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Current location: USA
Member since: Fri Nov 20, 2009, 10:22 PM
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Only In America: Michelle Obama and the Heckler


As far as I can tell, President Obama and Michelle Obama have been supportive of gay rights. Our last democratic president, Bill Clinton...affectionately known as Big Dawg...gave us Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The President went out on a limb (after a slight shove by Biden) and dragged black churches, the NAACP, and other groups right along into the battle with him causing shifts in polls dealing with gay rights issues our country has never seen. A shaky initial start, but a start non the less.

I realize things are not equal yet. It takes time. Too much time. Any delay, is too much of a delay. That's just a fact.

But, to my mind, that means...you charge the hill that the enemy is standing on...not your friends. Your friends take the hill with you. But, that isn't possible if you stab them on the way up.

That's how I feel about this Michelle Obama, heckler situation. I feel Michelle Obama has been a friend. Someone willing to help take the hill. There is a known opposition. Michelle Obama can't sign an executive order. She isn't in a position to write a bill.

But, when this heckler looked around to see who she could put in check...she didn't go to a legislator. Nope. She didn't even take it to the president. Who did she choose? Michelle Obama.

At some point, when we weren't looking, Michelle Obama became enemy number 1. Why do I assume she became enemy number 1? Because people don't heckle their friends. What would be the point?

As for the race issue, I don't have any indication that the heckler was a racist. She was simply a woman wanting to see equal rights before she died. It's one thing to tell a twenty year old to keep up the good fight, your time is coming. It's something different to say it to a 70 year old. To either, it's cold comfort and like asking someone with a knife sticking in their back to wait a minute, you'll get back to them. Which again to me, means take it to the opposition in full force, not your friends. But, that's just me.

But, I admit it, I am perplexed at the notion that Michelle Obama, according to some here on DU had no right to speak, when she wanted to speak, at an event to which she was invited to speak at.

The posts go on and on about the heckler being an American hero. Her claim to fame. She heckled a friend. According to others, Michelle Obama was just wrong in her approach. But, they can't tell us what was wrong with it...other than somehow she was disrespectful to the heckler. That's a new one for me.

I don't know anything else to boil it down to. So, I come away with this conclusion. No matter what words were coming from Michelle Obama's lips, they were unworthy, compared to what was coming from Sturz. For the moment, Michelle Obama was unimportant and any topic she was discussing was unimportant as well...unless it was Sturz's topic.

Make no mistake, it was gay rights today, a worthy cause. But, I have no confidence that another topic couldn't have easily flowed from Sturz's lips and still been more important.

For a tiny, vocal minority, the President and Michelle Obama are meant to be puppets. If they don't obediently do what they are expected to do in a timely manner, then they don't even deserve to speak. That's the point of heckling. To disrupt even the words that come out of your opponent's mouth because they're not worthy of the current platform and not even their words are worthy of the current platform. So, they drown your voice out and replace it with their own.

That's where the charge of racism enters, for those who care to hear. It's that notion of, be quiet, someone else more worthy desires to speak...even though by right (as the actual invited speaker), the floor is yours.

But, Sturz got a surprise. She tried to talk over someone used to people trying to diminish her. And, she was unprepared for the result.

Michelle Obama is no Laura Bush. Laura probably wasn't accustomed to people attempting to diminish her. So, she was caught off guard. But, if you're in a minority group....any minority group. You've had it happen to you. And, one day you just get fed up. I think that's what happened. It was her day. I think Michelle Obama just got fed up. You don't have to be first lady to have it happen. Michelle Obama's just gave a lesson to all of us.

It's time to get fed up. But, when you do, have the audacity to target the opposition, not your friends.

Sorry for the long rant.

Chelsea Clinton to lead NYU faith program

Chelsea Clinton to lead NYU faith program

5/21/13 10:52 AM EDT

Chelsea Clinton is earning her living on a prayer.

The former first daughter is now co-founder and co-chairwoman of New York University’s Of Many Institute, which works to promotes multifaith education with a new generation of cultural and spiritual leaders, The New York Daily News reported on Tuesday.

Clinton has been an NYC assistant vice provost since 2010 and she did not formerly announce her role with the Institute, which an NYU official told The Daily News is part of its Center for Spiritual Life. As The Daily News noted, Clinton told Time Magazine in September that she is interested in studying religions – partly because her husband, banker Marc Mezvinsky, is Jewish.


Obama DOJ formally accuses journalist in leak case of committing crimes


Glenn Greenwald
guardian.co.uk, Monday 20 May 2013 08.16 EDT

It is now well known that the Obama justice department has prosecuted more government leakers under the 1917 Espionage Act than all prior administrations combined - in fact, double the number of all such prior prosecutions. But as last week's controversy over the DOJ's pursuit of the phone records of AP reporters illustrated, this obsessive fixation in defense of secrecy also targets, and severely damages, journalists specifically and the newsgathering process in general.

New revelations emerged yesterday in the Washington Post that are perhaps the most extreme yet when it comes to the DOJ's attacks on press freedoms. It involves the prosecution of State Department adviser Stephen Kim, a naturalized citizen from South Korea who was indicted in 2009 for allegedly telling Fox News' chief Washington correspondent, James Rosen, that US intelligence believed North Korea would respond to additional UN sanctions with more nuclear tests - something Rosen then reported. Kim did not obtain unauthorized access to classified information, nor steal documents, nor sell secrets, nor pass them to an enemy of the US. Instead, the DOJ alleges that he merely communicated this innocuous information to a journalist - something done every day in Washington - and, for that, this arms expert and long-time government employee faces more than a decade in prison for "espionage".


Under US law, it is not illegal to publish classified information. That fact, along with the First Amendment's guarantee of press freedoms, is what has prevented the US government from ever prosecuting journalists for reporting on what the US government does in secret. This newfound theory of the Obama DOJ - that a journalist can be guilty of crimes for "soliciting" the disclosure of classified information - is a means for circumventing those safeguards and criminalizing the act of investigative journalism itself. These latest revelations show that this is not just a theory but one put into practice, as the Obama DOJ submitted court documents accusing a journalist of committing crimes by doing this.

That same "solicitation" theory, as the New York Times reported back in 2011, is the one the Obama DOJ has been using to justify its ongoing criminal investigation of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange: that because Assange solicited or encouraged Manning to leak classified information, the US government can "charge [Assange] as a conspirator in the leak, not just as a passive recipient of the documents who then published them."

Okay...I was clearly slow in my understanding. Two points...

1) This is why everyone was so upset about Assange.(Who still strikes me as creepy.) I assumed IT WAS illegal to publish classified information. Apparently it is not. I'm not sure how it would not be...but, okay.

2) If all the Kim guy did was talk with a reporter...not steal classified information, not sell secrets, etc. He simply spoke with an reporter about his understanding of what was going on...that's pretty big, especially if he may get 10 years for it. That is tough.

I don't know anyone in the White House or anywhere else. But, if a discussion that DOES NOT include classified information can get you thrown in jail for 10 years, I would be nervous if I was a blogger with connections. That luncheon with an old friend could be life changing if he talks shop.

Students plan Georgia high school’s first-ever integrated prom

Wilcox County High School in Rochelle, GA became integrated only 30 years ago – but despite desegregation in the classroom, the school has continued to host separate proms for students of different races.

The high school’s annual sponsored prom ended the same year the school accepted integration, but parents continued to fund separate segregated proms up until today.

Now, a group of high school seniors at the middle Georgia school are hoping to end the current practice by organizing the school’s first-ever integrated prom.


In Mississippi, the Mysterious Murder of a Gay, Black Politician

It’s tempting to think Marco McMillian was killed because of his race, his sexuality, or because he was running for mayor. The truth is more elusive.

This article appeared in print as Crossroad Blues
By Ben Terris


CLARKSDALE, Miss.—"The devil is running rampantly,” pastor Jimmy Glasper thunders. “Seeking who he may devour.”

Glasper is telling the New Jerusalem Baptist church that we live in devastating times. The congregants shout affirmations. They have recent proof.

Marco McMillian had belonged to the church, and this was the first Sunday service after police found his body in late February. The 33-year-old political consultant, who was both black and gay, had spent most of his adult life building a promising career in Washington, D.C., and Memphis, Tenn. Recently, he did what few people who leave here ever do by choice: He came back. And he decided to run for mayor.

“He moved away and had practically lived all over the world,” Glasper told me before the service. “He said God spoke to his spirit and said he should come back and be a help to his people. To go back home and help his own people climb out of poverty.”

Mystery drone near JFK airport: FBI seeks public's help in investigation

Mystery drone near JFK airport: FBI seeks public's help in investigation (+video)
A commercial pilot reported seeing a drone loitering near his aircraft as he was preparing to land on Monday. The FAA has tried to go to great lengths to make sure drones do not collide with piloted aircraft.

By Anna Mulrine, Staff writer / March 5, 2013

The news that a commercial pilot has reported seeing a drone loitering near his aircraft as he was preparing to land at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Monday raises some intriguing questions as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are poised to become increasingly common in America’s skies.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has confirmed that it has launched an investigation of the incident, in which the Alitalia pilot reported that “he saw a small, unmanned or remote-controlled aircraft while on final approach to Runway 31 Right at John F. Kennedy International Airport at about 1:15 pm,” according to an agency statement.

“The pilot did not take evasive action. The flight landed safely,” the FAA said.

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