Saturday, August 25, 2007

More Saturday Male Beauty


This is a good opinion piece on Yahoo News (;_ylt=AhIePVZqTef2F0F9a8hqS4b9wxIF) . Here are some highlights that further convince me that Chimperator Bush will go down in history as one of the nation's worse presidents (the bold highlights are mine):

NEW YORK -- So, the CIA has been forced to declassify the summary of an investigation by its own inspector general saying that 50 or 60 agents and officials had a great deal of information as early as January 2000 that might have prevented the carnage of Sept. 11, 2001.
The 19 pages, finally and grudgingly released more than two years after they were written, are devastating, confirming suspicions that the National Security Agency refused to give the Central Intelligence Agency transcripts of telephone conversations between al-Qaida conspirators, and the CIA did not tell the Federal Bureau of Investigation that two of those conspirators were in the United States. The responsibility for that level of incompetence, said the summary, rests primarily with the CIA director at the time, George Tenet. That is, of course, the same George Tenet who was awarded the country's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom, by President Bush on Dec. 14, 2004.
The medal was awarded that same day to Gen. Tommy Franks, who led the military to easy victory in Iraq, without any planning for what to do after the battle and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's government. The medal also went to J. Paul Bremer, who was sent to Iraq as an American Caesar, and who ignored looting, disbanded the Iraqi army, and stripped away any experience and expertise that existed in the defeated country by dismissing all members of the former ruling Baathist party -- while somehow losing billions of dollars of our money.

"Three Blind Mice" was the headline of London's Daily Telegraph in reporting the White House ceremony honoring Tenet, Franks and Bremer. I would put it this way, then and now: Abideth in Washington, faith, dopes and secrecy, but the greatest of these is secrecy. The faith of George W. Bush's White House comes down to this: God will provide, so why should we worry ourselves? Bad things will not happen to or be done by good people. And the dopes get the medals.
But it is secrecy that is the most dangerous and will be the most damaging legacy of these Bush years. This president is not the first to want to govern in secrecy -- Richard Nixon comes to mind -- but he is certainly the most small-minded. When it comes to information, this White House, as we know, refuses to accept that either Congress or the courts is an equal branch of government and wants almost all its actions and regulations classified under "executive privilege." It is reclassifying formerly public information, both current and historical, and is in the process of effectively dismantling the Freedom of Information Act.
What the people know and when they know it is the engine of democracy. What we don't know or what we find out too late will hurt us. And that is the idea: The secrecy is necessary to protect the dopes and hide the incompetence. Protect them from whom? From the people; secrecy slowly but very surely throttles democracy.

More Saturday Male Beauty

Ex-Iraq General: Bush 'misunderstanding' Vietnam history

I guess since Chimperator Bush and Dick "Darth Vader" Cheney both avoided serving in Vietnam - Bush because of Daddy's connections and Cheney because it "wasn't for him" - it should be no surprise that these two fascists cannot understand the true nature of what went on in Vietnam. I suggest that both men watch the film "Fog of War" wherein Robert McNamara discusses the mistakes of Vietnam. Perhaps if they had watched the film before going into Iraq, the whole debacle could have been avoided. This MSNBC quote at Raw Story is illustrative:
MSNBC's Alison Stewart interviews retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, senior adviser to VoteVets, who was in charge of training the Iraqi military in 2003 and 2004. Alison asks Gen. Eaton his take on the accuracy of President Bush's recent statement, during his Wednesday speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, that retreating from Iraq would cause the same kind of "violent reaction" that came from the United States' pullout from Vietnam.

"It's a very unfortunate trip back into history," says Eaton. "It reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Vietnam war was about. Our enemy there was the North Vietnamese Army and their proxy forces, the Viet Cong. The issue in Iraq is a religious-based civil war with al-Qaeda thrown in there to complicate the affair."

Eaton calls Bush's analogy "unfortunate," citing "untidy parallels" between the behaviors of senior civilian leadership in Vietnam and Iraq. There is a failure on the part of the Bush Administration to devote diplomatic resources, in addition to fighting troops, to help the current situation.

Orlando Murder-Suicide involving GOP Consultant a Lovers' Row?

This story involving the deaths of at least two GOP activists keeps changing and has news articles changing to delete references to possible gay relationships, much in the way the coverage of Merv Griffin's closeted life did after his recent death. While it is sad to hear that anyone has been murdered, obviously, it would be yet another case of closeted GOP hypocrisy should this case trult involve a gay lover argument that turned deadly. Here's some of Toweleroad's coverage (, although there has been coverage in numerous publications:

According to the AP, "Authorities have not determined a motive for the deaths of Ralph Gonzalez (pictured, right), 39, his roommate, David Abrami, 36, and a friend, Robert Drake, 30. Investigators found weapons and signs of a struggle in the house, but they did not say what the weapons were or which man they believe was the killer. The men are believed to have died several days before the bodies were discovered Thursday. Gonzalez was executive director of the Georgia Republican Party from 2001-2002. He managed U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney's 2002 campaign and was president of Strategum Group, an Orlando-based political consulting firm that represents Republican candidates. 'He was a born political consultant. He had bravado, he was intense, and he lived and breathed tactics and strategy,' Feeney said. 'He was an adviser and strategist for me and became a very good friend.' Abrami, an attorney, was active in Republican politics as well."
Brad Blog
has been following the story and has details on the backgrounds of the men involved.

Florida Today originally ran the story with the above headline ("Lovers' fight may have sparked three deaths" shown above), which I screengrabbed from Google News. All language about a "lovers' fight" has since mysteriously disappeared from the report.

Saturday Male Beauty

NFL suspends Vick after he signs plea agreement

Hopefully, the NFL will continue to stick to its guns and Michael Vick will be properly discredited and kept from the ranks of professional players. Better yet, perhaps this can be the beginning of a new trend where professional athletes are held to the same standard as everyone else and no longer given a slap on the wrist when they seriously misbehave. Here's highlights from the latest Virginian Pilot article:
The NFL acted swiftly Friday to suspend Michael Vick indefinitely without pay after the release of court documents detailing his admission to dogfighting allegations. Months after saying he had nothing to do with it, Vick said in court papers that he bankrolled a dogfighting operation – and its gambling money – throughout his entire NFL career.

The document, released three days before Vick is scheduled to plead guilty in federal court in Richmond to a conspiracy charge, also says he helped kill six to eight dogs that he and his partners did not consider good fighters. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended the Atlanta Falcons star for “cruel and reprehensible” conduct and “significant involvement in illegal gambling” related to a dogfighting operation. “Your team, fans and the NFL have all been hurt by your actions,” Goodell told Vick in a letter sent Friday.
Vick agreed to the executions of six to eight dogs in April 2007. The dogs were killed by hanging and drowning, and died “as a result of the collective efforts” of Vick and two of his co-defendants. Vick’s signed plea agreement, also made public Friday, indicated prosecutors have agreed to a prison sentence for Vick of between one year and 18 months, based on the offense level listed in the terms of the agreement. The prosecutors will recommend a sentence on the low end of that range if Vick fulfills his part of the deal, the agreement says.

Ted Haggard and the Man Behind “Families With a Mission”

I have long thought that most of the prominent Christian Right leaders are little better than con-artists hiding behind the religion label to avoid regulation by authorities. In CNN's recent series that included the Christian Right, it definitely looked as if these pastors were living well - Falwell, et al, clearly did not look like they had not missed a meal, donuts, Twinkies, or high calorie dessert. Now, the supposedly "de-gayed" Ted Haggard is certainly helping to further prove this view. This story from the Seattle Stranger ( ought to raise some serious questions in the minds of even the most delusional fundies. Pam Spaulding's term "sheeple" definitely applies to anyone foolish enough to give money in response to Haggard's request:

Ted Haggard, as we learned today on Colorado Confidential, wants you to pay for his and his wife’s living expenses while they go to college—they’re destitute, you see. (Colorado Confidential reports that the Haggards currently own a house in Colorado Springs valued at close to a three quarters of a million dollars.) In an open letter sent to Haggard’s gullible “supporters,” the disgraced preacher gives two addresses where money can be sent. Checks can be sent to Haggard’s mailing address in Phoenix or, if a supporter needs a tax deduction, checks can be sent to Families With a Mission, a charity based in Colorado Springs. “[Write] their check to ‘Families With A Mission’ and put a separate note on it that it is for the Haggard family,” Haggard writes in the letter posted on Colorado Confidential, “then Families With a Mission will mail us 90% of the funds for support and use 10% for administrative costs.”

As posted earlier, local attorney and Slog reader Dave Coffman located documents on file with the Colorado Secretary of State that showed Families With a Mission “voluntarily dissolved” on February 23, 2007. Hm. Weird—who knew you could get a tax deduction from dissolved charity? And it gets weirder: There’s only one name on file with the Colorado Secretary of State in connection with Families With a Mission: Paul Huberty.
And here’s what Coffman learned when he started searching through public records: A man named Paul G. Huberty was convicted of having sex with his 17 year-old ward while he was in the military and stationed in Germany. Paul G. Huberty eventually moved to Hawaii, where he was on that state’s sex offender registry—you can download a PDF here. Hawaii’s sex offender registry mentions a conviction for a sex offense in 2004. Court records in Hawaii show that Paul G. Huberty was found guilty of attempted sexual assault in January of 2004 (download ‘em here, here, and here), and sentenced a year in jail with all but six months suspended. Huberty was also put on probation for five years, ordered to take polygraphs, not allowed to possess pornography, “not allowed on the property of Kona Christian Academy” and other schools, not allowed to posses firearms, forbidden from foster parenting or being the guardian of a minor, and ordered to pay restitution to a crime victims fund.

When Paul G. Huberty’s moved out of the state of Hawaii he was required to register his new address, which he did: 855 Pebble Creek Ct., Monument, CO 80132, the “principal mailing address” for the charity Families With a Mission, which also happens to be a home owned by Paul Huberty, the registered charity’s agent.

So the man who heads up the defunct charity Families With a Mission—the charity that’s going to take a 10% cut from all “tax deductible” donations to the Haggard family—would appear to be a registered sex offender. Well, in Hawaii at any rate. Paul Huberty has not, according to publicly available records, registered as a sex offender in Colorado, something he is required to do by state law. Coffman put in a call to officials in Colorado to see if Huberty has registered too recently to appear on the sex offenders website, and he’s waiting to hear back.

Friday, August 24, 2007

More Friday Male Beauty

Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith

This story from Yahoo News about a new book being released about Mother Teresa ( shows that this noble woman had many spiritual doubts. I believe that if one is a thinking, rational, and perceptive person, one cannot help but have spiritual doubts from time to time or even for extended periods of time. Faith involves doubt and coming to terms with it as opposed to blind acceptance. If anything, I have respect for Mother Teresa who at least could voice her doubt as opposed to disingenuous blowhards like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and James Dobson, to name a few, who act as if they have all the answers and have a direct line to God. Here are some highlights from the article:

On Dec. 11, 1979, Mother Teresa, the "Saint of the Gutters," went to Oslo. Dressed in her signature blue-bordered sari and shod in sandals despite below-zero temperatures, the former Agnes Bojaxhiu received that ultimate worldly accolade, the Nobel Peace Prize. In her acceptance lecture, Teresa, whose Missionaries of Charity had grown from a one-woman folly in Calcutta in 1948 into a global beacon of self-abnegating care, delivered the kind of message the world had come to expect from her. "It is not enough for us to say, 'I love God, but I do not love my neighbor,'" she said, since in dying on the Cross, God had "[made] himself the hungry one - the naked one - the homeless one." Jesus' hunger, she said, is what "you and I must find" and alleviate. She condemned abortion and bemoaned youthful drug addiction in the West. Finally, she suggested that the upcoming Christmas holiday should remind the world "that radiating joy is real" because Christ is everywhere - "Christ in our hearts, Christ in the poor we meet, Christ in the smile we give and in the smile that we receive."

Yet less than three months earlier, in a letter to a spiritual confidant, the Rev. Michael van der Peet, that is only now being made public, she wrote with weary familiarity of a different Christ, an absent one. "Jesus has a very special love for you," she assured Van der Peet. "[But] as for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great, that I look and do not see, - Listen and do not hear - the tongue moves [in prayer] but does not speak ... I want you to pray for me - that I let Him have [a] free hand."

The two statements, 11 weeks apart, are extravagantly dissonant. The first is typical of the woman the world thought it knew. The second sounds as though it had wandered in from some 1950s existentialist drama. Together they suggest a startling portrait in self-contradiction - that one of the great human icons of the past 100 years, whose remarkable deeds seemed inextricably connected to her closeness to God and who was routinely observed in silent and seemingly peaceful prayer by her associates as well as the television camera, was living out a very different spiritual reality privately, an arid landscape from which the deity had disappeared.

And in fact, that appears to be the case. A new, innocuously titled book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light (Doubleday), consisting primarily of correspondence between Teresa and her confessors and superiors over a period of 66 years, provides the spiritual counterpoint to a life known mostly through its works. The letters, many of them preserved against her wishes (she had requested that they be destroyed but was overruled by her church), reveal that for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever - or, as the book's compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, "neither in her heart or in the eucharist."

Are Homosexual Civil Unions A 600-year-old Tradition?

This is a very interesting article in Science daily ( that certainly throws cold water on the Christianist claim that for 5,000 years there has only been one form of family unit. Of course, the Christianists never let the truth get in the way of their anti-gay agenda. Here are some highlights of the article:

Science Daily — A compelling new study from the September issue of the Journal of Modern History reviews historical evidence, including documents and gravesites, suggesting that homosexual civil unions may have existed six centuries ago in France. The article is the latest from the ongoing "Contemporary Issues in Historical Perspective" series, which explores the intersection between historical knowledge and current affairs.

Commonly used rationales in support of gay marriage and gay civil unions avoid historical arguments. However, as Allan A. Tulchin (Shippensburg University) reveals in his forthcoming article, a strong historical precedent exists for homosexual civil unions.
Opponents of gay marriage in the United States today have tended to assume that nuclear families have always been the standard household form. However, as Tulchin writes, "Western family structures have been much more varied than many people today seem to realize, and Western legal systems have in the past made provisions for a variety of household structures."

For example, in late medieval France, the term affrèrement -- roughly translated as brotherment -- was used to refer to a certain type of legal contract, which also existed elsewhere in Mediterranean Europe. These documents provided the foundation for non-nuclear households of many types and shared many characteristics with marriage contracts, as legal writers at the time were well aware, according to Tulchin.
The effects of entering into an affrèrement were profound. As Tulchin explains: "All of their goods usually became the joint property of both parties, and each commonly became the other's legal heir. They also frequently testified that they entered into the contract because of their affection for one another. As with all contracts, affrèrements had to be sworn before a notary and required witnesses, commonly the friends of the affrèrés."
Tulchin argues that in cases where the affrèrés were single unrelated men, these contracts provide "considerable evidence that the affrèrés were using affrèrements to formalize same-sex loving relationships. . . . I suspect that some of these relationships were sexual, while others may not have been. It is impossible to prove either way and probably also somewhat irrelevant to understanding their way of thinking. They loved each other, and the community accepted that.

He concludes: "The very existence of affrèrements shows that there was a radical shift in attitudes between the sixteenth century and the rise of modern antihomosexual legislation in the twentieth."

In addition to hating true scientific knowledge, the Christianist truly try to rewrite or ignore actual historical fact whenever it does not support their agenda. As I have often stated, the biggest liars are the allegedly devote Christianist who give lip service to the Ten Commandments, but fails to apply them to their own lives.

Friday Male Beauty

God's Warriors - Part Two

I watched the last episode of CNN’s special on “God’s Warriors,” which focused on the Christian Right in America. As a Virginian, I first want to say that it is an embarrassment to have an institution like Liberty University in our state because what it teaches and preaches goes so directly opposite of what the founding fathers from Virginia sought to achieve – a separation of religious theology from civil government. The same goes for Pat Robertson’s Regent University.

One of the three things Jefferson wanted to be remembered for (and it is stated on his tomb at Monticello which I have visited countless times) is his authorship of the Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom. The agenda of the late Rev. Falwell (who I suspect has been given a special place in Hell) and Matt Staver, dean of Liberty Law School, makes a utter mockery of Jefferson’s statute. Hopefully, Liberty will have the same experience that Regent continues to have: much higher than typical failure rate on the Bar exam, and a reluctance by many top employers to even higher its graduates. The following chart is illustrative of the low ranking of these "Christian" law schools:

Admissions; Academics; Employment Prospects; Quality of Life; Social Life
Appalachian School of Law:

3, 3, 3, 3, 3
George Mason University School of Law
40, 43, 41, 41, 42
Liberty University School of Law
1, 1, 1, 1, 1
Regent University School of Law
11, 11, 11, 11, 11
University of Richmond (TC Williams) School of Law
35, 33, 33, 34, 34
University of Virginia School of Law
137, 145, 141, 145, 140
Washington & Lee University Law School
30, 31, 32, 32, 31
William & Mary School of Law
45 48 47 48 46

Thus, most of these graduates will find themselves working as public defenders and other low paying jobs or having to work with Christian special interest groups. Either way they may find that the law school degree was not a very good investment.

The other striking thing about the series is the way in which these Christianists have absolutely no regard for anyone but themselves. If you are Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, or even a progressive Christian, their attitude is F**K YOU, only our beliefs matter. I truly believe that these fanatics are the biggest home grown threat to constitutional government as established by the founding fathers of the United States.

Angry Mother Defends Gay Son - Continued

P. S. The album that carried this letter in the CD insert was the 2001 Utopia collection put out by Centaur Entertainment. The name of the letter to the editor author is Sharon Underwood. Again, I believe her letter is wonderful and so moving.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Final Thursday Male Beauty

Angry Mother Defends Gay Son

The piece below, which I am reprinting in full previously appeared in materials included with a fund raising CD that I bought a few years back (sorry, I forget the name of the CD at the moment) and the letter hit home when I first read it. I happened across it today at, and wanted to post it because I believe it is ever so powerful.

The following letter was written by the mother of a gay child in Vermont, in response to a letter to the editor.

Many letters have been sent to the Valley News concerning the homosexual menace in Vermont. I am the mother of a gay son and I’ve taken enough from you good people. I’m tired of your foolish rhetoric about the “homosexual agenda” and your allegations that accepting homosexuality is the same thing as advocating sex with children. You are cruel and ignorant. You have been robbing me of the joys of motherhood ever since my children were tiny.

My firstborn son started suffering at the hands of the moral little thugs from your moral, upright families from the time he was in the first grade. He was physically and verbally abused from first grade straight through high school because he was perceived to be gay. He never professed to be gay or had any association with anything gay, but he had the misfortune not to walk or have gestures like the other boys. He was called “fag” incessantly, starting when he was 6.

In high school, while your children were doing what kids that age should be doing, mine labored over a suicide note, drafting and redrafting it to be sure his family knew how much he loved them. My sobbing 17-year-old tore the heart out of me as he choked out that he just couldn’t bear to continue living any longer, that he didn’t want to be gay and that he couldn’t face a life without dignity.

You have the audacity to talk about protecting families and children from the homosexual menace, while you yourselves tear apart families and drive children to despair. I don’t know why my son is gay, but I do know that God didn’t put him, and millions like him, on this Earth to give you someone to abuse. God gave you brains so that you could think, and it’s about time you started doing that.

At the core of all your misguided beliefs is the belief that this could never happen to you, that there is some kind of subculture out there that people have chosen to join. The fact is that if it can happen to my family, it can happen to yours, and you won’t get to choose. Whether it is genetic or whether something occurs during a critical time of fetal development, I don’t know. I can only tell you with an absolute certainty that it is inborn.

If you want to tout your own morality, you’d best come up with something more substantive than your heterosexuality. You did nothing to earn it; it was given to you. If you disagree, I would be interested in hearing your story, because my own heterosexuality was a blessing I received with no effort whatsoever on my part. It is so woven into the very soul of me that nothing could ever change it. For those of you who reduce sexual orientation to a simple choice, a character issue, a bad habit or something that can be changed by a 10-step program, I’m puzzled. Are you saying that your own sexual orientation is nothing more than something you have chosen, that you could change it at will? If that’s not the case, then why would you suggest that someone else can?

A popular theme in your letters is that Vermont has been infiltrated by outsiders. Both sides of my family have lived in Vermont for generations. I am heart and soul a Vermonter, so I’ll thank you to stop saying that you are speaking for “true Vermonters.”

You invoke the memory of the brave people who have fought on the battlefield for this great country, saying that they didn’t give their lives so that the “homosexual agenda” could tear down the principles they died defending. My 83-year-old father fought in some of the most horrific battles of World War II, was wounded and awarded the Purple Heart.

He shakes his head in sadness at the life his grandson has had to live. He says he fought alongside homosexuals in those battles, that they did their part and bothered no one. One of his best friends in the service was gay, and he never knew it until the end, and when he did find out, it mattered not at all. That wasn’t the measure of the man.
ou religious folk just can’t bear the thought that as my son emerges from the hell that was his childhood he might like to find a lifelong companion and have a measure of happiness. It offends your sensibilities that he should request the right to visit that companion in the hospital, to make medical decisions for him or to benefit from tax laws governing inheritance.

How dare he? you say. These outrageous requests would threaten the very existence of your family, would undermine the sanctity of marriage. You use religion to abdicate your responsibility to be thinking human beings. There are vast numbers of religious people who find your attitudes repugnant. God is not for the privileged majority, and God knows my son has committed no sin.

The deep-thinking author of a letter to the April 12 ‘05 Valley News who lectures about homosexual sin and tells us about “those of us who have been blessed with the benefits of a religious upbringing” asks: “What ever happened to the idea of striving . . . to be better human beings than we are?” Indeed, sir, what ever happened to that? Takes Due Process Policies from Chimperator Bush

I am really disappointed in and planet out. A friend of mine who has been subjected to harassment by an individual who assaulted him has now had his account suspended based on an e-mail from a party who submitted a complaint. We strongly suspect that the party making the complaint is the same guy who has been harassing my friend and even sent a few obnoxious and threatening e-mails to my office (I have already filed a complaint with AOL since the e-mails came from an aol e-mail account). When I demanded to know the identity and/or e-mail address of the complaining party, the representative refused to disclose the information. I have sent a written demand on behalf of my friend, but so far has deemed it beneath them to reply.
Hmm, sounds like has adopted the Chimperator's or Nazi Germany's due process policies: he or an unnamed party can accuse you of something, have you arrested or your account suspended, and doesn't have to tell you the identity of the party making the complaint. You are charged, tried and convicted without know who the accuser is.

All of you with accounts be advised that apparently anyone with a grudge can make a false claim - all it takes is an e-mail to - and your account can be suspended and you have no recourse. If this is how Out do business, I am certainly going to have to rethink renewing my subscriptions to Out and the Advocate.

More Thursday Male Beauty

Fort Lauderdale Tourist Industry Tells Mayor To Shut Up

I truly hope the gay community will use its buying power to punish Ft. Lauderdale sufficiently to (1) cause Naugle's removal and (2) send a huge message to other destinations that bigotry has a very real cost. Nothing gets attention better than hitting folks in their pocket book. Here's a portion of 365gay's take on the matter:
(Fort Lauderdale, Florida) Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle was defiant Thursday as the city's tourist board castigated him for a series of attacks on gays. Nikki Grossman, the president of the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau said the mayor is endangering the county's biggest business - tourism - and damaging the area's reputation worldwide. Grossman told the mayor at the bureau's Thursday meeting that he is making Fort Lauderdale look close-minded and unwelcoming.

"The damage has been done to the destination," Grossman told Naugle. "We need to get back to work fixing it. The rhetoric needs to stop and the anger, the mischaracterizations and the hurtful mean-spirited rhetoric has to stop." Although no specific boycott of Fort Lauderdale by gays has been called several hotels and resorts that have a mainly gay clientele say they have contacted by guests who regularly stay with them to say they will not be coming back as long as Naugle is in office.

Fort Lauderdale ranked No. 6 among gay travelers last year, and accounted for about 11 percent of Broward's $8.5 billion tourism industry. So concerned is the tourism industry over the potential fallout the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau is using paid media watchers in New York and Europe to see how far the story is spreading.

Warner: Begin troop withdrawal by Christmas

Virginia's senior Senator, John Warner continues to defy the Chimperator's efforts to silence anyone who does not sign on to the myth that things are going fine in Iraq. Not only does Warner have integrity, but based on his own years in the military, his service as Secretary of the Navy, and other past positions, he sees members of the military as more that mere cyphers to be played with. Many politicians give lip service to caring about our troops, but Warner truly means it. I have heard him speak many times and talked with him one-on-one. I am convinced it's not lip service with him. Here are a few highlights from MSNBC's story (

NEW YORK - Sen. John Warner said Thursday President Bush should start bringing home some troops by Christmas to show the Baghdad government that the U.S. commitment in Iraq is not open-ended. The move puts the prominent Republican at odds with the president, who says conditions on the ground should dictate deployments. Warner, R-Va., said the troop withdrawals are needed because Iraqi leaders have failed to make substantial political progress, despite an influx of U.S. troops initiated by Bush earlier this year.
“We simply cannot as a nation stand and continue to put our troops at continuous risk of loss of life and limb without beginning to take some decisive action,” he told reporters after a White House meeting with Bush’s top aides. Warner’s new position is a sharp challenge to a wartime president that will undoubtedly color the upcoming Iraq debate on Capitol Hill. Next month, Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker are expected to brief members on the war’s progress.

Who’s the more astute student of Vietnam War history — President Bush or Sen. John Warner, R-Va.? Warner, the octogenarian GOP Senate powerbroker who served as Navy secretary under President Nixon during the Vietnam War, called Thursday for Bush to begin withdrawing some U.S. troops from Iraq — he used the figure of 5,000 — so that they could be home by Christmas.

Thursday Male Beauty

East Coast Surfing Championships

The East Coast Surfing Championships ("ECSC") started yesterday and runs through the weekend. Typically, the waves are not all that great, but on occasion (e.g., the year Hurricane Bonnie came through) the waves are indeed world class. The evnt certainly draws loads of gorgeous guys to the oceanfront. The ECSC is North America's Oldest Running Surfing Competition and the second oldest continuously-run surfing contest in the world. More than 100 of the world's top professional surfers, male and female, and an estimated 300 amateur surfers will travel to Virginia Beach to "ride the curl" at the Oceanfront and compete for combined cash prizes of $40,000.

Held annually in Virginia Beach, Virginia since 1963, ECSC is more than just surfing. Dozens of people also take part in other competitions including skimboarding, volleyball, an oceanfront 5K run, a swimsuit competition and the extreme sport of skateboarding. Live bands perform for free on an oceanfront stage throughout the weekend. A cost is involved to participate in competitions, but all activities are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Most US Adults in the Dark About World Politics

This article ( I guess explains how Chimperator Bush could get elected for a second term in this country: America, home ot the stupid. These results are truly scary are do not say much positive about the USA:

Two-thirds of US adults admit to being in the dark about political issues outside the United States, and only a third are well-versed in US politics, the results of a poll published Tuesday showed. Candidates in the US presidential primaries "may have their work cut out for them as they work to get people interested in the election," wrote the Harris Poll group, which surveyed 2,225 adults between July 6 and 13 for the poll.

Global political knowledge was miniscule, with just three percent of women and 14 percent of men saying they are extremely knowledgeable on world politics. One reason for the knowledge gap is lack of interest, according to the poll. "Well over half (57 percent) say they do not like learning about political issues in other countries," and 32 percent expressed a lack of interest for homespun politics, the Harris Poll group said.

God's Warriors

CNN is doing a three part special report called "God's Warriors" with Christiane Amanpour. Last night the focus was on God's Jewish Warriors; tonight she's on the frontlines where religion and politics collide with God's Muslim Warriors. Tonight, 9 ET. Thursday evening, the focus will be on God's Christian Warriors. I watched last night and plan to watch the next two parts. I suspect that the end conclusion will be that fanatics of ANY faith are a menace to the larger society and world peace.
Last night's message was that religious belief should not control political policy because it eliminates rational thought and the ability to compromise. I also suspect that the series will make it clear that no one faith has a monopoly on having fundamentalist crazies.

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Former aide to GOP officials arrested in prostitution sting

Man, these family values Republicans get more action than anyone it would seem. They surely are preoccupied with sex. Here's a new story from the Star Tribune (

Tim Droogsma, a former press secretary to a U.S. senator and a Minnesota governor, was arrested Tuesday in a midafternoon prostitution sting on St. Paul's East Side. Tim Droogsma, a former press secretary to a U.S. senator and a Minnesota governor, was arrested Tuesday in a midafternoon prostitution sting on St. Paul's East Side. He allegedly arranged a deal for sex from an undercover officer through Craig's List, police spokesman Tom Walsh said Wednesday.

Droogsma was a spokesman for Sen. Rudy Boschwitz in the late 1980s and Gov. Arne Carlson in the early 1990s. Recently, he publicly supported a candidate seeking to replace state Rep. Steve Sviggum. All three elected officials were Republicans.

Wednesday Male Beauty

Vatican Attacks Coverage of Italy Sex Abuse Cases

I have to laugh at the disingenuousness of the Vatican's crocodile tears. Based on what has been discovered about the Church's payment of hush money and intimidation in other countries, why should Italy be any different. Hey, if the pattern fits, why should the media not be able to discuss it. Oh, I forgot, the Vatican is opposing gay rights in Italy and, if the Church is shown to be morally bankrupt, the populace might not heed their dictates any longer. Here's part of a Washington Post Story:
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican's top diplomat accused the media of "shameful and mystifying" coverage of allegations of sexual abuse by Italian priests and suggested there might be a campaign against the Church. Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone took aim at reporting of a probe by Turin prosecutors into clergy accused of paying a 24-year-old man to keep quiet about past abuse.
A separate investigation involves accusations of abuse by one of Italy's best-known priests, 82-year-old Pietro Gelmini. In comments to Vatican radio published on Tuesday, Bertone said he respected the work of the prosecutors but criticized the media for paying so much attention to unproven accusations that he said warped the image of the Roman Catholic Church.

La Stampa newspaper, which has led coverage of the investigations, defended its work. "La Stampa has put out news that has been shown to be true, and ... given it prominence," said La Stampa director Giulio Anselmi, in comments published in Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Thousands of victims in the USA alone and settlement payments in excess of $2 billion, and the Vatican is worried about a warped image of the Church? These old closet queens are incredible in their disingenuousness.
Meanwhile, check out this story in the New York Times: New Accusations Against Priest Convicted of Sexual Abuse (

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More Tuesday Male Beauty

Beware of (Fraudulent) Ex-Gay Study to Be Released

Two different posts on Ex-Gay Watch and also a post on Truth Wins Out have focused attention of the possible efforts by Exodus International to release the results of an alleged study that will bolster Exodus's unsubstantiated "cure" claims. Odds are that this study will be non-scientific and largely stacked as have several previous studies (using that term very loosely) that purport to support the claim that gays can change their sexual orientation. Here are some highlights from the Ex-Gay Watch posts:

POST ONE: Exodus president Alan Chambers and vice president Randy Thomas have been making casual claims concerning the success rates of “change” and perhaps even vague references to an ongoing study. These have led to an increasingly common, though entirely unsubstantiated figure of 30% “real change in orientation.” A statement on the Exodus International website goes even further: On the statistical side, careful reviews of research studies on sexual orientation change suggest that real change is indeed possible. Studies suggesting change rates in the range of 30-50% are not unusual, although “success rates” vary considerably and the measurement of change is problematic. A link follows to further studies but we could find none there. We have discouraged the use of these figures in posts to avoid the “Paul Cameron Effect” whereby junk science becomes the de facto standard after repetitive use without attribution to any authoritative sources. So far, Exodus has done little to qualify the term “change” in this setting, much less substantiate any figures. That may change soon. (
POST TWO: More information has come to light concerning the study we reported on here. An anonymous source said they have contact with someone participating in the study, called the Thomas Project, out of Wheaton College, and the study consists of questions asked once a year by phone. This participant also noted that the questions were oversimplified, requiring basic responses where they felt detailed explanations were needed. We have good reason to trust this contact, though we will respect their request for anonymity.

There are unconfirmed reports that the study has a sample of as few as 100 to 150 participants. While we don’t know what work was done during selection or preparation, we now know that the data was collected via annual phone calls. A picture is forming of some weak methodology, but presumably more accurate assessments can be made if and/or when others in the scientific community are allowed to review the method of selection of study subjects, the content and method of questions, and the presence or lack of nonverbal measurements and control data.

We suspect Exodus’ Regional Freedom Conference (September 13-15) will be the most likely setting for the formal announcement of the results of the Thomas Project. We also suspect the results will claim rates of over 30% experiencing “change”, but this can’t be verified at this time. If so, it seems interesting that Exodus president Alan Chambers knew this before the study was barely a year out: By Chambers’ estimate, only 30 percent of those who seek to switch orientations succeed. Fifty percent abandon the program. The other 20 percent, he says, go back and forth. “I would say it’s like [Alcoholics Anonymous],” Chambers says. “It’s in the 30-percent range [that] find a great degree of healing and move into heterosexuality, single or married.” (
Having reviewed much of the legitimate research on this topic, no legitimate studies have supported the "Cure" claims. Even the Spitzer study which is consistently misquoted by ex-gay advocates (and which was based on a study group containing a significant percentage of "ex-gay for pay" individuals) found at best a tiny success rate, if any. I find it especially interesting that now that Democratic Presidential candidates have appeared on a "debate" on gay issues, Exodus - which is closely tied to known anti-gay Christianist groups - is talking about releasing this study just in time for the 2008 election cycle. I am sure that Exodus - and its masters - are relying on a lazy and uninformed media to run with sound bites from this bogus study to help fuel anti-gay measures at the ballot box next year.
If my suspicions are correct, it will be one more examples of the self-proclaimed "Christians" using deliberate lies and untruths to push their Christianist agenda.

More Tuesday Male Beauty

Rules May Limit Health Program Aiding Children

More "compassionate Conservatism" from Chimperator Bush. How this man thinks himself a Christian when his policies give to the rich and take form the less affluent baffles me. Granted, I think the guy is a moron, but even a rudimentary reading of the Gospels would suggest that his policies are not exactly what I suspect Jesus would have endorsed. Here are highlights from the New York Times (

The Bush administration, continuing its fight to stop states from expanding the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, has adopted new standards that would make it much more difficult for New York, California and others to extend coverage to children in middle-income families. Administration officials outlined the new standards in a letter sent to state health officials on Friday evening, in the middle of a month long Congressional recess. In interviews, they said the changes were intended to return the Children’s Health Insurance Program to its original focus on low-income children and to make sure the program did not become a substitute for private health coverage.

After learning of the new policy, some state officials said yesterday that it could cripple their efforts to cover more children and would impose standards that could not be met. “We are horrified at the new federal policy,” said Ann Clemency Kohler, deputy commissioner of human services in New Jersey. “It will cause havoc with our program and could jeopardize coverage for thousands of children.”

Tuesday Male Beauty

Number of South Carolina Catholic Church Accusers Nears 80

Here's yet another case of the Roman Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal coming home to roost. Here are some highlights from a Washington Post ( story:

ST. GEORGE, S.C. -- Nearly 80 people are now eligible to join a class-action sex abuse settlement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston, an attorney for victims said Monday. A review of diocesan records in recent months found 20 more possible victims of sex abuse by priests, said attorney Larry Richter.
When the settlement was announced in January with as much as $12 million designated for damages, the diocese said it knew of eight victims in addition to four who had already settled claims. In March, attorneys said they had identified 53 people eligible to join the settlement. That number is now closer to 80, Richter told The Associated Press.

Up to 80 lives damaged in this case alone. Meanwhile, I am still waiting to see the Vatican start firing bishops and cardinals who had involvement in the countless abuse cover up cases. The Vatican can condemn gays and others and act all pious and sanctimonious, but the continued failure to discipline members of the hierarchy in any meaningful says it all: the Roman Catholic Church is morally bankrupt.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Married Man Seeks Same for Discreet Play - Follow Up

I was somewhat surprised to learn via an e-mail from Suzy Soro, a comedienne in Hollywood, that my blog (with a live link) was referenced in the August 13, 2007, Comments section of New York Magazine (

1. Sometimes it’s the magazine that inspires the outrage of readers, and sometimes it’s the people we write about. This week, we saw equal amounts of both. The major source of reader agitation was “William,” the secretly gay man profiled by David Amsden (“Married Man Seeks Same for Discreet Play,” July 30). “I am the older, and hopefully wiser, sister of your wife; not by birth, but by experience,” wrote Patti H. of Oceanside, California. “Unlike you, however, [my ex-husband] had the courage to be honest with me before he chose to become sexually involved with a man.” Detractors came from both sides of the aisle. “For the record, I never ran around like this on my wife while living with her,” went a post on the blog Coming Out in Mid-Life in Red America. “I find this behavior dishonorable.” The magazine was also chided for presenting William’s situation as novel. “This isn’t a new discovery on Amsden’s part,” wrote Funky Brown Chick. “Didn’t E. Lynn Harris establish his entire writing career, in part, by crafting books about life ‘on the down low?’”
Am I famous or infamous??

Final Monday Male Beauty

Marriott Courts LGBT Suppliers

The fundies are going to be going ape shit!!! Marriott joined the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (of which HRBOR is an affiliate) as a corporate member in April of this year. Moreover, as is reporting, the Marriott hotel chain is adding LGBT-owned businesses to its diversity supply program which gives priority to minority run businesses. The diversity program already includes Hispanic and Black owned businesses:

The move could mean millions of dollars for gay companies bidding for contracts with Marriott. The hotel chain has some 2,900 properties around the world. In 2005, the company set a goal to spend more than $1 billion with diverse suppliers by 2010. Marriott said it is well on track to achieve its goals ahead of schedule.

"Last year, our company reached record levels in spending," said Mike Tobolski, senior director, Diversity Initiatives, Marriott International, Inc. "We plan to build on our company's success in the U.S. and expand our program to nurture relationships internationally and within the LGBT community."
Oh dear, Rev. Wilmon over at AFA may have a stroke!!!

More Monday Male Beauty

Vick Takes Plea Deal, Avoids Additional Dogfighting Charges

I cannot say that I feel any sorrow seeing Michael Vick face prison time for his illegal and immoral dogfighting operation. Hopefully, the NFL will punish him as well, making for once and example that sports stars are not above the law:

Atlanta Falcons quarterback and Hampton Roads native Michael Vick has accepted a plea deal - and a likely prison sentence - to avoid additional federal charges related to a professional dogfighting operation, according to one of Vick's attorneys. Vick is going to enter a guilty plea to the felony conspiracy charge at 10:30 a.m. next Monday, said Lawrence Woodward, one of The deal, in its form last week, was expected to include a recommendation from prosecutors that Vick serve at least a year in prison, according to two sources familiar with the discussions. The judge will have the final say in sentencing.

It is unclear how the plea deal will affect Vick's NFL career. League Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week that the NFL was still working on its own review of the case and is closely monitoring talks between Vick's lawyers and prosecutors. Vick's defense attorneys. The NFL's recently toughened player conduct policy empowers Goodell to fine, suspend or impose a lifetime ban on a player for criminal behavior. He's levied harsh penalties on players even for being arrested.

At Virginia Tech, where Vick starred in college, his former coaches said last week they didn't want to talk about the case until it was over. Said head coach Frank Beamer: "Michael is one of ours, and we want the best for him. But I'm going to wait until I hear the final word."

Perhaps if Coach Beamer had not treated Vick like a spoiled prince at Tech, Vick would have learned sooner that the same rules apply to him as everyone else.

U. S. Senators Warner and Levin Offer Bleak Assessment of Iraq Government

Once again, Virginia Senator John Warner is not singing the line wanted by Chimperator Bush. In fact, he pretty much calls it like it is and says that there is no military solution to be had. Here are some highlights form a new story in the Virginian Pilot this afternoon:

Prospects for the political compromises needed to stabilize Iraq remain bleak and it may be time for Iraqis and their Parliament to replace the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Virginia Sen. John Warner said today. Headed home after a two-day visit to Iraq last week, Warner, a Republican, and Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, a Democrat, agreed in a written statement that the U.S. military's "surge" of additional troops has calmed some parts of Iraq and given political leaders there "breathing space" for reforms.

But there is little evidence that the Maliki government is taking advantage of the opportunity, Levin and Warner said. "We are not optimistic," they added. Among American military commanders and troops, the pair found "a deepening consensus that there is no military solution," to Iraq's problems, Levin said.

Warner continues to be one of the few principled members of the GOP who seems to care more about what's good for the country rather than what's good for the Party. It is too bad there are not more members of Congress like him.

Monday Male Beauty

Churches That Won't Bury Gays

This op-ed on ( is a good response to allegedly Christian churches that will not bconduct funerals for gays, such as the church in Texas that withdrew its offer to host a funeral when it was discovered that the deceased military veteran was gay. Read the full op-ed. Here are a few highlights:

[BACKGROUND: In August 2007, a fundamentalist mega-church in Texas refused to conduct funeral services when it found out the deceased man was gay. Rev. Lea Brown, the openly lesbian pastor of Wichita Falls Metropolitan Community Church (Texas) and a veteran of the U.S. Army, has a few thoughts about that.]

Whew. I don't know about you, but I sure sleep better at night knowing the Christian churches in Texas are standing by their principles. Take the High Point Church in Arlington, Texas, led by Rev. Gary Simons (brother-in-law of mega-church pastor Joel Osteen). The church believes that homosexuality is a sin. When they recently found out that they had inadvertently (according to their version) agreed to provide a funeral for a gay man, they withdrew their invitation 24 hours before the event on the principle that they didn't want to appear to be endorsing "that lifestyle." Sure, the grieving family was left scrambling to find an appropriate venue in which to say goodbye to their loved one, and then contact 100 expected guests about the change of location in their time of sorrow. But hey, principles are principles. Aren't you glad that at least in Texas there are church folks who are willing to risk looking like heartless bigots rather than betray what they believe to be their "Christian" beliefs?
I mean, let's give credit where credit is due. They chose one principle that they believe is true (homosexuality and homosexuals must be rejected), when there are so many principles that they could have chosen instead. Let's review a few, shall we?
First, there is the principle of compassion, which dictates that we seek to understand the suffering of others, and do what we can through kindness to help in times of need.

Then there is the principle of gratitude. Cecil Howard Sinclair was a veteran of the United States Navy, and he served in the first Gulf War. He was willing to risk his life for our country, and for principles like "freedom of religion" that High Point members enjoy each day.
Finally, there is the principle of hospitality. In the Bible, in the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 10 Jesus instructs his followers to shake the dust from their feet from any town that does not welcome them warmly and listen to what they have to say. It seems that hospitality was rather important to Jesus

Monday Blues

It is one of those Mondays when I just cannot feel positive, try as I might. Perhaps working much of the weekend is part of my problem - I had to be a witness in a trial today (my client prevailed), so I tried to get stuff done over the weekend in case it turned into an all day affair. Another part of my funk is perhaps waiting for the outcome of the divorce trial which is still hanging over me. Yet another part is the adjustment to not having the b/f around – he’s living out of state as we remain separated. I miss him in many, many ways and think of him when I am at home because he did so much of the renovation work on the house and built the ponds in the backyard. At the same time, however, I do not miss our fighting and the drama we seemed to fuel far too often when together. He says he still loves me, but I fear it's more about control and manipulation.
I guess I simply feel empty and alone and somewhat jaded on gay relationships in general. I want normalcy in my life without needless drama. At times I truly wonder if I will ever find it. I came out of the closet largely because I was tired of going through the motions of a so-called life and not truly living. Instead, I was play acting and playing the role I thought was expected of me. Now there is no script and assigned role and it can be scary at times.