September – the good, the bad, and the who-can-tell?

Oh my good lord, it is finally September.

First of all: Israel/Palestine heads have been talking about “September” as if it were something more substantive than the name of a month since last spring, when it became clear that the Palestinians would be going to the UN to ask for state recognition “in September.”

What is the Palestinians’ game plan for “September”? What does “September” mean for peace process (such as)? What will “September” mean for the nascent Israeli social justice movement? Will “September” mean an upsurge in violence? Like that.

But that’s not all that’s happening this month! Oh, it’ll be a busy one. Get out your scorecards!

The good:

  1. DADT will finally, truly, really and for sure and for certain be repealed!! Whoot, and ring the bells! More equality, more civil rights, less lying, and less bigotry will make America a better place, and be a palpable blessing in the lives of millions. (Date: September 20)
  2. Israel’s J14 social protest to hold a Million Person March this Saturday. If it goes well, such a rally will breathe new life into the movement, and do so ahead of the meshugas of the Palestinian statehood bid, which will be very important if the social movement is to stand a chance of not being washed overboard with the rising tide of diplomatic fury. (Date: September 3)
  3. Palestinians (apparently) to ask the UN for state recognition. If they go through with it (still an “if”), this is good because at this point in history it seems pretty clear that the only chance for a genuine and just two-state solution lies in the Palestinian leadership doing an end-run around the Israeli leadership. The subtext of such a move is: We accept the UN’s 1947 partition of Palestine, choose to negotiate peace on the basis of the June 4, 1967 borders, and want to be a responsible member of the nation-state community. There are strong indications that the Palestinian leadership is taking this decision seriously (by which I mean: this isn’t mere optics), and planning accordingly, and that’s also a good thing. (Date: September 20)
  4. Liam Finn is coming to Chicago – and we’re going! Again with the whooting! (Date: September 23)
  5. Mah birthday! (Date: September 21)

The bad:

  1. Troy Davis can expect to get his execution date anytime this month. I’ve been talking about this all week long, all over the internet, but it boils down to this: Sometime this month, a man who is almost certainly innocent of the crime of which he was convicted, will be told when he is going to die. Only when Mr. Davis is given an execution date can he appeal to the Georgia Parole Board, and that will give him a roughly two week window. If you would like to try to keep this from happening, please click here. (Date: Sometime this month)
  2. Palestinians (apparently) going to go to the UN to ask for state recognition. If they go through with it, this is bad because Israel will freak out (has been freaking out for some timeadding to the settlers’ small-arms and militia-type training, threatening this, that, or the other diplomatic action, endless bathering about how dangerous this move is to the Jewish State) and when Israel freaks out, bad stuff happens. Usually bad, bloody stuff. And please don’t misunderstand: The Palestinians will absolutely play along and the bloodshed will be mutual. More Palestinians than Israelis will die, by a rather sizable margin (better weapons and freedom of movement go a long way in a war), but there will be death on both sides, and it will be awful, I’m fairly convinced. (Date: Whenever someone, on either side, blinks). (BTW: If you’re interested, here’s an excellent piece in Foreign Policy on just how irrational Israel is being).
  3. Tenth anniversary of 9/11. The horror never really ends, and just to make things worse: We’re still fighting two wars launched/nominally launched in response to that horror, appear to have learned no useful lessons (unless “security theater is more important that actual security” can be considered a useful lesson), continue to battle the Islamophobia unleashed in the wake of the attacks — and don’t even have a friggin’ memorial up yet. But we’re going to have to listen to a lot of people waxing Very Patriotic and Very Profound for the next couple of weeks and holy Moses in the bullrushes I really don’t want to. (Date: All around you, right now).

The who-can-tell?

  1. Palestinians (apparently) going to go to the UN to ask for state recognition. If they go through with it – who knows? Maybe it’ll all work out for the best? Fingers ever crossed? (Date: September 20)
  2. Matthew Sweet to release new album – hard to gauge this one. Dude’s a little inconsistent. “Girlfriend” (song and album) still buys him a lot of wiggle room, though. (Date: September 27)

On balance, all told, I kind of feel like this:

Crossposted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles.

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

A lot of bad news out there…

SO, I turn, as I so often do these days, to the one steady supply of good news: America’s LGBTQ community.

DON’T ASK DON’T TELL IS A THING OF THE PAST!

President Barack Obama signs the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 during a ceremony at the Interior Department in Washington, D.C., Dec. 22, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Barack Obama has put his signature to certification of the repeal of the military’s anti-gay “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which means that the ban on openly gay and lesbian members of the U.S. military officially ends in 60 days, or on Sept. 20.

“Today, we have taken the final major step toward ending the discriminatory ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ law that undermines our military readiness and violates American principles of fairness and equality,” the president said today after signing the repeal certification, adding that he had indeed “certified and notified Congress that the requirements for repeal have been met.”

The president continued, “As Commander in Chief, I have always been confident that our dedicated men and women in uniform would transition to a new policy in an orderly manner that preserves unit cohesion, recruitment, retention and military effectiveness. … Our military will no longer be deprived of the talents and skills of patriotic Americans just because they happen to be gay or lesbian.”

Obama also praised “our civilian and military leadership for moving forward in the careful and deliberate manner that this change requires, especially with our nation at war.”

That will make for a lovely birthday present, thank you very much US Congress and President Obama! When I wake up on my birthday on September 21, America will be one nice, big step closer to perfecting our union.

And thank you, LGBTQ community, for continuing to fight for that greater perfection. Your straight brothers and sisters owe you a debt of gratitude — and not just because you’re the only folks who deliver good news anymore.