Friday, July 17, 2009

Lunar Orbitar Gets Snapshots Of Moon Landing Site

To all those moon landing deniers, I suspect this photo will not have much effect, but to the rest of us in the real world, it's an amazing image.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has successfully taken pictures showing the Apollo 11 landing site that are spectacular. 40 years after the event the video of Neil Armstrong on the moon still give me chills. Now comes this delightful view from space of the site.

Knowing NASA plans to return to the moon gives me hope as well. Guess I am a space geek at heart.

TABC Admits Wrong Doing In Rainbow Lounge Raid

This just in from a Dallas Voice article. The chief of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Alan Steen, has issued a formal apology and more.
Steen said he doesn’t think there was sufficient cause for the inspection, which apparently was based on the fact that one person had been arrested for public intoxication at the Rainbow Lounge on Thursday, June 25. Steen also indicated that the eight law enforcement officers and the paddy wagon that were present likely constituted an excessive show of force.

“You can read that policy and you can figure out really quickly, TABC shouldn’t have even been there,” Steen said. “If our guys would have followed the damn policy, we wouldn’t even have been there. … We have these conversations all the time, and we don’t participate in those kinds of inspections when there’s not probable cause or reasonable suspicion or some public safety matter to be inspected.”

Steen added that the agents also shouldn’t have been wearing “special events uniforms,” which are prohibited during bar inspections. TABC agents typically conduct bar inspections in plain clothes.

Now, to all those folks who have bad-mouthed the activists protesting this unjust raid, and the people whose knee-jerk reaction is to defend the police and TABC, what do you have to say now?

Goldman-Sachs Profits = US Taxpayers $$$

Wonder why Goldman has such rosy profits? Jon Stewart explains better than most TV Business reporters.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Rachel Maddow Spanks Pat Buchanan For Racist Rant

Just in case you missed it, Pat Buchanan was on Rachel Maddow last night and she spanked him good for his racist white rant about how little African American's contributed to our country.

The segment below opens with Obama's speech at the NAACP and it's well worth the listening. He reminds people of the sacrifice made to achieve equality, a message the LGBT community has begun to remember.

Next Pat Buchanan comes on to attach Sotomayor and that's when the fun begins.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rick Perry Does An About Face On Federal Funds!

We have our own special brand of "idjuts" here in Texas, and the number one Idjut is our Governor, Rick "secessionist" Perry.

Y'all remember back when Perry in his imminent wisdom rejected the $555 million that the U.S. Government wanted to give our state that would have expanded unemployment benefits for Texans. At the time the "Guv" said taking the money would force the state to expand eligibility to include part time workers and others who don't earn enough to contribute to his campaign. Then he mouthed the mantra of the GOP that it would increase the tax burden on Texans, blah, blah, blah.

We guess what? Now Ole Rick is asking the Federal Government for $170 million loan to keep unemployment benefits flowing. Nice turn around from the guy who threatened succession!

What it all boils down to is a grandstand play. Perry wants to look strong and individualistic. "Aw heck we don't need any of that stimulus money here in Texas!"

That was for the "base". Now as the pickings are getting slim, Perry is back with his hands out, hoping the news media will forget to cover the event.

You know, I take back the whole "idjut" thing. Perry is nothing but a duplicitous asshole. Take that to your damned "teaparty" Governor Perry!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How Can I Get A Job Like This?

As General Motors emerges from bankruptcy, it's ex-CEO Rick Wagoner walks away with over $10 million in retirement benefits. What a country!

When management can run a company into the ground by having absolutely no clue what the American consumer wants and still get off with a cool $10 million! You gotta admire that kind of chutzpah.

I had a really nice company once. My business partner and I worked hard and built up a thriving business. We had such an attractive company that a group of venture capitalists acquired us and rolled us and two other companies into a much larger "dot com". We got stock and a little cash but the promise of bigger things. In the end, we were pushed out the door with worthless stock and bupkis. OK, chalk that up to experience, but how come these CEOs stay rich?

I guess it all has to do with who you went to school with and the practice of lining your board with other fat cats who will make sure you get a very shiny golden parachute. Of course the GM stockholders, well they get... you guessed it, bupkis!

Ft. Worth Mayor Apologizes For Rainbow Lounge Raid

The Fort Worth City Council meeting was eventful last night. The most impressive event was the apology by Mayor Mike Montcrief for the incident at the Rainbow Lounge.

It even made the Associated Press. Check this story in the San Francisco Gate.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

National Equality March - Oct. 11 Washington, DC

Open Letter To The President Of The SCLC

The Sounthern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization started by Martin Luther King to combat racism and injustice has threatened to fire the president of its Los Angeles chapter, Dr. Lee, because he supports same-sex marriage and opposed Proposition 8.

I could not sit still and not write them about this insanity. I thought I would share my letter with you and encourage you to write them as well. Their website form is here.
DR. BYRON C. CLAY, President & CEO
Ron Woods, Executive Director
SCLC Tel:404.522.1420 (Georgia)

Dr. Clay

Your recent threat of disciplinary action against Rev. Lee is unacceptable for a group founded by a man who is widely quoted as saying, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

To fail to speak out in favor of equal rights including marriage for LGBT Americans is an insult to the memory of Dr. King.

You forget that the man who orchestrated the March on Washington was Bayard Rustin, an openly gay African-American.

I have stood by the Civil Rights movement since the 1960's when my Father, a white Jewish professor joined the NAACP to show his support for justice. Today, I still support causes for any group who is oppressed in our society. Just because some gay and lesbian American's have a measure of affluence does not mean they have equal rights. Rights are not measured by the bank account but by freedom and equal protection.

I strongly suggest you reconsider and support the LGBT movement in the struggle to end inequality and bring justice to all.

If you really believe in the "beloved community" then there are no "others" only brothers and sisters, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.


Hardy Haberman

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kinky Mouth Gag On QVC?

And I thought I was kinky? This device is supposed to exercise your cheek muscles, but it really looks like a great SM toy!

Giant Squid Invade San Diego Beach!

In California, seaside residents are use to strange sights. One visit to the beach will confirm that, but this is different.

On the beach in San Diego dozens of Giant Squid are washing up onshore. The huge beasts, not to be confused with the mechanical one in "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", are several feet long and a rare sight. Apparently they were disturbed by an undersea earthquake, but that is still speculation. Meanwhile, it's calamari fiesta for the seagulls.

Fort Worth Rally - Rainbow Lounge Raid Protest

The rally in Fort Worth yesterday to protest the treatment of patrons at the Rainbow Lounge was a success. About 300 people showed up on the steps of the Tarrant County Court House for the event.

Dozens of rainbow flags, leather flags and hundreds fo signs gave the protest a festive feel, even if the message was one of outrage. The organizers, Queer Liberaction did a great job of pulling together the event and the line up of speakers was well paced.

The event culminated by Blake Wilkinson attaching a list of demands to the courthouse doors and the a spontaneous march to City Hall where the same list was taped to the doors there as well.

Even though the weather was oppressively hot, attendees seemed ready to face the sweat in order to get their point across. News media was also there in abundance and that was what the event was rally about. Keeping this incodent in the eye of the press will get action from city hall and the police.

Eagle Closure Update

Meanwhile the many Dallasites in attendance were still upset about the TABC action at the Dallas Eagle bar on Friday night. Though the timing seems suspicious and their anger is understandable, these were two very different events.

The TABC action at the Dallas Eagle was a result of the liquor license being issued for the old address, a few yards away from the new loaction on the same property. It was a picky technicality that should have ended when the TABC entered the bar and ordered liquor sales to cease. Unfortunately, sales resumed once the agents left and that prompted an undercover officer to call in another enforcement action which resulted in closing the bar completely.

The alleged "ninja masks" spoken of in several emails following the closure were to protect the identities of the undercover officers who called in the enforcement. In court their identities are revealed, but they wear masks when returning to a venue to protect their undercover status.

Now that said, I am not casting any dispersions on the Eagle or the TABC in this case. It just looks like the kind of thing that could have been avoided.

I do feel that gay bars get far more scrutiny from the TABC than other establishments and that should be investigated. Perhaps the ACLU or Lambda Legal could look into that, because I get the feeling if the records were tabulated, gay bar enforcement would be higher than straight bars. Just my hunch. I have seen several of these "raids" in the gay bars and have never seen anything remotely similar in a straight br or restaurant. I have seen my share of both establishments.

I have seen sloppy fall down drunks in straight bars and never seen anyone arrested for Public Intoxication. Just visit any of the watering holes in Deep Elum or Lower Greenville and see if you have your evening disturbed by the TABC. It doesn't happen very often.

So, am I upset about the TABC actions. Yup, sure am. Do I think the Fort Worth riad and the Dallas Eagle closure are related? Only in the fact that they are part of a larger picture of discrimination against LGBT establishments that needs to be addressed.