Tag Archives: Joe Salmonese

An open letter to Joe Solmonese

Joe Solmonese — here he is rubbing shoulders with pseudo-progressive Billary Clinton (the Clintons did little to nothing for gay men and lesbians but they sure have liked their money!):

— is the president of the Human Rights Campaign, probably the nation’s most powerful gay and lesbian rights lobbying group.

From what I can tell, Joe really likes himself.

Well, probably not, not really, not when you really examine it. I mean, how can you sell out your people for personal gain like he does and really like yourself?

But he “likes” himself like so many pretty and rich white gay men “like” themselves, I mean.

Dear Joe (may I call you Joe?):

I have given the Human Rights Campaign a considerable amount of money, probably especially after Proposition Hate passed here in California in November. Not only am I a member of the HRC — well, I think that I’m still a member in good standing, since I still get the quarterly HRC publication Equality in the mail– but I’ve purchased a lot of stuff from the HRC website’s shop, and I do believe that I’ve made at least a few one-time online contributions to the HRC as well.

But Joe, I’m concerned.

Looking at the fall 2009 issue of Equality, I see some things that I find disturbing.

I see all of these full-page ads for corporations. There is, on page 6, a full-page ad for American Airlines. Does American Airlines pay its pilots diddly squat, like Michael Moore exposed in his latest work, “Capitalism: A Love Story”?

On page 8 of Equality is a full-page ad for Chevron. Chevron. Didn’t Condoleezza “You Know She’s Lying When Her Lips Are Moving” Rice go directly from Chevron to the BushCheneyCorp?

I mean, Chevron, Joe? Because we all know that global warming is bullshit! Condi says so!

I don’t know much about Wall Street, Joe, being quite middle class (if, um, that), but on page 10 is a full-page ad for Deloitte, on page 14 is a full-page ad for Ernst & Young, and on page 15 is a full-page ad for Citigroup. Aren’t these all players on Wall Street, and wasn’t at least one of these Wall Street players featured in “Capitalism: A Love Story” as one of the recipients of the bullshit $700 billion taxpayer bailout of Wall Street? (Wasn’t it Citigroup that Moore was wrapping crime-scene tape around in “Capitalism”?)

Wait, there’s more. On page 18 is a full-page ad for Prudential.

Oh, and Chevron won’t be outdone, because on page 22 is a full-page ad for Shell Oil.

But hey, escape from all of this depressing talk about corporate responsibility and check out “the new Luxor” in Las Vegas, which has a full-page ad on page 24 (and features an apparent lesbian apparently using another apparent lesbian for her money — sweet!).  

Page 31 of the current issue of Equality advises us readers to “SUPPORT [the HRC’s] NATIONAL CORPORATE SPONSORS” and lists such corporate sponsors as American Airlines, Citigroup, Bank of America, Chevron, Harrah’s Entertainment, Nike, Shell, Chase and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Sure, there are some corporate sponsors of HRC that don’t strike me as too bad and some I haven’t even heard of, such as Google and Dell and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams (is this a corporation or are these two rich gay men who are in love with each other and who would like the whole world to know by spelling it out that way?). But most of HRC’s corporate sponsors send shivers up my spine, Joe.

My point, Joe, is that it’s not enough for me to know that someone affectionately prefers members of his or her same sex like I do and/or that his or her corporation is willing to give the Human Rights Campaign some money. I want to know that a person or a corporation isn’t causing others harm, even if he or she or it is not overtly anti-gay.

And as a gay man, I’m sick and tired of being reduced to a target group by corporations that don’t wuv me, as they claim, but that just want my money. It’s calculated, Joe. Corporations almost never do anything that they don’t believe will help their profits. If appearing to be pro-gay-and-lesbian will bring in the profits, then the corporations will do it.

I look at the whole picture, Joe, not just my tiny place within it.

Your concerns might be very different from mine, Joe. You might make a lot of money as the president of the HRC, and thus these “corporate sponsors” might be very important for you to be able to continue to live in the way in which I’m guessing that you’ve become accustomed.

But, Joe, when I weigh your personal fortune against things like, oh, say, the future of the entire planet itself, the future which the likes of Chevron and Shell and many if not most other transnational corporations are threatening, well, um, no offense, Joe, but I’m going to have to put the well-being of the entire planet above your own personal well-being.

Joe, lots and lots of corporations give a teeny-tiny percentage of their obscene profits to groups like the Human Rights Campaign in order to make it look like they’re actually not that bad after all.   

But, Joe, they’re actually that bad after all.

Have you seen the documentary “Flag Wars,” Joe? (Please indulge me a little here…) In that documentary, gay men and lesbians (living in Ohio) are portrayed as selfish, cold-hearted money-grubbers who care only about their own personal fortunes.

There’s a rich white lesbian who, in one great scene, goes on a drunken rant about how great capitalism has been to her. (It’s funny how both the impoverished and the rich sure seem to like to get drunk a lot, but I digress…)

In another scene in “Flag Wars,” an apparently rich white gay man states that historical homes in his neighborhood have to be “saved” from the poor. These homes have to be snatched away from their impoverished long-time residents by rich gay men and lesbians, renovated, and then sold for big profits. Screw the poor and save the homes! That’s what the gay men and the lesbians in the film say, in effect, quite unabashedly: it’s profits over people.

What kind of human beings do we gay men and lesbians want to be, Joe?

I don’t know about you, but as for me, before I am a gay man, Joe, I am a human being, and you know what? I don’t want to be the kind of human being like the heartless gay men and lesbians who are portrayed in “Flag Wars,” and the Human Rights Campaign encourages gay men and lesbians to be this kind of human being by kowtowing to corporations, perhaps especially to the Wall Street players and big oil.

I don’t know that I can continue to be a member of the Human Rights Campaign, Joe. HRC’s pro-corporate values certainly don’t seem to be in alignment with my own values as a gay man who cares about others besides myself.

I think that I already know what your counter-argument will be, Joe: HRC really, really needs the money that the corporations throw its way. And that if you didn’t accept that money as HRC president, then someone else would. Yadda yadda yadda…

But you know what, Joe? I am sick and tired of being sold out by gay and lesbian “leaders.” It’s not just you — it’s almost all gay and lesbian “leaders” who, for just the right amount of money (which often isn’t really that much) and the opportunity to do such things as to be photographed with Billary Clinton, will sell their gay and lesbian brothers and sisters (and indeed, all of the rest of humankind) out.

So we see all kinds of things that are harmful to the gay and lesbian community. We see ads for alcohol and for bars in almost all of the gay and lesbian publications, and often a gay and lesbian community’s “leaders” (such as is the case here in Sacramento) are the owners of the gay and lesbian bars that encourage alcoholism and smoking and drunken hookups, which are so helpful for the gay and lesbian community!

We see the ads for the anti-HIV drugs placed by the big-pharma corporations in which healthy-looking, young, muscular models give gay men the idea that HIV is no big deal — if you catch it you can just take a pill.

(The other gay and lesbian “leaders” in Sacramento and elsewhere are the publishers of the gay and lesbian rags who personally profit from such advertising that actually harms the very same community that they claim they are helping.)

When we gay men and lesbians aren’t being encouraged by our “leaders” and their for-personal-profit businesses and publications to be drinking and smoking and sexing, we’re encouraged to buy stuff, to use materialism (including personal investments and pointless travel) as our drug of choice. (The fall 2009 issue of Equality also includes full-page ads for travel agencies, hotel chains and furniture.)  

Is there nothing more to being gay or lesbian than catering to our addictions to chemical substances, to sex and to money and things, Joe?

Can we gay men and lesbians perhaps be bold and brave leaders instead of being trembling followers, and help our fellow men and women, regardless of their sexual orientation, out of the spirit-and-soul-crushing effects of the humongous corporations that now control almost every aspect of our lives, even the groups like HRC that are supposed to be helping to make us free?

Joe, can you be part of a revolution that actually makes gay men and lesbians free, truly free, instead of keeping them enslaved to such things as materialism and alcoholism and sex addiction and other addictions?

Or are you utterly unable to part with the lifestyle that you have attained, even though your lifestyle comes at the expense of those you are supposed to be helping and freeing?

Please let me know, Joe.

But, truthfully, I’m not holding my breath for your response, because you seem to be addicted to corporate money, and it just might take an intervention, because I doubt that you can overcome your addiction on your own.

Thanks for listening.

Yours,

Robert Crook
Sacramento, California

P.S. From what I know of Harvey Milk and what he thought of Democrats who just use the members of the gay and lesbian community as ATMs — and what he thought of those members of the gay and lesbian community who support these Democrats — Milk is not just turning, but he is spinning, in his grave.

(Actually, you might know that Milk was cremated and not interred, but that fact just doesn’t lend itself to my point…)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The (semi-)new(d) faces of the remnants of the Repugnican Party

FILE -  In this Oct. 30, 2008 file photo, Samuel 'Joe The Plumber' ...

Associated Press photo

Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher of Ohio — a.k.a. “Joe the Plumber” — speaks at a rally for Repugnican presidential candidate John McCainosaurus in Ohio in late October. “Joe the Plumber” says that it’s perfectly OK to refer to non-heterosexuals as “queer,” which sure makes you wonder what his words for black people and other assorted people are. “Joe the Plumber,” who just might be named the next pope, also recently pontificated, “God is recognized as, if you will, America’s religion.” So not only is God not a deity, but is a religion, but the United States of America has a national religion, and that religion is called “God.” I have learned so much from “Joe the Plumber”!

So who do the Repugnicans and the wingnuts have now to inspire a new generation of young people?

Well, not counting Sarah “Fahrenheit 451” Palin-Quayle, they have Carrie “No Offense!” Prejean and “Joe ‘Some of My Best Friends Are Queer but I Wouldn’t Let Them Anywhere Near My Children’ the Plumber.”

Miss California Carrie Prejean, the 21-year-old breast-enhanced bimbo who decided to become a poster girl for the homo-hating National Organization for Marriage after stating during the Miss USA pageant that she opposes same-sex marriage (adding: “No offense!”), probably is going to be stripped of her crown, thank Goddess.

It’s not for the right reasons, really, but I like the probable result anyway.

Reports The Associated Press today:

The directors of the Miss California USA pageant are looking into whether title holder Carrie Prejean violated her contract by working with a national group opposed to same-sex marriage and by posing semi-nude when she was a teenage model.

Pageant spokesman Roger Neal said [yesterday] it appears Prejean has run afoul of several sections of the 12-page contract that all prospective contestants were required to sign before competing in the November state contest.

The detailed document prohibits the titular [titular — that’s great…] Miss California from making personal appearances, giving interviews or making commercials without permission from pageant officials.

In the last 10 days, Prejean has made televised appearances at her San Diego church and on behalf of the National Organization for Marriage, a group opposed to same-sex marriage.

The contract also contains a clause asking participants to say whether they have conducted themselves “in accordance with the highest ethical and moral standards.” As an example, it asks if they have ever been photographed nude or partially nude.

“As you can see from the contract, she violated multiple items,” Neal said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

A photo of Prejean wearing only pink panties with her back turned to the camera appeared Monday on the gossip blog theDirty.com.

[Here it is:

 ] 

[Prejean] issued a statement early [yesterday] saying she posed for the shot when she was a 17-year-old model [oh, she was a minor — that makes it better!] and objected to its release as an attempt to belittle her religious faith: “I am a Christian, and I am a model. Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos.”

Prejean spokeswoman Melany Ethridge said she could not comment on the contract because she was unfamiliar with its contents. Ethridge said she had not heard the pageant directors were reviewing it.

Prejean, a San Diego native who attends San Diego Christian College, was named the first runner-up to Miss North Carolina in the Miss USA pageant April 19. Her response to a question during the pageant that she opposed same-sex marriage made her a media sensation, darling of religious conservatives and the target of embarrassing disclosures.

Her post-pageant activities also have estranged her from the two directors of the state pageant, who under the terms of the contract have almost unlimited control over Miss California’s activities, including the right to revoke her crown for breaching its provisions.

On the day last week that Prejean was in Washington with National Organization for Marriage leaders to announce her support for a new advertisement the group created based on her pageant experience, Keith Lewis, co-director of the California contest, expressed concern.

“There is a contract that all participants sign that is very involved and very intricate and limits a lot of their activities,” said Lewis, a Los Angeles talent agent.

Meanwhile, the Miss Universe Organization, which also owns the Miss USA pageant, confirmed [yesterday] that it had sent a letter demanding the National Organization for Marriage to remove the Prejean spot from the air and the group’s website. It includes footage from the April 19 pageant.

The Miss Universe Organization “neither sanctions nor disapproves of the viewpoints expressed in the advertisement but cannot allow its copyrighted material to be used without permission to support the National Organization for Marriage’s political agenda and fundraising efforts,” organization President Paula Shugart said.

NOM executive director Brian Brown said the group did not plan to comply with the pageant’s request. [Good; I hope that the Miss Universe Organization sues NOM and wins.]

“It is clearly fair use, and all they are attempting to do is silence us by using false legal claims,” Brown said. “But they have another thing coming if they think these ads are coming down. None of us are relenting, least of all Carrie.”

NOM President Maggie Gallagher also issued a statement [yesterday] sympathizing with Prejean over the release of her modeling picture and saying it did not disqualify her as a traditional marriage advocate.

“Of course Carrie is not perfect,” Gallagher said. “On a personal note, as a former unwed mother, I want to say to Americans: You don’t have to be a perfect person to have the right to stand up for marriage.”

Gallagher, with whom I exchanged hostile e-mails years ago over an ignorant, bigoted, homo-hateful column that she wrote, sorely needs to go fuck herself. Of course she states that “You don’t have to be a perfect person to have the right to stand up for marriage.” Because being a homo-hating wingnut is all about being a fucking hypocrite.

Thankfully, Prejean, being the genius that she is, very apparently blatantly has violated the terms of her contract with the Miss California organization, which allows the organization to strip Prejean — who gives California, the Miss California organization, the Miss USA organization and the Miss Universe Organization all a bad name — of the title of Miss California without having to use her homo-hatred as the reason, whether it’s the reason or not.

Of course, there is no doubt that Prejean and her new fascist buddies at NOM nonetheless will cry that she’s a martyr for the “cause” of stripping non-heterosexuals of their equal human and civil rights.

Speaking of homo-haters, “Joe the Plumber,” the darling of the McCainosaurus-Palin-Quayle campaign and the remants of the Repugnican Party, if you haven’t heard by now, told Christianity Today that “queer” is a perfectly appropriate, acceptable term for non-heterosexuals. And that he loves his “queer” friends but that they know that he wouldn’t allow them anywhere near his children.

From the interview with “Joe the Plumber” in Christianity Today:

Christianity Today: In the last month, same-sex marriage has become legal in Iowa and Vermont. What do you think about same-sex marriage at a state level?

“Joe the Plumber”: At a state level, it’s up to them. I don’t want it to be a federal thing. I personally still think it’s wrong.

People don’t understand the dictionary — it’s called “queer.” “Queer” means “strange and unusual.” It’s not like a slur, like you would call a white person a “honky” or something like that.

You know, God is pretty explicit in what we’re supposed to do — what man and woman are for. Now, at the same time, we’re supposed to love everybody and accept people, and preach against the sins.

I’ve had some friends that are actually homosexual. [Actual homosexuals in Ohio!] And, I mean, they know where I stand, and they know that I wouldn’t have them anywhere near my children. But at the same time, they’re people, and they’re going to do their thing.

Nice!

You know what? I wouldn’t want a “Christo”fascist like “Joe the Plumber” anywhere near my children (if I had any, I mean, of course) or any child, lest his “Christian,” “family” “values” rub off on them and they grow up to be skinheads or the like.

The “states’ rights” “argument” that “Joe the Plumber” employs was used by the white supremacists in the South; they figured that it was better to have at least some states in which it was still OK to shit and piss upon blacks. No, you don’t leave the matter of equal human and civil rights up to each state. Equal human and civil rights for all Americans must be federally protected. 

And memo to Joe: The term “queer” is hate speech when used by a homo-hater, most fucking certainly is a slur as much as are such words as “faggot” or “dyke” or “nigger” or “coon” or “chink” or “Jap” or “spic” or “wetback” or  “raghead” or “Hajji” or “Macaca” or “kike” or “cracker” or yes, “honky.”*

That the wingnuts are using dumbfucks like “Joe the Plumber” and Miss California to appeal to our youth is a great thing, since the majority of our youth oppose the hatred, bigotry and ignorance that Prejean and the plumber stand for.

I think that Human Rights Campaign President Joe Salmonese probably had it right when he remarked of “Joe the Plumber’s” remarks about non-heterosexuals: “It would matter if ‘Joe the Plumber’ mattered. One thing among many things we learned in the 2008 campaign is that he doesn’t.”

True, but we can’t assume that the “Christo”fascist beast is dead.

In the same interview with Christianity Today, “Joe the Plumber” named Sarah “She-Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” Palin as an idol of his:

Christianity Today: Who do you see as the emerging leaders for the Republican Party?

“Joe the Plumber”: There isn’t one.

You got the RNC [Repugnican National Committee] talking about repackaging principles and values to make them hip and cool to the younger generation. You can’t repackage them. They are what they are. You can’t make what they are.

I like Sarah Palin a lot, actually. I just don’t know if that’s where God’s leading her. I just know the Republican Party’s done its best to blackball her. I don’t know what her agenda is. If she ran, would I vote for her? Absolutely. John McCain was the lesser of two evils.

Would Americans ever be dumb enough to allow Sarah Palin-Quayle or someone like her into the White House? They did, after all, allow George W. Bush into the White House…

*Even though, as an Anglo, it seems to me that terms for white people like “cracker” or “honky” aren’t as severe (and certainly aren’t as numerous) as are the slurs for black people; “whitey,” I think, is worse than “cracker” or “honky,” but even “whitey” pales in comparison (bad pun fully intended) to such terms as “spade” and “sambo” and “jigaboo” and “jungle bunny.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized