I just want you to know that your stint at GOProud had a huge impact on me. I went into college with a very typical mindset for a young Republican and I towed the line on SSM [same-sex marriage] because well… it seemed like what you were supposed to do. You guys completely changed that for me and for a few of my friends. I don’t know what projects you’re working on now but I want you to know that your time at GOProud was meaningful and had an impact on me. I hope all is going well Jimmy!

Message from a Young Friend (via Facebook)

Photo of the Day

November 4, 2014

It’s no secret that I am not a fan of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). I am offended that anyone thinks that they have a lifetime entitlement to the seat in the United States Senate. McConnell has been in the Senate for 30 years. In fact, he’s never had a job outside of government. He is the embodiment of the problem in Washington and he doesn’t deserve to realize his life-long dream of becoming Senate Majority Leader. Continue Reading…

Boring People and Cowards

October 29, 2014

This week, New York Times columnist David Brooks has this piece about political discrimination or “partyism.” Brooks cautions job seekers, especially conservatives, about the dangers of including political work on your resume because of partyism in hiring. He sites specific examples and studies.

He writes about one study that compared student resumes for scholarships. –

For example, political scientists Shanto Iyengar and Sean Westwood gave 1,000 people student résumés and asked them which students should get scholarships. The résumés had some racial cues (membership in African-American Students Association) and some political cues (member of Young Republicans).

Race influenced decisions. Blacks favored black students 73 percent to 27 percent, and whites favored black students slightly. But political cues were more powerful. Both Democrats and Republicans favored students who agreed with them 80 percent of the time. They favored students from their party even when other students had better credentials.

Iyengar and Westwood conducted other experiments to measure what Cass Sunstein of Harvard Law School calls “partyism.” They gave subjects implicit association tests, which measure whether people associate different qualities with positive or negative emotions. They had people play the trust game, which measures how much people are willing to trust different kinds of people.

In those situations, they found pervasive prejudice. And political biases were stronger than their racial biases.

Read the entire Brooks piece because it goes on to examine how partyism is pervasive across our culture and how it got to be that way.

I was struck by the specific point about hiring bias that Brooks made because it reminded me of this story I read a few months ago about a study examining discrimination in hiring against people with pro-LGBT activism on their resumes. The study concluded that applicants with resumes containing gay activism were 23% less likely to get interviews than less qualified applicants. Continue Reading…

I Love Dolly

October 27, 2014

I wanted to post this short Billboard interview with Dolly Parton because it shows, yet again, just what a good person she is. I’ve always loved her because she’s such a positive person who is always full of encouragement for others.

Watch this –

 

Radio Interview

October 24, 2014

I meant to post this audio a couple of weeks ago after I did this interview with Eric Farris on his show in Branson, Missouri. We discussed the recent Supreme Court actions regarding civil marriage for gay couples. We also talked a lot about the current political landscape and the rise of independent and third party candidates this year. Now, of course, the dynamics in the specific races we talked about have probably changed, but my general points are the same.

The bottom line is that voters are fed up with politics in Washington. All Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid care about is who has the biggest…caucus! Americans just want their government to work again. That’s why independent candidates are surging in a couple of key Senate races this year in Kansas and South Dakota.

Listen to our discussion here –

 

 

Motivation

October 20, 2014

UnknownWhy do you do what you do? We are all motivated into action at different times by different things. We all also have an overriding general motivation that guides almost everything we do in our lives.

I know a lot of people who are nurturers and they take care of others in some way in almost everything they do. Others I know are 100% motivated by money. It’s that desire to want to do things that is our motivation.

I have always been motivated to change the world, and make an impact that contributes to the greater good. It’s not money, it’s not fame, it’s creating positive change that motivates me in almost everything I do.

Today, my friend Jonathan Capehart, with the Washington Post, has this story about how the actions that President Bush took in his desire to be re-elected motivated a whole lot of people, including me, to take action. The 2004 effort by Bush to place anti-gay marriage amendments on the ballots in 11 states and his advocacy of the Federal Marriage Amendment is what motivated me to the work I did for a decade after that. Jonathan writes –  Continue Reading…

The AIDS Activist Project

October 2, 2014

Several months ago, I was clicking around online and I stumbled upon a photograph taken in 1989 of my uncle Hal Haner. Hal was my mother’s younger brother, and he was an artist who lived in New York City. Hal died in 1990 at the age of 32. He had AIDS.

Hal Haner (photo by Bill Bytsura)

Hal Haner (photo by Bill Bytsura)

I’ve come to learn that the photo of Hal is part of the important work of photographer Bill Bytsura. Bytsura set out in 1989 to document the activism that was happening around the country and around the word in those days to help combat the AIDS epidemic. He photographed activists, starting with Hal, from 1989 to 1998. The 225 photographs have been in storage, along with statements and negatives, in New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections Downtown Collection since 2011.

Now Bill wants the world to see these important images. He is raising funds to publish The AIDS Activist Project as a limited edition coffee-table style book. You can read all about the project hereContinue Reading…

Premiering on October 6th on HBO.