An earthquake is rolling across America

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Politico has just published a report that the United States Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe V. Wade, and the news is thundering across the country. We don’t yet know that the report is true, although it certainly seems to be, and that it might change (perhaps in details, but not in the overall decision).

This conservatively-skewed Court, with three Justices appointed by Trump, have ruled (will rule) that women do not have a Constitutional right to control their own bodies. This could have long-lasting and far-reaching implications.

This ruling, if it comes to fruition, will not end abortion. It won’t even slow it down much. All it will do is end safe abortions in some states. We’ll go back to back-ally and black-market abortions in GOP controlled states, and women will die. This court will be killing women. The right-wing evangelicals don’t care.

The next targets will be voting rights and marriage equality, even though the ruling (at this time) says it doesn’t apply to any other previous Court rulings. The minions of the right won’t care about that.

Why the swastika?

We’re moving towards a fascist society, where the government controls even your basic rights. For being allegedly “small government”, the right in this country wants control over everyone. They want to control who you marry, what your doctor can do, and what books you can read.

“Papers! (no please about it)”

If the swastika fits, wear it.

4 U.S. Code § 7

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While on a bike ride recently, I happened upon this monstrosity.

It should be pointed out that the flagpole in question does not belong to the house in the background. The house out-of-frame to the right is the owner.

4 U.S. Code § 7

(c)“No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America,…”

https://www.military.com/flag-day/us-flag-code.html

What it really means.

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They tried to get “In God We Trust” onto the wall in Visalia’s City Hall some years ago. They did not succeed.

If they try again, I’m going to be circulating this as much as I can.

Did you know? Planned Parenthood worships Satan!

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I never knew that!

But it must be so, because several people at tonight’s Visalia City Council meeting made sure to speak out against a proposed move by the local Planned Parenthood facility, to a larger building, by telling us that the organization worshipped Satan.

The agenda item was postponed to next month, and plenty of notice of the change was given, but several people stepped up during public comments to vent their spleens. Most of them didn’t realize that Planned Parenthood has been in Visalia for years, and spoke against allowing the medical service “in our city”. Several of them made the “Satan worship” claim during their spiels.

The debunked video of Planned Parenthood selling body parts was also referenced. That woman was very incensed over the notion that we’d let anything like that into our city. (again, they’ve been here for years, this is just about getting approval to move into a larger building.)

The next meeting scheduled to deal with this request, in March, promises to be a maelstrom of anti-abortion nonsense and vitriol. The City has moved the meeting to the Convention Center in anticipation of the crowds.

If you want the facts about Planned Parenthood, here’s their website.

The Boys Are Back

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You just can’t keep a good guy down. Or two good guys. After a (very) short hiatus, the boys in Porterville are back up.

The first sign.

Their first appearance in Porterville generated some angst when a local preacher decided this was just too much for his poor high-school-aged son to see. Apparently, if you stand at the far corner of the school’s property, and look north, you could see our boys. This generated an appearance before the City Council, and a plea to do something about it. They did. Billboards in the city will eventually be timed out, but it’s going to take some years before that happens. No word on if the preacher is molified.

The second sign

The scheduled appearance of our boys was up, but since Tulare County has a severe STI problem, and has for decades, they have made a comeback! Another billboard further south has appeared, posted along State Route 65, just north of the Tule River.

These signs join at least two others in the county, alerting people to STI testing services at The Source LGBT+ Center in Visalia.

No word on whether the preacher is upset that homeless folks living in the riverbed may see the sign.

A sign of the times: more

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Another sign of the times, this one just south of Visalia on Mooney Blvd. One of several rotating messages on an electronic billboard, this one still promoting STI testing but with a different image.

I haven’t heard of any complaints, so far. I’ll assume the Visalia City Council won’t hear about it, since it’s in the county, but will someone complain to the Tulare County Board of Supervisors? We’ll see.

Stay tuned.

A sign of the times. Someone in Porterville doesn’t like it.

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Last night I attended a City Council meeting in Porterville, California. A very long city council meeting. Item 21 on the agenda was listed as:

21. City Billboard Regulations

Re: Reviewing City signage regulations pertaining to billboards within the City of Porterville.”

This all came to be because Pastor Brent Whitley of Living Word Fellowship Church didn’t like the sign above, which he complained could be seen from his son’s high school (Butterfield Charter School) He spoke up about it at the City Council meeting October 5.

It features two young men naked from the waist up in a sexually-suggestive pose,” Whitley said. (Porterville Recorder, 10/07/21)

So, I am asking the City Council, as duly-elective representatives of the City of Porterville, to sign letters affirming that sexually graphic advertising for any purpose is not appropriate for the billboards in our community. They aren’t going to listen to one man’s opinion. We have to speak with a unified voice.”

The letters, he said, won’t cast any aspersions on The Source nor makes any kind of statement about the LGBTQ Plus community.

We are simply saying to Lamar Advertising and to any of their clients that the citizens of Porterville prefer not to have any sexually-explicit, suggestive or graphic content posted on billboards in our city because we have no way to filter this content from our children.”

Following his complaint, the Council had staff put the subject on the agenda for the next meeting (October 19, 2021) for discussion.

Porterville, in 2017, enacted an ordinance* which was designed to eventually remove “off-site” billboards from within the city limits. Since the 1st amendment to the Constitution of the United States severely limits what restrictions can be placed on content of signs, the only option is to prohibit them altogether.

The city attorney has informed the council** that they can speed up the timeline for removing the billboards. The current ordinance requires that when they are “abandoned”, they can no longer exist under the grandfathering clause that allowed them to continue to be used after the ordinance was enacted. The city attorney has advised the Council that they can set a timeline, based on past court cases of what has been adjudicated as reasonable, of 5-7 years for removal. That may be problematical, however.

San Diego apparently tried something very similar in the 70’s, and was sued. The suit went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States.*** They lost.

The SCOTUS case transcript can be found here. A summary of the court’s findings can be found here.

I’m not a lawyer, of course, but it looks like Porterville will run afoul of the same situation if it tries to remove billboards from the city. Perhaps someone can check these out and let me know if the city can follow through with it’s apparent plan to “amortize” these billboards out of existence.

The City Council directed staff to bring them a proposed action to address the issue (setting a timeline that results in removal of remaining signs in the city) at a future meeting.

The city ordinance, city attorney’s advice, and SCOTUS ruling can be found after the jump.

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The Devil made him do it?

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Because, really, how can mere mortal men resist Grindr?

The louder they rant and rave against the gays, the more likely you’ll find them on Grindr.

Here’s this closeted queen’s story.

Here’s how I know…

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  1. Trump was not evacuated, or even secured in the bunker, from the White House when the Capitol was invaded.
  2. The Republicans, even those who claim it was ANTIFA or Democratic stooges dressed up as Trump supporters, don’t want an independent commission to investigate it.

If they actually believed what they spout, they’d be all over that commission idea to prove it. They’re not, because they don’t want the truth, which we already know, to be officially confirmed.

Devin Nunes (my Congressman) and Kevin McCarthy (the district next door to mine) can pack sand. They are traitors to our republic.

A Proclamation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month, 2021

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The uprising at the Stonewall Inn in June, 1969, sparked a liberation movement — a call to action that continues to inspire us to live up to our Nation’s promise of equality, liberty, and justice for all.  Pride is a time to recall the trials the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community has endured and to rejoice in the triumphs of trailblazing individuals who have bravely fought — and continue to fight — for full equality.  Pride is both a jubilant communal celebration of visibility and a personal celebration of self-worth and dignity.  This Pride Month, we recognize the valuable contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals across America, and we reaffirm our commitment to standing in solidarity with LGBTQ+ Americans in their ongoing struggle against discrimination and injustice.

The LGBTQ+ community in America has achieved remarkable progress since Stonewall.  Historic Supreme Court rulings in recent years have struck down regressive laws, affirmed the right to marriage equality, and secured workplace protections for LGBTQ+ individuals in every State and Territory.  The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act broadened the definition of hate crimes to include crimes motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity.  Members of the LGBTQ+ community now serve in nearly every level of public office — in city halls and State capitals, Governors’ mansions and the halls of the Congress, and throughout my Administration.  Nearly 14 percent of my 1,500 agency appointees identify as LGBTQ+, and I am particularly honored by the service of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve in the Cabinet, and Assistant Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the Senate. 

For all of our progress, there are many States in which LGBTQ+ individuals still lack protections for fundamental rights and dignity in hospitals, schools, public accommodations, and other spaces.  Our Nation continues to witness a tragic spike in violence against transgender women of color.  LGBTQ+ individuals — especially youth who defy sex or gender norms — face bullying and harassment in educational settings and are at a disproportionate risk of self-harm and death by suicide.  Some States have chosen to actively target transgender youth through discriminatory bills that defy our Nation’s values of inclusivity and freedom for all.

Our Nation also continues to face tragic levels of violence against transgender people, especially transgender women of color.  And we are still haunted by tragedies such as the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando.  Ending violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community demands our continued focus and diligence.  As President, I am committed to defending the rights of all LGBTQ+ individuals. 

My Administration is taking historic actions to finally deliver full equality for LGBTQ+ families.  On my first day in office, I signed an Executive Order charging Federal agencies to fully enforce all Federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.  As a result, the Federal Government has taken steps to prevent discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in employment, health care, housing, lending, and education.  I also signed an Executive Order affirming all qualified Americans will be able to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States — including patriotic transgender Americans who can once again proudly and openly serve their Nation in uniform — and a National Security Memorandum that commits to supporting LGBTQ+ Federal employees serving overseas.  My Administration is also working to promote and protect LGBTQ+ human rights abroad.  LGBTQ+ rights are human rights, which is why my Administration has reaffirmed America’s commitment to supporting those on the front lines of the equality and democracy movements around the world, often at great risk.  We see you, we support you, and we are inspired by your courage to accept nothing less than full equality.

While I am proud of the progress my Administration has made in advancing protections for the LGBTQ+ community, I will not rest until full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans is finally achieved and codified into law.  That is why I continue to call on the Congress to pass the Equality Act, which will ensure civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ people and families across our country.  And that is why we must recognize emerging challenges, like the fact that many LGBTQ+ seniors, who faced discrimination and oppression throughout their lives, are isolated and need support and elder care. 

During LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we recognize the resilience and determination of the many individuals who are fighting to live freely and authentically.  In doing so, they are opening hearts and minds, and laying the foundation for a more just and equitable America.  This Pride Month, we affirm our obligation to uphold the dignity of all people, and dedicate ourselves to protecting the most vulnerable among us.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2021 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month.  I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community, to celebrate the great diversity of the American people, and to wave their flags of pride high.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

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