Friday, December 29, 2006

Our Anniversary

Not to be sappy, but you and I just reached our six month anniversary. And I couldn't be happier. Thanks to everyone who visits this site regularly, thanks to those who take the time to comment (Red Tulips, TGC, Berdo, Gene, GRT, James) and thanks to those who, when they see me, make a comment or two about my posts.

I especially want to thank one Andrew Sullivan for the shout-out he gave me on his blog back in July. That really got the ball rolling for this blog and it gave me the impetus to keep posting.

As some of you know, I started a new job late in October. It's been going great, but the hours are a bit more demanding so it's been harder for me to keep posting on a daily basis. I'm disappointed by that.

So, for 2007, I plan on making a concerted effort to post on a daily basis.

I'm off to Provincetown for the weekend with James -- just the two of us in a beach community. In the winter.

How. Fun. :-)

In the meantime, here's a recap of the week's events with my own two-cents thrown in for good measure.

Once again, thank you for your support this past year. I want to wish you a happy, healthy, successful new year. And wherever you should decide to ring in the New Year, please remember to drink responsibly and vote Democrat.

xoxo
GCL

---------

Gerald Ford Passed Away -- Pardoning Nixon was so not cool. A National Day of Mourning on January 2nd (one that would give us all the day off) would have been.

James Brown is Dead -- The diva-est move ever is to die on Crimmus. That the lines are forming around the block at the Apollo Theater here in New York is truly a testament to this man's legacy.

Saddam is Handed Over to the Iraqi People -- Countdown to a real big mess. In less than 30 days all hell will break loose once Saddam is executed. The man is evil but hanging him is going to make a really bad situation worse.

Dreamgirls Debuts in Theaters on Crimmus -- And I am telling you it is the best effing movie EVER. Go see it go see it go see it.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

On Immigration


I've been meaning to write about a fascinating series of articles I read last week in the Times last week. The paper spent a week with three sisters, all born in Mexico, who decided to come to the U.S., like countless other immigrants, to try their luck at the American dream. One sister achieved legal residency, the other still lives as an undocumented immigrant (both in Texas) and the other gave up and went back home to Mexico, a decision she now regrets.
I wasn't sure what to say about these articles, other than that they reminded me so much of my own family's experience as immigrants. I thought about my mom coming to this country when she was 18 to work and support her family back in Colombia, a decision she's firecely proud of in spite of the toll it took on her health. I thought about my earliest memories from childhood and how they play out in Spanish in my mind. I thought about spending a day with my dad at his job at a factory, watching him press skirts all day and thinking it was the coolest job ever.
But then I read this article today via Reuters and I know exactly what to say about the debate that consumed so much of our time earlier this year.

Reuters followed two people in Phoenix who went to the Mexican consulate in Phoenix to burn the Mexican flag in public. The man and woman were expecting a larger turnout to their spectacle, and has reached out to Neo-Nazi groups to support their cause.
"We need to get rid of all those who are destroying our country," Pauly said as the national colors of United States' southern neighbor flamed out on the sidewalk in central Phoenix earlier this month. "We are being invaded."
[...]
Laine Lawless, the founder of the Arizona-based Border Guardians group, also reaches out to white supremacists online. In one recent e-mail to a Neo-Nazi group, she urged "warriors for the race" to intimidate Spanish-speaking school children, and rob aliens depositing funds in U.S. banks.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center: "We are seeing the radicalization of the existing vigilante groups, we're seeing more and more interaction between existing anti-immigration groups and genuinely white supremacist groups, Neo-Nazis and so on, and a rise in hate crimes against Hispanics."
***

This all comes down to selective politics.

The Republican Party, the same party that promotes faith and family values is out to purge this country of the one group who is probably most apt to embrace those same values. Meanwhile, the Democrats are fighting to let this group, who could very well turn their nose up at many of the party's values, entry to our country and its opportunities.
Here's where I stand on the issue of illegal immigration: People who are up in arms about it are racists. Those Latinos who say that the new wave of immigrants are threatening their own livelihood have forgotten what it was like for them to arrive here, with, as the saying goes, "a suitcase full of dreams."
As the line in the immigration debate now teters between racism and inclusion, I hope that our newly elected officials will focus on the problems that really drain our nation's resources (ahem, thewariniraq) and end the government-sanctioned bullying of a group that could very well advance the values our nation once had. You know, hard work, family, fear-of-God, love of country.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Ethiopia and Somalia at War

From CNN:

Ethiopian warplanes attacked two Islamist-held airfields in Somalia on Monday, witnesses said, in the most dramatic strikes yet of a war threatening to engulf the Horn of Africa.
The attacks -- one on the capital Mogadishu -- came hours after neighboring Ethiopia formally declared war, saying it was protecting its sovereignty against a movement run by terrorists.
***
If you look at the map to the left, you can't blame Ethiopia for defending itself. With Sudan's rogue regime threatening it on the west and with another terrorist state on the east, Ethiopia has no choice but to show its force in the region. That said, this will mean scores of displaced civilians and worse attrocities for everyone in the area known as the Horn of Africa.

Once again the "religion of peace" is at the crux of another war.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Not Trying to Ruin Christmas, buuuuut....


If you had told me five years ago that I would be in a relationship with a man and that I would be exchanging crimmus (Christmas) presents with his family I would have tossed my cookies, cried, and then gone running to Kingdom Hall (church for Jehovah's Witnesses). But alas, here I am in New Jersey (how interesting given the recent turn of events in this state) and I'm thinking about how caught up I am in the spirit of a holiday that I still believe has no real historic relevance.

And while I like the gift-swapping and the kindness, however forced and temporary, of the season, this does not in any way make me a believer in Christmas. I don't think there's anything especially spiritual about this holiday because it's a disguised pagan holiday. Don't take the JWs word for it if that bothers you, just click here.

The link above states the following: Most biblical scholars and preachers readily admit that they know Christ was not born on December 25th. However, they claim that this day is as good as any other to celebrate the birth of Jesus, despite the fact that it was originally a pagan celebration called Saturnalia which commemorated the birth of the sun god. [...] Jesus was born on the 1st day of the Feast of Tabernacles! In the year 5 B.C.E., this fell in the month of September.

Here's what this means to me: Christianity can't even get its own Patriarch's birthday right. Second, from what I studied in the Bible, the stories about Jesus don't focus on celebrating his birth but rather on understanding the enormity of his sacrifice for our sins. Granted, I'm not going to give up my life to pursue an evangelical career, but that's what Jesus did and that's what he asked of his followers -- that they love everyone and that they preach the good news of the kingdom (Matthew 24:14).

But if we're going to go on about Jesus' birth and on celebrating the "concept" of the nativity, let's make a special effort in '07 to embrace the "concept" of real Christianity: to spread love, tolerance and peace.

Merry Crimmus!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Haditha: Shoot Em' All, Let God Sort Em' Out



From CNN: Four Marines have been charged with murder in the 2005 killings of 24 Iraqi civilians, and four officers are accused of failing to investigate and report the deaths properly, the Marine Corps announced Thursday.
***

I love people who can multi-task. In the midst of losing a war, our government has the time to prosecute its own officers and make one more case for a quick exit from Iraq.

Not knowing all the facts from that fatedul day in Iraq when 24 civilians were killed in what some say was a "shoot first, ask questions later" operation, all I can say is that I'm not suprised by this behavior.

I mean, wasn't "shoot first, ask questions later" the reasoning behind Operation Iraqi Freedom? We didn't have all the facts then and yet we still embarked on a war. Our government reasoned "once we blow the country to bits we'll find the WMDs somewhere."

This horrible situation is a consequence of our government's own reckless use of military force. We pumped these kids up with the idea that their mission was heroic, God-sent, a justified and necessary retalliation for 9-11, and now we're surprised that they would kill any Iraqi who so much as looked at them?

Let's charge George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld along with these officers if we're set on making things right.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Freedom Tower: Let Arrogance Ring


Another development in the saga that is the rebuilding of the World Trade Center here in New York: The first beam of the Freedom Tower was erected yesterday, amidst the now annoying pomp that precedes anything having to do with Ground Zero.

Does our elected officials have nothing better to do besides "commemorating" every last bowel movement that takes place below Canal Street?
What irks me most about the Freedom Tower is the arrogance behind the project -- we're not showing the world anything by building an even taller edifice downtown, we're just waving the red flag in front of the bull. Five years after thousands of people were wiped from existence it's become our city's prerogative to account for all the deaths in dollars and cents. Which means that this very pricey bit of real estate, which is now a cemetery, has to be repurposed and every last person who lost a loved one there needs to be placated with hollow praise and the drone of a bagpipe.
Some simple-minded people might gasp and tear up at the thought of steel, glass and copy machines soaring 1,776 feet into the heavens, ever closer to their departed loved ones. I find it sickening and audacious. But predictable. Given our heady times, when our government seems hell bent on winning an un-winnable war, it's small, empty "victories" like these that emphasize, oh what is it, "the resilience of the American spirit" and bla bla bla.
If you want to commemorate anything, how about making the day George Bush said we're NOT winning in Iraq a national holiday? Check out the Boston Globe for that.

Monday, December 18, 2006

TIME Magazine Person of the Year: Us

I was thinking of an end-of-year message to post on this blog, which by far has been one of my biggest achievements in 2006. I wanted to thank the people who check in to read my opinions and who take the time to challenge me and offer me a different point of view on the most pressing issues of our time.
So, first, thank you.
However, TIME magazine has beaten me to the punch. This year's person of the year is every person who engages in this medium that advances dialogue and thought. And I think that's pretty terrific.
So, from me, and from the people at TIME magazine, thanks for making 2006 the blogger's year.
-- GCL

Saturday, December 16, 2006

John Edwards to Run for President...YES!!



Yay!! I HEART JOHN EDWARDS.

From USA Today just a few minutes ago (as of 2:20pm EST): Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards intends to enter the 2008 race for the White House, two Democratic officials said Saturday.
***

A handsome, patriotic family man from a red state. Love it. This race is going to get good. The Dems don't have to scramble anymore, the Obama thing was just a ruse, Edwards is the real deal. Phew.

If it were up to me, the Dems would have to narrow it down to John Edwards, Joe Biden and Hilary for the race. Why Hilary? Cause' she's caustic and faaaabulous. Like my girl New York on Flava of Love on VH1.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

View from The Watchtower: Sluts and Lightning


You better pray.
So was I extolled by Gawker this morning when I logged on for my daily dose of New York-centric gossip. Shocked was I to see the religion I grew up in was being dissected by one of my fav blogs.

The Jehovah's Witnesses are on a special assignment these days -- and make no mistake, they do call it a special assignment -- to educate the masses about the end of false religion. False religion, for the JW's, is a literal whore that represents all the world's faiths that have turned their back on God's teachings to promote immorality and war. And to make sure everyone is on the lookout for the end of this slut's reign, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is issuing the pamphlet above around the world.
So, what is false religion? Per the JW's all the faiths that meddle in politics, ordain gays and pedophiles and spread false doctrine are doomed.
For some reason, reading the very funny review of this new pamphlet on a blog got me a bit down. Growing up as a JW you kind of assume the whole world is living in doom-and-gloom-judgementia. To be away from it now, while still considering myself a Christian, is often difficult. Every now and again I'm confronted with the faith I embrace(d)(?) and the jolt of guilt, fear, relief, fills me.
I think, though, all faiths are guilty of promoting false doctrines. In that case, how lucky we all are that our end is near.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Iran, and the U.S.: Play Nice, Kids


Let by-gones be by-gones. That's pretty much what Nelson Mandela did after he was released from 28 years of captivity during Apartheid in South Africa. No reprisals from the native black communities were to be launched on their white oppressors; for Mandela, progress was as much about looking forward as it was about accepting that no amount of vengeance could undo the horror suffered by millions for so long.

And so a similar challenge is presented to the U.S. as our self-proclaimed enemy, Iran, offers to step in to help us "save Iraq." To save Iraq, for us, would be to find a way to end the violence in the country, establish some sort of truce between the Sunnis and Shiites, and leave the people in the hands of a democratic government.

It's a safe bet that Iran has a different vision of salvation.
From the BBC:
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has said Tehran is willing to help the US withdraw from Iraq. But he added that Iran would only assist if the Americans changed their attitude towards Tehran.
AKA: Let us kill and torture women as we see fit, let us spread our myopic interpreation of ancient texts-turned-law across a hotbed of fanaticism, and stop thinking that just because we're building a nuclear weapons arsenal and we hate you that we're going to build a coalition of pissed-off Muslim countries to kill all of you.
In this case, Mandela's example is just not applicable. Neither the U.S. nor Iran are willing to put arms down and shake hands. Instead, Iran's latest foray into the international scene is an affront to the work the US is doing in Iraq.

I bring up Mandela's example, though, because it goes to show that the world is ever propelled forward by the acceptance and manipulation of evil. China, for instance, is taking over the world and has no qualms about doing business with Sudan. Russia's private sector is benefiting from the lucre of arms deals with Iran. South Africa is moving forward in spite of deep-seeded racism. And in the U.S., Presidents Clinton and Bush Sr. are the Nicole Ritchie and Paris Hilton of international goodwill.
So here's what I say to our Commander-In-Chief: hear the Iranians out, know that a snake is a snake, and be prepared to step on its head as soon it serves its purpose for you. You know, like we've done with Noriega, the Somozas, Saddam and Osama....

Friday, December 08, 2006

Hamas in Iran: Israel Sux


Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian Prime Minister, is on a four-day tour of Iran, the Hamas-lead state's largest benefactor.

Both countries have vowed never to recognize the state of Israel. What's more, Haniya made the following incendiary remark:
"We will not give up our Jihadist movement until the full liberation of Beit al-Muqqadas [Jerusalem] and Palestinian land."
***
That's nice. Way to wave the flag in front of the bull. With W taking another beating this week I wouldn't be surprised if he launched another assault in the Middle East just to show everyone who's boss. If he did it this time, though, I'd say it was justified.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Iraq Study Group: Get Out

From CNN: In a highly anticipated report being released Wednesday, the Iraq Study Group will call for a dramatic shift in war policy by urging the Bush administration to set a target of moving most U.S. troops out of their combat roles by early 2008, according to two sources who have seen the executive summary of the report.
***

Can't wait to see how the Right is going to spin this one. Is it possible to top the catchiness of "cut and run" politics?

With two Dems leading the report, the call for a 2008 withdrawl from Iraq is also a call for bipartisan cooperation. In the end, it's not just the U.S. that stands to suffer from an Iraq in chaos.

"Sources said a major theme in the report by the group, co-chaired by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Democratic Rep. Lee Hamilton, is a blunt assessment that the mission in Iraq will fail unless the Bush administration and the newly elected Democratic Congress come together on a bipartisan basis to deal with the declining support for the war within the United States."

First, I can't believe we're still tossing the word war around anyway. After all, W landed on a bomber dressed up in his Top Gun ensemble nearly four years ago to tell us we won. The time since then has just been, well, hmm...

That aside, I don't think we'll pull out of Iraq anytime soon. This war was designed to last. Now that America is slowly waking up from the Republican fog it's been in for the past six years, though, maybe an exit strategy will become more clearly defined. Still, you have to make sense of all the American lives lost in this operation -- and that means more fighting, more terror alerts, more fear mongering and propaganda to come.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Chavez Wins Venezuela; Latin America Looks Ridiculous


The news out of Caracas is very disappointing: With 78 percent of the votes counted by Sunday night, the National Electoral Council reported Chavez leading Rosales by a margin of 61 percent to 38 percent [...] "Long live the socialist revolution! Destiny has been written," Chavez shouted to thousands of flag-waving supporters wearing red shirts, according to The Associated Press.
"That new era has begun," he declared with religious fervor, raising a hand in the air. "We have shown that Venezuela is red! ... No one should fear socialism... Socialism is human. Socialism is love."
***

With Fidel Castro hovering near death, it appears that Chavez has emerged as the region's heir-apparent to the anti-US movement popular among some in Latin America. As much as I don't like Chavez' politics, though, I'm not really worried about the "pink tide" sweeping across Latin America, though.

In short, it's because they still need us more than we'll ever need them. Speaking as someone of South American descent, I can tell you quite honestly that for all the "love" and "socialism" being spread across the region, the average person in Bolivia, Ecuador or Nicaragua would give an arm to come to the US.
Still, the Toronto Star has an interesting point of view on this issue, one that suggests that US has some serious relationship-mending to do with soon-to-be rogue states in the region:
This gallery of anti-Bush leaders also includes Bolivia's Evo Morales and the socialist warhorse Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, leaving some analysts convinced there is a historic disconnect between a U.S. State Department obsessed with Iraq and the greater Middle East and the priorities of voters in its onetime sphere of influence.

The growth of anti-Americanism, they say, is a product of a Bush administration that drifts between bellicosity and indifference in the region, does not understand the changes in its backyard and is unable or unwilling to engage enemies, perceived or real.
***
While the situation in Latin America is disappointing, I still think our nation's focus needs to remain on Iraq and the Middle East. My only concern with Chavez, though, is his taunting of the US by being a voal supporter of Iran's nuclear program. With that, Chavez is playing with fire and is getting himself, and more importantly his people, into a war they should want no part of.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Al Sharpton's Double Standard

It's a scene I've become all too familiar with since childhood: Al Sharpton blasting the city of New York, and America, for holding on the vestiges of racism.

Michael Griffiths, Yussuf Hawkins, Tawana Brawley, Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima -- these are names that Mr. Sharpton has seared into the consciousness of my city, a reminder that there's something bigger and more dangerous than the gentrification of NYC. And for the most part, I applaud Mr. Sharpton's vigilantism.

Except not this time.
On Sunday of this week a group of cops fired 50 shots at three unarmed men who were exiting a seedy strip club in Queens. They were celebrating a bridegrooms last few hours of freedom (though he already had two kids with his fiancee) at a club known for drug dealing and prostitution. The driver of the vehicle, Sean Bell, was drunk and got behind the wheel of a car and knocked into a police vehicle twice, and then apparently tried to run an undercover officer over as well.

While 50 shots is excessive, my heart isn't bleeding for the victims. These guys weren't leaving a church social, they were drunk and getting behind the wheel of a car at 4am after being in a brothel, hours before one of them was to walk down the aisle of a church to get married. I know lots of guys do this, but it doesn't make it right.
But what really pisses me off about Al Sharpton's visiblity in this dicey situation (these boys -- the victims and the cops -- are not saints) is his lack of visibility when gay people of color are attacked. Earlier this summer NY performer Kevin Aviance was gay bashed in the East Village and nowhere was Mr. Sharpton and his crew to be seen denoucing the crime. Almost two months ago another gay black man was chased onto a highway in Brooklyn by two thugs and again, Mr. Sharpton remained conspicuously invisible.
The double standard by which everyone, even victims, judge others' right to life and happiness is sickeningly transparent.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bring Back The Book of Daniel

Spent part of the past weekend enjoying the now-cancelled NBC series "The Book of Daniel."

In short, it's about an Episcopalian priest who is as devoted to his church as he is to his family. As it happens to all humans, his faith is constantly put to the test. Thankfully, he talks to Jesus often, and yes, he pops painkillers too.
Controversial? Hardly. I think it's a PG13 version of "Six Feet Under," minus the dead bodies and up-front man-on-man action. This was really a brilliant show with very interesting characters, some teeth-achingly sweet moments, and interesting plot twists.

Apparently the Gestapo-at-large at the American Family Association thought this was an affront to Christianity. The show was cancelled earlier this year. You can and should Netflix it, though.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

TomKat, Brangelina, GeorLa or HilBill?


I am almost as sick of Tom Cruise as I am of George Bush. And that got me to thinking that these two men have lots in common. In fact, it got me to thinking that celebrity-couple adulation could in fact be the new arbiter of which side of the fence you're on in the Democrat-Republican divide.

Tom Cruise, like George Bush, is a little man. Inspired by a maniacal Napoleon-complex, Mr. Cruise is prone to dramatic, public displays of his manliness. Proposing to a nobody actress while dining at the Eiffel Tower is a Hollywood closet-case's equivalent of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It just shows everyone you've got the Godzilla-sized cojones to drag a woman to the top of a tower and make her yours. George Bush couldn't wait to wag his fist-pack at the world in 2003 and gave the finger to the UN when he launched a war on Iraq.

In both cases no one is laughing.

And that's because in a world full of so much wrong, both Tom Cruise and George Bush see it as their God-given duty to blow obscene amounts of money on their respective missions of macho-achievement. A wedding that has spiraled into the millions with every available A-lister (take it from a PR person, ALL of those actors in attendance were paid and it's the best publicity that both the house of Armani and the Hotel Hassler in Rome will ever have to buy for '07) in attendance is as offensive as Bush's billion-upon-billion-dollar blitzkreig on Iraq.

Tom Cruise and George Bush, driven by the conviction that they're BFF with God, choose to focus their power and wealth on reminding the rest of us mere mortals that we better think twice before effing with them (that means YOU, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Natalie Maines and Saddam).
On the other side of the fence, though, you have two other power-couples who are just as jetset and photogenic but are using their powers for the good of mankind.

Love em' or hate em', but Branglina are single-handedly giving the world a much-needed lesson on the issues of the world beyond The Ivy in L.A. From Ethiopia to India to Pakistan, the dynamic duo is directing the world's attention to the plight of orphans and refugees around the world. Angelina Jolie, whom I might, in another mood, call a homewrecking wacko, is a Good Will Ambassador for the UN and is a voice for the importance of global consensus on addressing the humanitarian issues of our time. What's more, her hunky husband isn't brainwashed, frightened
and lobotomized (Love ya, Laura and Katie) -- instead, Brad Pitt is happy to mind the kids while mommy saves the world or flies an airplane. And he looks damn fine doing it.
Remind you of anyone?
Kind of like Bill and Hilary right? I mean, Bill Clinton only lead our country through the high-flying 90s and spared us from a nuclear holocaust. Now, comfortable in his own skin as one of America's most beloved Presidents, he is happy to support his dynamo wife's Senator-ship while he leads a bi-partisan effort to eradicate AIDS in Africa. I can only imagine what W will do after he retires.
So, the next time you frown on TomKat and think to log on to CNN.com you're on Team Democrat. If, however, you think Brangelina are brazen fornicators and you have no time for them between Bible study and The O'Reilly Factor, you're sadly on Team GOP.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Boston University Republicans: Bigotry to End Bigotry



The next generation of Republicans are an ignorant, attention-seeking bunch of racists.

From ABC News: The Boston University Chapter of the College Republicans is starting a $250 scholarship for white students.

"We believe that racial preferences in all their forms are perhaps the worst form of bigotry confronting America today [...] There are plenty of poor, white, academically gifted students who need that money just as much," says Joe Mroszczyk, president of the student group.

The reason I'm writing about this, besides its obvious political relevance, is that BU is my alma mater. And I am deeply offended by this latest development from Bay State Road.

With BU being one of the most expensive schools in the country, I think that it's out of reach for many Americans, regardless of race. However, the school is over 50% white and many of those students are already receiving some sort of financial aid. This "whites only" scholarship is a juvenile, racist prank that undermines the values of a wonderful institution, which also happens to be the place where Martin Luther King Jr. got is PhD.

When I was at BU I was amazed by how easy it was for someone like me, a kid from a working class neighborhood in Brooklyn where a lot of people don't even speak English, to fit in. I didn't see class struggle, I never felt like I stood out, I just felt lucky to be at a great school with some very, very smart people. And a lot of those people, regardless of race, were on financial aid.

I never received any assistance from a Hispanic group (which kinda pisses me off, incidentally, but that's another story) -- instead, BU gave me a very generous package based on grades and my SAT scores and my family's income. Many of my white friends were on a similar program.

This "whites only" scholarship says a lot about the values of the Republican party -- they are divisive, they are racist and xenophobic, and they want the very best that this country has to offer to be limited to a select few so that everyone else can be shipped off to fight their dirty wars around the world.

I think this Joe Mroszczyk person should be expelled and replaced with some nice, smart, liberal kids. And if they happen to be white, so be it.

Friday, November 24, 2006

I Hate Americans




The pictures above are from the start of "Black Friday," the first shopping day of the Christmas season right after Thanksgiving.
In a world beseiged by war and famine and disease, and just hours after we're supposed to be giving thanks for the genocide of Native Americans, influenza and other gifts brought over by the Pilgrims, Americans are waiting in line to storm into stores so they can buy overpriced Japanese toys.
More power to the stores who are milking Americans' stupidity for all its worth, but to think that there are people shallow and stupid enough to make 6am shopping the focal point of their holiday is just disappointing.

Notice how fat and unattractive the people raiding the stores are, by the way. Cute people like me are at the gym at that hour. And blogging.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Springtime for Saddam?



From Voice of America News: New York-based Human Rights Watch, in a report released Monday, says former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein did not get a fair trial and therefore should not be executed.

***

Thank God for stupid, self-important lefty groups that make my job so easy on a Monday morning. The lunacy speaks for itself.

All I can say is that after a visit to DC this weekend and all of the monuments to our nation's wars, SOMEBODY needs to start paying for the death toll that's only mounting worldwide on a daily basis.

I'd say Saddam is a good start.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Gay Conservative Liberal Does Washington


Tickle me red, white, AND blue. Off to DC for the weekend. Holla if you recognize me. Expect dispatches from our nation's capital starting tomorrow.

Bush: Still Stubborn as a Mule


Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it...isn't that how the saying goes?
From CNN:
U.S. President George W. Bush said Friday the United States' unsuccessful war in Vietnam three decades ago offered lessons for the American-led struggle in Iraq.
"We'll succeed unless we quit," Bush said shortly after arriving in this one-time war capital.
[...]
"My first reaction is history has a long march and societies change and relationships can constantly be altered to the good," Bush said."
***

Well la-dee-da. The lesson here, boys and girls, all those young Americans dying in Iraq are paving the way for a hell of a photo opp for the next generation's POTUS.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I Heart John McCain





Ask and ye shall receive. On Tuesday I said that John McCain should run for President. If Rudy Giuliani wants to explore anything, he should put his little friend Bernie Kerik to work on finding Osama.

But that's neither nor here nor there. John McCain is contemplating a run for the Oval Office himself.
I like McCain. I'm not sure I'd vote Republican in a presidential election, but I appreciate the honesty of debate he would bring to the race. And I really would listen to what he has to say. This makes me wonder what I'd do if Hilary ran against him? Yikes.
But unlike so many staunch Republicans who cringe at the thought of embracing popular culture, John McCain has really endeared himself to America's young people. I know him because he hosted Saturday Night Live. Can you believe this is the same man who spent five years in a Vietnamese prison camp? It's that sort of stuff that won the MTV generation over for Bill Clinton in the 90s. Remember the boxers or briefs affair?
This is brilliant timing for McCain to seed the press with a potential run. We're fresh off the Veteran's Day holiday and we're in tizzy over the Democrats' victory last week. What this means is that Americans are over Bush's Wild West diplomacy and want smart people LISTENING to them and SPEAKING on their behalf to the rest of the world.

OK, John. We're listening. Make us an offer we can't refuse.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Giuliani in 08?


Please God, no. Sure, Giuliani did some wonderful things for NY, but the man is still a tyrant. Says CNN:
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, known for his apt leadership after the attacks of September 11, 2001, took the first step toward a possible 2008 presidential bid by forming an exploratory committee.
***
Yuck. Why won't McCain run? It would be great if he switched parties like Reagan, but still, I'd love to see him run. He's the only Republican I can stomach.

Monday, November 13, 2006

On Veteran's Day

On my way to the gym, then work but had to make note of the fact that today is Veteran's Day. Young men like Kevin Ellenburg, pictured here, are dying daily. Supposedly for our freedom but in all honesty the mess of this war has compromised the values that make this country great.

Whatever your position on the war, you can't forget that it's ordinary Americans that are being called into battle. So while I don't agree with our presence in Iraq, I support the men and women who are there, missing their families, risking their lives, and just hoping to come back home.

So, thank you to our soliders who remind us what sacrifice is, and here's to the safe return of those who remain in Iraq.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Election 2006: Ladies Stand Up


I haven't blogged in a few days because quite honestly, I've been at a loss for words over last week's elections. Am I even cut out for this game if I'm almost a week behind in my commentary? Yikes.

Anyway, in addition to the Democrats' much-deserved victory, I think it's interesting that this election is really about the women of America. Hillary is definitely running for office in '08, Nancy Pelosi is emerging as a refreshing voice of reason and authority as the next Speaker of the House, and of course, haters like Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter are resorting to the kind of girlish, bitchy behavior they so revile by coming up with lies and cheap metaphors to bemoan the direction America has now taken.
We'll get to that in a second.

First, y'all need to learn yourselves on who Nancy Pelosi is because I think she's just amazing. I especially love that she says her commitment is to the House first and to the Democrats second. Let's give a shout-out to the American Way and not parties, people.
Quick stats on the first Nancy to really make a difference in Washington (courtesy of: Wikipedia, Nancy Pelosi's Home Page):
-- Pelosi is the first woman to lead a major political party in either house of Congress, and would be the first woman to serve as Speaker.
-- Nancy is the youngest of six children born to Thomas Alessandro, Jr., former mayor of Baltimore.
-- She is Roman Catholic, pro-choice, and a supporter of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which makes it a federal crime to commit an act of violence against a pregnant woman that terminates her pregnancy. (This is where I add that I think abortion is a necessary evil for the protection of our civil liberties. I think it's sad, but unfortunately a needed resource for many women who would otherwise be trapped in a terrible situation with an unwanted birth.)
-- She is pro gun control and a supporter of immigrants' rights; in fact, she has voted againt denying public education services to illegal immigrants.
This is the kind of leadership we need in Washington. Read below for comments from Conservative luminaries who continue to reveal the hateful, backwards thinking of the Republican agenda:
Says one dried up Ann Coulter:
Democrats support surrender in Iraq, higher taxes and the impeachment of President Bush. They just won an election by pretending to be against all three.
Um, actually, Ann. You're wrong on all three fronts.
1. Wanting to end the war is not at all surrendering. Besides, what's there to surrender to? Bush told us the war was over in 90 days so what's all this hulaballo about leaving? Do the Republicans think more young men and women need to come back in body bags? Is Iraq REALLY the hub of terrorism in the Middle East? No, it's not. This is an endless battle unless we agree to negotiate with the terrorists and figure out what they want.

As a nation we're not opposed to dealing with terrorists: hello, we're bff now with Kadafi and Arafat exchanged air-kisses with Hillary Clinton.
2. Higher taxes for the betterment of society, Ann. Unlike you, not every American can pay for every which private service you enjoy. Tax dollars that are being WASTED on this dirty war and on stuffing the wallets of DC insiders who are making a killing on the killing of young Americans. You don't want higher taxes? Bring our troops back and let's invest in a new generation of well-educated, healthy Americans who don't have to worry about health care and can instead worry about supporting their families and themselves.
3. Impeach Bush? Yes, the same way the Republicans impeached Clinton because he got a blowjob. How many deaths did that result in?
***
Still, I gotta give it to Ann, for all her lying and hating, she comes up with some good stuff. Like:
Jon Tester, Bob Casey Jr., Heath Shuler, possibly Jim Webb — I've never seen so much raw testosterone in my life. The smell of sweaty jockstraps from the "new Democrats" is overwhelming.
***

Whoa. I don't know what sweaty jockstraps smell like but Ann has clearly made the rounds in America's locker rooms. She should swap stories with my BFF, Michael Lucas.
***
Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin is huffin and puffin about a minimum wage hike. Um, bitch, what the hell do you care if a McDonald's employee can feed his/her family? That's right, you don't. Don't worry, though, there are enough people in power now that are watching out for hardworking Americans so all the "values" our soldiers are dying for are actually enjoyed by our people.
Oh, and to say that Rumsfeld served his country honorably is just disgusting. The engineer of the Iraq war deserves Saddam's fate, but hey, Dems are anti-capital punishment so the old coot is spared.
***
And on the Hillary. Girl, do you, but PLEASE don't run in '08. Am I a jerk for thinking that? I just don't think all of America likes her like I do, we need someone less divisive in Oval Office. An ideal female candidate would have to be a cross between Rachel Ray and Barbra Streisand. But that's just my opinion.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It Feels Good to Win

W said it best, "I know when the campaigning ends and when the real work begins." In the face of defeat, the President held his own and directed reporters' attention to the work of government ahead instead of on the mudslinging of campaign season.

And there is a lot of work to be done. This time around, though, we've got a smart group of people speaking up on behalf of the American people. This war is wrong, everyone deserves access to the best quality of life possible, and our country is far too concerned with Bible-thumping than it ought to be. This is the party that Americans have voted in power and it behooves the Democrats to turn that good will into a White House win in '08.

People are fickle. Let's not forget that our country voted the Republicans into power in the first place. Nothing lasts forever, so let's make our time in power count.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Haggard Evangelical Politics



What a lovely way to start the week. The Evangelical Church, in its greedy, frightening, un-Christian grandstanding and power-grabbing has become the laughing stock of the American mainstream in the midst of the Reverand Ted Haggard scandal.

Of course the church is saying that one man's moral indiscretions won't change their moral standards, which are based on the Bible. And good for them, I love it when people stay on message.

I hope that this embarassing situation reminds the American public of the fallibility of religious leaders. Evangelicals, W's bff's, have no business advising our President and chiming in on issues of national policy. It's bad enough that politicians are prone to crooked morals, adding in self-hating Bible-thumpers to the mix is just asking for more trouble.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam to be Hanged


From CNN: The Iraqi High Tribunal in Baghdad on Sunday sentenced a combative Saddam Hussein and two other defendants to death by hanging for a brutal crackdown in 1982 in the Shiite town of Dujail.

[...]

If the Appellate Chamber upholds the conviction and sentence, Hussein must be executed within 30 days.
***
It would seem, however, that the noose is around all of our necks. Saddam is, at best, a small part of the larger problem that is the Middle East. How many Americans have we sacrificed for this small, sigh, "victory?"

If only the world were any safer and if only this war had any hope of end in sight because of this verdict, but no. We're so stuck in this mess that many Americans will be stunned to realize that Saddam is still alive to begin with. Who's the public enemy now?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Five Questions for Michael Lucas

With porn going pop, you're going to be seeing a lot of the gentleman to the left. At least if you live in New York.

Michael Lucas, a porn empresario whom I wrote about back in September, was gracious enough to answer a few questions I had about his life and career. Mind you, I'm the biggest prude in Chelsea. I wasn't especially thrilled with Mr. Lucas and his recent sex trek through Israel. But we talked about that in the interview below, and hey, he's got a right to live his best life, right? And while I don't think porn stars should be at the forefront of the movement for increased gay visibility in the mainstream I still wonder: what IS it like to have sex for a living?

Michael's got a new film coming out, "La Dolce Vita," and he was the subject of a feature story in last week's New York magazine.

I hope this ushers in a new chapter for Gay Conservative Liberal, as I want to start interviewing people to broaden the dialogue on this blog. Anyone you'd like to see interviewed here? Ask and ye shall receive.

Thanks to Mr. Lucas for answering my questions via e-mail.

Hat tip: DCB.
****
You're huge these days! Do you think that becoming an even more visible figure in the mainstream press will ruin the fantasy that your fans have of you?

I have been in business since 1995 and obviously people know me better and better, and my popularity as a porn star has only grown with time. I guess that would answer your question. Aside from that, I never give away every detail of my life to the press. The general public knows very little about me.


You've tackled two timeless stories in your cinematic career, Dangerous Liasions and now La Dolce Vita. What are other classics that need an X-rated overhaul?

Nothing needs to be X rated at all. Dangerous Liaisons and La Dolce Vita were fantastic in their original conception and I'm not even trying to compete. But I found both storylines very sexually charged so it was easy to adapt them to an adult film. Both movies are also well known and loved, so the name recognition helps sell our film. I haven't thought about the next big project yet, but it will not be Titanic, that's for sure.

On to more serious fare: Some people (myself included) think that your recent tour of Israel may have projected an unfavorable image of gay people. How do you think your visit to the country helped advance the cause of gay rights in the Middle East?

I didn't have an agenda to advance gay rights in the Middle East. (Are you kidding me!) For the last several years I have given a club appearance in the biggest club in Tel Aviv. I have a huge fanbase in Israel and I was very grateful to have the opportunity to entertain them during a difficult time, when other much more "respectable" performers like Junior Vasquez, cancelled. I was not there to pursue a political agenda, I was there to make my fans happy and spend time in a country that I love.

Your enterprise is a family affair, so that begs the question: Is any topic off limits around the dinner table?

Everyone in my circle from my boyfriend, grandparents and friends, all knows that I am a gay porn producer and actor. But that doesn't mean that this is a topic of dinner conversation. We have much more interesting things to discuss, and I definitely have no interest in talking about the graphic sex details with my parents!

If you had to be labeled as just one thing, what would that label be?

Entrepreneur

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Colombia: Your Friend in Latin America


While some may think that Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil are leading Latin America into the bottomless pit of poverty that is communism, Colombia is doing everything it can to defend democracy. A strong US ally after the deadly drug wars of the 80s and 90s, here's a very interesting article talking about the progress made in the country from today's San Antonio Express:

In late September and early October, San Antonian Henry Catto traveled to Venezuela, Colombia and Nicaragua with a group of seven former U.S. ambassadors. In Nicaragua and Venezuela, they witnessed threats to democracy. In contrast, Colombia is presided over by a pro-U.S. president who makes democracy work in the most difficult of situations.
***

While this could very well be tinged with some GOP propaganda, after all, Colombia's President is very chummy with Bush, it's nice to know that the country isn't on W's hit list.

Note: The picture above is of an orchid, Colombia's national flower.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

From the GOP: Will You Still Love Us Tomorrow?



From the Miami Herald:
President Bush returned to Texas on Monday to rally Republicans in the heart of Bush country. He had his work cut out for him.
The president's visit to Sugar Land, about 20 miles southwest of Houston, was another indication of how tough times are for Republicans. Just a few years ago, no one would have predicted that the party would be struggling to hang on to the congressional district that launched former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's political career.
***

Sex scandals, a botched national security program, even in the midst of a healthy economy...hmm, late-90s redux anyone?

Hey GOP, do you know what it feels like for a Democrat? Now you do.

With things looking rosey for the Dems I still wonder if this means the White House will be ours in '08.

Here's hoping...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Sunday, October 29, 2006

On War: Madonna, Bill O'Reilly, Michael J. Fox and other hot search terms


You no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.
-- Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973), U.S. legislator

And with that brilliant quote in mind I will launch into my diatribe on a week's worth of issues. Newsflash: America is at war. And not just with Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Bolivia and, catch breath, Argentina. Our country is also at war within. Americans hate each other. And thanks to DVR, you can go to work and come home to roll up your sleeves and crawl into the mud that is daytime TV.

Thank God. I was afraid I'd miss out on the fear mongering that is at the core of our national identity but I'm fortunate enough to be able to bloody my knuckles on the issues of the day with just a click of my remote.

With elections just a few days away I thought I'd write about some of the races going on around me. Hands down, I think the New Jersey governor's race is way sexier than the NY race. Or at least I'm seeing more commercials for that race.

Whatever the case may be, I am totally on Team Menendez. He's the son of Cuban immigrants, self-made, a Democrat, and I am smitten with him after reading this address before the Senate regarding the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court:

"We live in extraordinary times today. President Bush has sought the accumulation of unprecedented powers. He has asserted the authority to not only torture detainees and indefinitely detain American citizens as enemy combatants, but to also conduct warrantless wiretapping of American citizens.

[...]

The bias Judge Alito has shown in favor of the executive branch threatens to undermine the freedoms that our judiciary has historically protected. From his work as a government lawyer to a speech before the Federalist Society in 2000, he consistently favors the concentration of unprecedented power in the hands of the President, even endorsing the so-called “unitary executive” theory that even many conservatives view as being at the fringe of judicial philosophy. It virtually gives the presidency exclusive powers that historically have belonged to either Congress or the courts. This theory is an activist theory, not a theory that reflects mainstream American thinking or values. In fact, the Supreme Court has largely rejected it. "

As our country begins to charter the course toward internal reconciliation, we need this kind of candor from our states' leaders. Menendez opened his discourse on Alito by stating his similarities with the now Supreme Court justice:

"Samuel Alito’s story is one that rings familiar to so many New Jerseyans, including myself. His parents came to this country in search of opportunity, and worked hard to build a better life for their children. The son of immigrants, Judge Alito’s life is a story that demonstrates the power of seizing opportunity and working hard. Frankly, it is a story close to my own heart. I too, am the son of immigrants who came to New Jersey to seek a better life and greater opportunity. Thanks to their hard work, and my own, I was the first in my family to graduate from college and law school. "

Very cool. A gentlemanly, diplomatic take on a very weighty issue. I respect and admire Bob Menendez and hope his home state elects him to the post he deserves.

Here in New York, I'm also supporting Jeanine Pirro , a Republican, for Attorney General. She's had a hell of a year, but the one message that has resonated in my mind, in spite of her blubbering attacks on Hillary Clinton and the rumors surrouning the Pirro marriage, is JP's stand on domestic violence and hate crimes. She proudly states that she has incarcerated wife beaters and people who commit hate crimes against gays and lesbians. I haven't heard Elliot Spitzer talk about these issues. And they do matter if we're going to stay the course of reconciliation and progressive politics.

And speaking of reconciliation, will someone please kick Rush Limbaugh in the nuts? And while they're at it, take a swing at Patricia Heaton and that nobody pitcher from the Cardinals who are taking the airwaves to pontificate on an issue that they are fortunate enough to NOT be impacted by.

With stem cell research being a swing issue for many voters, both sides of the debate are endorsing their point of view on commercials running right now. Michael J. Fox is imploring voters to pass a resolution that will allow for stem cell research, while Patricia Heaton and other blowhards, including James Cazaviel (what have you seen him in since "The Passion of the Christ?") and St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jeff Suppan are urging Americans to stop the ammendment that would allow for continued exploration of this potentially life-saving field.

Let's hope that none of these right-wingers have to eat their words and come pandering to the American public for support like one Nancy Reagan, whose husband's despicable treatment of the AIDS epidemic came back at him in the form of Alzheimer's.

Rush Limbaugh had enough (expected) poor taste to suggest that Michael J. Fox was faking the tremors caused by his disease during his commercial endorsing Democrat Claire McCaskill. What kills me about this issue, and others like gay marriage and abortion is that people who are not the least bit affected by them are the ones making the most noise. People are dying and yet healthy, rich, self-important jerks are trying to dictate how science can go about saving people's lives. And these people have the nerve to say they're pro-life??

I guess anything goes in times of war.

And that's exactly the point that Bill O'Reilly drove home during his appearance on Oprah
to peddle his new book "Culture Warrior." Says the big purple monster (I have seen him countless times in person and without make-up he is quite horrific):

There are inequalities, we work to do a level playing field. But fundamentally, the founding fathers, based on Judeo Christian philosophy—not religion, philosophy—fundamentally, we've risen to be the strongest country that civilization has ever seen. We give opportunity to more people than anyone else in the world. We freed billions of people and spent our blood and treasure doing it. We're noble. Traditionalists.Secular-progressives say, "No. We're a flawed society. Deeply flawed. We need changes in every area. Social. Economic. Foreign policy."

I hate to break it to Bill, but I think America is a wonderful country that is in need of a drastic overhaul. We are quite flawed. So flawed that we elected W into office and are trapped in an endless war that is only fueling more rancor across the world against us.

Were it up to the likes of Bill, every last American would be strapped with an AK47 and would be doing rounds between the US/Mexico border and Iraq. Americans may disagree on issues, but to pit us against each other and toss the term war around with such blatant disrespect for the word which has cost us 3,000 American lives, is reckless.

Of course, pop culture is at the heart of the culture war, and Madonna could very well be our Joan of Arc. Madge is at the center of a firestorm for wanting to adopt a Malawian baby whose father is still alive but too poor to care for the child. As part of her project called "Raising Malawi," the pop diva is drawing the world's attention to the poorest country on earth, where there are millions of AIDS orphans.

I have mixed feelings about Madonna, but I have to say, if she's going to draw attention anywhere, I'm glad it's on issues that matter and not on her proclivity for girl-on-girl action. Shame on the press for attacking her and turning a wonderful gesture into something despicable. What if Jenna or Barbara Bush did something as selfless?

Madonna v. The World....isn't this old news anyway? Can't wait for the album/documentary/bumper sticker.

War...who needs it?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Election 06: What Happened to the Immigrants and the Gays?


From today's New York Times:

In many ways, the economy has not looked so good in a long time. The price of gas at the pump has tumbled since midsummer. Unemployment has fallen to its lowest level in more than five years. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average has finally returned to its glory days of the late 1990’s, setting records almost daily.
****

The issue for fickle, easily-deceived Amercians is now the "direction" of our country. The culture war is on the backburner for now (our country is on first-date mode with Barak Obama) and simple-minded Americans everywhere are now asking themselves if they still trust the thieving warmongers they elected into power two years ago.

I just want to know where the "illegals" went and what happened to the threat on the American family? Of course, I'm taking for granted the fact that we will never leave Iraq, so nuts to the soldiers who are stuck there and to their families who are awaiting their safe return. Perhaps Iraq will become a serious issue of concern for our nation's people a-la Darfur in the summer of '08.

The Republicans are trying to ride on their laurels through the November elections, but after seeing my new fav film "Marie Antoinette" this weekend, I would love nothing more than for the American public to "storm" the system (through the poll booths) and demand accountability from the Republicans even after the Dems win control of both Houses. This year found the Republicans sinking to new lows in their fear propaganda campaign and while it's going to cost them these elections, they should still be held accountable for the reckless and cheap tactics they've been using to drag our country into unnecessary conflict -- both at home and abroad.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Fantasy Congress: You (Kinda) Saw it Here First


Last month I invited my readers to participate in my very ad-hoc version of fantasy sports called Fantasy Dems. Well, some enterprising students out in California have taken a very good idea and gave it structure to come up with Fantasy Congress:

Fantasy Congress™ offers you the power to "play politics." As in other fantasy sports, you - the Citizen - draft a team of real-life legislators from the U.S. Congress and score points for your team's successes. Join a league and compete against other Citizens, or form a league of your own! Play against your friends, family, bloggers, fellow politicos, or even a sitting U.S. Senator (one could be playing incognito, you never know!). On weekends, move Members of Congress into your active line-up or off your team to strategize for the upcoming week of legislation!
***

Good ideas are a dime a dozen, it's all in the execution. Cheers to these guys for a very clever site, I plan on playing and posting on it regularly.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Latinos Doing It for Themselves


Interesting article in today's New York Times about Latino immigrants working for other Latinos here in the U.S.

The gist of the piece by Mireya Navarro is that while there are clearly benefits for both parties: shared language, culture, an expected shared immigration experience, there is some friction between recently arrived immigrants and their more established compatriots.

Says the article:

"In the employment market for both legal and illegal immigrants, many nannies and maids are finding their first jobs among the older generations of Latinos, who are now in a position to hire domestic help. But while the two groups of strivers may gravitate toward each other because of cultural and language similarities, their intersection can also be fraught with odd tensions and broken expectations, say researchers, employers and workers."

I can see how this can happen. My own experiences have found me all but apologizing to blue collar Latinos who take my garbage out at the office or clear my table at restaurants. Long story short, it bothers me immensely to give orders to or receive services from other Latino people.

This reminds me of a scene from one of my favorite movies, Real Women Have Curves; the movie is about the daughter of first-generation immigrants who wants her family to be as motivated and ambitious as she is. In one scene, she dares her sister to stand up to her Latina boss at Saks Fifth Avenue who commissions the gowns made by the girl's mother and sister at a local factory. When the boss acts like a bitch, looking down on the two girls in her high heels and beautifully tailored suit, the movie's heroine disses the boss in Spanish, only to be sassed right back. It was painful to watch only because many a time I have found myself in a suit and tie having to weather comments like "fag," "blowhard," and "he thinks he's white" by other Latinos who think I have no idea what they're saying, or, worse, they know I know what they're saying and don't care.

I've had many discussions about this sort of class struggle with my black and latino friends and really, it all boils down to our communities not expecting for us to be more than invisible. It's OK to work and toil, but to assume a position of leadership and to actually go head to head with the establishment is still unheard of for old school latinos --- to see some of their own "leave the flock" and embrace American values, values that then breed the same kinds of class struggles that exist in the old countries, is painful.

But as we say in the 'hood: Don't hate, participate and congratulate.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

On Mark Foley and Sex Crimes



The major news of the day, aside from Diane Sawyer's interview with North Korean officials who are basically telling the world they're going to fry us all within the next week, focuses on a rash of sex crimes across the entire spectrum of American society.

A new twist in the Foley scandal: his childhood priest revealed that he used to massage a young Foley in the nude back in the 60s, in addition to skinny-dipping with him and sharing hotel rooms with him.

As if that weren't enough, 125 people have been rounded up in a child porn raid that caught adults subscribing to sites that featured sex between adults and INFANTS.

Finally, two teens on Long Island are accused of attacking a developmentally disabled man in a bowling alley and sodomizing him with a plumbing snake. Yuck.

***
What are we to make of all this?

I don't know. But in my opinion, "culture warriors" need to be riled up about real sexual deviance. There is more indecency on TV news than on HBO or on any rap CD. The disintegration of the family, the lack of mentorship and guidance for our nation's youth, it's all catching up with us in frightening ways.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Weekend in Paris



If you're interested, check out pics and a recap of my trip to Paris here.

Botero + Guernica = Big Trouble (?)

One of my favorite painters is showing some controversial pieces at the Marlborough Gallery here in New York.

Fernando Botero, a Colombian painter known for his exaggerated, Ruben-esque paintings, is depicting the crimes at Abu-Gharib in a new collection that apparently is too outre for my city's museums.

Says New York Magazine:

"'Abu Ghraib was a shock to the whole world, and I was angry,” says Botero, who has dubbed the suite of works “my Guernica,” referring to the antiwar Picasso painting. The controversial exhibition, a hit in Rome and Germany, has brought the artist his best critical notices in years. So why is it opening at a blue-chip but somewhat blue-haired 57th Street gallery, especially as the works aren’t even for sale? Botero says the “Abu Ghraib” series is at Marlborough because museums won’t show it."


***
I'm looking forward to the exhibit, even though it's an unnecessary rehashing of the events at Abu Gharib. I can see why the painter chose to select this particular incident as a platform for a statement against the war, I think there is more going on in Iraq that could be addressed by the painter's unique style to make a similarly impactful statement. For instance, how cool would portraits of a fat W or Saddam be, or even Osama?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Mel Gibson and TV News: Trivial Pursuit

The second part of Diane Sawyer's interview with Mel Gibson aired this morning and I had no choice but to watch because every TV at the gym was playing it.

Kudos to Diane for asking important, probing questions to a public figure who really, really effed things up for himself. Not only does Mel have a drinking problem, he's also, possibly, an anti-Semite. How upsetting that the man who helped create one of the most moving films about Jesus Christ should be reduced to explaining inexcusable, dangerous behavior on national tevelevision.

As pissed as I am at Mel (who unfortunately still looks kinda cute) I am more angered with the American press who has made his behavior an issue of national importance on par with the war in Iraq and the threats posed by North Korea. It is shameful that I am getting more cynical, thought provoking commentary from Rosie O'Donnell than I am from Wolf Blitzer or any other hack on CNN (with the exception of my baby daddy Anderson Cooper, who can do no wrong).

I'm in between jobs now and the past week has afforded me the opportunity to spend more time at the gym, more time on this blog, and more time dissecting the state of affairs on American television. My cable box says I have access to 1000 channels and yet I would not be any wiser to the goings on in the world if I lived glued to the set.

Oprah actually talked about this on her show yesterday. Frank Rich, one of my fav writers at the Times, was on the show talking about the danger of infotainment and about our nation's willingness to be manipulated by the media and politicians. He was there to promote his book The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina and to answer questions from the studio audience. In short, Rich makes a startling, though absolutely true, observation about Americans' unintentional complicity with the lies that are coming out of Washington that have 1) muddled 9-11 with the war in Iraq and 2) impugned George Bush and his cabinet from the disaster that is Katrina.

While he defends President Bush as someone who at least tried to do something about the Middle East and their threat to us, the reasoning for this war has gone from one of a pre-emptive attack to a humanitarian effort. Whatever the reason for this war, which Rich says we'll probably never know, we're almost 1 million casualties into it.

His attack, really, is on the media and on consumers who are engaged in an endless, innocuous dialgoue that ignores the real issues of our times. So, bravo to Diane for grilling Mel like he should be. So Diane, do you think NOW you can go and ax W a few questions for me:

1. Do you, in your heart, believe Saddam had anything to do with 9-11?
2. Do you feel any responsibility for the woeful mishandling of Hurricane Katrina?
3. Are you open to shifting the strategy of the war on terror to a more robust intelligence gathering and espionage program as opposed to a ground war?
4. What made you decide to pursue diplomacy with North Korea, a nation who is boasting about its nuclear program, while engaging in combat with Iraq?
5. Are you proud of your achievements in office thus far?

***

I'm heading off to Paris for the weekend and will be back in the States on Tuesday. In the meantime, I plan on posting an entry or two while I'm away. I'm sure the French will give me plenty to talk about.

But first, it's time for The View (dammit, it's not for another 2.5 hours!)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

LIVE: DEFEND CBS

"I believe it was CBS that once said the world would be better off with Saddam Hussein in power."

Um, I don't know if CBS would say that. Anyone else? I'm digging now....

LIVE: The Commander In Chief is Responsible

Q. Why not use the military against other threats, like Iran and North Korea?

A. The Commander In Chief must use miliatry force responsibly...diplomacy...each situation must be dealt with differently.

We're dealing with people who maybe don't want peace. It says volumes about a person who signs an agreement with one administration and doesn't honor it with another. It points up the fact that these are dangerous regimes.

We will work within the context of the Six Party Talks. [The] North Korean leader knows our position. [...] We won't attack North Korea, we agree there shouldn't be NUCULAR weapons on the Peninsula.

***
Passion can only go so far. W is fumbling. WHY AREN'T WE USING MILITARY POWER AGAINST NORTH KOREA? Because they don't have oil there.

Bush can't be accused of having a sophisticated vocab, but he can't be accused of telling the truth either.

What's to stop North Korea from doing business with Al Qaeda? Chavez is rallying the world community in support of Iran and NOBODY is doing anything about that, either.

Face it: In its efforts to make Haliburton and other Bush/Cheney chronies rich, our military and intelligence is tied up fighting a useless war while other regimes plot against us.

***

LIVE: THE ENEMY THAT PLOTS AND PLANS

President Bush is on TV now saying that the Dems are going to raise taxes on anyone they can, and that the war in Iraq is still the right course of action.

"I don't believe we can wait to respond until after an attack occurs [...] Iraq is a part of the war on terror [...] in this war, if we leave early, the enemy will follow us here. I believe we will maintain control [of the House] because we are on the right side of the economic and security issue."

A lot of stuttering and a lot of smirking on W's behalf.

"No one's ever accused me of having a sophisticated vocabulary."

***My two cents: The Republicans are going to stay in control for a while. Aside from the fact that the Dems don't have their act together, the passion with which W speaks is frightening. He truly believes he's doing the right thing. The Dems, with all their hemming and hawing just look moronic. Grrrrr.

Monday, October 09, 2006

LIVE: Bold and Provocative Act


Can someone please get W a speech therapist?

North Korea conducted a NUCLEAR test, not a NUCULAR test.

That said, some strong words, "bold, provocative, Syria, Iran," in an otherwise ineffective speech.

"We're working to confirm North Korea's claims."

ABC News: "The administration needs to reassess and figure out where they're going to go from here."

So scary.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Michelle Malkin & Jim McGreevey: Dying to Belong

Here are two people who are single-handedly undoing the course of progress and acceptance in America:



Michelle Malkin and Jim McGreevey suck. *Pun sorta intended.

Michelle Malkin is all sorts of pissed off at the New York Times because they mentioned the fact that she's Filipina. Yes, Michelle Malkin, nee Maglalang, that tank-top wearing, caramel-skinned Conservative sell-out is crying foul after reporter Virginia Heffernan mentioned the pundit's ethnicity in an article about Malkin's attack on YouTube.

Says Malkin: I love how the always oh-so-sensitive New York Times has no problem throwing my ethnicity into an attack, when my ethnicity has nothing at all to do with the subject (the jihad vs. anti-jihad war at YouTube).

Here's why Malkin's etnicity matters:

-- Malkin has done everything in her power to whitewash herself.

-- Her psyhotic desire to belong to the "winning" team has her screaming like a banshee for a cause that undermines the very values that have allowed a woman of color to become such a visible figure in our society.

--She boasts on her blog: [I] opposed publisher [of Seattle Times] and supported successful campaign to abolish race-based affirmative action in government hiring, contracting, and college admissions.

-- Her book In Defense of Internment draws psychotic parallels between the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII and the need for similar actions with Arab Americans today.
Among other hallucinations, the book claims to expose "how both Japanese American and Arab/Muslim American leaders have united to undermine America's safety."

I would dare say that Michelle Malkin is the Jenna Jameson of the Conservative movement. Here you have a woman of color begging to have her race stripped of her while she whores off her wit and intelligence to advance the cause of the Republican party.

What a godsend she is to the white Republican establishment -- to have one of the little brown ones speak out against affirmative action and espouse the homophobic and xenophobic ideals of their party.

Kudos to Virginia Heffernan for pointing out Malkin's most egregious trespass -- that which she has perpetrated on herself and her heritage by becoming a puppet for a slowly dying cause.

***
So what's my beef with Jim McGreevey?

To hear him speak about his newfound "truth" is like watching a man possessed by Pat Buchanan and George Michael. Every utterance out of McGreevey's mouth as he promotes his new book The Confession, especially his embarassing, vomit-inducing appearance on Oprah, reveal a man still struggling with a major identity crisis.

I can't even applaud him coming out of the closet. Jim McGreevey didn't say he was gay, he revealed himself to be a depraved, co-dependant, lying son-of-a-bitch, who like Michelle Malkin was all too eager to sell his own people out just "to belong."

He told Oprah that even though he marched in Gay Pride parades, he refused to vote in favor of gay marriage out of fear that he would be outed. He went into detail about his trysts behind a Synogauge (DAYS before Rosh Hoshanna no less, OY the timing!), he said he had a penchant for anonymous sex with truck drivers, and that he met "the love of his life" in an Israeli whom he would later sleep with in his wife's bed while she was holed up in a hospital recuperating from a Cesaerian section.

WTF?!!!!

This isn't truth or liberation, this is a twisted man who is still acting out of homophobia. WHERE THE HELL ARE ROSIE AND ELLEN to distract America's attention from this wacko fag?

To make matters worse, McGreevey invited Oprah's cameras to his new home which he shares with his "life partner" of six hours (or months).

James and I were flipping out while we watched, in horror, how this idiot confirmed Middle America's worst fears about gays:

-- That we're whores
-- That we lie
-- That we ruin families
-- That we're self possessed and only out for own satisfaction

As I think about topics to write about on this blog, and as I question its effectiveness, I am thankful for the example provided to me by Michelle and Jim. Unless I speak out as a gay person of color, the only point of view this country is going to hear is that of these two self-hating loons. I can't let that happen.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Smoke Up and Live Long


From CNN: Good news for aging hippies: Smoking pot may stave off Alzheimer's disease. New research shows that the active ingredient in marijuana may prevent the progression of the disease by preserving levels of an important neurotransmitter that allows the brain to function.

***
I grew up in a nice, dysfunctional Christian household, so of course this news kinda rubs me the wrong way. Especially because I've never smoked pot. But I must say, this sort of news makes me think pot should be legalized, as should all drugs. Liquor is readily available everywhere and I barely have a drink a week (but that's because I have body issues and save my indulgences for fatty foods which I then burn off at the gym or just puke out) so I don't think I'd be more inclined to buy pot, crack, meth, crank, or heroine if it was available next to my Dentyne Ice or Coca-Cola. But that's just me.

What do you think?

Sidebar: Why is the person holding the joint in this picture black?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

It's SO On


What do you do when your party becomes the laughing stock of the country and your pithy war in Iraq proves you a fool? You start a war somewhere else, stupid!

Watch out North Korea!

From the NYT: The Bush administration sent a direct message to North Korea on Wednesday warning it not to set off a nuclear test, and later declared that the United States “is not going to live with” a nuclear-armed North.

***
First: I totally agree that North Korea cannot be allowed to pursue a nuclear program.

Second: THIS is a legitimate cause for concern.

Third: The Bush administration is not in a position to threaten anyone anywhere because:

-- Our military prowess is too tangled up in Iraq.
-- The Iraq mission is failing.
-- There is no consensus in America about who our enemy is.
-- The American people are tired of fighting.
-- The money that is being spent to make us safer is just fueling the rancor of everyone, even our "allies" (all oneo of them).
-- One minute it's the culture war and then the next minute it's the war on terror.

For you conspiracy buffs out there, wouldn't it be something if the GOP were coaching the North Koreans on when to threaten us? Soooo interesting that North Korea should plan a nuclear test just weeks before the November elections.

** Sorry I haven't posted in a few days, I was sick.