An Online Magazine in the Reality-Based Community.

Moving post from House Blend comments about the Denny's discrimination case

Saturday, April 30, 2005

I wanted to post one of the comments from an earlier thread, "Denny's at it again: FL men sue after being called 'bin Ladens'". The writer intimates that he's one of the seven men of Middle Eastern descent involved in the discrimination case (they were refused service, and, when they spoke to the manager were told "we don't serve bin Ladens here." While I can't confirm that this comment is from one of the gentleman (he left no email address for me to contact him), it's moving and deserves to be shared.
I would like to thank you for your comments on your website.

If I may say that people like you that encouraged us to come to this country and give us the emotional support in our fight to educate the American public about the American core values that they either forgot or chose to forget.

I have chosen you to be the first to receive a personal response since the headlines.

Let me also tell you, for those that elected to fill their hearts with hate, you can not put out fire with same. Those that compared us with Usama Bin Laden are living their own lies. And for those who lost loved ones on 9/11/2001 I say, I feel your pain, am as sad and angry as you are, I wish it never happened and a wish I could have stopped it… but you must also know that I didn’t do it nor did millions of Arabs and Muslims that suffered dearly to live in this country. Those honest, hard working families live here because they share your values and oppose the terrorist.

If I may also add, we have suffered more from them than you will ever know. It’s only recently that you knew what terror is, we lived it, we lost our loved ones on their hands long before you did, and know we continue to be blamed for their actions even though we hate them more than you do.

My wife is a white American 3rd generation Florida born and raised; she is the most honest, loving, caring person I ever met. She doesn’t see me as foreigner, nor does she blame me for 9/11. We accepted each other as hundreds of our friends, neighbors and family accepted our marriage.

It’s also important to note that my heart bleeds for those who lost loved ones on 9/11 and those who lost their lives in retaliation.

I also need to ask them some questions:

What happened to America’s Freedom?
What happened to Americans justice?
What happened to America’s tolerance?
What happened to America’s Values?

We offered you love, you are rejecting it. May god help you if need love, and there is no love to be given.
We love this country and we will defend our image, we are as Americans as it gets!

Going back to the discrimination issue, you might agree with me that physical damage heals fast, but emotional damage lasts a lifetime. We are determined to educate Americans about our mutual values and love for this country as much as we are determined to win this case.

The spread of HIV and the 'down low'

There is a lot of controversy as to whether the rapid spread of HIV among black women is due to black men that are on the 'down low'. The term loosely describes men sleeping with men, having unprotected sex but do not consider themselves to be gay, often simultaneously engaged in long-term relationships with unsuspecting women. The San Francisco Chronicle has a series on the various aspects of a problem that no one can agree how to identify, let alone stop. "Secret encounters of bisexual black men could be creating wave of infected women", by Jason B. Johnson, is the first piece out.
At a time when black women are being diagnosed with HIV at a rate 20 times that of white women, five CDC studies will be among the first to try to learn how many white, black, Asian and Latino men fit the down-low profile; identify how, if at all, being on the down low differs from being "in the closet," and determine whether down-low men have a role in infecting women with HIV.

Most black women with HIV say they were infected through heterosexual contact, but it isn't known how their male partners were infected -- by sex with other men, or by using contaminated needles to inject drugs.

"We need to take a step back when we look at the down-low phenomenon," said Gregg Millett, a behavioral scientist with the CDC division on HIV/AIDS. "There's very little that is known."

...In 2001, the CDC issued a report citing rising rates of HIV and AIDS among gay black and Latino men. The agency then found signs the disease was spreading more broadly among male and female blacks:

-- In 2002, African Americans accounted for more than half of new HIV cases reported in the United States, though they are only 13 percent of the population.

-- In 2003, African American men accounted for 44 percent of new AIDS cases among all men.

-- In 2003, African American women accounted for two-thirds of new AIDS cases among all women. White women accounted for 15 percent and Latinas 16 percent.

-- The rate of HIV and AIDS was 58.2 cases per 100,000 black women, and only 2.9 per 100,000 white women. The rate for Latinas was 8.1 per 100,000.

-- The leading cause of HIV infection among African American women in 2002 was heterosexual contact, followed by injection drug use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Read the eye-opening article on this complicated subject.

Two for one wingnut madness from Agape Press

The American Family Association fundamentalist propaganda organ Agape Press is a wonderful source for wingnuttery. Two stories are up today that are enough to make your stomach turn.

First is about the bigot Colorado Repug Congresswoman and sponsor of FMA Marilyn Musgrave. Apparently she's got an award by some bible beating organization.
The House sponsor of a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex "marriage" has been honored by the D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship....Marilyn Musgrave received the 2005 Distinguished Christian Statesman Award just hours after telling President Bush in a White House visit that the American people "care about marriage," and "they care about the sanctity of human life." Musgrave says she came to the ceremony after helping to pass the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, a bill making it illegal to dodge parental consent laws by taking minors out of state for an abortion. "We are living in times when good is called evil, and evil is called good for some people," the congresswoman remarked. Musgrave also helped defeat a Democratic amendment to the legislation that would have exempted ministers who help young girls get abortions.
Next, it's back to 'Bama, my wife's home state and the holy roller crowd of possible gubenatorial candidate and former Chief Justice Roy Moore. The Ten Commandments road show is stopping by his home church in Gadsden. Kate's mother's side of the family is from that town.

I wasn't kidding when I said the NC wingnuts are sick

Commissioners Jennifer Roberts and Parks Helms want to bring Mecklenburg County into the 21st century by supporting anti-discrimination laws that include gays and lesbians and add domestic partner benefits. There's a battle ahead of them that includes combatting a level of ignorance that is not to be believed.

[UPDATE (Sat 10PM): Welcome, AMERICABloggers. Thanks for stopping by to see the insanity of this low-life elected official. I've added more letters to and from the Commissioner]

Holy sh*t (pun intended). When I posted a few days ago that members of the Mecklenburg County Commission said they would advocate for domestic partner benefits, Commissioners Parks Helms and Jennifer Roberts expected a firestorm from the bible-beating, homo-hating Right. The county, which includes Charlotte, has a number of large companies in the area that do offer domestic partner benefits, but it hey didn't have to wait long to find out what the wingnuts thought of the county taking that action...

Bill James, a Repug (of course), is serving his third two-year term on the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners, representing District 6. This redneck bumf*ck is in desperate need of therapy, and I would add, a bit more literacy, sex ed and access to factual information. His obsession with real or perceived sex acts is, well, insane. Note the preoccupation with male sexuality...

Bill James - one of the ignorant faces of hate and bigotry in NC.

From: Commissioner Bill James
To: =emails deleted=
Sent: Friday, April 29, 2005 8:56 AM
Subject: Perversity is not diversity

You really think that a pool of people (homosexuals) where 45% of them eat feces from the rear end of another male is "normal"? If you do, you are frankly nuts.

A lifestyle where one of their past times is buying gerbils and hamsters from the pet store and cramming them up their rears in an activity called feltching? A group of people who like to urinate on their partners and call them "golden showers"? Where one of the honored members of the Gay Alliance is an organization called the "Man-Boy Love Association" that promotes sex with underage boys?

That behavior is worthy of protection? That behavior is worthy to be taught in our schools? to our children? You are one sick "Independent, white, married-heterosexual, presbyterian" if you do.

The stat's below are unimpeachable. I intend on talking about each and every one of these "behaviors" if this sorted subject comes up. I am lining up speakers including Doctors and Nurses to talk about these in gruesome detail. And these are the behaviors that Parks Helms wants to "insure"?

Attached is a wav file with a Charlotte news account of one of those "feltching" accounts gone wrong. I will play it from the BOCC dais if this comes up.

This attached account stars Robert D. Raiford in a real news account when he read the news from a local radio show in Charlotte . He now plays in County funded show "The Mecklenburgers".

This and more is summarized at the attached web page.

In a 1994 survey of 2,500 homosexual men in The Advocate (a national homosexual magazine). The results were published in the August 23, 1994 issue are as follows (warning again - this material is explicit):

Sex acts homosexual men say they love:

Insertive oral intercourse 72%
Receptive oral intercourse 71%
Insertive anal intercourse 46%
Receptive anal intercourse 43%
Receptive anilingus (tongue in the anus) 45%
Insertive anilingus 29%
Sex acts they engaged in (last five years):

Three-way sex 48%
Group sex (four or more) 24%
Bondage & discipline sex 20%
Use of nipple clamps 19%
Sadomasochism 10%
Where they met their "partners" (last five years):

Bar/disco 65%
Bathhouse, sex club 29%
Adult bookstore 27%
Park, bathroom 26%
Roadside rest area 15%
Most (57%) report having had more than 30 partners over their lifetime, and about a third (35%) report more than 100 partners.

About one quarter (26%) of HIV-positive men who have had insertive oral intercourse have had sex in another man’s mouth, most typically with someone they have just met.

Among men who have had insertive anal intercourse in the past year, 44% had sex with a partner without a condom. Among those who had receptive anal intercourse in the past year, 58% had a partner who had sex with them without a condom.

Among HIV-infected men who have had insertive anal intercourse in the past year, 19% had sex without wearing a condom. They most typically did this with long-term partners or with men with whom they had a purely sexual encounter rather than within the context of a relationship.

Anilingus (tongue on or in the anus) is fairly common:

41% have performed it in the past year, and 47% have received it.
When engaging in insertive and receptive anilingus, only 4% to 5%, respectively, have used dental dams to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Among men who had had a positive result from an HIV antibody test, 11% have said or implied that they were HIV-negative in order to have sex.

Another study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in 1972 revealed that 50% of male homosexuals have had over 500 different sexual partners. Other studies show that AIDS victims average 1,100 different sexual partners.

In one study, two homosexual researchers found that 73% of adult male homosexuals had had sex with boys age 19 or younger. 93% report anal sexual relations.

92% report oral/anal sexual activity.
17% report eating and/or rubbing themselves with the feces of their partners.
29% report urinating on or in their partners.
37% report sadomasochism.
42% report "handballing" or "fisting" where the hand or arm is inserted into the rectum of their partner.
32% report bondage.
12% report giving or receiving of enemas for sexual pleasure.
15% report sex with animals.

You know, Republicans want the Democrats to bring it up because they see it finishing off the Democrats next year. The statement I get the most is "if your opponent is self-destructing, let him do it".

Commissioner Bill James
Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners
Matthews, North Carolina
This is out of control bullsh*t. I'm sick of this kind of sex obsession when all we're talking about are civil rights. The only people thinking about sex and orifices in this debate are the far-Right Taliban types that are likely engaging in much of this behavior since they are studying it so hard. It's embarrassing to think the majority of people in his 150,000-population district actually voted for this bastard.

James also made national headlines fairly recently by asserting publicly that urban black children '...could not be taught...' because they are raised in a 'moral sewer' constructed by their parents. He also got a very public smack down on Hannity & Colmes for his extremism. He is a publicity whore.

As the person that passed this on to me said, "The more extreme the Religious Right gets, the more it can help the causes of liberty and justice for all by exposing the hatred and xenophobia that fuels its actions rather than the 'Love One Another' admonition the faith was founded upon. Bill James needs some serious therapy to get to the root of the pain and damage within that causes him to spew this sewage from his own personal moral sewer."

To send emails of support -- here you go:
Parks Helms
Jennifer Roberts


[UPDATE 2: After AMERICABlog picked up this piece, there were a ton of comments over there. I picked a first few. Karl the Idiot posted the letter he sent both over at AB and the comments here. It was a howler...]

Letters to the Commissioner...

Dear Commissioner James,

I do think you didn't go far enough. You recently wrote this:
"You really think that a pool of people (homosexuals) where 45% of them eat feces from the rear end of another male is "normal"? If you do, you are frankly nuts."

But why modify your description of this practice by reference to gender, or, indeed, sexuality? Putting aside the fact that lesbians may also engage in this activity, so might heterosexuals. Heterosexuals may be eating feces from each other's rear ends! This disgusting practice no doubt leads to burdens on the non-feces eating taxpayers in the form of time lost to work owing to feces-eating-related sickness. Let alone the future pain and suffering of Hell reserved for all willing eaters of feces above the age of 2! You need to step up and try to pass a law that would prevent all feces eating, of whatever sort, of whatever sexuality, of whatever combination of genders! You need to step up and investigate the sex lives of all your citizens.

Perhaps a questionnaire would be the way to go. Simply mail something out to everyone in your district that says, "Dear Sir (or Madam): Do you eat feces from your sexual partner's rear end? If so, please be informed that you are in violation of the law."

Yours in Christ,
Karl the Idiot

Dear Commissioner James:

I am male, and lick my female wife's anus and sometimes "felch." Should I turn in my marriage license?

Frank Perry

Commissioner Bill James,

I have never been so astonished by one man's hate as I was by you through your letter. Let me first say that I am a Christian, straight, married and a father of three sons. Second let me say that I hope that they never come in contact with a man who suffers from your lack of character, compassion and intelligence. The study you site is bogus. But you know that. The hate and lies you spread can only be result of your own fear and insecurity.

My God said that the greatest of his gifts was love, he did not stipulate. Please open you heart and you mind to others.

Short of that, I have included your letter below so that you may ingest your own feces. It is the least you could do, to truly taste the shit you are asking others to eat.


Dear Commissioner James:

Do you sodomize your wife?

Dear Commisar James,

Your rather bizarre catalog of various sexual acts does make at least one thing perfectly clear. You seem to have a rather unusual preoccupation with other people's sexual behaviour.

Perhaps the important question you should be concentrating on is not one of public policy, but instead to discover why you are so obsessed with male-male sexual behavior.

As a side note please let me assure you that it is Americans such as yourself that really help make the rest of the world think we are a dangerously disturbed society. Living in Germany now I grow tired of trying to explain abberent behavior such as yours to others. In fact I couldn't possibly explain your strange obsession (in your capacity as a public official, no less) with the graphic details of other peoples sexual practices. Can you?

alles gut

Dresden, Germany
Dear Commissoner James,

I applaud you for your courage in taking a stand against the evil practices of certain segments of the population who feel it is necessary to harm small rodents in the act of gaining sexual gratification. We here at the Animal Liberation Front stand shoulder to shoulder with you against the evil Buddhist, Richard Gere. We are filled to the rim with pride. Now if you will excuse me, I must get back to the wonderful rim job your wife is doing by tounging my rectum.

Dear Commissioner James,

I read your letter titled "Perversity is not diversity" with great interest. This letter clearly displays your incredible sex knowledge that could only have been gained by long years of extensive in-depth research.

I am also a sex researcher. I am 49 years old, a navy veteran married twice and have been actively researching sex during most of my adult life. Of course, neither my first wife nor my present wife shares my research interest. I'm sure you understand. No proper Christian woman would ever have anything to do with sex. But I digress.

The point of this e-mail is to ask about your research methods and sources. Despite all my years of research, I had never heard of most of the sexual perversions you describe in your letter. It's not that I don't believe you of course. I would never think that an elected official could possibly make this stuff up.

My second-hand research sources over the years include such monthly periodicals as "SWANK," "Hustler," "Swinging Singles," "Hot Horny Housewives," and the esteemed "Sex Kittens and Their Toys." My Internet research has led me to such websites as "Sex Toys," "Honey Suckle," "Hot Black Honeys," "Asian Perversions" and many others. I've even done extensive study with such training videos as "Sex Around The World," "Back Door To Sweden," and of course the classic "The Many Ways of Kama Sutra."

Second-hand research such as it is, I've also engaged in extensive first-hand research interviews. My best sources have come in ribald sailor towns around the world, but I've also found many excellent local sources right here in Mississippi.

Regrettably, I have never met women during my research that knew many of the things your letter describes. I admit, I may have artificially limited my research scope. I've researched man-on-woman sex, woman-on-woman sex and many-women-on-one-man sex, but never man-on-man sex. As I'm not an animal lover, I have also avoided man-on-dog and other interspecies sex. Maybe this is why I've missed all the perversities you describe? It must be true that heterosexual people would never engage in these practices, or else my research would have revealed this by now.

So just where and how did you acquire such in-depth knowledge of sexual perversions? I would greatly appreciate the reference periodicals and websites you have used. Training videos? Could you refer me to the people you have worked with? My present wife won't mind if I interview them, her being a good Christian and all.

This is important work you're doing. There can be no higher calling for a good Christian than preventing other people from engaging in perverse sexual activities. After all, if the Missionary Position was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for all of us.

Please continue you good work.
For every "study" you can produce about homosexual behavior, I bet I can produce 1000 showing how HETEROsexual men engage in behaviors dangerous to society (gun violence, robberies, rape, abuse, corruption, gangs, war crimes, kidnapping, drunk driving, arson, illegal drugs, deadbeat dads, Enron, Watergate, the Mafia), and we haven't outlawed them yet. Heterosexual men commit the vast majority of all crimes in America, if not the world. What action are you taking to protect us against the scourge that hetero men are bringing upon us?

Doesn't the Bible say something about judging other people? You may want to reflect on how Jesus treated others - with love and compassion. I pray you will turn to Jesus and ask him to help make you a better, more Christ-like man.

Favorite comments from AMERICABlog:

He is my commissioner (Mecklenburg county). He is not from North Carolina, originally. He is a bigot. He is a racist. He is an uber-homophobe. He's fat, and has a diseased liver. He whined when the play "Angels in America" came to Charlotte. He has even been on Sean Hannity's show. I truly despise Bill James.


...normal straights do NOT obsess on gay sex PERIOD, much less the things he describes, such as noted in the article.

Sorry, he is TOO obsessed. Closet case, for sure.


Pam's House Blend always seems to find these sick f*cks. The area of the country she is in? The home state of her wife? I know, there are everywhere. Pam just does such a great job of bringing them out into the light.

Why in the world don't we go trollin' for shots of STRAIGHT perversions and send 'em to Bubba?

From this straight chick, I can tell you, Bubba has already provided a good list to start with!

WHY, WHY, WHY, do these sick freaks always focus on male/male sex?? I really think that it is telling where their mind is. Whoever said it above, that 'normal straights' don't focus on the sex acts of are SO right! I really just don't focus on the sex acts of anyone else -- it is all about ME BABY!

I do think that is really a guy thing though. The whole 'visual'. Girls, we don't need that. I know, some are into porn, but not the vast majority. These freeks that focus so much on sex acts though...they none of them mention anything about girl/girl...hell no, don't want that to go away!


Query....Who has 11 years of Advocate issues saved away? Answer...someone who keeps them locked up in a footlocker in the garage. When he's out in the garage lubing the old pickup he's lubing something else as well.


1. There is no sexual act that any gay/lesbian person has attempted, alone or with someone(s) else, that was not perfected by some sick straight prevert first (although the mechanics may be different for homos - please consult your user's manual.

2. I know a lot of people into some pretty kinky sh*t in the gay community, and I am certainly not a prude when it comes to the sexually adventurous, but I have NEVER heard of felching EXCEPT from repressed right-wing morons like this guy.

3. Oh, it goes on and then some. I wonder if Commissioner James drinks his wife's saliva or vaginal secretions? - even worse, consider this: at least 30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, often before the woman even knows she conceived, and percentage could be as high as 50%. This means that many straight men who perform oral sex (e.g., sodomy) on their wives have likely ingested the remnants of a miscarried embryo or fetus. That seems like a delightful thing to experience.


This sort of thing is why I think there should be a web site titled "Straight Marriage Hall of Shame."

A site with names and photos and deeds: Susan Smith, Andrea Yates, Mark Hacking, the mother in Philadelphia who killed her seven children, OJ Simpson, etc. The couples who take in foster children for money and starve them (Newark). The California father who set his son on fire in a custody battle.

You could fill volumes with the moral crimes of straight couples.

This would be a good way to hold up a mirror and say "look at yourself."


boyfriend in Charlotte sho does know lots of stuff and certainly has a very deep abiding interest in gay goins on! Does he wank off when he reads this stuff too? Charlotte is NO hot bed of open minded thinking.


...He is such a fucking liar! No one even bothered to run against him in the last election. No wonder he got more votes in his (and mine) district than Bush and every other candidate that was running.

Keep on oinkin', Bill.


Anybody have 3 or 4 gig of scat porn lying around that we could email to this guy? Strictly for research purposes, of course.


Never thought my corner of the state (the Triad) would seem almost calm and progressive by comparison.

This fucker looks like the guy who flicked me off pulling out of a megachurch last weekend. And he's got Hannity-stink all over him.


AND answers from the man himself:
The study was from the Advocate in 1994. it was from 2,500 respondents. There are others as well.

I do think it is abhorrent and I do think it is wrong to engage in such behavior.

As how people here view me I have not had a problem. This is my 5 term and my views have been well know for a long time. The last election I got 63% of the vote. In fact, I got more votes in my district than George Bush and every Democrat and Republican candidate running. My views were known at the time they voted.

You are free to check out my web site and see for yourself. Coming from Alabama you (I would think) have your own problems.

As to your own aberrant behavior that is between you, God and your wife. Let's hope none of you get sick.

Commissioner Bill James
Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners
Matthews, North Carolina


From: Commissioner Bill James
Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2005 8:42 AM
To: =email removed=
Subject: RE: What a Sweatheart

8 Now we know that the law is good, if any one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 immoral persons, sodomites, kidnapers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

Commissioner Bill James
Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners
Matthews, North Carolina


From: "Commissioner Bill James" (in italics; writer responds in between)
Nope. Society doesn't tolerate activity that is against good social order.
Why do you think we have laws that make prostitution a criminal act?

I would suspect with that attitude--as with your homophobia--you probably also patronize prostitutes. We tell a woman that she is not allowed to sell her body. We tell homosexuals that if we catch you engaging in perversity we will throw you jail.

And usually "you" people doing the telling are doing the same things behind closed doors--or church alters. Kind of like Klansman Strom Thurmond knocking up his 16-year-old slave. I suppose ol' Strom was a hero of yours. We have instructed the schools in North Carolina that they are not allowed to teach "your behavior" as normal, healthy or "alternative".

Don't you worry about perpetuating the widespread uneducated hillbilly image of North Carolinans?

Welcome to the South.

Maybe it's time for you folks to secede into your own little homophobic nation where you all can practice your hillbilly intrafamial heterosexual sex without worrying about outsiders peering into your barn doors or churches.


From: "Commissioner Bill James"
To: =email deleted=
Subject: RE: Mr. Commissioner
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 10:26:03 -0400

Naw, we are just going to take over all of America. Justice Sunday, Judicial appointments, George Bush...........Marriage Amendments. We are on our way. Perversity is not diversity.

Commissioner Bill James
Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners
Matthews, North Carolina


He also said 'Go and sin no more'.

You ought to try that. The "problem" is that you have convinced yourself that it isn't sin.

Hell is full of individuals who try to re-write the Bible for their own purposes.

One does not have to abandon Biblical precepts to condemn sin. I don't have to be 'sinless' to take a stand for Biblical values. I don't have to be 'perfect' to condemn that which the Bible calls an abomination.

if you think that no wonder you are screwed up. One of these days we will both be dead and then God will determine whether your view (not found in the Bible is correct) or whether mine (based on Biblical precepts and clearly outlined) is.

Commissioner Bill James
Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners
Matthews, North Carolina

Another reader really got into it with James...

He replied to me, My response is in bold, his original is in italics.

"1 Tim 1:8 Now we know that the law is good, if any one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners,"

AND as Jesus said, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Do you sincerely state that you are free of sin?

"for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 immoral persons, sodomites,"

Again, you only have sexual intercourse with your wife in the missonary position correct? Would you be willing to support an ordinance to require that all sexual relations be in the missonary style? Would you be willing for the government to check to ensure that this law is obeyed?

"kidnapers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted."

"Jude 1: 7 " just as Sodom and Gomor'rah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. 8 Yet in like manner these men in their dreamings defile the flesh, reject authority, and revile the glorious ones."

Again, I certainly hope you are including heterosexuals in your bible based laws and ordinances as well. Sexual perversion exists in both communities.

"10 But these men revile whatever they do not understand, and by those things that they know by instinct as irrational animals do, they are destroyed."

I would agree, you seem to revile what you do not understand, in other words, you are either ignorant of human nature or in denial to the fact that ALL humans participate in sexual perversion; from the pope down to the little children playing "house".

"Timothy 3

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,"

Yes, I have often seen this in the Christian Fundamentalist communities throughout our nation. They do not walk the path of God or even that of the Christ Jesus. They have perverted the faith and perverted it in their name for their own political and social ends. Certainly the leaders of such flocks are, by and large, greedy, covetous, prideful, blasphemers, unholy, trucebreakers, false accusers, fierce, and despise those who seek to do good on this earth. You do not do good by hating everyone who is different, you do good by coming to understand them and their motives and to forgive them their trespasses. You assist them as much as you are able. Blessed are the meek and blessed are the peacemakers.

"4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

Again, read the above statement.

I am concerned, Sir, that you are attempting to impose biblical law on your constituancy. This nation was founded as a Republic, not a theocracy, please remember that. While the bible is a great source of spiritual guidance in this chaotic world, basing the law of our nation on 2,000 to 6,000 year old beliefs is a bit illogical. Consider the shellfish, consider the rabbit, consider polycotton blends, consider women wearing red dresses, consider disobedient children. Certainly I have heard the argument that the Fundamentalists use, "Jesus brought a new covenant". But did not Jesus say, "I have not come to change the law, I have come to fulfull it"? In other words, if we are to accept biblical law as the basis of our jurisprudence, then we much go back clear to Leviticus and include those laws as well.

Heterosexuals in this society are just as immoral and perverted as homosexuals. The difference is homosexuals, according to the bible, are sinners merely because of who they are. Heterosexuals have to actively attempt to sin in order to be abomination. Which is worse? The son who says no but does the job, or the son who says yes and never does the job? In other words, which is worse, a homosexual that holds the words of Jesus and God dear and follows the commandment "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", or a heterosexual who states that he is following the path of Jesus but in reality, goes against that all important commandment.

So again, sir, will you do unto others as you would have them do unto you? Or would you rather tell everyone else how they should live their lives? Perhaps you should pull the plank from your eye before telling everyone else to pull the speck from theirs?
Here's an exchange of emails beween another reader and the Bigot Commissioner from North Carolina:

Good Lord! It's often times hard to understand you anti-gay fanatics and your obsession with feces and such.

I think you need to consider that what really fuels your anti-gay, anti-same-sex mania is homophobia, and it has been shown that homophobia has been linked with homosexual arousal.

Psychoanalytic theory holds that homophobia -- the fear, anxiety, anger, discomfort and aversion that some ostensibly heterosexual people hold for gay individuals -- is the result of repressed homosexual urges that the person is either unaware of or denies. A study appearing in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA), provides empirical evidence that is consistent with that theory.

The authors of the study also noted that there is another, competing explanation: anxiety. That is, homophobia also arises as a result of the relative threat that you feel homosexuality poses to you.

It appears that you are operating at an extremely low level of psychological maturity and integration, and simply acting your psychological confilcts out in the public arena.

I strongly suggest you seek mental health treatment.



The study was from the Advocate in 1994. it was from 2,500 respondents. There are others as well.

I do think it is abhorrent and I do think it is wrong to engage in such behavior.

You are free to check out my web site and see for yourself.

Have a nice day.

Commissioner Bill James


Sorry darling, but you're wrong.

The study I noted, conducted by researchers at the University of Georgia, appeared in the August 1996 issue of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

As a licensed professional in the field, with a caseload comprised predominantly of gay people, I am an expert on this matter. You are not.

I know that you and your kind have a difficult time accepting empirical facts that contradict your disordered belief systems.

As far as your belief systems themselves, you can believe anything you want, as far as I'm concerned. When you try to do harm to others by imposing those beliefs on them, however, you cross the line. And when you do that, you can count on me and millions others like me, pushing back.



Push all you want. It hasn't stopped every anti-gay marriage amendment from passing nor has it stopped North Carolina from banning the teaching of homosexual behavior as normal (notwithstanding the swill put out by the APA). It hasn't stopped the County Commission from endorsing banning gay marriage not the re-election of George Bush and 5 new conservative GOP senators. This list is long but you get the drift.

You contacted me, you disagree with me. Fine. Duly noted. I have not changed my mind and the law in NC has not changed.

My belief system is how I vote and how tens of thousands of elected officials vote. What you think of my belief system is of little concern. As long as I am in this seat I will not vote to fund or endorse perversity. Period.

As to whether you are an expert or not I can't say. I can say that few politicians in my "neck of the woods" listen to "APA experts". Even the Democrats run away from you guys because of your reputations as enablers of the homosexual lifestyle.

Commissioner Bill James

You don't have to get pissy because I pointed out your factual inaccuracy.

You also don't need to say whether I'm an expert or not. My licensing board does that.

And I just love how you take such glee in rebuking the learned institutions of our nation. You just keep making my point, over and over again.

As far as your chest thumping, you've been operating under the radar for a long time, but now that you're out in the open in all your frothy glory, your days are numbered. Count on.



You see, that's my point. But, believe me, owning up to the problem is a vital first step. So, you've been obsessing about eating feces and fantasizing about people urinating on each other for 10 years now, since about 1995. What was happening in your life around that time?



From: Commissioner Bill James

No, you completely miss the point. I have not been obsessing about it. After I was elected in 1996 another commissioner put an item on the agenda to de-fund the arts for putting on a play (Angels in America). My views became widely known then because I voted to de-fund. We also instituted a policy stating that no counselor could discuss homosexuality without first getting the parents permission and consent about what was to be discussed. This was called "parents rights". That was in 1997.

Throughout the years this has come up from time to time but it was always brought up by others (liberals) who wanted to push the envelope. In 1996 it was a group that wanted to push comprehensive sex ed. I got that shot down and the 1997 Parents Rights Policy was the result. This is all on my web site.

I have found through observation that liberals bring up a subject but then get upset if conservatives object and state why.

Your analysis that perhaps there was "something happening" in my life is incorrect, I can assure you that was not the case.

This is not a topic I enjoy nor wish to discuss but I have found that if liberals bring it up the best way to back them into a corner and force them to drop the topic is to talk in stark direct blunt language. That language makes them shy away because of the political consequences in the South. There is no better way to put a liberal in the defensive on the subject of homosexuality than to discuss the actual act. It is amusing to watch.

The last few times the Democrats have tried it - they have lost the following election. Whether that happens this time depends on whether they follow through with their plans. If they don't, it will likely die. If they do then this place will be a three ring circus for some time and the Democrats will lose a lot of votes.

I view it as the Nuclear Option. As long as government doesn't start condoning it I could care less. When the liberals start trying to bring it up I take a course of action that I know has worked for a decade.

Commissioner Bill James

Will Bill Maher ask some of the questions we're dying to ask?

Friday, April 29, 2005

White House whore/rent boy/ex-cub reporter Jeff Gannon will be on Bill Maher's Real Time on HBO. That's shameless, especially after than Advocate cover.

American Conservative Union releases gay marriage-bashing radio ad in NC

Smith, left is trying to force Basnight to bring the proposed anti-gay marriage amendment up for debate.

As I posted the other day, Johnston County Republican State Senator Fred Smith (email) is trying to put pressure on Senate Pro Tem Marc Basnight to get the amendment heard and debated. Now the American Conservative Union, the nation's oldest conservative lobbying organization has released a radio ad intended to drum up support for this bigoted amendment.

Listen to the 60-second ad by clicking here.
ACU has been on the cutting edge of many major public policy battles. ACU Chairman David Keene explains, “ACU's purpose is to effectively communicate and advance the goals and principles of conservatism through one multi-issue, umbrella organization. The statement of our organization’s principles makes clear our support of traditional moral values.”

Keene continued, “North Carolinians have a right to insist that important issues are debated and examined in the public arena. They need to understand that without a constitutional amendment to the North Carolina Constitution creating protection of traditional marriage between one man and one woman – a court decision can make changes in North Carolina law.”

“That is why the American Conservative Union is running an ad campaign asking people to call their State Senate President Pro Tem -- Marc Basnight and ask him to allow a fair and public hearing on this issue in the North Carolina Senate. Eighteen states have passed marriage amendment legislation. North Carolinians need to take action to get this bill passed in the North Carolina State Senate so it can be sent to and passed by the North Carolina House and signed into law by Governor Mike Easley,” Keene concluded.
Here is the language of the bill:
"Sec. 6. Marriage. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman at one time. This is the only marriage that shall be recognized as valid in this State. The uniting of two persons of the same sex or the uniting of more than two persons of any sex in a marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar relationship within or outside of this State shall not be valid or recognized in this State. This Constitution shall not be construed to require that marital status or the rights, privileges, benefits, or other legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried individuals or groups."
The other redneck, cracker sponsor, James Forrester, I also posted on. He didn't buy his personal domain name, and he won't like what a House Blender did with it.

Go see the rest of this Microsoft-bashing cartoon

This is just a snippet. From Bad Reporter in SF Gate by Don Asmussen

Thanks to House Blender Paul for the pointer.

Marriage bigotry update in SC

The latest news from South Carolina, home of Christian Exodus...
Voters in South Carolina will have the opportunity to weigh in on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage next year. An amendment protecting traditional marriage, which was previously passed by the state's Senate, also passed in the House by voice vote April 26. As a result, the measure will be placed on the November 2006 ballot in South Carolina, putting the state on a list with three others -- Alabama, South Dakota, and Tennessee -- that will also be voting on state constitutional marriage amendments next year. So far, 18 U.S. states have already adopted such amendments, approving them by an average 70 percent margin. According to a Baptist Press report, there was broad bipartisan support for what South Carolina Rep. Greg Delleney called "just another protection against activist judges in other states." The state constitutional amendment declares, in part, that a marriage between one man and one woman is "the only lawful domestic union that shall be valid or recognized in this State."

The Chimperor had no clothes

Reuters chart.

That was an incredibly content-free press conference last night. It wasn't even entertaining, quite frankly. The transcript is here - part 1, part 2.

Ostensibly, the press conference was mostly about addressing high gas prices and revealing Chimpy's Social Security dismantling plan. As the AP notes
on the SS front: the White House said Bush's proposal could be accomplished with a "sliding-scale benefit formula." That would mean lower Social Security payments for future middle- and upper-income retirees than they are currently guaranteed - a fact Bush himself did not mention in his 60-minute session with reporters." So it looks like a little Ponzi scheme is under way, but he didn't want to talk about it.
What else did Chimpy say? I'll let him speak for himself...

On sh*t continuing to implode in Iraq, and increasing attacks by the insurgency:
"There are still some in Iraq who aren't happy with democracy. They want to go back to the old days of tyranny and darkness and torture chambers and mass graves. I believe we're making really good progress in Iraq, because the Iraqi people are beginning to see the benefits of a free society. They saw a government form today."

"Well, we've made the decision to defeat the terrorists abroad so we don't have to face them here at home. And when you engage the terrorists abroad, it causes activity and action....And we are making good progress. The al-Qaida network that attacked the United States has been severely diminished. We are slowly but surely dismantling that organization."

Responding to James Dobson's statement that judicial filibusters are an attack against people of faith (Bush is already being blasted by the Freepi for this answer):
"Well, I can only speak to myself. And I am mindful that people in political office should not say to somebody, You're not equally American if you don't happen to agree with my view of religion. As I said, I think faith is a personal issue. And I take great strength from my faith. But I don't condemn somebody in the political process because they may not agree with me on religion. The great thing about America is that you should be allowed to worship any way you want. And if you chose not to worship, you're equally as patriotic as somebody who does worship. And if you choose to worship, you're equally American if you're a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim. And that's the wonderful thing about our country and that's the way it should be."

Freeper: I would have liked the President to say that it isn't right to keep someone off the bench because they are pro life or disagree with the homosexual lifestyle, because that is what it is.

Bush gave his press conference on the same day that Exxon Mobil posted a profit in the last quarter of nearly $8 billion, a 44 percent increase, yet he said:
"There will be no price gouging at gas pumps in America."

On the intensifying criticism over the qualifications of U.N. ambassador nominee John Bolton, known for berating and bullying colleagues:
"John Bolton is a blunt guy. Sometimes people say I'm little too blunt. John Bolton can get the job done at the United Nations....See, the U.N. needs reform. If you're interested in reforming the U.N. like I'm interested in reforming the U.N., it makes sense to put somebody who's skilled and who's not afraid to speak his mind at the United Nations."

On North Korea a country that has the bomb, unlike Iraq, the country we did invade:
Look, Kim Jong Il is a dangerous person. He's a man who starves his people. He's got huge concentration camps. And, as David accurately noted, there is concern about his capacity to deliver a nuclear weapon. We don't know if he can or not, but I think it's best, when you're dealing with a tyrant like Kim Jong Il, to assume he can. hat's why I've decided that the best way to deal with this diplomatically is to bring more leverage to the situation by including other countries. It's better to have more than one voice sending the same message to Kim Jong Il. The best way to deal with this issue diplomatically is to have four other nations beside ourself dealing with him. And we'll continue to do so.

Finally, as you know, I have instructed Secretary Rumsfeld, and I have worked with Congress, Secretary Rumsfeld has worked with Congress to set up a missile defense system. And we're in the process of getting that missile defense system up and running. One of the reasons why I thought it was important to have a missile defense system is for precisely the reason that you brought up: Perhaps Kim Jong Il has got the capacity to launch a weapon; wouldn't it be nice to be able to shoot it down?"

On renditions, the practice of the U.S. "kidnapping" prisoners, taking them to countries that allow the practice of torture for interrogation:
"That's a hypothetical. We operate within the law, and we send people to countries where they say they're not going to torture the people. But let me say something. The United States government has an obligation to protect the American people. It's in our country's interests to find those who would do harm to us and get them out of harm's way. And we will do so within the law. And we will do so in honoring our commitment not to torture people."

Becoming unhinged when asked about lawsuits filed over his No Child Left Behind Act:
"I don't know about the lawsuit. I'm not a lawyer. But I _ you know, I'll ask my lawyers about the lawsuit. But I know some people are trying to unwind No Child Left Behind. You know, I've heard some states say, Well, we don't like it. Well, you know, my attitude about no liking it is this: If you teach a child to read and write, it shouldn't bother you whether you measure."

(Many thanks to all that joined us in the Big Brass Blog chat room; hopefully we'll have another soon - with more advance notice).

Disappointment to My Parents Meme

I’ve been tagged by Shakes Sis on the latest meme-go-round...

I'm not sure who came up with this one, but we'll see if I can supply some interesting info. Given my degree is in Media Studies (journalism/filmmaking) and I ended up in IT, that tells you I didn't have a clear career path in mind, but I don't think I was a disappointment to my mom. That said, here are my responses:

If I could be a scientist...Hmmm...I would be working on cures for chronic diseases that have not been able to be cured (AIDS, diabetes, etc.). These are diseases that thankfully can be maintained, yet are still life threatening and expensive to treat (thus you have Big Pharma with no incentive to "cure" diseases in this category -- maintenance means big profit). If there were a way to eliminate these diseases, it might attack some of the spiraling costs of health care.

If I could be a musician...I always dream of being able to sing - obviously voice is an instrument - and earn a living that way. My family is notoriously tone deaf so any possibility if this happening is non-existent.

If I could be a doctor... I would find a way to work within the system for change in our health care system, creating consumer ratings for doctors so that they could be held accountable for bad bedside manner, and to encourage the training of those soft skills that are so clearly missing. If that fails, then I want Sanjay Gupta's job -- so I can be a medical know-it-all.

If I could be a painter... I would be painting murals to help beautiful the the downtown districts of cities around the country helping to draw people back into living in-town.

If I could be an innkeeper... You would find me hosting a nice gay friendly B&B in the NC mountains or its beaches.

Ah, who to tag...I think The Dark Wraith shall provide good reading on this one, and I'm going to tag Birmingham, AL-based Pierce of Piercing Wit, because I'm going to be heading down to the city in a couple of weeks -- into the belly of the beast -- my racist, homophobic in-laws' house. Plus it's in a state that is probably the worst place to be gay in America. Heaven help me. I shall be blogging while there.

Live chat on Chimpy's news conference at B3!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Hey folks, I'll be in the Big Brass Blog live chat room, listening to the BS:

Join me at:

Shakespeare's Sister will join us for the after show.

McD's desperation: f*cking around with Ronald McDonald

This is twisted. The company is having some serious image problems (see Super Size Me, CEOs dropping dead, lawsuits over its food causing obesity), so now they are going to give Ronald McD a makeover. I don't think they are calling on the Queer Eye team though. Or are they? (Toronto Globe and Mail):
"We're letting Ronald escape from the playpen," said Larry Light, McDonald's global chief marketing officer.

"He's been confined to kids. We're repositioning Ronald McDonald. So, Ronnie is going through a retraining program -- taking courses in humor that kids can look up to rather than adults look down at."

McDonald's has been quietly tweaking the character's image in recent years as it struggled to revitalize its marketing, menu items and sales. Corporative executives are preparing for a coming out, of sorts, of the revamped Ronald in the near future.

The clown will frequently drop the familiar red, yellow and white jumpsuit and size 29EEE shoes and don different outfits, such as a basketball jersey, a beach outfit and a tuxedo. In all, there are seven new costumes, Light said.

Plans also include depicting Ronald at sporting events on the tray liners, creating a television show to be aired in U.S. schools with Ronald as a "motivator" to get kids to eat right and to be more active. Similar computer software is in the works.

Then there's Ronald's sense of humor. Light says it will resemble the comedy used in blockbuster movies Shrek and Finding Nemo, which resonates with children and adults. He would not elaborate. However, characters in those movies are known for double-entendres and pop-culture puns.
Maybe you Photoshop aces out there can give him a makeover for the Blend.

Check out Pensito Review on the Governator's woes

I just surfed over to Pensito Review for interesting insight on Ahnold's plummeting poll numbers in California -- and the ouster of Education Secretary Richard Riordan. Jon says:
After Schwarzenegger’s election, he tapped Riordan to be Education Secretary, but the only news Dick has made during his tenure was when he told a young girl that her name - Isis - meant "dirty, stupid girl." He later tried to explain this by saying it was a joke. Republican humor must be oblique to the rest of us.

After promising not to cut funding for education in the state, Schwarzenegger immediately "borrowed" $2 billion from the education budget which he now says he has no intention of repaying. Teachers have pummeled him in a $5 million ad blitz, protesters are dogging the Governor's personal appearances and his poll numbers down - so, obviously, Riordan had to go.
It's a good read. Check it out.

Bibles in the TX classroom -- no problem

What separation of church and state? (WaPo):
The school board in this West Texas town voted unanimously to add a Bible class to its high school curriculum.

Hundreds of people, most of them supporters of the proposal, packed the board meeting Tuesday night. More than 6,000 Odessa residents had signed a petition supporting the class. Some residents, however, said the school board acted too quickly. Others said they feared a national constitutional fight.

Barring any hurdles, the class should be added to the curriculum in fall 2006 and taught as a history or literature course. The school board still must develop a curriculum, which board member Floy Hinson said should be open for public review.

The board had heard a presentation in March from Mike Johnson, a representative of the Greensboro, N.C.-based National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, who said that coursework designed by that organization is not about proselytizing or preaching.
See the Board of Directors and Advisory Board of the organization here. Lest you think the mission of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools is benign and only about the Bible as literature, take a look at some of the folks endorsing its mission (links go to my earlier posts on these organizations):

* Liberty Counsel (Jerry Falwell and legal bootlicker, Mathew Staver)

* N.C. Family Policy Council (local wingnut organization)

* Stephen Melchior, Attorney, representing Judge Roy Moore in the Ten Commandments Case

* Southern Baptist Convention

* Eagle Forum (Phyllis Schlafly)

* Concerned Women for America (Beverly LaHaye and Robert H. Knight)

* Family Research Council President, Tony Perkins

Denny's at it again: FL men sue after being called 'bin Ladens'

Ehab Mohamed: "We are in fear of being discriminated everywhere we go."

Is it just me, or do you think that this chain has a recruiting program for prejudiced crackers? Denny's has had to deal with numerous discrimination lawsuits all over the country because, of all things, they seem to have a problem receiving cold hard cash from paying customers simply because they are not white.

One case in 1994 was settled for $54.4 million that involved Denny's asking blacks to prepay for meals. Since then, Denny's has been slapped with at least six more discrimination lawsuits -- by African-Americans and Hispanics -- and at least another two cases involving discrimination against people of Middle Eastern descent. Here's another (with Freeper reaction to the story following)... (Newsday):
Seven men of Middle Eastern descent have sued a Denny's restaurant in Florida City, claiming the restaurant refused to serve them.

Ehab Albarabi, Nabil Arafat, Usama El-A-Baidy, Esam Hessein, Mohammad Natour, Usama Mohamed and Ehab Mohamed, all of Boca Raton, filed the civil rights suit April 22 in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. They seek $4 million each from the owner and a former manager of the restaurant. The suit alleges that last year the restaurant discriminated against the men and humiliated them.

"We certainly are very hurt by all of this," 31-year-old Ehab Mohamed said Wednesday. "We are in fear of being discriminated everywhere we go."

The men decided to stop for food at the Denny's in Florida City shortly after 2 a.m. on Jan. 11, 2004, attorney Alan Kauffman said. According to the suit, the discrimination started when the waitress who took their drink orders took "an unusually long time" to bring their drinks and take their food order.

After waiting more than one hour, Albarabi asked manager Eduardo Ascano about the delay. According to the suit, Ascano called the men "Bin Ladens," referring to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

After waiting another 30 minutes, El-A-Baidy questioned the manager about the remark and delay. According to the suit, Ascano said, "We don't serve Bin Laden's here ... You're not welcome here anymore."
You can see video here.

The Freepi here spew some of the most hateful crap I've seen in a long while. It makes me sick...

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"Ha..Ha..Ha....Get over it...You need to stop your kind from killing people because they are not Muslims...."

"Two guys named Osama, a guy named Arafat and a guy named Hussein. Boy, I hope a Denny's manager doesn't make a crack about Nazis if he gets a customer named Adolph Hilter."

"Why didn't they just self detonate?"

"I think there may be more to this story. They just sat there for an hour politely waiting? I wouldn't have. Anyway. I didn't see anything about them being American. I would like to know where they were going at 2 am."

"In case you haven't figured it out, you're not welcome in this country anymore. Get out, and take your friends and relatives with you."

"We fear your bombs, hijacked airplanes, bulking belts, beheadings, honor killings, all are associated with Islam and yeah...I'm gonna look twice and the second look ain't love."

"Thought just occurred to me - instead of sueing people because there is a finger in your chile - change your name to Osama benladen - then when some one makes a crack about your name sue them. That was you don't have to commit a crime to get the ball rolling."

"yeah, and since this is a free country I am free to not like someone by their nationality if we are at war with it! considering the names their countrymen are calling ours (include cutting off their heads!) I'd say SUCK IT UP ASSHOLES AND DON'T THINK WE'RE ABOUT PAYING MILLIONS FOR HURT FEELINGS and while we're at it....the american people have been about as pc as we're gonna be with you people, thank your lucky stars that we went so far as to NOT inter you in camps or ship you back to your homeland, or beat you sensless! Your lucky you can fly on planes or eat in our restaraunts since we are at war with your kind at the moment and you don't have to common sense to take the towel off your head and be understanding of the position we're in! I swear to god that if these guys get a dime I'm gonna sue the next towelhead i see for offending my sensibilities while we're at war with their dress."

"Calling them bin Ladens was uncalled for. Should have called them disciples of a mentally unbalanced bandit pedophile."

"Don't most eating establishments have a "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" sign?" [Is this knuckle-dragger kidding?]

Photo on a cell phone = 'honor killing' in Jordan

Women's rights are in a sad state in much of the third world, from ritual genital mutilation in many African countries to legal 'honor killings' in Jordan, Morocco and Syria, one has to be thankful we live in the U.S. We have to be alarmed and angry that our rights are slowly being eroded or threatened because of religious extremism by the Am Taliban, but it's the practices like this killing that make your blood boil and your heart sink for women in these countries. (AFP):
A Jordanian man shot dead his divorced sister after seeing her photo on his friend's camera-equipped cellphone in the latest "honour" killing in the kingdom, hospital officials said Monday. The unidentified man shot the 31-year-old mother twice in the head Sunday night and then turned himself in to police saying he committed the murder to "cleanse his family's honour".

The incident is the fifth example of a so-called honour killing in Jordan this year. Those found guilty usually face sentences of a maximum of one year in jail under Jordanian law. Last month, a man stabbed his sister to death after finding out she had agreed an unofficial marriage with a man who subsequently disappeared.

At least 19 women lost their lives in honour killings in Jordan last year, according to the local press.
The link to the information on honor killing notes that while this is prevalent in Muslim-majority countries, the practice is actually pre-Islamic, based on "the patriarchal and patrilineal society's interest in keeping strict control over familial power structures."

Man-on-dog love

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

First it's hand-holding with Saudi princes, now Chimpy's seen kissing his dog Barney at Waco TSTC airport after being hustled into an underground shelter amid fears an aircraft had entered the restricted airspace around the White House. REUTERS/Jason Reed

While man-whore Jeff Gannon escapes scrutiny by the Secret Service, the dudes earn their paycheck by tossing the Chimperor into a bunker today. (Reuters):
President Bush was hustled into an underground shelter on Wednesday amid fears an aircraft had entered the restricted airspace around the White House, officials said. The Secret Service determined minutes later that it was a false alarm. Vice President Dick Cheney also was moved to a secure location as heavily armed Secret Service agents cleared the area in front of the presidential mansion.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the president was in the underground bunker for a "very short amount of time."

What is wrong with these cardinals -- gay marriage in Spain = Nazi death camps

Cardinal Ricard Maria Carles has a screw loose.

WTF?! Do these guys have a death wish for the Catholic church? These allegedly learned Men of GodTM keep uttering insane sh*t like this that makes them look like....ummm...our American Taliban! (Advocate):
Gay rights groups in Spain reacted with anger on Wednesday after a Roman Catholic cardinal compared obedience to the legalization of same-sex marriage to the process that led to the creation of Nazi death camps, Agence France-Presse reports. "If you give obedience to the law priority over obedience to your conscience, that leads to Auschwitz," Cardinal Ricard Maria Carles, former archbishop of Barcelona, told a Spanish television station.

Spanish deputies last week approved a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry and adopt children. The bill is expected to become law and would make Spain the third European country after the Netherlands and Belgium to do so. "The people who made Auschwitz were not criminals, but people who had been forced to, or thought they had a duty to, obey the laws of the Nazi government rather than their own conscience."

Liberty students greet Soulforce with open arms, pissing off Falwell

Rev. Tinkywinky was blown off by his own students at Liberty University when Mel White's Soulforce came to town. Last week I reported on the Blend that Mel White of the gay rights group Soulforce planned to meet with Liberty students -- some had written White to let him know that they are forced to live closeted lives at Falwell's fundamentalist school. The level of defiance against Falwell is pretty amazing. (The Advocate):
Fifty-five members of Soulforce, a Lynchburg, Va.-based gay rights group, met with Liberty students to discuss academic freedom issues at the campus and the treatment of gays and lesbians. Liberty students went out of their way to welcome the Soulforce members with cookies, bottled water, and lots of friendly dialogue. "I'm glad they're here, and I don't see anything wrong with them being here, getting to know each other and loving each other," said Natalie Bullock, a Liberty student from Cincinnati.

But the notoriously antigay reverend Falwell, who founded the Christian school in 1971, sternly condemned homosexuality during a regular Monday convocation attended by Liberty students, faculty, staff, and Soulforce members. "Contrary to rumors, this is not 'Gay Day' at Liberty University," said Falwell, urging Liberty students not to accept any literature from the group. The university had no comment beyond Falwell's message, and Falwell did not meet with Soulforce members.

Despite Falwell's admonishments, dozens of Liberty students gathered in small groups with members of Soulforce, which represents gay and lesbian student organizations at several Virginia colleges and universities. Members wore brightly colored shirts with the organization's Web site URL printed on the front, and many wore stickers reading "Stop spiritual violence."

Soulforce director Mel White wanted to deliver to Liberty's library copies of a book titled What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality and to give professors small rainbow stickers for their doors to designate their classrooms as safe havens for students with questions about their sexuality. However, after the group left for an afternoon news conference, campus police refused to allow them back on campus. There was heavy security from campus police and Lynchburg city police, but there were no incidents. "We're not here to change Jerry's mind," White said. "We're not here to convince his students that Jerry is wrong. We're here to establish relationships with Liberty's students, and we've done that. This has been a terrific day."

White said his group had dined with 20 gay Liberty students on Sunday evening. He estimated that of Liberty's 8,000 students, "300 to 400 are gay." Seth Croft of Yorktown, a sophomore at the University of Virginia and a member of Soulforce, said he was surprised by the reception from Liberty students. He said some female students brought the group muffins and cookies Monday morning. "We had been told they wouldn't speak or associate with us in any way," Croft said. "It was a great interaction. They wanted to talk to us, which was surprising." Benjamin Williams, a Liberty sophomore from Portsmouth, said Soulforce had a right to be on campus even if the group's views differ from many others' at Liberty. "We shouldn't be judgmental. We shouldn't go out there hating on them," Williams said. "They are still people too, and we need to love them just like Christ does."

How to whip the neo-cons and theo-cons

Excellent topic going at Shakes Sis's pad, "Question of the Day: Averting Doomsday Edition," calling for suggestions on how to combat the political scorched-earth Rovian Right (built upon the sterling commentary of The Dark Wraith). Go pitch in your two cents on political strategizing...

Holy hell - rent boy Gannon makes Advocate cover

Almost too ballsy to be believed. And why didn't he assume the Bulldog position? Too bad he doesn't actually shed light on his undocumented "comings and goings" at the White House.

The redeeming feature of the May Advocate article is that writer Jen Christensen talks to a real new media journalist, John Aravosis of AMERICABlog:
On most mornings, over a cup of coffee, John Aravosis sits alone in his studio apartment in Washington, D.C., pushing through piles of computer printouts. He scans new e-mails from around the world, searching for content for his, a blog, or Web log, that mixes commentary and news. Information comes from everywhere—influential newspapers, cable news, other blogs, average people. On one particular April morning the top headline comes from “Chris, in Paris,” who is reporting that a new Iraqi president has been appointed. Another headline reads that conservative congressman Tom DeLay’s approval rating is heading into the toilet, according to a survey conducted by the Houston Chronicle.

Aravosis, 41, is a pioneer among the media-savvy gays and lesbians devoted to the country’s blogs. In February he bolstered his reputation as a gay advocate by helping blow the cover of one Jeff Gannon, who had come under fire for his partisan questions as a reporter in the White House briefing room. Media outlets discovered that Gannon was actually James Guckert, who had been hired to write for a Web site run by a wealthy Republican activist from Texas. And if that wasn’t enough, Aravosis also soon learned that Guckert had apparently advertised himself as a male escort.

“For the Gannongate story, I just really got the discussion going,” Aravosis says. “We finally were asking the question, Should we be coddling a gay hooker who is working just steps away from the Oval Office promoting an antigay agenda?”

NC State Sen James Forrester didn't buy his domain name

The cracker sponsor of an anti-gay marriage amendment in my state didn't think to do it, but a House Blender did:

Eugenics in NC: forced sterilization of women

I don't know how I missed this article in the March 28 Newsweek, "A Shameful Little Secret": North Carolina confronts its shameful history of forced sterilization. This practice was not stopped until 1974.

Elaine Riddick and Nial Ramirez were sterilized by the state of NC; access to formerly sealed records indicate reasons for sterilization were as flimsy as being considered lazy or promiscuous. By that standard, skanky, spoiled rich girl Paris Hilton would have been a prime candidate for the procedure.

We know the state didn't have wealthy white women like Hilton in mind when they took away Riddick's and Ramirez's ability to have children. Newsweek reports that ver the last 15 years of its operation, 99 percent of the victims were women; more than 60 percent were black.

Riddick found out what happened to her when she and her husband were having difficulty conceiving.
She soon learned that the operation had been performed by state order in North Carolina in 1968, when she was just 14, and had given birth to a baby after being raped. At the time, she'd assumed doctors were just performing a routine post-birth procedure. The sterilization-consent form had been signed by her neglectful father and her illiterate grandmother, who had marked her assent with an X.

...Nial Ramirez says she was sterilized at 18 after social workers threatened to cut off her mother's welfare benefits. "We had no way to fight back," says Ramirez, now 58.
The state offered a public apology two years ago, and reparations have been considered by Governor Mike Easley, though not one cent has been paid to a victim of this atrocity. At least the Tar Heel state is the first to appoint a panel to study on how to best handle the health care and counseling needs of these women, along with financial compensation -- it's small comfort to those that suffered under the knife of the state.

Over thirty states had eugenics programs like this one. You may want to do a little digging into your state's history. These procedures were ruled constitutional in Buck v. Bell, a 1924 Supreme Court decision that is still the law of the land.
the health of the patient and the welfare of society may be promoted in certain cases by the sterilization of mental defectives, under careful safeguard, &c.; that the sterilization may be effected in males by vasectomy and in females by salpingectomy, without serious pain or substantial danger to life; that the Commonwealth is supporting in various institutions many defective persons who if now discharged would become a menace but if incapable of procreating might be discharged with safety and become self-supporting with benefit to themselves and to society; and that experience has shown that heredity plays an important part in the transmission of insanity, imbecility, &c.
Do you have any doubt that the wild-eyed American Taliban would find a reason to return to these practices, in the name of the "welfare of society?" They have a clear sense of what they'd like America to be. They are already attempting to control women by restricting access to family planning, attacking abortion rights, and have made it clear that women have taken the notion of equal rights way too far.

And people wonder why minority populations are paranoid about government "science" projects? The whole AIDS-is-a-government-conspiracy rant is not too far-fetched a concept (though I don't buy that particular one) when you have stories like this and the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, there's enough evidence that a minority or devalued population is fair game for control and experimentation like lab rats.

Between 1932 and 1972, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) experimented on 400 black men in the late stages of syphilis. These were mostly illiterate sharecroppers from one of the poorest counties in Alabama. They were never told what disease they were suffering from or that it was life-threatening. [President Clinton's apologized to the eight remaining survivors on May 16, 1997.]

Perk up some topics for the Blend

I'm a worker bee today... Does anyone have suggestions on items to discuss today?

A few that come to mind...

* House Speaker Ready to Scrap Ethics Rules. Are they eating crow yet? House Speaker Dennis Hastert, decided he's ready to scrap controversial new ethics rules covering Tom DeLay's sorry *ss, possibly by day's end.

* And what do you think a ticket on this behemoth will cost? It's the new Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger plane, on its maiden flight near Toulouse, southwestern France. It can carry 555 rear ends and is expected to enter service in mid-2006. I don't even want to think how much fuel this thing burns.

* No Justice for Bishop Jackson. "Bishop Harry Jackson, from Hope Christian Church in College Park, Maryland, was Justice Sunday's only black speaker. Jackson had recently unveiled his "Black Contract With America," a document that highlights wedge issues like gay marriage that would presumably pry black churchgoers away from the Democratic Party. But so far he has been disappointed. "Black churches are too concerned with justice," Jackson lamented in his speech. Nonetheless, his association with the right wing has done wonders for his personal profile. Just after Bush's second inauguration, he was among a contingent of black clergy members invited to the White House for a private meeting." What a pathetic sell-out.

Bonus points in the article for Family Research Council president Tony Perkins's relationship with former KKK grand wizard David Duke. In 1996 Perkins Duke $82,000 for his mailing list. Perkins was the campaign manager for a wingnut Senate candidate in LA. The FEC fined the campaign Perkins ran $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke. Har-dee-har-har.

* Gannon in White House with no record of entry or exit. The faux journalist/man-whore was apparently running amok at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, apparently without the knowledge of the Secret Service. This DKos diary has links to video footage of Gannon on some of the at least five days he was there when not on the roster. The $200/day-$1200/weekend rent boy went in his own special unmonitored door, I guess. Is there any reason that the agency responsible for protecting the President can't even keep track of who's in the building?

An interesting thing about the posts in the diary -- some of them hilariously attempt to downplay the gay angle and pump up the security issue. They are both valid; the President was at risk, and it's entirely possible Gannon's "services" were being purchased by some of the most powerful men in the world. Last time I checked, Monica and the blue dress was 24/7 news on the MSM, and the Repugs ate it up.

Weird stats for the Blend

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Went in and checked my Webalizer stats for the blog, and there's a listing of search string terms that bring folks to the site. Here are the top 20 for this month. See if any of this makes sense...

1 1667 14.11% ireland
2 1270 10.75% Ireland
3 192 1.63% burning cross
4 179 1.52% idaho
5 150 1.27% john kerry
6 143 1.21% cartoon pig
7 129 1.09% porky pig
8 121 1.02% Idaho
9 119 1.01% tom delay
10 104 0.88% martin luther king
11 102 0.86% pam's house blend
12 100 0.85% cartoon airpla-
13 90 0.76% cornbread
14 87 0.74% chia pet
15 82 0.69% coretta scott king
16 81 0.69% President Bush
17 78 0.66% Martin Luther King Jr.
18 75 0.63% martin luther king jr
19 74 0.63% president bush
20 72 0.61% lesbians

What is with the chia pet? OK, Porky Pig was mentioned in a post, as was burning cross.

NC gay-bashing legislator pushes state marriage amendment via radio ads

NC Senator Fred Smith, at the podium, is a sponsor of the state marriage amendment and is featured in a new radio spot funded a conservative group.

Seems like it's homo-bigot chasing day here at the House Blend. Now we take a look at the efforts of Johnston County Republican State Senator Fred Smith, a redneck bigot that is hell-bent on enshrining discrimination in our state constitution. The latest crap is a radio ad to help drum up support by putting pressure on Senate Pro Tem Marc Basnight to put the amendment to a vote. (N&O):
A fire is about to be lit under the same-sex marriage issue in the legislature. A national conservative group will begin a statewide radio campaign Wednesday to pressure the legislature to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.

The ad campaign goes after state Senate leader Marc Basnight, a Democrat, while trumpeting the efforts of state Sen. Fred Smith, a Johnston County Republican.

"The liberal politicians in Raleigh are refusing to give the Defense of Marriage Act a fair hearing," the ad says. "Help state Senator Fred Smith fight for our North Carolina values. Call Senate Pro Tem Marc Basnight at (919) 733-6854 and urge him to allow a vote on the Defense of Marriage Act."

North Carolina law prohibits same-sex marriages, but Smith's bill aims to define marriage as between a man and a woman and put it in the constitution.

David Keene, the group's chairman, said that without a constitutional amendment "creating protection of traditional marriage between one man and one woman, a court decision can make the changes in North Carolina law."

The group is expected to run the ads for two or three months on talk and Christian radio stations, including a station in Basnight's home county of Dare.

Although the American Conservative Union is nonpartisan, the radio ad can be seen in one light as the opening guns of the 2008 governor's race. Many expect Smith to seek the GOP nomination for governor.
For more information on NC's state amendment, see an earlier Blend post, North Carolina's constitution is under attack. It includes a wingnut gallery of all the elected homo-bigots that are have signed on to the bill and their contact info. To start off, here's Smith:

Senator Fred Smith (Rep), Phone: (919) 733-5748, Email:
Counties Represented: Johnston, Wayne

and his cracker partner in crime:

Senator James Forrester (Rep)
Joint Republican Caucus Leader
2005-2006 Session
(919) 715-3050
District: 41
Counties Represented: Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln

Please, not the 'ex-gay' crap again

Stephen Bennett of Stephen Bennett Ministries was a practicing homosexual for 11 years before becoming a Christian and "leaving the lifestyle."

Just plain deception and pathetic bullsh*t from American Family Association's wingnut propaganda organ Agape Press, Former Homosexual Reaches Out to Hurting Homosexual Community.
AFAJ: Do you think your own past as a homosexual makes you more compassionate?

No doubt about it. I've lived in a glass house, so I've learned not to throw stones. As a former homosexual, I believe I know what works and what doesn't work in approaching that community. Of course, I'm still in the learning process -- I haven't arrived, by any means.

AFAJ: How does the media handle your claim to be an "ex-gay"?

I very rarely get any respect from the media as an ex-gay man. Former homosexuals are made to look like clowns, like laughingstocks. I was on a CNN show and I was introduced as a 'self-described former homosexual,' and others have done the same thing. When they do that I correct them immediately. I am a former homosexual. Period.

...AFAJ: How do homosexuals respond when you say you've left the lifestyle?

Some will listen, and say they have never heard that before and are really intrigued by the message and are open to hearing about it. And on a regular basis we keep in contact with many of those active homosexuals who are curious.

But in most cases, they will tell me I was never "gay" in the first place. And I tell them, "Yeah, you go and ask my 100-plus partners how 'gay' I was not." I was "gay." Many homosexuals are in extreme denial, and I believe, again, that it's based upon all the rejection they've experienced. So when someone tells them, "I've come out of the lifestyle," they will just verbally attack you. One of my favorite analogies is that the thing a smoker hates the most is an ex-smoker. It's the same situation with homosexuals.

...Stephen Bennett Ministries has produced a brand new one-hour audio CD, "The 10 Most Effective Ways to Reach the Homosexual for Christ." This special CD not only contains Bennett's personal testimony of how he left the homosexual lifestyle, but also instruction about what to do and what not to do in ministering to members of the homosexual community.

..."The whole point of the CD is to develop a heart for the homosexual," said Bennett. "While it is critical for churches to resist the effort to normalize homosexuality in our society, it is equally important for the church to reach out to these hurting, broken people."

Homo-bigot caller threatens S.F.-area teachers

The Religious Reich has fomented intolerance and this is what we get. I'm still reeling from that TV news report clip earlier this month of an anti-gay protest at North Bay High School, near S.F., that featured unbelievably Phelps-like f*cktards, complete with homo-bashing signs, and even a truck with crude gay-baiting signs. Now we have threatening phone calls to gay teachers in Mill Valley, CA. (Marin Independant Journal):
Following a string of anti-gay vandalism incidents at Tamalpais High School, five teachers at the school - some of whom are gay - have received threatening voicemail messages from an anonymous caller, officials said.

The calls follow seven incidents which began in November last year, the most recent of which resulted in written epithets of "die fag" on the car of a 17-year-old student, and "fag class" on the classroom door of a lesbian teacher at Tam High. No arrests have been made and it is not clear if police have any leads.

"Whoever is doing this is clearly looking for attention in some way and we are pursuing every possible avenue we can to apprehend this person," said Jill Sampson, a member of the Tamalpais Union High School District Board of Trustees.

Five teachers at Tam High, who school officials declined to identify, received identical voicemail messages on their classroom telephones between 5:45 and 6:15 p.m. on April 12, said Bob Ferguson, superintendent of the district. The 12-second messages were not discovered until April 18, however, when staff returned from a week-long school holiday. Ferguson said the messages were left by a computer-generated caller with a female's voice, who told the teachers "we know who you are and we're watching you."

"It was a veiled threat - it was the type of phone call that you would get that would be a little bit concerning," Ferguson said.

The remainder of the voicemail message, Ferguson said, was muffled and indecipherable. The caller signed off with the initials "M.L.K.," which Ferguson said matched the signature on an anti-gay letter received by the principal's office at Tam six weeks ago.

Capt. James Wickham of the Mill Valley Police Department, which is investigating the incident, did not immediately return a call requesting comment yesterday.

The most recent incidents mark a departure from those over the last five months in that they targeted a group of teachers. With the exception of the last incident on Feb. 23, in which school officials reported finding anti-gay language on the classroom door of Lisa Miller, a lesbian teacher, the anti-gay crimes since November have largely targeted a 17-year-old Tam High student.
Thanks to House Blender Paul for the pointer.

House Blender puts the pressure on homo-bigot Rev. Hutcherson

House Blender Karen in Kalifornia is doing her own bit of activism on the Microsoft bigotry front. Here's her email, asking folks to join in:
I decided to take another direction in protesting MSFT's pulling it's corporate support from Washington states anti-discrimination bil....I have contacted the Lake Washington School Board Members and asked them why they allow a church congregation which actively opposes the school board's own Human Dignity Policy. Lake Washington High School is where Rev. Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church holds its Sunday services in the high school gym. Please join me in this effort. Contact info is all below:

Lake Washington School Districts Human Dignity Policy

"Recognizing and valuing that we are a diverse community, it is part of our mission to provide a positive, harmonious environment in which diversity is respected and encouraged.

A major aim of education in the Lake Washington School District is the development of a commitment to the core values of a democratic society. In accordance with this aim, the district strongly emphasizes a core value of mutual human respect for each person regardless of individual differences and/or, characteristics including for example, but not necessarily limited to race, gender, age, disability, physical condition, sexual orientation, ethnic group or religion. We expect this value to be manifested in the daily behaviors of students, staff and volunteers.

Lake Washington School District (ie. home of Rev Hutchenson's sunday services in the gym of LWHS)

School Board Members:

Nany Berarnd 425-702-3257
Douglas Eglington 425-868-7218
Robert Hughes 425-822-2604
Jackie Pendergrass 425-821-1157
Ravi Shahani 425-702-3257

Lake Washington High School, Principle Mark Robertson
425-828-3371 office
425-828-3390 fax

Diversity statement on Lake Washington HS web site. Note no mention of sexual orientation:
"A major aim of education in the Lake Washington School District is the development of a commitment to the core values of a democratic society. In accordance with this aim, the district strongly emphasizes a core value of mutual human respect for each person regardless of race, gender, age, disability, physical condition, ethnic group or religion."

Also interesting, but might only apply to employees:
Existing state statutes and regulations prohibit the use of public property and facilities for individual gain. As such, the requests for use of school facilities clearly prohibit the use of such facilities for personal or private reasons. We will carefully review all requests to ensure that such use is not in violation of district policy and state laws and regulations.

Yet another country gets it...New Zealand OKs civil unions

Labour Party lawmaker Tim Barnett supported the bill.

What is f*cking wrong with our country? At this point, it's just plain embarrassing how backward we are. (AP):
A law allowing same-sex partners to have nearly the same legal rights as married couples came into force in New Zealand on Tuesday, with the first of the newly defined civil unions expected this weekend.

The measure stops short of legalizing same-sex marriages, but it was fiercely opposed by religious groups who called it a "gay marriage law" and said it undermined the importance of traditional marriages.

The law makes civil union ceremonies available for both same-sex couples and heterosexual couples seeking a pact that's nominally less binding than marriage. Registration takes at least three days, and local media said the first ceremony was expected Saturday.

Labour Party lawmaker Tim Barnett, who lobbied for the bill, said he hoped that ceremonies over the weekend would cause opponents of civil unions to reconsider.

"They will see two people who are committed and want the world to know," Barnett said. "I would have thought it's hard for people to feel threatened by that."

Two men who led the fight for the new law, 18-year couple John Jolliff, 75, and Des Smith, 65, planned to tie the knot Sunday at Wellington Town Hall in the capital with Mayor Kerry Prendergast presiding.

Canada's marriage bill is in jeopardy

Prime Minister Paul Martin's government may be tossed out because of scandals, jeopardizing the passage of the gay marriage bill. Conservative Stephen Harper smells blood -- if he's elected, he wants to annul gay marriages.

House Blend reader Cat keeps me updated on the status of the marriage bill in Canada that would extend gay civil marriage country wide. The majority of the territories and provinces have legalized gay marriage, but this would solidify and endorse equal marriage as a nation. [In fact, four New Brunswick gay couples filed papers with the Court of Appeal this week, asking it to redefine the legal meaning of marriage in the province.]

There are enough supportive MPs to pass Bill C-38, but it's in trouble, due to the unrelated political scandals swirling around the Liberal government that may end up in an election call, with the Conservatives waiting in the wings.

If an election is called before the bill passes, then it will die. Equal marriage will then be a live issue in the campaign. The bottom line is that if Stephen Harper becomes Prime Minister, it's possible that he will do away civil marriage from same-sex couples -- and annul existing same-sex marriages and water them down to civil unions.

Kate and I were married in Vancouver last year, and this fight is important. The hate-filled forces here have been sending money and people there to prevent passage of this bill. They know if Canada "falls" and allows gay marriage country-wide, that it's very normality will give the US no reason to outlaw it. Stopping gay marriage in Canada for them is setting up a fire break to contain the spread of freedom and tolerance southward to the U.S.

Canadians for Equal Marriage is trying to combat the efforts of Focus on the Family, Defend Marriage and the other far-Reich marriage opponents that are mobilizing for an election and determined to turn back the clock on LGBT rights in Canada. They have an uphill battle -- the Right has money, and is using a phone campaign to target key areas to mobilize support and is funding a massive advertising campaign against equal marriage. Visit the site.

Bill Gates's ass is on fire now

Pious Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer -- kiss my lesbo rear-end and like it.

Microsoft may rethink position on gay-rights bill. The hot flames of the homo outrage have Bill Gates feeling some serious PR pain. House Blender Paul points to a Seattle Times article that shows there's serious backpeddling going on.
Microsoft may re-evaluate whether to support state legislation that would ban discrimination against gays and lesbians, Chairman Bill Gates said yesterday.

Gates said Microsoft was surprised by the sharp reaction after it became known that the company took a neutral position on the perennial measure this year, after actively supporting it in previous years.

"Next time this one comes around, we'll see," he said. "We certainly have a lot of employees who sent us mail. Next time it comes around that'll be a major factor for us to take into consideration."

...Advocacy groups still feel betrayed. The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center demanded the return of an award it gave the company in 2001.

Gates welcomed the feedback.

"It's perfectly fair for us to be scrutinized on anything," he said. "We didn't realize that one would get that level of scrutiny, but there's people who care a lot. They care a lot about the issue."
Is he f*cking dumb? How could he not know that getting in bed with the Reich wasn't going to cause a sh*tstorm?!

Guess what Bill, it's not over till fundy Ralph Reed stops getting paid $20K a month by your company.

Don't forget to pick up these Mike Tidmus images to use on your blog:
* Microsoft Bigotry: Embedded with the Religious Reich
* Rev. Hutch and Bill

Stuff to check out on Big Brass Blog

As Blenders know, I also post over at Big Brass Blog, and I'd be negligent if I didn't point you all over there from time to time to read great work by my fellow bloggers. Please check out:
* Justice Interrupted by thatcoloredfella and Let's Make a Deal by Shakes Sis: different takes on the tug-of-war going on regarding "the nuclear option" and what a potential "compromise" over Bush's judicial nominees being brokered by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Dr. Bill "Cat Killer" Frist.

* The Dark Wraith's four-part series on our what could be our future in the 21st century. It's not for the faint of heart, but it's a must-read. Start off with Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. Take a breather and then dive into Part Four.

* Sisters and Brothers by Scott of Poetic Leanings, an uplifting poem written in response to the relentless attacks on the queer community by the Religious Reich.

* Naming Names, by Ms. Julien of Julien's List, on the return of McCarthy-era tactics demonizing gays.

* What Makes a Woman by Linnet of Looking At the Stars, a post on the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.

* How many have to die? by John of Blogunlust, on the "expendable" contractors our Pentagon is wasting over in the war zone.

I think I may hurl...

We already knew that Chimpy was in bed with the Saudis, but about this display of man-love. Since CNN this AM reports the White House said that the Saudi hand-holding is a "sign of respect," then it should be A-OK with Chimpy when I hold Kate's hand while walking down the street. Especially if I give as loving a glance to her as he does here to Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz.

Ralph Reed profits handsomely from relationship with Microsoft

The former head of the Christian Coalition rakes in $20K/month from MS. He's also entered the lieutenant governor's race in Georgia.

AMERICABlog has the scoop on the latest Microsoft bullsh*t. The $30+ billion company feels the need to keep conservative lobbyist and former head of the Christian Coalition Ralph Reed on a $20K retainer. John has invoices here and here.

The question, of course is why would MS need to pay Ralph Reed's consulting firm, Century Strategies, this kind of money unless they needed the kind of influence with the American Taliban that Reed specializes in.

...Interestingly, Microsoft had Reed on retainer during the presidential election of 2000 to apparently help lobby then-candidate Bush on their anti-trust suit (he was actually first hired in the fall of 1998). The contract was terminated after Reed was criticized for a conflict of interest - Reed was working on Bush's campaign. The question arises when Microsoft and Reed revived their work relationship (most observers I've spoken to thought the contract ended five years ago), and what exactly Reed is working on now that the anti-trust issue is over.
John also asks some pertinent questions that go directly to the motives of Microsoft. Go read.

There is absolutely no reason Microsoft needs to hire someone like Reed, unless they are courting the Religious Right on social issues, like the Washington State anti-discrimination bill that failed by one vote last week. Tell me CEO Steve Ballmer, what kind of internal memo spin will you weave over this one?

It should also be noted that last week on the Blend I posted about Reed's connection to corrupt bastard Tom Delay's good buddy, Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Reed's consulting firm pocketing a cool $4 million on an Indian casino lobbying effort, and is so close to the slimy Abramoff that Ralphie wrote in his book Active Faith that the two became so close that Reed sometimes slept on Mr. Abramoff's couch -- and later introduced Mr. Abramoff to his future wife.

Will Charlotte/Mecklenburg County offer domestic partner benefits?

Monday, April 25, 2005

Weighing in: Jennifer Roberts is a strong supporter of anti-discrimination laws and partner benefits; Park Helms is also leading the charge to bring the County into the 21st century. One the other side, Bill James sides with the bible-beating crowd with true wingnuttery: "If the Democrats want to swim in the moral sewer, they're entitled to do that and pay the consequences next year at the polls."

Mecklenburg County, which includes the banking metropolis of Charlotte, is still a conservative area of North Carolina (a Blend reader noted that it went Blue in 2004, so there is clearly a shift occurring). While many of the large companies in the area do offer domestic partner benefits, it's still another thing to push for the County to adopt them. The county commissioners are about to take on a PR battle for sure, even though they have the votes to pass it. There's a great article today in the Charlotte Observer by Carrie Levine that takes the political temperature there. [Go to the Observer site, they have a poll running that we should Freep, "Same sex benefits for Mecklenburg County employees?". "No" is currently winning 51% to 49% so your vote will count!]
Mecklenburg County should consider offering domestic-partner benefits and protecting employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation, county commissioners Chairman Parks Helms said Sunday. "There is no reason to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation," Helms said. Helms, a Democrat, said he would likely wait until the county budget process is complete in June before taking the issue to the board.

Bringing up this issue will set off a fiery debate over morals and community values, Republican county commissioner Bill James said. "If the Democrats want to swim in the moral sewer, they're entitled to do that and pay the consequences next year at the polls," James said. James said Democrats, who have a 6-3 majority on the county board, have the right to set policy. But he said bringing this issue to the board would create a debate on the same scale as a late-1990s brouhaha over public funding for the arts.

...Helms said James' comments don't "deserve my response. I have said what I believe, and I have said what I believe is right, and it will be up to this board and this community to ultimately determine who we are." Helms said treating all employees equally and preventing discrimination is "a human rights issue." "The more we try to make it a partisan issue, the more irresponsible we become," he said.

As of last year in North Carolina, Durham, Carrboro and Chapel Hill, as well as Durham and Orange counties, offered domestic-partner benefits.

...Commissioners ranked diversity at a much higher priority than in the past when they selected their budget priorities this year, moving it from close to the bottom of the list to an upper tier.

County commissioner Jennifer Roberts, a Democrat who said diversity is a high priority for her, said she would support adding sexual orientation to the county's antidiscrimination policies. As for offering benefits, she said the county should study what comparable governments and local companies are doing. Both she and Helms said they believe many of Charlotte's largest companies offer the benefit, although James said he does not believe many purely local companies do so.

"A (board) majority would be willing to look at it. I don't know how the votes would come out. That depends on what we find when we look at it," she said. Roberts said she would also want to hear public opinion on the idea.

Norman Mitchell will go for the plan as long as the benefits are in line with what is offered by the private sector; Jim Puckett wouldn't vote for domestic partner benefits and thinks it's "a lame idea from the cost perspective."

Commissioner Norman Mitchell, a Democrat, said he has no problem offering the benefits if they are in line with benefits offered by the private sector. "I think we just have to move with the times," he said, adding that "Christ didn't discriminate." Two other county commissioners, Democrat Dumont Clarke and Republican Dan Bishop, declined to comment. Republican Jim Puckett said he considers the suggestion "a lame idea from the cost perspective," since the county is facing a budget gap. Puckett said he does not believe government should legislate morality, but would not vote to expand the county's benefits package unless driven to do so by the market.
The bottom line is that all the religious wingnuts are going to come out of the woodwork to slam these brave Dems that are stepping up to the plate to do the right thing.

To give you an idea of how tense the situation is in the area, in February, more than 1,300 HRC members came to Charlotte to promote LGBT rights, and Mayor Pat McCrory didn't exactly roll out the welcome mat. Even though all those gay dollars were being spent in the city, the mayor refused to send a letter of welcome -- the silence was deafening.

McCrory had been under pressure from the fundy group Operation Save America (led by Rev. Philip L. (Flip) Benham) to restrict the use of public parks, specifically targeting Charlotte Pride. OSA was proud to say that "the battle for the culture in the city of Charlotte has just begun." In March, the permit to hold Pride in a public park was granted, but McCrory continued pandering to the Religious Right: "I do not want that festival in a park setting," he said. "If they need to do it, I think it belongs in a hotel" or other private setting.

The fact of the matter is that voices of support need to be heard. The votes may be there, but there could be hell to pay if the freeptards decide to jump in with their pious guns blazing.

* Details About Domestic Partner Benefits
* HRC's list of state and municipal governments that offer DPB | FAQs
* AHI's Employment Law Resource Center on DPB

County Commissioners
At Large:
Parks Helms 704-372-4884
Wilhelmenia Rembert 704-336-2641
Jennifer Roberts 704-336-2574

1 - Jim Puckett 704-363-1379
2 - Norman A. Mitchell, Sr. 704-399-3061
3 - Valerie Woodard 704-537-8958
4 - Dumont Clarke 704-331-1051
5 - Dan Bishop 704-716-1202
6 - Bill James 704-336-2573

We get letters about hypocritical letters...

House Blender Darla passed along an "email" alert from our friend RNC head and won't-say-he's-heterosexual Ken Mehlman. In her email to me she said "Notice his comfort in using the word hypocrite, even giving us the definition." Yes, indeed. And now, the creative work of the mistress of the Grand Old Party. I added Ken's mug...


April 25, 2005

Dear Darla,

Hypocrite - noun, one who pretends to be what he is not or to have principles or beliefs that he does not have.

The Democrats' efforts to block President Bush's qualified judicial nominees are not only hypocritical but are examples of partisan politicking at its worst.

Republicans in the Senate are working to ensure that all of President Bush's judicial nominees receive a fair and final up-or-down vote. Despite Senate history and tradition, Democrats are aggressively trying to prevent qualified judges from receiving what's been afforded every judicial nominee for over 200 years.

During the Clinton Administration, Democrats demanded up-or-down majority votes on judicial nominations, but, now that they are in the minority, they have become the party of obstructionism and double standards.

The Constitution guarantees an up or down vote, but the Democrats don't want to perform their duty. You can make a difference! Call Senator Dianne Feinstein at 202-224-3841 and Senator Barbara Boxer at 202-224-3553 and tell them to do their job - give these judges an up or down vote.

On July 25, 2003, President Bush made history by nominating Janice Rogers Brown to the federal bench. Brown is the first African American elected to the California Supreme Court and was reelected by California voters with 76% of the vote.

The daughter of Alabama sharecroppers who grew up in segregated schools in the midst of Jim Crow policies in the South, Brown is a single mother who worked her way through college and law school.

Despite her sterling personal and legal credentials, during the 108th Congress, Senate Democrats used a hypocritical double standard to block her nomination. Judge Brown is not alone. Senate Democrats obstructed an up-or-down vote on 9 other well-qualified judges. Some of these judges have been waiting for a vote for four years.

It seems Democrats have changed their tune on giving all judicial nominees a fair up-or-down vote. They now claim the filibuster is a sacred tool of the Senate. But in 1995, Democrats, including nine who still serve, voted to rid the Senate of this tool.

That's right, nine current Democratic Senators voted to get rid of the filibuster. Now that it suits their needs, they praise it. What's worse than this hypocrisy is these same Senators now lead the obstruction and threaten to shut down the Senate. Their claims of loyalty to, and reverence for, Senate traditions are just another sham designed to hide their hypocrisy.

To learn more about how the Party of Nine has become the obstructionist party of no, click here! See how these members used to demand fair up-or-down votes on judicial nominees, but now want to block nominees and hold the Senate hostage.

Call Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Barbara Boxer today and tell them you're tired of the hypocrisy and double standards. Call and tell them these judges deserve and up-or-down vote.


Ken Mehlman
Chairman, RNC

Copyright © 2005 Republican National Committee. Privacy Policy. Paid for by the Republican National Committee. Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate Committee.

Watching Wal-Mart

Not that you need yet another reason to keep your tush out of Wal-Mart... You already know about:
* child labor violations
* keeping workers under 30 hours so they won't qualify for health care
* discrimination against women
* support of legislation that would have put truckers on 16-hour shifts
* using undocumented workers
* quashing attempts at union organizing

Now there's an organization that's uniting the laundry list of this corporation's evil practices. Wal-Mart Watch is a newly-formed nonprofit organization aimed at reforming the business practices of Sam Walton's baby. I heard about it on NPR this morning while driving to work.

Its first effort, an ad campaign focusing on the retailer's abandonment of its "Buy American" business model.
Sam Walton’s bestselling autobiography is titled "Made in America". And as recently as 1994, company literature titled "Bring It Home To The USA" touted Wal-Mart’s commitment to American manufacturers saying "The Buy American program is both a commitment and a partnership." That was then. This is now.

...Wal-Mart Watch Executive Director Andrew Grossman said, “Wal-Mart may say ‘low prices’ but we’re here to ask, ‘at what cost?’ At the cost of America’s manufacturing base? At the cost of well-paying American jobs and the families, communities, and futures they support? Wal-Mart does more than simply exploit and profit from the outsourcing of American industry to China. With its unprecedented leverage in the retail sector and its relentless pressure on suppliers to slash their prices, Wal-Mart has actively forced the shipping of American jobs to China and elsewhere."
You can listen to an NPR story on it here. You can learn more about Wal-Mart facts and figures here.

Blend questions of the day

(AP): Merle Black, an Emory University political scientist, says more than 80 percent of white conservatives in the South now belong to the Republican Party, and only 10 percent are Democrats.

Unlike in the past, when seniority alone dictated leadership positions for the party, Black says parties now hand-pick their committee leaders. For Democrats, he said, that means the rewards tend to go more often to liberals.

"It's almost impossible to have a leadership position in the House Democratic Party if one behaves as a conservative," Black said.
* What if anything, does this trend say about the South and the future of progressive Democratic politics?

* Is the cultural divide so wide and deep that we cannot ever expect to reach these people, even on economic issues that should appeal to them?

* Are you blue staters just going to say "f*ck the South?"

* Why is there still a movement to dump on the progressive wing as the source of the problem with electability?

Gay rights or women's rights shouldn't be compromises; yet these are precisely the kinds of topics that end up on the bargaining table when it comes to strategizing what it takes to "win." As we've discussed before, going the DLC route got us Don't Ask, Don't Tell and DOMA -- and we still lost those voters to the Repugs.

UCC considers marriage equality for gays

It will be interesting to see if The United Church of Christ, which weathered wingnut bashing over the "God is still speaking" national TV ad campaign, can handle some disagreement from within regarding the acceptance of gay marriage. I am sure the Freepi are going to rip the UCC on this one. (UCC):
The 1.3-million-member United Church of Christ could become the first mainline Christian denomination to endorse full marriage equality - regardless of gender - if a proposed resolution is approved by the church's General Synod this summer.

The controversial measure, brought forward by the UCC's Southern California - Nevada Conference, became public today (April 21) when proposed resolutions facing the church's national assembly were made available online at The UCC's biennial General Synod - with about 3,000 delegates and visitors - will meet July 1-5 at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta.

"Ideas about marriage have shifted and changed dramatically throughout human history, and such change continues even today," reads the opening line of the proposed resolution, which goes on to spell out historical, theological and biblical rationale for affirming both civil and religious recognition of same-gender marriage.

It marks the first time the church's General Synod has been asked to address the issue of marriage equality outright.

...In past years, the General Synod - which speaks "to" but not "for" the UCC's nearly-6,000 congregations - has sidestepped the issue of same-gender marriage, even while it has affirmed the ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons; called for full civil rights and equal protections; and blessed the idea of "equal rites in covenant life" (or holy unions) for non-married couples.

The proposal is certain to be met with opposition from some UCC members, pastors and churches. Already, eight geographically-diverse congregations already joined together to offer a counter resolution calling the church "to embrace the scriptural definition of marriage."

"Throughout the scriptures, marriage is always defined as being between one man and one woman," the counter resolution states. "We find examples of those who violated God's natural moral order to their own detriment, but God's standard and definition remained constant."

The Rev. Brett W. Becker, pastor of the 300-member St. Paul UCC in Cibolo, Texas, who authored the one-man, one-woman resolution, said he believes the UCC should be prophetic in its defense of "traditional, biblical marriage."

The Southern California - Nevada proposal argues that, throughout history, marriage has been an evolving institution, pointing to earlier times when polygamy was biblically normative, women were considered property and interracial marriages were not only taboo, but illegal. "Ideas about marriage have shifted and changed dramatically throughout human history," it reads.

Becker, however, claims otherwise in his counter resolution: "The scriptures never define marriage as being anything other than the union of one man and one woman."

Said Becker, speaking about his proposal, "We should be loving toward all people, regardless of what issues they are dealing with, and if we truly love someone we will encourage them to avoid those things that are contrary to the teachings of Jesus."

A third marriage-related document, brought by the Central Atlantic Conference, takes a more-cautious approach by asking the church "to enter into prayer, study and conversation" about marriage equality, including a review of "cultural practices, economic realities, political dynamics, religious history, and biblical interpretations."

Phelps fag-haters greeted with a big wet one in Albuquerque

In this story, he was picketing in Sante Fe and Albuquerque, NM against the "sodomite whorehouses masking as churches," and "godless Sante Fe promotes itself as a vacation spot for fags and a fag festival." You get the idea. It gives us to try when The Rotting Cryptkeeper comes to Durham on May 6-7. (
Stunned that protesters were flashing hateful anti-gay messages to traffic along a busy street on the weekend, Chris Lucas had to pull over to join a counter-protest. Then, just as spontaneously, Lucas found a way to stun the protesters. The 31-year-old massage therapist and a man he just met locked in a passionate kiss just feet from the protesters.

"I know the protesters were shouting things at me, but I couldn't hear what they were saying," said Lucas, who is gay. "I had my eyes closed. It was actually kind of liberating to do this." The kiss was one of several creative responses to a demonstration by 20 members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. The group travels the country to rally against homosexuality.

"These young adults need to know there is a hell and there is a judgment day on which they will be judged for their sins," said church member Deborah Hockenbarger, 51. "We are trying to warn them about their filthiness. It is not OK to be a fag. God almighty says so."

Hockenbarger waved a sign that read: "Fags are worthy of death." Other church members took shots at Catholicism with signs that read: "Pope in Hell" and "Your pastor is a whore." They view the church as a pro-gay institution.

About 40 gay rights supporters reacted by waving white cloths they called angel wings, dressing up their dogs with slogan T-shirts, chanting or simply quietly turning their backs on the protesters.

...Jacob Phelps, the 21-year-old grandson of Westboro's pastor Fred Phelps, said his church teaches that God hates homosexuals.

"We wouldn't be here doing this protest if we hated people absolutely," he said. "What we're expressing is not our hate, it's God's hate. That's a pure hate. It's the only kind of hate allowed. I feel this is my obligation to God."

The Westboro Church began its anti-gay demonstrations about 15 years ago. Targets include churches — even conservative ones — that the congregation deems too soft on homosexuality and labels "fag-enablers."

Jessica Bachicha, 35, repeated the words of Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez who said the Westboro protesters weren't welcomed in this city. "We don't need them coming to pollute our city or state with hate," said Bachicha, a lesbian.

Justice Sunday

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Perhaps someone needs to check the White House books for $1200 expense reports

Former White House "reporter"/rent-boy Jeff Gannon/James Guckert is back in the news again. The Raw Story has a blockbuster piece on some unexplained, lengthy visits to the White House, sometimes when there was no press conference. Remember, Gannon was promoting his "extracurricular services" at the weekend rate of $1200/weekend, and $200/hr. His explicit sites also include feedback from "satisfied customers." Perhaps some were in the press briefing room.
Guckert made more than 200 appearances at the White House during his two-year tenure with the fledging conservative websites GOPUSA and Talon News, attending 155 of 196 White House press briefings. He had little to no previous journalism experience.

Perhaps more notable than the frequency of his attendance, however, is several distinct anomalies about his visits.

* Guckert made more than three dozen excursions to the White House when there were no scheduled briefings. On many of these days, the Press Office held press gaggles aboard Air Force One—which raises questions about what Guckert was doing at the White House. On at least fourteen occasions, Secret Service records show either the entry or exit time missing. Generally, the existing entry or exit times correlate with press conferences; on most of these days, the records show that Guckert checked in but was never processed out.

* In March, 2003, Guckert left the White House twice on days he had never checked in with the Secret Service.

* Over the next 22 months, Guckert failed to check out with the Service on thirteen days. On several of these visits, Guckert either entered or exited by a different entry/exit point than his usual one. On one of these days, no briefing was held.

Gay news roundup and incredible sh*t over at DKos

UPDATE (8 PM): I'm moving the DKos stuff up to the top, because it's getting to me. What on earth possessed him to do this?

There is an ad appearing in the classified section of Daily Kos that is unfortunately real...(I took a screenshot it case it "disappears"). I've just gotten confirmation that BlogAds classifieds are indeed reviewed by the site owner and approved to run. There is no reason than Kos could have "missed" this; he chose to accept the money and run the ad. The almighty dollar cannot be worth shilling for a wingnut outfit, this vendor is called ShopMetrospy:

Looking up this outfit, I found this information:
METROSPY, based in San Bernardino, CA is a designer and marketer of politically conservative apparel, gifts and accessories. The company"s target consumers are the growing number of young Republican conservatives ages 18 - 35. MetroSpy markets t-shirts, jackets and caps printed with edgy, often controversial political slogans. The company has recently added posters, wristbands and key chains to its product mix. MetroSpy currently employs 7 full and part time employees with annual sales of $500,000.
There's plenty more garbage on its web site, but I'm not providing a link to it here. Someone over at DKos needs to explain this sh*t pronto.

[UPDATE]: Shakes Sis comments on her blog with the following:
I don’t know whether Kos has to approve the ads that go on his site or not, but surely by now he or one of his writers has seen it. Is Kos’ opinion that money from his ads is worth more than preventing homophobic sentiments from running on the biggest Lefty site? Does this have anything to do with Kos’ curious assertion that gays “might or might not qualify for ‘minority’ status”?

This is pretty discouraging, I have to say. Although there’s some satisfaction to be gained knowing that a company like this is helping pay for Daily Kos, that the content of its ad includes what can only be described as a thinly veiled threat against gays (or was that odd juxtaposition between killing bugs and the rights of gay men just coincidence?) surely warrants its deletion.

I certainly hope that the ad is removed from the site.
I wrote Kos a few minutes ago (like I expect a response, but whatever -- I fear the big lefty blogosphere will circle the wagons on this one):

Why on earth are you running a classified ad for [Metrospy's link]?

The text is profoundly offensive: "We don't have a problem with gays. They should have all the same rights as heterosexual men. They should be allowed to marry the woman of their choice."

I understand you need to pay for the site, but damn, don't you have standards? It's painful to see something like that running on a progressive site.



Back to the news roundup...

This has been a tough week for the homos. We've gotten good news and bad news, but we're still here and we won't be quiet.

The Good

* Connecticut passes civil unions. The state became the first to legalize civil unions for gay couples without the prodding of a court. The State Senate voted 26-8 in favor of establishing civil unions giving same-sex couples all of the rights afforded married couples under state law, such as inheritance and hospital visitation. The law takes effect on Oct. 1.

* Spain nears approval of gay marriage. The bill, which also will pave the way for gay couples to adopt children, will now go to the Senate — where the Socialists have ample support — for final approval. Belgium and the Netherlands are the only two other European countries that have legalized gay marriages. Representatives of gay and lesbian groups cheered and applauded from the chamber's public gallery when the vote result was read out. The bill passed by a 183-136 vote, with six abstentions. Pope Ratz went apeshit and delivered his response via one of his homophobe lackeys.

* Virginia ordered to honor gay adoptions.The Virginia Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state must provide new birth certificates for children born in Virginia and adopted by gay couples in other states. The 5-to-2 ruling overturned a lower court's decision that the state is not required to issue new birth certificates for such children. The case was brought by three same-sex couples denied birth certificates for their adoptive children. The issue is co-adoption legal in some states but illegal in Virginia. Although it permits single gays and lesbians to adopt, Virginia does not recognize same-sex unions.

* Equality Forum in Philly will make the wingnuts crazy. The huge celebration,will commemorate 40 years of the gay rights movement on May 1. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) has approved a historical marker recognizing the area around Independence Hall as the site of the first organized and annual gay and lesbian civil rights demonstration. Fred Phelps will be going to demonstrate and has challenged Barney Frank to a debate on homos.

* Colorado gay rights bill moves forward. Legislation to make discrimination against members of Colorado's LGBT community passed the first of two Senate votes Thursday night. Going into the session it was unclear if the bill would have enough votes to carry, but the clincher came when Sen. Abel Tapia made a personal appeal, telling the chamber about the bias experienced by his own gay son. "Until you have that in your family and it affects you directly, don't be talking about 'abomination,' because I don't believe that's true," Tapia said.

* L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center asked Microsoft to give back its civil rights award. "Because of Microsoft's apparent capitulation to the demands of anti-gay extremists and withdrawal of support for a bill that would do nothing more than protect gay and lesbian people from discrimination, we believe it's no longer worthy of our highest corporate honor" -- Darrel Cummings, chief of staff for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.

The Bad and the Ugly

* Microsoft tosses gays overboard by withdrawing support for an anti-discrimination bill in Washington state. It would have banned discrimination against gays and lesbians in housing, employment and insurance -- and it failed by one vote Thursday in the state Senate. "We have exposed bigotry and prejudice," said Rep. Ed Murray, an openly gay Democrat from Seattle. "We didn't win today, but we will win." AMERICABlog has had extensive coverage of the damnable behavior by the $30 billion + company, which you should read. Blend posts are here, here, here, and here. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, released a lame email to attempt some butt-covering, but it's pathetically bad: "Ballmer said that personally, both be and Chairman Bill Gates supported the gay-rights bill. "But that is my personal view, and I also know that many employees and shareholders would not agree with me." he wrote."

* GOP Threatens DC Mayor Over Gay Marriage. Republicans in Congress have issued a veiled threat to DC mayor Anthony Williams that if his administration recognizes same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts or Canada the District could face a battle over funding. Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) issued the warning after D.C. Attorney General Robert J. Spagnoletti issued a legal yesterday that legally married gay couples could file joint city tax returns. Williams told the Post that the D.C government "will have a decision soon" but declined to say whether the District would recognize same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts or Canada.

* Alabama wants to ban any texts that "promotes" homosexuality. Never mind this is a completely subjective measure, but the dumbasses lawmakers considered a bill aimed at keeping books tolerant of homosexuality out of public schools. A despondent lesbian activist, Patricia Todd, told a House committee: "I feel you all hate us."

* Navajo outlaw gay marriage. The Tribal Council voted unanimously in favor of legislation that restricts a recognized union to that between a man and a woman, and prohibits plural marriages as well as marriages between close relatives. Critics have said the measure's sponsor, Del. Larry Anderson, was attempting to rewrite cultural history to parallel the clash across the United States between conservative Christians and gay rights activists.

* Texas wants to bar gays from being foster parents. The Lone Star State could become the only state to bar gays from becoming foster parents under legislation passed by its House. It passed 135-6 with two abstentions and now heads to the Senate. "It is our responsibility to make sure that we protect our most vulnerable children, and I don't think we are doing that if we allow a foster parent that is homosexual or bisexual," said Republican Rep. Robert Talton, who introduced the amendment.

Note to Pope Ratz: it's the coverup that kills you.

More in common than we ever thought.

Pope Ratz had no problem covering up for the pedophile priests in the faithful flock's midst; didn't he learn anything from a famous former U.S. president that the coverup is as bad as the crime itself? Wait, in the Catholic church's case, the actual events in question -- the sexual abuse of countless minors at the hands of spiritual and moral leaders of houses of worship -- are beyond the pale. This particular obstruction of justice makes Tricky Dick and his partners in crime look like choirboys. (Guardian):
Pope Benedict XVI faced claims last night he had 'obstructed justice' after it emerged he issued an order ensuring the church's investigations into child sex abuse claims be carried out in secret. The order was made in a confidential letter, obtained by The Observer, which was sent to every Catholic bishop in May 2001.

...The letter, 'concerning very grave sins', was sent from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office that once presided over the Inquisition and was overseen by Ratzinger. It spells out to bishops the church's position on a number of matters ranging from celebrating the eucharist with a non-Catholic to sexual abuse by a cleric 'with a minor below the age of 18 years'. Ratzinger's letter states that the church can claim jurisdiction in cases where abuse has been 'perpetrated with a minor by a cleric'. The letter states that the church's jurisdiction 'begins to run from the day when the minor has completed the 18th year of age' and lasts for 10 years.

It orders that 'preliminary investigations' into any claims of abuse should be sent to Ratzinger's office, which has the option of referring them back to private tribunals in which the 'functions of judge, promoter of justice, notary and legal representative can validly be performed for these cases only by priests'.

'Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret,' Ratzinger's letter concludes. Breaching the pontifical secret at any time while the 10-year jurisdiction order is operating carries penalties, including the threat of excommunication.
Does the Pope have someone to break arms and bash kneecaps too? Not only is this thinking diseased and immoral, it is incredibly arrogant. The desire to hide the crimes is indicative of the admission of the gravity of the situation. Why was this man elevated, and why is the broadcast media participating in the pageantry and image-making of this Pope when it should be doing its job of reporting?


House Blender Patrick noted in the comments, the above headline also applies to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. He has been rushing to paper over his company's cowardly, politically motivated withdrawal of support for an enti-discrimination bill in Washington state this week.

It's too late Steve, your company messed with the wrong crowd; the coverup is just pathetic mewling.

Freepers feeling the heat on Bolton

Hahahaha. The knuckle-draggers over in Freeperland are white-hot with anger over Ohio Sen. George Voinovich's refusal to vote to confirm the appointment of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. (AP):
Now the focus is on one committee member, Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio. Voinovich stunned the chairman, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and his colleagues when he announced during the hearing that he had misgivings about Bolton.

The White House is now lobbying Voinovich and two other GOP senators on the committee to support Bolton, although Bush has not gotten involved personally.

To salvage the nomination, the White House probably will have to offer some "exculpatory information" to counter the daily trickle of new allegations about Bolton's record, Lichtman said. In the end, however, he said it may depend on how badly the White House wants Bolton's confirmation.
Take a peek at the anger at Voinovich and the Republican senators that so far refuse to vote on the nuclear option to kill the filibuster on judicial nominations.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"What a back pedaling, despicable, back stabbing, LIBpublican! Also, here is a LIST of (R)Senators who are REFUSING to support the constitutional option rules change for a fair up-or-down vote on the President’s judicial nominations!! Unbelievable!"

"12 people on that list. I wish some residents of their respective states would get in their ear."

"Bolton is not going to get confirmed. I just have this feeling. THEY ARE ALL SWINES!!"

""He's not the kind of leader who cows to pressure from interest groups, he [Voinovich] said. No, he cows to pressure from the media. "

"Looks like the good Senator is about to face the music. He is about to be snapped out of his beltway myopia. He may have pleased the Washington Post, NY Times, etc. but he will find that his own constituents are not impressed."

--Jeff Blogworthy

"I'm just so warm & fuzzy all over, knowing how HARD I worked for a Republican re-election with a MAJORITY! I'm absolutely DISGUSTED!"

"Border control, Bolton, Judges, DeLay you name it, the republicans deserve the pounding they're getting from the people who elected them."

"FAX THE SENATE. Faxing is a lot more effective than email, and you can do it from your computer. Remember this service? Free Online Fax Service: TPC.INT. This service covers all of Washington DC.
You can also use this service via email by using this format: For example, you can send a Fax to the The Senate Judiciary Committee office in Washington D.C. using this email address: Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Just click the links to find fax numbers. Find your senator and send him/her/it a fax "

"Great. The guy's too dense to enjoy one of the perks of being the majority party - pissing off the minority party."

"Bolton is not going to get confirmed. I just have this feeling. THEY ARE ALL SWINES!!

"Then recess appoint him. Problem solved (until next year)."

"Voinovivh will probably vote for Bolton. However, the damage has been done and spineless Chafee will now vote against him. They needed that vote on 4/19. More time meant good-bye Chafee."

"Pretty good ad. These politicians have to learn that the days when we support them just because they have an "R" after their names are OVER!"

"A creative freeper letter, fax or email should be sent to these nerds explaining why their money tree is going to be a few leaves short of a screw pine."

"I forgot about that. Who would have thunk Powell would go away with a grudge! Jeeze I thought he was a gentleman I guess not!"

"We gained HORRIFIC DISAPPOINTMENT! What's WORSE? They don't even seem to be affected in the least, by our OUTRAGE!!!!"

"Bolton is going to get confirmed. After all this silly, tortuous, posturing by the RINOS, Bolton will get an up and down Senate vote. I just have this feeling. "

"First, regarding Powell. His big "victory" was a UN resolution which delayed the invasion of Iraq nine months, allowing Saddam to plan the insurgency; next, he couldn't get the Turks on board; last, he got rolled at the UN several times; So if he wins this one it will be a first. As this drags out, the DEMS will be associated with the UN as it is increasingly shown to be corrupt and ineffective. And, I think Bush is angry enough that if Bolton goes down the new nominee will knock their socks off, plus this time he'll pay attention."

"Too many Republicans are democrats in disguise. Rats have infiltrated the party. That's all there is to it, and I think they'll continue to come out of the woodwork on these crucial votes until we clean house."

First Blog 'Sheroes' Meetup is tonight in NYC

Feminist bloggers are meeting up at in New York City on today from 7pm to 10pm at Madam X. Blog Sheroes is going to be about "Tits, twats and the politics of blogging." Liza Sabater of culturekitchen and Nichelle Stephens of Nichelle Newsletter are the organizers of the event.

Some of the fine bloggrrls expected to attend: Elayne Riggs of Pen-Elayne, Lorraine Berry of Stregoneria, DailyKos and culturekitchen, Barbara O'Brien of Mahablog, Lauren Beyerstein of Majikthise and Bitch Ph.D..

Sigh...wish I could join everyone.

Why the fight for gay rights should be important to all women

Saturday, April 23, 2005

My fellow bloggrrl Shakespeare's Sister eloquently makes the case in her post "Women, They’re Coming For You Next," that straight women need to support gay civil rights efforts. It's all about stopping the erosion of everyone's rights by the American Taliban --they won't stop with the homos.
The conservative brand of Christianity that is growing in prominence in America, and currently has designs on getting full-scale control of the government (which by the way has a name and we should all be using it: dominionism), has a history of sexuality and gender oppression that is inextricably linked. It’s no coincidence that dominionists are just as opposed to abortion and birth control as they are gay rights. Restricting access to abortion and birth control is about forcing women to cede control over their bodies. The underlying rationale—that they care about the fetus, the whole pro-life banter—is absolute nonsense. If dominionists cared about saving children, they would dedicate at least as much time and energy to solving the problem of poverty in America as they do to criminalizing abortion. That no such sweeping movement to relieve children suffering from poverty, or abuse, is afoot among dominionists tells you everything you need to know about their motivations. They do not care about saving children; they care about controlling women. And I can assure you, it won’t stop with abortion and birth control.
Sometimes you have to wonder how the narrow-minded legislators and religious bigots can even tie their laces and process a thought at the same time. It just doesn't compute for them that straight people have anything to lose in the fight for gay rights. As we can see with the incredible assault on women's rights, the Reich doesn't know when or how to stop once they get drunk with power and the desire to control other human beings.

OMG: Ken's new Barbie

Another bit of political P'shop brilliance from Mike Tidmus...

Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Pastor Ken Hutcherson.

I love Mike's headline - "Looks like Papa’s gotta brand new hag!" It's the damn truth. Check it out, especially the link to Operation Rebirth, a site dedicated to monitoring black churches with hostile positions on gay rights.

From the essay "Has the Black Church Failed the Same Gender Loving Community?" by Tuan N' Gai of Biazo Ministries:
Instead of giving us an atmosphere of affirmation, we are more often than not treated with hostility. We need to know that the same God that loved and brought "Big Mama" thus far is the same God that loves us and is carrying us through our tough times. We need to know that the same Bible that's being used to beat and bash our heads in, has words of comfort, encouragement, and inspiration for us. The same Word of God that most of the preachers of today use to kill us speaks to our many dilemmas and gives us victory over our issues, just like it does for everyone else.

So, HAS the Black Church failed the Black Same Gender Loving Community? In the ways that really matter…YES. The purpose of the church is to show the love of God to ALL people. The church's JOB is to behave like the Bible says Jesus did. He walked and taught unconditional love, and received whoever would follow Him. Instead, the church has become this elitist religious social club that it's become. Some have gone so far as to start HIV/AIDS ministries that offer testing and counseling. And that's a very good thing…FOR THEM! They stand to get hundreds of thousands of dollars to operate these "ministries". But what good does it do when they preach and teach that God hates the ones they are testing?

What's the Same Gender Loving Christian to do? I suggest seeking more affirming spiritual homes of worship where the TRUE love of God is being taught and displayed. There are churches out there that are not prejudiced. Churches that provide a safe place of worship for EVERYONE. Seek them out. We need to start supporting those who support us. Lend our gifts and talents to those who will in return nurture and edify us spiritually. We must empower ourselves, and stop giving our all to organizations that in their ignorance have proven to have failed us.
The site is a great resource for locating affirming churches and has a feature called "Is This Your Pastor," featuring reviews of recent anti-gay sermons, articles and books from pastors throughout the U.S.

Just a sample homophobic quote from a sermon:

"That's why you can't even walk right when you doin' that stuff. You hurtin' 'cause it ain't natural."
-- Bishop Paul Morton, God vs Gays

Don't forget to grab and use Mike's great Microsoft "Powered by Bigotry" logo.

'Ex-gay' quack reinstated on health care advisory panel

Throckmorton says his reinstatement at Magellan confirms support for his contention that gays and lesbians can become 'ex-gay' with recommended 'therapies.'

Lest anyone doubt the power of social activism, here's another case of the Religious Reich having an effect -- they've forced the reversal of a decision by the country's largest mental health management company, Magellan Health Services, to boot 'ex-gay' advocate Dr. Warren Throckmorton from its advisory board.

The AmTaliban marshalled its forces to make hundreds of phone calls and e-mail messages Magellan received from bible-beaters, employers, and 'ex-gays' to put pressure on the company. The end result, of course, is that now he feels vindicated and that his policies have merit in the eyes of the general public. From the wingnut propaganda organ AgapePress:
In February, Dr. Warren Throckmorton, Ph.D., was dismissed from his advisory position with Magellan Health Services, the largest mental health management company in the United States. His dismissal came about due to his views concerning sexual orientation and change -- specifically, his belief that homosexuals have the ability to leave that lifestyle and the right to seek help in doing so.

...The upshot of all that has happened, the psychologist says, "is that a very positive statement has come out of this from the company -- that a person has a right to explore a variety of therapies when they're grappling with sexual orientation issues."

...He believes this change of heart sends a message to those the mental health organization exists to serve -- particularly those who struggle with unwanted sexual feelings.

"I do think that it's a great support for people who have changed," Throckmorton says, "and for people who have often been told that they don't exist. Here's a company saying that people in that position have a right to choose that kind of approach if that's what they desire." The professor is pleased with Magellan's decision to invite him back on its advisory panel and notes, "This is a good move to get the focus back on providing quality mental health management."
These are mental health professionals? This therapy is not about medical science.

The list of resources on Throckmorton's web site is a laughable one, containing the usual quack suspects -- fundamentalist/evangelical ministries: Exodus Youth, New Direction for Life, Regeneration, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays. 'Ex-Gay' mill Regeneration, for example, is religious program endorsed by James Dobson and Chuck Colson.

Wayne Besen's excellent Anything But Straight exposed the hypocrisy, scandal and lies perpetuated by these ministries, including details on a professed "cured" leader of the movement photographed by the author cruising in a gay bar. Two of the founders of Exodus, Gary Cooper and Michael Bussee, actually fell in love, divorced their wives, and eventually held a commitment ceremony.

Read earlier posts on this 'ex-gay' nonsense:

* "Ex-Gay" and in absolute denial. A post on two articles forwarded to the Blend published in Christianity Today that were deeply disturbing. Both involve people that have felt such self-loathing about their sexual orientation that they have created tortured arguments about what is to blame, and what is the solution. These folks have experienced dysfunction in their families or were in the grips of addictions that overwhelmed them, but they point the finger at their orientation as the root cause or an outgrowth of their negative emotional experiences.

* Head of Mormon church: "Gays have a problem". The Mormons don't want you to know that they have unfortunately played a role in practice of "reparative aversion therapy" to rid gay Mormons of their homosexual orientation.

* Crisis line refers gay youth to discredited Exodus "Ex-Gay" ministry. If you're a teen, scared and calling a hotline for support in coming out, here's where you don't want to call. The Right is now using subterfuge to reach out to vulnerable gay people with the "condemnation and conversion" approach, steering them to the discredited "ex-gay" ministry Exodus International

* An "ex-gay" ministry in my own back yard.... I had no idea about this local (Raleigh) crap ministry, Beyond Imagination. It's Exodus-affiliated as well.

* 'Ex-gay' leader expelled from counseling group. Richard Cohen, president of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (P-FOX), has been booted out of the American Counseling Association for unethical conduct.

* 'Ex-Gay' & 'Everstraight' Student Clubs promoted at schools. P-FOX is attempting to counter gay-straight alliances with this crap. "The purpose of an ex-gay & everstraight club is to provide a safe environment for all students to discuss alternatives to homosexuality and find ex-gay resources. Clubs can be started by students who have never been gay (everstraights), ex-gay students, and those struggling with unwanted same sex attraction."

More blog template tinkering...

I think I like these latest change, which places the two narrow columns to the right. I also tweaked the menus and display text in them for easier reading. Added some new "Best of Blend" posts.

What do you think?

The brass balls of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

"Because of Microsoft's apparent capitulation to the demands of anti-gay extremists and withdrawal of support for a bill that would do nothing more than protect gay and lesbian people from discrimination, we believe it's no longer worthy of our highest corporate honor,"
--Darrel Cummings, chief of staff for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, said in a statement released Friday.

(via AMERICABlog): I want the Democratic Party to see what brass ones look like -- they need to grow some. This pair goes to the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, which asked Microsoft to give back its civil rights award. The $30+ billion company earned its award four years ago because it offered benefits to same-sex couples since the early 1990s. The goodwill was blasted away by the Redmond-based computer behemoth when it withdrew its support of a bill that would have outlawed discrimination against gays and lesbians in Washington State.

The bill failed by one freaking vote.

NOTE: The initial thought was that, as improbable as it may seem, an unknown outside WA wingnut preacher rolled MS with a threatened boycott. At this stage in the political game, wingnuttery has been known to roll more than a few politicians and companies. Another interesting and plausible theory, promoted by Chris Patil of Marching Orders, is that the company's a 2.2 million square foot expansion plans required support by senators, and MS bought off their support by going "neutral" on the rights bill:
It never seemed right that Microsoft, which has been decorated by LGBT organizations for its support of gay rights in the workplace and in society at large (link mine: Waveflux), would have reversed itself because of hassling by one ornery preacher - if that were how it worked, and individuals had that much power over the corporate giant, Bill would have fixed the security holes in Windows a long time ago.

What if the conservative preacher was a red herring, and instead, Microsoft bargained away its support for the gay rights bill in exchange for the future support of key Senators for the expansion project?

The bargaining could have occurred either actively on Microsoft's part (e.g., Microsoft approaches socially conservative opponents of the expansion and offers them a trade) or less voluntarily (i.e., social conservatives approach Microsoft and make them an offer they can't refuse, threatening opposition of the expansion project unless Microsoft pulls support for gay rights legislation).
This makes sense, but MS still has it's softies in a vise because Brad Smith, Microsoft's top attorney, admitted to Rep. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, the bill's openly gay sponsor, that the company was feeling pressure from Rev. Hutcherson and was concerned about how Christian employees might react if it supported the bill.

In either case, the damage is done. I hope the Microsofties sleep well at night, knowing they just tossed gay rights overboard.

A little blog housekeeping

Kate and I were offline tonight, busy this evening cleaning out the clothes closet - how's that for a hot Friday date? Did that until about 11PM, then --geek alert -- I decided to futz with my blog template. The House Blend was looking a little junky lately, with random clumps of links and images strewn about. It felt like a comfy, but untidy coffee house -- the sofas were raggedy, the stuffing's coming out and the pillows on the floor with crumbs all over. Time for digital spring cleaning, I said.

The main changes:

* You can get back to the main page by clicking on the Home link or the logo of the site.

* Moved the Google search up to the top left area; makes it easy to search for prior Blend postings.

* Ripped off the code for ShakesSis's collapsing menus (which she says she ripped from Ezra). Click on them to see subcategories or additional links, click again to hide. (By the way, ShakesSis, mine are working in Firefox and the verboten IE.)

* Added a More About Me section (pet info, old hilarious diaries about surgeries, blah, blah - like you care, lol.).

* The House Blend Greatest Hits section (popular posts) is now called "Best of the Blend" and it's still in the right-hand column, under the ads. That may move to a collapsing menu at some point.

* New feature: I've added The Dark Wraith's most excellent BlogScream news wire. Check it out; you can add it to your own blog.

This guy will never be voted 'Boss of the Year'

Friday, April 22, 2005

The Chimperor urged the Senate to 'put aside politics' and confirm "Massa" John Bolton to become U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Bush opened a speech about his Social Security plans with a personal plea on behalf of the marginally sane Bolton, whose nomination is in doubt due to allegations of abusive behavior the White House says are being trumped up by Democrats. (Jason Reed/Reuters).

"Brusque, arrogant, abusive." One of the relevent reasons people think John Bolton isn't qualified to be an ambassador to the United Nations is that he's a freaking psycho embarrassment. Everyone at one time or another has worked for a bastard like him or knew someone equally unhinged in the workplace. It's good to see these type-A blowhards exposed for what they are. Results matter, but creating a culture of fear in the workplace is not the best motivator -- it certainly isn't on the international diplomatic stage. (USA Today) :
Carl Ford, the former chief of intelligence and research at the State Department, told the committee Bolton was a "serial abuser" of low-level employees and a "quintessential kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy." Melody Townsel, a businesswoman working on a government contract in Moscow in 1994, said Bolton, sent to persuade her to withdraw a complaint about lack of funds, threw a tape dispenser at her and made remarks about her weight and sexual orientation.
or how about these management techniques...
"Mr Bolton chased me through the halls of a Russian hotel, throwing things at me, shoving threatening letters under my door and genuinely behaving like a madman," she wrote.

"Mr Bolton then routinely visited me to pound on the door and shout threats."
I don't know what part of that is "trumped up," Chimpy, but then maybe you like it when Daddy Cheney gives you a little discipline.

Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar blasts Focus on the Family

• "I think that the way Focus on the Family and the conservative right wing is attempting to take the country will threaten the basic cornerstone of our freedom."
- Sen. Ken Salazar, who says evangelical Christian leaders are trying to turn the U.S. into a theocracy

• "This is not about Catholicism. This is about an effort in the Senate to block people of faith and also people with conservative views. It's not just those with Christian views."
- R. Albert Mohler Jr., of James Dobson's Focus on the Family on Salazar's criticism of the group
Things are heating up as Justice Sunday approaches. It's getting really ugly; it's like something out of a bad movie at this point. (RockyMountainNews): has escalated into a brawl in which the sides are trading shots over whether the U.S. Senate is anti-Christian and whether Focus on the Family is anti-Catholic.

A political arm of the Colorado Springs-based ministry has mounted an aggressive ad campaign against Salazar and senators from 15 states. It is pressuring them to scrap filibuster rules that have allowed Democrats to block a handful of controversial judicial nominations.

Salazar, a Democrat and lifelong Catholic, blasted the ads on Wednesday, saying Focus on the Family was "hijacking" Christianity and becoming an appendage of the Republican Party. The ministry reaches millions of evangelical Christians through the leadership of its founder, James Dobson.

"I think the kind of attack that is being used against (Democratic senators) and against me has the potential of moving our country to abandoning the freedom of worship which we enjoy in this country, and moving toward the creation of a theocracy," Salazar said.

After his first verbal barrage on Wednesday, a Focus on the Family spokesman said Salazar was aligning himself with Democratic senators who allegedly showed an anti-Catholic bias in rejecting one of the appeals court nominees, former Alabama attorney general William Pryor.

Salazar responded Thursday with a terse letter to Dobson. In it, he defended Senate colleagues of various faiths, and he called on Dobson to repudiate a Focus board member who once referred to Catholicism as "a false church."

The board member, R. Albert Mohler Jr., said Thursday he stands by the comments he made in March 2000 on the cable news show Larry King Live. "I believe that the Roman church is a false church and it teaches a false gospel," Mohler said at the time. "And indeed, I believe that the pope himself holds a false and unbiblical office."

Pope Ratz is right out of the gate slamming gays

The Pope's family policy buttboy Cardinal Trujillo says the possibility of gay marriage in Spain is "profoundly iniquitous." For those Freepi and trolls out there, the word means "wicked because it is believed to be a sin." (Pope Ratz photo illustration by "evilgenius" Doug at Reality Stick).

Friends and colleagues said the world had yet to see the warmer side of a man who has been dubbed in the Italian press as the "panzer cardinal" and "God's Rottweiler." "You will see that his personality will surprise many, a great many people. It will surprise them because of this slightly caricature-like image that people have of the cardinal he was."
-- Spanish Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo
Just as the Vatican was spinning to the world that we would see his soft side, out comes this hotheaded gay-bashing commentary from Ratz's lackey, following Spain's move to legalize gay marriage. (BBC):
Pope Benedict XVI has responded firmly to the first challenge of his papacy by condemning a Spanish government bill allowing marriage between homosexuals. The bill, passed by parliament's Socialist-dominated lower house, also allows gay couples to adopt.

The head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council on the Family, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, denounced the legislation as profoundly iniquitous.

Interviewed in the Italian newspaper, Corriere de la Serra, Cardinal Lopez Trujillo said the Church was making an urgent call for freedom of conscience for Roman Catholics and appealing to them to resist the law. He said every profession linked with implementing homosexual marriages should oppose it, even if it meant losing their jobs. The cardinal insisted that just because something was made law it did not make it right.
Let's see, might some of the following be described as iniquitous? A church that:
* covered up for pedophiles in the priesthood
* has a former member of the Hitler Youth as a Pope
* has a record of past coziness with Nazis -- Ratzinger's spiritual mentor, Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber dined with the Führer at Hitler's mountain retreat
* facilitates the death of millions in Africa from AIDS because of it cannot reconcile its stand against condom use with public health.
* thinks women have no place in the leadership of the church

And the list goes on and on. His words ring hollow.

Thanks to House Blender Paul for the pointer.

Microsoft bullsh*ts its 'neutral' position on failed WA anti-discrimination bill

Bill supporter Ed Murray, says Microsoft's claim that threat of a religious wingnut boycott had nothing to do with withdrawal of support is "an absolute lie." Bradford L. Smith, MS bullsh*t artist, won't comment on his conversation with Murray, where he admitted the church's pressure was a factor.

The spin machine is hard at work. Hold your nose as you read this dirty baby nappy-smelly defense from Microsoft about its "neutral" position on a state bill that would have barred discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. From the NYT:
Microsoft officials said that the recent meetings with the minister did not persuade them to back away from supporting the bill, because they had already decided to take a "neutral" position on it. They said they had examined their legislative priorities and decided that because they already offer extensive benefits to gay employees and that King County, where Microsoft is based, already has an anti-discrimination law broader than what the state bill proposed, they should focus on other legislative matters.

"Our government affairs team made a decision before this legislative session that we would focus our energy on a limited number of issues that are directly related to our business," said Mark Murray, a company spokesman. "That decision was not influenced by external factors. It was driven by our desire to focus on a smaller number of issues in this short legislative session. We obviously have not done a very good job of communicating about this issue."
Uh, that's an understatement you cowardly f*cker. It gets better, since the company has already been ratted out as having been affected by Ken Hutcherson, pastor of the Antioch Bible Church, who planned a boycott of MS if the $30+ billion dollar company supported the bill, would have prevented discrimination in employment, housing and other matters to gays and lesbians.

But State Representative Ed Murray, an openly gay Democrat and a sponsor of the bill, said that in a conversation last month with Bradford L. Smith, Microsoft's senior vice president and general counsel, Mr. Smith made it clear to him that the company was under pressure from the church and the pastor and that he was also concerned about the reaction to company support of the bill among its Christian employees, the lawmaker said.

Mr. Smith would not comment for this article....Representative Murray said the company's contention that the decision not to support the bill had nothing to do with the church was "an absolute lie."
And low-rent Am Taliban Hutcherson was quite smug about his successful threat to Microsoft -- he said he told company executives, "If you don't think the moral issue is not a big issue, just count the amount of votes that were cast on moral issues in the last election," and "I was going to give them something to be afraid of Christians about."

[John over at AMERICABlog also has much to say about this article.]

Soulforce, Falwell, and the Rotting Cryptkeeper

Rev. Mel White was a former ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson that put himself through over $100K of therapy, electroshock treatment and even exorcism to "rid" himself of his homosexuality. It didn't work. When he reached peace with his orientation, he reached out to others struggling with their faith and identity by founding Soulforce.

The group plans an 'equality ride' to Falwell's Liberty University on Monday to speak with students at the conservative, religious institution and to meet with students that "are forced to live closeted lives."(
"We're concerned about the treatment of students at Liberty," Jake Reitan, director of youth programs for Soulforce, said Thursday. "We're going to bring Falwell letters from (gay and lesbian) students who are in the college and show him the problem that exists now."

Reitan said about 60 students from a dozen other Virginia colleges and universities will arrive at Liberty by bus at 9 a.m. to spend the day talking to Liberty students about sexual orientation and gender identity. Soulforce, also based in Lynchburg, plans a news conference at 1 p.m.

"Liberty's gay and lesbian students are forced to live closeted lives, always fearful that if found out they will be expelled with their transcripts locked and their tuition lost," Reitan said.

Liberty officials did not return telephone calls from The Associated Press, but said in a statement they were aware of Soulforce's plans to make an "uninvited visit."
Mel White also has some interesting things about our friend Fred Phelps. In another article at, he gives a clearer picture of where the man is coming from (not that it helps any): Indy: What about Fred Phelps, of "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God for 9-11" fame, who is planning to come back to Colorado Springs while Soulforce is here? One of their announced stops is in front of Focus on the Family to protest the ministry's empathy for gays.

MW: I spent an hour and a half, two hours, with Fred in his office in Topeka and talked to him about his theology. He believes that God wants homosexuals dead. And any kind of tolerance, any kind of discussion less than that is not fulfilling the call. So [according to Phelps] anybody who says anything less than what the Bible says -- and the Bible makes it clear that a man who sleeps with another man is an abomination and should be executed -- is a traitor to the Bible and should be executed.

So Phelps is an extremist, but he gives this insight into the stealth of people like Dobson who say they're biblical literalists but then refuse to go all the way. Phelps says that while Mel White is obviously doomed to death, Dobson, just by being a selective literalist, is also dooming himself because he's not taking the stand that homosexuals should be killed.

Mel White of Soulforce is an "old fag preacher," according to Fred Phelps."

Indy: Why did you spend two hours with this man?

MW: Because nonviolence demands that we take our enemies seriously, that we hear them. Fred Phelps has an earned Ph.D., he has a major library in both Greek and Hebrew texts, he is a long-term biblical scholar who, like John Calvin, is consistent. He has gone all the way with those texts; he takes them literally. So I wanted to see really whether he was a nutcase or whether he had an analyzable theology, and he does. He's very articulate.

Indy: So how did the conversation go? I'm trying to envision it ...

MW: Oh man, he was concerned about my soul and I'm concerned about his. For me, the Bible is not inerrant, the Bible is inspired and trustworthy in all those areas to which it was called to speak -- but it's not trustworthy in terms of science.

[Phelps] and I debated all these issues that a literalist would debate with a person like myself, who loves and respects [the Bible] but isn't a literalist. So we had a great time, and then I went out and held up signs in front of his place saying, "God loves fags, God even loves Fred Phelps."

Spain nears approval of gay marriage and adoption

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Gay rights campaigners cheers as the vote was read out.

Yes, while the American Taliban and its friends like Microsoft are supporting the cultural regression in the U.S., Spain is about to join other civilized countries that recognize gay relationships. (BBC):
Spain's lower house of parliament has approved the right of homosexual couples to marry and adopt children.

The government-backed bill now passes to the Senate, where it is expected to get final approval in the coming weeks. The opposition centre-right Popular Party voted against, saying that gay relationships fall outside the traditional institution of marriage.

...Under the proposed bill, Spanish Civil Law would include the phrase: "Matrimony shall have the same requisites and effects regardless of whether the persons involved are of the same or different sex."

Justice Minister Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar argued that the bill overcomes "the barriers of discrimination, many of them with deep historical or primitive roots, which affect rights and freedoms and, in a specific way, the extension of free choice in the search for happiness, an unwritten basic right".

The vote in parliament was passed by 183 votes, with 136 against and six abstentions.

Interesting visual juxtaposition...

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrives at 'Echo of Moscow' FM radio. Rice, balancing her harsh criticisms of Russia's democratic record, called Moscow a 'strategic partner' and urged boosted cooperation on several fronts(AFP/Alexander Nemenov)

More Microsoft madness...

Thanks again to Mike Tidmus for the cool, subversive graphic.

[UPDATE: the bill failed to pass. Tried to post this earlier but Blogger was f*cking up.]

Feel free to take this graphic and use it everywhere and anywhere; it's going on my sidebar. The bigots at Microsoft need to see our solidarity against its slimy suckup to the Religious Reich.

It failed by one freaking vote in Washington State's legislature today.

As AMERICABlog notes:
The gay rights bill just lost in the Washington state Senate minutes ago by a 24-25 vote, i.e., by one vote.

All the Republicans voted against the bill, and at least one Democrat. Apparently the forces of good did win a procedural vote to force the bill out of committee and onto the Senate floor, but then it was killed by the 24-25 vote. As an interesting aside, if you can call it that, one of the moderate Republicans voting against the bill was the guy representing Redmond, Microsoft's district.
John's letter says it all.
Dear Microsoft,

You messed with the wrong faggots.

You thought you were avoiding a religious right boycott by suddenly going anti-gay. And you may have thought "hell, the evangelicals boycott us, the gays boycott us - we've got to choose one, and the evangelicals are in power, so let's screw the gays."

But here's something you didn't count on. You messed with the wrong faggots.

We have no intent of launching a boycott. Boycotts are hard to enforce, especially when dealing with a monopoly. And in any case, we're smarter than that. We're the country's top lobbyists, and grassroots activists, and lawyers, and politicos, and bloggers working in both Washingtons (state and DC).

When we fuck back, we don't launch boycotts. When we fuck back, we go for the jugular.

Changing the subject, we understand congratulations is in order. You're planning a 2.2 million square foot expansion of the Microsoft campus in Redmond over the next ten to twenty years. The expansion, we hear, would allow you to hire 10,000 to 20,000 new employees.

Well bully for you. You must be quite excited about that.

We also hear that you're going to need a lot of help - a LOT of help - from the state legislature and the Redmond city council to actually make that expansion work, for highway and road improvements and the like, and that not everybody is real happy about it.

Well, wouldn't it be funny if some really smart faggots decided to use their political expertise to kill any possibility of you getting the legislation and city council approval you need to make that expansion happen? And wouldn't it be even funnier if those same faggots went to your competitors and asked them to finance the entire campaign to kill your expansion?

It'd be pretty hard to hire those extra employees without your expansion, wouldn't it? I'm not saying anyone is going to do that to you. I'm just saying it would be really funny.

Best of luck to you with the legislative session over the next 24 hours.

Yours truly,

One of the faggots you just screwed

Check out Perrspective's Conservative Theory of Evolution

As Justice Sunday approaches, with Dr. Frist and the American Taliban televised freakshow, you might want to surf by Perrspectives to check out A Conservative Theory of Evolution to see how the wingnuts have "evolved" over time, leading to the current decision to nuke the filibuster for their own evil means. As John Perr notes...
Today's Southern, conservative Republicans opposing the judicial filibuster are the descendents of the Southern, conservative Democrats who once filibustered against anti-lynching laws and other civil rights legislation.
Go see how they've come full circle.

Take action! Microsoft f*cks over gays

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Here's the homo-bigot that Microshaft's newly-pious Bill Gates is cowing to.

John over at AMERICABlog has the scoop on the lying, filthy, lowdown corporate bigots at Microsoft that have decided to toss gays overboard after years of supporting the community...all because of pressure from ONE Religious Reich activist. From the Washington state publication, The Stranger:
The Stranger has learned that last month the $37-billion Redmond-based software behemoth quietly withdrew its support for House bill 1515, the anti-gay-discrimination bill currently under consideration by the Washington State legislature, after being pressured by the Evangelical Christian pastor of a suburban megachurch.

The pastor, Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, met with a senior Microsoft executive in February and threatened to organize a national boycott of the company's products if it did not change its stance on the legislation, according to gay rights activists and a Microsoft employee who attended a subsequent April 4 meeting where Bradford L. Smith, Microsoft's senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary, told a group of gay staffers about Hutcherson's threat....
And what is worse, Bill's Money Machine planned to hide the fact that it was withdrawing support for the anti-discrimination legislation.
DeLee Shoemaker, an aide to former Governor Gary Locke who now handles state-level government relations for Microsoft, had issued a letter in support of the bill. "We are going to be providing copies of that letter to the committee," he said. McCurdy spoke too soon. Murray says that beginning on February 7 he began receiving calls from company employees informing him that Hutcherson was pressuring the company to change its position on the bill. Murray eventually contacted Shoemaker. She admitted to him that Microsoft was planning to change its position on the bill. "I told her, 'This is a crisis. It will kill the bill,'" he says. "She said no one will know."....
This company is so f*cking huge that it doesn't need to be the doormat of the Right. Is this company as ball-less as the Democratic Party?

John has several action items with Microsoft contact information; please go to AMERICABlog for the latest efforts and requests.

Connecticut OKs Civil Unions

Gay rights groups were pushing for marriage, but this is still a victory over the Reich. Unfortunately, to get civil unions, Governor Jodi Rell wanted a marriage amendment to move forward. (Reuters):
Connecticut became the first U.S. state on Wednesday to legalize civil unions for gay couples without the prodding of a court, following an overwhelming approval of the state legislature and a prompt signature by Gov. Jodi Rell.

The State Senate voted 26-8 in favor of establishing civil unions giving same-sex couples all of the rights afforded married couples under state law, such as inheritance and hospital visitation. The bill does not affect any federal rights, such as the filing of federal income taxes.

Rell, a Republican, signed the civil unions bill into law shortly after the vote. The law takes effect on Oct. 1.

"I have said all along that I believe in no discrimination of any kind," Rell said. "And I think that this bill accomplishes that, while at the same time preserving the traditional language that marriage is between a man and a woman."

Rell only agreed to support the legislation after lawmakers approved an amendment she had asked for that defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman. It also restricts civil unions to same sex couples over the age of 18.

Sully hand-wrings over Pope Ratz, and Freepers love it

Andrew Sullivan is understandably tortured about the complete dismissal of gay Catholics with Pope Ratz's elevation. I feel sorry (ok, not really) for the guy, first he's screwed over by Bush/Rove, now this. It's hard to be a Repug Catholic homo these days. Here's a sampling (there's plenty to pick from since he's practically all-Pope-all-the-time of late):
Thanks for your emails both sympathizing and telling me to leave the Church entirely. But I am still in shock. This was not an act of continuity. There is simply no other figure more extreme than the new Pope on the issues that divide the Church. No one. He raised the stakes even further by his extraordinarily bold homily at the beginning of the conclave, where he all but declared a war on modernity, liberalism (meaning modern liberal democracy of all stripes) and freedom of thought and conscience. And the speed of the decision must be interpreted as an enthusiastic endoprsement of his views. What this says to American Catholics is quite striking: it's not just a disagreement, it's a full-scale assault. This new Pope has no pastoral experience as such. He is a creature of theological discourse, a man of books and treatises and arguments. He proclaims his version of the truth as God-given and therefore unalterable and undebatable. His theology is indeed distinguished, if somewhat esoteric and at times a little odd. But his response to dialogue within the church is to silence those who disagree with him. He has no experience dealing with people en masse, no hands-on experience of the challenges of the church in the developing world, and complete contempt for dissent in the West. His views on the subordinate role of women in the Church and society, the marginalization of homosexuals (he once argued that violence against them was predictable if they kept pushing for rights), the impermissibility of any sexual act that does not involve the depositing of semen in a fertile uterus, and the inadmissability of any open discourse with other faiths reveal him as even more hardline than the previous pope. I expected continuity. I didn't expect intensification of the fundamentalism and insularity of the current hierarchy. I expect an imminent ban on all gay seminarians, celibate or otherwise.
Well, as he thrashes himself over his personal religious dilemma, perhaps he should take note at what his fellow Republicans, the pious Freepi, think of his agony about the state of the Catholic church. Andy, here are your good buddies...

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"He was until he let his gayness trump his political common sense."

"The more his election pisses off the liberals and the sodomites, the better I like him."

"Andrew Sullivan's politics and religion are dictated solely and entirely by his rectum. I never bought into the Great Sodomite Conservative hoax to begin with."

"They ALWAYS let their gayness trump their common sense. Think about it... How much common sense does it take to realize that just because you have a round peg, does not mean that you stick it into any round hole you can find?!?? These guys have a mental disorder and they have the audacity to be proud of it."

"This is the religious equivalent of having had four terms of George W. Bush only to find that his successor as president is Karl Rove. Be still my heart!"

"The thing that got me active in Republican politics was seeing a guy who is a member of the Log Jammin Republicans get into a position of leadership in our County central committee. I did some investigation into the guy and found that he was pro-homosexual marriage, pro-abortion and the only reason he was in the Republican Party was that he felt the party needed to change from within. When he started to gain visibility in the party, he took down his web page that promoted a radical homosexual agenda, but unfortunately for him I found out how to locate an archive of it and made that public."

"Screw the "big tent". If you let the tent get too big, you end up with a bunch of clowns in it."

"Many of them are "libertarians" that join the Republican party because they think they can lie about their social positions and drive the party leftward on the social issues by emphasizing their anti-tax libertarian positions on the economic side... but their real objective is to eliminate opposition on the social issues."

"Someone put Ben-Gay in Andy's enema bag?"

"...Finally, Sullivan came out of the closet as the true lib he is. It semms some conservatives will overlook a lot to have a token homosexual on their team."

"Perhaps Andrew is puckering and needs something to sooth the chaffing:"

"Andrew still doesn't understand that The Catholic Religion is not a democracy. It is founded and run on principles of deeply held beliefs (and yes some members of the Church leadership do commmit serious sin)!"

Caption this, all is well edition

Rummy and Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Gen. Peter Pace, gestures during a Pentagon news conference. Pace is expected to be named chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- doesn't he look like he wants the job?

Meanwhile, all is well in Iraq, nothing to see here, move along...More than 50 bodies found in Iraq river.
The bodies of more than 50 people have been recovered from the Tigris River and have been identified, President Jalal Talabani said Wednesday. He said the bodies were believed to have been those of hostages seized in a region south of Baghdad earlier this month.

In a separate discovery, another 19 Iraqis were shot to death and left lined up against a bloodstained wall in a soccer stadium in the town of Haditha, about 140 miles northwest of Baghdad, an Iraqi reporter and residents said.


* Militant violence has surged in the past week, especially in Baghdad, with explosions often going off one after another in the morning.

* A car bomb exploded near a U.S. convoy in an area of western Baghdad where the notorious Abu Ghraib prison is located, settging an oil tanker on fire. Two Iraqis were killed and five wounded.

* Two other car bombs exploded in southern Baghdad. One missed a police convoy but hit a civilian car, killing two Iraqis and wounding four.

* The other exploded in a parking lot near Bilat al-Shuhada police station in Dora area, wounding four civilians, said police Lt. Hassan Falah.

* In Sadr city, a poor section of eastern Baghdad, gunmen in a speeding car fired on policeman Ali Talib as he walked toward his car, killing him.

* In another part of east Baghdad, gunmen attacked a Health Ministry car, killing the driver and wounding an unidentified passenger, said police Col. Hassan Jaloub.

* South of the city, one policeman was killed and two were seriously wounded when their patrol was hit by a roadside bomb in the town of Mowailha.

* Tuesday night, an attack by a suicide car bomber near an American patrol in southern Baghdad killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded four.

So maybe Pope Ratz knows he's going to kick it soon

The official pic, so says Jesus General.

CNN says the new Pontiff knows he's not long for this world.
The 78-year-old cardinal, chosen on Tuesday to become the new pope, now "appears to be in basically good health," but also is aware that his pontificate may not last "very long," said [CNN Vatican analyst John] Allen, author of a 2000 biography of Ratzinger, "Cardinal Ratzinger: The Vatican's Enforcer of the Faith."

"About two years ago he was experiencing fatigue, but appears to have picked up from that," Allen said.

Ratzinger's brother Georg Ratzinger has raised questions about whether someone of the pope's age is fit for the post. [I saw this clip on CNN this AM; Kate and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. He didn't mince words; read on.]

Before Benedict was elected pope, Georg Ratzinger said he was "convinced" that his brother would "be spared from this burden. At age 78, it's not good to take on such a job which challenges the entire person and the physical and mental existence," Allen said.

"At an age when you approach 80, it's no longer guaranteed that one is able to work and get up the next day."

...When Ratzinger told cardinals in the conclave why he wanted to take on the name Benedict XVI, "one of the things he alluded to was the fact that Benedict XV, the last pope to have that name, had one of the shortest pontificates of the 20th century," Allen said."

This week's I'm not sh*tting you post

I came across this article on wingnut AgapePress, but as you will see below, it lead me to another web site that, well, it's un-f*cking believable.
The executive director of a Christian medical organization says a bill designed to legalize assisted suicide in California advances state secrecy. AB 654 would allow doctors to give "terminally ill" patients lethal doses of drugs to end their lives -- if they request it. The measure is opposed by many physician groups and medical ethicists, among them Dr. David Stevens of the Christian Medical Association. "The truth is that this bill establishes a dangerous right to privacy for the government," Stevens says. "As in Oregon [where physician-assisted suicide is legal], the California assisted-suicide bill includes a state secrecy clause that prevents the public, the media, or watchdog groups from reviewing the evidence." According to the text of the bill, information collected about assisted suicides would not be part of the public record, but that an "annual statistical report" will be available for public scrutiny.
Stevens' organization, the Christian Medical and Dental Association web site is chock full of intellectual and medical disconnect. CMDA has guiding principles that sound like something out of the Falwell/Dobson handbook. Be very scared if you go to a doctor in this association. It has a whole page on its views of homosexuality, divided neatly into Biblical, Medical and Social categories, along with conclusions on how the pious Christian doctor should approach the homosexual patient. I want to share a snippet from the Medical section, since one must assume these bits are based on science, right?
* The causes of same-sex attraction appear to be multi-factorial and may include developmental, psychosocial, environmental and biological factors. There is no credible evidence at this time that same-sex attraction is genetically determined.

* Acting on homosexual attraction is voluntary. Claims of genetic or environmental determinism do not relieve individuals of moral responsibility for their sexual behavior.

* Homosexual behavior can be changed. There is valid evidence that many individuals who desired to abstain from homosexual acts have been able to do so.

* Some homosexual acts are physically harmful because they disregard normal human anatomy and function. These acts are associated with increased risks of tissue injury, organ malfunction, and infectious diseases. These and other factors result in a significantly shortened life expectancy.

* Among those involved in homosexual acts, there is an increased incidence of drug and/or alcohol dependence, compulsive sexual behavior, anxiety, depression, and suicide.
Moving on to the section "The Non-Traditional Family and Adoption or Use of Reproductive Technologies," I begin to become unglued. I cannot believe that this is being written by physicians. WTF is this?
In spite of proliferating alternative definitions of the family, CMDA supports the Biblical model of the traditional family--an exclusive, committed, lifelong union of a man and woman living in an integral loving relationship with or without biological or adopted children.* Most current scientific studies** affirm that the Biblical model provides the optimal environment for the health of children, family, and society.

...Adoption is an act of love that provides a beneficial environment for a child and reflects God’s act of love in adopting us into His family. CMDA enthusiastically encourages and supports adoption of children or frozen embryos into the traditional family. In addition, there may be circumstances in which a single person***, while not meeting the optimal Biblical model of the family, might adopt a child and provide a loving and nurturing environment that would outweigh the potential difficulties inherent in this situation. CMDA does not support adoption into family models other than these.

Advancements in reproductive technology have likewise created complex ethical issues. CMDA believes it is morally inappropriate to use reproductive technologies**** to produce children outside the boundaries of the traditional Biblical family model.

*The following alternative family forms do not meet this Biblical model: Same-sex couples, Domestic partners, Polygamy, Polyandry, Incestuous unions, Open marriages, and the like.

** See Annotations. See Standards for Life – Annotations for Homosexuality Statement

***A single person living according to Biblical standards. See Standards for Life: Human Sexuality, and Homosexuality
Oh, I couldn't take any more of this bullsh*t.

More P'shop Coulter brilliance...

House Blender Mike Tidmus keeps them coming...since the bony-*ss, bedworn, b*tch of the Reich is so unhappy with the photography of her Time cover, I thought I'd share Mike's retouching so that it might soothe her raggedy ego:

Boxer Benny (Kid) Paret died because of homophobia

Benny "Kid" Paret, wearing white trunks, met Emile Griffith, wearing black trunks, in a 1962 fight that would prove fatal to Paret. (Corbis)

Boxer Benny (Kid) Paret died because of homophobia.

Ten days after being savagely beaten to a pulp in a boxing match by Emile Griffith, Benny Paret died. The fight, televised back in March of 1962, was not the first or last tragedy of its kind, but the back story -- the homophobia that unleashed Griffith's fury -- is now revealed in a documentary by Dan Klores and partner Ron Berger. Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story airs tonight on USA at 9PM.

This story is really about the machismo of sports and the closet, something that has changed little since this tragedy.

Before the fateful fight, the Cuban Paret called Griffith "maricon" (the Spanish equivalent of "faggot") at their weigh-in, enraging Griffith. At the time there were rumors about Griffith's homosexuality floating around in the boxing world (he had been spotted in gay bars), so to have it called out was not just a slur but a perceived call to the defense of his manhood. The beating resulted in Paret being carried out on a stretcher, later falling into a coma and dying. In this case words did kill.

Certainly back in the 1960s, I can't imagine athlete being out of the closet, and for a black man at that time, well, the end result tells you how bad it was to be thought of as gay. [The situation hasn't gotten much better -- imagine what would happen if a hard-core rapper was exposed as a homo?]

The filmmakers interviewed Paret's wife and son, and Griffith himself, now 67 and still tormented by what happened to Paret and his own lifetime of struggle with his sexuality. Bob Herbert spoke with the boxer for his recent column, "The Haunting of Emile Griffith":
It still infuriates. At lunch, Mr. Griffith's smile faded as he recalled the taunts he took from Paret. "I got tired," he said, "of people calling me faggot."

He said again, as he has many times, that he was sorry Paret had died. But he added: "He called me a name. ... So I did what I had to do."

...I asked Mr. Griffith if he was gay, and he told me no. But he looked as if he wanted to say more. He told me he had struggled his entire life with his sexuality, and agonized over what he could say about it. He said he knew it was impossible in the early 1960's for an athlete in an ultramacho sport like boxing to say, "Oh, yeah, I'm gay."

But after all these years, he wanted to tell the truth. He'd had relations, he said, with men and women. He no longer wanted to hide. He hoped to ride this year in New York's Gay Pride Parade.

He said he hadn't meant to kill Benny Paret, "but what he said touched something inside."
Outsports published some seriously conflicted/confusing poll results about public attitudes about gays and sports gathered by NBC/USA Networks, conducted to coincide with the airing of the documentary.
The survey finds people either conflicted about their own views of gays in sports or certain their neighbor is more bigoted than they are.

* 68% thought it would hurt an athlete’s career to be openly gay.
* Half (49%) thought gay athletes could get the same endorsements as their straight counterparts
* But a few questions later, by a 64% to 11% margin, people said that “brands and products are unlikely to select athletes as endorsers if the athletes are gay or even have been accused of being gay.”
* 15% say it’s not appropriate for an umpire to be gay.
* 46% to 44% say it’s a sin to engage in homosexual behavior.
* But 61% said homosexuality is a way of life that should be accepted by society.
* 78% says it is OK for gay athletes to participate in sports, even if they are open about their sexuality.
* By a 42% to 22% margin, people thought “if ESPN created a television special on the accomplishments of gay athletes, viewers would be enraged.”
* 79% agreed that Americans are more accepting of gays in sports than they were 20 years ago.

"I now understand why gay athletes would choose to stay in the closet," said Doug Schoen of Penn, Schoen & Berland. "The poll shows us that we still have a long way to go in this country before homosexuality is accepted in sports."
The only conclusion that one can draw from these findings is that the American public is f*cked up -- my scientific analysis. The allegedly powerful homo agenda is not making the huge inroads that the AmTaliban rails on about. The sheeple are being shaped and led by the Rovian Right, and the saddest aspect of this development is that there are way too many homophobic, intolerant black pastors willing and able to lead their parishioners even further down this path, driving gay men and women of color like Griffith even deeper into the down low closet.

Benny (Kid) Paret died because of homophobia and gay self-loathing that still exists today, make no mistake, in both Red and Blue states. It's still cultivated in way too many homes, schools, workplaces -- and especially in too many houses of worship.

It's why kids that are effeminate still get the sh*t kicked out of them in school and "fag" and "dyke" are easy epithets tossed around the classroom; it's why a Texas teacher can be fired from her job because people think she's a lesbian. It's why Martina Navratilova dominated the tennis scene in the 1980s, yet lost her endorsements when she came out. And for the guys, well, you all are sh*t out of luck if you're in a team sport; the number of out gay male athletes in active team competition is...are there any?

Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story airs commercial-free tonight at 9PM on USA.

Also: check out OutSports Anti-Gay Slur roundup. Homophobic comments by athletes are rated on a scale of 1-5 John Rockers, for the Atlanta Braves pitcher notorious for his bigoted comments, including:

"Imagine having to take the 7 train to (Shea Stadium in New York) looking like you’re (in) Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing."

(Cross-posted at Big Brass Blog)

What gender is my brain?

Blame this on ShakesSis, who had one of these quizzes up on her blog -- "What Kind of American English Do I Speak?"

On that one, I scored the following (note that I was born in NC, lived in NYC for many years and then came back. These findings don't make much sense, eh?)

Your Linguistic Profile:
55% General American English
25% Yankee
20% Dixie
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern]

So I'm featuring another one today...What Gender Is Your Brain? My results:

Your Brain is 53.33% Female, 46.67% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female
You are both sensitive and savvy
Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed
But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

Ten years ago today

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Domestic terrorism.

Ann Coulter thought it was worthy of a bad joke (via This Modern World).

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."
--Ann Coulter as quoted in the New York Observer, Aug. 20, 2002

"RE: McVeigh quote. Of course I regret it. I should have added, 'after everyone had left the building except the editors and reporters.'"
--Ann Coulter, from an interview with Right Wing News

The march of the AmTaliban continues with the 'Center for Moral Clarity'

Parsley said about Pope Ratz: "...he will be as strong as John Paul II was in advocating for issues of life, marriage and family. It was Benedict who led the church to take a bold and principled stand against homosexual marriage in 2003."

How many bogus-ass, pious organization names can the AmTaliban come up with? Check out Rod Parsley and his Center for Moral Clarity. Love that he's planning to rally up wingnut support for homo-bigot Keith Butler in his race for the Senate. From the propaganda organ of the religious Reich, AgapePress:
A pastor whose mobilization against homosexual "marriage" helped President Bush win the state of Ohio and re-election in November is taking his values campaign nationwide. Rev. Rod Parsley of Columbus is speaking in 11 cities this week and next week as president and founder of the Center for Moral Clarity. The new group opposes same-sex marriage, abortion, and judicial activism and wants Congress to repeal the law that bars tax-exempt churches from endorsing candidates. Parsley's "Silent No More Tour" will be in Jonesboro, Georgia, this evening. Tomorrow he will be at the Michigan church of Bishop Keith Butler, a candidate for the U.S. Senate.
Don't forget to clear your calendars, since the Center is hosting a shindig on May 9 at World Harvest Church in Columbus, OH featuring former Alabama Chief Justice Roy "Ten Commandments" Moore.

Ooops. Chimpy didn't secure

Scarlet P. sent me this hysterical link -- As Scarlet aptly noted, "this is what happens when you spend $400 million on abstinence only education and neglect to secure the domain name."

It's essential to go to this site, especially in light of the ascension of the new Pope, and his hard line regarding sexual matters. Just brilliant. Get a load of this...
Congratulations! You and your faith partner have chosen a path of mutual love and adoration through physical respect. Resisting the temptations of sexual intercourse may not always be easy, but with the help of, we guarantee you'll have a lot of fun!

... Here's some fun things that faith partners can do besides have sex.

1) Go out to a movie or watch TV! Make some popcorn and have a popcorn party!

2) Engage in wholesome sports activities or play board games like checkers, chess or Monopoly!

3) Rigorously rub your face, body and genitalia against those of your faith partner until orgasm. (Also known as 'faith-fucking')
Here's the section on Homosexual Abstinence...
The Bible states it plainly in Leviticus: "Man shall not lie with man as he does with woman.' So there you have it: Standard Missionary is right out. For the gals: you're off the hook. Anything goes. As far as the Lord's concerned, it's Beaver Season all year 'round.

In the interest of avoiding STDs, and believe me there are some doozies out there, you gents might want to keep it to blowjobs, and we mean this literally: Take your faith buddy's penis and blow on it from a distance. Or you can rub it against your face, neck, buttocks, etc. (see Anal Abstinence)
You can also get some abstinence advice from Dr. Frist.

Dear Doctor Frist, You recently implied it was possible to contract AIDS through tears and that simply touching another persons genitals could result in pregnancy. Is this true?
Signed, Young and Scared

Dear Young and Scared,
When I said that you could get AIDS from tears what I meant was that getting AIDS could make you cry. Also, you CAN get pregnant from simply touching another person's genitals, providing they're ejaculating and you're touching them with your cervix. I hope this clears things up for you. Remember also that whenever you masturbate, God kills a kitten.

Yours Truly, Senate Majority Leader, Dr. Bill Frist
There's plenty more to take in at the site. I couldn't stop laughing.

Joseph Ratzinger of Germany is The Man

[UPDATE: Welcome Slate readers. Be sure to check out the rest of the House Blend.]

He's taken the name Pope Benedict XVI. Well, more of the same hard line. For those of you that are Catholic and progressive, you just got the finger.

The Vatican continues its descent into irrelevancy. More homophobia, more head-in-the-sand about contraception and AIDS prevention. No marriage for priests, no increased role for women in the church. I don't even want to guess how he's going to handle the church's utter failing regarding its child-molesting priests. Sad.

Also: Fellow Bloggrrl Shakespeare's Sister goes on a fabulous Pope Ratz rant -- "Gay-Bashing for God" -- over at Big Brass Blog.
I reject this pope, I reject his church, and I reject its teachings. I reject the notion that people I love are evil for being gay, or that any expression of love between two consenting adults is somehow sinful. There’s nothing sinful about love, and there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the way I love Mr. Shakes, and the way Pam loves Kate, and Mr. Furious loves Mr. Curious; I reject all claims to the contrary. And if that consigns my eternal soul to the fires of hell, then off I go, tra la la. I never fucking liked harps, anyway.
Thanks for the kind words about Kate and me; it's validation we'll never get from this pope. F*ck 'em.

What are folks paying for gas and housing these days?

Gas prices hover over the $3 mark at a gas station in San Francisco on Friday, April 15, 2005. Propelled by a surge in the price of gasoline and other energy products, producer prices shot up 0.7 percent in March, the biggest jump in five months. The Commerce Department reported Tuesday, April 19, 2005. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

What are you shelling out at the pump these days, as Chimpy watches his economy spiral? Kate found a station in Raleigh last week at $2.11. At the Durham Costco this weekend it was $2.16. I don't see fewer SUVs on the road yet, though it's hard to find a hybrid if you wanted to trade in your behemoth.

Commerce is also reporting the jump in interest rates is slowing the housing boom. (ABC):
Commerce Department said construction of new homes and apartments fell by a surprisingly sharp 17.6 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.84 million units.

That decline was much larger than the 4.8 percent drop that many analysts had been expecting and could signal that the moderate rise in mortgage interest rates is beginning to have an impact on the housing industry.
Here in the Triangle, it seems like there is no end to the housing boom. In the southern area of town, there are more developments going up than I can keep track of. I don't know where all these people are coming from. Housing prices have soared, but given House Blend readers live all over the place, it would be interesting to hear the range of what is perceived as "soaring."

"Soaring" in my case, is what I've seen over the course of the last 10-15 years. I purchased an in-town 3 BR/1BA 1940 Craftsman bungalow in the central part of town in 1993 for $68K. It was in an progressive, old-millworkers' neighborhood called Old West Durham, located near Duke's East Campus, within walking distance of the Ninth Street, the informal gay/bohemian/student district. Most of the homes there are for the DIY types, with always something to fix or update. When I grew tired of DIY in 2003, by that time the real estate market was HOT in this neighborhood. I sold the place as-is (meaning I didn't paint or do the cosmetic stuff one normally does before selling) for almost double what I paid for it. That's insane.

That said, you can still find a three-bedroom/one- or two-bath house in Durham for under $90K. It would likely be in the northern part of town (not as close to RTP, where many people work), or in the older, central part of town. Folks that want large lots will find it in northern Durham. But, the point is, there is still entry-level, non-shoe box housing available.

Most of the next level of housing stock in Durham, resales of newer existing homes (>10 years old), falls into the $150-$225K range. There's a lot of turnover in this market, though not as much as I've seen in the recent past. A lot of people must be sitting on these investments as new construction goes up. Unfortunately, a lot of houses in the newer developments are easily >$225K. These are not quite McMansions, those run >$400K in these parts.

Kate and I like to drive around the area and go into these newer houses to see what people are getting for their money. Of course the models are upfitted with every possible option to entice buyers. Most new construction tends to be two-story affairs on really small plots of land. You're almost SOL if you want a one-level house. These structures seem to go up overnight; I wonder about the quality of these dwellings. The developers squeeze as many houses as they can, and often on crappy lots -- like ones situated on a hill precariously near a steep drop, or on slopes that are erosion nightmares.

All I keep thinking is that many of the buyers are probably financially overextending themselves to get into these new, bigger homes. Once you add all the options, that price tag rises fast. Many of these purchases have to hinge on two incomes; they are one layoff away from losing that McMansion. One thing I don't know is the level of no-interest lending in this area - I'm assuming there is a lot of creative financing going on that is putting folks in precarious positions.

I don't want to leave out apartments. It's a transient enough area -- with universities, hospitals and high-tech here -- that they keep filling apartments as well. Prices are all over the map. You can pay as little as $500-$600/mo for an older place, all the way up to a staggering (for these parts), $1200-$1500/mo. That's ridiculous, given you could own for that price, but since there are people that may be here on a contract job in RTP, apparently they are willing and able to shell that out.

Dennis Prager: College produces homos

What a moron. Dennis Prager, wingnut columnist, has come to the conclusion, by interviewing a sexually confused college student, that homosexuality is culturally determined. It's all about the Homosexual Agenda steamrolling the influence of heterosexual "normality." (WingNutDaily):
Perhaps the most important argument against same-sex marriage is that once society honors same-sex sex as it does man-woman sex, there will inevitably be a major increase in same-sex sex. People do sexually (as in other areas) what society allows and especially what it honors.

One excellent example illustrating this is an article recently written in the McGill University newspaper by McGill student Anna Montrose. In it, she wrote:

It's hard to go through four years of a Humanities B.A. reading Foucault and Butler and watching 'The L Word' and keep your rigid heterosexuality intact. I don't know when it happened exactly, but it seems I no longer have the easy certainty of pinning my sexual desire to one gender and never the other.

Michel Foucault is a major French "postmodern" philosopher; Judith Butler is a prominent "gender theorist" at U.C. Berkeley; and "The L-Word" is a popular TV drama about glamorous lesbians.)

I interviewed Anna Montrose, a bright and articulate 22-year-old woman, on my syndicated radio show. She is a fine example of the type of thinking and behavior a homosexuality-celebrating culture -- such as that at our universities -- produces. "

DP: So you and I both believe that how people behave sexually, including which sex they will engage with sexually, is largely determined by society and not by nature.
AM: Yeah, I completely agree.
DP: Gay rights activists say the opposite. They say that whether you act homosexually or not is fixed; and I don't believe it's fixed necessarily at all and neither do you.
AM: But I think that [the activists'] argument has a political purpose, which is to counter the argument that heterosexuality is fixed.
DP: I agree with you. But we both think that they're not telling the truth for the sake of making a political argument. Since we both agree that largely whom we have sex with and sexual behavior generally are culturally determined, the only question is: Would we like culture to determine [these things] one way or the other? I think 'yes' and you think 'not'. I have a heterosexual preference because my values tell me that male-female love is the ideal. You don't think it's the ideal. Is that fair?
AM: I think that it's one of many options.
DP: It's not necessarily a good thing to teach heterosexual behavior as the ideal?
AM: Yeah.
Has it not occurred to either of these dimwits that sexuality is a continuum? If this woman feels her "fixed heterosexuality" is up in the air, perhaps it wasn't fixed to begin with, hmmm?

Heterosexual couples produce and raise children assuming they are straight. It's not surprising that many gay people take years to come out to themselves or to others, if ever. The social pressure to be het is enormous, despite my hard work on the homo agenda.

All the Foucault and "L Word" in the world can't make someone jump in the sack with a person of the same gender unless they want to. I guess the issue for Prager is that he has to make it clear the sheeple that are too stupid to think for themselves when it comes to fornicating.

Fred Phelps going to Philly Equality Forum; challenges Barney Frank to debate

Monday, April 18, 2005

He never ceases to amaze me. All you folks going to Philly for the big gay fest will get a treat. Fred Phelps will gas up his hate-mobile and trek over to Equality Forum, which will commemorate 40 years of the gay rights movement. Talk about being outnumbered; it's an excellent promotional activity for the Westboro Baptist Church. From his latest unhinged flier:

"God Hates Fags & Fag Enablers! Ergo, God hates America, now a vile homofascist regime irreversible cursed of God and doomed. And, this is a challenge to their fag champion [Massachusetts Dem Congressman -- and out gay man] Barney Frank to debate these issues with WBC Pastor Fred Phelps in Philadelphia May 1."

Don't forget folks, Phelps plans to make an appearance in my town, Durham, NC on May 6-7. He will be protesting "the fag-infested Durham School of the Arts and The Laramie Project fag propaganda play."

Which is more frightening?

I know we've all been speculating about Annthrax's feminine "origin" and whether it is natural or artificial (hey, look at MJ above -- we can see the "benefits" of the surgeon's scalpel). She provides ample fodder for it.

On a more serious, speculative note, what do you make of the following pic from the Time featurette, the Right from the Start, an image submitted by Coulter labeled "Yankee -- Coulter as a teenager in Connecticut."

How on earth could this fresh-faced ingenue on the left turn into the anorexic, nasty leatherette-wearing hag of the Right? WTF happened?

More rumblings from black homo-bigots

Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church near DC, has a problem with homos; he's been courted by RNC head Ken Mehlman.

Anyone from the DNC reading? Our black pastors at Bush's faith-based taxpayer trough gathered to marshal forces for their "values" agenda. Jackson's been profiled on the Blend before ("GOP hijacking more black pastors into its bible-based Taliban takeover"). He's the man behind the The Black Contract With America, and has worked with our friend at the RNC, Ken Mehlman, to try to make inroads into the black community. His High Impact Leadership Coalition wants to "Protect America's Moral Compass." (AgapePress):
More than 125 Christian leaders from New York City and across the United States convened in the Big Apple last week to send a message about moral values to their political leaders.

Bishop Harry Jackson and the High Impact Leadership Coalition held a New York City summit and press conference on marriage and other moral issues, calling attention to the voice of the values voters. The New York City summit was one of several nationwide stops on the Coalition's tour schedule, during which the nonprofit Christian organization hopes to mobilize the ethnic Christian voters on behalf of biblically-based responses to the moral issues of the day, including homosexual "marriage" and abortion.

According to High Impact spokesman Mike Paul, the local and national Christian leaders wanted to emphasize their message again in strong terms well before the elections on tap between now and 2008. He says what they and their constituencies want their elected officials to know is, "if you are voting for gay marriage and against other moral values that we hold dear, then we will simply vote you out of office. And if you think that moral value issues were important in the 2004 election, you haven't seen anything yet."

Paul feels the message was particularly appropriate for the New York summit and press conference, considering the positions of many political leaders in the city and the state. He points out that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and some other New York State officials have recently made public statements indicating their willingness to honor same-sex marriages from other states.

"Every [New York City] candidate right now, including the city mayor, is in favor of same-sex marriage," the Coalition representative notes, "and as for the governor's race, Eliot Spitzer -- who has become a national figure going after big business -- is also for same-sex marriage."

Texas HS coach fired because she is a lesbian

Merry Stephens was harassed by the superintendent of the district and others that tried to make her "confess" to being gay. Michael Shirk, Stephens' lawyer from the Texas State Teachers Association: "In my 15 years of representing workers throughout Texas, rarely have I seen such bigotry and flagrant discrimination."

In the rural East Texas town of Bloomburg, Merry Stephens didn't have a chance. Yes, all over the country, people can be fired if an employer even thinks they are gay, as in this case -- she didn't come out to the students or teachers. She actually lied about her orientation in order to keep her job.

When the rumors started to swirl, she was put under pressure to cop to being gay. This wasn't a "don't ask, don't tell" situation. They wanted her to tell - or else. Coach Stephens was honored as a "Teacher of the Year" in 2004 and named "Coach of the Year" in three of her five years, but she was dismissed for the unsubstantiated charge of "insubordination." (Duluth News Trib):
Though it was true, Stephens denied it for five years while she was a teacher and the coach of a championship girls basketball team at Bloomburg High School, afraid the truth would cost her a job.

..."They'd test me to try to figure out if I was a lesbian or not," she said. "They'd ask if I had a boyfriend or if I wanted one. I lied because I knew it would be career suicide to admit anything."
It makes you sick when you read the bible-beating sh*t below. None of this is surprising, since no one has a problem with being homophobic in Bloomburg. Queers aren't welcome and they don't mind letting them know it.
Some parents of Stephens' players wanted her gone. Craig Hale, who owns an oil company, said he doesn't want a lesbian teaching his children and possibly influencing the way they think. His daughter, Kaitlyn Cornelius, played for Stephens last season and said she felt uncomfortable around the coach, though she said Stephens never did anything inappropriate.

"I had nothing against her as a person," Hale said, but if he stood up for "one lesbian" that would mean he was "for them adopting kids, and my morals and the Bible doesn't allow that."
Stephens lives with the school's bus driver, Sheila Dunlap, a woman with two children and roots in Bloomburg that go back 100 years. That didn't stop the community from turning on Dunlap either.
Three days before Stephens was placed on administrative leave in December, Dunlap, 46, also was fired, and given no reason, she said, because she is not under contract. Then Stephens' case against the district began.

Michael Shirk, Stephens' lawyer from the Texas State Teachers Association, took depositions from community members, including the school-board president, Derous Byers, who was opposed to the effort to fire Stephens.

Byers said in the deposition that another board member, Ronnie Peacock, told him that Stephens "doesn't deserve to work here" because she is a lesbian.

In that deposition, Byers recalled Peacock saying: "We're bonded or insured for a million dollars apiece. We ought to fire her and see what happens."

...Shirk said: "It was the most blatant case of bigotry I've ever seen. Usually, they try to fire someone covertly, but I guess in East Texas they haven't learned that."

Since leaving their school jobs, Stephens and Dunlap, who live in a spacious log house on nine acres of land, have started a concession business and now sell fruit drinks at fairs. They are still the talk of the town, especially because the school board election is coming up, pitting candidates who were pro-coach Stephens against those who were against her.
In exchange for Coach Stephens' agreement not to pursue further legal action, the district agreed to pay her the full value of her two-year contract. Guess Mr. Peacock got his wish -- the district had to pay out, but it's a pittance in comparison to the grief and humiliation he and his cohorts heaped on Stephens and Dunlap.

Wingnut 'choirboy' Ralph Reed tied to DeLay ally

He's not the choirboy he wants the media to think he is.

Mr. Clean-Cut Christian Ralph Reed is strapped to the Hell Express that is Tom DeLay. Apparently Reed pocketed a cool $4 million on the Indian casino lobbying effort and it is raising some eyebrows in the religious circles as Reed tosses his hat into the lieutenant governor's race in Georgia. (NYT):
Mr. Reed, 43, finds himself carrying some baggage: his ties to an old friend, the Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

In Washington, federal investigations of Mr. Abramoff, a close ally of Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, have revealed that Mr. Abramoff paid Mr. Reed's consulting firm more than $4 million to help organize Christian opposition to Indian casinos in Texas and Louisiana - money that came from other Indians with rival casinos.

Mr. Reed declined to comment for this article; he has said publicly that he did not know that casino owners were paying for his services and that he has never deviated from his moral opposition to gambling. But the episode is a new blemish on the boyish face that once personified the rise of evangelical Christians to political power in America.

Some of Mr. Reed's past patrons - including the Rev. Pat Robertson, the Christian broadcaster who set Mr. Reed on the national stage by hiring him to run the Christian Coalition - say his work with Mr. Abramoff's Indian casino clients raises questions about how he has balanced his personal ambitions with his Christian principles.
Reed has been a real inside-the-Beltway artist, so it is no surprise that he's got dirty laundry hanging out there. He rose up through the ranks as executive director of the College Republican National Committee, and was a former head of the Christian Coalition, and a top Bush campaign adviser.

He can't claim only limited knowledge of Abramoff either; Ralphie wrote in his book Active Faith that the men became so close that Reed sometimes slept on Mr. Abramoff's couch and later introduced Mr. Abramoff to his future wife. Oh, it gets better.
Abramoff had recruited Mr. Reed to help the Coushatta Indians of Louisiana shut down or block casinos operated or proposed by the Tiguas, in neighboring Texas, or the Jena Band of Choctaws, in Louisiana, according to disclosures by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, which is investigating $82 million in lobbying fees that Mr. Abramoff and his partner, Michael Scanlon, reaped from tribes.

E-mail messages disclosed by the committee last year offered some unflattering views of Mr. Reed and Mr. Abramoff. In one, Mr. Reed forwarded potentially damaging information about Indian contributions to a politician supporting the casinos, saying, "We are getting this in the water with the right people."

In another, he called supportive legislators his "tigers." And he boasted of how he had gotten "our pastors all riled up" to push John Cornyn, who was then Texas attorney general and is now a senator, to close the Tigua casino. Mr. Cornyn, however, already had opposed gambling, according to a spokesman.

After a court ruled against the Tiguas' casino on Feb. 11, 2002, Mr. Abramoff wrote to Mr. Reed in an e-mail message: "I wish those moronic Tiguas were smarter in their political contributions. I'd love us to get our mitts on that moolah."

Mann Coulter is crying that her Time cover is distorted

The photographer, Platon, also shot Clinton for his Time cover with the same wide-angle/fish-eye lens.

Boo hoo. I am playing the world's tiniest violin for her. No, your empty head is just too f*cking big for your bony-ass body, Ann. She moans to Drudge that she's distorted. Well, on many levels, she is. No argument there. (WingNutDaily):
Coulter told Matt Drudge last night Time used a more flattering photo of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il.

While the story itself, written by Time's John Cloud, is generally quite favorable, Coulter and her fans are focused on the strange cover photo that seems to distort the image of the tall, thin, blond pundit.

"Is it just me or did they photograph Ann making her head look big?" wrote one fan on an Internet bulletin board. "It seems out of proportion to the rest of her toned body. Reminds me of the O.J. picture."

"That is the most freaky picture of Ann Coulter I've seen," said another.

Lott to Chimpy: give DeLay 'aggressive support'

What humongous cojones Lott has! This from the man that stuck his well-polished shoe into his redneck mouth, publicly kissing the then-live-but-cadaver-like Strom Thurmond's ass at the SC Senator's 100th birthday. [He noted that if Old segregationist Strom had been elected president in 1948, "we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."] That bit of fun cost Trent his leadership post. He must still be smarting...

Guess he's also hoping Chimpy will provide cover for the massively corrupt Tom DeLay since Lott watched his colleagues scurry like roaches in a NYC apartment when the light is cut on. (WaTimes):
"I do think the White House needs to remember that people who fight hard for you as a candidate and for your issues as a president ... deserve your support, aggressive support," said Mr. Lott, who resigned his majority leadership post because of the furor over comments he made in 2002.

"Again, he may feel that he shouldn't get into the details of the workings of who the leaders are or how the leaders act in the House or the Senate. I read very carefully what he had to say last week. ... I wish it had been more, frankly. Frankly, he needs Tom DeLay," Mr. Lott told ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos.

...There is a tendency in Washington to "microanalyze every word, any inadvertent comment, and you need to be very, very careful," Mr. Lott said.

"This is not something that just applies to Republicans. I think it's unfortunate across the board, particularly on a personal and a human basis. ... I think the president would tell anybody privately or publicly that Tom DeLay has been a strong leader, aggressive leader, and that he hopes he'll stay in that leadership position," Mr. Lott said.

Time, your slip is showing...publishes fake anti-Coulter photo

Real journalists check their facts, don't they? Ooops, Time. The so-called professional journalists booted this one by using a photo of a fake protest group at the GOP convention. From Attytood:
Now check out this picture from last summer's GOP convention in New York! Here's the caption:

Demon and Idol: Protesters blast Coulter at the G.O.P. Convention in New York City last year.

As you can see, the shot shows Coulter with a red grafitti-style "X" over her mouth with a scrawled "ENEMY," and calls her a "Reactionary Neo-Imperialistic Criminal."

It also says the sign is from Communists for Kerry. That should have been a - pardon the hideous pun - red flag for those insightful Time editors. We know Time-Warner has had some accounting woes, but don't these guys have Google up in Manhattan?

Communists for Kerry is a right-wing JOKE, guys -- scroll to the end of this story and you'll see how a credulous Fox News was also duped by these folks last summer.

Maybe the alert editors at Time could have noticed the sign directly behind the Coulter "protest" -- it's from a group called "Criminals for Gun Control." Then there's the sign on the right, "Liberating Iraqi Children from Tyranny is Co$ting Too Much," from the infamous group called Protest Warrior.

As we reported last fall. Protest Warrior is a group of right-wing college students that went around to left-wing protests causing trouble. There appeared to be a close link between Protest Warrior and a Penn student named Scott Robinson who was linked in numerous reports last fall to the kicking of an AIDS protestor at the RNC in NYC last summer.

Anyway, this whole photo mishap shows just how much care and thought that the editors of Time put into their cover story on Coulter. It also just goes to show what happens when you so desperately want something to be true.

Even the Freepi are laughing at the mag.

(via AMERICAblog)

The bony-ass, bed-worn b*tch of the Reich is on Time's cover

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Why does this compulsive liar and bigot merit a cover, for god's sake?

Anyway, my favorite part of the piece is the less-than-lukewarm rep she has with her too-scared-to-confront-her peers.
Some conservatives—many of them Coulter's rivals for screen time, as she points out—have also drawn their knives. "Ann's stuff isn't very serious," says a pundit who didn't want to begin a public spat with Coulter. "We have this argument every now and then among our side: whether she is a net minus or net plus to conservatism. I have come to the conclusion that she's a minus." Even fans speak of Coulter in ways that suggest some distance: "I think Ann is a brilliant girl, and she's got the quickest mouth in the East," says the Rev. Jerry Falwell. "Now, I probably won't use her on Sunday morning in my church because she is capable of getting a little aggressive."

It would be easier to accept Coulter's reasoning if a shadow of bigotry didn't attach to many of her statements about Arabs and Muslims. At the reception after her CPAC speech, she mocked some of the more ornate claims of torture from suspected terrorists detained by the U.S.: "It's completely insane stuff. 'The government flew me to Las Vegas and made me have sex with a horse,'" she said to laughter. But then she added with a grin, "Liberals are about to become the last people to figure out that Arabs lie."
A SHADOW of bigotry? Is Time daft?

Top Papal candidate was a former Hitler Youth

As House Blender Paul pointed out when he emailed this, it's no surprise. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger gets bonus points for his nicknames "the enforcer", "the panzer cardinal" and "God's rottweiler." Is "Hitler's hot young thing" a new one we should know? [BTW, he believes gays suffer from an "objective disorder," and of course is opposed to women priests and married priests.] (TimesOnline):
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, whose strong defence of Catholic orthodoxy has earned him a variety of sobriquets - including "the enforcer", "the panzer cardinal" and "God's rottweiler" - is expected to poll around 40 votes in the first ballot as conservatives rally behind him.

...Unknown to many members of the church, however, Ratzinger's past includes brief membership of the Hitler Youth movement and wartime service with a German army anti- aircraft unit.
The pathetic defense put up for Ratzinger's choice to enlist is laughable.
Ratzinger has insisted he never took part in combat or fired a shot - adding that his gun was not even loaded - because of a badly infected finger. He was sent to Hungary, where he set up tank traps and saw Jews being herded to death camps. He deserted in April 1944 and spent a few weeks in a prisoner of war camp.

He has since said that although he was opposed to the Nazi regime, any open resistance would have been futile - comments echoed this weekend by his elder brother Georg, a retired priest ordained along with the cardinal in 1951.

Some locals in Traunstein, like Elizabeth Lohner, 84, whose brother-in-law was sent to Dachau as a conscientious objector, dismiss such suggestions. "It was possible to resist, and those people set an example for others," she said. "The Ratzingers were young and had made a different choice." In 1937 another family a few hundred yards away in Traunstein hid Hans Braxenthaler, a local resistance fighter. SS troops repeatedly searched homes in the area looking for the fugitive and his fellow conspirators. "When he was betrayed and the Nazis came for him, Braxenthaler shot himself because he knew he couldn't escape," said Frieda Meyer, 82, Ratzinger's neighbour and childhood friend. "Even though they had tortured him in Dachau concentration camp he refused to give up his resistance efforts."

Drudge tells Brit paper that he's not gay

From the man himself -- not particularly convincing. This is mostly a puff piece, but it's a look at how the muckracker GOP shill views himself. Interesting that he never gets cornered by our lazy American media. (Times Online):
What does Drudge do when he is not plugged into cyberspace? “That’s a very good question and I’m not going to discuss it,” he replies.

“Hold on, Matt,” I say, “you’re always exposing the private lives of public figures. You can’t go all coy now.”

“I’m not very social. I live on an island in Miami, Florida, and I do my own shopping and pay my taxes,” he says. “And I’m not mean.”

That is not the way that Drudge’s critics see it. David Brock, a former right-wing journalist, claimed in his book Blinded by the Right that Drudge was gay, yet supported a party that these critics see as “homophobic”.

So are you a gay right-wing Republican?” I ask.

No, I’m not gay. I was nearly married a few years ago. And no, I’m not a right-wing Republican,” he replies without batting an eye. “I’m a conservative and want to pay less taxes. And I did vote Republican at the last election. But I’m more of a populist.”
You can read more about Drudge and judge for yourself about his queer quotient....

* David Brock: "Brock's description of a night out with notorious cybersleaze Matt Drudge, from page 283: "Drudge picked me up at a friend's house in the Hollywood Hills in his red Geo Metro, arriving with an impressive bouquet of yellow roses. Jesus, I thought, Drudge thinks we're going on a date. After dinner at the famed West Hollywood restaurant Dan Tana's, he suggested we go bar hopping along the gay strip on Santa Monica Boulevard, which Drudge navigated like a pro. ... (Six months hence, I received the following e-mail message from Drudge, under the subject heading "XXX." Drudge wrote: "Laura [Ingraham] spreading stuff about you and me being fuck buddies. I should only be so lucky. ") "

* Michelangelo Signorile: "Cybergossip Matt Drudge may say that he is not gay, but one thing is clear, no matter his sexual orientation: he’s a nasty faggot."

* Raw Story: And then there’s Matt Drudge. Drudge, who outed Jeffrey Koffman and has made a mission of exposing the lurid details of other people’s sex lives, is widely reported to be gay (and — watch out boys — an incredibly uptight lay). He seemed to confirm both rumors at once by saying that a biographer “never said there was sex [with men]; she said there was dating." Always a writer first, (and apparently to make up for the chill in the bedroom) Drudge allegedly left a trail of love letters to old suitors. Even more shocking is that none are said to have contained false allegations that they had an affair with an intern. Then again, the book could be wrong. David Cohen, who claims to be Drudge’s former beau, said that an attention-starved Drudge, “Loved to do wild, provocative things to draw attention to himself.” Now, that doesn’t sound like the Matt Drudge we know …

* AMERICABlog: John's pulled together quite a few links worth reading...
Datalounge names Drudge's alleged 'ex'
Drudge a fan of gay dance DJs
Man claims to be Drudge ex-boyfriend
Drudge denies being gay, reporter offers to get affidavit of his alleged "ex"
So, he dated men but didn't have sex with them?

NYC recognizes out-of-state gay marriages

News that I somehow missed this week is that NYC will recognize out-of-state gay marriages (Canadian civil marriages as well as those in Massachusetts) and civil unions. (Gay City News):
In a letter to Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA), dated April 6, Anthony Crowell, special counsel to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, confirmed that New York City policy is to recognize any gay marriage or civil union legally entered into elsewhere as a marriage for purposes of city law.

The announcement strengthens a law passed in 2002 which confers all rights under the city’s domestic partner law on such unions.

According to Crowell, the statement is both an affirmation of Bloomberg’s policy position and a reflection of the city corporation counsel’s interpretation of state and city law. Van Capelle had sought a statement from Bloomberg’s office in the wake of an announcement by his administration last November that the city would recognize spouses of out-of-state gay marriages for purposes of the city’s employee pension benefits. That announcement followed a similar policy pronouncement from state Comptroller Alan Hevesi regarding New York State pension benefits.

Both the city and the Hevesi pension rulings were based, in part, on an advisory opinion issued last March by state Attorney Gen. Eliot Spitzer that binding state precedent requires New York State to recognize any marriage legally entered into in jurisdictions outside New York.

“No locality has to say this to make it the law of the state,” said Ross Levi, ESPA’s legislative counsel. “But it saves us from having to fight.

Time's top five big city mayors: Bloomberg, Franklin, O'Malley, Daley, Hickenlooper.

In other news, Time magazine has named what it calls the "five best big city mayors" in America, giving the distinction to New York's Michael Bloomberg, Atlanta's Shirley Franklin, Baltimore's Martin O'Malley, Chicago's Richard Daley and Denver's John Hickenlooper. Detroit's Kwame Kilpatrick, San Diego's Dick Murphy and Philadelphia's John Street were dubbed the nation's three worst mayors.

Gavin Newsom of San Francisco received an honorable mention.

Frist and his unholy halo

Love this pic from the latest issue of Newsweek. The Howard Fineman piece reports that 31 of the 165 members of Frist's medical-school class accused him of using his medical degree improperly.
Lewis Rose, an oncologist who said he voted for Bush last year, insisted Frist had overstepped in the Schiavo case. "He had no right to use the cloak of the Hippocratic oath, no matter who was right," Rose told NEWSWEEK. "He's got medical training and a medical perspective, but he is not a practicing physician and has no business using that in politics. Period. If he does, he won't get any of his classmates' votes who signed this."

If he could just put himself out of our misery

U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, holds up the Cecil Brooks Original Flintlock Rifle after he was presented the rifle following his keynote address at the NRA's 134th annual member banquet Saturday, April 16, 2005 in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Bill O'Reilly is an insane ass

Saturday, April 16, 2005

After last week's Blend post about Catholic League mouthpiece William Donohue bashing Bill O'Reilly as a pathological liar, it wasn't completely surprising to see him go into Freeper wingnuttery when he equated gay marriage with the hoary old bestiality argument. From Media Matters:
While discussing the case of two male Massachusetts inmates who requested prison officials' permission to marry, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said that gay marriage will eventually lead to people petitioning courts to marry goats. O'Reilly has voiced a similar idea before, as Media Matters for America has noted.

From the April 13 broadcast of Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: Now, there was another request up there from a woman -- prisoner, inmate, convict -- who wanted to marry another woman who's not in prison. And, I guess they're still mullin' that over. No, it was denied -- no, I'm sorry, they're mullin' it over -- no, it was approved! Oooh, no, look at this! The other request was approved because it involved the marriage of a female inmate to a woman who's not in prison. See, I woulda denied that. I'd have said, "When you get outta prison, you can marry her." But not here. This isn't pre-Cana [Catholic premarital counseling] prison -- all right, you can't do that. See, I'm not buyin' into any of this politically correct nonsense. If you're a prisoner, you're a convict, you lose your rights until you get out. So, I'm sorry. We're not lettin' you get married, not gonna let you drive a car, you can't vote. You're in -- you're in, that's it.

So this is just the beginning, ladies and gentlemen, of this crazy gay marriage insanity -- is gonna lead to all kinds of things like this. Courts are gonna be clogged. Every nut in the world is gonna -- somebody's gonna come in and say, "I wanna marry the goat." You'll see it; I guarantee you'll see it.

Saturday Blender funnies

Well, I have to give it to Mike Tidmus; he gave us a Saturday funny to remember on his blog:

Better Photoshop skills too! I'd like to see Frist in the ruby slippers at the event.

And here's one from House Blender Paul:

At least they could have hired someone that knows Photoshop

Friday, April 15, 2005

Get a load of this ad for the upcoming Cat Killer Frist revival. First you're horrified at sledgehammer Taliban title of the wingnuttery, "The Filibuster Against People of Faith," but then your eyes are drawn to the truly amateurish photo-editing. This kid was clearly not holding a gavel or a bible.

I'm waiting for the program to see when Frist is going to be snake handling. Let the f*cking holy rolling begin.

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. —Mark 16:17-18

(via DKos)

Are the political Endtimes near?

Is this our democracy or something out of a bad novel? This feels like the moment in Rosemary's Baby when Mia Farrow figures out everyone she knows is part of the devil-worshipping freakshow and she's carrying the spawn of Satan.

Ironically, this is the devil-worshipping freakshow:
As the Senate heads toward a showdown over the rules governing judicial confirmations, Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, has agreed to join a handful of prominent Christian conservatives in a telecast portraying Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking President Bush's nominees.

Planning to await the Rapture with Frist: Dobson, Dr. Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Chuck Colson, the born-again Watergate figure and founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries.

Fliers for the telecast, organized by the Family Research Council and scheduled to originate at a Kentucky megachurch the evening of April 24, call the day "Justice Sunday" and depict a young man holding a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other. The flier does not name participants, but under the heading "the filibuster against people of faith," it reads: "The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias, and it is now being used against people of faith."

The telecast also signals an escalation of the campaign for the rule change by Christian conservatives who see the current court battle as the climax of a 30-year culture war, a chance to reverse decades of legal decisions about abortion, religion in public life, gay rights and marriage.

Dr. Cat Death Frist must surely be the Beast; Perkins, one of the usual suspects, spews the usual sh*t.

..."As the liberal, anti-Christian dogma of the left has been repudiated in almost every recent election, the courts have become the last great bastion for liberalism," Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and organizer of the telecast, wrote in a message on the group's Web site. "For years activist courts, aided by liberal interest groups like the A.C.L.U., have been quietly working under the veil of the judiciary, like thieves in the night, to rob us of our Christian heritage and our religious freedoms."
There is nothing being robbed from the fundamentalists; they are trying to impose a specific set of beliefs -- theirs -- on everyone else.

Is the Cat Killer going to get on the TV and declare that he is our spiritual leader out of the darkness, officially declaring the country's slide into American Taliban Theocracy? Will we next be subjected to snake handling and speaking in tongues on the House floor? What on earth is going on when you have Tom DeLay saying bullsh*t like this (Wash Times):
Mr. Dinan: You've been talking about going after activist judges since at least 1997. The [Terri] Schiavo case gives you a chance to do that, but you've recently said you blame Congress for not being zealous in oversight.

Mr. DeLay: Not zealous. I blame Congress over the last 50 to 100 years for not standing up and taking its responsibility given to it by the Constitution. The reason the judiciary has been able to impose a separation of church and state that's nowhere in the Constitution is that Congress didn't stop them. The reason we had judicial review is because Congress didn't stop them. The reason we had a right to privacy is because Congress didn't stop them.
Tell me that even the sheeple will realize this is overreaching.

Read more from ShakesSis about why "Liberals Are Still Right" on this issue at Big Brass Blog.

One of those satisfying stories of marriage amendment hypocrisy

Tennessee State Senator Jeff Miller (R) represents District 9. He's been boinking some chick on the side even as he's pushing a marriage amendment. He stopped an effort to add an adultery ban to the proposal. Hmmmm...

Read and weep from laughing. (WSMV):
State Sen. Jeff Miller, a Republican from Cleveland, is accused of "inappropriate marital conduct" in a divorce complaint filed Feb. 25 in Bradley County. The senator's March 2 answer to the complaint "vehemently denies" any inappropriate marital conduct.

"He is very hypocritical, fighting for the sanctity of marriage and not keeping his own," the senator's wife of 15 years, Bridgitte Suzanne Miller, said in a report in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Jeff Miller, chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus, acknowledged the divorce in a statement Thursday.

"Divorce is a very difficult time for everyone," he said. "It is a very private matter which is played out in public proceedings. My chief concern right now is the best interest of our children."

The senator's wife said Wednesday her husband was involved with a woman in Nashville. She said family members saw him with the woman at a Martina McBride concert. "He told them that she was just a friend," Ms. Miller said. "That really bothered me."

The state Senate approved Miller's marriage protection amendment Feb. 22. In addition to defining marriage as "the historical institutional and legal contract solemnizing the relationship of one man and one woman," it would also forbid state recognition of same-sex marriages.

Miller stopped an attempt to include a constitutional ban on adultery in the amendment.

My Democrat congressman voted for the bankruptcy bill

David Price (4th district), is generally reasonable on most issues, but he has sipped to corporate Kool-Aid on this one. (I actually met him back when he visited my old neighborhood). His web site's logo says "Keeping in touch with the 4th district of North Carolina." Right. Read this pre-programmed mantra.
“Many constituents have contacted me, wondering how this bill could potentially affect low-income people,” said Price. “There are important provisions in place to protect them, and filing for bankruptcy would continue to be an option for the overwhelming majority of people who need it.”

“Bankruptcy filings have increased by 400 percent in the past two decades, and filings continued to grow even during the period of high economic growth in the 1990's,” said Price. “I am concerned about protecting the bankruptcy system against abuse, and I believe we should restore the system to its original role: providing a clean slate for consumers in legitimate and serious financial trouble, while easing the transition of others to financial solvency and enabling them to fulfill their obligations when they can.”
Hey David, stop by my new place for a visit. I'll be waiting to play Celine Dion for you and show you my collection of pliers...

The eyes meme continues...

I was tagged by Shakespeare's Sister to continue the meme of The Eyes Have It, a view into the soul of the blogger, as it were. I'm supposed to put up a few shots of my orbs, and perhaps it will inspire commentary. It was tough finding photos without my glasses. I'm blind as a bat without them. :)

Pam's Peepers

Ooops. That's Bailey...slipped in dog blogging.

The tag torch is passed to:

My other Bloggrrrl, Ms. Julien, since she probably has tons of wonderful shots to put up, and she's a peach (or perhaps, since she is in Miami, a citrus fruit of some sort). :)

"Radical" Russ, since he's been doing all the heavy lifting on a project we're collaborating on. Nothing like adding more to do, eh Russ?

Fellow Big Brass Blogger TCF, just because he's cool.

P.S. Who tagged me on that Book Meme? I'm a slacker this week. :(

I want to torture the lowlifes that voted for the bankruptcy bill

Thursday, April 14, 2005

House Speaker Dennis "two heart attacks away from the Presidency" Hastert, R-Ill., answers a reporter's question after signing newly pass bankruptcy legislation on Capitol Hill Thursday, April 14, 2005. Senator Ted "Sex Toy" Stevens, R-Alaska, is at left and Senate Majority Leader Bill "Cat Killer" Frist, R-Tenn., at right. The bill now goes to Chimpy. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

This dreadful bankruptcy "reform" legislation passed. Remember, most bankruptcies are due to medical bills, not profligate spending. These legislators knew this and voted for it anyway.

People with incomes above a certain level must pay credit card charges, medical bills and other obligations under a court-ordered bankruptcy plan. The real kicker is that folks under the gun will now have to pay for credit counseling.

It sounds like the f*cking credit card industry got everything they wanted and more, and the consumers that they throw easy credit to are screwed. How about this -- Democrats tried to exempt military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and people whose bankruptcy is necessary as a result of financial identity theft. No go -- those folks are shi* out of luck -- welcome home veterans!

This bill is relentlessly evil. Anyone have a link to which Dems voted for it? Those names need to be listed.

I want to pull their fingernails out one by one with dirty pliers while playing Celine Dion in the background for their listening pleasure.

Shakes Sis unloads on the evildoers quite nicely.

Bush putting the kibosh on the Armstrong Williams investigation

What a pathetic pair: Armstrong and Margaret Spellings.

Holy crap. Chimpy's circling the wagons on the matter of pundit pigs-at-the-taxpayers' trough Armstrong Williams. (NYT):
he Bush administration is impeding an investigation into the Education Department's hiring of commentator Armstrong Williams by refusing to allow key White House officials to be interviewed, a Democratic lawmaker briefed on the review said Thursday.

In addition, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., said Education Secretary Margaret Spellings is considering invoking a privilege that he said would require information to be deleted when the final version is publicly released, which is expected within days.

Miller called for Jack Higgins, the inspector general at the Education Department, to delay the report until Spellings agrees not to invoke ''deliberative process privilege'' and the White House grants interviews with current or former officials familiar with the deal.

''The public's right to know is absolutely more important than any claim of privilege that the White House or the Department of Education might make,'' Miller said. ''The public has a right to all the facts about possible misconduct.''

...The department has shut down its contract with Ketchum, the public relations firm hired primarily to promote Bush's No Child Left Behind education law. Of the $1.3 million contract, about $240,000 went to Williams, a prominent, conservative media personality.

The money went toward the production of ads, the department says, although Williams was also hired to provide air time to Paige and to influence other black commentators to talk about the law, records show.
Earler posts on the whore for No Child Left Behind are here and here.

I don't know how I got on this mailing list...

...but it scares me when I see an image like this in an email.

She's looking more like The Joker each time she gets pulled.

Wingnuts ready to punish the Repugs if they don't go nuclear

Sounds familiar. The ants-in-the-pants conservative fringe start making noise about punishing the Repugs if they don't show their wingnut badges on this judicial nomination process. They want that filibuster power squashed N-O-W. (AgapePress):
A conservative activist says there could be a backlash at the ballot box if Senate Republicans fail to follow through on their promise to change the rules in order to overcome the Democratic filibuster of President Bush's judicial appointments. That activist is not alone in his assessment of the critical nature of that decision by the GOP.

...Bill Greene is president of, a conservative political action committee whose goal is to counter what it calls "the well-financed antics of radical left-wing groups" and to give individuals sympathetic to its cause a strong collective voice in the political process. Greene is encouraging concerned citizens to e-mail their U.S. senators, urging them to move forward with plans to change the rules of the Senate to permit a simple majority to end a filibuster.

According to news reports, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has discussed exercising the constitutional right of Congress to change Senate rules governing the continuance of filibustering tactics. But Greene says senators appear to be waffling in the face of incessant attacks from the media and Democrats.

...Greene says failing to act could result in voter backlash. "If Frist and the Republican senators don't step up to the plate and do what they said they would do and put an end to these unconstitutional filibusters of the judicial nominees, then the voters are going to remember that," he predicts. "And I think when election time comes around, there's going to be a real price to pay."

"Awake, paralyzed, unable to move, to breathe, while potassium burned through your veins"

Texecutioner: George W. Bush during his six years as governor of Texas presided over 152 executions, more than any other governor in the recent history of the United States.
Although George Bush claims that he was anguished by the decision to execute a female prisoner [Karla Faye Tucker] in Texas, in an interview in Talk magazine, writer Tucker Carlson described Bush mimicking the woman's final plea for her life. "'Please,' Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, 'don't kill me.'"
- Time Magazine
Gary Ashwill over at Facing South points out the reality of lethal injection, as it is being practiced in the state death houses today. Talk about a "culture of life." Your local veterinarian euthanizing a pet is less cruel. Note that Texas, the country's high-volume executioner, didn't participate in the study.
In recent decades, most states have rejected electrocution, firing squads, hanging, and gas chambers as cruel and unusual, leaving lethal injection the most popular method of execution in this country. But researchers in Florida and Virginia have found that 4 in 10 inmates executed by lethal injection may actually have been conscious during much of the procedure.

The first drug administered in most execution protocols is an anesthetic, sodium thiopental, which is often fatal by itself. The second drug is a muscle relaxant (pancuronium bromide) to paralyze muscles and lungs (but not brain or nerves). Last comes potassium chloride, a toxic agent that stops the heart and is understood to be excruciatingly painful.

The study, published in The Lancet, reviewed autopsy records of executed inmates from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Arizona (Texas, the nation's leading executioner, refused to cooperate with the study), and found that 43 percent had concentrations of anesthetic in their blood that would indicate they remained conscious. The medical journal editorialized, "It would be a cruel way to die: awake, paralyzed, unable to move, to breathe, while potassium burned through your veins."
The muscle relaxant, pancuronium bromide (or Pavulon, the trade name), derived from curare and used in executions in 29 states, has become highly controversial in recent years. It has been banned in most of the country for use in euthanizing animals, meaning that in many states (Texas, Tennesseee, and South Carolina, for example) the drug is considered too cruel for killing animals but perfectly fine for killing humans. (Pavulon also appears to have become a popular murder weapon.)

Why Minnesota GOP State Senator Paul Koering came out

Sen. Paul Koering, R-Fort Ripley, teared up when he recalled breaking the news that he was gay to his mother years ago. His mother, whom he described as his "best friend," died two years ago this month. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls

[UPDATE: I consolidated elements of last night's post with new information that's been released today]

You must read the Raw Story behind-the-scenes piece on how Minnesota Republican State Senator Paul Koering decided to publicly come out, first to Mike Rogers of BlogActive, then to his colleagues, and bravely the rest of the world yesterday. He's already heard squawking from party leaders about it. Rogers confronted Koering about the rumors that he was gay, and he knew he had to make a choice.
“I thought about hanging up,” the Minnesotan says. “And so I put him on hold because I didn’t know what to do, and so I went over to our chief of staff’s office a couple of doors down from me, and he was not there. It gave me a minute and a half to cool off, so I got back on my phone, and I said, ‘Mike, yeah, I’m gay, ask me whatever you want to ask me. If that’s what you want to do, it’s fine with me.’”

After admitting he was gay, the senator says he and Rogers had an amicable conversation.

“We actually had at that point I think a very civil conversation,” Koering recalls. “I actually could see that once I opened up my heart like I normally do I could see that I felt that he thought” similar things.
An important thing to mention is that Rogers did not out Koering at that time. Rogers:
I was speaking with goes to gay bars, knows a lot of gay people, and -- after thirty minutes chat with me – told me he was gay, despite his evasiveness earlier in the call. This individual is certainly not what anyone would describe as "out." This politician's colleagues are not aware of the private life and not every vote this legislator has taken has been in the best interest of the gay and lesbian community.

Like every other story, I review the totality of the matter and decide with my advisors if the story is worth reporting. In this case, like so many others, the file is closed and a no story is written. Why? Because does not report on every closeted politician from one party or the other.
There is also an excellent profile of Koering, who plans to run for re-election, in the local paper, The Brainerd Dispatch. The man's politics are conservative, but you can tell he knows that his electability may hinge completely on his decision to try to serve his district as an out gay man.
"The Republican Party I know is a big tent," he said, but then posed a rhetorical question. "Is the Republican big tent in Senate District 12 big enough to have them endorse me?

"I'm going to put up a vigorous campaign," he said.

Koering said he hoped voters would look at his performance during the last two years and conclude that he was a good guy with a good heart. Although he was the only Republican senator to cast a vote against the unsuccessful measure to force a floor vote on the Defense of Marriage Act, he said he continues to staunchly support other core issues he has emphasized in the past.
Koering endorses Rogers' campaign to "out" the homo hypocrites.
Koering, unlike many in his party—and those at gay and lesbian rights lobby groups in Washington—told RAW STORY he supports Rogers’ efforts to report on gay politicians who use their positions of power to thwart gay rights.

“I do believe it is appropriate when you have a politician who is a hypocrite,” the senator says. “Somebody who is possibly in the closet and uses their bully pulpit or their position to bash gay people or to make gay people’s lives difficult in their position and are in essence leading a double life—people like that need to be exposed for the hypocrite that they are.

“Those people need to be exposed for who they are because they are a very poor excuse for a public official, as far as I’m concerned,” he adds. “We don’t need hypocrites in government. Government is too screwed up as it is.”
Another issue addressed in the Raw Story article is the sad, gawdawful position of the Human Rights Campaign ("HRC continues to maintain a policy that politicians who maintain gay private lives should not forced out of the closet based on their public positions on gay issues") and the Log Cabin Repugs ("We oppose outing, period.").

We can't look to these organizations to really fight the fight (well, anyone that thinks the LCRs are effective at anything are smoking something anyway -- LCR is back, begging to be Bush's butt boy again). These organizations are too concerned about mainstreaming that they are selling gay folks out. Period.

HRC's effectiveness is pretty much summed up by the decision to roll a billboard truck around NYC during the GOP convention with "George W. Bush: ‘You’re Fired" emblazoned on it.


The word "outing" when referring to the these hypocrites needs to be in quotes. These losers are people that are otherwise publicly out among friends and co-workers -- cruising and socializing as a homo at night. By day, they re-closet themselves to right-wing constituents and organizations that you know would hate their guts (or your Repug candidate that you work for) -- it's bullsh*t.

Look at Mike Rogers' "outing" of ex-Congressman Ed Schrock. What a head case that man is. A >90% Christian Coalition rating, homophobe supreme, exposed by Mike on tape, soliciting sex from men on a dating service. This sick f*cker had no business in Congress. He needed a shrink.

These are people that actively work for and support anti-gay legislation, court the Christian Coalition's hate agenda -- you have to wonder how they can sleep at night. Most do very well thank you. They only get restless when sites like BlogActive are willing to point out the hypocrisy.

I hope the LCR crowd, at least, can look to Koering as a model of what gay Republicans need to do. I certainly cannot agree with most Republican positions, but coming out is the single most important thing any gay person can do of any political stripe.

Scalia, I need your final answer...

"State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers' validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today's decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding."
--Antonin Scalia, on the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court ruling

Since he wants to get into everyone's bedroom and return domain over the prohibition of sodomy (and masturbation!?) back to the states, it seems like Scalia would like to weigh in on whether he'd be breaking the law if he could wind back the clock. (NYP):
Antonin Scalia spoke Tuesday night at NYU's Vanderbilt Hall, "The room was packed with some 300 students and there were many protesters outside because of Scalia's vitriolic dissent last year in the case that overturned the Texas law against gay sex," our source reports. "One gay student asked whether government had any business enacting and enforcing laws against consensual sodomy. Following Scalia's answer, the student asked a follow-up: 'Do you sodomize your wife?' The audience was shocked, especially since Mrs. Scalia [Maureen] was in attendance. The justice replied that the question was unworthy of an answer."

Courage under fire in Minnesota

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Minnesota State Senator Republican Paul Koering came out in response to the homo-bigot activity of fellow Senator Michele "bush-beater" Bachmann.

I haven't had time to post much today (that old day job again!), but I wanted to get this up.

Mike Rogers at BlogActive and RawStoryQ deserves more than a pat on the back. He has done incredible legwork on the story of Minnesota State Senator Republican Paul Koering's coming out today -- and in an unfortunate turn of events, the embargo was broken on Mike's story. Support his work.

Koering's coming out -- and voting against Minnesota's proposed marriage amendment -- is courageous in that he also strongly backs the work of BlogActive in outing gay hypocrites working against civil rights of gays and lesbians. Queer-obsessed colleague Michele Bachmann has done everything possible to legislate against gay people, and has made an ass out of herself of late (see above pic and yesterday's Blend post).

This story also calls attention to the gawdawful Human Rights Campaign ("HRC continues to maintain a policy that politicians who maintain gay private lives should not forced out of the closet based on their public positions on gay issues") and Log Cabin Repugs ("We oppose outing, period.").

We can't look to these organizations to really fight the fight (well, anyone that thinks the LCRs are effective at anything are smoking something). These organizations are too concerned about mainstreaming that they are selling gay folks out. Period.

Kansas Politician Announces He's Gay

Mike Rundle decided to come out because of the state's marriage amendment.

Well, the closet doors continue to open. This is what it takes to change hearts and minds.

The Mayor of Lawrence, Kansas, Mike Rundle, has come out. (365gay):
"It is with dignity and pride that I acknowledge that I have been Lawrence mayor and in all likelihood, Lawrence's first gay mayor," Rundle said.

His voice crackling with emotion, Rundle said that he didn't come out earlier because he wanted to keep the political focus on his work as mayor and avoid triggering what he called a barrier of prejudice that might detract from that.

He told his fellow city commissioners that he decided to go public now because of the constitutional amendment passed by Kansas voters this month to ban same-sex marriage.
And, while we're talking about Kansas, please read the open letter to the citizens of Atwood by a citizen that opposed the hate amendment. (via Ms. Julien at Big Brass Blog).

National Guardsman are f*cked again by Uncle Sam

Does the complete and utter immorality ever stop? (Florida Sun-Sentinel):
Amid the chaos of war, Sgt. Roberto Orozco and about 35 other members of the Florida National Guard sent to Iraq relied on what they knew for certain: their military training, the love of their families and their government jobs back home.

Then one day in the combat zone, the men got a letter. When they returned home, the letter read, their jobs as full-time members of the Guard assigned to a federal drug interdiction program would be gone.

"We got shafted," said Orozco, 43, a Miami father of three. "We come home from war, and this is what we get."
Of course, you're probably thinking, what about that law that protects people on active duty from losing their jobs?
...had the soldiers worked for a civilian firm, and not for the federal government, they might have been covered by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, which protects reservists from discrimination and job loss when called to active duty.

The letters, dated Jan. 12, 2004, informed the guardsmen that their jobs "are not militarily unique and are therefore better performed by other agencies."

The letter then referred them to several job placement Web sites before concluding, "You are constantly in our thoughts; rest assured that every decision we make is with our Counterdrug deployed soldiers and airmen in mind."

...For some, unemployment is not the biggest problem. Thirteen-year Operation Guardian veteran Sgt. Arthur Wells is being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder and waiting for a second surgery on a shoulder injured in Ramadi, Iraq, when he broke down the door of an insurgent's house.

"It is horrible to go and fight for your country, and then get treated like this," said Wells, 34, a Miamian who collects disability pay while studying to become an automotive technician. "I'm almost thankful I got hurt, or I'd be in a worse situation."
In other words, bend over once more and smile when you go serve your country. Think this story will be in recruitment ads for the Guard?

Wednesday musings, NC lottery edition

Ministers gathered at the legislature to oppose a lottery.

This has taken years, but North Carolina is nearing approval of a lottery -- there has been stiff opposition for it for years by some on the Left and the Right.

Having lived in NY for so many years, the idea of a lottery doesn't seem like the end of the world; besides, most of those who want to play drive to Virginia, sending all those dollars to that state. To me, I just don't see what the problem is. Social justice folks that argue a lottery is a tax on the poor, because they'll be the ones buying the tickets on false hope. I really have a problem with deeming people in the state too stupid to make a independent judgment on whether to voluntarily buy a ticket.

Anyone want to try and convince me this lottery is a bad idea? (News14Carolina):
The possibility of a North Carolina lottery is still alive in the General Assembly.

But a group of Baptist preachers told lawmakers Tuesday they don't want a lottery here in the Tar Heel state. The ministers believe it's not just an issue of religion.

While the fate of a North Carolina lottery lingers in the legislature, Pastor Greg Barefoot and about 25 other Baptist ministers are speaking out against the gambling game.

"We know this is a hard issue for everyone, but we're looking at it for the wellbeing of our people," he said. "They're looking for hope and it's an empty hope. You're looking at one in 14-million chances of winning." Barefoot is the Pastor of Stony Point Baptist Church, just outside of Statesville. He traveled nearly three hours Tuesday morning to meet with other ministers from across the state, like Pastor Robert Lewis from Fayetteville.

These preachers said they represent about 30,000 people opposed to a North Carolina lottery. Lewis said, "I believe we represent the majority of the Christian perspective as well as many in the community who have strong family moral value."

Some people argue in order to maintain a separation of church and state, lawmakers cannot allow religious opinion to dictate whether or not North Carolina gets a lottery..."Every decision they make is a moral decision, whether good or bad," Lewis explained. "And you really cannot separate a person's faith from their politics."

One is a terrorist, the other is not?

Left: you know this dude already. Right: U.S. Marshals escort Eric Robert Rudolph (rear) from the Jefferson County Jail to the Federal Court House in Birmingham, Alabama, April 13, 2005. Former U.S. fugitive and accused serial bomber Rudolph pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the 1998 bombing of an Alabama abortion clinic that killed a police officer and maimed a nurse. (Butch Dill/Reuters)

John at Big Brass Blog notices that Eric Robert Rudolph's crimes certainly qualify him as a terrorist. But he's getting seriously kid gloves treatment in the media. Reuters refers to Rudolph as "Former U.S. fugitive and accused serial bomber" and a "38-year-old survivalist and suspected white supremacist." John:
Does anyone really think that Reuters would have hesitated to use the word "terrorist" if we were talking about Ali bin Rudolph, the bus bomber? If you don't think so, I've got this bridge...

P.S. Suspected white supremacist? He was a member of Christian Identity for godssake! What do followers of Christian Identity believe?

From the site:

The Christian Identity movement is a movement of many extremely conservative Christian churches and religious organizations, extreme right wing political groups and survival groups.

Well, now. Calling him a terrorist would anger Chimpy's voter base (aside from his other base, the fatcat contributors).

Homo-bigot Minnesota State Senator Michele Bachmann has a screw loose

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

[This is via Matt at Paradise Is Where I Am, Eleventh Avenue South and Lloydletta at aptly-named Dump Michele Bachmann.]

The blogging locals are ragging on the completely unhinged behavior of the Minnesota State Senator. As the DMB misson statement says:

"Michele Bachmann is Minnesota's Answer to Colorado's Marilyn Musgrave. She is obsessed with gays at the expense of representing her district. This blog is here to chronicle why Sen Michele Bachmann needs to be retired from the legislature - and stopped from any future political career."

Well we have the proof now...She was caught on film watching queer folks at OutFront Minnesota's 2005 JustFair Lobby Day. From EAS:
Today Minnesota Senator Michele Bachmann thought it would be fun to circumvent the Senate Committee process and force a floor vote of the amendment to end domestic partnerships, and ban civil unions and same-sex marriage while we were outside rallying for our rights. Even Senate Republicans thought it was in poor taste to try to go around Senate rules on the same day GLBT citizens were making their voice heard. Her move was overwhelmingly defeated:

"The state Senate on Thursday rejected an effort to force a floor vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage as thousands of ban opponents rallied outside the Capitol. Sen. Michele Bachmann, the Stillwater Republican who's led the push for the ban, said Senate Democrats have denied her repeated efforts to get the bill heard. Senate leaders countered that Bachmann, a candidate for the U.S. House, is flouting Senate rules to advance her own political career. At the same time, about 2,500 gays, lesbians and their supporters attended a rally on the Capitol grounds just a few hundred yards away, organized by OutFront Minnesota." [Star Tribune]

Bachmann crouched behind a bush, watching the homos; you'd think she was watching some dirty peep show. This is truly demented. See more photos in the sequence here. Here's Matt's description:
I was walking into the capitol building to get an elevated view of the rally for a pic when I was approached by a capitol staff person and asked "wanna really piss someone off?" I was directed to search the bushes at the far end of the rally where I was told none other than Senator Bachmann, chief advocate of the anti-gay amendment, was watching the rally.
I love Bachmann's response to being busted: "I had high heels on and I just couldn't stand anymore," Bachmann said. "I was not in the bushes."

Michiganers: homo-bigot Keith Butler is running for the Senate

Keith Butler represents religious black voters that are slipping away to the GOP; is Stabenow vulnerable?

I came across this article and couldn't place this guy's name for a moment. Then I recalled why it is familiar. Keith Butler was one of the black folks trotted out by the GOP at the NY convention in 2004 to add a dash of color. Now, the Grand Rapids station WOOD-TV reports Butler has announced that he will run for the Republican slot to face off against Senator Debbie Stabenow.

He's a world-class homophobe that subscribes to the belief that being gay is a sin and that any comparison of any kind between the struggle for gay rights and the black civil rights movement is an insult. He (along with possible Alabama gubanatorial candidate Roy "Ten Commandments" Moore) have been praying on the decision to run. Guess Butler got the thumbs up.

I'm sure the GOP will throw money at this race. Butler may not be well-known now, but I hope queer folks and allies in get to know more about Butler by reading the following; he's written some insane editorials in the Detroit News that will raise the hair on the back of your neck. (Michigan is one of the states that passed a marriage amendment). From 10/25/2003, "Keep defining marriage as between man, woman":
Marriage was instituted by God himself for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes -- and for securing the maintenance and education of children." Recent legal and cultural trends seek to redefine Webster's definition of marriage.

...First, traditional marriage must be protected for the proliferation of our generations. Regardless of how you slice it, you cannot get around the fact that a woman is the one who carries the egg and the man is the one who carries the sperm. The natural union of the egg and the sperm is how you and I came into being.

A man-man or a woman-woman relationship cannot produce or bear children. The longevity of our familial generations throughout the years is based on the procreation of children.

[Geez -- the whole "parts fit"/procreation argument again -- Pam]

Furthermore, depicting marriage as something other than that relationship between one man and one woman is not good for children. Homosexuality is a lifestyle that is neither normal nor natural. It is a decision, a choice. This lifestyle should not be illustrated to our children as normal.

Classes such as the one being taught at the University of Michigan should be banned. If you were to look at your college student's class schedule, you would see English 317. Look further. The course title for English 317 is "How To Be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation." The course description reads as follows: "Students in class examine the general topic of the role that initiation plays in the formation of gay male identity and will examine a number of cultural artifacts and activities that seem to play a prominent role in learning how to be gay including Broadway musicals, diva-worship, drag, muscle culture, taste and political activism."

[Unhinged, Freeper-esque comments follow - beware. -- Pam]

This course is outright recruitment of young people into this decadent lifestyle. Common sense tells us that if this lifestyle were to become the dominant choice of our culture, our culture would soon be extinct.

Second, supporters of same-sex marriage tout their cause as a civil rights issue. The gay community's attempt to tie their pursuit of special rights based on their behavior to the civil rights movement of the 1960s is abhorrent.

Being black is not a lifestyle choice. You can physically see and determine our heritage. The civil rights struggle found its purpose from depriving human beings of the most basic human rights simply because of the color of their skin. A popular black magazine, in almost every edition, proudly presents the "first black" in various professions. Why so long to become the "first black"? This is the wrong the civil rights movement seeks to correct.

The gay lifestyle is based on a behavior choice that endangers family, children, and the core of society. The attempt to push this decadent lifestyle into mainstream society and to brand those who oppose it as "homophobic" is simply wrong. The suffix, "phobic" implies, by nature, a fear. There is no fear; opponents simply oppose the gay lifestyle as the norm and refuse to accept that such a lifestyle is good for society.

Shagarific Miss North Carolina crowned Miss USA 2005

Or is it shagadelic? And to think, shagging has a completely different meaning across the pond...(NC Rumors):
Miss North Carolina, Chelsea Cooley, has been crowned Miss USA 2005. Chelsea Cooley, the reigning Miss North Carolina is a native of Charlotte.

...In 2000, Chelsea captured the title of Miss North Carolina Teen USA and set her sights on the Miss USA competition. In her spare time, Chelsea enjoys jet skiing, snorkeling, parasailing, reading, traveling and dancing. Her love of shag dancing led her to compete in the Grand National Shag Dancing Competition where she was declared Grand National Shag Dance Champion.

An update on marriage legislation in Canada

House Blender (and Canadian) Cat has been passing along information about the Parliamentary shenanigans by Stephen Harper yesterday and today. The conservative was trying to thwart consideration of federal same-sex marriage legislation. I'm excerpting her update here.
Well, Stephen Harper's amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman has been defeated 164 to 132. So far so good. There are still hurdles, however. Bill C-38 nows goes to committee where it will again be discussed and voted on. Then back to Parliament where it will probably be debated and then put to a free vote, i.e. MP's are free to vote as they wish, without having to toe party lines. This is where it gets tricky. Today, 34 Liberals voted in favour of Harper's amendment, against their own party.

In public, too. In the Canadian Parliament, MP's stand to vote in public. There's no hiding how you voted. So the fact 34 Liberal MP's were willing to vote in public against their own party shows just how fractured support for Bill C-38 is. If the Bill survives this free vote, it will then go to the Senate. Unlike the US Senate, Canada's Senate is appointed, not voted in. In fact, several attempts have been made to switch Canada's Senate from an appointed body to an elected body, just like the US. Such efforts are always ongoing.

For the purposes of Bill C-38, it's enough to know that the vast majority of senators appointed to the Senate are Liberal appointees, so it's very likely Bill C-38 will be approved by the Senate and passed into law very quickly. That is, if Bill C-38 makes it to the Senate. Remember, as I said yesterday, the Liberal Government is in a minority position. It can't pass legislation by itself. It needs the help of MP's from other parties. At any time, MP's from any other party can come together, announce they are making an vote of non-confidence in the government. Then the Liberal government will fall, there will be an election, and it becomes very likely that Bill C-38 will die and never be passed. Especially if the Conservatives come to power. They are the ones who want marriage in Canada to be defined as between a man and a woman. The Liberals are currently embroiled in a vicious scandal which, in all honesty, the deserve to be. They also deserve to be behind in the polls, too. Problem is, the only real alternative are the Conservatives, and there's no way I want them in power.

...I will try and keep you apprised as to what is happening in Canada where Bill C-38 is concerned. The battle is not over, there's still plenty of things people in both the US and Canada can do to support this legislation. It would be extremely interesting to me, and perhaps helpful, if the MSM in the US picked up on this on going struggle. Sure, Right Wing organizations such as Focus On Family are working against it. But most Americans probably don't have a clue this happening, and couldn't care less. Fair enough since it doesn't affect them directly. But how they would react to finding out about Bill C-38, what they would say about could be very interesting, and even helpful. Thanks to Bush, anti-American sentiment is at high point in Canada. If enough Americans speak out against the Bill, it just might change some Canadian minds towards it. Sad, but true.

Compare the photo ops

Another blast in Iraq, Chimpy bellies up to the bar.

F*ck that, Bill Clinton

Well isn't this special? NYT:
Former President Bill Clinton unleashed an attack yesterday against a gay Republican strategist who has plans to work against Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's re-election, suggesting that the man may be "self-loathing" to work on behalf of the Republican Party.

...The former president noted that an earlier article over the weekend reported that Mr. Finkelstein had married his male partner in a civil ceremony at his home in Massachusetts, then he alluded to the Republican Party's use of the same-sex marriage issue to mobilize conservative voters.

"Either this guy believes his party is not serious and he's totally Machiavellian," Mr. Clinton said, or "he may be blinded by self-loathing." Mr. Finkelstein, a reclusive former adviser to Gov. George E. Pataki, did not respond to a message left at his office seeking a comment on Mr. Clinton's remarks. But his allies quickly did.

...The spectacle of the former president coming to the defense of his wife, a tough politician in her own right, generated considerable buzz in political circles, particularly since Mr. Clinton has tried to keep a low profile and stay out of Mrs. Clinton's way since she took office.
He can talk tough when defending his wife, but when it came to defend the right of gay people, even self-loathing Finklestein, to marry -- he threw us under the bus for political expediency. He's the man that gave us "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the Defense of Marriage Act, empowering the Repugs to take gay-bashing to the next level.

...And then he told Kerry in 2004 to support the state marriage amendments in order to gain votes.

And as the clock is ticking...

* gays can still legally be fired from a job
* a transgender person can most certainly get the crap beaten out of them or worse in many parts of the country
* gays cannot adopt in many places
* gay couples in several states now cannot form private legal agreements and health care POA because of state amendments

And on the marriage front:

New constitutional bans: Voters passed constitutional amendments banning gay marriage last year in 13 states: Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah.

Older constitutional bans: Gay marriage bans already existed in the constitutions of four states: Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska and Nevada.

Laws that prohibit: The following states have laws on the books (but not in their constitutions) prohibiting gay marriage: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

For all the gains that have been made, city by city, state by state, there are thousands of gay people that have lost rights in those states that passed amendments. Those laws have jeopardized partner benefits and legal arrangements to protect gay relationships that married people take for granted.

Bill Clinton and his DLC legacy resulted in a Democratic Party with lack of desire/inability to reframe any issues regarding gay rights, save a few brave souls, like Mel Watt. The silence is deafening. His 2004 advice to Kerry was telling.

Clinton's actions gave the Right permission to make gays the whipping boy for electoral success. It only served him to call out gay-baiting when his wife was involved.

Sorry, Bill, f*ck that. You and Finkelstein just have more in common on this front than you're copping to.


I'm not letting Finkelstein off the hook; he is about as nasty and right wing as they come on the campaign trail. Finkelstein has a history of hardball politics, working with Jesse Helms on his Senate run against Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt.

I was living in NC during this time period, and it was the nastiest, most racist campaign the GOP has seen in a lifetime. It was a close race (Gantt leading 47-45 percent), until Finkelstein ran the infamous "white hands commercial" showing a close up pair of a flannel-shirtsleeved hands crumpling a job pair of white hands crumpling a termination notice, with an ominous voiceover explaining that a well-deserved job went to someone else because of affirmative action. This appealed to the blue collar, textile working folks in the rural areas, and Helms won handily. Here's a quote from local gay activist Mandy Carter from 1996:
All this from a politician whose main strategist during his first run for Senate - as well as last time - was Arthur Finkelstein. Who? You know, the guy who lives with his male partner and their two adopted children. It's not a secret or anything. "The height of hypocrisy," snaps Mandy Carter, campaign coordinator of NC Mobe. "I just don't get Finkelstein, but Helms? This is the one who claims not to know anyone gay, swears he'd never hire anyone who is and opposes gays adopting children. And yet he retains a gay advisor. What does that tell us?"

What it tells us today is that Jesse does know someone gay -- his own granddaughter, Jennifer Helms Knox, a district court judge here in NC.

Gay marriage under fire in Canada

Monday, April 11, 2005

Conservative Stephen Harper wants to kill a second reading of the gay civil marriage bill known as C-38. That vote is tomorrow.

The Right Wing fervor has been relentless in the Great White North, as a vote on same-sex marriage nears.

Articles to get you up to date:
* Harper links sponsorship scandal to same-sex marriage bill. Conservative leader (and wingnut by Canadian standards) Stephen Harper is hell-bent on defeating Bill C-38, federal legislation that would officially extend civil marriage to same-sex couples. The government drafted the bill after courts in several provinces ruled that excluding gay couples from marriage violated equality guarantees in the Charter of Rights. He wants to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Tomorrow there will be a vote on Bill C-38 that could kill it.

* Faith-based same-sex rallies attract hundreds. On the bright side, hundreds of same-sex supporters turned up at a rally yesterday that saw Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other religious leaders united in support of gay marriages.

* Equal Marriage Vote Only a Week Away. This is a link to a website that supports equal marriage rights for GLBT people in Canada. Petitions are available as well as a place where people can e-mail Members of Parliament or give donations.

Thanks to House Blender Cat for the pointers.

Predatory lenders target black neighborhoods

Payday lenders, which are allowed to charge whatever interest rate they feel the market can bear, are not surprisingly, setting up shop in minority neighborhoods. As Chris Kromm of Facing South reports, if there are three times as many of these predatory "banks" taking advantage of people perceived as living on the margins in black areas, the proposed bankruptcy "reforms" are going to have a direct negative and discriminatory impact on the community. So much for the "ownership society."

A new study from our friends at the Center for Responsible Lending in Durham, N.C. "reveals a powerful relationship between the proportion of African-Americans in a neighborhood and the prevalence of payday lending stores." According to the Center's press release:
African-American neighborhoods in North Carolina have three times as many payday lenders per capita as white neighborhoods, even after controlling for variables associated with the industry's purported customer base such as income and homeownership.

"This study shows in the starkest terms that African-American neighborhoods bear the brunt of predatory payday loans -- loans that are not even legal in North Carolina," said Mark Pearce, CRL president. "This confirms that the abusive loans made by payday lenders are not just an issue of fair and responsible lending, but are a civil rights issue as well."

This is in line with what Southern Exposure found in our report "Banking On Misery," which investigated the predatory practices of Citibank and other lending institutions. For example, see these maps of Atlanta and Charlotte (PDFs) from SE's investigation, which clearly show how high-interest "subprime" loan offices are routinely stationed in black neighborhoods -- regardless of the credit record of individual consumers.

Predatory banking is a big reason why people are trapped in debt, and another reason to oppose the bankruptcy reform bill which goes before the U.S. House this week.

The situation reminds me of NYC when I lived there in the 70s and 80s -- go to a predominantly black neighborhood and you'd find a liquor store on nearly every corner and rarely a grocery store.

My dream come true -- Fred Phelps is coming to Durham!

Durham School of the Arts photo by James Jirtle & Elizabeth Tencer

I will be marking May 6 and 7 on my calendar because on these days our friend, The Rotting CryptkeeperTM Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, will be picketing "the fag-infested Durham School of the Arts and The Laramie Project fag propaganda play" at 7:30 PM. Click to see the fun homo-bashing of Matthew Shepard on the handout. My only disappointment is he didn't damn our city enough in the document. As Durham is full of queer folks, he will have quite a welcome wagon out there.

Kate and I will ride over to the school in our rainbow-stickered Subaru "lesbian vehicle of choice" Outback and get pictures of the cretin of hate.

To the Dem that runs against Joe Lieberman in the primary, here's your ad

BusyBusyBusy has captured an ad that wingnuts are running in support of John Bolton, Chimpy's hot-headed UN ambassador nominee. Unfortunately for Joe Lieberman, the group(s) and view him as an example of "leaders who will stand up for American values, like John Bolton... "
(via Shakespeare's Sister)

Tom DeLay gets a $5K booty kiss from American Airlines

See the Big Brass Blog post by Shakespeare's Sister on poor Tom DeLay. American Airlines has given DeLay $5,000 toward his legal defense, because:
We were told that Mr. DeLay, a member of Congress from our headquarters state was facing substantial legal bills that he was unable to pay personally because of their size and his limited resources.
AA must have no peace over this.

Raucous Freeper attack on Chris Shays and Man-on-Dog Santorum

As the DeLay ship of ethics takes on water, with the recent criticism from Connecticut's Chris Shays and our friend Rick Santorum, the Freepers are pissed -- but it's unclear that they know how to direct their anger. It's hysterical. Oh, and they appear to be outing Shays. I didn't know he was queer...

Actual Freeper Quotes™

First Chris Shays gets a pummeling...

"Republicans eat their own. Look - if Tom DeLay isn't doing a good job, let the Democrats recruit a candidate to run against him in Sugar Land. But Republicans shouldn't help them get rid of a party leader based on what after all are questionable allegations from the partisan media. No proof of wrong-doing by the Majority Leader has been offered into evidence. In the minds of Chris Shays and Rick Santorum he's guilty because our adversaries make that assumption - and they buy into the liberal line that its the seriousness of the charge mantra that matters. Forget the evidence."

"Hey Chris .. you have done more damage to the Republican Party then anything Delay has done"

"Who is Chris Shays?"

"DeLay should step down. Shays should shut-up."

"Chris Shays is a RINO. He ain't no conservative. Hurting the Republican majority, my ass."

"Ignore this lying liberal POS with an R next to his name."

"I will be about at the bottom of support I have ever had for the GOP. I've watched folks here get disgruntled with the GOP over the years and thought they were off the wall. That is why even though we seem in power we are not. The Dems have more of a reliable base which they respect. The GOP uses the base to win (broken glass) and then abandons them and even ridicules us a bit. We would not have won without the WOT last November. The right wing in this country is still too weak. We are not there yet."

"It's Monday, that means Republicans need to cave in on something...."

"Republican leaders want the admiration of liberals. We need such "leaders" like we need enemies."

"The Republican Party is disintegrating. I guess they just didn't know what to do with the power once they got it."

"[Is this really a Freeper?] I'm no attorney, so I can't address (with any authority) whatever criminal culpability DeLay might've had by unknowingly using questionable money sources for traveling, etc. Ethics, though, are the domain of anyone who can discern right from wrong with any clarity. If he was truly unaware of any impropriety, and this lack of knowledge can be proved with any reasonable certainty, then I would say no breach of ethics are involved. It's true that highly placed public officials should be held to a higher standard than, say, a local school board member. It's also true that I'm no expert on House or Senate ethics rules (or an expert on pretty much anything outside my profession). But I do know that intent is a mitigating factor in both criminal cases and ethics disputes. Ignorance is no defense for bad judgment, certainly, but 'unethical' denotes behavior acted out willfully and knowingly. The attorneys out there can shoot me if I'm wrong."

"Who is Chris Shays?" He's that liberal homosexual congressman from some yankee New England state that voted against impeaching Clinton."

"Since when does a democrat or in Shays case, a stinking low life rat in disguise RINO, need actual evidence to bring down a fellow party member?"

"Only the Houston Comical would take seriously a Connecticut homosexual's views on who should represent Texans in D.C."

"He's a liberal. If the GOP had guts, they'd expel Shays from the party for disloyalty. Conduct carries consequences. Shays shouldn't be able to sit there as a Republican, attack his leader in the press and pay no price for it. Then again, its not for nothing the GOP is called the Stupid Party."

"I ignore complaints from any politician, Republican or Democrat, from New England. If someone south of the Mason-Dixon complains, I'll take notice."

"Shays is a bitter homosexual. He was "outed" on the House floor several times--once by Rep Dornan."

"He represents a wealthy-but-liberal NYC suburban area of Connecticut, Fairfield County. I have seen him listed as one of the most vulnerable Republicans in 2006. So this is all about appealing to his liberal constituents by very publicly bashing Liberal Public Enemy #1."

"Considering that his district includes the limousine liberals in Westport (hello Paul Newman) and Stamford, along with the sh-thole that is Bridgeport, its amazing that there is a Republican in that district. At least Greenwich and New Canaan voted for Bush..."

"Once again a "moderate" that Republicans voted for in the primary "because he can win in November" does more damage to the party than a Democrat could."

"Shays should be pulled away from the GOP teat and made to become either an "Independent" or a 'rat. The former would make him Bernie Sanders' counterpart, and the latter would make him virtually invisible. My guess is that he would become an indy, as it would give him the opportunity to continue being a self-important pain in the butt. That aside, his "moderate" moniker is not something that should remain unchallenged. And if he isn't gay, he ought to play one on TV."

"GOP modrate? Shays is an outright leftist."

Then it's Santorum's turn...

"Wow, we're going to trash a good conservative because he wants DeLay to answer the charges and come clean? Santorum is a decent, moral man. If he believes DeLay, I appreciate that. But something smells here. We have to get over the knee-jerk reaction that all of our guys do the right thing all the time and all their guys are evil."

"He is going to wind up in the unfortunate position of having the deathrats and the immoral media hate him for things he has said in the past, and the conservatives hate him for the pandering he is doing in the present. Of course, the will accept the pandering to get at us, Delay in this case, but they will laughingly slip in the shiv when he wants something from them."

"Sen. Santorum has taken every opportunity of late to portray himself as anything but a conservative. I am disappointed by this change and doubt he will find long term support with his new constituency."

"How soon they begin to eat their own. Democrats are rotten to the core but at least they know how to be loyal."

"I think its time to hang DeLay out to dry. Otherwise The Hammer's just going to stay in the news, stinking to heaven and hurting Republicans. Loyalty is well and good, but winning elections is more important. He's becoming an embarassment and a liability."

"So does Santorum. I have a few questions myself for Specter's hand puppet."

"Why should Santorum let DeLay drag him down? DeLay is the one that plays at the edge of legality and house ethics (what an oxymoron). He should explain his behavior and if voters in his district approve, they will continue to vote him in. Why should Santorum accept DeLays morality? What if DeLay had come out in favor of euthanasia or abortion, would you have wanted Santorum keep his mouth shut just because the guy is a Republican leader? I dont think so. DeLay built his bed through his take no prisoners style of politics. Let him live in it."

"It's called tacking toward the center. It's what people that dont live in Heavily Red states have to do get elected. It's also why Dems in red states are shown hunting and are constantly talking about God. What do you want, a constant conservative vote in the Senate or someone that throws red meat to the base until they get voted out. Pennsylvania is not Texas or Wyoming."

"If this report is true, Santorum's stock has experienced a sharp fall in this voter's portfolio."

"I think he will be a WRINO. He used to be a conservatives conservative. Now, I think he's just as slimy as the rest of them and will do or say anything to be re-elected."

"First off delay was payign his wife and daughter 50k each over 5 years which totals a 100k. Hardly alot of money considering what other people in the beltway do. Hell look at harry reid doling out contracts to his relatives in the millions, or pelosi giving nice lucrative contracts back to campaign contributions. While what delay did isnt illegal it does smell of beltway and most of us here are dissapointed in him for acting this way but he by no means did anything illegal or anything out of the ordinary. Who the hell is santorum to bitch about anything when he has his own little incident with tax payers paying for his kids school. The problem is that our republican leaders in washington live there far too long and become spineless wonders. They try so hard to be accepted by the beltway establishment since its overwhelmingly liberal and as such they pander and try to please them. The problem with that is nothing they do is ever going to get the liberals to like them and thats why democrats and the media hate Delay so much. He makes no bones about who he is or his political views, ie "The Hammer". If more republicans were like him and didn't give a rats ass about the media establishemnt or the democrats in washington maybye we'd actually get some things done. I mean look at what democrats did to us back in the 80s when they were in charge? When they were in charge they threw us out of commitees and the moderate RINO weenies just tried to get along with them in hopes of a few benefits of political office. The problem is alot of those RINO's are still around and in positions of leadership and as such they still act like their a minority in washington. For god's sake we are the MAJORITY start acting like it and just ignore these whiny little liberals adn let them piss and moan and nip at our heels."

"It is a sad argument, but I will not sit back and allow DeLay to be dragged through slime by the very folks that have slime all over them. No, Its not ok to selectively persecute selected republicans for selected ethnic violation suspicions and never aim those same suspicions at those doing the selecting. Holding ourselves to a higher standard is the biggest sucker game in Washington. Is it done to enable us to sleep better at night? Is it done to set an example that others will start following tomorrow? Or is it a crappy-ass way of letting the filthy democrats run the show? This is a tug-o-war of sorts, and I don't mind a bit if the republicans show a little mud while pulling the democrats into the stink hole."

"Too bad Santorum didn't have the huevos to call for the same for Pelosi. What Pelosi has or has not done has nothing to do with DeLay. This "they are doing it too" garbage does not wash. If DeLay is dirty, Republicans should be the first to kick his ass out the door."

"Santorum should be calling for some judges to answer some questions. DeLay has not disobeyed the law, the judges have. Santorum's should be focused on them, not Tom DeLay."

Must-read DKos diary: Bending over to win elections

You must surf over to DKos and read the diary, "Bending over to win elections" by Bob Johnson. It hits the nail on the head regarding the absolute ball-lessness of the Democratic Party. In its zeal to win elections, the party has time and again, decided the only way to do this is to become Repug lite. They think back dreamily to Bill Clinton, who may have been less onerous than Chimpy, but he's the guy responsible for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and DOMA, not the GOP.

The Dems don't even try to reshape or reframe the issues; they are too damn scared. No, they'd rather tell women, gays and other minorities to sit back and wait -- when they win, they'll come back to "our issues." It's bullsh*t, and this diary calls them on it.
Give up on abortion. Make Tim Roemer our point man. We have to return to back alley, coat hanger abortions in order to regain seats in the House and the Senate and take back the presidency. Sorry to you women out there who will suffer. Just understand that we will give you back your rights... someday. Can't say when because we need to shift to the right on this one. Thanks for understanding. Our sympathies in advance to those who die in the process.

Oh, and teach creationism and/or intelligent design in our public schools. Even though our citizenry is arguably less informed than at any time in our recent history, and most Americans know more about the contestants on American Idol than they know about the beginnings of our solar system or the origin of species on Earth, let's give in and make our kids even more ignorant than they already are. Eye on the prize and all that. We need to win elections.

And to our gay and lesbian friends out there, sorry, but you're all just homos now. Just fags. Queers. Lesbos. We'll come back around for you in a little while once we start winning again. Really. We will. Just lay low for a bit. And be alert. It could get a little nasty out there in the meantime.

Muslim-Americans and Arab-Americans? You're fucked. Sorry. There's not much we can do for you at present. At some point in the next 20 years, this whole terror thing may or may not blow over. We'll get back to you. For sure. Keep a stiff upper lip, to quote your old colonial opressors. Meet you new oppressors. That's us. But you'll know we'll be on your team once we get back in power. It just may take a while.

To our loyal African-American friends, we trust that you'll bear with us as the economy collapses and you become the first casualties (in more ways than one -- read on). Just remember, there is always the military! And once we give the "thumbs up" to Bush's interventions in Iran and Syria (something we have to do to appear to be tough on terror and strong on national defense... you know, in order to regain control), we'll do something nice for you. At the very least, we'll give many of your family members Purple Hearts and other awards for gallantry in battle.

Ditto for Hispanics.

To our good friends in major industries we say, "Hey! We love you, too!" Yes, we can write industry-friendly policies! Yes, we can create government programs that line your pockets! Yes, we can draw up rules that hinder the unionization of your employees and make your people work longer hours for less money! Yes, we can pass laws that will limit your liability, even if something you do or something you make completely fucks up and kills people! And, yes, we'll make it easier for you to protect your profits with offshore accounts and offshore workforces! We may never be better than our opponents, but, like Avis, we'll try harder!

And to our Jewish friends... Nothing to fear. Really. Don't believe the idle gossip from hard right, Christian circles. Those folks will be too busy persecuting homos and ragheads to worry about you (see above). But keep your eyes peeled. You're always high on the list. If it comes to that, we won't be that vocal right away. And if you hear us call you names, just know that we are doing it to play along. As a way to steal voters from the other side and win back seats. But we will rise to your defense once we regain power. No fooling. You trust us, don't you?

To the working men and women who once made up the backbone of our party, well, let's just say our longstanding friendship may be placed on a temporary hiatus. We'll still be friends and all that, but we can't appear to be too close to you. And you might have to work longer hours for less money. And you may have trouble getting adequate health care for your families. But just wait until we get back in to power. We'll be right back with you! Swear to God! Won't it be great?
Go read the rest, and see those comments full of high-fives.

Bishop Gene Robinson talks to Planned Parenthood, gets Freeped

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Openly gay Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson was recently interviewed by Planned Parenthood and spoke on several topics, including his views on homosexuality and tolerance, abstinence education and reproductive freedom.

Considering the controversy that Robinson has been embroiled in since his election, you'd think he'd play it safe. On the contrary, he speaks out strongly for progressive views at a time where most religious leaders on the left are silent.
With so much strife around issues like abortion and gay marriage, including within the Episcopal Church, how do you create common ground?

I'm doing everything I can to emphasize the ways in which we all share the same reality, though we live in a culture that thrives on polarization.

Little has been written about your stance on reproductive rights. Are you pro-choice?

Absolutely. The reason I love the Episcopal Church is that it actually trusts us to be adults. In a world where everyone tries to paint things as black or white, Episcopalians feel pretty comfortable in the gray areas. I'm sure there must be individual congregations, and certainly individuals, who are off the deep end about this issue, but for the most part, the stance that we have taken speaks to our people as a mature and adult way of dealing with this — that we protect a woman's right to choose but also say that obviously there are very deep things involved here.

So we encourage our folks to take this very private issue seriously. We urge them to talk to their priests about it and to think through all the questions they might have. And then we absolutely stand behind a woman's right to choose. I think that's a responsible place to be.

Has abortion been a divisive issue in your church?

Not really — surprisingly. From time to time it has come up, but the church has steadfastly resisted efforts to retract in any way our support for a woman's choice.

You've said, "We have allowed the conservative religious right to take our Bible hostage, and I think it's time we took it back." How can people who are both religious and progressive reclaim religion?

It's time that we re-familiarize ourselves with our sacred text, so that we can interpret it for the world, and not let the only voice that Americans hear from a Christian standpoint be those wildly conservative voices. As a gay man, I find stories in both Hebrew and Christian scripture that have literally called me out. For instance, in the Passover story, I know what it's like to leave Egypt, or leave the closet. The ancient Israelites, instead of finding the Promised Land immediately, wandered the desert, and I know, too, that life doesn't immediately get better for you. At the same time, as a whole community, we're getting closer to the Promised Land all the time.

I think it's time we learn to tell those stories out of our own context again, so that people speaking biblically and from a place of faith are not just wild-eyed conservatives.

There is an alarming trend toward enforcing abstinence-only sex education, encouraging the teaching of creationism, discouraging stem cell research — all in an attempt to put ideology over science. How do you think religion and science intersect?

I don't find any disconnect between science and faith. There are ways of incorporating all of faith with all of what we know about science. [Right-wing politicians] and the so-called "pro-life" movement focus on all this as a great way to raise money, solidify their base, and get people all whipped up. If they can keep people whipped up about abortion, stem cell research, and gay marriage, then we don't have to talk about the things that really matter, like this illegal and immoral war in Iraq, the economy, the some 45 million people without health insurance in this country, and balancing the budget so that those least able to take care of themselves don't lose Medicaid. I think it was Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) who called all of the folderol about gay marriage a "weapon of mass distraction." That's what I think is going on here. I don't find anything in scripture that says we shouldn't be doing these things.

I've been involved in AIDS education for both young people and adults for a long, long time, and I think it's cruel beyond belief to be advocating abstinence-only sex education.

This is the real disconnect — if you are against abortion, how can you not be for full and sufficient education about birth control? It's something that would stop unintended pregnancies to begin with. It also exhibits a very low opinion of humankind. It says we can't make appropriate choices for ourselves, so somebody has to make those choices for us.
These views, of course set the fetid residents of Freeperland off to their keyboards to pump out their usual ignorant bullsh*t.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"The bishop is a piece of . . . work. He most certainly is a piece of something."

"I get it. He wants to interpret the Bible like judges interpret the law... in essence, to justify whatever he wants to do."

"To paraphase the UCC's gay-friendly slogan: "Never place an intake where God placed an exhaust.""

"The church — or any organization — can't speak for the world unless all voices are represented. Well then Gene, let's not leave out the devil worshippers."


"I wonder if there is anything he would define as a sin. What would it be? I wonder what Christ died on the cross for since everything is ok if it feels good. Who are we to judge after all. Would he hold group marriages for people that want it? Would he allow incest? What exactly are his standards? What does this say about his denomination that supports him? Is the greater church doing anything about this or is the whole Religion fallen away from Christ?"

""The reason I love the Episcopal Church is that it actually trusts us to be adults"...."

"What an absolute lie!... the Episcopal church bishops changed the liturgy of the people when they elected him . They did not ask the people , they told them , no discussion, no vote, no input at all from the people. How is that treating them as adults? And when the majority of the people in the churches said no , these same demonic bishops continue with their agenda. He and his ilk are NOT treating the congregations as adults, and in the slimy secretive way the decision came to the congregations , the bishops have also NOT shown any sign of Christianity."

"The rump ridin' bishop talks to racist baby-killers. That's sure to produce sound theological thinking."

"You're not supposed to be speaking for the world. You're supposed to be no part of the world. Satan is the god of this system of things."

"My thoughts exactly. Let's equate the liberation of God's chosen people from slavery with a gay coming out of the closet. How histrionic--but that would be perfectly within character, I'm sure."

"Bishop V. Gene Robinson ECUSA... is sadly preaching a man-centered and culture-centered political message that is diametrically opposed to the eternal Gospel. I would not want to be in his shoes when the day of the Lord's reckoning comes to him...."

"What has Planned P{arenthood got to do with Homosexuals anyway. THEY CANT BREED. at least not naturally. Oh They can use turkey basters and substitutes but I dont think there are enough of them doing that whereby Planned Parenthood has to get into the act.No this isnt about Planned parenthood in the parenthood stage, its about shoving the liberal agenda down our throats, up our butts or wherever else the Homo's and the Socialists of Planned Parenthood shove things."

"As a Catholic I can no longer respect the Episcopal Church if they choose to stand behind this man."

"Of course the issue of human life never enters into the issue of abortion. It's all just a matter of a woman's "choice". This tripe makes me sick! And embracing a life of open homosexual activity, i.e., a life dedicated to elevating a specific sin to the center of one's life, is supposed to be the equivalent of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt?????"

"As a former Episcopalian, I hope the Cardinals choose a pope who will stay the course laid out for him. For your sake and for everyones sake. If not, this is what can and will happen. Behold the freakshow and learn from it."

"It's stuff like this that re-re-re-re-re-re-confirms my decision to leave the ECUSA. At this very moment, I couldn't be any happier to be Catholic."

"If this man was a pastor or bishop in my church I would physically throw him out."

The Bloggrrrlz Gallery Rulez

My other haunt, Big Brass Blog, in association with The Dark Wraith Forums, has just launched The Bloggrrrlz Gallery, a portal meta-site that will enable you to surf some of the best blogs by women on the Web, a kind of one-stop shopping. There are so many good female political bloggers that have gone unnoticed, dismissed or both, and B3 wants to make it possible to easily sample what's out there.

Here's more on the project by The Dark Wraith:
Click on the link, and you'll find yourself at a Website that has a string of bloggrrrlz blogs listed across the top. Now, you might be thinking to yourself, "Ah, this is just a list of links"; but you'd be missing the big feature. Notice that below the listings is a giant window. Watch what happens when you click on a blog link. After what happens has perhaps impressed you, click on another link; click on a third. Go through the whole list if you like.

That's right: one site, The Bloggrrrlz Gallery, from which you can look into a portal window and see the world of feminist blogs. The Bloggrrrlz Gallery is a one-stop meta-site where you can park every day to watch the Blogosphere unfold through the words and images on the hottest, fastest-growing, most dynamic part of the Blogosphere today.

By providing this new service, the Big Brass Blog continues its tradition of giving voice, forum, and opportunity to those who have been ignored, turned away, turned down, and set aside for too long. Perhaps one day, the extremists of the Right will have the world of violent men and cowering women they want. Perhaps one day, the fascists of religions across the world will return the wrath of their angry and false gods to those who would dare to question. And perhaps one day, the mainstream news media and the giant graffiti blogs will be able to once again decide who matters and for how long.

But we here at Big Brass Blog don't think so. In fact, we here at the Big Brass Blog intend to make sure the past stays buried.

It's one thing to talk the talk;
it's quite another to blog the blogs.

The Big Brass Blog most definitely blogs the blogs.

Now, go have a look at the future.

The Dark Wraith has said his peace.
Thank you Mr. Dark Wraith, your support and contributions (such as Blogscream) have been a boost for Blogosphere v2.0 and are greatly appreciated.

House Blenders are welcome to email (or post in these comments), links to other female bloggers that have rocked your political foundations. Big Brass Bloggers will review your suggestions. One note: because of display issues with the portal, some sites submitted may be written in code that isn't compatible with the portal, so we'll let you know if that's the case.

What does 'Bandar Bush' have to say about the Saudi human rights record?

Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the U.S., Prince Bandar. I'm sure floggings and beheadings occurring in the Kingdom are not a topic of conversation at family gatherings.

As I recall, one of reasons for overthrowing Saddam (aside from the non-existent WMDs) was to return Iraq to the people, to encourage democracy and human rights. Isn't if funny how one of our closest allies (one that pumps an awful lot of oil, by the way) won't allow women to vote or drive, and subjects people suspected of being gay to unspeakable torture.

I wonder if the topic of human rights ever comes up when Chimpy and his family friend Saudi Prince Bandar, or Bandar Bush (his pet name), sit down for a chat in Crawford or at the White House. Better yet, what does Darth Cheney think about this cozy relationship with a country that would physically punish his queer daughter for being openly gay. (Guardian):
Dozens of Saudi men caught dancing and "behaving like women" at a party have been sentenced to a total of 14,200 lashes, after a trial held behind closed doors and without defence lawyers.

The men were also given jail sentences of up to two years. They were arrested last month when the police in Jeddah raided a party which was described by a Saudi newspaper as a "gay wedding".

"Prosecuting and imprisoning people for homosexual conduct are flagrant human rights violations," Scott Long, of the US organisation Human Rights Watch said. "Subjecting the victims to floggings is torture, pure and simple."

HRW said it had established that 31 of the men received prison sentences of six months to one year, plus 200 lashes each. Four were jailed for two years with 2,000 lashes.

A further 70 men were released after the raid but summoned to a police station on April 3, where they were told they had been sentenced to one year's imprisonment. HRW said that according to a friend of one of the arrested men the gathering was a birthday party.
According to the Kingdom's National Organization for Human Rights (NOHR) -- there's an oxymoron of epic proportions -- amputations and floggings are not violations of human rights.
"There are those who consider certain issues a violation of human rights, while we consider them a safeguard to human rights – for example, executions, amputating the hand of a thief, or flogging an adulterer. There are those who think that all Qur'anic punishments violate human rights. Therefore, the position of the Saudi foreign ministry, and the position of many Islamic countries and even some of the Western countries, is that international proclamations of human rights and their related protocols are [considered only] general principles, and that their implementation is subject to the laws [of each country]"
--NOHR Chairman Dr. Abdallah Bin Saleh Al-'Ubeid

When asked about the scope of human rights violations in Saudi Arabia, Turki Bin Muhammad answered: "Based on my work, and my involvement in this issue for over eight years, I can say that there are no significant human rights violations, as alleged falsely by suspicious parties. There may be some transgressions by individuals [or institutions], but they do not rise to the level that could be described as human rights violations. I think these cases can be managed when they arise."
--Prince Turki Bin Muhammad

Women and the Kingdom. A Saudi woman not only cannot drive or vote, she also needs written permission from a man to get an education, a job, or even purchase a plane ticket. There is an excellent Ed Bradley piece that aired on 60 Minutes (it's up on the CBS web site), which featured an interview with Rania al-Baz, a well-known Saudi television personality, who was the first woman to speak out on the issue of domestic violence and women.
"He grabbed me and threw me on the ground. Then he choked me, and told me to declare my faith, this is what someone says just before dying," says al-Baz. "Then he choked me so hard that I woke up in the hospital four days later." But instead of keeping what happened to her a secret, al-Baz caused a sensation, when a television show broadcast pictures of her injuries and she became the first Saudi woman to break the taboo against publicly discussing domestic violence.

"I am trying, as a Saudi woman, to raise the awareness of unstable men, who sees women as inferior, who resort to violence, and who are abusive to women," says al-Baz.
This is a country where half of the college graduates are women and only five percent are in the work force -- the educated women are restless and stirring for change. Without the physical and legal threats imposed by Sharia law, it's likely that there would have been more progress by women's rights efforts by now.

Look who's on the Time 100 list

"Warriors and peacemakers, dictators and democrats, terrorists and holy men—these are the men and women with the clout and power to change our world."

Check out this list, feel free to comment....

George Bush
Condoleezza Rice
Bill Clinton
Barack Obama
Bill Frist
Donald Rumsfeld
Mark Malloch Brown
Gordon Brown
Ali Husaini Sistani
Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi
Hu Jintao
Kim Jong Il
Manmohan Singh
Thabo Mbeki
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Mahmoud Abbas
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Ariel Sharon
Javier Solana
John Howard
Chen Shui-bian
Hugo Chavez

Oh, and in the Scientists and Thinkers? Karl Rove. Time had James Carville write the profile...
A Brilliant (Ouch!) Political Strategist
Sometimes the truth hurts, and it pains me to say this, but Karl Rove is the pre-eminent political strategist in the U.S. today. Last August I went on the record as saying that if Rove managed to help George W. Bush win a second term in office, it would constitute the signature political achievement of my lifetime. Well, he did. And it is.

Every political consultant has an abiding insecurity, and it's not about losing. It's about not knowing whether a winning candidate would have won without them. The question I asked myself after every winning campaign: "Was my guy just gonna win it anyway?" Bush winning the presidency in 2004 was not one that he was just going to win anyway, and that is why I have to tip my hat to Rove.

Rove mobilized the base. And he formulated a message that avoided the fact that his candidate had positions and a record that the majority of the American people disagreed with. He made the last election one not about policies or positions or even about values or national security— he made it about decisiveness. Who else ever won the presidency on a message that basically says, "You may not like what I stand for, but I stand for something." President Bush won not because he was a better candidate but because he had a better campaign. If Rove wanted to switch parties, I'd take him up on it in a second.
He's on the money. The demon that is Karl Rove knows how to target and land his prey -- the average sheeple. The Dems just haven't figured out how to match him, in strategy or ruthlessness. They are too busy trying to ride on the high horse, failing to admit that the lowest common denominator in politics has evolved into the mainstream, and it's killing them.

Same Sex America - it's a great film

Saturday, April 09, 2005

You must see Henry Corra's Same Sex America. Kate and I saw this kick-ass documentary today, which included a Q&A with the filmmaker and the brilliant editor Charlene Rule. A description:
SAME SEX AMERICA (2005) weaves the stories of seven gay and lesbian couples on their emotional journey to the altar with the dramatic showdown at Massachusetts' constitutional convention, a vivid demonstration of democracy in action that may change the course of history. The film captures all the nuance of what may be the defining chapter in the history of the gay and lesbian struggle for equal rights. SAME SEX AMERICA is a compelling tapestry of interwoven stories set against the backdrop of what is an historic chapter in the history of civil rights in America. Filmmaker Henry Corra treats his subjects with the utmost respect, and the result is a subtle, richly layered film that inspires and entertains while taking the viewer on an unforgettable journey to the heart of the new American family.
The strength of this documentary is its timeliness -- with states dropping like flies, passing amendments to ban gay marriage -- it gives you hope that with time, more states will see Massachusetts as a beacon of freedom and tolerance, ahead of the curve. Because several of the couples featured also had children, the film blows away the notion that somehow kids will be permanently "damaged" by living with same-sex parents.

The film will appear in June on Showtime, but Durham, NC's Full Frame Documentary Film Festival was blessed to be the site of the world premiere of this work. Corra and Rule said that even the couples that appear in the film have not yet seen it. There was thunderous applause at this screening, laughs and tears. Corra and Rule have put together a truly memorable experience, documenting emotions on both sides of the political battle. You'll be talking about this film for quite some time after you leave the theatre.

Here are locations for future screenings of Same Sex America:

Independent Film Festival of Boston
Friday April 22, 5:30pm
Saturday April 23, 7:30pm
Sunday April 24, 5:30pm
Buy Tickets

Tribeca Film Festival in New York City
Thursday April 28, 4:00pm
Friday April 29, 9:45pm
Saturday April 30, 11:45am
Buy Tickets

197 Grand Street, #7W
New York, NY 10013
T 212.965.8600
F 212.965.8660

Saturday Doc-day Question

Since I will be at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival today, I won't be posting a bunch today. I thought I'd toss a question out there to you House Blenders out there reading on a Saturday.

Share your favorite documentary film and the impact it had on you. If it isn't well-known, provide a link so we can all read up on it. I'll start with a few off the top of my head (I have so many that I love; it's hard to narrow down)...

* Harlan County USA (1976): Barbara Koppel's documentary about the Kentucky coal miners strike in the 70s and the violence surrounding it is amazing. The use of music and the extraordinary portrait of the working class Appalachians -- the living conditions, health problems, abject poverty and -- is as good as it gets.

* Fahrenheit 9/11: Nuff said. It's great filmmaking. For the wingnuts that cried foul, tough sh*t. The documentary form can never be objective; it strives to be factual. And there were more than enough facts and brilliance to make our Chimp in Chief look like the dangerous ass that he is. [See the equally brilliant Control Room in the same sitting; it's a great companion piece on the Al-Jazeera news channel.]

* I Exist: Voices from the Lesbian & Gay Middle Eastern Community (2002): The "traditional values" of Middle Eastern culture, as you might imagine is completely and dangerously intolerant of homosexuality. The gays and lesbians interviewed in this film face rejection, violence and even death for coming out. The interesting aspect of the documentary is that there are profiles of native-born Middle Easterners as well as Arab-Americans. The bigotry and rejection occurs within their families because of the strong cultural ties. This film was extremely moving and disturbing for Kate, who is of Lebanese descent, and her father's family (even though they are at least third-gen American) is only slightly less homophobic than the people portrayed in this film.

* One Day in September: This doc is about the 1972 terrorist event at the Olympics, where eight Palestinian terrorists killed two Israeli athletes and took nine others hostage. Kevin Macdonald deservedly won an Oscar in 1999 for this film, that shows the complete and utter incompetence of the German government in its ability to handle the unfolding events. The interviews are chilling. I remember with great clarity as a nine-year-old, watching the events on TV, and seeing ABC's Jim McKay on the air for hours, finally coming on to tell us "They're all gone," -- all the remaining hostages died in what turned out to be the most tragic bungling of the German government (which spurned Israel's military assistance) in trying to resolve the tense situation. I saw this film with friends and came out so angry that we all talked about it for hours -- the futility of knowing how it all ends doesn't matter.

Wish y'all could get to the Full Frame Documentary Festival

Friday, April 08, 2005

I haven't made it to the first two days, but Kate and I will be heading to the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival right here in Durham, NC at the historic Carolina Theatre. It is one of the best events of its kind (I also look forward to the NC Gay and Lesbian Film Fest, another huge draw here every year).

Here are some of the films on the schedule that we plan to catch ...

Same Sex America
(2005. 90mins. A Film by Henry Corra and Charlene
Rule. Presented by Showtime.)
On May 17, 2004, same sex marriage became legal in the state of Massachusetts. This film follows seven couples as they make wedding plans in the weeks leading up to and following that historic date. Against a background of last-minute political maneuvering, religious controversy, civil rights debates and a Presidential election, these men and women talk about why they have decided to marry and what "making it legal" means for them and their families. - AT
World Premiere
Q&A Following Screening

And You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip Hop - Back in the Day
(2004. 44 mins. Directed by Dana Heinz Perry. Produced by Dana Heinz Perry; Bill Adler. Executive Produced by Russell Simmons, Brad Abramson and Michael Hirschorn. A Production of Perry Films in association with VH1.)

Let's take a trip down memory lane. The year is 1980. Reagan has just taken office, blight plagues the inner city and a new musical genre is being born. With gritty archival footage and a pulsating, nostalgic soundtrack, And You Don't Stop, the first part in a series devoted to the history of Hip Hop, drops the viewer off in New York City 's South Bronx just as this new musical form and its larger cultural landscape develops into an international commercial success. In this unforgettable homage, some of hip-hop's early founders join up with its contemporary superstars to narrate the story of hip-hop's earliest beginnings — and you won't want them to stop. – JJ
Theatrical Premiere
Q&A Following Screening

The Children of Leningradsky

(2004. 60 mins. Directed by Hanna Polak and Andrzej Celinski. Produced by Hanna Polak and Andrzej Celinski. In association with HBO/Cinemax Documentary Films.)
This film is a candid view into a community of homeless street children living in and around a Moscow train station. The filmmakers observe the children's day-to-day existence: begging, sniffing glue, cavorting in steam tunnels, even mourning their dead. They are often breezily unkind to each other. Their grim lives are characterized by disease, prostitution and failed parenting. The film's achievement is its ability to transcend the harshness of the train station to reveal individual character and humanity. – NK
Southeast Premiere

Gray Matter
(2004. 59 mins. Directed by Joe Berlinger. Produced by Sidney Beaumont and Mike Bonfiglio. Co-Produced by Rachel Dawson. Executive Produced by Joe Berlinger, Christine Le Goff, Jon Kamen, and Frank Scherma.)
In this gripping, disturbing and important work, filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Metallica: Some Kind of Monster and Brother's Keeper) journeys to Austria with a group of journalists to witness the burial of the brains of some 700 children “euthanized” by the Nazis under the partial supervision of Dr. Heinrich Gross, “the Austrian Dr. Mengle.” Berlinger discovers that Dr. Gross is still alive. More shocking still is the fact that Gross continued his research on the preserved brains after the war and has received awards from the Austrian government for this work. The film, which is structured around Berlinger's attempts to interview Gross, raises difficult questions about the extent to which the mentality that allowed these crimes to take place persists in present-day Austria. – JG
Southeast Premiere
Q&A Following Screening

Bushisms - he's the laughingstock of the world

Take a surf over to Julien's List to see some of Dubya's latest gaffes, "W" Stands for What in the HELL Did He Say?!?. A sampling...
We're talking about a part of the world in which, uhh, you know, our foreign policy was, let's just hope for the best and tolerate the fact there's no free societies. And -- what ended up happening was, there was a -- tyrants have emerged, tyrants that threatened our security. And so not only was the action worth it, the action is worth it to make sure that democracy exists, and, uhh, because democracies will yield peace, and that's what we want.
-- Dubya making the case (?) for the invasion of Iraq, Washington, D.C., Apr. 4, 2005

Government should be an advocate of faith-based and community-based programs, not an impedent to faith-based programs. Government ought to be not a road block.
-- We have a nonexistent word coupled with some confused grammar, Washington, D.C., Apr. 1, 2005

One last Pope-o-matic post, featuring Fred Phelps

I can't help it, this man just puts me over the edge. The Rotting CryptkeeperTM doesn't hold back on the now-encrypted JPII. From the family-friendly Phelps web site:

Catholics are the meanest, most violent peaple on earth, and their churches are filled with filthy fag priests. On John Paul II's watch, the Catholic Church became the
Church of the Holy Pedophiles

Where the Mass is celebrated not with bread & wine but with vile sodomite feces ("scat") & semen. Vatican Intelligence surpasses the CIA + FBI + ad infinitum. The Pope appoints all bishops, archbishops, cardinals, etc., and he does so knowing most are fags or enablers. As the final and absolute ruler of all things Catholic, he is solely responsible for every raped child and every sinful, pervert priest. "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments." Lk. 16:23.

Wingnut Bob Knight is scared of gender reassignment

Knight: "the blurring of the sexes is a direct insult to God."

Robert Knight just gives me too much good material. The male head of the Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute spews off frequently -- he targets gays because of heterosexual child pornographer, says judges are out to destroy marriage at all costs, and that homos are taking over the nation's capital.

Now he is getting his knickers in a twist over the United States Golf Association's announcement of a new policy under which "transgender athletes will be eligible to compete two years after having gender reassignment surgery." The International Olympic Committee and England's Ladies Golf Union already permit "female athletes who have undergone gender reassignment" to compete in their women's competitions, so this is not breaking a precedent -- except in the U.S. Knight is outraged:
"The USGA has now surrendered to the decadence and political correctness that is sweeping over Europe," he says. "One would have thought that the USGA would have had more backbone. The women's golf tour should be about women, not castrated males."

Knight adds that "the blurring of the sexes is a direct insult to God and athletes who expect to complete with their own [gender]."

The USGA oversees many of the most prestigious golfing events in America, including the U.S. Open, the U.S. Women's Open, the U.S. Senior's Open, and ten national amateur championships. Knight acknowledges the esteemed history of the Association, noting that "the USGA prides itself in their traditions. That is why it is especially shocking that they would go along with something so radically wrong. They have a strange idea of gender equity."

"Jeff Gannon" makes an ass out of himself on CSPAN2

He's on CSPAN2 right now (10:45) on the National Press Club panel on Blogging and Journalism and Matthew Yglesias is kicking his ass all over the place. Another said that Gannon's work product was "poor" lolololol.

Guess it depends on what you mean by "work product." Fans of Bulldog might disagree.

JG/JG just claimed, for instance, that Fox News is not conservative. The audience burst into laughter.

John at Americablog is live blogging.

UPDATE (2PM): Editor and Publisher has a good write-up on the event. The other unbelievable statement Gannon made was that Armstrong Williams should have been paid by the White House to shill No Child Left Behind so the policy "could get a fair hearing." Thankfully, Wonkette let him have it.

To return to the pews, men need an ass-kicking Jesus

This week's "I'm not sh*tting you" post. You'll have to be patient with me, as I am still reeling in disbelief at recent cultural rollback posts at the Blend recently -- from the Dallas Claymore piece on Male Pride ("Maybe it is a woman's world, but when they f-ck it up it will be ours again," to Betty Miller's wingnuttery in "What Does The Bible Say About The Duties of a Christian Wife?" As you will read below, the Right's march back to the days of the caveman is nearly complete.

Author David Murrow, a Presbyterian elder, has a seriously warped concept of what makes a man. In fact, he has filled a book with enough laughable insanity that when I read this article about it, Author Tells Women-Oriented Churches How to Get Their Men Back, I thought the tome belonged in the Humor section of the bookstore.

More than 20 percent of married women attend church without their husbands, and represent 60 percent of church membership, so Murrow attempts to explain the disparity. The premise of this particular work is that men aren't going to church because today's houses of worship are too feminized, too concerned with childcare, teaching, singing, cooking, planning for gatherings -- woman's work, in other words -- so men have nothing to do that they are interested in.

Murrow says men need a brawny, muscular, brass balls church -- saving souls with a blow-sh*t-up attitude. Let's listen to the voice of the Taliban Testosteroni...
He believes a major reason is that many churches have a concept of Christianity that is based on a feminine model. For instance, he notes, "The ideal values of a Christian are often identified as nurturing, verbal expression, tenderness, gentleness. If that's the definition of a Christian, it's going to be a lot harder for a man to achieve that than for a woman to, in most cases."

Still, the Christian writer cites studies indicating that men want an authentic faith experience but find churches boring and irrelevant. In Why Men Hate Going to Church, he suggests ways to address this problem.

"We have to give men opportunities to use their strengths and their gifts in the service of God instead of trying to squeeze them into roles that they feel are feminine or emasculating," Murrow says. "We need to start valuing masculine traits such as aggression, boldness, and competitiveness and figuring out ways that we can integrate that into every area of church life."

Also, Murrow asserts that churches need to "recover the masculinity of Jesus." The author says Jesus as described in scripture was and is "a very bold, aggressive character, but we [in the modern Church] have turned him into a wimp -- and men don't follow wimps. They follow leaders."
Is this not the most remarkable window into the author's psyche? The editor of this book had to be in stitches (unless he believes this crap too). Oh, and I love this description of the book at the web bookstore
"Church is . . . boring, full of hypocrites, greedy, etc." You've heard the excuses, now read the reasons why institutional Christianity leaves countless men cold. Arguing that many churches create a man-hostile environment, Murrow offers detailed explanations of resulting male/female imbalances. Discover how to meet the real needs of men---and close your congregational gender gap!
In an article about this book in the Philly Inquirer, a clearer picture of his thinking emerges -- men have been given too many rules in church, aimed at taming the urges of the "other brain", chasing guys out the door. He places the blame squarely on women's shoulders.
Murrow cited writer Leon J. Podles, who asserts that the feminization began in the 13th century with the popularity of "bridal mysticism," which invites believers to think of the church as the bride of Christ.

Over time, the church's voice became softer and more "passive." The trend continued as the Industrial Revolution gave men other places to be besides church, and as the temperance movement saw women and pastors teaming up to curb what some consider male pleasures...Murrow urges churches to offer men-only activities and engage men's propensity to be risk-takers and task-oriented.
You can't say Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart and a Basilica-filled bunch of priests had any trouble taking risks, that's for damn sure -- and they were thinking quite clearly with the "other brain."

Iraq soldier with Purple Heart is eager to serve - out of the closet

Sgt. Robert Stout: "I know a ton of gay men that would be more than willing to stay in the Army if they could just be open."

This is amazing news and an opportunity for the Dems to stick it to the White House if they have the freaking balls to do it.

With military recruitment numbers falling through the floor, relaxing educational standards for the National Guard, and a President constantly talking about rewarding service and commitment, what are they going to do with Sgt. Robert Stout and its "don't ask, don't tell" policy? (RedNova):
An Army sergeant who was wounded in Iraq wants a chance to remain in the military as an openly gay soldier, a desire that's bringing him into conflict with the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Sgt. Robert Stout, 23, says he has not encountered trouble from fellow soldiers and would like to stay if not for the policy that permits gay men and women to serve only if they keep their sexual orientation a secret.

...Stout, of Utica, Ohio, was awarded the Purple Heart after a grenade sent pieces of shrapnel into his arm, face and legs while he was operating a machine gun on an armored Humvee last May.

He is believed to be the first gay soldier wounded in Iraq to publicly discuss his sexuality, said Aaron Belkin, director of the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California-Santa Barbara.

"We can't keep hiding the fact that there's gay people in the military and they aren't causing any harm," said Stout, who says he is openly gay among most of his 26-member platoon, which is part of the 9th Engineer Battalion based in Schweinfurt, Germany.
This is an easy slam-dunk for Dems, and I fear they will do absolutely nothing with it. They have been so frightened of anything to do with G-A-Y because of the Right's ability to smear support for gay Americans as unpatriotic and immoral, even as we see the clear evidence -- Halliburton, Tom DeLay, goodness knows a laundry list of Repugs and their projects -- that being gay has nothing to do with patriotism or immorality.

Let Chimpy, Rumsfeld and "family man" Scotty McClellan try to spin how Robert Stout, a man that wants to continue to serve, has to be discharged while the coffins keep flying home.

'Healed' Rev. Teletubby Checks Out Of Hospital

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Too evil to kick it. Guess Fred Phelps won't have to gas up his caravan of hate for the trip to Lynchburg just yet.

Mars Hill students vote down gay-straight alliance club

Yesterday, the Blend featured a post on the NC college that faced funding withdrawal -- a hit of $1 million -- if it voted to recognize an LGBT group on campus. Today, Mars Hill, not surprisingly, voted it down. It is important to note that the vote was close. From the Asheville Citizen-Times:
Friends hugged and some cried Thursday after students voted by a slim margin not to recognize a support group for gay, lesbian and transgendered students at Mars Hill College.

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, which gives the college $1 million annually, had said it might withdraw funding if the school officially sanctioned the group, called Open Doors.

Jason Miller, president of Open Doors, wiped away a few tears after the vote, but he said he was encouraged by the close results.

"We'll be back next year," Miller said. "And hopefully, it will go in our favor." Forty-two student representatives participated in the closed-ballot vote at a meeting of the Student Government Association Senate. Twenty-one students voted against recognizing the club, 17 voted for it and four abstained. Three student representatives were not present.

"I believe the decision rendered reflects the faith position held by most constituents within the Mars Hill College family," said Mars Hill College President Dan Lunsford.

The club's narrow defeat surprised few students. They said they expected a close vote. On sidewalks across campus, supporters had written messages in chalk about tolerance and respect. Those opposed had responded with their own chalk messages.

...Junior class Vice President Chelsey Gaddy, who voted to recognize Open Doors, was less optimistic. The club is not just for gay and lesbian students, she said. It's open to all students who value diverse opinions, and Mars Hill needs diversity, just like any other college campus.

"This just breaks my heart," Gaddy said in a shaky voice. "To me, this is about civil rights. People are going to be homosexual whether we recognize this club or not. I don't see why we can't allow it."
Thanks to House Blender Ann for the followup.

Catholic wingnut and Freepers agree: Bill O'Reilly is a f*cking liar

The Catholic League's mostly unhinged mouthpiece William Donohue and the Freepi actually peg Bill "Loofah" O'Reilly for the pathological liar that he is. It's beautiful seeing them eat their own. First Donohue:
"Last night on TV, Bill O'Reilly took the New York Times to task for op-ed articles in Tuesday's newspaper that amounted to 'a counterattack against the late pontiff.' He said the Times 'ran a couple of opinion columns saying that the pope was an autocratic guy who may have hurt his own church and that the Polish people love the pope but don't listen to him.' (My emphasis.) He was referring to a screed by Thomas Cahill and a mostly flattering piece by Stefan Chwin, respectively.

"Ironically, O'Reilly's condemnation of the New York Times means that he has indicted himself. Here is what O'Reilly said on his radio show of March 5, 2003: 'I have never liked this pope. I have always felt he was an autocrat who had no vision about how people live in the real world.' (Again, my emphasis.) The year before, O'Reilly called the pope 'an authoritarian guy,' proving that his contempt for the pope is long standing. And on the same radio show that he called the pope an 'autocrat,' O'Reilly questioned whether anyone was listening to him anymore: 'Now is anybody going to listen to him?'
How about those Freepers? Here you go...

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"Perhaps O'Reilly is upset with JPII because he did not approve of O'Reilly's phone sex calls..."

"Nah, he's just pi$$ed cause Pope John Paul didn't buy any "Factor Gear"."

"Touche! Can't get away with anything these days,and that's a good thing."

"O'Reilly is the Bill Clinton of cable talk...go where the wind blows and get good sex on the side."

"He's pissed because he can't flog his "Factor Gear"."

"O'Reilly is such a loofah...I mean loser."

"I think Bill O'Reilly wears his 'faith' when it suits him and takes it off when it doesn't. . .sort of like a coat. In other words, he is a hypocrite."

"Who is Bill O'Reilly?"

"Gosh, you can't expect the king of bloviators to remember every little saber he's rattled, especially when ranting about someone as insignificant as the Pope!"

"I can not STAND O'Reilly, or Sheppard Smith. For those hours they are on air.. I am not watching FOX!"

"O'Reilly is a twit who hasn't figured out that his 15 minutes are up and have been for a long time. It's really up to the lack of viewers to let him know this, and based on what I've heard, this may not happen for a long time."

"B U S T E D !"

"Gotcha, O'Reilly!"

"I can't believe I used to lie O'Reilly at one time."

"Good Sex? The limp twirp couldn't even score over the phone. If I had been on the other end, I would've been left wondering if that bottle of bleach in the kitchen would be adequate or if I was going to have to toss the phone. I know it would have taken me a while to get my hand and ear clean. Thank God I don't use loofah sponges. Actually I think that would be a great little business opportunity. You know, The 'Bill O'Reilly' Line of Loofah sponges. Think of all the publicity you have when he sued you."

"I go back and forth with O'Reilly - his guests are what make his show interesting (when he lets them talk, LOL). But that Sheppard Smith causes me to wince. I remember when, just after the elections, he snuck some snide remarks in his comments about Bush. He did so ever so lightly, sometimes it was just an inflection of his voice, or one negative adjective, but he does so just the same. But, I think he and O'Reilly have the same make-up person because their make-up is not fair and balanced. It is just too heavy, especially Smith's - he reminds me of Kerry in his "orange" days."

"Donohue! Was this not the man who took the Pope to task for sitting on he put it, "hands" over the child molesting priest in the USA!"

"Would you expect less from an egotistical social liberal who is competing for veneration?"

"O'Reilly is a monotheist who worships only one "God": Himself."

Winger Horowitz gets a piece of pie

From Outside the Beltway.

The Right's bare behind exposed on the Schiavo "fake" talking points memo

Poor Mel Martinez. His chief legal counsel, Brian Darling, fell on the sword for him.

Hahahaha. I don't expect any apologies will be forthcoming from right-wing blog Powerline, Howard Kurtz, Laura Ingraham, Oxy-Rush or any of the other losers that were trying to spin the "fake Schiavo talking points memo" story, now that Mel Martinez has given the boot to the author of the very real memo.

It's poetic justice to see their hairy Rethug bottoms exposed for the proverbial spanking. (BTW, the Freepi are wringing their hands). Actually, it makes me want to really spank them all personally. Hard. Then rest and do it again, for that extra touch of sadistic delight. MWHAHAHAHA.

Lots of coverage of this is all around the web, so I'll just point you to some good fun (since I'm slaving away at work).
-- "Read it and weep. THE memo. The REAL memo;"
-- "I love when conservative bloggers make asses of themselves"

* Crooks and Liars, "Worst Blog of the Year: Powerline"

* John over at Big Brass Blog, " Power Line Owes the Democrats an Apology"

* Shakespeare's Sister, "Memo to Conservative Bloggers: Better Luck Next Time"

* DKos: "Egg on his Face: Kurtz Burned by Powerline"

* Freeperland (sample: "Ah...The Stupid Party strikes again. How many ways can GOP Senators implode so that we end up with a bunch more leftist judges appointed to the bench?")
One more thing just to rub more salt in the wound, you may remember that Mel Martinez is the same bastard that ran an extremely homophobic campaign to get elected last year. He ran radio ads that compared life in a country with same-sex marriage to life under Castro, and most offensively, the public homo-hater employed two gay advisers for his campaigns (those guys have to be head cases), John Dowless and Kirk Fordham.

Openly gay Fordham was employed as Martinez’s finance director. Dowless, a former executive director of the Christian Coalition of Florida was hired to help the Martinez campaign reach out to conservative Christians, even as he cruised gay bars.

As John at AMERICABlog pointed out at the time,
Martinez is running against Rep. Bill McCollum in the upcoming Republican primary. ...Martinez' campaign blasted McCollum in a press teleconference set up to - get this - show that McCollum is anti-family because he's too pro-gay. During the conference call, Martinez' representatives spoke of their disdain for the "gay agenda," and when the reporters asked a question about gays working for Martinez' campaign - bit of hypocrisy there, Mr. Martinez? - the Martinez reps turned around and said McCollum has a gay political consultant! Martinez' reps actually used the fact that McCollum allegedly has a gay campaign staffer to smear McCollum. This even though Martinez has an openly gay finance chair, and has used another gay political consultant in the past (who ironically was head of the Florida Christian Coalition).
UPDATE: Mike Rogers over at BlogActive really smacks down Martinez, Florida politics and gay hypocrisy with his post, "Mel Martinez and his dirty tricks history".
All of this reminds me of a letter I wrote last year to Mel's then-campaign finance director, Kirk Fordham. Kirk is an out gay man who, for one reason or another, decided to cast his political fortunes with some of the nation's most well known homophobes. His resume reads like a Who's Who in American Hate with such entries as Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) and Martinez. Before the right wing extremists took control of their party, men like Representative Mark Foley (R-FL) and Kirk Fordham claimed they were working from within the system to improve it. Of course, we know those days are over. One need not look any further than Foley’s recent vote to strip gay and lesbian job protections enacted by localities to realize just how kept in his place he is. My cat Abby has more balls than Mark Foley, see:

Some of the very same people who supported Mel Martinez's run for the Senate were filled with glee when Mark Foley's run for the same seat was derailed. In the backrooms (hmmmm) of the GOP there was no way it would be tolerated to let a gay man represent Florida in the US Senate. (There must be two Floridas: Jeb Bush's version and then the state that is home to Key West, South Beach and the biggest cast closet of queens on the planet, Walt Disney World.

Fundamentalist kids in anti-gay protest at S.F. school

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

House Blender Paul alerted me about a news report on an anti-gay demonstration held at a high school in the San Francisco area today by kids that was unbelievably Phelps-like, complete with homo-bashing signs, and even a truck with crude gay-baiting signs on it riding around blocking the streets. You have to see it to believe it. Go to:

Scroll down to CBS 5 Video and click on "Anti-Gay Protest at North Bay High School".

[You need IE or Netscape to view (no Firefox).]

Paul's note: "One of the protesters in that link I sent you was bitching that "The gays get a day of silence, and the Christians don't get anything like that." I would be more than happy to see them have a day of silence. In fact if they wanted to shut the fuck up for several days, it wouldn't bother me at all..."

WingNutDaily: Mel Gibson for President

Mel with recent Larry King guest/Pope deathwatch pundit, Jesus Christ, er, Jim Caviezel.

Stop the insanity! Some businessman is on a campaign to get Hollywood religious nut case Mel Gibson to run...ostensibly to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House. What are the freeptards smoking out in Oregon? Oh, nevermind...

Inspired by Mel Gibson's strong stand against the dehydration death of Terri Schiavo, an Oregon businessman has begun a campaign to see the "Passion" director run for president as a Republican in 2008, saying he's the only potential candidate who has the star power and charisma needed to keep Democrat Hillary Clinton out of the White House.

"Mel Gibson is perhaps one of the few men in America who has shown exceptional courage in facing up to the left and the 'culture of death,'" James Welsh told WorldNetDaily. "Americans of religious conviction have been under relentless assault for at least the last 10 to 15 years. While we have been successful in achieving some gains, our defeat in the Terri Schiavo battle has made manifest the need for new generalship in this culture war."

In preparation for what he hopes will be a Gibson candidacy, Welsh has purchased 12 Internet domain names relating to a presidential run, including

Welsh, who owns a grocery store in the coastal town of Manzanita, Ore., believes none of the current crop of possible GOP contenders can beat Clinton, who he says "will be" the Democratic nominee.
Oh, and over in Freeperville, there isn't complete agreement on this, but a good number think this idea is poppycock.

Hastert hospitalized with kidney stones

I think Speaker of the House, Denny Hastert, is a dolt. Nevertheless, I feel for the guy's bout with kidney stones.

Having a kidney stone attack is no picnic. I had a handful of emergency room visits for them several years ago, and I can safely say there is no other pain more excruciating -- even the ER nurses said it's worse than childbirth.

You can stop reading here if you don't want "too much information." I won't be offended. :)

Yes, that is a kidney stone. Mine, all mine.

I didn't have a blog back when I had those attacks, but I actually kept an online journal of the various experiences, which are incredibly funny to read now. The journals include commentary on current events of the time; Tim McVeigh was executed during this episode, and I plenty to say about that and all kinds of random sh*t.

Most of it is written in the haze of pain (or meds to quell the pain) while waiting to pass the stones. I actually took notes about the emergency room experience on brown paper towels as it all unfolded. I was insane. I think that for the other journal I actually had my Palm with me, so I was sitting on the gurney typing the experience out. Again, I know that is insane; I guess you know why I blog now.

Just so you know, I still get emails from people that surf the web, looking for information when they have an attack; I always note that I'm no medical professional and can't give them advice for the pain, other than to say it will pass (literally!), and drinking lots of fluids (as in gallons per day), is all you can really do.

McD's dead execs: "I'm lovin' it!"

From the Golden Arches in the sky, McDonald's former CEOs Charlie Bell Jim Cantalupo cash in .

What do you say behind this? (CNN):
McDonald's Corp. said on Wednesday it paid more than $5 million in bonuses to the estates of former Chief Executives Jim Cantalupo and Charlie Bell following their deaths.

Cantalupo, who died suddenly of a heart attack last April, received a bonus of $1.8 million in recognition of his "outstanding service," the company said in regulatory filing. McDonald's said the bonus was similar to one Cantalupo would have received had he remained employed throughout 2004. Cantalupo's estate also received a prorated payout of $791,000 as part of the company's long-term incentive plan.

Bell, Cantalupo's successor, received a bonus of $3.2 million following his death in January from colon cancer. He stepped down as CEO in November due to his illness.

I'm getting queasy about this body out in the open

One hopes that the rot isn't setting in yet as Chimpy, the Mannequin, Wimpy and Bubba went to view (and hopefully not smell) JPII's corpse at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

I can't be the only person wondering, since the body is not embalmed, whether this open-air peep show is going to start to get rank. Friday's funeral cannot come soon enough. Not to get all CSI or anything, but do they do anything to a corpse to keep it "stable" for a viewing of this length (aside from embalming)?

NC college fears funding withdrawal if LGBT group is recognized

Mars Hill students Wes Martin and Chris Gowan, along with Assistant Professor Ted Berzinski discuss the ramifications of losing funding. Mars Hill President Dan G. Lunsford (The Hilltop)

Mars Hill College, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, is a small institution. It has limited financial resources, mostly tied to religious contributors.

Tomorrow, the Student Government Association of the Christian/Baptist heritage-school will vote on an LGBT rights organization's proposal for recognition -- and $1 million is at stake. The North Carolina State Baptist Convention supplies 3% of the school's funding; also at risk are donations from wingnut alumni if Open Door is accepted, threatening student aid and school programming.

An unofficial campus group calling themselves "Students for Traditional Christian Values" has also been vocal in its opposition to recognition of Open Door. (Asheville Citizen-Times):
"The Baptist State Convention has taken a very strong stand in opposition to homosexual lifestyles," said Norman Jameson, executive leader for public relations and resource development for the convention. "In essence, this is a million-dollar decision."

Mars Hill College is one of five North Carolina colleges affiliated with the convention. It gives the school nearly $1 million annually to cover operating expenses and fund scholarships, Jameson said. That money could be in jeopardy if the school officially recognizes Open Doors, a group advocating equal rights for homosexuals.

...Jason Miller, president of Open Door, said the loss of funding is "definitely a concern. But how much are you willing to sacrifice for money — human rights, human dignity, equality?"

The Senate will vote on whether to sanction the group Thursday. If the Senate approves it, the Student Affairs Council, made up of students, faculty and administrators, will vote on whether to recognize the club April 20.

Dan Lunsford, president of Mars Hill College, said he’s aware of the funding loss. "I will respond in what I believe is the best interest of the college," he said. "I want the process to unfold in a civil, Christian manner."

If the club gets final approval from the council, and the school’s trustees and president allow that decision to stand, there could be "a possible severing of ties," Jameson said. "Ultimately, I think the president will act in the best interest of the college and the college’s relationship with the Baptist State Convention."
Thanks to House Blender Ann for the pointer.

The state of bigoted marriage amendments

Citizens opposed to a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage gather around a computer to view early election returns at a Kansans for Fairness watch party. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). Leja Wright, left, and her partner, Lauri Conner, are among 19 couples challenging Washington's Defense of Marriage Act, which limits marriage to a union between a man and a woman.

Kansas falls, as yesterday voters have decided to enshrine discrimination into its state Constitution. Gay marriage and civil unions have been banned, and this will likely result in a ton of legal battles. The final, unofficial results from 104 of the state's 105 counties: 414,235, or 70 percent, voted "yes," and 178,167, or 29 percent voted "no."

Here's an update on marriage amendment efforts around the country. Thirteen states voted in the last election to place a same-sex marriage ban in their constitutions; since then much more has gone on -- it's hard to keep up with all of of the efforts on both sides. Here are a few:
* In January, the high court in Louisiana validated the constitutional amendment passed by voters last September, overruling a lower court which had struck down the vote. The ban had passed overwhelmingly by a 78 percent to 22 percent margin.

* In Indiana, that state's Court of Appeals also turned back a court challenge to a law forbidding same-sex marriage. In January, the court ruled that heterosexual marriage served a legitimate state interest "in encouraging opposite-sex couples to procreate responsibly and have and raise children within a stable environment."

* Also in January, Federal District Judge James S. Moody rejected a demand by two lesbians, who were married in Massachusetts, to strike down a Florida law banning same-sex marriage. Ellis Rubin, the attorney for the lesbian couple, has promised to fight the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

* In New York, a Manhattan trial court ruled that the state's constitution does not allow marriage to be limited to heterosexual couples. Mayor Mike Bloomberg is in favor of gay marriage, but wants the issue to weave its way up the judicial ladder for a definitive ruling.

* Alabama, Indiana, Virginia and Wisconsin also close to passing similar measures.

* In Idaho, however, a constitutional ban failed to attract enough votes in its Senate.

* States with some form of an amendment effort in progress include Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Tennessee. The Massachusetts amendment effort is unlikely to gain wide support.
North Carolina, my home state, also has an amendment under consideration. The bills were referred to the House Judiciary I Committee and the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. In order to become law, the bills would need to pass both the House and Senate with at 3/5 margin, and be approved by a majority of voters on the November 2005 ballot (the House bill) or May 2006 (the Senate bill).


More information, from the AP:
Court contests: Legal challenges by same-sex couples seeking the right to marry are pending in California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Oregon and Washington.

New constitutional bans: Voters passed constitutional amendments banning gay marriage last year in 13 states: Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah.

Older constitutional bans: Gay marriage bans already existed in the constitutions of four states: Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska and Nevada.

Laws that prohibit: The following states have laws on the books (but not in their constitutions) prohibiting gay marriage: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

No laws prohibiting: Connecticut, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Maryland, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Wyoming have no laws explicitly banning gay marriage.

Civil unions: Vermont bans gay marriage but legalized same-sex civil unions in 2001.

It's over, pesticide man

Drudge shot via AMERICABlog, where there is a ton of coverage on the DeLay meltdown. The Hammer and his corrupt wife, who performs invisible services for her husbands political action committee.

He's going down...The latest news this evening (and it feels like the floodgates are opening) is that the corrupt f*cker has been caught with his family's hands in the cookie jar. His wife Christine and daughter, Dani DeLay Ferro, have been paid more than $500,000 since 2001 by his political action and campaign committees. The payments are referred to as "fund-raising fees," "campaign management" and "payroll." And the NYT reports that there are no details on the disclosure forms indicating what services his family performed for the PAC, Americans for a Republican Majority.

It's smelling like a down east hog farm. This vile, nasty, unethical man has to be booted with this nonsense on the table.

Calif. NAACP is first chapter to endorse same-sex marriage

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

California NAACP president Alice A. Huffman (l), supports Mark Leno's proposal to legalize gay civil marriage; Julian Bond personally is in favor of same-sex marriage, though the national NAACP has not taken a position on the issue.

This is good news, but sad, because all chapters of the NAACP should be against discrimination of any kind. When the organization held its national convention in Philly in 2004, the topic of gay civil marriage was purposefully missing from the agenda. Julian Bond, head of the organization, said that "it would be a healthy discussion to have...but I would be fearful of what might happen."

So much for courage in the midst of states writing bigotry into their respective Constitutions. The NAACP's ball-less homo-bigots are content to let it all slide, save Alice Huffman with her big brass ones in California. I'm sure she had plenty of resistance from many of the religious black members of the organization. (SignOnSanDiego):
The California chapter of the NAACP has endorsed a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state, marking the first time an arm of the venerable civil rights group has lent its political clout to the issue that has divided the black community. Members of the California State Conference of the NAACP narrowly voted at their convention last fall to support the pending "Religious Freedom and California Civil Marriage Protection Act," but the group did not make its position public until this week, in advance of the bill's first legislative hearing.

"In a place like California, you can not possibly work for rights if you don't work for gay rights," said Alice A. Huffman, California NAACP president. "You either believe in the rights of everyone or you are in the wrong business."

Spearheaded by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, the measure would amend a 1977 California statute that defines marriage as "a personal relationship arising out of a civil contract between a man and woman" to read "between two persons."

Although other minority organizations have endorsed AB 19, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the NAACP's backing is particularly valuable for gay rights activists. They have faced criticism in some quarters for calling the marriage cause a modern civil rights struggle, as well as opposition from some black clergy who regard homosexuality as a sin.

"To have the largest civil rights group in the nation take this important and historic stand is significant in the struggle to achieve full equality for the lesbian and gay community," said Geoffrey Kors, executive director of Equality California, a gay rights lobbying group. "We are humbled and gratified."

The national NAACP has not taken a position on gay marriage, although its chairman, Julian Bond, has gone on record as a supporter. NAACP spokesman John White said no other state or local chapters besides California's have come out in support of same-sex marriage.
There is a great article in the July 2004 issue of Ebony that features several viewpoints in the black community, "Is gay rights a civil rights issue?" It features Bond (yes to the question), Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, Pastor, Greater New Light Baptist Church, Cincinnati (a big No; he supported Ohio's gay marriage amendment), poet Nikki Giovanni (yes), Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy (no; he's one of Bush's 'hos on the faith-based take), and Mary F. Morten, former liaison to the gay community for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (yes and no). It's worth the read, if you want some insight into the conflict.

You may also want to check out an earlier post, Congressman Mel Watt: framing gay rights for the black community.

It's a small, small world...dead chicken man edition

What did Frank Purdue have in common with the mannequin-like First Lady ?

Gary Ashwill over at Facing South, the blog of the Institute of Southern Studies, dug up some interesting facts about the late poultry baron Frank Purdue, who died last week.
It happens that Southern Exposure introduced the nation to some of these less savory aspects of Perdue’s life and business, in a 1989 package of stories that (ahem) won the National Magazine Award. In one of the articles, Barbara Goldoftas exposed the debilitating carpal tunnel injuries many workers suffered; that same year, the state of North Carolina fined Perdue Farms $40,000 when it was shown that 36 percent of the workers in two plants had carpal tunnel syndrome.

One of the biggest scoops (by our founding editor, Bob Hall) was discovering that Perdue, an incorrigibly reckless driver, had been charged with involuntary manslaughter in 1974 when he “ignored or overlooked warning signs and red lights” on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and collided with two cars, killing one person. But Perdue’s expensive lawyer got the charges dropped and the court records expunged; as one court official told Southern Exposure, “There was a lot of grease on the wheel of this one.”

Perdue’s lawyer? None other than Arlen Specter, now U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania. During Specter’s first senatorial campaign in 1986, Perdue contributed the maximum $2,000; a heavy contributor for many years to Republicans such as Jesse Helms and Lauch Faircloth (along with some Democrats), Perdue also gave $20,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee between 1985 and 1987.

AmTaliban is apoplectic - CA domestic partnership law ruled OK

Randy Thomasson of the Campaign for Children and Families: "Judges and politicians who suck all the value out of marriage have trashed the people's vote and cheapened this sacred institution." 'Ex-gay' conservative Christian activist James Hartline thinks this is a "well-oiled attack" on family values. [Try to stop laughing....]

Crybaby wingnuts...A state appeals court in California has ruled that the new domestic partnership law that grants almost equivalent rights as civil marriage doesn't conflict with the state's ban on gay marriage.

Proposition 22, passed in 2000, defined marriage as between a man and a woman, but the three-judge panel today said this didn't preclude any other civil arrangements for gays and lesbians. This sent the wingnuts over the edge. (Agape Press):
It is because of rulings like this, says Randy Thomasson of the Campaign for Children and Families, that "fed-up California voters" have no choice but to rise up and protect marriage from the "clutches of the bureaucracy." The only way to do that, he says, is through an amendment to the state constitution.

"The people's will to protect marriage rights for a man and a woman must now override the judges and politicians," the Sacramento-based family activist stated at a news conference. "If the bureaucracy will empty marriage of all its value, the people must override the bureaucracy and protect marriage rights."

Thomasson describes the domestic partners law -- proposed and passed by Democratic lawmakers -- as "gay marriage by another name," and accuses liberals of continuing their assault on the institution of marriage and on the states' voters.

"Judges and politicians who suck all the value out of marriage have trashed the people's vote and cheapened this sacred institution," the CCF president said. And he contends that back in March 2000, voters clearly understood that Prop. 22 dealt specifically with legal rights of marriage for a married man and woman.

...San Diego activist James Hartline loudly echoes Thomasson's call for concerned voters to respond succinctly -- and quickly -- to Monday's ruling, which he calls a "slap in the face" of those who supported and voted for Proposition 22. Hartline accuses the courts and homosexual activists of a coordinated assault on traditional values.

"Activist judges, in partnership with the communist-like homosexual agenda, seek to create chaos in California's social fabric," Hartline says in a press statement. And those pushing the homosexual agenda, he says, "are coordinating a well-oiled attack against traditional family values" in California.

The former homosexual, who is now a Christian, encourages fellow believers to band together and vote out elected officials who promote "anti-Christian values." He maintains that once righteous leaders are in office, they would then appoint judges with similar values who will then "uphold the will of the people" -- including that marriage is between a man and a woman.
BTW, the status of "former homo" is highly questionable; the ex-gay movement is a joke and a danger. Read more here: "Ex-Gay" and in absolute denial

A man of vision for the next papacy - NOT

You think JPII had a strong stance on queer folks? Get a load of this front-runner's attitude problem. At least we're not the only ones taking society on the hell express. (Agape Press):
Many Africans think it's time for one of them to be pope. The Roman Catholic church has lost ground in Europe, but is vibrant in Africa, which is now home to 135 million Catholics -- one-sixth of the church's worldwide membership. Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria is mentioned most often as a possible African successor to the late John Paul II, whose funeral will take place on Friday. Arinze shares John Paul's fervent opposition to abortion and homosexuality. He also was entrusted by the pope to mediate interfaith relations. Two years ago, at the liberal Catholic Georgetown University in Washington, DC, faculty protested after Arinze said in a speech that the family is being 'desecrated by fornication and adultery, mocked by homosexuality, sabotaged by irregular unions and cut in two by divorce.' "
Also, when asked about the Rainbow Sash, an organization of gay and lesbian Catholics that has criticized the church on homosexuality (and indicate it by wearing a rainbow sash to Mass, he said they defy natural law and are disqualified from receiving holy Communion.

Rainbow Sash is calling for Catholics to wear a sash on May 15, 2005, Pentecost Sunday, as a call for dialogue, and justice.

I wish them good luck, because the church is in no mood to listen.


Chimpy practically declares Pope John Paul II a saint; he will travel to the Vatican for the April 8 funeral. Oh really? Check out this piece about the contradictions in the Pope's legacy (hat tip to reader Ol Cranky). (Reuters/Jason Reed)

Wingnut: Homos are taking over DC's power center

Monday, April 04, 2005

Bob Knight of the Culture and Family Institute: "Homosexuals are drawn to Washington [because] it's a power center."

I don't know where to start with this. It's too hysterically funny. I really cannot stop laughing....John A. and Mike R., you're giving Bob Knight a wedgie by simply living in DC and wielding your power. (AgapePress):
The influence of homosexuals in the nation's capital is growing as more advocates of that lifestyle have relocated within the District of Columbia. The Washington Post recently ran a three-page article on the growing influence of homosexuals in Washington, DC -- and in particular, the rise of homosexual police officers. Bob Knight of the Culture and Family Institute says he is well aware of the huge effect being exerted by the homosexual population of DC. "I myself have talked to people who have been in the 'gay lifestyle' and in Washington and have since left it -- and they said that it's a lot bigger than people realize," Knight says. "Homosexuals are drawn to Washington [because] it's a power center and it's also a large urban center where there are lots of bars and clubs. But I think the influence they wield is way out of proportion to their numbers." He explains that the number of homosexuals in DC law enforcement has grown in recent years. "They have four full-time officers, they have eight auxiliary officers, and they've even got a transgender officer -- a retired U.S. Capitol Police sergeant," he says. According to the Post, that element of the force is specially trained to deal with the violence that permeates the homosexual lifestyle. In addition, says Knight, homosexuals dominant the hospitality industry in Washington and are in position to keep tabs on the sexual liaisons of many members of Congress. He explains that that can provide information that is very valuable in getting an agenda through Congress.

Abstinence ed is really working: oral sex safe and not really sex, say teens

[UPDATE: A House Blender shows us how well abstinence ed is working in Texas, scroll to the end of the post.]

How many ways and times can the statistics prove to the American Taliban that their values/abstinence-only sex education is not working? We've blogged about this nonsense here and here, just for starters.

Over $130 million was lifted from our wallets last year ($206 million has been requested this year) to continue funding crap that keeps essential sexual health information from the young people that need it most. The level of ignorance and attitudes in teens is not surprising (oral sex is perceived as less of a threat to their values and beliefs), but it's still frightening. (AP) :
One in five U.S. teenagers say they have engaged in oral sex, an activity that some adolescents view as not sex at all and certainly less risky than intercourse, a report released Monday said.

The survey of 580 children with a mean age of 14-1/2 found 20 percent said they had engaged in oral sex, compared to 14 percent who said they had engaged in sexual intercourse. In addition, one-third of the multi-ethnic 9th graders surveyed said they intended to have oral sex within the next six months and nearly one-fourth planned to have intercourse during the period. It was more common for boys to have performed oral sex on girls than vice versa, the report said.

Previous studies and numerous campaigns aimed at deterring teenaged sex have focused on intercourse, but as many as half of adolescents experience oral sex first, the report said. The risk of transmitting infections, including HIV, is significantly less with oral sex than with intercourse but is likely underestimated by teenagers, said the report in the journal Pediatrics. Youngsters who engage in oral sex rarely used condoms or dental dams, even though herpes, hepatitis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis as well as the virus that causes AIDS can all be transmitted orally, it added.
The Alan Guttmacher Institute reports that 10-14-year-olds were six times as likely as women between the ages of 30 and 44 to have at least one repeat infection and 12 times as likely to develop two or more repeat infections of chlamydia, for example. Older teenagers also had considerably higher odds of repeat infection than women aged 30-44 (3.5-4.5).

The WaPo also reported in March that those virginity pledges touted by head-in-the-sand organizations like True Love Waits and the Silver Ring Thing are doing nothing to stop STDs either. Among the 20 percent of kids that took a virginity pledge, 61 percent of the consistent pledgers and 79 percent of the inconsistent pledgers reported having intercourse before marrying or prior to 2002 interviews. Almost 7 percent of the students who did not make a pledge were diagnosed with an STD, compared with 6.4 percent of the "inconsistent pledgers" and 4.6 percent of the "consistent pledgers."

UPDATE: House Blender Patrick emailed me today to let me know that Texas has a lot to be proud of (ha ha) regarding teen preganancy:

Texas ranks among the 10 worst states in the nation on almost all factors related to teen pregnancy including:
· Teen birth rate 47th
· Percent change in teen birth rate 44th
· Birth rate for younger teens 48th
· Percent teen births that are repeat births 44th
· Teen births as a percent of all births 40th
· Percent of births to teens receiving late or no prenatal care 44th

Not only that, but the state plans to strip $5 million from health screening (for STDs, diabetes, cancer, just to name a few) and contraceptive counseling and shift funding to anti-abortion counseling groups. Nice.

Unhinged S.F. Supervisor: regulate bloggers

I can't believe what I'm reading. This legislation, "Regulation of Electioneering Communications," is a clear indication that the power of blogs is scaring elected officials into hysterical reaction, even at the local level. And what do they plan to do with that information once you're registered, hmm? What if you comment on S.F. politics but don't live there -- do you still have to go on the Master List?

From Personal Democracy Forum (via DKos):
Just when you thought the Federal Election Commission had it out for the blogosphere, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors took it up a notch and announced yesterday that it will soon vote on a city ordinance that would require local bloggers to register with the city Ethics Commission and report all blog-related costs that exceed $1,000 in the aggregate.

Blogs that mention candidates for local office that receive more than 500 hits will be forced to pay a registration fee and will be subject to website traffic audits, according to Chad Jacobs, a San Francisco City Attorney.

The entire Board is set to vote on the measure on April 5th, 2005. I wonder if they'll be forced to register their own blogs!

The legislation was written by Supervisor Sophie Maxwell.
Obviously, Ms. Maxwell needs to be told how lame-brained and dangerous this legislation is:

Sophie Maxwell
(415) 554-7670 - voice
(415) 554-7674 - fax

Also, note the DKos diaries The FEC Project and The FEC Project: Regulations Published, by acbonin, who is analyzing and planning a joint response to the proposed FEC regulations to govern political bloggers, paid ads on the internet, and attack our right to speak out on political issues free of regulation by these bozos.
The document we are preparing will urge the FEC to minimize the impact of regulations on our lives, to keep the focus on the flow of money in politics and, as with other areas of FEC regulation, on the regulated candidates, parties and PACs spending it, and not on the media sources receiving it. We also hope to provide them with factual background to understand the impact of certain regulations on current practices, such as the role of anonymity and pseudonymity online. [For instance, if a paid campaign staffer posts an anonymous comment on a blog, does she have to disclose that she works for the campaign?]

This explains how Chimpy made it through Yale

Nicole Kristal, writing in this week's Newsweek, 'Tutoring' Rich Kids Cost Me My Dreams, whines about the ethical dilemma she faced tutoring "typical surfer retards" and synapse-misfiring HS Barbies of the affluent.

Back in the day I had heard of people hiring folks to test-take for their lame kids, or parents writing papers for their lazy offspring, but this takes the cake. These children of privilege aren't even deigning to sit in front of their computer to type out an essay anymore. It sounds as though they aren't even intellectually capable of doing so by the time they get to high school.
"Just sit at her computer and type for her," my boss advised me with my first client, a private-high-school student. But as I typed her name at the top right corner of the screen, she slithered onto her bed to watch "Are You Hot?" I asked her what she remembered about Huxley's "Brave New World."

She's a slut," my client said with a sigh, referring either to the character of Lenina or the woman on TV. After a handful of three-word responses like that, I realized she didn't care. I was hired to do the thinking. The parents knew it. So did my boss.

...For three-hour workdays, the ability to sleep in and the opportunity to get paid to learn, I tackled subjects like Dostoevsky while spoiled jerks smoked pot, took naps, surfed the Internet and had sex. Though some offered me chateaubriand and the occasional illicit drug, most treated me like the help. I put up with it because I feared working in an office for $12 an hour again.
This sounds an awful like affirmative action for the rich, does it not? A leg up...a helping hand... fill in your metaphor here. Is this the "meritocracy" they've been talking about?

One thing though, since Chimpy received a "gentleman's C," it sounds like 41 might not have gotten his money's worth if he hired a tutor.

Supreme Court: Creditors Can't Seize IRAs

An IRA is one of the few things left that these leeches can't get a hold of. (AP):
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that creditors may not seize Individual Retirement Accounts when people file for bankruptcy, giving protection to a nest egg relied upon by millions of Americans.

The unanimous decision sides with a bankrupt Arkansas couple fighting to keep more than $55,000 in retirement savings. As a result, IRAs now join pensions, 401(k)s, Social Security and other benefits tied to age, illness or disability that are afforded protection under bankruptcy law.
In other Supreme Court news, it declined to hear a case on whether police can have drug dogs sniff outside people's homes without any specific suspicion of illegal activity. Justices let stand a lower court ruling that allowed the dog sniff.

It also declined to consider the appeal of former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett, who challenged the NFL's draft eligibility rules. Without comment, justices let stand a lower court ruling that said federal labor law allows teams to set rules for when players can enter the league.

Another significant ruling came last Wednesday, when the Court said that older workers could bring age discrimination claims against their employers based on disparate impact rather than discriminatory intent. The 5-3 decision in Smith v. City of Jackson, Miss. is considered a landmark victory because of the difficulty in proving discriminatory intent on the part of employers.

More sickness in Freeperland over Indiana Planned Parenthood fires

Sunday, April 03, 2005

A Planned Parenthood office was vandalized in Bloomington, IN, experiencing the second fire in two weeks.

The latest incident involved a broken window, smoke and a smoldering object discovered in the office by an employee arriving for work. The FBI and police are investigating for the use of accelerants. I took a little visit over to land of the demented Freepi. The reaction was typical.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"Until they find a "perp", I'll just assume that these immoral dirtbags started the fire themselves. The Pro-Death side is utterly desperate to make the other side look bad and are not in the least above staging phony "attacks" to achieve their aims."

"Isn't it startling how fast the FBI is on the scene when something happens to a Planned Parenthood facility? Too bad their reaction is so slow when actually confronting terrorism."

"Just another Planned Parenthood "planned fire" to stir up the donor list. This is one of the reasons these guys can't get fire insurance ~ they keep setting them inside their offices. ATF has a guy who specializes in investigating these particular kinds of fires."

"Look, they are there to get fingerprints before turning the site over to ATF. Eventually they'll figure out it's not a disgruntled white male with a scientific laboratory but instead is a lumbering bull-dyke lesbian with a box of matches!"

"That is the first thing that popped into my mind. There seems to be a very high number of cases of vandalism that are self inflicted."

"Some kind of mysterious "lightning" maybe?"

"I wonder who they have to do PR for them?? Whomever it is, must have spent a few minutes planning this.."

"Ah yes, the Reichstag Fire technique. Possible. Quite possible."

"Sounds like fund drive flame fanning (pun intended)."
In other Indiana Planned Parenthood news, the state's Attorney General, Steve Carter, is taking a page from Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline's handbook, trying to destroy the privacy rights of its clients by seizing records. Planned Parenthood is suing the state.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana contends that the state investigators have not provided an explanation for the “sweeping scope” of the request for medical records. "This is a clear-cut case of abuse of power. Instead of protecting medical privacy rights, the attorney general is selling them out to his fishing expedition," Planned Parenthood of Indiana CEO Betty Cockrum said. "We take our patients' privacy very seriously."

Because federal health privacy laws do not apply to investigations of Medicaid fraud or abuse, Planned Parenthood risks losing Medicaid funding if they do not turn over the records of their patients, the Indianapolis Star reports.

Homo-bigot South Carolina Senator gets a slap down by a House Blender

Economist Holley Ulbrich predicts a financial hit for the state if an amendment passes; local AmTaliban Oran Smith of the Palmetto Family Council says it is needed for, among other things, containing male sexuality.

I get quite a bit of mail at the Blend, and every once in a while I get a great one that ties into some of the stories I post about. For a little background, South Carolina, like many other bible belt states, is in the process of considering a bigoted marriage amendment (so is NC). Last week, the SC proposal went to the Senate Judiciary Committee and a public hearing was held. Here's the MSM coverage...(The State):
A House bill that would let voters decide next year whether the state Constitution should be changed to bar same-sex unions headed to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Two senators on opposite sides of the legislation told a crowd of nearly 100 opponents that they need to face the reality that the issue will be on the ballot in November 2006 and devote themselves to fighting the amendment then.

The amendment says marriage is "exclusively defined as a union between one man and one woman" and all other unions are void. State law already says that, but supporters say a judge could strike that down and open the door to gay unions here.

Clemson economist Holley Ulbrich told the panel that during a more than four-hour public hearing that the state will lose money, talent and opportunity if it gains the reputation of being less tolerant. A study showed a 1993 policies toward gays Cincinnati adopted in 1993 cost that city $46 million in convention business alone, Ulbrich said. "Passing the amendment has an effect on how South Carolina is perceived," Ulbrich says.

Opponents said gay marriages upend tradition and undermine heterosexual unions. "Marriage is always heterosexual" and is a way of protecting women from exploitive males, containing male sexuality and aggression and giving children the best opportunity to thrive , said Oran Smith, president of the Palmetto Family Council. "There is no public need for a same-sex family," Smith said.
OK. Nothing unusual about the story. However, we have the inside scoop. Here is a first-hand account of what really went on in the South Carolina State House from House Blender Trixie Trash.
Hello Pam dah-ling,

On Tuesday a small group of gays and supporters (dressed in black) were at a SC Senate Sub-committee hearing. The gay marriage bill had been hijacked out of committee and was being pushed thru before it had a public hearing by Senator John D. Hawkins (Spartanburg).

We sat and listened in awe as our elected officials bickered their way though seven other bills before they got to ours. When they did, several of us put black tape over our mouths to signify that we had been silenced. This added a bondage element to our look. It sort of freaked out the Sins... I mean Sens. Some of them turned their chairs around so they wouldn't have to look at us.

South Carolina State Senators on the spot: John D. Hawkins held the public hearing; Luke Rankin: "I say we give them a fair trial and then hang them." (gays).

They said many stupid things but we expected that...but not this: Sen. [Luke] Rankin said "I don't care how much we talk about this issue. My mind is made up. I know how I'm going to vote and so do the rest of you. However, I feel it is wrong to railroad over these people. They deserve the right to speak and be heard. I say we give them a fair trial and then hang them."

Well, that sound bite made the news and has Sen. Rankin has been backpedaling on his "rank" comment.

On Thursday, about 150 gays and supports, dressed in black and wearing pink cloth triangles were inside the lobby of the Statehouse to talk to our senators. I was standing next to a big gay man whom I didn't know but who had just given me a big gay hug. Well, along comes some senator and this guy stopped him...

Big Guy: Excuse me Senator, I'd like to speak with you about this bill.

Sen. ?: I not voting for that, I mean, I'm voting against gay marriage.

BG: That's very sad. May I ask why?

Sen. ?: There is a book that was written over 2000 years ago that says If a man lay down with another man it is an abomination....

I just couldn't hold it any longer.

ME: Excuse me... but did you just say you were going to use Biblical scripture to shape Public law.... haven't you heard of separation of church and state.

Sen.?: Yes, and I'm going to vote against...

ME: (raising my voice to a small shout) That's because you're a bigot! A Hateful, Hateful bigot. Hateful! Bigot! Just a Hateful Bigot!

Sen.?: You better get out of my face.

ME: I hope one day your grandchildren have to live under and be hurt by the laws you help pass. You Hateful, Hateful Bigot!

At this point, a security person stepped between me and the senator and hustled him into the Senate. No one said a word to me. I think it is because I was surrounded by lots of people dressed in black with pink triangles. Truthfully, between you and me, I'm probally not the best person to be speaking to Senators, politely speaking that is.

Later we all attended a hastily scheduled hearing with four senators. Two for us and two for them. Because of Senate "decorum" we were told that we couldn't "whoop, yell out anything, clap, etc...". It was so hard because there were soooooo many gays with so many opportunities for zingers. At one time one of the speakers for the other side used the phrase "scary, exhilarating lesbians". That really should be a T-shirt.

However our side did have a wonderful "Baptist minister" (I was shocked) who told the sense to say that if Jesus were here today that he probably wouldn't be hanging out with the politicians. Jesus would be at the soup kitchens, with AIDS patients, in the bars, helping people. John M. "Jake" Knotts, Jr. ( Lexington) asked the reverend if he was saying Jesus was a redneck. The minister said "well... yes, Jesus probably had a little redneck in him.

All in all it was quite a day.
It's nice to have something to compare to the vanilla media coverage that this sort of event usually generates. Thanks Trixie, for shining the light on your friendly neighborhood elected homophobes. My question is whether any of them are thinking enough to hear the Clemson economist's predictions of significant lost revenue by writing intolerance into the state's Constitution.

BTW, the contact page for members of the SC Senate:
SC State House

Celebrity deathwatch, minor league/film fashion Sunday edition

Guess it sucks to be gravely ill when you're competing against Terri Schiavo's whack-job family and JPII kicking off. Poor Prince Rainier of Monaco. He's a head of state, but he barely rates a headline as he's been at death's door for two weeks now. He's so bad off that Prince Albert's taken the reins, a sure sign his pop will be meeting Grace Kelly in the great beyond soon. (Reuters):
On Friday, Rainier's doctors described the 81-year-old monarch's state of health as "precarious". Rainier's son, Albert, 47, has assumed the his sick father's duties as monarch of the tiny state on the Mediterranean coast.

Rainier, the widower of Hollywood film star Grace Kelly who died in a car crash in 1982, is in intensive care suffering from lung, heart and kidney problems.

He has reigned in Europe's last constitutional autocracy since 1949 and led Monaco -- a 2.5 sq km (1 sq mile) territory tucked between the French town of Nice and the Italian border -- into an age of skyscrapers, international banking and business.

Film Fashion Sunday...

Speaking of Princess Grace, she wasn't a great thespian, but she was most certainly stunning. She was in one of my all-time favorite films, Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954).

Grace played the character Lisa Fremont. All of her gowns/outfits were by the famous Hollywood designer Edith Head, and each one is perfect in the context of the story and the character. In the first scenes of Miss Kelly, she wears a gorgeous black and white gown. She tells Jimmy Stewart that the dress is "a steal at $1,200.00."

Oh, come on: Colorado pinheads drag up bestiality again

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Colorado legislator Angie Paccione took on the dog-sex obsessed Reps. Kevin Lundberg and Rep. Jim Welker

This is so tired and ignorant. Civil discussion about gay marriage has devolved into another shoutfest between lawmakers. When they cannot debate with logic, out comes the "man-on-dog Santorum" defense of marriage. (
Two Colorado lawmakers got into a shouting match when one of them marched into a news conference the other was holding to denounce same-sex marriage. Rep. Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) and Rep. Jim Welker (R-Loveland) called the news conference to tout their proposed amendment to bar gays and lesbian from marrying. Colorado already has legislation that blocks same-sex marriage. But, Lundberg said that it could be overturned by judges. Lundberg called it "the most significant domestic issue of the decade."

At that point, Rep. Angie Paccione (D-Fort Collins) had enough. "We have over 700,000 Coloradans without health care," she said, her voice rising, she yelled as she marched up the podium. "How could we possibly say that gay marriage is more important than health care?" Paccione, who is half black, also reminded him that interracial marriage used to be illegal in Colorado. She said denying gay people the right to marry is no different.

Lundberg argued that they were two different issues. Welker then interjected saying that gay marriage would open a "Pandora's box". "Where do you draw the line?" he said. "A year and a half ago a lady in India married her dog." Welker was referring to the marriage of a 9-year-old girl who married a stray dog in 2003 as part of a ritual to ward off an evil spell.

"Oh, for heaven's sake," Paccione shot back. "Come, on Jim."

"That is true. That's a fact," Welker said. It was enough to make Paccione explode with rage. "It's not the same to have somebody marry a dog than it is to have two loving people get married. Come on!"

National Guard relaxes recruiting standards

Not enough of these Young Repugs are signing up. I wonder why?

[UPDATE: Why they are taking anyone they least 20 American soldiers and marines were wounded in an assault on Abu Ghraib, more at the end of the post.]

The Pentagon is running out of rocket-grenade fodder over there in Iraq. You now can serve in the National Guard without having obtained a high-school diploma or GED. What, are they having trouble finding enough Bush-loving, Young College Republicans to join up? Who would have thunk it? (
The Army National Guard, which recently increased its age limit in an effort to reverse a decline in recruitment, is now opening its doors to less educated people. Under a policy approved this week, the guard will accept recruits with at least a ninth-grade education, as long as they get a satisfactory score on a vocational aptitude test and obtain a General Education Development diploma within three years of signing up, said spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Milord at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va.

Previously, recruits needed a high-school diploma or GED certificate to enter the guard, said Pennsylvania Army National Guard spokesman Capt. Cory Angell. The decline in guard recruitment stems from various factors, including its new role as an operational force, rather than its traditional status as a "strategic reserve force." Guard members are more likely than before to be deployed overseas to assignments that include combat.

"The risks now are certainly greater," Milord said. "That's certainly a consideration with parents." The National Guard and Army Reserve also recently raised the maximum enlistment age from 34 to 39.
The NYT reports on the latest carnage. That should stimulate those recruitment numbers, no?
Using suicide car bombs and an array of weapons, scores of insurgents made the biggest assault yet on the American-controlled Abu Ghraib prison on Saturday evening, American military officials said. At least 20 American soldiers and marines were wounded.

Forty to 60 insurgents attacked the prison from opposite directions, but were repelled by the Americans in a pitched battle that lasted for 30 to 40 minutes, the officials said. They added that they knew of only one insurgent who had been killed, but said it was almost certain the guerrillas suffered additional casualties.

The assault appeared to be an attempt to break prisoners out of a part of the center that is controlled by Iraqi security forces, said Lt. Col. Guy Rudisill, a spokesman for the American detainee system in Iraq.
Meanwhile, the President has whipped up a new batch of his Kool-Aid and seems to have consumed it all himself.
Iraqis are taking big steps on a long journey of freedom. A free society requires more than free elections; it also requires free institutions, a vibrant civil society, rule of law, anti-corruption, and the habits of liberty built over generations. By claiming their own freedom, the Iraqis are transforming the region, and they're doing it by example and inspiration, rather than by conquest and domination. (Applause.) The free people of Iraq are now doing what Saddam Hussein never could -- making Iraq a positive example for the entire Middle East. (Applause.)
(Update via DKos post by Plutonium Page)

Pope dies -- Sanjay Gupta can go to bed now

The Pope finally passed away this afternoon, so hopefully we can be relieved of the 24/7 remote medical diagnosis by CNN's Sanjay Gupta. Since there will be nine official days of mourning, I guess we have to expect the non-stop Pope dies/who will be the new Pope coverage to continue unabated.

In a "what she said" baton toss, see Shakespeare's Sister's post over at Big Brass Blog. A snippet:
Today, President Bush called the Pope a “champion of human dignity,” and if you were poor, suffering under Soviet tyranny in Eastern Europe, or facing the death penalty, you’d probably agree. But if you were gay, or a victim of a priest who sexually assaulted you, or a woman who wanted to be a good Catholic and leave an unhappy marriage or have a career that wasn’t interrupted repeatedly by childbirth, or a priest wrestling with celibacy, or a pregnant victim of rape or incest, you’d probably disagree, because the Pope didn’t particularly care about your dignity, your needs, or the realities of your life. The same, of course, can be said for Bush—and then some—so it’s no wonder he views the Pope that way.

Will oil top $100 a barrel? Check out Big Brass Blog

With the gas prices skyrocketing, I hope you fossil-fuel burning drivers out there are Costco members (Buy Blue rating 99%). You'll save 7-10 cents a gallon. It was $2.06 in Durham last time I filled up.

Kate managed to find $1.99/gallon at a Sheetz station in Raleigh, then promptly spent her savings per gallon on a frozen cappuccino in the gas station's gourmet coffee bar. We had a good laugh about that, but it's a great marketing ploy on the gas station's part -- get them in for the cheap gas, then into the store for the overpriced high-end coffee, yuppie sandwiches and the like.

Make your way over to Big Brass Blog today; my colleagues Dark Wraith of The Dark Wraith Forums and John of Blogenlust are discussing the possibility that oil could top $100 a barrel. Here's part of that discussion. Dark Wraith:
...I have seen some articles in the past couple of days warning of a "super-spike" in oil prices. From my vantage point, the prospect of this is difficult to assess because oil prices are going to rise, and there will be hard-up jumps during this process. What constitutes a "spike" is open to interpretation; but oil could very well reach the $90 per barrel range late in the Spring or in the Summer, with only a smattering of forces stopping it, although some market forces will tend to temper the upside of it.
Go read the rest...

Saturday in NC

This weather sucks *ss today (high mid 60s, storms and wind). I was planning on going cycling on the American Tobacco Trail this weekend, crap. I think this is supposed to go on all day.

Dogs went out and they didn't like it one bit.

Conservative Jewish panel moves toward decision on ordaining gays

While people ruminate over the direction the Catholic church will take on many issues once JPII passes, the fact of the matter is that not much is going to change in terms of its view of homosexuality, celibacy for priests, the ordination of women and openly gay people, or birth control. Since 97% of the 120 cardinals were appointed by the Pope -- real change isn't on the horizon.

For other religions, such as the stone's-throw-from-Catholicism Anglican/Episcopal church, there has been a great deal of public upheaval since the ordination of Bishop Gene Robinson, an openly gay man in a committed relationship. Most recently, we've got an unhinged African bishop willing to spurn $350K of AIDS assistance because it came from a diocese that supported Robinson's elevation, but the church ordains women, and some churches have blessed same-sex unions. There has been such recent turmoil that a halt to the ordination of bishops has occurred for a year.

Conservative Jews are now meeting to discuss and decide whether they will reconsider a 1992 vote to opposed the ordination of gays and women, and whether to endorse same-sex relationships. There is a familiar pattern you see here, as the most strict branches of the faith see an erosion of its following to those that are willing to revise and review doctrine based on the needs and changes in modern society. (AP via Tucson Citizen):
The vote of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, if taken at this conference, will not be binding, nor will it resolve disagreements over homosexuality among Conservative Jews. ...Conservative Jews adhere to tradition but allow some re-evaluation of Jewish law for modern circumstances. The movement occupies a middle ground between the liberal Reform branch, which ordains gays and blesses same-sex couples, and the stricter Orthodox Judaism, which bars gays from becoming rabbis and condemns homosexuality.

Pressure has been building on Conservative Jewish leaders to liberalize core teachings and thus prevent less observant Jews from leaving for the Reform stream, which has overtaken Conservative Judaism as the largest North American branch. Between 5 million and 6 million Jews live in the United States, and Conservative leaders have worried openly about their movement's dwindling appeal - but they have largely resisted the push left.

Schorsch, Roth, and Dorff mull the impact of changes in the Conservative branch as it considers disagreements over homosexuality.

Rabbi Ismar Schorsch, chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Conservative movement's flagship institution, declined to comment on next week's meeting. But he has previously warned that ordaining gays would be such a major break from Jewish law that it could obliterate the distinction between the Reform and Conservative streams. "They would like this, or related issues, to become the bright yellow line that helps everybody understand how Conservative and Reform Judaism differ," he said. "I think what remains to be seen is whether this is the right issue to use to establish that kind of boundary."

Jewish opposition to gay sex is based on Leviticus 18:22, "Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abhorrence," and a similar verse, Leviticus 20:13. Rabbi Joel Roth, a Conservative expert in Jewish law based in Israel, has said that ignoring these prohibitions "would undermine the integrity of the very legal system which stands as the unassailable foundation of our movement."

Rabbi Elliot Dorff, the committee vice chairman and rector of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, has argued that the verses in Leviticus refer to promiscuous sex, not monogamous relations between adults. He said telling gays to be celibate would be "cruel" and "un-Jewish" because Jewish tradition says sexual desires should be channeled into "legitimate modes of expression" not completely suppressed.

"I think the general thrust in American society has been toward recognizing not only the right of gays and lesbians to form committed relationships but almost their duty to do so, in the same way that heterosexuals are both medically and morally better off if they form monogamous relationships," Dorff said in an interview Monday.
For really informed coverage of religious issues from a progressive perspective, I must point you to Faithforward. Pastordan of DKos fame holds the fort there and his writing is highly recommended.

CNN has lost all sense of purpose with this Pope Deathwatch coverage

Friday, April 01, 2005

Descriptions of my organ functions are off-limits, Dr. Gupta.

After beating up on the guy a week or so ago, Atrios came up with a little gut-buster today, so props to him. I was thinking the same damn thing this afternoon as seemingly endless Pope Deathwatch coverage blathered on.: living will now includes the request that, when I'm on my deathbed, Sanjay Gupta will not be informing the American public exactly which of my bodily fluids are flowing where...
CNN's coverage has been atrocious, fawning faux journalism. Wolf Blitzer was breathlessly and inappropriately failing to question the latest Vatican Press ReleaseTM that touted the Pope was conscious, serene, and "visually participating" in the day's Mass. Just moments before, the photogenic Dr. Sanjay was doing a sentence-by-sentence "medical interpretation" of the litany of ailments that would discount the Pope had the ability to participate in anything - high fever, organ failures, septic shock and non-existent blood pressure. Sh*t, I had the flu a couple of weeks ago, and the 103-degree fever alone made me want to retreat into a freaking hole. What the f*ck ever. Let's go to the play-by-play of insanity.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Significant changes in his blood pressure. In the medical world we call that hemodynamic instability. It's just everything is unstable, really, right now it sounds like, Wolf; specifically in relationship to this infection that Christiane was just describing.

The body reacts in a very predictable way. The blood pressure falls dramatically. And as a result of that low blood pressure, several organs in the body just don't get enough blood anymore, including the kidneys, the liver, for example, the heart itself, and the brain. And all these organs after some time without adequate blood flow start to fail.

And that's probably what he is going through right now. But the way it manifests itself, shallow breathing, some people describe it as labored breathing, lethargy because of the poor blood flow to the brain, and the accumulation of some toxins in the blood, because the kidneys can no longer filter them that well -- Wolf.
This nonsense reminds me of the French and Saunders skits called "The Expert" that spoofs a talk show where French's character is called upon by Saunders's host character for wisdom.

"Our expert this morning is, Dawn French. Dawn welcome." Let's just say that Dawn is an expert on many, many things. Celebrities, the Royal Family, the financial market and even Space (Outer-Space and hanging space). The only thing our expert has a problem with is staying seated on the sofa after her segment!

OMFG. CNN is out of control. Kate and I are sitting here now (around 9PM) with CNN on in the background as I am typing this and Larry King just came on to say he's going to have Jim Caviezel on tonight. Of course, he just played Jesus for Mel Gibson, so I guess that would place him fewer degrees of separation from the Pope and thus a relevant guest.

Practice What You Preach's ad targets TX hypocrites

In Texas there is a movement to hold elected officials responsible for the state of marriage -- not gay marriage, of course, since it's banned in the Lone Star State. No, Practice What You Preach plans to hold the Texas legislature's feet to the fire.
...the institution of marriage is under assault in Texas from the twin epidemics of divorce and domestic violence. We are not a gay-rights group. We are mainstream, straight Texans who want the legislative leadership to stop making cheap political points by ignoring real problems.

Clearly, Texans do not take marriage seriously enough. Face the facts:

* Texas has one of the highest divorce rates in the country, a whopping 71 percent higher than Massachusetts,’ and children suffer more than anyone from the divorce epidemic. A study by the conservative Heritage Foundation found that children of divorce “exhibit more health, behavioral, and emotional problems [and] are involved more frequently in crime and drug abuse...” In school, these kids “perform more poorly... They also … have higher drop-out rates and lower rates of college graduation.”
* There are 900,000 victims of domestic violence in Texas every year, prompting the Texas Council on Family Violence to conclude, “Domestic violence is an epidemic in Texas.”

It is a hypocritical charade to say that HJR 6, a constitution amendment to ban same-sex marriages already illegal under state law, would do anything to help marriage. The Texas legislature needs to practice what it preaches and focus on the real threats to marriage.
View the new ad, "Tool," on its web site, that the group plans to air.

Friday dog blogging

A little overcast, but no rain, so the dogs went out for some play on the deck.

From left: Tonka, Chloe, Bailey.

Getting the three of them in one shot was challenging

Bailey decided she was tired of posing.

Fred Phelps on the Falwell death watch

Little did we know that the Rotting CryptkeeperTM is betting on Falwell to kick it soon as well.

Frank Purdue goes to the chicken house in the sky

Perdue his own father as "a stern man who was so thrifty that he saved leather from old shoes to make hinges for the doors to the chicken houses."

"It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken (filled with chemical additives and hormones)."
-- Frank Purdue, in his ad campaigns from the 80s.

"It takes a sexually aroused man to make a chicken affectionate."
--Perdue Farms' famously poor translation for the Spanish-speaking market

Frank Perdue, owner of one of the nation's largest poultry processors has died at 84. His company was fined $40,000 in 1989 after a report found 36 percent of workers in two North Carolina plants had symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Two years later the company established a four-year program to reduce injuries. Labor is cheap in the rural and often poor areas of the South and he took advantage of it (as did other poultry farms, such as Tyson). Purdue also worked his ass off to suppress union activism, according to the AP report (not surprising, in this right-to-work state).

I remember seeing these commercials all over the place when I lived in NY. If you've ever roasted one of his chickens, the amount of fat and crap from those birds that ends up in the pan is scary. Never tried one again.

Falwell 'makes progress' and takes a call from Karl Rove

We report, you decide whether he's off the death watch list.(AP):
The Rev. Jerry Falwell, hospitalized in serious condition, said he is on the mend after a health crisis in which he stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated earlier this week.... "I'm making progress," the 71-year-old Moral Majority founder said in an interview with The News & Advance of Lynchburg. "I'll be in here for a few days."

...Falwell also took a call from White House chief political adviser Karl Rove, who spoke at the May 2004 commencement of Falwell's Liberty University.

Family members told doctors Falwell had been unconscious from five to seven minutes before he arrived at the hospital emergency room in "respiratory arrest." Moore said there is no evidence of neurological damage.

Thanks to House Blender Holly for the pointer.

Male Pride: "Maybe it is a woman’s world, but when they f-ck it up it will be ours again"

I think today is the day to come across particularly unhinged thinking. I was surfing about and stumbled upon what looks like a joke essay, Male Pride, at GOP Nation ("For Republicans, By Republicans, the GOPNation'). The author of this is Dallas Claymore "a writer from Wisconsin writing a book on sex, women, and conservatism." May the man stay clear of the voting booth.

I had to google the guy to see if he's just surfaced for April 1 festivities, but you can find this mind-blowing crap on Mens News Daily, and here and here. The Freepi have been eating this up.

This is right out of a Rush Limbaugh feminazi-bashing handbook; I had a hard time picking what to excerpt because it was all so unbelievably ludicrous.

Christ was a man, Moses was a man, and Mohammed was a man. The conclusion that I draw from this is Thou shalt never apologize for being a man.

...It seems that being a man puts you at a moral disadvantage when dealing with others. Indeed, maleness is the height of social unacceptability. We are the target of endless quips, digs, and are even lampooned in greeting cards. Misandry is prevalent throughout the media, television programming, and feature films[ii]. Nowadays, has-been nation states like Sweden seem to exist for little more purpose than preventing women from being oppressed by male urinals or ever having to question socialism. Our universities foment with Womyn’s Studies programs which assert female supremacy while their male counterparts, men’s studies, also assert female supremacy through the offering of courses which “deconstruct” masculinity.

Even with these forces of propaganda aligned against us, let me state unwaveringly that I am proud of being a man and would never have it any other way. After all, are not the words “civilization” and “men” synonymous? Yes, it must tax the brain of even the most hardened radical feminist deceiver to effectively obscure the fact that so many cultural achievements are a direct result of masculine creativity and energy. All of modern life’s infrastructure—homes, buildings, plumbing, clean water, medicine, sanitation, electronics, law, literature, art, and bountiful food—were built or made possible through the sweat and labor of men. A true irony here is that many of the most virulent male-haters are also the people that would fare the worst if they isolated from all of society’s accoutrements. What would they do without their Paxil and Respiradol prescriptions? Our enemies happen to be some of the most pampered and spoiled individuals on the planet.

I also should mention the whole rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence charges that are often levied at men–the phrase “proto-rapist” has even come about for those of us who have never committed a rape but remain biologically male. I am about to make a stunning admission concerning this felonious subject matter, and it may surprise many a reader as I am genitally a man: I have never raped, sexually harassed or committed a violent act against a woman in my life and I never will. The same is true of every friend I have and every guy that I know.

If this is the case, then why are men so routinely the target of such vicious stereotyping and lying? Well, it could have to do with radical feminists defaming us about as often as water cascades over Niagara Falls. If you want to discover just how much they fabricate information concerning our behavior, I’ll refer you to Dr. Boyd’s unbiased account in Big Sister: How Extreme Feminism has Betrayed the Fight for Sexual Equality. There you can really witness the way in which feministas manipulate statistics.

...It is clear that men and women have equal means of intelligence, but all analysis of psychometric results showcases men having considerably more overall scatter within their profiles than women. More of us are found on the extremes which half the time is not such a good thing at all. Mental retardation, just like genius, is most often a “male thang.” The history of men is a tale of valiant heroes and spectacular failures, and I suspect the future will not change this.

[This paragraph left me howling...does this guy need a date? Is Homer Simpson writing this?]
...How many times have you been in some overpriced trendy chic restaurant and looked at the menu and groaned, “Why me?” Yet, it always is you and it’s always you who gets stuck with the bill, but it is rarely you who finds any value in 25 dollar entrees. Many of these premium dinners are inferior to the stuff you buy at the stadium or cook on the grill, yet it is you who still has to take the beating. On top of having extortionary prices, those places make you leave hungry which is reason enough to stick to pizza. However, regardless of how insane the whole cash squandering thing is, we are forced do it because women expect it. If it were up to the majority of men, flamescent cute eateries would go the way of the New Jersey Generals (opaque USFL reference there). We don’t need that kind of stuff. It’s superfluous to good living. If the tables were turned, think of how easy dating would be for women. If they took us out do you think we would send the food back or criticize anything about the place? Hell no, because it would be FREE which is the most blessed word in the English language. Who cares about what’s served as long as someone else pays for it? There it is plain and simple.

Being a man is all about having simple rules for a simple, but content, life. The days are unpretentious and uncomplicated. Who would want it any other way? So maybe “simple” is not such an insult after all. Traveling light is a good thing. Being immune to the allure of gimmicks and baubles is reason enough for male pride. Perchance the status quo is “a woman’s world.” My answer to this eventuality is, “Maybe it is a woman’s world, but when they f-ck it up and it will be ours again.” Then it’ll be time for tools and boots once more.

Freepers comment on the Jerusalem WorldPride festival

As someone mentioned yesterday, 'is this the cast from the new Star Wars flick?'

Morning comic relief, and it's no April Fool's joke, either. Yesterday I posted on the incredible hypocrisy of the leaders of three faiths uniting in their homophobia, going apesh*t over the gay festival scheduled to take place in Jerusalem. You knew the Freepers were going to have something to say about this. Incredibly predictable...and entertaining. The bile from the juvenile flows...

Actual Freeper Quotes�

"The perverts have New York and San Francisco, but they're not happy with that. They want to sodomize the Holy City."

"I swear, where's this Muslim jihad when you need."

"I have always been a tolerant person, but when anyone tries to shove their agenda down my throat and into our schools, my tolerance ends. It is hard to live in the world today without being angry all the time."

"They're attempting to force their abominations on the Godly in Jerusalem, and desecrate that which is holy. They want to defile the land of Christ. The unholy are raging because they know they have but little time.

[You knew I had to do it. Geez, these people are s-t-u-p-i-d.]
In Sodom, they also tried to break down Lott's door, only to be blinded by the angels. Once Lott and his righteous family were removed, God himself destroyed the abominations."

"Who's tolerance? Their's? Our's? Not being pc I have no fear in saying the following. The homos want US to tolerate THEM. They don't want to tolerate us. Why not? Tolerance, like respect, is earned, not given by force. And that's what they are doing, forcing US to tolerate them ans their aberrant lifestyle. Personally, I will never accept that lifestyle and will never be forced to tolerate them. I feel certain I'm not alone with these sentiments. One other thing. Why are they doing this in The Holy City? For no other reason than to shove it down our throats in the one place that is sacrosanct to Christains. They need to leave it alone."

"Omg. Imagine the slimy mess that'll be left behind after an orgy like that!! Ewwwwwwwww!"

"Correction: 'The pervert festival is expected to draw thousands of perverted visitors from dozens of countries. The theme is "Perversion Without Consequences'"

"What does a public display of lewdness and a 10-day orgy of perversion have to do with "tolerance" and "diversity"? Oh yeah, it's for the queer nazis to show that they have no tolerance for anyone who doesn't agree with them."

"I'll always reject the homo-sexers. The fact that homo-sexers are being more and more widely accepted as a legitimate part of society, doesn't have the least bearing on whether or not their practice is right or wrong. It's wrong, it always has been and it always will be. Whatever is the most insulting and disrespectful, that's what they do. They flippantly flaunt their perversion and I've always been astonished that the rest of society puts up with it."

"But the priest on Hannity was talking about just that. He said he didn't think we get ANGRY often enough. Did anyone else hear him say that?"

Wingnuts coming unglued over Philly's celebration of gay rights movement

American Family Association's Diane Gramley has homo castration on her mind -- because the Founding Fathers said so. She wants PA Gov. Ed Rendell to pay for endorsing the historical marker to be unveiled.

There's some serious foaming at the mouth going on in Pennsylvania over the huge celebration, Equality Forum 2005, which will commemorate 40 years of the gay rights movement on May 1. The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) has approved a historical marker recognizing the area around Independence Hall as the site of the first organized and annual gay and lesbian civil rights demonstration, and this has pushed the folks at the American Family Association of Pennsylvania over the edge.
AFA of PA has sent faxes to Governor Rendell and Wayne Spilove, chairman of PHMC blasting the Commission's decision last week and asking that the decision be reversed. Governor Rendell is expected to unveil the historical marker on May 1st.

"Homosexual activists continue their attempt to rewrite history. This decision is a slap in the faces of our Founding Fathers. They met and debated the suppression by the English monarchy in this building. Finally "with a firm reliance on Divine Providence, (we) mutually pledging to each other (our) lives, (our) fortunes, and (our) sacred honor" they signed the Declaration of Independence. This historical marker is an affront to our Founding Fathers sacred honor and the sacrifices they made," Diane Gramley president of the AFA of PA said today.

In announcing the decision, Spilove spoke of events which advanced 'civil rights' in America. Apparently he is confused, as the debate on homosexuality has nothing to do with civil rights, but rather forcing the acceptance of abhorrent sexual behavior on all America.
They go on to justify their homo-bashing by referring to the laws of the past; perhaps slavery was OK as well as the fact women could vote? What kind of dumb*ss argument is this?
There is no doubt where our Founding Fathers stood on the issue of homosexual acts. Laws in the Thirteen Colonies concerning those engaging in such abhorrent behavior ranged from confiscation of property and jail time to hanging. Thomas Jefferson authored a Virginia bill that required 'removal of the offending member' -- castration.
Enough of those losers. Here's a sampling of what's on tap for the big bash, which really kicks off on April 25.

National Celebration on Sunday, May 1, at Independence Hall. Over 16 hours of events, including performances by Cyndi Lauper and Kate Clinton.

Tribute to 40 Heroes and the Gay Pioneers who have made a difference in the past 40 years.

International Business Colloquium honoring Jean Chretien and IBM.

Concerts, films and 12 parties, including Liberation and the Real World Philadelphia party.