The Daily Agenda for Saturday, April 26

Jim Burroway

April 26th, 2014

The mighty Rio Grande

I’ve been absent since a week ago Tuesday, on vacation to visit my inlaws, Chris’s parents, in Abilene, Texas. When we travel to Abilene from Tucson, we generally avoid the Interstates as much as possible, preferring to travel the back roads and more scenic drives. This time, our route took us through Alamogordo, Ruidoso and Roswell, New Mexico, and then through Brownsfield, Post, Snyder and Sweetwater, Texas before picking up I-20 for the last short leg to Abilene. I don’t know, I just find this kind of traveling far more relaxing and interesting than the mind-numbing conformity of the Interstates.

Another advantage (and disadvantage) of traveling that way is the spotty cellular and Wi-Fi coverage along those routes. Which means that much of the trip was blessedly free of Facebooking, Tweeting, emailing, and blogging. And it was also irritatingly void of those things at the same time. That online disconnect continued when we arrived at Chris’s parents house because their broadband internet is wired directly to their lone desktop computer and they see no need for Wi-Fi. Cell coverage was fine, but by then I was actually beginning to enjoy the disconnect. Not that we were completely disconnected — we still had CNN on TV to keep us informed on all of the late breaking developments. (The plane is still missing! The ferry is still sinking!) But Chris’s parents had just screened in their back porch, and it was just more enjoyable to hang out there with the parents and Chris’s brother, drink a few beers, crack a few jokes at each other’s expense, and play a few rounds of cards.

We stayed through the weekend and left Monday morning for our own little adventure to west Texas. San Angelo, Rankin, and Chris’s hometown of Ft. Stockton, and then down to Marathon, Alpine, and Marfa, where we holed up at the beautiful and historic El Paisano Hotel. That’s the hotel James Dean, Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor stayed in while filming Giant. I missed grabbing the James Dean room by mere minutes. Oh well. Our room overlooking the courtyard was great, and the food and drinks at the bar were a welcome diversion. Good thing, too, because the Internet there was all caterwobbly, blazing for about two minutes then dead for six, then awesome for about a minute and a half and so on. So my disconnect continued, but by then I didn’t care. The next day, we took as spin back through Alpine, Lajitas, and Presidio, to take in the beautiful Big Bend country, Elena Canyon, and the Rio Grande valley, then back up through Marfa to Ft. Davis to walk around the grounds of the historic fort.

The courtyard at El Paisano. Our room is center right, above the fluttering Texas flag.

But our real adventure began late Tuesday night, back in Marfa. I left the hotel to go a few blocks to a convenience store to pick up some snacks for Wednesday’s eight hour drive back to Tucson. Got the stuff, got in the car, reversed out of the space, went out of the parking lot, turned right onto the highway, and that’s when the transmission promptly blew up. On a three year old Ford with only 55,000 miles on it. No forward, no reverse. Just a terrible noise like rocks in a tin can and a vaguely burning smell. Shit. Fuck. All that and more. I pushed the car to the side of the road, screamed and cussed some more like a crazy person, trudged back to the hotel, and told Chris what happened. I called Ford on the phone. They arranged for a tow truck to meet us Wednesday morning for the 89-mile tow back to the nearest Ford dealership in Ft. Stockton.

What a Ford transmission looks like after only 55,000 miles. I once had a 1974 AMC Hornet that was more reliable than this.

Mike from Barbee’s Wrecker Service met us that morning, and his cheerfulness and chattiness kept our minds off the drama (and off the broken air-conditioner in his cab) for the two hour tow. He told us about his wife, his kids, his speeding tickets, his 73 guns, his octogenarian neighbor rancher who called and wants Mike to help him break a horse, his mother-in-law’s golf cart which he — okay she doesn’t know this yet, so don’t say anything — which he souped up with a Honda engine and off-road tires. Right after he finished his modifications, he took it out for a spin and promptly got a speeding ticket. Mike knows a shortcut, the Old Alpine Highway. Have you heard of it? Of course, says Chris, we used to go parking on that road. Mike veers off onto a washboard gravel road, and Chris’s memories come flooding back. And now the two of them are swapping Ft. Stockton tales, about tornados, Rooney park, rollover accidents, the abandoned onion barns and stockyard by the railroad tracks. And there I am, sandwiched between them watching the dilapidated plastic dashboard bounce about three inches whenever the truck hits a mild rut.

We get to Ft. Stockton, to a rather small dealership with, I don’t know, maybe five guys total working there. Bad news, says the Stockton Ford guy. They’re a really small operation and it’ll probably take about three weeks to fix the car. And guess what? Ft. Stockton’s so small it doesn’t have a rental car agency. But I gotta be back in Tucson for work now. I can’t sit around for three weeks waiting for a car to be fixed. So I call up Ford on the phone again and explain the situation. Their solution? They want to tow me to the next closest Ford dealership, which is 73 miles away in Kermit. “Where’s Kermit?” I ask. Stockton Ford guy rolls his eyes and mouths to me, “They’re smaller than Ft. Stockton.” Obviously, that won’t work. What about Odessa? Ford on the phone says their policy is to only tow to the nearest Ford dealership, and that’s Kermit, only 73 miles away. Odessa is 87 miles. It’s Kermit or nothing, Ford on the phone insists. That stupid, I say. There’s no point in going to Kermit when they can’t do anything more than Ft. Stockton. Finally Ford on the phone works it out where they pay for 73 of the miles to Odessa if I pick up the remaining 14. Whatever. Fine. Two more hours in a hot, dusty tow truck with the ever cheerful Mike keeping our minds off our misery — the old Coleman Hotel fire, his father’s pancreatic cancer, buddies coming back from Iraq, a former co-worker who escaped from the Zetas, what do you think of that Obamacare, you guys been together for eleven years? That’s awesome, man! — and we make it to Odessa, where I can rent a car from Enterprise, say thank you and goodbye to Mike, and begin the journey home seven hours later and a hundred miles further away from where we planned to start off.

We don’t make it to Tucson Wednesday night as planned, obviously. And since we need to make up time, it’s now Interstate all the way. I call in to work and tell them I’ll need another day.  We decide to push on to El Paso that night and get a room there. No doing. All the hotels are full. (Seriously!!! El Paso! I know, right?) Another hour later, we finally get the last room in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Hot, sweaty, hungry, tired, and we’re bitching at each other. There’s no Mike keeping us entertained and distracted anymore. We grab a burrito, shower and go to bed.

We sleep in late the next morning because now we’ve got all day to make a four-hour drive to Tucson so what’s the rush, right? A nice leisurely breakfast, check out, and we’re loading the trunk when Chris points to the front of the car and says, “Tire’s flat.” Damn, sure enough. Luckily, there’s exactly one Enterprise office in Las Cruces. We air up the tire and make it to Enterprise. Unluckily, they already rented out their cars for the day and our tire’s getting very low again. So Enterprise guy directs us to a busy tire shop about a mile away, where tire guy removes two nails, patches up the tire, and sends us on our way about three hours later.

We got back home to Tucson later that evening, almost exactly 24 hours after we originally planned. And now we can look forward to another unplanned trip back to Odessa to return the rental car and pick up our car in another couple of weeks.

So that was how I spent my spring vacation. I’m somewhat sorry I was so out of touch, but not really. Everyone should go on disconnect from time to time. But I’m back now. Anything happen while I was gone?

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Philadelphia, PA (Black Pride); Potsdam, Germany; Tokyo, Japan.

Other Events This Weekend: Hill Country Ride for AIDS, Austin, TX; AIDS Walk, Kansas City, MO; Rodeo in the Rock, Little Rock, AR; AIDS Walk, Miami, FL; Side By Side International LGBT Film Festival, Moscow, Russia; White Party, Palm Springs, CA; Splash, South Padre Island, TX.

TODAY’S AGENDA is brought to you by:

From The Advocate, May 3, 1979, page 23.

Mary’s opened in 1972 as a gay bar in Houston’s Montrose area, at around the time Montrose was just beginning to develop its identity as a gayborhood. It quickly established a rather wild reputation: “[T]he bar was known for having it’s own set of rules, one of which made it ‘illegal’ to wear underwear. And newcomers who violated the rule would have their underwear stripped from them and thrown to the rafters, past the trapeze that was normally manned by a naked bartender or patron.” As the years wore on, the bar also became something of a community center: “On a Friday night you could experience your favorite fetish out back, and on Monday you could attend a rally to support AIDS funding.” The bar changed ownership in 2003, and experienced a long, slow decline. It’s iconic outside mural was painted over in 2006, and the bar finally closed in 2009. The building now houses the Blacksmith coffee shop.

State Department Continues Homosexual Purge: 1950. Two months earlier, Deputy Undersecretary of State John E. Peurifoy revealed in testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee that the State Department had gotten rid of 91 employees accused of being homosexual (see Feb 28). After that news exploded onto newspaper editorial pages across the country (see Mar 23, for example), Peurifoy was appointed ambassador to Greece and Carlisle H. Humelsine took over his post at the State Department. In testimony made public on April 26, 1950, Humelsine told the House Appropriations Committee that the State Department’s purge was continuing, with the number forced out rising to 148 since 1947 and eleven more under investigation.

“There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind and there is no doubt as far as the State Department is concerned, that a homosexual is a security risk,” Humelsine told the panel. “We treat homosexuals as security risks. We are not attempting to run a campaign of going after people because of the fact that they have an illness. I think homosexuality is a type of illness. A homosexual, in my opinion, is just as sick as a person who has a cancer or some other disease. But it is absolutely apparent to us that these people are also security risks and we want them off our rolls. And we are going to get them off our rolls.”

Australian Judge Sentences Nine for Homosexuality: 1950. And The Advertiser was there to record all of the details, including the names and addresses of the eight men who pleaded guilty to various charges of “homosexual offences.” Two were sentenced to twelve months for “unnatural offence with each other,” another got eight months for “unnatural office with another man,” and five got four months for “gross indecency with another man.” A ninth man was ordered to pay a ” two year bond of £25 with two £25 sureties, not to associate with homosexuals or persons of bad character.”

On passing sentence, the judge remarked, “It must have come as a shock to the citizens of Adelaide to learn that there were centres of homosexuality in this city. Such practices have always been regarded as abhorrent to public decency and have been treated in the Criminal Law Consolidation Act as serious crimes. Whatever psychology may say about this class of offender, my duty is to carry out the law and to impose sentences which will act as a deterrent to others, who are minded to commit homosexual crimes. …In the majority of the cases,  the sentences will be light. They will not however be taken as precedents for the future. If, after the warning of the present sentences, the offences are found to recur much heavier penalties will ensue.”

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?


April 26th, 2014

Thanks for telling that story. On the bright side, you’ll always remember any vacation that involves the car breaking down.

Eric Payne

April 26th, 2014

So, let me see if I got this… ummm… “straight,” Jim.

1. On Tuesday, April 22, you sign a petition admonishing “gay organizations” for publicly “going after” Eich at Mozilla — although no gay organization outside of those associated with Mozilla employees did so, then;

2. You are “unplugged” for three-to-four days, so that you, yourself, see none of the comments concerning your (and BTB’s) regarding the support of that petition, then;

3. The transmission on your, for all intents and purposes, drops dead, leaving you discomforted and stranded.

Do I have the timing right?

Jim Burroway

April 26th, 2014

Not quite.

1. The statement says nothing about “gay orgs”. I suggest you reread the statement again before you pretend to quote from it.

2. I participated in the discussion that took place among the drafters and agreed to sign it before I left when the final draft was completed. It then went outside the group for others read, consider and sign. It wasn’t released publicly until April 22.

3. I wasn’t completely disconnected. I managed to keep up with emails, but little else. I didn’t have a chance to read all the comments, although I saw a few of them. I still need to sit down and do that today. I anticipate having more on that later.

Eric Payne

April 26th, 2014


1. You’re correct, and I apologize for placing gay orgs in quotation marks; in discussion(s) in this blog, as well as others, gay organizations have been mentioned, it was from these responses, working from memory, that I presented that misinterpretation. From this (and a later error in my same posting this morning), I need to remind myself to not rely, completely on memory and — from the3 second error, an omission of copy, in point 3, where I state: “(T)he transmission on your, for all intents and purposes, drops dead…” should have read “(T)he transmission on your, for all intents and purposes, new car drops dead…”

2. So, were there any revisions between the draft to which you agreed to become a signatory and the final draft? Do you, really, not believe Mozilla was within its rights to ask Eich to resign/force him o0t, if they chose not to have someone with Eich’s stated poli8tical views as company frontman? If you do agree with the final version of the petition, fine… but do you no6 see the difference between merely espousing a political viewpoint and helping provide the finances to make that viewpoint a reality? Prop 8 was not a “what might have been.” It was a reality — same gendered couples had the basic human right to marry; voters took that right away. Eich is an employer; some of his employees are gay. His political viewpoint, ALONG WITH his financial assistance, placed those same-gendered couples in a different arena than other employees. That “different arena” was not just work-related, but effected every moment of every day of their lives.

That’s not an “agree to disagree” situation. That’s a “we disagree and it doesn’t matter… you’ll do it my way, period” situation.

3. Happy reading. Oh, and welcome back.

Jim Burroway

April 26th, 2014

Thanks Eric.

No, there were no revisions to the final, final draft to which I agreed to sign. This was a pretty disciplined group of folks who put it together. It went through I think 4 or 5 drafts before those of us in the core group felt that it would be something we could sign our names to. We then took it out to our individual networks and asked them if they wanted to sign. This is when Rob, Timothy and Randy saw it for the first time. But at this point, the statement was locked down and there were no further changes being considered (I’m not aware that any suggestions were offered.) I have to look over the list signatories again, but I’d guess that well over half of them signed on at this stage.

As for the rest, I have a post in work that I think will address some of that.


April 26th, 2014

Jim, I enjoyed the story.

And, if I am reading it all correctly, most of your vacation was quite enjoyable, with family and historic landmarks and beautiful scenery and a straight rural Texas tow truck driver who thinks it’s awesome the two of you have been together 11 years.

Cars break down. You got a real story with real people out of it. There’s something to that.

Now when you get home again with your own vehicle, you be sure and let Mike know how everything worked out.

Ben In Oakland

April 26th, 2014

Two words, Jim.



Jim Burroway

April 26th, 2014

Yes Ben, those two words have come to mind, along with a few other word pairs, like:



and possibly



I’m gonna have to dig up that Consumer Reports.


As you can see, even the less enjoyable parts somehow managed to turn out enjoyable thanks to Mike.

Ben In Oakland

April 26th, 2014

My old corolla had 250,000 miles on it and 20 years. Repairs totaled about $4000 over those 20 years.

My old Scion B now has 120,000 miles on it In 10 years, It has had only one major repair– about $800.


April 26th, 2014

Enjoyed the story. Almost made me want to visit Texas. Almost. To be fair all I know of the state is Houston and Dallas.

About the authorship of what is to me a very ill-considered stunt. The cabal of self-appointed opinion-makers responsible for it need to let the rest of us peons know whose bright idea it was, and who wrote it.

I bet no one who signed it is under 30. I’m sorry but this is the kind of thing the vicar puts out deploring the lyrics of rap music.

Eric Payne

April 26th, 2014

In re: Stephen’s comment


I’m 56.

I wouldn’t have signed it.


April 26th, 2014

Still mad about the petition, but very glad you made it home safe, despite the trials.

That stretch of road between Alamogordo and Roswell is a treat. Going up the mountain into Ruidoso you go through four different landscapes, from white sand and cactus to alpine evergreens. Hope you saw a few elk along the road.

Eric Payne

April 26th, 2014

On a hot Mid-August night in 1977, there appeared nothing as beautiful as what I spotted from the back-seat of a 1974 AMC Matador (and, no, this isn’t a “dirty memory.”).

While born in upper-central Ohio (Akron), I had been raised in suburban and rural areas of Pennsylvania. By September, 1976, I didn’t know where I wanted to go to college (hell, I wasn’t even sure I WANTED to go to college), but I already had made one decision concerning post-June, 1977, life: It had to be away from the Lebanon area… and, preferably, outside of Pennsylvania, altogether. One day in January, 1977, I got an acceptance letter from a schools. I had never made application to this school; they were offering me admission based on my SAT and ACT scores.

Out-of-state tuition at this school was roughly the same cost as Lebanon Valley University — the local school my parents chose for me to attend since I would be able to live at home! Oh, joy. Oh, rapture. Oh, God, stop me before I kill somebody.

But then… my father was transferred to a district in Ohio. It was too late to get into any Ohio school, and out-of-state tuition at Lebanon a Valley (not to mention State Penn and Penn State) were treble- to quadruple what had become my school of choice. So it was decided, for at least the first year, the family would be in Springfield, OH, and I would be at the New Mexico Institute of Mining in Soccorro, NM.

Which led to the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen: The westbound stretch of I-10, once one drove through Dallas, at that time was desolate; once the “if you can eat this steak, it’s free!” restaurant in Texas was in the rear-view, the only thing to see was a whole lot of sand and a big, black blob waaaayyy up ahead. We reached that black blob well after dark, and rounded it…

And there were the lights of Alberqueque ahead and below us. Every light glimmered like a gemstone; it was a vast expanse of rubies and emeralds and topazes and diamond just littering the dessert floor surrounded by complete blackness. To this day, no other city has hit me with such impact — not even NYC.


April 26th, 2014

Eric, I’m 64. Neither would I. My point being that it reads like a revolt of the oldz. No young person would be associated with it and Mozilla is by and large a company of young people.

Priya Lynn

April 26th, 2014

Stephen, we still need you, we’ll still feed you.

Jim Burroway

April 26th, 2014

Thanks for that travelogue Eric. That was beautiful!

Once in our travels, we stopped in Soccorro and stayed for a night. It happened to be the 4th of July. We had a nice dinner at a restaurant in the plaza that served its own brew, and we spread our blanket on the community park and saw the fireworks display.

Which leads me to another of my magical stories. A day or so earlier, Chris and I were in Carrizozo, NM. We stopped in at the town’s only antique store and looked around. It was soon after it opened in the morning, and it turns out that it was something of a community gathering place for the tiny town. We struck up a conversation with the owners, and soon a folk artist lady showed up. I love folk art, and she invited us to her house. I ended up buying a piece from her that’s hanging above our fireplace. She then offered to show us around town, introducing us to her friends along the way. That evening, we all met again at the local Mexican restaurant and had a great time, and then they took us to a motel next door run by a couple of lesbians and we sat on the front porch, gossiping about the neighbors, and laughing and talking long into the night, while they tried to figure out what house might be for sale for us to move into. Chris and I have never experienced anything quite like it.

You’re right. There’s nothing like coming upon Albuquerque at night, especially coming through that mountain pass on I-40. There’s a similar encounter in Las Cruces when you come in from the east from Alamogordo.

Timothy Kincaid

April 26th, 2014

There used to be a way into San Francisco that I used to direct first time visitors to use (that was before the 1898 earthquake and I don’t know if it’s still available).

The trick was that you went through a gulch that climbed through a residential neighborhood with no view until you came around a corner and the entire city lay below you. It was breathtaking.

It’s been far too long since I’ve visited The City.

Richard Rush

April 26th, 2014

Jim, you’re a good storyteller.

“On a three year old Ford with only 55,000 miles on it.”

My husband and I have one car. It’s eight years old with less than 37,000 miles on it. That’s what can happen when you live near the center of a major city in the Northeast Megalopolis, and the husband has been walking to work for thirty years, and I work at home.

On another note, it’s sounds as if you may know who the author(s) of the statement/petition/letter is/are. Surely, she/he/they is/are proud of the result, and would be pleased if you revealed the name(s).

Jim Burroway

April 26th, 2014

I’m not at liberty to talk about names, and I don’t really think it’s relevant. We all signed the agreement because of what it said, and not because of the many hands it passed through before it finally said it. The final product truly was not that of any individual(s), nor do I think that those individuals have any more right to claim credit for its authorship than those of us who critiqued and criticized it along the way.

What’s more, I don’t see where that matters. I signed the statement because of what it said, not because of its authors or other signatories. The important points are found in the statement itself. So if you want to critique the statement, critique it for what it says, and not for who you imagine may be saying it.

But if you need to imagine who’s saying it when you’re critiquing it, then feel free to imagine it’s me.

Timothy Kincaid

April 26th, 2014

I do hope that the insistence in knowing who “the author” of the Statement was had nothing to do with a desire to find something about him/her about which one can object and then use that as an ad hominem on the Statement. That would be disreputable.

Ben In Oakland

April 26th, 2014

Timothy, off of I280 you get off at, I think, Monterey. You follow glen park blvd. to where it turns into O’Shaughnessy. That ends at the gtop of Market. turn right, and there you are.

Eric Payne

April 26th, 2014

Ben in Oakland,

He could also have come up the Coast Highway and gone through Castro Valley.

Eric Payne

April 26th, 2014

Timothy Kincaid,

Though curious as to the author(s) of the petition, it’s irrelevant to me. I may, justifiably (based on their past actions) want to lay authorship at the feet of master apologists Ken Mehlman or Andrew Sullivan… but desire is not proof, and, as I said, authorship isn’t important.

If the petition had succinctly said: “We, the undersigned individuals wish to go on record, and express our desire Mr. Erich’s resignation was not prompted by any overt attempts to silence Mr. Eich in expressing his personal viewpoints,” then I would definitely have agreed with that sentiment, and May, possibly, even have signed it, myself.

But — to me, at least — the assumption is pre-determined, Mr. Eich would still be the corporate face of Mozilla if we, the gay community, had simply been gracious winners.

So, tell me, Jim… in Texas, what did the resolution of the Prop 8 case “win” you? Nada. Zip. Zilch. Now, thanks to Windsor, the Feds would recognize your marriage! just as they do mine. But, like GA, Texas (despite 2 state court rulings and a federal court ruling), doesn’t. Here, in GA, there is a state law making it a crime to file state income taxes with a structure different than the federal income taxes of the corresponding year. So do we break GA’s DOMA law and file “married, joint” or do we break GA’s tax law and file as two singles? Want to know what the state tax agency said when we asked?

“We’ll have to get back to you on that one,” They never did; because of my health issues, Bill didn’t want to have the tax people possibly screw with our cash, so we filed as two singles, losing over $1K in overpaid tax to the state.

It’s people like Eich who’ve created this patchwork system of marriage law in this country with their vocal (and ballot box) “defense of marriage.” But it IS Eich, and others, whose FINANCING of that “defense” have kept opening new fronts in a battle that should have died five years ago.

So… to the Eichs of the world: Yes, we are free to disagree. Yes, you are permitted to have your political voice heard. Yes, you are even permitted to make political contributions to the causes and candidates that espouse your beliefs. So am I.

But what no one is permitted to do — on either side of the issue — is duck whatever consequences that may come their way based on those opinions/decisions.

Mozilla heard the handfuls of people on both sides of the issue — remember, there we’re calls of boycotts from both the Left and Right prior to Eich’s resignation — weighed their options, consulted their lawyers, and made their decision.

As I said Tuesday night, on the first reading of this letter, Mr. Eich seemingly understand his resignation was “simply business.” He’s not, as far as I know, said or done anything to paint himself as the latest martyr to fall before “the Gay Gestapo.” But, then, he didn’t have to, when just a few hours after his resignation, a certain New York-based columnist was already on a late-night cable network “news and commentary” show, taking gays to task. And, yes, he’s a signatory.

Timothy Kincaid

April 26th, 2014


We all have those criteria which either bar or allow our endorsement of a Statement. I respect that this one didn’t meet yours.

For me it isn’t about Eich and what did or didn’t create the situation that led to his resignation. For me, it’s about what kind of person I want to be and how I want my community to be. Eich is incidental.

Eric Payne

April 26th, 2014

Oh, one more thing…

While authorship of the petition isn’t all that important, there is some information I think is pertinent, that falls into three questions.

Of the signatories:

1. How many are single, single (no civil marriage license issued from any state, and;

2. How many are married, married (civil marriage in their state of residence), and;

3. How many are single, married(civil marriage in one state, urn married in their state of residence)?

This is just a guess, with no empirical data for support… but I’m guessing the majority of those signing are of the first two options.

Timothy Kincaid

April 27th, 2014


I have no idea who is single or married. Rob and I live in California. I’m single and I believe he is married.

Jim and Randy live in states in which they cannot marry. Jim is coupled, I don’t know Randy’s relationship status.

I really have no idea about any of the other 54 signatories

Jim Burroway

April 27th, 2014

I’ll answer for Randy because I don’t think he’s following this thread. He’s married. He and his husband are living in the Dallas area.

Rob Tisinai

April 27th, 2014

I am single but engaged to be married.

Randy Potts

April 27th, 2014

I just caught up with this thread.

Yes, I live in Texas with my husband; we were legally married in NYC and married extra-legally here in Dallas by Carlton Pearson, an African-American former Pentecostal who lost his church for supporting gay people. I am 39 years old and for me, like Timothy, I see the details of the Eich situation as incidental. I signed partly because I live in a neighborhood in Texas where it’s safe to assume that the overwhelming majority might, even today, vote for something like Prop 8. At the same time, my neighbors are kind and welcoming to my husband and I and my three children and would not intentionally discriminate against us. I would be happy to work alongside any of my neighbors and would not expect any ill treatment from them in the workplace and the idea that a political donation should immediately exclude them from consideration is repugnant to me. If it turned out that they did discriminate against me in the workplace I would be first in line to demand a review and a reconsideration of their employment status. I have been in this position before and did not hesitate to report an HR person in my office who in a meeting attempted to skip over the healthcare policies regarding domestic partners because it made her uncomfortable – this was unacceptable, the company agreed, and it never happened again.

This is a journey for all of us. Whether we like it or not, as a minority the burden is on us to convince our neighbors that laws like Prop 8 harm our families. There is a disconnect for many, still, even in 2014, between general kindness, civility, and respect and how those things relate to a word like marriage. For me this will likely change over time but today I am not ready to paint my neighbors with the word “bigot” or “hater” simply because they don’t agree with me that the definition of marriage should be changed.


April 27th, 2014

A bit of cognitive dissonance here, Randy Potts. You write that a large majority of your neighbors would vote to deny you the right to marry the man you love, but then say, “At the same time, my neighbors are kind and welcoming to my husband and I and my three children and would not intentionally discriminate against us.”

I hate to break the news to you, if hyour neighbors would deny you equal right, they are intentionally discriminating against you and your family.

Seems like you have really drunk some koolaid.

Boris Hirsi

April 27th, 2014

“Would not intentionally discriminate against us”… because they’re “nice people”. These nice people only would vote in favor any law or all laws that would strip your rights, make your marriage null and void and most likely would happily vote for law that would take away your children should you have some. Thay would have no problem in laws that would deny access to services, would allow public servants not to offer you services, pharmacists right not to sell HIV medication to you and so on.

But they’re “nice people”. You, sir, are an idiot. Many racists are kind to dogs and thus should not be criticized.

You are repugnant to me and I despise you. Because you arther ally yourself with people who would hurt us (and you.

Timothy Kincaid

April 27th, 2014


Though you protest that you do read before commenting, I suggest that you read more carefully.

For example, in your haste to hurl invective at Randy, you insisted that his neighbors (the one’s that he knows and you do not) “most likely would happily vote for law that would take away your children should you have some”. Had you paused to be sure that you were familiar with Randy’s comment, you might have noticed that he said had not said that that his neighbors were “nice people” but rather were “kind and welcoming to my husband and I and my three children“.

It’s a bit hard to miss.

Which makes me believe that you didn’t really read Randy’s comment. Or, at least, did not do so carefully.

Timothy Kincaid

April 27th, 2014

I have no idea who Stirling is or what he has done. And I don’t have time at the moment to go find out.

But we usually don’t cover sports stories here.


April 27th, 2014

Do you really expect anyone to take you seriously? This site has become a joke. And a really bad one at that.


April 27th, 2014

My Louisiana grandmother was a nice person, and, though she ardently campaigned against integration of the races because her Southern Baptist pastor had explained to her that God located the races on different continents in order to make sure there would be no race mixing, she did not consider herself a racist. Indeed, she complained when yankees and other outside agitators, called the White Citizens Council a bigoted organization. In addition to opposing integration, she did lots of good works and was very kind to the black people she knew.

But, sorry to say this, she really was a racist, just like Randy Potts’s neighbors and Brandon Eich are homophobes.

The bloggers on this site may think it is wise policy to “make nice” with homophobes and shield them from any repercussions for their bigotry, but I do not. I saw how racists at least learned to temper their remarks and feelings, and I suspect that homophobes can do so as well if they realize that there will be consequences for their hateful actions and speech.

We know the effects of societal homophobia on ourselves. The phenomenon of “minority stigma” has been studied, and we know that it contributes to internalized homophobia, depression, even suicide.

And the signatories to that stupid petition are far more concerned about the delicate sensibilities of our enemies than they are about our youth.

Richard Rush

April 27th, 2014

Randy Potts wrote, “Whether we like it or not, as a minority the burden is on us to convince our neighbors that laws like Prop 8 harm our families.”

Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there who would be pleased to know that their efforts are able to “harm our families,” because that is their objective. And, it confirms that their strategy and tactics are successful.


April 27th, 2014

While you were away:
The Liberty University Law School wannabe in Canada, Trinity Western is mad because several provinces are refusing to accept their future law grads into their certification program.

The LGBT part of the covenant is the focus of their concerns.
The website isn’t as explicit as you have to interpret the fine print.
Enjoyed your vacation story: you should have mentioned Murphy’s Law.


April 27th, 2014

My question got dropped from my previous comment:
How extreme must a covenant be before it’s considered unacceptable to 99% of the population? What if a covenant required that students swear allegiance to St. Benito Mussolini, denied admission to any woman, and/or required each student to stone a gay person or an adulterer, etc. once per year? Reminder: accredited lawyers are “officers of the court”.

British Columbia lawyers are reviewing their accreditation approval. My guess is that unless the covenant is changed, Alberta will be the only province left accepting their grads. BTW, if lawyers move provinces, they have to re-certify in the new province in order to practice there.

Paul Douglas

April 28th, 2014

I’m like you Jim: always take the back roads if possible and avoid the freeways….. reminds me of motoring in the late 50’s and early 60’s when I was a kid. We never eat at chain restaurants either… . Sounds like a great trip until the car died…. I’da been swearing a blue streak myself.
My husband and I were planning on going to Big Bend for our honeymoon, but Delta screwed up our flight (we still won’t fly them and that was 14 years ago!) and we arrived in El Paso about 36 hours late cutting our time too short. Switched our plans to White Sands, Carlsbad Caverns and the Guadalupe Mountains instead and really did have a nice time. Hubby isn’t interested in Big Bend anymore so I don’t know if I’ll ever make it. I’d love to hike there when the wildflowers are out.

Boris Hirsi

April 28th, 2014


You may think that condescencion and patronizing tone, nitpicking and refusal to debate the arguments makes your case. Defensive without any substance.

But only shows what kind of a man you are.

Reading your sniveling makes me understand why you would sign such a massage. ASfter all the letter is self congratulatory, condesecending and sanctiminious – makes me believe that you penned it.

Raymond in ABQ

April 28th, 2014

The night view of Albuquerque on I40 east of the city is matched by that on I40 west of the city at the top of Nine Mile Hill. The difference between the view today and “back then” is that there are a lot more lights now!

The night view from your plane as it circles to land at the Sunport is also quite beautiful. Those familiar with the area will recognize the long-strip-of-dark as the Bosque and Rio-sin-Grande.

I like BTB, have checked in every day for several years, and even wear a BTB t-shirt. I don’t have to agree with every thought posted.

I don’t like some of the personal nastiness in the comments — comments perhaps more at home on the “Fashion Police.”


April 29th, 2014

Dang. Only time I’ve ever been to Albuquerque, I apparently missed a spectacular view. Took the right route, but my tachometer started acting weird shortly before the exit, and I was paying more attention to making sure the car itself was OK than to anything beyond the next vehicle.

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