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Monday, September 17, 2007

50,000 HITS!

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For several weeks, I anxiously looked forward to reaching 50,000 hits. Each day, I would scroll down to the bottom of this blog to see how close I was getting to reaching this goal.

I MISSED MY OWN PARTY.....

After an extensive physical and a series of blood tests and exploratory medical procedures (two days per week for three weeks), my physician informed me that I am in excellent health. Two days later, I had developed an upper respiratory and sinus infection that kept me ill for a week. by the time I checked by blog stats, I was already over the 50,000 mark!

For those of you who visit this blog regularly, THANK YOU!

A PLEASANT SURPRISE.....

While I was surfing blogs on one of the blog listing directories I belong to, I found this:

BLOG EXPRESS

Who made the buzz? find out the hottest flash from these hottest blogs!

In dondon 009 he talks about the latest book by David Pitts where the author explores the extraordinary friendship between JFK and Lem Billings.

OK now, I know it's not much but it's nice to be mentioned by a complete stranger who obviously appreciates the brilliance of this blog. (did I just write that?)

BACK TO REALITY.....

I've returned to work and once again having to work six day weeks to make up for lost time and to become current on documentation (federal and state audits coming up in mid December).

The PUGLETS enjoyed the luxury of sleeping late each day and additional pampering. Daisy continues to require 3x daily eye drops but has now made the procedure into a game where I'm required to chase her around the house until we're both exhausted before she consents to the drops.

Romance seems to have disappeared for the time being. It's almost time for a trip to New Orleans where, if not romance at least some great food, great music, lots of party and SEX!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

THE FIRST FRIEND

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John F. Kennedy's life was a fairy tale, and iconic pictures of him and his family are pervasive in American culture. Who hasn't seen the photos of Kennedy and his son in the Oval Office or Kennedy with Jackie sailing off Cape Cod?

David Pitts, a local gay author, has uncovered a trove of pictures featuring Kennedy with a less familiar face - that of Lem Billings, Kennedy's gay friend from their years at Choate School, a prep school in Connecticut, during the 1930s. In his new book, "Jack and Lem: John F. Kennedy and Lem Billings, the Untold Story of an Extraordinary Friendship," Pitts explores the relationship the pair shared until Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.


Pitts, who has a long standing interest in Kennedy, said that the inspiration for the project came from reading a variety of books over the years about the former president in which the name Lem Billings kept appearing, but was never fully explained. Pitts began researching the pair's relationship and uncovered how progressive Kennedy was in terms of accepting Billings' sexual orientation.


"The most surprising thing I learned was just how extremely close this friendship was," Pitts says, "Outside of his family, John F. Kennedy was closer to Lem Billings than any other person in his life."

In writing his book, Pitts interviewed members of Billings’ family (his sister and brother are both alive and in their 90s), writer Gore Vidal and Ben Bradlee, the former editor of the Washington Post, who knew both Billings and Kennedy.


"The letters that John F. Kennedy and Lem Billings exchanged, along with an oral history that Lem did before he died, were restricted until Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., made them available to me," Pitts says.

Beginning with their years at Choate, Billings often spent holidays and vacations with the Kennedys, although his family lived in Baltimore. He was also a fixture at the White House, which many found odd. Billings had a room there, and he frequently listened to the president vent about the international crises in Cuba and Berlin. Politicos wrote him off as Kennedy’s school friend who was a political lightweight, and others felt that he simply spent too much time hanging around.

Persistent rumors about Kennedy’s bisexuality are not answered in this book. Pitts uncovered no evidence that suggested a sexual relationship between the two friends.

"I tried to apply journalistic rules - and didn’t put in any gossip," Pitts says, "I only put in information that I could confirm … Something could have gone on, but I uncovered no evidence of that fact."

As for the relationship between Lem and Jackie Kennedy, Pitts writes, "All the people I interviewed about the relationship between Jackie and Lem - which I think is an interesting relationship in and of itself - agreed really on the nature of that relationship.

There was no disagreement among any of the people who knew them both. And that is, she liked him. She had more in common with him than she did with JFK in many ways. She was interested in the arts like he was, she had the same kind of sensibility. She also appreciated the role he played in her marriage during all the rough spots in the early days, essentially.

And the evidence that she liked him, the proof of it really, is that after the assassination when she could easily have cut him loose, she didn't. When the British invited her to England for the memorial for JFK at Runnymede, she asked Lem to go with her. She frequently visited him in Manhattan when she lived there in the 60s, and she also went to his funeral. So the evidence that she essentially liked him is there.

On the other hand, there is also evidence that she was frustrated at times that he was always there, so it's a mixed relationship. Probably when you think about it, it's a marriage of three people, so that attitude is understandable.


JFK golfing with Press Secretary Pierre D. Salinger and K. LeMoyne Billings in Hyannisport July 27, 1963, three months before President Kennedy was assassinated.

*Lem Billings is also listed (K. LeMoyne Billings) as one of the ushers at JFK's wedding and after Kennedy's death, became one of the directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Corporation.

I also found this interesting and somewhat amusing article in the New York Times titled:

TO CATCH A THIEF, RUN FAST!

By ALBIN KREBS AND ROBERT MCG. THOMAS
Published: January 17, 1981

The Kennedys always were fast on their feet when it came to running for office. But yesterday afternoon, one of the younger generation helped the police run down a pickpocket inside Bloomingdale's.

The helper was Robert F. Kennedy Jr., 26-year-old son of the late Senator. He was on the Lexington Avenue subway with K. LeMoyne Billings, a long-time family friend and financial advisor, when someone took off with Mr. Billings's wallet and $60 in it.

Mr. Kennedy, the police said, chased the thief out of the 59th Street station, yelling for a nearby Transit Police officer, James McQueen, to help. The suspect ran into the crowded department store, but the other pursuers caught him on the second floor. The wallet and the money were recovered.

THE DARK SIDE

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St. Petersburg, Florida Republican (remember the "family values party") City Council Chairman John Bryan committed suicide Friday after allegations of sexual abuse involving his 12 and 15 year old adopted daughters surfaced and a custody hearing determined that Bryan was ordered by the courts to have no further contact with them.

Bryant had already admitted to a sexual relationship with a former nanny who he later adopted; although he claimed the sex was consensual and that she was over 18 at the time.

Several local politicians say they had heard tales of sexual improprieties for decades.

His very good friend, Holier Than Thou St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker (the same mayor who refuses to acknowledge Gay Pride, even though millions of dollars are generated for the city of St. Petersburg each year), must have had his head buried in his bible because he stated that he "never heard of any allegations of Councilman John Bryan's sexual improprieties".

Who knew what, who did what will never be known because the coward took the easy way out!

Howard Troxler of the St. Petersburg times writes:

"It is never the future by which we destroy ourselves. It is what we do in the present, which in the next heartbeat becomes an unchangeable past. In making our choices each of us, in our own way, is inspired by the better part of our nature, but tortured by the dark."

Monday, September 03, 2007

LABOR DAY

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INTRODUCING: RANDY ORTON



Randal "Randy" Keith Orton (born on April 1, 1980), is an American professional wrestler currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) wrestling on its RAW brand. Orton is a third-generation professional wrestler; his grandfather, Bob Orton, Sr., father, "Cowboy" Bob Orton, and uncle, Barry O, were all professional wrestlers.

Orton has the distinction of being the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in the company's history, and has achieved considerable success as an Intercontinental Champion and World Tag Team Champion. He is nicknamed the Legend Killer, largely influenced by his gimmick of intentionally attacking star and legendary wrestlers—especially outside the confines of a match.







Sunday, September 02, 2007

SINKING

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Faster than a crack whore pouncing on a twenty-dollar bill, the rats are abandoning the sinking ship; others haven't even had a chance to come aboard before they begin to sink!



George Bush's nominee for Surgeon General has drawn a lot of heat for among other things, his crack-pot anti-gay views as a leader in the United Methodist affiliate of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. But a new report may finally sink his already controversial nomination in a sea of conflicts of interest that have marked his career.

Dr. James Holsinger has also been a longtime leader of the Confessing Movement in the United Methodist Church. The Confessing Movement is a rightwing "renewal group" affiliated with the Washington, DC-based Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), whose purpose for a generation has been to divide and disrupt the historic churchs of mainline protestantism in the interests of advancing neoconservatism and the religious right.

Holsinger was elected to the highest court in the Methodist Church a time when the IRD-affiliated church "renewal" groups had launched efforts to use church judicial systems to enforce their notions of orthodoxy, particularly on matters related to homosexuality.

Now, an investigation by Rev. Andrew J. Weaver, Ph.D. and Lawrence H. McGaughey, Esq., and published at Media Transparency, shows that Holsinger used the sale of a United Methodist Church-owned hospital in Kentucky, as a cash cow for his personal ambitions. It took years of litigation by the church to find out what had happened to its money, only to learn that Holsinger had diverted millions to endow professorships at the Chandler Medical Center at the University of Kentucky where he served as Chancellor and fundraiser-in-chief.

Meanwhile, Weaver and McGaughy report Holsinger did not disclose to his fellow church justices that he he was party to significant litigation against the church in the state courts -- and thereby surface any potential conflicts of interest. The litigation cost the United Methodist Church (UMC) millions of dollars in legal fees to recover its assets.

The article also raises questions about how those assets (that were not given away) were managed while under the control of Dr. Holsinger and his associates, some of whom apparently also had conflicts of interest.

Time to say goodbye, James!

GAY MARRIAGE~A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT

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The marriage window opened in Polk County, Iowa, for a few hours Friday, until around 11:30, when District Court Judge Robert Hanson stayed his order legalizing same-sex marriage pending an appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court. But the win is sweet nonetheless. Hanson's opinion laid out one of the strongest arguments in support of marriage equality ever articulated by an American court.

Hanson's 63-page opinion Thursday held that the denial of marriage violates the due process and equal protection rights of same-sex couples under the state constitution. Hanson initially struck the state ban on gay nuptials, and ordered the county clerks to issue marriage licenses at once. Some 20 couples reportedly applied Friday morning before Hanson put on the brakes.

Hanson wrote that marriage was a fundamental right under the state constitution's due process clause, and as such, its denial triggered the highest level of court scrutiny. He also ruled that Iowa's statutory ban on same-sex marriage violated the state's equal protection clause by discriminating on the basis of sex, a determination that also required heightened scrutiny.

Finally, Hanson ruled that the state's asserted justifications for maintaining a marriage ban did not even pass the lowest standards of court review. Assuming that a state interest in promoting "responsible procreation" was a legitimate purpose, Hanson wrote, the remedy of blocking all gay couples from matrimony bore no rational relationship to the state's alleged goals. The fact that heterosexual felons, older couples, and couples with no interest in having children were free to marry also undercut the state's argument.

Iowa may be a red state, but as Hanson pointed out, it has a history of far-sighted jurisprudence. The state was the second, after California, to toss out laws against interracial marriage, years before the U.S. Supreme Court took action in Loving v Virginia.

This year, the Iowa state legislature passed a gay rights bill into law, banning sexual orientation and gender identity bias in employment, housing and public accommodations. The law was signed by youthful Gov. Chet Culver, a Democrat.

On Friday, Culver called on the legislature to stay out of the marriage wars until the case has been heard by the state supreme court. Iowa is one of 23 states that has not amended its constitution to ban same-sex marriage, although a Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1998.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

CHANGES~AGAIN

I've made some changes to this blog again..... going a bit "high-tech" by animating my blogmaster list (a new free toy at FLASH VORTEX).

Some of the people who were originally on my list have been eliminated because they are either no longer posting or haven't posted in several months. If I've made an error by eliminating someone who is currently blogging and/or visiting this site and would like to be included, please email me and I will make a correction!

Thanks.....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Southern Decadence


As a top Labor Day Weekend destination, Southern Decadence in New Orleans has evolved into one of the world's major annual gay events.

One of the largest annual celebrations, Southern Decadence has become known as the "gay mardi gras".

With over 100,000 gay, lesbian and transgender participants, the economic impact on the city has been estimated to be in excess of $95 million.



I've spent the greater part of my life as a medical social worker/case manager; concern with the physical and mental health of others being my primary focus.

The health and overall well-being of my dogs followed (Daisy continues to visit the vet weekly to have her eye checked for a slowly healing ulcer and the geriatric vet monthly for arthritis), with little or no concern for my own personal health.

All of that changed six weeks ago when I decided, after three years that it was time for a physical. (I belong to the school that says "if it isn't broken, don't fix it").



This is when I change from the usual level-headed, sensible person to my alter-ego. Surfacing from somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind, frequently talked about but seldom seen, THE DRAMA QUEEN!

I am not considered the most co-operative patient on the planet. I usually don't follow thru on the advice of my physicians, and never take a full perscription of perscribed medicines.

The Party from hell is about to begin. Fasten your seat-belts!


WEEK ONE: THE VISIT

Dr. K: Nice of you to finally take the time to stop by....... (this guy is a friend)!

009: I feel great, really. I'm just here because my family and friends think an annual physical is a must.

Dr. K: Are you still smoking?

009: I walked 34 blocks in the heat during gay pride and was not out of breath nor did I need to sit down.

Dr. K: You're still smoking, you're going to go into COPD within 5 years.

009: Perscribe me an albuterol inhaler.

Dr. K: The prostate. I'm ordering blood work and a PSA test. We'll follow up in two weeks with a full exam. I also want a chest x-ray and it's time for a colonoscopy. I'm giving you a referral to Dr. S.

009: Whoa.... slow down! Can we please take care of one non-problem at a time, please? (drama). Let's start with the blood work.

Dr. K: Do you want a sample of Viagra?

009: What do I need Viagra for? Erectile dyspunction is not a problem, thank you very much but if ever becomes one, you'll be the first to know. ASSHOLE! (did I mention this guy is a friend?)

I left with five perscriptions. One for the albuterol, one for a new pill to get my brain to reject nicotine, a referral to Dr. S, a referral for blood work and another referral for the chest X-ray (which would be last on my list).

WEEK TWO: The blood work. I've now decided that this is a multi-step ordeal. I will not schedule an appointment with Dr. S. the gastroenterologist until I have the results of the blood work

WEEK THREE: The physical.

Dr. K: The blood work is fine. The cholesterol, triglycerides are fine, etc, etc, etc. Now lie down and let's check the prostate. OUCH!

This was followed by an EKG which went off the chain because of the hair on my chest.

009: You didn't tell me I had to shave my chest.

WEEK FOUR: The Gastroenterologist ( I love spelling that).

009: (to self) cute, cute, cute.........

Dr. S: How are you feeling?

009: Great. This is your friend's idea. I feel fine, really.

Dr. S: Any bleeding, etc., etc., etc.

009: No

Dr. S: Are you a smoker? Any heartburn, etc......

009: Yes and Yes

Dr. S: I want to schedule an endoscopy and a colonoscopy. (explained both in detail).

009: Fine, but one thing at a time. Let's start with the endoscopy.

WEEK FIVE: The endoscopy

You must not take any blood thinning medication for 7 days before the procedure. Headaches to hell!

You must fast from midnight the day before the procedure and you may not drive yourself to and from the outpatient surgery center. You will be sleeping during the procedure.

009: Who the hell can I ask to take time off from work to drive me to this thing? Most of my friends live or work out of town. I finally decided to ask a friend who works relatively close to the surgery center.

The procedure itself was successful, although I was soundly asleep and remember nothing.

WEEK SIX: The other oscopy

You may not take any blood thinning medications for 7 days before the procedure. (It is now 14 days since I've had a aspirin.)

Monday evening: Immediately after dinner you must take 4 Dulcolax tablets.

Tuesday: You must stay on a clear liquid diet all day (this does not include vodka or gin). At 5:00 PM, you must drink this horrid tasting liquid followed by 40 ounces of water or more clear liquid (sprite, white grape juice).

Wednesday: At 4:30 AM, more horrid tasting liquid followed by another 40 ounces of water. Nothing else until the procedure, scheduled at 8:30 AM.


The average person would return to work the following day (Thursday). I need a "recovery period" and am not scheduled to return until next Tuesday!

UPDATE: And all the tests were NEGATIVE! Life is good....

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

FINDING JESUS?

Politicians and religious figures that get caught with their pants down do it, even Paris Hilton did it while in prison; it was only a matter of time before athletes would jump on the "I've found Jesus" bandwagon!

The public apology of professional football player Michael Vick regarding his involvement in an illegal dogfighting operation is raising skepticism among conservatives and the media.

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Atlanta Falcons football player Michael Vick makes a statement after pleading guilty to a federal dogfighting charge in Richmond, Va., Monday, Aug. 27, 2007.

While he took "full responsibility" for his actions, pleading guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy and involvement in the killing of at least six dogs, the Atlanta Falcons' star quarterback went further to say he has found Jesus.

"I'm upset with myself and, you know, through this situation I found Jesus and asked him for forgiveness and turned my life over to God," he said in a statement on Monday. "I think that's the right thing to do as of right now."

Not everyone was convinced.

"The statement that Michael Vick has found Jesus is laughable," said the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson in a statement on Tuesday. "Like other celebrities before him, Vick is evoking Jesus' name to stop the criticism and gain public sympathy. True believers recognize the hypocrisy in what he's doing."

"'Jesus' is the most abused name in black America and Vick is following a long line of abusers," the conservative radio talk show host continued. "We can no longer allow celebrities and politicians to break laws and then use 'Jesus' as a get-out-of-jail free card. Most of these people go right back into their bad behavior and criminal activities as soon as the storm passes."

Another skeptic of Vick's sincerity, Tim Wildmon, president of the conservative American Family Association, posed on a less harsh note, "You wonder, what's the motivation for making a public statement? Is it sincere, or are they doing it to gain something from it?

"It gets personal in trying to understand someone's faith at times so they may say the right things, but you don't really know what they mean by it," said Wildmon, according to Cybercast News Service.

Vick had made continuous references to his Christian faith throughout his football career in statements and his touchdown signal of pointing to the sky, which for many athletes signifies their thanks to God.

And while FoxNews.com's vice president and executive producer, Mike Straka, had been expecting it, he was surprised to have heard Vick profess "finding Jesus" before imprisonment.

"It took Paris Hilton a few hours in the slammer before she met Jesus, and Vick does it even before lockup. Who knew?" wrote Straka.

Associated Press-

Monday, August 27, 2007

OH NO, NOT AGAIN!

Why can't these married republicans just find a nice quiet gay bar to meet men, and stop trying to make a "connection" in public men's rooms?

He voted yes on prohibiting same-sex marriage. He voted no on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. He also voted no on adding sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes. And Senator Craig voted yes to recommend a Constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

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Republican Sen. Larry Craig (Idaho) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men's public restroom, according to an arrest report obtained by Roll Call Monday afternoon.

Craig's arrest occurred just after noon on June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. On Aug. 8, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in the Hennepin County District Court. He paid more than $500 in fines and fees, and a 10-day jail sentence was stayed. He also was given one year of probation with the court that began on Aug. 8.

A spokesman for Craig described the incident as a "he said/he said misunderstanding," and said the office would release a fuller statement later Monday afternoon.

After he was arrested, Craig, who is married, was taken to the Airport Police Operations Center to be interviewed about the lewd conduct incident, according to the police report. At one point during the interview, Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, "What do you think about that?" the report states.

In October 2006, Craig's office publicly denied allegations that he was a homosexual made on a gay activist Web site - blogactive.com. Craig's office told the Spokane Spokesman-Review that the charge was "completely ridiculous," saying that the allegations had "no basis in fact."

By John McArdle
Roll Call Staff

Sunday, August 26, 2007

MONDAY EYE CANDY



TODD SANFIELD










Wednesday, August 22, 2007

HOMOPHOBIA ALERT

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The Republican representative to the fundamental christian movement in America, President George Bush has nominated Judge Leslie Southwick to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Judge Southwick's record plainly shows that he cannot be given the responsibility to protect the basic rights of all Americans.


As a Mississippi judge, Southwick put his personal bias before widely regarded scientific and legal evidence - as in one case where he separated a biological mother from her 8-year-old child in part because of the mother's sexual orientation.

Even more troubling, Judge Southwick used this case to further his own agenda by joining a concurrence citing highly charged and irrelevant Mississippi rules against "the practice of homosexuality" - including policies regarding sodomy.

This type of bigoted decision-making is unacceptable for any judge, let alone a lifetime member of the U.S. Court of Appeals.

THURSDAY EYE CANDY

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Juan Alfonso Baptista, born September 9, 1976 in Caracas, is a Venezuelan actor best known for his roles in "PasiĆ³n de Gavilanes" and "La Mujer En El Espejo".








Monday, August 20, 2007

THE DROOLING HOMOPHOBE AND HIS PEDOPHILE SON

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Right-wing Christian extremist Dave Daubenmire of Pass the Salt Ministries with his flock, has been on a crusade to disrupt the church services of gay-friendly churches.

But that's not even the best part of the story. As is so often the case, the best part of the story is in an almost offhand remark.

In a Bible-spewing homophobic rant earlier this year about a visit to the Gay Pride Parade, Daubenmire had this to say:

"The 'meat' on display will forever change the way you view homosexuality. Sin has no boundaries, no clutch, and no emergency brake. Once you dip your toe into the pool of sin, especially sexual sin, there is a magnetism that will not let go."

Ummmm...

Let me put it this way. The straight guys I know who visit the Gay Pride Parade do not describe the event as having "a magnetism that will not let go." Their reaction is more along the lines of, "Nice dress, dude."

They describe it as interesting, entertaining, touching, hilarious, kind of tedious when the "polo-shirted employees of boring corporations" contingents go by, etc. But they do not describe it as a pool of sin with a magnetism that will not let go.

The straight guys I know are not forever changed by the sight of gay male "meat on display," and they are quite capable of resisting the magnetism of homosexuality. They find the magnetic pull of homosexuality pretty gosh-darned unmagnetic. That's kind of what makes them, you know -- straight.

So I just have to ask: Do Dave Daubenmire, and Ted Haggard, and all the rest of the right-wing Christian leering brigade, really not know what they sound like? Do they really not see that frothing at the mouth closely resembles drooling?


ABOVE FROM: Greta Christina

Personally, I think Dave Daubenmire has personal family issues that should be his focus at the moment; not the disruption of churches where gay men and lesbians are welcomed as part of the congregation. It appears that while daddy was away, holding up signs quoting the bible on homosexuality, his son was busy on the computer...... being a very very bad boy!


NEWARK, Ohio -- The 24-year-old son of conservative religious activist David Daubenmire will spend the next five years on probation after a Licking County judge convicted him on a child-pornography charge.

At a hearing this morning, Zachary Daubenmire pleaded no contest to a felony charge of pandering obscenity involving a minor. Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Marcelain convicted him on the charge and immediately sentenced him.

Daubenmire, whose father has fought pornography as the founder of Pass the Salt Ministries and Minutemen United, also was fined $1,000 and must spend two years in prison if he violates terms of his probation.


And then of course, keeping in step with most religious bigots who finally get "caught" with their pants down:

The younger Daubenmire showed genuine remorse and is now in counseling for an addiction that he told the judge began when he was 15.

Authorities found 37 still images and 26 movies depicting young girls enaging in sex with men on the family's home computer. A computer repair technician discovered the pornography last August.

The Columbus Dispatch

SCOTT BRISON WEDS PARTNER

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Nova Scotia: The Honourable Scott Brison, MP made history of a sort when he became the first federal politician to marry his same-sex partner.

The wedding ceremony took place Saturday near Brison's country home in Cheverie, N.S., a town of 200. He is the MP for the Nova Scotia riding of Kings-Hants.

Guests described the ceremony as joyful and emotional.

"It's something we need to celebrate and we must be proud that Canada is showing the way," Liberal Leader Stephane Dion said after the wedding.

"I came first to celebrate love and happiness between two friends of mine, but if by my presence it helps a bit to reinforce a newly recognized right and to encourage other countries to do the same, I am pleased."

Former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna saw significance in the wedding.

"Everyone involved felt like they were part of a history-making event," said McKenna. "It seemed like a validation of a long process."

Former prime ministers Joe Clark and Paul Martin -- whose government passed same-sex marriage legislation -- and former Liberal cabinet minister Bill Graham were among the other political notables in attendance.

Brison's spokesperson, Dale Palmeter, told The Canadian Press that the marriage is a personal affair and would be celebrated in private.

Neighbours in the small sea-side town on Nova Scotia's western shore were perplexed by the media frenzy surrounding the marriage.

"I think it's silly that there's so much publicity over it," said Joanne Lake, a neighbour of Brison's. "If he was straight, would there be quite so much publicity over his wedding?"

Brison, 40, stepped aside in 2000 to allow then-Tory leader Joe Clark run in a byelection. He came out publicly in 2002.

Brison sought the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party in 2003, then crossed the floor to the Liberals just days after the Progressive Conservatives merged with the Canadian Alliance. He ran for the Liberal leadership in 2006.

Brison became the first openly gay federal cabinet minister in 2004 -- coincidentally, the same year a Nova Scotia judge ruled that not allowing gays in that province was unconstitutional. However, he has said he is "not a gay politician, but a politician who happens to be gay."

Earlier this summer, Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman wed his partner Christopher Peloso at a lodge near Sudbury, Ont.

When word of his engagement to St. Pierre first became public in October 2005, Brison said: "I'm looking forward to the day when the idea of a gay or lesbian politician getting married is not a story at all."

Sunday, August 19, 2007

OPEN MOUTH ~ INSERT PENIS

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I've previously written about married, Florida Republican State Representative Bob Allen, who offered an undercover policeman $20.00 to perform oral sex and then went on to say the reason he made this offer was because the park where he was going to use the mens room [cruising], was full of big black men and he was scared; angering the black community ....... well it seems he has now angered the Latino community as well.

Florida Rep. Bob Allen, stripped of his committee assignments this week by a House speaker seeking his resignation over his gay sex scandal, instead made more enemies with an apparent slur against Florida's Latino leadership. "I would think this leadership more than anyone would think that we don't want to copy totalitarian governments but copy American principles," Allen told the Miami Herald on Wednesday in an apparent reference to House Speaker Marco Rubio being Cuban-American.

Allen was forced to backpedal as yet more of his fellow Republicans called for his head.

"The fact that he's comparing the consequences of the allegations of his sexual misconduct to the plight of dissidents trapped in Castro's gulag is at best absurd and at worst insulting. He needs to go," Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, R-Miami, told the Herald, adding that Allen's comments made him "physically irked."

The party leadership wants Allen to resign before his Aug. 23 arraignment on a misdemeanor charge of solicitation to commit prostitution.

Even Gov. Charlie Crist weighed in, telling the Orlando Sentinel that "I have to respect the wishes of the speaker. . . . It's a House issue."

Allen, R-Merritt Island, was arrested July 11 outside a Titusville park public restroom after allegedly offering a male undercover officer $20 and oral sex.

The lawmaker, who last year co-sponsored legislation to tighten penalties for public sex and indecent exposure, insists he is innocent, and said last month that his actions were prompted by fear because the undercover cop and passersby were all black.

"The House will continue to respect Rep. Allen's right to defend himself against the charges which arose when he was arrested," Rubio's office said in a statement.

"However, we must acknowledge that in addition to being a private citizen, he is a public official. As such, we are judged by a higher standard than procedural innocence. . . . It is my personal belief that because of the allegations against him, Rep. Allen can no longer effectively serve the people of his district in the Florida House."

Allen told the Sentinel that he was "the most misunderstood guy on Earth.

"Never was I trying to ever say Marco is the new Fidel. That's the most insulting thing you can tell anyone in Miami," Allen said. "I would have used North Korea if I thought more."

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A CASE FOR GAY MARRIAGE

This is the story of a religious fanatic, a Catholic mother who is willing to sacrifice her sons happiness, his health and his life for her religious beliefs.
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There's a place in hell reserved for fanatical Catholic Jeanne Atkins who records show stated that if her son was going to return to life with his partner after recovering from his stroke, she would prefer he not recover at all!

Brett Conrad spent more than half his life as Patrick Atkins' partner. For 25 years, the men shared bank accounts, apartments and eventually a home in Fishers.

But when Atkins, 47, fell seriously ill in 2005, Conrad faced what many gay couples from Indiana consider a travesty: no law guaranteeing them the same rights as married couples to participate in care decisions for their ill partners.

Conrad, 47, spent much of the past two years trying to win guardianship of Atkins from Atkins' parents, Thomas and Jeanne of Carmel. Jeanne Atkins is quoted in court documents as saying she believes homosexuality is a sin and that she disapproves of the men's relationship. The parents have barred Conrad from visiting their now-disabled son in their home where he lives.

In June, Conrad won visitation rights from the Indiana Court of Appeals, but the court upheld an earlier Hamilton County ruling that left control of Atkins' care to his parents.

Gay-rights activists say the men's story illustrates the discrimination embedded in Indiana law and underscores why gay marriage should be allowed.

On the other side, opponents of same-sex marriage say the case could have been prevented if Conrad and Atkins had used existing laws that can give unmarried couples -- straight and gay -- the legal right to act on each other's behalf.

In its ruling, the appeals court recognized the human suffering at the center of the case:
"We are confronted here with the heartbreaking fracture of a family," the judges wrote in their ruling. "Brett and Patrick have spent 25 years together as life partners -- longer than Patrick lived at home with his parents -- and their future life together has been destroyed by Patrick's tragic medical condition and by the Atkinses' unwillingness to accept their son's lifestyle."
Court debates go on.

According to the case file, Atkins and Conrad met in 1978 while attending Wabash College in Crawfordsville.

Atkins came from a deeply religious family that disapproved of the relationship. In 2000, he begged for acceptance from his family through a letter.

"Trust me," he wrote, "God loves us all so very much, and I know he approves of the love that Brett and I have shared for over 20 years."

Conrad and Atkins lived together in various apartments for 12 years until buying a home in Fishers in 1992, which they titled jointly, court documents say.
Before falling ill, Atkins had been chief executive of his family's business, Atkins Elegant Desserts and Atkins Cheesecake.

On March 11, 2005, Atkins collapsed while on a business trip to Atlanta. He had a ruptured aneurysm and later suffered a stroke while hospitalized.
Conrad traveled to the Atlanta hospital to be with Atkins but was soon denied access by the family. Hospital staff defied the family's wishes and let Conrad visit Atkins during off-hours.

Atkins eventually was moved to a nursing facility in Carmel, where Conrad would arrive after regular visiting hours so the Atkinses would not see him.
He filed his guardianship request in June 2005. That November, the Atkinses moved Patrick into their home and have since refused to let Conrad visit. They also have refused his phone calls.

At the time of the trial, Atkins was able to walk, dress, bathe and feed himself with some help, to read accurately but understand only 25 percent of what he read, and to engage in simple conversations, court documents show. He still required close supervision and had significant problems with short-term memory and maintaining a prolonged attention span.

His condition today remains much the same, according to the most recent court filings.

The recent decision

In the June 27 decision, the appeals court ordered the lower court to grant Conrad the right to visit Atkins but not the right to be his guardian.

While judges have discretion in awarding guardianship, their decision is guided by state statute, which spells out that guardianship of an incapacitated person should fall to whoever has power of attorney, which is the legal authorization to act on behalf of that person.

If no power of attorney exists, next in line comes the spouse, then an adult child, then a parent and still more options related to marriage or blood. There is no specific right for gay partners.

Hamilton Superior Court Judge Steven R. Nation sided with the Atkins family, noting the lack of a power of attorney.

The appellate court affirmed that decision, saying it found no evidence the lower court had abused its discretion and that it was clear the Atkinses were committed to providing Patrick the best possible care.

In its decision, however, the court expressed misgivings about how the Atkinses feel about their son's sexuality. "We are extraordinarily skeptical that the Atkinses are able to take care of Patrick's emotional needs," said Chief Judge John G. Baker, writing for the 2-1 majority.

That, in part, is why the judges granted Conrad visitation rights, citing the findings of a court-appointed guardian who testified that Atkins would only stand to benefit if Conrad were allowed to visit him.

Gay-rights advocates say nothing short of marriage rights can provide the legal shield necessary to defend against a partner's relatives.

Without such protection, says the Rev. Jeff Miner, a pastor at Jesus Metropolitan Community Church, a gay-affirming congregation in Indianapolis, "you're thrown upon the mercy of the family, and in some cases they're not merciful."
Others who fought for a same-sex marriage ban in the Indiana Constitution this year see the issue differently.

"The problem isn't the couple couldn't get married," said Curt Smith, president of the conservative Indiana Family Institute. "The energy from the intervention comes from the parents' disapproval. . . . They think it's wrong, and that's not something the law can address."

While Conrad v. Atkins is a tragic case, Smith said, it doesn't merit changing Indiana laws.
The same circumstance could have befallen an unmarried straight couple, and there are a number of protections available to unwed couples that Conrad and Atkins didn't use, he said.

For example, he said, gay couples can appoint a health-care representative to ensure they are cared for in times of illness. Partners can include each other in wills.
But many gay couples aren't confident of those methods, saying nothing can match the unassailable rights of marriage.

Regardless of how the courts rule in the Conrad-Atkins case, the Atkinses aren't likely to change their minds about their son's relationship.
Jeanne Atkins testified at trial that it was "probably true" she would not let the men see each other unless required by law.

The record also shows that she told Conrad that if her son was going to return to life with his partner after recovering from his stroke, she would prefer he not recover at all.

Friday, August 17, 2007

TWO CELEBRATIONS OF GAY MARRIAGE IN CANADA

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It may be known for its breathtaking views of the Minas Basin and the sheer cliffs of Blomidon, but a quiet corner of Nova Scotia has become the setting for an historic political first that some say will further affirm gay rights.

The tiny community of Cheverie on the province's western shoreline will host the wedding on Saturday of one of its most famous sons, Liberal MP Scott Brison, and his partner Maxime St. Pierre.

News of the nuptials has made headlines across the country as Brison becomes the first federal politician to tie the knot since gay marriage was legalized just over two years ago.

But many of the 200 or so residents of the blink-and-you-miss-it community of Cheverie don't understand the fuss, saying it's merely the story of a popular local boy who's come home to marry his longtime love.

"Everybody knows Scott, so it's just another wedding, I guess," said Paul, an employee at Cheverie's autobody shop who would only give his first name.

"People are talking, but I don't think it bothers anybody. It's not the 1800s anymore."



Brison's wedding comes just weeks after George Smitherman, Ontario's first openly gay cabinet minister, wed his partner Christopher Peloso at a lodge near Sudbury, Ont.



Deputy Premier George Smitherman and his partner Christopher Peloso made it official, exchanging vows yesterday before about 200 family members and well-wishers at Laurentian Lodge, a rustic and idyllic resort north of this small former mining community.

The 40-minute ceremony was conducted by Ojibway spiritual advisor Ron Indian-Mandamin, who referred to the ancient concept of gay or "two-spirited people" who in generations past often served as tribes' mystics or medicine men.

"Truth is the most powerful of all things. We need to show that this is a beautiful thing. The blood that flows through each and every one of us is the same," Indian-Mandamin said.



Barrie-area Justice of the Peace Gerry Solursh conducted the civil portion of the wedding, followed by jazz/blues singer Molly Johnson, who sang a moving rendition of her song "If You Know Love."

Smitherman, who as provincial health minister is a senior member of cabinet and often mentioned on the shortlist of future candidates for mayor of Toronto, acknowledged that such a public pronouncement of love would have political overtones.

"We haven't sought to make it political. It happens to be who I am and what I've done for almost my entire adult life so it's no surprise that it is going to have some political elements to it," Smitherman said.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

WEDNESDAY EYE CANDY ~ FOCUS ON BRAZIL
















BRAZILIAN SOCCER NOT FOR GAYS?

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(Sao Paulo, Brazil) The director of a prominent soccer club insinuates on national television that a player on a rival team is gay. The player sues for slander and goes on TV to deny being homosexual. A judge causes an uproar by saying gays don't belong in Brazilian soccer.

With a narrative like a Latin American telenovela, a controversy over the questioned sexual orientation of Sao Paulo midfielder Richarlyson has shaken one of Brazil's most hallowed institutions - soccer - with insults, blanket accusations of homophobia and unsolicited defences for supposedly closeted gay teammates.

It all started in June when Palmeiras club director Jose Cyrillo Junior was asked on a national TV program whether it was true that a soccer player from his team was negotiating for an exclusive television interview to announce that he was homosexual.

Cyrillo denied the report, but added "Richarlyson 'almost' played for Palmeiras," suggesting the 24 year old ninth year pro was gay.

Cyrillo later apologized, but Richarlyson filed a criminal complaint for slander, saying he was wrongly accused of being gay.

Judge Manoel Maximiano Junqueira Filho stoked the dispute by dismissing Richarlyson's claim and issuing a ruling that suggested he leave the game if he was homosexual. If he wasn't, the judge said, Richarlyson was obliged to defend himself on the same TV program where he was accused.

"Not that a homosexual can't play soccer," Filho wrote. "He can, but he must form his own team and federation, setting up matches with those who want to play against him."





The judge concluded that it is not "reasonable to accept homosexuals in Brazilian soccer because it would hurt the uniformity present" in team sport. Soccer, the judge said, is a "virile game" but "not homosexual," and allowing gays could lead to affirmative action for the sport requiring quotas of gays.

The ruling prompted the government body that oversees judicial ethics in Brazil to demand an explanation from the judge, who has until Friday to respond.

The judge, who did not respond to repeated requests for interviews, abruptly voided his initial ruling last week, saying a different court has jurisdiction. Then he took a leave of absence beginning Monday with no date for a return.

Gay rights groups were outraged, but said the controversy has forced the issue of homosexuals out in the open in Brazil, a country where gays are generally tolerated but usually not in soccer and are often ridiculed.

"It was a fascist statement and (the judge) needs to pay for it," said Marcelo Cerqueira, president of the Grupo Gay da Bahia.

He said there are several gays in Brazil's pro league, but they fear disclosing their sexual orientation over losing their jobs.

"This case is important to uncover the issue about gays in soccer, to create debate," Cerqueira said.

"Soccer is a macho sport anywhere in the world, but we know there are homosexual players, just like there are homosexuals in other professions," columnist and TV commentator Antero Greco said. "But sexual orientation should never be a problem as long as the person is competent at what he or she does."

Richarlyson, who has played for four different Brazilian clubs and with Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, declined for months to address the issue of whether he was gay, but finally went on Brazil's most popular weekly news and entertainment program to say that he is heterosexual.

"If I was (homosexual), I wouldn't have any problems admitting it," he said on the Fantastico TV program.

The player's lawyer said he believes the public began doubting Richarlyson's sexual orientation after he celebrated a goal against Palmeiras by dancing on the sidelines. Palmeiras fans have constantly jeered him since.

Richarlyson said he doesn't mind the fans' behavior, but he still isn't willing to accept the insults from a judge.

"This is a disrespect not only to me, it's a disrespect to Brazil," Richarlyson said. "All that matters is if the player can do his job on the field."

Associated Press

SOCCER IN BRAZIL PART 2

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Some well-known Brazilian soccer players have posed nude in gay magazines, but none acknowledged being homosexual, among them, Vitoria goalkeeper Rafael Cordova.

The 28-year-old soccer player has been confirmed as the September cover of G magazine, which celebrates the 10th anniversary of the magazine in the country.




Monday, August 13, 2007

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF VICK

The two remaining co-defendants in the Michael Vick federal dogfighting case scheduled a plea agreement hearing Monday, an indication that they will plead guilty and testify against Vick.



Purnell Peace has a hearing set for 9 a.m. Thursday and Quanis L. Phillips has a hearing set for 9 a.m. Friday in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., before District Judge Henry E. Hudson.

Last month, the third co-defendant Tony Taylor accepted a deal and entered a guilty plea. The agreement required him to testify against the others.

"There's no telling until the actual pleas, but this doesn't sound like good news for Michael Vick," said Kent Alexander, once the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta and now Emory University's general counsel. "Usually, if people plead guilty early in a case they may be cooperating with the government. That's what it sounds like here."

Taylor, who along with Vick pleaded not guilty to the charges July 26, promised to cooperate with federal prosecutors and share "detailed facts" for their case against Vick, Peace and Phillips.

Taylor also signed a 13-page statement of facts outlining the charges against him, Vick and the two others, stating they are "true and accurate" and that had Taylor's case gone to trial prosecutors could have proved "these facts beyond a reasonable doubt."

Judge Hudson set Taylor's sentencing date for Dec. 14. Vick, Peace and Phillips' trial date was set for Nov. 26 before Hudson.

They face up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Prosecutors could recommend a lighter sentence for Taylor depending on how cooperative he is, legal experts said, and that is why the court set Taylor's sentencing for a date after the trial.

Taylor, 34, of Hampton, Va., said little in court during his 15-minute long hearing last month. He and his attorney, Stephen Hudgins, declined to comment as they left the courthouse.

A federal grand jury indicted Taylor, Vick and the two others this month on a single count of conspiracy to cross state lines to engage in illegal gambling; to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture, and to buy, transport and receive dogs for animal fighting.

Taylor pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

009 RAGING!

BITS AND PIECES FROM HERE AND THERE........
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'Example POLITICS AS USUAL


Led by Democrats since the start of this year, Congress now has a "confidence" rating of 14 percent, the lowest since Gallup started asking the question in 1973 and five points lower than Republicans scored last year.

The voters put the Democrats in to end the war, and it's escalating.

The Democrats voted the money for the surge and the money for the next $459.6 billion military budget.

Their latest achievement was to provide enough votes in support of Bush to legalize warrantless wiretapping for "foreign suspects whose communications pass through the United States."

Enough Democrats joined Republicans to make this a 227-183 victory for Bush. The Democrats control the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi could have stopped the bill in its tracks if she'd wanted to. But she didn't. The Democrats' game is to go along with the White House agenda while stirring up dust storms to blind the base to their failure to bring the troops home or restore constitutional government.

The row over the US Attorneys and the conduct of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has always been something of a typhoon in a teaspoon. The Democrats love it, since they imagine it portrays them to the public as resolute guardians of the impartial administration of justice, a concept whose credibility most Americans sensibly deride.

The one Democrat acting on principle in the Gonzales affair has been Senator Russ Feingold. He at least tried to dig into the visit of chief White House counsel Gonzales, as he then was, to the bedside of Attorney General John Ashcroft, to get him to sign off on the illegal wiretaps. And how did the Democrat-controlled Congress deal with Feingold's efforts to nail Gonzales for his efforts to undermine the Constitution and for his prevarications under oath? It promptly legalized the eavesdropping.

Just as the Democrats work tirelessly to demonstrate to the voters that it makes zero difference which party controls Congress, the political establishment forces all candidates for the presidential nomination to sever any compromising ties to sanity and common sense.

Just as their poll numbers are going down, Bush's are going up, by five points in Gallup from early July. People are beginning to think the surge is working, courtesy of the New York Times. So are we better or worse off since the Democrats won back Congress?



'Example GAY RIGHTS AS USUAL


The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Presidential Forum on Thursday evening should have been called the "Presidential Forum on Marriage Equality". Sorting out the questions by topic, excluding minor follow-ups and sticking with the planned ones, and by my count there were 22 questions on marriage or couples benefits in relation to marriage, 2 on HIV prevention, 2 on Don't Ask, 2 on employment discrimination, and 15 other questions on topics that weren't directly related to one another.

I know, I know, marriage is important to a lot of people. But when there are an estimated 670,000 same-sex couples living together in the country and estimates of the number of LGBT people range from 8 to 20 million. That's about 3 to 8% of the queers in this country, and those couples aren't just worried about marriage-related issues. Could we broaden our horizons?

Have we already forgotten the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes bill, sitting quietly in a corner of the senate?


'Example RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY AS USUAL

Proving that bigotry is alive and well in the U.S. House of Representatives, who would we have but Idaho's own Bill Sali. He's well known as crazy and obnoxious.

He's periodically good for a laugh, but there's an ugly and dangerous side to his antics.

"We have not only a Hindu prayer being offered in the Senate, we have a Muslim member of the House of Representatives now, Keith Ellison from Minnesota. Those are changes -- and they are not what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers," asserts Sali.

Sali says America was built on Christian principles that were derived from scripture. He also says the only way the United States has been allowed to exist in a world that is so hostile to Christian principles is through "the protective hand of God.""You know, the Lord can cause the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike," says the Idaho Republican.According to Congressman Sali, the only way the U.S. can continue to survive is under that protective hand of God.

He states when a Hindu prayer is offered, "that's a different god" and that it "creates problems for the longevity of this country."

Sali just better give it up..... doesn't he know that according to Benedict XVI, the only way to get to heaven is to become catholic?

The face of the new GOP, just like the old GOP.



'Example ANIMAL ABUSE

It's no secret that I own two very loved, spoiled and pampered PUGS.

Daisy, who has ruled this household for almost 13 years was purchased by me when she was 6 weeks old. As she ages, her medical expenses in the last four months have been staggering but that is not a problem; we manage and will continue to do so. She is once again healthy and puppy-like playful.

Muggs, was adopted by Daisy and I six years ago. Little more than a year old, he came from a home where the owner realized she could no longer take care of him or meet the financial obligations necessary to maintain a well nourished, healthy dog.

Turning on the early morning news prior to leaving for work this week, this is all I heard:

Sarasota, Florida - A Sarasota woman has been arrested after officials say she locked her two dogs in a bedroom with no food and water for two months.

Deanna Sperber Ramono told Sarasota Police she was working too much to take care of her two PUGS, so she locked them up in a bedroom.

Authorities say there was feces all over the floor of the room and that the dogs had apparently been dead for more than three weeks when they were found.

Officials say the dogs had tried to claw the door and window blinds in an attempt to escape.



Five days later, I just can't get this horror out of my mind!


As a medical social worker, I'm very well aware of the fact that starvation is a very slow, very painful death.


Why couldn't this bitch just call someone for help, surrender these animals to a shelter?