Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Dooby Dooby Dubai

It seems that the Democrats are in a fine lather this morning over the pending deal for a company based in and owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates to operate US ports that have previously been operated by a British company. Robbie over at The Malcontent offers his take on the situation.

I have one myself.

Apparently, these Democrats believe that, despite the US military providing security and oversight, this company is just a front for the UAE government to steal US high technology and knowledge and give it to terrorists for use in attacking US interests.

Of course, these are the same people who raised not a finger or word of protest when they sold the UAE government F-16s, including giving them access to our defense contractors and THEIR knowledge.

Explain that to me.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Let Him Speak

Over at GayPatriot, occasional contributor Average Gay Joe steps into the nasty swamp and takes a stand against bills restricting protests at funerals, specifically in response to the antics of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist "Church".

He's right.

Philosophically, this is not an issue on which we can bend one inch, even though it puts us in the invidious and awful position of defending one of the world's worst homophobes, one of the most disgustingly-behaved individuals on the planet. We can never forget that the fundamental issue of gay rights is the fact that, though a person's behavior may be considered offensive by others, that in and of itself does not justify denying that person's rights.

Pragmatically, people have been able to write Phelps off for far too long as someone who's just a bit overzealous concerning gays. They need to see once and for all that Phelps is an equal-opportunity hatemonger and that he will be just as vicious towards them for not persecuting the homos as he is towards us.

In short, let Phelps protest -- because it shows him as the evil he is and gays as the evil we aren't.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Brokeback Humor and the Humorless

With a hat tip to frequent contributor V the K over at GayPatriot, two things about this story concerning Brokeback Mountain jokes:

-- I want a job counting Jay Leno's jokes.

-- Matt Foreman and the rest of the gay left are intent on turning Brokeback into the homo Passion of the Christ, apparently with the same goal of converting the infidels and controlling the faithful.

I'm afraid the second is far more likely than the first, although I expect the gay fundamentalists will have the same degree of success as the Christian ones did.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Thinking Way, WAY, Way Outside the Box

Robbie's aforementioned post over on The Malcontent, which talks about the courage and tenacity of the head of the Empire State Pride Agenda, Alan Van Capelle, in telling Hillary Clinton to go do naughty things to herself rather than letting his organization shovel her money, has triggered a slew of excellent comments.

One of the best, however, comes from commentor WFoster:

Idle thought: Mother Theresa spoke to US politicians once about abortion, saying something like “Unwanted babies!? If you don't want them, give them to me!”

So along those lines, what about starting a little pro-life gay organization that stands outside pre-natal abattoirs and encourages those entering to stick with the pregnancy and let gay couples adopt the little unwanteds? Maybe offering to pay for the woman’s healthcare, etc.

Now that, my friends, is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. And, minus the "standing outside pre-natal abattoirs" part, a most worthwhile endeavor.

Why? Three reasons.

First off, doing so would show the universe that a) there is diversity of opinion in the gay-rights universe and b) that there are gays that don't believe abortion is an acceptable solution.

As regular readers of this blog are aware, I have come down, both humorously and not so humorously, on queers who insist on mixing abortion with gay rights. While my individual beliefs on the issue do play a big role in this condemnation, the argument is considerably strengthened by the fact that the enormous majority of Americans favor parental notifications and limits on abortion.

As long as groups like HRC and NGLTF are demanding unlimited abortion and the removal of parental notifications and calling it "gay rights", the gay community will continue to lose. These groups -- or, more specifically, the leaders and lobbyists who make up the executive boards of these groups -- are far too beholden to and dependent on abortionist money to change. However, their impact can be significantly blunted if other groups are willing to step forward and be vocal.

Second off, creating a group to promote adoption by gay couples as a means of preventing abortions would make immediately obvious the agenda of the right-wing organizations. Imagine the disaster of them having to publicly say that they would rather children be aborted than adopted by gays. At worst, they would have to drastically step up their efforts to get the kids adopted themselves -- and then we can applaud them for their following through on what they preach. Talk about heaping hot coals upon their heads. (grin)

Finally, since, as The Malcontent himself points out, gay adoption is the new obsession of the radical right. From a PR standpoint, people are primed to talk about the issue; a group that was willing to step forward, especially with a position so completely different from "gay standard", would receive an enormous amount of coverage.

Any takers?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Ah, Sweet, Sweet Sanity

Many thanks to Robbie of The Malcontent for a pleasant little nugget of news to start my day.

To Mr. Van Capelle, a hearty note of congratulations; you, sir, are an excellent sign that there is still life and sense in the "gay community" and that we have not yet completely become a money-laundering front for the Democratic Party.

However, I completely understand why you weren't available for comment for the article; on an academic note, how many hate mail pieces and phone calls have you received, or did the meter shut off once it got over a hundred?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Talk About Really Desperate....

does anyone else think this sounds like bad movie dialogue?

As I opined previously, Osama and al-Qaeda may be many things, but I don't think "getting stronger" qualifies as one of them.

One Tempest, One Teapot

Thanks to Mal of The Malcontent, I was informed of the latest kerfuffle over government websites.

While Mal does make a good point about how this looks like scrubbing information, I will reproduce what I think are the salient points from the Family Research Council's letter on the issue.

We've reported to you on the homosexual website at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). When some of you wrote to HHS to criticize this misuse of taxpayer dollars, you received anonymous, abusive, and even threatening responses. I protested this vigorously in a letter to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt. Recently, I received a call from Rick Campanelli, legal counsel to Leavitt. He acknowledged that the website had been taken down and that the unidentified contractor employee responsible for the abusive replies had been fired. That's fine--as far as that goes. But Mr. Campanelli did not explain how HHS became involved in promoting the unhealthy homosexual lifestyle in the first place. We had pointed out the medical inaccuracies that were promoted by the website. Nor did Mr. Campanelli explain to me how HHS could allow a contractor to speak for the largest federal department on such a vital matter. To be fair, many of the replies received to your expressions of concern were civil and respectful--if noncommittal.

Fair question. The FRC may be bigots, but they're still voters and taxpayers, and they have the right to request that information and that it be communicated to them in a respectful fashion. It is absolutely not acceptable for a Federal contractor to reply in the fashion that they apparently did. Before any information is restored to that website, an answer better than "we fired the offending employee" is necessary.

Why? Because the FRC wouldn't do it for us, and we are better than they are. The only way to expose them as the asses they are is in comparison to us.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What Home Means to Me

It's a cold night in Albuquerque.

The lights aren't the greatest in this room and someone was a little heavy-handed with the disinfectant, but at least the connection is good.

The NDT Mascot is looking for a soft spot on the industrial-green rug, wandering around with the dazed look of someone who thought he was just taking a ride to the park, not a ten-hour two-state trek crammed into the back seat of a Mazda.

Finally, he just gives up and hoists himself onto the saggy king, searching in vain for the extra pillows he normally has to use, then tipping over with his head on paws and letting out an aggrieved sigh.

He's said it that way countless times before, back from our days on the rodeo circuit, our itinerant-consultant times, our "if it's Tuesday, it must be Texarkana" weeks; "Dad, what the hell are we doing here?"

He knows better than to expect an answer.

He didn't get one when we first headed south, my life stuffed first into a U-Haul and then into a 300-square-foot horse barn apartment, searching for what I thought would be my future.

He didn't get one when bare months later, we traded rural solitude for urban rush, twenty acres for twenty square feet of grass in Oak Lawn, my attempt to come to grips with what I had finally admitted to myself that I really was.

He didn't get one when I chased a dream of a white picket fence and Honda Accord with someone who I wasn't smart enough to realize couldn't and wouldn't do that out to the north 'burbs, or when I thought I could get stability with three bedrooms, one living area, tile floors, and a hot tub. And he certainly hasn't had one in the past few months in someone else's house, Dad packing and disappearing with alarming regularity, coming back with a lot of luggage tags reading "SFO".

In all these times, he's seen wonderful things -- the laughing and joking with good friends, the thrill of biscuits with a big sale or bonus celebration, even the intimate moments on the sofa, the floor, or in bed in which two hearts touch and join as one, his dad and his dad's latest lost in pleasure both physical and psychic. But never have these things been there to stay; they dwindle and shrink, finally vanishing, ghosts in the rearview mirror.

I look at him, my friend, my steadfast companion, his trusting eyes staring back at me. There's so much waiting ahead for him to discover, I think -- the thrill of every nook and cranny in a new residence, the nearby park with canid friends-to-be aplenty, a new avian "stepsister" and "stepbrother", a happy dad coming home with GOOD stories about his job.....and, most of all, TWO parents, both head-over-heels in love and committed to building a life together. Solidity and substance, passion and power, acceptance and love, home life and career, location and history -- his dad's dreams have come true, and in a way not only unexpected, but far beyond what his dad ever dared to imagine.

How can I tell him how wonderful it is? How can I explain what I'm feeling? How can I put into words something that is so incredible, so magnificent, that I STILL pinch myself that it's happening?

But it all comes out in one phrase:

"We're going HOME, pup."

Note: This essay was written as a submission for the Homomojo Gay Blogger Writing Contest. If you enjoyed it, please follow the link and review the other submissions, then vote for your favorites.

And while you're there, check out the Homomojo main site!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Case Against Self-Deprivation

Lesson for today, kids:

See Silvio swear off excitement.

Two weeks later, see Silvio call himself "Napoleon" and "Jesus Christ".

The moral is clear here: Lack of sex makes you crazy.

You know, this explains so much about Cindy Sheehan and Al Gore......

There's a Moral Here Somewhere....

but I'm just not sure what it is.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Roy Simmons....We Need to Have a Talk

OK, Roy....remember what I said last week? You know, the part about, "Choose what you think is important, rather than what others tell you is"?

This isn't it.

Look, there are a few rules in life. Don't tug on Superman's cape, don't spit into the wind, and don't go marching into the NFL office three days before the Super Bowl asking for press credentials, two tickets, and a party and expect to get them. You played in the NFL; you should know what a zoo those kind of requests are before a regular game, much less The Big One.

Now, Roy, one of the things you should have learned in your past is to spot a hustler or someone who's just looking to use you. Your lesson for today is that they sometimes dress in high heels and wear expensive suits, because buddy, one's sure as heck got her claws in you.

In a letter addressed to NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, (Simmons's lawyer Gloria) Allred listed questions she said the NFL should answer, including whether Simmons' request was denied because he no longer fit the image of an NFL player or whether the NFL "is inherently homophobic and prefers that a gay football player remain in the closet."

Right, Ms. Allred. And when did you stop doing cocaine? Or is no one else allowed to ask leading questions?

Now, Roy, I know you're not exactly heavy into the gay dating scene. But should you ever decide to come back, know that there are plenty of people out there who will listen to you sympathetically, agree that it's a travesty, tell you how you should discuss this over dinner, stick you with the bill, and then dump you when they figure out you're not a Platinum cardholder. They're called "jerks".

You can get some early practice for handling them by dealing with Gloria.

Friday, February 10, 2006

No Thanks, We'd Rather Rot than Cooperate

Thanks to Robbie of The Malcontent, I was made aware of the latest twist in the case of the Colorado domestic partner activity -- namely, that an alternative has been proposed, and -- surprise! -- Focus on the Family is supporting it.

Of course, the gay left has an explanation:

Michael Brewer, public policy director for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center of Colorado, said the Christian group’s support is not ironic, but a “political reality.”

“[Focus on the Family] realizes that domestic partnership is popular in Colorado,” Brewer told this newspaper. “I think they’re definitely afraid that Colorado could be the first state where the voters themselves would pass it.”

Right. But in order to do so, as the article conveniently leaves out, both houses of the Colorado legislature must pass the domestic partner referendum by two-thirds in order to get it onto the ballot. Creating domestic partnerships will not get that; on the other hand, the reciprocal benefits bill, especially with the support of groups like Focus on the Family, likely would.

So of course, which horse is the gay left backing?

The one most likely to lose.

And why are they doing so?

Because, they say, the reciprocal benefits bill wouldn't grant all the benefits of marriage and gives mostly things that gays can already manage through existing legal means.

Just like the domestic partners bill they're backing.

I mean, really. Is the gay left even TRYING to be relevant? Or are they just going to sit there as Democrats dangle bills they know will never pass so that gays obligingly open their pocketbooks, rather than taking the opportunity to really do something towards getting the legal benefits they claim to crave?

Once again, gay lefties would rather have no progress than progress that involves cooperating with the wrong kind of people.


One Question......

how much did the Democratic National Committee have to pay to prevent this from happening?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Mea Culpa

I'm a very strong believer in the theory that, when you wrong someone else, it is not only your duty to apologize, but to make things right.

Since I fouled up royally when commenting over on The Malcontent and Jamie of HomoMojo rightly called me on it, I have apologized......and shall make things right as Jamie requested.

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Of course, this particular renumerance should come as no surprise to anyone; if I can show some skin to take a challenge or swing a vote, surely I can do it as a peace offering to someone I respect. (grin)

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Take Two, Brokeback Mountain

One of the dangers with blogging, as far as I'm concerned, is getting caught in a "thought thread" -- one of those moments where you find something, you just HAVE to comment on it, but the deeper you get into it, the more complex it becomes.

Such is the case with this. While reading an excellent post on self-loathing over at Joe.My.God, I happened upon a comment by Homer of Homer's World, which read as follows:

I saw that movie (Brokeback) yesterday and what struck me afterwards is that it was the first gay romance movie I have ever seen. I know, I know- it is only a movie. But for the first time I guess I was experiencing what straight people get to see all of the time.

My first reaction was.........what?

Sure, Brokeback may be one of the first movies that so flatly shows two men involved in this sort of thing. But frankly, I've never considered that there was a beast such as "gay romance". When I watch Damn Yankees, I know what Joe and Meg are feeling, even though Meg is quite obviously not a man. When I hear Carrie Underwood sing "Bless the Broken Road", I know what she's talking about, even though it isn't necessarily about g2g relationships. Romance is romance.

Quite often what I wonder, though, is if what gays are looking for isn't gay romance, but simply any type of stable description of romance at all. We are the first generation of gays to grow up as open and out as we can be.....but we are also the first generation of people whose parents were more likely to be divorced or separated than they were to be married. To many of us the familial strife and unloving households in Brokeback are nothing unusual; we saw that every day of our childhoods, be it our neighbors or own families. But the decades-long devotion that Ennis and Jack share is something that is so unusual, so novel, that we find it particularly striking and noteworthy.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Cleated Closet

One of the interesting things about Super Bowl week is how it serves as a convenient time to launch all sorts of things that relate, even loosely, to football. Given that, tonight's lust fest showing of Anderson Cooper 360, featuring former NFL player Roy Simmons talking about his new book, should be no surprise to anyone.

Except this is that Roy Simmons. As in the one who came out, as gay, in front of daytime-TV-watching America on Donahue, in 1992.

And he's HIV-positive.

And the book itself, Out of Bounds, is meant to help men, especially African-American men, "be honest", as the author puts it, about their sexual preferences and their HIV status with their partners.

As I might have guessed, Keith Boykin was all over this, and published his own interview with Simmons about the book. You can also read other interviews with HIV-oriented and glbt publications on Simmons's website.

As a former high school and college football player myself, what Simmons is saying resonates with me on several levels. Football is not a sport that lends itself to emotional honesty; indeed, in many ways, it suppresses it. You're supposed to block pain, puke, blood, and the sight of your teammates being carried off to an ambulance out of your head. The whole language of the sport -- "gut it out", "buckle up your chinstrap", "leave it all on the field" -- has no words for uncertainty or doubt. You need to be a "real man" to play football -- confident, assured, cocky, and strong -- and those who aren't don't survive. The field is the only place where I've ever been told, "NDT, act first, think later."

Given that, it never surprises me when former players end up leading markedly-f'd up lives. Or that so many NFL players are so reluctant to let their kids play the sport that made them ridiculously rich and famous.

Or that so many gay men either leave the sport or stay buried within the closet in it.

There are several good points to take away from Simmons's story. One that I do wish to highlight, though, given the furor caused by my posting on it a few weeks ago, is the angle of Simmons's childhood molestation:

The article details the shame and isolation Simmons felt about being attracted to men and the central role the rape had. “Years later as an adult, he tortured himself wondering--often while drunk or high on drugs--if he would have been straight if he had not been assaulted,” Orth writes. “He blamed himself and suffered from a diminished sense of self-worth and confusion over his sexual identity. ‘I think all my life it affected me,’ he said. ‘The acting out--the sex with the boys, the girls — the drinking.’

Therein lies the danger of spreading a lie about molestation causing homosexuality that the antigay fundamentalists refuse to recognize. However, one wonders if Mr. Simmons will be assaulted by those gay fundamentalists who object to his associating in any way his molestation with his homosexuality and life issues, or, more particularly, with his choice of celibacy as a means of avoiding an immoral lifestyle, as ironically championed by selfsame fundies.

To which I say: You're OK, Roy. Choose what you think is important, rather than what others tell you is. You're a winner in my book either way.

To Everything, Spin, Spin, Spin....

And this week's Centrifuge Award goes to Ron Goldstein, whose paean to Delaware Senator Joe Biden transforms into "admittedly verbose" Biden's rambling monologue during confirmation hearings on Justice Samuel Alito and argues that this is good because it makes him "familiar to voters". The theory appears to be that exposure for a politician, even if it completely contradicts his previous positions, is something to be sought at all costs.

Of course, Biden is praying for the opposite.

O Brothers Nagin and Robertson, Where Art Thou?

Obviously not nearly enough chocolate has been added back to New Orleans to appease the wrath of the Almighty.

No, It's Not Naked....But It's Close

Sometimes, I have no idea what motivates my posts.

Perhaps it was triggered by yesterday's report on nutritious underwear.

Maybe it was a desire to cover the gap, at least to a small degree, between installments of Made In Brazil's Speedo Sundays.

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But one thing I KNOW it wasn't done for was to in any way influence the BlogWars voting over at Manhattan Offender. Even though I am behind in the Bears voting, I would never stoop to posting scantily-clad pictures of myself just to get people to go here and vote for North Dallas Thirty in the pink box (how appropriate) on the left sidebar.

Of course, if you believe that, I'll sell you some winning lottery numbers for just $29.99, plus shipping and handling.....

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

It Comes in Lavender, Chartreuse, and Ascorbate

Thanks to Jody Dean and the Morning Team on 98.7 KLUV, I was made aware of the latest advance from sexy undergarment maker (and personal favorite of mine) AussieBum..... vitamin-infused underwear.

According to the description (click on "Essence", then "More Info", once you get finished drooling over the picture), this new underwear has special "vitamin enriched microfibre technology", which releases certain compounds as you wear it that are then absorbed through your skin to give, as it says, "an overall feeling of well-being".

Perhaps Blog Ally Boi From Troy should consider a pair of these as replacement for his previous lucky underwears; that way, even if the USC Trojans lose, his loins will be healthy and his tush lovingly wrapped in "dermo-protective" oils.

Any bets on how long until we see the Viagra version?

A Tale of Two T-Shirts

Apparently the lesson is, "Don't Wear Anything With Letters or Numbers to the SOTU Address".

However, what I thought was particularly interesting was this comparison (emphasis mine):

(Representative Bill) Young and his wife are known as passionate supporters of U.S. service members. He has spoken in the past about their many visits to military hospitals during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and their efforts to ensure the needs of the wounded and their families are met.

Sheehan, on the other hand, was thrust into the spotlight after her 24-year-old son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, was killed in Iraq in April 2004.

How exactly is one "thrust into" what one is desperately chasing and trying to get, even to the point of hiring publicists and media consultants to help her catch it?