Saturday, September 01, 2007

Iowa Issues Gay Marriage Licenses - For Four Hours!

If you had your rice, bouquets and tux handy, and some champagne on ice, you could get a quicky same-sex wedding in Iowa yesterday. IOWA? Yup a judge overturned the ban on same sex marriages but unfortunately called for a moratorium on issuing licenses to same-sex couples about four hours later until the Iowa Supreme Court decided whether to consider an appeal.

Still a few couples were ready and tied the knot making Iowa only the second state to issue official marriage licenses. Personally I think this will put Iowa squarely in the middle of a battle over the constitutionality of gay marriage in general and perhaps it could spread to other states.

This could be a good or bad thing. It undoubtedly be a rallying cry for gay marriage opponents, and might give their flagging campaigns a boost. Or, it could energize the GLBT community to actually get out and vote in the next election instead of watching from the sidelines.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Kansas Governor Bans Discrimination! I Don't Think We're In Kansas Anymore, Toto?

Just got this from the Human Rights Campaign:

Kansas governor signs executive order banning discrimination in the workplaceJust in time for the federal Labor Day holiday, this morning, Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius signed an executive order that will prohibit discrimination against GLBT state employees.

The executive order, which takes effect immediately, will protect more than 37,000 Kansas state employees from being fired due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Thomas Witt at the Kansas Equality Coalition, who worked with HRC on the language of the governor's executive order that was signed around 11am today, issued a press release calling this a great step of progress:“We commend Gov. Sebelius for her commitment to fairness and equality,” said Equality Coalition Chair Thomas Witt. “We have always known that Kansans are fair-minded people. We are thrilled to see the governor taking this first, important step toward bringing the most basic of rights to state workers.”

Craig Will Be Spending More Time WIth His Family - No Doubt

And so Larry Craig will join the seemingly endless line of Republicans who are leaving office to “spend more time with their families”. He says he will announce his plans tomorrow, but already the Governor of Idaho, the ironically named “Butch" Otter has a replacement lined up. Looks like it will be Lt. Gov. Jim Risch in Washington in a few weeks if the rumors are true.

OK folks, when are the American people going to stand up and wake from their TV induced slumber. The GOP is trying to subvert the constitution and they are doing a pretty good job of it. They have no “family values” they only have greed and a thirst for power. Enough already!

Demand impeachment of Cheney and Bush and vote the other bastards out of office ASAP.

Karl Rove's Last Day At The White House - Hooray?

Today is Karl Rove’s last day at the White House. Though I am somewhat relieved to see this political Machiavelli leave I am also a little worried. I know the excuse was to “spend more time with the family”, but we all know that means either fired or running to his lawyers to prepare a defense against legal action. I am worried because he will continue to advise Bush, but now he will do it completely unseen.

As a private citizen he can escape all of the few remaining checks and balances that should make business in our government transparent. He can continue to scheme and plot but now he can do it in secret without breaking the law. That should worry everyone.

No single political advisor has been so effective in changing the face of American government. At Rove’s advice Bush and his cronies have politicized the heads of almost every government agency, making the entire government in effect a direct servant to the Bush White House. This is not how our government was set up and it’s the same kind of centralized power that has proven the downfall of many countries, most recently the Soviet Union.

Comparing the US to the Soviets would have been unthinkable a few years ago, but today there are so many parallels it defies belief. Our move toward totalitarianism under the Bush administration is disturbing and quick. In just a few years he has consolidated more power in the Executive branch than ever and it sets a dangerous precedent.

Due to the consolidation of media, much of the power grab has been invisible. Television news rambles on and on about Anna Nichole and O.J. and other individuals whose lives may be interesting but have no bearing on the average American’s life. We are blinded by crap, packaged and sold as “news” and we have willingly let the White House garner dangerous power. It is time to pull back the covers on this activity and demand accountability and transparency in our Government. After all it is the property of “We the people.”

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thompson Makes It Official, Sort Of

Fred Thompson has made it semi official. In a conference call to GOP muckety-mucks, he said he is finished testing the waters and ready to file as a real candidate. Not any surprise, since he has been flirting with a real candidacy for months and appearing at the same whistle stops as the rest of the GOP field.

According to polls, Fred throwing his hat in the ring will put him in a three way heat with Giuliani and Romney. As the three Republican front runners pull away from the pack, I have to wonder how long it will be before McCain and Brownback drop their faltering attempts.

Meanwhile, here in Texas a straw poll being held in Ft. Worth has all the also ran candidates, Ron Paul and a couple of other names I have never heard. The front runners are staying away and even the second tier folks like Huckabee are dodging this one.

Probe Into Possible Gonzales Perjury Widens

Now it becomes evident why Gonzales resigned. Seems the Justice Department is widening its probe into whether the Attorney General deliberately misled Congress about dissent within the Bush administration about surveillance activities and the firing of the US attorneys.

In a letter to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who heads up the Senate Judiciary Panel, Inspector General Glenn A. Fine suggested the investigation was moving forward and getting broader and deeper. The specific focus of the investigation is on the possibility of Gonzales making “intentionally false, misleading, or inappropriate,” statements both about the firing of the prosecutors and about the terrorist-surveillance program.

More from the New York Times.

Larry Craig - Listen To His Testimony

The Minneapolis Airport Police have released the recording of his interrogation. He sounds obviously nervous and like all Republicans caught in a lie, "he doesn't recall". Not a very convincing denial, but listen for yourself.

Toys R Us? How About Lead R Us?

Hey Kids! How about more lead in your toys? Well China is doing its best to provide it.
Toys R Us is recalling a line of coloring kits that contain, you guessed it, LEAD! And where were they made? CHINA! Right again.

OK aside from the almost comic nature of this whole kerfuffle, the real problem is that one of our major trading partners has absolutely no control or any compunction about shipping poisoned toys to our country. Why is this not a bigger scandal? This should be making the halls of Congress ring with the calls of angry consumers whose children are at risk of lead poisoning from Chinese playthings.

I suspect it’s not a bigger deal because those companies that sell these lead laced goodies are making far too much money and they are lining the pockets of our officials to deafen their ears to the protest. Well that is a sure sign of Capitalism run amok, and I am reminded of Lenin’s “we will sell them enough rope and capitalists will hang themselves”.

GOP Rallies To Throw Craig To The Wolves!

So it seems that a parade of Republicans are now calling for Larry Craig’s resignation. The list includes John McCain, Norm Coleman, Pete Hoekstra and Jeff Miller to name a few. I really find it amazing that the only kind of scandal that these GOP hypocrites respond to is of a sexual nature, and more specifically a homosexual nature.

For the GOP and many on the right, morality begins at the waist and ends at the knees. It is OK to lie. cheat and steal, just so long as no body had sex doing it, and more heinously gay sex! Our President can lie about WMDs and Saddam and a dozen other statements made before Congress and the public that took us into a tragic war. Thousands of US soldiers and Iraqi civilians can die because of his lies and not a peep form the right!

An Attorney General of the United States comes before Congress and lies numerous times and that is not a problem. Only a couple of lonely voices even mentioned the possibility that he should step down much less be prosecuted for perjury. Otherwise, the right has been silent or worse, supportive of the criminal behavior.

Now, one of their own is caught with his pants down and “Oh the moral outrage!” Well here is the moral outrage, not a single one of those who are crying foul now said anything the other two times he was implicated in a scandal. Craig has a history of public sex allegations and no one from the GOP suggested he leave. Let’s get real. The Republican Party is interested in only one thing, power.

They want a permanent majority, which would equal a dictatorship and they will do anything to get it. Sex scandals, especially gay sex, don’t play well with their base (aka sheep). All they want to hear is quotes from the bible and assurances that they can keep their hunting rifles. The GOP plays these folks like a cheap fiddle and they are being used to take our country toward a totalitarian state. Time to stop this crap and get our country back on track.

And to those who claim we are a Christian nation, John Adams, the second president, wrote in a the treaty of Tripoli that was ratified by Congress ,” As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Musselmen….” So let’s get back on the secular track that has kept us strong and free for all religions and people, and throw out every one of the GOP hypocrites and their lackeys.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Katrina - Two Years Later And...?

I was sitting at a cafĂ© here in Dallas last night next to a good friend formerly from New Orleans. I looked up at one of the ubiquitous TVs that always seem to be present in eating establishments today and saw a replay of the Katrina radar image. She looked up around the same time and muttered under her breath, “seen enough of that bitch.” I asked here what Katrina was like, since she and her partner lived through the hurricane.

“Well we were in the East Jefferson Parish General Hospital. They had ordered all the public service employees to evacuate, except us and a couple of other hospitals. We rode it out.” She is a nurse and I could see the pain in her eyes as she spoke.

“Had water right up to the steps, but our place had the generators and records on the second floor, so the flooding didn’t hurt us too much.” She took another bite of her dinner.

After a few minutes she mustered up enough courage to speak again and she told me know they were left to fend for themselves. They were lucky at her job, but her house was another story. Later the pain of living there was too much and they left for Dallas. Her relatives are slowly being squeezed out of the Crescent City by a combination of slow relief and high property reevaluations. Friends who lived on St. Charles in the Garden District had their places grandfathered in for property taxes before, but now their properties are reevaluated at astronomically high rates. They will have to sell to eager developers to avoid the taxes. In the poorer neighborhoods, the property values are slashed to nothing, making it impossible for residents to get loans sufficient to rebuild. The city has become a massive field day for developers wanting to make a quick buck.

As we talked, I could hear the Randy Newman song “Louisiana 1927” playing in my head.

President Coolidge come down, in a railroad train
With his little fat man with a note pad in his hand
President say "little fat man, oh ain't a shame,
What the river has done to this poor farmer’s land"

Oh Louisiana, Louisiana
They’re trying to wash us away, you’re trying to wash us away
Oh Louisiana, oh Louisiana
They’re trying to wash us away, oh lord, they’re trying to wash us away
They’re trying to wash us away, they’re trying to wash us away

Recording Copyright 2003 Nonesuch Records

Gay Blogs Vanish - Denial Of Service Attack?

So I tried to go on today and get some more details on Larry Craig's mess and the site has a firewall blocking it. I tried as well and got the same message.

If anyone else knows of other gay friendly blogs that have mysteriously disappeared like these, let me know. I suspect there is a "denial of service" attack going on but have no proof.

More Restroom Sex Allegations Against Larry Craig

Larry “I’m not gay” Craig’s problems date back to 1982, as I noted in a previous post here on my blog. Turns out that in May of this year, months before the Minneapolis Airport arrest, Craig was accused of having sex with men in restrooms in Washington DC’s Union Station. In fact the Idaho Statesman newspaper interviewed Craig about this problem then and he also denied it. Now the Statesman has released an audio file and transcript of the man they said was most credible in the allegations.

Funny how the restroom thing popped up twice in different cities? Well maybe not so funny. Craig has trotted out his wife and emphatically stated he is innocent, but I have to wonder why there are so many reports culminating in an arrest? I gotta think this is a case of “if it walks like a pervert, and it quacks like a pervert, it must be a Republican”.

Listen to what he should have said in his statement to the press!

Senator Craig, The Closet, And Self Hatred

Senator Larry Craig deserves our scorn. He has worked tirelessly to ban gay marriage and deny rights to the GLBT community. Hypocrisy is one trait that American’s loath more than almost any other.

However, and this is a big however, Craig is a symptom of the very problem he helped to create. Homophobia affects not only gay and lesbian people who are visible and out of the closet, but those still hiding inside. Some people are so closeted, they cannot even accept themselves. Such would seem to be the case with Senator Craig. He went on television yesterday stating, “I am not gay. I never have been gay." I can agree with him in one respect. A gay man is one who accepts and identifies with his sexuality. Larry Craig certainly does not qualify in that respect.

Perhaps Senator Craig is bisexual? Well, that would make his statement true, and we all know how Republicans love to parse words to give the impression of telling the truth. Yet I still find myself wondering if his alleged restroom sex trysts are a symptom of something deeper. Perhaps Senator Craig is compelled to seek male sexual partners in public restrooms because he likes the adrenaline rush brought on by the possibility of being discovered. That oft chance that he might be having sex as the door to the stall opens and he is seen on his knees. Or perhaps he likes flirting with the possibility of getting arrested, a fait accompli in his case? If this is what drives him, then his self hatred is the real problem.

Somewhere deep down in Larry Craig’s psyche, he might feel that because he has the desire for other men, he is dirty and in some way “less than”. Should that be the case, I have to sympathize with him. He has become a victim of his own homophobia, and that is the saddest possibility of all.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Senator Craigs Sex Problems Date Back To The 1980's

Larry Craig, the Republican Senator who pleaded guilty to playing footsie with a vice officer in the public restroom in Minneapolis-St. Paul is no stranger to gay scandals. He was implicated in a drug and sex scandal back in 1982 where he denied involvement. That little peccadillo involved delivering cocaine to under age pages in the House of Representative, where Craig was serving as a Representative at the time.

Watch the news report and pay attention to the last 30 seconds. If we had only caught him then!

Gay Civil Unions Sanctioned in Medieval Europe

When I think of Medieval Europe, same sex civil unions are one of the last things I would expect to find, however Allan Tulchin of Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania has discover evidence that they were not at all uncommon. This according to an article in Live Science.

Through a study of gravesites and ancient legal documents Tulchin has found what appears to be a common practice in those ancient times. In France the legal term “affrèrement," translates as “brotherment” and it is codified by a contract in which the “brother" pledged to live together sharing "un pain, un vin, et une bourse," (one bread, one wine and one purse) Sounds pretty much like the civil union arrangements we have today, except these were sanctioned by the state.

While some of these arrangements may not have been sexual, others no doubt were. The research opens a new chapter in the continuing struggle for gay rights, which apparently was won and then lost after the middle-ages.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Guard Found Asleep At Post In NY Nuclear Reactor

Why is Nuclear Power eyed with suspicion by environmentalists and most other folks? Well there was that nasty Three Mile Island thing, and then there is the potential for terrorists to do a lot of damage with a little effort at nuclear plants. How you ask?

Well at the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in White Plains, NY inspectors found a lone guard on the second of three security rings, asleep at his post. Seems guards work 12 hour shifts and this particular one had done three shifts that weekend. Sounds like a problem to me, but I am not the expert.

Experts and activists however, have complained about problems at the plant for years, and since 9/11 the plant has been the site of siren failures and radioactive water leaks.

Taliban Releases Another Beheading Video - The Hits Just Keep On Coming!

Well those wacky Taliban are at it again. This time they have a teenage boy beheading a Pakistani soldier who was kidnapped in a tribal area bordering Afghanistan. I am not surprised, but still saddened by the continued brutality of these guys.

More saddening is the hits on my blog from the search terms "Taliban, Beheading, Video". I get the uneasy feeling people want to see this killing themselves. That speaks volumes about our civilization, when death becomes porn for the masses. Too bad the Taliban realize this and continue to produce their political snuff films for blood hungry web surfers.

I have seen one of these videos. I caught a glimpse of it on an Arabic web site I stumbled across. It started playing and before I realized it, the hooded star of the video was sawing the head off the victim. Not pretty and I don't ever want to see anything like it again!

So if you have ended up here looking for Taliban porn, sorry! All you will find are my personal rants and news items that I find important enough to post for my friends and readers. Want some porn? Go to, last time I looked it was full of obscene lies about our once great democracy.

New Mass Killing Super Weapon Deployed By British - Oh Yeah, & We Have Them, Too!

Glad to see America doesn't have a corner on the use of inhumane weapons. Looks like the Brits deployed a new version of the thermobaric weapons both the US and Russians have been using quietly for years.

Basically these weapons simulate a natural gas explosion. The disperse a fuel and then ignite it after it has spread into every crevice and building in an urban area. The blast is so powerful it sucks the air out of anyone's lungs so fast it ruptures the internal organs. Nice way to die, eh?

The British Armed Forces was so worried about this new super-weapon that they deployed it without telling Parliament. That should cause a big noise there!

Another GOP Pervert Arrested

Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested back in June when he was arrested for "lewd conduct" in the restroom of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Turns out that restroom is a pretty hot place for this kind of conduct and is well known.

Craig was arraigned August 8th and pleaded guilty. He them paid a $500 fine and got a year probation. This only recently came to light.

Funny how the Republicans are so anti-gay, yet they keep getting arrested for having gay sex in public places? Which is more perverted, having gay sex with consenting adults in your home and living openly as a gay man, or having public restroom encounters and then passing laws that persecute openly gay men?

He gets what is coming to him, and I hope this becomes an election year issue as well.

Alberto Gonzales Finally Packs His Bags - Yeeehaw!

Pardon me while I dance a few more bars of the Schadenfreude Polka. Alberto Gonzales, the sniveling sycophantic henchman for George Bush has finally packed his bags and is leaving town. It's about damn time. Problem is he will be followed by another sycophant and another until Bush leaves office, if he does.

Now it looks like Michael Chertoff will be the Attorney General. Great one lap dog for another. At least Chertoff has not lied dozens of times before Congress, yet. Now I have to wonder if Congress will have the collective cajones to prosecute Gonzales for perjury and obstruction of justice?

Let's hope they do, otherwise there would seem to be a dangerous precedent that lying to Congress is OK as long as the President is your buddy. Not much of a Democracy there.