S.M.B. - Logic and Rhetoric
Friday, March 12, 2004

Amy Jenniges lives with her girlfriend, Sonia, and I live with my boyfriend, Terry. Last Friday I accompanied Amy and Sonia to room 403, the licensing division, at the King County Administration Building. When Amy and Sonia asked the clerk for a marriage license, the clerk turned white. You could see, "Oh my God, the gay activists are here!" running through her head. County clerks in the marriage license office had been warned to expect gay couples sooner or later, but I guess this particular clerk didn't expect us to show up five minutes before closing on Friday.

The clerk called over her manager, a nice older white man, who explained that Amy and Sonia couldn't have a marriage license. So I asked if Amy and I could have one--even though I'm gay and live with my boyfriend, and Amy's a lesbian and lives with her girlfriend. We emphasized to the clerk and her manager that Amy and I don't live together, we don't love each other, we don't plan to have kids together, and we're going to go on living and sleeping with our same-sex partners after we get married. So could we still get a marriage license?

"Sure," the license-department manager said, "If you've got $54, you can have a marriage license." ... It's not the marriage license I'd like to have, of course. But, still, let me count my blessings: I have a 10-year relationship (but not the marriage license), a house (but not the marriage license), a kid (but not the marriage license), and my boyfriend's credit-card bills (but not the marriage license). I don't know what a guy has to do around here to get the marriage license. But I guess it's some consolation that I can get a meaningless one anytime I like, just so long as I bring along a woman I don't love and my $54.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

"Lucky me, I hit the trifecta," said George Bush in the immediate aftermath of September 11, according to his budget director. War, recession and national emergency liberated him to soar in the political stratosphere. But after several faltering starts this year, he felt compelled to relaunch his campaign with $4.5m (£2.5m) of television advertising in 16 key states. In 60-second commercials he would lock the sequence of recent history into the American mind, his narrative of his presidency as he wished it to be understood. Images of September 11 cascaded across the screen, firemen carrying a flag-draped coffin at Ground Zero juxtaposed against another firefighter raising the flag. Bush's slogan: "Steady leadership in times of change".

"Where the hell did they get those guys?" responded the president of the International Association of Fire Fighters. It turned out that the firefighters in the ads were hired actors - "cheaper and quicker", as a Republican party spokesman explained. Enraged members of the 9/11 Widows and Victims' Families Association described them as "disgraceful" and "hypocritical". While he used the flag-draped 9/11 coffin, he refused to allow the press to photograph coffins of US soldiers returned from Iraq. What's more, he was "stonewalling" the official 9/11 commission, as Senator John Kerry put it, holding back documents, refusing to allow the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, to testify in public, and limiting his own testimony to an hour.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004
I'm finally back. I took a nice, long break from blogging to enjoy the fruits of existence, such as sunlight, social contact and non-delivery food. But I am back after a period of a lot of tension here at Columbia; there were racial tensions and massive protests. ROTC--the Reserved Officer Training Corps--advocates have been contacting wealthy, sympathetic alumns who are advocating that ROTC be placed back on campus, I have been working to make sure that this does not happen, or at the very least, to make sure that kids on this campus know that ROTC is a commitment to the military and all that is demanded ofa soldier within that institution.

Some interesting stories I've read lately:

Warren Buffett disses Bush's policies in his annual letter to his shareholders, and says that if there is class war in America, his class is winning...

John Kerry is beating Bush according to a new Gallup poll that came out recently, this is with or without Nader's inclusion as a factor.

And the United States and Britain pressured Hans Blix to claim that Iraq was in violation of the U.N. Security Council resolution 1441, according to the Washington Post.

I'm not very excited by John Kerry, and I absolutely hate Dubya. What is a liberal like me to do? I will meditate on this and remember simpler times...

But until I reach these conclusions, I will sleep, take midterms, party, shower and think yet again.

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