Friday, February 20, 2009

Fashion Week In New York - What A Bunch Of Crap!

OK guess I gotta turn in my gay card? I just watched a video of some of the shows at this years "Fashion Week" in New York and I almost threw up. I have never seen such a pile of unmitigated crap in my life.

Let me qualify this. First the designs could have been pulled fro the pages of Vogue in 1966. Hats and dresses that would make Emilio Pucci cringe. The whole show I watched might have well have been the Braniff stewardess collection, and if you remember that you are both old and... well just old!

The day-glo fake fur coats and hats look like something rejected by the Muppets and the feedbag hat with eye holes for the model to see from reminds me of the episode of "I Love Lucy" where the girls go to France and their husbands give them gunny sacks and horse feedbags as "high-fashion" originals.

What a joke these designers are playing on the public, They dress a bunch of sickly aneorexic women up like clowns and pass it off as fashion. The critics rave, because if they don't they won't get invited to next years show and the public is told crap is genius. Sheesh!

Watch the video and try not to throw up.

Further Proof Sarah Palin Is A Jerk

If you ever needed proof that Sarah Palin was a jerk, the new biography of her, "Trailblazer" gives this interesting detail when it came to banning books. Back in 1996 she grilled the local library director about the appropriateness of certain books.

"Daddy’s Roommate," was one she felt should be hidden behind the desk and distributed only if a special request was made. According to an entry on her campaign manager had this to say.
I found it to be a sensitive book about showing love for additional family members. I took the book to show the other council members and said I felt it was inoffensive and suggested for everyone to read it, but there were not takers. I said, ‘Sarah why don’t you take it home and read it.’ I could tell by her body language she cringed at the idea.I was shocked. It blew my mind that she wouldn’t look at it. [p. 77]
Ah, condemning something before even looking at it, true Trailblazer behavior!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fingers Crossed

I’ve got my fingers crossed. For a lot of reasons .

First I am hoping that the economy can turn around. I know we often speak of the economy as something separate and apart from our lives, but it really is our lives, at least the way they relate to the world of commerce and finance. Until that time when we all board the Enterprise and money is no longer an issue, we will continue to be part of the economy.

Specifically the LGBT economy, and yes there really is one, has ground to a crawl just like the rest of the country. If you don’t believe me, talk to a few friends about how secure they feel in their jobs, or with their current financial position. If you are like me, you will hear the same kind of trepidation that is reflected in the stock market and on the news.

That fear is the real problem. Roosevelt was absolutely right about “nothing to fear but fear itself”. In this age of 24 hour blather that passes for news the fear meter is really ratcheted up. It is that fear that slows everything down. If you are afraid of losing your job, you pull back on spending. When you do that stores where you shop pull back on things like new orders and employees, the salon you patronize lays off a stylist, the cafĂ© drops a couple of waiters, the bookstore closes and the newspaper gets fewer advertisers and sooner or later it affects you. It’s a downward spiral that is driven somewhat by big factors like tight credit and a lot by small factors like fear.

I am no Pollyanna, though I think I might look pretty good in gingham. I do not believe we can just all go out and start spending and crank up the local LGBT economy as if my magic. I do believe we can minimize the effects by being rational and perhaps turning off FOX or CNN for a while and just calm down.

There is about to be almost $800 billion flowing into the nation’s economy for projects like rebuilding roads and fixing our infrastructure. Additionally, there are plans afoot to help out people who are crushed by mortgage debt left over from the housing bubble.

It’s not going to be a quick fix, but it is a start. Getting money flowing again is what it is all about. That’s why the banks are being rescued and why automakers are working out plans to stay in business. ON a local level, we haven’t been hit as hard as many communities, but still people are in financial trouble and their problems affect us all.

The LGBT community has traditionally been in a better position to whether recessions better than our straight friends, but that was before we started having gaybies and buying homes in the suburbs. Still many LGBT people have a bit more disposable income than those with large families and the financial obligations they bring.

Why does this matter and what the heck can we do about it? Well, here is my suggestion.

First don’t be foolish. Have a prudent reserve of some kind. I once heard a figure that showed most American’s are one paycheck away from the street. Perhaps having a couple of months rent saved up is a good idea.

Second, don’t cower in fear. If you succumb to the fear the news is selling you will find yourself in a state of inertia. That does no one any good.

Third, find a way to help others. A little volunteer work goes a long way, and local LGBT service organizations are hurting from lack of donations. They can always use extra hands and that costs you nothing but a little time. You’d probably spend that time watching the news and being afraid.

Fourth, when you do spend money, patronize LGBT and LGBT friendly businesses. There are lots of them in Dallas both in the gayborhood and elsewhere.

Finally, take a few minutes to find those things in your life that really are important. I know I am often caught in a whirlwind of meaningless minor irritations that blind me to the good things that I have. A loving partner, a large family of choice, a couple of enigmatic cats, and an outlet for my creativity.

If all this sounds like a recipe to avoid depression, it is. The economy can sink or float on how we feel, and why should we let ourselves or our economy sink into depressions. As Auntie Mamie said, “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! “

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Peanut Butter Recall Information

So many products have to be recalled from the contaminated peanut products of Peanut Corporation of America that the FDA built this widget to help you search. Enjoy!
FDA Product Recall List

FDA Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak 2009. Flash Player 9 is required.

Time For A Real Health Care Program

Let's talk about health care. Now there is a conversation stopper, at least in Congress. Seems no one wants to seriously approach the issue for fear of being attacked by lobbyists and the health care industry. And there is the problem. Health care has become an industry not a healing profession.

I was raised in a hospital. My father was a director of the laboratories at a local medical center and a microbiologist and hematologist. I spent much of my formative years hanging out at the lab and the hospital and seeing the work that was done there.

At that time, in the bucolic past, hospitals were concerned with healing not making money. Oh sure, they had administrators who made sure they didn't go broke, but most hospitals were supported by non-profits like denominations or charitable foundations. They concerned themselves with doing the work.

Somewhere along the way, that all changed and hospitals became big business. Now they are no longer owned or supported by the churches or charities but by large health services firms who still hide behind the charity name but in reality are in it for the bucks.

What that leaves is a big gaping hole into which millions and millions of Americans are falling, there they become, "the uninsured"! 14,000 a day are losing their insurance and that is bad news for all of us.

It's time Congress moves beyond the stimulus package and gets on with the real reform of the health care system we have in our country. It is so badly broken that we are receiving the kind of care you would expect in a third world country in many cases. We pay more for health care than almost any other developed country and get less for our money. Why? The elephant in the room is "profit".

Insurance companies spend millions to deny coverage to maximize profits. Hospitals spend millions building luxury rooms and fancy lobbies to impress the wealthy who can afford the best and latest treatment and the poor are relegated to overcrowded ER's where they often wait until they die from life threatening complications. It's all about money. If you have it, you can have good health care and if not, too bad.

It's high time our health care system got back to providing health care and got out of the business of generating profits for investors. There are better things for people to invest in.

How about this? We set up a National Health Insurance Fund. Everyone is eligible and they can either join it , the payments for this are taken out of taxes and or payrolls just like payroll tax. If they opt out, they can buy their own health insurance and deal with a private company.

All hospitals and doctors are required to accept the NHIF insurance and the government pays the going rates for care. Meanwhile, rich folk can see whatever expensive specialist they want and stay in whatever spa/hospital they want at their own expense, but those institutions will not receive any government money or tax breaks.

To facilitate the transition, the government will have to hire lots of people who will be put out of work when the private health insurance companies get out of the business.

It works for Medicare, for the Veterans Administration and for every other civilized country, why not ours. Meanwhile businesses, freed from having to provide health care can become competitive in the world market again and unions can stop having to spend funds managing health care programs thus lowering their dues. Everybody wins, but the middle men making big bucks off the poor health of Americans. I weep for them, but only a little.

Japanese Finance Minister Shows Up Blotto At Press Conference

If you wondered how bad things were for the economy of Japan, all you had to do was take a look at the Japanese Finance Minister, Shoichi Nakagawa at a press conference yesterday. I was watching Rachael Maddow's show and I didn't even have to wait for her comment to know that Mr. Nakagawa was sloshed!

The guy claimed he took an overdose of cold medicine, but I think he was drowning his sorrows at one too many Karaoke bars. Nakagawa, today resigned! Cold medicine or Johnny Walker?
You decide.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Space Debris Rains On Texas

NASA says it isn't but after having watched the space shuttle disintegrate a few years ago, this sure looks like space debris burning up in the atmosphere. My guess is it is the remnants of the Russian communications satellite and the Iridium satellite that collided over Siberia. Why NASA isn't owning up to it is a mystery, the FAA issues a warning to pilots about debris.

Watch it yourself and decide. The video is from near Austin in Williamson County.

Dubai Starts To Crumble

I love playing the game Jenga. In it players try to remove as many blocks from a stack as possible and then place them on top making the tower higher and higher. The game ends when someone pulls one too many blocks from the tower and it falls.

Well I have long thought Dubai was a big-money version of that game. The fantastic architecture and obscene lifestyles of its residents always made me nervous. I wondered when someone would pull the last block out and the whole thing would come crashing to the ground.

Cover your head, because it looks like the blocks are falling.

People from all over the world who flocked to Dubai to live the high-life are fleeing the emerate and headed home. According to a report in the TimesOnline, more than 3000 cars have been abandonded at the Dubai airport, many with keys in the ignitions. Mostly big SUV's and a few Mercedes were abandonded by foreigners buried in debt on their lavish new homes. The value of those has plumeted in recent days and the once-booming economy slowed to a snail's pace.

According to the report, Christmas was the worst day. Over a dozen abandonded cars in the parking lot of the airport that day!

Bubye Dubai!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bush Ranks In The Top Ten WORST Presidents In History

Here's a surprise, a group of historians were asked to rank the greatest and the worst U.S. presidents in history and George W. Bush was right in there. In the bottom 10!

C-SPAN released its second Historians Survey of Presidential Leadership made by a cross-section of 65 presidential historians who ranked the 42 former occupants of the White House on ten attributes of leadership. The top? Abraham Lincoln.

Down at the bottom was, no surprise, James Buchanan. Dubbya ranked right above Millard Fillmore, number 7 from the bottom.