Friday, February 10, 2006
(Bush Lied On Levees)
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Bush administration
officials said they had been caught by surprise when they were told on Tuesday, Aug. 30, that a levee had broken, allowing floodwaters to engulf New Orleans.
Indeed, the next morning, President Bush, on vacation in Texas, said he was relieved that New Orleans had "dodged the bullet."
But Congressional investigators have now learned that an eyewitness account of the flooding from a federal emergency official reached the Homeland Security Department's headquarters starting at 9:27 p.m. the day before, and the White House itself at midnight.In other words, the White House knew about the impending disaster and did nothing.
Folks, this is a spectacular breach of trust by the Bush administration and a remarkable display of incompetence. The floods of Hurricane Katrina were not caused by an "Act of God," but by a very human failure to act in the face of tragedy. George W. Bush has, once again, lied to the American people. He is a disgrace to his office and should resign before he does any more harm.
At the very least, Bush should fly down to New Orleans, find the nearest church, get on his hands and knees, and beg God and the citizens of New Orleans for forgiveness.
Folks, if you read one interview this year, let it be this one. Many of my liberal friends simply don't "get it," that our values are under attack from radical Islamist extremists. Mired in grossly misguided political correctness and naivete, they are unable to see a real and growing problem, even as the bombs explode in front of their faces. It is time we take off the rose-colored glasses and view the grim reality that confronts us.
On July 15, MSNBC's "Connected" program discussed the 7/7 London attacks. One of the guests was Pierre Rehov, a French filmmaker who has filmed six documentaries on the Intifada by going undercover in the Palestinian areas. Pierre's upcoming film, "Suicide Killers," is based on interviews that he conducted with the families of suicide bombers and would-be bombers in an attempt to find out why they do it. According to the interview:MSNBC:
How can we put an end to the madness of suicide bombings and terrorism in general?Rehov:
Stop being politically correct and stop believing that this culture is a victim of ours. Radical Islamism today is nothing but a new form of Nazism. Nobody was trying to justify or excuse Hitler in the 1930s. We had to defeat him in order to make peace one day with the German people.TO READ THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW CLICK HERE
Check out the story in The Washington Blade.
Dan Savage wrote an excellent op-ed in The New York Times
Today titled, "Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be 'Ex-Gay' Cowboys." According to Savage:
"Sometimes I wonder if evangelicals really believe that gay men can go straight. If they don't think Chad Allen can play straight convincingly for 108 minutes, do they honestly imagine that gay men who aren't actors can play straight for a lifetime? And if anyone reading this believes that gay men can actually become ex-gay men, I have just one question for you: Would you want your daughter to marry one?"
Sounds like a great question to ask. How much do you want to bet the right wing spokespeople refuse to answer?
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Eighty-Six evangelical Christian leaders have backed an initiative to fight global warming
, saying "millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors."
Among signers of the statement are the presidents of 39 evangelical colleges, leaders of aid groups and churches, like the Salvation Army, and pastors of megachurches, including Rick Warren, author of the best seller "The Purpose-Driven Life."
The major knock on Evangelicals is that they often behave like brain dead cavemen who never deviate from the backwards party line. However, recent actions by Warren (such as supporting AIDS patients) are showing that some major Evangelical leaders are prepared to think independently and respect sound science. Warren and others should be applauded, especially because their actions are taking criticism from the usual suspects. According to the New York Times
Some of the nation's most high-profile evangelical leaders, however, have tried to derail such action. Twenty-two of them signed a letter in January declaring, "Global warming is not a consensus issue." Among the signers were Charles W. Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries; James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; and Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
What I find most encouraging is that some evangelical leaders, such as Warren, are addressing real issues instead of the useless culture war crap that does nothing for families, except divide them. I would hope that he and others would unequivocally state that homosexuality isn't sin. However, they are doing the next best thing, which is focusing on love, rather than hot-button issues that serve no purpose other than fundraising.
Congratulations to the Evangelicals who did the right thing for a change, rather than the right wing thing. I look forward to seeing more such inspired work from Warren and others. You know, it is nice to be able to praise them for a change.
(Father Daniel McCormack)
Last August, a young boy told the police that a Roman Catholic priest, Father Daniel McCormack, had groped him
after Mass at St. Agatha Catholic Church, a West Side parish. Yet, Cardinal Francis George, the head of the Chicago Archdiocese, did not remove McCormack.
Officials at the Chicago Archdiocese were told of the claim by prosecutors, but no criminal charges were brought at the time, and McCormack, was kept on as pastor at the church and as basketball coach at the parish school.
In recent weeks, Father McCormack was arrested and charged with abusing the boy and two other young boys -- at least one of them, the boy's lawyer says, in the months since August. The charges have set off a storm of new concerns that the Roman Catholic Church in America has not done enough to address the problems of sexual abuse by priests despite years of a roiling scandal.
Jeff Anderson, a lawyer from St. Paul who is representing one of the three boys, said Cardinal George's decision remained deeply disturbing.
"What this really demonstrates is that the policies and promises that the bishops promulgated in 2002 were really just words," he said. "They were just public relations."
Well, what can you expect from a Vatican that cares more about their stupid and offensive war on honorable gay priests than stopping child molesters? The Vatican can't get its priests straight, so it can start with its priorites.
The Bush administration finally condemned
the violent response to European cartoons mocking Islam and accused Iran and Syria of exploiting the international controversy to incite unrest and protests in the Middle East.
"I have no doubt that Iran and Syria have gone out of their way to inflame sentiments and have used this for their own purposes," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters yesterday. "The world ought to call them on it."
It is about time the United States spoke out against this insane (and orchestrated) reaction to cartoons by radical extremists. The U.S. ought to support free speech and not appease those who believe the way to answer speech, even offensive speech, is violence.
The Rev. Lou Sheldon of the nutty Traditional Values Coalition wrote a conspiratorial screed
claiming that Brokeback Mountain is part of a furtive Hollywood cabal.
"The self-selected and self-serving cabal who hand out awards know what they're doing," write Sheldon. "They're determined to normalize homosexuality by using every means possible-including creating sympathetic "cowboys" who are victims of 'homophobia.'
Interestingly, Brokeback was written by a woman, directed by a heterosexual man and the two main stars were heterosexual men. Sounds like the good reverend is a tad paranoid. In his op-ed, he goes on to state all kinds of falsehoods about "homosexual behavior. But, my favorite is when he claims, "Crystal meth drug use is epidemic among homosexual populations."
Well, yes, too many gay men sample "Tina" at nightclubs. However, the Crystal Meth problem is much, MUCH worse in trailer parks in the Midwest. Indeed, this is where the crank is cooked up. So, I suggest Sheldon clean up his own glass trailer, before he starts condemning others.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
A story in the New York Times
says Democrats are heading into this year's elections in a position weaker than they had hoped for, party leaders say, stirring concern that they are letting pass an opportunity to exploit what they see as widespread Republican vulnerabilities.
I think the Democrats need a plan sooner than later. I made some suggestions
in a recent column, but it appears they are not listening. Let us hope they get it together so we can end this corrupt inept and failed rule by the GOP.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss....
Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who was elected House majority leader last week, is renting
his Capitol Hill apartment from a veteran lobbyist whose clients have direct stakes in legislation Boehner has co-written and that he has overseen as chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee.
The drum beat of GOP scumbaggery beats on unabated...
Shy Swedish female penguins sent to seduce "homosexual" male Humboldt penguins in a German zoo have failed to break up
any of the male-male twosomes, officials said Wednesday.
(Cardinal Egan With Bush) A law suit, now pending in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, was filed on December 13 by Bob Hoatson--a 53-year-old New Jersey priest considered a stalwart ally among survivors of sexual abuse by clergy. Hoatson, the now-suspended chaplain for Catholic Charities in Newark, is suing Cardinal Edward Egan and nine other Catholic officials and institutions, claiming a pattern of "retaliation and harassment" that began after Hoatson alleged a cover-up of clergy abuse in New York and started helping victims.
But that's not all his lawsuit claims. Halfway through the 44-page complaint, the priest-turned-advocate drops a bomb on the cardinal: He alleges that Egan is "actively homosexual," and that he has "personal knowledge of this." His suit names two other top Catholic clerics in the region as actively gay - Albany bishop Howard Hubbard and Newark archbishop John Myers.
Let's see what the Pope does about this...
Iran's bestselling newspaper has launched a competition
to find the best cartoon about the Holocaust
in retaliation for the publication in many countries of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. The Iranian daily Hamshahri
said the contest was designed to test the boundaries of free speech - the reason given by many Western newspapers for publishing the cartoons of Mohammed.
"Does Western free speech allow working on issues like America and Israel's crimes or an incident like the Holocaust or is this freedom of speech only good for insulting the holy values of divine religions?" the paper asked.
It seems that the West called the Iranian newspaper's bluff and showed that they do believe in free speech. Unlike the Islamists,
Jews did not rampage through the streets of Tel Aviv and attack Muslims. European nations did not ransack Iranian embassies. So, it seems this nutjob newspaper editor has egg on his extremist
face. Indeed, reaction (or lack thereof) to this psychotic cartoon contest turned out to be a model of how civilized people respond when offended.
The largest study ever to ask whether a low-fat diet reduces the risk of getting cancer or heart disease has found that the diet has no effect
. The $415 million federal study involved nearly 49,000 women ages 50 to 79 who were followed for eight years. In the end, those assigned to a low-fat diet had the same rates of breast cancer, colon cancer, heart attacks and strokes as those who ate whatever they pleased, researchers are reporting today.
"These studies are revolutionary," said Dr. Jules Hirsch, physician in chief emeritus at Rockefeller University in New York City, who has spent a lifetime studying the effects of diets on weight and health. "They should put a stop to this era of thinking that we have all the information we need to change the whole national diet and make everybody healthy."
See you later, I'm off to the Krispy Kreme, before the NOW HOT neon sign is turned off.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
A Northern Virginia radio show that caters to a younger gay audience received threats this week to shut down, or else. E-mails from right wing yahoos hinted at violence if Chad Larson, host of The Edge Show
, did not cancel his program. While the e-mails did not offer a specific threat, they did claim that members of one church organization have "removed homosexuals from places before" and that , "If Mr. Larson won't go quietly, we are ready for a fight." The e-mail did not specify which church the writer claimed to be from.
"The penalty for homosexuality is death. Humans are not allowed to kill," one e-mail stated. "That's why God sent AIDS. When Chad Larson is lying on his death bed from this incurable illness, he will wish he had of turned to us for help."
Larson said the threats are being taken seriously, but the show will go on, each Saturday at 1PM on WEBR in Fairfax.
"I will not go off of the air simply because someone does not like it's content. This is America and in this country we have the right to listen to a radio program, or, turn it off."
The Edge Radio Show features several friends taking a light-hearted look at the news affecting the community while playing the top gay club songs around.
"Ex-gay" ministry leader Tim Wilkins wrote a very revealing
article for Concerned Women For America. He basically confirmed what I have always said: There is no such thing as an "ex-gay."
These ministries focus on behavior modification, denial, delusion and supressing natural desire. In essence, they are closet assistance programs. This is why they are practically begging "ex-gays" to avoid seeing Brokeback Mountain. They understand that the power of the movie might overcome years of mental conditioning and brainwashing.
Unfortunately, in his critique, Wilkins deliberatly lied about gay life. Consider this dishonest quote by Wilkins:
"Let me say to you (and you evangelicals need to hear this also) that I am aware of the unfathomable suffering which is part of same-sex attractions. Despair, depression and darkness blacker than the bottom of the Mariana trench."
Um, sorry Timmy, but I'm gay and quite happy. Perhaps, you are depressed and suffering so much because you are a sexually frustrated, gay fundamentalist? Just the sound of this right wing lifestyle makes me want to empty a Prozac capsule into a shot of Jack Daniels! For those of us who live in harmony with our nature, however, homosexuality presents absolutely no conflict.
Folks, read the quotes from Wilkins, so you can see that sexual orientation can't be changed. What he offers is denial through will power. This is hardly a satisfying and healthy way to live and lead a spiritually satisfying life:
"I will avoid the movie like a slug avoids an overturned saltshaker and, for the life of me, cannot understand why any evangelical would see it though there appear to be many. But what is more disturbing to me is that many men and women know with unwanted homosexual attractions are seeing the movie."
"Going to see Brokeback Mountain would be similar to asking a former alcoholic to go to a liquor store to buy his neighbor a toddy for the body."
"Opponents of ex-gay ministries will immediately shout "Aha, so you are still tempted with same-sex attractions!" I do not deny it! Martin Luther said it this way, "If your head is made of butter, stay away from the fire."
It has been said that the pen is mightier then the sword, and it appears radical Islamists are putting this theory to the test. In protest of European newspapers that published cartoons portraying Mohammed as a terrorist, zealous mobs
desecrated flags, attacked Christians, threw stones and firebombed embassies. Witnesses of the attack on the Danish embassy in Beirut said they saw people jumping out of windows to escape the flames.
If the aim was to disprove the point of the cartoons - that extremists have hijacked Islam - the protesters did a heck of a job getting their message across. After watching the riots on television, the first thing that popped into my mind was - wow, Islam is a really peaceful religion.
Before we explore this further, let's emphasize that millions of Muslims are peaceful and abhor violence. As a society, we must judge people as individuals, avoid stereotyping and avoid the pernicious sting of discrimination. Muslims who stand for individual liberty, moderation and equal rights are allies. Any attempt to lump all Muslims in the same category is despicable, unconscionable and anathema to the very free, pluralistic society we are trying to promote.
However, it is also time to admit that we have a serious problem
that isn't going away. A significant number of Muslims subscribe to a brand of the religion that is nihilistic, destructive, barbaric, backwards, anti-democratic and brutal. There is no point in negotiating or reasoning with these fanatics. They will either self-moderate out of self-interest, or come into direct confrontation with the West.The reaction
to the comics that ran in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and other newspapers is not normal or civilized. It can only come from an extremist culture that glorifies hatred and violence.
The Islamic Army in Iraq, a Sunni Arab insurgent group, issued an Internet statement calling for attacks on Danish companies and nationals. The group urged followers to "catch some Danish people and cut them into pieces."
"We will not accept less than severing the heads of those responsible," Reuters
reported a preacher saying at Al Omari mosque in Gaza. The New York Times
reports other demonstrators calling for amputating the hands of the cartoonists who drew the pictures.
What is most striking about the repugnant rhetoric is how it is considered normal discourse in much of the Arab world. As new technology brings the planet closer together, we are increasingly clashing with a culture that is stuck in the 6th Century. It is totally incompatible with modern society and rules that govern basic human rights.
Here are three reasons why greater confrontation is on the horizon:1)
Force may be the only way to resolve the conflict
between a culture that believes in freedom of the press and one that believes you dismember those who speak their minds.2)
A culture that is rapidly moving towards allowing gay couples to marry is not going to peacefully coexist with one that beheads gay people simply for existing
Women who are emancipated and educated are not going to live side-by-side with submissive women who are treated like pets.
You know, it is simply unacceptable that women are forbidden to drive in Saudi Arabia and forced to wear oppressive garments that comedian Bill Maher says look like beekeeper suits. If this offends the Muslim extremists, too damn bad. Speaking of which, I'm getting a little offended by how easily they are offended.
In the United States, there are times when our fundamentalists have felt insulted. But they didn't rampage through towns and burn down movie theaters that showed "The Last Temptation of Christ." They didn't fan out in the Wyoming countryside looking to behead gay cowboys after Brokeback Mountain was nominated for eight Oscars. (Maybe, I shouldn't be giving them ideas)
It is also curious that the Islamists are claiming that religion is beyond reproach for editorial cartoonists, considering the Arab press is unquestionably the world's single most prolific offender
of denigrating religion. But, I guess habitually mocking Judaism with crude and crass stereotypes doesn't count. The hypocritical
double standard by the Islamists is so convoluted and incoherent, it is almost incomprehensible.
Commentator Neal Boortz
sums up my feelings on the laughable "outrage" of Muslim radicals:
** Muslims fly commercial airliners into buildings in New York City. No Muslim outrage.
** Muslims slaughter hundreds of children and teachers in Beslan, Russia. Muslims shoot children in the back. No Muslim outrage.
** Newspapers in Denmark and Norway publish cartoons depicting Mohammed. Muslims are outraged.
Fair-minded people, especially moderate Muslims who are also victims of this extremism, must stand up to the insanity. For this violent behavior isn't Islam - it is fascism disguised as religion and has no place in the modern world.
Monday, February 06, 2006
According to the Salt Lake Tribune
, the hillbilly's who run the city of Kanab, Utah passed a nonbinding resolution
- drafted by the conservative Sutherland Institute - that calls marriage between a man and woman "ordained of God" and urges homes to be open to a "full quiver of children." It also encourages young women to become "wives, homemakers and mothers" and young men to grow into "husbands, home builders and fathers.
This has excited local yahoos, who want the town to be known as homophobic:
"Thank God for a community that doesn't think it has to be 'gay-friendly. We don't mean to be mean-spirited," says the Rev. Doug Hounshell, pastor of Cliffview Chapel Baptist Church in Kanab. "But the message to a homosexual might be that this is probably not the friendliest town for that type of thing."
Not that many of you were planning to visit Utah with your "quiver" of children. But if you are considering a vacation here, maybe you should think about a change in plans. It is a shame that an area so full of natural beauty, could be filled by such unnatural ugliness and hate from a few local politicians that besmirch the name of the town.TO SCREAM AT THE KANE COUNTY TOURISM BOARD CLICK HERE
The Washington Post
has a really good article laying out the stakes and landscape for the midterm elections. It is worth reading:
Not since 1994 has the party in power --in this case the Republicans --faced such a discouraging landscape in a midterm election. President Bush is weaker than he was just a year ago, a majority of voters in recent polls have signaled their desire for a change in direction, and Democrats outpoll Republicans on which party voters think is more capable of handling the country's biggest problems.
Now that we have blasted the extremists in the Middle East, we can focus on the ones at home.
For example, though the U.S. military continues to struggle to meet recruitment goals - and has lowered "moral standards" such that more than 20,000 men and women recruited in 2005 received waivers from standard Army requirements - gay and lesbian soldiers continue to be pushed out of the armed forces. Raw Story
has a good report on this highly disturbing issue that threatens to undermine the U.S. Military.
Of course, this is even more reason to support The Equality Ride
Terrorists and fanatics in the Muslim world are attacking Europeans
and Christians because they are angered at the way Mohammed was portrayed in a Danish newspaper. They say that it is blasphemous and disrespectful of their religious beliefs. However, these hypocrites have long published despicable anti-Jewish cartoons
in Arab papers.
is revolting and mind-boggling. This double standard by Islamic zealots is unacceptable behavior and a threat to free and civil society. We need to stop apologizing and make it clear that we stand for free speech and liberty. Those in the Muslim world who also hold these democratic values are our allies and friends.
However, those who believe it is acceptable behavior to riot, burn and attack people and ideas in which they disagree must be opposed. This problem isn't going away and we must confront it honestly, very aggressively, intelligently and humanely. But, we can no longer bury our heads in the sand and pretend these fanatics
are simply mad because of Israel or U.S. policy. This is a cop out by Anti-Semites maquerading as liberals, duped apologists and the ill-informed.
These rage-filled zealots are angry for one reason: They belong to a nasty sect of Islam that promotes suicide bombing, hatred, intolerance, fanaticism, misogyny and deadly homophobia. This may not be the majority of Muslims, who live lawfully and peaceful lives. But it represents a significant number of Muslims, particularly those who hold power.
You know what I would like to see? A million Muslims holding a candlelight vigil in Beirut to protest the barbaric behavior of those who burned down Danish property. Sadly, I don't think I'll see this outpouring of love and humanity anytime soon.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
(Jacob Reitan, Director)
At military and religious colleges around the nation, bans on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender enrollment force students into closets of fear and self-hate. These bans devalue the life of GLBT people and they slam the door on academic freedom.
The Equality Ride empowers young adults to challenge these college bans. Scheduled to take place in the spring of 2006, the Equality Ride will take 25-30 young adults on a seven-week bus tour to confront numerous religious and/or military colleges that ban the enrollment of GLBT students. At each stop along the journey the members of the Equality Ride will present a powerful case for GLBT equality.Beginning March 5, 2006, the Soulforce Equality Ride will cross the nation, visiting 19 schools from New York to Los Angeles.TO LEARN HOW YOU CAN HELP CLICK HERE
, a high school dropout who friends said glorified Naziism, was shot twice
in the head in a shootout with police Saturday after he fatally shot a Gassville police officer and a woman in his car.