Excerpted Huffington Post Comments

I’ve recently become active in the Huffington Post registered comment community. Summitlake.com readers may find in my comments some good talking points and “intellectual ammunition” on a number of currently topical issues. I’ve mostly commented on news about the dangerous Santorum, the growing extremist religious right political movements, gay issues, women’s reproductive rights, and other recent news show-stoppers. Boldface subtitles are the titles of the HuffPost article being commented upon.

Alexander Forbes’s Comments

Dear America: You Have a Gay Problem
Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 00:50:57 in Canada
“Of course you have a right to your opinion, and we have a right to disagree, as you say. The issue is that statutory law is being used to deprive certain minorities of certain basic rights afforded all other classes of Americans (which you may call huge collections of individuals, or just ‘groups’). The most likely remedy would be the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, but, if you read the text; you’ll see it enumerates what the _States_may not abridge, which of course many states are doing anyway. Hence the push to ban Same-Sex Marriage on the federal level. Constitutional protections deal imperfectly with issues the founding fathers never heard of or anticipated. Many of your all-caps arguments are found in the Libertarian Party Platform. Sounds like your heart is in the right place even if you don’t understand “gay,” anyway.”

Social Justice: Is Marriage Equality a Civil Right?
Commented Mar 15, 2012 at 00:08:43 in Religion
“Outstanding! Thank you! Marriage equality is a civil right and should be protected under the “equal protection” 14th Amendment.”

British Lesbians Denied Valentine’s Rose By Waitress Because They Were Not A ‘Real Couple’
Commented Mar 11, 2012 at 01:18:21 in Gay Voices
“Boo Boo Bob is right; the establishment should have been called out. But, you know, that establishment wasn’t hiring ‘real’ waitresses.”

Chick-Fil-A Speaks Out On Viral Controversial Employment ‘Flyer’ (VIDEO)
Commented Mar 11, 2012 at 00:47:03 in Gay Voices
“Thanks, and you’ve raised great points in the thread too. I was “no preference” in the army, and I was never asked about religion or sexual preference in any of many careers between 1964 and 2009. “4F” draft status could be awarded for flat feet, bad eyesight or disability, not just homosexuality. But you are correct that, empirically, many employers still had covert interest in personal info that was none of their business, and rumor was often as dangerous as confirmation.”

Chick-Fil-A Speaks Out On Viral Controversial Employment ‘Flyer’ (VIDEO)
Commented Mar 10, 2012 at 23:41:19 in Gay Voices
“I’m not counting on it. I read the whole thread and researched this on Kos’ 2007 article (most links broken) and elsewhere. I don’t think I could eat at a place with a name like that anyway. I’m not even religious, but being Christian isn’t on trial here. Practicing discrimination – or trying to enact it into statute – is. The franchisee question seems legit to me until a pervasive pattern of actual discriminatory behavior is shown.”

Chick-Fil-A Speaks Out On Viral Controversial Employment ‘Flyer’ (VIDEO)
Commented Mar 10, 2012 at 22:52:27 in Gay Voices
“Wikipedia has more current info, in more detail, than you’ll find in standard paper references, AND its articles are usually better footnoted. It’s NOT a substitute for doing your own research; your teachers are right. See what you can find on “social conservatism” in Webster’s or Britannica, and then check Wikipedia. Excerpt: “Social conservatism is a form of authoritarianism often associated with the position that the national government, or the state, should have a greater role in the social and moral affairs of its citizens, generally supporting whatever it sees as morally correct choices and discouraging or outright forbidding those it considers morally wrong ones.””

Chick-Fil-A Speaks Out On Viral Controversial Employment ‘Flyer’ (VIDEO)
Commented Mar 10, 2012 at 22:45:44 in Gay Voices
“Sorry Jim, that’s the same argument as some military vets sometimes use: unless you’ve served, who are you to judge defense issues? I’m both gay and a vet, and can’t support the notion that commenting on gay issues (or any other) can be reserved to a privileged elite.”

Chick-Fil-A Speaks Out On Viral Controversial Employment ‘Flyer’ (VIDEO)
Commented Mar 10, 2012 at 18:29:37 in Gay Voices
“The way to get rid of the bigots and haters is not simple, and it will take a lot of work.

1) Boycott whomever you wish, but let the public know exactly which practices are objectionable and why. Don’t tar our community with histrionics and other out-of-control behavior.
2) Don’t make fun of bigotry, homophobia or other psychiatric disorders.
3) Make it clear to your legislators you won’t tolerate discriminatory legislation, period. Don’t just pressure Democrats, which is most like preaching to the choir.
4) One of my best friends is straight, gay-friendly and Republican. He was openly incredulous about Santorum’s virulent homophobia when I happened to refer to it. I proved it with links to Santorum’s own quotes. My friend was disgusted and won’t ever be voting for Santorum. The vast majority of straight people just don’t track gay issues like the LGBTQ community does. Don’t insult, alienate and obstruct; educate.
5. Protest, yes, but just state the facts. Most people will be able to recognize prejudice in others, and notoriety is a great incentive to guard against it in ourselves.
6. Protest, yes, but ridicule backfires every time because it drags us down to the Limbaugh level.
7. Gay bashers will become social outcasts when society recognizes the magnitude of the lies it has been fed. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 got passed when a majority realized it was the right and fair thing to do – in spite of riots, not because of them.”

Rick Santorum To Single Mothers: Government Paternity Tests Or No Welfare
Commented Mar 9, 2012 at 15:46:44 in Politics
“Santorum gives the lie to the GOP fiction that they have any bona-fide interest in getting the government out of our lives.”

Drug Tests For Jobless Advance In Arizona, First State To Move After Congress’ Green Light
Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 12:43:42 in Politics
“How about Breathalyzer tests for AZ Senators?”

Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Bill In Utah Passes Senate, Prohibits Talk Of Homosexuality In Class (VIDEO)
Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 12:33:23 in Education
“Also see the related article on the startling rise in hate groups.”

Velociraptor Dinosaur’s Last Meal Revealed By Pterosaur Bone Fossil
Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 12:11:31 in Science
“It was the steak dinner at Denny’s …”

Belief Alone Is No Basis for Public Policy
Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 00:03:34 in Politics
“You seem to be arguing against contraceptive “insurability” while disregarding the thousands of other recurring meds that are already routinely covered under any plan. Moreover, when insured by an HMO or Medicare, for example, you don’t GET to pick the $40 brand, or you pay a hefty copay. That’s why we get generic statins instead of Lipitor.”

Belief Alone Is No Basis for Public Policy
Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 23:04:20 in Politics
“Your initial argument wasn’t presented as an actuarial math scenario. Health insurance isn’t the same as the catastrophic coverages like earthquake, fire, collision or liability insurance. It assumes predictable costs and payouts with a profitable premium. If your “insurability” rule applied to contraceptive coverage, it would also apply to standard male prescriptions like Terazosin, and prostate exams.”

Belief Alone Is No Basis for Public Policy
Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 18:43:06 in Politics
“The “religious exemption” is intended for religious institutions like churches, hospitals and schools. You don’t want nonsecular employers just cherry-picking insurance coverages they fancy.”

Joe Scarborough: Mitt Romney ‘Lied’ About Individual Mandate, Health Care Reform (VIDEO)
Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 15:49:01 in Media
“Even staunch GOP veterans concede Newt was smoking something when he made his $2.50 gas comment …”

Joe Scarborough: Mitt Romney ‘Lied’ About Individual Mandate, Health Care Reform (VIDEO)
Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 14:32:16 in Media
“This “liberal” token is the most ridiculous weapon Republicans have. In case anyone isn’t following the news, $5 gas prices might result from the Iran crisis, increased demand from Asia, commodities market speculation and Euro woes — NOT from either Democratic or Republican energy policies per se. The controversial Canadian pipeline to Texas was to have delivered oil to a free trade zone for shipment to Asia and would never have increased “our” reserves anyway. What’s next, the GOP blaming the Obama Administration for the weather?”

Pew Study: Newspaper Digital Ad Revenue Not Making Up For Print Losses
Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 13:38:23 in Media
“Not quite sure I follow this “left bias fails” logic. Are “left bias fails” people also saying “right bias fails?” Even this thread suggests most readers really just want facts and are quite capable of deciding political and moral significance for themselves. Blaming “Hollywood” or “Fox” for changing trends devalues our decisive roles as individual. If we adopt the attitude that _others_ are unduly influenced by the likes of Hollywood and Fox, where do we get off exempting ourselves?”

Ron Paul: Tornado Victims Should Not Get Federal Aid
Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 18:43:11 in Politics
“I re-read the article and Paul excerpt and have to agree with other posters in pointing out that the HuffPost headline was misleading. I saw no direct evidence Paul actually said “no federal aid;” he mainly just blasted FEMA. The solution, however, is to clean up FEMA, not to try to use FEMA deficiencies as an excuse to attack federal assistance to large scale state-of-emergency disasters.”

South Carolina’s Party of Purity: No Sex Before Marriage. And No Porn. Ever.
Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 15:04:16 in Politics
“Off-base here! Everyone has a right to their opinion, but we are talking about a party fringe group that doesn’t believe in leaving OTHER people alone. Their religious intolerance and attacks on women and minorities are unmistakable attacks on freedom. If “social conservatism” didn’t work in Serbia, Liberia, Rwanda or Afghanistan, why do people want to try to impose it in the USA?”

South Carolina’s Party of Purity: No Sex Before Marriage. And No Porn. Ever.
Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 14:31:32 in Politics
“”Trickle-down” was originally invented by three-year olds.”

South Carolina’s Party of Purity: No Sex Before Marriage. And No Porn. Ever.
Commented Mar 5, 2012 at 14:28:32 in Politics
“The ‘time machine’ insurgency of “social conservatism” can be explained quite simply: religious intolerance.”

Rush Limbaugh’s History Of Controversial Statements (VIDEO)
Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 22:09:31 in Media
“It is easy to web search for lists of advertisers on the Limbaugh program. It’s worth a look and you might be surprised. I won’t patronizer any of them.”

Wilmington City Council Passes Resolution Urging ‘Personhood’ Rights For Sperm
Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 17:16:13 in Politics
“The “Social conservative” movement, not content with targeting just the gay community (3-8% of the population), now revives its war against women (50% of the population). They already established they could get away with discriminating against a tiny minority. It was only a question of time before they’d demonstrate their willingness to do it to anyone.”

Oklahoma Personhood Bill Ignites Feminist Movement
Commented Feb 29, 2012 at 20:35:30 in Politics
“OK, how about a bill that any man introducing a misogynist bill has to get a prostate exam first? As a male, I can guarantee the problem would go away!”

Conservatives’ Plans To Drug Test Welfare Recipients Get Momentum, Earn Support Of GOP Candidates
Commented Feb 25, 2012 at 13:40:20 in Politics
“What are they smoking? I’d rather see drug tests to run for political office.”

Maryland Gay Marriage Bill Approved By Senate Committee
Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 19:44:43 in Politics
“It’s always a great treat to see certain kinds of right-wingers queue up on the public forums to hang themselves. Having always claimed personal monopolies on that great battle to defend our individual freedom, equality and liberty, they declare to the world that if this should mean gays and lesbians get to be included, well then, they’ll OPPOSE individual freedom, equality and liberty.”

Susana Martinez, New Mexico Governor, Loses A Hairstylist Over Gay Marriage Stance
Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 15:42:40 in Politics
“Free-marketeers have always maintained business people have an absolute right to decide with whom they will and will not trade. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Hooray for Antonio!”

The Republican War on Women: Invading the Vagina in Virginia
Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 12:38:54 in Politics
“The Virginia legislature’s bill mandating vaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortion is a monstrously invasive rights violation. Many Americans formerly assumed the GOP assault on individual liberty and personal choice would probably only affect minority interests such as same-sex marriage. The Virginia travesty offers further proof that “social conservatism” will target any group of any size. Putting Christianized “Sharia” law onto the books is a dangerous threat to all of us!”

Rick Santorum Poses Risk To Republicans
Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 15:39:42 in Politics
“If by “good for America” you mean a textbook example of what can happen when fringe extremists take over a party apparatus, you have a point. But the price of that lesson is too high. The late Sen. Joseph McCarthy was the witch-hunting scourge of moderates in the early 1950’s (on different issues), but at least he never made it all the way to the Presidential Primaries. It seems inconceivable that a Santorum type could actually win, but it’s happened in other countries before. The current GOP candidate crop leaves a lot of moderate Americans high and dry.”

Rick Santorum Poses Risk To Republicans
Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 14:09:46 in Politics
“Yes, Santorum isn’t just bad news for the GOP. He’s bad news for the United States of America.”

Attention, GOP Candidates: I Have Family Values, Too
Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 19:06:28 in Gay Voices
“In today’s New York Times (2/18) there’s a bylined article by Sabrina Tavernise entitled “Young Mothers Describe Marriage’s Fading Allure.” It describes how 60% of all births to young mothers occur outside marriage in Lorain County, Ohio, a high crime area where many young men serve time as convicted felons. “A baby makes a woman grow up, but not a man,” one mother was reported to say. “I can’t imagine ever depending on a man. I don’t trust them.”

If the “Family Values” anti-gay PAC creatures really wanted to do something about protecting a traditional family model, they’d be out there in the field working to help those kids — not armchairing hate propaganda against the GLBT community, which is not and never was part of the problem.”

New Jersey Gay Marriage Bill Vetoed By Chris Christie
Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 19:45:02 in Politics
“What truly baffles me is how social conservatives think they’re going to be immune from the same processes they set in motion against others.”

New Jersey Gay Marriage Bill Vetoed By Chris Christie
Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 19:27:11 in Politics
“Maybe it’s time we put the Second Amendment up to popular ballot too. Let’s define “gun” consistent with what the Founding Fathers envisioned in the first place: muzzle-loading, unrifled barrel, flintlock ignition (no percussion caps or noncorrosive primers), capable of propelling a round ball to 600 fps or less. Let’s define the intent of “bear” and “carry” to pertain to members of the militia, proof of active duty or honorable discharge required. Proof of completion of an approved firearms safety course, a first-class medical exam, a passing score on the written examination, and a proficiency test scoring 99 out of 100 points or better at 100 yards must be completed satisfactorily every 3 years. It shall be a felony to bear a firearm without having a valid license on one’s person. Powder, of course, must be purchased at the cosmetic department at Macy’s.”

New Jersey Gay Marriage Bill Passes State Assembly Vote, Now Heads To Chris Christie
Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 13:20:04 in Politics
“You raise good points, and the law could indeed be drafted to “define the two as being equal.” As your post example illustrated, that’s not always easier done than said; the definition is a static point-in-time theoretical concept. If the artifice of tandem systems of partnership could have somehow been blessed with workable mechanisms to stay in synch over time, I myself might have favored calling it gay “civil unions.” Obviously, the political will to do so is not there yet, but the “workability” of “separate but equal” is an equal obstacle to equality. Do we trust politicians to monitor and enforce equality? Do we want to saddle the GAO with the task? Once we ask, “wait a minute, why the ‘separate’ requirement at all?” we get back to my point that it’s a contrivance.”

New Jersey Gay Marriage Bill Passes State Assembly Vote, Now Heads To Chris Christie
Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 11:38:34 in Politics
“Before my partner died of cancer in 2005, we were of the opinion we didn’t care what it was called. My experiences with CA hospitals, banks, state government offices and even utility companies demonstrated that they had no clue how the CA registered domestic partnership was to be honored in practice, let alone “equal.” Many others have had that experience. “I define the two as being equal” is an old gag about mathematicians; it doesn’t work in the real world.”

New Jersey Gay Marriage Bill Passes State Assembly Vote, Now Heads To Chris Christie
Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 00:42:38 in Politics
“The scary part is that if this keeps up, that’s exactly what could happen next. Our country has already established time and time again that major rights violations can both pass legislative muster AND be approved by a bare majority of voters — no matter what the findings of our system of courts. Now we’re just quibbling about who’ll be the next victims.”

Joseph P. Kennedy III Biography: Meet The Man Who May Run For Barney Frank’s Congressional Seat
Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 00:29:31 in Politics
“I understand completely. But off the top, I can’t think of a single Democratic President most Republicans claim to have been even able to even tolerate. Their dismissive vituperations never fail to astound. Remember, in the previous (GOP) Administration, they couldn’t even pronounce “Democratic” — it was always the “Democrat” Party, with that famous slight sneer. But not all Republicans are like that, and might resent stereotyping. :-) Many of them might be our neighbors and friends without us even knowing it.

I’ll miss Barney!”

New Jersey Gay Marriage Bill Passes State Assembly Vote, Now Heads To Chris Christie
Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 19:06:14 in Politics
“The difference is all in that little word “equal.” Every time there’s a tiny little change in, say, the tax code or adoption procedures, it gives a line item veto to legislators and bureaucrats alike, no matter how well-intentioned they may be. Even the most honest of administrators could never keep the two sets of laws in synch. That’s why “separate but equal” never worked and never stood up in the courts; as I posted in another thread, it merely defines a subclass of citizenry who are legally constrained to live under a separate set of rules.”

DHS Monitoring Of Social Media Under Scrutiny By Lawmakers
Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 18:41:11 in Politics
“Well, we could always offshore out social monitoring to the KGB. This would give a badly needed boost to Putin’s campaign to equate “domestic protest” with “terrorism,” and here in the US we could say it’s out of our hands, which it is.”

New Jersey Gay Marriage Bill Passes State Assembly Vote, Now Heads To Chris Christie
Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 18:16:58 in Politics
“You are absolutely right, but federal legislators will probably not revoke DOMA until it is clear political suicide not to do so. State-by state-victories for civil equality should set the political backdrop for that eventuality.”

New Jersey Gay Marriage Bill Passes State Assembly Vote, Now Heads To Chris Christie
Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 18:11:05 in Politics
“GOP RIGHTS LOTTERY: This just confirms what we already knew. “Social conservatives,” always aggressively unhelpful whenever it comes to the rights of others, need assurance that civil rights and equality always remain subject to a vote of popular assent.”

Rick Santorum’s Language Could Cause Trouble In White House Bid
Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 13:41:13 in Politics
“Nope, let us hope he never gets that far. Think Weimar Republic 1933.”

New Jersey Gay Marriage: State Senate Passes Bill Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage
Commented Feb 15, 2012 at 20:25:34 in Politics
“There are very good reasons you don’t get to redefine “civil union” as “equal.” As we all know, no one ever bothered to invent the “separate but equal” construct in order to protect the same rights as everybody else enjoys. In fact, it was invented to define a subclass of citizens for whom the law would ensure a different set of rules applied. A “civil union” is NOT “the same” as marriage and never can be, in either exercise or intent, even if your legislators had the moral fiber to try to make it so, which they do not. “Equal means getting the same thing, at the same time, and in the same place.” — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall”

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