Tuesday, March 6th, 2007
Something that comes along with having a website is that you can look at your logs to see what's bringing people to your site. I got a particularly interesting hit today from Google, namely the query "is rhine mclin gay."


If Mayor McLin is gay
she hasn't told me
For those of you who don't know, Rhine McLin is the City of Dayton's illustrious mayor. I've mentioned her a few times, but I have no personal knowledge of whether she's gay or not. She is fairly gay-friendly, attending various local Pride events and issuing proclamations, but she certainly hasn't put herself out on the line to try to extend the city's non-discrimination ordinances to cover sexual orientation, unlike a previous city commissioner, Mary Wiseman, who is proudly openly lesbian.

It's possible that Mayor McLin will get a push in this area sometime since there's a fresh generation of young queer activitists who might have the energy to do so.

The other hit I got today is from someone studying Shakespeare and wanting to know "which is the merchant and which the jew," something I had to consider for ENG410 once. Alas for the poor Googler, although my site can point him or her in the right direction, I do not reveal the answer.
Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Dr. Pruett with the good stuff
Click to read another story about Dr. Pruett
I found out today that Robert Pruett, the Communications professor at Wright State for whom I worked as a T.A. for several years, died last Saturday. He was only 69, which is fairly young, but he was of a different era. Dr. Pruett had a Wright State e-mail address which he never used because his university-issued computer always sat unplugged on the floor of his office. The years I worked for him were his last before retirement, and, for COM101 at least, his only duties were one lecture a week—he never heard any of his students' speeches nor graded any of their work. In exchange for the work we TAs did for him, he treated us each quarter to dinner, usually at his country club, where he flirted gently with the girl TAs (yes, to him they were girls, not women) and shared stories from his long career. My glimpse of Robert Pruett was from a strange vantage point towards the end of his life. He was a good man.

Here's to Dr. Pruett and the quarterly TA dinners:
- December 6, 2002
- May 15, 2003
- November 21, 2003
- March 17, 2004
- June 8, 2004
Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Now you may think it strange, but I subscribe to the American Family Association's free Action Alerts. AFA's Founder and Chairman, Donald E. Wildmon, takes time to send me warnings of various things going on that threaten the moral foundation of our nation and gives me links through which I can write the appropriate politicians or businesspeople to urge them to take action to stop whatever indecent behavior Donald is warning about.

In the past few months Donald has warned me of Charlie Sheen's desecration of Christmas, of Fox's deliberate display of the F-word (fuck, not faggot) during prime time television, of our tax dollars supporting inappropriate art at the Sundance Film Festival, of the need to make English our official language, of Discovery Channel's slamming of Christianity by its speculatory "documentary" about the family of Jesus, and of Ford Motor Company's cessation and then renewal of support for the homosexual agenda. Each time I've taken advantage of Donald's links and e-mailed personal notes to the various individuals involved, but Donald would probably be disappointed to know that I don't take AFA's suggested wording but instead say what I personally feel. Donald and I often disagree about what's actually a threat to our nation's morals.

Screen shot of gay pride paraders in Dallax, TX last year Just now I've received Donald's latest warning, about the proposed law that would extend federal hate crimes protection to cover crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation, and I'm shocked, absolutely shocked, to find that Donald Wildmon is a liar. His ActionAlert today includes a link to a page with "highly offensive" footage from last year's gay pride parade in Dallas, Texas (to the right you can see a screenshot showing some of the offensive activity). On that page, Donald makes two claims in bold, both of which are lies:

  • The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act would increase protection for the kind of activity shown on this video.

    Sorry, Donald, but the law does no such thing. The LLEHCPA says nothing about the legality of activities in gay pride parades. If having sex in public is illegal in a particular jurisdiction, the LLEHCPA will not make it legal. What the LLEHCPA does say is that if you beat up or kill gay people because you find their behavior "highly offensive," you've committed a hate crime.

  • If this "hate crimes" bill is passed, and you publicly protest, complain or oppose the type of activity in this video, your action could eventually be construed to be subject to prosecution for a criminal act.

    This to me is the most offensive lie. The LLEHCPA does not ban speech or demonstrations. If the AFA wants to picket gay pride parades and say that homosexual behavior is offensive and immoral, the AFA will still legally be able to do so. The LLEHCPA merely says that if you physically attack people based on such a belief, you're committing a hate crime.

Surely the AFA doesn't want to beat up or kill homosexuals or advocate that others do so. Perhaps they're just opposed to the concept of hate crimes in general. Even some gay people oppose hate crimes legislation. But if the AFA disapproved of hate crimes legislation, surely they'd be advocating repealing it altogether for all groups, instead of just making that you can bash a queer without doing any extra time.

 
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