Saturday, January 19, 2008

More Saturday Male Beauty

Michigan Results Reveal Some Dangerous Trends For Clinton

Tom Edsall has an interesting piece at Huffington Post ( that looks at some polling results from Michigan which supports my continued fears that if Hillary Clinton wins the Democrat nomination, she will lose the general election in November 2008. Of course her resorting to tactic worthy of Karl Rove in smearing Obama also give great concern that she will alienate some voters and cause them to stay home or vote against her out of spite. The reality is that without winning independent voters no nominee of either party can win the general election. I hope the Democrats keep that in mind. Here are highlights of Edsall's analysis:
The Michigan Democratic primary was on the surface a non-event. The national party has ruled the state's delegation will not be seated. Of the major candidates, only Hillary Clinton was on the ballot, pitted against "uncommitted" in a seemingly meaningless race (she won by 15 percent). Yet the exit poll results from this strange contest reveal some troubling trends for the New York Senator.
Among black voters, Clinton was crushed by "uncommitted," 26-70. If that kind of margin among African Americans continues into future primaries, she faces major problems in the heavily black January 26 South Carolina primary and in the states with large black populations going to the polls on February 5 -- so-called Tsunami Tuesday. Clinton carried whites in Michigan by a 61-30.

Clinton ran poorly among young voters of all races, losing those under the age of 30 by 39-48 percent; splitting voters from 30 to 44 by 46-48 percent; solidly carrying the 45 to 56 age group by 54-34 percent; and winning voters 60 and older by a landslide 67-31 percent.
In a warning signal if she becomes the Democratic nominee, Clinton did much better among committed Democrats, winning them 57-37, than among independents, losing them 32-51.

Indiana Gay Marriage Ban Won't Get Hearing

It is refreshing to see that some state legislatures - unlike Virginia's - understand that there are more important issues to be addressed than constantly persecuting gay citizens. Naturally, it takes a Democrat to see that gay marriage is not even on the radar as a crucial issue. Plus, killing the measure will impede the GOP attempt to use gay bashing as a way to motivate Kool-Aid drinkers to go to the polls. The Christianists seem increasingly frantic in their attempts to marginalize gays since, I suspect, because they know that the younger generation isn't falling for their gay baiting tactics. Here are some story highlights from the Indianapolis Star (
A proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages in Indiana likely was dealt a fatal blow Friday when a key lawmaker said he would not give the issue a hearing. Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, who is chairman of the House Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee, said Friday that the most urgent issue facing the state is property taxes, not same-sex marriage, which already is banned by Indiana law.

“I’m not planning on having a hearing,” Pelath said. “The short session (of the legislature) was designed to deal with emergencies. We have a very serious problem with the property tax system, and we don’t have any gay marriages in Indiana.”
To become part of Indiana’s Constitution, the proposed amendment must pass two separately elected legislatures and then be approved by voters statewide. The proposed amendment, which declares that marriage in Indiana is defined only as the union between one man and one woman, overwhelmingly passed the Indiana Senate and House in 2005.A new legislature was elected in November 2006, and it voted on the amendment in 2007. While the Senate approved it 39-10, the House Rules committee deadlocked 5-5, and the amendment was dead for the year.If it does not pass this year, the process must begin anew, and the earliest it could be on the ballot for voters to have the final say is 2012.
A November poll for The Indianapolis Star and WTHR (Channel 13) showed that 49 percent of Hoosiers support the amendment, down from 56 percent in 2005.

Saturday Male Beauty

Students stage new anti-Catholic protest in Rome

I must admit that I take some degree of pleasure seeing the Catholic Church continue to take a beating in Rome. Like the protests earlier in the week that caused Benedict XVI to cancel his speech at Rome's La Sapienza University, the students are raising Hell about the Church's continued attempts to meddle in civil law matters. Unlike Benedict XVI, many Italians do not want to go back to the 14th century. I hope the trend continues and that some folks will wake up in this country and start making more noise about the Christianists' meddling in civil law matters. Here are some highlights from Reuters (

ROME (Reuters) - Students at Italy's top public university protested against the Roman Catholic Church on Thursday after forcing Pope Benedict to cancel a visit. Riot police stood guard near the loud but peaceful march at Rome's La Sapienza university, which was founded by a pope more than 700 years ago and is now at the centre of a national debate about the role of religion in secular society.

Students marched in the rain with banners reading "Freedom for the University", after decrying what they view as Church meddling in Italian affairs through its public stance on issues like abortion, gay rights and euthanasia. The German Pontiff decision not to attend Thursday's ceremony followed protests by a small but vociferous group of students and faculty members. Some occupied part of the campus to demand he stay away.

Much of the controversy centered on a speech the Pope made in 1990, when the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger quoted an Austrian philosopher as saying the Church's heresy trial against Galileo in the 17th century was "rational and just". By arguing the Earth revolved around the sun, Galileo had clashed with the Bible, which read: "God fixed the earth upon its foundation, not to be moved forever."

Another quote the Pope used in 2006 upset Muslims around the world. In a speech at a university in his native Germany, he quoted a 14th-century Byzantine emperor as saying Islam had only brought evil to the world and that it was spread by the sword.

Snow? Region could wake up Sunday to as much as 4 inches of white stuff

Readers in colder, snowier climates will no doubt laugh that such an event would merit a headline in the local newspaper. However, southeastern Virginia rarely gets snow and when it does, you would think that we had been hit by a blizzard. People do NOT know how to drive in snow and the local cities only have equipment to tend to the main roads and highways. Thus, back in subdivisions, neighborhoods, and rural areas, the stuff stays on the streets until it melts away naturally, often turning to glare ice before going away. Hence, driving a Jeep with 4 wheel drive has value besides being able to drive on the beach in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Here's a bit of our forecast:
As much as 4 inches of snow could be on the ground by Sunday in metropolitan areas, with even more in interior sections of Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina. “This certainly is the best shot at snowfall of this magnitude in some time,” said Bill Sammler, the warning coordination specialist at the National Weather Service office in Wakefield.

“I would say the chances are close to 50/50 and they may actually be higher than that,” he said Friday. The Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina beginning this afternoon.
Overnight, snow should cover the region down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. “The Norfolk area – in fact, most of Hampton Roads going into interior northeast North Carolina – is going to be in the area that gets the heaviest total precipitation,” Sammler said. The last time the region received 4 inches or more of snow was on the day after Christmas in 2004. Isle of Wight and Southampton counties got as much as a foot.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Are Gay Relationships Different?

Time Magazine has an article (,9171,1704660-1,00.html) on gay relationships and some contrast they have from straight relationships. I do not necessarily agree with all of the authors views, but I nonetheless am pleased to see such an article in a national weekly magazine since it helps make more folks understand that we have loving committed relationships too. No doubt some of the Christianist will be unhappy to see gays depicted as something other than alcoholic, drug using, sex fiends like so manner of their "ex-gay" for pay spokesmen. Here are a few highlights:
. . . I think many people, gay and straight, assume gay men are worse at maintaining relationships than straight people are. I needed experts, answers. I was also curious if I should be so upset about my breakup. As a society, we treat single people over 30 with condescension or pity, but maybe the problem was that I had hurtled into a serious relationship too young. I know that in my 20s I had wanted to impress my family and my heterosexual friends with my stability. Maybe I should have waited.
John Gottman, a renowned couples therapist who was then at the University of Washington, and Robert Levenson, a psychology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, led a team that evaluated 40 same-sex couples and 40 straight married couples. The psychologists concluded that gays and lesbians are nicer than straight people during arguments with partners: they are significantly less belligerent, less domineering and less fearful. Gays and lesbians also use humor more often when arguing (and lesbians use even more humor than gays, which I hereby dub "the Ellen DeGeneres effect"). The authors concluded that "heterosexual relationships may have a great deal to learn from homosexual relationships."

But Gottman and Levenson also found that when gay men initiate difficult discussions with their partners, the partners are worse than straight or lesbian couples at "repairing"--essentially, making up. Gottman and Levenson suggest that couples therapists should thus focus on helping gay men learn to repair.
Why would gays show more beneficence in arguments, do a worse job of repairing after bad fights and find palpitation satisfying? Researchers have long noted that because gender roles are less relevant in gay and lesbian relationships--it's a canard that in most gay couples, one partner plays wife--those relationships are often more equal than heterosexual marriages. Both guys do the dishes; both women grill the steaks. Straight couples often argue along gender lines: the men are at turns angry and distant, the women more prone to lugubrious bursts. Gays and lesbians may be less tetchy during quarrels because they aren't forced into a particular role.
In a 2004 paper, psychology professor Lawrence Kurdek of Wright State University in Ohio reported that over a 12-year period, 21% of gay and lesbian couples broke up; only 14% of married straight couples did. Too many gay relationships are pulled by the crosscurrents of childhood pain, adult expectation and gay-community pathologies like meth addiction. Kurdek has also found that members of gay and lesbian couples are significantly more self-conscious than straight married people, "perhaps due to their stigmatized status," he writes.

More Friday Male Beauty

Despite Pleas by Virginia Tech Families, Virginia Legislative Panel Rejects Gun Bill

One would certainly think that after the Virginia Tech tragedy back in the spring of 2007, Virginia would want to clean up some of the failings in the state's gun laws that allowed Seung-Hui Cho to legally buy guns despite his mental health problems. But NOOOOOOO. The wingnut Republican members in the Virginia General Assembly committee all voted to kill the bill that would change the gun laws to try to avoid some future tragedy.
Of course, these are the same Christianist ass kissing folks who are against abortion. In their view, you cannot kill a fetus through abortion. But once that child is born and grows up, they happily allow nuts to be on the loose with guns - including automatic weapons - so those children or adults can get shot up and killed. I do NOT understand the mentality. Fortunately, our Governor took them to task. Here are some highlights from today's Virginian Pilot (
RICHMOND - Families of those killed and wounded during a deranged gunman's rampage at Virginia Tech implored a legislative panel to close the loophole in state law that allows criminals and the mentally ill to buy firearms at gun shows. The Republican-dominated committee ignored them, voting 13-9 along party lines Friday to kill legislation to require unlicensed sellers at gun shows to run criminal background checks on buyers. Such checks now are required only of federally licensed gun dealers.
Despite the setback, the gun show loophole issue is not dead. Similar legislation is pending in a Senate committee, and supporters plan a lobbying blitz and vigil in remembrance of the Tech victims Monday on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. "We're not going to give up," Andrew Goddard of Richmond, whose son Colin was wounded in the Tech shootings, told reporters after the committee meeting. "We're going to be energized by this."
Democratic Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said the administration prefers the Senate bill, and he and others have only begun to politically pressure the proposal's House opponents. "There are those who apparently think it's fine for a felon to have a gun or a dangerously mentally ill person to have a gun or a domestic abuser to have a gun. They usually won't stand up and say that because they'll be laughed out of the room if they do, but apparently that's what they believe," Kaine told reporters. "Contrary to the clear federal law denying felons, domestic abusers with protective orders and dangerously mentally ill individuals the right to have a gun, these gun shows provide a very easy and public means for people who cannot legally have weapons to go in and get them," Kaine said.
The committee has long been hostile to gun-control measures and friendly to gun-rights groups and firearms dealers. Eight of the Republicans who voted to kill the gun show bill received more than $4,100 in contributions from gun advocacy groups or dealers last year, according to figures compiled by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project.

Attorney Job Dissatisfaction

I regularly get contacted by attorney "head hunter" organizations with promises of a new/better job if I would only use their services. Their promises, of course, generally only have a chance of working if you have been out of law school 3-5 maximum. After that point, unless you have loyal national clients who would follow you, you are basically trapped geographically and only have finding an in-house counsel position as a means of escape. With so many unhappy attorneys, needless to say, competition for such positions is intense.
One thing that these sales pitches do comment honestly about on occasion is the huge number of attorneys that HATE being attorneys (I know that I do). Hence, I thought I'd print this portion of a message I received today which is accurate based on articles I have read for the benefit of all those think about a career as an attorney:

As a former practicing attorney, I know that finding the perfect legal environment can be a challenge. In fact, some polls estimate that over 70% of all attorneys wish they had never went to law school.

For all of you out there, my advice is read and heed this truth.

Friday Male Beauty

Huckabee On Divorce - Ban It

Andrew Sullivan has a great post that lays it on the line in terms of where Huckabee's radical religious views must necessarily lead one on divorce. It must be banned. And, believe it or not, this is exactly what the hardcore Christianists have as part of their overall agenda. That and banning all birth control. You think I am making it up? Do your homework, read the Christin Right organization web sites and see what they are saying and you will realize how out of the mainstream these folks are. Sadly, most of the media are giving Huckabee soft ball pitches and not specifically holding his feet to the fire and making him fess up to what his real agenda might be. A case in point was Morning Joe this morning with Joe Scarborough. Moreover, the GOP needs to be held accountable for the Frankenstein monster that has been let loose politically in the form of the party's Christianist base. Here's Andrew's take on it:

We clearly need a constitutional amendment to ban it:

Marriage has historically, as long as there’s been human history, meant a man and a woman in a relationship for life. Once we change that definition, then where does it go from there?

The Bible is clear. Jesus is actually explicit on this - and never mentioned homosexuality. Divorce is clearly forbidden. If we have strayed from such a core Biblical principle, and the Constitution is the place where we are supposed to resolve social policy, then Huckabee must support a constitutional amendment to ban divorce everywhere for everyone. So how about it, GOP? Are you serious about the Bible as the basis for politics or not?

Texas Prosecutor Who Castigated Gays In Landmark Sodomy Case Embroiled In Sex Scandal

Isn't it sweet when hypocrites get exposed? Naturally, the district attorney in question is a Republican and campaigned as a "family values" supporter. Why is it that these frauds delight in tormenting and disparaging gays while they are meanwhile engaging in illicit activities themselves? Such hypocrites!! has an overview ( of the story. In addition, numerous articles can be found at the Houston Chronicle ( about the scandal and investigation. Here are highlights from's coverage:

(Houston, Texas) The district attorney who defended the Texas law criminalizing homosexuality before the US Supreme Court is desperately trying to keep his job following the discovery of e-mails containing sexually explicit videos, racist jokes and what is described as torrid love notes to his executive secretary.

Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal (R) is facing a state investigation into the emails which were discovered on his office computer. If he is found in violation of "official misconduct'' he could be removed from office. The office computer also contained evidence he had used it for political purposes. Rosenthal who is married and portrayed himself as a "family values" candidate ended his re-election campaign last week after the sexy emails to his secretary were discovered. His current term runs out at the end of 2008.

But in 2002 it was "family values" Rosenthal who argued before the US Supreme Court that the Texas law against sodomy was upholding the moral values of the state and was in place to protect families. The case was Lawrence v Texas. In his arguments he condemned adultery and homosexual acts.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

TACT Benefit Production of Pet Sounds

Back in the summer I did several posts about Pet Sounds, a production written, produced and acted by the Granby High School Drama Club. The students were not allowed to put on the play at the school due to its gay story line, but the local 40th Street Stage came to their rescue and it played to full houses for a number of weekends. The cast is returning to put on a special production again to benefit TACT - i.e., Tidewater AIDS Community Taskforce - on February 1, 2008 at 8:00 PM. It is a great show and a great cause and I urge local readers to consider attending. For reservations call (757) 423-4084.

More Thursday Male Beauty

Canada puts U.S. on Torture Watch List

It is a very sad state of affairs when the other leading industrialized democracy in North America adds the USA to the Torture Watch List. Yet that is precisely what has happened ( The Chimperator surely has done such than wonderful things for the image of this country among other advanced and civilized nations - Not. I for one am embarrassed at times to admit that I am an American, based on the abuses that this regime has authorized. Would that the Chimperator, Cheney, Condi, etc., could be be tried for war crimes and convicted. Here are some story highlights:

Khadr -- a Canadian citizen who was just 15-years-old when he was captured in Afghanistan more than five years ago and taken to Guantanamo -- has claimed that he has been tortured at the prison. Now, CTV News has obtained documents that put Guantanamo Bay on a torture watch list. Khadr's U.S. military lawyer says the new documents contradict Harper's assurances that his client is receiving fair treatment. "Omar has certainly been abused, his rights have been violated under international law, and apparently the Canadian government has reason to believe that's true, . . .

Canada's new focus on torture was ordered by the inquiry into Maher Arar's nightmare in Syria. U.S. authorities sent Arar -- a Canadian of Syrian ancestory -- to Syria after he made a brief stopover in New York in 2002. They wrongly accused him of having links to terrorism in large part because of information provided by the RCMP. Arar was sent to a Syrian prison where he was tortured for nearly a year.

An inquiry into the Arar affair ordered a new focus on torture, and CTV News has learned that, as part of a "torture awareness workshop," diplomats are now being told where to watch for abuse.

The aim of the workshop: to teach diplomats who visit Canadians in foreign jails how to tell if they've been tortured. It also listed countries and places with greater risks of torture. The list includes Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, and China. But surprisingly, it also included the United States, Guantanamo Bay, and Israel.

It notes specific "U.S. interrogation techniquies," which include "forced nudity, isolation, and sleep deprivation." The U.S. has repeatedly denied allegations by international groups that it tortures prisoners captured in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. However, U.S. officials have refused to comment on the Canadian list.

But international observers say they are heartened by the specificity of the Canadian list. Alex Neve of Amnesty International says he is surprised that Canada would risk offending allies by naming countries that potentially torture prisoners. "These are countries where, sadly, the record is clear -- torture and ill treatment happens," said Neve.

Baptists Taking Notes From the Vatican??

One would almost think that leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention copied the internal notes and directives of the Roman Catholic Church on how to shuffle predatory clergy from one assignment to another with no care or thought for potential victims. Darrell Gilyard is a case in point ( He is now in trouble at his fifth (5th) church. One has to wonder why he wasn't removed form a position where he could engage in improper sexual activities long before now. Note the cop out of the Baptist leaderships. Here are some highlights:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (ABP) -- Once touted by Southern Baptist leaders as the nation's next great African-American preacher, Darrell Gilyard has resigned from his fifth church over charges of sexual misconduct -- this time with underage girls.

Dogged for 20 years by dozens of allegations of extramarital sex with parishioners, Gilyard, 45, resigned Jan. 4 after 15 years as pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, a 7,000-member megachurch in Jacksonville, Fla. Police are investigating a Nov. 29 complaint filed by a member of the church claiming Gilyard sent sexually explicit text messages to her middle-school daughter.

A native of Palatka, Fla., Gilyard rose to sudden fame in the Southern Baptist Convention in the late 1980s under the mentorship of former SBC presidents Jerry Vines and Paige Patterson. The attention catapulted him to several pastorates as well as appearances on Jerry Falwell's nationally broadcast TV program.
But Patterson, once Gilyard's teacher at Criswell College in Dallas, continued to promote the charismatic young preacher’s career -- even, according to the Dallas Morning News after several women confronted Patterson with charges of sexual abuse and misconduct. Patterson said at the time the women lacked evidence and witnesses. “Nearly two decades ago, I was neither an investigator nor a judge, but the president of a small Bible college. I certainly did not have resources available to me to pursue the case, yet I did all that I could within my means to discover the truth when allegations concerning Mr. Gilyard were brought to my attention,” Patterson told the Southern Baptist Texan. “Once I had investigated the matter and was able to substantiate that Mr. Gilyard was guilty, I got him to confess that guilt publicly.”
Beginning in 1985, Gilyard was hired and then forced out of positions at three Dallas-area churches -- Victory Baptist Church in Richardson, Concord Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas, and Shiloh Baptist Church in Garland. He was similarly hired and forced to resign at Hilltop Baptist Church in Norman, Okla. At least 25 women in the Dallas church publicly accused him of sexual misconduct, according to a church spokesperson. Some of the women alleged he raped them, the Morning News said in 1991.
A support group for survivors of clergy sex abuse said Jan. 9 that Patterson, now president of the SBC's Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, should be suspended from the seminary while its trustees investigate his "profound failure of moral judgment" in promoting Gilyard and ignoring the allegations two decades ago.
"We ask you to demonstrate this institution’s commitment to treating clergy sex abuse and cover-ups seriously by suspending Paige Patterson, fully investigating and publicly reporting your findings," Clohessy said in a letter to Southwestern trustees, which was posted on one of SNAP's websites,

Noting Gilyard is now charged with abusing teenagers, not just adults, Clohessy said, "This often happens when a pastor’s predatory conduct goes unchecked: the hurtful and abusive conduct escalates."

Thursday Male Beauty

Huckabee Directly Equates Homosexuality With Bestiality

Mike Huckabee continues to show that behind the affable facade he tries to project, he is really a religious extremist who has no regard for the rights of others to NOT agree with his religious views. In an interview with, a religion Web site, Huckabee has purportedly (but to me unconvincingly) clarified his view that the Constitution should be amended to be brought in line with God's will. He also he directly equated homosexuality with bestiality. I continue to find the man very dangerous to religious freedom. Here's the quote on homosexuality:

QUESTIONER: Is it your goal to bring the Constitution into strict conformity with the Bible? Some people would consider that a kind of dangerous undertaking, particularly given the variety of biblical interpretations.

HUCKABEE: Well, I don’t think that’s a radical view to say we’re going to affirm marriage. I think the radical view is to say that we’re going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal. Again, once we change the definition, the door is open to change it again. I think the radical position is to make a change in what’s been historic.

Here is some additional reponse from Huckabee on amending the Constitution:

the point I was trying to make– and I’ve said it better in the past – is that people sometimes say we shouldn’t have a human life amendment or a marriage amendment because the Constitution is far too sacred to change, and my point is, the Constitution was created as a document that could be changed. That’s the genius of it. The Bible, however, was not created to be amended and altered with each passing culture. . . . The Bible was not written to be amended. The Constitution was.

Home Construction Drops 25 Percent - Largest Drop in 27 Years

As a business owner friend said in an e-mail to me today, "we are seeing signs of a real shit storm coming" in the U.S. economy, even as most of the GOP presidential candidates continue to act as if the economy is not too bad. This story ( from the Washington Post about the huge drop in home construction adds to the dark picture. Whining and hand wringing will not fix the problem and I hope someone in the federal government wakes the Hell up soon. Meanwhile, fasten your financial seat belt - there is real turbulence ahead. Here are some highlights:
WASHINGTON -- The prolonged slump in housing pushed construction of new homes in 2007 down by the largest amount in 27 years with the expectation that the downturn has further to go. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that construction was started on 1.353 million new homes and apartments last year, down 24.8 percent from 2006. It was the second biggest annual decline on record, exceeded only by a 26 percent plunge in 1980, a period when the Federal Reserve was pushing interest rates to post-World War II records in an effort to combat an entrenched inflation problem.

Many economists believe that the current slump in housing will rival the dive in the late 1970s and early 1980s when housing construction fell for four straight years before beginning to recover after the severe 1981-82 recession. The drop in construction in December was bigger than economists had been expecting and reflected weakness in all parts of the country. Housing construction fell by 30.8 percent in the Midwest and was down 25.8 percent in the Northeast and 19.6 percent in the West. The decline in the South was a smaller 3.3 percent. Economists said the weakness showed that the housing correction was getting worse since the turmoil in financial markets hit in August.
Last week, KB Home, one of the nation's largest home builders, said losses in the fourth quarter had ballooned to more than $770 million. Many economists believe the housing sector will remain weak through this year before starting to stage a rebound in 2009.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Crocodile Tears - Christianists Whine Over TV Show Depiction of Christians

The Christian Post - one of the many Christianist propaganda rags that fosters the myth among the Kool-Aid drinker set that Christians are being persecuted - has a story about mean old NBC for the network's broadcast of a show that, God forbid, accurately depicted Christians as the mean, intolerant and arrogant people that some of them truly are. If the truth hurts, then perhaps the Christianists need to look in the mirror and do some self-examination rather than play the persecuted martyr routine. Here are some highlights:
A recent “Law & Order” show portraying a leader in a college Christian ministry as anti-homosexual and Christians as "Bible thumpers" is drawing ire from a watchdog group for anti-Christian bigotry. In the opening of the NBC show's episode last week, a leader in a college Christian ministry, who opposed homosexuality, was portrayed as being guilty of making death threats against a professor studying the "gay gene." The lead detective also refers to Christians as "Bible thumpers."

There is a relentless attempt by the media to stereotype Christians as prone to violence, said Dr. Gary Cass, chairman and CEO of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, as he criticized the producers as insensitive. He added that it is negative portrayals of Christians like that featured in “Law & Order” which are used to "legitimate violence against Christians."

The Christian leader was also stereotyped as being anti-homosexual, which reflects a common perception among young adults, according to a recent study. When asked whether real situations in which Christians exhibit hostility toward homosexuals are possibly reflected in the show, Cass said such instances are "very exceptional." "Every once in a while, some nutjob Christians will do something stupid," acknowledged the CADC head.
I don't know about any of you readers, I do not recall ANY incidents of Christians being beat up or killed by gays, but I sure DO recall reading many a story about LGBT victims who have been beaten or killed. As Pam Spaulding would say, I will get out my tiny violin for Dr. Cass.

Priest Abuse - Absolute Power

Newsweek has a sizable article ( on the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal in Alaska that adds details to a post I did some time back. I welcome such articles in national publications like Newsweek in the hope that sooner or later lay people in the Church and the larger society will wake up and demand a complete house cleaning within the Church. Naturally, I am not holding my breath awaiting that day's arrival, but the more coverage there is of the Church's dirty, disgusting history, the better in my view. Such disclosures should be thrown in the face of Pope Benedict XVI and the other senior clerical frauds who live like potentates and pretend to be pious and religious yet close their eyes to what has gone on for decades, if not centuries, and do nothing. Here are some highlights:

Like most other children, he also spent many days inside the weather-beaten little Catholic church, helping the Jesuit missionaries who held such powerful sway over Eskimo life. That meant doing what you were told—even if it was wrong—and staying silent about it. For Cheemuk, now 53, the past was buried for decades, through a lifetime of struggling with shame, anger and alcoholism. "I remember Mom asked me why there was blood on my underclothes," he said one recent frigid night in his cramped house in the Eskimo village. His sat alongside his wife, sometimes breaking into tears. "I was afraid to tell her what happened. I thought I might go to jail."

More than 110 children in Eskimo villages claim they were molested between 1959 and 1986, raped or assaulted by 12 priests and three church volunteers. Families and victims believe that another 22 people were sexually abused by clergy members but have since killed themselves.

Chris Cooke, a partner in an Anchorage law firm that has represented Eskimo victims, voices outrage over the staggering level of abuse by priests and church volunteers. "They had absolute power over the people and the culture," says Cooke. "They had language power. They had political power. They had racial power. They had the power to send you to hell. There was nowhere for victims to turn." Chase Hensel, a retired anthropologist and expert on Yupik Eskimo culture, says the lasting damage cannot be overstated. "You see the alcoholism, the severe mental problems, people in and out of jail," he says, "and you wonder, how do you put Humpty Dumpty back on the wall?"

Patrick Wall, a former Benedictine monk and Catholic priest who has served as a consultant to Roosa and other lawyers in the Alaska suits, said the Jesuits knew these missionaries were predators. These priests "had abused elsewhere," he said, "and then were unleashed in the most uncontrolled environment."
Broken and ruined lives, and no one in high authority within the Church has ever been punished. Benedict XVI and his predecessors are nothing but fraudulent hypocrites. Why anyone still gives them any deference whatsoever is dumbfounding.

Wednesday Male Beauty

USA Continues Drift to Police State

Before long, no U.S. citizen will have ANY secrets from the federal government. I have previously done a post about how the USA rates with China and Russia when it comes to privacy abuses. The development discussed in the following article should make that rating even worse. Be afraid if you value your privacy. The Chimperator wants to know your most personal and secret communications. Here are some highlights from a New Yorker article via Raw Story (

National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell is drawing up plans for cyberspace spying that would make the current debate on warrantless wiretaps look like a "walk in the park," according to an interview published in the New Yorker's print edition today. Debate on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “will be a walk in the park compared to this,” McConnell said. “this is going to be a goat rope on the Hill. My prediction is that we’re going to screw around with this until something horrendous happens.”

McConnell is developing a Cyber-Security Policy, still in the draft stage, which will closely police Internet activity. "Ed Giorgio, who is working with McConnell on the plan, said that would mean giving the government the autority to examine the content of any e-mail, file transfer or Web search," author Lawrence Wright pens. “Google has records that could help in a cyber-investigation, he said," Wright adds. "Giorgio warned me, 'We have a saying in this business: ‘Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.'"
The infrastructure to tap into Americans' email and web search history may already be in place. In November, a former technician at AT&T alleged that the telecom forwarded virtually all of its Internet traffic into a "secret room" to facilitate government spying. Whistleblower Mark Klein said that a copy of all Internet traffic passing over AT&T lines was copied into a locked room at the company's San Francisco office -- to which only employees with National Security Agency clearance had access -- via a cable splitting device.
According to Klein, that information included Internet activity about Americans. "We're talking about domestic traffic as well as international traffic," Klein said. Previous Bush administration claims that only international communications were being intercepted aren't accurate, he added. "I know the physical equipment, and I know that statement is not true," he added. "It involves millions of communications, a lot of it domestic communications that they're copying wholesale."

Protests Cancel Pope's Visit to University

I find it refreshing that Italians are starting to make it clear that the Pope's and the Vatican's attempts to meddle in secular Italian society are not welcome. I doubt the situation will do anything to change Benedict XVI's efforts to return the Church and society to the 14th century. Here are highlights from the Washington Post (

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI has canceled his visit to a Rome university following protests by secular professors and students, the Vatican said Tuesday. Such a cancellation of a scheduled papal event is extremely rare, and the few times it has happened in recent decades, the Vatican cited security concerns. No specific reason was given in a brief Vatican announcement and Vatican spokesmen could not be reached for comment.

When news of the cancellation reached the campus, students in a political sciences hall broke into applause. Banners reading "Science is secular" and "No pope" have been strung from university buildings and posters plastered on walls objected to the visit. Students had announced several days of demonstrations this week. The university has 145,000 students.

Benedict was scheduled to deliver the speech as part of a ceremony to inaugurate the academic year at the university, which was founded by Pope Boniface VIII in 1303. The theme for the school ceremony is efforts to abolish the death penalty worldwide, a cause close to the Vatican's interests. The topic of the pope's speech was not revealed.

The politically influential Italian bishops conference said Benedict was the object of "antidemocratic intolerance." Interior Minister Giuliano Amato ruled out security concerns as the reason for cancellation.

If anyone is guilty of anti-democratic intolerance it is Benedict XVI and his host of male chauvinist, homophobic, senile old geezer Cardinals who stifle all progressive change in the Church.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Iowa Republicans Press For Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

It would seem that the GOP is reduced to gay baiting as its principal tool to garner voter turnout. Why not try some innovative ideas and proposals to address real problems one might ask. To me the answer to that question is simple: by being married to Bible thumping, anti-science Neanderthals, the GOP has slowly but surely driven away thinking individuals, leaving only those afraid to think for themselves or innovatively in the party. Here's's coverage of yet another GOP attempt to inflame wingnut voters at the expense of LGBT citizens (
(Des Moines, Iowa) Republicans are demanding that Democrats who control the legislature take up a proposed amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. Wednesday hundreds of conservative Christians bussed in from across the state added leverage to the call. The protestors held a prayer session at the legislature in support of traditional marriage. Iowa already has a law limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples but supporters of the amendment say it could be overturned by "renegade" judges.
The issue already is before the state Supreme Court but Democrats say it is premature to take up the proposed amendment. "We don't see the courts in here trying to subvert the Legislature," said House Speaker Pat Murphy (D). "We shouldn't be trying to subvert the judicial process, either."
Last August Polk County Judge Robert Hanson struck down Iowa's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act ruling that it violated the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection of six gay couples who had sued. Later that day he stayed his ruling to allow for an appeal to the Supreme Court, but not before several dozen couples applied for marriage licenses.

An Interview With Adam Bouska - Part One

I have from time to time posted photos taken by Adam Bouska [pictured above], who in my opinion takes amazing photographs that are frequently erotic yet very tasteful and sophisticated at the same time. Through this blog I have had an opportunity to communicate with Adam, who has kindly submitted answers to a few questions and who is willing to answer follow up questions. Before getting to his responses, here is a little background on Adam via Wikipedia (
Adam Bouska (born October 31, 1983 in Decatur, Illinois) is an American fashion photographer who runs a photography studio based out of West Hollywood, California. He is known for pictures of male models in particular, and is considered a rising 'superstar photographer' in the gay community. His work has been printed in DNA Magazine and reFRESH and has already been featured at major websites, such as and Bouska's most recent model, Ryan Barry, is noted as being the boyfriend of Reichen Lehmkuhl. He is also noted for his work with America's Next Top Models; Bre Scullark, Amanda Babin, and Michelle Babin. Bouska is openly gay. He lives in West Hollywood, California.

Here are the questions I posed to Adam and his responses:

1. It is my understanding that you were a model before moving into photography? How did you first get into modeling? Modeling was never an aspiration of mine. I was actually approached by a photographer to pose for him for a project and I reluctantly agreed. I ended up really enjoying myself and posted a few photos online and it seemed to grow from there. Any chance I could get to be a part of a photoshoot I'd be all over it.

2. What prompted you to make the transition from being the model being photographed to the photographer taking the photos? Creative differences. Working on more and more photoshoots I felt the need to express my own creative side. I would constantly clash with ideas in composition, setup, ward drobe, post production, etc. I wanted more control, so I decided to give it a go.
3. How do you select models for your photo shoots? There really isn't any particular rhyme or reason. I'm referred to a lot of people through other models, agencies, online sites, and through friends. Usually I just look for a good combination of face and body with nice skin :)
4. Do you have models that you find particularly good to work with? There are a few regulars that you may notice make many appearances in my shots. There are a few models I have found that have no limitations and trust my judgement. It allows me to do more, without worrying about making anyone uncomfortable.

5. How do you come up with the poses and lighting combinations for shoots? There are many ideas I have and when I find the right model and location, the rest just happens. Poses and lighting aren't as planned. I trust that once all the elements are brought together, not planning it will make it appear more natural.

6. What are your favorite types of photo shoots? Edgy, fashion forward. The more complex the better. I like things that are extreme and push the limit. I'm all for controversy, while keeping it classy and tasteful. :)
Anyone with follow up questions for Adam, please send them to me via e-mail. Various links to Adam's work are as follows:

More Tuesday Male Beauty

Huckabee: Amend The Constitution, Bring It In Line With God

I have said numerous times that Mike Huckabee is unfit to be president since he cannot separate his religious beliefs from the duties of a secular elected official. If there was any doubt about this, Huckabee recently made this perfectly clear:
At a Michigan campaign event last night, Mike Huckabee gave an interesting reason for why he wants to amend the Constitution to ban both abortion and gay marriage: Otherwise, the Constitution would be in conflict with God.

Huckabee first observed that some of his opponents don't want to amend the Constitution on both of these topics. "But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God," Huckabee said. "And that's what we need to do, is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards."

So much for the separation of church and state. See:

Dating and Relationships

My friend and fellow blogger, Euphoric, from Australia had a post today that really hit home and summed up my views on dating. Namely, that I don't like casual dating. Never did; still do not; never will. It's kind of funny that Vanyel, another blogger that is in our "inner circle" of friends has similar views. I guess that is perhaps why we relate to one another so well. In any event, here is a portion of Euphoric's post (
I was just watching a special THS on Nicole Kidman and something she said reminded me of me. She stated “I don’t date casually, I get engaged and married”. That is exactly the kind of person I am. It reminded me that I’m not the only person out there who doesn’t really date. Technically I guess I do but I never start seeing someone unless I see a future.
For me, I am not going to waste my time dating unless I see a future. I am particular of who I see and only start seeing someone if I feel the potential. I started to think why that is and realised it’s because my ultimate goal is to be in a life long relationship so casual dating is only a distraction. I don’t have any need for casual. So when it comes to relationships I only care about long term. I admit I make mistakes and maybe somewhat delusional but at least I believe what I’m saying lol.
Perhaps part of my current feeling on this issue comes from my age. While in the past I disliked the nervousness and uncertainty of spending time with casual acquaintances, now I simply do not want to be wasting time on things that do not have a potential for something meaningful. I'd rather sit at home and read a good book or go dancing by myself on a Saturday night.

Tuesday Male Beauty

Banks Actively Seek Gay Employees

This Financial Times article ( shows that more and more companies are recognizing the merits of recruiting gay employees. Would that this mentality would trickle down to Virginia and help it drag itself from the 19th century. One can continue to hope that a progressive light will shine upon the state. Here are some story highlights:
Lehman Brothers, the US investment bank, recently  held an unusual recruitment event at Hong Kong university. Lehman’s invitation was specifically aimed at gay and lesbian students who aspire to be bankers. Encouraged by the success of the presentation and buffet dinner for 50 students, Lehman is planning to extend its initiatives targeting the gay community this year. It will include the bank’s first pro-gay activities in Singapore, the city-state that has become one of Asia’s leading financial centres but where sex between men is illegal.

Lehman Brothers is not the only bank seeking to recruit from Asia’s gay community. Such is the enthusiasm among investment banks that some have banded together to give their Asian events a higher profile, taking it in turn to organise lectures, dinners and other events around a gay or lesbian theme. In November, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Lehman, Merrill Lynch and UBS co-sponsored a cinema evening in Hong Kong which featured The Bubble, a 2006 film about the gay relationship between a Palestinian and an Israeli soldier.
Investment banks’ efforts to recruit more gays and lesbians is partly an attempt to attract the most talented employees. At a time when Asia has become the world’s biggest region for deals such as initial public offerings, investment banks are struggling to fill the new positions on offer. And the intense hiring competition makes it crucial to ensure talented gay people are not deterred from applying because of a combination of Asian intolerance and western macho behaviour on trading floors.
The international dimension of investment banking is also forcing employers to confront the issue of homosexual discrimination more regularly than their counterparts in retail banking and other more local institutions. A recurring problem is the difficulty of getting investment bankers to relocate to countries that do not offer dependent visas for same-sex partners.
India offers another intriguing situation, according to Stephen Golden, a vice-president at Goldman Sachs, who helps co-ordinate the bank’s global leadership and diversity programme. He says: “India is one of those places where the laws relating to homosexuality haven’t changed but society has. We have had employees who are openly gay and have been asked to transfer to India and have gone there without any issues. They understand the cultural environment and have had very good experiences.”

Campaign Exposes Deep Rifts in GOP Coalition

I cannot say that I am said to see the GOP encountering difficulties and internal infighting, particularly when it may be the precursor of the GOP moving to minority status for sometime, in part because of the sleazy and hubris filled actions of the Chimperator and Karl Rove. The party put winning before integrity and decency and it deserves to pay a high price for selling its soul. Of course, the GOP's demise also depends upon the Democrats not self-destructing, which is one reason I am disturbed by Hillary's dirty tricks campaign. Winning the nomination means little if the election in November is lost because of bad blood within the Democrat Party and/or voting blocks not voting out of protest. Here are highlights from an interesting blog article (
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — The house that Ronald Reagan built is in danger of collapsing. The coalition of fiscal conservatives, national security conservatives, anti-tax activists and social conservatives that rallied behind Reagan in 1980 and has defined the Republican Party ever since is coming apart at the seams heading into the 2008 election. All the men running for the party's presidential nomination invoke Reagan's name repeatedly. But all of them offend at least one wing of the party enough that they'd find it difficult, and perhaps impossible, to pull the disparate elements of the old coalition together.
"It's gone," said Ed Rollins, who worked on Reagan's 1984 re-election campaign and now chairs the campaign of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. "The Reagan coalition is pretty much gone," added Karen Spencer, a Republican strategist in California who watched the Reagan phenomenon firsthand when her father served as Reagan's chief political strategist. "It's been 28 years. Maybe it is time for a change."
Fighting terrorism has created divisions where confronting the Soviet Union and rebuilding the U.S. military unified the party. Cutting taxes still elates anti-tax conservatives, as it did in Reagan's day, but runaway spending by the modern party has outraged small-government conservatives. And the much more religious tone of the party — Reagan was private about his faith — threatens to open a breach between social conservatives and country club conservatives.
Ultimately, though, the fate of the Reagan coalition — or any strong Republican coalition — might lie in the other party. It's important to remember that the rise of the Reagan coalition wasn't just an embrace of him, but a repudiation of Democratic President Jimmy Carter, as well as the antiwar wing of the Democratic Party. So, too, today's Republicans might swallow their objections to McCain, Huckabee or Giuliani if the Democrats nominate a candidate that leaves many people looking for an alternative. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton is some Republicans' choice for a Democratic candidate. Said GOP pollster Whit Ayres: "When it comes to Republicans, Hillary Clinton is a unifier, not a divider."
Another article in the Washington Post likewise looks at the problems facing the GOP (
Much of this chaos is attributable to the fact that this is a very flawed field, or at least one ill-suited for the times we're in. If a camel is a horse designed by committee, then this year's Republican field looks downright dromedarian. This slate of candidates has everything a conservative designer could want -- foreign policy oomph, business acumen, Southern charm, Big Apple chutzpah, religious conviction, outsider zeal, even libertarian ardor -- but all so poorly distributed. As National Review put it in its editorial endorsement of Romney (I am undecided, for the record): "Each of the men running for the Republican nomination has strengths, and none has everything -- all the traits, all the positions -- we are looking for."

But conservatives should contemplate the possibility that the fault lies less in the stars -- or the candidates -- than in ourselves. Conservatism, quite simply, is a mess these days. Conservative attitudes are changing. Or, more accurately, the attitudes of people who call themselves conservatives are changing.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Is Hillary Clinton Turning into Karl Rove?

Like many Americans I am disgusted with politicians who use lies, misstatements and character assassination to further their own campaigns or larger political agendas. After seven years of Karl Rove's nasty and underhanded tactics, I am dismayed - although not surprised - that increasingly Hillary's campaign is looking more and more as if Karl Rove was hidden behind a curtain somewhere giving directions. Perhaps her ploys is working with some, but for me, I find each instance of deliberate lie or misrepresentation of Obama's record making me more inclined to vote for a Republican (other than Huckabee, of course) should Hillary be the Democrat nominee.
I suspect that I am not the only one voter feeling this way. To clear the record on some points, Richard Wolfe has a good piece in Newsweek that looks at Obama's true record as opposed to how it has been misrepresented by Bill and Hill ( In addition, I believe that if Hillary undermines Obama through lies, innuendo and dirty tricks, she could find herself losing the black vote in November and possibly giving victory to the hapless GOP. This opinion piece in today's Washington Post is instructive ( People truly do want - and one of the changes is an end to Rove style politics. Hillary, PLEASE stop the lies and sleaze.

More Monday Male Beauty

A Reader's Coming Out Success Story

Earlier this evening I asked readers to tell me about themselves. In response, I received an e-mail from David in Florida that told me about his coming out experiences that somewhat parallel my own, although he seems to have avoided much of the divorce war viciousness that I experienced. I found what he related to be very moving and wanted to share it with others. When I asked if I could share his message with all readers, David's response was as follows:
"Although I believe I have had a much easier time than most leaving my married life behind, I do think we all need to know that there are success stories out there. Most of all, I hope that my story will give others the courage to stop living a lie, making others miserable, and be true to themselves. If you think that is the message others will see, then share all you want."
I applaud David for his successful transition and obvious sensitivity and, with his permission, here is the bulk of his message to me:
I have nothing to hide, but not much that will probably interest many of your readers. I avidly check your site almost daily and especially enjoy your reasoned attacks on the Christianists and the Chimperator. I must also admit that I look forward to your tasteful pictures.

Anyways, I, too, came out late in life after 20 years of marriage to a wonderful woman. Although she was a wonderful wife, a great mother to our two daughters, and a terrific school teacher, it wasn’t enough. I am of the generation that believed homosexuality was something to be submerged. One married, had children, and if there were any thoughts of homosexuality, they were to be hidden behind a locked and bolted closet door. The morning of our wedding I arose early, went out on the deck, and cried to myself. I knew that I was gay (and had been since puberty when I “discovered” sex was wonderful with a male neighbor) and that I was committing myself to a life of deception both to the outside world and to myself. It worked, so to speak, for about fifteen years. . . .
Still a coward, I left a note for my wife asking for a divorce without giving any good reasons. She called later that day and asked me to come home from work so we could talk. When I got home, there were no hysterics, just one question, “Are you gay?”. Obviously, I couldn’t (and didn’t) want to lie at that point. I said I was and had been interested in guys since I could remember. We talked and cried and she told me that I should leave the house. To her credit, she never ranted or created a scene. In fact, even after we divorced, she continued to welcome me into her home. It was more than not wanting to create a bad situation with the kids, she truly loved me even though I had not been truthful throughout our marriage and had had an affair. I cried like a baby when I received a phone call from my sister-in-law the day my ex-wife died of a massive heart attack. On many levels, I lost the sweetest, most loving woman in my life.

Although the relationship I was in before we divorced didn’t work out in the end, and I spent many months picking up guys on the net, I finally found my true love in every aspect in 2000. He introduced me to Key West and brought me out of my self-imposed closet. All of the things that I had searched for in those trysts, but never found, were rolled up in this one man. He, like me, struggled with his homosexuality in a marriage of many years, had children, and wanted more from life. Now, eight years later, we are in the last stages of planning our civil union ceremony here in New Hampshire! He is the love of my life.

He is a special man and my daughters have accepted him as a second Dad. My family has been wonderful, though his has not. I truly am blessed. David

Florida Anti-Gay Amendment In Trouble

I truly hope that this hate motivated amendment proposal does not make it onto the Florida ballot. First because it is wrong to encode discrimination into a state's constitution and secondly, I have had enough of the GOP's gay bashing ploys to bring out the most bigoted and un-Christian voters, particularly with a goal of affecting a presidential election. Here are some highlights form (
(Miami, Florida) Backers of a proposed amendment to bar same-sex marriage in Florida are scrambling to find 20,000 signatures to get the measure on November's ballot after the Secretary of State announced Monday that a counting mistake put them well short of the required 611,000 signatures needed. Last month the Secretary of State's office said that Florida4Marriage collected 612,192 names, a thousand more than was required.
Monday Browning announced there had been a massive error in Dade County. Browning, said the new count showed that election officials in Miami-Dade had ''double-counted'' some 27,000 paper petitions. With two weeks until the deadline for submitting signatures it is unclear if Florida4Marriage will be able to make up the 20,000 name shortfall.
The amendment says, "Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized." An investigation by the St. Petersburg Times into funding for the Florida4Marriage has found that of the $193,000 that had been raised by the group $150,000 came from a single donor - the Florida Republican Party. Opponents of the amendment say it could be used to cancel domestic partner benefits throughout the state, for both gay and straight couples.