Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Aim


What's the difference between
A: an online video game where you can toss a shoe at a former president and
B: an outright threat of assassination against the current president?

While crazed reichwing GOPigs are literally plotting to overthrow the government with a military coup, and not getting even investigated for it...

The journalist who threw his shoes at Bush is out of jail after nine months of torture and abuse.

Here's what he has to say.


I am free. But my country is still a prisoner of war. There has been a lot of talk about the action and about the person who took it, and about the hero and the heroic act, and the symbol and the symbolic act. But, simply, I answer: what compelled me to act is the injustice that befell my people, and how the occupation wanted to humiliate my homeland by putting it under its boot.

Over recent years, more than a million martyrs have fallen by the bullets of the occupation and Iraq is now filled with more than five million orphans, a million widows and hundreds of thousands of maimed. Many millions are homeless inside and outside the country.

We used to be a nation in which the Arab would share with the Turkman and the Kurd and the Assyrian and the Sabean and the Yazid his daily bread. And the Shia would pray with the Sunni in one line. And the Muslim would celebrate with the Christian the birthday of Christ. This despite the fact that we shared hunger under sanctions for more than a decade.

Our patience and our solidarity did not make us forget the oppression. But the invasion divided brother from brother, neighbour from neighbour. It turned our homes into funeral tents.

I am not a hero. But I have a point of view. I have a stance. It humiliated me to see my country humiliated; and to see my Baghdad burned, my people killed. Thousands of tragic pictures remained in my head, pushing me towards the path of confrontation. The scandal of Abu Ghraib. The massacre of Falluja, Najaf, Haditha, Sadr City, Basra, Diyala, Mosul, Tal Afar, and every inch of our wounded land. I travelled through my burning land and saw with my own eyes the pain of the victims, and heard with my own ears the screams of the orphans and the bereaved. And a feeling of shame haunted me like an ugly name because I was powerless.

As soon as I finished my professional duties in reporting the daily tragedies, while I washed away the remains of the debris of the ruined Iraqi houses, or the blood that stained my clothes, I would clench my teeth and make a pledge to our victims, a pledge of vengeance.

The opportunity came, and I took it.

I took it out of loyalty to every drop of innocent blood that has been shed through the occupation or because of it, every scream of a bereaved mother, every moan of an orphan, the sorrow of a rape victim, the teardrop of an orphan.

I say to those who reproach me: do you know how many broken homes that shoe which I threw had entered? How many times it had trodden over the blood of innocent victims? Maybe that shoe was the appropriate response when all values were violated.

When I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, George Bush, I wanted to express my rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people. My rejection of his plundering the wealth of my country, and destroying its infrastructure. And casting out its sons into a diaspora.

If I have wronged journalism without intention, because of the professional embarrassment I caused the establishment, I apologise. All that I meant to do was express with a living conscience the feelings of a citizen who sees his homeland desecrated every day. The professionalism mourned by some under the auspices of the occupation should not have a voice louder than the voice of patriotism. And if patriotism needs to speak out, then professionalism should be allied with it.

I didn't do this so my name would enter history or for material gains. All I wanted was to defend my country.

Muntazer al-Zaidi is an Iraqi reporter who was freed this week after serving nine months in prison for throwing his shoe at former US president George Bush at a press conference. This edited statement was translated by McClatchy Newspapers correspondent Sahar Issa www.mcclatchydc.com

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Recess



By the sea, by the sea...



While enjoying the drag shows on board, we'll be seeing the skyline from a new perspective. Inspired by the fab touring revival of South Pacific, I'll keep my drag strictly Seabee.

All aboard the S.S. Trannyshack, a drag boat cruise around the Bay.
Looking forward to Peggy Leggs doing her "Titanic" number. See video below (last part). Because there is nothing like a dame.

A three-hour tour. What could go wrong?

video

Then, Blowoff. Look for my interview with Bob Mould in two weeks in the Bay Area Reporter.





Sunday: Spanktacular! Spanktacular! Kinkboothorama!



And who knows what else after that? Most probably, a long nap.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Larry's Latest


Larry Kramer, the godmother of all contemporary gay activism, was a grand marshal at the Dallas, Texas LGBT Pride ceremonies. Here is his speech, courtesy PageOneQ via veteran journalist Rex Wockner, in its entirety, because it's Larry.


We must never forget that everything we have won can very quickly be taken away from us. We have seen this time and again. Presidents come and go ignoring us. This president is no different. Once again he is not doing it for us and once again we are letting him get away with it. This President is another loser for us and I predict he will remain this way.

We must remember that we do not have the freedom to marry, to inherit, to adopt, to share our health insurance, to learn about our history in our schools. To learn that our two greatest presidents, Washington and Lincoln were gay. We do not have the freedom to live as straight people have the freedom to live. We do not have the freedom to have our bars not raided by police and officers beating us up with such fury that we land in hospitals.

We have not learned to fight back with the same fury with which they fight us. You do not get more with honey than with vinegar. There are over one thousand benefits from our government that straight couples get that we are denied. This is not freedom. This is not equality. America's Bill of Rights says we are meant to be equal.

You must know, we must never forget, that every single treatment for hiv/aids is out there because of gay aids activists, led by ACT UP chapters across the country and Project Inform in San Francisco. They did not come from the government. They came because gay people fought like tigers and screaming banshees to get the system that hates us deliver them to us. If you want to read how we did it get my book The Tragedy of Today's Gays. This achievement, the obtaining of these drugs, I believe to be the single greatest achievement gay people have accomplished in all of history and we must be remembered for it.

The lesson should be clear. The lesson should be obvious. It should show us what we are capable of achieving when we put our minds and hearts and brains and bodies together and work together all together as brothers and sisters and one big family. There is not one person here today who is not capable of being such an activist.

We get what we fight for. And we are not fighting. Every single one of us is not fighting. They fight better than we do. There is a concerted and never ending vein of hate in this country and in this world dedicated to keeping us in our place. It is evil to force people to be what we are not -- free. We are not free.

I love being gay

I love gay people.

How can I say this without offending everyone else, I think we're better than other people.

I think we are smarter.

I think we are more talented.

I think we are more aware.

I think we make better friends.

I think we make better lovers.

I think we're more tuned in to what's happening, tuned into the moment, tuned into our emotions, and other people's emotions.

Yes, I think that gay people are better than other people.

I think the only thing we are not so good at is fighting back.

I hear talk of the new generation of gays and the old generation of gays, and how different we are. That is not true. We are all one generation. We are all related. We are all each other's brothers and sisters. We are all one family, the gay family.

And I passionately and desperately want all my brothers and sisters to stay alive and well and on this earth, with total equality with every straight person.

Being gay is the most important thing in my life.

I love being gay. I hope you do, too.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wolf Blitzer is a Moron


This is so last week, but since I did the online audition, and usually get at least 75% of all questions right while watching it on TV (except the physics stuff), I was particularly happy to see that fraudulent media whore and rightwing fistpuppet Wolf Blitzer was proven to be a complete and utter moron in an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy.

And the CNN Situation Room host sucked. He didn't know where Jesus was born. He thinks Julia Childs wrote Mastering the Art of French Cooking. He was just not good at Jeopardy.

It doesn't help that he was playing against Jeopardy wizard Andy Richter, who handily won $68,000 for the St. Jude Children's Hospital, but Dana Delany was there too and she didn't end the Double Jeopardy round thousand of dollars in the hole.

Even better: The Tonight Show aired scenes from the show rehearsal, where you can see Wolf being even dumber and also weirdly rude and pretentious. What this guy has to be pretentious about is anybody's guess.


I mean, he was more stupid than Sean Connery on the Saturday Night Live parody sketches.

Gawker has a bunch of videos. Watch 'em there. I hate embdding YouTubes on my blog.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Playboy makes men gay


And I thought it was all those viewings of The Sound of Music!

That's according to Michael Schwartz, chief of staff for Sen. Tom Coburn (Rethug, Oklahoma), who was shooting his mouth off at Focus On The Family's Values Voters Summit (where they overwhelmingly voted for snake-handler Mike Huckabee as their preferred 2012 prez candidate) another fundy whack job who's infested himself into our government as an underling with no brains:
"But all pornography is homosexual pornography because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards. And that in fact is what it does. I know couples now who are struggling with the husband’s addiction to pornography. It’s a terrible thing, and that is what happened to him. You know, if it doesn’t turn you homosexual, it at least renders you less capable of loving your wife."

Because, of course, every male is supposed to have a wife. He blathers on:
"All pornography is homosexual pornography because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards. Now think about that. And if you, if you tell an 11-year-old boy about that, do you think he’s going to want to go out and get a copy of Playboy? I’m pretty sure he’ll lose interest. That’s the last thing he wants."

And apparently, rightwing fundies want to control who gets married, even if they're straight. Another brainless fundy spouted off at another rightwing convention, saying that the elderly and infertile shouldn't be allowed to marry, as they can't breed.

Because breeding, something cockroaches and rats do better than humans, is a "miracle" when a fundy like the Duggar wife pops 'em out like a clown car.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Aberzombies


Treated like a 'misfit' at Abercrombie and Fitch

Abercrombie and Fitch was fined $115,264 for refusing to let an Apple Valley teen help her autistic sister try on clothes.


Four years after Abercrombie and Fitch refused to let a teenager help her autistic sister try on clothes at its Mall of America store, state officials have fined the company $115,264 for discriminating against a disabled person.

The hefty penalty from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights pleased the Maxson family of Apple Valley, which was forced to push hard for satisfaction after the retailing giant refused to apologize for the incident and even questioned whether the girl was disabled. The fine was levied in June but made public this month.


Michael K. Browne, the department's legal affairs manager, said the size of the penalty is the largest in at least two years. The amount reflects his agency's effort to prevent future discrimination of this kind, as well as the cost of litigation forced by the "pushback" from Abercrombie and Fitch. "We don't want anything that happened in this case to repeat itself," Browne said.

Molly Maxson, then 14, was with her older sister on a back-to-school shopping trip in August 2005 when a store employee told them they couldn't both enter the fitting room because of store policy aimed at preventing shoplifting. The store refused to relent even after the sister, and later the girls' mother, explained that Molly couldn't be alone because of her disability.

The confrontation humiliated the girl, who told a psychologist hired by Abercrombie and Fitch that the incident made her feel like a "misfit."

"She was singled out and required to hear her sister and mother repeatedly ask for accommodations based on her disability, in front of a long line of customers, at a store that markets itself to young people as a purveyor of a particularly desirable 'look,'" administrative law judge Kathleen D. Sheehy declared in her ruling.


As if there weren't already plenty of reasons to boycott the snotty clothing company (okay, I got a few of their nude-filled catalogs at garage sales and sold them on Ebay for a few bucks), this blatant display of A and F's awful store policies, plus their overt racism in advertising and employment, and their general Aryan pervy advertising, should pretty much seal it.

Besides, A and F is wrong for any gay man over 30. But it's a perfectly good excuse to show off a few of their Aryan pervy pics!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Put up a Parking Spot


While I haven't had time to spot any installations, today is PARK(ing) Day.

People pay the meters at spots around the city to convert parking spaces to little yards, galleries, picnics and all sorts of activities.

PARK(ing) Day began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art collective, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in an area of San Francisco that is underserved by public open space.




Back then the project was named simply PARK(ing), and was devised as a creative exploration of how urban public space is allocated and used. For example, up to 70% of San Francisco's downtown outdoor space is dedicated to the vehicle, while only a fraction of that space is allocated to the public realm. Paying the meter of a parking space enables one to lease precious urban real estate on a short-term basis. What is the range of possible activities for this short-term lease?

Since 2005, the project has grown into PARK(ing) Day, an annual worldwide phenomenon, created independently by groups of artists, activists and citizens. Along the way, Rebar has been supported by several non-profits that share our values and concerns about how urban space is used.



Yes, it's cute. Yes, it annoys people trying to park thier cars. I think that's the point.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Time of His Life



About the time Dirty Dancing was in theatres, back in the oh so different 1980s, I was a young struggling (and oh so skinny) dancer, scraping by with various small jobs for downtown dance companies in New York City.

While Manhattan offered an environment of respect for such a performer, inside I always felt inadequate; never good enough to pass first cuts of the companies I longed to perform for, struggling to make my body work better when I moved.

And then, that silly sappy movie came along. The country club setting, although set in an earlier time, was all too familiar from my upstate catering jobs. The "help" never mixed with the guests.

But romance had its way, and the studly character played by Patrick Swayze proved that real men can dance. Decades before Dancing With the Stars, Swayze shook his hips, lifted Baby up high, and gave audiences the time of their lives, or at least a few hours.

Patrick Swayze fought a tough battle with cancer, finally succumbing today. His films will live on. Sure, most remember his performance in Ghost. But he also brought a gravitas to even the lousiest of scripts, including my guilty pleasures Red Dawn and Roadhouse.


Of course, who could forget the intense fraternal homoeroticism of The Outsiders, and the restrained fabulism of his Vida Boheme in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar? One of his last performances, in the strangely amazing Donnie Darko, showed his ability for satire, as did his hilarious work on Saturday Night Live.

When acting work tapered, he devoted himself to important causes. "Off-screen, he was an avid conservationist who was moved by his time in Africa to shine a light on 'man's greed and absolute unwillingness to operate according to Mother Nature's laws,' he told the AP in 2004."

But for me, Dirty Dancing was the best. Patrick wore those tight black pants like a glove, and damn, that man could dance.

End as a Man




The New York Times reviews Jon Krakauer's book about Pat Tillman


The story of Pat Tillman, the professional football player killed in Afghanistan in 2004, was simultaneously appalling and inspiring — which helped explain, perhaps, the mesmerizing grip it had on the United States. It showed America at its best and worst, at a time when the country was engaged in a deeply polarizing war. At the least, it had all the ingredients of a very good book.


Most everyone, at least in the United States, is familiar with the basic facts: Tillman, a free-thinking, hard-hitting safety for the Arizona Cardinals, walked away from a multimillion-dollar contract after 9/11 to enlist in the Army. He joined an elite unit, the Rangers, and was killed on April 22, 2004, in a canyon in eastern Afghanistan. The story did not end there: Tillman’s commanders and possibly officials in the Bush administration suppressed that he had been killed accidentally by his own comrades. They publicly lionized Tillman as a hero who died fighting the enemy and fed the phony account even to Tillman’s grieving family. The sordid truth, or most of it, came out later.


Despite his hulking good looks, what still charms me about this man are details such as these: "Tillman was very much his own man: he wore his hair to his shoulders, rode his bicycle to training camp each morning and 'never went anywhere without a book.'”

When football stadiums were filled with cheering fans posthumously lionizing Tillman, his brother, one of few initially outspoken family members, said such tributes were (paraphrasing) "all a bunch of crap that Pat would have hated."

The details, even five years later, are nauseating to read: After Tillman’s death, Army commanders, aided and abetted by members of the Bush administration, violated many of their own rules, not to mention elementary standards of decency, to turn the killing into a propaganda coup for the American side.


Remembered above others no doubt because if his celebrity and good looks, none of that protected Tillman from the abuses and criminal behavior of the Bush administration and its military hunta.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"Don't steal bikes, bro."

What happens when a New York City cyclist catches a guy trying to steal his bike? Videotaped violence, that's what.

JoeMyGod posted it, and a 100 or so comments debated the merits of vigilante justice. Like NYC cops would do anything about a bike thief?

Said one participant: "The guy wasn't bleeding or banged up. Just enough to send a message. DON'T STEAL BIKES. Cops won't do anything and this guy will think twice about stealing bikes."

I traced the source, who sourced a previous source (amazing the circuitous route blog posts take) to a guy on Ning's Urban Rider group (so I joined). And you can watch this violent video of a bike thief getting his RIGHT HERE.

Or here!

Bike Thief vs Street Justis from triple on Vimeo.



Amazing that this little moment of reality gets censored by the corproate thugs at YouTube, while hideous fetishistic movie violence like the "Saw" horror flicks is advertised.

Anyway, from a previous rider/cyclist/source:

"He does make a valid point there. Below, posted in its entirety, is the bike owner's friend's explanation of how the bike thief was caught, assaulted, and videotaped. UPDATE: And, via Animal, check out the tools the bike thief was trying to use!"

Here's the story. I was having brunch on first ave and first street with a a couple of friends including Alfred .It was a pretty sunny day and a good there was a good amount of pedestrian traffic .Nothing unusual. Alfred went out to make a call and spotted someone looking over his bike. Nothing unusual ,he got a hot ass cannondale with hot ass wheels.the guy was average looking,had a helmet and a bag.looked like your average joe casual biker.Suddenly this dude gets on his knees and pulls out a drill.At first Alfred thought he wanted to steal his wheels,until he saw the drill.Is this what it has come out to?!people stealing bike with drills?Anyways as he was getting ready to drill the ulock,Alfred comes in the restaurant and yells,!yooooo someones trying to steal my bike,lets go get him.and let me tell you this ass hole tried stealing the wrong bike.first it was a bike messengers bike and second it was Alfred's bike and the motherFkr got a temper sometimes.so we roll out to this dude and start pounding him.my first instinct was to get my U lock and bang on him,but my bike was already locked up so , we bumbrushed this dude and started pounding him.Everybody is watching and wondering why this dude is being plumeted ,but at that point we don't give a fuck.we had to make sure this asshole dosen't do it again.me personal i have had 2 bikes stolen,in like a month apart.fuck that shit.he did't even look like a bike thief!so while pounding him i reach out to put my phone in my pocket and realized i had a camera on my wait.i pulled it out and captured the second half of the beating!


So there. Don't steal bikes, bro.

Comments on Prolly is not Probably:

I agree with most of what people are saying about this: The dude deserved it, it could have been much worse, and the cops wouldn't do shit to the thief had they been called. I really hope that with this video blowing up like this that those same cops don't go after these dudes for giving the thief a little pumpkinhead. Seems almost like it's inevitable that it will, though.
Posted by LoRoK | September 8, 2009 6:47 PM

I know some people may disagree with the use of violence. but it seems like a proper use of fists. the guy had a DRILL. this guy was serious about stealing bicycles. he was not some joe who was trying to steal a bicycle once...he was prepared. gosh darn bicycle thieves.
Posted by sau | September 8, 2009 6:54 PM

That has made my freaking day.
Posted by DoubleOhTwo | September 8, 2009 8:14 PM

i can't believe there are people actually feeling sorry for that guy... piece of shit was an experienced thief, so he got off pretty easy with a few knocks.
Posted by jerm | September 8, 2009 8:23 PM

Don't Steal Bikes Bro
Posted by prolly | September 8, 2009 8:40 PM

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ashes to Ashcroft


Oh, joy of joys.

I can't wait to see him in an orange jumpsuit:

John Ashcroft Can Be Sued For Post-9/11 Detentions, Court Rules

BOISE, Idaho — A federal appeals court delivered a stinging rebuke Friday to the Bush administration's post-Sept. 11 detention policies, ruling that former Attorney General John Ashcroft can be held liable for people who were wrongfully detained as material witnesses after 9/11.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the government's improper use of material witnesses after Sept. 11 was "repugnant to the Constitution and a painful reminder of some of the most ignominious chapters of our national history."

The court found that a man who was detained as a witness in a federal terrorism case can sue Ashcroft for allegedly violating his constitutional rights. Abdullah al-Kidd, a U.S. citizen and former University of Idaho student, filed the lawsuit against Ashcroft and other officials in 2005, claiming his civil rights were violated when he was detained as a material witness for two weeks in 2003.

He said the investigation and detention not only caused him to lose a scholarship to study in Saudi Arabia, but cost him employment opportunities and caused his marriage to fall apart.


Oh, Mary. Hear that? the smallest violin in this zip code's playing.

Maybe it was that creepy barbershop quartet that drove your wife away.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

NOMinal Corruption


The Iowa Independent reports that a formal complaint has been filed against the National Organization for Marriage in Iowa in response to the group's meddling in state elections:

Iowa "One Iowa and the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa filed the complaint Monday alleging that NOM, a New Jersey-based group that opposes same-sex marriage, violated Iowa campaign finance law in their Iowa House District 90 campaign. 'NOM has complete disregard of Iowa law as they engage in express advocacy in our state, while refusing to release the identity of their donors, as is legally required in Iowa law,' the complaint said. 'NOM has a history of funneling secret money throughout the country to engage in similar activity.' ... 'We request a thorough investigation into their activities, including detailed accounting of any and all contributions and their sources, as Iowans clearly deserve to know who is funding last minute advertising to try and influence [Tuesday's] election,' the complaint said."

NOM recently launched the 'Reclaim Iowa' program, attempting to influence key legislative races in favor of candidates who would overturn the state's marriage equality laws.

Starting with one candidate in elections today: "An out-of-state group working against gay marriage has spent more money on television ads for a Sept. 1 Iowa House race than either candidate has raised in cash, reports filed Thursday show. Democratic House District 90 candidate Curt Hanson raised $42,882 to compete in the special election, while GOP candidate Stephen Burgmeier raised $63,101, the reports show. A disclosure report filed by the New Jersey-based National Organization for Marriage, a group that opposes marriage for same-sex couples, has spent $86,080 on television ads in support of Burgmeier, according to a report filed Aug. 20."

via Towleroad.com

Meanwhile, in Vermont, gay marriage became legal, and - surprise-the world didn't end. But Ben & Jerry's released a new flavor; Hubby Hubby!

I wants some!