Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Music to warm up a cold, dreary morning. "Only Girl (In the World)", by Rihanna

It's a cold, rainy Tuesday morning here at Morning Wood Acres and I'm getting hate mail from my lower back again. So I thought it might help get the day started to hear something hot from The Beauty from Barbados, Rihanna. Here's her latest, Only Girl (In the World)

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DADT Survey Results to be Released Today

Well, guys and gals, the long wait is finally over. The Pentagon Working Group's study on the effects of repealing the seventeen-year-old anti-gay policy banning open service by queer military personnel will be released later today.

Based on early leaks of portions of the survey, 70% of active duty service members and their families believe that repealing DADT would have positive, mixed or no impact.This is roughly the same percentage of the American public that want the law repealed.

CNN reports this morning:
Washington (CNN) -- A majority of U.S. service members surveyed do not care if the law banning openly gay and lesbian troops from serving is repealed, according to a source knowledgeable with the results of the Pentagon study. Members of Congress are to get an advance look at the study Tuesday.

The number opposing lifting the ban -- known as "don't ask, don't tell" -- fearing negative results "is very small when compared to those who say it will have positive or mixed results, or no effect at all," the source explained.

However, the source cautioned about taking the results as a true reflection of the entire force. The low number of respondents, just 28 percent of those who were sent the survey, means "the study only represents views, it doesn't mean everyone feels this way."

The report was ordered by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to examine the impact of a repeal of the law and what the military would need to do to implement it. The Pentagon is publishing the results Tuesday afternoon, after briefing Congress.

The report authors sent surveys to 400,000 service members, but only 115,000 responded. A separate survey went to military families. The survey is just part of the report fact finding, which also included small town halls and an anonymous online comment box for gay troop members to provide insight without revealing their identity.

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Lady Gaga's New DADT Message to Senators: "Will you keep your word?" (Video)

Lady Gaga's latest video is making news around the world, but not for breaking new ground musically or for her butcher shop fashion sense. Monday night, on the eve of the release of the much-anticipated troop survey on the effects of getting rid of the discriminatory policy, Gaga is once again calling on our leaders to lead.

In the black and white video, which appears to have been shot in her dressing room, Gaga tells her little monsters, "Right now, we're looking at tomorrow [Tuesday] being a very important day for you guys all to really be paying attention."

The pop diva has teamed up with Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) in an effort to launch a major last minute push for repeal during the current lame duck session. "Senators you have been put on notice by me and by the people of this country. You said you would debate and address this law when the Pentagon returned with a strategy and tomorrow morning you will have. Will you keep your word?"

SLDN has posted an instructional video, along with a sample script, to encourage all of us to call our elected reps in the senate to tell them DADT has got to go:

Call the Senate switchboard today.

(202) 224-3121

Example script for your call:

"Hello, my name is ______ and I’m a constituent from __________ (city, state).

I’m calling to tell Senator _______ to prioritize the defense bill with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal included during the lame-duck session. Fight back against Senator John McCain’s opposition and please vote for DADT repeal this year.

Thank you.”

So all you queer Virginians better get on the phone today and tell Senator Mark Warner and Senator Jim Webb, who both said they wanted to wait for the survey results before making up their minds about DADT repeal, to get on board with Senators Reid and Levin ~ and over 70% of the American people ~ and get rid of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. If you live outside of Virginia and don't know who your U.S. senators are, you can find a list of them here on the Senate web site. 

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Monday, November 29, 2010

New Delhi Pride Draws 2000

The Times of India reports that 2000 LGBT Indians turned out to celebrate to first Delhi Queer Parade since the Indian government struck down the law that made homosexuality a crime. The Times reports, "As Bharat, a lawyer who came out of the closet last year, said, 'Last year, we had ordered 1,000 masks which most participants wore. This year, we got only 300. No one wanted to hide behind a mask.'"

More from The Times of India:
The change was more than apparent at the parade where not only members of LGBT community participated but a huge number of supporters also turned up for the annual event. Said Rati, "I have come here today to support my friends, several of whom are homosexuals. Acceptance is the need of the hour."

Acceptance, in fact, was the buzzword on the street as the colourful parade moved down to Jantar Mantar with several passersby joining in. Said Raman Shukla, who had come to CP to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with his wife but decided to join the parade. "We don't know anyone here at the parade but still decided to join as we strongly feel for the cause. Also, it is fun to see so much colour and excitement among the people,"he said. People could be seen dancing on the beats of the 'dhol' even as participants put their best foot forward for all the amateur and professional photographers.

Said Mohnish, one of the speakers at the parade, "Originally, the word queer was a slur for those deviating from society's definition of sexually normal behaviour. This parade though has reclaimed the word to empower, celebrate and unite who are marginalised because of their gender identity."

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DADT Hearings to Begin This Week, McCain and Graham Vow to Block Repeal

The Pentagon announced last week that it will release the results of the Working Group study tomorrow, a day earlier than planned, so that hearings on on repealing the anti-gay policy can begin asap during the few remaining weeks of the current legislative session. The hearings could begin this week.

Meanwhile, the always effeminate Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appearing on Fox "News" Sunday, told Chris Wallace that there are not enough votes in the senate to pass DADT repeal during the lame duck session. Graham told Wallace "DADT is "not going anywhere."

Over at CNN's State of the Union, fellow douchebag John "Grumpy Old Man" McCain called for more and more studies and said that the troops ought to have a vote on DADT repeal. Has anyone checked his meds lately?

McCain told Candy Crowley that Obama's promise to repeal the policy was made by "...made by an inexperienced president or candidate for presidency of the United States." He added, "The military is at its highest point in recruitment and retention and professionalism and capability, so to somehow allege that this policy has been damaging the military is simply false. So the fact is that this system is working."

If by "working" he means that it DADT is successfully violating the rights of service members, punishing them for their honesty and depriving the military of qualified personnel, then he's right. Call your senators today at 202-224-3121 and tell them it's time to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. 
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Comic Actor Lesie Nielsen Dies at 84

Leslie Nielsen and Anne Francis in "Forbidden Planet", 1956
Actor/comic genius Leslie Nielsen passed on Sunday due to complications from pneumonia. He was 84. The Canadian actor became best known for his roles in the "Airplane" and "Naked Gun"
movies, but got started his film career back in the 1950's in westerns and the classic Sci-Fi B-movie, "Forbidden Planet".

Nielsen didn't really break through until 1980's "Airplane", where his deadpan delivery contrasted with the absurdity that was going on all around him. The Zucker brothers, who created the "Airplane" films cast Nielsen in the short-lived TV cop show spoof, "Police Squad", which later spawned the "Naked Gun" movies.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Georgie Jessup Concert at Backstreet Cafe Saturday Night (music video)

Georgie Jessup performs at Roanoke's 2nd Annual Rally For GLBT Equality.
Had enough turkey, travel and family drama? Then get downtown to the Backstreet Cafe tomorrow night to blow off some steam with some incredible music by a truly unique performer. Georgie Jessup makes her return to the Star City for two sets at the historic Salem Ave. bar. The show starts around 9pm. There's a $2 cover at the door.

Many of you had the opportunity to hear Georgie when she was the featured entertainer at last summer's Rally For GLBT Equality in Roanoke's Elmwood Park. The rest of you really missed out on some first class entertainment. Come on down 

I'll be meeting up with Georgie in Floyd on Saturday afternoon to check out some potential performance venues. Georgie is psyched about the possibility of performing at FloydFest X next summer. Here's a sample of Georgie's music, with "Road to Trinidad" from her album, "Woman in a Man's Suit". This soulful Native American/Transgender singer/songwriter runs the full musical spectrum. The lady knows how to rock the house!

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Dan Savage tells CNN to stop giving haters equal time, calls for "a cultural reckoning" on gay rights. (video)

Columnist/LGBT Rights Activist/It Gets Better founder Dan Savage appeared on CNN Tuesday morning with Kyra Phillips to discuss a recent report that gays and lesbians are the most frequent targets of hates crimes. The pair discussed the study results released by The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which compiled 14 years worth of FBI hate crimes statistics

The report shows that gays and lesbians are more likely than any other minority to be the target of a hate crime, 2 times more than African-Americans, 4 times more than Muslins and 14 times more than Latinos.

Phillips said, "You know, it's difficult to say what would be a solution [to anti-gay hate crimes]. But, could we start with more hate crimes legislation where bullies are prosecuted more severely?"

Savage responded, saying,  
"We can start with that, we can also start with… really, we need a cultural reckoning around gay and lesbian issues. There was once two sides to the race debate. There was once a side, you could go on television and argue for segregation, you could argue against interracial marriage, against the Civil Rights Act, against extending voting rights to African Americans and that used to be treated as one side, you know, one legitimate side of a pressing national debate and it isn't anymore. And we really need to reach that point with gay and lesbian issues. There are no ‘two sides’ to the issues about gay and lesbian rights."

"And right now one side is really using dehumanizing rhetoric. The Southern Poverty Law Center labels these groups as hate groups and yet the leaders of these groups, people like Tony Perkins, are welcomed onto networks like CNN to espouse hate directed at gays and lesbians. And similarly hateful people who are targeting Jews or people of color or anyone else would not be welcome to spew their bile on networks like CNN and then that really -- we really have to start there. We have to start with that type of cultural reckoning."
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010! (Special Bonus Retro Video!)

Who knew Bullwinkle was a bottom?
It's that time of year again, boys and girls! The day when we risk life and limb on the highways, endure invasive groping and/or soft-core pornographic scans of our junk at the airports, in order to pig out in the bosom of the loved ones we moved hundreds of miles to get away from so many years ago.

Yes, it's Thanksgiving, the annual celebration when we give thanks for... uh...er... well, we'll come up with something by the time it's our turn. Otherwise, we'll just repeat what someone else at the table said.

This year I am thankful for all of you who stop by to read my daily rants. I try to keep it informative, entertaining and fresh and it means a lot when I get comments from readers here and when I'm out and about around town. Thank you all so much!

This year the hubby and I have decided to stay home. We usually travel to North Carolina to see his folks, but this year, with his bad hip and my bum back, we're just not up to it. It sucks getting old. Don't do it if you can help it. While I'm on the subject, this year I am truly thankful to have such a supportive partner in Paul. He's been my rock through all this blogging stuff, even though I haven't made a dime from it (yet).

Most of you will be spending the day watching football, which I understand some of the gays actually like, but not this old queen. While I'm a big fan of athletes in tight pants smacking each other on the ass, I prefer to think of myself as a more traditional gay, because aside from all the prancing man-meat, I just don't see the appeal. I'll be catching the Macy's Parade, then it's an all day Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon on the Chiller channel. Speaking of the parade, I understand they've made the new Kung Fu Panda balloon out of Al Roker's leftover skin from his weight loss. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, boys and girls!

One of my favorite childhood Thanksgiving memories goes all the way back to 1964, when my family lived in Rutherford, NJ. My dad loaded my four-year-old self and my three older siblings into the station wagon and drove us across the river into Manhattan for the Macy's Parade, leaving the younger two at home with mom while she got things ready for dinner. The big draw at the parade that year was the cast of The Munsters riding in the Munster Mobile (the big one with the jump seat in the back, not the sporty little coffin model).

I remember how shocking it was to see, from my perch on my dad's shoulders, that Herman and Grandpa were green, not gray like they were on TV. I kept insisting that it wasn't really them, while my dad tried to explain the concept of black and white TV. Color didn't come along for a couple more years.

BTW, How cool is it that we live in a time when you can remember something that happened exactly 46 years ago to the day, then find a video of it within 5 seconds? That is something for which I am truly thankful, although I'm still waiting for the flying cars we were promised would be here in "The Future". (Those of you getting this via e-mail can view the Munsters Thanksgiving Parade video here.)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Wave Wednesday: "China Girl", by David Bowie

Iman and David Bowie at the 2009 Tribeca Film ...What can you say about rock legend David Bowie that hasn't been said before?

Bowie's been at it since the 60's, when he had to change his name from David Jones, because of Davey Jones from the TV Show, "The Monkees". His 1972 concept album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars" is the epitome of the glam-rock era of Rock and Roll history. So when New Wave hit the 80's music scene it was as if it was tailor made for the bisexual, gender-bending Bowie.

Did I mention that he's married to Queen Bitch/Super Model Iman?

From 1983, here's David Bowie with "China Girl".

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Jennifer Grey wins "Dancing with the Stars" and Other Unimportant Stuff

I watched "Dancing with the Stars" for the first time ever last night and the first thought that struck me was "where are all the stars?" I guess they all lost out in previous weeks, because there was nobody in the final competition that would I would remotely call a star. Not the cute black guy, certainly not Bristol Palin, "The Dancing Moose". Although, I did find it funny when Tom Bergeron pointed out that she drove five days to get there. What, Momma Grizzly couldn't spring for a coach seat?

Not even winner Jennifer Grey, who hasn't worked in almost twenty years, since her nose job made her more gorgeous, but nearly unrecognizable, could be considered a star any more. Sure, she's the daughter of Broadway legend Joel Grey, (Cabaret), and she had a great run in films like Red Dawn, Ferris Buehler's Day Off and the film for which she's best remembered, Dirty Dancing, but seriously, isn't there an expiration date on the "star" label?

A lot of the gays have gotten all worked up about this season, because they wanted to take out all their anger and frustration at Sarah Palin on her talentless, unwed, teen mom daughter, who hasn't let the fact that she's not in college keep her from packing on the Freshman 20. Seriously, when they showed her rehearsal clips from beginning to end, it was like watching Eddie Murphy in "The Nutty Professor". I think she's the only person I've ever seen get fatter from several weeks of vigorous exercise.

But it's really not fair to scapegoat Bristol just because her mother is such an idiot. She's a big enough dope in her own right.

It was satisfying to see Jennifer Grey win, only because she really was the most talented person in the competition and she had some actual dance training in her past. On a personal note, Dirty Dancing was filmed here in Southwestern Virginia, at nearby Mountain Lake Resort, where my hubby used to work, so there's a local connection. We took a drive out there a few years ago. They still have what they call Baby's Cabin preserved as it was in the film and the staff will proudly show it off to guests and visitors. They also used to show off the room where Patrick Sawyze stayed. Paul says that if it was occupied, they'd just take the guests to a different room and tell them it was his. He stayed in five different rooms during his stay, so it wasn't really lying. They even had a life-sized cutout of Patrick Swayze they could move from room to room as needed.

So, anyway, congrats to Baby (like she's gonna read this) and "so long!" to the Baby-Momma.
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Viking Zombie Boyfriend, By Jeremy Rizza (11-24-10)

Paco's date with daddy bear Felix Cadbury finally arrives, but he soon realizes that there's one inescapable truth about being with a older man: we're older.

Jeremy writes: "Drawing musclebear Felix in panel two almost made me regret making him a ball-bellied daddybear! Almost."

"Longtime readers will recognize the feline douchebag in panel three as Paco’s coworker Kasimir, in his second appearance since the 1/25/10 strip."

Visit VikingZombieBoyfriend.com for past strips, character back stories and cool merchandise. 

Posted with the permission of the artist.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's Official: Southern Poverty Law Center Labels NOM a Hate Group

The National Organization for Marriage, the anti-gay group founded and funded by the Mormon Church, and the group responsible for California's Proposition 8 and a series of other anti-marriage equality initiatives, has been officially designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the leading organization tracking the activities of and classifying hate groups nationwide.

According to organization's website, "Generally, the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling."

SPLC describes NOM and their activities this way:
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which is dedicated to fighting same-sex marriage in state legislatures, was organized in 2007 by conservative syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher and Princeton University politics professor Robert George. George is an influential Christian thinker who co-authored the 2009 “Manhattan Declaration,” a manifesto developed after a New York meeting of conservative church leaders that “promises resistance to the point of civil disobedience against any legislation that might implicate their churches or charities in abortion, embryo-destructive research or same sex marriage.”

NOM’s first public campaign was in 2008, supporting California’s Proposition 8, which sought to invalidate same-sex marriage in that state. It was widely mocked, including in a parody by satirist Stephen Colbert, for the “Gathering Storm” video ad it produced at the time. Set to somber music and a dark and stormy background, the ad had actors expressing fears that gay activism would “take away” their rights, change their lifestyle, and force homosexuality on their kids.

The group, whose president is now former executive director Brian Brown, has become considerably more sophisticated since then, emphasizing its respect for homosexuals. “Gays and Lesbians have a right to live as they choose,” NOM says on its website, “[but] they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.”

For a time, NOM’s name was used by a bus driver named Louis Marinelli, who drove a van for NOM’s “Summer for Marriage Tour” this year. Marinelli called himself a “NOM strategist” and sent out electronic messages under the NOM logo that repeated falsehoods about homosexuals being pedophiles and gay men having extremely short lifespans (see story, p. 32). In homemade videos posted on his own YouTube page, he said same-sex marriage would lead to “prostitution, pedophilia and polygamy.” But this July, NOM said it was not associated with Marinelli.
Other groups on the list include Abiding Truth Ministries, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, Concerned Women for America, Coral Ridge Ministries, The Family Research Council and The Liberty Counsel (affiliated with Jerry Falwell's Liberty University in nearby Lynchburg, Va.). These hate-mongers disguise themselves as religious organizations and prey on the feeble-minded faithful by spreading lies and homophobia in order to pass anti-LGBT legislation.

SPLC lists 22 hate groups currently active in Virginia, including a KKK chapter right here in Roanoke. For more information, visit the SPLC site here.


As you might expect, there are those out there that support the efforts of groups like NOM and the other anti-gay hate groups and are against anyone who call them out for what they are. One such person is Cornell University Law Professor, William A. Jacobson, who blogs at Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion. In his post this morning called, "SPLC Demonizes Supporters of  Traditional Marriage". He writes, I cannot begin to tell you how much it sickens me that the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group I supported many years ago because of its work against the Klan, has become a key player in labeling legitimate conservative political and religious groups as "hate groups."

Jacobson claims that SPLC has exaggerated the number of hate groups and says that SPLC "seeks to shut down debate by applying the "hate group" or similar epithets to political opponents, and those political opponents almost always are conservative."

His rant in defense of hate groups only proves what I've always said, that bigots never see themselves as bigots, especially when they believe they have God on their side. Civil rights should never be put to the popular vote, no matter what your faith or who your targeted group is.

The reason I bring this up is that at the end of his post, Jacobson references this story with a link. The hit tracker shows numerous hits from his story today, so everybody wave and say "Hi" to the bigots. it's nice to know they're listening. Be sure to drop in on Prof. Jacobson's site to leave a comment or two.

Thanks, Prof. Jacobson for the shout out. Preaching to the choir is nice, but sometimes it helps to know the sinners are paying attention too.

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Pentagon Reports No DADT Discharges in the Past Month

The Pentagon, looking northeast with the Potom...The Washington Post is reporting that there have been no discharges under DADT since Defense Secretary Robert Gates put new procedures in place on October 21.
Under new rules adopted Oct. 21, Defense Secretary Robert Gates put authority for signing off on dismissals in the hands of the three service secretaries.

Before then, any commanding officer at a rank equivalent to a one-star general could discharge gay enlisted personnel under the 1993 law that prohibits gays from serving openly in uniform.

Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith told The Associated Press that no discharges have been approved since Oct. 21.

Smith did not know if the absence of recent discharges was related to the new separation procedures. The Pentagon has not compiled monthly discharge figures for any other months this year, she said.
There were 428 DADT discharges in 2009, despite President Obama's insistence that he wants to end the policy. Aaron Belkin, Executive Director of The Palm Center said of the news, "Statistically, it would be extremely unlikely if we had a month in which there were no gay discharges. When you require a service secretary to sign off on a discharge, you are basically saying, 'We don't want any people in this category discharged unless there is an exceptional situation.'"

Aubrey Sarvis of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network welcomed the news, but cautions that we're not out of the woods yet. "We have clients who are still under investigation, who are still having to respond, and in fact we have a client under investigation right now under suicide watch. So 'don't ask, don't tell' has not gone away."

I've never served in the military and I don't pretend to completely understand things work. But in the private sector workplace, when something gets escalated up the chain of command, it's because there's something wrong with the way it was handled at the lower level. Gates said last month when the rule change went into effect that concentrating the authority at a higher level was intended to ensure a level of "uniformity and care" at a time of legal uncertainty. 

I don't know about you, but this sets off all sorts of alarms in my head about whether or not proper procedures were followed in every discharge that's taken place since Bill Clinton's "compromise" went into effect in 1993. We've all heard stories over the years of service men and women being followed to gay bars during their off duty hours and having their e-mails and voice mails hacked, based on nothing more than rumor and speculation. There have also been reports that African-American women have been the largest LGBT group targeted by investigations. 

Even when this is all over and done, somebody's gonna have some 'splainin' to do.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

BREAKING: Pentagon to release DADT Survey results early

The Washington Post reports:
Signaling the growing seriousness of the Obama administration's commitment this year to ending the military's ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces, the Defense Department said Sunday that it will release a long-awaited report on the matter earlier than planned because senators are eager to vote on whether to repeal the policy.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has ordered the report to be released Nov. 30, one day earlier than planned, "to support Congress's wish to consider repeal before they adjourn," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Sunday.

The Senate is slated to vote again on a defense policy bill that includes language that would repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy after the Thanksgiving recess. The measure did not advance in September. Several senators asked Gates last week to release the report early so the Senate Armed Services Committee could hold hearings on it before the full Senate votes. Several moderate senators have said they will not decide how to vote until they read the report.

Gates "has instructed his staff, without cutting any corners, to have everything ready a day sooner because he wants to ensure members of the Armed Services Committee are able to read and consider the complex, lengthy report before holding hearings with its authors and the Joint Chiefs of Staff," Morrell said in a statement.

Gates; Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and the report's co-chairmen, Army Gen. Carter Ham and Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson, could testify before the committee, aides said.

The report is expected to conclude that the military can lift the ban on gays serving openly in uniform with only minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts, according to sources who shared details of the report with The Washington Post.

The report will cite a survey of active-duty and reserve troops that found that more than 70 percent of respondents said the effect of lifting the ban would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, sources said.

About 40 percent of the Marine Corps is concerned about lifting the ban, one of the sources said. Mullen said Sunday that he is confident that Gen. James Amos, the Marine Corps commandant, will be able to carry out orders to end the ban if Congress votes to do so, despite his public comments of concern.
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Does this TSA Full-Body Scan make my butt look big? (reader poll and video)

I posted this pic on FaceBook over the weekend, which prompted some fun discussions about the choice facing many holiday travelers this week. You could be randomly selected by airport security for a full body scan, especially if something in your pocket, a body piercing or a medical implant triggers the metal detector.

But fear not, my intrepid travelers. If you don't want strangers looking at your junk, you can opt for an "enhanced pat-down", where a stranger gets to grope your junk.

Understandably, a lot of folks have a really big problem with both of these security procedures and with good reason. CNN reported this morning about a man with an ostomy bag, a surgically attached bag for collecting urine, that became ruptured during a pat-down. He had to continue his trip in urine-soaked clothes

There was another story about a woman with a prosthetic breast, who was made to remove it while being searched at an airport. There are also concerns about how children should be searched or scanned.

Some of the FaceBook comments said that it's worth the invasion of privacy to keep us safe. Others felt that their privacy rights were being violated. Whats' your opinion? Are you traveling by plane during the holidays and if so, which procedure would you choose?

Of course SNL had to weigh in on the controversy with their own pat-down PSA.

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File this under D for "DUH!": German Expert Says Many Catholc Priests are Gay

The Irish Times reported over the weekend that widespread homophobia in the Catholic Church is due to the large number of self-loathing gays in the clergy. This striking revelation comes from German theologian and ex-priest David Berger, who was once a publisher for for a Catholic magazine.

The article says:
David Berger, an expert on St Thomas Aquinas and former publisher of a Catholic magazine, has called for Rome to own up to the gay priests in its midst and alter its attitudes and teaching on homosexuality.

“It must be acknowledged that a large number of Catholic clerics and trainee priests in Europe and the United States are homosexually-inclined,” Mr Berger told Der Spiegel magazine.

“The worst homophobia in the Catholic Church comes from homophile priests, who are desperately fighting their own sexuality,” he said. “Obviously, those who follow their urges are repudiated more fiercely when one is so painfully repressing that disposition oneself.”
For those of you born after the Great Depression, "homophile" is an old-timey word for "homosexual", which is an old-timey word for "out and proud gay or lesbian person". Berger says that as a teen he was drawn to conservative Catholic orthodoxy in an attempt to hide his own same-sex attraction. He is writing a book about his experiences as a closeted priest in hopes that the church will take a closer look at itself and change its position on the gays.  

Here's the part where I go on a rant.

As a recovering Catholic, I can tell you what every little gay Catholic boy knows: every devout Catholic mother wants her son to be a priest. Those moms put an incredible amount of pressure on their gay sons to join the priesthood. They view their boys' lack of interest in girls as a sign from God that Junior is a perfect fit for the whole celibacy thing.

My Irish-Catholic grandmother hit the jackpot twice by having a son who became a pedophile priest and a daughter who became a nun. Her other kids referred to them as "Pride" and "Joy".  She had a chapel in her home where her F'ed-up gay son the priest said mass every morning before breakfast when he was home on vacation. She knew she had a front row seat reserved in heaven and never missed an opportunity to rub it in her friends' faces.

When the Catholic church ~ or any church ~ pushes an anti-gay agenda and brainwashes gay kids to believe horrible lies about themselves because of something they have no control over, and that their only salvation is to become part of that despicable institution, church leaders shouldn't be surprised to find out that they have a lot of psychologically damaged gays and lesbians in their midst!

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cardinals Relieved as Pope Okays Condoms for Gay Hustlers

News broke Saturday that Papa Ratzi said in an interview for an upcoming book, that condom use could be justified as a means of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and other STD's. Excerpts from the book, "Light of the World: the Pope, the Church and Signs of the Times", were published in L'Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper.

The former Hitler Youth, who covered up hundreds of cases of priestly pedophilia when he was a cardinal, gave extensive interviews for the book to a German journalist in July. The book is intended to address some of the more controversial issues facing the Catholic Church.

Papa Ratshit says that the church hasn't changed its position banning the use of birth control, but says he is addressing concerns of Catholic aide workers in Africa, where HIV has spread like wildfire due to the church's medieval teachings about human sexuality.
He says, “there may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility.”

As you may recall, word broke in March of this year of a Vatican sex scandal involving a male prostitution ring. It's different when it hits you at home, isn't it?

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Joy Behar Takes on Willow Palin's "Your so gay" Tweet (video)

The Fame Whores from Wasilla
I don't like to pay too much attention to Sarah Palin and her brood of fame whores, because I keep thinking that if we just ignore them, they'll go away. But this week word came out that sixteen-year-old Willow Palin responded to a young critic of the family's "reality" show on Twitter by saying "Haha your so gay".

Apparently the critic was a kid named Trey, who went to school with the Palin kids and doesn't like them very much. I think it's funny that it's only the people who have never met the Palins that are their most avid supporters.

As if that wasn't bad enough, sister Bristol, the dancing hippo from "Fantasia", chimed in, calling him a shit-talker. Do these girls pray to Jesus with those mouths?

Joy Behar discussed Wasilla's trashy twosome on her HLN show with out comedian Judy Gold, Dick Cavett, who has made an annoying career out of reminding people that he once had a talk show 40 years ago, and some "Expert Mommy" from In Touch Magazine. The panel questioned the parenting skills of the Pailns, as if they had any.

I love Joy Behar, but every time I hear her speak, I can't help but see SNL's Fred Armisen's impression of her. And why doesn't she know when the next Barbara Walters special airs?

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Lieberman Says There Are Enough Votes to Repeal DADT

The Advocate is reporting that Senator Joe Lieberman said in a press conference Thursday that there are the necessary 60 votes in the senate to pass DADT repeal as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the bill that provides funding for the next year's military operations.

The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld reports:
“I am confident that we have more than 60 votes prepared to take up the defense authorization with the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ if only there will be a guarantee of a fair and open amendment process, in other words, whether we’ll take enough time to do it,” Lieberman told reporters at a press conference, naming GOP senators Susan Collins and Richard Lugar as yes votes. “Time is an inexcusable reason not to get this done.”

Lieberman, an independent, was flanked by 12 of his Democratic colleagues — a core group that seemed intent on urging the Democratic leadership to allow enough room in the Senate schedule for a debate that would be acceptable to Republicans. The senators talked about working over the weekends, and Sen. Mark Udall offered to go straight through until Christmas Eve.
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenback Talks to Rachel Maddow About Wednesday's DADT Developments (video)

In Case You Missed it: Cher Speaks Out on Chaz's Transition on Letterman (video)

With all the hype surrounding Conan O'Brian's return to late night TV, you may have missed Cher on Late Night with David Letterman last Thursday. The mother of all divas has been making the rounds promoting her new movie, "Burlesque" in recent weeks.

The two reminisced about old times, like the time she appeared on the show with her late ex-husband, Sonny Bono, 23 years ago and sang "I Got You, Babe", or the time before that when she called Dave an asshole on the air.

Then, the conversation turned serious when Dave asked Cher about her son Chaz's gender transition. She acknowledges that she struggles with her pronouns and says her son doesn't really mind. They discussed the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity in a way that illustrates the confusion that most people have with these issues, without being demeaning.

This is perhaps the first time on a mainstream network late night TV show that transgender issues have been discussed in a serious, respectful way, where serious questions are asked and answers are struggled with. It's sometimes difficult to talk about the trans experience without sounding gratuitous, biased, judgmental or just plain stupid.

It is refreshing to see that Dave can not be an asshole when it counts and it's inspiring to see Cher's unconditional love and support for her son, even though she admits that she is still struggling to understand what he's been going through.
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Viking Zombie Boyfriend, By Jeremy Rizza (11-18-10)

Paco and Rorik discuss (with some grownup language) Paco's upcoming date with daddy bear Felix Cadbury, while Sticky (in his boy clothes) tries desperately to get the time of day from Paco.

Jeremy Rizza writes: "As you can see, Sticky finally vanquished that sinus infection that had caused his nose to swell up for nearly two years.  Good for you, Sticky! Just don’t expect Paco to give you the time of day because he’s only into bears."

"Starting this week I’m making some big updates to the site.  The biggest is that I’ve replaced all of the three-strip pages with individual strip pages, and I’ve added all fifteen of the 'print exclusive' monthly strips that (with one exception) were never seen on the web before."

Click the image to enlarge. Visit VikingZombieBoyfriend.com to check out past strips, character back stories and cool merchandise. 

Posted with the permission of the artist.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Breaking: Harry Reid Commits to Vote on DADT

Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue sk... Representatives for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told a group of LGBT activists this afternoon that the Nevada Senator is committed to bringing Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal to a vote as part of the National Defense Authorization Act after the Thanksgiving recess.
Kerry Eleveld of The Advocate reports:
“The officials told the groups that Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama are committed to moving forward on repeal by bringing the National Defense Authorization Act — the bill to which 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' repeal is attached — to the floor in the lame-duck session after the Thanksgiving recess,” read a joint statement from the Human Rights Campaign, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, and the Center for American Progress, which all had a presence at the meeting.

The White House aides present at the negotiations included deputy chief of staff Jim Messina and director of legislative affairs Phil Schiliro as well as Chris Kang, special assistant to the president for legislative affairs, and Brian Bond, deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Majority leader Reid was represented by his chief of staff, David Krone, and his senior counsel, Serena Hoy.

Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he had asked the majority leader to take up the bill after the Pentagon issues its report and following hearings he plans to hold on the matter, “which should take place during the first few days of December.”

"I will work hard to overcome the filibuster so that 'don’t ask, don’t tell' is repealed and the NDAA --- which is critical to our national security and the well-being of our troops --- is adopted," he said.
In a related story, GetEqual Co-Founder Robin McGehee was called to the White House this afternoon for a private meeting with Bryan Bond, just two days after being arrested with a group of twelve other DADT protesters, including Lt. Dan Choi and Justin Elzie, who fought his dismissal under DADT and served four more years as on out and proud gay soldier.

McGehee told LezGetReal's Melanie Nathan, that she went to the White House determined to bring transparency to the issue and refused to promise not to discuss what went on behind closed doors. She tols Nathan, “when the White House found out that the bloggers had been informed and broken the news of our meeting they were angry. But I told them that I was not willing to do any back room deals – but that I wanted to be transparent. That I wanted my LGBT community to see and hear everything that happens.  It is their equality at stake and they deserve that." She added that she would rather leave than not be transparent.

Bond told McGehee that under those terms, he would listen, but not speak, because he did not want his words to be "used against them."

Bond took notes while McGehee spelled out the following list of demands (from LezGetReal):
McGehee told him that she would like to hear from the White House where LGBT equality legislation stood, specifically that she wanted to hear about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

She asked for an Executive Order by years end.  She asked why the White House was not going ahead with an executive order to stop discharges; she said the LGBT community was insisting on it at the very least; Why is DADT different from any other legislation? Why is the President not pushing and persuading Senator Snowe and Collins, the fence sitters? Why is the President not spending some political capital here for DADT?

She told Bond that not one single member of the Military should be discharged and that the President ought to be reflecting that by his actions.

Mr.  Bond told Robin that they  are working as hard as they can; saying “ we want to see that happen” – Robin pushed further and said there is a difference between wanting to make it happen and making it happen. It must happen.

McGehee said although she was there about DADT- she could not allow the opportunity to be exclusive to that as the only LGBT issue; and so she pulled out a picture of her two children and introduced them to the group.  She said that Although she realized DOMA may not be repealed at this time, she wanted the President to revert to his old pre- Presidential campaign position on marriage equality where he did support same sex marriage.  “Everyday  that our families live without dignity, the President should think of going back to his original stand  and he must support marriage equality- as person of faith he  should think of our dignity.  Remember he came out and said that his religious beliefs precluded him from endorsing same-sex marriage for gays- well,  as a person of faith the President ought to reflect on his denying our families and community the right to live with dignity.

Additionally she asked that the White House stop all future Federal Contracts that do not include protections for Transgender people; and she informed him it was her belief that if in fact this happened it would encourage more corporations who wanted to Contracts to do the same.
The interesting thing about McGehee's meeting is that it was reported before the Reid announcement was made. The other groups were meeting with White House staff and Reid's reps separately, presumably afterward. Had McGehee agreed to not disclose what went on in the meeting, she probably would been part of the closed door meeting. Kudos to Robin for sticking to her guns. The fact that she was invited to the White House just two days after GetEqual's direct action is a sign that the powers that be are paying attention and that there is room at the table for everyone.

The other side of the coin is that, by shutting her out of the main meeting, the White House was demonstrating that there are rules to be followed and consequences for not following them. It sucks, but it's the way the game is played ion DC.
Who knows, we may just pull it off in the eleventh hour of this legislative session. Keep your fingers crossed and your eyes and ears wide open.
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