Friday, April 07, 2006
Many of my readers were hoping to catch me speak in the near future. In the next 30-Days I will be in the following locations:April 8
Harvard Law School
Pound Hall, Rm. 102
156 Massachusetts Ave.
-- Panel Discussion: "Is Being Gay A Choice?"
Johns Hopkins University
First Congregational Church
2501 NE 30th St.
Love Welcomes All
If you are interested in booking me for an event, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President Bush was speaking in North Carolina in front of his normal ass kissing crowd, when he took a question from a disgruntled citizen. (You know, the type of person representing 2/3 of America) The exchange is worth checking out.
This rare confrontation came on the heels of a drop in Bush's poll numbers
following the revealation that he leaked classified information in a political effort to bolster his case for war in Iraq. Bush is about two points more popular than Saddam Hussein, and is slightly less competent. Why did it take America so long to figure out that the President is an unmitigated disaster?
A member of Congress says President George W. Bush may have committed a crime
if he authorized the leak of classified information to a reporter. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., said Thursday if Libby's testimony is true, the case goes "much deeper" than the CIA leak.
"The heart and motive of this case is about the deliberate attempt at the highest levels of this administration to discredit those who were publicly revealing that the White House lied about its uranium claims leading up to the war," said Hinchey on his Web site. Hinchey said Bush may have "knowingly lied about uranium to the Congress, which is a crime."
Thursday, April 06, 2006
, 9/30/03:"I don't know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action."
President Bush, 9/30/03:"If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of. . . . I have told our administration, people in my administration to be fully cooperative. I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business."
President Bush, 10/28/03:"I'd like to know if somebody in my White House did leak sensitive information."
President Bush, 6/10/04:Reporter: "Do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?"President Bush: "Yes. And that's up to the U.S. Attorney to find the facts."
President Bush, 10/28/03:"I want to know the truth. ... I have no idea whether we'll find out who the leaker is, partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers."
President Bush, 7/18/05 issue of USA Today: "If someone committed crime, they will no longer work in my administration."
White House Press Secretary, 9/29/03:"The President has set high standards, the highest of standards for people in his administration. He's made it very clear to people in his administration that he expects them to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration."
White House Press Secretary, 10/7/03:"Let me answer what the President has said. I speak for the President and I'll talk to you about what he wants . . .If someone leaked classified information, the President wants to know. If someone in this administration leaked classified information, they will no longer be a part of this administration, because that's not the way this White House operates, that's not the way this President expects people in his administration to conduct their business."
Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide told prosecutors
President Bush authorized the leak of sensitive intelligence information about Iraq, according to court papers filed by prosecutors in the CIA leak case.
Folks, this could spell trouble for the George W. Bush. For his entire presidency, he has been portrayed as the dupe, manipulated by Cheney and Rumsfeld. While this depiction is accurate, today's revelation shows that Bush is also a central figure in some of the possible crimes and immoral behavior tied to his administration.
Scientists doing climate research for the federal government say the Bush administration has made it hard for them to speak forthrightly
to the public about global warming. The result, the researchers say, is a danger that Americans are not getting the full story on how the climate is changing. This includes purging key words from press releases, including "global warming," "warming climate" and "climate change."
"There has been a change in how we're expected to interact with the press," said Pieter Tans, who measures greenhouse gases linked to global warming and has worked at NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder for two decades. He added that although he often "ignores the rules" the administration has instituted, when it comes to his colleagues, "some people feel intimidated -- I see that."
As bad as we think Bush is, he's even worse than we imagine him to be.
A new study
funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development reports that HIV infection rates in Africa were wildly overestimated, with the disease slowing in East Africa and never taking off in West Africa, as predicted.
Scientists have discovered
fossils of a 375-million-year-old fish, a large scaly creature not seen before, that they say is a long-sought missing link in the evolution of some fishes from water to a life walking on four limbs on land.
How long before fundamentalists
call a press conference to say this is God's way of testing their faith and that evolution does not exist? After all, the world is barely more than 3,000 years old, so how can a 375-million old fossil exist? Maybe it is the modern version of an exaggerated fish tale?
Media Matters revealed that big mouth bully Bill O'Reilly claimed
that if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) were to become president, "the first thing [Osama] bin Laden and his killers are gonna do is say, 'Oh yeah, this is good,' " because they would consider Clinton "weak" enough that they could "test her." O'Reilly contrasted Clinton -- who he claimed would be "in a very difficult position" that may cause her to "overreact to prove herself" -- with former Republican New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), whom O'Reilly described as "tough guys" and "street fighters."
Folks, this is just plain disgusting and abominable. It is Exhibit A showing how conservatives have hurt this nation by smearing opponents and falsely claiming the mantle of national security. It is especially appalling coming from a wimp, phony like Bill O'Reilly. The biggest battle this creep ever saw was fending off a lawsuit
by a staffer he allegedly sexually harassed.Media Matters
, also reports on an April 5 Washington Post editorial asserted that Rep. Tom DeLay's (R-TX) departure from Congress will make it "much tougher for Democrats to flog their 'culture of corruption' message," offering only a quote from DeLay in support of the assertion -- but a Post article published the same day quoted a Democratic leader saying the opposite. The editorial then went on to undermine its own argument by noting that the political culture fostered by DeLay -- rather than the man himself -- represented the Republicans' "real problem."
Media Matters is right on the mark. The GOP's leadership is rotten to the core. Sure, DeLay was the symbol of such scumbaggery, but he is just the tip of the iceberg. There is still the Valerie Plame affair and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramhoff may be handing over a list of names to the FBI. The bottom line is, GOP corruption remains a potent issue and may yet be responsible for the Republican's losing their congressional majority.
The blog "Children of Faith
" found an interesting story. Some Indiana residents thought they were getting a good deal on a flat screen television, but what they purchased turned out to be an oven door! Investigators in South Bend said there has been a rash of oven door thefts recently, and now they know why.
I bet Tom DeLay and Jack Abramhoff wish they would have thought of this...
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Finally, the GLBT community has a likely presidential candidate that will not treat us as second class citizens. Russ Feingold
, D-Wisc., has endorsed marriage
equality and we should support him in the presidential primaries, if he runs.
Not only is he great on this issue, but he had the courage to attempt to censure
George W. Bush. For so long, progressives have been complaining about not finding a Democrat with guts (not to mention other body parts). Well, we finally do have someone we can support. This is an excellent opportunity to show our power and influence and prove that supporting marriage equality is a wise political move that leads to electoral success.
Andrew Sullivan's blog has a fascinating letter
from a young man who is disgusted by gay culture. He is angry that the older gay generation is nostalgic for their symbols and sometimes debaucherous hangouts. Sullivan, does a good job addressing the writer by explaining to him that we are in a period of transition.
"While we can and should strive to move on, we need not be excessively judgmental about those in the past or present whose pace of adjustment is not so swift," Sullivan said.
According to Reuters, the Bible Belt
is the new hub of child sex tourism. Indeed, half of the street-level prostitutes in Atlanta are believed to be under 18. I guess Michael Jackson built his Neverland ranch on the wrong coast.
The pimps even held an annual "Player's Ball" in Atlanta in 2003, openly buying and selling women and naming a "Player of the Year," according to the Atlanta Women's Agenda study. One reason for the demand is the false assumption that youths are disease-free. Maybe this is the right wing's answer to condoms?
Folks, this is an awful situation and must be cleaned up to protect innocent and vulnerable children. It is amazing that this is going on in the Bible Belt, but it seems they spend so much time complaining about the morals of Massachusetts, that they missed the sex ring under their own noses.
I know it is absolutely unbelievable, but the town of Crystal Lake was in a row over hosting a Gay Games
rowing event. This week, the issue was put to rest after the city council
wisely voted 6-1 to allow the race.
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."
Well, the queers are coming to row. Surely, this is the end of civilization.
For the gay community, foreign affairs used to mean an exotic one-night stand with a hottie from a foreign land? Today, however, gay and lesbian people are increasingly subjected to horrifying images of their brothers and sisters getting maimed and murdered overseas. Sure, we always knew such abuses occurred, but we weren't actually confronted with them. However, as the world shrinks, it is harder to get lost in our myopia, while the anti-gay dystopia is beamed into our daily lives.
Technology is the impetus behind this new reality and it offers us perverse irony: The more advanced we become, the more we are exposed to the barbarism of the backwards
. With the click of a mouse, we can now see grisly and gruesome images
of people guilty of nothing more than being gay.
By far, the most unnerving aspect is that these helpless victims look like our partners and friends. It is easy to see ourselves hanging from the noose in Iran, beheaded in Saudi Arabia
or caged like an animal after a bar raid in Egypt
. With the warp-speed of the Internet, the "other" becomes us in real time.
Like all hate crimes
, the damage extends far beyond the actual victims. Informed and aware gay people worldwide carry psychological scars from these international human rights abuses, whether they realize it or not. First, comes profound sadness for the victims and the twinge of guilt for being born in the "right" country. Second, there is the frustration and outrage that there is little we can do as individuals to help. Third, comes helplessness and despondency when our government remains silent in the face of anti-gay pogroms. The message sent is unmistakably clear: The lives of gay people are worth less than the lives of others.
Consider that the State Department did absolutely nothing after Shiite Iraqi leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
, issued a fatwa calling for the brutal execution of homosexuals. The "moderate" leader said that homosexuals should be, "Punished, in fact killed. The people involved should be killed in the worst, most severe way of killing."
Awareness of such atrocities can also cause disillusionment, withdrawal and isolation from the national debate on foreign policy. For example, part of the ever revolving and evolving case made by Bush for spending up to one trillion dollars to oust Saddam Hussein was that he was an evil tyrant who killed his own people. But if you are gay, the Grand Ayatollah is also a tyrant that is killing his own people. Forgive me if I'm having trouble distinguishing between the sadism of Saddam and al-Sistani. (Women's rights are also in jeopardy as fundamentalist Shiites push for Sharia, or Islamic law).
In Afghanistan, a nation where a person can be killed for switching religions, what do you think the chances are of a gay bar opening up in Kabul anytime soon? How can a gay taxpayer or soldier celebrate such empty "liberation" and "democracy"?
Unspeakable cruelty is not limited to the usual suspects though, as it encompasses a virtual intercontinental array of abusive nations. In Moscow
, Mayor Yuri Lukzhov is trying to ban Gay Pride, scheduled for May 27. It is unclear if the police will be ordered to beat and imprison those who defy his fascist order to prohibit GLBT people from peacefully assembling. Similar Gay Pride controversies took place last year in Poland
, there is a proposed bill that would introduce criminal penalties for relationships and marriage ceremonies between persons of the same sex as well as for public advocacy or associations supporting gay rights. If this law passes, Nigeria will cease being a free country in any way, shape or form.
In Nepal, Human Rights Watch reports that a "sexual cleansing"
drive is underway in Kathmandu with mass arrests being made of gay and transgender people.
, the nation's leading presidential candidate, Ollanta Humala
, is having trouble explaining why his family says they plan to have a popular bisexual talk show host shot for immorality if their son wins his election on Sunday.
Sadly, in January the United States backed an Iranian initiative
to deny United Nations consultative status to organizations working to protect the rights of gay people. But as the world shrinks, it will be increasingly difficult for free nations to shrink from their responsibility to uphold a basic standard of human rights.
The "gay exception" to the rule of law has to end, and offending nations must be severely penalized for their atrocities. We can no longer allow these countries to hide behind the transparent veil of religion or culture. The civilized world has to stand up and call this often-psychotic behavior for what it truly is: Cold blooded, state sanctioned murder.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
For some reason, the White House thinks that Bush is charming. With his poll numbers becoming a joke, they have instructed him to try his hand at comedy
. Bush is now a slapstick act, which fits his slapdash policies. Memo to the white House: We don't need a new routine, we need a new president.
Republican Rep. Tom DeLay, perhaps the sleaziest Majority Leader in modern times, quit his race
for reelection to the House of Representatives under a cloud of scandal and stench. Tied to imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramhoff and guilty of a number of other ethics violations, it was only a matter of time before reality caught up to him. The final straw came last week when Tony Rudy, his former deputy chief of staff, pleaded guilty to scumbaggery charges.
What is really pathetic about this whole mess is how fundamentalist Christians rallied behind DeLay and seemed not to care one bit that he had sullied the House and soiled America. Like usual, they ignored evidence and blindly backed a corrupt hypocrite. Why do those who talk the most about morals consistently support the most crooked politicians?
So much for the "Republican Revolution" of 1994 that sailed into office with empty promises to clean up Washington. It is time for the GOP to admit that its rule has been an experiment that has miserably failed. Instead of fixing DC, the moralists and scolds have turned it into a cesspool of slime. Conservative voters can finally show their wonderful values by having the courage to join the rest of America and vote these bums out of office.
Finally, DeLay was elected because he trumpeted his Neo-Puritan "world view." How deliciously ironic that his world view may ultimately be from behind bars, looking out over a prison yard.
In one of the greatest performances in Final Four history, my Florida Gators trounced the UCLA Bruins 73-57. It was a dunk-fest with center Joakim Noah and Corey Brewer taking control of the game from the tip-off.
This was the first national championship in Florida history. Today, I celebrate with millions of other people in my home state. GO GATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, April 03, 2006
By Chris Lamparello
In a speech given at the University of Freiburg in Switzerland, Judge Antonin Scalia said, "It's absolutely clear that nobody ever thought when the Bill of Rights was adopted that it gave a right to homosexual conduct. Homosexual conduct was criminal for 200 years in every state. Easy question."
The judge is right that it's an easy question, but his insight ends there. Yes, "sodomy" was illegal when the constitution was written. But there's a glaring difference between then and now: sexual orientation was an unknown thing back then. Everyone was thought to be heterosexual.
Fast forward 200 years. (Yep, over 200 years has passed, Judge.) We now know that people who fall in love with members of their own sex exist as a class. This changes the entire debate, and dramatically so! But some people, Judge Scalia among them, don't want to acknowledge this change. The idea that the principles behind the constitution are as worthwhile as the constitution itself are lost on him.
In the Lawrence v. Texas case (why do these things always happen in Texas?) the police, with their flashlights blazing, went into the bedroom of a gay male couple. They ordered the men out of bed, told them to get dressed, handcuffed them and took them to jail.
That's what Judge Scalia's vision of America is. Is it any wonder that even George W. Bush passed him over for the job of Chief Justice? I shudder when I imagine the possibility that Scalia could have been born 50 years earlier. What would he have thought about segregation, for example? After all, 200 years ago, blacks were considered property, and in every state, too!
Judge Scalia took the unusual step of reading his Lawrence dissent from the bench. One of the more interesting things he said was that he "had nothing against homosexuals." I'm glad he cleared that one up. As for me, when it comes to homophobia, I know it when I see it.