Saturday, July 14, 2007
Instead, it declares that Bush’s goal of a unified, peaceful, democratic Iraq “is not likely to be achieved in the near future” and that “American military and diplomatic strategy … must adjust to the reality.”
Drafted as an amendment to a massive defense-policy bill now on the Senate floor, the Warner-Lugar proposal underscored growing unease among congressional Republicans with Bush’s war leadership. It was offered just one day after a defiant Bush ripped legislative efforts to end the war.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Klingenschmitt then more specifically describes the threat:
“If this bill passes, they will come into our churches, they will grab your sermon notes, they will go after your congregation if any pastor preaches against the sin of homosexuality and then a nut in the crowd later goes out and commits a crime. They will accuse him as a codefendant and charge him with a hate speech crime.”
Of course there’s no such thing as a “hate speech crime” in this bill or the existing federal hate crimes law, which targets only violent crimes that cause people bodily harm. In fact, the “Hate Crimes Prevention Act” already passed by the House includes explicit language protecting the First Amendment rights that Klingenschmitt and his colleagues claim are being threatened. But hey, they are Christianists, so why let the trouth get in your way??
The unexpected part comes from the fact that I had absolutely no idea that the handsome action hero was gay. Apparently, he (like nearly all gay actors of his day) did not feel that being an out gay man in Hollywood would reconcile with his career ambitions. Mathews is survived by his partner of 46 years, Tom Nicoll.
Because Boston-based Partners pays employees’ medical bills itself instead of purchasing outside health insurance it falls under the federal employee benefits law known as ERISA Tauro ruled. He said that ERISA plans are governed by federal anti-bias law, not state statutes. States, he ruled, cannot "tell plans [under ERISA] who can and must be beneficiaries. If courts allowed such results, differing state laws could quickly make it difficult to administer a fair, uniform plan."
New Haven, Jul 9, 2007 / 10:50 am (CNA).- The Knights of Columbus was disappointed to learn that 16 of its members, who hold political office in the Massachusetts Legislature, voted against the same-sex marriage amendment in June.
The June 14 vote, which decided whether same-sex marriage would be put on the 2008 ballot, got only 45 votes — five votes shy of the 50-vote requirement.
"It is certainly embarrassing to the order and to every Knight out there who is firm in his support of traditional marriage and the right to life," Pat Korten, vice-president for communications for the Knights, told LifeSiteNews.com.
A Knights member must be 18 and a practicing Catholic “who is recognized as such by the local Church where he goes or the ordinary of the diocese," said Korten. It is up to the diocese or the Church hierarchy to decide whether these lawmakers are no longer Catholic, Korten told LifeSiteNews.com. "We as laymen do not presume to decide whether other laymen are Catholics or not," he said.
When this article came to my attention, I posted a comment on the CAN website about the story that has yet to be approved – and I suspect that my comment never will be – that discussed the hypocrisy of the Knight of Columbus.
As readers of this blog may know, I am a former Catholic and a former Knight of Columbus (I was a charter member for Council 10804 in Virginia Beach, served as a council officer for three years, and reached the 4th Degree level). Thus I am VERY well acquainted with the Knights and the vision of their founder: to provide a fraternal organization for Catholics who were at the time excluded from most fraternal organizations and to provide insurance and the protection for the widows AND CHILDREN of member Knights.
Over the last 125 years, the K of C has done much good work. HOWEVER, when the sex abuse scandal exploded in the Boston Archdiocese in 2001 and then spread across the country, forcing a number of dioceses into bankruptcy, the current leadership of the Knights of Columbus showed their moral bankruptcy and hypocrisy and betrayal of the K of C’s founder’s purposes. Instead of demanding the punishment and removal of bishops and cardinals who had been actively involved in the cover up and casual transfer of sexual predators from one unsuspecting parish to the next, the Supreme Council – and many, many rank and file Knights – marched in lock step with these corrupt members of the Catholic hierarchy. To this day, they act as pitiful lap dogs for the Catholic hierarchy and grovel before them like Jim Jones’ Kool-Aid drinkers at Jonestown.
Even more sickeningly, even after news reports and court proceedings revealed that Thomas V. Daily (by then Bishop of Brooklyn and pictured above) had been one of the “soldiers” who was involved in visiting and intimidating families of abuse victims to remain silent, the Supreme Council leadership allowed Daily to remain as Supreme Chaplin for the Order for another TWO YEARS. Worse yet, Daily was allowed to write disingenuous columns based on his past conduct in the monthly magazine, Columbus, sent to all member knights.
Did the Knights of Columbus or Vatican take any similar action? Oh, no. The Knights just continued to kiss the frequently wide asses of the very same bishops and cardinals. So much for the Knights of Columbus protecting families and living by Christ’s message. To this day Bishop Daily is a member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and a member of the boards of the Society of St. James the Apostle in Boston and the National Catholic Office for Persons with Disabilities in Washington.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
The police arrested about 1,000 people in May during a so-called morality crackdown. Jamshidi said 15 more men were being tried on similar charges and could receive death sentences.
Mrs. Johnson, who also was a successful businesswoman and philanthropist, had been in failing health for several years. She suffered a stroke in 1993 and was legally blind because of macular degeneration. She spent six days last month in an Austin hospital, where she was treated for a low-grade fever. "She just slipped away," family spokeswoman Elizabeth Christian said.
Less than three hours after the inquiry, the Louisiana Republican sent the Associated Press a statement Monday evening confirming that he had been in contact with Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the indicted escort-service owner dubbed the D.C. Madam. Washington reporter Dan Moldea, who is working with Hustler owner Larry Flynt, is collaborating with Palfrey on a book proposal and said yesterday that he found Vitter's number in her phone records late last week.
BlogActive.com likewise has some funny coverage: http://www.blogactive.com/
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
The event will take place August 9th at 9pm EST and will be broadcast live on television and via streaming video on line at LOGOonline. It will be hosted by co-panelists HRC president Joe Solmonese and musician Melissa Etheridge.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
On Saturday, Benedict revisited another key aspect of Vatican II by reviving the old Latin Mass. Traditional Catholics cheered the move, but more liberal ones called it a step back from Vatican II.
Homosexuality, once a de facto condition for barring foreigners from entering the country, is now officially recognized by the U.S. government as a category that might subject individuals to persecution in their homeland, just as if they were political dissidents in a dictatorship or religious minority members in a theocracy.
The Senate Health Committee will have to dig beneath the surface on Thursday to consider the nomination of Dr. James Holsinger to be surgeon general. Dr. Holsinger has high-level experience as a health administrator, but there are disturbing indications that he is prejudiced against homosexuals.
His strongest statement on homosexuality can be found in a murky, loosely reasoned paper that he wrote for a church committee in 1991. Titled “Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality,” the paper purported to be a scientific and medical review. It argued that gay sex was abnormal on anatomical and physiological grounds and unhealthy, in that anal sex can lead to rectal injuries and sexually transmitted diseases. Dr. Holsinger did not brand the large number of heterosexual women who engage in anal sex as abnormal, failed to acknowledge the huge burden of disease spread heterosexually and implied that women are more likely than men to avoid injuries with generous lubrication.
The Bush administration says the white paper reflected the scientific understanding of the time, but it reads like a veneer of science cloaking an aversion to homosexuality. The committee should examine whether Dr. Holsinger cherry-picked the literature or represented it objectively. Most important, it must determine whether Dr. Holsinger holds these benighted views today. The Senate should not confirm a surgeon general who considers practicing homosexuals abnormal and diseased.
The statement containing Vitter's apology said his telephone number was included on phone records of Pamela Martin and Associates dating from before he ran for the Senate in 2004.
Not surprisingly, Vitter has put out one of the typical meally mouth apology statements all so typical of these hypocrites:
Monday, July 09, 2007
Brad Pitt: So certainly discrimination has no place in Christianity. There's a big argument going on in America right now, on gay rights and equality.
If it needs to be stated — and sometimes it does — one of the couple could state that “no subject is taboo in our relationship,” and “any subject raised is subject to discussion without necessarily drawing a conclusion.” Plus, one might add, “any decision or conclusion, if any, might be revised in the future, if either of us gains a different perspective.” Sometimes, just stating the OBVIOUS, just mentioning it, is sufficient to de-toxify a discussion from becoming a polemic.
A subsidiary strategy, esp. among beloveds, is to avoid using the word, “you,” except in a sentence where it is only the direct object, never the subject of a sentence. For ease, we often say things that have no injury implied, but because it starts, “remember when YOU . . .?” one tends to become defensive, even if not judgment or judgmentalism is to follow. Stating the same proposition in the first-person singular, “I was wondering if you remember when . . . ?” Just by shifting to the first-person and avoiding the second-person manner of speaking, tends to “depersonalize” basic observations with or without implied judgments.
For example: “I happen to think a couple that works through matters, rather than avoids them, achieves a deeper level of satisfaction. I know it feels that way to me. So, when we have a conflict, I feel we have not reached an acceptable understanding for either one of us, but especially for me. Could we agree to address issues of significance in a ‘depersonal” way, such as I am now, so that I will express it from only my point of view, and you will express an issue from your point of view. Then we can examine each other’s point of view with respect for each other maintained, without attacking each other’s person? I love the person, but its a point of view I want to address.” (Substitute, behavior, or negligence, etc.)
What tends to happen in deeply emotional relationships, is the language of “everyday” becomes super-charged with “reading between the lines,” “double entendre,” or “inferences without validity.” We all do it. Our empathy and love for the other heightens our sensitivity to what they say, and often charges it with meaning (implied, inferred) that may not even be there. One does not want to “deaden” the sensitivity, since that is the reason the relationship exists. So, we “deaden” some of the language. We try to “de-personalize” it without making it “impersonal.”
By speaking in the first-person or third-person subject, it does “de-personalize” without “impersonalizing.” So, the sentiments, feelings, objections, etc., are about the real issue and not about the “person” himself. Now, one often infers, “well, you don’t like A, I do A, therefore you don’t like me,” which is a faulty inference, but we do it all the time. By depersonalizing our language, we tend to avoid these faulty inferences.
Having suggested all this, there may be times when strong judgments are appropriate. But then reserve them for those unusual times. Thus, when one uses these strong judgments, the force of them will be in “how you feel, what you feel,” and not another judgmentalism in an endless list of personal attacks.
Once we realize that our Beloved is not “everyday” in the sense of everyone else, because his “worth” is worth more than anyone else, and we understand he wants his worth to be that extraordinary worthwhile that we want to prize it, we discover “ordinary” discourse is no more appropriate with a beloved than ordinary anything else with our Beloved.
Just as every other aspect of our Beloved is worth more than the worth of everyday, even the worth of our dearest friends, the last — and I mean the last — thing any one should undermine is the other’s worth, even, and especially, if unintended. We just “assume,” and we should not. Assume only that HIS worth to him, in order for HIM to offer worth to YOU, is dependent on how YOU talk to him as WORTHY of each of you. Once one attacks, directly or indirectly, intended or unintended, the other’s WORTH, one is hurting both one’s self and the other, by diminishing HIS value to himself, from which HE offers himself to YOU something of WORTH YOU prize as WORTHY of only HIM and WORTHY of you. Ergo, “everyday” language, the expedient language, is not always the appropriate language for such SPECIAL people in SPECIAL situations already SENSITIVE to the other, perhaps, even hopefully, ACCENTUATED, because YOU are WORTH enough to him for him to CARE exceedingly about what YOU say.
All of which is WORTH using a different language using a different point of view to “de-personalize” the words, but to keep the communication open and intimately “personal.” Keep always in mind: Any time you criticize your beloved you are criticizing his WORTH in HIS eyes to YOU. (If I could bold that last line, I would.) And because he’s WORTH more than joe blow, HE is already sensitive, as are YOU, to any comment that DEVALUES him for you. Don’t lose those VALUES, just replace the emphasis off the LOVED, onto something more “objectified,” more de-personalized, so HE is not the target, but something ABOUT him may be discussed and reviewed in context of YOU.
Hope this helps. It may seem a bit artificial, even feel strained to do, but when someone is that WORTHWHILE, it changes the whole dynamic. If he’s no longer “ordinary,” ordinary language will never do either.
(1) Stephen at Gay Species (http://gayspecies.blogspot.com/) who can always find cracks and crevices in my comments and arguments large enough to accommodate a tractor trailer. Moreover, his command of the English language is remarkable.
Anyone not mentioned, please do not take offense. I simply had too many folks in the running and only five slots. For the nominees, the rules are as follows:
The number of openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender lawyers increased by more than 50 percent from 2002 to 2006, reports the National Association for Law Placement. The nonprofit group, which uses data from about 700 large U.S. law firms, reported 1,733 openly gay lawyers in 2006, up from about 1,100 four years earlier. Openly gay lawyers represent 1.8 percent of associates and 1.1 percent of partners.
And some say the legal community is actually behind other sectors of corporate America when it comes to recruiting gays. ''It's trying to catch up, but it's behind the rest of the corporate world,'' said Steven Kozlowski, who practices business and entertainment law. ``It's traditionally a conservative profession. It's the last stronghold -- unless you count the military as a profession.''
Large law firms in other parts of the country have begun recruiting openly gay and lesbian attorneys, to diversify the firms and help bring in gay dollars. For the past five years or so, there has been ''an ongoing demand of clients'' that the legal profession employ talented minorities, including gay people, said Peter Prieto, executive partner of Holland & Knight's Miami office.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Sandbridge is basically the area where the northern end of the barrier islands forming the Outer Banks of North Carolina connects with the mainland in southern Virginia Beach (the city’s southern boundary is the North Carolina line). The very southern portion consists of False Cape State Park, with the area northward made up of a slender peninsula (See photo above) lying between the Atlantic Ocean and Back Bay (also pictured above), which is the northern limit of Pamlico Sound. It’s about a 35-40 minute drive from our house in Norfolk.
My friend is a guy who I have known for over 16 years, a former law partner and current business partner in my title insurance company operation. As is often the case, we were just added into the extended family group of my friend and his sons, some of their friends, his sister and her son and his girlfriend, and my friend’s parents. Our visits are always relaxing and leave you feeling like you have been much farther away than just 35 miles or so. His family is amazingly interesting and nice, plus very accepting of gay couples. In fact his mother has two gay cousins, one of whom worked with the Beatles for years.
Once the rain set in, we spent the rest of the day and early evening on the second floor wrap around screened porch overlooking Back Bay. Part of the time my friend’s oldest son played guitar and sang songs he has written (he is incredibly talented and attended the Governor’s School for the Arts). One of his prized possessions is a guitar that once belonged to Paul McCartney that was a gift from one of his gay cousins. The rest of the time we talked of an amazing array of topics, ranging from my friend’s dad’s days commanding a naval vessel, gay rights issues, politics, the Bible, Hebrew and the Bible, and so on. It was a wonderful day.
They are such an amazing family and such wonderful people.
The participation rules are simple:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).
Since some of the blogs that make me think have already been tagged, I want to ponder a bit on which five blogs to nominate. Hence, I will name my nominees in a future post. Thank you to Jim for the nomination and to others who have said nice things about this blog.