BREAKING: Marion Christopher Barry, son of former mayor, has died from a drug overdose, according to family.https://t.co/Kd9bn2YwjU— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) August 14, 2016
I learned this awful, shocking news early Sunday morning from my friend Ronald King, who recently worked with Christopher on community outreach in Ward 8. Like so many others, I was rooting for this young man's healing. I met him last year during the special election, and found him very affable, though I was concerned that those who pushed him to run were exploiting him and not helping him. May he rest in peace. Condolences to his family and friends, and to all who did try to help him, who will be especially hurting today. It is so hard to free others of their demons. As Ronald wrote, may we redouble our efforts against the scourge of drug addiction in our communities. What a sad day. There was so much life ahead for him.
Wayne Grudem, a Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona, writes at the conservative website Townhall.com about why he supports Donald Trump. His article, "Why Voting for Donald Trump Is a Morally Good Choice," acknowledges several of Trump's character and behavioral flaws and then says it doesn't matter if the alternative is worse. He goes into a long list of issues on which he claims that Trump is better than Hillary Clinton.
I could not disagree more with Professor Grudem, so here I will respond to several of them. Given the enormous gulf between the candidates with regard to experience and qualifications, this election should not be close. The fact that the race is close should be a stark reminder not to treat the frightening prospect of a Trump presidency as something to dismiss lightly. Perhaps you may find some of my arguments useful in making the case to friends and family members who are sticking with Trump despite his almost daily barrage of appalling statements. Here goes, for what it's worth.
Abortion. I am sick of the religious bullying on this issue. The utter contempt for people making different choices in this area is very disturbing. I am personally troubled by abortion, and think that the ideal situation is for unwanted pregnancies to be prevented through contraception. But the question of whether to continue or end a pregnancy is not my decision. It is up to the woman. You can say a thousand times that this makes me pro-abortion, but that is not true. Respecting people's right to make a different choice than mine does not mean I agree with that choice. The point is that IT IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS.
As for contraception, the Catholic Church, in which I was raised, is stoutly opposed to it. A leading anti-choicer, former senator Rick Santorum, has made it clear that he does not just want to overturn Roe v. Wade, but also Griswold v. Connecticut, which legalized contraception for married couples, and Eisenstadt v. Baird, which did the same for single women. I find it stunning that people in this day and age are willing, much less determined, to mind their neighbors' business in such an intrusive way. The constitutional separation of church and state protects everyone by prohibiting us from imposing our religious dictates on one another.
Chelsea Manning violated the Espionage Act. She released vast numbers of documents in a reckless fashion. That being said, it does not justify abuse of a prisoner. Those who say that appropriate transgender healthcare should be withheld as punishment are damnably wrong. I hope that Manning will get the care that any prisoner deserves, as well as respect for her gender identity. Healthcare is a right; its denial is not a legitimate part of punishment.
Please join us at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, June 1 in the Martin Luther King Library for a community discussion on LGBTQ social justice and rights. It is an interesting panel of participants. GLAA President Rick Rosendall will moderate.
Bernie Sanders cancels meeting with HIV activists https://t.co/PiamyXtjl8— Washington Blade (@WashBlade) May 9, 2016
Our friend Ernest Hopkins, Director of Legislative Affairs at San Francisco AIDS Foundation, writes:
I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. The group pulling this set of meetings together went out of their way to accommodate Senator Sanders such was the interest in presenting our recommendations to him and his staff. Advocates even relented to a demand that only Sanders supporters be invited to the meeting. To my knowledge, no such bizarre demand was made by the Clinton campaign and now, there is no Sanders meeting. When you cut yourself off from the expertise on an issue, and predicate your engagement to the degree supporters can make the case, you come off as very thin skinned, a bit petty, and 'political' to the extreme. The Clinton meeting is Thursday in NYC, and I will report back.
Sanders diminishes himself the more he behaves like this. Meanwhile, Jane Sanders urges the FBI to speed up its investigation of Hillary's email scandal. Bernie's issue-driven campaign is sinking more and more into desperation and meanness.
My friend Walter Dellinger shares a priceless anecdote on the WaPo letters page. Here is an excerpt:
My grandfather ate the Charlotte Observer. Regularly. The entire paper. I’m not making this up. Ray Lawing was an off-and-on alcoholic. Even though he had abandoned my mother when she was a child, she took him in when he had no place else to go. (She did not claim to be acting out of moral duty: “He was just such good company,” she said. “Always good for a laugh.”)
He would consume the Observer while sitting in the yard watching me play. (For understandable reasons, he was not allowed to eat the newspaper in the house.) He would carefully tear each page into strips, then liberally salt each strip and chew it.
Happy birthday, Ernest Hopkins, one of the finest activists and persons I know. Many happy returns of the day.
(Photo: Ernest Hopkins stands behind President Obama as he signs the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009, October 30, 2009.)
A note on the fight against HIV and AIDS—and the people who really started the conversation. https://t.co/7nT47FqDep— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 13, 2016
Thanks to Secretary Clinton for this statement.
We should all be embarrassed by our community's overreaction to Hillary's gaffe about Nancy Reagan on Friday. It was as if her entire record were reduced to one statement at a funeral. That was not true. Here is one example from her tenure as Secretary of State. She is a proven ally and we need to get serious. Too much is at stake in this election for us to be on a hair trigger, looking for excuses to be outraged.
The likelihood is that our next president will either be this woman or the Republican frontrunner, who never admits he was wrong much less apologizes or uses a gaffe as a teachable moment. This thoughtful, capable, and seasoned stateswoman, or an utterly self-absorbed, bullying goon. Let's help our country move forward, not be accessories in tearing it apart. So very much is at stake.
Thank goodness. South Dakota Governor Daugaard has vetoed legislation that would have prohibited transgender students from using bathrooms that match their gender. Congrats to the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Transgender Law Center, and all who worked to persuade Gov. Daugaard to do the just and humane thing. More work ahead in states across the country, but this is encouraging.
If there is a hell....
Michigan gave purified water to state workers in Flint long before it acknowledged a problem with the city's water https://t.co/spmnvSzDtg— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 29, 2016