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Live Blogging the SOTU

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

OK, I'm new to this live blogging thing, but here goes. Bush's quotes are paraphrased, because even I can't type that fast.

1) Decided not to play the "take a shot every time he says 'terror'". Only have three half-full quarts of liquor, so I probably wouldn't make it.

2) Two minutes, forty-five seconds. Who had 2:45 in the "time elapsed before first mention of 'September the 11th, 2001'?"

3) "Just because we have a system of two parties and two elected branches of government," (for now, anyway,) "means that we may have disagreements on issues, but we can still discuss these issues with respect for each other." Like, for example, comparing Michael Moore to Osama bin Laden, or issuing Cheney-esque condemnations of those who criticize war policy as giving aid to the enemy.

4) "We must stand behind our military in this vital mission." Because 'standing behind' doesn't really cost anything, unlike providing body armor.

5) "The United States supports broader democratic reforms in the Middle East. The leaders of Hamas must recognize Israel, disarm, and work for lasting peace." Uh-huh. That must've been the Hamas campaign slogan that got them 70+% of the vote, right?

6) "The Iranian gov't is attempting to reconstitute its nuclear program... the world must not allow them to gain nuclear weapons..." Because only nuclear-powered nations can be certain that the United States won't invade and overthrow a gov't it doesn't like (see: North Korea).

7) Did he really just talk about making strides in fighting AIDS worldwide... with a straight goddamned face???

8) "The enemy can still strike us!" Boo! Osama's gonna git ya!

9) "Reauthorize the PATRIOT ACT. Law enforcement deserves the same tools we use to fight drug dealers and organized crime."

10) Another "September the 11th". Ooh, now he's defending the domestic spying, saying the Constitution and statute gives him the right. Other presidents have done it, too. Federal courts let 'em do it. Appropriate members of Congress have been told. If Americans are talking to al Qaeda, we want to know, because we won't sit back and wait to be hit again. Two 9/11 hijackers were talking to Americans, but we couldn't tap 'em, so we didn't know what they were up to. I'm gonna spy on whoever I want to, whenever I want to, and if you don't let me, you're gonna get blowed up! (OK, I must've misheard that last part...)

11) "Freedom is on the march!" "No isolationism." Because invading sovereign nations of no threat to us on faulty intelligence is exactly the scenario Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, & Reagan had to deal with. "Presidents of both parties are going to have to fight this long long looonnnggg war."

12) "Four years of uninterrupted economic growth, because I gave people tax relief... make them permanent!" Hey everybody, how's that economic growth treatin' ya? Are you better off today than you were five years ago? Did you buy a new DVD player with your tax cut?

13) I can't even muster the sarcasm necessary to savage his bloviation on reducing the size of gov't, cutting back spending, and reducing the deficit. I'm only human.

14) "Pass the line-item veto!" Because this unitary executive doesn't have quite enough unchecked power. Sure, Alito will let him interpret any law he signs any way he wants, but he needs to also be able to edit those bills line by line.

15) HA HA HA!!! Democrats cheering for Bush not passing his Social Security "reforms".

16) Here comes the immigration stuff... wait for it... Must have humane temporary guest worker program... OK, GOP, now, stand up and cheer! Hello? Hello?

17) We must have affordable healthcare for the poor and the elderly, and we are meeting that responsibility. (Even the gallery could hardly stifle the guffaws on that one.)

18) OB/GYNs are having trouble spreading their love to women... so pass medical liability reform this year.

19) AMERICA IS ADDICTED TO OIL. The best way to break this addiction is through technology. You can be certain that this Texas oilman, my oilman vice president, my Exxon supertanker, er, Secretary of State, and my entire oil soaked administration will do everything possible to break our addiction to oil, including drilling in ANWR, digging up more coal, and a bunch of other things that won't come to fruition until long after we're gone and have built up way more profits than we could possibly spend in sixteen generations.

20) We want to lead in talent, so we'll promote more research programs in sciences and education in the sciences. Except, of course, anything that has anything to do with an embryo. We need more kids to be taught in hard math and science and advanced placement in math and science, and bring in more professionals in math and science. Just as long as they don't tell the kids they descended from a common primate ancestor and that they remember that Genesis is the foundation of cosmology.

21) "A life of personal responsibility"? Paging Lt. Bush, Alabama Nat'l Guard...

22) "Worried about activist courts redefining marriage, worried about judges legislating from the bench, worried about citizens still recovering from disaster..."

23) "Human life is a gift from our Creator, and should never be discarded, manipulated, or put up for sale." So I'm immediately closing all of the fertility clinics nationwide. If our Creator wanted to give you the gift of life, He wouldn't have built you with a barren womb.

24) "Public officials should be worthy of public responsibility, I welcome reform efforts..." Oh, yeah, BIG round of applause for that one.

25) Laura Bush is going to reach out and rescue the wayward youth of America. Because when it comes to understanding the problems of a poor illiterate black kid plagued by gang violence and a drug-addicted mother, the first mentor you think of is Laura Bush. Maybe she'll teach them how to get away with juvenile vehicular manslaughter.

26) "We are engaged in a global ideological conflict we did nothing to invite." Nope, nothing at all. Just sittin' here, minding our own business, supporting brutal Middle Eastern dictatorships, invading sovereign nations, torturing our prisoners of war, placing our military bases on Muslim holy land, blindly supporting Israel's treatment of Palestinians, killing millions through economic sanctions, selling arms to terrorist regimes, and imposing Christian ideology in every aspect of our foreign policy whether they like it or not. We are such innocent victims here!

27) My Middle Eastern misadventure is just like Lincoln's civil war to hold the union and eliminate slavery, just like King's march for civil rights, just like America's World War II battle to free Europe.

Alito confirmed 58-42

Well, well, it's all over but the presidential coronation. Hope you enjoyed 33 years of sovereignty over your own bodies, ladies. Don't worry, big corporations always have the little guys' best interests at heart, so you needn't worry about your class action suit getting fair treatment at the Supreme Court.

While I have no children, I fear the world my nieces are soon to inherit.

I can't channel my disgust any better than The Rude Pundit did today.
Today, Senators who voted for cloture are going to vote against the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. And when Lincoln Chafee, Maria Cantwell, Herbert Kohl, Blanche Lincoln, and Jay Rockefeller, as well as all the others run for re-election, they can say, "Look, I said 'No.'" But that "no" matters so little as the very issues they say caused them to vote that way - the power of the presidency, abortion rights, the right to privacy, the favoring of corporations - are turned against them time and again. Yeah, they voted against Alito, but there's a starving, beaten prisoner in Gitmo, a pregnant teenage girl in Nebraska, a coal mining family in West Virginia who are all gonna be the ones f*cked because of such cowardly courage. And when they say they voted against Alito, someone's gonna be smart enough to say, "Hey, Maria, if it's such a big f*ckin' deal, why didn't you join the filibuster?"

And if someone doesn't wreck Susan Collins, Arlen Specter, or any supposed pro-choice Republican after the first Supreme Court case that limits access to abortion, then DNC consultants need to have their Blackberries shoved up their asses.


(And if you really want your stomach to do the Charleston, remember the precedent that's been set: should someone put rat poison in Justice Stevens' creme brulee, Alito's views are now the bar at which a nominee can be approved.)

Update: The vote was 58 to 42. Enough to have sustained a filibuster even without Chafee if 16 Senators believed in more than empty gestures. And Olympia Snowe voted for Alito. There is no middle in the Republican Party. There is only Democratic capitulation masking as moderation.

State of the Union losers

[UPDATE: See my comments on the SOTU here.]

Are folks going to watch? Maybe you'll pop some popcorn and laugh at the Chimperor's performance. Or maybe you'll be attending a SOTU party.

I'll be in my jammies. I'm not live blogging this POS. It's too painful. Some factoids from the AP:

President Bush's State of the Union addresses, by the numbers:

Year 2002 2003 2004 2005
Number of words 3,807 5,367 5,148 5,009
Length in minutes 48 67 54 57
Interuptions for applause 75 76 71 66
Mentions of Sept. 11 5 3 3 1
Mentions of Iraq 2 22 24 27
Millions watching on TV(a) 52 62 43 39
(a)Only 2005 figures include audience from Spanish-language networks Telemundo and Telefutura

According to White House shill Brian Jones:
"A lot of what you'll see the president talk about tonight are things that common sense Americans from both sides of the aisle can agree on." He says Bush is expected to touch on homeland security, the war on terror, reducing dependence on foreign sources of oil and the economy.
I'm sure there will be people taking a swig every time he mentions 9/11.

Have mercy -- AP is reporting that this SOB is going to actually say: "America is addicted to oil" and must break its dependence on foreign suppliers in unstable parts of the world.

Great Caesar's ghost. It'll be worse than I imagined.


And, talk about painful, we have to sit through this anti-gay turd below posturing as the latest iteration of the "New Republicrat" in the Democratic response, as he delivers the party's "2006 message of inclusiveness."

Tim will be reaching across the aisle with an olive branch... ::sniff sniff:: I'm misting up now as I type this...NOT.

You know, because Tim Kaine cares about "all Americans from all walks of life" -- except the queer ones. But he is electable, and that's all that matters, right?


Review and reflect on these earlier posts...

* Anti-gay Dem Tim Kaine tapped for response to SOTU (Jan 20)

* Kaine: 'not comfortable with language' but will sign amendment anyway (Jan 21)

* Tap dancing Tim (Jan 26)

* Spineless leadership (Jan 28)


Back to the Chimperor...

52 percent say Bush's presidency a failure

Why is this number so low?

There is something terribly wrong in our country when this man, after all that he has wrought, can muster anything over 30% approval. I assume that about a third of our population is hopelessly drunk on the Kool-Aid, so what is the excuse for the remainder of the American people?

(Jason Reed/Reuters)

The story notes that Clinton had over 80 percent approval in January 1999 -- after impeachment.


This and that

Chris Kromm over at Facing South emailed me about The Alito Effect, saying "red states are salivating to pass laws outlawing abortion. They're ready to go."

He's not joking. Alito hasn't even sat down in the chair yet, but lawmakers in five states -- Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, South Dakota and Tennessee -- are ready with bills that would ban all abortions, except in the instance of the woman’s life is at risk.


Carla at Preemptive Karma says, "I've been hearing these 'World Can't Wait' ads on Air America here...and they make me cringe. IMO they make us look nutty and off the cliff." What progressives need to do, instead of protesting, is to hunker down and organize.
All this energy wasted on demonstrations and protests could be channeled into something much more effective: organization. Progressives must continue to rebuild at the state and local level. Our beliefs and values have been allowed to languish in places closest to home. We must rebuild these first. Build the foundation and then work upward toward DC.

Yes, we think Bush is an abomination of governance. Yes we believe that he's done serious harm to this nation that will take generations to fix. But we can't convince the American electorate that we're the better alternative merely staging protests and stamping our feet. We have to prove that we're better.

Can't stand the winger beasts at Little Green Footballs? I've got a site to point you to that Blogenfreude highly recommends...Little Green Fascists. He says, "scroll down to look at the Pantload Media graphic."


Blender Ron says, "now my country's swung to the right (Canada) -- read all about it way things look from North of the 49th."


The 2005 Koufax Award nominations are still rolling out, so surf over and check out all the interesting goings-on. Here's what's up so far.

* Best state and local Blogs: The Blend is nominated here; I'm not sure why, I blog out of NC, but I don't post exclusively about NC or even the South. Some other NC noms here: Ed Cone, Facing South, Greensboro 101, NC Conservation Network Blog, Orange Politics.)

* Best New Blogs: I posted some of the ones I know and read here.

* Most Deserving of Wider Recognition: The Blend is nominated in this category again (it made it to the semis last year).

* Best Post: Believe it or not, two of my posts made it: Skin and the Color of Money and Letter from Peter LaBarbera.

Have fun reading the best of the lefty blogosphere; there are so many worthy nominees in these groups.

Voting will not begin until all the of the noms in all categories are posted. Next set of nominations to be announced will be for Most Humorous Post.

Wal-mart executive pig at the trough

It's not enough to make a million dollars a year at a company that screws its workforce over. Here's a guy -- a vice chairman, no less -- who stole cash, merchandise, and freaking gift cards from the House that Sam built.

Maybe he can pass some of that booty around when he's in the clink making friends and influencing people. (CNN):
Tom Coughlin, 57, faces a maximum of 28 years in prison after pleading guilty to five counts of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. He also could be fined $1.35 million.

...Wal-Mart lawyers referred Coughlin to federal prosecutors after discovering Coughlin had embezzled money from the company and used expense vouchers to buy products as varied as snakeskin boots, hunting trips and Bloody Mary mix. They estimated losses at up to $500,000.

...In federal court, Coughlin spoke only when he was asked questions by U.S. District Judge Robert Dawson. Afterward, defense lawyers issued a statement in which Coughlin accepted responsibility for "serious personal mistakes in judgment."

...Coughlin specifically admitted:

* Falsifying a travel expense voucher to pay $700 allegedly for travel and meeting expenses, but which was actually for the care of Coughlin's hunting dogs.

* Using a false invoice for $6,500 to pay for a private hunting lease.

* Using a false expense statement to cover $2,695 for upgrades to his 1999 Ford truck, which he claimed as reimbursement for meeting expenses.

* Using fraudulently obtained gift cards to pay for a cooler, two cases of Smirnoff, two cases of Miller Light beer, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a carton of tequila, and other items from a Sam's club in Joplin, Missouri.

* Using a false invoice to receive a check for $3,100 that was cashed for his personal use.

* Filing a false tax return.
Oh, by the way, did you know that this loser also received a $3 million bonus, and holds $20 million in Wal-Mart stock?

Hat tip, Holly.

Women in uniform die to avoid rape by fellow soldiers

Where is the humanity? This story makes me sick to my stomach. And, big surprise, the military wanted to cover it all up.
Last week, Col. Janis Karpinski told a panel of judges at the Commission of Inquiry for Crimes against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration in New York that several women had died of dehydration because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being assaulted or even raped by male soldiers if they had to use the women's latrine after dark.

The latrine for female soldiers at Camp Victory wasn't located near their barracks, so they had to go outside if they needed to use the bathroom. "There were no lights near any of their facilities, so women were doubly easy targets in the dark of the night," Karpinski told retired US Army Col. David Hackworth in a September 2004 interview.

It was there that male soldiers assaulted and raped women soldiers. So the women took matters into their own hands. They didn't drink in the late afternoon so they wouldn't have to urinate at night. They didn't get raped. But some died of dehydration in the desert heat, Karpinski said.
Karpinski, who was in charge at Abu Ghraib, said that the former senior US military commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, was the one who gave orders to cover up the cause of death of these soldiers. Sanchez, you might recall is a piece of work.
Sanchez is no stranger to outrageous military orders. He was heavily involved in the torture scandal that surfaced at Abu Ghraib. Sanchez approved the use of unmuzzled dogs and the insertion of prisoners head-first into sleeping bags after which they are tied with an electrical cord and their are mouths covered.
These women in uniform were willing to die for their country -- and what it should stand for. How humiliating and horrible it must have been to know that your fellow soldiers saw you as nothing more than a vessel for their violent, depraved needs? The enemy was within the barracks, and they felt they had nowhere to turn.

Will Rumsfeld be commenting on this? Right now, the Pentagon knows the problem is severe, but have you seen anything in the MSM?

Hat tip, Shakes Sis.

Oscar noms

Here are all the nominations...

Brokeback Mountain's up for eight. (AP):
The cowboy love story "Brokeback Mountain" led the Academy Awards field Tuesday with eight nominations, among them best picture and honors for actor Heath Ledger and director Ang Lee.

Also nominated for best picture were the Truman Capote story "Capote"; the ensemble drama "Crash"; the Edward R. Murrow chronicle "Good Night, and Good Luck"; and the assassination thriller "Munich."

...Along with best-actor contender Ledger, and directing nominee Lee, "Brokeback Mountain" scored nominations for Michelle Williams as supporting actress, Jake Gyllenhaal as supporting actor and Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana for their screenplay adaptation of Annie Proulx's short story.

Director Lee said he was gratified at the reception both homosexual and heterosexual audiences have given "Brokeback Mountain," which has proven a steady box-office draw across the country.

"I didn't know there were so many gay people out there. Everywhere, they turn up," Lee said. "More importantly, I think I'm amazed how people everywhere have had the sensitivity to want to get into the complexity of the issue, the probability of love, the illusion of love, all those things. It's not simple things you can categorize as right or wrong."

A towering figure is gone

Coretta Scott King has passed away. The civil rights matriarch suffered a stroke and heart attack last year, and was last seen publicly just a couple of weeks ago.

This loss is so great because Mrs. King was an advocate for civil rights who believed that phrase was inclusive -- those of us in the LGBT family knew that she was on our side. While other figures in the civil rights movement, including Coretta's daughter Bernice, have chosen exclusion, demonization, and marginalization of gays and lesbians, Coretta Scott King stood regally and spoke eloquently about why discrimination of any kind is wrong.
The following are the remarks made by Coretta Scott King at the opening plenary session of the 13th annual Creating Change conference, organized by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, in Atlanta on November 9, 2000.

I think we all need a few days to recuperate from the stress-filled election we have just experienced, but not much more, because we have a lot more work to do in our common struggle against bigotry and discrimination.

I say “common struggle” because I believe very strongly that all forms of bigotry and discrimination are equally wrong and should be opposed by right-thinking Americans everywhere. Freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation is surely a fundamental human right in any great democracy, as much as freedom from racial, religious, gender, or ethnic discrimination.

My husband, Martin Luther King Jr., once said, “We are all tied together in a single garment of destiny…an inescapable network of mutuality.… I can never be what I ought to be until you are allowed to be what you ought to be.” Therefore, I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.

In addition to this fundamental moral principle, there is a very practical reason why people involved in human rights should support each other and work together. And that reason is that the whole of us united makes us stronger than the sum of our parts. This principle of synergy is eloquently summed up in the equation “One plus one equals three.” In other words, there are things we achieve together that we can’t achieve separately.

In a way, we have just had an object lesson in the power of coalition unity. And I think we have just seen the future of American democracy flash before our eyes last Tuesday. The coalition that gave Al Gore a popular majority can surely be as powerful as the New Deal coalition that transformed America in an earlier era.

So what comes next for the NGLTF, the King Center, and indeed all organizations working for human rights and social justice must be a new emphasis on working together in coalitions. With this commitment, we can pass comprehensive hate crimes legislation and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and secure full funding for AIDS research, prevention, and treatment. We can defend affirmative action and support a broad range of common legislative and policy priorities.

It is encouraging that we have seen more gay and lesbian candidates elected to political office. It is important for lesbian and gay officeholders and their constituencies to achieve greater visibility as supporters of laws that benefit the entire community. I think this will help educate the American public that lesbian and gay people seek the same goals of quality education for young people, cleaner air and water, safe streets and better health care that straight people want. We have to work harder for the broader vision of the compassionate and caring society that demands decent living standards for all citizens.

Now that the election is finally behind us, we must turn our full attention to building a tightly knit coalition of human rights groups that can act swiftly and effectively for needed policy reforms. Let’s make this first decade of the 21st century an era of unprecedented expansion in freedom and democracy.

And as we work for needed reforms, we must also look ahead to the next elections, mindful that we need more people of color in America’s federal, state, and local political institutions. And we also need more women and more lesbian and gay officeholders as well. This is how we make our political institutions reflect the diversity of the American people.

Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., walks a picket line with others to protest apartheid in South Africa, in this Nov. 29, 1984 file photo, at the South African Embassy in Washington. King, who turned a life shattered by her husband's assassination into one devoted to enshrining his legacy of human rights and equality, has died, former mayor Andrew Young told NBC Tuesday, morning, Jan. 31, 2006. She was 78. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi, File)

In closing, my friends, I just want to say that I’m proud to stand with you today as we build a great new American coalition for freedom and human rights for all people. Despite the formidable challenges we face, I believe that we will succeed in creating a more compassionate and just society.

I’ll conclude my remarks tonight with a few words spoken by Martin Luther King Jr. at the National Press Club in July of 1962. The 38 years that have come and gone since then have done nothing to diminish the relevance of his remarks. Indeed, they seem particularly appropriate to the challenge we face today.

“We are simply seeking,” said Martin, “to bring into full realization the American dream—a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men no longer argue that the color of a man’s skin determines the content of his character; the dream of a land where everyone will respect the dignity and worth of the human personality—this is the dream. When it is realized, the jangling discords of our nation will be transformed into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood, and men everywhere will know that America is truly the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

With this faith, sisters and brothers, let us work together with renewed passion and commitment to create the beloved community of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, where all people can live together in a spirit of trust and understanding, harmony, love, and peace.
Who will step forward to fill this aching void? Who will be the shepherd of the true movement for civil equality?

* biography of Coretta Scott King at The King Center site.

Wicked ISP

It looks like sad sack AOL is now going to be targeted by the insane religious whack jobs. Here is the actual banner headline over at WingNutDaily this AM, easily a major candidate for the Batsh*ttery Award of the day. The article grows more unhinged as you keep reading.

Is new AOL IM slogan marketing blasphemy?
'I AM' pitch takes God's name in vain, say some shocked critics
America Online is now acting like God - using what some consider to be His very name in a marketing pitch for e-mail, voice chat, video chat, instant messaging, text messaging and other forms of communication.

AIM's new slogan is "I AM."

[Ian] Millar wonders is any of AOL's marketing and planning directors ever went to Christian Sunday school or attended Jewish services. He points out to AOL executives that "I AM" is the English translation of YaHWeH, the self-proclaimed name of God.

"He is the Creator and Savior of the world," explains Millar. "He alone is to be worshipped. To take His name in vain, or use as a common thing is blasphemy, a vulgar sin of offense. Perhaps you have not read the Third Commandment, since they have removed it from so many public monuments in the last decade. But breaking it as a means of marketing your products offends the mind of everyone who worships Him."

...Millar suggests that perhaps AOL is in need of more religious diversity in its corporate ranks. But he suggests that such oversights would seem implausible in a country "where the Judeo-Christian culture has been pervasive for 300 years."

"You must immediately change the name of your program," he told Jonathan Miller, the chief executive officer of America Online, and John Buckley, corporate communications officer for the company, in a pointed letter. I can assure you that you will lose business over this marketing tactic from people who worship the Almighty. But worse, you have offended Him by your actions; whether they are deliberate or ignorant. To treat as common the name of God is wicked. God is patient, but mankind is today making an error of epic proportions by the deliberate actions of mocking the Almighty; particularly in the technologically advanced society. His patience with the mockery of mankind will come to an end."
An "error of epic proportions"? My god. I'm sure the AOL folks will get right on this... OK. Maybe this is just some random nutcase spouting off, right? Uh oh, take a look at this WND poll:

Actually, here's another reason why AOL is hell-bound for these folks, from last October...

Time Warner's America Online has hired Mary Cheney, the daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, an AOL spokesman confirmed on Tuesday. Mary Cheney will work closely with Ted Leonsis, vice chairman of America Online and head of the unit whose function it is to increase AOL's Internet audience via Web-based programming and products, AOL spokesman Nicholas Graham said.

...Mary Cheney recently worked as an aide to her father. A high-profile lesbian [only when it pays], she previously served as gay community liaison for Coors Brewing, which had been criticized for making donations to critics of gay rights.

Despite attempts to keep Mary Cheney out of the news, the subject of her sexuality came up during several debates in the 2004 presidential race when candidates were questioned about their stance on gay rights. The vice president had previously tried to stay quiet on the subject.

AOL has long been a leader in promoting gay-friendly policies and practices, including offering same-sex domestic partners and their children the same benefits as non-gay couples, Graham said.

While I was over at WND, I had to snare this priceless, unrelated headline.

Gay-straight alliances targeted by Virginia bill

Monday, January 30, 2006

Ebbin, Lohr. The latter wants to dissolve the alliances: "Whether it be homosexual or heterosexual, school is just not the place to be talking about sexual activity."

The gay-bashing just keeps on coming in Tim Kaine's state. Now the batsh*t homophobes are going after gay-straight alliances, claiming they "promote teen sex." Poor openly gay delegate Adam Ebbin (D-Arlington). He's got his hands full battling these clowns in the legislature. (365gay):
[Harrisonburg Del. Matthew] Lohr's House Bill 1308 would authorize school boards to prohibit the use of school facilities by any student club that promotes sexual activity among unmarried students.

It would essentially dissolve the gay-straight alliances, which typically meet on school grounds, said Dyana Mason, head of Equality Virginia.

The bill won preliminary House approval Monday, and could go before the Senate this week. An identical bill introduced last session easily glided through the House on a 95-0 vote. That bill later died in Senate committee, Lohr said. Monday, lawmakers appeared split over the bill, some arguing it unfairly singled out gay groups while others countered the legislation targeted no one.

"This bill is not aimed at one particular group," Lohr told House members. "The intent is to give local school boards more control over the types of groups which use the buildings."

But when pressed by Falls Church Democratic Del. James Scott about which groups could be interpreted as addressing sexual issues, Lohr referred to a situation involving a Chesterfield County gay-straight student alliance last year. In that case, Lohr said school officials canceled a planned book signing by a gay author after it was learned the author would be including a steamy novel about gay fraternity sex. Lohr argued school officials should have been able to quash the group entirely.

...But gay-straight alliances are focused on helping teens sort out their sexuality — not telling them how to act on it, argued Ebbin, the state's first openly gay House member. "What troubles me is the targeting of student groups because they (acknowledge) the idea that gay people exist," he said.

Massachusetts dominatrix acquitted

"Mistress Lauren M" walks away from a manslaughter charge; prosecutor Robert Nelson put on gear in order to re-enact the deadly bondage session during the trial.

She got off (uh huh huh, Beavis, you said "got off"). Do you think we will see outrage from Concerned Women for America about this? Maybe a pithy quote from Daddy Dobson? Yawn. It looks like there was some seriously bad police work in this case.
A dominatrix was acquitted of manslaughter Monday in the death of a man who prosecutors say suffered a heart attack while strapped to a replica of a medieval rack.

Barbara Asher, a 56-year-old woman who called herself Mistress Lauren M, was also cleared of dismembering the man's corpse to conceal the death. Prosecutors said that 53-year-old Michael Lord suffered a heart attack in 2000 during a bondage session in a "dungeon" in Asher's condominium.

Asher was accused of doing nothing to help him for five minutes, fearing authorities would discover her business. Asher had her boyfriend chop up the body of the 275-pound retired telephone company worker, and they dumped it behind a restaurant in Maine, prosecutors said.

His remains have not been found. Prosecutors said Asher confessed to police, but the alleged confession was not taped. Investigators testified they did not save their notes.
Hat tip Holly.

Another homo-bigot politician's closet door will be flung open

BlogActive has announced that another homo-hypocrite on the Hill will be exposed...
Mr. Senator:

Tomorrow you will be faced with a vote that may have the longest aftereffects of any other you have cast in your Senate career.

Tomorrow you will decide if your political position is worth more than doing what is right for others like you. For others like you, Mr. Senator, who engage in oral sex with other men. (Although, Mr. Senator, most of us don't do in the bathrooms of Union Station!) Your fake marriage, buy the way, will NOT protect you from the truth being told on this blog.

How does this blog decide who to report on? It's simple. We report on hypocrites. In this case, hypocrites who vote against the gay and lesbian community while engaging in gay sex themselves*.

When you case that vote, Mr. Senator, represent your's the least you could do.

Michael Rogers
Folks are already speculating about who it might be in the comments of Mike's post, as well as in a DKos diary. Some of the usual suspects are coming up.

Filibuster DOA

Defeated 72-25. Alito will be confirmed, folks. As Margo Channing said -- "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night." Only it's going to be the beginning of a long-ass series of bumpy days and nights. Hope no one else on the Supreme Court retires or kicks it.

From the desk of Sam Brownback

HRC fired off a letter to the office of proudly anti-gay Kansas Senator Sam Brownback after his "fruits" remark in the Rolling Stone interview (my post here):
"You look at the social impact of the countries that have engaged in homosexual marriage." He shakes his head in sorrow, thinking of Sweden, which Christian conservatives believe has been made by "social engineering" into an outer ring of hell. "You'll know 'em by their fruits," Brownback says. He pauses, and an awkward silence fills the room. He was citing scripture -- Matthew 7:16 -- but he just called gay Swedes "fruits."
This is what Sam's office released today.


WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today issued the following statement concerning his recent comments in Rolling Stone magazine about same-sex marriage in Sweden:

“When quoting Matthew 7:16, ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits,’ I was in no way referring to sexual orientation.

“While this biblical passage was pertinent to our overall conversation about faith and deeds, it apparently led the writer to believe I was making a joke; I was not and would never do so with such a personal and sensitive issue."
That said, Brownback didn't have any response to these gems...
* Does he fully support the beliefs of his chief of staff, Robert Wasinger, who wrote in a campus magazine funded by the Heritage Foundation, that the "innocent sperm" of gay men are, "forced to swim into feces?"

* What about a comment on his opposition to the federal hate crimes bill and that its passage would lead to the eventual criminalization of Christianity.

* And what about that $42,000 funneled to him by Jack Abramoff? How does that fit in his moral world view?
Visit The Anti-Sam Brownback Blog

Blend featured on Situation Room today

I just happened to be typing along here with CNN's "The Situation Room" (the 4PM hour) on in the background and Wolf was talking about "liberal activists on the warpath" blasting Hillary Clinton and the selection of Tim Kaine by the Dems to deliver the SOTU response tomorrow. I happened to look up just in time to see blog reporter Jackie Schechner punching up some of the sites in question, and up pops the Blend, lol.

It was onscreen for maybe 3 seconds, showing one of my Kaine posts, Spineless leadership. She also brought up The Moderate Voice during the review.

Homo-bigot of the day: Washington 'activist' boob Tim Eyman

He's known in his parts as a "professional initiative promoter."

Washington's Governor, Christine Gregoire, plans to sign the new anti-discrimination bill into law tomorrow morning, and one wingnut is incensed. Tim Eyman filed an initiative today to repeal the gay-rights bill, which passed Friday in the state Senate. According to this article, the AmTaliban groups plan to get behind this turd to take the matter to a public vote. (The Olympian via PageOneQ):
The longtime initiative promoter said in an e-mail to supporters and the media late Sunday, “Politicians aren’t thinking about what the voters want. Let the voters decide.”

“Politicians are deciding based on special interest group pressure and their own re-election calculations,” Eyman added. “The voters have watched this disgusting display of arrogance and selfishness for weeks. The issue has become hopelessly politicized.”

“It’s sad. It’s appalling. It’s anti-American,” state Sen. Karen Fraser, D-Thurston County, said late Sunday when told of Eyman’s latest ballot proposal. “It’s bullying, and it’s a money-making scheme for his organization. It looks like he expects to make a lot of money from bullying innocent people. I think everybody should decline to sign.”

[Democratic Rep. Sam] Hunt expressed outrage over the proposal. “Tim Eyman, have you no shame?” Hunt said. “Eyman is stooping to a new low just to line his pockets and get a mailing list of bigots."
It appears that a padded cell is in order for this guy. Seriously. Look at this post from local blogger Rich of Eye on Olympia:
It was "a dream come true" for his critics, initiative promoter Tim Eyman joked Thursday: the sight of him and two key associates shuffling in jail jumpsuits, handcuffs and leg chains before state lawmakers. With duct tape over their mouths.

Another fundraising scandal? No. Just more political theater from the man who once filed an initiative while wearing a rubber gorilla suit. Eyman, Mike and Jack Fagan, Mike Dunmire and other allies were trying to draw attention to a series of bills that would regulate -- or in one case do away with -- citizen initiatives and referenda.
This particular initiative would include language forbidding sexual orientation or sexual preference as a protected class listed in any anti-discrimination statutes. Here's the language via the Spokesman Review:
Let The Voters Decide

Prohibits government-imposed preferential treatment

Complete Text of “Let The Voters Decide” Referendum


NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. The people oppose important public policy changes being made without voter approval. The voters want an open debate where both sides are given the opportunity to have their voices heard and to persuade the voters on the issues involved. And after months of deliberation and discussion, the voters want to have the final say so that the decision can be made without fear of retaliation or intimidation.

The people oppose the government forcing anyone to impose quotas, set-asides, or other preferential treatment for any group. Under this measure, sexual orientation or sexual preference shall not be a specially protected class. The inclusion of this group as a protected class is preferential treatment over other groups not included in this chapter, such as military status, income level, medical history, or political party membership. The people do not support preferential treatment because the people do not want it to be used as a basis for requiring the legalization of same-sex marriage. Also, the people recognize that more lawsuits are not the answer.

Concerning the new law passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported: “The statewide measure would allow people, for the first time, to sue in state court, where damages could be more lucrative.” The article further reports that their new law provides “the ability to sue in state court where recovery could include not just compensatory damages, but punitive damages.” The people know that the Accept-me-or-else-I’ll-sue-you or the Be-nice-to-me-or-else-I’ll-have-you-arrested approach will only increase resentment and conflict among our citizens. This issue has become hopelessly politicized in Olympia. Politicians aren’t thinking about what the voters want. Let the voters decide.

Knight: 'Safe space' posters lead to disease-laden homo-sex

"This is about bullying people and saying you will kneel down and bow to the Baal god of homosexuality -- or we'll make your life very miserable."
-- penis-possessing Bob Knight of Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute, getting his homo-related fix for the week.
Last week I blogged about the safe space poster that was causing all the hubbub out in California's San Leandro Unified School District (SLUSD). The district mandated that teachers display the signs in classrooms to indicate to students that "This is a safe place to be who you are. This sign affirms that support and resources are available for you in this school."

No biggie...well...since we are living in strange, culturally regressing times, it was not surprising that five teachers refused to endorse their classrooms as safe spaces for LGBT/Q youth because to do so would conflict with their religious beliefs.

You knew Bob Knight was going to be all over this. He had to uncover our latest initiative of The Homosexual AgendaTM. His preference is to let the bullying and violence against gay kids continue in the schools, I suppose. I don't see anything on that poster about sexual activity.
He believes [SLUSD superintendent Christine] Lim's talk of safety is cover for the homosexual agenda. "What [such policies] produce is intolerance toward anyone who won't accept homosexuality," he says, adding that in this case, that means "teachers who know that it's not a good thing to sell kids on the idea that it's okay to be gay."

...The CFI spokesman maintains the school district is demonstrating intolerance toward the five teachers who are choosing not to display the posters -- and those teachers, he adds, are courageous for standing up to the mandate. "The school district has no business telling teachers to glorify behavior that has such a long list of known health risks," Knight says. "This ought to be treated as a public health issue -- not a matter of civil rights, as [homosexual activists] like to frame it."

And it is wrong, Knight adds, to force teachers into a situation that implies their approval of an unsafe and unhealthy lifestyle. "When you put a rainbow poster up in your classroom, you're lending the authority of the teacher to the gay-rights movement," he explains. In essence, says Knight, the district is saying: "Kids, go ahead and try this behavior. Even your teacher is for it."
Damn; he's one bright cookie.

Shakes Sis adds a witty, relevant comment on Bob's obsession, and how he might make better use of his time.
All we have to do to cure homosexuality is put up posters endorsing heterosexuality in every classroom, and then all the gay kids will know their teachers are "for" straightness! Eureka! might have thought that all those teachers getting busted having sex with their opposite-sex students might have done the job even better than pro-straight posters.

Study: Bush voters more likely to be racist

I'm trying to muster up some sense of surprise, but as you can imagine, it's quite difficult to be shocked by these findings.

University of Virginia psychologist Brian Nosek and other researchers conducted a study that confirms what we all pretty much assumed. Unfortunately, the study doesn't investigate the complexities of "why" folks who vote Repug are more likely to be racist. Anecdotally, of course I'm sure we can come up with a boatload of reasons. (WaPo):
For their study, Nosek, Banaji and social psychologist Erik Thompson culled self-acknowledged views about blacks from nearly 130,000 whites, who volunteered online to participate in a widely used test of racial bias that measures the speed of people's associations between black or white faces and positive or negative words. The researchers examined correlations between explicit and implicit attitudes and voting behavior in all 435 congressional districts.

The analysis found that substantial majorities of Americans, liberals and conservatives, found it more difficult to associate black faces with positive concepts than white faces -- evidence of implicit bias. But districts that registered higher levels of bias systematically produced more votes for Bush.

"Obviously, such research does not speak at all to the question of the prejudice level of the president," said Banaji, "but it does show that George W. Bush is appealing as a leader to those Americans who harbor greater anti-black prejudice."

...Jon Krosnick, a psychologist and political scientist at Stanford University, who independently assessed the studies, said it remains to be seen how significant the correlation is between racial bias and political affiliation.

For example, he said, the study could not tell whether racial bias was a better predictor of voting preference than, say, policy preferences on gun control or abortion. But while those issues would be addressed in subsequent studies -- Krosnick plans to get random groups of future voters to take the psychological tests and discuss their policy preferences -- he said the basic correlation was not in doubt.

"If anyone in Washington is skeptical about these findings, they are in denial," he said. "We have 50 years of evidence that racial prejudice predicts voting. Republicans are supported by whites with prejudice against blacks. If people say, 'This takes me aback,' they are ignoring a huge volume of research."
Hat tip, Raw Story.

Tar Heel gay couple protests marriage inequality by refusing to pay taxes

"By not paying taxes, this is a deliberate act of civil disobedience towards a President that wants to make an amendment to the Constitution to only allow marriage between a man and woman, rather than two people who love each other, and that discriminates against us as full citizens of the United States."
-- Hendersonville, NC resident Charles Merrill
A Tar Heel couple decides to take a stand on marriage inequality here. NC does not a state amendment pending (we do have a DOMA in place). I'm sure folks in the states who will be facing an amendment on the ballot this fall will be thinking of following suit. (PRNewswire):
Charles Merrill, a 71-year-old artist, and his partner Kevin Boyle, have announced they will not pay Federal or North Carolina Income Tax on over two million dollars worth of stock sales and income for 2004, because of unfair discrimination in the Federal and State Income Tax Codes.

Merrill said, "I have no intention of paying Federal and State Income taxes because my same sex partner and I cannot be legally married and receive the same tax benefits as other married couples."

...Charles Merrill and Kevin Boyle are founders of a group called Citizens Against Discrimination. In 1996 they organized and protested an anti-gay resolution in Rutherford County, NC, which caught the attention of national media.
NOTE: I'm not endorsing this, since we all know the IRS, even before it was under the Chimperor's watch, didn't look kindly upon this kind of act of civil disobedience. For homos to do it under this Administration is particularly dicey. Blender (and CPA) Melinda chimed in on this via email:
I realize us gays have few options to protest our second class citizenship, but please be assured that what these folks are doing is *not* an option. The IRS doesn't fuck around with these things. As a CPA of almost 15 years, I can't count the number of times that I've read about the IRS going after tax protester with the usual outcome of serious interest and penalties and, on occaision, even a prision sentence. Usually, the protesters are of the ilk that try and frame their non filings by false statements such as "Congress never ratified the Federal Tax amendment", or some such nonesense.

Now, you might fly under their radar if you don't draw attention to yourself and try this tactic, but I guarantee these people will get their asses nailed to the wall on this - especially since there are significant dollars involved. I just hope that they don't get others thinking that this is a good way to protest the gross unfairness that is happening in this country.

Boning up for SOTU

Actual caption: US President George W. Bush listens to a reporter's question during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, 26 January 2006. Bush's State of the Union speech is his best chance to shape the debate on difficult issues like Iraq ahead of critical November legislative elections.(AFP/File/Jim Watson)

and this one for extra credit (fight the nausea):

U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis "Sexy" Hastert (R-IL) (R) while answering questions from the media about developing a plan for comprehensive lobbying reform on Capitol Hill while standing next to (politically closeted) Rep. David Dreier (R-CA). REUTERS/Larry Downing

Feel free to caption...

Arizona: You can visit, but you won't want to stay

Cities and communities in Arizona are courting gay travel dollars, but the welcome only goes so far. (365gay):
Phoenix, Tempe and other Arizona communities are reportedly preparing to launch ad campaigns designed at attracting LGBT tourism. City tourism officials are preparing to sit down with the Greater Phoenix Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to map out a strategy, the Arizona Republic reports.

The chamber already offers an 89-page guide for gay visitors. Tempe has already launched its gay marketing campaign. The strategy began three years ago when the Tempe Convention & Visitors Bureau began to research the gay market. The bureau later joined with area hotels and launched a gay tourism web site and an ad campaign in the gay media.

The gay travel market is worth an estimated $65 billion annually.
That said, this is also a state that bans same-sex marriage, and has an amendment up this year. Its text:
To preserve and protect marriage in this state, only a union between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage by this state or its political subdivisions and no legal status for unmarried persons shall be created or recognized by this State or its political subdivisions that is similar to that of marriage.

Bush-humping McCain and Protect Marriage Arizona chair Lynn Stanley smile with glee in support of the petitions in support of the gay-bashing amendment.

Why should gay people from around the country spend any hard-earned money in a state that is going to vote to make its own gay residents second-class citizens? At this point, polls show that folks aren't completely sold on the amendment because of its restrictions on partnership rights, but the wingers are working hard. (AZ Republic, in Sept 2005):
The poll of 390 voters done last week found that 60 percent are likely to oppose the Protect Marriage Arizona initiative if it makes the November 2006 ballot. Only 33 percent said they would vote for it, and the other 7 percent were undecided.
But check out the same paper's polling in October 2005:
A new statewide poll done by The Arizona Republic indicates most voters would support a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, but the survey didn't touch on the most controversial part of the ballot measure: denying benefits to unmarried couples.

The Republic poll of 600 Arizonans found that 57 percent are likely to back an initiative defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman if it makes the November 2006 ballot. Only 37 percent said they would vote against it; 6 percent were undecided. The poll, with a margin of error of about 4 percentage points, says the idea of a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriages is popular with voters when not linked to wording that may prohibit cities, towns and counties from giving legal status to unwed couples.
AZ Blenders out there -- what's the state of things now?

It must have come in a revelation

Frist: Gov't Unwanted in End-of-Life Cases. The Senate's doctor in the house has now had a change of heart for some reason. Could it be that the autopsy of Schiavo proved that her doctors were correct -- she had irreversible brain damage, with her brain shriveled to half its normal size, or did Cat Killer Frist just take a poll for 2008 and saw he was on the wrong side of the issue?

The one thing I do know, the fundies won't let him off the hook after this position shift. (AP):
Frist, considered a presidential hopeful for 2008, defended his call for further examinations of the brain-damaged Florida woman during the last days of a bitter family feud over her treatment. Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state.

The case became a rallying point for right-to-life advocates, an important segment of the Republican Party. It also drew interest from those supporting the right to refuse life-sustaining medical treatment and led to charges that the GOP was using a family tragedy for political gain. Asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" if he had any regrets regarding the Schiavo case, Frist said: "Well, I'll tell you what I learned from it, which is obvious. The American people don't want you involved in these decisions."

...Frist, R-Tenn., said in the full Senate that he supported what he called "an opportunity to save Mrs. Schiavo's life." A heart surgeon, Frist had viewed video ordered by a court and taken by a board-certified neurologist who had concluded she was not in a persistent vegetative state.

Ang Lee, DGA director of the year

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Great news.
Ang Lee was named filmmaker of the year by his peers, winning the Directors Guild of America award for the epic romance "Brokeback Mountain."

The win affirms Lee's position as favorite for best director at the Academy Awards on March 5. He has captured more than 10 honors for his work on the film, which follows a 20-year forbidden love affair between two Wyoming ranch hands. Oscar nominations will be announced Tuesday.

The Directors Guild award is one of Hollywood's best barometers for the Academy Awards. Only six times in the 57-year history of the Guild honors has the winner failed to go on to win the directing Oscar.

Dem lobbyist to left blogosphere: generate money and shut your piehole

Here's a real bottom-line statement from a Democratic lobbyist, and it speaks volumes:
"The bloggers and online donors represent an important resource for the party, but they are not representative of the majority you need to win elections."
-- Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic lobbyist who advised Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.
You have to read this WaPo piece, Blogs Attack From Left as Democrats Reach for Center, which is where the above shite quote came from. I've been talking about this crap for a good long time now re: gay rights -- they want our queer bucks and our silence and endless "patience" as they tilt the party rightward.

This dishonesty was barely hidden beneath the surface during the 2004 race and, as you can see from the above quote, it's out there stark naked before us now as the 2006 races heat up. This "bend over, you've got nowhere else to go" mentality is as bad as the Right's plan to drag out the gay boogeyman again for this election cycle.

As a progressive, the feeling of being continually used in this manner makes my blood boil because it expands to so many issues we've thought about as core values of the party (e.g reproductive freedom, the environment, the economy, social justice, etc.). The Dems are publicly abandoning (or hiding from) anything resembling novel thinking in their quest to become Republican-lite. They've decided that learning how to frame core issues is just too much work for them. Just water down the GOP playbook a tad and (hopefully) slide into office.

As you can see, weasel Elmendorf (who, by the way, is also an openly gay man) and the rest of the tired Democratic infrastructure in Washington hates the lefty blogosphere overall, except as a tool. The establishment is just that -- established -- and they want to stay that way, rocking no boats, sitting on new ideas generated from the netroots.

These folks cannot handle the level of public scrutiny, instant analysis and questioning about the quite obvious lack of risk-taking coming from those in leaderships roles in the party. They do not like to be called out to explain what core issues they stand for, because they know today's core value is about as firm as the next focus group or poll of the NASCAR set. Blogs expose that duplicity, and that's what has the spineless elements of the party riled up.
These activists -- spearheaded by battle-ready bloggers and making their influence felt through relentless e-mail campaigns -- have denounced what they regard as a flaccid Democratic response to the Supreme Court fight, President Bush's upcoming State of the Union address and the Iraq war. In every case, they have portrayed party leaders as gutless sellouts.

...The blogs-vs.-establishment fight represents the latest version of a familiar Democratic dispute. It boils down to how much national candidates should compromise on what are considered core Democratic values -- such as abortion rights, gun control and opposition to conservative judges -- to win national elections.

Many Democrats say the only way to win nationally is for the party to become stronger on the economy and promote a centrist image on cultural values, as Kaine did in Virginia and as Bill Clinton did in two successful presidential campaigns.

The new twist in this debate is the Web, which in recent election cycles emerged as a powerful political force, one expected to figure even more prominently as more people get high-speed connections and turn to the Internet for news and commentary. Unlike the past, the "pressure is conveyed through a faster, better organized, more insistent medium," said Jim Jordan, a Democratic strategist.
Any Dem politician who toes the Elmendorf line should not get a dime from anyone in the netroots. Period. If all we represent are money-machines and virtual foot soldiers, I call bullsh*t. No more of that. If a candidate cannot make civil equality or the protection of reproductive freedom a core value that they are willing to publicly defend, then what is the point of being a Democrat? What good does it do to win an election if the politician cannot stand up to the wingnuts, or worse, votes on our core issues just like a wingnut so it can be touted in their next race? The end result is the same to those of us directly affected by the cowardice.

Jim VandeHei, in the WaPo article, accurately portrays the netroots left as being in the same state of the right wing of the Republican party back when its influence was nascent.
The closest historic parallel would be the talk-radio phenomenon of the early 1980s, when conservatives -- like liberals now -- felt powerless and certain they did not have a way to voice their views because the mainstream media and many of their own leaders considered them out of touch. Through talk radio, often aired in rural parts of the country on the AM dial, conservatives pushed the party to the right on social issues and tax cuts.
Blogs and online communities provide an effective way to counter party drift, in some ways, in other ways the influence is minimal. The progressive wing may be out in the wilderness for now, but don't expect us to stay silent (or allow ourselves to be fleeced) any longer.

Sorry for the above disarray, it just all spilled out because of the rage.


Shakes Sis posts on yet another example of the problem. Dem Senator Barak Obama is the latest to get a queasy tummy about the prospect of a filibuster.
I know there’s a big chance of a filibuster backfiring because the Dems will be tagged as obstructionists and, quite frankly, they haven’t done enough work in getting out the message that there are very good reasons to filibuster Alito on behalf of voters. And I agree that the best way to ensure that rightwing douchebags don’t get nominated to the Supreme Court is to win elections.

But, on the other hand, part of what the Democrats need to do to win elections is reassert their commitment to liberal values. Yes, the media proactively supports the GOP, which makes it infinitely harder for the Dems’ message to get out, but the Dems need to share some of the blame for being seen as a mixed-message party. They have largely supported the war and the Patriot Act, they allowed Bush to claim bipartisan victories on some big legislation like the bankruptcy bill and bipartisan support for many of his nominees, including Alberto Gonzales, Condi Rice, and John Roberts, and many of the most prominent Dems are public triangulators, like Hillary Clinton, aligning themselves with such conservative legislation as flag-burning amendments. At some point, the Dems are going to need to take a stand against the GOP and their attempt to obliterate all liberal principles and actors from governance. Filibustering Alito’s nomination is drawing that line in the sand. Or at least it should be.
And Shakes Sis responds to my post here.


John at Americablog opposes the filibuster, and I understand his reasoning; it's hard for me to muster up any energy for the fight either. It's frustrating.

All the efforts now at the Netroots are struggling because because of Dem inaction and lack of preparation when the battle for SCOTUS has been clear from the outset. Continuing the theme here, we need better leadership in the Democratic party and in the advocacy groups that are only interested in the status quo. We aren't going to get core values back on the table by playing nice -- and we're not just talking about the Alito battle. John (my emphasis):
Far too many in the Netroots think that the choice before us is fighting for this filibuster or doing nothing. And in the grand scheme of things, they're tired, we're all tired, of sitting back and watching the Democratic party do nothing. Therefore they're excited to at least try the filibuster because at least they're doing something. I hear ya.

...But, you need to recognize that those are not the only two options available to us. There's a third. Destroy the Senate Democrats who did nothing to launch a REAL campaign to convince the American people that Alito must be defeated. Destroy the traditional non-profit advocacy groups who took our millions of dollars and did NOTHING to launch a real campaign to win the public to our side. And go after the rich donors who continue to enable these failed Democratic politicians and these failed advocacy groups like some addict who only needs one more fix, then promises he'll get better. If we do not go after them, if we do not force them to change or get out of the way, the same problem, the same failure, the same ineffectiveness will continue to plague our party and our movement, with no change in sight.

We have a choice. We have the ability to make change in our party. We have the power to make the Democrats stand up and fight like real Americans for real principles in a way that shows how fierce and tough and committed we can be.

TCF turns three

Happy Blogiversary to That Colored Fella (who's also a Big Brass Blog contributor)!

Jeb's faith-based prisons

Florida has no scientific study to back up claims that inmates attending church lowers the number of disciplinary actions or has affected recidivism rates, never mind all the dicey church/state separation issues.

I wonder how the fundies feel about Wicca and Scientology being among the "supported" religions in these prisons? (ABC):
Florida is where nearly half of all felons released end up back in prison within five years. The state's prison system doesn't seem the most likely to enlighten its inmates.

In December 2003, Gov. Jeb Bush converted the medium-security Lawtey Correctional Institution into the nation's first entirely faith-based prison. The governor put his plan into motion by stating "people of all faith, people who believe in a higher power are compelled to take actions in their lives that improve their chances of living a wholesome life that is crime-free."

At Lawtey, 28 different religions are represented — Christianity, Orthodox Judaism, Wicca, Scientology.

...But what about the separation of church and state? Isn't this violating that mandate? Officials at the Florida Department of Corrections say no, because all the religious materials and time devoted to religion come from more than 600 volunteers representing a variety of faiths.

But Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State called this arrangement "constitutional quicksand." Lynn said that "parts of a government cannot be run by religion, and it's just as wrong for the state of Florida to set up, in any way, a faith-based prison as if it were setting up its own faith-based schools, its faith-based fire department or police department."

Fireman for Jeebus.

Since Gov. Bush oversaw the conversion of Lawtey, Florida's Department of Corrections has opened two more faith- and character-based prisons — one for inmates serving long sentences and another that's exclusively for women. The state plans to open as many as 30 more. The state believes that these kinds of programs mean less disciplinary action and lower recidivism, but no scientific study has proved anything of that nature.

Spineless leadership

Saturday, January 28, 2006

It's painful to continue posting about this, but when the Dems, as well as our supposed lobbying voices in the community, can't find a spine, you have to call it out.

The Washington Blade's Chris Crain has a spot-on column about the spineless Dems and the "new face" of the Party, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine. I have quibbles with Chris from time to time (a big example here), but lately he has been on the mark.

You'll recall my recent rant about the rotten pick of just-inaugurated Kaine to represent the Democratic party's "American values" in the official response to Bush's State of the Union address. He is 'not comfortable' with the language' but will sign off on the heinous marriage amendment when it hits his desk, and where are the gay Democratic organizations? Are they holding his feet to the fire pressuring Kaine to veto it, as it will discriminate against gay and lesbian families, a subset of the "working families" he is attributed with championing?

Certainly, holding the new governor's feet to the fire is warranted, right? The defeatist attitude just blows you away. Chris (with my emphasis):
Not to worry, gay Virginians. You still have plenty of leverage here because Kaine is a Democrat and has aspirations to higher public office. Given the influence gay Democratic groups have within the party, pressure will surely be brought to bear on such an abject betrayal of an important constituency, not to mention the party's historical commitment to civil rights.

Enter Josh Israel, president of the Virginia Partisans Gay & Lesbian Democratic Club, which endorsed Kaine's election. Contacted by the Blade, Israel… well… he didn't exactly call on Kaine to veto the amendment. In fact, he didn't even ask Kaine to pressure the Senate to limit its scope. Instead, Israel begged (apparently from within Uncle Tom's quarters at the plantation, since that term is being bandied about so much these days) the governor to at least make sure the ballot wording is fair.

How's that? The ballot wording? Why not call on him to oppose the measure? Because, according to Israel in a remarkable bit of Orwellian spin, "it's not the governor endorsing this effort when he says he will send it to the ballot. It's just the governor doing his job."

With gay rights activists like that, who needs party hacks?
Maybe the only recourse gay Virginians have is to get the hell out at this point, or perhaps stop paying taxes to a state that is not providing you with adequate representation and basic civil rights as a form of protest. If the folks leading the charge for your rights are folding up the tent, the show is over. It's not much better at the national level either. Empty promises by elected officials who are our allies when they pass the hat around and run for cover when asked to defend us cannot continued to be tolerated.
...The Stonewall Democrats and Virginia Partisans aren't the only gay groups who would much rather brown nose than do the unpopular work of standing up to their political friends. The Log Cabin Republicans have a decidedly mixed record of bucking the GOP, which offers innumerable opportunities on gay issues, obviously. The national gay rights groups similarly waste their energy currying favor and offering political cover to our "friends" rather than leveraging those we can actually influence.

...[T]he issue couldn't be clearer for gay Democratic leaders and the national gay groups. The party that enjoys our votes and our money, and that claims to cherish civil rights, has selected as its "new face" a governor who won't lift a finger to stop the most punitive anti-gay constitutional amendment since Colorado adopted Amendment 2. They should join together to call on Kaine to act and act now, and if he won't he should be stripped from his new role as party spokesmodel.
Exactly. If this is the kind of gay leadership we have to depend on, we're screwed; we're not getting a return on the investment -- on either side of the aisle. We have to expect follow-through from the advocacy groups we give time and money to. We need them to lobby and hold responsible both parties on our behalf in the struggle for civil equality.

Politically closeted lesbian Maryland Senator Mikulski on gay marriage in her state

[UPDATE: Mikulski's against the filibuster re:Alito, more at the end of the post.]

How on earth can a Senator have no opinion on her state's wrestling with the question of gay marriage? Maryland's been in the news for the last week after a judge ruled that an anti-same-sex marriage law violated Maryland's constitutional guarantee of equal rights.

Somehow, Democrat Barbara Mikulski hadn't found time to issue a comment on all the goings-on. As Mike Rogers over at BlogActive notes, Senator Mikulski was outed in the 90s by Queer Nation, but she has managed to keep herself politically closeted.

So, Mike contacted the Senator's office to see if we might have missed Mikulski weighing in on the topic.
I was told by Senator Mikulski's office that there was little chance the Senator would comment since she "usually does not comment on state matters." "Does not comment on state matters?" Is that some kind of fucking joke? Despite her reply, I asked the press spokesperson to ask the Senator -- after all, if there was an "unusual" time this is it.
He finally did get a statement out of her press secretary. Surf over and take a look at the insight and thought Mikulski put into her statement on a major issue being debated in her state.


Mikulski against filibuster

UPDATE: Mikulski, by the way, is one of the Senators georgia10 at DKos has identified that has not announced any support for a filibuster re: Alito. That's an unacceptable position for this Senator, let alone a lesbian elected official, given what a rightward swing in the composition of the Supreme Court could mean for LGBT citizens.

Mikulski's line is here: 202-224-4654. You can find the other spineless Dems at the diary. More from georgia10:
Senators Biden, Nelson, Akaka, Landrieu, Dorgan, and Snowe have stated they would likely not support a filibuster. Not a firm stance, like Chaffee, Salazar, Pryor, and Conrad, so there is reason to  keep calling them.

Some key things to keep in mind:

 Pressure from the blogosphere is working.  We've seen that with Senator Feinstein changing her mind and voting against cloture.  
* Fax. The mailboxes of many Senators are full, as are some of their inboxes. You can fax a filibuster fax to 13 Senators for free over at  Their form targets the following Senators: Barack Obama, Christopher Dodd, Joseph Lieberman, Joseph Biden, Richard Durbin, Evan Bayh, Olympia Snowe, Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Lincoln Chafee and Russell Feingold. Fax numbers for all senators will be listed in the comments.

* Do They Want A President Or A King?: This should be the talking point, for Judge Alito has made it clear the Presidency has no one to answer to but itself.  A vote for Alito is a vote for a man who believes the President can thumb his nose at Congress and at our precious system of checks and balances.

* The American People Oppose Alito.: 56% of Americans say Alito should NOT be confirmed if he will overturn Roe. Alito refused to call Roe "well-settled" law, and has throughout his lifetime taken the legal position that Roe should be eroded and overruled.

* Let our Senators know that a vote for cloture is a vote which silences the will of the American people. And let's see if we can pull off a little weekend miracle...

* 1-888-355-3588 is the toll-free number for the Capitol Switchboard. Fax numbers for all senators are here.

My friends to the north -- a message from Paul Weyrich

Here's a snapshot of WingNutDaily's screaming complimentary headline, analyzing the political state of things in the Great White North:

Weyrich, head of the Free Congress Foundation and The Arlington Group, has a screw loose. Too bad we can't ship him up your way so that he can cuddle with Stephen Harper and his boyz. (Toronto Star):
It turns out Canadians are simply too "liberal and hedonistic" to change political orientation overnight and change will take time, says Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation.

"The people of Canada have become so liberal and hedonistic that the public ethic in the country immediately could not be reversed," Weyrich says in an email analysis to allies. "It will take time. But with leadership it well may be possible to change the public ethic."

The culturally conservative organization compared Harper's victory in Canada to the election of Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, an extreme right-wing, pro-life legislator, to the position of governor of Massachusetts, a liberal state which has legalized gay marriage. [More on Sam "fetus is a citizen" Brownback here.]

Weyrich did not return phone calls to expand on his analysis.

...Weyrich said one Canadian Conservative contact told him Harper had little room to manoeuvre in the new Parliament. "My pessimistic friend said that inasmuch as Harper's is a minority government, Harper could do almost nothing to encourage the country to adopt a more reasonable view of the United States and to correct some premises of Cultural Marxism, which Canadians have espoused, such as same-sex marriage and abortion-on-demand," he wrote.

The solution, he said, would be for Harper to pack the Canadian courts with conservatives.

Alaskan homophobes move to rescind partner rights via constitutional amendment

How homophobic to you have to be to want to roll back basic rights for gays and lesbians that have just been officially recognized? The answer lies in the actions of some horrible politicians in Alaska. These bigots want to amend the state's constitution to prevent even the granting of partner benefits. (Juneau Empire):
Senate Judiciary Chairman Ralph Seekins, R-Fairbanks, told the Legislative Council Thursday evening he has a draft constitutional amendment that could be introduced by his committee as early as next week. A constitutional change would require approval by two-thirds of the House and Senate and approval by a majority of voters in November's election.

The Alaska Supreme Court ruled in October that denying gay couples the same public employee benefits as married couples - life and health insurance, plus retirement and death benefits - violates the Alaska Constitution's equal-protection clause. The court noted that unmarried straight couples also are denied benefits, but they - unlike gay couples - have the option to legally marry.

Bigots: Seekins, Murkowski, Dyson.

Following that ruling, Gov. Frank Murkowski and state Sen. Fred Dyson, R-Eagle River, separately called for changing the state's constitution to strike the ruling. "We have no choice but to defend our actions against an interventionist court that is, in my opinion, hard of hearing," Dyson said Thursday. "We're going to give the people a chance to speak again, this time maybe a little bit louder."

The Legislature in 1996 passed a law that said a same-sex couple is not entitled to the benefits of a married couple, which the Alaska Supreme Court found unconstitutional. In 1998, voters approved an amendment to the state's constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Dyson declined to say what the draft amendment specifically says. He said the debate so far has been whether to expressly ban benefits for unmarried couples or to leave the decision to the state and its political subdivisions.

A Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said he would wait to see what comes to the panel before making a judgment, but he appeared skeptical. "You're going to have a tough time convincing me that this is an issue important enough to require an amendment to the state constitution," said Sen. Hollis French, D-Anchorage.
To add insult to injury, gay Alaskans will have their tax dollars spent by the state on an attorney who will consult with the legislature on how to best handle the language of the amendment -- to ensure homos' second-class citizenship is ironclad.
The Legislative Council on Thursday approved a $50,000 contract for Anchorage attorney Kevin Clarkson to help the Senate Judiciary Committee refine the draft amendment and provide legal assistance and research.

Marsha Buck, a member of the Juneau chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, said the contract meant lawmakers were seeking state money to prove that her 36-year-old daughter is not equal to their own sons and daughters.

"What happened to liberty and justice for all?" Buck said.
Thanks to Blender Michelle for the pointer.

Target pharmacist fired for refusing to dispense morning-after pill

Friday, January 27, 2006

"I believe life begins with two cells and I don't want to be part of the end of that life"
-- former St. Louis-area Target pharmacist Heather Williams, on why she wouldn't fill prescriptions for Plan B
Finally, the red bullseye store makes the right call. If the woman cannot do her job properly and lawfully, she needs find another profession. Williams opposes use of Plan B, or any other emergency contraception, because they can prevent a fertilized human egg from implanting in the uterus.

She got in hot water because she not only declined to fill prescriptions for Plan B, she said that she would have refused to refer the patient to another pharmacist. (St. Louis Today):
Paula Gianino, chief executive of Planned Parenthood for the St. Louis Region, lauds Target’s commitment to fill such prescriptions, and contends that Williams is at fault because of her refusal to refer patients or physicians elsewhere.

“She could refuse to fill the prescription, but she took it to the next level,” Gianino said. “Target has done everything possible to try to fill patients’ health-care needs and accomodate individual pharmacists.”

Said Williams: “I’m not in judgment of anyone. I want my right not to fill something, much as they have their right to get Plan B filled.”

...The matter became an issue among Target pharmacists locally, she said, after last fall’s publicity over an incident at a Target in Fenton, where a pharmacist refused to fill a Plan B prescription. Soon after, Target required its pharmacists to sign a “conscience policy” — in which they agreed to fill or refer such prescriptions.

Williams balked. In her refusal letter to Target, dated Dec. 1, Williams explained that because of the referral requirement, “I would be required to do almost everything except count the pills.”

On Dec. 21, she said that Target’s district pharmacy officials reluctantly told her that her refusal to sign was forcing them to let her go.
Williams has filed a complaint with the EEOC.

* Woman refused emergency contraception at Target

Barbie's Been Busy

Our* favorite crusader for the Government Enforced Procreation™ Movement, Princess Barbie Talibania, just sent me the nicest note to fill me in on all her hard work in Washington DC supporting the Scalito nomination and protesting the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Emphasis in the quotes are mine, just to highlight the slick use of language to frame the debate. Remember, folks, these Religious Reich wingnuts are more looney tunes than Friz Freling's and Chuck Jones' nightmares**, but they are not stupid.
Over the national March for Life weekend, I had the chance to catch up with Bobby Schindler, the brother of the late Terri Schindler-Schiavo. [She never referred to herself with a hyphenated last name when she was conscious. It's interesting that we're all interested in a liberated feminist surname now, huh?] He was doing well. When I asked about his parents, he said they were still mourning their daughter's death. Bobby informed me that Michael Schiavo (Terri's husband who forced her starvation [Not "ended her life", "allowed her to pass", or "granted her wish"]), recently got married to his live-in girl friend of 10 years. [The scoundrel! He's abandoning sinful cohabitation for holy matrimony!]

Nearly 75,000 pro-lifers passed in front of the Supreme Court where the March for Life ends. A huge number of youth joined us for our drum circle for life. It was amazing to see the passion behind this emerging post-roe generation [Shouldn't that be "Roe"? Or is the the generation that eschews fish eggs?]. As teens danced, sang, and played the drums to express their pro-life views, a small number of pro-choice demonstrators were speechless and aghast. Pro-life teens out number pro-choicers by a large margin. [Uh-huh. They usually are, right up until they pull up to the clinic.] It was so evident in this year's march that the Washington Post actually got it right [Because that liberal rag rarely gets anything right.] in this year's coverage.

Senators Kennedy and Kerry are crying for a filibuster [unlike, say, Senator Stevens crying about a bridge... sheesh, the only one crying is Scalito's well-coached wife], but the reality is they probably won't be able to make it happen. Republicans need 60 votes to force a cloture vote on Monday. They have 55 in the Republican Caucus [Isn't a caucus supposed to be a sub-unit of a party?] plus about 9 Democrat votes which puts us over the 60 needed. The vote will probably be early next week.
Gee, how does such an attractive, intelligent, ambitious Christian woman remain an unmarried virgin at age 29? Certainly, one of the manly heterosexual Christian males in the anti-gay movement would have asked her out on a date by now.

The Talibania Chronicles:
Princess Barbie Talibania for Scalito... but he doesn't have any sort of agenda, you know
Brandi's important resolution for 2006
Princess Brandi Talibania goes down by 10,000 votes

OK, not "our", but certainly "my". I've got a strange fascination for outwardly religious attractive blonde virgins. Just something I picked up over the years, somehow...

**Alex, I'll take "Obscure Pop Culture References" for $1,000. (Might as well; Dennis Miller isn't using them anywhere.)

82nd Airborne paratroopers on gay porn site?

[UPDATE: I have located the web site and the owner; details at the end of the post.]

This is just too much. Good grief -- with Don't Ask, Don't Tell; you'd think these NC men in uniform would think twice before dropping trou for a gay porn site. Of course you don't have to be gay to appear on a porn site, so maybe that will be their defense. Unfortunately if they are engaging in any homo activity, that might be a tad hard to explain away when the Pentagon homo police come a callin'. (Durham Herald-Sun):
Army officials are investigating allegations that members of the celebrated 82nd Airborne Division appear on a gay pornography Web site, a spokeswoman said Friday.

Authorities at Fort Bragg have begun an inquiry into whether the paratroopers' actions violated the military conduct code.

Division spokeswoman Maj. Amy Hannah declined to say how many paratroopers are involved or identify their unit within the division. A defense official speaking on condition of anonymity said up to seven soldiers are involved.

... The military-themed Web site does not appear to make any direct reference to the 82nd Airborne or Fort Bragg. The registered owner of the Web site's domain name lists an address in Fayetteville, the city that adjoins Fort Bragg. E-mails to the registered owner were returned Friday as undeliverable, and the phone number listed on the domain-name registration is no longer in service.

...Martha Rudd, an Army spokeswoman at the Pentagon, said soldiers accused of homosexual activity might be removed from their units, although she did not have specific information about the investigation of the 82nd. When asked if the soldiers involved had been moved out of barracks, Hannah declined to comment.

UPDATE: The web site in question is I did some sleuthing, and found more information to go on in a story on this by WRAL-TV (our local ABC affiliate).
The website shows men in sexual situations with other men., saying they're "real military men." The site displays dozens of pornographic pictures and has Fayetteville ties.

The site lists its custodian of records and producer as D. Ashe, and it gives an address along Cain Road. When WRAL went to the address, a young man said it was wrong place and he didn't know anyone with the last name "Ashe."
WRAL, unfortunately, didn't dig very far. All I had to do was Google that info around and found that "D. Ashe" was connected to an operation called "Active Duty Productions." I did a WHOIS for and up popped all the info they needed.

The name of the web site is actually Dink Flamingo's Active Duty. I didn't bother going into the site, mind you. I'm just passing along the information.


Jon at Perrspectives offers this spin:
Defense Department spokesman Todd Vician helpfully noted "we define homosexual conduct as homosexual acts or verbal or nonverbal communication that a member is homosexual."

Conduct unbecoming to American soldiers, however, is just fine with Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan. As you'll recall, Jeff Gannon, the former male escort turned conservative mouthpiece for the right-wing Talon News, was a regular for two years at Bush White House press briefings. Gannon/Guckert left the press gallery only after he was exposed as a faux journalist; the Bush White House apparently had no issue with nude photos of Gannon that appeared on gay, military-themed web sites.

NOTE (2/1): I have an update post here.

This isn't reality TV

But I fully expect this to end up on Law and Order at some point.

Assistant District Attorney Bob Nelson puts on the mask found in defendant Barbara Asher's makeshift 'dungeon' to show the jury how Michael Lord may have died, in Dedham, Mass., Friday, Jan. 27, 2006. Asher is accused of failing to seek medical help for Lord who authorities believe suffered a fatal heart attack during a bondage session. (AP Photo/Gred Derr, Pool)

Frist will bring 'Marriage Protection Act' up for full vote

Since they've got nothing positive to show aside from pork and corruption, the GOP moves to pull out the gay boogeyman for this election cycle. This is getting tired. Raw Story is reporting that Frist is itching to move this to the floor this year for a full vote to drum up the fundies -- again.

Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO), who was a co-sponsor of the 2005 joint resolution, is crowing about it.
"Senator Bill Frist has indicated he will try to bring the Marriage Protection Amendment to a full vote again this year," Allard spokeswoman Angela de Rocha told RAW STORY. "Senator Allard believes that a constitutional amendment is the best way to make it crystal clear that marriage is between a man and a woman."

Senator Frist's office did not return a call seeking comment.

...The November 2004 election saw 11 states -- championed by conservative groups like Focus on the Family -- approve constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage. The concept of the nebulous "moral values" voter emerged as the reason given for the perceived mandate in President George W. Bush's reelection.

Yet what was seen as a moral victory by conservatives soon became a political bargaining tool, one that did very little to affect the stalled status of the once promised amendment that drove so many voters to cast their ballot.

...The public sentiment on same-sex unions differs greatly from the view of conservative groups pushing to amend the constitution. A Pew Research poll conducted in August of last year found that 53 percent of Americans polled supported civil unions, which would confer upon same-sex couples the same rights enjoyed by married couples. Thirty-five percent favored gay marriage.
With that in mind, Raw notes that Karl Rove conspicuously left the marriage amendment off the list of the GOP's agenda for this year when he addressed them at its winter meeting.

All that said, how many Dems are we going to see standing firmly against this? It's nail-biting time all over again.

Did you like the Bush Net Approval Map?

Well, this Kos diarist has just kicked my ass in the mapmaking dept. I bow to my superior!

US held Iraqi women hostage to 'leverage' their husbands into surrender

Remember, they hate us for our freedoms.
(AP) The U.S. Army in Iraq has at least twice seized and jailed the wives of suspected insurgents in hopes of "leveraging" their husbands into surrender, U.S. military documents show.

In one case, a secretive task force locked up the young mother of a nursing baby, a U.S. intelligence officer reported. In the case of a second detainee, one American colonel suggested to another that they catch her husband by tacking a note to the family's door telling him "to come get his wife."

In one memo, a civilian Pentagon intelligence officer described what happened when he took part in a raid on an Iraqi suspect's house in Tarmiya, northwest of Baghdad, on May 9, 2004. The raid involved Task Force (TF) 6-26, a secretive military unit formed to handle high-profile targets.

"During the pre-operation brief it was recommended by TF personnel that if the wife were present, she be detained and held in order to leverage the primary target's surrender," wrote the 14-year veteran officer.

He said he objected, but when they raided the house the team leader, a senior sergeant, seized her anyway.

"The 28-year-old woman had three young children at the house, one being as young as six months and still nursing," the intelligence officer wrote. She was held for two days and was released after he complained, he said.

I think Ann Coulter should be sodomized with a splintered Louisville Slugger

...Though I wonder if it will have enough girth for her to even feel it?

Oh, and that's just a joke, for you in the media.
(CNN) Coulter had told the Philander Smith College audience Thursday that more conservative justices were needed on the Supreme Court to change the current law on abortion.

Stevens is one of the court's most liberal members.

"We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," Coulter said. "That's just a joke, for you in the media."
(Hat-tip to AMERICAblog)

[UPDATE] After doing a little more surfing, I find this quote on the story from Editor & Publisher:
The college president, Walter Kimbrough, had told the audience, that inviting Coulter to speak at the black school made sense because like hip hoppers she is "raw, outspoken, uncensored." He also called her the "conservative answer to rapper Lil' Kim -- [both] attractive and sexy, long-haired blondes. ..."
You mean Coulter is the conservative foul-mouthed spinner who raps about cunnilingus, has been convicted of perjury, conspiracy, and possession of marijuana, and couldn't give two-tenth's of a tick's turd about politics? Or do you mean Kim is a liberal transgendered columnist who eviscerates conservatives, calls for terrorist acts against the judiciary and the free press, and wouldn't know gangta rap from Reynolds' wrap? I'm confused, Walter... but that often happens when I'm presented with false comparisons.

The last part of your comparison is just so easy to refute:

On your left, the long-haired blonde, attractive, voluptuous pint-sized rapper and sex symbol, Lil' Kim. On your right, a long-haired blonde with big hands and a prominent Adam's apple.

After the thought of "Coulter" and "sexy" in the same sentence and the recent revelations about Larry King's Big Chief Suspenderbritches sex outfits, I need some good ol' fashioned American porn to cleanse my perv palate. [type... click... click...] Ah, that's better. Thank you, Mr. Hefner!

Victory in Washington State -- by one vote!

The state's senate passes gay rights bill that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing, lending and employment. I'm sure Ken Hutcherson is about ready to blow his stack. Gov. Christine Gregoire is ready to sign the bill. (Seattle PI):
Rep. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, has championed the legislation for a decade. The openly gay legislator, who waited in the wings for the vote, embraced his partner as the clerk read the vote count.

"I'm very happy," Murray said. "It's a moment of joy." Democrats said the bill was about preventing discrimination. A tearful Majority Leader Sen. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, uncorked champagne in her office to celebrate the occasion.

"The rights of the minority must always be protected," said Sen. Rosa Franklin, D-Tacoma. But polarized views on homosexuality drove emotional debate that was almost identical to that which preceded the vote last year -- when the bill failed by one vote. Sen. Bill Finkbeiner, R-Kirkland, reversed his previous position to turn the tide this year. "This has been a terribly difficult issue for me," said Finkbeiner as he explained his change of heart. "What we are really talking about here is...whether or not it's OK to be gay or homosexual in this state. On whether or not it's appropriate to be discriminating against or to discriminate against someone because of that."

...The rest of the Republicans argued that it promoted immoral behavior, undermined religious freedom and could be seen as Legislative endorsement of gay marriage.

Sen. Bob Oke, R- Port Orchard, said his daughter is a lesbian. He said though the issue has been a long-standing point of conflict in his family but he held his position on the issue and voted against the bill. "That's called tough love," Oke said. "I believe homosexuality is morally wrong," Oke said. "The Bible is very clear on this."
What kind of father is Oke? Good lord.

The New Bill of Rights

In addition to contributing to The Blend, I also contribute to Operation Yellow Elephant, which is run by the master satirist, Jesus' General. The General has a post up today detailing the revised Bill of Rights under the Bush Administration that deserves a read. Here's a taste:
Amendment I

Congress shall make no law without the expressed approval of the executive or his deputy chief of staff. respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia A confident male citizenry, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people white, Christian men to keep and bear arms of very large caliber with long, hardened, masculine barrels, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier fighting keyboarder shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house required to leave his basement for the purpose of procuring Cheetos, without first receiving from his mother, a sum equivalent to the cost of a single family sized or six "Big Grab" bags the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but with the additional funds equivalent to the cost of a six-pack of Mountain Dew and a package of pepperoni in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures is a pre-9/11 concept that is inoperative for as long as the most patriotic citizens continue to wet their pants at the sight of a brown person. shall not be violated, and nNo warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause the whim of the executive or his deputy chief of staff, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the ideological leanings, degree of browness, or resale value of persons or things to be seized.
Mmm, I love the smell of satire in the morning. Smells like... victory!

Sam is the man

Brownback has stated that he will not hire openly gay people. The pious prig is thinking about a presidential run in 2008.

Rolling Stone has a profile of one of the darlings of the fringe Right, the proudly anti-gay Senator from Kansas Sam Brownback. The piece, by Jeff Sharlet, is entitled God's Senator -- Who would Jesus vote for? You get a good feel for this wingnut -- he's the real dangerous deal, a true believer, not a lip-service conservative. For Jeebus's sake, he considers fetuses "citizens." You can't get much more batsh*t conservative than that.
Back in 1994, when Brownback came to Congress as a freshman, he was so contemptuous of federal authority that he refused at first to sign the Contract With America, Newt Gingrich's right-wing manifesto -- not because it was too radical but because it was too tame. Republicans shouldn't just reform big government, Brownback insisted -- they should eliminate it. He immediately proposed abolishing the departments of education, energy and commerce. His proposals failed -- but they quickly made him one of the right's rising stars. Two years later, running to the right of Bob Dole's chosen successor, he was elected to the Senate.

Killer 'fro: unretouched scan of Sam's Kansas State University 1977 yearbook.

...Brownback is not part of the GOP leadership, and he doesn't want to be. He once told a group of businessmen he wanted to be the next Jesse Helms -- "Senator No," who operated as a one-man demolition unit against godlessness, independent of his party. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a man with presidential ambitions of his own, gave Brownback a plum position on the Judiciary Committee, perhaps hoping that Brownback would provide a counterbalance to Arlen Specter, a moderate Republican who threatened to make trouble for Bush's appointees. Instead, taking a page from Helms, Brownback turned the position into a platform for a high-profile war against gay marriage, porn and abortion. Casting Bush and the Republican leadership as soft and muddled, he regularly turns sleepy hearings into platforms for his vision of America, inviting a parade of angry witnesses to denounce the "homosexual agenda," "bestiality" and "murder."

He is running for president because murder is always on his mind: the abortion of what he considers fetal citizens. He speaks often and admiringly of John Brown, the abolitionist who massacred five pro-slavery settlers just north of the farm where Brownback grew up. Brown wanted to free the slaves; Brownback wants to free fetuses. He loves each and every one of them. "Just . . . sacred," he says.

...The nation's leading evangelicals have already lined up behind Brownback, a feat in itself. A decade ago, evangelical support for a Catholic would have been unthinkable. Many evangelicals viewed the Pope as the Antichrist and the Roman Catholic Church as the Whore of Babylon. But Brownback is the beneficiary of a strategy known as co-belligerency -- a united front between conservative Catholics and evangelicals in the culture war. Pat Robertson has tapped the "outstanding senator from Kansas" as his man for president.
This is a long, good article, worth the read. It's frightening. I have to pull a couple of additional fun facts from the article:

* Brownback's chief of staff, Robert Wasinger, wrote in a campus magazine funded by the Heritage Foundation, that the "innocent sperm" of gay men are, "forced to swim into feces."

* Sam is working to defeat a measure that would stiffen penalties for violent attacks on gays and lesbians ,saying the hate-crime bill would lead to the eventual criminalization of Christianity.

* Brownback has received money funneled through Jack Abramoff ($42,000) and blocked a casino that Abramoff's clients viewed as a competitor.

* On gay marriage, which is legal in Sweden: Sam believes is against "natural law" and has been made by "social engineering" into an outer ring of hell. "You'll know 'em by their fruits."

* Sam struggles to square that homosexuality may not be sanctioned by the Bible, but slavery is -- and that he believes Good Book is never wrong. His logic: "the Bible views slavery as a 'person-to-person relationship,' something to be worked out beyond the intrusion of government. But he quickly abandons the argument; calling slavery a personal choice, after all, is awkward for a man who often compares slavery to abortion."

Bring him on for 2008, GOP!

Come to think of it, Sammy would definitely back the pregnant woman who contended the (citizen) fetus inside her womb allowed her to use the HOV lane on the highway (see my earlier post, My fetus is my co-pilot).

UPDATE: Human Rights Campaign fired off a letter to Brownback about his "fruits" comment.

Hat tip, Nate from The Anti-Sam Brownback Blog.

The vegan threat to homeland security

"We believe that spying on American citizens for no good reason is fundamentally un-American, that it's not the place of the goverment or the best use of resources to spy on its own citizens and we want it to stop. We want the spies in our government to pack their bags, close up their notebooks, take their cameras home and not engage in the spying anymore."
-- Gerald Weber of the ACLU of Georgia during a news conference
I'm not kidding. The ACLU of Georgia has released photos and documentation that vegan groups are being monitored as potential threats by the FBI and the DeKalb County Division of Homeland Security. This would almost be amusing if we knew that we were actually any safer, you know, if we actually had the real terrorists in the bag. Even then, there's little humor in the fact that this Administration has given us countless examples of bullsh*t like this that show its complete disregard and respect for our Constitutional rights.

What it's come down to is that government stooges are performing Homeland Security surveillance at f*cking HoneyBaked Ham store protests.

As one of the ACLU attorneys noted in this story, we haven't seen any news about the government mounting surveillance campaigns on attendees at pro-war rallies. Your tax dollars at work, your rights slipping away. (WXIA)
For example, more than two dozen government surveillance photographs show 22-year-old Caitlin Childs of Atlanta, a strict vegetarian, and other vegans picketing against meat eating, in December 2003. They staged their protest outside a HoneyBaked Ham store on Buford Highway in DeKalb County.

Government photos of Caitlin Childs, terrorizing one ham at a time.

An undercover DeKalb County Homeland Security detective was assigned to conduct surveillance of the protest and the protestors, and take the photographs.
As if this BS wasn't bad enough, the surveillance goon didn't know his ass from his elbow. Goodness knows if he had to go up against an actual terrorists.
The detective arrested Childs and another protester after he saw Childs approach him and write down, on a piece of paper, the license plate number of his unmarked government car. "They told me if I didn't give over the piece of paper I would go to jail and I refused and I went to jail, and the piece of paper was taken away from me at the jail and the officer who transferred me said that was why I was arrested," Childs said on Wednesday.

...As for Caitlin Childs' protest against meat eating, the files obtained by the ACLU include the DeKalb County Homeland Security report on the surveillance of Childs and the others. The detective wrote that he ordered Childs to give him the piece of paper on which she had written his license tag number, telling her that he did not want her or anyone else to have the tag number of his undercover vehicle.

The detective did not comment in his report about why his license tag number was already visible to the public.
Hat tip, Raw Story

Bush Boys and NOLA

Scout Prime keeps uncovering more sleazy goings-on with the Bring New Orleans Back (BNOB), one of the committees charged with restoring NOLA. BNOB is the one with ties to Bush, and with that comes the cronyism, corruption and manure-fragrant decisionmaking. Commission members Donald Bollinger and Joe Canizaro, Bush's Boys, are in control.
Canizaro who has been the leading force in the BNOB commission contributed over 1 million dollars to Republicans since 1997. Bollinger, who owns the 3rd largest shipbuilding company in the country, contributed over $130,000.
These two (and Bush) want to derail efforts to pass the Baker bill, use treasury bonds to buy back damaged homes at 60% of equity and then parcels would be packaged and redeveloped. How the Bush Boys and their leader see things is that the government should buy out only 20,000 out of 185,000 homeowners whose homes have been destroyed. Scout:
Without government money it appears they face either......

1) free market forces determining what they will receive

or worse

2) Eminent Domain......"commissioners say, not every neighborhood will be sustainable and there will be a need to use eminent domain to seize some property"

So if you severely limit the number of people to receive a buyout you leave a large number of homes (ie Land) available to be bought up cheap or taken. With that much land on the market at once and sellers needing to sell, it most likely will be very cheap.

Gay panic defense tossed by California Assembly

It's a tactic that rarely wins, but the fact that it has been legally acceptable to attempt to mitigate violent criminal acts using a defendant's homophobia is the reason this ludicrous excuse of a defense should be taken off the table. (365gay):
The California Assembly late Thursday passed legislation to limit the use of the so-called gay panic defense.

If a defense attorney attempted to use the argument that a client committed a crime out of panic because the victim were gay or trans a judge would be required to instruct the jury that the use of societal bias, including so-called "panic strategies," to influence the proceedings of a criminal trial is inconsistent with the public policy of the State of California.

The Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act passed the Assembly on a 45 - 32 vote along party lines. Two members did not vote and 1 member was absent. The bill now moves to the Senate.

Araujo was only age 17.

Araujo was a transgender teenager from Newark, Calif., who was attacked and killed in 2002. Defense lawyers in the trials of her killers claimed their clients acted out of panic after having sex with the teen and then discovering she was born biologically male.

The Assembly bill was authored by Assemblywoman Sally J. Lieber (D-San Jose). "This is a critical step forward in the effort to rid our courtrooms of bias," said Lieber following the vote. "We must ensure that California's criminal justice system treats all victims equally."
The first Araujo trial ended in mistrial, after seemingly endless use of this defense. The second trial resulted in the conviction of two men (second-degree murder) and a third plead out to voluntary manslaughter.

* Wikipedia entry for Araujo and gay panic defense.

Tripling priorities

Congress is wallowing in the mud, tacking on pet projects at a rate that represents a tripling of pork over the past 10 years, according to figures from the Congressional Research Service.

SOURCE: Congressional Research Service | GRAPHIC: The Washington Post - January 27, 2006

Yet look at this -- Bush is going to try to slip this through this GOP-run, sleazy, oinking Congress. (Army Times):
A Pentagon proposal that could triple some Tricare insurance costs for military retirees and their families is drawing sharp criticism from military advocacy groups and members of Congress.

The plan, being considered as part of the 2007 budget request to be unveiled Feb. 6, would increase Tricare fees for retirees under age 65 beginning Oct. 1. Increases would be substantial — as much as $1,200 more a year by 2009 — with no end in sight because the plan calls for annual rate hikes in 2010 and beyond that would match inflation.

Defense Department officials confirmed that Tricare fees were being considered as part of the 2007 budget, but would not discuss any details until the White House releases the federal budget plan. Senior Pentagon leaders, both military and civilian, know their plan will meet with stiff opposition and are trying to prepare a united front, defense sources said. The Joint Chiefs are considering sending a rare joint letter to Congress explaining why the fee increases are important because they do not see how the military can afford needed weapons programs if soaring health care costs remain unchecked, sources said.

A key element of the proposal is to discourage retirees from using the military medical system if they have other options, such as insurance through a post-service employer, because this would generate savings far greater than any money raised through higher enrollment fees.

This is wrong on so many levels,” said Steve Strobridge, government relations director for the Military Officers Association of America. “In the middle of a war, with troops and families vastly overstressed, recruiting already in the toilet, and retention at risk, the Defense Department wants to pay for weapons by cutting manpower and trying to cut career military benefits by $1,000 a year or more? That’s just flat unconscionable. Not only is it grossly unfair to the people, but it poses terrible risks for long-term retention and readiness.”
Why does Bush hate our men and women in uniform?

Some folks on the Hill want to know. Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader, along with Steny Hoyer, House Democratic Whip, James Clyburn, Democratic Caucus Chairman, Lane Evans, Veterans Affairs Committee, ranking member, Ike Skelton, Armed Services Committee, ranking member, John Spratt, Budget Committee, ranking member, and Chet Edwards, Veterans Affairs Appropriations, subcommittee ranking member fired off a letter to Dear Leader, basically asking him that question. (U.S. Newswire):

It is unconscionable that you would even consider a fee increase on the men and women in uniform who bravely sacrificed for our country, especially during a time of war. We must demonstrate our commitment to our troops and future veterans by assuring them that just as they protected us, we will take care of them when their service ends.

Not only is this premium increase unfair to the military retirees who have given 20-30 years of service and sacrifice, it will not help maintain our military strength. A report released today by the National Security Advisory Group identified serious problems in military recruiting and retention. (Copy enclosed) Cutting health care benefits for our nation's veterans will only exacerbate this current problem.

We urge that, in your State of the Union Address, you disavow these reports and state forthrightly that in the budget you submit to Congress next month, adequate resources will be allocated for health care for both veterans and military retirees. That is necessary to clearly and unambiguously set forth a national policy of respecting and preserving all health care benefits earned by those who have served. Your Administration must not shift additional costs upon veterans or military retirees. Anything less is would be a national disgrace and constitute a pointed rebuke to those who served and have earned those benefits.

Harper to push on gay marriage right away

REUTERS/Andy Clark

What a wiener. As promised, right out of the box, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants to go after same-sex marriage. He's doing it as lip service to the homo-bigots who helped elect him, knowing that his measure will make his minority Conservative government like a bunch of fringers and will likely go nowhere.

It sounds like Canadians will spend a lot of time cringing at this guy (we've got our own clown here, folks) trying to run the government for the next good while; it sounds like he's politically tone-deaf.
Stephen Harper says he wants to move quickly as leader of a fractious new Parliament to reopen the same-sex marriage debate. The makeup of the new House of Commons suggests the prime minister-designate knows there's a good chance such a motion will be rejected.

It would not be a total loss, however. In fact, an honorable defeat on equal marriage would satisfy obligations to Harper's most right-wing supporters while defusing a politically explosive issue. Winning a vote to wade back through that political quagmire would lead the Conservatives straight into a legal morass, most experts say.

It would also be a costly and perhaps fruitless attempt to redefine marriage as the sole domain of one man, one woman _ a fight that would only shine a spotlight on the party's most extreme social conservatives.

Colorado braces for marriage amendment fight

This is the land of Daddy Dobson, so his forces are working full-bore to get a marriage amendment in Colorado. His folks need to get 68K signatures to move forward, and that is not going to be hard to do. (Denver Post):
One simple phrase - "only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state" - is about to set off a costly and emotional campaign in Colorado about marriage, gay rights, religion and the state's economy.

A coalition of religious and conservative leaders plans to ask Colorado voters in November to add that phrase to the Colorado Constitution, in effect barring gay marriage here, according to a copy of the language obtained by The Denver Post.

A new nonprofit group, Coloradans for Marriage, is expected to file paperwork with the state next week, kicking off a debate over whether Colorado should become the 20th state to adopt a constitutional amendment that would prohibit gay marriage. The coalition - which includes Focus on the Family, the National Association of Evangelicals and the lobbying arm of Roman Catholic Church in Colorado - is expected to have little problem gathering the roughly 68,000 signatures needed to put the proposed amendment on the November ballot.

"Marriage is a fundamental aspect of our society," said Jon Paul, executive director of Coloradans for Marriage. "The constitution is one of the documents that draws up the fundamental aspects of our society. Marriage needs to be in there as one of those fundamental aspects."

Not in sync: Daddy Dobson wanted to ban civil unions, domestic partnerships and the like; Rev. Ted Haggard of Colorado Springs, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, and the RCC in Colorado thought that was overreaching.

There's somewhat of a silver lining here. The language in this measure has been diluted. There is nothing that would allow a rollback on domestic partnerships, private contracts, or same-sex couple benefits. Daddy Dobson wanted the whole enchilada, but his cohorts didn't think that would fly in Colorado.
Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family, which first floated the idea of putting a gay-marriage ban on the November ballot, had pressed for a more sweeping measure that would also do away with domestic partnerships.

But [Ted] Haggard said Tuesday that the main players have coalesced around the simpler language, which was supported by Haggard and the state's Roman Catholic leadership. "The amendment supports marriage but doesn't stand against anything," said Haggard, pastor of 12,000-member New Life Church, one of the state's largest congregations. "We want to say marriage is something, and we also want to give the freedom for citizens or legislators if they want to give similar benefits to other people."
That leaves some fertile ground for groups like Equal Rights Colorado (ERC) and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado to place this in the context of fairness, and put the screws to Dobson. After all, playing this as a Dobson "loss" on his home turf is worthwhile; it's about the only spin in a state that is likely to pass whatever amendment is placed on the ballot.

Claymate heartbreak?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What will the teen Claymate girls do now? Your gaydar would need to be in the repair shop if it didn't go ballistic over my fellow Tar Heel and American Idol finalist Clay Aiken. I have no clue whether Clay is family or not, but whoever this Paulus guy is, I hope he's got a good lawyer (well the Enquirer's got a stable of them). Clay's fan base is of the clean-cut, Dobson-approved variety. (Contact Music):

AMERICAN IDOL star CLAY AIKEN is being urged to come clean about his sexuality by a former US Green Beret, who claims to have had a passionate tryst with the singer.

JOHN PAULUS, 38, took a lie detector test in a bid to prove claims he has made about Aiken's sexuality in an American tabloid are true. Paulus tells the National Enquirer that he spent the night with Aiken after the singer emailed him just before Christmas (05) after seeing his ad on a gay website. He claims he arranged to meet Aiken at a hotel in North Carolina after the singer asked him to be his "discreet bf (boyfriend)" and the couple had sex.
NOTE: I agree with some of the commenters that this guy Paulus is sleazy. The fact that he felt the need to get a payday out of the Enquirer for outing a C-list celeb is an example of the kind of counter-productive nonsense that is out there.

Gay or not, the man is not anti-gay and has even been willing to acknowledge the rumors (see the link on his name): "Aiken denied he was gay in a Rolling Stone interview in June, 2003, and, in fact, he good-naturedly lampooned such speculation in the opening monologue featuring him as a member of a gay men's chorus when he appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live's February 7, 2004 show."

I don't know whether coming out would hurt Clay's career. Look at the Chad Allen post; there's always going to be some numnuts who cannot get over their internalized homophobia. Clay's audience is what it is because of his genre (non-threatening, asexual pop); it nothing to do with political conservatism really. He's seen as a safe pop idol for young teens by parents; that would include a large slice of the bible-thumpers. It's more likely that no one will care, as long as he projects the same image he always has.

I think of someone like Johnny Mathis. Did anyone give a flip when he came out (1982, in US magazine)? The talented, apolitical, non-threatening pop singer's record sales or concert attendance didn't suffer (in fact he's nominated for a Grammy this year). My mom loved the guy, and assumed that he was gay before he came out. She attended a sold-out concert of his at Radio City in NYC in the late 80s and said the audience was filled with middle-aged women (and couples of all kinds) who couldn't give a rip who Mathis slept with, they just enjoyed his music.

Headline of the day

Baptist Pastor Disapproves of Priest Blessing Waco's New Hooters. Actually, the whole story is a hoot, um, pun intended. This restaurant opened to LONG lines of evil, boobie-and-chicken-wing-lovin' heathens, so this pastor gave up his protest.
Earlier this week Hooters opened a restaurant in Waco, home to Baylor University. Greg Brumit, pastor of Kendrick Lane Baptist Church, led a petition drive and a number of protests in an effort to stop the business from locating in his city. Other area pastors and protesters got involved in the campaign to stop the construction on the eatery famous for its female servers' low-cut tank tops and short-shorts.

Brumit: clearly frightened by the boobies.

Brumit says he was not surprised by a report in Baylor's newspaper, The Lariat, which quoted a manager as saying that several of the university's students work at Hooters. "Each individual student's different there at Baylor. They're not all Christians," he notes. "Those students can choose to work where they want." The pastor adds a note of suspicion. "I'm sure that Hooters was hoping for some Baylor girls to work there," he says.

What did come as a surprise to Brumit, however, is the move on the part of a Catholic priest to bless the restaurant's grand opening. The evening before the new Hooters opened, Monsignor Isidore Rozycki, head Catholic priest for the Greater Waco area, offered a special prayer of blessing for the restaurant at a VIP reception at the restaurant.

Kendrick Lane Baptist's pastor says the incident was bizarre. "I would think with all the problems [the Catholics] have had that they wouldn't promote something like that. I was a little disappointed," he observes. "The Catholic priest that they had seemed to think that the rest of these ministers, about 60 who signed the letter of petition against Hooters opening, were a little narrow-minded," Brumit continues. "But the Bible does say, 'Narrow is the way' to life, and wide is the road to destruction."

Fundie teachers will put up 'safe space' poster

I received a lot of emails about this story -- before the five bible-beating teachers, who were hiding behind "faith" as an excuse to discriminate, relented and agreed to put up the above poster in their classrooms.

This shouldn't even be an issue; we're talking about a public school, for god's sake. And the sick thing is that these people are charged with educating young people. The only message in the above poster is that the teacher is committed to making his or her classroom a place where students know they will not have to tolerate slurs and violence. What religious principle did that violate? The intellectual dishonesty of these people is breathtaking. (
Several teachers who earlier this week refused to abide by a diversity directive from the San Leandro Unified School District have begun complying with the order. The policy requires teachers to hang posters in their classrooms promoting LGBT diversity and proclaiming the space is "a safe place".

Earlier this week five teachers at San Leandro High School informed Principal Amy Furtado that they would not display the posters because they violate their religious beliefs. Following a meeting Wednesday with the teachers Furtado said that most of the group had agreed to hang the posters. The others have a week to comply, although Furtado did not say what would happen if they did not.
As with most of the spineless bigots you read about on the Blend, the five teachers were so committed to defending their belief system that they were "unavailable for comment" when they initially declared they wouldn't hang up the posters.

Last time I looked, ensuring the safety of students and keeping an orderly classroom is an expectation parents have, and certainly it's not a f*cking political statement. Shakes Sis accurately points out:
Lots of things in public schools violate someone’s religious beliefs. But, much like pharmacists who choose a profession in which they may be required to dispense medications they may personally not like, professional public school educators must respect that many of their students’ personal beliefs and traits will be different from their own. That’s why Pentecostal public school educators can’t require their female students to not cut their hair and wear only ankle-length skirts, and Jewish public school educators can’t demand that their male students all wear yarmulkes, and atheist public school educators can’t forbid crucifixes and yarmulkes and hajibs. It simply isn’t the job of public school educators to dictate their own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) to their students.

And, as an aside, even if homosexuality does violate one’s religious beliefs, respect for and protection of homosexuals does not.
The real point of the fundies making moves like these is that they want to keep pushing the envelope with this crap to see if anyone will push back. They'll lose some, as in this case, but they are mounting a hell of a lot of wins.

Hat tip, Catherine at PovertyBarn.

Tap dancing Tim

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is being quite the weasel over his state's awful marriage amendment. He's got everyone confused now after his radio address today, in which he again stated his discomfort with the amendment's language. (
In his first statewide radio address as governor the Democrat said that the amendment is flawed and needs fixing.

Speaking on the Virginia News Network Kaine said that he supports prohibiting same-sex marriage in Virginia but one provision in the proposal could destroy the right of all unmarried individuals to enter into personal, legally binding contracts.
However, look at these actual headlines on this same story and tell me exactly what Kaine's position is...

Kaine Says Gay Marriage Amendment Needs Fixing

Kaine to oppose amendment; says it puts personal contracts at risk

Virginia Governor Issues Warning On Anti-Gay Amendment

I'm sure he likes it that way, hoping no one will corner him before he does his little counter to Bush's SOTU address.

* Anti-gay Dem Tim Kaine tapped for response to SOTU
* Kaine: 'not comfortable with language' but will sign amendment anyway

It's called 'acting,' you dumbf*cks

The Right is continuing to lose its cookies over openly gay actor Chad Allen portraying a Christian missionary in the End of the Spear (see my earlier post). The commentary on this is almost as stupid as the hysteria over Brokeback Mountain.

Look at the batsh*t nonsense from the homo-obsessed in the Toledo Blade (hat tip, Holly):
More than 150 ministers across the country have signed a letter of protest expressing "deep disappointment" in the producers of End of the Spear and vowing not to support the film because Chad Allen stars in the dual role of slain missionary Nate Saint and his adult son, Steve.

Christian station WLMB-TV (Channel 40) in Perrysburg pulled 30-second promotional ads for the evangelical film, which it had been airing for free.

"Given the publicity of Chad Allen's activism and the intensity of his mission to normalize homosexuality … it is hard, if not impossible, to suspend belief and see him as a missionary martyr for the Gospel of Jesus Christ," said Jamey Schmitz, the station's CEO and general manager.

Mr. Allen, 31, told The Blade yesterday that he never wanted his sexual orientation to attract more attention than the movie and its message of faith, love, and acceptance.

"My greatest hope would be that through the premiere, through all the advertising and promotion, that everybody would focus on the message of the movie and what it means to them," Mr. Allen said from Los Angeles.
Chad Allen is showing a lot of class while dealing with all of this.

For the Christian TV station manager who cannot suspend his disbelief, did he think Anthony Hopkins was really eating human flesh in Silence of the Lambs? Or maybe he was one of the poor souls who thought Rock Hudson was actually straight. Idiot.

I'm sitting here eating my lunch and laughing at the Freepi as they hurl turds at one another. It's interesting that some are speculating as to the percentage of homo actors in Hollywood -- we have guesses at 10% and 20%, lol.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"I am not surprised. It's not like the old days when John Wayne and Steve McQueen got the leading roles. You can't ask whether a person is gay when you hire them for a movie role. You can figure that at least 10% of the roles played will be played by queers, because the number of gay people in acting is incredibly high. I hear the movie is great."

"My wife has been looking forward to this film; I've actually seen one of these tribal members who on stage with the son at an event gave this testimony. But I have to agree w/ you. One wonders how the process of choosing the actors was 'allowed' to be such that this could even happen. For it is unlikely that readers of the Advocate and the Village Voice will swamp theaters to watch this film just b/c Chad is starring in it."

"Allen made a gentleman's agreement with Every Tribe Entertainment to not use his association with the film as a platform for promoting homosexual rights."

"You know, it's really sad when well-meaning Christians fall for poor logic. There is no way this gay activist should be playing this part. Obviously the movie has now morphed into being about gay issues instead of being about the story itself. Sometimes people can't see what is right in front of them."

"You can't ask whether a person is gay when you hire them for a movie role."

"They knew before they hired him."

"It's too bad. I would have enjoyed the movie. But, with things coming out, so to speak, as they have, I won't spend one cent to see this. It looks like a hijacking to me."

"Gathering a collection of five in Hollywood almost guarantees at least one gay."

"But, shoving their agenda in my face almost guarantees that I won't see their film, too."

"Uh...hate to have to remind folks, but the homosexual community has been trying to legitimize it's lifestyle as 'Christian', with an ever increasing effort. A 'gay bishop', homosexual congregations, etc. It would not surprise me if mr. (or ms.?) Allen wants to further 'prove' that one can be gay and Christian. Let's see,... what other sin should not be a sin. :-/"

"Only people who obsess about homosexuality would see it otherwise, and one has to question why. Chad Allen is way, way off on thinking there are many paths to God, or whatever he was babbling in that interview, but I do know that no sinner - homosexual or not - ever was led to Christ by someone who hated him. Maybe we ought to try loving the sinner and hating his sin, instead of being the first to throw stones."

"I don't see you hating his sin. And apparently I do not define "hating the sinner" in the same way that you do. Read you Bible and see what you are supposed to do about people who profess to be a Christian yet live in sin. Then tell me if you find that response loving or unloving."

"It's a beautiful film...very emotionally wrenching. I had no idea that the fellow was gay...he's an excellent actor."

"That there is a gay actor in the film about missionaries is less than irrelevant. God is greater than one actor's sin, and I trust Him to use this movie for good. Good grief, what if one of the actors in the Passion of the Christ was homosexual? Does that negate the worth of the entire movie? I think not. I wonder if some here have decided to see only those movies starring only actors who are more holy than they. Good luck with that."

"Why is it relevant that a gay activist actor is in a film portraying a Christian missionary?"

"Because fans of Chad Allen can go to his website to be indoctrinated about gay activism. Imagine someone struggling with life and they decide to go online to this website because they admired Chad’s acting in a movie or TV show of his. Maybe they are effeminate or have same sex desires. They can easily be linked up with PFLAG and if they are in public school PFLAG or GLSEN will direct them to a gay club for advice. Chad Allen’s website has an address for fan mail or you can be put on his mailing list. He will send you info on gay pride events, etc. Does this all sound far fetched? Not when you are dealing with a gay activist."

"Satan seems to be in control of that whole situation."

"All they had to do was hire Kirk Cameron or Stephen Baldwin, give ;em a crew cut and call it a day. Now they have a very active sodomite who promotes sodomy as the star of the film. YES teens will look him up on the net. YES they will now be opening portans to a satanic world of homosexuality. The film will not get my money."

"Who's throwing stones? The guy is a sodomite and that is something that I don't want my children exposed to, no matter WHAT the movie is supposed to be about!!!"

"No viewer, not even your children, would have any idea from seeing the movie that one of the actors is a homosexual. It's not like a) Chad Allen's going to attack them; or b) he could do it through the movie screen."

"Do you keep your kids locked up in the house, too, so they never will come into contact with any sinners anywhere? Oops, I guess that means they couldn't go to church, either."

His lips are moving

[Welcome to the Blend, Wonkette readers...]

He called a hasty press conference this AM. I guess the spinning will be endless all the way up to the State of the Union hot air festival.
Holding his first news conference of the year and his 10th in office, Bush previewed some elements of his upcoming State of the Union speech and continued to defend his administration's program of warrantless domestic surveillance.

Talking about the National Security Agency eavesdropping program, Bush said "there's no doubt in my mind it is legal."

He repeated that it is "legal, designed to protect civil liberties and it's necessary."
What was that?

Oh, and how about this picture from yesterday, a look at the real threat:

Actual caption: President Bush gestures during a statement at the National Security Agency on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006 in Fort Meade, Md. Bush is traveling to the heavily-secured site of the super-secret spy agency in suburban Maryland Wednesday to give a speech behind closed doors and meet with employees in advance of Senate hearings on the much-criticized domestic surveillance. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

More fresh Blend here.

Gays get the cold shoulder in Papa Ratzi's 'Love' document

In the Prada Pope's first (copyrighted) encyclical, he pontificates on L-O-V-E (homo-free, that is). (365gay):
The encyclical distinguishes among different meanings of love, including patriotism, friendship, familial love, and love of God, but then makes the statement that “one (definition of love) in particular stands out: love between man and woman, where body and soul are inseparably joined…”

“According to whom?” asks Mary Hunt, co-director of the Women’s Alliance for Theology Ethics and Ritual, and another member of the Roundtable.

“The argument is without any reference to anthropology or social science that would make clear that love which joins the body and soul comes in many forms — monogamous heterosexual marriage is only one of them. The leap of faith and leap of logic on Benedict’s part is based on a hierarchical view of the world which says that just because the pope says it, it must be so. Many Catholics will not agree.”

Miltary booting gay medical personnel

First it was the linguists, now we learn that sorely-needed medics have been discharged simply for being gay. With all the severe injuries and rehab needed for all the men and women fighting in Iraq, and an admitted shortage of qualified personnel to treat them, this Don't Ask Don't Tell policy makes absolutely no sense.

The Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military reports that 244 medical specialists were kicked out between 1994 to 2003. The Pentagon information was obtained by Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA), a member of the House Armed Services Committee. (The Advocate):
According to a Senate report issued in 2003 by senators Christopher Bond and Patrick Leahy, hundreds of injured Guard and Army Reserve soldiers "have been receiving inadequate medical attention" while housed at Fort Stewart because of a lack of preparedness that includes "an insufficient number of medical clinicians and specialists, which has caused excessive delays in the delivery of care." The situation created the perception among soldiers that they were receiving care that was inferior to that received by active duty personnel, which had a "devastating and negative impact on morale." (
What are this government's priorities? I would like to see the current discharge rate since the Iraq war began to see if some hypocrite smoke is blowing when the warm bodies are needed. I blogged about the dropping rate of discharge last February.


The Army: 'Over 35? No problem.'
Army raises enlistment age, doubles cash enlistment bonuses. I'm posting this just so the more mature Yellow Elephants are aware of the change, in case they have a hankering to step up and serve in Dear Leader's military expeditions for Freedom and DemocracyTM (and since your homo fellow citizens aren't needed or wanted).

All Spin Zone takes note.
“And yet we have brave men and women who are willing to step forward because they know what's at stake. They're willing to sacrifice their lives for this great country. What I'm asking all of you tonight is not to put on a uniform. Put on a bumper sticker. Is it that much to ask? Is it that much to ask to step up and serve your country.”
if you're Rick Santorum.

If you're a Young Republican it means:
Petrille recommended Democrats show support for troops in other ways; his group helped raise money to pay for soldier care packages.

Top ten ways to reach the homos

Let's put our thinking caps on for "former practicing homosexual" and radio talk show host Stephen Bennett. He's shilling this on his Straight Talk Radio web site.

I'm sure you all can suggest what a few of the ten most effective ways might be for the man to reach the homosexual after reading this:
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.
Hat tip, Good As You (which is nominated for best LGBT blog in the 2006 Bloggies).

Glenn Greenwald nails the Bushies on illegal wiretaps

As Russ pointed out in his post, the Bushies and supporters have been spending a lot of time spinning that they have the legal latitude to wiretap and monitor electronic communication of Americans without a warrant. Russ:
But Bush didn't bother asking. Why? Is the FISA court too much bother? No. Would Congress, the FISA court, or American public opinion rebuffed his attempt? No. So the only logical reason I can come up with is that Bush wanted to do some spying that he knew the Congress, FISA court, or Americans would never approve of.
Guess what Russ, it's even worse.

In 2002 there was proposed legislation to expand the ability of the administration to spy (less latitude than Bush claims now) and his people said then that legislation was likely unconstitutional -- and that didn't include spying on American, btw.

Glenn Greenwald of Unclaimed Territory blows it wide open.

'Ex-homo': Brokeback is the tip of the iceberg

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

So says the poster-child for the success of "ex-gay" therapy, Alan Chambers of Exodus Global Alliance, "an organization that includes the largest evangelical network of former homosexuals and that promotes the message to people struggling with unwanted same-sex desire that change from homosexuality is possible through the power of Jesus Christ." The folks at AFA "news site" AgapePress have outdone themselves this time. The writing is a hoot.
But while Exodus is offering hope based on scriptural truth, the ministry leader contends that movies like the homosexual "romance" Brokeback Mountain are fostering confusion and desperation.

"They don't point to the truth that homosexuality is a very difficult lifestyle," Chambers says. "It's one full of desperation and devastation and heartache. And the great thing is there are men and women who have overcome that lifestyle. That's something I wish was more talked about in the mainstream media."

It comes as no surprise to Chambers that the highly publicized film about two male sheepherders who meet and carry on an adulterous homosexual affair across 20 years has received four Golden Globes and was also named the Best Picture of 2005 by the Producers Guild of America. Brokeback Mountain is also being called a likely Oscar contender, and mainstream film critics have lavished the film with praise.

The president of Exodus Global Alliance expects the film -- sometimes casually dubbed the "gay cowboy movie" in the press -- will usher in similar homosexually-themed projects. He says Hollywood will doubtless continue to push the boundaries of decency, and "certainly, we'll see movies that I think will cause Brokeback Mountain to pale in comparison to what might come down the pike."
Alan is probably dreaming about what is coming down the pike for him. His tactic to combat the infiltration of the Homosexual AgendaTM into cinema (I take it he has no idea about gay porn, right?) is to ask Christians to only go see family-friendly films, and sending Hollywood a message that gay doesn't pay.
Christians can and must fight back, Chambers asserts. "We in the evangelical community, the Christian community, even the pro-family community need to come out and support the movies that are family-friendly by going to see them," he says. "And we need to tell Hollywood that we don't want the others by sending the message that we're not going to pay for this, and we're not going to support it, and we're not going to allow you to bring it into our communities."
By the way, Alan says he "left the homosexual lifestyle" back in 1991, and is now married (poor woman; hopefully she is "ex-gay" as well), with kids.

Trolling on the Blend

I've been getting deluged with emails from readers who are tired of dealing with a particular commenter. Some are not happy because they believe the comments represent trolling (posting purposefully inflammatory notes to spur arguments), others are simply tired of having to scroll past long diatribes of commentary that they feel is pointless and irrelevant.

In either case, a good number of folks have decided that they'd rather stop visiting the Blend than dealing with perceived trollish commenting.

On the other hand, some of the regulars here like debating trolls.

Personally, I skip over the comments that I find outlandishly inflammatory; my threshhold has been to only ban people that launch personal attacks at fellow commenters.

That said, my experiment is to put it to a vote, to take the temperature of folks out there regarding troll policy on the Blend.

Vote here.

You're welcome to use the comments here to say how you voted and why.

Bush Approval Map for January

The Bush Net Approval Map is now updated for January 2006. Looks like our Dear Leader was down, but not out. His latest approval ratings have dropped to 36% according to one poll, but our state-by-state tracking (courtesy of SurveyUSA), however, show Bush's base (the Intermountain West and Midwest and Deep South) turning back to crimson. Even the Northeast, solid Bush haters, have dropped from 30%-40% disapproval into the 20s. But the West has become more anti-Bush, and surprisingly, so has Florida.

(These Net Approval numbers subtract his approval in a state minus his disapproval. The deeper the red, the more they love Bush, the deeper the blue, the more they hate him. Click on the picture for a more readable, 800x600 version.)

Laurel Hester appears at meeting granting her last wish

It's been a long, painful, hard road for Laurel Hester, but at last, she can leave her pension benefit to her partner. (
Ocean County freeholders officially ended months of anguish for a dying lesbian police officer on Wednesday and voted to allow Sgt. Laurel Hester's death benefits to be given to her same-sex partner.

The move was not unexpected. On Saturday reported that freeholders had decided to reverse their position following a conference call between state GOP leaders from the county and freeholders.

One Republican lawmaker threatened to bring in legislation forcing the county to transfer the benefits if it did not act on its own.

Appearing weak, and breathing with the help of a machine, she said on a video tape that was played in the council chamber she feared partner Stacie Andree would lose the home they shared after Hester dies.

Wednesday Hester showed up at the freeholder's meeting against the advice of her doctor. She was in a wheelchair and hooked up to any oxygen tank. A mask covered her face and hands.

...Following the vote in a voice barely audible Hester thanked the freeholders saying it "was democracy at its best."
Hat tip, DBK of Blanton's and Ashton's.

Marriage bill breezes through Virginia's Senate

"I feel an overwhelming sense of sadness today to think we are deliberately doing something so intolerant, so discriminatory and so overreaching."
-- Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, D-Arlington, on the swift thumbs up given by the Senate to send the amendment to the voters.
It's a sad day in Virginia, where this onerous bill flew through, ready to enshrine discrimination into the state's constitution after a public vote in November. Virginia will join 18 other states that have amended their constitutions to ban gay marriage if it passes.

Remember, freshly elected Dem Governor (and the party's pick to give the response to Bush's State of the Union address) Tim Kaine's "not comfortable with the language" but will sign off on it anyway. (VA Daily Press):
With only a fraction of the debate the measure received before a preliminary vote Tuesday, the resolution won final passage in the Senate 28-11.

If voters approve the matter on the November ballot, it becomes part of the Constitution.

...Sen. John Edwards warned that barring contracts that approximate the rights of marriage between two people of the same sex could undermine all private and personal contracts. Edwards, D-Roanoke, noted that last year the legislature passed a bill allowing companies to offer health care benefits for same-sex domestic partners of their employees.

"This constitutional amendment could unravel that," he said.
Even with the odds squarely in favor of its passage, both sides are planning for a fight to convince voters one way or another.
Victoria Cobb, executive director of the Family Foundation of Virginia, which is among the proposal's top supporters, said the fall push for voter approval will be high-profile.

The wingers behind Victoria Cobb and Chris Freund of The Family Foundation, Helen Blackwell of the Virginia Eagle Forum, Jeff Caruso of the Virginia Catholic Conference, Dr. Jack Stagman of the Virginia Church Alliance.

"We have seen that it has received a tremendous amount of attention," she said, referring to campaigns in other states. "It has had millions on both sides poured into the effort."

...Equality Virginia, a gay-rights organization, today plans to announce a coalition of community and religious leaders to work to defeat the amendment this fall.

Dyana Mason of Equality Virginia said it could include business executives who fear the proposal will make it more difficult for their firms to attract and retain top workers who are gay.

Why did this young man put up with this crap?

Michael Guinn needs to wake up. Why did he go to this bible beating school in Arkansas? The 22-year-old gay man was told that he had to abide by separate, more stringent rules of conduct to attend school than the straight students. He was dismissed anyway when he violated the ridiculous, agreed-upon conditions.
John Brown University, a private Christian liberal arts university, requires students to agree to behavioral codes, including a promise not to smoke, drink, have sex outside of marriage or gamble while attending the school. Guinn said the administration asked him to adhere to additional behavioral codes not required of other students because he said he is gay and that he ultimately was dismissed from the university on the grounds that he violated that agreement.
Being a homo, even a Christian one, meant Guinn had to agree to the following (this is so ludicrous):

* not to dress in women’s clothing
* not slap other players on the rear end if he played sports
* not hug or shake hands with other men for too long
* not "broadcast" his lifestyle
* not tell other students he was gay until he got to know them well.

Also, a meeting was held every few weeks by the administration and Guinn had to dispel rumors brought before them or take heat for being "too flamboyant". Eventually, however, Guinn slipped up and his online journal provided the ammo needed to get him booted.
Sometime before classes resumed earlier this month, an anonymous e-mail informed administrators of potentially offensive materials Guinn posted on Facebook, an Internet Web log site. Guinn said he posted pictures of himself in drag from before he attended the university but meant to post the pictures under a private setting that would allow only certain people to access them. Guinn said he mistakenly posted them in way that allowed access to anyone.

School administrators dismissed him from the university, but said he could return next semester, Guinn said.

When asked why Guinn was dismissed, Beers said, "We work redemptively with all students who struggle with behavior issues in their lives and we discipline students after we have credible, substantial and typically repeated evidence of violation of our Community Covenant."
OK. Help me out here. Why is he able to return to campus next semester if everyone on campus knows he's a big old homo?

Hat tips to Blenders Diamondark and Pop Renaissance.

Towleroad: Interview with 'Brokeback' producer

Head over to Towleroad for a great chat with Brokeback Mountain producer James Schamus. I love this section where he discusses that f*ckwad Larry Miller, who wouldn't allow Brokeback to be shown in his theatre.
Have you spoken with Larry Miller regarding his decision to drop Brokeback from his Utah megaplex?

No. In our book he's just a bona fide creep. If for no other reason than we had a legal and binding agreement to screen the movie and he reneged on it. He has refused to speak with anybody publicly — certainly none of us — about his decision. But I find it hilarious that if you went to his movie theater to go see Brokeback Mountain you would have found a ticket available for the movie that he did screen which was Hostel. If that is some kind of moral response to our movie you can keep your morals! By the way, Hostel is a very entertaining film. Nothing wrong about that.

...Do you feel that Larry Miller helped rather than hurt Brokeback?

No. Before he did what he did, we had already opened in Salt Lake on one screen and we did $40,000 on that screen. On one screen in Salt Lake. The bottom line is I am so thrilled that we're not sharing any of the profits of this movie in Salt Lake City with that guy.

Walken for President 2008

Sigh. If only it were true. I'd vote for Walken before Hillary Clinton any day.

The War in Iraq:
"We are committed to Iraq now, and nothing can undo that. As President, I will not abandon our troops or the Iraqi people, both of whom have made great sacrifices in the name of peace and freedom. I will seek the aid of the world community to form a special peacekeeping coalition to assist with the consolidation of power in Iraq. My top priority will be to stabilize Iraq under this international force and end our occupation."

Campaign Finance Reform:
"I believe that campaign finance is a very tough issue, with good points on both sides; but I feel, as a wealthy American, that I should have no more say than even the least fortunate American citizen. Free speech in politics is about the voices of all those who support you, not who supports you with the biggest voice."

Military Funding:
"I am a huge supporter of the military. I have always thought of them as our guardians, and when our guardians are making less than the poverty line, and children are suffering because their parents decided to join the military, well, I get very upset. I feel that instead of sending billions to the Pentagon's pet projects, it should go to the troops."

Abortion Rights:
"I believe in the American family. I believe that every child deserves a loving home with parents who can afford to raise and care for them. Every woman has the right to have a child when she is ready, and I believe her government has no right to force a child upon her when she is not."

Stem Cell Research:
"I'd met Chris Reeve several times before he died, and after having met him it is tough to be against [stem cell research]. I am for human knowledge and expansion of human life. If stem cells are one way to do that, I cannot support legislation to restrict this potentially life-saving research."
They say when something seems to good to be true, it usually is. But if the Democrats ran on a platform like his (even if it is fake), and used the same sort of straight talk and commitment to clearly articulated values, we'd have a Democrat majority in no time at all.

Bush isn't "lying", he's just "reporting his personal opinions of the reality he interprets to the best of his recall"

I'm scanning the news headlines this morning when I see a link entitled Bush renames 'spying'. Being a writer, I'm fascinated by language, and being a reader of George Orwell, I'm nervously anticipating Bush's latest attempt to out double-speak the master:
WASHINGTON - President Bush heads to the National Security Agency on Wednesday for another speech defending his controversial spying program, one that he insists should be called a "terrorist surveillance program" -- not domestic spying without a warrant.
Nice. Nothing like adding a few syllables to obfuscate the issue. It's not a crime if you re-define it, eh, George? Officer, I'm not a bank robber, I'm a non-traditional cash extraction specialist.
The White House says the program is not domestic spying, since one end of the phone call or e-mail is always outside the United States. A better term, the president said Monday, would be the "terrorist surveillance program."
Hmm. Assume, for the moment, that they are sure that one side of the call or e-mail is outside of the United States, a dubious claim in the Internet era (my PC's IP address and my cell phone number are the same in Bangladesh as in Beaverton, and regardless of where I'm physically located, I could route the data in such a way that you'd think I was in Boise, Boston, or Bhopal). That would mean, wouldn't it, that one side of the call or e-mail is INSIDE the United States, correct? And that call or e-mail is being placed to an American citizen inside the United States, no?

Let's also drink the kool-aid and assume that they are absolutely positive the call is coming from a known al Qaeda operative to a citizen within the United States. Because we know for a fact that the terrorist watch lists are 100% accurate and nobody at the NSA ever makes the mistake of confusing Ali Ahmed the terrorist with Ali Ahmed the father of the local 7-Eleven clerk who remained back in the homeland.

AbuGhraibo Quaintzalez is just one of the many spinmeisters out on the road for the "We'll Do What We Want, Punks, Or Al Qaeda's Gonna Git Ya!" Tour. He spoke at Georgetown University Law School:
During his remarks in a packed law school lecture room at Georgetown, the attorney general also said the legal standard the administration uses in deciding whether to carry out surveillance on people with suspected al-Qaida ties is equivalent to the standard required for complying with the Fourth Amendment, which bans unreasonable searches and seizures.

The reasonable basis standard, said Gonzales, "is essentially the same as the traditional Fourth Amendment probable cause standard."
Oh, yeah, I forgot. Quaintzalez has been reading the Constitution with the George W. Bush Between-The-Lines™ Translator again, which makes the invisible portions of speeches and documents visible in a red italic font:
The right of the people who the president decides aren't terrorists to be secure in their persons (except for their wombs), houses, papers, and effects (which can't possibly include cell calls and e-mail, since this was written in 1789), against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, unless there are drugs or terrorism involved, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause or reasonable basis or a really good hunch, supported by the president's oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched (e.g., "cyberspace"), and the persons (e.g., "Americans") or things (e.g., "whatever") to be seized.
Quaintzalez and Bush want to scare us again with the spectre of al Qaeda. They only want to spy on the terrorists and the Americans who might want to help them. They've got to have this freedom to get more information to prevent another 9/11, because the pre-9/11 information that there were Arab Muslim youth learning to fly planes but not land them, a PDB that said "Bin Laden Determined To Attack Within the United States", a previous attack in 1993 on the World Trade Center, numerous war game scenarios where terrorists fly airliners into buildings, standard operating procedure to scramble fighter jets for uncommunicative planes off course (see: late golfer Payne Stewart), and intercepted terrorist chatter from 9/10 saying "tommorrow is the day" that didn't get translated until 9/12 because we don't have enough Arabic and Farsi translators (because we had to get rid of the gay ones) wasn't enough for them to prevent the first 9/11. The solution to the inability to process data is to collect even more data.

The problem here, and most Americans know it in their gut, is that we have laws set up for just this kind of "ticking bomb" scenario. There is a FISA court that is virtually a rubber-stamp on executive requests for wiretapping warrants. He can even wiretap surreptitiously and request the permission three days after the fact. And he has a Congress that gave him just about all the authority he ever wanted by supporting the USA unPATRIOTic ACT nearly unanimously.

In other words, had Bush gone to Congress or the FISA court and said, "I want to wiretap these Americans because they're talking to al Qaeda," he almost certainly would have been given that latitude. And, almost certainly, most Americans would've supported that move.

That's why this is a public relations disaster for the Republicans. Even Americans who don't follow politics or get the nuances of 4th Amendment law understand basic fairness and rule of law. It's like when a co-worker steals a diet soda from the 12-pack you've put in the company fridge. You'd gladly have just given him the diet soda if he'd only asked for it. The fact that he went behind your back to steal it and thought you'd never notice is what gets you angry, not the loss of the diet soda.

But Bush didn't bother asking. Why? Is the FISA court too much bother? No. Would Congress, the FISA court, or American public opinion rebuffed his attempt? No. So the only logical reason I can come up with is that Bush wanted to do some spying that he knew the Congress, FISA court, or Americans would never approve of. Like spying on Quaker peace groups or political opponents or prominent journalists.
"We did go to certain members of the congressional leadership a year and a half ago," Gonzales said on CBS's "The Early Show."

"It's amazing that people say to me, 'Well, he's just breaking the law.' If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?" said Bush.
If by "briefing", you mean "telling certain select members of the Intelligence Committee what you're going to do, regardless of what any fancy lawyers or congressmen or courts think or the Constitution says, and knowing they can't talk to anyone else about it because of their national security clearance."

Bush, Cheney, Quaintzalez, and all the rest are in full campaign mode (the one thing the Bush Administration does quite well) to sell this domestic spying. And I predict they'll get away with it, too. People will soon be soothed by the "oh, it's not me they're spying on" mantra and those who are not soothed will find legal recourse impossible in the Roberts/Scalia/Thomas/Alito court.

Worst of all, they will continue to employ the Magic Tiger Rock™ logic to justify their action no matter what happens. (The Magic Tiger Rock™ theory goes like this: I have this magic rock that keeps tigers away. But there are no tigers in Oregon! See, it works!) They'll say, as Cheney has, "if we had this kind of power of surveillance in 2001, we might have prevented 9/11," and the scared sheeple will gladly hand over more of their liberty for the illusion of security. If al Qaeda doesn't attack, they can say, "see, it works!" If al Qaeda does attack, they can say, "see, you civil liberties types let another 9/11 happen; we need more power!"

Orwell was right; he was just premature. We have a president who declares war on terrorists because on 9/11 they declared war on us, but when we capture them, they are not prisoners of war. We are a country that tortures those captured but it's not really torture because the Attorney General says so. We spy on our own citizens, restrict our citizens' free speech, lock citizens up without charges, acccess to counsel, or communication with the outside world because terrorists want to destroy our freedoms. We're dedicated to fighting terrorism, so we ignore the pursuit of its leader in favor of creating a new recruiting ground for his followers. We support the troops by extending their tours way beyond their contract, not properly equipping them, slashing their benefits, and sending too few of them to get the job done and replenishing their ranks with the lowest percentile of recruits. We fight to plant the seed of democracy -- the idea that will of the people should decide -- by invading and occupying them against their will. We have a president who fights for a culture of life so that every woman's fetus will come to term (pregnant Iraqi women attending a wedding party that's accidentally bombed need not apply). We have an administration that ran on the platform that Bush will keep you safer than the other guy (poor black residents of New Orleans and West Virginia miners need not apply). I haven't written so much irony since I last described the molecular makeup of the dumbbells at the gym.

It's amazing to me how much we've learned about the criminal misdeeds of BushCo, yet how little outrage there is about them. As long as there is a new season of "24" to watch, cheap Big Macs to eat, and gas doesn't get too outrageous, most people just don't care. I've always maintained that people and systems are loathe to change until the need for change becomes unbearable (think, for example, of the many consumer safety measures that are easily implemented, but only enacted after somebody dies). Unfortunately, I think that by the time things get bad enough here that average people figure out what has happened, it will be too late to do anything about it.

Fortunately, I have no kids, so I don't have to worry about the future they'll inherit. Our government has czars, the administration has its own apparatchiks, the Republican Party is turning into the politburo, we're mired in a guerilla war in southwest Asia that is draining our treasury with no end in sight, we're spying on our own citizens, and we're operating a foreign policy where our political ideology will be forced upon one country against its will and the rest will fall like dominoes. All we need is Bush to start banging his shoe on a podium and the transformation will be complete.

No more Jacko

It's time for permanent exile and complete media blackout on this guy. I just want to remember Michael Jackson like this:

Not like this:

Or, for god's sake, this, from MSNBC today:

Michael Jackson, center, wears an abaya, the traditional Arabic women's veil and all-covering gown, and holds the hand of one of his children, also veiled, as they walk toward their car Wednesday behind a shopping mall, in Manama, Bahrain.

Hat tip, Holly.

Alabama politics news and notes

Former state Chief Justice Roy Moore prays with ministers and fellow bigots from around the state on the steps of the Alabama State House before a news conference yesterday. (AP)

Have to keep wifey Katie informed about the juicy goings-on in her home state...

Of course we all know it is a foregone conclusion that Alabama is going to vote to amendment its constitution this year, telling its gay citizens that they are not entitled to civil equality by banning gay marriage. This is as safe a Red State as one can imagine (even with the Bright Blue Dots isolated in there).

So why does Roy Moore, Rethug candidate for governor, feel the need to bible-beat on this topic? My only guess is that his campaign is flagging, coffers must be emptying out, and his wife has not been successful in her transparently desperate holiday fundraising appeal to refill them (Kayla Moore: "I can think of no better time than this Holy Season to begin our campaign to return morality to our country and God to our public square.").

That means now it's time to bring out the homo boogeyman before the June GOP primary. (Montgomery Advertiser):
"Christians across the state have an obligation to turn out on something as important as this," Moore said.

The outcome of the statewide referendum on same-sex mairriages is hardly in doubt -- voters in Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky and Arkansas approved similar bans in 2004, and this Bible Belt state is overwhelmingly expected to do the same. But a political scientist said that even though Riley also supports the ban, a big turnout might help Moore a little in their primary battle.

"The most fervent anti-gay marriage voters are his voters," said David Lanoue, chairman of the political science department at the University of Alabama. The 16 ministers at the news conference are helping organize the Alabama Coalition Against Same Sex Marriage, and Moore agreed to serve as their honorary chairman.

...Equality Alabama, the state's largest gay rights organization, said it will encourage Alabamians to vote no on the constitutional amendment, arguing it would enshrine hatred in the state's constitution much like the unenforceable segregationist language that remains in Alabama's organic law.

"I hope our people will say we've had hate in the past, and let's not do this anymore," chairman Howard Bayless said. Despite the opposition from Equality Alabama, supporters say the only unknown about the June 6 referendum is the size of the margin of victory.

I'm sure Kathy at Birmingham Blues will have something to say about this gay-baiting BS from Roy. Right now she's blogging about the low-life exploits of former HealthSouth CEO (and sleazebag supreme) Richard Scrushy. This guy is incredible.

It turns out that during Scrushy's trial for fraud (he was acquitted), he promised to pay a local black pastor $5000 a month to drum up support (there were seven blacks and five whites on the jury). Herman Henderson, pastor of Believers Temple Church, had an associate named Audrey Lewis, write sympathetic articles printed in the local black paper, the Birmingham Times. The PR pieces were reviewed for approval by Scrushy.

Scrushy, Henderson and Lewis.

The Richard M. Scrushy Charitable Foundation (this story gives new meaning to that word "charitable") was already paying off the pastor to the tune of $25K, which the Believers Temple received as a "donation" during Scrushy's trial.

Scrushy's mistake, if you want to call it that, was not paying up on the $5K "fee" -- now Henderson is squealing to the media, and Scrushy denies hiring Henderson.

Boohoo. Another corrupt corporate captain, another morals-free pastor on the take. Kathy's right -- these clowns deserve each other.

One more Scrushy story for the road...Kathy notes that at Richard Scrushy threatened to can HealthSouth’s investment bankers if they didn’t make a substantial donation to then-Gov. Don Siegelman’s lottery campaign. In this case, former gov Siegelman and his former Chief of Staff Paul Hamrick are being tried on racketeering charges; Scrushy is up on bribery charges. Jeebus. This guy really is one of those fabled captains of industry!
[Former HealthSouth Chief Financial Officer Mike] Martin testified that, at Scrushy's instruction, he contacted one of HealthSouth's investment bankers, William McGahan of UBS, to inquire about a sizable donation to the 1999 lottery campaign. McGahan initially refused, Martin testified.

"Well you need to tell them they're going to be fired if they don't raise that money," Martin testified that Scrushy replied.

Martin testified that he subsequently had a harsher conversation with the banker using a curse word. "I told him he would be... and he would be fired - ... if they didn't raise the money," Martin testified.

McGahan testified to the grand jury that he took that to mean he would no longer be HealthSouth's banker unless he found a way to come up with the donation. Martin told FBI agents that Scrushy indicated the donation couldn't have his or HealthSouth's fingerprints on it, according to an interview summary that also was released.
For all the twists and turns, visit ScrushyWorld and Report from Birmingham.

Indiana legislator tries an end run on human rights ordinances

Advance Indiana has the story of sleazeball Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Danville), who attempted to amend a bill in order to nullify the human rights ordinance adopted by Indianapolis (and other cities) that bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. It caused quite a bit of chaos because the bill he intended to amend had nothing to do with anti-discrimination -- it was an eminent domain bill. When cornered, he finally admitted his "motivation" -- he wants to be able to discriminate:

Thompson was more forthcoming to reporters. He told them he opposed Indianapolis' HRO because it was close to his suburban Danville community. "It's a philosophy of do we allow local governments to go in and intrude on private property and put restrictions on them," he said. "To me a restriction is just as bad as taking (under eminent domain), in some cases worse."

Where did all the money go?

Juan over at Boozhy is pissed at the above stats.
I'm shocked. I thought we were in this war to win it. I thought that our lobbying groups were fighting the good fight. And by that, I mean spending our money on campaigns to oppose the gay ban on marriage. Where was the HRC, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Log Cabin Republicans, GLAAD? All groups which promised me in their literature asking for my time and donation that they were fighting for my right to marry. What the F*CK did they do with the money I sent to them? And the money YOU sent to them?
For instance, the Dobson-Falwell-Weyrich Axis of Evil, The Arlington Group, gave nearly $2 million to fight gay rights initiatives.

Some organizations on our side spent effectively. I know that EqualityNC was quite effective here in keeping a marriage amendment bottled up in committee in our General Assembly. I recall being steamed at HRC for wasting money to roll a billboard truck around NYC during the 2004 GOP convention with "George W. Bush: ‘You’re Fired" emblazoned on it. Highly visible -- and highly ineffective as a lobbying tool -- as if the GOP really cared that HRC was there?

HRC could have been pouring more funds into state-level activities, especially where marriage amendments were on the line. My question for gay rights organizations -- will you praise the Dems and Repubs equally if they are supportive of our cause?

'Hutch' is at it again

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Pastor Urges Microsoft Stock Buy-And-Dump. Well this is a nice tactic to win friends over to the batsh*t crazy crowd. Rev. Ken Hutcherson is so riled up at the homos, that he wants to wreck the software giant for backing the addition of "sexual orientation" to Washington state's law that bans discrimination based on race, gender, age, disability, religion and marital status.

Maybe Ken really does want to run on Linux...(AP):
A pastor who threatened a national boycott against Microsoft and other major corporations for endorsing a gay rights bill urged supporters Tuesday to buy up the companies' stock and dump it to drive prices down.

Graphic: Mike Tidmus

Rev. Ken Hutcherson, pastor of Antioch Bible Church in the Seattle suburb of Redmond, said the stock-dumping plan had been part of his strategy all along. "You got to find out how you affect a company," Hutcherson said, conceding that it would be hard to get people to shun products from companies that dominate the marketplace as Microsoft and Boeing do.

He wants supporters to buy one or two shares over the next few months, then sell them May 1.

...Experts said the pastor's plan has no chance of hurting the stock price of a company such as Microsoft.
Hutcherson is a nutcase. He's also author of the entertaining The Safety of Natural Order, Same-Sex "Marriage" is an Injustice to Children.

Teens into the supernatural, pious parents losing control

Can we do the happy dance now? All witches, watch out for the AmTaliban; I don't think burnings at the stake are beyond these folks.
George Barna's research group interviewed more than 4,000 teens about their exposure, through the media and otherwise, to the "supernatural world" -- and the findings should be enough to send shivers down Christian parents' spines.

Three nationwide studies conducted by The Barna Group indicate, for example, that three of four teens (73 percent) have "engaged in at least one type of psychic or witchcraft-related activity" beyond that contained in the media; only a minority of teens believes that horoscopes are not accurate and should be avoided; and only 28 percent of churched teens recall receiving any teaching at their church over the last year that affected their views on the supernatural world.

David Kinnaman, author of the report and vice president at The Barna Group, says churches need to do more to help teens become wiser consumers of media -- and to train them how to integrate scriptural perspectives into their decision-making. Teens' comfort and familiarity with today's technology and media-driven tools, says Kinnaman, enable them to accomplish their choice of spiritual goals -- "But millions of teens," he says, "are precariously close to simply shelving the Christian faith as irrelevant, uninspiring, and 'just a phase.'" He adds: "The supernatural world represents the epicenter of the spiritual struggle for their hearts and minds."

The research group has compiled the results from the three studies into a report -- Ministry to Mosaics: Teens and the Supernatural --designed as an aid to help youth workers, pastors, and parents understand and respond to the spiritual needs of America's youth. The "Mosaic generation," explains the Barna website, consists of those Americans currently age 3 to 21.
I think this supernatural trend dovetails nicely with the Homosexual Agenda,TM exponentially increasing the level of destruction of the faith-based family -- more than we could have ever imagined. I'm still waiting for my decoder ring for all my hard work though...

Holy bat balls - size does matter

Some stories really ache for commentary. I will leave that up to you, my fine Blenders...
For some male bats, sexual prowess comes with a price — smaller brains. A research team led by Syracuse University biologist Scott Pitnick found that in bat species where the females are promiscuous, the males boasting the largest testicles also had the smallest brains. Conversely, where the females were faithful, the males had smaller testes and larger brains.

"It turns out size does matter," said Pitnick, whose findings were published in December in "Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Science," an online journal.

The study offers evidence that males — at least in some species — make an evolutionary trade-off between intelligence and sexual prowess, said David Hoskens, a biologist at the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter in England and a leading authority on bats' mating behavior.

[QUOTE OF THE DAY] "Bats invest an enormous amount in testis, and the investment has to come from somewhere. There are no free lunches," said Hoskens, who did not participate in the study.

..."If female bats mate with more than one male, a sperm competition begins," Pitnick said. "The male who ejaculates the greatest number of sperm wins the game, and hence many bats have evolved outrageously big testes."

...Large brains, meanwhile, are metabolically costly to develop and maintain. Pitnick's research suggested that in those bat species with promiscuous females, the male's body used more of its energy to enhance the testes — giving it the greater adaptive advantage — and lacked the energy it needed to further develop the brain.
Hat tip, Paul.

Now that's the way to do it!

"As someone who was raised to believe in traditional marriage, it does not mean others cannot have different beliefs. I recognize [civil union] laws don't cover all the benefits and all the rights that could and should be accrued to same sex couples."
-- Kweisi Mfume, former congressman and one of the leading Democratic candidates for Maryland's U.S. Senate seat.
Maryland Senate candidate Kweisi Mfume dares to do what all the spineless Dems will not -- come out strong in support of gay civil equality. He was at first tentative about taking a position on same-sex marriage last year, but he is loud and clear now. (Wash Blade):
Leading Maryland Senate candidate Kweisi Mfume supports equal marriage rights for gay couples, he told the Blade Monday.

Maryland has been pushed into the national spotlight since the Baltimore Circuit Court ruled Friday that it was unconstitutional to prohibit gays and lesbians from marrying. The decision is being appealed.

...Gay marriage is a difficult religious and philosophical issue, Mfume said on Monday. However, governments must respect equal protection for all people regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation, he said.

"Are we prepared to give that equal protection to all people?" he said. "I don't know how the courts could have come up with any decision than what they did."
In the rest of the Dem field, the Blade reports that Congressman Ben Cardin, supports civil unions but has not taken a position on gay marriage; he does oppose an amendment to the state's constitution. Lise Van Susteren, another Dem, backs full marriage rights for gay couples. None of the others have taken a position.

Michael Steele (here with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.). Photo: Baltimore Sun

Trying to ride the fence is Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, who also avoided the issue, saying that it was a state matter. He did, however attend the same Defend Maryland Marriage rally calling for a constitutional amendment that Don Dwyer did. [See my earlier post on Defend Maryland Marriage.]

* Who's race-baiting now - Steele's phony Oreo-pelting story

Perhaps he would like to experience a can of whoopass

Cincinnati City Councilman Sam Malone, a Repug that just wanted to "whip the black off of" his son, is on trial.

As I said when I first posted on this sorry-ass loser of a human being, I don't think there's a parenting book out there that would have helped Malone succeed at beating the melanin out of his 14-year-old son's hide unless the belt had magical, Neverland properties.

Malone doesn't deny hitting his son; lawyer claims that this was permissible corporal punishment. His 14-year-old son arrived at the hospital with belt-inflicted red welts covering his entire body. At one point during the beating, the boy told police he fell down, yet Malone continued to hit him.
"The law is very clear in the state of Ohio. The Ohio Constitution recognizes the right for a parent to discipline a child in a reasonable and prudent fashion," Arenstein said. "Physical harm is not enough" to charge a parent with domestic violence.

There are three exceptions. To prove domestic violence, prosecutors must show death could have resulted, that there was substantial pain or there was serious physical harm.

None of those three exceptions applies to this case, Arenstein said. "We won't deny Mr. Malone disciplined his child," he said. "The only thing (Malone) is guilty of is tough love," Arenstein said.
This bullsh*t doesn't sound like "tough love."
In the year before Malone's arrest, the teen said he and his father had had a rocky relationship because he was failing eighth grade. Then the boy missed the checkpoint, prompting his teacher to call Malone. Malone's son testified that Malone was angry and told him to go upstairs and take his clothes off.

"He started whipping me with a belt, he had it wrapped double on his hand," the teenager said. "He kept on hitting me, and I fell over, and he kept on hitting me."

Asked by Murray to demonstrate how he tried to defend against the blows, the teen crossed his arms against his chest and tucked his head down.

"I was in pain, crying," the teenager said. "He hit me all over, on my back, arms, side, stomach, chest and my legs."
Hat tip, Holly.

Don Dwyer's constituent services

You might recall that I consider my Senator, Elizabeth Dole, to have the worst constituent services ever (see my post "Empty letter from the Empty Wig").

Blender Laura H. decided to email her state representative, anti-gay MD Delegate Don Dwyer (R-Anne Arundel). His priority is to "protect marriage" and he has attended rallies to defend "our families, our children and our civil society" from the homos. Dwyer makes it clear where he stands by affiliating with nice outreach projects like, which is "committed to not remain silent as the homosexual agenda attempts to overtake the laws and social order of Maryland."

The hearing on Maryland's Marriage Protection Act (HB 48) is Tuesday 1/31/2006, so Laura wanted to express her concerns.
From: Laura H.
Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2005 11:22 AM
Subject: Marriage Amendment

Please give me ONE good example of a gay marriage hurting a straight couple’s marriage. I think the divorce rate is testament enough that straight couples do a good job themselves of ruining a marriage.

Why do you feel the need to have a Marriage Amendment when Maryland law already states that a marriage is between a man and a woman? Are you that much of a homophobe? Do gay people scare you or something? Please tell me how gay people hurt you and your family? Do you know that most scientists agree that you are born gay and that it is not a choice? If that is the case then God made gay people that way! Please don’t quote the bible either, because it was man who wrote the bible and man is fallible. Besides if the bible was made to be followed, then why would MAN re-write parts to make the New Testament, so it benefits himself? One day it is you who is going to be standing in front of the Lord and he is going to ask you why you hated so many people for NO GOOD REASON!!!

Laura H.
Two months later, she received an email from a Dwyer staffer, Caleb Griffin.
From: Delegate Don Dwyer
Sent: Monday, January 23, 2006 2:03 PM
To: Laura H.
Subject: RE: Marriage Amendment

The Constitutional Amendment Delegate Dwyer proposes simply allows the issue to go before the public for a vote. If Marylanders are in favor of same-sex marriage, the vote will reflect that and the Amendment will die. It is not hatred but democracy that motivates the Amendment.

In regards to social consequences of same-sex marriage, we refer you to the following two articles. You'll find many common arguments against and objections to gay marriage, including how gay marriage can hurt traditional marriage.

Caleb Griffin
Legislative Aide
Delegate Don H. Dwyer, Jr.
31st District
As Don's stand-in, one might want to know a little more about Caleb. He's apparently a big wig at DefendMarylandMarriage, and thus he is an expert on same-sex marriage. He's the author of the document at the second link that he provided to Laura in his response for Dwyer. This page is full of bogus science and outlandish statements like this...
In America, the debate has just started. If we were to legalize same-sex marriage now, or even pass half-way measures, the ensuing cultural changes would be devastating. Can the nation that is already the world leader in divorce afford the further weakening of its social standards? Can we afford to adopt a new culture that celebrates single parent homes and unmarried cohabitation as more "timely" or appropriate than the traditional family? Without the Church as a cultural check, what would the new America look like?

...Our liberties should never be extended so far as to infringe on the rights of others, particularly those most vulnerable among us – our children. Should our clamor for appeasement drown out the needs of our society and the needs of our children? Despite the images we see on television and film, the evidence is abundant that homosexuality is a dangerous behavior. When we love each other in healthful ways, everyone wins. The Church’s stand against homosexuality is not one of hatred and prejudice. It is one of hope and love...God doesn’t hate people; He only hates the things that kill people.
And what about this section, "America At Risk"? Somehow he drifts from gay marriage into a discussion of the fall of the U.S. because of the urban darkies.
America is at risk because we have a large class of urban poor. In industrialized nations, the urban underclass has higher out-of-wedlock birthrates than the general public. We are particularly vulnerable to the potential effects of same-sex marriage because our current welfare state would be unable to support the likely increase in out-of-wedlock births among our poor. Scandinavia has no class of urban poor, however Great Britain does.
I think Laura should write Delegate Dwyer again, and ask him why he has someone like Caleb Griffin speaking on his behalf. Ah, never mind. This guy is a complete asswipe, Laura. Work hard to get Don and his boy Caleb out of office.

Phone: 410-841-3298
District Office 410-768-094

Bonus: Angry atheists pelt Don with emails

U.S. sides with Axis of Evil clubmember over homos

"It is an absolute outrage that the United States has chosen to align itself with tyrants — all in a sickening effort to smother the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people around the world."
-- Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, on the U.S. siding with anti-gay countries on a UN vote.
This is embarrassing. How low can we go? I'm almost speechless. Well, we're the same forward-thinking, "freedom-loving" country that "doesn't torture" either.
The United States joined with four of the world's most repressive regimes to reject an application by two international LGBT groups seeking to join a UN agency that advises the world body on economics and social issues.

The application by the International Lesbian and Gay Association and the Danish Association of Gays and Lesbians was dismissed without a hearing. The groups had sought inclusion on the United Nations Economic and Social Council, a think tank made up of non governmental agencies from around the world.

The United States voted with Iran, Zimbabwe, China, Cameroon against granting a hearing for the application.

...President Mugabe of Zimbabwe has long scapegoated and persecuted gay men and lesbians. The recently-elected president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has overseen an anti-gay campaign in recent months, in which many young people accused of homosexual acts reportedly have been executed.

..."Apparently Iran, which President Bush has deemed part of the 'Axis of Evil,' is a suitable partner when it comes to discriminating against gay people," said Foreman.

...The Bush-Cheney administration has also opposed women's and children's rights treaties, sex education, contraception and family planning in international forums.

Banning the pro-choice poinsettia

Hartline is concerned that buying this plant will result in assault on the "pre-born."

Will American Family Association start a boycott of poinsettias now? Its faux-news organ, AgapePress, is reporting that bizarre "ex-gay" fundie James Hartline has uncovered an unholy bankroller of Planned Parenthood -- Ecke Ranch, a poinsettia farm in California. He's on the case, to warn churches not to buy any of those wicked plants during the next "Christ in Christmas" holiday.

A Christian activist in California says Christians need to know that a major producer of poinsettias for the U.S. is also a major supporter of Planned Parenthood. James Hartline says it is no secret in the San Diego area that the Ecke family has long supported abortion financially. But according to Hartline, many churchgoers across the country do not know that the Eckes produce about 70 percent of all the poinsettias sold in the U.S.

"During the holiday season nearly every church in America -- tens of thousands of churches -- are full of poinsettias," he observes. And there's a good possibility that those poinsettias are coming from Ecke Ranch [in Encinitas]." To those who might question how the purchase of poinsettias ties in with support abortion support, Hartline has this response: "[T]hink about the profit in the tens and tens of millions [from the sale of poinsettias], and ... look at how much money the Eckes are pouring into Planned Parenthood, which is hundreds of thousands of dollars."

Laurel Hester's lasting impact on gay rights

This story continues to change minds and change lives. Former police officer Laurel Hester, who is dying of cancer, finally won the right to leave her pension benefit to her partner last week. She has already had a huge impact on gay rights in the state of New Jersey. All state employees, and county employees in Bergen and Hudson, Mercer, Union and Monmouth now have the ability to do so, due to elected officials in those townships extending the benefit after witnessing Laurel's courage.

Last night, Jackson Township Committeeman Mark A. Seda, a Republican, convinced his colleagues to unanimously vote for their town to extend domestic partner benefits to employees there as well. National Dem leadership -- you, the spineless ones who cannot and will not speak out for your gay constituents, look what a Republican has the courage to say.
Like many other people around the world, I've been learning a great deal recently about the issue of Domestic Partner rights that has placed Ocean County front and center on the world's stage through the incredibly courageous story of Ocean County's own hometown hero, Lt. Laurel Hester of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.

From what I can see, I'm only one of millions who's been touched in a very big way by Lt. Hester's story. If it weren't for Lt Hester's heart-wrenching story, I would probably not have paid much attention to this issue. Her dignity and the incredible bravery she's displayed at the end of her life in wanting to change the world has inspired me to realize that as an elected official I should be standing by her side.

I've been approached by a lot of people in Jackson and elsewhere about this issue. I was very pleased to learn that the overwhelming majority of them agree with me that this is an important civil rights issue; an issue that as Americans we all have to address. To me, it seems like it's nothing other than a very simple matter of fundamental fairness and Equal Rights for All Americans. If it weren't for Lt Hester's heart-wrenching story, I would probably not have paid much attention to this issue.

But now I have, and I'm alarmed to learn of the loop holes New Jersey law dealing with Domestic Partnership Rights.  I've found there are a lot of gaps in existing state laws that have been created in recent years and quite frankly in my estimation need to be closed.

It's that simple. Admit you didn't understand the complexities, say this is something that needs to be corrected, and move ahead and do it, because it is about fairness. Seda was able to say "civil rights" without having a conniption out of fear of offending groups of people who claim to be more aggrieved in the phony zero-sum game of "rights entitlement" (you know who you are).

You can read the rest of Seda's statement and Michael Jensen's thoughts on Laurel Hester's long-term impact on gay rights at The Big Gay Picture.

NBC yanks Book of Daniel?

[UPDATE: Confirmation. A story on the cancellation is now up on ]

From NBC's Book of Daniel bulletin board:
Unfortunately, due to many reasons, "The Book of Daniel" will no longer be aired on NBC on Friday nights. I just wanted to say "thank you" to all of you who supported the show. There were many wonderful, talented people who contributed to it's success - and I do mean success. Whatever the outcome, I feel that I accomplished what I set out to do: A solid family drama, with lots of humor, that honestly explored the lives of the Webster family. Good, flawed people, who loved each other no matter what... and there was always a lot of "what"! I remain proud of our product, proud of my association with Sony, NBC Universal, and NBC, who all took a chance on a project that spoke to them, and proud to have made an impact on so many of your lives.

Thanks for watching.
Jack Kenny
Creator, The Book of Daniel
I'm still waiting on more confirmation about the cancellation; I don't see reporting on this anywhere else -- except WingNutDaily, which is taking credit for an "Exclusive." However, a look at NBC's Friday night schedule shows no BoD on it. Law and Order is in the "Daniel" slot this Friday at 10 PM.

In a later post on the board:
I continue to be grateful for all these messages of support. Especially after such a difficult day. Rest assured that I will try my best to find some way to make the remaining episodes available to you. I may fail, but I will certainly try. Again, many many thanks.
Yesterday, Kenny seemed to be hinting that the ax was near, so this outcome would not be a surprise; the AFA's pressure on advertisers did have an effect. (The Christian Post):
Jack Kenny, who created NBC's new show about an Episcopal priest and his dysfunctional family, is asking fans to show their support in contacting stations as opponents such as the American Family Association (AFA) protest the "offensive" program.

"You are in danger of never seeing their most brilliant work yet," writes Kenny on a weblog hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

Many predict NBC will pull the plug on the show before it runs all eight episodes.

"NBC is losing between $2 (million) and $3 million each time they air The Book of Daniel," said Donald Wildmon, the association's chairman, according to Religion News Service. "With those kinds of losses, NBC may decide to cancel the show."

Advertisers along with affiliate networks have pulled their support for the program.

Fighting 'marriage protection' in Pennsylvania

The bible-beaters in Pennsylvania are salivating as a "Marriage Protection Amendment" bill starts its trip through the legislature. This one bans civil unions, and place domestic partnership benefits in jeopardy. The language:
"Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this commonwealth, and neither the commonwealth now nor any of its political subdivisions shall create or recognize a legal status identical or substantially equivalent to that of marriage for unmarried individuals."
The Pennsylvania Family Institute and Pennsylvania for Marriage folks are clear that the fight is not just about the word "marriage," and it will be tough to build a successful opposition effort in Santorum country.

Blender and blogger Nathan Henning of Nathan Ranting wrote in and said he like some help in organizing Pennsylvania blogger/activists.
The supporters of the Pennsylvania state marriage amendment have a huge advantage: organization. Simply with an email to their "church ops" network, they put church bulletin inserts in front of hundreds of thousands of constituents.

Where is the central message of the Equal Rights camp on the day that press conferences are being held in the Capitol Rotunda? The ACLU of PA (not even on their homepage!?!?), Liberty PA, and a smattering of bloggers. We've got to do better.

Pennsylvania equality supporters need a centralized point of information, education and collaboration. I've begun a Wikipedia page on the Pennsylvania Marriage Amendment and would invite as many as possible to responsibly participate. The goal? To keep them honest. We will shine the light of accountability and truth on this process.

The only way to defeat discrimination is through education.
PastorDan over at Street Prophets took up Nathan on his offer to join the wiki, and emailed me that he's giving the wingers something to chew on over at his fine pad (it was also published in the Lancaster Sunday News.). A snippet:
Look at the list of states with defense-of-marriage bills either on the ballot or in process: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wisconsin. One thing should jump out at you almost immediately: nearly all of these are swing states in this year's fall elections. South Carolina is the only one without a race that could be reasonably in play.

Our own situation is instructive. Rick Santorum has made a career out of representing conservative Christians. He's also getting crushed in the polls against Bob Casey, Jr., by as much as 50-35. If he's to have any hope of retaining his seat, he'll need to get those value voters motivated. Hence his appearance in favor of Samuel Alito at Justice Sunday III, sponsored by some of the same organizations pushing for the marriage amendment.

Now, I know that some people will say that I'm being far too cynical, that this is about defending a concept of absolute truth as defined by Biblical morality. It says in Leviticus that a man shall not lie with another man, and that's all we need to know.

To which I say: fine. I'm a Christian, and I'm comfortable debating scripture. But the proper place for scriptural debate is in the church, not state legislation. Like it or not, we live in a nation marked by ever-increasing diversity. Sooner or later, we will have to reconcile ourselves to the notion that not everyone shares our values--or our religion. To do otherwise is to create a religious litmus test for full participation in our society, the very thing many of our ancestors fled.
Head over to Street Prophets for more.

Immigration vs. Invasion

WingNutDaily addressed the immigration dilemma in style yesterday AM (screenshot)...

The graphic referred to in the last item is actually quite interesting, despite the freakout WND headline. For them the browning of America is the most frightening aspect of illegal immigration. Hmmm. No surprise there.

Neither party really wants to tackle this issue, btw. Business interests love the cheap labor, Dems are afraid of appearing racist in addressing the problem, and consumers take for granted the cheaper prices of goods and services produced on the backs of undocumented immigrant labor. I should qualify that -- elected officials in the border states, Dem and Republican, don't have their heads in the sand -- it's a crisis for them, and they are getting no real solutions out of Washington.

What complicates the issue is how to equitably handle the situation of those who have taken the time and effort to be here legally. That process is woefully bogged down, with so many people in green card queues that the backlog will take years for the government to address. Clearly any process that remotely smacks of amnesty for undocumented workers is a slap in the face of those following the rules to be here.

On the other hand, folks are streaming over the border because there isn't an incentive to stop coming here; businesses are more than happy to pay these folks a fraction of the prevailing wage under the table (it's more than they can make in their home country), driving overall wages down. OSHA safety standards? Ha. And health care for undocumented workers is often handled by trips to the emergency room.

This means the taxpayer is really shelling out for this in the most expensive ways possible because too many constituencies want to remain in denial that we have an underground economic engine chugging along on the backs of people who officially "don't exist."

It's a big mess. Efforts like the one below certainly don't help; they only provide a look at how immigration is splitting the GOP -- and the Dems aren't positioned to take advantage of it, of course.


Charlotte will be graced by the presence of batsh*t crazy wingers Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and Rethug tool Bay Buchanan on January 30.

They will be stopping here as part of their "Secure America (from the Mexicans) Now" tour. From the seriously low-end web site, this announcement from Bay:
We will be traveling in a Winnebago and going into small towns and large cities meeting with as many people as possible and using the media to get the message to thousands of others. I am certain Americans will join this cause if we can just get the word out.

Please join us on the road if you can, and if you have a Winnebago, come drive us through your state! We are counting on volunteers to make this tour successful. And if you can't join us, keep an eye on our website and follow our progress. We will be reporting in every day we're on the road.

Also we need your help to keep the Tour wheels rolling. We are using volunteers and will be eating a whole lot of hamburgers so if you could help pay for some of the gas with a contribution of $12.50 we would be really appreciative.

Please e-mail me directly if you can help with a Winnebago or if you can join the Tour.

Actual marketing shill for Team America Minuteman T-Shirts ("100% Made in the USA By Americans for Americans" screams the slogan): Team America custom designed these quality t-shirts to bring with us when we traveled to Tombstone, Arizona to support the Minuteman Project. We have a limited supply remaining. Please send in your orders as soon as possible...First come - first served!
Team America Pac is harsh on NC's pro-business/pro-undocumented worker-exploiting Senate tag team of Empty Wig Dole and Richard Pharma-boy Burr.
Unfortunately, Senators Burr and Dole have been leaning towards supporting a Guest Worker Amnesty which is favored by many corporate Political Action Committees. The US Senate is expected to try and insert guest worker amnesty language into a bill soon.

Dole and Burr's positions are out of line with North Carolina voters in a state where benefits and rewards for illegal aliens are opposed by over 80% of the population in numerous polls. Concerns about illegal immigration have risen to a top issue in NC after at least 6 people were killed or maimed by drunk driving illegal aliens in the second half of 2005.
* There's dumb, dumber, and then there's Tom Tancredo

Canada election results open thread

Monday, January 23, 2006

Just in case there isn't news to report before I shut off for the night, I wanted to put up an open thread for folks to post about the results in the Canadian elections.

UPDATE (3:30 AM): AP reports Harper and the Conservatives won, but it will be a minority government.

Conservative leader Stephen Harper is seen after winning the federal election. (CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson)

Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party won national elections Monday and ended 13 years of Liberal rule, a victory expected to move Canada rightward on social and economic issues and lead to improved ties with the United States...With nearly all votes counted in the race for the 308-seat House, officials results showed Conservatives with 123 seats; Liberals with 103; Bloc Quebecois with 50, New Democratic Party with 28; and one seat to an Independent. Three seats still haven't been determined.

...Prime Minister Paul Martin conceded defeat and said he would step down as head of the party, though remain in Parliament to represent the Montreal seat he won again. It was an unusual move to do both on the same night, but Martin appeared upbeat and eager to continue to fight the Conservatives from the opposition benches of the House.
The Canadian Press adds more detail:
The Tory leader won the election aided by gains in Ontario and a Liberal collapse of historic proportions in Quebec. But he failed to capture a single seat in the country's three biggest cities - Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver - indicating a stubborn urban-rural divide.

Harper's government will be a far tamer animal than the mighty Liberal and Tory majorities of the last 20 years. With 124 seats, Harper could be forced to negotiate every piece of legislation that goes through the 308-seat House of Commons.

That should ease fears by many that he will try to ban gay marriage and that his backbenchers might try to reopen the abortion debate.

...It's a massive win for Harper, who was dismissed as unelectable less than two years ago when he took the reins of a new party born out of a merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives.

As expected, the Conservatives dominated in the West, taking most ridings in the Prairies and scoring a clean sweep in Alberta, while dropping several seats in B.C.

Their big breakthrough was Ontario, where they won 40 seats, up from 24 the last time around. They also collected 10 seats in Quebec, a province where they have been shut out.

In Atlantic Canada, the expected Conservative breakthrough didn't materialize, delivering only nine of the 32 seats in the region, up just two from the last time around.

The Liberals lost seats nearly everywhere, but suffered the most damage in Ontario, where they gave up 21 of the 75 ridings won in 2004.

In Quebec, the Liberals suffered their worst defeat in history - matching the 13-seat low of 1882.
Voters take a chance, accept Stephen Harper for change

GLAAD Media Awards nominations are out

Nominations for the 17th Annual Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Media Awards have been announced. Here's a sampling of some of the good work out there that's being recognized...
Brokeback Mountain (Focus Features)
Capote (Sony Pictures Classics)
The Family Stone (20th Century Fox)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Warner Bros.)
Rent (Sony Pictures)

Beautiful Boxer (Regent Releasing/here! Films)
Mysterious Skin (TLA Releasing)
Saving Face (Sony Pictures Classics)
Transamerica (The Weinstein Company)
Walk On Water (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

Commander in Chief (ABC)
The L Word (Showtime)
Queer as Folk (Showtime)
Six Feet Under (HBO)
South of Nowhere (The N)

Out of Practice (CBS)
Shameless (BBC America)
Will & Grace (NBC)

(in a series without a regular gay character)
"Alien" Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
"Best Friends" Cold Case (CBS)
"Pilot" My Name Is Earl (NBC)
"Someone's in the Kitchen with Daddy" What I Like About You
(The WB)
"Transitions" Without a Trace (CBS)

American Experience: Kinsey (PBS)
Middle Sexes: Redefining He and She (HBO)
Same Sex America (Showtime)
TransGeneration (The Sundance Channel/Logo)
We Are Dad (Showtime)

"Becoming Diane" 20/20 (ABC)
"Gay Rodeo" Only In America (Discovery Times Channel)
"Lady Lions: Alleged Discrimination" Outside the Lines
"Lucky" Dateline NBC (NBC)
"The Mirror" Nightline (ABC)

"A House Divided" by Laura Bond (Westword)
"The New Radical" by Kim Martineau (The Hartford
"Paradise Lost" by Michelle Boorstein (The Washington
"The Stewards of Gay Washington" by Anne Hull (The
Washington Post)
"When an Employee Switches Gender, What's a Company
to Do?" by Stephanie Armour (USA Today)

"Andrew Goldstein" ESPN SportsCenter (ESPN)
"Coming Out" Live From... (CNN)
"Peter Hams" ESPN SportsCenter (ESPN)
"School Outing" Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN)
"Secret Sex Lives" Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN)
GLAAD also announced that this year's Barbara Gittings Award will be presented to the three new LGBT cable networks, Logo, here!, and Q Television. The awards will be televised on Logo, and, VH1 will air the program for the first time. The Logo airdate for the GLAAD Media Awards is April 15, 2006 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT). The VH1 airdate is April 16 at 11 p.m. (ET/PT).

The Prada Pope's pontificating has a price tag

I'm not making this up. This Pope's behavior is descending into the level of farce. The church must be getting low on the cash flow based on this action, with the millions of dollars being paid out in settlements for the criminal behavior of pedophile priests enabled by Pape Ratzi.
The Vatican has been accused of trying to cash in on the Pope’s words after it decided to impose strict copyright on all papal pronouncements. For the first time all papal documents, including encyclicals, will be governed by copyright invested in the official Vatican publishing house, the Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

The edict covers Pope Benedict XVI’s first encyclical, which is to be issued this week amid huge international interest. The edict is retroactive, covering not only the writings of the present pontiff — as Pope and as cardinal — but also those of his predecessors over the past 50 years. It therefore includes anything written by John Paul II, John Paul I, Paul VI and John XXIII.

The decision was denounced yesterday for treating the Pope’s words as “saleable merchandise” and endangering the Church’s mission to “spread the Christian message”.

...Vittorio Messori, who has co-authored works with Pope Benedict and John Paul II, said that he was “perplexed and alarmed . . . This is wholly negative and absolutely disastrous for the Vatican’s image.” A pope’s words should be available to all free of charge, he said, and to “cash in in this way surrounds the clergy with the odour of money”.

Publishers will have to negotiate a levy of between 3 per cent and 5 per cent of the cover price of any book or publication “containing the Pope’s words”. Those who infringe the copyright face legal action and a higher levy of 15 per cent.

Porn on the Pod gets Bob Knight hot

Mike Tidmus pointed me to the latest unhinged rant by the penis-possessing pornfighter of Concerned Women of America's Culture and Family Institute, Bob Knight. It appears that his latest obsession is the iPod's capability to download and display some skinshots. (AgapePress)
According to reports inside the porn industry, parents who already have to compete against earbuds pumping music directly into their children's ears may soon be facing an even more frightening opponent: pornographic images on video-capable iPods.

Parents are being warned of the smut industry's effort to make hard-core pornographic imagery available to users of Apple Computer's iPod and similar portable video devices. The popularity of Apple's new video-capable portable technology has driven porn industry providers to introduce iPod-compatible video content.

...Bob Knight, director of the Culture and Family Institute, is more emphatic. "This is a nightmare for parents who are trying to protect their kids from early exposure to porn," Knight says. "In terms of delivering smut, the hand-held gadgets are already making the Internet look like a quaint, old steam engine.

"Parents need to know that they are potentially putting an X-rated porn shop right into their kid's hands when they buy these [portable video players] for them."
Mike doesn't see what Bob's problem is. Mike calls this video iPod, the Diablo in ravishing red.

Image via Idealist Future.

A nightmare for parents? Early porn exposure? As opposed to what, vine-ripened porn exposure?

So just to add a tad more agony to every christer parent’s nightmarish dilemma, here are the iPods on which your kids need to be watching Debbie does Dr Dobson ... (drumroll) ... the Podstar Diablo! Pictured above and described by their creator as, “Designs you’d sell your soul for,” Podstar offers four unique designs, each available in black or red.

And, hey, christer kiddies … all your friends are gonna own one!

The Crawford Cowboy is asked about 'Brokeback'

Actual caption on that Bush photo: US President George W. Bush looks over the crowd and collects his thoughts as he is introduced on stage to deliver remarks on the global war on terror at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. (AFP/Paul J. Richards)

The BradBlog has the video of the Crawford Cowboy-wannabe as he was questioned today about whether he's seen Brokeback Mountain. He was speaking at Kansas State University about the War on Terra.
QUESTION: You're a rancher. A lot of here in Kansas are ranchers. I was just wanting to get your opinion on "Brokeback Mountain" if you've seen it yet. (LAUGHTER)

You would love it. You should check it out. (LAUGHTER)

BUSH: I hadn't seen it. I'd be glad to talk about ranching, but I haven't seen the movie. (LAUGHTER)

I've heard about it. (LAUGHTER)

I hope you go, you know...(LAUGHTER)

I hope you go back to the ranch and the farms is what I was about to say.

I hadn't seen it.(LAUGHTER)
Why see it when you can live it, Dear Leader?

Hat tip, Holly.

Fed LGBT website is gone

Blender Andy of Eleventh Avenue South shot me an email to answer the question I posed in an earlier post, How long before a Bush drone puts a stop to this?

The answer is 12 days. That's how long it takes for a Bush drone to scrub a government web site of gay-positive content.

The URL: used to go to the "Celebrating the Pride and Diversity Among and Within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Populations" section (Google cache of the yanked page here) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's web site. Surfing there today, you receive the following message:
We are currently updating our Web site to better server our customers. The page you are trying to access is no longer available. We apologize for the inconvenience.
SAMSHA is a division of Health and Human Services. Here's the mission of the agency:
SAMHSA's vision is a life in the community for everyone. SAMHSA's mission is to build resilience and facilitate recovery for people with or at risk for substance abuse and mental illness.
Apparently HHS head Mike Leavitt got a phone call from Family Research Council head Tony Perkins and his bible beating, friends, who went apesh*t when they saw the site's gay-positive content.

Leavitt yanked the whole section. I guess something made the fundamentalist HHS head's cranium explode. Look at what I said in the first post.
Once he's alerted about the gay-positive resources on the SAMHSA site, you may see it "disappear" or receive a little editorial facelift, considering his vision for HHS, laid out in his "500 Day Plan".

One can only hope that the hammer didn't come down on gay-friendly Nancy Kennedy ( of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention/SAMHSA/DHHS. She has 30 years of professional and personal experience in mental health, substance abuse and sexual orientation, and (up until now) has been able to offer open, clear, honest and inclusive information to the LGBT community at this taxpayer-funded site.At least she tried.

Pentagon: we won't release docs about spying on homos

I think this reaction suggests that the Pentagon has something to hide, don't you? (365gay):
The administration is refusing to turn over documents related to allegations that it spied on LGBT civil rights groups.

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which represents gays in the military, and other LGBT rights groups sought the documents under the Freedom of Information Act. They filed the request early this month and asked that the government respond within 20 days.

Last month media reports said that the Pentagon has been spying on "suspicious" meetings by civilian groups, including student groups opposed to the military’s "don't ask, don't tell".
Last year, Lisa Myers, Douglas Pasternak, Rich Gardella and the NBC Investigative Unit obtained a secret 400-page Defense Department document listing peace activists and monitoring people at Iraq war protests. SLDN contends that gay groups were spied on as well.
The FOIA request included a demand for “any and all documents” concerning meetings and communications within and between LGBT organizations, including SLDN. The filing included a request for “reports, video recordings, audio recording and photographs” obtained through Pentagon surveillance.

...The Department of Defense turned down the request saying that SLDN is not an organization primarily engaged in disseminating information to the public and that there is no imminent loss of substantial due process rights.

"I'm not surprised to learn that the government is attempting to stonewall our original FOIA request," SLDN spokesperson Steve Ralls said on Monday.

Unscripted questions, hand-picked audiences

Bush to Take Unscripted Audience Questions. If it's not an open forum (tickets are required), it's hard to spin that Bush-bot will be "thinking" on his feet. What garbage. (AP):
Move over, Oprah. President Bush is making himself into television's newest talk show host by featuring audience participation in his appearances.

Bush has been taking questions from audience members in recent speeches, and the White House says none has been prescreened even though the sessions are limted to invited groups. It's a throwback to the folksy style on the campaign trail that helped him win re-election and a departure from the heavily scripted speeches that were the norm last year.

...The White House has grown so comfortable with the format that most of his appearance Monday at Kansas State University was reserved for Q-and-A with the audience.

And unlike the more intimate settings where the president has taken questions before, this appearance was set in front of a coliseum full of 9,000 ticket holders, including students, soldiers from nearby Fort Riley and invited guests.

Bush has taken a wide variety of questions in three other appearances during the last six weeks. Many of the people he has called on have fawned over him, thanking him for his wartime leadership, saying they pray for him and bringing best wishes from other fans in their family who couldn't be there.

Brilliant Alito ad released by NBJC

[UPDATE: Welcome, Raw Story readers. I've added Freeper reaction to this ad at the end of the post...]

This is a slam dunk ad on Alito by the National Black Justice Coalition. It will be published in black newspapers in Baltimore and Washington, and in Roll Call, the Congressional newspaper.

NBJC Director of Religious Affairs Dr. Sylvia Rhue noted that "Forty years ago, opponents of interracial marriage cited the Bible to justify their discrimination. Today, opponents of same-gender marriage cite the Bible to justify their discrimination."

There's nothing like turning the tables on the wingers, especially Clarence Thomas -- the ad asks, "Offense Before God?" I converted the ad to text to post (click here for the PDF).
Offense Before God?

Clarence Thomas and Wife Virginia

Before 1967, laws would not allow Clarence Thomas, a black man, to marry his wife Virginia, a white woman. Opponents of interracial marriage cited the Bible to justify this discrimination.

In 2006, laws do not allow two men or two women to marry each other. Opponents of same-sex marriage cite the Bible to justify this discrimination.

Using Religion To Justify Discrimination Is The Real Offense Before God.
In 1967, the Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that laws against interracial marriage were unconstitutional.

We wonder: If Clarence Thomas had been on the Court in 1967, how would he have voted?

We wonder: If Samuel Alito had been on the Court in 1967, how would he have voted?

Today, America is faced with the challenge of how to treat a group of its citizens fairly. We've been down this road before. We can't allow powerful people to use religion to justify their bigotry. It wasn't right for African Americans, and it's not right for gays and lesbians.

In America, the framers of our Constitution created a separation of church and state for a good reason: to protect minorities.

Don't turn back the clock. Let's protect our Constitution.
Of course, the larger question, even with this meaningful ad campaign, is whether the Democrats are going to do anything about the Alito nomination at this point? Sigh.

Contact your Dem Senators and tell them the filibuster shouldn't be off the table.


Well, well, the knuckle-draggers in Freeperville don't like the ad for some reason. Read some of the deranged comments.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

This ad is absolutely reprehensible. Justice Thomas and his wife deserve so much better than this. So much for the left being the party of tolerance!

There are people who just can't get over Justice Thomas' white wife. They should be taken out and flogged in the streets.

Total apples and oranges, interracial marriages and gay "rights."

American Blacks sink lower and lower each day that goes by. Hispanics and Asian are blowing right by them as they continue to wallow in racism and hate. Problem is, they can't even see the trees for the forest. Fifty years from today, unless they get real, they will be in the same straits they have been in for the past fifty years as slaves of the Democrat Party. What fools!!!

I feel so bad for all the decent, smart, God loving people who are black and who have leaders who are dragging them down into racism. There's so many who are hurt by the few who carry on like this.

I fail to see the logic. Are they accusing Justice Clarence Thomas of miscegenation? Black people, for the most part, are Christians, so accusing Alito of being a Christian isn't going to fly very far, either. This ad campaign should be about as effective as hitting yourself over the head with a hammer. You would need to be a twisted fanatic to understand what the hell they are talking about.

So, are we going to let ther racists and fags take the country? I think not.

They think this is a "teachable moment", eh? Well, maybe someone should take a moment to teach them that the black community doesn't equate homosexuality with race as a civil rights issue.

We keep seeing evidence of the black racism, and yet no one will point it out....because, it is not possible, in some people's eyes...Besides, Thomas wouldn't have had to worry about making that decision about whites/black marrying ---he wouldn't have been on the Supreme Court....which shows how far black people have come in the Republicans eyes...

I'm going to wait for the rebuttal ad from The National White Justice Coalition. LOL

Blacks who support gay marriage? You can count them all on one hand. What a joke.

Technically, all humans are of the same race. It's nothing but skin color. So basically, they're ACTUALLY saying that they want to equate the marriage of two homosexuals to the marriage of a man and a woman. Which is bogus. Homosexual Agenda/Moral Absolutes double-ping!

Clarence and Virginia Thomas may be of different color, but they are MAN and WOMAN.

I think the matter is complicated. It's possible, for instance, that there is actually a higher percentage of black homosexuals than white homosexuals, because one probable cause of homosexuality is broken families and absent fathers. But actual homosexuals are only a few percent of either the black or white populations. What matters more is large numbers of politically correct fanatics who support homosexuality as a way to destroy traditional values. In that regard, there are far more white supporters of homosexuality, maybe something like a third of the white population. The black community as a whole does NOT support issues like gay marriage, and is more conservative as a whole than the white community on such issues.
More fresh Blend here.

Canada goes to the polls today

Angus Reid Global Scan

Good luck, friends to the North. Stephen Harper is about 10 points ahead in the polls. (
The polls leading up to election day point to a win by Conservative Leader Stephen Harper. It won't be clear until late this evening whether those results will prove true. Either way, it appears as if we are headed for another minority government.

Buoyed by the promising poll number, Harper spent his final day of campaigning urging Canadians to vote for a change. He opened the day in Liberal Leader Paul Martin's hometown of Windsor, Ont., before heading west, and picked up on his familiar theme of Liberal "corruption."
The Christian Science Monitor has this interesting observation.
Perhaps the most dramatic campaign story has unfolded in Quebec, where Conservatives failed to win a single seat in the last election. According to a recent poll, the Conservatives' leader, Stephen Harper, is more popular in Quebec than he is in his home province of Alberta, the most conservative region in the country.

"That's like saying George Bush has higher positives [ratings] in Massachusetts than in the state of Texas," says Tim Woolstencroft, managing partner with Strategic Counsel, the Toronto firm that conducted the poll. "It's stunning." Nationwide, Mr. Harper's favorable rating is over 50 percent.

Gee, who is the gay 'top Bush aide'?

The New York Daily News sheds some light on what kind of spinning is done at the White House -- closet control. There are plenty of aides that probably need a gay damage control specialist.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is importing Bush-Cheney political A-teamers to try to salvage his stumbling campaign.

The California governor has hired Steve Schmidt, Vice President Cheney's top strategist and spokesman...Schmidt is a formidable political pugilist whose battles range from taking on Democrats over the Supreme Court nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to killing Internet rumors accusing a top Bush aide of being gay.
Hat tip, AmericaBlog


In other, possibly related news...

Mehlman outed on MSNBC -- and they censor the transcript

The problem isn't that Rachell Maddow outs the RNC chairman and Bush strategist on Tucker Carlson's show, it's that MSNBC feels the need to edit its transcript. Gee, is Kenny Boy so precious and delicate that a newschannel feels the need to censor this? That's offensive. Crooks and Liars has the video.

Here's Ken showing some hot moves last year in a DC bar with a chick (one in a series of pix on Capitol Buzz), quashing all those rumors, of course.

Hat tip to DKos diarist Mike Stark.

Another perverted pastor

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Paulk believes little things like marital fidelity were for "the little ones...commoners."

Bishop Earl Paulk has a special interpretation of the scriptures that seems to involve a lot of extramarital sex. The leader of Chapel Hill Harvester Church in Decatur, GA is being sued by Mona Brewer, a former member of the church, charging sexual misconduct and acts of sexual coercion.

Read and decide.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mona says she came to view Paulk, a married father and grandfather, as a holy messenger of the lord selected by God to speak for the almighty. And, over time, Bishop Paulk's church became her life. Mona became a teacher in the church school, a soloist in the church choir. And, at age 27, she even married an associate church pastor, a union blessed by Paulk himself, a man she believed so close to God that his words could never be questioned.

BREWER: There were signs on the walls at the church. They didn't put scriptures on the wall. They put his sayings, his quotations. And one of them was, "The kingdom of God is built in trust." And we were taught that we were to trust our spiritual authority, and we were taught not to question it.

MATTINGLY: She says this man she respected so much, it turns out, had been moved by her singing and wanted to take her to a higher level of ministry...But Mona was about to get something she never expected. She says, in her next few meetings with Paulk, his plans for her became shockingly clear.

BREWER: He said, well, I guess you will just have to take your clothes off, because I'm going to have to love you. Whoa. And I thought, oh, God. You know, I didn't want to do it, but what choice did I have? I mean, I have been taught for all these years not to question him. And I had this word from God. I mean, God obviously wanted me to do this.

And it was so foreign to me, but I -- I didn't know what else to do. I was on the spot. So, I took off my clothes, and we did it.

...MATTINGLY: The liaisons continued, she says, and became frequent. She says that Paulk used the scriptures to justify the seemingly unholy behavior, claiming that God had elevated him above the sin of adultery.

BREWER: Because he said, you know, the adultery issue was for the little ones. It was for the -- the people, the, you know, commoners. It wasn't for people who God elevated and trusted with special things like this, relationships like this. And that's the way he explained it to me.
This went on for 14 years. One of the other "holy engagements" Paulk convinced Brewer to participate in was to provide sexual hospitality to other visiting charismatic preachers as well as Paulk's family members. Nice.

Paulk also secretly had others watching while they had sex. Cindy Hall, another church member was instructed to watch, and then "take her turn" after he was through with Brewer. Hall has given a deposition for Brewer's lawsuit.

The pious Paulk says it's libel and slander, and told CNN that "It would be interesting to see what percentage of viewers would buy into this beautiful 40-year-old woman's preposterous sex fantasy."

And this isn't the first time he's been in trouble either, despite his protests of innocence and fantasy on Brewer's part. In 2001, another female church member sued him, claiming the bishop sexually molested her when she was a child and as a teenager. That suit was settled out of court in 2003.

After leaders of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches (ICCC) caught wind of this current nonsense, the body asked Paulk to step down from his position as archbishop last October, he then offered up his resignation.

The full transcript is here.

Fred Phelps and the fag-infested hell-hole known as West Virginia

It's a great laugh-fest over at DKos and Carnacki's blog today.

The latest from the Rotting CryptkeeperTM is hilarious. Fred has decided that West Virginia, of all states, is the center of the fag-damnation universe. He says it is "by far the worst."

Does Fred know about some party district up in the West Virginia mountains that Damron hasn't heard about? He thinks it's even more sodomite-loving and filthy than The Castro, Greenwich Village or the den of sin where Bush said he partied hard in his "former" wild days, the French Quarter of NOLA.

Carnaki decided to write an open letter to the homo-fixated "minister." A snippet:
I take pride in the fact that of all the places you've picketed, the worst "by far" reception you ever received is in West Virginia. And yes, we are blood-thirsty thugs. Keep that in mind when you mess with one West Virginian, you mess with the entire fucking tribe.

...Phelps, keep in mind what you wrote about West Virginians. You looking for wrath, you just might find it. The people in coal country are not people to mess -- even when you've got field artillery and the U.S. Army behind you as people found out in the Coal Mine Wars of the 1920s.

I believe God is loving and merciful.

But you fuck with West Virginians at your own risk.

Plausible deniability going up in smoke

So, shall we start taking bets on how long it will take for Scott McClellan to go fetal during the White House press briefing when these photos of Bush and Jack Abramoff surface? Remember, the Chimperor says he hasn't met the now-radioactive lobbyist. (Time):
Peppered for days with questions about Abramoff's visits to the White House, press secretary Scott McClellan said the now disgraced lobbyist had attended two huge holiday receptions and a few "staff-level meetings" that were not worth describing further. "The President does not know him, nor does the President recall ever meeting him," McClellan said.

The President's memory may soon be unhappily refreshed. TIME has seen five photographs of Abramoff and the President that suggest a level of contact between them that Bush's aides have downplayed. While TIME's source refused to provide the pictures for publication, they are likely to see the light of day eventually because celebrity tabloids are on the prowl for them.

...In one shot that TIME saw, Bush appears with Abramoff, several unidentified people and Raul Garza Sr., a Texan Abramoff represented who was then chairman of the Kickapoo Indians, which owned a casino in southern Texas. Garza, who is wearing jeans and a bolo tie in the picture, told TIME that Bush greeted him as "Jefe," or "chief" in Spanish. Another photo shows Bush shaking hands with Abramoff in front of a window and a blue drape. The shot bears Bush's signature, perhaps made by a machine. Three other photos are of Bush, Abramoff and, in each view, one of the lobbyist's sons (three of his five children are boys). A sixth picture shows several Abramoff children with Bush and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who is now pushing to tighten lobbying laws after declining to do so last year when the scandal was in its early stages.
Now how do you suppose the President "forgot" about all these meetings, however brief? Unfortunately there isn't even wiggle room left for The Weasel in Chief to claim a faulty memory, according to The Washingtonian.
Sources say the photographs are being kept safe. Abramoff would tell prosecutors, if asked, that not only did he know the President, but the President knew the names of Abramoff’s children and asked about them during their meetings. At one such photo session, Bush discussed the fact that both he and Abramoff were fathers of twins.

Bush proclaims today 'National Sanctity of Human Life Day'

Thinking fetuses everywhere can rejoice, while those of us of the post-born variety shall continue to suffer under this Administration. Wake me up when the irony train arrives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Today's proclamation:
"Our Nation was founded on the belief that every human being has rights, dignity, and value. On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, we underscore our commitment to building a culture of life where all individuals are welcomed in life and protected in law.

America is making great strides in our efforts to protect human life. One of my first actions as President was to sign an order banning the use of taxpayer money on programs that promote abortion overseas. Over the past 5 years, I also have been proud to sign into law the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and a ban on partial-birth abortion. In addition, my Administration continues to fund abstinence and adoption programs and numerous faith-based and community initiatives that support these efforts."
I guess it's too much to expect the President to understand the irony of his proclamation.

What about all the sanctity of lives obiliterated in Iraq? Iraqi citizens and our own troops aren't on his list of the lives he is concerned about with today's declaration. No need to list them anyway, since actions speak louder than words, so little matters such as not giving your soldiers adequate body armor (or even enough bullets) pretty much says it all.

Come to think of it, Dear Leader wasn't known as the Texecutioner for nothing. He really knew how to determine the sanctity of life back in the day.

During his six years as governor of Texas, Bush presided over more executions than any other governor in the recent history of the United States. Tucker was executed in 1988 and was the first woman executed in the U.S. since 1984 -- the first in Texas since the Civil War.

Bob Geiger has more to say about this outrageous proclamation (which coincides with the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, no less).
Bush then goes on to brag about all the steps his administration has taken to ..."protect human life" while neglecting to mention the many safety-net programs cut in his most recent budget. Likewise, he says nothing about his party's 2005 blockades of a minimum wage increase and low-income heating programs and his refusal to even acknowledge a health care crisis that systematically leaves millions of elderly Americans and children with no ability to stay healthy.

That's those wacky Republicans: Love the fetus, hate the child.

...It's also a damn shame this stirring resolution comes too late for the 2,224 U.S. military dead in Iraq or the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have been sacrificed in the name of Bush's "culture of life."

Tasty new redesign over at Shakes Sis

She did it again! Take a look at Shakespeare's Sister's new pad.

Koufax 'Best New Blog' noms are up

If you love surfing the progressive blogosphere, you're going to see quite a few familiar stops along this list. Wampum has the Koufax nominees up for Best New Blog.

These are just some of the fine blogs that I read that made the cut: The Adventures of the Smart Patrol, Agitprop, Blue NC,, firedoglake, Good as You, The Heretik, My Left Wing, Pensito Review, The Petrelis Files, The Reaction, Some Watery Thoughts, Street Prophets, Unclaimed Territory by Glenn Greenwald.

There are many more over at Wampum, and all deserve your review this year. The top 8-10 vote recipients will move on to the final round of voting. Surf over to Wampum (voting via comments isn't live yet), to see some worthy nominees. Nominees in other categories will be coming up soon.

Great interview with gay soldier

Kyle Lawson, the gay Army Private who was attacked by a soldier after being inadvertently outed at a party with fellow members of the 309th Military Intelligence Battalion, is interviewed over at After the his orientation was revealed, Lawson was attacked by a fellow soldier, his nose broken, and received multiple threats. Another soldier assaulted Lawson with a knife. Since the incidents, Lawson has been honorably discharged and the assailants have received light punishment. A snippet:
Tell us how the soldier who attacked you was punished. What is his current status?
Loss of Phase and extra duty, which means he can't hang with his friends on the weekend. He must instead work on post - not even a slap on the wrist.

Your attacker said you provoked the assault by making sexually suggestive remarks? True? If not, what exactly sparked it?
This is a typical response when gays are assaulted. Someone has to answer to the military. Look at the case of Private First Class Barry Winchell. When the guilty soldiers had to answer to their chain of command they used the "he was hitting on me" defense.

We were talking about a girl he had the hots for and I was telling him to go for it. He’d found out earlier that I was gay he told me to get the f**** away from him so I walked over to a group of friends. I was extremely upset, asking what his problem was. He came walking up behind me grabbing me by that shoulder and said "Get the f*** out c*** sucker. I told him to back off and I turned away from him. He grabbed me by the shoulder and said "don't ignore me you f**** queer." He then punched me in the face and I fell to the floor.

What was it like for you to be confronted with a knife after the first attack? Was that when you realized you needed to leave the military for fear of your own safety?

Before I was attacked the first time I went to my command and asked if my sexuality would be a problem because I was being harassed and thought something should be done. They assured me that my being gay had nothing to do with being a soldier and I would be perfectly fine as long as I kept it to myself. The same weekend I was attacked, I was moved to another unit where everyone knew why my nose was broken. Everyone there was very accepting of my being in the military and gay. They really didn't care. Only one person had a problem with my being gay. One day I was in the barracks hanging out and he came up to me, pulled a knife on me and said if I didn't get out of his barracks he was going to cut me up. I just let it roll off thinking he was just an idiot trying to act bad. He continued making remarks to other soldiers saying he wanted to see me cut up into little pieces. He would even cut his arm saying the blood on the floor was my blood and he couldn't wait to see more all over (freak maybe he shouldn’t be in the army). So once I heard this I went to my commanded and requested a discharge.
Thanks to Blender Adam for the pointer.

Rent boy a-go-go across the pond

I think this man has a future in American politics! How about this story in Britain's News of the World:

LIB-DEM leadership challenger Mark Oaten has been leading a sordid secret double life — sneaking off from Parliament to pay rent boys for three-in-a-bed sex.

And the News of the World can reveal insiders are convinced THAT is the real reason the married dad of two suddenly pulled out of the race for his party's top job this week. Following our shock investigation the shamed high-flyer last night quit as the Liberal Democrats' home affairs spokesman.

One young male prostitute told us: "Oaten was a regular punter for six months. He loved gay sex and humiliation. "It was a huge turn-on for him. He couldn't get enough. He's a very troubled man living a very dangerous double life."

The news will stun his party, already reeling from leader Charles Kennedy being forced to quit over his secret drinking AND yesterday's revelation that House of Lords Lib Dem leader Tom McNally was also an alcoholic.
This story is chock full of sordid details from the twenty-something rent boy, who received regular calls "for service" from Oaten. Hey, maybe the rent boy has a future in journalism -- just like Bulldog Gannon...

The cherry on top, of course, is the hypocrisy. Good grief, Oaten must be getting training from some of our residents of the Conservative Values Monitor -- and he isn't even conservative...
The scandal exposes Oaten as a hypocrite. Last year he CONDEMNED a judge who was sacked for hiring rent boys. And he has no qualms about using family values to further his career. His website boasts he is a family man who lives with them in his constituency.
The BBC has more.

Hat tip Holly.

Florida bible-beaters wringing hands over lack of signatures for amendment

The drive to get enough folks to sign a petition for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage is failing miserably. Nice to see the incredible overreaching. (Baptist Press):
Barring an incredible effort by Florida churches in the final days of January, a signature drive for a constitutional marriage amendment there appears likely to fail.

Needing 611,000 valid signatures to place an amendment on the November ballot, the effort in Florida thus far has only 220,000, according to figures posted on the Florida Department of State website. Conservatives say the effort still can succeed, but not unless pastors take the lead by getting their members to sign the petitions, which are available for downloading at The petitions must be delivered to the local county's supervisor of elections by Tuesday, Jan. 31.

..."As much as we have tried to get our churches co-engaged with this project … it's been difficult," Bill Bunkley, legislative consultant with the Florida Baptist Convention, told BP.
Here's my favorite part. He blames the lack of success on the hurricanes and the holidays -- you know the "put the Christ back in Christmas" holiday. And as far as the hurricanes go, was this a sign from God that they were not supposed to succeeed? Just asking.
Conservatives, Bunkley said, have battled a number of distractions, including hurricanes and the busy seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas. He also said that the late date for the Florida Baptist State Convention -- it took place in mid-November -- gave Baptists little time to gain momentum before the petition deadline.

'Wicked' letters in the WingNutDaily mailbag

Saturday, January 21, 2006

This is almost as good as Freeperville. You might remember the news I posted a couple of days ago about openly gay actor Chad Allen landing the dual role of a slain evangelical Christian missionary and his son in End of the Spear .

The casting sent the wingers into a tizzy -- gasp -- a homo playing the role of a religious person! They were shot down by the son of one of the missionaries portrayed in the film, Steve Saint. He endorsed Allen's casting after reading an article in The Advocate, where Chad spoke about the importance of doing good works and serving others.

I thought this would be the end of it, but some WingNutDaily readers couldn't let it go. Check out some of this mail, they get quite catty.
Christian lap dogs

The fact that a blatant homosexual is playing the famous missionary is a mockery. However, why have so many news outlets been strangely silent about the fact that women openly involved in pornography played significant roles in "The Passion"? Should not this fact be mentioned when discussing this latest film? Is not the movie industry playing Christians for little lap dogs who can't wait to stand on their hind legs and yelp for the next doggie treat given to them by the big movie producers? Do they not secretly laugh when pornography queens play Christian women, and so many Christians are silent? Yes, they are willing to look the other way (i.e., stand on their hind legs) if they can actually have a big "Christian" movie.


Wicked and pagan

Once again, Hollywood has demonstrated its determination to take a story, which has been dear to the hearts of Christians for years, such as "Through Gates of Splendor," and hijack it to promote their own wicked homosexual agenda.

Nate Saint, Jim Elliot and the other missionaries did not compromise in their commitment to bring the Gospel to people who were living in murderous pagan ignorance, even laying down their lives willingly to accomplish it. Jim Elliot was quoted as saying, "He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep, in order to gain that which he cannot lose." Does this sound like the kind of man who would tolerate wicked pagan homosexuality to flourish in America, and even be accepted by Christians?

Any Christian who pays good money to see this wicked slander to the memory of these brave and honorable missionaries should be ashamed, and any "preacher" who endorsed it, should be immediately fired by his congregation.


WND gossipers

How truly annoying you are most of the time now. You are the ones making a bigger deal out of this actor's role and activism. Who are you to swirl up the controversy when it may actually be God who wanted this young man involved? By stirring up the controversy you are showing the very worst side of Christianity.

I think the movie production company showed true Christianity when they overlooked this man's lifestyle and cast him for the role. Jesus would do it. He would love him but set boundaries, and through that the man could be changed. But by your gossiping, you are making Christians seem worse.


Drop the sex!

I have been sadly disappointed in the attention WorldNetDaily has been giving to sex-related articles. It seems you are using the depravity of men to sell your own newssite.

I have had to remove your site from our favorites to keep my children from seeing inappropriate and distasteful news. It's beginning to look like the Enquirer and tabloids at the check out stand at the grocery store.
After reading some of the really unhinged letters, I have to wonder what would these people think if they knew how many of their favorite stars, past and present, are big old homos?

It will be tough to get black churches to embrace gay rights

That's the message coming out so far at the two-day conference on homophobia in the black community, put on by the National Black Justice Coalition. It's being held in Atlanta, and conservative pastors have not come forth to confront the issues for fear of losing parishioners. (NYT):
Though most black Christians are liberal on pocketbook issues, they are social conservatives, speakers at the conference said. Yet getting black churches to accept gay men and lesbians has gained particular urgency over the last two years, participants noted.

The high rate of H.I.V. infection among blacks stems in part, they said, from the unwillingness of black ministers to discuss sexuality. They contended that the Republican Party and white evangelical Christians attracted a small but significant number of black votes in the 2004 presidential election by arguing for a nationwide ban on same-sex marriage and appealing to their conservative mores.
Now I hear plenty of bleating from those on the right that because Bush only received 11 percent of the vote in 2004 (and that support would have dropped down to about zero if the election had been after Katrina), that this is somehow evidence that blacks have not bought into the Right Wing Fever.

This is crazy. What we are talking about is social conservatism; while there may be some drift to the GOP in small numbers, most will vote Dem. What the naysayers seem to forget is that even if someone casts a ballot for a Dem, if there's a marriage amendment on the ballot, the chances are high that this core group of religious blacks will vote for the amendment too. In fact, at this point, it's entirely possible if a Dem that is progressive on gay rights is on a ticket and a "family values" Republican who can cloak him/herself as otherwise moderate, the Repug could win. The issue for the GOP is that blacks have no use for most of the fringe candidates out there.
Conservative black ministers in Atlanta have so far not taken up invitations to discuss attitudes toward gay men and lesbians, said the Rev. Kenneth L. Samuel, pastor of Victory Church in nearby Stone Mountain. Moreover, ministers who are willing to preach acceptance of gay men and lesbians stand to lose many parishioners, Dr. Samuel and others said.

... "This is a learning experience, and it has not been without costs," the Rev. Timothy McDonald, pastor of First Iconium, said of his decision to be host of the conference, organized by the National Black Justice Coalition, an advocacy group for gay men and lesbians based in Washington. "Have we gotten nasty phone calls? Yes. Do I have the marks to show for it? Yes. But I think Jesus took some unpopular stances, too."

Through 2004 and early 2005, black evangelical ministers worked with their white counterparts to muster support for a ban on same-sex marriage. That campaign's momentum may be flagging somewhat because of inaction by Congress and the president on a constitutional amendment to prohibit the unions, said Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr., a proponent of the ban and pastor of Hope Christian Church in College Park, Md.

Still, black preachers like Mr. Jackson are crisscrossing the country, trying to draw more black members of the clergy to their cause.

Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman is author of a six-point "Black Contract with America on Moral Values." He believes that most black churches oppose same-sex marriage because of "the clear teaching of Scripture." Oh, and he is a pastor who has received $824,000 of faith-based funds.

... Some blacks are also loath to accept gay men and lesbians in their midst because the sexuality of African-Americans has been stereotyped as promiscuous and unhealthy, said Alton Pollard III, director of black church studies at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

"I don't think that black people are more homophobic than anyone else," Dr. Pollard said, "but blacks have been stigmatized for so long as sexual beings that any discussion of homosexuality causes even greater discomfort."
Pollard's point has not been discussed much in the media coverage of this topic, probably for good reason. How, then, are Dems going to be able to overcome the reticence of the conservative religious black community to think beyond that painful stigma and discuss and accept the reality that the discrimination they perpetuate upon gays and lesbians is wrong on many levels, particularly for the community itself. The explosion of HIV among black women is real -- not frankly talking about sex and sexuality is deadly.

There's not been a lot of success making white evangelicals see the light about civil equality; the ability to do so with socially conservative religious blacks seems doubly hard.

It is a given that, even in a progressive community like the Triangle area of NC, when issues surrounding gay rights are concerned, it's representatives from the most socially conservative black churches that show up to protest and demonize, joining up with the white evangelicals.  Our local bigot that gets the most face-time is Patrick Wooden of the Upper Room Church in Raleigh.

Breaking: Laurel Hester will be able to leave pension benefit to partner

The Ocean County, NJ Freeholders finally do the right thing. It only happened after the five heartless Republican Freeholders were avalanched by calls, emails and critical TV coverage. In the end, Laurel Hester will be able to pass her pension benefit to her partner, Stacie Andree. It was Laurel's bravery -- and the support from around the world -- that made this happen. It's sad that it took that amount of exposure to overturn such bigotry, but the happy ending is worth it.
Following Hester's emotional appeal freeholders refused to reopen the issue. But following news coverage including television reports which showed Hester's deteriorating condition, freeholders were besieged with critical phone calls and emails.

Late Friday state Sen. Andrew Ciesla (R-Ocean) said he intends to bring in legislation that would amend the police and fire pension fund to permit domestic partners to receive benefits. That was followed by a conference call between state GOP leaders from the county and freeholders.

The conference call ended with freeholders agreeing to a special meeting next Wednesday where a new vote will be taken and Hester will be allowed to transfer her benefits. "This is one of the happiest days of my life," Hester said on Saturday morning. "I feel like David conquering Goliath."

Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality - the group that fought for Hester and prepared the video so she could make her final appeal to freeholders - expressed relief on Saturday.

"Truth be told, we did lose hope for a reversal in the last couple of weeks. We had applied all the pressure in the world, embarrassing the freeholders as few public servants had ever been before in the state of New Jersey or in this country, and they would not budge. Finally they did. Hallelujah! There is a God."
Michael Jensen of The Big Gay Picture just spoke with Laurel and has this update.
I just got off the phone with Dane [Wells, the straight man who supported Laurel's effort] and Laurel. It sounds like there is a mob of reporters, including NBC, besieging Laurel's house to cover the story. Dane sounded exhausted, not surprising given how much time he has spent keeping Laurel company while simultaneously fighting for her cause. If Dane doesn't come out of this whole experience known as one of our communities best friends it will be a shame. He and Laurel have changed so many lives and minds in New Jersey and beyond, that it's remarkable. After Dane's life has calmed down, I'll talk with him again for his thoughts on the whole experience.
More coverage in the Ocean County Observer, Hester to win as freeholders change mind.

* Outrage: NJ Freeholders turn down Laurel Hester's plea for partner benefits

Kaine: 'not comfortable with language' but will sign amendment anyway

If this statement is supposed to take the heat off of the Virginia governor, his shill is sorely mistaken. I see the PR weasel is squirming and Tim Kaine is desperately trying to have it both ways, soothing the bigots and trying to get the gays off his back.

Let's see, if Tim Kaine doesn't like the language of the current marriage amendment making its way to his desk, but will sign it anyway, what is the point of blowing this hot air? Your legislature is going to send it to you, Tim, and you could decide not to sign it, but that's not politically palatable is it? All the efforts in the legislature designed to limit the scope of the amendment were defeated. You're on your own.

Unless, of course, the governor is planning on engaging his state's Senate before it takes the final vote to send it to him. Highly unlikely, as Kaine is counting on raising his national profile during the SOTU response as a "new face of the Democratic party."

The Senate's ballot language, by the way, prohibits anything that "approximates marriage," so it's pretty muddy and broad territory, vague enough to leave gay Virginians twisting in the wind. Kaine is already on the record opposing same-sex marriage and civil unions, so it's pretty ridiculous at this point for him to suggest there is something about the amendment's scope he objects to.

These games about what he's "comfortable with" are not going to change the fact that Kaine's about to let the voters of his state relegate its gay citizens to second-class status. You hate it, you own it, Tim. (WashBlade):
"He was not comfortable with [the current amendment] language," said Kaine spokeswoman Delacey Skinner. "He preferred language that was not as broad."

...Skinner told the Washington Blade for reports earlier this week and in today's print edition that Kaine supported the amendment. She did not mention his reservations about the scope of the language.

Kaine, a Democrat sworn into office just this week, agrees with the first line of the amendment, which limits marriage to a man and woman, but does not support the additional language, she said. Kaine wants to discuss measures "to make sure people can still be able to contract with each other," Skinner said.
Further down in the article, the bottom line is that spineless elected officials are not willing to take the heat to oppose this hate amendment because they are afraid a "no" vote would have been interpreted as endorsing gay marriage. So, for their cowardice, a host of hurdles and lack of legal protections await gays and lesbians in Virginia, many of which have already been experienced in Ohio, which passed an amendment last year.
Stacy Ruble of the Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance said some Ohio domestic violence activists, often on the advice of prosecutors and courts, don't even bring unmarried victims to court anymore.

"I can see it happening here," she said. "It could be those people are turned away. They wouldn't have protections."

Legislators are sympathetic to her group's arguments, but fear that voting against the amendment will be seen as an endorsement of gay marriage, Ruble said.

Gay and lesbian couples already have difficulty finding courts that will provide protective orders in domestic violence cases, she said. If the amendment is approved in November, the few jurisdictions and judges that do offer protections will likely stop, she predicted. Ruble declined to name the jurisdictions because she feared they could be targeted.
Yes, Tim -- you're the Democratic Party's best representative "to deliver its 2006 message of inclusiveness" after Bush's State of the Union address, "representing all Americans from all walks of life."

Karl's bringing 9/11 to a 2006 campaign near you

Karl Rove isn't even bothering to hide the fact that we're going to be hearing about 9/11 and terrorism nonstop during the upcoming campaign season. Since the Administration and the Hill are rife with corruption and incompetence, they might as well start jerking the terror alert chain that they have attached to the sheeple's collar ASAP. (CNN):

"Republicans have a post-9/11 view of the world. And Democrats have a pre-9/11 view of the world," Rove told Republican activists. "That doesn't make them unpatriotic, not at all. But it does make them wrong -- deeply and profoundly and consistently wrong."

"The GOP's progress during the last four decades is a stunning political achievement. But it is also a cautionary tale of what happens to a dominant party -- in this case, the Democrat Party -- when its thinking becomes ossified; when its energy begins to drain; when an entitlement mentality takes over; and when political power becomes an end in itself [Is he looking in a mirror?] rather than a mean to achieve the common goal," Rove told Republican National Committee members ending a two-day meeting.

...Reading from a prepared text, the deputy White House chief of staff began with a call for election-year civility -- "Our opponents are our fellow citizens, not our enemies" -- and quickly turned to portraying Democrats as weak on defense.

"The United States faces a ruthless enemy -- and we need a commander-in-chief and a Congress who understand the nature of the threat and the gravity that American finds itself in," Rove said. "President Bush and the Republican Party do. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many Democrats."
Turdblossom was playing tag team with RNC head Ken Mehlman, who had the unfortunate task of spinning/explaining away the myriad ethics scandals.

The admonition reflects growing concerns among senior Republicans that ethics scandals in the Republican-led Congress could hurt the party in November, even among staunch GOP voters who may begin to blame corruption for Congress' runaway spending habits.

Mehlman couldn't have been more blunt: "One of the oldest lessons of history is that power corrupts," he said, telling RNC members that any Republicans guilty of illegal behavior should be punished.
* Going below Rove's belt
* Ken Mehlman, practicing some 'hot moves'

More Katrina corruption and incompetence

Yesterday I enjoyed great conversation and a delicious Foster's scone with Chris Kromm of Facing South. We were shooting the breeze about politics, journalism and blogging in the unseasonably warm weather here in Durham, and mini-ranting about the state of politics today. Actually, I was the one ranting.

Chris has an excellent post up on yet another Katrina failure: it took nearly a week for FEMA to mobilize buses to evacuate thousands of city residents from the filthy, dangerous Superdome and convention center. The reason for this is buried in a DOT audit that Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch reporter Tim Shorrock, who dug into. It's a story of cronyism, incompetence, and taxpayer pickpocketing.
The audit is also focused on Landstar Express America Inc. A trucking and logistics company based in Jacksonville, Fla., Landstar is a politically well-connected corporation that's risen to the top of the U.S. transportation industry without actually owning any trucks. Chairman Jeffrey Crowe served until recently as head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and last April Florida Gov. Jeb Bush appointed him to his Advisory Council on Base Realignment and Closure.

Landstar managed the evacuation contract for the FAA under a $100 million subcontract signed in October 2002. The audit "is an ongoing thing," said Barnes. IG inspectors are still not sure how the contract ended up at FAA, which manages the nation's air traffic control system, he added.

The FAA would not comment, and FEMA press officials did not return telephone calls. A Landstar vice president did not respond to a request for comment, either.

Landstar, however, has not been reticent to talk about its profits from the contract. Last October, the company disclosed that $129.8 million of the $676 million it earned in revenue during the third quarter of 2005 was directly attributable to its "disaster relief" contract with "the United States Department of Transportation/Federal Aviation Administration."

By all accounts, the FAA and Landstar failed miserably to help the citizens of New Orleans escape from their drowned city. And when the crisis hit, FEMA, whose bungling during Katrina has become legendary, was unaware that it had even contracted the operation to FAA, or that FAA had subcontracted the work to Landstar,

Jesus' General, WaPo beta tester

You have to go over to see the mockups of the "new" WaPo. I just about died laughing.
The Washington Post is losing readers. They aren't sure why that is, but they're desperate to reverse the trend.

Right now, they're beta testing a new look and style. The Post is trying to bring what they call a "cable news feel" to newspaper publishing.

I was lucky enough to be chosen to be one of their first testers. Although I can't send you to their test site--it's password protected--I screencapped a couple of pages so that I could share them with you.

'Black Jesse Helms' wants to challenge Mel Watt

I will always fight for what's right and you will always know where I stand. We cannot redefine marriage as any grouping of adults and children. I will vigorously oppose homosexual marriages, marriage-lite proposals and adoptions, as well as "gay" Scoutmasters. While my opponent believes that those in a drag queen parade and Rosa Parks are both civil rights leaders, I will join the dozens of Congressmen who sponsored an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that provides that "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman."

"I want your children to be able to say 'under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance" and see the Ten Commandments on public property."

"As we have witnessed over 50 million babies killed since Roe v Wade it is important to note that a country that will accept 50 million dead babies will accept anything; obstruction of justice, perjury, suborning perjury, witness tampering, bribery, criminal violations of campaign finance laws, pardons for cash, the criminal misuse of confidential FBI files, violations of the Oath of Office, the desecration of the Oval Office, High Crimes and Misdemeanors, trading missile technology for cash from the Chinese, rape, serial adultery, sexual harassment, even treason. "
-- some of the wit and wisdom of Vernon Robinson, who wants Mel Watt's job
NC politics can sometimes be strange, funny, scary or all three; it's not boring. Someone should sell tickets to the debates in this race. Mel Watt, head of the Congressional Black Caucus, is going to wipe up the floor with this clown; I'm just shaking my head at this guy's web site. When he loses, perhaps he can get a gig at Project 21. (Charlotte Observer):
A Winston-Salem Republican who's touted himself as "the black Jesse Helms" says he's gearing up to possibly challenge seven-term Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., of Charlotte -- the state's most liberal member of Congress.

Vernon Robinson said Wednesday he's sent 40,000 letters to conservatives explaining "why this is do-able and saying, `I want your support.' "

Two years ago, Robinson was a controversial but nearly successful candidate in the 5th Congressional District, which stretches from Forsyth County to Tennessee.

An outspoken opponent of illegal immigration and same-sex marriage, Robinson drew national attention for raising almost $3 million from a national conservative donor network and spending it on provocative ads -- including one in which an announcer decried illegal "aliens" from Mexico while the "Twilight Zone" theme played in the background.

Robinson still lives in the 5th District. But he said he'd run this year for Watt's seat in the 12th -- a district that snakes up I-85, from Charlotte to Winston-Salem and Greensboro -- to give voters a clear choice.

Watt, reached for comment Wednesday, said there wasn't a Watt-Robinson race and wouldn't be unless Robinson won a GOP primary.

Here's the AgapePress spin on the Easter Egg Roll dustup

Friday, January 20, 2006

Oh this is too funny. What a bunch of freaks.

A spokesman for a Protestant renewal organization warns that homosexual activists are planning to crash a traditional Easter event at the White House this year. Mark Tooley with the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) says the pro-homosexual religious group Soulforce and the Family Pride Coalition are teaming up in an effort to fill the White House lawn with as many "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families" as possible at the annual Easter Egg Roll on April 17.

..."Soulforce is a lobby effort to persuade America's churches to abandon their scriptural teachings about homosexuality," Tooley explains. He says the group's members frequently resort to "very radical demonstrations, acts of civil disobedience, and even arrests in order to gain attention and make their political point about demanding acceptance of homosexual behavior within Christianity."
* White House responds to LGBT families attending the Easter Egg Roll


While I was on the AFA's "news" site, I thought I'd post the latest eruption on Brokeback.
The American Family Association's director of research says after the release of the film Brokeback Mountain, he expects Hollywood will be bolder than ever in its promotion of homosexual causes. The movie, which chronicles a homosexual relationship between two sheepherders in rural Wyoming in the 1960s and 1970s, received four Golden Globe awards this past week, and several critics predict it will garner Oscar honors as well.

But AFA's Ed Vitagliano, who recently screened the film, describes it as a boring movie with no real plot -- but with a clear agenda. "This movie is the latest in a series of movies that Hollywood has put out which promote the homosexual agenda," the researcher says. "The disturbing difference in this movie is that it has explicit homosexual acts and is, I think definitely, aimed at the heart of the viewers to drum up sympathy for that lifestyle." The movie opened in limited release in metropolitan areas with large numbers of homosexual residents. Vitagliano believes the recent media blitz for the pro-homosexual movie is a sign of Hollywood's true agenda.
I don't remember seeing any "explicit" scenes in this movie. What on earth is he talking about? Maybe he confused the movie with the fantasies that he was experiencing.

Washington state's gay rights bill scoots through its House

Almost moves on to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. I am waiting for the head of bible-beating black bigot of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, Ken Hutcherson, to explode. (
Legislation banning discrimination against gays, lesbians, and the transgendered in jobs and housing was passed in the state House on Friday. The measure was approved on a 60-37 vote.

"This discrimination is a reality,” said Rep. Ed Murray (D-Seattle) leading off final debate on the bill and working diffuse critics who claim there had been no proof the legislation was needed.

The no votes came mainly from Republicans. "We think this needs to go the people," said House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt (R-Chehalis). “We don’t think we should impede on the religious freedom."

It is expected the legislation will pass the Senate this time. The senator who cast the deciding vote now says he will support the measure.
This time around, the bill has support from Microsoft, which caved to the right the last time around, and other big boys on board: Boeing, Hewlett Packard and Nike. Hutcherson, the cry baby, has called for a national boycott against Microsoft.

As other folks have commented, I guess this means he'll be moving to some flavor of Linux, huh? Apple's too gay friendly, so Hutch is pretty much f*cked.

Why did I laugh when I saw this headline?

Gay Ex-Gov. Turns Blogger. Corrupt former NJ Governor and freshly minted out gay man James E. McGreevey put his pajamas on and started a blog with gay rights guru David Mixner -- it's on HuffPost. Hey, he has to start somewhere with the political rehabilitation.

Two for one: perv pastor and drunken skinhead

Baptist pastor admits molesting 2 girls. How much more of this can we take? Pious pillars of the community, men who stand in the pulpit, supposedly leading the flock to spiritual fulfillment. Afterwards they put on the figurative trench coat and start perving through that community.

Today's example of depravity comes from Salinas, California. This sick perv molested his own daughter a mentally disabled parishioner. (Monterey County Herald):
Donald Domelle, 65, pastor of the Baptist Temple of Salinas, admitted to two felony counts of lewd conduct with a child and agreed to a minimum of 15 years in prison Thursday in a remarkably swift case that kept one young woman and a teenager from recounting in court their stories of repeated sexual abuse at the pastor's hands.

"(Domelle) has accepted responsibility from the beginning," said defense attorney John Coniglio. The pastor was arrested at his church Dec. 21 after Sheriff's investigators looked into allegations that he sexually molested a 16-year-old girl that prosecutors described as "educationally challenged." Initially, Domelle denied the allegations, said prosecutor Gary Thelander, but during a two and a half hour interview with sheriff's deputies he admitted to having sex with the first known victim.

...Seven days later, investigators contacted Domelle's 25-year-old adopted daughter, who was living in Northern California with her biological father. That is when authorities confirmed there was a second victim, Thelander said. The daughter came under Domelle's custody when she was 3 years old and was adopted six years later. Between the ages of 10 and 19, Thelander said, Domelle repeatedly had sex with her.

"She never told law enforcement. She told people in the community and nobody believed her," Thelander said. "(Domelle and his wife) then sent her off to Christian school in Texas."
Lock and load Domelle up in the Conservative Values Monitor, Russ!

Hat tip, to Fritz on that one, and this followup, which he sent, saying: "Here's something in stark contrast to the Ohio man who was sentenced to attend an African-American church."

In that case, the judge, who is black, said dumb*ss drunk Brett Haines could go to jail or attend a black church -- to give him "cultural awareness." This was the punishment for throwing punches and screaming racial slurs at a black cab driver and his wife. Haines did his first stint with Jehovah's Witnesses last Sunday. The white supremacist in this story had what I think is a more appropriate sentence for the crime.

Boulder Creek man gets 195 days in jail (Santa Cruz Sentinel):
After expressing concern about a Boulder Creek man's apparent white supremacist beliefs, a judge Tuesday sentenced the 21-year-old to 195 days in jail and 100 hours of community service for threatening a man who is a minority and for resisting arrest.

Miles Kelly, 21, was arrested Nov. 9 in downtown Boulder Creek by sheriff's deputies who said he began punching a man's car because the motorist had dark skin and then used a racial slur and threatened to kill the man.

Judge Jeff Almquist ordered Kelly to perform half the 100 hours with minorities and half with San Lorenzo Valley groups "dealing with problems of young people that advocate white supremacist beliefs." He also ordered treatment for alcohol abuse and three years probation.

...Kelly was originally charged with a felony hate crime, but Almquist bumped that charge down to a misdemeanor threats charge, telling Kelly on Tuesday that he got that "benefit" because he was "obviously very intoxicated."

But prosecutor Steve Drottar said it was not just drunken stupidity.

"The people feel this sentence is inadequate," he said. "...You don't get to run around like some kind of Nazi. Free speech is one thing, but to lash out in violence is another."

Maryland moves same-sex marriage forward

Pissed-off Governor Robert Ehrlich; plaintiffs Stacey Kargman-Kaye with Jodi Kelber-Kaye, pictured with one of their two sons. Photo on R: Leigh H. Mosley

God, it's great to be able to post some good news, after this horrible week of bullsh*t. (Wash Blade):
Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich is already promising to fight the ruling today by a Baltimore Circuit Court that a 1973 state law that limits marriage to a man and woman is unconstitutional.

"After much study and serious reflection, this court holds that Maryland's statutory prohibition against same-sex marriage cannot withstand this constitutional challenge," ruled Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Brooke M. Murdock, in an opinion issued this morning.

"[The ban] violates Article 46 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights because it discriminates, based on gender against a suspected class; and is not narrowly tailored to serve any compelling governmental interests."

The suit, Deane and Polyak vs. Conaway, was filed in July 2004 by the American Civil Liberties Union and Equality Maryland. Nine gay Maryland couples and one man whose partner died have joined the suit.
* MD: Suit opens challenging state's prohibition of same-sex marriage

Sharpton charges Bush with fueling homophobia

He may be nutty, but he calls this truth out. I do wish that he'd step back and shine the light on the black pastors that have fomented bigotry from the pulpit and bellied up for faith-based dollars. That's where the real blame lies. Follow the money; no one is forcing those bigots to take the cash -- those folks are selling out their gay brothers and sisters. (
The Rev. Al Sharpton told a conference of African American gay leaders Friday that the Bush administration is fostering homophobia in the Black community for his own political gain.

The New York Democrat said that Bush focused on same-sex marriage and traditional fears of gays among Blacks to get re-elected in 2004 when he should have been addressing education, health care and jobs.

Speaking in Atlanta at a national conference called by the National Black Justice Coalition, Sharpton said that gay African Americans must engage in dialogue with Black church leaders.

About 150 people from across the country are attending the three day conference aimed at combating homophobia within the Black community.

Sharpton began his speech by saying he grew up in a family that had a gay member. He did not identify that member, but he said that he saw firsthand the bigotry that gay people confront.
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is holding a summit, hosted by First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta today and tomorrow. For Sharpton, this is his first participation on a conference dealing directly with homophobia in the black community. This summit is long overdue, given the long list of black pastors that have been cozying up to the religious Right.

* Sharpton calls out black homophobia and addresses HIV
* Wilson bans NBJC's Keith Boykin from the podium at the Millions More March

Anti-gay Dem Tim Kaine tapped for response to SOTU

[UPDATE: I was still steaming overnight about this. I've redigested some of my thoughts from the comments and moved it back up. There are a couple of new posts below.]

I ask you -- why was Tim Kaine picked to represent the Democratic Party's "American values" in the official response to Bush's State of the Union address? The Dems have sent a loud and clear message re: 2006/2008 to its gay voters with this selection.

Kaine ran an unnecessary gay-baiting campaign against an even-worse homo-bigot Jerry Kilgore in the Virginia governor's race, and Kaine has pledged to sign off on an onerous marriage amendment that enshrines bigotry into the state's constitution.

That said, I'm willing to take the gay-baiting of Kilgore issue off of the table, since it's noise that's distracting some people from the larger issue, which is what Kaine represents as the new face of the party. The gay residents of Virginia were stuck with two pro-marriage amendment choices for governor because it reflects the political lay of the land there. I feel for folks there.

Any gay Dem should be sick to their stomach at this pick. Kaine is just another Republican-lite clone from a Red state, and that's where the Dem leadership has indicated it wants to move the party. We are on notice -- homos are going to be tossed overboard -- again -- in search of the elusive win. They haven't figured out that voters need and want to see a party that has values it actually believes in and is willing to defend -- and they won't get a dime from me with this bullsh*t.

As you read this it's painful -- like nails down a blackboard. (PageOneQ):
National Democratic leaders today will ask Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) to deliver the party’s response to the president’s State of the Union address, believing that the new governor can best deliver their 2006 message of inclusiveness, American values and high ethical standards.

...A Democratic House aide called choosing Kaine “a no-brainer,” adding that the new governor also provides a fresh face for a party running on a message of change and reform.

...Another Democratic source said that Kaine “just got elected on a winning message. He talks about values and serving all the people. Certainly, as Democrats, that’s one of our themes. We represent all Americans from all walks of life, not the wealthy special interests that the Republicans represent.”
All walks of life except if you're a fag or dyke. We'll hang you homos out to dry -- after we court you at every fundraising opportunity that arises so we can (attempt to) win.

What does this party stand for? For the new faces of the Democratic Party, what's OK? I'm just asking because I honestly don't know what the core values are...

For instance, regarding reproductive freedom issues, are you a Fresh-Faced Electable DemocratTM if you:
-- personally don't approve of abortion, but don't want to restrict access
-- want more restrictions such as parental notification
-- believe that late term abortion is always wrong
-- want Roe v. Wade overturned
-- want to restrict access to reproductive technology for unmarried women


Regarding same-sex civil marriage, are you a Fresh-Faced Electable DemocratTM if you:
-- believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and there should be no access to marriage or any civil equivalent for gays
-- believe marriage is between a man and a woman, but there should be some separate, but unequal civil accommodation for gays
-- believe marriage is between a man and a woman, but there should be a separate and equal civil accommodation for gays
-- believe gays can marry

Are they even debating these things at the upper levels of the party bureaucracy?

Let's look at it another way. Where's the line in the sand that if you cross it, you will not get party support?

I'm assuming that if Kaine believed, for instance, that Intelligent Design should be taught in the Virginia schools, the Dem establishment would not be tapping him for this speech. That lunacy should be a deal-breaker (but who knows at this point). But it is A-OK for Kaine to take the position that his state's constitution should be permanently amended to discriminate against an entire group of tax-paying citizens.

As I said in the comments, I just think of poor Laurel Hester and her fate, in a state (NJ) with patchwork gay rights.

For gays living under Kaine and his endorsement of a marriage amendment, it's a clear message that your life partner relationship has no legal footing or recognition in the state -- and it will NEVER be recognized. Oh, and keep paying taxes for that luxury.

Yet that's fine and dandy with the Democratic Party establishment, which tacitly endorses Kaine's position with this pick. Defenders will say: "just ignore that and look at 'the whole package' or 'the long view'.

Well, I'm looking at the long view, and so far all I see are states falling, one by one, passing marriage amendments because Dems are silent. I take that as either an endorsement of the bigotry, or complete impotence and incompetence on how to counter the message coming out of the right wing.

That's when you know that civil equality is not a core value in this party.

To me, a true fresh face from Virginia is Delegate David Englin. He is a Fighting Dem that had the balls to publicly slap back at bigotry in his statehouse with a speech that should be read by Howard Dean and the rest of the shiftless, bleating Dem talking heads. The party leadership had plenty of choices to tap for this speech -- and they chose Republican lite.

That's why I said the day with putting up that bullsh*t is over. I can no longer cast a vote that ensures my basic rights are not granted, or worse, taken away because both parties have put up anti-gay, anti-choice candidates.

I can sit out on voting or just vote for people I know have the balls to do the right thing. And it's not because I'm a single issue voter, either. I think back to the last governor's race here. I had to choose betwwn centrist Dem Mike Easley for governor over the awful Repug Patrick Ballantine. Both were clear that neither supported gay marriage. It was easy to cast a vote for Easley only because of one reason -- NC didn't have an amendment looming. Our General Assembly has kept the wingnuts in check, bottling the marriage bills submitted by the fringe, redneck elements in committee. That's also due to a lot of effective work by Equality NC -- the Tar Heel State was the only state in the Southeast that faced an anti-gay amendment and stopped it.

Had an amendment truly been in play, I couldn't vote for either of them. Not when legislation to ensure that I am going to be a second-class citizen in my state is at stake. I don't know how long we can stave off the bigots here, but they'll be back.

LBJ had the balls to counter the bigots in his party because he knew he had to do the right thing. Today's Dems are so fixated by winning that core values don't matter; it's about job security and pandering to the emotions and not the brains of the sheeple, instead of risk-taking and reframing difficult issues that have been hijacked and demonized (successfully) by the Rove machine.

That is not leadership, that is cowardice and lazy thinking.

Follow-up post:
Kaine: 'not comfortable with language' but will sign amendment anyway

Gazing into the 2008 crystal ball

University of Virginia Center for Politics Director and frequent talking head Larry Sabato puts his two cents in on the Dems jockeying for 2008 position, and it makes for entertaining reading. He clearly sees success with moderate candidates -- but that's no surprise. Sabato's focus is solely on conventional wisdom and perceived electability. (There is actually a Sabato spoof site, btw).

Anyway, there is a lot to chew on here, particularly given the news that marriage amendment-supporting Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has been tapped to give the Dem response after the SOTU, indicating where Dem leadership wants to take the party. From Sabato's Crystal Ball:
* The nomination of Hillary Clinton would be an enormous gamble by Democrats. Instead of a laser-like focus on the inadequacies of the Bush administration, the campaign might well turn out, at least in good part, to be rehash of the mistakes and scandals of the Clinton years. The GOP nominee might get a pass, positioned as an unsullied alternative, while Americans sought to turn the page on both the Clinton and Bush eras after 16 consecutive years of two-family rule.

* John Kerry had his chance in 2004, and few are anxious to repeat that experience.

* John Edwards has shrewdly picked the underclass as his issue (even before Hurricane Katrina), but his thin public office resume and weak base of support in North Carolina are serious obstacles; he also had his first, best chance in 2004.

* Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin is a fine fellow, an honest, principled public official, but he is well to the left, has no real appeal in most Red States (especially in the South), and would test the limits of Americans' tolerance in a couple of ways (he is twice divorced and Jewish). His relatively early call for withdrawal from Iraq has made him a liberal favorite among bloggers and activists, a la Howard Dean in '04, so he cannot be dismissed in the Democrats' nominating process. Still, Feingold, under most circumstances, would be an easy mark for the Republicans in the fall.

* Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware will have had 35 years of Senate experience by 2008, and few know foreign policy as well. Yet his tiny base in Delaware, limited fund-raising potential, and off-putting speaking style make him quite a long-shot. Biden's performance in the Alito confirmation hearings did nothing to help him, either, and few graduates of Princeton University will be signing up for his campaign, we suspect.

* Some liberal Democrats keep talking about Al Gore and Howard Dean, but neither one will, or should, run.

* Governor Mark Warner has just finished a successful stint in Virginia's top job, having well managed a difficult fiscal situation and also having elected a more liberal successor, Tim Kaine, in a conservative Red State. Warner built an attractive record in a wide variety of areas, from education to mental health to the environment, and he truly made the most of the one four-year term to which Virginia's Constitution still limits its governors, consecutively. Although a certified suburban yuppie, Warner made deep inroads in rural areas by lavishing attention upon rural people and their problems. He adopted NASCAR, country music, and an antipathy to gun control. With roots in Indiana and Connecticut, not just Virginia, Warner has the wealth and the appeal to run an impressive national campaign.

* Evan Bayh of Indiana is yet another respectable, mediagenic, family-oriented moderate with presidential ambitions. In the deeply Red Hoosier state, Bayh has won two landslide elections as governor and two as senator. These eleven Midwestern electoral votes, possibly combined with the twenty from neighboring Ohio, might be deducted from the GOP and added to the Democratic column by Bayh--making a Republican presidential victory difficult mathematically. A Warner-Bayh or Bayh-Warner ticket could be well nigh unbeatable, with Warner adding Virginia's thirteen electoral votes and probably West Virginia's five. The total of forty-nine electoral votes from these four Red states (OH, IN, VA, WV) would be nearly impossible for the GOP to make up, should this come to pass. Republicans need not worry: The Virginia-Indiana pairing makes so much political sense that the Democrats will never actually do it. This is not to say that Bayh has no disadvantages. The good senator is, well, boring and cautious to a fault. Even well funded, as he is likely to be, it is difficult to imagine how he gets traction in a large field.
Sabato also mentions Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, and Sen. Barack Obama briefly, but he discounts them for 2008.


This should run on every blog the moment McCain announces.

Sabato also speculates on the Republican field, which has some pretty sad pickings for 2008 as well. He spends a lot of time on Bush-humping McCain, but I won't bore you with that. This section was quite hilarious.
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is magnetic, articulate, intriguing, and close to New Hampshire, so he could surprise us. But how does a Mormon from Massachusetts--the enemy state for Republicans--overcome all the obvious obstacles in his path, such as only one term as governor, some moderate positions in his 2002 campaign, and his lack of foreign policy experience? New York Governor George Pataki is also underwhelming. He is surprisingly obscure for a three-termer, is leaving office unpopular in his home state, would be unlikely to carry New York in November, and has positions on social issues so liberal that he cannot hope to secure the votes of most GOP conservatives.

Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee lost over 100 pounds, which is admirable, but it doesn't make for much of a presidential platform. And can Republicans contemplate choosing a presidential nominee from Bill Clinton's state so soon after the Clinton administration? Little known Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas has a geographic advantage, perhaps, in the Iowa caucuses, but he is perceived as a Sammy-one-note on abortion. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is a hard-driving, exceedingly bright man who has secured the worst reviews for his budding candidacy in the entire field. Maybe once he leaves the presidential candidacy hellhole called the Senate in early 2007 he will be able to regenerate his White House bid. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is eternally engaging and creative, but no one yet takes his potential candidacy seriously. Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska might be a substitute for John McCain if McCain chooses not to run, yet he has most of McCain's problems and few of his advantages. Oh yes, Nebraska is also close to Iowa.
OK, folks, it's your turn, what do you think of Sabato's observations?

Hat tip Holly.

Read 'ems

* Scout Prime has two great Katrina-related posts up:
-- "Consistent Info" on Missing Persons Leads to Search of 400 NOLA Homes for Bodies" . This is heartbreaking and enraging because we are five months out from the hurricane and Louisiana officials are now calling for the search of 400 homes "because authorities have consistent information about people missing from those locations." Many of us, including Scout, believes there are still bodies in the rubble and filth in of NOLA -- some remaining homes in Ninth Ward have never been searched.

-- "More Housing Discrimination Against Katrina Victims." The second post, well, who can be surprised that the government has had to start an ad campaign to remind tenants and landlords that housing discrimination against people of color is illegal. Complaints have been lodged against five apartment complexes in Texas, Florida and Alabama for doing so.

* MadKane's latest Sam Alito poems are up, for your reading pleasure.

* Blender Val points to this mind-blower, "The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion," about anti-choice women that choose to have an abortion. From the site.
Abortion is a highly personal decision that many women are sure they'll never have to think about until they're suddenly faced with an unexpected pregnancy. But this can happen to anyone, including women who are strongly anti-choice. So what does an anti-choice woman do when she experiences an unwanted pregnancy herself? Often, she will grin and bear it, so to speak, but frequently, she opts for the solution she would deny to other women -- abortion.
* Michael Stickings, Shakes Sis and Carla at Premptive Karma mull over Kevin Drum's post on last week's missile attack in Pakistan and a moral dilemma posed -- whether the bombing of the village (intended to kill al-Zawahiri) was or was not justified when innocent civilians die, even if the benefit is that top al Qaeda officials were killed.

What is the level of comfort for those of us on the Left with the use of force as in the war on terror, given at some point the Dems will return to power -- and it's not like the WoT will be over when the Chimp departs.

I have mixed feelings on this, because the whole issue is clouded by the complete incompetence and criminal behavior of this administration. Military action has its place, but I think the whole "surgical strike" BS is just a term tossed out to soothe people that are repulsed/offended by violence and death. For all the "precision" there are countless (and officially uncounted in Iraq) civilian casualties, er, collateral damage, involved in these strikes.

Force of this nature is sometimes necessary, but it should be paired with good human and electronic intelligence - the U.S. seems to be hopelessly under-resourced on the former, and when they don't have it, they just make sh*t up to justify an action. This government seems to ignore clear evidence that this type of military action creates even more terrorists. We blow up countries on a whim, leave people to live in an obliterated society, and then wonder why our men and women in uniform are getting killed. These terrorist networks are headless, as opposed to a terrorist state, so our ham-handed military tactics aren't effective. One would think that a better approach would be to have covert assassin teams trying to take these al Qaeda heads out. We actually probably do, but they clearly haven't produced the desired result.

New Bin Laden Tape Threatens Heartland Attacks

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Well, lookee here. Seems like the terrorist mastermind with a $50,000,000 bounty on his head, the one Bush swore he'd get "dead or alive", has released a brand new audiotape:
"... The war against America and its allies will not be confined to Iraq," [Bin Laden] said, adding that "Iraq has become a magnet for attracting and training talented fighters."
Gee, there weren't any trained talented fighters there before we invaded. A cynic might think that an American invasion of Iraq was exactly what Bin Laden needed for recruiting purposes.
[Bin Laden] also said insurgents were winning the conflict in Iraq and warned that security measures in the West and the United States could not prevent attacks there.

"The proof of that is the explosions you have seen in the capitals of European nations," he said. "The delay in similar operations happening in America has not been because of failure to break through your security measures. The operations are under preparation and you will see them in your homes the minute they are through (with preparations), with God's permission."

"It's only a matter of time," [Bin Laden] said, referring to attacks. "They are in the planning stages, and you will see them in the heart of your land as soon as the planning is complete."
That's something I've been warning people about, which is that their culture measures battles and grudges in generations and centuries, not months and years. What better return on investment could Bin Laden get for his money than to launch a cheap but devastating attack every five years or so that causes us in reaction to spend $100,000,000,000 a year and shed our civil liberties? A cynic might think that the lesson the CIA taught this terrorist mastermind on how to mount a long-term guerilla war in order to bankrupt a super power from the outside and rot its politics from the inside was learned very well.
"In response to the substance of the polls in the U.S., which indicate that Americans do not want to fight Muslims on Muslim land, nor do they want Muslims to fight them on their land, we do not mind offering a long-term truce based on just conditions that we will stick to.

"We are a nation that God banned from lying and stabbing others in the back. Hence, both parties of the truce will enjoy stability and security to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan, which were destroyed by war.

"There is no problem in this solution, but it will prevent hundreds of billions from going to influential people and warlords in America -- those who supported Bush's electoral campaign. And from this, we can understand Bush and his gang's insistence on continuing the war," the voice said.
Isn't it interesting how whenever there is a threat to Bush's standing, either from a presidential candidate three days before a razor-thin election, or from a growing anti-war sentiment, or from mounting corruption scandals, or from concern about his domestic wiretapping, the Osama-in-a-box pops up to support the anti-Bush position, forcing Bush's opponents into rhetorical agreement with that murderous criminal bastard (Osama, I mean) and providing Bush's supporters more fuel for their pro-war fire. A cynic might think that this terrorist mastermind whose family did business with the Bushes prefers to keep Bush in office so the war will continue. It would be even more cynical to suggest that Bush didn't capture that terrorist mastermind when he had the chance and he is "...truly not that concerned about him" afterward because he needs the terrorist boogeyman to pop up from time to time to scare us back into meek compliance with the "unitary executive's" Orwellian domestic policies.

But I'm not that cynical. I don't think they are working together, but I do think they are complimentary sides of the same evil coin -- a megalomaniacal religious fundamentalist symbiosis, if you will. Neither one would be as successful without the other.

White House responds to LGBT families attending the Easter Egg Roll

[UPDATE: A commenter asked who was the reporter at the briefing who asked the slanted question. WingNutDaily's Len Kinsolving says it was someone from that outfit, not indicating it was himself or someone else representing WND.]

PageOneQ has the latest mishmash coming out of Scotty McClellan's mouth, since he was asked about the plan by the Family Pride Coalition to have LGBT families line up to participate for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. It's not a protest; folks are just going to queue up with the rest of the public.

Look at this loaded question from a reporter at the briefing.
Scott, ...There's been extensive reporting of a homosexual group, Soulforce, calling on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual and transgender Americans to be the first in line at this year's White House Easter Egg Roll on April 17th, as a way to show the nation their so-called families. And my question: Will the President take any measures to prevent these activists from using this non-political event as a way to push their agenda on the rest of us?

McLellan responded:

Well, this event is a time to celebrate Easter and to have a good family celebration here at the White House. And in terms of any other details about it, I think it's still a few months off, so we'll talk about it as we get closer. I've seen a couple of reports about it; I don't know how extensive that reporting has been. But this has been a family event for a long time and the President always looks forward to this event.
The main issue is whether the White House, in an effort to stop gay families from participating, will make the event invitation-only.

This guy should hook up with "the Dean"

Saving young conservative minds, one at a time.

The Green Knight takes a torch to the ass of whiny baby wingnut Andrew Jones of the Bruin Alumni Association, which has launched a nifty campaign to expose UCLA's "30 most radical professors," who are allegedly brainwashing young minds with extreme left-wing political views.

The BAA (nice how that represents the sound of the sheeple), has launched a web site,, that lists the "dirty 30." is a long-term project dedicated to exposing UCLA’s most radical professors. The extensively researched profiles you will find here are proof of an increasingly radical faculty. As a large number of the profiles also demonstrate, these professors are actively proselytizing their extreme views in the classroom, whether or not the commentary is relevant to the class topic. The result for students is nothing less than a debased education.
The Green Knight:
Let's see how much he's suffered at the hands of those Evil Marxist ProfessorsTM, shall we? Checking out his web page, we can see that he graduated with a degree in Political Science; thus, he seems to have kept his right-wing beliefs intact. This doesn't say much for the indoctrinating powers of the Evil Marxist Professors TM does it? His advisory board seems to be a pretty well-connected bunch, including Linda Chavez, so I'm thinking he won't be lacking for money any time soon. In fact, he seems to be making an entire career, and a pretty prosperous one, out of complaining about his alma mater. That's probably the point. God forbid he should get a real job, after all.
I'm waiting for BAA to call in clown "Dean" Christopher Flickinger of the Network of College Conservatives to give "Liberal Academia Its Final Exam."

"So, how can we expect Americans, who have been brainwashed for years by leftwing educators, to embrace conservative philosophies when all they've been taught are liberal ideologies?"

"The Dean" is on a one-man mission (I guess it's now a two-man mission, with Andy setting up shop) to save young conservative minds.
The mission of the Network of College Conservatives is to educate, inform, expose and counter the liberal bias on college campuses throughout America. The N.C.C. will offer students an advanced and manifold educational experience based on conservative thoughts, views and opinions. It will inform students of liberal and conservative activities taking place on campuses across the nation, as well as keeping conservative students aware of the liberal establishment that permeates our institutions of higher learning and its tools of indoctrination.

Outrage: NJ Freeholders turn down Laurel Hester's plea for partner benefits

[UPDATE 2 (1/21): Laurel Hester will be able to leave pension benefit to partner! The Freeholders relented - see my update post.]

An update on Laurel Hester, the NJ police officer who has terminal cancer and has been repeatedly told by the Ocean County Freeholders that Hester cannot leave her pension to her partner, has decided to turn her down once again, and added insult to injury by saying the body has no plans to change its position on the subject before she dies.

Laurel is now so weak that she couldn't attend the Freeholders meeting held last night, and Garden State Equality played a video taped testimony by Hester pleading for fairness. Appearing frail, her hair gone, it didn't matter. The Freeholders declined to extend benefits. From the NJ Star-Ledger:
When a dying Laurel Hester appealed to the Ocean County freeholders a month ago, she sat in front of them in Toms River, spoke in a soft voice and asked the five- member board to allow her pension benefits to be extended to her life partner.

Yesterday, Hester was in front of the freeholders again -- but this time she was in a videotaped message played on a laptop computer at the freeholders meeting -- making what could be her last plea to them before her cancer kills her.
Although the freeholders appeared moved by the three-minute video, they were not budging from their decision to not extend Hester's pension benefits to her life partner, Stacie Andree. At least one freeholder said the board would not change its mind before Hester's death.

"The board has said so far it is a legitimate and reasonable position we've taken," Freeholder John Bartlett Jr. said after the meeting. "In my opinion, I don't see any need to change it."
Readers have asked about the passage of legislation in New Jersey that gives same-sex couples the same rights as married couples regarding inheritance and funeral arrangements (and extends partner access to health benefits in the public sector) and whether it affects Hester.

The answer is no. All state employees, and county employees in Bergen and Hudson, Mercer, Union and Monmouth have extended the benefit, and Passaic County is expected to join them this month. But after 24 years of service to the county in a state that passed a Domestic Partnership Act, this is happening to Hester because the Legislature that covers these workers left it to local and county agencies to decide to grant or withhold the benefit -- and this is why it's rolling out piecemeal.

These are the men who have decided against equality by saying "No" in Ocean County:

The county's five (conservative, "pro-family") Republican freeholders: John C. Bartlett, John P. Kelly, James F. Lacey, Gerry P. Little, and Joseph H. Vicari. In fact, Kelly said that if Hester's request was granted it would "violate the sanctity of marriage."

Freeholder Bartlett, who is well-aware of the state's extension of benefits, doesn't give a damn.
Little left the room immediately after the meeting, but Bartlett, one of the freeholders who remained, told a reporter he saw no need to petition the Legislature for a change in the pension law. He said lawmakers were well aware of the flaw yet did nothing to correct it when it they amended the legislation for another matter two weeks ago.

"This is the way the law is structured at this time," Bartlett said. "It has been this way forever. We are not denying someone by not extending the benefits, but I could see how people would disagree with me."
For gays to have to beg and scrape for basic rights that married couples take for granted is depressing.
Joan Hervey of Plainfield, vice chairwoman of Garden State Equality, said having to go to each municipality is "dehumanizing. . . . We have to go door to door . . . asking, "Please, can we have some more?' " she said.

"Ocean County is (the) poster child for the homophobia in New Jersey," Hervey said. "As a board I hope you are not proud of that."

"She put her life on the line every day for each of you," said George Farrugia, president of the Gay Officers Action League of New York and New Jersey. "You are being called to task for Ocean County to not sit behind numbers."
Michael Jensen of The Big Gay Picture, who has been covering this from the start, including a three-part interview with Hester on her life, career and this controversy, will be reporting on the outcome as well.

Read Mike's prior posts on Laurel Hester's fight, and The Big Gay Picture Action Center/Issue Watch has more on how you can politely let the Freeholders know that they are wrong. They can be emailed at:

Click here to see Laurel's video.

* Laurel Hester stands tall
* More on Laurel Hester
* Must read on Laurel Hester

Democrats: the 'baby talk' and incompetence continues

Nancy Goldstein's latest column at The Raw Story illustrates perfectly why the Democrats are running out of time to fix their incoherent, uncoordinated message and organization into anything viable. They cannot expect to gain power by waiting for the Republicans to self-destruct, but based on the Dems pontificating with empty questions and empty threats of filibuster at the Alito hearings, they are in big trouble.
Effective immediately, the Democrats will be known as the lyin'-ass boyfriend party - the perfect date for progressive voters looking to be stood up, bullshitted blind, or left holding the tab.

For five years now it's been "Please baby, baby, baby, please! I'm sorry I was a no-show last time, but hey, that was because I was working overtime to save up to do something extra special for next time, which is the really big event - right, baby?"
Nancy points out the consistency in message and discipline of Newt Gingrich's "Republican Revolution" and the "Contract with America," is something sorely lacking in Harry Reid's leadership, and it's costing Dems.
...Gingrich was a consummate strategist who grasped the power of talking points and framing very early on, and got his party to step in time: "We've got to start talking about a conservative opportunity society replacing the liberal welfare state. Bang that language into your head. Use it every night. Use the same words and pretty soon it will permeate to the American people," Gingrich said. And even though not all his colleagues liked him, they were sick of losing, so they gritted their teeth and did it.

By contrast, anyone who tuned into the Alito hearings witnessed an incoherent Democratic party in utter disarray - a virtual parody of a drawing room comedy with Kennedy as the slightly disheveled elder statesman with a taste for whiskey, Schumer as the earnest young bounder with a taste for power, and Biden as the crazy, delusional nephew who thinks he's Napoleon.

Gingrich and his crew had an eye to the next generation, and were willing to bypass seniority in favor of hunger and talent when appointing committee chairs. By contrast, political ascendancy in the Democratic Party still operates like the succession of kings. Howard Dean and Barack Obama, who would be treated as rising stars in any functional organization, are kept under lock and key. Dean's only allowed out to raise money and take flack from the same Democrats who have been steering the party into a ditch for nearly a decade, and Obama's only allowed out to criticize Dean.
Excellent stuff in this edition, Nancy. Folks, go read the rest.

Ohio bigot spends a Sunday with Jehovah's Witnesses

Earlier on the Blend I posted about the highly questionable alternative sentence given to a dumb*ss drunk in Ohio who threw punches and screamed racial slurs at a black cab drive and his wife. The judge, who is black, said Brett Haines could go to jail or attend a black church -- to give him "cultural awareness." Haines decided to go to church. (
Haines did not disclose the church he attended but said it was a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation in Cincinnati. He showed the judge a piece of paper signed by the minister to prove he attended.

His lawyer, Dennis Deters, said Haines enjoyed the experience and would likely return to the same church this weekend and, possibly, for the remaining Sundays of his sentence. Haines did not return a phone call seeking comment.
As I and others said in the comments of the prior post, extensive community service in the black community would have been a more appropriate alternative sentence for this guy, along with some anger management and substance abuse counseling.

Hat tip Holly.

Virginia drops womb-control bill

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

HB 187 was quickly dropped. The legislation would have prevented unmarried women (gay or straight) from using assisted reproductive technology. The wingnut pushing this bill was Delegate Robert Marshall (R-Manassas), who said: "To say women are desperate for this, well Al Capone was desperate for money ... just being desperate doesn't mean you have a right to anything period."
Lawmakers on a House health subcommittee wasted no time dispensing with the bill.

"It's frustrating how many invasions of peoples' personal lives members can come up with to introduce," said Del. Adam Ebbin, D-Arlington, the only openly gay Virginia lawmaker.

"It would be funny if it wasn't so scary that some of these bills could pass."

Let's hear more about the CWA 'Sex Pyramid'

The Dr. Ruth of the bible-beating set, Janice Crouse.

What is a Sex Pyramid? You'll have to ask Janet Crouse of CWA about that; but I don't thing it will have much to do with sex or pleasure, adult toys or same-sex encounters -- otherwise our penis-possessing CWA friend Bob Knight would be all over that. (AgapePress):
Dr. Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America (CWA) is commending First Lady Laura Bush for her passionate support of a woman's right to choose abstinence as an effective means of preventing sexually transmitted infections. During a recent trip to Africa, Mrs. Bush has encouraged young women to exercise their right to abstain from sex, especially in light of the HIV/AIDS epidemic that is wreaking havoc among the populaces of so many countries across the continent.

Crouse, CWA's senior fellow of the Beverly LaHaye Institute, is a former U.S. delegate to the United Nations and is among CWA's representatives at the U.N. She is also the creator of the "Sex Pyramid," a resource for parents to use in talking with their children about sex, and author of a weekly column about sex and society for United Press International. Crouse says Laura Bush should be applauded "for taking a stand for abstinence" and supporting the president's policy on that issue. "She has offered hope and encouragement to many young girls in Africa," the CWA spokeswoman adds. "By taking a bold stand for women's rights," Crouse contends, "Mrs. Bush has helped girls realize that their lives do have value, and that they deserve the utmost respect."
OK, I sullied my browser and headed over to the CWA site to see what this Sex Pyramid was about. Here you go...
Let me offer a simple, effective lesson in how parents can talk with their children about sex. Here is a "sex pyramid" similar to the familiar "food pyramid," which gives a hierarchy of balanced nutrition. The "sex pyramid" provides a "roadmap" for parents to talk about the hierarchy of elements in sexuality.

...At the top of the sex pyramid is the mechanics of the sexual act -- the "birds and bees" aspect. This actually should receive the least attention because it is the easiest part of sexual interaction to explain and understand, though, ironically, comprehensive sex education tends to focus on the biology of sexuality rather than the foundation on which sex is built. Ideally, though in our sex-saturated culture it gets harder and harder, each couple needs to "discover" sex on their own. Wise parents will focus on the foundational aspects of the sex pyramid throughout their offspring's childhood and, at the appropriate time, give accurate and complete biological information. During the dating years, parents should be available for counsel, as requested.

...These adults need to plainly say, "The best choice for you is to remain abstinent until marriage and to be faithful within marriage." Those choices lead to the greatest well-being in life - as well as the greatest sexual happiness. The hand of Divine Providence has ordained it thus.
Have at it, y'all.

Swirling the celebrity bowl

Former Teen Idol Garrett Charged With Heroin Possession. Question of the day: Who's more f*cked up in the celebrity bowl-swirl?

Michael Jackson doesn't count. He's on top.

The friends of homo-bigot Ken Blackwell

Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, hanging with his homies at the Patriot Pastors and Ohio Restoration Project rally, said Christians must "define, fortify, help shape, influence the mores" of the culture. Photo: Lew Stamp/Akron Beacon Journal

This is so over the top. Repug Ken Blackwell is completely bedding down with the fringe element in Ohio, wrapping himself in the flag, and declaring -- I'm not kidding -- "Christians should show that they are not going to be whupped." (
About 330 Christian faithful rallied at the Hartville Kitchen to sing praises of America, to remind themselves of the dangers of complacency, and to hear gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell preach on God's call to action.

...A choir and a gospel quartet brought the audience to its feet with praise songs as images of American landmarks, heroes and troops moved across the screens.
Yes, he's hanging with his homies: Talibangelist Rod Parsley of Reformation Ohio and the man who qualifies as one of the looniest, shameless bible beaters of the week, the above-mentioned Russell Johnson, founder of the Ohio Restoration Project.

Blackwell was a featured guest of Johnson's 10-city Patriot Pastors tour, which made a stop in the Akron-Canton area on Tuesday, as Ken hopes to sew up the freakshow Right vote in the gubernatorial race.

I have no idea why he would want to associate with someone that sounds like he's gunning to outdo The Rotting CryptkeeperTM. Read the following without your jaw dropping.

Johnson warned that Christians have allowed a "secular jihad" to remove prayer, the Ten Commandments and the Bible from public places.

He likened it to Nazi Germany, where church congregations would sing so that they could not hear the passing of trainloads of crying Jews headed for a nearby concentration camp.

Too many Christians lead "Neville Chamberlain lives," Johnson said, referring to the British prime minister who signed a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler. A picture of Hitler and Chamberlain flashed on the screens.

"We're calling God's people to pray, to serve, to shine and to be salt and light,'' he said.

Johnson criticized the "handful of our religious friends on the left who have formed an unholy alliance with the secular left" to challenge the religious exemption of his organization.
See my earlier post, Group calls for IRS to investigate two winger churches for more on the "unholy alliance" of 31 pastors who wrote a letter asking the IRS to investigate Johnson and Parsley to determine whether their groups have engaged in illegal partisan political activity that would violate their tax-exempt status.

Parsley and Johnson don't seem like they are shaking in their boots over this, and neither is Blackwell, who is the only candidate that has been invited to these bible-beating PR events. Somehow, they can't find the phone numbers of any Democrats to contact, but Ken's on their speed dial.
Blackwell was the only candidate for governor invited to address 450 pastors and Christian conservatives at a luncheon north of Canton sponsored by the Ohio Restoration Project two days after it and several allied religious entities were accused of illegally engaging in partisan politics.

...Johnson said that yesterday’s lunch at the Hartville Kitchen was the fourth of 10 planned meetings across the state by the Ohio Restoration Project to enlist "Patriot Pastors" and register voters who share its values, particularly its opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.

He accused the 31 complaining pastors of "spiritual adultery" for aligning with the American Civil Liberties Union, adding: "On the day we celebrated Martin Luther King’s accomplishments as a leader and minister, the religious left sent people to the back of the bus. They wanted to muzzle people of faith."
Johnson claims that that "every statewide officeholder who supported" a ban same-sex marriage was invited the luncheon, but that's not the case. Apparently you have to agree with Johnson's crowd on every winger issue.
A spokesman for state Auditor Betty D. Montgomery, who supported the ban, said Johnson’s group did not invite her.

Asked why, Johnson replied: "She is pro-abortion."
You know this is a brass knuckles crowd we're dealing with when the 31 pastors who have requested the IRS investigation won't release their names because "some have a fear that there could be acts of retribution against them," according to Eric Williams, the senior pastor of North Congregational United Church of Christ in Columbus and spokesman for the clergy involved.

Washington state senator: homos are hell-bound

"After I became a Christian, I started reading the Bible, and I'm not a scholar but I did a lot of reading. It became obvious to me that homosexuality is in the area of sin."
-- Washington State Sen. Dan Swecker, the Republicans' chief spokesman against gay-rights legislation
Well, the state GOP picked a winner to represent their position on adding sexual orientation to the state's anti-discrimination laws.

This amateur scholar is grade-A batsh*t crazy. I think this is a big tactical error on the part of the gay rights opponents, but maybe they are going for more drama. (Seattle Times):
The lawmaker tapped to speak for Senate Republicans opposing gay-rights legislation is an affable, soft-spoken man who believes gays will go to hell unless they change their ways.

"I just read the Bible for what it says. It basically says that homosexuality is an abomination," said Dan Swecker, a 58-year-old veteran lawmaker from the rural town of Rochester, Thurston County.

He wants gays to know they can be saved. "Somehow that message has to get out. Because if people don't realize that it's a sin or there's not an opportunity for redemption, then we're going to lose them."
The state's gay rights bill that has been introduced, it is expected to pass the House by the end of this week -- then the issue goes before the Senate.

Lest you think that he doesn't have the backing of his Republican colleagues, here is what their leader says:

"I make a point to use who I think is the best person in our caucus to be our spokesperson," said Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla.
And it's not just the homos that Swecker is concerned about. He has well-rounded wingnut credentials -- he wants Roe v. Wade overturned, prayer back in schools and the inclusion of creationism -- but the homos are a special focus for him.
He's about as conservative as they come when dealing with social issues. Swecker opposes abortion, except in limited circumstances, and wants the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. He supports prayer in school. And he'd like to see creationism taught as well.

"I think creationism is as reasonable an explanation for the origin of species and mankind as the theory of evolution," he said.

...He argues, for example, that gay rights is a steppingstone to gay marriage. And if gay marriage becomes legal, he says, it will overtax the social safety net that supports traditional marriage by allowing gay spouses to tap into Social Security benefits, pensions and health insurance.

He also says gay rights would violate individuals' right to free association, and that business owners and landlords who oppose homosexuality should have the right to deny gays a job or housing.
Of course then he contradicts himself with this statement.
Swecker said his views on gay rights do not come from anger or hate. "What I'm trying to reflect from my position on homosexuality is love, not discrimination, not persecution, not punishment, not any of those things," he said.
You may not be surprised to learn (and may be horrified by the fact) that Swecker home-schooled his now-grown four children for part of their education.

GOP: corruption central

Utah's Chris Cannon got "a little help" for his company from a Nebraska bank president.

The Raw Story's John Byrne uncovers another slick dirtbag.
Utah congressman Chris Cannon loaned nearly $100,000 to the president of a Nebraska bank who extended at least $250,000 in credit the following year to the representative's business venture in the state, RAW STORY has found.

Cannon's office confirmed that the congressman had extended a loan of between $50,000 and $100,000 to First National Bank of Nebraska president Gary Ruse in September 1996. The following year, the Utah Republican's kosher beef-packing plant, Premium Beef, received a $250,000 to $500,000 loan from Ruse's bank.

Politics, publishing and the dead horse

Do we have to keep beating this dead horse again and again? Shakes Sis hits the nail on the head (again) with a post on why the inner sanctum on the Left is full of bluster about "progressive ideas," yet can't get a grip that their "club" doesn't look much different than the local Rotary -- and they don't seem to care.

What spurs Shakes Sis's rant is a post by Garance Franke-Ruta on Tapped about the upcoming "Saving Our Democracy" conference, which is described as "a major colloquium to rescue our democracy from the far right." The event, sponsored by The Nation Institute and The New Democracy Project only has two female speakers out of the 24 on the roster.

What's nauseating are some of the comments accompanying the post basically take the view that "there's too much in-fighting over representation, we need to focus on generating new ideas on how to win."

Shakes Sis calls bullsh*t:
Not a shred of recognition that perhaps the ideological stagnation from which the Left suffers may be a result of its major power players still being predominantly white, straight, and male—which, by the way, wouldn’t be a problem if those particular straight, white males could and did speak eloquently to progressive issues of concern to women, gays, and minorities, but they don’t. And it’s not because they can’t—Paul the Spud can speak just as passionately about women’s issues as I can, and I can speak just as passionately about gay issues as he can. Extricating oneself from the responsibility of speaking to issues beyond one’s own demographic is a choice, and marginalizing the concerns of women (for example) as "identity politics" is indicative of nothing more than the unwillingness to identify with women.
Perhaps one reason this keeps happening is that the white, straight, and male progressives running the show like the circle jerk provided by hanging out with people they can personally identify with.

To me, it's indicative of a complete lack of curiosity and imagination that can be due to many things, but I'd guess it is, at its core, a lack of experience with peers of a different gender or orientation or color that goes way back to childhood. It's that old comfort thing. Extending one's self to be friends with -- not just work or attend school with -- people from a different background takes more work for them. It's work the circle-jerkers would rather not spend time on because they are focused on bigger, more important things, you know, like the "progressive ideas" that they don't live, they just spout off about.

If they could step outside of themselves just for a moment, they'd see how absurd this all is. I'm not holding my breath, though.


This reminds me of Lizzy Ratner's NY Observer piece, Vanilla Ceiling: Magazines Still Shades Of White. One section of the article is notable, since it mentions the good folks at The Nation Institute/The Nation, which is sponsoring the above-mentioned conference.
And the non-glossy Nation lists eight people of color among its 99 writers, editors, editorial-board members and Nation Institute fellows.

The Nation’s publisher and editor, Katrina vanden Heuvel, acknowledged that the veteran weekly “need[s] to do a better job in this area.” But, she said, masthead statistics were only part of the magazine’s diversity story.

“We are always out looking for more diversity in terms of our writers, in terms of our editors,” she said, citing efforts to recruit more minority freelance journalists as well as a recently created Nation Institute fellowship for writers of color and a new conversation series between mystery writer Walter Mosely and other minority writers and activists.
The reality is that many progressive non-profits and magazines have this problem. I think it's for many reasons -- jobs in publishing tend to pay poorly at the bottom of the food chain; these jobs are considered somewhat prestigious jobs -- even the low-level ed assistant positions are often filled by friends of friends, the daughter of your sorority sister, etc. They hire people they know -- and these folks don't know many people of color. It's the classism-on-the-Left issue rising up again, something that comes up in brief flurries, gets hands wringing for a bit, and then dies down to business as usual.

Trust me, I've worked in publishing both here and in NY -- it's a problem across the board. That said, minority recruitment programs have a difficulty figuring out how to keep and retain people of color.
Perhaps, they said, a number of would-be minority journalists do opt out of magazines, either because they don’t see many models of advancement or because they could earn a far more respectable—or simply livable—salary beginning in any other professional field. (The class/race coupling can’t be ignored, and the entry-level salaries of journalism have a way of whittling out everyone but the elite.)

..."I think, in people’s minds, it’s not like, ‘Let’s not hire any black people.’ It’s just like, ‘I don’t really know any black people to hire, and I don’t really want to do the work to find out who they are,’" said Scott Poulson-Bryant, a founding editor of Vibe and author of the racy new book Hung: A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America. "People aren’t really that active about finding new blood, so to speak."
As you can see, politics and publishing have a lot in common.

Supremes put the chill on war protestor's free speech

There's no doubt that the Supremes passing on this case creates a chilling effect on the exercise of free speech by widely defining what is a "Threat to the President." Brett Bursey was the first (and apparently the only) person charged under that statute. (Chi Trib):
The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal from an anti-war protester who was convicted of violating the boundaries of a "restricted area" established during President Bush's visit to South Carolina in 2002.

Brett Bursey had urged the justices to hear the appeal of a $500 fine he was assessed for entering an airport hangar in Columbia on Oct. 24, 2002. Bursey's lawyers argued that he was exercising his free-speech rights when he carried into the restricted area a megaphone and a placard reading, "No more war for oil, don't invade Iraq."
OK. It's quite reasonable to make a case that Bursey was in a restricted area, and that he could somehow have been a threat to the President if he, perhaps, had some sort of weapon (a megaphone doesn't qualify). A reasonable person might ask why Bursey couldn't have protested in a non-restricted area designated for such free speech.

Well, the problem is that the only designated area for dissenters was A HALF MILE AWAY. Come on, the feeble Chimperor needs a half-mile-radius bubble of mental and emotional safety for his fragile-ego?

Bursey's lawyers said the Secret Service allowed people to pass through the area and did not block it off. Guess who had did have access to the restricted area? Only people with tickets to the presidential event. As we know all too well, even the most pedestrian event that Bush goes to in the outside world is now a ticketed affair.

Chris Kromm at Facing South has more.
For these unthinkable sentiments, Bursey was commanded to retreat to an Orwellian-named "free speech zone" or be charged with trespassing. As Bursey relates, "I told the police that I was in a free speech zone called the United States of America."

The trespassing charges were dismissed four months after the arrest, but the feds wouldn't have it. The Secret Service quickly moved to press the unprecedented "Threats to President" charges, and, after being refused a jury trial, Bursey was convicted and given a $500 fine.

...It's no exaggeration to say the Supreme Court's decision to let the conviction stand sets a dangerous precedent. A Secret Service official in South Carolina, Neal Dolan, admitted as much in Charleston last year when he declared that "If Bursey's prosecution holds, we have another dozen cases" across the country.
Chris also has information on Bursey's effort to stage a protest rally -- asking 499 citizens to bring a dollar and join him at federal court to protest the decision -- to make a visible statement about the protection of free speech.

* Interview with Bursey and background on his case at UpstateBeat.

Another day, yet another bigot on 'family values'

"With Christ there is always hope, but currently I don't see any indication that that will happen. In fact, the institutions of our culture -- the public school system, the media, our universities, politics, corporate America, the judiciary -- all are perpetuating the acceptance of ungodly practices such as same-sex marriage and euthanasia."
-- AmTalibangelist Voddie Baucham, Jr., the self-proclaimed "evangelist to intellectuals."
Serving them up fresh each and every day. This guy is an elder at Grace Community Church in Magnolia, Texas and an adjunct professor at The College of Biblical Studies in Houston, Texas. He's concerned about the godless influence of the public schools. (AgapePress):
When you understand multi-generational faithfulness, it's an idea that completely changes how you view cultural impact. I can look at influencing the culture by going out and getting the right legislation passed or the right person on the school board -- and there's nothing wrong with those things -- but the bigger picture of cultural impact is me being a Godly husband and father. So as I am training my children and at the same time part of a larger community of faith that is doing the same, we are equipping a generation, not just to pass good laws, but to be transformed people.

In my opinion, this is what makes the home-school movement so important. Because you are getting children out of the public school system that has them for 45-50 hours a week and inundates them in this anti-Christian, secular humanistic mentality and into a situation where discipleship is the key to their education. It's only here that multi-generational faithfulness can take place.
Baucham earns bonus points for sponsoring a resolution at the Southern Baptist Convention to investigate "the influence of the homosexual agenda in the nation's public schools." He said the public schools needed to be researched to unearth "attempts to influence children to accept homosexual behavior as a legitimate lifestyle."
“Those schools have violated a sacred trust,” he said. “Under the guise of ‘tolerance’ and ‘safe sex,’ they are teaching our children that biblical truth is at best outdated, and at worst intolerant.

“They are teaching our children to embrace the sinner and the sin. In fact, they are teaching our children that the Bible is wrong to call homosexuality a sin (or denying that the Bible does so at all).

“Moreover, they are teaching our children that homosexuality is a viable alternative to the covenant of marriage. And most parents are completely unaware.”
He's a real card, isn't he? And this is cute:
Last year at the Pastors Conference, Baucham said: “I understand that, as a black man in America, people won’t call me a narrow-minded bigot. Membership has its privileges.”
Membership revoked -- Narrow. Minded. Bigot.

Fringe radio drone Glenn Beck to pollute Headline News

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

So CNN's flagship channel hires Bill "Gamblin' Man" Bennett as a political analyst, and now they put this clown Glenn Beck on Headline News, where he will host an hour-long pole stroking intolerance session. Are they trying to outdo Faux News?

Here are some of Beck's "greatest hits," courtesy of Media Matters.
* On families of the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks: "[T]his is horrible to say, and I wonder if I'm alone in this -- you know, it took me about a year to start hating the 9-11 victims' families? Took me about a year."

* On Hurricane Katrina survivors who remained in New Orleans: "And that's all we're hearing about, are the people in New Orleans. Those are the only ones that we're seeing on television are the scumbags -- and again, it's not all the people in New Orleans. Most of the people in New Orleans got out! It's just a small percentage of those who were left in New Orleans, or who decided to stay in New Orleans, and they're getting all the attention."

* Discussing disclosures from a caller who claimed to have tortured prisoners in U.S. custody: "I've got to tell you, I appreciate your service. ... Good for you. Good for -- I mean, good for you. Is it because you did it for the country? ... I have to tell you, when all is said and done, I'm glad people like you are on our side."
Who's this guy? Beck's show is based out of Philadelphia, and he describes himself as "as a Mormon with libertarian leanings and a strong sense of 'family values'." His Wikipedia entry notes that he is critical of the entertainment industry and television shows featuring gays and lesbians, such as Will & Grace. He is opposed to euthanasia and capital punishment, as well as anti-smoking regulations. He describes himself as "pro-business," and against raising the minimum wage.

Michael Jensen at The Big Gay Picture has more on this weasel.

You can email CNN via their feedback form and ask them why on earth do they need to pander to the political extremists.

WingNutDaily's breaking news

Check out this screaming headline:


Homosexual Easter
at the White House?  

[OK. I added the fey bunny.]

'LGBT families' urged to crash Bushes' annual egg-roll event

Pennsylvania's marriage amendment faces challenge

Interestingly, although this amendment is likely to gain momentum -- the state's House is GOP-controlled -- it may hit a roadblock even if it passes, because of non-discrimination language in the state's Constitution. How will the wingers get around this? (365gay):
State Rep. Scott W. Boyd (R-Lancaster) said the measure already has 88 co-sponsors and the number is growing. Most are Republicans but some Democrats have signed on as well.

...Boyd said that the amendment would say: "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this commonwealth, and neither the commonwealth now nor any of its political subdivisions shall create or recognize a legal status identical or substantially equivalent to that of marriage for unmarried individuals."

LGBT civil rights activists say the wording is unclear and could be used to block civil unions or domestic partnerships.

...The proposed amendment may come in conflict with provisions already in the Pennsylvania constitution.

Article I calls for equal treatment.

Section 26 says that "Neither the Commonwealth nor any political subdivision thereof shall deny to any person the enjoyment of any civil right, nor discriminate against any person in the exercise of any civil right."

Section 28 states: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania because of the sex of the individual."

Another Dem gay-rights spine located: Paul Hackett

Balls (and a spine). Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Paul Hackett got a lot of ink today for not apologizing when he opened a can of whoopass on the Right. He called them out for the crazies that they are -- enjoy as he unloads on these fundies. (Columbia Dispatch):
"The Republican Party has been hijacked by religious fanatics, who are out of touch with mainstream America. Think of the recent comments by Pat Robertson - a religious fanatic by any measure - that the United States should assassinate a democratically elected leader in Venezuela, and that Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment because Sharon wished to trade land for peace."

"Since the Republican Party has been utterly unable to stand for something positive, they have created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, and have pandered to religious fanatics not to vote for something they believe in, but to vote against their fellow Americans with whom they disagree. Those among us who would use religion and politics to divide rather than unite Americans should be ashamed."
Even better, Hackett is unafraid to be staunchly in favor of gay rights, and puts the wingers where they belong -- on the wrong side of justice and all that represents true American values. More schooling for the old-school Dems...
With succinct coherence, Hackett said: "I’m pro-choice, I’m pro-gayrights, I’m pro-gun-rights. Call me nuts, but I think they’re all based on the same principle and that is we don’t need government dictating to us how we live our private lives."

Asked to define being pro-gay rights, Hackett said anybody who tries to deny homosexuals the same rights, including marriage, as every other citizen is un-American. Are you saying, he was asked, that the 62 percent of Ohioans who voted in November 2004 to constitutionally deny same-sex marriages are un-American?

"If what they believe is that we’re going to have a scale on judging which Americans have equal rights, yeah, that’s un-American. They’ve got to accept that. It’s absolutely un-American."

Theater owner who pulled Brokeback goes apesh*t

Jeremy at Good As You has the scoop (and more pix) of the unhinged bigot in action.
Asked yesterday why he chose to pull Brokeback Mountain from the Utah theaters that he owns, Larry H. Miller smacked a local radio reporter's microphone out of the way and said "I said everything I had to say when I pulled the movie. Okay? Anything else ya wanna know?"

Squealing over the Golden Globes

Reading this freakout made my day. I think these folks are squealing like little piggies, and racing for their bibles. All these wingers could see was a vast Homo Conspiracy to pollute the culture with the wins last night. (AgapePress):
Hollywood's promotion of sexual immorality was on full display last night (Jan. 16) at the Golden Globe Awards ceremony, where Brokeback Mountain -- a film about two homosexual cowboys -- won four awards, including best drama. Many critics believe the win positions the controversial film for an Academy Award.

Meanwhile, homosexual and gender-bending themes abounded during last evening's Golden Globes presentation, which also featured key wins by Philip Seymour Hoffman for his portrayal of homosexual author Truman Capote in the film Capote and by Felicity Huffman for her role as a pre-operative male-to-female transsexual in Transamerica.

Later in the news roundup, the whining continues over the selection of openly gay actor Chad Allen to play two Christian characters in an upcoming film.
Questions and concerns have been raised over the fact that an actor playing the dual role of a slain evangelical Christian missionary and his son in the fact-based film End of the Spear is an openly homosexual "gay rights" activist.

Television, stage and film actor Chad Allen came out publicly as a homosexual in a 2001 issue of the gay publication The Advocate and has since been outspoken on a number of homosexual issues, including taking part in a Larry King Live forum on same-sex marriage -- all of which leaves some Evangelicals surprised at his selection to play a dual role as two Christian characters in End of the Spear.

The theatrical film is based on the true stories of five missionaries who were killed by members of the Waodani tribe in Ecuador's Amazon region and of Steve Saint, son of one of the murdered Christians, who eventually returned to that area and befriended the Waodani people. Allen portrays both Saint and his father in the movie, while Saint himself cooperated with the production, has a bit part, and even served as a stunt pilot. According to an article by Linda Rapp on the "gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer" culture website "," Allen himself voiced concerns that the Saint family might object to having a homosexual man play their family members in the film.

However, to his surprise the actor learned that Steve Saint himself had approved of his casting after seeing a 2003 article in The Advocate, in which Allen talked about the importance of doing good works and serving others. In the article, Allen was quoted as pointing out that Saint had said the things the actor talked about in the Advocate were the very things for which he had fought his entire life, and it would be wrong not to ask Allen to play the part. A poster to an Internet Movie Database discussion board, a person who claims to have been involved with the production, said Allen became a good friend of the Saint family and once commented that "he got more acceptance and love from the Christian movie people than he's had anywhere, even in his own family."
Can't you hear the weeping in wingnuttia over this? Ah, what a pleasure.


In other "Brokeback" news sure to piss the Right off in some way, Ang Lee and Jake Gyllenhaal will accept an award at the Human Rights Campaign New York Gala Dinner. (from HRC release):
"These two films have ignited a firestorm of honesty that is sweeping the nation," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "At dinner tables across the country the conversation about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality is being informed with true portrayals of American life"

..."We are honored to be awarding both Jake Gyllenhaal and Ang Lee with the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Award,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Their work on this film has helped reshape the debate and changed the cultural fabric of our country.”
My man Chris Meloni of NBC’s Law and Order: SVU and HBO’s Oz will also be receiving an award as well, for being "a vocal supporter of the GLBT community by doing such important work as starring in public service announcements for NBC discussing discrimination and violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people."

SCOTUS Upholds Oregon's Death With Dignity Act, 6-3

Oh, what a glorious day when I can post something positive about the Supreme Court!
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Oregon's one-of-a-kind physician-assisted suicide law, rejecting a Bush administration attempt to punish doctors who help terminally ill patients die.

Justices, on a 6-3 vote, said the 1997 Oregon law used to end the lives of more than 200 seriously ill people trumped federal authority to regulate doctors.

That means the administration improperly tried to use a federal drug law to prosecute Oregon doctors who prescribe overdoses. Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft vowed to do that in 2001, saying that doctor-assisted suicide is not a "legitimate medical purpose."
Because, after all, death is such an unnatural and ungodly abomination, and ending the pain of terminally ill people isn't something Christ would advocate. Who wants to bet that if Former Attorney General Ass-Crisco was lubing himself up with his annointing oil, slipped and knocked himself into into a painfully deteriorating state of quadriplegia, that he'd be packing up and moving to Oregon quicker than you can say "Let the Eagle Soar"? OK, maybe he wouldn't... but typing that last sentence made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said the federal government does, indeed, have the authority to go after drug dealers and pass rules for health and safety.

But Oregon's law covers only extremely sick people -- those with incurable diseases, whom at least two doctors agree have six months or less to live and are of sound mind.
So that's an interesting twist when you compare that to the 6-3 majority that decided Raich v. Gonzalez. In that case, SCOTUS decided that feds can raid state-sanctioned legal medical marijuana users and growers for violating federal marijuana law.
Congress' power to regulate purely local activities that are part of an economic "class of activities" that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce is firmly established. If Congress decides that the "total incidence" of a practice poses a threat to a national market, it may regulate the entire class. Of particular relevance here is Wickard v. Filburn,
In other words, the Commerce Clause of the Constitution allows feds to regulate state medical marijuana, even if the marijuana is grown, harvested, and used completely within state boundaries (thus, no "interstate") for medicinal purposes with no consideration or compensation (thus, no "commerce"), because medical marijuana is indistinguishable from black market marijuana, and the free production of medical marijuana in the states may have an effect on the illegal black market. They weren't required to prove that was likely, there merely had to be a "rational basis" that such an outcome were possible.

And that's good for the feds, because if they were forced to think about it, they'd realize that the only possible effect medical marijuana could have on the black market is to depress the price of marijuana. It's Econ 101 - increase the supply and availability and the price drops. In effect, Raich was a drug-dealer-friendly decision - they protected the scarcity of the black market.

If they had to do any research, they'd note figures from California and the other medical marijuana states that passed their laws in the 90's that show teen use of marijuana declining over the period of legal medical marijuana. I guess puffing a joint isn't such a rebellious teen act when the thai stick is thought of as granny's glaucoma medicine instead of the hip, dangerous drug the feds make it out to be.

Kennedy concurred in the Raich majority that ruled that doctors could not prescribe safe, effective marijuana to patients, because Congress has the right to regulate the health and safety of dangerous drugs. But Kennedy, writing this majority opinion, concludes that Congress does not have the right to interfere with doctors prescribing lethal, effective life-ending drugs to patients? Is it because there is no interstate black market in suicide drugs? Is it because there are no rich powerful corporate interests with a stake in keeping suicide drugs illegal?
(CNN) Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia dissented.
Get ready to see that sentence repeated often...
Scalia, writing the dissent, said that federal officials have the power to regulate the doling out of medicine.

"If the term 'legitimate medical purpose' has any meaning, it surely excludes the prescription of drugs to produce death," he wrote.
The legitimate purpose of medicine is to help us live our lives as fully and painlessly as possible. Death is a natural part of the process of living. These people have reached the end of the fullest life they can possible manage and are now wracked with pain and suffering. Scalia seems to think tenuous, agony-filled, artificial clinging to life is a more legitimate use of medicine than helping someone at the end complete their life journey as painlessly as possible. I wish only for Justice Scalia to pass painlessly in his sleep, for to wish him years of painful deterioration bedridden in a state other than Oregon would be a mean-spirited exercise of projected schadenfreude on my part.

It's a beautiful world we live in, kids. The government rejects the medical use of a safe, effective, non-toxic, mildly-euphoric flower, accepts the medical use of lethal drugs to facilitate suicide, and those in government who think doctors shouldn't be in the assisted suicide business are more than willing to accept defense contractors engaging in the torture business. It's not okay to end natural terminal pain, but it's okay to inflict it on our enemies if the president says so?

Who are you people, and what have you done with my America?

'Uncle Walter' says it's time to get out of Iraq

Back in the day when there wasn't a plethora of news sources to choose from, most folks read the local paper and then turned on the TV at 7PM to get their 30 minutes of news from one of the big three networks. Most folks tuned into learn about current events from Walter Cronkite. He stepped down from the big chair way back in 1981, turning the reins over to Dan Rather, who retired last year (good grief, I'm old). (AP):
Former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, whose 1968 conclusion that the Vietnam War was unwinnable keenly influenced public opinion then, said Sunday he'd say the same thing today about Iraq.

"It's my belief that we should get out now," Cronkite said in a meeting with reporters. Now 89, the television journalist once known as "the most trusted man in America" has been off the "CBS Evening News" for nearly a quarter-century.

...Cronkite said one of his proudest moments came at the end of a 1968 documentary he made following a visit to Vietnam during the Tet offensive. Urged by his boss to briefly set aside his objectivity to give his view of the situation, Cronkite said the war was unwinnable and that the U.S. should exit.

Photo: Irving Haberman

Then-President Lyndon Johnson reportedly told a White House aide after that, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America."

The best time to have made a similar statement about Iraq came after Hurricane Katrina, he said. "We had an opportunity to say to the world and Iraqis after the hurricane disaster that Mother Nature has not treated us well and we find ourselves missing the amount of money it takes to help these poor people out of their homeless situation and rebuild some of our most important cities in the United States," he said. "Therefore, we are going to have to bring our troops home."

Iraqis should have been told that "our hearts are with you" and that the United States would do all it could to rebuild their country, he said. "I think we could have been able to retire with honor," he said. "In fact, I think we can retire with honor anyway."
The Freepi were quite predictable.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"When will this leftist go away?!"

"Time for Walter to leave Earth."

"The only thing Cronkite should being doing is taking a dirt nap."

"Oh, STFU, Walter! Go back to protesting the Nantucket wind farm that would provide renewable energy but would annoy your delicate sensibilities with its appearance, you Leftist loser."

"Does anyone care what Walter think???? I believe he's still tilting at Nantucket windmills"

"Cronkite: Shaddap ya senile old coot."

"Urged by his boss to briefly set aside his objectivity to give his view of the situation, Cronkite said the war was unwinnable and that the U.S. should exit. And the fact that their opinions are worthless is why journalists should stick to hard facts. Who was Cronkhite that his military accumen allowed him to make such an evaluation? Who was CBS to publicize it? Hacks."

"Walter: Turn up your hearing aid...and now that you can hear me--STFU!"

"Cut and Run Cronkite"

"How is this any different from Pat Robertson saying Sharon is being punished by God? How is it different from so many wacky statements of similar ilk that have come out of Christian evangalists in the past 5 years claiming God was punishing this country or that? Why isn't the media responding in a similar manner? Don't bother, that's rhetorical."

"Yeah, Walter, there are millions of Iraqis who should have an appointment with the re-education camps like so many Vietnamese did, you sorry-assed SOS (first word being Sack)."

"Briefly set aside his objectivity? He didn't and still doesn't have any. Freakin' pathetic defeatist liberal."

"The man has lost his class, his wisdom, his fans, and his mind. Poor poor Walter - no where to go - no one listening. He's lonely."

"Oh yes, Cronkite, the commentator who betrayed 2.5 million men in uniform that served in Viet Nam when he declared a decisive victory a defeata nd enabled the enemies of freedom to overtake all of Viet Nam, after costing America nearly 58,000 lives. Walter, enjoy your retirement, no one cares what you think, least of all, us Viet Nam Vets you helped betray!"

"That skunk is still spreading a suspicious aroma."

"'Now 89' -- I thought he was taking the dirt nap a long time ago."

"Hey Cronkite: Go find yourself an old coot boyfriend. Maybe you'll shut up for a while."

"I can remember as a little kid in the '60s my dad calling WC a commie, and CBS the Communist Broadcasting Station. Your dad saw the light about 20 years before I did."
I was a strange child, not as strange as the above fools, mind you. I used to watch Walter Cronkite and the CBS Evening News every weekday. While other kids said they'd want Winnie the Pooh or Captain Kangaroo over for dinner, who did I want my mom to ask over -- "Uncle Walter."

Hutcherson calls for calls for boycott of Microsoft and HP for backing gay rights bill

Hutcherson photo art via Mike Tidmus.
Hutcherson: "Homosexuals can know and love Jesus, but they're being disobedient to him."

The bible-thumping bigot is back! And even better, he will make his announcement of his boycott on Daddy Dobson's Focus on the Anus show. (AP):
A pastor on Monday called for a national boycott of Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and other companies that support a gay civil rights bill, saying the corporations have underestimated the power of religious consumers.

The Rev. Ken Hutcherson, pastor of Antioch Bible Church in the Seattle suburb of Redmond, said he would formally issue the boycott Thursday on the conservative radio show Focus on the Family.

"We're tired of sitting around thinking that morals can be ignored in our country," he said. "This is not a threat, this is a promise. Check out the past presidential election. We made the moral issue the No. 1 issue."

Last week, several companies, including Palo Alto, Calif.-based Hewlett Packard Co., Microsoft Corp., Boeing Co., and Nike Inc. signed a letter urging passage of the measure, which would add "sexual orientation" to a Washington state law that already bans discrimination in housing, employment and insurance based on race, gender, age, disability, religion, marital status and other factors.

Microsoft is restoring its support for the proposal a year after the company was denounced for quietly dropping its endorsement.
Read more about fun with Hutcherson in these prior posts.

Wisconsin gov slams proposed marriage amendment

Another lonely spine found in a sea of spineless Dems. He should expect an onslaught by Republicans there, tying him to the Homosexual Agenda. (
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle used his Martin Luther King Day speech to denounce a proposed constitutional amendment that would bar same-sex couples from marrying.

We should not enshrine discrimination in the Constitution of the state of Wisconsin,” Doyle said in a speech in the Capitol Rotunda. The proposed amendment, that defines marriage as being between a man and woman, passed the legislature last year and needs to be passed a second time in this session in order to be placed on the November ballot.

Wisconsin already has legislation barring same-sex marriage, but supporters argue the amendment is needed because current state law, which defines marriage as a union between a man and wife, is too vague and judges could interpret that wording to permit gay marriage.

NOLA Mayor Nagin is losing it

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

This man needs meds. It's bad enough that he made a DVD to tell the underclass without transportation in his city to fend for themselves, now he wants to blame the whole mess on God and the poor displaced people for the lack of progress there.
Mayor Ray Nagin suggested that recent destruction from hurricanes Katrina, Rita and other natural disasters is a sign that "God is mad at America," and also mad at black communities for tearing themselves apart with violence and divisive politics.

"Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country," Nagin said as he and other city leaders commemorated Martin Luther King Day. "Surely he doesn't approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We're not taking care of ourselves."

Joking that he may appear to have "post-Katrina stress disorder," Nagin, who is black, talked of an imaginary conversation with the late civil rights leader. They "talked," he said, while he was thinking Monday about what to say at the ceremony outside City Hall to kick off a walking parade in King's honor.

"I said, 'What is it going to take for us to move on and live your dream and make it a reality?' He said, 'I don't think that we need to pay attention any more as much about other folks and racists on the other side.' He said, 'The thing we need to focus on as a community — black folks I'm talking about — is ourselves.'"

Nagin told the crowd that he also asked, "Why is black-on-black crime such an issue? Why do our young men hate each other so much that they look their brother in the face and they will take a gun and kill him in cold blood?"
Good question, Ray. Not that you -- or Kathleen Blanco -- were doing anything to really tackle these problems in New Orleans before Katrina, with its corrupt police, terrible schools, and a disproportionately poor and underemployed population that made it a toxic social gumbo. These are complex problems that have no easy answer, but it's clear nothing serious had been done for years.

Anyone that thought Nagin wants to deal with the issue of the underprivileged in his city post-Katrina is smoking something. Too many on the Left gave him a pass during the hurricane -- the bottom line is that the mayor couldn't identify with someone that couldn't get a ride out of town because of classism and incompetence.

* He didn't use the hundreds of NOLA school/municipal buses to help those without transportation out of the city. The Right exaggerated the number of available buses, but the fact of the matter is that there should have been a plan in place to use them long before any hurricane. Even if there were not enough to get everyone out, there's no excuse for the under-utilization of this resource. It's sad that a kid had to "steal" one to evacuate people himself.

* Before Katrina there was Ivan, and during that hurricane, cnly at the last moment, did Mayor Nagin open the Superdome because he was reportedly worried that lower-class refugees might damage or graffiti the Superdome.

* Nagin, completely PR tone-deaf and classist, made sure the 700 guests and employees from the Hyatt Hotel (where his communications base was) to jump ahead of those stuck in the festering Superdome in the evacuation line.

This doesn't remove any huge blame from the shoulders of Blanco, Heckuva Job Brownie, Chertoff or Dear Leader. It's just a reality that Nagin is a big part of the problem as well.

That said, what's true about the undercurrent in Nagin's frustrations is that no one is working together effectively or honestly in the recovery and rebuilding of New Orleans. Black, white and brown, rich, poor and middle class, fed, state, local -- all have stakes in what happens to this city. The reality is that all of this puts into clear focus that only a small segment of power brokers really have control over the final outcome. Many in the socioeconomically deprived communities of NOLA -- in this case, mostly blacks -- are finding out that they are going to be on the short end of the stick (again), with little final say in the matter.

Those raised voices, in-fighting and almost-useless jockeying for position are what Nagin is overcome by. I hate to tell him this, but it won't stop unless everyone has an equal piece of the pie. I'm not necessarily advocating that because that method comes at a steep price -- any progress will take eons because everyone will have to have buy-in on everything -- and that's going to be impossible, given the history, politics, and incompetence at all levels in this disaster. If people there are unhappy with the state of progress and decisionmaking, look for more of the same.

After all, Dear Leader drove through the mildly damaged area of the city on his last float-through and saw major progress -- "It may be hard for you to see, but from when I first came here to today, New Orleans is reminding me of the city I used to come to visit." He didn't tour the Ninth Ward, he didn't promise to rebuild the levees to Cat 5 strength.

That should be a clear sign to everyone in New Orleans that they are really on their own. Again.

WingNutDaily poll on impeaching Dear Leader

Monday, January 16, 2006

Let's do you think the bible-beating sheeple would respond to the poll question: Do you think President Bush should be impeached?

Here you go.

Of course, WND also features a story on the latest Zogby poll that asked the following question:

"If President Bush wiretapped American citizens without the approval of a judge, do you agree or disagree that Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment."
A new Zogby poll indicates a majority of Americans want Congress to consider impeaching President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval.

The poll found that 52 percent agreed, 43 percent disagreed and 6 percent said they didn't know or declined to answer.

Al Gore rips Bush in speech, no one covers it

The crook, liar and admitted lawless eavesdropping advocate in the White House got ripped a new one in a speech by Al Gore today, who was joined at the Liberty Foundation event by conservative former Rep. Bob Barr. You might recall that Barr called for the impeachment of Clinton, so a show of unity on this topic is a shot across the bow at this Administration.

Gore called on Congress to renew oversight and for Attorney General Alberto "Torture is Good" Gonzalez to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate alleged privacy abuses. He also called for additional whistleblower protections for members of the executive branch who speak out to report evidence of illegal activities. Here's a slam-dunk excerpt:
At present, we still have much to learn about the NSA's domestic surveillance. What we do know about this pervasive wiretapping virtually compels the conclusion that the President of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and persistently.

Can it be true that any president really has such powers under our Constitution? If the answer is "yes" then under the theory by which these acts are committed, are there any acts that can on their face be prohibited? If the President has the inherent authority to eavesdrop, imprison citizens on his own declaration, kidnap and torture, then what can't he do?
Glenn Greenwald brilliantly deconstructs on C&L that this is an issue the Dems cannot be allowed to deal with in the usual half-ass, shiftless, positionless, weaselly way.
It is past time for Democrats to dispense with the tepid, half-hearted, non-committal language when talking to Americans about why this scandal is so serious. Democrats, like Gore did today, must explain clearly to the country that Bush is deliberately breaking the law and has vowed to continue to do so, and that he and his followers have literally embraced a theory of Presidential power which claims that the permanent "war" we are fighting gives Bush the power to break the law.

That George Bush broke the law is crystal clear and easy to explain. Gore just did so with perfect clarity. That Bush has vowed to continue breaking the law based on his belief that the Constitution gives him the power of law-breaking is something which most Americans will instinctively and viscerally reject – provided that this is explained to them clearly and unapologetically.
By the way, this speech wasn't covered by any of the cable news organizations. That, in itself, is a scandal. No matter what you think of Al Gore, the man almost won (or actually won) the election in 2000; he was the vice president of this country, serving in an administration that was dogged by "scandals" that in hindsight can't even touch what the current criminal administration has perpetrated on this great nation. What he says can and should carry enough weight to be covered by the MSM.

Peter Daou on this outrage.
If a tree falls in a forest... A former Vice-President of the United States delivers a major speech accusing George W. Bush of breaking the law.  What do all three cable news nets cover under the "Breaking News" banner? An overturned tanker truck on a New York highway. THIS is the problem for the left. And as I've said a hundred times: if the Dem establishment doesn't go after the media institutionally, things simply will not change.
And Shakes Sis:
I swear to Jeebus if aliens landed on US soil with the express purpose of delivering to us an environmentally-friendly fuel source which could be utilized by our existing infrastructure and costing nary a penny to implement, Pat Robertson would give a speech on his own crackpot television show claiming the aliens were sent by God to slaughter us as retribution for homosexual deviance, Gore would give an important policy address about the environmental, economic, and national security benefits of the new fuel, and Robertson would get the fucking headline. That is, until Fox News pulled a single line out of Gore’s speech about how he once voted to fund an experimental extraterrestrial communications program, and report it as “Unstable Gore Says He Personally Invited Aliens.”
Text of speech at Raw Story
Video at Crooks and Liars.


Boy the Freeper response is w-e-a-k and predictable. This means that they are worried.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"Sponsored by the "Committee" to Export Islamic Jihadist Terror worldwide..."

"Hope Barr likes his new friend. Have these guys been having chit-chats with Al-Qaeda that's been making them so upset?"

" does Dr. Demento Dean, Bela Pelosi & Benedick Durbin!!)"

"A priceless example of why Democrats cannot be trusted with our nation's defense. The rights of terrorists and their kinsmen in America are paramount in their mind to the safety of everyone. Maybe this is some weird re-ordering of that saying. "First they came for the terrorists, and I did nothing. Next they came for the ..." What a bunch of hooey."

"As usual, The Seasoned Elm is all over the map: there's global warming and prescription drug plans, Big Brother-style government surveillance, the "balance of power" and all the rest. Funny, coming from a leftist fanatic who had no problem with Carnivore of Echelon or tapping every phone in America with the Clipper Chip."

"Dear Stupid, WE ARE AT WAR YOU TRAITOROUS MORON!! Signed, the American People."

"I love it when the stupid RATS take the wrong side of an issue! Al Baby, check the polls and sit down and STFU! Also, it looks like Al has picked up the verbosity of his former boss."

"From what I have been able to put together, the government is monitoring all international calls for certain keywords. If these keywords are recognized, the conversation is recorded and sent to an analyst to determine a threat level. If this is true, I have to say that I agree - it is unconstitutional and needs to be stopped. There are very clear laws on the books to prevent this - it is not allowable without a warrant! People need to realize that taking away liberties and disregarding existing law cannot be allowed."

"WRONG...what the constitution protects US from it use of information in a criminal trial without a warrant to gather that info.The administration is not going to court with the info gathered, or trying to prosecute with the info gathered, rather they are using the info to stop, or interfere with the process of foreign nationals [or U.S. citizens who have ties to foreign nationals] who might be planning to bring harm and/or chaos to the the U.S. people or their properties."

"J E Hoover is dancing in his grave to the Hammer's tune; Can't Touch This."

"This is enough to make us get down on our knees and thank God that this man was not and is not president. I wonder if there would be a building left standing in the country as he tried to placate the terrorists. It is enough to make one wake up in a cold sweat at night."

"You lost, get over it."

"Is that White Noise I hear???"

"As I've said many times before, if Algore had been President on 9/11, he'd still be negotiating the size of the negotiating table with the Taliban."

"Boy oh boy I scrolled down and scrolled down and it just kept on going down and down! Longwinded screed. Whew, this must be what they call the Al Qaeda Bill of Rights. Our U.S. Constitution isn't half as long."

"Abu al Ghore?"

"soreloserman, yada, yada, yada....yada, yada yada, yada, yada, yada. His yearly tirade. Was he wearing earth tones? Did he know what channel his speech would be carried on? Did he kiss Tipper at the end of the speech? Was she even there? So maneeeeeee questions......"

"If he had delivered this speech the day Clinton was impeached....rather than calling him the best president ever.....Gore would have easily won the 2000 election. This guy is a walking disaster zone!!"

More winger non-profits treading on thin ice

[UPDATE: That didn't take long. The GOP changed its web site after Raw's article went up.]

The Raw Story has a nice bookend to the news that two Ohio churches are under the microscope for possibly violating their non-profit status.

In this story, it's the GOP that website appears to also flout the law, listing allegedly nonpartisan non-profits as supporters. And these are well-known Beltway organizations, with folks that should know better.
RAW STORY has found that the Republican National Committee lists a panoply of conservative nonprofits as "GOP groups"--in direct violation of the nonprofit charter.

Tax-exempt nonprofits can lobby on political issues but cannot participate directly in campaign activities. The American Civil Liberties Union lobbied Congress to ban torture. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington lobbies Congress on Congressional corruption. And Americans for Tax Reform presses lawmakers to slash taxes and government spending.

...A nonprofit "may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate at all in campaign activity for or against political candidates," the IRS law reads.

At least six "GOP groups" listed and linked on the Republican National Committee website are tax-exempt nonprofits. These include the American Enterprise Institute, American Values, Coalition for Urban Renewal, Frontiers of Freedom, the Heritage Foundation and the Leadership Institute. If defined as a "GOP group," these organizations would not qualify for tax-exempt status under their charters.
Are you surprised that the GOP has no comment on this so far?

Virginia delegate shows Dems how to support gay rights

[UPDATE: I received a letter, posted at the end, from a resident of VA who just can't take any more of this. She and her partner are moving to Maryland.]

Freshman Virginia Delegate David Englin (D-45), is an example of the new kind of Democrat we need to clone. He could have sat quietly as he watched his seasoned collegues pontificated and voted to "protect marriage" from gays and lesbians, but he did not.

This Fighting Dem, who was on duty inside the Pentagon when it was attacked on September 11 (and served in the Air Force, stationed in the Balkans), stood up and put his thoughts into the record.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this resolution.  I'm not going to talk about same-sex marriage.  I'm no fool -- although others might make a different judgement about a freshman delegate rising in this chamber on the third day of session.  But I understand that on the issue of marriage, I'm in the minority, perhaps even in my own caucus.  I also sleep very well at night knowing that at some point in the future of this great Commonwealth, those of us of my opinion will be judged to have been on the right side of history.  But let's for a moment forget about the question of same-sex marriage, because this amendment addresses much more than that.  We need to be clear and honest:  This amendment also outlaws civil unions and domestic partnerships and other similar private legal arrangements.

We have heard from the other side that this constitutional amendment is necessary to protect conventional marriage.  I am blessed with a beautiful and brilliant wife who is the love of my life.  In June, Shayna and I will celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary, and I would fight with every ounce of my strength anything that would threaten my marriage.  So I would like to know, how exactly civil unions and domestic partnerships and other similar arrangements threaten my marriage?

We have heard from the other side that this amendment will protect families.  Shayna and I are blessed with a strong and bright six-year-old son, Caleb, and we have a strong family.  My friend the gentleman from Rockingham County, Delegate Lohr,  and I have discussed how we come from different backgrounds and different parts of this great Commonwealth, yet we share a deep and abiding commitment to our families.  I want nothing more than to protect my family.  I spent 12 years wearing the uniform of the United States Air Force to protect my family.  I've been in harm's way to protect my family.  So I would like to know, how exactly do civil unions and domestic partnerships and other similar arrangements threaten my family?  Because if they do, I will be the first one to stand up and fight, because nobody better threaten my family.

Moreover, we have heard from the other side that this amendment must pass sooner rather than later, as if there is some kind of crisis that is more important than issues like transportation or education or health care.  Why else would this be our first order of business?  Yet Virginia law already makes same-sex marriage and civil unions and domestic partnerships illegal.

So if this amendment doesn't help protect my marriage, and doesn't help protect my family, and if it doesn't even change the status of same-sex marriage and civil unions and domestic partnership contracts, then what exactly does this amendment do? I submit to my fair-minded colleagues that this amendment sends a message.  And that message is, if you are gay, or lesbian, or even a man and a woman living together and committed to each other who are not married, you are not welcome in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

And who are these people whom we are shutting out in the cold? They are my dear friends Karen and Sue, who have been together for years and are as loving and committed to each other as any husband and wife.  They are my friend Lou, who served with me at the Pentagon, and continues to serve our country today.  They are Father Mychal Judge, the gay priest who died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 while ministering to fallen firefighters.  They are Mark Bingham, a gay passenger on United Airlines Flight 93, who fought back against Al Queda hijackers and sacrificed his life to save others.  They are Ronald Gamboa and his partner Dan Brandhorst, who, along with their 3 year old son David, were killed when Al Quaeda flew United Airlines Flight 175 into the World Trade Center.  They are David Charlebois, the co-pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon when Al Qaeda tried to kill me and my comrades who were on duty inside the Pentagon at the time.  They are friends and neighbors and teachers and doctors and soldiers and loving parents who want nothing more than to live life without fear that the government will tear their families apart.

I'm a student of history, and I find our Founding Fathers to be a great source of wisdom on many matters, so I want to close my remarks by reading from a letter that great Virginian named George Washington wrote more than two centuries ago:

"The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind . . . a policy worthy of imitation.

 All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.  It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights.  For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens.

May the Children of the Stock of Abraham who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid."

Ladies and gentlemen, I implore you, be strong and of good courage and vote down this resolution.
This speech should be sent to every spineless Dem on the Hill who has refused to take a solid public stand for gay rights. We need allies who are unafraid to stand up to the bleating AmTaliban and frame this issue properly - they need to shame their colleagues who lick the boots of the Dobson crowd. Look how easily Englin pointed out the illegitimacy of the fringe-Right's arguments that are always wrapped in a cloak of homo-baiting in order to distract voters from the issues that really matter. It's time for that to stop.

If these Dems cannot think of what to say, they have no excuse now -- tell them to crib from Englin's text, as well as the eloquent words of Texas State Representative Senfronia Thompson, who spoke out last year, when that state debated a marriage amendment -- and she knew her views were in the minority.

It's shameful that Democratic leadership continues to flounder on this issue when there are talented people in the lower ranks -- rising Dems the establishment zombies desperately need to learn from and promote.

Hat tip, DKos diarist lowkell.


UPDATE: I received an email from a reader, KittenSnu, and she's been planning to leave Virginia over the bigoted laws being enacted there; she's in a district represented by an unresponsive wingnut (big surprise).

I read your blog, fairly often. I have have to share something with you...since Friday, I've had this sick feeling. I know my partner and I have to move to Maryland after growing up in Northern Virginia, starting my business here and was planning on retiring.

I have grappled with this sorry state we are in and have not been able to find the words. Until yesterday morning. We can't stay here and fight because that would mean one of us would have to die and the other would shoulder the burden. So instead, we are moving. Giving my taxes to some other state.

I am worried, concerned and most of all offended. You see I wrote my delegate 3 times. And no response, each time. I used my name, address and still not even a generic response.

He disgusts me.

Then I read your blog. And I know he may not know it, but my delegate is going to get copies of that speech. And if I had the addresses, I would copy it and send it to every democrat in the Commonwealth of VA.

Actually, I think I just might do that. I could at least channel my energy somewhere...

So, anyway, thanks for putting it there, I never would have found it on my own...

* Mel Watt: reframing gay rights

Group calls for IRS to investigate two winger churches

Televangelist Rod Parsley's World Harvest Church is in hot water. How close are the ties to its political arm, Center for Moral Clarity and Reformation Ohio?

The New York Times is reporting today that a group of religious leaders has asked the IRS to look into possible violations of the prohibition on political activity by tax-exempt organizations, at two Columbus, Ohio-area churches, Fairfield Christian Church and the World Harvest Church.
In their complaint, the clergy members contend that the two Columbus-area churches, Fairfield Christian Church and the World Harvest Church, which were widely credited with getting out the Ohio vote for President Bush in 2004, have allowed their facilities to be used by Republican organizations, promoted the candidate, J. Kenneth Blackwell, among their members and otherwise violated prohibitions on political activity by tax-exempt groups.

Ohio's Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, a conservative Republican, is running for governor this year. (Blackwell photo: Greg Sailor for The New York Times)

They are asking the I.R.S. to examine whether the churches' tax exemptions should be revoked and are requesting that Mark W. Everson, the federal tax commissioner, seek an injunction to stop what they consider improper activities.

Both churches denied that any of their activities violated limitations on nonprofit political activity. "We endorse values, but not candidates," said the Rev. Russell Johnson, Fairfield's leader.

He said Mr. Blackwell had been featured at events because he was the only candidate who had spoken out strongly in favor of an amendment to the State Constitution banning same-sex marriage that passed last fall. Mr. Johnson noted that he was meeting with a Democratic candidate for Congress this week.

World Harvest Church and a recently formed affiliated organization, Reformation Ohio, issued a statement saying their voter registration efforts have been conducted in diverse neighborhoods and that they were committed to full compliance with all applicable federal laws.
The "mission" of Reformation Ohio is to convert 100,000 people to Christianity within four years (and get the sheeple registered to vote -- and, one assumes, influence them to vote a particular way). The question is, how far did Parsley go, and did he step over the line.

It should be noted that the Bush administration has been threatening the tax-exempt status of a progressive church for simply holding sermons against war -- All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California. A sermon entitled "If Jesus Debated Sen. Kerry and President Bush," by the Rector Emeritus of the church, George Regas, didn't encourage parishoners to vote for one candidate over another, just to vote their conscience.

This is what spurred a group of moderate Christians, constitutional scholars and clergy to begin collecting examples of possible IRS violations by Fairfield and World Harvest. For example, Parsley's organization seems to have a little trouble inviting Democratic candidates to speak at his church or political organizations. Ken Blackwell has been the recipient of a lot of support from Parsley. A Democratic opponent hasn't seen any invitations to speak at Parsley's events, and that may be running afoul of the IRS as well.
It is not always enough, however, to invite all the candidates. According to a 2002 I.R.S. publication on election year issues, an "organization that invites two opposing candidates to speak at its events with the knowledge and expectation that one will not accept the invitation because of well-known opposing viewpoints may not be considered to have provided equal opportunity to all candidates."

The complaint notes Mr. Blackwell's appearance at more than eight events held by the churches or their affiliated organizations since August. And Mr. Blackwell is scheduled to be featured this spring in radio ads - "Ohio for Jesus" - paid for by the Ohio Restoration Project.
And what can you say about Rev. Russell Johnson -- his views and activities almost break the batsh*t meter. He plans to recruit 2,000 "Patriot Pastors" to get out the bible-beating vote for the Ohio primary in May. (

According to the Cleveland Jewish News, the Rev. Johnson sees "the 2006 election as an apocalyptic clash between a virtuous Christianity and the evildoers who oppose Christianity's values."

"This is a battle between the forces of righteousness and the hordes of hell," says Johnson on his church's website, urging other evangelical clergy to get into the political fray and get involved with the electoral process."

Before the 2004 presidential election," the Cleveland Jewish News reported that, "Johnson denounced tax-supported schools that have banned the teaching of creationism, Bible reading and prayer. He blasted the 'pagan left' for its warfare against the very definition of marriage. He decried 'homosexual rights' that will come with 'a flood of demonic oppression.'"

Rev. Johnson envisions a Christian America. "Reclaiming the teaching of our Christian heritage among America's youth is paramount to a sense of national destiny that God has invested into this nation," Johnson wrote on his church's website.

Will he issue a fatwa against Tony Manero?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

"She likes John Travolta, who is dancing and moving his stomach as quick as the - as I don't know what - and she likes that because if he was wearing the proper dress which has been imposed on him by Muslims she wouldn't even think about him."
-- nutty radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza on Travolta's evil influence on women
I'm not sh*tting you. Has he seen the present-day, paunchier Travolta moving his stomach? That -- or his appearance in Battlefield Earth -- would not be a sexy sight .
Abu Hamza, the Muslim cleric, told his followers that John Travolta's dancing posed a danger to their daughters, a court was told yesterday.

The Hollywood actor was at the centre of an anti-West sermon by Hamza, who also told his audience to rob and steal from non-believers.
I like the added instruction to rob from non-believers. Hey, our home-grown fundies are doing their best to rob us of our rights and freedoms.

NGLTF honors seven black leaders

All of these people are honored by The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), in recognition of Martin Luther King Day, for their commitment to the civil rights leader's "expansive vision of social justice" -- one that includes civil equality and respect for the LGBT community.

One honoree is Durham's own Mandy Carter of Southerners on New Ground (SONG); another is Bishop Yvette Flunder, who will be participating in next weekend's conference in Atlanta on homophobia in the black community, held by the The National Black Justice Coalition.
"These tremendous leaders advance Dr. King's vision of the 'beloved community' -- activism that moves beyond securing individual rights to a broader understanding of building a just and compassionate society for all people," said Matt Foreman, NGLTF's executive director.

Bishop Carl Bean. The Los Angeles-based Bean founded Unity Fellowship Church to minister to LGBT Christians of color and initiated the Minority AIDS Project (MAP), the first community-based HIV/AIDS organization in the United States to be established and managed by people of color.

Earline Budd. Budd, based in Washington, D.C., founded Transgender Health Empowerment in order to advance the rights of transgender people and works with Us Helping Us to ensure that local transgender people have access to HIV prevention services.

Mandy Carter. Carter has organized at the grassroots in almost every major region of the United States for the past three decades. She is the executive director and a co-founder of the North Carolina-based group Southerners on New Ground (SONG), which aims to "build movement across the South for progressive social change by developing models for organizing that connect race, class, culture, gender and sexual identity."

Bishop Yvette Flunder. Bay Area resident Flunder founded the City of Refuge Community Church, a thriving action-oriented inner-city congregation that seeks to unite a gospel ministry with a social ministry. She also founded a non profit that provides housing, direct services, education and training for persons affected by HIV/AIDS, and serves as presiding bishop of Refuge Ministries/Fellowship 2000, a multi-denominational fellowship of primarily African-American Christian leaders and laity.

Phil Reed. A native New Yorker, Phil Reed served on the New York City Council from 1998 through 2005. Reed worked with Dr. King as a young man, organizing youth boycotts, voter registration drives and protests. Reed has held positions at the East New York HIV/AIDS Project and the Hetrick-Martin Institute, which fights against discrimination and provides educational counseling for LGBT youth. As an openly gay and HIV-positive man, he has served on the citywide HIV Planning Council, worked as a longtime community organizer, and has volunteered his time tutoring children after school.

H. Alexander Robinson. Robinson lives in the D.C. metro area and is executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, which educates and mobilizes opinion leaders, including elected officials, clergy and media. He warns that conservatives are "waging a campaign of fear over gay marriage to distract the African-American community? from other social justice issues such as cuts to funding for education and social services."

Phill Wilson. Wilson, founder and executive director of the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles, has worked extensively on HIV/AIDS policy, research, prevention and treatment issues in 15 countries. He describes AIDS as not just a health issue but also "an economic issue, a social justice issue, an urban renewal issue, a civil rights issue, a human issue," advocating a personal approach: "Before you can convince people to save their lives, you have to convince them their lives are worth saving."
After looking at the talent and commitment by these true leaders who are carrying on Dr. King's mission, it's truly sad to have the slain civil rights leader's daughter -- Bernice King -- so strongly opposed to full civil equality for LGBT citizens.

As I have mentioned in prior posts, she has said "I know deep down in my sanctified soul that he did not take a bullet for same-sex unions." That's a hell of a way to carry on her father's promotion of inclusion, diversity and equality.

This morning, CNN had one of those question of the day features, asking for email responses to the question "Has the message of hope, peace and advancement espoused by Dr. King been diluted over the years?" and they had both Bernice King and fellow homophobe Bishop Eddie Long, senior pastor of the New Birth Baptist Church near Atlanta, to speak about Dr. King's message. Boy I wanted to hurl.

Long, in particular has made some memorable comments about homos -- and human anatomy.
Woman is the soul of man. She is his flesh consciousness. In essence, God made Eve to help Adam replenish the earth. Woman has the canal…everything else is an exit. God had to separate Adam and Eve where they connected so he could tell them to reconnect in covenant to duplicate Him. In Christ, God puts his seed in us. Any other way is a spiritual abortion. Cloning, Homosexuality and Lesbianism are spiritual abortions. Homosexuality is a manifestation of the fallen man."
In 2004 Long organized a march with his 25,000 megachurch in Atlanta (Bernice King helped lead it as well), bringing thousands of people into streets, with its first goal promoting an amendment to ''fully protect marriage between one man and one woman."

Now that's expansive thinking in today's "mainstream" civil rights leadership, huh?

Today on CNN's Weekend Sunday there were no questions asked of either Long or Bernice King about the controversy over homo-bigotry in the black community and how it can be reconciled with Dr. King's legacy (as well as Coretta Scott King's support of gay rights). The topic was completely ignored; it was a complete puff piece interview by CNN newsreader Tony Scott. There's not anything worth re-posting here, but here's the transcript if you have time to burn.

Another of those recognized by NGLTF is Alexander Robinson, who has an op-ed on Dr. King over at
Many have speculated what Dr. King, if he had lived, would think about the current state of American affairs. What would Dr. King say or more importantly do to address the disgraceful fact that African Americans account for 49 percent of the diagnosed cases of AIDS in the United States , or that over 41 million Americans do not have health insurance, and that more than one-third of children in the United States live at or near poverty? What would Dr. King say about our gay civil rights movement?

While I do not know the answer, I am sure he would not, like Rev. Herbert Lusk, II*, pastor of the Greater Exodus Baptist Church in Philadelphia, suggest that prohibiting "same-sex marriage, combating assisted suicide and abortions for minors, and supporting prayer and Christmas celebrations in schools," should be priorities of our courts, the black church and black communities.

Dr. King never addressed issues of homosexuality in public. However, Dr. King had a long-term alliance and friendship with Bayard Rustin, an openly gay man, who organized the 1963 march in Washington and was one of the most important figures in the Civil Rights Movement's general history. Dr. King personally did not shun Bayard because of his homosexuality. This, of course, is consistent with Dr. King's belief that an individual should be judged by the "content of one's character."

Dr. King said that we are all "tied together in a single garment of destiny" and that he believed that he could never be what he "ought to be" until we all are allowed to be what we "ought to be."

Dr. King was a dream catcher-catching and expressing the good ideas, dreams and visions of the people and casting off the evil. Dr. King's dreams were of unity, selflessness, charity and equality.
* Herb Lusk is another pastor at the faith-based trough. He had his coffers filled with a cool million by the Administration to run faith-based initiatives, and he gave the invocation at the 2000 Republican convention. Lusk called Bush's 2004 win "a great victory." His church hosted Justice Sunday III, and he was a featured speaker.

Murtha smear by news service connected to Gannon

Please. It's tiring connecting the dots between these front organizations that purportedly "report" things they call "facts."

This time it's Jack Murtha getting "Swift Boated" by Cybercast News Service, a shill organization that is little more than a mouthpiece for GOPUSA. (WaPo):
Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), the former Marine who is an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, has become the latest Democrat to have his Vietnam War decorations questioned.

...Cybercast is part of the conservative Media Research Center, run by L. Brent Bozell III, who accused some in the media of ignoring the Swift Boat charges, but Thibault said it operates independently. He said the unit, formerly called the Conservative News Service, averages 110,000 readers, mainly conservative, and provides material for other Web sites such as GOPUSA. "We won't run anything against anybody if we don't have the goods," he said.
GOPUSA is headed by Bobby Eberle, a "conservative news, information, and design company dedicated to promoting conservative ideals."

Eberle also headed Talon News, the news service James T. Guckert, aka Jeff Gannon, aka $200/hour rent boy "Bulldog" worked for. [See Media Matters, What is Talon News, and why does it have press credentials? for more background.]

You may recall that The Raw Story recently reported that the softball-question-throwing cub reporter's publisher is running for Vice Chair of the Texas GOP.

The GOP operative and conservative website owner who hired a onetime prostitute to cover the White House has decided to run for the vice chairmanship of the Republican Party of Texas, RAW STORY has learned.

Jeff Gannon, a $200-an-hour gay male escort, resigned from Eberle’s Talon News last February after pictures and stories emerged which revealed that he once toiled as a gay male prostitute. Eberle shut down the news site shortly thereafter, although his satellite Website remains active.
The Raw Story article by John Byrne is full of choice nuggets about Eberle, who seems to be trying to shore up his name recognition within the party.

Is it me, or does Bobby seem so...metrosexual in that pic? Gawd, this story just doesn't quit. I just wonder what all of this is really about.

* Condi, 'ho boots, and rent-boy Gannon: sex and power in Washington
* Make your own Jeffy Lube pro-war rally poster
* ePluribus Media: The Spectacular Rise of the Miraculous Mr. Gannon
* Gannongate - the Players
* AmericaBlog: A man called Jeff
* Crooks and Liars: Jeff Gannon retrospective in video

Hat tip, Americablog

Virginia's marriage amendment proceeds

"I cannot stand by while this body uses gays and lesbians as scapegoats for what has happened to the institution of marriage. How many members of this body are divorced? How many have children that are divorced? Grandchildren? Parents? Brothers? Sisters? What do gays and lesbians have to do with any of those divorces? How many children are now raised by single parents? Can we really blame gays and lesbians for the fact that so many households are now headed by a single parent? How many of those marriages were celebrated or consecrated in a church or synagogue? Can we really blame gays and lesbians for those who have broken their vows?"
-- Adam P. Ebbin, the only openly gay member of the Virginia House. The body approved a measure to place a marriage amendment on the ballot.
After a swift vote, the next hurdle to get a marriage amendment on the ballot in Virginia was easily cleared in its House, 73 to 22.

The state also saw the swearing-in today in of a new governor, Democrat Tim Kaine, who opposes both same-sex marriage and civil unions. He has promised to sign the measure that places the amendment on the ballot after the Senate passes the proposal once more. Even more depressing is that measures that would have limited the scope of the amendment's discrimination were deep-sixed. (WashBlade):
Kaine spokeswoman Delacey Skinner said that the governor-elect will sign the bill to call for a referendum. Kaine supports the amendment and opposes civil unions, she said. She added that he is interested in discussing measures “to make sure people can still be able to contract with each other.”

However, efforts to limit the scope of the vaguely worded amendment were defeated. Del. Kristen J. Amundson’s (D-District 44) amendment, which received only 35 votes, would have eliminated all language except for: “Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.”

Del. Vivian Watts’ (D-District 39) amendment was also rejected by a vote of 36 to 60. She proposed including a clarification that the amendment would not change “any other right, benefit, obligation or legal status pertaining to persons not married.”
Just a little reminder from the past, equally inexcusable:

Young Canadian voters not concerned with Harper rise

REUTERS/Andy Clark

Kate and I were married last year in Vancouver, and I remember the bed and breakfast host laughed at the idea of Conservative Party head Stephen Harper and his ilk ever coming into power. She said he was a clown, an empty suit, and a far-right nut that had no base of real support -- and that she couldn't see any reason that he'd have a political future other than as a noisemaker. She said that people thought he was a laughingstock -- a lot like Bush in many ways.

Well, I wonder what she's thinking right about now -- Harper's lead in the race for Prime Minister is up to 11 percentage points, and young voters don't have a problem with Conservatives taking power. (The Canadian Press):
Canada would not lurch to the far right under a Conservative government led by Stephen Harper, says The Canadian Press election youth panel.

While there is uncertainty surrounding what a Harper government would mean for the country if the Conservatives are elected Jan. 23, the novice voters say uncertainty is to be expected in any period of change.
"Harper has demonstrated during this election campaign that he is not the 'extreme right-winger' that the Liberals have made him out to be. The Conservatives have developed a lot since the last election and are really in tune with most Canadians."
-- Alanna Mayne, 23, of Halifax, NS - and a recent grad in public administration, about marriage equality foe Stephen Harper
That observation would surely be music to the ears of Conservatives, who were badly burned during the last campaign in 2004 when Liberal attacks painted them as extremists and pulled a minority victory away from Tory grasp.

Among other things, voters worried the Conservatives would reopen the sensitive same-sex marriage debate and turn back the clock on abortion rights. Panel member Jonathan Lumer, however, said he wasn't so sure those fears have been allayed.

"I expect a Harper government to act as they have said they will act: I expect them to make it more difficult for homosexuals to feel equal," said Lumer, 22, a customer-service representative in Montreal. In addition, Lumer said a Tory government would "make life easier for corporations and the very rich" by cutting corporate taxes, easing environmental regulations and making a push to privatize health care.
Much of this is about a desire for "change," as the Liberal government, which has ruled for 13 years, has been knee-deep in corruption -- a clean sweep/party change is due in these young people's minds, which is not surprising

They should be careful for what they ask for. We had millions of voters (plus just enough Diebold-generated ballots, depending on who you talk to) put the current buffoon into office back in 2000. Many of these voters wanted a similar clean sweep after Bill Clinton's Oval Office Hijinks (how quaint that all looks in hindsight compared to the criminal Bush Administration, huh?) It was all convincingly skewed and pitched well by the Rove machine then and again in Round 2 (2004). The Dems, inept in so many ways, have yet to unleash an effective way to campaign against an easy target.

The Canadian Conservatives are taking a page out of the GOP book and promising reform, and that is what is attracting more voters. One of the alarms that should be going off for those that think the fear of a rollback on gay rights or abortion is overrated might want to check out more quotes from young voters.
"We must keep in mind that before we can take a leading role on these issues, there must be restoration of trust in the Canadian government and some much-needed house cleaning," said [Adam] Guiney, a political science student in Edmonton.

"Harper's government will fail to provide the necessary leadership, but they can certainly restore legitimacy to the federal system."

Bryce Barfoot, 22, a business student in Peterborough, Ont., said he expected a Harper government would act similarly to former Ontario Conservative premier Mike Harris. "When the Tories led Ontario, they made some hard decisions that people may not have liked but were necessary," said Barfoot.

"(However), I expect that gay rights will become an issue which is bad - the federal government has many, many more issues more trying than that."
Yes, as it was here, for some voters civil rights are a secondary issue -- it's something that can be cast overboard in exchange for promises of vague "change" or "restoration of values" or "honesty in government," etc. The sad truth is that the Liberal Party has allowed its corruption to jeopardize the very values that need to be upheld.

One can only hope that whatever power the Conservatives attain in the election will be tempered by the country's parliamentary system.

Canadian Blenders, please jump in and tell us what's the real scoop on this apparent sea change.

Folks, this is wrong

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Don't do this to your dog, the poor thing. A miniature poodle, coloured with yellow, pink and purple dye, has its hair trimmed at a pet beautician school in Beijing January 13, 2006. Amid China's current pet boom, dog owners are flocking to such shops to pamper their pets with everything from shampooing to hair trimming, and nail care to hair-dye for the upcoming Lunar New Year festival beginning January 29, which will be the Year of the Dog. REUTERS/Nir Elias

Bush admin's export of wingnuttery around the world

"The collaboration of right-wing NGOs and the Bush administration far exceeds any collaboration between pro-choice family groups and the Clinton administration. We never had that kind of hand-in-glove relationship."
-- Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice
Kissling's right. Please. Someone. Stop these wingers.

It's bad enough that we are constantly battling the bible-beating, backward-thinking, womb-controlling homophobes here on home soil, but it's completely unnerving that the tentacles of the beast known as the AmTaliban are reaching overseas and across borders -- with the blessing and strong backing of the Bush Administration.

It is an expanding culture war over abortion, family planning, sex education, AIDS/HIV prevention and gay rights, and they plan to win it. (
"We don't expect to see the United Nations change, or Western Europe change," said Joseph d'Agostino of the Population Research Institute, a Virginia-based anti-abortion group. "But with the Bush administration, pro-lifers feel there's a real opportunity to stop the U.S. government from promoting abortion and sex education and population control in the Third World."

Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America said U.S. conservatives are trying to counter the influence long exercised by women's rights and abortion rights groups at U.N. conferences and among international non-governmental organizations. "NGOs have tremendous power, but for so many years they have been the playground for the leftist activists," Crouse said. "It's only been during the Bush administration that those of us from the right have had an opportunity to be on a level playing field."
Level playing field? Good night, this is bad. They are still whining about feeling powerless, even as they seek to relieve people of their privacy rights and control over reproductive freedom. What few rights women have in many developing countries are going to be chipped away at by the export of U.S. fundamentalist batsh*ttery.

Look at some of the familiar players involved and some of what's on their plates...
* Several prominent U.S. groups, including Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council, are helping prepare for a World Congress of Families in Poland in May 2007. The chief organizer, Allan Carlson of the Rockford, Ill.-based Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, said U.S. conservatives view Poland - where the new president staunchly opposes abortion and gay marriage - as a rare holdout to liberal, secular trends throughout the European Union.

Allan Carlson is author of a screed called ""The Natural Family: A Manifesto." I posted about it here.

* In Peru, the Population Research Institute filed a complaint with the U.S. Agency for International Development, contending that two local groups had violated U.S. policy by using American funds to promote legalization of the morning-after pill. Both groups were warned, and one will have to return some funds, according to PRI's d'Agostino.

* In Colombia, PRI has assisted local conservatives in opposing a legal challenge to the country's sweeping ban on abortions. Though rebuffed by the Constitutional Court last month, women's rights activists plan to file a new lawsuit seeking to end Colombia's status as one of three Latin American countries prohibiting all abortions.

* Several U.S. conservative groups have been helping rally opposition to family-planning legislation pending in the Philippines. The bill would provide some financial incentives for parents who limit themselves to two children; critics also say it goes too far in promoting sex education and access to birth control.

* American conservatives have strongly supported Bush administration policies emphasizing abstinence as a favored strategy in overseas HIV/AIDS prevention programs. U.S.-based groups focusing on abstinence have received grants for prevention work in Africa, in some cases drawing criticism that political ties overcame their lack of expertise.

Sentence for OH bigot: jail or attend black church

Judge William Mallory Jr.gave racist dolt Brett Haines the choice - Haines chose church.

This dude was drunk and threatened to punch a black cab driver and his wife, yelling racial slurs and saying he hated black people, so the judge offered some innovative punishment. (
The Anderson Township man, convicted of disorderly conduct, immediately chose six weeks of Sunday worship over 30 days in the Hamilton County Justice Center.

...Haines, who was accused of using racial slurs and threatening a black cab driver, must attend services at a predominantly black church. "It seems readily apparent to me that you don't like black people," Judge William Mallory Jr. told Haines. "That's OK with me. But you have to understand that you are at the whim and authority of a black judge."

That's when Mallory offered church as an alternative sentence, an option he said might broaden Haines' cultural awareness. "If you want to get out of jail, you're going to have to raise your black consciousness," the judge said.
While this is an interesting sociological exercise, akin to offering a person convicted of DUI a highly visible tag on their car saying something like "I am a convicted drunk driver" instead of time in the can, this is a questionable church-state action.

Mallory indicated he was concerned about this, and Haines was asked if the church option offended his beliefs - duh. Who wouldn't pick sitting in a black church for a few Sundays to avoid incarceration? I certainly don't think it's going to change this man's views of black people - or discourage him from drinking to excess.

Hat tip Holly.

Little Ricky tries to appease Daddy Dobson

Senator Santorum is constantly weaving and bobbing, trying to keep the hardcore wingnuts happy while courting the imaginary moderates in Pennsylvania he thinks might hold their noses and vote for him in his re-election bid.

He went on Daddy Dobson's radio show and got pummeled by the bible-beating, power-hungry head of Focus on the Anus, forcing Ricky to swerve to the hard right to please The Man -- and boy does Rick know who his Daddy is.

Even so, Dobson's still not happy with the level of influence he and his band of Christofascists have had on this country so far. Listen to the whining. (Media Matters):

I wish the -- not only the Democrats -- but the Republicans would -- begin to take stock of what they're doing to the family. You know, it's been over a year now since the presidential election and Republicans have been in power in the House and the Senate and in the White House, and there is very, very little along the lines of what we're talking about to show for it. There's very little that has been accomplished that relates to social -- conservative social issues: the pro-family agenda; the pro-moral agenda; the sanctity of life. There's just nothing going on, and I know there are a lot of people out there that are pretty irritated at both parties, frankly, for that.
Holy hell. He's about to get his nominee for the Supreme Court anointed, his pawn is in the White House, and he's got half of Congress running scared with his well-oiled influence machine and an army of Kool-Aid infused holy rolling sheeple behind him. What else does he f*cking want?

And Little Ricky had to be quaking in his shoes after Dobson's railing, possibly sitting there with a little sweat on his upper lip, composing himself enough to utter this response.

I was just meeting with the folks at the Arlington Group earlier, talking about the marriage amendment, and I believe that's one of the most important pieces of legislation that we are going to be able to deal with this year. And I'm hopeful that we are going to have a vote on the marriage amendment sometime in the spring. I'm hopeful it'll be March -- in the March timeframe. We need to have a good debate -- as is going on across the country right now -- on the issue of protecting marriage being between one man and one woman. It is foundational for our society.
The Arlington Group. That's the band of All-Star AmTaliban seeking passage of a marriage amendment, put together by winger Paul Weyrich (a founding president of The Heritage Foundation).

Three of the Arlington enforcers: Dobson, Falwell, Weyrich

The wingnut leadership threatened Dear Leader's kneecaps last year over support for his (failed) Social Security dismantling project, asking Karl Rove to designate "a top level" official to coordinate opposition to same-sex marriage, as a show of commitment to the bible thumpers. The plan was to roll out the smear campaign, blaming all the ills of today on the army of society-destroying fags and dykes and the Homosexual AgendaTM. Dobson, after all, has opined that "Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage," and "It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth."

The Arlington Group's Rogue's Gallery includes some familiar faces...

American Assoc. of Christian Counselors, Tim Clinton, President

American Family Association, Don Wildmon, President
American Family Association Michigan, Gary Glenn, President

American Values, Gary Bauer, President
Bott Radio Network, Richard Bott, Vice President

Citizens for Community Values, Phil Burress, President

Coral Ridge Ministries, Dr. D. James Kennedy, President
Covenant Marriage Movement, Phil Waugh, Executive Director
Faith 2 Action, Janet Folger, President

Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, President
Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson, Chairman
Free Congress Foundation, Paul Weyrich, President
Free Market Foundation, Kelly Shackelford, President
Nat'l Coalition for the Prot. of Children/Families, Jack Samad, President

Southern Baptist Conv. Ethics & Rel. Liberty Com., Dr. Richard Land, President

Traditional Values Coalition, Rev. Lou Sheldon, President

Audio of Dobson and Santorum is here.

Another GOP dirtbag bites the dust?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Robert W. Ney, R-Ohio, Chairman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Development talks with committee senior counsel Clinton Jones at the opening of the committee meeting in New Orleans Friday afternoon Jan. 13, 2006. Congressman Ney is in talks with House Speaker Dennis Hastert about resigning his chairmanship of the House Administration Committee, because he has been linked to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and has denied wrongdoing (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

I'm more in shock and awe over what appears to be a dead animal on Ney's head. I hope he didn't pay more than $1.98 for that thing. It's time to set it free from captivity.

BradBlog has more.

Another police chief without a moral compass

Police chief allegedly rapes 15-year-old. And the sick kicker is the bastard, charged with second-degree rape, told investigators about how efficient it was to be able to spend the night raping the girl, then dropping her off the next day at her home, and picking up her mother to carpool to work. The mother didn't see anything wrong with the situation either. Family values.

James Leonard Bell, 38, resigned last weekend from his position as police chief of Crescent, Okla., the Oklahoman reported.

Despite the charges against Bell, the Crescent City Council voted Tuesday that he could be paid for unused vacation time – amounting to $1,798. The alleged victim's mother, who also resigned, was approved to cash in her vacation time as well, collecting a check for $1,121. According the paper, a court affidavit indicates the ex-police chief admitted to an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent he had been having a relationship with the teenager since August.

Bell told investigators about the convenient arrangement of spending nights with the girl and carpooling with her mom to work in the mornings.
* A NC police chief's 'little black book'

ABC's General Hospital to air pro-gay public service announcements

The soaps are a truly conservative medium, so it's surprising that they would take this on, given they are very responsive to advertisers. It will be interesting to see whether the usual suspects will come out and attempt to punish ABC, Disney and GH. (MediaWeek):
ABC, during its daytime soap opera General Hospital, will air a public service announcement featuring General Hospital actors Ben Hogestyn and Lindze Letherman, that urges viewers to take a stand against homophobia.

The spot will also air on the cable network SoapNet, which, like ABC, is owned by the Walt Disney Co. The spot will urge viewers to "be an ally and a friend" to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

The spot has drawn praise from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and comes at a time when the American Family Association has called for a boycott of the NBC drama The Book of Daniel, because of its inclusion of gay characters in the storyline. The current General Hospital storyline includes a gay character who faces issues of coming out and of gay bashing.
See the GLAAD press release here. As I mentioned in an earlier post on soaps, one hysterical thing that you'll notice in mags like Soap Opera Digest and on the fan web sites is that NO ONE in the soap world is openly gay, either in front of or behind the camera. It's like a quaint throwback to the old days in Hollywood where everyone knew who was or wasn't queer, and the studios paired fags and dykes together for public consumption, and the audiences bought it (or just loved being in denial). I think the producers and sponsors would have a coronary if anyone wanted to come out of the closet, given their squeamishness about ratings and advertisers.

Just a cursory flip onto SoapNet or through one of these fan mags and your gaydar just goes wild. I cannot fathom who thinks some of these highly metrosexual actors are straight!?

But back to the PSA...the Freepi are already up in arms, and they are quite vile and testy.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

Every survey I see says this group of people is roughly 1% of the population. They get a disproportionate amount of attention and mention in the media. But this strikes me as hypocritical given that the people pushing the Homosexual Agenda say they just want to be treated the same as everyone else. What other group of people representing 1% of the population gets so much attention in the media?"

"People who need to recruit, due to dwindling partner availability secondary to diseases, death, burn out. People who with little family support for the future, need a societal buyout."

"Will they make Rick Springfield sing; "I wish that I WAS Jesse's girl"?"

"I only pray that all those stay at home Moms and Housewives start screaming at the network and those advertising on Gen Hospital to stop this crap dead in its place!"

"That age group of women (and men) have already been indoctrinated by the Public Schools to be sympathic to the homosexuals, cause they need love too!"

"The correct word is homodisgustes or homoicky. I am not afraid of them, I am totally nauseating disgusted with them, because they have a high icky factor."

"Yep. I got a FReepmail from a Troll (Wytchgrrl) insulting me and accusing me of 'Homophobia'. I guess if you disapprove, find it unhealthy and, in general, barf at the thought you are Homophobic. If that's the definition then I guess am. Am I also 'Libophobic' if I disagree with Libs? By their definition I am and, when they pass the proper legislation I'll (And a lot of us) will be confronted with charges of Hate Crimes against Libs."

"What about a PSA promoting pedophilia while their at it?"

"Let me get this straight...I am supposed to take moral advice from a group of acters, people who make a living lying about who they really are, through a medium that shows me drug dealing, mysognomy, violence and killing?"

"This is so stupid, it doesn't even make sense!!"

"We have people who pretend to be medical professionals on a TV show going out and encouraging acceptance of lifestyles that are largely responsible for the spread of such lovely diseases as AIDS and HIV, and for the (relatively) widespread abuse of illegal drugs to "enhance" their sexual experiences. Not to mention that these same gays are showing up at hospital emergency rooms to have light bulbs, shot glasses and hamsters removed from their butts!! Absolutely INSANE!!!!"

"They'll probably want to show you this surreal, sanitized, touchy feely view of what it is like to be gay. Ah, the audience will eat it up. Forget how perverted and emotionally screwed up they really are - ah and how intolerant they are of those that disagree with their life style CHOICE."

"Women, many of whom are "gay-friendly", are the target audience of these PSA's...that is why they are running this during a popular soap opera. For sheer entertainment; I would like to see them run this PSA during this weekend's NFL playoff games."

"I guess if you disapprove, find it unhealthy and, in general, barf at the thought you are Homophobic. Just once, I would like to see someone ask one of these pro-sodomites if they believe that G-d is a "homophobe". Just once.

Gay panic defense in Alabama saves thug from capital murder conviction

"He was not road kill. Despite what he did in his private life, Sammie Speigner's life had value. He was shot, robbed and dumped into the street bleeding to death like an animal."
-- Prosecutor Joe Roberts, on the "blame the murder victim" defense
Yes, in some parts of the country, this ludicrous defense still goes over. It makes me sick. (The Birmingham News):
A Jefferson County jury convicted Raymond Carlisle of a reduced charge Thursday in the February shooting and robbery of a professor who had picked him up wanting gay sex.

Carlisle, 20, was charged with capital murder in the Feb. 17 shooting death of Sammie Speigner III, an adjunct professor of sociology at Birmingham Southern College.

.. Defense attorneys Amber Ladner and Cynthia Umstead contended the defendant, 19 at the time, reacted in the heat of passion when the 37-year-old victim tried to homosexually assault him. But since Carlisle faced death or life without parole if convicted of capital murder, both defense attorneys were pleased by the verdict.
Kathy at Birmingham Blues, whose stepdaughter knew Professor Speigner, is outraged.
See, supposedly Prof. Speigner picked up Mr. Carlisle for sex, offering to buy him some marijuana as a lure. Instead of saying “no” and exiting the car, Mr. Carlisle pulled a gun, chased Prof. Speigner from the car, and shot him to death. Then, instead of running away in horror or maybe even reporting the attempted assault to the police, Mr. Carlisle took the Professor’s car and wallet. He was caught a few days later, still driving the car, after using the stolen credit cards to party with his friends.

Yeah, that definitely sounds like the traumatized victim of an attempted rape.
The closing argument had Amber Ladner comparing the victim’s actions to that of a molester using a puppy to lure a young child.

Pig in a filth-ridden blanket

Now, I have, I have a real-world question for those of you women in the audience. Just something I, I'd like to know. How many of you in the secrecy and privacy of your own dreams and hopes would love to be hired as eye candy?
-- Hillbilly heroin Rushbo on his radio show, on his idea of what women really want.
Limbaugh never has to worry about being anyone's eye candy. Media Matters has the latest incredible crap that spews out of this man's mouth. I don't know what's worse, Rush's mewlings or the sheeple dittohead bleaters that call in.
Limbaugh's question was part of a discussion about a January 10 report on the conservative news website about six women who filed a lawsuit for sex discrimination against their company, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein Securities, a division of Germany's Dresdner Bank. According to the article, the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan by five employees working in New York and one working in London, asserts that they were hired as "eye candy," and that one woman was openly called "the Pamela Anderson of trading" by her boss.

Later in the broadcast, Limbaugh returned to the subject when he said:

LIMBAUGH: I'm not talking -- I know how many of you want to be sexually harassed -- that's not what I was asking. But, I mean, I -- if, if, if somebody wants to hire you to look good for whoever is the first to walk in the door every day, why not, if that's your asset?

Media Matters has previously noted that on the April 26, 2004, edition of his radio program, Limbaugh stated that women "actually wish" for sexual harassment.
* Rush is nostalgic for the 'Southern Strategy'

EqualityNC calls for action on employment discrimination

Ian Palmquist and Ed Farthing, executive directors of Equality NC have a petition effort going in response to the story of Laurel Scherer and her partner, who lost their photography contract at a ski resort because their wedding announcement appeared in the local paper (see my earlier post).
For the past two ski seasons, photographer Laurel Scherer's All Terrain Images has worked at Wolf Laurel Ski Area as an independent business taking pictures of skiers and providing the ski area with photography for marketing materials. This fall Laurel and her partner were married in Massachusetts and announced their wedding the Asheville Citizen Times. Three weeks later the ski area backed out of a verbal agreement for Laurel to continue her photography business this winter.

Although several excuses were given, the resort owners confirmed that the wedding announcement was the reason for the change. Now Laurel is left without her winter business, after purchasing supplies and preparing for the season.

Laurel's story is yet another reminder that in North Carolina, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers have no protection from discrimination under state or federal law.

Help us build support for laws that will ensure that workers are free to work without fear of discrimination in North Carolina by signing our Petition for Fair Employment.

Washington state wingers try to scare court on marriage ruling

Religious group: Gay marriage vote will haunt officials. (The Olympian): What a bunch of low-life bible beaters there are up there in Washington state - they take a little poll and flail it about in hopes that it will scare the State Supreme Court into ruling against marriage rights for gays, and jeopardized re-election for any elected Dems that support that ruling. I hope this backfires on the Faith and Freedom Network.
The poll specifically asked residents if they were more likely to vote against justices who vote to overturn the state law that defines marriage as a heterosexuals-only institution - a case the court is expected to rule on at any time.

More than half (54 percent) of the 405 people polled said they would be less likely to vote for a justice who overturned the heterosexuals-only marriage law.

"I think a person who is thinking about it would realize there is a political consequence to it," said Joseph B. Fuiten, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Network, which paid The Elway Poll to conduct the survey in late December. The group was "just making the observation," Fuiten said, when asked if the network was warning justices and Democrats to oppose gay marriage.

The Faith and Freedom Network believes being gay is a choice, and allowing gays to marry would damage society by diluting one of its oldest traditions, he said.

According to the group's poll, 55 percent of residents oppose gay marriage and 35 percent favor it, with the rest undecided. The poll had a margin of error of 5 percentage points.
Thankfully, at least one judge isn't intimidated by this billy club approach by the local AmTaliban.
Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, who announced his bid for re-election Wednesday, said he had not seen the poll, but it would not be the first lobbying effort aimed at the court. "People try to do that all the time. It's a democracy, and people can say anything they want," he said. "We make decisions in the case based on the facts of the case."

Alexander said he expects the court to rule on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act during the legislative session that ends in early March.

Rights going down in flames

"He's very bright and very conservative. I think he is going to be confirmed."
-- Delaware Democrat Sen. Joe Biden, who said he was leaning toward voting against Alito

"The right wing insisted that Justice O'Connor be replaced with a sure vote for their extreme agenda."
-- Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada

"So far I have seen nothing during my interview with the nominee, the background materials that have been produced or through the committee process that I would consider a disqualifying issue against Judge Alito,"
-- Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb.
I was writing a fellow blogger about this Alito mess a little while ago, and thinking aloud why it all seems so familiar and demoralizing watching Dem "outrage," displaying utter inability to actually use what leverage they do have in the process. The filibuster was never really on the table, the questioning was pathetically impotent.

All the witty, incisive or wonky postings around the blogosphere cannot change the basic fact that once again, the Dems in these hearings decided there would not be a fight over the most lasting, significant political decision that can be made by a president. In this case, a president that was beholden to the fringe, bigoted, theocratic, right-wing element of his party -- and Bush made that clear when he picked Alito.

The legacy of a Supreme Court appointment can change profoundly the most basic rights and privileges of citizens, yet these lame-ass Dems didn't seem to take seriously that Alito is a man capable of casting votes to roll the clock back on fundamental rights and liberties. Even worse, there was a generous paper trail out there to take him out with if skillfully handled -- and they didn't know what to do with that either.

I'm not saying that the hearings were a pointless exercise, it's just that from the questioning that I've seen over the last few days, I can't say we are in the game at all -- we witnessed a lot of ego stroking and an ineffective use of a forum that clearly needs better minds capable of using it properly.

I was watching Anderson Cooper 360 a couple of nights ago, and Alan Dershowitz brilliantly proposed a line of questioning that would have blown the hearings wide open. Alito early on said that his personal views have NO BEARING on how he would rule on a case, and that left the Senators with a huge opening to ask all sorts of questions about specific issues. Did they do this? Nope, it was a dog and pony show. (CNN):
DERSHOWITZ: Well, you know, if I were a senator, I'd ask them the following question. I would say, "You have said that your personal views are utterly irrelevant to how you will decide cases. We don't agree with you on that. But since you've said that, let's ask you some really hard questions about your personal views."

"Is your mother right when she says that you personally strongly oppose a woman's right to choose abortion? What do you personally think of gay rights? What do you personally think of affirmative action?"

He couldn't say, "Well, I can't give you those answers because it will come before me." No, no, no, no. You've told us that your personal views are irrelevant. We think they're relevant, so give us the answers. I think it's a very, very hard question for him to duck.

TOOBIN: You know, Anderson, all 18 of those senators on that committee had to answer when they ran for office, "Do you think Roe v. Wade should be overturned?" Yet the one person in that room who actually has something to say about whether Roe v. Wade gets overturned doesn't have to answer that question.

DERSHOWITZ: That's right.

TOOBIN: And this isn't something that is just for Republicans. Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg also ducked that question. I just think the process is messed up in a way that we, the public, and the senators don't get the information that they need.

DERSHOWITZ: Let me give you some proof of that. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the best courts in the country, and their judges, when they come out after to do an appeal, they will often say to you, "You know, we have a view on this case. Here's what we think now. Try to talk us out of it."

Some of the best appellate court judges tell us in advance what their views are. There is nothing inconsistent with a judge expressing his views but keeping an open mind. And they ought to demand of every nominee, Republican or Democrat, "Tell us what your current views are or what your past views were."

Bush vs. Gore. Where were you on the night that Bush vs. Gore was announced? What did you say to your friends when the decision came down? What did you actually say? Did you write e-mails to anybody? Did you agree with the decision, not what would you do in the future?

COOPER: Right.

DERSHOWITZ: Senators don't know how to ask these hard questions.
I take it that no one working for any of the Dem Senators (or the Senators themselves) watched that program. Too bad. What I saw up there were Dem Senators in the end, just enjoying their face time on TV, pontificating, looking outraged for their constituents -- they were already pre-programmed by their staffs to ask the same lame questions over and over, and left room for Alito, a man with a clear paper trail, to obfuscate so easily.

The system is broken.

Shanikka over at Political Sapphire also lets loose -- "The Stupidity of Ignoring Alito's Achilles' Heels"

Peter Daou absolutely nails the problem on the head over at HuffPost in his piece, The (Broken) Triangle: Progressive Bloggers in the Wilderness

Click here for more fresh House Blend

WingNutDaily declares keychain 'blasphemous'

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Just for that, I'll take ten.
A pro-life group is protesting Planned Parenthood's sale of a line of "condom key chains' that include a takeoff on Michelangelo's famous Sistine Chapel image in which the hand of God gives a condom to Adam.

The abortion provider is in a "never-ending quest to sexualize everything in our culture," said Jim Sedlak, executive director of American Life League's STOPP International. Some of the 28 versions of the key chain, sold by Planned Parenthood of Connecticut, are "blasphemous," asserted Sedlak, who urges Americans to contact local schools and churches and insist "that the promiscuity promoters at Planned Parenthood not be allowed anywhere near our children."

How long before a Bush drone puts a stop to this?

The wingers at the Family Research Council caught wind of a section of the Health and Human Services (HHS) web site that features gay-affirmative information. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information site is one government resource that hasn't been completely co-opted (yet) by the AmTaliban.

"Celebrating the Pride and Diversity Among and Within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Populations" is the section of the site that flies in the face of the flat-earth science often promoted in government under Bush that seems to either ignore or condemn homosexuality. Note the mission of SAMHSA, which is clear and inclusive.
SAMHSA's vision is a life in the community for everyone. SAMHSA's mission is to build resilience and facilitate recovery for people with or at risk for substance abuse and mental illness.
You know this bit of business set off FRC head Tony Perkins and his bible beating, fact-lite group. Their interpretation is that if someone is gay or bisexual that the orientation itself is the root cause of all addiction and self-destructive behavior in that population. Of course, the treatment that vulnerable LGBT citizens receive in a homophobic culture from the likes of people at FRC has nothing to do with driving people to substance abuse, right? (FRC):
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has sponsored a taxpayer-funded website that prominently features classic symbols of the pro-homosexual activist movement--an inverted triangle in rainbow colors with the word PRIDE above it.

The website, dedicated to preventing alcohol and drug abuse, includes the admission that "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are more likely to smoke, drink, and use other drugs than...non-lgbt peers." Rather than warning that homosexual conduct is itself a significant health risk, the website blames society for the "high-risk choices" that homosexuals make, citing "homophobia," "heterosexism," and "stigma, alienation, and discrimination."

The website also uses material from pro-homosexual activist groups such as the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), while ignoring groups with a different perspective, such as Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX). Let HHS know that you don't want this kind of propaganda being supported by your tax dollars. You can e-mail Nancy Kennedy of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention at

Friends, you can certainly thank Dr. Kennedy, who has 30 years of professional and personal experience in mental health, substance abuse and sexual orientation, for promoting open, clear, honest and inclusive information to the LGBT community if you have the chance; I'm sure she's getting slammed by the FRC sheeple.

Nancy J. Kennedy, DrPH
Office of the Director
Center for Substance Abuse Prevention/SAMHSA/DHHS
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockwall II, Suite 920
Rockville, MD 20857
Phone Number: 301-443-9453
Fax Number: 301-443-1548

* Paper by Kennedy: Lesbians Living in Rural Areas: The Rainbow of Diversity


Oh lookee -- the Freepi weighed in. I am quite amused at this new disease they invented, Gay Bowl Syndrome. How precious.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"How do they feel about an in depth report on GAY BOWL SYNDROME, or rampant CLYMIDIA and VAGINITIS in the lesbian community? Oh wait.. we're talking the Gooberment here eh?"

"Where is the Secretary of HHS, the one appointed by our conservative President Bush? Not one thin dime from this conservative."

"Do I refuse to pay my taxes now or should I pay them and hire a lawyer to sue the government for gross misapropriation of funds?"

"No one should be shocked by this. Promoting homosexual/lesbian/transsexual and 'other' so-called 'rights' are what these Government departments have ENTIRE bureaucracies set up to do!"

"Our right wing gubbmint is sure hurting the sodomites and the rest of the so called oppressed."

"Isn't it against the law for a government agency to suggest that homosexuals drink and smoke and have other bad habits more frequently than normal people? I thought that was a hate crime. Maybe if you carry around a pink triangle that immunizes you from prosecution?"

"Homosexuals should all be in rehab. I'm not usually that blunt, but I've had it. Homosexuality is nothing but finding comfort with the same sex and becoming addicted to it - just like a drug addict becomes addicted to what allows him/her to not face reality and fear."

"Here is their customer service comments page:"

"I let them know that I didn't appreciate them wasting my tax dollars, particularly on such an unhealthful lifestyle."

"Oh, I suppose they have labeled me as a homophobe, which by definition, I'm not. Fear? Nope. Irrational dislike? Oh, it's pretty rational. They might not like the rationale, but that's just tough."

"And here is my personal favorite. After talking about how gays are more likely to take to drugs, alcohol, and suicide, we get this little number about the importance of labeling people as "heterosexists": "It is important to use this term because it shifts the "problem" from the LGBT individual to society and helps LGBT persons understand that it is not their "fault" others don't accept them.""

"Geez, liberalism at its finest, laid out in plain sight. Remove any sense of personal accountability, shift the blame to everyone else, and call them names. That's it. Social liberalism, economic liberalism: that's the steaming load of it all."

"Celebrating a known disease vector at HHS."

"Yes, isn't ironic that the HEALTH and human services dept. is promoting this lifestyle that causes low, life-expectance rates in males, disease, suicide, homicide, STD's, AIDS, etc."

"HHS Secretary is Mike Leavitt. Anyone know his email address??? I'm sure he would hate for his mailbox to be overflowing with complaints about this web site."
To elaborate on that last comment, Leavitt, the former governor of Utah, was sworn in at HHS last January. He was formerly at the Environmental Protection Agency. Once he's alerted about the gay-positive resources on the SAMHSA site, you may see it "disappear" or receive a little editorial facelift, considering his vision for HHS, laid out in his "500 Day Plan". Here's one of Leavitt's goals...
Protect Life, Family and Human Dignity

In 5,000 days, the Secretary sees a nation in which ...

* Children are protected from abuse and neglect.
* Seniors and persons with disabilities are cared for with dignity and respect.
* Faith and community-based groups are given equal access to government grants.
* Self-reliance and work are rewarded.
* Protection of life and adherence to sexual abstinence outside of marriage are values supported by public policies and taught to future generations.
* Family interests are protected and marriages strengthened.

In the next 500 days the Secretary will concentrate on ...

* Promoting self-sufficiency and state flexibility in the reauthorization of TANF.
* Increasing the commitment to faith and community-based grants, including Access to Recovery.
* Improving Head Start coordination with state and federal departments of education.
* Supporting the First Lady’s initiatives on Helping America’s Youth and Women’s Health and Wellness.
* Supporting a culture of life and family in international policies.

A case of the vapors

Shakes Sis has a hilarious post on Sammy's wife, who broke down in tears yesterday during the hearing, getting misty-eyed and needing to leave and hyperventilate.
The CDC has identified Martha-Ann Alito as the Typhoid Mary of the epidemic. Currently, she and all other female sufferers have been quarantined at the Jackie Collins Center. Doctors Without Ethics are flying in from the coasts to perform emergency hysterectomies, in the hopes of stemming the scourge before it moves beyond the Beltway. Male sufferers have been released with a pat on the back.

The Department of Homeland Security has recommended all D.C.-area residents stock up on duct tape and smelling salts.

Most folks think Martha-Ann got the vapors because of all the talk about Sammy not having a racist bone in his body. If you ask me, the real reason is Martha-Ann didn't want to witness any more of the questioning by that old queen Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who got so far up Sammy's ass that they had to send a mining crew to retrieve him.

Princess Barbie Talibania for Scalito... but he doesn't have any sort of agenda, you know

I continue to receive Princess Barbie Talibania's e-newsletter. Our erstwhile defender of 1950's women's rights is in Washington for the Strip Search Sammy Scalito hearings, and sends me this report:
I joined a large group of young people, including a group of 100 youth from TeenPact at the Supreme Court this morning. We stood there to show our support for a fair and unifying hearing for Judge Alito's nomination. We also recognize the importance of this position on the Supreme Court to the issue of abortion and creating a culture of life within our country.
But, of course, Sammy will keep an open mind on Roe v. Wade and considers it "an important precedent". Please, do go on.
We also had a group of women, some of them were post-abortive, who were peacefully giving their testimonies, when a group of 5 to 7 radical, pro-abortion men came and disrupted our press conference right here in front of the Supreme Court. These radical men began pushing women and the police were called. One of the ladies that who was shoved is six months pregnant and is still very shaken up by the disruption of these radical, pro-abortion men.
And Brandi, I'll agree, pushing, shoving, harrassing, and screaming at peaceful people -- especially pregnant women -- who are merely trying to assert their legal Constitutional rights is shocking and wrong. Fortunately, nobody on the anti-abortion side ever does that to pregnant women who are trying to enter an abortion clinic to assert their legal Constitutional rights. I guess it's only a matter of time before one of these "pro-abortion" men sets off bombs at the Generation Life headquarters, a heterosexual nightclub, or Atlanta's Olympic Park. Or worse, decides to assassinate a Christian anti-abortion doctor.
Also, please keep in mind that Senator Charles Schumer has stated that he will attempt to filibuster Judge Alito's hearings. I heard this repeated again this morning -- Chuck Schumer plans to filibuster. I find it extremely disturbing that our leaders are unwilling to allow the process to play out as it was designed. They refuse to honor the wishes of the President, and the American people to allow Judge Alito a fair hearing.
Damn straight! Hariet Miers deserves a fair up or down vote! Why won't the senators respect the wishes of the president?

I know you're young, sweetie, but the filibuster has been a part of the way the process is designed for over two hundred years. It was instituted by men wiser than you who realized that there needs to be a check on the unrestrained power of a majority. Now, I know you Republicans don't have much use for checks and balances now that there are no Democrats in power, but trust me, you're going to be very happy those protections are in place over the next few elections.
As I mentioned earlier, a group of angry pro-choice men disrupted a pro-life news conference in front of the Supreme Court. These men do not support Judge Alito's confirmation. Here is an interesting tidbit from this morning. The "counter-protestors" were from the Revolutionary Communist Party. Here was the website they touted: it's communists that hate President Bush and Judge Alito.
Yup, no doubt about it. If you support a woman's medical privacy rights, the idea that a president is not a king, the idea that judges should recuse themselves from cases where even the appearance of conflict of interest exists, or that reasonably bright adults should be able to remember the racist, sexist college groups they belonged to and touted on a job application, then you, too, might be a communist.
Sadly the confirmation process has turned into a personal attack on Judge Alito. So much so that Sen. Graham apologized for the comments that had been made. Mrs. Alito was in tears in the hearing room and left at one point. There is no doubt that tough questions need to be asked, but to ask Alito if he is anti-woman and racist is ridiculous!
Funny, though, how Mrs. Alito shed not one tear while Kennedy was asking about CAP, but only after Sen. Lindsay Graham -- the man who coached Alito in preparation for the hearings -- brought up the strawman apology. I wonder what the signal was to get the tears flowing? "When I tap my chin and say 'outrageous', Mrs. Alito, turn on the waterworks!"
Sen. Ted Kennedy asked for a subpoena. Sparks flew between Sen. Kennedy and Chairman Spector in regard to paper work that linked Alito to a Princeton group that Sen. Kennedy said was racist and anti-woman. ...The attempt to make Alito a bigot was pathetic.
When, in actuality, it was Scalito himself who linked himself to that Princeton group by touting his membership in same on a 1985 job application with the Reagan administration! And furthermore, nobody is implying Scalito is racist or sexist, but rather why he included that group on his application but denies recalling being a part of it. Nobody thinks he's a bigot, Brandi, but rather that he is a vacillating liar.
On a VERY positive note today, Judge Alito would not say that Roe v. Wade was the settled law of the land. Sen. Durbin pushed him hard on this. issue.
This is what bugs me the most about this whole process. We know Scalito will overturn Roe. The president knows it. The senate knows it. Pro-choice and anti-abortion supporters know it. Brandi is practically moist anticipating it. It's as simple as this: Senator, should you vote to confirm the judge who will re-criminalize abortion?

Michigan Y: No breastfeeding near pool

Kelly Fuks (oy, an unfortunate name) exposed a boobie to feed her child and the YMCA said it "created a distraction to lifeguards." Let's see, monitoring all the kids jumping and playing in the pool is less of of a distraction than a mother sitting quietly by the pool breastfeeding.

Come the f*ck on - what kind of mammary-phobic (or more likely, unhealthily mammary-obsessed) lifeguards are these? (ClickonDetroit):
An Ann Arbor woman says she was asked to stop breastfeeding her baby in public at an area YMCA. Now she hopes by speaking out, the gray line about breast-feeding in public is eliminated.

Left: bad boobies. Right: good boobies.

According to Fuks, a lifeguard of the YMCA approached her and told her she could not breast-feed by the pool. Senior Programs Director at the YMCA Diane Carr said there is no food or water allowed in the pool area and exceptions cannot be made. Ms. Fuks a vending machine or public milk dispenser? WTF?
Fuks later contacted the Y by telephone and told the newspaper that the reason she was told breast-feeding by the pool was not allowed was that it created a distraction to lifeguards.
* Freeper debate: nursing in the ballpark

Sammy: 'All your wombs could belong to us'

"Of course, he's against abortion."
-- 90-year-old Rose Alito, clearing things up for reproductive freedom advocates before Sam even filled out his questionnaire.
Hey, at least his mom gave everyone fair warning that Roe is up for grabs if Alito makes it to the Supremes. He simply confirmed it yesterday...(WaPo):
Alito edged closer to suggesting that he might be willing to reconsider Roe if he is confirmed to the high court, refusing, under persistent questioning by Democrats, to say that he regards the 1973 decision as "settled law" that "can't be reexamined." In this way, his answers departed notably from those that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. gave when asked similar questions during his confirmation hearings four months ago.

...After his exchange with Alito yesterday, [Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.)] told reporters: "Sam Alito would not use those same words. It really, I'm afraid, leaves open the possibility that we are considering the nomination of a justice who will change 30 years of law in this country, a dramatic change to the American society."
Maybe a fetus will be a co-pilot in the HOV lane...

Damn, you almost had me fooled

Nothing like a good laugh in the morning, courtesy of Jon over at The Pensito Review -- "VP Medical Shocker: Cheney Secretly Underwent Cardiectomy."
Useless organ removed: An unidentified source at the George Washington University Hospital has provided evidence that Vice President Dick Cheney secretly underwent a radical cardiectomy Monday night. The source said the surgery began about 3:20 AM and took about 50 minutes to perform.

"It was determined that the patient had no more use for the organ - had not used it in a long, long time," said the source, who witnessed the removal of the vice president’s heart. "In addition, he needed to lose a little weight," the source added.

The hospital staff member - who refused to be identified due to fear of "being murdered" - also took a photo of the heart (shown above) which was described as "resembling a lump of coal."
Surf over for more.

Marriage amendment battle in Santorum country

Rogue's gallery of wingnuttia: Pennsylvania Family Institute's Michael Geer (R) with faith-based pastor at the trough Herb Lusk (C) and Family Research Council's Tony Perkins (L). All were at Lusk's Greater Exodus Baptist Church in Philadelphia last week for Justice Sunday III.

The bible-beaters will be gearing up in Pennsylvania this month as a bill will be submitted introducing the "Marriage Protection Amendment." It would ban civil unions, and place many things, including domestic partnership benefits in jeopardy.

The Pennsylvania Family Institute and Pennsylvania for Marriage folks make it clear that the fight is not just about the word "marriage". At least they are honest about it.
Shouldn't two people who love each other be allowed to commit themselves to one another?
A. As Glenn Stanton has said, absolutely, and people do that all the time. But we don't call it marriage. There are lots of loving commitments that are not marriage. Friends are committed to each other, a parent is committed to a child, grandparents to their grandchildren, and people are committed to their pets. All of these are forms of love. All of them result in commitments. None of them is marriage.

There are economic consequences to these "commitments" as well. Mr. Stanton continues, "Could your business afford health-care benefits for 5 or 9 people in a group marriage? In fact, in this brave new world, what would keep two heterosexual single moms 'or even six of them' from 'marrying' simply so they can receive family health, tax and social security benefits together? The increased cost to business and government would be crippling."

If you're interested in protecting marriage, why include Civil Unions, too?
A. The two are one and the same. Even those who are against same-sex marriage seem to like the sound of "civil unions", which appear to be a reasonable compromise. In the eyes of the law, however, "civil unions"; would simply preserve the name "marriage", while allowing the institution to be destroyed. Granting homosexual couples the legal rights of married couples, even if we don't call it "marriage", will result in the same social, religious, cultural and economic perils as same-sex marriage itself.
Gary at American Agenda is gearing up to counter the madness. And he's pissed.
The so-called Pennsylvania Family Institute needs to take this faith-based, hate-laden bullshit back where it came from! These must be the ousted former members of the Dover Area School District? They have time to kill now that "Intelligent Design" is dead in PA.

Well, you regressive, misguided, ignorant idiots need to mind your own business and keep your hands and your perverse ideas of "family" out of my relationship, my home, and my life. Whom I love has little to do with you. It has nothing to do with your false definitions of "traditional" families. It has even less to do with your declaration of need to protect the "sanctity of marriage."

We have heard it all before. It is the MOST broken record being played in this country.

And I have news for you: Pennsylvania don't play that!

...Love may be the foundation upon which the romantic idea of modern marriage lies, but it has nothing more to do with this contract beyond that. Equally, marriage has nothing to do with faith and God.

That is something we have recently put upon this otherwise uncomplicated civil institution. Marriage is about the protection of property: owned, invested, future and present. It is about health. It is about a personal commitment of two individuals to one another for life. Faith is but a window dressing on a legal contract. No church offers or guarantees you 1,049 civil birth- rights. No church requires a state license to marry you. The government requires a license to confer marriage rights and protections on a relationship. God, as is the historical fact, and the present reality comes after the state in all things marriage. That is because marriage is about legally defining dual property rights. It is about the guarantees of survivorship. It is about protecting love when its good, when its bad, and when its over.

Pennsylvanians know this. And if they don't I can assure you, they will when I get done with them.
A petition effort is here.


Meanwhile, in Virginia, that state's marriage amendment advances.
Several gay rights activists spoke against the proposal. Dyana Mason, executive director of the Equality Virginia, said the measure would "write discrimination into the Virginia constitution."

Opponents also said the amendment could have broad, unintended consequences for all unmarried couples in the areas of advanced medical directives, property ownership and domestic violence protective orders.

"This is going to change the way gay people are treated for the rest of my lifetime," Richmond auto dealer Mac Pence said.

The proposal passed overwhelmingly in the General Assembly last year. It must be approved in its identical form in a succeeding session after a House of Delegates election before it can go on the ballot.
More on the amendment at the EV web site. Equality Virginia's petition is here.

Roy Moore officially qualifies for Alabama GOP governor's race

The disgraced former Alabama Chief Justice and Ten Commandments homo-bigot Roy Moore is officially on the ballot in the GOP primary race for governor, and the state GOP is making moves to ban crossover voting that allows Dems to vote in the Republican primary there. Things are getting even more interesting.
The party's steering committee has recommended that the State Republican Executive Committee vote Saturday to change party rules so that people who vote in the Democratic primary on June 6 can't vote in the Republican runoff on June 27.

Moore opposes the change, describing it as an attempt to interfere with the election. The Alabama GOP has traditionally allowed crossover voting as a tool to build the party, but now that Republicans hold many of the offices elected statewide in Alabama, the steering committee said the time has come for a change.

At a news conference Wednesday, Moore said, "The Alabama Republican Party has never been about restricting voters, but this is an election year and strange things happen, especially now that the former appointments secretary for Gov. Riley has become chairman of the Republican Party."

Moore, who is challenging Gov. Bob Riley in the primary, referred to Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh.
It sounds like Roy thinks Twinkle wants to stab him in the back. You decide.
She said the proposed change has nothing to do with a specific candidate and is designed to make sure people who vote in the Democratic prirmary don't cross over and vote as a bloc in the Republican runoff to skew the outcome.

"It will stop Democratic bosses from being able to advertise that you can go out and pick the weaker of two candidates," she said.
Do you think the Alabama GOP is worried about some of Roy's fringe statements and positions, or are they in the mainstream of local politics...
Alabama’s highest judicial officer declared homosexuality “abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature.” Gay sex, he wrote, is “an act so heinous that it defies one’s ability to describe it,” an “inherent evil” that “should never be tolerated.” And if homo-bamians continued to insist on fornicating? The state might have to use force, Moore wrote, wielding a biblical “power of the sword” to root out this evil once and for all.
Of course, a fellow blogger on the scene is Kathy at Birmingham Blues; I'm sure she'll have something to say about this news soon. She recently blogged about seeing first "Roy for Governor" bumper sticker rolling by, and mused about the possible horrors to come under Roy's influence if he is elected.
I saw my first Moore for Governor bumper sticker on Monday. Moore, for those of you who’ve had better things to worry about the last couple of years, is the “Ten Commandments Judge” who is challenging Alabama Gov. Bob Riley in the 2006 Republican primary. I confess that my reaction was, “How could anyone here be stupid enough to vote for him?”

...So why on earth would anyone here support Moore? I wish I knew, so I could figure out a way to change their minds. Roy would be an unmitigated disaster for this state, making us even more of a joke than we already are in the eyes of most Americans. Alabama needs a progressive governor who will push for constitutional reform (our current one has been amended 772 times and counting), tax reform (state income tax kicks in when a family of four makes $4,600 a year, while out of state landowners pay pennies per acre in property taxes), adequate funding for all public schools in the state, and a state-of-the-art regional public transportation system. We don’t need to have the Ten Commandments posted on schoolhouse walls, “God Bless America” squeezed onto our license plates, intelligent design taught in our schools, gay adoption banned and gay marriage re-banned – but all of these are being proposed by a Legislature full of pandering blowhards whose primary concern is re-election.
He's not pulling in the fundraising dollars he's looking for, and the pro-business community wants no part of his Jeebus-based candidacy. It doesn't help that he has his wife spew this in a mailing:
"But, I can think of no better time than this Holy Season to begin our campaign to return morality to our country and God to our public square. We need a man like Roy Moore as governor of Alabama. With your help and God's grace we can, and will prevail!"
* Meeting Kathy in Birmingham
* Roy Moore's wife lobs the 'Christian' bomb in fundraising email

My fetus is my co-pilot

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

This is ridiculous. (AP):
Fetuses do not count as passengers when it comes to determining who may drive in the carpool lane, a judge ruled.

Candace Dickinson was fined $367 for improper use of a carpool lane, but contended the fetus inside her womb allowed her to use the lane. Motorists who use the lanes normally must carry at least one passenger during weekday rush hours.

Municipal Judge Dennis Freeman rejected Dickinson's argument Tuesday, applying a "common sense" definition in which an individual is someone who occupies a "separate and distinct" space in a vehicle.

The Rod and the throbbing Sword

Rod Parsley has been discussed many times here on the Blend. He's a busy guy, with his televangelist gig at the World Harvest Church and his political arm, Center for Moral Clarity. He's actively involved in rallying up support for homo-bigot Keith Butler in his race for the Senate seat in Michigan.

Rod threw his weight around as a special guest (well, ok he founded the organization, but he's special anyway) at the Reformation Ohio "revival" at the Statehouse, the mission of which was to convert 100,000 people to Christianity within four years (and get those sheeple voters registered).

It looks like Rod's come up with some innovative ways of bringing in the buxxx for his efforts. The Revealer nearly had me falling out of the chair with this post about Rod (thanks for the pointer, Holly).
Do you experience erectile dysfunction? Would you like a little more size? Pastor Rod Parsley wants to help -- he'll turn your "male headship" into a deadly weapon with extra inches.

Pastor Rod is the fundamentalist feudal prince of Ohio, the bestselling preacher who tipped the Buckeye state for Bush in 2004. His strategy? Warning the citizenry that they would all go gay if they didn't beat back the homosexual agenda. Pastor Rod couldn't legally endorse Bush, but he pushed Christian conservative voters to the polls.

This past August, I reported that Pastor Rod was raising cash for holy war -- I mean, relief work -- in Sudan by offering an actual 27-inch sword, in exchange for a gift of $54 or more. Now, Pastor Rod's got a whole new sword to sell. And this one's ten inches longer, with a blade of steel and a "gold-colored metal" handle inscribed with the cross. It's the "SWORD OF THE KING," promises Pastor Rod.

Just like the one Christ didn’t carry? Even better. This "beautifully crafted" blade, writes Rod, is a "replica" of King Arthur's. As in Excaliber, the magic sword Merlin told him to pull out of a stone. Sound like kid's stuff? No way. Who's going to tell a man packing 37 awesome inches of hard steel that he's lost in a fairy tale?

There's more. Don't worry about where to sheath your blade -- in a special email solicitation, Pastor Rod writes that it comes with a "beautiful... mount."
There's plenty more where that came from.

No visible means of support

Actual caption: Supporters listen to U.S. President George W. Bush (L) as he delivers his comments about the U.S. military involvement in Iraq at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Kentucky January 11, 2006. REUTERS/Larry Downing.

These folks look really happy to listen to his song-and-dance about how well it's all going for him over in Iraq.

Christian bookseller arrested for raping his sons over a five-year period

You know, with all the homosexuals wanting to get married, the women wanting to enjoy their sex lives without worry of pregnancy, and the liberals defending the rights of American citizens to not be spied upon or locked up by their government indefinitely without charges, it was only a matter of time before America's moral decay provided us a story like this:
(The Tenneseean) A Brentwood man was arrested yesterday on charges of raping and sexually abusing two of his children over the course of five years.

The 50-year-old man is being held at the Williamson County Jail in lieu of posting $500,000 bail. A court date had not been set yesterday.

The two children, boys ages 12 and 16, have been removed from the home, according to police.

The grand jury returned a 10-count indictment, charging the defendant with eight counts of rape of a child, one count of rape and one could of aggravated sexual battery, District Attorney General Ron Davis said.

The charges stem from incidents that allegedly occurred between September 2000 and December 2005.
See, see! It's those damn homosexual pedophiles again!
O'Neil said the defendant, who is [heterosexually] married, has four other children — two of whom are adults.
Oh. Well, then it's definitely because he rejects Jesus and wallows in the putrid filth of secular liberal culture!
The suspect is involved in the Christian book-publishing industry, according to police and numerous Web sites.
Double oh. Well, innocent until proven guilty and all that. You know how 12-year-old boys so often lie about their fathers raping them at age seven.

(Hat-tip to AMERICAblog)

Israel won't do business with Crazy Pat

One has to wonder what on earth was the Israel Tourism Board doing affiliating with someone who needs a straitjacket? (USA Today):
Israel will not do business with Pat Robertson after the evangelical leader suggested Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's massive stroke was divine punishment for the Gaza withdrawal, a tourism official said Wednesday.

Robertson is leading a group of evangelicals who have pledged to raise $50 million to build a large Christian tourism center in Israel's northern Galilee region, where tradition says Jesus lived and taught.

But Avi Hartuv, a spokesman for Tourism Minister Avraham Hirschson, said Israeli officials were furious with Robertson, a Christian broadcaster..."We can't accept this kind of statement," Hartuv said. He said the Christian Heritage Center project was now in question, though he left the door open to develop it with others.
Hat tip, Holly.

AFA and who's who of bible beaters go after Ford again

I am so f*cking tired of these g-damn idiots. You can smell the flopsweat and desperation as their hysteria increases with these maneuvers.

PageOneQ has the scoop on the latest salvo from the Wild-Eyed Wildmons at the bigoted American Family Association. This time they've banded together with an all-star cast of wingnuts to bleat that Ford should pull all support for any group involved in the current "culture war." I love this tidbit:
The letter included Beverly LaHaye, founder of Concerned Women for America (CWA) as a signator. LaHaye's son, Lee, is the closeted Chief Financial Officer of the organization. Additional signators include: Alan Chambers, president of "ex-gay" organization Exodus International; James Dobson of Focus on the Family and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.
Can you believe this?

Here is the letter, in its entirety.
January 10, 2006

Chrm . Bill Ford
Ford Motor Company
One American Road
Dearborn , MI 48126-2798

Dear Chrm. Ford,

On November 28, Ford Motor Company and American Family Association worked out a representation concerning Ford's support of groups promoting the homosexual agenda including homosexual marriage. Ford's representations seemed to AFA a very reasonable and attainable goal.

Here is what Ford's representation included:

1. Ford would not renew current promotions or create future incentives that give cash donations to homosexual organizations based on the purchase of a vehicle.
2. Ford would stop giving cash and vehicle donations or endorsements to homosexual social activities such as Gay Pride parades.
3. Ford would not make corporate donations to homosexual organizations that, as part of their activities, engage in political or social campaigns to promote civil unions or same-sex marriage.
4. Ford would cease all advertising in homosexual websites and media outlets (magazines, television, radio) in the U.S. with the exception of a small amount to be used by Volvo. The Volvo ads would be the same ads used in the general media and not aimed at the homosexual community specifically.

When homosexual groups opposed Ford's actions, seven homosexual leaders met with Ford. At that meeting, Ford repudiated your representations and issued a public letter strongly supporting the homosexual groups.

Ford made this decision at the request of only seven homosexual leaders and without any input from your thousands of dealers who stand to be adversely affected by your decision. Why would Ford put the interests of seven homosexual groups ahead of the interests of all your dealers? Evidently you consider seven homosexual leaders more important than your thousands of dealers. Your support for these groups pushing homosexual marriage can only hurt your dealers.

We strongly suggest that Ford remove itself from involvement in the cultural war and apply its resources to building the best product possible. It ill serves the purpose of Ford to take sides in the cultural war. It is a no-win situation. When you favor one side, you alienate the other. Leave the cultural battles to the various groups pro and con and to the politicians. Apply your energy and your resources to building better automobiles. This policy would benefit not only Ford, your employees and your dealers, but society as a whole.

It is our request that Ford retract its rejection of the representation. We can not, and will not, sit by as Ford supports a social agenda aimed at the destruction of the family.

We ask that you respond to our request by January 20. If we do not hear from you by that date, we will assume that Ford does not intend to honor its representations to AFA. Should you decide to respond, please do so by letter since we can no longer trust Ford to keep its verbal word.


Donald E. Wildmon, Chairman, American Family Association

Other signatories include:

Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council; Dr. James Dobson, Founder and Chairman, Focus On The Family; Gary Bauer, President American Values;

Dr. D. James Kennedy, President, Coral Ridge Ministries; Dr. Richard Land, President The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, The Southern Baptist Convention; Paul Weyrich, National Chairman, Coalitions for America

Beverly LaHaye, Founder and Chairman, Concerned Women for America; Dr. Gary Cass, President Center for Reclaiming America; Rev. Ted Haggard, President, National Association of Evangelicals

Phil Burress, President Citizens for Community Values; Curt Smith, President, Indiana Family Institute; Janet Folger, President, Faith2Action

Bobbie Patray, President, Tennessee Eagle Forum; Judie Brown, President, American Life League, Inc.

Dr. Leo Godzich, Chairman, National Association of Marriage Enhancement; R. Allen Angell, President Constituent Voice; Kelly Shackelford, President; Free Market Foundation; Gary Glenn, President American Family Association of Michigan

Russell Johnson, Chairman, Ohio Restoration Project; Alan Chambers, President Exodus International; Diane Gramley, President, American Family Association of Pennsylvania

Hutcherson photo art via Mike Tidmus.
Dr. Kenneth Hutcherson, President, Mayday for Marriage; Micah Clark, Executive Director, American Family Association of Indiana; Dr. Rick Scarborough, President, Vision America

Gregory B. Darby, Founder & President, Christian Interactive Network; John Uhlmann, Chairman Our Shared American Identity Foundation; Ron Shuping, Senior Vice President of Programming, The Inspiration Television Networks

Dr. Keith Wiebe, President, American Association of Christian Schools; Tom Shields, Chairman Coalition for Marriage and Family; Dr. Laurence White, President, The American Restoration Project

Larry Cirignano, Executive Director,; Keith Wiebe, Jr., President, West Virginia Family Foundation; Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel, Liberty Counsel

Kristian M. Mineau, President, Massachusetts Family Institute; Douglas Stiegler, Executive Director Association of Maryland Families; Colin A. Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring, Inc.

Carol L. Wagstaff, M.A., Executive Director, Living Stones Ministries; David Kyle Foster,President/Executive Director, Mastering Life Ministries
The AFA press release is here.

There are differing schools of thought about what is most useful in this battle with the AFA, particularly about Ford, which has placed itself between a rock and a hard place by trying to be all things to all people as they struggle in the marketplace.

Should we ignore these Wildmon clowns and their loser tribe of bible beaters, who are pouting and acting out like little babies in this letter? Or do we take them on after each shot they fire across the bow? Food for thought.

These weasels are clearly on a downward spiral. Seriously -- that queen "ex-gay" Alan Chambers of Exodus? That addition really ups the credibility of that letter. They are scraping the bottom of the wingnut barrel with some of the losers that signed on with the big guns like Dobson and Bauer.

I wonder, where's Tinkywinky Falwell or psycho Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition -- why are they MIA? What happened to Robert Knight of Concerned Women for America, or our friend Peter LaBarbera?


Ford Motor Company
William Clay Ford, Jr., Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer

Board of Directors

800-232-5952 (TDD for the Hearing Impaired)

Ford Motor Company
Customer Relationship Center
P.O. Box 6248
Dearborn, MI 48126

* Whiny baby Wildmon on Ford

A NC police chief's 'little black book'

And the book didn't have rent girls or boys in it. This is a timely story, now that we are thinking about Dr. King's efforts in civil rights.

A good old boy police chief in Greensboro, NC thought it was a cool idea to target black officers for investigation, form a clandestine unit to do so, and keep a cute little "black book"/dossier on them that he didn't bother to tell city officials about.

Do you think he might have thought that he was doing something a tad wrong? (Greensboro News & Record):

Former police Chief David Wray misled city leaders when he covered up the actions of a "secret police" unit that targeted black officers for unfair internal investigation, Greensboro officials said.

Part of the cover-up included the hiding of a "black book" that contained photos of at least 19 African American officers, officials said late Tuesday. The book was eventually recovered by investigators probing allegations of misconduct within the Greensboro Police Department.

And a black lieutenant whose claims of racism triggered seven months of controversy in the department returns to work today, his record cleared of unfounded criminal charges.

City Manager Mitchell Johnson disclosed during a news conference partial findings of an internal probe into actions Wray and the Greensboro police Special Intelligence Section took. He did so after a unanimous vote by the City Council to make the information public. Johnson described the “black book” as a police lineup used by Special Intelligence, but he provided few details about its exact use by the five-officer squad.
The "investigation" cost the taxpayers $70,000, money that could have been better spent actually fighting crime instead of providing Wray with a personal witch hunt squad on the black officers working for him.

It turns out that he violated North Carolina’s Personnel Privacy Act and may have inappropriately negotiated with the Greensboro Police Officers Association with this little stunt.

Wray hasn't been available for comment -- what a shock.


Greensboro doesn't have a pretty history when it comes to race relations. After all, the F.W. Woolworth's lunch counter sit-in occured there on Feb. 1, 1960, and sadly, as recently as 1979, there was an awful, violent incident involving the Klan and neo-Nazis. (Facing South):
In Greensboro, North Carolina, on Nov. 3, 1979, Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi Party members attacked a “Death to the Klan” march organized by the Communist Workers’ Party, shooting five marchers to death and wounding ten. Greensboro police had been escorting the march, but left for lunch shortly before the killings. More than a dozen men were arrested and charged with murder, but, stunningly, both a 1980 state murder trial and a 1984 federal civil rights trial resulted in acquittals.

The Nazis, Klansmen, and the city of Greensboro were finally found liable for one of the deaths in a civil lawsuit; but a sense of injustice and unfinished business and suspicions of police involvement have roiled the community ever since.
As a result, The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission was formed, an independent body gathered to examine "the context, causes, sequence and consequence of the events of November 3, 1979 for the purpose of healing transformation for the community."

You can find transcripts of first-hand testimonies and recollections to the Commission on the site, as well as listen to the News & Record's podcast of the first public hearing.

UPDATE: Wray attempts some piss-poor poor damage control.

'Inflammatory' same-sex kiss banned from NZ cricket game

Displays of affection between two women or two men are not appropriate at Westpac Trust Stadium in New Zealand. My, someone's knickers are in a twist...(Advocate via PageOneQ):
Apparently same-sex kisses, gay or straight, are just too much for cricket fans in New Zealand. That's the conclusion of the owners of a stadium, who say such displays of affection are not appropriate at their venue.

The ruling stemmed from an incident in which two straight women were threatened with eviction after they exchanged a friendly peck that was caught on camera and played on the big screen to a cheering crowd. According to a report in the Dominion Post, a security guard at the one-day cricket international in Napier on Sunday told the women they were distracting the crowd and would be thrown out if they did it again. The women thought their action was “just a bit of fun," but according to a Westpac Trust Stadium spokesman, two women kissing “is not appropriate” at a family venue.

Where's the b*tch that set him up this time?

Classic Barry, from 1990 crack smoking bust at the Vista Hotel. This little bit of business occurred during his third term as mayor.

Marion Barry tests positive for blow. And how about an endorsement of the faith-based drug treatment program he attended. I don't care if he's a "man of the people," the folks that keep electing him to public office must have a screw loose.

One must believe the good folks in his ward can find a better political representative than this loser -- he's a junkie, people.
D.C. Council member Marion Barry tested positive for cocaine use in the fall in a drug test ordered by a court after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor tax charges, according to two sources familiar with Barry's case.

Barry, who served four terms as mayor and was elected to the Ward 8 council seat in 2004, has since begun treatment for drug use, the sources said, but Barry's failure to pass the mandatory drug test puts him in legal jeopardy. Because he violated the terms of his release, Barry, 69, faces an increased risk of serving the maximum 18 months behind bars -- rather than probation -- for his failure to file tax returns for six years.

...Barry's arrest was followed by seven weeks in treatment centers in Florida and South Carolina. He repeatedly invoked God upon his return, in keeping, a spokesman said at the time, with his 12-step, faith-based treatment program.
See DCist's post, The End of Marion Barry?

Sanity in NJ

More progress, this time in the Garden State...
New Jersey lawmakers voted to give same-sex couples the same rights as married couples regarding inheritance and funeral arrangements and to extend gay couples' access to health benefits in the public sector.

The two bills were passed overwhelmingly in the state legislature on Monday and will now be sent to Gov. Richard Codey, who is expected to sign both. New Jersey is one of several U.S. states that already offer same-sex couples some legal rights as partners, though it stops short of allowing gay marriage, which became a socially divisive issue across America during the 2004 presidential election campaign.

One of the bills passed on Monday sets out same-sex couples' rights to inheritance and funeral arrangements while the other deals with health benefits for partners of employees of county and municipal governments, school boards and county colleges.

How long before the wingers go after 'Twist'?

Sony Music launches gay label. From the folks at LOGO (a channel I still cannot get in Durham, btw, despite calling Time Warner), another piece of evidence of the Homosexual AgendaTM in progress...
Sony Music on Tuesday said it was launching the first major music label dedicated to nurturing lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gendered artists.

The label, Music with a Twist, is a joint venture with Wilderness Media & Entertainment, the company led by Matt Farber, who founded Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks' new gay and lesbian channel LOGO, which is available in an estimated 20 million homes.

The label also comes as Wilderness Media plans this weekend to launch a syndicated national radio show called Twist targeting the gay and "gay-adjacent" communities, debuting on FM stations and the Web. The weekly two-hour radio show will feature music, celebrity interviews, entertainment reports and relationship and lifestyle advice and news in a "morning show" format.
Hold the presses. I see the Freepi have weighed in on this one without delay.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"No doubt directed at kids! Don't think I'll be buying Sony anything for a while..."

"This is a GREAT idea. It will keep all that gay music off the other labels...."

"The first CD release will be "Songs Inspired By Bareback Mountain", including the hits, "Homo On The Range," and "Bathhouses of Laredo.""

"Yeah, like the gays don't already have gay or gay-friendly artists like Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minelli, Bette Midler, Cher, the Village People, George Michael, Elton John..."

"I vote we get them their own water fountains, too!"

"Gives new meaning to "rootkit.""

"Gangsta artists shoot each other Country Artists may cuss at each other Gay/Lesbian artists simply kick, pull hair and scratch each other's eyes out."

"Wait until they find out their 10% market was off by a decimal point."

"They seem to be using the alternative label ploy, so it won't be Sony, it will be Music With a Twist. I don't know how well that will work. Disney tried it, and I think they have managed to tar themselves pretty well anyway. Put this together with Sony's deliberate virus infection, and it doesn't make them look too great. Sony has a lot at stake just now, because they are just releasing the first Blu-Ray players and discs, but Microsoft is coming out with an alternative HDTV version that permits streaming, and it's not clear that Sony will win the competition. It seems as if top management is letting the "creative" types get out of control."

"Perhaps Sony Classical will launch a straight Broadway affiliated label."

"Huh. Looks like the Butthole Surfers found a new label."

"Yeah, butt we're a long way from a Buck Naked and the Bare Bottom Boys reunion..."

"Don't forget Judas Priest! I have all of their gay-era CDs (meaning, no Ripper)."

"Judas Priest: [This clod is quoting out gay lead singer Rob Halford...] "A lot of cool things happened because of it. I've had feedback from a lot of people, particularly teenagers who were going through tremendous hardships with family and at school. I know when I was 12 or 13 I was thinking, 'Oh God, I'm a freak, I'm gonna burn in hell,' and all that crap - and it's a horrible experience to live through if you don't have support. But looking at the bigger picture, I'm not the only metal homo. There are many more statistically speaking."

"The queers and fagots audience comprises, at most, 5% of the country, considerably less than the African Americans or Hispanics. Accordingly, I get the idea that this new label will be less than sterling.

What a crock of Westboro sh*t

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The crazies over at The Rotting CryptkeeperTM's pad are churning out more desperate "press releases," each more pathetic than the last.

It's interesting. Fred Phelps is aware of the schism in the black community over its queasiness about gay rights issues, and he seeks to capitalize on it. I hope daughter of Dr. King and homophobe Bernice King (named one of the "50 leaders of tomorrow” by Ebony magazine), is made aware that she and the likes of Phelps are on the same page. A quote from Bernice on her father:

"I know deep down in my sanctified soul that he did not take a bullet for same-sex unions."

Coretta Scott King, on the other hand, is a strong supporter of gay rights, and denounced a constitutional ban on marriage. "Gay and lesbian people have families and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union," she said in her March 23, 2005 address New Jersey's Richard Stockton College. "A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages."

Her son, Martin Luther King III, supported gay rights efforts. As an organizer of the 40th anniversary commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington, King made sure gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups were invited to participate.

Bernice, and a cousin, Alveda, stand alone in their belief that gays and lesbians should have second-class status in our society, and marched in 2004 in support of "a constitutional amendment to fully protect marriage between one man and one woman."

Jeremy over at Good As You takes a crack at this BS as well.

More 'Christian' family values

Volunteer chaplain arrested for hitting his daughter with a chair. Chaplain Horatio Luster is a scum-sucking lowlife. Not only did he physically assault his daughter, but then he tried to toss his weight around as a "member" of Marion County (Indiana) Sheriff's Department and bleated for them to arrest her:

Horatio Luster, 51, was arrested for battery Thursday. Police say Luster argued and threw a folding chair at his 21-year-old daughter, Shera Luster, hitting her in the back and head.

When deputies arrived to investigate the incident, Luster produced a Marion County special deputy badge.
"Do you know who I am?" Luster told the deputies, according to a police report. "I'm a member of the sheriff's department and I want her arrested."
Needless to say, the captain took away his special deputy badge, so no more playing policeman for Horatio Blowhard. Another chaplain uttered the understatement of the year: "In this situation I would tell him to try to get some counseling."

Hat tip Holly.

NC lesbian couple facing bigotry by ski resort gets freeped

You knew it would happen. You'll recall my earlier post on the lesbian couple that lost their photography contract at an NC ski resort after the owners saw their marriage announcement in the local paper. It looks like the flap aired on a local (Asheville) station and it caught the eye of the cretins in Freeperland.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"This story was on the local news tonight. The ski resort said they have a lot of church groups. These "women" (if only I had the pics) were simply doing contract work (verbal) by taking pictures of patrons at the resort. This crap makes me so mad!"

"Asheville is only slightly less liberal than San Francisco."

"I don't *think* so."

"We do have a lot of liberals but the outlying areas are definitely conservative. I'm going to write Wolf Laurel and tell them I back them 100%."

"These lesbians don't just want to do what pleases them, they need people to assuage their feelings of alienation."

"My sister and her significant other got 'married' in Canada (for reasons I cannot fathom since it does them no good in this country) and they sent out cutesy announcements and I am sure put an announcement in their local paper."

"As much as they protest they are treated badly by the VRW conspiracy, they sure do as much as they can to call attention to themselves."

"When Islam covers the world, after people like them allow it to happen by their antiwar, anticonflict,antispying, anti everything that keeps us safe, I wonder if they realize what will happen to women (and men) like them? It isn't pretty to be gay in a moslem society."

"Instead of being in each others faces they want to be in our faces."

"Gay coupling will always be discriminatory because homosexuality in humankind is non-functional and aberrant. Sadly, gay coupling is a reality of our society and perhaps, hopefully, in Wester Culture, homosexuality will bring an artistic value to our lives so dumdum."

"Let heterosexuals bring artistic value. Homosexuals apparently have the need to make sure the whole world knows of their sexual deviancy and then complain because someone notices. There are still people who believe homosexuality is a sinful, perverted behavior and are not about to promote it and they shouldn't have to."

"Umm think again!! I live right outside Asheville and work in Asheville. Rainbows abound."

"I told my sons the other day that 50 years ago, homosexuals were looked upon as truly aberrant human beings, close to committing a crime. Then I told them that 50 years from now, if things continue on this same path, there will be no outrage over pedophilia and sex with will simply be termed an alternative lifestyle, with no real punishment. All of this is not a good thing."

Schwarzenegger was riding illegally when he wrecked his Harley

Because, after all, obeying the law is for girlie-men, not governators.
SACRAMENTO, California (AP) -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle illegally over the weekend when he collided with a car in his Brentwood neighborhood, the Los Angeles Police Department said Tuesday.

Police Lt. Paul Vernon said Schwarzenegger does not have the proper motorcycle endorsement on his California driver's license, contradicting statements made by his spokeswoman since the Sunday accident that left the governor with 15 stitches in his upper lip.

Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Margita Thompson, acting on initial information Sunday, said the governor's Class C license allowed him to ride the motorcycle with its sidecar attached. His 12-year-old son, Patrick, was riding in the sidecar but was not injured.

Schwarzenegger, a Harley Davidson owner who rides regularly with friends along the California coast, said Tuesday that he never bothered to obtain a California motorcycle license because he "never thought about it."

"I just never really applied for it," he said, responding to a reporter's question during a state budget briefing. "It was just one of those things that I never really did."

Schwarzenegger collided with a car while riding his motorcycle with his son near his Los Angeles home.
Never really thought about it? Well, of course not. Who can expect the governor of a state to be aware of and comply with his state's laws?

Death threats to TV station manager over 'Daniel'

UPDATE: Think the AFA's influence is harmless? A station manager and program director at a TV station in Indiana have received death threats for airing the show.

Note that the NBC affiliate would not air the show, so the WB affiliate picked it up -- and the latter station is the recipient of the threats. (
Police in Terre Haute are investigating death threats against the manager and program director at KWBF-TV after the station decided to run the NBC series "The Book of Daniel".

Executives at the station have been given security, and guards are posted at the studios.

Terre Haute's NBC affiliate refused to air the show's premiere Friday after pressure from the American Family Association and area pastors. KWBF, a WB affiliate then agreed to run the series.
Threats to the station began pouring in shortly after it made the announcement. They continued after the show aired and police were called in.

Station manager Gary Robbins defends the decision to run the series and says despite the threats there are no plans to cancel it. "We've had hate mail, we've had hate phone calls... but there's no profanity in this show, there's no indecency, there's no nudity," he said.
How "Christian" of these domestic terrorists.


AFA kicks it up a notch on advertisers of 'Daniel'

The latest hot air from the American Family Association about NBC and its new series "The Book of Daniel," pardon the expression, blows.

Blender Paul passed along the latest action item from old fart Don Wildmon's email list, targeting the sponsors that advertised on last Friday's premiere broadcast -- Combe (Just For Men products), Mazda (owned by Ford), H&R Block, and Burlington Coat Factory.

Gee, after reading this review of the show, I guess I'll actually try and watch it...

Viewer Says We Were Wrong! Book of Daniel Is Worse Than We Reported!

The Book of Daniel was aired by NBC on Friday night. Several NBC affiliates did not carry the program including those in Beaumont, TX; Tupelo, MS; Meridian, MS, Little Rock, AR; and Terre Haute, IN. In addition, NBC lost several million dollars when advertisers pulled out. NBC ended up selling the time for pennies on the dollar. The review below before sums up the emails we received by those who watched the program.
"I watched the Book of Daniel show on NBC tonight just so I could see if it was as bad as you said. Mr. Wildmon you have it wrong - it was worse than you described. The so called pastor takes drugs, smokes, drinks, takes the Lord's name in vain. He supports homosexuality and drug use. He broke the law by giving out prescription drugs to a Bishop. Two Bishops were committing adultery. They mis-quoted the Bible. The program portrayed our Savior in a joking way. There was a corrupt Catholic priest. The maid smokes pot. The Bishop drinks, the pastor's wife is a drunk and her sister is a lesbian and the son is a homosexual. One son sleeps around. I found this program very offensive to my Christian beliefs. They were poking fun at our Savior."
WBIR in Knoxville invited ministers in to see the program. Here are some of their comments.

Rev. Brian Kearns, minister of Lighthouse Christian Church: "I think it's very demeaning to Christianity. If this is their view of Christianity, it's going to be as a joke. It's an assault on the Christian faith."

Rev. Tom Seay, pastor Bearden United Methodist Church: "It's just a pretty sorry piece of work."

Dale Powers from the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville: "You're portraying something as normal that is just absurd."

Rev. John Stuart (no church identified): "Christ is at the center of my worship. What the show has done is demean my faith. You've diminished the person I've wounded me."

These comments are typical of those who watched the first episode. Since the tone and content of the show is now known, call your NBC affiliate and ask them not to carry any more episodes of the program. Very important: Ask your local advertisers to pull their adverting from your NBC affiliate if they continue to air the program.


Click Here to print out the NEW Pass Along sheet. Copy it and pass it out at your church.

Click Here to send a letter to the handful of advertisers who bought ads for pennies on the dollar.

[Folks, you can use the AFA's petition to send a positive message to the advertisers by changing the text of the email form.]

The advertisers include Combe (Just For Men products), Mazda, H&R Block, and Burlington Coat Factory.



Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association
The official AFA press release is here.

Contact information for the sponsors, if you want to send a counter message to them, telling them not to cave to extremists like the AFA. Fax and phoning can sometimes be more effective -- if they decide the email flood is too much at some point, they'll just start filtering them out.

Use information from this prior post about the AFA to show them what a fringe organization it is.

Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corporation
Monroe G. Milstein – Chairman, President, and CEO
1830 Rte. 130
Burlington, NJ 08016
Phone: 609-387-7800
Fax: 609-387-7071
Vice-President, Andrew Milstein

Combe, Inc. - Just for Men hair products
Chairman Christopher B. Combe
1101 Westchester Ave.
White Plains, NY 10604
Phone: 914-694-5454
Fax: 914-461-4402
Toll Free: 800-873-7400

H&R Block, Inc.
Mark Ernst Chairman, President
4400 Main St.
Kansas City, MO 64111
Phone: 816-753-6900
Fax: 816-753-5346
Toll Free: 800-829-7733
1(800) HRBLOCK

Mazda North American Operations
President Jim O'Sullivan
P.O. Box 19734
Irvine, CA 92623-9734
Phone: (949) 223-2300
Fax: (949) 752-2130

* The AFA is going after NBC now
* 'Book of Daniel' and NBC under more fire

Watch out trolls, Chimpy gave me the power...

From Declan McCullagh, CNET's Washington, D.C., correspondent, yet another manifestation of the paranoia running rampant in the Bush admin and the Repug-dominated Congress -- boneheaded, poorly written legislation that manages to get passed and signed. But hey, it may fix rampant troll problems...
Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.

It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.

In other words, it's OK to flame someone on a mailing list or in a blog as long as you do it under your real name. Thank Congress for small favors, I guess.

This ridiculous prohibition, which would likely imperil much of Usenet, is buried in the so-called Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act. Criminal penalties include stiff fines and two years in prison.

"The use of the word 'annoy' is particularly problematic," says Marv Johnson, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "What's annoying to one person may not be annoying to someone else."

...There's an interesting side note. An earlier version that the House approved in September had radically different wording. It was reasonable by comparison, and criminalized only using an "interactive computer service" to cause someone "substantial emotional harm."
Thanks to Blender Juan for the pointer.

Daddy Dobson's wailing about gambling

Monday, January 09, 2006

Gee -- has Dobson spoken to fellow moralist Bill "Gamblin' Man' Bennett about this?
Dr. James Dobson is calling on lawmakers nationwide to take a strong stand against legalized gambling in America. Calling the rampant growth in gambling a "national disaster," the Focus on the Family chairman says all types of gambling is driven by greed -- and that makes it "morally bankrupt from its very foundation," he states. "If the nation's politicians don't fix this national disaster, then the oceans of gambling money with which Jack Abramoff tried to buy influence on Capitol Hill will only be the beginning of the corruption we'll see."

And new ethics rules for Congress, he says, are nothing but a "Band-Aid fix." Dobson asserts the country needs "courageous office holders who will begin the process of shutting down lotteries, casinos, and other gambling outlets." A longtime opponent of gambling because of its damaging effect on families, Dobson has been critical of members of both major political parties for accepting campaign contributions from gambling interests.

More anti-gay propaganda promoted by professional 'ex-gay'

Allegedly ex-homo Stephen Bennett's Straight Talk Radio is humming along nicely, and blogger Joe Brummer is pissed enough to call for a petition to protest the endless gay-bashing and deceptive crap promoted on the program.

The most recent episode of STR is pretty outrageous. It features one of our old friends here on the Blend, Linda Harvey, of Mission[ary Position] America. She's obsessed with homo influence on kids and the school system, and this blow-out is no exception.
Today on Straight Talk Radio, Linda Harvey of Mission: America exposes the homosexual agenda in of all places – America’s public schools.

Why in the world would homosexual activists be concerned about getting their message to little children in the public schools? What individuals or groups are behind this very disturbing activity? How have schools been ‘tricked’ into allowing this to even happen? What individuals or groups are behind this agenda? You won’t believe what you here as Linda Harvey explains all.
She actually explains it quite well on the Mission[ary Position] America web site. This is unbelievable, wild-eyed, fact-free paranoia.

Photo enhancement by Mike Tidmus. See schoolmarm Linda here.

"People, especially the young, can be seduced into homosexual behavior and have their identity molded around the homosexual lifestyle..."
-- Linda Harvey, of Mission[ary Position] America
The Creation of New Homosexuals

...Can people, children in this case, become homosexuals by exposure to certain ideas and behavior? In other words, can a person who would not otherwise become homosexual, start the behavior, come to prefer it and continue it?

Can a society create more homosexuals? The answer quite clearly is yes. That is how current homosexuals, in fact, came to be. There is no evidence--none-- for a genetic origin for homosexuality. That may come as a surprise to many people, but it’s true. It’s even more astonishing when one realizes how many influential groups and people now accept homosexuality as inborn for some, but when you look behind the rhetoric, you find that there is nothing but wishful thinking. For an excellent paper debunking this myth, see Culture and Family Institute’s article at .

In view of this, the promotion of this behavior to our children has incredibly destructive potential, yet this unprecedented trend is occurring with few objections by parents.

People, especially the young, can be seduced into homosexual behavior and have their identity molded around the homosexual lifestyle, through a combination of persuasion and circumstances which may include the following:

• Being convinced homosexuality is acceptable;
• Reading or viewing explicit homosexual pornography;
• A close relationship with a peer who is practicing homosexuality;
• Admiring an older teacher or mentor who is homosexual;
• Attending homosexual social venues (a “gay” club, bar, church youth group);
• Being homosexually molested;
• Having parents who espouse liberal values;
• No strong ties to a conservative church, and hostility toward traditional views.
Stephen and his lovely Brightsmile wife have the right to spew whatever they wish on the air -- it provides great entertainment to read about the level of denial and wingnuttery out there. I am particularly looking forward to what future guests have to say (asterisks indicated they have confirmed; looks like this is mostly a wish list):

Ann Coulter – Syndicated Columnist and Best Selling Author
* Robert Knight – Director of the Culture and Family Institute, an Affiliate of Concerned Women for America
* David Kupelian – Editor of and author of “The Marketing of Evil”
* Judge Janice Law – Texas Judge and Author of “Sex Appealed: Was the U.S. Supreme Court Fooled?”
Senator Rick Santorum (PA) – Author of “It Takes a Family” and U.S. Senator
Barney Frank (MA) – U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
Patricia Heaton – “Debra” of “Everybody Loves Raymond”
Rev. Jerry Falwell – Pastor, Thomas Rhodes Baptist Church & Chancellor, Liberty University
Dr. D. James Kennedy – Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church
* Matt Barber – Former Employee of Allstate Insurance, Fired Over Pro-Family Article
Governor Mitt Romney (MA) – Governor of the State of Massachusetts
Rev. Tony and Peggy Campolo
Tammy Bruce – Best Selling Author, Syndicated Talk Show Host, Official FOX News Contributor
* Sandy Rios – Former President of Concerned Women for America, Official FOX News Contributor
Sean Hannity – Best Selling Author, Syndicated Talk Show Host, “Hannity & Colmes” on FOX News
Gary Bauer – Former Presidential Candidate
Tony Perkins – President of the Family Research Council

Letting Bennett know how harmful his show's content can be to those struggling with coming out, particularly with bible beating family members that buy into Bennett's message, is always worth a shot -- so signing the petition can't hurt.

* BlogActive on Stephen Bennett: "Now, I don't know if he has sex with men any more or not...but I can tell you he sure looks at the guys. Not one male intern walked by Bennett's exhibit table [at a Concerned Women for America conference] without being checked out by Mr. Ex-Gay."

* Ann Coulter to appear on 'Straight Talk'

Must read on Laurel Hester

Surf over to The Big Gay Picture to read Michael Jensen's piece, Dane Wells: How A Straight, White, Middle-Aged Bush Voter Became A Dying Lesbian's Staunchest Ally. It's a wonderful follow-up to the story of Laurel Hester, the NJ police officer who has terminal cancer. She has been fighting the Ocean County Freeholders, who have decided that she cannot leave her pension to her partner.

What Laurel didn't know at the time of her diagnosis was that there would be a second rock supporting her -- one she had not ever dreamed of being able to count on.

His name is Dane Wells, a self-described straight, middle-aged, white guy who had never given gay rights more than a passing thought and calls himself fairly conservative. Indeed, he voted for Bush twice.

But Dane is now leading the fight to force the Republican freeholders of Ocean County to grant Laurel and her partner domestic partnership rights.

Inside a faith-based, Dobson-approved marriage

Nancy Kennedy, a writer that contributes to Daddy Dobson's Focus on the Family web site on marital issues, says in her bio that she "has found contentment and peace despite being in a spiritually unequal marriage for more than 25 years."

She has some interesting tidbits of wisdom to share that give you an peek into what constitutes ideal faith-based marriage in the eyes of Daddy Dobson, since he's offering this stuff up as "advice."
After reading a few eye-opening books on the subject of gender differences and conducting my own casual research, I discovered many of the conflicts in marriages aren't necessarily caused by spiritual differences. Rather, they're caused by simple gender differences. And if you're unaware of those differences, you may inadvertently cause, or at least aggravate, your spiritual differences.

So in hopes that you can avoid making some major mistakes (or halt the ones you’re making now), here’s a mini — crash course in Masculinity 101:

Eight Points That Show, Christian or Not, He's Still a Guy
Point 1: Guys Are Primarily Task and Goal Oriented
Point 2: Guys Are Competitive
Point 3: Guys Need to Be Needed
Point 4: Guys Are Cave Dwellers When Problems Strike
Point 5: Guys Fear Losing Control
Point 6: Guys Fear Being Thought Inadequate
Point 7: Guys Fear Being Hypocrites
Point 8: Guys Dread Midlife
Final Point: Appreciate Your Man
I won't link up to these, you can go to the FoF site and wade through the dreck.

I was fascinated by some of Kennedy's suggestions "to help your husband feel appreciated as the man in your life." Some are quite generic and involve the use of pretty basic communication skills, ones I suppose must be lacking in wingnut households. Way too many border on declaring that Dobson-bot men have egos so fragile that you could snap them like a twig. Hmmmm -- that may explain A LOT about these gasbag wingnut losers. Maybe Nancy is on to something...
Appreciate your man.

* Go to his softball games and pay attention.
* Tell him often that what he does at work is important to you.
* Never belittle or trivialize his work.
* Ask questions about his job. Learn what he does.
* Determine what your husband does well and provide opportunities for him to perform and succeed. Ask him if he would: glue a chair leg, move furniture, change a doorknob, plan a trip, etc.
* Say thank you often.
* Watch your interactions with other men and avoid situations that could be misinterpreted.
* Ask his advice and then take it. If you're not willing to do that, it's better not to ask in the first place.
* Ask for his help.
* Build him up in front of your kids.
* Never correct him in public.
* Dream with him, even if you think his dreams are farfetched. That's what makes them dreams.
* Touch him often, especially when you're listening to him talk.
* Be loyal.
* Enjoy sex. [How is this possible? They are guilty about everything all the time.]

Pray and ask God for creative ways to affirm your husband’s unique maleness. Then go and do it.
I'm wondering what "do it" means, but I don't think it has much to do with non-procreative sexual activity.

'Homeland' security in space

I'm glad to know that the government has its priorities in order. We cannot even secure space located ON the planet, never mind orbit space around the earth. (BBC):
Space tourists must be screened to ensure they are not terrorists, according to proposed regulations from the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The draft report's suggestions aim to prevent a terrorist from destroying a spacecraft or using it as a weapon. However, the report has no strict proposals on the health of any would-be space tourists.

The FAA also suggests space tourism companies check the global "no-fly" list, from the US Homeland Security Department, to exclude potential terrorists.
Excuse me -- that no-fly list is so full of errors and confusions now; it's going to be a REAL help on the rocket ship front.

The truth, Exodus style, in SC

A billboard by Truth Ministry near the Beacon Drive-In on John B. White Sr Boulevard is one of three the organization has erected.

This "ex-gay" billboard BS is not surprising -- it's not as if you expect love and acceptance of the homos in most of SC, home of Bob Jones University, which is in Greenville, one of the places this ministry's billboards are appearing. SC is one of the states with a marriage amendment on the ballot this year -- it's hard work ahead for the South Carolina Equality Coalition. (
"It kind of rubbed me the wrong way. They portrayed homosexuality as being a choice. I don't believe it is," said Stacey Haney, an 18-year-old lesbian and business administration major at the University of South Carolina Upstate. Haney is vice president of the campus Pride organization.

"It's just a very expensive way of showing your ignorance. If they're all about love, then they should be acting like Christians … rather than spending money on something to promote hate."

The argument won't be settled in the Beacon Drive-in parking lot, where one of the billboards is situated, nor on Highway 176 near the First Baptist Church of North Spartanburg, nor on Pleasantburg Drive in Greenville.

...Truth Ministry paid for the other two out of a $25,000 grant it received in the fall from the Spartanburg Christian Community Foundation. Of that grant, $4,000 was to be used for advertising.

...Haney, the USC Upstate student, says that attitude contributes to an atmosphere of un-acceptance. "If my girlfriend and I go out in public and I hold her hand, then I have to worry about who's looking at us, or who's saying something, or who's going to jump out the bushes and beat the crap out of us."
Another phenomenon that doesn't surprise me about South Carolina is the preponderance of billboards along the interstate for topless dance establishments, trucker porno stop-offs and the like.

When Kate and I were driving to Alabama a couple of weeks ago, you couldn't help but notice the screaming, huge billboards while passing through South Carolina -- "24 hours! Girls! Girls! Girls! Topless! NUDE! Exit NOW!!!" In one stretch there were six of them in a row. Once you left the state, I didn't notice any. It's clear that the level of bible beating in this state has to be tied to the level of guilt-ridden beating off in dark dank joints, along with the Sunday prayers to cleanse...and then the cycle starts fresh the next week. Both of us pondered what a heinous job it has to be for the poor shmo cleaning these joints. Blegh.

Truth Ministry, by the way, is affiliated with Exodus International, the notorious "ex-gay" reparative therapy crazies. A testimonial from the web site (oh, my sides are splitting from the hilarity.
The worst words I think I have ever heard in my life were “Daddy, I’m gay”. Those words can send chills down the spine of the strongest man when he hears them from his son. I was devastated by those words. They rang in my ears month after month. What had I done wrong for my son to choose this path for his life? Being a logical person, I decided that he would respond to logic and tried to approach it in that way during the few conversations that we had in those early years of his new lifestyle.

I didn’t know what to do or how to respond to him and at the same time keep our conversations calm. It was a very difficult time for both of us. One thing I knew was that I loved him so much and I wanted him to know that, so I began telling him “I love you” every chance I got. What could I do to reach my son who had taken a path that was both unknown to me and contrary to my beliefs? I realized that I was basically ignorant about the subject, but I wanted to know as much as I could so I could “rescue” my dear son from being gay.

I began reading about the gay lifestyle from a book my pastor encouraged me to read Desires in Conflict. I had been questioning my responsibility in all of this and what I had done or might have done to help precipitate my son’s feelings and actions. I can look back over the years and remember when he was the only boy in the neighborhood so he had to play with the girls. I didn’t always take the time to play with him that I probably should have because I was busy. We did play games together occasionally and I even helped him some with playing on a baseball team. But then his mother and I divorced, and we didn’t get to see each other as much; mostly every other weekend.
What a sad life these folks have. And they still have time to fixate on queer people.

Thanks to Blender DoandMe for the pointer.

Click to read more fresh House Blend.

Darth taken to the hospital

The AP and CNN are reporting (no story up yet) that Dark Lord Sith and VP Dick Cheney has been taken to George Washington University Hospital "suffering shortness of breath." Guess they couldn't hide it this time, so it must be bad. Flip the defibrillator, folks.

UPDATE (7AM): Just fluid build-up because of a foot problem, they say.
Vice President Dick Cheney was taken to George Washington Hospital early Monday experiencing shortness of breath, a spokeswoman said.

Lea Anne McBride said that doctors found his EKG unchanged and determined he was retaining fluid because of medication he was taking because of a foot problem.

Cheney, who has a long history of heart problems and has a pacemaker in his chest, was placed on a diuretic.

Justice Sunday III: libs have it all wrong

Those of us worried that yesteday's gathering of bible-beaters at Justice Sunday III was all about obliterating the line between church and state have nothing to worry about, says our friend Tony Perkins. This statement really puts my mind at ease:
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, which organized "Justice Sunday III," said it wasn't about creating a theocracy. Instead, he said it was a response to rulings like the 5-4 Supreme Court decision prohibiting a display of the Ten Commandments in Kentucky, and a federal judge's declaration that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional.
Anyway, this picture is worth a thousand words:

(AP Photo/Joseph Kaczmarek)

Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, the No. 3 Senate Republican, told the gathering that liberal judges are "destroying traditional morality, creating a new moral code and prohibiting any dissent." And more from Man-On-Dog:
"The Supreme Court has become the supreme branch of the government imposing its unrestrained will on all of the people," Mr. Santorum said. "The only way to restore this Republic our founders envisioned is to elevate honorable jurists like Samuel Alito who will help replace the hubris of this court with humility and respect for the common sense of the American people."
One of the fire-breathing, bible-thumping black homo-bigot pastors at the faith-based trough, Rev. Herbert H. Lusk, who leads Greater Exodus Baptist Church in North Philadelphia where JSIII was held, flapped his "Christian" lips with the usual threats and BS you hear out of the religious right:
[Lusk] railed against gay marriage, abortion and what he termed as Christian-bashing, and warned that those who trifle with "people of god" will face consequences.

"Don't fool with the church," said Rev. Lusk, "because the church has buried many a critic, and all the critics we have not buried we're making funeral arrangements for."

Rev. Lusk has been a figure of controversy since he spoke in support of Mr. Bush from his church in 2000 and was subsequently accused by the leader of Americans United for Separation of Church and State of breaking tax regulations that forbid churches from endorsing candidates. Rev. Lusk has denied any wrongdoing.
Remember, Lusk's church's charitable wing was awarded nearly $1 million in faith-based initiative bucks in 2002 -- and Dear Leader spoke at the church in 2004. Another colored bigot in the pulpit bought off.

Ratzi and the 'culture of death'

Sunday, January 08, 2006

I cannot read crap like this eminating from the mouth of the Prada Pope. While he rants about his perceived corruption of society in regards to sex and issues surrounding birth control or abortion, he needs to expand his "culture of death" definition to include the death of thousands of childhoods that he allowed to be destroyed by pedophile priests, men that he enabled to prey, undeterred, for years. Priests that he shifted around to continue molesting innocents, men in the cloth that he protected with secret settlements and a wink and a nod. The man is pure evil. (Reuters):
Pope Benedict performed the first baptisms of his pontificate on Sunday, using the occasion to launch an impassioned denunciation of irresponsible sex and a "culture of death" that he said pervaded the modern world.

Pope Benedict, abandoning his prepared sermon, compared the wild excesses of the ancient Roman empire to 21st century society and urged people to rediscover their faith.

"In our times we need to say 'no' to the largely dominant culture of death," Benedict said during his improvised homily in the frescoed Sistine Chapel where he was elected Pope last April. "(There is) an anti-culture demonstrated by the flight to drugs, by the flight from reality, by illusions, by false happiness ... displayed in sexuality which has become pure pleasure devoid of responsibility," he added.

Benedict did not spell out what he meant by a "culture of death", but the phrase was a rallying cry of his predecessor John Paul who regularly used the term to define abortion and artificial birth control.

Holy greasing of the wheel, er, ass for the Alito hearings

Can we round up these insane bible beaters now? These are the batsh*t supporters of Strip Search Sammy Alito and Bush - the crazies got into the hearing room and put holy oil on the seats where the principals will sit at the hearings to ensure confirmation.

No offense to voodoo practitioners, but this sort of BS conjures up visions of folks with pins and a doll of the Dems on the Senate Judiciary Committee at this point. (WSJ):
Insisting that God "certainly needs to be involved" in the Supreme Court confirmation process, three Christian ministers today blessed the doors of the hearing room where Senate Judiciary Committee members will begin considering the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito on Monday.

Capitol Hill police barred them from entering the room to continue what they called a consecration service. But in a bit of one-upsmanship, the three announced that they had let themselves in a day earlier, touching holy oil to the seats where Judge Alito, the senators, witnesses, Senate staffers and the press will sit, and praying for each of the 13 committee members by name.

"We did adequately apply oil to all the seats," said the Rev. Rob Schenck, who identified himself as an evangelical Christian and as president of the National Clergy Council in Washington.

Schenck: "God…is interested in what goes on in the nomination hearings." Photo: By Susan Biddle -- The Washington Post
Hey, maybe we'll see a pulsa denura to curse any opponents of Alito for good measure.

Gay priest in Louisiana comes out to flock

Wow. A priest in Thibodaux, Louisiana (who has kept his vows of celibacy) decided to come out to the people in his parish in response to Ratzi's anti-gay policies. May we see more of this continue. (
For years, the Rev. Jim Morrison has counseled Catholic parishioners struggling with their sexual orientation to be honest about it with their loved ones.

On the second day of the new year, Morrison’s desire to practice what he preaches drove him to reveal his own hidden turmoil and acknowledge publicly that, though celibate, he is gay.

...Morrison said he does not intend to resign, as being celibate and gay is not against Catholic doctrine. In an interview, he said he’s not a practicing homosexual and is not in a romantic relationship with anyone.

Louis Aguirre, spokesman for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, said Morrison is not being asked to resign, and Bishop Sam G. Jacobs has not mentioned any actions in response to the letter.

...Morrison said he would heartily agree if the Vatican had chosen to exclude from seminary teaching anyone who had broken a vow of celibacy, both homosexual and heterosexual. But to single out homosexual priests for the rule was "very insulting" and cause for concern, he said.

"It seemed they were concerned about the number of gay candidates pursuing the priesthood," said Morrison. "It was offensive."

Before the new rules, Morrison said, he considered his orientation a non-issue due to his vows of celibacy, but "it became more of a concern to me because I felt that my silence was not helping the situation."

If gay priests identified themselves, maybe the church world would realize that homosexual orientation doesn’t hurt their service to the church, Morrison said.

More attempts on womb control in Virginia

There's a bill now in the Virginia state legislature that would prevent unmarried women (gay or straight) from using assisted reproductive technology. It would also apply to gay men using an unmarried surrogate mother to have kids. The wingnut pushing this bill is Delegate Robert Marshall (R-Manassas), a cretin who also sponsored legislation to ban same-sex marriage and limit access to abortion.

According to the Washington Blade, Marshall pre-filed HB 187 on Jan. 2 for the 2006 state legislative session.
The measure would forbid medical professionals from providing to unmarried women “certain intervening medical technology” that “completely or partially replaces sexual intercourse as the means of conception.” The bill provides a list of medical procedures, including “artificial insemination by donor” and invitro fertilization.

Equality Virginia, the state’s gay political group, denounced the measure as a “direct attack on Virginia’s families,” noting that Marshall co-sponsored an unsuccessful bill in the last legislative session to ban gays from adopting children.
These bottom of the barrel moralists are just so plentiful; can Virginia ever hope to boot them out?

As you may have gathered, Bob isn't a friend of the homos. Here are a few choice quotes from his web site:
"Gay marriage is a moral, physiological and social oxymoron. After 40 years of teaching sex education in the public schools, is this where we are, that two men can marry each other? Even to debate this gives this legitimacy, or the appearance of legitimacy."

"Homosexuals were not brought to the United States in slave ships. They were not denied the franchise. They did not have to go to separate water fountains. They were not segregated into schools."

"I've never seen a water fountain labeled 'heterosexuals only. Not like the 'whites only' or 'colored only' there used to be. When I want to get a driver's license, no one asks me if I'm heterosexual. Same thing with a hunting license."

"Civil union is a proxy for marriage and domestic partnership is a proxy for civil unions."
Phone - 804-698-1013
Fax - 804-786-6310

A Life of Faith -- and slavery

American Girl Dolls and the American Girl organization have been in the news lately, primarily because of the flack received from the bible-beater American Family Association. Parent company Mattel in response severed its association with the pro-feminist Girls Inc.

I'm sure Donald Wildmon and his fringe AFA element have no such problem with A Life of Faith and its collection of dolls, books and other wallet-draining products "where you will find role models that help girls imagine and experience a lifestyle of faith."

I laud this group in a way for attempting to tackle slavery in a context that young girls can understand through dolls and books, but the romanticization of this period on this site in general is extremely disturbing, though mostly it makes me sad. I don't think there's any good way to deal with this issue (race and the legacy of slavery is such a third rail topic, even on the Left), but you can't help wondering what the demographics are of the people that buy into the Life of Faith product line when you read the promotional material.

After all, the Addy doll in the American Girl series deals with Addy and her mother escaping to freedom (based on what's on the site), apparently skirting the issue of daily life as a slave. The Life of Faith series takes it head-on, for better or worse, obviously attempting to put the institution of slavery in the awkward context of how the darkies could tolerate being treated like animals. Well of course, it is because they had faith.

The Laylie Colbert Doll

The promotional copy for "Laylie's Plantation Accessories":
Laylie keeps the hot Southern sun off her face with this wide-brimmed “Sunbonnet Sue” bonnet trimmed in blue gingham ribbon. Like many plantation dwellers, she often carries her belongings in a “sugar sack”—a burlap or muslin bag, screen printed with the identifying design of her plantation. She carries her own tiny black Bible in it.

The marketing copy for Laylie:
While working at Roselands, Laylie’s Christian friend, Millie Keith, let Laylie choose a gown from her personal wardrobe. Laylie chose Millie’s pink printed cotton party dress with ruffles and tiny ribbon flowers at the waist. A plaid sash ties at the back, and bows of the same ribbon adorn the sleeves. Laylie also comes with lacy pantalettes, a petticoat, leather sandals, and her little black Bible. This faith-based, special edition playdoll is 18 3/4" tall, all-vinyl, and fully-jointed so she can be posed in many positions.

Grateful little Laylie got a hand-me-down dress from Miss Millie, who "is fully-jointed so she can sit, stand, and be posed in many positions. She can even put her hands together to pray!"

It's eye-opening to see the prism through which the folks at Life of Faith see the historical period that these dolls "inhabit." You can find this in the Millie's backstory and the charmed bio of the slaveowner's daughter, Elsie Dinsmore, the flagship character. There are books that you can buy, like the American Girls series, that are companions to the dolls to flesh out history (and provide opportunities for parents to spend even more money, of course). From "Elsie's World"...
The Dinsmores are fortunate to live near a church which they can attend each week. But in more remote areas, Christian worship was observed at home, and families welcomed the occasional visit of clergymen, sometimes called "circuit riders," who traveled the countryside on horseback. Plantation-owners were expected to attend to the spiritual needs of their slaves and sometimes employed clergy to conduct services.

At the time this book begins, slavery was accepted economic and social reality in the Antebellum South. Well-to-do planters with large estates, such as the senior Mr. Horace Dinsmore, "owned" many African-American slaves who were regarded as private property. The workers who plowed and planted and harvested the crops were the "field slaves," while "house servants" tended to the needs of the owner, his family, and the large plantation houses.

A master could do much as he pleased to discipline his slaves and could sell his slaves at any time, often separating families in the process. Although the planter's control was nearly absolute, the law regulated the master-slave relationship to some extent. For example, it was illegal to teach a slave to read and write, so Aunt Chloe, who is Elsie's nursemaid, probably learns her Bible by memorizing what she hears.

While many Southerners and Southern churches abhorred slavery and sought to abolish its practice, the right to own slaves was not officially ended in all the United States until the 1865 ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
By the way, you can also learn more about about Manners & Courtship in Elsie's World.

In the area of the site devoted to slave girl Laylie's backstory, there is a section called How we know what slavery was like, which, to be fair, does not completely whitewash the realities of slavery. The history pages also address the role of Christianity -- and the threat to the white power structure with the development of the black church and its ties to black literacy and ultimately freedom. It's simplistic, but it's there. It's the one section on the site that seems more grounded in reality than the rest of the marketing material designed to make little girls feel good about owning and playing with a slave doll.

The Elsie and Mildred portions of the web site are quite full-featured, yet poor Laylie's "Club" page has only the following message:
Thanks for visiting the Laylie Club. We’re sorry that this portion of our web site is not available until further notice. Until then, please visit the following links to the Elsie Club and Millie Club and enjoy the fellowship, devotions, and other great ideas made available there.
What's that about. Did readers leave negative feedback on the page? Is there just not a lot of interest in the Laylie doll -- I wonder why.

I could rail on about this, but there's really no point -- if there's a market for this sort of thing, then someone will provide it -- that's the American way, right? It's just like entering a parallel universe, an alternate, faith-based version of history and reality.


One side note -- it's clear that the Life of Faith organization has concerns that its dolls are made over in China, where sweatshop labor borders on slavery. It attempts to address this little problem in the FAQ on the site.
Why are your dolls manufactured in China?
Companies in the United States are no longer able to manufacture vinyl dolls at a reasonable cost. We could not even find a U.S. manufacturer that was willing and able to do our production given our desire to price the dolls at a reasonable retail level. Since U.S. manufacturing was not a viable option, we searched for companies outside the U.S. that we could trust to create our products to our high quality standards.

We share the concerns of many people about manufacturing in China, so it was only after a great deal of prayer and very careful investigation that we chose to manufacture in China. We believe that God led us to the Chinese company that is doing our doll manufacturing. We have traveled to China to meet with the owners. We talked with them and with many of their managers and factory workers. We toured the entire manufacturing plant. It was clean, bright, and comfortable-the atmosphere was much nicer than many factories in the U.S.

We also toured the associated facilities, including the dormitories/apartments where employees may live (at their option and at no charge), plus the kitchen, the dining rooms, the recreation rooms (which had game tables, game boards, big screen movies, and other fun activities), as well as the medical clinic. Free room and board and free medical care is provided for employees. Employees at the factory work 48 hours per week and there are no children working there. This factory meets international manufacturing and labor standards. By Chinese standards, the pay scale at this factory is higher than most so many people seek to work there. They have a week of vacation six times a year, and three weeks off in a row during Chinese New Year, when the entire nation goes home for the holidays and the factory is closed. The owners of this factory went to university in the U.S. and take great pride in their employees, the excellent craftsmanship of their products, and in their work environment.

One of the key managers we met who is employed by the factory as a production supervisor is a Chinese Christian. She says that she practices her Christianity daily within the manufacturing plant, with the blessing of the owners. (She has even read our A Life of Faith novels!) There are also other Christians working in this factory.

Finally, since we cannot be on-site ourselves during our manufacturing, we have in our employ an outside, independent agent who monitors our production at the factory on a regular basis and facilitates communication between us.
Thanks to Blender Nancy M. for the pointer.

A better list of 10 things about gay marriage

Charlie of the cool Shades of Grey (also a Big Brass Blog contributor and tech whiz) sent me this list making the rounds -- it's a nice tongue-in-cheek counter to the batsh*t crowd's mewlings.
Ten Reasons Gay Marriage Is Wrong

1. Being gay is not natural. And as you know Americans have always rejected unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because, as you know, a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4. Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed. The sanctity of Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

Wingers losing patience with Crazy Pat

Jamie-Andrea Yanak/Associated Press

The NYT has a piece up, Even Pat Robertson's Friends Are Wondering..., that pretty much sums it up. The MSM is addicted to covering this fruitcake's airtime for his crackpot rants, the extreme fringe-dwellers love him, and the talking heads for most of the evangelicals get agita every time Crazy Pat takes to the airwaves. The flap over Pat's belief that God gave Sharon a stroke has sent some of his former allies running for the ibuprofen yet again.
Do conservative Christians still follow Mr. Robertson in large numbers?

Certainly, his following seems to have diminished. Mr. Robertson's political machine, the Christian Coalition, once a powerhouse at mobilizing voters, is limping along since he resigned as president five years ago, fending off a long waiting list of creditors, its presence in the capital reduced to a post office box.

His old friends and allies in the conservative Christian movement are cringing with embarrassment, giving interviews ruing his remarks.
Can you imagine quotes like this coming from the Right, the media or analysts just a couple of years ago?

"He speaks for an ever-diminishing number of American evangelicals, and that process accelerates every time he makes a statement like this."
-- Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

"I know hundreds of people who are just terminally frustrated with the idiotic public statements of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and the idea that these people represent us. They don't."
-- Os Guinness, a prominent Christian writer and social critic

"Pat's comments were most unfortunate. I don't think this served our cause very well."
-- Donald Wildmon, the founder and head of American Family Association and American Family Radio

"Among the elites in the movement, they're getting impatient with him and probably are past the point of being able to take him anymore," But there is a real strong core of activists throughout the country who support and like Pat Robertson, might even agree with some of the things he says, though they might like him to express his views a little more delicately."
-- Mark J. Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University who has followed Mr. Robertson for years.
I personally think it's beautiful. He's losing his mind, but is he really all that more outrageous than he has been in the past, if you think about it -- why the need for them to abandon ship now?

"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson said. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."
-- Pat on The 700 Club on his idea of foreign policy re: Venezuela's president

There is no such thing as separation of church and state in the Constitution. It is a lie of the Left and we are not going to take it anymore.
--Pat Robertson, address to his American Center for Law and Justice, November, 1993.

"The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous document for self-government by Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian and atheistic people they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society."
--The 700 Club, Dec. 30, 1981

How can there be peace when drunkards, drug dealers, communists, atheists, New Age, worshipers of Satan, secular humanists, oppressive dictators, greedy moneychangers, revolutionary assassins, adulterers, and homosexuals are on top?"
-- The New World Order, (1991) p.227

"It is interesting, that termites don't build things, and the great builders of our nation almost to a man have been Christians, because Christians have the desire to build something. He is motivated by love of man and God, so he builds. The people who have come into [our] institutions [today] are primarily termites. They are into destroying institutions that have been built by Christians, whether it is universities, governments, our own traditions, that we have.... The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way it ought to be, and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation."
-- New York Magazine, August 18, 1986

If the widespread practice of homosexuality will bring about the destruction of your nation, if it will bring about terrorist bombs, if it'll bring about earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor, it isn't necessarily something we ought to open our arms to.
-- Pat Robertson, The 700 Club television program, August 6, 1998, on the occasion of the Orlando, Florida, Gay Pride Festival 199

"You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense, I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist. I can love the people who hold false opinions but I don't have to be nice to them."
--The 700 Club, January 14, 1991

"Individual Christians are the only ones really---and Jewish people, those who trust God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob--are the only ones that are qualified to have the reign, because hopefully, they will be governed by God and submit to Him."
--Defending his stance that only Christians and Jews are fit to hold public office, The 700 Club, January 11, 1985

"If anybody understood what Hindus really believe, there would be no doubt that they have no business administering government policies in a country that favors freedom and equality."
--The New World Order, page 219

"You don't dare say America or Christianity is a better way of living. When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. 'What do you mean?' the media challenged me. 'You're not going to bring atheists into the government? How dare you maintain that those who believe the Judeo-Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?' My simple answer is, 'Yes, they are.'"
--The New World Order, 1991

"There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world. How can there be peace when drunkards, drug dealers, communists, atheists, New Age worshipers of Satan, secular humanists, oppressive dictators, greedy money changers, revolutionary assassins, adulterers, and homosexuals are on top?"
--The New World Order, p.227

"[The] feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."
-- Fundraising letter from Pat Robertson that was an in-kind contribution to the Iowa Committee to Stop ERA, as reported in The Washington Post, August 23, 1993

"Many of those people involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals--the two things seem to go together."
-- "The 700 Club," 1/21/93, ADL report on Religious Right, page 131

A Supreme Court ruling is not the Law of the United States. The law of the United Sates is the Constitution, treaties made in accordance with the Constitution, and laws duly enacted by the Congress and signed by the president. And any of those things I would uphold totally with all of my strength, whether I agreed with them or not.... I am bound by the laws of the United States and all 50 states ... [but] I am not bound by any case or any court to which I myself am not a party.... I don't think the Congress of the United States is subservient to the courts.... They can ignore a Supreme Court ruling if they so choose.
-- Pat Robertson, speaking to a group of Washington Post writers, as reported in the Washington Post, June 27,1986
(sources: 1, 2, 3)

Thanks to Holly for the pointer.

* Pat Robertson's brain has turned to mush and Freepers agree

'Brokeback' dropped from theatres in two states

Saturday, January 07, 2006

"It's such a terrible show, and it is such a horrible message. I just think (pulling the show) tells the young people especially that maybe there is something wrong with this show."
-- Gayle Ruzicka president of the Utah Eagle Forum, praising the decision of Larry H. Miller Group not to run the film in its theatre in Salt Lake City.
Man, these theatre-owners have no balls. They're missing out on some ticket sales. We're planning to go tomorrow, as it's opened here in the Triangle. It's playing the independents here, not the chain movie houses -- the Carolina Theatre in Durham, in Raleigh at the The Rialto, and The Varsity in Chapel Hill.
Moviegoers intending to see the highly acclaimed "Brokeback Mountain" Friday night discovered it had mysteriously disappeared at the Megaplex 17 at Jordan Commons, despite ads for it in Salt Lake City's two major newspapers.

The theater is owned by Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. The manager of the Megaplex refused to say why the film had been cancelled. A Miller spokesperson did not return calls.

...The decision by Miller Group to drop the film came a day after another chain suddenly decided not to show the movie in Poulsbo, Washington. The Regal multiplex movie theater ran ads for "Brokeback Mountain" in Thursday's edition of the Kitsap Sun newspaper and was promoting pre-sale tickets at the theater.

But when people went to the theater posters had been removed and the film was not available.
Needless to say, the Knoxville, Tennessee-based Regal didn't return phone calls either.

It's all for sale

It's all over folks. John over at Americablog has a series of posts that will send a chill down your spine:

* Anyone can buy a list of your incoming and outgoing phone calls, cell or land-line, for $110 online

* Congress trying to overturn state privacy laws regarding your phone communications

* Homeland Security is opening private mail

As he said in regards to the last post, which rings true for the first two as well: "Fifteen years afer we defeat the Soviet Union we become them." Actually, it's worse. Private companies -- telecommunications giants -- are making a killing while third parties as well as the government can monitor private citizens.

The Chicago Sun-Times has the goods on the extent of this unbelievable breach of privacy rights for a goddamned buck.

How well do the services work? The Chicago Sun-Times paid $110 to to purchase a one-month record of calls for this reporter's company cell phone. It was as simple as e-mailing the telephone number to the service along with a credit card number. The request was made Friday after the service was closed for the New Year's holiday.

On Tuesday, when it reopened, e-mailed a list of 78 telephone numbers this reporter called on his cell phone between Nov. 19 and Dec. 17. The list included calls to law enforcement sources, story subjects and other Sun-Times reporters and editors.

My first thought on the ability of the average Joe to obtain your cell phone logs is that this revelation must send shivers down the spines of those working in the domestic abuse field. How many women will die as these "services" become widely publicized? How many people will find that their stalkers and freakshow neighbors/coworkers/employers will be helping themselves to information that you thought was private?

Gee, if you're gay and don't want someone to know it, this sort of crap may result in the closet door being kicked open for you. And if you're HIV+, well, this is one easy way to lose the privacy of that information if you call a hotline or AIDS services clinic. Toss HIPAA out the window.

Why wasn't closing this Holland Tunnel-sized hole in privacy on the radar when the Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized on the Hill? Certainly Congress could have held hearings to explain the gravity of this. Why not?

They are in the pockets of the telecommunications giants that trade and sell your information and these Repugs aren't about to worry about your rights.

The BS is that Congress knew about this since last July when the WaPo ran an article about this, and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called for legislation to criminalize this crap and it's been wasting away. That's something, but why on earth isn't there hell being raised?

Of course, they are all screwing themselves as well, because, ostensibly, anyone can pay a few hundred dollars to see who Tom DeLay, Ken Mehlman, Karl Rove (or Bill O'Reilly or Jeff Gannon, for that matter) have been calling and they can't do anything about it either.

Don't these dolts realize the loss of privacy goes both ways? Small fish like news about Rev. Lonnie Latham getting busted for offering a blow-job to a cop are going to be old news. There are bigger fish to fry, at $110 a pop -- and all those homo-hypocrites are going to end up on someone's hit list, and it won't be pretty.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not advocating that in this least, but what's to stop someone from doing this? Nothing. Folks on the Left and the Right should be up in arms about this.

We need statements from Verizon, Cingular, Nextel -- and all the rest -- about what they are doing with our information, and how much money they are making off of it.

Each and every Senator and Congressman should be called/fax/emailed and asked about their position on this.

Shakes Sis
also weighs in.

Florida's marriage amendment on the ropes

The wingers are having a hard time rounding up enough signatures for an amendment in Jebbie's state. They have about 150K of the 600K sigs needed to get the amendment on the ballot.

The wingers, being guided by Falwell's legal bootlicker Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel, are desperately trying to light a fire under the bible-beaters by giving out talking points to pastors and giving out petitions in churches. The umbrella organization for this is called

1) If your church has not collected petitions, please talk with your pastor immediately about doing so in the next 2 weeks. To help you as you talk with your pastor, all of the resources are available on this site in the Pastors Resource Center.

2) Become a Defender of Marriage: Make 10 copies of the petition and get 10 friends or family members to sign the petition this week. Then urge each of those 10 people to also get 10 more people to sign it and mail it in.

3) ATTENTION VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Volunteers are urgently needed during the month of January 2006 to help complete the petition drive. Thousands of petitions from around the state are arriving daily at several Central Florida processing centers. Your help is needed to sort and process the petitions before our deadline. For those who live outside of Central Florida, help is needed with conducting phone banks. Sign up to help in the JOIN US tab of this site or call 407-251-5130 or e-mail
Here is an example of one of the "pastor resources" on the web site -- talking points to spew from the pulpit.
Top ten talking points about same sex marriage
By John Stemberger
President and general counsel, Florida Family Policy Council, Inc.

1) Collective wisdom-all the collective wisdom of human history, not to mention biology, logic and common sense shows us that marriage is designed to be between a man and a woman.

2) Creating same sex families-when you create a same sex marriage you are also creating a same sex family, and so the question now becomes what is in the best interests of children

3) Social experiment-same sex marriage subjects children to a vast untested social experiment

4) Socializing children-children need to grow up understanding the proper human relationships between a man and woman, a mother and father, and a husband and wife

5) Dads and moms matter-children need both a mother and a father. The two most loving moms can not be a dad and the two most loving dads can not be a mom and children need both

6) The research is clear-the research is crystal clear, children always do better in families with a mother and a father

7) Loving and civilized societies-a loving and civilized society always comes to the aid of fatherless and motherless families. But a loving and civilized society never intentionally creates fatherless and motherless families as a matter of law and public policy

8) If marriage means anything-if marriage can mean anything then marriage means nothing

9) Relationship buffet-no society ancient or modern has ever sustained itself with a buffet like mentality when it comes to marriage and family

10) Slippery slope-establishing same sex marriage as a fundamental right will undermine current polygamy laws and create a new legal precedent for anything goes forms of marriage

* much credit for many of these themes goes to the outstanding work of Glenn Stanton with Focus on the Family
How about some of the sample sermons to help ministers in spreading word about the imminent threat of the homos on each and every marriage...
Sample Sermons:

The Safety of Natural Order, Same-Sex "Marriage" is an Injustice to Children by Rev. Ken Hutcherson, Antioch Bible Church

Graphic: Mike Tidmus

[Hey remember Ken? He was the homo-bigot who planned a boycott of $30+ billion dollar Microsoft if it supported an anti-discrimination bill in Washington State. ]

Standing Up for Truth and Justice for Children  Daniel 3; Ephesians 6:11-13 By Michael A. Snyder, Esq. Senior Vice President of Prison Fellowship, in charge of the Wilberforce Forum

God's Design for Marriage and Family  By Dr. John Guest, Senior Pastor, Christ Church at Grove Farm<

Taking a Stand for Marriage By Rev. Jon Rogers, Pastor on Staff, Florida Family Policy Council (with accompanying Power Point presentation)
I didn't bother checking out the Powerpoint presentation. If you all want to take a look and report back on the predictably nauseating homophobic dreck likely in there, feel free.

Homo-bigot pastor who offered a BJ to an undercover male cop resigns

Friday, January 06, 2006

Anti-gay pastor Lonnie Latham has stepped down as minister of his church, following his arrest for "pastoring to police"... er, offering up a blow job to a cop in a notorious pick-up area in Oklahoma City. Here is the statement from South Tulsa Baptist Church.

He also resigned from the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and the Southern Baptist Convention.
In his official letter of resignation to the BGCO, he only cited personal reasons for his decision to resign.

“We are deeply saddened by the recent events regarding Lonnie. We continue to be concerned for South Tulsa Baptist Church and the Latham family. We pray Lonnie will find healing and restoration as he seeks help for the issues he faces,” said Heidi B. Wilburn, spokeswoman for the BGCO. “Lonnie’s resignation has been accepted without the BGCO Board of Directors having to take initiative regarding the matter. Lonnie also indicated he has resigned from the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention.”
I decided to wade into Freeperland to see what laughable defenses or damnation awaited Latham, and I found both. We have "the bitch set me up" defense, and multiple "burn him at the stake" comments.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"Maybe he was reciting the 23rd psalm to the man and there was some confusion about what exactly was meant by "thy rod and thy staff"......"

"If he's convicted and has to do any time, he might find out what the rod and the staff is."

"If it is true, hold him to the fire. Unlike liberals who want to lower standards, I'm all for raising the standards."

"Hey, some people are hypocrites. But some people do get set up. Or, there have been some misunderstanding in the conversation between the two, with each hearing what he expected to. Or the police officer might have gotten offended by the ministering, and being a Democrat had no qualms about trying to destroy someone's life. Or, maybe the complaint is valid. But I'll give the accused the benefit of the doubt until the evidence comes in."

"The Gay Mafia at work. He was set up. The story doesn't even begin to pass the smell test."

"Wouldn't it have made more sense for him to say he was ministering to prostitutes?"

"Unless he has a very odd definition of "ministering." :)"

"I'm just saying, if you wanted to minister to police, where would you look for them? Look for a bunch of prostitutes and wait for 'em to show up? Seems iffy to me. But now he knows where the precinct is located and maybe he did some ministering while there."

"The folks that say that aren't Biblical Scholars. They're faggots in the cloth trying to rot the institution from the inside."

"What exactly is lacking in the story. From everything I have heard about the Habana Inn you are only there for one reason and it ain't sleeping."

"Was money involved, or was this simply asking a willing participant (or in this case, someone pretending to be willing) to later engage in private sex? If it's the latter, then this doesn't sit right with me. It sounds like an infringement of basic rights of speech and association."

"This is why I don't think I'm completely crazy when I wonder about some of the people on FR who seem to have the most energy for homophobia."

"PUH-LEEZE lay off the nonsensical "phobic" tag. Classic liberal tactic: If you don't approve of something, you must be afraid of it, enough so in fact to warrant a mental health kind of label. Here's reality: There's absolutely nothing wrong with disapproving of homosexual behavior. Even if you take a purely secular view and ignore the moral aspects, it's quite possibly the most destructive behavior on the planet. It's that behavior that is worthy of a mental health label, not disapproval thereof. As for this pastor, if he's guilty, he's a hypocrite, but also remember that Christians don't claim to be perfect. Just forgiven. If he did it, he needs help and I hope he gets it. If he was set up, I hope his name is cleared."

"hey, at least he wasn't engaged in 'tribal gaming' !"

"A minister with a 2005 Mercedes? Not only does this NOT sound like a setup it sounds like it is true."

"If he was set up, I hope his name is cleared. If he did it, he knew very well what he was doing, and he needs to confess it and repent...not claim to be "pastoring". The "help" he needs can only come after that."

"Are we to always disbelieve the police because they are always corrupt and Southern Baptist pastors are known to never lie?"

"How does someone get "set up" when HE's the one asking another male to visit his happy place? Latham didn't deny he made the request. He wants us to believe he somehow was manipulated into asking for something he wouldn't ordinarily ask for."

"Apparently Latham has a history of "pastoring" in the area of the Habanna Inn, the "Southwest's largest gay resort". Public records show that on December 2, 1998, at about 11:30pm, Latham was issued a traffic ticket for "failure to stop for a stop sign" at NW 39th and Frankford. This intersection is only blocks from where Latham was arrested and serves as rear access (no pun intended) to the Habanna Inn."

"How did he know the cop was a cop, when he was undercover and posing as a prostitute? The pastor is full of ****, he tried to pay for a lewinsky from a man and got busted and now he's in panic CYA mode."
My earlier post on Latham's Big Boys Night Out is here.

Israel's 'Crazy Pats'

The unhinged nut cases exist all over, but these folks are just over the edge, in Crazy Pat Land.
Far-right activists took credit Thursday for the severe deterioration in Ariel Sharon's health, claiming that a pulsa denura - Aramaic for "lashes of fire" - death curse they instigated against the prime minister in July was the real catalyst behind his current state of health.

"I take full responsibility for what happened," far-right activist Baruch Ben-Yosef, one of the participants at the July pulsa denura, told The Jerusalem Post. "Our pulsa denura kicked in. Nothing could kill Sharon and he said his ancestors lived until they over 100 years old but we got him with the pulsa denura."

On Wednesday night, Ben-Yosef and additional far-right activists gathered in the Samaria settlement of Kfar Tapuah to honor Binyamin Kahane - son of Meir Kahane - and his wife Talya who were murdered by Palestinian terrorists exactly five years ago. Upon hearing the news of Sharon's stroke, Ben-Yosef said, the group broke out in song and dance and celebrated the prime minister's fall throughout the night.
And what about this wild-eyed freak -- he sounds ready for the straitjacket...

Fringe activist Michael Ben-Horin, also a participant, told WND, "Sharon cannot be assassinated by a man. He has too many guards and too much security around him. We believe in god, so we are asking god to kill him."

Asked what would be the most appropriate death for Sharon, Ben-Horin replied, "The best thing would be for a Qassam rocket to fall on him like he lets them fall on Jews in Gush Katif. But we'll take what we can get."
Thanks to House Blender and Julien's List contributor Holly for the pointer.

The abstinence queen's back...

Leslie Unruh is a woman who, as The Revealer says, has an "almost hallucinatory fear of condoms." She demonstrates that all too well here, since she can't even say the word "condom."

But make no mistake -- she doesn't want any tax dollars being spent on them.
Proponents of abstinence education hope 2006 will be a positive year in their efforts to fight back the attacks on their cause from those who want to promote what some are calling the "C" message -- safe sex through contraceptives and condom use.

Leslie Unruh, founder of Abstinence Clearinghouse, is preparing for the struggle. "We really want to plead to the Bush administration and to all of those who are taking the federal funding," she says, imploring "let's clean this up and let's get rid of the contraception and let's get rid of the 'C' message, and domestically and internationally, let's have the tax dollars going to character education, which is abstinence until marriage." Unruh insists that abstinence remains the only 100 percent effective way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

The L Word tackles transgender storyline this season

I'm looking forward to seeing the new season of Showtime's The L Word, which starts on Sunday. It will be interesting to see how they tackle a trans storyline (FTM). The only reservation I have is that the character will be interacting with the character everyone hates, the horrible bi chick Jenny (Mia Kirshner).

Jenny spent the first season f*cking her boyfriend/husband, figuring out how to boink a woman, writing bad poetry and communing with manatees with her pretentious bullsh*t musings superimposed on the screen. Season two saw her cut her hair, cut herself, boink more chicks, have weird childhood flashbacks, move in with the popular character Shane McCutheon (Katherine Moenning, what a great actress) and spend time in an S&M dungeon. You got the feeling the writers were trying to make the viewers feel sorry for Jenny so we'd like her. Uh, no. She still sucks.

Anyway, Southern Voice has a good article on the L Word goings-on for 2006.
But the most prominent addition to the cast is Daniela Sea as Moira, a butch lesbian who Jenny (Mia Kirshner) befriends when living at her parents' house in the Midwest. Jenny brings Moira back to Los Angeles.

Without giving too much away, Moira eventually decides to make the transition to become a man.

Series executive producer and writer Chaiken (l) with Daniela Sea. Photo: Beth Karpfinger

"The transgender story for us is a big story," Chaiken says. "In our group [of writers], we had a number of women who had exes who were now men or becoming men and going through the permutations of gender redefinition."

Chaiken says the most difficult aspect of the story was finding an actress who was believable in the role.

"I was aware that it could be gruesome if we cast someone you didn't believe," she says. "On the occasions when Hollywood decides to do trans stories, it can be really bad. Having lived in a community and known lots of transgender people, we know there are certain things we look for in mannerism and voice, and I wanted it to be real. Daniella was the one person who I absolutely believed in this part."
Check out the rest of the article, which also features details on NBC's The Book of Daniel.


A really good show, while we're talking about transgender issues, is the documentary series Transgeneration, which airs on Sundance. I blogged about it here, when Kate and I got to see a preview during the NC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. We had the good fortune to have one of the young people in the doc, T.J., there at the festival to do a Q&A after the screening.

Mattel caves on Barbie website flap

CWA's Bob Knight flapping his gums at Mattel for "creating gender confusion" on the Barbie web site obviously got the toy maker's attention. It pacified the hysterical wingnut. (PageOneQ):
Under pressure initiated by a variety of conservative groups, the Barbie website has been amended to no longer include "I Don't Know" as a choice in addition to "Girl" and "Boy."

...Acknowledging that children are given a neutral or non-response option on all questions on their websites, Mattel spokeswoman Lauren Bruksh called such an option under gender, "just an innocent oversight."
* Joseph of Hughes for America on the war on Barbie.

The Pentagon let them die

"Our preliminary research suggests that as many as 42 percent of the Marine casualties who died from isolated torso injuries could have been prevented with improved protection in the areas surrounding the plated areas of the vest. Another 23 percent might have been saved with side plates that extend below the arms, while 15 percent more could have benefited from shoulder plates."
-- a secret Pentagon study, revealing yet again that the government doesn't give a damn about soldiers
Extra Armor Could Have Saved Many Lives, Study Shows (NYT). Why does the Pentagon hate American troops? These brave men and women place their trust in the government to do all in its power to protect and arm them to effectively serve their country and instead they get sh*t on by this Administration.
A secret Pentagon study has found that at least 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to their upper body could have survived if they had extra body armor. That armor has been available since 2003 but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials.

The ceramic plates in vests currently worn by the majority of military personnel in Iraq cover only some of the chest and back. In at least 74 of the 93 fatal wounds that were analyzed in the Pentagon study of marines from March 2003 through June 2005, bullets and shrapnel struck the marines' shoulders, sides or areas of the torso where the plates do not reach.

Thirty-one of the deadly wounds struck the chest or back so close to the plates that simply enlarging the existing shields "would have had the potential to alter the fatal outcome," according to the study, which was obtained by The New York Times.
You can get the report here (PDF).

As Blender Paul said in his pointer, "I wonder if they are going to have an investigation to see who leaked this?" Don't worry -- they'll be quite effective in rooting out the "rat" instead of protecting the troops.

* The shame of Bush's America, part 2: soldiers survive, but are maimed for life

O'Reilly, do you really want to go there?

O'Lielly sounds like he's all for outing personal peccadillos, based on this clip at Crooks and Liars.

Blowhard Bill can work on digging into the personal lives of folks he has a beef with, and bloggers can start asking a few choice questions of folks like Dave Dreier and Kenny Boy.
He threatened Rich and Keller tonight on his show during this exchange. (transcript NewsHounds)

JUAN WILLIAMS:  I was listening to your Talking Points and there you are, threatening Bill Keller and Frank Rich and I thought: What are you gonna do to them if they engage in the politics of personal attack against the President?

O'REILLY: It's a good question, Juan, and I don't see it as a threat. I mean, I think you have to say to people, as we do with all our guests here, this is what's likely to happen and, if they continue  - those people continue - to attack people personally as Frank Rich does almost every week and Keller allows it, then we'll just have to get into their lives.

Holy rollers on Crazy Pat

The question:
What do you think of Pat Robertson's statement that God is punishing Sharon?

The answers, in the WorldNetDaily poll (so far):

Only 4% of these folks think he's a nut case?

Gene Shalit on Brokeback's 'predatory' character

What a maroon. The Advocate has a story up on Gene Shalit's review of Brokeback Mountain, and it's safe to say he was probably squirming in his seat most of the way through it.
In a bizarre piece of commentary for the "Critic's Corner," Shait deemed Jake Gyllenhaal's character, Jack, a "sexual predator" who "tracks Ennis down and coaxes him into sporadic trysts."

The "characterization of Jack as a "predator" and Ennis (Heath Ledger) as a victim reflects a fundamental lack of understanding about the central relationship in the film and about gay relationships in general," GLAAD said in a statement. "It seems highly doubtful that Shalit would similarly claim that Titanic's Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) was a "sexual predator" because he was pursuing a romantic relationship with Rose (Kate Winslet)."

Shalit did praise Ledger's performance and said the movie does have a few dramatic peaks, but he added that the film was "wildly overpraised, but not by me."

The GLAAD statement added that "Shalit has every right as a film critic to criticize 'Brokeback Mountain.' But his baseless branding of Jack as a "sexual predator" merely because he is romantically interested in someone of the same sex is defamatory, ignorant and irresponsible. And it is equally irresponsible for NBC News to have given Shalit a platform for his gratuitously offensive comments."
GLAAD should take a deep breath and calm down. Shalit's entitled to his homophobic opinion, just like the unhinged "former homo" Stephen Bennett or Focus on the Family Action "Analyst" Caleb H. Price. I say let it all hang out -- he clearly has a bias and discomfort about homosexuality, and now everyone knows it.

'Christians' for torture

Doing it the AgapePress way...we on the left just don't get it. Torture is good -- and effective. Since this news clip is appearing on the American Family Association's news organ, one has to assume this is A-OK with them.
A former military attache to President Bill Clinton says Senator John McCain and many on the left do not seem to understand the difference between coercive interrogation and real torture when it comes to trying to get information from dangerous terrorists.

Retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Buzz Patterson is concerned about the recent decision by President Bush to support Senator McCain's amendment for banning "cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of prisoners." Patterson insists that what the U.S. military does is not torture. He says, "Coercive interrogation has to be a tool that we have, especially with terrorists. Really, all it amounts to is making that person uncomfortable for a period of time until he will talk."

The former U.S. Air Force pilot notes that, during his military service, he had to go through prisoner of war training and he and fellow trainees "were all subject to coercive interrogation by people simulating being our captors ... so I had that done to me, personally. And I will tell you, none of it leaves any aftereffects. There's no physical damage, no mental damage." Patterson believes it is a terrible move by the U.S. government to let terrorists know what American military personnel will and will not do to them as prisoners.

Caption this

Actual caption:President Bush, center, meets Thursday, Jan. 5, 2006, with present and former Secretaries of State and Defense in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. Bush is pressing ahead with a public relations offensive on Iraq, bringing a bipartisan group of former secretaries to the White House for give-and-take on the unpopular military mission. Left to right are Secretary of State Donald H. Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Cheney looks like he's about to hurl -- or fall asleep -- on Dear Leader.

Bumper excitement

I'm so jazzed. I finally ordered stuff from (man, they should advertise), and now I have my Fish N Chips emblem to stick on the back of my Focus wagon.

While I was at it, I also got this nifty sticker...

And I surfed over to Bright Blue Dot to get that sticker as well.

Question of the day -- how long do you think I'll drive around NC before I get 1) flipped the bird and 2) my car defaced?

This and that in the mailbag

Stuff coming in that you might want to check out...

* Steve in SC wrote me about his efforts in that state to fight the marriage amendment there. The folks in the South Carolina Equality Coalition have a great web site up and a big battle ahead of them. Here's the action plan to get the vote out. The constitutional amendment will be voted on this November. According to, amendments limiting marriage to opposite sex-couples will be on the ballot in Alabama, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee. Alabama's a shoe-in. Sorry, Katie.

* Paul points to a story in The Olympian about the GOP wankers in the Washington state Senate that are mad that a decision is coming down in the state Supreme Court over gay marriage. The lawmakers want to have "the final say." Bring out the tiny violin...Paul noted that he found the article interesting because: "here in California our Republican governor recently vetoed a gay marriage bill presented to him by the legislature. He said that he felt that body was not the proper one to approve gay marriage. Can you say "Catch 22"?"

* Nancy Goldstein's latest column at Raw Story is up, The new Gilded Age, and she notes:
I ask why it is that the excesses of the New Gilded Age, made possible by the take-from-the-poor-and-give-to-the-rich policies of the Bush administration have not:
a) led to any of the upheavals that marked the end of the first Gilded Age--strikes, riots, the creation of labor unions, legislation to rein in the excesses of big business--or
b) any of the attempts to protect the rights of consumers, workers, immigrants, or the poor that followed, during the Progressive era?
* Ms. Julien rightfully sounds the horn on yet another privacy wall coming down -- IRS tracked taxpayers’ political affiliation.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., a member of an appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the IRS, said the practice was an “outrageous violation of the public trust” that could undermine the agency’s credibility.

IRS officials acknowledged that party affiliation information was routinely collected by a vendor for several months. They told the vendor last month to screen the information out.
* Speaking of privacy, Holly wonders about womb control in Indiana (what is it with the Hoosiers this week?) -- Lawmaker's goal: Overturn Roe v. Wade.
Abortion would be illegal for most women in Indiana, including victims of rape and incest, under a bill filed this week in the Indiana House.

Indiana's legislators have chipped away at abortion for decades, imposing waiting periods and other restrictions, but the measure proposed by Rep. Troy A. Woodruff, R-Vincennes, is the first direct attempt in years to outlaw most abortions.

* MadKane has another witty ditty up: Say Goodbye To Tom DeLay.

* I don't receive the gay-themed here! channel in Durham, but there is a new lesbian romantic comedy premiering on the network called April Showers. It will be in limited release to theatres and will be coming to Cary on 1/27 (other areas are listed here). I'm hoping to get a review copy -- they are advertising on the Blend -- and let you all know what I think of it. There are so many dreadful lesbian films out there -- some that I've seen at the Gay and Lesbian film festival have been laughably bad, so bad that the notoriously dreadful Claire of the Moon looked good in comparison. I'm holding high hopes that "April" will be a worthwhile sit.

* And last, but not least, Pandagon has received a spiffy makeover -- go check it out.

Gay soldier attacked at Fort Huachuca is discharged

Even worse is the fact that his attacker remains on duty. Kyle Lawson was outed at a party and he suffered numerous threats and assaults by fellow homophobic soldiers. In many of the cases, no one was charged or they received a wrist slap. I first posted about this story here. (SLDN):
Kyle Lawson, a 19-year old Army Private who was recently attacked by a fellow soldier who learned Lawson is gay, was discharged yesterday from the Army. Officials at Fort Huachuca, where Private Lawson and his attacker were both stationed, have refused to say if any appropriate action has been taken to hold his attacker, Private Zacharias Pierre, accountable.

"The Army should retain patriotic soldiers like Private Lawson and discharge those who viciously beat their colleagues out of sheer prejudice, like Private Pierre," said C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN). "Harassment will continue to flourish and commanders will continue to condone that harassment, as they appear to have done in this case, so long as it remains official policy to discharge soldiers for being gay. Congress and the Pentagon must repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' immediately and impose strict penalties against those who engage in any form of harassment. If America is fighting for democracy abroad, it must abide by those same principles at home."

Private Lawson's nose was broken and he was later threatened with a knife after a friend revealed during a Battalion party in October that Lawson is gay. While Private Pierre was originally charged with aggravated assault by civilian police, Fort Huachuca officials have decided not to prosecute the case "for reason fort officials say they are not at liberty to explain," according to press reports. Lawson says the solider used an anti-gay slur during the attack.

The SLDN is also on working on another front -- to answer the question of whether the Pentagon is spying on civilian meetings related to "don't ask, don't tell." It filed a Freedom of Information Act request to learn if SLDN or other LGBT organizations have been monitored by the Bush Admin.
"The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is justifiably alarmed to learn that the federal government has been spying on private citizens exercising their first amendment rights to speak, protest and gather,” said C. Dixon Osburn, Executive Director of SLDN.

"We demand to know which LGBT groups have been monitored, what data has been gathered about those groups and why Pentagon leaders consider law-abiding citizens to be a threat to our national security. As Edward R Murrow said during the McCarthy era, ‘We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. . . . we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.'"

The December media reports said that Pentagon investigators labeled one anti- "don't ask, don't tell" a "credible threat" of terrorism.

The Corporate Homo Trojan Horse

Damn. He cannot shut his pie hole. The corporate embrace of homosexual activism has come with breathtaking speed, according to our homo-obsessed, penis-possessing friend Bob Knight of the Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute. In fact, he has our game plan all figured out. I'm glad he's laying it out for the whole world to see.

This, my friends, is the plan in place to take over corporate America...
Homosexual activists who target companies follow a series of steps, increasing their demands. They press for:

1. Official recognition of a homosexual employees group.

2. Adding "sexual orientation" to the company's nondiscrimination code.

3. Including "sexual orientation" in diversity workshops and materials.

4. Inviting homosexual speakers who liken "sexual orientation" to race and ethnicity, and disparage traditional morality as a form of bigotry.

5. Creating health and other traditional spousal benefits for domestic partners.

6. Displaying "gay"-friendly indicators, such as upside-down pink triangles in cubicles and offices that indicate a "safe" space for homosexuals.

7. Recognizing homosexual partners in a fashion identical to married partners, including equal access at company picnics and fitness centers.

8. Creation of "gay pride" days and weeks, with company support.

9. Company floats with corporate logos in "gay pride" parades.

10. Company funding of outside homosexual activist groups, such as the Human Rights Campaign, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

11. Ending the practice in the office of referring to one's spouse as husband or wife in favor of more "inclusive" terms such as partner or significant other.

12. Having company employees press lawmakers for "gay rights" laws, such as the proposed federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act or federal "hate crime" laws.

13. Punishing employees who object to open displays of homosexuality, such as two women kissing in front of other employees, or the company's support for homosexual activism.
Bob is distraught that corporations are destroying society with these measures -- as we all were hoping, right? How can homos sleep at night if we have not wreaked havoc on the bedrock of society? Next on our list is setting up "gay conversion" camps, loading up boxcars of fundamentalists to indoctrinate them with the all kinds of queer activities. How could Bob have missed that in the plan?
Many of the largest corporations in America have bought into the homosexual agenda and are helping to fashion a future in which Christian, orthodox Jewish and other employees who hold traditional beliefs will face discipline, loss of promotions and even get fired for their beliefs. It's also a future in which Christian-owned companies will lose contracts and face discrimination lawsuits if they act to uphold Christian morality. In California, under a state law, companies that do business with the state government must subsidize homosexual relationships, regardless of the beliefs of the company owners.

In the name of "diversity," America is becoming a place in which Christians will find themselves on the wrong side of corporate policies if they cling to their belief that marriage requires one man and one woman, and that homosexuality is outside God's plan for healthy living.

Corporate "gay" activism is a Trojan horse for the larger social agenda of destroying America's Judeo-Christian-based foundation and replacing it with an anything-goes, hedonistic society hostile to Biblical morality.

Dumbass of the day

The only thing disqualifying him from winning a Darwin Award is that he didn't die. (Independent):
Trevor Corneliusen, a 26-year-old musician and amateur painter, can surely now understand what it means to be a slave to his art. How better to describe his ordeal this week when he shackled his ankles then realised he had lost the key? This might have been merely a minor inconvenience but for one detail. Mr Corneliusen was in a California desert at the time. In fact, he was in an abandoned silver-mine in Death Valley, which has claimed many lives.
We should think of a better name for this kind of an award (for the dolts that manage to live); any suggestions, inspirations?

And this is news to...?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Kevin Spacey outed. After the ludicrous story of being chased by a mugger at 4:30 AM while walking his dog in a London park (well-known as a cruising spot), I think Spacey's just in denial.

Crazy Pat says God's brought on Sharon's stroke

Didn't you know? Sharon was "dividing God's land," so Pat said the Big Guy sent a clot to his brain. From the 700 Club, via Media Matters:
Sharon was personally a very likeable person. I am sad to see him in this condition. But I think we need to look at the Bible and the Book of Joel. The prophet Joel makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who, quote, "divide my land." God considers this land to be his. You read the Bible, he says, "This is my land." And for any prime minister of Israel who decides he going carve it up and give it away, God says, "No. This is mine."

...Ariel Sharon, who was again a very likeable person, a delightful person to be with. I prayed with him personally. But here he is at the point of death. He was dividing God's land, and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations or United States of America. God said, "This land belongs to me, you better leave it alone."
Hat tips to Blenders Holly and Cat.


Doesn't it seem like Pat's God is always angry, full of vengeance and bile? The floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, all of it. Maybe it's just me, but Pat's treading dangerously into Fred Phelps territory.

Speaking of The Rotting CryptkeeperTM, did you know that Angry God struck down those miners because of the homos, who are now on that Big Gay Brokeback Mountain in the sky? Good As You has the scoop.

Bill O'Reilly and bestiality - again

What is his obsession with interspecies relations? Media Matters wants to know. Again, the gasbag wanker gets on the air and makes an ass out of himself.

On the January 4 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly once again repeated his argument that legalizing same-sex marriage will lead to nuptials between humans and other species. In the "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day" segment, O'Reilly said that "[o]ne of the arguments against gay marriage, that we just spoke about, is that if it becomes law, all other alternative marital visions will be allowed." He then related the story of a British woman, Sharon Tendler, who "married" a dolphin in Israel.
As I said, this isn't his first excursion into beast-love; he's said same-sex marriage will lead to walks down the aisle for humans and goats, and humans and ducks.

Bigotry in NC ski country

This kind of hatred and bigotry has no place in my state. While I am not surprised at the depth of contempt some have for gay and lesbian citizens, this story is a reminder that you can be fired simply for being gay.

House Blender Ann, who is over in Asheville (an otherwise gay-friendly city in NC), alerted me to the plight of two friends of hers that married in Massachusetts. When they returned to NC, the Asheville Citizen-Times made history by agreeing to print their submitted photo and wedding announcement. Ann covered this landmark event for the local gay paper. That's all the good news. Here's Ann:
Soon after, the lovely couple was dismissed from their employment. Here is the link to a site that explains what happened:

Since NC is a 'right to work state' there seems little hope of suing the company and winning. So, the couple have decided to launch a media campaign. I put them in touch with some folks I know at GLAAD who have offered some very good advice on how to proceed with their campaign. I am sure there are some Blenders who might ski in NC and wanted to let them know what was going on.
Here is the letter from Laurel.
Hello All,

I’m writing to let you know about a recent development with my business and to ask for your support.

As many of you already know, Virginia and I recently got legally married in Provincetown, Mass. Upon our return to Asheville, we decided to submit our wedding announcement to the Asheville Citizen-Times. Much to our delight, the newspaper readily accepted our announcement and ran it in the Nov. 6th issue. To our knowledge, this was the first same-sex wedding announcement with photo that was run in the AC-T.

We received much positive feedback about our wedding and about our decision to submit our announcement. Unfortunately, we also lost our winter business. It seems that the owner(s) of Wolf Laurel Slopes, where we had been doing ski and snowboard photography for the past two seasons, did not want us there any longer once they heard about the publication of our announcement. While they initially gave us some reasons that did not hold water, they eventually confirmed that they did not want us there because we are a lesbian couple.

Orville English, the primary owner, gave me the news that we could not do business there at a very late date, just two days before the ski season was scheduled to open, and after Virginia and I had spent the previous month preparing and ordering supplies for this season.

For the past two seasons, All Terrain Images was allowed to take and sell photographs of skiers and snowboarders in exchange for allowing the ski resort free use of a variety of our photographs in its marketing materials. While English and his partner, Rick Bussey (also affiliated with Blue Ridge Savings Bank and Scenic Wolf Ridge), decided to terminate the part of the agreement allowing us to operate and generate income at their resort, they decided they would continue using our photographs for their own benefit.

We have always been extremely professional and conducted a respectable business at Wolf Laurel, and we added a valuable service to skiers and snowboarders who visited the resort. We have gone out of our way to provide excellent quality photographs for Wolf Laurel’s use in promoting their resort. We’ve made the ski area look good in our photographs, which is not always an easy task on these particular slopes. Additionally, we’ve spent many extra hours photographing subjects at Wolf Laurel, and restoring old photographs, at the specific request of Mr. English for his own personal use.

The income from our work at Wolf Laurel was vital to All Terrain Images. We are very disappointed that Mr. English and Mr. Bussey have allowed their prejudice to get in the way of an otherwise good working relationship.

How you can help:
First, please forward this email to everyone you think may be interested.

Second, since our website is advertised in the current Ski Wolf Laurel brochure, we have posted information on our site about this issue. Please check it out (more website hits means better search engine results and more publicity).

And finally, if you disagree with the actions of the Wolf Laurel owners, please let them know by sending a written letter and/or email. If you have the time and inclination, we believe that personalized letters make more of a difference than form letters.

[Here is a form letter that you can use -- the template is in MS Word format.]

...To send a letter to Wolf Laurel, please use the following addresses. The reason for two addresses is because the mail system at the resort is not the most reliable. Additionally, If you are willing to use two stamps, sending a copy to Mr. Bussey at Scenic Wolf Ridge, will certainly have an impact.

For the following address, do not include any names on the envelope, but only use them in the letter:

Wolf Laurel Slopes
P.O. Box 969
Mars Hill, NC 28754

For the following address, include Rick Bussey’s name on the envelope:

Mr. Rick Bussey
c/o Scenic Wolf Ridge Resort
104 North Main Street
Weaverville, NC 28787

If you prefer to use email, please send to: Make sure you address your email to Mr. Orville English and Mr. Rick Bussey, or to “Wolf Laurel Slopes Owners” in order to ensure the email gets to them. Believe it or not, the marketing director will likely have to print it out and take it to them, as to our knowledge neither owner has a direct email address.

Thanks for your time and support.


All Terrain Images, Inc.
Get the word out, folks.

Why does sh*t like this keep happening?

Shakes Sis has yet another example of the real depravity in our culture -- and it isn't the homos, you wingers out there. How about this -- in Vermont, a repeat rapist receives a 60-day jail sentence.
There was outrage Wednesday when a Vermont judge handed out a 60-day jail sentence to a man who raped a little girl many, many times over a four-year span starting when she was seven.

The judge said he no longer believes in punishment and is more concerned about rehabilitation. Prosecutors argued that confessed child-rapist Mark Hulett, 34, of Williston deserved at least eight years behind bars for repeatedly raping a little girl countless times starting when she was seven.

But Judge Edward Cashman disagreed explaining that he no longer believes that punishment works.

"The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn't solve anything. It just corrodes your soul," said Judge Edward Cashman speaking to a packed Burlington courtroom.
I assume then that the good judge would be equally compassionate and charitable if his own child was the subject of repeated brutal rapes by a perverted beast like Hulett.

Even more offensive is the fact that rapists and molesters high have a recidivism rate yet the Vermont Department of Corrections considers a low-life, sick SOB like Hulett "a low-risk for re-offense." Shakes Sis nails it:
What the hell kind of bullshit classifications system do they have, that someone who’s spent three years repeatedly raping a child is considered "low-risk" for re-offending? That’s completely absurd, and indicative of such a grave misunderstanding of sex offenders that it defies comprehension.

If rehabilitation is going to be made available for sex offenders, I can’t imagine why this piece of shit doesn’t qualify. It certainly raises some serious questions about how victims of sex abuse are valued, or, perhaps more accurately, not valued.

The George W. Bush Approval Map

You like it, you love it, you can't get enough of it! I've just updated The George W. Bush Approval Map (and forgive me, made it 800x600, so it won't fit on the Blend page - click the thumbnail for the full-size view) with the latest state-by-state Net Approval Ratings (Bush's approval rating minus his disapproval rating) from December 2005. I've also included the actual percentages for each state, as well as a national barometer of Bush Approval, weighted by state population (i.e., California's hatred of Bush is worth 71 times more than Wyoming's love of Bush). Feel free to copy, steal, and repost the map, so long as you do not change the graphic in any way.

Data courtesy of SurveyUSA. (Surf over and check out Cheney's ratings. My computer doesn't have a blue dark enough to register the hatred of Cheney.)

And just for the heck of it, a quote I picked up from Huffington Post:

"The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colors breaking through," -- Alexis de Tocqueville

Hoosier homo-bigot

Her name is Jocelyn-Tandy Torkwase Adande and she's a contributor to the IndyStar's "IN Touch" column, which features views of a variety of local citizens. She's of the opinion that gays and lesbians are not entitled to equal rights, simply because she takes offense that the struggle of blacks might have anything in common with that of the LGBT community.
An individual’s sexual preference should be a private matter. Recently, the Democratic caucus of the City-County Council attached an ordinance relating to sexual orientation to a human rights bill that also allows 15 percent of all business contracts with the city of Indianapolis to be awarded to minority-owned businesses.

To gain acceptance, a faction within the party, Stonewall Democrats, agreed to support this ordinance. The majority of African-American council members voted in favor of it and against the opinion of the religious community and its constituents. These council members wrongly allowed homosexuals and their supporters to identify their struggle with the plight of African Americans during the civil rights era.

...Passage of the ordinance was a mistake. To compare the plight of homosexuals to that of African Americans is an insult to my race.
How about she is an insult to my "race"? What about all of the LGBT people of color -- how do they fit into her argument? It's the same old, same old -- being gay is the "white man's perversion" and for someone like Torkwase Adande, civil rights are some sort of zero sum game where protections for gays are somehow going to have an impact on the rights she has gained.

To see these kinds of comments over and over is just sad. It's the reason why there is going to be a conference dealing directly with homophobia in the black community this month in Atlanta. It is sorely needed.

What I am pleased to see are so many comments/responses to her post from residents that call her out on this. Here are some snippets:
No one gives prizes for who's the most oppressed. If Black folk want to claim such a prize, let's give them one. Maybe then they'll feel justified, and begin to look at someone else's situation. (Or maybe such a prize should go to the Jews; no army ever sought to wipe every Black person "off the face of the earth.")

But once these dubious titles are awarded, let's stop and give a minute's worth of human consideration to people whose very existence has been denied for millenia; and when not denied, then criminalized. Gay and Lesbian human beings been hunted down and murdered and killed and fired from jobs and beheaded and castrated and chased just for walking down the streets of Indianapolis, Indiana.


I am sorry but your race does not have the market cornered on discrimination. No matter how you slice it with clever words like 'preference' instead of 'orientation' it is still the same thing; a large group of people being treated like second class citizens. I understand that you can not hide the color of your skin but try hiding any secret for a long period of time. It eats at you like drain cleaner, affecting every aspect of your life....limiting your ability to be comfortable with yourself and really blossom as a person. Your inability to think outside the color of your skin is an insult to my minority and I think you are acting a little short sighted by making such comments.


Just because you do not believe in equal gay rights does not mean you have the right to decide for an entire race what is insulting. I highly doubt the homosexuals who also happen to be African-American were offended, nor their families and friends. Also, since when did the religious community have any say in politics? They shouldn't, remember our country was founded so that we would be free of persecution and since homosexuality has been around longer than religion, does not harm anyone any more than heterosexuality does, I see no reason why any intelligent person would deny us our rights.
Thanks to Holly for the pointer.

More family values

A married couple leaves their two little sons behind (one has autism), at home alone, while they frolic in Vegas. These loser parents even got a pet sitter for their pups, but didn't deem their children, ages 9 and 5, worthy of any adult supervision.

Needless to say, this paragon of het family values and upholders of the sanctity of marriage and child-rearing were arrested. (AP):
Jacob Calero, 39, and Michelle De La Vega, 32, were taken into custody as they arrived home on a flight to Oakland. They had left town Friday to celebrate the new year, authorities said.

The couple apparently told 9-year-old Joshua to look after his 5-year-brother, Jason, who is autistic. The children spent one night alone before police found them.

The grandmother, Libbey Holden, said she called police because she had suspected the couple left the children at home in San Ramon, about 35 miles east of San Francisco. "I had big concerns," Holden said. "These kids are helpless."

Joshua said his father and stepmother got each other puppies for Christmas, which they brought to De La Vega's mother to care for before leaving town.

"I thought they loved them more than us," Joshua told The Associated Press during an interview at his maternal grandmother's apartment. The children's mother died in 2003.

Newt: Dump DeLay

"The Abramoff scandal has to be seen as part of a much larger and deeper problem. It's not about lobbyist corruption. You can't have a corrupt lobbyist without a corrupt member or corrupt staff. This was a team effort."
Abandon ship. Newt sticks it to the Bug Man. This can't be winning friends over on the Hill. No Freeper response on this one yet. (Bloomberg):
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives need to give up on former Majority Leader Tom DeLay and elect someone to succeed him as they try to overcome a wave of scandals, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said.

DeLay stepped down from his leadership post temporarily after being indicted in a campaign fund-raising abuse case in his home state of Texas. DeLay's ties to indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring to corrupt public officials, may cause him further difficulties.

"You don't have to render any judgment on Congressman DeLay to conclude that over the next six or eight months, he is going to be very busy and that it's important for the House Republican Party to have an effective majority leader," Gingrich told reporters today after a speech to the Rotary Club in Washington. "DeLay will have to defend himself. The House Republican Party has a different set of interests."
Meanwhile, Bush, and others are dumping Abramoff-tainted money, though you have to question the Chimp can only trace $6K back to the bastard.

By the way, as far as NC politicians go, the Empty Wig and Rep. Freedom Fries have decided to unload their contributions to charity...(Charlotte Observer):
Sen. Elizabeth Dole and Rep. Walter Jones, whose campaigns each received $1,000 from Abramoff in recent years, plan to give that amount to charities.

Dole, who got the donation when she was running for the Senate in 2002, will give the money to an N.C. hunger charity, the Society of St. Andrew. "She just doesn't want to be associated with Jack Abramoff," said Dole spokesman Brian Nick. "When something like this happens, you just give the money (away) and move on."

Jones, who got a contribution from Abramoff in 1999, will have a $1,000 check sent to the Pitt County Salvation Army. "(Jones) had never met Jack Abramoff and has never done anything for that money," said Jones chief of staff Glen Downs. "Given the current situation ..., why not just give it to a deserving charity? Just so it's not an issue."

Abramoff also gave personal contributions to Rep. Charles Taylor, R-N.C., of Brevard, and to the N.C. Republican Party. According to Federal Election Commission filings, Abramoff gave Taylor's campaign $2,000 in 2003 and $250 in 1999. Taylor's office did not return Observer calls Wednesday.

'Book of Daniel' and NBC under more fire

Things are heating up over NBC's The Book of Daniel, which starts its run on this Friday at 9PM and the American Family Association's campaign against the network is starting to bear fruit (see my original post here). NBC's statement on the protest:
"The Book of Daniel is a fictional drama about an Episcopalian priest's family and the contemporary issues with which they must grapple. We're confident that once audiences view this quality drama themselves, they'll appreciate this thought-provoking examination of one American family."
The NBC affiliate in Terre Haute, IN, Nexstar Broadcasting-owned WTWO, has already dropped the show, citing "emails and calls from viewers." This is the first NBC station to bow out of the show, according to Broadcasting and Cable.
Station General Manager Duane Lammers, who is also Nexstar’s COO, says hundreds of viewers have lodged complaints.

Lammers plans to screen the first episode Thursday and then decide whether to air future episodes. But the larger issue, Lammers says, is that stations do not get input into the network shows that end up on their air.

That is a common complaint from station managers frustrated that programs picked by executives in New York and Los Angeles don’t play well with viewers in other parts of the country. "I am sick of networks making unilateral decisions," Lammers says. “I am disappointed about programming in general."

WTWO’s move is being hailed by the Tupelo, Miss.-based American Family Association (AFA). The AFA has been attacking the show, urging affiliates not to air the series and calling on advertisers to boycott. The AFA says several major advertisers have pulled out, but will not name them.
A second affiliate has also dropped "Daniel", KARK-TV in Little Rock, Arkansas, also owned by Nexstar Broadcasting Group.

GLAAD has finally launched a counter-campaign. I'm glad they are putting out a strong statement -- GLAAD, unlike the AFA, has actually seen advance episodes of "Daniel."
Many NBC affiliates share these American values and are standing firm, telling protestors that if they don't like the show to simply turn it off. "I think they're going to find it's far less controversial than others would have them believe," said Steve Pontius, executive vice president of Waterman Broadcasting, which owns NBC affiliates in Florida and Virginia. Pontius watched the first episode and says that while it deals with serious issues, "This is fiction and people should not forget that."

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has viewed the first two episodes of this eight-part series and finds it to be fair and inclusive in regards to its gay and bisexual characters. "It doesn't surprise me that the American Family Association would be afraid of this series — it shows a family that's both deeply religious and loving and accepting of their gay son," said Damon Romine, GLAAD's entertainment media director. "I'm sure the AFA is terrified that a show like this might open people's eyes to the fact that anti-gay bigotry is neither a religious nor a family value."

LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD: Please Take Five Minutes to Take Action Now

It is important that the NBC network and NBC affiliates understand that these anti-gay groups with the deceptive names do not speak for America's families. Let them hear your voice in support of the broadcast of The Book of Daniel.

1. Please contact the NBC affiliate in your market to let them know you want the freedom to choose whether to watch "The Book of Daniel," and encourage your affiliate not to give in to pressure from anti-gay extremists who seek to censor this program. CONTACT: You can locate your NBC affiliate in your phone book or by clicking here:
2. Please contact NBC directly and thank the network for broadcasting "The Book of Daniel," acknowledging the importance of seeing gay people on television, especially gay people of faith.
You can also turn the tables on the AFA by using its petition, replacing the text and send your own counter message to Wright. Here is the NBC contact info as well.

Bob Wright, Chairman
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY  10112
Primary Phone: 212-664-4444
Fax: 212-489-7592
E-Mail: Bob Wright, NBC

Remind them that the AFA is an extremist organization, a fringe group of people that will accept nothing less than a rollback of the cultural clock to their fantasy of a "moral" society. There is no need to kowtow to these people.

2006 Bloggies

Via Jesus' General, I've learned that the nominations for the 2006 Bloggies are open. The fine general has nominated the Blend for Best GLBT blog and Pandagon for Best Group Blog. He has also posted his "Inner Frenchman's" nods for other categories here.

The entry form is all on the main page of the Bloggies, and you can nominate three per category through January 10. Folks may submit one entry per email address. On Friday, January 20, the finalists will be announced and voting will be open again to choose the winners.


You MUST read the General's letter to Dennis Prager about his divorce (and whether Elton's marriage is to blame).

Dumb Duck

Blender Bruce sent me a link to a Mallard Fillmore comic up that slams Brokeback. Actually, that would be giving it too much credit because it's not even funny, just dumb, garden-variety homophobia. All the great laughs you'd think a winger could get at the expense of a homo film, and this dork doesn't have the stones to publish anything even a 'phobe could laugh at. From The WOW Report:
Alan Light sends us this Mallard Fillmore strip with this note: "Bruce Tinsley's Mallard Fillmore is a right-wing comic strip that is syndicated by King Features in 400 newspapers (our local Cedar Rapids Gazette runs it to give 'balance' to Doonesbury). Today's Mallard Fillmore takes a slap at Brokeback Mountain. As usual, it's not not funny or clever, just dumb." (Tell the duck:

Bob Knight on the new gay math

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

He's losing it again: "Clearly, the homosexual movement's effort to recruit children has never been stronger than it is now."

He's still obsessing about the Time article on gay teens that came out back in October. This week he's squealing that the Homosexual AgendaTM is responsible for imposing our "lifestyle" on nearly every subject taught in school. He hasn't called for an exodus from the public schools yet like Combover Cal, but I imagine he should if we homos have completely infiltrated the institution. (AgapePress):
With children returning to school in the new year all across the U.S., a pro-family activist says every American parent needs to read a recent Time Magazine article. Over the Christmas holiday period, Time included a feature story on the battle over homosexual teens. Bob Knight of the Culture and Family Institute (CFI) found the article revealing.

"This article exposes the lengths to which homosexuals activists are going to promote their agenda to school kids, even as young as elementary school," he says. And the pro-family spokesman claims these activists' strategy includes a series of special events as well as regular classes.

"It's not just in the sex education or the AIDS education anymore. They're injecting it into the history curriculum, social studies -- one school even injected it into math by asking gay-themed questions that had to do with math principles," he says. Knight contends that the education establishment, by and large, has bought into the idea that people are born homosexual and that their orientation cannot be changed, so they believe they should begin discussing homosexuality with kids and affirming the "gay lifestyle" as early as possible.

Homo-bigot pastor busted for propositioning undercover male cop

That's Latham in both shots, folks: "I was set up. I was in the area pastoring to police."

What kind of pastoral counseling is offering up a blow job?

Russ, I think we have a new, high-level entry for our Conservative Values Monitor -- Lonnie Latham, senior pastor at South Tulsa (OK) Baptist Church, and an executive committee member of the Southern Baptist Convention.

This stuff is just too good to be true; the hypocrisy never f*cking ends, does it, Blenders? (KOCO 5):
Latham, who has spoken out against homosexuality, asked the officer to join him in his hotel room for oral sex. Latham was arrested and his 2005 Mercedes automobile was impounded, Becker said.

Calls to Latham at his church were not immediately returned Wednesday.

The arrest took place in the parking lot of the Habana Inn, which is in an area where the public has complained about male prostitutes flagging down cars, Becker said. The plainclothes officers was investigating these complaints.

...He has also spoken out against same-sex marriage and in support of a Southern Baptist Convention directive urging its 42,000 churches to befriend gays and lesbians and try to convince them that they can become heterosexual "if they accept Jesus Christ as their savior and reject their 'sinful, destructive lifestyle."'
PageOneQ gets a cookie for its headline on this story: "Tulsa pastor arrested; Tried to 'lay hands'"

Hat tip to Anne of Seven Days.


While I'm at it, Russ we have yet another pastor to add to the CVM tonight, though this amoral clown is not nearly as colorful as Latham.

United Methodist pastor (and mayor of the wingnut base of Lynchburg, VA) Carl Hutcherson has been indicted on a laundry list of charges, including Social Security fraud, mail fraud, lying to federal investigators, and obstruction of justice.

Do you think Hutcherson dropped to his knees every night and thanked Jeebus for not getting caught while he ripped people off?
The seven-count indictment alleges that, among other things, Lynchburg mayor Carl Hutcherson stole money from Social Security disability benefits recipients who had entrusted him with managing their finances.

Hutcherson has since stepped down as pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Lynchburg. U.S. Attorney John Brownlee says the former church leader preyed on his community's most vulnerable citizens.

"He was using their money to go to banquets. He was using their money to buy stereos," Brownlee notes. "In fact, the grand jury has also charged that he had one victim buy a life insurance policy. This victim was paying for it, and yet he made the mayor, personally, the beneficiary. And our evidence is that the mayor set all that up."

The U.S. Attorney has declined to reveal who tipped federal investigators off regarding Hutcherson's suspicious conduct. However, the Department of Justice prosecutor did note that when Bank of James officials confronted the mayor about his alleged illegal activities, the local political leader and pastor lied to them and later lied to federal officials as well.

PBS profile of Good As You blogger is online

As I mentioned on Monday, Jeremy Hooper of Good As You is featured on PBS's In the Life.

Now you don't have to figure out when it will air -- The Malcontent has kindly provided the video.

A Lesson in Tolerance

The woman in the adorable crab hat is my friend Karri. More than that; I consider her the sister I never had. We were roommates (always platonically) way back to 1994-1999, and she moved out to Portland as a roommate with my wife and I back in 2003. She now lives by herself in Astoria.

Karri is an adopted child and she has no idea who her biological mother and father are. She doesn't even know her ethnic background. But growing up in south central Idaho -- agriculture country -- she was always mistaken as Mexican-American, so much that migrant workers would instantly speak Spanish to her when she worked as a grocery cashier (she knows no Spanish). When Karri met my Mexican-American friends, Ralph & Madeline, I mentioned to them that Karri was born in East Los Angeles, just as they were. They asked her "which hospital," and when Karri replied, they nodded their heads and said, "oh, chica, you're definitely Mexican-American, then."

Over the Christmas holiday Karri, her mom, her sister, and her incredibly-hot-but-I-didn't-notice-because-I'm-married-and-she-just-turned-18 niece got a beach house in Manzanita on the Oregon Coast. Karri invited us out for the festivities and we inaugurated the new tradition of fishing for Chris Crustacean the Christmas Crab.

I was excited to meet Karri's sister. Karri had spoken about her many times, but we had never met. Karri had always told me that her sister is nearly her complete opposite -- an uptight white Republican Born-Again Christian breeder -- and that she has a hard time getting along with her because of the vast difference in their beliefs.

That was readily apparent when her sister started talking about "the wetbacks" back in Idaho. "They come to our country and they won't even learn the language," she complained. "They're always so dirty and they'll rob you blind if you don't watch 'em," she continued. "And they are always ogling my daughter," she said (and I stifled my retort of "yeah, and so am I and all the white, black, and Asian guys, too!") "and they make such crude remarks and they just leer at her like pedophiles!"

My wife and I wouldn't let that talk just sit there, but we tried responding as tactfully as we could, not wishing to offend Karri or her mom. "Do you like onions on your burger?" I asked. "You ever worked in a field picking onions?" "Do you know what produce would cost without migrant workers?" We kept the questions coming, but sister just kept responding with hate, bringing up cases where migrant workers had killed someone in a DUI wreck or noting how the Mexicans have such high rates of teen pregnancy (a stat she pulled from the Department of Right Outta My Ass; religious white girls in Idaho have much higher teen pregnancy rates.)

Anyway, I could see the intolerance was starting to get to Karri. She stood up and turned to her sister and said, "you know I'm Mexican, don't you?"

The sister's face dropped. "What!?! Mom always told us you were [American] Indian!" Mom piped in and let her know that she had never said any such thing, and that they'd always suspected Karri was half-Mexican, half-Russian. The sister, still visibly upset and now very embarrassed, slunk down in her chair, head lowered, and said something beautiful that I'd love to hear every uptight white Republican Born-Again Christian breeder say:

"I guess I'm going to have to learn to be more tolerant."

So that's my lesson in tolerance for the New Year -- you won't get tolerance until you demand it, and you won't be tolerated until you are seen. For some here, it's coming out of the closet. For me, it's proudly standing up as a cannabis consumer. For others, it may be letting your friends or co-workers know you don't appreciate the racist or sexist or homophobic joke. Whatever the issue, it is much easier for people to be hateful and intolerant when the "they" is an unknown, shadowy, distant figure. When the "they" is someone they know, love, play, or work with, stereotypes fail and prejudices fade.

Happy New Year, House Blend!

Crazy Pat's visions for 2006

Real Values passed on this one about Crazy Pat - God told him that Strip Search Sammy will slide on into Supreme Court robes without incident. It's all part of the televangelist's whack job 2006 predictions.

Pat also he says God told him that "judgment will be painful" around the world this year -- the coasts will be lashed by disasters, earthquakes will abound, etc. You have to see this unhinged sh*t to believe it. A transcribed snippet:
"Bush is going to strengthen in 2006, the fall elections will be inconclusive, but the outcome of the war and the success of the economy will leave the Republicans in charge, but it’s going to be inconclusive in this year but I do believe that the President is going to strengthen, and Alito is going to get confirmed, I believe another liberal judge is going to retire, step down from the court, we’ll have another opening there."
As Real Values noted about the Repugs remaining in charge, "we can refer to that as an increase in unnatural disasters."

WingNutDaily serves up an extra helping of batsh*t nuttery

Wedding couples rush for 666 date: Officials notice 'sinister' surge in June 6 bookings to tie knot.

Alrighty then. WorldNetDaily is keeping tabs on those demonic Dutch folks that are heading to the altar of Satan to get married on June 6, 2006.
While June is traditionally a popular month for marriage ceremonies worldwide, officials in the Netherlands are noticing an unusual number of couples setting their wedding date for June 6, 2006, giving them an anniversary of 666, a number often associated with an end-time beast power of the Bible.

...While one explanation is that 666 would be an easy date to remember for anniversaries, others suggest a more sinister meaning.

For centuries, people have been intrigued by the number 666, the "number of the beast" from the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. Not only is it mentioned in Scripture, it has been associated with the Satanism, universal price codes and the game of roulette, as the numbers on the wheel add up to 666.
However, in its own reporting, all the hysteria might be over a misreading of the holy texts, blowing all the batsh*t crazies like themselves out of the window...
While many Bibles have footnotes saying the number translated from the original Greek could be 616, experts say new photographic evidence of an ancient fragment of papyrus from Revelation indeed indicates the number is 616, instead of 666.
A WingNutDaily reader even suggested last year that John Kerry was tied to "666".

During his presidential campaign in Iowa today, Democrat John Kerry was surrounded by a sea of handheld signs displaying the number six on them.

..."The imagery of 666 appearing everywhere was too much to be ignored. I had to rewind my TIVO and shoot these photos of the TV screen."
Please, someone cart these folks off to an institution before they hurt themselves.

Talking to Sammy

What's Bush saying to the future Strip-Search Sammy Alito?

The photo of four-year-old Sammy was released to the media by his mother, 90-year-old Rose Alito, who also let the cat out of the bag in October when she said: "Of course, he's against abortion." Up until that point Sammy was trying to fly under the radar like John Roberts.


It's also an open thread and blogwhoring opportunity for you all.

Some read 'ems:

* Coturnix announces the latest installment of Carnival of the Liberals.

* Joseph of Hughes for America has an update on the war on Barbie.

* The Heretik says it's Kool Aid Time for Scotty

* Bob Geiger has a list of U.S. Senators Who Made Us Proud in 2005

* D. at Shakes Sis on yet another Bush crony nominated for a position that they are completely unqualified for.

First out lesbian named to the Arizona Senate

More historic news, in Bush lapdog McCain's home state. (PageOneQ):
By a unanimous vote during their weekly meeting, the Pima County Board of Supervisors named Paula Aboud to the vacant District 28 State Senate seat for the remainder of the term. Aboud succeeds Gabrielle Giffords, who resigned to run for the Democratic nomination for the open U.S. House seat for Congressional District 8.

"I'm very honored by the Supervisors and District 28," Aboud is quoted as saying after the vote by the Supervisors, required by Arizona law when a state legislative seat opens up. "I look forward to standing up for the rights of the people of Arizona."
That's good news out of Arizona. Here's the bad news...Same-sex couple driven from Arizona due to adoption rules. Will Aboud be able to affect any change about this trend in her state? One out politician will have a hard time countering gay flight...

Nichole Soterwood kisses her 22-month-old son, Isaac, while her domestic partner, Jeanine Soterwood, makes travel arrangements in their home in Tucson, Ariz., on Dec. 10, 2005, for them to move to California. The couple is moving from Tucson because Arizona does not allow them to both be the legal guardians of Isaac. California is one of the few states allowing two-parent adoption when the parents aren't married. (AP Photo/ Arizona Daily Star, Lindsay A. Miller)

Getting it wrong in the worst way

Only one miner survived out of the 12 still known to be trapped overnight. The mining company knew this for three hours, letting families believe something that the company knew not to be true.
In a stunning and heartbreaking reversal, family members were told early Wednesday that 11 of the 12 trapped coal miners found were dead three hours after they began celebrating news that they were alive.
It was deemed a "miscommunication."
The news spread after people overheard cell phone calls, he said. In reality, rescuers had only confirmed finding 12 miners and were checking their vital signs. At least two family members in the church said they received cell phone calls from a mine foreman.

"That information spread like wildfire, because it had come from the command center," he said.

Three hours later, Hatfield told the families that "there had been a lack of communication, that what we were told was wrong and that only one survived," said John Groves, whose brother Jerry Groves was one of the trapped miners.

"There was no apology. There was no nothing. It was immediately out the door," said Nick Helms, son of miner Terry Helms.

Somehow, this seems like old news

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Washington Blade is reporting that the author of a new bio of Laurence Olivier, Terry Coleman, confirmed that the actor was bisexual, though there's no confirmation of the long-standing rumors about a sexual relationship between Sir Larry and Danny Kaye. Olivier was married to Vivien Leigh and later Joan Plowright. It was actually Plowright that first claimed the Olivier/Kaye affair occurred.
He considered various reports that Olivier was bisexual. One biography printed after his death alleged that Olivier "was deeply involved in a homosexual affair with Danny Kaye."

"This sort of thing is very difficult to check," Coleman said in the interview. "I did check it and talked to a number of people. In this mountain of material in the archives I could not find a hint of an affair with Danny Kaye. His third wife (Joan Plowright) had no inkling of it, and I believe her.

"What I did find was evidence of a homosexual affair in 1937 with an actor called Henry Ainley. He was a big name of the 1910s and 1920s. I'm not sure this is a terribly important thing. It's there and it's a fact and therefore I report it."
You can read more about the book, Olivier, here.

Hat tip, PageOneQ.

100% prime grade NC wingnuttery...and promise of change

"It is an incredible honor to receive the True Blue Award. We have addressed a number of important issues in the 109th Congress, and I am especially proud of my votes to protect the values of my constituents."
-- United States Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC-5), glowing over her "True Blue Award" for 100% rating from the Family Research Council
Tony Perkins and the FRC give out this award to members of Congress who "demonstrate extraordinary integrity and character in their defense of families and the sanctity of human life through their votes."

Virginia Foxx fits that bill to a T and is the kind of representative we need to unseat here. There's no hope for moderation when you have a voting record like this:
  Voted to allow faith-based organizations the ability to discriminate in their hiring practices
  Voted to prohibit the transportation of minors across state lines to obtain abortions without parental consent
  Voted against funding human embryonic stem cell research
  Voted to allow the public display of the Ten Commandments
  Voted for "flag burning" amendment

Foxx was also one of the 11 Republicans that voted against aid for victims of Katrina. Nice.

Foxx is chummy with Phyllis Schlafly

And to think, her opponent when she ran for this seat, Pitt County farmer and NC GOP chairman Ferrell Blount, bashed Foxx as a "liberal feminist" after he was defeated.

Foxx is vulnerable this time around, so we'll see if someone can knock her off.


Real Values has a run-down of other vulnerable NC seats, including singer U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes of Concord and almost sure to hang on Walter B. ("freedom fries") Jones, Jr.

Blue NC also covers Robin Hayes.
In 2001, Hayes screwed his constituents by voting for legislation that would remove the ability to negotiate trade deals from Congress and put it in the hands of president Bush—legislation that threatened to exacerbate the unemployment and poverty in his district, and legislation that he promised to vote against before he let himself be bullied into changing his mind

On the bright side, it's good to see Kos is covering Tim Dunn, who is running for Hayes's seat in North Carolina's 8th Congressional District.

Dunn's one of the "Fighting Dems" -- military veterans whose service in recent conflicts make them attractive and formidable Dem candidates -- who are inoculated from the hollow criticism from the likes of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists and members of the Operation Yellow Elephant brigade.

Dunn has served in Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Kosovo and Iraq, so take that, you chickenhawks.

Soccer moms and dads unhinged by swinger party

As Fritz said in his email to me, tongue planted firmly in cheek about this story -- "here's another example of how those depraved straight folks are destroying American families!" (
Paul Camporini brought his wife, seventh-grade daughter and eighth-grade son from Safety Harbor and said he had to "delicately explain to my Catholic school children that swingers change partners during the evening."

"My biggest gripe is that the hotel had two distinctly different groups under the same roof," said Camporini, 49. "A soccer team and middle-aged swingers should not have been booked together."

The families said the sexually adventurous partygoers sometimes flashed breasts and bare buttocks in front of the children as they sashayed through the hotel atrium. The parents described the dress at the Crowne Plaza Hotel-Airport in Orlando as "raunchy, despicable and worse than prostitutes."

"We thought we were coming to Orlando, not the Las Vegas Strip," said Mark Gilbert, the father of a boy who plays on the Clearwater Chargers, a group of 13-and-under players from Florida.

Caption this

Actual caption: U.S. President George W. Bush points to his head after meeting with wounded U.S. military personnel at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas January 1, 2006. Bush is returning to Washington after spending the New Year's holiday at his Central Texas ranch in Crawford. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Today's 'I'm not sh*tting you' item

Mike Rogers at BlogActive came across some really unhinged crap. Where do you even start with something like this -- a gay white supremacist. From SF IndyMedia:
What is amazing about Bill White is despite the homophobic nature of white supremacy, he's gay. He attended dozens of gay rallies, was an active member of GLAAD, and various other gay groups while at the University of Maryland.

..."I personally don't like most leftist activists as people -- they are usually neurotic, confused, and psychologically damaged, which explains the hate they spew everywhere, he wrote. "In contrast, I find that most right-wing leaning activists, though obviously not all, are more pleasant, more intelligent, more personally successful, and more interested in truth over substance."

Spoken like a true Nazi. Everything he said is the exact thing that white supremacists say to justify themselves. Even his position on African-Americans (he says he is anti-racist, and think blacks have the same potential for civilized behavior as whites--implying African-Americans are not civilized) is on the same page as the Nazis he loves to hang with.

Abramoff Plea May Rock GOP Boat

"I plead guilty, your honor," Abramoff said in flat, unemotional tones to the judge. Bahahahahahahahaha.

That's the AP headline for Tom Raum's piece. Tom DeLay's best buddy and influence peddler copped a plea, is spilling the beans, and a helluva long list of Repugs -- and maybe a few Dems -- are going to go down.
The GOP has more seats to lose and has closer ties with the former lobbyist. But some Democrats with links to Abramoff and his associates are also expected to be snagged in the influence-peddling net. While the full dimensions of the corruption probe are not yet clear, some political consultants and analysts are already comparing its damage potential to the 1992 House banking scandal that led to the retirement or ouster of 77 lawmakers.

"You don't have to be a political genius to sniff the smell of blood in the water," said GOP consultant Rich Galen.

Galen said even lawmakers in seemingly safe districts, and those "who don't have a reputation for being fast and loose with the rules," could be vulnerable if voters rise up in reproach "and everybody drops five or six points" in this year's midterm contests.

Abramoff, a former $100,000-plus fundraiser for President Bush with close ties to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiracy, tax evasion and mail fraud. That cleared the way for his cooperation with federal prosecutors in bringing charges against former business and political associates.

The investigation is believed to involve up to 20 members of Congress and aides and possibly several administration officials.

..."Most seats in Congress are relatively safe this year. But they are not safe from a tsunami," said University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato, author of a book on political scandals. "Iraq, plus economic problems, plus these scandals, could produce a tsunami. That's what every incumbent on Capitol Hill has to fear."

In one case, reported in another AP story, Abramoff paid $50,000 to the wife of a congressional aide to help block legislation for a client. The aide worked for Bug Man DeLay.

For the web of entanglements, check out Think Progress's Abramoff primer, The House That Jack Built

Brandi's important resolution for 2006

Howdy, Blenders! Sorry to be away so long, but I was at the edge of the earth. Well, the edge of North America, anyway, Manzanita, Oregon to be precise, enjoying the winter storms over the ocean and waddling through Oregon's recent rash of flooding and mudslides. It's all fine with me; I love winter precipitation that I don't have to shovel.

You know that I like to follow the surging career Princess Barbie Talibania back in my hometown of Boise, Idaho. She's dedicated to making America a better place for all the good straight American Christians (and other, false religions, secularists, sodomites, and womb babies) and I subscribe to her mailing list, just to know what monumentally important projects she's up to now after losing her Boise City Council race by 70% to 30%.

So, with the advent of 2006, with troops dying in Iraq, with the deficit spiraling out of control, with our administration shredding the Constitution, with global warming set to devastate our planet, with addiction to oil threatening our security, what will our fake-tanned warrior for Christ dedicate herself to for a New Year's Resolution?
(Thr!ve) I'm going to make the commitment to work towards getting [Boise City] Councilman Alan Shealy to say "one nation, under God" during the pledge of allegiance at City Council meetings. I'm going to spend the next year working on that, and see if I can get him to say it at least once.
And when that glorious day comes, we can all sleep more securely, knowing that al Qaeda has been defeated, once and for all! Anything else, Brandi?
Also, I'd like to teach Dan Popkey how to write better columns. I'm all about building relationships, so I thought maybe we could sit down and have coffee and talk about content.
Popkey is the Idaho Statesman columnist who criticized Brandi's campaign in an article deemed sexist and offensive by some of her supporters. Here's some of the content of Popkey's (a veteran political reporter with many years experience) that Brandi (a high school graduate with no writing or journalism experience) probably had a problem with:
Swindell graduated from Meridian High School but has no college degree. Image is everything. Good looks got her TV time on O'Reilly; she made headlines protesting condom handouts at the Salt Lake Olympics; her rap sheet includes protests over abortion, the Ten Commandments and stem-cell research.

For all the help she's getting, Swindell is highlighting her shortcoming, inexperience. Take a look at her glamour shots on her Web site. Or read her blog on her "AMAZING!!" discussions on how to "fix the roads" -- a job, I suspect, she doesn't know belongs to the highway district not the city. Swindell looks like she's auditioning for "America's Next Hot Model," not a seat on a council that stays up past midnight deciding dicey land-use disputes.

Swindell (real first name Melissa) isn't grown up enough for this job. If voters want to revive RiverFest and make Brandi Permanent Princess, she's your gal. If they want a seasoned hand for the gruelling job of running a city, Jordan's the pick.
Of course, Swindell and her supporters missed the real content of the article, which had noted how Idaho's GOP broke with the tradition of not backing candidates for non-partisan offices, like City Council.

When she's not badgering city councilmen to swear allegiance to her God or giving journalism lessons, Brandi will be back on the road, stumping for the womb babies and her favorite Supreme Court nominee (you know, the guy who they say has no litmus test on abortion and can be counted on to make fair and impartial judgments on the matter):
Also I'd like to get back to the projects I do locally and nationally (speaking engagements at the National March for Life and Judge Alito's Supreme Court confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C., and the International Pro-life and Pro-family Conference in Dublin, Ireland; and working on a new clinic called Stanton Healthcare Services and a national campaign concerning sexual integrity and AIDS).
But Brandi, as an aspiring female in the political realm, I wonder where was your die-hard support for Hariet Miers?

Cal Thomas: yank kids out of public schools

If we can't have Intelligent Design, then pull those tykes out, says Combover Cal. See ya, fundies...
A conservative columnist claims the recent federal court decision to bar the teaching of theory of intelligent design in the Dover Area School District in Pennsylvania is yet another reason why parents should get their kids out of public schools.

Columnist Cal Thomas says the ruling should awaken religious conservatives to the futility of trying to make a secular state reflect their beliefs. He contends that, since the 1960s -- when prayer and Bible reading were effectively outlawed in public school classrooms -- too many people have wasted too much time and money trying to get these spiritual disciplines and a lot of other positive things restored in the schools.

Thomas says many parents who would never send their kids to a Sunday school that teaches false doctrine are content to place those same kids in state schools five days a week where they are taught doctrines and ideas in conflict with their faith. According to the columnist, rulings like that regarding the Dover Area schools should persuade parents who have been waffling on this issue to join the growing exodus from state schools to private or home school environments where their religious values are supported.

Justice Sunday III's tokens

Ready to spew on January 8: Daddy Dobson, Dr. Alveda C. King, Bishop Wellington Boone (The Father's House), Tony Perkins (Family Research Council), Rev. Herbert Lusk (Greater Exodus Baptist Church), Senator Little Ricky Santorum, Rev. Tinkywinky

Justice Sunday III - "Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land" will be held on Sunday, January 8 2006. It's the scintillating follow-up to "Justice Sunday II - God Save the United States and this Honorable Court."
One day before the Senate begins confirmation hearings on Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, conservatives will gather in Philadelphia for another "Justice Sunday," hoping to put the spotlight once again on socially liberal court rulings.
They hope to "educate people of faith on how the judiciary impacts their lives and to show how activist judges seek to end all mention of God in the public square."

As you can see, the AmTaliban has its splash of color up there for the big shindig, all prominently featured on the web site. Sadly, one of them is the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Alveda C. King. She and the civil rights leader's daughter Bernice are homo-bigots (Coretta Scott King, his widow is a strong supporter of gay rights). Alveda has been quoted as saying "Bernice says herself that she knows deep within that her father did not march and did not take a bullet for same-sex marriage."

Herb Lusk is another pastor at the faith-based trough. He had his coffers filled with a cool million by the Administration to run faith-based initiatives, and he gave the invocation at the 2000 Republican convention. Lusk called Bush's 2004 win "a great victory."

Wellington Boone came and soiled the Tar Heel State with FRC's Tony Perkins and our buddy from Concerned Women for America, Bob Knight, appearing at a "Traditional Marriage Rally" on last May in support of a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions. Thankfully the gathering was a flop and the bill died in committee.

And here's the problem

Farrakhan voted BET 2005 Person of the Year. This is why it is necessary to have a conference on homophobia in the black community.

If this anti-Semitic homophobe can be held up as a model of what the best the black community has to offer in terms of leadership, it's a sad state of affairs indeed.
“An overwhelming percentage of our users agreed that Minister Farrakhan made the most positive impact on the Black community over the past year and chose him as the person most worthy to receive the honor of’s 2005 Person of the Year,” said Retha Hill,’s vice president for Content.

They agreed that he has done what no other Black leader has: “mobilize hundreds of thousands of Blacks around the issues of atonement and empowerment, and to convince the masses of our people that we must be the primary catalysts and engines for positive change in our communities,” she said.
Yes, the positive change and empowerment just doesn't apply to the black LGBT community.

Naming Farrakhan is particularly offensive when some of the other nominees were Oprah Winfrey, Senator Barack Obama, Robert L. Johnson (the father of BET) and the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Farrakhan, you may recall, chose as his head co-organizer of the Millions More March, the esteemed Rev. Willie Wilson, who was responsible for banning National Black Justice Coalition's Keith Boykin from the stage at the event. That says it all, doesn't it?

Murtha: I wouldn't join the military now

[UPDATE: Freepers rip into Murtha below.]

And the White House had no immediate comment after that drop-dead serious statement by decorated Vietnam combat veteran Rep. John Murtha. Gee, what are those chickenhawks in the White House going to say behind this... (Reuters):
Murtha told ABC News' "Nightline" program that Iraq "absolutely" was a wrong war for President George W. Bush to have launched.

"Would you join (the military) today?," he was asked in an interview taped on Friday.

"No," replied Murtha of Pennsylvania, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees defense spending and one of his party's leading spokesmen on military issues.

"And I think you're saying the average guy out there who's considering recruitment is justified in saying 'I don't want to serve'," the interviewer continued.

"Exactly right," said Murtha, who drew White House ire in November after becoming the first ranking Democrat to push for a pullout of U.S. forces from Iraq as soon as it could be done safely.

...Murtha did not respond directly when asked whether a lack of combat experience might have affected the decision-making of Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and their former top deputies.

"Let me tell you, war is a nasty business. It sears the soul," he said, choking up. "And it made a difference. The shadow of those killings stay with you the rest of your life."
And the disgusting, almost certainly majority chickenhawk Freepi piss on Murtha -- intimating that to hold his position means he's senile. Boy, the knuckle-draggers can't come up with much, huh?

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"I've lost all respect for Murtha."

"He is a senile old man who needs to be put out of our misery."

"When I read comments by him I think of my much older brother who was in the Korean Conflict. He said that he would go to Iraq if he were much younger. One believes in his country, the other does not."

"Don't worry congressman, today's Military has higher standards."

"This guy is drunk on media attention."

"Same here. Defeatists in war nauseate me. If he doesn't support the goal of bringing freedom to Iraq, then he should come out and say so. But to just sit there and whine that it can't be done while there are young men literally dying to achieve it, and still pretend that he's on their side, is just contemptible."

"Murtha probably wouldn't have joined back then either if he was the person then that he is now. If he thinks Iraq is wrong, then Vietnam must've been far worse."

"Knowing Marines, my uncle was a marine in the pacific in WWII, I can say with great knowledge that this man would be rejected by the Marines today. He wouldn't have to worry about enlisting."

"Yes, I'm sure it does. Never mind WHY you went to war, Murtha. It's all about you and YOUR feelings; your demons. Yep. Trash your country around the world, give the go**amned Haji's more ammo; feed propaganda to Al Quaeda and just go right ahead, if it makes YOU feel better, Colonel. Yes, you pantywaisted crybaby.......forget WHY you went to war for your country and for whom; it's all about you, buddy."

"I was AF, not a Marine, but I have a huge respect for the Corps. I have to believe that all Marines, current and former, would just as soon spit on this whiny sumbitch as look at him. Let the press fawn all they want; those that matter.........Marines..............must look at him with disgust."

"Who would serve with a cut and run person like John."

"The man is an embarrasment, I lost respect the first time he opened his mouth last month. Each time subsequently, it has deserved to be duct taped least in a just world."

"Disgusting traitorous PIG."

"In his 31 years in the USMC, how much was active duty? I have had my fill of career reservists."

"The military won't take you if you wet the bed."

"I had no idea who Murtha was until he spoke out against the war. I respect him for his military service, but he really needs to STHU. Al Jazeera (sp?) puts statements like his to use and it hurts our military men and women."

"Murtha was a drill sergeant with 3 yrs. active duty, the rest spent in the reserves. Yet the press tries to make him into a military expert."

"Someone needs to tell Murtha that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."

"Someone on this thread noted that Murtha is on a media attention high. No doubt. I wonder how he'll feel when the DNC and their lap dogs, the media, dump him after he has exhausted his usefulness to them."

"Benedict Arnold was well loved by his men and General Washington. Murtha is a stooge for the dummies."

"I was not quite sure if he was suffering from dementia. I am sure of it now."

"Mr. Murtha was a Marine Corps Reservist. He volunteered for active duty in Vietnam. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, we must assume that his service in Vietnam, and his decorations, were legit. He should be honored for that. However, the press characterization of him as a 37-year career Marine is pure bunk. For most of those 37 years he was a politician, and for many years has served on the Defense subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee. You can bet that the Marines wined and dined him at every opportunity - and I'm sure that he returned the favor. He suffered no privations, enduring no long deployments, and certainly did not have to compete with his peers for infrequent promotions. The guy is a phony, and the MSM are soaking it all up."

"Hey Murtha! Tuck your tie in your blouse, so that every Marine that sees you coming, can know what you are, without having to say a word to you."

"I wouldn't want that bloated pimp of the election industry anywhere near a military conflict. He probably would pull the new French flag out of his pocket and lead the parade of anti-Americans against our government. By the way, the new French flag changed the former red and blue sections to WHITE!"

"I've never served myself, but my wife is currently an active duty member of our armed forces so I have to take my hat off to anyone that has served. That being said, I think this man needs to be taken away by medical professionals and his competency needs to be checked, because no politician in their right mind would be attempting to undermine recruiting efforts during a time of war."

LaBarbera on Illinois' new anti-discrimination laws

Illinois' new law will be a boon for homosexual activist lawyers. Across the country, "gay" advocates place their "orientation" above the freedom of conscience of others who disagree with homosexuality."
-- Peter LaBarbera, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute
Our friend Peter has his knickers-in-a-twist again, this time in a response to the addition of sexual orientation to the state's anti-discrimination laws -- protecting the rights of homosexuals is "dangerous" because his followers are now going to be persecuted. The law, by the way, took effect at the first of the year, so Petey's predicting a flood of lawsuits against the bible beaters by the proponents of the Homosexual AgendaTM.
While most media pundits laud its enactment, they ignore the implications of basing civil rights on changeable, wrong, and unhealthy sexual behavior. Homosexuality-unlike skin color--is not a basis for civil rights. There are thousands of ex-"gays"; there are no ex-African Americans or ex-Hispanics.

...Several college Christian ministries that deny leadership posts to homosexuals because they believe homosexual behavior is sinful have been forced to fight charges of "discrimination" - thanks to campus "sexual orientation" codes similar to Illinois' new law. In Canada, Christians who live out their Biblical beliefs have racked up huge legal bills defending themselves against "sexual orientation discrimination."

Homosexual lobbyists cry tolerance but they really don't respect peoples' religious beliefs. If they did, would they demonize opponents of "gay marriage" as "rank bigots," to quote one top homosexual activist in our state? [Ummmm....because they ARE bigots...]

But it's not just about normalizing homosexuality. Illinois now becomes one of just seven states that provide special legal "rights" based on "transgendered" behavior. Thus the law will also be used to force businesses and even religious-based groups to accommodate extreme gender confusion-e.g., a male maitre 'd at a restaurant who informs his employer that henceforth he will be coming to work dressed as a woman.

To preserve freedom in Illinois, we need to repeal this bad law, or at least start amending it by removing its most onerous provisions that threaten people of faith or anyone who opposes homosexual behavior.
He needs to calm down, perhaps go back and do some more undercover leather research to clear his mind. Event packages are on sale now for the 2006 IML, Peter -- better hurry:
The world's hottest leathermen will come together to compete for the title of International Mr. Leather 2006, as IML celebrates its 28th Anniversary, Thursday, May 25 through Monday, May 29, 2006 (Memorial Day Weekend) in Chicago. Palmer House Hilton, 17 East Monroe Street in Chicago, is the official host hotel for IML 2006. Weekend event packages and hotel packages for International Mr. Leather 2006 are currently on sale.
* Letter from Peter LaBarbera

NYC to name first out lesbian Council speaker

Now here's a statement of support for the community. Manhattan's Christine Quinn is expected to be named speaker of the NYC's City Council, a powerful position in city government. (Newsday via PageOneQ):
Quinn (D-Manhattan), edged out her closest rival, Councilman Bill de Blasio (D-Brooklyn), for the influential position. The balance swung in her favor when the powerful Queens delegation, with 13 Democrats, decided to back Quinn.

The council speaker is widely considered the second most visible -- and powerful -- position in city government, as the face of the 51-member City Council and often the most prominent counterpoint to the mayor. Gifford Miller, who lost a primary bid to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left the council due to term limits.

"I am gratified for the support of my colleagues," Quinn said in a statement e-mailed to reporters late Monday afternoon. "I look forward to the vote on Wednesday and to working with them to improve the lives of al