It’s over. It’s complete. We won.

I am okay with the US for the first time in about 60 years. I did Gay-Lib in the early 1960s and anti-war in the late 60s. In the 70s, I tried to strike a balance between gay rights in the workplace and being a journalist at ABC and several Texas radio stations. And so forth.

The White House; Washington DC. Lit on June 26, 2015, to honor marriage equality ruling from SCOTUS.

The White House; Washington DC. Lit on June 26, 2015, to honor marriage equality ruling from SCOTUS.

Then came the most amazing two days in my lifetime. The Supreme Court of the United States handed down two opinions that changed everything. For a second time, the court said that ACA (Obamacare) is the law of the land. America has health insurance… not perfect and certainly not the “Medicare for all” that every socialist bone in my body asserts is best… but it’s healthcare. Most Americans can afford to have health insurance. That’s completely amazing to me. Some (mainly Republicans) have done everything they could think of to kill Obamacare, and they have completely failed. The Supreme Court says ACA lives. It is the law of the United States. There’s nothing ambiguous or vague in the 6-to-3 ruling.

If Republicans sweep both houses of congress and win the White House next year, ACA may have problems. It might already be too late because gobs of people now rely on ACA (rightly so).

The other thing out of the court: marriage equality. Years ago, a boss asked me why I was always a pain in the ass on LGBT employment issues. That ruling last week: that’s why. Imagine a 15 or 16 year old gay kid who’s already trying to figure out hormone spikes will no longer have anti-marriage hate laws. America has a baseline standard of behavior, as laid out by the Supreme Court. If there aren’t any nurturing adults handy, the kid can always go to the source: Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The court says…

Justice Anthony Kennedy, author of the majority opinion in

Justice Anthony Kennedy, author of the majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage equality case.

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

It is so ordered.

Obergefell v. Hodges
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority

I don’t recall any prose from the court that has so much oomph. Justice Kennedy is a wonderful wordsmith. What’s more, he laid out precedent clearly and decisively. It will be a bit difficult to misunderstand the ruling!

So now, it’s over. This phase is complete. The court stole most (but not all) of my raisons de l’angoisse. I’m in my mid-60s… too late to come up with a whole new map of reality for rebranded seditionsedition
➤ (n) an illegal action inciting resistance to lawful authority and tending to cause the disruption or overthrow of the government
and lobbying.

I will always watch for people who will try to weaken the LGBT alignment with American society. That part never ends. I will fight so we have no Weimar Republic.

But as a whole (for me, at least), it’s over. We won.

Tom Cassidy — journalist

October 19, 1987 was such a bad day on Wall Street that we call it “Black Monday.” It started in Hong Kong, where their stock market shredded 45% of its value, and it slowly followed the sun to frontiers of Wall Street. The US market went down 22.7%, the largest one day crash in the history of our stock market. By comparison, the first day of the Great Depression of 1929 showed a loss of only 11%.

Tom Cassidy (1950-1991)

Tom Cassidy (1950-1991)

Enter TOM CASSIDY of CNN. He was their business and financial anchor. On Black Monday, Cassidy stuck to facts, rejecting OMG/Chicken-Little stories. Other news outlets went bonkers, but Tom Cassidy kept CNN calm. Journalistic.

What most people don’t realize is that Tom Cassidy got news from his doctors that he was HIV positive. He was diagnosed with AIDS on Black Monday, the same day the country needed him to be calm on the air.

In fact, the disease had already progressed to AIDS before he was diagnosed. In 1987, having full-blown AIDS was a death sentence.

Tom Cassidy, hosting Pinnacle on CNN

Tom Cassidy, hosting Pinnacle on CNN

So Tom Cassidy anchored Black Monday on the very day he found out he was dying of AIDS, and he anchored coverage calmly and factually.

He died on May 26, 1991.

Everyone would say Rest in Peace, with feelings of gratitude on his coverage of a scariest day ever on Wall Street.

Not so much on CNN.


If one of my employees covered Black Monday with the class Cassidy showed, I’d be screaming his praise as loudly as I could. To CNN, it’s like Tom Cassidy never existed.

I don’t understand what was (and continues to be) CNN’s failure to acknowledge. AIDS fears? Homophobia (Cassidy died when DADT and DOMA were being formulated by so-called gay “friend” Bill Clinton. Why haven’t Anderson Cooper or Don Lemon done anything? The whole thing continues to be weird.

Rest in peace, Tom. Thank you for being a real journalist.

RIP Jim Wright

My friend Jim Wright died today. He was old (92), and I know he was tired of fighting health issues like the cancer that popped up from time to time.

He and I drifted apart slowly and quietly lately. We didn’t even exchange our Christmas letters this year.

Jim Wright was a member of Congress, absolutely a Democrat of the Yella-Dawg ilk. That said, he was always ready to schmooze. and horse trade with anybody, even GOPs, to get stuff done.

He was aware of the guy who adopted me, Mr Republican. Dad would drag me out to Ridglea Country Club for Sunday buffet. No, I am basically the opposite of a country club belle. Often as not, the club would have to lend me a sport jacket to bring me up to the dress code.

And Jim Wright would see us. The plot was set. He’d sauntersaunter
➤ (n) a careless leisurely gait
➤ (n) a leisurely walk (usually in some public place)
➤ (v) walk leisurely and with no apparent aim
over — along with the eyebrows that alw

U.S. Speaker of the House, Jim Wright of Texas

U.S. Speaker of the House, Jim Wright of Texas

ays needed to be braided — and after some preliminary greetings, he’d want to talk politics, as dad’s comfort level sunk lower and lower.

Watching the old man squirm inside the country club was more fun than you’re supposed to have on Sunday in Texas.

Jim Wright was in Congress for more than 30 years. He was also Speaker of the House… until Newt Gingrich figured out some weird ethics charges. I heard Jim beat himself up for resigning. He should have stayed and made Newt famous as the sociopathsociopath
➤ (n) someone with a sociopathic personality; a person with an antisocial personality disorder (`psychopath' was once widely used but has now been superseded by `sociopath')
he really is.

Fort Worth and the US lost a good one. Please keep Jim and Betty (wife) in your prayers.

When a riot metastasizes

Violence in Baltimore. Some are there because it’s cool or because looting gets you loot. But some are there because they can’t take the crap anymore. It’s a bad idea, but I understand it.

The people in charge shut down every discussion to work on Baltimore’s riots. Those who want changes in society aren’t getting it. Violence never works. It just doesn’t.

  • Trayvon Martin was killed because he was a black kid in a hoodie. George Zimmerman got away with it.
  • Michael Brown was killed for being black while jaywalking. Rightly or wrongly, officer Darren Wilson got away with it.
  • Eric Garner was killed in a choke hold on Staten Island. None of the NYPD officers involved will ever be charged. They got away with it.
  • Tamir Rice, age 12, was killed by police for carrying a toy gun while black. So far, nobody’s charged the police shooter, Timothy Loehmann.
  • Eric Harris was shot because Tulsa gave a gun to a guy who couldn’t tell the difference between a taser and a pistol.
  • Akai Gurley (Brooklyn)
  • John Crawford (Dayton)

I could argue that some (or most) of these guys were doing shady things when they were killed. That said, this is a brutal list. Jaywalking and carrying a toy gun are not capital offenses. If there’s some kind of excuse that makes it okay, we need to look at police training and technique.

Whether the cases on this partial list are brutality or justified, I can imagine how furious I’d be if these were all gay or transgender. I would be banging on the door of every hate-filled douche nozzle in the Texas or federal capitols.

— — — — —

I’m worried about the implication in the gay community. LGBTQ folks are tired of the insane screaming from religious nuts. What they’re doing in Texas is shameful. There are more than 20 hate bills before the Texas legislature. You have all the transgender bathroom bills. And there are a few so-called “religious freedom” bills (your religion gets no freedom if it’s MCC or Wiccan).

Politicians aren’t happy unless they’ve beaten the sanctimonioussanctimonious
➤ (s) excessively or hypocritically pious
crap out of some drag queens. At some point, said queens are going to get their fill.

I will completely understand when dykes and their bikes take to the street. If violence breaks out, I will understand because I’ve been downwind of legislative stench.

The solution is to stay on top of things. We have to keep the Austin mean-a-saurus cage in check. The problem won’t be when they go too far once too often. That will just be the tipping point. Family and friends elected these bullies. Maybe family and friends need to experience post fartum depression.

What I want is peace, and that’s a simple formula.

If you want peace, work for justice.

Pope Paul VI, speech at United Nations

Net Neutralty

The FCC issued a strong consumer-friendly ruling on the internet. ATT hates it because it’s ATT (which is Southwestern Bell). Verizon (Bell Atlantic) hates the ruling so much, it issued a press release in Morse Code. Seriously.

The pop explanation of “Net Neutrality” is that no internet provider can offer a faster internet for the provider’s buddies or for those who pay more.cartoon

This is where the popular story bogs down. The net all moves at the same speed: 299,792,458 meters per second. It’s,the speed of light. Electrons really love that tempo. You can send light through thick glass and get something slower, but that isn’t commercially viable. Verizon could make your email bounce between earth and a satellite a dozen times before sending it down an under-ocean copper cable that leaks. They have to go out of their way to keep all your pitiful electrons in a penalty box while letting the big-budget electrons truck along.

bondageBut the FCC has ruled in favor of you and me. Verzon, ATT, and the others can’t play the “speed” game. They can control capacity but not throughput.  You can go rent yourself a great big hose or stay with your measly straw, but what’s inside all moves at the same speed.

That’s today’s FCC ruling. The internet is a utility, like water and electricity. There are rules about how a company can limit your access to services of a utility.

Some years ago, I did a speech at a conference in Las Vegas. Responding to a question about how serious I thought the Net could be in the long run. I said it’s a thing, but I don’t know if it’s,going to be a thing like CB radio… or a thing like fire.

Today we got the FCC’s answer.

Texas’s Loonier-than-Thou Politician

Joe Barton is the US Rep for Arlington (home of the original Six Flags and Cowboys stadium) and some territory south of Dallas. The Christian folk there like him so much, they’ve kept him in Washington for over 30 years.

Citizens in the district don’t see him as the one who makes us look the stupidest constituents in the count Joe Barton is a fine, Christian (Methodist), anti-Obama tea party representative. They want him in Washington Rep Joe Barton (R-TX)to vote against wind energy and autism victims. Most of all they want him lining the pockets of Big Oil.

He is one of the most corrupt representatives in Congress (2011 CREW). He’s the oil consultant congressman who apologized to BP oil for their treatment after their well spewed crap into the Gulf of Mexico. He thought BP should get no blow-back over their blowout.

Barton is the anti-gay pro-family guy who’s divorced and remarried. The Bible-thumpers here don’t mind that, for some reason. Barton blocked federal money to help autism victims. The ex-oilman is totally against wind energy because all those turbines will slow the earth’s rotation. I don’t make up or embellish.

Rep Joe Barton (R-TX)

Rep Joe Barton (R-TX)

This tea party loon has just done something weird, even by Barton standards. He withdrew a bill, supporting his oil baron buddies. It would allow exports of crude. The trouble is that the automatic numbering system said his proposed law is “666.” Obviously unacceptable, so Barton pulled the proposal. Don’t worry though. Joe Barton can still funnel favors to the oil industry. He refiled his bill, and the system gave it a less-Satanic number.

Barton has your back. He is on a holy crusade to protect you from superstitious numbers. You’re welcome, America.

Texas 6th District

Texas Idiots

Heaven can’t help you if you get cross with the congressional from Texas. There was a hearing this week, and Rep. Alcee Hastings got everybyody’s panties in a wad. If you haven’t seen Louie Gomert… okay, put some cat poop on a marble floor. Then stand back at a safe distance, watching the cat try to cover it. It’s more entertainment than should be legal.

In a hearing, Hastings called Texas crazy. I’m a native, and I have no problem with that. We herd together the worst of the worst. We they seek calm enough to transport, we ship them north.

The Texas crowd didn’t like anything Hastings said. The Florida representative mentioned the famous law that is to protect us from the ravages of the dildo. They are illegal here (even thoug Amazon sells them now). Hastings thinks it’s a silly law. It ISN’T silly… it’s the stupidest law ever to be out on paper. I get embarassed at what the loons have done to my state.

The committee aring where the arguing happened was on Obamacare. The dementeddemented
➤ (s) affected with madness or insanity
Lone Star delegation was part of the House group trying to appeal Obamacare for the’zillionth time. They have found millions to have vote after vote, but they can’t find money to repair rusting bridges.

So they voted again. If at first you don’t succeed, duct tape. There’s no repealrepeal
➤ (n) the act of abrogating; an official or legal cancellation
➤ (v) cancel officially
for the law… nothing but duct tape.

Kalman Halasz

Kalman Halasz would have turned 100 years old this year (2015). He died young on this day in 1972 from pancreatic cancer. Kalman was the assistant director of the Texas Boys’ Choir when I was a member.

Kalman escaped his native Hungary during the 1956 revolt against Soviet occupation. He left Peter (his son), wife, brother, and everything he owned or knew.

Kalman Halasz (1915-1972)

Kalman Halasz (1915-1972)

As his small group of escapees were sneaking across the frontier into Austria, they were chased by an East German soldier. Kalman knew a zillion or so languages, so he tried to explain … to ask themsoldier not to shoot … only Kalman was really nervous.

“Nicht scheißen,” he screamed. He was staring down the barrel of a Sviet army rifle and didn’t notice he messed up the vowels. What he said was “don’t sh*t” instead of “nicht schießen” (“don’t shoot”). Oops. The soldier was laughing so hard, Kalman and his friend were able to cross in to Austria.

Kodaly Method

Solfège hand signs

I remember Kalman leading the choir in 4-part solfège (“doe a deer, a female deer”), using hand signals. He coordinated the parts using the position of his hand. Right hand too care of first and second sopranos. Left hand was for first and second altos. It was the Kodály Method, which made perfect sense when you know Kalman and Zoltan Kodály were friends in Hungary.

The man knew everybody in mid-20th century music. He and I bummed around Europe together in 1966. In Vienna, he spent a delightful evening in the apartment of György Ligeti, the composer. His wife served us ice cream, apologizing the it was Thursday (i.e., not Sundae).

György Ligeti (1923-2006)

György Ligeti (1923-2006)

They laughed at how Ligeti was banished from pipe organs in Europe. The composer went to record a new piece on a pipe organ in Lübeck (East Germany) that J. S. Bach famously played when he was visiting Dieterich Buxtehude in the early 1700s. So Ligeti is at the organ, only it was a kind of negative song. Weights held down **all** the keys. The music showed which keys to let up. The man was certifiably insane. Ligeti and his music blew out the organ. As it turns out organs that old weren’t designed to handle every key being pressed at the same time. “Who knew?” he said with a devilish grin.

That was in Vienna. We also visited Zsuzsanna, his girlfriend during the yeas he spent in Vienna. We all went to Prater Park, an amusement park. I thought it was bizarre to come all the way to Austria to ride a Tilt-a-Whirl. Then I saw Kalman and Zsuzsanna off in the distance. I was on a ride so they could have some alone time without the kid.

In Bayreuth (Bavaria) Kalman and I went to the,Richard Wagner festival. I think I was being punished because I don’t like opera, and Wagnerian opera is the worst. Kalman went around to the stage door, where he asked for Mr. Böhm. In a few minutes, an older guy appeared. It was Karl Böhm, the famous conductor of Wagnerian operas. They were speaking in German (which I understand but not at a 90 mile an hour gait).

The opera was Meistersinger, a 6-friggin’ hour thing. SIX hours. SIX. It’s so long that they break for SUPPER. Kalman and Böhm took me to a nearby restaurant where they got me completely blasted on Bavarian Beer (Weißbier). I was passed out for the entire second half of the opera (which was a win/win situation for me).

Kalman Halasz (1915-1972)

Kalman Halasz (1915-1972)
master organist (Budapest University),
assistant directory (Texas Boys Choir),

On choir tours, Kalman was pianist. Heaven help you if he caught you singing any note other than the prescribed note on stage. He also was the one who figured out room assignments, using a hand-drawn chart that enforced an evenly. When I caught him changing his chart in his front row bus seat, Kalman explained that he knew one kid was gay, and the chart was putting him with a really hateful prick. He got everyone into rooms with a minimum of teeth gnashing. I don’t know what other criteria he used to override the chart, but I know he quietly tried to maintain harmony on and off the stage.

Pancreatic cancer took Kalman away from us way too soon. I still miss him.

Tony Dungy: NBC’s trouble for gay kids

NBC football punditpundit
➤ (n) someone who has been admitted to membership in a scholarly field
Tony Dungy thinks Michael Sam has been a distraction. He isn’t kidding about it. Could somebody tell him that’s the same term used when Jackie Robinson became the first black player in major league baseball. Michael Sam is gay: get over it.Super Bowl XLVI

If pissing on Michael Sam’s parade were his only thing, I could live with it. Dungy is a public figure, and impressionable LGBT kids listen to his demeaning chatter on TV, but Dungy has a history.

In 2007, he helps fund California’s “prop 8” — the anti-marriage law that tried to undo existing same-sex marriages. That was hateful. Oh but he didn’t stop with his own pocketbook. Tony Dungy was a fundraiser for the anti-LGBT campaign.

Does Tony Dungy have the right to hate me because I’m gay? Sure. What he thinks about me is none of my business.

He crosses the line when he talks on public media (NBC) in a way that hurts gay kids. It’s hard enough to be a gay kid under the best of conditions. When NBC broadcasts demeaning and causticcaustic
➤ (n) any chemical substance that burns or destroys living tissue
➤ (s) harsh or corrosive in tone
➤ (s) of a substance, especially a strong acid; capable of destroying or eating away by chemical action
opinions, they should be ashamed.

NBC SportsI personally turn to a different channel when his face comes on. Imagine what happens when a family is watching, and daddy jumps in with a few f-words after Dungy has his say. What’s a 14 year old gay boy supposed to think?

NBC is broadcasting this year’s Super Bowl.

NBC needs to get their pundits to stick to football or get them off the air.

Tony Dungy: asshole of the year

Asshole of the Year

Asshole of the Year

Outsports has names Tony Dungy as the Asshole of the Year. Here’s why.

There are two main reasons Tony Dungy is Outsports’ Asshole of the Year.

The first is his very public homophobia. While it happened several years ago, Dungy spent part of his social capital in 2007 raising tens of thousands of dollars to fight against marriage equality in Indiana, saying that if you’re with God you have to be against equality for gay people. Dungy was at it again this year publicly declaring that he wouldn’t have wanted Michael Sam on his team.

That leads us to reason No. 2. Instead of just owning up to his anti-Sam homophobia, Dungy tried hiding behind the “distraction” nonsense and Oprah Winfrey’s TV show in claiming he didn’t want Sam on his team. What Dungy seems to forget is the Book of Proverbs’ enumeration of abominations, several of which Dungy has committed by not owning up to his truthful homophobia: a lying tongue… a heart that devises wicked plans… a false witness who breathes out lies… and one who sows discord among brothers.

Dungy’s lie was proven when he publicly said he would welcome Ray Rice onto his team. Wife-beater Rice would attract far more questions and media than Sam, yet Dungy would embrace him with open arms just as he did with dog-killer Michael Vick (who incidentally had a reality show following him too) when he was released from jail.

Wife-beater and dog-killer? No problem for Dungy. A man who loves other men? No way in hell!

That outward homophobia and clear disdaindisdain
➤ (n) lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike
➤ (n) a communication that indicates lack of respect by patronizing the recipient
➤ (v) look down on with disdain
➤ (v) reject with contempt
for gay people has led many to openly wonder whether Dungy’s son, who killed himself in 2005 (may he rest in peace), was gay. It’s the No. 1 question I get from people regarding Dungy. The latest round has brought that all bubbling back to the surface, even though there is no public evidence to that effect (of course, the homophobes at Breitbart call the questioning of someone’s sexual orientation an “attack”). But you can certainly understand – with Dungy’s open, public attacks on gay people – why any gay person around Dungy, family, athletes or otherwise, would feel uncomfortable around the man. His comments continue to tell young gay kids they don’t belong in this world and will go to hell after it – and that is the saddest part of all. Whether it’s his son or someone else, Christians like Dungy, who manipulate the word of God, drive kids to kill themselves.

It’s shameful that NBC continues to give this man a platform from which he can push LGBT athletes and youth deeper into the closet.

Just like most of the big playoff games he was involved with as a coach, Dungy ultimately lost the battle to discriminate against an entire class of people, as Indiana has legalized same-sex marriage and the rest of the country will have it soon.

On the flip side, until now Dungy has been successful in keeping Michael Sam out of the NFL (we’ll see if he can get Rice back in). His comments have also helped keep other gay NFL players in the closet.

People like Dungy are the worst part of sports: heralded for their “fatherly” position to some players and given a pass for creating a dynamic in sports where gay athletes are driven by fear. He needlessly gives Christians in sport a very bad name, and his designation of “father figure” in the NFL gives validity to the anti-gay beliefs of others.

When we asked our Twitter followers who they might nominate for the award, almost every single person mentioned Dungy. Yes, he is that big of an asshole to the LGBT community.

Dungy was previously nominated for the award in 2007 when it was just “Jerk of the Year.” We’ve elevated the name of the award this year, and deservedly so.

Asshole of the Year runner-up: The fact that Dungy beat out Vladimir Putin, an anti-gay dictator of a nation with 140 million people, should tell you how bad Dungy is for LGBT people in sports. Yet Putin was put in the runner-up position because LGBT athletes did participate in the Olympics and won medals, and because much of his damage is being done politically and socially, not in the sports world. Though his government’s attacks on the Open Games was particularly egregious.