Monday, August 30, 2010

Why is the Tea Party against gay marriage?

Photo at left from Strollerderby.

Why does the Tea Party Movement, those self-styled Champions of Freedom, oppose the freedom of two people of whatever gender getting married?

Why should the government dictate who gets married? Isn't this against the whole Tea Party idea of limited government?

Actually, it seems the Tea Party is confused. They want limited government, except when women and gays are involved. (i.e. abortion and gay marriage) They want the government to control the womb and the bedroom.

So, the "limited government" mantra is an outright lie. They actually want to expand government by making church law into secular law, as in the gay marriage example. [1]

At base, gay marriage (as some gay radicals like to tell us) is a fundamentally conservative desire; a wholesome, domestic desire to conform and assimilate. A desire to take one's place in the suburbs alongside the BBQ grill, white picket fence and SUV, with the regulation two kids and a dog. (Other radicals, while somewhat acknowledging the point, regard "assimilation" as a non-issue.) Isn't a "tamed" gay community a more non-threatening one, as far as the suburbanite Republicans are concerned? (And if not, why not?)

Glenn Greenwald caught Charles Krauthammer in a huge Tea-Partier fib in a recent column, in which he claimed that the majority of the USA is against gay marriage.

No, that isn't true, and Glenn has the stats to prove it:

A new CNN poll has found that most Americans think gays and lesbians should have a constitutional right to get married. . . . As polling-statistics blogger Nate Silver points out, the margin of error [as well as the poll's status as the first to find majority approval] means we can't assume that a majority of Americans support gay marriage, but it is "no longer safe to say that opposition to same-sex marriage is the majority position.
And even among Krauthammer's own GOP droogs (I know, he claims he is "Independent"--and does anybody really believe that?), the issue is rather volatile, with younger Republicans breaking ranks in record numbers (according to the Washington Post):
A growing number of Republicans are breaking with the party's traditional stance to publicly state their support for same-sex marriage, a shift strategists say stems as much from demographics as from the renewed focus on economics and the "tea party" movement.

A solid majority of adults younger than 30 - about six in 10 - support the right of gay and lesbian couples to legally wed, according to a Washington Post poll in February.
And hey, ain't simply the youngsters! Check it out:
A number of prominent Republicans have been more outspoken, stating that they support same-sex marriage rights. They include Meghan McCain, daughter of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.); "The View" commentator Elizabeth Hasselbeck; former first lady Laura Bush and former vice president Dick Cheney.

Ted Olson, solicitor general under Bush, was part of the legal team that successfully challenged Proposition 8, California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. And this week, former Republican operative Ken Mehlman disclosed that he is gay and that he will be raising money to support Olson's effort.

Also at play is the rise of the libertarian-leaning tea party movement. Many of the movement's leaders have said they oppose government intervention on marriage issues, while others say their concerns about taxation and the size of government supercede concerns over social issues.[2]
(I think the smarter Republicans also want some of that gay Hollywood money, whatcha think?)

This is a wedge issue, and we need to hit it as hard as we can: Are you in favor of equal rights for everyone? Then, you are in favor of gay marriage, period. If you oppose it, you discriminate. The End. No discussion. Dress it up however you want, but that is the bottom line.

And, dear Tea Partiers, when you say these hypocritical things, we will slice and dice you: You are a bigot and a discriminator. Period. Whatever else you say will be viewed in this light, as a hateful bigot not to be trusted.

Either get with the Ted Olsons and honor the legacy of the Republican Party, Abe Lincoln, et. al. --or get out of the way and declare yourselves a THIRD PARTY.

And I am brave enough to belong to a Third Party, so how about you be brave enough to break away, too?

At every juncture, at every opportunity, we must call them bigoted haters. I mean, on this issue, they have proven this is exactly what they are.


[1] As the secularists never tire of reminding us: We could also limit government by taxing the churches and keeping religion (like, any religious opposition to abortion and gay marriage) OUT of government in all respects. Think of the money generated by taxing churches and church property, including any schools openly generating profits(yes, Notre Dame, I'm lookin at you.) (NOTE: I would NOT approve of taxing day-care centers, thrift stores, hospices, soup kitchens, refugee resettlement services, or other bona fide charitable operations under the church umbrella. This would force the rich people looking for tax deductions to give directly to these organizations, not to the endless CAPITAL CAMPAIGN or BUILDING FUND, to build even bigger, better, prettier churches.)

[2] Proud of McCain, Hasselbeck, etc. Let's see some more ideological defections from gutsy, popular Republicans!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Odds and Sods: They don't call it lunacy for nothing!

Due to the strangeness surrounding me, I knew it was a full moon, way before I saw it. Sometimes, you just know.


And the USA careens onward, listing evermore to the right, approaching the fever pitch of November elections. If Obama is re-elected, I expect a partial suspension of government by newly-elected Tea Partiers. Newt Gingrich successfully pulled this nasty stunt in 1995 and you can expect a reprise.

What?--you say, alarmed, they can't do that! Daisy laughs ruefully. THEY can do any damn thing they want to. And the way things are presently going, I am girding my loins and preparing for the worst. (I just hope my generally-congenial personality means *I* am not locked up.)

Yesterday, once again, nearly rear-ended due to the bumper stickers. The guy who did it had an MIA bumper sticker... yes, it's a veritable WAR OF THE BUMPER STICKERS. But that's why I tend to worry about the arrival of fascism... sure looks that way to me.

Several of the guys I work with counseled me to buy a gun. Uh-huh, and I'm sure the MIA guy would also have one, and that is a good way for both of us to end up dead. (Then again, I might end up dead when one of them pushes my little car into oncoming traffic.)

Despite my resolve, I might have to scrub off the bumper stickers. Doncha love how these patriots only want constitutional rights (such as FREE SPEECH) for THEMSELVES and not for the rest of us?

Trying hard not to hate. Damn, that sounds so 70s, but I am really trying not to, and fiercely meditating on impermanence.


Although African-American women get more abortions than white women, abortion is still regarded as a "white women's issue"--why?

This salient question is what started Faith Pennick on the road to making her documentary SILENT CHOICES, about the silence of black women on the subject of abortion, even (especially?) their own... and the many reasons for this:

According to a 2009 report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, nearly eight in 10 African Americans claim that religion is very important in their lives, compared with just over half of all U.S. adults. And while black churches have historically served as beacons of political activism in this country, most of them have remained mute on the issue of abortion. “Black churches are very left as far as their political views on certain issues,” Pennick notes, “but when it comes to something like abortion, there’s this weird sort of break, like a split personality.”

One of the most pervasive stereotypes attached to this issue, Pennick says, is the image of the black woman as sexually promiscuous. “If we talk about abortion,” says Pennick, “it might make people think we’re freaks who just love sex. Not that there’s anything wrong with loving sex, but we’re giving the racists ammunition to say, ‘See, look at those sluts.’ “

To illustrate how this stereotype continues to thrive in contemporary society, Pennick points to the discovery in 2008 that Bristol Palin—the 17-year-old, unwed daughter of the GOP’s vice-presidential candidate—was pregnant. “Somehow, for conservative whites, it reinforced their traditional family values because she kept the baby and got engaged,” Pennick says. “But if that had been Sasha or Malia Obama, if they had been 16 or 17 and had gotten pregnant, oh my, every conservative in this country would have been saying, ‘[The Obamas] have no family values, they’re horrible parents.’“

Excerpt from SILENT CHOICES. (caution, may trigger, etc)

Interesting that my mother's (illegal) abortion was also "a shot"--but she wasn't hit in the stomach. As a result of the shot, my mother slept for three days during which she bled so profusely, my grandmother thought she was dying.

After that, the pregnancy was gone, but I am convinced the hormonal-overdose might have been a precursor to the breast cancer she developed later.

It was her family doctor; he told her he did it all the time, but you had to "catch it early"...


RADISHES AND RICOTTA (unabashedly stolen from REAL SIMPLE):
1 cup fresh ricotta in small bowl
Drizzle with 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Sprinkle w/1/8 to 1/4 tsp each, kosher salt and plain black pepper
Serve with two bunches of trimmed radishes.
Excellent source of magnesium, potassium, Vitamin B6, and alla that good stuff! YUM!


Botox is bad, which of course, you already know. But not only because you are injecting botulism toxin into your body (((screams for emphasis))) but because of the results. Facial expressions are not simply facial expressions.

The University of Wisconsin is on the case:
[Researcher David] Havas was studying people after a pinpoint treatment to paralyze a single pair of "corrugator" muscles, which cause brow-wrinkling frowns.

To test how blocking a frown might affect comprehension of language related to emotions, Havas asked the patients to read written statements, before and then two weeks after the Botox treatment. The statements were angry ("The pushy telemarketer won't let you return to your dinner"), sad ("You open your e-mail in-box on your birthday to find no new e-mails") or happy ("The water park is refreshing on the hot summer day.").

Havas gauged the ability to understand these sentences according to how quickly the subject pressed a button to indicate they had finished reading it. "We periodically checked that the readers were understanding the sentences, not just pressing the button," says Havas.

The results showed no change in the time needed to understand the happy sentences. But after Botox treatment, the subjects took more time to read the angry and sad sentences. Although the time difference was small, it was significant, he adds. Moreover, the changes in reading time couldn't be attributed to changes in participants' mood.
In sales work, I often gauge customer satisfaction by facial expression, and have long noticed that the Botoxed crowd is unable to let you know whether they like something or not. They may even WANT to let you know, but have rendered themselves incapable of doing so. I find it disorienting, and I tend to go emotionless in response. (Thus, I foresee a future in which all interactions between older women will be reduced to Stepford Wife/android-conversations.)

Uppity women are now controlled with pharmaceutical drugs and with the law; through advertising and through our reproductive capacities, and now, they can control our emotions, as I wrote three years ago. Women appearing unhappy or pissed off will probably be outlawed when the Tea Party takeover is complete, and the Botox injections will be mandatory.

Michele Bachmann's doctor will be rich, rich, rich! (Okay, I know, that was nasty.)


I used to read Adrienne von Speyr, when I was in my hard-core, pseudo-Opus Dei period. And I admit, I still like her! If anyone needs some female-authored (and surprisingly woman-centered) Catholic mysticism, check her out.

She once wrote: Anyone who knows the fullness of the light should not live in the twilight for the sake of thrift.

And I've always tried to live by that.


Closing with some random tunes I posted on Facebook, and some I've just been listening to in my car... starting with my favorite local band! :)

I'm a Country Man - Mac Arnold and Plate Full O Blues


All I've got to do - The Beatles


Easy To Be Hard - Three Dog Night


This is special for Mr Daisy! (kisses)

Peggy-O - New Riders of the Purple Sage


Big finish! Whenever I hear this song, I always wonder where all the Quaaludes went, LOL. In Ohio, we called em Sopors, while in the UK (and sometimes on the East Coast), the term was Mandrax. This meant: If you hitchhiked or otherwise traveled a lot, you might not know what you were being offered as you left one region for another, so it was important to be informed!

Ah, pharmaceutical nostalgia for all the former lude-heads in my readership! (goes with the whole FULL MOON motif)

Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll - Blue Oyster Cult

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Kombucha withdrawal

For godsake, will somebody tell me what is going on with the KOMBUCHA?!? Are they trying to KILL US or WHAT?!

You non-Kombucha-drinkers are probably wondering what I am fussing about. Well, the #1 maker of commercial Kombucha in the USA, Synergy, is AWOL. Not exactly a recall, but no other shipments are currently forthcoming. The shelves in every city are empty, and I know someone who actually drove to Charlotte to get some. (Yes, she was kind enough to share!) The Kombucha junkies of America are jonesing; we are all suffering from major Theanine withdrawal. (Most of us drank it every day.)

Apparently, the actual fermentation in Synergy could be out of sync with the trace amounts of alcohol promised on the label (this explains plenty!)... I guess some people were complaining, or maybe somebody somewhere actually got drunk on it? (I found the amount comparable to mouthwash, with very little variation.)

And now, as a result, there is NO Synergy! :(

Pathetic Kombucha junkies prowl the streets, ransacking every possibly-healthy store in the land, settling for cheaper impersonations and attempting to make their own (which I am told is fairly easy to do, if you have adequate space, which I don't). It's a sorry state of affairs. Simply put, all Kombucha is not the same, and Synergy is the best there is.

Synergy-guru GT Dave has posted this on the company website:


In order to improve product quality, label integrity and to comply with the highest standards, we at GT's Synergy Kombucha have temporarily removed our products from store shelves. Excellence is our motto, and we remain committed to bringing you the freshest, purest, and most potent Kombucha available. We miss you already. Watch for us to return SOON. For more updates, please visit us on Facebook.

-GT Dave
(((screams))) We are dying out here, Dave! Please hurry and tweak the formula, or whatever it is you've been doing for the past month.

The Facebook page doesn't have much more to say, except that they are promising a deadline of LATE AUGUST.

Um, this IS late August, and I want my Kombucha, Dave!

Kombucha-brethren, stay strong! We will prevail!


Other random stuff:

:: I used up all my vacation time going to Texas, so I didn't go to Medicines from the Earth, the yearly herbalist conference I wrote about a couple of years ago. Ditto, the Southeast Women's Herbal Conference, but linking here in case anyone else wants to sign up!

:: If you can't find any Kombucha to sustain you, try to locate some 'Coconut Milk Beverage' by So Delicious. This isn't plain, raw coconut milk; it has been tinkered with to make it palatable... my new favorite thing!

:: Check out wonderful GREEN PATRIOT RADIO!

:: What is your city's "Sun-IQ"?

:: Who gets upset when people won't friend you? Who doesn't care? And who thinks Facebook is the Devil, besides my cousin?

If you wanna friend me on Facebook and make me look evermore popular, I'm ready! (PS: let me know you are from the blog!)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A long way to go and a short time to get there

Stained glass is from St Mary's Catholic Church in Fredericksburg, Texas.

As always, I meant to blog about the Feast of the Assumption yesterday, but it seems to be a DEAD AIR tradition that I miss the day, so here I am once again, a day late.

Driving down Woodruff Road this morning, I got a new round of nasty honked-horns, merely because I took a few extra seconds to turn left. I am WELL AWARE of the reason for this, since it never used to happen. And you know what? Even if I *am* personally pissed off at our president, I'll be goddamned if I let some redneck [1] bullies force me into taking my ANOTHER MAMA FOR OBAMA bumper sticker off my car. I recently added a Lone Star flag sticker, which I hope makes them think I'm packing (since everybody in Texas is)... MAYBE I'll get some fucking peace.

This has been making me more and more angry.

It has happened maybe a dozen times now. I don't know when, but at some point, I am gonna lose my shit and we will have a full-fledged road-rage incident on our hands. Your mild-mannered, humble narrator will morph into an insane Irish yankee bitch, right before their surprised eyes; I'll leap madly out of my tiny, plucky Saturn and get all up in their face. Then, the Obama-haters (who probably *are* packing) will shoot me and it will all be on Court TV.[2] The lawyers will produce my bumper stickers and blog as evidence of dangerous radical activity, and (this being the Palmetto State!) the accused will have all charges dismissed immediately (and will possibly even be canonized by Nikki Haley!)... In fact, the defendants will probably be offered a reality-TV show: Death to the libs! which they drive randomly about the land, shooting people with the wrong (liberal) bumper stickers. It will be a BIG HIT.

I probably exaggerate. Probably. Maybe.


While driving, I was listening to classic country on WOLT-FM. And it struck me that the hopped-up young turks honking derisively at me are probably listening to evil, unAmerican, urban hip-hop, and wouldn't know good redneck music if it bit them in the ass. But isn't it interesting that these upwardly-mobile young people borrow the styles, cars, attitude, entertainments and music of the urban liberal classes, yet retain such backward politics? What's up with that? (More about this in an upcoming post I am working on, about the tea party and gay marriage.)

And right before the redneck honking commenced, I was listening to Jim Reeves, dubbed Gentleman Jim for whatever reason, whom my mother never liked. She didn't think "crooning" belonged in country music. Me neither, but when I hear his records now, I feel as old as God (in a good way) and can't turn them off. It's a particular type of music that has totally passed on, like Tin Pan Alley, British Invasion, Big Band... (sigh)

And this brings me to the end of my eventful journey today! I was going to... ugh... the doctor.


Mandatory yearly TMI segment, with gory medical details.

It's been awhile since we discussed gruesome medical procedures here at DEAD AIR. (Probably because I haven't been to the dentist since my horrific gum surgery.) Alas, just like our cars, bodily MAINTENANCE is often required, and today (TMI, turn back now) I had a sebaceous cyst removed by an earnest, young, bright-eyed dermatologist who duly outlined my "options" in cyst removal.

I wanted to tell him, dude, back in the day, doctors didn't bother to tell us squat, and just started to work. (And if you asked questions, they might even tell you to shut up until they were done.) Not these days... they have gotten the memo, and the bright-eyed young physicians want you to know things. They tell you all about your cysts. When I asked to look at it, he showed it to me. It looked like a large kernel of corn (exact shape of one!), but all bloody red. (It looked to have it's own blood supply, which is pretty Cronenbergian.) The procedure was called a PUNCH BIOPSY... you know, like a HOLE PUNCH on your job? Saints preserve us.

Do I really need to tell you WHERE this awful thing was located on my body? Yes, the worst place. Buried in cellulite, I am surprised he could find it at all. Lucky for me, it was all swelled up and BIG, so it probably called right out to him: HERE I AM, DOC! And he punched a hole, right in my ass.

Thinking idly about this, whilst the good doctor worked on my derriere, I thought of the movie line, "The Bailey family's been a boil on my neck long enough!"--growled out by the immortal Lionel Barrymore in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Barrymore delivers the line perfectly, in his fabulous rumbling baritone, but I've often thought it could have been much improved if the word was ASS... The Bailey family's been a boil on my ass long enough!--but that was 1946, and you weren't allowed to jazz up a script in such a fashion. [3] But I would loved to have heard old Lionel snarl out that line instead.

And so, here I am, waiting for the butt-novacaine to wear off, at which time I likely WON'T be sitting on a hard chair. ;) I bought a Mocha Frappuccino to cheer me up while I wait!

Trying to finish a number of posts in the meantime. The great thing about finally having low blog stats again? I can write anything I want and nobody is reading... and I can add some classic country too!

Enjoy, you crazy kidz!



[1] As a redneck, I can use this word, but you can't.

[2] I know, I know, we are supposed to call it truTV now, but that sounds dorky and stupid, and I hereby refuse.

I always wonder who got paid (and how much?) to come up with something as thoroughly dopey as "truTV"? (Which tells you exactly nothing about the court system or what type of legal programming the network specializes in!)

I hope the people at (the former) Court TV, understand that they was had.

[3] I often think about old movies that bore such language restrictions, when the situation and characters cry out for some limited but pointed cussing. For instance, Jeffrey Hunter and John Wayne should have cussed each other out a bunch of times in THE SEARCHERS, but of course, that was 54 years ago and simply not done.

I find it fascinating that a profusion of nasty words like "half-breed" and other racial insults *were* allowable, while simply calling someone a self-absorbed asshole was not.


You younguns will recognize this song as the inspiration for the amusing HBO show, Eastbound and Down, but older folks still associate it with the 70s movie, Smokey and the Bandit. (And it's where we get today's blog post title.)

Eastbound and Down - Jerry Reed


I grew up with this song, since every country and western band, including my mother's, was required to learn it. Truck-drivers considered it THEIRS and requested it every night. I love how it illustrates a whole mythology/culture around truck-driving.

Recorded back in 1963, you'd never hear "I'm taking little white pills and my eyes are open wide" in a country song ever again...

Six Days on the Road - Dave Dudley


She's Got You - Patsy Cline


Before I'm Over You - Loretta Lynn


You MUST HEAR Loretta belt out "Mississippi MAAAAAAN" in this song. Legendarily-amazing pipes!

Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man - Loretta Lynn And Conway Twitty


Warren Beatty is from Virginia, and can be credited with helping to take bluegrass mainstream, using this traditional bluegrass song as the recurring theme in his movie, BONNIE AND CLYDE.

Foggy Mountain Breakdown - Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs w/the Foggy Mountain Boys

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Borders by Sharon Olds

My mother died in July of 2006, but I could not get back up to Ohio until the second week of August, near the Feast of the Assumption (which is tomorrow, the 15th).

And on that day, I scattered her ashes into the Tuscarawas River, in Massillon, Ohio, a few scant feet from where my stepfather (her beloved) had been employed during our 3-year residence there. It was in this location, she said, that she had been the happiest in her lifetime. It was in this location that she was markedly different; she was finally in a country-and-western band that respected her and valued her input. She lived with the man she loved and during the days, briefly attempted the fantasy-sitcom stay-at-home mom role, so valued by the middle-class. She made curtains, she drew sketches in pencil, she put bouquets of flowers on the table. She practiced endlessly, leaving the identifiable bass-lines of various 60s pop-songs in my head forever. She smiled at me.

She was herself there, more than she was anywhere else... before or after.

In the tumultuous years that followed, I often thought of my "Massillon mama"--and wanted her back.

So, I returned her there.


The Borders

To say that she came into me,
from another world, is not true.
Nothing comes into the universe
and nothing leaves it.
My mother—I mean my daughter did not
enter me. She began to exist
inside me—she appeared within me.
And my mother did not enter me.
When she lay down, to pray, on me,
she was always ferociously courteous,
fastidious with Puritan fastidiousness,
but the barrier of my skin failed, the barrier of my
body fell, the barrier of my spirit.
She aroused and magnetized my skin, I wanted
ardently to please her, I would say to her
what she wanted to hear, as if I were hers.
I served her willingly, and then
became very much like her, fiercely
out for myself.
When my daughter was in me, I felt I had
a soul in me. But it was born with her.
But when she cried, one night, such pure crying,
I said I will take care of you, I will
put you first. I will not ever
have a daughter the way she had me,
I will not ever swim in you
the way my mother swam in me and I
felt myself swum in. I will never know anyone
again the way I knew my mother,
the gates of the human fallen.

--Sharon Olds

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It just gets worse around here!

Our (always spectacularly-attired) Governor-in-Waiting is intending to give the state away to the corporations.

Of course, most of us already knew that, but she's just made it more or less official:

Republican Haley Unveils Jobs Plan
Gubernatorial Candidate Wants To Eliminate Corporate Income Tax
UPDATED: 1:47 pm EDT August 11, 2010

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley said she wants to eliminate corporate income taxes to boost jobs.

The GOP candidate began a tour of businesses Wednesday with a visit to a marketing and printing firm in Columbia.

Haley insists the way to help businesses hire employees and bring down the jobless rate is to cut red tape and business taxes.

In June, the state's unemployment rate was 10.7 percent.

Earlier this year, the state House passed a bill to eliminate corporate income taxes over 10 years. But the Senate removed that provision, saying the economy was too uncertain to further reduce state tax collections.

The state's 5 percent corporate tax rate is the third largest source of state revenue behind sales and individual income taxes.

Haley faces Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen in the November election.


I guess our streetlights and public schools will soon be history, too.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

So big, we thought it was a bat...

...but no, it was only a giant moth! I knew if I didn't take a picture of him, nobody would believe me.

He is a giant silk moth; Antheraea polyphemus is his name, and the wing span was easily 7 inches. (He is a he since he has the bushy antennae.) Although I have never seen one before, they are common in the Midwest.

Snooping around, I find plenty of symbolism for large black and white moths, but precious few listings for brown ones. I am choosing to see him as a good omen!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lindsey Graham caves to the tea partiers on immigration

As I wrote here, back in the spring of this year, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham was outed as gay by the tea-partiers for what they regarded as his liberalism on the subject of immigration. Several prominent conservatives have criticized him for this political position; Rush Limbaugh has been calling him Grahamnesty, etc.

Well, looks like he finally made his choice. I guess it's getting ugly, and he wants them off his back.

Graham has basically reversed himself. He is now out-flanking several other conservatives on the right, stating that the children of undocumented immigrants in the USA, should be made "illegal" also.

This is a pretty radical-right position. I am disappointed.

Graham exploring options for citizenship
By Clark Brooks
Greenville News
Posted: Sunday, Aug. 01, 2010

GREENVILLE, S.C. - With a mess as big as immigration, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham will sometimes take a blank sheet of paper and begin from scratch.

“We’re starting a new country here,” he said. “We’re looking at old problems completely anew. What changes would you make?”

Graham, a Republican from Seneca, has mentally penciled in birthright citizenship. It made perfect sense when the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868, but now it’s contributing mightily to the nation’s immigration problem, he said.

“The purpose of the 14th Amendment in this area was to take citizenship determinations away from the states,” he said. “The fear was that the Southern states after the Civil War would deny citizenship to freed slaves so the constitutional amendment basically nationalized how you become a citizen.”

But today, it’s being used in ways that cheapen citizenship and reward unlawful behavior, Graham said.

Challenges to the 14th Amendment aren’t rare. They include the proposed Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009, co-sponsored by Republican Rep. Dan Lungren of California, which seeks to deny citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants.

When Graham said last week in an interview on Fox News that he might introduce an amendment to address birthright citizenship, it brought a barrage of criticism from supporters and detractors alike who interpreted it as a reversal of his stated positions on immigration reform.

Graham said that anything he might propose regarding birthright citizenship would be applied in the future as part of a fix for a huge immigration problem. Regardless of what other changes are made, he said, as long as thousands of people are still coming to America to have babies, the immigration system is broken.

“All I can tell you is that emotional arguments and criticism don’t go too far with me,” he said. “So just tell me where I’m wrong intellectually. I mean, most Americans believe that rewarding citizenship the way we’re doing it makes no sense.”

Graham is exploring options. If birthright citizenship cannot be changed with legislation, he said, he might introduce a constitutional amendment.

But he said nothing about his position on immigration has changed. He still wants to first secure the borders and then take on the tough issues along the path to reform, he said, beginning with how to deal with the 12 million illegal immigrants in the country now and make sure they aren’t replaced by another 12 million in 20 years.

U.S. authorities aren’t going to jail or deport 12 million people, he said, and there is a practical approach to that part of the problem.

“I’m willing to get them right with the law, let them stay here on our terms, learn English, get a job, pay a fine and if you want to be a citizen, get in the back of the line and apply lawfully,” Graham said.

Then, employment laws must be changed, he said, because most illegal immigrants enter the country to work.

If they are here legally, contributing to the country, their children should be U.S. citizens, Graham said. What he wants to prevent is wealthy people crossing the oceans on tourist visas for birthright citizenship, and others with the same goal entering by land.
Do you think this policy-reversal has anything to do with being gay-baited by the tea party?


This whole situation is Exhibit A for why the closet is bad. The closet has POWER OVER PEOPLE, while coming out of the closet means that power is therefore neutralized and ineffective.

Graham has given the tea-partiers the power, and by giving into them, makes them all the more powerful.