Saturday, June 23, 2007

Study: 'Gay-friendly' cities enjoy more economic prosperity

The Raw Story has a new story (http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Study_Gayfriendly_cities_enjoy_more_economic_0623.html) on a new Florida funded study that shows that the more "gay friendly" a city, the more prosperous it is. I guess this explains why large areas of Virginia are not that prosperous. It's one reason why HRBOR was formed: to help move Hampton Roads into a more accepting and prosperous mode. Here's portions of the story:

Richard Florida, a professor from George Mason University and author of the book The Rise of the Creative Class argued that the more "gay-friendly" a city is, the more economically prosperous it will be.

In his March 2007 paper "There Goes the Neighborhood," Florida uses something he calls the "Bohemian-Gay Index" to demonstrate that "artistic, bohemian, and gay populations" have a "substantial effects on housing values across all permutations of the model and across all region sizes." He also found that more open and "gay-friendly" areas generally support higher income levels.

Florida said he thinks it is the open mindedness of these cities that has allowed economically successful communities to emerge, rather than prior economic success attracting open minded people.

Someone needs to get this message through to the Virginia General Assembly!!! Based on this study, the legislators are doing the exact opposite of what will make the state more prosperous.

Final Saturday Male Beauty

World's largest retailer stops donating to gay-rights organizations


CNN Money is reporting that Wal-Mart is going to stop making donations to gay organizations. While I do shop at Wal-Mart that often (actually, almost never), I now will definitely make sure that I NEVER shop at Wal-Mart. I am so very tired of the Christianists telling businesses to do in running their operations. It is sad that a company as large as Wal-Mart lacks the backbone to tell the Don Wildmons of the world to take a hike. Here's how Wal-Mart tries to hide their knuckling under to bigots:

We are not currently planning corporate-level contributions to GLBT groups," said Mona Williams, the company's senior vice president of corporate communications. Individual stores can still donate to gay groups.

By way of explanation, Ms. Williams cited a policy adopted last fall saying that Wal-Mart would not make corporate contributions "to support or oppose highly controversial issues" unless they directly relate to the company's ability to serve its customers.

Inasmuch as many members of society besides gays consider fundamentalist Christians to be controversial, will Wal-Mart stop making contributions to all their organizations? Using Wal-Mart's supposed standard, ever gay-bashing religious denomination and organization (e.g., the Boy Scouts) should be cut off. I agree with the CNN reporter's final comment:

The lesson here may be that it's hard to find a middle ground when it comes to gay rights in the workplace. A company either believes in workplace equality for all, and is willing to stand up and say so, or it doesn't. It's pretty clear where Wal-Mart stands.

Wal-Mart clearly has failed this standard.

More Saturday Male Beauty

More Saturday Male Beauty

More Catholic Church Hypocrisy


Also in the Virginian Pilot today, a story about a local man from Virginia Beach who is suing the Catholic Diocese of Burlington, Vermont:

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- A man who says he was molested by a priest 30 years ago broke down in tears Friday as a former church official read aloud in court a letter he wrote to the church, describing the incidents. James Turner, 46, of Virginia Beach, Va., who is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington for negligent supervision, hung his head and sobbed into a handkerchief as former Vicar General Rev. Wendell Searles read the letter on the witness stand.

Searles, 78, the Diocese's former No. 2 man, said he acted as the church's point person on sex abuse cases before retiring and fielded Turner's initial complaint to the church. . . . Searles acknowledged that for years, the church protected the privacy of priests who had been accused, shielding them by keeping secret allegations made against them. O'Neill pressed him about whether the church had done so with Willis, who was later convicted in a 1981 church tribunal and declared "infamous." "Yes, we wanted to protect his privacy," Searles said.

And yet none of the Church hierarchy has been punished. Bishops and cardinals get to continue to live as potentates and then retire on Church funded pensions. These people have no shame and in any other area, civilian or military (well, except perhaps under Chimperator Bush's regime), such dereliction by superiors would result in firing and other severe consequences. Sadly, not under the Nazi Pope (shown at left in his red Prada shoes) or his predecessors who seem to have specialized in false piety.

More Saturday Male Beauty

Forgotten Founding Father


Thomas Paine is sometimes referred to as the Forgotten Founder. His pamphlets Common Sense and The Crisis mobilized the colonialists to rebellion and then sustained them when all appeared lost. He certainly is not a founding father who fits the myth put out by today's Christianists about the founders of the USA. Here are a couple telling quotes:

Revelation, therefore, cannot be applied to anything done upon earth of which man is himself the actor or the witness; and consequently all the historical and anecdotal part of the Bible, which is almost the whole of it, is not within the meaning and compass of the word revelation, and, therefore, is not the word of God.
All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life. I believe the equality of man, and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.

I saw the exceeding probability that a revolution in the system of government would be followed by a revolution in the system of religion. The adulterous connection of church and state, wherever it had taken place, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, had so effectually prohibited, by pains and penalties, every discussion upon established creeds, and upon first principles of religion, that until the system of government should be changed, those subjects could not be brought fairly and openly before the world; but that whenever this should be done, a revolution in the system of religion would follow. Human inventions and priest-craft would be detected; and man would return to the pure, unmixed, and unadulterated belief of one God, and no more.

Not exactly the stuff Daddy Dobson and the other loud mouth Christianists would have their duped followers learn about since they seek to revert back to the system Paine so strongly condemned. More than 200 years ago, Paine had Dobson, et al, pegged for their true agenda.

More Saturday Male Beauty


Whacky News
















This story in the Virginian Pilot was just too funny:
VIRGINIA BEACH -– A squirrel in a power substation shut down electricity in and around Town Center (pictured above) this morning for more than three hours. Power went out at 6:41 a.m. after a squirrel damaged a switch at the substation at Independence Boulevard and Virginia Beach Boulevard, near Town Center, said Chuck Penn, a spokesman for Dominion Virginia Power. At its peak, the power failure affected 5,200 customers from Town Center to Rosemont Road. Many traffic lights along Virginia Beach Boulevard were out.
Unfortunately, the story doesn't say what happened to the squirrel.

Saturday Male Beauty


More Pet Sounds


Raymond and I attended a performance of Pet Sounds - the Granby High School student written and produced musical that was not allowed to be staged at the school because it dealt with homosexuality, among other issues - last night. The show was incredible and the talent of these students was amazing. The 40th Street Stage that hosted the show is a quirky venue in a former warehouse and not exactly a London West End theater like the one I experienced some years back, but it all worked marvelously.

Since the show was a musical using the music of Petula Clark, not only was acting skill required, but musical, choreographic and dancing talent as well. We had to keep saying to ourself "I cannot believe these are just high school students." The show not only addressed the issues faced by gay students, but also many of the other issues faced by high school teenagers, ranging from racial issues to the universal quest for acceptance and discovering one's self. In my opinion, not only should the show have been required viewing for all students, faculty and staff at Granby High School, but also for every resident in this area over the age of 13 or 14.

I cannot say enough praise of the students - some of whom definitely deserve a future in the big league - but for their drama coach as well. It was a job truly well done.

What Would Jesus Do - Misplaced "Christian" Priorities





Browsing Civil Commotion (http://www.civilcommotion.com/) this morning, I came across some photos in a couple of posts that struck me as mind boggling in illustrating misplaced priorities by Christianists in this country. The top two photos of the horrible conditions in an orphanage in Iraq. The conditions are shocking to say the least.
The bottom one is of the $27 Million plus Creationist Museum that recently opened in Kentucky to market the anti-science and anti-knowledge agenda of the creationists. Reading the Gospels of the Bible, I cannot believe that Jesus would condone spending such sums on a propagandist museum versus caring for helpless children, many of whom have no doubt become orphans as a result of Christianist in Chief, Chimperator Bush's war.
Oops. I forgot - these children are non-white and Muslim; therefore, under the Christianist values system, they do not count. These people truly sicken me.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Final Friday Male Beauty


End Don't Ask, Don't Tell

I am stunned. I just received a telephone call from a client who told me he and two other U. S. personnel I know are under investigation for being gay. He is not sure of the source of the complaint, but believes it might be another member of the Navy with an axe to grind. The allegations are ludicrous, yet because of the failed Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy he and the others charge will need to retain legal counsel, go through an emotional Hell and could lose their careers.
One would think that with the Iraq disaster still in full swing and the military struggling to meet recruiting goals, this type of bull shit would not be happening. To any my readers in the USA, please contact your representatives in Congress and voice your support for ending this idiocy. Likewise, consider making a donation to SLDN.

Laws Allow Christianists to Withhold Medical Treatment


A new story on MSNBC.com (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19190916/) discusses the growing number of situations where physicians and others in the medical community feel that they can refuse various medical treatments if they violate the physician's personal religious beliefs. The article sets out various examples where completely legal treatments were denied due to doctors' religious beliefs on matters ranging from contraception, morning after pills, single parent adoptions, to gay adoption. Worse yet, several examples were in small town emergency rooms at perhaps the sole local hospital.

Personally, I am beyond over the Christianists trying to make everyone else live by their beliefs. Moreover, it is one thing for a doctor in private practice to refuse treatment, but something very different in a hospital emergency room setting, particularly if it is the only local hospital. If you are an ER doctor and are not willing to provide all legal treatments to patients, get a different job. Plain and simple.

Locally, there are two local hospital systems - one secular and the other part of a Catholic hospital system network. From my own experience, I know the secular hospital network accepts gay medical powers of attorney, etc. However, I advise my LGBT clients to avoid the Catholic hospitals because of problems other members of the LGBT community have described to me. Based on local news reports, one of the Catholic hospitals is in financial trouble and wants to downsize operations. Meanwhile, the hospital makes it self unwelcoming to a whole segment of the local community.

More Friday Male Beauty

Ex-Gay Cat Fight


All Hell is breaking loose in the fraudulent world of ex-gays following Alan Chambers' following comment to the Los Angeles Times:

With years of therapy, Chambers says, he has mostly conquered his own attraction to men; he's a husband and a father, and he identifies as straight. But lately, he's come to resent the term "ex-gay": It's too neat, implying a clean break with the past, when he still struggles at times with homosexual temptation. "By no means would we ever say change can be sudden or complete," Chambers said.

Adding the the ex-gay heresy are statements by Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, that "we should not be surprised" to find a genetic basis for sexual orientation. The concession that homosexuality may not be a choice, but a matter of DNA totally undercuts professional ex-gays like Stephen Bennett, who has a profitable business pretending prayer washed away the gay, and professional anti-gay rights whacko Peter LaBarbera (a/k/a Porno Pete), who has an unnatural need to go "undercover" at gay leather events.

Here's a summary of Bennett's comments following Alan Chambers' act of blasphemy:

There is ZERO biological, scientific "evidence" for homosexuality to this date. The biblical evidence for homosexuality is very clear: it's sin.

For Bible believing Christians, homosexuality is, was and always will be a sinful lifestyle - condemned by God throughout the Old and New Testament - a sin that anyone involved in, must repent from.

Stephen Bennett, an ex-gay himself now for 15 years, happily married for 14 years to his wife Irene and the father of their two children, stated, "Frankly, I am shocked that the President of the largest information and referral ministry in the world on homosexual issues, would ever make such irresponsible and false public statements. If Mr. Chambers, a married man and father who once engaged in homosexuality himself, says he's never met 'a former ex-gay' or one who has 'changed completely', he's personally invited to our home in Connecticut to meet one. I'd also be happy to introduce him to numerous other individuals - all former homosexual men and women."

Bennett once engaged in the homosexual lifestyle for 11 years with over 100 men - losing partners and friends to HIV/AIDS, until everything changed in 1990 - when he was confronted with the gospel of Jesus Christ. He dealt with his root issues and in 1992 completely changed. Stephen no longer struggles whatsoever with homosexual temptation.

"Homosexuality is an outward expression of an inward conflict. When I completely dealt with my inward conflict, my alcoholism, cocaine addiction, bulimia AND homosexual struggle were completely gone," said Bennett.

Note how Bennett, like most of those who have become professional ex-gays has a history of alcohol and drug abuse. I suspect Bennett's root issue was the need to make money and find some form of acceptance and the ex-gay route provided both. In the case of Porno Pete, he strikes me as a bit too shrill and is probably a self-hating closet case. No one straight is that obsessed with homosexuality in my view.

Pieces of Eight


I have been apparently double tagged by Euphoric at Real Euphoria (http://realeuphoria.com/index.php) and Paul at Cook Up Some Thoughts at (http://mental-stew.blogspot.com/). The object is of this game called Pieces of Eight is for me to list 8 things about me that others will not have a clue and then tag some other bloggers. Here goes:
1. I once considered joining the Catholic priesthood - now that would have been a disaster and I'm sure I'd have ended up excommunicated.
2. I was born a month premature (which a far bigger deal in 1952 than nowadays) and my grandfather, who was a doctor, did not think I would live.
3. When I was 12, I was kicked by one of our horses and had to have 63 stitches in my face (hence, I'd be far prettier but for that - just teasing. I had a great plastic surgeon stitch me up).
4. I was very shy, quiet and introverted in junior high and high school.
5. I once posed nude for an artist who did a drawing of me (sort of fullfilled a fantasy).
6. My ancestory is 1/2 Austrian; 3/8 Irish and 1/8 French.
7. I have a terrible sweet tooth and love cookies and pastries.
8. I have a terrible fear of heights.
The following folks need to consider themselves tagged:
Seared Soul Dreamer at http://waitin4life.blogspot.com/

Friday Male Beauty


Thursday, June 21, 2007

More Thursday Male Beauty


Bush's Terrible Legacy


Salon (http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2007/06/20/greenwald/) has a piece on a new book by Glenn Greenwald that examines the legacy of Chimperator Bush's regime. It's not pretty, but sadly, in my view is all too accurate. The introduction to the piece (a quote from Sir Karl Popper, twentieth-century British philosopher of science) says it all:

We all remember how many religious wars were fought for a religion of love and gentleness; how many bodies were burned alive with the genuinely kind intention of saving souls from the eternal fire of hell.

As for highlights of the article, here are some selected quotes:

One of the principal dangers of vesting power in a leader who is convinced of his own righteousness -- who believes that, by virtue of his ascension to political power, he has been called to a crusade against Evil -- is that the moral imperative driving the mission will justify any and all means used to achieve it. Those who have become convinced that they are waging an epic and all-consuming existential war against Evil cannot, by the very premises of their belief system, accept any limitations -- moral, pragmatic, or otherwise -- on the methods adopted to triumph in this battle.

These principles illuminate a central, and tragic, paradox at the heart of the Bush presidency. The president who vowed to lead America in a moral crusade to win hearts and minds around the world has so inflamed anti-American sentiment that America's moral standing in the world is at an all-time low. The president who vowed to defend the Good in the world from the forces of Evil has caused the United States to be held in deep contempt by large segments of virtually every country on every continent of the world, including large portions of nations with which the U.S. has historically been allied. The president who vowed to undertake a war in defense of American values and freedoms has presided over such radical departures from the defining values and liberties of this country that many Americans find their country and its government unrecognizable. And the president who vowed to lead the war for freedom and democracy has made torture, rendition, abductions, lawless detentions of even our own citizens, secret "black site" prisons, Abu Ghraib dog leashes, and orange Guantánamo jumpsuits the strange, new symbols of America around the world.

More Thursday Male Beauty

Anti-Non White Christianists Co-opt Black Ministers

As Pam's House Blend reported (http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=2051), Bishop Harry Jackson, the homobigoted head of the High Impact Leadership Coalition is fretting about the power of the Homosexual Agenda and pending hate crimes legislation in his column "Why Do Gays Hate Religious Freedom?" that appeared on Townhall.com recently. Here's part of his shrill screech:

...Both gays and blacks should get justice in America, but we cannot allow either group to receive special privileges at the expense of another group of Americans. If the loopholes in this legislation are not closed, Christians and Bible-teaching churches could become victims of a strange brand of reverse discrimination. These actions are tantamount to the gay community saying, "Freedom for me, but bondage for you." This attitude is just not consistent with America's ideals.

As I have stated before, these allegations are a flat out lie. Also note, this is the same story line put out by lily white Focus on the Family, Exodus, Family Research Council, Traditional Values Coalition, Mission America, etc. Having monitored these Christianist groups for a number of years, what gets me about these black ministers is that they are being cynically used by the same fundamentalist Christians who, while quoting the Bible, were against ending slavery, against desegregation, against interracial marriage (see my post on Mildred Loving's quote of the judge that found her guilty), and so on. They are NOT the friends of non-whites.

These preachers are basically showing their utter ignorance of history and the antecedents of these very same white Christianist organizations by playing into the hands of the Christianists. True, these Christianists are anti-gay, but they also are anti-people of any color other than white. Who in the GOP do you think is leading the anti-immigrant charge. Immigrants - especially Mexicans and Muslims - are non-white and non-Protestant fundamentalists and, therefore, not wanted. In addition, AIDS is one of the greatest plagues in the black community in the USA and in this area, yet who are the homophobes that keep blacks in the closet and on the down low - the black ministers. They just do not get it.
These ministers are being used just as many Jewish Americans are being used by these Christianists. Yes, the Christianists are currently pro-Israel, but it's because they think Israel is key to triggering Armageddon in the near future, when all but 100,000 Jews will perish. With friends like these folks, do you really need enemies?

Thursday Male Beauty


Bin Laden may have arranged family's US exit: FBI docs


The liberal new site, The Raw Story (http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Bin_Laden_may_have_arranged_family__06202007.html) is reporting that Osama bin Laden may have chartered a plane that carried his family members and Saudi nationals out of the United States after the September 11, 2001 attacks, said FBI documents released Wednesday:

The papers, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, were made public by Judicial Watch, a Washington-based group that investigates government corruption.

One FBI document referred to a Ryan Air 727 airplane that departed Los Angeles International Airport on September 19, 2001, and was said to have carried Saudi nationals out of the United States.
"The plane was chartered either by the Saudi Arabian royal family or Osama bin Laden," according to the document, which was among 224 pages posted online. The flight made stops in Orlando, Florida; Washington, DC; and Boston, Massachusetts and eventually left its passengers in Paris the following day.

In all, the documents detail six flights between September 14 and September 24 that evacuated Saudi nationals and bin Laden family members, Judicial Watch said in a statement. "Incredibly, not a single Saudi national nor any of the bin Laden family members possessed any information of investigative value," Judicial Watch said.

"These documents contain numerous errors and inconsistencies which call to question the thoroughness of the FBI's investigation of the Saudi flights. "For example, on one document, the FBI claims to have interviewed 20 of 23 passengers on the Ryan International Airlines flight ... on another document the FBI claims to have interviewed 15 to 22 passengers on the same flight."

Asked about the documents' assertion that either bin Laden or the Saudi royals ordered the flight, an FBI spokesman said the information was inaccurate. "There is no new information here. Osama bin Laden did not charter a flight out of the US," FBI special agent Richard Kolko said. "This is just an inflammatory headline by Judicial Watch to catch people's attention. This was thoroughly investigated by the FBI."

Kolko pointed to the 9-11 Commission Report, which was the book-length result of an official probe into the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the
Pentagon in Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people.
"No political intervention was found. And most important, the FBI conducted a satisfactory screening of Saudi nationals that left on chartered flights. This is all available in the report," Kolko said.
Nevertheless, unedited footnotes in the texts allowed lawyers to determine that bin Laden's name had been redacted. They pressed the issue in court and in November 2006, the FBI was ordered to re-release the documents. Diliberto said mention that "either" bin Laden or Saudi royals had chartered the flight "really threw us for a loop." "When you combine that with some of the family members not being interviewed, we found it very disturbing."

To be truthful, I am not sure what to think. Sadly, given the many deliberate lies and untruths put out by Chimperator Bush's administration combined with the then GOP controlled Congress' failure to hold Bush in any way accountable, the stage was certainly be set for almost anything to be potentially believeable.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Final Wednesday Male Beauty


The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence


I found this story on fellow blogger Don's blog at http://dondon009.blogspot.com/ and find it most interesting and funny at the same time. Somehow, I thinks these sisters may be more Christian that the Nazi Pope and his minions (as a former Catholic who suffered the church's past and ongoing abuse of gays, I have a license to comment, in my view). These sisters certainly seem to know how to mix it up.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Inc., is a leading-edge Order of queer nuns. Since their first apperance in San Francisco on Easter Sunday 1979, the Sisters have devoted themselves to community service, ministry and outreach to those of the edges, and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment. The Sisters believe all people have a right to express their unique joy and beauty and use humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit!

Orders can be found across the United States and in several countries around the world.Although the San Francisco Order is often referred to as the "Mother House", the Sisters have no central seat of power and no single ruling body. Each Order is an autonomous, unique group with its own Habits, culture and rules. Just as the San Francisco Order is a reflection of the culture that surrounds it, so too is each Order a reflection of its own environment.

For a list of current organizations (which include a number of abbeys in foreign countires) check out Don's Sunday, June 17, 2007, post.

Costa Rica Considers Law For Same - Sex Civil Unions


The list just keeps growing of countries that are coming to recognize the inequality afforded gay citizens:

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) - Costa Rican opposition lawmakers proposed legalizing same-sex civil unions in a bill introduced on Tuesday, but said it may be difficult to pass the plan in the strongly Roman Catholic country.

Under the proposal, same-sex couples would be granted marital-type rights like bereavement leave, inheritance and power over medical decisions. It stops short of recognizing same-sex marriage or allowing adoption by same-sex couples.

"This is a bill that guarantees the respect and tolerance for couples that are of the same sex," said bill co-sponsor, Andrea Morales of the main opposition Citizens Action Party.

Admittedly, it will be an uphill battle and I am sure the Catholic Church will pull out all the stops to pressure legislators to vote against the proposal, all the while failing to punish the Church's bishops and cardinals who covered up the sexual abuse of children by priests. Why does the word hypocrites spring to mind? So now Costa Rica is more progressive than Virginia.

More Male Beauty

Bloomberg Quits the GOP; Bush to Veto Stem Cell Bill- AGAIN


Michael Bloomberg, who joined the Republican Party in 2001 after spending his life as a registered Democrat, has left the GOP and registered as an independent. I suspect that Bloomberg, like myself, feels that the GOP as currently constituted and led by Chimperator Bush left him. What is interesting is what Bloomberg has to say about how progress has been made in New York City:

We've balanced budgets, grown our economy, improved public health, reformed the school system and made the nation├»¿½s safest city even safer."

We have achieved real progress by overcoming the partisanship that too often puts narrow interests above the common good. As a political independent, I will continue to work with those in all political parties to find common ground, to put partisanship aside and to achieve real solutions to the challenges we face."

Any successful elected executive knows that real results are more important than partisan battles and that good ideas should take precedence over rigid adherence to any particular political ideology. Working together, there's no limit to what we can do."

Meanwhile, we have Chimperator Bush about to veto the bill on stem cell research again, proving (1) that he puts the voodo version of Christianity espoused by the Christianists ahead of science and what the majority of the public supports, and (2) that he is not a successful elected executive. Nothing like blindly following Daddy Dobson's orders:

President Bush has chosen to use his veto pen three times - twice on the stem cell issue where politics, ethics and science collide. Pushing back against the Democratic-led Congress, Bush plans to veto a bill Wednesday that would have eased restraints on federally funded embryonic stem cell research, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said.

More Wednesday Male Beauty

7 in 10 Americans Say Economy Is 'Getting Worse'


Not good news for the GOP, which is NOT focusing on the issues that matter most to Americans. Note what Americans say worries them. Gay marriage, stopping stem cell research and killing hate crimes act are not even on the radar:

NEW YORK A new Gallup Poll will only reinforce those who claim that while the rich get richer most Americans don't feel they are sharing in the growth in our economy. The stock market may be climbing and the unemployment remains relatively low, but 7 in 10 Americans believe the economy is getting worse -- the most negative reading in nearly six years. Only one in three Americans rate the economy today as either excellent or good, while the percentage saying the economy is getting better fell from 28% to 23% in one month.

"When asked about the most pressing financial problems their family faces today, Americans mention healthcare costs, lack of money or low wages, and oil and gas prices," Gallup reports. "Healthcare costs are mentioned by 16% of Americans while 13% say low wages and 11% say oil and gas prices. These percentages are virtually unchanged from last month."

Let's hope that Chimperator Bush continues to drag the GOP down the trail to electoral disaster in 2008. Meanwhile, the state of affairs in the Red States that support the GOP are at the bottom of the barrel:

A new study released this week revealed that Americans' health care varies dramatically from state to state. It should come as no surprise that in general Southern states ranked at the bottom in almost every category. After all, whether the issue is health, education, working conditions, or virtually any indicator of social pathology, things are worst in precisely those states that voted for George W. Bush.

Funny how supposed allegiance to "Christian" values does not correlate support for social programs that help the most disadvantaged members in society. How do you say "Pharisees?"

Wednesday Male Beauty


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More Tuesday Male Beauty


Christianist Lies About Hate Crimes Act

As some of my previous posts have indicated, Focus on the Family, Exodus, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Traditional Values Coalition, Mission America — all of them have repeated some serious outright, deliberate lies about what the proposed Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes legislation would actually do. Several "talking head" individuals associated with these organizations have done the same, such as Robert Knight pictured at left.. Sadly, much of the news media does not challenge these liars and ask them to point out the language in the act that supports their claims. If the media did its job and asked these questions, the falsity of the claims would soon become most evident.

I am joining with Box Turtle Bulletin and making a challenge: The actual proposed legislation in can be found here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:S.1105. I dare the Christianist organizations to do the same and invite their readers to review the text of the act. I challenge them to point to any part of the bill which would usurp the First Amendment. In fact, I challenge them to point to any part of the bill which even comes close to limiting speech. The bill only mentions violence, and it only extends penalties to acts of violence. I would surely hope these good Christians have a problem with committing violence, but give the simmering hate of this crowd, I am not sure. They surely have a problem with not lying.

More Tuesday Male Beauty

New York State and Cuba Consider Marriage Rights


In an interesting twist, both New York State and Cuba are considering legislation that would grant gays marriage rights or some equivalent thereto. For the New York legislation, 365gay.com has a story: http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/06/061907nymar.htm. Another story appears in the Gay City News and reports in part as follows:

In a straight party-line vote, the Judiciary Committee of the New York State Assembly this afternoon approved the marriage equality bill introduced by Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer in April and sponsored by Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell and Senator Tom Duane.The favorable vote out of Judiciary is a strong predictor that the full Assembly will approve the measure later this week.

In a straight party-line vote, the Judiciary Committee of the New York State Assembly this afternoon approved the marriage equality bill introduced by Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer in April and sponsored by Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell and Senator Tom Duane.The favorable vote out of Judiciary is a strong predictor that the full Assembly will approve the measure later this week.

Meanwhile, Cuba of all places is considering legislation that would give gays the same rights as married heterosexual couples:

HAVANA, Cuba, June 18, 2007 - Cuba could become the first Caribbean island nation to recognise the civil and inheritance rights of gay and lesbian couples, if a proposed reform of the Family Code is approved.

The proposal would give homosexual couples the same civil and inheritance rights as heterosexual couples. However, it does not mention gay marriage, because a change of that magnitude would require a lengthy process of reforming the constitution, which was last amended in 1992.

The complete article on the proposed legislation can be found at: http://www.caribbean360.com/News/Caribbean/Stories/2007/06/18/NEWS0000004516.html
It will be a sad day if Castro's Cuba ends up being more progressive than the State of Virginia, which continues to hold to its pre-Loving v. Virginia Christianist mentality.

Bush's Torture Regime


If anyone doubts that the new rules governing the use of torture were unknown to George W. Bush and his minions, one only needs to review the various documents set out on this web page:

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB127/index.htm. One of my personal favorites is the memo, written by then Attorney General John Ashcroft, which summarizes the position of the Justice Department on why the Geneva Convention does not apply to al Qaeda or Taliban prisoners. Ashcroft warns against the possibility of U.S. officials being subject to prosecution for violating U.S. and international laws if the Geneva Conventions are applied.

The fact that such a warning was needed should have told Bush and company all they needed to know and that the proposals should NOT have been implemented. Bush, Ashcroft, and their ilk at one moment wear their alleged Christianity and dovoutness on their sleeves and in the next authorize utterly un-Christian conduct. Sadly, it's all too typical of the Christianists. Hate and abuse of others always trumps truly Christian conduct. How appropriate that Ashcroft is now on the faculty of Regent University. These people make me ashamed to be an American.

Tuesday Male Beauty


Monday, June 18, 2007

Male Beauty




What is the real face of Regent's law school?


Apparently, in the wake of the Monica Goodling disaster at the U. S. Department of Justice, Regent Law School is trying to improve it's image. Leave it to the Virginian Pilot to do a piece like this one that tries to de-emphasize Regent's Christianist agenda (http://content.hamptonroads.com/story.cfm?story=126866&ran=91097). I have met the author of the article who is not a bad guy per se. However, when it comes to investigative reporting, the Pilot seems to have never heard of the term. Even when Congressman Ed Schrock was "outed," Virgina newssource.com beat the Pilot in breaking the story in the Pilot's own backyard.

Here are my thoughts on attending Regent Law School that I posted on the Virginian Pilot's web site (assuming they are not censored):

I suspect many of Regent Law's better students went to the school because it allows part time students while the other law schools in Virginia generally do not. Hence someone can work a regular job and go to law school part time. For such students, attending Regent Law may seem attractive. However, in the legal community, Regent does not have a good image or reputation and the average pass rate on the bar exam is anything but stellar. Graduates may find out that they will have a difficult time landing a job in a top law firm or corporation with a Regent Law diploma.

While I know some Regent Law graduates that I consider competent and honest, far too many wear religion on their sleeves and use their "Christian" label to either gain jobs with far right organizations or politicians like Monica Goodling or to attract clients who would be better served employing more competent attorneys.

Monday Male Beauty


Mildred Loving, 40 Years Later


Andrew Sulliavn has a post concerning a public statement made by Mildred Loving, one of the plaintiffs in the U. S. Supreme Court case decided 40 years ago. What is so remarkable is what she reports the Virginia judge said as he conviced her and her husband who had been legally married in another jurisdiction. It shows that little has changed in the mind set of the Christianists. Here in Virginia, the same hate of those who are differnent is sadly alive and well. Here are some highlights Mildred Loving's statement:

We didn’t get married in Washington because we wanted to marry there. We did it there because the government wouldn’t allow us to marry back home in Virginia where we grew up, where we met, where we fell in love, and where we wanted to be together and build our family. You see, I am a woman of color and Richard was white, and at that time people believed it was okay to keep us from marryingbecause of their ideas of who should marry whom.

Not long after our wedding, we were awakened in the middle of the night in our own bedroom by deputy sheriffs and actually arrested for the “crime” of marrying the wrong kind of person.

Our marriage certificate was hanging on the wall above the bed. The state prosecuted Richard and me, and after we were found guilty, the judge declared: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” He sentenced us to a year in prison, but offered to suspend the sentence if we left our home in Virginia for 25 years exile.

I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.(Emphasis mine)

Her words still ring so true today as they did in 1967. For her entire press statement see: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/06/mildred_loving_.html#more.

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Monday Male Beauty


Monday Musings


Well, I did end up hearing from both my daughters for Father's Day. Also, my youngest daughter again said she wants to get together with Raymond and me this week. Sadly, nothing from my son, who has always been most vulnerable to his mother's propaganda against me. I hope that some day he will stop just listening to his mother's version of the facts.

I am so looking forward to having the divorce war over at the end of July either by settlement or a trial. The sense of closure is so long overdue. I know this protracted battle has put stress on Raymond as well as my children, all thanks to the former wife's vindictiveness. The positive side of going through a trial will be that (1) I suspect my wife will get less than she has been demanding and (2) the court will have been the final arbitrator, so I will not be blamed for the final result. In fact, I will be in a position to say that had my estranged wife not been so unreasonable, she would have fared better negotiating a settlement. It was never my desire to screw her over. Would that she had been similarly motivated.

Gay Republicans Challenge DADT In Federal Court

I usually view being a Log Cabin Republican to being some what akin to being Jewish and belonging to the Nazi Party. However, 365gay.com is reporting some constructive action by the Log Cabin crowd:

(Los Angeles, California) A federal judge will hear oral arguments today in Los Angeles in a lawsuit brought by Log Cabin Republicans challenging the constitutionality of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" the ban on gays serving openly in the military. "The case presents important constitutional law issues," said Dan Woods, lead attorney for LCR.

"The Supreme Court has not addressed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law since its decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down that state's sodomy laws," Woods said in a statement. "The Court held Americans have a fundamental right to privacy and this includes the right of gay and lesbian Americans to engage in intimate relationships without government interference. Don't Ask, Don't Tell violates this fundamental right."

Hopefully, the court will rule in favor of the protection of all Americans' fundamental rights.