Saturday, February 02, 2008

More Saturday Male Beauty

New York State Court Recognizes Gay Marriages From Elsewhere

No doubt this ruling by a New York appellate court will cause many Christianists to foam at the mouth and act as if the world is coming to an end. However, the Court’s reasoning is sound from a legal perspective and follows what has been the historic pattern of recognizing valid marriages from other jurisdictions. Once again, critics of the ruling are urging a jettisoning of past practice in order to give gay citizens less than equal rights. The Christianists’ agenda is to relentlessly deprive gays of legal equality in order to help underscore their view that gays are less than fully human. Here are highlights from the New York Times (

A New York appellate court ruled Friday that valid out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples must be legally recognized in New York, just as the law recognizes those of heterosexual couples solemnized elsewhere. Lawyers for both sides said the ruling applied to all public and private employers in the state.

Even though gay couples may not legally marry in New York, the appellate court in Rochester held that a gay couple’s 2004 marriage in Canada must be respected under the state’s longstanding “marriage recognition rule,” and that an employer’s denial of health benefits had discriminated against the couple on the basis of their sexual orientation.

“The Legislature may decide to prohibit the recognition of same-sex marriages solemnized abroad,” a five-judge panel of the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court ruled unanimously in rejecting a 2006 lower court decision. “Until it does so, however, such marriages are entitled to recognition in New York.” For more than a century, the court noted,
New York State has recognized valid out-of-state marriages. Moreover, it said that the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest judicial body, has said the Legislature may enact laws recognizing same-sex marriages. “In our view, the Court of Appeals thereby indicated that the recognition of plaintiff’s marriage is not against the public policy of New York,” the court held.

Friday’s ruling, legal experts said, was the first by an appellate division court, and would make the recognition of valid out-of-state gay marriages mandatory across New York. It was not clear whether Monroe County and Monroe Community College in Rochester, the employer in the case, would appeal. Daniel DeLaus Jr., the county attorney for Rochester, said his office was reviewing the decision and would decide whether to seek an appeal.

Eisenhower's Granddaughter Endorses Obama

In yet another display of why I believe Obama would be the better candidate for the November, 2008 election, as opposed to Hillary Clinton, Susan Eisenhower has come out and endorsed Obama. To win a general election in November, the successful candidate must be able to attract independents and better yet, some members of the other party. Like it or not, Hillary will not be able to do this and instead will unify the GOP. Here are some highlights from Newsweek (

Susan Eisenhower is more than just another disappointed Republican. She is also Ike's granddaughter and a dedicated member of the party who has urged her fellow Republicans in the past to stick with the GOP. But now Eisenhower, who runs an international consulting firm, is endorsing Barack Obama. She has no plans to officially leave the Republican Party. But in Eisenhower's view, Obama is the only candidate who can build a national consensus on the issues most important to her—energy, global warming, an aging population and America's standing in the world.

"Barack Obama will really be in a singular position to attract moderate Republicans," she told NEWSWEEK. "I wanted to do what many people did for my grandfather in 1952. He was hugely aided in his quest for the presidency by Democrats for Eisenhower. There's a long and fine tradition of crossover voters." Eisenhower is one of a small but symbolically powerful group of what Obama recently called "Obamacans"—disaffected Republicans who have drifted away from their party just as Eisenhower Democrats did and, more recently, Reagan Democrats in the 1980s.

Former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough, who anchors MSNBC's "Morning Joe," says many conservative friends—including Bush officials and evangelical Christians—sent him enthusiastic e-mails after seeing Obama's post-election speeches in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. "He doesn't attack Republicans, he doesn't attack whites and he never seems to draw these dividing lines that Bill Clinton [does]," Scarborough told NEWSWEEK.

Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant

It will be interesting to see where this movement goes, but in the short term it is heartening to see that a growing number of Baptists do not like being included within the general messages of homophobia, hate and intolerance which have become the hallmark of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Baptists described in this article ( seek to be seen as a kinder, more loving and Christ centered type of Christians that focus on social justice as opposed to a never ending anti-gay jihad and constant condemnation of others. We certainly need more Christians acting like Christians following Christ as opposed to what has become the norm when one listens to the likes of Richard Land, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, et al. Here are some story high lights:

ATLANTA -- Former President Carter called divisions among Christians a "cancer" in the church, as he opened a meeting meant to unite moderate Baptists across racial and theological lines and show their tradition goes beyond conservative Southern Baptist beliefs. The assembly, "Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant," included four major black denominations, Baptists from throughout North America and former members of the Southern Baptist Convention upset by its rightward shift. Carter was a lead organizer of the event.

Thousands of participants prayed and held hands across a massive exhibit hall at the first session Wednesday night. Carter, a longtime Bible teacher at his Plains, Ga., church, called the three-day gathering "the most momentous event in my religious life." He repeatedly cautioned the audience not to criticize others during the meeting. "What is the prevailing image of Christians today?" Carter said. "It's the image of divisions among brothers and sisters of Christ as we struggle for authority or argue about the interpretation of individual verses in the Holy Scripture."

The meeting involves 30 Baptist groups that represent millions of people and span a range of theological and political beliefs. Many oppose abortion and same-sex marriage and ordain only men. However, they all heavily emphasize Scripture on social justice. Carter and many other Baptists severed ties with the Southern Baptist Convention when conservatives took control of the denomination in the 1970s and 1980s, waging a bitter fight over interpreting the Bible. With 16.3 million members, Southern Baptists are not only the largest U.S. Baptist group, but also the largest Protestant denomination in the country.

Northern and Southern Baptists split in 1845, when Northerners said they wouldn't support missionaries who were slaveholders. Black Baptists generally formed their own denominations and had their own splits over civil rights strategies and other issues.

Saturday Male Beauty

Additional Thoughts on the Kennedy Endorsement of Obama

Peggy Noonan, a former speech writer for Ronald Reagan, wrote in a Wall Street Journal column earlier this week on the significance of Ted and Caroline Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama. Her thoughts are interesting and obviously reflect the views of many Republicans, not to mention a number of Democrats. I hope that current Clinton supporters will seriously ponder why Ted Kennedy put his reputation on the line and reconsider their blind support for Hillary. Here are some highlights (

Both races continue to clarify, if not resolve. On the Democratic side, a great rebellion, a coming together of former officials, members of the commenting class, and the Kennedy family to stand athwart the Clintonian future and say, Stop. They are saying, as Jack Kennedy did when pressed to endorse a hack for governor of Massachusetts, "Sometimes party loyalty asks too much."
As much attention as the decision of the stars of the Kennedy family to endorse Sen. Obama received this week, it has still not been given its due. This was a break with the establishment and from the expected, and it may carry a price. The Clintons are deeply wired into their party, they run many money lines and power lines, and Hillary Clinton is still, in the Super Tuesday states, in the lead. Will the lives of those who rebelled against her be made more pleasant if she wins? The Clintons have never had the wit to be forgiving.

But all parties, all movements, need men and women who will come forward every decade or so to name tendencies within that are abusive or destructive, to throw off the low and grubby. Teddy's speech in this regard was a barnburner. He went straight against the negative and bullying, hard for the need to find inspiration again.

He is an old lion of his party, a hero of the base. But people do what they know how to do, and objects at rest tend to stay at rest, and Teddy has long led a comfortable life as a party panjandrum who knew to sit back and watch as the dog barked and the caravan moved on. In a way he seemed to rebel against his own tendencies. He put himself on the line.
Liberals are rarely interested in pointing out, and conservatives by and large may not know, but everyone who knows Teddy Kennedy knows that he holds a deep love for his country, that he feels a reverence for the presidency and a desire that America be represented with grace abroad and stature at home. He has seen administrations come and go. And maybe much of what he's learned came forward, came together, this week. His principled and uncompromising rebellion seemed to me a patriotic act . . .

Florida Anti-Gay Amendment Heads To Ballot

Unfortunately, the GOP effort to get an anti-gay constitutional amendment measure on the Florida November ballot has succeeded and once more gay bashing is being used as a disgusting vehicle to work to turn out the fundie vote so that the GOP can win Florida's electoral votes. What I find so disgusting is (1) the mentality that will allow these Republicans to cynically use gays as targets in order to win at any cost and (2) the fact that the Christianist voters are such morons that they do not even understand that they are being cynically and systematically used. Once again, as more and more jurisdictions around the world are marching forward and legislating equality, the USA continues its march backwards with bigotry and hate. Here are some highlights from (
(Tallahassee, Florida) Florida LGBT civil rights groups said Saturday they will mount an aggressive campaign to defeat a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would ban same-sex marriage. The state Division of Elections late Friday announced that an umbrella group pushing the amendment had collected more than 611,000 signatures to have the issue placed on the November ballot. Two weeks ago the fate of the ballot petition was in doubt when the state said that a tabulation error in Dade County meant the group was 20,000 names short.
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." Opponents of the proposed amendment say it would bar civil unions and would be used to deny partner benefits not only to same-sex couples but also to unmarried couples who live together.
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. . . . a constitutional amendment in Florida has a higher bar than in most states. It must be approved by 60 percent of voters.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Friday Male Beauty

Thoughts on Youth and Maturity

I created a bit of a fire storm in terms of e-mails based on my last posting. First, I was taken to task for only posting photos of younger men as opposed to more mature men. Then I was told by one closeted reader that "one of the reasons I don't come out is due to the attitude of many younger gays." Lastly, I was accused of being perhaps shallow myself since I only post photos of younger guys.
Truth be told, I have on occasion posted photos of more mature men – Richard Gere comes to mind as one. The reality is that it is MUCH harder to find artistic and somewhat alluring photos of more mature guys. Do a Google search of “male models” and see how many sites you find with older models. I will tell you – not all that many. Perhaps it is a symptom of our society’s obsession with youth. I DO spend time trying to find quality photos for posts and avoid the X-rated sleaze found on many blogs (the majority of which sadly get much higher traffic than this one). Anyone who has photos they would like to contribute for consideration, please send them my way.

Another e-mail asked me “However, when talking about the necessary "chemistry", does intellect really take a priority? Face it, the physical is what titillates. . . . How many older men have you enjoyed conversations with, but would not begin to spark a relationship because of age?” In response, for me what sparks “chemistry” is hard to define. Honestly, intellect DOES factor in for me as a critical element and, if not present, eliminates a guy from serious consideration. Yes, looks may get me to take the first glance, but there must be more to a guy. Moreover, I do not see myself as being attracted to only one “type.” It’s the total package that matters and over time I have found a variety of guys most attractive. In my straight life, I could never understand the men with the bimbo “trophy wife” with an IQ of perhaps low average at best. Once they have had sex, how on earth do they have a conversation (not to mention that they guy might end up with equally dim witted children)? To me, it is no different with a gay couple.

I guess my real point in the prior post is that I wish we gays would treat each other better. If we do not look out for one another, our enemies and most of society clearly will not.

Shallowness in the Gay Community

I know that there are shallow people in all walks of life and in people of every sexual orientation. However, the gay community at times seems to have an inordinate number of members who evaluate others solely based on looks and wardrobe, never seeing the inner person and their often wonderful attributes. What brings this to mind is that a good friend of mine recently had the experience of overhearing himself being trashed by what can only have been shallow, bitter queens who apparently only feel good about themselves when putting someone else down. Dishing someone else apparently helps them avoid looking at themselves and seeing all the flaws and inadequacies, not to mention lack of any positive contributions they have made to the gay community, not to mention larger society.

Meanwhile, my friend is a wonderful guy, is outspoken on gay rights and other issues, and has been an amazing help to me at some of the low points in my journey and has even offered my refuge if I needed. In addition, he has a sharp mind and a sardonic wit that never fails to make me laugh. His only shortcoming – at least in the minds of shallow bitter queen types – is that he is no longer a 20 something club boy. The reality is than NONE of us remain that way forever. Hence, there needs to be some substance behind the pretty façade which WILL fade with the passage of time.

I identify with my friend’s sense of hurt and betrayal by “family” in the way he heard himself trashed. Not having come out until age 49, in the minds of these bitchy queens types no doubt I was a “has been” before I was ever out of the gate. Often, I felt that gay life had passed me by. Yet, meanwhile, I have had experiences and gained perspectives that such empty people will likely never know. Moreover, since coming out I have truly tried to make a difference, be it through involvement in Equality Virginia, working to found HRBOR, debating against Virginia’s Marriage Amendment, or being out socially and professionally, etc. My friend has likewise boldly lived as a gay man. It is the older gays who have paved the way for the increased level of acceptance and tolerance now enjoyed by the younger generation of gays. Would that some of them would be able to grasp that fact and show some respect.

I hope that some day more in the gay community will come to value substance over a pretty face which may well “have nothing behind the eyes,” to quote another friend. I also find it very sad this type of shallow, bitchy queen type is incapable of seeing humanity in others and understanding that all of us are children of the same creator be he/she called God, Allah or whatever.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Final Thursday Male Beauty

Sex Predator Protected by Pope John Paul II, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, has Died

As Whispers in the Loggia reports (, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, the controversial founder of the Legionaries of Christ, died yesterday aged 87. After great efforts by Pope John Paul II to deflect any investigations into allegations of sexual abuse by Dellollado, he was ultimately given less than a resounding reprimanded by Nazi-Pope, Benedict XVI in 2006. Degollado represents perhaps one of the most aggregious cases of high clerics in the Catholic Church acting to protect a sexual predator. The National Catholic Reporter in a lengthy article has details of Degolloado's abuse of minors and the Vatican's efforts to protect him. This case in my opinion shows why the move to canonize John PaulII is not only ridiculous but yet another scandal. Saints do not protect such monsters. Here are some highlights from the NCR's december, 2001, story(

Without explanation, the Vatican has halted a canon law investigation of one of the most powerful priests in Rome, accused by nine men of sexually abusing them years ago as young seminarians. The allegations focus on the actions of Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the 81-year old leader of the Legion of Christ, a wealthy religious order known for its theological conservatism and loyalty to the pope. Maciel has been praised by Pope John Paul II as “an efficacious guide to youth.”

The men say Maciel first abused them when they were young boys or teenagers between the ages of 10 and 16, sometimes telling them he had permission from Pope Pius XII to engage in sexual acts with them in order to gain relief from pain related to an unspecified stomach ailment.
The accusers -- seven Mexicans and two Spaniards -- tried for many years to reach Pope John Paul II with information on Maciel, a Mexican national who founded the Legion in the 1940s. Letters by two of the men, sent to John Paul in 1978, and again in 1989, both by diplomatic pouch, brought no reply.

On Feb. 23, 1997, the group went public with their accusations in The Hartford Courant, a major newspaper in Connecticut, where the Legion has its U.S. headquarters. The men include Fr. Felix Alarcon, a retired priest in good standing in Madrid; Juan Vaca, a psychology professor in New York; Arturo Jurado, a professor at the U.S. Defense Languages School in Monterrey, Calif; and in Mexico, Jose Barba, a Harvard-trained scholar of Latin American studies; Jose Antonio Perez, a lawyer; Alejandro Espinosa, a rancher; Fernando Perez, an engineer; and Saul Barrales, a school teacher. A ninth accuser, Juan Manuel Fernandez Amenabar, a former priest and university president, left a statement of alleged abuse and gave accounts to several witnesses before his death in 1995.
In recent years, the accusers have expressed guilt for not reporting Maciel during the 1950s-era investigation. At that time, however, sexual abuse was a taboo subject, they note. Some also said that Legion of Christ members pledge loyalty to Maciel and the order, so they faced a violation of their oath if they gave a negative report, risking expulsion from the seminary.
The Vatican refused to make any comment at all to the Courant or to the Mexican media when it did follow-up stories in 1997. Although the pope later appointed Maciel to a synod of bishops, the Vatican has never made a formal statement on the allegations or on Maciel’s countercharge of a conspiracy against him.

Fortunately, in 2005, the case was reopened. At the time, then Cardinal Ratzinger said that, "lamentably, the case of Father Maciel could not be opened because he was a person very loved by the pope and had done so much good for the church." Ultimately, the investigation resulted in the Degollado's forced dismissal from the clerical state, and the Holy See -- now with Ratzinger as Pope -- triangulated its response. Issuing its decision in May 2006, the dicastery allowed the once-omnipresent Maciel to remain a priest, albeit one "invited" to "a reserved life of prayer and penance, renouncing all public ministry." Such is justice within the Roman Catholic Church. Kid gloves and deference for the abuser and indifference for the victioms. What would Jesus say?

The Christo-Facsists Are Alive and Well in Tennessee

As yet another example of the Christianists endeavor to re-write history to comform with their agenda, a bill has been introduced into the Tennessee Legislature according to the Memphis Flyer ( that would prohibit any references to any sexual orientation other than heterosexual in elementary and middle schools. Apparently, Christo-facsist Stacey Campfield of Knoxville doesn't care how ignorant students are so long as they do not know that many important figures throughout history have been - OMG, God forbid - GAY!! The level of ignorance by these people (who generally do not want evolution tought either) is simply incredible. Who elected this nitwit to the legislature?? Here are some story highlights:
Playwright Tennessee Williams was gay. Poet Lord Byron had several homosexual affairs in his day. And artist Leonardo da Vinci was charged with sodomy at the age of 24. But public school students in Tennessee won't learn that information if a bill passes barring teachers from discussing homosexuality. Representative Stacey Campfield of Knoxville filed a bill last week that would prevent public elementary and middle schools from allowing "any instruction or materials discussing sexual orientation other than heterosexuality."
Over the years, Campfield has proposed other controversial legislation, such as replacing the state's food tax with a tax on pornography and requiring the state to issue death certificates for aborted fetuses. In 2005, Campfield compared the state's Black Caucus to the Ku Klux Klan when they refused to let him join because he is white.
Though Campfield's bill is intended to deal with instruction, opponents worry that it would have a chilling effect on students' free speech. "Let's say you have an eighth-grade writing class with an open-ended essay assignment. What if a student chooses to write about a current issue on sexuality?" says Chris Sanders, president of the Tennessee Equality Project. "This bill could be misinterpreted. It's overly vague and far-reaching." Wiman worries the bill could lead to further alienation of gay students or students of gay parents.

"We have such a high adolescent suicide rate, and a large number of those killing themselves are struggling with sexual orientation," Wiman says. "It's a real concern for us that we be able to help boys and girls without some kind of arbitrary restrictions."
As one online comment on the article said, "Maybe Campfield should look in his own closet." Only an extreme closet case would be this obsessed with not even having the word gay spoken. He looks like a queen to me in his official website photo (see above left)!!

More Thursday Male Beauty

My Readers - SNAP Canada

I received a brief note from SNAP Canada (i.e., the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) thanking me for my blog and the effort to keep the story of the Catholic Church's shameful conduct towards the survivors of sexual abuse by priests alive. I assured the representative that I have every intention of keeping the scandal alive until the Church comes clean and punishes those involved in the cover up. Here are highlight's from her e-mail to me:

Thanks for your blog! Just wanted to let you know that we surivvors appreciate your keeping this issue alive, as children and vulnerable adults still continue to be abused today, and survivors of historical sexual abuse continue to come forward.

Regardless, I'm speaking to the choir, so to speak. I have seen your blog come up in several of my google alerts, so again would like to thank you.

Gujarat India's Gay Prince to Adopt Child

In the past I have posted concerning Manavendrasinh Gohil, Prince of Rajpipla, India, who initially was disinherited by his extremely wealthy and prominent family for being gay. In India, homosexual acts are still illegal under laws tracing back to the Victorian period and most Hindus strongly disapprove of gays. However, happily, the prince's parents changed their minds and he is back in line as heir to the family title and fortune. Now, the prince is preparing to break new ground and adopt an heir as reported by the India Times. Here are some story highlights (

BHARUCH: Gujarat's gay prince of Rajpipla, Manavendrasinh Gohil, who was disinherited by the family for going public about being gay but later taken back into the fold, now wants to carry on the royal bloodline, in a manner of speaking. The gay prince, who wants to ensure the lineage does not end with him just because he can't have children, wants to adopt a child and make him the royal heir. Manavendra hit the headlines recently by going on the Oprah Winfrey Show and proclaiming his homosexuality.

Manavendra, who is a divorcee, added that adoption was not new for the royal families as many had taken this route in the absence of a legal male heir. "The Gohil dynasty itself is a case of adoption. Rajpipla was ruled by the Parmar clan, not the Gohils. But the Parmars at one point did not have a male child. One of the Parmar princesses then married the maharaja of Bhavnagar. One of their sons was adopted by the Parmars giving birth to the Gohil dynasty." But the boy is unlikely to be a complete commoner. Manavendra said it was common in royal families to adopt a child from the extended family. "I will also adopt a child from my extended family only."

Although there are no known cases of single gay men adopting children in India, advocate Sudhir Nanavati says Manavendra should not have legal hassles in adoption.

Thursday Male Beauty

Army Suicides up 20 Percent in 2007; Attempts Up 500% Since 2002

Not that the Chimperator would know or care, living in a buble as he does, but the increased successful suicide rate and the five fold increase in unsuccessful suicide attempts in the U. S. military clearly indicates that something is very, very wrong. Saying that one supports the troops as the Chimperator likes to intone is vastly different from actually doing something to truly suppoert the troops in the his failed war.
I suspect that this trend is the result of (1) the numerous redeployments soldiers are experiencing - one local friend is on his 4th deployment to Iraq - and also (2) the nature of the war where it is often impossible to tell friend from foe and the carnage which often includes dead children is horrific. Having a cousin who never was the same after a tour in Vietnam as an Army Captain, I suspect many in our military are experiencing the same type of emotional/mental trauma as occurred in that disasterous war that the Chimperator in his delusional world has managed to replicate. Here are some CNN story highlights (:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- As many as 121 Army soldiers committed suicide in 2007, a jump of more than 20 percent over the year before, officials said Thursday. The rise came despite numerous efforts over the past year to improve the mental health of a force stressed by a longer-than-expected war in Iraq and the most deadly year yet in the now six-year-old conflict in Afghanistan. Internal briefing papers prepared by the Army's psychiatry consultant earlier this month show there were 89 confirmed suicides last year and 32 deaths that are suspected suicides and still under investigation.

More than a quarter of the combined total -- about 34 -- died while serving a tour of duty in Iraq, an increase from 27 in Iraq the previous year, according to the preliminary figures. The report also showed an increase in the number of attempted suicides and self-injuries -- some 2,100 in 2007 compared to less than 1,500 the previous year and less than 500 in 2002. The total of 121 suicides last year, if all are confirmed, would be more than double the 52 reported in 2001, before the September 11 attacks prompted the Bush administration to launch its counter-terror war.

Col. Elspeth Ritchie, the psychiatry consultant to the Army surgeon general, has said that officials found failed personal relationships, legal and financial problems and the stress of their jobs have been main factors in soldiers' suicides. Officials also have found that the number of days troops are deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan or nearby countries contributes to that stress. With the Army stretched thin by years of fighting the two wars, the Pentagon last year extended normal tours of duty to 15 months from 12 and has sent some troops back to the wars several times.

Some troop surveys in Iraq have shown that 20 percent of Army soldiers have signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress, which can cause flashbacks of traumatic combat experiences and other severe reactions. About 35 percent of soldiers are seeking some kind of mental health treatment a year after returning home under a program that screens returning troops for physical and mental health problems, officials have said.

My Readers - Thanks Everyone for More Than 50,000 Visitors.

Glancing at the Neo Works counter , I noticed that more than 50,000 visitors have come to this blog site since I installed the counter. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts and experiences with each of you and I hope you will continue to find this blog interesting. Any suggestions or comments on topics or whatever will be considered. Likewise, feel free to ask questions so that I can inrease interaction with each of you. To my regular readers, thanks again for your loyalty and friendship. :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More Wednesday Male Beauty

New York Post Endorses Obama

While the New York Post is generally no friend to liberal politics and I often disagree with its editorial views, in its endorsement it hits upon precisely what I see to be the issues as to why Hillary Clinton should NOT be the Democrat nominee. The Posts views pretty much mirror my own whether Hillary fully deserves all the criticisms or not. Here are highlights from the Post (
We urge them to choose Obama - an untried candidate, to be sure, but preferable to the junior senator from New York. Obama represents a fresh start. His opponent, and her husband, stand for déjà vu all over again - a return to the opportunistic, scandal-scarred, morally muddled years of the almost infinitely self-indulgent Clinton co-presidency. Does America really want to go through all that once again?

It will - if Sen. Clinton becomes president. That much has become painfully apparent. Bill Clinton's thuggishly self-centered campaign antics conjure so many bad, sad memories that it's hard to know where to begin. Suffice it to say that his Peck's-Bad-Boy smirk - the Clinton trademark - wore thin a very long time ago. Far more to the point, Sen. Clinton could have reined him in at any time. But she chose not to - which tells the nation all it needs to know about what a Clinton II presidency would be like.
Now, Obama is not without flaws. And, again, he is not Team Clinton. That counts for a very great deal. A return to Sen. Clinton's cattle-futures deal, Travelgate, Whitewater, Filegate, the Lincoln Bedroom Fire Sale, Pardongate - and the inevitable replay of the Monica Mess? No, thank you.

Farrell to be Best Man on Gay Brother's Wedding Day

I have always found Colin Farrell to come across as friendly and understanding towards gays and gay issues. It turns out that his older brother is gay and about to marry his boyfriend with Colin to be best man. As with Anne Hathaway, one of the stars of Brokeback Mountain, having a gay sibling definitely opens one's eyes to our world and what we frequently experience for merely being who God made us to be. Here are some story highlights from Pink News (

Actor Colin Farrell is to be best man at his brother's civil partnership ceremony.Eamon Farrell, 35, is planning to marry his 23-year-old boyfriend Steven Mannion after a proposing to him in New York last year.

The younger Farrell brother is best-known for his versatile performances in a string of hit films such as Phone Booth and Alexander. It is rumoured Colin, 31, helped Eamon choose a diamond and sapphire-studded ring for his boyfriend. The brothers are very close, and have bought houses next door to each other in Sandymount, South Dublin.The couple have not yet decided where they will exchange vows - but it won't be in the Republic.

The insider told the Mirror: "With Irish legislation the way it is at the minute, the wedding can't be here. "But the couple could go to the North or England for a civil partnership ceremony there. "It's more likely though that they'll get married in the States so Colin's whole family can be there."

Vermont Town To Vote On Arresting Bush, Cheney

Would that Congress or the the international community had the guts to proceed with indicting Bush and Cheney as war criminals. It seems pretty clear that they have authorized actions, including torture, in violation of the Geneva Conventions. Moreover, they lied and took the nation into a war that has killed tens of thousands of civilians and squandered in the neighborhood of $1 Trillion. Further, they have sought to undermine the U. S. Constitution and violated the rights of American citizens. Here is's coverage of the effort in Vermont (

(Brattleboro, Vermont) A town petition making President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney subject to arrest for crimes against the Constitution has triggered a barrage of criticism from people who say residents are "wackjobs" and "nuts."

The petition - with more than 436 signatures, or at least the 5 percent of voters necessary to be considered - was submitted Thursday and the town Select Board voted 3-2 Friday to put it on the ballot. It goes to a town-wide vote March 4. It reads:

"Shall the Selectboard instruct the Town Attorney to draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution, and publish said indictments for consideration by other authorities and shall it be the law of the Town of Brattleboro that the Brattleboro Police, pursuant to the above-mentioned indictments, arrest and detain George Bush and Richard Cheney in Brattleboro if they are not duly impeached, and prosecute or extradite them to other authorities that may reasonably contend to prosecute them?"

Resident Kurt Daims, who submitted the petition, said late Tuesday he was chagrined that the town and its employees were subject to ridicule. "I feel bad for people who are loyal to Bush who have lost a son or had one in the service and it's hard for them to admit the utter waste of it, and that it was caused by this man in the White House," he said.

Wednesday Male Beauty

Dedicated to Fred Phelps - eat your heart out Fred!

Hate Merchant Fred Phelps Harrasses Ledger Family

Above is the latest garbage from Fred Phelps via Good As You ( To say that Fred Phelps and his hate-filled clan are assh**es is an understatement. Now the bastards are harassing Heath Ledger's family and demanding to protest at Heath's funeral or grave site in Australia. The man truly needs to be committed - along with his more discrete brethren, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, Don Wildmon, et al, who make a career out of disseminating Hate and marginalizing others to make themselves feel better about themselves.

The Narrowing of the Presidential Candidate Field and What it Means

After the Florida primary, and the withdrawal of Giuliani, it increasingly looks like John McCain will be the Republican Party nominee. This being the case, it is essential that with John Edwards withdrawing from the Democrat field that Democrats cease focusing on past loyalties and other distractions and select a nominee who has a chance of winning in November. Should it be a McCain vs. Hillary contest, we had all best prepare for another GOP administration. David Brooks at the New York Times and Andrew Sullivan both make a case why Obama MUST be the Democrat nominee. First, here are highlights of Brooks' comments (
Last week there was the widespread revulsion at the Clintons’ toxic attempts to ghettoize Barack Obama. In private and occasionally in public, leading Democrats lost patience with the hyperpartisan style of politics — the distortion of facts, the demonizing of foes, the secret admiration for brass-knuckle brawling and the ever-present assumption that it’s necessary to pollute the public sphere to win. All the suppressed suspicions of Clintonian narcissism came back to the fore. Are these people really serving the larger cause of the Democratic Party, or are they using the party as a vehicle for themselves?

And then Monday, something equally astonishing happened. A throng of Kennedys came to the Bender Arena at American University in Washington to endorse Obama. Caroline Kennedy evoked her father. Senator Edward Kennedy’s slightly hunched form carried with it the recent history of the Democratic Party.
Then, in the speech’s most striking passage, he set Bill Clinton afloat on the receding tide of memory. “There was another time,” Kennedy said, “when another young candidate was running for president and challenging America to cross a New Frontier.” But, he continued, another former Democratic president, Harry Truman, said he should have patience. He said he lacked experience. John Kennedy replied: “The world is changing. The old ways will not do!”
Next, from a gay perspective, Andrew Sullivan clarifies why no gay should support Hillary over Obama. I can only hope people wake up to the fact that Hillary is unelectable quickly. Here are Sullivan's thoughts (

If you're a Democrat, it isn't really a contest. We all know the record of the Clintons on gay equality. In the words of Melissa Etheridge, they "threw us under the bus" when it was politically expedient for them (after they'd bled the gay community financially dry). Here are a few YouTubes of Obama's public, proud and often risky defenses of gay and lesbian equality - in front of non-gay audiences and not prompted by questions. The Ebenezer sermon, when he called on black congregants in MLK's church not to condemn or ostracize their "gay brothers and sisters" (after the 9 minute mark). The AU speech (around the 9 minute mark again). His stump speech, "Countdown To Change." Obama was the only Democratic candidate to mention gay and lesbian equality in his announcement address. In South Carolina, he spoke of the importance of gay outreach to religious voters.

I've had two core principles in my own work in defense of gay equality: supporting the simple equality of gays and straights under the law; opposing the toxins of identity politics and a balkanized gay identity. The way Obama transcends his own multiple identities, the way he both embraces his difference and yet seeks a common political discourse: this is the model that makes the most sense to me. Neither denying difference nor being defined by it is a path all minorities would be better off pursuing. And Obama's call for self-empowerment rather than self-defeating victimology is particularly apposite for gays and lesbians.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More Tuesday Male Beauty

Tuesday Night Rants

Today is definitely one of those days when I hate being an attorney. I mean HATE it!! It was a day of constant client demands, me having to respond to a subpoena in a case where one of my clients is being sued and the plaintiff’s counsel thinks some non-existent “smoking gun” might be somewhere in my files, and dealing with nasty attitude paralegals in other law firms, etc. The list goes on and on. To top it off, I am being badgered by a friend in a business matter to take action perhaps too quickly and possibly burning bridges that I cannot afford to burn. Supposedly the pressure is out of concern for me, but in actuality I feel it is because the friend wants the deal to move forward to benefit his interests with me as an after thought at best. It is the first time we have ever had a real disagreement.

To add to my gloom, frustration, or whatever one might call it, my mom has had some medical tests done and it sounds worrisome. She has had a very unusual form of a very slow developing liver cancer for over a decade. To date she has managed pretty well. Now there is some concern that cancer may have spread to other areas such as her lungs. Hopefully, we will have more information in the near future. One more thing for me to worry about.

Meanwhile, on the romance front I wonder if I will ever find “Mr. Right.” I am not looking for a guy who wants to be “Mr. Right Now” for a few hours or who is looking for “friends with benefits.” Yet that seems to be the only type of guys that are attracted to me of late. Or guys who are around my age but look and act like they are decades older. Or guys with whom I feel no chemistry and/or that I find unattractive. Maybe it’s my fault, who knows. I don’t think I am shallow or that I only judge someone by their looks. But, if you’re not attracted, you’re not attracted. It is not something that can be forced and either exists or doesn’t exist. Plus, like Euphoric at Real Euphoria, I am not a fan of casual dating – I need to feel that there is a possible future with a guy in order to want to go out. I have no desire to go out with someone just to go out with someone. Better to do things alone. Thankfully HRBOR and other activities provide some non-dating social venues.

McCain Sends Out Robocall hitting Mitt - And Using Gay Baithing is reporting ( that in Florida, John McCain is now using Bill Clinton type tactics on Romney. Don't get me wrong, Mitt IS a major league flip flopper, but bashing him for treating gays as citizens deserving equality and freedom from discrimination is pretty creepy in my book. Would that we could flush all the sleaze and dirty tactics from political campaigns in this country. I truly would like to just pack up and leave this hate filled country at times. Just to live in a country where I would not feel like disposable campaign fodder would be so refreshing. Here are some highlights:
John McCain launched perhaps the toughest robocall yet here this afternoon, using a woman's voice to attack Romney on abortion and gay rights and to claim he has treated "social issues v"Mitt Romney thinks he can fool us," says the voice.
"We care deeply about traditional values and protecting families. And we need someone who will not waver in the White House: Ending abortion, preserving the sanctity of marriage, stopping the trash on the airwaves and attempts to ban God from every corner of society. These issues are core to our being.
"He supported abortion on demand, even allowed a law mandating taxpayer-funding for abortion. He says he changed his mind, but he still hasn’t changed the law. He told gay organizers in Massachusetts he would be a stronger advocate for special rights than even Ted Kennedy. Now, it’s something different."voters as fools."

Tuesday Male Beauty

New York City Pension Funds Press For Gay Worker Rights

Once again the the New York City Employees' Retirement System, New York City Police Pension Fund, New York City Fire Department Pension Fund, New York City Teachers' Retirement System and New York City Board of Education Retirement System will use their massive clout to press corporations to implement gay-positive policies and benefits. The funds in the past have unsuccessfully pressed EXXON-Mobil to end its anti-gay discriminatory polices but have seen the number of shareholder against equality declining each year. Here are some highlights from (
(New York City) New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. announced Tuesday that he will use the massive clout of the NYC Pension Funds to press two-dozen of America's largest companies to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Currently, the five Pension Funds have more than $110 billion in holdings.

The Funds hold nearly 30 million shares worth nearly $2.2 billion in the companies announced Tuesday. Thompson's announcement continues several years of pressure on companies in which the funds own shares. This year's targets are double the number of companies singled out last year Thompson said.
"Each year, more companies are making this commitment because they believe in guaranteeing equal treatment in the workplace. However, many of this country's largest corporations still refuse to protect all workers." The resolutions that Thompson has filed call for companies that have not already done so to revise their policies to forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The companies are: HCC Insurance Holdings of Houston, TX; Timken Company of Canton, OH; ExxonMobil Corp. of Irving, TX; AK Steel Corp. of Middletown, OH; Fidelity National Financial, Inc. of Jacksonville, FL; Brink's Company of Richmond, VA; Liberty Global, Inc. of Englewood, CO; Lyondell Chemical Company of Houston, TX; Eastman Chemical Co. of Kingsport, TN; Tesoro Corp. of San Antonio, TX; Apache Corp. of Houston, TX; Murphy Oil Corp. of El Dorado, AR; Kelly Services, Inc. of Troy, MI; EchoStar Communications Corp. of Englewood, CO; Huntsman Corp. of Salt Lake City, UT; Marshall & Ilsley Corp. of Milwaukee, WI; Frontier Oil Corp. of Houston, TX; Borg Warner. Inc. of Auburn Hills, MI; Anadarko Petroleum Corp. of The Woodlands, TX; Synovus Financial Corp. of Columbus, GA; Erie Indemnity Company (Erie Insurance) of Erie, PA; SPX Corporation of Charlotte, NC; American Financial Group, Inc. of Cincinnati, OH; and, Leggett & Pratt, Inc. of Carthage, MO.

Another Southern Baptist Sex Abuse Case

Increasingly, it seems that the more repressive a religious denomination is in matters of sex and sexuality (particularly in their stances against gay rights), the more cases of sex abuse that seem to be rampant throughout the denomination. While the Roman Catholic Church wins the prize hands down for repressive sexual teachings combine with incredibly wide spread sex abuse of minors by priests, the Southern Baptists seem to have a similar problem with its clergy. The latest Southern Baptist abuse case comes from Arizona, but it is only one of dozens and dozens of cases. It would appear that Richard Land of the SBC might do better tending to his own denomination's obvious systemic problem rather than running about on a constant anti-gay jihad. Here are some highlights from (
A grand jury in Tucson, Ariz., has indicted a Southern Baptist youth minister arrested Jan. 11 on eight counts of sexual abuse of a minor, a local television station reported Friday. According to KOLD News 13, the five-page indictment details charges against Christopher Decaire, 57, who was arrested after police served a search warrant on East Tucson Baptist Church. Decaire had worked two years as a part-time minister but volunteered in the church's student ministry before that for six years.
Last week Pastor John Anderson told that East Tucson Baptist Church found itself in "uncharted waters" in dealing with accusations that a trusted staff member sexually abused a 13-year-old girl. "They don't teach this in seminary," Anderson told a Tucson newspaper. But the church is hardly alone. has reported on at least 72 news stories about sexual abuse by clergy, the vast majority involving allegations against Southern Baptist ministers, since September 2006. Stories included reports of 11 arrests, three convictions and one suicide in 2007 alone. Other stories included a church that allowed a convicted sex offender to preach from its pulpit while knowing about his past and an executive director of a Baptist children's home who asked for leniency in the sentencing of a pastor who confessed to criminal sexual assault of a teenage girl.
SBC president Frank Page went on record to deny clergy predators are a "systemic" problem and accuse victim advocates of using the issue for personal gain. Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics accused Southern Baptist leaders of "hiding behind a false wall of local church autonomy" as an excuse not to act.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Final Monday Male Beauty

Senator Edward Kennedy on Why He Endorsed Obama

On his blog over at Huffington Post (, Senator Ted Kennedy further expands on why Obama received his endorsement and pretty much drop kicks Hillary. Over the last 16 years this nation has had too much sleaze, dishonesty and nastiness in its leaders. I truly hope that Bill and Hillary get the message or at least save their foul tactics for use against the GOP and not fellow Democrats. Here are some highlights:

Earlier today I endorsed Barack Obama for president, and I couldn't be more excited for the Democratic Party, the nation -- and the world. Barack inspires me -- it's that simple. In the words of President Kennedy: The world is changing. The old ways will not do... It is time for a new generation of leadership." In Barack, I see that next generation of American leadership: a figure who can transcend the divisions in this country that my family and I have fought so hard to tear down.
But I'm not only supporting Barack because of what he has done. What counts in our leadership is not the length of years in Washington, but the reach of our vision, the strength of our beliefs, and that rare quality of mind and spirit that can call forth the best in our country and our people.

That's why I'm most excited about the promise of President Obama: As president, Barack Obama will break the Washington gridlock to finally make health care what it should be in America. He will turn the page on the old politics of misrepresentation and distortion and bridge the divisions of race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation that plague our country.
When Barack Obama raises his hand on Inauguration Day a new generation of American leadership will take charge and restore the hope, peace and prosperity the country so desperately needs. Looking out from the stage today, I realized just how powerful his campaign has become. It's a movement for change -- and one that I'm proud to be a part of.

Anti-gay Slurs Hurled in Italian Parliament

I always find it so amazing that those who claim to vigorously support "Christian values," typically are the least Christian in their actions. The circus that ensued in the Italian Parliament is yet another example and shows that the USA does not have a monopoly on homphobis asses. Consider the behavior of these defenders of Christian values. What would Jesus do? Surely not engage in this kind of nasty behavior. Here are some highlights via the Washington Blade (
A member of Italy’s Parliament was spat upon and called a “faggot,” a “fairy” and a “traitor” after he broke ranks with his small Catholic-oriented party and announced he would vote to defend Italian Premier Romano Prodi against a resolution aimed at bringing down his center-left government.

The name-calling erupted on the floor of the Italian Senate on Jan. 24 as Sen. Stefano “NuccioCusumano shocked fellow members of the tiny Udeur Party by declaring his support for Prodi. The party decided a week earlier to withdraw from Prodi’s fragile ruling coalition, forcing a “confidence” vote under Italy’s parliamentary system.
According to reports in the Italian news media, Cusumano fainted on the Senate floor and had to be carried out of the chamber on a stretcher after Sen. Tommaso Barbato, a leader of the Udeur Party, shouted the word “frocio,” along with other insults, and spat on him. Sen. Nino Strano, a member of the far-right National Alliance Party, joined in by shouting the words "squallida checca" at Cusumano. A newspaper photo shows Barbato being restrained by other senators after he reportedly lunged at Cusumano. Squallida checca means “squalid fairy” or “squalid queen,” . . . “frocio” is a word for “faggot” in the Roman dialect.

Cusumano returned to the Senate a short time after the name-calling incident and voted “yes” on the Prodi confidence resolution in a gesture viewed as an act of defiance against his fellow party members.

More Monday Male Beauty

The Chimperator's Legacy

I have yet to decide if I am going to watch the Chimperator's last State of the Union speech tonight. Between making me want to retch over his disingenuous lies and finding it difficult to listen to his inability to speak normal English, it is all in all a painful experience. Of course the joke - on the Chimperator - is that he wants this speech to help his "legacy." It is way past time to worry about that!!! Six or more years ago would have been a better time to have such worries. In this regard, Daily Kos has a brief run down of some of the Bush 43 legacy that shows what a failure his presidency has been (

When it comes to evaluating the legacy of the George W. Bush "administration," for instance, we're all too well aware of the dark record, even if the traditional media have been less than dogged in its daily pursuit of the accumulated weight of Bush's departures from our traditional understandings of the constitutional order and that nebulous metric, "The American Way." Consider what we've witnessed over the years:

**the emergence of the use of torture
**secret prisons
**indefinite detention
**the denial of habeas corpus
**warrantless eavesdropping
**illegal domestic spying
**the politicization of the administration of criminal justice and of civil rights
**the claimed unilateral nullification of enacted legislation
**the claim that the failure by the president to comply with Executive Orders amounts to a **secret and unwritten revocation or revision of such orders
**dictation of the terms of legislation by the president to Congress
**dictation of the terms of appropriations bills (heretofore known as the "power of the purse" by the president to Congress
**the declaration that federal judges are incompetent to rule on questions touching on "national security"
**the refusal of the "unitary executive" to permit the other branches to test its claims of "executive privilege"
**the refusal of the Justice Department to prosecute contempt of Congress charges against executive branch officials
**the staggering increase in the frequency of use of the "state secrets" privilege to block access to the courts
**the systematic suppression of scientific evidence regarding "administration" policies through the manipulation of administrative procedure

And of course, much more.

Canada threatens to pull soldiers from Afghanistan

It seems that another U.S. ally is coming to recognize the quagmire that the Chimperator has drag itself and other nations into in Afghanistan. While the initial premise of going into the country had a rational basis - unlike Iraq - the bungled handling of the military operations under the Chimperator and the allowance of Bin Laden to escape the country has left a huge mess for which there is no easy solution. Canada apparently has recognized that further half-ass efforts are futile. I can't say that I blame the Canadians whatsoever. Here are some highlights from Reuters (
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will pull its 2,500 troops out of Afghanistan early next year unless NATO sends in significant reinforcements, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Monday, signaling Ottawa has lost patience with what it sees as foot-dragging by allies. The minority Conservative government wants the soldiers to stay beyond their current withdrawal date of February 2009 but in another potential threat to the mission, the main opposition Liberal Party expressed doubts about the idea of an extension.

Harper, who is exasperated at the refusal of many other NATO nations to commit more troops to Afghanistan, said the Alliance's failure to provide enough forces meant the whole future of the organization was under serious threat. Harper said he accepted the recommendations of an independent panel which last week urged Canada to end its mission in the southern city of Kandahar unless NATO provided an extra 1,000 troops and Ottawa obtained helicopters and aerial reconnaissance vehicles.

"For this mission to go forward and achieve its objectives and be successful, we do have the need for a substantial increase in combat troops and particular needs in terms of military equipment," Harper told a news conference. "Both of those recommendations will have to be fulfilled or Canada will not proceed with the mission in Afghanistan. We believe these are essential to our success."

Monday Male Beauty

Ted Kennedy Endorses Obama - and by Inference, Slams Clinton

Billary's dirty campaign tactics are bearing fruit, but not the kind they sought. In his ringing endorsement of Barack Obama, Ted Kennedy made it clear that he is endorsing the change that Obama - in contrast to Hillary - can potentially bring to the nation. I truly believe that the majority of Americans are down right sick of politics built on lies, deliberate misstatements and sleazy underhanded character assassinations. Billary has yet to figure that out, apparently. Here are highlights from Kennedy's endorsement and the story reporting it (

WASHINGTON (AP) - Two generations of Kennedys—the Democratic Party's best known political family—endorsed Barack Obama for president on Monday, with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy calling him a "man with extraordinary gifts of leadership and character," a worthy heir to his assassinated brother. Kennedy's endorsement was ardently sought by all three of the remaining presidential contenders, and he delivered it at a pivotal time in the race. A liberal lion in his fifth decade in the Senate, the Massachusetts senator is in a position to help Obama court Hispanic voters as well as rank-and-file members of labor unions, two key elements of the Democratic Party.

He is expected to campaign actively for Obama in the days before a string of delegate-rich primaries and caucuses across 24 states on Feb. 5, beginning later this week in Arizona, New Mexico and California. The senator made his comments at a crowded campaign rally that took on the appearances of a Kennedy family embrace of Obama, who sat smiling as he heard their praise.

He was introduced by Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late president, who said Obama "offers that same sense of hope and inspiration" as did her father. Rep. Patrick Kennedy also endorsed Obama from the stage before a boisterous crowd at American University. In his own remarks, Sen. Kennedy sought one by one to rebut many of the arguments leveled by Obama's critics.
"From the beginning, he opposed the war in Iraq. And let no one deny that truth," he said, an obvious reference to former President Clinton's statement that Obama's early anti-war stance was a "fairy tale." "With Barack Obama, we will turn the page on the old politics of misrepresentation and distortion. "With Barack Obama we will close the book on the old politics of race against race, gender against gender, ethnic group against ethnic group, and straight against gay," Kennedy said.

"There was another time, when another young candidate was running for president and challenging America to cross a new frontier. He faced criticism from the preceding Democratic president, who was widely respected in the party," Kennedy said, referring to Harry S. Truman. "And John Kennedy replied, 'The world is changing. The old ways will not do. ... It is time for a new generation of leadership. "So it is with Barack Obama," he added.

The Chimperator's Idea of a Sound Economy - New Home Sales: Biggest Drop Ever

Watching the early morning news, I listened to some of the preview of the State of the Union Speech being spun by the Chimperator's press secretary. Among the remarks she was gushing - and make me want to gag - were comments that the underlying economy is strong. Obviously, that bubble world view is somewhat hard to reconcile with the CNN headline concerning the plunge in new home sales. It just proves further that the Chimperator is utterly out of touch with reality. Here are some highlights:

NEW YORK ( -- New home sales posted the biggest drop on record in 2007, according to the government's latest look at the battered housing market, as a year that saw a meltdown in the mortgage market and a drop in home values ended with yet more signs of weakness.

December sales came in at an annual rate of 604,000, the report showed, down from 634,000 in November, which was also revised lower. The reading was well below the consensus forecast of 645,000, according to economists surveyed by The weak December sales left full-year new home sales at 774,000, down 26 percent from the 1.05 million sales in 2006. That was the biggest drop since the government started tracking new home sales in 1963, surpassing the 23 percent decline posted in 1980.

Homes financed by conventional mortgages fell 27 percent, the biggest drop since the government started tracking financing in 1988. But the weakness in prices made buyers reluctant to jump into the market, even if the availability of financing was not an issue. The number of new homes bought with cash fell nearly 24 percent, while mortgages guaranteed by federal agencies such as the Federal Housing Administration or the Veterans Administration fell 16 percent.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Barack Obama’s South Carolina Victory Speech

What Barack Obama said in his victory speech last night ( describes why I want him the win the nomination and the election in November. I have spent many years involved in political campaigns and the lies and nastiness al la Karl Rove and Bill Clinton are severely harming the country. I see Obama as a great best hope for a different kind of politics where honesty and integrity are once again valued. His speech is about everything that Hillary is not. Here are some highlights:

So this will not be easy. Make no mistake about what we’re up against. We are up against the belief that it’s ok for lobbyists to dominate our government – that they are just part of the system in Washington. But we know that the undue influence of lobbyists is part of the problem, and this election is our chance to say that we’re not going to let them stand in our way anymore. We are up against the conventional thinking that says your ability to lead as President comes from longevity in Washington or proximity to the White House. But we know that real leadership is about candor, and judgment, and the ability to rally Americans from all walks of life around a common purpose – a higher purpose.

We are up against decades of bitter partisanship that cause politicians to demonize their opponents instead of coming together to make college affordable or energy cleaner; it’s the kind of partisanship where you’re not even allowed to say that a Republican had an idea – even if it’s one you never agreed with. That kind of politics is bad for our party, it’s bad for our country, and this is our chance to end it once and for all.

We are up against the idea that it’s acceptable to say anything and do anything to win an election. We know that this is exactly what’s wrong with our politics; this is why people don’t believe what their leaders say anymore; this is why they tune out. And this election is our chance to give the American people a reason to believe again.

And what we’ve seen in these last weeks is that we’re also up against forces that are not the fault of any one campaign, but feed the habits that prevent us from being who we want to be as a nation. It’s the politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon. A politics that tells us that we have to think, act, and even vote within the confines of the categories that supposedly define us. The assumption that young people are apathetic. The assumption that Republicans won’t cross over. The assumption that the wealthy care nothing for the poor, and that the poor don’t vote. The assumption that African-Americans can’t support the white candidate; whites can’t support the African-American candidate; blacks and Latinos can’t come together.

But we are here tonight to say that this is not the America we believe in. I did not travel around this state over the last year and see a white South Carolina or a black South Carolina. I saw South Carolina. I saw crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children. I saw shuttered mills and homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from all walks of life, and men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. I saw what America is, and I believe in what this country can be.