Friday, December 12, 2008

Why The Republican Party Hates America

Strong words, but it's the conclusion I have come to after watching the acrimonious and pompous debates last night from Washington of Republican Senators shooting the auto rescue bill down in flames. They would rather posture and boast than try to save America's premier industry.

The bill was stalled because the GOP insisted the UAW take more wage cuts. If you will look at the history of recent wage contracts, the UAW has already made big concessions. The problem lies with the inability of the Republicans to realize that they are selling America off piece by piece to foreign bidders.

Once there are no more American car makers, who will manufacture the tanks and trucks should we ever need them for a war? It's national security and they fail to realize it.

Do I sound frustrated? You betcha! January 20 can not come soon enough.

Another reason the GOP is having trouble with thei economic package is this, they are rudderless. Yesterday, according to a report in, in a meeting with Dick Cheney, Senate Republicans were told that if they don't pass the bailout, "it's Herbert hoover time". Strong words from Darth Vader! Still, Cheney was met not with deference, but squabbling. I think the GOP has no clear direction and without that they will only be a hindrance to getting anything positive done for the country....and that's why I think they hate America. because they would rather play ideological chess than save our economy. Herbert Hoover might have been better!


How about naming names? Couple of Dems in this list as well, shame on them! All these Senators want the American auto industry to fail!

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT)
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN)
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)
Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Sen. Kay Hutchison (R-TX)
Sen. John Isakson (R-GA)
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL)
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Sen. John Thune (R-SD)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rest In Peace Bettie Page

Bettie Page is dead. Long live Bettie Page!
Los Angeles, December 11, 2008 – Bettie Page, sweet-smiling legendary 1950s pin-up queen with the killer curves and coal-black bangs, died today of pneumonia at a Los Angeles area hospital. She was 85 years old.

She suffered a heart attack one week ago and never regained consciousness. Her popularity as an underground, guilty pleasures phenomenon has continued to soar despite the fact that the reclusive Page disappeared almost a half century ago, leading many to believe that one of the most photographed individuals of the 20th century was already dead.
Ms Page was an icon to the BDSM community and will be missed, but her image and influence will live on.

Day Without A Gay? Not So Much

I scanned the news this morning looking for the huge reaction to all the LGBT people calling in sick for the "Day Without a Gay" protest. I found one article on Yahoo news (AP) that said what I figured would happen. Most people had no idea it was even taking place.

Big civil disobedience actions or work stoppages, boycotts, etc. can be effective, but when they are thrown together without enough planning and especially without enough PUBLICITY, they go unnoticed. So it was with the Day Without a Gay.

Given enough time and a whole lot of promotion, the news media would have picked up on the narrative and the story would have a chance to take off. This idea, a good one, was doomed because it was not given enough time to work. Perhaps 6 months from now it could. Maybe sometime around Gay Pride Day it could work given enough media buzz and viral push, but without that it will be a talking point for our opponents. They can now say, "look at what a small impact the LGBT community has on everyday society". And they will seem to be proven right.

Kitchen table activism is my kind of stuff, the AIDS Memorial Quilt started that way and it has done wonders in raising the consciousness of America to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Going off half-cocked with a good idea but poor execution and planning does the opposite. It makes us look weak and disorganized as a movement.

My suggestion to the organizers is, fall back, plan better and get some media allies to start telling the story. The narrative is a good one, "LGBT citizens are vital parts of American life and without them the whole country would be affected". That is the real story, and that is the truth.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

LGBT Group To March In Inaugral Parade For First Time Ever!

WASHINGTON - Today, in keeping with its commitment to hold inaugural events that celebrate our common values and reflects the diversity and history of our great nation, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden's Inaugural Committee officially extended an offer to the Lesbian and Gay Band Association to march in the 56th Inaugural Parade. Members of that group will join representatives from across the country and our Armed Forces in the historic parade down Pennsylvania Avenue following President-elect Obama's swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the Capitol.

This marks the first time that an openly LGBT group has been invited to participate in an Inaugural Parade.

"I am honored to invite these talented groups and individuals to participate in the Inaugural Parade," said President-elect Obama. "These organizations embody the best of our nation's history, diversity and commitment to service. Vice President-elect Biden and I are proud to have them join us in the parade."

Organizations wishing to participate in the parade submitted an application to the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee (AFIC), which then assisted the Presidential Inaugural Committee in reviewing all of the groups' applications. All told, 1,382 organizations applied to participate, setting a new standard for interest in marching in the parade.

The Lesbian and Gay Band Association is a musical organization comprised of concert and marching bands from cities across America that provides a network of lesbian and gay bands.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee was assisted in its selection process by a group of experienced military musicians, who utilized their expertise to help assess the presentation skills of marching bands, musical acts and drill teams.

All participants in the Inaugural Parade are responsible for paying for their own lodging and transportation to and from Washington, D.C. The Committee has been working closely with area governments and civic organizations to facilitate access to affordable accommodations and would like to encourage citizens from across the country to reach out and help the Lesbian and Gay Band Association raise the necessary resources to participate in this historic event.

If you are interested in finding out more about supporting the Lesbian and Gay Band Association and their participation in the 56th Inaugural Parade, please visit

Obama Selects Nobel Laureate As Energy Secretary

Here's a novel idea...put someone into a government position who actually knows something about the area he or she is in charge of! What a concept!

That is just what it looks like President Elect Obama is going to do in the Department of Energy. Instead of an oilman or industry type who will have no interest but that of the energy businesses at heart he looks to pick Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist.

Wow! Science may be making a comeback, and just in time, too.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Obama also is poised to select Lisa Jackson to head the Environmental Protection Agency, while one-time EPA administrator Carol Browner would serve in the White House as an overall energy "czar." Jackson worked at the EPA during Browner's tenure, and is former administrator of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

The selection of a scientist rather than a Washington insider as energy secretary suggests that in the Obama administration, energy policy will be directed out of the White House rather than the Energy Department.

Barney Music Being Used For Torture

Remember the last time you had a song stuck in your head. The kind of silly tune that you just couldn't get out? The notes from "Crimson and Clover" going over and over in your mind?

Well the CIA, those wonderful folks who brought your waterboarding are using music to torture detainees. Songs such as "I Love You" from the Barney TV show and annoying voices like Britney Spears played at earsplitting volume over and over and over have caused some prisoners to bash their heads against the wall in frustration.

Though it sounds pretty innocuous, it is cruel and psychologically damaging to the prisoners. Needless to say, like most torture the tangible results are minimal and information recovered through these techniques is not admissible in any legitimate legal proceeding.

Now the recording industry and humanitarian groups are fighting back with a petition drive called "ZeroDB". I urge you to sign the petition.

As for the music? Well here is a partial list of songs used as torture, you may or may not agree to their effectiveness.

Barney the Purple Dinosaur - theme tune
• Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive
• Britney Spears
• Bruce Springsteen - Born in the USA
• Christina Aguilera - Dirrty
• David Gray - Babylon
• Deicide - F**k Your God
• Don McLean - American Pie
• Dope - Die MF Die
• Eminem - Slim Shady
• Eminem - White America
• Matchbox Twenty - Gold
• Metallica - Enter Sandman
• Neil Diamond - America
• Nine Inch Nails - March of the Pigs
• Prince - Raspberry Beret
• Queen - We are The Champions
• Saliva - Click Click Boom
• Sesame Street - theme tune
• Tupac - All Eyes on Me

Mike Huckabee, You've Been Served!

Jon Stewart was engaging and cordial with his guest Mike Huckabee last night on The Daily Show, and he dished him up a great big plate of reality as he confronted him on his opposition to LGBT marriage.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Plant Workers Win - Sit-In Worked!

According to a news article in the Chicago Tribune:
Bank of America said Tuesday it is "prepared to" provide a "limited amount" of additional loans to Republic Windows and Doors to help resolve the employee sit-in at the Goose Island factory.

Republic employees are in the fifth day of their sit-in, protesting that they were not properly notified of Republic's closing and that they are owed severance and vacation pay.

Bank of America, which cut off the plant's credit, has yet to issue any new funds, and any loans would be subject to negotiation, a Bank of America spokeswoman said.

The amount of the loans is not being disclosed, the spokeswoman said.

Sally Kerns Husband Now In The News

You will of course remember the dinosaur, Oklahoma legislator Sally Kerns. Well her husband, Pastor Kerns, seems to think the real problem with LGBT Americans is they need to be put into re-education camps. Does anyone else have visions of Nazi Germany in their heads?

In a quote from a recorded phone interview, Pastor Kerns said:
"We have to get rid of that and start curing those sinners. It’s past time that this nation stopped placating sin and start putting them in education programs. Courts can force drug offenders into treatment centers and violent people into anger management. There’s no reason our courts can’t do that with homos."
That should send shivers up any American's spine. I have to wonder what God Pastor Kern prays to? Maybe it was the same one who said Hitler was just purifying the Germanic race?

Court Says Larry Craig Is Still Guilty

The old Saturday Night Live joke delivered by Chevy Chase, "this just in, Generalissimo Franco is still dead", is similar to the verdict delivered by the Minnesota Court of Appeals when they told Larry Craig, "you are still guilty!"

Craig was seeking to withdraw his guilty plea in the Minneapolis Airport bathroom sex sting case, saying his civil rights were violated. The court didn't buy it.

Craig as you remember said he would resign from the Senate, yet there he is, serving out the remainder of his term. I guess that was just another case of him "misspeaking".

Monday, December 08, 2008

Call In Gay Day!

About 25 years ago some friends of mine started stamping all their cash with a red stamp that said "Gay Money". The idea was to demonstrate how much we as LGBT people contributed to the economy. It was a clever idea, but unfortunately it got stopped by the federal government that warned they were defacing money. Perhaps it was a bogus charge, but still it was an idea that sounded good but just didn't get thought through.

I have posted information about "Call In Gay" day (actually a "Day Without a Gay") because I feel it deserves a chance of working. The planning is a bit fast for a real concerted effort. Doing something with another month or two of publicity would be better, but I suppose the idea is to hit during the Christmas shopping rush and to coincide with Human Rights Day.

The website of the protest
has the following:
We are asking everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, to help us fight for basic human rights. In reaction to the devastating and inhumane ‘yes’ on Proposition 8, the LBGT community, is asking all Queers and supporters to “call in gay” for ‘Human Rights Day’ (, the 10th of December. The Queer population has suffered social injustice for too long and now is our chance to show the world how much we matter.

December 10th is a Wednesday and we encourage everyone to do nothing to help the economy. We ask that students skip class, teachers cancel class and business owners shut the financial doors for one day. No matter how important your job may be, please “call in gay” to show support on December 10th. Don’t forget to spread the word to everyone you know!

We will make a difference! We will receive the rights we deserve! And we are an important part of the global economy!
So, if you can, make the call and spend the day doing volunteer work with a local LGBT organization or patronize only LGBT owned businesses. No sense in making our own folk suffer and besides, you might meet some other activists who would be fun to hang out with.

Then take a few minutes and write your congresspeople and demand that LGBT citizens be awarded the full rights of citizenship given to our straight brothers and sisters.

Chicago Tribune Files For Bankruptcy!

Want another sign of a real economic crisis in this country? The venerable Chicago Tribune has filed for bankruptcy. Here is the news straight from the horses mouth:

Chicago Tribune parent Tribune Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today in Delaware so it can restructure its debt.

The Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field, which Tribune Co. has on the auction block, are not part of the filing. The company said it has sufficient cash to continue to operate its media businesses, including publishing its newspapers and running its television stations and interactive properties, without interruption.

Chicago-based Tribune Co. had more than enough cash on hand to make a payment of $70 million due today on money borrowed before Zell's deal, but it was unable to convince lenders to embrace a broader restructuring of its debt.

Much of its debt was incurred last year when real estate magnate Sam Zell took the company private last December. It has repaid about $1 billion of its senior credit facility since then. But the situation at Tribune Co., which has suffered from industry-wide declines in advertising revenue that have eroded its cash flow since the deal was done, is emblematic of the squeeze felt throughout the media business overall, and newspaper companies in particular.

Looneys and The Supreme Court!

The season for lunacy is in high gear, yet luckily our courts have developed a distaste for challenges to US elections much to the dismay of the lunatics.

Looney #1: Leo Donofrio of East Brunswick, N.J. - petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the Presidential Election because he claims Barack Obama is a British citizen. According to an article in the Washington Post:
Donofrio also contends that two other candidates, Republican John McCain and Socialist Workers candidate Roger Calero, also are not natural-born citizens and thus ineligible to be president.
Looney #2: Philip J. Berg of Lafayette Hill, Pa. who argues that Obama is actually from Kenya, or maybe Indonesia even though both his birth certificate and the Hawaii Secretary of State say otherwise. Federal courts in Pennsylvania have dismissed Berg's lawsuit.

Score two victories for sanity. Now if only it was 2000 again!

"Bomb Mecca" Tancredo Resigns! Buh-Bye.

The man who encouraged the US to "bomb Mecca" has decided to retire. I guess Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) has finally figured out he is a fossil and the world has passed him by. His bombastic voice in the House often targeted illegal immigrants as the root of all evil in the country and his solution to the energy crisis was the old "drill baby drill" mentality.

I for one will be happy to see him go, and though he is making noises about a run for Governor of Colorado, I think he will be "spending more time with his family". In other words, how about a job in the "private sector", Tom?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Few Thoughts on Pearl Harbor Day

It was a Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941 when Japanese fighters roared across the island of Oahu and delivered their deadly cargo to he American fleet at Pearl Harbor. That "day that would live in infamy" has been the subject of numerous movies and books and is not likely to be forgotten.

I had a chance to visit the Battleship Arizona Memorial in Hawaii a few years ago and was moved by the still leaking oil slick that drifts to the surface of the water. As I browsed the gift shop I came across an odd item. It was a pictorial of the battle and the memorial but translated in to Japanese.

The irony was not lost on me, and it was fascinating that so many Japanese tourists were also visiting the site. I guess for them it was also a turning point in their history. Like Americans visiting Hiroshima, they must wonder like I did the strange flow of time that turned deadly enemies capable of such horrific carnage into friends. For that I am truly grateful.

Have a safe and peaceful Pearl Harbor Day.