Friday, March 24, 2006
As debate over the issue flares in several states, a major adoption institute says in a new report
that it strongly supports the rights of gays and lesbians to adopt, and urges that remaining obstacles be removed.
"Laws and policies that preclude adoption by gay or lesbian parents disadvantage the tens of thousands of children mired in the foster care system who need permanent, loving homes," the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute says in the report to be issued Friday.
Like most bullies, the "ex-gay" group Exodus International backed down
when a blogger shoved back against its threat of launching a frivolous lawsuit. The tussle was over a parody by Justin Watt on his blog JustinMania
. The blogger says he exercised free speech when he made fun of the dumbass Exodus billboard, which said, "Gay? Unhappy? www.Exodus.to
." Watt re-created the billboard on his site so it read, "Straight? Unhappy? www.gay.com."
Watt enlisted the help of the ACLU and the minute the cowardly lawyers of Exodus knew they could not intimidate and harass Watt without a fight, they tucked tail and ran. Apparently their empty threats were as phony as the lives of the clients they represent.
Make no mistake about it, the controversy over the UAE controlling
key American ports is far from over. The Bush administration and some key members of Congress, such as Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., are conducting a public relations campaign to keep the door open to Dubai ownership.
The latest word in support of the deal came from Homeland Security dunce Michael Chertoff.
"We could (have) actually built in some additional assurances, which would have given us more security in the wake of the deal than we had before the deal," Chertoff said. "The oddity of this, the irony of this, is that had the deal gone forward, we would have had greater ability to impose a security regime worldwide on the company than we have now."
It is time for the Bush Administration to stop beating this dead Arabian horse. The American people don't want this deal.
The judge presiding over the prosecution of an Afghan man facing death for converting from Islam to Christianity said Thursday that
he would resist any interference, despite mounting international condemnation.
What a nice way to celebrate freedom. And exactly what is the difference between the Taliban and the new government?
(Falwell: The Sin of Gluttony)
If you read one article this week, make it the chilling New York Times
Magazine's feature on Liberty University's debate team. For those who don't know, this is Rev. Jerry Falwell's university. The article teaches us that Falwell's father was a rum-running criminal and his son is even more conservative than he is. Sounds like a lovely family.
Most important, it shows us how we have our work cut out for us. Liberty is one of the top debating schools in the nation. On campus, they teach their doe-eyed students the art of obfuscating and dissembling for Christ.
Unfortunately, these are the same young zealous fools who would have blindly defended Falwell in court in the 1950's when he was a huge proponent of segregation. Morally cocksure and pious, these fast-talking students would have blissfully argued that racist bigotry is a Biblical mandate.
Falwell had to give up racism when it became too unpopular. But, homophobia - at least in Lynchburg - is still in vogue. So, he is training these debaters to lie for the Lord and misrepresent gay life. It is quite sad that these talented young students are wasting their skills and promise on such a spiteful and mean-spirited crusade that will lead to ultimate defeat.
For the second time Viroqua High School has cancelled Diversity Day
after conservative Christians balked at the inclusion of gay speakers. They unleashed their attack lawyers and threatened to launch another legal challenge. Of course, the school had no spine and caved in to extremism. I may expand on this in next week's column.
These right wing groups are lawsuit happy and are bogging down the legal system with frivolous lawsuits and corrupting the system with baseless threats. It is time they stopped abusing the legal profession. Or, they can have the balls to go after someone like me, who will turn their ex-gay charade into a humiliating and embarrassing freak show on the witness stand.
I can only imagine the sex scandals to be uncovered if we were to subpoena witnesses. I salivate at the thought.
Nearly 2,000 people demonstrated on Thursday at the Minnesota Capitol against a proposed amendment that would prevent same-sex couples from marrying.People do not choose their gender, color or sexual orientation, Rabbi Aaron Brusso co-chair of the Minnesota Rabbinical Association said.
"It does not matter if you are born a slave; a human being should be free. It does not matter if you are a woman; a human being should vote. It does not matter if you are black; a human being should be a citizen," said Brusso. "By what right does it say that if you are born a gay or lesbian, you are not a human being?"
I'm just kidding, of course. But based on Bush's explanation of our invasion of Iraq, we should be sending in troops
to Minsk. After all, Alexander Lukashenko is an anti-democratic tyrant that has denied his people freedom.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
In Afghanistan, Islam is like the mob - once you're in, you can never get out.
One man, Abdur Rahman, may face the death penalty
because it was revealed he converted to Christianity several years ago. The prosecutor in the case called him "a microbe" who "should be killed." Well, at least we know where the prosecution stands and we can certainly expect a well reasoned case.
Of course, the right wing in America is up in arms, as they should be. But, for the record, they don't seem to mind when gay people are being executed in Iraq, as they are eachday. As I have argued many times - if a place does not respect its gay citizens - it is bacwards and everyone is at risk. Places that murder gay people will also not think twice about executing religious minorities. That is just the universal law of barbarism.
Finally, after the hundreds of billions (some say trillions) that we have spent in the Mid East - is this what we get for our money? Did we shed so much treasure and blood just to see gays and Christians get whacked by "democracies?" As we continue to dump money into these ratholes, it is a question well worth examining.
Bosses at a Stockholm hospital have asked a nurse called Jesus to change his name
, after concerns that it might cause confusion among patients. According to Jesus, an auxiliary nurse at Huddinge hospital, his superiors were worried that patients told "Jesus will be coming soon ," might get the wrong idea.
"If they thought that Jesus was coming they might believe that they were already dead," the nurse told The Local.
Tennessee state representative Debra Young Maggart
, a Republican from Hendersonville, said most homosexual couples are unfit to parent, and that those couples have "numerous emotional dysfunctions and psychological issues."
"We also have seen evidence that homosexual couples prey on young males and have in some instances adopted them in order to have unfretted access to subject them to a life of molestation and sexual abuse," she said in a letter. "Some of the evidence we were presented showed that lesbian and gaycouples have a higher rate of breaking up than heterosexual coupes as well as higher rates of promiscuity outside of their relationships."
The so-called evidence came from hate group Focus on the Family,which meant it was either discredited or lacked context. Focus has long manipulated research to fit its anti-gay agenda. Indeed, they have used the work of Paul Cameron who was kicked out of the APA for malpractice. To use such shoddy work is neither moral nor Christian.
In the old days, we could safely assume that most people simply were ignorant and lacked information. But today, with modern communications, people like Maggert who spout such crap are willfully distorting the truth to advance a prehistoric agenda. They have no regard for the facts and will twist reality and hurt people with no conscience. This is simply depravity in the veil of values. It is sad that some people will do and say anything to maintain a belief system that is rotten to the core.
The public backlash over gay marriage has receded since a controversial decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 2003 to legalize those marriages stirred strong opposition, says a poll
Gay marriage remains a divisive issue, with 51 percent opposing it, the poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found. But almost two-thirds, 63 percent, opposed gay marriage in February 2004.
This is an ominous trend for the GOP. With a huge deficit, Detroit losing jobs by the second, a quagmire in Iraq, North Korea and Iran gaining strength on Bush's watch, Hurricane Katrina and the UAE ports fiasco - all the right wing had to campaign on was marriage. If this "wedge issue" is not as divisive as they had planned, they are in deep trouble in the midterm elections.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Religious death squads are killing gays in Iraq, Doug Ireland will report in tomorrow's weekly edition of New York's Gay City News, PageOneQ has learned
"The Badr Corps is committed to the 'sexual cleansing' of Iraq," a 33 year old gay Iraqi exile in London told Ireland. Since the SCIRI's spiritual leader, the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani -- the highest Shia religious authority -- issued a fatwa ordering gays assassinated in "the worst, most severe way of killing," the Badr Corps in Iraq has begun to use the Internet to hunt down and kill Iraqi gays.
Is this why America has shed so much blood in Iraq? So much for liberty and freedom. Compared to the Grand Ayatollah, Saddam Hussein is looking like Harvery Milk. If this is "democratic" Iraq we can look forward to, then troops should be withdrawn immediately.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission thinks they are the Taliban. They raided
a slew of bars arresting patrons for being drunk. They did it under the guise of preventing drunk driving. However, this explanation is questionable considering they busted people drinking at a hotel bar where they were staying.
"Going to a bar is not an opportunity to go get drunk," TABC Capt. David Alexander said. "It's to have a good time but not to get drunk."
That's news to me. When I want to get drunk, a bar usually sounds like a pretty good place to do so.
With right wing conservatives in control of the state, is this a back door attempt at Prohibition? There seems to be no other explanation of why they arrested people at their hotel who had no intention of driving.
A study from the Journal of Research Into Personality reveals that conservative
adults were obnoxious and whiney as children. Anyone who has ever debated these often irrational, stubborn and selfish people knows this to be true.
"In the 1960s Jack Block and his wife and fellow professor Jeanne Block (now deceased) began tracking more than 100 nursery school kids as part of a general study of personality. The kids' personalities were rated at the time by teachers and assistants who had known them for months. There's no reason to think political bias skewed the ratings -- the investigators were not looking at political orientation back then. Even if they had been, it's unlikely that 3-and 4-year-olds would have had much idea about their political leanings.
A few decades later, Block followed up with more surveys, looking again at personality, and this time at politics, too. The whiny kids tended to grow up conservative, and turned into rigid young adults who hewed closely to traditional gender roles and were uncomfortable with ambiguity.
The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-conforming adults with wide interests. The girls were still outgoing, but the young men tended to turn a little introspective."
This is absolutely fascinating stuff. In other words, conservatism stems from childhood issues and can likely be cured through therapy. Interestingly, this is not the first such study to show that right wingers have psychological issues.
Similar work was performed by John T. Jost of Stanford and colleagues in 2003. The researchers reviewed 44 years worth of studies into the psychology of conservatism, and concluded that people who are dogmatic, fearful, intolerant of ambiguity and uncertainty, and who crave order and structure are more likely to gravitate to conservatism. Critics branded it the "conservatives are crazy" study.
Well, if the diagnosis fits...
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
It wasn't a Howard Dean "Scream" moment, but President George W. Bush was combative, testy and somewhat unhinged during his press conference
this afternoon. He bullied the media, continued living in fantasy land, demagogued national security and had anger management issues.
It is clear that this delusional President is on edge and quickly "losing it." I think he would be happier back at the Crawford ranch sweeping tumble weed.
Anyone else see the press conference? Thoughts?
In high school, Jason Page
played baseball, basketball and tennis while dating the captain of the cheerleading squad. He dreamt of becoming a sports broadcaster and following graduation, he began his career announcing minor league baseball games in far-flung places such as North Dakota and rural Maryland.
"In this business, you have to pay your dues, and I was willing to go anywhere to pursue my passion," said Page.
There was only one sacrifice Page wasn't willing to make: Staying in the closet.
At the age of 22, he came out publicly in the macho sports world, where homosexuality is still taboo. Indeed, not a single male athlete participating in a team sport has acknowledged he is gay while still actively playing. Page says the mentality in the broadcast booth is similar to that on the playing field.
"It is like a locker room without the uniforms," Page explained. "I am working every day with young people who come from all different parts of America. Maybe they never met someone who is openly gay. Just by existing I'm educating people and hopefully changing minds."
Like the movie Brokeback Mountain, which challenged the absurd notion that cowboys can't be gay, homosexual athletes and broadcasters also run up against irrational people unwilling to let go of cultural myths.
One just has to look at the bizarre opposition faced by organizers of the Gay Games
, an Olympic-style competition for gay and lesbian athletes that will be held in Chicago, beginning July 15.
On March 6, a suburban Chicago park commission voted 2-2 to ban the Gay Games from hosting a rowing competition at Crystal Lake. The event needed three votes in favor to be approved and one of the commissioners was on vacation.Peter LaBarbera
of the Illinois Family Institute
, a man best known for playing dress-up at gay leather parties under the auspices of "research," helped fan the flames of intolerance. He pressured the commissioners, calling the sporting event the "homosexuality games" and warned that it would lead to nudity and promiscuous behavior. Although, I still can't figure out how one would be lewd or lascivious with both hands firmly attached to rowing paddles? Perhaps, LaBarbera's time "undercover" in S&M porn palaces has fueled an imagination that could conjure up such physical contortions.
"I do not believe the Crystal Lake Park District should be a vehicle for the promotion of an agenda," said Commissioner David Phelps, apparently swayed by LaBarbera
. He was seconded by resident Larry Reyer who told the Chicago Sun-Times, "I do not want these queers coming to my hometown."
Fortunately, the third commissioner came back and overturned the ridiculous and insulting vote. How spectacular a bigot does one have to be, after all, to virulently oppose a gay athletic event? What next, the Illinois Family Institute will propose separate swimming pools?
While the right is getting more fringe and shrill, corporate America is on-board and paying the bills. The Gay Games has 179 sponsors, compared to a mere 50 during the last Gay Games in Sydney, Australia. This includes corporate heavyweights such as Kraft, Walgreen's and Harris Bank.
"Times have changed in corporate America since 1994, the last time the Gay Games were in The United States," said Gay Games Vice Co-Chair Kevin Boyer.
What threatens the right wing most, however, is the 12,000 athletes that are expected at the opening ceremonies in Soldier Field. Their entire anti-gay industrial complex is fueled by stereotypes and lies about gay men and lesbians. Indeed, a central tenet to their "cure" for homosexuality is, you guessed it, playing sports. A sea of serious, committed and talented gay athletes not only challenges erroneous assumptions, but it also makes the theories of the far right look every bit as ridiculous as they truly are.
Still, Jason Page looks at his own story and says we have a long way to go before we overcome prejudice in the sports world.
"I'll never forget it," he wistfully recalls. "I walked into the locker room of a minor league team I worked for and one of the athletes screamed, 'fag in the locker room.' I still deal with people who tell stupid jokes or say inappropriate things, and I often challenge them on it."
Today, Page, 28, hosts "The Desk" an interview sports show on Sirius Sports 123, a station on the satellite radio network. He struggles with the unglamorous overnight shift and he often thinks about what his life would have been like if he had remained closeted.
"Look, there is no substitute for being open and honest. Yet, there is also no substitute for doing something you love. I hope I can remain out of the closet and also be successful in this business. Some days I still have my doubts. I just do my best and try to remain positive. But I'd be lying if I said it were easy."Jason Page Can Be Contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Matters reports that
Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and host of the daily Christian radio show The Albert Mohler Program, defended Pat Robertson's recent claim that Muslims are "motivated by demonic power," and expanded on Robertson's comments, saying:
"Well, I would have to say as a Christian that I believe any belief system, any world view, whether it's Zen Buddhism or Hinduism or dialectical materialism for that matter, Marxism, that keeps persons captive and keeps them from coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, yes, is a demonstration of satanic power."
When it comes to Bush's presidency, if the duck were any more lame, it would have bird flu. According to an article in today's Washington Post
Three years of upbeat White House assessments about Iraq that turned out to be premature, incomplete or plain wrong are complicating President Bush's efforts to restore public faith in the military operation and his presidency, according to pollsters and Republican lawmakers and strategists.
The article goes on to point out that Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday that his 10-month-old claim that the insurgency was in its "last throes" was "basically accurate" and reflects reality.
Bush and Cheney are looking more farcical by the moment. The hard truth is, most Republicans, in their private moments, know that this Administration can't be trusted and lives in a state of altered reality.
In today's Washington Post
, columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr. bemoans the fact that moderate Republicans are disappearing and being replaced by right wing ideologues. He says, "The spotted owl is in good shape compared with liberal Republicans." He also takes the "conservatives" to task for lousy government produced by pig-headed politicians appeasing the far right:
"Why does the decline and fall of liberal Republicanism matter?...it turns out that a Republican Party dominated by conservatives is no more coherent than the party that left room for progressives. The huge budget deficit is conservatism's Waterloo, testimony to its political failure. The conservatives love to cut taxes but can't square their lust for tax reduction with plausible spending cuts. Oh, yes, a group of House conservatives has a paper plan involving deep program cuts, but other conservatives know that these cuts will not pass, and shouldn't.
Paradoxically, because the liberal Republicans didn't pretend to hate government, they were better at fiscal responsibility. They were willing to match their desired spending levels with the taxes to pay for them. It didn't make for exciting, to-the-barricades politics. It merely produced good government.
It is true that modern conservatism stands for nothing except corporate welfare, incompetence and pandering to religious extremists. This has not led to responsible government and the Bush Era is a monument to such failure.
Monday, March 20, 2006
In response to the Soul Force Equality Ride, which is challenging bigotry at religious colleges across America, the American Family Association launched a fierce attack
. AFA founder Donald Wildmon, a known liar
, spewed myths about the income of gay people (much like the Nazi's used to do against Jews) and misrepresented gay life.-- Please download NGLTF's study, "Income Inflation: The Myth of Affluence Among Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Americans. Scroll down the page to find it.--
Folks, listen to the radio clip recorded by Media Matters
, to hear unadulterated hate and ignorance by the redneck radio host.
There is an effort to find common ground between thinking people and fundamentalists in public school debates on homosexuality. While I applaud this noble effort, there is one problem that can't be so easily resolved: Our side stands for inclusion, and the right wing stands for exclusion. The two goals are not compatible.
In USA Today
, an op-ed appeared by Charles C. Haynes, the co-author of Finding Common Ground: A Guide to Religious Liberty in Public Schools. It is worth reading to get a handle on what is going on.
I do think he misses the point that there is not a true culture war. You have one side that wants children to be respected and not bullied or discriminated against. And, on the other side, you have Neo-Puritans who have unilaterally declared war on these innocent, well-meaning people. Portraying both sides as morally equivalent is flat out wrong and does a disservice to the many brave young men and women who have stood up and demanded an education free of intimidation and violence.
A bipartisan group of six federal lawmakers issued a strongly worded
letter Thursday to the United Arab Emirates government to denounce the jail sentences given to 11 men recently convicted of homosexuality. The letter, organized by openly gay Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., followed one that conveyed similar concerns in December, after 26 men were arrested in Abu Dhabi at what authorities described as a "gay wedding."
There is also Internet chatter
that Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani of Iraq has issued a death fatwa
against lesbian and gay people. In a question and answer section of his website, he allegedly calls for the killing of homosexuals in the "worst, most severe way." Let us hope that such claims are greatly exaggerated. If they are not, then it appears that gay people were actually better off
under Saddam Hussein. How sick is that?
You know what is scary? The Grand Ayatollah and UAE are actually considered the moderates in the region. If that is not reason to gain energy independence, I don't know what is.
At the very moment Bush and Cheney were touting unqualified success in Iraq, former interim Prime Minister painted a terrifying portrait
of the situation on the ground.
"It is unfortunate that we are in civil war," said Mr. Allawi, who served as prime minister after the American invasion and now leads a 25-seat secular alliance of representatives in Iraq's 275-seat National Assembly. "We are losing each day, as an average, 50 to 60 people through the country, if not more. If this is not civil war," he said, "then God knows what civil war is."
The Bush administration is in serious denial. Things are not going well and they seem to be spiraling out of control. If you are going to start a superfluous war of choice, at least be competent. At every turn, they have screwed things up and their plans have backfired. As Bush and Cheney celebrate four years of this disastrous war, there appears to be no end in sight.
As the Iraqi insurgency intensified in early 2004, an elite Special Operations forces unit converted one of Saddam Hussein's former military bases near Baghdad into a top-secret detention center. There, American soldiers made one of the former Iraqi government's torture chambers into their own interrogation cell. They named it the Black Room
. Here, prisoners were beaten and shot with paint pellets.
Ever feel like you went to bed and woke up in Bush's America - an entirely new country where there are no rules? The revelations keep getting worse, and yet, no one takes responsibility at the highest levels of government. There is no sense of morality or personal responsibility. This administration has disgraced this nation and filled us with international shame ans sorrow. And, the bad news is, the nightmare will last for almost three more years.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
In Today's New York Times
, Paul D. Eaton, a retired major general in charge of training the Iraqi military from 2003-04, called for Donald Rumsfeld's head
"...Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is not competent to lead our armed forces. First, his failure to build coalitions with our allies from what he dismissively called "old Europe" has imposed far greater demands and risks on our soldiers in Iraq than necessary. Second, he alienated his allies in our own military, ignoring the advice of seasoned officers and denying subordinates any chance for input.
In sum, he has shown himself incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically, and is far more than anyone else responsible for what has happened to our important mission in Iraq. Mr. Rumsfeld must step down.
That about sums up my opinion. There is not much more I can add, except that Rummy is a jerk.
On CBS "Face the Nation," Dick Cheney said
that he planned to stick around for Bush's entire term. At least this will limit his ability to get to the hunting grounds.
"This is also spring break in Iraq. Did you know that? It's just like here: half the people are getting bombed the other half are getting stoned."
What proportion of homophobic men get sexually aroused when shown gay porn? To find out CLICK HERE
The American Family Association's Don Wildmon probably gets a tiny, little woody at the very thought of Jeff Stryker