Saturday, October 13, 2007

Final Saturday Male Beauty

High Ranking Vatican Official Suspended After Coming Out On TV

We all knew that there were closet cases at the Vatican. However, this news story via ( proves it conclusively! Why do I suspect that this monsignor is but the tip of the closeted gay ice berg? I can only speculate on how many other closeted priests within the Vatican this monsignor could perhaps identify as gay. I hope the guy doesn't disappear or die suddenly. I am sure Richard and Lindsay Roberts will be happy to have some other religious profiteers who likewise live in lavish surroundings share the limelight with them. Here are some story highlights:

(Vatican City) An Italian monsignor was suspended from a senior position at the Holy See, the Vatican said on Saturday, identifying him as a priest who was anonymously interviewed about his gay sex life on a television program. In the program on a private Italian television network, the monsignor said he "didn't feel he was sinning" by having sex with gay men, Rome daily La Repubblica reported Saturday. Vatican officials recognized the Vatican office in the interview took place, La Repubblica reported.

Vatican officials "had to intervene decisively and with the severity required by conduct not compatible with priestly service and with the mission of the Holy See," said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman.Lombardi did not identify the cleric, but said the monsignor was suspended from his job as a top official in the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy, an office which aims to ensure proper conduct by priests.

More Saturday Male Beauty

GOP Economic Policy - Income Inequality Worst Since 1920's

Chimperator Bush's Amerika is certainly becoming a less friendly place for the lower income earners. Of course, Bush's main domestic policy has been to (A) cut taxes for the wealthy and (2) allow lax regulation so that corporate America can earn larger profits. Thus, this headline should be of no surprise. Here are some highlights from RawStory (

The superrich are gobbling up an ever larger piece of the economic pie, and the poor are seeing their share of earnings shrink: new IRS data shows the top 1 percent of Americans are claiming a larger share of national income than at any time since before the Great Depression. The top percentile of wealthy Americans earned 21.2 percent of all income in 2005, up from 19 percent in 2004, according to new Internal Revenue Service data published in the Wall Street Journal Friday. Americans in the bottom 50 percent of wage earners saw their share of income shrink to 12.8 percent in 2005, down from 13.4 percent.

The Journal notes that many Americans fear the economy is entering a recession, and the IRS data show income for the median earner fell 2 percent between 2000 and 2005 to $30,881. Earnings for the top 1 percent grew to $364,657 -- a 3 percent uptick.


Rather than repeat what is being said in various places, good overviews of the latest developments with ENDA can be found at Pam's House Blend ( and America Blog ( In sum, Nancy Pelosi has done the following:
So basically she's promised the trans-inclusive-ENDA-or-nothing crowd a floor vote once they do their homework and get enough votes to pass their bill. (They don't have the votes, Barney Frank has said the trans-inclusive bill will lose by 50 votes.) In the meantime, she's going to move ahead with the GLB ENDA, which does have the votes. This way both 25 million gays and lesbians benefit, as do a hundred thousand trans community members.What remains to be seen is whether the NGLTF and its allies will join James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Lou Sheldon and Pat Robertson in trying to kill ENDA.
While I still support a pragmatic approach and as another resident of fly-over country disagree with Pam Spaulding on this one. I think Pelosi is making the best of a messed up situation that she did not create. However, I do agree with Pam's analysis of (1) how this mess developed and (2) what needs to be done now so that a T-inclusive bill can eventually be advanced.

Revised Lawsuit Against ORU Makes New Allegations

Having read the first lawsuit filed against Oral Roberts University, one would have thought that there was not much more that could come out. Wrong!!! A revised lawsuit was filed yesterday (see it here: that alleges even more titillating misbehavior, particularly by Lindsay Roberts [pictured at left], the University's "first lady," who seems to have a real liking for underage boys. Here are some highlights:

The suit also alleges that three days after the original lawsuit was filed earlier this month, the school's financial comptroller, a 26-year ORU employee, was fired.''Within hours of this loyal employee's unceremonious removal from his office, witnesses have reported that voluminous materials and documents were shredded and destroyed....''

[M]ore details are added to several of the allegations, especially allegations involved Lindsay Roberts and an unnamed teen boy.The report says that dead-bolt locks were installed on all bedroom doors at the Richard Roberts residence at the insistence of his oldest daughter.'' This was precipitated by Mrs. Roberts repeatedly moving into the home her 16 year old male 'friend,' which made her daughters uncomfortable,'' the assessment says.

The assessment also says: ''Mrs. Roberts has personally spent the night in the ORU guest house with an underage male on nine separate occasions.''The report also says there are photos of Lindsay Roberts and an underaged male smoking at the president's residence, and 29 photos of her and an underage male alone in her sports car after midnight.The assessment goes on to say a longtime employee was fired so the same underage male companion could have the position.

Readers might also want to check out comments being posted on the Tulsa World article, ( some of which are by former Oral Roberts University employees - many are most unflattering. Here's are two examples:

Former ORU Slave, Tulsa WOW!!! No big surprise. I worked at ORU and was disgusted from day 1. On my very first day, I saw the youngest Roberts daughter, Chloe, driving a Lexus SUV, when she was 16 years old!!! And Lyndsey driving a little red german sports car!!! And Tricky Dick with his entourage of cronies!!! Showing up at athletic events like he was the "King of the castle". Richard Roberts is no more a holy-man, than I am the president of the United States. He's a preacher's kid (if you can even consider his daddy a preacher & not a crook/quack), that noticed that evangelism was where the money was. PERIOD!!! He was lazy & arrogant, and saw the way to make an easy buck. Riding daddy's coat-tails has brought him riches beyond most people's belief. And, now, his arrogance has brought about his undoing. This whole debacle can be explained a very simple way. He & his family thought they were above earthly & divine laws.

Cherry, Tulsa: I hear that Mrs. Roberts was a Mrs. Robinson at some time. That does not surprise me. She was blaming her girls for making cell phone calls to boys. Yeah, right. Now I know why females are NOT allowed in male dorms. Because Mrs. Robinson, oops I mean, Mrs. Roberts was on the prowl and didn't want to be caught. Well, guess what, we all know now. I can't wait to see this all come out in court. I hope all evangelist's learn from this. We common folk are only going to take so much.

Afghanistan 'Is Going Down Fast'

This story from The Australian (,25197,22575334-2703,00.html) details the worsening situation in Chimperator Bush's other disastrous military adventure. I continue to believe that history will judge the Chimperator as America's worse president in history:

THE bloodshed in Afghanistan has reached levels not seen since the 2001 invasion as anger at bungling by an ineffective Government in Kabul and its foreign backers stokes support for the Taliban and other extremist groups. The death of Trooper David Pearce underlines the rising dangers for Australia's 1000 soldiers in Afghanistan, most of them deployed in the Taliban's southern heartland -- a region some of Canberra's NATO allies consider too dangerous to fight in.

"This place can only go up or down, and it's going down fast, which is something the international community simply will not understand," said a security analyst who has been working in and out of Afghanistan for 30 years. Almost six years after the hardline Islamist Taliban were ousted, their insurgency is gaining strength, fuelled by resentment at NATO bombing of civilians, billions of dollars of wasted aid, a lack of jobs and record crops of opium, the raw material for heroin. The fighting is spreading to places once relatively safe, including the capital and the western and northern parts of the country.
"One reason for their renewed strength is that the people are more or less amenable to what they are doing and maybe some of the (NATO) bombardments have not been very wisely executed. "That has helped the people get closer to the Taliban. They are dying and they feel that they are the same (as the Talibs) from the religious point of view." Scores, possibly hundreds, of civilians have been killed in air strikes, mainly called in to support ground troops fighting rebels. The US-led NATO force, government officials and village leaders differ over details and numbers.

The Taliban-led insurgency is also being bolstered by drugs money -- the UN reported a 50per cent jump in this year's opium crop -- local and tribal disputes, and a lack of jobs. With the wrecked economy and the dangers of getting crops to market, being a paid fighter for the Taliban is often the only way isolated Afghans can feed their families. "It's important to emphasise: I don't think the Taliban themselves are wildly popular," Ms Nathan said.

"I don't think people want Taliban times back. It is a broad dissatisfaction with what is happening in the country now. I think the Taliban are very clever at appealing to people or groups that are locally disenfranchised or disempowered."

More Saturday Male Beauty - Dedicated to Pat Robertson

Regent University Bans Student Over Unflattering Photo of Pat Robertson

Both today's issue of the Virginian Pilot ( and Associated Press ( are reporting that Regent University has suspended law student Adam Key, pending an evaluation of his mental health condition. I am not sure what to think. Given the Christianists’ standard tactic of attacking anyone who challenges their views – e.g., gays are routinely depicted as sinful, promiscuous, emotionally/mentally damaged, alcoholic drug users - this may just be a smoke screen of shifting focus off of Regent and onto Key. I also have to wonder about the suddenly arising claims about weapons on campus too – having been to the Regent campus before, there is an element within the student body that reminds me of Jim Jones’ Kool-Aid drinkers. True, many students are not of that mind set, but some I most certainly find a bit scary.

Of course, personally, I would question the mental state of anyone who decided to attend Regent unless they had a very good reason for doing so (e.g., students can go to law school part time whereas all of the other secular Virginia law schools operate on a full time student basis only).

The other issue is who will be the one to evaluate Key’s mental condition. Given the discredited quacks that the Christianists rely upon routinely to peddle anti-gay propaganda and maintain the “choice myth” of homosexuality, I hope Key demands that it be someone with legitimate credentials and NOT in any way affiliated
with Regent. Here are some highlights from the AP story:

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A Regent University law student who posted an unflattering photo of school founder Pat Robertson on the Internet has been banned from campus and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation before he can return to classes. Adam M. Key, 23, also was ordered to undergo counseling if a mental health provider that is acceptable to the university deems it appropriate, and to provide a report showing that he has completed any treatment plan required. He also must agree to allow the mental health provider to provide regular updates on his treatment to the school.

Key posted a picture of Regent's chancellor and president making what appears to be an obscene gesture on his Facebook social-networking page. Key said he copied the photo from a online video in which Robertson scratches his face with his middle finger.

In a letter he received Friday from Associate Dean for Student Affairs L.O. Natt Gantt II, Gantt said several students have come forward expressing concern about Key's behavior this semester, and have reported that Key said he brought a gun onto campus.

Key, who provided a copy of the letter to The Associated Press, denied ever having a gun and accused the university of exploiting the fear that lingers since a gunman at Virginia Tech killed 32 people last April in handing down its harsh punishment.

"There's a big difference between someone who was incredibly violent like the Virginia Tech kid and someone who disagrees with the administration," he said in a telephone interview. "At the time we start labeling people who have dissenting voices as dangerous, we start losing the freedom that makes us Americans."

The letter also tells Key that "your undergoing evaluation and possible counseling will enable you to enhance your well-being and improve your future" and says the school has no plans, at present, to begin any proceedings under the Honor Code or the University Standard of Conduct, but reserves the right to take those actions later.

E-mail messages seeking comment sent to Gantt and Dean Jeffrey Brauch were not returned Friday night, and a spokeswoman said she was not at liberty to comment. She said a written statement issued from Robertson on Thursday night still applied.

Naturally, much to Regent’s dismay, the case has generated international news coverage, showing up in publications in Europe and Asia. This, combined with the Monica Goodling disaster, obviously is not going to enhance Regent’s reputation.

Saturday Male Beauty

Emotional Disaster

I had another tortured, semi-sleepless night. I am going to my family practice group this morning when it opens to see if I can get something to help on the sleep front. Between the divorce drama, stress at work from client schedules and marketing demands, and other relationship drama, I am a mess. Do you know when you’ve had a nervous breakdown? Or is it only those around you who figure it out?

Speaking of relationships, is it unrealistic to long for a relationship that provides a safe harbor from life’s turmoil? Emotional calm and mutual love, support and understanding. That’s what I want and need. I do not think I am selfish to want a relationship that does not take me from the frying pan and into the fire emotionally. I truly don’t think so.

Why is it that certain people just cannot get it that I (or others) will not want to be involved with them if they only add to the drama in my life, no matter how pure they think their intentions/motivations might be. Suspicion, doubt, surveillance, argumentativeness – these are not the hallmarks of a good relationship and certainly not things I want in my life. Yet the other individual cannot figure out why I am reluctant to be involved with him. To me it should be self-evident. Sadly, I do not think he will ever figure it out or change.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Principle and pragmatism in ENDA

The Bay Area Reorter has a good Op-Ed by law professor, Dale Carpenter ( that again looks at what is politically possible versus what is idealistically pure. Like my earlier post, he notes that most of the "purists" are not the ones living in Red America and faced with the daily possibility of job loss because of their sexual orientation. Here are portions of the column:

That brings us to pragmatic considerations.

ENDA doesn't "include" anybody if it can't pass. Nobody knows how long it might take to educate Congress about trans issues. In the meantime, in 31 states there will be no job protection for gay people. Shall we make them wait a year? Five years? Forever?

Some have noted that even if a gay-only ENDA overcomes a filibuster in the Senate, President Bush might veto it. That's certainly possible and maybe probable, but a trans-inclusive ENDA would make both Senate passage and presidential approval less likely. Even if Bush vetoed ENDA, simply winning in the House would be a historic victory. It would build political momentum for more advances later.

Progress in civil rights has never been an all-or-nothing proposition. If it were, we'd still be waiting to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protected blacks from job discrimination, but left out the aged and disabled people. When the law was expanded in 1991, but still excluded sexual orientation, gay people didn't picket the NAACP.

Even an inclusive ENDA won't include lots of groups subject to systematic discrimination, like homely, short, or overweight people. Other nonconformists often thought part of the LGBT community, like leather fetishists and sadomasochists, won't be protected. Why shouldn't we wait for them, too?

Ironically, many of the activists demanding trans inclusion live in states where an incremental approach to gay and trans rights is well understood. California adopted gay civil rights laws long before trans protections. One of the groups opposed to a gay-only ENDA is the Empire State Pride Agenda, the New York gay rights group, which just four years ago lobbied successfully for a gay-only state anti-discrimination law because a trans-inclusive one couldn't pass.

The opposition to ENDA is coming mostly from a cadre of articulate, politically aware, and protected gay activists living in cocoons on the coasts and in large cities. They are imposing gender and queer theory on the lives of millions of gay Americans throughout the South, Midwest, and West. They charge that a gay-only ENDA manifests a selfish willingness to throw transgenders out of the boat.

Instead, the all-or-nothing ENDA manifests a self-satisfied willingness to sell the fly-over gays down the river. Hearts pure and integrity intact, elite activists who already have their rights will defend their high-minded principles right down to the last gay Alabamian.

More Friday Male Beauty


My friend Wayne Besen at Truth Wins Out is releasing a new video to combat the false message put out by the Christianist funded "ex-gay" programs. I am setting out Wayne's press release in full because it not only addresses the failed marriages of ex-gays, but also the failed marriages of other LGBT individuals who try to conform to societal and religious dictates only to meet with ultimate failure. I know of what I speak - I am one of them and my children are collateral damage.

Groups That Encourage Marriage As A Cure For Homosexuality Destroy Families And Treat Spouses and Children As Collateral Damage

NEW YORK - Truth Wins Out released an exclusive National Coming Out Day video today, "Ex-Gay = Ex-Wife," that features the stories of four courageous women whose families fell apart after their closeted husbands came out. This video is the latest in TWO's "Talking Truth" campaign and highlights the harm of ex-gay programs from a unique perspective - that of the spouse who gets left behind when the promised "cure" does not endure.

"Ex-gay programs love to show the wedding photos, but they never show you the divorce papers that result from such ill-conceived marriages," said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director, Wayne Besen. "These programs hold marriage up as the Holy Grail to heterosexuality, but the truth is, these marriages wholly fail, leaving shattered lives and broken families."

Bonnie Kaye, an author and director of the organization, has dedicated her life to counseling women after the demise of her own marriage. She blames anti-gay activists, such as Alan Chambers of Exodus International and James Dobson of Focus on the Family, for creating such miserable and doomed marriages.

"Alan Chambers and James Dobson are destroying the lives of families, not helping them...It's not a choice, people are who they are. Learn to love them and learn to embrace them and help them love themselves so they don't have to go and get married to be somebody they're not," said Kaye.

In the video, Nancy Davis shares how her former father-in law, a psychologist, recommended that his son meet a woman, get married and lead a straight life. "I feel like I was used, I was like an innocent lamb lead to slaughter," Davis said. The pain of such marriages can linger, long after the divorce is final. "Many of us are severely damaged...the spouses and children end up being the collateral damage," said Carol Silverman of the Straight Spouse Network, who was divorced after being married for nearly three decades.

Ignoring the failure and destruction all around them, ex-gay groups arrogantly and selfishly continue to use such families as pawns in their divisive culture war. "These organizations that try to convince people that they can be cured need to be stopped," asserted Tracy Rosenberg, who divorced her husband after almost 20 years.
"This video is a powerful reality check and a warning for those who would marry thinking that it will help them go from gay to straight," said Besen. "We are now looking to tell the stories of husbands whose marriages ended when their ex-gay wives came out as lesbians."

More on ENDA - Salon's Idiocy

Sadly, the debate over ENDA is tearing the LGBT community apart in some ways. Salon has an article ( by Susan Stryker that viciously attacks John Aravosis for agreeing with Barney Frank's pragmatic approach to getting a LGB version of ENDA passed in the event an LBGT version is dead on arrival. While John Aravosis may be, in Ms. Stryker's opinion "in the nosebleed section of the social hierarchy; if he gets any higher up the food chain he should be issued an oxygen mask," I can assure you that the LGB individuals who call my office on a regular basis after being fired or harassed at work because of their sexual orientation are not. There ARE millions of LGB individuals who lack any sort of employment protections. Ms. Stryker apparently doesn't give a flip about them based on her all or nothing rant.
Andrew Sullivan and I significantly disagree on the need for ENDA - I strongly favor its passage and think it will make a difference - but he is directly on point in his post ( taking Stryker and those of her ilk to task:
This ad hominem attack on anyone's views who veers from far left orthodoxy is routine among the professional GBLTXYZers who mau-mau the rest of us. John Aravosis is an almost pathologically partisan Democrat, a gleeful outer of insufficiently correct closeted public figures, a blogger in the mold of Atrios ... but he still can't be oppressed enough to be valid for the gay left. Hey, John. It's wake-up time. They hate you too. Welcome to the club. As for the matter at hand, the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, I was told two decades ago that this was the non-negotiable number one priority for gay Americans, that gay people couldn't afford to fight for marriage equality or military service or anything else until this vital law passed.

I was told to shut up about everything else in order to support this central goal. The Human Rights Campaign raked in tens of millions of dollars over twenty years with this message (while the private sector, with HRC's help, actually enacted many legal protections for gay employees, and while the debates about marriage and military service transformed the movement, in the face of HRC's opposition). But now ... not so much. The transgendered movement is so important that it's worth subjecting gay people to many more years of employment insecurity. Not so urgent, after all, is it? Gay people in red states without employment protection have to wait while pomo lefty activists in cushy gay lobby jobs preen about p.c. purity.

I'm no big supporter of ENDA and don't truly believe it will make much of a difference. Nonetheless, holding it up for transgendered inclusion after two decades of waiting seems bizarre even for the p.c. hell that is the gay rights establishment. I can't believe I'm with Barney Frank on this one. But I am.
Stryker may be in a position immune from job discrimination threats, but millions of LGB individuals are not so lucky. Her approach will likely leave them with no protections after 30 years of effort. Is she an idiot or what??

Some Fun Satire of Christianists

I realize that I generally post either serious articles or photos in the "Male Beauty" series. For a change of pace, and lots of good laughs, readers should check out Betty Bowers' webpages. They are a wonderful spoof of the Christianist mentality and very entertaining. I have seen Betty Bowers many times via and Michelle at Magic Belly Button reminded me just how crazy Ms. Bowers can be. Here's a link from which you can check out all of the crazed "Christian" materials: Some of her "ministries" are outrageous, as is her updated piece on Ted Haggard.

More Friday Male Beauty

Blackwater Guards Fired at Fleeing Cars, Soldiers Say

Yet more information indicating that Blackwater USA, a/k/a Chimperator Bush's Praetorian Guard, sees itself above all laws and free to terrorize and murder Iraqi civilians as per this Washington Post story ( Perhaps Christianist Erik Prince who heads Balckwater thinks he is re-fighting the Crusades against the heathen Muslims. Small wonder that the Iraqi people hold little love for Americans at this point:

BAGHDAD, Oct. 11 -- Blackwater USA guards shot at Iraqi civilians as they tried to drive away from a Baghdad square on Sept. 16, according to a report compiled by the first U.S. soldiers to arrive at the scene, where they found no evidence that Iraqis had fired weapons. "It appeared to me they were fleeing the scene when they were engaged. It had every indication of an excessive shooting," said Lt. Col. Mike Tarsa, whose soldiers reached Nisoor Square 20 to 25 minutes after the gunfire subsided.

His soldiers' report -- based upon their observations at the scene, eyewitness interviews and discussions with Iraqi police -- concluded that there was "no enemy activity involved" and described the shootings as a "criminal event." Their conclusions mirrored those reached by the Iraqi government, which has said the Blackwater guards killed 17 people. The soldiers' accounts contradict Blackwater's assertion that its guards were defending themselves after being fired upon by Iraqi police and gunmen.

Tarsa said they found no evidence to indicate that the Blackwater guards were provoked or entered into a confrontation. "I did not see anything that indicated they were fired upon," said Tarsa, 42, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment of the 2nd Brigade,
1st Cavalry Division. He also said it appeared that several drivers had made U-turns and were moving away from Nisoor Square when their vehicles were hit by gunfire from Blackwater guards.

In Washington on Thursday, an injured Iraqi man and the families of three Iraqi civilians who were killed in the Sept. 16 shootings sued the company in federal court, calling the incident a "massacre" and "senseless slaughter" that was the result of corporate policies in the war zone. The lawsuit names Blackwater USA, the Prince Group and Blackwater founder and chief executive Erik Prince as defendants. "Blackwater created and fostered a culture of lawlessness amongst its employees, encouraging them to act in the company's financial interests at the expense of innocent human life," the 17-page complaint says.
One can only hope that Congress will finally rein in Blackwater and other "private contractors," a/k/a mercenaries operating in Iraq.

Friday Male Beauty

Big L.A. law firms score low on diversity survey

This is an interesting and disappointing story from the Los Angeles Times (,1,661263.story?ctrack=2&cset=true) concerning diversity, or the lack thereof, in large L.A. law firms. One would almost think that perhaps some of these firms should shift their home offices to this area to better fit with their employment practices. Although, frankly the LA figures would be stellar compared to the reality one sees in just about all larger law firms in this area. For the most part, larger law firms remain bastions of white only partners with a few actually having several female partners. Of course, there are NO openly gay associates that I know of, much less partners. All in all, a sad state of affairs. Here are highlights from the Times story:
Large Los Angeles law firms have poor diversity records, with the numbers of female, black, Latino, Asian and gay partners and associates lagging significantly behind their representation in the city's population, according to a study released Wednesday.The 17 Los Angeles-area firms in the report have three or fewer African American partners; all but one have three or fewer Latino partners, and half have three or fewer Asian American partners, placing the percentage of partners in those ethnic groups at less than 5%. In contrast, 2005 census data show that African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans constitute 9.7%, 46.8% and 13.1% of the population in Los Angeles County.
Three firms have no African American partners, one has no Latino partners, one has no Asian American partners, and three firms have no publicly declared lesbian or gay partners.
Similar percentages were found in other large metropolitan areas. Women make up less than 25% of the partners at all 74 firms surveyed in New York with 100 or more lawyers, while 27 of those firms have no Latino partner, 25 have no African American partner, and 21 have no Asian American partner.Of 46 firms surveyed in Washington, 17 have no Latino partner, seven have no African American partner, and 13 have no Asian American partner. The picture is somewhat better in the San Francisco Bay Area. Still, only 7 of 31 firms have 25% or more female partners, with the highest figure 32.7%.
Meanwhile, "purists" worry about passage of a less than all inclusive version of ENDA. This data shows that there is a HUGE need to get some version of ENDA, perfect or not, passed ASAP.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Final Thursday Male Beauty

Regent student gets flak for Robertson photo on Web site

Closer to home than Tulsa, Pat Robertson's Regent University's administration is having hissy fits and threatening a law student with expulsion because he dared post an unflattering photo of Robertson on a Face Book page. No doubt, Robertson thinks God has appointed him censor of the world. I, like a number of people in this area, find Pat Robertson to be a regional embarrassment and a deterrent to progressive business moving into the area. Thus, I am dumbfounded, for example, as to why Norfolk International Airport has allowed Pat/Regent to buy a huge advertising space on one of the main concourses. How many people has Pat's face scared away from deciding to relocate their business to the area? But, like Richard Roberts, Pat throws his money around and often gets what he wants while people look the other way.
In any event, I digress. Here are some highlights from the Virginian Pilot's story ( on Regent's war against a single student. I am sure Regent is not happy about the coverage:

Regent University officials have threatened to discipline a law student for posting on his Facebook page an unflattering photo of Regent President Pat Robertson. The student, Adam M. Key, defended his action as constitutionally protected free speech in a 14-page legal brief he presented to the dean of the law school. Regent officials gave Key two choices: publicly apologize for posting the picture and refrain from commenting about the matter in a “public medium,” or write a brief defending the posting. He faces punishment that could include expulsion.

Key, a second-year law student, said he refused to apologize and “be muzzled” by the university, so he composed the document, which includes citations from noted First Amendment cases. The picture, posted on Key’s Facebook social-networking Web page, shows Robertson making what appears to be an obscene hand gesture.

Key said that Jeffrey Brauch, dean of the law school, rejected his brief and that he now awaits disciplinary action under the university’s Standard of Personal Conduct. At one point during the controversy, Key said, he was escorted by three armed security guards from the university’s public relations office.

Unlike public institutions, private universities do not have to adhere to First Amendment guarantees in enacting codes of student conduct, said Howard Wasserman, visiting associate professor at the Saint Louis University School of Law. “But in my view, any university, in its role as a place for robust and uninhibited debate, should commit itself to the principles of the First Amendment, even if it offends the president,” said Wasserman, who has written about free-speech issues. He noted that Regent, as a Christian school, “may have a different view of how the speech issue fits into its mission.”
Wasserman said Harvard University, like Regent a private institution, probably wouldn’t take such an action against a student “because they know faculty members would be outraged and there would be public ridicule.” He characterized a university punishing a student for posting satire on his personal Web page as “a dangerous action.” “The more the power structure starts to get at private expression, the more it looks like they’re engaging in thought control,” he said.

Thought control? Do you really think so? That's the Christianists' main agenda - thought control and the elimination of knowledge, reason and logic. P.S. as with the Roberts family in Tulsa, Pat Robertson lives most lavishly over at Regent University. Having a "ministry" is very lucrative.
Other publications carrying stories include the International Herald Tribune (,

Professors Sue Oral Roberts University President

It looks like when they are not trolling men's rooms and parks for tricks, the paragons of virtue of the far right are dipping into the non-profit till so that they can live lavishly. This New York Times article ( at the financial scandel at Oral Roberts University. This University requires a minister recommendation for prospective students ( and has an Honor Code which prohibits stealing, cheating, lying, etc. (, not to mention nasty homosexual acts. Unfortunately, it sounds like Richard Roberts and his wife were exempted from the Honor Code requirements. Here are a few of the article highlights:

A suit filed by three former professors charges financial, political and personal irregularities by the president of Oral Roberts University, including a claim that he illegally mobilized students to campaign for a Republican mayoral candidate.

The ex-professors, citing a secret internal report by an official of the Oral Roberts Ministries, linked to the university in Tulsa, Okla., sued on Oct. 2. They also contended that the Roberts house on the campus had been remodeled 11 times in 14 years, that the university jet took family members on trips and that the family’s university-paid cellphones sent text messages to “under-age males — often between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.” The plaintiffs said “some of the more salacious entries” were omitted from the suit “to preserve, as much as possible, the remaining positive image of the university.”

Tax law strictly limits the political activities of nonprofit groups, as well as the use of a charity’s assets by insiders like the Roberts family. The university’s reported ownership of a plane might also raise questions, lawyers said. Harvard, the nation’s wealthiest nonprofit institution, does not own a plane.

Some reports indicate have that Mrs. Roberts was racking up $800 a month phone bills text messaging under age males between 1 and 3 AM. It sounds like a regular Sodom and Gomorrah!! More information can be found here: A copy of the lawsuit - which needs to be read to be believed is here:

More Thursday Male Beauty

Why Fundamentalism is in Error

This question and answer exchange from Bishop John Shelby Spong's weekly newsletter demonstrates the idiocy of applying the Bible literally. It also shows why the Christianists find Spong so frightening. Knowledge, particularly a knowledge of history and religions of the past, are truly threatening to those who prefer to blindly believe in ignorance, with no thought process whatsoever. Spong's writings, especially those in support of gay Christians were an immense help to me in reconciling my sexual orientation with believing in Christ. Here is the newsletter:
D. R. Marsh from the Internet writes:

I am a member of the Spiritual Quest group at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. One of the topics we have been studying is the ancient Wheel of the Year and the relationships of pagan beliefs, customs, and celebrations to those of Christianity. At the vernal equinox, we found a variety of very interesting stories, one of which follows: In Rome, about 200 years before the birth of Christ, there was a wide range of what we today would call "mystery cults." Attis and Cybele held their vernal equinox rituals at the same place where St. Peter's Basilica now stands in the Vatican - the center of Catholicism today. Attis was also known under various names such as Osiris, Dionysus, Tammuz, and Orpheus. The Attis and Cybele festival had a death or day of blood, three days of semi-death, then a return to life for the deceased. Attis' mother was called Nana and she was a virgin - no surprise there. Attis was crucified on a pine tree and his followers ate his body; his blood was spilled or released to renew/redeem the earth. Attis was both a sacrificial victim and a savior, his death and re-birth intended to bring salvation to mankind. Most researchers will declare that Attis is clearly the prototype for Christ. (This information is from Ireland's Druidschool Web site). It appears that the Christian churches tried to win over the pagans by taking over or blending in with their celebrations at these particular times of the year pertaining to the sun, moon, fertility, harvest, and otherworldly observances like Halloween. Does the church calendar have any meaning? Does it really matter? How does all this complicate our understanding of God, Jesus, and our ministry in the world? And, lastly, what do you think about it?

Dear D. R.,

It is now quite obvious that as Christianity moved out of its Jewish womb into the Mediterranean world, it was introduced to, conformed with and shaped by the culture.

For example, the virgin birth did not enter the Christian story until the 9th decade. There were lots of virgin birth stories in the pagan religions of the Empire. They were clearly mythological interpretive devices. The cannibalistic ideas associated with the Christian Eucharist in which the flesh and blood of the savior figure are eaten and drunk clearly have pagan origins. The account of a hero figure dying and returning from death is also present in many ancient pagan sources. Easter was a pagan word for spring and the return of the earth to life after the winter. That is why the crucifixion of Jesus was moved to the season of the Passover so that his victory over death could be celebrated at the same time the forms of life showed victory over the death of winter by coming to life again.

Christmas and Hannukah were attached to the return of the sun from its retreat into darkness. Hence both celebrations come at or near the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.

Every religious system is layered over ancient roots. Christianity is no different. That is why anyone who literalizes the Jesus story or the Bible is revealing little more than profound ignorance. That is also why it is my experience that studying the Christian faith requires a lifetime. None of these things, however, distorts the basic Christian message that God calls us to live, to love and to be.

John Shelby Spong

CBS: Three weeks after Blackwater shooting, FBI ignores key evidence

What a surprise - NOT- in Bush's Amerika. As I have previously posted, Blackwater USA has high level ties to the Bush/Cheney regime. Why be surprised that a white wash may be going on in respect to the investigation into Balckwater's possible misdeeds. This RawStroy report (, highlights of which are set out below, raises unsettling questions:

CBS News reported on Tuesday that the FBI's investigation of last month's Blackwater shooting incident in Baghdad appears to be ignoring evidence that might support the Iraqi government's version of events and hold Blackwater at fault. "The FBI investigation is supposed to wrap up in days, not weeks, but there's still a lot of work to do," reports CBS. "Our investigation turned up many witnesses who haven't yet been interviewed, not to mention vehicles that are key evidence still driving around the streets of Baghdad."

According to the CBS reconstruction of events, based on "remarkably consistent" eyewitness accounts, the September 16 incident began when a four-vehicle Blackwater convoy heading around a traffic circle found its way blocked by a barrier protecting a maintenance crew. The convoy tried to warn nearby cars to stop but also opened fire on one car that continued to inch forward, instantly killing the driver. The Blackwater vehicles then pushed the barrier aside and moved ahead, firing on other cars and a city bus as they went.

Military analyst Col. (ret.) Steve Lyons said there is little chance the US government will meet Iraqi demands either by severing all ties with Blackwater, which is by far the largest and most competent of the many security contractors in Iraq, or by turning over the gunmen responsible for the shooting. Even the Iraqi demand of $8 million in compensation for each of the victims is uncertain. "These contractors are long gone," Lyons stated. "They're back in the United States. They've scattered, really, to the four winds. ... They're not going to get any money from those individuals."

When the FBI team set off for Baghdad last week, Senator Patrick Leahy made a special request that they not be guarded by Blackwater, writing to Secretary of State Rice, “This step would help alleviate the appearance of a conflict of interest and hopefully contribute to the credibility of this investigation in the eyes of the people of Iraq."

Thursday Male Beauty

My Own Experience with Discrimination

Employment is not the only area in which gays are subjected to discrimination. As I have noted, Virginia has no anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBT individuals. Therefore, it is surprising that the Canons of Judicial Conduct for the Commonwealth of Virginia contain the following provision:
"Canon 3.5. A judge shall perform judicial duties without bias or prejudice. A judge shall not, in the performance of judicial duties, by words or conduct manifest bias or prejudice, including but not limited to bias or prejudice based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status, and shall not permit staff, court officials and others subject to the judge's direction and control to do so. . . ."
Like so many things, however, the devil is in the application and enforcement of such provisions. As I have intimated, my divorce process has been a nightmare. While two of the Circuit Court judges that have been involved in my case have clearly followed the directive of Canon 3, the judge presiding over the last and most important hearing did not. Or at least not in my view. Therefore, I have filed a complaint with the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission against this judge who in my view, allowed his personal views of gays to prejudice the handling and out come of the hearing. My Complaint, among other things, states that:
"Judge **** displayed prejudice and lack of impartiality against Complainant in respect to Complainants sexual orientation in violation of Canon 3 of the Canons of Judicial Conduct for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Judge **** failed to disqualify himself as required by Canon 3 and deprived Complainant of a fair and impartial trial and ruling."
Will I get proper relief? I have no idea and certainly will not be holding by breath. This is, after all Virginia, which has a terrible track record on its treatment of gays and LGBT individuals. The recently enacted "Marriage Amendment" to the Virginia Constitution and previous legislation clearly make gays second class citizens. Some members of the Virginia General Assembly have even remarked that they would be pleased if all gays packed up and left the state. Only time will tell if the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission will actually enforce Canon 3 in may case. God only knows what fall out will be forthcoming.

Barney Frank's Statements in the House of Representatives Yesterday Evening

At this link ( is the full text of Barney Frank's statement to the House. As I have indicated, I believe that we must push for the most inclusive version of ENDA that can be passed. However, at some point it is necessary that reality be factored in so that SOMETHING as opposed to NOTHING gets enacted. To those who say, "well Bush will veto whatever is passed by Congress," my response is let him do so and let's hang that around the neck of the GOP. Poll after poll reflects that a significant majority of Americans believe that GAYS should not be subjected to job discrimination. Note, it is GAYs that have this massive support. The polls do not specifically include transgendered individuals. I.e., there IS a difference in the minds of most Americans and elected officials. In pushing for ENDA's passage, political realists understand this, sa does Barney Frank:

I am convinced that the votes are there to pass a bill that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment. I am also convinced that if we were to put up a bill that included people of transgender, that part would be stricken on a vote, and, unfortunately, a fairly heavy vote. Because what happens is when a tough issue, and the transgender issue is a tough political issue now, and if I have fought with colleagues, it is for not being honest enough with people. And people who would mislead you, I would say, Mr. Speaker, to those who come before us as advocates, people who would mislead you and let you think your task is easier are not your friends. They are undercutting your ability. Underestimating your enemy is the surest way, not only to lose, but to lose so bad it is hard to come back.

Now, the notion that you do not pass an antidiscrimination bill protecting large numbers of people until you can protect everybody, in my judgment, is flawed, morally and politically. It is flawed morally because I am here to help people in need. That's why I serve in this job.

If we can get a sexual orientation ban enacted, we will be protecting millions of people in this country who live in States where there is no such law. There are laws in some States and not others. The States that have the laws are probably the place where prejudice is most active.

I do not accept the argument that I am somehow morally lacking if I say, you know what, I would like to protect everybody, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, I am only at this point able to get a vote passed that protects the millions of people who are gay, lesbian and bisexual; but I will withhold from them that protection until I do anything. Because any time you insist on doing everything all at once, you will do nothing.

Just yesterday afternoon I spoke with a young gay individual who works for a company that allegedly has a 100% rating with HRC who is undergoing harassment because of his sexual orientation and is in fear that he is being set up to be fired. This is happening notwithstanding the company's alleged non-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation. Sadly, without the passage of ENDA, this type of occurrence will continue to happen every day in states like Virginia. The LGBT community needs to wake up and listen to Barney Frank before we lose the whole ball of wax. Let's not let idealism stop the achievement of real progress.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Final Wednesday Male Beauty

Barney Frank is Right

This report from the San Francisco Chronicle shows that, to my mind, Barney Frank understands political reality and would rather have millions of gays protected from job discrimination as opposed to remaining "pure" and losing the whole ball of wax. HRC, NGLTF and similar groups need to wake the Hell up and smell the coffee (
Sparks are flying on Capitol Hill between gay rights activists and their leading champion, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. As gay lobbyists work frantically to stop Frank's plan to drop transgender people from a landmark bill forbidding job discrimination, Frank is fighting back, announcing a press conference tomorrow to discuss the matter in no uncertain terms.

"The subject will be the obligation of the Democratic Party to govern responsibly when confronted by a demand to react emotionally by a deeply committed, single-issue faction insisting on putting ideological purity over achievable advancement of our values," Frank's press release announced.

"The specific example discussed will be the current demand that the Democratic leadership kill the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which has been the prime legislative goal for gay and lesbian people for over 30 years, because we do not have the votes to include people who are transgender," the missive stated.

Frank's move has infuriated gay rights activists, who face the prospect of dropping the "T" from the GLBT moniker they adopted to represent gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender interests. The issue has split the gay community and now opens a major breech between liberal Democrats and one of their chief constituencies.
If ENDA gets killed for all gays because of the efforts of HRC, NGLTF, Lambda Legal, et al, it will be a cold day in Hell before they see another penny of my money.

In the Name Of Religion

This Op-Ed from the Falls Church News-Press ( has in my mind a very accurate assessment of what is going on in the minds of the Christianists and what they fear the most: knowledge, ideas, innovation. Here are some highlights:
With knowledge, ideas and the benefits of an equal justice-based civil society for all its participants, religion will not disappear from the species, for the reasons of the boundaries on how each of us experience life in the very personal ways we do. But it will tend to be more inclusive and respectful of the prior evolution of its many forms, and in greater coherence with discoveries of the actual processes that make the universe tick.
Now, when some seek to abort this, to rip certain religions away from this process and to insist they remain fixed in their older forms, we see not the continued enhancement the human condition as the motive, but the assertion of the age-old ways in which religion was used to exploit human vulnerability and send special interests to war.

Fist-pounding, so-called fundamentalism and insistence on the special divine nature of ancient texts or traditions involves, behind its demagoguery, little more than manipulation and coercion. Under this sway, some people, seeking religion’s comforts, are convinced to willfully close off their minds’ access to knowledge, ideas and the benefits of civil society in favor of the fantastic claims and demands of moral bullies.

But it is the task of civil society in light of this to cause such tendencies, and the dangers they bring, to wither away by intensifying the universally-positive benefits of knowledge, new ideas and solutions to many grievances of the human condition through production, nutrition, medical cures and an enhanced distribution of abundance.

Humanity cannot sit on its hands and allow retrogressive forces to rally vulnerable minions to do the bidding of the petty self-interests of a few in the name of religion. It must aggressively challenge them by articulating a better way, not in contrast to the spirit of religion and the answers it seeks, but by better combining the benefits of its progress with those strivings for a better appreciation of ultimate things.

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Mentally Ill Shift From Care to Jails - There are more behind bars in Virginia than are in mental wards

As with gay rights, the need for mental health care is something Virginia would prefer to simply sweep under the rug and ignore. This article from the Richmond Times Dispatch ( should be a state wide embarrassment. Sadly, most Virginians, especially those preaching "family values," do not seem to care or be embarrassed. Perhaps the family values crowd is once again literally applying the Bible and, therefore, believe that those in need of mental health care are sinners and possessed by demons? Hence, why take care of their needs. Virginia likes to think of itself as moving into the category of at least somewhat progressive states, but these figures prove sadly otherwise. Here are some story high lights:
Almost four decades after Virginia began emptying the mental wards of its state hospitals, jails across Virginia now house more people with mental illness than state and private hospitals combined. Of the 6,350 mentally ill people in hospitals or jails on a single day two years ago, 60 percent were in jails. And 43 percent of jails responding to a state commission's query said regional mental-health agencies do not provide mental-health services.

In 1936, only one person with mental illness was in jail for every six in state hospitals. In 2005, that ratio had gone to five people in jail for every two in a hospital. Those are among the statistics compiled in a 200-page report released yesterday by the General Assembly's Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission.

Virginia has 40 cities and 95 counties. Seven of the state's localities have more than half the roughly 1,500 psychiatrists in the state. Forty-seven localities have none; 87 localities don't have a child psychiatrist. The sobering analysis yesterday left legislators with few questions and state mental-health officials with few answers as evidence continues to mount about the state's system of mental-health care. Most of the issues have been festering for years and have been brought to the forefront by the mass killings at Virginia Tech in April by mentally ill student Seung-Hui Cho.

[T]he report found vast disparities in the quality of care from one jurisdiction to another and a failure by state agencies and local mental-health agencies to follow state laws mandating how patients are to be assessed and singled out for care. JLARC found that a decade-old state law requiring public hearings and regulations to set payment rates for temporary detentions has never been implemented. The rates are set unilaterally by the state Department of Medical Assistance Services.

Nor have state laws enacted 25 years ago been followed that require regulations for pre-screening procedures for patients entering state hospitals. As a result, some state hospitals have simply declined to admit some groups of patients who once received care. Those people include patients with dementia, substance-abuse problems and traumatic brain-injuries, according to JLARC.

In sum, it is NOT a pretty picture. Small wonder that Seung-Hui Cho did not receive proper mental health treatment and that he was allowed to be on campus with no one knowing how potentially dangerous he was.

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Iraq Troop Withdrawal - Support Growing for Iraq Troop Withdrawal

The American public continues to be ahead of the politicians - and certainly the delusional Chimperator Bush - when it comes to addressing the Iraq War fiasco as shown by this new Rasmussen poll ( When are the Democrats in Congress going to get the courage to use this public mandate?

A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 64% of Americans would like to see U.S. troops brought home from Iraq within a year. That’s the third straight weekly increase in support for troop withdrawal and a 6-point increase from mid-September. Those figures include 28% who want the troops brought home immediately. That’s up from 20% four weeks ago following Congressional testimony by General David Petraeus.

All questions concerning Iraq reveal stark partisan differences. Eighty-three percent (83%) of Democrats want the troops to come home within a year. Sixty-three percent (63%) of Republicans believe the troops should remain until the mission is complete. That latter figure is down from 71% two weeks ago. As for those not affiliated with either major party, 69% want the troops home within a year. Only 29% take the opposite view and say they should remain.

Twenty-eight percent (28%) of American voters say that the economy is the top issue for Election 2008. Eighteen percent (18%) say the War on Terror is most important while 13% believe the War in Iraq is tops. Democrats are trusted more than Republicans on nine of ten key issues tracked by Rasmussen Reports.