Bad Ass and the E.P.A.

Every trail blazed.  Every hidden path down a secret path.  Every inch of glory that is nature…has been pissed on by the egoism of Trump.  

Why believe in global warming?  After all, Trump is elderly, he isn’t going to live much longer.

Why institute new policies in which to keep our environment thriving?  Trump and his cronies can afford to remain healthy.  After all they have government instituted health insurance.

Thus,

Who is the Worse?
Nata Pepper

When presidential candidate Donald Trump promised to hire only “the best people,” no one thought to ask him what they’d be best at. Trump himself has set standards for corruption, dishonesty, bullying, and callousness that seem unsurpassable, yet that hasn’t stopped his subordinates from trying, including the three men doing his environmental dirty work: Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, and Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. They’re all bad, but who’s the best at being worst?

At the Energy Department, Rick Perry has struggled. Although he may aspire to malevolence, he has managed only mediocrity. Like the proverbial hedgehog, Secretary Perry knows one big (actually, bad) thing: He’s supposed to promote dirty fuels no matter what. So far, he’s failed miserably. His plan to resurrect the coal industry by forcing consumers to subsidize failing coal plants was shot down by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and his attempt to get the government to subsidize dirty fuels for bogus national security reasons also stalled. Although he deserves demerits for dishonesty (national security? really?), he clearly needs to try harder.

That leaves Andrew Wheeler at the EPA and Ryan Zinke at Interior as the current contenders for being the best at environmental awfulness. It’s quite a matchup.

Acting Administrator Wheeler, of course, is following in the fossil-fuel–fetishizing footsteps of his old boss, Scott Pruitt, whose legendary corruption was as inept as it was self-serving. Thus far, Wheeler’s been shrewd enough to avoid Pruitt’s most obvious missteps, although his vile and racist social media activity did earn headlines.

Nevertheless, in an impressively short time (just over 100 days), Wheeler has brought his own flair to turning the EPA into the agency that Every Polluter Adores. He’s attempted to roll back protections from methane emissions, mercury pollution, and toxic chemicals; cooked up a sham scheme to replace the Clean Power Plan; attacked clean car standards; moved to remove public health concerns from pollution safeguards by censoring science; and, for good measure, fired the head of the Office of Children’s Health. One recent and particularly Trumpy Wheeler move was to claim credit for Obama administration resultswhile simultaneously undermining the policies that produced them. No wonder the boss loves him.

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Wheeler’s past experience as coal lobbyist probably helped him hit the ground running. Coming from a brief stint in Congress, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had to be more of a self-starter in Trumpworld. Yet of Trump’s three environmental attack dogs, it’s Zinke who has truly excelled at emulating the boss.

Bullying? Zinke reportedly went so far as to threaten retaliation against a senator from his own party if she didn’t vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and he has tried to intimidate his department’s career staff and scientists into keeping silent about climate change.

Callousness? Zinke’s attacks on national monuments and other public lands have been breathtaking in their disregard for science, public opinion, community stakeholders, and common sense.

Dishonesty? When Zinke said shortly after being confirmed, “You can hear it from my lips: We will not sell or transfer public land,” it wasn’t even the first time he made that pledge. Yet he was caught red-handed trying to do exactly that with part of the Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument in Utah.

That’s all impressively appalling, but it’s corruption where Zinke really stands out among his pro-polluter peers. As of last week, 15 different ethical investigations had been opened into Zinke’s conduct as Interior Secretary, with six still ongoing (another three are pending because, frankly, there aren’t enough investigators to handle the workload that Zinke’s created). That’s a record that would almost put Scott Pruitt to shame — if these guys knew what shame was. Things are so bad, in fact, that Zinke apparently tried (unsuccessfully) to replace his department’s inspector general with a party hack working for Ben Carson at Housing and Urban Development.

So, who’s best at the job of being bad? Zinke and Wheeler are each so uniquely awful that it’s impossible to choose between them. The sooner both are gone, the better (and the same goes for the guy who hired them).

michael.brune@sierraclub.org

Different Like Me?

When young, my house burned down.  It burned itself right to the ground.  No photographs.  No trophies.  Not fish names, Zeak and Zach.  No clothing.  No piece or scrap of a life…that I had come to know.

Being 15 years old.  Much of the usual had been going on, before the loss.  Puberty, confusion, work, confusion, education, confusion, church…and, much more confusion.

To top trauma off?  I began to believe that being gay…was a sin, pitiful and certainly, not something you brag about.  To voice my concern to an abusive father an emotional absent mother…would have been like calling an angry lion out of its den.

Though I do not remember much of that period of time.   I found comfort living at the home of my best friend, Red.  With an agreement between Red’s mother and my parents, the ‘stay’ would not be forever…And, so, a new and hippie improved home, was found on Maple Street.

Launched between Red and I?  The secret life of gay’s in the 80’s, in a semi rural New Hampshire city.  Without words, Red and I, knew we were different.

How fun was that time?  Piper, Red’s mother, was from New York city.  She was divorced with 5 children to raise.  She introduced me to True cigarettes, Amaretto, Joan Baez and watching television from the bed.

So different were those 6 or so months.  I hated to leave and head home to anger and violence that appeared  from nowhere.

What astounds me now?

Leaving New Hampshire, as a young adult, I encountered a vast array of people, places and things.  Most of which, I would never have had the courage to gather in my memories…had it not been for Maple street.

91 percent of New Hampshire is white.  Living in Madison County, North Carolina, at the ripe age of 23 and rainbow proud…there had been only one group akin to the suffering gays were encountering, with Jesse Helms and his prejudice cohorts!  With every pride march and every volunteer group I joined; African-American Pride had been right there to offer a hand in guidance.  After all, they had decades, centuries of experience.

Full circle, I have forged my way back home to the same abusive father and the same, emotionally distant mother.  I have also been able to re-acquaint myself with those I went to school with.

I am furnishing a post from my Facebook page.  It’s topic surrounds the handing of the torch from Obama to Trump.  I am liberal.  What else would I be?

I have few friends.  It is best that way.  I keep my circle close, and offer what love I can.  Those I went to school with, those I wandered the streets of Concord, New Hampshire…with, have not changed.

They long for football days.  They post recipes and abhor politics or…upsetting the apple cart.

I will say first off:

Shame on me.  When the heat turned up over Obama and Trump…abortion, racism and gay rights came into play?  I will say, my first assumption had been, here we go, another cracker carrying a gun talking about my uterus and sexuality.  First and foremost,  I apologize for that generalization.  It is my perception of a group of persons who have aged…yet, live for the next party and next playoff game.

If I were honest, there had never been any comfort in my teens, unless I had been on Maple street with a select few others who were…different like me.

I have posted the conversation with persons I have known for about forty years.

I will say, when the statement,

…babykiller and by angery lesbian who couldn’t get a man.!

Came up…

I felt like the marches I had encountered down south.  When I had been advocating change not only for AIDS, LGBT and African Americans…reappeared again, almost 30 years later.  As though, with what few steps forward my minority, other minorities and many in between the cracks, took forward…we were taking several steps back…

So upsetting to me is the idea that persons I have known; as children, were stating things like…

So tired of the posts about politics.

Trump won.  Get the fuck over it!

or,

better yet,

they post pictures…

of football games and proms from years gone by!

In someone’s estimation.  Someone I cannot even remember growing up with, I was not always gay.  And, I was indeed, just another angry lesbian!

Dear Old Friend,

I have always been gay.  Yet, I feared coming out of the closet until I could get out on my own.  Am I angry?  Fuck yes!  Angry that my politics have upset you so!

John Boy: Nice try!!!! Conservatives didn’t riot or burn other people’s property.
Ruth M Bowley
Ruth M Bowley No! They are just wanting to take my right to marry away! They are just attempting to make sure millions of Americans remain ill. And, more importantly, they would like to go back to an era…before, Martin Luther King!
John Boy That’s not true . He’s only been in office for two days and you are already criticizing the job he has done.
Heath Hetero: He took away the fine for not having ins so he’s already took nobamas hands out of our pockets!
Heath Hetero: Two days in and the new president has done more for America than nobama ever did other countries now want to talk to our New President!
John Boy: The ACA is one of the most complicated bill ever past. Congress voted it in without even reading the whole thing. It has fingers in all sorts of crap that most of us don’t have a clue about. It will not be fixed overnight.
Ruth M Bowley
Ruth M Bowley That is why I am wondering how Heath got a hold of him. Usually, he is not ‘out of the closet’ with his ideas.
John Boy: How do you come up with he’s trying to take your right to marry or your medical and bring us back to the 60s???????? Where did you get this info Ruth Ruth M Bowley??????
Ruth M Bowley
Ruth M Bowley I didn’t answer you yesterday, John. Because there is no reasoning to a white male, who feels he isn’t being heard, who voted for Trump and wants his guns! In other words, John there is no reasoning to a group of America’s population who have not had the struggles that many have.
Heath Hetero: That’s funny because in DC pro life women weren’t welcome in their March! Some equality!!!
Ruth M Bowley

Ruth M Bowley Citizens with pre-existing medical conditions may be concerned about what will happen to them if Obamacare is repealed. And 20 million Americans who have healthcare insurance for the first time may wonder how they will fare under Trumpcare.

John Boy:  Jeeze Ruth didn’t know you knew me better than me . guess I will have to go buy a gun seeing I don’t own one. And I guess I will have to go out and get all the money I have. ( I’m far from rich) and as for being white well I’m sorry I didn’t have a choice about that. And I don’t have any pride in that because how can someone be proud of something that I had no choice in. But that’s fine just believe what you want.
Ruth M Bowley

Ruth M Bowley Odd because I could have sworn I saw a few people from your circle of friends…

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and outdoor
John Boy:  What are you talking about????
Heath Hetero: John I’ve got guns for both of us.Lol oh yeah our founding fathers made sure that I could if you have a problem with that tough shit! As far as preexisting conditions the republicans have said over and over that’s not what they want to get rid of, and 
John Boy:  What did you think you would get with Clinton in office????
John Boy: In my eyes abortion takes the right to live from the child.
JessicaFascinating. This whole conversation is fascinating. Let me make this perfectly clear to all the men on this chat. My uterus is my business. What I choose to do or not to do with it is certainly not your business. No one has a right to tell me what to 
John Boy:  You always had a choice. Don’t get pregnant with your uterus!!!!! Murder is not a right.
John Boy: Your argument does not hold water.
Jessica:  Really? Don’t tell me what to do with my uterus. And by the way. Tell all your kind raping man friends to keep their dicks in their pants. Majority of abortions are to undo a rape.
John Boy: That’s a whole different subject and you know it. A little responsibility can save a life!
Ruth M Bowley
Ruth M Bowley God fearing white man…speaks!
John Boy:  Selfish baby killer speaks.
John Boy:  Bigot
Heath Hetero:  They marched for abortion and for free contraceptives ! Well if they used contraceptives they wouldn’t be pregnant, I have go buy condoms, buy your own pills, and grow up.
Ruth M Bowley
John Boy: Don’t put up the whole post you coward ???
Ruth M Bowley
Ruth M Bowley Yup. I already got your okay.
John Boy: Is your father white any family members white males???? Bigot
Ruth M Bowley In actuality, since this is a public arena, I do not need your permission.
John Boy: She doesn’t even realize that Trump has done alot for gays and supports them . But when your ignorant your ignorant.

John Boy: Your the one who just popped in but that fine I’ve had enough of asshats and pussycaps.

By babykiller and by angery lesbian who couldn’t get a man.
I don’t have a problem with Gay’s never had. But you are what you are angry and you weren’t always a lesbian. I tried to have a civilized conversation but your to much of a bigot. Repost that! Bet you won’t
 
In 1973, when homosexuality was removed from DSM-II, there was a great deal of controversy about that decision in the psychiatric community. Many psychiatrists and psychologists still believed that homosexuality was a psychopathology which must invariably cause impairment and distress. Others recognized that the impairment and distress often seen by clinicians were a byproduct of stigma and social repression of homosexuals. This group argued that the pathologization of homosexuality in the DSM was a form of social control that itself contributed to the social stigma and to the harm it did. See DSM-II_Homosexuality_Revision.pdf
Black Like Me…John Howard Griffin

“Nothing can describe the withering horror of this. You feel lost, sick at heart before such unmasked hatred, not so much because it threatens you as because it shows humans in such an inhuman light. You see a kind of insanity, something so obscene the very obscenity of it (rather than its threat) terrifies you. It was so new I could not take my eyes from the man’s face. I felt like saying: “What in God’s name are you doing to yourself?”

What is ‘Black Like Me’?

Black Like Me, first published in 1961, is a nonfiction book by white journalist John Howard Griffin recounting his journey in the Deep South of the United States, at a time when African-Americans lived under apartheid-like conditions. Griffin was a native of Dallas, Texas, who had his skin temporarily darkened to pass as a black man. He traveled for six weeks throughout the racially segregated states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to explore life from the other side of the color line. Sepia Magazine financed the project in exchange for the right to print the account first as a series of articles.

 

My Space: New Hampshire’s Sister March – 2017

 

Much as I hate to be political…Not!

I felt the need to voice my concern about my future…the the future of others!

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Mexican-American citizens may worry that their undocumented relatives — even their parents — will be deported. Latinos who were brought to this country as children and to whom Mexico or Guatemala is as foreign as they would be to any of us are worried, as well.

African-Americans, Muslims and other “others” may wonder if they will suffer from the boost that Trump’s victory provides for alt-right and white supremacist groups. It’s worrisome when exclusionary hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan find something to celebrate in a President Trump.

Who else should worry?

Citizens with pre-existing medical conditions may be concerned about what will happen to them if Obamacare is repealed. And 20 million Americans who have healthcare insurance for the first time may wonder how they will fare under Trumpcare.

LGBT citizens are worried, with good reason, that their recently affirmed right to wed will be reversed by a Trump-appointed Supreme Court. Religious freedom laws are likely to find favor in such a Court, which means that gays, lesbians and transgenders may not be able to participate in our society in the same way as other citizens.

Under a Trump presidency, some women may worry that the government will take over their right to control their own bodies when it comes to pregnancy. Prominent voices on the right call for a ban on all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest.

With Russia right next door, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are probably worried, since Trump has suggested diminished support for our NATO allies. Iranian moderates — they are significant in Iranian politics — face a setback with the promised abrogation of the nuclear deal. And Trump’s casual attitude about Saudi Arabia’s acquisition of nuclear weapons is sure to revive the push for such weapons in Iran. That should worry all of us.

*John M. Crisp, an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service

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I had the good fortune to not go to the Women’s March on Washington…2017.  I had done many Marches, in the past.  This time, I needed to be closer to home!

Though, the ‘Sister March in Concord, New Hampshire’ was a much smaller version of Washington’s; it had been a mere mimicry of the country’s new and improved…bigotry of equality…for all.

The crowd had been well-mannered and very open to good conversation.  

New Hampshire has the ‘whitest’ population in America.  I believe the stat is somewhere around 91%.  Which is what it is!  Slowly New Hampshirites are becoming more vast in the melting pot arena.  However, in my lifetime, we will remain mostly cracker and less, cracker and pepper and variations there of.

What struck me had been the one preacher of African-American decent.  And, the obvious, Muslim woman standing next to him…holding essentially, Trump’s America…signs.

One had been about Pro-Life and what ‘Christ’ would have wanted.  The other about…another minority for ‘Make America Great Again’ antics.

My partner and I are openly gay in New Hampshire.  Therefore, we have an acute understanding of feeling like we need to…go along, in order to…get along, in a crowd.

The minorities, at the state capital, that had felt differently about liberal America…coming to end, were very few.  But they were on the scene.

The American dream wished for by some of these sects, is no longer in option.   As stated in the above mentioned article.

However, I felt it might be necessary to point out other groups that may see the light dimming for their hopes and dreams.

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– Animal Right’s Activist

-Persons wishing to see marijuana legalized

-Native Americans

-Persons with above average intelligence

-Groups in promotion of climate control and/or in opposition of Global Warming

-Atheist

-Agnostics

-Small Business Entrepreneurs

-Anyone who wishes to write and/or speak in full sentences

-Anyone wanting to use words with more than four letters

Course, the list could go on for quite sometime.

So to break things up I would like to offer one of Trump’s thoughts about ‘Making America Great…Again!’

“Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys wearing yarmulkes… Those are the only kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else…Besides that, I tell you something else. I think that’s guy’s lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks,”

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I am a bad Democrat!

Does it really matter what label we are?  Is there not common ground, even among the most separatist of groups?  And, thou, I may be a registered democrat…can I not side with another’s belief?

I have done a lot of door knocking and phone calls with several groups.  It is not easy.  It is not pretty.  And, usually, someone (typically myself) walks away with the feeling of bad donuts sitting in the pit of my stomach.

The current day political realm seems to be nothing more than a show of demagoguery.  He said, she said, they said, let’s call the whole thing off.

Fortunate am I to be demoted…to being democrat.  Having been given my ‘final notice’ numerous times.

I feel as though the weight has been lifted.  For I have allowed myself to see every side to every corner.  To see more than just rainbow.  To challenge my own inbred black and white theories.

Charlie Chaplin had once been considered a ‘red’ by many.  A communist because he too searched for ideas and/or ideals outside of his own ‘box’.

I have no particular agenda.  Yet, I do know this,

Recently, I had messaged an open board about seeing things different.  That we need more love than hate.  Hippie stuff, for the most part.

Many people agreed.  Some didn’t.  Some held their hands up, as if to say,

I want to believe…but still there is so much hate.  So much turmoil.

The very last message and/or reply came from a woman who I assume has lived in a small town all her life.  God-fearing and gun totting.

Her response had been a quote from the Bible…along with stating poetically that if God wanted freaks…we would have read about it in the Bible.

Quickly, I had wanted to respond with a flippant answer such as,

Well, I heard your god wants us to love all creatures.  So let your proof be in the your pudding.

However, I sat back…

What had this woman seen to make her so un-pliable?

Where had her beliefs taken her…that she could not find her way back to the middle ground?

and,

How  could my cynical response make any difference?

I let the woman’s message go.  Which took a great deal of self-restraint on my part.  I let it go and thought of my father.  A man who for the most part, would have been homophobic had I not been his daughter.  A father who accepted my lifestyle because I allowed him to get to know me.  Get to know me in such a way that his unwarranted fears were overcome by a simple idea:

Walking a mile in my shoes!

Charlie Chaplin-charlie 3

“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!”
Charlie Chaplin

Hey, Ricki

hey ricki 2

Hey, Ricki,

As I stood on the marble floors, staring up at the gothic figures of New Hampshire history, many repetitive thoughts filled my flawed mind.

Of course, as a writer, you cannot get rid of those thoughts.  Constant ideas, the beating of compulsive thinking, as though, it were a living being.

Funny, as I write this, I am close to tears.  Not close enough to be noticed.  But I know who they are…those wet droplets and I hide them close to my soul.

Glancing to and fro, waiting for HIllary Clinton, endorsing her with my presence, seemingly wanting her to come and sign that little document…filing for the New Hampshire primary.

hey ricki 4

Currently, the heart is beating beyond extension.  

I have always volunteered.  Attempted to help those around me.  In some way, in some form, with some respect.  

By chance, during the A.I.D.S., epidemic, the 80’ and the 90’s, I assisted many brave souls to find dignity…Pride in a world that had discarded them.  

Odd, as I searched the crowds yesterday, I noticed, young, young and even younger, L.G.B.T., people.

Back in real time, I know one thing to be true, in regards to homosexuality…As an addict, in recovery, over the past 20 years…I have lost so many friends to addiction, a deadly disease, cunning, baffling and powerful.

Not so odd, Ruth, you may be thinking to yourself.  

Well, strangely enough, at the age of 48.  With all those years of sobriety coming and going.  The ten years I spent with society’s disposable group, the A.I.D.S., victim, still trumps all.  More souls went to rest in that decade than my lifetime of going to funerals.

Ricki, a beautiful man, talented musician, lover of the arts, an advocate to the death…of equal rights for all.

Upon Ricki’s death bed, he one single request,

‘Please have my family scatter my ashes over Mount MItchell.  I want to fly…’

For a man of 89 pounds, skin and bone and heart, his words rang out to all…who knew the ‘reality of the situation’.

What I knew?  As a handful of Ricki’s friends knew…but didn’t have the heart to say…

‘Ricki, we tried contacting your family…they don’t want anything to do with you and your dirty little disease!’

Not an uncommon response.  We heard it daily.  As those around us died.

Ricki died not two days later.  Many gathered at Mount Mitchell.  None of which were his family members.

2015-11-09 12.42.56

I came home last night, asked my best friend, my lover, my wife,

‘Of the three choices, mental health reform, women’s rights or equality?  Which would be the very first reason for voting a particular candidate into office?’

She said, as I knew she would,

‘Mental health…why, what would be first for you?’

I told her my dilema…

As of late, with homophobia still rampant, but certainly not akin to what I and others like me, endured 30 plus years ago.  With equality for individuals still somehow debatable.  I think of Stonewall, Harvey Milk, and yes, Ricki.  Certainly centuries have past, decades before my generation, where gay people and transgenders, have endured more than what I’ve seen.  And, so on and so on, I guess that’s how it goes when you are thought of as different or in the minority.

My answer to my spouse,

‘I don’t know.  I want a woman in the White House…I want you to get the help you need.  But honestly, I have to stand strong to the original fight…’

There had been more conversation…

But I won’t bore, you the reader, with that.

It has come to light…As with Obama, and others, Hillary Clinton, only relatively…recently, came out in support of my kind of people.

I do not take voting lightly.  I haven’t since my partner had her disability payments cut…several years ago.  And, I don’t have to tell you who was in office than.

I guess, it concerns me, as it should…

Am I voting for someone, knocking on doors, badgering people on the phone…for a cause because ‘it goes against the grain of the good ole boys?’ or ‘am I just doing what I always do…bucking the establishment?’

I left Hillary…half way through her speech.  I had to.  I needed sometime to think.  Think of Ricki, wonder if he was watching, pondering,

‘Hey, Ricki, what would you do?

As a small child, I don’t know, 7 or 8, I watch, ‘Hello Dolly’, 38 times!  And, that was back in the day, when there had been no recording device.  Just 3 channels and a constant search for Barbara Streisand.

Was I secretly thinking, I am truly a gay man in love with show tunes?

No!

Do not ask me why, I had an enormous crush on the Jewish Diva with a killer voice.  Honestly, I still do.  Let us not forget, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

However, my mother never asked,

‘Do you have a crush on her?  What gives?’

There had, I am certain of it, never been a thought in my mother’s mind,

‘Is my daughter gay…I should offer her support.  Let her know…she is not alone.’

Today, in this age of openness, I believe the conversation, would have gone differently.

So many have lost their lives, for me to have what I have, as a strong gay woman.  I would be doing all them…particularly Ricki…a disservice, if I did not give my decision deep thought.

Hey, Ricki

Where have you gone

Are we no different

What could have been wrong

Crooked frames upon the wall

MIrror images of a world made small

What will happen of this lot

The Milks, the dreamers…

those everyday beauty seekers

Help us all

Help us all take the pain from the wall

Help to all who refuse to fall

walked a thousand miles  Just to slip this skin.
walked a thousand miles
Just to slip this skin.