Saturday, October 15, 2011

Think Twice About Booking Royal Caribbean If You Need Business Internet Access

The boyfriend and I made it to Barcelona and are now aboard the Liberty of the Seas and life might be good if the Internet service wasn't a major piece of crap. From what I have been able to figure out so far with my computer - which I need to access the law firm e-mail, etc., remotely - it seems that Royal Caribbean has expired security certificates and the result is that a computer with good firewall protection and anti-virus cannot sign onto the Internet.

To say that I am hugely PISSED is an understatement and unless a fix can be found, I will be cancelling some shore excursions so that I can find reliable Internet access in port. My advise from my experience so far to anyone who must conduct business while traveling and must use secure computers, check out a different cruise line. I could in theory use the ship's computers but guess what, they lack the program I need to access the law office account. I'm afraid I am majorly f*cked.

I will keep you updated and do some posting - since I can't do what's most critical. So far my thoughts on the trip are that it was a major, major mistake - or at least traveing on Royal Caribbean - and I wish I had stayed home.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Morning Male Beauty

The GOP Remains the Tool of the Christianists

With the economy still in the toilet, millions out of work, foreclosures still at historic highs, and the stock market still significantly down (and people's retirement funds accordingly diminished), one would think that the Republican Party might focus its attention on addressing these huge problems. But such is not the case. Instead, the GOP remains fixated on the twin obsessions of the Christofascists: gays and abortion. Rather than pass any kind of job promoting legislation, the GOP controlled House of Representatives passed a bill to limit abortion funding. As noted many times, I'm not a proponent of abortion and believe it should be something used only as a last resort. But WTF is wrong with the GOP? The concerns of most rational people mean nothing. Instead, it's all about pleasing and kissing the asses of the protectors of child rapists in the Catholic Church and semi-closeted white supremacists at FRC, AFA and Focus on the Family. The Washington Post looks at the upside down priorities of today's GOP. Here are some highlights:

The House on Thursday approved a bill that would prohibit federal funds from going toward any health care plan that covers abortion services, marking the chamber’s passage of its first major abortion-rights measure since May. . . . In addition to blocking federal funding of health care plans that cover abortion services, the bill, authored by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) and known as the “Protect Life Act,” would prevent funds from being withheld from health care institutions that are opposed to providing abortions.

On Thursday, Democrats criticized both the substance of the legislation as well as the decision by House Republican leaders to move the bill to the floor as a “waste of time” that otherwise could have been spent on jobs measures.

“It’s appalling,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a Thursday morning news conference, arguing that “women can die on the floor and health care providers do not have to intervene if this bill is passed.”

“America’s families deserve better than this and again, today is another example of a wasted opportunity instead of taking up even an aspect of the president’s jobs bill that could create jobs,” she continued. “I can’t even describe to you the logic of what they are doing.”

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) called the measure “a deeply flawed and deeply divisive bill that will not pass the Senate and will be vetoed if it reaches the president’s desk.”

Of course, the GOP members of the House and their Christianist allies don't give a rat's ass about children after they are born - they oppose virtually every program that would aid poor children and provide decent medical care access. No, it's all about worshiping the unborn and then casting the living on the dung heap. They are total hypocrites. WWJD?

Finally Headed to Europe

Some readers have asked where I am currently - I'm in Norfolk this morning and then the boyfriend and I and two friends (another gay couple) fly out to Barcelona a little after noon today. Yesterday was chaos at the office trying to get things done before my departure and naturally just to make things a major pain in the you know where the main copier/scanner/ fax machine decides to go down. I'm headed tot he office extra earlier to meet the repair folks, get some more closing documents signed and then off to the airport to meet the boyfriend and our friends who will take my luggage to the airport with them. I will definitely need an adult beverage by the time I get on the plane!

This trip is my gift to the boyfriend as a "thank you" for all he's put up with over the last 3+ years - the last drama of my contentious divorce, other family issues, including the loss of my mother, and the stress of having a solo practice in this economy - and for being a sweetheart in general although he does have his "yes, mein fuhrer" moments when he's not being "Martha Stewart."

We finished packing late last night, the house sitter/dog sitter arrangements are in place, I have back up arranged for my office staff, and hopefully after this morning we can escape for a needed break. As noted yesterday, I will try to post on the trip as we do a loop around the western Mediterranean on the Liberty of the Seas.

N.J. Teacher Posts Anti-Gay Entry on Facebook

If there's any question as to why anti-gay bullying continues to run rampant in the nation's public schools, one need look no farther than Viki Knox, a teacher at Union High School in Union Township, New Jersey. Knox's school had put up a display recognizing October as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History month that included among other things photos of Virginia Woolf, Harvey Milk and Neil Patrick Harris. That recognition that LGBT people exist and that the vast, vast majority of us are not disease ridden drug users and alcoholics (the image the Christianists disseminate daily) apparently was too much for the bigoted Ms. Knox who went on a bigoted rampage on Facebook. One can only wonder at the treatment students at Union High receive from Ms. Knox and those with similar mindsets. In the New York Times coverage, it's no surprise to read that Ms. Knox "advised a student prayer group." Given New Jersey's new anti-bullying law, it would seem that Ms. Knox needs to join the ranks of the unemployed so that she's not in a position to harm youths. Here are some highlights from the Times story:

A New Jersey high school teacher became the center of a Facebook controversy on Thursday after writing on the site that “homosexuality is a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation” and complaining about a school display recognizing October as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History month.

In subsequent posts, Ms. Knox, who teaches special education classes, defended her views in lengthy exchanges with other Facebook users, referring at times to God and her Christian beliefs. A copy of the comments was provided to The New York Times; her Facebook page was removed from public view.

The state’s teacher database showed that Ms. Knox had 12 years of experience in the district and that she earned $72,109 in 2010. Some residents and parents said that she also advised a student prayer group . .

“Because her postings raised questions about her conduct within school, the school district can and should investigate whether she is performing her job in accordance with school policies and the state’s Law Against Discrimination.”

Members of Garden State Equality, a statewide civil rights organization that advocates gay rights, sent hundreds of e-mails and made phone calls to the district on Thursday demanding that Ms. Knox be dismissed because of her comments.

John Paragano, a lawyer and former member of the Union Township Committee, said he had been offended by Ms. Knox’s comments, and questioned her ability to enforce the state’s tough new anti-bullying law.

“Teachers are at the forefront of that, enforcing that,” Mr. Paragano said. “My concern is that if this teacher has these feelings, is she going to call out the bullying of a gay, lesbian and transgender person?”

I suspect that we already know the answer to that last question. Once again we see a "Christian" wanting to ride rough shod over the rights of others to be free from abuse. Why is it that it's always the Christians peddling the rank hatred?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

More Thursday Male Beauty

A photo from the the new movie The Immortals - I don't know if there's any plot, but the eye candy looks nice.

Will Mitt Romney Kill The Tea Party?

The free for all in the GOP presidential primary contest continues and even while Herman Cain is peaking in the polls, the premise is that he will be a flash in the pan as his ignorance about foreign policy and likely unworkable proposals become more widely know. Meanwhile, Rick Perry has not recovered from a combination of self-inflicted injuries and the fickleness of the loons that now comprise the Republican Part base. Thus, the issue becomes whether Mitt Romney - assuming he becomes the GOP nominee - will have the effect of driving a wooden stake through the cold and bitter heart of the Tea Party. Even as the Tea Party maligns the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Republican Party establishment seems Hell bent on blocking the nomination from going to the type of nutcase and ignoramus that seems to be favored by the Tea Party. A column in Huffington Post looks at the struggle within the GOP. Here are some highlights:

Herman Cain's rise in the polls this week doesn't change the fact that Mitt Romney is still the most likely Republican nominee for president, but it does underscore the biggest remaining question mark about him: If he wins the primary, will that kill the Tea Party?

FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe raised the prospect of a third party candidate if the former Massachusetts governor is the nominee, telling The New York Times this week that at the very least, a Romney candidacy would discourage conservative activism in the 2012 election.

But there were a surprising number who said they would work for the Republican nominee no matter who it is, even if it is Romney.

"Most people do not like Romney," said Dave Zupan, a Tea Party leader from the Cleveland suburbs. But, Zupan told The Huffington Post, "our goal is to beat Obama and flip the Senate. So if [Romney]'s the candidate, we're going to beat Obama with him and we're going to flip the Senate." "The Tea Party's going to show up for whoever's the candidate.

Zupan said that giving control of the Senate over to Republicans would be a way to hem Romney in, helping ensure he fulfills promises to conservatives such as repealing Obama's health law. The Romney campaign believes that unlike the 2008 election, when Democratic voters were spurred by passion for their candidate, Republicans will be motivated in 2012 not by personality but by their view of current circumstances.

Romney's brain trust is betting that conservatives like Puig will make up for what their candidate lacks in personal dynamism and conservative orthodoxy. "If Mitt Romney becomes the nominee, the entire party will rally behind him as the strongest leader on the paramount issue of our time -- putting America back to work," top Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom told HuffPost. "He will then go on to defeat President Obama and begin the task of turning around a very troubled economy."

I suspect that Romney as the GOP is Barack Obama's worse case senario because as hard as Obama tries, it will be difficult to paint Romney as a scary figure - unless, of course, he pulls a John McCain and nominates a VP nominee like Sarah Palin. One would think that Romney would have learned from McCain's self-defeating VP choice.

Joe Scarbrough Slams Pastor Jeffress

In a recent column on Politico, Joe Scarborough proves that there are a few decent conservatives around, albet the numbers seem to have dwindled badly. Why so? Because he goes after Pastor Robert Jeffress (pictured at right) and similar hate merchants who wrap themselves in the Bible even as they engage in evil deeds and make a mockery of Christ's message of not judging others. Scarborough even uses a term that I use on occasion to describe bastards like Jeffress: modern day Pharisees. After the Roman Catholic Church few large denominations display more hypocrisy and homophobia than the Southern Baptist Convention and Jeffress is a big deal in the SBC. It's individuals like Jeffress who constantly judge others who are helping to drive younger members from the SBC. A trend that one can only hope continues until a critical mass is reached and the SBC either moves into the 21st century or collapses and withers away. Yes, the latter is a delicious thought to contemplate. Here are some highlights from Scarborough's piece:

Judge not that ye be not judged”; so said Jesus. But don’t try telling that to Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress. Jeffress, a prominent Texas preacher and Rick Perry supporter, created a firestorm at last weekend’s Values Voters Summit by omnipotently declaring that cult member Mitt Romney was headed straight for hell.

Isn’t that special? I have always been fascinated by mere mortals who arrogantly ignore Jesus’s teachings to make declarations about the salvation of other men’s souls. By assuming the Almighty’s role, Jeffress has embraced the proud tradition of Christian stalwarts like Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggard and the PTL Club’s Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.

Modern American politics as practiced by Jeffress and his ilk require that Jesus Christ be thrown under the bus with great regularity by the very same people who claim His name. For these modern day Pharisees, a president who declares Jesus Christ as his personal lord and savior is to be doubted if he is from the wrong political party.

[I]n all the years I spent going to Southern Baptist churches, attending Sunday school, Sunday morning services, Training Union, Sunday night services, Tuesday Bible studies, Wednesday night church supper, Vacation Bible School, Bible drills from the age of 5, and just about every other fellowship meeting that the Baptist church offers, I can recall nothing in Jesus’s teachings or the New Testament that should fill you with the kind of self-righteous arrogance to declare to Americans which candidate is spiritually fit for the Oval Office. That’s not just bad politics. It is bad theology.

[O]ne of the great truths that even I absorbed was Jesus Christ’s repeated warnings to his followers to shun the self-righteousness of religious leaders and instead to lead with love. . . . . Jesus declared that heaven would be filled by those believers who clothed the poor, fed the hungry, gave water to the thirsty and brought hope to the hopeless.

And I wonder how much longer candidates like Perry will allow modern-day Pharisees like Jeffress to do harm to the Republican Party.

For years now, GOP leaders have sat silent as extremists called political rivals everything from “Nazi” to “Racist” to “Marxist.” Now we can add “Cultist” to the GOP lexicon. how some courage, Gov. Perry. Stand up to a powerful supporter, because sometimes being tough requires more of a man than shooting a coyote in the face.

Ouch! Scarborough is 100% on point, of course. What is the most sad about today's GOP is that even arch conservatives like Scarborough - who held a seat in Congress for the GOP some years back - now are labeled as soft or "RINOS" by the Kool-Aid drinkers and their spineless political whores in the GOP.

Thursday Morning Male Beauty

Posting and Trip Preparation

Tomorrow the boyfriend and I leave for Barcelona - pictured above (click the image to enlarge it) - and to say I'm going crazy at work is an understatement. I may work until midnight tonight, so posting will be hit or miss today and in the morning (I haven't packed anything yet). As noted before, I do plan on posting on the trip although it may be more travelogue than political commentary - well, at least some of the time.

Coming Out - Ten Yars Later - Further Thoughts

My post on this blog and on the Bilerico Project generated some powerful responses, most in the form of direct e-mails from those struggling as I once did to survive the coming out journey and to escape what often seemed like a black tunnel with no exit and no ray of sunlight in the distance. I have tried to offer words of encouragement and I hope that those who wrote to me will keep up the good fight.

I wish that I could promise happiness and full self-acceptance overnight, but sadly, it doesn't seem to work that way. Building a new life takes hard work - especially if one has been married and sees their entire former world crumbling with nothing immediately at hand to replace it. I hope that those I heard from will not succumb to depression and that they will continue to strive to move forward. Having reached the point I am at in terms of self-acceptance and feeling good about being gay, I would never go back into the closet. I just could not do it. For those still struggling, I hope you will find good therapists and work to build support networks and social networks. For those in cities that have gay and gay friendly chambers of commerce affiliated with the NGLCC, check them out. Many have individual memberships and they can be a great way to meet the types of people needed to rebuild your life. I also recommend getting involved with volunteer work. Will it take you outside of your comfort zone? Most likely, but you need to see it as a stepping stone toward your ultimate goal.

Hang in there all of you - it does get better.

It's Official - StopSB48 Effort Fails in Repeal Petition

I noted earlier in the week that the anti-gay Christianist effort in California to place a referendum on the 2012 ballot to repeal the FAIR Education Act appeared to be failing in obtaining the the required number of signatures. It's official now, and the hate merchants have admitted defeat - at least this year - notwithstanding all of the lies and deceptions that were being used to dupe individuals into signing their petition. Via Joe By God, this statement went out from StopSB48:

We Fought the Law and the Law Won

Unfortunately we did not collect enough signatures to qualify the referendum to overturn SB48. That law will be in place in our schools at the first of next year. We thank all of you that worked so hard to provide the hundreds of thousands of signatures received. In the end, 90 days was too short a time to accomplish such a large task. In the coming days you will see the celebration of our opponents. We know this because it has already started in social media and other places. And some of the rhetoric will be harsh. Remember, despite what they say about us, we opposed SB 48 simply because we do not believe that children should be exposed to an intentionally one-sided argument about lifestyles and values we do not hold.

If there has been a "one-sided argument" over the last centuries and decades concerning the contributions of LGBT individuals and other minorities to history and society it has been the one put out by the "godly Christian" crowd who have hidden from view the real truth. With this defeat of hate, starting next year, California public schools will be require to teach historical contributions made by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered individuals and people with disabilities. Given the size of the California textbook market, even vociferous anti-gay states like Virginia will likely find themselves using textbooks that meet the California requirements. Nothing undermines the Christianist message than true facts and accurate history.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday Morning Male Beauty

Mitt Romney Continues To Build A Case for Inevitability

In the wake of the The Post-Bloomberg debate last night, Mitt Romney continued to shine while Rick Perry and Herman Cain continued to show their unfitness for the office of president - not that being unfit for office seems to hold much sway with the Kool-Aid drinkers of the GOP base. Obviously, I'd prefer to see a sane GOP nominee as opposed to a nutcase and/or homophobe like Cain or Bachmann or someone utterly in bed with the Christian Right such as Perry. Of course, if a non-crazy wins the GOP nomination, Barack Obama's re-election effort will be far more difficult since it will be harder to use his opponent as the bogey man to frighten voters into supporting him. Both the Washington Post and Politico review the debate and come to the same conclusion that Romney was the clear winner. First these highlights from Politico.

Hours after Chris Christie signaled he believes Mitt Romney is the Republican party’s inevitable nominee, Romney and the rest of the GOP field went about proving him right.

Romney again outclassed the opposition in Tuesday’s Bloomberg/Washington Post debate. Again, none of the other GOP contenders laid a glove on him. And in a telling move that seemed to acknowledge the limits of Rick Perry’s candidacy, the Texas governor effectively tried to survive the debate by not losing it.

[T]he former Massachusetts governor ended it [the day] by standing above an increasingly muddled group of rivals. Aided by a group of competitors who’ve risen and fallen — or not run altogether — the former Massachusetts governor’s steady-as-he-goes strategy has returned him to unqualified frontrunner status.

After suffering through consecutive brutal debates, Perry and his team clearly made a decision to use this forum as a pivot point, rather than an opportunity, in which he would talk up his coming economic roll-out and not seek to tear into Romney or otherwise repair the damage from his past performances.

The Texas governor was absent from much of evening’s back-and-forth, rarely interjecting as some of his competitors did freely.

Instead of attempting a debate knock-out, Perry is now aiming to reverse his steep slide in the polls with a series of policy speeches. . . . . But a slew of new polls over the last two days and the debate here suggest Perry’s not going to receive the sort of attention for his proposals he may have a month ago. That was before Cain’s surge and the buzz around his catchy economic plan began taking hold.

Cain got off more than a few additional plugs for his economic plan, but then showed why his rise in the polls has been greeted by Romney’s campaign with something approaching open arms. Asked about the most serious foreign policy challenge facing the nation, Cain repeated the question and then offered the vaguest of platitudes.

The Washington Post is even more upbeat on its analysis of Romney's performance and the lackluster showings of his main rivals. Here are some highlights:

Certainly, Mitt Romney has to be very pleased. He was smooth as silk, deflecting a question on RomneyCare, explaining the problems of community banks, and driving home the key message: He is the only candidate ready for prime time. He amped up the populism, continuing on his China currency crusade and tweaking the Texas governor for the huge number of uninsured residents.He also scored a point on national security, telling the audience that defense cuts were a really bad idea. More importantly, he didn’t need to dismantle Herman Cain. That happened at Cain’s own hands with some help from Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), Rick Santorum and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) He managed to drop New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s name, reminding voters and press alike that this may have been his best day in the race.

Gov. Rick Perry looked sleepy for much of the debate. He seemed to have one answer for everything: energy. He didn’t have his economic plan ready to go so all he could do was stall. He got skewered by moderator and Post reporter Karen Tumulty on his crony capitalism, saying states should have the right to do these things unlike the feds and pleading that not all the people who got money were donors. There were other disasters as well. At one point he peevishly said, “We don’t need to focus on this policy or that policy. We need to get America working again.” Ooof. At moments it looked like he simply wanted to get out of there. And perhaps after Iowa, he will get his chance to do just that. In short, Perry struck out looking.

Surprisingly, Herman Cain had a bad outing as well. It was so bad, even Ron Paul scored a point by deriding Cain’s praise of former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan. Ooof. He seemed under-prepared to answer attacks on his 9-9-9 plan.

In not getting bruised and by demonstrating his superior campaign skills, Romney came out the big winner. Perry didn’t help himself a bit, and now risks slipping behind Bachmann and others. Bachmann brought her A game, but now will have to translate that to fundraising and support in Iowa. And Santorum seems ready to move up as others fail. This was, most of all, Cain’s big moment. He didn’t maximize his opportunity, and instead likely increased doubts about his preparedness to run for and be president. Much can change between now and January, but unless other candidates change the dynamics of the race, Romney will slowly but surely move to lock up the nomination.

Christianists Seek Identity of Student in Virginia Ten Commandment Challenge

The double standard of the Christianists is always shocking. They want special rights and extreme deference to themselves and their beliefs but everyone else gets thrown under the bus if the Christianists have their way. A case in point is a federal court case challenging the display of the Ten Commandments in Narrows High School in Giles County, Virginia. The plaintiffs, out of fear of retribution, have brought the case under assumed names with the ACLU supporting that approach. For readers outside of Virginia, Giles County (population was 17,286) shown in the image at left is located in Southwest Virginia adjacent to the West Virginia state line. While much of the region is physically beautiful, including portions of the New River Valley, to call the area a social backwater would be too flattering. The Christianists - NOM and the anti-gay witnesses in the Prop 8 case are prime examples - NEVER want their identities known if possible due to their claims they will face harassment. But when someone challenges their special privileges, they want the challenger exposed so that abuse and harassment by the pious can move forward full bore. As an LGBT blogger who now moderates comments, I know full well the "love" the godly ones inflict on those who challenge their privileges and beliefs (it's always the "Christians" who make the death threats). Here are highlights from the Virginian Pilot on Liberty Counsel's efforts to expose the plaintiffs to likely danger and abuse:

A student perturbed by a display of the Ten Commandments at Narrows High School should not be allowed to sue under a veil of secrecy, attorneys for the Giles County School Board say.

"The people have a right to know who is using their courts," lawyers for Liberty Counsel, which represents the school board, wrote in the brief. "Consequently, the use of fictitious names is disfavored and should not be granted automatically."

The student and parent identified themselves only as Doe 1 and Doe 2 when they filed a lawsuit last month asserting that the Ten Commandments display violates the constitutional separation of church and state. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Roanoke, asks a judge to order the commandments taken down.

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which are representing the student and parent, are seeking a protective order that would keep their identities a secret - even to members of the school board. The request cites comments and emails mostly directed at the two legal groups.

"Keep up the good work, you'll have a special place in hell," one email says. Another suggests that non-Christians leave the county "before things get ugly over there." Taken as a whole, the comments show a communitywide animus from which the plaintiffs should be protected, the ACLU contends.

A judge is expected to rule on the anonymity before taking up the larger question of whether the Ten Commandments — posted in a high school hallway as part of a display of historical documents — amount to a governmental endorsement of religion, which the First Amendment prohibits.

While the plaintiffs have not been subjected to any hostility, that's only because no one knows who they are, said Rebecca Glenberg, an attorney with the ACLU. "So far, most of the invective has been directed at the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation," Glenberg said. "But it seems clear that if the plaintiffs' identities become known, they will become the targets of that ill will."

Should a protective order be granted, Liberty Counsel said, it should be crafted to allow school officials to learn the plaintiffs' identities so they can better defend themselves. The school board is also asking that the student and parent be required to testify in open court, possibly with the public being excluded from the hearing.

The next time Matt Staver is trying to keep Christianist identities secret, I hope someone will quote his comments in this case. Meanwhile, even as beautiful as the southwest part of the state may be, it's a region I intend to avoid like the plague. Those desiring to share their thoughts with the Giles County school board can do so here: The county administration can be contacted here:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More Tuesday Male Beauty

FAIR Education Act Opponents Miss Petition Deadline

I've yet to see an official announcement, but Equality California is reporting that the Christianist and religious extremist/theocrat backed StopSB48 effort has announced that they have failed to collect the required number of signatures to place a referendum for the November 2012 ballot to overturn California's Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act. As previously noted, FAIR requires schools to integrate age-appropriate and factual information about historical roles of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, people with disabilities and people of color into existing social science instruction. Naturally, teaching the truth is an abhorrent thought to White Christianists who want minorities kept as second class citizens and their contributions hidden from history. If the reports of the failure of the petition effort are true, we can rest assured that the hate merchants will not take the loss quietly. Here are some additional highlights from an e-mail I received from Equality California:

The FAIR Education Act will simply ensure that California’s students learn an honest, accurate, and inclusive account of history, but opponents of equality have grossly distorted the intent and the effect of the FAIR Education act in their quest to secure signatures for this referendum. Today's victory shows that their lies cannot stand up to our truth,” said Roland Palencia, Equality California Executive Director and Interim Executive Committee Co-Chair of the coalition to protect the FAIR Education Act. “But we know that opponents of equality won't stop here. We remain vigilant, not only to make sure that people know the facts about the FAIR Education Act, but also to continue preparing for new attacks on the FAIR Education Act at the ballot box, in the legislature and in courts of law.”

“Now it's time to focus on implementing the FAIR Education Act and demonstrate to the public that our opponents’ lies are nothing more than smear tactics designed to censor the historical contributions of LGBT people, people with disabilities and people of color from social studies classes,” said Laura Valdez, Interim Executive Director of Gay-Straight Alliance Network and Co-Chair of the Interim Executive Committee of the coalition to protect the FAIR Education Act. “Already, we are working with school administrators, teachers, students, parents, and community groups to ensure the fair and accurate portrayal of historically marginalized groups in schools, and we will continue to work to educate the public.”

If the repeal effort has indeed failed, let's hope that California moves forward with revising its textbooks to be inclusive of accurate LGBT history - something that will directly impact textbooks used across the nation.

Why Occupy Wall Street Crowds are Upset

Many in the GOP - including Virginia douche bag Congressman Eric Cantor - have maligned those involved in the Occupy Wall Street protests. In Cantor's case he claims the protesters are "pitting Americans against other Americans" and implies that they are UN-American. If pitting citizens against one another is the litmus test, Cantor should be out calling out the Tea Party and his "friends" in the Christian Right who view Cantor and his fellow Jews merely as a trigger for Armageddon. Of course, we will never see that from a power hungry, sleazy political whore like Cantor who, in my opinion, would sell his mother if the price was right. NOTE: The figures above were as of 2007 - the concentration has likely worsened since that time as the middle class has been slammed by falling real estate prices and increased unemployment.

SPLC and Truth Wins Out Launch Nationa Campaign Against Ex-Gay Myth

One of the most insidious lies that the Christianists and professional Christian set endeavor to perpetuate is the lie that sexual orientation is a "choice" and/or that one's sexual orientation can "change." Never mind that literally EVERY legitimate mental health and medical association disputes this lie and condemns so-called "conversion therapy." Indeed, conversion therapy has only two real purposes: (1) politically it gives conservative/nutcase politicians a smoke screen to hide behind, and (2) ex-gay "ministries" can be cash cows as charlatans fleece parents and their LGBT children of thousands of dollars for "placement" in such a ministry. The truth and the damage done to those often forced into this fraudulent programs means nothing to the Christianists. Box Turtle Bulletin has a must read piece that looks at the resent statements by John Smid, the former director of Memphis-based Love In Action, the country’s largest ex-gay residential program, who admits that the "ex-gay" programs don't work and that no "ex-gays" exist in reality. Here are a few highlights:

The former head of one of the nation’s most prominent ex-gay ministries now says that homosexuality is something that cannot be “repented,” because “repentance from something means it has to be something you can control, like actions.” John Smid, the former director of Memphis-based Love In Action, the country’s largest ex-gay residential program, now says that homosexuality is “an intrinsic part of their being or personally, my being. One cannot repent of something that is unchangeable.” He also says that in all of his years in ex-gay ministries, he never met a gay man who became heterosexual, and that he now considers himself homosexual “and yet in a marriage to a woman.”

In 2010, Smid reportedly wrote several letters of apology to some of his former clients, and disclosed on Andrew Marin’s blog that he still experiences “erotic attractions to those of the same gender (male).” Smid’s latest blog post on his own web site continues on those themes: I have gone through a tremendous amount of grief over the many years that I spoke of change, repentance, reorientation and such, when, barring some kind of miracle, none of this can occur with homosexuality. The article today is a great example of how we as Christians pervert the gospel as it relates to homosexuality as though homosexuals aren’t welcome in the kingdom unless they repent (which many interpret to change). But since homosexuality is not “repentable” then we put homosexuals into an impossible bind.

Given this reality, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Truth Wins Out have launched a national campaign to expose the "ex-gay" myth for the cynical, deliberate lie that it is. Activist Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out - who I worked with closely in 2003 to expose ex-gay poster boy Michael Johnston as a fraud - has these details on the new campaign which hopefully will force some political whore politicians (typically Republicans) to stop claiming that being gay is a choice:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Truth Wins Out (TWO) launched a national campaign today targeting conversion therapy, a thriving practice that claims to “convert” people from homosexuality to heterosexuality. The groups made the announcement in coordination with today’s National Coming Out Day.

The campaign will begin with a series of community meetings in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., for survivors of the practice, which has been discredited or highly criticized by virtually all major American medical, psychiatric, psychological and professional counseling organizations. Survivors are also invited to share their own stories at The campaign also will encourage community advocates and elected leaders to scrutinize local conversion therapy programs.

“Conversion therapy programs have devastated all too many lives and families by attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation,” said Christine Sun, deputy legal director, who leads the SPLC’s LGBT rights project. “This practice is based on nothing more than junk science and must stop.”

The American Medical Association officially “opposes the use of ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapy that is based on the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation.”

In 2006, the American Psychological Association declared: “There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed.”

Conversion therapy and the ex-gay myth need to be thrown on the trash heap of history and responsible politicians need to cease kissing the asses of deliberate liars and purveyors of untruth and dangerous - and some times deadly - "therapy" programs.

A Humourous Disconect

I saw this image on Facebook via a friend's post and found it humorous and an example of the disconnect between Bibile literalists and objective reality. :)

Tuesday Morning Male Beauty

New Report: Young People Leaving Church for Science

As reported by Religion Dispatches, a new Barna Group report discloses more bad news for the generally hate filled, self-enriching professional Christian class: young people are increasingly exiting their churches because of the anti-intellectualism and anti-science that is so pervasive amongst the self-congratulatory pious ones. The display of rank bigotry and intolerance that permeated the "Values Voter Summit" will no doubt help fuel the already negative view of religion in the minds of even more young people. Not that in many ways might not be a good thing - hatred of others, bigotry and the utter lack of compassion which are the main attributes of conservative Christianity are not positive influences in the world. Here are some highlights from the new report:

The group’s findings are summarized in six bullet points, including: overprotective churches, shallow theology, and hostility to doubt. All quite predictable. Nothing to see here. I read on.

And there it was: “Churches come across as antagonistic toward science.”

Accompanying this, are these sub-points with which a substantial number of interviewees agreed:
•“Christians are too confident they know all the answers”;
•“churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in”;
•“Christianity is anti-science”; and
•“[I am] turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate.”

The study report which can be found here goes on to further detail the growing disconnect between churches - especially conservative ones - from today's young people:

The research project was comprised of eight national studies, including interviews with teenagers, young adults, parents, youth pastors, and senior pastors. The study of young adults focused on those who were regular churchgoers Christian church during their teen years and explored their reasons for disconnection from church life after age 15.

No single reason dominated the break-up between church and young adults. Instead, a variety of reasons emerged. Overall, the research uncovered six significant themes why nearly three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15.

[M]uch of their experience of Christianity feels stifling, fear-based and risk-averse. One-quarter of 18- to 29-year-olds said “Christians demonize everything outside of the church” (23% indicated this “completely” or “mostly” describes their experience).

One of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science. The most common of the perceptions in this arena is “Christians are too confident they know all the answers” (35%). Three out of ten young adults with a Christian background feel that “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in” (29%). Another one-quarter embrace the perception that “Christianity is anti-science” (25%). And nearly the same proportion (23%) said they have “been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate.”

The study suggests some leaders ignore the concerns and issues of teens and twentysomethings because they feel that the disconnection will end when young adults are older and have their own children. Yet, this response misses the dramatic technological, social and spiritual changes that have occurred over the last 25 years and ignores the significant present-day challenges these young adults are facing.

Can Bachmann Survive Much Longer?

For readers it's pretty obvious that I not only believe that Michele Bachmann is religious extremists/bigot but also a menace to the nation. Happily, see seems to be headed towards a crash landing as her polling numbers plummet and it becomes more and more obvious to all but her most dedicated Kool-Aid drinkers that the woman is far outside of her depth. Frankly, I'd argue that being dog catcher or county solid waste director is out of Bachmann's depth. While crazies still seem to predominate in the GOP presidential race circus, it is nonetheless heartening to see Bachmann apparently headed towards oblivion. The fact that she ever received more than 1% in polling is a testament to just how far the Republican Party has fallen under the irrational influences of the Christian Right and the Tea Party. It's as if certified mental illness or a lobotomy are prerequisites to being a member of the GOP base. A piece in The Daily Beast looks at Bachmann's decline and speculates whether she will totally crash and burn before the Iowa caucuses, Here are some highlights:

Michele Bachmann’s top advisers are fleeing, her crowds are thinning, her poll numbers are dropping and her money is tight. What’s more, the off-the-cuff style that catapulted the Minnesota Republican to the front of the 2012 GOP presidential race has backfired recently.

The performance has left some political veterans both inside and outside her campaign to wonder whether the Tea Party favorite with the telegenic smile and the quick one-liners will hang in there until January’s Iowa caucuses—which she has made the linchpin of her all-or-nothing Iowa strategy.

“She has likely seen her best days in this race,” said Steve Schmidt, the GOP political strategist who ran John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. “There is not a scenario at this point whereby she can get nomination of the party.

The Minnesota congresswoman has historically raised money through direct mail and online contributions—an impressive $13 million for her last congressional campaign—but those avenues will not support a costly presidential race. . . . Officially, Bachmann’s campaign declined to address the fund-raising concerns, saying only that it has “the necessary resources to continue executing our strategy.”

Bachmann’s woes began the very day of the Ames Straw poll, when Perry’s entered the race and began sucking away conservative support. She never got the momentum back, even after winning the poll or from fellow Minnesotan Tim Pawlenty’s withdrawal from the race. She has struggled since to be heard in the past few months, and her national poll numbers have dropped, along with her standing in Iowa.

Campaign veterans say Bachmann’s future ine the race will likely depend on how comfortable she is with a bare-bones operation. In the end, all she really needs is money for gas to drive around Iowa. “If she runs a lean and mean operations focused solely on Iowa, she can probably stick around to see if lightning strikes again,” said GOP political analyst Todd Harris.

Let's hope lightning does strike and that it knocks Bachmann totally out of the race and sets her up eventually for a defeat in her congressional re-election efforts. The woman needs to disappear from the national political scene.

Monday, October 10, 2011

More Monday Male Beauty

Britain Threatens to Cut Funds to Anti-gay African Nations

In a move that I hope will see follow through action - and which needs to be emulated by the USA and other western/developed nations, Britain has warned homophobic African nations that their persecution of LGBT individuals will carry a financial price. No doubt we will hear fuming and rants from the corrupt, vile, and often dictatorial African governments about the west meddling into their foul nations, but money talks and I hope Britain follows through with the threat. No one should be underwriting bigotry (or tyranny either) especially when the bigotry stems from a foul and perverted form of Christianity that ignores the Gospel message and focuses instead on hatred and bigotry. The irony, of course, is that it is a conservative British government that is taking these enlightened moves. What a difference between real conservatives in the UK compared to the sectarian extremists who now dictate policy for the GOP. The Daily Mail looks at this development. Here are some excerpts:

Poor African countries which persecute homosexuals will have their aid slashed by the Government in a bid by David Cameron to take his gay rights crusade to the Third World. International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell has already cut aid to Malawi by £19 million after two gay men were sentenced to 14 years hard labour. And he has warned the country's leaders to scrap plans to introduce draconian new anti-lesbian laws.

Mr Mitchell, one of Mr Cameron's closest allies, is also threatening to impose further aid 'fines' against Uganda and Ghana for hardline anti-gay and lesbian measures. The policy was disclosed after Mr Cameron defended his decision to legalise gay weddings when he addressed last week's Conservative Party conference. Now he wants to persuade those countries where homosexuality is still taboo to follow his lead – and he is ready to reduce aid to some of the world's poorest people to do so.

Three weeks ago, Mr Mitchell protested to Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, who has claimed 'European homosexuals are recruiting in Africa' and who believes gay relationships are 'against God's will'. Uganda is due to receive £70 million from British taxpayers in 2011.

During a visit to Ghana earlier this year, Stephen O'Brien – Mr Mitchell's deputy – told President John Evans Atta Mills that Britain would cut its aid unless he stopped persecuting gays.

A spokesman for Mr Mitchell said: 'The Government is committed to combating violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in all circumstances, in this country and abroad. We take action where we have concerns. "We now allocate funds every three months, rather than every year, so that we can review a country's performance, . . "

Gay In Small -Town USA Per Census Figures

The Atlantic has new numbers from the Census have been corrected to delete previous reporting errors which reveal 646,464 self-reported same-sex couples across the nation. Obviously, the figure is likely much higher given the fear that many faced to so self-identify (e.g., all the same sex coupes in Hampton Roads where one or both members of a couple are U.S. military service members and subject to DADT at the time of the census). In Virginia, it's not surprising that liberal - at least in relative terms Charlottesville appears to lead the way with the highest percentage of same sex couples. With the death of DADT, hopefully Hampton Roads' figures will jump upward.

Scots Archbishop Steps Up Anti-Gay Attacks

The Roman Catholic Church continues o be plagued by sex abuse lawsuits and bombshell stories of cover ups by the Church hierarchy break weekly if not more often. But what does Mario Conti Archbishop of Glasgow obsess about? Gay marriage, of course. The rape and sexual abuse of children and youths - not to mention cover ups tracing to the Vatican - apparently doesn't offend the Archbishop's sensibilities. It's symptomatic, in view, of the utter moral bankruptcy that now permeates the Church hierarchy with very few exceptions (the Archbishop of Dublin ins one such rare example). Conti has declared that the Catholic Church will actively fight against the previously “unthinkable” issue" of government recognized same sex marriage. In my view, if the Catholic Church wants to meddle in the civil laws, then revoke its tax-exempt status. Hit the bastards where it counts. Thankfully, an Episcopal prelate called out the bigoted Catholic bishops. Here are highlights from The Herald:

Mario Conti said the Catholic Church will actively fight against the previously “unthinkable” issue which was being considered in a “largely post-Christian society”.

He also claimed the Scottish Government does not have a mandate to “reconstruct society on ideological grounds”. The Government is holding a consultation on whether same-sex marriage should be introduced. A similar debate is taking place south of the border.

The archbishop made the comments yesterday in a statement being sent to Scotland’s 500 Catholic parishes to encourage parishioners to complete a declaration in defence of marriage. . . . The archbishop’s comments echo those of the Bishop of Paisley, Philip Tartaglia, who last week argued that a same-sex union was not marriage.

Bishop Tartaglia said: “Marriage is uniquely the union of a man and a woman, which, by its very nature, is designed for the mutual good of the spouses and to give the children who may be born of that union a father and a mother. “A same-sex union cannot do that. A same-sex union should not therefore be called marriage.”

However, the Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, the Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth, branded the men’s comments embarrassing. In his sermon yesterday, the Scottish Episcopal Church clergyman said: “The behaviour of our brothers, the Roman Catholic bishops, in recent days has been so unpleasant and so ill-judged that it risks harming the good influence of the whole Christian community.“To behave as though bishops carry some kind of block vote to Holyrood, to threaten politicians and to decry those who want access to the dignity of marriage as unnatural … to say these things seems to me to go too far.”

Archbishop Conti’s comments come at the time of a serious downturn in relations between the Government and the Catholic Church . . .

Coming Out - Ten Years Later

This blog began as a form of therapy for me and a means to share my coming out journey with others in the hope that it might help others to avoid my missteps and to help others know that they are not alone no matter how alone they may feel in darker moments.

That said, today to the best of my calculation marks the tenth anniversary of the day I first came out to my former wife. Prior to that date I had struggled for the better part of thirty nine (39) years trying to convince myself that what I knew in my heart about my sexual orientation was not really true. As part of that internal mental contortion process, as long time readers know, I married and fathered three children> In addition, I tried to be everything that church and society told me I should be. Over time, however, it all began to fall apart and I came to realize that I just could not continue to live my life as an actor on a stage if you will. I had to either to do something about my situation and “come out” or kill myself. I chose the former, unwittingly almost on National Coming Out Day.

So very much has changed since that fateful day a decade ago, not the least of which is that I have achieved a level of self-acceptance that had previously eluded me all my life. That’s not to say that such self-acceptance and inner peace with who I am came easily or overnight. I first had to overcome a sense of shame about being gay and a sense of failure that I had not been able to keep up the role playing and had thereby failed my children. In addition, I had to rebuild a future even as my world as I had known it crashed and disintegrated all around me. And along that path I seriously flirted with suicide when my sense of failure and an unknown future overwhelmed me.

Contributing to the sometimes nightmare like journey, I also had to deal with being forced from my law firm for being gay and a nasty and contentious divorce. Coming out is likely never an easy process, but coming out later in life definitely entails additional challenges both in terms of one’s former spouse and one’s children. Is the ordeal worth it? I say without reservation that, yes, it is. It’s impossible to put a price on one’s soul and self-acceptance. And to me, remaining in the closet is a form of selling one’s soul. How did I survive the process? Here are a few highlights.

First, I will readily admit that without the efforts of two wonderful therapists I would perhaps never overcome the sense of shame and failure and made it through the coming out process. One, an ordained minister, helped me rid myself of shame and the brainwashing/psychological abuse of the religious tradition in which I had been raised. Leaving that faith tradition for one more accepting of LGBT individuals also played an important role in the process. Remaining in a church setting that denigrates you constantly is extremely unhealthy. The other therapist played the much needed role of someone who could be objective when I was unable to be objective and who could help me to believe that I did indeed have a future (even if the details were not yet known). The particularly unwavering support and love of one of my children also played a critical role.

When I came initially came out I had a picture in my mind’s eye of what I wanted: a committed monogamous relationship with a wonderful man with whom I could be complete emotionally and in terms of my sexual orientation. The difficult part for me was to find a way to believe that what I envisioned and longed for would actually happen in time, particularly since when I came out, I knew virtually no one in the local LGBT community. Too often during my darkest days – and I had many of them - I saw the future as a black empty screen. It was very hard at times to remain positive and making the coming out journey was arduous.

But the longer term reality is that I did achieve my vision. I am happily partnered with one of the sweetest individuals that I have ever known. Like all couples we have our differences and frictions, but overall, he is everything that I wanted. And I have a great relationship with my children even though things were difficult at times during the contentious divorce. The lesson in hindsight is to be patient – not my strongest suit – and to believe in yourself and that you DO have a positive future. It is also important to realize that building a new life takes concerted effort and that you have to take the initiative to make things happen. Getting involved in the LGBT community and LGBT activism was a life saver for me and it truly allowed me to rebuild my social world and helped my law practice in the process.

For those coming out tomorrow and in the future, remember that you CAN survive and find happiness. It will involve hard work and rejection by some, but it IS worth it. It's terrifying at times but so wonderful to finally live one's life as it was meant to be lived.

Monday Morning Male Beauty

Panic of the Plutocrats

Paul Krugman has a column in yesterday's New York Times that looks at the various reactions to the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon. It's unclear if the movement will actually accomplish anything, yet it is symbolic of the fact that many are increasingly unhappy with the state of the nation and the growing greed and avarice of the wealthiest citizens. The middle class is being pummeled financially and even families with both spouses working are stressed financially. Indeed, real middle class incomes have remained flat or actually declined when inflation and increased costs of living are factored in. It's not a pretty picture and many of us realize that absent a turn around, our children will never have the financial security that our own parents enjoyed. Indeed, with the latest stock market fall, many of us have seen sizable chunks of our retirement funds and savings evaporate in a matter of days and weeks. It's a cognizance that makes one realize that something needs to change. Here are highlights from Krugman's column:

It remains to be seen whether the Occupy Wall Street protests will change America’s direction. Yet the protests have already elicited a remarkably hysterical reaction from Wall Street, the super-rich in general, and politicians and pundits who reliably serve the interests of the wealthiest hundredth of a percent.

And this reaction tells you something important — namely, that the extremists threatening American values are what F.D.R. called “economic royalists,” not the people camping in Zuccotti Park.

Consider first how Republican politicians have portrayed the modest-sized if growing demonstrations, which have involved some confrontations with the police — confrontations that seem to have involved a lot of police overreaction . . . . Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, has denounced “mobs” and “the pitting of Americans against Americans.” The G.O.P. presidential candidates have weighed in, with Mitt Romney accusing the protesters of waging “class warfare,” while Herman Cain calls them “anti-American.

The way to understand all of this is to realize that it’s part of a broader syndrome, in which wealthy Americans who benefit hugely from a system rigged in their favor react with hysteria to anyone who points out just how rigged the system is.

Last year, you may recall, a number of financial-industry barons went wild over very mild criticism from President Obama. They denounced Mr. Obama as being almost a socialist for endorsing the so-called Volcker rule, which would simply prohibit banks backed by federal guarantees from engaging in risky speculation.

What’s going on here? The answer, surely, is that Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe realize, deep down, how morally indefensible their position is. They’re not John Galt; they’re not even Steve Jobs. They’re people who got rich by peddling complex financial schemes that, far from delivering clear benefits to the American people, helped push us into a crisis whose aftereffects continue to blight the lives of tens of millions of their fellow citizens.

Yet they have paid no price. Their institutions were bailed out by taxpayers, with few strings attached. They continue to benefit from explicit and implicit federal guarantees — basically, they’re still in a game of heads they win, tails taxpayers lose. And they benefit from tax loopholes that in many cases have people with multimillion-dollar incomes paying lower rates than middle-class families.

This special treatment can’t bear close scrutiny — and therefore, as they see it, there must be no close scrutiny. . . . . So who’s really being un-American here? Not the protesters, who are simply trying to get their voices heard. No, the real extremists here are America’s oligarchs, who want to suppress any criticism of the sources of their wealth.

Obama's Shrinking Presidency

With the GOP nomination process a mess and fringe candidates still popular with the GOP base but likely less popular with mainstream voters, one would think that Barack Obama would be busy solidifying his base and acting presidential. Instead, we continue to see whining and finger pointing coming from the White House when the finger ought to be pointing to the image of Obama looking at himself in the mirror. Yes, he inherited a huge mess, but his leadership style - better described as an absence of leadership - has played a huge role in the current status quo and has, in my view, enabled the GOP obstructionist policy. Yet, Obama still doesn't seem to get the message and it's to the point of doubting that he ever will. A piece in The Daily Beast evaluates Obama's continued marginalization of himself. While there are true limits to a president's power, I disagree with the article's premise that the office of the presidency cannot be used more to rally the troops if you will. All we seem to see is cold water thrown on dashed hopes. Here are some highlights:

It comes out of the mouths of President Obama and his aides like a mantra: The president can’t work miracles. One man can’t do it all. Don’t expect change overnight.

[T]he messianic figure, who promised to lead the country out of the darkness of Bush’s imperial presidency, has kept stressing his weakness.

It’s striking to contrast this incessant declaration of relative powerlessness with FDR, who had to call a press conference at one point—after accusations that he tried to pack the Supreme Court—in order to promise the country that “A. I have no inclination to be a dictator. B. I have none of the qualifications which would make me a successful dictator.”

Obama’s by-now characteristically paternal reminder of reality is yet another instance of what is becoming his presidency’s comi-tragic flaw. There is a constant disjunction between political tact and political candor. The country needs to believe it is guided by a firm hand that is confident it will prevail and bring victory. Yet Obama keeps firmly and confidently declaring that he cannot prevail all by himself, and that victory is not at all certain.

by now, the failures—the humiliations by the opposition, the broken promises, Obama’s withdrawals and aloofness—have seemed so constant that, in lieu of concrete advances, some more sober version of the high expectations of yore might lift morale.

Obama has been drawing down expectations and calling on the American people to help him since before he was elected president. He is absolutely right about the limitations of his office. But accuracy is not the same thing as truth. The truth is that the buck really does stop with him. The “people” have their limitations, too.

Will GOP Extremists Sink the GOP in 2012

After a weekend of undisguised batshitery and bigotry at the so-called "Values Voter Summit" - which might be better described as a mix of the Klu Klux Klan meets the Inquisition - the questions remains of whether or not a somewhat sane GOP standard bearer can win the nomination for 2012. The extremists in the Christian Right/Tea Party camp remain decidedly against Romney in significant part because he's "not a Christian" but also because he doesn't obviously drink Kool-Aid by the pitcher full. The GOP leadership that in past years cynically pandered to the unhinged and those who want to return society to the times of the Salem Witch Trials now is faced with the possibility that a viable candidate will be difficult to nominate because the insane asylum inmates have taken over too much of the GOP. Meanwhile, moderates and those who are not comfortable with unbridled religious extremism have fled, A piece in the Washington Post looks at the GOP quandary. Here are some excerpts:

There is a key bloc of Republican voters whose ambivalence has turned the GOP nomination contest into an erratic mix of roller-coaster ride and dating game. . . . . The one point on which they have been most consistent, however, is their resistance to the candidate who has been making his case the longest: former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

The anti-Romney activists, many of whom identify with the tea party movement, say they are hesitant about Romney because they simply do not trust his conservative credentials, recalling his past support of abortion rights and a health-care mandate.

Many Republican donors and establishment figures have flocked to the former Massachusetts governor in the days since Christie said he would not run, arguing that Romney is the strongest and most electable GOP candidate. In interviews over the past several days, key anti-establishment party activists say they are reevaluating the Republican field now that Christie and Palin have said they aren’t running . . . .

Rhodes [of the Iowa Tea Party], who attacked Romney as a “liberal,” says he is sticking for now with Bachmann. But the Minnesota lawmaker’s declining fortunes illustrate how many Republicans have ironclad beliefs about conservative policy but very mutable feelings about their candidates.

Bachmann’s support dropped from 26 percent in July to 7 percent in a survey this month. Perry plunged from 45 percent last month to 18 percent in October after a series of lackluster debate performances and controversial remarks on immigration.

The Republican field is effectively divided into two groups of candidates, with Romney and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr. on the more moderate end, and Bachmann, Cain, Perry and others competing for the most conservative voters.

Some anti-Romney Republicans are beginning to acknowledge that their votes could be divided, leading to a Romney victory. “If Romney wins, it would show the weakness of us as a movement,” said Deace of conservatives.

But other Republicans remain confident that the party’s anti-establishment wing will eventually find a champion who will compete in a long primary battle with the former Massachusetts governor.

I love the way the media describes the Tea Party crowd as "conservative." Insane, ignorant, bigoted and delusional are all far better adjectives.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

More Sunday Male Beauty

Nancy Pelosi Rebuts Eric Cantor's Attack on Wall Street Protests

As a Virginian I find it nauseating watching Congressman Eric Cantor continue to prostitute himself to the Christianst/Tea Party faction of the Republican Party. Even though Cantor is Jewish, in his sick quest for power, he willingly plays whore to those who - except for seeing Jews and Israel as a trigger to the End Times - despise him. Hasn't Cantor been paying any attention to the Christianist treatment of Mitt Romney? They say they will not vote Romney because he's not Christian. Memo to Cantor: You're not Christian and your aspirations to higher office will go nowhere because you and Romney are in the same boat. Despite this reality that ought to be apparent to anyone not blinded by a lust for power, Cantor to play water boy for the elements of the far right. His latest batch of bullshit is to condemn the Occupy Wall Street protesters and describe them as a “mob” that is out to “divide Americans” while genuflecting to Christianists at the "Value Voter Summit" Naturally, the hypocritical Cantor had no problem embracing the hate, division, and lunacy of the Tea Party crowd. Here's a clip of Cantor's reeking bullshit:

Thankfully, Nancy Pelosi has called out Cantor for his hypocrisy and double standards. This from Politico:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is pushing back on Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) criticism of the growing Occupy Wall Street protests.

"I didn't hear him say anything when the tea party was out demonstrating, actually spitting on members of Congress right here in the Capitol," Pelosi said in an interview aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "And he and his colleagues were putting signs in the windows encouraging them. But let's not get down to that."

Cantor truly gives the term "political whore" a new meaning. He's so hungry for power that he'll give political fellatio to those who if pressed would admit to hating him, believing he's going to Hell because he's not a Christian, and who would never vote for him should he run for higher office. He's as bad as the black pastors who do the bidding of the racists in the white controlled "family values" organizations who want a white and Christian controlled America.