NH Representative Frank Sapareto: Giving Hate a Chance

The headline didn’t make any sense to me. “NH Bill Would Allow Service Refusal to Gay Couples”.

What the hell?” I spoke aloud, reading further.

It turns out that New Hampshire lawmakers are DEBATING a bill that would let businesses refuse service to ANY couple for ANY reason.

Okay” I said (again, out loud, incredulously and to myself in a creepy kinda multiple personality way) “that’s a stupid bill, but I guess that’s okay.”  So I do what any reasonable, interested citizen of the Union might do.  I look up it up.

New Hampshire HR1264 “Establishing a religious exemption for individuals who do not wish to provide accommodations, goods or services for marriages”.

Representative Sapareto
It’s sponsored by Representatives Bergevin, Duarte and Sapareto and reads as follows:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person, including a business owner or employee thereof, shall be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges to an individual if the request is related to the solemnization, celebration, or promotion of a marriage and providing such services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges would be a violation of the person’s conscience or religious faith. A person’s refusal to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges in accordance with this section shall not create any civil claim or cause of action or result in any state action to penalize or withhold benefits from such person.”

Translation: “No one shall be required to provide services which celebrate the love between two people IF that love violates a person’s conscience or religious faith”.

Hmmm” I hummed to myself , “surely this isn’t specifically singling out “marriage between two caring, loving people of the same sex”; it must be inclusive of OTHER marriages that might “violate a persons conscience or religious faith”.

And then I sat down with a pad of paper and pen to list all of the other types of marriages that might offend someone.

It was a friggin short list, let me tell you.

Let’s be honest here, there is ZERO room for DEBATE on this issue…because, in reading this bill there is one thing that is PERFECTLY clear. 

This has NOTHING to do with religious freedom.  This is nothing more than a LICENSE TO DISCRIMINATE. 

Now…I’m not an expert on the United States Constitution, I don’t know the intricate details of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; but I do know discrimination when I see it…and this, my friends, is exactly that: it stinks to HIGH HEAVEN of discrimination and hatred.

What Representatives Sapareto, Bergevin and Duarte are proposing is that New Hampshire citizens be given the right to express HATRED towards people who do not conform to whatever particular religious behavior they feel is sacred.

How is it possible that elected officials in the state of New Hampshire cannot see that even raising this issue and sponsoring this bill is an act of pure hatred?  From a strictly logical point of view, the answer is clear: They know damn well what they’re doing.  They love the idea.

When we promote laws that give citizens the legal right to discriminate against others, because of some presumed morally superior religious authority: we are nurturing hatred, encouraging homophobia, racism and an “us versus THEM” philosophy.  When we propose laws that allow, and promote the separation of one group of people from another: we are saying that “it’s okay to treat each other poorly because of who we are”.

HR1264 is a not so clever way of using the Freedom of Religion as an Excuse to Promote Hate.  I am embarrassed that I live in a country that includes a State that would propose such a law.  I am offended that there are three lawmakers in New Hampshire who feel that this is a good idea.

Representative Sapareto:

We do not need laws that enable hatred.  

We need laws that promote love.


Happy Burns Nicht!

With apologies to Bobby Burns, I’m wishing him a happy 253rd birthday.  I’ll read for you his poem “To A Mouse” in my best Scottish English.  

PodCasting Killed the Radio Star

Today I’m talking about so called “New Media” and asking the question: “Is it really all that new anymore?”


My First Time

A new episode of Phedippidations is coming out at midnight...#284 "My First Time".


Life is Short, But it Should be Long Enough.

Please understand that what I’m about to write here is not a morbid thought.  

I derive NO sadness from this fact, nor do I look at its possible validity as a reason to lament in anyway.  I’m a “glass is half full kinda guy”, but based on my genetic history I have already gone through two thirds of the glass.

Here’s what I’m getting at:  I did a little bad math recently using ancestral information that I have on record, going back five generations to my great great grandparents.

On my Dad’s side of the family, his mother Helena lived for 74 years, while his father Pius lived for 73.

My great grandfather Angus Walker lived for 82 years, while his wife Theresa lived for only 60.

My Great Grandfather on my grandmothers side, James, lived for 57 years, while my Great Grandmother
Mary lived for 83 years.

My Great Great Grandfather Peter lived for 69 years, while his wife Mary lived for 91.

My Great Great Grandfather Donald lived for 81 years and his wife Christina lived for 75.

My Great Great Grandfather James lived for 94 years and his wife Ellen lived for 75.

And my other Great Great Grandfather Donald lived for 76 years while his wife Penelope lived for 66.

If you average all the ages here, taking into account that these were mostly farmers living on Prince Edward Island as far back at the early 1800’s, the average life expectancy for a Walker is 75 years.

Now, let’s take a look at my Italian roots.

On my Mom’s side, her father lived for 78 years while his first wife, my grandmother Lenora slipped on some ice and fell down the stairs in January of 1952 when my Mom was only 13 years old.  She was 40 years old.

My Great Grandfather Giovanni lived for 86 years, while my Great Grandmother, Emma, lived for 84 years.

We don’t know how old my Great Grandfather Louis was when he died, but his wife Leonilda lived for 75 years.

The only other lifespan I have on record is for my Great Grandfather Giovanni’s mother, Loreta…who lived to be 62 years old.

Taking my grandmother Lenora, who I never met, out of the equation, as she died so young and considering the 5 data points that I do have going back 5 generations of the Fraioli family, farmer children from families in Pontecorvo, Lazio Italy and immigrants to the New World in the early 1900’s : the unscientific average age of my Italian ancestors is 77 years.

So, taking into account the average of 75 years for the Walkers, and 77 years for the Fraiolis…based on my genetic history, and using really bad assumptions: I should live to be around 76 years old.

Which means…if any of this is to be believed: I have a mere 26 years of life left to live.

Life is short, but it should be long enough.  It doesn't matter if I have 26 years remaining, or only 6; LIFE is GOOD and I intend to live my life TO THE TOP.

Today is my 50th birthday.  

I was born at exactly 7:48 PM Eastern Standard Time in the maternity ward of Milton Hospital on Reedsdale Road and Highland Street in the town of Milton, Massachusetts on January 19th, 1962.

Turning 50 feels good, because it’s good to be alive.  The milestone reminds me to take a walk break in this race, and turn to look behind me to see how far I’ve come.  The past 50 years of life included great joy, terrible sadness, and the agony and ecstasy of blood, sweat and tears…but I wouldn’t trade any of it.

Regrets I have, many in fact: but those regrets are all part of a life well lived: a life, lived to it’s top.


Chianti in all it’s Splendor

Today I’m tasting a young, but ready 2010 Le Altane Chianti from Siena and talking, in general, about Chianti old and young.



Something to Talk About

As I’m deep within the inky bowels of a podcast-writers block; I realized that I do have something to talk about today, for my first podcast of 2012.