Saturday, July 21, 2007

Final Saturday Beauty

Michael Vick gets Summons for Bond Hearing

To me, Michael Vick is another example of a spoiled brat athelete - Alvin Iverson who is from this area is another one - who has been given too many "get out of jail" cards soley because of his atheletic skill. Anyone else would have been fired or in jail. Is it any wonder that the guy thinks that he's above the law and can do whatever he pleases? Here's what one local sports writer, Bob Molinaro, had to say recently:

FAMILY AFFAIR Michael Vick's indictment may create some blowback on Virginia Tech, though not nearly to the same degree as Marcus Vick's egregious behavior when he was the Hokies' quarterback. But you know what Tech people are thinking right now, don't you? They're thinking, thank God there isn't a third Vick brother.

More Saturday Male Beauty

A New Book, “Jack and Lem: John F. Kennedy and Lem Billings, the Untold Story of an Extraordinary Friendship”

This new book by David Pitts, who has a longstanding interest in Kennedy, said that the inspiration for the project came from reading a variety of books over the years about the former president in which the name Lem Billings kept appearing, but was never fully explained. Pitts began researching the pair’s relationship and uncovered how progressive Kennedy was in terms of accepting Billings’ sexual orientation. It sounds like it would be an interesting read:
Beginning with their years at Choate, Billings often spent holidays and vacations with the Kennedys, although his family lived in Baltimore. He was also a fixture at the White House, which many found odd. Billings had a room there, and he frequently listened to the president vent about the international crises in Cuba and Berlin. Politicos wrote him off as Kennedy’s school friend who was a political lightweight, and others felt that he simply spent too much time hanging around.Persistent rumors about Kennedy’s bisexuality are not answered in this book. Pitts uncovered no evidence that suggested a sexual relationship between the two friends.

Quebec gay rights group granted UN observer status

Note how it is Canada, not the USA, that is in the forefront of human rights issues. I'm glad at least one of the countries in North America still believes in human rights for all and is not controlled by Christianists:

UNITED NATIONS - Canada came out swinging in favour of a Quebec gay rights activist group yesterday, successfully lobbying for the United Nations to reverse an earlier rejection of the group by a UN committee dominated by Muslim and developing countries.

Canada's Hugh Adsett said the UN should be where "diverse voices" can be heard, and "even if some governments don't agree with some (activists), they should not be excluded," note-takers reported. The charge led to UN approval for the Coalition Gaie et Lesbienne du Quebec to receive observer status at the world body.
"We're surprised and happy," said Yvan Lapointe, CGLQ executive director, who said his group now planned to use the UN as a platform to spread homosexual rights to many of the same countries that voted against it.

"It may take many years in places like Egypt, where there's been extensive persecution, or Iran, where they hang homosexuals," he said. "We'll not only be reaching out to homosexual activists in those countries, but we'll be asking our government why we're trading with them and others."

Saturday Male Beauty

More on Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church

I received a comment from Bishop Accountability today on the Los Angeles Archdiocese sexual abuse settlement. This group has a wealth of information and documentation that shows the extent of the sex abuse scandal and, even more damning, the legths that the hierarchy went to cover it up. Here's the comment:

1. The final total of $660 million is lower than many expected. Predicted totals had ranged as high as $1.6 billion.

2. The smaller total may have resulted from survivors' determination to force release of priest files. The settlement requires the Archdiocese to release confidential personnel files of accused priests.
3. Of the $660M, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will pay only $250M. The balance will be paid by insurance companies (reportedly dozens of them) and more than 30 religious orders.

4. The Archdiocese can afford this. With 1600 properties worth an estimated $4 billion, it is one of the wealthiest landowners in Southern California, according to a Los Angeles Times report published last December. While this sum includes parishes, it also includes $175 million in properties not classified for religious use -- commercial parking lots, single family homes, retail buildings, and oil wells.

5. It's a good deal for the Cardinal. For a mere $250 million -- just a third more than the $190 million he spent to build Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral -- the Cardinal has gained the cancellation of 15 civil trials that already had been scheduled and the end to possibly hundreds of additional lawsuits by the remaining plaintiffs. If cases had gone to trial, legal experts believe that juries would have awarded victims not just compensatory damages, but punitive damages -- something that bishops have used every trick to avoid ever since the landmark Kos case.
6. The Cardinal avoided perjury. Had trials occurred, Mahony himself would have had to take the stand repeatedly, forced to either expose the hierarchy's complicity or perjure himself.

7. The settlement leads us again to consider bishops' cover-up of finances. The LA Archdiocese's public financial reports have been incomplete and misleading. Despite land holdings worth billions, it publicly claims only $494 million in total assets. Other dioceses behave the same way. Bankruptcy proceedings in San Diego and an ongoing criminal trial in Cleveland reveal that both dioceses stashed monies in hundreds of bank accounts, making an accurate count of total assets nearly impossible.

8. Will we see another bogus "release of confidential documents?" In 2005, though ordered by a judge to release priest personnel files, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles managed to release instead highly edited "summaries of information" that were sanitized to the point of falsehood.

The Portland OR archdiocese also showed disingenuous "compliance" with a similar document-release commitment in their plan to emerge from bankruptcy. Bishop Vlazny released just a few hundred pages, a strange hodgepodge of incomplete files (compared to the 40,000-page archive forced out of Boston and the 9,000-page archive released by the Manchester NH diocese).
Finally, with Roger Mahony having the temerity to claim as recently as yesterday he "didn't know" pedophile priests would re-offend, we recommend you read this powerful article about his deposition in the Oliver O'Grady case. It reminds us of the incalculable harm to children that Mahony enabled. He knew.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Another Fundy Caught Using a Hooker

I am not trying to be mean spirited, but I love it when self-righteous Christianists get caught with their pants down, so to speak. Her's yet another hypocrite caught NOY practicing what he preaches:

KANNAPOLIS --Coy Privette, a retired Baptist pastor, conservative lawmaker and outspoken advocate for Christian groups, was charged Thursday with paying a prostitute for sex acts. The 74-year-old Cabarrus County commissioner was arrested at his home in Kannapolis early Thursday. He appeared before a Rowan County magistrate on six misdemeanor charges and was released on a promise to appear in court Aug. 22. He did not return e-mails or calls to his cell and home phones, and no one answered the door at his Kannapolis home.

Privette, a prominent Republican with a 30-year career, is one of the state's most vocal opponents against alcohol sales and legal gambling. He also serves on the State Baptist Convention of North Carolina and as president of the Christian Action League of North Carolina.
At a news conference in Raleigh late Thursday, the league's executive director announced Privette's suspension as president until his court case is resolved.

"We have a responsibility to reserve judgment," said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director, "but it's also important to preserve the integrity of this organization." Milton Hollifield Jr., executive director of the Baptist Convention, said he was unable to reach Privette for an explanation. Nothing has been decided about his role with the organization.

Friday Night Musings

I am staying at the home of some friends currently - Marty and Christopher who got married in Canada on July 7th (see my post on that date) - and they are out at a concert that they previously bought tickets for (Gosh Groban). So it's me and the dogs and cat - literally. I will probably read a book and/or watch Logo later depending on what's on. I am just about finished with "Man About Town" and, if I finish that, I will probably start re-reading Mary Renault's book "Last of the Wine," first published in 1956, which definitely ranks among my favorite books of all time.
Set in Classical Period Athens during the Peloponnesian War, it follows the lives of two lovers, Alexias and Lysis, who interact with figures such as Socrates. I have read it many times, and I find it a wonderful guide when I am troubled and looking for an ideal to follow.

During one of Socrates' discourses in the book, Socrates discusses the attributes of the perfect lover and what it should cost one to have such a lover that is truly inspirational. Here's a brief synopsis of the book:

Mary Renault's The Last of the Wine is about honor, duty, the horrors of war and its human cost, and the smallness and greatness of men. It is the memoir of Alexias, son of Myron, through his childhood and youth during the Peloponnesian War. He is a young aristocrat from a fairly conservative family at a time of great social and political change: Athens is falling from empire into ruin while democrats and oligarchs struggle for control of the city and many enemies circle for the kill. It is the time of Sokrates, Alkibiades, Euripides, the infamous Kritias, all of whom appear as characters. It is also an amazingly clear-eyed and tender love story.

Alexias searches for the true and the beautiful and his affair with Lysis, who also part of Sokrates' circle, is a beautifully rendered example. They are, in a sense, blessed because the love they share is genuine and deep. However, in trying to live up to Sokrates' ideal of a love from the soul, they forget that Eros will have his due. Thus, they must, somehow, make accommodation between their ideals and their natures and, when they have done that, their love becomes truly an ideal: a love founded on trust and generosity, engaging them on a mutual search for the best in each other and in themselves, to find the seeds of honesty and integrity that we all have and to make them flower.

One line that I try to remember and apply is when Socrates tells Alexias to "be what you would seem to be." I rarely meet that standard, but I do my best to be and act as I would like to seem - i.e., be genuine, open and honestly.

Mary Challans (1905-83), using the pseudonym Mary Renault, wrote eight novels about ancient Greece, including a trilogy about Alexander the Great. I have read all her books and recommend them highly.

Final Friday Male Beauty

Impeach Now - Or Face the End of Constitutional Democracy

In one way it is nice to see that I am not the only one who views Bush/Cheney as potential dictators. PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS, who has always been pretty well regarded in the former version of the Republican Party (i.e., pre-Bush/Cheney) and among conservatives in general, has a chilling column ( out warning of the threat posed by Bush/Cheney. Here are some highlights:

Unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the US could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran.

Bush has put in place all the necessary measures for dictatorship in the form of "executive orders" that are triggered whenever Bush declares a national emergency. Recent statements by Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff, former Republican senator Rick Santorum and others suggest that Americans might expect a series of staged, or false flag, "terrorist" events in the near future.

Many attentive people believe that the reason the Bush administration will not bow to expert advice and public opinion and begin withdrawing US troops from Iraq is that the administration intends to rescue its unpopular position with false flag operations that can be used to expand the war to Iran.

Too much is going wrong for the Bush administration: the failure of its Middle East wars, Republican senators jumping ship, Turkish troops massed on northern Iraq's border poised for an invasion to deal with Kurds, and a majority of Americans favoring the impeachment of Cheney and a near-majority favoring Bush's impeachment. The Bush administration desperately needs dramatic events to scare the American people and the Congress back in line with the militarist-police state that Bush and Cheney have fostered.

William Norman Grigg recently wrote that the GOP is "praying for a terrorist strike" to save the party from electoral wipeout in 2008.
If the Bush administration wants to continue its wars in the Middle East and to entrench the "unitary executive" at home, it will have to conduct some false flag operations that will both frighten and anger the American people and make them accept Bush's declaration of "national emergency" and the return of the draft. Alternatively, the administration could simply allow any real terrorist plot to proceed without hindrance.
Ask yourself: Would a government that has lied us into two wars and is working to lie us into an attack on Iran shrink from staging "terrorist" attacks in order to remove opposition to its agenda?
Unfortunately, Mr. Robert's theory makes too much sense not to be seen as a potential Bush end game. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration and was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review.

Bush to cede power to VP during colonoscopy

This is a bit scary:
WASHINGTON - President Bush will undergo a routine colonoscopy Saturday and temporarily hand presidential powers over to Vice President Dick Cheney, the White House said. He last underwent colorectal cancer surveillance on June 29, 2002 (MY COMMENT: Perhaps that's when they inadvertently removed his brain??).
With Bush out of it for several hours, I can only hope Vice President "Darth Vader" Cheney does 't decide to start World War III by attacking Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, or God knows what other countries. Cheney has demonstrated time and time again that he thinks he is above the law and not subject to any Congressional restraints.

More Friday Male Beauty

Pet Sounds - Play to Be Performed in Richmond, Virginia

Pet Sounds, the play I have posted about before that was written, produced and performed by high school students from Granby High School will be performed in Richmond next week on July 30th and 31, sponsored by ROSMY (Richmond Organization for Sexual Minority Youth). Here is a link:

Here is another local review of the play that does it due justice:

As I previously made clear, I did not agree with the decision not to allow the play to be performed at Granby High School. However, by taking such action, yet allowing the play to be performed at the 40th Street Theater, it allowed the opportunty to present the play as its authors and actors wanted, complete with the kiss between two male characters (and a very innocent kiss at that). And the publicity from the school's action ultimately helped big time to draw a far more diverse mix of viewers than otherwise would have been the case. Here is another on-line story about the play:

I won't yet disclose where things may go from here, but reports are that the play will be performed again at 40th Street Stage next year. Perhaps, someday when Pet Sounds touring companies are performing the play around the country, I can say, "I saw the original cast in a local community theatre during its first run."

Friday Male Beauty

Broader Privilege Claimed by Chimperator In Firings

Yet another claim has been invoked by Chimperator Bush's White House cabal that further reveals that Bush either thinks he's Der Fuhrer or an emperor. Here's highlights from the Washington Post story:

Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege.

Mark J. Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University who has written a book on executive-privilege issues, called the administration's stance "astonishing." "That's a breathtakingly broad view of the president's role in this system of separation of powers," Rozell said. "What this statement is saying is the president's claim of executive privilege trumps all."

The administration's statement is a dramatic attempt to seize the upper hand in an escalating constitutional battle with Congress, which has been trying for months, without success, to compel White House officials to testify and to turn over documents about their roles in the prosecutor firings last year.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) called it "an outrageous abuse of executive privilege" and said: "The White House must stop stonewalling and start being accountable to Congress and the American people. No one, including the president, is above the law."

Rozell, the George Mason professor and authority on executive privilege, said the administration's stance "is almost Nixonian in its scope and breadth of interpreting its power. Congress has no recourse at all, in the president's view. . . . It's allowing the executive to define the scope and limits of its own powers."

I continue to believe that history will view George W. Bush as the worse president in the nation's history and that his administration set a new standard for hubris and corruption. All, of course while the Chimperator believes himself to be the second coming of the Messiah.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Final Male Beauty

Larry Flynt - Name of Senator Client Will Be a Shocker

Larry Flynt told Larry King that he has at least 30 more names to release in his quest to expose Republican hypocrisy. And ye shall be shocked at a certain Senator that he has left unnamed so far. I love seeing self-righteous, phony hypocrites taken down:

KING: Larry, without naming them, because we stand under legal protection here, are others coming?
FLYNT: Oh, yes. We’ve gotten 10 times more leads from the recent ad in “The Post” than we got during the Clinton impeachment. Unbelievable. We’ve got…
KING: Ten times more leads? (transcript below the fold)
KING: Does that mean you have phone numbers that you’re following up?
FLYNT: Not just phone numbers.
KING: Names?
FLYNT: We’ve got good leads. We’ve got over 300 initially. And they’re down to about 30 now which is solid.
KING: When are you going to print?
FLYNT: Well, the last thing now is we don’t know if we want to let it to drip, drip, drip or we want to go with everything at once.
KING: You mean you might release 30 names at once?
FLYNT: A good possibility.
KING: Will we be — I don’t want to get into names yet. Will we be shocked?
KING: Were you shocked?
FLYNT: I was shocked, especially at one senator but…
KING: One senator especially?

Most Obese Denomination

Here's an interesting factoid via Civil Commotion:

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (BP)–Southern Baptists are 30 times more likely to be obese than non-Christians and are the most obese of any denomination studied in the United States, according to a study released by Purdue University in 2006.

Perhaps God and/or evolution is on the side of reason, logic and science after all and has a mechanism to take care of these wingnuts!!!

More Thursday Male Beauty

Mindless Chickenhawks: College Republicans

Max Blumenthal has a great post over at Huffington Post ( that shows the Kool-Aid drinkers get indoctrinated early. Similarly, the are modeling themselves on those great chickenhawks, Chimperator Bush and Vice President "Darth Vader" Cheney who love military trappings, yet never served IN the military. They prefer to send the sons and daughters of others off to their dishonestly conceived war as canon fodder. Here's part of the post:

I headed across the street to the Sheraton National Hotel, owned by right-wing Korean cult leader Sun Myung-Moon, to meet some of the war's most fervent supporters at the College Republican National Convention.In conversations with at least twenty College Republicans about the war in Iraq, I listened as they lip-synched discredited cant about "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here." Many of the young GOP cadres I met described the so-called "war on terror" as nothing less than the cause of their time.

Yet when I asked these College Repulicans why they were not participating in this historical cause, they immediately went into contortions. Asthma. Bad knees from playing catcher in high school. "Medical reasons." "It's not for me." These were some of the excuses College Republicans offered for why they could not fight them "over there."

Like the current Republican leaders who skipped out on Vietnam, the GOP's next generation would rather cheerlead from the sidelines for the war in Iraq while other, less privileged young men and women fight and die.
Why is it that whenever I see a photo of rolly polly Karl Rove, I think of the line from the movie "Sordid Lives" - someone needs to butcher that there hog??

More Thursday Male Beauty

John Warner Get's It, While the Chimperator Does Not

There is an interesting story in the Washington Post today about John Warner ( I'll admit I follow him closely since we have met and talked before. But more importantly, he is one of the few rational members of the GOP who seems more worried about doing what is right as opposed to kissing Bush's ass or protecting the GOP. I think they call it statesmanship. Something greatly lacking today in Washington:

Right now, he will say only that he remains focused on passing the proposal he introduced last week with Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) to revisit what he calls the "obsolete" war authorization and require the administration to begin drawing up nonbinding troop redeployment plans. Majority Leader Harry Reid yesterday postponed votes on the defense authorization bill and any war-related amendments, including Warner's, because Republicans demanded a 60-vote margin for passage. But Warner was undaunted.

"We can't have any more loss of life. We need to restore the loss of credibility in some measure of the country and remain a respected source of authority in that region," said Warner, 80. "We want to bring a measure of stability to Iraq, but at the same time, this needs to be brought to a conclusion."

As a longtime senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Warner is a highly respected voice on the conflict. The World War II veteran and former Navy secretary startled Republicans last year when he returned from a trip to Iraq and said that the country seemed to be "drifting sideways." And as the Armed Services Committee's chairman during the Abu Ghraib scandal, he raised eyebrows when he insisted in 2004 that Donald Rumsfeld, the defense secretary at the time, testify under oath.

I hope he continues to push for a reconsideration of the war authorization resolution.

Thursday Male Beauty

Chimperator Bush: No Deal On Children's Health Plan

This article in the Washington Post ( pretty much says it all as to what Bush's version of "compassionate Conservatism" is in reality: tax cuts for the extremely wealthy and no health insurance for poor children. WWJD? The Chimperator yesterday:
. . .[R]ejected entreaties by his Republican allies that he compromise with Democrats on legislation to renew a popular program that provides health coverage to poor children, saying that expanding the program would enlarge the role of the federal government at the expense of private insurance. . . . The 10-year-old program, which is set to expire on Sept. 30, costs the federal government $5 billion a year and helps provide health coverage to 6.6 million low-income children whose families do not qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance on their own.

In the 15-minute interview, Bush also rejected the charges by former surgeon general Richard H. Carmona that the administration's political appointees routinely rewrote his speeches, blocked public health reports for political reasons and screened his travel.

This man and his regime truly make me ill. He can worry about stem cell research and frozen embryos, but to hell with living children. Is he just totally crazy or knowingly evil?

Benedict XVI -Ratzinger: God's Rottweiler

Another blogger gave me the link to a blog with this name. Check it out: This opening comment sets the tone of the blog:

Pope Benedict XVI is the papal clone of John Paul II. As Cardinal Ratzinger he was the General of the Third Reich of the Catholic Church, the right-hand man of John Paul II in the great cover up of the pedophiliac holocaust committed by the JPIIPPA - the John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army.

It is nice to know that other bloogers are likewise trying to expose the rank corruption and moral bankruptcy of the leadership of the Catholic Church. As for Opus Dei (the skull of its founder is at left, above), the organization is down right scary.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Final Wednesday Male Beauty

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Vatican Pledges to Fight Pedophilia - Why Don't I Believe This?

The Washington Post has a stroy in which the Vatican is quoted as saying "it would lead the fight against pedohilia (

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican said Tuesday it would lead the fight against pedophilia, but said the problem was not limited to the Catholic Church and that other institutions should take responsibility. Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi spoke to Vatican Radio after the Los Angeles archdiocese reached a $660 million settlement with more than 500 alleged victims of clergy sex abuse, the largest-ever U.S. payout. Lombardi said the agreement "closed a painful page" and allowed the church to focus on creating a secure environment for young Catholics.
If the Vatican wanted to be taken seriously on this issue, both Benedict and his predecessor, John Paul II have had ample opportunity to show they were serious by requiring the mass resignation of every bishop and cardinal involved in the cover ups. In the USA, the Dallas Morning News several years ago estimated that roughly 2/3 of the U. S. bishops had particiapted at some level in cover up activities. See: What did John Paul II or now Benedict do to clean house? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Until careers are ended and senior people removed from office, the Vatician's promises are merely, disingenuous lip service.

Wednesday Male Beauty

Some Concervative Christians Are Finally Waking UP

One reader of World Net Daily (a/k/a Wingnut World daily) and Front Page Magazine has finally recognized that the true Christians have been conned by Bush, Bozell, Dobson, et al., who are not true conservatives or true Christians:

" I was very reluctant to write this letter because it is so negative, but I've reached the point in which I can no longer stay silent. With your last column, I've decided to stop reading WorldNetDaily. That fact probably means nothing to you since I've never been able to support you financially. But it means something to me. For over eight years I have faithfully read WND every day. I trusted you. I believed you.
To suggest that the press coverage of Abu Ghraib and the reduction of "interrogation" has caused us to "lose" (support for) the war is nonsense. We are losing in Iraq because we haven't defined the enemy and we aren't there to "win." What would winning look like, anyway? This undeclared "war" was never meant to be "won," but to secure a large American presence in Iraq. And why do you and all of the other so-called "conservative" news media ignore the president of Iraq's statement that they are ready for us to leave?
You and others who claim to stand for conservative Christians have gone down that terrible road of endorsing deception, violence and fiscal irresponsibility to justify the actions of a president (whom I voted for twice) who is not only out of touch with his country, but close to becoming our first dictator.
Now the drumbeats are calling for us to "take care of" Iran next. Hitler had his scapegoat in the Jews and Bush has his in the Muslims. And my fellow Christians are happily following him down a terrible path laced with lies, torture, violence and genocide. After it is all over and the dust has cleared, what will we do when they tell the world that the Christians are now the enemy? Haven't we learned anything from history? When we condemn and entire group of people for the actions of a few, we are no better than those who have turned away from God.

You and the others who support the evolution of our political process into essentially a one-party system are guilty of contributing to the destruction of our beloved republic. I am so sorry that you of all people bought into this madness. I really used to enjoy reading WND, but now I've deleted it from my database because you have become like the rest of the people who claim to follow Jesus: You lust for war, violence, torture and injustice. You will say anything to justify these things, which you know go against the teachings of Jesus. Which Jesus supports these things? Not the Jesus I follow, and I have been a Bible-believing traditional conservative Christian for 24 years. Go ahead and rationalize it all you want. We all have to answer to God for our actions, and I will no longer stand with my fellow Christians and endorse this insanity because after four years, I have come to the conclusion that we were deceived right from the start."

I fully agree with the writers analysis of Bush trying to become a defacto dictator. He surely believes he is above the law and that the Constitution is irrelevant. If he thinks he's another Augustus Caesar, however, he is truly deluded. Would that more of the so-called GOP base would wake up to reality.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sins of the Fathers

I was quite amazed to be browsing news web sites (I confess that I am a news junkie) and suddenly see myself quoted in Slate's article "Today's blogs: The latest chatter in cyberspace" discussing the LA Sexual Abuse settlement (see: :

Attorney-blogger Michael in Norfolk issues an ultimatum: "If Cardinal Mahoney has any integrity left, he will now resign, as should EVERY priest, bishop, cardinal and, if applicable, Pope, who participated in any way in the cover up of these horrendous crimes."

Another quote from the article is as follows:

At The Huffington Post, comedian Bill Maher notes that the church is selling off property to pay the settlement. "[W]hich reminded me, oh yeah, the Catholic Church owns more property out here than Bob Hope did -- and why? Oh, yeah, because it's a business -- and not just a business, really, the greatest business in the world, in that, like all religions, it's selling an invisible product."

Naturally, pro-Catholic bloggers were less than pleased with the settlement. I say, hit them where it hurts - in their pocket book. Perhaps eventually the laity will rise up and demand change by withholding donations.

Randy Thomas of Exodus is Crying Wolf Over Possible APA Standards Revisions

I was somewhat amazed to receive an e-mail last night from Randy Thomas of Exodus that put me in the same address box with the likes of Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend, the Gay City News and the blogger at “As Good As You.” Of course, anyone who has read much of this blog knows that I totally disagree with everything Exodus stands for and have said as much. Unlike Mr. Thomas, I very much hope that the American Psychological Association, in the process of revisiting the ethical standards for its members, will finally take a firm stance that condemns reparative therapy and make it an ethical offense for licensed psychologists to subject patients, particularly minors, to such “cure” programs.

Not surprisingly, on Mr. Thomas’ personal blog he is raising a hue and cry that Christians will be persecuted:

Criminalize and Shut Down Alternative Views of Homosexuality
Some people, who identify as gay, have been laughing at me for years for warning that activists want to use public policy and the professional sector to shut down resources and even criminalize what Exodus believes in and seeks to help others accomplish.

I understand that this isn't a reality at the moment but we need not ignore the warning bells. A client's right to self-determination should not be undermined. Exodus exists for people who want our help. Our religious liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and respect for a mature person's ability to self-determine their life path/identity (among plenty of other arguments) should be civilly and professionally protected regardless of what the APA determines.

Note how Mr. Thomas talks about a “mature person’s ability to self determine,” yet the number one target audience of these “cure ministries” is teenagers and young adults – e.g., Love Won Out’s youth boot camp is now back in business.

Increasingly, the civil laws protect children and minors from dangerous non-treatment for medical conditions even though the parents’ religious beliefs prohibit treatment (e.g., blood transfusions). Applying Mr. Thomas’ “mature person” standard, then Mr. Thomas should be fine with the APA banning minors (i.e., anyone under age 18 at a minimum) from being subjected to reparative therapy in light of the emotional and psychological damage, including potential suicide, it can cause. A parent’s religious beliefs should not put a child’s or young adult’s emotional and psychological health at risk. I personally know a number of people who grew up in fundamentalist homes and were subjected to these programs that still carry the emotional and psychological scars of handiwork

Therefore, I fully agree with the view that if the APA does in fact ban reparative or conversion therapy, there will at long last be a solid legal argument for shutting down such groups as Exodus International and Homosexuals Anonymous. This will also mean that under the professional standard care and existing malpractice laws, psychologists and therapists who continue to advocate and practice such therapy would be subject to license revocation and/or fines, and probably be hard put to secure malpractice insurance. All in all, it would be a very positive development.

Of course, Mr. Thomas unvoiced concern is also that he'd have to get real employment and stop being a professional ex-gay for pay.

More Tuesday Male Beauty

Last Minute Reminder for HRBOR July Networking Event

Just a reminder for those in the Hampton Roads area that the next HRBOR Networking event will take place at my office and in the second floor lobby of the building in which my office is located (sort of a loft/industrial look) and there will be food and beverages provided by the sponsors. So far we expect close to 75 attendees, with no doubt more showing without an RSVP. What has been amazing and gratifying is the number of gay friendly businesses that want to be involved.

For new readers, HRBOR is Hampton Road's LGBT and LGBT friendly chamber of Commerce, and affiliate of the NATIONAL GAY & LESBIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. I encourage any readers in the area to consider attending. Since members include gay friendly businesses, those still in the closet can feel safe in attending.
Our goal : Developing Diversity...Creating Community
Third Thursday Business Networking Event Hampton Roads Business OutReach
WHEN: July 19, 20076-8pm

WHERE: 520 West 21st Street, Suite J, Norfolk, Virginia 23517


HOSTED BY: The law firm of Michael B. Hamar, P.C.; Monitor Title, LLC;
and Equal Spaces, P. C. - Architecture, Design and Planning

RSVP at or call 757.892.0462PO Box 11598, Norfolk, VA 23517 Phone: 757.892.0462 Fax: 757.299.8397

UPCOMING EVENTS:August Third Thursday event on August 16, 2007 at the historic Wells Theater

Pope Trashed Gay Couples Amidst Gay Rumors

In late 2006, the New York Daily News reported on Italian speculation that Benedict is himself homosexual. A gay television personality, Fabio Canino, "opened his show with a puff of pink smoke wafting from the Vatican chimney" and cited the pope's "fondness for shopping and Prada shoes as evidence" that he is a "kindred" spirit. Canino also said that Benedict's hunky private secretary, Monsignor Georg Ganswein (pictured above), was the pope's "boyfriend." , was the pope's "boyfriend."

Based on my experience, the worst homophobes (especially in the Southern Baptist and ultra-conservative Protestant denominations type) are the self-hating, angry closet cases, who long for a same sex partner but are too paralyzed by religious dogma to act upon it. Instead, they attack others who are not afraid of their sexual orientation almost out of jealousy fueled hatred. If Benedict is gay and has a boyfriend, he would not fit the typical pattern. But then, the Catholic Church's history is full of gay popes (the 1500's were full of them), popes who fathered children, etc., so perhaps the catholic hierarchy doesn't fit the typical Evangelical Christian model.

Tuesday Male Beauty

Monday, July 16, 2007

Late Night Thoughts - Relationship Endings

How does one properly end a relationship that is not working when you continue to love the other party and only want happiness for them? How do you convince the other person that you care for them and always will, yet experience and history have shown that the two of you are truly not compatible and that long term both of you will be better served breaking up? That's the dilemma I am currently faced with.
I have certainly made many, many mistakes and caused heartache to him, as I readily confess,. Likewise, he has done the same to me, whether intentionally or not. In addition, my negative baggage of my vicious divorce and the adverse financial ramifications it has generated have put him through a Hell he surely never anticipated. Can we somehow find a way to be friends in the future as I would like? Or am I being unrealistic? We have shared so much together, both good and bad, yet we need to move on, or at least I do.
I want him to know that this is tearing me apart too, but I believe it must be done. Perhaps I will live to regret it all, I simply don't know. But right now, I see no other course. Am I simply crazy or too idealistic? Advice would be most appreciated. I just want him to know that I think he is special and that he has a beautiful soul, even if we cannot live together any longer.

Final Monday Male Beauty

Not All Black Pastors Being Duped by Christian Right

While far too many blacks have been duped into supporting the anti-black white Christianists attempt to prevent passage of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act (see my post, it is encouraging to see that some blacks understand that the Christianists are playing on religious belief to get black pastors to lobby against the hate crimes act.

One such group is the National Black Justice Coalition ( which is running ads supporting the adoption of the Hate Crimes Act in a number of national publications. The text of the ads is as follows:

“Pastors have nothing to fear. The bill clearly protects free speech and does not muzzle any minister. ” The bill clearly states, “Nothing in this Act … shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution.” [HR 1592, Sec. 8] It does not make criminal any behavior that is not already against the law. We support the current hate crimes legislation in Congress because it expands protections for our fellow clergy members, the African-American community and even more Americans.

We stand united with a diverse group of faith leaders urging the Senate to pass the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Rev. Loyce Newton-Edwards
Church of the Open Arms
United Church of Christ
Oklahoma City, Okla.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Samuel
Victory Church
Atlanta, Ga.

Rev. Dr. Dennis Wiley
Covenant Baptist Church
Washington, D.C.

Rev. Dr. Christine Wiley
Covenant Baptist Church
Washington, D.C.

Bishop John L. Selders, Jr.
Amistad United Church
of Christ
Hartford, Conn.

Rev. V.H. Dixon, Jr.
Hobson United
Methodist Church
Nashville, Tenn.

Rev. Irene Monroe
Harvard University
Divinity School
Cambridge, Mass.

Bishop Yvette Flunder
City of Refuge
San Francisco, Calif.

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pa.

More Monday Male Beauty

Court Threatens to Burn Fragile Gay Protections

I found a good column by Deb Price (pictured at left) who writes for the Detroit News (See: that in my view correctly assesses what is at with the new Roberts U. S. Supreme Court. Every gay should be praying that (1) none of the remaining justices die or decide to retire while Chimperator Bush is in office and (2) that the Dems win the White House in 2008. Here are high lights of Deb's column:

The Roberts court -- whose votes in nongay cases strongly signaled that Chief Justice John Roberts and Samuel Alito can be expected to join Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in opposing almost any imaginable gay-rights plea -- is moving frighteningly close to having the five votes it would need to weaken the groundbreaking rulings of 1996 and 2003 acknowledging that gay Americans are protected by the Constitution.

Gone is tenuous supporter Sandra Day O'Connor, who before retiring sided with gay Americans in Romer v. Evans in 1996 and Lawrence v. Texas in 2003 -- both 6-3 decisions.
Five gay-rights allies remain: Anthony Kennedy, who penned the pair of legal aces; John Paul Stevens, now 87; David Souter; Stephen Breyer; and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And no one can be certain just how far any of the five -- especially Kennedy, who has become the court's conservative swing vote -- would go to protect gays in cases less outrageously extreme: In Romer, Colorado had tried to fence its gay citizens out of the normal political process. In Lawrence, a gay Texas couple was arrested for having sex at the home of one of the men.

What alarmed gay rights litigators? A string of 5-4 decisions against the powerless or minorities: Rulings blocking workers from suing over sex discrimination if it's not discovered immediately; ignoring public school students' free-speech rights, and hampering efforts to create racially diverse schools. "The U.S. Supreme Court was for a long time a protector of minority groups, and it has become less so over time," notes James Esseks, a gay litigator at the American Civil Liberties Union. "I'm worried that a future Supreme Court would narrowly interpret or even cut back Romer and Lawrence."

I definitely share Mr. Esseks' concerns. Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito believe that the Constitution only protects white Protestants or Catholics and their religious and social institutions. Thomas is the one who most disappoints me since he has betrayed minority groups of all kinds. I guess being a Justice and having a white wife, he believes he is untouchable, so to Hell with everyone else.

Thompson Reaches to the Right - Laying the groundwork for evangelical support

This is not a good sign in my opinion, but on the other hand not unexpected. If Thompson wants to be a viable primary candidate, he has to court the wingnut segment that now dominates the GOP and works to mobilize their Kool-Aid drinking followers in the Republican primaries. Here are high lights from the U. S. News & World Report story:

U.S. News has learned that [former U. S. Senator] Thompson recently hired Bill Wichterman, who served as conservative outreach director for former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and Joseph Cella, president of a conservative Catholic group called Fidelis, to lead the effort. The aides are arranging more meetings between Thompson and conservative Christian leaders and have launched a rapid-response operation to fend off attacks on Thompson's conservative credentials.
The success of the effort is by no means ensured; in March, Focus on the Family's James Dobson told U.S. News that he doubted Thompson was really a Christian. But Dobson and Thompson have since talked, with Dobson rumored to be reassessing Thompson. And prominent social conservative Paul Weyrich, who met recently with Thompson and evangelical activists, said the former senator "was in agreement with us on almost everything."
Thompson is emphasizing his eight-year record as a senator from Tennessee and his campaign endorsements from the National Right to Life Committee. "It didn't look like he was saying what a group of Christian consultants told him to say," says Harry Jackson, a black pastor who met recently with Thompson. "He seemed to be saying, 'I'm one of you.
It is definitely scary when we have a hate monger and theocrat like Daddy Dobson trying to control who candidates are for president. The Christianist truly need to be stopped. The best way for that to happen is to see the GOP annihilated at the polls in 2008. If that happens, the moderates will have to either retake the party from the Christianists or start a new party. See the full U.S. News story here:

Monday Male Beauty

As indicated in my comment, this morning's photo has been replaced out of respect to readers who subscribe to this blog at work. I apologize to those I inconvenienced.

Victims React to Catholic Archdiocese Sexual Abuse Settlement

More follow up on the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese's settlement in the 500+ pending sexual abuse lawsuits. Here's a part of a story from the LA Times (,1,7003241.story?coll=la-headlines-california&ctrack=1&cset=true). As the story suggests, the settlement was not agreed to because it was the right think to do, but rather in order to protect Mahoney and possibly his superiors. While they might have been able to duck other charges, they (1) would have been forced to answer questions potentially leading to the Vatican and (2) would not have been exempt from potential pergury charges. Here's highlights of the story:
[Cardinal] Mahony, in his first public statement since the Los Angeles Archdiocese's record $660-million settlement was reached with 508 claimants, said he told the victims, "Your life, I wish were like a VHS tape, we could put the tape in … and delete these years of difficulty and misery."

But attorneys and advocates for the victims said they were skeptical of Mahony's timing for the settlement, noting that the pact announced Saturday, after 4 1/2 years of negotiations, came just before the first case was set to go to trial, with the cardinal slated to testify. And they said they fear they will never learn the full truth about the accused and those who may have shielded them, including Mahony."He avoided the No. 1 thing he fears, which is disclosing under oath how much he knew and how little he did about predatory priests," said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.
"We have another huge fight ahead," said attorney Katherine Freberg, who represents 109 victims. Mahony said he would turn everything over to the retired judge, but noted that some documents, such as psychiatric reports that the archdiocese had fought to keep sealed, might not be disclosed publicly. Individual priests are expected to raise legal objections.
Attorney Freberg said part of the reason the amount is so high is that the archdiocese delayed a settlement with scorched-earth legal tactics."It has been like painful dental surgery trying to get this information," she said. "Having fought this battle for so long, I am absolutely convinced we will never know the whole story."
As the first half a dozen of her cases were set to go to trial, Freberg said, the archdiocese turned over one file on each abuser marked "personnel," containing routine business matters.She then had to file a motion to compel the archdiocese to provide the "confidential files" containing the history of abuse complaints, and how they were handled.Then, after taking depositions from diocesan employees, she learned the documents were kept "in a host of other places," including parishes, schools, regional offices and with clergy misconduct boards.
Again, Freberg had to go to the judge to compel the archdiocese to hand over those files.After a year and a half of battling, plaintiffs had files for five or six priests — out of more than 200 accused perpetrators.
A story in the Washigton Post echos the concerns that the full truth will never be known:

Perez-Carrillo, 41, said the combined settlement is "an important step that does bring healing." But he added: "You can't put a dollar sign on a lost childhood and a long life of trauma. There's no way to go back and regain what you've lost."

The apology came a day after the archdiocese, its insurers and several Roman Catholic religious orders agreed to pay an average of $1.3 million to each of the 508 alleged victims to settle their claims, rather than go to trial. The archdiocese also agreed to release confidential files that disclose how the church relocated abusive clergy.The settlement, which will be formally announced before a Los Angeles judge today, means more than Mahony's apology in terms of vindicating victims' grievances, said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
"The validation of a settlement -- a formal, clear acknowledgment that terrible crimes happened and could have been prevented -- that means far more to victims than just flowery words," Clohessy said. "Many, many survivors have shown great patience and tenacity. They stuck their necks out, they reported terrible crimes, they took action, and they exposed predators. . . . But by the same token, some survivors clearly wanted their day in court to further expose the duplicity of the hierarchy. That won't happen." Clohessy said most of the thousands of victims in touch with the survivors network are unwilling to speak publicly about their ordeals or the weekend's developments.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Final Sunday Male Beauty

Parents Choose to Accept Son Over Church and Friends

Here's a refreshing story from the Muskegon Chronicle that shows not all conservative religious adherents are bigots (

In 2005, while his parents were getting ready for a Super Bowl party at their home in Spring Lake Township, Ari Beighley (pictured at left) asked if his mother had a couple of minutes to talk. Two hours later, mother and son emerged from conversation, their lives irrevocably changed. "Even when we were talking that day, I remember thinking: Things are never going to be the same again in this family," said Ari's mother, Colette Beighley.

"In a sense, everyone had his or her own 'coming out.' " By the end of the year, Ari Beighley's father, the Rev. David Beighley, 56, had his ministerial license "withdrawn" by the West Michigan District of the Wesleyan Church for, among other things, questioning the denomination's position that homosexuality is a sin, he said.

David Beighley, who also has his doctorate in family psychology, said even before his son "came out," he had a "growing uneasiness within me regarding some of the church teachings." The family sought out a new church home at Christ Community Church in Spring Lake, which is a "welcoming" congregation to gays and lesbians. After his ministerial license was revoked, David Beighley said, "I felt a curious freedom."

Murder Suspect in Gay Slaying Says He Was Doing "God's Work"

The apologists for the Christianist wingnuts always different the Christianists from the Islamic terrorists by stressing that Christian Fundamentalists would never kill or use violence. Not true!! Here's portions of a story from the Houston Chronicle:

A Cypress man charged in the death of a Southwest Airlines flight attendant (pictured at left) said Saturday that he was doing God's work when he went to a Montrose-area bar last month, hunting for a gay man to kill.

"I believe I'm Elijah, called by God to be a prophet," said 26-year-old Terry Mark Mangum, charged with murder June 11. " ... I believe with all my heart that I was doing the right thing." Interviewed in the Brazoria County Jail Saturday morning, Mangum said he feels no remorse for killing 46-year-old Kenneth Cummings Jr., whom relatives described as a "loving" son who never forgot a holiday and a devoted uncle who had set up college funds for his niece and nephew. He worked at Southwest for 24 years.

Mangum, who described himself as "definitely not a homosexual," said God called on him to "carry out a code of retribution" by killing a gay man because "sexual perversion" is the "worst sin." Mangum — who claimed he has studied the Bible for "thousands and thousands and thousands of hours" — said God first commanded him to kill during a "visitation," or dream, while he was in prison in 2001. He said his victim must be a man because men "carry the harvest of the sinner."

No doubt, the Islamic terrorists feel equally justified that they are doing Allah's will. I continue to believe that religious fundamentalism of all denominations is one of the largest treats to peace in the world at the moment. Despite this type of crime commited by one of their own it would appear, the Christianist still argue that gays do not need hate crime protections.

More Sunday Male Beauty

A Great Cartoon from Dondon009

WWJD - Bush Is Prepared to Veto Bill to Expand Child Insurance

Yet another example of Chimperator Bush's bogus "compasionate conservatism (which I am sure the Christianists are applauding) since I am sure that many of those children are hispanic or black):

The White House said on Saturday that President Bush would veto a bipartisan plan to expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program, drafted over the last six months by senior members of the Senate Finance Committee.

The vow puts Mr. Bush at odds with the Democratic majority in Congress, with a substantial number of Republican lawmakers and with many governors of both parties, who want to expand the popular program to cover some of the nation’s eight million uninsured children.
How much more damage do to the country before his term expires?? The full New York Times story is here: