Saturday, January 05, 2008

More Saturday Male Beauty

Kennedy favors ’08 Senate vote on ENDA

While it will do doubt cause more bickering and back biting by and among gay rights organizations, as the Washington Blade is reporting (, Senator Edward Kennedy is pushing for a vote in 2008 on a "gay only" version of ENDA. In fact, the bickering has already begun based on what I have seen on several other blogs, including some statements that it will sabotage the Democrat candidates. Inasmuch as virtually all of the viable Democrat candidates have already publicly endorsed civil unions, how taking a position of a law that prevent gays from being randomly fired due to their sexual orientation would seem to be not exactly something risky. Particularly when most Americans - except for fundie wingnuts who would NEVER vote for the Democrat candidate anyways - support employment protections for gays. Such was my experience with call-in viewers in Martinsville, Virginia, back in the spring on a show featuring one of my clients. If that redneck area was pro-gay employment protections, most anywhere would be.
True the transgender community would be left out - for now - but as I have stated a number of times, I continue to believe that it is better to get something enacted rather than hold out for something that by all reports cannot pass the U.S. Senate. As for Bush's threatened veto, make him have to veto the legislation during this important election year. With polls showing that roughly two thirds (2/3) of the public support work place employment protections for gays, a Bush veto would only serve to further demonstrate that the GOP's is increasingly out of touch with moderate main stream voters. As for members of the LGBT community that might sit home in a huff over this version of ENDA, I am sorry, but in my view, if they are that stupid and petty, then they deserve Mike Huckabee for President. Here are some story highlights from the Blade:
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) is expected to push for a Senate vote in 2008 on the same gay-only version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that the House of Representatives passed in 2007, a Kennedy spokesperson said this week. Kennedy stated on the Senate floor on Nov. 8, one day after the House passed ENDA by a vote of 235 to 184, that he hoped the Senate would follow suit by passing the employment protection bill in the current Congress, which lasts through 2008.

But until this week, Kennedy’s office had not stated publicly where Kennedy stood on the demands by many gay and transgender organizations that Congress should withhold any action on ENDA unless it includes protection for transgender persons. “Although Sen. Kennedy strongly supports protections against job discrimination for transgender workers, inaction won’t advance justice for anyone, and will just make it harder to pass any version of ENDA in 2009,” said Kennedy spokesperson Melissa Wagoner.
Asked if Kennedy thought ENDA could pass the Senate in an election year, Wagoner said, “Yes, if enough Republicans support the bill to give us a realistic chance of breaking a filibuster.” Most political observers have predicted Republican senators opposing ENDA will stage a filibuster against the legislation, which requires 60 votes to break through a parliamentary move known as cloture. Kennedy and Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), who has joined Kennedy as a chief sponsor of ENDA, have said they were hopeful they could line up a bipartisan “super majority” of at least 60 senators to ensure the bill’s passage.

Jim Manley, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said this week that Reid strongly supports ENDA and favors holding a Senate vote on the measure in 2008. Manley said Reid would defer to Kennedy on the “strategy and timing” of such a vote.
The statement this week by Kennedy’s office that Kennedy plans to back a gay-only version of ENDA comes after news surfaced last month that a high-level official at the Human Rights Campaign suggested a vote on ENDA would not take place until 2009.

Trouble for Hillary in New Hampshire?

This new poll by American Research Group, Inc., if accurate, could mean real trouble for Hillary Clinton ( Obama has gone up 7 points in a matter of days while Hillary has dropped 9 points among likely Democrat primary voters in New Hampshire.
While it is not the least bit scientific, having had lunch with my 18 year old daughter today, I heard first hand how Hillary is not connecting with younger women voters. Moreover, my daughter said she sees Hillary, while a huge improvement over the Chimperator, as basically a continuation of the same old style of politics. She and her friends at college - VCU is one of Virginia's more liberal universities in many ways in part because of its top Arts school - are seeking someone who can truly make things different and better. Like me, she also says she fears all of the old scandals that will be dug up and recycled if Hillary is the Democrat nominee. At this point she favors Edwards - due to his environmental positions - but realizes that he is a long shot unless something huge happens.

Saturday Male Beauty

Saturday Afternoon Ramblings

It’s Saturday afternoon and so far the day has been pleasant – other than the heavy equipment tearing up the street out front to replace the sewer and then water lines on the block. In addition to the noise (which began at 6:15 AM on Thursday) the biggest hassle is the dust and dirty which is coating everything outside and getting tracked into the house onto the mahogany finish hardwood floors. NOT an attractive look in the foyer and living room. The sewer work should be done this week and then they will rip up the other side of the street to do the water lines. In talking to the job superintendent, I found out that the current system on my street was installed in 1909!! My house was built in 1917. Once it is all done, the street will be repaved and it should all look great, not to mention that the water pressure should be considerably improved. Until then, what a mess!!

Lunch with my daughter was nice (we went to No Frill Grill which has a great veggie burger for non-carnivores) and we hung out at the house for a while so she could bond with Bandit, the standard size Chihuahua, that she talked my ex b/f and I into buying back in October 2005. She is in town until the 13th before heading back to college and we plan to get together again before then, perhaps with my other two children as well. She reported that my son’s newest idea for an adventure is to hike the distance of the Appalachian Trail from New England all the way to the southern terminus.

Right now, surfing tomorrow looks dubious per the surf report from which provides a daily surf report and live cam from several breaks in Virginia Beach. This is the Croatan Beach cam for the spot I surf the most: If you click on the preceding link, you can actually see the waves in the live cam feed. I really need to get surfing again to get more toned up and back in good shape. I will admit, however, the thought of the initial seepage through my wetsuit sends a shiver through me!! I may have to settle for some aerobic exercise dancing at The Wave tonight instead.

Virginia's Doug Wilder, Nation's First Elected Black Governor, Endorses Obama

I have been saying for some time that Barick Obama's race does not make him unelectable as Hillary Clinton and others are whispering - look at Doug Wilder who was elected Governor of Virginia in November 1989. He served from 1990 to 1994 and if he had been able to run for a second term (Virginia does not allow consecutive terms for the office of Governor), he might well have been re-elected. Believe me, in 1989, Virginia was a far more conservative state than it is now and Wilder's election was all the more notable. Not surprisingly, Wilder has come out and endorsed Barack Obama who has some of the characteristics Wilder presented in 1989. Here are highlights from the Virginian Pilot's story (

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- L. Douglas Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor, endorsed Barack Obama's bid to become the nation's first black president on Friday. Wilder, Virginia's governor from 1990 to 1994 and now Richmond's mayor, praised Obama as "a leader who can move beyond the parochialisms of the past."

"Sen. Barack Obama brings forth all of these qualities. I am tremendously impressed with him and have said many favorable things about him in the past," Wilder wrote in a three-paragraph statement. "Our country is in desperate need of a new direction, new ideas, and new solutions to resolve the circumstances that the U.S. has shouldered in recent years," he wrote.
In the statement issued as an official city news release, Wilder pledged to campaign nationally for Obama "to the fullest extent possible that my schedule will allow." Wilder, a 76-year-old grandson of slaves, campaigned briefly for a 1992 presidential run but quit the race before that year's primaries. Virginia's current governor, Timothy M. Kaine, endorsed Obama in February and said Friday that he might campaign for Obama on his own time on a weekend, even as he braces for a busy legislative session that opens Wednesday.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Final Friday Male beauty

Weekend Plans

This evening I am going to the HRBOR happy hour at Mixers - the featured martini is the "Golden Slut Martini" that I helped select last Saturday. Tomorrow I am meeting Victoria, my youngest daughter for lunch, and will then play the rest of the weekend by ear. Depending upon the waves, I may go surfing with my straight surf buddy, Skip, on Sunday. The ocean water is in the mid 40's Fahrenheit, so it will be fully body armor time. I need to get back to surfing every month - January and February are usually the biggest challenges water temperature wise.

I hope each of you has a great evening and weekend. I will try to find more tasteful yet provocative "male beauty" photos for the blog over the weekend. :)

Insights on Blogging From a Soldier Blogging in Iraq Who Was Killed in Action

In my perusal of some of my usual reads, I came across a link to this story ( about a U. S. soldier (Andrew Olmsted, pictured at left) stationed in Iraq who apparently was killed within the last day or so. What is unique is that he had forwarded a piece to be posted by a blogger friend only in the event of his death. It is a very moving and uncanny read. For those who have any interest, I recommend reading the entire post and some of the associated links. My thoughts are certainly with Major Olmsted's wife and family. Among the many things that struck me are (1) that Andrew Olmsted sounds like someone with whom I would have liked to have exchanged thoughts and ideas, and (2) I could very much identify with his his thoughts and experiences with blogging. The blogosphere is a unique place and allows all of us to connect with so many with whom we might otherwise have never had any contact. I know that I am very thankful for the friends I have gained via this blog. Here are two brief quotes from Andrew Olmsted's posthumous post:
Believe it or not, one of the things I will miss most is not being able to blog any longer. The ability to put my thoughts on (virtual) paper and put them where people can read and respond to them has been marvelous, even if most people who have read my writings haven't agreed with them. If there is any hope for the long term success of democracy, it will be if people agree to listen to and try to understand their political opponents rather than simply seeking to crush them. While the blogosphere has its share of partisans, there are some awfully smart people making excellent arguments out there as well, and I know I have learned quite a bit since I began blogging. I flatter myself I may have made a good argument or two as well; if I didn't, please don't tell me. It has been a great five-plus years.

Blogging put me in touch with an inordinate number of smart people, an exhilarating if humbling experience. When I was young, I was smart, but the older I got, the more I realized just how dumb I was in comparison to truly smart people. But, to my credit, I think, I was at least smart enough to pay attention to the people with real brains and even occasionally learn something from them. It has been joy and a pleasure having the opportunity to do this.

Spanish Prime Minister Tells the Catholic Church to Take a Hike

I have previously commented on the Roman Catholic Church's recent efforts in Spain and Italy to interfere with the countries' civil laws. Not surprisingly, the Church tried to work against laws allowing for abortion and regarding gay marriage to name a few issues. In effect, the Church believes the civil laws must match the Church's position on issues. Unlike the USA where politicians lack the backbone to take on the Church and Christianists, the prime Minister of Spain stood up to the Church and stood by constitutional protections for all citizens (yes, a truly amazing concept that some of the US presidential candidates might want to ponder). Here are some highlights on the Prime Minister's response(
The Spanish Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has responded to the criticism launched against government policies at a Catholic Church rally in Madrid last Sunday.Zapatero said that his government was carrying out policies which were supported by the ‘immense majority’ of the Spanish people, and Spain would continue to act in that way.
Making no effort to mask his anger at the Cardinals and Bishops who led the Catholic Church event in the Plaza de Colón, Zapatero reminded them that the Spanish Constitution ensured that there was room for everybody in Spain, that everybody has the right to have rights, whatever they think, and whether they belong to a religion or not. The Prime Minister made his comments at a rally in the Huelva town of Almonte.
A statement from the PSOE Socialist party confirmed that the government had no intention of taking any step backwards, and that in a democratic environment there is no place for legislation regarding faith.

More Friday Male Beauty

My Readers - Preparing for a Move to Canada

One of my readers and fellow bloggers is having some sport with me over Huckabee's win in Iowa since I have previously commented that if Huckabee were to be elected President, I would seriously consider leaving the USA. Ranging from comments on the weather in Toronto to all matter of things he was having a great time. Here's part of his instructions to me:

In getting ready to move to Canada, you'll need to know a few key phrases...

"That'll look some friggin' nice on the patio, eh"
"double double"
"bugger off" (everyone appreciates the English version of fuck off)
"colder than a witch's tit"

And so many others you'll just have to learn as we undo your yankee brainwashing.

As I said, hopefully the GOP establishment will knee cap Huckabee and his Iowa showing will be a fluke. Speaking of Huckabee, I posted a comment to his campaign website via the blog page asking why as a gay American I should not fear his candidacy. So far my comment has been not been published on the website - I suspect they are censoring the comments - nor have I received any acknowledgment of my posting. Should my comment get actually published on his website or I receive a response, I will let readers know. I am NOT going to hold my breath. In Huckabee's world, gays are supposed to be invisible or disappear.

Gay Men Navigate in a Similar Way to Women

Yet another research study has indicated that something more than mere "choice" as claimed by the Christianists is going on with gays. This UK study once again shows that there are basic inherent differences between gays and straights and in my view further underscores the fact that sexual orientation has some genetic or physiological basis. Here are highlights from's coverage (

(London) Gay men navigate in a similar way to women, according to a new study from researchers at Queen Mary, University of London.
In a new study published this week in the journal Hippocampus, Dr Qazi Rahman, from Queen Mary’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences used virtual reality scenarios to investigate if spatial learning and memory in humans can be linked to sexual orientation.Differences in spatial learning and memory - our ability to record and recall information about our environment - are common between men and women. It has been shown that men consistently outperform women on tasks requiring navigation and discovering hidden objects; whereas women are more successful at tests which require them to remember where those objects lie in a particular space.This is the first study to investigate if those differences are also true for gay, lesbian and straight individuals.
Dr Rahman explains: “Not only did straight men get started on the MWM test more quickly than gay men and the two female groups, they also maintained that advantage throughout the test. This might mean that sexual orientation affects the speed at which you acquire spatial information, but not necessarily your eventual memory for that spatial information.

Southern Baptist Convention - Important Things to Remember

With Mike Huckabee the GOP winner in Iowa, it is all the more important that people understand the background and history of his religious denomination. Remember - Huckabee is an ordained minister in this denomination. Richard Rothstein has a brief summary over at Proceed at Your Own Risk ( Here is a partial quote:

For those of you not up on your American history, the Southern Baptist Convention was created in 1845 when the American Baptist Church split between Christians who believed that slavery--despite being endorsed by the Bible--was an abomination and Christians who believed--supported by that same Bible--that the dark skinned races were not human and should be kept as property by the white race. Today, the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Protestant denomination in the world and the driving force behind homophobia. Having lost on the slavery issue, they are now recycling the same exact language and arguments for their war on queers. And after testing the waters with George W. Bush, they now have officially come out of the white Christian fundamentalist sexually-repressed closet with Mike Huckabee. Some 143 years since the end of the Civil War, the South has scored it greatest victory and is closer to the White House than ever before.
Obama, a black man with a white mother and a black father, last night became the first black man in history to win a presidential primary. It's also worth noting that in some parts of this nation Obama's parents would not have been able to legally marry as recently at 1967. And as an interracial couple, they would have been arrested and possibly lynched in some of these United States.
And in what states were such laws in existence as late as 1967? The states where the Southern Baptists are the most numerous and politically powerful, including Virginia.

Friday Male Beauty

Thoughts on Huckabee's Win

Being the political and news junkie that I am, I watched the coverage last night until past midnight, including Mike Huckabee's address after being declared the winner of the GOP caucuses. Huckabee gave a masterful speech and, if one did not know what his real beliefs are and the fact that it was the Christianist evangelicals who vaulted him to victory, one would possibly believe this man is great and saying all the right things about change and unity. However, watching his speech and knowing his real positions, I could only think these things: (1) in his America, there is no place for me as a gay man, (2) if he is elected president the chances that I will ever be a full equal citizen in my lifetime will be greatly reduced, and (3) perhaps I should feel some actual fear. While I don't mean to compare Huckabee to Islamic extremists who kill and use terror, his mindset is much the same and was aptly described by Andrew Sullivan:

The hardest thing to understand about the Jihadists is that they really believe they are doing good. Even as they murder innocents. That’s what God’s sanction will do for you.

Huckabee is dangerous because (A) he sincerely believes God condones his intolerant belief system and (B) from comments I myself have heard him make on national TV, he believes the majority has the right to determine the rights/beliefs for the minority. His views are the opposite of the system the Founding Fathers sought to create. I can only hope the wealthy GOP establishment manages to do a Tonya Harding on him.

Thoughts on Obama's Win

Personally, I am happy about the Obama win because if nothing else it proves that the nation seriously wants (1) a change from politics as usually and (2) someone who will seek to unify rather than divide the country. Try as she might, Hillary will be hard put to convince many that she could/would usher in a new day politically. Yes, she'd be a change from the current disastrous regime, but overall, it would still be the old political games. Moreover, she sets off extreme negative reactions in many, including women that I know who generally would welcome a woman president. In addition, she will motivate the GOP base more than Obama to turn out voters at all costs. That said, if Obama is ultimately the Democrat nominee, expect all kinds of disgusting nastiness and underhanded moves by the GOP's water carriers. This comment of Pam Spaulding sums up some of what I believe can be expected (;jsessionid=C6A4136D9CFCC187A228DCB6D61BA91A?diaryId=4063):

As I said down in the comments, the lame Muslim smear tactics have been popping up for some time now (lately and sadly, by supporters of Clinton), and it will be only a matter of time before we see jigaboo flyers appearing in mailboxes of voters in Southern states, appealing to fears of the Black Buck chasing white women...oh, it's all so predictable. And, of course, none of it will be endorsed by the GOP, but it will all be out there polluting the process.

Of course, this kind of garbage is precisely what so many who want change wish to see put to an end. Thus, if the GOP does play this dirty game, maybe it will circle around and bite them in the ass.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Saudi Blogger Arrested for Criticizing Government

I hope the Chimperator does not get any new ideas from his buddies in Saudi Arabia as to how to treat American bloggers, particularly since this is no longer the land of liberty and freedom and the Chimperator can currently have you, me or any other citizen arrested at his directive and detained indefinitely with no right to trial or other recourse - much like the court of Star Chamber once did some centuries ago in England. Here is a letter sent to the Saudi Government on one Saudi blogger's behalf behalf:
Your Royal Highness:
The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to protest the continued detention of Fouad Ahmed al-Farhan, a leading Saudi blogger who has been held without charge since early December 2007. The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to protest the continued detention of Fouad Ahmed al-Farhan, a leading Saudi blogger who has been held without charge since early December 2007.

We believe al-Farhan is being held for comments published on his Web site, We believe al-Farhan is being held for comments published on his Web site, On December 10, Saudi security agents detained al-Farhan at the Jeddah office of the IT company he owns. On December 10, Saudi security agents detained al-Farhan at the Jeddah office of the IT company he owns. Security agents later visited his home and confiscated his laptop. Security agents later visited his home and confiscated his laptop.
This week, nearly a month after al-Farhan’s detention, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry at last acknowledged that he has been detained, but would not give the reason for his incarceration. This week, nearly a month after al-Farhan's detention, Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry at last acknowledged that he has been detained, but would not give the reason for his incarceration. Ministry spokesman Gen. Ministry spokesman Gen. Mansour al-Turki was quoted by several newspapers as saying that al-Farhan was being questioned “about violating non-security regulations” but would not elaborate. Mansour al-Turki was quoted by several newspapers as saying that al-Farhan was being questioned "about violating non-security regulations" but would not elaborate. Calls from CPJ to the Saudi Embassy in Washington were not returned. Calls from CPJ to the Saudi Embassy in Washington were not returned.

In an e-mail sent to friends prior to his arrest, al-Farhan explained that he had received a phone call from the Saudi Interior Ministry instructing him to prepare himself “to be picked up in the coming two weeks” for questioning by a high-ranking official. In an e-mail sent to friends prior to his arrest, al-Farhan explained that he had received a phone call from the Saudi Interior Ministry instructing him to prepare himself "to be picked up in the coming two weeks" for questioning by a high - ranking official. He also stated in the e-mail that he believed he was being summoned “because I wrote about the political prisoners here in Saudi Arabia and they think I’m running an online campaign promoting their issue.” In one of his last posts before his detention, al-Farhan sharply criticized 10 influential Saudi business, religious, and media figures. He also stated in the e-mail that he believed he was being summoned "because I wrote about the political prisoners here in Saudi Arabia and they think I'm running an online campaign promoting their issue." In one of his last posts before his detention, al-Farhan sharply criticized 10 influential Saudi business, religious, and media figures.

Your Royal Highness, we find it deplorable that Saudi authorities would continue to hold our colleague in near secrecy after nearly a month. Your Royal Highness, we find it deplorable that Saudi authorities would continue to hold our colleague in near secrecy after nearly a month. Arbitrarily detaining a writer and holding him for weeks without saying why violates the most basic norms for free expression and serves as a chilling reminder to those seeking to express their opinions. Arbitrarily detaining a writer and holding him for weeks without saying why violates the most basic norms for free expression and serves as a chilling reminder to those seeking to express their opinions. It also runs counter to official Saudi statements in support of reform and a more open press. It also runs counter to official Saudi statements in support of reform and a more open press.

During meetings with CPJ representatives in Riyadh in 2006, Saudi officials affirmed the country’s commitment to gradual reforms and praised the recent loosening of restrictions on the local press. During meetings with CPJ representatives in Riyadh in 2006, Saudi officials affirmed the country's commitment to gradual reforms and praised the recent loosening of restrictions on the local press. We urge you to use all your influence to ensure that our colleague Fouad al-Farhan is released at once. We urge you to use all your influence to ensure that our colleague Fouad al-Farhan is released at once.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter and we look forward to your reply. Thank you for your attention to this important matter and we look forward to your reply.

Sincerely yours,

Joel Simon, Executive Director Executive Director

CC: His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Abdelaziz Al-Saud,
Crown Prince and Minister of Defense
His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Abdelaziz Al-Saud,
Crown Prince and Minister of Defense
His Royal Highness Prince Nayef Bin Abdelaziz Al-Saud, Minister of Interior
His Royal Highness Prince Nayef Bin Abdelaziz Al-Saud, Minister of Interior
The Honorable Ford M. Fraker, U.S. Fraker, US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Louise Arbour, U.N.
Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
American Society of Newspaper Editors
American Society of Newspaper Editors
Amnesty International Amnesty International
Article 19 (United Kingdom) Article 19 (United Kingdom)
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
Freedom Forum Freedom House
Human Rights Watch Index on Censorship Index on Censorship
International Center for Journalists
International Federation of Journalists
International PEN International PEN
International Press Institute
The Newspaper Guild
The North American Broadcasters Association
Overseas Press Club
Reporters Sans Frontières
The Society of Professional Journalists
World Association of Newspapers
World Press Freedom Committee

AFA - "They're Coming To Your Town"

There are times that I truly wonder what drugs the fundie wingnuts are on. Whatever they are, they are most assuredly very powerful and mind altering to a point where lunacy takes over. This latest insanity is from the American Family Association, one of the most aggressively anti-gay of the Christian Right organizations that routinely disseminates outright lies and untruths abouts gays and the LGBT community. Seriously, I could not make some of their BS up if I tried. Here are is the sales pitch being disseminated to market a new AFA anti-gay DVD (

Residents of the small Arkansas town of Eureka Springs noticed the homosexual community was growing. But they felt no threat. They went about their business as usual. Then, one day, they woke up to discover that their beloved Eureka Springs, a community which was known far and wide as a center for Christian entertainment--had changed. The City Council had been taken over by a small group of homosexual activists.

The Eureka Springs they knew is gone. It is now a national hub for homosexuals. Eureka Springs is becoming the San Francisco of Arkansas. The story of how this happened is told in the new AFA DVD “They’re Coming To Your Town.”

One of the first actions of the homosexual controlled City Council was to offer a “registry” where homosexuals could register their unofficial “marriage.” City Council member Joyce Zeller said the city will now be promoted, not as a Christian resort, but a city “selling peace, relaxation, history and sex.”

AFA’s “They’re Coming ToYour Town” documents the story of how and why this happened. And how homosexual activists plan to do the same in other towns.
Order a copy of “They’re Coming To Your Town.” Watch it. Then take the 28-minute DVD and share it with your Sunday School class and local church. This is a story the liberal media will never tell, but one you need to know.

Special Offer! Save over 33%! Order a 5 pack and put this vital information in the hands of your local officials, pastors and other community leaders.

More Thursday Male Beauty

Homolexis - A Linguistic History of Same-Sex Love

My friend and fellow blogger, Wayne Dynes, has a blog that he launched in 2006 called "Homolexis" that reports on Wayne's study of the character and historical development of the body of language used for homosexuality—-the homolexis or homolexicon—-in the five major Western European languages, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. A sister site provides research tools and findings. As he points out, by and large, the stock of words we have inherited in this area is in no way an "objective" record of phenomena and experience. Instead, the vocabulary is loaded with assumptions, prejudices, historical myths and fabrications--and, of course, as Wayne puts it "evidence of the inexhaustible wit and creativity of gay and lesbian people."
In the process of his discourse, Wayne also reviews the history of same sex love over the course of history and has many footnotes and resources for those interested in such history.
By way of background, Wayne is a retired professor and likes to describe himself as follows: " I like to consider myself a citizen of Cosmopolis, ranging widely across the humanities. I have traveled to 45 countries, and speak five languages. Out of self-interest, I am concerned with current affairs in my own country. Writing is important to me: I have published seventeen books (including edited volumes)."
For those with a historical or linguistic bent, check out Wayne's blogs at and

Republican Angst Over Huckabee

As a former Republican (I resigned from the Party when it began to shamelessly pander to the Christianists at the expense of valuing religious freedom), I find some perverse humor and joy in the reaction of the GOP establishment to the surge of Mike Huckabee in Iowa. For years from the Chimperator and Karl Rove on down, the GOP has cynically used and cultivated the Christian Right evangelicals and far right Catholics to achieve their election goals. Now the Frankenstein Monster that they created has gained a life of its own and they are horrified. Why they did not see what they were creating is beyond me - when you dance with the Devil, he may expect you to take him home. This somewhat tongue in cheek New York Times opinion column ( looks at the very real angst these establishment Republicans are now feeling:
The rap against Mike Huckabee, the Baptist preacher and ex-Arkansas governor now doing for the Republican Party establishment what three-alarm chili does for an afternoon nap, is that he’s too inexperienced to be president, too naïve — a rube straight out of Dogpatch.

Few of Huckabee’s critics have actually come out and said what many of them think. The language is coded, as it usually is with class and race in this country. The Wall Street Journal, the anti-tax jihadists at the Club For Growth, the National Review – these pillars of Old School Republicanism have signaled that Huckabee is Not One of Ours. But they’re careful to say it’s not about class, because, of course – it is! Class war is forbidden in the Republican playbook. But Huckabee, despite an inept last week of campaigning has forced the Republican party to face the Wal-Mart shoppers that they have long taken advantage of. He’s here. He’s Gomer. And he’s not going away.
Huckabee has been telling people in Iowa that Republican higher-ups would never let him become the nominee because he “has a hick last name.” Wow. I’d like to be in on that focus group. “For my family, summer was never a verb,” he says. Take that, Mitt Romney and your perfect family, costumed in Ralph Lauren casual wear down by the shore. And this: “Wall Street types are afraid to death of a guy like me.” You mean, a guy who lost 110 pounds and cooks squirrels in his popcorn popper?
Among fellow Republican candidates, Huckabee is certainly “not one of them” in the bottom-line sense. All the other leading contenders would be comfortable on the massage table at a Trump seaside resort, in between seminars on how to keep poor people from getting health care. Romney, with a net worth estimated by Money magazine at upwards of $250 million, made his pile with an investment firm. Rudolph Giuliani is close to the $50 million club, enriched by such heavy-lifting as trying to help the makers of OxyContin stay out of jail.
There is some evidence that he’s bringing lower-income Americans into the party. The latest Des Moines Register poll shows that Huckabee runs strongest among people earning $50,000 or less a year.

Men Who Smoke Prone to Impotence

Since gays as a group appear to have an unusually high number of smokers, I figured that I'd highlight this article ( Personally, I am not a smoker and never have smoked in part because for over 30 years my mother ran a hospital lab that worked at diagnosing cancer in patients. She made a point of presenting gross photos of smokers' lungs and other nasty information to us children in order to convince us that smoking was NOT a good idea. Perhaps this article will convince gays that if they will not stop smoking to protect their health, then maybe they will to avoid impotence. Here are some highlights:

SUNDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- If heart disease, stroke and certain cancers haven't been reason enough for men to quit smoking, consider this: The habit also increases the risk of erectile dysfunction. In fact, emerging research shows that men with a pack-a-day habit are almost 40 percent more likely to struggle with erectile dysfunction than men who don't smoke. "Smoking delivers nicotine and other vasoconstrictors that close down the blood vessels" of the penis, explained Dr. Jack Mydlo, chairman of urology at Temple University School of Medicine and Hospital in Philadelphia.

A recent study of more than 8,000 Australian men between the ages of 16 and 59 found that those who smoked less than a pack a day had a 24 percent increased risk of erectile problems. And, as the number of cigarettes smoked went up, so, too, did the chances of erectile dysfunction. Those men who averaged more than 20 cigarettes a day increased their risk of erectile dysfunction by 39 percent, reported the study, published in the journal Tobacco Control. Another study, this one published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that male smokers in their 40s were more likely to experience erectile difficulties than older nonsmoking males. The risk of erectile dysfunction was nearly doubled for smoking men in their 40s compared to nonsmokers in their 50s.

Mydlo added one more word of caution: "Don't use ED medications -- Viagra, Cialis -- if you don't need them. Erections that last longer than four hours -- priapism -- can cause permanent scar tissue and permanent impotence. It's not a good idea to use these drugs casually."

Thursday Male Beauty

Fraud Suit Filed Against Green Bay Catholic Diocese by Molestation Victims

Thankfully, lawsuits continue to be filed against Roman Catholic dioceses that knowing covered up sex abuse cases and/or enabled sexual predators to prey on minors. The latest lawsuit is against the Diocese of Green Bay which is alleged to have known that a defrocked priest was a danger to boys yet did nothing to protect children and youths. Naturally, no bishops or other high level clerics have been punished in connection with this case or any others for that matter. The hypocrisy of the Catholic Church continues to be incredible. Here are some highlights from the AP coverage via the Virginian Pilot (
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Two brothers molested by a priest filed a fraud lawsuit Wednesday, alleging the overseeing diocese knew the priest had a history of abusing children and allowed him access to the pair anyway. Defrocked Roman Catholic priest John Patrick Feeney, now 81, was convicted in 2004 of sexually assaulting two adolescent brothers in 1978 at St. Nicholas Parish in Freedom, which is in Outagamie County. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The victims, Troy and Todd Merryfield, claim in the civil suit filed that the Diocese of Green Bay knew Feeney had a history of molesting children and continued to give him unsupervised access to the pair. The suit, which alleges fraud and negligence, claims Feeney had sexual contact with boys during the 1960s and 1970s. The brothers made the community safe by coming forward a few years ago in the criminal case, said Peter Isely, Midwest director of The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

"Troy and Todd have too long shouldered the ethical responsibility that belongs to those who knew that Fr. Feeney was a dangerous predator yet repeatedly set him (loose) on unsuspecting and trusting Catholic families in the Green Bay diocese," Isely wrote in a letter to be delivered to Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan on Wednesday. Isely asked Dolan, who is temporarily overseeing the Green Bay diocese, to release the names and locations of 51 clergy allegedly known by church officials in Green Bay to have abused children.
The suit says the diocese and Feeney's parish, St. Benedict Parish in Suamico, required him to get counseling in 1974. In a letter included in the suit, a doctor who counseled Feeney wrote, "under stress your usual controls over sexual impulses may fail and cause some indiscretions in this aspect of your functioning." Also, according to a confidential diocese memo include in the suit, the Bishop of Green Bay wrote a letter to Feeney in 1978 and warned him about being more "prudent in the hearing of confessions, especially with young people."

The men claim the diocese, by placing Feeney in Freedom, portrayed him as safe to children and families. They asked for money in an amount to be determined at trial. Todd Merryfield, 43, lives Cedarburg, Wis., and Troy Merryfield, 42, lives in Suffolk, Va.

Bulletin to Mitt Romney: There ARE Two Americas

In watching the news last evening, I saw a clip of Mitt Romney taking John Edwards to task for making statements at campaign appearances that there are two Americas. Romney somewhat nastily said there is only one America.
Mitt, I hate to tell you, but there are TWO Americas: "Wealthy America" from which you come and "Regular America" made up of average people struggling to survive in an increasingly hostile economic environment. Mitt, people like you who grew up surrounded by wealth and immense financial security have no concept of what it is like to worry each month whether or not you will be able to meet all your bills, be you a small business owner or a family with children who need to be fed, clothed and educated. Mitt, cushioned by your family's fortune, you will never know the sense of fear and worry these other Americans experience on a regular basis. These other Americans are the ones who are using credit cards to pay their heating bills and other essential expenses because they do not have enough money from the jobs which either are low paying or generate salaries that have not kept up with inflation. Right now, thousands and thousands of American families are losing there homes, many probably due to job loss or a medical emergency that have wiped them out financially. Do you - who will never be faced with this eventuality - have any concept of what they are feeling and experiencing? I doubt it.
Mitt, we have suffered through seven years of the Chimperator who has no concept of reality. The last thing this country needs is four or more years of another President who doesn't get it and understand what most Americans experience. Your comments to John Edwards confirm that you are clueless.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Obama Statement in Support of NH Civil Unions

While Barack Obama has not come out in support of gay marriage and made a major gaffe (which I took him to task for) in having an ex-gay homophobe preacher appear at events in South Carolina, he is otherwise making the right statements on LGBT issues. Here is his comment on New Hampshire's new civil union law that became effective on January 1, 2008:

Today, New Hampshire has started a New Year by taking an important step forward that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of so many gay and lesbian couples. As President, I’ll work for the day when all gay and lesbian couples in America can enjoy the same legal rights and privileges as straight couples. It’s time to stop using these issues to divide us; it’s time to embrace a future of tolerance, equality, and hope.

For more information on Obama's position on various LGBT issues, go to: Obama’s platform on LGBT issues.

Hampton Roads' Local Embarrassment, Pat Robertson Makes Prophesies

Why can't this buffoon simply keep his mouth shut? The Virginian Pilot is reporting ( that local blow hard and Christianist, Pat Robertson, is running his mouth with predictions for 2008 notwithstanding that his record for 2007 was not so good. Every time this man speaks I cringe at having him connected to this area. Thank God most news reports generally reference Virginia Beach as his location rather than Norfolk. I cannot believe having this man or Regent University is a positive when the local economic development teams go out seeking to recruit progressive business to relocate to the area. As for his predictions, I think I could safely make some of them with no need to consult God. Amazingly, he apparently did not blame gays for any predicted misfortunes in the coming year. Here are highlights from the Pilot's coverage:

Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson acknowledged today that his prophecy of a nuclear terror attack in 2007 failed to unfold, but said God has told him a recession will hit the nation this year. Robertson cited information from God when he predicted on Jan. 2 last year that major American cities would be hit by "very serious terrorist attacks" causing "possibly millions" of deaths. No such catastrophe occurred. "All I can think is that somehow the people of God prayed, and God in his mercy spared us," Robertson said on "The 700 Club," a television show he hosts on the Christian Broadcasting Network, based in Virginia Beach.

Predicting the future based on what he says God tells him is an annual tradition for Robertson, who customarily spends the last days of each year in prayer. Today, Robertson implied that God informed him whom voters will elect president in November.

"He told me some things about the election, but I'm not going to say because some old man on '60 Minutes' would make fun of me, so I'm not going to tell you who the winner's going to be," Robertson said. He said oil would reach $150 a barrel -- the price hit $100 today -- with the dollar continuing to lose value in 2008.

"I also believe the Lord was saying by 2009, maybe 2010, there's going to be a major stock market crash," said Robertson, who is a millionaire businessman as well as an evangelical leader. Additionally, "the Lord was saying there's going to be violence and chaos in the world," Robertson said. He cited violence in Kenya and Pakistan, saying "we've just begun to see what's going to happen."

More Wednasday Male Beauty

Iraq Prisoner Amnesty To Exclude Gays

Wow, it sure is nice to know that Iraq's puppet government equates gays with terrorists - I guess they must have read the Pope's New Year's release that says gays are an obstacle to world peace. As I have said many times before, where are the international bodies decrying what is being done to gays in the Muslim world? For that matter, where is the USA on this issue since the Iraqi government is being kept in power by the US military presence? Here are some highlights from's coverage (
(Baghdad) The Iraq government is considering the release of some 5,000 prisoners but a spokesperson said it would not include terrorists or homosexuals. The Iraqi government has about 20,000 people in custody, while the U.S. military holds about 25,000. Homosexuality itself is not illegal in Iraq, but police regularly arrest gays on other charges often trumped up. The amnesty bill drafted by the Shiite-dominated government falls far short of Sunni demands. About the only thing on which the two sides agree is that imprisoned gays not be freed.
The total number of gays being held is not known. And, they may be the lucky ones, according to some LGBT activists. Death squads imposing strict Islamic law are reportedly responsible for the murders of hundreds of gay men across Iraq.

Last year the leader of an exiled Iraqi LGBT rights group told a London conference on homophobia that that militias blamed for the murders of hundreds of gay men and women are sanctioned by the government and the US-led coalition is doing little to stop the killings. (story) Ali Hili said that the Badr and Sadr militias - the armed wings of the two main Shia parties that control the government of Iraq - are routinely rounding up men and women, primarily in Baghdad, suspected of being gay. The men and women are never heard from again.
In 2006 the Iraq government strongly criticized a U.N. report on human rights that put its civilian death toll in 2006 at 34,452, saying it is "superficial" because it included people such as homosexuals.

Reasons Why Huckabee is Unfit to be President

I will concede that I do not believe that anyone who cannot grasp the concept of separation of church and state should hold the office of President. On that note alone, Mike Huckabee has shown himself to be unfit for office. Unfortunately, for the Christian Right element of the GOP, all that matters is that one be (or claim to be) a devout conservative Christian. No other attributes are required. Fortunately, however, the media and other candidates are bringing much more focus on the Huckster and what it shows merely reinforces the assessment that he is not fit for the office. Here are some highlights from a piece on Politico (
Huckabee has undergone scrutiny for his ethical transgressions in Arkansas, his support for the pardon of an Arkansas sex offender who committed murder after being released from prison, his 1992 statement that AIDS victims should be quarantined, his decision to continue to draw a salary from a nonprofit financed in part by tobacco money and his policy of taking speaking fees from controversial groups prior to his campaign.

Then there have been self-inflicted wounds like his Pakistan comments, his wondering out loud to The New York Times magazine whether Mormons believe Jesus and the devil are brothers, his description of the Bush administration’s foreign policy in Foreign Affairs as one of an “arrogant bunker mentality,” his unfamiliarity with the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear program and his assertion that he was receiving foreign policy advice from people who said they had never spoken with him.

Adding to Huckabee’s predicament is the fact that he has become public enemy number one of a suddenly roused conservative establishment. Figures including George Will, Robert D. Novak, Peggy Noonan, Phyllis Schlafly and Rich Lowry have all expressed deep concerns about what his nomination would mean to the GOP, and the party’s economic wing in particular. And such established conservative voices have been buttressed by new media powers such as Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham, who loom heavily over the now hour-by-hour news cycle and who have also begun to grow wary of Huckabee.

Wednesday Male Beauty

Defaults on Insured Mortgages Rise 35% to Record

As the headline of this story ( indicates, things are NOT good in the residential mortgage world, which will further add to the financial distress arising from the real estate market crash. Not that Mike Huckabee (or the Chimperator) would know since he seems increasingly out of touch with issues that he ought to know about. I guess he is too busy condemning gays and has not had a chance to notice. Here are some story highlights:

Defaults on privately insured U.S. mortgages rose 35 percent in November to a record, an industry report today showed, adding to evidence the U.S. housing slump is deepening. The number of insured borrowers falling more than 60 days late on payments jumped to 61,033 last month from 45,325 in November 2006, according to data from members of the Washington- based Mortgage Insurance Companies of America. The missed payments, often a prelude to foreclosure, represented a 2.9 percent increase from October.

Continued deterioration is likely to spur higher claims. And higher claims activity may result in some companies needing to raise money.'' Home prices fell 6.1 percent in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas in October, according to S&P/Case-Shiller. Mortgage insurance compensates lenders for losses on bad loans as falling home prices make it harder for borrowers to refinance.

Bond insurers including MBIA Inc. and Ambac Financial Group Inc. are struggling to maintain credit ratings needed to guarantee debt after losses on mortgage-backed bonds they covered. Fitch has given MBIA and Ambac less than six weeks to each raise $1 billion or face loss of their AAA ratings. MBIA on Dec. 10 said it will get $1 billion from private- equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC to bolster its capital and Ambac took out reinsurance on $29 billion of securities it guarantees.

Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church: Robinson Not the Only Gay Bishop in Anglican Communion

As reported by the BBC News( Katherine, Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, has told the BBC her church is paying the price for its honesty over sexuality. In defending Bishop Gene Robinson, Jefferts Schori said "He is certainly not alone in being a gay bishop, he's certainly not alone in being a gay partnered bishop," she said. "He is alone in being the only gay partnered bishop who's open about that status." Personally, I believe the conduct of the Anglican Communion towards the Episcopal Church suggests that "outing" might be appropriate to end the hypocrisy now rampant within the denomination. Gene Robinson is being punished for his honesty while others are doing the same thing in the closet. Here are highlights of some of Jefferts Schori's other comments:

She said other Anglican churches also have gay bishops in committed partnerships and should be open about it. "There's certainly a double standard," she told BBC Radio 4's PM programme .

The US church also faces criticism over its stance on services of blessing for gay couples. The church has stated it will not officially authorise such services, but Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori admits they do take place. "Those services are happening in various places, including in the Church of England, where my understanding is that there are far more of them happening than there are in the Episcopal Church," she said.

Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori refused to criticise US parishes that carry out services of blessing for gay couples, saying that it was a decision for each individual church.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Americans Longing for Political Change

While who will be the winners in the presidential primaries starting in Iowa is still up for grabs, one thing that the latest DesMoines Register poll ( appears to indicate is that voters are fed up with the status quo and want someone who can move the country forward on a new basis. On this issue, Obama seems to be viewed as the best hope of change. Personally, I feel the same way - unless there is a dramatic shift in leadership and the way business is conducted, I am very pessimistic about America's future. The way of governing and the political atmosphere must change. Here are some highlights:

In an indication of the Obama's appeal in Iowa, Democratic caucusgoers say they prefer change and unity over other leadership characteristics. Selecting a candidate who represents a sharp departure from the status quo is 56-year-old Lansing Democrat John Rethwisch's priority, and his main reason for backing Obama.

"I have been seeing more and more something Kennedy-esque coming from Obama," said Rethwisch, Lansing's water and sewer administrator. "But it's always a gamble when you get somebody in there who hasn't got a proven track record."Thirty percent of the poll's respondents said a candidate's ability to bring about change is the most important, followed by 27 percent who said their priority is choosing a candidate who will be the most successful in unifying the country.

Asked which candidate would do the best on these themes, caucusgoers most commonly name Obama. The first-term U.S. senator has argued in the closing weeks of the campaign that his newness to Washington, D.C., would help him bridge a politically divided nation and improve its standing overseas.

Obama is the clear choice of caucusgoers who affiliate with neither the Democrat or Republican parties, with roughly 40 percent of them backing him in the survey.The support from non-Democrats is significant because a whopping 40 percent of those planning to attend described themselves as independent and another 5 percent as Republican. Only registered Democrats can participate in the caucuses, although rules allow participants to change their party registration on their way in to the caucuses.

As for the electability of a black to the presidency (which Hillary keeps talking about), the Iowa demographics are perhaps instructive based on the racial make up of the state: White alone, not Hispanic or Latino: 91.0%; African Americans: 2.5%

More Tuesday Male Beauty

The Demise of Privacy in Face of Growing Surveillance

This report by US-based Electronic Privacy Information Center and the UK-based Privacy International is a bit shocking in some ways, but not surprising in others. The USA, the self-styled land of liberty ranks right up there with police states when the privacy of its citizens is taken into consideration. Moreover, as shown by the map above (black denotes the poorest ranking), countries that have had the closest ties with the Chimperator over the last few years score poorly as well, the UK in particular. Here are some highlights:

Each year since 1997, the US-based Electronic Privacy Information Center and the UK-based Privacy International have undertaken what has now become the most comprehensive survey of global privacy ever published. The Privacy & Human Rights Report surveys developments in 70 countries, assessing the state of surveillance and privacy protection.

The most recent report published in 2007, available at, is probably the most comprehensive single volume report published in the human rights field. The report runs over 1,100 pages and includes 6,000 footnotes. More than 200 experts from around the world have provided materials and commentary. The participants range from eminent privacy scholars to high-level officials charged with safeguarding constitutional freedoms in their countries. Academics, human rights advocates, journalists and researchers provided reports, insight, documents and advice.
In terms of statutory protections and privacy enforcement, the US is the worst ranking country in the democratic world. In terms of overall privacy protection the United States has performed very poorly, being out-ranked by both India and the Philippines and falling into the "black" category, denoting endemic surveillance.
The worst ranking EU country is the United Kingdom, which again fell into the "black" category along with Russia and Singapore. However for the first time Scotland has been given its own ranking score and performed significantly better than England & Wales.
Argentina scored higher than 18 of the 27 EU countries.