Department of Defense

Department Of Defense

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"Keep-Away from The Gay" Immigration Reform

      The BIG Immigration Reform bill is edging closer and closer to the brink of existence   This is wonderful and exciting news - so very overdue for huge chunks of the American populous.  It's especially exciting for those of us in Bi-National relationships, marriages, and unions/partnerships.  We have been heralding and proposing the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) for a looooong time now as a way to equalize things in immigration law for spouses who could file for citizenship.  It's a chasm that separates gay couples from heterosexual couples in over 1000 specific ways.  A lack of federal recognition to marriage has been a sticking point not just in marriage equality - but specifically in immigration reform because of this disparagement.     

        This morning, I heard that just about ALL of the (mostly Democratic) Senators I have been faithfully and tirelessly lobbying with emails, phone calls, letters, pleas and presentations are responsible for cutting the UAFA aspect of the immigration reform bill.  Specifically - Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ).  If you'd like a nice, clear explanation of this sudden change and who is involved, check out this article: 

  Immigration Reform Issue

     In the meantime, I'm asking my fellow humans to reach out to each and every participant in this group of "legislators" and voice their opinion.  UAFA was dropped like a hot potato.  Gay inclusion is out the window.  It's frustrating and at the risk of sounding too simple - it's unfair. Life isn't fair, however in this country, I'm supposed to have the equality and fairness provided to all others under the law, and that's just not happening.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

2nd, 3rd, 4th Classes Opposed to the Masses

This is a big week in politics for me.  A BIG week.  Big.  H.U.G.E.
(I promise, if you suffer through this, I'll put a bunch of awesome pretty pictures at the end for those who hate reading...)

However, I find myself really feeling more and more depressed about the entire process now.  When I first became extremely active in political causes and social issues, I was an idealist.  I don't even mean back when I had a mohawk and "Meat is Murder" was plastered all over my old car's bumper as I went to rallies and concerts around Rutgers campuses in my combat boots and Laura Ashley dresses with headscarves.  No, I was a complete moron back then.  Don't get me wrong - I had AWESOME intentions.  I just didn't know very much, and allowed myself to be herded into causes like so much cattle and sheep. I mean in the recent span of the past 10 years.  Lisa and I have been really working hard, behind the scenes on grass roots levels all over the place to make our voices heard in battles ranging from Immigration, to the Repeal of DOMA, to the fight against DADT (and enjoyed marching right along side of Lt. Dan Choi for that one!) and so much more.

Today, I heard on NPR (one of the only news sources I really listen to anymore) that access to the hearings on Marriage (that the entire nation is incorrectly deeming "Gay Marriage") is a ticketed event, and people have been camping out all weekend for it.  My heart leapt with joy, thinking that it was an awesome aspect of our legal system to allow a first come basis for seats to a hearing that REALLY affected people's lives.  Then the story became about how those spots were primarily occupied by persons who have zero interest in the case, and will never go to the event.  They are PAID to stand in line and secure tickets for interest groups who can't stand there for themselves.  NOM, AFA, and other Anti-SSM proponents and hate groups rack up tickets and then fill those seats with heavily weighed opinions on the floor of the court.  My heart sank.  Really?  Even in this venue?  Yep.  I assume the same might be true for the SSM advocates, but that wasn't on before I had to leave the car.

So it made me think... YEARS of my life, fighting with due diligence for what's fair, just, and right.  I've been so busy fighting that I'd forgotten that my fight - a fight bigger than me - was something that shouldn't even be BROUGHT to a court or to a vote.  This isn't about whether or not you approve of any other lifestyle than yours, or if one particular religion's tomes might reference it as a negative.  The entire issue is about equal rights for ALL citizens of this country.  MY country.  The United States.  I pledge to it wholeheartedly.  I pay my taxes.  I vote for representation.  I am a human being, living in this country.  The issues before the court are not issues to be voted upon.  They are already in our constitutional rights to be treated equally.  Marriage is a right for everyone.  Not just some.

This work that Lisa and I have been doing is all such agonizing work to fight the ILLUSION that there should be a vote or a choice.  Strip the issue down, remove religious perception (because in law, it's a separation of Church and State, no matter your state and no matter your church preference), remove the dogma of the weighted "Political supporters" who will be in the seats, staring down the Justices, and remove the stigma our nation has created for anyone perceived as "different from the major 99%".  It's all smoke and mirrors, just like the argument over a woman's right to choose for herself and her own body, making informed choices with her healthcare professionals and if she wishes - between that woman and her god of choice.  The idea that anyone - especially groups of predominantly white male legislators - and pass a law and strip that decision right out of the hands of these women is disgusting.  Both of these examples clearly show a tiered system, almost an animal hierarchy that insinuates and actually creates lesser citizens and greater citizens.  There are 2nd, 3rd, 4th classes opposed to the masses.  Also, the ridiculous argument that [gays] want "special" rights when fighting for marriage or other rights.  They aren't special.  They are the same ones you have, but we want them also.

Although we have our lives riding on these Supreme Court decisions, and we have no choice but to abide by them and continue to fight for equality, I'm just hoping that sanity will intervene and we will all be represented to each other as fellow human beings.  As equals.  As Brothers, and As Sisters.  We are all the same on the inside.  I'd like to think people could see past the cover of my book, because inside, they'd find a gorgeous story they might relate to.

EQUALITY.  LOVE.  PEACE.  COMPASSION.   Let's live the dream.


As promised...


Friday, October 19, 2012

In Snark I Trust

        The State of NJ recently switched to a placard-style temporary license plate for newly purchased vehicles, making them more clearly visible to law enforcement, and forcing dealers to be more accountable for inventory.  I'm sure you've seen them around, they are in the license plate spot and usually begin with "the letters "A, B, C, and F""(© Sesame Street).  Why is this relevant?  Because, I think it's important to #BlameObama for all of this new car and economic growth stuff going on. 

      It seems that I am surrounded by new vehicles on the road.  Everywhere I turn my head, there is another one.  F**king #BlameObama.  Why do people have to be in a bit of an economic upswing?  I was really enjoying the huge recession/depression that the previous 8 years made so dependable and concrete.  I see old beater cars that plume exhaust into the air going by and I have to say to myself "Thank the Good Lord for Mitt Romney, who will be determined to get us back to the dependable slump and (lack of) economy I knew so well and enjoyed before Obama got his liberal, deficit cutting and economy building Kenyan hands on it."  I HATE this oozing optimism that's creeping back into the country.  This "Can Do" attitude that is infiltrating my nostrils with the stank of hope as people assess where they are and see the light at the end of the recession tunnel.  WAKE UP PEOPLE!  Wyle E. Romney will right this erroneous path, and assure us that the light we think we see, can be the headlamp of an oncoming extremist right wing train on track to plow through the middle class and render us hopeless serfs to the Mittocracy.  I for one LOVE knowing I can live a beaten down existence where larger than life people with none of my own values dictate what I can and cannot do.  It takes away all of that frightful uncertainty that comes with "Free Will" and "Choice". 

      And this current trend under the President continues! Every time you see one of those shiny new cars that roll off the assembly lines of hard working Americans, or cars built with the combined efforts of several plants and technologies that spread a ripple effect from creating jobs to buying vehicles you can afford - just think to yourself as I do #F**kingBlameObama.  Rejoice as the breaking down minivan passes you on the highway with an exasperated mother is hauling her kids to schools (that might have those pesky overpaid teachers in them!) hoping not to break down.  Those are the true patriotic Americans under the proposed Romney/Ryan administration.  If you were meant to have better working cars, surely the money would have trickled down to you for it.  Sure, your cars are driving around next to Cadillacs and Porsche SUVs driven by the elite, but remember, they need the poor to succeed *IF* you are going to benefit from their benevolent trickling!  Do your part!  In the meantime, I'm happy to blame the surge in New Cars being bought to #F**kingBlameObama and his annoying growth policies. 

My name is Barbara, and I approved this ranting message.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Eggs in a Basketcase

This is not the me
I thought I'd be.
The picket fence
is a picket line,
and the shining prince has been replaced
by dark nights.
Sleep proves elusive
when the horse is laden
and he lags behind

Monday, August 20, 2012

Boyfriend Material

***As ALWAYS, a quick reminder... this is OUR blog.  Don't like it?  Don't read it.  NO flaming or hate or trolling allowed.  I will burn yo ass if you try it.  Be polite and considerate of the people who come here to just read and enjoy.  Obviously you can see where I stand and what my views are, so don't be the jerk at the bar who had too much and tried to kiss the bouncer. Ok?  Cool!***

So, this upcoming election is like being in a continuously evolving relationship.  Marriage material.  Going steady.  Something more substantive than a booty call.
I was thinking about how there is a huge life altering choice ahead.  And somehow, I have to make it.  Also, I had to get these two (four) men out of the political media dance and into perspective I can understand. This is the analogy that came to me as I massaged my scalp in the shower.

I've been seeing my current beau - Barack - for almost 4 years now.  The relationship started with ferocity.  It was whirlwind romance at it's best, with courtship and promises galore.  We had similar, but not totally identical ideals, and I could deal with that.  (Ok, he is seeing another woman and has kids - but no one is perfect)  Honestly, I really can't give him too hard of a time, because I came with SUCH baggage from my last relationship.  It was a wonder I even tried to commit again.  But I did, and now I need to reevaluate my feelings.

Along comes Mitt, and I have to say, his approach was quite clumsy and while I do fall for goofy people, this was not the same thing.  This was a clumsy arrogance I couldn't really get comfortable with. I didn't like that a servant he ironed his jeans. Oddly, this is AFTER I sorted through a truckload of other potential suitors.    Newt was such a hypocrite.  I think he secretly wanted to create a harem.  Rick was, well... not the brightest bulb.  I'm still a little hooked on the sexual tension I got from Ron Paul.  *shiver*  But he never called back.  McMillan wouldn't stop shouting, and in a crowded movie theatre, it was embarrassing.  Herman refused to consider a gluten-free pizza and then I found out he had a bunch of crusts on the side.  Santorum left a bad taste in my mouth.  Michele kept wandering around my house  barking and telling me to call Miss Cleo.

So I had to take both guys on the things I knew - things I knew for myself or by virtue of actual verifiable facts.  I didn't want a hack private dick to follow them around, so I stalked them myself.

Mitt was new.  He was almost exciting.  Then he spoke.  I was bummed.  He seemed to be against most things I was for - but I don't count people out for that.  I consider that just because someone isn't FOR something doesn't mean they would go out of their way to create barriers, obstacles, or actual legislation against that same thing for others.  Oh.... wait... Crap.

I get along really well with Barack's pal Joe.  He's unpredictable, and sometimes he puts his foot in it, but you know where you stand with Joe, and he's fun at a BBQ.  He's also really cool with my eclectic bunch of friends.  At first I thought he'd be standoffish, but it turns out he even encouraged my man to take a deeper look and accept them like one of his own.  I thought he had tourrettes, but it turns out he just spits out what he's thinking and likes interesting words.  At least it's what he actually thinks!

I tried to have dinner with Mitt's best friend Paul.  It was a disaster!  We all went out to dinner, but it wasn't "fancy" enough for him.  Then we were invited to a small art gathering and he was grumpy and moody, saying that my friends were evil and he's against all the stuff they do.  He couldn't wait to get into office to ban a bunch of rights to protect his marriage and please his God.  I asked him about LGBT stuff and he thought it was a lunch sandwich.  I got a little pissed off, and when I stood up, I knocked a glass of soda onto the lap of the gentleman next to me.  Paul promptly had him arrested for murder because he thought the guy ejaculated in him pants, and then he wept for the "peoplehoods" who had perished in that guy's khakis.  Top it off, someone was playing RATM at the party and he started humming along.   Turns out he thought the band name was a play on words about a human ATM machine.  He never knew any lyrics, and no one likes the poser at the party who doesn't know the lyrics.

I love guns.  I know, shocker to some of my friends, but going north to the ranges and learning about different kinds and shooting them in safety and even owning some in a legal and safe fashion for fun sporting or for personal protection - I'm gooooooood with it.  So's Barack.   He's never indicated or even tried to implement otherwise, although others keep telling me he's going to take them.

So, after thinking long and hard about these issues, I came to the conclusion that I needed to give my relationship more time.  I mean, I wasn't kidding when I said I was a mess when we met - so how could I expect him to cut through all that crap and make my life perfect in four years?  It wasn't possible.  I'm NOT going to lie...  I do feel let down.  In many many ways, I feel like he let down the hopeful little girl I was by not following through on all the things he promised.  However, those are still things I want to get done, and if everyone broke it off with their significant honey just because they weren't getting all the "honey-do" list items done when we want them done - no one would be in a relationship anymore.  Also, it seems like my alternative would be someone I don't know.  At least - even in the beginning - I knew what Barack stood for.  With Mitt, I didn't like his ideals very much, but even those have been shaky from the start.  There is too much questionable information about and even from him. He reminds me of the guy who uses the good linen to make a pointy-hooded "ghost costume".  Don't get me started on Paul - just keep him away from my uterus.  So, while I might have been able to get through having differences of opinion, it's hard to do that when you can't figure out just what those people's opinions are.  And the few that they stand firm on go against my very core values and beliefs - right down to the probability of pushing members of my country, society, and family out of basic human rights and forcing us into a bizarre theologically based political platform of policy that doesn't have a plan to fund it or a basis of proven record.

So, congrats to my guy.  I'm behind him for this run.  I'm sure the next 70-something days will be filled with pandering, mudslinging, and gross misleasing claims on both sides - as this is the political toilet we've evolved into - but I'm trying to stay informed and open and positive. Granted, I'd love to be able to stand up and shout for him the way I did 4 years ago, but he'll have to regain my trust and earn that.  For now, I'll keep dreaming of Hillary the woman who almost came between us and being grateful for at the very least knowing the basic ideas he stands for.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

 ~Dorothy Parker

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lemme Hear You! Yeah, YOU!

Hello good heathens!  This is a shockingly short post.  Yep.  I actually want to know how all of YOU are doing.  Whether you know me personally or not.  I've been posting and spilling gory guts out on here for a while, so I'd like to hear from others for a bit.  Tell me some likes and dislikes.  Tell me your opinion on anything you feel strongly about.  I'll start:  I love the ease of paper plates and plastic utensils, but the guilt of creating more trash consumes me. 

Your turn!  Put it in comments, and I'll create some posts from it. Or, share a poem you've written.  Whatver.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Keeping Y'All in Da Immigration Loop-Da-Loop

It's been a couple of weeks, and I haven't really said anything in a while.  Mostly, I'm avoiding blogging it because I'll Blommit all over the keyboard, blooking up chunks of emotional ranting that will spiral into non-cohesive bullspunk and end up as angry gibberish dancing across the screen.  It'd be like I was typing out the works of Ms. Shakespeare, using the Widget Font. 

So, there is a culmination going on this weekend.  It's a big deal, but after a long time of fretting and basically going through the death grief cycle of anger, depression, bargaining, acceptance and so on, I've rebounded. We are more focused and positive.  We aren't looking right at our noses.  We're looking forward.  While details aren't going to be out to the masses yet on what's up this weekend, just know it's another step toward the ultimate goal, and we will make this one, just like we've made the rest.  Those of you who do know what's we're up to - ALL the positive vibes you can muster are happily and greedily accepted. 

In related news, all of this is not amounting to nothing.  Confused?  You should be.  What I mean is, all of this fighting the good fight, standing up for what's right, arguing for Equality for EVERYONE, within no one religion, race, sex, or choice being allowed to squelch any others - that will continue WITH A VENGEANCE.  


We Will Fight With Our Kitten Armies!

Look for progress on the newly updated site for  Look for us to be in the fray at political events.  Look for us to be championing the cause for those who just cannot do so for themselves.  Look for us to use sensible arguments, proof, and logic to counter bias, hatred and ill will.  Help us in this.

 I hate broaching this, or beating the poor, mange-ridden decomposing horse, but I'm going to remind everyone that on this site above this post is a Donation button through Paypal that is labeled "Dept of Defense". If anyone can, or knows anyone who can spare a couple of dollars using this to help with this cause, it's appreciated.  We know it's rough out there right now.  We're living it right next to you.  We want to continue to be here to fight. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's not "Do Unto Others As Long As You Agree"...

I'm having a hard time trying to sit here and write this post.  Seriously.  I swing from wild anger to amazement and befuddlement.  I cannot fathom that this issue is still something to be argued about.

Do unto others.  It's such a simple rule, yet humans who believe in this rule - religiously or as a standard rule to live by - have managed to fuck it up with their own selfish purposes.  Follow me on this, because I may take some detours to get there.

I have an idea for a story that if it's not yet made, shall be mine - so the following is written with a caveat containing copyright and trademark citation.  I think I've seen a few movies written in the perspective of opposite/ironic points of view that are meant to make people stop and think about expanding their view to be accepting of others.  Notice - I did not use the term "tolerant".  I love that word.  I use that word.  I can BE that word at times.  It seems, however that the general population is against that term, some people arguing that they should not have to be tolerant of someone if they do not agree with whatever it is that person is doing that is so disagreeable.

Eye of the Beholder
An example of this is one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, "The Eye Of The Beholder" where a woman is supposed to undergo an urgent last-ditch surgery performed by STATE doctors to make her look "normal". Of course, the reveal (spoiler) shows that the rest of the population's "normal" is a twisted facial disfigurement, and the woman is considered hideous to them by their standards.  I like that reminder, and the message is very bold for 1960.

Interracial Marriage?  
I've seen some campy renditions of shows that try to give a turnaround perspective, for example, if white people were plantation slaves or the oppressed side of apartheid.   I saw a short that involved the specific situations of a reversed Rosa Parks incident as well as segregation of bathrooms, schools, drinking fountains and so on.   The thought of interracial marriage was an abomination because no self respecting black person would ruin the purity of his or her race in such a way!  To hear this today makes it seem laughable - but it is in fact the truth of what was done to groups of people all over the world by so many other groups and for so many "reasons" that all boil down to the same smoldering truth that pervades our society.  We are intolerant bigots who have not learned from the mistakes of our history.

In 1950, this country was finally beginning (just beginning) to put an end to segregation.  We now look back at the Holocaust and say with certainty how horrible and wrong to slaughter a group based on race, hair color, religion, eye color etc.  So what are we doing now?  Choosing the next group?

It might seem silly to some people, and I've even actually had more than a handful of african american and black friends tell me it's a sin to compare that civil rights movement to the movement of gay rights - but I see it as a clear cut case of fighting for Human Rights.  I think that without setting my soapbox on fire, I need to say very quickly that I have no illusions about "knowing" what anyone in any group that I was not a part of went through.  To say "I understand" would be an insult.  So it is with me as well.  This is not a joke.  People are dying through bullying, suicide, hate crimes, and so much more.   it seems stupid to me, not to make the comparison.  It is not right for ANY group to limit the rights and freedoms of ANY OTHER group simply because you do not agree with them.

Do unto others... I'm back to this now.  Ok.   So, what if, by my own decree, I announce that all heterosexuals are an abomination to my God, and they therefore cannot marry, vote, teach in schools, or use the same bathroom facilities.   Ok, I'm going overboard - or am I?  MY GOD, YOUR GOD, THEIR GOD, NO GOD - we have the right to worship (or not worship) whatever god(s) we so choose.  Here is where I might lose friends.  I believe that the selfish individuals inhabiting this Earth are manipulating the very things they want to protect.  Basic Human Rights cannot be determined by religion. If you truly believe in a Christian God, then you truly believe that every single creature on this Earth shall be judged by your God, and only your God.  "Judge Not, lest Ye Be Judged" is omitted from the passages that are spat in my face when I am at a support rally for Equality.  "Love Thy Neighbor" is never one of the themes I hear when people are referring to their reasoning and their God as to why I should not be allowed to do something.  I can pick and choose passages to suit my needs in an argument as well.
NOT ok.
However, the point of my tirade here is simple - we shouldn't even be having this argument.  We as a society have overcome our shortcomings and the horribly askew things we have done to many people, yet we continue to repeat the same mistakes using the same arguments, and now it's a louder argument because some of the people spewing hatred and bias are the very people who fought their way out only decades ago.   DO UNTO OTHERS

Would YOU appreciate it if it was up to a vote as to whether or not you could marry someone you loved?

Would it be ok if anyone who is married to someone from another country have their marriage immediately revoked and their loved one deported?

Would you be okay with someone telling you that your religion is wrong, and you are not allowed to believe as you do?

Would you be okay with being treated differently based upon any aspect of who you are?

Think long and hard about what you take for granted - growing up, getting a job, going to school, marrying your love, raising kids, getting old and planning retirement, being there for your family....

Now take those options and severely limit most of them, and take others away completely.  That's is what the Equality for ALL movement is about.

No one is saying that everyone can be a millionaire or own corporations, or go to the best schools or live in a dream house.

But EVERYONE is born with the option, ability and Equal Right to strive for it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Vanilla Chai Tea, How I Love Thee! -A Guest Post from Christy Cole Quast

I have recently discovered (much to my already calorically-challenged dismay) Dunkin Donuts Vanilla Chai tea at my local DD near my office. Their mint hot chocolate is good, too--and nothing beats the SBUX Peppermint Mocha Latte, but I am here to talk about Dunkin. Seems that this delightfully sinful & seasonal hot beverage only comes in a Medium size. Do I look like a Medium gal to you?

So this morning I asked my guy, Raj, what was up with that--how come I can't get a large, or an extra-large--because I love them so much? So he shrugs and says matter-of-factly "so you buy another one when that one is done." That is a brilliant, almost dumber-than-a-bag-of-hammers marketing ploy, but I have to say it works! They're $2.50 each and I get 2 per day (WHAT?! Don't judge me!) so they got me there.

I think to myself, I don't want to make the trip TWICE, and I don't want to buy 2 Medium cups to have on my desk while I drink one, and have the other one sitting all alone, cooling... depressed.

Why oh Why Can't I Be LARGE!?!
 So I decide to proposition Raj: will 2 Mediums fit in a Large cup? I'll pay for 2 Mediums, just put them in the same cup; Raj says it won't fit. *exaggerated eye-roll*

Then I ask, OK how about a Medium and a Small together in a Large cup; Raj says but we only sell Medium. *forehead slap*

I explain, yes, I know that--I will give you $6 (keep the change) if you just fill a Large cup with Vanilla Chai and charge me for 2 separate Mediums; Raj smiles and talks to me like I talk to my 4th grader--enunciating clearly, loudly and S-L-O-W-L-Y so I have a better chance at comprehending what he is trying to say: BUT THEY ONLY COME IN MEDIUM. *feels a migraine coming on*

Of course, this is 8:15am this morning, and the line was getting longer. And before the woman behind me could gouge my eyes out with one of those sharp plastic coffee stirrers, I capitulated and admitted defeat; Raj has won this round, but I'll be back tomorrow to try and wear him down. Oh yes--I recognize a challenge when I see one; you'd better brew with one eye open, Raj because I'M COMING FOR YOU!