Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday Morning Male Beauty

Republican Councilman: Explains Racist Facebook Posts: 'I Was A Very Active Republican'

GOP Facebook post - he was simply being a "very active Republican"
When not condemning gays, Republicans and their hate disseminating Christofascist/Tea Party party base seem obsessed with stirring up racism and encouraging white supremacists to work to disenfranchise minority voters and anyone else deemed :other."  Of course, when confronted, these people usually deny their agenda, but once in a while one finds a Republican who is honest about the racism that is now a pillar of the GOP.  A case in point?  Poplar Bluff, Missouri, councilman Peter Tinsley who explained his racist Facebook post by saying that he was just being "a very active Republican." No doubt Tinsley also sees himself as a  "godly Christian" since no one hates others more than the godly folk be they members of ISIS or a local Southern Baptist congregation.  Talking Points Memo looks at the mysognmy:
According to television station KFVS, Poplar Bluff, Mo., councilman Peter Tinsley's offensive posts were brought up during a city council meeting on Monday night. Tinsley apologized for his behavior, saying he didn't intend to offend anyone when he made those posts last year, reported KFVS.

"I apologize from the bottom of my heart," Tinsley said. "At one time, I was a very active republican, very opposed to Obama."

KFVS reported that Tinsley's justification for posting the photos upset fellow Republicans and prompted another apology.

"I want people to know that I am very remorseful for it," Tinsley told KFVS. "That it was inappropriate. I believe I got caught up in an emotional moment of sharing jokes and at the time it seemed funny but today it's, it's, it's very serious and it's not funny at all. … That anything that I have said, that I referred to the activity because I was a Republican, that is not true. It's not an excuse, " Tinsley said.
Tinsley's efforts to shield the GOP are disingenuous.  Locally, a GOP chairman had to resign after disseminating racist "jokes" and just recently the Treasurer f the Republican Party of Virginia resigned after making anti-Muslim statements.  This behavior is the norm, not the exception.

Religion - The Well Spring for Hate and Homophobia

As LGBT Virginians now face the prospect of waiting perhaps another ten (10) months before they can legally marry in their home state (assuming Justice Kennedy doesn't side with the four Christofascists on the Supreme Court), it is appropriate to underscore where the opposition to marriage equality comes from.  It's not about protecting children, it's not about making families more stable, and it's not about supporting "biblical marriage" since polygamy, not monogamy, is the true marital pattern supported by the Bible.  No, it is all about religious based hatred and an ISIS like mindset that demands those who are different and/or nonbelievers be punished.  Salon, via Alternet, has a compilation of church signs that demonstrate the sick hatred that permeates the "godly folk" and poisons our society.  Here are some highlights:

Texan televangelist John Hagee called same-sex marriage supporters “counterfeit Christians.” A pastor in Tampa, Florida refused to perform a funeral service when he learned the deceased man had been gay, because that would have been “blasphemous.” And Pastor Steve Washburn of First Baptist Pflugerville, Texas, is warning that pastors will be imprisoned for speaking out in favor of same-sex marriage. And that was just this week.

Certain church leaders certainly seem to be re-prioritizing Jesus’ to-do list. They’ve decided to ignore the Bible’s minor points, like turn the other cheek and that whole Golden Rule thing. Also, they’re not going to worry so much about the poor. These shepherds, instead, demonstrate their love for Jesus Christ by hating on homosexuality. They instruct their flock by broadcasting messages of homophobia—literally—on church signs and marquees. Here are some of the worst church signs preaching against brotherly love.

2. God good, gays bad! In this sign, on display at the Santa Clara Jesus Is Lord Baptist Church in California, the beauty is in its simplicity: “God is good/Gays are bad/vote Yes on Prop Eight.”  . . . . Mormons, Catholics, evangelicals and Orthodox Jews, who were able to put aside their religious differences and come together in a beautiful interfaith collaborative effort to strip people of their civil rights. Because, at the end of the day, we may call him different names, but we all believe in the same god, who happens to be very homophobic.

4. Some of my best friends are sinning gaysThis sign, gracing the front the Seagate Chapel Church in Wilmington, North Carolina, says, “God loves gays but he hates a perverted life style—turn or burn.” If you can’t find the phrase in Romans 1-26-27, that’s probably because it isn’t there.

5. What would Jesus do? Stone the homos!This “Jesus would stone homos” sign, which was outside a church in… NEW YORK CITY, merely puts some Old Testament teachings into plain language. . . . And what verses does this biblical scholar cite? Leviticus, obviously.

 7. Math hates equality. This sign, seen at the Glasgow Church in New Castle County, Delaware, is not at all formulaic. To sum up, this sign says that same-sex marriage just shouldn’t be part of the equation. In case you’ve forgotten everything you learned in arithmetic, allow me to translate: The cross (Christianity) is greater than equality (for the gays).

 9. Don’t say the Bible didn’t warn you about HIV!This is another gem from Pastor James Manning. I didn’t think it was possible, but he manages to outdo his earlier work with this sign, which “cites” Corinthians, specifically the part saying, “All churches & members that support homos cursed be thou with cancer syphillus HIV stroke madness itch then hell.” I can’t really add anything to this. It speaks for itself.
Can't you just feel the "Christian love"?   These are not nice or decent people.  They are ugly hate merchants.

Virginia GOP Family Values: Throw Your Wife Under the Bus

The criminal corruption trail of former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen seems to get more and more tawdry and night time soap opera like with each passing day of the trial.  One thing that has become abundantly clear is that to be a good Republican family, one needs to play act in public even as shrew like behavior and estrangement are the norm behind closed doors.  Or at least that is the take away if one believes Bob McDonnell - who opposes gay marriage despite the sanctity free nature of his own - and his defense team.  Oh, and let's not forget the greed and avarice that seems to have had free rein.  Here are highlights from the New York Times on the tawdry reality  of  Virginia GOP family values in action:

Defense lawyers have portrayed the couple as incapable of conspiring with Mr. Williams, who gave the couple and a family business $120,000 in low-interest loans, paid for much of their daughter’s wedding, took Ms. McDonnell on lavish spending sprees, bought a Rolex for the governor, footed the bill for golf outings and made his Ferrari available to them. 

The defense painted Ms. McDonnell as a vitamin-obsessed “nutbag” smitten with Mr. Williams, and Mr. McDonnell, once considered a contender for the G.O.P. presidential nomination, as at once a na├»ve Boy Scout and an accomplished governor too busy to notice Mr. Williams’s entreaties.

The initial shot the former governor took at his wife was a teaser, devised by the defense lawyer Henry Asbill at the very beginning of his client’s testimony. Mr. Asbill then turned to Mr. McDonnell’s career and his interactions with Mr. Williams.

Even in those early biographical sections, client and lawyer mustered a few veiled shots at Ms. McDonnell. The former governor spoke at length of the difficult times the family faced when he quit his business job and went to law school. He rejoined active duty in the Army Reserve, helped distribute newspapers in Virginia Beach and sold toys with his wife, who pitched in by waiting tables.
After he graduated, Ms. McDonnell “was a little surprised, maybe disappointed, when she looked at the salary” her husband would be making as a local prosecutor, which was lower than his paycheck four years before.

Mr. McDonnell’s main task on Wednesday appeared to be showing that for all his largess, Mr. Williams received no quo for his quid. The Richmond-based insurer Genworth Financial won a $7 million tax savings from the McDonnell administration. A local brewery here got a bill-signing ceremony. The governor pulled out all the stops to help an Israeli firm partner with Pepsi-Cola to make Sabra hummus in Virginia. A DuPont battery facility in Chesterfield County got a visit from the governor.

In contrast, Mr. McDonnell said, Mr. Williams’s Star Scientific company got no grants, no earmarks in the Virginia budget, no economic development assistance, no governor’s visit — just one event in the governor’s mansion, one of “300 or so” where 25,000 people were invited.

But the fireworks still lie with the marriage, which has looked picture-perfect in public but is being portrayed as icy, roiled by a mercurial wife who loathed her role as first lady.

A management consultant hired in 2011 to calm the first lady’s ready-to-revolt staff testified Wednesday that he had discussed reducing her time at the governor’s mansion, limiting her public speaking and getting her therapy, possibly for depression.

Indeed, only in this soap-operatic trial would evidence of affection between the McDonnells be seen as a victory for the prosecution. Prosecutors on Wednesday tried to undermine the defense’s contention that the McDonnells’ marriage had become a sham, highlighting an email exchange between Ms. McDonnell and Mr. Burke in January 2012 as they hashed endlessly over getting her through a coming public event.

Mr. Burke testified that he was brought in to calm “an undue amount of chaos” in the first lady’s suite. He spoke of shouting matches over telephones while trying to stop Ms. McDonnell’s entire staff from quitting, a private appeal to the governor to get his wife into therapy, and hours coaching Ms. McDonnell through speaking engagements and public appearances.

The McDonnells quickly exchanged high-interest credit card debt for Mr. Williams’s lending terms: 2 percent interest to be paid after three years, with no monthly payments necessary.
Sadly, I suspect that many of the marriages of the "godly Christian" crowd are shams and psychodramas like that depicted by the defense team.  The irony is that, if this is true, having gays legally marry could only help the status of marriage across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Think about it, what kind of marriage can a hate filled, perpetually lying, frigid bitch like Victoria Cobb have? 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

More Wednesday Male Beauty

click image to enlarge

Losing A Wonderful Father-in-Law: Families of Gays

Today was a horrible day even though it started out routine and seemingly just another work day.  My father-in-law (pictured above exactly four months ago with the husband and me) had a massive stroke in mid-morning and passed away this afternoon.  By profession, my father-in-law was an Army chaplain and then a Southern Baptist pastor who attended Southeaster Theological Seminary in the days prior to the far right take over of the Southern Baptist Convention.   Knowing his background, in anticipation to our first meeting, I was a nervous wreck.  To my surprise - we met at a restaurant for a family birthday gathering - his first words to me were "welcome to the family" as he gave me a hug.  Over the next six years he continued to surprise me with his love and acceptance of me as his son's life partner.

Given my father-in-law's sometimes fragile health, my husband and I decided to get married in Washington, D.C., rather than wait for same sex marriage to become legal in Virginia.  Given the my father-in-law's death today and the U.S. Supreme Court's stay of the 4th Circuit ruling (which would  have allowed marriages to begin tomorrow), we obviously made the right decision.   My father-in-law had a great time throughout our wedding weekend and upon our return to Hampton, he teared up as we unloaded the car and said to me that I needed to know that I was "his son now and that I was always welcome in his home."   He was a kind, accepting and loving man - what a Christian is supposed to be.  I consider to be lucky to have known him and been able to call him my father-in-law. I am so happy that he was able to co-officiate our wedding, attend our family wedding reception last month and travel to his family's family reunion just two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, I cannot help but wonder how many parents in Virginia will be deprived of seeing their children marry as the U.S. Supreme Court bows and genuflects to Christofascists before it hopefully strikes down Virginia's marriage bans once and for all.  The husband and I (and his late father) were lucky.  We refused to allow religious based anti-gay animus keep us from marrying.  But others may not be able to do what we did.   No citizen - and no parent - should have to travel to another state so that loving couples can marry.   Whether the hate filled Christofascists and their minions want to admit it or not, we gays do have families (my children and grandchildren - and one son-in-law in the blue shirt - are pictured below) and with every delay of civil equality and every anti-gay lie, more and more Americans are rejecting Christianity and questioning the legitimacy of the current Supreme Court. 

Supreme Court Stays Virginia Marriages, Inflicts Harm on Gays and Their Families

As many past posts on this blog have laid out in detail, the only true objection to same sex marriages derives from religious based bigotry.  All the other "arguments" do not hold water - as a string of federal court rulings have laid out in detail - and the Christofascists, their political whores in the Republican Party, and bigoted United States Supreme Court justices want to punish gays and withhold civil legal rights solely because of non-adherence to Christofascist hate, ignorance embracing and fear based religious beliefs.  Sadly, today the United States Supreme Court stayed the ruling of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit which would have allowed gay marriages to commence tomorrow morning in Virginia.  While one can hope the Court will ultimately strike down same sex marriage bans nationwide very soon, the short term results are that gays and their families are harmed while vile, nasty individuals like Victoria Cobb of The Family Foundation, Virginia's principal hate organization, bigoted cows like Michele McQuigg, Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk, and arrogant asses like Antonin Scalia for at least a short while longer can preen, pat themselves on the back for their self declared piety, and deprive other Americans of civil legal rights while granting special privileges to one religious faith group.  I suspect that the Founding Fathers, who were rightly suspicious of religion and opposed restricting civil rights based on religious belief would find the Court's action today abhorrent.  The Washington Blade has details on the Court's unfortunate action.  Here are excerpts:
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to a stay Wednesday on a federal appeals court’s ruling against Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage, blocking same-sex marriages from taking place this week in the Old Dominion.

Without explanation, the court announced in a single-page order it has stayed the ruling by the U.S. Fourth Circuit of Appeals in Schaefer v. Bostic, which affirmed Virginia’s prohibition on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

Although Chief Justice John Roberts is responsible for stay requests in the Fourth Circuit, the order indicates he referred the matter to the entire court. The vote by the Supreme Court on the decision isn’t included in the order.

The court adds that if the court ends up declining a writ of certiorari to hear the case, the stay will terminate automatically. But if the court decides to hear the case, the stay will continue until judgment is issued.

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, said the stay decision from the Supreme Court “underscores of the urgency” of a national resolution in favor of marriage equality.

“Americans across the country are being deprived of the freedom to marry and respect for their lawful marriages, as well as the tangible protections and precious dignity and happiness that marriage brings,” Wolfson said. “It is time for the Supreme Court to affirm what more than thirty courts have held in the past year: marriage discrimination violates the Constitution, harms families, and is unworthy of America.”

Prior to the announcement from the Supreme Court, the anti-gay legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom, which is defending Virginia’s marriage ban on behalf of McQuigg, followed up with a response insisting that a stay on the Fourth Circuit decision is necessary to prevent harm to the state. 

As noted before, I hope history views Victoria Cobb, Michele McQuigg and Antonin Scalia, et al, with the same scorn as segregationists of the past and judges who ruled in favor of slavery and later segregation and bans on interracial marriage.  Hate and bigotry are still hate and bigotry no matter how one tries to wrap it in feigned religiosity.


Wednesday Morning Male Beauty

Missouri Lieutenant Governor: We Need ‘Anglo-American’ Justice in Ferguson

If one still has any wonders about what  is wrong with Missouri, Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder (R) - naturally, he's a Republican - pictured above, has shot off his mouth to make things even more clear.  He says that the state's governor needs to reinstate the curfew in Ferguson to allow the justice system — which he said was a product of “Anglo-American civilization” — to do its job.  By "justice," however, it's not clear whether he means justice for Michael Brown or his shooter.  The cynic in me suspects it's the latter and would involve acquittal of any charges.  The Raw Story looks at this douche bag and the continued unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.  Here are some story excerpts:
Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R) on Tuesday called for Gov. Jay Nixon (D) to reinstate the curfew in Ferguson to allow the justice system — which he said was a product of “Anglo-American civilization” — to do its job. 

Following Monday night’s clashes with police in the wake of the death of slain teen Michael Brown, Kindler told MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow that Nixon had been wrong to end the curfew in Ferguson.

“I don’t understand an argument for not reinstating it,” he insisted. “I don’t understand that. I’m not trying to be overtly political. I am saying, the people of Ferguson, the people of the state of Missouri are crying out for leadership.”

Kinder said there was “no question” that race was playing a role in what was happening in Ferguson.

“We do not do justice in America in the streets though,” he argued. “We have legal processes that are set in motion, that are designed after centuries of Anglo-American jurisprudence tradition, they’re designed to protect the rights and liberties of everyone involved.”

“That includes the Brown family, for justice for them and for the community. It also includes the officer who has not yet been charged,” he added. “Our constitutional and our Bill of Rights protections have to be followed here, and we do not do justice in the streets.”

“That’s one of the great advances of Anglo-American civilization, is that that we do not have politicized trials. We let the justice system work it out.”
Obviously, Kinder lives in a fantasy world.  What happened to Trayvon Martin and others has proven  that justice often doesn't work out in our legal system.  Not if one is non-white.

Children Murdered After Deportation by United States

As sadly seems to always be the case with today's GOP and even more so its Christofascists/white supremacist base, objective facts, the truth and often basic decency do not matter.  Their entire agenda lies based on greed, a desire to force their sick religious beliefs on all, and a hatred of anyone who doesn't have lily white skin.  Thus, the GOP base and its elected whores deny that children flocking to America's southern borders are doing so often literally fear for their lives.  To these Republicans and the "godly Christians" the lives of these children simply do not matter why?  Because they aren't white.  Think Progress looks at the fate of some of the children deported by the United States.  Here are highlights:
Between five and ten migrant children have been killed since February after the United States deported them back to Honduras, a morgue director told the Los Angeles Times. Lawmakers have yet to come up with best practices to deal with the waves of unaccompanied children apprehended by Border Patrol agents, but some politicians refute claims that children are fleeing violence and are opting instead to fund legislation that would fast-track their deportations

San Pedro Sula morgue director Hector Hernandez told the Los Angeles Times that his morgue has taken in 42 dead children since February. According to an interview with relatives by the LA Times, one teenager was shot dead hours after getting deported. Last year, San Pedro Sula saw 187 killings for every 100,000 residents, a statistic that has given the city the gruesome distinction as the murder capital of the world. That distinction has also been backed up by an U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency infographic, which found that many Honduran children are on the run from extremely violent regions “where they probably perceive the risk of traveling alone to the U.S. preferable to remaining at home.” Hugo Ramon Maldonado of the Committee for the Protection of Human Rights in Honduras believes that about 80 percent of Hondurans making the exodus are fleeing crime or violence. 

Politicians like Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) have been keen on expediting the legal process by demanding that immigration judges make a court decision within seven days. But that move could undermine children’s rights by denying due process to children who already don’t understand the courtroom procedures. As Vox found out, one teenage girl told a border agent that she was afraid of being forced into prostitution only after her paperwork had been filed.

According to a United Nations report, at least 58 percent of the children cited “international protection needs” as in they were seeking protection from the international community because their home governments could no longer protect them.
What is fueling the violence in Central America?  Mostly the drug trade which is fueled by America's failed "war on drugs" that makes drug trafficking so lucrative and in the process encourages lawless gangs and drug lords. Add to that corrupt and incompetent governments and the poisonous mix is complete.