Saturday, January 28, 2006
Army officials are investigating allegations that members of the celebrated 82nd Airborne Division appear on a gay pornography
Web site, a spokeswoman said Friday.
I don't see what the big deal is. They have to somehow find a way to pay for the body armor they are forced to buy off the Internet because Rumsfeld won't give it to them. At least we finally know why they are really called "grunts" and "Top Guns."
Friday, January 27, 2006
The Senate today voted 25-23 to approve a gay
rights bill and ended the debate over legislation that emerged in Washington the same year singer Anita Bryant began her "Save Our Children" crusade against such protections.
The bill would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing, lending and employment. Twenty four of 26 Democrats were joined by one Republican and approved the bill with a one-vote majority.
Friday afternoon by cell phone, Gov. Christine Gregoire told Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, she plans to sign the bill Tuesday morning.
An Oklahoma preacher who vehemently opposed gay rights stepped down from his congregation and the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention after being arrested this month for allegedly asking an undercover male police officer for oral sex.
Lonnie Latham, 60, served as senior pastor of South Tulsa Baptist Church until he left the post following his arrest. He is an outspoken critic of same-sex marriage who urged gays to turn away from their "sinful, destructive lifestyle."The Houston Voice
wrote a nice story on this and had a sidebar with several examples of right wing hypocrisy and scandal.
The most disturbing part of this story, however, is the Oklahoma City District Attorney Wes Lane's explanation of the absurd law that snagged the homo-holy man.
"The law in Oklahoma prohibits an individual from soliciting another to engage in what is considered a lewd act regardless of whether money is sought for or exchanged," Lane said in a statement.
Now, exactly how is a person supposed to get some action if he or she can't proposition or solicit another person? What are people expected to do in Oklahoma, send smoke signals? Talk about a stupid, puritanical law!
I have met Esera on a number of occasions, and he is an incredibly nice guy. I can't wait to read his book, for it promises to be inspirational, educational and entertaining. It comes out (pun intended) in March.
Several prominent Democratic senators called for a filibuster
of Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s Supreme Court nomination yesterday.
"Judge Alito will take America backward, especially when it comes to civil rights and discrimination laws," Sen. John Kerry said in a statement issued by his office. He added: "It's our right and our responsibility to oppose him vigorously and to fight against this radical upending of the Supreme Court."
Opposing Alito is good politics for the Democrats. When a conservative Supreme Court finally outlaws abortion, all hell will break loose. With the advent of 24-hour cable, America will witness mothers who are maimed or killed in do-it-yourslef abortions. Democrats who opposed Alito will look very smart at this point and can say, "see, we told you so." This will bring them into the majority.
However, Democrats who support the awful Alito nomination, will be seen as part ofthe problem. We should be proud that Kennedy and Kerry are standing up to the Republican bullies and protecting America from an increasingly dangerous Supreme Court that disrespects the Constitution and basic liberty.
Americans are willing to tolerate eavesdropping without warrants to fight terrorism, but are concerned that the aggressive antiterrorism programs championed by the Bush administration are encroaching on civil liberties, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll
Democrats in Georgia and Alabama, borrowing an idea usually advanced by conservative Republicans, are promoting Bible
classes in the public schools. Their Republican opponents are in turn denouncing them as "pharisees," a favorite term of liberals for politicians who exploit religion.
Well, the Palestinan people finally got a chance to vote and they showed their true colors. They would rather keep their children dirt poor and offer them no future than accept Israel's right to exist. By electing Hamas
, a terrorist organization, the Palestinians have essentially ruled out any chance for reonciliation or peace.
If Hamas does not quickly change its warring ways, Israel will have to build an even higher wall separating it from Gaza and the West Bank. This will isolate the Palestinans even more and they can deservedly stew in their own bilious and self-defeating hate.
The good news is, now that Hamas is in charge, they will have to deliver for the people they represent. It will not be enough to blame Israel for their failures. They will actually have to start a real economy (other than smuggling arms) and show tangible results.
The futility of the Palestinian's armed struggle is what is most absurd. The most they can ever hope to achieve is annoying Israelis, since they can never defeat the Jewish state. Instead of putting their hatred aside, they chose to throw gasoline in their futile fire.
The Palestinians chose guns over butter, and it will likely turn out in the end, that they have neither.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Pope Benedict XVI issued his long-awaited first encyclical. It spoke of "love" but pointedly excluded gay people from such love. The encyclical, titled "God Is Love," did not specifically mention abortion, homosexuality, contraception or divorce, issues that often divide Catholics. It even embraced sexuality, which was quite rare.
"Love is indeed 'ecstasy,'" he wrote in a document that ran 71 pages in the English translation. "Not in the sense of a moment of intoxication, but rather as a journey, an ongoing exodus out of the closed inward-looking self towards its liberation through self-giving, and thus toward authentic self-discovery and indeed the discovery of God."
This passage is essentially a call for allowing gay people to marry. If sexuality is essential for heterosexuals to "look outward," find "authentic self-discovery" and the "discovery of God," than the same must be true for gay people. By denying our relationships, the Pope is keeping us from our spirituality, which, by his own admission, can keep one from God.
I suggest that the Pope heed his own advice on how distorted religion leads to hate and violence.
"In a world where the name of God is sometimes associated with vengeance or even a duty of hatred and violence, this message is both timely and significant," he wrote. "For this reason, I wish in my first encyclical to speak of the love which God lavishes on us and which we in turn must share with others."
I read the article in The New York Times
where the reporter Ian Fisher kissed the Pope's ass. It might have been the most biased story I've seen in the paper. I suggest the Vatican hire Fisher as a PR agent.
A second Senate Democrat broke ranks on Thursday and announced he would vote to confirm
President George W. Bush's nomination of conservative federal appeals judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota said he had concerns about Alito on such matters as his "narrow interpretation of certain civil rights laws."
Johnson joined Ben Nelson of Nebraska as the only Senate Democrats to declare support for Alito, who appears certain to soon win confirmation in the Republican-led, 100-member chamber. Both Johnson and Nelson represent fairly conservative states that voted for Bush.
Most of the 44 Senate Democrats, including members of the leadership, have announced their opposition to Alito.
Folks, the Democrats are making a huge strategic mistake if they don't filibuster. By filibustering, they put themselves in a great position to retake Congress after Alito and Roberts join Scalia and Thomas to ruin America. By any measure, Alito is extreme and a "movement conservative." He serves the narrow agenda of the right wing, rather than the American people.
To not filibuster
would be a tragic mistake and set this nation back decades. If the Democrats don't stand up to this awful nomination, it will hurt their ability to say "I told you so." And, believe me, there will be plenty of chances to point fingers if Alito is confirmed.
Canada's newly elected Conservative government
has promised to revisit same-sex marriage less than a year after the country became just the third in the world to legalize such unions. But it won't happen soon, and the effort may be hindered by the Conservative Party's narrow victory Monday, which will force compromise among the major parties.
I love Canada. I've visited nine times and even considered moving to Vancouver. But if Stephen Harper rolls back marriage, a massive boycott of the country should be a major priority for American gay activists. Our goal should be to inflict severe economic pain to the point where voters call for his head and throw the bum out of office. I'd be more than happy to lead this fight.
Harper exploits this issue at his own peril.
A Rhode Island jury voted "Survivor" champ Richard Hatch off to jail
yesterday for thinking he could duck the taxes on the $1 million he won in front of 50 million Americans. Hatch, who vaulted to fame as the scheming "fat naked guy" on the hit show's debut season, was found guilty of three counts of tax evasion and filing a false return.
Somehow, I think he will do just fine in the joint. He will turn the Bloods aganst the Crips, and before you know it, he will be in charge! If he can only survive the shower room!
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
The Bush administration
, citing the confidentiality of executive branch communications, said that it did not plan to turn over certain documents about Hurricane Katrina or make senior White House officials available for sworn testimony before two Congressional committees investigating the storm response.
The White House this week also formally notified Representative Richard H. Baker, Republican of Louisiana, that it would not support his legislation creating a federally financed reconstruction program for the state that would bail out homeowners and mortgage lenders.
Folks, the Bush administration is hiding something terrible. The fact is, the devastation caused by Katrina was not an "Act of God", but an act of gross negligence
and extreme incompetence on the part of the Bush Administration. The bottom line is, Bush let New Orleans fall into the lake.
Just as 9-11 might have been prevented if Bush actually read his reports, the loss of life and property in Katrina could have been largely prevented if Bush was awake, instead of mountain biking and clearing brush.
If I am wrong, let this administration disprove me by releasing all relevant documents. Of course, they won't do this, because they are stonewalling (Just as they are with Bush/Abramhoff photos). America deserves better than the Bush crowd, that fails to protect us from threats and consistently covers-up their disastrous mistakes.
A pastor who threatened
a national boycott against Microsoft and other major corporations for endorsing a gay rights bill urged supporters to buy up the companies' stock and dump it to drive prices down.
Rev. Ken Hutcherson, pastor of Antioch Bible Church in the Seattle suburb of Redmond, said the stock-dumping plan had been part of his strategy all along.
"You got to find out how you affect a company," Hutcherson said.
Leave it to the good old moralists to dream up a sleazy, unbiblical scheme to undermine those in which they disagree. With all the real moral issues out there, Hutcherson's obsession with homosexuality is rather bizarre. It always amazes me when people follow and give money to such ignoble, disturbed clowns.
An openly gay student at John Brown University says he was dismissed
from the school earlier this month for violating campus lifestyle guidelines related to his sexual orientation and for material found in his online journals.
In a meeting with the school’s administration the week before school started last fall, Guinn said the administration told him that, in addition to the regular behavior covenant students sign, he was to abide by a separate code of conduct.
Guinn said he was told: not to dress in women’s clothing; if he participated in sports he could not slap other players on the rear end; he could not hug or shake hands with other men for too long ; he could not “broadcast” his lifestyle ; he could not tell other students he was gay until he got to know them well.
Once again, the loving "Christians" eat one of their own and throw him to the wolves. You have to feel bad for folks who are so ignorant and backwards. This is just plain old superstitious barbarism disguised as religion.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Reality can suck, especially when you don't pay attention to it.
Today, Senators lambasted the Bush administration for failing to heed
devastating predictions from a hurricane preparedness test that began a year before Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast.
This reminds me of the pre-911 memo given to Condi Rice and Bush that read: "Bin Laden Determined To Attack Inside U.S." After the terrorists knocked down our buildings, Bush and Rice lied and said, no one could have predicted terrorists would fly planes into buildings.
Well, if you don't read your own warnings, you won't predict such tragedies. This is called gross incompetence. All I can say is, "Your doing a heckuva job Bush.
Stepping up the Bush administration's defense
of the National Security Agency's eavesdropping program, Attorney General Alberto "Torture Memo" Gonzales today cited a long history of military surveillance conducted without warrants, going back to George Washington's reading of captured mail between the British and Americans during the Revolutionary War.
The problem here is that we are in a permanent
state of war with the Osama crowd (Particularly the pitiful way Bush is fighting it). Since the threat of terrorism will never end, this means Bush is asking to suspend the Constitution forever. I, for one, like the old America where we were actually free and the government worked for
us, instead of monitoring our lives.
If there is poetic justice, Hillary Clinton will become president and wire tap America's vast right wing conspiracy. Let's see how these yahoos like the suspension of the Constitution when they are the targets.
By a 10-8 party line vote
with sometimes bitter partisan debate, the Senate Judiciary Committee today recommended that Samuel A. Alito Jr. be confirmed by the full Senate as associate justice of the Supreme Court.
The nomination will move to the full Senate Wednesday with a vote expected by the end of the week, according to the committee chairman, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.).
There goes the Supreme Court. Ladies, make sure you put alcohol on your coat hangers before using them. What a disaster for this nation. I predict Alito to be as conservative as Scalia. I hope I am wrong, but this is just horrendous news for America.
When a gay friend found out that NBC was canceling Will & Grace he was ecstatic. He derisively called the show "Will & Disgrace" and compared it to a minstrel show because the effeminate homosexual "Jack," played by Sean Hayes, is consistently the butt of jokes. He is right that Jack is often the punch line, but I think historically this sitcom will go down as a knockout success for the gay community.
Will & Grace isn't perfect, but it came along at the perfect time and bailed gay America out of potential primetime disaster. Ellen had recently come out and her show quickly collapsed. Many critics blamed the gay content for its demise, and even lesbian activist Chastity Bono told Daily Variety that "Ellen" was "too gay."
There was a real danger that the lesson network executives might have taken from Ellen was that mainstream audiences would not accept gay lead characters. Into this political and cultural minefield stepped Will & Grace. Thankfully, it was timely, unquestionably funny and proved that largely straight audiences can embrace gay subject matter. Where would we be today without this show rising like a phoenix from the ashes of Ellen?
Nonetheless, Will's (Eric McCormack) moribund sex life continues to irritate gay people. The man is obviously attractive and successful, yet he fritters away his Saturday nights with Grace (Debra Messing), whining about men he would surely get, if he would just lose her. I'll be the first to admit that I'd like to see the last episode (May 18) end with the perennially frustrated Will cruising a seedy leather bar and leaving at 3am in a drunken stupor with a shirtless and tattooed guy named Spike.
The pragmatist in me, however, realizes that explicit sexuality isn't what this show is about. Will & Grace introduced gay people to millions of Americans and brought us into their living rooms. Instead of deriding Will & Grace, the gay community owes David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, the show's co-creators and executive producers, a debt of gratitude. They made it possible for the networks to take gay-themed shows seriously.
While criticisms of the show are valid, they also are made in a vacuum, which overlooks the historical time period of the show. It seems programming that features minorities always begins with stereotypes, before the group branches out to more complex archetypes.
Let's remember that before Denzel Washington could become a superstar, America had to endure less threatening African Americans such as Jimmie Walker, who played JJ on the sitcom Good Times, and liked to mindlessly shout "Dynamite" in his Chicago housing project.
In a similar fashion, the gay characters in Will & Grace ingratiated themselves with Americans who were otherwise fearful of homosexuality. This has led to increasing cultural comfort and opened the door for more realistic portrayals of gays and lesbians.
For example, Desperate Housewives, a phenomenally popular sitcom particularly beloved in the so-called Red States, has a complex gay teenage character. On NBC's Book of Daniel, the preacher has a gay son. And, of course, the remarkable success of Brokeback Mountain will only lead to more gay-themed shows.
Still, there is a long way to go before gay people are afforded equality in Hollywood. ABC television network recently cancelled the reality series "Welcome to the Neighborhood," where neighbors got to choose from competing families to see who would be invited to move into a subdivision.
After a gay couple with children was selected, the show was mysteriously pulled. ABC claims that the gay winners had nothing to do with their decision. Yet, critics point out that the network was wooing Evangelical Christians to support their wildly profitable "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."
Sadly, "Welcome to the Neighborhood" was exactly what America needs to see. Even Jim Stewart, who in an early episode said, "I would not tolerate a homosexual couple moving into this neighborhood" came around. It turns out that he had a gay son and the show helped him reconcile the strained relationship.
"I'd say to ABC, 'Start showing this right now,' " Mr. Stewart told The New York Times. "It has a message that needs to be heard by everyone."
The lesson of the unseen ABC reality show highlights the reason Will & Grace was so instrumental: Once you allow gay families into your living room, they are inevitably accepted into the neighborhood of shared humanity.
Will & Grace may be past its prime, but it did set the stage for a primetime line-up that includes ever-evolving gay shows and characters.
America's car industry has stalled again
, as the country's second largest producer, Ford, revealed it's cutting up to 30,000 jobs.The positions will go over the next eight years as it shuts 14 of its plants in the United States and Canada.
You know, I can't think of a single middle class person I know who is doing better under Bush. This latest round of job cuts is a snapshot of Bush's entire term. The rich are getting richer, but average Americans have stagnant wages or they are losing their jobs. That's what we get for reelecting this man...
Monday, January 23, 2006
NBC will end
two of its most successful series of recent years, "The West Wing" and "Will & Grace," at the conclusion of the current season and will shift the schedules of three other hit shows, "The Apprentice," "Las Vegas" and "Law & Order," NBC Entertainment announced.
"Will & Grace" will wrap up on May 18.
An adviser to President Bush said Monday that Bush's photographs
in the company of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff amount to a coincidence and shouldn't be interpreted any more seriously than that.
"He doesn't have a personal relationship with him," White House counselor Dan Bartlett said of Bush and Abramoff, who recently pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from his lobbying practices and has pledged to cooperate with government prosecutors.
Bartlett sounds quite Clintonesque with his term "personal relations." It amazes me how Abramhoff keeps winding up in photos and having lunches and trips with powerful Republicans, yet, no one claims to know him. He just mysteriously keeps popping up in the Republican photo album.
The New York Times
hit the nail on the head with an editorial today opposing Sam Alito - a man who will be a complete disaster on the Supreme Court:
If Judge Samuel Alito Jr.'s confirmation hearings lacked drama, apart from his wife's bizarrely over-covered crying jag, it is because they confirmed the obvious. Judge Alito is exactly the kind of legal thinker President Bush wants on the Supreme Court. He has a radically broad view of the president's power, and a radically narrow view of Congress's power. He has long argued that the Constitution does not protect abortion rights. He wants to reduce the rights and liberties of ordinary Americans, and has a history of tilting the scales of justice against the little guy.
Judge Alito may be a fine man, but he is not the kind of justice the country needs right now. Senators from both parties should oppose his nomination. (New York Times)
America is largely silent on this nomination, which will fundamentally change our nation and bring us into a legal Dark Age. Alito isn't a normal Conservative, but one who belongs to a "movement" which is largely defined by who it is against - namely women, blacks, gays and middle class families. If Alito is confirmed, America will rue this day for decades.
Leave it to Halliburton to foul the water like they have already soiled the political process.The Washington Post
reports that troops and civilians at a U.S. military base in Iraq were exposed to contaminated water last year, and employees for the responsible contractor, Halliburton Co., could not get their company to inform camp residents, according to interviews and internal company documents.
Halliburton, the company formerly headed by Vice President Cheney, disputes the allegations about water problems at Camp Junction City, in Ramadi, even though they were made by its own employees and documented in company e-mails.
"We exposed a base camp population (military and civilian) to a water source that was not treated," said a July 15, 2005, memo written by William Granger, the official for Halliburton's KBR subsidiary who was in charge of water quality in Iraq and Kuwait.
"The level of contamination was roughly 2x the normal contamination of untreated water from the Euphrates River," Granger wrote in one of several documents. The Associated Press obtained the documents from Senate Democrats who are holding a public inquiry into the allegations today.
It seems Halliburton even lies when they have their hands caught in the cookie jar. It seems Dick Cheney taught them well.
(Me, In The Canadian Rockies Last Summer)
The Canadians are poised to make a tragic mistake
today by giving the Conservative Party a victory over
the Liberal Party. The Conservatives are led by Stephen Harper, 46, the Canadian George W. Bush. His party includes a partnership with the ultra-conservative Canadian Alliance party.
I understand the desire to replace the Liberal Party, which was beset by corruption and scandals, including a huge kickback scheme in Quebec. But ruining Canada's image and having a government more like the Republicans in the United States is clearly not the answer. Why would anyone aspire to copy a political party that brought us Katrina, the quagmire in Iraq and record deficits? That's just plain reactionary and stupid. Choosing this form of failed government would be a much greater scandal than anything the Liberal Party has done.
A conservative victory could spell trouble for same-sex marriage. If our neighbor to the north backtracks, cancel your Canadian vacation and visit South Africa or Spain. Let's reward our friends with our gay American dollars. Hopefully, it won't come to this, as I love Canada - particularly, Vancouver and Montreal.
A Baltimore Circuit Court judge has ruled that Maryland's law against same-sex marriage "cannot withstand constitutional challenge," a key ruling in the volatile national debate on gay rights.
"After much study and serious reflection, this court holds that Maryland's statutory prohibition against same-sex marriage cannot withstand constitutional challenge," Judge M. Brooke Murdock wrote in her decision.
From Hawaii to Massachusetts, courts have ruled in favor of allowing gay people to marry. In the America we grew up in, it is flat out illegal to stop gay people from equal marriage rights, and the courts have held this position time and again.
The reaction from the right is to say: "America offers too much freedom, so let's trash the Constitution."
This is why 19 states have constitutional amendments outlawing marriage rights. But make no mistake, the only way that marriage can be stopped is to make America less free and more authoritarian. Let us hope the Maryland Supreme Court also interprets the Constitution in a way hat is consistent with the liberty it so clearly provides.
Also, in Washington State, the House passed
a much anticipated gay rights bill by a 60-37 vote and kept the legislation on track for expected passage in the Senate. Rep. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, took the lead on the bill.
"This discrimination is a reality," Murray said. He asked members to appeal to the "better angels of our nature" and send a message of inclusion by voting in favor of the bill.
From the courthouse to the people's house, change is slowly happening across the United States.
On 60 Minutes this evening, singer, writer and eccentric Kinky Friedman said he was running for governor
of Texas. The Jewish iconoclast is running as an Independent, trying to pull a Jesse Ventura. His positions are scattered. He is for prayer in school, which is unconstitutional, but in favor of allowing gay people to marry. On 60 Minutes he said, "Gays deserve to be just as miserable as the rest of us."
He's got my endorsement, simply because the uptight state of Texas deserves a governor by the name of Kinky.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Would someone please kill the Burger King mascot? This is the scariest character that I've ever seen. If this creep doesn't give kids nightmares, I'm not sure who will. If I ran into him in a dark ally, I'd piss in my pants. Am I the only one that doesn't want to buy hamburgers from this pycho?