Friday, October 28, 2005

Guest Kitty-Blogging!

Huzzah for the brand new kitten of my friend Sorcha--both of whom I shall see this very night in Houston!

Sorcha is one of us now. The cat-people.


Sulu Friday!

Well done, Takei:

George Takei, who as helmsman Sulu steered the Starship Enterprise through three television seasons and six movies, has come out as a homosexual in the current issue of Frontiers, a biweekly Los Angeles magazine covering the gay and lesbian community.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Caption Needed

Comment on the state of America under this administration? Ominous Tim LaHaye allusion?

You be the judge:


More Reason to Love New Zealand

It's just nice to know there are places in the world with a bit of simple common sense and a relaxed approach to religion:
Rugby is arguably one of New Zealand's most popular religions and it at least one church agrees, with Sunday services scrapped next month in favour of watching the All Blacks on their Grand Slam tour of Britain and Ireland.

"A lot of people are going to watch the All Black games on Sunday morning, so we figured if we can't beat 'em, join 'em," said Pastor Russell Embling at the Greerton Bible Church in the North Island coastal town of Tauranga.

Embling said Thursday he would be placing a big screen television in his church for his congregation to watch the rugby and church goers will have the option of attending a Friday evening service instead.


The Los Angeles Saints?

The horror! The horror!
The Washington Post reports the NFL will consider relocating the Saints to Los Angeles if New Orleans is unable to recover from Hurricane Katrina.


Flight of the Crony

Miers is outta here:
Under withering attack from conservatives, President Bush abandoned his push to put loyalist Harriet Miers on the Supreme Court and promised a quick replacement Thursday. Democrats accused him of bowing to the "radical right wing of the Republican Party."


Doesn't She Know There's a War On?

I mean, really. When part-time receptionists insist on taking 24 whole hours to deal with sending their spouses off to possible death in Iraq, how can we possibly win the War on Terror?
A woman who took an unpaid leave of absence from work to see her husband off to war has been fired after failing to show up for her part-time receptionist job the day following his departure.

"It was a shock," said Suzette Boler, a 40-year-old mother of three and grandmother of three. "I was hurt. I felt abandoned by people I thought cared for me. I sat down on the floor and cried for probably two hours."

Officials at her former workplace, Benefit Management Administrators Inc., confirmed that Boler was dismissed when she didn't report to work the day after she said goodbye to her husband of 22 years.

"We gave her sufficient time to get back to work," Clark Galloway, vice president of operations for Benefit Management, told The Grand Rapids Press for a story published Wednesday.


Surprised = Naive

Corruption? In the great and noble War on Drugs? No!
Several cases of corruption in the military ranks have revealed a dangerous vulnerability in the nation's security, ABC News has learned.

Dozens of active and former soldiers have abused their military uniforms and authority in a drug smuggling ring, government sources tell ABC News.

A U.S. army sergeant fighting the war on drugs in Colombia was recently sentenced to six years in prison for using military aircraft to smuggle cocaine into the United States.

In April, an Air National Guard pilot and a sergeant used a C-5 Galaxy military transport plane to sneak nearly 300,000 Ecstasy pills from Germany into New York.

In another case, three U.S. airmen were arrested in March for stealing military-issue bulletproof vests from Moody Air Force Base in Georgia and selling them to drug dealers for $100 each.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A Pathetic Display of Ignorance and Self-Loathing

Oy. As sad as it is annoying:
The so-called ex-gay movement which has long complained its message is being stifled by "the homosexual agenda" is getting its own radio show to be broadcast in eight states.

Stephen Bennett and his wife Irene are launching "Straight Talk Radio" a daily half hour program. It will begin airing on October 31.

Bennett, who runs the Stephen Bennett Ministries, describes himself as "a former homosexual".

On the ministry's website Bennett says "SBM firmly believes no one is born homosexual; that unnatural homosexual attractions tragically develop early on in the childhood; and by biblically dealing with the root cause(s) of one's same-sex attraction, homosexuality can be completely overcome - just as drug addiction, alcoholism or any other sinful behavior. Men and women can then effectively move on to healthy heterosexuality - as part of God's natural, perfect design and plan for man and woman. "


Bush Does the Right Thing Again!?

First, the administration gives up on "bunker buster" nukes. And now it is caving in to demands for fair wages!

The Bush administration will reinstate rules requiring that companies awarded federal contracts for Hurricane Katrina pay prevailing wages, usually an amount close to the pay scales in local union contracts.


How Many More Will There Be?

The pain of this war is going to be with us for a long, long time:
Elaina Morton is not listed as one of the 2,000 Americans now confirmed killed in Iraq since the start of the war, but she might as well be. In US military parlance the 23-year-old lab technician from Kansas would have been referred to as a "surviving spouse". But three months after her husband, Staff Sergeant Benjamin Morton, was killed by insurgents in Mosul, Elaina picked up a gun and shot herself.
Hers is thought to be the first confirmed case of a war widow committing suicide, and as the US toll in Iraq yesterday hit the grim 2,000 landmark her death is proof of the immeasurable emotional toll that the conflict has put on families of servicemen and women.


AIDS in the Post-Cold War World

The former Soviet bloc is being hit hard, especially young people:
The former communist countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia are suffering the fastest growing AIDS epidemic in the world and the situation there is getting worse, a UN agency said Tuesday.
The situation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia is one of the focuses of the United Nations' new global campaign to combat AIDS, which is threatening children as never before.

In both regions, 25 per cent of those diagnosed with HIV were under 20. In Russia, which has the largest epidemic of the countries studied, at least half are children.

"The epidemic has a young face," the agency said. "Yet action for children affected by HIV is too little, too slow, too ad-hoc. It must be scaled up."


Phelps: He's Mad, He's Worldwide

He's still as charming as ever:
Fifty-two people died in this year's terrorist attacks on the London transit system.

"Oh I am so thankful that happened. My only regret is that they didn't kill about million of them. England deserves that kind of punishment, as does this country (America)," Phelps said in the broadcast.
Members of the 'church' say they will take their anti-gay protests to Sweden later this year. In August, Phelps claimed that Sweden's King Carl Gustaf is gay.

Angry over a Swedish court ruling that a fundamentalist minister broke that country's hate speech law during a fiery speech against homosexuality, Phelps lashed out at the royal family. (story)

Calling Sweden "a land of sodomy, bestiality, and incest", he went on to say: "The King looks like an anal-copulator, & his grinning kids look slutty & gay."


A Tiny Glimmer of Sanity

It ain't much, but it's something:
The Bush administration has abandoned research into a nuclear "bunker-buster" warhead, deciding instead to pursue a similar device using conventional weaponry, a key Republican senator said Tuesday.

Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., said funding for the nuclear bunker-buster as part of the Energy Department's fiscal 2006 budget has been dropped at the request of the Energy Department.

The nuclear bunker-buster had been the focus of intense debate in Congress, with opponents arguing that its development as a tactical nuclear weapon could add to nuclear proliferation.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005


And, regrettably, counting:
U.S. military deaths in Iraq reached 2,000 amid rising debate over whether the benefits of the two and one-half year conflict outweigh the casualties and cost.


Vermont Law Puts Its Money Where Its Mouth Is

Vermont's only law school is refusing to give in to demands it allow military recruiters on campus even though it has meant the loss of $500,000 a year in federal grants.
"The government is trying to use its force to prohibit independent institutions from speaking up on behalf of individuals who are being discriminated against based on their sexual preference," Jeff Shields, the school's president told the Free Press newspaper.



This is just getting way out of hand. The reduction of humans to sheer exchange value proceeds apace:
A new study shows that 20 percent of human genes have been patented in the United States, primarily by private firms and universities.


Austinites: Here Comes the Ugly

Laughably, the KKK is heading to Austin, to show their support for family values (Thanks to NYMary for reminding me to post on this):
The city has given permission of the Ku Klux Klan to hold a rally on Saturday, November 5. The group says they want to have a pro-family values rally in front of City Hall that afternoon to get voters to vote against gay marriage.

The city has reserved the Austin City Hall's south plaza on Lavaca and Cesar Chavez from 1-3 pm on Saturday, November 5.

In an e-mail to the city for permission, a representative for the American White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan wrote: "Our speech will not be inflammatory, but we all know the reputation of the name of the KKK, so we expect anti-Klan demonstrators to be there who may become violent. We certainly don't want any of our people hurt nor any city officials. We just want to come and encourage people to vote for Christian Family Values and against legalized homosexual marriage in the state of Texas."


Bush: Still Pro-Torture

He's staying the course:
Stepping up a confrontation with the Senate over the handling of detainees, the White House is insisting that the Central Intelligence Agency be exempted from a proposed ban on abusive treatment of suspected Qaeda militants and other terrorists.

The Senate defied a presidential veto threat nearly three weeks ago and approved, 90 to 9, an amendment to a $440 billion military spending bill that would ban the use of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of any detainee held by the United
government. This could bar some techniques that the C.I.A. has used in some interrogations overseas.

But in a 45-minute meeting last Thursday, Vice President Dick Cheney and the C.I.A. director, Porter J. Goss, urged Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who wrote the amendment, to support an exemption for the agency, arguing that the president needed maximum flexibility in dealing with the global war on terrorism, said two government officials who were briefed on the meeting.


"No Family"? Or "No Military Family"?

It would seem a bit of a double standard is at work in this particular anti-Phelps action:
A state senator angered over a recent protest at an Indiana soldier's funeral wants to make disorderly conduct a felony offense if it occurs at military funerals.

Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, said he would propose legislation in response to an anti-gay group's protest at the Aug. 28 funeral for Army Staff Sgt. Jeremy Doyle, an Indianapolis native killed in Iraq.

Six members of the Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church dragged U.S. flags on the ground and shouted insults at Doyle's surviving family members outside a mortuary in Martinsville, about 30 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

"No family should have to go through this at a funeral," Steele said.


Bush: Indeed, a Tremendous Dick

Petulant, yet pathetic:
Facing the darkest days of his presidency, President Bush is frustrated, sometimes angry and even bitter, his associates say.
"He's like the lion in winter," observed a political friend of Bush. "He's frustrated. He remains quite confident in the decisions he has made. But this is a guy who wanted to do big things in a second term. Given his nature, there's no way he'd be happy about the way things have gone."

Bush usually reserves his celebrated temper for senior aides because he knows they can take it. Lately, however, some junior staffers have also faced the boss' wrath.

"This is not some manager at McDonald's chewing out the help," said a source with close ties to the White House when told about these outbursts. "This is the President of the United States, and it's not a pleasant sight."


RIP Rosa Parks

She did amazing work for racial justice in this nation, and I feel that I must say that the mythologizing of Rosa Parks as "just some black woman who stood up to the Man" is annoying, and insulting, and grossly inaccurate. She was a political activist, and damn well knew what she was doing. It wasn't just that she had tired feet.
The personification of courage. That's how her attorney said he will remember civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

Parks passed away at her home in Detroit Monday night of natural causes. She was 92, and had been frail lately, making only limited public appearances.


Sunday, October 23, 2005

Shutting Down the Con

Good for Judge Donald:
A federal judge has refused to allow Love In Action ministry, which claims to counsel gay clients to turn straight, to continue "treating people".


More Eye-Candy

While I work on my job applications and such: