Saturday, August 04, 2007

More Saturday Male Beauty

Appeals Court Rules Anti-Gay Oklahoma Law Unconstitutional

This is good news from the 10th Circuit ( My only fear is that it goes up to the Supreme Court, it could be a close decision on whether the 10th Circuit is upheld. It would be perhaps better for the Supreme Court to decline the case and leave the 10th Circuit ruling intact:

(Denver, Colorado) The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting in Denver, has upheld a lower court ruling that struck down an Oklahoma law described as being so extreme it had the potential to make children adopted by same-sex couples in other states legal orphans when the families are in Oklahoma.

''We hold that final adoption orders by a state court of competent jurisdiction are judgments that must be given full faith and credit under the Constitution by every other state in the nation,'' the 10th Circuit said in its ruling. ''Because the Oklahoma statute at issue categorically rejects a class of out-of-state adoption decrees, it violates the Full Faith and Credit Clause'' of the U.S. Constitution.

Although single gays may become the parent of adoptive children same-sex couples in Oklahoma were barred from adopting and the law allowed the state to invalidate adoptions where couples have been awarded joint parenting rights in states where co-adoption is legal. The Adoption Invalidation Law, hastily passed at the end of the 2004 Oklahoma legislative session, had said that Oklahoma "shall not recognize an adoption by more than one individual of the same sex from any other state or foreign jurisdiction."

More Saturday Male Beauty

Lutherans to Debate Gay Celibacy Rule

As a member of the ELCA (my parish church is pictured at left), I will be following the results of the General Assembly meeting next week in Chicago. Personally, I believe Christ would condemn those who seek to keep gays excluded from ministry positions just as he condemned the Pharisees of the Gospels. Small minded, self-righteous types use the exclusion of others as a means to make them feel better about themselves. Here are some highlights from A Chcago Tribune (,1,6348304.story?ctrack=1&cset=true) story:

Prompted by the sudden dismissal of a popular Atlanta pastor in a committed same-sex relationship, impatient supporters of gay clergy will push an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America assembly in Chicago next week to stop its navel-gazing and lift the celibacy requirement imposed on gay and lesbian pastors.

Almost a third of the church's synods, or regional governing bodies, have endorsed a proposal that would permit gay and lesbian pastors in committed relationships to serve congregations and would reinstate those who have been removed because of a same-sex relationship.The resolution before 1,071 voting members at the biennial national assembly convening Monday comes two years before the church is scheduled to release a broader social statement on human sexuality.

Lutherans in Chicago say it would be fitting for a decision to be made in a synod where gay clergy have been allowed to serve as long as their ministry is not challenged by others. Those who were challenged by a handful of East Coast pastors in 2002 are "in consultation" with Chicago's Bishop Paul Landahl but continue to serve."

For me, those who are in committed relationships, if they are doing good ministry, I say 'God bless them,'" said Landahl, who will retire next month. "We are not here to fight. Christ was a welcoming presence in the world in his time. It's a Gospel issue. I think the church is dead wrong on it."

The new sense of urgency surrounding the issue stems from the dismissal of Rev. Bradley Schmeling, an Atlanta pastor who announced last year that he was in a committed gay relationship. A disciplinary committee removed Schmeling from ministry even though parishioners and his own bishop sprang to his defense.

Even though my local parish and pastor are very supportive, I know, I will feel more like a full, accepted member of the larger ELCA if gays in committed relationships are allowed to hold ministry positions.

Saturday Male Beauty

Bush Gets Firsthand Look at Bridge

From today's Virginian Pilot:

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Flying over Minneapolis' collapsed highway bridge, President Bush got a bird's-eye view Saturday of the concrete slabs and twisted steel that once spanned the Mississippi River.

The president's Marine One helicopter circled the site several times during a 10-minute tour, allowing him to gaze down upon the muddy waters where some bodies are trapped. He saw pieces of the highway littered with vehicles, including a school bus hugging a guard rail. Rescue boats below helped in the search for victims.

Later, Bush put on an orange and red hard hat and walked around the bridge site. Yards from the school bus, he stood with Gary Babineau, a construction worker who helped rescue children after the collapse.

Excuse me as I go vomit. Just think how many of the nation's deteriorating bridges, highways and other essential infrastructure items could have been replaced or at least significantly repaired with the billions of dollars the Chimperator has caused to be spent/wasted in the Iraq War debacle. But then, other than little PR visits like this one, the Chimperator is clueless about the lives of average Americans and, in my opinion, cares nothing about the American citizenry.

ANOTHER CLOSET - Domestic Violence in the Gay and Lesbian Community

I happened upon an Australian site that addresses this topic and contains a lot of useful information ( Here are a few points that caught my attention:

Domestic violence can take many forms. Many of these don’t include physical violence.

Emotional abuse: is any type of ongoing behavior by one partner (or ex-partner) to make the other feel afraid or worthless.
Social abuse: is any behavior by one partner to control the other’s social life.
Physical abuse: is any type of physical violence that an abusive partner inflicts on the other.
Sexual abuse: is any behavior where one partner forces the other to perform sexual acts they don’t want to.
Financial abuse: is any behavior by one partner to control the other’s money against their will.
Stalking: is any behavior by which one partner (or ex-partner) tries to intimidate or harass the other. It can include: (1) Following them when they go to work, home or out. (2) Constantly watching them, their house or work. (3) Calling, texting or e-mailing them or their family, friends or work colleagues more often than is appropriate or when asked not to.

Myths and facts: There are many myths surrounding domestic violence in same sex relationships. Some myths excuse the abuse while others ‘blame the victim’. Either way myths make it difficult for the person experiencing abuse to seek and get help and for them or others to understand the real issues.

Myth: Violence in gay and lesbian relationships is a mutual fight.Fact: Domestic violence is about power and control and will almost always involve a number of forms of abuse, for example emotional or social abuse. Physical violence may only be one of those. Regardless of whether an abused partner may be able to fight back during a particular incident they are still experiencing domestic violence.

Myth: I won’t be able to meet any other gay or lesbian people.Fact: One form of abuse is social isolation. Some people worry that if they leavetheir abusive partner they will end up isolated and alone. This is especially truefor people in their first same sex relationship. But there are many community groups that can help people make connections with other gay men or lesbians.

Unique aspects of same sex domestic violence: Confidentiality and isolation within the gay and lesbian communities:

The relatively small size of the gay and lesbian communities, especially in smaller cities and rural areas, can make it difficult for the abused partner toseek help. They may feel embarrassed about the abuse or their partner mayhave tried to turn others in the community against them. An abusive partnermay isolate the other from contact with the gay and lesbian community bypreventing them reading the community press or attending gay and lesbianvenues or events and preventing them seeing friends from within thecommunity. This is especially true for people in their first same sex relationshipwho may not have had much contact with the gay and lesbian communitybefore the relationship began.
Leave Home For a While: You might decide it is best to leave the place you live in for a while. You could go to a friend or family member’s place, a refuge, emergency housing, a hotelor backpacker hostel.
If any of this sounds too close to your reality for comfort, then perhaps one should consider doing something about the situation. For a US based source of information, take a look at which likewise has some helpful advice:
What should I do if I'm being abused? It's important to know that violence/abuse is not likely to stop on its own -- episodes of violence usually become more frequent and more severe.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Final Friday Male Beauty

Meet My Readers- Part 9

I just received an e-mail tonight from Michelle, a reader in Brisbane, Australia. We will be communicating more for certain, and I will definitely be reading more of her blog: She has a wicked wit and seems to dislike Chimperator Bush even more than I do. Some of her photo posts will leave you rolling with laughter - probably even The Pink Elephant will be prompted to let out a few giggles at the Chimperator's expense. I especially like the Bush-Blair-Howard three-way scene.

Gay Bishop Describes Battle to Become Straight

In a frank and moving interview last week, the Episcopalian Bishop of New Hampshire talked about his attempts to overcome his homosexuality (See: Obviously, from the name of my blog, I identify with much of Bishop Robinson's struggle. Here are some highlights:
'I think most gay people sense early on that they are different even if they are not exactly sure how they are different. That was certainly true for me by age 11 or 12. You have to remember that when I was that age, gay was not a word that was being used to describe homosexual people. There was very little discussion of it. There were certainly no role models like we have today of successful and productive people who were gay, so it was not something easily admitted to oneself, never mind the world. But very early on – I’ve probably told the story of friends of mine getting hold of a Playboy magazine and realising that they were very much more interested in these pictures than I was. And not only that – being aware of my attraction to other boys and finding that such a despicable possibility, given what the church had taught me and what scripture seemed to be saying about this – you just pray it’s a phase you’re going through, something you’ll outgrow. It was certainly something from the very moment I sensed I was ashamed of and fearful about – fearful for my own safety. I grew up in a world where that sort of thing was not remotely tolerated. It was in middle, southern America, which is still perhaps the most conservative place around these issues.'

Q. Did you feel it (the therapy) had worked, or did it just put you in denial? A. 'It didn’t work, and it almost never works for people who attempt it. I guess I did think it had worked. I suspect it didn’t make the same sex feelings go away, but it certain worked in that I felt ready emotionally and spiritually and physically for a relationship with a woman, so it certainly made that part of myself possible. And so when I entered into a relationship with the woman who became my wife, it was full of integrity – I wasn’t pretending to be something that I was not. And yet within a month of meeting her, I shared that all of my primary relationships had been with men, that I had been in therapy to make a heterosexual relationship possible, and that I felt I was in a good place to do that.'
Q. And yet you’ve managed to keep the family, haven’t you? A. 'I was just visiting my wife two weeks ago. She has become quite a national expert in the area of horseback riding for the emotionally and physically handicapped. She was beginning a new phase of this programme, she invited me down and I said a prayer and a blessing over this new effort with her board....we’re still very, very close. I just saw her on Saturday at our grand-daughter’s birthday party. We are very very close and we talk often. The thing that has hurt me most in the press – and there have been some awful things said – but the most painful is the charge that I ‘abandoned my wife and children to move in with another man’. First of all, there wasn’t another man – I didn’t meet my partner until two months after my wife was remarried. I never abandoned my wife or my responsibilities to her and I never abandoned my children. As a matter of fact they joke about that all the time. We talk nearly every day and they will often joke they’re the abandoned children. We tried to do the dissolution of our marriage in a holy way. We took a priest with us to the judge’s chambers for the divorce decree and went back to his church and in the context of the holy Eucharist released each other from the vows we had taken, asked each other’s forgiveness for ways in which we might have hurt one another, pledged ourselves to the joint raising of our children and gave our rings back as a symbol of the vows we no longer held each other to. It was one of the most healing moments of my whole life and I think that’s partly why our relationship has continued. To be so good and why our children were affected as little as possible in a family break-up.'

I envy his ability to have maintained a friendly relationship with his former wife. But, then, to do that, there has to be a two way desire that things not get nasty and that both parties are willing to face reality.

Escort Offers 'Services' to Private Military Contractors in Iraq

I came across this story this evening on our own Virginian Pilot of all conceivable places ( Hmmm, interesting that the Christo-fascist regime of Chimperator Bush is tolerating such behavior by government contractors. Oh, I forgot, the fundies do not practice what they preach themselves. They just seek to impose it on everyone else:

In a posting this week on an adult Web site, "Tori of Atlanta" offers her services to private contractors deploying to Iraq. On The Erotic Review site, Tori says she will be in the Middle East for three months, including a stint in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone. "I am in a unique position of entertaining from a secured compound," she writes, later inviting contractors to visit her Web site for details on "setting aside a few moments to enjoy some R&R ... American style. Sandstorms, Camels, heat and protective gear ... now a quick reminder of home!!"

But uniformed troops need not apply. Tori closes her posting with this stipulation: "My apologies but at this time I am UNABLE to plan any meetings w/ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY. (*The members of PMC community has an exclusive arrangement during this visit*) Kisses, Tori" PMC is the acronym for private military companies such as Moyock, N.C.-based Blackwater USA, which have deployed thousands of armed civilian contractors alongside U.S. troops in Iraq. The use of contractors has reached a level unseen in any previous American war, creating considerable tension over disparities in pay and work conditions.

Tori limits her invitation to contractors who are registered with the Private Security Company Association of Iraq, a Baghdad-based trade group which, according to its Web site, represents about 50 companies, including Blackwater. The association's logo is reproduced at the bottom of the posting.
I wonder if any of our tax dollars are somehow paying for any of Tori's "services?" FYI - Moyock, where Blackwater is based , is about 20 miles south of Norfolk, Virginia, hence the local interest in the story by the Pilot. Here's the link to Tori's site to give you an idea of her possible "services" for the contractors: Judge for yourselves, but I say she has had a boob job. I wonder if Pat Robertson would agree?

More Friday Male Beauty

Matt Sanchez Back as the Weekly Standard's 'Credible' Source

This from Toweleroad about Matt Sanchez, the ex-porn star Marine:

Max Blumenthal reported today for Media Matters that the Weekly Standard recently wrote an article attempting to debunk an article in The New Republic written by Army Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp.The TNR article, in the form of a "Baghdad Diary" and written under Beachamp's pseudonym "Scott Thomas", exposed atrocities committed by American soldiers.

According to Blumenthal, "Thomas alleged that while eating in the mess hall at Camp Falcon, he and several other members of his platoon mocked a woman disfigured by 'IEDs.' Thomas also told the tales of a fellow soldier who ran over dogs with a Bradley Fighting Vehicle for entertainment and another who played with the skull of a dead Iraqi child."

Beauchamp revealed his true identity (and was disciplined for it — "the Army punished Beauchamp by revoking his cellphone and email privileges")in response to right-wing allegations that the claims of the atrocities were false, but not before the Weekly Standard published a hit article alleging that Beauchamp's claims were "looking more and more like fiction." The Weekly Standard's was a story that relied solely on anonymous sources, except for one: Marine Corporal Matt Sanchez.
Isn't it amazing that the Freepers only like gays when they claim they are not really gay?

Friday Male Beauty

Without Proof, Military Targets Man Assumed to be Gay

This story from PageOneQ ( sounds very similar to that of my clients who are facing dismissal from the military based on allegations made by a redneck bigot. the standard is that no action under DADT should proceed unless supported by "credible evidence," which obviously means that there is corroborating evidence or more than one reliable witness. Here's highlights from the story:
After enduring months of homophobic harassment and slurs, a decorated soldier with an exemplary service record may have been targeted for dismissal by his Army superiors because they think that he is gay. PFC Christopher Mastromarino, pictured, a military policeman and member of the Army's prestigious Old Guard -- a regiment that serves as an honor guard at White House functions, services at Arlington Cemetery and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as well as security at private functions for top Pentagon officials in Washington, D.C. -- was court-martialed in May after indecent assault charges were filed against him in February.

The charges alleged that Mastromarino sexually harassed other male soldiers in his unit with unwanted touching and verbal comments. He was ultimately convicted of three counts of simple assault. The military court's ruling, however, has yet to be approved by the regiment's commanding general, and Mastromarino has appealed the decision.

But the Maryland native told PageOneQ during a recent interview that he is innocent of the charges. And that the prosecution's case was filled with conflicting testimony, here-say and rumors, and a questionable timeline. In addition, according to sworn testimony during the trial, two prosecution witnesses said that they did not consider the physical contact between themselves and Mastromarino to be an assault, although the command chose to bring those charges forward against him.
According to the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, soldiers can be dismissed from the service by telling others they are gay or lesbian, engage in homosexual activity, or marry or attempt to marry someone of the same sex. But Mastromarino's command did not use the policy to court-martial him. That is because the investigators and prosecution did not find or present any credible evidence to the jury that Mastromarino has violated the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, according to Steve Ralls of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.
Instead, Ralls said, the unit's command used rumors and hearsay during their investigation and trial to suggest that Mastromarino was gay, in an effort to cast his physical and verbal contact with other male soldiers as inappropriate. Ralls argued that Mastromarino was targeted not because his actions were outside the realm of acceptable behavior within The Old Guard, but because of an intolerant, hostile and homophobic climate within the regiment.
Unfortunately, it appears that one gay hating bigot can affect the climate of an entire regiment o command. Why is it that it seems more and more like we are living in early 1930's Germany??

Studies show that regular Sexual Activity May Have Many Health Benefits

Here's an interesting tid bit from (,5778,s1-1-122-182-7432-1-P,00.html) that I am sure many guys will find interesting:

Q: My husband heard that sex can prevent prostate cancer. Is that really true?
A: (October, 2006)--I can hear it now: "But honey, it's good for my prostate..." The fact is that frequent sex may indeed provide prostate cancer protection. According to an 8-year study of 29,342 men ages 46 to 81, those who ejaculated at least 21 times a month reduced their risk of the disease by a third, compared with those averaging 4 to 7 times a month. Researchers speculate that the active men may be clearing potentially carcinogenic cells from the body.If having sex five times a week sounds a bit much, well, you don't have to shoulder the full responsibility. As it turns out, men gained protection whether their efforts were with a partner or solo.
Just remember, time with your partner between the sheets may help you ward off illness, as well. "Sex increases your circulation, and that boosts your immunity and your cardiovascular fitness," says Laura Berman, PhD, a sex researcher and host of Sexual Healing on Showtime. It can also encourage the release of feel-good endorphins, which may help fend off depression and improve the quality of your sleep. Ah, the promise of a few more Zzzs--wouldn't that get any woman in the mood?
At least 21 times a week? No comment as to where I fall on the spectrum

Thursday, August 02, 2007

My Readers - Introduce Yourself

I have now introduced eight of my regular readers on this Blog. As mentioned before, I have also received notes and messages - one even saying it was fan mail - from other readers who, due to their circumstances cannot or do not wish to be featured.

For those of you who do not want to be featured, as I have said before, I would love to hear from you either via comment or e-mail. So far, over 14,000 people from 104 countries - I am truly amazed at the number of viewers - have visited this blog. I'd love for some more of you to tell me about yourselves. My e-mail address is:

More Thursday Male Beauty

Joint Chiefs Nominee Indicates It Is Appropriate for Congress to Revisit 'Don't Ask, Dont' Tell'

I truly hope that Congress will revisit and repeal the current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. I have clients who most certainly did not tell but rather were set up by a spiteful redneck and will in all likelihood be discharged. In fact, even if they were given the opportunity to stay, the ordeal they have been put through has been so bad, that they go ahead and leave the military. The net result, the military loses two smart, capable guys but gets to retain the small minded redneck bigot, who is probably exactly the type who would gun down innocent Iraqi civilians. Worse yet, gang members and felons are being allowed to enlist because of the difficulty in meeting recruiting targets. Talk about idiocy!! Here the SLDN commentary:

WASHINGTON, DC – Admiral Michael Mullen, President Bush’s nominee to succeed General Peter Pace as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was questioned about the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual personnel during a Senate hearing Tuesday. Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine queried Mullen on the continued dismissal of gay troops under the ban. While confirming that he would implement the current law, Mullen also told Collins that “I really think it is for the American people to come forward, really through this body, to both debate that policy and make changes, if that's appropriate."

"Admiral Mullen’s remarks are a welcome change of pace among military leadership, where there has long been an adversity to encouraging debate on opening the services to lesbian and gay patriots." He went on to say that, “I'd love to have Congress make its own decisions” with respect to considering repeal. Mullen’s remarks follow a firestorm of controversy surrounding comments by Pace referring to gay personnel as “immoral” during a March interview with the Chicago Tribune.

During her questioning, Collins noted that she had “recently met with a retired admiral in Maine who urged me to urge you to reexamine the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy,” indicating that military commanders are beginning to support Congressional action to revisit the law. The Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1246), a bill to lift the ban on open service, is now supported by 126 bi-partisan lawmakers in the House of Representatives. A recent poll of military personnel found that 73% of those surveyed were comfortable around gays, and CNN found last month that 79% of the American public support repeal.

Actually, I am surprised that Susan Collins is asking the questions. She must think she is going to have a strong challenger.

Thursday Male Beauty

Thougts on Homophobia and its Victims

After the divorce trial ordeal the other day, my post on the McGreevey divorce circus and reading on about a lesbian recently beat up by homophobes, I found myself thinking about all those harmed by homophobia. Obviously, there are the victims of gay bashings and assaults by bigots. Then there are all the LGBT individuals thrown out and disowned by their families. But the network of victims expands out so much wider. Yes, there are the spouses of closeted gays and lesbians who finally come out and marriages fall apart - my estranged wife certainly views herself as a victim - , but there are also the children of families like mine who have their parents separate and divorce, sometimes in nasty situations.
All of this damage and hurt because of self-righteous religious fanatics who judge and condemn based on who someone chooses to love and find sexually attractive. Worse yet, they base their judgments on a more than 2000 year old writing written by ignorant and tribal peoples who lacked scientific and mental and medical health knowledge now readily accessible to anyone who bothers to seek it. So many ruined or damaged lives. All caused by those who claim to follow a loving God or Prophet. It surely makes religion look to be a very evil force in the world.
For myself, I have chosen to no longer allow myself to be a victim. Yes, that choice has caused upheaval for others. But I hope in time that being true to myself and having the strength to say no to things I know are lies and untruths will actually show those who currently feel harmed or victimized a role model for how they should live their lives. You cannot live your life to please parents, one's church, society or family without eventually throwing away all your integrity and honesty.

Young and out on the field - An emerging generation of gay athletes in high school and college is changing the rules.

Stories like this one in the LA Times (,1,7710596.story?track=rss&ctrack=2&cset=true) give me great hope for the future. Would that I and others of my generation had had the courage to defy convention and come out of the closets decades earlier. As I posted yesterday, the Advocate is doing it's poll on LGBT heroes, but these kids are perhaps the true heroes who will change the world for future generations of LGBT Americans. Here are some higlights (photos of some of the students are set out above):

Seattle — THE guys in his boat took to calling him "Badger" because of the grimace he wore during races. Part of a junior rowing club that ranked among the fastest in the nation, Lucas Goodman was relentless on the water.It was a different story on land.The teenager with the powerful build and close-set eyes had to be careful.
He hung back ever so slightly when teammates shot the breeze, talking about girls."You get tired of constantly watching what you say, constantly watching how you act," he said. "You're almost paranoid."Goodman felt so uneasy that he finally told the Green Lake Crew his secret: He is gay.The 18-year-old belongs to an emerging generation of openly gay and lesbian athletes on high school and college campuses across the country.
These young men and women are quietly venturing where no pro football or baseball star has gone, challenging the conformist, if not downright homophobic, tradition of the playing fields.Their numbers are difficult to gauge because many confide only in peers. Experts chart the trend anecdotally through athletes who join gay rights clubs at school, e-mail gay rights advocates for advice or announce their sexual orientation on websites such as Facebook and MySpace."This is an issue that's in transition even as we speak," said Jay Coakley, a noted scholar and author on sports culture. "We're looking at how the world is changing."
Not all the stories have happy endings — a high school football player in Northern California tells of being ostracized. But others, such as a Delaware runner and a Georgia hockey player, say they were welcomed by their teams.Sociologists see the openness as a generational shift. Polls suggest a growing percentage of young people have more relaxed views about sexual orientation than their parents did.
I encourage you to read the full story. These young people are remarkable.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Who are your 40 LGBT heroes?

The Advocate is asking readers to submit votes for its 40th anniversary issue. The finalists selected by folks out there will be ranked by editors and featured on that issue's cover. There are 100 notable nominees (pick at least five and less than 40); there is also a write-in slot. The survey will end on August 15, so click away (.
I hope the Advocate acknowledges that there are thousands and thousands of LGBT heroes and heroines who through their daily lives and refusal to be marginalized fight the battle for LGBT equality and dignity every day.

Another One of Virginia's Finest Fundies - Minister In Skirt Charged With Indecent Exposure

Once again, Virginia is proving itself to be the home of far-right fundie sex perverts. This story ( comes from Bristol in the far southwest of the state (about 400 miles directly to the west) and involves yet another preacher man. It's interesting that he apparently likes the same pills the Rush Limbaugh likes so much. Here are highlights:

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- A Baptist minister has been charged in Tennessee with indecent exposure and driving under the influence. Police said 58-year-old Tommy Tester of Bristol, Va., was wearing a skirt when he was arrested last week after allegedly relieving himself in front of children at a car wash.

A report also accuses Tester of offering police officers oral sex and says an open bottle of vodka and empty oxycodone prescription bottle was found in his car when Tester was arrested Friday.

Authorities identified Tester as the minister of Gospel Baptist Church in Bristol and an employee of Christian radio station WZAP-AM, also in Bristol. WZAP issued a statement asking for prayers and saying Tester has been suspended during an investigation.
I wonder what Pastor Tester taught his congregation about homosexuality?

Alimony Fuels Latest McGreevey Divorce Battle - Ex-first Lady Reportedly Seeks $56,000 a Month in Support

I am no fan of Former Gov. McGeevey- all his sordid hook ups, etc. were inexcusable - but his estranged wife sure isn't living in reality if these demands are accurate. That equates to $672,000 a year. Hell hate no fury like a woman scorned, that is for sure. Especially if scorned for another man. Here are a few highlights from a Star-Ledger story (

The bitter divorce case between former Gov. James E. McGreevey and his estranged wife took another angry turn yesterday, with lawyers for the warring couple sparring over the amount of support Dina Matos McGreevey is seeking.

McGreevey's lawyer, Matthew Piermatti II, touched off the latest dispute, saying the former first lady wanted $56,000 a month in alimony and other support to "continue in the lifestyle" to which she had grown accustomed in the governor's mansion.

The exchange came shortly after the Superior Court judge presiding over the divorce urged the McGreeveys to settle the case, citing the financial and emotional toll it might cause. "You folks do not have the money to try this case to conclusion," the judge, Karen Cassidy, told the pair, who did not speak during the hearing and who barely acknowledged each other. "Emotion should not drive this case. Anger should not drive this case."

But whether based on emotion or legal strategy, the venom has been flowing for months in legal papers. Matos McGreevey claims her husband used her like a political prop, marrying her to conceal his homosexuality, and calls him a disinterested and irresponsible father who exposed the couple's 5-year-old daughter, Jacqueline, to lurid art.
I certainly wish that Ms. McGreevey would not try to use their daughter as a weapon against him nonetheless. It is sad what mothers will do to their children trying to wound the former spouse.

Wednesday Male Beauty

O, Canada! More Americans Heading North - The Number of Americans Moving to Canada in 2006 Hit a 30-Year High

Based on my last visit to Canada - British Columbia to be specific - I can well understand the attraction of leaving the USA as is talked about in this ABC News article ( To me the most telling comment in the whole article is this:

"Things are totally different here because they care about their people here," she says, explaining that she's only been back home once or twice.

Particularly under the current political regime, the leadership of the USA cares little or nothing about individual citizens. If they did, there would be universal health insurance and the tax system would not be geared principally for the affluent. Other highlights of the article are:

Blame Canada! It may seem like a quiet country where not much happens besides ice hockey, curling and beer drinking. But our neighbor to the north is proving to be quite the draw for thousands of disgruntled Americans.

The number of U.S. citizens who moved to Canada last year hit a 30-year high, with a 20 percent increase over the previous year and almost double the number who moved in 2000. In 2006, 10,942 Americans went to Canada, compared with 9,262 in 2005 and 5,828 in 2000, according to a survey by the Association for Canadian Studies.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tuesday Male Beauty

Bush threatens to veto health care coverage for kids and seniors, but think Bush, Cheney or Roberts had any problems with their health insurance?

I could not help but reference this post on America Blog (, since it gets to the growing crisis in this country for so many people: the cost of health care coverage. At the moment, my premium is $1337.00 per month. My office has a group plan and all employees can have coverage through it if the so elect. But if you are and individual, there are people with pre-existing conditions who cannot get coverage: The insurance carriers want your premium dollars, but want as little chance of actually having to pay anything out as possible. I believe it is a travesty that the supposedly most advanced nation in the world has millions and millions of citizens who do not have and cannot obtain health coverage. Here's some of America Blog's commentary:

Over the past two weeks, three of the top officials in our government have undergone major medical experiences. Bush had a colonoscopy and polyps removed; Cheney got some kind of new cardiac device; and John Roberts had a seizure that landed him in the E.R. If those experiences had happened to most Americans, we'd be sorting through our health care plans to figure out what was covered and how much we owed. That is, if there was health insurance coverage.

Meanwhile, I don't think Roberts is fretting that he had a pre-existing condition or whether E.R. visits are in his plan. The rest of us are tortured over things like that.You know that none of those guys have any such worries. You're paying for them to have the best health care around.
Yet, George Bush is vowing to veto the SCHIP reauthorization. This week, the House will pass its version of SCHIP reauthorization, the Children’s Health and Medicare Protection Act (CHAMP), H.R. 3162. That bill will provide health care to 11 million kids while protecting senior citizens from the Bush effort to privatize Medicare. Yep, health care for kids and seniors. But, Bush can't have that.

For the Record

For the record, it is after work hours as I type this and the other blog posts for today (7:33 PM to be exact as I got started). Some have suggested I should put in even more work hours as opposed to writing this blog in the evening or on weekends. It's one of my few hobbies and, as I have said, was strongly recommended by my therapist of almost five (5) years and is the ground work for an eventual book.
It was a long day and the trial went on for nearly six hours. The Court will issue a ruling in a few weeks, so until that time, I will say nothing further about the divorce.
After that exhausting experience, I came back to the office, met and/or talked with several clients, had some seller documents executed by a condo developer client, and got out several letters for clients and attended to a number of other client matters. I have a great staff and they kept all of the balls in the air while I was out of the office. I cannot say how much their loyalty means.
Also for the record, my house is about 5 minutes from my office - 10 minutes max if I get every possible red light - so I do not have a long commute. I can quickly be online while dinner is cooking.

Pat Tillman's Diary

I came across an interesting post at this blog site. I do not know the validity of the contents, but if true, more interesting issues come up that should be answered. (see:

From a reader:

I served in Operation Desert Storm. After I got out of the military I became a police officer. Reading about Pat Tillman's death, something really stuck out to me: He kept a diary. Major red flag there. As a cop, if we had a guy in the stationhouse watching us and writing down what he saw everyday in a little black book, you can probably guess how that would go over with everyone else. Same thing in the military, even more so. There were a couple of guys who kept diaries when I served. But those were very basic "what chow we had today" etc. types of things, a way to pass downtime more than anything else. The guys who kept them were not writing about illegal wars or upcoming meetings with Noam Chomsky. One other thing, because of his high profile you can be sure Tillman's views were known up through the chain of command right into the Pentagon, which was almost certainly getting regular reports on Tillman from his superiors. And what happened to Tillman's diary? Right after he was killed it was destroyed. No surprise there.

Me: In addition to last week's report that medical examiners said the shots that killed Tillman appeared to have been fired from ten yards away, over the weekend the AP also reported that some snipers -- whose names Tillman's comrades don't remember -- arrived in a Humvee just prior to his death, got out of their vehicle, and started shooting. To be clear, I'm not convinced yet that this was anything other than an accidental death, with a subsequent cover-up (just as the Abu Ghraib story was breaking) to portray Tillman as a hero killed by hostile fire. I think that cover-up probably reached the highest levels of the Pentagon and into the White House. But let's see what we find out next....the rolling revelations continue, three years on.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Latest UPS Updated

Since posting previously about UPS's domestic partner benefits in New Jersey, Lynnette McIntire at UPS has kept me updated on developments. Here is her latest e-mail to me:

Several weeks ago, you expressed interest in UPS’s stance on same-sex benefits. There’s an update on the situation that I thought you might want to know about. After consulting with state officials and others, we have determined that we can now legally offer same-sex benefits to our Teamster union employees in N.J. This extends the benefits we already offer our management and administrative employees there. Attached is a press release announcing this development.
Lynnette McIntire
UPS Public Relations

Obama defends his stance on Christian right 'hijacking faith'

Kudos for Obama. I still am not decided on which of the candidates I prefer, but Obama is at least saying some of the right things and, unlike the Christianists and the Chimperator, is in touch with reality.

Democratic Senator and 2008 presidential hopeful Barack Obama defended his criticisms of conservative Christian leaders in an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network reporter David Brody.

"When you have pastors and television pundits who appear to explicitly coordinate with one political party; when you're implying that your fellow Americans are traitors, terrorist sympathizers or akin to the devil himself; then I think you're attempting to hijack the faith of those who follow you for your own personal or political ends," the freshman Illinois Senator said at The Brody File.
"[S]omewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together...Faith started being used to drive us apart. Faith got hijacked," the New York Times reported.

The Senator also argued to Brody that America is not a 'Christian nation.' "For my friends on the right, I think it would be helpful to remember the critical role that the separation of church and state has played in preserving not only our democracy but also our religious practice," Obama wrote to Brody, pointing to early American leaders who fought to include the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. He went on, "Whatever we once were, we're no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of non-believers."
I am sure Daddy Dobson is breathing fire at being called the lying, disingenuous bigot that he is.

More Monday Male Beauty

Colleges Rated by Gay Friendliness

Here are the Top 20 Gay Friendly Colleges compiled by the Princeton Review (

1.) New College of Florida
2.) Macalester College
3.) Wellesley College
4.) Eugene Lang College/New School University
5.) Mount Holyoke College
6.) St. John's College (MD)
7.) Bryn Mawr College
8.) Lawrence University
9.) Emerson College
10.) Harvey Mudd College
11.) St. John's College (NM)
12.) Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
13.) Wesleyan University
14.) Marlboro College
15.) Carleton College
16.) Smith College
17.) Haverford College
18.) Reed College
19.) Bard College
20.) Oberlin College

The least gay friendly:

1.) Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia
2.) University of Notre Dame
3.) Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Hampton Sydney is in a very small town of the same name located basically over an hours drive from anywhere in Virginia even remotely progressive (progressive, of course being a highly relative term when associated with Virginia). I was there once in my frat days and it has probably changed little in the intervening 35 years.

The Real Reason Focus On The Family Mocks Hate Crimes

I think Ex-Gay Watch is correct in it's analysis as to why the Christianists are so frantic over the Matthew Shepard Act. For gays to have federal legal protection sends a very strong message to the public that being gay is not a choice, but rather an inherent part of a person. This message guts the Christianist use of the "choice myth" for political and fundraising purposes. Hence the high level of hysteria:
We’ve heard gross distortions of this legislation apparently designed to scare people with the idea that, if it passes, free speech will be curtailed, pastors will be jailed, and innocent little grandmothers will be arrested for standing on a lonely street corner doing nothing more than offering tracts to passersby.
The actually at the heart of the matter: Focus, et al, simply can’t allow sexual orientation to be codified into federal statutes as real and fixed, even as a byproduct. After all the time and money they have spent trying to convince us that homosexuality is nothing more than a behavior, and a sinful one at that, it is against their self-interests to allow the obvious to make it into law. So in another example of the ends justifying the means, they use fear and lies to deny another vulnerable group the same protections against violent hate crimes that they themselves enjoy as members of a protected group by virtue of their religion.

Monday Male Beauty

Was Pat Tillman Murdered?

Several evening news shows last week skirted this question and did quit a bit of coverage on Tillman's opposition to the Iraq invasion and politics in general. He surely was not one of Chimperator Bush's mindless followers, nor was he afraid to voice his views. Now, Andrew Sullivan picks up on this question (

I don't know, but it seems increasingly conceivable. Just absorb these facts:

O'Neal said Tillman, a corporal, threw a smoke grenade to identify themselves to fellow soldiers who were firing at them. Tillman was waving his arms shouting "Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat [expletive] Tillman, damn it!" again and again when he was killed, O'Neal said...
In the same testimony, medical examiners said the bullet holes in Tillman's head were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

The motive? I don't know. It's still likeliest it was an accident. But there's some mysterious testimony in the SI report about nameless snipers. A reader suggests the following interpretation: News this weekend said that there were "snipers" present and the witnesses didn't remember their names. I believe that's code in the Army--these guys were Delta. In the Tillman incident, these snipers weren't part of the unit and they were never mentioned publicly before. That's a key indicator that they weren't supposed to be acknowledged.

If you've ever read Blackhawk Down, Mark Bowden explains how he grew frustrated because interviewed Rangers kept referring to "soldiers from another unit" while claiming they didn't know the unit ID or the soldiers' names. It took him months to crack the unit ID and find people from Delta who were present at the fight. Randy Shugart and Gary Gordon, the Delta operators who earned Medals of Honor in Mogadishu, have always been identified as snipers, too.

If my theory is correct, the Delta guys could have fired the shots - a three-round burst to the forehead from 50 yards is impossible for normal soldiers and Rangers, but is probably an easy shot for those guys. But because Delta doesn't officially exist and Tillman was a hero, nobody in the Army would want to have to explain exactly how the event went down. Easier just to claim hostile fire until the family forced them to do otherwise.
This makes some sense to me, although we shouldn't dismiss the chance he was murdered. Tillman was a star and might have aroused jealousy or resentment. He also opposed the Iraq war and was a proud atheist. In Bush's increasingly sectarian military, that might have stirred hostility.
As I have said, I put nothing past the Bush/Cheney regime. They saw Tillman's death - regardless of the true cause - as a PR event to be manipulated. With these guys, the truth never matters. It's all a question of what spin can they put on an event.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

More Sunday Male Beauty

Answering to No One

I had been waiting to run this photo of Vice President "Darth Vader" Cheney with the right commentary. Walter Mondale's column today ( set the right stage:

The Post's recent series on Dick Cheney's vice presidency certainly got my attention. Having held that office myself over a quarter-century ago, I have more than a passing interest in its evolution from the backwater of American politics to the second most powerful position in our government. Almost all of that evolution, under presidents and vice presidents of both parties, has been positive -- until now. Under George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, it has gone seriously off track.

The Founders created the vice presidency as a constitutional afterthought, solely to provide a president-in-reserve should the need arise. The only duty they specified was that the vice president should preside over the Senate. The office languished in obscurity and irrelevance for more than 150 years until Richard Nixon saw it as a platform from which to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 1960. That worked, and the office has been an effective launching pad for aspiring candidates since.

But it wasn't until Jimmy Carter assumed the presidency that the vice presidency took on a substantive role. Carter saw the office as an underused asset and set out to make the most of it. He gave me an office in the West Wing, unimpeded access to him and to the flow of information, and specific assignments at home and abroad. He asked me, as the only other nationally elected official, to be his adviser and partner on a range of issues.
This all changed in 2001, and especially after Sept. 11, when Cheney set out to create a largely independent power center in the office of the vice president. His was an unprecedented attempt not only to shape administration policy but, alarmingly, to limit the policy options sent to the president. It is essential that a president know all the relevant facts and viable options before making decisions, yet Cheney has discarded the "honest broker" role he played as President Gerald Ford's chief of staff.

Rather than subject his views to an established (and rational) vetting process, his practice has been to trust only his immediate staff before taking ideas directly to the president. Many of the ideas that Bush has subsequently bought into have proved offensive to the values of the Constitution and have been embarrassingly overturned by the courts.

The corollary to Cheney's zealous embrace of secrecy is his near total aversion to the notion of accountability. I've never seen a former member of the House of Representatives demonstrate such contempt for Congress -- even when it was controlled by his own party. His insistence on invoking executive privilege to block virtually every congressional request for information has been stupefying -- it's almost as if he denies the legitimacy of an equal branch of government. Nor does he exhibit much respect for public opinion, which amounts to indifference toward being held accountable by the people who elected him.

Cheney is a menace and his belief that he is no answerable to anyone is dangerous. He and Bush have done more to subvert the Constitution and deprive citizens of legal protection than any administration in history. Even during World War II the President did not to have the power to have citizens arrested on his say so, with no legal protections to those targeted.