Friday, September 07, 2007

Justice Department Says NO To Net Neutrality

The US Justice Department has put their 2 cents in on Net Neutrality and they side with the big ISPs. Surprised? Hardly. The DOJ is just another political arm of the Bush administration and as such it is in the service of big business, or at least the ones that can afford to pay.

Write your Congressperson now! The net is dangerously close to being strangled by the ISPs who want people to pay them twice for their services. Net Neutrality is essential to the growth of free speech on the Internet and to the continuation of our democracy.

Sex Toys From China - Many Contain Lead And Other Toxins!

With the recent epidemic of poisoned children’s toys from China, it would serve us well to look at other possible contaminated toys from the Far East as well. Specifically I am talking about sex toys. It seems we Americans put lots of things into orifices in our bodies that are of unknown origin and have had little if any product testing. Luckily the Danes, those randy Scandinavians, are arguably the most sophisticated and knowledgeable people on earth when it comes to sex. Their government equivalent of the EPA did a series of tests on sex toys and found some disturbing information.

Seems many of the dildos, vibrators and artificial organs sold in Danish sex shops and on the internet contain high levels of substances that could be considered dangerous. By rigorously testing these sex gadgets the Danish study found that out of the 16 toys they tested, 3 had arsenic, 6 antimony, 12 lead, and 7 cadmium. Cadmium is bio-cumulative and each time you are exposed to it the it adds to the total exposure. Sound scary? Kind of.

Results of the test were published in this paper, and though most of the toys pose little risk, some do especially to pregnant mothers or mothers nursing babies. Additionally they only tested 16 randomly selected toys, a fuller study will need to be done.

What does this all mean? Well in my opinion, use of a sex toy without a condom is a needless risk, and sex toys produced in China should always be suspect. Sorry to keep China bashing, but until their government actually enforces the regulations they have written into law, nothing from behind the Great Wall should be taken for granted. Look for that label and handle with care. By the way don’t expect our government to do anything about it, since we officially don’t talk about any of that naughty stuff that just might kill us.

Thanks to the folks at Tantus Silicone for the link to the report.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Bush Knew Saddam Did Not Have WMDs Prior To The War!

The outright deception of the Bush administration is amazing. In a recent article in Salon, Sidney Blumenthal reports that on “Sept. 18, 2002, CIA director George Tenet briefed President Bush in the Oval Office on top-secret intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction….”

In other words, he lied BIG TIME to the American people, Congress and the world. His excuse for going to war was complete fabrication and he must be brought to justice. If this isn’t reason enough to put impeachment back on the table I don’t know what is. I guess he will have to be caught in a men’s room tapping his foot to get the attention of Congress.

Come on Congress, do your job and investigate this criminal and his henchmen who have hijacked our democracy. If you don’t, you won’t have jobs after the next election and if Bush continues to abridge the constitution, there might be no further elections. He is power hungry and willing to lie and sacrifice American soldiers in a war that did not have to happen at all. Do something!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Getting Puffed At The Airport - Security!

On a recent trip to Indianapolis I was treated to a trip through the “puffer machine”. These very expensive machines resemble a phone booth with glass doors,. Inside a disturbingly mechanical voice tells you what to do, and the jets of air blow across you from head to toe. Sort of a fun house blower without the fun.

Not unpleasant, but surprising. I did a little research on these beasts and found out that GE the “bring good ideas to light” folks make them. The problem with them is after constant use they get clogged up with dust. Hummm? Wonder why nobody thought of that?

More disturbing is that most of the places that bought them have stopped using them. In other words your taxpayer dollars at work, well not really.

Personally I think a good old fashioned fun house air jet would be a nice diversion in the airport. You already have to partially undress and stand in line holding your belt, shoes and other crap, why not give folks a little entertainment? Those TSA guys would love the fun of blowing a businesswoman’s skirt up, or ruffling a few feathers on the stuffy ill tempered air traveler of the 2000’s. And instead of having up pull all our stuff out of our pockets, just make folks walk through one of those revolving barrels. The change and metal objects would fall out on their own.

Let’s make air travel fun again!

Rev. D. James Kennedy Dies - One Less Hate-Filled Voice

Few people have had so much influence as Rev. D. James Kennedy of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida. Some credit Kennedy with the rise of the radical religious right. I credit him with much of the vitriolic attacks on gays and lesbians from the right.

Kennedy was often quoted in the press with his inflammatory statements. Try this one on for size from a 1989 newsletter:

“With other dangerous and contagious diseases, all sorts of efforts are made to identify those carrying the disease, and to minimize their contact with the public. And yet, here we have homosexual rights groups working day and night to make sure AIDS victims ARE NOT IDENTIFIED! Until action is taken, AIDS victims are free to infect anyone."

Add to that equations of being gay with practicing bestiality and you get an idea of how hate filled this alleged man of God was. That voice is finally silent. Kennedy died today at 76. This makes the second of the hate mongering preachers of the radical right to pass away this year. Jerry Falwell’s death occurred in May.

So what is my take on it? Well it will have two effects. One there will be fewer voices spewing bigotry in the name of Christianity. Two, his family and friends will miss him very much. To that end, I would offer my sympathies. I do not celebrate anyone’s death. Life is far too short to take joy in the passing of others, but I do hope his flock might reconsider their tiny selfish God. For if they worshiped the same God I do, they would know His extravagant grace extends to all peoples. I only hope they find peace and someday the vision to see a God of love and not hate.

More Poisoned Chinese Toys - When WiIl It Stop?

With Christmas fast approaching, it looks like what kids will be asking for is anything that has no lead in it. Mattel has issued another recall of toys, this time Barbie accessories tainted with lead paint. Now the big question, where were they made? China, of course!

I have to keep wondering if American companies will ever realize that cheap stuff carries a big risk, especially if it comes from a country like China. Their version of capitalism is the worst kind, with no checks and restrictions and no conscience. Government oversight is almost non-existent and manufacturers in a quest for beating any price in the world resort to shady subcontractors and substandard materials. In the case of toys they just use poison.

Now the hard part, try to buy anything that isn’t made in China for one day. Almost impossible and that’s frightening. I have no bone to pick with China, I just think they manufacture crap and cheep crap at that. The problem with this cheep crap is that American firms are selling it at the same prices they used to sell American made goods, and pocketing the difference. Nice business strategy, until you get a couple of boatloads of lead painted toys. Eventually the profits will be spent in recalls and lawsuits. Maybe then American factories will reemerge in a few industries as not he cheapest but maybe the safest bet.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

McCain's Michael Richards' Moment

I don’t know why public figures haven’t understood that the way you respond to a heckler speaks volumes about your true self. Just remember the racist diatribe that a heckler prompted from Michael Richards.

Well John McCain seems to have a pretty dark heart if his response to a heckler is any indication. When asked if he was too old and conservative to be president by a high school student, John McCain responded “Thanks for the question, you little jerk… You’re drafted.”

And so again McCain falters and looks even more like a desperate looser than before. Sad really.

Dallas Democratic Labor Day Picnic - Fun, Frantic!

I attended a yearly tradition here in Dallas, the Democratic Labor Day Picnic. It’s a great place to meet candidates and fellow Democrats and enjoy the chaos and camaraderie of a big pot-luck meal. This year it was held at the Catholic Czech Club Hall, a big barn of a building in South East Dallas.

All the usual suspects were there. Candidates and their representatives were all pressing the flesh and sharing a meal of fried chicken and casseroles brought by those attending. It was hectic and fun, and a great chance to get to know people you might not get to meet and speak with.

State Senator Royce West was on hand to deliver the opening speech and benediction. He has a commanding presence and managed to quiet the crowd, a feat in itself.

My group, the Stonewall Democrats had a table right in the middle of things and we had lots of interest. The Stonewall groups, GLBT Democrats, have become a vital force in the local party scene and very few candidates will refuse an invitation to speak with us or attend one of our events. That’s a good sign of how things have changed in Dallas. When I first came out, the police were still raiding the bars for infractions as innocent as men dancing with men. We have come a long way, but still have a long way to go before we have true equality. Events like the picnic are a good way for other Democrats to get to know us. It’s always harder to discriminate when you know the person you are trying to discriminate against.

All in all it was a great event. I got to catch up with my friend Lupe Valdez, the Sheriff of Dallas County, Ken Mohlberg, former Dallas Democratic Party Chairman, who is running for judge and lots of other great folks. If you have never attended one of these kinds of events, you are missing a vital part of party politics. You can get involved and have a great time doing it!

News, Spin & The Daily Show

My partner mentioned this strange quandary to me last week and I really think he may be on to something. Lots of new last week was worthy of the Daily Show’s acerbic wit, but they were on hiatus for Labor Day. Now considering Gonzales tendered his resignation earlier than first reported and Larry Craig was actually arrested back in June, isn’t it funny how those events whose announcements were controlled, hit during a week when Jon Stewart was on vacation?

Just as the Bush administration and other political folks like to dump bad news on Fridays when they will dissipate over the weekend in a cloud of sports and recreational activities, I have to wonder if the Daily Show’s schedule may also be a factor in when bad news is passed off to the public. Since numerous polls have shown that people actually rely on the Daily Show for real news, even though it is ostensibly as “fake news” show, if I were a political spin-doctor, I would avoid it like the plague. This isn’t the first time stuff like this has happened, and if someone with more time on their hands than me looked into it, I bet there would be a collation.

Think about it!

Another Bush Lie Exposed - When Will The Impeachment Start?

The Bush administration has claimed that the plan in Iraq was to keep the army intact, but that for some unexplained reason that didn’t happen. The administration has sought to blame Paul Bremer for the action which it claimed it knew nothing about. In reality, Bush knew of the plan to “dissolve Saddam’s military and intelligence structures,” and was told so in 2003 in a letter from his Iraqi envoy.

Why has this deception come to light now? Well Paul Bremer read about the new book that paints Bush in an innocent light with regard to the dismantling of the Iraqi army, a move now seen as a huge mistake. Bremer provided the letters to the New York Times as proof that the quotes in the book are lies.

Bush wrote back to Bremer upon hearing of the plan to dismantle the Iraq army the following, “Your leadership is apparent… you have quickly made a positive and significant impact. You have my full support and confidence.”

Another lie to add to the President’s list of falsehoods and prevarications. How many lies and deceptions will it take before the Congress gets this criminal out of office?

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Future Of TV? How About A Good Swift Kick In The Nuts?

Ever since I found MXC on Spike TV I have been fascinated by the Japanese TV sensibility. Their programs are way beyond anything we do in this country, yet. I suspect it is only a matter of time before these kinds of shows "hit" American TV and our slide into the great cultural vacuum continues in earnest.

Does it get any better than this? Contestants have to recite some kind of long monologue in a limited time without mistakes or a machine trips a spring loaded rod that slaps them in the nuts with a leather slapper. Now that's entertainment!

By the way, if anyone reading my blog speaks Japanese, please provide me with a transcript. I would love to know what is being said.

GOP Lies Exposed On CNN - "Sectarian Deaths Are Down" Not!

Republicans are spouting their talking points in preparation for the big lie about Iraq and the surge. The surge is not working but they will be lying about it anyway. On CNN, finally a member of the press calls the GOP on their lies. Wolf Blitzer disputes the "deaths are down" lie and the party line stumbles. Watch it. (Thanks to Americablog & ThinkProgress)