Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Blame Canada

Once again those pesky neighbors to our north have gone and done it again. It seems that Canada has done the unthinkable. They have recognized evil, sinful criminals as equal human beings. They have (Gasp!) legalized gay marriage. And no one is more afraid of this than our very own Katherine Kersten.

For those of you who don't know who Katherine Kersten is, she writes a new column in the Minneapolis Star and Tribune. We all know that the Strib is part of that insidious liberal indoctrination machine that is out to destroy our children and so they felt, I guess, they needed a conservative columnist to round out its image.

I was shocked to read Ms. Kersten's column entitled "North of border, gay marriage spurs social revolution" to find out that I am in dire jeopardy should gay marriage be legalized here. Here is the link to the column. Please read.

According to Ms. Kersten, if gay marriage were to be legalized in the US, I would then be a racist. Because of the way the law is written, marriage as defined as "man and a woman" would then be bigoted. Thousands of documents would have to be changed due to the onslaught of political correctness that would ensue. People who believe in marriage between a man and woman would be in legal trouble.

And then, of course, the children would suffer. The end of the article mentions that sex ed classes would have to be changed to include same sex discussions. One can only conclude that after all of this, Ms. Kersten believes that all of us will then fall into hell as the world becomes a giant, boiling pit of sewage.

Once again we see the right using the only tactic they really have to get through to people: fear. It's the same old story with everything they talk about. Fight the terrorists there so we don't have to fight them here. Liberal activist judges are running amok (never mind the right activist judges that are) and must be stopped before they destroy our way of life. And gay people? Well, if they get their way, your life as you know it is over.

Am I the only one out here who can see this?

Ms. Kersten is so incredibly myopic that she doesn't realize the solution to all of this is simple: write a law that makes sense so all people are looked upon as equal. C'mon, folks, we are a smart country. Don't you think we can come up with a law that circumvents these PC snafus?

As far as sex ed in schools are concerned, I think most kids when they reach puberty know what straight and gay mean and they should, if their parents have had frank discussions with them about sex. Most sex ed classes in schools are designed to lay out the basics of reproduction. I think that purient examples of the different types of sex can easily be left out of such a basic discussion of biology. At that point, the parents must take up the mantle of education and answer their children's questions and encourage them to have good sexual health.

Consider this a warning to Ms. Kersten and all like her: I know what you are trying to do, it won't work, and I will stop you. You are using your power as a columnist to drum fear into people who don't have enough exposure to or knowledge of gay people.

I will do everything in my power to educate people and let them know that people of different races, colors, creeds, and sexual orientation are all equal in the eyes of God. If you truly believe in the teachings of Jesus, then you should love and respect all people. You might not believe this but "they" already love and respect you.

Gay people are not any different than anyone else. The American public should know, Ms. Kersten, that they shouldn't be afraid of anyone except maybe a little wary of someone like you.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Uptight States of America

I woke up last Thursday morning a little more tired than usual. It always takes me a long time to be fully coherent in the AM (I am not a morning person). Since I had spent the evening (and parts of the morning actually) celebrating my friend Eric's birthday in a way that can best be described as delirious insanity, I was a little grey around the edges. Thankfully I have the Minneapolis Star and Tribune to read in the morning and, last week, I read an article that not only woke me up immediately but absolutely fucking pissed me off. It was about sex.

It's high time that I wrote a column on my favorite subject. People , who know me well, are downright astonished and even offended that I haven't written a column on this subject. I have thought for awhile that I should write about sex somehow but I couldn't quite find a good focal point. Thanks to the good folks at the Strib, I have now found one.

Last Thursday, on the front page of the Strib, was an article entitled "Some Hot and Some Bothered." The story began with an anecdote which sums up perfectly how fucking uptight Americans are about sex and why I am irritated beyond belief about this. Here is the quote.

Jane Brenny isn't just appalled that something called the "Sex and So Much More Show" is promoting itself on a billboard two blocks from an elementary school. She's appalled that it has come to Minneapolis at all. Brenny, who lives in Edina, was heading to church recently when she stopped at a red light and looked up. She said, "Ye gods," jotted down the event's website and went home to check it out. "That website is erotic and disgusting," she said.

Erotic and disgusting. Great. Just great. Tell you what, Jane, and all the rest of you assholes who's butts are so tight that if I shoved a lump of coal up there I could open up my own jewelry store: WHY DON'T YOU FUCKING RELAX ABOUT SEX!!!???

This country is so damn uptight about sex and I have had it. What is the matter with us? This was a trade show, for God's sake, whose central theme was to enhance couple's sex lives and build healthy sexual attitudes. But no. Oh no. The insane puritanical roots of our culture make it "bad" to have a sex trade show and "good" to have...say...a gun trade show.

I wonder if Ms. Brenny would complain if a gun show billboard was put up two blocks from an elementary school. Someone out there please explain this dichotomy to me: Hey kids, guns are cool and fun. Sometimes they are used to kill people but that's only by people who live in the ghetto. So have fun with your guns but don't you dare talk about people making love and giving each other pleasure. That's wrong! Pleasure bad! Instruments of Death Good!!

Here's a thought to all you social conservatives/evangelicals out there. God created man and woman in his image. He/She gave us this extraordinary ability to have a ton of fun with our bodies and I think she/he meant it to be that way. Why would the Lord want us to torture ourselves? It's just not sinful, folks. Sorry!

If you look back at the history of Christianity, many of the early followers were not ashamed of sex. Women were view as being sacred beings of sensual power and men respected this and even learned how to use their own sexuality in intensely spiritual ways. These beliefs were all too short lived when violent, ignorant men began to dominate the thinking behind organizing the Church. Women became viewed as evil, sinful beings and the trend continued throughout time. Some say it still goes on. Somewhere along the line sex became viewed as being wicked and that is just not true.

I am not advocating that wanton orgies occur in the streets (if there is one that you know about, however, let me know.) I am simply saying that if we all talked about sex more with each other and our children, then we would become more comfortable in dealing with sex based issues.

Sex is wonderful way to share love with someone. And loving someone is the key ingredient to making love. I have always believed what my parents told me and what I will tell my kids. If you love and respect someone, then sex is great. My folks also happened to be forward thinking people and told me that if I liked dudes better than chicks then that was cool too. I have always felt comfortable talking about sex and laugh at people who crinkle their faces at me when I make suggestive comments.

People in other countries laugh at us and how uptight we are about sex. They can't understand why the Janet Jackson Super Bowl thing was such a big deal. I also don't understand why more focus was put on the sex part of the Vikings boat party as opposed to the threatening behavior. Well, actually, when you think about it, it makes sense. Sex is bad. Violent behavior is kinda bad but not as bad as SEX. That's our culture!

This article is just another example of sounding the drumbeat of fear. A billboard about a sex show near a SCHOOL! GASP! You know what? There's a gun store five blocks away from a school in Hopkins. Which is worse? Oh wait, that's right. I forgot again. I'm in America. This is the place where grown men and women faint at the site of a nipple but think it's OK for junior to watch someone being riddled with automatic weapon fire.

I am just so tired of all of this and I hope that all of you will join me in reminding people like Ms. Brenny that sex is a mysterious, wonderful thing. It is not disgusting. And if people like her don't like sex, then why in the fuck did she go to the sex show web site in the first place?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States!

Ever since I can remember, I have always imagined being President. A Mark Campbell Presidency would be filled with many wondrous things. Sadly, I know it will never happen. I am too blunt and have this pesky personal habit of telling people exactly what is on my mind i.e. I have no filter between my brain and mouth. Consequently, I get into much trouble.

But it's fun to dream isn't it? I found myself thinking yesterday about who I would hire to help me run our beloved country and why that person would be perfect for the job. One of FDR's greatest strengths was that his cabinet was comprised of Democrats AND Republicans. He liked to hear the opposing point of view quite often. It helped him to see the full picture.

In keeping with that tradition, here is my Cabinet. I have used "post names" for some of you who post on this blog while real names for others. I realize some of you might be hurt that I have not selected you. Just know that there was much thought that was put into this and there will always be a job for you at the State Department.

Vice President-John Waxy. John has been my friend since we were both 12 years old. If something should happen to me, there is no one I would trust more to be true to my vision than him.

Secretary of State-PL. Always the diplomat on the posts, PL would bring some common sense to the State Department.

Chief of Staff-Shayna Nienow. Her experience in training and managing people as well as her bluntness makes her the best candidate for this job.

Secretary of Defense-just Dave. It would be important to me to have my SecDef be a man with military experience. Dave is also a hawk and that is who our country needs now in our War on Terror.

National Security Advisor-Annalie Nienow. For those of you that know Annie, she is perfect for this job for two reasons: She keeps secrets and doesn't take any shit from anyone. That is just what the NSA needs to do.

Attorney General-Paul Bolin. A great legal mind. Harvard Educated. And a flaming liberal. Perfect.

Director of Secret Service-Mark Peterson. Very serious, very intense. Perfect to protect me.

Sec of Treasury-Brad Hall. There isn't anyone I know that is better with money. Our government is in desperate need of this.

Sec of Education-Tina Graham. Tina's ongoing pursuit of true knowledge makes her perfect for the job. She is the only person I know who could truly implement the President Campbell Sex Education program effectively and carry the vision I have for it forward. For those of you ladies who are interested in learning more about this, please email me privately.

Homeland Security Director-Stephen Perkins. His first hand knowledge of terrorism will be a huge benefit here. In addition, his compassion and attention to detail will protect our country.

Sec of Transportation-Missy Boucher. This job will be a piece of cake for the gal who tour manages rock stars. Her tenacity and organization could get the airline industry in shape.

Sec of Labor-Dennis Ward. My father in law's years in the Union will bring a focused look at the working man's issues.

Secretary of HUD- Chuck Woodsy. Chuck is an architect. His vision for city layouts and planning makes him perfect for this job.

Sec of Agriculture- Susan Ferris. My aunt Suba has lived on a farm her whole life. She knows how people there think. Someone who understands this needs to challenge our nation's farmers to look past the 21st century.

Sec of Commerce-William Blumberg. My uncle's entrepreneurial spirit will defend the right of small business here and focus on them as the backbone of our nation.

Sec of Veteran Services- Ken Parsely. A Gulf War I veteran, Ken would bring some compassion to caring for the people that bring our lives safety everyday.

Sec of Energy- Gail Mooney. Her experience with one of the largest energy companies in our country as well as her common sense will be a huge asset in making the United States energy independent.

Sec of Interior-Cory Campbell. Another screaming liberal, my uncle Cory would bring his knowledge of the land to this post.

Sec of Health- Dr. Diane Schuck. I can't think of a better person to run this post than the woman that brought both of my children into this world.

Well, there you have it. What do you think?

Again, I apologize if you don't see your name here. See PL for a job.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Evolution of Mark

Some of you have emailed me recently or repsonded in the "Comments" section and wondered how I went from supporting the Iraq War to being against it. Many of you on the conservative side have wondered what happened to me as I spent much time arguing for some of the things the president was doing after 9-11.

I remember when Notes From the Front was an email list back then and I recall being called a fascist, a racist, and a right wing zealot. Scanning some of the recent emails and posts recently I see that now I am communist, feminist, and kook left wing zealot. My oh my how I have grown.

What made me grow and change? Well let's take a look at a timeline of events...something I am going to call the Evolution of Mark.

Nov 2000. The election debacle. I remember saying to myself at Thanksgiving that they should just give it to Bush. Even though I loathed his stance on social issues, I really wasn't involved in politics much at the time so I didn't care. I feel ashamed for feeling this way five years later.

Summer 2001. Bush gives a speech on stem cell research. I remember thinking when I saw him on TV that he looked like he had no idea what he was doing. He then goes on vacation for the entire month of August. I recall saying to some friends, "Is he really working down there?"

Sept 11. This was a day that I will never forget. It was just horrible. I really felt at the time that I should rally around the president....that we all should. Having first hand experience with Muslim extremism, I knew that the only way to deal with those people was force. There is no reasoning with them. I remember being proud of President Bush when he said that he would get bin Laden dead or alive. We attacked Afghanistan. Bush talked of nations being terrorist havens (Iran and North Korea) and they would pay for that in kind. I thought, finally, we were taking the fight to them.

Summer 2002. I was watching a press conferance with Bush. He was asked where Osama bin Laden was and was he still a threat. He had been asked that time and again. Over the last few months, he had dodged answering that question and instead chose to talk about Iraq. I thought this odd. Sure, Iraq was a problem. But did they really have WMDs? We already knew Iran and North Korea did. And most of the hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, a hotbed of anti American sentiment. Why was he talking about Iraq? Something just seemed wrong. Osama and Zawahari were still out there. They attacked us. Not Saddam.

Then he answered and I couldn't fucking believe it. He said the bin Laden was insignificant and didn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Here was a man who was responsible for the worst attack on our country's soil and he didn't matter anymore to our president? If you don't believe me, look it up. He said it. I have a copy of the news conference.

March 2003 The Iraq War unfolded and I felt that maybe we could take care of matters quickly and then move to the real enemies at hand. Maybe Bush had a reason for going there that I did not know about it. What did I know, anyway? I remember the famous "Mission Accomplished" speech and was actually thinking that the war might be over. Wow. I was so wrong. Looking back on "Mission Accomplished," I just have to laugh. What have we accomplished? The war is NOT over.

Summer 2004. Farenheit 9-11 comes out. I know that Michael Moore is the devil incarnate but if you go to his web site, he presents a ton of facts to back his claims. Here are all those pesky facts y'all have been asking about:

It is very hard as a man of good conscience to ignore this stuff. George Bush has pursued a policy that is extremly detremental to the United States and you'll have to pardon me if I get infuriated when people don't see this. Or even want to see a part of it.

Since that time we have seen that the Iraq policy has largely failed because the initail plan was flawed. High ranking generals fired, realities ignored, countless lives lost, and a president (and supporters) who refuse to look at bad news. And all the while, Al Qaeda is still out there with both of its leaders. The Iraq War could have been a good idea. At the time, I felt like we needed to take the fight to them. In retrospect, I was wrong. Iraq was the wrong choice.

So, why did we invade Iraq? Well, I think based upon the fact that US corporations are making a ton of money over there the reason why is self evident. In the end, all you have to do is follow the money. Haliburton is the number one contractor in Iraq. Cheney used to work there. I don't think I am going out on a limb by saying that the owners of that company are sympathetic to Bush. And he to them. The big money guys who helped elect Bush got their war. It has been going like that since President Eisenhower gave his farewell address in which he warned of the military industrial complex running (or ruining) or country.

The organizing force for any society is war. And in this particular situation we had a war that we NEEDED to fight and didn't and sill aren't. We, instead, fought one that we didn't have to fight. Supporters of the war claim that we are democratizing the Middle East and Iraq is the first step. I say fighting Al Qaeda is the first step.

Now I know that most of you on the right would like me to present an alternate plan to what the president has done. Here it is step by step.

1. Find bin Laden
2. Kill him
3. Find Zawahari
4. Kill him
5. Take the billions of dollars Bush was going to use in Iraq and develop an alternative source to oil.
6. Tell the Saudis to fuck off.
7. Tell Iran and North Korea that if we get credible intelligence that they sell a candy bar to any Muslim extemist group that has a beef with us that they will be able to live in their respective countries again in oh...about 90 years.

Maybe steps 5-7 are tough to do but 1-4? C'mon people. It's two guys for crying out loud. It's embarassing that our Secretary of Defense says things like, "Well, we don't do manhunts."

Yes, Don. We do manhunts when the people we are hunting want to destroy our entire way of life. Yes, President Bush, Osama bin Laden is significant because he is the leader of the group that WANTS TO KILL US!!!

I want the conservative people who read this to imagine a Gore or Kerry presidency. Close your eyes and really think about it. Now imagine if, on their watch, we lost the following: a spy plane over China, our budget surplus, most of our allies, four airplanes, the World Trade Center, a chunk of the Pentagon, 5000+ American lives and the City Of New Orleans.

That's a lousy track record and if it were a Democrat, conservatives and I would be very upset. As it stands, just I guess it's just me that's angry.