Friday, December 31, 2010

Famous Faces We Lost in 2010

Nothing makes me aware of my own mortality like these year end "who we lost" montages.  This year the names are almost all people I grew up watching on TV or in the movies as well as even a few sports figures I actually followed. I guess it puts things in perspective to watch these and helps me realize how fleeting our lives are and how important every day is.

Somber thoughts for a New Years Eve? Not really, since the joy and effect of these famous folks still lives on in our memories.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Geraldine Hoff Doyle - WWII Icon Dies

If you ever saw the poster of the determined woman making a fist with the words, "We can do it" above her, might know her as Rosie the Riveter.  She was not Rosie, but she was Geraldine Hoff Doyle who at 17 worked in the war effort.  She operated a metal stamping machine and inspired the poster.

She died today at 86 from age related causes.  Her image still inspires young women today as it was resurected during the early days of the Feminist movement,  Ironically, she only worked in the factory for a few weeks injuring her hand and leaving the job.

L.A. Times has more.

Earth from the Edge of the Solar System

The blue dot near the right of the photo is Earth.
Photo taken by Voyager 1990 (NASA)
My friend Lex tweeted this story from Discovery News.  It has this picture and a quote from Carl Sagan that is worth considering at the turn of this New Year.

"From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Look again at that dot. [...] On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Real Gay Agenda

Barney Frank shares the REAL gay agenda. (Thanks to The Dallas Voice for finding this clip!)

GOP Still Making Sausage With PORK - Senator Shelby Stuff $500M Into Useless Program

As I long expected, the Republicans who wailed and bemoaned the pork of Washington during the campaign are still bringing home the bacon.  Case in point: Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) who stuffed a $500 million provision into the 2011 budget.  It was for NASA spending on the Ares I rocket program.  Now, I am a fan of NASA and at first blush this sounds fine, except that NASA doesn't want or need it.  They had scrapped the program, but Shelby's pork deal continues to fund two contractors,  Lockheed Martin and Alliant Techsystems (ATK) both in the Senators home state of Alabama.

When it's election time, the GOP will squeal about pork, but once the votes have been counted they wallow back to the trough.

Next Time Someone Protests the DADT Repeal, Tell Them This True Story

Though Gerald Ford only served a short time as president, he managed to make at least one enemy.  Sara Jane Moore. On Sept. 22, 1975, she approached the President with a revolver in her purse. As she reached in and drew it out, a quick thinking former Marine and Vietnam Vet named Billy Sipple lunged at her and grabbed her hand, deflecting the shot that could have killed Gerald Ford.

What does this have to do with DADT repeal? Well, Billy Sipple was gay.

It is a sad story what happened to him after that. Though he received a letter of thanks from the President, Sipple's life spiraled downward. News stories about his heroism included his sexual orientation, and his family who hadn't known previously reacted badly. That turn of events haunted Sipple for the rest of his life.

He died alone in his apartment in San Francisco with half-gallon bottles of bourbon and 7-Up nearby in 1989.

So next time someone starts going off about how unfit LGBT service members are, tell them about the heroics of Billy Stipple, a Marine who was discharged as "undesirable" because he was gay.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

FBI Files Reveal Much About LGBT History & Oppression

On July 4 1967, a group of gay men and lesbians from the Mattachine Society picketed Independence Hall in Philadelphia. They handed out leaflets that, in-part, bore these words which still ring true today.
The Declaration of Independence says: “All men are created equal.”
But in no walk of life, and in none of his dealings, whether with his fellow citizens or with his governments (Federal, state or local) is the homosexual American citizen treated as equal to others; he is always placed in a status of inferiority. Systematically and unrelentingly, he is placed into and kept in the category of second-class citizen….
The Declaration of Independence says: “All men are endowed with certain unalienable Rights – among these are – the pursuit of Happiness.”
But the homosexual American citizen, upon savage penalty of law, and upon pain of loss of livelihood and other severe disadvantage, is denied proper pursuit of harmless happiness open to other citizens.
This hand typed and mimeographed document contains much more and is part of the FBI files recently declassified and available online here. Though the government’s surveillance was despicable, the preservation of documents reflecting the history of LGBT struggles in America is a good thing. Without these files much of this would be lost. It is worth your time to download and read some of this.

Happily, several of these grievances have been addressed in recent years. The Supreme Court decision of Lawrence vs. Texas did a lot to change things. Most recently, the repeal of DADT has given new hope to LGBT activists that the long march toward freedom may be nearing its goal. As we approach the New Year, take a few moments to read some of these documents and consider how far we have come. They look at how far we still must go to achieve full citizenship in our own country.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Maine Tea Party Governor Elect Already Corrupt - Hires Own Daughter - Nepotism?

In a startlingly and blatantly corrupt move the Tea Party backed Governor elect of Maine, Paul LePage (Republican), has hired his own daughter as an assistant to the tune of $41,000 per year. This from a man who pledged to surround himself with "the best and the brightest" and to "avoid political cronyism.”

So at first glance, the "Tea Party" looks like the same old Republican political machine.  In the words of the song by The Who,  "meet the new boss, same as the old boss."  So much for "we won't be fooled again!"  Thank you Pete Townshend.

Friday, December 24, 2010

More TSA Nonsense - Rape Victim Refuses Grope & is Arrested

OK, this is just getting insane.  The TSA detained a lady in Austin, TX this week after she refused a pat down by TSA agents. She has a pacemaker implant and could not be X-rayed, so she was escorted to a room for a pat down.  She is a rape survivor and is very sensitive about being touched. She told the woman from TSA she would not have her breasts touched.  The less than friendly screener said, "yes you are!"  When she resisted she was thrown to the floor and dragged through the lobby and arrested.

Now does it take a genius to figure this one out?  Holiday rush and an underpaid over zealous TSA agent gets angry.  Is that a reason to wrestle a 56 year-old woman with a pacemaker to the floor?

The TSA theater is getting really annoying.  Pretty son, it will affect the airline industry profits and they will start complaining.  Maybe then someone will figure out how to maintain reasonable security without these kinds of silly invasions of privacy.

12 Daze of Christmas - Las Vegas Lounge Act Fay McKay Sings

Fay did this act for years in Vegas. She is a charming lady whose twisted sense of humor has inspired numerous drag queens to do the same song. Still funny after all these years!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Very Nice WSJ Article on Our Interfaith Peace Chapel

The architecture critic for the Wall Street Journal wrote eloquently about the Phillip Johnson Interfaith Peace Chapel at the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas.As many of you know it is my home church and the chappel and ultimately the new cathedral has been a project our congregation has poured our money and souls into for years.  Nice that someone "gets it"!
Learn more about the church and the new chapel here.

Eartha Kitt Sings "Santa Baby" - Wouldn't be Christmas Without It!

This rare footage of Ms. Kitt singing "Santa Baby" is well worth watching, always makes the season feel warmer!  Also, there is a strange remix of the song at the end...not nearly as much fun as the original.

Yet Another Xmas Gif Suggestion - For ME!

Dust Ball from Dave Hakkens on Vimeo.

LeAnn Rimes Signs With GMCLA

John McCain Hates Our Troops

Strong headline?  Yes, but true.  In an amazing display of petulance for an old guy like McCain, he has stripped a provision from the National Defense Authorization Act for 2011 which is designed to prevent suicides of veterans.  The provision funds counselors who check up on members of the IRR (Individual Ready Reserve) who have had PTSD diagnoses.  It's specifically designed to catch and prevent suicides and for someone like McCain who is a survivor of PTSD it's unconscionable for him to block this.

Of course McCain has been slipping into crotchety "old man" mode for some time.  Now he is just being hateful.

President Obama Signs DADT Repeal

I just watched President Obama sign the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell and I got goose bumps.  He spoke eloquently of the gay and lesbian service members who have been unfairly discharged because of the policy and actually encouraged them to reenlist once the policy has been set in place.  Pretty nice to hear.

I will admit I have been critical of Obama over the past year.  I am impatient for the change his presidency promised.  I also am delighted to see at least some of that change starting to happen.

Do I believe all the barriers to equal rights for LGBT people will fall during his term in office?  No. However I am grateful for the changes that have happened so far. As of this date his policies and the laws passed in the past two years have gone further toward equal rights for LGBT American's than any other administration.  Perhaps, even with a GOP controlled House further advances can be made. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Louie Gohmert - Yet Another D**k!

OK this guy is officially an idiot!  Why does he have to be from Texas?

Missouri Names Highway After Killed Gay Trooper, But Refuses To Give His Partner Benefits

As the story in Riverfront Times says, "Merry F-ing Christmas!"  Yup the Show Me state decided to name a section of Interstate 44 in Franklin County after Dennis Engelhard.  The State Trooper was killed last year after he was struck by an SUV that was skidding on icy conditions.  He had been assisting a stranded motorist.

As a reward to Engelhard's partner of 15 years, the state has denied any benefits, even though Kelly Glossip and Dennis Engelhard had raised a child together.  Nice frigging present Missouri!

Pope Officially Loony - Claims Child Pornography Was "The Norm" in The 1970's

No offense to any of my Catholic friends, but Pope Benedict XVI has gone round-the-bend.  His Christmas message is bizarre.  It sounds like he is apologizing for the pedophile priests who molested their congregation's children and were conveniently shuffled from one parish to another by the church. 

How am I to interpret this statement in his Christmas message?
“In the 1970s, pedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children,” the Pope said. “It was maintained — even within the realm of Catholic theology — that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a ‘better than' and a ‘worse than'. Nothing is good or bad in itself.”
This comes on the heels of an investigative report in "Der Spiegle" about the Pope's role in allowing a known pedophile priest to continue to serve back in the 1980's.

The Holy Father has succeeded in pissing off just about everyone with this Christmas' message.  I suspect it will not be a Silent Night in Rome this year.

Tom Coburn is a D**K - Blocks 9-11 First Responder Health Care!

OK how can I out this delicately?  Tom Coburn, Republican from Oklahoma is a dick.  Nope that really doesn't do him justice, he is a huge dick!  That's better.

Coburn, in a fit not unlike a petulant child is doing everything he can to block health benefits for the first responders to 9-11.  I know you won't believe it so here is a video of his dickishness. His claim that the bill hasn't gone through the process is a lie. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions committee did in fact hold a hearing on the bill in June — and Coburn should know as he sits on that committee.

Monday, December 20, 2010

John Lewis In Support Of DADT Repeal

In case you missed the debate in the House last week over DADT Repeal, you missed one of my heroes, Representative John Lewis give an impassioned speech for the repeal of the law.  He is one of the living legends of the Civil Rights movement and someone who I have had the honor of meeting. He is a giant of justice in Congress.

Idaho Football Hazing Scandal Includes Sexual Assault

I though hazing had gone the way of the Dodo bird but apparently not in Idaho.  Last year at Blackfoot High School three football players, "restrained the victims in a locker room and on a school bus during a three-month period that began last December".  What they did with them includes penetration with foreign objects and other sexual charges that have rocked the Boise State and Idaho State football teams.  Most of the players charges are in college now and have been suspended from their respective teams while the investigation continues.

Read more here on Huffington Post.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

DADT Actually Repealed!

Yes Virginia, maybe there really is a Santa Clause, at least for the LGBT service members who have until now served in silence or left the services.  The Senate voted Saturday to repeal the 17 year old law.

It's about time and 17 years too late for some brave Americans, but still the victory is sweet.  The bill passed with some Republican support as well.  Good news all around!

Friday, December 17, 2010

TSA Lets Loaded Gun Fly!

With all the technology our government has been hoodwinked into buying to keep us safe when we fly, an Iranian-American buisnessman from Houston, with a loaded Glock pistol packed in his computer bag went through security and flew to his destination even though TSA scanned the bag and him.

Once again it shows that our "screening" methods are more theater than security.

AmericaBlog has the story.

Republicans May Blackmail Senate To Block DADT

Republican Senator Corker of Tennessee made an outright threat to walk away from the New START treaty if Speaker Reid brings DADT repeal to a vote.

So the Republicans value hating LGBT Americans more than world peace! AMAZING!

Jon Stewart Blasts GOP Filibuster of First Responder Health Bill

This is what the mainstream media should be doing but are far too chickens#*t to consider.  Again, kudos to the Daily Show and same on the GOP!
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Worst Responders
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>The Daily Show on Facebook

Thursday, December 16, 2010

War on Christmas!

OK I know some of you found this post because of the headline about the "War on Christmas" and expect me to rail about people using "Happy Holidays" instead of Merry Christmas.  Well let's get all historical here.

When this country was founded, the celebration of Christmas had been banned in England.  It was considered by the British Parliament "a popish festival with no biblical justification".  Take that Santa Clause!  Meanwhile in Boston, the celebration was actually banned from 1659 to 1681.

The Christmas celebration we know today is a relatively recent phenomenon. In 1843 When Charles Dickens wrote the now famous "A Christmas Carol" many thought the whole idea of Christmas was dying out. Because of Dickens. the expression "Merry Christmas" gained popularity and in a few decades became the mantra of the season.

Oh there was a feast dating back to the mid 300's, but previous to that the nativity was observed in late May.  The December 25 day was apparently settled on because of a legend that Mary conceived at the Spring Equinox, which would put the birth 9 months later on....Christmas Day.

So much for history, my point of the post is this.  If there is a war on Christmas it is being waged by the merchants and mainstream churches who capitalize on the holiday.  Christmas is big business, especially for churches.  Often the only time parishioners darken the church door is during Christmas.  (and maybe Easter).

Churches like the First Baptist Church of Dallas have used the "holy day" as an excuse for cheap publicity stunts like the "naughty and nice" website started to track all those "bad" folk who are saying "happy holidays" instead of "merry Christmas".  So I have to wonder if a cheap stunt like that is really appropriate to celebrate the birth of Christ?  And the whole Santa Clause thing?  Well it just equates greed with the birth of Christ, who I believe said, "blessed are the poor..." 

I love Christmas, and I love all the traditions and decorations and parties and carols, but I know the difference between the secular celebration we call Christmas and the real religious significance of the liturgical season.  Christmas should be a personal experience.  It is a sacred day in the church calendar and no matter what the talking heads on Fox News say, it is neither endangered or cheapened by someone saying Happy Holidays. 

I suspect if Jesus were to chime in on  the discussion He might wonder what all the fuss is about.  I feel pretty sure his greeting would be neither "happy Holidays" nor "Merry Christmas" but simple "Peace be with you."

And also with you.

And Another Question for the Log Cabin Republicans...

Anyone who has ever read my blog knows I am a liberal and a Democrat. They will also know I have questioned over and over the whole raison d'ĂȘtre for the Log Cabin Republicans. In this clip from Rachael Maddow she bolsters the reasons for my confusion as to "what the heck they are all about"?
Watch it and ask that question yourself.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

House Passes DADT Repeal Motion

I have been listening to the debate on the floor of the House for the stand-alone DADT repeal bill. A lot of bluster from the GOP specifically quoting Commandant Amos of the Marines, while the Democrats quote the Joint Chiefs.

Really is annoying to hear the politicians implying that our military can't serve professionally beside LGBT people. They already do that, and right now they have the distraction of not knowing if they are gay or not. Why would knowing it be more distracting? It's a red herring and in reality it's something that should have happened years ago.

The final vote was 250 for repeal and 175 against. DADT motion to reconsider is on the table!

TSA Christmas Carol - Animated

Handgun + School Board + Angry Man = Deadly Consequences

Watching the video of Clay Duke shooting at the members of the Panama City Florida School Board I have to wonder again just why him having a handgun is a good thing?  If the 2nd Amendment is interpreted as written than he was certainly not part of a "well regulated militia".  Instead I suspect he was a very disturbed man who felt wronged by the powers that be.  His Facebook page has a rant about government and media and rich people.  Though I can sympathize with his feelings, there is indeed a growing disparity between the ruling class and the rest of us folks, pulling a can of spray paint and a gun on the school board is certainly no way to change things.

The easy availability of handguns only encourages permanent solutions to temporary problems.  Mr. Duke felt like he wanted to die, and though I cannot read his mind, his allusions to a fictional movie and his theatrics lead me to believe he wanted help.  The reason he didn't get it was that little piece of metal he was holding.  The handgun turned what could have been a manageable situation into a deadly one.  Handguns do kill people when they are in the hands of irrational people.  Not much of a bumper sticker, but the truth.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Marine Commandant Thinks DADT Repeal Will "Distract" Marines

OK, first of all let me say that in my experience in the kink community, and in the gay community, former Marines are usually the most enthusiastic play partners. That said, I find Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos' comment just plain silly.  He thinks Marines will be distracted by a repeal of DADT and will become suddenly unable to do their job, thus endangering their lives.
"When your life hangs on a line, on the intuitive behavior of the young man… who sits to your right and your left, you don’t want anything distracting you,”
If knowing that another Marine is gay or lesbian distracts you that much how distracted are they not knowing if the Marine next to you is gay or lesbian?  This is a ridiculous argument and smacks of just plain old fear, something no Marine I have ever know has very much of.  If the people in the Marines can be distracted so easily, then perhaps they are not trained well enough?  That ought to get some choice comments!

House Dems Introduce DADT Repeal Stand-Alone Bill

As the clock is running out the House Democrats will introduce an almost identical bill to the Lieberman/Collins bill in the Senate. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) confirmed this to the Washington Post.
"Today Rep. Patrick Murphy is introducing a new standalone bill to to allow for repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and I am proud to join him as the lead co-sponsor. As Secretary Gates and others have stressed, it is critical that Congress pass this legislation, empowering the Defense Department to implement repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' itself, rather than have repeal imposed by the Courts,"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Harvard Library LGBT Books Destroyed

It seems that hate filled people just can't get enough of vandalizing and destroying books.  Whether by burning them like some fundamentalist Christian hate groups, or by a simple act of vandalism it is knowledge that stirs their anger. That anger apparently extends even to the halls of acedemia at Harvard.

Back in November, a shelf of LGBT books was soaked with urine and had to be destroyed.  A bottle was found nearby and the incident is being treated as a "hate crime" and wasn't reported until now because the library staff had to assess the value of the defaced books.

The Harvard Crimson reports that Harvard College Dean Evelynn Hammonds said: “Harvard College will not tolerate acts of vandalism, especially those that appear to be motivated by hate or bias. As a community, we will continue to affirm our shared values of dignity and respect for everyone in our community.”

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Real-Life Tron Light Cycle - This is Not A Toy

And for those who absolutely must have the latest cool thing for their own, the Parker Brothers custom bike builders made a functional Tron Light Cycle. Here is a leaked video of a test drive.  Amazing.  Looks a little clumsy but still really a cool thing.

Robogeisha - Amazing Japanese Ansser to Transformers? Watch the Trailer!

While doing some last minute Christmas shopping at Fry's, I saw the Blu-Ray of this lovely film. I will own it some day soon, but until then enjoy the trailer. As one critic put it. it's 90 minutes of pure WTF. If the trailer is any indication, it goes way beyond "what the f**k" and deep into OMG territory. Enjoy and hold onto your seat, here comes, ROBOGEISHA!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Star Trek Pizza Cutter - ON MY CHRISTMAS LIST - Hint, Hint!

Ken Mehlman Urges GOP to Support Gay Marriage - Say What?

Ken Mehlman who earlier this shocked no one in the LGBT community, came out.  The former chairperson of the Republican Party does a lot of talking about the Party of Lincoln in this clip, but I think that party long ago dissipated in the waves of ultra-conservative religious right folks who have hijacked the GOP.  Interesting clip, watch it.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

DADT Repeal Goes Down In Flames

So all this talk about bi-partisanship and compromise is a load of crap.  The GOP will not compromise and it's time the Democrats realized it.  I am proud of the House for scuttling the lame duck tax boondoggle.  Now let's see some real reform and stop trying to kill the middle-class and subsidize millionaires.

I still have hope the Senate might try the Armed Forces Appropriations bill again. We only need 3 measly votes!

Republicans Hate American Heroes - Block Medical Aid for 9/11 Workers

The GOP has long used 9/11 as a banner issue that has brought them both political and monetary riches. It would seem logical that these "patriotic" American public servants would naturally be interested in the health problems of the brave folks who worked around the clock on the site of the World Trade Centers to rescue the living and retrieve the dead.

Well, think again!  The Republicans have successfully blocked a bill in the Senate that would give medical care to rescue workers and residents of New York City who became ill as a result of breathing in toxic debris and dust from ground zero.  The "James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act", is named after a New York Police Department detective died as a result of his participation in the rescue efforts at ground zero.

Nice work GOP!  Why do you hate American Heroes?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

DADT Vote Might Happen Today?

The buzz around Washington is that the Defense Authorization Bill might come up for a vote today.  The news is it still includes the repeal of DADT (Don't Ask Don't Tell).  The other big news is that Joe Sudbay of Americablog one of the hold-out Democratic Senators has been won over. Senator Mark Pryor of Arizona now says he can sign the bill with DADT repeal intact. 

If only a couple of Republicans go along it will pass.  That is a big "if" but apparently there is hope.  I had long ago counted this out, and if it does go through attached to the Defense Authorization Bill I will be amazed and will make all the appropriate apologies. So not wanting to count my chickens, I am still watching the eggs closely!

Glee Meets The Grinch

It is pretty funny that my partner and I were discussing how Jane Lynch's character, Sue is patterned on Dr. Seuss' Grinch.  Apparently the writers also came to that conclusion in the Christmas episode.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Pearl Harbor Day

Though there are only a hand full of survivors left to observe the "day that will live in infamy" they still gathered in Honolulu for the observance.  It is still one of the most amazing events in history for me.  In this day of radar and GPS and satellites it seems inconceivable that the Japanese fleet could sneak up on Pearl Harbor and almost succeed in wiping out the US Navy in the Pacific.

I have been to that historic location and the USS Arizona memorial is sobering.  Though it has been 69 years, an oil slick still seeps from the wreckage of that battleship.  The memorial is a wonderful historic site and a gathering place for generations who come to try to understand what happened.  Surprisingly, a good number of Japanese tourists visit as well.  The souvenir books are printed in English and Japanese, a somewhat surrealistic touch.

The reality of the present would seem surrealistic to people who fought and died that day.  Both Americans and Japanese would marvel at the thriving trade and enduring friendship that have been established between our two countries. 

I hope someday people will visit the 9/11 memorial and wonder how such a tragedy happened and how countries who are now such good allies could have ever been so cruel.  That remains a dream, but perhaps it can come true if we have really learned the lessons of the past.

GOP Backed Subsidy for Millionaires Disguised as Tax Cuts

So even as the Republicans are spouting blather about deficits, they are behind the extension of the immensely expensive subsidy for millionaires that has come to be called the Bush Tax Cuts.  The Democrats have relented in opposing these because the GOP held unemployment benefits hostage until the subsidies were extended.

Meanwhile they will rail about spending and deficits while creating an even bigger hole to dig out of.  I sincerely expect they are planning to get the nation so deeply in debt that the only way out will be to cut all Social Security and Medicare to make ends meet.  The GOP is relentless and they will do anything to get their way, and they hate both programs, even though the American people love and need them.

The GOP is a party of the rich, by the rich and for the rich and don't believe them when they say anything different.  They will talk about class warfare and how bad it is, but they have already won the class war.  All of us are working and paying taxes to support the wealthy of this country and it's getting worse.

Meanwhile the Democrats try to reason and negotiate with the Republicans.  It hasn't worked in the past decade why should it work now? 

Monday, December 06, 2010

Texas Tea Party Starts Anti-Semitic Push

The Texas branch of the Tea Bagger movement is really starting to look like a bunch of brown shirts.  The recently elected tea party candidates to the Texas House are now trying to oust fellow Republican, Joe Straus.  Why?  Because he is a Jew!

In an email between two members of the Texas State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) — Rebecca Williamson and John Cook. “We elected a house with Christian, conservative values. We now want a true Christian, conservative running it."

Cook who was interviewed by phone concerning the emails said, "I got into politics to put Christian conservatives into office. They’re the people that do the best jobs over all.”

When asked if he was being anti-Semitic he responded, "They’re some of my best friends...."

Yeah, right!

Bernanke: "America is...creating two societies." Ultra Rich and The Rest of Us

This is a quote from a 60 Minutes interview with Ben Bernanke.  It's very important and really doesn't mince words.
Pelley: The gap between rich and poor in this country has never been greater. In fact we have the biggest income disparity gap of any industrialized country in the world. And I wonder where you think that's taking America.

Bernanke: It's a very bad development. It's creating two societies. And it's based very much, I think, on educational differences. The unemployment rate we've been talking about. If you're a college graduate, unemployment is 5 percent. If you're a high school graduate, it's 10 percent or more. It's a very big difference. It leads to an unequal society, and a society which doesn't have the cohesion that we'd like to see."

TSA Musical Tribute - Kinsey Sicks Video!

DADT Repeal Officially Dead?

I hate "I told you so" moments, but as I said in my column last week in the Dallas Voice, I sincerely believe DADT repeal is dead, and so does Harry Reid.  In his floor schedule for the week of Dec. 6 there is no mention of debate on the Armed Services Bill to which it is attached.

The Senate will busy itself with the myriad of other important work they neglected to take care of during the past session, like Strategic Arms Reductions, the Dream Act and funding government so it doesn't shut down.

They have successfully kicked the can down the road so many times they only have one week left to do all the work and something gets sacrificed...namely LGBT rights.

So, what can we do?  Well for me calling or writing my Senator is hopeless.  My representatives in the Senate are the most dogmatically ideological Republicans in the bunch, Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Pete Sessions.  I have called and written many times and get nice polite form letters explaining how important "family values" are and how essentially I can go jump off a cliff.

My answer for now is this, put my money where my heart is.  I am spending at as many LGBT merchants for Christmas this year as I can, and have suspended all political contributions until I see some movement on LGBT  rights.  Of course I still get requests for funds from every Democrat in Congress and to them I say, "show me the rights and I'll show you the money"!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

McCain Refuses To Help 9/11 Responders

Yet another reason to thank God that McCain didn't win the election for president.

Yesterday a 9/11 first responder approached McCain in the capitol and told he who he was and asked Senator McCain to support the Zadroga bill that provides $7.4 billion in aid to workers who were sickened or injured in the response to 9/11.  McCain thanked him for his service and then said, "I can't help you."

Nice from a man who used 9/11 as a rallying cry for his reelection and for a variety of political goals and now a veteran who benefited from government aid refuses to help these guys.  Once again McCain proves his "dickishness".  It's time for this old codger to retire and maybe he could take Anton Scalia along with him.

The New York Daily News had it right, McWeasel!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Vote in Facebook Poll - Is John McCain a Bigot?

From Facebook page:
 I bet we can find 1,000,000 people who think John McCain is a bigot We've found over a thousand people who think John McCain is a bigot. But I know there's more. Tell all your friends to go to (that's this facebook page by the way). It's time to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell and stand up to bigots like McCain.

Chappy Chanukkah - Chow About Some Cham?

I found this on the Joe My God blog.  Apparently it's an image from Balducci's in New York.  Amazing!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Pravda Calls Sarah Palin a Traitor and an Oaf - Refreshing!

It is rare that I have ever agreed with Pravda, the former Soviet Era wire service from Russia, but this commentary by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey is something the US press should read and consider.  See the quote below:

“By attacking the democratically elected President of the United States of America at a sensitive time in her country’s history, she shows the tact of a boorish drunkard bawling obscenities at a funeral….

And now she turns not only against the fiber and backbone of her country, but against its democratically elected President, accusing him of being incompetent for not stopping Wikileaks. Where was she and where was her GOP before and during the 9/11 attacks? She accuses President Obama of not taking “steps” to assure the leaks were not published. What “steps”?……

If anything is a threat to the national security of the United States of America, it is this screaming, unrefined oaf with as much class as a searing release of flatulence followed by hysterical giggling at a state banquet. Is this what the people of the USA deserve?

To attack the President of the country at a time when the USA needs to close ranks and stand together to consolidate the enormous strides his (President Obama’s) intelligent and respectful approach has achieved in building bridges, when her party’s period in government bombed them, Spankin’ Sarah Palin comes across as a pitifully inadequate anachronism from the times of the Far West.”
 Way to go Pravda!

Bush Era "Millionaire Subsidies" to Continue?

Once again the Democrats fail to frame the debate and the Republicans will win on the issue of the Bush Era Tax Cuts.  If Democratic Senators would start calling these things what they are, instead of tax cuts they would wini the day.  These are "Millionaire Subsidies", plain and simple.  Yes there are minuscule tax benefits for the middle class, but whopping subsidies for folks who don't need it. 

The myth that these subsidies stimulate business is silly.  It might add a few more dollars to the coffers of Tiffany and Company, but on the whole the money just sits there. 

Meanwhile the GOP is holding hostage the much needed extension of unemployment benefits that actually do stimulate the economy.  Those unemployment checks get spent and that helps move this sluggish recovery forward and keeps the large number of unemployed from going hungry. 

Come on Dems!  Start calling things what they are and stop letting the GOP frame the debate!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

McCain Thinks Military Should Be Governed by Internal Consensus - Again, Dickish!

Listening to the DADT hearings still...

Senator McCain would have the military conduct it's business by referendum.  He has repeatedly insisted that the military should ask service members whether DADT should be repealed.  He forgets that Truman integrated the Armed Forces during the Korean War and didn't take a poll of the service members to do it.  He forgets that the military is not asked if they are comfortable going to war.  He forgets that the military is directed by civilian authority and the Commander in Chief.  He forgets that he apparently was a soldier himself and I seriously doubt if there was an opinion poll prior to going into Vietnam.

That word "forget" keeps coming up.  Considering he has pretty much reversed his position on DADT I have to wonder if he has a memory problem.

In response to McCain's ludicrous suggestion that the military troops make decisions by some kind of consensus Gates said:
I can't think of a single precedent in America history of doing a referendum of the American Armed Forces on a policy issue. Are you going to ask them if they want 15-month tours? Are you going to ask them if they want to be part of the surge in Iraq? That's not the way our civilian-led military has ever worked in our entire history . . . I think in effect doing a referendum of the members of the Armed Forces on a policy matter is a very dangerous path.

McCain Proves He is a Dick Again!

Watching the hearings before the Senate today where the Secretary of Defense is giving his report on the repeal of DADT.  As I watch, it becomes clear that John McCain is a certified dick and a crotchety old fart. 

He asks the opinions of the generals and then contradicts them with his trying to spin the report as negative when it was positive.  Thank God he wasn't elected president!  He would have made a disastrous Commander in Chief.  Not that President Obama is doing that sterling a job, but I can take some comfort fomr knowing that McCain would have been far worse.

Sad state of affairs.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I Am Tired of World AIDS Day!

I am tired of World AIDS Day.  I am tired of watching friends get sick and die.  I am tired of listening to small talk about meds and side effects and t-cell counts.  I am tired of hearing about the latest "not quite cure".  I am tired of watching drug companies spin AIDS as the new Diabetes.  I am tired of seeing more and more bareback videos pop up online. I am tired of seeing the AIDS Quilt and having to bring extra tissues because of the flood of tears it causes for me and my friends.

I am tired!  When are we going to find a cure?  When are gay men and the ephemeral "MSMs" going to listen to the message that unsafe sex is UNSAFE!  When is World AIDS Day going to stop being a big trade show for drug companies and start being a time to look back and be grateful that the disease is no longer around.

Can you hear the frustration in my voice? 

I still wear my red ribbon in honor the memory of my brothers and sisters who have fallen to this pandemic, but I would like to retire it.  I would like to see it gather dust on a shelf.  Maybe some day that dream can come true.

Until then, I will continue to support the many organizations that desperately need funds and volunteers to fight the epidemic.  I will continue to emphasize the importance of safer-sex and I will continue to remind the next generation that AIDS/HIV is not just a disease of the Baby Boomers, it is alive and spreading through Gen-X and Y and beyond.

Until then I will continue to pray that an end is in sight.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lame Ducks Probably Won't Repeal DADT

I hate to be an "I told you so" kind of guy, but , I told you so.  The Lame Duck Congress is nowhere near agreement on the repeal of DADT,at least according to Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Senator.

So why should I believe the Republican Senator?  Well, even though Democrats have a majority in the Senate and House for the next few weeks, apparently the GOP is calling the shots already. Only a few Democrats are willing to stand up and say DADT will go during the lame duck. After this session, I seriously doubt that any LGBT legislation will be brought up.  Kiss ENDA and marriage goodbye at least for now. 

For some reason the Democrats never acted like they had a majority even when they did.  Their 'ball-less" showing over the past two years speaks volumes about the problems we face.  LGBT issues get attention only when candidates are running for office and need our help and money.  After that, we hear "we might have to wait until the time is right".  Well if now is not the time then when?  Perhaps we need some other kind of action to gain equal rights.  Apparently politics isn't getting us very far.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Brewery Releases 41% ABV "Beer"

As if it isn't there aren't enough drunks during the holiday season, Brew Dog, a Scottish brewer has rolled out a new concoction with 41% alcohol by volume.   The "instant drunk" stuff is marketed under the name "Sink the Bismarck".

That means for most folks  one bottle will have you on the floor in no time!  Luckily the price tag is a hefty $100 per bottle in most stores.  I don't expect to see your average convenience store carrying this killer brew, but apparently there is a small market for it.  The company's last publicity stunt beverage was titled, "The End of History" and had a ridiculous 51% alcohol by volume.  That drink would set you back $777 per bottle, the high price presumably because of the unique bottle.  It was packed inside a taxidermied stoat (squirrel in the US).

Only 12 bottles were produced.  That is at least something to be thankful for this time of year.

Glee Gets Wet

The Singin' in the Rain/ Umbrella mash up is too good to be missed.  Glee's plot might be surrealistic, but their dance numbers are bringing the big Hollywood musical back to life!  Enjoy.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leslie Nielsen - Dead at 84

Though most people will remember Leslie Nielsen as a comic actor in classics such as Airplane and the Naked Gun, he was an actor who cut his teeth in drama as a romantic leading man.  I personally will always remember Nielsen in Forbidden Planet, the big budget sci-fi hit from the early 1950's.

Nielsen passed away Sunday afternoon at age 84.  He had been hospitalized for pneumonia for a couple of weeks prior to his death.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Former Republican Powerbroker Convicted of Money Laundering

Tom DeLay, former GOP majority leader in the House now faces time in the Big House.  Convicted on charges of committing money laundering DeLay, formerly known as "The Hammer" could face life in prison for his crime.

It took the jury 19 hours to come to the verdict and DeLay say stone faced as it was read.  He was convicted of illegally passing $190,000 through the Republican National Committee to candidates from big corporations.  The strategy he created changed the face of politics in Texas and much of the nation.  His gerrymandered redistricting plan shaped what he had hoped would be a permanent Republican majority.

It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court, now fully packed with partisan conservatives has made direct contributions by corporations legal

Pardoning the Turkey?

I know it's a White House tradition to pardon the ceremonial Thanksgiving turkey, but isn't it a bit hypocritical? I mean on Thanksgiving there is a huge turkey feast served in the White House.  Where did that turkey come from?  Why was he sacrificed and the big, showy bird gets the pardon?

It is just another reason people today don't understand where their food comes from.  Milk from the store and turkey from some mythical place called Honeysuckle.  If more people were intimately familiar with how and where their daily sustenance comes from they would be more concerned about our delicate planet.

I have to admit there is a side of me that would like to see the President chop the head off the big bird and invite everyone in for the dinner!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

TSA Pat Down Mania - Breaks Ostomy Bag During Screening

The whole pat down thing is getting silly.  First of all I have said it before that the "enhanced" security measures are pure theater.  Unless the TSA starts doing strip searches and cavity probes they cannot assure us that there are no devices hidden on passengers.  And I am not suggesting that!

The inept technique being used left one elderly passenger drenched in his own urine.  Nice.  Thomas Sawyer of Michigan was traveling to Orlando.  He is a cancer survivor and wears a urostomy bag.  During his pat down the agent broke the bag and left Mr. Sawyer drenched in his own urine, with no opportunity to clean up until he boarded the airplane.

The TSA agent was warned by Mr. Sawyer about the bag, but ignored his request to be gentle with it. 

The list of problems will grow steadily longer as this silliness continues and the traveling public and the airlines will suffer as the government tries to convince us that they are protecting us.  The cold reality is they can't protect us from every threat.  The near disaster of the toner cartridges shows that.  The terrorists want to terrorize us and they have succeeded, and we formally surrendered to them when we passed the Patriot Act.

Until we start dealing with the root cause of terrorism and not the symptoms we will continue to find ourselves in situations like this.  We are a nation driven by fear and that is exactly what the terrorists wanted. 

SPLC Officially Designates American Family Association and Others "Hate Groups"

The Southern Poverty Law Center, long-time repository of the official list of hate groups in the US has added a number of anti-gay groups to its list. Most prominent is the American Family Association, the group formed by Donald E. Wildmon that regularly broadcasts their rhetoric over 200 radio stations.

Additionally, on the list is the AFTAH (Americans for Truth About Homosexuality) as well as Beverly LeHay's Concerned Women for America.  This is a major step toward the marginalization of these groups and has been long awaited.  Kudos to SPLC for their stand in this matter.

How To Beat Your Slave - As Revealed in The Bible

While reading one of my favorite blogs, Joe.My.God. I found this juicy tidbit.  Nice little Bible story for anyone who tries to beat you up with a Bible.  Have them watch this video.

Now to those who know me, I am a Christian and I do read the Bible, however I do not believe it is the inerrant word of God. If it is, then the God who wrote it is bipolar and pretty much not the kind of God I would want. Instead, to make the story short, I sincerely believe the Bible is a collection of books and stories meant to reveal how humans have struggled to understand the divine. As I said it's a short explanation.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Finally the Pope and I Agree - Universal Health Care Coverage NOW!

As strange as it sounds, I agree with the Pope.  In a Vatican conference yesterday Pope Benedict XVI emphasized that health care is a moral responsibility of all countries and nations should, "guarantee access to health care for all of their citizens, regardless of social and economic status or their ability to pay."

Meanwhile, the Republicans and Tea Partiers want to roll back the clock and deny coverage to millions.  They scream and holler that we are sliding into socialism.  Bulls**t!

The meager insurance reforms passed by Congress are far from Universal Coverage and that goal is something the Pope and I agree on.  We must have coverage for every citizen if we are going to continue to be a serious player on the world stage.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Felps Cult Now Picketing Children's Funerals - Way Off The Deep End!

The Westboro Baptist Church (Fred Phelps Family Cult) is now picketing children's funerals.  Why?  Well they want revenge since someone slashed the tires on their cult-mobile and then no store in Oklahome would sell them new ones...none except WalMart.  ( that is the subject of a whole different rant.)

Now they figure nod only does God Hate Fags and the USA but now God Hates Oklahoma in general.  These wackos are potentially dangerous.  Someone is going to get fed up and do something drastic and it will not be pretty.  I sincerely hope they stay safe, and they come to their senses!

Willow Palin - Bigot and Homophobe

Seems Sarah Palin's daughter, the one who isn't "Dancing With the Stars" is quite the little bigot.  She revealed her true inner ugliness on her Facebook page by calling critics of her mother and sister, "fagots" and "gay".

TMZ has clips from the Facebook postings.

Latest news is she has apologized, but  the whole thing really emphasizes the underlying problem.  Palin and her brood are not very nice folks.  Under that perky exterior is not a Mama Grizzly, but a nasty bigoted spirit that would be more at home in a trailer park than the great wilds of Alaska.  Just my opinion.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Peter LaBarbera - TSA Pat Downs a Gay Conspiracy!

Peter LaBarbera, a man fixated with all things homosexual, thinks the latest contriversy involving the TSA and "pat-downs" is a gay thing.  He conjectures that "homosexual TSA agents are getting secretly turned on."  More to the point  LaBarbera says, "The reality is, most traveling men would not want Barney Frank to pat them down at the airport security checkpoint."

Well Peter, as a gay man, neither would I.  Barney is just not my type.

LaBarbera is once again trying to whip up any anger and fear he can toward the LGBT community.  Make no mistake, though he sounds like a loony, he is a genuine LGBT enemy is there ever was one. His Americans For Truth About Homosexuality website is filled with not just lies, but purposefully alarming photos of gay men at events like Folsom Street Fair.  Let's face it, LaBarbera is most likely fixated on naked men!

Texas Hops On The Crazy Train Again? Birther Bill In Texas Legislature

Just when you think sanity might have been restored the delightful Texas State Rep. Leo Berman (R) has introduced a "birther" bill in the Texas Legislature. Berman is the same representative who was famously quoted as saying, "Barack Obama is God’s punishment on us."

Now easy as it would be to just paint this guy with the broad brush and call him "frigging nuts",  he represents a real problem in this state and pretty much most of the US.  For a long time the Democratic Party has believed that reason and facts will win the day.  If there were ever an argument against that, the last election cycle would be it. That little debacle for the Dems was won not by reason but by emotion.  Mostly it was fear and bigotry.  Fear stoked by the economic situation many American's find themselves in and bigotry disguised as the "Tea Party".  The whole "take America back" thing is about having a black man in the White House.  Every other argument is predicated on that unspoken premise and a closer examination of their rhetoric will reveal it.

So, meanwhile the Dems keep relying on reason.  How has that worked so far?  Not at all.

The whole birther thing is a racially charged non-issue anyway, but don't let reason get in the way of some good old fashioned fear.  Even though the Obama birth certificate has been widely circulated and there is more than ample proof of his citizenship, the birthers persist.  Why, because it is a good excuse to scare people and to tap into that old bigorty thing again.

So while I could just call Rep. Berman wacko, I will instead call him what he is, a politician who knows how to whip up his constituents with the most powerful tools in the GOP arsenal. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

More Dickishness - This Time From Scalia

Anton Scalia, long known as one of the most conservative justices on the Supreme Court  has just gotten his Tea Party card stamped.  In a statement before the House Judiciary Committee Scalia and Breyer were asked what they would change about the Constitution.

"Not much," Breyer said. "It's a miracle and we see that through" our work.

Scalia called the writing of the Constitution "providential," and the birth of political science.

"There's very little that I would change," he said. "I would change it back to what they wrote, in some respects. The 17th Amendment has changed things enormously."

That amendment allowed for U.S. Senators to be elected by the people, rather than by individual state legislatures.  If this amendment were discarded, the main effect would be that corporations, already free to give as much money as they have to candidates, could buy state legislatures and in effect run the Senate.  That is a frightening and ominous idea.  You think you saw corporate money in the last election?  Just wait.

Oklahoma, Where Only Straight Kids Get To Graduate

Oklahoma may be "OK" in the song, but in reality it's not a good place to be LGBT, at least in Del City.  There the high school has actively blocked two lesbian students from graduating, strictly because they were a couple.

In the story in the Advocate the school board claims it has never gotten a conplaint, and their policy is clear.

"It is the policy of the Mid-Del Public School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs, services, and activities," said a statement from district officials. "The safety of our students is always the priority of Mid-Del Schools."

You will notice that "sexual orientation and gender identity" are missing from that statement.  There's the truth.  Unless we get our rights spelled out to the letter, the hetero-normative world will continue to deny us our rights.

Isn't it time to call for an Equal Rights Amendment that clearly gives all American's equal rights?

Fred Phelps Cult Can't Get Tires Fixed In McAlester, OK - Awwww!

In the same spirit of "Christian Fellowship" that the Westboro Baptist Church shares, they couldn't find anyone to help in McAlester, Oklahoma last Saturday. Seems these good "fag hating" people had their tires slashed while they were protesting at the funeral of Army Sgt. Jason James McCluskey. Dismayed, and apparently without spare tired the group reportedly tried without success to find someone to help them.

No service station or tire store in the city would sell to them or service their minivan. Finally after limping away on flat tires, they called AAA and got a tow to a WalMart who will sell to anyone.

Now in reality, I think it's too bad that no one would help them. I also think these people are well on the way to the loony bin, but still I would offer help just to get them out of my state.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

McCain Gets More Dickish - Now Wants Another DADT Study and Hearings?

OK let's face it, John McCain is a dick.  Yea he's a charming old man, but underneath that feeble exterior is a real asshat.

Take his stance on DADT, first he said once the military leaders said it was OK to repeal DADT he would be fine with it.  Well that was two years ago and now that not only has the leadership in the military said they have no problem with gays and a pentagon study recently leaked which indicates there is no problem with it, now old man McCain changes his tune.

Now he insists that the newest study isn't enough, and then there should be another study and after that hearings and then he might consider a repeal....blah, blah, blah.  And all this because he is worried someone might get a peak at someone in the showers.  Oh grow up!

There are men and women both straight and gay already in the military, and so far the showers haven't turned into some kind of gay Porky's movie.  Our men and women in the military are mature enough to fight and die, they are mature enough to know where sex is appropriate and where it is not.  And they already do know that.

Why old farts like McCain doesn't realize that is beyond me.  Now every time I hear him speak I keep envisioning that old guy screaming at the kids to "get off my lawn".  It's time he retired or moved into the 21st Century.

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Species of Lizard Discovered at the Lunch Counter

My what is that interesting dish you are having?  Surprise it is an entirely undiscovered species of lizard!

Scientists having lunch at a restaurant in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam identified a previously undiscovered lizard being served grilled as their lunch.  You can't make this stuff up!

Jump Rope with a Muslim - Video from Rally For Sanity!

Supreme Court Rejects Log Cabin Republicans Request, DADT Still Holds

Here is no surprise.  The Supreme Court voted Friday to keep to the “DADT”  intact, rejecting a request by the Log Cabin Republicans to reinstate an injunction on the policy pending appeal. They took their appeal directly to Justice Kennedy, one of the most conservative judges on the bench.  Frankly, the whole thing is strange.  I understand the lawsuit, but I question their motives.  In the past LCR has supported candidates and platforms that work against LGBT rights, why the change of heart?  Perhaps they are as frustrated as I am with the administration.  Their suit did get a favorable ruling, but a stay was all but certain.

Taking these issues to a Supreme Court as ideologically stacked as the Bush Era court is will make legal redress for LGBT issues next to impossible.  Things might get better if a couple of justices, like Thomas or Kennedy would retire, but don't count on it.

Out Of Controlled Demolition - Ooops!

It's almost impossible to not see at least a dozen videos each year of some kind of controlled demolition.  You know the kind.  The crew meticulously plants charges and calculates the trajectory of the building and on the appointed day, voila!  The building colapses into a nice neat pile for easy clean up.

Here is the kind of scene you don't often see, since I suspect these videos are closely guarded.  A smokestack next to a power substation is demolished.  It first just sits there, and then....well the video tells the story.  Luckily no one was hurt but 4,000 customers lost power.

Pelosi Hints at ENDA During Lame Duck Session

OK, we have some people saying Pelosi is a toxic asset to the House, and others wondering what she can do to assure her the Minority Leader seat. Personally, I don't care, but I might be more interested if she actually does what she is hinting at. She has been toying with the idea of bring up ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act during the lame duck session of Congress.

Though this makes for interesting speculation, given the past record of the allegedly Democratic controlled Congress, I will cheer once I see it.  In the meantime, I am not holding my breath.  The lame duck session is going to be very full since the GOP has blocked all spending bills this year, so I kind of agree with Barney Frank, LGBT legislation this year is dead.

Prove me wrong Nancy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rep. Todd from Tennessee Thinks Illegal Immigrants are Multiplying "Like Rats"

Ah yes, in true Tennessee fashion Representative Todd puts the Stereo in Stereotype!

Note: Full Disclosure, my family comes from Tennessee on my mother's side, so I have an attachment to the state. Not to paint everyone from the Volunteer State as a bigot...just a whole lot of them. Coming from Texas, I know bigots well, we have a state full of them!

Veteran's Day - Hug A Gay Vet Today

As the Obama Administration curiously defends Don't Ask Don't Tell in the Supreme Court, the rest of the country celebrates Veteran's Day.  The irony is not lost on me.

I have several friends who are veterans and I sincerely appreciate their service for our country, what I appreciate even more is that they served despite being gay and served honorably and a few were even decorated.  Funny that as long as men and women in the military lie about their sexual orientation everything is peachy.  It is an outrage that they must do so!

The lame duck Congress has a unique opportunity to do something to right this wrong, but I am not holding my breath.  So far Obama talks a good game, but refuses to let DADT die in the court or to issue an Executive Order to change it.  Sad state of affairs on this Veteran's Day when we remember and honor the men and women who served so valiantly.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Reality TV Gets Way Too Real - SWAT Officers Kill Child On Camera!

Just after midnight and the SWAT team tosses a "flash-bang" grenade into a house.  An informant has told them a murder suspect was inside.  What they found was a sleeping family awakened and disoriented by the explosion, and during the melee an officer shot 7 year-olf Aiyana Mo'nay Stanley-Jones in the head.

The whole story was captured by A&E's film crew shooting a "reality" show.  Insane?  You bet!

The whole thing should never have happened.  I contend that without the TV crew it wouldn't have happened and here's why.  From having done documentaries, I can attest that people in the presence of a camera act differently.  They may put on a false bravado, they may try to seem "intense" , they often adopt the persona of a fictional character in an attempt to look good on camera.  All in all what you get is always to an extent "unreal".

Add to that the whole police macho thing and it's a recipe for disaster and that is exactly what happened.  A bad tip, a trigger happy cop, a botched raid and needless drama most likely done for TV and you get a dead child.  Great TV?  Not on my schedule.

Corpses On Cigarette Packs! A Bit Late for Halloween.

Hey Kids!  Collect them All!
Ever read the warning on a pack of cigarettes?  Pretty scary, but apparently not scary enough.  Now graphic photos will be included to show corpses and diseased lungs.  That should make for interesting smoke breaks, as confirmed nicotine addicts get nervous looking at the carnage and light up even more cigarettes.  Meanwhile anyone who leaves a pack of cigarettes out at, say dinner, will be greeted by the combined nausea of their dining companions.

Should be interesting to see if it works.  I suspect new smokers, (aka teens) will find the gory pictures cool and end up trading them like Baseball Cards.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

"LGBT Legislation is Dead" Barney Frank Says

And if there was any doubt that there will be no progress on LGBT rights in he coming congress, Barney Frank said in an interview in the Washington Blade that any LGBT bills are dead.  The best we can hope for is that the Dems can block any hurtful legislation by the GOP.

Meanwhile the lame duck session promises to be pretty much useless for us.  Perhaps the new slogan for the Dems can be "Yes we... we'll get back to you."

T-Mobile Flash Mob Does It Again! A Capella.

This is an example of some of the best advertising ever done. Arresting, joyful, exciting and totally unexpected. Almost makes me want to subscribe to T-Mobile. This happened at Heathrow Airport last month, it was done live and only the singers and airport authorities knew it would happen. Enjoy!

Is Andrew Shirvell a Jilted Gay Lover? What do you think?

OK, I just saw this piece by Anderson Cooper which contains an interview with Andrew Shirvell and I gotta say, he talks more like a jilted lover than a politician.  A politician doesn't show up at your house at 1:30am to protest, but someone carrying a torch sure does.  I'm just saying...

Justice in Michigan - Anti-gay Attorney General Fired!

Andrew Shirvel, the Attorney General from Michigan who used his blog to hound and bully Michigan State Student Assembly President Chris Armstrong for being gay has been fired.  His anti-gay tirade on the blog was not Shirvel's only action.  He actually went to Armstrongs house three times in a further attempt to harass him.

Much of his blogging was done on state time and clearly violated state policy.  Shirvel is unapologetic.

On a personal note, his actions sound much more like a jilted lover than someone out to "get somebody" because he was gay.  I expect a whole lot more information will emerge about not just the incidents but Mr. Shirvel in the future. Those late night visits to Armstrong's house just don't seem like the kind of thing done in protest.  I'm just saying.

Monday, November 08, 2010

And Now a Message From The Kinsey Institute

This place works tirelessly to advance sexual freedoms and sexual research, really!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Sovereign Citizens Movement and Why It Is Dangerous

This video from Southern Poverty Law Center was intended for police, but it is worth every minute you spend watching it. It details the whole phenomenon of the "sovereign citizens" movement. This may sound new, but it is just the same kind hard nosed folks like Timothy McVeigh. They would be called wackos in most books, but this is something you should take seriously. Watch it. Warning, it contains scenes of real violence.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Reconsidering DADT

As the administration backs away from repealing DADT and just about any other initiative that could benefit LGBT Americans perhaps it is time to reconsider what we want.

Yes I still demand equal rights, but until the time they are granted, (rights that every other American already have) I think the idea of LGBT people serving in the military is essentially wrong headed. Why should we defend a country who systematically denies us equal rights? Why should we risk our lives for a country that has relegated us to the role of second class citizen?

I am waiting for an answer beyond the usual jingoistic patriotic slogans and bumper sticker wisdom. Additionally, I have to wonder why LGBT Americans are taxed at the same rate as straight Americans. We do not share the same rights and services of our government, we do not share the protections of law and we do not rate full representation, so why pay full taxation?

Damn, I am starting to sound like a Tea Bagger!

Here is the crux of the matter. My enthusiasm for patriotism is somewhat dimmed by all the clever little ways my life and rights are used as legal tender in the political process. If someone suggested that women be denied equal protection under the law, there would be such a hew and cry that no one would ever dare suggest it again. Perhaps that is what LGBT Americans need to do. Raise a ruckus!

Every political event, of either party needs LGBT representation. LGBT people who will stand up and ask the tough questions, at least tough questions for politicians.

Every civic event needs LGBT representation. LGBT people who will show up and identify themselves, a visible presence that cannot be ignored. Every newspaper in America needs a daily flood of letter from LGBT people demanding equal rights. Every call-in show needs LGBT Americans to call in and demand to know why we are not getting equal treatment in the press and in the courts and in the military.

Every dollar we spend should be marked with a large red stamp letting people know it is LGBT money that helps power the economic engine of our country. Every check to a creditor or utility should have a notation that it is from an LGBT American so businesses understand how many of their customers are "second class citizens" spending first class money!

Harsh? Perhaps. Maybe I am just tired of fighting the right-wing propaganda machine that is well oiled and working like a big clock whereas the left continues to sputter in disarray, tilting at windmills with the impotent weapons of reason and knowledge. Face it, America is a country that runs on its gut not its mind. Until we can find ways to appeal to that gut, we will always lose. Until we learn to create messages that grab the public by the heart we will lose them to the Sarah Palin's of the right.

Look to our own state to see the proof. Rick Perry, a half baked intellect and frankly pretty much a duffus, won over a very qualified Bill White for governor. Why? Look at the ads. White tried to appeal to our minds, and Perry just smiled and sparkled through a glossy Hollywood filter, with a charming southern drawl and saying nothing of any substance. Damn he looked good! Sounded friendly too!

Wonder why he won? Packaging.

Well, maybe we need to repackage our message. Oh we'll never make it charming enough for most folks, but maybe we can make it look powerful enough to make them pause. Just long enough to make them wonder, heck why not give them rights? How could it hurt?

Who knows? If I had the answer, I'd already be in the Oval Office. Just wondering, you know?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Pee Wee Herman vs WWF!

Whenever I am down and feeling funky about things like "politics" I can always count on one person to cheer me up.  PEE-WEE!

Bush Rewrites History - "I was a dissenting voice" in Iraq War

In one of the most blatant acts of hubris in his political career, Ex President Bush has written his "memoirs.  Now since I feel pretty sure this is a work by a ghost writer, I guess I should cut "W" some slack, but I am not feeling particularly charitable.

In a book promotion interview with Matt Lauer, Bush says in response to a questoin about dissenters in the rush to go to war with Iraq:
I was a dissenting voice. I didn’t want to use force. I mean force is the last option for a President. And I think it’s clear in the book that I gave diplomacy every chance to work.
Strange coming from the man who is quoted as saying "“We need to get Saddam Hussein…that Mother fucker tried to take out my Dad.”

The Republicans feel they can rewrite history with impugnity and unless someone stops them they are right.  It is up to us, the people who lived through that dark era to stand up and call "foul" every time one of the GOP talking heads spouts a party line lie.  Well I am calling FOUL!

Bush is lying in his memoir and he lied in office.  He should have been impeached, but the Congress then as now has no balls.  If the talk show hosts let him continue to lie to the public, we will look back on his disastrous presidency with fond remembrance, and that would be a travesty to our children and to history.

Monday, November 01, 2010

I Remember - Watch This Video Before You Vote!

Michigan Assistant AG May Loose Law License Over Anti-Gay Bullying

The coarseness of discourse in this country is at an all time high.  Consider the case of the Assistant Attorney General of Michigan who is alleged to have spent the last six months harassing and bullying a gay college student leader.

U-M student Chris Armstrong was serving on the Michigan Student Assembly during his senior year.  During that time the complaint filed alleges that Assistant AG Andrew Shirvell has taken it upon himself to lead a one-man campaign against Armstrong. On his blog he posted a picture of Armstrong, a swastika across his face, calling him "Satan's representative" on the student assembly and said he was promoting a "radical homosexual agenda" as president.

Read more here at the Detroit Free Press .

Personally, I find it disturbing that a state official would engage in this kind of childish and brutish behavior.  Appropriately, it could cost him his job and his law license.

Tropical Storm Tomas Headed for Haiti

As though Haiti hasn't had enough disaster, now a powerful tropical storm, Tomas is bearing down on the earthquake ravaged country.  The storm is expected to become a Category 1 Hurricane before making landfall and though Haitian authorities are trying to prepare, I have to wonder how bad this will be. Already a cholera epidemic has been spreading on the island and now the promise of torrential rains and flooding don't bode well.

From a Wall Street Journal interview: "We've been planning hurricane preparedness for months, but to cope with that on top of cholera is hugely complex and demanding, and placing massive pressure on resources already stretched," said Imogen Wall, a spokeswoman for the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. "We need to move supplies quickly and our logistics are concentrated on cholera right now."

Friday, October 29, 2010

Arkansas School Board Bigot Offers To Resign

Looking somewhat contrite Midland School Board member Clint McCance has apologized and offered to resign over the hate filled diatribe he posted on his Facebook page. In that screed, he actually encouraged LGBT teens to commit suicide.  As I wrote before, this guy is why there are stereotypes of redneck hillbillies from Arkansas.

You can see his apology here on CNN.

My guess is that if there hadn't been such a ruckus in the blogosphere about his hatred, the Facebook page would still be up.

Update:  Here is the video from Anderson Cooper 360.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

New Robot from Japan. Life like? Very much so!

I found this on Joe My God and it amazed me and creeped me out a little.  For all you robotic fans, take a look!

The caption translates roughly to this:"Was introduced in 2010 Open Lab, AIST Actroid-F 2 of the state's behavior. Actroid-F introduction and basic operation."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More Hate from the Right. Tony Pekins Also Urges Kids to Kill Themselves

Right wing bigot Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has add his shrill voice into the matter of LGBT teen suicide.  Of course he comes down on the side of "go ahead and commit suicide, you know you are abnormal!"

His despicable quote is below:
Tony Perkins, president of the evangelical Family Research Council, says gay activists are exploiting the concern over bullying — and twisting the facts. "There's no correlation between inacceptance of homosexuality and depression and suicide," he says. Rather, Perkins says, there is another factor that leads kids to kill themselves. "These young people who identify as gay or lesbian, we know from the social science that they have a higher propensity to depression or suicide because of that internal conflict." Homosexuality is "abnormal," he says, and kids know it, which leads them to despair.