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Should We Fault Dan Choi For Earning Some Cash For Being An Activist?

I sort of have no problem with Dan Choi earning some cash from his activism. After all, the guy is out of a job, and while some other private employers might value his skill set, for now he has no income. And why shouldn’t full-time activists be able to earn a living from their hard work?

Choi has an agent. He gets paid speaking fees (like $7,500 at Texas A&M). This upsets activist Michael Petrelis and Melanie Nathan at Lez Get Real, because hey, why should activists make bank doing good works?

Because it’s often their full-time job, that’s why. Choi earning some cash for speaking in front of audiences, and perhaps shopping a book around, is not the same thing as collecting a salary for leading, say, the Human Rights Campaign. Choi is a private, currently unemployed citizen. He’s got a background and expertise that makes him qualified to speak on gays in the military and other civil rights issues. (There’s also some contention about Choi having his first-class travel expenses, totaling $2,300 for A&M, paid by the university, but that’s a pretty standard rider.) Much of this criticism — which also gets aimed at Choi’s co-horts, GetEQUAL’s Robin McGehee and Kip Williams, whom gave up full-time jobs to do activism full-time — is also tied to the timing of Choi acknowledging his discharge (which which was finalized in June but Choi says he didn’t find out until this month when contacted by Gay City News) because, supposedly, his speaking gigs are more profitable when he’s in uniform.

But considering all the factors, I sort of can’t believe Choi would lie about not knowing he was discharged, as his entire platform for activism was fighting his the policy that would enable discharge. That he was discharged arguably strengthens Choi’s argument: He is now a qualified-but-fired gay soldier, proving his point about the discriminatory nature of DADT.

At the end of all this, you’ll make your own decision about whether Choi’s tactics — White House fence chaining, giving Harry Reid his West Point ring — are helping or hurting the cause. But don’t fault the guy for pocketing some cash along the way. Choi is not part of Gay Inc., or at least its most problematic elements (namely, soliciting donations while doing nothing to challenge the political establishment). Nathan is right to demand some transparency from Choi, as he’s among those out there calling for the gay community to rally behind his causes. You have the right to make an informed decision about whether you want to join him.

But we’d be wrong to expect full-time activists to donate their time and resources gratis without any pay days. They have mortgages to pay, families to feed, and discriminatory taxes to file. If these courageous men and women weren’t able to make some money from their activities, we likely wouldn’t have them around.

By:           John Rogers
On:           Jul 29, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

  • 127 Comments
    • tylertime
      tylertime

      I will no longer support Choi. An activist is about passion and not a paycheck. I have the same problem with HRC. You should be speaking up and fighting because you believe in a cause and not because you are being paid to be a mouthpiece. Once you get paid for “a cause” you start to tell the people paying the bills what they want to hear and not what is necessarily true.

      Jul 29, 2010 at 11:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paula Brooks
      Paula Brooks

      The question we have been asking at Lez Get Real is… which came first…. the agent or the activist?

      Jul 29, 2010 at 11:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      uh, until someone else can get out there and kick ass and speak as passionately and unapologetically as Dan Choi does….I have one thing to say….STFU !!…..you can’t pay someone enough for the way Choi delivers the hard driving message that the entire gay community should be doing. If we’re wimps about demanding equal rights, we don’t deserve them. You can’t put a price tag on what Choi does and he deserves every f…ucking cent !!!

      Jul 29, 2010 at 11:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)
      Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

      Now comes the payoff…..just another self-serving cog in Gay, Inc. Pocket the meny and run like hell, He’ll fit right in with the HRC and GLTF crowd.

      Jul 29, 2010 at 11:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jamison
      jamison

      he has to make a living in some fashion. and i seriously doubt he’s in it for speaking fees.

      Jul 29, 2010 at 11:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TiredOldQueen@Queerty
      TiredOldQueen@Queerty

      @tylertime: I think that is a bit over broad and harsh, but when Choi (reportedly) turned down a speaking gig because they couldn’t pay, I did have my reservations.

      That said, I also think that when you become famous for something its ok to exploit that fame, within reason. Baby needs new shoes, right?

      The guy has chutzpah, and in America that means you can actually make some money and build a calling from it that pays some bills.

      In most of the world (including Mexico) it most likely means you get assassinated.

      So here’s to chutzpah, and our freedom to call out the lowbrow garishness of it.

      Jul 29, 2010 at 11:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scottyhouston
      scottyhouston

      @tylertime: I’m with you Tylertime! I’m a recently retired Air Force guy who always thought my 23 year service to my country was a quiet yet small step in helping my fellow/straight Airman around me more comfortable with gays in the military. Most of my close co-workers knew and I retired with honors and with a LOT of visibility. I was never “out” in the sense of chaining myself to The White House fence but those around me knew and to me, that was a babystep in this whole issue. I have never supported or overly condoned the “militant” gay. I believe it turns people off and in the end makes matters worse. The fact that Choi is now accepting cash doesn’t sit well with me.

      Jul 29, 2010 at 11:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      oh PLEASE !!!! It’s wimps like you Scotty who hold the movement back…..we are beyond pathetic “babysteps”…..where is our Martin Luther King, our Malcolm X, our Gloria Steinham for God’s sake ??? Give me one national name that comes close as as an instantly recognizable “leader” in gaining equal rights for LGBT Americans and I’ll shut up…..There are none…..at least Dan Choi is a step in the right direction….God, you passive queens make me sick !!!!!

      Jul 29, 2010 at 11:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      So, what I’m assumed to take away from this is… when money is involved, shit hits the fan, right?

      As long as he keeps going like he has, I don’t give a fuck if he gets paid or not. Just because he gets to cash in on his ideas doesn’t mean he’ll turn into a money-grubbing machine and stop caring about equal rights.

      Jul 29, 2010 at 11:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CJ
      CJ

      He’s doing more than most people. He’s getting press. He’s keeping attention on important issues. We need more people stirring the pot.

      I don’t fault him for making a buck along the way. And, I don’t think he owes me or anyone else any “transparency” about it. He’s no different than anyone else who goes around promoting change. It just happens to be a very person issue for him, unlike with some speakers that pretend to know everyone & get paid because they’re a celebrity. Choi has lived under discrimination. His story inspires people to get involved and speak up. We need this type of enthusiasm.

      Jul 29, 2010 at 11:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randy
      randy

      Please. Some idiots demand that our best activists on the left should work for free. What nonsense! I guess there is something dirty about money in their minds. Meanwhile, our enemies make very good salaries telling lies about us. You think Maggie Gallagher works for free? You think all those conservative think tanks refuse money from the Scaife family? You think all the people at Fox News dream up their propaganda for free?

      It’s ironic — lefties think about money the same way the religious right thinks about sex — it’s something you do only once in a great while, but otherwise to be avoided at all costs.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 12:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Don't Pay for Activism
      Don't Pay for Activism

      People don’t know the truth about Choi. Choi LEFT the Army in 2008 on his own. A year later he joined the NY National Guard (not quite the Army) just to “come out” and gain attention. He has tried to turn his service into a “cause” and a paycheck.

      He’s also being paid by GetEqual and they have helped promote him. The ear of “paid activism” will be short-lived. People shouldn’t scheme to make money of of fame related to a cause. It makes them phony. We don’t need more phony.

      From the grandstanding at the White House fence to the attempted suicide by hunger, Choi has spent the last two years PROMOTING HIMSELF, not LGBT equality. None of his antics have helped our community. The fact that he is getting paid is repulsive. Even his “discharge” is bull-shit – he quit two years ago. Serving in the NY National Gurad was just a ploy to be able to say he was still a “soldier.” He quit in 2008 and after a year off, he wanted some attention – so he joined the non-active-duty NY National Guard and began to protest DADT.

      Aside from all this Dan Choi is not a good speaker. He doesn’t (really) have a compelling story to tell and he has absolutely NO charisma.

      This new era of manufactured activism hurts our movement. It isn’t real and it certainly isn’t worth money. Real activists must be pissed off and disheartened. Choi and GetEqual need to go away.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 12:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sug Night
      Sug Night

      THANKS, Randy, well put, and I couldn’t agree more.

      It’s the Mother Teresa complex – to be above board and really doing it from the heart, one should be a pauper and receive no renumeration whatsoever. RIDICULOUS. Choi deserves to get paid for his speaking engagements just as much as that horse-faced Ann Coulter (my appologies to the horse).

      STOP equating PURITY with POVERTY!!!

      Jul 30, 2010 at 12:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason Tinley
      Jason Tinley

      @Don’t Pay for Activism: Choi is an “attention-whore.” You are correct about his story – he is a self promoter trying to make money, not trying to help obtain our equal rights. He is also boring. I’m glad people are now learning the truth. He’s not a soldier. He was, but he quit in 2008. When he couldn’t find a way to make a living, he decided to become an activist – a paid one.

      The gig is over Choi. Find a job. We’re not going to pay you.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 12:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NY Equality
      NY Equality

      Paid to care. That just sucks. I know dozens of activists that work tirelessly on our behalf – they would feel cheap to take money for something they believe in. Choi only cares about himself.

      Get a job in Security, not Equality.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 12:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 11 · Don’t Pay for Activism wrote, “He [Dan Choi] quit in 2008 and after a year off, he wanted some attention – so he joined the non-active-duty NY National Guard and began to protest DADT.”

      According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Choi Dan Choi transferred from active duty in the Army to the New York National Guard – it didn’t mention a gap.

      Also, http://nw-assets.s3.amazonaws.com/pdf/Choi_Memo.pdf has a copy of his official discharge letter and it comes from the Department of Defense.

      If you have a source to back up that statement about a year off and wanting publicity, please provide a link.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 12:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason Tinley
      Jason Tinley

      NY National Guard is NOT the Army. Choi is an attention-whore. Will he have another hunger strike? How much will he charge?

      Jul 30, 2010 at 12:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      I think all activists should starve to death.

      It guarantees we won’t have to worry about them getting anything done.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 12:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Clint
      Clint

      Choi, you still have my support. Keep doin’ what you’re doin’.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 1:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DEREK WASHINGTON
      DEREK WASHINGTON

      UH, I’m an activist and truly believe in what I work on.

      Let me tell you how much I wish my chubby ass could afford PRADA’s Fall 2010 Mens Collection and a Porsche Panamera to sled around in whilst Mackin’ on activist hotties.

      First person who pays me good bank to do what I already do and believe in has an activist who wears PRADA.

      You wanna starve to be muy real, good for you. I know from personal experience you can be real and not worry about your cell phone bill. It’s a lot easier to be an activist when your cell is working and the rent is paid.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 1:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • reason
      reason

      Choi is free to make all the money he wants now, just like Rush Limbaugh, by all means necessary. The man has to eat once this hungry strike is over and do a lot more when the cash starts rolling. Granted that DADT is on schedule for this year he can get ready to pen his book and attempt to take credit.

      I have said it before he abandoned his army unit when the going got tough in Iraq leaving his comrades on the battlefield. They had to do it with out him, during the surge in Iraq Choi was back at home. Jumped ship to the National Guard. The salt in the wound was that he was one of the few Arab linguist that we have, and he decided to abandoned that theater indirectly endangering the troops. Once over here in the Guard then he decided that he had enough and went to visit Maddow. Now he is running around embarrassing our allies, the latest Senator Reid who’s staff was enraged that Choi would embarrass him like that at a time when he is in an election and currently working on getting the votes to pass DADT repeal in the Senate. I applaud Reid, most people would drop DADT repeal on the spot after the histrionics by Choi and the vitriol pointed at them from the blogs. Reid went into the lions den, spoke honestly, was ungraciously attacked by Choi, kept his composure and acted graciously. Choi always fleeing from a fight, people like Rosa Parks actual stood up to enemies like George Wallace, she didn’t embarrass JFK or Lyndon Johnson becuase they were moving to slow.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 1:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kevin
      Kevin

      @Sug Night: You mean “remuneration” not “renumeration.” Just a little pet peeve of mine.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 1:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • littlebylittle
      littlebylittle

      It’s no wonder we LGBT Americans have no national gay figure with all the cattiness from other LGBT folks directed at any potential leaders. If he is really disingenuous and just doing this activist work for fame and fortune, that would be one thing, but I’ve haven’t read hard evidence of that yet.

      I just wonder a two things about the Choi critics: what exactly are *you* doing to advance LGBT rights and how do you think full-time activists who have the skills to serve as public figures are supposed to do activist work and hold down conventional jobs at the same time?

      Jul 30, 2010 at 2:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • truthteller
      truthteller

      How stupid to think an activist doesn’t deserve to have funds to take care of his necessities in life. Some people think getting paid to fight to bring equality to the gay community cheapens the fight. How the hell is he supposed to support himself?

      This is the American dream. To make a living doing something you are passionate about. Go, Choi, Go.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 2:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      Well, gay actors get paid for playing a role, and that’s OK. So, I’d say, if someone wants to pay Dan for his role as a gay activist, that’s OK too, provided he stays true to the role, and doesn’t become a self-serving bad actor. Trust is all that really matters. Money just pays the bills.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 3:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • reason
      reason

      @littlebylittle: There is nothing wrong with activist making money they all should. The problem I have with Choi is his advocating is hurting the community, making him part of the problem. Tie that in with some of his past actions and you have to wonder about his motivations or his intelligence. Being a West Point graduate the former looks more reasonable. But who knows which one? That is why there is cognitive dissonance out there and these other questions pop up like is he suffering from some trauma inflicted psychological disorder.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 3:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • geoff b
      geoff b

      He basically got fired over something no one should be fired for. I have no problem with him being able to fight the good fight and be able to put a roof over his head and food on his table while doing so.Maybe he’ll be the catalyst for change, and wouldn’t that be a good thing?

      Jul 30, 2010 at 4:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Homask
      Homask

      Of course he should make money; he’s just doing what every other person in our community does. What distresses me is that he’s so pro-military. I don’t feel particularly liberated or proud when gay people slaughter civilians, just like our straight brothers and sisters do. Protecting our country? How about protecting big oil, big money, and the pathologically insecure. I used to have the notion that the gay community could show the world how to live a better, more humane and decent life. If only.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 4:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Starving For Attention
      Starving For Attention

      Choi is a Drama Queen, not an activist. I knew he would do anything for attention when he did his 5-day Hunger Strike.

      Reason is right – Choi quit the Army. Now, he should quit being an ass hole and attacking our friends. Didin’t he learn anything in the Military? You fight the enemy, not your friends and allies.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 4:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Don’t Pay for Activism: Howdy, AndrewW.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 4:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bought Choi
      Bought Choi

      I think activists should make a living, but Choi is about celebrity. He works for GetStupid and that band of idiots have no idea what they’re doing. I think Choi left the Army and then saw an opportunity to come back and make a stink about DADT, so he joined the part-time NY National Guard. Then he started to create a story that simply isn’t true in order to become “famous.”

      I would feel a little different if the way he delivered our message was helpful – it isn’t. I hate to say it, but he’s an angry drama queen and he doesn’t articulate our struggle very well.

      Choi isn’t a leader. I wouldn’t even call him an activist – that offends the many soincere activists that work tirelessly without speaking fees or travel expenses. Prima Danna.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 5:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • earl trowbridge
      earl trowbridge

      Save your criticisms for the NOM people, let Dan Choi make a bit of bread, he is not going to be buying a house from these earnings, my friends. Let’s not begrudge these little perks to a man who has dedicated his life to our cause. Go Dan Go!

      Jul 30, 2010 at 5:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      AndrewW & his sockpuppets are certainly busy tonight! With better than 82% inter-textual reliability, I’m safe saying he’s posted at least 7 times on this thread.

      As for Dan: don’t coast. Ride. Figure out what you do best, do it smart, & move upward & onward. There’s no doubt a place for you in our movement as long as you focus.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 5:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      Good for you Dan. I support ANY gay person who has suffered directly for being gay and is angry about it. All you traitors (and/or religious nut jobs) saying he’s being a drama queen over GAY RIGHTS on here are completely disconnected with gay issues and people like you will never, ever help our cause get anywhere in this lifetime or the next. You live with hope as opposed to action.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 6:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeff
      Jeff

      Look. IMO there’s a HUGE difference between Dan Choi making some bread to live on opff speaking gigs and the OBSCENE salries that the leaders of our Gay Inc. orgs pull in year after year for basically doing nothing.

      Maybe evertone should start with Joe Solmonese, Rea Carey, Jarret Barrios, and Jeff Koors first.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 7:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tim W
      Tim W

      @Jeffree: I was thinking the same thing. It’s convienent here because AndrewW can make 15 different names to make it look like all the gays oppose Choi. He’s already started that on other sites. He is using a different name on gay.americablog but posts the exact response he did on another site.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 8:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WalkderDC
      WalkderDC

      I see HRC has all their staff ready to go any time an article about Choi shows up. Suddenly all these screenames that you never see on any other articles are writing these long attacks. They are way too angry for this to be a real opinion. If you don’t agree with Choi fine, but the all crazy anger that some of these posts are showing are the anger of people that work for HRC going “How DARE anybody do something without us?!?!”

      As for Choi getting hired and having a job, lets see, he got stuff done for us before getting hired. What did Joe Solomnase ever do for the gay community before he got his $300,000 a year, plus benefirs, clothing, and travel, job at HRC?

      Jul 30, 2010 at 8:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sug Night
      Sug Night

      Thanks, Kev….next time I’ll post BEFORE I chase down the ambien with a couple of glasses of wine!@?!?!?

      It’s true, however, that we tend to crucify our own. Easy to do while sitting in front of a keyboard. Who’s going to want to lead our cause?

      Jul 30, 2010 at 9:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rick Brannon
      Rick Brannon

      He’s not raping children, selling dope or beating people.

      Get over it, fuckfaces.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 9:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • IAmAGeniusYoureAllMorons
      IAmAGeniusYoureAllMorons

      Just proves that us fags are as self-serving, money-grubbing and hypocritical as straights. Dan Choi? Another disappointment. Dustin Lance Bareback? Pitiful. Human Rights Campaign? Embarrassment. Lance Bass? A joke. Marc Jacobs? Arrested development. Hollywood actors and politicians in the closet? Cowards. What else is new there. We keep fiddling as we burn. HIV infections rise; we don’t provide role models to our youth; our rights are being trampled; Obama does nothing for us; and we are just complacent to take it all in as long as we can go to the gym, party hardy and go gaga over the latest porn star. Our post gay world: total irrelevance, ludicrous joke.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 9:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lanjier
      Lanjier

      How do I feel about it? I wouldn’t care if he made a trillion dollars a day and traveled to each stop on a personal luxury airplane appointed with every luxury imaginable. He put his life on the line for us, and then put his career at risk to help us. So no — no expense is too great for someone like that.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 9:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lanjier
      Lanjier

      And of course it is the HRC fucktards posting. He has royally embarrassed them. They have an entire company with a 400,00 per year fuck-up leading them, and here a meagerly paid veteran does what they could never do due to their inbreeding with the Administration.

      If Joe Solmonese takes an appointment in the Obama administration, their should be HELL TO PAY.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 9:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • keith meinhold
      keith meinhold

      He should take the money. Activism is not cheap. I was in a similar situation and didn’t accept comphensation, as a result the fear of becoming homeless kept me from participating in activities to further our movement. When returned to active duty I was a month behind on rent – I hope Lt. Choi is not put in the same situation.

      We may not all agree with everything that Lt. Choi (or any other activist/organization) does, but he is out there doing something, and I support that. He (and other activists/organizations) need our support, not our arm-chair criticisms. If you don’t like what he and others are doing, well then get out there and lead with your own example.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 9:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • keith meinhold
      keith meinhold

      He should take the money. Activism is not cheap. I was in a similar situation and didn’t accept compensation, as a result the fear of becoming homeless kept me from participating in activities to further our movement. When returned to active duty I was a month behind on rent – I hope Lt. Choi is not put in the same situation.

      We may not all agree with everything that Lt. Choi (or any other activist/organization) does, but he is out there doing something, and I support that. He (and other activists/organizations) need our support, not our arm-chair criticisms. If you don’t like what he and others are doing, well then get out there and lead with your own example.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 9:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rick Brannon
      Rick Brannon

      @IAmAGeniusYoureAllMorons: You talk as if those are BAD things!

      Jul 30, 2010 at 9:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randy
      randy

      So some gay people don’t like Choi’s activism. Sure — because HRC and all the rest have done such a bangup job in securing our rights.

      ENDA is dead this year. No repeal efforts on DOMA. DADT might be repealed at some point way in the future. And not a single popular initiative has approved of SSM. Our fierce advocate in the White House can’t seem to do more than host a cocktail party.

      Heckuva job, guys!

      And then, out of frustration because of the total lack of progress on these issues, here comes Choi and a few others, and all we can do is knock them down? Because they aren’t perfect?

      Name one person on the anti-gay right who is perfect. Yet, they have all been quite effective in stopping us at every turn. You don’t need perfection to be effective — you just need to be effective.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 10:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      Wow, once again, we tear our own down as they try to work for the community.

      Activism, speaking engagements, and travel ain’t cheap. Add to that the basic living needs like rent and utilities, and the guy’s gotta get paid somehow. These pseudo-socialist arguments that he needs to bankrupt himself in order to be an effective advocate are simply ludicrous, and the ones espousing such a position need to understand that unless there is a nice gay network of folks willing to support this guy while he does everything for free and pay all of his bills, there’s not need to demand he become a martyr.

      Grow up already, this guy is one of the most effective activists we have right now, and certainly the most recognizable.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 10:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus
      Brutus

      The rampant capitalism and Choi worship in this thread is revolting.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 10:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Timothy SD
      Timothy SD

      Dan Choi is our MLK – we should pay him more than Joe Solmonese. We wouldn’t have DADT Repeal or ENDA being passed if we didn’t have Dan Choi. Obama is afriad of him.

      He is smart, cute, inspiring and a true liter. Go Dan!

      Jul 30, 2010 at 11:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com
      Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

      BOTTOMLINE: PAULA BROOKS AND HER FELLOW SOWS AT LEZGETRIDICULOUS ARE APPARENTLY VERY DISTURBED. MUST BE A SHORTAGE OF HALOPERIDOL IN THE WORLD BASED ON THEIR HYSTERICAL, IRRATIONAL CHARGES AND THE OUTRIGHT LIES OF “REASON” [WHO IS TALKING OUT OF HIS ASS BOTH ABOUT DAN'S MILITARY SERVICE, WHICH IS THE TYPICAL PATTERN, AND THE HISTORY OF THE BLACK CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT...MLK, ET AL., "EMBARASSED" THE DEMS REPEATEDLY...SO MUCH SO THAT THEY SENT ADAM CLAYTON POWELL TO BLACKMAIL KING WITH A CHARGE THAT HE WAS HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH BAYARD RUSTIN SO HE'D CALL OFF A PROTEST AT THE DNC CONVENTION] AND “ANDREW W” [WHO CLAIMS IN ONE PLACE THAT DAN IS MAKING "X" AND IN ANOTHER IS MAKING "Y" WHEN HE DOESN'T KNOW SHIT FROM SHINOLA ABOUT WHAT DAN MAKES AT ALL] AND THEIR ASSORTED OTHER FAKE NAMES.

      HERE’S A PICTURE FROM THEIR LAST PICNIC:

      [img]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_rvWdFzZHlSg/Rd-vkg7VPHI/AAAAAAAAAgo/vp8Df185qsA/s400/cockroaches022205_2.jpg[/img]

      Jul 30, 2010 at 11:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RomanHans
      RomanHans

      $7,500 is chickenfeed when compared to what other people are getting. Most heads of non-profit charitable organizations in New York are making $250,000, and the head of GLAAD is supposedly pulling down upwards of $600,000. Then there’s the dudes being paid $90,000 by GetEqual to sit down in intersections. . . .

      Yes, in a perfect world activism and charity work would be its own reward. Unfortunately, this ain’t that. I’ll start questioning the esteemed Mr. Choi when you can prove he’s earning six figures a year.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 12:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      I’ll put Dan Choi, and what he’s done, and his Salary, up against Joe Solonnase, what he’s done and HIS salary any day.

      Remember, during the time when DADT was being debated, Joe was over in England…not even bothering to be in the U.S. or to name somebody else publicly at HRC to handle things during the most important time in gay rights in the last 2 decades while he was off in Europe. And THAT is worth the fortune he makes?

      Jul 30, 2010 at 1:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      This site needs a better system to address a) sock puppets and b) ratings system

      Jul 30, 2010 at 1:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      …and spam warnings. Why is this blog post almost impossible to post to?

      Jul 30, 2010 at 1:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steff
      Steff

      You know, there is great difficulty in evaluating Dan Choi. I want to like him. He has stood his ground on an issue that matters to him the most and never wavered. Also, the sum of money he is asking for is not ridiculous. GetEQUAL is a much needed organization and while their tactics might seem elementary, it certainly commands the press that is required for any issue to stay afloat these days. However, with that being said we need organizations like HRC that court a different strategy which is more of an insider aspect. Granted, the whole Gay Inc. is riddled with its own corruption. If these two varying philosophies actually joined forces, it might actually do a world of good then imploding into bitter gay politics. Michael Lucas was right (for once) about us being leaderless(not due to a lack of good people) but Dan Choi is not that certain individual for us. His major flaw probably rests in the cliche concept does the means justify the ends. Is his quest ego driven? That certainly will be a toss up. You become a leader out of passion and conviction, you must have integrity but never our a sense of entitlement.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 2:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JamesStone
      JamesStone

      I am so proud of Dan!! I heard him interviewed on the Michelangelo Signorile show on Sirius XM. He talked a lot about being in the closet and how toxic it was..about his thoughts of suicide..which so many gay people consider while struggling with their sexuality.
      So many of these comments are negative?? For those who criticize him..what have you done personally to advance our rights?? I think it would be a good idea to direct all of this negative energy towards NOM, Focus on the Family, and the numerous politicians who want to keep us as second class citizens instead of Dan. I for one am SICK of being a second class citizen. My partner and I have been together for nearly 20 years and here in our state he is nothing to me legally. We pay twice for health insurance..taxes.. Fair? I think not!! So, thank you Dan for speaking up and thank you for your service to our country…

      Jul 30, 2010 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randy
      randy

      “The rampant capitalism and Choi worship in this thread is revolting.”

      Rampant capitalism? And people scoffed when I said that money is to lefties like sex is to the religious right.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 3:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • edgyguy1426
      edgyguy1426

      He deserves every penny. Try flying Washington to Vegas to wherever else something is going on $0 let alone on service pay. Add to travel expenses, attorneys fees when you get arrested, bail money etc etc.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 3:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • roger
      roger

      i don’t really care about him getting paid. but i do question those who would pay him to speak though, because he really is an AWFUL speaker. in just about every way. i work on a campus that hosted him. he was ridiculously demanding considering the public profile he promotes and encourages. (think selfless, victimized, and saintly.) very demanding, and NOT worth the money or effort.

      note that i don’t care AT ALL about demanding speakers and performers so long as they can deliver. dan didn’t deliver. but he sure did collect a healthy speaking fee…

      and watch his numerous appearances on cable talk shows: he is an awful spokesperson for this whole movement. it seems much more about his profile than about dadt or any other agenda.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 4:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      Getting fired was Dan’s calculated decision. He chose to get fired to follow his current path, and if by design, he chooses to make this a paid career, the market will decide his value. I do not agree with the rules of the game, and have a choice to either not play, or work toward change. Human rights has always been a struggle, and I imagine will be, at least for the remainder of my life.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 5:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      Leaders and spokespeople should be elected, not by toadying ‘boards’ and not by being self appointed like the ‘leaders’ of HRC, EQCA and dozens of other groups. The salaries and perks of most self appointed leaders, who are basically just hustlers and parasites like Solmonese, are genuinely obscene.

      Leaders should be ELECTED by conventions of activists based on their politics and organizational abilities, not star power. Stars are a thing of the moment, it’s the political issues that have staying power.

      I think a good guideline is to try to pay people a salary no higher than that of most industrial or transportation trade unionists, roughly S40,000.00 a year. If they can get by on a stipend that’s even better but no one should be a leader just because they can pay their own way.

      When we organize a national movement on these organizational guidelines, with internal democracy, independence from the bigots in the Democrat party and their Republican cousin-brothers and with a militant program then, and only then, will be begin to make progress.

      Right now, as this discussion shows, we’re just spinning our wheels.

      Less of this

      [img]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_kGAcTmnwTeg/RiFP9aCch7I/AAAAAAAAAAY/EB1-2wxvzHU/s400/finnypig.jpg[/img]

      and more of this

      [img]http://api.ning.com/files/cdJJHoXtiKWpUgKhOUW3vntxZXSCxNfxMTq2ikoznndBfGRn8r3DlgMXX4q3pLeMcHH5wh–BBPfJt7lxIZzFDK5EcE8l7zs/blackpanther.jpg[/img]

      Jul 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      More of this [img]http://images.mylot.com/userImages/images/postphotos/2023860.jpg[/img]

      Jul 30, 2010 at 6:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      Tough call. Should members of the clergy get paid? How about politicians or lobbyists? What about the Chamber of Commerce or the BBB? All are activists. All are currently getting paid. If pay is OK, should there be a cap? Me thinks, if the answer is yes, many of the above would choose other vocations and/or avocations.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 6:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • truthteller
      truthteller

      Dan Choi is like Rosa Parks. They refuse to shut up and make a lot of people uncomfortable. Deal with your issues people. Go, Choi, Go.

      @Roger
      If you are so much more, intelligent, refined and eloquent than Choi, why don’t you get off your ass and do something about it?

      And he goes into an irrational, hate-fueld, personal tirade in 4,3,2,….

      Jul 30, 2010 at 7:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gray
      Gray

      He’s not an activist he’s an embarrassment. He breaks military rules and general ideas about proper decorum that ALL military members have to abide by. Consider this: we(the gay community ) are trying to make the case that repealing DADT will NOT impact three things: morale, readiness, and good order and discipline. That is seriously the actual wording of the statute we are trying to have repealed. Now, one person tell me how Dan Choi’s chaining himself to the white house fence moves that argument forward and I’ll resign my commission in the US Navy. Dan Choi is literally giving the far right ammunition to use in congressional hearings. When a senator asks “will this impact good order and discipline?” a right wing nut job can answer with absolute evidence to back himself up, “yes, look at what their “leader” does. Stop worshiping Dan Choi. He is ruining the chances ofthis policy getting repealed. If it ever does get repealed, I’m sure Choi will take tons of credit when all he has done is hamper the progress with his ridicuouls antics. I’m gay and in the military. His decorum makes me cringe. Oh and btw even after dadt is repealed, you still won’t be allowed to kiss men in uniform in public, it’s banned for everyone, Dan.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 7:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com
      Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

      @Gray:

      If you ARE genuinely in the military, you’re one of those brainwashed sadsacks who forget that the FIRST and overriding part of your oath was to defend the Constitution. If military policies or orders contradict its protections, then it is your DUTY to oppose them. Have you never violated UCMJ Article 125 while in the service? The logical extension of what your drooling is that we should just ACCEPT the ban because it IS a military policy and law. That, at best, makes you a gay Uncle Tom.

      While it’s convenient for you to hide in the military closet while OTHERS fight for you, such as Dan, here’s what three veterans have said about him, one straight, two gay, with, I’d wager, much higher credentials to comment than you both about his integrity and contribution.

      [img]http://miamiherald.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451b26169e20120a934afec970b-pi[/img]

      KEITH MEINHOLD: outed himself in 1992 to fight the pre-DADT ban. Discharge barred by the courts, after which he served several years as an out gay man in the Navy before retiring:

      “I firmly believe LT Choi to be a hero. He took on the U.S. Government and endured incredible pressures that few are willing to take on in an effort to make our military stronger. He sacrificed his career doing it. We owe him gratitude not only for his service to our nation, but his selfless sacrifice for our community.”

      [img]http://www.queerty.com/wp/docs/2009/07/patrick-murphy.jpg[/img]

      CONG. PATRICK MURPHY: former ARMY CAPTAIN, Iraq veteran, former constitutional law instructor at West Point and JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL’S CORPS ATTORNEY, and our strongest straight ally in Congress; speaking after Dan’s first arrest at the White House:


      “Dan Choi is a hero.”

      [img]http://www.leonardmatlovich.com/images/188_Al-Steinman-j.jpg[/img]

      Gay former REAR ADMIRAL ALAN STEINMAN; twenty-five years of service, one of the most respected leaders in the fight to end the ban, and one of those who met with the Obama transition team shortly before he was sworn in and urged him to not reappoint Gates and to personally put repeal in last year’s DEFAUTH; in an e-mail he sent to Dan upon learning of his discharge that I was privileged to be copied on:

      “Dan,

      Your courage in the fight to repeal DADT is an inspiration to all gay, lesbian and bisexual men and women who don the uniform in defense of our nation. I know you will not let your discharge discourage you; your public voice on this issue has done much to attract the attention of our country and shine a very bright light on the onerous and discriminatory law that is DADT. Please continue to speak out forcefully; our fight is not over yet, as you know only too well.

      Best Regards,

      Al Steinman”

      Dismissed!

      Jul 30, 2010 at 8:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • oat
      oat

      This thread and its false statements about Dan Choi and its viciousness really disheartens me.

      Everyone deserves to be recognized financially for her or his work, including Dan Choi.

      Moreover, he did not abandon his unit in Iraq; nor did he do anything untoward in his service to this country.

      How can LGBTQQI people expect anyone to support us when we cannot even support someone who is working on our behalf?

      Jul 30, 2010 at 8:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randy
      randy

      The people complaining about Choi keep mentioning the same things: He is isn’t the perfect person to represent us.

      Agreed. But he has brought the issue to the forefront in ways that none of the other gay rights groups have. His face is the one the average American thinks of when they think of the unfairness of DADT. The anti-gay people haven’t been able to touch him. He’s been on the news relentlessly over the past few months.

      Few other activitists have been so successful. Go ahead and name ONE person who has done as much in the public mind. I notice that all the the critics of Choi have not been able to point to a single person who has done a better job.

      Many of the critics are servicemen themselves. Guess what? Most Americans don’t give a shit about whether he is acting properly, or whether he quit or was discharged — all they know is that DADT is unfair to gays. That’s quite an accomplishment, and one that he has advanced far more than any other gay rights group.

      Disagree? Then please — go ahead and name anyone who has the visibility or credibility with the American public more than Choi.

      Sheesh — everyone wants the perfect angel to represent us. Guess what? We all have issues in our lives. Some of us aren’t the best speakers. Some of us have a bad voice. Some of us have skeletons. That’s what makes us human beings, not angels.

      Challenge: If you don’t like or want Choi representing us on DADT, then please submit the names of someone who will satisfy you. If you can’t, then please STFU.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 9:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason Tinley
      Jason Tinley

      Comparing Dan Choi to Rosa Parks or MLK – are you people f*cking crazy? Dan Choi has been promoting Dan Choi. GetEqual pays him $90,000 a year. he is cashing in, but he hasn’t actually done anything. Priceless.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 10:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      Actually, given the skyrocketing causalities in the US war to steal resources from Afghanistan and Pakistan, the question of DADT may solved by the need for cannon fodder.

      Causalities to date (Afghanistan only)

      2001 12
      2002 49
      2003 48
      2004 52
      2005 99
      2006 98
      2007 117
      2008 155
      2009 317
      2010 268 as of 30 July 2010

      Total 1215

      6773 have been wounded in Afghanistan alone, about half ‘not returned to duty’ which indicates terrible, life altering wounds.

      The suicide rate, according to The Australian: “With the US stretched militarily as it fights wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the report commissioned by the army’s vice-chief of staff, General Peter Chiarelli, found the suicide rate among soldiers had jumped to record levels, surpassing the civilian rate.

      Last year, there were 160 suicides among soldiers on active duty, putting the army suicide rate at 20.2 per 100,000. The US national average is 19.2.”

      Suicides among veterans are much much higher.

      Because of that they’ve seen and been forced to do soldiers, marines, air crews and sailors are tragically taking their own lives in unprecedented numbers. These latest figures are the worst since records began to be kept in 1980.

      Don’t enlist!
      Don’t fight!
      Don’t translate!

      Jul 30, 2010 at 11:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bull Perdue
      Bull Perdue

      Dan Choi is my hero. He knows we don’t need to fight wars, we need to fight each other. Choi is enlightened.

      Jul 30, 2010 at 11:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randy
      randy

      I think I get it. If you want to overturn DADT or any other legislation like DOMA or pass SSM, our advocates must be:

      Young
      Cute (preferably with a six pack)
      Articulate
      Good speaking voice
      Spotlessly clean record
      Must accept no renumeration whatsoever
      Must be able to singlehandedly repeal whatever legislation we desire
      Can’t ever say anything that might embarrass anyone

      Failure to meet all these criteria will disqualify you from representing the gay population.

      Jul 31, 2010 at 12:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randy
      randy

      Still waiting for those critics to name people who would do a better job at repealing DADT. What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue? Suddenly it’s all so silent!

      Jul 31, 2010 at 12:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sug Night
      Sug Night

      Choi IS the right person to represent us at this moment in time simply by the fact that he is DOING so. He’s not whining about how awful things are, not criticizing others, not sucking up to A-Lister politicians in hopes of garnering a vote or at least a kind word, not wringing his hands at the total fucking insanity that’s going on out there right now regarding our rights. He’s protesting, being arrested, giving motivational talks, keeping the cause in the media, and making huge personal sacrifices for the greater good, whatever that looks like at this moment in time.

      It’s the Catholic priests who take the vow of poverty, not the activists who have to live in the real world. The whole part in the bible that’s caused this controversy, this false belief that to be really pure and good and spiritual and giving you must be poor, stems from the passage when Jesus asks them to give up all their worldly possessions and follow him….that’s about testing their faith, NOT about Jesus saying money and possessions are inherently evil. He also asked them to forsake their families, their loved ones, to follow him. He also wasn’t saying families are evil or bad, just that in order to walk this path, they have to be willing to give up everything.

      Dan Choi is doing something, he’s talking the talk and walking the walk, for fuck’s sake, so he’s our man for the moment, and we should support him in every way!

      Jul 31, 2010 at 12:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bull Perdue
      Bull Perdue

      ,b>Choi is a fraud.

      Jul 31, 2010 at 1:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pay me to Act Up
      Pay me to Act Up

      Choi is an attention Whore.

      He isn’t smart, or inspirational or clever. He just wants to be famous. I hope he starves.

      Jul 31, 2010 at 1:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stop The Insanity
      Stop The Insanity

      Choi is trying to be famous. It’s up to us if we want to let him.

      Jul 31, 2010 at 1:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com
      Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

      @Jason Tinley:

      AKA “Andrew W” and how many other fake names you’ve used in this thread alone. I regularly read a dozen different gay blogs and those supporting Dan are consistently 9 to 1, so this rash of PHONY separate postings are laughingly obvious: a couple of cockroaches pretending to be a throng.

      “GetEqual pays him $90,000 a year”??

      You’re a fucking LIAR….a pathetic shit-sucking excuse for a human being so jealous that anyone but you has gotten attention that you need to TELL LIES about Dan and GetEQUAL.

      Do the community you claim to care about a favor and suck a razorblade.

      Jul 31, 2010 at 2:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Don’t Pay for Activism: @Bull Perdue: @Bull Perdue: @Jason Tinley: @Pay me to Act Up: @Stop The Insanity: @roger: @Bought Choi: @Starving For Attention: @Jason Tinley: @Paula Brooks: Back again, AndrewW? And again, and…

      Jul 31, 2010 at 2:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scottyhouston
      scottyhouston

      @Gray: I couldn’t have said it all better myself (I tried in comment #6 above but you hit some points I forgot)! Excellent!

      Jul 31, 2010 at 3:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • wendy leigh
      wendy leigh

      @Don’t Pay for Activism: Let me guess… LGR. GAG ME! Gay Against Gay Media

      Jul 31, 2010 at 3:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MeDontLIkeThis
      MeDontLIkeThis

      Can Choi be deported like everyone else in Arizona?

      Jul 31, 2010 at 9:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew Dubya
      Andrew Dubya

      Well this piece sure brought AndrewW’s sock puppets out in full force. Damn. Nice job Queerty. Those puppets were yelping all night.

      Jul 31, 2010 at 9:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      @Andrew Dubya: How can you tell if someone is a sock puppet here? I mean- I suspect you are right, but how do you know?

      Jul 31, 2010 at 10:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HeroQueero
      HeroQueero

      Manufactured or not, Dan Choi’s activism brings up a very important question: Why aren’t there MORE activists from our side who are in the public eye? Before you condemn anyone for their efforts it’s important to ask yourself: Am I doing my part for the equal rights movement? Am I ACTIVE? And isn’t attention good for someone promoting their cause? The sad truth is that ALL OF US don’t do enough for equal rights! And before you bitch me out because you donate money every year at every fundraiser you need to realize that money is not enough. The most valuable thing that we can give the movement is EFFORT! And this means changing the minds and hearts of those everywhere, starting with the people around you. We have to be so present EVERYWHERE that it no longer becomes an issue. The African American movement did it. The Woman’s Movement did it. Hell, even the Christians did it and look how successful they’ve been. We’re in 2010 and I still have to be worried that if I hold my partners hand of kiss him that we’ll be asked to leave a public place. I worry that if he’s ever in the hospital for some reason that I won’t get to see him. But I do everything I can, facing my fear because I WILL NOT TOLERATE IT ANYMORE! Are we a label? A group? A stereotype? Or are we just PEOPLE, wanting to live our lives and choose our own destinies? And yes, I know it’s hard to be honest and open all the time everywhere but that the reality: changing this archaic system of discrimination IS hard but we have to fight in the ways that we can to change it. No one else is going to do it for us. No one else is going to understand better what you’ve been through than YOU. Start a blog. Or a vlog. Or a YouTube channel. Host a gay themed art show (sans porn, please). Volunteer at PFLAG, ACLU, HRC, or your local youth support group. Write a thesis. Write some comedy. Have a fashion show in your own neighborhood. The list is, fucking ENDLESS. All that’s missing is YOU.

      “Those who live within their means suffer from a lack of imagination.” ~Oscar Wilde

      Jul 31, 2010 at 12:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JamesStone
      JamesStone

      @heroqueero GREAT POST!!!! I could not have said it any better. Coming out and being out is the best way to squash homophobia.
      Here is my little YouTube contribution:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCB5pJEVjnk
      Jim from Ohio

      Jul 31, 2010 at 12:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • truthteller
      truthteller

      @No. 66 · Jason Tinley
      Comparing Dan Choi to Rosa Parks or MLK – are you people f*cking crazy? Dan Choi has been promoting Dan Choi. GetEqual pays him $90,000 a year. he is cashing in, but he hasn’t actually done anything. Priceless.

      You might want to read a little before you post your venom. Rosa Parks was a secretary for NAACP when she took her action. Two other women before her had done the same thing, so yes, Dan Choi is like Rosa Parks. They are both getting arrested for a political and social cause.

      What’s your beef with him? It sounds personal.

      To those few who think he shouldn’t make money off of his speeches: How much have you donated to Dan Choi personally, so that he doesn’t have to charge for speaking engagements? How much?…then shut up!

      Jul 31, 2010 at 3:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      I can’t bgelieve that there are only 8 people who like seeing GIs murdered to profit oil companies.

      Let’s try again. And Again.

      Actually, given the skyrocketing causalities in the US war to steal resources from Afghanistan and Pakistan, the question of DADT may solved by the need for cannon fodder.

      Causalities to date (Afghanistan only)

      2001 12
      2002 49
      2003 48
      2004 52
      2005 99
      2006 98
      2007 117
      2008 155
      2009 317
      2010 268 as of 30 July 2010

      Total 1215

      6773 have been wounded in Afghanistan alone, about half ‘not returned to duty’ which indicates terrible, life altering wounds.

      The suicide rate, according to The Australian: “With the US stretched militarily as it fights wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the report commissioned by the army’s vice-chief of staff, General Peter Chiarelli, found the suicide rate among soldiers had jumped to record levels, surpassing the civilian rate.

      Last year, there were 160 suicides among soldiers on active duty, putting the army suicide rate at 20.2 per 100,000. The US national average is 19.2.”

      Suicides among veterans are much much higher.

      Because of that they’ve seen and been forced to do soldiers, marines, air crews and sailors are tragically taking their own lives in unprecedented numbers. These latest figures are the worst since records began to be kept in 1980.

      Don’t enlist!
      Don’t fight!
      Don’t translate!
      [img]http://denverpost.slideshowpro.com/albums/001/496/album-101786/cache/7_Years_of_war_075.sJPG_950_2000_0_75_0_50_50.sJPG?1269479885[/img]

      Jul 31, 2010 at 5:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Speaking Up for Cash
      Speaking Up for Cash

      To book Dan Choi for a speaking engagement:

      http://gotham-artists.com/lt_dan_choi.html

      $10,000 – $20,000, plus expenses.

      Jul 31, 2010 at 7:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Speaking Up for Cash
      Speaking Up for Cash

      @HeroQueero: Because protest and street complaining doesn’t work.

      Jul 31, 2010 at 9:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @Speaking Up for Cash: @Speaking Up for Cash: More AndrewW drivel.

      Jul 31, 2010 at 9:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Activism should never be a job. Activism should be about improvisation, about turning up unannounced, about shocking, about subversiveness. When you become a professional activist, you lose the edge that activism should be about.

      I always go back to the British suffragettes of the early 1900’s. When they ran in front of the King’s horse, they caused an enormous commotion. This was pure activism – unannounced, shocking and subversive. The modern GLBT movement should take a leaf out of the British suffragettes’ book.

      Jul 31, 2010 at 10:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dan Choi is Famous
      Dan Choi is Famous

      Me famous. You pay me now.

      Jul 31, 2010 at 10:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 82 · Bill Perdue wrote, “I can’t bgelieve that there are only 8 people who like seeing GIs murdered to profit oil companies. Let’s try again. And Again. Actually, given the skyrocketing causalities in the US war to steal resources from Afghanistan and Pakistan, the question of DADT may solved by the need for cannon fodder.”

      If by “steal resources” Perdue means “oil”, I’ll refer readers to http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_oil_pro-energy-oil-production which rank orders countries by their oil production. Pakistan is #58, behind such “oil-producing giants” as The Netherlands. Afghanistan is tied at No. 115 (a production rate of zero).

      If you want a more plausible explanation of why the U.S. is so concerned about the Taliban, particularly given the problems the Taliban have caused within Pakistan’s boarders, read http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1893685,00.html : the real threat is if the Taliban takes over Pakistan and gets Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. That threat grew in part because Bush decided to divert resources to an unnecessary war in Iraq, which gave the Taliban time to regroup.

      Nobody should be happy that we are in a war – its hard on both our soldiers and on innocent civilians living in the area – but it doesn’t help to make up conspiracy theories.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 12:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      ‘B’ can’t read. The resources I was referring to are mentioned by The New York Times in an article entitled U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan.
      By JAMES RISEN
      Published: June 13, 2010
      WASHINGTON — The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.”

      The sickening nature of the US colonial adventure in Afghanistan, which ‘B’ supports, is clear from another excerpt of the NYT article: An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys. The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said.

      ‘B’, a rightwing paid hack who defends everything rightist, superstitious and ugly, needs glasses and a reeducation course in honesty – he has none.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 12:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dan Choi is Famous
      Dan Choi is Famous

      @B: STFU.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 12:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 89 · Bill Perdue again dissembled by saying, “‘B’ can’t read. The resources I was referring to are mentioned by The New York Times in an article entitled U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan.”

      In fact, in No 82, Bill Perdue provided no citation whatsoever and the only resource he mentioned was oil. He’s changing his tune retroactively. His new explanation, “minerals”, was only recently discovered and well after the war in Afghanistan was started.

      He also is completely ignoring the obvious threat the Taliban pose if they somehow manage to take over Pakistan – access to nuclear weapons.

      Perdue then continues his garbage about “rightwing” what-have-you for a simple reason – all he can do is lie, which he does with abandon just like Goebbels.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 1:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      AndrewW’s up to at least 12 sockpuppets on this thread. You can tell due to: vocabulary, reading level, syntax, typography, grammar, and a few other things I won’t mention until we’re done beta-testing the software.

      Thanks AndrewW! I got an A on the paper I wrote about you & it may be published. Don’t worry: we’ve encrypted all your various names.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 1:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 92 · Jeffree wrote, “Thanks AndrewW! I got an A on the paper I wrote about you & it may be published.” … to publish it in anything peer reviewed, they are going to ask you for independent proof that you identified AndrewW correctly.

      Depending on AndrewW’s ISP and Internet usage (e.g. only from home or at various wifi access points), you could ask QUEERTY to cross check the IP addresses for those comments to see which ones have the same value. There’s some other information that might be usable as well.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 1:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @B: usually combines rightwing arrogance, logorrhea, racism and the defense of superstition with a tried and true rightwing tactic – he simply keeps repeating the same lies over and over.

      Not very original. Der Angriff perfected it decades ago.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 4:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dawson
      Dawson

      If I was a student at Texas A&M, I would be completely pissed off that that is what my tuition money was being spent on. Tuition money should be used to support educational expenses within the institution not to further a political agenda (even if its a political agenda that I agree with). Oh, and Dan Choi has totally cashed out. Now he wants a book deal? What is next, a spot on MSNBC? He is like the left wing version of Sarah Palin.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 9:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dawson
      Dawson

      @Tony: The only message he is delivering is that gay for pay doesn’t just exist in the porn world.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 9:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dawson
      Dawson

      @Tony: You will never win LGBT rights the same way that Black Americans wont their rights. First, you need to convince the vast majority of Americans that the ex-gay movement is total BS, and you will never reliably do that unless they know your story, and they aren’t going to listen because you demand that they do.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 9:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dawson
      Dawson

      @truthteller: I agree with you; however, $7500 for one speaking engagement isn’t “taking care of necessities.” Its getting rich off of the cause. The last thing we need is even more activists getting rich off of the cause. Realistically, if you were Dan Choi and making $7500 for a speaking engagement and you knew for a fact that as soon as DADT gets repealed people will stop listening to you and stop paying you would you work to get DADT repealed or hope it goes on as long as possible? Seriously, in a world of greed, I think we all know the answer to the question.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 9:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dawson
      Dawson

      @earl trowbridge: Yes, $7500 per speaking engagement with one engagement every week only adds up to an annual salary of $390,000. That is simply pocket change. Assuming you can fit two speaking engagements in a week then it becomes $780,000 a year. We aren’t talking about feeding yourself. We are talking about getting rich off of the cause. This thing goes on for two years and Choi could most realistically become a millionaire.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 9:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dawson
      Dawson

      @Jeff: Huge difference. He can realistically make more money than Joe if he does a speaking tour. That $7500 is most likely his speaking fee now.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 9:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dawson
      Dawson

      @Timothy SD: We don’t have DADT repeal now. Its being talked about, but don’t look to see it go anywhere. We don’t have ENDA now. Its not even on the floor. As far as I know, MLK never got $7500 (even by 1960s terms) to speak at a speaking engagement. Hell, many of the people that turned out to hear King speak didn’t even make $7500 a year (even by 1960s terms).

      Aug 1, 2010 at 9:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dawson
      Dawson

      @randy: I think you really do get it. In a looks obsessed culture, there is a reason why politicians are more likely to get elected if people want to be get into bed with them.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 10:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • reason
      reason

      @Bill Perdue: 9-11 is why we are in Afghanistan, Iraq was more of a fool-hearty war. We are absolutely not there for minerals, and as far as Pakistan goes were not at war with them granted there government are allies of the U.S. and we give them billions of dollars every year long before the Afghan misadventure. Any resource in Pakistan are going to go to the Pakistani people not us.

      If you still believe were there for that 1 trillion in minerals in Afghanistan, there must have been a terrible economist at the helm. Let us see, we have spent over a trillion dollars on these wars and they are still going, the money was borrowed so were paying interest on it, we have lost countless lives that will take money out of our economy, we are going to have to provide billions of dollars in welfare to Afghanistan like we do in Israel and Egypt for a very long time, several different countries are vying for those resources and already made deals, this is all before the billions that would have to be invested to extract those minerals, and top that off with the royalties that the Afghan government is demanding. Let me guess you also think the U.S. bombed itself in New York killing some of the brightest and most adroit people at extracting money from overseas into our economy, not forgetting untold hundreds of billions that it cost our economy. Tack on the psychological blow to the American people. Sounds like a piss poor deal to me. If I was the tyrannical leader that you paint the U.S. to be why not skip all that drama, go into Afghanistan secure the mineral rich area and bomb anyone that came with in 100 miles of the site. It would have been a lot simpler and cheaper, and would have actually turned a profit. If your going to peddle conspiracy theories, at least think of something remotely plausible.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 10:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • reason
      reason

      @Bill Perdue: Just to through a number on the 9-11 attacks the estimate was 2 trillion.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 10:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Glenn Beck
      Glenn Beck

      @geoff b: Any STRAIGHT Soldier and especially an officer would get fired for what Dan Choi was doing while wearing a uniform. He did not get discharged because of DADT. He was discharged because the Army was tired of his relentless attention whoring while wearing the uniform. Chaining himself to the White House in officer’s uniform was the last straw. A Soldier has to be a complete moron if he thinks that he can be in such controversial political limelight and yet keep his military career. He is lucky that he was discharged honorably; a straight officer would not have such luxury.
      29 year old LT Choi did not have the desire or interest to be a career officer and a leader. His peers and West Point classmates are Captains leading men on front lines, while Choi was busy sitting around at National Guard booking his next MSNBC appearance. Ask the men and NCOs in his Guard and Army units that he lead about his performance as an officer…

      Maybe HRC should give him a full time six figure job, print some cheesy T shirts and call it a day.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 3:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • reason
      reason

      @Glenn Beck: You are correct he hightailed it out of Iraq. His rank says it all, Lieutenant when he went to the best military school in the country. Probably got to Iraq and found out that true leadership is a lot more than passing exams, he was likely never cut out to be in the military so is desperately trying to make it somewhere else under the guise of the victim.

      Lt. Colonel Fehrenbach, with an Oak Leaf, is an actual hero logging over 400 combat hours as a pilot. He was a good soldier that was marching up the ladder until he was hit with a false allegation. He didn’t abandon his troops, he was a victim of bad policy. He behaved as a good soldier and didn’t chain himself to the white house gates, grope boys in military uniform, or attack democratic members of congress who are working to repeal DADT even though he voted for Republican Minority Leader John Boehner. If Choi had that sort of leadership under his belt and was not behaving like a possessed maniac then he could be considered a leader in the GBLT movement. But he doesn’t and I am not afraid to call him out.

      Aug 1, 2010 at 7:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 93 · Bill Perdue wrote, as part of his Goebbels imitation, “Not very original. Der Angriff perfected it decades ago.”

      See No. 87 where, unlike Bill Perdue, I provide citations to back up what I said.

      Aug 2, 2010 at 12:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 102 · reason wrote, replying to Bill Perdue, “If you still believe were there for that 1 trillion in minerals in Afghanistan, there must have been a terrible economist at the helm.”

      And that terrible economist must be a psychic with precognition as the New York Times article, which Bill Perdue mentions in No. 88 to justify his statement in No 81 about the war, states that the U.S. did not have a clue about mineral deposits in Afghanistan until 2004 or later.

      According to http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/world/asia/14minerals.html (follow the link to page 2), “like much of the recent history of the country, the story of the discovery of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth is one of missed opportunities and the distractions of war.

      “In 2004, American geologists, sent to Afghanistan as part of a broader reconstruction effort, stumbled across an intriguing series of old charts and data at the library of the Afghan Geological Survey in Kabul that hinted at major mineral deposits in the country. They soon learned that the data had been collected by Soviet mining experts during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, but cast aside when the Soviets withdrew in 1989.”

      The U.S. invaded Afghanistan (to go after Osama bin Laden) in 2001, and did not have a clue about the mineral deposits until 2004. The war simply could not have been started as an excuse to grab minerals (even out of economic stupidity) because we didn’t know in 2001 that there were any minerals to grab.

      It’s really funny – you have a guy getting indignant and citing a New York Times article about lithium deposits (when in No. 81 he had only mentioned oil explicitly) and then we find that he didn’t read the New York Times article carefully enough to notice the date of the discovery!

      Aug 2, 2010 at 3:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason
      Jason

      Ugh. NOBODY CARES.

      Aug 2, 2010 at 1:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason
      Jason

      NOBODY.

      Aug 2, 2010 at 8:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • truthteller
      truthteller [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @ Dawson,

      I personally don’t have a problem with Dan Choi getting rich, though I doubt he will, from speaking fees. He has focused the spotlight on the plight of soldiers and DADT and to me that is priceless.

      We live in a capitalist society and $7,500 compared to what other speakers make is chum-change. If organizations think the will benefit from his experience and prestige then who am I to tell them the shouldn’t pay him or to hold it against him. Isn’t that the American way?

      Aug 3, 2010 at 12:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JamesStone
      JamesStone

      @truthteller I TOTALLY agree. We as a society pay people like Lebron James MILLIONS to play basketball. I think someone standing up for equality should at least get some $$$ as well…

      Aug 3, 2010 at 7:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JustSayin
      JustSayin

      Dan Choi to Harry Reid: “I’m going to hold you accountable.” Goose, gander.

      Aug 3, 2010 at 1:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JennyJ
      JennyJ

      More exposure of Dan Choi and his silly speaking fees:

      http://www.dallasvoice.com/disappointed-dan-choi-1037125.html/comment-page-1#comment-18189

      I agree with the others – Choi need to get a job as a security guard.

      Aug 3, 2010 at 8:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      I can’t bgelieve that there are only 8 people who like seeing GIs murdered to profit oil companies.

      Let’s try again. And Again.

      Actually, given the skyrocketing causalities in the US war to steal resources from Afghanistan and Pakistan, the question of DADT may solved by the need for cannon fodder.

      Causalities to date (Afghanistan only)

      2001 12
      2002 49
      2003 48
      2004 52
      2005 99
      2006 98
      2007 117
      2008 155
      2009 317
      2010 268 as of 30 July 2010

      Total 1215

      6773 have been wounded in Afghanistan alone, about half ‘not returned to duty’ which indicates terrible, life altering wounds.

      The suicide rate, according to The Australian: “With the US stretched militarily as it fights wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the report commissioned by the army’s vice-chief of staff, General Peter Chiarelli, found the suicide rate among soldiers had jumped to record levels, surpassing the civilian rate.

      Last year, there were 160 suicides among soldiers on active duty, putting the army suicide rate at 20.2 per 100,000. The US national average is 19.2.”

      Suicides among veterans are much much higher.

      Because of that they’ve seen and been forced to do soldiers, marines, air crews and sailors are tragically taking their own lives in unprecedented numbers. These latest figures are the worst since records began to be kept in 1980.

      Don’t enlist!
      Don’t fight!
      Don’t translate!

      [img]http://www.onepennysheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/flag-drapped-military-coffins.jpg[/img]

      Aug 4, 2010 at 12:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @reason: (-11 is the excuse Bush used to invade Afghanistan and the excuse Obama uses for killing civilians there.

      Aug 4, 2010 at 12:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David
      David

      The USAF kicked me out for being gay in 1977 — before DADT. I found a civilian law firm in Dallas (mostly straight guys) who was willing to challenge my discharge as far as it needed to go, but lack of $$$ was a problem. So, instead of social activism, I went back to school and got a job with big multi-national corporation.
      Who knows, maybe if I had raised $$$ with speaking fees I could have paid for a lawsuit and other social activism that would have brought us further along than what we are at now.
      What bothers me most about these grumbling resentments for paying social activists is that a lot of the grumbles come from people who haven’t done much themselves, and probably never will. They’re too cheap to help pay the expenses of the activists out on the front lines. And a lot of them are too closeted to do anything but enjoy the benefits that years of sacrifice the front-liners have brought them.
      $10k for a speakers fee seems quite reasonable to me. But if it seems a bit pricy, well, I’m sure the cheapskates could always get their congressman to speak at their functions for $10k.

      Aug 4, 2010 at 2:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David
      David

      @reason: ”
      Any STRAIGHT Soldier and especially an officer would get fired for what Dan Choi was doing while wearing a uniform.”

      Then again, no STRAIGHT Soldier or officer would face getting kicked out of the military just for being gay.
      I’ve been there, I know exactly what that’s like, and it ain’t pretty. It’s frustrating, actually.

      My hat’s off to Dan Choi. Officer, Activist, and Hero.

      Aug 4, 2010 at 2:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @B: The minerals were not why we invaded, that was to gain a foothold. The minerals are, however, why the looting classes may continue to waste civilian and GI’s lives and stay.

      ‘B’ is endlessly dense and rightwing.

      Aug 4, 2010 at 7:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Modernmeat
      Modernmeat

      @Tony: @Tony: FK yes, Tony!

      Aug 12, 2010 at 1:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scottyhouston
      scottyhouston

      Some of you have said that Dan Choi is a “hero”! That is a very disrespectful word to through around for someone who chained themselves to The Commander and Chief’s fence! Nothing heroic about that. Like several have pointed out above (which I TOTALLY agree with)…Victor Fahrenbach is the REAL hero! He actually saved lives, received numerous decorations for valor and life saving. THAT’s a hero!!

      Aug 12, 2010 at 2:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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