Friday, December 22, 2006

It's Not Too Late to Get Your Festivus Pole

Tommorow is Festivus and here is a place you can get your Festivus pole.

Dissembling Hillary

From a Mother Jones article on Sen. Former First Lady Would be President Hillary Clinton:

"Hillary is an avatar of an existential dread skulking in the hearts of every couple who've tried to put together a life since the feminist revolution. This anxiety explains why the darkest question a liberal feminist can ask is: Why didn't she leave the [SOB]? And it's why the coarsest question a conservative man can ask is: Who would do the [B-word]? . . . Hillary has come to embody a dark fear in the hearts of modern men: the wife who neglects the joys of the bedroom for her career . . .

"The flip side to Hillary's ambition evokes every career woman's greatest fear. How fragile is marriage? It can come apart as quickly as that girl delivering the pizza can snap her thong . . .

Ouch. More Hil analysis in today's Howie Kurtz column.

Celebrating the Winter Solstice

The link to Christmas and the winter solstice here.

A quicktime movie showing the tilt of the earth throughout the year here

A graph of the sun's path on the solstice here.

An explanation of the solstice and some clarity on the 21st vs. 22 date here.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Friday Hunk of the Week

It's been a year since Brokeback...but I'd still invite him to my pup tent...

Green Lantern -- the Old Krazy Kat

The LTR has organized one of his occasional jaunts to the DC gay bar the Green Lantern (called the Green Latrine by locals) for shirtless night. On shirtless night between 10-11 pm all shirtless men drink free. As you can imagine this draws quite a crowd. Two years ago I wouldn't be caught dead in public sans shirt but recently I've been feeling better about myself so I've gone with the LTR and am going tonight (though I still have qualms about this whole shirtless thing).

Anyway, the point of this wasn't to go on about my self-conscious body image, but to bring to light this historical fact.

The Green Lantern is in a building that was once used as a carriage house, a place where they kept horse-drawn carriages and sometimes the horses too. Most carriage houses in DC -- as I imagine is true in most cities -- were converted into livable dwellings for people when people no longer needed carriages and cities grew.

The carriage house that is now the Green Lantern was converted into a watering hole at least as early as 1920. It was called the Krazy Kat. A gay diarist at the time (Jeb Alexander) makes this entry about it on July 23, 1920:

Tonight he tried to get me to persuade me to go with him to the Krazy Kat, a 'Bohemian" joint in an old stable up near Thomas Circle. He told me about the conversation in there, of artists, musicians, atheists, professors.
In short -- queers! I just think it's cool to be going to a gay bar in 2006 that was a gathering place for gays nearly 100 years ago. The Krazy Kat figures several times in Jeb's diary. I know he'd get a kick out of what it has become.

Blog Moved

They said it would take two minutes but it took three hours. But it's done.

Important Safety Tip

Via Metroblogging DC

It's not Christmas

Until you've seen this clip.


Blogger has been pestering me to switch over to their beta version which I'm going to do probably today.

I'm nervous about this because I don't have much faith in Blogger support if I have problems.

So if I dissapear from the blogosphere you know my incompetence combined with Blogger's lack of support has eliminated Scott's Take.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Iran Says It's Nuclear

The announcement of Iran as a "nuclear power" is bound to significantly escalate tensions between the West and Iran, and marks a dramatic stage in the Islamic Republic's nuclear campaign.
Ya Think?

"Dude, That's Your Mom!"

1) When young she posed nude for an artist who became famous
2) Many years later she took in a foster son
3) The foster son -- now 15 -- found the nude photos , now quite valuable and thought he found a secret porn stash.
4) The foster son did what boys will do when finding a secret porn stash. The pictures are ruined.
5) The mom sues the foster agency that gave her her son.

Full story here.

Thanks to Gay Orbit, whom I'm quoting in the title of this post.

A Milestone

Today, my two year old son took his first dump in a toilet on his own.

He anncounced the news to me "I poop!"

I'm so proud.

And a little sad, because, there was a part of me that, aside from the odor, really enjoyed changing his diaper. When I took him back to his mothers in Hawaii last month I changed him at the airport before handing him over and it occured to me that I was likely changing his last diaper.

Diaper changing is a very intimate bonding experience, in case you've never done it. He and I would make a game of it. Or we'd talk. During diaper changing you see total trust. It was while changing his diaper I saw him pull two concepts together. He asked for the LTR, whom he calls "Pappa." I said "Pappa's at work." To which he said, "Pappa, work. Daddy, home." On his own he put two people and two seperate concepts together. It's really amazing to watch that process come together -- almost like you can see the synapses connecting before you very eyes.

But, he's pooping like a big boy now.

I'm so proud.

DC's Flunking School System's Leader to Get $25,000 Bonus

Let's look at the record:

The number of failing schools in DC rose from 80 to 118
Test Scores have not risen
The Feds have said the DC schools system is "high risk" for misusing funds
Enrollment declined from 62,000 to 58,000

The DC Schoolboard Superintendent Clifford B. Janey earns $250,000 per year and is the highest paid DC government official.

The DC School Board is about to give him a $25,000 bonus.

For what? It's a crime -- once again the adults in this city fail our kids because they prove, over and over again, that we're not serious about improving our schools. That this pathetic record could be rewarded with a $25,000 bonus is an outrage.

Bush Admits Stalemate

The Washington Post reports this morning that Bush admits we're not winning in Iraq.

Ok, so the guy at 1600 Penna Ave. gets it after all.


"We're not winning, we're not losing." Any run-of-the-mill high school football coach would say if you're not winning, you're losing.

Some random thoughts:

  • The American people deserve an honest assessment of where things stand. But are our interests really served by comments like Colin Powell's that the military is almost "broken?" What message does that send to the enemy?
  • Where are the extra troops going to come from? I met a marine recruiter Sunday at a Christmas party who was complaining about the dearth of new recruits. Does this move us a step closer to the re-instatement of the draft?
  • John Kerry: The Post notes he advocated an additional 40,000 troops in Iraq in 2004. But not now. He was for more troops before he was against them.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

All I want for Christmas

A friend of mine has informed all of his friends: Don't buy me any gifts for Christmas. Instead he said, "donate to a charity of your choice and just let me know about it."

And then, he said, let's all get together for dinner and just share a small moment of selflessness.

A cool concept. Christmas just got a little brighter.


I've avoided posting on Iraq because I don't really know what to say nor do I know what should be done. There's no need for me to lament what a disaster it is as that seems to be obvious to everyone but the guy at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

I think I'd support a withdrawl except that I fear a massive bloodbath - and that blood would be on our hands (as is the blood of innocent Iraqis who have died since we invaded). That outcome seems morally indefensible. A withdrawl leaving Iraq in ruins would show allies that the U.S. can't be trusted or depended upon.

But staying and asking U.S. troops to die for a lost cause is morally wrong as well.

The conundrum of Bush ignoring his Joint Chiefs' criticism of his idea of a "surge" of troops is of his own making, since he has famously said he'd do whatever the commanders on the ground tell him is needed. I would point out that Presidents have often ignored their generals' advice and issued pointed orders -- Lincoln would be the obvious example and more recently, JFK in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Unfortunately, Bush is no JFK or Honest Abe. He's not even a GHWB.

So...we can't stay and we can't leave.


Run, Rudy Run

The WashPo writes on Rudy's chances in the GOP primary.

I think they're nil.

But let Rudy do what Perot tried and failed - run as an independent. The two-party process which has polarized the country into extremes -- at least as far as presidential primary politics are concerned -- has failed us. In 2004 it produced two candidates miserably unequal to our times, and likely will again. I'm not quite ready to jump on the Rudy bandwagon, but an independent run by the hawkish but socially libertarian sounds interesting and may be just what the presidential campaign needs.

Astronomy Pics of the Day

The sky over Iowa gets the holiday spirit.

The result of a tsunami of cosmic porportions on the sun.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Matt Damon as....Capt. Kirk?

In the next Star Trek movie...that's the rumor I just stumbled across here.

Oh my. It just gets me all excited all over again to go where no man has gone before (with the possible exception of Ben Afleck).

Update: Just a rumor. For now.

Meanwhile, in Norway

Bjorn celebrates Swimming Bronze medals.

Apparently the prize, judging from the second photo, is a giant bottle of lube.

Go Norway!

Dobson Flubs Facts on Same Sex Parenting

Focus on Family leader JamesDobson should spend a little less time focusing on everyone else's family and more time focusing on the facts.

In a Time column he cited the research of psychologists Carol Gilligan and Dr. Kyle Pruett and asserted that same sex parenting is harmful to children. The two psychologists are crying foul. Writes Gilligan:

My work in no way suggests same-gender families are harmful to children or can't raise these children to be as healthy and well adjusted as those brought up in traditional households.
Adds Pruett:

On page 134 of the book you site in your piece, I wrote, "What we do know is that there is no reason for concern about the development or psychological competence of children living with gay fathers. It is love that binds relationships, not sex."

But let's give the final word to Terrance, who is proud of to be the son of two fathers.

Virginia Churches Secede to Nigeria

Two large Episcopal Churches in Virginia -- the most anti-gay state in America -- have unsurprisingly bolted the U.S. Episcopal Church to join the Nigerian Episcopal Church, whose leader advocates criminilization of homosexual activity.

Said a congregant:

"I want to do what's right in the Lord's eyes," said Vicki Robb, 53, an Alexandria public relations executive, who said the church's leftward drift was becoming intolerable. "It's kind of embarrassing when you tell people that you're Episcopal."

But soon it may be embarrassing to tell people you're from Virginia.

Some Good News From Iran

Moderates dominate the election .

Bush's biggest blunder was choosing the wrong enemey. Iran is the real threat.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Only Thing

I want less than these things is Christmas fruitcake.

A Phrase that Should be Retired

"Drink the Kool-Aide."

This has been as overused in 06 political writing as "At the end of the day." Let's give it a burial with the demise of 2006, shall we? And invent something fresh for 2007.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Faith Takes a Holiday

In this Season of Universal Love (see below) it's not unnatural for me to start re-examining my own faith (or lack thereof). I've been in my life at times a very faith-based person (to borrow a phrase) and at other times, like now, more doubting than believing. At the same time, the world is enmeshed in dealing with the rise of religious extremism -- and I'm not talking just about the rise of radical Islamism -- I'm also talking about the rise of powerful "Christianists" as Andrew Sullivan calls them here at home.

Christopher Scott gets to heart of what I've been thinking lately in a thoughtful post on his blog.

On personal faith vs. religion, he says:

I've always struggled with maintaining faith. While I do have faith in a great many things, I increasingly find myself questioning my ability to continue to believe in that which cannot be proven.

I'm not referring to religion, per se, because with religion I know exactly where I stand. As a sociologist, I see religion as a quantifiable social construction, a functional template of culture and philosophy and ideology molded together to serve a common societal cause. Sometimes that cause is to oppress (as Marx suggested), other times it is to unite (as postulated by Durkheim), but always it is to guide.
On the rise of Christianism he says:

But today I see my faith waning. I'm having difficulty believing in the goodness of my fellow man as the hate-spewing fundamentalists that compose the Religious Right continue to find new and repugnant ways to spread their corrupt message of fear and ignorance to the masses. Take, for example, the new video game based on the popular Left Behind series of books about the Rapture. As I discovered earlier this week in an eloquently-written post by thephoenixnyc, the game lifts religious intolerance to staggering new heights by creating a playable scenario in which gamers must either convert people to Christianity or else kill them.

It would be tempting to write this disturbance off as the nonsensical babblings of a lunatic fringe, but prominent groups like Focus on the Family and the Christian Coalition, groups that boast memberships in the hundreds of thousands, have a strong voice that rings out loud and clear. Terrified of progress and evolution, they reinforce their backwards conservative agenda in more than just the church, reaching government, education, community, and the media. These people are powerful, and they're everywhere.

And quite frankly that scares me. Because when it comes to issues of diversity, freedom, and human rights, we all know where these groups stand. Rather than truly embracing the teachings of Jesus — teachings of togetherness and brotherhood and acceptance — as they falsely purport to do, they redefine the concept of "people of faith" to exclude people like me and use video games to teach children that it's okay — no, necessary ‚— to murder those who are different.

It's quite right to be afraid. We're living in a time when those who think they have a right to force their religious beliefs on others with the backing of the law have gained acendancy. A Christianist president has ended habeas corpus, the bedrock of limited government power and individual freedom. Christianist groups demand that the Bible be made the only book that can be used to swear in Members of Congress. Kids are trained at Jesus Camp that George W. Bush is a God-chosen president.

So forgive me if I can't help feeling like that popular bumper sticker -- "Jesus, save me from your followers."

Christmas Shopping

The LTR and I are venturing out today to be lured by retailer's charms as we try in one fell swoop to complete all our Christmas shopping in one day.

Christmas is, of course the "Season of Universal Love" according to Bette Midler's ill-advised remake of "From a Distance." It's also a time of sibling rivalry and this year, regarding my sister, I'm gonna get the bitch.

Each year there's a competition for who can get the "best" gifts for mom and dad. Last year she set me up. When I called her and innocently asked what she was getting our parents, she ran through a typical, run of the mill Christmas gift exchange. Then on Christmas day, I sat there in horror as my Dad unwrapped my sister's present -- a beautifully framed montage of photos of my sister and him through the years, along with a poem about a daughter's love for her Dad. I fumed as I watched the tears roll down his craggy face while I contemplated the sweaters and ties for him in my Sears gift wrapped packages.

Of course, the year before, I won. I had an old -- ancient, really -- album (you know those round vinyl things you put on turntables, put a needle on it, made it spin so you could hear scratchy sounding music) of my mom's high school band, circa 1959. I took it to the recording studio I use, and we re-mastered it and I turned it into a CD. I even re-created the label that was on the original LP. Mom loved it. And she commented to me recently about how much she plays it. So take that, Sis.

So yes, Christmas, Santa, peace, joy...and can just wipe last year's smirk off your face.

Friday, December 15, 2006


I haven't been blogging much this week as I've been crazy busy but also for one reason or another been incredibly anxious. And anxiety tends to stop the creative impulse, in me at least.

Hoopefully my schedule and my tension will abate soon and I'll be back writing my regular useless fluff.

In the meantime, pass the prozac.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Talking Cows

So, Billy Graham's son wants to bury the evangalist at a "library" whose host is a talking cow. I'd object too. What a sad spectacle.

But it's always the case when a visionary, such as Billy Graham, becomes an institution. Someone will try to exploit it. Sad it's Graham's own son. Family values, anyone?

An Imposter

He just doesn't live up to the name.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Sarah Brightman Challenge

Here's one of my favorite games:

Can you understand what the hell Sarah Brightman is singing? I mean, the woman can't enunciate to save her marriage. And what's with the Morticia look in a Christmas concert?

(Yes, I woke up on the catty side today...)

A Good "Sentimental" Song

For A.D. Hat Tip: M.D.

One of my favorite Tori Amos songs (though I'm not wild about the video).

Presidential Tantrums

I'm starting to think the guy is pathological.

Jump up and down and scream you're the commander and chief all you want, but you still lost the war in Iraq and maybe even the War on Terror.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Priest of the Month

Apparently I'm not the only one pushing a little beefcake. It appears the Roman Catholic Church is tacitly parading its hottest priest flesh for charity. Read about it here.

The Sappiest Love Song Ever

The comment about sappy love songs got me thinking -- what love song is the sappiest?

The answer, is surely this one. Can anyone think of others?


At Lambda Rising:

Hunky Male Clerk (unfortunately with bad teeth): The Metro Weekly Coverboys are either too boring or too gay.

Female Clerk: Can't they be both at the same time?

HMC (uwbt): Not lately. Look, his "most unusual place to have sex" is in a car. That's not unusual.

Me: Unless the car was on the showroom floor.

(and thinking to myself: or in a traffic jam on I-95 while heading north from Virginia Beach)

Friday Hunk of the Week

It's back, by popular demand of two Scott's Take readers.

This is actor Sebastian LaCause, nominated by a Scott's Take reader (we think we're up to five, now). The staff at Scott's Take is glad to be responsive to our readers (especially when we're sitting here scratching our balls trying to decide who the hell to feature).

This photo is from Sebastian's very helpful "beefcake" gallery.

He can sing and dance, too! (Note to the LTR: He's from Akron)

Remembering John Lennon

On this day, in 1980, John Lennon was killed.

Here's his unfulfilled Christmas wish.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Grandma and Me

I can't resist posting this. Call it self-indulgent. Two years ago at Thanksgiving I sat with my grandmother and put my arm around her shoulders. Her comment: "It's been a long time since someone held me," she said. When I saw her again (Thanksgiving, 2005) I wanted to give her human, physical contact and held her hand. This is a photo of that moment. It was the last picture taken of my grandmother and I. She died almost exactly a year later.

Love, Right-Wing Style

It's interesting to see the religious right's reaction to the news that Mary Cheney's child will have two mommies. Here's an example from Amercians for Truth:

Obviously, we're saddened at the spectacle of the Vice President's daughter, Mary Cheney, living in an open lesbian relationship, and now bringing a child into a home that is fatherless by design. In our view, this is another case of the "gay" movement putting its wants (in this case, having a child) above what'’s best for children. "Two mommies" or "two daddies"” will never substitute for a home with a married mom and a dad, and it is sad when men or women model immoral homosexual behavior before innocent children in a home setting. -- Peter LaBarbera

I guess Dick Cheney will not be a strong enough masculine presence in his grandchild's life.

The irony to me is that every gay couple I know who has decided to have children, whether through adoption or through biological means, has done so after an agonizing soul searching process. Those children will grow up surronded by love. Never substitute for male-female parents? Gimme a break. If this child grows up in a household with a mom and dad who hate each other and where there is physical violence present it's preferable to growing up in a household filled with same sex non-violent love.? Growing up in a household with a mom and a dad is no sure fire bet for happiness.

And by the way, it's none of these fucking right wing nut job's business what Dick Cheney's daughter does in her private life. And that's the larger issue...they want to legislate the type of personal, private family life we all can have. And life is simply larger than their little pea brains can comphrehend.

From a Distance Part II

One of my four readers writes:

And I have to say that I don't like Bette's song, From A Distance as I always thought of it as too sappy.

Too sappy? But honey, Bette delivers sap with such style and art that it works. Unlike, say, hmm, let me think...Celine Dion?

From a Distance

Bette artfully makes the point I was trying to make in the post below in her song, From a Distance. I much prefer this original to the "Christmas version" on her new Christmas CD, despite the Celine Dion-like body language Bette seems to be channelling here.

The Best Hope for Mankind

Or peoplekind, if you prefer.

NASA's decision to pursue a permanent base on the moon is welcome news. And the Russkis want in, another good sign. Although these still represent baby steps towards space exploration and colonization, it's a step in the right direction. To doubters that space exploration can pay big dividends here on Earth I commend you to Dr. Jerry Pournelle's book, A Step Farther Out. The announcement of water existing on Mars this week is just another example there's a lot out there we don't know. To paraphrase old Willy again, there's more to heaven than dreamt of in our philosophies.

Exploring space has another benefit -- as we realize how vast the universe is our problems on this tiny planet get awfully small. Maybe I'm pollyanna but as the opportunities out there manifest themselves surely they will be a catalyst for some unity here on old home Terra. And if not, in a few generations, some of us will be able to escape and get another chance to create a workable human society.

Mary Cheney's Child

Good for her and Heather. Mary may have failed the community in her silence on gay marriage and other issues within the GOP, but her example of gay family may well go farther than any political positions she may or may not have taken. Not that she's having a baby to make a political point, but it has been my experience as an openly gay man who chose to have a baby (as opposed to a closeted gay man hiding in a sham marriage who has kids) is that children give focus to the true familial nature of gay relationships.

It gives the lie to the notion that gays don't have kids. A large number of us do. True, some will never except that -- including a physician I was debating while my son was still in the womb. He referred to my son as "artificial." Hmm, nothing artificial his mother's morning sickness. And nothing artificial in the thousands of poopy, smelly diapers that have been hurriedly and lovingly changed in the last two years.

And, I would have to guess gay parents on average are probably better parents than our straight cohorts. Why? Simply because we are more likely to have put more pre-thought and planning into the decision even to have a baby. No doubt Mary and Heather spent a great deal of time discussing and agonizing over whether to have a baby and a great deal of time deciding how to go about it. I know we did. I'm equally sure my parents never did. If you're straight you grow up, get married, have kids, end of discussion.

I will admit to having fears about how accepted my son would be within my family. I never doubted my parents would accept him and they have. I was uncertain about my extended family. With the doctor's word "artificial" ringing in my ears, I was worried that my extended family would not really look upon him as one of their own.

I shouldn't have worried. My son is impossible to resist and my family -- regardless of their deeply held "red state" political beliefs -- has a big heart. I was proud to say that on the picture display that my Uncle produced for my Grandmother's funeral, my sons picture was there with the rest of the grandchildren and great grandchildren.

It's a paradox I've an out gay man in a conservative family, my family's actions aren't consistent with their political beliefs. One day that paradox will be resolved and it won't be resolved by casting me, my partner and our son out. It will be resolved by abandoning their homophobia. That day may not be tomorrow, but it is on the horizon. And the day will be hastened only when everyone comes out.

So, congratulations Mary Cheney and Heather Poe. May your child be healthy and happy. And may your child do all that mine has done to open hearts to your "non-traditional" family.

This is my son and his Great-Grandmother, taken last Thanksgiving, a year before her death at 93.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Original Version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"

The song was written for the show "Meet Me in St. Louis," a play about a St. Louis family being uprooted at the turn of the century by the father who wanted to move the family. Judy played one of the eldest daughters. Garland's signature songs "Clang, Clang, Clang Went the Trolley" and "Boy Next Door" both come from the movie version of the musical adaptation.

Garland felt the original version of the lryics for "Have Yourself" were too dark. They were:

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
It may be your last
Next year we may all be living in the past
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Pop that champagne cork
Next year we may all be living in New York.
No good times like the olden days,
Happy golden days of yore,
Faithful friends who were dear to us
Will be near to us no more.
But at least we all will be together
If the Lord allows.
From now on we'll have to muddle through somehow.
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

At her urging it was written to the version we know today -- although there is still some variation in the last stanza. Sometime it is sung "Through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow. Hang a shining star across the highest bough." The original rewrite -- and the lines used by Garland in the movie -- are : "Through the years we all will be together, it the fates allow. Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow."

I much prefer the latter. Families muddling through the years together. It's kinda the boiled down truth of life.

incidentally, Bette uses the "highest bough" version. Another reason I'm disappointed.

Judy Garland's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

From the movie "Meet Me in St. Louis." It's been edited to use pictures of WWII soldiers. The shot of the soldier sharing food with his buddies put the lump in my throat. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bette Midler's New CD -- Cool Yule

I read about this CD today and bought it with great expectations.

It sucks.

Well, no it doesn't suck, but it didn't live up to my expectations. Miss M can really sing but this performance was just ho-hum. Part of the problem is that for a female crooner who admires Rosemary Clooney she falls short in comparison to her idol whose voice is so identified with the season. Clooney's last Christmas album, "White Christmas"has the best renditions (that I've heard, anyway) of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (my favorite) and White Christmas that everything else pales next to it. Including Bette's version of "Have Yourself" and "White Christmas." Her rendition of I'll Be Home for Christmas is nice and on first hearing my favorite on the CD. Her remake of From a Distance, a song I first heard in 1990 as we prepared for the first Gulf War into a Christmas "version" didn't do anything to enhance the song. The original recording is superior.

I love Bette. Like Madonna, she is a gay icon. Unlike Madonna, she can sing. To paraphrase Shakespeare, "she can suck melancholy out of a song as weasel sucks eggs." Unfortunately she fails to do that here and has put just another bland Christmas album on the market.

Getting Old

The Wash Po has a depressing graphic on what happens to us as we age.

The vision loss has hit me right on schedule. This really sucks.

The Bible is Not "America's" Book

Check out this email from the American Family Association

It's about the newly elected Rep. from Minnesota, who wants to be sworn into Congress with his hand on the Quran, not the Bible. The AFA is asking Congress to pass a law that would make it illegal for a Member of Congress to be sworn in using any book other than the Bible. Money quote:

What Ellison and his Muslim and leftist supporters are saying is that it is of no consequence what America holds as its holiest book; all that matters is what any individual holds to be his holiest book.

Well, yes...don't dictate to me what is holy. And "America's Holiest Book?" Sweet can you claim to be so "American" and have such total disdain for the First Amendment? If making the Bible "America's book" isn't establishing religion I don't know what is.

This email, though shows the AFA for what it is -- another group that wants to pass laws making its version of Christianity legally compelled for everyone.

Bass and Lehmkhul Splitsville?

Say it ain't so.

But if it is, Lance, I'll get the convertible. You bring the champagne. Just leave your CDs at home.

Rauch on Kameny

Frank Kameny has gotten a lot of good press lately -- deservedly so. Here is a great column by Jonathan Rauch explaining why.

Torture Watch

Padilla was not captured on a battlefield, he was captured in Chicago, locked up and tortured for four years. The original charges against him have been dropped.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Back Once Again

Back from Grandma's funeral. Everything went well. I showed my dad the piece I wrote on Grandma and he wanted it read at the service. That wasn't my intention when I wrote it but since he wanted it I agreed. But I knew I'd get all choked up if I read it, so my sister read it on my behalf. She did a great job. All my dad brother's save one made a point to tell me how much they appreciated it. I'm glad I was able to contribute something.

I am glad to be home. Since Thanksgiving, I have been home a total of three nights and have travelled nearly 16,000 miles.

Friday, December 01, 2006

More Irreverent than the Village People

The Polynesian Beach Hostel vs. the Cabana at Waikiki

So, with having to make multiple trips to Hawaii to pick up and return my son, and, wanting to take advantage of that opportunity to laze in paradise (it is paradise, you know, I have it on the highest authority) I sought affordable accommodations.

Now, in past trips, including the one with the LTR, we stayed at the Cabana at Waikiki.

I thought this trip I'd try a hostel, the Polynesian Beach Hostel. After all, I could get a private room and only have to share a bath...and pay less than $50 per night and actually be closer to the beach than is the Cabana.

When I checked in, the buff shirtless older (my age) surfer at the front desk told me my private room was only accessible by walking through one of the dorm rooms. My first thought was, what do you mean, walk through a dorm room?

My second thought was....SURFER BOYS!!!

Imagine my horror when I went to put my key in the lock and I spied through the window into the said dorm room and saw...tits. As in the female breast. The surfer dude failed to mention it was a CO-ED dorm. And apparently I was the only co to the female ed in this particular menage.

They didn't seem to mind as I hauled my luggage through their room to mine to nurse my dashed expectations.

My room was okay if austere but one object grabbed my attention. An extra bed. Although this was supposed to be a private room how private could it be if I had to walk through a gauntlet of surfer chicks, past a shared bathroom into a room with another bed? What if I were there peacefully sleeping and some complete stranger walked in and pushed my suitcase of what I assumed was a spare bed and sprawled out there?

To make matters worse, the shared bathroom was filthy. Now, I am no neatnik. But there were dark curly hairs on the toilet seat that I knew were not from me. And there was no toilet paper, which meant I had to walk down to the front desk and ask for some, then, carrying it like a urine sample through a crowded doctor's office, through the co-ed dormitory back to the place where it was needed most.

I decided I would give it a night.

And I did. And the next morning I called the Cabana.

They welcomed this prodigal gay traveler with open arms...and clean toilet seats.

I learned some things this trip...including the fact I'm not as bohemian as I thought I was (or wanted to be). I figured some other things out as well...stay tuned.

The Average Blog

according to Google, has one reader. Hi Mom.

Actually, I think I have four readers. Although I may have lost some of you over my inability to update over the last few weeks.

Blogging in Hawaii

There was a lot I wanted to blog about in Hawaii. I had the desire, could have made time, but I lacked one thing -- I had no idea what my username and password are. Damn cookies.

But I hope to catch up...