Friday, December 02, 2005
The GOP now controls the United States House and Senate because they unveiled the popular Contract on America in 1994. The document was rooted in three core principles: Accountability, Responsibility and Opportunity. Sadly, the Republicans who won election based on this creed, have never missed and opportunity to be irresponsible and unaccountable. Here is the latest round of corruption from a party that disrespects the law and mocks the American people.Corruption's Closet:
Rep. "Duke" Cunningham pled guilty to accepting $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors. Over the years, Cunningham accepted a staggering list of gifts and sweetheart deals in exchange for his vote and influence. The Washington Blade's
Chris Crane says, "what you won't read about in these mainstream press accounts is the other double life
led by the closet case."Mr. Christian Coalition In Trouble?:
Three Texas watchdog groups asked a county official here Thursday to investigate Ralph Reed
, former executive director of the Christian Coalition, who worked with the lobbyist Jack Abramoff to press state officials to shut down two Texas tribal casinos that were rivals of Abramoff clients.Pentagon Plants Propaganda:
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee summoned top Pentagon officials to a closed-door session on Capitol Hill on Friday to explain a reported secret military campaign in Iraq to plant paid propaganda
in the Iraqi news media.Abramoff's Noose Tightens:
With a federal corruption case
intensifying, prosecutors investigating Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist, are examining whether he brokered lucrative jobs for Congressional aides at powerful lobbying firms in exchange for legislative favors.Plame-Gate Continues:
A conversation between Karl Rove's lawyer and a journalist for Time magazine led Mr. Rove to change his testimony
last year to the grand jury in the C.I.A. leak case, people knowledgeable about the sequence of events said Thursday.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
On November 28, 2005, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against James Dobson's Focus on the Family. Naomi Seligman, CREW's Deputy Director, was delighted when Soulforce offered to launch a national drive to support this complaint. By signing the petition
addressed to the IRS, you will join thousands of Americans who are concerned about James Dobson's growing political influence in Washington, D.C. and across the nation.
Focus on the Family is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization whose stated purpose is "to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through a practical outreach to homes." In past years, Dr. Dobson has become increasingly shrill about his political beliefs (especially against GLBT people) on his daily radio program and through his fundraising letters.
For example, on December 1, 2005, Focus on the Family announced that it would end its long time banking relationship with Wells Fargo because of the bank's "ongoing efforts to advance the radical homosexual agenda."
Earlier this year Dobson promised to dedicate his life to amending the U.S. Constitution with a Federal Marriage Amendment that would make second-class citizens of Lesbian and Gay Americans in committed relationships and deny them their basic civil rights and protections.
Although his non-profit status bars him from electioneering, Dr. Dobson continues to use his considerable political muscle to support anti-gay initiatives and to endorse candidates for political office. In early April, 2004, Dr. Dobson endorsed Republican Representative Patrick J. Toomey in his race for Senate in Pennsylvania. In addition, it was reported that Dr. Dobson actively campaigned during a rally for Rep. Toomey.
Other candidates that Dr. Dobson reportedly endorsed in 2004 include North Carolina Republican candidate Pat Ballentine for Governor and Oklahoma Republican candidate Tom Coburn for Senate.
You can read more details, including the full text of the complaint sent to the IRS, on the CREW website
Please sign the petition to call on the IRS to investigate the political actions of James Dobson and his organization by going to www.soulforce.org/petition/1
A priest has been beaten
with a metal baseball bat in what police say was an unprovoked homophobic attack.
The Rt Rev Dr Barry Rathbone, 37, was sitting in Bournemouth Central Gardens eating a burger after a night out, when he was approached by a man and a woman. The man began shouting homophobic abuse and hit Dr Rathbone, who is openly gay, leaving him with two broken ribs and several broken fingers.
The conservatively correct crowd is at it again.
They forced a University of Kansas religion professor to apologize
for an e-mail that referred to religious conservatives as "fundies" and said a course describing intelligent design as mythology would be a "nice slap in their big fat face."
Why should a professor have to apologize for telling the truth? Creationism and Intelligent Design are unscientific farces that are, indeed, poorly constructed myths. Paul Mirecki, chairman of the university's Religious Studies Department, has done a great service by enlightening Kansans. He should win an award or get a raise, not be condemned.
Unfortunately, today's thin-skinned conservatives don't believe in free speech - unless it allows them to bash people or spread propaganda.
On Election Day, voters crushed all four of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's "year of reform" measures. He has now made a bold, if not curious move, to reverse his fortunes by naming state Public Utilities Commissioner Susan Kennedy to be his new Chief of Staff. Kennedy, 45, is a former director of an abortion rights group and one of the highest-profile lesbians in state politics.
Hopefully, Arnold will stop kowtowing to fundamentalist lunatics and do what is right for the state. Next time a gay marriage bill crosses his desk, let us hope that he signs it, or Kennedy resigns in protest.
Betty Bowers think's that President Bush is gay and has some fabulous
We at Baptists Are Saving Homosexuals have BASHed enough so-called "gays" with the blunt love of Jesus to know how to spot deviants across a crowded sale at Saks. Outside of Italian shoes, nothing sends up a rainbow-colored flare that you are dealing with a flaming homosexual more reliably than when a man breathlessly gushes the word "faaabulous!" When a Christian lady hears this word outside of her hair salon or florist, she instinctively reaches for the Bible tracts in her purse because she knows a nancy boy is within throwing range.
Check out her web-site
and judge for yourself if Bush is a closet case.
The backdrop for President Bush's speech on Iraq
was dozens of placards reading "Plan for Victory". More empty slogans from a president running on empty. Unfortunately, Bush thinks the tank is full because he's full of himself and believes that God has chosen him to conquer Iraq.
There is no joy in watching him flounder because American troops are dying. Bush lied to get America into the war. He lied by flying a banner that proclaimed: "Mission Accomplished." The most serious charge, however, is that he lacks seriousness. He has waged war on the cheap - without enough troops or body armor - while cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans. Bush has let down the troops and America.
After dismally failing the country, he wants us to trust him on his latest scheme, er, plan. But, the president has no credibility and can't be trusted. Let us hope that our fortunes change in Iraq for the good of the nation. A democracy in the heart of the Arab world would be a delightful outcome to this whole debacle. However, this corrupt and incompetent administration has disappointed America for five years. I'm not sure why things will change, just because he gives another tired speech.
Finally, it is clear that Bush no longer wants to be president. His goal all along was to upstage his overbearing Daddy. Now that he was reelected and has nothing left to prove, he would rather be on the ranch drinking whisky and clearing brush. By all means, George, go back to Texas. If you left office, your popularity rating would skyrocket overnight.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Crooner George Michael announced
that he and his gay, male, homosexual lover will make their relationship official under new British legislation offering gays many of the legal protections available to married couples.
"I'm sure Kenny (Goss) and I will be doing the old legal thing, but we won't be doing the whole veil and gown thing," Michael said at a screening of a documentary about his career. "It'll be relatively soon after it comes in, probably early next year."
The legislation creating civil partnerships becomes effective Dec. 21.
The Vatican newspaper
said on Tuesday that homosexuality risked "destabilizing people and society", had no social or moral value and could never match the importance of the relationship between a man and a woman.
"It (homosexuality) does not represent a social value and even less so a moral virtue that could add to the civilization of sexuality," Anatrella said. "It could even be seen as a destabilizing reality for people and for society."
As I said in my column below, if you are Catholic and stay with the Church, you are the abused wife running back to her husband. I know it is never easy to cut ties with a religious institution. But if you care about the future of your church, the best thing you can do is leave in protest. There are many supportive denominations, so why give your money and perspiration to a church that thinks you are a second class citizen.
A new Vatican document
on homosexuality says the Church can admit those who have clearly overcome homosexual tendencies for at least three years. It also stated practicing homosexuals with "deep-seated" gay tendencies and those who support a gay culture should be barred. In essence, the Vatican has adopted an "ex-gay" viewpoint, stealing a page from evangelical Christianity.
The Vatican's campaign to "purify" the church is completely out of touch with reality. There is no such thing as "overcoming homosexual tendencies." However, people can hide in the closet, which is exactly what the Vatican is ordering priests to do.
All sexuality - homo or hetero - is "deep-seated", so the Vatican's document is essentially meaningless. It is, in essence, a "gag order" meant to crush dissent within the church. What the church unrealistically seeks is one official, ironclad position that buries disagreement under the carpet, while making its sexual abuse scandals vanish. But molestation is clearly not a gay issue. It is, however, a problem that has cost the Roman Catholic Church nearly $1 billion for settlements and jury verdicts.
The sad thing is, the Vatican's hard-line stance will only increase sexual abuse. The more stringent the regulations, the more it will attract the deeply disturbed and disturbingly repressed who want to use the priesthood as an uber-12-Step program for salvation. The Vatican's backwards policies have made it a magnet for closeted homosexuals and sick pedophiles who use positions of authority to abuse and manipulate vulnerable people under intimate pastoral care.
If the Vatican wants its hideous sex abuse scandals to end, it will put policies in place that will attract healthy people. This means allowing openly gay priests, women and married men into the priesthood. Officially limiting the priesthood to the straight and celibate is a farce that invites future disaster and disgrace.
"At a time when the Church should be taking responsibility for the harm created by a devastating sex abuse scandal, they are instead using gay people as scapegoats," said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "This decree is a diversion that neither keeps children safe nor holds criminals responsible."
I feel truly sorry for the dedicated gay priests who have given their lives to help people, only to be insulted and humiliated by the new Pope, who has always had a queer obsession with homosexuality. However, my deep reservoir of sympathy is about to run out. From 1965 to 2000, the number of priests in the U.S. dropped 30 percent, the number of nuns, 54 percent. If a critical mass of gay priests came out of the closet and left the priesthood, the Vatican would collapse within weeks.
The Vatican sees homosexuality as "objectively disordered". So, to remain in the Catholic Church as a gay priest is to be the abused wife that runs back to her husband. If a gay priest sees the church as merely a jobs program, than I can understand staying. But, priests with a conscience who care about God, the church, the gay community and the truth, will realize that it is time to leave this increasingly intolerant institution in protest.
To stay is to perpetuate the problem and be a willing actor in active persecution. It is a betrayal of self and pastoral values. The writing in this document is also the writing on the wall for gay Catholics. The Church has left you
. Isn't it time to leave the Church?
Sadly, the Catholic Church's mimicry of evangelical radicalism extends beyond gay issues. During the 2004 elections, some Catholic bishops threatened to not give communion to pro-choice politicians, including presidential candidate John Kerry. Never mind that these righteous priests made no such demands of politicians who broke with the church by supporting the war in Iraq.
On Sunday, Missouri Roman Catholics who attended Mass heard sermons against embryonic stem cell research and a statewide petition drive that would allow Missourians to vote on a constitutional amendment to protect the research.
In a recent column, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke referred to the study of embryonic stem cells as "intrinsic evil" and said that signing the petition "is to promote the culture of death."
Once again, the Catholic Church is standing in the way of science and social progress. I'm sure these moralizing hypocrites will be the first ones in line to take advantage of any medical breakthroughs that come as a result of stem cell research.
A new non-profit organization needs to be formed where disgruntled Catholics (as well as people of other religions) can redirect their donations and tithes to more enlightened charities. Each time this new charity would receive a gift it would send a letter to the jilted religion letting it know it had lost money because of its backward social policies.
As religions veer sharply to the right, it is simply wrong to continue supporting and underwriting their destructive campaigns against a free, fair and just society.
I was in the Tea Lounge in Park Slope minding my own business and reading the newspaper. A man walks in with his daughter and takes a Dr. Seuss book out of his bag and begins to read a nursery rhyme out loud
to his kid. Obviously, no one can concentrate anymore and three people moved their seats.
Just because you have a kid does not give you the right to be rude and obnoxious. I don't read my newspaper out loud, so you have no business reading nursery rhymes for everyone else to hear. The place to read to children is in your own home, not in coffee shops or airports. This is the third time this has happened to me in the last week. Something must be done. This is becoming worse than cell phones in the movie theatre.
Am I wrong about this? Have I just become an old, cranky man? What is the proper etiquette when it comes to reading to children?
A 15-year-old girl from Canada has died after kissing
her boyfriend. He had eaten a peanut butter sandwich nine hours earlier and she was allergic to peanuts.