Monday, February 17, 2020


An 11-year-old homeless girl: "I died three years ago." 

  • 97% of these families are headed by single women with an average of two to four children.  
  • Many of these women are struggling with histories that include being victims of domestic abuse, injuries and/or illnesses resulting in loss of employment and housing*. 

Today I was walking the dog behind Trader Joe’s and I passed a shady alcove bordering the alley, in the center of which was a large tree. I peeked into the bushes, and saw a grocery bag. This seemed like a private place for a person to rest, but just as I was thinking this, I glimpsed a pair of shoes attached to legs in camouflage pants, standing behind the tree, hiding inside the tree — as if they were hoping not to be seen, trying to blend in with the shrubs. I could hear the owner of this pair of legs trying desperately not to breathe. Was it a homeless person, or just someone who was trying to go to the bathroom in the bushes?

As I passed by, I said to the bush: “Bless you.” I kept walking. Then I realized that I was holding in my hand two sticks of Mozarella string cheese, so I circled back to the bush and offered it to the person hiding in the trees. “Would you like a piece of cheese? It’s wrapped in plastic, it has its own wrapper," I said. A woman’s voice, shaking, rang out, “No, no thank you.” Then, the voice said: “You're very sweet.” I could see a pair of glasses and dark hair through the leaves.

I walked away and said, “You are sweet too.”

Then I started crying; I couldn't stop. The same way I cried on Sunday when they talked to us about how desperately sad they are. It is tragic it is to be a homeless child. Can you imagine what it’s like to have no place to rest, no privacy in going to the bathroom... no clean, safe, or soft place to lay one’s head. No place without insects or vermin… no place to get dressed, to bathe, or to bring friends home for ice cream. No place to do homework. No place to have dinner or play Monopoly or take piano lessons. No dinner. God bless these poor lost little souls.

My favorite charities are Feed the Children, Imagine L.A., Union Rescue Mission and Candy Christmas" "Under the Bridge Mission" which you can read about in recent threads.


An 11-year-old homeless girl: "I died three years ago." 

  • 97% of these families are headed by single women with an average of two to four children.  
  • Many of these women are struggling with histories that include being victims of domestic abuse, injuries and/or illnesses resulting in loss of employment and housing*. 

* Please note that these matters do, indeed, precipitate homeless episodes; however, the  underlying cause of extended family homelessness is simply the lack of affordable housing.  Struggling parents in low paying jobs and the decreasing access to available Section 8 or other low-income housing is ultimately a losing situation.  Imagine LA's current programming does not include the development of low-income housing, but we applaud and encourage those efforts. 

Los Angeles, which boasts the world's fifth largest economy, since 2005, has become the Homeless Capital of our country.  Currently, at least approximately 8,000 family units, representing more than 18,000 children and youth occupy our city. 
  • 97% of these families are headed by single women with an average of two to four children.  
  • Many of these women are struggling with histories that include being victims of domestic abuse, injuries and/or illnesses resulting in loss of employment and housing*. 
The journey begins with the inability to pay rent and then leads to eviction, forcing the family into motels, SRO hotels, homeless shelters, friends and relatives, or, ultimately, the  streets. The typical homeless Mom is trying to survive without adequate housing, childcare, and access to support services.  Her children are often uneducated; shuffled from one school to another due to the transient nature of no permanent housing.  Homeless children, more often than not, drop out of school, fail, or join gangs.
The most innocent victims of family homelessness are the children.  They are the ones who suffer the most, not knowing where their next meal, bed, or school is.  The following transcription of an eleven year old homeless girl, speaks for itself.

Gay People Deserve the Same Civil Rights All Humans Deserve

This is a no-brainer 

1. Gays exist. Gay people exist in society and in nature. This is not a choice. No one decides to be "straight" Whether one is gay or straight is not a decision that is consciously made. 
2. Gays are human
3. Therefore gays deserve the same civil rights all humans have. 
Why shouldn't Elton John be allowed to sanctify his life-partner relationship with a legitimate marriage ceremony? 
Do you honestly think gay people don't exist? Do you think Elton John is just a court jester, trained seal — a musical genius-entertainer put on earth just for your listening pleasure?  Does he have no right to a personal life? Is he a slave, here to simply entertain others with his musical genius?  Why shouldn't Elton John be allowed to sanctify his life-partner relationship with a legitimate marriage ceremony? Why would you deny any human being the same rights you have?  Why is his personal life your business? How arrogant! How inhumane! 
Why Fundamentalist Christians Are Wrong on Gay Marriage

1. Christ said: "Leave judgment and vengeance to God.
2.  Christ said: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
2. Christ said:  "My Kingdom is of the spirit, not the flesh. (Meaning he couldn't have cared less about human mortal laws, Kosher laws, laws of the flesh, having to do with sfood or clothing or sexuality. He had nothing to say about legalistic, pharisaical laws. All He cared about was "how much love is in our hearts; how we treat our fellow man. And how we treat the "least among you" (the poor, the widow, and the orphan.)
4. Christ was never bothered by anything EXCEPT the money-changers (greed) and the power brokers or religious leaders with their cruel laws and dogmatic rules that oppressed the poor. All Christ cared about was how you treated your neighbor, your fellow man and those less fortunate. Like a drop of water in the ocean, we are at one with Source of Love.


The Supreme Court is considering weighing in on the issue of the legality of gay marriage. I cannot believe this is even a question! 

This letter from my sister astounded me:

"I'm a little surprised to find that living in a climate of wider acceptance for same-sex relationships also makes a huge difference in my personal happiness level. In a hostile climate it really is challenging to sidestep the trap of internalized homophobia, and we fall into patterns that reinforce the stereotypes (e.g., gay relationships don't last).
Practically my whole life I have felt subtle, subconscious feelings of being less deserving of love and companionship because I'm not part of the "norm". So, normalizing same sex relationships to the point of pushing for equal marriage rights actually feels like the right thing to do - even though it's scary, and I've had mixed feelings about it, politically.
In truth, I guess it didn't seem important enough so long as I wasn't in a relationship I felt was worth fighting for. Or maybe I was simply resigned to settling for outsider status -- like a kid with her nose pressed up against the glass, outside looking in at all the happy couples, all the while covering up her wistfulness with a smug refusal to participate in the bourgeois dance of the "breeders". A rebel, not an outsider, or so I thought. As if that was going to get me anywhere!

I think maybe because of these subconscious beliefs I was (as many of us were) choosing to be in relationships that I knew were only temporary. As society moves toward embracing love and coupling and marriage for all, I think we'll see a healthier, stabilizing effect on society as a whole. Happy people make for a happy, productive society. None of us is free so long as some are still unfree, I think the saying goes - as in, life, liberty and the pursuit of said happiness.

Now that I'm getting happier and healthier and more emotionally sober I've been able to choose to let love in fully, to really allow myself to love and be loved unconditionally. It's a miraculous and beautiful journey - from darkness to light, from ignorance to self-knowledge. I know there are lots of haters out there, but the sole fact that as a society we are participating in a dialogue at all is eons from where we were when I first came out of the closet in 1978 - not to mention the pre-Stonewall days of the "love that dare not speak its name"."

The only "sin" is hating, judging, hurting, harming, throwing stones, and not being compassionate toward others. Love your neighbor as yourself. The only sin Christ spoke of was being unkind. The only other item he mentioned was DIVORCE. But you don't see good Christians outside of courthouses protesting the sin of divorce, do you?  


This is an updated article from a spiritual political book I wrote, which will be released after the comedy books. 

Chelsea Handler: "I have never been more proud of my LGBT friends and the beautiful families they're raising —- and I think it's time we all do what we can to get them equal rights already. "

First I have to tell you something my radio co-host Doug Basham said after he saw Katie Couric ask Sarah Palin about gay rights. Palin answered that one of her best friends is gay, and that her pal "made a choice that isn't a choice that I have made.” Basham said, “I wish Couric had asked Palin, 'Do you remember the exact moment you chose to become heterosexual?'"

My sister is gay, and she never made a choice, but that’s beside the point. The marriage contract is a private contract between two individuals. How does it hurt anyone to let two souls honor their monogamy by allowing them the sanctity and dignity of marriage, as other human beings have a right to? Isn’t this in the Bill of Rights? I am heartsick at the bigotry I see in America today. I can’t believe my sister may never have the same rights I have! And furthermore, according to Suze Orman — as it stands now, civil unions do not permit the transfer of a deceased person's estate to the partner. Next of "kin" is first in line.

After my Ann Coulter death threats and hate-mail settled down simply for defending the Golden Rule, one thing became clear: certain "Old Testament" Christians are obsessed with the sexual immorality of others — to the exclusion of any other sin, including their own sins of pride and judgment — which by the way, were the only sins Jesus ever cared about or actually mentioned! Sexual immorality was not even on Christ’s radar, as was clear when the mob was stoning the prostitute: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

I find it interesting that he did condemn divorce, but since divorce is rampant among most religious sects, even evangelicals, it's odd that you never see religious people picketing courthouses to abolish divorce :) 

All this talk about Christ’s return and the "Rapture" misses the point entirely. I've prayed about this and been given a revelation of my own: when humans can love each other unconditionally — love their enemies and neighbors as themselves — then the so-called Rapture will happen. It will not be a big Broadway show; it will be a change in consciousness. This is the Second Coming. It will occur in the hearts of men.

The Ku Klux Klan also used the Bible to justify killing Blacks. Where are all the reasonable, sane people of faith who actually follow Christ’s teachings?

Maybe they don't realize that 'Christ' is the root of the word 'Christianity' because the vowel sounds are different! They often espouse the EXACT OPPOSITE of Christ’s teachings. If fundamentalists take the Bible literally, then why don’t they take Christ’s actual words literally?

There's a cartoon I saw shortly after the 2004 election: I can't remember the exact words, but two pot-bellied Rednecks are standing around drinking beer, happy with being red: "Well, my son lost his legs in Iraq, veteran benefits got cut, lost my pension plan to Enron, got laid-off down at the plant, they cancelled my health insurance, Bush vetoed stem cells which would have saved my daughter’s life from brain cancer -- BUT I'M SURE AS HELL GLAD THOSE TWO GAYS DOWN THE STREET CAN'T GET MARRIED!"

We’re a nation ruled by several opposing forces: the atheist, the optimist, the materialist — and of course, the idiot — that person inside all of us (or just fundamentalists and neocons) who choose to remain unconscious.

What is so strange is that modern-day fundamentalists often condone the death penalty quite casually, yet think fetal cells in a Petri dish are too sacred to be used for stem cell research in order to save lives! This seems highly immoral to me.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to be gay or lesbian in America today. There is a “Christian” group that has a website called "" that displays an animated picture of Matthew Shepherd surrounded by flames, burning in hell. Shepherd was brutally murdered in Wyoming, the victim of a hate crime.

Instead of seeing the beauty and unique goodness of the gay person — his artistic gifts of design or dance, the sweetness of his spirit, his yearning to be accepted and to bury the agony of being bullied as a child or of being “born different" — the morally repulsed “Christian” chooses the easy way: hatred.

My son’s best friend and his brother are being raised by a gay male couple, who are scholars and wonderful parents. Both children are completely "straight" and have girlfriends already. The family considered moving to Canada out of fear. They are very afraid of the hateful Christian ruling elite in America. I can’t think of anything more un-Christlike than an intolerant “Christian.”

It saddens me that many in the religious right have taken their obsession with morality and their fear of Hollywood to such an extreme they've lost compassion for their fellow man. They have become homophobic, disdainful of the poor and cruel toward any human who does not meet their rigorous standards — while ignoring their own pride, the character flaw which annoyed Christ the most!

Intolerance is the easy way out, and many will go through this wide, broad gate. Very few will squeeze through the "narrow gate" of turning the other cheek and loving one's enemies. It's easy to judge others from a position of moral superiority; it's difficult to look kindly upon criminals, prisoners, "sinners." It's difficult to love "the other," as Christ commanded us to do. Most fundamentalist right-wing Christians these days refuse to look at their enemy as a whole human being. They are ruled by primitive fears that totally contradict Christ’s entire mission: to love one another for love casts out fear.

Some more notes..

The more one pushes something down, the more it rears its ugly head in inappropriate places; perversions appear. This explains why celibacy in priests acts like a pressure cooker, often resulting in crimes of molestation. Celibacy is unnatural; too much pent up desire perverts itself. Like Pandora’s box, whatever is taboo becomes irresistibly tempting. People will sneak out of their cages to experience the forbidden.

So the Puritan, guilt-ridden over his own uncontrollable urges, cannot live with himself. Unable to cut out his own base, lustful thoughts, he looks outside himself for someone to blame and project his guilt onto. The easiest way to ameliorate his shame is to broadcast the evil, project it onto others where he can externalize it, see it as separate from himself – and lash at it with swords. This way he can feel morally superior. It's a quick fix. He investigates it, dwells on its dark side, inflates its evil effects until evil is all he sees. He makes the gay person into an object of disgust.

As a culture we put so much emphasis on the body: on cellular substance of the fetus, the death and burial of a corpse, the saving of an unconscious sack of flesh that contains no life force or spirit, as in the case of Terry Shiavo. We are focused so exclusively on the letter, not the spirit; the style, not the substance; the right hat, not the heart, the ritual, not the meaning — and the flesh which can be wiped out so easily — that it must make me wonder: is flesh man’s most important quality?

At the risk of sounding like a crackpot, I have to say here that I no longer believe in the physical universe as being primary. The invisible harmony is what's real. In other words, the things I know are valuable and real are the things I can’t see with my eyes – the invisible qualities of love, truth, wisdom, soul, principle, thought, harmony, wisdom, compassion, beauty, strength and character – things that cannot be physically touched or scientifically proven.

As Emerson said: "this is a spiritual universe and thoughts rule the world."

Sorry this article was so long and repetitive. I had no idea I had pasted four articles together. This was a glitch. I removed the second half.

Thank you to:


Check out Basham and Cornell Radio archives for podcasts of our amazing guests from John and Elizabeth Edwards, CNN's Paul Begala, MSNBC's Pat Buchanan, Pulitzer Prize Winner Charlie Savage, Tom Daschle, John Dean, Stefan Forbes, Valerie Plame-Wilson, Bill Press, Rep. Robert Wexler, Brad Friedman, Naomi Klein, Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich, Charlie Rangel, Carolyn B. Maloney, Senators Patrick Murphy, Byron Dorgan, Fareed Zakariah, Valerie Bertinelli, Paul Krugman, etc.

Please donate to the Red to help people devastated by the California wildfires. Thank you. Though we don't live near the hot spots — which seem to be springing up everywhere — the smell of smoke was everywhere, and our cars were covered with ashes.

Due to extraordinary interest, my article "Why Christians are Wrong on Gay Marriage" will be published soon in a national magazine. Meanwhile you can read the excerpts below — or check out my cover story on the election, Obama, and the gay rights issue. It has lots of pictures!
Cover Story Lydia Cornell- Election Special

heck out my other recent interviews and articles:

Digg Celebrity Interview with Actress Lydia Cornell

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT back on TV on WGN! Check out my new interviews on SitComs Exclusive! "Unleashed"