Straight ally and marriage equality advocate Keith Olbermann’s new show will premiere on Current TV June 20. Read full story here.
A Rock Hill, North Carolina, teenager who was viciously beaten by a group of people at a gas station over the weekend, says he was the victim of a hate crime. Read full story here.
A bill sponsored by openly gay Calif. state senator Mark Leno to require social studies curriculum to include gay history is closer to becoming law after the state senate passed the legislation Thursday. The bill now heads to the general assembly, where it is widely expected to pass. Read full story here.
A Missouri teen is fighting back against administrators after he was told to leave school for wearing a T-shirt that he says was supportive of equal rights. Read full article here.
Republican Presidential hopeful, Mike Huckabee, continued to demonstrate why we need more history education in this country, in his interview Wednesday night with Jon Stewart.
Minnesota Representative, Michelle Bachmann, still holds the lead with respect to Republican ignorance of American History, with her comment that the Founding Fathers ended slavery.
But Huckabee is a close second. He started off the interview by reiterating his support for theologian, David Barton, a right-wing lunatic known for peddling his belief that separation of church and state is a myth to simpletons and the occasional white supremacist organization.
David is, I think, very much a historian, and I love his stuff, because he documents everything with source material, and he’s very specific about dates and times and he has a lot of original documents — Federalist Papers, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence...
Notice that Huckabee incorrectly calls Barton a historian, but I'll let that pass, since it's normal for Christians to confuse theology with history. But, I will point out that Barton has zero history credentials. In fact, he barely even has academic credentials, since his degree is actually in religious eduction from Oral Roberts University.
What Huckabee likes about Barton is that Barton challenges the belief that the Founding Fathers intended to separate church and state.
There’s a perception among many that this is a completely secular nation and that the Judeo-Christian worldview was not a very significant part of our creation. I think it was, and that’s what I believe he’s trying to do...Separation of Church and State was a phrase that didn’t appear until a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote in  1804, and it was written to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut.
This is an argument frequently used by Republicans. The logic seems to be that since the phrase wasn't used until after the constitution, then the constitution couldn't possibly have meant to separate the two.
This is a preposterous and nonsensical argument. Jefferson used the phrase to easily sum up what Madison established with the First Amendment. Actually, we know that Madison, who authored the First Amendment, wanted to go much further than what the amendment actually states. Madison wanted to disestablish religion at both the federal and state level - the amendment only separates the two at the federal level. The 14th amendment later did it at the state level.
Huckabee, not really understanding the constitution, tried to change the subject, and turned to an earlier document for support.
Well, listen: take the Declaration of Independence, which was the establishment of our nation as an independent country.
Oops, he got the wrong also. The Declaration of Independence did not establish our country, the constitution did.
When it says, 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,' if you read the early state constitutions, the states — and originally our government was supposed to be a rather weak, limited, and local form of government, with not a whole lot of power at the federal level.
Incorrect again. Yes, the states were suppose to have more power and the federal government less power, but that was not "our government," it was the Confederation. Huckabee conveniently forgot that we corrected that mistake with the constitution, which created a completely different government - the United States of America.
But in the state constitutions, there are some surprising things regarding the establishment of the government, to make sure that there was a Christian — or a Judeo-Christian — there were often these very explicit languages in the constitutions of states in New England that would probably not recognize those constitutions today.
Yes there are some very surprising things in those state governments. Things like no Jews, Catholics, or Atheists. Is that what Huckabee wants to return to? Which of those groups would he like to eliminate? I'm sorry, "eliminate" is too harsh. I meant, which of those groups would he like to reduce to second class citizenship? I know how PC Republicans like to be.
Thankfully, the 14th Amendment prohibits that today. How inconvenient that must be to Republicans - although it was Republicans who passed it following the Civil War.
Huckabee continued with an extended rant:
Now, what we’ve done over the past 240 years is, we have moved more and more power to the federal government. Let me be fair: this isn’t a Democrat / Republican thing, because Republicans have been just as adamant about moving that power more and more toward the federal government and away from cities and states. The danger is that, the closer you are to the people being governed, the more likely you are to get it right, because when you govern more locally, and in a more limited way
Madison disagrees with constitutional scholar Huckabee. Madison and the Founding Fathers were actually highly suspicious of democracy, precisely because the people would trample on the rights of minorities. It's why Hamilton saw democracy as "mob rule." And it's why Madison wanted the federal government to be able to veto laws passed by the states.
Jon Stewart rightfully called Huckabee out for his support of Barton. Stuart challenged:
But you’re gonna run for President and you call him a historian who you think should teach our children in public school. Now, that is the intersection of state and religion that makes some people — non-evangelical Christians — uncomfortable.
Huckabee responded with more gibberish that was edited out of the broadcast:
Some of us, Jon, are uncomfortable with the idea that we have history books today in which there is more material about, let’s say, Madonna, than there is about George Washington. That’s the thing.
Wow, I'd like to see that book. It's a common Republican tactic. When confronted with logic and reason that you can't respond to, make shit up.
I have no problem with people being ignorant about history. People have lives. They don't have time to read all the scholarship that's been produced on the subject. But at the same time, people who don't have the time to be smart, shouldn't pretend they know something, shouldn't run for president, and certainly shouldn't cite pseudo-historians, who preach to white supremest groups and Nazis.
Copyright © By Jay Jordan Hawke, April 7, 2011.
Jay Jordan Hawke is author of "A Scout is Brave," a novel about anti-gay bullying.
Between Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, the list of Republican hopefuls for the 2012 election is quite scary. Thankfully, Donald Trump has come to the rescue, just in time to restore some sanity to it. Unfortunately, sanity was nowhere to be found in his recent interview with Fox News host, Bill O'Reilly. O'Reilly quickly got Trump discussing what he'd do about Iraq if he were president. Trump said:
In the old days when you had wars, you win, right? You win. To the victor belonged the spoils. So when we go to Iraq, we spend $1.4 trillion so far and thousands of lives are lost, right? And not to mention all the poor guys and gals with one arm and no arm and all the facts, right?
The Republicans finally found someone who makes Bachmann and Palin look sane. Evidently Trump never got the memo that we were engaged in a humanitarian venture in Iraq. It was not, in fact, a war of conquest, and therefore, there were no spoils.
Remember all those human rights violations that Republican leaders kept mentioning during the lead up to the war? Remember how the evil Saddam Hussein gassed his own people? Granted that was before they settled on the huge threat Iraq was to the US, with all their weapons of mass destruction and mushroom clouds and shit.
But now Trump explains that this whole thing was a war of conquest. Good old-fashioned, old school, imperialism. Did someone forget to tell Donald Trump about the Declaration of Independence? That's our inconvenient founding document that justified our Revolution against England. It had some stupid crap in it about how all humans have "inalienable rights." Notice that "alien" appears in there. And it was penned by Thomas Jefferson, founder of the Democratic Party! He was obviously some kind of immigrant sympathizer. Thankfully, Trump doesn't buy into that bleeding heart Democratic propaganda.
After rewriting the history of our conquest of Iraq, Trump had a melt-down right in front of Bill O'Reilly. It is indeed scary when someone looks insane relative to Bill O'Reilly. Trump opined:
You've got to stay and keep the oil....We shouldn't be out of there. What we should do is take over….You stay and protect the oil and you take the oil and you take whatever is necessary for them and you take what's necessary for us and we pay our self back $1.5 trillion or more. We take care of Britain, we take care of other countries that helped us and we don't be so stupid. You know, we're the only country and if you look at wars over the years and I study wars, OK? My whole life is a war. You look at wars over the years. A country goes in, they conquer and they stay. We go in, we conquer and then we leave. And we hand it to people that we don't even know.
That, of course, was only a small taste of what Trump wants to do as President, according to the interview. He also stated that he would threaten China and OPEC, prior to taking over Iraq.
And of course he's been all over the media lately with his charge that President Obama is not a true American. Does anyone else appreciate the irony? In the spirit of Bill Maher, I have a new rule.
New Rule: To Donald Trump and all of the other "birthers" out there - if you don't actually believe in the principles that America was founded on, you can't accuse others of not being an American. I don't care if Obama is a Kenyan, Indonesian, communist, with Hawaiian sympathies, so far he's demonstrated that he's more qualified to be president of the United States that anyone the Republican Party has yet to offer.
Copyright © By Jay Jordan Hawke, April 3, 2011.
Let's hope they eventually decide to take on anti-gay bulling, but at least this is a start. If only Disney would follow their lead. Read full story here.
Jay Jordan Hawke is the host of On the Edge and author of the awarding winning Two-Spirit Chronicles, which includes: Pukawiss the Outcast, A Scout is Brave, and Onwaachige the Dreamer.