollywood found its place in political activism, Heston stood up for the issues he believed in and didn’t give a damn what anybody thought of him for it. He was able to do so with respect and dignity, without ever insulting those who disparaged him – even Michael Moore and George Clooney. Against the advice of all of those closest to him, he stood up to Time/Warner and rapper Ice-T by calling out the lyrics of Ice-T’s album “Body Count” as the horror that they were and are. He did so knowing full well that he would be ridiculed and loathed, but he felt the knew needed to be told. The days of such classy actors are, I fear, long over.

Yesterday Charlton Heston would have been 87 years old yesterday. The title of this post were his words during a speech to the Harvard graduates of 1999. He will always have my profound respect and gratitude.

WAAAAAHHHHH!!!

The big news this week isn’t the Gulf oil spill (though it should be). The immigration debate is even taking a back seat in many ways to what’s making headlines right now. Are you ready?

Lindsay Lohan is going to jail.

*GASP*

Oh, come on…did anybody really think this was outside the realm of possibility? Did we really believe she was going to clean up her act? What’s so huge about her going to jail?

That’s right, I almost forgot – she pitched a snit fit, as did her lawyer, her mom and just about everyone else there NOT in the media. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I heard that some of them went spastic, too.

Lindsay cried and begged the judge not to throw her in jail in a display of wanton childishness that I haven’t seen since Paris Hilton was sentenced to 45 days (and only served five). Her lawyer said, “all we want is for Lindsay to be treated like everyone else and that hasn’t happened so far.” Mother Dina said, “This is so not fair to do this to my child,” while dad Michael described being in jail himself after insider trading charges and railed against the use of prescription drugs to treat addiction to narcotics.

That is high-larious. Here’s the sequence of events: July 2007 Lohan is arrested for DUI. It’s her second so far. What makes this arrest stand out is not just that it’s her second DUI in as many months; she’s also found in possession of a usable amount of cocaine. She first tries to make the excuse that someone gave it to her and she didn’t know what it was (if I only had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that…), then tells the truth in court and pleads guilty. She’s given one day in jail, ten days of community service and three years of probation. She’s ordered to rehab, alcohol education and is ordered to wear a SCRAM anklet to monitor her for alcohol – because the judge orders her to stay away from the stuff. In multiple interviews she admits to being addicted to narcotics and alcohol. She serves no less than three stints, not just one, in different rehabilitation centers.

During all of this she repeatedly failed to obey the terms of her probation. She didn’t go to alcohol education as promised. Her SCRAM anklet went off, notifying her parole officer that she’d been drinking. On May 27 she was ordered to take a drug and alcohol test and tested positive for both. To top it all off, when she was called to court to answer for all of this, she failed to show and a string of Twitter messages told the story that her passport had been stolen and she was stuck in Cannes. To be fair, that is entirely possible, and losing your passport can be a nightmare. The judge did rescind the arrest warrant that had been issued and rescheduled a new hearing. That hearing resulted in a new hearing held yesterday. Today, she and her family are decrying the judge’s decision as unfair.

I’d like to know what’s so unfair about it. Two DUI’s in a short period of time, an MVA (motor vehicle accident), possession of a dangerous narcotic, and repeated probation violations will eventually add up to more serious punishment. Did Lohan’s attorney or family really think that because she’s Lindsay Lohan the judge was going to give her a smack on the wrist and an admonishment not to do it again?

Occasionally, if I’m not working (obviously), I’ll go to the Maricopa County Superior Court in downtown Phoenix and observe criminal court hearings. I’ve observed arraignments, trials, and sentencing hearings. Having an education in the subject has helped me understand things that most people don’t. The sentencing hearings are the most interesting. I always hear the same things: I’m so sorry, I don’t know what I was thinking, just give me a chance, I’ll do better next time, I promise, blah, blah, blah. I can almost recite it in my sleep because I’ve heard it so often and always in the same wording (not counting the time I was a corrections officer, I heard plenty during those days, too). Drug addicts turn to assault, burglary and armed robbery to fund their habits. I once listened to a man who’d been arrested breaking into a car promise the judge all the same things I’d heard before – then listened to the judge say, “this is your third offense.” My mouth dropped open in shock. That was because of what came next: on the first offense, he was given probation; on the second, he went to prison. He’d only been out of prison for two months and he’d gone right back to his old life.

Lindsay is right about one thing – this is unfair. Not unfair in the sense that she’s going to jail after repeated probation violations; it’s unfair that she’s getting 90 days in jail and 90 days in rehab. That’s it? Are you kidding? Normal pukes like me would have the book thrown at us for violating probation after two DUI’s and discovery of narcotic abuse. When you’re Lindsay Lohan and you have a hell of a lot of money and you don’t need to pass drug tests to get the job you need so you can pay the bills, where is the incentive to NOT use that crap? JAIL.

Through her probation officer we’ve also learned that she takes Trazadone for depression, Zoloft to sleep, Adderall to get up after the Zoloft does its job, Nexium for heartburn, and Dilaudid – aka hydromorphone, an extremely powerful narcotic analgesic, one I hope I never have need for – for supposed “dental pain”. Having been in the music biz for a little while, I learned that when you’ve got a big enough name there’s always a doctor willing to write a script for any drug you want, so I’m not buying her use of hydromorphone “for as long as she can remember” according to reports. HIPAA may guarantee she has the right to privacy but I think both her probation officer and that judge should be looking into how long she’s been taking it and what she’s taking it for. That’s a pretty powerful drug to be taking for a dental procedure that we never heard anything about. Plus, she’s reported to have asthma and she smokes. No self-respecting physician would prescribe this drug under those circumstances because it can severely exacerbate breathing problems. Other counter-indications say that it shouldn’t be used unless other narcotic analgesics have been used for a long period of time and are no longer effective. What does that tell us?

I hope she gets her life in order. I’m not just railing because she’s a starlet who expected a break. I genuinely hope she finds a way to clean up her life. I like seeing happy endings once in a while.

The Big Hypocrisy

I love movies. Love ’em. I’ve been known to sit in line for six to eight hours with my friends to see the midnight showings of new movies and turn around and make it to work on time the next morning. I have a pretty good DVD collection that includes everything from Band of Brothers to Adam Sandler’s Click to the Twilight saga films. I absolutely love movies (and music, too, between my dad and I we’ve got at least two 16G iPods’ worth of music).

No matter how much I love movies, though, I have to also point out Hollywood’s one huge, glaring flaw: it is peopled entirely by hypocrites.

Years of listening to actors and actresses air their political views has taught me that the people are hypocrites, but I came to the conclusion that the hypocrisy is entrenched at all levels while watching the Transformer films back-to-back a couple of weeks ago. During the first film, the president isn’t named; you merely see a faceless actor portraying him laying in bed, shoes off, asking a flight attendant on Air Force One, “could ya rustle me up some ding-dongs, darlin’?” The attendant makes a snide remark about being on AFO to serve the man ding-dongs and goes to retrieve them, at one point taking a bite of one and making a disgusted face. It is obvious that they are portraying none other than George W. Bush, even though they never give his name. He’s depicted as a lazy cowboy who sits out major crises while eating junk food.

In the second film, the President is named. You never see him, but in a jumble of news bites about the new threat from the Decepticons one clip stands out, and this was done deliberately: “President Barack Obama was moved to a bunker for protection…”

Note the shift. The whole underlying theme is that, when you look at the characters from Sector 7, you shouldn’t trust the government. EVER. As soon as there’s a president in office that the filmmakers like, however, it’s a different tune they’re singing. Don’t trust the last guy, but by all means, trust the new one. Don’t bother with what kind of job he’s doing. The facts don’t matter, we just want to know that the guy we like isn’t going to be in any danger. Hope and change.

I’ve begun to notice such themes in a lot of my favorite films. In Mark Wahlberg’s Shooter, which I loved, you’re told from the very beginning the the government can’t be trusted, not for any reason. Wahlberg’s character distrusts the government so much that he won’t have anything to do with them even when they drive up in a motorcade and request his help. Support the troops, but the government that trained and hired them can go to hell.

I find this especially interesting in light of the Hollywood elite’s support of government right now with Obama in charge. Don’t trust the government unless they’re willing to give you free healthcare and an unemployment check! They’ll condemn the Nazis and their slaughter of six million Jews in the Holocaust (and when one of their number, Mel Gibson, is linked to a father who is a Holocaust denier they’ll all turn their backs on the man in a show of outrage). Yet when the Palestinians elect terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah to lead them and send suicide bombers to blow themselves up in restaurants and ice cream parlors in Israel and fire 4,000 rockets into Israeli towns, all of a sudden it’s a different story. the Palestinians are the underdog, you see. They’re fighting for their freedom. Israel has no right to defend herself, she just needs to roll over and give up their homeland.

There are a high number of hypocrites in Hollywood, but even among them there are the real extremists. Take, for instance, Sean Penn.

Penn’s son Hopper was in a serious skateboarding accident and was nearly killed. After his son survived, he felt a need to re-assess his priorities in life and he started by going to Haiti. This wasn’t his first foray into charity work. He’d also taken a small boat to New Orleans after Katrina and blasted Bush’s response to the disaster. He’s been an anti-war activist for eons. Plus, most notoriously, he has “become friends” with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and has defended the man’s actions and policies to the point of calling for American journalists who criticize Chavez to be thrown in jail.

Well, at least he’s learning something while he’s there.

He was so touched by his time in Haiti that he returned to the US and wished publicly that his critics would die screaming of rectal cancer. Real sweetheart, isn’t he? What I find interesting is that Penn defends everything about Chavez. Literally everything – he says that Chavez isn’t doing anything wrong, because everything he’s doing is in line with the Venezuelan constitution. Of course Penn would think that document is beautiful – his amigo Chavez wrote it! You won’t hear Penn talk about inflation, crime rates, or shortages of water and food. You won’t hear him talk about rolling blackouts because they can’t afford to provide electricity to the people the way socialist nations do. You’ll hear him say that Chavez is a “charismatic man” and “fascinating” though, as if that’s enough.

I find Hitler fascinating, too, and I am a friend to Israel…fascinating in that disgusted, horrified way in which people subject themselves to gore movies. Adolf Hitler had no education. His father, Alois, didn’t see the point in intellectual education and didn’t want his children to be subjected to it. After performing poorly in primary school, during which time his mother doted on him and refused to discipline him in the least, Adolf was forced by his father to attend a vocational secondary school. He actually flunked out of that school before living as a homeless artist in Vienna. He really did live a hippie lifestyle, believe it or not; after being turned down for acceptance by the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Hitler joined the army and fought in WWI. Believe it or not, he didn’t become a German citizen until 1932, well into his political dealings.

When Hitler’s Nazi party seized power, the first thing they did was confiscate all civilian-owned guns. This was done while the Nazis edged all other political parties out of the government; eventually, the Nazi party was the only legal political party. Then they took over the media. Before long it was illegal to speak out against the government or the actions of Nazi officials, lest the full fury of the SS be brought down on you. First they persecuted the Jews by limiting what they could do and forcing them to wear yellow six-pointed stars; then came Kristallnacht, or “night of broken glass,” when the Jews were forced from their homes and businesses and herded into ghettos. Then they were sent to concentration camps, where those that could work were forced into hard labor and the rest were slaughtered.

Hitler had no education, but he was very charismatic. He was a talented public speaker. He was very, very good at getting his point across, and the German people loved him.

Do we not see the intense similarities here between the real Nazis and what’s going on in our society today? We have entertainment industry leaders telling us how we should think through their activism and the movies we watch and the music we sing to, and we are slowly giving up our nation’s sovereignty to ideals that would dare to force us into charity. Democrats would love nothing more than to take our guns away. Penn and others, including Oliver Stone and Danny Glover, have called for journalists who criticize foreign despots to be jailed. Now we have the FTC proposing ways they can “reinvent the media.”

The big hypocrisy that Hollywood claims against Christians and conservatives is a little closer to home than they’ll ever admit.