Friday, January 28, 2005
The budget deficit seems to have caught up with the Republicans. While they had plenty of red meat issues on the campaign trail, it seems they can no longer afford anything better than Spam for their supporters. Conservative spokesparrot Kathleen Parker described in her Tribune Media column how sparse and bare the pupu platter was at the inauguration's Liberty Ball.
"...The guests hovered over buffets of cheese cubes, pretzels and chips," complained Parker.
As far as I see it, this is a huge opportunity for the Democrats. If we can't win the Red States with liberal issues, why not try by going liberal on the buffet? Our new plan: Operation Prime Rib!
That's right, heaping portions of red meat for the red states! And all the BBQ you can eat. Forget those Republicans with their $2,000 hotdogs. We've got ribs and brisket sandwiches! OK - I know this sounds desperate. But does anyone have a better plan?
Thursday, January 27, 2005
More than 5,100 educators across the U.S. have registered their middle school classes for "No Name Calling Day", which began this week. The program is run by the wonderful Gay, Lesbian & Straight, Education Network (GLSEN). The event uses a curriculum called, "The Misfits", which shows the plight of four taunted and harassed middle school students. One of the students, who is gay, runs for student council on a platform calling for an end to ugly name-calling.
With such a wonderful, kind program, one would think there would be unanimous support across the nation. But "The Misfits" ran into trouble last year in Colorado when House Majority Leader Keith King said he was concerned that "The Misfits" would create a "victim's mentality."
Of course, he's right. Until "The Misfits", all those kids who were hanging from hooks, stuffed in lockers, and had swirled hairdos from having their heads shoved in flushing toilet bowls were having a splendid time. Now, thanks to the captious program, these students think ending up in toiletbowls is actually a real grievance. Imagine that!
We must also consider the problem of opening a Pandora's Box by replacing today's "Bully's Mentality" with a "Victim's Mentality". Just think of the dangerous implications in middle schools if kids learn to respect each other?
Is it just me or is Keith King a genuine ass crack? Come to think of it, maybe we need a "No Name Calling Day" for columnists too.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
The Congressional Budget Office announced that this year's deficit will be $368 billion before the U.S. factors in war costs. With war costs added, the White House projects a record deficit of $427 billion. We can only imagine what the deficit will be when we start factoring in government payoffs to conservative columnists like Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher, who received more than $40,000 in federal grants to promote President Bush's ridiculous marriage initiative.
Of course, Bush cast anyone who thinks busting the piggy bank is a bad idea as siding with Osama. According to USA Today, Bush said that continuing to throw away tax money:
"makes clear to terrorists that our resolve is firm, and we will complete our mission."
I totally agree we should send this message by focusing on the real war on terrorism instead of our misadventure in Iraq. In any case, there is no end in sight to the war or record deficits with Bush. If Bill Clinton was the "Comeback Kid", Bush will be remembered as the "Credit Card Kid". --CHARGE IT!!
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Anything But Straight
Earlier today, a spokestoon for SpongeBob SquarePants announced he is breaking up with gay puppet icon Tinky Winky. Irreconcilable differences were cited, such as they were physically incompatible as neither one had private parts. The spokestoon also charged that Tinky had been chronically depressed after not getting cast for a part in the Broadway musical Avenue Q.
Hey, if Focus on the Family leader James Dobson can create a surreal gay plot with SpongeBob SquarePants, why can't I? If you haven't heard, Dobson accused the animated yellow sponge, who lives in a "pineapple under the sea", of starring in a "pro-homosexual video".
"Does anybody here know SpongeBob?" Dobson ominously asked on stage at a pre-inaugural dinner for members of Congress. If you listen closely to the C-SPAN rerun, I think you can here alleged closet case David Drier, R-Calif., stand up and exclaim, "Oh, I do. I know Spongy Poo." But the character's sexual orientation was news to everyone else in the room.
TO READ MORE CLICK HERE
ANTI-GAY P-FOX PRESIDENT RICHARD COHEN EXPELLED FOR LIFE FROM THE AMERICAN COUNSELING ASSOCIATION
This is a Devastating Blow For Outdated Pseudo-Science
That Tries To Turn Gay People Straight, Says Besen
NEW YORK (Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2005) – Author Wayne Besen today released a letter (copy posted for viewing, here
) he uncovered from the American Counseling Association
that "permanently expelled" reparative therapist Richard Cohen in 2003 for serious ethics violations. As the outspoken president of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s ex-gay advisor, Cohen’s expulsion casts a dark shadow over the disreputable practice of trying to change sexual orientation.
"The Right wing should be ashamed for promoting the work of a therapist who has been officially rebuked for egregious ethical lapses," said Wayne Besen, author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth. "That Cohen is the best the far right can find in support of their position that gay people can change underscores the quack-like pseudo-science that they rely on. It is time they end the charade that reparative therapy works."
According to the ACA’s letter: "Mr. Cohen was found in violation of the following code sections A.1.a; A.1.b; A.5.a; A.6.a; C.3.b, C.3.f, and has not elected to appeal the decision taken by the ACA Ethics Committee within allotted timelines." (Please see below for full explanation of violations)
The letter referred to Cohen’s violations which included inappropriate behavior such as fostering dependent counseling relationships, not promoting the welfare of clients, engaging in actions that sought to meet his personal needs at the expense of clients, exploiting the trust and dependency of clients, unethically soliciting testimonials from clients and promoting products to clients in a manner that is deceptive.
"It is no surprise that Richard Cohen violated the ACA ethics because reparative therapy itself lacks integrity and attempts to meet their agenda’s need, not the needs of client’s," said Joe Kort, psychotherapist and author of 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do To Improve Their Lives. "Of particular note is that Cohen’s violations are self-serving as he is accused of violating standard ethics of protecting his client from dual relationships, marketing purposes, and testimonials."
Richard Cohen is the president of P-FOX, a group that recently placed an ex-gay billboard in Virginia (www.Pfox.org) and sponsored a controversial ad campaign in Washington DC’s subway system. His website is www.gaytostraight.org and he is a conference instructor for the National Association for the Research and Therapy for Homosexuality (NARTH). Cohen is also the author of "Coming Out Straight", a book in which Dr. Laura Schlessinger wrote the forward.
"With intellect and care, he [Cohen] offers invaluable insight into the reason for same-sex attractions and, for those willing to brave it, he illuminates a challenging journey from isolation," wrote Dr. Laura in Cohen’s book.
Cohen has also been prominently features on Larry King Live, The Ricki Lake Show, The Salley Jessy Raphael Show and 20/20. Reparative therapy is rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organization in America.
The Rules Violated By CohenACA Code of Ethics
Section A: The Counseling Relationship
A.1. Client Welfare
Primary Responsibility. The primary responsibility of counselors is to respect the dignity and to promote the welfare of clients.
Positive Growth and Development. Counselors encourage client growth and development in ways that foster the clients' interest and welfare; counselors avoid fostering dependent counseling relationships.
A.5. Personal Needs and Values
Personal Needs. In the counseling relationship, counselors are aware of the intimacy and responsibilities inherent in the counseling relationship, maintain respect for clients, and avoid actions that seek to meet their personal needs at the expense of clients.
A.6. Dual Relationships
Avoid When Possible. Counselors are aware of their influential positions with respect to clients, and they avoid exploiting the trust and dependency of clients. Counselors make every effort to avoid dual relationships with clients that could impair professional judgment or increase the risk of harm to clients. (Examples of such relationships include, but are not limited to, familial, social, financial, business, or close personal relationships with clients.) When a dual relationship cannot be avoided, counselors take appropriate professional precautions such as informed consent, consultation, supervision, and documentation to ensure that judgment is not impaired and no exploitation occurs. (See F.1.b.)
C.3. Advertising and Soliciting Clients
Testimonials. Counselors who use testimonials do not solicit them from clients or other persons who, because of their particular circumstances, may be vulnerable to undue influence.
f. Promoting to Those Served. Counselors do not use counseling, teaching, training, or supervisory relationships to promote their products or training events in a manner that is deceptive or would exert undue influence on individuals who may be vulnerable. Counselors may adopt textbooks they have authored for instruction purposes.
Monday, January 24, 2005
In this week's New York Times Magazine, John Leland wrote an interesting article on the son of scandalized PTL preachers Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. It seems through the family turmoil, Jay Bakker may have found the real message of love, hope and redemption that elude Neo-Puritans like Rev. Pat Robertson.
Jay Bakker is a tattooed punk rock minister of Revolution Ministries who preaches in a multi-level bar called The Masquerade, with three floors: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell. Despite the unorthodox atmosphere, Bakker seems to preach a laudable message and understands how much of mainstream fundamentalism and evangelicalism have become politicized fundraising machines that thrive by exploiting hot button social issues. According to Jay Bakker:
"We're not about issues. We don't get on bandwagons. In the church today, the only two things that matter are abortion and homosexuality. I'm not saying something's right, something's wrong. I don't have a right to judge. God's called us to love people no matter who they are or what they've done. . . . You can't change people. You can for a little while, but eventually they'll rebel or be hurt or realize what's going on. I'm not in that rat race. I'm just in the game to say, 'This is who Jesus is, he loves you for who you are' and hopefully you see that in my life and you see the positive things that are coming from it."
In 2001, Jay Bakker wrote an autobiography, "Son of a Preacher Man: My Search for Grace in the Shadows," which The Times described as a "spirited defense of his father and a rebuke of Jerry Falwell" who hijacked PTL after Jim Bakker went to the pokey.
In the article we also learn that Focus on the Family founder, James Dobson, has a son, Ryan, who is heavily tattooed and is aggrieved by the "the Christian tendency to shoot our wounded."
It is encouraging to see that the two sons have learned from the judgmental sins of the older generation and are working for a better world in which all people are afforded the respect and dignity they deserve.
Forgive me if I'm a little bit frazzled this morning, but I can't figure out how the Philadelphia Eagles are in the Superbowl. After all, Rush Limbaugh told us on ESPN in 2003 that their quaterback, Donovan McNabb, wasn't very good and was just being heavily promoted by the media because he is black. Remember that?
McNabb, he said, is "overrated ... what we have here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback can do well, black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well. There's a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of his team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."
So, imagine my surprise when McNabb, who led the Eagles to a 15-3 record this year, completed 17 of 26 passes for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns to triumph 27-10 in the NFC Championship game. Because, if there is one sure thing in life besides death and taxes, it is Rush being right.