Monday, December 31, 2007
Christmas in Ohio was a tad dreary, what with the weather, and the usual sad and nostalgic memories piling up all over the house like so much dust. But it was nice to relax with Mum, burn a few logs (and cancelled checks dating back to the 70s, which I found while cleaning out the attic) on the fire.
Mum's cat has the pretentious full name Valentino Provenzano. I forget his middle name. To me, he responds to "Schmootie" or any other epithet said in a falsetto. We think he's gay, since he prefers to cuddle up to men. He's a funny little creature who knows enough to chase after a tiny stuffed mouse when it's flung at him, but fails in the retrieval department.
He also likes to sniff and park himself right inside the piles of clean laundry as I fold it on a bed. And since he's mostly jet black, a few times, I nearly sat on him when he was sleeping on my mom's desk chair. He constantly craves a trip out on the porch, or thinks he wants to run outside whenever the front door is opened, then scurries back in after discovering how wet and cold it is outside. He also likes to snoop about in the attic, but since I hung some fox scent odorizers, which smell a bit musky, he gets a little freaked out. I bought them at Fur, Fin and Feathers, a mini-mall of hunting equipment, with camoflage everything, and up on the cathedral-lodge walls, dozens of mounted deer, moose and other animals, shot and stuffed. They even had a full-size bear above Aisle Three (the knives department).
The fox scent is used to keep out the squirrels, which once again made a makeshift nest up there behind the plastic tubs of childhood books and toys. One had died. That wasn't a fun experience, scraping the dried flat carcass of a squirrel off the attic floor (Sorry, no photo of that.)
Since Mum, as usual, shopped for food for more than the two of us, I made the medium-sized turkey without any hassle. I'll never understand the fuss made over cooking them. You just oil it, stuff it, baste it and voila! dinner for two, plus days of leftovers. Now I have weeks of gym-going to burn off the few pounds gained.
So, that's my last cutesy self-indulgent post of the year. No round-ups of media Top Tens. I'll leave that to other blogs, which do a better job.
Here's to a Happy New Year, in which the neocon criminals are once again ousted from power, or perhaps stuffed and mounted, and the troops are withdrawn from the miasma of Iraq.
One can hope.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
'Father Christmas' beaten in West Bank Protest
Israeli guards beat five demonstrators, including one dressed as Father Christmas, during a protest on Friday against Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank, organisers said.
About 50 Palestinian, Israeli and international peace activists attended the rally in the village of Um Salomona, near Bethlehem, the Biblical birthplace of Jesus that is preparing to celebrate Christmas.
Archbishop says Nativity "a legend"
The Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday that the Christmas story of the Three Wise Men was nothing but a 'legend.'
Dr Rowan Williams has claimed there was little evidence that the Magi even existed and there was certainly nothing to prove there were three of them or that they were kings.
Boy Arrested for Opening Christmas Gift Early
A South Carolina boy, 12, was arrested Sunday morning after his mother called police to report that he had unwrapped a Christmas present without her permission. According to a Rock Hill Police Department report (a copy of which you'll find below), the child opened a Nintendo Game Boy, though he had been directed not to by family members. When the boy's mother learned that the $85 gift had been opened, she called cops, who charged the juvenile with petty larceny.
Karl Rove Gets $1.5 Million Book Deal
GOP strategist Karl Rove has agreed to write about his years as an adviser to President Bush in a deal worth over $1.5 million with former colleague Mary Matalin's conservative imprint at Simon & Schuster, officials said Friday.
Rove, the architect of Bush's 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns and one of the most influential political advisers of his time, signed the deal with Threshold Editions, the imprint's publisher and executive vice president Louise Burke said.
"All of us at Threshold are thrilled to publish the book from the man who had the president's ear for two terms," Burke said.
Talking Jesus Action Figure Sells out at WalMarts
"We feel blessed that the toys are now in the hands of thousands of children, teaching them the word of God. We knew that the toys would make great Christmas gifts, but to see them sell so well before the Christmas buying season begins proves that parents want alternatives in the toy aisle," says the manufacturer's spokesperson, Joshua Livingston.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
College Prez Snubs Gay Iraq Vet
Assumption College faculty members, by a vote of 45-33 this week, charged President Francesco Cesareo and his cabinet with violating policy when they refused to host a gay activist veteran as a Veterans Day speaker, but the faculty also voted not to pursue the issue.
The faculty voted Monday that the president and cabinet “violated published College policy when they canceled the appearance of a speaker invited by an official student organization, AC (Assumption College) Allies.”
Speaking for the administration, Thomas E. Ryan, vice president of Institutional Advancement, argued there could not have been a violation or a cancellation because the speaker never signed a contract.
The issue came up in August, when the campus’ gay-lesbian-bisexual student group, Assumption College Allies, was pursuing a contract to bring retired Staff Sgt. Eric Alva to campus for Veterans Day. Mr. Alva, a gay Marine, is a vocal opponent of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Mr. Cesareo, who is new to Assumption this year, and the college’s vice presidents decided Mr. Alva was too political a guest for that observance.
Read my interview with Eric Alva here.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
What is it with Rethuglicans and dogs?
Guards at prisons in Iraq used dogs to torture prisoners, and Donald "You're Fired" Rumsfeld approved it.
Back in 1998, whack job flipflopper Mitt Romney strapped his dog in a cage atop his car and let the thing suffer for twelve hours.
The incident: dog excrement found on the roof and windows of the Romney station wagon. How it got there: Romney strapped a dog carrier — with the family dog Seamus, an Irish Setter, in it — to the roof of the family station wagon for a twelve hour drive from Boston to Ontario, which the family apparently completed, despite Seamus's rather visceral protest.
Massachusetts's animal cruelty laws specifically prohibit anyone from carrying an animal "in or upon a vehicle, or otherwise, in an unnecessarily cruel or inhuman manner or in a way and manner which might endanger the animal carried thereon." An officer for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals responded to a description of the situation saying "it's definitely something I'd want to check out." The officer, Nadia Branca, declined to give a definitive opinion on whether Romney broke the law but did note that it's against state law to have a dog in an open bed of a pick-up truck, and "if the dog was being carried in a way that endangers it, that would be illegal."
Fundie whack job and preposterous Rethug Prez candidate Mike Huckabee's obese son hanged a dog.
"...no charges were ever filed. But John Bailey, then the director of Arkansas's state police, tells NEWSWEEK that Governor Huckabee's chief of staff and personal lawyer both leaned on him to write a letter officially denying the local prosecutor's request. Bailey, a career officer who had been appointed chief by Huckabee's Democratic predecessor, said he viewed the lawyer's intervention as improper and terminated the conversation. Seven months later, he was called into Huckabee's office and fired."
And only days ago, some hired thug from Blackwater USA shot the dog of New York Times staffers in Iraq:
The U.S. embassy in Iraq is investigating another deadly shooting incident involving its Blackwater bodyguards -- this time of the New York Times's dog.
Staff at the newspaper's Baghdad bureau said Blackwater bodyguards shot Hentish dead last week before a visit by a U.S. diplomat to the Times compound.
Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell said the dog had attacked one of Blackwater's bomb-sniffer dogs while a security team was sweeping the compound for explosives.
"The K-9 handler made several unsuccessful attempts to get the dog to retreat, including placing himself between the dogs. When those efforts failed, the K-9 handler unfortunately was forced to use a pistol to protect the company's K-9 and himself," she said in an e-mail to Reuters.
The U.S. embassy employs about 1,000 armed Blackwater staff to protect American diplomats in Baghdad. Soon, they'll be protecting diplomats and oil conglomorate reps who want to lounge by the pool while they sell off parts of Iraq.
I'd make another reference to Toto and the Wicked Witch, but it would be an insult to The Wizard of Oz.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Hundreds of pro baseball players took steroids.
Well, I'm glad that's out in the open; like no one ever suspected that.
Chimpoleon mumbled out a response a few days ago; something about it soiling, er, sullying, the sport.
Is he referring to the years when he served as an incompetent puppet of a "manager" of the Texas Rangers, while the steroid abuse was going on, particularly with players on his team, while he sat in the stands and picked his nose?
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
GOPiggie candy-date Mike Huckabee said in 1992 that people with AIDS should be quarantined. He still thinks that's a good idea.
Ryan White's mom, and millions of others, think he's a loon.
Unfortunately, a lot of other loons are planning to vote for him, like the guy who wrote the far rightwing apocalyptic fetish Left Behind books. He's one of the Huckster's "consultants."
Rudy Giuliani now says homosexuality isn't a sin, but "it's the acts that are sinful." Of course, living with gay men while you're mayor after your wife has kicked you out of Gracie Mansion for being a proven adulterer and having on-duty cops walk your mistress's dog isn't a sin in his beady eyes.
But those drag acts La Rudita performed are definitely a Mortal Sin of Fashion.
And speaking of acts, Dick Cavett would like to give you a blow job, for $1000.
Quelle surprise. I knew he was gay when I was about, oh, ten?
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Tom Brokaw has a new book out, which claims to cover the 1960s. Boom, it's called.
apparently, according to the speech-impeded former NBC anchor, there were no gays in the U.S. at all during the 1960s.
Longtime activist Frank Kameny disproves Brokaw's bullshit, in this public letter:
"Dear Mr. Brokaw and Mmes. Centrello and Medina:
As a long-time gay activist, who initiated gay activism and militancy at the very start of "your" Sixties, in 1961; coined the slogan "Gay is Good" in 1968; and is viewed by many as one of the "Founding Fathers" of the Gay Movement, I write with no little indignation at the total absence of any slightest allusion to the gay movement for civil equality in your book “Boom! Voices of the Sixties". Your book simply deletes the momentous events of that decade which led to the vastly altered and improved status of gays in our culture today. This change would have been inconceivable at the start of the Sixties and would not have occurred at all without the events of that decade totally and utterly ignored by you. Mr. Brokaw, you have "de-gayed" the entire decade. "Voices of the Sixties"??? One does not hear even one single gay voice in your book. The silence is complete and deafening.
As a gay combat veteran of World War II, and therefore a member of the "Greatest Generation", I find myself and my fellow gays as absent from your narration as if we did not and do not exist. We find Boom! Boom!! Boom!!! in your book about all the multitudinous issues and the vast cultural changes of that era. But not a single "Boom", only dead silence, about gays, homosexuality, and the Gay Movement.
The development of every other possible, conceivable issue and cause which came to the forefront in that period is at least mentioned, and is usually catalogued: race; sex and gender; enthnicity; the environment; and others, on and on and on -- except only gays.
In 1965, we commenced bringing gays and our issues "out of the closet" with our then daring picketing demonstrations at the White House and other government sites, and our annual 4th of July demonstrations at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The Smithsonian Institution displayed these original pickets last month, in the same exhibition as the desk where Thomas Jefferson drafted The Declaration of Independence. The name of the Smithsonian’s exhibition? “Treasures of American History”. In your book: No Boom; only silence.
About 1963, a decade-long effort commenced to reverse the psychiatric categorization of gays as mentally or emotionally ill, concluding in 1973 with a mass "cure" of all of us by the American Psychiatric Association. No boom in your book; only your silence.
The most momentous single Gay Movement event occurred at the end of June, 1969, when the "Stonewall Rebellion" in New York, almost overnight (actually it took three days) converted what had been a tiny, struggling gay movement into the vast grass-roots movement which it now is. We had five or six gay organizations in the entire country in 1961; fifty to sixty in 1969; by the time of the first Gay Pride march, in New York one year later in 1970, we had 1500, and 2500 by 1971 when counting stopped. If ever there was Boom, this was it. In your book, no Boom, only your silence.
About 1972, Elaine Noble was elected to the Massachusetts state House of Representatives as the first elected openly gay public official. I had run here in Washington, DC, the previous year for election to Congress as the first openly gay candidate for any federal office. Harvey Milk was elected to the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco. No boom in your book; only your silence.
Mr. Brokaw, you deal with the histories of countless individuals. Where are the gays of that era: Barbara Gittings; Jack Nichols; Harry Hay; Del Martin and Phyllis Lyons; Randolfe Wicker; Harvey Milk; numerous others? No booms in your book; only silence and heterosexuals.
Starting in 1961 a long line of court cases attacked the long-standing U.S. Civil Service Gay Ban (fully as absolute and as virulent as the current Military Gay ban, which actually goes back some 70 years and was also fought in the 60s) with final success in 1975 when the ban on employment of gays by the federal government was rescinded. In your book, no boom; only your silence.
The assault on the anti-sodomy laws, which made at least technical criminals of all gays (and most non-gays for that matter, although never used against them) and which was the excuse for an on-going terror campaign against the gay community through arrests the country over, began in 1961 and proceeded through the 60s and onward. In your book, no boom; only your silence.
In 1972, following up on Stonewall, the first anti-discrimination law protective of gays was enacted in East Lansing, Michigan, followed by the much more comprehensive one in D.C. in 1973, starting a trend which now encompasses some twenty states, countless counties and cities, and has now reached Congress in ENDA. In your book, no boom; only your silence.
The Sixties were a period of unprecedented rapid social and cultural upheaval and change. We gays were very much a part of all that. A reader of your book would never have the slightest notion of any of that. In your book, no boom; only your silence.
At the start of the Sixties gays were completely invisible. By the end, and especially after Stonewall, we were seen everywhere: in entertainment, education, religion, politics, business, elsewhere and everywhere. In BOOM our invisibility remains total.
The only allusions to us, in your entire book are the most shallow, superficial, brief references in connection with sundry heterosexuals. Where are the gay spokespeople? We are certainly there to speak for ourselves. But in your book, only silence.
Mr. Brokaw, I could go on, but this should be sufficient to make my point. The whole thing is deeply insulting. As I said, you have de-gayed an entire generation. For shame, for shame, for shame. You owe an abject public apology to the entire gay community. I demand it; we expect it.
Gay is Good. You are not.
Franklin E. Kameny, Ph.D.
(most images from the LGBT Archives of Philadelphia website)
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Chimpoleon lied yet again today, bleating and harumphing that Iran still poses a "nook-ewe-lahr" threat, despite a NIE report proving he's wrong, and proof that he knew this months ago. Does CNN have this as its lead item? Here and there.
What's at the top of their video online list? Nude shoppers. This is categorized under "Breaking News." (If video link is gone, another version's on YouTube).
CNN, which recently deleted the entire section of the GOP candidate YouTube "debate" with a gay veteran asking about Don't Ask Don't Tell, continued their idiocy by apologizing for including former Brigadier General Keith Kerr in the broadcast. They erroneously claimed that he was a "Clinton plant." He isn't. Yet, CNN fell in lockstep with the rightwing noise machine (see my previous post or JoeMyGod's).
What's their idea of news? Naked shoppers. Two guys went into a convenience store completely naked (one wore sensible shoes).
I don't mind "news" that includes male nudity, although the blurred parts are more than symbolic of CNN's censorious policies, and omissions of the "goods." i.e., Chimpoleon's lies, their own distortions, and general inanity.
From elsewhere: "Funny how a Scottsdale convenience store apparently has more comprehensive video surveillance than the Pentagon and that CNN is better able to show footage of a couple of nude shoppers than it can of the passenger plane that allegedly struck the headquarters of the US military."
So why aren't I leading by example, and blogging about more serious things? Because it's not my job. And naked guys are more fun than repeatedly reposting links to stories about how blatantly corrupt and stupid our totally impeachment-worthy "decider" is.
Similarly, ABC's Nightline, which has become more of a puff piece entertainment show over the years, did a nice story on the Rev. Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping and their film, What Would Jesus Buy? It's a timely piece. I should know. In my BAR column, I mentioned the film weeks ago when it screened here in SF.
while it was lighthearted, it's nice to see something subversive and independent getting national attention (producer Morgan Spurlock had to pay for distribution himself, because theatres were chicken to pony up for it).
So, the message? This holiday season, stop shopping. But if you must, do it naked.