Saturday, June 30, 2007
Rep. Virgil Goode proposed an amendment that would prevent the DC government from spending federal money on domestic partnership registrations. This was a bone to the fundies, as the DC government has never used fed money for this and it's probably already illegal under DOMA. (I'm going to come back to that point in a minute).
Gay activists in DC who oppose moving forward with full marriage equality in the district will likely point to this as an example of why we should sit on our hands on the issue. They have a point -- no one says passage of marriage equality in the district isn't going to be a battle.
But -- we didn't even try. If there was an effective action alert that went out from any gay organization, from the Log Cabin Republicans to the HRC, I didn't see it. I did see HRC issued a press release after the fact and no doubt a fundraising letter. Likewise, did any gay organization lobby on this measure?
Also flunking this week were 40 democratic Congresscritters who voted against us. Repeat mantra: They take our votes, they take our money, but they won't take a stand...
Regarding DOMA -- Some of the arguments for blocking this funding for domestic partnership registry was that DOMA defines marriage as between man and a woman and spouse as someone of the opposite sex.
Stop the presses! This was about domestic partnerships, not marriage. Or are Republicans acknowledging that a DP and Marriage are essentially the same? If so, let's stop squabbling over semantics and let's just call it marriage.
Romney placed his family dog, an Irish setter named Seamus, into a kennel lashed to the top of his station wagon for a 12-hour family trip from Boston to Ontario in 1983. Despite being shielded by a wind screen the former Massachusetts governor erected, Seamus expressed his discomfort with a diarrhea attack.
Okay -- I wasn't going to touch this one as it happend so long ago. But Romney is defending it today:
"He scrambled up there every time we went on trips," Romney said at a campaign stop in Pittsburgh Thursday. "He got it all by himself and enjoyed it."
Enjoyed it so much he shit himself. And according to one account I read the Gov put the dog back up there after he hosed him off and continued on his way.
How does someone get elected Governor in Massachussets after abusing an Irish Setter?
(That's not Seamus in the pic, just a generic Irish Setter)
Friday, June 29, 2007
Scott pal MattyDale offers his fashion tips every Friday. He doesn't mention in his column about under gear below the joys of going commando, and the dos and don'ts thereof. I think that's a subject he should look into. Already my kid has discovered the joys of going commando, and at not yet three knows what it means (his mothers taught him this). In this, he is his father's son.
Guys, let’s face it – the gals get the lion’s share of “gear” when it comes to preparing what to wear. They have bras, sliming devices, hosiery, etc. But those items create the right (or depending on the choice, the wrong) foundation for everything else. With guys, it’s not quite as complex. However, that’s not to say the proper foundation is not important.
The right under gear can make or break your ensemble. From the underwear to the undershirt, we have a wide array of choices. They need not be the baggy, frumpy underwear of grandpa’s youth. Technological advances have been made in men’s undergarments. Fabrics have been blended with fibers that hold you and mold you, making the perfect base for what you put over them.
I will be the first to admit that I have a multitude of underwear to choose from, based on the outfit I plan to don for the day. There are pairs that lower cut, pairs that contain lycra, pairs that hold the butt better and of course the ones that prop up the basket. And then there is the t-shirt. Again, variations abound – crew or v-neck, cotton or cotton blended with Lycra, tank, ribbed tank, etc. The right t-shirt or tank can create a smooth base for what goes on top while also protect the shirt on top from embarrassing sweat stains.
Now for the rules… color of your undies is a little less tricky than color of your t-shirts. T-shirts should be white, but sometimes grey or black can be appropriate. Do not mix brightly colored t-shirts under your nice oxford. That’s a no no. One of my other pet peeves is the mixing of uncoordinated polos and t-shirts. It looks like you are five and your mommy let you dress yourself. Layers are fine, but let’s use our better sense. If you have no sense, stick with basic white. Also, make certain you have the proper fit to avoid an undershirt that billows. It sticks out like a sore thumb under your nicely pressed oxford or dress shirt and does your bod no justice. I don’t care what size you wear, just make certain it fits properly. End of story.
Underwear can be much more fun and interesting, but don’t get too crazy. There are different goals and objectives here – we would not want to be up and out for the office, so something that holds the “boys” down in place is a good idea. However, I firmly believe that the right pair of undies paired with the perfect pants can be the difference between sir frump a lot and “WOW, look at that HOT ass and package!” Another fun thing about undies is a little casual show of some waist band… I think a little goes a long way and can be kind of hot – when you are sporting some tight low-rise jeans or cargo pants (or shorts). But guys, DO NOT tuck your shirt into your underwear so you can demonstrate what brand you are wearing. I have a visual for you… Pee Wee Herman. Nough said? As for boxers, sure they allow freedom for the boys, but they do absolutely nothing for form. As Carrie once said, “Me no likey!” One item that can really boost the butt and create the perfect “package” is the good old athletic supporter (i.e. Jock Strap). It does a great job of holding the butt up and also does justice to what your daddy gave you. A word of advice though, I recommend this is left for bar gear, certain themed bars in particular.
Brands – There are some awesome products out there – Aussie Bum is a personal favorite. They come in a variety of styles, prints and colors. There is the “Undergear” catalogue that has some fun things, but I think they are made for porn stars and often come off looking out of place on us regular guys (but the eye candy is awesome). A few others I recommend: Baskit (these are a little more expensive, but when you see what they do for your body you won’t care about the cost), Calvin Klein, and 2xist, just to name a few.
Whether you are heading to the office or out with friends, the right base will make the things people see look even better – getting you noticed for the right reasons. Besides, why should the ladies be the only ones to have a little fun with their undergarments?
Don't misunderstand -- we should expect the Pride Festival to be managed well and to be solvent. But isn't that the minimum standard? The floor? Should there be more to Pride than business competence?
An Economist article recounts the Simpsons episode where:
A FEW years ago, a Gay Pride parade passed The Simpsons' house in Springfield. “We're here! We're queer! Get used to it!” chanted the marchers. Little Lisa Simpson replied: “You do this every year. We are used to it.
I'm not an enemy of Pride. I think the Festival in DC is valuable in bringing out the community and allies. It helps us network, make partnerships and friends and helps our organizations find new members and supporters.
I think Pride fails dismally at helping preserve and promote our political history and political priorities. How many people of the younger generation know we celebrate Pride in June because that's when the Stonewall riots took place? How many know what really happened at Stonewall? Or care, for that matter?
Maybe it's not important. Maybe the younger generation doesn't need to know, because, for many of them, being openly gay is no big deal, to them or their straight friends. They don't remember a time when just going to a Gay Pride event was a political statement in itself, that attending the festival when it was in the park behind the Francis school was truly a liberating moment from the workaday closet.
Maybe Lisa is right -- they are used to it -- and Gay Pride doesn't need to be significant anymore. Maybe solvency is the goal, after all.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
In a remarkable show of unity on a bill that will come up for a vote in the U.S. House this summer, an overwhelming 77% of Republicans believe an employer should not have the right to fire an employee based solely on their sexual orientation. Even among social conservatives, 67% don’t believe an employer should be able to fire someone for being gay.
49% of Republicans believe gays and lesbians should be able to serve openly in the U.S. military, while 42% are opposed.
That's good news in particular, more Republicans think gays should serve openly in the military than should not serve, which certainly puts them ahead of the GOP presidential candidates. However, I wonder what the result would have been if they had asked for support of Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal?
43% of Republicans support either marriage equality or civil unions. 51% oppose all relationship recognition.
One suspects that the actual breakdown shows that there's very little support for marriage equality and most of that 43 percent is for civil unions. Again, what would the result have been if they had tested "gay marriage" or "same sex marriage." Still, it appears to be good news showing a more moderate rank and file than the wingnuts would like us to think.
And then there's this:
The poll shows sharp disagreement on a range of social issues, however Republicans are united on some core priorities:
The also is united in its support for enforcing existing immigration laws and waging an aggressive war on terror.
- 78% believe we should balance the federal budget
- 66% believe the government is too big
- 80% believe the federal government spends too much
- 69% believe taxes are too high and only 1% believe they aren’t high enough
This poll is good news for one would be presidential candidate -- Michael Bloomberg.
Is your bench routine flat and your strength/size-gain goals seem to be falling by the wayside. Try this. One day a month, do your bench workout twice. It’s a two-fer.
The first time (in the morning), go as heavy as you possibly can to still attain five reps of five. Run those five by fives through your whole workout. For a target weight, you should be working with 80 percent of your one rep max. So, if your one rep max on the flat bench is 200, you should be working with 160.
Flat bench: 5x5@ 160 lbs.
Decline bench: 5x5@ 80%
Incline bench: 5x5@80%
Flies: 5x5@ 80%
Wait at least 3 hours, but preferably six, and go back to the gym. Now do the same exact routine, except swap out the heavy set of 5x5 with high volumes of singles at a very light weight. Your goal is to get fifty (that’s 50 – honey) reps at each one of these exercises. I would work with no more than 50 percent of my one rep max.
Flat bench – 50 reps. You push out as many as you can, rack the weight, catch your breath for 30 seconds, and start benching again. Repeat this until you hit the magic number of 50. Do the same for the incline, decline and flies.
I can almost guarantee that you will wake up in the middle of the night with massive tit throbbing that will require sufficient aspirin…but you can actually feel yourself growing.
And make sure you get your 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight on days when you lift. Recovery is critical if you a set of eye catching pecs.
Forty-four percent said they believed that same-sex couples should be permitted to get married, compared with 28 percent of the public at large.
I'm actually a little surprised it's not higher, but this is still encouraging. The era of the 'phobes is coming to an end.
I mean, an eight-page or so feature story on cat-calls?
City Paper: If you want an example of an excellent weekly rag that covers the community, politics, arts, culture and the DC social scene, check out Metro Weekly.
And stop whining.
You know, the practice of personal attacks has been around as long as American politics has -- the attacks on Jefferson for his affair with Sally Hemmings, for example. The problem is that the endless hours of breathless cable coverage and blogging and talk radio give these attacks the power of weapons of mass defamation.
If you want an example of raising the political discourse, listen to these kids.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Robert Heinlein (to explain it to me)
(no need to provide wine, just water, and let Jesus do his thing).
Who would you pick? And Madonna is not a valid answer, unless you can pair her off with someone that would be an intersting matching.
A Polk County man has been charged with attempted murder by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department, who say he attempted to run over a man with heavy construction machinery after a night of drinking and sex. Officials say that the accused will not be charged with a hate crime, as the sex was consensual, and the circumstances of the incident do not meet the criteria of a hate crime.
Nathaniel David Lundquist, 21, of Polk City, is accused of running over James S. Karelas, 26, of Davenport early June 3 on a dirt road off U.S. Highway 27 in the Four Corners area of Osceola County. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office took Lundquist into custody, and he has been booked in the Polk County jail.
According to reports, Lundquist met Karelas at Linkester’s Tap Room in Polk County. The two men left the bar at closing time with the intent of going to Karelas’ home. Lundquist drove himself and Karelas to a construction area near Tri-County Road, where they parked and had sex outside of the vehicle.
Karelas told deputies that Lundquist returned to his car, saying he needed to retrieve something, but instead drove away. Karelas said Lundquist returned, but was driving a motor grader and ran Karelas over. Karelas said he was struck in the leg with the construction equipment and knocked into a ditch. Despite screaming at Lundquist to stop, Karelas said Lundquist turned the vehicle around and struck him again.
Monday, June 25, 2007
The said "sorry" in a press release but didn't actually say it to him. In other words, they're really only sorry about the negative publicity. Class act, those school officials.
Why not just divorce the notion of "Gay Pride" from the parade and call it what it is: Gay Madi Gras.
In DC we celebrate Pride with a parade on Saturday and a street festival on Sunday. I find the Festival worthwhile, it brings the community as a whole together for one day, which is productive. But the parade is mostly a titallating party, and this year, not a very fun one at that.
Keep the festival. I'd as soon do away with the parade.
I do think a Pride parade would have value and serve it's original purpose in less diverse and smaller cities.
And here's hoping Judge Pearson won't press his pants suit on appeal.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Somehow I doubt Felicia made Lenny scrub a toilet before he conducted at the Ken Cen.
It's hard to see in the photo, but the student, Andre Jackson, is locking lips with another guy. The yearbook contained pictures of straight couples kissing and these were not censored by school officials.
Jackson bought the space in the yearbook as a tribute to his boyfriend. School officials blacked it out as a tribute to their own fear and homophobia.
As another student remarked, "If you don't like it, don't look at it." Ah, there is wisdom at East Side High, after all.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
A ring of dressing rooms wrap around the back of the concert hall backstage. I wasn't expecting a dressing room but they assigned me one. In each dressing room are pictures of artists who -- I presume -- had once used the space. In my dressing room were pictures of Jose Carreras and Dizzy Gillespie, among others.
The acousitics in the hall were wonderful. The final chord of a piece would just ring.
I could get spoiled, performing in such a place.
Friday, June 22, 2007
MattyDale's weekly fashion (and odor) advice.
Hey Man, What Is That Funky Smell???
In the Wednesday Workout, the LTR posed the question, “Has it become hip, mod, or otherwise trendy to walk around cloaked in strong man-smell? The reason I’m asking is that a number of guys at the gym are consistently showing up in the morning cloaked in “eau d’ homme.”
To answer the Wednesday Pump Master’s question, it is my personal opinion that it is not acceptable to leave one’s home smelling of “eau d’ homme.” Frankly, I do not care that one may be heading to the gym. I am not saying I would powder up and primp for the gym, putting on a gallon of cologne that will gag half the gym membership. Nor would I spend the time messing with a lot of product to be perfectly coiffed. BUT, a thorough shower, if nothing else but to wake up, is in order. And don’t spare the deodorant. PLEASE, it’s the gym, not Saturday night at the DC Eagle.
Yes, you are going to the gym to work out and get sweaty. That does not mean you should use it as an excuse to abandon good hygiene and consideration for other gym patrons.
Generally speaking, and this goes beyond the gym, let me just say that we are an advanced society. One word… Bathe!
Furthermore, In this day and age of hypoallergenic deodorants, there is no reason for someone to skip proper hygiene because of allergies. As one who is sensitive to many deodorant products, I can honestly say I have found good luck with a few products prevent offensive odors AND do not irritate the skin under my arms. Degree Invisible Solid and Mitchum (there is a Smart Solid and a Sensitive Skin product that are great and do not stain your shirts) are just a few that I recommend.
The point is, when you are out in public (gym, work, shopping, etc.) you should not only take care to select what you are wearing, but also how you smell. We don’t need over-scented Obsession-drenched men hitting the streets. I am talking about a nice, clean scent. Shower (with soap) and use something to reduce or eliminate “eau d’ homme.” If not for yourself, please, for the rest of us.
Here's a tale in today's Washington Post that illustrates the point. In response to the madness of the shooter at VA Tech, valor and courage.
Ron Fournier, AP political writer for the last 1000 years, writes a story about Hillary's rhetorical slickness, which includes this:
She told the crowd Tuesday that she had been calling for a troop withdrawal "for some time," not mentioning that her rivals have held that position for a longer period.
As a writer, I recognize that construct works well. But, come on: no other candidate would say something like "I believe X, but my opponents have believed it longer and they thought of it first." Hillary may indeed be as slippery as Bill, but sloppy reporting like this doesn't help make the case.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
That's us in rehearsal last night. I'm very proud of them.
To lead a band at a hall like the Ken Cen is beyond my wildest dreams. This weekend will be awesome.
The LTR and I are finally getting around to having our wills drawn up. It's something we shoulda done long ago. Understandably we put it off.
Speaking as, to use Sully's phrase, a genitally mutilated male, this doesn't help me. It's too late for me. It only serves to rub my, er, nose in it. He acknowledges that new studies showing that circumcision may help reduce risk of HIV transmission may win the argument.
Meanwhile, cut or uncut, big or small, it's what you do with it that counts.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Lace up swim brief at left, "enhancement jock" below.
Unfortunately, IM won't release model names so I can find out who this guy is and see if he has his own Web site so I can more easily stalk him.
In the meantime, I'll just call him "Phil."
The LTR's weekly column on health and fitness.
The muscle making tip of the week pertains to the nutrition side of the equation. In addition to resistance (weight) training, consistent muscle growth requires ample supplies of protein. Now I’ve seen recommendations all over the board, but my rule of thumb is that you need to get one gram of protein per pound of body weight, especially on days that you lift.
That will require – at least in the short term – to keep a log of your daily caloric intake. A free, online diet calculator can be found at www.fitday.com It will calculate your diet, protein, carb and fat intake, and the calories you burn daily. That will at least let you know if your consumption patterns are in the ballpark. If you are on the low side of the protein equation, that will definitely be limiting the muscle you can pack on as a result of your lifting.
And now, if I may digress for a moment, I have a question for the Friday Fashionista. Has it become hip, mod, or otherwise trendy to walk around cloaked in strong man-smell? The reason I’m asking is that a number of guys at the gym are consistently showing up in the morning cloaked in “eau du homme.” I mean strong man scent – at in the morning.
It just strikes me that if you are consistently rolling out of bed smelling like that, you might be intentionally missing certain body parts when you do occasionally shower. So my question is this: If flitzing around the gym while oozing man-smell is “in,” are there any parts of my body I can still wash and be considered “hip.”
Just curious, and can’t wait to hear your answer. Kiss kiss.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Perhaps Journalist Joel Klein could give her a few pointers.
[Geoff] Morrell, 38, will become a familiar face of the administration on television and the Web. The official said that a working journalist was chosen by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in an effort to improve press relations at a time when the administration is under pressure to show progress in Iraq.
Ummm...here's a novel idea for improving press relations:
Actually achieve progress in Iraq. Stop torturing people. Respect human rights. I guarantee you'll get better press if you'd do any one of those three things.
It's expected to pass if it comes up for a vote.
Its prospects in the GOP-led state Senate are not as favorable.
Boo. Okay -- we all know Republicans are not our friends on the marriage issue. But consider this:
The Democratic conference, which includes 108 of the chamber's 150 members, has been weighing whether to bring the bill to the floor for the past month. Speaker Sheldon Silver, the Democratic leader from the Lower East Side, was known to be unwilling to have a floor vote unless he were certain that his party had enough votes, at least 76, for passage, and the number of known Democratic supporters has been hovering right near that number for the past several weeks.
Okay -- so after all the time, money and votes gays have consistently given Democrats, why the struggle to cobble together a bare majority to pass legislation essential for gay equal rights within the Democratic party?
Some say Pearson's constitutional right to sue is none of the DC government's business. Others point to the requirements for DC admin judges to posses judicial temperament.
As a DC taxpayer (and dry cleaner user) I say: give Pearson a friggin' kick in the seat of his pants suit. "Judicial temperament?" Not. We could use one less nut job down at city hall.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
I just cleaned the sink and vanity yesterday.
Of course, the LTR would respond with all the wonderful things he did for me over the past few days AND the fact that I tend to leave empty glasses strewn about the house. Which is true, I do.
But I'm the one tasked with cleaning up the house, so if I make work for myself, that's my choice. If he makes work for me, well, that's a horse of a different color.
Of course I love every (dwindling) hair on his head. I just don't love them all over the bathroom sink. But...if there's one thing we've learned after 20 years is what's a few whiskers or errant empty glasses in a lifetime of love.
But if I get a whisker in one of my contact lenses, buddy, all bets are off.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Interesting, isn't it, that a third world country offers its gay citizens more equal rights than many states here in the land of the free provide. With bold exceptions like Massachusetts, we are losing our designation as leader of the free world, becoming the laggard of the free world.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Okay, ok, so the LTR and I are always behind in pop culture...Sex and the City was off the air before we ever watched it (and then we got everything on DVD to catch up). Same with Oz.
A couple of weeks ago we finally watched Shortbus.
And then watched it again for the next four evenings. Totally cool movie. On many levels. As a friend of mine recently said, "America needs to stop being so Puritan about sex." Amen. Though I think Shortbus is about a lot more than sex, one of my favorite characters is Ceth (with a "C") played by Jay Brannan (in a still from the film, upper right). His innocent hedonism I find very wholesome. In the movie, he sings a song, "Soda Shop," that the actor who plays him actually wrote. It's a cool song.
The actor, Jay Brannan, has posted many of his songs on YouTube, including "Soda Shop." It's below. There's about 2.5 minutes of commentary from Jay before he sings the song but if you haven't heard it it's worth the wait -- as it's typical of the earthy honesty that Shortbus is all about.
Looking back on two decades of struggle, past the ashes of so many, to the clearing on which we now stand, it's hard not to weep. Two decades ago, marriage for gays was a pipe-dream. Some of us were ridiculed for even thinking of the idea. And yet here we are. Past the vicious attack from the president, past the cynical manipulation by Rove, past the cowardice of so many Democrats, past the rank hypocrisy of the Clintons, past the inertia of the Human Rights Campaign, past the false dawn in San Francisco, and the countless, countless debates and speeches and books and articles and op-eds. Yes, we have much more to do. Yes, we still have to win over those who see our loves as somehow destructive of the families we seek merely to affirm. Yes, we don't have federal recognition of our basic civic equality. Yes, in many, many states, we have been locked out of equality for a generation, because of the politics of fear and backlash. But look how far we've come. From a viral holocaust to full equality - somewhere in America, in the commonwealth where American freedom was born. In two decades. This is history. What a privilege to have witnessed it.
Read the rest.
Friday's weekly fashion tips from MattyDale.
News Flash! Fitted shirts look better on you than Billowing shirts that hang out loose around your waist! Film at 11!
Seriously guys, the next time you are our shopping for shirts, try a nice fitted shirt in the proper size. Be certain you try it on with a nice pair of trousers so you can actually see the difference in how a fitted shirt looks much more sleek and well put together. The billowing shirts look too large, like they are “one-size-fits-none” and make you look sloppy. The fitted shirt wears like it was made for YOUR body.
As far as budget goes, you can pay as little as $60.00 and from there the sky’s the limit with expensive versions from Prada and D&G. Personally, I’d like to save the money and buy the more affordable option so I can also accessorize with a nice new belt (a narrow belt please – save the wide belts for your boot-cut jeans) or a nice pair of cufflinks.
Try a fitted shirt today! And if you don’t know what size, just ask the store sales associate to take your measurements. It’s one of their raison d’être!
Same gendered couples are taxpaying, law-abiding citizens, who are important community contributors, well-loved and well-respected by their families, friends, neighbors and employers. They deserve and are entitled to the same legal protections enjoyed by all others citizens of our state. This is the law of the Commonwealth, articulated by our Supreme Judicial Court in Goodrich v. The Department of Public Health, decided in November, 2003.You can read her entire statement here.
Despite dire predictions, there has been no adverse societal impact from this decision and most people now express little concern about same gender marriage.
Springfield and Western Massachusetts needs these families, and all our families, to help rebuild our neighborhoods and the peaceful and productive society to which I know, whatever our differences on some things, we all aspire. As a practical matter, I believe we simply cannot afford to marginalize our human resources. Most importantly, I feel strongly that no child should ever be made to feel "less than" or "second-best" nor should any of our children be exposed to a public campaign focused on adult matters of personal privacy. There is altogether too much unseemly information brought into our homes and schools already. It is in the best interests of our children that we accept fully these new families.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
"There is a prick in the clouds."
"There is a deworming in your future."
I translate that as there will be a break in the clouds and a warming in our future. But I had a good chuckle over it as I watched the weather at Happy Hour at Dakota.
But if I'm wrong and the close captionist was right, let's hope the prick in the clouds isn't the one doing the deworming.
He's 18. He's not a public, elected official, he works for one. Here's Dan Savage's judgment:
outing is brutal and it should be reserved for brutes.
Tyler Whitney qualifies.
Oh, really Dan? Who made you Judge, Jury and Executioner? The problem I have with outing is that is mob rule. When the mob -- left wing gay activists in this case -- decides that someone works for the wrong person or wrong cause, it becomes okay to punish them "brutally" as Savage says.
As a matter of practicality, what good comes from outing? Will Tancredo suddenly yell "Eureka!" and sign up to march in next year's Pride parade with a tee shirt saying "I Love my Gay Staffer?"
No -- outing's purpose is to punish those the mob wishes to hurt. Want proof -- read the comments on Savage's column about outing the kid. Here's one:
I hate to say it, but I hope the boy gets a taste of the AIDS. That more than anything will force him to face the hatemongers he has encouraged among his Right-Wing clique. As soon as he sero-converts, they will cut him off on the spot.
There's more like that. Does this really advance the cause of gay rights?
This kid may be a self-loathing bigoted asshole, as some claim. Or he may just be a confused scared kid raised in a conservative family who doesn't know how to live his life as a an gay man -- yet. I sure as hell didn't at 18.
If you abhor the values his boss promotes, fight those values. If we succeed in destroying an 18 year old kid we've accomplished nothing but to give into our own anger and undermine the notion that someone shouldn't be punished because of who they are.
It would appear, judging from the apparent waist size, that harassing family-owned dry cleaners with outrageous law suits doesn't burn many calories.
Better hit the gym, Roy. At your age, the extra girth and anger issues aren't good for your health.
Let's review the bidding:
- DC has no vote in Congress.
- Congress not only sets national policy, but also has the power to overturn laws passed by the elected DC Council, and even overturn referenda passed by the people of DC.
- If you live in DC, you pay federal income tax.
- DC citizens have served in every US war, including the current one to bring Democracy to Iraq.
The bill under consideration would add a voting representative for DC in the U.S. House.
The bill recently passed a key Senate committee and is heading to the Senate floor for a vote. Sen. Arlen Specter is being targeted by DC Vote dot Org as a key target. If you live in the Keystone state, do us in DC a favor and send him an email to Sen. Specter.
If you live in other states it's okay to send an email to your Sen. too.
And feel free to tell a friend.
Read this for more on my take on DC Voting rights and DC Statehood. And this.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I'm spurred by the anti-gay-marriage comments to this news to re-post something I wrote and posted when I first started this blog: "A Dialogue Between Me and George W. Bush on Gay Marriage." I only had one reader then. Since then I've doubled in readership, and, being particularly proud of this post, I'm doing it again. I know W. is no longer on the forefront of active anti-gay marriage legislation, but he's sort of a stand-in for every anti who can't really defend their position. And when you get down to it, none of them really can.
Here's the conversation It's long, but I hope it makes some points:
One Afternoon in the Oval Office
Me: Thank you, Mr. President, for meeting with me.
Bush: You’re welcome, quite welcome.
Me: Now, we can probably agree, Mr. President, that we are fighting in Iraq to bring more freedom abroad, right?
Bush: You said we wouldn’t discuss Iraq – I’ve been reading your Blog. He-he.
Me: Well, I thought that was something we could both agree on.
Bush: Right. Well, yes, we removed a terrible dictator, Saddam Hussein, who used weapons of mass destruction against his own people. Horrible dictator. But we got him. And there’s a safer world because of it. And the Iraqis are more free. Or will be once they stand up so we can sit down.
Me: But if we’re sending our soldiers over there to fight and sometimes die in the name of freedom, why are we holding back the cause of freedom here at home?
Bush: Excuse me?
Me: I’m talking about your support of a federal amendment against same sex marriage. Currently gay couples are denied the freedom to marry – and all the rights and responsibilities that go with that freedom. And you want to enshrine that prohibition into the U.S. Constitution. That’s anti-freedom.
Bush: No, it’s pro-family. The union of a man and a woman is one of our most important institutions. Honored in all cultures and religious faiths. Marriage promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society.
Me: I agree. So why lock me and my partner out of such an important institution?
Bush: I believe marriage is between one man and one woman.
Bush: That’s the way it’s always been.
Me: You’ve read the Bible, haven’t you, Mr. President?
Bush: I read the Bible and pray to the Lord every day. I’m the guy who said that Jesus was my favorite philosopher.
Me: I heard that. Anyway, have you read Genesis 32:22?
Bush: Uh, not lately.
Me: It says Jacob – you know, Abraham’s grandson to whom God told that the descendants of Abraham would inherit Canaan. Anyway, it says there that Jacob had two wives. So’d his brother Esau. Now God must have thought that was okay, ‘cause He talks a lot about how much He likes Abraham’s descendants. God even changed Jacob’s name to Israel so he’s the namesake for the country and his countrymen. But Jacob’s marriage was not between one man and one woman. And God didn’t seem to care.
Bush: Well, things were different back then…
Me: Exactly! The institution of marriage isn’t immutable…I’m sorry, un-changeable. It changes with society. In fact, Esau’s wives were given him in exchange for labor he provided for their father. Marriage used to be all about property. It’s changed, now, Mr. President. It’s about love. It’s about providing for children when children are present. And it’s about society supporting the union of two people that will make them more stable and more productive.
Bush: uh…the problem is these activist judges
Me: Excuse me, Mr. President, but – the irony of you using that term aside – these so-called activist judges are making decisions based on litigation brought to them by Americans questioning their denial of rights. It’s the judges’ job to make these decisions – a job given them by our Constitution.
Bush: These activist judges are making decisions the people should make.
Me: I’ll go along with that. I’ve made a decision to marry a man. He wants to marry me. We’re people. We made a decision. But the law won’t let us.
Bush: Legally recognizing your, um, your, relationship with another man would undermine the sanctity of marriage.
Me: Oh, please, Mr. President…straight people don’t need any help from gays in undermining the “sanctity” of marriage. Need I say “Bill Clinton?” “Britney Spears?” And shows like, “who wants to marry a millionaire?”
Bush: Allowing same sex marriage would make it worse.
Me: How and why? Where is your proof?
Bush: It’s a well known fact – and I don’t mean any disrespect to you – that gay people are promiscuous and unstable.
Me: Well, -- oh, hey, Mr. President, that little room right there, off the Oval Office, that’s the private study where Clinton and um, well…?
Bush: Ah, yes. (clears throat) You were saying?
Me: When you married Laura, did the county clerk do a background check on you?
Bush: No, of course not.
Me: Well, assuming for a second that you are right in your sweeping generalization about gay men, which I will address in a minute, why subject us to a higher standard than straights have when getting a marriage license? We allow any straight couple to get married, regardless of their likelihood of fidelity, their ability to be productive members of society and to actually care for their kids. If you’re straight you get a blank check, regardless of your behavior. Yet, here you’re saying gays can’t marry because you assume we behave in a way you don’t approve of. If a philandering gay man cheating on his partner undermines marriage, doesn’t a straight man cheating on his wife? What are you doing about that?
Bush: Well, we…
Me: And, so you’re saying, Bill Clinton’s affairs, excuse me, “problems” in his marriage made you love Laura less.
Bush: Of course not!
Me: And it made you more likely to seduce interns?
Bush: This is getting a little personal, here. No, I would never do anything like that. I brought dignity back to the White House. I love my wife. Nothing is going to change that until the day I go to the Lord.
Me: Amen, brother. Your relationship is none of my business, and forgive me for bringing it up…but I’m glad you’ve affirmed my assumption that the love that led you to make a lifelong commitment to someone isn’t undermined by the actions of someone else. You’re not shallow in that.
Bush: Thank you.
Me: Now, let’s talk about your homophobia.
Bush: Hey, now, I was hoping we could have a good discussion without bitterness or anger.
Me: Oh, so sorry, Mr. President. Um, let’s see; let’s talk about your pre-disposed negative image of an entire class of people that leads you to make decisions that hurts them. Better?
Bush: Yes, thanks. I think.
Me: Mr. President, do you know any gay people?
Bush: Well, I suppose over the years I’ve known a few.
Me: Like that crazy slut, the vice president’s daughter?
Bush: Hey, now, Mary Cheney is a fine person. Laura and I are very fond of her.
Me: So she doesn’t fit the description you used earlier about gay people?
Bush: Mmmm, well, no, she doesn’t.
Me: Do any of the gay people you’ve known over the years fit that description?
Bush: Now that you mention it…I guess not.
Me: Mr. President, gay people are no different than straight people. We have our champs and chumps. We deserve to be treated the same, no better or worse than anyone else. That’s what this is all about.
Bush: Wait a minute! Children! Marriage is about the children! And gay people don’t have children.
Me: My partner and I have a two-year-old son.
Bush: But that’s artificial.
Me: My turn to say, ‘excuse me?’
Bush: I don’t know how you had a child, but two men can’t have a baby. You had to uh, go get one.
Me: So, what you’re saying is that couples who have kids by means other than giving birth themselves don’t deserve the stability and support of legal marriage, to help that child?
Bush: I don’t think I said that.
Me: But if marriage is only about children – and you defined it as children acquired through the traditional biogenetic birth process, within the marriage – then all the straight couples who adopted or who don’t have kids shouldn’t be married?
Bush: No, I’m just saying marriage assumes there will be kids and it’s for the kids.
Me: Right. And my son deserves no less than to see his parents supported in legal matrimony.
Bush: He could have it; you just need to find the right woman.
Me: There is no “right woman” for me Mr. President. Is there a “right man” for you?
Bush: Well, I think pretty highly of Dick, but I don’t think of him in that way…
Me: Well, there’s something else we agree on, Mr. President! Oh, you meant Cheney. Sorry. But my point was, our society doesn’t expect you to condemn yourself to a lifetime of misery by marrying someone who can’t meet your physical and emotional needs – who can’t help you be happy. That’s what so many gay men have tried --- to hide their gayness inside a sham marriage. If we legalized same sex marriage, you be helping to end those sham arrangements and bring MORE sanctity and honesty to marriage, and help these poor men and women who spend their lives in quiet despair find stability and happiness.
Bush: Can we talk about Iraq? He-he.
Recall the story of DC Judge Roy Pearson who is suing a local laundry for $65 million because they lost his pair of pants in 2005?
The case went to trial yesterday. Marc Fisher again has the deets on the judge who would take this family-owned laundry to the cleaners.
Highlights of Judge Roy Pearson's testimony (or I should say lowlights):
After questioning eight witnesses, Pearson spent two hours telling his own story, but as he came to the part about when Soo Chung finally told him she had found the missing pants, the tale of the $10.50 alteration that went awry proved to be too much.
"These are not my pants," Pearson recalled telling Chung when she handed him a pair of gray pants with cuffs. "I have in my adult life, with one exception, never worn pants with cuffs."
"And she said, 'These are your pants.' "
Pearson paused. He struggled to breathe deeply. He could not continue. Pearson blurted a request for a break, stood up, turned around and walked out of the courtroom, tears dripping from his full and reddened eyes.
Again -- why is this guy on the public payroll in the DC Judicial system?
New boss. Same as the old boss. Or maybe worse.
Let's move beyond the silly notion of political parties. Let's just keep voting incumbents out until they get it right.
For those of you who are interested in displaying their manliness by a massive bench press, you need to mind those elbows. What am I talking about?
Stand in the benching area of your gym (sorry, you can’t learn this one in the steam room ) and watch the guys benching. I’ve been doing this for months at my gym, and have seen two common recurrent themes that are certainly hurting many a good man’s efforts to build the monster bench.
First, watch the width of your grip. What you should be shooting for is shoulder width. Any closer than that, and most of the work is being done by your triceps. Any wider than that, and you’re all shoulders. Now both of those muscle groups need attention, but benching is all about building up those pecs…and if you want to work your way out of that training bra, then you need to watch your grip width.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, pay attention to your elbows. When you bring the bar down, your elbows must remain close to your body . If you allow those elbows to flail out (going perpendicular to your body) you have put yourself in a very weak position and will fall short of your potential. (Flailing elbows=weakling; Tucked elbows = Macho muscle stud)
Keep both of those concepts in mind, and your bench will be a real riser around the gym.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
This, I am convinced, is how future generations will remember George W. Bush: as the president who abandoned our traditional concepts of justice and human rights, choosing instead a program of state-sponsored kidnapping, arbitrary detention and abusive interrogation techniques such as "waterboarding."
Bush has abandoned his oath of office, to "preserve, protect an defend the Constitution of the United States."
Note it doesn't say "homeland." I agree the government has a prime duty to provide for our national defense -- but not by sacrificing our national values of justice and individual freedom. America is above all an idea, a set of values. Bush and others have argued the terrorists hate us because of those values. Ironic, then, that these same leaders would surrender those values in the face of terrorist threats.
Montgomery County sex education teachers would be allowed to tell students who ask that homosexuality is not a mental illness under a last-minute change to new lessons that go to the school board today for a politically charged vote.
Let's see: in 1973 the American Psychological Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. In 2007 the Montgomery County (MD) vote on whether they can tell students that fact. And it's controversial.
Perhaps the only mental disorder here is the way misguided adults approach sex in this country.
UPDATE: The changes passed. Good for Monty County.
Monday, June 11, 2007
The Parade Sat. was another matter. I was screamed at most of the way by overzealous parade marshalls, one of whom interrupted our performance and physically pushed some of our members. Our band was patronized by the announcers at the reviewing stand. One of our members said afterword, "If I wanted snarky comments I woulda watched Will and Grace." Indeed, the humor the emcees seemed to be going for was Karen Walker.
It was very much not in the spirit of pride. I personally will not march in the parade next year. I went home Saturday night feeling degraded and frustrated.
All of this is to say -- that's why I haven't been blogging.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
But, as we've seen this year, in places like Moscow and now Jerusalem the right for gays to publicy and peacefully gather should not be taken for granted.
Watch for me in the parade :-)