Saturday, August 23, 2008

More Saturday Male Beauty

Gay Gold Medal

Hurrah!! Matthew Mitcham, Australian Olympic diver and the only out gay man at the Beijing Games won a gold medal for Australia in the men’s 10 metre platform diving in Beijing. The 20-year-old offered an incredible 112.10 final dive to beat the Chinese Luxin Zhou who had lead the competition until that point.

Belleville Catholic Diocese Knowingly Put Children at Risk

I previously commented about Bill Donohoue, president of the Catholic League, whining about the Democratic Party granting credentials to liberal blogs, including Towleroad which I link to this blog, since those blogs demand accountability on the part of the Church. Sadly, I expect that Donohoue will as is typical for him be utterly silent as more news comes out about the cover up of sexual abuse of minors by members of the Catholic Church hierarchy. Church officials in the Belleville, Illinois diocese showed an utterly callous disregard for the safety of children as know predator priests were foisted on unwary parishes. Nonetheless, despite such evidence of the moral bankruptcy of the Church hierarchy from the Vatican on down Donohoue continues to keep his nose so far up the Vatican's ass that it's a miracle he doesn't suffocate. Here are some highlights on the new revealations from the Belleville News-Democrat:
*
BELLEVILLE --While reports that the Rev. Raymond Kownacki was sexually molesting minors were piling up, Belleville Diocese bishops and other top church officials failed to investigate and routinely reassigned the priest six times to unsuspecting parishes, former vicar general Monsignor James Margason testified Wednesday.
*
Under questioning by Wisniewski's attorney, Mike Weilmuenster, of Belleville, Margason testified that the late Monsignor Bernard Sullivan knew numerous details of allegations that Kownacki sexually molested youths in Guatemala, brought twin boys from that country to Illinois and molested one of them and for years raped a 16-year-old girl at a Washington Park parish after befriending her at a church in eastern Illinois. Margason said Sullivan did not investigate or call civil authorities.
*
High-ranking church officials "aided and abetted" and "enabled" Kownacki to engage in criminal sexual molestation by ignoring reports of his abuse, Weilmuenster told jurors in opening statements, adding at one point, "You know folks, they left a paper trail. It will speak louder than any witness." pecific bishops mentioned in connection with failing to investigate were John Wurm and Albert Zuroweste, both deceased.
*
While on the witness stand, Margason, who was not in a leadership position when some of Kownacki's alleged abuse occurred, testified that:
*
Detailed reports kept by Sullivan, which were kept in a secret archives, were kept from the review board.
• A key 1982 report from a Salem family complaining that their son was molested by Kownacki and mentioning Wisniewski for the first time, was kept from Margason and the review board.
• If diocese officials had acted when the reports about the molestation of one of the twins and the 16-year old girl and others had been investigated, Kownacki might never had met Wisniewski.

*
If blowhard Bill Donohue wants the Catholic Church treated with kid gloves, perhaps the Church should first do a much needed house cleaning of the hierarchy. Until that happens, the Church deserves not respect or deference whatsoever.

Saturday Male Beauty

AFA Spreading Lies in Wake of Release of Hallmark Gay Marriager Cards

Wow, it took Don Wildmon and the wingers at American Family Association almost no time to go ballistic over Hallmark Greeting Cards' introduction of gay marriage cards to it line of offerings. I expected it to take a week or two, not a matter of days. All too typically, Wildmon is not accurate in the fear mongering information released to his lemming like followers:
*
We've all given or received Hallmark Cards – remember their slogan – "when you care enough to send the very best." But promoting same-sex marriage for profit is not the very best for families or our nation.
*
Hallmark is a private company obviously driven by greed. Let them know you do not appreciate Hallmark promoting a lifestyle which is illegal in 48 states. American Greeting Cards, Hallmark's competitor, does not offer same-sex marriage cards.
*
I'm not sure where the "lifestyle which is illegal in 48 states" comes from. The sodomy laws were struck down nation wide by the ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, and a number of states have civil unions besides the two states that now allow full marriage rights to same-sex couples. Or maybe Wildmon is only voicing wishful thinking on his part since he advocates re-enacting the sodomy laws.

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Average Guy" McCain's House Fiasco

While John McCain's Karl Rove inspired campaign has been doing its best to depict Barack Obama as the "celebrity" who is out of touch with the common man, what may someday come to be called "House Gate" seems to be careening increasingly out of control - especially after McCain could not even tell reporters how many properties he and his family own. He referred them to "his staff" who gave an incorrect answer as the number appears to be increasing towards a dozen. In comparison, Obama looks like he's an impoverished beggar. The Washington Post has an article in which "a coast-to-coast jaunt that covers at least five cities and three states" ensues looking at McCains many lavish digs. Whoever in McCain's staff who had the idiocy to come up with depicting Obama as rich and aloof when McCain has this kind of "baggae" ought to be horse whipped. Here are some highlights from the WP:
*
Indoor and outdoor swimming pools! Spas and state-of-the-art fitness centers! Views of the Arizona mountains, the Pacific Ocean and downtown Phoenix! John McCain isn't just a presidential candidate. He's a veritable bling-master, worthy of an "MTV Cribs" episode, those televised tours of brazenly gilded homes led by celebrity owners like 50 Cent, Hulk Hogan and Bow Wow.
*
Whatever the count, we couldn't get McCain to lead us on a "Cribs"-style tour of his real estate, the senator being ever-busy trying to add another rather impressive property to his portfolio (1600 Pennsylvania Ave.). So we'll take you on a McCain flyover ourselves, a coast-to-coast jaunt that covers at least five cities and three states.
*
First stop: Hidden Valley, Ariz., where the senator and his wife, Cindy, own a 15-acre ranch valued at more than $1 million. . . . When it comes to day-to-day living, his main address is downtown Phoenix, in a 12-story glass condo building that bills itself as "the Valley of the Sun's finest example of urban residential living." The McCains dropped $4.6 million to turn two pads into what can be described only as a crib deluxe (7,000 square feet). Walk through the lobby and listen to the cascading waterfall.
*
She also bought them a place in Arlington, where he spends much of the year. What's a senator to do when he's away from home? For $847,000, the McCains got themselves a three-bedroom apartment in a building that features balconies, patios and "climate controlled access to Metro," according to one real estate agent's description.

More Friday Male Beauty

Christianists Are Losing the "Culture War"

I suspect that we will be hearing more shrieks and gnashing of teeth from the wingnut set as news of the results of a Victory Fund sponsored poll become more widely disseminated. According to the poll, more than six in ten U.S. voters say they could support an openly gay candidate for president of the United States, and 70% say they’d support the appointment of an openly gay cabinet secretary, according to a new nationwide poll from Zogby International. This, combined with a growing desire among the public -including conservatives - as reported by 365gay.com that there be less blurring of the lines between pulpit and ballot box, will certainly have Daddy Dobson, et al, upset since it means that the money spigot that they have gorged themselves from may begin to dry up. Already the political activities and anti-gay and anti-immigrant jihads of the Christianist has caused Christianity to be viewed in an increasingly bad light. Hopefully, the trend continues until Dobson and those like him are banished to the political wilderness. Here are highlights on the poll results:
*
Washington, D.C.—More than six in ten U.S. voters say they could support an openly gay candidate for president of the United States, and 70% say they’d support the appointment of an openly gay cabinet secretary, according to a new nationwide poll from Zogby International. The poll results come just a week after an openly gay congressional candidate, Jared Polis, won his Democratic primary in Colorado. If Polis wins the general election in November, he would become the first non-incumbent, openly gay man ever elected to Congress.
*
Sixty-six percent of poll respondents said they could support an openly gay vice-presidential candidate, while 69% said a gay candidate for U.S. Senate could get their vote. The poll of 1,089 adults was conducted August 13 to 15 for the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute (GLLI), a non-partisan leadership development organization.
*
More than 415 openly LGBT elected officials serve at every level of government throughout the United States, a ten-fold increase in just the last two decades. At the federal level, five openly gay or lesbian Members have served in the U.S. House of Representatives, including current Reps. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Barney Frank of Massachusetts.

John McSleaze

I have less respect for the man with each passing day. Imagine not know how many homes one owns. That's beyond out of touch!!

Friday Male Beauty

Dedicated to Peter LaBarbera

Christianist Hyperventilate Over Latest California Supreme Court Ruling

I previously posted about the California Supreme Court ruling that held that doctors could not pick and choose who they will treat based on their alleged religious beliefs. Not surprisingly, The Peter - i.e., Peter Labarbera with whom I have had a number of confrontations on his false anti-gay rhetoric - is absolutely beside himself. The Peter seems to have never had a real job and moves from one made up organization after another to continue his anti-gay jihad (when not doing "under cover" research at gay leather events, that is). His latest organization, Americans for [Un]Truth About Homosexuality, is an example of how LaBarbera has made a bizarre career out of lying about LGBT citizens and trying to shake dollars from the pockets of sheeple. His latest scree exemplifies the Christianist view that only they should have legal rights under the law. If your views and beliefs counter theirs, then you are to forfeit your rights in favor of their theocratic rule. Here are some highlights from his disingenuous rant which could clearly encourage the unbalanced to pursue anti-gay violence:
*
Folks, if California is truly a pacesetter for the nation, then America is in big trouble. How ironic that pro-homosexual so-called “nondiscrimination” laws are the new tool for activist-minded judges and liberal legislators to DISCRIMINATE against people of faith. This astonishing 7-0 California Supreme Court decision is further proof that homosexual agenda laws — which create newfangled “rights” based on deviant sexual and gender preferences — are incompatible with our cherished, historic American liberties. . .
*
The “gay” movement is in the vanguard of destroying religious freedom in this nation — even as “queer” activists (and their attorneys) continue to play the victim card. Homosexual “Rights” vs. Religious Freedom is a zero-sum game: when “gay” lawyers win, as in this case, look for freedom to lose. What further proof do we need that “rights” based on sexual perversion are themselves a perversion of genuine civil rights?
*
The lesson for pro-family advocates and lovers of liberty is clear: in states where there are no ’sexual orientation’ laws, they must never be passed. In states where pro-homosexual laws are on the books, they must be repealed to preserve freedom.
*
I find it very disturbing that rather than get the much needed therapy he requires to find self-acceptance and to resolve his intense self-hate over his suppressed desire to suck cock, The Peter continues to spread anti-gay hate against law abiding LGBT citizens who merely seek equality under the laws. NOTE: If my comments seem extreme it is because The Peter repeatedly knowingly puts out false information, pretends he did know it was false when confronted, and then does it all over again in his pursuit of money and influence.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Final Thursday Male Beauty

Saddleback Church Forum: Good Show, Poor Theology

Former Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong at left is among my favorite theological writers, I do not agree with all of his views, but his book Rescuing the Bible From Fundamentalism, is a great scholarly read and reveals the idiocy of those who claim that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. His books definitely were of great help to me in ridding myself of the spiritual poison with which I had been indoctrinated growing up Roman Catholic. Spong has a column in the Washington Post that critiques the recent Saddleback Church presidential candidate form. Not surprisingly, it is not overly kind to the evangelical Christianist world view which relies on ignorance and bigotry as its base. Here are some highlights:
*
The Saddleback Forum was good theater, but it was theologically naïve. The questions asked reflected an evangelical world view that is one to which educated people today cannot relate. It did reveal that evangelical Christianity is broadening in its interests to concerns about life after birth and the environment, but part of that is because the old hot button issues of abortion and homosexuality are simply fading in importance.
*
The pity is that the same people who fight against abortion also fight against sex education, birth control and the availability of safe contraceptives. It is not a surprise, therefore, that abortions have risen rapidly during the administration of pro-life George Bush.
*
Homosexuality is no more a choice for gay and lesbian people than heterosexuality is a choice for straight people. It takes a while for that knowledge to trickle down to the masses. Prejudice lives only in the untrickled down gaps. The condemnation of homosexuality as a sin or as a distortion by the hierarchy of the Vatican or the leaders of evangelical Christianity is simply a sign that both groups live in the backwaters of knowledge and education. As this knowledge spreads, those groups will look like what they are - dated people similar to the members of the Flat Earth Society.
*
Of course evangelicals have a right to be involved in politics. They also have a responsibility to educate themselves on the issues. Thank God they are a minority of our population. If they were not, then America would be subjected to what John Stuart Mill called "the tyranny of the majority." That is not democracy in action, that is nothing more than religious imperialism.

Louisiana Takes A Step Backwards

Christianist lunatic Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (pictured at left) is working hard to move Louisiana further back into the economic backwaters by announcing that he will not reissue a ban on discriminating against gays and lesbians in the work place signed by former Gov. Kathleen Blanco in December 2004. With the State of Louisiana - and New Orleans in particular - still not recovered from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina three years ago, one would think that government officials would be doing everything possible to be attractive to progressive employers. But then religious nutcases like Jindal - who believes in exorcisms among other things - cannot grasp the concept that civil laws should be separate from religious beliefs. Especially religious beliefs that send a "not welcome" message to companies who believe ALL citizens and employees are entitled to equal non-discrimination protections. Jindal is yet one more example of why religious fanatics who cannot separate their personal religious beliefs from public policy should NOT be elected to public office since they impose religious based discrimination into the civil laws.. Here are some highlights from the Boston Globe:
*
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is urging Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to rescind his pledge to allow a state anti-discrimination order to expire on Friday. The order, originally signed into law by former Governor Kathleen Blanco, bars state agencies and contractors from harassment and discrimination on the basis race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation or disabilities. Jindal has said he will refuse to renew the order, in part, out of fear that it would hinder faith-based organizations' ability to contract with the state.
*
Jindal, who has been mentioned as a possible Vice Presidential running mate for presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, has wrongly insinuated that other state and federal laws would protect workers and contractors, saying that discrimination is prohibited under other statutes. No such laws, however, protect gay Louisiana workers from discrimination.
*
"Allowing Louisiana's anti-discrimination order to expire would mean the end of any legal protection for gay citizens in the state," said PFLAG executive director Jody M. Huckaby, a native of the state. "By not renewing this critically important measure, Governor Jindal would remove the welcome mat from Louisiana's front door. It is imperative, and urgent, that the Governor not allow the state's commitment to non-discrimination to expire."

More Thursday Male Beauty

John and Cindy McCain - Never Let the Truth Get in Your Way

A disturbing pattern seems to be emerging with BOTH John and Cindy McCain. Much like the Chimperator, they simply change the true facts to fit their needs or make a story sound better or more dramatic. The untruths range from John McCain's disingenuousness about his affair with Cindy BEFORE he was divorced from his first wife, to Cindy's convenient erasure of the existence of her half sisters, to claiming to having met with Mother Teresa when no such meeting occurred.
*
After eight years of an almost pathologically dishonest president, does the country need more of this dishonesty? In my view, the answer is a resounding NO!! Increasingly, a McCain presidency looks more and more to be a poorly retreaded Bush third term. My comments on McCain's divorce can be found here and here. With respect to Cindy McCain's disappearing half sisters, here are some highlights from the Washington Post:
*
When Cindy McCain talks about growing up, she usually refers to herself as an "only child" -- a phrase that ignores the existence of her half sisters. "It's terribly painful," Kathleen Hensley Portalski said yesterday. "It is as if she is the 'real' daughter. I am also a real daughter."
*
Portalski and McCain are both children of the late Jim Hensley, the Arizona businessman who founded one of the largest beer distributorships in the nation. Kathleen, 65, is the product of Hensley's first marriage in the 1930s to Mary Jeanne Parks. Hensley divorced Parks for Marguerite "Smitty" Johnson, whom he met at a West Virginia hospital in World War II and married in 1945. Cindy was born nine years later.

*
The half sisters had little contact growing up and have not spoken since Hensley's funeral in 2000. In his will, he left just $10,000 to his older daughter; Cindy inherited her father's multimillion-dollar fortune.

*
Portalski told our colleague Kimberly Kindy that she stood quietly by for decades while her father lavished attention on his second family. But the past few months -- with Cindy McCain's glowing childhood memories and repeated references to being her father's only child -- finally became too much. "I was his family, too," she said from her home in Phoenix. "I saw him at Christmas and I spent my birthdays with him."
*
But there's more: Cindy McCain has another half sister. Before her marriage to Hensley, Johnson had a daughter, Dixie Burd, by a previous relationship. Burd, who is much older than Cindy, could not be reached for comment.
*
One would think that having walked off with nearly her father's entire fortune, the disingenuous Cindy McCain could at least acknowledge her half sisters' existence. Sadly, that's more than Cindy is apparently willing to do. Erasing her half sister's existence isn't Cindy's only problem with telling the truth. Apparently to gain brownie points she's furthering a myth about a meeting she had with Mother Teresa in connection with her adoption of an orphan. As Andrew Sullivan discusses, the only problem is that the meeting never occurred. Here are highlights from Andrew's blog:
*
Part of the McCain Celebrity, as packaged for the evangelical base, is the rescue of two Bangladeshi girls at the behest of Mother Theresa, one of whom, Bridget, they subsequently adopted. During my live-blogging of Saddleback, I described the McCain adoption story as "peerless." And it is indeed an admirable, selfless thing - and a completely legitimate aspect of a candidate's life to be part of his campaign message. The story of how Mother Teresa talked them into it makes it all the more poignant. The only trouble is: it's not true:
*
But a source who was with McCain on that 1991 trip, and who asked that his name not be used because of prior legal dealings with the McCain family, says that Mother Teresa was not at the orphanage when Cindy decided to bring the two girls home.
*
I note that this false story was on the McCain website and has since been corrected. Now, the question is whether and when Cindy McCain met with Mother Teresa: A McCain source acknowledged that Cindy McCain did not meet Mother Teresa during the 1991 trip to Bangladesh but said McCain did meet her later on, although the source could not say when or where. The campaign has since reworded the reference to the adoption on its website.
*
Can we nail down the date of that meeting? Or are these questions no one should dare ask of a POW war hero?

Hallmark to Sell Gay Marriage Cards

No doubt the virulently anti-gay American Family Association will be announcing a boycott against Hallmark as soon as Don Wildmon ceases his convulsions on the floor over the news being reported by Yahoo News that Hallmark will be releasing gay marriage cards among its offerings. As I have noted many times before, the true agenda of the Christianists is to try to force gays to disappear from sight and slink back into the closet. Meanwhile, big business recognizes that the clock is not going to be turned back to the 1950's and companies are taking steps to secure a slice of the huge LGBT consumer market. Here are some story highlights:
*
PORTLAND, Ore. – Most states don't recognize gay marriage — but now Hallmark does. The nation's largest greeting card company is rolling out same-sex wedding cards — featuring two tuxedos, overlapping hearts or intertwined flowers, with best wishes inside. "Two hearts. One promise," one says.
*
Hallmark added the cards after California joined Massachusetts as the only U.S. states with legal gay marriage. A handful of other states have recognized same-sex civil unions. The language inside the cards is neutral, with no mention of wedding or marriage, making them also suitable for a commitment ceremony. Hallmark says the move is a response to consumer demand, not any political pressure.
*
Hallmark's largest competitor, American Greetings Corp., has no plans to enter the market, saying its current offerings are general enough to speak to a lot of different relationships.
*
Hallmark started offering "coming out" cards last year, and the four designs of same-sex marriage cards are being gradually released this summer and will be widely available by next year. No sales figures were available yet.

Thursday Male Beauty

Self Righteous, Abusive Comments

I began moderating comments to this blog some time ago largely due to the insane and/or abusive comments that would be posted from time to time by right wing lunatics and anti-gay Christianists. Sadly, from time to time I also receive abusive comments from self-absorbed and sanctimonious older gays who seem to think that they have a monopoly on being gay and that those of us who lived for years in the closet have no standing to express our views or comments on events past or present. Often these gays making such comments seem to think that only they have done anything to "make a difference."
*
My recent post on the Christianist conniption fits over the possible designation of a "Harvey Milk Day" apparently sent one such self-absorbed individual over the top and he sent me an extremely nasty and abusive comment - which will NOT be published - attacking me and some other gay rights activists. Had he bothered to really read that post - this individual always seems in a rush to pontificate - he would have realized my comments were really about the Christianist desire to erase gays from sight rather than any commentary on Milk and/or the time period of his activism other than to paraphrase some historical information from the Sacramento Bee's article.
*
I have never denied that I was in the closet for many years. In fact, the title of this blog states that fact very clearly. Does that make my thoughts and comments irrelevant? Apparently to some it does, but I respectfully disagree. Each of us has unique life experiences and COLLECTIVELY we have a larger story to tell. But that doesn't mean our individual experiences are invalid. Nor does it mean that we can't make a difference at whatever age we come out.
*
Not to brag or give myself unwarranted credit, I do feel that I am doing my best to make a difference now that I have come out of the closet. I helped found HRBOR, which was the brain-child of a friend and myself, which is growing in strength literally monthly. Moreover, to my knowledge, I am the ONLY self-acknowledged "out" attorney in this region of the state. Oh yes, we have our "family friendly" attorneys and closet cases, but no other attorney to date will publicly say that they are gay. They all fear the potentially negative consequences such as being forced out of their law firms (Virginia has NO employment protections for LGBT citizens).
*
Why have I chosen to be out professionally? One reason is that I refuse to hide any longer. More importantly, only by being out and visible will the climate perhaps change where other attorneys will feel they can be open about who they are. Yes, there is a down side. Many firms in this area would never hire me even though they lie on the non-discrimination forms required by the state's leading law schools and say they abide by the non-discrimination policies of the law schools that protect LGBT individuals. My divorce where I was basically put on trial by the judge for being gay is another case in point. But other judges and attorneys have acted more decently toward me when they saw a face put on the word gay and the sole issue has become my competence, not who I sleep with. The process has to start with someone.
*
Do I often wish I had come out earlier? Most definitely. On the other hand, if doing so would mean that I would not have the wonder of my three children, then no, I'd do it all the same all over again, including all the emotional pain and torment. Bottom line, attack me if you will. Just don't expect me to give you a platform for nasty, vile comments.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Final Wednesday Male Beauty

John McCain Agrees With Statement About Need to Reenact the Draft

No doubt John McCain's handlers will be working to try to make this gaffe - assuming it was a gaffe and not McCain's real view about bringing back the draft - go away since it will no doubt not sit well with many voters. Sadly, this kind of statement is all too typical of "100 years in Iraq" McCain. Listen to the video below or read the text below from Think Progress and reach your own conclusion. Is the man senile, incompetent, or in favor of a draft? I don't know about others, but I surely do not want my son drafted so that McCain can launch some reprise of the Iraq War disaster. Note too, the anti-immigrant language.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Senator McCain I truly hope you get the opportunity to chase Bin Laden right to the gates of hell and push him in as you stated on your forum. I do have a question though. Disabled veterans, especially in this state, have horrible conditions [...] My son is an officer in the Air Force, and I am a vet and I was raised in a military family. I think it is a sad state of affairs when we have illegal aliens having a Medicaid card that can access specialist top physicians, the best of medical and our vets can’t even get to a doctor. These are the people that we tied yellow ribbons for and Bush patted on the back. If we don’t reenact the draft I don’t think we will have anyone to chase Bin Laden to the gates of hell.

JOHN MCCAIN: Ma’am let me say that I don’t disagree with anything you said and thank you and I am grateful for your support of all of our veterans.(Town Hall; Las Cruces, NM 08/20/08)


video

Upcoming LGBT Events

On Saturday, August 23, 2008, there will be another Pier Party benefiting the Tidewater AIDS Community Task Force at the Ocean View Fishing Pier. These events have been a great deal of fun and very successful. The proceeds go to a very good cause and provide a wonderful opportunity for organizations such as HROC, HRBOR, and others to interact. Here are the details:

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Use It or Lose it: Yes, it's True

A new study out of Finland reported by the Los Angeles Times suggests that in order to be sexually potent, males needs to have sex regular - bad news obviously for the supposedly celibate Roman Catholic priests and sexually repressed Baptists - just as athletes need to practice their sport. Specifically, oxygen molecules summoned to particular parts of the penis by erections appear to be the elixir that results in better sexual health. Here are some story highlights (I'll leave you to make your own decisions of what to do with this information):
*
Urology clinics have a saying: "Erections make erections."In other words, sex is not unlike sports. If you want to be a good tennis player, play lots of tennis; if you want to be a good lover, make lots of love. This maxim springs more from anecdotal observations than from scientific studies: Men who have erection problems tend not to have much sex, urologists noticed. And those who don't, have plenty.
*
Results support the use-it-or-lose-it hunch. Having sex once a week halved men's chances of developing erectile dysfunction, compared with a less-than-once-a-week schedule. (The study also hinted that the more often men had sex, the better they fared.) In their analyses, the researchers made sure that other health factors -- such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and depression -- did not explain the differences among men.
*
Why does having more sex keep the male organ in trim instead of wearing it out? The likely elixir is oxygen, says study lead author Dr. Juha Koskimäki, consulting urologist at Tampere University Hospital -- specifically, oxygen molecules summoned to particular parts of the penis by erections.
*
More blood flows into the penis. In the two flexible tubes of spongy tissue that extend the length of the shaft (the corpora cavernosa, or "cave-like bodies"), muscle tissue slackens. Their tiny caverns swell with blood, straining against the surrounding membranes. Blood gets trapped in the organ. The result is a longer, stiffer penis -- and also, because blood brings oxygen with it, a thoroughly oxygenated one.Penile tissue is like other tissue: Oxygen is good for it.
*
Some scientists even wonder if the unconscious erections that occur during sleep might be the body's way of making sure oxygen levels in the corpora cavernosa stay high. And perhaps that's why even 12-week-old fetuses can have erections in the womb -- because periodic oxygenation is important.

Enough with the Jesus Test

There is a good editorial in the Washington Post that looks at just how wrong it is to have political candidates appear at "debates" and "town hall meetings" sponsored and/or hosted by religious denominations and churches. The recent event at Saddleback Church is a case in point. Under the U. S. Constitution there is NO established religion. So why are McCain and Obama even setting foot inside a forum like Saddleback Church? The rise of the political involvement of the Christian Right and the fact that politicians feel that they have to grovel to the Christo-fascists is an insidious poison that is doing great damage to our political system. These people truly are a Christian Taliban that must be defeated and deprived of power and influence if the Founding Father's ideal of religious freedom is to continue to flourish. Continually the self-absorbed, intolerant - if not out right hate-filled - elements of the Christian Right are seeking to undermine the Constitution. Here are some column highlights:
*
At the risk of heresy, let it be said that setting up the two presidential candidates for religious interrogation by an evangelical minister -- no matter how beloved -- is supremely wrong. It is also un-American. . . . . The winner, of course, was Warren, who has managed to position himself as political arbiter in a nation founded on the separation of church and state. The loser was America.
*
This is about higher principles that are compromised every time we pretend we're not applying a religious test when we're really applying a religious test. . . . Both Obama and McCain gave "good" answers, but that's not the point. They shouldn't have been asked. Is the American electorate now better prepared to cast votes knowing that Obama believes that "Jesus Christ died for my sins and I am redeemed through him," or that McCain feels that he is "saved and forgiven"?
*
What does that mean, anyway? What does it prove? Nothing except that these men are willing to say whatever they must -- and what most Americans personally feel is no one's business -- to win the highest office.
*
For the moment, let's set aside our curiosity about what Jesus might do in a given circumstance and wonder what our Founding Fathers would have done at Saddleback Church. What would have happened to Thomas Jefferson if he had responded as he wrote in 1781: "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
*
Would the crowd at Saddleback have applauded and nodded through that one? Doubtful. By today's new standard of pulpits in the public square, Jefferson -- the great advocate for religious freedom in America -- would have lost.

Wednesday Male Beauty

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Dangers of [Harvey] Milk

Nearly three decades after Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone were fatally shot by a fellow city lawmaker inside San Francisco City Hall, the California legislature is about to pass a bill that would declare May 22 of each year to be Harvey Milk Day, a day of "special significance" in which schools would be encouraged to commemorate his life. Milk joined the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978 after losing two previous bids for office. The rookie lawmaker sponsored and passed a local gay rights initiative and helped defeat a 1978 ballot initiative to ban gays and lesbians from teaching in California public schools. Moreover, Milk exhorted gays and lesbians to fight oppression of all kinds.
*
All too typically, the fundies are going crazy and the spittle is flying as the wingnuts do everything but writhe on the floor in a convulsion. Randy Thomasson, of Campaign for California Children and Families (has he ever had a real job?), and Benjamin Lopez of the Traditional Values Coalition have been leading the homophobic minions of Daddy Dobson et all bloviating over this development. In their view, gays are simple supposed to disappear from sight and, better yet, cease to exist. Both Right Wing Watch and the Sacramento Bee have quotes of statements made by these self-proclaimed "loving Christians." Here are some highlights from the Bee:
*
"What significant contribution did Harvey Milk bring to the state of California – other than encouraging gay people to come out of the closet?" asked Benjamin Lopez of the Traditional Values Coalition. "This is yet another example of them trying to normalize and force acceptance of the gay lifestyle upon people," he said.
*
Randy Thomasson, of Campaign for California Children and Families, which opposes AB 2567, said the bill is a new tactic in a long push to portray homosexuality in a positive light to kids. "Harvey Milk Day is the equivalent of having Gay Day at every school in the state," he said. "We're going to be forcing young children to be grappling with these sexual lifestyles," agreed Meredith Turney of Capitol Resource Family Impact, which also opposes AB 2567.
*
Characterizing Milk as a civil rights leader based on issues surrounding homosexuality insults decades of struggle by racial minorities, Lopez said. "They've definitely hijacked the Freedom Train of the late '60s to benefit their own sexuality and their own cause," he said.
*
Meanwhile, because of Milk's contributions as a gay rights pioneer, the non-religious fanatics at Time magazine selected him nearly a decade ago as one of the world's 100 most important people of the 20th century.

John McCain - A Record of Opposing Rights for LGBT Citizens

John McCain - with the compliant help of too many in the unquestioning mainstream media - will tout his reputation as a maverick, an independent, a moderate who will work with both parties to get things done. However, a look at Senator McCain’s record paints a very different picture. In fact, a McCain presidency would be another four years of more of the same anti-gay agenda of the Chimperator's regime orchestrated by Karl Rove. How LGBT citizens can consider voting for McCain baffles me. Here's a summary from HRC:
*
OPPOSED Ending Discrimination Against GLBT Americans in the Workplace. Senator McCain cast a deciding vote against the federal Employment Non Discrimination Act.
*
OPPOSED Protecting GLBT Americans from Hate Crimes. Senator McCain voted three times against expanding the federal hate crimes law to include sexual orientation.
*
PROPONENT of Discriminatory Military Policy. Senator McCain supports Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and does not believe that gays should serve in the military.
*
OPPONENT of Equal Benefits for Same-Sex Couples. Senator McCain voted for the Defense of Marriage Act which prohibits same-sex couples from receiving federal rights and benefits in any state.
*
ACTIVELY SUPPORTED State Ban on Domestic Partnerships. Senator McCain campaigned for a ban on same-sex relationship recognition in his home state of Arizona – even appearing in a campaign television ad.
*
SUPPORTED the Confirmation of Anti-GLBT Equality Judges. Senator McCain voted to confirm President Bush’s judicial nominees who had taken anti-GLBT positions. He has pointed to Justice Samuel Alito as a role model for future Supreme Court appointments.
*
SUPPORTED a Discriminatory HIV/AIDS Policy. Senator McCain supported a Jesse Helms strategy to cut off funding for prevention efforts aimed at the gay community and voted to prohibit foreign nationals with HIV from immigrating to the United States.

Final Tuesday Male Beauty

Is John McCain a Bush Clone Homophobe?

Wow, John Aravosis at America Blog has two posts that are pretty much must reads. The first found here tracks some really bat shit stuff McCain - or maybe I need to switch to McCrazy - said about his captors in Vietnam: "A lot of them were homosexual." That's what McCain said in a 1973 interview with U. S. News & World Report. Here's a quote from the 1973 article:
*
Now I don't hate them any more—not these particular guys. I hate and detest the leaders. Some guards would just come in and do their job. When they were told to beat you they would come in and do it. Some seemed to get a big bang out of it. A lot of them were homosexual, although never toward us. Some, who were pretty damned sadistic, seemed to get a big thrill out of the beatings.
*
Here's what John had to say about this whacked out statement (the more I see of McCain, the more I shudder at the though of him as president):
*
How did POW McCain know they were gay if they weren't gay "toward him"? Were the homosexuals the ones who enjoyed the beatings or were the sadists a separate category? We have lots of unanswered questions here. Like—how come he mentions how gay the North Vietnamese were but leaves out that inspiring tale of the cross on the floor he mentioned last weekend?
*
The second post can be found here and looks at Jack Cafferty's comparison of Bush and McCain. The comparison is scary. Here are a few highlights:
*
It occurs to me that John McCain is as intellectually shallow as our current president. When asked what his Christian faith means to him, his answer was a one-liner. "It means I'm saved and forgiven." Great scholars have wrestled with the meaning of faith for centuries.....One after another, McCain's answers were shallow, simplistic, and trite. He showed the same intellectual curiosity that George Bush has -- virtually none.
*
John McCain graduated 894th in a class of 899 at the Naval Academy at Annapolis. His father and grandfather were four star admirals in the Navy. Some have suggested that might have played a role in McCain being admitted. His academic record was awful. And it shows over and over again whenever McCain is called upon to think on his feet. He no longer allows reporters unfettered access to him aboard the "Straight Talk Express" for a reason. He simply makes too many mistakes.
*
Bush goes bumbling along, grinning and spewing moronic one-liners, as though nobody understands what a colossal failure he has been.I fear to the depth of my being that John McCain is just like him.

Teen Murdered Because of Belief He Was Gay

The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the body of Steven Parrish, 18, was found May 29 in a wooded area near his parents' home and Woodlawn Cemetery. Why was he killed? Because gang members believed was gay. Or at least that is how it is looking based on statements made by two teens arrested for his murder. Despite such heinous acts against gays, Christianists and presidential candidate John McCain oppose adding sexual orientation to the hate crimes laws. I suspect that if the truth were known, they figure "one less faggot" is something positive. Personally, it makes me sick - and angry. Hopefully, these two bastards get the max when it comes to sentencing. Here are some story highlights:
*
Two teenagers were ordered held without bail yesterday in the death of a Randallstown High School student who was stabbed and stomped to death after his fellow Bloods gang members found messages on his phone that suggested he was gay. Steven T. Hollis III, 18, of Randallstown and Juan L. Flythe, 17, of West Baltimore - both of whom are members of the Bloods gang, according to police - were arrested and charged Thursday evening with first-degree murder. They are accused of killing a fellow gang member days before his high school graduation in May.
*
"It's awful," Baltimore County prosecutor William B. Bickel said in an interview after yesterday's bail-review hearing in Towson. "You're talking about a gangland-style execution because he was gay. They took him out back in a field and stabbed him to death."
*
A neighbor told police that Parrish left his parents' home with another young man and walked toward the woods. About a minute later, the witness and other neighbors heard someone yelling and pleading, "Stop! Why are you doing this to me? I didn't do anything!" according to court documents.
*
On the day before Parrish's death, several members of the gang met at his home, according to charging documents. There, Hollis and Flythe discussed finding what they believed to be "gay" text messages on Parrish's cell phone. Angered by the messages and a photograph they found, they worried that their Bloods group would appear weak to others if word got out that they had a gay member, according to court records."
*
As a result, they decided that Steven Parrish 'had to go,'" police wrote in charging documents. "There was no date or time discussed for the killing, but it was made very clear to all those present that Parrish was going to be killed."
*
Flythe later told his fellow gang members that he and Hollis confronted Parrish, who did not deny that the messages were "gay" in nature, according to court records. Flythe also told his associates that they stabbed and hit the victim before stomping on his neck, according to charging documents. A red bandanna was placed over Parrish's face and he was left in the woods.

More Tuesday Male Beauty

Sex Abuse By Priests: Due to Interrupted Sexual Development?

A new article by Dr. Laura Berman in the Chicago Sun Times looks at a theory of why sexual abuse of minors is prevalent among Roman Catholic priests. The theory is similar to one put forth in an article I read some years back written by a mental health expert who worked at a Maryland facility that attempted to treat priests guilty of sex abuse of minors. To put it bluntly, the problem stems from (a) the unnaturalness of celibacy and (2) the bizarre attitude of the Catholic Church towards sex which has historically been treated as something nasty and dirty. The combination added to the youth of many of the candidates for priesthood results in a sometimes twisted sexuality in priests. Naturally, the Vatican and other dour, senile members of the hierarchy pretend the issues don not exist. No doubt, Bill Donohue at the Catholic League will have fit over this column since telling the truth about the Church does not sit well with him. Here are some story highlights:
*
On Tuesday the Archdiocese of Chicago announced that the Catholic Church will award $12.6 million to victims of sexual abuse involving priests. . . . The church's requirement that priests remain celibate is a key factor behind some priests' aberrant sexual behavior. Celibacy may create an unnatural situation that increases the likelihood of these abuses. In a perfect world spirituality can overcome something as basic as our sex drive; however, we don't live in a perfect world. The abuse victims speak volumes to this reality.
*
When men enter the seminary for their training, many are still in sexual limbo and are figuring out their sexuality like any young person. Add to that a vow to deny the most basic of urges, and you have a recipe for disaster.
*
For many people, an urge as basic and strong as the sex drive cannot be intellectualized away. Though it works for some priests, it's akin to trying to deny the urge to eat or go to the bathroom for others. Sexual desire becomes stunted, if not warped. Furthermore, some men may actually join the clergy as a way to escape homosexual (and what they believe to be sinful) urges, but of course, it is impossible to run away from these desires. Instead, these urges become exemplified in outlets such as sexual abuse.
*
Rather than deeming the priesthood a hiding place for pedophiles, it seems more likely that interrupted sexual development leads to these unhealthy sexual behaviors. The priests' sexuality is stifled but not eradicated, and the opportunity is there with the young people to whom they are ministering. It's no excuse, but it offers a different perspective when looking for the solution.
*
These victims need and deserve an open discussion and empathetic listening, as it is only through communication and honesty that these tragedies can be overcome.

Catholic League: Democrats Must Nix "Offensive" Blogs

Professional self-nominated victim and disingenuous whiner, Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, has sent out an press release on behalf of the League having a hissy fit over the fact that the Democratic National Convention has granted credentials to two blogs that do not kiss the Roman Catholic Church's corrupt, disingenuous ass. The two blogs are Bitch Ph.D., which looks at current events from a feminist perspective, and Towleroad, a gay blog which I have had linked in my blog roll for almost the entire life of this blog. Here are some highlights from Bill "Let's Kiss the Pope's Ass" Donohue's hyperventilating:
*
The two most offensive are Bitch Ph.D. and Towleroad. “On the home page of Bitch Ph.D. there is a picture of two children: one of them is shown flashing his middle finger. Today’s lead post, which was written August 17, is called ‘Jesus Christ.’ It begins with, ‘I’m a really crappy Catholic who hasn’t been to mass in ages because most parishes around here ‘will’ insist on being aggressively anti-abortion….’
*
Towleroad describes itself as ‘A Site with Homosexual Tendencies.’ Accordingly, it shows men in jock straps and underwear. It also has a post on Pope Benedict XVI that takes him to task for wearing a cape with ermine. Some of those who commented on this described the pope in a vile and profane way.
*
“Both of these blogs should be cut immediately from the list of credentialed sites. Neither functions as a responsible media outlet and both offend Catholics, as well as others. To allow them access to the Democratic National Convention sends a message to Catholics they will not forget. We look for Leah Daughtry, CEO of the Convention, to nix them ASAP.”
*
If Donohue doesn't like Towleroad, I guess he'd have an aneurysm if he read this blog, although the blog has had at least two visitors from Vatican City (Were they viewing the "male beauty photos? Or gathering evidence for a decree of excommunication?). To fix this problem, I sent the Catholic League the following e-mail:
*
I would suggest that if Catholic League president, Bill Donohue, spent as much time and effort demanding a thorough house cleaning of the Catholic Church hierarchy of those bishops and cardinals who facilitated or covered up the sexual abuse of minors, the Catholic League might me taken more seriously by thinking, rational individuals. His disingenuous cries of anti-Catholic discrimination, etc., truly are getting old. Particularly when the League continues to kiss the posteriors of a corrupt hierarchy many members of which sold out children and youth to "protect the Church".
*
The Church's refusal to hold bishops and cardinals accountable was the final straw in my decision to leave the Church. Sadly, I believe only large numbers of Catholics leaving the Church for other less corrupt denominations will bring the much needed changes the Church needs so desperately.
*
Needless to say, I'm not holding my breath for a response. :)

Tuesday Male Beauty

Doctors Must Treat Gays and Lesbians

The California Supreme Court has handed down another opinion striking a blow for the equal rights of LGBT citizens. This time in North Cost Women's Care Medical Group vs. Superior Court, the Court handed down a unanimous decision rejecting a San Diego County fertility clinic's attempt to use its physicians' religious beliefs as a justification for their refusal to provide artificial insemination for a lesbian couple. In my view, the Court correctly reasoned that a religious objector has no federal constitutional right to an exemption from a neutral and valid law of general applicability on the ground that compliance with that law is contrary to the objector’s religious beliefs. In this case, the law was California's law barring discrimination by those business establishments that offer to the public “accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services.” Needless to say, the Christianists will be shedding all kinds of theatrical tears over this ruling since in their view, their rights and beliefs trump those of everyone else. Here are some highlights from the San Francisco Chronicle:
*
SAN FRANCISCO -- Doctors in California must treat gays and lesbians the same as any other patient, regardless of religious objections, the state Supreme Court ruled today. In a unanimous decision, the court rejected a San Diego County fertility clinic's attempt to use its physicians' religious beliefs as a justification for their refusal to provide artificial insemination for a lesbian couple.
*
Guadalupe Benitez sued North Coast Women's care in Vista and two of its doctors, saying they told her in 2000 that because she was a lesbian their Christian beliefs prohibited them from performing intrauterine insemination for her. The doctors later claimed they would have refused the treatment for any unmarried couple.
*
Today's ruling, three months after overturning California's ban on same-sex marriage, strengthened the state's law that prohibits businesses, including medical clinics, from discriminating against customers because of their sexual orientation, as well as their race, sex or religion. The court said religious beliefs do not excuse discrimination.
*
Benitez, now 36, said the ruling isn't just a victory for lesbians. "Anyone could be the next target if doctors are allowed to pick and choose their patients based on religious views about other groups of people," she said.
*
Attorney Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative group that filed arguments supporting the doctors, called today's ruling "the epitome of intolerance" and said it forces the defendants "to choose between being doctors in the state of California or being able to practice their faith."