An Online Magazine in the Reality-Based Community.

More Foleygate

Saturday, September 30, 2006

[UPDATE: I responded to a commenter on the "taking the high road" strategy in a post update.]

Since we were out at NCPride today, I wasn't in the loop on any additional news on Mark Foley and the GOP litany of lies, coverup and general stupidity in allowing the former Congressman free rein to harass 16-year-old pages.

Some headlines:

* DNC: Why did GOP House leader cover up sex crimes (via Raw Story)?
According to the Associated Press, Congressman Reynolds’ spokesman confirmed that Reynolds had been informed by another Congressman that the boy had complained about Foley’s inappropriate communications “months ago.” According to the report, the allegations first came to light in late 2005. [AP, 9/30/06] It appears that Reynolds did not tell authorities about the emails or take any step to discipline Foley, apparently choosing instead to sweep the matter under the rug to protect the Republican party’s dwindling chances of retaining control of the House of Representatives this November.
* Some of the contradictions over when who knew what about "the Foley problem" continue -- Foley E-Mails 1st Reported in Fall '05. The NYT has coverage of this as well.

* In the NYT piece, Republican Chris Shays smacks the GOP leadership down.
Representative Christopher Shays, Republican of Connecticut, said any leader who had been aware of Mr. Foley’s behavior and failed to take action should step down. “If they knew or should have known the extent of this problem, they should not serve in leadership,” Mr. Shays said.
* Mike Rogers' work on this sleazebag got a boost today in The Miami Herald -- Gays comment on Foley resignation. Mike's on target -- the GOP closet is where a lot of this blame lies...
"He was a homophobe who needed to be exposed," said journalist Michael Rogers, whose website, http://www.blogactive.com/, reported on Rep. Mark Foley of West Palm Beach for three years.

"I first started to report on Foley in March 2003," said Rogers, who is gay. 'The reason why -- he's antigay. He voted for the Defense of Marriage Act and has not renounced that vote. He refused to acknowledge that he supported the repeal of `don't ask, don't tell.' He would not sign on as a co-sponsor. He should be held accountable for not supporting that or co-sponsoring.

"No community is expected to harbor their own enemies from within. He is an enemy of our community, yet he wants to step into our community and put us at risk. He puts every one of us in a bad light."

...Rogers said Foley's problems come from being in the closet.

"I do believe that he had unhealthy sexual advances to these guys because he was living his life as a closeted gay man," Rogers said. "Healthy gay men who are mature and dealing with their sexuality in a mature way don't hit on kids who are 16 years old. What's his signature issue? You don't know whether to laugh or cry."
Sully weighs in with the same sentiment we've also discussed many times here about the corruption that comes when power hungry-pols protect their closets. I, however, have no patience with people who attempt to govern from the closet. The McGreeveys, Schrocks, and now Foley watched their political careers go up in smoke over their pathologies.
I don't know Foley, although, like any other gay man in D.C., I was told he was gay, closeted, afraid and therefore also screwed up. What the closet does to people - the hypocrisies it fosters, the pathologies it breeds - is brutal. There are many still-closeted gay men in D.C., many of them working for a Republican party that has sadly deeply hostile to gay dignity. How they live with themselves I do not fully understand. But I have learned you cannot judge someone's soul from outside. That I leave to them and their God, and some I count as good friends and good people.

What I do know is that the closet corrupts. The lies it requires and the compartmentalization it demands can lead people to places they never truly wanted to go, and for which they have to take ultimate responsibility. From what I've read, Foley is another example of this destructive and self-destructive pattern for which the only cure is courage and honesty. While gays were fighting for thir basic equality, Foley voted for the "Defense of Marriage Act". If his resignation means the end of the closet for him, and if there is no more to this than we now know, then it may even be for the good. Better to find integrity and lose a Congressional seat than never live with integrity at all.
Amen. What I don't understand, however, is his need to forgive those who remain closeted. These folks need to be outed, because their pathologies (and ability to pass legislation) affect my life.

Feel free to add you own links in the comments about more updates on this GOP meltdown! :)

***

UPDATE: I was going to respond to Anonymous (the first commenter) in the comments, but I decided to post it here. He/she insists:
I'm wary of making this "about the GOP." This is a whole other subject, but sometimes I wonder if a good way to stop the demonizing of gay people, would be to take the first, courageous volleys and curtail the demonizing, overgeneralizing, us-them-ing on our own part.
My response:

Foley only moderated his voting patterns after he was outed in gay media, and he continued to evade the media on his orientation -- as opposed to Kolbe.

I have no sympathy for Foley or the current makeup of the GOP.

Yes, this is all about the oh-so-pious GOP leadership and their hypocrisy. I'm tired of being on the receiving end of this Party's vitriol as a whipping boy whenever they want to stir up their sheeple Base, and when they are caught off guard in an indefensible position like this, particularly a "values voter" issue (isn't it all about saving and protecting the children?); they deserve all the attention they can get when things blow up in their face.

It is us against the AmTaliban, and the fact that the GOP has been taken over by the Right wing nutcases is not my problem. I'd welcome a return to a moderate Republican party, but it isn't happening any time soon. In fact, we have to be wary of a Democratic party that spends any time courting the fundie vote.
And it cuts off thinking, it cuts off creativity, it cuts off possible creative solutions. It's intellectual short-cutting.
This almost sounds like astroturfing. The GOP and Faux News would pound this story into the ground if the sides were reversed. Look at what taking the high road (Swift Boat) results in. Am I sorry that American politics has fallen to this level. Absolutely. Is being "nice" the way to victory? Ask Karl Rove. He's a master tactician, and he preys upon Dems inherent desire to play fair. And we lose because he is right. Sorry, but true.

This GOP leadership has rubber-stamped this president and has nearly destroyed the principles upon which this country was founded. They aren't going to get away with this one.

Note folks -- HRC supported Foley because of his improved record on gay issues, and now the org doesn't feel it can call him out for the perv he is:

"Luis Vizcaino, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay political group, said HRC had no comment on Foley’s resignation and the allegations against him. He said the group was not likely to discuss the development any time soon."

That's ball-less. Come on people, Foley's behavior isn't defensible and HRC can't even COMMENT? If anything the group should be out there educating people about how the closet is responsible for this in Foley's case and clarifying that orientation does not equal pedophile.

This is the same problem with HRC that we see over and over, "self-protection" instead of truly getting at the heart of what the issues are. It's the same pathetic logic for continuing to support Holy Joe because of his incumbency instead of Ned Lamont (who is more vocally pro-gay).

We don't need our advocates to clam up as well.

If folks allegedly on our side can't see the larger picture of Republican corruption on the Hill that "Foleygate" represents (just to back someone who began to vote our way only after being outed), it's a sad state of affairs.

***

Paul had his own poetic commentary on Foleygate, which you should definitely check out.

Also:
* Foley blasted 'vile' Clinton in 1998 for his 'sad sexual addiction'
* Resolution for ethics probe over Foley passes 410-0
* Denny Hastert must resign for doing nothing about Foley
* Foley drops out of re-election campaign
* What the heck was Mark Foley thinking?


Fun - and protestors -- at NC Pride

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting



It was a great day in Durham - we had a huge turnout for NC Pride, more folks than I've seen in the last few years. Great weather - in the high 70s, low humidity.

For the first time that I can recall, we had honest to goodness fundies out there. The crew from Operation Save America showed up with the same tired signs that they probably use over in Charlotte. Everyone was laughing at them. OSA is not a local group -- they bus their folks in wherever they think they can drum up some publicity. This American Taliban-style organization isn't even from this area (it's based in TX). The goal of OSA, besides returning homos to the closet, is to get God back in the classroom and the state back into a woman's womb.

Today was no exception, though their signs were not nearly as colorful as the Westboro Baptist crew (they came to protest a production of The Laramie Project last year).

A couple of shots (click to enlarge).







One of the bikers in the parade revved their engine to drown out the fundies as attempted to bleat nonsense about sodomy and sodomites.

Our side had quite a few great zinger signs of their own. "Blood of the lamb" was one of Kate's favorites:



There was this one fundie all by himself on one street corner. I think this was a local dude, not an OSA-er. It was kind of sad that he couldn't find anyone else to "perform" with.



Kate and I marched with my old neighborhood association, Old West Durham, which is the host neighborhood of the parade. I'm with community allies OWDNA President John Schelp (far right) and City Councilman Mike Woodard, who said he has the Blend bookmarked (!), joined our group for the whole march -- and earned a blister!. It was good to see a lot of local pols out there today, mingling and even with tables set up to meet with the gay community.



More pix here.

Here's a quote from a local black homobigot:
Some disagree with the idea of the parade.

Pastor Donald Fozard of Mt. Zion Church in Durham, said he follows the Bible's teachings, which say homosexuality is a sin.

"Why do they have to have a parade?" Fozard asked. "What we need is an open forum to talk about it face to face."
This dude lives about a half mile from our house. He has a life-size statue of a white couple in an embrace to symbolize "one man, one woman" in his front yard. The place looks like a compound.

He's a real winner.
Minister preaches against 'faggots', March 3, 2004. From this past Sunday's sermon, one would think the Rev. Donald Q. Fozard Sr. likes saying the word faggot. The pastor of Durham's Mount Zion Christian Church hollers the word's last syllable as if he were exorcising a demon, or as if he were a movie star who understands that notoriety rises when you do something incendiary.

"Faggots across the nation, heading churches. Homos on the pianos. Faggots in the choir. What kind of spirit is leading that church?" he asked his 150 worshippers.
Also:
* NC Pride and features on gay legal issues in the Independent Weekly


Foley blasted 'vile' Clinton in 1998 for his 'sad sexual addiction'

Hahahahahahahahahhaha....Raw Story dug this one up from 1998. Oh that GOP hypocrisy comes back and bit you in the ass, Foley.
For more than a week, members of Congress said they would avoid partisan politics when they got Kenneth Starr's report on President Clinton. But when they finally saw it Friday, they split along party lines.

Republicans were aghast at Clinton's behavior, with many saying it showed he had lied and abused his power.

"It's vile," said Rep. Mark Foley, R-West Palm Beach. "It's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction."
Read the online chats at PageOneQ of the oh-so-discreet IMing of the former chair of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children with a teenage House page:

Maf54 (7:58:59 PM): but it must feel great spirting on the towel

[redacted screenname] (7:59:06 PM): ya

Maf54 (7:59:29 PM): wow

Maf54 (7:59:48 PM): is your little guy limp...or growing

[redacted screenname] (7:59:54 PM): eh growing

Maf54 (8:00:00 PM): hmm

Maf54 (8:00:12 PM): so you got a stiff one now

[redacted screenname] (8:00:19 PM): not that fast

[redacted screenname] (8:00:20 PM): hey

[redacted screenname] (8:00:32 PM): so you have a fetich
So, let's see what the Republican-controlled House plans to do about Foley. The reaction of the House leadership (denial, changing stories over who knew what and when) -- and the lack of a reaction from the AmTaliban will prove what a sham they are putting on regarding "pro-family" values.

Also:
* Resolution for ethics probe over Foley passes 410-0
* Denny Hastert must resign for doing nothing about Foley
* Foley drops out of re-election campaign
* What the heck was Mark Foley thinking?


Resolution for ethics probe over Foley passes 410-0


The GOP is heading for meltdown as Nancy Pelosi offered a resolution to investigate the behavior of former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL). It passed 410-0.

Now the denial and cover up games begin, however there is no way they can blame Democrats for this one. They are in charge and this has blown up in their faces.

Let's look at some of the lying and butt-covering scrambling going on.

1. House Speaker Leader Dennis Hastert said he's shocked and didn't know about Foley's emails and IMs to teen pages.

"I was surprised," Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said after being informed of Foley's decision. "I didn't know what the situation was."
Gee, he must have amnesia, because perpetually tanned House Majority Leader John Boehner told the WaPo that Hastert knew months ago and the latter said to do something about it (clearly it didn't mean booting Foley).
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The resignation rocked the Capitol, and especially Foley's GOP colleagues, as lawmakers were rushing to adjourn for at least six weeks. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of some "contact" between Foley and a 16-year-old page. Boehner said he told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), and that Hastert assured him "we're taking care of it."
2. The Dem on the House page board was never informed about Foley.

Roll Call has been all over this story, and breaks some news about John Shimkus (R-IL), head of the Page Board, and who didn't tell the Democrat on the board, Rep. Dale Kildee.
"I became aware of it this afternoon when [Shimkus] came by my office. I think we should have had a page meeting right away," Kildee said, referring to last year's discovery of Foley's e-mails.

When asked if was upset about being excluded, Kildee said yes, adding, "I've been on the page board for 20 years."

"I'm the chairman of the page board," Shimkus said when asked why he didn't include Kildee. "The Clerk and I addressed this issue."
So Kildee wasn't told, yet Roll Call reports that these Republicans were aware of the situation: Boehner, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds (R-NY) and Reps. Rodney Alexander (R-LA.) and Shimkus, the former Clerk of the House Jeff Trandahl -- and the senior aide to Hastert.

Wait -- we're supposed to believe that Hastert's senior aide didn't tell him? The House Clerk was informed about an explosive matter like this, but not the Speaker? Jesus, they must think we're stupid. Either he was told, or, knowing the potential maelstrom that could occur if the story leaked, Hastert was given plausible deniability. I can't believe the latter -- I'm sure they thought they could keep a lid on this. And that leads to...

3. A sign of the implosion -- they can't get their stories straight.

-- In the Roll Call article, John Boehner denies telling Hastert. So which publication did you lie to, Boehner?
-- The article also says that "according to a senior House GOP leadership aide, Hastert’s office was informed of the interview shortly after it occurred, but Hastert himself was not told." Love the anonymous spin job. Again, who's lying (and who has the motive for doing so)?

4. What, if anything, did those who did know about Foley's predatory, sexually harrassing behavior at the time (it obviously didn't involve any action against the Florida Congressman, then head of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children)?

From the WaPo:
Shimkus said in a statement last night, "in late 2005, I was notified by the then Clerk of the House," that Alexander had told the Clerk "about an email exchange between Congressman Foley and a former House Page. I took immediate action to investigate the matter."

"Foley asked about the former Page's well-being after Hurricane Katrina and requested a photograph," Shimkus said. He said Foley assured him it was an innocent exchange, but "nevertheless, we ordered Congressman Foley to cease all contact" with the boy and to respect all pages. "Only now have I learned that Congressman Foley was not honest about his conduct," Shimkus said.
Well, wasn't that a slap on the wrist. And no follow-up, clearly.

This was sexual harrassment of a House employee, a minor at that. Is this the best that the GOP leadership in this country can do to protect those who work for them from predatory elected officials?

Perhaps the ethics probe, the last thing the Republicans needed on the agenda as the election nears, will expose the real "values" of God's Own Party.

Of course in Freeperland there is plenty of gay bashing going on, though a lot of them are doing some hand-wringing about strategy. One thing for Log Cabinettes to note -- the Base, always willing to conflate any perverted sexual behavior with homosexuality, see the solution as booting all of you out.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

Makes one wonder what they'll find on his computer.

GAWD....how the hell did the GOP caucus give him that committee assignment?

My God, this creep was head of the caucus on Missing and Exploited Children? Co-Chairman, at least that's what I heard on TV. Sounds like the fox guarding the henhouse. Good riddance to him. I hope authorities responded quickly enough and secured the computers and other gear that might been used in his sick little game.

Chalk up one more district for the Dims. What a sick POS.

Well...it's be a great way to get Jeb into the national picture....

Then to his republican supporters, it was alright to be gay, but not gay with 16-18 year old boys. I guess he crossed a some line that his republican supporters could not accept. What a fool.

You know what chaps my hide - the fact that the leadership knew about this months ago and did nothing. He should have been pressured to resign "to spend time with family" or whatever and then a suitable replacement could have been moved in his place to run. The district leans right. Now it's lost to the RATS. Way to frickin go. Politicians are idiots. This is a chess game that needs to be thought out three steps ahead, always.

Sheesh people all is not lost. foley won in 2004 with 65% of the vote, so that tells you that the district is conservative leaning. There is still a month to go, and like I said this lemon could turn into lemonade with the fact that the democrats have barney frank and patches kennedy, and that the democrats never call on the resignation of their trash.

I've heard rumors over the years about a dozen or so Reps having gay leanings, about equally split between Democrats and Republicans - GOOGLE will turn up numerous reports. As long as they stick to consensual relationships with adults (21 and over) , and the voters in their districts are satisfied with them otherwise, I say let it ride - likely "outing" would be harder on the Republicans than the Democrats. Adults praying on children and adolescents of either sex is something else, of course.

Good. The Republicans have enough problems with this fellow being sick and twisted adding to them.

The more research I do into this guy, the more it looks to me like he was yet another fake Republican. I don't know much about his district, but he sure as hell was no conservative. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

well, if a longtime politician is single, or has some issues, it seems that people let them slide, until something like this comes up. somebody close and personal should have said a looooong time ago: "Look, are you a homosexual or not? If so, are you going to push a homosexual agenda? If so, well then, you need to bring this out and let the constituents realize what you are all about. If not, well then keep you private life private and lets keep the house in GOP hands. And stay away from the pages."

Doesn't Rush live near Foley's district. Time to step up for the good of the country Rush.

RINO infestation - that's what happens when people settle.

Unfortunately, this "trash" may end up helping Pelosi run the house. When you combine Foley's district with Delay's, Ney's, and AZ-08, things are not looking too good for the GOP holding the house. Unbelievable.

Before everyone calls him a predator we should wait for a few more facts in this case. I dont really care if he gay or not and there is not going to be some "purge" of gays from the party. That being said if he did something wrong I am glad he is leaving

One more queer gone from leadership. It is GREAT news that we're getting rid of both Kolbe and Foley this election. It doesn't matter if we lose both seats, the damage these scumbags do to attack the GOP from within is far worse than any Democrat could do.

#1 - It was well-known that Foley was gay, though he refused to say either way in public. He had an open relationship with his boyfriend. #2 - Foley supported "gay rights" legislation

Yet the Republicans in his district kept supporting him and even tried to get him to run for Senate. Shame on them!

Just when you figure we've hit rock bottom, along comes something like this. Sick son of a bitch! I hope he's prosecuted.

Oh, boy you know the Rats and the MSM are going to use this big time tonight and the rest of the weekend. Way to go, you idiot.

"Foley, the chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children..."

The entire United States Congress is run by imbeciles.

One more queer gone from leadership. A good thing even though he wasn't a dimorat.
Related:
* Denny Hastert must resign for doing nothing about Foley
* Foley drops out of re-election campaign
* What the heck was Mark Foley thinking?


Denny Hastert must resign for doing nothing about Foley

Friday, September 29, 2006


“Recent news stories remind us that there are predators using the Internet to target children,” Hastert said. “And just as we warn our children about ‘stranger danger’ when they are at the park or answering the door or telephone, we need to be aware of potential dangers in Cyberspace.”
-- from a press release on House Speaker Denny Hastert's web site today, touting his "Effort To 'Keep Kids Safe In Cyberspace"
Jesus. Too bad the Tyrannosaurus of Turpitude didn't give a damn that House pages were being preyed upon in IMs and emails by Rep. Mark Foley. Hastert knew about Foley's "problem" over a year ago, yet he didn't do anything about the Florida congressman, who was the chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children.
The page worked for Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., who said Friday that when he learned of the e-mail exchanges 10 to 11 months ago, he called the teen's parents. Alexander told the Ruston Daily Leader, "We also notified the House leadership that there might be a potential problem," a reference to the House's Republican leaders.
But Hastert now claims he had no idea:
"I was surprised," Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., said after being informed of Foley's decision. "I didn’t know what the situation was."
So who's lying? Heck, if didn't know, that's a bigger problem to explain -- no one thought he needed to know?

The bottom line is that Hastert didn't follow his own cyberspace advice -- and do something about the predator in his midst. He should resign.

We know all too well that in the GOP the buck never stops at the top.

***

More nasty Mark "totally stiff wood" Foley IM chats with a teen page have emerged (boy, no wonder he resigned so fast; he knew what was coming out), courtesy of ABC (PDF). Here is a snapshot of some of the exchange.



***

UPDATE: There is an interesting piece up at ABC, in the Reporter's Notebook by J. Jennings Moss, who outed Foley in The Advocate. He bolsters my case that Foley was drunk with power, deep in the closet and thought he could keep it padlocked while his pathological behavior went unchecked.

He also makes the point that the MSM simply won't hold politically closeted gay lawmakers accountable for hypocritical voting.
Ten years ago, I outed Foley as a gay man for The Advocate, the national gay and lesbian newsmagazine. But aside from one story in the St. Petersburg Times, no other Florida or national publications would touch the tale, either because Foley and his camp did a great job of shooting the messenger or because of the inherent fear the media have to delve honestly and without judgment into a person's sexual background.

...I remember that former GOP Rep. Bob Barr, the congressman who was the chief sponsor of DOMA, got asked once which of his three previous marriages he was defending, and no one raised a stink.

But asking a lawmaker if he was gay and how his sexuality affected his vote was just not acceptable. It wasn't in 1996, and I doubt many reporters would do it today. It's not homophobia per se. It's really more like homo-aversion.

Foley was a master of aversion. For The Advocate story, as I recall, Foley didn't grant a face-to-face interview but instead answered written questions. "Frankly, I don't think what kind of personal relationships I have in my private life is of any relevance to anyone else," he said.

...By staying so deep in the closet and browbeating others to keep his secret for him, Foley probably thought he was invincible. But secrets have a way of bringing down the powerful.
As we can see, the kinds of "relationships" Foley had were quite relevant -- his ghastly behavior involves preying on young pages -- and no one in the House leadership stopped him.

When do you think we'll hear from Daddy Dobson, Concerned Women for America or any of the other "pro-family" organizations about this government's coverup of a predator serving on the Hill?


Foley drops out of re-election campaign

Boy, look what happens while I'm offline...

Foley Resigns Over Sexually Explicit Messages to Minors.


Saying he was "deeply sorry," Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) resigned from Congress today, hours after ABC News questioned him about sexually explicit internet messages with current and former congressional pages under the age of 18.

A spokesman for Foley, the chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, said the congressman submitted his resignation in a letter late this afternoon to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

Hours earlier, ABC News had read excerpts of instant messages provided by former male pages who said the congressman, under the AOL Instant Messenger screen name Maf54, made repeated references to sexual organs and acts.
Yet another reason why homo pols who vote anti-gay have no business holding office. When you live your life in the shadows of self-loathing trolling for sex, this is the end result -- poor judgment, outlandish arrogance that you won't get caught, and ultimately, in this day and age, public humiliation when it surfaces.

How does (now former) Rep. Foley, an alleged protector of children from sexual predation, explain this sh*t:
Maf54: You in your boxers, too?
Teen: Nope, just got home. I had a college interview that went late.
Maf54: Well, strip down and get relaxed.

Another message:

Maf54: What ya wearing?
Teen: tshirt and shorts
Maf54: Love to slip them off of you.

And this one:

Maf54: Do I make you a little horny?
Teen: A little.
Maf54: Cool.

The language gets much more graphic, too graphic to be broadcast, and at one point the congressman appears to be describing Internet sex.
Well, in the end, he couldn't, so he had to step down.

The mind-blower (and the much bigger story here) is that the GOP House leadership knew about Foley's "activities" regarding pages -- and did nothing about it! (SFGate):
The page worked for Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., who said Friday that when he learned of the e-mail exchanges 10 to 11 months ago, he called the teen's parents. Alexander told the Ruston Daily Leader, "We also notified the House leadership that there might be a potential problem," a reference to the House's Republican leaders.
How on earth does this square with all the bleating by Republicans that this was somehow a Dem smear when they knew what was going on? Someone better come up with a realistic explanation of how they could leave Mark Foley in his position as chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children?!

This boggles the mind. How is God's Own Party going to explain away leaving a "potential problem" with access to pages?

***

Foley, you should hook up with Ed Schrock and compare notes about your respective downfalls. Schrock, you might recall, dropped out of his campaign when audio tapes surfaced of him seeking out gay sex on a phone service (courtesy of Mike Rogers), asking, among other things, that his respondent have “a great body on him,” be “white” and have a “good-sized endowment.”



Schrock, btw, had a 92 percent score from the Christian Coalition.

These GOPervs just don't get it. In the end, they are addicted to access and power, and will never jeopardize that power bestowed upon them by the homo-hating wing of the GOP that currently rules the roost. They will only self-destruct because of their own corrupt, sad behavior that is paired with the inner turmoil of living in the closet.



Gay R.I. couples can legally marry in Massachusetts!

Big development! This will send the fundie machine into overdrive.

A Superior Court judge in Massachusetts has ruled that gay couples from Rhode Island may marry in Massachusetts because RI's constitution does not specify that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Up until this point, marriages of couples from other states performed in Massachusetts were not legal if the home state didn't recognize same-sex marriages. (Boston.com):
Wendy Becker and Mary Norton of Providence, R.I., argued that a 1913 law that forbids out-of-state residents from marrying in Massachusetts if their marriage would not be permitted in their home state did not apply to them because Rhode Island does not specifically ban gay marriage.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly agreed.

"No evidence was introduced before this court of a constitutional amendment, statute, or controlling appellate decision from Rhode Island that explicitly deems void or otherwise expressly forbids same-sex marriage," he ruled.

The ruling has no effect on whether Rhode Island or any other state must allow gay marriage.

State Attorney General Thomas Reilly said he would not appeal Connolly's ruling.

Reilly's office had argued that Rhode Island laws' use of gender-specific terms -- including both "bride" and "groom" -- made it clear that the laws' intent was to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

In a statement after Connolly's ruling was issued, Reilly said appealing the decision "would be a waste of time and resources."

"This case has always been about respecting the laws of other states," Reilly said.
That 1913 law was enacted over inter-state recognition of interracial marriage. Some of the very reasons for opposing marriage equality for gays were used to justify that discrimination. It's time for it to end everywhere.

H/t, PageOneQ.


Woodward: Bush lying about Iraq violence


"I will not withdraw even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me."
-- Bush to key Republican leaders on his desire to "stay the course" in Iraq -- no matter what, in Bob Woodward's new book, State of Denial
That Dear Leader and his failed administration are trying to conceal the level of violence going on in Iraq is pretty much a given. What news reports we do see point out the obvious failure of this administration to be honest about a situation that is spinning out of control. Woodward's book makes it clear that urgent warnings back in 2003 about the insurgency were simply ignored, as Bush insisted the message had to be that things were peachy in IED land.

Perhaps Woodward's now trying to sharpen his teeth after for going soft on the administration re: the Plame Affair. (NYT):
The book says President Bush’s top advisers were often at odds among themselves, and sometimes were barely on speaking terms, but shared a tendency to dismiss as too pessimistic assessments from American commanders and others about the situation in Iraq.

As late as November 2003, Mr. Bush is quoted as saying of the situation in Iraq: "I don't want anyone in the cabinet to say it is an insurgency. I don't think we are there yet."

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld is described as disengaged from the nuts-and-bolts of occupying and reconstructing Iraq — a task that was initially supposed to be under the direction of the Pentagon — and so hostile toward Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, that President Bush had to tell him to return her phone calls.
Cheney comes off as a Dr. Strangelove freakshow:

Vice President Cheney is described as a man so determined to find proof that his claim about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was accurate that, in the summer of 2003, his aides were calling the chief weapons inspector, David Kay, with specific satellite coordinates as the sites of possible caches. None resulted in any finds.
Rumsfeld is perceived by some in the admin as off his rocker.
Mr. Rumsfeld reached into political matters at the periphery of his responsibilities, according to the book. At one point, Mr. Bush traveled to Ohio, where the Abrams battle tank was manufactured. Mr. Rumsfeld phoned Mr. Card to complain that Mr. Bush should not have made the visit because Mr. Rumsfeld thought the heavy tank was incompatible with his vision of a light and fast military of the future. Mr. Woodward wrote that Mr. Card believed that Mr. Rumsfeld was "out of control."
Bush and Rumsfeld refused to sit for an interview, but as usual, Woodward got a lot of the administration higher-ups to talk about the dysfunctional relationships in the White House that have brought us to where we are today.


This and that...

Open thread...

Gaypocalypse Now

How we will destroy the earth. Hilarious.



***

Here are some linkees:

* Madkane: Torture Bill Haiku. Her blog has also moved - update your bookmarks.

* Paul has two good ones, Candidate facing N-Word accusations (picture Vernon Robinson), and posts on lesbian activist Aleta Fenceroy, who died this week.

* Mike Tidmus on anti-gay cartoons being distributed on a college campus by a "Christian" whackjob. The comics depicted the homo straw man that the Right loves to beat on -- we're portrayed as rapists, child molesters, murderers and thugs.

* Chris at Facing South has a post up on the frustration of the Base -- Religious right falters on eve of elections.

* The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy blog is running a five part Supreme Court preview featuring leading legal experts writing about key upcoming cases. The first in the series is "Abortion and the "Health Exception."


Priests steal from Florida parish

Priests charged in the theft of $8.6 million. I guess this is akin to the five-finger heavenly discount, or some such, for Ratzi's boys. This was in Delray Beach.
Two Roman Catholic priests stole and misappropriated $8.6 million in offerings and gifts made to their parish and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of it on car payments, rare coins and other personal expenses, authorities said Thursday.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Monsignor John Skehan, a former Miami-Dade and Broward priest who was pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church for four decades, was arrested Wednesday night at Palm Beach International Airport after he returned from Ireland. He was being held on $400,000 bond, police said.

Also accused is the Rev. Francis Guinan, another former Miami-Dade priest who succeeded Skehan three years ago. He is on an Australian cruise and called investigators Thursday.

''Millions of dollars that should have gone to helping the homeless folks or the school itself'' didn't, said FDLE agent Amos Rojas Jr.

''These guys lived the life they told everyone else not to live -- and they lived it on everyone else's dime,'' police spokesman Jeff Messer told the Palm Beach Post.
***

Meanwhile, Papa Ratzi's pedophiles are still turning up; here's one in New Mexico on his way to the clink. (KOBTV):
A former New Mexico priest was sentenced in federal court Thursday to five years in prison for molesting a 14-year-old boy during a trip to Europe last summer.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
George Silva, 74, in June agreed to a deal in which he would be sentenced to five years in a federal prison rather than go to trial and face a possible sentence of up to 30 years.

..."We agreed to a sentence of five years, the victim does not have to testify in this case, and we all thought that was an appropriate resolution in this case," said Assistant US Attorney Charles Barth following Silva's June 12th guilty plea in federal court in Albuquerque.

Silva, who had been a priest in Raton, was indicted by a federal grand jury on four counts of transporting the 14-year-old Raton Boy to France and Portugal for the purpose of having illicit sex. That's despite Silva being admonished repeatedly by the archdiocese of Santa to stay away from the boy.
Admonished? They were going to keep circulating this sick man until it bit the church in the ass. Again.

***

Paul passed on another one:

Court papers detail concerns about priest accused of sexual abuse.
Leaders of a Roman Catholic order of priests worried for decades that the Rev. Michael Toulouse was a pedophile, but opted to move him rather than report him to police, a lawyer for several victims said.

Citing internal documents discovered in a U.S. District Court lawsuit against the Society of Jesus in Seattle, attorney Mike Shaffer said the Jesuit priest continued to molest boys after he was transferred from Spokane to Seattle University in 1950.

..."At least a dozen victims have been identified by now who suffered assaults from Toulouse's aggressive, predatory pedophilia," lawyers for the victim, identified only as J.C., wrote in court filings Wednesday.

...Documents dating back six decades show Jesuit leaders knew Toulouse was a pedophile, but took no action, Shaffer alleges. "They turned a monster loose in Seattle," he said.

Court filings contend Toulouse cultivated friendships with Catholic families, and then groomed their sons for sexual abuse even as Jesuit leaders worried about his behavior.

As early as 1938, Jesuit leaders suggested that the priest should leave the order, stating he "does not seem to understand the meaning of obedience," according to minutes from a provincial meeting marked "Confidential."


Another conservative turns on the bible beaters


There's no way that you can consider former U.S. Dick Armey (R-TX) a friend of the homos (he voted yes on banning gay adoptions in DC, for example), but he's clearly had enough of the fundies. From Daddy Dobson's CitizenLink:
Former Texas Congressman Dick Armey, once a stalwart ally in the culture wars, appears to be turning his back on Christian conservatives and their leaders.

The former majority leader of the House of Representatives reportedly told Ryan Sager, author of a new book on the Republican Party, that values voters and their leaders — especially Focus on the Family Action Chairman Dr. James Dobson — are "nasty bullies."

In the interview, Armey responded pointedly when Sager asked why he thought Christian conservatives seemed more powerful now than in the 1990s.

"To a large extent, because Dobson and his gang of thugs are real nasty bullies," Armey said. "I pray devoutly every day, but being a Christian is no excuse for being stupid. There's a high demagoguery coefficient to issues like prayer in schools. Demagoguery doesn't work unless it's dumb . . . These issues are easy for the intellectually lazy and can appeal to a large demographic."
Hahahahahahahaha. Of course, the rest of the piece has Dobson's minions defending their boss and slamming Armey. Ooooh...delicious:
Focus on the Family Action President Jim Daly said it's shocking the former congressman would attack millions of values voters who helped Armey and other social conservatives gain control of Congress.

"Values voters expect to hear such cruel insults from the Left," he said, "but not from a champion of family values, as Mr. Armey once claimed to be...Perhaps Mr. Armey should spend less time with the ACLU, for whom he is now a paid consultant," Daly said, "and more time apologizing to American families."

Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., who served under Armey's leadership, said it was sad that someone of Armey's stature would call Christians a "gang of thugs."

"That would be your listeners and readers, (he's talking about)," the congressman told CitizenLink. "That would be the many Christians around the United States who devoutly hold conservative moral beliefs — and he's acting like this is just some kind of political game. And it's disgusting. I was incredibly disappointed to read these comments."

Hat tip, Blender Autumn.


The Governator signs bill limiting 'gay panic' defense

"This is a victory for fairness in our criminal justice system and a tribute to the courage of Gwen Araujo. Too many Californians live with the very real fear that they will be victimized simply because of who they are. Government should have as its first priority the protection of all its citizens. Making sure that our court system treats all Californians fairly, regardless of individual differences is essential."
-- Assemblywoman Sally Lieber (D-San Jose) on A.B. 1160, which Schwarzenegger signed last night
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 until now in California is a travesty.

The use of this defense has now been limited, with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's signing of The Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act.

Gwen Araujo was a transgender teen from Newark, CA. who was murdered in 2002. Defense lawyers used the "gay panic" defense -- claiming that their rage and actions stemmed from having sex with Araujo and later learning she was born male.


Araujo was only 17 when she was killed.
The Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act directs the Office of Emergency Services to create training materials for district attorneys on best practices to address the use of bias-motivated defense strategies in criminal trials. The bill also requires the Judicial Council to adopt a jury instruction that tells jurors not to consider bias against people because of sexual orientation, gender identity or other characteristics in rendering a verdict.

The law was praised by Araujo's family.

"Since my daughter was killed, my family and I have spent literally thousands of hours working hard to make sure that California is a state where everyone is respected and treated fairly," said Sylvia Guerrero. "The Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act will really help us in our work."
***

But it was a mixed bag for LGBT rights, as the Governator signed some bills and vetoed others:

* AB 2800, Civil Rights Housing Act of 2006 (signed). California housing laws are amended to include all of these categories in its anti-discrimination policy: race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex (and gender identity), marital status, sexual orientation, familial status and source of income.

* AB 606, The Safe Place to Learn Act (vetoed). This would have required the withholding of state funds from school districts that did not adopt an anti-discrimination policy that included sexual orientation and gender identity.

* AB 1056, Tolerance Education Pilot Program (vetoed). The anti-bullying measure would have required funding this program to strengthen existing state law prohibiting LGBT harassment.

The fundies were ecstatic about the vetoes.
"We thank God that children in California public schools will be protected from this direct assault for one more year," said Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Children and Families (CCF), a conservative, pro-family organization.

"The Democrat politicians and teacher unions are relentlessly pushing to sexually indoctrinate kids. Schwarzenegger has delayed them for now."

In his veto messages, Schwarzenegger said he vetoed AB 606 because it was "irresponsible" to create a new state mandate on schools, and he noted that existing laws already deal with discrimination and harassment in the schools.

The governor said he vetoed AB 1056 because it duplicated current efforts to provide "more avenues to teach about tolerance and human rights."



A-OK on torture: Senate bill passes

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The final bill will land on the Chimperor's desk on Friday. This sailed through so that pols up for re-election could look tough on terrorists. Instead, it places our men and women overseas at risk. (AP):
The bill would create military commissions to prosecute terrorism suspects. It also would prohibit some of the worst abuses of detainees like mutilation and rape, but grant the president leeway to decide which other interrogation techniques are permissible.

Democrats contended the legislation could set a dangerous precedent that might invite other countries to mistreat captured Americans. Their opposition focused on language barring detainees from going to federal court to protest their detention and treatment — a right referred to as "habeas corpus."

"The habeas corpus language in this bill is as legally abusive of rights guaranteed in the Constitution as the actions at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and secret prisons that were physically abusive of detainees," said Sen. Carl Levin, the top Democrat on the Armed Services panel.

Bush went to Capitol Hill Thursday morning, urging senators to follow the House lead and approve the plan.

"The American people need to know we're working together to win the war on terror," he said.

Bush had determined prior to that ruling that his executive powers gave him the right to detain and prosecute enemy combatants. He declared these detainees, being held at Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba and in secret CIA prisons elsewhere in the world, should not be afforded Geneva Convention protections.





...The legislation also says the president can "interpret the meaning and application" of international standards for prisoner treatment, a provision intended to allow him to authorize aggressive interrogation methods that might otherwise be seen as illegal by international courts.
Twelve Dems voted for the measure. Raw Story has the official tally.


What the heck was Mark Foley thinking?


Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL), like most of these full-of-themselves Beltway numnuts, probably didn't think that tawdry email exchanges with a 16-year-old male page (one remarking how sizzling one of his teen buddies is), would surface.

Raw Story has copies of the emails to the page.
Reports circulated on the Internet earlier this week, indicating that in private emails, Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) had requested photographs of the page, asked what he wanted for his birthday, and inquired about his age. The emails may be viewed below.

A subsequent investigation by RAW STORY discovered that the addresses on the emails were indeed those of Foley and a now-seventeen year old boy, who forwarded them to a fellow staffer.

...RAW STORY spoke with several sources, who confirmed that they felt Foley was unusually friendly with young Hill pages, but failed to uncover anything of a more serious nature. Foley's office contends that the Congressman is only guilty of being overly-friendly and has categorized the story as part of an opponent's "smear campaign."

Foley has long marketed himself as a protector of children from sexual predation. In 2003, he became an outspoken critic of a summer nudist camp for children.
A couple of notes here -- the age of consent in DC is 16, and there's nothing overtly sexual in these emails, it's just pretty darn dumb for any elected official to be doing this sort of thing and expect it not to surface in an election campaign. Particularly when your reputation is that of a "protector of children from sexual predation."

Foley is another one of those political closet cases. Like David Dreier, he was outed in local media several years ago, but he doesn't discuss his orientation -- and the MSM is basically silent on the matter. Foley voted consistently against gay rights legislation before the outing; his record improved only after he was ejected from the closet.Still, last year he voted to allow faith-based organizations to bypass local anti-discrimination laws so they could fire gays.

Peter LaBarbera, btw, was one of the wingers tossing barbs at Foley's closet back in the day (2003).
Foley and his spokesman say they will not answer reporters' questions about his "personal life." The homosexual newspaper Washington Blade was told the same when it asked spokesman Kirk Fordham "point blank if Foley is gay."

Most nonhomosexual newspapers did not pursue the story, but after Norman broke the ice with his column, the pressure grew on Foley, who is running for the seat vacated by Democratic presidential hopeful Bob Graham. (Foley has raised far more money for the Senate run than fellow GOP congressman Bill McCullum, who is also in the race.) Foley sought to go on the offensive by holding a conference call with reporters May 22. However, the call, in which Foley restated his refusal to discuss his "orientation," only generated more press coverage.
***

Mike Rogers, who has been involved in getting these emails out there, plans to go to the FBI to request a full-scale investigation into Foley's contacts with Congressional pages.


NC Pride and features on gay legal issues in the Independent Weekly

This weekend is NCPride, which is held in the Triangle. The main festivities, including the parade, are held in Durham starting tomorrow. We hold our Pride later in the year to avoid the oppressively hot weather in late June, the month when most celebrations are held. The events list is here. I'll be there marching with my former neighbors of Old West Durham, the host neighborhood of the parade.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The Independent Weekly, the area's progressive paper, has a couple of great feature articles on gay issues to dovetail with the upcoming events.

One is a piece, Family Values, by Kristin Howard, a mental health clinician and artist in Durham, on being married to a gay man. She makes the case that marriage equality would prevent so many gays and lesbians from trying to "fix" themselves by throwing themselves into marriages in the mistaken belief that their orientation will change.

In her case, both she and her husband came from a conservative Christian community and were raised to believe gays were "abominations before God."
Ten years into the marriage, it was revealed to this bride, who was still very much in love with her husband (though he was often distant and depressed) that he had a "terrible secret." He was gay. He had fought that fact all of his life. When he met me, he knew that he was gay, but he thought he could change--that God would heal him. And the alternative--coming out as a gay man--could get him killed. Certainly it would mean he would be shunned by his congregation, his friends and possibly his family.

...In many of these situations, the ministers who married the couples knew that one of them was gay (or in their words, struggled with same-sex attraction), and they encouraged them to marry anyway, even though the straight spouse knew nothing. To "save" the homosexual from hellfire and damnation ... they never gave a thought to the straight spouse who could, and eventually would, be destroyed by it.

These gay people who married--some of them hoping that God would heal them or change them, some of them to simply have a "normal" life in a marriage with children and the picket fence, some of them to hide from persecution--had they been accepted for who they are, would probably never have married someone of the opposite sex.

Had they been allowed to marry a partner of the same sex and been accepted, they never would have made the choices that are now destroying their lives, the lives of their unsuspecting spouses, and in some cases the lives of their children. All because the only way they can be equal--and have the same rights as everybody else--is to pretend to be everybody else.
Go read the rest; she's spot-on.

The other piece I was actually interviewed for (a few quotes made it in), Making it legal, covers legal protections that same-sex couples can avail themselves of until there's marriage equality (or an amendment that makes it difficult to sustain even those measures).
Durham Attorney Sharon Thompson points out, "A heterosexual can spend $50 on a marriage license and all of the sudden hundreds and hundreds of laws apply.

"In order for a same-sex couple to create some of those same protections, it's going to cost them. Wills for an average middle-class couple with some assets could run $1,000, $500 each for all those documents," she says. "But then if you want a property agreement, that's another $1,500. And then if you add on all the parent stuff, you add on several thousand dollars more. So you're looking at $5,000-$10,000 just to create legal protections and a family."

..."There are ways to cut that cost down," Thompson adds. "Healthcare power of attorney, for one. You can go online to the secretary of state's Web site (www.sosnc.com), or the medical society (www.ncmedsoc.org), and download healthcare power of attorney forms, and it's free. And those are fine, because they're North Carolina documents."

John Boddie, a Raleigh native who currently practices law in Greensboro, has a few more suggestions.

"I like people to make sure that any significant property that they own is owned 'in joint tenancy with right of survivorship.' You can own any property that way--your house, your car, your bank account. It's just a matter of using that magic language. And when I say 'magic language,' I mean that, because in North Carolina if you don't use those precise words, then you don't own your property jointly.
In the interview, it's mentioned that we found Sharon Thompson's table at NCPride, her firm is well-known as one of the go-to attorneys for LGBT couples around here who want to protect their rights (to the extent that we can).

Kate and I established "joint tenancy with right of survivorship" for our property, and had wills and healthcare and other power of attorney documents drawn up. We didn't spend anywhere near the figures quoted in this piece because we don't have kids -- that sends legal fees into the stratosphere, because there are so many legal bases to cover.


Wildmon: Ford made me boycott

Don's a piece of work. He's not stupid though, as his ongoing battle against Ford for its support of The Homosexual Agenda has earned the automaker an American Family Association boycott -- he now realizes that this could all backfire on him.

The intent was to punish Ford with bad PR, not destroy it, but he issued press release after grandiose press release bleating about the AFA's success and influence on Ford's situation (as opposed to, say the auto giant relying on big trucks and huge SUVs as its meal ticket).

The latest spin now? Don is saying that the AFA was forced to boycott Ford, lest it look weak as an organization. Holy mother of dog...
Wildmon says Ford is suffering the effects of its decision to aggressively promote same-sex "marriage" and other aspects of the homosexual agenda. The pro-family leader notes that AFA had suspended the boycott for six months; however, after Ford reneged on its agreement to remain neutral in the culture war, he says the boycott was back on.


Last weekend, Wildmon addressed the Values Voter Summit in Washington, telling the audience there that Ford left AFA and other pro-family groups with no other choice than to act in protest of the automaker's decision. "If we have the boycott," he observed, "we're going to hurt some people, and that is no fun. But if we don't boycott, we have no integrity left, and we're going to hurt more people in the long run."

The pro-family spokesman says Ford is hurting. And although AFA and other groups who have joined the boycott are not responsible for all of the auto company's financial woes, he says they are responsible for a substantial part of the difficulty Ford is now having with its bottom line.

...The officials at Ford made a decision, Wildmon asserts. "They elected to continue supporting the homosexual agenda and homosexual marriage," he says. And if pro-family and conservative groups fail to respond to the automaker's actions, the AFA spokesman contends, those groups will, in essence, have "given corporate America over to homosexual leadership."
Too late, Don -- the AFA integrity train left the station long ago. It's all your fault, isn't that what you wanted?


Open thread - a greeting for Dear Leader

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This photo of a banner put up in honor of the fart boy in chief was sent in to Kathy at Birmingham Blues.

Bush is visiting Alabama today and will be making a stop in The Magic City (to fundraise for Governor Bob Riley's re-election campaign). Like most of Dear Leader's stumping and shilling these days, it's under wraps -- the events aren't open to the public.

***

Open thread...links and blogwhoring highly encouraged.


Clay, this strategy isn't working

As usual my insomnia had me up last night and I happened to catch about 10 minutes of a rerun of an excruciating interview with American Idol runner-up and fellow Tar Heel Clay Aiken on Larry King Live that aired earlier that evening.

The boy needs to give it up on the gay rumors. Watching him dodge the fairly softball questions from Larry King was painful to watch, given King made it easy for him to just get the whole thing over with, one way or the other.

Whoever is advising him on how to handle this needs to find a new job. Straight guys don't have a problem affirming their heterosexuality. This interview made Clay look like he has something to hide -- and it's ultimately sad, because you can see that he's struggling with the fallout from the Paulus incident. Being a Southern Baptist doesn't make life any easier, btw. (CNN):
KING: Monday night on this show Oprah was on and was asked the same thing, wrote an article about it, and said she's not going to discuss it anymore but she's not gay, nothing against being gay. If she were gay, she would say she was gay but she's just not and that's it. She's not going to discuss it anymore. What's the big deal?

AIKEN: I have no idea.

KING: How did it start with you?

AIKEN: I don't -- I don't really know why. I've never been really involved in like in celebrity stuff. People always ask me who is your favorite singer? Who is your favorite -- all that stuff and I really don't know because I didn't pay attention to it too much.

And I've never really picked up the magazines and read any of them even before this and so I've not been involved in the whole sensationalism of celebrity's lives and never understood it.

So, I don't understand why people care. I mean I kind of think you know what you do what you do, I'll do what I do. Everybody does what they do. I hope that I'm here to sing and be successful and do it well enough that people want to hear me and that's kind of what I want to do, you know.

KING: But you're smart enough to know that people do care so the obvious question would be why not just -- it ain't going to affect your career one iota no matter what you are. Why not just put it away?

AIKEN: Because, you know what I found because I responded before and what I found is that people are going to think what they want to think anyway.

KING: You mean you responded by saying no?

AIKEN: I've responded every way I can, you know. I said, "Listen, I'm not going to deal with this anymore now because it doesn't matter what I say. People are going to think what they want to say."

When I was a kid and I would get in trouble in school the only -- the only acceptable answer if you broke something or you cheated on a test or whatever was yes. And, if you didn't say yes, the teacher didn't believe you anyway, so what's it matter. And I found that no matter what you say there are going to be people who believe one way or the other and so on and so forth.

KING: So, in other words, no matter what you said it wouldn't matter?

AIKEN: I've just -- I've given up. And at the same point, I kind of figure, you know, I've got -- I want to be available and open to fans who have been supportive of me but at the same time, you know, when people drive by my house and take pictures of where I live and put it on the Internet and put my home address online and whatnot, it's a little too much.

And so, you kind of have to draw -- I've had to realize it doesn't matter what. I'm going to draw a line here. I'm going to perform. I'm going to sing and I'm going to do whatever I can and hopefully entertain people and make them happy and make them smile, you know. Some people are going to hate me.

KING: I'm going to give you some logic from an older person.

AIKEN: OK.

KING: No matter what your sexual being is by answering it yea or nay you put it away. It's gone once you answer it. In other words, if you said -- if you say yea, what are they going to do hit you over the head, not listen to you sing, no. If you say nay, what are they going to do to you? In other words, you're putting yourself in a no win and you could be in a win-win.

AIKEN: Or I could just say, you know what, forget it. I'm not going to deal with it anymore.

...KING: All right. As a hypothetic do you think it would be career affecting if you were? Do you think people would stop buying your CDs?

AIKEN: I don't -- hypothetically I don't think so.

KING: Hypothetically.

AIKEN: I don't think so. I think...

KING: I don't either.

AIKEN: I think it's -- I think we're a very progressive America now. I don't really sit around and hypothesize about it though, you know. I don't really -- it's not something that occupies my time.

KING: But you don't think it would be career ending?

AIKEN: No, I don't think anything -- I mean I think, again I think people's -- if celebrities nowadays can do the things that celebrities do and still be successful, you know, I think that anybody can get by with pretty much anything. I don't plan on killing anybody. And so, I don't think but, again, I don't think about it that often.
This goes on and on. Aiken says he's had to deal with escalating panic attacks over this, for crying out loud. Quite frankly, coming out of the closet can't be worse that what he's dealing with now. It's hard for him to see that when he's padlocked in, though. It's something many gay folks can attest to -- but they never regret coming out once they muster that courage to do so.

I had to turn off the TV because it was tortuous watching him do this dance. He could have dismissed the line of questioning by simply giving the kind of answer Oprah gave and moved on and discussed his new record. If he's truly straight (in the hypothetical of course), then he's got a whole host of other problems if he's unable to better control an interview to prevent an extended nails-on-the-blackboard session like this.

When reading the entire transcript, a lot of Clay's issues have to do with his difficulty handling fame (whether due to his success as a recording artist or over the tabloid stories); this is a young man in need of better handlers and some counseling.


ATM for Jeebus

Yes, the fundies have now embraced the digital age — for the coffers. Since most folks don't carry a lot of cash on hand (with the popularity of debit cards), Pastor Marty Baker of the evangelical Stevens Creek Community Church in Augusta, GA, helps parishioners part with their cash by providing ATM-like devices in the church.
Baker has waded further into the 21st century than most fishers of American souls, as evidenced one Wednesday night when churchgoer Josh Marshall stepped up to a curious machine in the church lobby.

It was one of Stevens Creek's three "Giving Kiosks": a sleek black pedestal topped with a computer screen, numeric keypad and magnetic-strip reader. Prompted by the on-screen instructions, Marshall performed a ritual more common in quickie marts than a house of God: He pulled out a bank card, swiped it and punched in some numbers.

The machine spat out a receipt. Marshall's $400 donation was routed to church coffers before he had found his seat for evening worship.

"I paid for gas today with a card, and got lunch with one," said Marshall, 30. "This is really no different."
Not only does the church, where Baker preaches that the Bible is the "eternal and inviolate word of God," receive the e-tithing, but the Baker family gets a cut of the buxxx as well.

Gee, didn't I just post about the growing concern about the "prosperity" gospel producing holy-rolling greedy windbags?
"It's truly like an ATM for Jesus," Baker said.

This summer, Baker and his wife, Patty, began selling the devices to other churches through their for-profit company, SecureGive. They are its only employees, but a handful of contractors help them custom-tailor the machines for churches.

...The Bakers charge between $2,000 and $5,000 for the kiosks, which come in a variety of configurations. They also collect a monthly subscription fee of up to $49.95 for licensing and support. And a card-processing company gets 1.9% of each transaction; a small cut of that fee goes to SecureGive.
The next bright idea the Bakers have, if this takes off, is to produce and sell donation machines that attach to the backs of the pews.

***

When I crossposted this at Pandagon, a reader seemed to think that I had an objection to the idea of an ATM in the church. The ATM idea in itself to address the debit card society isn't a bad idea. The irony is that technology has been adopted by the fundie flat earthers — the same people who will be lining up to go to The Creation Museum.

Unless the Bakers are giving it all away (the article only indicates that they will "give a significant sum to their church"), they are cashing in -- per tush-in-the-pew. Trust me, they are "banking" on the prosperity gospel. Once commenter there noted:
This is like giving the metalsmith 1% of each week's collections, or paying the stonesmith a fee for each dunk/sprinkle, or paying the carpenters a per-butt-in-pew fee every week.


Traditional Values Coalition: 'Will Cross-Dressing Activists Come To Your School?'

"TVC has long warned that one of the next phases of the homosexual movement is to normalize cross-dressing and sex change operations. The ultimate goal is to blur all distinctions between male and female-and to destroy marriage as a God-ordained institution."
-- from TVC's society saving report, "Will Cross-Dressing Activists Come To Your School?"
Oh, please stop it. Wild-eyed Lou Sheldon and his mouthpiece Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition are fixated on all things homo. Lou is convinced every gay (man, of course) is a pedophile. TVC drones have a special place in their tiny, confused, diseased brains for gender identity disorder (GID). Trans folks are now destroying the sanctity of marriage too -- and the schools are next, as you will read below.

Actually, Lou, who is a big advocate of exorcism as "reparative therapy," clearly doesn't have a clue what gender identity disorder is. Last year, he was on American Family Radio's Today's Issues and he said this:

Sheldon graphic: Mike Tidmus

Now, you may have gender identity conflict -- that's the medical-scientific name for homosexuality -- where you're attracted to the same-sex person, but once you enter into the culture, into the music, into the gay bars, into the gay literature, into the gay theater, and all of that kind of -- and gay travel -- once you immerse yourself into that, you have really put yourself into a groove that only a sort of an exorcism can release you from.
Alrighty then. With that foundation, TVC's "back to school" article on its web site by Exec Director Lafferty, "Will Cross-Dressing Activists Come To Your School?", makes complete sense.

"Transgender activists are aggressively targeting our public school children this fall," said TVC Executive Director Andrea Lafferty. "These sexually confused individuals have made it their goal to deceive our kids into thinking they're the opposite sex. This insanity must stop. Our new report, "Will Cross-Dressing Activists Come To Your School?" exposes this dangerous effort to confuse our children."

TVC's Back to School Report details the growing movement of transgender activists, including teachers, counselors and pediatricians who are teaching children that being male or female is "fluid" and changeable. "This is absolutely crazy, but pediatricians from some of the nation's most prestigious children's hospitals are involved in this gender confusion movement," said Lafferty.

"Children who suffer from a Gender Identity Disorder are being redefined by these radical pediatricians as 'gender variant' children who should be affirmed in their sexual confusions. These children need serious therapy, not affirmation for their gender confusion. A boy who thinks he's a girl, needs help-not a sex change when he becomes a teenager. These kids need compassionate attention to overcome self-hatred and to live normal lives as males and females-not to be told that they're actually girls trapped in boy's bodies. This is a physical and mental impossibility," said Lafferty.
The article wastes a lot of space challenging scientific findings and respected doctors in the field of GID by quoting studies on the fact-challenged National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) web site.

One laughable passage in the report, about the influence of the Homosexual/Trans Agenda on private schools, lists several "homosexual friendly" institutions that are leading America's children into a sea of sexual and gender confusion. It's off the charts batsh*t crazy:
Park Day School is so well-known for its "homosexual friendly" atmosphere that the San Francisco Chronicle featured it in a March, 2002 article: "Teaching the reality of gay life; Oakland schoolkids learn a rare lesson."

The Chronicle notes that in early March 2002, kindergarteners through 6th graders listened to 45 speakers from a "list of Bay Area's gay movers and shakers" describe homosexuality and "A male therapist who was once female talked to the sixth-graders."

The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus sang songs about self-pride and "Rubber Ducky," a Sesame Street classic.

...Children are encouraged at Park to write essays about famous "gay" people and to decorate their classrooms with rainbow flags and pictures of Melissa Ethridge and her homosexual partner. Eleven-year-old Ben Ruffman-Cohen, "who has two moms" said that the experience was the "best week of my life."

What is being done to gender confused children at Park Day School will be coming to your school soon. It is only a matter of time.
Argh, the evil influence of the sexually ambiguous gay duo of Ernie and Bert. And I thought Rev. Falwell (queer Tinkywinky) and Daddy Dobson (homo Spongebob) were unhinged.


Hat tip, Blender Autumn.


Wal-Mart in the dog house with Idaho fundies

Hey 'Radical' Russ, we've got a live one out in your neck of the woods -- a dude from some outfit called the Idaho Values Alliance, Bryan Fischer. He's getting the vapors over Wal-Mart's decision to co-sponsor LGBT Diversity Week at Boise State University.

I think his real problem is that the other sponsor, The Pleasure Boutique, sells sex toys. According to Don Wildmon's "news" organ, AgapePress, the big-box retailer has given its "full endorsement to the homosexual agenda."
The Pleasure Boutique is a company that openly boasts of having the "largest adult toy section in Idaho," as well as the state's largest selection of adult movies and DVDs. Bryan Fischer, executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance, says it is "just bizarre" that a retailer that has traded on a pro-family image in the past "would join forces with a porn peddler to promote the homosexual agenda."

Faithful Wal-Mart shoppers, Fischer observes, must be wondering what the company's corporate executives are doing to Sam Walton's once family-friendly company. "If companies are known by the company they keep, like people are," he adds, "Wal-Mart has some serious explaining to do."

The Idaho Values Alliance spokesman believes those at the helm of the world's largest retailer are making a costly mistake. "By pandering to two percent of the population, they're running the risk of alienating the millions of families that have made Wal-Mart one of the most successful businesses in history," he comments. "Why Wal-Mart would want to take that kind of a risk is a mystery."

...Another event being held during Boise State University's week of LGBT promotions is a lecture called "Heterosexism," [Don] Wildmon points out. In this presentation, the pro-family leader says, a heterosexual couple will "help" heterosexuals deal with their supposed bigotry toward homosexuality.


Abandon ship for another Christian Coalition chapter

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Georgia's chapter of the Christian Coalition is saying "see ya".
The exodus of state affiliates continues from the Christian Coalition of America. The Georgia Christian Coalition has become the latest state affiliate to break away from the national body over disagreements with priorities. Iowa, Ohio, and Alabama branches have done the same thing in recent weeks.

In a September 25 letter to Christian Coalition president Roberta Combs, Georgia state chairman Sadie Fields says her group wants to abide by its standing mission of speaking out against things such as abortion, pornography, and gambling. As an Associated Press report notes, the state groups charge the national organization has switched priorities to things such as the minimum wage, the environment, and Internet law. The national organization is also one-million dollars in debt.
***

In the same news roundup -- AgapePress bleats about White House spokesbot and expert on racism, Tony Snow, who spoke at the Values Voter Summit over the weekend and passed along Dear Leader's salve for the fundies in attendance -- "preserving the famiy." Boy this is empty. (AgapePress):

White House press secretary Tony Snow says one of the key issues in the upcoming election season is the preservation of the family. The former Fox News host says for a society to be strong and whole, it must preserve the family. Snow, a father of three, says the family is an institution that not only continues to transmit values, but also creates a core of conviction that enables individuals to thrive in good times -- and rise to the challenge in bad.

Speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC, over the weekend, Snow shared that President Bush has made it clear in several ways that he is willing to defend the family, most notably with the Marriage Protection Amendment. "This is a president who does, in fact, believe in the sanctity of the family," stated Snow. "He wants people to know that the definition ought not to change, because it has a real meaning for all of us."


Vernon Robinson's latest BS

The black Jesse Helms has a new ad up, and it's ridiculously desperate. Vernon Robinson, who's attempting to unseat Brad Miller in the 13th District race here in NC, loves putting up outrageous ads, like the mindless, classic Twilight Zone ad (below).



This time around, Vernon accuses Miller of supporting the expenditure of taxpayer dollars on controversial National Institute of Health projects. Some of the questionable studies: elderly masturbation, Vietnamese prostitutes and panda bears, according to Raw Story. A measure to remove those projects (which were folded in a massive appropriations bill -- where lots of pork always gets rolled in), was defeated, and Robinson lays the blame at Miller's doorstep -- even though 46 Republicans also voted it down. How convenient.

Vernon uses talking points put out by Mother Schlafly's Eagle Forum. Here's the ad:



I love this write-up by Mike Sheehan of Raw Story:
Robinson, who formerly worked in George H.W. Bush's administration and was once called "the black Jesse Helms" by the Winston-Salem Journal, is notorious for political ads that border on camp. He previously ran an ad featuring mariachi music with a voice intoning that America could be "nothing but one big fiesta for illegal aliens and homosexuals," as well as another which included a man grabbing his crotch.

Former GOP presidential candidate Jack Kemp withdrew his endorsement of Robinson in the 2004 race, saying "[he] was running a very negative and aggressive anti-immigration campaign, which I believe is contrary to the core values of the party of Lincoln."
Also:

* Daily Kos diary: Vernon Robinson, (NC-13): Worthless Waste of Oxygen
* Vern pays tribute to Jesse with new ad
* Going nowhere fast - Vernon and his "HOMOSEXUAL Importation Act"
* Unhinged Vernon Robinson tries a little 'gay-baiting' on NC incumbent Brad Miller
* The NC Twilight Zone


Q of the day - do you believe?

Not in this guy...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

But in UFOs, the Greys, MIB...do you think beings from other worlds have visited Earth -- and that there is a conspiracy to cover it up?

Some Brits are convinced that their government is hiding evidence of something. (Guardian Unlimited):
The Ministry of Defence went to extraordinary lengths to cover up its true involvement in investigating UFOs, according to secret documents revealed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The files show that officials attempted to expunge information from documents released to the Public Records Office under the "30-year rule" that would have revealed the extent of the MoD's interest in UFO sightings.

In particular, the ministry wanted to cover up the operation of a secret unit dedicated to UFO investigations within the Defence Intelligence Staff. UFO conspiracy theorists have likened the unit, called DI55, to a sort of "Men in Black" agency for defending the Earth against invasion but the released documents show this is far from the truth.
Just thought I'd completely change gears after a day full of weird anti-gay posts.

BTW, fun fact: the infamous Roswell incident -- the Roswell Daily Record newspaper story on it appeared on my birthday (not birth year, mind you!).


Howard Dean's going to Baltimore Black Pride

Here is an opportunity for Howard Dean to say something of consequence about equality and the Democratic Party. He will speak at Baltimore Black Pride. From the organization's press release (thanks, T):
The International Federation of Black Prides, Inc. (IFBP), International Federation of Black Prides Fund For Leadership (IFBP Fund) and Baltimore Black Gay Pride are pleased to announce Gov. Howard Dean, Chair of the Democratic National Committee as the featured speaker at the 2006 Baltimore Gay Black Pride Pre Black Out Party Reception on Friday October 6, 2006 from 5:00 - 7:00 PM at the Wyndham Baltimore Inner Harbour Hotel 101 W. Fayette Street Baltimore, MD.

..."We are all very pleased that Gov. Dean chose Baltimore Black Gay Pride as the first opportunity to address the Black LGBTI community as we continue to engage our people in the various political processes. It is a very historic appearance given this is the first time the Chair of any national party system has addressed a Black gay audience specifically, said Earl Fowlkes, President/CEO of the IFBP and the IFBP Fund.
I hope someone out there is able to attend and hear whether Dean does anything other than a "rally the troops" message, telling them to vote in November. It would be impressive if he used this forum to address the crowd with a message about what the Democratic party intends to do to:

1) counter the inevitable demonizing of gays by the Right for political gain, particularly where there are amendments on the ballot in Nov.;

2) make it clear to voters what the party's values are regarding full civil equality (not just marriage) and discrimination -- many potential het allies have no clue what is at stake, and voter education is sorely needed;

3) talk about the subject of homophobia in the black religious community. (Hell will probably freeze over before he says anything about this.)

Will Rev. Willie Wilson drop by to shout out some epithets about "lesbians taking over the community?"

I don't have high hopes that what he says will be anything substantial, given the DNC probably thinks his appearance alone will inflame the Right. That's probably true, but as I've said before, they already think Dems are the party of the homos, so take a position and defend it, not run away from it.

A must read -- Terrance's: Letting It Shine: Anti-Gay Bigotry & Black Churches.

H/t, Jasmyne.


The Holy War for America

Two Visions of Ohio. This video sends chills down your spine. Equality Ohio captures the outlandish, batsh*t-crazy -- but powerful -- Rod Parsley, the Talibangelist head of Reformation Ohio and Center for Moral Clarity and the unhinged Right.



Just play it.

[I forgot to mention this -- homobigots Ken Blackwell, Sam Brownback and NC's Walter Jones make cameos.]


Wisconsin whackjob assaults restaurant patrons over marriage amendment debate

When a fundie can't argue his lame position, he decides to whale on the people he disagrees with.
It started with a group of diners talking about gay marriage and the same-sex marriage amendment that will be on Wisconsin's November election ballot.

A gay woman named "Jorryn" says the debate got heated when a customer from another part of the restaurant came over and joined the gay marriage discussion. "He said it's never going to happen, it's never going to never going to pass in Wisconsin, and it's against God."

That when the argument got physical.

Surveillance video shows the man, who had just joined the debate, pushed "Jorryn" down and then punched another customer.

The fight continued with the suspect yelling, throw chairs and punching people.

The suspect walked out of the restaurant and some witnesses thought he was going to get a weapon. He came back, not with a gun, but throwing ketchup bottles and anything else he could get his hands on.
How "Christian" of him.

H/t, PageOneQ.


Gay History Month at schools irks some Philly parents -- and the Freepi

October has been designated Lesbian and Gay History Month by the The Philadelphia School District, and when 200,000 calendars were mailed out to households, some parents had a cow. (NBC10):
The calendar also listed September as Hispanic Heritage Month, February as African-American History Month as Philadelphia School District and May as Asian Pacific-American Month.

..."Gay and Lesbian Month? That's sexuality - that's a preference," said Nicola Rucker, 41, a mother of two students told the Philadelphia Daily News.

...The idea, according to the district, is to promote and instill pride in those from various cultures as well as different sexual orientations.
This is the kind of story that you know generates the most riotous responses in the swamps of Freeperland, and I was not disappointed, though it was nice to see the allegedly non-racist forum get down to the things that matter.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

What no "white history" month?

[Only three comments in to bestiality!] Bestiality Week is coming soon. Bring your pet to school!

I wonder what month Pedophilia Month is?.......and Beastiality Month........and .........

What do you bring to school for Sado-Masochism Week?.......

If I was African American or Asian, I'd be highly insulted that I received the same exact honor as gays and lesbians.

I will recognize "black history month" and "gay and lesbian history month" just as soon as we get an official "white history month" and a "heterosexual history month" Man! ...the stomach-churning hypocrisy of the left.

Surely you jest. Everyone knows EVERY month since the beginning of time has belonged to whitey and straight people. It's high time they get theirs.

....or Christianity Month........How about Short People Month or Fat People Month?.........

And don't forget a celebration of first amendment pornography rights.

I am Asian ascent, and I'm insulted. I think I'll go riot and burn cars..........

Make sure they are cars with leftist bumper sticker slogans on them. They might even help you if you claim you are being oppressed for some reason or another by "the man". They can never pass up a good street riot/demonstration/ smashing of other people's property. It's a sacred part of their religion.

All I have to do is torch the Priuses, Hondas, and Volvos.......

What's next,Brokeback basketball???

The school district also allows 20 Gay and Lesbian clubs meet on various high school grounds after classes Aiding and abetting?

they can't figure out how to teach reading but they can figure out how to teach kids about homosexuality. get the kids out of public schools NOW - run and don't look back.

Why not Blow Job Week to honor Clinton?

I'd be all for a gay month, just so the school can get it out of the way and have a homo-free rest of the year.

Maybe they could provide seminars to the students, like use and care of colostomy bags, abc's of infections, bathroom etiquette for homosexuals (deciding who should raise the seat and when), and how to hold the attention of a lover with a wondering eye.

Because these people's accomplishments are only worthwhile if they are gay? Sheesh!

The only way to avoid the Left's Perversion of the Month Club is to steer clear of all public schools and the culture of evil and mediocrity they foment.

So a "pride weekend" each summer isn't enough...now they need a whole month to celebrate perversion and deviant behavior?!

School Boards have restrictions on sexual material. Homosexuality is STICTLY a recreational sex subject. This is 100% subject to explicity sexual material policies.


Pretty please


Feingold mulling presidential bid. One of the few Dems with a spine at the national level -- Russ Feingold is a vocal supporter of marriage equality. We need someone like him to jump into the 2008 race to help reframe the debate, because he won't sit on the fence -- or worse, court the fundies -- like some we know who have White House ambitions.
Maverick Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold said yesterday the outcome of this November's elections could determine whether he runs for president in 2008.

Before giving a speech at the National Constitution Center yesterday, the Democrat said "a discouraging outcome would be if the Republicans didn't lose any ground in the Senate or didn't lose much ground, if they kept the House, if the analysis of the election was people really were squeamish about leaving Iraq."

...An often-controversial progressive voice in the Senate since 1993, Feingold is best-known for the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance legislation. He also was the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act and voted against invading Iraq.

...Feingold, who has sponsored a resolution to censure Bush over allegations of illegal wiretapping, also spoke out against what he called Bush's obsession with expanding executive power. "There has to be something on the pages of history... indicating the lawlessness of this administration," he said.
What he said when he came out for marriage equality, back in April:
"The proposed ban on civil unions and marriage is a mean-spirited attempt to divide Wisconsin and I indicated that it should be defeated," Feingold said."It discriminates against thousands of people in our communities, our co-workers, our neighbors, our friends, and our family members. It would single out members of a particular group and forever deny them rights and protections granted to all other Wisconsin citizens. It would also outlaw civil unions and jeopardize many legal protections for all unmarried couples, whether of the same or the opposite sex. We shouldn't enshrine this prejudice in our state's Constitution."
-- Russ Feingold, on his web site, slapping down the bigots in his state


A seven-point plan to combat the Homosexual Agenda

Linda Harvey style. The queen of Mission[ary Position] America (which "focuses on homosexuality and its destructive impact on youth"), has her latest screed up at LifeSite News.

This time she's claiming that homos have deployed some kind of secret weapon that is "secretly destroying the Christian faith of millions of teens, whether they are involved in the behavior or not." It's a pathetic, sad, desperate attempt to appeal to parents by drawing a picture of the familiar predatory homosexual straw man. If folks don't combat it, she suggest that an entire generation will be lost to The Homosexual Agenda.

Not to worry, she has a Seven-Point Plan to Protect Christian Youth Against Homosexuality. You can read the entire insane piece, but I'll summarize in snippets.
1. Begin a serious Bible study for your youth group on homosexuality, reading and discussing the Scriptures that pertain to this issue.

2. Repeat, and repeat again, and repeat again, that there is no evidence in Scripture or in science that homosexuality is inborn. This is not an inevitable condition for certain unlucky people, but is a developmental desire that may feel "natural" to some but ultimately is changeable. [She then proceeds to cite an article from Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute as proof.]

3. Put homosexuality in the broader context of sexual sin in general, showing how Scripture points to the weakness for sin all humans have especially as we stray from God's created order and His teachings. [Linda then goes into unhinged nonsense about "ungodly pagan sexuality."]

4. Make sure your youth know that no one is condemned forever through homosexual behavior or any other sin. What condemns a person is refusing to accept Christ as Saviour and lack of repentance, while willfully, deliberately continuing to sin. This is a good place to discuss the number of former homosexuals who are now publicly telling their stories. [Yes, the stories of the usual "ex-gay for pay" or "professional heterosexual" suspects (and reparative therapists) are very convincing...]


via Truth Wins Out. View the whole video about "ex-gay" Richard Cohen's "therapy" here.

5. Also emphasize that Christians do not have to apologize for what the Bible says about homosexuality. All Christians should be kind, polite, and civil to others, but we need to stop apologizing and giving special recognition to homosexual sin or those involved. Sentences that start with, "I'm not homophobic, but...." are concessions to a framework of thinking that those advocating homosexuality have developed and our culture often now accepts, but Christians should not. [She also believes that condemning gays is part of "God's careful, protective provision of us."]

6. Now, here's the tricky part. Teens need to have some idea about what homosexuals do, and how physically destructive and high risk this behavior often is. How can this be communicated without getting overly graphic? It's important to cover HIV risks, the lack of protection of condoms, the risks of oral sex, and the risks of anal sex. Also, one should mention the highly promiscuous nature of adult, homosexual lifestyles as most live them. [BS. No stats to support this, of course.]

7. Finally, we need to caution our kids against friendships with people practicing homosexual behavior, and with those who condone it, particularly those who call themselves Christians... It's a serious mistake to believe they are mature enough to be thrust into situations which the enemy will use to confuse them. [There's that thrusting again.]
My, we are powerful. Just look at all those amendments passing. How's that happening -- is our weapon not deploying properly?

***

It looks like Daniel at Ex Gay Watch and Jeremy at Good As You found Linda's laff riot as well.


Star Jones sues the Enquirer for saying hubby is a homo

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Gee, where would they get that idea? (E Online):
The article, published in the Enquirer's Oct. 2 issue, claimed that her hubby, Al Reynolds, is gay and has moved out of the couple's abode and is now cohabitating with a man.

"Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds have tried to handle these vicious lies and attempts at character assassination with quiet dignity for far too long," Jones' rep said in a statement to E! Online Tuesday. "Now they will pursue immediate legal action against anyone who makes false statements about their family."

New York lawyer Robert Chapman wrote in his cease-and-desist letter, obtained by TMZ.com, that Al Reynolds is just away for a short period of time on business and that his absence has nothing to do with any man whatsoever--not that there's anything wrong with that. The attorney was sure to emphasize that his clients "believe that everyone should be free to make their own choice concerning sexual preference."

"The true facts are that Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds are happily married," Chapman said, adding that the Enquirer story has already caused them "massive damage."
How could the Enquirer get this so wrong? Star described her hot relationship with Al in her book, Shine. That should have been all the evidence the publication needed to get the facts straight.
"The first time he held me in his arms sexually, it was almost frightening because we knew our erotic interest in each other could take over every other thing," Star writes breathlessly. "We had an intoxicatingly sexual connection the first two months of our relationship."

So volcanic was their lust that they consulted their pastor, who advised them to remain celibate until their wedding. "It wasn't an easy decision," recalls Star. "Al is a beautiful man. He's got the legs of a stallion. He'd be a perfect Ralph Lauren model."
Help. Barf. Bag. Now.

Maybe the Enquirer staff read this and got the wrong idea.


Man-on-dog going downhill fast



The gap has widened to 14 points.
Democrat Bob Casey appears to have doubled his lead over Sen. Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania's Senate race, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Casey had a 14-point lead in the Quinnipiac University Poll, with 54 percent of likely voters saying they planned to vote for him compared to 40 percent for Santorum. One percent said they wouldn't vote and 6 percent said they didn't know. Casey had a seven point lead among likely voters in a match up between the two in the same poll on Aug. 15.

On Monday, a state judge said Green Party candidate Carl Romanelli would be removed from the ballot because the party did not have enough valid signatures in its nominating petitions a move pundits said would help Casey.

In a three-way matchup, Casey led Santorum 51 to 39 percent among likely voters with 4 percent saying they would vote for Romanelli, the poll found. Five percent were undecided.
Yeah, Little Ricky's Republican friends tried to pull a fast one by supplying most of the $100,000 that Romanelli spent in his attempt to get on the ballot. Even that flopped.

And what about all those women Santorum is courting? I guess they aren't coming through for him either, I suppose. After all, this is what he said in his book:

Graphic: Mike Tidmus.

"The notion that college education is a cost-effective way to help poor, low-skill, unmarried mothers with high school diplomas or GEDs move up the economic ladder is just wrong."
Poor Little Ricky -- even a June diatribe on the Senate floor calling for the recriminalization of sodomy isn't helping him out. He agrees with Tony "does he sodomize his wife" Scalia's dissent on Lawrence v. Texas:
State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers' validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today's decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding.
Ah, a blast from his past:



More action against homobigot recording 'artists'

Buju Banton Concert Rescheduled For Century Club; Beenie Man Still Scheduled. Jamaican Gold's CEO, Jamie Koz, announced the other day that Buju Banton's concert has been rescheduled for October 3, 2006 at the Century Club.

Banton openly calls for shooting gays in the head, poring acid on them and lighting them on fire.

Incidentally, this is the same venue that fellow homobigot Beenie Man is scheduled to perform 10/22.

Jasmyne has the call to action:
Banton’s management released a statement earlier this year stating that he was no longer performing his song "Boom Bye Bye," but recent concert footage from Miami of him leading a sing along, suggests otherwise.

Black LGBT bloggers recently waged a successful campaign against the New York based LIFEbeat, the music industry’s non-profit that focuses on AIDS for its Reggae Gold Jumpoff Concert that featured Beanie Man.

Beanie Man, as you may recall, in his song "Han Up Deh," sings, "Hang chi chi gal wid a long piece of rope." The term "chi chi" is a Jamaican reference to homosexuality. The term is often used to refer to "chi chi men" but can also refer to lesbians (chi chi women or chi chi girls). Loosely translated, the lyrics mean, “Hang lesbians with a long piece of rope."
Click here to send one email to all parties involved.

***

Thankfully, a Buju Banton concert scheduled for tomorrow, 9/27 at 9PM at Seattle club Neumos has been cancelled.


Christian Right Propaganda Posters

I was surfing around Left Blogsylvania and stopped in to visit my favorite Christian Warrior, Jesus' General. He's been playing the faux-outraged Christian Conservative satire long before Stephen Colbert made a show out of the act; I highly recommend stopping by there from time to time for a laugh.

The General has a new guest poster there named Austin Cline. Austin is an atheist who writes for About.com and his posts at the General's pad have been excellent.

One link he provides is to a series of Christian Right Propaganda Posters. He's taken old propaganda posters from WWI & WWII and Photoshopped them to fit the agenda of the right-wing radical religious fringe (sort of like Bill Maher did in his excellent book, "When you ride alone, you ride with bin Laden"). I've provided six thumbnails that closely match the gay rights and reproductive freedom "agendas" we promote at the Blend, but Austin's got 31 posters total, each with some excellent commentary, so I recommend taking a look over at About.com for the whole set.

Click on any thumbnail to see the full-size copy:

Keep your weapon high & hard!

Godless Sodomites spread disease!

My husband knows what's best for my uterus!

The Gay Agenda strikes at our civil liberty!

Take 'em out!

This is the enemy.



Openly gay candidate wins Dem nom in Seattle

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
More progress! Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund endorsee and LGBT activist Jamie Pedersen has won the Democratic primary (it was a close vote) in the 43rd district state senate seat.
When the polls closed on Election Day a week ago, Pedersen was in the lead, but the race was too close to call. With the tally of mail-in ballots almost complete, Pedersen's lead has grown to 252 votes, an insurmountable lead for his closest challenger. County election officials will certify the election on Friday. Pedersen, who is expected to win the general election easily in the overwhelmingly Democratic 43rd District of Seattle, succeeds openly gay Rep. Ed Murray, who is running for a seat in the state Senate.

"Jamie's win reflects what we've seen in the election of openly LGBT candidates across the country. He'd given back to his community through his work helping local organizations, and brought to the table tremendous experience and understanding about issues important to his district. Voters saw that he had fought hard to protect the rights of others and would do the same for them as their representative. Jamie's years of leadership, hard work and the relationships he forged with so many diverse communities will serve his constituents well in Olympia," said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.


Three men sentenced for San Diego Pride assaults

Justice has been served. (SignOnSanDiego):
Three men who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a series of brutal beatings after a gay pride festival were sentenced Monday to prison terms.

James Carroll, 24; Lyonn Tatum, 18; and Kenneth Lincoln, 24, pleaded guilty on Friday in San Diego Superior Court on the second day of their preliminary hearing during which they heard testimony from three victims.

Prosecutors said Carroll, Tatum and a boy assaulted six men with a baseball bat and a knife as the men were leaving the annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Festival in Balboa Park on July 29.

Judge Frederick Maguire sentenced Carroll to 11 years in prison, Tatum to eight years and Lincoln to 32 months. They were immediately taken from courtroom after the sentencing.
Oscar Foster, one of the victims in the attack, was hit in the head and torso 12 times with a baseball bat. The attack was so savage, according to a doctor's testimony in the trial, almost every bone in Foster's face was broken and the victim almost died. He required reconstructive facial surgery and spent two weeks in an intensive care unit.

In an earlier post, A heartwarming letter to the editor, I put up an unhinged letter to the editor from Allyson Smith, who tried to equate the assaults to the perceived obscenities she saw at the parade. A snippet of the filth:
For days, we have been hearing from the Union-Tribune and other local news outlets about a purported "hate crime" committed by punks who assaulted homosexual men during the recent Gay Pride Festival. But there was another hate crime committed that weekend that was not reported: The hateful moral assault committed by the homosexual community against San Diegans of all ages through its degrading and indecent "pride" celebration.

...It showed its hatred of Christians by giving an award to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, drag queens who dress up like nuns and mock the Catholic Church. It exhibited its hatred toward all San Diegans by turning Balboa Park into a filthy blot on "America's Finest City." The politicians, law enforcement officials, churches, schools and businesses who participated are equally guilty of morally attacking San Diego's citizens.

While the physical assaults are deplorable and rightly to be condemned, it should not serve as a distraction from these hateful moral assaults.


The lightbulb comes on

This is rich (pun intended):
A noted Christian author and teacher says the "prosperity" gospel is producing self-centered church members. A recent cover article in TIME Magazine focused on the growing popularity of the gospel message that claims God wants all Christians to be healthy and wealthy.

But Ron Carlson, founder of Christian Ministries International, believes the "prosperity" message is not the true gospel. Carlson contends that a gospel that cannot be preached to every individual on the planet is a "counterfeit" gospel. "I turn on television and I see some of these preachers ... [who say] that God wants you healthy, wealthy, and prosperous," he says. "I often wonder why is it they never go to the Cambodian border or the Gulag or China and tell those Christians, 'Don't you know you're the King's kid? Don't you know God wants you healthy, wealthy, and prosperous?'"

Carlson is concerned that such teaching reduces God to a servant's role. "The health, wealth, and prosperity gospel is really a product of a Western, materialistic mentality," he says. "It's a humanistic philosophy that reduces God to be the servant of man, that man can manipulate for his own selfish gain." Carlson made his comments during a recent interview with Worldview Weekend creator Brannon Howse.
That might explain some of these good men in the pulpit:

* Kentucky pastor going to clink for bank fraud and tax evasion. Pastor Larry bought himself a Porsche and played the ponies with church funds.

* United Methodist pastor sentenced on a laundry list of charges. A jury found Hutcherson guilty in May of committing five counts of fraud, lying to federal officials and obstruction of justice. He's out as mayor and was booted as pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church.

* Preacher guilty of stealing from hundreds of black churches. Abraham Kennard was found guilty in U.S. District Court on 132 counts, ranging from mail fraud to tax evasion. He ran a pyramid scheme on 1,600 churches, claimeing his company was developing Christian resorts around the country -- and bilking ministers of thousands of dollars.


Allen's downward spiral

This lunacy continues. Allen had another embarrassing experience on The Situation Room yesterday, trying to defend his "secret" Jewish heritage by blaming it on his mother's "fear" of exposing this family factoid. It's pathetic.



To add fuel to the flaming downward spiral on the N-word front, two more people came forward to confirm that he tossed the epithet around.

* Christopher Taylor, an anthropology professor at Alabama University in Birmingham, AL (NYT):
n the early 1980’s he heard Mr. Allen use an inflammatory epithet for African Americans. Mr. Taylor, who is white and was then a graduate student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, said the term came up in a conversation about the turtles in a pond near Mr. Allen's property. According to Mr. Taylor, Mr. Allen said that "around here" only the African Americans — whom he referred to by the epithet — "eat 'em."
* Political guru and University of Virginia Professor Larry Sabato heard him say it, and didn't mind telling Chris Matthews about it. (MSNBC video and transcript):
MATTHEWS: The accusation here, I believe is that he was distinctive in what is being called racial hatred, that he regularly used the awful word, the "N" word with some sort of attitude. Is that true?

SABATO: Well I'm simply going to say that I'm going to stay with what I know is the case. And the fact is that he did use the "N" word, whether he's denying it now or not. He did use it. It was the '70s, you‘re right, it was a harsh term, it was an obscenity at this as far as I'm concerned.

MATTHEWS: In all fairness, it was a word that we were told growing up never to use, and most of—in fact, I don't think hardly anybody used it, even in Philly, which was pretty racially divided for most of my growing up. There were other words used, perhaps not quite as malicious, that were ethnic in nature. But you say he used the "N" word?

SABATO: That's correct.
Gee, well who's lying? Allen doesn't have a good track record on this so far.


2008 hopefuls Mitt and Huck pontificate on marriage

Choice quotes from two presidential hopefuls at the Family Research Council's "Washington Briefing" Values Voters cavalcade over the weekend...


"I don't like it when people say, 'But you're against abortion.' I say, 'No, I value life.'...I tell people I'm actually just for keeping marriage in the only manner for which it's ever been known in any culture, in any civilization throughout all of history...Dear friends, until Moses comes down with two stone tablets from Brokeback Mountain saying we've changed the rules, let's keep it like it is."
-- ordained Baptist minister, advocate of covenant marriage, governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee
Har-dee-har-har. And now, to Governor Blow Dry from Massachusetts...

"The court focused on adult rights -- they said if heterosexual couples can marry, then to have equal rights homosexuals have to also be able to marry. That court's mistake was they should have focused on the rights of children -- because marriage is primarily about the development and nurturing of children."

"Marriage is not an activity like gambling -- [about] which you can say, if you don't want it, it just goes on in one state or another state. Marriage is a status. If people come to a 'Las Vegas of same-sex marriage' [like Massachusetts], and then they go home, they still believe they're married. And then they represent themselves [to their community] as being married. Therefore, we have to have a federal standard that says marriage in this country is a relationship between one man and one woman."
-- Mitt Romney
By the way, The Washington Times reports that other possible presidential contenders invited, but who declined to show up and rub elbows with Dobson and Co: sHillary, John "I'll kick Swift Boat ass two years later" Kerry, Holy Joe, Bill "Cat Killer" Frist, John "The Tool" McCain.

***

As we've mentioned before, Mitt Romney's running into a bit of trouble with the bible beating evangelicals over his Mormon faith. Look at what recently happened to him in South Carolina. (The State):
Cyndi Mosteller, chairwoman of the Charleston County Republican Party, one of the largest GOP organizations in the state, came armed with a bunch of material — and questions — about the Mormon church.

The incident only underlines what could become an uncomfortable debate over Romney’s faith if he runs for the White House. The issue will be on the table in South Carolina’s early primary contest, where roughly 35 percent of GOP voters are evangelical Christians, many of whom view Mormonism with skepticism.

Mosteller, an evangelical, said she especially was concerned about the church’s attitude toward African-Americans and its stand on polygamy...She fears they could become campaign issues and hurt Republican chances. She had planned to ask the questions in an open committee session, but Romney nixed that idea by ending his short address with a final “thank you.” The governor then proceeded to meet with the media for about 15 minutes.

Enter Mosteller. Sensing trouble, Romney aides hurriedly ushered reporters out the door. Afterward, Mosteller said the governor did not answer any of her questions. She described the meeting as “very tense.”


Minds that need to be washed out with soap, second edition

Monday, September 25, 2006

John Goff of One Big JackGoff, a Blender and regular commenter at Pandagon, has another edition up at his pad with more of the racist, sexist BS that his father has bleated to him.

The first installment was pretty raw stuff, and I give John a ton of credit for sharing some of garbage that his dad said (without shame and in complete seriousness). Most folks want nothing more than to hide the bigotry that we hear our relatives spew, as if it reflects badly on us. It takes a lot to rise above the stereotypes and poisonous bigotry served aplenty at the family table; it's important to help break the cycle of pain we inflict on one another based on ignorance and fear. Thanks, again, John, for letting me repost these painful comments.
So, I guess it's time again for another list of my father's seriously fucked up sayings. The first installment dealt with a few of the things he says verbatim all the time, so I guess I'll just go into some of the random spewings he has unleashed on my sister and I. I should say that although he is an obvious misogynist, for some reason he always left my sister to make her own decisions about her life, such as going to MIT and majoring in engineering. My guess is because he told me at an early age that I better get a good job so I can support him later on in life, my sister took in the "lesson" as well, and that was fine and dandy for him, as long as he had a gravy train to ride his fat ass on.

Anyway, a little more asshattery from Pappy Goff (these are mostly paraphrasing, but the sentiment is there):

"Turning it into a glass parking lot is the only thing left to do." [with regards to the Middle East]

"I'm not racist, just realist, and in this country, you either assimilate or you get tossed in the trash heap." [I guess that's a new law now, be white or stick you in a landfill somewhere.]

"You got no business voting if you don't have reverence for our founding fathers. Black people and illegal immigrants can't possibly understand what it took to do what Washington and the rest did to create America. Black people whine about slavery and the Mexicans can't understand English. I'm sick and tired of dealing with the ignorance in our country!" [BAH HAHAHAHAHA! Blargh.]

"Feminazis want men to give up their rightful place as the head of the household. They want abortions clinics on every corner and women in the workplace. What happens then? Our homes will fall apart and our workplace will be in ruins, that's what."

"America is ordained by God himself and if you don't believe he's smiling on all of us and putting hellfire to our enemies, you'll be burning in hell too!" [Great, honest Christian, me ole pappy.]

"Dems have nothing more than hatred towards white people. That's all they have to fomment"

"Martin Luther King, Jr was nothing but a filthy communist and he wanted us to lose in Vietnam."

"Vietnam would have been won if we just nuked the slanty eyed sons a'bitches!" [Heh, why stop there? Got an "Unamerican" thought? Ya get nuked. Thinking about reading Das Kapital? Yer ass is grass, and this 500-pounder is a lawn mower.]

"If I hear one more spic sonuvabitch say something in Spanish, I'm gonna call the police." [Oh, and what are you going to tell them when they get here?]

"The world was meant for America, and I say we should kill anybody who thinks otherwise."

[and the kicker]

"America is the only nation that matters in the world. If I could, I'd invade their countries and kill every last one of those freedom-hating bastards before they have a chance to kill me. They've got nothing but goats and desert and jungle and disease, so I say kill em all and let God sort it out."

Yeah, Dad. The Nazis would have loved you dude.
As we grow up, it can be difficult to accept the fact that our relatives are capable of such ignorance. Once we become aware that some of the views of our relatives are, to put it charitably, outside of the mainstream, we're often faced with the choice whether to confront them, get away from them, or just accept it all and move on. It's hard when you realize that these folks -- your folks -- aren't interested in engaging, learning or exposure to new ideas to free them from their ignorance.

John's father is an easy target because we can say "I don't think that way," but we cannot deny that our worldview is shaped by racism, sexism and homophobia that isn't that overt. In fact, subtle bigotry can be more damaging because of "plausible deniability." There may be a wink and a smile in public, but the mask often comes off in private when people feel they are among like minds and can "let it all hang out." It's not every day that a George "Macaca/N*gger" Allen pops up with a public motherlode of bigoted BS that blows up in his face.

As we did last time around, feel free, if you haven't before, to contribute some of the gems you may have witnessed -- to wash your brain clean of the hate and ignorance.


Taliban forces kill women's advocate

Don't expect to see this awful story out of Afghanistan to receive a lot of media attention (or action from this administration), as the Taliban fights to regain control, and roll back what precious few rights women have in the country through intimidation -- and assassination.
Two gunmen on a motorbike killed the provincial director of Afghanistan's Ministry of Women's Affairs outside her home Monday in apparent retribution for her efforts to help educate women, officials said.

Safia Ahmed-jan was slain outside the front gate of her home in this southern Afghan city as she was walking to her office, said Tawfiq ul-Ulhakim Parant, senior adviser to the women's ministry in Kabul.

...Ahmed-jan was known for being an active proponent of women's rights in this former Taliban stronghold, a region where insurgents have turned increasingly violent the last several months.

Her secretary said one of Ahmed-jan's most successful projects was running trade schools. "She was always trying her best to improve education for women," Abdullah Khan said.

In Kandahar alone, Ahmed-jan had opened six schools where almost 1,000 women learned how to bake and sell their goods at market. She had also opened tailoring schools for women, and clothes made there found their way to Western markets, Khan said.
***

Meanwhile, in the political and military vat of quicksand called Iraq, confidence and success on the ground are clearly in short supply if this is what's going down: Army mulls more Iraq combat units.
The U.S. Army is considering whether to add more combat units to the rotation plan to meet a top commander's decision to keep more than 140,000 troops in the country until at least mid-2007, The Washington Times reported on Monday.

The Army also is considering accelerating the deployments for some brigades in a move to try to stop sectarian violence among Sunnis and Shi'ites in Baghdad, the newspaper reported, citing Pentagon officials.

"It may accelerate the pace of deployments or it may mean looking at calling up additional units," a Pentagon official who asked not to be named told the newspaper.

Army Gen. John Abizaid, head of U.S. Central Command oversees the war, said last week that the United States is unlikely to begin cutting its forces in Iraq before the middle of next year.

He said the United States might even increase the size of its force from the current 147,000.


Church stuff

No energy to comment, but saw these items of interest in the headlines...

* Churchgoers Rally Against Colorado Anti-Gay Amendment. It's nice to see clergy stepping up to the plate on this.

* Meanwhile, these clergy are moving in the wrong direction: Anti-gay bishops vote to split the Anglican church in two.

* The Episcopal Diocese of Newark passed over Canon Michael Barlowe, who is an openly gay priest from California when it selected its next bishop. Dodging that old gay bullet.

* And the Presbyterians are experiencing a drop in membership and deficits, ostensibly over a vote by the legislative General Assembly that opens the door to gay ordination. It didn't help that the denomination had to fire its treasurer after $102,000 in church money disappeared.

* The fun continues in Wichita, as anti-gay Reverend Terry Fox of Wichita's Immanuel Baptist Church had to resign last month after church leaders charged that he used church money to support his national radio show. The good reverend is also accused of threatening to sue anyone who said anything negative about him.

* Papa Ratzi has another bit of trouble on his hands - Gay Italians defy Vatican power.


Bleh



There will be light posting as I am under the weather and don't have much stacked up for you all today (a couple of new ones are below this post).

Saturday we did a lot of yard work (my patrol was cleaning the tons of spiders and webs off the house -- argh).

Sunday I started to feel bad and vegetated and watched Season Two of Project Runway (had to go out and get the DVD last week; I'm hooked). Time Warner Suck-*ss Cable here doesn't carry Bravo, so I'll have to wait on for the current season to come out on DVD.

If you didn't visit the Blend over the weekend, here are some posts to catch...
* George Allen: the stale cracker, part 2
* Falwell compares sHillary to Lucifer
* The womb control patrol escalates its battle
* Russ's Bush Approval Map - Sept 2006
* Do you think young voters will make a difference in the election?
* 500 show up to counter Daddy Dobson's 'ex-gay' conference
* Q of the day - phobias and eccentricities
* A cavalcade of wingnuts descends on DC

***

The video of SLDN's Sharon Alexander debate with the ridiculous woman-hating, gay-baiting Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness on Faux News is up at PageOneQ. You can leave comments here and at SLDN's blog, Frontlines.

***

Consider this an open thread. Drop in and chat, leave links and share what's going on out there.


Anglican minister: black = janitor

Clif at Outside the Tent found a ripe double dip of racism and homophobia in the mind-blowing commentary of Gerald Bray, an unhinged Anglican priest currently teaching at an Alabama Baptist seminary.

Homobigot Bray recently bloviated about gay Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson in a publication called The Churchman, and for good measure, let his Klan slip show.
For example, although the American South is well-known for its conservatism and no-one [sic] will be surprised to discover that many (probably most) of the Episcopal churches there are horrified at the recent election of a practising homosexual as bishop [sic] of New Hampshire, the nature of Southern [sic] traditionalism does not immediately suggest that they would turn to a place like Rwanda for assistance. But faced with a choice between a white American homosexual bishop and a black-skinned African Archbishop [sic], there has been no hesitation — Rwanda has won hands down. The celebrant may look more like the church janitor than like any of the worshippers in the pews, but it does not matter. . . .
Black = janitor. Nice. My thought was much the same as Clif's when I read it -- "At least he didn’t say that the celebrant looked more like a chain-gang worker than the people in the pews."

As it goes with bigots, they often just keep stepping in it once called out. Bray actually wrote Clif to, I suppose, straighten out the record.
It is a simple statement of fact. The incident I described actually happened. I am not in favour of it, of course, but there it is. I am sorry if this was not clear to you.
Alrighty then, so he's not in favor of what, black janitors, perceptions of blacks as janitors? Is it "fact" that blacks look like janitors? Hmmm. I don't think Bray was thinking when he fired off that email.


First-hand account of Love Won Out/Palm Springs protest


Ex Gay Watch has photos and a wrap-up on Saturday's protest against Daddy Dobson's ex-gay roadshow. An interesting aspect of the account is Daniel's discussion of the tactics used by the announced protest group, which called itself The Unity Rally.
The Unity Rally was a coalition of liberal political, social and gay rights groups formed to provide a uniform voice in response to Love Won Out. Ex-Gay Watch ultimately decided to speak in our own voice and remain unaffiliated with the Unity Rally coalition. We planted ourselves firmly on the curb by the church's main driveway and each person was given a sign they had picked the slogan for. Before the Unity Rally buses arrived several other small groups of private individuals arrived.


...Based on the Unity Rally's website and literature distributed around town I was concerned by their frequent use of the word "hate." My concerns were confirmed at the rally where two common buzz words worked into almost every speech were "hate" (used in connection with Focus) and "unity" (used in connection with gay folk). Most speakers had limited knowledge of ex-gay issues since most speakers were politicians or representatives of local gay and liberal political groups. However the rally organizers took great pride in their event being a local effort. Focus/Exodus/NARTH were continuously and vaguely accused of spreading hate, hating, creating hate and so forth by speaker after speaker... UNTIL the Rev. Nick Warner of the Desert Oasis Chapel got up had the balls to say something to the effect of "the people attending Love Won Out do not hate you" and that they were just misguided about gay people. The rally crowd seemed stunned by Warner's radical message and several times during his speech our group from XGW had to start the crowd applauding. Bravo to you Rev. Warner for being informed about ex-gay issues and not going along with the party line and making accusations of "hate."
I agree with Daniel -- these folks missed the mark by declaring Love One Out and other organizations like it hate homos. It's clear that they honestly believe homosexuality can be "cured" -- that's heinous enough to make note of, particularly because Love Won Out takes advantage of people who are struggling with their sexual orientation in ways that are dangerous and immoral, only reinforcing to those in pain that there is something wrong with them. But that can't be equated with wanting to kill gays. We can find plenty of those kinds of beasts out there if you search the Blend archives. You can draw a distinction without blunting the fact that LWO and other "ex-gays" who promote their bogus theories are a threat that must be exposed and stopped.

What the "ex-gay" movement is responsible for, however, is promoting the idea that being gay is "sick" or "diseased" -- it gives license to the psycho homophobes out there to deal with the "disease" through their own methods, including violence.


George Allen: the stale cracker, part 2

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"Allen said he came to Virginia because he wanted to play football in a place where 'blacks knew their place,' He used the N-word on a regular basis back then."
-- Dr. Ken Shelton, a white radiologist in North Carolina who played tight end for the University of Virginia football team when Allen was quarterback.
The hits keep on coming for the cracker lovin' Virginia Senator, who's watching his words come back to haunt him -- again. (Salon):
Three former college football teammates of Sen. George Allen say that the Virginia Republican repeatedly used an inflammatory racial epithet and demonstrated racist attitudes toward blacks during the early 1970s.

...A second white teammate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared retribution from the Allen campaign, separately claimed that Allen used the word "nigger" to describe blacks. "It was so common with George when he was among his white friends. This is the terminology he used," the teammate said.

A third white teammate contacted separately, who also spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of being attacked by the Virginia senator, said he too remembers Allen using the word "nigger," though he said he could not recall a specific conversation in which Allen used the term. "My impression of him was that he was a racist," the third teammate said.
Salon contacted Allen's Senate office, and members of his campaign for comment (email and phone), and no one has responded. One consultant to Allen hung up on a Salon reporter.

Tossing the "N" word around is one matter, but look at this hair-raising anecdote from Shelton.
Shelton said he also remembers a disturbing deer hunting trip with Allen on land that was owned by the family of Billy Lanahan, a wide receiver on the team. After they had killed a deer, Shelton said he remembers Allen asking Lanahan where the local black residents lived. Shelton said Allen then drove the three of them to that neighborhood with the severed head of the deer. "He proceeded to take the doe's head and stuff it into a mailbox," Shelton said.
Allen, who wore a Confederate flag pin in his high school yearbook photo, had a Confederate flag in his living room, a noose in his law office and a picture of Confederate troops in his governor's office, says "he has grown since then."

Of course he said that before this bit of business came out. If it was a "youthful indiscretion" (or at this point a long list of them), then his campaign shouldn't have a problem discussing it as a matter of the past. Hanging up doesn't sound like the Allen campaign has a game plan for spinning this one.

Too damn bad.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Oh, don't forget to catch the anecdote in the article where Allen gives Shelton the nickname "Wizard" -- after United Klans imperial wizard Robert Shelton.

Related:
* George Allen: the stale cracker


Falwell compares sHillary to Lucifer


"I certainly hope that Hillary is the candidate. She has $300 million so far. But I hope she's the candidate. Because nothing will energize my [constituency] like Hillary Clinton. If Lucifer ran, he wouldn't."
-- Jerry Falwell, during private remarks to church pastors and activists as part of the Values Voter Summit. He didn't know it was being recorded.
You all know I'm no sHillary fan, but I couldn't let these remarks by Rev. Tinkywinky go unnoticed. He's stirring The Base with ridiculous crap that you know he'd keep under wraps from the MSM. (LA Times):
A recording of Falwell's comments was obtained by The Times, and his remarks were confirmed by eyewitnesses.

...But two in attendance, including a Falwell staff member, confirmed that Falwell said that even Lucifer, the fallen angel synonymous with Satan in Christian theology, would not mobilize his followers as much as the New York senator and former first lady would.

One critic who has been observing the conference said Saturday that Falwell's words offered a rare glimpse into how religious conservative leaders were planning to inflame opposition to the Democrats with below-the-radar messages that are often more scorching than the ones showing up in public.

"He was calling Hillary Clinton a demonic figure and openly arguing that God is a Republican," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of the advocacy group Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "It's hard to know whether people thought he was joking or serious, but once you start using religious imagery and invoking a politician in this way, it's not funny. A lot of people who listen to him do think that she's a dark force of evil in America."
At this same breakfast, Falwell also pontificated that God would preserve a Republican majority in Congress and that Rudy Giuliani must not win the GOP presidential nomination.

"It can't be a Giuliani and it cannot be a [New York Gov. George E.] Pataki," he said. "It cannot be a pro-choice. It cannot be a person on the wrong side of the social issues. We've got to have somebody worth fighting for because we will be energized if Hillary is the standard-bearer."
***

With that in mind, why can't sHillary come to her senses and accept the fact that the Right already has her painted as a pro-baby killing, anti-religion advocate of The Homosexual Agenda, and will use that to raise tons of money and to motivate the sheeple. If she runs, there's nothing to lose by taking a public position on marriage equality that squares with her private views. From a post back in March.
And folks, here's another example of what's wrong with this picture -- Hillary supports full equality -- but it's behind the scenes, in private conversations. Yes, this is the problem.
Ethan Geto, a longtime activist who ran Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign in New York, said that in personal conversations he has had with Clinton, she has been emphatic about her view that committed gay and lesbian couples should have "full equality of economic benefits" with married heterosexuals at the city, state, and federal levels.

..."She takes the most progressive position among Democrats on the national stage," he said. “Would I like her to say she supports gay marriage? Yes. But are we back to the perfect being the enemy of the good? Is she one of our champions? Is she one of the very small number of people we would like to see as a presidential candidate? I say yes.”
W-E-A-K. And so here we are again, tucked away in a dark room, getting "reassurance" and "promises" on the down low.
Falwell and the rest of the AmTaliban will have no problem drawing a connection between sHillary and gays for their people, so it serves no purpose for Clinton (or any Dem) to avoid specificity on positions on gay rights and reclaim the frame.

In the absence of real information, the void of silence will be filled with disinformation -- and demonization. Guaranteed.

What we can expect to see instead will be more of what we have already seen -- the misguided decision to cozy up to "values voters" who won't vote for a Dem even if Lucifer dropped by and handed over a sack of cash to them.

Hat tips to Tedi and Autumn.


The womb control patrol escalates its battle

Het allies, we've been warning you that the fundies, while the homos are the whipping boy in vogue at the moment, are still working hard on its movement to control the womb and sexuality of the rest of you. It's all one big ball of wax for them that they define as "moral values." In that game, gays and anyone interested in non-procreative sex are the Satan-loving enemy.

Reproductive freedom has never been on the back burner for these folks, with the attacks on the sale of Plan B, efforts to put abortion service providers out of business, and the passing legislation allowing pharmacists not to dispense medications because of "religious principles" -- isn't it funny that these stories never seem to revolve around the Viagra? No, the fundies are focused women and gays.

In a frightening article in the Chicago Tribune, Abortion foes' new rallying point, reporter Judith Graham reveals the escalation of the fundie wars over contraception itself -- controlling women's sexual behavior is clearly the goal. If you read their bleating, birth control is a "gateway drug" to all sorts of social ills.
Emboldened by the anti-abortion movement's success in restricting access to abortion, an increasingly vocal group of Christian conservatives is arguing that it's time to mount a concerted attack on contraception.

Their voices were raised in Rosemont on Friday and Saturday at an unusual anti-abortion meeting that drew 250 people from around the nation to condemn artificial birth control. Experts at the gathering assailed contraception on the grounds that it devalues children, harms relationships between men and women, promotes sexual promiscuity and leads to falling birth rates, among social ills.

"Contraception is more the root cause of abortion than anything else," Joseph Scheidler, an anti-abortion veteran whose Pro-Life Action League sponsored the conference, said in an interview.

... "It is clear there is a major rethinking going on among evangelicals on this issue, especially among young people" disenchanted with the sexual revolution, said Rev. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. "There is a real push back against the contraceptive culture now."
It should be noted that these folks are mounting a challenge to this stark reality: according to the Guttmacher Institute, 98% of sexually active women 15 to 44 used at least one method of contraception -- almost 40 million women in that age group use birth control. A Harris poll found that 91% of Americans believe couples should "have access to birth-control options."
What this boils down to is a case for "women and men having sex only within marriage and only for the purpose of procreation," said Steve Trombley, president of Planned Parenthood of Chicago, and "I don't think that's sellable in any corner of America."
Those stats, however, mean little to these zealots (or the elected officials that they've put in charge). Some quotes:
"It's time to get serious about denying Planned Parenthood funding for birth control or sex education and abortion. We need to hold them accountable for this contraceptive welfare. We have to work very carefully to keep that sword away from Planned Parenthood...Chemical contraception doesn't prevent abortions, it causes abortion," he said in an interview. "If we believe life begins at the moment of conception, we have to defend it against [this] chemical attack."
-- Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International

"When people use contraception, they're not asking themselves, do I want a lifetime relationship with this person or would this person be a good parent," Smith explains. "They're simply hooking up, typically because of sex, and sliding into marriage."
-- Janet Smith, professor of moral theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit

"It's not just a side issue from pro-life, it's the core issue. Abstinence is the way to prevent abortion."
--Libby Gray Macke, director of Project Reality, an abstinence program in Illinois
How far will these people go?

H/t, Phil


Bush Approval Map - Sept 2006

OK, it's been a couple of months since I posted the Bush Approval Map. If you came to the Blend late, this map is culled from data at www.SurveyUSA.com. They track opinion polls in all 50 states.

This data represents Bush's Net Approval Rating. You take Approval Rating minus Disapproval Rating and you get Net Approval. Positive (+) states like Bush more than dislike, and are colored in shades of red. Negative (-) states dislike Bush more than like, and are colored in shades of blue. The lighter the color, the more extreme, the "purpler" the color, the more neutral the feelings toward Bush.


Click on map for a full size version or to freeze individual months for review


Now you know why I had to move out of Idaho.


Do you think young voters will make a difference in the election?

This Reuters article, Young voters -- a wild card in 2006 U.S. elections, notes that the margin of victory will be so small in many races that the turnout of young people (18-24) could make a difference.

This is a demo group that is frequently touted about and talked about in the media (even courted with Rock the Vote campaigns), but it's a sector that simply doesn't consistently vote at the rate other age groups do. While the Reuters article points out that a record number of young folks voted, it wasn't a greater percentage of that demo than before. SFGate, in 2004:
...polls from the Harvard Institute of Politics, the Pew Research Center and MTV all predicted that that this would be the year that the long- ballyhooed youth vote would finally make a difference in the presidential race. The youth voter pool is immense -- 40.6 million Americans are between 18 and 29, comprising 1 in 5 eligible voters -- but it has rarely been a factor in the 32 years since 18-year-olds have been eligible to vote. Four years ago, just 37 percent of 18-24-year-olds voted.

But despite all the efforts, an Associated Press exit poll survey found that fewer than 1 in 10 voters Tuesday were 18 to 24, about the same proportion of the electorate as in 2000.
One significant point made in the Reuters article is that while Republicans have done a poor job of registering young people -- Dems are quite successful here, and have support in polls -- the Republicans actually turn out the votes.
A nationwide survey released this month showed young Americans prefer Democrats to Republicans by a 21-point margin, up from 19 percent in April.

That's enough to cost some Republican candidates the race, said Ed Goeas, a Republican pollster who analyzed the survey taken by the nonpartisan "Young Voter Strategies." He said if young voters turn out in November in the same numbers as in the 2002 mid-term elections, they could give Democrats a 1.8 percentage point advantage, enough to sway any of several razor-tight races this year.

"We can do a better job, as Republicans, addressing the registration of the younger voters," he said.

But Democrats also face a challenge. Although they have a clear advantage in numbers, the poll shows young Republicans are more intensely loyal and likely to vote. "The Democratic base continues to need work," said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake in Washington. "Young voters are not very engaged."
IMHO, about the only thing that would motivate young people to vote in much more significant numbers would be a draft. Any thoughts?


500 show up to counter Daddy Dobson's 'ex-gay' conference

Five hundred gay folks and allies held a peaceful, positive rally on Saturday in Palm Springs to counter the sad lies being regurgitated at the "ex-gay" roadshow known as "Love Won Out," put on by Focus on the Anus and Exodus. (365gay):
Amid signs that read "Welcome to the Coachella Valley: A Hate-Free Zone" speakers from the gay, business and religious communities stressed the importance of coming out and disputed the "Love Won Out" mantra that homosexuality is a matter of choice that can be "corrected".

One of the speakers was Nancy Heche, the mother of actress Anne Heche, who urged the crowd not to hate gays but to help them overcome their "urges".

...Another speaker, Joseph Nicolosi, said that homosexuality in part is the result of boys not forming close relationships with their fathers. "If you don't hug your son, some other man will," said Nicolosi who is billed as the principal researcher of the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality or NARTH.
If that wasn't bad enough, a commenter, Boo, at Wayne's pad and Ex-Gay Watch discovered that NARTH has an article on its web site that endorsed slavery (or rather it did -- see below). The National Black Justice Coalition and Truth Wins Out asked NARTH and Nicolosi to address the issue and to make a statement about the article and whether the organization supports it -- it was written by a member of NARTH's Scientific Advisory Board.
"With all due respect, there is another way, or other ways, to look at the race issue in America," the article, written by Gerald Schoenewolf, Ph.D. stated. "It could be pointed out, for example, that Africa at the time of slavery was still primarily a jungle, as yet uncivilized or industrialized. Life there was savage, as savage as the jungle for most people, and that it was the Africans themselves who first enslaved their own people. They sold their own people to other countries, and those brought to Europe, South America, America, and other countries, were in many ways better off than they had been in Africa. But if one even begins to say these things one is quickly shouted down as though one were a complete madman."
Daddy Dobson and Exodus didn't seem to have a problem with the above statement -- they didn't cancel Nicolosi's appearance either. That's outrageous. Oh, and as Daniel at Ex Gay Watch noted, the article in question has been removed.
As the organization did with another article recently highlighted, NARTH has quietly removed the article referenced above with no explanation of why it was published, i.e. do they agree with it or not? You can view a Google Cache version for now, but this will expire soon. We call on NARTH to exhibit some intellectual honesty by not simply erasing this in an attempt to again revise their history.
The NBJC didn't let the removal of the article go unnoticed.
Dr. Nicolosi, we are particularly disturbed with Dr. Schoenewolf’s comments drawing a parallel between the civil rights movement and the murder of innocent African Americans. Please clarify what message NARTH was trying to impart when Dr. Schoenewolf wrote the following statement?
"The irony is that the Civil Rights Movement has been vehement about pointing out the hysterical lynchings that took place in the Old South, but completely blind to its own hysterical tactics."
It has been exactly one week since Dr. Schoenewolf’s article has been uncovered and no action has yet been taken on behalf of NARTH to distance itself from this divisive rhetoric. In lieu of such inaction, NBJC can only conclude that NARTH is in concurrence with such sentiments. Taking the offending article down off your website in the dead of night is no substitute for honestly and earnestly addressing this festering issue.
***

There is also great coverage of the event by The Desert Sun, which also quotes Timothy Kincaid, one of our friends over at XGW:
"I don't object to having a religious belief," said Timothy Kincaid of Los Angeles, who protested the event. "What I object to is when you come in and you don't tell the truth."

Kincaid said the message of love at the conference is undermined by the Focus on the Family suggestion that people cannot simultaneously be gay and effective Christians.

"That message is so detrimental," Kincaid said during a telephone interview after the protest. "It pries the gay community away from god."
Ex Gay Watch has several excellent posts on the conference.


A little late on this, huh?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Election officials getting 'cold feet' on electronic voting. Did a little birdie just tell these dolts that the fix is already in? (Raw Story):
Electronic voting machines are making many election officials wary, according to an article slated for the front page of Sunday's edition of The New York Times, RAW STORY has learned.

"A growing number of state and local officials are getting cold feet about electronic voting technology, and many are making last-minute efforts to limit or reverse the rollout of new machines in the November elections," reports Ian Urbina.
In my county we use the optical scanning system -- that's the paper ballot that requires you to connect two ends of an arrow with a black marker to indicate your choice. That ballot is then placed into a scanning machine that tallies it. New Mexico is moving to this system as a result of all sorts of problems with the electronic touch screen devices (NPR via BradBlog):
New Mexico has a new law mandating paper ballots, which are then electronically scanned and counted. Governor Bill Richardson pushed for the new law because New Mexico had all kinds of difficulties with touch screen equipment in 2004, making it one of the last states to report results.

Governor BILL RICHARDSON (New Mexico): We became one of the laughing stock states in the country because we had these technological machines that were not working, that in several counties were defective, were slow, were unreliable, and I basically said to myself I'm not going to go through this again. And I just think that the paper ballot system, as untechnical as it seems, is the most verifiable way we can assure Americans that they're voting and their vote is counting.
What kind of system will you be using on election day?


Q of the day - phobias and eccentricities

Something light to discuss here, since there's plenty to rant about in the post below on the Washington wingnut cavalcade...

***

Do you have any phobias -- ones that you would consider debilitating?

Do you have an eccentricity that other folks might find strange?


For instance, I like wearing cotton, or rather, I have a real problem with clothes that aren't made of 100% cotton. The feel of 100% polyester or wool, even though the latter is a natural fiber, makes me nuts. I can even look at an item on the rack and know whether I want to touch it or not. I can handle some blends for a limited time (after all, most dressier clothing has some sort of unnatural fiber in it) even then, I can't wait to get out of those clothes and into -- ahhhhhh...cotton. I also hate tags that rub (they drive me to distraction) -- those are the first to go when I get an article of clothing home.

Kate thinks it's amusing. She also says that this phenomenon, in an extreme form, is not uncommon in some of the kids she works with who have autism. It's a tactile/sensory integration issue -- oversensitivity of the nervous system, if you will. I don't know. All I know is that I know is that it is just one of my eccentricities that I accept because it no means rises to a "Monk"-level of debilitation.

I don't have any of the phobias that people commonly have -- flying, heights, snakes. I don't like spiders, but I don't flee at the sight of one. Maybe that's less about the insect than the horror I feel thinking about running into a web (that tactile thing again).

OK. I don't like flying roaches, but I cannot imagine that anyone does, particularly our family TV weatherman friend.

On the PBS web site there is a feature, Growing Up Different, with an essay by Temple Grandin, an adult with autism, who describes a more extreme version of this tactile issue.
Small itches and scratches that most people ignored were torture. A scratchy petticoat was like sandpaper rubbing my skin raw. Hair washing was also awful. When mother scrubbed my hair, my scalp hurt. I also had problems with adapting to new types of clothes. It took several days for me to stop feeling a new type of clothing on my body; whereas a normal person adapts to the change from pants to a dress in five minutes. Many people with autism prefer soft cotton against the skin. I also liked long pants, because I disliked the feeling of my legs touching each other.


A cavalcade of wingnuts descends on DC

[UPDATE: I added more below, linking to People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch, its coverage of the Values Voter Summit.]

A Who's Who of AmTalibannery is gathered for the Family Research Council's "Washington Briefing" (Thurs-Sun) at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in DC. If only the earth would open up and swallow this crew:


Tony Perkins, Don Wildmon, Gary Bauer, Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA), Dr. James Dobson, Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, Maggie Gallagher, Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR), Bishop Wellington Boone, enator George Allen, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Brent Bozell, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Bill Bennett, Sen. Rick Santorum, Paul Weyrich, Rev. Herb Lusk, Dr. Richard Land, Tony Perkins, Katherine Harris, Tony Snow.

Take a look at a couple of the breakout sessions:
* Impacting the Culture through the Church
(featuring black homobigots Herb Lusk, of Greater Exodus Baptist Church and Rev. Dwight McKissic of Cornerstone Baptist Church)

* In Defense of Mixing Church and State from Acts 16 (Rick Scarborough, President, Vision America)

Today a featured session was "The Preservation of Traditional Marriage," a panel with homo-obsessed Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, Professor and columnist on the Bush payroll Maggie Gallagher. Some of Marilyn's bloviating (a transcript of her diatribe landed in my inbox -- thanks Andy). A snippet of the insanity:

As we face the issues that we are facing today I don't think there's anything more important out there than the marriage issue. And I've been a pro life activist most of my adult life. I care very deeply about the sanctity of life. But this issue that's in front of us today is critically important. I am amazed when I hear Robby George speak and Maggie and I hang on every word they say. And I believe that thing that Robbie said recently when he was talking to members of Congress about how if we have gay marriage our religious liberties are gone.
I'm sure that Colorado voters don't think marriage is their obsession, and that's why Marilyn's looking in the rear view mirror as Dem challenger Angie Paccione is bearing down, about to run her over in the race. You can almost feel the flop sweat in this closing bleating.
Where's our side, what are they doing? I believe that when you're in a cultural war like this, you have to respond with equal and hopefully greater force if you want to win this battle. But this battle is the most import issue that we face today. What an honor it has been to serve in the United States Congress and carry the marriage amendment.

Last time we were 54 votes short in this legislative session, that's 9 votes more than we had last year but there's much work to be done. I hope that you will realize how high the stakes are. The future is grim unless we do what we need to do to win this battle.
***

UPDATE: I think the larger issue here, given the carousing of 2008 possible presidential contenders and elected political officials happy to do face time at this event (George Allen, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, etc.) is AGAIN, does the Democratic Party know or care that these folks are going to drag out the gay boogeyman. Face it, the Republicans don't have anything to run on, so when the going gets tough, they whip on the homos.

The spineless, strategic silence of the Democratic party on this issue is about to occur again, and any Democrat running in Red States who may be an ally to the LGBT community is getting the strong message that they will not be backed up by national party voices when it comes to reframing the issue to combat the right wing.

These bible-beating, privacy-invading, hateful people know they can go back to this poisonous well time and again without worry. The Democrats run for cover. Look at the brazen public statements at this "Values Voter Summit":
While some speakers, such as Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Sen. George Allen (R-Virginia), asserted that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples is a "foundational value" upon which America is built, and others proclaimed the unfitness of gays to be parents (Jennifer Giroux of Citizens for Community Values: "The ultimate child abuse is placing a child in a gay home"), many speakers pushed the notion of a "homosexual agenda" to the limit. Dobson asserted that the goal of advocates of same-sex marriage is to simply "bring down marriage." (Family Research Council President Tony Perkins claimed that the divorce of the Goodridges, named in the Massachusetts case that established marriage equality in the state, proves that point. "That tells you the commitment to the institution of marriage," he said.) Princeton Professor Robert George, architect of the "Princeton Principles" against gay marriage, warned that the "forces arrayed against the conjugal conception of marriage are very powerful ... And they will strike hard."

...And, beginning with Romney, speakers warned that equality for gays will lead to "repression" of Christians. "The homosexual agenda and [freedom of] religion are on a collision course," said Alan Sears of the Alliance Defense Fund, as Perkins added that "They know they must silence the church."
Gee, that isn't subtle, is it? Will there be any press release from the Dems attacking the bigotry being tossed about with abandon at the Omni Shoreham Hotel this weekend?

How about our black homobigot brethren? These folks can always find a sizeable number of grandstanding black pastors to tap dance for the fundies, giving them the show of diversity -- and unity in bigotry -- that they want to portray to the public.
Bishop Wellington Boone, a frequent speaker at Promise Keepers events, reveled in what he thought would be shocking the polite crowd with his unapologetic attacks on gays and anyone who supports them. He touted a flyer he'd written called "The Rape of the Civil Rights Movement," which he said explained how "sodomites" were hijacking the civil rights to "promote perversion."

After recounting the history of violence and oppression against African Americans, from deaths on the middle passage through slavery and Jim Crow, he hollered, "You tell me a gay has a right to get in on some of that? Get out of here!"

Boone recalled that as a young person, he and his friends used the words "faggot" and "sissy" to refer to people who didn't stand on principle. "God has not called us to be sissies!" Boone seemed disappointed that his gay-bashing hasn't gotten more notice. "I want the gays mad at me. I am not on enough of their hit lists."

Boone also seemed to long for an unapologetically Christian nation, when anyone he derides as "unbiblical" wouldn't be serving in office.
If anyone can find an official Dem response to the above gay-bashing, pass it along so I can post it. Don't hold your breath, btw -- they would have to articulate where the party stands on these issues.

***

Speaking of black homophobia, a new book is coming out that addresses the topic, Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians and Gays in Black Churches, by Rev. Horace L. Griffin, who teaches pastoral theology and directs field education at The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in NYC. From the release:
Griffin, who is black and gay, grew up in a Missionary Baptist church. Based on his life and church experience, he has witnessed how "black church leaders and congregants have been resistant and even closed in treating gay and heterosexual congregants equally or, in many cases, of simply offering compassion to gay people."

...Comparing the plight of black gays and lesbians to "a game of Russian roulette," where the children of the church are no longer welcomed by the church, black lesbian and gay Christians find themselves in "no-win situations," he says. The end result robs them of "their soul, if not their integrity, family and lives."

..."Black church leaders use the bible to oppress gays and lesbians in a similar fashion to the approach once used by white church leaders to oppress blacks during slavery and segregation." [How soon we forget.]

The black church's "sexual secrets," says Griffin, have led to tragic outcomes, including a quiet complicity with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. "Even after two decades of AIDS research ... African American ministers, for the most part, display almost no change in their attitudes that AIDS is God's retribution on the 'sinful,'" he writes.

...Griffin says the black church often "rewards" its gay and lesbian ministers and members for staying in the closet. "Everyone within black churches realizes that there is reward and acceptance for those presenting themselves as heterosexual, while (out) gays and lesbians encounter ridicule and condemnation," Griffin writes. "Even in churches where it is 'known' that the pastor is gay, black church Christians are content to remain in the church if the pastor is willing to present himself as heterosexual with a wife and children."
I definitely want to read this one.


Have fun playing with this

It's an open thread, but enjoy the Official Seal Generator (h/t Amanda).




Sick, sick sick

Before you read this, know that the defendant is claiming he was too drunk to be responsible for his actions.
A woman was likely still alive as a former boyfriend began sawing off her head in a frenzied fit after she disclosed she was a lesbian, a pathologist has told a British court. Jacqueline Queen's blood soaked body was discovered wrapped in a sheet on a quiet North London street last November.

One time boyfriend James Seaton,46, is on trial for murder.

On the witness stand Dr Vesna Djurovic testified that Queen had suffered dozens of injuries before she died. Djurovic said most of the wounds came from a club hammer.
It pains me to see in story after story that human beings are capable of such evil.


A whole lot of people are lying their *sses off

Friday, September 22, 2006

Porn: Promoted, Not Accepted. AgapePress is trumpeting the latest Harris poll, which was commissioned by Morality in Media.

According to this survey, 73% of U.S. adults disapprove of viewing pornographic websites.
When posed with the question: "Do you consider it to be morally acceptable to view pornographic websites and videos?" -- 21 percent of the 997 respondents said "yes," 73 percent said "no," 4 percent said "not sure," and 2 percent refused to answer.

Findings also revealed that older female Americans are more likely to consider viewing pornography unacceptable, whereas younger male Americans are more likely to consider it acceptable.

"It is disturbing that so many younger males think it is morally acceptable to view pornography," said Robert W. Peters, president of Morality in Media. "Since males are vulnerable to visual depictions of sex, however, perhaps it should not come as a surprise."
So does this mean that the 21% are responsible for all that porn consumption out there? And if so, what slice of it is all those fundies who watch porn in hotel pay-per-view? Maybe the 73% disagree because they need to flog themselves after surfing to XXX.com sites.

After all, a recent ChristiaNet Poll showed a whole lot of good evangelicals are ordering up porn and participating in "sexual sin," including -- shock! -- the putative leaders of the flock.
The people who struggle with the repeated pursuit of sexual gratification include church members, deacons, staff, and yes, even clergy. And, to the surprise of many, a large number of women in the church have become victim to this widespread problem. Recently, the world's most visited Christian website, ChristiaNet.com, conducted a survey asking site visitors eleven questions about their personal sexual conduct. (http://www.christianet.com)

..."The poll results indicate that 50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women are addicted to pornography," said Clay Jones, founder and President of Second Glance Ministries whose ministry objectives include providing people with information which will enable them to fully understand the impact of today's societal issues. 60% of the women who answered the survey admitted to having significant struggles with lust; 40% admitted to being involved in sexual sin in the past year; and 20% of the church-going female participants struggle with looking at pornography on an ongoing basis.
As we say here all the time, these are the folks who fixate on your sexual proclivities because they have sex on the brain to such a degree that it turns into a pathology.


SLDN to debate Center for Military Readiness on Faux News

This should be an interesting tussle.
SLDN's own Sharon Alexander will be appearing on FOX News Weekend Live tomorrow - Saturday - between 1:30 and 2pm. Sharon will be debating Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

We can't wait to hear what comes out of Elaine's claptrap this time!
Maybe Elaine will utter more quasi-sexual innuendo about homos "using the military as a battering ram to promote that broader agenda."

***

Speaking of Faux News, activist Keith Boykin took on Bill O'Reilly on The Factor the other night, discussing former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey. (Video here)


Rovian tactics busted at BlueJersey

How desperate are the Republicans to hold on to Congress? Ask friend of the Blend Jay Lassiter of Lassiter Space and BlueJersey.

Astroturfing is a term for showing up at a blog or board as an ally and posting messages questioning your side's tactics or floating negative rumors -- pure 21st century Karl Rove, bush-league asshattery. This story is so big that the NYT has picked it up. Jay:
Anyway, campaign staffers from the republican side are posing as democrats to spam progressive blogs here in NJ. Their twisted logic is that the big media outlets will pick up the story that "liberals" are doubting their Senator on some B.S. trumped up "ethics" charges. The mastermind? The slur-meister himself, Karl Rove. The Republicans are so desperate to retain control of the Senate that they'll do anything to win. Yeah, I know. Stop the press!!

My other site, BlueJersey is the biggest liberal blogsite in the state. We have apparently become so big over there that the Kean Jr. campaign is making our site ground zero in the battle for this all-important Senate seat. In a way it's flattering that his top campaign staffers are paying us so much attention, we traced all the questionble posts back to Junior's campaign HQ, afterall!!
Who was busted? It was Jill Hazelbaker of the Kean campaign, who was trolling around on BlueJersey. Unfortunately she's not too bright, because folks were able to trace the IP of the poster to "tomkean.com." Even more amusing, after being busted the first time, she shows back up (I guess to ostensibly do damage control), and is immediately busted again by jmelli.
LOL, Hi Jill!

Seriously, what is wrong with you guys?
This is sad (0.00 / 0)
IP Address: 70.90.20.85
This is a truly sad day for the bluejersey.  Covering NJ like a rug?  Maybe you'd have a shot if you focused on actual campaign issues.  As an ardent democrat who used to enjoy reading this blog, I am frankly disapointed at the turn bluejersey has taken.  You're wrong if you think our generation is only interested in personal attacks...and the personal attacks aren't even on the candidates, but their staff.  A new low point guys.  Good job.  Keep up the great work.

by: blueforever06 @ Wed Sep 20, 2006 at 10:16:24 AM EDT
How is it that I can call you out on posting from Junior's campaign HQ and then... YOU KEEP DOING IT? Seriously, just stop it. It's laughable and embarrassing and a huge no-no in the world of the web. No one believes for a second that you're "an ardent democrat who used to enjoy reading this blog." It doesn't take an IP address to sniff out a concern troll from a mile away.

It looks really silly for your candidate that you're spending your time fighting with a blog. I mean, we're flattered and all, but you just keep making the joke funnier and funnier.
They can't run on their party's record, they can't run on ethics, they can't run on our military engagements, so this kind of BS is par for the course.


Porno Pete on corporate support for The Homosexual Agenda

Knickers are frantically twisting over at Americans for "Truth". Petey is wailing that he has lost the battle to stop businesses from recognizing the value of its LGBT employees and customers.

Play that tiny violin as you read "Corporate America Is Competing to Promote Homosexuality."
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
While the pro-family movement focused on doing battle against the homosexual lobby in Washington, D.C., and state capitals, "gay" activists won over corporations, largely through internal activism within each company. Kodak, a leading national sponsor of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) went heavily into homosexual advocacy after a top female executive declared her lesbianism to fellow execs. Kodak is among the 138 companies that received a 100% score on the "Corporate Equality Index" (read: Pro-Homosexuality Index) of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s leading "gay" lobby group.

The battle to restore corporate neutrality on the homosexual issue will be a long and tough one, but it must be fought. People of faith inside companies can refuse to participate in pro-homosexual, one-sided "tolerance" sessions that undercut their moral beliefs. Or at least, they can request that the pro-family perspective on the issue be represented in the name of diversity. And they must work closely with outside family advocates to fight against corporate grants to homosexual groups like HRC that have a well-earned reputation for radicalism and bigotry–e.g., supporting taxpayer-funded transsexual "sex-change" operations and demonizing religious people and groups opposed to homosexuality.

...The pendulum is swinging toward a politically correct corporate embrace of immoral and unhealthy sexual behavior, dressed up as an "orientation." It will swing back toward normalcy in the years ahead.
Wishful thinking, dear. No need to pack away the chaps just yet.

Peter has also kindly linked up to WND's full list of 138 "fully pro-homosexual" companies from the HRC report that achieved a perfect 100 score on the index.

In other news, some unhinged man pled guilty to making e-threats against Porno Pete's former pad, the Illinois Family Institute. As much as I think these wingers are off their rockers, even politically dangerous, there's no reason to send messages threatening to "burn every one of your [g-d] damned churches down." Fundie arguments can easily be shot down without stooping to that. Let's put it this way -- I certainly wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that kind of BS. There are too many freaks out there.

***

WingNutDaily's article on the HRC Corporate Equality Index report is outrageously funny, stating "American corporations have acceded to the demands of homosexual activists." Take a look at the spin on the relative cellar-dwellers of the index:
Other companies given lower scores for their unwillingness to sign onto the "gay" agenda include Reebok, Northwest Airlines, The Men's Wearhouse, J.C. Penney, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nissan, Dun & Bradstreet, Gallup, Ben & Jerry's, Kroger, Progressive, Ball Corp., Cooper Tire, Dow Jones, Circuit City, Radio Shack and Toys 'R' Us.


Army touts that it is meeting recruiting goals

The Army reports that it will enlist its 80,000th soldier this week, reaching its annual goal.

Of course the goal has been met; it is recruiting people with antisocial personality disorder, autism, as well as welcoming in folks convicted of aggravated assault, robbery, vehicular manslaughter, receiving stolen property and making terrorist threats. (AP):
...the Army this year began allowing people as old as 42 to enter the service; the maximum age previously was 35.

The Army also has accepted a larger number of recruits whose score on a standardized aptitude test is at the lower end of the acceptable range, and it has granted waivers to permit the enlistment of people with criminal records that otherwise would disqualify them. The Army says it does not grant waivers if there is a pattern of criminal misconduct or for convictions of drug trafficking or any sexually violent crimes.
You have to have a pattern of the above to be rejected. That's reassuring, isn't it?

And in related news, look at what the National Guard lets in -- Former soldier accused of smuggling machine guns from Iraq.
A former National Guard soldier from North Carolina is accused of bringing machine guns from Iraq to the United States and trying to sell them to a northwest Georgia gun dealer. Robert James Clymore of Fayetteville, North Carolina, was arraigned in federal court today on charges of unlawful importation, possession, transportation and transfer of machine guns.

U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said Clymore obtained the guns while on active duty with his Army National Guard unit in Iraq.
Meanwhile qualified out gays and lesbians are being turned away (and arrested) from the recruiting centers.


Incompetence

Your tax dollars at work.
The Commerce Department has lost more than 1,100 laptop computers since 2001, most of them assigned to the Census Bureau, officials said Thursday night.

The Census Bureau, the main collector of information about Americans, lost 672 computers. Of those, 246 contained some personal data, the department said in a statement. However, no data from any missing computer has been known to have been improperly used, the department said.
Yet. The level of incompetence throughout this administration boggles the mind.

***

Open thread. Post those links and blogwhore.


Homophobic singer Buju Banton's concert cancelled

Success again! Jasmyne reports that pressure from black LGBT bloggers deep-sixed a concert in L.A. by Buju Banton, a recording "artist" who has called for the death of gays in his lyrics.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Banton, who entertains his audiences by calling for gays to be shot in the head, have acid poured over them, and set them on fire, found out that this crap wasn't going to fly. Adam Manacker, the general manager of the Highland nightclub and restaurant, received a deluge of calls and emails of protest and cancelled the event, saying "We felt it was the right thing to do after doing some research on the matter."

Next on the list? Beenie Man -- who sings of "hanging lesbians with a long piece of rope" -- he has a concert scheduled on October 22 in Los Angeles.

Related:
* LIFEBeat cancels concert by homophobic recording artists


Radio ad in Maryland accuses Dems of launching KKK, 'bamboozling' blacks

How pathetic. The Black Republican Freedom Fund, the political action arm of the National Black Republican Association (NBRA), has sponsored a radio ad so mind-blowingly stupid and inaccurate that U.S. Senate candidate Michael Steele turned on his brothers-in-arms and told them to pull the ad. (Raw Story):
The 60-second advertisement is shaped as a casual conversation between two African-American women, with one explaining to the other how Democrats have "bamboozled" blacks into believing that their party has done more for the civil rights movement than the Republican Party.

The character named "Tina" claims that Democrats "passed those Black Codes and Jim Crow laws," "started the Ku Klux Klan," and "released those vicious dogs and fire hoses on blacks."

According to the "Tina" character, "Democrats have talked the talk, but Republicans have walked the walk."

"Girl, it's time for us to do the walk," the women say together at the end. "Y'know it, girl."
Whenever you talk about these black Republican outfits, you have to wonder whether it's a shell org, with a few token negroes up front and the puppet strings are being jerked by The Man as necessary (look at the infamous Project 21, with its curiously pale "head" David Almasi).
The A.P. also notes that the NBRA "describes itself on its Web site as 'a resource for the black community on Republican ideals'" but "does not say how many members it has."

Last year, it was reported that half of the newly formed group's board of directors resigned, at the same time that the Bush Administration was taking heat for the federal response after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.
Sounds like they are on a roll. From the sound of this, the only freedom going on The Black Republican Freedom Fund is the freedom from sanity.

The Steele campaign is gasping for air on this one.

Shakes Sis has much to say; Steve (who's quoted in the article) picks apart the ad, point by point.


Rove promising GOP insiders an 'October surprise'

Thursday, September 21, 2006

That's what's up at Raw Story.
"In the past week, Karl Rove has been promising Republican insiders an 'October surprise' to help win the November congressional elections," reports Ronald Kessler for Newsmax.

...A few weeks ago, another conservative publication, The American Spectator, reported that White House staffers had "been talking up the possibilities of an 'October Surprise' or two leading into the mid-term elections."

"They say the President feels confident he can still play a role in the election, that he intends to campaign hard for Republicans, and that on the policy front, there are a couple of issues that can be used as wedges along the way," according to a column written by "The Prowler."

What do you think the October surprise will be? Or do you think Rove is just blowing smoke?

Feel free to use as an open thread.


Greensboro Right to Serve protestors arrested

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

You can see pictures here, and video from Fox 8's noon broadcast . (Greensboro N&R):
Openly gay students Jessica Arvidson, Matt Hill Comer, Alex Nini and Stacey Booe tried to enlist in the U.S. Army this morning in an effort to challenge the 13-year-old "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy as part of a 30-city project called the Right to Serve campaign.

They weren't allowed to enlist and then took part in a sit-in along with several supporters inside the Army Recruiting Center on Merritt Drive in Greensboro.
Here's more N&R coverage; also visit Matt Hill Comer's blog for more.

* 365gay.com's coverage

***


UPDATE: Wingnut alert -- the doyenne of the anti-gay, anti-woman Center for Military Readiness, Elaine Donnelly, weighs in on the Right to Serve movement via Don Wildmon's "news" organ, AgapePress:
The New York Times reports that pro-homosexual activists are engaged in a renewed effort to lift the ban on homosexual conduct by publicizing the stories of potential homosexual recruits or former members of the service who are homosexual. Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, explains what is happening. "[Young homosexuals are] going to recruiting offices ... saying they want to sign up, and [when they are told they cannot serve] they are creating media events all over the country and even internationally," says Donnelly. "They're going to about 30 states, according to some news reports."

..."I think the people involved here do not have the best interests of the military at heart," says Donnelly. "They never have. They are promoting an agenda to normalize homosexuality in America using the military as a battering ram to promote that broader agenda."


James Hartline: 'Gay Pride Abuse'



Again, a sad, completely unhinged man. "Former homosexual" and "Christian" activist James Hartline is STILL fixated on these photos of San Diego Pride (prior posts here and here). We're talking about pix of pols on floats, the usual people in funny outfits, and a couple of shots of lubricant and condoms on a display table are there for bible-beating shock value.

Today he's mad and threatening legal action against Councilman Scott Peters, who didn't want to waste the City Council time letting fundies display pictures of Pride. (The Hartline Report):
On July 25, 2006, it was Councilman Peters, along with lesbian Councilwoman Toni Atkins, who helped pass a city resolution declaring San Diego Gay Pride Week in the city. Peters and Atkins, along with Atkins' lesbian sex partner Jennifer LeSar, rode together in that parade. During a Sept 12th Council meeting, Hartline and a team of thirty Christians attempted to show photographs of the parade that Peters participated in, but Peters proceeded to censor many of the photos and even attempted to block Hartline from speaking to the council on the issue altogether.

...While taking the typical liberal position of anything goes, Peters has not been willing to extend that same liberty to Christian activist James Hartline or his team that appears before the San Diego City Council each month on issues of importance to San Diego's Christian Community. In fact, Peters may have violated the United States Constitution when he refused to allow Hartline and his group the right to present photographs of the San Diego Gay Pride. "When you deny one citizen the same rights and opportunities that you are affording others, then you are crossing the line into discrimination and constitutional violations," says Hartline.

...Hartline, for his part, is not accepting what Councilman Peters has done. The well known Christian activist refuses to allow this prejudicial and anti-christian councilman to take his rights away; or the rights of any other Christian in San Diego. Hartline has contacted an attorney with the American Family Association and asked him to investigate the actions of Couniclman Peters
Peters should have just taken a coffee break and just let Hartline bleat away and show the pictures. Now he'll just churn up the Wildmon AFA "news" machine.

Also:
* Six Years In Sodom: From The Journal Of James Hartline
* The Blend cited on fundie 'ex-gay' blog


Daddy Dobson's Pittsburgh rally flops

Daddy Dobson's appearance in Pittsburgh to rail at the Republicans for failing to kiss his feet on every wingnut initiative -- and Democrats for being godless homo-loving heathens -- only managed to draw 3,000 in a venue that holds 17,000. There were about 150 protestors outside. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette):
Standing before an enormous American flag in Mellon Arena, conservative evangelical activist James Dobson told thousands of supporters he was deeply disappointed in the nation's Republican leadership, but that the nation's future depended on re-electing them.

...He accused the Republican House and Senate of "sitting on their hands" on key conservative social issues. He said they had squandered a growing public sentiment that abortion should be limited or banned.
One side note -- the article takes care to show that Dobson is connecting with some in the religious black community.
Three black women sitting near her said they had listened to his radio program since their grown children were babies. They bristled at the suggestion that Dr. Dobson's public-policy agenda was not attuned to the concerns of the black family.

"He is not a racist," said Louise Smith of the Hill District. She still listens to his children's radio drama, "Adventures in Odyssey," and said she was thrilled that it recently ran a segment on slavery and the Underground Railroad.

"The younger children do not know that story today,'' she said. "Of course, with Dr. Dobson, you get to listen to what is affecting the Christian family. He gives us the information to make a stand, especially in voting."
Sue @ Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents has an on-site report.


Diversity in the blogosphere 2.0

Firedoglake's Jane Hamsher appeared on Keith Olbermann's show last night -- Crooks and Liars has the video. They discuss the Bill Clinton "outreach session" with well-known members of blogosphere and the effect of blogs on the midterms and beyond. It's interesting.

BTW, if you're looking for any commentary in the segment on the lack of color at the Clinton Harlem office lunch, you won't find it.

***

I'll sign off for now on the lunch brouhaha with some observations (sorry for the long post), a few of which I've made over at other various blogs during the past week but haven't posted here at the coffeehouse (no time, isn't that pathetic?). Bear with me, and feel free to weigh in.

When you step back and put this Clinton/blogger lunch into perspective, the fallout from the discussion over why or how there weren't bloggers of color there turned into a terrible pissing contest overshadowing what could be a productive conversation on race and inclusion on the left.

The valid points made by others about 1) the problem of inclusion and how information about how that lunch invite list was handled, and 2) the fact that the invitees didn't choose to comment in their posts on the lunch about the "white-out" — got torched in the flames of very hot follow-up posts (see links to various reactions at the bottom of this entry).

What I have blogged about here many times before is that race is a third rail topic for white folks and POC, particularly in the progressive sphere. Whites are paranoid about discussing it for fear of getting their heads bitten off, POC are defensive because it can get tiring having to point out the obvious -- and then they shut down. The end result is the groups go into their corners and fail to communicate effectively. When an issue does explode publicly, as it did in this case, then it becomes emotional, not rational. This cycle is so predictable (in the real and virtual worlds), and it disappoints me each time.

I understand where Liza's emotion came from when that picture of a "blizzard" was posted -- it seemed like, as it did with the big boys ignoring blogger women, you see the same "oversights" occur over and over. Her approach — and the reaction to it — will likely result in silence in many corners again -- hands will be wrung, nothing much will happen, and eventually another flame war will ensue. I do hope, however, that I am wrong.

One big problem that spurred the flurry of agony was that the invited bloggers could have asked why there was so little diversity, or help to put the photo into context (by blogging about who was invited but couldn't attend/refused, etc.), but that unfortunately didn't happen. After the fact, I was emailed by one of the attendees that the lack of color at the lunch was discussed among them. The fact that it wasn't mentioned on any of those blogs said a lot, what exactly, I'm not sure. What it did leave was a vacuum that filled with tension and speculation. My two cents at the time was that it reflected either the "race as third rail" problem, or perhaps even more depressing, a collective opinion that discussing it publicly really didn't matter.

As a result of this dust up, subsequent inclusion of minorities at any sessions like this will appear to be tokenism. You can't roll back the clock to stop it from looking reactive rather than proactive. Minority bloggers don't want to be seen as the "chosen one." Been there, done that, for a good part of my life, thank you very much. I've been the "first" or "only" minority in so many professional and personal settings, and carrying the race anvil on one's back to "represent" is tiring.

What will be difficult for people coordinating these events who earnestly seek a diverse invitee list is whether they are inviting for color only, or for a particular informed perspective -- that requires work on their part. For instance -- I'm a citizen blogger who happens to be a middle-class black lesbian living in the South with a decent sized readership. Am I important to the dialogue as a blogger, a POC, a gay woman or all of the above? I'm not connected to any minority or gay advocacy group who may have people much more highly qualified to receive input on particular issues the organizer has interest in (poverty, HIV/AIDS prevention, etc.) than I could ever give input on in an official capacity.

Despite being a POC, I'd bet that a good number of religious black Dems, for instance, would feel that I in no way can speak for them because I'm gay (another issue Dems don't want to address in public). The same might be true of those who work with the urban poor.

What dialogues am I then seen as "qualified" to participate in on a panel or "event", by both the minority groups I inhabit and the dominant culture? Good question. Just having diversity without context may make for a good PR picture, but it may not be as productive as the planner would like.

***

Given my nature, I'm not a flamethrower when it comes to race, having been on the receiving end of irrational animus from both white folks and minorities (colorism lives!). I'll never black enough for some (the Acting White syndrome), and I'll certainly never be mistaken for white (though way back when I straightened my hair and I lived in NYC I was often mistaken as Puerto Rican, ha, ha).

In any case, I understand how complicated and frustrating talking about race can be when those shields come up on both sides. That's why I try to make the Blend a place where white folks can ask the questions that usually send minorities into defensive overdrive. If I can wade through Freeperland, I can weather a question about whether I can tan.

What this all reminds me of is the school lunchroom phenomenon. I remember at my HS (Stuyvesant, in NYC), kids of all colors mixed in the classroom, but at lunchtime many would self-segregate by race. Then you had people like me, with a rainbow of geek friends, who served as a multiculti  table.  Why we were different, I don't know.

I guess not much changes when we "grow up" (and I use that term loosely, considering the level of discourse this topic has generated elsewhere).
Chris:
I have seen studies that strongly suggest that even online, people tend to read voices that they feel they can identify with. In other words, women will more frequently read blogs written by other women than will men, Latinos will more frequently read blogs written by other Latinos than will non-Latinos, etc. While it is certainly not the same level of segregation you would see in housing patterns, there is a tendency for people to group together online.
Thus the notion of colorblind blog surfer is a myth; the notion that the progressive blogosphere doesn't have a hierarchy and composition that needs some tinkering to become more representative of the Democratic party is a myth. What it requires is for a person to consciously step out of a comfort zone to seek out different perspectives.

As Terrance said:
Identity and experience inform perspective. Thus, regardless of the issue, having diversity at the table changes the discussion, by expanding the context through the wide and varied experiences of the people at the table. It can't help but do so. The less diverse the participants, the narrower the context of the discussion will be, as well as the possibile solutions discussed.
It's all, however, very complicated to try to remedy.

Terrance has another good one up today on moving forward.

In the end a blog is a personal soapbox, and the Blend reflects my observations based on my experience inhabiting all of those "groups." That, ultimately, is the what I am an "expert" in. What impact my words have on all of you is what makes the words have added value -- or not -- out there in the blogosphere. Your feedback and participation are what I rely on to know where my thoughts fit in along the spectrum of many opinions. I learn, you learn, we all benefit.

***

Terrance has followed up with ideas on where things might go from here -- Blogs, Diversity & Moving Forward, A Proposal. He also has another good one up today on moving forward.

Before this is buried for good, here are a variety of posts about this that run the perspective gamut -- that's a real understatement:

La Shawn Barber
Bill Clinton and the White Liberal Bloggers

Chris Bowers (MyDD)
Diversity In The Blogosphere

Kid Oakland
The politics of Peter Daou's invite list

Terrance
Blogging While Brown, Cont'd

Brown Bagging It: The Clinton Blogger Lunch Redux

Steve Gilliard
About meeting Clinton

Elayne Riggs
Wonkdom, Internicene Fallout, Two More (Plus Two More), The Klinton Kerfuffle Kount

Firedoglake
Liza, Liza, Liza

Liza Sabater
CultureKitchen (and here)


'Cash is queen'

As expected, the release of HRC's fifth annual Corporate Equality Index report, showing continued support for LGBT employees and consumers, has roused the wingnuts like clockwork (my earlier post is here). Witness the latest WND poll, titled "Cash is queen" (h/t Jeremy):

How does corporate support for the homosexual agenda impact your buying decisions?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I decided to surf over to the swamp to see how things were churning over this.


Actual Freeper Quotes™

Legalize gay marriage and watch how these companies pull these benefits. You will see many gays then work to make gay marriage illegal as many don't want to get married and don't want to lose their benefits

leave policies?? What the heck? Ha! Something is really, really, really screwed up in our culture if companies are paying men to leave work so they can get breasts or slice off their manhood. Messed up to the nth degree.

official state position is that there is no discrimination. if you disagree, then you are invited to re-education camp where you can make Human Rights Campaign key chains as slave labor.

This is from the Human Rights Campaign. They are the rabid homosexual activists, they work with the lamnda legal group to push for the fiate by court order special rights for homosexuals. I would submit this can be gamed to be primarily Mass. and Calif. type corporations. The real issue is why stock holders don't take issue with their PROFITS financing homosexuals' recreation.

Company's bring in 'sociology' experts to help them adapt the latest developments in the field, these 'sociology' experts come from universities, these universities push insane sociology theories in their classrooms. These so-called 'sociology' experts then push these insane ideas on the corporations that hire them. It's a terrible thing.

This is one of the reasons why there needs to be some kind of regulation by the state for gay relationships. Regardless of what individual companies choose to do regarding their G & L employees and benefits in general, there is apt to be a greater legal mess in this area if there isn't some concrete licensing of people's cohabitation status, especially in the realm of benefits. I can't believe I am saying this as one who claims to have libertarian tendencies----better a few regulations than millions spent on lawsuits.

What proof is offered by beneficiaries to show they fit those categories? Is performance of perverted sexual acts in view of a corporate audience mandated or do you just state your sexual preference as a stand alone fact?


'Jap cars': more racism peeping out of the GOP's big tent

Representative John Kline is running for re-election in Minnesota's U.S. 2nd District, and his campaign is in a bit of hot "macaca" water of its own.

During a campaign appearance for Democratic-Farmer-Labor opponent Colleen Rowley by Rep. John Murtha, D-PA., Kline's District Director Mike Osskopp was captured on video outside the venue shouting at supporters who were arriving, chiding that they were driving "Jap cars." How refreshing to go so retro on us, Osskopp.

Inside Minnesota Politics posted a video by DFL activists who happened to be taping outside the meet and greet event, and they captured Osskopp's diatribe.



The Star Tribune learned about the video and reported the fallout. Look at the ridiculous "apology."
Witnesses said they heard Osskopp several times use the word, considered a disparaging term for Japanese. One Rowley supporter, Paul Bartlett, complained Monday to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, noting that Osskopp is a "high-level federal employee."

Osskopp, who rode his Harley-Davidson motorcycle to the event, apologized for the remark Tuesday. "I apologize if my words offended any Americans of Japanese descent, including my sister-in-law," Osskopp said. "I allowed my emotions to get the better of me and used a phrase commonly used in my youth, but which is now inappropriate and offensive."
"Commonly used" (as in during WWII) does not mitigate this BS; when was that term ever considered anything other than a slur? Good grief, what an ass. He gets bonus bigot points for insulting a relative when pumping out that slur. The next family holiday gathering should go swimmingly.

My favorite blog headline on this so far has to be Macaca Two: Racist Bugaloo.

Is there just something in the GOP Kool-Aid that makes racist projectile word vomit occur out in public for these people? I mean we suspect that wingnuts really do believe that blacks can't swim, and that the country is overrun with swarthy immigrant terrorists who "drive taxi cabs in the daytime and kill at night," but it boggles the mind that these fools are so carefree about uttering the ignorance and bigotry in front of crowds or with cameras rolling.

And that's our Tony Snow Lesson on RacismTM for today.


Graphic: The fabulous Mike Tidmus for the Blend


This and that

The mailbag has been full...

* Paul in SF sent this one in: anti-gay junk scientist Paul Cameron is skewered on The Daily Show, as he attempts to describe why Bleu Copas, a translator discharged from the Army under DADT, is unfit to serve. It's outrageous.



This video is hilarious, though how can anyone take Paul Cameron's work seriously when he says crap in the video like "a large proportion of male homosexuals enjoy drinking each other's urine."

* Tomorrow AM is the attempted enlistment and sit-in in Greensboro for Soulforce's Right to Serve Campaign. Openly gay youth will participate in a challenge to DADT at the Army recruiting office. As Matt Hill Comer, organizer of the local effort says, "These youth are willing to serve, but they are not willing to lie as a condition of their service."

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
* Give $50 to Servicemembers Defense Legal Network and receive a limited edition DVD of Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (1995), signed by Col. Cammermeyer.

* Happy one year blogiversary to Street Prophets!

* Focus on the Family's bogus ex-gay Love Won Out road show is holding a press conference on Sunday to "tune out the distractions being thrown at them by gay activists and give a fair hearing to the conference's message," according to professional "ex-gay" Melissa Fryrear. Interestingly, the press release specifically says "credentialed print and broadcast media only -- no bloggers" will get into the event. Daniel at Ex-Gay Watch is taking suggestions for questions to provide the media with to ask the Dobson bunch about Love Won Out.

* From the "how do they keep finding a public forum department": Jasmyne reports that virulently anti-gay performers Buju Banton and Beenie Man are set to perform in Los Angeles. Banton's lyrics call for calls for shooting gays in the head, pouring acid over them, and setting them on fire; Beenie Man's equally offensive, with a song that translates "hang lesbians with a long piece of rope." Find out more.

* Andy at Eleventh Avenue South has a news on a howler: Drag Queen Wants To Marry Michele Bachmann, the unhinged homobigot running for Congress in Minnesota's 6th District.


* Support an out gay candidate for the 14th district seat in the Kansas House of Representatives, Aunesty Janssen. A letter from a supporter who knows how difficult it is to be out and gay in the state that is the home of Fred Phelps. (thanks, Kathy and Boo):
She is running in a tough district, with no support from her political party. Whether they are scared of her, don't know what to do with her, or just think she's doomed, "they" are nowhere to be found. Aunesty is working hard-she is the mother of 4, runs a small business, and is working her district. She has the assistance of 2 campaign managers/strategists, both of whom have political experience. I am watching her wage a strong, smart campaign in a district where they rarely see much competition. Aunesty has been running hard and working hard-and had managed to keep her spirits up too. Until recently...

A recent flurry of emails that question not only her right to run for office, but her "moral fitness" as a parent and legislator, has Aunesty in need of a boost of the spirit-and of the pocketbook. She has a strategy to win her district and believes $10K can bring it home.

The email hate message that prompted me to write you ended with this line, written to Aunesty, who is past PTO president and mother of 4 whom the writer has never met: "I cannot provide a vote for you in the election for any elected office due to your lifestyle choice. I do not believe you are a good role model for children and you cannot represent the proper moral base the state needs."

Friends, it is only through having people like Aunesty run for office that we will ever reach a time when gay candidates can actually garner the support of their Parties and have their defense-rather than their silence-when they receive emails like this one. Let me just say that, in Kansas, we are not there yet. But, still Aunesty runs and runs hard!
***

Consider this an open thread -- blogwhore, chat and link away...


Wayne experiences an 'ex-gay' revival in NC

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

This past Sunday, activist Wayne Besen came to the NC mountains to attend a revival held by local "ex-gay" preacher, Tim Wilkins of Cross Ministries, based in Wake Forest. Invited by respected NC gay businessman Mitchell Gold to see Wilkins first-hand, Wayne got an eyeful and earful of that old time religion.

He was not disappointed; the usual misinformation was bleated to the crowd, but there was a surprising admission by Wilkins as well about his recurring homosexual temptations.
In his sermon, Wilkins repeatedly made the stunning acknowledgement that people do not choose to be gay. Instead, he erroneously blamed homosexuality on a wide array of possibilities including the standard pseudo-scientific canards of parental abuse and dysfunction. To his credit, Rev. Wilkins confessed that his "theories" could not be applied to all gay people.

Equally surprising was that Wilkins unwittingly admitted that he was not cured, but merely suppressing his sexuality. He tried to spin this message by reducing the deep, intrinsic identity of "sexual orientation" to a nagging "temptation." However, it was striking how after 30 years of ex-gay ministry and marriage, Wilkins was no more than a wink from a twink away from falling off the hetero wagon.

To drive home this point, he reiterated that he would not watch Brokeback Mountain because he feared that his resistance might melt like butter near a fire. I pointed out that as a gay man I have watched hundreds of heterosexual dramas and not once was enticed to become straight. Watching Pretty Woman, for instance, did not make me want to sleep with Julia Roberts. He had no answer for this.
Sunday was not the first time Wilkins expressed worry about falling off the wagon. Back in April, he said this:
A reporter from The Christian Post asked my thoughts about the movie and I obliged. My comments as a former homosexual were made from the reviews I had read-comments which generated numerous emails to me from individuals arguing that I could not make an intelligent comment on a movie I had not seen.

They suggested that my viewing the movie would be beneficial in responding to the reporter's questions. I told them and the reporter that my going to see Brokeback Mountain would be similar to asking a former alcoholic to go to a liquor store to buy his neighbor a toddy for the body.
He also said this to AgapePress:
You want to know a secret? I still find myself attracted to men occasionally. To those of you with the puzzled looks on your faces, let me say it a different way. I have found that God’s provision is not necessarily eradicating the same-sex attractions; His ways, which are not my ways, include strengthening the shoulder that bears the burden. And as Dr. S. M. Lockridge used to say “That’s my King!”
My god, Wilkins sounds like a man about to explode. Get him to NC Pride this month and see if he can pray the gay away in that environment.


Who knew a BJ was only for the homos?

Michelle Turner, the president of some outfit called the Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, has a very limited notion of what you heteros out there do in the bedroom. She's on board with the condom-use curriculum in the Montgomery County, Maryland school system's sex-ed program, but she has an objection to instruction on what she calls "homosexual acts."

I hate to break it to you Ms. Turner, but I don't think the gays invented these particular sex acts you're talking about. This AgapePress article is labeled with the warning "CAUTION...This story contains terms that some may find offensive."
"We're running into some concerns with the written part of the curriculum," Turner adds. "There still seems to be an interest on the part of the school system to introduce anal and oral sex."

According to Turner, liberal groups are still pushing for condom-based, homosexuality-affirming sex-ed in the classroom. For example, groups like the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and "Teach the Facts" want the county's new sex-education program to include discussion of anal and oral sex, she says. But if the changes advocated by those two groups are adopted, the citizens group leader contends the district may be in violation of the terms of last year's court-ordered settlement.

"It all depends on whether or not they are introducing homosexuality and homosexual acts and the homosexual lifestyle without telling students that it is possible to leave the lifestyle -- and that there are agencies and organizations that can assist with that," she says.
***

This reminds me of a true story that Kate told me a while back. She was attending a Rotary Club-like function in her role as an audiologist, and other health care professionals were giving a talk. One of the women was a Planned Parenthood representative who was talking about teens and sex and methods of protection against HIV/AIDS and birth control.

As one might imagine at a meeting like this held during a weekday, the audience was full of senior citizens, almost all men, who were listening attentively to the information, as the Planned Parenthood woman explained the phenomenon of many teens today defining only intercourse as "sex." The danger, she said, is that STDs can still be transmitted by having unprotected oral and anal sex.

One elderly man (Kate said he had to be in his 80s), sitting in the back was very interested in what the rep had to say; he stood up and said he had a question for the speaker.

She said, "Sure."

In a loud voice, he said "I'd like to know, what, exactly...is oral sex?"

Kate said the room was silent, and then everyone exploded.

The Planned Parenthood rep actually kept her composure and smiled and said to the gentleman -- "I'll be happy to explain that to you right after the presentation, sir."


Jeff Gannon gets the ax

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...the Blade kicked him to the curb. (Media Bistro, h/t Ablog):

Jeff in the good old butch Bulldog days. And today.

Following Executive Editor Chris Crain's departure from The Washington Blade, the paper chose Kevin Naff as his replacement this week. One of Naff's first decisions was to sever ties with columnist Jeff Gannon.

We spoke with Naff:
I made the decision...Basically, my concern is that he has a huge credibility problem, for obvious reasons, and if a member of my staff lied about their identity, lied about their name, lied to their editors, lied to their sources, I would fire them. I wouldn't publish them.

And this has nothing to do with his political beliefs. Our oped pages will always be open to members of the community of all political stripes. I will be reaching out to different conservative voices to get those folks inside the paper...Their views will be reflected in our pages, but I just think we can find better people to represent those views.

Original photo: Joe Tresh

Flashbacks:
* Why I won't be on the panel in Philly
* 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


Get your pic with Ken at the Mehlman Challenge

The homo-obsessed, anti-gay Michele Bachmann, the GOP candidate in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District race, is holding yet another fundraiser (Darth darkened the door earlier this year, as did Rove).

This time around, she's featuring a special surprise for her supporters (Bachman v. Wetterling via Dump Michele Bachmann):
The Bachmann for Congress campaign issued a call challenge to all grassroots activists, volunteers, and campaign supporters. Simply make 180 total calls or register 12 people to vote between now and September 19, to have your picture taken with Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman at our Rally for Victory on September 20.
Boy, I'm so sorry I can't make it. Who wouldn't want to have this hanging on your celebrity wall...


Bachmann on homos: "It's a very sad life. It's part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It's anything but gay." Image: Michele Bachmann Fun Page.


Mary Cheney makes Newsweek's 'Top 20 Women on Leadership'

You've got to be flipping kidding. Jeezus. The Newsweek intro:
Leading the Way
These women are poised to be the next generation of leaders in their fields—whether it's sports, business, finance, politics or the arts. In their own words, they tell how they got where they are and where they hope to go next.
Failed author and gay rights ignoramus* Mary Cheney bloviates about her life on the campaign trail with Daddy Darth. She's on the list with:

• Danica Patrick
• Queen Latifah
• Karenna Gore Schiff
• Marissa Mayer
• Sarah Chang
• Maria Celeste Arraras
• Renee Reijo Pera
• Gwen Sykes
• Joyce Chang
• Tracy Reese
• Janna Levin
• Ruth Simmons
• Martina Navratilova
• Ellen Futter
• Meredith Vieira
• Adele Hodges
• Renetta McCann
• Anne Stevens
• Diane von Furstenberg

Comment away.

H/t, Blender Laura K.

***

* Remember this exchange on Larry King?
KING: On domestics -- what's the rule -- what's the law in Virginia?

CHENEY: Actually I'm not sure what the law is in Virginia. I should know that.

KING: Does your partner have -- if you're in the hospital, god forbid, does your partner have rights?

CHENEY: My partner and I have living wills, regular wills, powers of attorney, everything that quite honestly any couple married or not should have.


Why the political closet costs us our rights

McGreevey opposed gay marriage to hide own homosexuality. He's just one of many closet cases, Dem and Republican, that we all know are out there, casting votes against marriage (or any gay civil rights measures) for fear of drawing attention to their own tortuous battle within.
"I did not want to be identified as being gay, and it was the safe place to be," McGreevey said Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press. "I wanted to embrace the antagonist. I wanted to be against it. That's the absurdity."
It's not absurd, really -- it's dangerous. People who cannot think clearly about their own sexuality in this vein have no business deciding for those of us who have reconciled that truth what our rights should be.

That's the price we have been paying for the political closet, where politicians and lobbyists have personal demons that manifest themselves in virulently anti-gay voting records and advocacy and off-hours cruising. Look at former Virginia Congressman Ed Schrock from an earlier post.
This tortured closet case had no business being in Congress, given his 92% Christian Coalition rating, his co-sponsorship of the Federal Marriage Amendment and the fact that he was cruising for sex with men via the MegaMates/ MegaPhone Line, leaving recordings like this:

"Uh, hi, I weigh 200 pounds, I'm 6'4" (inaudible) blond hair....very muscular, very buffed up, uh, very tanned, uh, I just like to get together a guy from time to time, just to, just to play. I'd like him to be in very good shape, flat stomach, good chest, good arms, well hung, cut, uh, just get naked, play, and see what happens, nothing real heavy duty, but just, fun time, go down on him, he can go down on me, and just take it from there... hope to hear from you. Bye."
After Mike Rogers outed this bastard, was it any surprise that the Schrocking news resulted in Ed canceling his re-election bid without commenting why. After all, the man served the Virginia 2nd district, home to the headquarters of televangelist Pat Robertson, and said ridiculous statements like this about homos:
From the Virginian-Pilot, October 22, 2000: Schrock favors ending the Clinton administration's ''don't ask, don't tell'' policy on gays in the military. He supports asking enlistees whether they have had homosexual experiences in an effort to to try to keep gays from serving. ''You're in the showers with them, you're in the bunk room with them, you're in staterooms with them,'' Schrock said.
This is precisely the kind of behavior McGreevey is describing, only once out of the closet, the former NJ governor came out in favor of marriage equality because he has made peace with his orientation (after making a mess in his personal and professional life trying to hide it). We haven't heard any such public declarations from Schrock, who, as a socially conservative Republican is probably still sitting in his lonely, tortured closet.

That's where the social conservatives of the AmTaliban-focused GOP want gays to be. Hidden, full of shame. Back to the good old days.

On the one hand, I laud the Log Cabin Republicans for attempting to bring sanity to their party in terms of respect for LGBT citizens who believe in the principles of traditional conservatism. I may not agree with some of their political positions as Republicans, but it's healthy for both political parties to have to court a group for its votes. On the other hand, I question the sanity of the LCRs operating in an environment where they are constantly sh*t on by people in their own party who simply don't want them to exist. All of that work hasn't resulted in any open arms in the party welcoming openly gay pols, staffers, and lobbyists -- who are also politically out to the public. Take a look at this state platform:
We believe homosexual behavior is not normal and should not be established as an acceptable "alternative" lifestyle either in public education or in public policy. We do not believe public schools should be used to teach children that homosexual behavior is normal. We do not believe that taxpayers should fund benefit plans for unmarried partners. We oppose special treatment by law based on nothing other than homosexual behavior or identity. We support federal and state constitutional amendments to ensure that marriage is limited to the union of one man and one woman. We oppose attempts to legitimize homosexual relationships by placing such relationships on an equal footing with marriage. We oppose the adoption of children by same sex couples. (NCGOP Party Platform Article I, Section 3)
That's the difference between the Dems and Republicans. The latter has allowed fundamentalists to hijack the social agenda, and they know that they outnumber gay Republicans. They can write party platforms like the above and not bat an eye -- that's not bigotry to them. What I can't understand is how any LCRs can give money to that party under these circumstances -- they are contributing to people that work day and night to erode gay citizens' rights. A tax deduction is more valuable than their basic civil rights. That's pathological.

I will, however, say that for gay Dems to continue to give time, money and effort to their party is almost as pathological. This is a party that has taken this constituency for granted for some time now, always asking for patience to wait until they return to power for legislative change to occur. We've been down that road before (DOMA, DADT).

We're simply in a political closet of a different kind. The courage in the party to actually take a stand of any kind at the federal level regarding gay rights is sorely lacking, as the Dems in leadership court the religious zealot vote (like, say, appearing on Crazy Pat's 700 Club), or cozy up to the squawking fundie media darling of the day to prove that the party is in the mainstream. That's insanity. The religious vote does not equal religious fundamentalist social conservative whackjobs. If that is the mainstream, everyone is in deep sh*t.

Until the party gets its house in order and finds the ability to talk about gay rights without acting like they are choking on a bone, gay Dems should not be an automatic ATM, our votes cannot be taken for granted, we have to be willing to say the wallet is shut and we are willing to sit it out. Support should only be given to specific candidates and organizations actually working for positive change at the grassroots level, and to candidates who are up against strident, vocally anti-gay opponents. We also have a responsibility to hold purported advocacy groups (which have their own agendas for self-preservation and power acquisition), in check when they see them endorsing candidates who are not supportive of equality.

To be asked over and over to do all the heavy lifting to win over the public re: civil equality -- and wait for the polls sufficiently shift for politicians to "feel comfortable" coming out of the closet to support us is simply tiring. Not taking a position or avoiding the discussion is, by default, taking a position -- it allows the other side to define you.

***

You must read Mike Tidmus's take on McGreevey, or as he calls him, ex-Governor JimBenet McGreevey. LaBarbera takes a swipe at McGreevey's treatment of his wife and adultery, but he seems to have a selective memory when it comes to other celebrated "values" politicos. Mike:
Porno Pete, however, fails to note the overwhelming prevalence of celebrated Christian, Republican wife dumpers like former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. Newt paid a visit to his wife while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. With his two daughters in tow, and one Callista Bisek, a blonde, congressional aide 23 years his junior hiding out in the wings, Newt presented his bed-ridden wife with divorce papers. Married three times and typical of the sanctity of marriage set, Newt wasn’t what you’d call cooperative with his alimony payments.


Same sex buss on plane almost results in diverted flight

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Several of you mentioned this ridiculous crap -- with all the het mile-high fornication going on, somehow a homo kiss in the cabin on an American Airlines flight from Paris to NYC nearly resulted in the plane being diverted. Is this the new threat to Homeland Security? (New Yorker):
The purser asked the men to describe what they’d been doing, and she acknowledged that their behavior had not been inappropriate. Tsikhiseli then asked if the stewardess would have made the request if the kissers had been a man and a woman. Suddenly, Leisner said, the purser “became very rigid.” Contradicting what she’d told them before, she stiffly said, “Kissing is inappropriate behavior on an airplane.” She then said that she was busy with the meal service and promised to come back.

Half an hour later, the purser returned, this time saying that some passengers had complained about Tsikhiseli and Varnier’s behavior earlier. The men asked more questions. Who had complained? (She couldn’t say.) Could they have the stewardess’s name, or employee number? (No.) Would the purser arrange for an American Airlines representative to meet them upon landing at J.F.K.? (Not possible.) Finally, the purser said that if they didn’t drop the matter the flight would be diverted. After that, Leisner said, “everyone shut up for a while.”
If you read the entire article, it's unclear what American's policy is regarding passengers kissing during the event; everyone is confused and confrontational. Even after the episode, there are conflicting statements from AA staffers.
Tim Wagner, a spokesman for American, said that the stewardess’s injunction to the men was reasonable, and would have been made whether the couple was gay or straight. “Our passengers need to recognize that they are in an environment with all ages, backgrounds, creeds, and races. We have an obligation to make as many of them feel as comfortable as possible,” he said. (He added, “Our understanding is that the level of affection was more than a quick peck on the cheek.”) But a customer-service representative named Terri, reached last week on the telephone, offered the opinion that kissing on airplanes is indeed permissible. “Oh, yeah! Sure. I’ve seen couples who are on honeymoons,” she said. “They just don’t want you to go into the bathroom together.”


Dangerous minds boobies

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Nothing like some boob envy or boob hating to make your day. While the big dust up over minority representation at the Clinton lunch was going on, there was a ridiculous and insulting (and quite frankly unhinged) column by Ann Althouse over Jessica at Feministing's pose in the notorious blogger photo that caused its own kerfluffle (see here, here, here). Jessica is in the front row in the gray shirt.

My comment: All I know is, I hope I'm not in any pix if I ever do get invited to such an event, because the boobie patrol will have way too much to deal with.

Jessica has decided to make lemons out of lemonade, or, to be more accurate, a T-shirt out of the gigantic boobie-hating dustup. BTW, 20% of the profits from T-shirt sales will go to Breast Cancer Action.

MadKane has a limerick:
Ode To Ann Althouse

Poor Ann Althouse! Jessica Valenti looked discernibly female in a blogger group photo with Bill Clinton, and Ann is aghast, appalled, and dismayed!

Ode To Ann Althouse
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Some bloggers are easily shocked
When gal lefties don't look like they're jocks.
Poor Ann can't abide
When such women don't hide
Their endowments beneath frumpy smocks.
***

More on the brouhaha from these folks: Pandagon, Feministe, Echidne, Emboldened, Broadsheet, Lawyers, Guns and Money, Booman Tribune, Feminist Law Professors, Ilyka Damen, Eschaton, The Mahablog, TGW, Steve Gilliard, The Heretik, Majikthise.


The prospect of more 'refusal clauses' coming down the pike

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy blog has just posted an article by Carrie Evans of HRC on "refusal" bills that have been materializing in state legislatures that could profoundly affect LGBT citizens if any of them pass.

These bills would allow some health care providers to refuse services (this is already true of abortion services in 46 states), because the proposed measures would allow refusal based on broad, undefined criteria such as "moral, ethical or conscientious grounds." Most have failed to pass, but it's clear that right-wing legislators are not meek about repeated attempts to control wombs and punish gays.
A dramatic example of this can be found in Virginia's 2006 House Bill 187 that would have prohibited all health care providers from assisting any unmarried woman with any form of assisted reproduction. While this bill did not pass, the fact that something this expansive was introduced and received public attention indicates the direction we can expect these bills to continue in.

In opposing these bills the solidarity between choice and LGBT organizations at the state-level has been rekindled. Moreover, by highlighting the potentially severe negative consequences of these bills many legislators have agreed, that as written, these measures are mean-spirited and potentially devastating and, to date, have not passed one.
I would imagine that Virginia's wingnut-filled legislature, if the marriage amendment passes, will feel empowered to move forward on measures like HB187 and even more expansive bills, once LGBT citizens are made even more legally vulnerable than they presently are.

***

On a brighter Virginia note, the coffers of the organization battling the amendment, The Commonwealth Coalition, has raised more than $315,000 during the months of July and August. In contrast, the bible beaters at Virginia4Marriage, only racked in about $155,000.

As far as the numbers go, 54% favor the amendment while 40% said they would vote against it, according to a recent Mason-Dixon poll. There's a lot of work to do.


Travolta was just kissing the hired help

That's what his lawyer is saying. The guy in the photo is his "manny."
A recently published photograph of Travolta showed him kissing his family's male nanny before flying to America on board his private jet, which sparked the rumours that he has homosexual leanings.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Caught by the Enquirer.

However, Martin insists that the smooch was harmless, and that Travolta's wife ,Kelly Preston was also on board the plane which ferried him and the nanny home from Ontario, Canada.

He said that his client's kissing another man was just a manner of customary greeting, and that Travolta kisses all those men and women whom he considers his close friends.
Andy asked a question that was on my mind as well:
Is it really proper in this day and age of sexual harassment lawsuits to kiss the help?


HRC's Corporate Equality Index: more companies get with the program

The fundies will most definitely come out, guns blazing, at this news, out of sheer frustration. While our government, which is supposed to represent us, drags its feet on civil equality and fairness, corporate America is the one venue where equality for LGBT citizens has been on a constant, positive trajectory.

Human Rights Campaign’s fifth annual Corporate Equality Index report is out, and a record number of the largest U.S. companies are actually competing to expand benefits and protections for LGBT employees and consumers, because they understand the importance of the constituency that it employs and markets to.

The growth is notable: 138 major U.S. companies earned HRC's highest rating of 100 percent, up from 101 in 2005. Over four years the overall growth is tenfold, despite constant pressure tactics from the AmTaliban forces such as Don Wildmon's American Family Association.
* 75 percent more companies than in 2005 prohibited discrimination against transgender employees in employment practices;
* 64 percent more companies than in 2005 implemented at least one wellness benefit for transgender employees;
* 35 percent more companies than in 2005 extended COBRA, vision, dental and dependent medical coverage to employees’ same-sex domestic partners; and
* 14 percent more companies than in 2005 engaged in philanthropic or marketing activities directed toward the GLBT community.

Almost all of the companies rated — 436, or 98 percent — include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination polices.

...For example, last year Raytheon Co. was the only member of the aerospace industry to get a perfect score. This year, however, three of its competitors also earned 100 percent. Four other industries saw rapid growth in companies achieving the top score. A total of eight law firms, five pharmaceutical companies and five consulting houses all reached 100 percent for the first time in 2006. And, while in 2005 two major auto companies achieved the top rating, this year, that number doubled to four.
Just a few of the top 100: Adobe, Apple, Best Buy, American Express, Bristol-Myers, Chevron, BP, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, DaimlerChrysler, GM (gee, Don's been wasting all his time on Ford, which is also on the list), Kodak, Sears, Sprint, Wells Fargo, Whirlpool, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Northrup Grumman, ConEd. The list goes on and on. Soon there won't be anywhere the fundies can shop or do business, without supporting The Homosexual AgendaTM.

Guess who scored a zero, btw:
Three companies received a score of zero on the report. They are: oil giant ExxonMobil, grocery chain Meijer Inc. and high-tech consulting firm Perot Systems. None of these companies offer even the most minimal benefits or workplace protections to their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees.


Q of the day - wacky world of medicine

Men, can you read this without holding your johnson? (No, that's not the Q of the day -- that's at the end).

First penis transplant reversed after two weeks. It was a successful operation from a medical standpoint. The organ was donated by the parents of their 22-year-old son, who was declared brain dead. However the patient -- and his wife -- requested that it be removed two weeks after the operation because of the psychological impact of this unusual transplant on them.
Both the man and his wife had requested the surgery. He had been unable to have intercourse or urinate properly since the accident that occurred 8 months before the surgery was performed.

Ten days after the operation, which had been approved by the hospital’s medical ethical committee, the recipient had been able to urinate. There had been no signs of the 10-centimeter (4-inch) organ being rejected by the recipient’s body. But Hu said more cases and longer observation are needed to determine whether sexual sensation and function can be restored.

“The patient finally decided to give up the treatment because of the wife’s psychological rejection, as well as the swollen shape of the transplanted penis” Hu added.
For discussion's sake, an honest question -- is this more or less psychologically traumatic than the world's first face transplant, which made headlines because of all the ethical issues raised by that operation? In either instance, why?

Related:
* This is the real extreme makeover

H/t, Holly


Deeply sorry?


Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday he was 'deeply sorry' about the angry reaction sparked by his speech about Islam and holy war and said the text did not reflect his personal opinion. 'These (words) were in fact a quotation from a Medieval text which do not in any way express my personal thought,' Benedict told pilgrims in Castel Gandolfo. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

So he's sorry about his little contextual faux pas re: Islam, but is Papa Ratzi deeply sorry about facilitating the cover up of heinous crimes perpetrated by his priests in cases like this, in Pennsylvania:
Victims of priest sexual abuse came forward Friday with sometimes graphic accounts of molestation and rape, addressing hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in what some view as a small but hopeful step by the archdiocese to face its past.

...A woman named Grace talked about the abuse of her two sons - now adults - and the lingering trauma it inflicted on their entire family.

...Grace said the hands the priest used to consecrate the body and blood of Christ were "the same hands he used to violate my sons." Grace also read a letter from her older son, now in prison, describing how he dreaded seeing the priest's car pull up to their house. After taking the son to the priory and abusing him, the priest would bring him back home and have a drink at the kitchen table. "It was like he was celebrating what he did to me," the son said in the letter.
Or maybe Ratzi might be deeply sorry about this development if records are released, for good rea$on.
Former Priest Seeks Block Of Record Disclosure. A former Los Angeles priest accused of sexually abusing four people as children is asking an appeals court to block the release of his church personnel records.

Lynn Caffoe claims disclosure of the confidential files would violate his rights. Caffoe was suspended from the priesthood 15 years ago after being accused of molestation.

An attorney representing the four alleged victims predicted the files would show the church's continued protection of priests.
And out in Denver, where Rev. Timothy Evans is charged with molesting two young people:
Group warns priest's neighbors. The Loveland neighborhood of a Catholic priest charged with molesting two youths was blanketed with fliers Monday by a group of people who said they had been victims of sexual assaults.

"I don't want to see any other children raped," said Jeb Barrett, a leader of the Denver branch of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

...At the time of the assaults, Evans was assigned to Spirit of Christ Catholic Community in Arvada as a vicar, the indictment said. Evans is alleged to have fondled the boy while massaging him.
And more...

* Milwaukee Archdiocese to Pay Victims of Priest It Sent to Orange County. Eight who were molested by Siegfried Widera will get a $13.3 million. They also received millions from Diocese of Orange.

* The Davenport, IA Diocese, tapped out on insurance after paying out financial settlements to victims of its pedophile priests totalling approximately $10 million since 2004, is going to court over the remaining cases to protect its assets.
Attorney Craig Levien and several of his clients, however, claim the diocese is going to court now because its insurance options have run out and it is trying to shield assets.

"They are taking the position that the amount of the demands exceeds their assets, but I disagree," Levien said. “We believe some of the financial burden for resolving the pain that was caused by sexual misconduct of priests — and known by the diocese — can and should be borne by the diocese. To just use insurance money for these settlements is not being fully responsible for the wrong that was committed.�


How to come out to your kids, Freeper style

KNBC-4 in Los Angeles recently featured a report on how to tell your children that you are gay. The reporter spoke to Aimee Wilson, 30, and Connie Miller, 45.

Miller, incidentally was raised in the Mennonite faith in a conservative Amish family. She married young, to a man in the community, and had four children. They later divorced. She described the approach of explaining her relationship with Wilson to her children. A snippet: A snippet:
WEBB EDGERTON, PSYCHOLOGIST: Take time and a quiet weekend where they can process. Take them out and to a place where if they scream and yell, it's OK. And let them do that.

MACK: Connie was also very conscious of not telling her children too much.

MILLER: Listen to your kids. They're going to be the best judge of how much information they want to know and what they don't want to know.

MACK: And when it came to introducing Aimee to her children, Connie was equally careful.

MILLER: You don't want to introduce just any other adult into a child's life. You have to know that this is someone that does have significant meaning.

MACK: What Connie made sure her kids knew was that, no matter what her sexual orientation, she was their mother forever.
OK. Seems very matter-of-fact, nothing particularly shocking or controversial. Guess I was wrong. Look at the apes*t cretins in Freeperland.

Remember this is The Base, the hardcore 30% Bush-stroking voters that Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman cherish, court and depend on for their victories. Welcome to Bush's America.

Actual Freeper Quotes

"Honey, I love you very much and wanted you more than anything in the world, but I'm a carpet muncher."

[Only had to go in two comments to get to bestiality!] Next, "How to tell your children you're into beastiality" and "How to tell your children you're a Democrat."

First, run for office as a Democrat and win... next, get caught doing something particularly corrupt and/or unsavory. Finally, play your get-out-of-jail-free card to the utter surprise and shock of your wife and kids.

Here's how: Hi, kiddies. I value my own sexual fulfillment more than I value your health and happiness, or the personal integrity involved in keeping my marital vows to your [choose one: mother/father/whatever]. Sh*t happens, and this is just the beginning of yours. I love you, though, just not enough to sacrifice anything for you. Efficient, accurate -- how hard is that?

If my mom dropped that on me after being married to my dad and raising me at 21. I would tell her I hope she realized that whatever perversion or brainwashing she got into or whatever "partner" she is listening to, better be dam well worth losing her only soon forever. I would never speak to her ever again!

First, you shouldn't have gotten married in the first place, you sick f*@#@. Second, wait until they are at least 18 to tell them. Third, live the rest of your life ashamed at your deception to your spouse all those years. Fourth, just because you are gay, doesn't give you any special license to break any other rules of decency. Fifth, now go whine in a corner by yourself about how straight people hate you. Disclaimer, I am not anti-gay, like most here, but I hate the incessant whining, and the way they often use their gayness as an excuse for doing something stupid or wrong.

Here's how: Kids, my sexuality is the most important part of my life; more important than you, faith - anything. I demand to be defined by my odd sexual proclivities and nothing else. What most people around the worlds consider personal, private and sacred - I want to shout aloud from the roof tops...

Start carrying an ...Equal Rights for Sodomites...sign.

This was the first mental illness IMO that created a political lobby to change their diagnosis in the Medical world.

Show thwm your AIDS report.

Tell it like it is: "I'm gay and I engage in homosexual sodomy"..

I don't care how they make this sound so normal. CHILDREN, ESPECIALLY TEENAGERS are not comfortable with homosexuality. They may pretend so as not to disappoint their parents, but they are not alright with it. If you are gay and you believe that your kids are going to be ok with it you are clueless and selfish.

[McGreevey gets evoked quite a few times in the thread.] You forgot the most important step: WRITE A BOOK documenting all the glorious details of your sleazy trysts.

You know what I absolutely hate??? Is when these reporters make it out to seem like gays are so much more in tune with their kids, therefore their kids are so much more well adjusted then our poor children. Give me a break, every gay couple I have ever seen with kids are off the hook. Usually one is very butch, which that in and of itself isn't right.

There was a time not so long ago when parents placed the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of their children ahead of their selfish hedonism.

I have said it here before, but I remember in the 70's when gays begged only for tolerance and acceptance. Whine, whine, whine. Once they got that, they started demanding equality and even to have their 'lifestyle' celebrated. They are disgusting.

Sure, devastate the kids. Hey - all their friends' parents are divorced, anyway, so they're halfway there to "understanding". It's like the kids have to pacify the adults here ("sure, Mom...it's OK...there, there..."). Parents - do your job and stop whining about your love life to your kids!! Go be a lesbo or a free agent or whatever's bothering you AFTER you've raised your kids!!

"Sorry, but I have made a DECISION, although not rooted in genetics, to live an abhorrent lifestyle of sinful sexual gratification with no care for you or your well being. I also don't care about the damage my sick lifestyle will have on those around me, nor the shame that it will bring to the family. I am just admitting that I am a self-serving sick bastard. I am rejecting the Bible, Jesus Christ, and God's standard. I don't know Jesus as my personal Savior, and thus freely accept eternity in Hell." How's that?

[Let's get down to their real solution -- homos should die.] The simple answer to these is the same as the answer to the original question: In your suicide note.

nice. thats how they should be told. dont lie. admit your completely self absorbed, willing to dissolve a marriage and engage in vile acts for the rest of your days.
Hat tip, PageOneQ


10% of self-proclaimed 'straight' men in NYC are having gay sex

Monday, September 18, 2006

That's the 365gay story, citing a survey by the NYC Health Department.

Of that group 70% said they were married.

I'm sure there's a joke about one of our favorite AmTalibanners in there somewhere.

All kidding aside, this kind of behavior is dangerous, because you know the women these men are sleeping with probably have no idea what the guys are doing on the side, leaving them exposed to HIV/AIDS and other STDs.
Titled "Discordance between Sexual Behavior and Self-Reported Sexual Identity: A Population-Based Survey of New York City Men," the study appears in this week's edition of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Compared to men who identified themselves as gay, the "straight" men who had sex with other men were more likely to belong to a minority racial or ethnic group, be foreign-born, have a lower educational level, and live outside Manhattan Pathela and her colleagues report.

Most worrisome the group was less likely to have been tested for HIV infection during the previous year and less likely to have used a condom during the last sexual encounter than men who identified themselves as gay.
***

In NYC, there are efforts to address the black church and its problem with homophobia. Once such is an upcoming talk, "Sexuality, Faith, and the Black Church A Love Like Damien's Community Circle and Talk Back." The free event will be held tomorrow, September 20 from 7pm - 9pm at the Community Church of New York, 28 East 35th Street, 1st Floor.

The play, A Love Like Damien's, is the story of a young black gay man finds the strength to stand up to his church's homophobia. More information here, from playwright Andrea E. Davis.


GA Senator: the South could have won the Civil War if it had better intelligence

I'll just let that headline float out there, as is -- and I'm a Southerner.

That above sentiment was the wisdom emanating from the cracker lips of U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). He and George Macaca Allen need to get together for a Confederacy Love-In. (Roll Call, via Raw Story):
Conflicting reports have emerged about what was said, one from a source to Roll Call's “Heard on the Hill” column, the other from a spokesperson for Chambliss.


Chambliss with the Chimperor.

According to Roll Call's source, Chambliss said, “We need better intelligence. If we had better intelligence in the Civil War we’d be quoting Jefferson Davis, not Lincoln.”

...During Thursday’s closed-door Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on trials, interrogation and detention of foreign terrorism suspects, Chambliss made an analogy between the current war on terror and the Civil War. He made the point that history would have been altered dramatically if only the South had had better intel.

Democratic sources expressed outrage that he compared the Civil War to the Bush administration’s war on terror. "It’s a little disgusting" to be equating the two, one Democratic source said, adding, "You can’t figure out whether he didn’t understand the Civil War, or the war on terror, or both."
Chambliss's spokesbot later clarified things by saying the senator actually said "If Gen. JEB Stuart had had better intelligence, we’d all be meeting in Richmond right now." OK, that's reassuring. It still sounds like he longs for Dixie.


Fair Wisconsin's ad shows why fairness matters

"Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."

With that in mind, if the above passes on November 7, Wisconsin's amendment would outlaw basic legal protections provided for gay families. Fair Wisconsin points out that rights to hospital visits, medical decisions, shared pensions, or funeral arrangements for a partner are in jeopardy.

Here is FW's no-holds-barred ad featuring the story of Lynn and Jean and their adopted daugher Katy.



Background:
Katy was home for only nine months when Jean was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Lynn, a physical therapist, cut down her work hours in order to juggle caring for Jean and taking care of a new baby.

Lynn was not recognized as Jean's next of kin—as her family. Because they were legal strangers, they faced extra obstacles beyond those any family faces when a loved one is dying of cancer.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This meant Lynn had to worry about whether she would be able to see Jean in the hospital. There were moments during Jean’s most difficult days when it was not clear that Lynn would be able make critical, urgent medical decisions.

When it became clear that Jean was going to die, Lynn faced the prospect of losing the love of her life and having to raise Katy as a single mom. She was worried about the finances, knowing she had no legal recognition as a surviving spouse.

...Instead of focusing solely on sharing Jean’s final days, Lynn and Jean had to bring a lawyer into the hospital—and spend thousands of dollars—to try to provide for Katy’s future. They did what they could, but even with those basic measures, things were still harder than they had to be. For example, Lynn had no legal right to Jean’s pension, and anything Jean could pass on to Lynn would be taxed because they were legal strangers in the eyes of the law.

Even after Jean died, Lynn was refused the final medical report. In order to obtain it she had to have Jean's out-of-town relative sign for it.
Did you watch the ad? It kicked ass. When you see something like this, you have to ask an obvious question:

What will it take for people to understand how basic these rights are, and how it's time to fight for fairness? Gay families exist. This is not some hypothetical situation; the people affected in these states with amendments, all you elected officials out there, we are your constituents.

Democratic candidates for office and Beltway know-and-do-nothings -- you are going to have to take a position on what basic rights you feel LGBT citizens are entitled to in this country, period. Specifically what rights as an elected official, are you willing to fight for at the local, state and federal levels. We're tired of being ATMs, or having you whisper in our ears "we're with you, just be patient while I stroke this fundie over here to try and get their vote."

Get on the record, and let the chips fall where they may. It's not as though the GOP is going to leave the homo straw man in the closet.

It was safe in 2004 to punt and say marriage is between a man and a woman/I oppose a fed marriage amendment/leave it to the states. Now that the election is over, and the amendments are sailing through, partnership benefits are now being challenged, domestic violence cases are being tossed out (for unmarried straights and gays), adoption and fostering of children by gays and lesbians are under attack. The Right is using the amendment as a means to turn the clock back. And another election cycle approaches.

The battle for civil equality requires straight allies and politicians with spines, not people who have made it clear, in word and deed, that gays are on their own, and "I'm sorry, but it's just going to be too bad for this generation" -- that gay and lesbian taxpaying citizens will have to just "wait until hearts and minds are changed" and it's up to us to do all the heavy lifting.

In the meantime, the vote in Wisconsin is close. Hopefully the story of Lynn and Jean will educate and wake up voters -- potential straight allies -- to the fact that fairness does matter, even if their lives are not directly affected by this amendment.

***

Here's where you can contribute to Fair Wisconsin. This is the state that has the best chance of turning back an amendment on the ballot -- it would be the first. The AmTaliban knows how important this is -- Daddy Dobson has parachuted in.


The Praise God Spam of the Day

I love my family. They're still living back in Idaho and most of them are what I call "country Christians". They go to churches that are small enough for everyone to know each other, they sing hymns and have potluck picnics, and they babysit each other's kids. They're not the kind of people who could ever support full abortion rights or full gay rights, yet they're not the kind of people who would ostracize anyone or feel the need to protest publicly at the Planned Parenthood or Pride Parade. Their theological philosophy is what I'd call the USA Today of theology: short paragraphs, pretty charts, your "Ten Commandments and Golden Rule" Christians who really don't put a whole lot of thought into the details. "God said it, I believe it, that settles it" is enough proof for them.

The "country Christians" are some of the nicest people you can meet and they do a lot of good for this country. They're the kind who will generously donate to food banks and toy drives, for instance. But they're also the kind who buy into "war on Christmas" rhetoric, too. All in all, decent salt-of-the-earth people who mean well, but have a faith-sized blind spot in their critical thinking -- a mostly benign condition except for its effect on voting.

My "country Christian" family knows I'm the atheist secular liberal skeptical progressive pothead leftist moonbat black sheep of the family, a prodigal son if there ever was one. My aunt, bless her heart, even tried engaging me in an e-mail conversation on religion. She gave up and commented that I was "far too clever" for her to be able to convince (too smart for religion, now there's a compliment!). I don't think she thought I knew Scripture as well as I do and she was flustered when I asked why God would send bears to kill 42 children who were teasing Elijah about his bald head, or why Job had to suffer because God and Satan made a cruel bet, or why God had Abraham almost sacrifice his son (the first ever episode of "Punk'd") to prove his loyalty -- isn't God omniscient? wouldn't He know if Abe was faking?

They know all this about me and they know it is impossible for me to control the impulse to refute and debunk this stuff. Yet they continue to forward to me various bits of Praise God Spam. Today my inbox processed this little bit of internet flotsam, the story of a premature baby girl and a damp-smelling deity:
...That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency cesarean section to deliver the couple's new daughter, Danae Lu Blessing. At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound and nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. 'I don't think she's going to make it'" he said, as kindly as he could. '"There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one.'

...Because Danae's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw,' the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort - so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Danae struggled alone beneath the ultra-violet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.

...Today, five years later, Danae is a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She shows no signs, whatsoever, of any mental or physical impairments.

...Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, 'Yes, it smells like rain.' Danae closed her eyes and again asked, 'Do you smell that?' Once again, her mother replied, 'Yes, I think we're about to get wet, it smells like rain.' Still caught in the moment, Danae shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, 'No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest.'

Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Danae then happily hopped down to play with the other children. Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Danae on His chest - and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.

You now have 1 of 2 choices. You can either pass this on and let other people catch the chills like you did or you can delete this and act like it didn't touch your heart like it did mine.
It worked! It worked! Praise God, I've seen the light and been welcomed into the bosom of Jesus! I'm saved! Whoo-hoo!

Oh. Wait. I think it was just indigestion. Never mind.

Let's check out the internets before we send out more spam... http://www.snopes.com/glurge/rain.htm

This heartwarming story began its Internet life around April 1998, after having appeared under its original title, "Heaven Scent," in Miracles in Our Midst, a 1997 compilation of inspirational tales. It's a "true" story in the sense that there is such a child, and the tale of her premature birth and subsequent battle for health was a real one.

What elevates this story above other true accounts of seriously ill children and direly premature babies who beat impossible odds to go on to live healthy lives is the comment Danae makes about rain and the pursuant interpretation that "God was holding Danae on His chest" during those first fragile months of her life. A leap has been made between a five-year-old's comment and the presumption that she could only have come by the knowledge behind it during her time as a newborn, when she was too tender to be held by her parents or other earth-bound caregivers. God may well smell like rain, [HERE'S THE IMPORTANT SCIENCY PART] but a child born three months prematurely lacks sufficiently developed olfactory senses to be able to detect it.

I know, I know, I should just accept this in the spirit it was given. I'm all for commuity and group hope and empathy, and this is just a way of saying "God is Good" and "I'm thinking of you" and "I love you". I'm glad the little girl made it and it is a heck of a story of survival.

But I cannot ignore the underlying theme of sentimentality over science, of religion over reason, especially in a world when Biblical creation accounts are masquerading as science, when scientists' unanimous warnings about the perils of serious climate change are whitewashed by an administration serving the petroleum industry, when a religious fringe lobbies to place the Ten Commandments in schoolhouses while few, if any, students can name the ten Amendments of the Bill of Rights, when China and India are kicking our butt in new engineering students, and when life-saving stem-cell research is quashed for fear of offending people who can't tell a zygote from "My Pet Goat".

I guess it just bugs me that people put so much faith in the idea that a five-year-old girl thinks God smells like a South Texas low pressure system that this tear jerker has floated around the internets since 1998, when the truly amazing story here involves a 24-week premature baby saved through some incredible neo-natal medical science. Rather than forwarding an e-mail praising God for this girl's life, why not praise the inventors of those incredible machines and the well-educated doctors whose skills actually did save this girl's life? After all, Who was it that kicked little Danae out of the womb 12 weeks early in the first place?


Vern pays tribute to Jesse with new ad

I have to hand it to him, self-loathing black homobigot Vernon Robinson (the "black Jesse Helms"), running against Brad Miller in NC-13, does know how to plant a buss on his mentor's forehead.

In this latest piece of filth, he pays homage to Helms's famous "White Hands" commercial used in his 1990 Senate run against then Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt (my post on that here).

The race was tight, with Gantt, a black man, ahead. Then the commercial ran -- a close up of a pair of flannel-shirtsleeved white hands crumpling a rejection letter, with an ominous voiceover explaining that a well-deserved job went to someone else because of affirmative action. This appealed to the blue collar, textile working folks in the rural areas, and Helms won handily.

Vern's twist is to make the pair of hands black this go-round, and to blame the rejection on the hiring of illegal immigrants, which, of course, is all Brad Miller's fault.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

He's appealing to The Base, even as his black posterior would have been sitting at the back of the bus only a few decade ago because of the worldview of The Base. What a sick individual.

Brad asks an obvious question -- Will Republicans Stand By Vernon Robinson? Isn't this Ken Mehlman's party of outreach? Does he have a comment?



Related:
* The NC Twilight Zone



Q of the day

Would you read the new book by former NJ Governor James McGreevey and why?

He's been on Oprah to launch his book tour (it airs tomorrow) for The Confession. BTW, Golan Cipel claims that there was never consensual sex -- or any sex at all.

Check out Proceed at Your Own Risk's take, Is McGreevey Good for the Gays?


The fundies are procreating -- and you're not

"When secular-minded Americans decide to have few, or no, children, they unwittingly give a strong evolutionary advantage to the other side of the culture divide. If 'Metros' don't start having more children, America's future is 'Retro.'"
-- Phillip Longman, senior fellow at the New America Foundation, on statistics that show conservatives are breeding at a higher rate than liberals.
[UPDATE: added more info on fundie college Patrick Henry below.]

Just looking at the numbers tossed out in Vicki Haddock's SFGate article, Republicans' fertile future, you imagine masses of bible beaters shooting out of wombs, ready to pull the lever for God-fearing, forced birth, homo-hating, candidates around the country.

Some stats, from the 2004 General Social Survey, considered "a bible of data for social scientists" according to Haddock:

A randomly selected group of 100 liberals and 100 conservatives found that
-- the liberals would have had 147 kids
-- conservatives would have had 208

And that adds up to a fertility gap of 41 percent (adjusted for age and income, it's a 19% gap).
Now superimpose this on a map of the United States. The highest fertility rate is found in the most Republican state, Utah, home to the Mormon Church. The lowest fertility belongs to Vermont, a state liberal enough to be the first to sanction gay unions.

The states with the next highest fertility rates, according to the latest National Center for Health Statistics survey, are Arizona, Alaska and Texas, otherwise known as "red states." States with the next lowest fertility rates are Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, all "blue states."
Does this really matter? Does Red State parenthood ensure that the children turn out to be conservative. Apparently so - it's the strongest predictor of political affiliation.
Political scientists have long found that 4 out of 5 people with a party preference grow up to vote the way their parents voted. In fact, while many people experience a temporary rejection of their parents' politics in very early adulthood, virtually nothing is more predictive of your political ideology than that of your parents -- it's more of a determining factor than income, education or any other societal yardstick.

There are exceptions: While only 20 percent eschew their parents' ideology, they do, after all, add up to a lot of people. And despite ample instances of Republicans in Southern states being raised by parents who once identified as Democrats, those parents were actually conservative Democrats who became Reagan Democrats and ultimately migrated to the GOP. The party labels changed, but the political ideology remains consistent from generation to generation.
The article goes on to explain that one of the factors that inhibits liberals from having more children is that they tend to congregate in more urban, dense, expensive Blue enclaves, which out of practicality results in families being smaller. Another obvious factor is that religious conservatives believe in being fruitful and multiplying (look at the Duggars for an extreme case), so they are less likely to avail themselves of birth control, even if they are having sex at the same rate as liberals.

It's kind of funny to think about political balance of power in terms of sheer voter numbers (and the article is somewhat tongue in cheek), but the reality is that not only are these fundies shooting out kids, but the amount of the critical thinking skills overall in this country is clearly in steep decline, look no further than the hardcore 30% of people who can find nothing wrong with Dear Leader in poll after poll, or the 43% who still think Saddam and 9/11 are connected.

The last thing this country needs is for that number to rise.

***

One can only hope that this new flock of sheeple will eventually be so dumbed down and mesmerized by the idiot box that they will simply stay home and not vote.

I recently saw this frightening documentary on the Discovery/Times channel, God's Next Army, about Patrick Henry College ("the first college in America founded specifically for Christian home-schooled students"). If those folks represent the future conservative kids, our nation is f*cked. The whole purpose of the school is to train them to be lobbyists, office holders and fundie attorneys.
The students are highly trained in political debating techniques for which they win national trophies. The college is extremely well-connected in Washington, and students are propelled towards internships working for top politicians.

God's Next Army shows students taking their first step towards power, canvassing for a key Republican candidate. They visit a conservative lobbying company which is opposing the payment of compensation to people affected by asbestos, and is trying to repeal estate tax because 'the earth is the Lord's'.

Helped by the institution's friends-in-high-places, PHC has already provided the current White House administration with more interns than any other college in the USA, and more are in the pipeline – on the way to becoming 'key players in a Christian republic'.
H/t, Paul.


'Jesus Campers' worship pic of Dear Leader

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Can The Rapture happen already? I'm tired of these people and ready for them to get the hell out of here and leave us all the flip alone.

The documentary Jesus Camp is in theaters now, and it's a good look at the evangelical camps for kids that are creating the AmTaliban of tomorrow.

How unhinged are they? Well, I would put bowing before a photo of George W. Bush as a deity as a sign that someone needs to fast-forward the Rapture to n-o-w.


Speaking in tongues, weeping for salvation, praying for an end to abortion and worshipping a picture of President Bush -- these are some of the activities at Pastor Becky Fischer's Bible camp in North Dakota, "Kids on Fire," subject of the provocative new documentary, "Jesus Camp."

"I want to see them as radically laying down their lives for the gospel as they are in Palestine, Pakistan and all those different places," Fisher said. "Because, excuse me, we have the truth."

"A lot of people die for God," one camper said, "and they're not afraid."

"We're kinda being trained to be warriors," said another, "only in a funner way."
Back in April, Blender Joel, a Texas native who now lives in Brooklyn, got to see a screening of Jesus Camp at the Tribeca Film Fest. Here's his review.
As an adult, I squirmed in horrid recollection more than once. It is a good movie, more telling especially to those who are completely unaware of the indoctrination (yes, that IS the word, even one of the lead characters admits as much at the end) in which these adults engage. Fear, hatred, and guilt dripped from the screen. The scary part was the fact that these were real people, real children, who participated.

All through it, the lead nutcase running this camp, Pastor Becky, prayed over everything from the PowerPoint software to the electrical panels to the church pews. I found myself wondering, ‘How did the producers of this film ever get access and free reign to film this inside gaggle of god freaks?’ Well, near the end of it, Pastor Becky explains that she just knows this film will scare the liberals out there, once they see how strong and smart the evangelicals are. Huh? No, pastor, what we liberals saw was a freak show and a group of crazies preying on the most innocent and good citizens we have. What we saw was abusive and denial of scientific education. What we saw was the same, tired fearful adults hell bent on instilling their same rabid fear, same denial of youth, and a preaching of superiority over their neighbors.
These folks are such zealots that I'm quite concerned about how far they'll take their activism. Who will be able to rein these folks in?
"This is an enormous youth movement," said Lauren Sandler, a secular, liberal feminist from New York City who spent months among the believers researching her new book, "Righteous."

Sandler says the evangelical youth movement will have a negative impact on the country's future, because even the most moderate young evangelicals are inflexible on issues such as abortion and gay marriage.

"It's an absolute, straight-up us-against-them," Sandler said. "It's, you're either with us or you're against us. … Not only are you a sinner, but you are working for the enemy -- the enemy being Satan."



Today's lesson from Tony Snow

The White House press spokesbot and former Faux News talking head has done a great job of educating me on the state of racism in this country today...


Graphic: The fabulous Mike Tidmus for the Blend

Somehow, however, these news stories keep popping up -- and I can't quite figure out how to square them with the lessons I'm receiving from Dear Leader's man behind the podium.

Police investigate cross burning in southern Kentucky.
A Hispanic family in south-central Kentucky are afraid to stay in their new home after finding a cross burning in their front yard and a sign that said "My country maybe, my neighborhood NO WAY!!!"

Nelson Espinoza, a native of El Salvador, said his family has stayed with relatives since they found the cross and the sign Sunday afternoon. He said he only bought the house in Rockfield two months ago. "They don't want me here," Espinoza said. "They say I can live in the United States, but I can't live in their neighborhood. I can't be a neighbor here."
Men plead guilty in Idaho cross burning.
Two men accused of burning a cross on a black man's front lawn pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of malicious injury to property in a deal sought by the victim. Nicholas J. Schmitt, 18, and Michael R. Simmons, 21, also pleaded guilty to a separate misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace.

The two fashioned a cross out of two Tiki torches on July 15 while drinking at a party and burned them on the lawn of Seann Robinson's home in Spirit Lake, Idaho. Such incidents are especially sensitive in this area just miles from Hayden Lake, once the home of the Aryan Nations group run by Richard Butler, who has since died.

''This brings back some really ugly periods of times in our history,'' Simpson said during Friday's court hearing. ''It brings back some ugly times in our community, our area.''
Palm Harbor, FL: Charred cross greets bank manager at work.
The charred remains of a 4-foot-high cross wrapped in cloth stood in a circle of blackened grass when Palm State Bank Vice President Robert Prentice arrived at work Monday morning.

...Frank A. Weaner, president and board chairman of the bank, called the sheriff's office. He considered the cross-burning incident a "serious threat." Weaner believes that the Ku Klux Klan is behind the burning. Since he began speaking out against their setting up a headquarters about a mile from the bank's main office at 1000 U.S. 19, he has received several threats from the klan, he said. One note read, "The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are watching you" and "You could receive a visit from the klan."
Hastings, FL: Man Admits to Burning Cross.
A man from the First Coast is facing up to ten years in prison for burning a cross next to a home an African-American family had shown interest in buying. Neal Chapman Coombs, 50, pleaded guilty to a racially-motivated civil rights crime this week.

...A family of four inquired about a house for sale located at 9710 Crotty Avenue in Hastings back in January.

The parents were inside the house with the real estate agent. The couple's 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter were on the porch with the real estate agent's wife when they heard Coombs making derogatory comments toward them. They saw Coombs standing next to a six-foot wooden cross. The children told investigators Coombs squirted some flammable liquid on the cross and set it on fire, saying, "I don't want to see you around here again."





The 'gay scare of 1957'

Wow. I've never heard of this gay purge history, but Lorraine Ahern of the Greensboro News-Record has a fascinating article up on a series of trials held in 1957 in Greensboro, NC that charged 32 men with "crimes against nature."

In the end, 24 were convicted and received sentences of 5 to 20 years; some ended up serving on highway chain gangs.
The now-obscure episode, which some longtime residents came to call "the purge," was the largest attempted roundup of homosexuals in Greensboro history and marked one of the most intense gay scares of the 1950s.

...Unlike sweeps of subsequent decades, involving raids on public parks and gay bars, Greensboro’s 1957 trials focused on private acts behind closed doors. The purpose, in the words of the police chief, was to "remove these individuals from society who would prey upon our youth," and to protect the town from what a presiding judge called "a menace."
A list was gathered of suspected homos based on interrogations of "suspects", and ,no surprise, socially or politically prominent men on that list were protected. This long article is really worth a read, because it's a snapshot in time of what it was like to be closeted in a small town during the dark days of the homophobic 1950s (of course this is the golden age of America that the bible beaters dream of returning to). This story could be from almost any city in the country at the time:
In one series of letters that police seized as evidence, a UNC-Chapel Hill student from High Point wrote to a male classmate in code. "Hilda Sara" stood for "homosexual." He closed his letters with "B.B.B." — "better be butch" — and assigned male friends female nicknames such as "Thelma" or "Mamie," a nod to America’s first lady in the Eisenhower years.

As campy and facetious as the letters sound today, an anthropologist who years later taught North Carolina’s first state-approved course on gender and homosexuality notes that there was reason for such intrigue.

In larger cities, beginning with Washington, the FBI had recruited local vice squads to conduct surveillance on suspected gays and enlisted postmasters to monitor mail for telltale material such as men’s "physique magazines."

Even in private conversation, people were discreet.

"If someone heard a man say, 'I went on a date with Betsy,’ that wouldn’t raise any suspicion," observed retired UNCG professor Thomas Fitzgerald. "People had to camouflage their lives. The '50s were abysmal."
***

Times have changed in NC: Durham and Orange counties (as well as the city of Durham and towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro) have provided domestic partner benefits for some time; Greensboro is about to move on it.


NC candidates on the radar

From time to time, I'll feature some races coming up in the Tar Heel State...for excellent coverage of candidates the place to go is BlueNC.


* Brad Miller, who represents of North Carolina's 13th District (that includes Alamance, Caswell, Granville, Guilford, Person, Rockingham, and Wake counties), is up against the absolutely twisted, unhinged homobigot Vernon "Twilight Zone" Robinson (aka "the black Jesse Helms"). Miller has a strong presence on DKos as a diarist, btw.



Brad supports repeal of DADT, voted against the Marriage Protection Act and is a sponsor of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act. Robinson attempted to "smear" Miller by saying Brad has a 0% rating from the Family Research Council and the American Family Association, and said "Vernon opposes Brad's plan to recruit thousands of foreign homosexuals to come to this country to be given American citizenship. Outrageous!"


* Larry Kissell (NC-08): He's on the Netroots Endorsed Candidates list (h/t BlueNC). From Larry's statement on real family values: "The hard working families of the 8th District and our nation deserve a commitment to education, economic opportunity, civil rights, personal freedoms and the safe, clean environment that we all want for our families." He's trying to unseat the horrible Robin Hayes, who made Washingtonian magazine's "Best & Worst of Congress" list, and it wasn't because he was the best. He won second place on the Spineless list re: CAFTA. Also, as BlueNC reported, Hayes is a fan of torture:
Back in March of this year, the US House of Representatives voted to spend another 80 billion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House had a separate vote on whether to add an amendment stipulating that none of that money could be spent on torture, and the amendment passed: 240 to 2.One of the two pro-torture Representatives was North Carolina's own Robin Hayes.

* Ed Ridpath (D-NC House District 37). District 37 is in Southern Wake County and includes the towns of Apex, Holly Springs, and Fuquay Varina. Ed has earned the endorsement of Equality NC PAC, Planned Parenthood and the North Carolina Association of Educators. He's up against one of the biggest wingnuts in the state, Paul "Skip" Stam, who is a co-sponsor of the state marriage amendment bill (which keeps dying, thankfully, in committee). To let you know how far to the right Stam is, he's one of the bigots that ensured this was in the NC GOP platform:
We believe homosexual behavior is not normal and should not be established as an acceptable "alternative" lifestyle either in public education or in public policy. We do not believe public schools should be used to teach children that homosexual behavior is normal. We do not believe that taxpayers should fund benefit plans for unmarried partners. We oppose special treatment by law based on nothing other than homosexual behavior or identity. We support federal and state constitutional amendments to ensure that marriage is limited to the union of one man and one woman. We oppose attempts to legitimize homosexual relationships by placing such relationships on an equal footing with marriage. We oppose the adoption of children by same sex couples.

* Julia Boseman (D- NC Senate District 9). The first openly gay state lawmaker in NC is endorsed by the Victory Fund. She's in a tough battle for re-election in a Republican district. Blowhard homo-hater and unhinged UNC-Wilmington prof Mike Adams who writes for Townhall.com, accused Boseman of engineering her opponent's homophobic campaigning against her in the last election. Her original GOP opponent this time around, Sherman Lee Criner, dropped out after child molestation allegations deep sixed his chances. He has since been replaced on the ballot by dentist Irvin "Al" Roseman.

***

Feel free to mention and link to other folks running for office in your state (particularly Red states) that are battling a wingnut/bible beater -- and who have indicated they would work for positive change toward civil equality on several fronts.


Race-based Survivor's first casualty

Keith Boykin has a post up commenting on "Survivor: Cook Islands." I didn't watch it (I think the last Survivor I tuned into was the Australian one). He wasn't surprised when the first person to go was the black gay man.

I don't know what to think about this race-based team set up on the show. It's interesting, as a study in group behavior and how cultural stereotypes do or don't manifest themselves, but our culture still has so many damn problems around race, that the potential for reinforcing people's ignorance and creating further misunderstanding is there. Keith:
As a reality show veteran (Showtime's "American Candidate"), I'm well aware of the impact of race on these shows. On the same episode where I was voted off of "American Candidate," a Showtime call-in viewer survey indicated that only half of the viewers felt that America was ready for a black president. And that was on the "liberal" network that brought you "Soul Food" and "Queer As Folk." The producer of my show, R.J. Cutler, later went on to produce the controversial "Black.White" show on FX. But who's to blame when race rears its head on reality TV? Is TV creating the racial separation or is it simply putting up a mirror to show us who we really are?


Bush shortlist pick for VP blasts GOP on gay rights and Terri Schiavo

"Some people have asked me whether America is a Christian country. The answer must be no, for to call this a Christian country is to say that non-Christians are of some lesser order, not full fledged citizens of one nation."

"I think that the only purpose served by the campaign for the amendment is the humiliation of gay Americans, advocated by the Christian right and eagerly supported by its suitors in the Republican Party. In reality, it is gay bashing."
-- Former Missouri senator and Episcopalian minister John Danforth, calling out the bigotry and hypocrisy of the Religious Right in his book, Faith and Politics.
John Byrne at Raw Story has a fantastic piece up on Danforth, who was shortlisted just behind Darth Cheney as the Chimp’s pick for Vice President. To have someone of this stature in the GOP come out and blast the admin and the bible beaters on gay rights, and pious hypocrite Bill Frist on the Schiavo case is a breath of fresh air.
Congressional Republicans face specific criticism. An attack on Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) derides the Republican Senate leader for attempting to diagnose Schiavo without seeing the patient.
One views with a degree of pathos the role of William Frist, MD, graduate of Harvard Medical School and potential presidential candidate, who diagnosed a medical condition without examining the patient.
Bahahahahahahaha. Danforth said many of these remarks earlier this year in April when he spoke to the Log Cabin Republicans. That set off a series of implosions in Freeperland. They were in rare form at that time. Here's a little blast from the past.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

Danforth was always wishy-washy on some things but he's become a full-fledged liberal, it seems.

Do the majority of Episcopals even believe in the Bible anymore!? Anyways, Danforth is a RINO, he was a RINO in the senate, and he hasn't worked a day in his life, he is spoiled, he comes from a rich family, and was rarely a practicing pastor, he was in elected office almost all of his life. I resent everyone like him.

Ah yes. Christians who support traditional marriage are hurting the GOP, but butt-packers disguised as Republicans aren't.

Opposition to "homosexual marriage" wins over more Democrats and Independents to the Republican cause that any other issue. If we lose a few enemies from within as a result, that's a good thing.

I have to agree here, this is a state issue and should not be molested by the federal government like abortion was.

Hello...rouge judges have legislated from the bench and miraculously discovered a clause that gays and lesbians can be married. That is why a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages is being discussed in the first place.

Oh sure! It's political suicide for the GOP to back a proposal that has won every time it's been placed on a referendum ballot, always by at least a comfortable margin and usually by a huge margin. GOP support for traditional marriage must be the cause of the current low polling numbers for President Bush and the Republican congress. It surely has nothing to do with their embrace of amnesty for illegal aliens, an idea Danforth would not doubt endorse.

Danforth will get to be among the first in line explaining himself according to IIPeter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God???

Danforth doesn't know what he's talking about. Anyone who gives a speech to the LCR is not a conservative.

If he is a real priest the Pope is Protestant. He is a politician first and foremost. You can tell by the B/S he spews.

They're not Republicans, they're a bunch of liberal infiltrators trying to water down the GOP, just like the Soros-funded Main Street Republicans and Republicans for Choice are doing.

John Danforth is practicing heresy when he says that. He must be pandering to the homosexuals because he has got to know better. Why would he want to mock marriage? Or does he not know what is going on here in this attempt to dissolve traditional marriage? He is playing into the Marxist playbook and our country slips into socialism.

It wasn't easy building that log cabin. They forced the logs into the wrong openings.

Danforth also supports embryonic stem cell research. His is an odd theology.

I take it that those who eat pork will be included in God's wrath as will those who wear cloth made of multiple thread. Maybe a constitutional amendment is in order to combat those sins also.


What was the consequence for eating pork when the Heavenly Father said He did not make it fit to be consumed? Mocking the Heavenly Father is Written to be a far greater sin than wearing mixed threads.

I don't know what rock he just crawled out from under but the whole reason this amendment is necessary is for the judges, not the people. In fact the amendment does precisely what Danforth says he favors: It returns the issue to state legislatures. If we are going to allow some states to redefine marriage and other states to not redefine it (an impossiblilty I think), then we are going to have to call these things by different names. That's why marriage is the word for the definition held throughout history, and "civil union" is the term for the new progressive definition. If states want that, then let their legislators who must be reelected by the people vote for it. Ultimately, the way our Constitution reads, there is no real way to allow one state to have it without forcing another state to recognize it. The DOMA supposedly protects other states. But it does nothing to protect us from the judges, who will overturn DOMA first chance they get.

Wonder if he thinks laws against having sex with animals are silly.

Is that really the reason or is it that some feel threatened by something they don't understand. No gay couple has ever been, isn't now and will never be a threat to my marriage. Those who feel threatened need to get a life.

We have more rules on what constitutes a new mattress than we have have on what constitutes one's gayness; I think we need to suspend the process until we have a definition.

Homosexuality is an aberrant stain upon society that must be addressed NOW. I am sympathetic towards states' rights, but sometimes such rights have to be set aside for the needs of the greater good. Just like certain liberties need to be curtailed by the Patriot Act so we can properly fight the new global war on terrorism.


The weatherman and the cockroach

Saturday, September 16, 2006



I'm sure many of you have seen this already, but it's Saturday night -- let's live a little. It was hilarious. All I can say to this poor soul is: Sister, I know how you feel. At least the f*cker wasn't a giant flying roach.

H/t to Blender James.

Chat away.


Put a fork in it

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
"This is the end of the road for now. We're sad it's not going to be on there, but we've decided not to challenge the court's decision anymore."
-- Former Illinois Family Institute head Porno Pete LaBarbera on the final smackdown of his state marriage referendum effort
Pop the champagne corks for another humiliating defeat for the holy rolling morality patrol. Illinois is not ready to fall under the control of the fundamentalists -- the referendum will not be on the ballot and the Right has given up till 2008.

Peter says "hundreds of thousands of dollars" have been flushed down the crapper on fundie efforts for the referendum. (STL Today):
Proponents of the Protect Marriage Illinois initiative say they have given up and won't challenge a federal appeals court ruling last week that effectively scuttled their movement. The court's decision upheld a dismissal of a lawsuit this summer that alleged Illinois' election laws were overly burdensome and unfairly nixed a ballot question asking voters whether Illinois needs a constitutional amendment to permanently bar same-sex couples from tying the knot.

...The appellate decision was the third blow to the movement. Previously, the state Board of Elections threw out the referendum because, among other things, a sampling showed the petitions would likely have fewer than 260,000 valid signatures, short of the 283,000 required. The group had turned in some 347,000 initially.

..."They lost every step of the way," said Rick Garcia, political director for Equality Illinois, which spent some $150,000 itself fighting the referendum.

...It had largely been a push by the conservative activists in Illinois politics, receiving heavy support - including some $400,000 - from Jack Roeser, who heads the conservative advocacy group Family Taxpayers Network. Roeser and other ardent conservatives have been critical of mainstream Republicans for not joining the fight. "They weren't any help at all," Roeser said. "They've ran away from this thing."
Gee, I wonder why? Illinois pols are laughing at you all. State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, who is the GOP's candidate for governor, opposed the referendum and courts the gay vote. These homo-obsessed folks in that state have nowhere to go. Illinois is well on its way to becoming the "Massachusetts of the Midwest," according to Pete, so he better keep those chaps at the ready and a Steamworks membership card up to date for further "research."


Papa Ratzi steps in it over Islam


Pope graphic by Mike Tidmus
"He has a dark mentality that comes from the darkness of the Middle Ages. It looks like an effort to revive the mentality of the Crusades."
-- Salih Kapusuz, deputy leader of Turkey’s governing party on Ratzi's remarks citing a Medieval text that characterized some teachings of Mohammed as "evil and inhuman."
Hoo boy, he's riled up the homos, and now the Muslims. By the time this guy goes belly up, will he have offended just about everyone on the planet? (NYT):
Pope Benedict XVI drew rising anger on Friday over comments he made Tuesday about Islam, as Muslim leaders around the world accused him of dividing religions and demanded an apology.

...In Britain, Gaza, Iraq, Syria and Indonesia, Muslim leaders registered their protest. The Parliament in Pakistan passed a resolution against the pope’s statements, and the government later summoned the Vatican envoy to express official displeasure. In Lebanon, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, the most senior Shiite cleric, demanded "a personal apology — not through his envoys."

And emotion spilled over in Turkey, which Benedict is scheduled to visit in November, as a top official in the Islamic-rooted ruling party said that the pope was “going down in history in the same category as leaders such as Hitler and Mussolini."


NBC to air 'Veggie Tales', sans proselytizing

Oh, the bible beaters will be up in arms over this:
The popular Christian-themed VeggieTales cartoons, which feature loveable talking vegetables Larry the Cucumber, Bob the Tomato, and other "veggies," are now being broadcast on Saturday mornings on NBC. Fans will notice some changes, however, as the network has insisted any biblical or evangelical messages in the animated shows be edited out.

According to an Associated Press report, VeggieTales creator and consultant Phil Vischer is, at NBC's insistence, retooling the popular cartoons for network television. The cartoon still presents Bible stories, he notes, but the network has said they cannot preach to kids or show Scriptures at the end of each episode, so "we have had to make some edits."

For example, Vischer recalls, in one VeggieTales episode a character states, "The Bible says God gave Samson his strength," and NBC "didn't have a problem with that. But then the character kind of turns to the camera and says, 'And God can give us strength, too.' And that's kind of where [NBC] said, 'Okay, now you're preaching.'"
I didn't have to wait long on fundie reaction. Right wing arbiter of good taste and high moral standards Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center just about had the vapors when he heard the news, bleating in his column:
But here is what should be news. The early word from producers is that NBC has grown increasingly fierce about editing something out of "Veggie Tales" -- those apparently unacceptable, insensitive references to God and the Bible.

So NBC has taken the very essence of "Veggie Tales" -- and ripped it out. It's like "Gunsmoke" without the guns, or "Monday Night Football" without the football.

Think about this corporate mindset. NBC is the network that hired a squad of lawyers to argue that dropping the F-bomb on the
Golden Globe Awards isn't indecent for children, but invoking God is wholly unacceptable. Or, as one e-mailing friend marveled: "So, saying 'F--- you' is protected First Amendment speech on NBC but not 'God bless you.'"

...when it comes to religious programming -- programming that doesn't even mention Jesus Christ -- just watch the hypocrisy. Instead of telling viewers to just change the channel if they don't like it, or put in a V-chip for Bible verses, they demand to producers that all that outdated old-time religion has to be shredded before broadcast.

It's truly sad that this anti-religious hypocrisy would emerge. Today, no one in network TV fears what the children are watching -- unless it makes them think about God.
Speaking of toxic vegetables, it looks like they've traced the E. coli-tainted spinach to California-based Natural Selection Foods.


A-Z list blogging -- what is it really about?

Friday, September 15, 2006

There has been quite a bit of a dust up over who was/wasn't invited to the Clinton blogger lunch in Harlem, particularly because, as Blender Miss Wild Thing noted, "it looked like a blizzard hit the room." See Terrance's, Liza's and Steve's takes on it -- and the comments. Terrance does a great job of describing the "blogging while brown" phenomenon.

Steve wasn't invited by Peter Daou, organizer of the lunch (and is employed by sHillary) but he would have declined anyway:
Peter Daou saved himself some work by not inviting me. I don't go to private sessions with politicans. That is not what Jen and I do here. I don't give private advice to politicians. Period. I work for the readers. Not for the Democratic Party or a candidate. I don't even raise money for them, I only let people know where I contribute.

He would have done well to invite Liza, she's a smart, funny woman with a lot of good ideas. Same with Pam. Why Pete overlooked them is beyond me, but it was a mistake he should rectify.
The inclusion of more women at these types of gatherings is a positive sign -- I knew that would come sooner than the appearance of minority bloggers. It's just that predictable.

As I said in my earlier post on this (and on the John Edwards dinner) the dearth of color that results when these blogger events are coordinated is not surprising (I was the only spot of color at the Edwards event). Many bloggers of color aren't first or even second string in terms of profile, and therefore aren't in the network of those in-the-know who organize events of this type.

That's not an excuse, of course, but an explanation. Oliver Willis, for one, was invited, according to Peter Daou (he emailed me about this), but couldn't make it. I don't know if there were other bloggers of color on the short list, or who they were. I really don't think the lack of color was intentional, as Peter has been an advocate of linking up to women and minority bloggers, including me. Nevertheless the picture speaks a thousand words.

Quite frankly, bloggers of color aren't always on the radar of the well-known bloggers either. Linking is powerful, and if it's concentrated among an inner circle of folks who all look the same, with few exceptions, it's going to be tough sledding to get in the mix. In many ways, the blogosphere is still about human nature, for better or worse. It just doesn't feel good when exclusionary behavior (intentional or unintentional) plays itself out in the virtual world, because people have fantasized that this would be one place that could be free of the crap. Sorry, folks. We're all a work in progress.

***

Part-time vs. Full-time blogging

I think the larger issue is not whether that there's a digital divide because of race socioeconomic factors (that's a given). I've been noticing another type of divide that will have an unknown impact on bloggers and political influence -- the difference between full-time and part-time bloggers and proximity to power centers.

For those of us who have full-time jobs unrelated to politics, one can only devote so much time to blogging, let alone networking and building a profile and traveling to events like this. It presents an interesting challenge for pols who wish to inform or attempt to influence bloggers. In spite of not being able to blog full time, many part-time bloggers are becoming influential in their spheres, despite not being connected to a DC/NY political thinktank or entity -- and we're not dependent on ad revenue to survive. We survive and thrive by building a base of loyal readers who stumble upon our blogs, like what they see, and return and contribute their comments, ideas and strategy. We squeeze in posts between winks of sleep, before getting up to be a wage slave in the Bush economy.

What does all of this hubbub mean in terms of inclusion in the jousting match that is American politics when practicalities of life get in the way of a blogger with a decent following? For instance, on my day job I may have to deal with subbing for staff who are out of the office or database troubleshooting; what if I receive an invitation to meet a potential candidate for office who wants my ear because of the blog? The full-time job has to win out almost every time. I turn down plenty of blog-related conferences and writing/guest posting opportunities simply because I have no time.

I'm not bellyaching about the Clinton lunch for my own sake -- for all of the above life circumstances common to part-time bloggers I wouldn't have been able to go anyway. I was only able to attend the Edwards dinner because 1) it was about 5 miles from my house, 2) it was after work, 3) I was invited. [BTW, I must have been a late addition, because I received the invite so close to the dinner. A good number of the folks who attended are regulars at local blogger events, but even then there were some odd omissions -- Coturnix, Anton Zuicker for example.]

The other problem that many part-time political bloggers face is that we live outside the power nexus of DC/NY (as much as I love my state of NC, it's not the center of the political universe). Full time, A-List bloggers in convenient locations can leverage that advantage of availability and proximity to further raise their blog profiles and influence the political process.

If the stars align and I can schedule personal vacation time to get to an event, I still have to pay my own way (or drain my very modest Blogad account). I think I'm describing a good chunk of you out there who are citizens of the B, C, D lists of Blogistan, of any color or gender, if you were to be invited to a political event because of your blogging.

And so there's another reason why you ended up with that particular group in that Clinton lunch photo.

There are so many talented part-time blogging voices are out there with plenty of relevant things to say, and many also have a significant politically aware and active audience to boot. How you reach the free agents of the blogosphere is going to take work on the part of pols (or rather staffers). They'll need to do their homework when organizing these outreach sessions because it’s easy to step on a landmine or miss a golden opportunity to connect with the folks who can do them the most good in terms of spreading information (if the pols are able to present a vision worth advocating, of course).

However, pols also have to be prepared to catch the heat when bloggers don't line up with the message of the day. In the end, we're going to blog whether invited or not -- and what effect the smaller blogging fish in the pond might have on the political process is something that no one can yet predict.

Meanwhile, I'm just running this little virtual queer coffee house and fighting for my rights. Care for a cup of java?



Argh - open thread

This perv gives the phrase "skirt chaser" a whole new disgusting meaning.
A 77-year-old local man who reportedly admitted looking up women's skirts for 13 years, was arrested Monday in connection with an incident last month at a Wal-Mart SuperCenter in St. Lucie West.

Harry Tasker, of the 500 block of Southeast Anchor Lane, faces a video voyeurism charge.
Before the good old cell phone trick, this piece of filth used a mirror to violate women's privacy.

And, gee, the homos had nothing to do with it.

***

Feel free to blogwhore, chat, and post links to interesting stuff...


Openly gay anchor Thomas Roberts: the AfterElton.com interview

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

When I was in Miami at the NLGJA convention, I attended the panel "Off Camera: The Challenges for LGBT TV Anchors," which featured Thomas Roberts, Anchor, CNN Headline News, and other anchors, including one of my local weekend anchors, Mike Dunston of WTVD. [See my post on the conference and that panel, Where are the lesbian anchorwomen?]

Roberts was engaging and open about the challenges of coming out in the newsroom, and how he's handled it. AfterElton.com has an excellent interview that you should check out, Life as an Openly Gay Journalist. A snippet:
Was he worried about the effect it [appearing on the panel] would have on his career? "I had some concerns, but not enough to stop me from doing it," Roberts said. "There was some trepidation… about making yourself vulnerable to a group of journalists with questions, to experience being on the other side, being in the hot seat, to come up with thoughtful, truthful answers in the way that I wanted…. It's the largest step I've taken to be more active in the organization, and to interact with other gay journalists….

...How would Roberts advise young lesbian and gay journalists struggling with how open to be about their sexual orientation? "For younger journalists, there are lots of factors to consider," he said. "There are all kinds of fears we accumulate through high school, college, even going back as far as grade school, that are carried into the adult years. That fear can really hold you back. It (coming out) has to be when people feel… they are ready for it. It's hard to live afraid…. Hopefully, everyone, gay or straight, journalists or doctors or otherwise, can overcome that obstacle, because it stands in the way of you being the best you can be, with your job, with your family, with everything, and not have to be afraid anymore."
A class act. Incidentally, just a couple of days following the conference, CNN announced that Roberts' 4-6 p.m. newscast was cancelled. A connection to his coming out is highly unlikely (that's covered in this interview) -- in the news biz, moves like that are usually in the works for some time. Roberts and Kathleen Kennedy, the article said, will remain at the cable news channel in as-yet-unspecified roles.

Also:
* Queer Beacon's campaigning for Roberts to give him another time slot on CNN.


VA Rethug AG claims marriage amendment wouldn't affect partner benefits

This is laughable. Bob McDonnell, the Virginia attorney general, issues a one-page opinion stating he believes that the onerous amendment on the ballot in November would not affect private company domestic partner benefits, negate private legal agreements between gay couples or non-married opposite-sex couples.

Need I mention that he supports the marriage amendment and fundies asked him to submit the opinion? (365gay):

"The passage of the Marriage Amendment will not affect current legal rights and obligations of unmarried persons involving contracts, wills, advance medical directives, shared equity agreements, employer accident and sickness insurance policies or protection under domestic violence laws," McDonnell wrote.

McDonnell is a strong supporter of the amendment but his spokesperson said the opinion was based on legal research, not his personal views.
This is all about trying to convince uninformed voters who may be thinking of saying no to the amendment that there is a safety net of sorts for gays if it passes. In fact, this amendment would be as legally troublesome as Ohio's, and the fundies know it.

Governor Tim Kaine, who knows the gay exodus and impact on businesses is around the corner if it passes, is now speaking out against it. He's been trying to dance on the head of a pin on this (see prior Blend posts). A recent poll found 56% of voters are for the amendment, 38% opposed.
"The potential for unintended consequences is a very serious flaw," Kaine said, reminding reporters that the state already has legislation limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples.

Some of the state's top lawyers also disagree with the Attorney General. Last week 100 attorneys, including two former attorneys general, issued a statement saying they believe the measure could be used to terminate all rights of unmarried couples who have entered into contracts on such things as wills and child custody. They also said that the amendment could be used to exclude unmarried couples from the state's domestic violence laws.
Here is the November ballot question:
"Shall Article I (the Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to state:

'That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.

"This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.?"


Eight Americas and single folks

There's a big longevity gap in the the U.S, according to PloS Medicine. And it's not tied strictly to income or geographical region, though there is a tie to race regardless of region for those with the lowest life expectancy. The one thing that this study points out is that the numbers counter general assumptions. (USA Today):
The following is a snapshot of the "eight Americas" and how life expectancy divides us:

1. 10.4 million Asians with a per capita income of $21,566 and an average life expectancy of 85.

2. 3.6 million whites in Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa, Montana and Nebraska, with a income of $17,758 and an average life expectancy of 79 .

3. 214 million middle Americans, with a per capita income of $24,640 and an average life expectancy of 78.

4. 16.6 million whites in Appalachia and the Mississippi Valley with an income of $16,390 and a life expectancy of 75.

5. 1 million Western Native Americans with a per capita income of $10,029 and life expectancy of 73.

6. 23.4 million black middle Americans with a per capita income of $15,412 and a life expectancy of 73.

7. 5.8 million southern low-income blacks with a per capita income of $10,463 and a life expectancy of 71.

8. 7.5 million high-risk urban blacks, living in counties with a homicide risk that tops the 95th percentile of U.S. counties, with a per capita income of $14,800 and a life expectancy of 71.
R. Neal at Facing South came across the same study and he notes which states are at the bottom of the pack:
This article also summarizes the results by state. Sadly, the bottom twelve come as no surprise:

23. North Carolina: 75.8 years
24. Georgia: 75.3 years
25. Arkansas: 75.2 years
25. Kentucky: 75.2 years
25. Oklahoma: 75.2 years
26. Tennessee: 75.1 years
26. West Virginia: 75.1 years
27. South Carolina: 74.8 years
28. Alabama: 74.4 years
29. Louisiana: 74.2 years
30. Mississippi: 73.6 years
31. Washington, D.C.: 72 years
Here is a map graphically representing the data.

***

In other data crunching news, some interesting facts and figures on single people released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

* 89.8 million: Number of unmarried and single Americans in 2005. This group comprised 41 percent of all U.S. residents age 18 and older.
* 54 percent: Percentage of unmarried and single Americans who are women.
* 60 percent: Percentage of unmarried and single Americans who have never been married. Another 25 percent are divorced and 15 percent are widowed.
* 14.9 million: Number of unmarried and single Americans age 65 and older. These older Americans comprise 14 percent of all unmarried and single people.
* 86: Number of unmarried men age 18 and older for every 100 unmarried women in the United States.
* 55 million: Number of households maintained by unmarried men or women. These households comprise 49 percent of households nationwide.
* 29.9 million: Number of people who live alone. These persons comprise 26 percent of all households, up from 17 percent in 1970.

The press release also includes information on unmarried couples and parents, but only counts those in opposite-sex relationships.

Education stats...

* 82 percent: Percentage of unmarried people age 25 or older in 2004 who were high school graduates.
* 23 percent: Percentage of unmarried people age 25 or older with a bachelor's degree or more education.


Homobigot Musgrave has to pull her lying TV ad


King Furious George sucks the forehead of gay-bashing US Representative Marilyn Musgrave, R-CO, after speaking at a fundraiser last November. (AFP/Mandel Ngan)

Ahhh...desperation in the air. Ms. Marriage Protection Amendment herself, Colorado's Marilyn Musgrave, had to pull a bottom-feeding ad after it was found to contain false allegations against challenger Angie Paccione.(9NEWS):
The attack ad, targeting her Democratic Party opponent, State Rep. Angie Paccione (D-Fort Collins) for her positions on illegal immigration, contained evidence which did not support the allegations.

Guy Short, Musgrave's Campaign Manager, said the allegations included in the commercial called "Welcome Mat" were accurate, but the citations graphically included in the ad were not.
The Paccione camp jumped all over that stumble in a press release.
Ever since Marilyn ran her first radio ad, she has been using bald-faced lies and distortions to attack Angie. This latest TV attack-ad is just more of the same. Even the revised ad that Musgrave ran later in the day contained statements that were “not fact” and were “false,” according to 9News. Here's the bottom line:

* Marilyn's voting record is terrible.
* Marilyn will say anything to keep her job.
* The only way Marilyn can win is to drag Angie down to Marilyn's level.
* As Angie has been saying, "If Marilyn keeps lying about my record, I'll keep telling the truth about hers."
Paccione's new ad is here (click image):



Open thread: please god, no

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Kerry: I'm prepared to kick Swift Boat's ass. Jeebus on a cracker. Yeah, man. It's a little late for action on that front, isn't it? Read the delusion.
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) doesn't believe that Hillary Clinton has the inside track on the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and says he would vigorously defend himself against new attacks by the Swift Boat team, according to an interview with The Examiner.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
"I’m prepared to kick their ass from one end of America to the other," said Kerry, in a strong hint that he intends to run for president once again.
Stop. It. Now.

***

Feel free to blogwhore and scream into the void.


Nice to know the overseas AmTaliban are just as deranged

"Gays aren't welcome in our church, help us let New Zealand know."

"Gays are a cancer in our church, let's keep them out of leadership."
-- Two bumper stickers sent out by New Zealand's Presbyterian Church to its membership
The Presbyterian Church in New Zealand is about to vote on whether to ban gay clergy, so some knob-end -- anonymously, mind you -- sent out nice bumper stickers to parishioners.

Yet another example of tolerant "Christians." (365gay):
No one has taken responsibility for producing or mailing them, but church leaders say they had to have come from someone with access to the names and home addresses of Assembly members.

In a letter to parishes nationwide, Presbyterian Church moderator the Rt Rev Garry Marquand condemned the action.

"[The stickers] seriously undermine the respect that we have sought to preserve in our discussions on this sensitive issue, and they are also contrary to the accepted processes of the Church."

Police and the New Zealand Human Rights Commission have been contacted, church officials say. But there is little either can do. Although gays are protected under the Human Rights Act, it only covers housing and employment.


Sounding the fundie alarm

"There are a number of pastors that said, 'Look, we don't get involved in politics, I'm not going to get involved in this issue, I just want to preach the gospel,'. When they realize their ability to preach the gospel may very well be at stake, they may reconsider their involvement."
-- Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, sounding the homo terror alert as election day nears to mobilize religious voters
You know, this new tactic of "religious discrimination" is getting tired and boring already. No one is stopping the bible beaters from worshipping or spewing bigotry in their churches.

The public is beginning to draw the line and fundies are feeling the heat. The AmTaliban goons just want to be able to impose their small-minded beliefs -- and specific belief system -- on everyone else in the public sphere.
By expanding the discussion from marriage to religious expression, social conservatives say they will reconnect with religious voters and religious leaders who don't necessarily view same-sex unions as a threat.

...Perkins and others are building a case file of anecdotes where they say religious people have spoken out against gay marriage only to be punished. Perkins specifically cited the decision by Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich in June to fire his appointee to the Washington area transit board after the board member referred to homosexuals as "persons of sexual deviancy." The board member, Robert J. Smith, said he was expressing his personal beliefs as a Roman Catholic.
Boo hoo.

***

Speaking of fundie organizations, what's happened to the former haunt of Peter LaBarbera, the Illinois Family Institute? Blender Autumn noticed the entire site is down -- a little domain renewal problem?

Here is the Google cache.

UPDATE: It's back up (thanks, Daimeon), and there's a doozy of an article up there, written by Porno Petey himself, "Illinois Pro-Homosexual Groups Launch Counterfeit 'Marriage' Project."

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Illinois Family Institute has been warning you for a long time that pro-homosexual forces in the state would be pushing hard to legalize counterfeit "marriage"--even as they disingenuously argue that a statewide marriage amendment is not necessary because "Illinois already has a marriage law on the books."

Well, now they have formally begun their dubious crusade to overturn that law: a coalition of pro-homosexual activist groups, including Equality Illinois, Lambda Legal, and the ACLU of Illinois, will soon be launching a statewide campaign under the name "Equal Marriage Illinois" project--a misguided rip-off of Protect Marriage Illinois.
Then he starts whining about the fact that the advertising agency Young & Rubicam has been providing pro bono creative work to the organization, and asks readers to call the agency "to give feedback" about its support for "counterfeit marriage."

Does he know how many homos work at ad agencies? They'll laugh him right off of the phone. Oh it gets even more humorous. He gets right back to his plea for support of a marriage amendment. Tee hee -- he completely failed to in his state effort to get anywhere on that front. He's worried about gays making Illinois the "Massachusetts of the Midwest."
The campaign is a statewide "public information and dialogue campaign focusing attention on the core issues of justice and family at the center of the marriage equality debate," according to Equality Illinois.

In other words, you're about to be hit with a slick PR campaign to radically twist the age-old definition of marriage, in the nice-sounding name of "equality." This latest move by the state's rich and powerful (yet tiny in numbers) homosexual lobby only proves our point: we MUST enact a Marriage Protection Amendment, as 20 states already have, and seven more likely will this fall.


Fundie legal group goes after NY State partner pension benefits

The fundies are like bad pennies -- they keep turning up -- and in this case, in states where they don't belong. These bible beater legal eagles want to tell New York that it cannot recognize same-sex marriages from Massachusetts and Canada regarding partner benefits.

The Alliance Defense Fund is citing July's ruling by NY courts that upheld New York's ban on same-sex marriage as reason for the state to ban pension benefits. *ssholes. (365gay):
In 2004, NY Attorney General Elliot Spitzer issued a legal opinion stating that the New York is obligated to recognize same-sex marriages performed in areas where same-sex marriages are legal.

New York State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi followed that with a directive that the New York State Retirement System would respect legal out-of-state marriages between same-sex couples for the purposes of pension benefits.

Hevesi is the sole trustee of the retirement system - the biggest state plan in the country - which includes 334,000 retirees and 648,000 current employees.

The Alliance Defend Fund, an Arizona- based organization that regularly fights LGBT issues filed the suit in state Supreme Court in Albany County, N.Y.


George Allen's 11th Annual Hoe Down



Ho, hoe, 'ho. Blender Rob in Richmond passed along this bit of business. Foot-in-mouth, confederacy-lovin' Virginia Senator George "Macaca" Allen wants to rake in some buxxx with a Hoe Down featuring winger comic relief, Laura Ingraham.

The country shindig is coming up on Saturday, October 7th, in Maidens, Virginia. Hopefully that's outside any city limits in case any crosses are burned at the festivities.

You can sign up for the Hoe Down as:
* El Ranchero Grande - $10,000
Special Recognition at the Hoe Down
6 guests to the Hoe Down and Private Reception

* Ranch Boss - $5,000
Special Recognition at the Hoe Down
5 guests to the Hoe Down and Private Reception

* Cow Boss - $2,500
Special Recognition at the Hoe Down
4 guests to the Hoe Down and Private Reception

* Buckaroo - $1,000
2 guests to the Hoe Down and Private Reception

* Ranch Hand - $50 per ticket
Remember, this is the man who displayed a Confederate flag in his living room while campaigning for governor in 1993. He also kept a noose hanging on a ficus tree in his law office, according to an article in TNR. Allen's explanation was that it was "part of a Western memorabilia collection."

Related:
* George Allen: the stale cracker
* George Allen finally 'apologizes' to 'Macaca' target


John Edwards and bloggers



Last night a group of NC bloggers, mostly from the Triangle area and Greensboro, had a free-flowing, off-the-record discussion with former NC Senator and 2004 Dem V.P. candidate John Edwards about national and international political issues over dinner at B. Christopher's Restaurant in Chapel Hill. A good portion of the conversation during the evening also revolved around the use of the web to energize online and offline voter interest, organizing, and action.

Yes, I was there - I was invited (thanks, Ryan Montoya of Edwards' One America Committee, the former VP candidate's web presence, who coordinated the event).

Sorry, no group photo (as the A-listers had with Big Bill).

Many of the bloggers at this event will also be attending the open-to-the-public ConvergeSouth in October.

***

In case you were wondering, given the earlier post about the Clinton blogger event, there was a dearth of color at the dinner last night as well. I guess one is better than zero, but I find this lack of color at political blogging events both curious and troubling -- what does that mean for political campaigns and organizing, if anything? What does it say about the political blogosphere itself? Is there any difference between the Left and the Right in representation?

I don't know, I'm just tossing questions out there as food for thought. It will be interesting to see the composition of the bloggers and bloggers-of-the-future at ConvergeSouth, which is not focused on political issues, its focus is on blogging how-to, technology, and building community.


Good night, Ann

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
"Poor George, he can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."
-- at the 1988 Dem convention, about Bush 41
Ann Richards passes away. What a character.
Former Gov. Ann Richards, the witty and flamboyant Democrat who went from homemaker to national political celebrity, died Wednesday night after a battle with cancer, a family spokeswoman said. She was 73.

She died at home surrounded by her family, the spokeswoman said. Richards was found to have esophageal cancer in March and underwent chemotherapy treatments.

The silver-haired, silver-tongued Richards said she entered politics to help others — especially women and minorities who were often ignored by Texas' male-dominated establishment.

...In four years as governor, Richards championed what she called the "New Texas," appointing more women and more minorities to state posts than any of her predecessors.

She appointed the first black University of Texas regent; the first crime victim to join the state Criminal Justice Board; the first disabled person to serve on the human services board; and the first teacher to lead the State Board of Education. Under Richards, the fabled Texas Rangers pinned stars on their first black and female officers.
She lost the governorship to the Chimp in 1994, which began his incredible political ascendancy despite the meager skill set we've been subjected to as a country for the last six years. One can only do a "what if" -- had she whipped his ass and sent him home to Mommy.


More fish wrapper

"Ex-gay" advocate Nancy Heche has a new book that will serve as expensive fish wrap, The Truth Comes Out. Wow. This will end up in the remainder bin tout de suite. (365gay):
Nancy Heche, the mother of Anne Heche, is using a new memoir to promote the so-called ex-gay movement - discussing her marriage to a closeted gay man and her feelings when her actress daughter began dating Ellen DeGeneres.

There is little new in the book. Nancy Heche has been a "motivational speaker" for "ex-gay" conferences sponsored by Focus on the Family and other anti-gay groups for several years.

Husband Don Heche died of an AIDS related illness in 1983. "Don's death took us to the depths of despair. It was the savage, sickening end of our beautiful, perfect Christian family. What could be worse?" she writes.

She says she vowed never again to utter the word "homosexual," and told people Don died of cancer. And, while criticizing her husband's homosexuality she admits to having affairs herself with male co-workers.
Maybe they can pair that with Mary Cheney's tome for a bargain basement seller. One strange thing though -- why is Heche's book paired with the movie "Adam and Steve" on Amazon?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

According to LA Weekly, it is "a twisted, tender comedy that would surely make 'John Waters cackle with glee'."


B3 rises again

Welcome to Big Brass Blog, Release 2.0

And you can thank The Dark Wraith for resurrecting it. We're not worthy.

Join the discussion in the forum. I love DW's take:
Feel free to use the permanent open forum to post links to articles, offer opinions, or just blow off a little steam about the stupidity of the neo-cons. The thread will sunset postings on a regular basis to keep the forum from overrunning the database. Disrespectful, vexatious, or otherwise flatulent trolls will be shot and then given a degrading wedgie. As my Kentucky ancestors would have said, "Ain't no season on varmint... ain't no bag limit, neither."


DADT sit-ins around the country

Soulforce's peaceful Right to Serve campaign sit-in campaign at military recruiting stations to protest "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is getting a lot of attention -- and has resulted in a few arrests. Three demonstrators in Shreveport, Louisiana were taken in (365gay):
Eddie Lopez and Rachel Powell, both Shreveport residents, entered the recruitment center in that city and attempted to enlist. When they said they are gay they were told that under the law they were rejected for service.

The pair exited the building, but a short time later, when the recruitment officer left to get a cellphone from his car they and the other demonstrators entered the building and staged a sit-in.

Police attempted to talk the protestors into leaving peaceably, saying that the group had made its point. All but Lopez, Powell and a third person, Raydra Hall - a local LGBT activist - left.

When they refused a second request to depart police arrested them for trespassing. The three were taken to a nearby police station, charged and then released on their own recognizance.

In Chicago about 20 people were denied entry by police to a military recruitment center downtown and staged a sit-in on the street in front of the building. The group includes the incumbent national president of PFLAG, John Cepak, and two officials from the mayor's office - the liaisons for the LGBT community and for veterans affairs.
One of the Chicago protesters, Rob Fojtik, contributed a piece to The Frontlines about the importance of being able to serve openly.
By refusing to let me go forward with the enlistment process, the military reminded me of our second-class status as gays in America. As disappointing and discouraging as it was to hear those words, especially in a time when soldiers are being sent back for multiple tours of duty because no one else wants to enlist, I still believe in our country and that one day soon "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will be repealed.
Today, in Norman, Oklahoma, out lesbian Nichole Rawls will be attempt to enlist in the Army. Once she is rejected, supporters will stage the sit-in.

***

Here in the Tar Heel State, Matt Hill Comer is the organizer for Soulforce's Right to Serve Campaign - Greensboro. That sit-in will be held at the Recruiting Center (near the corner of High Point Road and Merritt Drive) at 9:30 AM on Thursday, September 21st, 2006.

You can register to participate, or make a donation to help cover the cost of the effort.


Bill and bloggers

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Quoting the most excellent Terrance at The Republic of T:
Bill Clinton held a blogger lunch in NYC, but somehow I missed it. Geez, I'm such a C-lister.
Ah, T, don't feel bad. You're on the A List in my book. I'd never get invited to anything re: the Big Dog, because, well, I think he may have a problem will all those sHillary posts. :)

Any observations? Terrance is taking captions.


Air Force: test weapons on Americans

"If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation."
-- Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne, on testing non-lethal weapons on citizens
Nice - what a psycho. Are you ready to be a guinea pig for Dear Leader? I couldn't believe the man was saying it publicly, but I guess we should consider this an improvement, considering past government "activities" such as the Tuskegee Experiment, or the Army's LSD mind control study (Project MK-ULTRA) or all sorts of other black ops research conducted on unsuspecting Americans. They might as well be up front about it.
Nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before they are used on the battlefield, the Air Force secretary said Tuesday.

Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions in the international community over any possible safety concerns, said Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne.

..."(Because) if I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press."
Steve, at SLDN's blog Frontlines, said:
So we have to ask: Will the Air Force be resurrecting its gay conversion weapon for testing on the American public? And if so, how will the public respond? After all, Madonna has just wrapped up her latest tour . . . what will all the new gay boys do with their time?
Ah yes, the Homobomb. I blogged about that last year. The Pentagon was trying to come up with some inventive non-lethal ways to disarm enemy troops, and this one was rejected:
the development of an "aphrodisiac" chemical weapon that would make enemy soldiers sexually irresistible to each other. Provoking widespread homosexual behaviour among troops would cause a "distasteful but completely non-lethal" blow to morale, the proposal says.
Other ideas rejected:
* chemical weapons that attract swarms of wasps or rats to troop positions.
* a chemical that would give guerrillas "severe and lasting halitosis" to set them apart from civilians.
* a weapon that would make skin unbearably sensitive to sunlight.

These proposals date back to 1994 and were from the US Air Force Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio.


Here is the Sunshine Project web site, which has a copy of the redacted Marine Corp report, Harassing, Annoying, and "Bad Guy" Identifying Chemicals.


No one wants The Empty Wig's NRSC seat

No one wants to succeed Sugar Lips as National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair. Ha ha ha. She's proven ineffective in this job and in her Senate role representing my state. Please, please, let the Dems find someone decent to unseat her in 2008. (Charlotte Observer):
The Salisbury Republican won't have to face N.C. voters herself until 2008. But, as chairwoman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), her political reputation will be on the ballot in states all across the country.


Dole's image has already taken a beating in the national media because she's raised less money than her Democratic counterpart -- Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. -- and because she failed to recruit electable candidates in states such as Florida and Vermont.

If the GOP loses the Senate in November, Dole will get more blame -- along with President Bush, whose anemic poll numbers made it hard for her to talk some first choices into running.
Christy at Senate Majority Project takes a look at the scurrying rats on the ship.
Of the top five recruits named:

Jim DeMint: "Rooting for somebody else at this point." [Roll Call, 8/7/06]

...David Vitter: Put me down as a ‘no.' When asked recently about whether he would consider the job, Vitter said: "Not right now. Mostly because of the enormous travel." [Roll Call, 8/7/06]

John Ensign: Thanks but no thanks. "Ensign, who is in a re-election race that is tighter than he expected, said thanks but no thanks." [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 9/11/06]

Richard Burr: Not interested. "There's even been talk recently about drafting Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., to take the job. Not interested, said Burr spokeswoman Laura Caudell." [Charlotte Observer, 9/11/06]

Mel Martinez: I'm out. Martinez has indicated he is not interested in the position, according to Roll Call. [Roll Call, 8/7/06]

...And really, who can blame them for being reluctant?

"The 2008 cycle promises to be a brutal one since 21 Republican incumbents are up for re-election, and many believe control of the Senate will be up for grabs." [Roll Call, 8/7/06]

Said a GOP aide, "It would be a challenging time to oversee this job. It's hard to imagine next cycle would be ideal to claim a ton of victories, especially if you are trying to set yourself up for a bigger and better position in the future." [8/7/06, roll call]


MN: Out gay conservative Republican fends off challenger

Paul Koering won the GOP primary for the State Senate District 12 seat, 3956 to 3270 votes. He faced Kevin Goedker, a Brainerd businessman and city council member who ran on a "values" campaign. (100% of precincts reporting).
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
(AP)

Minnesota's only openly gay Republican legislator, Sen. Paul Koering of Fort Ripley, fended off attacks from anti-gay marriage groups Tuesday and won a hard-fought primary election against Brainerd City Council Member Kevin Goedker, who campaigned as a family-values candidate.

In one of the most closely watched of 20 legislative primary contests in the state, Twin Cities-based Minnesota Citizens in Defense of Marriage had leafletted cars at Brainerd-area churches Sunday to publicize Koering's failure to vote three years ago on a floor amendment to prohibit the promotion or teaching of homosexuality and bisexuality in public schools.

Goedker said Koering's sexual orientation, which Koering publicly revealed last year, wasn't the issue, but rather his votes on gay rights, taxes, the minimum wage and other conservative concerns.

Koering disputed that.

"This campaign has reached an all-time low," he said. "They threw everything they had at me. But I think this is a real vote of confidence."
As I said in another post on Koering, who's otherwise quite conservative. There's no doubt why the vote was that close, though Minnesotans did decide to pick ideology over sexual orientation.

Overall, that is healthy for the political process, and should further discombobulate the Freepi (nothing was up at the time of posting).

Hat tip, Eva.


Delusional freakshow

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How'd I miss this -- from the Orlando Sentinel, further evidence that Katherine Harris is flipping insane. Watching her flame out is like rubber-necking on the highway.

U.S. Senate candidate Katherine Harris said Friday that Gov. Jeb Bush will campaign with her in the next two months, but the state GOP said no such commitment exists.

Harris, appearing in downtown Orlando, said she will travel with Bush and others as she seeks to defeat incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

..."We've not heard anything from the Governor's Office one way or the other," [party spokesman Jeff ] Sadosky said. If Bush did join Harris, it would be a dramatic turnabout. The governor has criticized her campaign and said he did not think she could beat Nelson.


Plaintiff in landmark Lawrence v. Texas case dies


Because Tyrone Garner and John Lawrence had the courage to challenge homophobic sodomy laws, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that love, sexuality and family play the same role in gay people's lives as they do for everyone else. That's a colossal legacy and one for which his community will forever be thankful."
-- Lambda Legal Executive Director, Kevin Cathcart, on the passing of Tyrone Garner, a plaintiff in the historic Supreme Court case, Lawrence and Garner v. Texas
Without this case, the progress on gay rights would not be where it is today. In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5 to 3) that Texas's sodomy law was unconstitutional, effectively striking down the sodomy laws in the 13 states where they were still in place.

Every right wing bible beater since that day has railed about judicial activism and the Homosexual Agenda, and their organizations eagerly await the day that they can pack the court with enough conservatives to attempt to recriminalize homosexuality. They are very close to that goal with the addition of Roberts and Alito to the bench.


Wild Wildmon follies over '9/11'

The Naudet brothers' documentary "9/11" aired on CBS on Sunday, all profanity intact, despite the American Family Association's best efforts to have it bleeped out. The graphic look at what happened inside the WTC on that fateful day is a masterpiece of journalism. You could almost imagine the spittle on Donald Wildmon's lips as he threw a tantrum watching it.

The "hardcore profanity" (his words) caught by the cameras during the terrorist events was "a slap in the face to the FCC" (ever hear of a remote?), so the AFA put out an action alert ordering the sheeple to spam the FCC and all affiliates that aired the broadcast. Don and Co. wanted stations to receive the indecency fine of $325,000 for each "incident" that aired.

Blender Paul decided to take advantage of the AFA's nice webform and deleted the boilerplate text and inserted his own special letter to the FCC.
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St, S.W.
Complaints and Political Programming Branch
Enforcement Division, Mass Media Bureau
Washington, DC 20554

Dear FCC Folks,

My email box has been bombarded for the past couple of weeks by some fool named Don Wildmon over at an outfit who call themselves the American Family Association. Wildmon has been screeching that one of the networks was going to show a documentary about 9-1-1 and during the show allow the actors to use naughty words.

Yeh. So? I let out a couple of "Oh shit!"s myself when I saw the planes crash into the towers.

When you get complaints from Wildmon's "flock" please take them with a grain of salt, and realise that all those who write you were warned over and over before the airing, by the AFA itself, that the program contained language that some viewers would find offensive. That these same people chose to watch the program, and then have the balls to write you and bitch about it says volumes about their misguided sense of morality.

Might I suggest that you take all the addresses from the emails sent by the folks at Mr. Wildmon's American Family Association and add them to your spam filter. That's all the consideration that this group deserves.

Thanks,

Paul


More wonders of the Creation Museum

Bible-beating flat-earthers, your dream is closer to reality -- we're looking at an April opening... (Agape Press):
Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis (AiG), says his group's Creation Museum is getting some major projects finished as its public opening edges closer. The biblical creation-themed museum, which is located near Cincinnati, Ohio, is scheduled to open in April 2007.

This week, Ham notes, one of the largest of the Creation Museum's exhibits, "the Wonders Room," will be installed. This attraction, he explains, will feature 18 different presentations concerning the wonders of God's creation.

"The Creation Walk is well under way," the AiG spokesman says. "The rock is being done right now, where people are going to walk through the whole history of the world from creation through corruption," he continues, with "the cave of sorrows, then catastrophe, Noah's ark, Noah's flood -- there's even a whole section of the ark that's under construction here to show the size of the ark compared to the original."
In my earlier post on this, it was reported that the Noah's Ark exhibit will show 12 animatronic characters hammering and sawing away while Noah shouts instructions to them. The bookstore will resemble a medieval castle inside, with a "Dragons and Dinosaurs" theme.

You can buy a lifetime of biblically based science with a $1000 museum membership.

Related:
* Open the door, get on the floor, everybody walk the dinosaur


Open thread...of disbelief

Last night, during the intermission of the terror porn Path to 9/11, the Chimperor explicitly admitted there was no connection between Saddam and the WOT when he launched his Iraq invasion.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I'm often asked why we're in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The answer is that the regime of Saddam Hussein was a clear threat. My administration, the Congress, and the United Nations saw the threat -- and after 9/11, Saddam's regime posed a risk that the world could not afford to take. The world is safer because Saddam Hussein is no longer in power. And now the challenge is to help the Iraqi people build a democracy that fulfills the dreams of the nearly 12 million Iraqis who came out to vote in free elections last December.
I wonder if the sheeple were listening, because a Rasmussen poll taken Sunday and Monday nights asked folks about the connection.
A plurality of Americans, 43%, continue to believe that there were links between Saddam Hussein's government and Al Qaeda prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Thirty-two percent (32%) disagree while 25% are not sure.
If numbers like this come up again in a subsequent poll, our country is hopelessly screwed.

More evidence -- Kate was in a conversation with a winger (don't ask) who was convinced that Al Qaeda chose 9/11 because "it's the same as the numbers for our emergency response system." Hopeless.

***

As folks are noting in the comments, Keith Olbermann snapped off a scathing critique of this travesty of a president.

Read Warren's take on Dear Leader's drivel.

Hat tip, Paul the Spud.


Guy Adams no longer associated with Renew America

Tee hee. Illinois law enforcement officer, former Alan Keyes bodyguard, and unhinged homobigot Guy "sex with infants is the new gay trend" Adams has been ejected from left Renew America, according to fellow "Christian" and disturbed anti-gay activist Debra J.M. Smith. There was a "parting of the ways" between Steve Stone, the editor and operator of the site (Keyes is the director).


All of Guy Adams written bleatings and credits on the site have been removed from the RA site.

He's set up his own pad to rant and obsess about gays and abortion rights advocates.

Check out his breathless, fear-mongering articles such as "Outlawing America for Gays: get involved before it's too late" and "It's the End of the World As We Know It," where he comes unglued over the evil Homosexual Agenda.

Congrats to Joe Brummer for taking this knob-end on. A sample of the stuff he spewed to Joe -- Adams is completely unhinged.:
From: "Guy Adams"
To: "Joe Brummer"
Cc: stacyharp
Sent: Friday, August 04, 2006 2:16 AM
Subject: Reply: From Joe

What's your point Joe? It sex with babies the truth; it IS happening, so what's your point?

Let's just assume that gays are not screwing babies. Okay then, what ARE gays doing? Can you describe it for me and the public???

If you won't describe it, then I will. Openly and in a national forum.

One thing you will quickly discover about me -- I CANNOT be intimidated nor will I retreat. I will stand my ground no matter what.

YOU brought this war to me and I will finish it. And there are many, many more like me too.

We simply don't care about you petty proclamations, not does Alan.

You woke up the wrong guy.

~Guy
I guess Alan did care about some of Guy's petty proclamations. Even Renew America knew when to cut the cord from over-the-edge extremist, threatening fundies like Adams.

Prior Blend posts on Adams


Wanted: a few good linguists



Friends at Servicemembers Defense Legal Network passed along an ad in yesterday's Washington Post (above, with my inserted edit to increase its accuracy). The Army is looking for a few good [straight] men and women to serve as linguists.

They've already shot themselves in the foot by discharging a whole slew of experienced gay linguists. The Pentagon is also bone dry on high level skills, and this search is the result. Rumsfeld's gang actually withheld the true number of linguists expelled for being gay.
Records obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request show that the military misled the public and discharged three times the number of gay Arabic linguists that it had said.

The records were obtained by the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military, a research unit of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Despite previously saying that under ''don't ask, don't tell'' it had discharged seven translators who specialized in Arabic the new documents show that between 1998 and 2004, the military actually discharged 20 Arabic and six Farsi speakers.
Is this how Dear Leader conducts the War on Terror? How nice to know that such good, effective judgment is occurring on our behalf.

Related:
* Report on soldier with Arabic translation skills who was booted under DADT


Daddy Dobson parachutes into Wisconsin amendment battle

Fair Wisconsin passed along the news that Dobson and his band of homohaters have dropped in to help with the push to pass a marriage amendment there. Because the state has a healthy chance of defeating it, it's no surprise. The fundies want to ensure that all states that bring an amendment to a vote pass it, so everyone knew the big guns would show up in the home stretch. (The Capital Times):
Focus on the Family, the conservative Colorado Springs-based group led by James Dobson, filed papers with the state Elections Board last week to create a referendum committee. The group has spent more than $1 million passing anti-gay marriage legislation in other states and the stakes here are high: Wisconsin has been pegged by analysts as perhaps the first state that stands a chance of defeating a same-sex marriage ban.

Under Wisconsin law, there are no limits on how much groups seeking to influence the outcome of a referendum can spend. And, unlike other campaigns, referendum groups are allowed to accept unlimited amounts of cash from individuals and also from corporations.

...Mike Muscanero of Baraboo, listed as Focus on the Family's committee treasurer, did not return phone calls left at his home and office this morning. A Focus on the Family official directed press calls to Julaine Appling, head of the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin, which is associated with Focus on the Family and opposes same-sex marriage. But Appling did not return phone calls this morning either.
An August poll by WISC-TV of Madison and conducted by Research 2000 found that 48% percent of likely Wisconsin voters favor a state constitutional amendment, with 40% opposed (12 percent were not sure).

With those numbers, every dollar Daddy Dobson pours into the state to influence and miseducate voters must be countered.
Josh Freker, spokesman for Fair Wisconsin, the main referendum group fighting the ban, said Focus on the Family's direct entry into the Wisconsin referendum battle is not entirely unexpected and will not change his group's strategy at all.

He said his group has received some national support, but is relying more on grass-roots support and donations from individuals.

"On our side we have literally thousands of volunteers every week giving their time and money," he said. "Apparently what our opposition has is James Dobson and his millions."
The forces on the Right, including the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin and the Coalition for Traditional Marriage have sent out 5,000 "educational" DVDs to Badger State churches to promote the marriage amendment.

Last week anti-amendment forces received a boost when seventeen members of the Wisconsin Bar Association came forward to oppose the marriage amendment, outlining that the state constitution should not be amended, that it could have adverse consequences on the children of same-sex couples.

Fair Wisconsin's tip jar is here.

Related:
* Wisconsin's nail-biter marriage amendment battle
* Reading between the lines of upcoming state marriage amendments


Lesbian witch hunt in Uganda - names printed in publication

Uganda belongs to an unfortunate club of African nations that have declared homosexuality a criminal offense and openly demonizes gays. A newspaper, Red Pepper, published a list of names of 13 women it says are lesbians, making a direct call to chase down and punish the women. (UKGayNews):
The women include two boutique owners, a basketball player and the daughters of a former MP and a prominent Sheikh.

Under the headline, "Kampala's Notorious Lesbians Unearthed", the sleazy tabloid published a photo of two very beautiful unnamed women embracing at a party.

The article urged readers to phone the newspaper with details of any lesbians they know:

"To rid our motherland of the deadly vice (lesbianism), we are committed to exposing all the lesbos in the city. Send more names us (sic) the name and occupation of the lesbin (sic) in your neighbourhood and we shall shame her," Red Pepper urged.

"I know that some women are definitely going to lose what they have; jobs, homes, families, and friends," commented a Ugandan lesbian activist.
Conviction for the crime of homosexuality is punishable in Uganda by life imprisonment, This is actually the third time that Red Pepper has gone on a gay witch hunt, according to Amnesty International and OUTFront; in August the publication printed the names of men it believed to be gay.
On September 7, Red Pepper ran an article naming and picturing another man, supposedly wanted by police for engaging in ''homosexuality activities [sic]''. Following the publication of the list of men on August 8, Amnesty International received several reports of harassment of LGBT people who had been named. Some reported being harassed by colleagues, while others were ostracized by relatives.

Amnesty International strongly condemned the publication of the article through a public statement issued on August 29 and remains concerned that the continued targeting of LGBT people by the Red Pepper newspaper puts those named at high risk of discrimination and violence by individuals or by the authorities.
Red Pepper, according to UK Gay News, is owned by Salim Saleh, who is the half-brother of anti-gay Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda.

You can take action on this in just a couple of clicks by sending an email through Amnesty International's web form that will reach Yoweri Museveni - President, Makubuya Kiddu - Minister of Justice, Edith Grace Ssempala - Ambassador, and Ruhakana Rugunda - Minister of Internal Affairs.

Also fax your letter to:
Ambassador Edith Grace Ssempala
Embassy of the Republic of Uganda
5911 -16th St. NW
Washington DC 20011
Fax: 1 (202) 726-1727

Hat tip to Blender Nancy, who said about Uganda, "I'd have thought that they had bigger problems that whether or not two girls are together, but I guess demonizing the gays is always in style regardless of what country you're in."


Montana psycho

Montana's Conrad Burns claims he's pure as the driven slush snow. However, if you read about this account of a debate with challenger Jon Tester in the Missoulian, he sounds like he might have a screw loose.
The accusations came after Tester accused Burns of no longer representing Montana values. “I believe in light bulbs and sunshine,” [WTF?!] Burns said. “You know everything about me because it's all out there on the Web site.”

Under attack by the incumbent senator, Tester chuckled, then defended himself by citing a lengthy, rapid-fire list of out-of-state and out-of-country trips taken by Burns, and the multinational corporations from which Burns has taken money.

...The debate - and the crowd - got heated when moderator Jenny Johnson, editor of the Ravalli Republic, asked the candidates: “There has been much discussion about the corrupting influence of money in politics. How do you propose to change the culture of big money in politics?”

Tester took the question first, replying: “Be honest.”

...“It is well documented what's gone on with my opponent in relationship to lobbyists back in Washington, D.C.,” Tester said. “Senator Burns has changed. He's not the same guy he was in 1988. I don't believe he would have done it then. Washington has changed him.”

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Burns fired back: “Washington hasn't changed me. I have the same wife, the same kids, got the same principles, same values.”

...“When you look at everything here, maybe I'm the only one here that's not a lawbreaker. I might be the only one, I might be the only one.”

The audience erupted in boos, hoots and profanity, and one cry of “psycho.”
Related:
* Conrad Burns and those swarthy killer cabbies


Freepers on Minnesota's Paul Koering

Monday, September 11, 2006

My earlier post, "Out gay Republican fights for political survival in Minnesota," featured the quandry of conservative Paul Koering, who came out of the closet and voted against a marriage amendment measure in his legislature. He's facing a primary challenge that will also challenge voters to decide whether his sexual orientation matters more to them than his otherwise compatible conservative political views.

The Freepi are also wringing their hands. It's clear in order to be accepted, GOP homos are to stay in the closet. Take note Log Cabinettes.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

If a gay Republican politician wants lower taxes, is tough on the War on Terror and is for securing our borders, who cares what they do in their bedroom.

I disagree with the behavior, but I will overlook it if it stays in their bedroom. When they drag it out of the closet, put it in Macy's window on Main Street and demand that I "accept" it under penalty of bowbeating, then I have a problem with it. Keep it in your pocket, Paul.

Koering kept it private but was "outed" by opponents. [Wrong. He came out on his own.]

Just like prostitution and drugs, victimless activities, eh? Not to mention it is immoral and against God's will to advocate, tacitly or not, the sodomite lifestyle.

Not me. Never understood the need some have for all Republicans to think alike on every issue - it's just another form of PC nonsense. If he votes the right way 90% of the time, is he still our enemy?

Exactly. He stepped over the line when he opposed a pro-family amendment that the vast majority of his constituents supported. Marriage and the family are foundational to society, and the fact that he may have voted conservative on other issues does not make him "ok."

Can anyone here name "gay" politicians who support federal or state definition of marriage amendments? They cannot because it is directly opposed to what they stand for.

it depends on what kind of influence his personal life has on his actions as a politician. as long as he vote on the floor the way his constituents want him to, leave him alone. and i feel that way about any politician- they can do whatever they want outside the office - they are only human - as long as they do what the people tell them.

I got a suggestion, keep your seat to yourselves..

I don't see how the republican party allow their name to be used as part of an identifier for a sexual inuendo. Choices have consequences. He CHOSE not to support the marriage amendment, that has consequests regardless of his hedonistic lifestyle.

'homosexual republicans' are as repugnant as 'prostitute republicans' - 'pedophile republicans' - 'slut republicans' - 'sexual acrobat republicans' - "heterosexual republicans' - 'rockefeller republicans' blaring out and emphasizing what your particular deviancies or sexual pleasures are has NOTHING to do with politics or the country.

You left out 'sinner' republicans

I hope the Republican electorate there isn't too slow to throw out a good conservative because he's gay.

Or, a candidate can live a morally acceptable lifestyle but can still stab the President in the back in the WOT, support amnesty and want to increase government and that's still better than voting a queer into office for some people. Lesser of two evils: Gays in office or Supports WOT? Gays in office or Supports less government?

If he is "abortion opponent, supporter of gun and property rights, outspoken supporter of veterans" he is pretty good. After all, many heterosexuals are pro-abortion. Aborting their own children is not so common among gays! I would support this fellow. It reminds me of Bill Thom, the first acknowledged gay judge in New York City, appointed by Mayor Koch. That was a controversial appointment, and I had mixed feelings about it, because someone should not be appointed just because they belong to a particular group. Nonetheless, I had know Bill Thom. I wonder if the gay activists knew what they were getting when he was appointed! He was one of the most solid conservatives I have ever known, and was a big influence on me when we were in college (at which time I knew nothing of his "sexual orientation," as they call it).

People are seldom exactly as perfect as we might like, and when someone seems perfect, better watch out. Homosexuality is, in my opinion, a disorder. But so is liberalism. Which is more dangerous? Given that most homosexuals mind their own business and leave me alone, and liberals don't leave us alone and are a threat to the whole country, I will prefer to elect a "gay" conservative over any sort of liberal.

I usually look at voting record if they have one first, positions on a wide range of issues and how they relate to the public are important too. We'll see how they do.

If a gay Republican politician wants lower taxes, is tough on the War on Terror and is for securing our borders, who cares what they do in their bedroom.

"Given that most homosexuals mind their own business and leave me alone"

You haven't been to California yet, have you? Check out the list of gay rights "special interest" bills that are up this year in our state legislature, particularly those relating to public schools and the education of other peoples children. Read about what has happened in Sweden and Canada, were speaking out against homosexuality is now hate speech. They have absolutely no intention of leaving you alone.

If you argue that you should have the right to destroy the institution of marriage by claiming its nothing more than 2 people of any gender living together, your "record" is not enough to save you. You undermine the very foundations of society, you are an enemy of society, period.

Just food for thought...On September 8, 2004, the Log Cabin Republicans chose to withhold endorsement of President Bush in the 2004 election on the grounds of his support for the Federal Marriage Amendment.


Brought to you by the letter 'W'

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The broadcast of Freepi terror porn a.k.a "Path to 9/11" continues tonight, with a special intermission after the first hour for our Dear Leader to beat himself off for 30 minutes with a 9/11 "unity" speech. Anyone left watching after that will be able to see the scintillating conclusion to the propaganda piece.

By the way, American Airlines is threatening to sue ABC/Disney for the film's portrayal of the airline. The terror porn shows American Airlines' staffers allowing Mohammad Atta onboard the fatal flight at Logan Airport in Boston in spite of a security warning onscreen -- another case of an outright lie that is not in the 9/11 Commission Report.

John at Americablog noted that the scene airs in not only the first part which aired last night, but AGAIN in this night's installment. John also posted a letter from Roger Frizzell, VP of Corporate Communications & Advertising for American Airlines sent to ABC.


Open thread - unsuccessful multitasking

Sometimes I just don't understand human behavior. Why, pray tell, couldn't this numbskull wait to do this at home?
A Slovak driver who crashed into a bus shocked rescuers who found him unconscious and half naked with a vacuum pump on his penis.

Police said the 42-year-old man, driving an old Citroen in the Slovak town of Levice, had ignored a "give way" sign.

"It's very likely he had auto-sex while driving, it is a matter of investigation. After the accident he was found lying in the seat, his pants were off and it (the pump) was placed on his penis," police officer Peter Polak told Reuters.
Comment and blogwhore away.


Out gay Republican fights for political survival in Minnesota

"There's going to be a lot of people watching to see if the voters can look at my record and say, 'He's doing a good job.'" Or, will they look at my personal life and say, 'I can't support him because of that.' If that's how they're going to vote, I may be out of a job."
-- Minnesota State Sen. Paul Koering, a conservative Republican who came out of the closet last year and is facing a primary challenge tomorrow.
Tomorrow, a primary vote will put into sharp focus whether the Republicans in Minnesota are willing to choose a state senator because of his record or his sexual orientation.

Paul Koering, if you look strictly at bread and butter issues, should appeal to the conservatives in his district in rural Minnesota -- he's against abortion rights, and strong on gun ownership and property rights -- but he voted against a ban on marriage equality in a vote on the floor. He was the the only Republican in the state legislature to cross over and vote with the Democrats on the measure. Koering's opposition launched whispers about his sexuality, but he put them to rest by coming out of the closet.

His challenger, of course, is now playing the "values" card:
Kevin Goedker, a city councilman who's challenging Koering in Tuesday's GOP primary, says it isn't because his opponent is gay. But he's making an explicit appeal to voters whose values guide them in the voting booth. "People of high moral values and integrity must rally and support candidates who will work to bring ethics, morals and family values back into government," Goedker's father, Gene, his campaign treasurer, wrote in a fundraising letter.

Patrick Sammon, executive vice president of the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay GOP group, said it's important to the future of the Republican Party that politicians like Koering can find support.

"If the Republicans want to be a lasting majority party in America, they can't just shut out gays and lesbians," Sammon said.
Well, duh, Sammon. That's a nice pipe dream, given the state of the party is under the control of cockroach-like fundamentalists. Actually, it's worse, the GOP is overrun with homos at the highest levels -- they just have to keep the closet door padlocked shut when it comes to the public, and be willing to support pols who actively legislate against gay rights. Socially moderate to liberal Republicans currently have zero support from the party establishment. The fear is palpable, and even Koering, sadly, in his fight to stay in office, has learned "a lesson" about how to survive in his party when it comes to gay issues. (Seattle PI):
It doesn't help that a significant portion of the Republican base is dead-set against legal recognition of gay relationships, the leading front in recent years in the battle for gay rights. More than any other issues, those opposed to Koering's re-election cite his decision to break from the party line on gay marriage.

Indeed, since that 2005 vote, he has changed course, siding with fellow Senate Republicans in more recent efforts to get a statewide vote on the definition of marriage. Koering said it's what the majority of his constituents want, though he won't say how he'd cast his own ballot if it ever comes to a statewide vote.
Related:
* Why Minnesota GOP State Senator Paul Koering came out

Eva at Lloydletta has several posts on Koering (1, 2, 3)

Hat tip, PageOneQ


Since the GOP can't win on its record...

It's time to get down in the gutter...oops...define Democrats. (WaPo):
Republicans are planning to spend the vast majority of their sizable financial war chest over the final 60 days of the campaign attacking Democratic House and Senate candidates over personal issues and local controversies, GOP officials said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which this year dispatched a half-dozen operatives to comb through tax, court and other records looking for damaging information on Democratic candidates, plans to spend more than 90 percent of its $50 million-plus advertising budget on what officials described as negative ads.

The hope is that a vigorous effort to "define" opponents, in the parlance of GOP operatives, can help Republicans shift the midterm debate away from Iraq and limit losses this fall.
The Republicans are going negative, after spending a ton on opposition research. That's no surprise at all; that's the usual playbook.

What I want to know is what are Dems going to do about it? Have they prepared candidates who have not faced a well-funded onslaught like this on how to respond? The signs of head in the sand are still there, sadly.
"When all [Republicans] do is launch potshots, they look like they're trying to cover up the fact that they have no solutions" said Phil Singer, communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Sigh -- it's the "wait and let the GOP self-destruct" fantasy again. The Dems have relied on talking about the abysmal record of Republicans and its worn kneepads before the President in tepid, dry terms. Even with the country, including Southern women, now fed up with the terror manipulation machine, and the endless, unsuccessful Iraq conflict, need to see Dems have the cojones to fight back -- and to offer a palatable alternative.

This nice guy BS happens time and again, and even with big leads in many races, the fear is that Dems will manage to screw it up in the home stretch by ignoring the influence of negative ads and money for oppo research. I keep thinking to myself each time, "gee, the record of these clowns in office is so bad that they are going to be tossed out in a landslide." According to the article, it looks like some effort is being made to be proactive on this front.
In recent elections, Democratic officials have complained that Republicans are much better at opposition research. But Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who chair the Democrats' House and Senate campaign committees, have invested more heavily in research. Notably, the researchers dig not only into Republicans, but also their own candidates. This allows Democrats to anticipate what is coming and be ready to respond quickly.

One Democratic research success this year came when Emanuel's staff combed though the archives of several universities to find a copy of an article Colorado Republican candidate Rick O'Donnell wrote for an obscure publication in the mid-1990s. A researcher eventually found the article at George Washington University. In it, O'Donnell argued that Social Security should be abolished -- a revelation that was highlighted in three sharply worded DSCC mailings in the district.
No one likes going negative (ok, maybe the GOP does), but should the thugs in charge know how to do this in their sleep. Will the Dems actually find an effective way to counter what they already know is coming -- and act on it?

I need not remind you that little has been done to address The Diebold Factor. After all of the fiascos with electronic voting machines in the last cycle -- and the flawed technology that makes it possible to affect an outcome in close races -- yet another election will transpire with these machines "counting" votes firmly in place.


Five years ago



A grainy image I took with an old Palmpix camera at night while on a boat ride on July 11, 2001.

Two months later, we all know what happened.

***

And right out of the box came soothing words like these, putting the blame for the events of 9/11 right where it logically belonged:


"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"
-- Rev Tinkywinky to 700 Club's Crazy Pat Robertson.

and Crazy Pat concurred by adding this:


"We have sinned against Almighty God, at the highest level of our government, we've stuck our finger in your eye. The Supreme Court has insulted you over and over again, Lord. They've taken your Bible away from the schools. They've forbidden little children to pray. They've taken the knowledge of God as best they can, and organizations have come into court to take the knowledge of God out of the public square of America."

Falwell later apologized, but gays remain a convenient whipping boy; as he told Soulforce's Mel White, who served as his ghostwriter for years before coming out:
Thank God for these gay demonstrators. If I didn't have them, I'd have to invent them. They give me all the publicity I need.
That tells us all that we need to know.

***

365gay has an excellent roundup of 9/11 coverage from the gay perspective, including profiles of Father Mychal Judge, who died after being hit by falling debris from the collapse of Tower 2 while giving last rites to a dying NYFD first responder, and Mark Bingham, one of the passengers on United Flight 93, as well as some of the gay men and women who perished that day.

One was Sheila Hein, who died in the Pentagon attack, leaving behind partner Peggy Neff. Neff was the first surviving partner to be receive an award of benefits by the director of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund. Even with that bright light -- because Hein's mother fully supported Naff receiving compensation -- many surviving partners received nothing. Lambda Legal Executive Director Kevin Cathcart points out the legacy of the lack of legal protections and 9/11 in an op-ed for 365gay.
Roughly two dozen lesbians and gay men that we know of lost a partner in the September 11th attacks, and less than a quarter of those people received the benefits automatically awarded to married spouses. Some of those "benefits" boiled down to fundamental rights and responsibilities like being able to obtain a death certificate and to make arrangements for a partner's remains. On top of the intense sorrow of tragically losing a loved one, surviving partners also suffered the indignity of having to prove the validity of their relationship over and over again — and that was in the best of circumstances, when people had taken the time to write a will and health care proxy or, where applicable, register as domestic partners.

...One man we assisted had a terrible uphill climb because his deceased partner had not dissolved his former marriage. Another experienced tremendous difficulty coping with his partner's death and the hostility of his partner's blood relatives to his claim, and, sadly, took his own life. Some survivors were unable to file at all because they did not meet the government's criteria. It's important that we remember all of these stories as surviving spouses and partners read the names at Ground Zero and others are memorialized throughout the country. Or how about this: Let's pay tribute to those who’ve died by protecting those who are still alive. Write a will, fill out a health care proxy and other key documents — until we win full equality, it's the best thing you can do.
And remember, since 2001, many states have passed restrictive marriage amendments that further clouds matters for partners -- those who do file those essential legal documents cannot be assured that they will survive a challenge by hostile family members.

Virginia has an amendment on the ballot this year; it will ban civil unions, partnerships or any legal status approximating the rights conveyed with marriage. There is already an exodus of gay families from the state because of the looming legal landscape.

The gays and lesbians who signed up to serve our country after the towers fell and the Pentagon burned must serve in silence or be discharged simply for being who they are, no matter how skilled or essential their talents are as servicemembers.

We have a long way to go, despite the gay heroes of 9/11 and beyond.

Check out SLDN's Frontlines blog this week for a series of posts on reflections on the events of 9/11 and its impact on LGBT America.

***

Share your thoughts about this, what you you remember about 9/11 and what you did that day.

I was at work, and stayed the whole day, though in a daze. I have many relatives in NYC and was worried sick about them (some were among those who walked across the bridge that day, covered in the white ashen debris). I couldn't get through because all circuits were busy.

Actually, my first thought, in the panic and shock, was to call my mom. I picked up the phone and began to dial an old number in Brooklyn.

My mother died in 1997.

I wanted to know she was OK, what she thought about what happened, etc. I put the phone down and began to cry, then tried calling my brother in Delaware. After several attempts I finally got through. I do remember talking to him and he had felt the same impulse to talk to Mom when he learned about the news.

This is where your brain can go when it feels like the world is in chaos.


No moral authority

Sunday, September 10, 2006

There may be less folks listening to God from Ratzi's perspective, but they sure as hell don't need to listen to the pedophile-enabling Prada Pope. (AP):

Pope Benedict XVI rebuked his fellow Germans and other Western societies Sunday, saying they often shut their ears to the Christian message and insisting that the modern world's science and technology alone cannot combat AIDS and other social ills.

Addressing 250,000 pilgrims at an open air Mass, Benedict said modern people suffer from "hardness of hearing" when it comes to God and complained that "mockery of the sacred" is viewed as an exercise in freedom.

"Put simply, we are no longer able to hear God — there are too many different frequencies filling our ears," Benedict told the crowd, which stood quietly shoulder-to-shoulder on a field on the outskirts of Munich, where he served as archbishop from 1977 to 1982.
Would one of those frequencies be the lawyers for Benedict and Co, attempting to hush up the families devastated by molesting priests run amok, shuffled around as they got caught ruining the lives of children? If there's anyone who's not listening to the Christian message, it's the man sitting in the big chair in the Vatican...witness:

Priest asks that records be blocked from release.
A former Los Angeles priest accused of sexually abusing four people as children is asking an appeals court to block the release of his church personnel records.

Lynn Caffoe, who was suspended from the priesthood 15 years ago after being accused of molestation, claims disclosure of the confidential files would violate his rights. Attorney Katherine K. Freberg, who represents the four alleged victims, predicted the files would show ''the church's continuing cover-up and protection of these priests.''

''Father Caffoe and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will do anything possible to keep these documents from seeing the light of day,'' Freberg said.
or this:

Ex-priest in NJ faces more molestation charges.
A defrocked Roman Catholic priest from Hamil ton who in 2003 was sentenced to a lengthy prison term after he was convicted of sexually molesting an altar boy has been indicted on new charges alleging he molested another child more than a decade ago, the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office announced yesterday.
Hmmm...it's like shooting fish in a barrel...

$16M settlement reached in priest abuse.
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has agreed to pay more than $16 million to settle sexual abuse claims involving 10 victims in California and two priests, one transferred there by the archdiocese, church officials said Friday.

...Nine claims were against Siegfried Widera. The other was against Franklyn Becker, who worked in California and has since left the priesthood, the archdiocese said....The firm said one boy was abused over several years, including during a trip with Widera. Another claimed he was abuse starting shortly after his father died. Several instances of abuse happened while the boys were to be praying with Widera.
***

Mike Tidmus passes along another beaut:

Papa Ratzi struts his stuff in his Bavarian hometown amid tight security, composed mainly of old buddies from his impetuous Hitler Youth days. Photo: Nazi Photos.

A dedicated fashionista and self-styled homophobe, who recently referred to gay rights as an “ephemeral social trend,” the dapper pontiff, in addition to his well-worn Prada loafers, is sporting a new chapeau (pictured above) from the exclusive Milano collection of Saturno & Santorum. The SS boys are the hottest thing since Dolce & Gabbana went splitsville, and the Pope has wisely selected a hot little number from their tasty Uranus line, which is available in both Inquisition Blood Red and Santorum Deep Beige.


Did anyone watch the ABC drivel?

I was dead tired from traveling and fell asleep watching 9/11, the Gaudet brothers documentary. I recorded "Path to 9/11" in case I find the patience to sit through the lies.

Did anyone watch and what did you think?


NJ Democratic State Committee functionary refers to transgender person as 'that'

This is mind-blowing. Hat tip to Jay Lassiter, who passed on this from BlueJersey.net. A Cher impersonator was hired to boost attendance at the NJ State Democratic Convention LGBTI Caucus, and the move did -- an event that normally drew less than ten people had over 100 show up. But then this bigotry emerged whole hog:
But before the event started, Diane Legriede, the executive director of the State Democratic Committee, pointed to "Cher" and said the following:

"We cannot have THAT walking in the hallway."

"You cannot have THAT inside your Caucus."

"The State Committee will not have someone like THAT attending dinner -- THAT cannot come inside the ballroom."

"What if the press sees THAT -- what if they report on THAT in tomorrow's papers?"

Diane delivered these statements as a diatribe in the hallway, ironically, drawing attention to an intolerance that was far more embarrassing than anything around her.
Jeezus, the trangendered aren't even human beings in this woman's mind; this is sick. And she said that while standing next to a member of the TG community responsible for the leading and sponsoring the caucus, no less.


Conference (and travel) wrap up

I'm home from the NLGJA convention in Miami. Student coverage of it was excellent; btw, I was unexpectedly grabbed for a Q&A about el Nuevo Herald reporters who were sacked for conflict of interest).

Back to the convention, though. I met a lot of interesting people, some I knew virtually, others I knew of their work.

At the women's dinner on Friday, I had the pleasure of meeting Linda Villarosa, former Health Editor for the NYT, and former exec editor at Essence mag. She is also now a contributing writer at AfterEllen.com. Linda wrote a ground breaking article while at Essence on coming out of the closet. As a black lesbian, I cannot tell you how important this was -- and it came out in 1981. The article generated the largest response of mail in the magazine's history and she and her mom did two follow-up articles on how the process affected their relationship. Linda presented on the NLGJA panel, "Covering Sexual Health for a Mainstream Audience."

Regarding the blogger panel -- Michael Jensen of AfterElton.com was our moderator, Sarah Warn of AfterEllen.com and Jeremy of Good As You were fantastic colleagues at the session. Michael did a great job of keeping the conversation moving. I hope that folks enjoyed it (here's the audio. Hat tips to Blender KevinM, Rebecca of SLDN, Kenneth Hill of AOL's Worth Repeating and all of you who attended the blogging panel -- and especially for the kind words! Many thanks to NLGJA's Eric Hegedus, Ina Fried, and Karen Bailis for the warm welcome.

Later that day I finally met the wonderful Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out and the author of Anything But Straight (an exposé of the ex-gay movement). We shared a good long conversation over the laughable-if-they-weren't-damaging homo-obsessive antics of Porno Pete, Bob Knight of Concerned Women for America, Alan Chambers of Exodus, the unhinged Richard Cohen, and many more of the folks you all know and love reading about on the Blend.


Cohen's beat-the-gay-out "therapy," highlighted on CNN.

Wayne's going to be in my neck of the woods next week; there's some ex-gay activity going on that he'll pass more information on to me about, so I'll keep you all in the loop.

Another of the quacks who came up in our conversation was the anti-gay junk scientist Paul Cameron. He's been discredited over and over, and was kicked out of the American Psychological Association, Nebraska Psychological Association, and the American Sociological Association publicly stated that "Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, and condemns his consistent misrepresentation of sociological research."

A recent major controversy involving Cameron is that his "research" has finally been published in a peer-reviewed scientific publication, the Journal of Biosocial Science, clearly by an editorial board who didn't review Cameron's well-known body of prior biased, shoddy work. Up until this point, his efforts have been pay-to-publish rags, and now, with the stamp of approval by an academic journal he's touting that "Children of Homosexuals And Transsexuals More Apt To Be Homosexual." Jim Burroway at Box Turtle Bulletin nicely destroyed Cameron and this drivel at his pad and questioned the academic press that let this get through to print.

Abigail Garner, author, Families Like Mine is one writer whose work has been cited and twisted by Cameron. She was at the NLGJA conferene as well, and served on a Saturday panel entitled "Under the Microscope: LGBT Families and the Media." She came up to me before my panel and told me about her major concerns about the legitimacy that Cameron has been given by being published in a peer-reviewed journal, picking and choosing information from her book, which is not an academic text, to cite as part of his "research." Other authors who have been published in the Journal of Biosocial Science have contacted her, angry that their hard work is being associated with Cameron's trash. She said that the publisher has stopped responding to inquiries as to how "Children of Homosexuals And Transsexuals More Apt To Be Homosexual" made it into print.

***

Oy, I just wanted to rant about another airport ordeal. No Cinnabombers, mind you, but I can safely say that Miami International Airport is the worst I've ever been in, bar none. Mass confusion, no organization, lines going nowhere fast.

I came to the American Airlines area, and there were long lines at the self-check in kiosks. Aside from the fact that there were a lot of folks there, the main problem was that there were so few of them, maybe 5 or 6 for those with bags to check in for a domestic flight. We have more than that at RDU. That, however was a smaller problem than what came next.

So I get my boarding pass from the machine, and at this point, someone behind the counter usually gets the printed bag tag for the luggage you're checking and either 1) tags it and takes it to a belt behind the counter 2) tells you to roll it to the scanner area yourself. At MIA, it's chaos. After you get your boarding pass, you have to:
* go around the crowd that is waiting to get to a kiosk to a different area (this caused chaos, because travelers couldn't tell where to go);
* stand in a roped off "holding pen" like cattle and wait for someone to scream out your name on the printed tag so you can make your way to the front so the AA worker can put it on your bag and check your ID;
* roll your bag over to another area near the scanning machine and wait until everyone with a boarding time sooner than yours to have their bags taken behind the rope, because the way-too-small storage area is full of bags. The poor AA workers just couldn't process the mounting bags fast enough. Also, this is the only location for the screening machine, so all bags have to be taken here, no matter what gate you're going to.

After my bag was finally taken, I had to hoof it to a terminal on the other side of the airport. The security scanning set up was also inadequate given the size of this airport and its traffic load. All lines had to funnel down to two screening machines, so it was slow going. Thankfully, I arrived 2.5 hours ahead of time, so I wasn't in a hurry.


Will ABC/Disney pull 'Path to 9/11'?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Variety is reporting that the folks in the hotseat at ABC/Disney are realizing the tidal wave of criticism surrounding its factually inaccurate, Bush-stroking terror porn, "Path to 9/11," may be about to wash over them. This fiasco is threatening to sweep away careers in its wake.
Bill Clinton loyalists are demanding wholesale changes to the upcoming miniseries -- and while ABC is making some snips, the alterations, insiders say, may not please the Dems.

But a bombshell decision may happen anyway: Sources close to the project say the network, which has been in a media maelstrom over the pic, is mulling the idea of yanking the mini altogether.

...While ABC declined to comment on specific changes, it's believed that the Berger scene was among those being reworked.
The problem with that last bit of business, as John points out (he received a copy of the film), is that the falsified Berger scene is the dramatic conclusion of the first part of the two-night trashing of the history of 9/11:
We are 1 hour 54 minutes into the film, it is the culmination of the entire first two hours of the film. CIA agents on the ground with Commander Massoud have found bin Laden. They have him pin-pointed in a house. They are looking at the house with binoculars. They are on the phone with the CIA, that has patched in Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger. Berger, like a bumbling ass, sits there, looking every which way, refusing to give them clearance to grab bin Laden who is in their literal grasp. The woman at the CIA has to lecture Berger about how intelligence works, like he's some kind of moron. Berger literally looks like a deer caught in the headlights. He's clueless, an idiot, a moron, unfit to serve in any public office - hell, I wouldn't hire the guy to mow my lawn. After a very long pause, the agents are begging Berger to take some responsibility, stop being such a wuss, stop trying to cover his chicken-shit ass, you see Berger reach forward and the phone line goes dead. Clearly Berger has ended the call. Osama gets away. And Sandy Berger is personally responsible for killing 3,000 Americans and bringing down the World Trade Center twin towers.

Not only is this scene FAR MORE defamatory than any review I've seen to date, this is THE KEY SCENE of the entire first half of the movie. You can't cut it, or a good portion of the movie just makes no sense. But Disney/ABC can't leave the scene is because it simply did not happen. CIA agents weren't on the ground, they weren't with Massoud, nobody had bin Laden in their grasp, and Berger never refused to give the order to get the guy.
How, pray tell, are the crack editing staffers supposed to "rework" that scene to make it accurate if it didn't happen.

Bill Clinton's legal eagles sent a second letter to ABC's Bob Iger, and outlined that they aren't playing games, and are asking for the film to be pulled.
Although our request for an advance copy of the film has been repeatedly denied, it is all too clear that our objections to "The Path to 9/11" are valid and corroborated by those familiar with the film and intimately involved in its production.

-- Your corporate partner, Scholastic, has disassociated itself from this proect.

-- 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean, who served as co-executive producer on "The Path to 9/11," has stated that he raised concerns about the accuracy of several scenes in the film and that his concerns were not addressed during production.

-- Harvey Keitel, who plays the star role of FBI agent John O'Neill, told reporters yesterday that while the screenplay was presented to him as a fair treatment of historical events, he is upset that several scenes were simply invented for dramatic purposes.

-- Numerous Members of Congress, several 9/11 Commissioners and prominent historians have spoken out against this movie.

-- Indeed, according to press reports, the fact that you are still editing the film two days before it is scheduled to air is an admission that it is irreparably flawed.

As a nation, we need to be focused on preventing another attack, not fictionalizing the last one for television ratings. "The Path to 9/11" not only tarnishes the work of the 9/11 Commission, but also cheapens the fith anniversary of what was a very painful moment in history for all Americans. We expect that you will make the responsible decision to not air this film.
Also:
* The Pet Goat excised from ABC 9/11 fantasy drama
* ABC/Disney's 'Path to 9/11' meltdown

***

Meanwhile, in the alternate reality of the people inhabiting WingNutDaily, the Kool-Aid is potent.



***

No Osama on the radar

While the fiasco over the airing of the terror porn known as the "Path to 9/11" continues, it's good to remind folks that the man behind the actual day of horror is still on the loose. (Raw Story):
According to a counterterrorism official, the Osama bin Laden "trail" has become "stone cold," The Washington Post reports in Sunday's edition.

"The clandestine U.S. commandos whose job is to capture or kill Osama bin Laden have not received a credible lead in more than two years," write Dana Priest and Ann Scott Tyson. "Nothing from the vast U.S. intelligence world -- no tips from informants, no snippets from electronic intercepts, no points on any satellite image -- has led them anywhere near the al-Qaeda leader, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials."
All the film-based masturbation of Dear Leader by ABC can't undo the fact that Mr. "Dead or Alive" is still out there.

Or is the Clenis responsible for that too?


NRSC and the Empty Wig sink to desperate, dumb tactics

Get a load of this latest Flash BS from my Senator, Elizabeth Dole, and the lame, desperate National Republican Senatorial Committee. It's a juvenile attempt to portray Ohio candidate Sherrod Brown as "far out" of the mainstream with FarOutBrown.com, an effort complete with a lava lamp and 8-track player and groovy Greg Brady beads, interspersed with Brown's allegedly radical positions.

This is so ham-handed that I can't figure out who this is supposed to appeal to other than the wingers already committed to voting for Mike DeWine. I was looking for the bong to complete the whole picture, but I guess Sugar Lips probably nixed that detail. From the inane press release that sullied my inbox:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Sherrod Brown's unabashed liberal views are the target of a new NRSC website, www.FarOutBrown.com, which was released Thursday. Visitors can groove with the liberal Congressman as he dances to various tracks outlining his far-out positions. Whether you spend time flipping through Brown's scrapbook, checking out his liberal idols, or busting a move to some far out tunes, this site is sure to take you to a far-out place.
The stupendously foolish animation has a section on Brown's position on marriage equality, and notes:"Brown apparently does not believe that marriage should be defined as being between a man and a woman-despite what Ohioans think."

Mike DeWine's record on civil rights pretty much says it all.
* Disturbed by "free speech zones" in public arena. (Jan 2006)
* Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006)
* Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006)
* Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
* Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001)
* Voted YES on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
* Voted NO on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women. (Mar 1998)
* Voted YES on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business. (Oct 1997)
* Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
* Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)
* Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit flag burning. (Dec 1995)
* Voted NO on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds. (Jul 1995)
* Supports anti-flag desecration amendment. (Mar 2001)
* Rated 40% by the ACLU, indicating a mixed civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
Brown's positions, btw, in the same category:
* Opposed Issue 1, the state gay marriage ban. (Dec 2005)
* Voted NO on making the PATRIOT Act permanent. (Dec 2005)
* Voted NO on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage. (Sep 2004)
* Voted NO on protecting the Pledge of Allegiance. (Sep 2004)
* Voted YES on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration. (Jun 2003)
* Voted NO on banning gay adoptions in DC. (Jul 1999)
* Voted NO on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions. (May 1998)
* Supports anti-flag desecration amendment. (Mar 2001)
* Constitutional Amendment for equal rights by gender. (Mar 2001)
* Rated 87% by the ACLU, indicating a pro-civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
I just hope NC Dems can rustle up someone to unseat The Empty Wig when she's up in 2008. She's a horrible, unresponsive senator, and even worse for the Republicans as head of the NRSC, wholly ineffective.

Related:
* 'GOP Superstar'-- the Empty Wig gets pummeled


I guess Kate Moss won't be on the runway

Madrid bans too-thin models from catwalk. No heroin chic or size zero clothes hangers need apply. The reason for the move is that the government doesn't want young Spanish girls to associate the glamour of fashion and the ability to model with anemic-looking models, and encourage anorexia and bulemia.
Madrid's regional government, which is co-financing the Pasarela Cibeles, has vetoed around a third of the models who took part in last year's show because they weigh too little. The authorities collaborated with a Spanish health organisation to come up with a minumum body mass -- a height-weight ratio -- of 18 for the models.

Spanish daily ABC said it was the first time such restrictions had been imposed on a fashion show, although a recent wedding dress exhibition in Barcelona banned fashion models who took a dress size below 38 (British size 10, US size eight).

Several models at last year's show provoked a row when they claimed their careers would be under threat if they put on weight.
Size 8? I don't think many U.S. models would make the cut either.

The average U.S. woman is 5' 3.7" and weighs 152 pounds with a Body Mass Index of 26.3.. Forty percent of the women in the U.S. wear a size 14 or larger.

The issue of fashion and the average woman came up on this season's Project Runway, when the designer challenge was to make a fashion-forward ensemble for "the everyday woman", and the models were all the mothers or sisters of the contestants (no one could pick their own mother). Naturally, the smaller framed mothers were the first ones picked, with the plus-sized moms were the "leftovers."

During the challenge design phase, more than one contestant, used to designing for the runway body types, plainly said they didn't know how to design for a woman who had more junk in the trunk (and everywhere else). One contestant, Jeffrey, was so frustruated about having to work with his plus-sized model, that he insulted her, made her cry, and all he could come up with was this horrible tent-style outfit. It was appalling.

I love the description of the challenge @ Tubular:
Michael (dressing Robert's young sister), Angela (draping Laura's stylish mom) and Vincent (with Uli's mom) got off easy. Their mom-models were slender and worked it like real models.

Uli finally deserved her Princess of Prints crown with a flattering chiffon V-necked tunic over beige slacks, for Kayne's mom.

But faced with fat, Jeffrey and Robert were at a loss. Robert's usual muse, Barbie, has an impossibly tiny waist, and Jeffrey can't see past Jean Paul Gaultier's Madonna costumes. So naturally, Jeffrey made Angela's mom cry, ignoring her plea not to look matronly. He and Robert both slung an unforgivable insult at their clients: That a woman of size should be hidden beneath a moo-moo dipping to her ankles. The two were too weight-prejudiced to acknowledge that women of curves may have dynamite legs. Instead, they seemed to scream, ''What's the point?''

...Yet the week's true loser -- who'd been last week's true winner -- was Jeffrey. He planted a periwinkle collar atop a wretched black jersey tent. Even worse, banished Brad's spaceship blue triangle from outer space landed on the neckline.
Sad, sad, sad. See photos here.


Propaganda schlockudrama -- and Iraqi death rays

Mike Tidmus brings breaking information...

As we approach the fifth anniversary of the 11 September terrorist attacks on America, at last this startling news can be revealed. Powerful death rays, invisible to the human eye and believed to have been personally developed by Iraqi leader, Saddam bin Laden, played a critical role in the destruction of the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001. While considered a mind-boggling advance in the field of weapons of mass distraction, the invisible rays can only be seen by American Republicans and Britain’s (soon to be ex-) Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
You must check out Mike's hot tip -- Dear Leader's 10-point plan to combat the death rays. Hint: #10 is "get Mickey Mouse involved" with the "Path to 9/11."


Advocacy + Personality + Journalism = Blogging panel

You can listen to the panel I was on earlier today at the NLGJA's Convention, Advocacy + Personality + Journalism = Blogging (MP3, it's about 70 minutes and 12 MB).

Also on the panel: Michael Jensen, Editor, AfterElton.com, Sarah Warn, Editor, AfterEllen.com and Jeremy Hooper, Founder/Editor, Good As You.

It was a fun, lively discussion.

You can read more about folks I met and topics covered at the conference in my update post.


Fox News sponsorship of NLGJA conference sets off the Freepi

Friday, September 08, 2006

Yesterday I mentioned Porno Pete was wailing about the fact that the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) annual convention is being sponsored by major corporations, including Fox News, which is a "Feature Level" sponsor ($10,000).

LaBarbera dashed off an angry letter to Fox News Channel President Roger Ailes and passed it on to fundie news org LifeSiteNews.
Americans for Truth (AFT) is asking Fox News Channel to be "fair and balanced" by giving $10,000 to a conservative group to match its donation to NLGJA. In a letter sent today to Fox News Channel President Roger Ailes, AFT President Peter LaBarbera wrote: "FOX News cannot claim to be 'fair and balanced' in its coverage of homosexuality while providing large grants to a special interest group like the [NLGJA] that demonizes religious conservatives and, worse, seeks to influence the media nationwide to exclude conservative critics of the homosexual political/cultural agenda from gay-related stories."

...LaBarbera suggests in his letter that Fox News Channel give a "balancing grant" to a pro-family organization since it would "signal that Fox News Channel is committed to living up to its credo and not taking sides in the Culture War." LaBarbera adds, "It would also … show respect for the tens of millions of Americans who do not deserve to be likened to the KKK simply for adhering to historic Judeo-Christian beliefs."
Uh...wouldn't all of Fox News programming suffice as sufficient balance? No, not for this crowd. You know I had to see what the Freepers thought about this, since I knew that once Porno Pete put it out there, someone over in the swamp would pick up the item.

Sure enough, there are some gems to be found in the sewage; bonus points for the sh*t-stirring "más macho" graphic. Actually, when you start reading these comments, you have to wonder if they are talking about the same Fox News Channel we all know, or one that exists in some alternate Bizarro World. What they fail to realize is that Fox, as an employer, probably has plenty of gay folks on their team, though the Freepi probably fantasize the news outlet has some sort of "homometer" to screen them out.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

FNC needs to change its slogan to "We're Part Of The Liberal MSM Now!"

FOX is just another MSM station that hides its liberal agenda with the "fair and balanced" slogan.

Geez...why we cowtow to the 1.5% degenerate class is beyond me. I have a simple rule in life. Never endorse the lifestyle of a man that wants to stick his ha-ha into another mans he-he. If you are g-a-y- im happy for you but if you open your mouth you are subject to my social ridicule.

This was Shep's idea, wasn't it?

I think it was Shep's check....

This sounds like extortion. Should I demand Fox News to donate $10,000 to my organization?

I guess if you think Fox News is a conservative news organization this would surprise you. I'm not surprised.

It maybe false headlines but I haven't been too happy lately with FOX on other issues and their liberal headings.

I've been complaining for over two years now Fox isn't Conservative.

Good point, these faggots and dykes are merely using a Jesse Jackass-type extortion threat to get funds....trying to force Fox News to cower to their demands in fear of MSM exposure of non-sympathy to queers......

I think it must be gay little Shep's 'protector' who made this donation for the company. Shep is a news reader who can't even read the news without flubbing.

none of them are G A Y - they are H O M O S E X U A L S


29 posted on 09/08/2006 6:33:18 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)

I agree. The MSM has been lambasting FNC for being conservative and FNC is trying to go further left.I have e-mailed them a few times to point out that the MSM and liberals will NEVER like them so, please, give us a conservative point of view at least half the time. The liberals get far more minutes in discussions than the conservatives. I have read that FNC is losing viewers and I can guess why.

perfect! If fox gives the butt pirates and the carpet munchin' crowd any dough it will be the last time I tune in.

Metrosexualism run amok!

I've always said, at best, FNC is a moderate channel that simply provides the occasional counterpoint to liberal stories. The issues however (that is, what IS the news...what will become news du jour) is still decided by the liberal MSM. When we have a truly conservative news channel (one that defines what will be the day's news...OUR ISSUES), it's gonna blow the socks off of the gains that FNC had in the last few years.

Yeah once the dems started complaining about them they turned wussy

Okay, just for the record. Tucker Carlson is married with three or 4 kids. Bill Hemmer dated Kimberly Guilfoyle after her divorce and I seem to remember a movie starlet for several years but I cannot remember her name.

Sometimes FR's knee jerks so hard that it goes straight through its forehead.

We need a news network that is NPC . The FreeRepublic News Channel has a nice sound:')

Conservatives are hard to find on Fox News. Britt Hume and Charles Krauthammer are legitimate. Billwy Kristol and Fweddie Barnes are embarrassments who claim to be conservatives.


Am I hot or not?

According to the Governator, I must be:

"I mean Cuban, Puerto-Rican, they are all very hot," the governor says on the recording. "They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it."
He said that in a closed door meeting but it was caught on tape. He said that the comments made him cringe when he read it after it hit the papers (probably because he saw votes slipping away). Schwarzenegger tossed out the standard pol apology:
"Anyone out there that feels offended by those comments, I just want to say I'm sorry, I apologize," Schwarzenegger said. He added that if he heard his children make similar comments, "I would be upset."

The statements were captured on a six-minute tape made during a March 3 speechwriting session between Schwarzenegger and his advisers. On it, Schwarzenegger and chief of staff Susan Kennedy speak affectionately of state Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia and speculate about her nationality.
Yep, racism is a rapidly becoming an ugly memory. Tony Snow told me so.

Hat tip, Waveflux.


Open thread - Papa Ratzi break

Ah, it's nice to have another gem from Mike Tidmus...

Montage : Mike Tidmus. Photos : Peter Tatchell (UK Gay News), Papa Ratzi (Jerry Lampen/Reuters).

It must be a bitch running around balancing a towering tiara, getting into and out of the Popemobile without snagging that billowing floor-length gown, and tippy-tapping your way through the masses in last-season’s Prada loafers.

...In a telling display of Vatican grace, gratitude and cooperation, Papa Ratzi used the eve of his visit to Germany to attack tolerance in general and gay people in particular.

Gloves off, bitch!
Time to chat and blogwhore!

UPDATE: Blender Daimeon points to the latest addition to Papa's fashion collection:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Pope Benedict XVI wears a "saturno hat", inspired by the ringed planet Saturn, to shield himself from the sun as he is driven through the crowd of faithful prior to his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2006. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

UPDATE 2:

How about these boyz of Ratzi run amok, passed along by Paul in SF:

Dutch priest charged in Madonna threat. And this one is few pancakes short of a stack.
Amsterdam prosecutors said Friday a 63-year-old priest has confessed to phoning in a fake bomb threat to a Madonna concert in the Dutch capital city last week. "He was hoping to stop her from performing her famous 'crucifixion' act," prosecution spokesman Robert Meulenbroek said, referring to a scene in the 48-year-old pop star's latest show.

The scene, a mock re-enactment of the crucifixion of Christ, offended some Christians during earlier concerts in Italy and Germany. Two Amsterdam concerts went ahead as planned on Sunday and Monday, despite a handful of protesters.

Meulenbroek said it was likely prosecutors would seek a community service punishment for the priest, since it was very likely this was his first such offense. The priest was arrested almost immediately after making the threat Sunday, since he used his home phone to make it, and he called an emergency services number where the call was automatically traced.
***

The pedophile priest hits keep on coming...
Former Gonzaga University President John Leary was involved in the sexual abuse of boys and young men in the 1960s, but the priest's actions were covered up by Jesuit officials, the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus said Friday. Leary, who died in 1993, led the Jesuit-run university in Spokane from 1961 to 1969. No details about the abuse or number of victims were immediately released.

"While today, stronger safeguards and clearer policies are in place, the Jesuits wish to publicly acknowledge the failures of our history and apologize to those who have suffered," the Rev. John D. Whitney of Portland, Ore., leader of the Oregon Province, said in a news release Friday. He called the cover up "uncharacteristic."

...The revelation was another blow for Catholics in the Spokane area. The Catholic Diocese of Spokane, which does not control the university, has filed for bankruptcy protection two years ago because of lawsuits filed by victims of sexual abuse by priests.


Where are the lesbian anchorwomen?

I attended an interesting panel today at the NLGJA convention, "Off Camera: The Challenges for LGBT TV Anchors," which featured four anchors, all men.
Moderator: Patrick Nolan, Main Anchor, WFTX-TV, Fort Myers
Mike Dunston, Weekend Anchor, WTVD-TV, Raleigh [he's from our local ABC affiliate, and it's actually based in Durham, not Raleigh.]
Thomas Roberts, Anchor, CNN Headline News
Craig Stevens, Main Anchor, WSVN-TV, Miami
The discussion was lively, and it offered the insight on what it's like to be an anchor where your choice to be out -- and how out -- of the closet varies a great deal. All of them are in various stages, from completely closet-free (Stevens, who has appeared in Pride parades) to a belief your colleagues and bosses know and don't care (Dunston, who hasn't specifically outed himself to his co-anchor Shae Crisson, assumes she knows because of common acquaintances).

Most of them made clear distinctions between their comfort with their work colleagues knowing about their orientation versus the general viewing public knowing. Part of the discussion, for those who are not out to the public, revolved around how or if any feel free to out themselves on the air, even though their jobs wouldn't be in jeopardy. There was clear discomfort with this, but it was hard to tell whether the stressor was about personal disclosure, versus a passive indication from management that casually outing oneself would affect ratings or community relations -- a fair question to ponder.

That said, everyone knows that, particularly in local news, local anchors have a "brand", and are often featured in station promos with the family and the dog and marketed as "part of the community." For gay anchors, there is a pressure -- real or perceived (it was hard to tell from the panelists' comments) to do a DADT on personal matters.

And you know Anderson Cooper came up as part of the discussion, referencing anchors who write bios that seem to skip an essential fact about themselves -- being gay. It does boil down to a personal decision; all of the panelists wished there were more out anchor role models to help them navigate these choppy waters of personal and professional lives and disclosure of sexual orientation. The irony is that all of these panelists have high enough profiles to be role models if they choose to do so. It's a matter of degree. It's about how you handle that newscast on Valentine's Day when all the "happy talk" turns to what people are doing for their honeys. Do you dodge making a comment, or answer honestly about your partner? Thomas and Dunston choose to live privately out, but not publicly out -- if someone finds out fine, they just aren't necessarily volunteering information unless asked directly. The irony is that even a toe out of the closet counts for something, but there was a palpable uneasiness from the panelists about being a role model themselves by being publicly out, even as they wish for an out gay anchor's lead to follow in their industry.

But to get back to the title of the post -- where are the lesbian anchorwomen -- at some point the question came up about the lack of a dyke presence on the panel (and other panels of this type at similar conferences). Moderator Patrick Nolan and Garrett Glaser, CNBC and former Entertainment Tonight reporter, who is out (and was present today), noted that they have tried to book out or semi-closeted lesbian anchors to participate in discussions and all of them have turned them down. Some refused to acknowledge that they were gay, others just didn't want to discuss the issue in a public forum.

Folks in the audience were buzzing about the need for a panel on just this topic, because no one could figure out why there were plenty of gay men willing to come forward and discuss what it's like to deal with being out on the job in this field, while the public closet door is firmly shut for women, even though it's clear that the employers don't have a problem hiring queer reporters/anchors.

Back when I was in either HS or college, I interviewed a local NYC news anchor (who's still in the chair). Even at that time, rumors swirled about that she was a lesbian, though it was never confirmed. Her bio lacked any personal information other than she lived in New York, and that she was related to a well-known jazz musician; it's the kind of generalized dodge you'd expect to see. Today she has a high enough profile (and clearly job security if she's spent over 20 years at one station) to make a difference if she was out and willing to speak openly about what it's like to be gay.

Why do you think lesbian anchors have the professional closet padlocked?


Iowa parents want HS Laramie Project staging deep-sixed

Oh, please. The excuse the parents are using is that it's all about the profanity. So far, the school is backing the play. (AP):
Some parents at Valley High School are upset over the school's decision to let students perform "The Laramie Project," a play based on Matthew Shepard, a University of Wyoming student who was killed because he was gay.

The play discusses homosexuality, uses profanity and contains violence. School officials said it teaches tolerance and acceptance of others. They hope the play will encourage families to discuss diversity, hate crimes and whether such behavior is acceptable.

"It is edgy, but it is for a mature audience," said Phyllis Staplin, West Des Moines' director of curriculum. "There is no doubt about it, this is providing a teaching opportunity for diversity and acceptance."

...The parents said they plan to express their concerns to the school board on Sept. 18. "It is inappropriate material for high schools because of the profanity," said Wendy Ogden, the parent of a drama student. "It's not the issue of homosexuality that I don't think should be discussed.

...Sara Sullivan said her daughter tried out for the play but found it difficult to find a part because she was uncomfortable with the profanity.

"The language is really inappropriate, and it kind of puts them in a predicament because they know it's wrong," she said.
An extremely successful staging of "Laramie" was put on here last year by the Durham School of the Arts, which I attended and covered because the Westboro Baptist freaks showed up to protest.

Earlier posts on the hubbub surrounding that fun:
* Durham HS receives award for The Laramie Project
* Triumphant production of The Laramie Project in Durham
* Photos from day two of the Phelps Hate Machine in Durham
* Local media coverage of Phelps clan's visit to Durham
* First shots from the Westboro Baptist Church protest in Durham, NC


The cast and director, Doug Graves, of the Durham School of the Arts; Jonathan Phelps, screeching about "saving the gerbils" outside the theater.


New documents: government knew Ground Zero air was toxic

This is bad. NYC's CBS news station has obtained documents proving that the state and local governments knew they were sending residents and workers back to Wall Street, right into a hazardous situation that has resulted in debilitating illnesses for so many.
CBS 2 News has obtained documents revealing that Lower Manhattan was reopened a few weeks following the attack even though the air was not safe. The two devastating memos, written by the U.S. and local governments, show they knew. They knew the toxic soup created at Ground Zero was a deadly health hazard. Yet they sent workers into the pit and people back into their homes.

One of the memos, from the New York City health department, dated Oct. 6, 2001, noted: "The mayor's office is under pressure from building owners ... in the Red Zone to open more of the city." The memo said the Department of Environmental Protection was "uncomfortable" with opening the areas but, "The mayor's office was directing the Office of Emergency Management to open the target areas next week."

...Another part of the memo noted: "The E.P.A. has been very slow to make data results available and to date has not sufficiently informed the public of air quality issues arising from this disaster."
Actually, the E.P.A. didn't even wait for data, as I said in my earlier post, then-head Christine Todd Whitman on September 18, 2001, represented that the air was safe to breathe, without any evidence to back up the claim.

And if Rudy Giuliani thinks this isn't going to come back to haunt him as he sucks up to the fundies in anticipation of a 2008 presidential run, take a look at this bombshell -- it should give him more agita.
What did the former mayor know about the air quality at Ground Zero and when did he know it?

An explosive memo from the federal Environmental Protection Agency to an associate commissioner at the city health department -- dated October 5, 2001 -- told the tale.

"This site ... poses threats to workers related to potential exposure to hazardous substances," the head of EPA's Response and Prevention Branch wrote. The memo went on to list the hazardous substances, which included asbestos, refrigerants, hazardous wastes, ethylene and "products of combustion emitted from the long-burning fires."

Just two days before EPA's private memo to the Giuliani administration, the agency said publicly that the air quality in Lower Manhattan was safe. It's a position the administration was still maintaining weeks later. "For residents and people who are working in the open area that has been created downtown, there is no realistic danger to health," said Joel Miele on October 26, 2001. At the time, he was the city's Commissioner of Environmental Protection.

..."The fact that the city knew that the air wasn't safe and had a responsibility to protect us and didn't do anything is a disgrace," said fire union president Stephen Cassidy. "It was all about money and it wasn't about the safety of first responders. Those people should be ashamed of themselves."

Former Mayor Giuliani was not available for comment.
Related:
* The legacy of Bush EPA lies about toxic air at Ground Zero


Parents' request to remove kids from trans teacher's class denied

In Batavia, NY, a small town of 16,000, a controversy over whether five parents could transfer their kids out of a class taught by a teacher who was transitioning ended with a denial of the transfer for technical reasons.
The written requests did not meet the guidelines set out by the district, Stutzman said Tuesday without providing specifics. "That's all between the school, the teacher, the parents," he said.
A NYT article explains the teacher's situation.
Students at Batavia High School returned from summer vacation on Wednesday morning and sat through a short presentation on the teacher’s transition and the medical condition propelling it — gender identity disorder, the fervent desire to become a member of the opposite sex and distress at one’s own gender.

The teacher, who is starting her 10th year teaching in the district, has not spoken publicly and the district has not disclosed her name, citing medical privacy laws. No news account had named her, and The New York Times chose not to do so. While she told officials last December about her plan to begin dressing as a woman and undergo hormone therapy in preparation for a sex-change operation Mr. Stutzman said the teacher and the district decided to keep the matter private until two weeks ago.

...To be sure, when the district held a meeting last month to explain the situation to parents, some of them said they were upset by the news.

"It’s wrong," Amber Robinson, the mother of a 14-year-old boy who is in one of the teacher's classes, said after the meeting. "If you've got a problem, go away. My son is academically challenged and immature — he’s not prepared to handle this. The district is encouraging my son to fail."
Oh please. How is a transgender teacher going to make this woman's kid fail? What a sad, ignorant woman.

She'd fit in well with the knuckle-draggers of Freeperland, who are outraged that somehow, all parental rights are under attack.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

Where the hell is the aCLU? These students have rights too, don't they?

Actually, according to the ACLU, your only right is to be subjected the deviant behavior of every twisted liberal on this planet.

There's the problem. Why would they ask rather than just remove their children? They should also be organizing the recall of the school board.

Parents and students have no rights that the State does not grant them. Homosexuality was supposed to be about consenting adults in private. This blows that lie out of the water. Putting it before minors in public. Indoctrination. Welcome to the liberal world.

The ACLU can't fight for both the students and the transexual at the same time, it isn't ethical. On the other hand, the ACLU might just be stupid enough to actually do that.

God must turn His head puking over this! I know I am.

This article inspired me....to post a couple more news articles about home education.

I would be hard pressed to vote to convict any of these parents from taking actions to protect their children should they be arrested. Not guilty by reason of sanity.

What is really unsettling about this report is that apparently only FIVE of this nutcase's students have parents with enough morals and/or moxie to request a transfer out.

Destroy our planet Lord, I'm begging you.

Hey send these students to the private academy where I work. Momma don't allow any guitar playin trannies around here. http://www.stjohnsburyacademy.org

For the love of God, parents if you love your children get them out of the government schools immediately.

I'm sure that if the teacher was a military veteran and the parents wanted their students out of the class, the school would have allowed it. After all, you can't have deviant people contaminating the minds of our youth...

More evidence that Court rules schools, not parents, control sex subjects

What amazes me is these parents who haven't ripped their children out of public screwel. If this is okay with them, then obviously anything is okay with them. Imagine trying to explain to your kid (a) what being a transsexual is and (b) why they have to accept/tolerate it.

It's so beyond criminally insane that I can't even say anything more. It's nothing but child abuse. Mental abuse.

This is what it has come to, all those "special rights" I hope those who say we shouldn't have a MPA are happy now, this is what they refused to accept would happen. And it will keep happening, since it is the very reason for all the discrimination in employment is all about, and the teachers unions are the biggest lobbyist for them. It's been said many many times here, and I concur! Get your kids out of these govt indoctrination centers while you still can.

I notice only five parents requested transfers, and were turned down. After re reading the article, there were more than 5. The others found other reasons they knew would get them transfers. In other words they addressed the problem without mentioning why. Still...........disturbing on so many levels it is hard to even comprehend. And how is one "diagnosed" with something that exists in the liberal mind set, and planted there by the same indoctrination, no doubt.

The future of this country is in serious trouble.

This is about body mutilation. This teacher didn't care for his own penis and had it whacked off. Certainly this has to play on the minds of the young men in his class ~ they're sitting there thinking "what if he wants to cut mine off too".

We had this going on in our office ~ many men were bothered immensely by his presence ~ just couldn't trust him. It's highly disruptive and children should not be subjected to this sort of torture and abuse by school administrators.

The other parents are afraid ~ when you have an individual running about mutilating himself, apparantly with the support of the courts and expensive lawyers, you should be reluctant to face down these kooks. On the other hand, you should get your kid out of that situation.

It's so beyond criminally insane that I can't even say anything more. It's nothing but child abuse. Mental abuse. That's exactly what it is. Sick, isn't it?


Maryland may elect the country's first openly gay black state lawmakers

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund has endorsed two black candidates for Maryland House of Delegates, Anthony McCarthy and Mary Washington. If either is elected, this will be a milestone, as both are openly gay. It will also toss a wrench into the intellectually bankrupt black homobigot machine, which paints homosexuality as a white man's perversion -- McCarthy, running in District 44 (Baltimore) is also a pastor, btw. (Wash Blade):
"We stand at a very unique opportunity in this country, where civil rights are at the forefront of state legislatures," [McCarthy] said. "It goes to figure that Mary Washington, and I would seize this moment as an opportunity to be a part of that debate."

Washington, a business professional running in District 43 (Baltimore), said being known as the nation's first openly gay black legislator would help her succeed in Annapolis. "I have a unique and interesting opportunity to build some bridges," she said. "I really look forward to being able to build new alliances."

[Robin Brand of the Victory Fund] said a victory by either candidate would reinforce Maryland's progressive political tendencies. "It shows that even in predominantly African-American districts, voters care more about what their elected officials can do for them on the issues they care about than they do about the sexual orientation of the person who represents them," she said.

...McCarthy said his sexual orientation has rarely been an issue during his campaign, and he did not expect the Victory Fund endorsement to change that.

But even if it did, he said, the plight of gay Marylanders is something to which black Marylanders can relate.

“When it comes to civil rights, when it comes to human rights,” he said, “the African-American community is acutely aware of what it’s like to live in America and be treated like second-class citizens.”


Abercrombie & Fitch displays give fundies the vapors

Some laughable outfit called the American Decency Association is bleating away, telling good "Christians" to pull money out of mutual funds that invest in Abercrombie & Fitch to punish it for risqué ads.
A pro-family organization that once led a campaign against suggestive images used in advertising by specialty retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) says the company is once again crossing the line. This time the American Decency Association (ADA) is recommending to its supporters that they send a message that will hit Abercrombie & Fitch where it hurts.

ADA President Bill Johnson says while A&F's catalogue images and in-store advertising are not as sexually provocative and erotic as several years ago, "some of the displays that they now have in their stores are concerning." This includes in-store wall displays depicting male and female models that are either partially or completely nude.

"One is a bare-chested male with no underwear, with pants unzipped," Johnson recalls. "That is certainly one of the great concerns. And another is that there's a life-sized poster of a young female with hands over her bare breasts," he says.

.."On our web page at AmericanDecency.org, we do actually have a list of the large ten mutual funds of Abercrombie & Fitch," the pro-family group's leader notes. "So that, of course, is our hope here, that people will pull their moneys away from the mutual funds that are attached to Abercrombie & Fitch and place them with clean investing."
That's fine. They are entitled to do that. I just think they are getting way overheated about nothing. But that's what these folks do best, huh?


In Miami

I'm here.

The airport experience at RDU was uneventful. Breezed through, no Cinnabombers racing on the plane with hot coffee. The non-stop flight was fairly empty, and uneventful. Until we landed.

As we approached the gate, the pilot announced not to unbuckle when we came to a stop -- the plane would be towed the rest of the way to the gate. I think this was because of the tight turn that had to be made to sidle up to the passageway. Anyway. We stop, there is a jerk and vibration. The towing truck had hooked on. We began to move, probably not 25 feet and then there is a big snap noise and vibration.

The pilot comes back on and says the tow hitch mechanism broke. So we have to sit and wait for them to get the broken hitch released from the plane. About 10 minutes go by and then the pilot announces
"We have a cast of thousands standing outside, maybe one of them will put down a clipboard and figure out how to get the tow gear off the plane. If you need to use the "facilities", you can go ahead; I'll announce when it looks like we're going to be moving again."
I actually start dozing off after laughing (I didn't sleep well the night before). Several minutes go by and the pilot says "we only have one man with a clipboard now, something should start happening soon." Lots of trucks and rubbernecking airport workers on electric carts, and luggage vehicles drive by, laughing and staring.

Yawn. FINALLY, about 40 minutes after we landed, some brain figured out how to get the hitch off and got a new one on. We pull into the gate. Miami's weather today was about the same as NC; the humidity is about the same.

***

Got my checked bag, went out to get a shuttle (shared van ride) to the Loews Miami. Most shuttle drivers are pretty scary drivers, and this man was no exception. The rule of the day is strap yourself in and close your eyes.

I don't remember much about the ride, it was a blur, aside from the fact that this driver has to get crap mileage in this van because he kept gunning it and braking the whole way, weaving in and out of traffic. In these larger vans, the suspension is ok, so your butt doesn't break on bumps; the downside is that the bouncing and swaying may require some dramamine.

***

Finally got in around 7PM and the hotel had canceled my reservation, it was made long ago. Someone booked my check-in as yesterday (wrong), and since I "didn't show up" my reservation was kaput. The manager had to get involved, typed feverishly on the keyboard, and he restored my reservation. Dropped my bags off and came down to check in for the NLGJA's conference and get my badge.

I was late so I missed the newcomer's reception, but checked out the Caucus Open House. Ran into Sean Bugg of Metro Weekly, who recognized me (I hadn't met him before). He did the wonderful interview with SLDN's Brian Fricke. Introvert that I am, I did a quick surf of the various groups meeting then went out in the hall to speak to Ms. Julien (via phone), who had called to say she couldn't make it to the conference. Sigh. Oh well, I don't know anyone here. Went down to get something to drink and eat.

Anyhow. I'm beat, so I came up to the room and I'm typing this blog. The Loews is a beautiful hotel, but it gets big demerits for charging for high-speed access -- and it isn't even wireless -- $9.95/day to surf in your room. Oh well, I'm sucking it up for the cause.

Tomorrow there are some interesting panels, I'll be going to Lavender Press Politics: Too Blue for Red State Readers? and Covering the Uncovered: Reporting on the Poor & Powerless.

***

Porno Pete unhinged over NLGJA conference sponsors

Hahahahahahahahaha. Well, isn't that special? He's foaming at the mouth at the corporate sponsorship of this event, turning on the blasters full force over at Americans for Truth.
Fox News and Wal-mart are among the high-level ($10,000) sponsors of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association’s (NLGJA) 2006 Convention in Miami (Sept 7-10 at Loew’s Miami Beach Hotel). Every year, the NLGJA garners hundreds of thousands of dollars in Big Media sponsorships for its convention; this year it appears (based on the sponsorship list below) that the total is around half a milliion dollars in corporate support.

The NLGJA bills itself as merely a professional organization for journalists who “happen to be gay,” as the liberal cliche goes. But the organization advocates a pro-homosexual “spinning” of the news not unlike the activist group GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

...While it is true that the “mainstream” (read: dominant liberal) media is so pro-homosexuality these days that it is hard to discern between media activism and plain old homosexual-group activism, that does not make it right. The media should play it down the middle on homosexuality and other controversial issues, not serve as a cheerleader for the “gay rights” cause.
He holds special contempt for Wal-Mart, noting by the "Feature Level" sponsorship listing for the retailer, "that’s right, the same Wal-Mart that recently gave $25,000 to National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is also sponsoring NLGJA–Ed." This passage in his screed is particularly interesting.
Yet over the years, NLGJA members have repeatedly suggested that covering “both sides” of homosexuality-related issues is like quoting the KKK on stories about African Americans–a preposterous analogy especially considering that Blacks and minorities poll stronger against “gay marriage” than whites.
Huh? What does one have to do with the other?


Bush losing the Hispanic Evangelicals

"There's an old saying in Texas, I think they have it in Mexico, California, Arizona, and New Mexico, too. 'Fool me once, shame on... shame on you. Fool me... uh... you can't get fooled again!'"

Looks like the Jeebus-lovin' Hispanic population is worried more about deportation and prison than married fags or dying womb babies:
Evangelical Hispanics turning away from GOP
Once-promising alliance fractures over immigration crackdown

WASHINGTON - House Republicans knew that leaders of liberal Hispanic organizations would castigate them for passing hard-edged legislation last December calling for 700 miles of new fencing on the U.S.-Mexican border and for elevating illegal immigration to a felony and making it a permanent disqualifier for American citizenship. What they didn't foresee was that the Rev. Luis Cortes Jr., one of the most prominent Hispanic evangelicals to support President Bush's re-election, would turn against their party.

The 48-year-old Baptist minister heads Esperanza USA, which bills itself as the nation's largest Hispanic faith-based community- development organization. It controls Nueva Esperanza (Spanish for "new hope"), a Philadelphia-based network of social services, including a charter high school, a community college, and a $28 million economic development program.

After the 2000 election, Bush's political team was determined to boost the president's support among Latino voters and correctly saw evangelical Hispanics -- nearly one-fifth of the Hispanic population -- as especially promising. Cortes became a focus of that strategy.

In 2004, the Bush administration's courtship paid off. Cortes, who had backed Ralph Nader in 2000, endorsed Bush. And on Election Day, Bush's share of the Hispanic vote rose from 31 percent to at least 40 -- with virtually all of the increase coming not from Catholics but from Protestant evangelicals like Cortes. After the election, Cortes told The New York Times, "I'm not red, and I'm not blue. I'm brown. You want an endorsement? Give us a check, and you can take a picture of us accepting it. Because then you've done something for brown."

But now, House Republicans' hard-line stands on immigration are clearly jeopardizing their party's gains among Hispanic evangelicals. Over the past year, in a shift frightening to GOP operatives, Cortes has become an outspoken critic of the House Republican leadership, warning of a massive exodus of Latinos from the GOP. "The Far Right is using rhetoric to frame [immigration] in a manner that convinces the majority of Americans that the only alternative is to hunt down and punish these 'drug-dealing people,' " Cortes told National Journal. Republican House leaders "have gone too far, a sign that they are desperate and have no true agenda for our country. They should be ashamed, and as a person of faith I have to believe that this will backfire, as it is clearly an act of cowardice."
Tsk, tsk. No amor para el presidenté de Estados Unidos.


Problem: Bad Grades. Solution: More Drugs!

I'm looking through these big tubes as I scan the internets when this little gem appears on MSNBC:
Seeking straight A's, parents push for pills
Pediatricians report increasing requests for 'academic doping'

A 15-year-old girl and her parents recently came in for a chat with Dr. James Perrin, a Boston pediatrician, because they were concerned about the girl's grades. Previously an A student, she was slipping to B's, and the family was convinced attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was at fault — and that a prescription for Ritalin would boost her brainpower.

Parents want their kids to excel in school, and they've heard about the illegal use of stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall for "academic doping." Hoping to obtain the drugs legally, they pressure pediatricians for them. Some even request the drugs after openly admitting they don't believe their child has ADHD.

Academic doping — using these stimulant prescriptions in an effort to enhance focus, concentration and mental stamina — first started on college campuses, especially Ivy League and exclusive, competitive schools. Now, the problem is filtering down to secondary schools, Yates says, and more parents are playing a role in obtaining prescription ADHD medication for their teenagers.
I can only imagine that these parents, hoping to score some Ritalin for their kid, are the same kind of people who would freak out if they caught their kid with meth, and not even see the irony that both are very powerful addictive stimulants. These are the same kind of people who would believe that smoking a joint will make you grow manboobs, make you sterile, make you run over a little girl at a drive-thru, make you shoot your best friend with daddy's handgun, and make you finance terrorism, but figure Ritalin must be okay because it is legal.

Message to those kinds of parents: It's not the lack of Ritalin. Your kid just is just dumb or lazy. Get over it. Take away the TV, PlayStation, & PC in their room and make them study. Get yourself away from the TV and help them.


Back in the air


It seems like I've been in an airport way too much after this damn liquid/gel ban. I haven't traveled this much in one year.

I'm off to Miami to attend the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association's 2006 National Convention. I can't believe I'm heading to a place even more humid than NC...

Hopefully, I won't see any Cinnabombers in the airport.

The Saturday panel I'm on is Advocacy + Personality + Journalism = Blogging (here's the program).

I'll have my laptop and will blog about the goings-on when I can.

***

Looks like Bill Clinton's pissed at ABC for its fantasy 9/11 docudrama POS. You can tell ABC what you think of its transformation into Chimpy's PR Machine as well.

Shakes Sis has more.


Not to be believed -- an 'ex-gay' TV show

"The last thing people of faith need is more pure propaganda and pure nonsense that is rejected by every mainstream mental health organization in the nation. We are deeply concerned that innocent young people dealing with their sexual orientation will be led to self-destructive behavior, including suicide, by a show designed to confuse fact with fiction."
-- Truth Wins Out'sExecutive Director Wayne Besen, on the launch of "Pure Passion," an ex-gay show debuting on two "Christian" nets.
Good god. On September 18, some outlet called The Sky Angel Satellite Network will run "Pure Passion". The show will also run on the Christian Television Network.

So, is it going to be a "Survivor"-type show, where homos who fall off the wagon get booted from the program, or is it just a celebration of "freedom from homosexuality?" Take a look at the hosts, and imagine the programming.
The show, produced by Mastering Life Ministries, will be hosted by David Kyle Foster, a former male prostitute; Exodus International President and self-confessed former thief Alan Chambers; pop singer Sy Rogers; and ex-lesbian activist and self-avowed former "home-wrecker" Christine Sneeringer.


Responses to Joe's challenge

So far, Joe Brummer hasn't had too many anti-gay takers on his challenge, which I posted about a few days ago. The questions he posed:
Part 1: Please explain to me what the world would look like if your mission was accomplished when it comes to gays. Paint me a picture of how the world would look if that which you are trying to achieve comes to "BE". Show me what the end goal would look like when it is finally met.

Part 2: Considering lots of people don't believe the same way you do, tell me if the actions, process and appraoch you are taking is really helping people. How is your ministry, blog, website or organization helping to reach that goal.
Two have stepped up to the plate with responses -- Mark at Chester Street and PHB contributor Russ's anti-blogger Adam Graham.

Surf over to Joe's pad as well to view the comments in responses. Come back and share your take.


Wisconsin's nail-biter marriage amendment battle

Fair Wisconsin's effort to get voters turn away a marriage amendment at the polls this fall got a boost from seventeen members of the Wisconsin Bar Association.

The amendment would bar gays and lesbians from marrying as well as prevent adoption of civil unions. (365gay):
In an open letter the group said they were speaking as individual lawyers and not for the bar association, but their prominence in the state adds to a growing list of Wisconsin notables voicing their concerns over the measure.

In the letter they site three key concerns: the purpose of the state constitution, existing law limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples, and the adverse consequences passage of the proposal would have on the children of same-sex couples.

"Our founding fathers drafted our Constitution to embrace rights and freedoms which were to stand firm through all time and through all political changes. Wisconsin’s Constitution, like the United States Constitution, is a document which grants rights to citizens. It is not, has not been, and should not be used as a political means to restrict the rights of any citizens," the lawyers said.

"The proposed constitutional amendment could harm the health and welfare of Wisconsin children and families. For example, it could preclude children from obtaining health care benefits or preclude parents from making emergency health care decisions for their children. Similar bans in other states also have been used to deny legal protections to battered women who live with, but are not married to, their abusers," The letter says.
The vote is going to be close. An August poll by WISC-TV of Madison and conducted by Research 2000 found that 48% percent of likely Wisconsin voters favor a state constitutional amendment, with 40% opposed (12 percent were not sure).

The fundies are equally up for the battle, using the same old saw, homo-straw-man scare tactics. Anti-gay videos are being sent to churches to stir up sheeple support.
Traditional marriage must be legally defended for the sake of children, the executive director of the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin told a local group at a forum Wednesday night.

"Children need moms and dads," Julaine Appling said at the informational forum at First Evangelical Free Church. "When we purposely create motherless or fatherless homes, we’re saying children don't matter."

...Appling also said a failed amendment would lead not just to same-sex marriage, but legalized polygamy and group-marriage. "Right behind (the homosexuals) are standing the polygamists," she said. Federal law prohibits polygamy.

Among the reasons she listed was "Why Marriage Matters," a book listing 26 problems children of unmarried couples face in life. The book cites research in the social sciences and says children fare worse in school, are more prone to delinquent behavior and more likely to be in failed marriages.
That last paragraph actually makes the case for civil equality -- if gays can marry, then that adds stability to a child's life, using her argument. I'm assuming her ultimate goal is to prevent homos from having children.

Related:
* Will Wisconsin defeat a marriage amendment?
* Reading between the lines of upcoming state marriage amendments


ABC/Disney's 'Path to 9/11' meltdown

A PR nightmare. Richard at All Spin Zone notes that Scholastic, which had partnered with ABC to produce study guides/propaganda for download, has yanked links to the material from its web site.
Two days ago, I wrote about Scholastic Books catapulting the "Path to 9/11" propaganda.  More than 400 comments were made at a crossposting that I did on Daily Kos, the vast majority of the comments containing excellent suggestions for action, and outrage that Scholastic would be supporting this crock-u-mentary with propaganda reinforcement.

Scholastic was flooded with calls and emails of protest and righteous indignation. Tonight, the material is no longer on Scholastic's website.  Poof.  Disappeared.

From a comment in this subsequent DKos diary, the commentor tried to click through on the link to Scholastic's resource website earlier this evening.  This is the link we were all hitting yesterday for our research.

Tonight, the link comes up to a blank search page.

Thinking this was merely a site problem or something, I did a quick search of the Scholastic website.

Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch. Bupkis.
Someone's ass is on fire over there. It will be interesting to see whether Scholastic intends to release a statement about the matter.

***

Meanwhile, overnight, it seems like an explosion of more information has come out about this fantasy melodrama about 9/11, via Ablog:
* More former Clinton administration officials have weighed in, including Bruce Lindsey. That's a sign that while Bill Clinton may not be saying much publicly about this matter, behind the scenes he's piping mad and has set the dogs loose.
* Editor and Publisher magazine has found even more significant errors in the tv show.
* The Democratic Party issued a vicious letter attacking Disney for interfering with the national elections, and implying quite strongly that Disney may pay a price with their broadcast licenses. [A letter-writing campaign is here.]
* A Disney/ABC insider's email leaks proving that the intent behind this show is to blame Clinton for everything, and causing Disney/ABC a major embarrassment.
* 9/11 Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste goes on national TV to blast the show.
* A top former Bush counterterrorism official goes on national TV to blast the show.
* The Washington Post writes a damning front-section story on the entire affair for tomorrow's paper.
And, of course, the filmmakers decided that the whole "Pet Goat" debacle simply didn't need to be portrayed in the film -- it's irrelevant, right?

My personal favorite nuclear bomb about this meltdown went off this AM in the NYT. ABC admits it's editing the miniseries up until air date. Gee, are they just realizing the number of outright lies in the film?
Three members of the Clinton administration have written the chief executive of the Walt Disney Company, ABC's parent, to complain that the network's coming two-part miniseries "The Path to 9/11" is fraught with factual errors and fabrications.

...One of the officials, former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, said in her letter to the Disney executive, Robert A. Iger, that although she had requested a copy of the film, ABC had not given her one. But, Ms. Albright said, she has been told by people who have seen it that it "depicts scenes that never happened, events that never took place, decisions that were never made and conversations that never occurred."

"It asserts as fact things that are not fact," she wrote.

.. ABC, meanwhile, continued to explain that the mini-series, though largely drawn from the report of the Sept. 11 commission, was a dramatization, not a documentary. But the network appeared to be leaving the door open to last-minute changes in the film.

"It is common practice to continue to make edits to strengthen a project right up to the broadcast date," said Hope Hartman, an ABC spokeswoman.
Remember, this film was sent out to 100,000 teachers to share with students as teaching material...portraying it as a FACTUAL study guide. This is about rewriting history. Two of the lies...
* Ms. Albright said a scene in which she refuses to support a cruise missile strike against Mr. bin Laden without first alerting the Pakistani government was untrue. Ms. Albright (played by Shirley Douglas) also said the suggestion that she had alerted the Pakistani military to an imminent strike was “false and defamatory.”

* [Sandy] Berger (played by Kevin Dunn) said a scene in which he is shown refusing to authorize a strike to kill Mr. bin Laden in Afghanistan “flagrantly misrepresents my personal actions” and will serve “only to grossly misinform the American people.”
With all the complaints about Oliver Stone's JFK being a rewrite of history -- he was scorched in the media at the time -- there was never any attempt by the filmmaker to pimp the film as a study guide to teach young people about an historical event. ABC is in a sh*tstorm of trouble over this.


Governator vetos textbook anti-bias bill

After the fundie eruption last week, he bowed down before them for this one. (365gay):
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation on Wednesday that would prohibit any negative portrayal of gays in textbooks and other instructional material.

The bill was an amended version of an earlier one that would have mandated the teaching of LGBT history in state schools that Schwarzenegger warned he would veto. The weakened version passed the Senate last week.

Conservative Republicans and anti-gay political action groups have been pressuring the governor to reject even the new version.

In a statement from his office Schwarzenegger said the bill was vague and potentially confusing and was redundant because California's education code already prohibits discrimination in schools.

The statement also said that everyone is entitled to "equal rights and opportunities in our state educational institutions, regardless of their sex, ethnic group, race, national origin, religion, disability and sexual orientation."


Open thread - caption this

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Actual caption: White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove (L) laughs as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes whispers in his ear before U.S. President George W. Bush makes remarks on terrorism in the East Room of the White House in Washington, September 6, 2006. Bush acknowledged for the first time on Wednesday that some foreign terrorism suspects have been held by the CIA outside the United States. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES)

What is Karen "Mommy" Hughes saying to Turdblossom?

Karl certainly wasn't smiling about this hitting the internets: Authors claim Rove lobbied to get Abramoff, 'gay stepdad' chapters removed from book.


The legacy of Bush EPA lies about toxic air at Ground Zero

While Dear Leader is pumped up on the air by ABC's fantasy docudrama, people should be reminded that the Bush administration is directly responsible for the respiratory dangers that rescue workers, and anyone breathing in the air at Ground Zero were exposed to on that fateful day. It was all because then-EPA head Christine Todd Whitman stood up and told a baldface lie to everyone that the air was A-OK.

Back in February of this year, a judge said Whitman could be sued for her statements. (NYC Public Radio):
On September 18, 2001, as fires still smoldered at the the trade center, Whitman said the air in Lower Manhattan was "safe to breathe." She continued to reassure New Yorkers in the days and weeks that followed.

US District Court Judge Deborah Batts called Whitman's statements "misleading," and "conscience-shocking." She did not grant Whitman immunity from the lawsuit. Residents, students and workers in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn sued in 2004, saying the actions of Whitman and the EPA endangered their health.

They argue the EPA did not have enough information to make its claims about air quality, especially for indoor spaces contaminated by dust.
And in April, the BBC reported that the number of people with medical problems related to the dust released during the WTC 9/11 attacks on New York has risen to at least 15,000.

Today, the NYT reports that Mount Sinai Medical Center has released the results of a study that make it clear that the mounting and persistent respiratory illnesses from that exposure to toxic dust is very real. Will Bush pony up for spreading the lies about the safety of that air?
The largest health study yet of the thousands of workers who labored at ground zero shows that the impact of the rescue and recovery effort on their health has been more widespread and persistent than previously thought, and is likely to linger far into the future.

...For example, one-third of the patients in the new study showed diminished lung capacity in tests designed to measure the amount of air a person can exhale. Among nonsmokers, 28 percent were found to have some breathing impairment, more than double the rate for nonsmokers in the general population.

The study is among the first to show that many of the respiratory ailments — like sinusitis and asthma, and gastrointestinal problems related to them — initially reported by ground zero workers persisted or grew worse in the years after 9/11.

..."There should no longer be any doubt about the health effects of the World Trade Center disaster," said Dr. Robin Herbert, co-director of Mount Sinai's World Trade Center Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening Program. "Our patients are sick, and they will need ongoing care for the rest of their lives."

Dr. Herbert called the findings, which will be published tomorrow in Environmental Health Perspectives, the journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, "very worrisome," especially because 40 percent of those who went to Mount Sinai for medical screening did not have health insurance, and will thus not get proper medical care.
Up to 40,000 people -- rescue and recovery workers -- were exposed to toxins by that decision to declare the air safe to breathe on 9/11.

John also posted on this.


The wailing, whining wingnuts

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Oh, my, I sense flop sweat in the air over the midterm elections from the fundies -- "Is GOP Ignoring the Conservative Christian Vote?"
Capitol Hill conservative icon Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation says there could be huge changes ahead for the United States after the November elections. The GOP, he says, is in "deep, deep trouble." And according to Weyrich, an "anti-incumbency" attitude is sweeping the nation.


Rev. Rob Schenck, director of the National Clergy Council in Washington, DC, agrees with Weyrich's assessment, saying the Republican leaders have turned their backs on the grassroots of the Party, which is their strength. He contends Party leaders have forgotten that Christians "were really driving the revival of the Republican Party."

...Instead of looking to conservatives like [unhinged Katherine] Harris, Schenck suggests that Republican leaders are leaning a different direction in their search for new leadership in the Party -- and they do not like depending on the "religious" voters for their wins, he adds.

"They forget and they say, 'Well, maybe it really wasn't [the religious vote]. Maybe it was something else,'" Schenck comments. "And so they start inviting leadership like Arnold Schwarzenegger and even Rudolph Giuliani, notwithstanding his leadership during the 9-11 crisis."

Giuliani and Schwarzenegger and "other Republican personalities like them represent anything but religious sensibilities," says the National Clergy Council leader.


DADT: women discharged at higher rate than men

This policy of ejecting trained, professional gay folks from a military that is hurting and desperate to find recruits is insane.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network reports that women in the military are being discharged at twice the rate of their presence under Don't Ask Don't Tell.
While women account for approximately 15 percent of the armed forces, they totaled 30 percent of those dismissed under the gay ban in FY2005. In all, 219 women out of a total of 726 service members were discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The Army, reported discharging 146 women in 2005; the Navy, 31; the Air Force, 28; and the Marine Corps, 14.

"Women have a long and rich history of service to our country," said SLDN executive director C. Dixon Osburn. "Our nation is safer and more secure because of the contributions made by all women, including lesbian and bisexual women, in our armed forces. It is high time we honored the service of these patriotic women by repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' once and for all."

An October 2004 Urban Institute study revealed the long history of service by the lesbian community. The study revealed that not only do the rates of service by coupled lesbians surpass that of other women, but that they serve longer than other women. Of women ages 18-67 who served in the armed forces, over 80 percent of coupled lesbians reported having served more than two years, compared with 74 percent of other women.


The Pet Goat excised from ABC 9/11 fantasy drama

How on earth can you leave out that shining moment of ineptitude of Bush sitting there in a classroom while America was under attack on 9/11? If you're pushing propaganda, as ABC is with its Bush-cheering POS "The Path to 911" it's an event that must be ignored lest it dull the sheen on Dear Leader.

Editor and Publisher has a good synopsis of the film -- it received an advance review copy. You should read it. It's shameless. (E&P):
Most of the first half, to be aired Sunday, explores the terrorist threat starting with the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center, and there is little question that President Clinton is dealt with severely, almost mockingly, with the Lewinsky scandal closely tied to his failure to cripple al-Qaeda.

It ends with a long segment on the day of the attacks and top officials' response -- though we only see President Bush in his speech to the nation, not in the Florida classroom with "The Pet Goat."
This tripe will be aired without commercials so that continuous pole-stroking can occur in Freeperland.

A reminder of what really went down on 9/11:



If you think this isn't about propaganda, take a look at this (Think Progress):
ABC has refused to provide a copy to President Clinton's office. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National Security Adviser Samuel Berger have also requested copies of the film from ABC, and both have been denied. Both Berger and Albright are harshly criticized in the film in scenes that, according to former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, are "180 degrees from what happened."
Needless to say, Rush Limbaugh and right wing bloggers have had copies of the film sail into their mailboxes.


The joke's on Randall Terry and Katherine Harris

Randall Terry, unhinged founder of the forced-birth group Operation Rescue, took an ass-whooping in the GOP primary for the state Senate seat in Florida yesterday.

Terry's campaign was to be a referendum on family values, but he was soundly trounced. Oops. His prayers were not answered.
State Senator Jim King by an overwhelming margin won reelection. He was challenged in the Republican party by Randall Terry.

King who has won every election since 1986 won again by a wide margin capturing nearly 70 percent of the vote in the District 8 senate race.

After the win, King characterized the race that took many negative turns as "caustic." King says his win turned out to be, "...a defining moment whether mainstream Republicans can exist within a party with some people who consider themselves far right or far left. I think we proved that tonight."

Terry who ran on a pro-life platform with a background of being the head of Operation Rescue says he will be back. Terry promises to run for either another house or senate seat.
A little while back I posted about Terry's adopted children, including his gay son, who were conspicuously missing from his campaign materials and web site. He couldn't paper over the hypocrisy.

The whole family values bit also probably wore thin since it's fairly common knowledge that Terry was blasted by his fellow bible beaters and censured by his church "for a pattern of repeated sinful relationships and conversations with both single and married women."

***

Similarly, in his own way, Florida's Katherine Harris's God is playing tricks with her, allowing her to cruise to a primary win, ensuring that incumbent U.S. Senator Bill Nelson will be re-elected.

It will also give us more fabulous time to watch her futher unravel in the public eye, for Republicans all over to cringe. We may even get to see her go through another few sets of campaign staffers before the election.

Nice: "Whenever we legislate sin," she said, "and we say abortion is permissible and we say gay unions are permissible, then average citizens who are not Christians, because they don't know better, we are leading them astray and it's wrong . . ."

"And if we are the ones not actively involved in electing those godly men and women," then "we're going to have a nation of secular laws. That's not what our founding fathers intended and that's (sic) certainly isn't what God intended."


Osama's still free as a bird

Zogby poll: Do you agree or disagree that there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 terror attacks?

65% of Republicans agreed.

32% and 39% of Dems and Independents (a scarily high figure) also believe the lie. The Faux News disinformation machine has clearly worked; we've got a country full of sheeple.
Pollster John Zogby: "Five years after 9/11, the dramatic results from this survey are found in the different partisan perceptions of national security, and what people believe should be done to keep our country safe. Democrats and independents line up against the policies of the Bush administration, while Republicans line up supporting them.

“Most Republicans said it was right for the U.S. to expand the war on terrorism by attacking Iraq, that there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 terror attacks, and that they believe the government should have the right to conduct searches of personal property and telephone conversations to find terrorists. Most Democrats disagree on every point.

***

While those people are in a fog as the fifth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, it's time to pass along this bit of information that is a helluva lot more meaningful than the fantasy ties to Saddam, courtesy of ABC's Brian Ross and Gretchen Peters:
Bin Laden Gets a Pass from Pakistan

Osama bin Laden, America's most wanted man, will not face capture in Pakistan if he agrees to lead a "peaceful life," Pakistani officials tell ABC News. The surprising announcement comes as Pakistani army officials announced they were pulling their troops out of the North Waziristan region as part of a "peace deal" with the Taliban.

If he is in Pakistan, bin Laden "would not be taken into custody," Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan told ABC News in a telephone interview, "as long as one is being like a peaceful citizen."

...In addition to the pullout of Pakistani troops, the "peace agreement" between Pakistan and the Taliban also provides for the Pakistani army to return captured Taliban weapons and prisoners.

"What this means is that the Taliban and al Qaeda leadership have effectively carved out a sanctuary inside Pakistan," said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, the former White House counter-terrorism director.

The agreement was signed on the same day President Bush said the United States was working with its allies "to deny terrorists the enclaves they seek to establish in ungoverned areas across the world."
So much for the War on Terror. Thousands of Americans perished on 9/11, and there are direct ties to bin Laden, yet the U.S. and its alleged ally in the War on Terror, Pakistan, has given the man safe harbor. That should be all over the media.

Richard Cranium at All Spin Zone:
When I heard this news a little while ago, I was literally blown away. Here's a guy, number one (no longer with a bullet, apparently) on the Terrorism Hot 100 list, and one of our key allies [snicker] in the global war on terror, Pakistan [guffaw] is calling Century 21 agents for him! [BWAHAHaHahahahaha...]

...I'm waiting for some intrepid reporter to ask Tony Snow tomorrow about the much ballyhoo'd “National Strategy for Combating Terrorism” that the Bush regime released today, and ask how the “get out of jail free card” that was handed to Osama fits into their plans...

Don't hold your breath for coverage of this -- or for Dems to actually take this ball and run with it. I'd be pleasantly surprised if this happens.

***

After all, despite the great work of Ross and Peters over at ABC, the rest of the network has hopped into bed with the administration as GOP Broadcast Network #2, as it plans to air the docudrama, “The Path to 9/11,” on September 10th and 11th.

This film, it turns out, was penned by conservative shills Cyrus Nowrasteh and David Cunningham, and it appears only winger bloggers are receiving advance viewing copies of the film. The network is feeling the heat and the public blog on the fictionalized beauty treatment of Bush, has been yanked, now that the winger hoax cat is out of the bag.

Firedoglake points to The Spotlight Project, which will allow you to contact the media about this obvious suck-off of the administration in an election year when GOP numbers have been imploding, based on facts.

And there's more -- Jon at Perrspectives:
While ABC is complicit in doing the bidding of the conservative propaganda machine with the upcoming “Path to 9/11,” ABC News has maintained a seeming vow of silence. Instead, ABC World News Tonight with Charles Gibson on Sunday focused its venom on the new "Iraq for Sale" documentary from "Outfoxed" producer Robert Greenwald. Without investigating the allegations of contractor fraud and profiteering detailed in the film, ABC's Dan Harris suggested Greenwald's documentary was purely partisan.

And where's Osama? I guess he's out house-shopping in Pakistan right now.


Op-ed debate on black homophobia

Sheryl McCarthy, a black freelance writer and columnist for Newsday and a a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors, wrote an interesting op-ed on gay civil rights and homophobia in the religious black community. It covers much of the ground we've walked here on the Blend.
The fight for gay rights is like our civil rights struggle, however, and it's hypocritical for groups that have had to fight long and hard to win their own constitutional rights to turn around and try to deny them to the next group. We're seeing this in the descendants of immigrant groups that were despised and vilified during their early days in this country, and that now want to deny recent immigrants the means to become lawful citizens.

This hypocrisy was apparent to me as I was growing up in a black Baptist church. I routinely heard ministers condemn gays from the pulpit, even though half the male choir members, the choir director, the flower arranger and plenty of other male church members were obviously gay. The church would have had difficulty functioning without them.

...I won't attempt to argue with the Scriptures, other than to say they reflect the mores and biases of the times they were written. And just as there are Scriptures ordering slaves to obey their masters, cautioning women to be silent in church and submissive at home, and applauding the persecution of the Jews because they killed Jesus, none of these positions is argued by enlightened people today.

I won't dismiss the beliefs of blacks who believe that homosexuality is immoral, but I'd caution them that morality has often been used as a cloak for old-fashioned bigotry, fear and discomfort with people and behaviors that are different.
In response, one of the ace black homobigot pastors, Bishop Harry Jackson, Chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, stepped forward to denounce McCarthy's observations and to explain away the issue with a plea to "Separate pro-family values, anti-gay bigotry."
Sheryl McCarthy's recent commentary grossly misrepresented what many African-Americans think about gay marriage. In fact, it presented people like me as anti-gay bigots. Nothing could be further from the truth.

...I am pro-family and pro-children. Poor social choices made by cavalier reformers might destroy America's greatest assets. I feel compelled to restate the obvious: Children deserve to be raised in strong families headed by both a mother and father. The traditional family structure is almost extinct within today's black community because of both poor personal decisions teamed with poor public policy decisions. The staggering number of out-of-wedlock births and abortions underscores the need for greater value to be placed on both kids and traditional family.

McCarthy bases much of her analysis of traditional Christian teachings concerning the gay lifestyle on her childhood church experiences. Beginning with these presuppositions, she boldly challenges 95% of the Christian world. Her "scriptural" views would be rejected by many black church leaders. Further, mainstream Christians of all races almost universally reject the concept that gay marriage is endorsed anywhere in Scripture.

In addition, her projection that the black struggle and the gay struggle are similar is laughable. The persecution of gays in the USA has never been as violent or as long-standing as the black struggle. Prejudice against gays and lesbians is real, but most of them struggle because of personal choices and preferences. In contrast, blacks historically coped with an entire national economy that attempted to justify its immoral gain by dehumanizing the black community.

McCarthy's mischaracterizations are not only an insult to African-Americans and Christians, they are also an insult to what our civil rights leaders have fought to achieve.
Yes, he's not a bigot, he just portrays one in the pulpit.

Here we go with the zero-sum game again. Are civil rights to be determined based on some sort of "past misery" index? Does a group of people have to be subject to a specific type, kind and level of violence to deserve rights?

Jackson, sadly, is incapable of seeing his own twisted hypocrisy here. He's bleated plenty to indicate his proud homobigotry before.
"I'm not against gay people; I'm not trying to bash them per se. I just think that we're in such a terrible situation in my community that I've got to protect the institution."

"Same-sex marriage is not directly addressed in any affirming way by the words of Christ," Jackson continues, "and it is simply spoken against in the Old Testament. And so we need to be true to the sacred scriptures that we hold as the guiding light for our faith."

"It's a matter of whether you're a biblical conservative or a biblical liberal. By and large, biblical conservatives say that although we accept all people, there seems to be [a biblical] admonition against same-sex unions, especially the concept of [homosexual] marriage."

"Gay rights is not an extension of the civil rights movement simply because there's no choice involved in our blackness. I think there is an amazingly militant group of gays who have made it their point to say, 'We're going to be out; we're going to be visible' -- that's their choice."

"The gay community is well on its way to getting many, many of [the] rights that they want. I'm simply wanting to protect traditional marriage."
-- the wit and wisdom of Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Bowie, Maryland
He may be beating the bible about gays and his beliefs about the family as he understands it, but there is no rational basis to deny civil rights to any group based on his logic. Marriage and "saving the children" were both used against God-fearing whites who thought segregation was biblically mandated. How soon we forget. How soon Jackson forgets his own LGBT brothers and sisters of color in his quick judgment to condemn the "white man's perversion."

Granting civil equality to LGBT citizens in no way diminishes the struggle of blacks to gain those rights.


Students recall Bush's 'Pet Goat' visit on 9/11

Tuesday, September 05, 2006



One student noted that when Andy Card leaned over to tell the Chimp that the second plane hit, Bush turned red. The youngster said at the time he thought Bush "had to go to the bathroom."



H/t, Raw Story
.


Open thread - flying beasts

Yesterday in the early evening, Kate and I were watching the last ep of the Project Runway DVD, and from the sofa you can see the deck and backyard through the back door window. She happened to glance over that way and practically yelled:

K: Did you see that!
P: What?
K: There was a huge bird out there!
P: [I'm looking out at the deck and see a squirrel staggering around on the ledge; it jumps off.] I see the squirrel. What bird?
K: It was gigantic!
P: I didn't see anything. What the hell was it?

Apparently some sort of flying beast (hawk, owl, vulture?), swooped down and tried to scoop up a bird or the squirrel. This is the first time we've had a winged predator flying around. I've been joking with her that she must have seen a pterodactyl on the hunt and that if we don't watch out, it will scoop Chloe (the Bichon) away...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I once saw a giant hawk swoop down off of a building, cross in front of my car and and snatch up a rabbit that I was driving by on a road. It was the weirdest thing. Apparently the folks in the First Union building were well aware of this hawk and its feeding territory.

Anyway, how random is this post? lololol.

***

Oh, if you scroll down, there are now links below the "Best of the Blend" section in the middle to interviews with Margaret Cho (audio and transcript) and Tab Hunter (audio only; Kate's still working on the transcript). The Cho interview is a hard slog on audio, a bit disjointed (she seemed tired).


Watch the AFA take credit for this

Bill Ford out as Ford CEO. The press release from Don and Tim Wildmon should be out shortly, as they like to think their anti-gay bleating and emails were responsible for the automaker's falling sales (as opposed to Honda and Toyota kicking Ford's patootie).
Bill Ford, who struggled for five years to steer Ford Motor Co. toward financial stability, is stepping down as chief executive and is being replaced by Alan Mulally, a top executive from the airplane maker Boeing Co.

...Mulally, 61, was widely praised for being a key architect of the resurgence of Boeing's commercial airplanes unit over the past couple of years. He was a top candidate for the Boeing CEO job last year but the company went outside instead to select aerospace veteran Jim McNerney, then the 3M Co. chief executive.

In announcing Mulally's appointment to Ford employees, Bill Ford said in an e-mail that Ford's turnaround effort "required the additional skills of an executive who has led a major manufacturing enterprise through such challenges before."


Fundie insanity

If you want some entertaining reading, look no further than "Six Years In Sodom: From The Journal Of James Hartline."

This post on his blog is a peek inside the twisted, sad mind of the "former homosexual" and "pro-family" activist who is clearly still obsessed with the life he never really left behind. The pathology is hanging out there for all to see -- and it is unbelievable.
I have lived in the midst of a modern spiritual Sodom, a neighborhood called Hillcrest, the homosexual stronghold of San Diego, California. The moment that God instructed me to move into my present location in 2000, the devil came to me and said directly to me that I would not survive, that he would kill me off.


...The same treacherous and demonic immorality that was pervasive in ancient Sodom has arisen again in the newly resurrected Sodomic gay communities around the United States. I have lived through six years inside of the gay community of Hillcrest as a commited Christian and I am a sure witness that Sodom has, in fact, resurrected itself. The anti-christian hatred that continues to grow unabated inside of this neighborhood has been cloned, spiritually speaking, from ancient Sodom. The atmosphere, the attitudes, the sexual immorality, they are all the same as that which permeated ancient Sodom.
There's an unhinged section where he gives readers the impression that gays and lesbians are stalking him, waiting outside his apartment to do goodness-knows-what ("I have no fence around my apartment and over these past six years, the angels of God have encamped about my home.") He also makes these claims:
I have been spit on by supporters of the gay agenda. I have been grabbed around the throat and thrown to the ground by a demon possessed homosexual activist. I have been mocked over and over again by ungodly and unprincipled anti-christian lesbians.
I almost feel sorry for this man. He is damaged, and it's not because he's gay -- he has only a thread of connection to reality. How this man has achieved any credibility as a spokesperson for the "ex-gay" community is astonishing.

Timothy at Ex-Gay Watch has a rundown on the sordid past of Hartline.

Also:
* 'Former homo' Hartline torches Crazy Lou Sheldon


Condi has no other cards to play

Jesus. What a sack of spinning crap...

"I'm sure there are people who thought it was a mistake to fight the Civil War to its end and to insist that the emancipation of slaves would hold...I know there were people who said, 'Why don't we get out of this now, take a peace with the South, but leave the South with slaves?'"
-- bloviating to Essence magazine
Is that statement supposed to compare Lincoln's plight to that of her Dear Leader? My god, I don't know where to start with that lunacy. (h/t, Burnsey)

***

BTW, Condi was dethroned as Forbes's "the world's most powerful woman." That honor now goes to Germany's first female chancellor, Angela Merkel, who was recently assaulted by the Frat-Boy-In-Chief:


There's video as well.


Racial profiling - AOK at WND

The Ann Coulter crowd at WingNutDaily voted to do that old racial profiling thing.



Gee, these guys aren't swarthy, so they certainly don't qualify as terrorists, right? Men who look like this are supposed to be able to sail through a security check according to WND true believers.


Eric Rudolph, sentenced to life in prison without parole for three Atlanta bombings, including the 1997 blast at a gay bar and the 1996 bombing at the Atlanta Olympics.


Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber.


Or this guy: Timothy McVeigh, executed for his role in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168, the largest loss of life in a terrorist attack on American soil prior to 9/11.


Wildmon goes after CBS for airing '9/11' with profanity

9/11, the documentary by the Naudet brothers that takes you inside the events that occurred during the attack at the World Trade Center, will air again on CBS, with additional material and updates. The network has taken steps to warn affiliates that it plans to air the documentary with raw language intact for journalistic integrity, which could subject them to fines by the FCC. It's not enough for Camp Wildmon, which has launched this tirade.
Not content with all the profanity already on TV, CBS has decided to air the profanity-laden unedited version of "9/11" on Sept. 10. The decision by CBS is a slap in the face to the FCC and Congress, which recently raised indecency fines to $325,000 per incident.

"9/11," which will be shown in prime-time, contains a tremendous amount of hardcore profanity. CBS has stated they have not, and will not, make any cuts in the amount and degree of profanity. CBS will ignore the law. The network is suing the FCC over the indecency law, saying they should be able to show whatever they desire whenever they desire. CBS wants no limits.

This is a test case for CBS to see how far they can go. If there is no out-pouring of complaints from the public, they will go further the next time.

The profanity is so bad that CBS has warned their affiliates that they could be subject to huge fines. The FCC says it will fine not only the networks, but also affiliates if the law is violated. Under the new Broadcast Decency Act the $325,000 per incident could run into millions of dollars not only for the network but also for local affiliates.

CBS could very easily bleep out the profanity, but they refuse. The goal of CBS is to be able to show whatever they want at anytime. The network wants no restraints on their programming. If they are allowed to get away with this, they will simply air even more profanity in the future.
He then calls for a letter-writing campaign to CBS and affiliates, asking the FCC to fine all affiliates that air the broadcast.

Obviously the network will have disclaimers throughout the program about disturbing images and audio that will give the fundies adequate time to tune out. These American Family Association control freaks seem to be indicating that no one in the organization, or its followers, either 1) possesses a remote control, 2) knows how to activate the parental controls on cable, or 3) can operate the remote control or the on/off switch on the television.


I can't wait to see answers to these questions

Blogger Joe Brummer has an interesting challenge for anti-gays up at his pad, so I'm giving it more exposure:
I have had many anti-gay advocates come to my blog or use other blogs to make challenges of the gay community or me. I have asked many anti-gay people to tell me the goal, none have ever really answered the question, and that doesn't really surpirse me since I have a feeling many of them do know the goal. So I have decided I would put out a challenge to them in good faith. I am sure some will just use this as a venue to attack me or GLBT people, but some may use this as an opportunity to show us what it is they are really trying to accomplish from their point of view. This is a chance to really show GLBT people and their supporters that your intentions really are rooted in love and good faith.

The Challenge: (Please answer the following questions)

Part 1: Please explain to me what the world would look like if your mission was accomplished when it comes to gays. Paint me a picture of how the world would look if that which you are trying to achieve comes to "BE". Show me what the end goal would look like when it is finally met.

Part 2: Considering lots of people don't believe the same way you do, tell me if the actions, process and appraoch you are taking is really helping people. How is your ministry, blog, website or organization helping to reach that goal.

I would be particularly interested in DL Foster's, Peter La Barbera's, Matt Barber's, Stephen Bennett's, even someone from Exodus' well thought out and REALISTIC answers.
Joe also asks those on our side not to make assumptions about the types of answers that may come in (if they do at all). He has way more patience than I do with the above people; I applaud him for extending an opportunity to these folks to try and tease out an actual answer about what the point of their activities is.


Voters are ready to kick the bums out

I just hope these folks actually show up at the polls. (CNN):
A majority of Americans surveyed -- and a higher percentage than recorded during the same time last year -- said things in the United States are going "badly." Among this year's respondents, 29 percent said "pretty badly" and 25 percent -- up from 15 percent a month ago -- answered "very badly." By comparison, 37 percent described the way things are going as "fairly well," and 9 percent answered "very well."

Of these people, 76 percent said there was "something" to be angry about in the country today. By comparison, 59 percent felt that way when polled in February.

Only 21 percent said they were "generally content" in the latest poll.

Nine percent said they considered the economy to be "very good," a number unchanged from a June CNN poll. But the number who considered conditions "somewhat good" dropped from 42 percent to 35 percent over the same period.

The number of respondents who consider the economy "somewhat poor" rose from 31 percent to 34 percent, and the number who called the economy "very poor" jumped from 16 percent to 22 percent.

A majority -- 55 percent -- said they are more likely to back a challenger in races on this year's ballot. Such anti-incumbent sentiment is higher than the 48 percent recorded as "pro-challenger" in a similar survey in 1994, when the GOP took control of both houses of Congress.
Hat tip to Paul, who said, "After reading this I'll bet they are working overtime at the Diebold factory these days..."


Chimpy and the hell-bound Jews

Monday, September 04, 2006

"You know what I'm gonna tell those Jews when I get to Israel...I'm telling 'em they're all going to hell."
-- Dear Leader, sharing his personal religious beliefs to reporter Ken Herman in 1998
What a freaking fundie nutbag; how come this didn't get exposure when he was running for the highest office in the land? (Raw Story):
Bush's thoughts on the fate of non-Christian souls became a minor source of controversy after he told the Houston Post in 1993 that only those who "accept Jesus Christ" go to Heaven. However, the future president was also earlier briefly engaged to a half-Jewish woman.

The quip never received wider media attention, even though the Austin American-Statesman reported it in December of 1998.

"As he gazed out a hotel hallway at the Superdome and waited for an elevator, Bush -- clearly going for a laugh at his own expense -- said the first thing he was going to say to Israeli Jews was that they were all 'going to hell,'" Herman had reported. "Bush, who has both a quick wit and generally good judgment on when to use it, made the comment to the same Austin American-Statesman reporter who had reported his 1993 comments about his religious beliefs."
Has he talked to his good friend Holy Joe about this?



Q of the day - school days or the working world

Kate and I were doing our little random chatting over dinner and somehow this question came up -- which is easier, in hindsight, being in school (thinking back to HS/college days) or being an adult working stiff -- and why?

After all, you've got the angst of adolescence/early adulthood, homework, teachers, socially navigating your way in school vs. dealing with "The Man," the responsibilities of a job, office politics, but you earn a paycheck.

Of course, many, if not most of us had to both work and go to school at some point, but we left that mix off of the table.

I still haven't answered the question yet; both periods are hard for vastly different reasons. What do you all think?


Minority pastors courted to push Virginia marriage amendment

"African-American churches and social conservatives have more in common in our belief system than anyone could imagine. We need you to be the voice of marriage in Virginia."
-- Chris Freund, of the Family Foundation, to mostly black and Latino ministers last month at Pat Robertson's Regent University.
As we've said many times here on the Blend, the AmTaliban is making some headway in bringing black pastors on board, if not to vote Republican, to support marriage amendments, playing to the social conservatism in the religious black community. As election day nears and Virginians go to the polls to vote to add discrimination to its constitution, the wingers are out in full force.
Pastors are being buffeted with booklets and DVDs, church bulletin inserts and "pastor packets" detailing what the amendment means and how to explain it to congregations.

Organizers are depending on shared religious beliefs--that gay marriage counters man and woman's biblical roles, for instance--to break the ice before the Nov. 7 election.

...Blacks comprise up to 18 percent of Virginia's registered votes. They're reliable Democratic voters, but many hold views to the right of the party line, said Daniel Simmons, one of two black community activists recently added at Va4Marriage, a pro-amendment campaign of the Family Foundation.
It's a challenge in some churches because core issues about jobs, crime and health care take precedence over discriminating against gays, but the fundies have no problem trying to buy and market their way into the black church.
The Rev. Allen McFarland, whose Calvary Evangelical Baptist Church in Portsmouth draws 800 worshippers weekly, spoke bluntly of a bigger obstacle: mistrust of white activists who only show up near election time.

"You are not going to get into the African-American community," McFarland told Freund, who's white, before the pastor offered $1,000 to help fund more full-time black staff.
Well that's refreshing outreach, isn't it? I think this quote really sums up the problem Dems have with this, and why the party's silence on gay civil equality in the face of such aggressive lobbying by fundies for black votes on this topic is problematic.
"You still have the white/black Sunday morning separation there," McFarland said. "But when it comes to morality, I think we line up."
What are the Dems doing to counter this kind of outreach? Nothing, that I can tell. The only tactic I've seen is to say how focusing on SSM is a distraction created by the Republicans to take everyone's eye off of all the failures of the Bush admin -- and it's not only the Dem party doing that, but HRC.

Is the party incapable of multitasking? It cannot attack the administration's crappy record AND state clearly why the marriage amendments are wrong and provide a statement on what the party specifically supports regarding rights for taxpaying gay citizens? The right wing clearly has no trouble articulating a position.

One can only hope Virginians will vote No on the amendment, but it's an uphill battle.


Time to pay the mortgage piper

Expect bankruptcies and foreclosures to rise. Option adjustible rate mortgages (ARM) are being given out like candy to people who wanted to refinance at fantasy low rates or get into a home in an overheated market without the huge downpayment necessary.

They are about to be blown away. The "adjustable" part of the deal is coming due.
Many of the option ARMs taken out in 2004 and 2005 are resetting at much higher payment schedules -- often to the astonishment of people who thought the low installments were fixed for at least five years. And because home prices have leveled off, borrowers can't count on rising equity to bail them out. What's more, steep penalties prevent them from refinancing. The most diligent home buyers asked enough questions to know that option ARMs can be fraught with risk. But others, caught up in real estate mania, ignored or failed to appreciate the risk.

...There's no way to camouflage what Harold, a former computer technician who asked BusinessWeek not to publish his last name, is about to face. He's disabled and has one source of income: the $1,600 per month he receives in Social Security disability payments. In September, 2005, Harold refinanced out of a fixed-rate mortgage and into an option ARM for his $150,000 home in Chicago. The minimum monthly payment for the first year is $899, which he can afford. The interest-only payment is $1,329, which he can't. The fully amortized payment is $1,454, which his lender, Washington Mutual, gets to count on its books.
When you continue reading this article, it's clear that the brokers and banks are running a scam shielding them from risk, and aren't entirely forthcoming about the pitfalls of these loans. That said, consumers aren't protecting their finances (or the roof over their heads) by asking hard questions about deals that look too good to be true.

One couple interviewed in the article illustrates the level of inane decision-making going on by too many consumers out there. They gave up a 5.25% fixed-rate, 30-year loan and jumped into an option ARM with a 1% teaser rate. Now, of course, they are screwed because that unbelievable teaser rate has now blossomed to 7.68% and the bottom line on what they owe, due to deferred interest, is skyrocketing to the tune of $600/mo. By the way, the mortgage broker, Indymac Bank, has stopped returning their phone calls.

Stories like these can be found across the socioeconomic spectrum, says Allen J. Fishbein, director of Housing & Credit Policy for the Consumer Federation of America. In a May focus group, the CFA found that option ARM customers at all income levels said the loans were the only way they could afford their homes. While many recognized that their mortgages could increase, "they professed complete surprise that they could increase as much as they could," says Fishbein. That lack of diligence will cost them over time.
I'm no financial guru, but it seems pretty obvious that a huge economic disaster is around the corner for these people, and the numbers are staggering -- as many as 1.3 million borrowers took out as much as $389 billion in option ARMs in 2004 and 2005, according to Business Week, so we're not talking about a handful of folks.
The option ARM is "like the neutron bomb," says George McCarthy, a housing economist at New York's Ford Foundation. "It's going to kill all the people but leave the houses standing."


Crocodile Hunter killed by stingray

Freak way to go. Despite wrangling dangerous crocs for years, he died during a diving expedition when a stingray struck his chest.


Open thread

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Today I took Kate to see Little Miss Sunshine (I had already seen it when I was in Delaware last week), and I laughed so hard that I cried -- again. If you haven't seen it, run to the theater now. It's the best film I've seen this year. It's a shoo-in for an Original Screenplay nomination.

Once back at home, we intended to go out and do yard work, but instead chose to continue watching the DVD of Season One of Project Runway. Local blender Mykull kindly lent it to me, passing it on via fellow Blender minty, who did a marathon viewing herself.

As of this evening, we've finished all but the final episode, so no one post any spoilers! All I can say is that Wendy is evil incarnate.

***

Speaking of evil, here are some pix -- my first thought was that this was a photo of a Rove/Mehlman-arranged GOP rally for The Base:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Caption: Members of the World Order of the Ku Klux Klan arrive at the Gettysburg National Military Park for a protest rally Saturday, Sept. 2, 2006 in Gettysburg, Pa. The KKK fielded 25 members for the event and their were no incidents. (AP Photo/Bradley C Bower)

According to the AP, Gordon Young of the Klan called for the U.S. to pull its troops out of Iraq and use them to patrol the Mexican border to stop illegal immigration.

Counterprotestors showed up as well....

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Caption: A counter protester is chased by a United States Park Police officer after he jumped the barrier separating protesters, during a rally being held by Members of the World Order of the Ku Klux Klan, at the Gettysburg National Military Park. (AP Photo/Daniel Shanken)


The Republican Base Unhinged

Let's take a journey into the mind of another member of The Base, a very disturbed person named Debra JM Smith, who bloviated on homosexuality at Chester Street Blog, which is billed as "A Street filled with Conservative, Bible Reading, American Flag Waving, Neighbor Helping, Gun Owning, Animal Loving, Church Going, Regular People. This Street is No friend of the Left, so turn Right."

Remember folks, these are the thoughts from the Rovian Right, the voters Ken Mehlman is desperate to get out to the polls in November. There are so many factual errors, inconsistencies, and well, just plain insanity in thie screed that you don't know where to begin:
I have been asked to explain this statement of mine: "The sexually perverted sinful people, who push their sin all over this planet, do all they can do to push their filth on anyone and EVERYONE and they affect us all."

Every time I see true homosexuality, it sickens me. Seeing this perversion on TV, at the mall, a college, etc., it is dirty and awful. I am just as sickened by seeing two women or two men kiss, as I would be to see a flasher on a street corner. It is evil and stomach turning. Just because a small percentage of people in this nation have chosen to say that some perversion is 'ok,' does not make it so. If in 20 years sex with animals is seen as 'ok,' by some part of society, are normal people suddenly not going to be sickened by it?

Our nations blood supply is always at risk now, and homosexuals are actually fighting to be able to give blood--WHAT'S THAT? I get concerned every time I am at a doctors, getting blood tests, etc., because of people with AIDs. AIDs affects everyone when it comes to health care prices too. People with AIDs need to be quarantined. But no, the government instead is protecting them from people finding out who has it. (The majority of people with AIDs, contracted it from sexual sin.)

Homosexual activists want to take away the validity of marriage. They want to take my freedom of speech away. They want to force the teaching of perversion on children. It is just a matter of time before parents end up in court for telling their children that perversion is wrong, if something is not done. They want to discriminate against descent people, for not accepting the perverted. People are facing losing jobs for speaking against perversion. While special rights are being sought for the perverted, the seeking to take rights away from the descent people is underway.

The perverted seek to infiltrate every place where descent people go. Look at the Boy Scouts issue and churches. Gosh, we cannot even have Christian chats or post boards or blogs without them pushing their filth in those places. They cannot stand it that people like me hate what they do. I positively hate it. I believe that they should all be put on an island, away from the rest of society. They are corrupting our nation, hurting our nation, and killing people by giving them AIDs. They stand for evil. I know there are some that are worse than others, but no matter what, they are all wicked.

And mark my words, SOMEONE will say that this is "hate speech," which will only further prove my point that they seek to take our freedom of speech away. Every type of people have people who hate what they do and who speak against them, and every type of people have some of their type killed.
As usual this "Christian" hater ignores the lesbos, because that demo inconveniently has lower rates of HIV/AIDS than the het pop, so she doesn't address that; she has nothing to say about Girl Scouts either, which doesn't have a problem with lesbians. Oh, never mind...

You know, I actually like the fact that Smith doesn't even bother with the silly "I'm not homophobic" kind of statement to try to mitigate the bluntness of her rant, as vile as it is. I like it when the Base exposes itself so completely.

Kevin took Smith's eruption on with this answer, also noting in his email to me, "She is good friends with Guy Adams, and that tells you everything you need to know about her!
Debra, I don't think you quite understood what I said above. Let me explain it a bit clearer.

You state:
"Every time I see true homosexuality, it sickens me. Seeing this perversion on TV, at the mall, a college..."
If you see it on tv, turn the channel. If you see it at the mall or college, gag, puke and then look away. That sounds pretty simple to me (but please barf where I don't have to walk in it).

You state:
"Our nations blood supply is always at risk now, and homosexuals are actually fighting to be able to give blood."
If you need blood, get a relative or someone you trust to donate beforehand. You are not forced to accept blood from a hospital without your permission or a relative's.

You state:
"People with AIDs need to be quarantined."
Well then, make it your own personal duty to make sure that happens. No one is stopping you from doing this or introducing legislation to make it happen. So why not contact your legislator today and see what happens?

You state:
"They want to take my freedom of speech away."
Well so far you have done a pretty good job at making speeches and so far no one has stopped you. I think your words should be broadcast all over so that people can decide for themselves if your right to free speech is being taken away.

You state: "While special rights are being sought for the perverted, the seeking to take rights away from the descent people is underway."
You mean 'decent.' Ah, that old catch word 'special rights.' Fight for your own 'special rights'--your choice of a religion is protected. Remember that it is a choice. No one is stopping you from fighting to keep that. And what rights of yours are being taken away? Name one or two for me so I can get a clear example.

You state:
"The perverted seek to infiltrate every place where descent people go." You mean 'decent.'
No, we have been in the boy scouts and the churches since they began. So you can't really infiltrate where you already are. And if you don't like it, then contact your legislator and tell him or her you want the law to drive out the homosexuals from churches, from the boy scouts and from society in general. Use your free speech and see what happens.

You state: "I believe that they should all be put on an island, away from the rest of society."
Before I thought it was Sibera. As I said before, talk to your legislator and make your views known. Write letters to newspapers or invite the press to visit you so you can make your views know world wide.

You state "...and killing people by giving them AIDs."
I don't know who has educated you on AIDS, but no one 'gives' it to anyone else.

You state: "And mark my words, SOMEONE will say that this is "hate speech," which will only further prove my point that they seek to take our freedom of speech away."
I think that someone is you. Aren't these your own words: "They cannot stand it that people like me hate what they do. I positively hate it."
Or is hate in your first use different from the hate in the second use?

As I said earlier, nothing is pushed on you that you don't want. You involve yourself so much in the 'getting rid of homosexuals' that you have worked yourself up into a frenzy. That is your choice.
Her opinions, based on the crap I find and post here on the Blend, fit right in with your average Freeper, the homobigoted black pastors, and the goons at the American Family Association, Family Research Council, Traditional Values Coalition, Concerned Women for America or Focus on the Family to name a few.

Those latter organizations have simply become more polished at spreading the lies and bigotry about, working out of well-appointed offices, pressed suits and a fat mailing list of pious sheeple who give to their cause and participate in action items whenever an "alert" goes out.. What we must always keep in mind is that these organizations have kept their "eyes on the prize" as it were, building a coalition of support on restricting or eliminating LGBT rights, controlling every womb, punishing women for having a sex drive, and merging church and state. At this point they are peering into straight bedrooms as well, so no one is safe from the prying eyes of these fundamentalist whack jobs.

The sorry truth is that these hate organizations have had a batphone to the GOP, the White House and Congress for years, relationships carefully cultivated by the Bush/Rove machine, which has given them access and power. Entities like FoF have used to thos close WH ties to rake in the dough and put on huge masturbatory efforts such as Justice Sunday or the upcoming Values Voter Summit to help stir up the voting sheeple.


In attendance at January's JS III: Daddy Dobson, Dr. Alveda C. King, Bishop Wellington Boone (The Father's House), Tony Perkins, Herb Lusk, Senator Little Ricky Santorum, Rev. Tinkywinky.

The GOP figured out how to appeal to the base emotions and psychological vulnerabilities of people extremely well in elections. Dems assume the vast majority of voters really do think out the issues and vote with logic and fairness in mind. The results have proven this not to be the case. Too many people believe, but will not utter, the nonsense stated above by Smith.

That's why simplistic negative political ads do work, repeating a message over and over ad nauseum is effective -- as long as it is consistent, it clearly doesn't have to be true. The Swift Boat crap proved that in 2004. The race was close; it really shouldn't have been, given Bush's litany of failures during his term. But the GOP and Rove knew who to hire to run a successful, if not ethical, campaign to rouse those fears in people like Smith.

The crazies cannot be ignored because they are dumb enough to bleat their bigotry in the public sphere. They speak for way too many voters who will never be won over, along with a good number who require a much-better alternative message from The Other Party to overcome their irrational fears and bigotry. I think the conflict on the Dem side is whether to bother trying to win those folks over at all or that they are a lost cause.

Personally, I think it's useless at this point. More votes can be had in the disaffected middle, motivating those voters to come out rather than stay at home has to be an easier task than converting a fundie vote of any kind.

We should tie the Debra JM Smiths and Guy Adams of the world to these fundie advocacy organizations every chance we get.

Related:
* This is the Republican base
* More wisdom from 'the base'
* Daddy Dobson is herding his sheeple to vote


Please let this be true sHillary news

It would spare us all a great deal of grief re: 2008; it's probably just one of those trial balloons to see public reaction, since it's in an overseas paper. Friends of Hillary hint she may pull out of presidential race. (Times Online):
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
FRIENDS of Hillary Clinton have been whispering the unthinkable. Despite her status as the runaway frontrunner for the 2008 Democratic nomination for president, some of her closest advisers say she might opt out of the White House race and seek to lead her party in the Senate.

The former first lady longs to return to the White House with husband Bill as consort. Only last week she told television viewers America would be led by a woman one day. “Stay tuned,” she said.

First, however, she has to win the election. Some Democratic party elders — the American equivalent of the Tories’ “men in grey suits” — say Clinton may back out of the race of her own volition.

“I would not be surprised if she were to decide that the best contribution she can make to her country is to forget about being president and become a consensus-maker in the Senate,” said a leading Democratic party insider. “She believes there is no trust between the two political sides and that we can’t function as a democracy without it.”

...A recent poll for Time magazine showed that 53% of the electorate said they had a favourable impression of Clinton and only 44% viewed her negatively, figures that President George W Bush can only dream of at the moment. Even so, 53% of independent voters said they would not vote for her.
Also:
* past Blend sHillary posts


Where we come from

I received a call the other night from my aunt Joan (one of my mom's sisters). She was excited because she had just received the results of a DNA analysis designed to trace the roots of her ancestry to specific regions of the world. She and another sister (my other godmother Sandra) are into genealogy.

She had a swab kit done during a free workshop back in January, by African Ancestry, an effort of Dr. Rick Kittles, associate professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics at Ohio State University's Medical Center, and former co-director of the National Human Genome Center at Howard University.

Mitochondrial DNA, genetic material inherited exclusively down the maternal line of a family tree, enables women to do a maternal line trace with this test. Men can do the same on the paternal line with a different test, based on the Y-chromosome.

Kittles is careful to point out on the site that this testing merely confirms (with greater than 95% confidence), where your lineage is. It doesn't determine race.
There is no test for racial identification. Race is a social construct, not genetically determined. Similarly, ethnicity is more cultural than biological.
With that in mind, this is what aunt Joan found out. Her maternal ancestors (and therefore mine, since the results are the same for everyone in the maternal line) are:


51% Sub-Saharan Africa (she didn't get any information as to country)
37% European (we have known ancestry in Ireland and England)
12% Native American (likely a NY or Connecticut tribe; we thought Shinnecock, but have not been able to confirm)

Neither of us was surprised by the results, as oral histories in the family and relatives working on the maternal family tree gave us some idea about what we might find (another cousin, tracing back a good ways on my maternal grandfather's side, recently wrote a book on his work).

Many who take this test are surprised at the results. (USA Today):
DNA evidence has confirmed some family stories but debunked many others. For example, most of the nine black celebrities who underwent genetic testing for the PBS documentary African American Lives believed they were part Native American.

One of those tested, Oprah Winfrey, 52, says on the program that to many African-Americans in her generation, being "a little Indian" was desirable. The two-part documentary, which began running this week, says genetic testing revealed that only two of the nine celebrities tested — Winfrey and comedian-actor Chris Tucker — likely had Native American ancestors.

...About 30% of black Americans who take DNA tests to determine their African lineage prove to be descended from Europeans on their father's side, says Rick Kittles, scientific director of African Ancestry, a Washington, D.C., company that began offering the tests in 2003. Almost all black Americans whom Kittles has tested descended from African women, he says.

That's partly why genetic genealogy is "not for the faint-hearted," says Melvyn Gillette, a member of the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California and a longtime family researcher. "Before you go opening any door, you need to ask, 'Am I really ready for what might be behind it?' " Gillette says. "Not everyone is."
I'm interested in knowing what kind of kaleidoscope of findings would turn up for me on the paternal side, but the price of doing the testing isn't cheap -- the African Ancestry web site sells the MatriClan and PatriClan test kits for $299 (or both for $550).

I'm pretty sure we'd end up with similar findings on that side as well. We're mutts, and that doesn't bother me a bit.


Support great blogging

As you know, one of my favorite bloggrrls is Shakespeare's Sister. We often post on the same topics, and her blog, with a fantastic roster of contributors, deservedly won Best Group Blog in this year's Koufax Awards.

Shakes Sis has been plugged away on the blog, guest posting all over the place, and is hunting for work, which ironically, when she lands a job, will mean less time for blogging.

You know things are tough when the internet access is cut off. She hasn't asked for anything in the tip jar, but I can.

If you appreciate Melissa's work, surf over and support great blogging. Hopefully the links below from her page work:




Amazon Honor System
Click Here to PayLearn More
That is all.


Turdblossom's gay stepfather

A new book is out, The Architect: Karl Rove and the Master Plan for Absolute Power, that reveals the fact that Karl Rove had a gay stepfather. The Raw Story article notes that Rove has spoken lovingly about him:

Rove spoke of his adoptive father in a tone of fierce admiration, love, and loyalty, for, as he put it, "how selfless his love had been," as shown by his willingness to play, persuasively, the part of a blood parent for two decades.
Geez, it didn't stop him from whipping on the gays for votes, did it?


Doing the research so fundies don't have to

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Blender Red State Blues has brought to my attention a section of Porno Petey's new digs, Americans for Truth, dedicated to "Public Sex in Your Neighborhood?" Folks need to thank Petey for his willingness to engage in such research -- all for the public good, of course.

Men are having perverted ’sex’ with other men all over America–in parks, public restrooms (at places like department stores) and highway rest stops–i.e., in your community “backyard.” There is a well-organized Internet networks that guides men on where to engage in their anonymous, sodomitic acts. Many of these men are not publicly “gay,” or do not identify as homosexual, so they put their unkowing wives or girlfriends in danger of contracting sexually-transmitted diseases.

We’ll tell you where these homosexual “public sex” spots are in your state, and what you can do about it.
I get the feeling that if anyone needed to do any research on lesbianism, there would be precious little work compiled at the AFT archives by Peter.


Open thread

Gee, is anybody out there? I figure folks are out enjoying the long weekend, so I'm putting up a thread for gabbing.

***


* Hey, do you want to talk to The Tool, John McCain? Apparently he is stopping by Yahoo's Talk to Power with Judy Woodruff, who is soliciting questions for the likely 2008 candidate. I should ask how it feels to be so far up Bush's patootie. Someone's already left a comment on The Tool's position on civil marriage equality:
I met you once at AZ Boy's State in the 80's. I remember while explaining the art of compromise, you explained how you had once voted for a rabidly anti-gay bill in exchange for that legislator's support for other legislation. Do you still consider Gay Americans expendable bargaining chips or somehow less equal than Straight American's under our Constitution?
That should be fun.

* Mike Tidmus sent a link to a Brit documentary that has the White House outraged -- Death of a President. Let's just say this will never make it on U.S. television.

Random Blend stuff:


* Kate and I were interviewed for Queercents' Money & Mates column -- it's up now.

* Next Thursday, I'll be taking off for Miami to attend the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association's 2006 National Convention & 3rd Annual LGBT Media Summit. I'll be on one of the Saturday panels (here's the program):
Advocacy + Personality + Journalism = Blogging
"The Big Gay Picture," "Pam's House Blend" and "Good As You" have personalities that give each blog a unique style and take on issues affecting our community. All work to bring news and analysis to their readers in a manner that is smart, witty and thoughtful. Join us as the people behind the three blogs talk about how they use their varying points of view and sensibilities to promote LGBT causes.

Coordinator: Michael Jensen, Editor, AfterElton.com
Sarah Warn, Editor, AfterEllen.com
Pam Spaulding, Publisher, Pam's House Blend
Jeremy Hooper, Founder/Editor, Good As You
I've not been to Miami before, but Ms. Julien (formerly in Miami) will be coming down for the event. I don't know if there's a critical mass of Blenders down there, but maybe a meet up can be arranged if someone wants to help find a good venue.


* This year I'll be attending ConvergeSouth, a bloggercon that is open to the public (register here) on Saturday, October 14 in Greensboro, NC at NC A&T University. There's a Friday Night Aycock Neighborhood Barbecue for attendees. I'm looking forward to meeting other bloggers (and NC Blenders, if you can make it to the con). Here's the schedule.


Take the keys away?

I was reading this press release from the AARP about older driver safety and the top 10 signs to look out for to know when it's time to take the keys away.
How do you approach a family member when age related changes impact driving ability? How long should someone stay on the road? Families nationwide are struggling with these sensitive issues. Elinor Ginzler, AARP's director of livable communities and a leading authority on older driver safety, encourages families to talk openly with loved ones about safe driving practices. According to Ginzler, these are top 10 signs that it's time to talk about limiting driving or handing over the keys:

1. Frequent "close calls" (i.e. near accidents).
2. Dents, scrapes, on the car or on fences, mailboxes, garage doors, curbs etc.
3. Trouble judging gaps in traffic at intersections and on highway entrance/exit ramps.
4. Other drivers honking at you.
5. Getting lost.
6. Difficulty seeing the sides of the road when looking straight ahead.
7. Slower response time; trouble moving foot from gas to brake pedal or confusing the two pedals.
8. Getting distracted easily or having trouble concentrating.
9. Difficulty turning your head to check over shoulder while backing up or changing lanes.
10. Traffic tickets or "warnings" by traffic or law enforcement officers in the last year or two.
This is a serious issue, because the autonomy that seniors treasure is lost when they are no longer able to drive themselves around and public transportation is not readily available.

On the other hand, you have people with dementia, and limited vision/reflexes out there, posing a hazard to themselves and others on the road. Seniors are a powerful voting lobby, so many efforts to require road tests and compentency for license renewal over a certain age have been shot down. And the problem is a big one as the population ages.
Seniors have lower fatal crash rates per 100,000 licensed drivers when compared with teenage drivers and slightly higher rates than drivers of other age groups. One reason is that seniors drive fewer miles and take shorter trips than other drivers. Even this statistic, alone, can be misleading. When their crashes are adjusted to reflect the number of miles traveled, seniors' crash rates go up with their increased exposure.

This is important to law enforcement officials because the empirical data are based on the historical likeliness that seniors were driving fewer miles as they aged. Analysts predict that more senior drivers will drive more miles in the future. The resulting projections are daunting: the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety predicts that the number of senior citizens involved in reported car crashes will increase by 178 percent between 1999 and 2030. During the same period, seniors' involvement in fatal crashes is projected to increase by 155 percent.
On the other end of the age spectrum, at least in NC and some other states, Graduated Driver's Licenses -- that restrict the number of people that can be in a car and the times of the day that a teen can be on the road -- have been able to be implemented. It has resulted in an 11% drop in crash fatalities among 16-year-olds.

There are studies out there tying the ease of license renewal for seniors and the level of fatal accidents. Here is a U.S. DOT page on what the laws are around the country. Here is NC's:
5-year renewal cycle (in-person). Vision and traffic sign recognition tests required for renewal. Acuity 20/40 in better eye required for unrestricted; 20/70 better eye with restrictions. Bioptic telescopes are not permitted for meeting acuity standard, but are permitted for driving. No special requirements for older drivers, except that people age 60+ are not required to parallel park in the road test.
***

This reminds me of a story Kate told me a while back about Homewood, a town near Birmingham, where a significant number of elderly citizens live. They frequent the old fashioned street malls there (the kind where you pull up to the storefronts). An ungodly amount of accidents occurred when a driver (probably with dementia), put the car into drive instead of reverse and shot through the plate glass windows of the stores.

While home on a visit, she saw a newspaper of yet another incident showing a picture of a storefront with its new ventilation, courtesy of a senior who was confused. There was also an empty baby stroller in the picture, left by a frantic mother that ripped her child from the pram in the nick of time before it was whacked by the careening vehicle.

This kind of incident occurred so frequently that a measure to put concrete pylons on the sidewalks to block the cars from racing into the merchandise was proposed. It was turned down because the resident thought it would "ruin the aesthetics" of the community. As if the shattered glass and debris were not an eyesore.

***

Overall, it seems the roads around here are teeming with people of all ages who cannot drive worth a damn. It seems like every day I am behind someone who either:
* can't/won't use a turn signal (or leaves it on forever, never noticing)
* has to slow down to a near-complete stop to make a turn
* is driving in a distracted state (on the phone, doing makeup, eating, zoning out) and weaving in and out of lanes

I'm a patient driver most of the time, I don't normally honk at people (Kate was so incensed at one ass-hat in front of us one time that she reached over and honked the horn -- I was driving).

Last week, though, I almost came unhinged when a man in front of me in a land yacht was driving about 20 mph. I started thinking "please don't turn to get on the freeway" but lo and behold he turns (almost at a dead stop) and starts down the on ramp.

This is a nice downhill ramp, where you can get up enough speed to merge into traffic without effort. What does Mr. Driver do? He obviously panics at the fact that gravity is making his heavy land yacht accelerate down the ramp and puts the brakes on. The freeway is nearly empty, but he thinks the four cars on it are a threat to his ability to get his vehicle onto the roadway, and he reaches a dead stop. I look in my rearview mirror and see other motorists flying down the ramp toward us and screeching. Jeebus H. Christ.

Do you have any "memorable driver" moments to share?


Another cure for lesbianism

Friday, September 01, 2006

"I was desperate, my wife cheated on me with a lesbian. I didn't know what to do and I decided to ask the rabbi for his advice on how to lift the curse."
-- a terrified husband to his rabbi, who gave him a "special sack of sand" to bring his wife back to him.
Perhaps this rabbi and the man who tried to rape the lesbian demon out of a woman should compare notes on strategy. (Ynet):
The Rabbi provided a quick magical solution: He gave him a heavy sack of sand and told him to pour it on the doorstep of his wife's lesbian lover, telling him that the moment his wife will step on it the curse will be lifted. "Your wife will come running back," he said.

Happy at the advice given by the rabbi the man returned home. He immediately rented a car and assigned the mission of pouring the sand on the lover's doorstep to his 18 year-old son. The son obeyed his father and set out on his way.

A few days ago, at around 3 am, the boy arrived at the lover's home in Kiriyat Malachi. He carried the sack of sand on his shoulders, climbed the stairs to the apartment, poured the sand on the doorstep and returned to his car.

On his way out, he noticed several of the lover's dresses hanging on the washing line and couldn't hold himself back. He took out a match set the dresses alight. The raging fire made him panic, and he tried putting out the flames. When he was unable to, he fled the scene. The frightened woman, who noticed the fire, managed to write down the license plate of the escaping vehicle and immediately called the police.
H/t, PageOneQ.


AFA launches petition campaign against Wal-Mart

The fundie boycott machine is losing its steam as Don Wildmon and the pole-stroking bible beaters at the American Family Association have launched letter writing campaign to punish Wal-Mart for joining forces with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

These efforts are getting so old, tired and intellectually bankrupt. It's a wonder corporations even pay attention to these breathless efforts based on nothing more than fear of the homo straw man.

In his bleating, "Wal-Mart asks for, and receives, permission to join homosexual marriage group," Dapper Don straight out lies to whip up The Base.


Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, has asked for and received permission to join the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The NGLCC is a leading promoter of homosexual marriage.

Although Wal-Mart has never excluded homosexuals from being employees, customers, or suppliers, the company wanted to be more closely identified with promoting the homosexual agenda. Wal-Mart is now a "corporate member" of the NGLCC, putting their approval on the NGLCC's efforts to abolish the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. A Wal-Mart vice president will serve as an advisor to the NGLCC, helping them promote homosexual marriage.

Wal-Mart agreed to give $25,000 to the NGLCC and to pay for two conferences scheduled by NGLCC. [Get this unadulterated bullsh*t lie] Also, Wal-Mart will give homosexual-owned businesses special treatment when making purchases. Companies not owned by homosexuals will be moved down the list.
Read the NGLCC release. That winged ass-monkey statement by Don is nowhere in there.

He notes that Wal-Mart often blocks mass email efforts, and in his petition, calls for the fundies to phone WWal-Mart's home office headquarters and ask for Chairman Rob Walton at 479-273-4000. "Also, call your local Wal-Mart manager and express your concerns. Please, be polite when you call!"

But let's not quibble about that; let's get right to the Freeper reaction. One amusement below is a dustup over whether Target is "french."

Actual Freeper Quotes™

Wal-Mart -- buy a clue from Target, nobody cares except the people you offend.

In other news, corporate officials intend to dig up the corpse of Sam Walton, make an appointment for him at a trendy salon and dress him in Armani. Plans are also in the works for a television special, Queer Eye for the Dead Guy.

I cant wait to see the first flaming homo as their Walmart greeter.

Would the greeter have to be eighty, also, like at all of the other stores?

Can you lisp with dentures?

An old one at that too! Icky!

They should be boycotted just on the grounds of pulling such a breathtakingly naive public relations stunt. A)It's going to tick off a lot of regular wal-mart shoppers who don't like gay people. B)The vast majority of gay guys in large cities weren't born in large cities. Many of them came from small towns. One of the reasons they moved to large cities -- aside from getting away from the folks who don't like them -- is to avoid shopping in Wal-Mart. The chances of them popping into wal-mart to shop are roughly the same as them using a primer coated, 72 dodge charger on blocks as a lawn ornament at their house in the Hamptons.

I stopped going to Target when I found out they were french and slighted the Salvation Army, stopped going to Costco when they supported the minimum wage, the unions and the DNC, and now I'll have to cut out Sam's Club and WallyWorld. SHEESH! Maybe I'll have to open my own general store!

Target isn't French. They're based in the midwest. People say "tar-jay" as a joke that disguises the discount chain's name.

How much credibility do you have? You "heard that Target was French"? Target is based in Minneapolis. Senator Mark Dayton is an heir. 3-M, General Mills, Best Buy and Cargill to name a few, are all based in Minneapolis.

They aren't French. It was founded by Dayton-Hudson Corporation in Minnesota. The lame duck one-term senator Mark Dayton (D-MN) is one of the heirs to the Dayton fortune.

It stinks really! I do a lot of food shopping there. I do not stop in there for a small buy though, it's just not convenient as a run in and out. I buy meat when the grocery stores have it on sale. I could do without Walmart , it would just cost a bit more.

Dems are doing a big push to get Walmart friendly - and this is part of that ... They'll try to turn conservative support away from Walmart. Why are you helping them?

If Walmart continues this and starts to sponsor Gay events, why would you help them promote such a lifestyle choice?

The move is about realizing that many of their rural stores are located in areas with either declining or aging populations. They need to get into high-population density urban centers and believe that spreading some cash around special interest groups will ease the way.

Dems are trying to push conservatives away from supporting Walmart - and the MSM is there to help them accomplish that goal. Next you'll be hearing how Hillary was on their board - she was - and how they don't like conservatives (a lie). Dems don't have ideas on how to make things better, so they manipulate, lie and cheat. Don't encourage them...

Wal-Mart has looked at the statistics on income, average spending per household, etc., and sees the gay population as a very attractive market. Two disposable incomes, usually no children and an above average level of materialism. In other words, they have money and love to shop. The problem is, the gay population only equates to about what, 2%? Also, I doubt most would be shopping at Walmart - it's just not high-end enough. The gay population (for the most part) is into status and luxury goods. I think Walmart has just offended their core consumers and may regret this move. Just a prediction.

My only conclusion is that these guys (Wal-Mart management) are idiots.

WalMart indorses sodomy and the union thereof .

As far as Wal-Marts core customer base not "liking gays", I don't think that's really the issue. I'm sure most people could care less, but what they do care about is: 1. Values 2. Against Gay "marriage" 3. Do not want homosexuals to have the same protected status as other protected "minorities". This is not a civil rights issue, but the gay agenda is being driven in that direction.

They're pet supplies for Gerbils and Hamsters will fly outta the stores now! Smooth move.

Thanks for your acerbic observation, lol. I won't even touch the pet comment(?) I was referring to the customer base of Wal-Mart, they put a priority on "values", and if they perceive an entity of violating those "values" then there will be a backlash.

If I am reading this right, I should be able to "sashay" into Walmart and declare my self a homo and get special treatment and better rates to haul their freight? Or do I get 10-20% off all purchases for being a pervert? What a sick world we are living in.


Princess Talibania: Let the majority decide which religious monuments the taxpayers will fund!

I'm continuing to follow the adventures of my favorite orange-skinned virginal thirtyish bride of Christ, Princess Barbie Talibania. Regular Blenders will know she's one of my favorite subjects, because she combines my fascination with reason-impaired fundamentalist theocrats with my perverse need to think dirty thoughts about pious little Christian girls.

Lately she's been crowing about the Idaho Supreme Court's 4-1 decision to allow her pet initiative on the November ballot. She and her group, the Keep the Commandments Coalition, collected 19,000 signatures requesting that the citizens of Boise should be allowed to vote on whether a Ten Commandments monument may be restored onto the grounds of a city-owned public park.

Recently, she replied to an editorial in the Idaho Statesman which pointed out the problems with such a vote taking place...
However, other points in the editorial require comment. They argue that the City Council was right to remove the original monument to head off a "free-for-all of religious expression." Our response is, "What's wrong with that? Isn't that the point of the First Amendment?"
Well, yes, dear Barbie, but only when we're talking about private expression of religion. You know, that whole "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" part that comes before the "or abridging the freedom of speech" part? It basically means you're free to preach about Jeebus all you want, but the government itself shall not preach or squelch preaching.

In fact, before the whole Ten Commandments fiasco, there was and always has been a "free-for-all of religious expression". I see Christian crosses everywhere - megachurches, necklace pendants, roadside memorials. You can't scan the AM radio dial without finding a Jeebus station. A Christian book series is a runaway best seller. A Christian snuff film grosses $600 million worldwide. Damn near everywhere you look you can find this "free-for-all". Even in government, where there is supposed to be a neutrality toward religion, we find prayers in Congress, In God We Trust on money, and religious iconography and idiom throughout our government buildings and documents. So it is not as if we need the Ten Commandments displayed in a school, courthouse, or public park to remind us that Jeebus loves us, every one.

What this is really about is government recognition of the supremacy of Christianity. The bible thumpers have over the past fifty years seen a culture that implicitly recognized unquestioning faith in Judeo-Christian scripture and mores as the bedrock of society to a culture that more and more explicitly recognizes science, individuality, multiculturalism, tolerance, pleasure, and profit as the bedrock of society. Along with that are declining church attendance numbers (and an associated drop in income, er, tithes), rising numbers of young people who find religion "irrelevant", and increases in stats that bible thumpers perceive as socially regressive (out and proud gay people, cohabitation without marriage, availability of cable porno, whatever).

The bible thumpers need the reinforcement that they indeed are the good and righteous people and that this country was made for them and only them and people who will submit to their ways of thought. For them not placing the Ten Commandments in the park is tantamount to government declaring that their religion is no more or less important than any one else's; or worse, that it is no more or less vital to maintaining a civil democratic republic than having no religion at all. And nowhere is that more apparent than in this statement from Barbie's blog:
When asked if this opens Pandora's box to other religious monuments, my response is quite simple. Present your proposal to the city, and if you get shut out like we did, go out and get 19,000 signatures in support of your monument, and I will be the first one in line to argue for your right to get a vote on the matter.
So then the huge Muslim population of Boise, Idaho, should gather 19,000 signatures from Muslims or people who support Islam to have a giant monument of Quranic scripture placed in the public park. So should the Baha'i, the Zoroastrians, the Wiccans, the Buddhists, and so on... And then Barbie will fight for your right to have your monument voted on by the overwhelming Christian majority of Boise, Idaho.

Oh, except for the fact that you'd be lucky to scrape up 19,000 Muslims in all of Idaho, much less the city of Boise, right Barbie? Which means, pretty much, that only the majority is able to get their monument placed in the park, and the minority just gets to pay the taxes for the upkeep of the park and the monument to a religion they don't believe. Gee, Barbie, how mighty white of you to be the first one in line to stand up for the right to vote on the Muslim monument.

I wonder if she has thought that logic through to its conclusion? You know, Dearborn, Michigan, has quite a sizeable Muslim population. How about they vote for those Quranic verses in their parks, schools, and courthouses? What will you tell the poor Christian in Dearborn who calls you to complain? ("Move to Idaho!" I suppose.) Better yet, Boise has a sizeable Mormon population; are you cool with the LDS Thirteen Articles of Faith up there next to the Ten Commandments?

What these American Taliban never realize is that the separation of church and state doesn't exist to protect the state. The state will exist, be it secular or theocratic, regardless of the existence of the churches. However, history has proved that only in the secular state can the churches hope to continue existing. Even if it is your religion that becomes the state church, your religion will never be the same once it is the state religion. Piety is replaced by politics, moral concerns with monetary concerns, and absolutes of sin and salvation give way to the relativism of public perception and the bottom line (look no further than the Catholic Church and the priest pedophile scandals).

Sigh. Sometimes it's pretty draining to keep up with the American Taliban. I don't know how Pam rides herd on the stable of black homo-bigot preachers; I've got my hands full keeping tabs on one minor-league anti-sex anti-woman anti-gay wingnut. In the time it took me to compose this, the FDA approved Plan B and now, against all science and biology, she's saying:
Plan B is not simply something that prevents conception, it actually prevents a tiny baby from implanting on the uterine wall; therefore, it has the potential to be an early term abortion.
I will never find the time to rebut all this wingnuttia... anyone else want a shot at it?


Look who was behind the IRS witchhunt against the NAACP

Remember when then-head of the NAACP, Julian Bond, gave a scathing keynote address against the Bush admin and his faith-based puppets at the organization's convention in 2004?
Calling the Bush administration's approach to civil rights "deceptive," Bond suggested that the White House has "tried an aggressive campaign to seduce black clergy" to support the administration through its faith-based grant campaign.


"The president likes to talk the talk, but he doesn't walk the walk," Bond told a crowd of about 3,000 gathered at Milwaukee's Midwest Airlines Center to hear his introduction to the annual convention. Bond said the administration "at best has neglected civil rights issues, and at worst has been aggressively hostile to them" - buttressing that remark with mention of a recent U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report that was critical of the administration.

...Bond accused black conservatives and blamed foundations that finance conservative groups for rolling back gains for which civil rights leaders have fought. "Having stolen our vocabulary, they also want to steal the just spoils of our righteous war," he said. "They've had a collection of black hustlers and hucksters on their payrolls for more than 20 years, promoting them as a new generation of black leaders." Reiterating comments from his keynote convention address two years ago about Bush and his black supporters, Bond said, "Like ventriloquists' dummies, they speak in the puppet master's voice, but we can see his lips moving, and we can hear his money talk."
Well, that got the organization in a lot of hot water, and the IRS launched an investigation (on Oct. 8, 2004), reviewing its tax-exempt status.

Yesterday, finally, news of the conclusion of this outlandish, stretched-out investigation was released -- the NAACP did not violate conditions of its tax exempt status.

All along, the IRS wouldn't tell the NAACP who filed the complaint or what the specifics were. Take a look at this:
The IRS refused to explain the basis of its investigation for more than a year. The NAACP learned the basis for the examination only after filing four Freedom of Information Act requests (FOIA).

The documents included complaints filed by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), then-Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), Reps. JoAnn Davis (R-Va.) and Larry Combest (R-Texas), then-Reps. Robert Ehrlich (R-Md.) and Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) and political donor Richard Hug. In the interest of ensuring transparency, integrity and fairness in the administration of the tax law, the NAACP will release copies of all the documents provided thus far by request.


Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele with now-Gov. Robert Ehrlich.


Jeebus insideTM

It's not an Intel chip, but another appearance of holy images stirring up the sheeple.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

A 34-year-old woman in Pittsburgh, Pa., claims the image of Jesus appeared to her in a recent magnetic resonance imaging scan of her body, according to a Local 6 News report. Rhonda Hodge of Duquesne had several X-rays taken of her spine because of a bulged disc, which has been causing numbness in her neck and left arm. One of the images caught her attention and that of her friends and co-workers. "What went through my mind?" Hodge said. "Just surprise. Oh my God, that's the crucifixion." Hodge said there is no doubt in her mind that the image looks like the crucifixion.
Add this one to appearances of Jeebus and the Blessed Virgin Mary sightings in pasta dishes, burnt toast, grilled cheese, tree trunks, water stains and dripped chocolate...

Hat tip, Shakes Sis, who also found a story on a turtle in Chicago with the image of the Virgin Mary on its underside.


The next bestseller

Exodus International head and "former homosexual" Alan Chambers' new tome is up for pre-order at Amazon:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

At $11.19, it's way too high a price to pay for fish-wrapper. Dan at Ex-Gay Watch says he requested a review copy from the publisher, but -- surprise -- he hasn't received one.

Wayne's on the case with these comments:
I can't wait to read the book in the coming weeks and weed out the lies, if only my computer hard drive has enough room to store all of them! Chambers, while a pleasant man, has always had serious character flaws when it comes to truth-telling, honesty and integrity. In preparing for his new book, I listened to an interview I had with him for my own book, "Anything But Straight," and found this little gem.

"I used to steal," confessed Chambers. "I was very consumed with and, I loved things, I loved money and I used to steal it."
Well he doesn't have to worry about ripping off a cent from the gay community with this book. I guess he'll have to rely on the same miniscule audience that clicked and ordered Mary Cheney's waste of paper.

This is clearly a sad recruiting tool for Exodus; I only hope those struggling with coming out don't waste their time with this sort of propaganda. Joe Brummer sums it up with this in the comments at Ex-Gay Watch (where Alan also stops by to bleat, btw):
This is the same person who says GLBT people don't have real loving, committed relationships. THis is the same man who changes the numbers of ex-gay from 100s, to thousands, to millions at the drop of a hat. He can't get the story straight, let alone write a book on the strory. This is the same man who says we are not equal to heterosexuals.

This is the same man who said "But as a property owner of Orlando, I wouldn't rent to someone who is gay any more than I would rent to a person who is a practicing witch."

...He is far from an authority on GLBT people. He has proven again and again, he know little about us. Exodus International is nothing more than a hate group. While those that run it may be wonderful people, their actions are immoral, wrong and misguided.


Ernesto pummels NC



A few of you all emailed me about whether we're OK here in the Triangle, given Ernesto is blasting through. The wind picked up overnight (max 60 mph now), and as I type this (5:45 AM) there's not been any damage or power outage here in our neighborhood. I don't know about downtown, where I work -- the power goes out there fairly easily. 25 counties are now under advisories, watches, or severe weather warnings, including Durham.

I'm pretty sure Raleigh has some flooding. Crabtree Mall seems to go under water at the drop of a hat.
Ernesto's sustained winds reached 70 mph, just 4 mph below hurricane strength, as it made landfall at Long Beach, just west of Cape Fear, at 11:30 p.m. Thursday. It dumped more than 8 inches of rain on the Wilmington area - a record for Aug. 31, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm weakened as it moved inland. At 5 a.m. Friday, Ernesto was moving north at about 15 mph with maximum sustained winds of nearly 60 mph, the weather service said. It was about 20 miles south-southwest of Kinston and about 150 miles southwest of Norfolk, Va.
The NC coast, particularly the fragile Outer Banks area and the rest of the lower-lying Eastern parts the state are experiencing a good deal of flooding, as a storm -- unrelated to Ernesto -- had already water-logged the area with several inches of rain beforehand. Ernesto is moving slowly, which is bad, since that means more time to dump rain. From NOAA's 5AM report:
TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 115 MILES...185 KM...MAINLY TO THE EAST FROM THE CENTER.

SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS ABOUT 990 MB...29.23 INCHES.

RAINFALL TOTALS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES ARE EXPECTED OVER THE MID ATLANTIC STATES...INCLUDING THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS...THROUGH SUNDAY...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM STORM TOTALS OF UP TO 12 INCHES POSSIBLE. ADDITIONAL RAINFALL OF 3 TO 5 INCHES IS POSSIBLE OVER EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON. THESE RAINFALL AMOUNTS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES.

COASTAL STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 3 TO 5 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS IS POSSIBLE ALONG THE COAST OF NORTH CAROLINA IN AREAS OF ONSHORE FLOW WITHIN THE WARNING AREA.

ISOLATED TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE OVER EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA AND SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA THROUGH THIS MORNING.
WRAL-TV has excellent coverage and video.
* Closings/delays are here.
* There is a storm blog on the site, where people can report in re: accidents/downed trees, etc.