Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Principles of the Party are the Problem

Pam quotes Republican activist Scott Reed on the Craig Bathroom Bust:

Republicans think the governing class in Washington are a bunch of buffoons
who have total disregard for the principles of the party...

No -- it's the immoral so-called "family values" principles that force men like Craig and Foley and Haggered deep into the closet, which degrades them into lives of lies and desperation. If the GOP would recognize that the desire to love another of the same sex is just another aspect of humanity the party would cease aiding and abetting hypocrisy.

The GOP -- All Closet Cases?

It would seem so. And I can attest -- as I were one once (note past tense, these days I'm neither closeted or a Republican) -- that when I worked for the Republican National Committee in the late 80s early 90s the top admin and legal staff had a number of high profile gay men running the show. They weren't so much closeted but it was an open secret. As the Foley scandal showed us, the GOP leadership is privately okay with openly gay people serving on their staffs and their rabid homophobia is a posture for the fundies.

The interesting thing about the Craig case is that he doesn't deny (at least that I've seen) the specific allegations of foot rubbing under the stall partition or the sweeping of his hand. Jon Stewart must be having a field day.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Father and Son Comedy Routine

When the kid goes to potty, he has to take his pants and underwear all the way off. When he's done, he holds up his pants and says, "Daddy put these on."

And I say, "But they're too small for me, honey."

It cracks me up, every time. The kid, not so much.

Years, not Months

Rep. Jan Schakowsky was shocked when she heard Gen. David Petraeus give his timeline for U.S. involvement in Iraq as another decade.

"I come from an environment where people talk nine to 10 months," she said, referring to the time frame for withdrawal that many Democrats are advocating. "And there he was, talking nine to 10 years."


That is a bit of an eyeopener and given the dearth of political progress on the ground there, sounds more realistic than mere months.

But the problem with the debate over continued U.S. troop involvement in Iraq is that it is too narrow. What happens to broader U.S. interests and Middle East stability if we leave? If we stay? What's the effect on the War on Terror is we pull out in 10 months or stay 10 years? Are any of our political "leaders" engaging voters on these broader issues so we can make rational choices?

The Wages of Rove's Culture War

Zac comments on Rove's legacy, the culture war that divides and pits extremists against one another, leaving others in the crosshairs:

But it's not the lives of those waging the war that are sacrificed for the greater good. That's the problem with this fight. The casualties of this American war are the dignities of the everyday people who are trying to live their lives as they see best. It's the self-worth of the precarious gay teen who sees his guaranteed damnation in Hell for something he cannot change. This is a war fought by the accusers and paid for by the innocent

Sunday, August 26, 2007

President Howard Dean

Hillary looks like the inevitable Dem nominee, but remember how strong Howard Dean looked at this point (and later) in the Dem nominating process last time.

In an average of polls on the Iowa caucus Hillary is just 0.8 points up, a razor thin edge and likely well below an average margin of error.

Still, that's an average and many polls have her up. Given her organizational strength and the experience of her team, this is hers to lose, even just looking at Iowa. But the caucus is still far enough away that her inevitability keeps looking more and more, well, inevitable, a narrow victory there will not be seen as such.

Here's a good place to follow the polls and other campaign news.

An Ice Breaker?

Boi from Troy reports from Copenhagen on a ice-breaking experience in gay clubs there:

Seems there is this game which I named “pass the ice cube” where you have an ice cube in your mouth and pass it around by locking lips with your neighbors around the bar until the ice cube melts. Somehow I don’t see this one catching on with the West Hollywood crowd-though someday I just know someone will surprise me.


Hmm...possibly a game for Band Camp 07. Although after last year's spin the bottle experience, I think I will just watch.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Watch 'em Pee; Get Tied to a Tree

Campers in Oregon took matters in their own hand when they caught another camper peeping on women in an open latrine:

Dugan and another camper, Michelle Brandow, said several friends were playing chess, eating and relaxing last Saturday, when they heard rustling in an area the women used as an open latrine. Dugan went to investigate, saw a man running from the area and tackled him.


With help from two other campers, Dugan led Berkey to the group's campsite and tied him to a tree. Another camper left to call police.

What a creep. But at least they taught him what it means to "get wood" that way.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lesbian Sports and Entertainment

A blog for those of you interested...

Ponytails

Please tell me they aren't coming back...I've been seeing more and more of them...three at the Giant this afternoon, when I used to could go for weeks without seeing one.

I don't think I've ever seen a man in a ponytail - or hair long enough to make a pony tail -- that I thought was hot.

I'd rate it equal to a mullet. But not as bad as a comb-over.

Not a Cure for a Tummy-Ache

This morning I told the kid I had a tummy ache. He responded by going upstairs, getting a band-aide and applying it to my bare stomach.

It was sweet, well-intentioned but did nothing to resolve the underlying problem -- and in fact, added more pain when I went to pull it off (I am not smooth in that particular area).

In short, I think he's going to be a Democrat when he grows up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Gay "Loyalty"

Robbie at Malcontent takes on Joe.My.God's criticism of Merv Griffin not towing the gay party line (as defined by JMG). I'm going to quote it extensively because I agree with it and it's well stated:

I’ll never understand this line of thinking. We are born gay, so the political slogan goes. Are we also then burdened from birth with one specific train of political thought? Are we consigned from the womb to being radical and leftist? Do we owe, from our first breath, a lifetime of checks made out to Joe.My.God approved charities and causes? And if we rebel against the gay authoritarians, are we then subhuman and failures?


There are demons here. For all the love and tolerance and all that jazz a certain segment of the gay community espouses, under the surface there are deep wells of anger, hatred, intolerance, and all the worst impulses of human ideological bondage just waiting to bubble to the top.


It’s odd to see them dart about under the surface from time to time in pieces like these.


There is definitely a failure here, but it isn’t Merv Griffin’s.


My single addition to this line of thought -- I'm against outing for the same reasons. I think the same reasoning applies.

Sweetest. Words. Ever.

I had to fly to Chi town today for a business meeting. My monthly record of travel problems continued...original outbound flight, canceled (something about lose metal parts in the jet engine. Seriously). Inbound return delayed (though only an hour).

While waiting at O'Hare, I called home during supper. The kid got on the phone and said, "Daddy, will you come home?"

How could your heart not melt? Even a Grinchly-small heart like mine?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gay Issues Not "Real" to Dems?

That's what one unnamed Dem "insider" told the WashBlade:

But the Republican National Committee could be expected to focus on this issue by portraying Democrats who favor repealing DOMA as advocating for gay marriage “through the back door,” [get it? -- Scott] according to one Democratic Party activist and insider who asked not to be identified.

“This can only distract from the real issues the Democrats want to focus on in 2008, namely the Iraq war and the highly unpopular Bush administration,” the party activist said. [emphasis added]


Okay, I already assumed gay issue weren't a priority to the Dems, but I had no idea they weren't even considered "real."

In the same article, Rep. Barney Frank says we shouldn't split hairs with the Dems because they are great and the Republicans are "terrible."

Wrong...the Dems just sound better than the Repubs. When it comes to action (DOMA, DADT, Marriage Equality, UAFA) they're about the same.

And I disagree with Frank -- it's precisely because the Dems say they are for us when asking for our money and votes that we should hold their feet to the fire when looking at their records...and considering future support. I expect our issues to be as real to them in the Oval Office or Senate floor as they seem to be at their fundraising receptions.

I'm just not holding my breath.

Pot, Meet Kettle

Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Chuck Levin calls Iraq's government "non-functional."

I reckon he'd be in a position to know...18% approval rating, anyone?/sarcasm

Dead or Alive?

Estelle Getty? Breathing. Bob Denver? Not so much. Scott Baio, Tina Louise, Alan Hale?

Check here and find out what famous (and not so famous) faces from yesterday are on the right (and wrong) side of the dirt.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Grandpa Ted is Pretty Progressive for His Age

The LTR went to Ohio for the birthday celebration of his family patriarch, Grandpa Ted. Gpa Ted is 100 years old. He can recount tales from the Civil War, not from history books, but from the stories told to him by people who were there.

The LTR is not a direct descendant from Gpa Ted, but has gotten to know him well at family gatherings and through a shared love of family history. The LTR has not told Ted much, if anything, about his personal life, but Gpa Ted's in the know.

When Ted and the LTR were alone, the conversation went something like this:

Ted: Where's your "friend?" (meaning yours truly).

LTR: He had to stay at the farm, he had some things to do. (I stayed at the farm owned by the brother of the LTR, while our son and the LTR's family went to the event).

Ted: And that son of yours, he's cute. You've known him since he was born?

LTR: Yes, we were both in the delivery room with his mother?

Ted: So you used artificial insemination to have him?

LTR: Yes.

Ted: Well, a lot's changed in 100 years. I just learned to go with the flow.


The LTR was pretty amazed at the conversation with a 100 year old man, so obviously accepting of his relationship and family situation. When he got home he couldn't wait to tell me. Slowly but surely by coming out we can change things. As this 100 year old showed us this weekend.

West Virginia Tact

On the way to Ohio for an LTR family event, we stopped Saturday in WV to get the kid a Happy Meal. Afterwords, while he was enjoying the McDonald Land play area, this rather larger WV woman asked, "Is he two?"

"No, almost three," I replied, amazed each time I say how quickly time has eaten his first years.

"Well, he's awfully small for a three-year-old," she said, in front of the kid and everyone.

She said it two more times. She pointed out her (I'm guessing) granddaughter, who easily topped my son in height, and said, "She's only two. He seems small for his age."

"Well, you seem pretty fat for your age." Okay, I didn't say that. Although I was born in West Virginia, I'm not from there. I'm from the Midwest where we just pretend we don't hear things we don't like.

And blog about them later.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Where the Hell Have I Been

To the three people (besides MattyDale and Zac) who read this thing, I'm back. I've been in Louisville, KY the last two days for a business meeting. It's now Sat., 1:34 AM and I just got home after facing an evening of delayed and canceled flights.

At least I got home.

Tomorrow, the plan is, the LTR and I take the kid to Ohio for an LTR family event. I'm gonna be comatose.

And I haven't been able to bike or work out since Tuesday. I think I'm getting fat. Atrophy is setting in.

I may have to write a few bad checks just to complete the downfall.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Ex-Factor, by the Friday Fashionista

Well gang, I am still alive and well. Just a little moist around the edges from all this humidity. I must apologize for my absence from Scott's Take - but to be completely honest, I have had trouble mustering up the energy to put on much more than undies in this heat.

And now, on with the show.

I must confess that lately I have found myself making plans to meet an ex for drinks. We've maintained a somewhat distant friendship in that we don't speak often, and we typically only see each other at a DCDD concert. However I recently found myself communicating with him regarding a new sports bar in town - Nellie's. He's a sports nut who maintains that he cannot find a queen in this area who loves sports and wants to settle down with a 40 + something gay male.


So while I have taken it upon myself to open a new window for him (as my Auntie Mame taught me), I am facing a question that I am having a little difficulty answering... what should I wear? I have a few days to decide, but two key points about attire I want to make that are applicable to anyone in this situation... I want what I wear to say:


- I still have it going on, and...


- We're just pals meeting for a drink so you can expand you social circles (and I have absolutely NO doubt in my mind that either of us assumes anything else).


My tip for my peers and myself is this - be comfortable and make it look as though your clothing selection was effortless when dressing to meet a former lover or love interest. Don't go all out, but we also don't want to look like we don't give a damn, now do we? In my case, I am leaning toward a black fitted military shirt (a la the GAP) and some slim-fitting dark blue denim from BR. And let's not forget accessories - Wrist Cuff, belt with rivets for something interesting, and my Puma shoes. It's fresh and a little trendy, but it's not me trying to be something I am not or never was. And that's the point.


Whether your style is top of the line ready to wear or flannel shirts with denim, look your best. Show'em you've still got it!

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Prediction

I'll go out on a limb and predict Hillary will be the Dem nominee. Okay, that's not the out on a limb part. The out on a limb part is that Barak Obama will not be the veep nominee.

I don't think Hillary will take the risk that voters are ready to vote for both a woman and a black to lead this country. Regardless of how sad we think that may be (and I do) Hillary is too much a pragmatist and too cautious to take that chance.

I also think Hillary knows that veep candidates really don't help that much in the general election. They can cause lots of harm, but they can't really help outside their home state. I think she'll make a more conservative pick. If Bill Richardson could stop shooting himself in the mouth it could be him. It would still be an historic first -- a Latino veep -- and he has oodles more experience than the freshman Sen. from Illinois. And he was Secy of Energy (for a fellow named Bill) which could come in handy as the next administration grapples with global warming and energy policy.

O-Bom-A-Da (Oh Canada)

In case you missed it, Barak Obama when asked at the 3,256th Democratic Presidential Debate hosted by the AFL-CIO last week said:

I would immediately call the president of Mexico, the president of Canada, to try to amend NAFTA, because I think that we can get labour agreements in that agreement right now.

One slight problem -- Canada doesn't have a president. It has a prime minister. Conservative columnist David Frum points out that while some may call Obama's latest foreign policy gaffe a mere slip of the tongue (like Richardson's slip that being gay is a choice) there are three insights you can take from the gaffe:


1) Obama's foreign policy inexperience. BTW -- Canada is Illinois' most serious foreign trading partner. You would think an Illinois Senator would have a bit more knowledge about such an important entity, no?

2) Iraq has sucked all the oxygen out of the room for other international issues -- and the stability of the western hemisphere is an emerging issue that Dems (and Repubs) are ignoring.

3) Dems aren't thinking seriously about energy policy as they claim to be -- Canada is not just America's biggest newscaster and cheesy pop diva supplier -- it is America's largest foreign energy supplier.


I'll add a fourth. Frum makes the case that, even overlooking Obama's basic ignorance of Canada's constitutional structure, his proposal is a non starter:

"[Mexican president] Felipe [Calderon]," President Obama would be saying, "I'd like to revise NAFTA in ways that would price your workers out of U.S. markets. Can I count on your support?"


In other words, Obama was pandering to his labor union hosts. So much for a different kind of politics.



Eli's Take

My three year old saw Karl Rove's picture on the computer. "Who's picture is that, Daddy?"

"Karl Rove."

"That's Kar-rurl Wove?"

"Yes."

"Kar-rurl Wove is silly."

"A lot of people think he is dangerous."

"Kar-rurl Wove is silly and dangerous!" Eli concluded.

"And that's not a good combination," I said.

Warentless Wiretapping

The president, convinced that national security depended on it, ordered secret, warentless wiretapping to be carried out against suspected enemies. Without it he feared successful acts of terrorism. His attorney general gave the president assurances that he could engage in the practice because his intentions were to protect Americans. Could the president use information gained from eavesdropping for political purposes? Well, perhaps. But he had the best intentions...Meanwhile the president warned Americans of dangerous foreign agents hidden in American society plotting to destroy them.

The president was Franklin Roosevelt, fearing defeat in the 1940 election and secretly plotting with Winston Churchill to enter World War II.

Source: Michael Beschloss, "Presidential Courage."

Saturday, August 11, 2007

And They'll Know We Are Christians By Our...Hate?

That's a line from a song I learned in Vacation Bible School...of course, the original last word was "love." As an adult, I've learned that, well, love? Not so much.

Consider the Dallas Mega Church that turned down a funeral service for the brother of one of its members. They offered a funeral, then withdrew when they saw photos of the deceased hugging and kissing his partner. Let's let the church speak with its own voice:

"Some of those photos had very strong homosexual images of kissing and hugging," [Rev. Simmons] said. "My ministry associates were taken aback."

...
The pastor said that he could imagine a similar situation involving a different sin. Perhaps a mother who is a member of the church loses a son who is a thief or murderer, Mr. Simons said. The church would surely volunteer to hold a service, he said.

"But I don't think the mother would submit photos of her son murdering someone," he said. "That's a red light going off."


Affection for a partner = murder. Got it? Oh, and by the way, the deceased was a Gulf War vet who helped rescue downed pilots. Who is more Christlike, here?

Actually, churches have the right, in my opinion, to decide matters like these on their principles.

But I don't have to respect those principles. Especially when they rest on the shifting sand of bigotry blinded by fear.

Sanity from the MySpace Generation?

This editorial offers hope. Taking aim at children's books like "Help! Mommy, There's a Liberal Under my Bed!" the author decries destructive labeling, writing:

Right now, Generation Y has the chance to escape the curse of staunch political labeling...This may be because we don't fit neatly into traditional party thinking. We treat our politics the way we treat our music and our clothes (and often our religion): as good consumer-citizens, we mix and match. It's a political supermarket. As a New York Times-CBS-MTV survey demonstrated in June, we lean left on many issues, such as gay rights and health-care coverage. But most of us also support many traditionally Republican positions, such as limiting or banning abortion and staying relatively optimistic about the Iraq war. Our political beliefs, like our music, aren't bundled the way our elders' are. You older types buy into albums and political platforms; we prefer hit singles.

Dr. No.

"No."

I fear my son thinks this is Daddy's favorite word. I was particularly verbose with it yesterday as I was on deadline. When your world is marked only by mealtime and nap time deadlines and slavish devotion to the clock are jarring intrusions. How to convince a three year old that yes, I will play with you but I have to finish this work assignment first!

I dealt with this in the spring by letting him watch TV, but that then became all he wanted to do. So I'm trying to avoid that this time.

Happily, I was able to get my work done and we went for a bike ride and I took him to Gravelly Point to watch the airplanes take off at National Airport. Then, as nap time approached and with the realization we hadn't eaten lunch, I had to say, No, we can't stay, we have to go.

Sigh.

Stand to the Right, Already

Here's another idea, beyond making announcements telling DC Metro riders to stand to the right on station elevators (so all us self-important Washingtonians can get to work faster and screw up the world more quickly).

Have a couple of fare machines designated "Tourist Fares" at each station. That way the tourists can all clump together and wait on each other as they try to figure out how to buy fare cards for their eight kids.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Gay is not Black

Obama tried to make the claim that he knows what it's like to be ostracized as a gay person because he's black and has faced discrimination. Fair enough, to a point.

Here's the difference: black children who experience bigotry can come home to black parents who understand what it's like and who can relate and comfort. That's not the case with gay kids who know they are different and who hide their difference from mom and dad for fear of losing their love. That's a barren loneliness. That's why so many gay kids are more at risk for depression and suicide than their straight cohorts. And it's why thoughtful adults, like Obama, should not relegate gays to a second class status in our society. It sends a message: gay is not good enough.

Semantics

If the difference between marriage and civil unions is "semantic" as Obama asserted at the gay debate last night, than there would be no brouhaha over offering gays marriage rights. It's like saying the difference between being a state Senator and a U.S. Senator is one of semantics.

If you create two classes of relationships you have to be able to explain why one group of people is ineligible for one.

And the only way for civil unions to be remotely on par with marriage is to repeal DOMA. And I didn't hear that last night (admittedly I didn't watch the whole thing, so if any of the top tier talked about repealing DOMA I missed it).

And speaking of repealing DOMA -- why wait. Both Clinton and Obama are in a position to work for that now. What are they waiting for?

Check out LOGO for clips of the debate.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

How to Land a Straight Jock in 10 Easy Steps

The little one is napping so on to a bit of adult entertainment.

You already know the first step...beer.

Yes.

It's hot enough for me.

Stop asking.

NASA Image of the Day -- Forget Tatooine

This is what it would look like to have four -- yes four! -- suns in the sky. According to Nasa. Of course, this could also be what NASA astronauts see after throwing back a few.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Father and Son -- Full Circle

My Dad is an avid bass fisherman and has been for my whole life. He introduced me to fishing and boats and took me with him whenever he could. I took to the boat part, the fishing, not so much.

When my son was born a few years ago, I had a new appreciation for my Dad, and for the first time in nearly 20 years, started fishing with him again.

This weekend he took me and my son out on his john boat on the small lake he and my Mom live on. My son caught his first fish. I don't know if he'll like fishing -- or boats -- but it was still a right of passage and I was pleased and touched to have my Dad present and making it possible.

This is me holding the pole while Eli reels in his catch.















I hold the prize catch (a small blue gill, which we let loose) for Eli to touch. He's not sure he likes it.
















My Dad and Eli, steering the boat at sunset. Poetry.

Well, Now that That's Settled

From my parent's town in Albion, IL, pop 2,300. Andrew Sullivan, call your office.

I was somewhat surprised this trip to find how prevalent the fundies were. Either I was oblivious to it before or it has become more aggressive. Even the all news station from St. Louis had a decided fundie-tilt in a story on a local candidate and stem cell research.

The signs were literally everywhere, like this one on the band shell on the Court House Grounds. Somehow I don't think a "Mosh Pit for Mohamed" sign would have received a town square endorsement. ACLU, call your office.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Harry Potter Condemed

Writing in the Evansville (IN) Courier & Press, Norm Ashby of Henderson Kentucky says:
I feel it's time to expose the Harry
Potter phenomenon. The entire episode deals with withcraft, including the
movie. The mastermind behind all this is Satan.
Someone needs to tell Lucifer J.K. Rowling is stealing his royalties.
Mr. Ashby goes on to quote the book of Prophets and says:
This material is an abomination to
Almighty God...
Whoa! An abomination! That's one of the Bible's harshest words. That's what the fundie thumpers say about gays. So...we gay folk are as inherently bad as...Harry Potter?
The more they talk the sillier they get, no?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Dispatch from Illinois

I'm in Illinois now, here to pick up my son this afternoon.

When I tell people I'm in Illinois, they think "Chicago." No, no. I'm in rural, Southern Illinois, closer to Memphis, Tennessee geographically and closer to Mississippi than to Michigan culturally.

My parents live in a town of three thousand and some change, and it's the largest town in the county.

I stopped at a book store on he way here (yes, they have them here) to pick up something to read. I went to the section labelled "Arts" and the first book I saw was titled something like "A Heart Full of Soul: The Taylor Hicks Story." Hmm, I thought to myself...fiction, let's try fiction.

Anyway, it's a Maybury RFD family weekend. I'm meeting my son's maternal grandparents in upstate IL later today for the handoff. I'll report back.

I'll also report on what one local feels about Harry Potter. The gays and Harry have a biblical connection. Did you know that?